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.

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Review

It’s been a few days now since I finished Illuminae. Maybe a week. I’ve been trying to write a review ever since I flipped the last page, and the words just don’t come.

I NEED SOME TIME, Y’ALL.

Illuminae blew me away.

It’s one of those books that leaves you slightly breathless, and well, speechless too.

I’m hoping a week is long enough to let the book settle and fade so I can write a mildly coherent review. Though it’ll probably just sound like vague screaming anyway. THIS IS GOING TO BE A MESSY REVIEW, JUST SAYING.


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: Science FictionAction/Adventure / Content: 16+ / Recommended

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – Review

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles: 5/5 Stars

He can’t leave. You won’t want to.

What a charming reminder that “a life without luxury can be the richest of all.”

I savored every minute I spent reading A Gentleman in Moscow. It wasn’t anything like the book I was expecting. It was sweeter, softer, wittier, and way, way classier.

Take a bow, Amor Towles. You have created a masterpiece.


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Adult / Genre: Historical Fiction / Content: 16+ / Recommended

A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber – Review

Caraval by Stephanie Garber: 3/5 Stars

Oh dear. Was this a joke? A mean joke played by dear old 2017? Yes. Yes, I dare say it was.

The covers are beautiful. If only there was more to them.

I don’t know what’s worse: that I actually finished Caraval or that it’s a series.

Let’s get into it.


Caraval by Stephanie Garber: 2/5 Stars

★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: Fantasy, Romance / Content: 16+ / Recommended

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – Review

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: 4/5 Stars

Today’s review is a bit of a throwback. I read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank back in January of this year, but since I’m lazy, you’re finally hearing about it now.

Boom.

I actually felt like I didn’t get as much out of this one as I should have. I felt like it should have resonated with me deeper; stirred me more. It didn’t.

That’s not to say, though, that it didn’t impact me or it didn’t sober me. There is a lot of responsibility to never let something like the Holocaust ever happen again; even a semblance of it. And I don’t take that lightly.

I just didn’t feel as impacted by The Diary of a Young Girl as much as I had expected I would be. And that’s fine. I was still touched, and it was still worth reading. Even if it didn’t feel like it at times.

Confused? I am too.

Let me try to clear my thoughts up for you in a proper review.

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – Review

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: 5/5 Stars

So if y’all don’t know, I’m pretty obsessed with Leigh Bardugo, but I had never stepped foot in her Grisha Trilogy until now. I honestly thought that after Six of Crows nothing could compare (and let’s be honest, nothing will) and I had seen so many negative reviews about it on Goodreads that it kind of…slipped by me.

Until now.

Obviously.

And it was pretty amazing.

(Obviously.)


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: 5/5 Stars

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Young Adult / Genre: FantasyAction/Adventure / Content: 16+ / Recommended

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness. . . Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

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