| Books & Reviews |

September MiniReviews (#2)

ACOTAR

by Sarah J. Maas

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Pages: 416

Published: May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens 

Genre: YA Fantasy, Romance

Links: Amazon // Book Depository // Goodreads

In lieu of the #ReadThemAllThon, I read A Court Of Thorns And Roses to access the Pewter City Gym Badge. I didn’t really know what to expect from it in all honesty; I’ve never read a Sarah J. Maas work before (shameful, I know), and usually the whole magical realm genre isn’t my go-to. Let’s just say I’m super glad I gave it a go!

One-sentence summary

Taken prisoner (of sorts) in a magical realm who had historically enslaved, and tortured mortals, Feyre is forced to find her feet in this new world of secrets and suspicions in order to save the people she holds the closest.

What I liked

  • Um, am I allowed to say all of it?
  • Yes, we’ll go with: “all of it”.
  • The worldbuilding was second to none, the characters were capturing, and absorbing, and the whole concept was pretty damn good.
  • Feyre and Tamlin, although a little cliché, were suited so brilliantly to each other. giphy12
  • Maas has this ability to drag you to the depths of squalor with the characters, and truly feel their pain.
  • This book was pretty much a first for me – never before had I read anything of this specific genre (faeries and the like), and from the off-set it had me hooked.
  • FEYRE WAS A DOWNRIGHT BADASS WITHOUT EVEN TRYING TO BE. She is pretty much Katniss 2.0 with an added artist module. *applauds*

What I didn’t like as much

  • The pronunciations of names really caught me out; why, oh why were they all so hard to say? Fay-ruh just doesn’t sound right to me (I called her “fair” for half the book), and I kept reading Ree-sand (Rhysand) as Rye-sand. (THE STRUGGLES). Maas did slightly relieve my ignorance by including a Pronunciation Guide at the back of the book *hails prior planning*, but I feel that if your characters’ names are so magically difficult that they need a pronunciation guide, maybe you want to re-evaluate ALL YOUR LIFE CHOICES.
  • The phrase “clicking his/her tongue” made SO MANY appearances. Like every other sentence would be someone clicking their tongue … and every time I had to mentally make the sound to satisfy the situation
  • Spoiler (highlight) – I wasn’t madly keen on the whole resurrection ordeal; it kind of seemed a bit of a plot add-on, and I’m not sure I was ok was okay with it *shrugs* End Spoiler
  • I would have loved to have seen MORE of everything. MORE CHALLENGES. MORE MONSTERS. MORE ACTION. MORE SALIVA-INDUCING FOOD.

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Favourite Quotation

“Do you ever stop being so serious and dull?”
“Do you ever stop being such a prick?” I snapped back.
Dead—really, truly, I should have been dead for that.
But Lucien grinned at me. “Much better.”

Rating

5 stars

Although I had a couple of dislikes, they really weren’t weighted at all; I LOVED THIS BOOK, OKAY?! I felt so emotionally invested in all the characters, and the world, and I feel as if I’m now definitely in the series for the long-haul. *immediately purchases ACOMAF*

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Illuminae

Illuminae has been plastered all over the internet for quite some time now, and I decided it was finally time to jump feet-first into the hype, and give it a go.

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Pages: 599

Published: October 20th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA Science-Fiction, Dystopia

Links: Amazon // Book Depository // Goodreads

One-sentence summary

Flung into space on an escape-or-die mission, Ezra and Kady’s fitful relationship reforms through turmoil, as they fight to save thousands of people against an evil AI, a lone enemy ship, and well, ALL THE ODDS.

What I liked

  • THE PRESENTATION WAS SO REFRESHING/EXCITING/BRILLIANT. This book basically lives a double-life as an art form. Not only did the unique deliverance of the story make it entirely stand out, but it also served to never let the plot fall short, and keep me flipping the pages in anticipation.
  • The twists were genuinely surprising, and really ramped up the pressure.
  • Although the cast was limited to pretty much all of 2 characters, I was absolutely fine with it. They were full of depth, and completely relatable (given the situation), and I loved the strong will they both shared. I was vouching for them the whole way through.giphy14

 

  • Actually, I lied, I’d count AIDAN as a pretty major character too. I WAS SO IN LOVE WITH HEARING THE STORY FROM ALL THE DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES AND MEDIAS, including AIDAN’s tragic portrayal. 

What I didn’t like so much

  • Spoiler – I wasn’t a massive fan of the ending. As much as I liked Ezra, I really didn’t think his return enhanced the plotline. I had come to peace with his death (well, struggled to) and I feel as if the novel coming to a tragic, unsettled end would have been more poetic? IDK MAYBE I’M MAKING IT UP – End Spoiler
  • I didn’t really feel anything particular towards the minor characters. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it didn’t ruin the story (because they were in it so little), so I ended up not caring that I didn’t care about them *eh*.
  • I couldn’t help but compare it to the 100 (with the whole “evil AI trying to save the world, but actually doing more harm” thing). Also I kept picturing Kady as Raven *shakes head at muddled self*

Favourite Quotation

“Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.”

Rating

5 stars

Yep, another 5 stars from me! It’d be hard not to yield into giving this novel full marks for it’s staunch presentation, and exhilarating twists. I’m super excited for Geminae (when it’s released in October, I believe?) and am planning on jumping straight into Nevernight to satiate my Kristoff-fix.


Everything, Everythingbook_cover

Pages: 310

Published: September 1st 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers 

Genre: YA Fantasy, Romance

Links: Amazon // Book Depository // Goodreads

I was itching to purchase this debut novel, by Nicola Yoon, for quite some time, and it entirely lived up to the brilliance projected upon it by its critiques.

One sentence summary

For the past 18 years of her life, Madeline has been couped up inside her white-washed house with only her mother and nurse for company; so, when a rangy boy dressed in black moves in next door, her whole life implodes as she begins to struggle with not being able to participate in the world around her.

What I liked:

  • Much similar to Illuminae, this book contained such awesome graphics, and was delivered in a quirky and absorbing way. I JUST LOVE IT WHEN BOOKS PRETEND TO BE THINGS THEY’RE NOT, OKAY?
  • I don’t think I’ve ever read a story that is so equally heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time.
  • The whole formatting of the book was so YES YES YES. Especially the instant messaging. Usually, I’m not a mad fan of text-talk in books, but OLI AND MADDY CHANGED ME. Especially “fast 5 favourites” – what a good idea.
  • The twists were SO DECENT. Like surprisingly so. They had me going: HOW DID I NOT THINK OF THAT FIRST?!

What I didn’t like so much:

  • The book was too short; usually I pray for a quick read, but I just wanted more and more of this world. GAH, life’s not fair *strops*. It’s not the book’s fault, I’m just greedy.
  • Maybe we could have had a little more information on SCID, Madeline’s disorder? I can’t lie, I’m just picking at strands here – this book was too perfect.

Favourite Quotations (trust me their good-uns):

He remembered sitting at the breakfast bar and stirring the milk and chocolate together. How the chocolate turned white, and the milk turned brown, and how sometimes you can’t unmix things no matter how much you might want to.

A universe that can wink into existence can wink out again.

Rating

5 stars

Yes, I know this is my third 5 star rating in just this small post, but I’M SORRY, I CAN’T LIE. I know these scores may seem very liberal indeed, but I genuinely couldn’t not give these books their due credit. Everything, Everything was a beautifully penned debut novel, with depth, grit and clever characters – I’ll be eagerly awaiting Yoon’s second work, The Sun Is Also A Star (anticipated for a November release), and hopefully it’ll see her firmly cemented in my auto-buys.


Fangirl

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Pages: 445

Published: September 10th 2013 by St. Martin’s Press

Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance

Links: Amazon // Book Depository // Goodreads

I sidled up to my first Rowell novel with hope, and guile that it would live up to the hype enveloping it. Whilst I enjoyed the story, and character portraits, I ended up with a slightly salty taste in my mouth when the book drew to a close.

One sentence summary

Cather puts her fanfiction writing in front of everything, including her own mental well-being and education, and so when she makes the leap to university, and is faced with colours, people and romance, she struggles to comprehend the change in her surroundings: her roommate is a bratty senior, with good intentions and a happy-go-lucky ex-boyfriend, and her twin sister has decided to galavant away from Cather, leaving her stuck in the past.

What I liked:

  •  The characters were relatable, and grounded when it came down to the crunch. Especially Cather … I definitely have “Cather” moments in my life from time to time (maybe EVERY DAY), where lying in bed is the priority. The characters all followed such interesting arcs, and I loved seeing Cath’s strength towards the end of the novel.
  • This book was incredibly funny at times, especially when it involved everyone using Abel as an insult punching bag.
  • I find it amazing how Rowell managed to write not only Cather’s story, but her english assignments, and also the Simon Snow fan-fiction all in one book. It’s a true testament to her skill to be able to do that! However, that leads me on to:

 

What I didn’t like so much:

  • I really had no adulation for the Simon Snow portions of story. Although I could see where Rowell was coming from, they didn’t appeal to me in the slightest and I ended up skipping most of the snippets out of disinterest.
  • My lack of assurance in the pronunciation of Cather made me struggle SO MUCH. I hated being constantly reminded that my weak mortal brain couldn’t manage to figure out how to pronounce her name *tuts* Kay-ther? Cath-er? WILL I EVER FIND OUT?! (I prefer Kay-ther, but I’m pretty sure it’s Cather)
  • I definitely didn’t know where I stood with half the characters. I liked their characterisation, sure, but I honestly couldn’t tell by the end of the book if I liked or loathed them.

Favourite Quotation:

Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can’t quite keep up with gravity.

Rating

3 stars

AHA, see I told you I wasn’t being over-zealous with my stars. I’m still undecided about whether I actually enjoyed this book or not. I mean, I enjoyed the crux of it, yeah, but when you have to skip 23.7% of a book, there might be something wrong.


Have you read anything in this post? WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS?! Also: can someone pretty please inform me how you pronounce Cather?!

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12 thoughts on “September MiniReviews (#2)

  1. OMIGOSH YES YES YES YES YES. I’ve read all of these books (except for Everything, Everything, which is on my TBR) and LOVED. THEM. ALL. And YES, I refuse to believe it’s REE-sand. It’s RYE. And I’m pretty sure Cather is like “Catherine”, so “Cah-ther”.
    -Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gagh why are names so damn CONFUSING. Can characters all just be called “Jim” and “Pete” please so my brain can cope with the phonetic difficulty. Have you managed to read Everything, Everything yet? 100% RECOMMEND IF YOU HAVEN’T!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. HELLO! Firstly, IN LOVE WITH YOUR BLOG ❤ Secondly, love your reviews! I've read ACOTAR and ILLUMINAE and I loved them both, I'm glad to see you did too! I can gladly tell you that ACOMAF is a lot better so there's a lot to look forward too! I can't wait for the release of GEMINA next month too!

    I haven't read Everything, Everything but this review is great, I really want to pick it up! As for Fangirl, I'm so used to hearing positive reviews about it – I'm glad to see a more neutralised one! I have yet to read a Rainbow Rowell book and this review was really interesting to read 🙂

    ANYWAY, loved all of your reviews! Nice to meet your blog 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you SO MUCH!! That means a lot, and has made my day 🙂

      I’m super excited to get stuck into ACOMAF (in all honesty, the size of it is leaving me a little apprehensive though!). GEMINA CAN’T COME SOON ENOUGH AGH.

      I would 110% recommend Everything, Everything (and am also so ready for Yoon’s second book in a couple of months!)

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awww I’m glad to hear it did 🙂

        AHAHA that was exactly me before I started but afterward I just wanted it to be longer! It is so fantastically amazing, hope you enjoy! AHHH YES I NEED IT NOW.

        I’ll definitely be picking it up soon in anticipation for the next one!

        My pleasure! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I must read ACOTAR! Is it weird that I have never been told how the names are supposed to be pronounced until now, but that I was right? 🙂

    Also,it is Cather, exactly like Catherine but without the -ine.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmm, I have only read one of the books on the list. I should really get on that. But I’ve been holding off on reading ACOTAR until I’ve caught up on Throne of Glass. So that might take a while. Fangirl hasn’t appealed to me as much. It’s more on a backup list for if I ever run out of priority books to read. 😛 I do really want to get to Everything, Everything soon. I’ll have to see if my library has.

    😛 I actually did like the twist at the ending in Illuminae, but maybe partially because I was 90% certain that was what was going to happen. I think if maybe I had come to terms with how the ending looked like it was going to be, I would have been disappointed? I dunno.

    These were all lovely! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never read any of the Throne of Glass series; would you recommend them? I hear nothing but positive things! Fangirl was such a conflicting book for my mind – like I liked it, sure, but I don’t feel as if I came away from it with any sort of particular investment in the story. Everything, Everything is definitely worth the read – I’m looking forward to Yoon’s second novel in a couple of months.

      Yeah, I see where you’re coming from. I just wasn’t really a fan of the whole cliché, but I loved Ezra’s character so I guess I’ll let it slide xD Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  5. I swear I can’t pronounce Rhysands name right, either, even though there is a guide. My brain doesn’t like her pronunciations lol.

    I saw Illuminae on the shelf today but idk if I can deal with the weird layout. I’ve heard so many positive things, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. IT DEFINITELY 100% IS RYE-SAND IN MY HEAD; I just can’t shake it!

      Yeah, I can see why the layout might put off people, but I honestly think it serves to enhance the actual plot progression and keeps interest levels high!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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