Reviewing the Unreviewed: October 2019

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

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The Long Call (Two Rivers #1) by Ann Cleeves. Read September 28-30 (yes this was September, but it was after I posted my September installment of Reviewing the Unreviewed). 3 Stars. 

I found this a pretty average mystery. It was very character driven, which is fine, but the pace seemed soooo slow. It did pick up towards the end, though. The main characters were likable enough, but not really memorable. It was a decent read, but I’m not sure if I’m interested enough to continue the series.

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The Broken Girls by Simone St. James. Read October 4-6. 3 Stars. 

This was ok, but not what I expected. I didn’t think the alternate timelines were used that well, nor did I think we really needed POVs from all four girls in the past. I thought the story was a little too long and large parts of it were too unbelievable. And the most unbelievable wasn’t even the ghost parts (which made me take the whole book way less seriously, as well)

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Reveal Me (Shatter Me #5.5) by Tahereh Mafi. Read October 13-14. 2 Stars.

Did we really need another novella full of Kenji’s feelings? Honestly, getting his POV just makes me like him a little less.

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The Bridal Party by J.G. Murray. Read October 15-16. 2 Stars. 

There was so much potential for this story, but it failed to reach it. The events weren’t very feasible and the big reveal wasn’t at all surprising. I was still holding out for a fun twist at the end, but there wasn’t one and it was just kind of depressing instead.

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The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout. October 17-19. 3 Stars. 

This was ok, but I can’t really say much more for it than that. It was much too long and repetitive and I was bored for large parts of it. There were also thinly veiled political analogies between unregistered Luxens and undocumented immigrants and I found it a little annoying. There were multiple scenes of the main character yelling at protesters that just kind of felt like wish fulfillment from the author. And I’m not saying that’s bad, but I feel like everything that is wrong in the country comes down to two sides yelling names at each other instead of trying to talk and work things out. It’s so unproductive and I get enough of that in real life. I did enjoy getting more Luc, though, and I liked the romance, which is what JLA is always good at. I also liked the cameos from the Lux series. There was more of all the characters I love than the last book had, so that helped make up for some of the boredom.

*****DNF*****

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After the Flood by Kassandra Montag. DNF at 9%. I wasn’t too impressed after I started this, so I set it down to read something else. Two weeks later and I just have no interest in picking it back up again.

Rain Will Come by Thomas Holgate. DNF @ 4%. Sometimes you know right away if you’re not going to click with a story and that was my experience with this book. The first chapter was enough to make me not like the main character – mainly because some of the events remind me a lot of my father. The writing style didn’t really mesh with me either. However, I will say that the reviews I’ve seen so far for this book are pretty positive, so this is probably just a case of not being the right book for me.

*****Books with Future Reviews Scheduled*****

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Lake Season (Bluebell Inn Romance #1) by Denise Hunter – 2.5/5 Stars

Meet Me on Love Lane (Hopeless Romantics #2) by Nina Bocci – 3/5 Stars

Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) by Leigh Bardugo – 2/5 Stars

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters – 2.5/5 Stars

Reputation by Sara Shepard – 3.5/5 Stars

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher – 3/5 Stars

Yours in Scandal (Man of the Year #1) by Lauren Layne – 4/5 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall 2019 TBR

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is: Books On My Fall 2019 TBR. My list is comprised of ARCs, anticipated fall releases, and a couple others that I’m hoping to just be able to make time for soon.

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1. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

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2. The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) by Jennifer L Armentrout

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3. Lake Season (Bluebell Inn Romance #1) by Denise Hunter

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4. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

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5. Marriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact #3) by Lauren Layne

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6. The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters

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7. Endgame (Fawkes and Baxter #3) by Daniel Cole

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8. The Plus One by Sophia Money-Coutts

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9. Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower

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10. The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

What are you reading this Fall?

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019.

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1. Shamed (Kate Burkholder #11) by Linda Castillo. Publishing July 16, 2019.

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2. Dark Age (Red Rising #5) by Pierce Brown. Publishing July 30, 2019.

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3. Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins. Publishing August 6, 2019.

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4. The Killing Tide (Coastal Guardians #1) by Dani Pettrey. Publishing August 6, 2019.

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5. The Last Widow (Will Trent #9) by Karin Slaughter. Publishing August 20, 2019.

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6. Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay. Publishing September 17, 2019.

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7. Where Do I Begin? by Elvis Duran. Publishing October 1, 2019.

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8. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. Publishing October 1, 2019.

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9. The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Publishing October 8, 2019.

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10. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. Publishing November 5, 2019.

What are your most anticipated releases?

Review: The Darkest Star (Origin #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Synopsis from GoodReads:

When seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher is caught up in a raid at a notorious club known as one of the few places where humans and the surviving Luxen can mingle freely, she meets Luc, an unnaturally beautiful guy she initially assumes is a Luxen…but he is in fact something much more powerful. Her growing attraction for Luc will lead her deeper and deeper into a world she’d only heard about, a world where everything she thought she knew will be turned on its head…

#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the universe of the Lux in this brand new series, featuring beloved characters both new and old.

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

The Darkest Star will be available October 30, 2018. 

Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux series is one of my favorite YA series and I was so excited to learn there was going to be a spin-off. Luc was such an interesting character in the Lux world and I always hoped we would get more of his story someday. While The Darkest Star didn’t give me all that I was anticipating, it was definitely a good start to this new series.

I think Armentrout definitely wrote this book so it’s possible to read without having read the original series it spun-off from. This is great for new readers, but it did provide me with some frustration. Lux fans already know what Luc is and we know his connection to Evie (maybe we aren’t supposed to connect the dots so quickly, but yeah). However, it takes to about the 45% mark before the word “Origin” is used. I felt like there was way too much build up for something I already knew. I also felt like the plot was pretty thin. The whole book is basically Evie finding out about Luc and her connection to him and how she deals with that. There’s a bit of a murder and mystery thrown in, but mostly there’s just a lot of up set up for future books.

Speaking of things I already knew, I thought that this book was extremely similar to Obsidian, the first book of the Lux series. There were scenes between Luc and Evie that seemed almost carbon copies from scenes of Daemon and Katy. I’m really hoping that symmetry was intentional. I was also expecting Daemon and Katy to play larger roles here, but Daemon is only in a few scenes and Katy is mentioned a couple of times, but never appears. I’m really hoping they pop up in future books because I will always need more Daemon Black in my life. I also liked the Archer cameo and would like more from him, as well.

So, despite some obvious issues, I did really enjoy this book. I have so much love for the first series and just being back in their world was so nostalgic for me. I’ve always liked Luc and I liked him just as much here. I also thought Evie was a pretty likable character. I really thought we were going to get Luc’s POV and was a little disappointed that we didn’t, but Evie was a good narrator so I didn’t mind it as much as I thought I would. I enjoyed the signature JLA banter between them and look forward to seeing their relationship progress.

Overall, I enjoyed The Darkest Star. I’m increasing my rating by at least half a star just because reading it gave me so much nostalgia for Lux. I’m already planning on going back and re-reading it. I honestly don’t know if I can be impartial enough to rate or recommend this book without letting myself be influenced by the first series. I do think that fans of JLA will enjoy this, especially if they read the Lux series.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

Reviewing the Unreviewed: July

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

Falling for Her Fiance (Accidentally in Love, #1)

Falling for Her Fiancé (Accidentally in Love #1) by Cindi Masden. Read July 6th. 4 stars.

This was a super cute, fast read. Even though it’s totally predictable, I’m always a sucker for the “fake relationship” trope. 4 stars based on enjoyability alone.

On the Fence

On the Fence by Kasie West. Read July 7-8. 4 stars.

This book was all kinds of adorable!

Split Second (Pivot Point, #2)

Split Second (Pivot Point #2) by Kasie West. Read July 24-25. 3 stars.

 

I didn’t like this book as much as the first, but I still enjoyed it. This time instead of alternating realties, it was told in alternating POV between Addie and Laila. I didn’t care for Laila in the first book and it really took me until the final chapters for me to warm up to her now. I did end up really liking Connor, and of course I love Addie and Trevor.

My favorite part of the whole book, though, was:

*SPOILER ALERT*

when Connor healed Trevor’s arm! It was such an unexpected move and it made me so happy!

Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy, #3)

Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy #3) by Wendy Higgins. Read July 25-27. 2.5 stars.

 

2.5 stars. I think this book would’ve been a little better if it was about 50 pages shorter. Most of the story was very slow paced and there was a lot of “and I drove around, wondering what to do next” going on. There were a few surprise deaths at the end that I didn’t see coming and took some guts for Higgins to include. Overall, it was a decent ending to the series, but it kind of failed to capture my interest most of the time.

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DID NOT FINISH

The City

The City by Dean Koontz. This was the first Dean Koontz book I tried and I don’t think it was the best one to introduce me to him. I got about a quarter of the way through before I gave up. The writing was good, but the story – what there was of a story – couldn’t interest me enough to keep reading.

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BACK ON THE TBR SHELF

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater. I wasn’t quite half way through this when I got distracted by something else. I’m planning on coming back to it eventually, though. I do love Maggie Stiefvater.

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RE-READS

All I Ever Wanted

Origin (Lux, #4)

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins – because sometimes just need some Kristan Higgins – and Origin (Lux #4) by Jennifer Armentrout in preparation of Opposition coming out next Tuesday!

 

Origin by Jennifer Armentrout – 3.5 stars (out of 5)

Origin (Lux, #4)

Synopsis:

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything. 

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

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Ok, so we all know by now that I enjoy the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout. Origin is the fourth book in the series.  I’m going to try very hard to not spoil anything from Origin, but there will be some minor spoilers from the preceding books because this far into a series you can’t really avoid it.

My Thoughts:

-While the first three books are told from Katy’s first person POV, Origin is told in first person POVs of both her and Daemon. As I’ve mentioned before, I love multiple first person POV. There were times in this book that I didn’t always feel it worked out well, though. Mostly Katy and Daemon’s “voices” were distinct and well defined, but there were a couple times where it was in Daemon’s POV and I thought it was Katy for a while.

Meet Daemon Black~the very sexy Alien from THE LUX SERIES by Jennifer Armentrout

-The first few chapters were told while Daemon and Katy were separated and I was glad that Armentrout didn’t drag that out too long because they are always better together. Armentrout promised this book would change the game and it did in several ways. Katy and Daemon’s relationship is one example. This is the first book where their relationship is really cemented. Even though they were together in Opal, there was still a lot of strife between them. In this book they were a very united front. There were still sarcastic remarks between them – which are always fun – but this time they seemed to be taken as a joke and not a reason for a fight. However, I almost felt like their relationship tipped a little too far in the other direction. Daemon becomes distracted by Kat’s left hand (specifically her ring finger) and Kat talks about how they “make” each other. A little too Twilight for me.

– We spend a good deal of the book away from any familiar characters, other than Katy and Daemon. While I didn’t exactly miss all of them, it was still nice that they weren’t left out entirely, which is where I thought the story was going. There’s also a couple new characters introduced, as well as some old characters given bigger roles. I actually liked all of that. Archer, a new ally, is smart and caring and sarcastic. Luc, who we first met in Onyx, is fleshed out more in this book and lingering questions about him are finally answered.

-While Kat and Daemon are with Daedalus being tested, we learn a lot about Daedalus’ mission, why they had captured Dawson and Beth, and what they want from Daemon and Katy. This was also another game changer from the first three books. Daedalus and the DOD were always villains, but it was still a very high school vibe. Origin leaves all the kid stuff behind and throws them into adulthood. While I’m fine with leaving the high school setting, they still act very much like the teenagers they are and some of their “grown up” decisions feel a little forced.

-Finally, Origin delivered on the big surprises we were promised (with the exception of Beth and Dawson’s situation, because that was almost too obvious). There are several character deaths that I did not see coming – One of which I’ve been waiting on for a while, but actually ended up being a little sad when it happened. The decisions made in this book affected much more of the world than just Daemon and Katy and it culminated in an ending that both surprised and impressed me.  I can’t wait to see what happens in the final book, Opposition (out next summer).

"You have got to be kidding me" Origin Teaser

-Overall, I enjoyed Origin and thought it was another great addition to the Lux series. The different setting and additional characters kept the story fresh and the risks Armentrout took paid off. I would still recommend the Lux series to those looking for a new great YA series.

Monday’s Minutes

Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post about what I’m reading and what I’ll be reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I’ve actually already read this and it was just ok for me (before you start hating, know that I felt the series got better as it went on – except for the most recent book, which was again just ok for me), but I’m going to go see the movie this weekend so I wanted to skim through it again beforehand. Maybe I’ll  like it better this time around since I know how my biggest issue with this book was later resolved.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Origin (Lux, #4)

Origin comes out tomorrow! Yay! Apparently there were some stores that were selling hard copies this weekend, but I will wait for the ebook.

What are you reading?