#book reviews Tumblr posts

  • Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Tomi Adeyemi) ★★★1/2

    Crave (Tracy Wolff) ★★★★

    The Guinevere Deception (Kiersten White) ★★★★★

    How to Make Friends with the Dark (Kathleen Glasgow) ★★★★

    I read fewer books this month somehow, despite being at home, but I enjoyed them all for very different reasons! Come add me as a friend over on Goodreads to follow along with my more detailed reviews.

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  • Quick Review: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
    Rating: 3/5

    This was a lovely graphic novel about a girl embracing her self-worth and getting out of a toxic relationship while working to be a better friend. Freddy was so sweet and I loved her little friend group. And the artwork was absolutely gorgeous, of course.

    I just wish the text had been printed in a bigger font. This is a problem I’ve had with a few graphic novels and I wish the artists and publishers would remember to consider visually impaired people when designing.

    A lovely story about working to be a better person that’s perfect for a quick read this Pride Month.                                              

    #laura dean keeps breaking up with me #mariko tamaki #rosemary valero o'connell #book reviews#lgbt books#graphic novels#trcc original#reviews#portraits #3 star reads #wlw reads
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    When a man named Parker what’s to get rid of a whole block of shops, one the Jo owns. He turns up dead. Wheb one of his workers is suspected of doing the evil deed, and his wife used to work for Parker as a maid, can Jo clear their names before time runs out.

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    Spin the Dawn. By Elizabeth Lim. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2019.

    Rating: 3.5/5 stars

    Genre: YA fantasy

    Part of a Series? Yes, #1 of the Blood of Stars duology

    Summary: Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

    Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

    And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

    ***Full review under the cut.***

    Keep reading

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    Quick Book Review:

    The Haunting of Hill House

    This book solidified for me that I am not a fan of Shirley Jackson. It is poorly paced. The character dynamics make little sense and are inconsistent. The suspense is ineffective and the world building is underdeveloped.

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  • I got some new reads awhile ago and I wanted to share my finds.

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    “You cannot easily fit women into a structure that is already coded as male; you have to change the structure. That means thinking about power differently.”

    “Women and Power” by Mary Beard

    —-

    My gf had this sitting in her car for like forever, and I picked it up on a Sonic run and was hooked by the first few sentences. Beard does a good job connecting the misogynistic abuse levelled at women with wider traditions of female interaction with the public sphere. I also don’t know much about women in classic Greek/Roman lit, so I liked learning more about that. But her examples of modern women in power are Bad because they’re mostly establishment white women who I have a hard time feeling much sympathy for (Margaret Thatcher was “set up to fail” ?? Bitch, I will kill you). She mentions BLM being founded by black women briefly, near the end, but the whole thing oversimplifies Girl Power to me, which I have very little patience for. Her final few sentences on changing how we think about power seem rather flat and insubstantiated in the light of her previous examples as well. It is a manifesto based on a couple of lectures, not a full scholarly analysis that is intended to do justice to the complexities of women and power …. but still. I was really looking forward to this read, and I’m quite sad it disappointed me like it did.

    #did margaret thatcher effectively utilize girl power in her attempts to defund social safety nets ? #books#booklr#book reviews#book photography #man this is the first review i posted in a while #its because i have Thoughts on this one #if i have to read a defense of hillary clinton one more time i WILL set myself on fire
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  • Hey, guys!

    For anyone who’s interested in my upcoming podcast, we are recording tomorrow evening. The first book we’ll be reviewing is Suzanne Collins’ A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

    Super excited for this review and just waiting for Cynthia to finish up.

    We’ll be discussing the plot, characters, and theories as well as connections to the original series, The Hunger Games.

    For those of you who aren’t down for a podcast, I’ll be reviewing the book here on Tumblr in the next week as well.

    Thanks to you guys lending your support to the podcast. Hopefully it’ll be a fun time for everyone!

    #a ballad of songbirds and snakes #the hunger games #coriolanus snow #lucy gray baird #podcast #within the pages #book reviews
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  • We hope you’ve enjoyed reading the first two books of Avalon: Web of Magic with us, and we hope you’ll join us again in July for the third book: Cry of the Wolf! This is our last scheduled book to read through – if you’d like to listen to us recap and discuss more of the series, let us know!

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    #jewel riders #Avalon: Web of Magic #avalon web of magic #book reviews
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  • After reading one too many misogynistic, brutal, women-in-peril motorcycle club romances lately, I decided to take a break. So I instituted a No MC May. And I did it! I didn’t read a single MC romance in the month of May. 

    So what the hell did I read instead?

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    Originally posted by marloesdevries

    Lauren Dane. A lot of Lauren Dane (seven books!). I cherry picked titles out of various series she has written. Dane’s books are not heavy on plot, but intensely follow the emotional journeys of the characters. Also, they are wicked hot! Lots and lots and lots of sex, sometimes within the first couple of chapters of the book. 

    Laura Kaye’s Hearts in Darkness.  Two people get stuck in an elevator together and share intimacies, both emotional and physical. Very good opposites attract story. 

    A couple of very short novellas by Mazzy King and Kate Tilney. I’ve noticed a rise in very short novellas, about 30-40 pages, on Kindle Unlimited. This is really more like a short story, to me. And I don’t think it always works. There just isn’t enough time to develop anything–plot, emotional connection, etc. 

    Another couple of novellas by Katrina Jackson, Daisy Gold, and CL Cruz. These are more in the 90-100 page length and I liked them immensely. Daisy Gold is very good at wringing out the emotions even in such a short length. CL Cruz and Katrina Jackson both write own voices stories. 

    Lynn Ray Harris’ Hot Pursuit. Suspenseful, fun, perfect summer reading kinda book.

    Rebekah Weatherspoon’s A Cowboy to Remember. Loved it. 

    Chaos & the Geek by Elizabeth Stevens. I love a good nerdy girl falls for hawt buttoned up commando romance novel. Those opposites attract tropes always get me!

    Tessa Bailey’s Fix Her Up. I actually liked a rom-com! I actually laughed out loud at parts! It was legitimately funny!

    Hello, I want to Die Please Fix Me: Depression in the First Person by Anna Melher Paperny. A difficult book to read, but important. Part memoir, part investigative journalism into the history and treatment of depression in Canada and the US. 

    I finally finished the second in the All Souls Trilogy, Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness! Took me forever, but I enjoyed it all the same. I liked that Diana came into her own a little more, explored her powers and had a bit more agency outside of her relationship to Matthew. 

    And I got my grubby mitts on Kristen Ashley’s newest, Dream Maker. It’s a new series that mashes up characters from her older Dream Man series and the Rock Chick series. And unlike a lot of KA’s more recent work, I actually liked this one a lot! It rode a fine line between the emotional suspense of the Dream Man series and the zany comedy of the Rock Chicks. But it worked! 

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  • St. Anthony’s Fire

    A BookBud Review

    By Garry Harper

    Finished 05-28-2020

    Genre: Satirical Fiction

    Basic Plot: Three men all work for the same company in The City. One, in the way of finding himself gets caught up as a cult leader of sorts, another is stuck running for mayor based on a clerical error and the third worked hard so he doesn’t have to work hard, or even show up most of the time. Their lives, intertwined but separate, all lead down some very strange roads.

    Notable Quote(s): (There were a TON, these were a few top favorites)

    ‘You’re a grown man now. If you think you’re missing something, you need to go out and search for it for your goddamn self.’

    What sane person would believe that the Universe cared enough about them to guide their life?”

    His mother always told him to never judge a book by its cover, which is why she waited a full seventeen years to put him up for adoption.”

    Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Readability: 5/5

    Plot Interest: 5/5

    Creativity: 5/5

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    Disclaimer: I won via a Goodreads Giveaway, this is my honest review.

    This novel was satirical perfection. It will leave you scratching your head wondering, how is this possible? But then snapping you back with a statement that rings so true, the hilarity gets lost in the depression of it all. The three main characters in this hold true to at least a small piece of all of us, the rebellious part. The part that wants so badly to escape and yell at others for so many things. Ignorance, disinvestment, complaints and advice not taken. The parts of us that want to revolt and break out of our dead end lives because well, that’s exactly what’s going to happen no matter what. These are just some of the avenues this author travels. I can’t tell is he’s laughing at us or warning us anymore. I became enthralled and devoured this. I laughed, I shook my head, I was in awe and frustration simultaneously for so long. It’s everything you can want from a cynical standpoint without feeling that realistic anger because it holds such a ludicrous mockery of real life. 

    I obviously gave this one a 5 out of 5. I loved it. I loved every word. I love what this did. I love the craziness, the mockery and the vision of this novel and I honestly believe this is the kind of work that will come back around when we all look back to this time, this decade, and will show so many veiled societal issues all while enveloping the idea of the individual uniqueness that fully displays the meaning of great literature. I can’t really do this review justice. I think this is something magnificent. I think this author is inspired and realistic and I hope everyone can understand what is happening in these pages. I hated the ending. I HATED the last few pages, but it didn’t even matter. The themes, so layered but bold. Contradictions are on every page but the narration itself is so assured. This is the type of book where you can understand a bit about who’s writing. Just read it. 

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    This book takes place after WWII, a boy is battling hepatitis and he comes in contact with an older. They start a relationship, that has an affect on when he gets older. He meets her years later in a court room. Where he was for one of his classes. He learns terrible things about what she might have done, but can one thing change the case, if he admits it to the judge? This book is really good I highly recommend.

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  • May Reads

    I’m still shocked that I somehow managed to finish 11 books this month. It’s insane but I’m thrilled too. I love reading so much and it’s been helping me cope with everything. <3 

    - Tamora Pierce, Tris’ Book (audiobook) | 4/22/20-5/2/20

    Rating: 4/5 stars 

    I adore Tamora Pierce’s writing. There’s something just so comforting about picking up one of her books and stepping into her worlds. I particularly enjoyed the character development of Tris and some of the teachers in this book! 

    - Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers | 5/2/20-5/2/20

    Rating: 2.5-3/5 stars 

    I’ve been trying to step out of my fantasy comfort zone and pick up different kinds of books including poetry! I’ve loved diving into Mary Oliver’s work. I picked this one up knowing that it might not work for me (I didn’t love the form and style of Milk and Honey) but I saw it in my library’s ebook catalog and was drawn in by the cover. I have to say that this was definitely a step up from Milk and Honey! The poems felt more personal and some of the lines struck a chord with me but this style of poetry is not my cup of tea. 

    - Victoria Schwab, City of Ghosts (audiobook) | 5/4/20-5/8/20

    Rating: 4/5 stars 

    I’ve been a fan of Victoria for years. My favorites by her are Vicious and This Savage Song. This one was solid. I’ll definitely be continuing the series (trilogy?) at some point but don’t feel the need to dive in to book 2 immediately. This book has a very strong setting and sense of character. 

    - Pamela S. Turner, Crow Smarts: Inside the Brain of the World’s Brightest Bird | 5/8/20-5/9/20

    Rating: 3.5-4/5 stars

    I’ve become interested in crows recently and I thought starting with a book geared toward a younger audience would be a good place to start with crow research. It was written in a conversational tone and I enjoyed the specialized look at the New Caledonian crow’s tool usage. 

    - Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London | 4/28/20-5/11/20

    Rating: 3.5/5 stars 

    Love the mix of modern and fantasy elements and strong character voice. I enjoyed the humorous elements and strange situations the main character got himself into. 

    - Riley Sager, Lock Every Door  (audiobook) | 5/13/20-5/16/20

    Rating: 4/5 stars

    Such a wild ride. It takes a while to get going, but it got me good. I didn’t like the main character very much but the story is fantastic and well worth a read. Once I got to the halfway mark, I couldn’t stop listening. 

    - Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief  (re-read) | 5/14/20-5/17/20

    Rating: 4.5/5 stars 

    I haven’t read this series since middle school. I’ve been wanting to dip my toes back into Greek mythology and I thought this would be a good place to start! I adore Percy and co and the story was a lot of fun! Riordan does a great job writing for a younger audience. His writing is clear, conversational, and easy to understand without being dumbed-down. 

    - Sharon Shinn, Mystic and Rider | 2/24/20-5/22/20

    Rating: 4/5 stars

    Interesting worldbuilding and fantastic group dynamics. It took me a while to read only because I needed a break from high fantasy. Looking forward to continuing this series! I’m not attached to all of the characters yet but I really love a few of them. 

    - Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games (audiobook/reread) | 5/25/20-5/27/20

    Rating: 4.5/5 stars

    For some reason I had a sudden intense desire to reread the Hunger Games trilogy and obviously I had to drop everything I was doing to pursue this. I can’t say I regret it either. I’ve enjoyed revisiting Panem and this lovely cast of characters. 

    - Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire (reread) | 5/27/20-5/29/20

    Rating: 4.5/5 stars

    Back in the day, Catching Fire was my favorite of the trilogy and I can understand why. Not only are we introduced to a new set of interesting characters (including Finnick Odair! and who doesn’t love Finnick Odair?) but we see much development of old characters. The pacing of this book and this series is pretty intense, the stakes are higher, and my emotions were constantly on edge lol. 

    - Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay (reread) | 5/29/20-5/31/20

    Rating: 4/5 stars 

    This was always the weakest of the trilogy in my eyes but revisiting it, I can appreciate what it’s doing more than I previously did. I still think the events happen too quickly but overall I’m satisfied with the conclusion. So much of Katniss’ story and life is out of her control even when she joins the rebels and things are supposed to be different. I’m feeling a little emotionally wrecked after bingeing this series again but in the best way. 

    #booklr#books#book reviews #monthly wrap up
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    PURCHASE REVIEW
    Another dub. Well… not entirely.

    “Conventionally Yours” featured my favorite trope, enemies to lovers and it’s primary focus is on Conrad and Alden, polar opposites. The dynamic duo take a road trip to compete at a convention and in the midst of their adventure, emotions flare.

    It was sorta kinda cute I give it that and there wasn’t much to complain about with the characters but… everything else was kind of meh. There lacked sparks between the main characters, the gaming aspect left me yawning, the cross county road trip was boring and just about everything in between left me in a daze. The story just dragged on and wasn’t up to my speed.

    Sadly, this didn’t leave a lasting impression on me and was a complete miss.
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  • Read in May 2020

    A bit of a jumble of genres this month but I’ve had fun with these reads. It’s been especially awesome finally falling in love with Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter books after a couple of unsuccessful tries in the past :)

    Author/s of colour:

    Old book/s:

    • Waer by Meg Caddy - DNF

    Other reads:

    • Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris - 3/5
    • Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris - 3/5
    • Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett - 3/5
    • An Unauthorised Fan Treatise by Lauren James - 4/5 (not pictured)
    • Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber - 2/5
    • Kissing Coffins by Ellen Schreiber - 3/5
    • Vampireville by Ellen Schreiber - 2/5
    • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - 3/5 (reread)
    • City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare - 4/5
    • City of Glass by Cassandra Clare - 4/5
    • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare - 4/5 (reread)
    • Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare - 5/5
    • Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare - 4/5
    #booklr#bookblr #read last month #may wrap up #book reviews#trcc original#portraits#2020 #fingers crossed i can write a few more reviews next month
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    Bree Baker’s A Call for Kelp is a fun and charming cosy with great characters. I like the book but I was a bit disappointed. The mystery storyline was too thin and I wish the plot was less crowded. This is the fourth book in the series but it works as a standalone.

    Our protagonist is Everly Swan, owner of a beachside iced tea shop on the picturesque island of Charm. The townspeople are buzzing with excitement because famous Hollywood actress Mitzi Calgon has arrived! She’s working on a beekeeping documentary with Everly’s great-aunts. Everly is looking forward to getting to know Mitzi because she was an old friend of Everly’s late grandmother. However, Mitzi is soon murdered! Everly begins sleuthing to get justice for her grandmother’s dear friend. She juggles dire threats to her life, a lengthy suspect list as well as the mystery of her relationship with Detective Hays who has been distant since their Christmas kiss.

    The well-paced plot is interesting and has good suspense and viable suspects. However, the murder mystery sometimes played second fiddle to the subplots. I wish the mystery was better written. There are several interesting suspects and I wish more time was spent developing their characters. The big reveal could have been built up more organically. The killer’s intentions are a bit weak and didn’t make much sense. The ending is also abrupt and could have been stronger.

    However, I love Baker’s mature writing. It is so descriptive and lovely that I feel like moving into Charm and never leaving! I also love the well-developed and likeable characters as well as their genuine interactions with each other.

    Everly is a great and relatable protagonist. I love reading about all the food and teas she serves in her shop! I like the addition of nosy reporter Ryan and mysterious assistant Denise to the crime-solving team. I wish Everly worked more with these two because their interactions are fun and well-written.

    However, there are too many subplots involving the side characters. The storyline with Grady’s in-laws as well as Denise’s budding romance with Everly’s ex-boyfriend could have been trimmed in favour of developing the mystery.

    A Call for Kelp is a good and quick cosy read. I love the characters and setting but the mystery plot could have been stronger. However, I love Baker’s writing and this lovely world she has created so I will definitely return to this series!

    Thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for this book in exchange for an honest review.



    🍯 🍯 🍯 honey pots out of 5!

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    This series is a spin off of the Outlander series. Claire and Jamie aren’t apart of this spin off, they are sometimes mentioned I think so the reader knows at what point the books take place. This was 3 short stories in the book. They were all great.

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  • Anyone who is familiar with Alice Hoffman will know her previous work Practical Magic. This book is the prequel, but it is not required to have read the previous book or have even viewed the movie to enjoy this work.
    This story follows Maria Owens, a young woman who is born out of wedlock in England and is found by a healer. It progresses and she eventually finds herself in the new world in the mid 17th century.
    The descriptions of all the different scenes are so beautiful and warm, as is Hoffman’s style.
    This book is heartbreaking, beautiful, and touching all at the same time. I cannot say enough good things about this amazing book.
    I found myself wishing it were longer, because Hoffman’s prose is so stunning and transporting that I didn’t want it to end.
    If there were a way to give it more stars I would. It is as though she has lived every lifetime of her characters and is able to describe them intricately. If I could reread this book again for the first time, I definitely would. It has been a long time since I read practical magic and now I intend to read it shortly because this made me fall in love with the storyline all over again. I hope everyone takes the opportunity and reads it ASAP.

    This ebook was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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