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December Wrap Up

Well, what a busy month this has been, and honestly, I read more than I thought I would get time for! Before we get started, I just want to say that I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a safe and happy New Year! Now, let’s get to it!

 

9780545224901_mresThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater

5/5 Stars!

If you have seen any of my previous blog posts about this book, you will already know that I fell head over heels for it. Lock, stock and barrel, I am obsessed with it. There is something magical about an island in the middle of nowhere, with mythical horses born of the sea. A young man, wiser than his years, with a knowledge and passion for said horses. A young woman who is filled to the top of her head with courage and a need to prove herself for her family. This book is amazing and is definitely up there as one of the best books I’ve ever read.

 

 

27268998New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson

3/5 Stars

This book had been on my radar for a long time, I had seen it all over Bookstagram and lots of positive reviews on GoodReads. When it was sent out in an OwlCrate box, I figured it was time that I read it! However, I did have a few issues with this title, more to do with the pacing, the writing style and the un-likability of the protagonist. That being said, it is a good read and I will be reading the next book to see what happens, purely because the last 50 pages really lifted the entire feel of the book.

 

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Genuine Fraud by e. lockhart

4/5 Stars

This book intrigued me, as this year there have been a lot of releases about lying, fraudulent activity, hiding who you really are, etc. So naturally this title demanded to be read. In true e. lockhart fashion, this book was incredibly well written, engaging and fast paced. However it was hard to keep up with the constant change of perspective, with the murdering and the no consequences of any illegal actions. But I think that is the point. It is designed to be entertaining and take you on a ride. I did enjoy it, but there was a point near the end where I said to myself, ‘what the heck have I read?’.

 

51JcHGZ6ERL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_New World: Ashes by Jennifer Wilson

3/5 Stars

Well, I don’t really know where to start with this one..This book actually made it onto two lists! It also features on my Books That Let Me Down This December Post! Click HERE to read!

If you haven’t read my post that I mentioned in the above sentence, it let me down. 290 pages were literally us watching as Phoenix is tortured, forced to fight children, forced into electro-shock therapy, conditioning, you name it, she went through it. It was hard to read, and it left me feeling traumatized and stressed because of it. That being said, the last 40 pages were amazing. It picked up the pace, the characters grew, the dialogue got interesting. And then the book ended. So I’m going into New World: Inferno with no expectations, I just hope that the torture aspects are gone..

 

38464193More Than We Can Tell By Brigid Kemmerer

5/5 Stars

This book was amazing. It was refreshing as well, within YA fiction these days, books tend to overlook the issues that seem common place, and go for the out there things. This book embraces ‘common’ issues for teens. It is modern, moving into the outlook that girls can be gamers, that they can be coders and that they can create games that hundreds of people can play. This book looks at adoption and foster homes in a whole new way. We see Rev in a loving home, we know he is adopted, but that fact only comes into it when we need to hear about his biological father. Which is another aspect that is so incredibly moving. Once again Kemmerer has created a masterpiece. Her writing style is so easy to read, the pacing is always perfect and her works are always about something current and the content always hits you on a deeper level.

 

So that was my December in books! I am pretty happy with this Wrap Up, not only because of how I enjoyed the book I read, but because I read two of the books I had on my December TBR, usually I write a TBR and then read nothing on it, I tend to choose books based on how I’m feeling. I also feel a little bad, because I have a stack of NetGalley ARCS that I was hoping to get to, and didn’t. So after I finish my current read, look out ARCS!

Have you read one of the books in my Wrap Up? Comment below and tell me what you thought!

 

Thanks again!

Julie

 

 

Uncategorized

Books That Let Me Down This December

I always hope that this list is short, but I never feel guilty if it grows above 3 books. I have the belief that life is too short to read books that you aren’t enjoying. There are too many amazing books out there to be read and if you waste your time on books that you aren’t enjoying then all of those other books are missing out on your time!

Also, any review or opinion of a book, is good publicity. We are starting a conversation about an authors work. If you love or hate it, start the conversation. Someone may change your mind.

Let’s get started

Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

I am so disappointed that this has made my December list. I received an ARC from my lovely friend Tamara from Booked For The Weekend, which I have only just gotten around to reading (oops). I so wanted to love this book. It sounded perfect, robots, humans, Jay’s writing style and quirk. But when I started it, it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. I found it clunky and hard to get into. I couldn’t work out the protagonist, and when I say work out, I mean I couldn’t work out if I liked her or not. I’m planning on giving this book another shot in the new year, but for me, today, it really didn’t keep me intrigued or interested.

 

Shadow of The Fox by Julie Kagawa

This is another book that I am so upset that I didn’t enjoy. I received a copy of this book in an OwlCrate, and as much as It looked amazing, the cover is stunning people! And as much as my Bookstagram friends are all raving about it, I just couldn’t get into it. At the 50 page, decision making mark, I felt as though I had been immersed in a culture that I knew nothing about and I was drowning. I also found the writing style a little stiff and hard to read. This one just isn’t for me.

 

New World: Ashes by Jennifer Wilson

Yes I am aware that I finished this book (review can be found HERE). But it let me down. After New World: Rising, I was expecting something big, but 290 of the precious pages were about torture, electro-shock therapy, mental and physical conditioning and abuse. It was hard to read, but I kept going because I wanted to see how it would end. I am glad I did, because the last 40 pages were fantastic. But up until then, the pacing was off, the protagonist was abused and tortured, we were constantly reminded of death, the scene changes were choppy. It just left me rather unsatisfied. If the whole book was like the last 40 pages, this book wouldn’t be anywhere near this list..

 

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

So this book was never on my radar, it always seemed a little young to me, even when I was the perfect age to enjoy it. But now it has been made into a Netflix movie, naturally I wanted to read the book before I watched the movie. But it turns out, I’ll just be watching the movie…. I find the writing style to be stiff and choppy and the language used to be quite young, like it is designed for a younger reader. Which is fine, I probably would have enjoyed it more when I was 16, not 26… I found it hard to get through the first 20 pages. This is one of those instances where I am most likely going to be saying the movie was better… I think the hype let me down, more than the book. I had it built up to be this sweet yet funny, coming of age tale with a hilarious yet unfortunate mis-hap. But that isn’t how I found the book to be at all…

 

I’m a little terrified to write this next one…

 

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas….

I hadn’t picked up this book or series previously, purely because so many people love it, and it is so hyped. I tend to not enjoy books that are overly hyped and well loved by nearly everyone. And it turns out this book is no exception to that rule. I found Maas’s writing style to feel stiff and forced. Her sensory descriptions fell flat and felt too much like she was forcing us to see what she wanted us to. Then there is Celaena. Why write such an unlikeable protagonist? I get that she is only 18, but how the heck did she become the worlds most feared assassin in 8 or so years then end up in prison? Yes I probably would have found that out if I had of finished the book, but I just couldn’t do it. It felt too much like work to continue reading. I’m sorry if you are among the majority that love this book and this series, but it just does nothing for me. Maybe I should try the ACOTAR series instead? I am a little dubious that I’ll like that either, but hey, a girl’s gotta try!… Right?

 

Is there a book that you loved on this list? Comment below and tell me why you loved it, maybe I’ll give it another chance!

Thanks!

Julie

P.s You can find my previous list of books that let me down in November HERE.

Reviews & Ramblings

Review & Ramblings – New World: Ashes by Jennifer Wilson

Welcome to another session of Review and Ramblings!

If you are new to my R&R blog posts, here is a little warning to you, a warning of the spoiler kind. This post will contain spoilers from New World: Ashes and New World: Rising. So if you haven’t read either of these books and you don’t want to be spoiled, look away or click this LINK to go and read my spoiler free review on GoodReads!

 

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New World: Ashes by Jennifer Wilson

Book Depository

GoodReads

Published June 7th 2016 by Oftomes Publishing

 

Woah, this book is so much darker than New World: Rising. I am 80 pages in and the difference in the total feel of the book is incredible. I am glad we are finally calling Phoenix, Prea, it makes her feel more like a real person, not a fictional character. Which is working in her favour, I’m starting to like her now, if you can’t remember, I really disliked her in book one (You can read my review and ramblings of New World: Rising, HERE).

I am a little sick of being reminded of Triven and Mouse yet having no updates about them. I understand the books are from Prea’s point of view, but I love Triven and want to know how he is surviving. So I am hoping either Prea escapes like she plans to, or we get an alternate point of view chapter.

Also what the heck is up with the minister of the Sanctuary being Prea’s grandfather! I knew there was going to be a twist in there somewhere but I wasn’t expecting that!

The pacing in this book isn’t as off as the first one, so far anyway. It is easier to read, but maybe that is because I am used to the writing style and used to the characters.

I actually hate the way they are conditioning Prea within the Sanctuary. Her grandfather didn’t even try to get to know her, he went straight to ‘breaking’ her, to brainwashing her, stripping her of who she is and trying to find the militant soldier within her that he created when she was a child. What is truly horrific is the way that the guards are forcing her to fight children. Children as young as 10. I can’t imagine being in that situation, but I can imagine how soul crushing and defeating it would be, especially when each child reminds her of Mouse.

I feel a little conflicted, because as much as I hate seeing Prea being stripped of who she is and being forced into doing all of these horrible things, I am loving seeing her come into her own power. She has grown so strong, mentally. Yes she is being worn down, yes she is moving into a state of constant fight or flight. But she is finding herself, finding out who she is and how much she is willing to sacrifice to stay that person.

150 pages in… Is anything actually going to happen in this book? I am honestly over reading about torture, trauma, mental conditioning… It is too intense, these 150 pages have been so hard to read, just one trauma after another. Also what was the point of having Triven and Mouse killed and then having them not dead? Shock factor or just to keep us on our already shaken toes? I am glad to see Triven again, he grounds Prea which is just what she needs now. But was it necessary for us to have to go through all of that torture with her? Was it really pertinent to the story line for her to go through all of that? I guess I will have to wait and see.

Ughh and now there is a love triangle. How totally YA Dystopian… There didn’t need to be a love triangle, it is giving nothing to the story at all… I understand why Wilson thought it would be a good idea, linking Prea and Ryker in more than a childhood friend way. But it makes so much more confusion for no reason. This book is already going nowhere, why add another useless element?

Now that Prea, Triven and Mouse are leaving the Rebel safe house, things are starting to pick up… slightly. I’m still not sure how Prea managed to piece herself back together so quickly after half of the book shows her to be a broken, shadow of herself, then two chapters later she is almost back to her normal self, planning a mission to unite the tribes.

What I am enjoying about this book is the interconnecting parts. We get told so much information throughout the books that it is a little messy. But it is nice to see all of that information meet up eventually and make sense. For example, we have found out, how mouse got her scar, who Gage really is, how Prea got the scar on the base of her neck, why Prea’s parents decided to leave, how Prea lost her mind so quickly within the Sanctuary’s prison. There has been a lot that has been revealed, which doesn’t make this book a little easier to read.

That being said, in 290 pages, nothing has happened. Other than the torture I mentioned at the beginning of this review. I’m hoping something happens in the next 80 pages, or I doubt I’ll read New World: Inferno. Which would be a shame because I have read the first two books, but I also feel like it could have been condensed into one longer title? Like this book didn’t need to be an entire, single novel?

Side note, how amazing is the medicine and technology in this trilogy? It blows my mind that there is a serum that can repair broken bones, heal burns, cuts bruises and any other bodily harm that you can think of. But it also makes the characters sloppy, they know they can train or be hurt but they won’t die of infection or of their injuries. It takes away their fear of getting hurt, which makes them insensitive. It also makes the soldiers much more violent and unforgiving.

The last 40 pages of this book were amazing, they were the only thing that bumped my review up to a 3 star level. The action picked up, we saw some of the amazing relationship between Prea, Triven and Mouse again and we saw Prea coming to realise that Ryker is actually a true friend. The pacing speeds up incredibly in these last few pages, making them go too quickly.  We see Prea as her true self again, racing along rooftops, searching the skyline for landmarks, sensing movement and wrongness in the air before impact. These last 40 pages really saved this book for me. It is such a shame it took 340 pages for it to get good.

As I said in my GoodReads review, I wasn’t going to read the next book in the trilogy, New World: Inferno. But now I think I owe it to myself and to the author to complete the trilogy. I have invested in the first two novels, and I am somewhat curious to see how it all wraps up. There are a lot of unanswered questions that will need answering in the final book, and after reading this one, I am unsure if those answers will be revealed.

What the heck was the ending though!? I get it was designed to act as  a cliff hanger, but it just cut the best part of the book, short. It made it feel false and as though everything our trio worked for, was for nothing.

Also the connotation of Ashes is not what I was expecting. I didn’t expect it to be literal. Or human. Those scenes were so hard to read, as many of them were within this book.

I want to know more about Ryker, I know previously I wrote how I don’t want a love triangle between Ryker, Prea and Triven, and I still maintain that. But I think it will be an incredible shame to see Ryker snuffed out so soon when I think he could be the one thing that helps Prea remember who she was before she left The Sanctuary. He also seems like a top guy, even if he has to live two lives in order to survive and help the Rebels to create a new and better world.

All in all, I guess the last 40 pages really lifted my opinion of this book. Which is annoying because we can see that Wilson can write incredible scenes, but they happen right at the end of the book! The writing style is fantastic as is the language used, it is easy to read and you definitely can’t say that this book is lacking in plot. I am hoping, with everything crossed that Inferno keeps up the pace we saw at the end of Ashes…

Have you read this trilogy? Thoughts?

 

Julie