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Reading progress update: I've read 117 out of 312 pages.
The Titan's Curse  - Rick Riordan

I can never decide whether I like Mr. D or not. He's a jerk, but in his sarcastic way, he's also funny. 

Review
0.5 Stars
Awful, Just awful
Deathly Still (Unlife Book 1) - Elizabeth A. Reeves
I'm not entirely sure that this book deserves a review or the one star I was forced to give it. There was no real plot until like 75%. Even then, the "villain" was so freaking mild, he may as well have just ended himself. A few points that really stuck out to me:
- I couldn't keep anyone's name straight, because they are basically one character. No one was special in any way.
- There was zero chemistry between Thanatos and What's Her Name. Even when the author specifically SAID THERE WAS CHEMISTRY. None. When an author has to write it out, you know there is none to be found.
- There was so little description that I actually forgot that Gertie was a dragon. Like how to do you forget that something is A DRAGON? 
- ^ To be fair about this point, it took me an ungodly amount of time to read what amounted to less than 200 pages.
- And when there were descriptions, they were just plain dumb. For example, how does one "mutter wildly". I seriously lol'ed at that. 

What a waste of time.
 
All that being said, I am going to give this author another try. This was one of her first books and definitely the shortest.
Reading progress update: I've read 50%.
Deathly Still (Unlife Book 1) - Elizabeth A. Reeves

The longest 50% of my life. And the shortest. For such a short book, this is dragging sooo slowly. the characters are flat. The story is tedious. There is so little conflict, I don't even know what I want to happen. I just can't bring myself to care about this book.

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
4.5 Stars
Ash Princess- 4 1/2 Stars
Ash Princess - Laura Sebastian-Coleman

Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced reader copy of this book

 

 

Thora/Theo

Upon learning that the Ash Princess was going to be another "Underdog Heroine Out to Save Her Impoverished And Abused People," I was, quite honestly, bored. Soooo many of those already out there. So we really need another? Certainly NOT! However, this particular heroine just doesn't come off like the others. Perhaps it is her unique status as the "Ash Princess" or maybe her surroundings or back story, or maybe the writing was just so good that I can overlook any tropes that might appear. Whatever it is, Theo just isn't like other YA book heroines. She does some things that I don't really agree with, but she does them for the right reasons and that has to count for something right? Right.

Blaise

My boy, Blaise. Where do I begin? He is the stuff Book Boyfriends are made of. He held back a the right times and made himself vulnerable at the right times. And you just know there is some crazy power that he keeps at bay, but I have no doubt if Theo needed him, all bets would be off. I enjoyed this character.

Soren

The third corner of our triangle. Honestly, I pity him more than anyone else in the story, which is saying quite a bit, because there are a number of people in this story that deserve pity. He's just ordered around or tricked or used by just about everyone. He feels guilty for what he does but by the time he stands up to his father, it's too late on every side, so e threw himself into the line of fire for nothing. Pressure from everyone. No one to trust. Sadly, no one who truly cares for him...and acknowledges it.  Just plain sad. 

Elpis

Okay, let's take a moment to discuss the real hero of this book. The biggest play in the story and arguably the most risky, and it was a thirteen year old girl. If there were more girls like Elpis in this story, there would be a pretty formidable army of teenage girls-- and really, who wants to fight an army of teenage girls.

The Kaiser

You know, normally I just want the good guys to win. This time, I wanted the bad guys to lose. Like lose big. I wanted him ripped apart. But waiting for it- actually I think that'll make it even better. And I really want Soren to be the one who does it. I know that Theo wants it, but Soren just seems more satisfying to me. 

Cress

She's kind of that spoiled best friend that you can't help liking even though their entitlement is obnoxious. Even so, until the end, I really did like her. And in the end, I still understood her. One of the great things about these characters, for the most part, even when you don't like what they're doing, you can understand why they're doing it.

 

There were really no big surprises with the plot as far as the MC's goals and where she wanted to end up. Even not knowing how it ended, I wasn't like, "Wow, where did that come from?" Tension continued to build through the story, however, and there was never a part that was lackluster, though that also meant that no parts really shined for me, which is fine, because that just means the whole story was pretty solid. There really wasn't anything spectacularly new. A tyrant took over a smaller country and made them slaves while his own people obeyed him out of fear. The execution of the writing made it special however, which we will get to in minute.

 

 

Solid A+ for World Building. I'm not sure of the time period, however, the place was very well-written and never did I feel I wasn't actually there. I can imagine the dungeons and the Was as the Prinze and Theo sailed under the stars. The mines, though we never actually visit them, so dark and dank that anyone would go crazy down there. The throne room, commanding and intimidating and cold. 

 

 

If I were to describe the writing in this book with one word, it would be: lush. There was no choppiness. Nothing was rushed or slow. The pace, as mentioned, was steady and engaging. Characters were fleshed out and we saw angles of everyone mentioned. Even the Kaiser had a backstory. Where I expected action scenes to be hurried, they were fully described without being drawn out. 

 

Recommended to: fantasy fans, romance fans, Maggie Steifvater and Sarah J. Maas fans

Reading progress update: I've read 50%.
Ash Princess - Laura Sebastian-Coleman

The first half of this book whizzed by! I love it. So many twists with relationships and I have so many conflicting feelings about characters- The prinze, Cress, even Thora/Theo. She has gotten herself into such a complicated web and I love the tension. 

Plan to devour the rest of this tonight!

 

So far...a 5 star book!

Reading progress update: I've read 7%.
Ash Princess - Laura Sebastian-Coleman

7% and I'm hooked.

Reading progress update: I've read 11 out of 180 pages.
The Mystery at Lilac Inn - Russell H. Tandy, Mildred Benson, Carolyn Keene

We should all be a little bit more like Nancy Drew

Reading progress update: I've read 11%.
Of Fire and Stars - Audrey Coulthurst

Dragging. The names aren't helping.

Reading progress update: I've read 183 out of 384 pages.
Rebel Belle - Rachel Hawkins

Something different. Enjoying so far.

Review
4 Stars
Shiver- four stars
Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver
Maggie Steifvater

Hard Copy

Public Library

 

So I took a few days to write this review just to think about the book.

 

Characters:
This book was weird. While reading it, I really cared about Sam and Grace. I wanted them to be happy. Thinking back on it, I find that I just don't care as much. That's odd for me. Normally, once I latch onto a character, I love them for life. I can't even really say what I liked about them while reading it. Neither one seemed all that special. I mean, sure, Sam is a werewolf, but who isn't in YA these days? It's different that they only change when it's cold. And I did feel bad for him and his messed up childhood with what his parents did to him. But that's it. Now. But while reading Shiver, I thought he was just awesome. I'm not going to act like I wasn't relieved when he was human at the end though.

 

Plot:
This started pretty slowly for me. Some people enjoy that easy going start. I'm not one of those people. Overall, the action in this book was lacking. The end was decent however. I never would have guessed that by getting them sick, they could be cured. Well, not for Jack, but... Whatever. He was a jerk anyway. Aside from the romance, there didn't seem to be much of anything. Which for a romance is fine, but I expected more. I don't even know why. All I have ever heard about this book is that it is a good romance. I just think werewolves, so there must be something more to it. Not really.

 

Setting:
Meh. Nothing special. Could have been my hometown. Which is fine.

 

Writing:
This is why Shiver is getting four stars from me. Because despite everything complaint I just had, the writing drew me in. I wanted to read me. Some parts were downright lyrical, folks. If you want romance and pretty writing, this is the book for you. If you need some action to go along with it, pass this one up.

Meh- Three Stars
Kill Me Softly - Sarah Cross

Meh. This was okay. I thought the story had a great premise.

Setting:
I really loved the idea of Beau Rivage. But I think there was so much more that Cross could have done to give it more personality. I mean, she had this FAIRY TALE TOWN for goodness' sake. Liven it up. Instead the kids spent their time at concerts and beaches and getting drunk at parties. Seriously? Couldn't they do something more fairytale-ish? What? Was Cross trying to show the readers that the story characters are just like regular teens? Then there is no point. I just wish there could have been more. Except for the candy cottage, there wasn't much to say that it was very different than any other town.

Characters:
There is a slew of characters here, and some I like more than others. Obviously. But it is more because of how they are written than because of the characters themselves. Take Viv for instance. There is so much more that could have been done with 'Snow White'. Like, I don't know. Make her actually like SNOW WHITE instead of some spoiled brat. Or make Freddie more three dimensional instead of a doormat who just wants to be a hero. Give these characters some depth.

Relationships:
This is new for me. I usually don't focus on them as much, but since this book was nothing but relationships, here we are.
Blue/Mira- They're both dumb. Blue was wasting his time, pining over a girl in love with his brother. Honestly, if it took her that long to figure Felix out, she deserved to have the life sucked out of her.
Felix/Mira- What an idiot! All the signs were there. I get that he could 'charm' her, but she even considered the truth and still rejected it. I wanted there to be a spin so badly. Like maybe Felix saving Mira from Blue, but no. Predictable.
Freddie/Mira- Basically everyone and Mira. I mean, come on. He was like a wet, sad puppy. And even worse, that's all he was meant to be. I really wanted some closure for him. Like for him to get with a fairy or something. Just so he isn't the nice loser at the end.
Viv/Henley- What kind of messed up relationship is this? Basically, he is destined to simultaneously love and hate her. She teases and drags him around. It was just annoying.
Layla/Rafe- Honestly, I think this had the potential to be the most interesting relationship in the story, but they nearly completely ignored it. Barely gets a mention. Of course, Beauty and the Beast was always one of my favs, so I'm biased.

Plot:
So predictable. The only surprise would have been Mira finding her parents. Otherwise, you knew who the bad guy was. You knew what he was going to do. You knew who was going to save her. I kept hoping that something would pop up and surprise me, but no. 

Overall:
I really really liked the idea of this book, which is how it earned the three stars. But the execution left something to be desired.

Reading progress update: I've read 140 out of 384 pages.
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons Series) - Leigh Bardugo
Reading progress update: I've read 9%.
Beyond a Darkened Shore - Jessica Leake

Ciara is a decent character so far. Eager to learn more about her abilities and how this Northman leader can help her. 

Review
0 Stars
Prisoner of Azkaban - 4 Stars
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  - J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Normally, I do my Fun Reviews, but I had so many thoughts (and feels) with this book, I needed to break it down.

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So there are defintitely some new characters in this book that make the first two book plain old bland. First, we have to talk about Sirius Black. Honestly, I knew there was going to be something not quite right about the back story we are given to begin with. Somehow the good guys always seem to be bad guys and the bad guys make out to be good guys. But wowsers, did this ever come as a shock. Then there's Lupin. So sad to see him go as a teacher. As Harry said, he was the best Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher they'd ever had. But I foresee Black staying in Harry's life and they were friends, so... I briefly remember him in the movies, but those were years ago and I only half-watched the last two, so there's a good chance he'll pop up again. Peter Pettigrew, the little rat! Literally. I do kind of want to know more about him and the way Lupin talked, I see him coming back again. Hermione was a bit of a sneak in this book with her Time-Turner, but I get why she did it. Kind of reminds me of myself during classes, scrambling about and I feel for her. Harry grows up a lot in the second half of the book. I just get the feeling he isn't going to be the Quidditch obsessed kid that he was before. He knows more about his parents' deaths than ever before and that will stick with him.

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Trust and Friendship are more important than ever because we see it in more than just Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but in Remus, Sirius, Peter, and James as well. Clearly Peter was the faulty link, but the principles were still there. The camaraderie in the trio is stronger than ever and you can tell that whatever happens through the rest of the series, Ron and Hermione will never leave Harry.

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The settings shifted more here than the first two books, which added so much depth to the story. We start off with the Dursley's like always, but the way that Harry left makes it feel like Harry isn't safe in the muggle world anymore either. That changes everything. Then there's Hogsmeade which is just an awesome place that I want to go to. It's fun and carefree and what I imagine that the Harry Potter Wizarding World is all about. By contrast we have the Whomping Willow and Shrieking Shack where a very important part of the story takes place. Everything from the physical description to the mood is just darker there.

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Biggest part of the story obviously. There was more at risk in this story than just Harry vs Voldemort, especially since Voldemort didn't make an appearance. There's also Sirius Black, who we think it a villain but turns out to be a highlight for Harry. There are actually other people at stake. The mystery surrounding Black isn't the only thing going on though. There's also the Dementor's and their influence over Harry, Quidditch Cup, and of course, sneaking around with the map. I really enjoyed the new classes as well, because the whole Grim story line tied in so well at the end. This is the book where I think everything changes from just a fun, children's story about wizards to something darker just from the tone at the end of the book.

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Review
0 Stars
Turbo Twenty-Three - 2 Stars
Turbo Twenty-Three - Janet Evanovich
Turbo Twenty-ThreeTurbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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Reading these completely out of order as I get them from the library.

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There was so much filler in this book I wanted to cry. As this is the most recent in the series and I've yet to read the rest of it, I am really praying this isn't telling of the last couple books as well. I will be majorly disappointed. Lula and Brigg's TV tries weren't even amusing and had nothing to do with anything. The main mystery wasn't all that great. Just eh for me.

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The Ranger-Stephanie in this book was !!!!!. And they went to Disney World. Okay, it wasn't vacay, but still it was cute. And he convinced her (maybe) that Morelli wasn't the best choice as he has yet to make any sort of commitment. Of course, neither has Ranger, but he isn't asking her to be the domestic type either so he gets a pass. Interesting to hear about Lula's side businesses. Seriously, hooker classes for a 30 second hand-job? Guess she's got to pay for all that spandex somehow.

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"Are you fucking kidding me?" he yelled. "Goddamn, motherfucker, holy shit, and fuck me. Where is it? Where's the piece-of-shit truck they dragged out of hell to make my life an even worse misery?" - Stan

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Review
3 Stars
Stealing Snow - 3 Stars
Stealing Snow - Danielle  Paige



First, the names in this aren't my favorite. I mean, Snow? Seriously. Yes, she controls the snow. Sure. But Paige really could have come up with something better than Snow. And Jagger? Like, hey, look at me. I'm a bad ass. Nope. And Algid. Sucks. The names just suck. Period. Moving on. The pacing at the beginning of the book took a bit too long for my liking. I get that she wanted back story so we'd all know how Snow how suffered in Whittaker. That way she could bemoan it later. It just took forever. Like 1/3 of the book. I just couldn't bring myself to care about the Robbers. Oh, and her precious Bale. OMG! I am so over Bale already and he is barely in the book. Was actually hoping they'd just let him die at the end. Sure he had his own little surprise, but I don't care. Move with Kai.



Ah, Kai. I liked him. He was the only character that came off as not pretending through the book, even in the end. I just have a feeling he knew exactly what was going on. He knew who he cared about and didn't let that sway him. Also, I like that he doesn't do magic. I don't know how I feel about the magic in this book. Everything is elemental or potions. That's different, but I'll have to read more to decide how much I care for it.


1. Kai
2. River Witch
3. Snow
4. Greta

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The City of Ember - Jeanne DuPrau
Throne of Glass - Sarah J Maas
Scythe - Neal Shusterman
Rebel of the Sands - Alwyn Hamilton