The False Prince Was Really an Anastasia Retelling and I’m Not Mad About It

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

★★★★ — 75%

BECAUSE IT WAS. Just with a guy instead with a girl. And with an overload of snark. STEP IT UP, SAGE, YOU’RE A ROLE MODEL. HAahahAHAhahh or not, because the snark was hilarious and I really don’t care about anything else. Shallow, I am.

Oh, and also??? May not be a good idea to check this one out at the library. The librarians look at you weird when you’re taller than all the bookshelves in the juvenile department. Juvenile!!! I’ve lost my coolness badge. (And I’m also only 5’2″ so caN YOU IMAGINE how short those bookshelves are. Really, they’re just rubbing it in.) Ebooks and bookstore copies (not stolen–I’M TALKING TO YOU, SAGE) are a much better call. And if you’d like to tell past me that that would be loooovely.

Continue reading “The False Prince Was Really an Anastasia Retelling and I’m Not Mad About It”

The Middle Grade Fantasy I Thought Was YA (Help I’m Confused and I Can’t Get Up)

The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen

★★★ — 60%

HA, look at me, I’m still confused. DOES BANGING MY HEAD AGAINST THE MONITOR HELP??? I DON’T KNOW???

The Traitor’s Game wasn’t YA. I’m saying it like a mantra but I’m not bitter. Not! (Totally unimportant sidenote that doesn’t make me want to hide at all: I just checked Barnes and Noble and they have TTG under teen books and I’m crying and laughing and running away but I CONTEST.)

Trust me, mate. Bookstores don’t know anything.

(And thank you, Cait, for sending your ARC along!)

Continue reading “The Middle Grade Fantasy I Thought Was YA (Help I’m Confused and I Can’t Get Up)”

What Happens When Ancient Rome Gets a Fantasy Makeover

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

★★★★★ — 98%

I’ve been all kinds of evil and have kept An Ember in the Ashes’ goodness to myself these past 82013 months, but it’s finally time to share it with you and I’m not mad. I’M NOT MAD!

It will ruin your life.
It will wreck your soul.
It will destroy your sanity.

And mate, you need it.

Continue reading “What Happens When Ancient Rome Gets a Fantasy Makeover”

Throne of Glass: Assassins, Princes, and A Fairly Pleased Me 

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

★★★★ — 90%

Throne of Glass was the second book I read this past August, and I almost had as much fun reading it as I would swimming and drowning in a sea of cake.

I’m aware that this series half lives in perennial shade and there’s very much a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing running around it, so I’m sorry if it gave you murderous tendencies and you really just want me to choke till it suffocates and dies because I only hate on it for like, a small majority of the review.*

I sort of loved the vile thing.

*Making sense is too mainstream

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Ruin and Rising and Really It’s Just Ruin and There’s No Rising and There’s No Coming Back from This Pain

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

★★★★ — 85%

Can a series kill you??? SOMEONE INVESTIGATE, because I’m filled with more nerd rage than ever and it’s scaring me. Run while you still can.*

I’m going to try to not scream too much at Leigh Bardugo (this is the age of miracles and I can scream at my favorite author’s face), but who knows. I feel like I tripped on a knife.

*Just kidding, please don’t run. If you did, I’d have an emotional meltdown and throw my books at the wall in my rage/sadness…and we don’t want that, because, BOOKS. Please don’t make me hurt them.

Continue reading “Ruin and Rising and Really It’s Just Ruin and There’s No Rising and There’s No Coming Back from This Pain”

The Secret Life of the Ravkan Saint: Part 2 (Now with Privateers!!)

It’s been five months since I read Shadow and Bone and I’ve finally read the sequel. I like to be vile and unpredictable and!! I find a lot of joy in waiting as long as I possibly can to read a book WRITTEN BY MY FAVORITE AUTHOR.

Yeah, that was a lie.

The truth is that I’m lazy and irrational and I’d rather fall into a bowl of soup than admit it. MY BAD DECISIONS NEED TO GO AND HAUNT SOMEONE ELSE.

Continue reading “The Secret Life of the Ravkan Saint: Part 2 (Now with Privateers!!)”

The Young Elites??? More Like “The Young People with Special Powers and Severe Revenge Complexes”

Hahahahah WHAT WAS THIS.

If I wanted a book about a bitter, sadistic, traumatized Revenge Chick, a bitter, less-obviously freaky, just-as-traumatized Revenge Dude, and a REALLY OBVIOUSLY VENGEFUL Dude 2, I probably would’ve been climbing bookcases to get to this book but I would also probably need counseling and a really good doctor/psychiatrist/general HELP.

Oh, and also my favorite character was MURDERED, but as long as I don’t name names, that’s not a spoiler, right????

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan – Review + Final Thoughts on the Percy Jackson Series

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan: 5/5 Stars

I loved The Last Olympian. It was my favorite book of the Percy Jackson series by a long shot, and was just the kind of conclusion the series needed, in my opinion.

In this review, I want to talk about the Percy Jackson series as a whole too, so at the end I’m going to share some of my final thoughts on it. Savvy?

Let’s get into it!


The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Middle-Grade / Genre: FantasyAction/Adventure / Content: 12+ / Recommended

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan – Review

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan: 4/5 Stars

Before anything else, I apologize to my email subscribers who received a strange one sentence email saying only: “I read The Battle of the Labyrinth” a few hours ago. Like WHAT??? Uhhh good for you Marie!? You were confused, I was embarrassed, it was bad. REAL BAD. So here’s to no more accidents pushing the “publish” button before I’ve got a paragraph written up… May it last long!


The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★

Middle-Grade / Genre: FantasyAction/Adventure / Content: 12+ / Recommended

Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears at his potential new school, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.

In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth—a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.

Continue reading “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan – Review”

Heartless Really Was Heartless…To Every Reader Ever

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

★★★★ — 90%

What even did Marissa Meyer do to me this time???

I want to reread Heartless, but I also know better than that. Villain origin stories are sad enough already…I don’t need to read one twice knowing FULL WELL what cruelty is coming my way. ASDFJKLASJK HELP ME.


synopsis

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.


my thoughts

“Fascinating, isn’t it, how often heroic and foolish turn out to be one and the same.”

Heartless was nonsense and magic. It was delightful and strange. It was agony and tears and pain and happy squishiness AND YES, SO MUCH MADNESS. It felt like Wonderland and I need moaaar. (Ignore the fact that I have no credibility whatsoever because I haven’t even read Through the Looking Glass or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to really know. HA, LIFE. I also probably missed about 9659.3 references, but everything’s fine EVERYTHING’S FINE !!! I forget to read a classic and all it does and haunt me and bite me like a bad dog.)

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Heartless hit the spot between four and five stars. It was visceral and affected me the way only five star books can do. (CRYING. MOANING. OUT LOUD.) But it was also disappointingly slow, and the shallow part of me that is really 98% of me cares a lot about that. I am that kind of reader. Yes.

The world of Heartless definitely keyed into my love of the story and felt like how Caraval’s world was supposed to feel. It was playful and whimsical, but still sophisticated and serious. I savored every moment I spent there and I really want to complain about something but I CAN’T. (Also, there were no hatbox-shaped, candy-colored shops that made me want to smash vases, so that’s a plus !!!)

Probably the only thing better than Meyer’s world-building was her ability to write male characters, which makes everyone happy until it makes everyone cry. Jest and Hatta were fully realized characters with authentic personalities, flaws, sorrows, and mystery. They didn’t feel like caricatures when they could’ve so easily been made into them. Personally, I thought Hatta’s arc was stunning, but I always feel that way about the characters who walk the line between hero and villain. (Kaz Brekker, I’m looking at you. But I’m always looking at you, aren’t I?? #creep) That didn’t minimize the excellence of Jest’s arc or role, though. He was the main male protagonist, after all, and he was written splendidly. ABSOLUTELY. SPLENDIDLY. I need to see a therapist now, though.

The writing of the female characters, unfortunately, fell flat. Catherine’s characterization was nothing like the characterization of Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, or even Winter. Her development was put on hold until a climatic event suddenly pushed into a very sudden, striking change that was a little too sudden and striking to be believable. It was necessary, though, to turn her into the character she was supposed to be eventually (she is the Queen of Hearts, after all), but it could have happened slower, smoother, and more naturally. Oh, and I also almost hated her. So yes.

The only other aspect of the book that was disappointing was the plot. Which is kind of a big disappointment when I think about it because PLOTS! Plots are very necessary. For three hundred pages, the biggest conflict was whether Catherine would accept the King’s proposal or not and I was not the happiest camper. But sure enough, something plot-like did show up about halfway into the book, and even though some of the plot points didn’t make logical sense, the last hundred pages sped things up, which made me very forgiving. :)))) (See? I smile too. I’m nice. :))) As things began to connect, I thoroughly enjoying seeing the threads come together to introduce the Wonderland we all know.

Other things:

  • The writing felt pretentious at first, which was weird for a Marissa Meyer book, but once I got used to it and realized it fit the story, I was a-ok.
  • The romance was bad.
  • I wasn’t a fan.
  • But still, JEST
  • The ending was mean
  • REALLY MEAN.

All in all, Heartless was delightful + painful + adorable + I LOVED IT. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it or my favorite brand of tissues.


dirty talk

language

D–ning is used once.

violence

Some mild, wonderlandish violence.  Characters fight the Jabberwock (!!) and some characters get hurt in the process.  One man is murdered.

sensuality

Characters flirt and kiss.

substances

Characters drink wine on occasion.