Reviewing the Unreviewed: May 2017

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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Always My Girl (The Shaughnessy Brothers #3) by Samantha Chase. Read May 6-7. 3 Stars.

There were some cute moments in this book, but I spent a good deal of time being frustrated at either Anna or Quinn. It was a pretty well done Friends-to-Lovers story, though. I might check out some of the other books in the series.

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Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. Read May 5-10. 2 Stars.

I applaud the ambitiousness of the many, many narrators in this book, but unfortunately it really didn’t work for me. Some of the POVs were 1st person POV and some were 3rd person. The perspective changed so quickly that I never really felt a connection to any of the characters. However, the quick chapters were also the only thing that really kept me reading. I felt like the story dragged on for much too long. Information was given about each character one little piece at a time and by the time things were actually explained I had already guessed it so it felt really anti-climactic. There was absolutely zero shocks or surprises in the whole thing. This isn’t one I would recommend.

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The Party by Robyn Harding. Read May 11-13. 3 Stars.

Even though I hated all the characters in this, I still wanted to find out what happened, so this is getting 3 stars instead of 2. Full review to come closer to release date.

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Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renee Ahdieh. Read May 21-25. 2 Stars.

Well, this was disappointing! Good concept, but really lacking in execution. I thought a great deal of the book was really boring. There’s a ton of inner monologues where the characters just go back and forth and back and forth on any and everything they’re thinking about. I’ve read all these reviews about how Mariko is this bad-ass warrior, but, like, am I reading the same book?? I thought she was immature and kind of self-centered. She went on and on about having honor, but didn’t really do anything very honorable. There’s a part where she talks about how she outsmarted some people several times over and it made me laugh. The romance was ok, but not as good as I was hoping it would be after loving Shazi and Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn series. Overall, I was just really disappointed in this. But, obviously, I am the black sheep of hype, so I’m sure may others will love it.

****************RE-READ****************

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My Lady Jane. I loved this book just as much as I did the first time around. I still really recommend it if you haven’t read it yet!

****************BACK ON THE TBR****************

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I admit I requested this from the library based on the cover and hype alone. I didn’t even really know what it was about. I read the prologue and knew that I was definitely not in the mood to try it, so I decided to put it off for some other time. I actually just found out yesterday I won a giveaway of this book, so it’s definitely one I will be reading in the future.  The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon. I got this from the library, but it’s going to expire before I get to it. Plus, I really think I need to read the first two books again before I try to continue with the series.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015. I feel like this was just done recently? I also don’t have a lot of “debuts” on my TBR list. So instead I’m going with a list of the First Ten Most Anticipated Books of 2015. These are books on my TBR in the order they are published in 2015.

The Magician's Lie

1. The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister. 1/13/15. The comparison to The Night Circus is the biggest reason I want to read this.

First Frost

2. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen. 1/20/15. I won a copy of this from Good Reads – my first ever giveaway win from them! I read Garden Spells to prepare for it and loved it and am now anxiously awaiting for my copy to arrive!

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.1)

3. Fairest by Marissa Meyer. 1/27/15. Do I really need to explain why I want this?

Unbecoming

4. Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm. 1/27/15. I think I entered a giveaway somewhere for this one? It’s a psychological thriller “for fans of Gillian Flynn”, so I have high hopes for it.

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)

5. The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. 1/27/15. I’ve actually already read this one and it was very good! Read it!

Invaded (Alienated, #2)

6. Invaded by Melissa Landers. 2/3/15. I wasn’t as impressed with Alienated as I wanted to be, but I still want to give it’s sequel a shot.

Sabotaged (Alaskan Courage #5)

7. Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey. 2/3/15. I’m actually reading an arc of this right now and am enjoying it! Love the McKenna family!

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

8. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. 2/10/15. The early reviews I’ve read of this have been great so far and I’m so excited to read it!

The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)

9. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead. 2/10/15. The conclusion to the Bloodlines series! I need to know what happens with Sydney and Adrian!

The Return (Titan, #1)

10. The Return by Jennifer Armentrout. 2/17/15. Seth’s spin-off!!!!

What 2015 books are you looking forward to?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get. I thought this would be the easiest top ten list ever for me to do, but going through my TBR list, a lot of my favorite series finished this year or last year. However, there are still plenty of sequels to look forward to!

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)

1. Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles 3.5) by Marissa Meyer. January 27, 2015.

The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)

2. The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines #6) by Richelle Meade. February 10, 2015.

3. P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2) by Jenny Han. (No cover yet!!) April 21, 2015.

4. The Bone Season #3 by Samantha Shannon – No cover, title, or release day yet! But I recently just finished The Mime Order and I’m dyyyying for the next one!

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

5. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Boys #3) by Maggie Stiefvater. October 21, 2014. This is already out, but I still haven’t read it yet!

The Boy with the Hidden Name (Otherworld, #2)

6. The Boy with the Hidden Name (Otherworld #2) by Skylar Dorset. December 2, 2014.

Invaded (Alienated, #2)

7. Invaded (Alienated #2) by Melissa Landers. February 3, 2015.

8. The Boy Most Likely To (My Life Next Door #2) by Huntley Fitpatrick. No cover or release date yet!

9. After the Storm (Kate Burkholder #7) by Linda Castillo. No cover yet! July 14, 2015.

Sabotaged (Alaskan Courage #5)

10. Sabotaged (Alaskan Courage #5) by Dani Pettrey. February 3, 2015.

What sequels are you looking forward to?

Taylor Swift Book Tag

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I’ve been a bad blogger lately since I’ve been spending most of time on NaNoWriMo instead of reading (books, I miss you!), so I looked through some “book tags” and decided to go with the Taylor Swift Book Tag. Feel free to tag yourself if you’d like to do it!

1. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: Pick a book (or book series) that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth. I loved the first book! And liked the second! I was sooooo looking forward to the conclusion of the series, and then Allegiant came along and I HATED it! It ruined my enjoyment of the series as a whole and I was not excited at all anymore for the movies.

2. Red: Pick a book with a RED cover.

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

3. The Best Day: Pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I was just as naïve about things when I was in high school as Lara Jean is in this book.

4. Love Story: Pick a book with forbidden love.

Forbidden

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. I mean, it’s right in the name in everything. (While it’s a forbidden romance, I don’t think the song would be appropriate for it at all!)

5. I Knew You Were Trouble: Pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – The Darkling!

6. Innocent:  Pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.

Sentinel (Covenant, #5)

Sentinel by Jennifer Armentrout. No one ruined the ending, per se, but finding out about the spin-off before reading this book definitely gave some things away.

7. Everything has Changed: Pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development.

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Juliette throughout the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi.

8. You Belong With Me: Pick your most anticipated book release.

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)

Fairest by Marissa Meyer. Out January 27th!

 9. Forever and Always: Pick your favourite book couple.

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

The Raven Boys + Blue. They aren’t technically a “couple” but they’re all kind of love in with each other and me with them!

10. Come Back, Be Here: Pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much.

Attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. It’s one of my all time favorites and has a signed bookplate sticker in it.

Review: The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) by Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.

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

The Mime Order will be available January 27, 2015.

According to NetGalley the version of the ARC I read is NOT the final, Americanized version that will be published. (Whatever that means.)

It’s been awhile since I read The Bone Season, so it took me several chapters to get reacquainted with the world of Voyants and Rephaim and Scion and the Syndicate and Mime-Lords. Once I did, though, I really enjoyed it. I think I actually enjoyed this one a lot more than I did the first book.

When I first read The Bone Season and heard the series would be seven  books, I predicted that each book would be from a different member of Paige’s gang, The Seven Seals. Thankfully, I was wrong about that. The Mime Order is still told through Paige’s 1st person POV, but we do get to know some of the other Seals better through her.

After breaking out of Sheol I, Paige is on a mission to warn the rest of the Syndicate about the Rephaim and their control over Scion and London. However, Warden is missing and no one is interested in hearing about it. Especially Jaxon, Paige’s Mime-Lord. He rescued Paige, his Pale Dreamer, and now just wants her to get back to work and focus on their Sector. I love to hate Jaxon! He’s such a great blend of confident and cocky; smart and devious. I spent the whole book questioning his motives and what he really cares about.

While Paige’s main focus is getting the word out about the Rephaim, there are a lot of other obstacles thrown her way. Scion has named her enemy number one in London for being a dangerous clairvoyant, but it’s not just Scion that’s after her. While I enjoyed the book, it did run a little long and the number of times Paige gets jumped in an alley got a bit too repetitive for me. However, as the book goes on, the action definitely picks up and I had a very hard time putting it down.

I’m not sure how much more to say about the plot of the story, since the book doesn’t come out until January and I don’t want to be spoilery. I will say that there are some big shake-ups within the Syndicate and while the book doesn’t exactly end in a cliffhanger, it definitely left me wanting more and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

The character development was well-done in this book. We get to see Paige grow, as well as get to know Jaxon, Nick (love him!!), and Eliza better. There’s also a continuation of the romance that started in the first book, but it doesn’t overtake the story at all, which I appreciate. The writing I also felt was much improved from the first book.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Mime Order. It was a great follow-up to the start of a series, one that I think actually surpassed the first. I would definitely recommend it to those that have read The Bone Season and recommend the series to those that enjoy fantasy.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Readability: 4
Enjoyability: 4
Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Monday’s Minutes + NaNoWriMo Update

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Monday’s Minutes is where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next. I figured since this book may take me the whole month to get through, I’m going to use this as a Nano update, as well.

WHAT I’M READING/WHAT I’M READING NEXT

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)

I got The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) by Samantha Shannon through NetGalley. It’s long, has a unique world, and has tiny, unchangeable print size in my Nook since it’s a PDF, so it will probably take me quite awhile to finish it since I’m doing Nano. My original plan was to wait until December to read it, but I believe it’s scheduled to be archived on December 1st. I can’t figure out if that means it can’t be downloaded anymore or if it means you can’t provide feedback on it anymore, either. DOES ANYBODY KNOW THIS??? I have it for 47 more days before it expires on my Nook, so if I can still provide feedback after the archive date and not screw up my review ratio, that would be great.

NANOWRIMO UPDATE

If you don’t know, the goal is to write 50,000 words by the end of November. Over the weekend I wrote 4783 words! I went to my region’s kick off event and actually had a good time. I’m not really a very social person at all – especially when it involves being at a place I’ve never been with people I’ve never met. But it went ok! Our area leader made us each a little goody bag!

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And my favorite thing was the keychain we got that we can win various charms to put on it throughout the month. For instance, we were each assigned a charm (I got a tree one time and glasses another) and we did a 15 minute word sprint where we had to incorporate that charm into our novel in any way. If we did, then we get the charm. (And we did another word sprint for a sticker).

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So overall, it was a successful opening weekend. I hope it continues!

What are you reading? And if you’re writing and not reading, how is NaNo going for you?

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – 3.5 stars (out of 5)

The Bone Season

When I first started reading The Bone Season I thought it would be a little too sci-fi for me. It’s about clairvoyants and ghosts and other such creatures. There are several different types of clairvoyants that we meet throughout the book, but they are often mentioned without being well explained and they were hard to keep straight. I found a lot of this to be confusing, but once I decided to stop paying so much attention to the details and focus on the story of Paige Mahoney, I really began to enjoy the story.

Paige Mahoney is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant that can sense/enter other people’s dreamscapes (mind/spirit) in a world where clairvoyants are deemed “unnatural” criminals.  On her way home to visit her father, on a break from her work with a clairvoyant crime gang called The Seven Seals, she accidentally kills two government workers when they tried to capture her. Her escape doesn’t last long, as she is captured that very night.

She’s taken to a place called Sheol I, run by the Rephaim, who are beings from the aether (the spirit world), clairvoyants, and not human. They work with the human government, Scion, to capture clairvoyants and keep them in Sheol I and away from the normal people (“amaurotics”). The humans are given Rephaim keepers and there are different social classes they can ascend to, but for most it’s basically a concentration camp.

Paige is taken in by the Blood-Consort (fiancé to the queenly “Blood-Sovereign”), Warden. Their relationship grows from Keeper/Slave to a partnership, both working towards their respective freedom.

Thoughts:

-There is a chart in the front of the book naming all the groups of clairvoyants, but it got pretty old pretty fast to have to keep looking back (also my Nook did not let me enlarge it, so it was hard to read, but that might just be the formatting on my edition of Nook). Once I was done, I discovered there was a glossary of terms at the end of the book that would have been helpful while I was reading it. While both references are great, I still feel like there could have been some more in depth description in the opening chapters when so many foreign terms were thrown out at one time it was almost impossible to keep them straight.

-Once Paige got to Sheol I, I felt the character development was well written. We get Paige’s background story through a series of memories/dreams, which include her fellow gang members, as well as some family. We also get to know her new allies in Sheol I and see how her relationship with Warden changes and grows.

-Though I wouldn’t categorize this book as a romance, it does fall into one of their most famous clichés. It was easy to predict from the first mention of Warden that he would be the romantic lead in the story.

“He must have been examining me for a long time. His gaze cleaved straight to mine, as if he’d been waiting for me to look. His skin was a dark honey gold…and beneath his velvet shirt, his chest was broad and strong…He was the single most beautiful and terrible thing I’d ever laid eyes on.”

Predictably Paige hates him at first, but they slowly begin to understand and trust each other.

-I would’ve liked a little more development of Warden, as well. He often offers excuses instead of answering Paige’s questions and while we can pretty  accurately guess at his motivation and background, I still feel like I wanted to know more about him.

-It took about half way through for me to really get a handle on the world that Shannon created, but once I did, I really enjoyed the The Bone Season. I’ve heard that there will be seven books in the series and I look forward to reading the next one, even though I suspect the POV will change for each one (Seven Seals. Seven books.), which I generally don’t appreciate, but at least in this case I’m actually interested in the other possible narrators.

*Note: This is my first ever advanced copy of a book from NetGalley and I can’t even tell you how super excited I was to get it*