reviews · YA

“Smoke and Key” by Kelsey Sutton (Review)

Welcome to once again another book review!

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my views of the book. All opinions stated are unbiased.

STATS FOR THE BOOK

Length: 309 Pages

Publication Date: April 2nd, 2019

Goodreads Rating: 3.93 Stars out of 136 Ratings

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS

“A sound awakens her. There’s darkness all around. And then she’s falling…

She has no idea who or where she is. Or why she’s dead. The only clue to her identity hangs around her neck: a single rusted key. This is how she and the others receive their names—from whatever belongings they had when they fell out of their graves. Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it.

She needs help, but who can she trust? Ribbon seems content in Under, uninterested in finding answers. Doll’s silence hints at deep sorrow, which could be why she doesn’t utter a word. There’s Smoke, the boy with a fierceness that rivals even the living. And Journal, who stays apart from everyone else. Key’s instincts tell her there is something remarkable about each of them, even if she can’t remember why.

Then the murders start; bodies that are burnt to a crisp. After being burned, the dead stay dead. Key is running out of time to discover who she was—and what secret someone is willing to kill to keep hidden—before she becomes the next victim…”

WHAT I LIKE

  • The cover is stunning! It’s a cover that you’ll see and just want to know what the story is about. The cover is always the first thing people judge so having a beautiful cover was what drew me to this book.
  • It had some creepy sort of mystery elements. It did not rely too heavily on the mystery which made the book better.
  • The intrigue didn’t stop.
  • It’s original. Now I know, I know, a lot of people think nothing can be original in the book world anymore but lemme tell ya. The world of Under is so intriguing and well thought out. It’s very imaginative and gives the sense of The Wizard of Oz and a Tim Burton movie combined but at the same time, it doesn’t. This is a world difficult to explain and that my friends are what makes it that much more unique.

WHAT DID NOT LIKE

Honestly, there’s not much about this book that I didn’t like, but here they are!

  • To start, there were some plot twists that were too predictable. It took away from the mystery aspect at times.
  • The opening of the book goes kind of slow which really gets boring. It took me a couple of days to force myself to get further in the book just because I kept getting so distracted.

OVERALL OPINIONS

I really enjoyed this book but going into it, you just have to be wary of how slow paced it can be at times. The book itself is truly wonderful if you can push past that boring beginning.

It’s one of those books that if you don’t like fantasy, you will not enjoy this book. The fantasy elements are what drive the main storyline which for me, I loved. Being taken into a world that isn’t real is just so calming.

I’d recommend this book to people who have the time to invest in reading the book.

Overall, I would give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I may love the atmosphere but the pace is what really prevented me from giving this book 4 stars.

Thank you for reading! Have a great day!

Tell me, is it easy for you to get invested in slow-paced books? Do you like slow beginnings or do you like the books to jump right into the story?

 

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reviews · YA

“The Path Keeper” by N.J. Simmonds (Review)

Welcome to bookland featuring a new review!

ARC provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS

“What if every coincidence was a tiny miracle? What if our life was already mapped out before birth? What if someone had the power to change the path we were destined to follow?

Ella hates her new life in London, she misses Spain and she’s struggling to get over her past until she meets Zac. He has always loved her but he isn’t meant to be part of Ella’s story. Not this time. Not ever. Little does she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and will force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense, a world more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

The first in a thrilling new YA fantasy series, The Path Keeper is a tale of passion and secrets, of first loves and second chances, and the invisible threads that bind us. Can love ever be stronger than fate?”

WHAT DID I LIKE

  • The romance may have been very cliche at times but don’t we all love that, the feeling of knowing the couple will be together but worrying about the risk anyway
  • Angels. Just straight up Angels.
  • Forbidden Romance – This could have honestly been turned into my kind of chick flick.
  • The cover is beautiful no matter what edition you choose

WHAT I DON’T LIKE

  • The usage of sensitive topics was not covered in a great way, anyone can have trouble writing about suicide and sexual assault. Just it feels like these topics could have been at least researched, it felt like the author didn’t know what they were writing about.
  • Stereotypical romance – This is just something I love but also hate. It’s not entirely black and white but some elements just make the story bland and this is sadly one of them.
  • Zac’s “stalking” of Ella.

OVERALL OPINIONS

I can’t personally say I hated this book. There were things I loved and things that I genuinely thought made the book boring. Does this mean it’s a bad book, no. I just personally had my qualms with it is all.

Even with the problems I found, I’m still giving this 3 out of 5 stars. It’s a book I think people just need to go into not knowing very much.

Book Tag · TBRs · Uncategorized · YA

The TBR Tag

Thank you so much to The Maniacal Unicorn for tagging me to do The TBR Tag! Have you not read their take on the tag, you can read it here! Onto the tag!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

This has a simple answer, I don’t. I keep all of the books on my bookshelf, read and unread combined. While I do use Goodreads, I have a pretty good memory of what I have and haven’t read! When I move here soon, I’ll for sure need to find a better way to keep track of it!

Is your TBR mostly print or e-books?

It’s kind of… yeah it’s mostly print. I really don’t enjoy reading e-books electronics give me migraines so I more or less avoid e-books unless they’re ARC’s I had given my word I’d read.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

This sort of follows up my answer to the first question but since I don’t really have a way to keep track of my TBR, it’s really more or less what jumps out at me. It usually ends up being the first book that comes to mind when I think of what I want to read next so ye~!

 A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

“Reawakened” by Colleen Houck, because like two years ago I saw it on Book Outlet and was like “OOOO I WANNA READ THAT!” and I hadn’t even bought it until last month lol~ I know I know but it will (maybe) be read soon!

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A book that’s recently been added to your TBR?

A book I added to my TBR on Goodreads happened today, it’s called “Nice Try, Jane Sinner” by Lianne Oelke! I really hope to get around to reading this immediately when it’s published (January 9th).

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A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

I KNOW WHAT THIS IS. It’s “The Diviners” by Libba Bray. I’m not gonna lie, I have almost ZERO interest in the plot of this book and I’ve heard it’s amazing but I only bought it at the time because of the cover!

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A book on your TBR that you never plan on actually reading?

It took me a few minutes to answer this because I REALLY want to lie to myself and believe I will actually read this. I won’t I read the first ten pages and told myself I’d come back to it. The book is “The Rest of Us Just Live Here” by Patrick Ness.

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An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

LET’S BE REAL! WE ALL ALREADY KNOW WHAT IM GOING TO SAY! I’m super excited to read “My Plain Jane” which is the second book in the My Lady Janies trilogy by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton! “My Lady Jane” was such a funny historical fiction so I’m really happy there’s a trilogy of books from these three authors!

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A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you?

It’s not a book, it’s the entire series. I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t even read the first, YES THE FIRST BOOK, in “The Percy Jackson and The Olympians” series. It’s funny because anyone who knows me would think that I’ve read this because I love reading and learning about mythology so yep, I need to read that!

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A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

“Cody Name Verity” has always been recommended to me because I love historical fiction so much but I don’t know? I’m just not very interested in it and I really don’t like Elizabeth Wein’s writing style.

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A book on your TBR that you’re just dying to read?

I really have been wanting to read “The Women in the Castle” by Jessica Shattuck! I don’t really have anything to say about this one so I’ll leave it at that!

Number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

OK OK, THERE’S GOOD NEWS! I don’t put a whole lot on my Goodreads TBR shelf unless I REALLY want to read it so currently there’s only 49 on there which I think (hope) is a pretty tame TBR shelf. Normally people’s are in the hundreds so I feel pretty accomplished about mine!

So that’s the end of the tag! I hope you enjoyed reading and while I’d love to tag other bloggers, I don’t like making other’s do the tag so yep! If you like to do the tag, please do! I’d love to see y’alls answers! 

Book Tag · Historical Fiction · personal · TBRs · Uncategorized · YA

Top 5 Tuesday – 2018 Anticipated Releases

Happy New Year! 2017 was an amazing year for books and I HOPE that stays the same in 2018. This post is all about my anticipated releases of 2018! I hope you enjoy them as much as me!

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton

Now if y’all read my review of “My Lady Jane,” you will know I loved that book more than any other book at the time of reading it. Fantasy and Historical Fiction are my all time favorite genres and what not so I’m super hyped for “My Plain Jane.” Now I won’t go too far into why I love this series so here’s the link to my review of “My Lady Jane.”

The Queens Rising by Rebecca Ross

I can’t say exactly why I’m looking forward to this novel. I think it’s just the idea of patrons seems so amazing and intricate. Brienna seems to be a relatable character so I can’t wait to read this novel as soon as possible. Although characters make or break books in my opinion so I really hope it lives up to my expectations.

Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare

Scriptology. That’s all I feel I need to say. I feel like this will be a really good book because this is a topic that isn’t usually written in novels. I can’t I’ve ever seen scriptology as the main topic of a book, ESPECIALLY YA!  I’ve already preordered this book.

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

This reminds me of “The Hate U Give” so much. Racial stereotyping is such an important issue today. We may not think about it all the time but it happens and it’s a tragedy when it does happen. So I’m really happy this is coming out, I feel like this will be amazing! This novel really, according to the synopsis, kind of focuses on the murder aspects of racial profiling, that alone will make the story interesting at the least!

Hamilton and Peggy! A Revolutionary Friendship by L.M. Elliott

I’m not gonna lie. The only reason I’m excited about this novel is the fact that it’s a historical fiction novel. Realistically, that’s my favorite genre in YA. So I don’t really know anything about Hamilton or Peggy… I know. But DON’T WORRY FRIENDS! I’m going to look up more about the two (I should know something going into this, right?).

So that’s my top 5 anticipated releases this year! Tell me yours in the comments, I’d love to hear your recommendations! Thank you for reading and I hope you had a fantastic new year!

reviews · Uncategorized · YA

“A Short History of the Girl Next Door” by Jared Reck (Review)

“A Short History of the Girl Next Door” by Jared Reck, for one, this title has a LONG name but also this was NOT the fluffy contemporary goodness I had originally expected from this novel. This novel will make you cry!

This is a novel you should go into as blindly as possible in my opinion.

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS

“Fifteen-year-old Matt Wainwright is in turmoil. He can’t tell his lifelong best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her; his promising basketball skills are being overshadowed by his attitude on the court, and the only place he feels normal is in English class, where he can express his inner thoughts in quirky poems and essays. Matt is desperately hoping that Tabby will reciprocate his feelings; but then Tabby starts dating Liam Branson, senior basketball star, and an all-around great guy. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough; but, as Matt soon discovers, he’s close to losing everything that matters most to him.”

REVIEW BY MOI

Lemme tell you, I genuinely thought this novel would be all fluff. It’s generally what I expect based on the synopsis. I was wrong I’ll admit that this novel broke my heart into many pieces. All this novel truly needed was a hug!

WHAT I LIKED 

  • This novel was spectacular at getting me invested in the characters lives! By the end of the novel, I was in a way TOO invested in the characters! I didn’t know I could get that invested in the characters.
  • There was a true rollercoaster of emotions I felt while reading!
  • This story really, I guess, brought the fact of unrequited love to life for me. I’ve never really experienced an unrequited love so I feel like that really made this novel heartbreaking for me.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

  • The beginning was slow, it felt uneventful and for maybe a short second, I thought about DNFing this novel. I can’t stand slow beginnings in novels and I feel like that has shined through in my blog. It’s mostly ADHD though so it’s generally not actually against the novel-
  • Realistically speaking, that was my only issue with the novel as a whole.

OVERALL RATING

Altogether, I enjoyed this story, it was very poignant and powerful in a sense. You could truly feel the emotions of the characters which really helped the novel as a whole! I’ll be giving this a 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Thank you for reading! This novel was given to me by Blogging For Books for an honest, unbiased review.

Book Tag · Fiction · Historical Fiction · Uncategorized · welcome · YA

Top 5 Tuesday – YA World War 2 Historical Fictions

Historical Fictions, why are they so amazing one may never know. Here are some amazing historical fictions!

I’ve really been forward to this specific post! There’s a certain something I love about historical fictions! They take you back in time to a different place, something you didn’t live through. While a lot of historical fictions are sad, a lot can also be uplifting.

DISCLAIMER: All opinions are my own so I hope they don’t upset y’all!

1. “Between Shades of Grey” by Ruta Sepetys 

There’s not much I can say about this without getting emotional. This novel tore my heart to pieces, it has so many elements of love and family! The mother is my favorite character and I CANNOT recommend this novel anymore!

For more information, the review I wrote can be found here!

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2. “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

I enjoyed this novel a lot, the only thing I HATED about this novel, the beginning was exhaustingly slow but once you get past maybe the first hundred pages it’s amazing! I thought that the opening was beautifully written with why the novel has the name it has. I strongly recommend this novel!

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3. “Anna and the Swallow Man” by Gavriel Savit

THE SYMBOLISM THOUGH. The symbolism in this novel was amazing. It was a quick read that I could NOT put down! Anna may know that the swallow man isn’t her father, they both still have an amazing parental connection. This novel is a read I really recommend!

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4. “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” by John Boyne

The premise of this novel was what I loved, it was sad but beautiful. The friendship between Bruno and a child on the other side of the mysterious fence. This novel shows the true travesty of World War 2 and I loved Boyne’s interpretation of this heartfelt novel!

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5. “Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein

I had absolutely no intention of putting this novel on the list yet by a turn of events, here we are! I personally didn’t love the beginning of the novel but it progresses into something intriguing. I loved the aspect of spies and friendship! While this isn’t my favorite WW2 novel, it’s still a great book to read!

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Thank you for reading! Have an amazingly good day!

Book Tag · Contemporary · Fiction · Historical Fiction · personal · reviews · Uncategorized · YA

Top 5 Tuesday – Releases of 2017

Welcome my dudes to the best-ish post you’ll ever read-

Hey y’all! This is a new segment that will be on my blog every Tuesday from now on. I’ve seen a ton of bloggers do these top 5 days and I really wanted to start one! So here we are, today we’ll be talking about releases of 2017!

All of these are my opinions so I hope they don’t upset anyone lol if they do I apologize in advance!

These are in no particular order, only the order in which I thought of them.

1. “Turtles All the Way Down” by John Green

OK, let’s be real y’all, you knew or at least assumed this novel would appear somewhere on this list BUT I didn’t think I’d put it on this list. I will make it clear not, I am NOT a John Green fan. I mean he’s a great guy I’m sure but his writing style has never been my thing. The reason this novel is on my list is that I enjoyed how he implemented mental illness into this novel. It made it a worthwhile read and I was able to get through it, I usually can’t finish his novels lol. For John Green fans, this, in my opinion, is one of his best novels so far!

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2. “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas

This novel shook me. This was one of those reads that I couldn’t put down, it deals with the ideas of racism amazingly! For me, this novel brought into play some important topics that I normally avoid in the world. I enjoy believing that racism doesn’t still exist but it’s an important issue that needs a change. “The Hate U Give” reminded me of how our world is and frankly, it shines a different light on race and that’s really important!

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3. “The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” by Mackenzi Lee

This book was amazing, I had just read “My Lady Jane” prior to reading this and in my mind, they were both similar but amazing and different at the same time! I’ve been REALLY into historical fiction recently so I’m very biased about this novel. Hilarious is an understatement for this novel and the cover is fantastic. Originally, I had no intentions of reading this but I had a lot of people tell me it was amazing so I did. I have no regrets lol! If you enjoyed “My Lady Jane” go buy this book right now, you will not be disappointed, it just pulls you in and gives you a good laugh!

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4. “Hunted” by Meagan Spooner

Beauty and the Beast is one of my all-time favorite fairy tales, be it the fabulous Disney version or the very grim Grimm fairy tales version, I love the premise of this particular fairy tale! So lemme tell you this, “Hunted” does an amazing job of retelling the best fairy tale of all time. Once again, slight bias, not towards the book but every other aspect of the books premise. While “Hunted” has its own little spin on the classic tale, the truth remains that this version of Beauty and the Beast is VERY similar to the Disney version of the tale. That part slightly bothered me at first but all around this novel was spectacular at bringing the tale to life!

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5. “Eliza and Her Monsters” by Francesca Zappia

To be honest, I only picked up this novel because I’d heard it was similar to “Fangirl.” That’s quite literally my only excuse for reading this, but let’s be real fam, THIS WAS SO GOOD! This novel is one of those fantasies that artists have lol, they created a top webcomic and find the love of their dreams. I, at first, figured this would be a fluffy contemporary with no true plot but I was pleasantly surprised. I won’t go too in-depth on why I adored this novel as I believe it’s best to experience the joy for yourself!

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Thank you for reading! I appreciate you taking the time to read this!