Sunday Post #16 – Currently Reading and Catch Up

Sunday Post is hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
Hello my friends! It has been quite awhile since I posted on my blog, and it wasn’t a planned hiatus but I did very much enjoy my time off. In the last few months, I moved to a new city and started a new job so I needed some time to get my routine back on track. Now that I am more settled, I am hoping that I can put some more time into the blog.
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Across the Universe by Beth Revis 
3 out of 5 Stars
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Vicious by V.E. Schwab
The House of Hades by Rick Riordan
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Series I am Not Going to Finish
Review Catch-Up Mini Reviews


I am very excited to be back working on the blog and sharing what I have been reading. I have a bunch of reviews to catch up on! I have missed talking about books with all the other book lovers. What have you been reading this week? Let me know 🙂

 

Review: It by Stephen King

27877138Genre: Horror
Publication: September 1986 by Scribner
Pages: 1156 Pages
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Goodreads

Summary

Welcome to Derry, Maine. It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real.

They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But the promise they made twenty-eight years ago calls them reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that terrifying summer return as they prepare to once again battle the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers.

My Review

I sit in a weird place with this book. I really loved it, but I think it’s starting to show it’s age a bit. There was a section at the end that was very unnecessary and just didn’t have a place in the story. If you have read this book then you know what I am talking about, and it turns a lot of people off from this book. It was suppose to have some deep symbolism but I thought I could have been done differently.

However, looking past that, I did very much love this book. I loved how the story of the kids unfolded along side of their adult story. They paralleled each other, and I think it was smart story telling. I will say, I was a little more invested in the characters when they were kids more than when they were adults. It reminded me a lot of Stand By Me or Stranger Things, which made me connect with the strength of childhood and being apart gang of kids.

I highly recommend this story. I am pumped for the upcoming movie. I do think that this book probably didn’t need to be over 1000 pages. There was A LOT of backstory, which might not have needed to be included but at the same time it did help develop the world and add that haunting aura. I will say this book didn’t scare me, but I find I’m hard to get scared by reading. However, I may not stand over any sewer grates for an extended period of time any time soon.

 

 

Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

18196040Genre: Dystopian/Historical Fiction
Series: Standalone
Publication: 11/4/2004 by Little,Brown
Pages: 424 Pages
Source: Library
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis
730. That’s how many days I’ve been trapped.
18. That’s how many days I have left to find a way out.

DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible….

JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister….

MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She’s about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window…..

In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.


1f9f5-22bstarsMy Review

I am not sure what I really say about this book. To start, I am conflicted by what genre this is. It’s labelled as a dystopian, but when I read it I don’t get that genre from it. I classify it as more of a historical fiction. It was based on a real place, a real walled city, so I shelve it as historical fiction. It might be more fiction than actual history but I’m okay with that.

Now the book in general, I found it to be very mediocre. It was very much as “meh” book. I wasn’t blown away by anything and had a hard time getting really engaged in the story. I even considered DNF’ing it once or twice but I did like it enjoy to continue on. It wasn’t a terrible book, it just wasn’t the story for me.

One thing that bothered me about the book was that the author used very stereotypical Asian things (ie: rice, noodles) as descriptors. It bothered me because it took me out of the story and it felt very stereotypical. There are a lot of ways to describe something so just using those stereotypes it felt very cheap and lazy. It felt like the author really wanted to remind us we were in an Asian setting but I felt it was a very bad way of doing it.

All-in-all, I wouldn’t recommend this book. It wasn’t for me and I there a lot of better written stories out there. I liked the premise but the execution fell flat for me. I will likely give this author another chance because I am really interested in reading Wolf by Wolf. Let’s hope I enjoy that one better!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try A Chapter Book Tag

 

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I wanted to try out something new today, so I wandered down to my local library to do the Try a Chapter Book Tag. I have seen this going around Booktube lately, so I hope it translates to the blog world okay. While I was at the library I picked out 4 books to “try a chapter from” to see which book I wanted to check out and read. I didn’t make it a whole chapter in most of these books but I read about 15-20 pages from each to get an idea of which one to check out.

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The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima – I have almost pulled this one off the shelf to take home many times. Therefore, it was a clear choice to try a chapter from. I read about 15 pages from this book, and I was quite confused by it. Obviously, it would make more sense if I read on but it didn’t hook me enough to want to take home today.

Frostblood by Elly Blake – This is on my my anticipated book for this year,  especially since it’s written for by a  Canadian author. I really enjoyed the first chapter of this book. I was definitely interested enough to want to read on. This was very much on of my top contenders.

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare –  I picked this one up because I read the first book in the series last year and was interested to see how the series continues. I read the entire first chapter with this one and I really wanted to keep going. Reading the chapter made me excited for this series again, and this is another top contender.

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff – This is the odd book out in this collection for sure. I have been eyeing this one up for awhile and this was the second book I picked up to try. I found I was sightly confused by the first 14 pages or so. However, it wasn’t a negative confusion but instead I am more interested to read it.

The Decision

This was a tough decision for me. I wanted to bring home 3 of these books! However, I only had room in my immediate TBR for one of these book. I eliminated The Warrior Heir first, it’s still on my TBR for another day. I just couldn’t get into those first few pages, when you likely need to read a lot more to understand how the prologue fits into the story. I eliminated The 19th Wife because of it’s length (it’s about 500 pages), and because I was feeling the other 2 books so much more at this moment. I had the hardest time choosing between Frostblood and The Copper Gauntlet. I almost brought them both home. However, The Copper Gauntlet won overall. I am excited to continue the series and I am very much in the mood for middle grade. Frostblood will be brought home another day, when I am ready to start a new series again.

 

Do you think I made the right decision? If you have read any of these books, let me know what you think of them. 

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

23766634Genre: Fantasy

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3 

Publication: 5/2/2017 by Bloomsbury

Pages: 699

Format: eBook

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

My Thoughts

I have no idea how to even start talking about this book. How I feel about it is all over the place. As much as I enjoyed it, there was also a lot that drove me nuts. I know this series is problematic, but while reading this book I just saw it more and more. I could look past it in the previous books, but this one just got on my nerves. I found the first half of the book was very slow, and I had a hard time getting into the story. The conclusion did picked up and I was much more invested in the story. I even teared up a bit, however after stepping away from the book I started to realize my biggest gripe about the book. There was no consequences for the characters! There was a major war, and they all walked away unscathed, which isn’t at all realistic to war. Especially, what happened concerning Rhys and Amren, I felt short changed.

Other things that got on my nerves were that Rhys and Feyre referred to each other as “mate” ALL of the time, instead of using their names. It made me cringe. Speaking of cringing, let’s talk about the sex scenes. They were painful. Rhys wanted to sex Feyre up, ALL THE TIME. It felt like the only dialogue they had was sexual. Then on top of that, half of the sex scenes happened in situations that weren’t at all appropriate. There is way more to real relationships than just sex and I haven’t seen much of any substance from them.

I may seem like I didn’t like this book but I can say I did enjoy the experience overall. I am on the fence about reading the next 3 books, but I will probably try them from my library. I am curious to see what other people think about this book? Did you love it? What parts drove you nuts? Let me know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midyear Reading Stats | 2017

This year I got into tacking my reading with a spreadsheet. I am using Brock’s spreadsheet which I swear tracks everything you’d ever need to track. Here are some of the most interesting stats so far in 2017.

Genres Read

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These are the genres I have read so far this year. Not surprisingly, fantasy is my top genre. However, I think I a doing a good job reading from other genres. Most surprisingly, historical fiction is tied for second most read genre.

Book Format

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This is interesting. I read a hell of a lot of audiobooks. I generally listen to them when I commute, go for walks or clean my apartment. I have also been working on reading some of my eBook library, so that portion is high as well.

Year Published

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How much I have read from the last 5 years is getting insane. I have definitely been reading a lot of backlist books lately. I should probably read some older books, but that doesn’t really bother me too much.

Where I Got The Books

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These are where all of my books come from. 60% of them are from the Library or Overdrive (which is also the library), so that is kind of insane. I have around 90 books on my TBR, and still 60% of my books come from the library. I just love supporting my library, and I read a lot of new releases from the library as well.

Age Group

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These are the “suggested” age group for the book. I don’t really pay a lot of attention, so I am very surprised that over half of the books I read are adult. I think I am transitioning more towards adult. The orange strip that isn’t labelled is Middle Grade, which I only read about 1 or 2 books from so far this year.

Author Gender

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I little less than a 50/50 spit. Sounds good to me.

Protagonist Gender

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Another fairly even split. I read a lot of fantasy so there is often split POV’s between female and male characters, which I put under ensemble cast.

Author Nationality

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This is the one I need to work on the most. I have mostly just read American authors. I need to start reading from a lot more authors around the world, and more Canadian authors.

Series Tracking

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Series are my jam, so I always have too many on the go. These are the series I am working on, completed or DNF’d. I went through a series purge and DNF’d a few. I might do a post about them soon.


That’s just some of the stats, there are lots of charts and tables. Hopefully, this will help me make more solid goals for next year. Do you tack your reading stats? Let me know 🙂

 

Review: A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir

Genre: Fantasy
Series: An Ember In The Ashes #2
Publication: 8/20/2016 by Razorbill
Pages: 452 Pages
Format: eBook
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

Summary
Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

My Thoughts
This was the last book that I read while on vacation. However, it fell flat for me. Would have it have been better if I had read An Ember in the Ashes again? Maybe. But I am not one to re-read books just for the sake of reading the sequel. This series has been kind of forgettable for me. I didn’t remember a lot from An Ember in the Ashes, and I especially won’t remember anything from this book by the time the next book comes out.

I just found this book was dull. They were travelling to the prison for the majority of the book, and it was slow going. I had a hard time caring about either Laia or Elias for most of this book. They just both refused to grow as characters. I ended up bored during most of their POV’s. However, I did really enjoy the introduction of Helen’s POV. Her character will make you think and she shows you her moral struggles with her new role in the Empire. I really enjoyed her sections. I also liked how this book wasn’t afraid to go very dark. A lot of innocent people are dying and there is serious blood shed. I felt like there was something they should be fighting for but instead of saving the Scholar’s they are only focused on saving one person. That just seems selfish.

I was unfortunately disappointed by this book. There were parts that I enjoyed but I was mostly bored while reading this book. There is some potential for the next book in the series. However, this book wrapped up enough of the story that I would probably be fine without continuing. We shall see.