Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Poor Unfortunate Soul by Serena Valentino


Title: Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch
Author: Serena Valentino
Genre: Young Adult/Fairy Tales/Retellings
My Rating: 3/5
Add To: Goodreads

The third novel in Serena Valentino's (Fairest of All, Beast Within) "VILLAINS" trilogy, featuring the story of the Little Mermaid from the perspective of the sea witch Ursula.

My Thoughts
★★★ Star

Poor unfortunate souls In pain, in need
This one longing to be thinner, That one wants to get the girl
And do I help them? Yes, indeed
Those poor unfortunate souls

I was super excited to see this book and FINALLY be able to read it, but sadly I was let down horribly. I really expected this book to be about Ursula, it wasn't. She was only mentioned from time to time. 

I really liked seeing her back story though and finding out why she was so evil and I am glad I never liked Triton in the first place. Who knew he was such a freaking punk a** jerk! You gotta be a real low life to treat a person that way and then be angry and wonder why they turned out the way they did.

I wasn't a fan of how this was written either. It is told in around 4 or 5 POV with no indication as to who was telling their part of the story until later in the chapter or so. It was really annoying and I didn't see the point in half of them, really. I mean yeah, they are a part of the story but they weren't THE story. They were side characters. 
Also, the cat (I already forgot the name, I don't care). Any time she was brought up, instead of just saying her name, they described her. Again and again and again and again. Why? No, seriously. Why? We already know what she looks like, why the hell keep repeating? I should have kept track of how many times she was described. But whatever. 

Who the hell are the sisters? The Three Sisters which makes zero freaking sense to me because they are constantly looking for their missing sister.... soooo.... why keep calling them the "three" when they are actually four? And the only three sisters I know of are those hag witches who are turn your stomach because their skin is so gross, their hair is stringy and they are....blind? I think. or have one eye? I dunno. But the three in this book were constantly said to be beautiful, so I have no idea.

The ending was so anticlimactic. It was so boring it was dang near pointless to keep reading. Even though I am sure everyone knows how The Little Mermaid ends, it would have been nice to have a ending worth actually reading. This was was like like a deadpan voice going "oh no. she was harpooned." or something. 

All in all, it could have been better.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han


Title: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: Young Adult/Romance/Contemporary
My Rating: 3/5
Add To: Goodreads

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?
Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.
My Thoughts
★★★ Star

A mix of Little Women, a bit of Fangirl and a bit of something else that I can't quiet put my finger on.

I have such mixed feelings about this book. I had heard so many awesome things about this book that I just knew I had to read it. I wanted to love it as much as my friends did, but sadly... I didn't.

Don't get me wrong, it is not a horrible book. It's just ... if the main character doesn't make you want to duct tape her mouth shut, then you have a very high annoyance tolerance. Lol I'm already not a fan of double names (but to each their own). Lara Jean just seemed extremely childish. Even her kid sister seemed more grown up that her. So starting off to mid-way through, I want not a fan of Laura. But most likely, she'll end up growing on you... like a fungus. 

Of other reviews I have read, tons of people hate Lara for "going after her sister's boyfriend" which makes zero sense considering that she liked him way before Margot started dating him, but whatever. 

A lot of the characters just out right pissed me off. Chris (shockingly) being the main one, she took a lot away from this book because any time she popped up, she just oozed "whore", which is sad especially since they are so young. When she did pop up though, it always left me wondering why she was there in the first place because it was like she was a stand-in or something just to keep the book going somehow. I dunno. 

The next is Peter and the only thing that goes through my head when I think about him is that song "I'm only gonna break - break ya - break your heart" or how ever it went. Lol I don't even remember who sang it, I just remember every radio station playing it every 2 songs till you thought your ears would bleed. 

I couldn't stand Margot. It was literally "MARCIA MARCIA MARCIA!!" but... Margot! Margot! Margot!

the whole story of this book was really interesting to be honest though it wasn't hard to figure out who sent the letters out... like.... as soon as it happened. Lol 
Also the constant "I'm Asian, I'm Asian, Asian this. Asian that." was overkill and a lot of times it was unnecessary. I can understand pride, but once your readers start rolling their eyes every time it is brought up, you're over pushing it. 

The story started off a bit slow and annoying (Mainly because Lara was so baby-ish and me constant "mommy" and "daddy" make you cringe and put the book down like "no. Just no" but once you get past that, it really sucks you in. Before you know it, you are done with the book ready to throw it across the room screaming "what kind of ending is that?!"
And I am serious... what kind of ending is that!? I need to know what happens next!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge


Title: Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility
Author: Hillary Manton Lodge
Genre: Adult/Romance/Contemporary
My Rating: 3/5
Add To: Goodreads

Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.
But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.
While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas.
In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn't so far away. 

My Thoughts
★★★ Star

I admit, I have never read a Jane Austin book before. I have a few, but never read them because I am looking for something to give me a bit of a push into reading them. Jane of Austin started out promising and then a little less than half way though, flopped. It went from being unique to being just like every single other Contemporary book out there.  Girl in trouble. Guy saves girl. Enter guy two. Que up love triangles and insta-loves. So on and so on.

This book started out okay but then it just flopped in the worst way. The insta-loves were ridiculous. and it just dragged on and on and on about Texas. The constant non-stop Texas this and Texas that and I'm from Texas so I am better. Blah blah blah was overly annoying. I get everyone is like that because they are proud of where they come from but if they go on and on about How awesome they are because they are *insert state* - run. Run AWAY as fast as you can. Because they are anything but "good". Lol

I can't get over the insta-loves though. Just....are you freaking serious? I thought Jane was suppose to be this sensible adult. *snorts* No. Just no. She acts like a 14 year old.
Guy: I love you
Jane: *fluttery*
Guy: Marry me
It's been what? two weeks? if even that? Imagine the horrible example she is setting for her little sister. Not to mention she wants everything to be about her with zero respect for her older sister's thoughts. Her sister doesn't want to talk about something but Jane just goes on and on and on wanting to know WHAT happened and blah blah blah.

So yeah, there were some twists and turns, I suppose but nothing that was quiet enough to lift it out of it's flop.

And the fact that Jane does really get engaged literally 7 months after just meeting a guy makes my eyeballs hurt from rolling them so hard.

There were some good parts. I loved the fandom quotes. There was a bit of from the Hunger Games to some Lord of the Rings. So that was cute.

I liked this book. But it's not one I would automatically think of to recommend if someone were looking for a book. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Counting Wolves by Michael F. Stewart


Title: Counting Wolves
Author: Michael F. Stewart
Genre: Young Adult/Mental Illness
My Rating: 5/5
Add To: Goodreads

The Breakfast Club meets Grimm's Fairy Tales in the lair of an adolescent psych ward.
Milly’s evil stepmother commits her to a pediatric psych ward. That’s just what the wolf wants. With bunk mates like Red, who’s spiraling out of control; Pig, a fire-bug who claims Milly as her own—but just wants extra dessert—Vanet, a manic teen masquerading as a fairy godmother with wish-granting powers as likely to kill as to help; and the mysterious Wolfgang, rumored to roam for blood at night; it doesn’t take long for Milly to realize that only her dead mother’s book of tales can save her.
But Milly’s spells of protection weaken as her wolf stalks the hospital corridors. The ward’s a Dark Wood, and she’s not alone. As her power crumbles, she must let go of her magic and discover new weapons if she is to transform from hunted to hunter.

My Thoughts
★★★★★ Star

This book was NOTHING like I expected and it will stay with me for as long as I live. 

Ugh there is so much I want to say about this book but I don't want to give anything away! I don't want to take the magic away from any reader who will pick this book up. Because that is was this book was to me. Magic. 

I can promise you that when you read the blurb, you will think it is about one thing and when you read the book, your socks will be blown off. You will not expect how this book goes. 

It is a short read but SO POWERFUL! I loved every single one of the characters. Which I can confess is very very very rare. There is always a character or two or more that I hate, but not in this book. 

The writing was so amazing and so smooth it was like silk. It just flowed with no bump at all and it keeps you so enthralled. You will NOT want to put this book down because from page one, you will want to know how this ends. 

I am so in love with this book and so so so happy I was able to read it. Counting Wolves is a book I would HIGHLY recommend. 

**In addition, I have read a LOT of books involving all kinds of mental illnesses... and this one is the best one I have every read, hands down. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green


Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
My Rating: 1/5
Add To: Goodreads

Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.
On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.
Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

90 Days of Different by Eric Walters


Title: 90 Days of Different
Author: Eric Walters
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary/Peer Pressure
My Rating: 3/5
Add To: Goodreads

On the last day of high school, Sophie's boyfriend breaks up with her. It turns out he thinks she is too predictable, too responsible, too mature...too boring.
When Sophie turns to her best friend, Ella, for comfort and reassurance, Ella just confirms what her boyfriend has said. And that hurts even more.
Then Ella comes up with a plan to help Sophie find her wilder side before college. In the ninety days between the end of high school and the start of university, she is going to arrange for Sophie to do amazing, new, different and sometimes scary things. Sophie has to agree to everything no matter what. And she has to share her adventures through social media.
Can ninety days of different create a different life? Can stepping outside your comfort zone help you find yourself?

My Thoughts
★★★ Star

My mother died and some part of me stopped living as well. I was too scared. I was forced to think about things I didn't have any answers for, to feel things I couldn't share with anybody, and there was nobody to talk to or ask. Nobody.

The book starts off with Sophie's boyfriend breaking up with her because she is "boring" "predictable" and "old" (all the because she is responsible ) in which after that happens, her "best friend" Ella pretty much takes his side and talks Sophie into doing 90 different things that she (Ella) plans before Sophie heads off to college.

(honestly that alone pissed me off because Sophie clearly tells her to begin with that she wants to read to kinda get ahead for college, which is SMART! College is freaking HARD. But no, no, suddenly now Ella gets a bug up her butt that Sophie HAS to do these. Ya know, now that she is grown and the time to play is over. ya know, she just HAS to do it NOW. Not years ago or anything. Ugh! Anyway!)

I hated this book. I hate to say that, but I really do. As well as every character. I wouldn't hate Sophie if it weren't for pages 47-51. Since when was fat-shaming people, screaming at elders, and throwing/eating other people's food "cool" and "liberating"? It made me sick to my stomach.

A lot of these "differents" (I really wish they had said challenges, not differents. Is differents even a word?) were interesting but quiet a few were dangerous and illegal. Which always lead me to think "Okay, she is your best friend but is not only endangering your life but could possibly ruin your chance of college if you get caught. Yeah okay. What a awesome friend that is. *eye roll*

Lets talk about the characters for a bit:
Sophie was a rug. Before you freak out saying "But she did those challenges!" sure, she did. but she was shoved into them. Kinda like those insane people who throw their kids in deep water to learn to swim saying "swim or drown". That's what that reminds me of.

This whole book was Sophie being peer pressured to do things that made her uncomfortable and borderline torture. Because gosh forbid she try to stand up for herself, Ella will just freak the hell out.

Sophie was a weak character.

Ella: you mean the Egotistical Narcissist Cupcake Princess? If there was ever a character I wish would die, it would be Little Miss Priss Ella. I love how she claims to be doing all of this to "help" Sophie but every single chance she gets, she makes it about herself. All she does is complain with these:
-"You're prettier than me"
-"Guys like you more"
-"When we walk into a room, I am invisible"
-"You're skinnier than me"
You know, THOSE kind. I wish I had kept count of how many times she said these. It was annoying.
She guilt trips Sophie nonstop through the whole book. Even at one time, Sophie hurts her wrist during a challenge and Ella literally freaks out because she went to the doctor to make sure it wasn't broken. She says (and I quote)

"How predictable - you need to have everything checked out. The doctor probably told you what a wonderful patient you were."-pg203

"You probably waited patiently in the waiting room, did what you were told, said please and thank you to the nurses and doctors. You know what I mean."-pg204

Like what in the hell are you SUPPOSE to do at a hospital!? Act a fool and get kicked out when you NEED their help!? Are you freaking mental!?

She then proceeds to (of course) not care that her so called best friend was hurt and demands "You haven't even asked how my date went!" which ends with Sophie apologizing purposefully and of course Ella counters with "Sorry that he didn't ask you out instead of me?"

Personally, I think Ella is the WORST kind of "friend"
And I really have to throw it out there that the whole flirting heavily with a 11 year old is not cute, funny, or adorable. It's disgusting.

Sophie's Dad: I am not really sure how I feel. I know he is trying to be a dad, but I felt like he wanted to be one of those parents that would rather be a friend than a dad. I think he was setting a really poor example for Oliver to grow into.

I loved the ending though. It was definitely awesome. All in all, I loved the writing, it flowed like magical liquid and the story line was definitely interesting and actually reminded me a bit of Fangirl.

All in all, I would not recommend this book but I wouldn't tell someone to not read it. It is really one of those books that you have to read for yourself to know if you will like it or not. It's one of those rare reads that will definitely have different views.

**side note from me: Sorry I used the names so much, there was no other way I could review it without using their names. It would have gotten confusing. Unless I used something like Rug and Egotistical Narcissist
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