Top 5 Wednesday: Books You Felt Betrayed By

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is: Books You Felt Betrayed By: Beware the Ides of March! What books (or characters) did you feel betrayed by, for whatever reason…big or small.

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1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth. First of all, I kind of have the Twilight Effect with this series- I really loved Divergent (and even Insurgent) when I first read it, but going back and re-reading I find it really underwhelming. Anyways, I was so excited for Allegiant and it ended up being probably the worst series ender I’ve ever read. Not just the controversial death, but it made me really dislike Four and the plot was just so convoluted and didn’t make any sense!

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2. Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer. I loved the Elemental series and was excited to finally get Michael’s POV. And I was really enjoying this book – right up until the very abrupt end! Part of the problem was my sneaky ARC, but I felt like there were just SO MANY loose ends and this was supposed to be the series finale. Since then, Kemmerer has said she is continuing the series, but no date has been announced as to when that will happen.

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3. The Rose Society by Marie Lu. Every review I read for this series raved about how “dark” it was supposed to be and how the main character was supposed to be so villainous. However, I did not feel that way at all about it. There were maybe a couple of darker moments, but I felt way more sorry for the main character than scared of her, which was a major disappointment. I still haven’t read the final book in the series yet.

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4. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. So I gave this a pretty favorable review when I first read it, but the more I got away from it, the more disappointing I found not just this final book, but the whole series. Though I will always love the characters, the story just doesn’t make a lot of sense! I especially find the conclusion of the Glendower plotline to be particularly ridiculous and unsatisfying. I’m not even very interested in the upcoming Ronan spin-off.

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5. Kate in Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld. She kind of ruined everything between her and her husband, who I loved, with one stupid choice. The fact that it seemed so abrupt and not anything that the story had been “leading up to” made it even worse.

Review: Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

On his own

Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.

Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…

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I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Thicker Than Water will be available December 29, 2015.

I was a big fan of Kemmerer’s Elemental series (On a side note, I just saw that there is going to be another book in the Elemental series and I am sooooooo happy! I knew that series couldn’t be over!) so when I saw she had a new book coming out, I knew I had to read it. First, though, I need to get this off my chest – the synopsis says a prior murder victim was Charlotte’s best friend, but she wasn’t. It was a girl she just barely knew. Though that murder does play a large role in Charlotte’s life later in the book.

Kemmerer really knows how to write guy characters that I’ll fall in love with. Thomas made my heart break, but he could also make me smile, laugh, get frustrated, and – for lack of a better word – swoon. I just felt so awful for him as he was trying to come to terms with his mother’s death and living with the step-father he barely knows, all while the police have named him their number one suspect.

Charlotte is the youngest child – and only daughter – in a family of cops. She meets Thomas at his mother’s funeral and basically every thing she does after that just puts Thomas in more trouble. While she is capable of defending herself and I admired her for not automatically condemning Thomas like everyone else was doing, she drove me insane most of the time. She just kept doing stupid things and often Thomas had to pay the price for them, which infuriated me.

I really liked the supporting cast of characters in this book. I liked Stan, Thomas’ step-father, even though he didn’t always believe Thomas. Charlotte’s best friend provided a lot of comic relief and I really liked Charlotte’s brothers (I’ll mention again – Kemmerer writes guys I love) and wish we would’ve gotten even more from them. While they could all make me angry at times, they all had a good sense of humor and they were very protective of their family. And then there is JB who was a very interesting character that I really loved reading about, but I fear anything I say about him will go into spoiler-town, so I’m going to restrain myself.

I did like the romance between Thomas and Charlotte for the most part. Though it happened a little fast, I think that’s explained later on in the book in  a way that makes sense. This book is a little more graphic than Kemmerer’s previous books, so younger readers should watch out for that. I generally don’t appreciate that in YA, but it was only a couple scenes, so I can overlook it.

While it’s hinted at in the first chapter – and several times throughout- it takes over 200 pages for the supernatural element of the story to come into play. I think I would’ve liked it to be explained a little earlier in the story. Once we get to that point, it felt a little rushed and I’m still a tad confused about how it all works. It plays a huge part in the murder mystery aspect of the book and I wish the pace would have slowed down a little instead of speeding toward the conclusion.

Overall, I did really enjoy Thicker Than Water. I really loved the characters (even though Charlotte made me angry most of the time) and I just really love Kemmerer’s writing. The story is told in alternating 1st person POV and I thought it was done really well here. While I felt the ending was resolved enough to be a standalone, there was enough left open that I thought this could be the start of a series. I ended up asking Kemmerer on Twitter and she said, “Right now it’s a standalone…” so I have some hope there will one day be more books on the way, as this would be a series I’d definitely continue.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

3.5 stars

 

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Wishes I’d Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: 10 Wishes I’d Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me (a new book from a certain author,  a reading superpower, a character to come to life, to meet a certain author etc. etc.).

1. That my book crush would be real, age appropriate, and amicably split from their significant other and interested in me.

I was going to have this basically be a wish for all my book crushes, but that could probably take the whole list. But think, Daemon Black from the Lux series, Levi from Fangirl, Gansey from The Raven Boys, Warner from the Shatter Me series, Cam from the Wait for You series, Ethan Mirabelli from The Next Best Thing, Seth from the Covenant/Titan series, Finn from Illusions of Fate. Any of them would do 🙂

2. *Spoiler from the Hunger Games trilogy* Suzanne Collins would re-write a few parts of Mockingjay and Finnick would never die.

3. That Rainbow Rowell would let me read all her books before she published them. And that we were best friends.

4. One more book to wrap up The Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer because Sacrifice was not a satisfactory end to that series!

5. That there would be no wait for ebooks at the library and ALL THE BOOKS EVER would be available.

6. That I would be granted every ARC I request.

7. That there were more books by Jane Austen.

8. A more explosive ending to Gone Girl.

9. That I could get all my work done and read at the same time so I could spend my 8+ hours at work every day actually doing something enjoyable.

10. A perfectly adapted movie version of The Night Circus.

What are your Book Wishes?

The Fall Time Cozy Book Tag

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It’s the weekend, which means it’s time for a new Book Tag. In searching for tags I came across The Fall Time Cozy Book Tag on A Novel Glimpse. Fall is my favorite season – even if Ohio only likes to give us a couple of weeks of it before starting Winter early.

Crunching Leaves: The world is full of color. Choose a book that has reds, oranges and yellows on the cover.

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This cover just screams fall to me. Despite the couple kissing, I like this cover. And this book was adorable.

Cozy Sweater: It’s finally cold enough to don warm cozy clothing. What book gives you the warm fuzzies?

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Pretty much anything by Kristan Higgins!

Fall Storm: The wind is howling and the rain is pounding. Choose your favourite book OR genre that you like to read on a stormy day.

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I don’t necessarily pick out a genre based on the weather, but when I think of the elements, I think of the Elementals series. (Again another cover you shouldn’t judge the book by!)

Cool Crisp Air: What’s the coolest character you’d want to trade places with?

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Jessamin from Illusions of Fate

Hot Apple Cider: What under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?

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I love the Anna Curtis series by Allison Leotta. I think Leotta is such a great author and one of my favorites of her genre.

Coat, Scarves and Mittens: The weather has turned cold and it’s time to cover up. What’s the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?

I avoid this by mostly reading on my Nook. But I would probably say almost any Romance book. Those covers are just awful!

Pumpkin Spice: What’s your favourite fall time comfort food/foods?

Hmm this doesn’t have anything to do with books? But I’ll go with Pumpkin flavored coffee drinks and Pumpkin pie!

I tag whoever loves Fall

The 1989 Book Tag

I’ve seen this on a few blogs, including Brandie is a Book Junkie, and since I am all about the tags lately, I decided to join the fun.

Welcome to New York
You can want who you want, boys and boys and girls and girls.

1. A book with LGBT themes.

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It’s not one of those specialized “diverse” books, but The Lynburn Legacy series has a romance side plot involving gay and bisexual characters.

 

Blank Space
You can tell me when it’s over, if the high was worth the pain.

2. A book that hit you right in the feels, but was totally worth it.

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)

First off, I totally thought the line was “…if I was worth the pain.” I’m going to go with Mockingjay because I refer to it as the book to read “if you never want to be happy again”, but I still love the series so, so much!

I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.

3. A book that you hated but you loved the cover.

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

I loooove the cover for Red Queen, but the story that goes with it was pretty Blah.

 

I’ve got a blank space baby and I’ll write your name.

4. Your latest book boyfriend/girlfriend.

The Fill-In Boyfriend

Haydn from The Fill-In Boyfriend

 

Style
We never go out of style.

5. A timeless classic you love.

Pride and Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice – obviously.

 

Out of the Woods
The rest of the world is black and white, but we were screaming color.

6. A book that had vivid world building.

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)

A Darker Shade of Magic

 

The monsters turned out to be just trees.

7. A book where things weren’t exactly how they seemed.

Unbecoming

Unbecoming. This was one of my early favorites of the year. I think I need a re-read.

 

All You Had To Do Was Stay
You were all I wanted… but not like this.

8. A book you were eagerly anticipating, but ended up being disappointed by.

 

The Wrong Side of Right

The Wrong Side of Right. I was so looking forward to this and really, really wanted to like it. It was just ok.

Shake It Off
The haters gonna hate…

9. A book/series that everyone seems to love but you can’t help but hate.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Throne of Glass. I Just. Don’t. Get. It.

 

10. A book/series you love but everyone else seems to hate.

I honestly can’t think of one. I tend to be the one to hate series that other people love (see above), but I don’t think there’s a lot of hate out there for any series that I really enjoy. I guess I just have wonderful taste 😛

 

I Wish You Would
I wish you knew I’ll never forget you as long as I live.

11. A book/series you know you will always love.

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

 

The Raven Cycle. I love these characters more than I like most people I know in real life.

 

I wish you were right here, right now.

12. An upcoming release you wish you could have right now!

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

Winter – the Lunar Chronicles finale!

 

Bad Blood
Now we’ve got bad blood, you know it used to be mad love.

13. A character you once loved but grew to hate.

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Adam Kent from the Shatter Me series. I adored him in the first book and slowly grew to really despise him through the rest of the series.

 

14. An author you haven’t forgiven for the things they did to your favorite characters/books.

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

I think we all know who the answer to this is for me by now – Veronica Roth for Allegiant – the whole book, not just what she did to one of the main characters

Wildest Dreams
I can see the end as it begins.

15. A book that was far too predictable.

The Magician's Lie

The Magician’s Lie.

 

Nothing lasts forever but this is getting good now.

16. A book/series that you wish could have gone on forever.

Sacrifice (Elemental, #5)

I don’t know about forever, but the ending to the Elemental series was not good enough for me and I need more!

 

How You Get The Girl
That’s how it works, that’s how you get the girl.

17. One of your favorite books where they ‘got the girl’.

Someday Maybe (Definitely Maybe, #2)

Someday Maybe

 

This Love
In darkest screams, in wildest dreams, I never dreamed on this.

18. A book that completely shocked you.

Dangerous Girls

Dangerous Girls

 

I Know Places
Loves a fragile little flame it could burn out.

19. A book you thought you loved but quickly came to hate.

I can’t think of anything for this one either. I usually hate books pretty early into them if I’m going to hate them. I guess I could say Allegiant again since I had decided to love it before I even started it, but then, it turned out to be garbage.

 

Something happens when everybody finds out. See the vultures circling dark clouds.

20. A book you didn’t want to be seen reading.

Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars, #1)

The Pretty Little Liars series was a guilty pleasure (as is the tv show) – though I stopped reading them somewhere in the middle of the series.

 

Clean
The drought was the very worst, when the flowers that we’d grown together died off first.

21. Does the wait between books made you forget everything that happened?

Often times, yes. Unless it was a book I completely LOVED, but even then I might need a bit of a refresher.

 

By morning, gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean.

22. A book/series you wiped from your memory.

Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but I like to pretend that Allegiant doesn’t exist.

FEEL FREE TO TAG YOURSELF IF YOU’D LIKE TO PARTICIPATE. LEAVE A LINK IN THE COMMENTS SO I CAN SEE YOUR ANSWERS!

Discussion: Harsh Review or Rose Colored Glasses?

9 Ways Hanger is Messing Up Your Marriage

It’s no secret that I’m pretty stingy with my ratings. Since I started blogging almost 2 years ago, I haven’t given any books 5 stars. I’ve become a little more generous with my 4 star reads, but probably the majority of my reviews are 3 – 3.5 stars. I’ve realized that some of the books and series I routinely call my Favorites are books I only gave 3 stars to. Did I review the book too harshly when I initially read it? Or am I looking back on it as better than it is – through rose colored glasses, if you will?

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Book Examples

Kristan Higgins novels

In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4)

I often share my love of her novels, but I’ve given every book 3 stars. Is it because I can’t bring myself to rate a straight up romance highly? Despite the fact it can be silly and predictable, the character development, writing style, and humor are all pretty clever. I think some of these probably deserve higher ratings.

Verdict: Too Harsh

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Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins 

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

I gave every book 3 stars, despite really enjoying the first two (I tolerated the last book – and still gave it 3 stars). The Paris setting was fun, the romance was cute. However, the cheating aspect really turned me off. Also, I found that Anna was a little too melodramatic at times and don’t even get me started on Lola. So yeah, I like these books, but they’re really not the best contemporaries I’ve read.

Verdict: Rose Colored Glasses

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

I adore this series and the cast of characters, but I only gave the fist two books 3 stars. Obviously now I think this series deserves All The Stars, but my original complaint was that it was awesome characters, but a weirdo story. It’s still a weirdo story, but I think that I love the characters so much that I don’t care about the rest.

Verdict: Too Harsh (with maybe just a tiny tint of rose)

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Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer

Storm (Elemental, #1)

I claim this as one of my favorite YA series, but all except for the fist book I’ve given 3 stars (and a couple of the novellas 2 stars). Sure I had some issues with each of these books, I didn’t always love the side characters or love interests, and I really did not like how it ended, but I adore the Merrick brothers and there was a good mix of family, friends, love, humor, and supernatural.

Verdict: Too Harsh

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In light of this, should I go back and re-rate some of these? Do you ever have this problem? Do you ever change your book ratings on Good Reads or blog reviews?

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Like To Check In With

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Characters You’d Like To Check In With (meaning, the book or series is over and you so just wish you could peek in on the “life” you imagine they are leading years down the line after the story ends).

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)

1. Katness, Peeta, Haymitch, Gale. I needed more from the ending of the Hunger Games series.

Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3)

2. Kami and Jared from the Lynburn Legacy. I want to see them living their happily ever after.

Illusions of Fate

3. Jessamin and Finn from Illusions of Fate.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

4. The Raven Boys and Blue. I know this series isn’t over yet, but I already miss them! I want to read about them forever.

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

5. Anna and St. Claire. I want to see them  married.

Sacrifice (Elemental, #5)

6. The Merrick brothers from the Elemental series. The last book left things so open!

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

7. Juliette and Warner! I want to see them ruling the world.

The Night Circus

8. Everyone from The Night Circus

Gone Girl

9. Nick & Amy Dunne and their grown-up child. I would love to see what became of this hostile couple and if their child ended up as crazy as Amy.

Attachments

10. Lincoln & Beth because we didn’t get enough of their Happily Ever After.