#WAYRW [4]

WAYRW

What Are You Reading Wednesday – Hosted by It’s a Reading Thing

A weekly feature where you can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog via the link up.

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1. What’s the name of your current read?

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.

“Above his unadorned white shirt was a fine cobalt-blue jerkin trimmed with gold. She would have snorted, but he did look rather good in his knee-high brown boots. And his leather belt did go nicely  – even though the hunting knife seemed a bit too bejeweled.”

3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

I’m only a few pages in so far, so I’m not 100% sold on the world just yet. From what I have experienced so far, it seems that the ruling kingdom of the area Celaena is currently in uses their wealth too frivolously and is too hard on conquered people. So, with that being said, at this moment it’s a no.

I totally know that I’m WAY behind on reading this series (5 years too late), but I wanted to hear why others who enjoy SJM’s the A Court of Thorns and Roses series liked about the Throne of Glass series. Obviously, I’m a fan of the aforementioned series, but I need to keep reading ToG to see how I feel about it. It definitely starts off with a high-fantasy vibe which is WAY different than how ACOTAR started. I also have a crack-theory that the Fae that were driven out of the lands of Erilea are the same Fae that control the lands of Prythian.

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Review: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

ensnared-cover-rita-stradlingTitle: Ensnared

Author: Rita Stradling

Published: Expected December 18, 2017

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Science Fiction, Retelling

Series Information: Standalone

Format: Kindle eBook, 380 pages

Source: NetGalley

Recommended For: Those who enjoy Beauty and the Beast with a futuristic/ science fiction twist

Goodreads Rating: 3.51

My Rating:✰✰✰

This was one of the first books that caught my eye when I had signed up for an account on NetGalley, it was definitely a cover buy. Though the second thing that had sold me on the story was that it was a futuristic retelling of Beauty and the Beast – which, as you can tell, is one of my favorite stories. I didn’t go in to reading the book with any expectations, but wanted to see who it would shape and mold the BatB story to this new genre. I’d honestly say that if I hadn’t been told that it was a retelling, it could probably stand on it’s own since a lot of the original was swapped in some way.

**Spoilers ahead**

Some of the differences I noted that were flipped were:

  • Plain, average girl VS. a brainy beauty.
  • Good-looking friend, who may have had an interest in Alainn VS. good-looking, hyper-masculine character fawning over said girl.
  • Cybernetic monkeys who stayed their form VS. magical, spell-bound household items who turned back into people.
  • Killer robot named Rose/Rosette who tries to “fix” humanity VS. magical rose that ticked down the remaining “humanity” in the Beast.
  • Scarred man, trying to understand human connections because he was deprived of them VS. man who had human connection, but lacked the empathy that mattered.

But there was so much more that stood out as unique to the story without the connection to BatB. I was happy to see that there was a backstory to the motivations in the main character, Alainn. I wish there had been more to the backstory of Lorccan because there were events in the story that didn’t seem too fleshed out and I needed to know more. It was also refreshing to see how Artificial Intelligence was portrayed in the book – each AI had their own personalities and it didn’t seem out-of-place in the story. This retelling had bits and pieces of the original but did a fantastic job (even if later on) fitting it into a complex, scientific setting.

But I have certain feelings about the book and some things that I need to know more. Such as:

  • They did a great job of making things scientific, but why wasn’t there more backstory on why Lorccan was holed up in his tower because of an auto-immune disease. At the end of the book, it seemed like the doctors at the hospitals thought he was making things up…did his parents just make him “think” he could die at any point because they were controlling/manipulative or did he REALLY have an issue.
  • What did Alainn’s father fraud-wise to get him into so much trouble? Even though he had a gambling problem, it didn’t seem like he didn’t deliver the goods.
  • The romance between Alainn and Lorccan – even though Alainn was “sent there” to be a test for Lorccan’s physical relationship with Shelly, he was under the impression she was a robot. What are the social implications of a human and robot having “relations” in this world? She literally becomes the one thing he clings on to and doesn’t care if she’s real or not and that just sits weird with me. Also, how in the world did he not KNOW she was a human. Being around robots all the time, he really believed whatever she said?!
  • The character names. Seriously…you have normal names like Colby, Terry, Shelly, etc. and the two main characters have the most complicated names ever. Alainn and Lorccan? Just because it is science fiction, doesn’t mean that the main characters have to have “unique” names to make them stand out.

In all, I enjoyed the story, but it didn’t WOW me like others I’ve read so far – the kind of WOW that causes a book hangover. I would recommend it to others based on interests or if they made specific requests on a recommendation.

*I received an eBook ARC of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest opinion/review. I thank the author for the opportunity to be able to do so.*

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#WAYRW [3]

What Are You Reading Wednesday – Hosted by It’s a Reading Thing

A weekly feature where you can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog via the link up.

ensnared-cover-rita-stradling

1. What’s the name of your current read?

Ensnared by Rita Stradling

2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.

“The banging on Alainn’s door came twenty-six hours after she missed dinner. Twenty-six hours in which she’d lain in the bed, unmoving in her underwear. At some point, she realized the necessity of food and found a sandwich with spongy and cold melted cheese waiting in its drawer. Later when she’d checked the restroom, she found all the womanly supplies she needed. It seemed that Rosebud 03AF planned to keep her humanity a secret. Alainn still hadn’t decided on whether she should.”

3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

There hasn’t been much outside world development to make a choice based on that – this is a book set in the future, and I’m totally down for robots one day to help with day to day tasks and such, but so far I’m not sure I’m not sure if I want to live in this future or not. 

Is anyone else reading Ensnared? I was able to receive my copy to read from NetGalley and cannot wait to see how this book unfolds as a futuristic version of Beauty and the Beast.

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WAYRW [3]

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What Are You Reading Wednesday – Hosted by It’s a Reading Thing
A weekly feature where you can answer the questions in the comments section of the weekly #WAYRW post or link back to your #WAYRW post on your blog via the link up.

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1. What’s the name of your current read?

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.

“ Charm is all well and good,” she said, straining the sausages and setting them on a towel to dry. “ But charm doesn’t put bread on the table. Charm goes out with his friends at night when he could be showing his son to all the great masters himself.”

3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

At the current place of where I’ve read, it’s a no. It looks to be set in old world Germany and it wasn’t the nicest place for women if you weren’t well off. Plus, the goblins that are inhabiting the winters of the areas just give me a super gross feeling, no amount of charm from the Goblin King would be able shake that feeling as he’s a bit creepy himself. I don’t know if I’m pulling my feelings from an analysis of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” poem that I read in college or what. I just can’t shake this gross feeling I have about the world the story is set in.

Are you reading or have you read Wintersong? Would you like to live in the world? Why or why not?

Have a magical day!

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Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

77493_originalTitle: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Published: May 3, 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published May 5, 2015)
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA/NA, Fiction
Series Information: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Format: Paperback, 448 pages
Source: Personal Purchase
Recommended For: Readers who go for the typical fantasy YA who want to push the limits of the push the limits of the genre with a sprinkling of fairytale re-tellings.
Goodreads Rating: 4.30
My Rating:✰✰✰✰✰

A Court of Thorns and Roses was probably the most recommended book to me – along the lines of the fervor that Harry Potter and Twilight fans encompass. I tried not to do any digging into the plot of the story and was told to stay FAR AWAY from Tumblr until I read both ACOTAR and A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOMAF, book two). Heeding the advice of others, I dove in. I started this book a few months back, but stopped when work really picked up for me – with that came a lot of stress and thusly, I retreated back into the fantasy world of my bookshelf. The one thing I had heard tossed around about ACOTAR was that it was a Beauty and the Beast re-telling of sorts, that obviously was one of the main reasons I picked up the book.
I was pretty thrilled to be sucked into a new book series, one that I wanted to know more about the characters and their lands. Seriously, any free time I had available was filled with reading this and ACOMAF – now I’m on a book hangover waiting until May for A Court of Wings and Ruin. I feel like a lot of people who read this expected all of the faerie realms to be fleshed out and every detail about the characters revealed in book one. I think it did a pretty decent job of setting up the main character, Feyre, and how we moved into why she was brought to the faerie realms. It does have hints of a Beauty and the Beast retelling when you learn about the Spring Court’s high-lord, Tamlin, and his shapeshifting abilities, but I feel there is a bit of a Cinderella tone as well. Feyre had a life where she was considered rich, then her family hit hard times and she did a lot of the work for the family. Enter Tamlin who brings her back to riches and you’ve got a bit of a Cinderella story. I was pleasantly surprised when I found a few more steamy passages in this book – when you pick up a YA novel you don’t expect to come across passages like that, but they were well written without going into a lot of explicit detail (like the early days of smut I was sorta into). A beautiful romance blossomed between Feyre and Tamlin, and I sailed away on my newest character ship.* At this point I need to add that I’m going to try not to bring my thoughts in from ACOMAF because my world was turned upside down on what I thought my ships were and because I read both books so close together * There was consistent action presented with the oppression of Amarantha and trying to hide Feyre from other faeries in the lands of Prythian, whether from opposing courts or just downright evil creatures. Then there’s Rhysand (Rhys)… good lord, I had this inner feeling I was going to be into him (I have a thing for dark, tortured, brooding guys and he reminded me of a character from an RP I used to write with friends in HS), but I told myself that he was bad and it was Feyre x Tamlin all the way.
I need to also add that I did feel that Feyre was a lot like a lot of other YA heroines from some of my favorite books, but I guess that’s something that is almost expected in the genre. She was strong, yet at the same time she was weak. I didn’t necessarily relate to her (or anyone) in this book and while that is typically the driving force of my interest in a book (relating in some way is key), it was more of the interest in the story, world, and crisis that really hooked me.

I know I’m super behind in reading this series, but if you’ve read A Court of Thorns and Roses, what did you think? I’ve seen a more critical reviews from my peers on the book, since reading it, and I wonder if there was too much expectation of it to fit a super unique mold. I think there’s almost this point where you need to step back from what you’ve seen time and time again in the YA Fantasy genre and know that if it works, don’t fix it. I can appreciate how there is a typical trope in the genre, but at the same time look at a work independently.
Purchase a copy for yourself here: A Court of Thorns and Roses

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Soundtrack Saturday [1]

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Soundtrack Saturday – Hosted by The Hardcover Lover
Create a mini or full soundtrack for that book based on characters and plot details. Post and link up!

Mini-Soundtrack

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Let me know what you think of my choices in the comments!

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Review: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

norse-mythology-coverTitle: Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

Published: February 7th 2017 by W. W. Norton & Company

Genre: Mythology, Fiction, Short Stories

Series Information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 304 pages

Source: Personal purchase

Recommended For: Mythology and History buffs who want a quicker read of the Poetic Eddas with witty prose.

Goodreads Rating: 4.27

My Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰

 

As someone who loves learning about the history of different cultures, mythology tends to be one of my favorite subjects to read about. For one of my college courses, we had to pick a work not originally written in English to use as a basis for a creative piece, the Poetic Eddas was my choice for the project. Let’s just say that even with the translations on the market, they’re pretty heavy to read through.
This book was on my radar when it was first announced then somehow I lost my list of books-to-read. Thanks to a friend of mine on Facebook, I was quickly reminded and ran over to the bookstore to grab myself a copy. I am currently in the middle of reading Night Circus, but with this being a shorter book I figured I could take a quick break.
Norse Mythology was read in about a day. The short stories contained in the book are quick to digest, even if you’re trying to navigate the correct pronunciation of Norwegian names. The book starts with a refresher on the main Norse pantheon: Odin, Thor, and Loki – these three are always the main focus of the mythology. Even though Gaiman makes a point to explain how these Gods appear in the original myths, I cannot help but imagine their Marvel equivalents from the movies. One character I was happy to read more about was Freya – Gaiman gives her such a sassy spirited character that made me laugh out loud a few times. The stories themselves are fascinating from the creation of the nine worlds and the many races within them to awkward situations (Thor in a wedding dress or Loki birthing Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse) and the end of times, Ragnarök. Also included at the end of the book is an index of the various Gods, Goddesses, and items mentioned throughout the book for quick reference to their stories.

I personally really enjoyed this book and retelling of the Eddas – Gaiman has written a wonderful rendition of these northern tales.

Purchase a copy for yourself here: Norse Mythology

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