Top 5 Wednesday: Books I’ve Recently Removed from my TBR

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday, hosted by the Goodreads group, is a freebie. I decided to share some of the book I’ve recently removed from my TBR.

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1. Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare

First of all, I am not a Shadowhunters fangirl. I have had many problems with the multiple series, but I have also enjoyed several of them, as well. So why am I quitting this series at it’s finale? First of all, it’s 900+ pages. Just no. I’ve also happened to read a couple reviews that involved some spoilers and it has made me not at all interested enough to invest my time in this. Maybe if it was around 300 pages I would still give it a try, but not for 900 pages. The only thing I really care about in this series is Julian and Emma and their resolution sounds kind of stupid. I also refuse to ship polyamorous relationships. If that’s how you want to live your life, then ok, that has nothing to do with me, live your life. But I’m not going to choose to read and ship it.

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2. Kiss Collector by Wendy Higgins

It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by Wendy Higgins and I was excited for her new book. I did actually get this one from the library and I read the first chapter and knew I was just way too old for this book. I never marked it as reading and I didn’t really give it a chance past the first chapter, so I’m not marking it as DNF, I’m just removing it from the TBR.

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3. I Like You, I Love Her by J.R. Rogue

I did get this off of Kindle Unlimited and read a few chapters before I knew I wasn’t in the right mood for it. I put it back on the TBR because I did plan on trying it again, but the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced I will never pick it up again.

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4. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Ok, don’t hate. I’ve read pretty much nothing but wonderful things about this book and I have no doubt the author is very talented. However, lately I just CANNOT get into fantasy novels. Add that to the whole thing on Twitter where Adeyemi accused Nora Fricking Roberts of copying her and I just can’t. She did end up apologizing for jumping to conclusions and did eventually delete the tweet, I believe, but how full of yourself do you have to be -as a debut author, no less – to think an author as popular as Nora Roberts would need to copy you to sell books…

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5. Moonlight Sins by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is another book I have actually read several chapters of before deciding I wasn’t in the mood for it. I used to want to read all of JLA’s book, but a good deal of them end up just not being for me and this series falls into that category.

Have you read any of these books? Should I reconsider any of them?

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Top 5 Wednesday: Largest Books on My TBR

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday, hosted by the Good Reads group, is: Largest Books on my TBR. I noticed that a great deal of books on my TBR have “unknown” listed as page numbers, so this may not be entirely accurate. I also thought it was kind of funny that I don’t even remember adding most of these to my TBR. I guess the page number really has intimidated me away from them.

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1. Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare. 720 pages.

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2. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. 689 pages. 

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3. The Black Prison (Lightbringer #1) by Brent Weeks. 629 pages. 

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4. Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. 615 pages. 

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5. Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern. 585 pages. 

 

What are some of the longest books on your TBR?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: June 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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Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare. Read May 28-June 1. 3 Stars. 

Once again, this book was much, much longer than it needed to be. There was just so much that felt unnecessary to the story in any way. I’ve been thinking how to describe the writing and it’s kind of like this: You know when you watch a tv show and someone is in their house doing something random (watching tv, reading, cooking, going online, etc.) and then someone else walks in and the scene begins? Well in this book, instead of the scene starting there, you spend a few pages on the person sitting there watching tv. And then some time with the other person as they drove there. And let’s not forget to check in with the neighbor who doesn’t really have anything to do with what is going to happen between the first two people. Ok, now we can finally start the scene and see where the story is going. But only for a few minutes before we abruptly leave to go see what someone across town is doing. There’s just too many perspectives and we get WAY more of them all than makes sense.

But, ok, other than the ridiculous length of this book, and wading through all the mundane (haha) things that happened, the actual plot of the story isn’t bad. I liked the characters. I liked that the supposed love triangle didn’t really take up much time like I thought it would. I was surprised by the ending, but I’m not sure how I actually feel about it. It was kind of abrupt and there was a couple of deaths that I’m not really sure made sense, but it does make me want to see what happens next.

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Ready to Run (I Do, I Don’t #1) by Lauren Layne. Read June 5-6. 4 Stars. 

I really enjoyed Ready to Run! It was exactly the sweet, lighthearted book I needed right now. Full review to come.

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Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton. Read June 16-19. 4 Stars. 

Even though I figured out most of the twists, I thought Dead Woman Walking was a really well-constructed mystery and I enjoyed pretty much every moment of it. I am impressed by Bolton’s writing in every book I read by her and this year she has become one of my favorite authors. I definitely recommend this one to mystery/suspense fans. Full review to come closer to release date.

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. Read June 23-25. 3 Stars.

This was one of my most anticipated YA books this year and while I liked it, I didn’t love it. The romance was super cute and I liked how Dimple and Rishi’s personalities really complemented each other. I liked both of them, but they both did things that frustrated me at times – especially Dimple. I liked that I got to learn a little more of Indian culture and I thought it was interesting the different feelings towards it that Dimple and Rishi had. I thought that it was kind of strange that Dimple went on and on about how important Insomnia Con was to her, but pretty much all her free time was spent being cutesy with Rishi. I mean, I don’t particularly mind because I’m not really into coding and all that, but the app development was supposed to be a big part of the story and we saw very, very little of it.

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

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Soulmated by Shaila Patel. I got a copy of this from the author and thought it looked pretty interesting. I started it, but found myself not in the mood for it and I didn’t want that mood to color my feelings of the book, so I set it down and I will try it again soon.

****************DNF****************

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Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shavlis. DNF at 30%. This isn’t a bad book. It seems pretty standard Shalvis . I just can’t make myself get into it or care about the characters. And just like in the other book I read in this series I do not understand why the chapters titles are all hashtags? I thought it would be explained in this book, but this far in and no one has gone on Twitter. It’s a little thing, but it annoys me.

Reviewing the Unreviewed: July 2016

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.

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Zero Day by Jan Gangsei. Read June 28-July 1. 2 stars.

This book was full of interesting ideas that were never really fully developed. It left a lot of loose ends open – so much so I thought it was series, but according to the author it’s a standalone “with potential for more.” Which honestly just makes the lame cliffhanger even more frustrating. I think the book would have been better if it focused on less perspectives and cut out a couple of the extraneous storylines and just really focused in on Addie and Cerberus.

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Paper Princess (The Royals #1) by Erin Watt. Read July 1. 3 Stars.

Um, this is supposed to be YA? It definitely reads way more adult, even though the main characters are in high school. I’ve been seeing such great reviews for this book that I finally decided I had to read it, even though I knew it wasn’t the type of book I usually go for. And it’s definitely not the kind of book I generally like, but once I started it, I couldn’t stop. It was a very quick, easy read with interesting, if often clichéd, characters. I hated them half the time and rooted for them the other half. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this to YA readers, even though it’s supposed to be YA, but I think usual Romance readers will like it.

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This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills. Read July 4. 4.5 Stars

I loved this book so hard! I read it basically in one sitting. The characters, the family, the friendships, the humor, the emotion. This book just made my heart happy. I think Emma Mills has made her way onto my auto-buy list. Full review to come closer to release date.

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The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Read July 2-4. 3 stars.

I think this book tried too hard to teach me something and in doing so came off a little cheesy. I liked the main characters and I liked the romance enough – even though there was an “Anna and the French Kiss” inspired love triangle that took WAY too long to be resolved. In some ways I could really identify with Mallory, but there was just something missing where I didn’t feel at all connected with her. There were definitely some sad moments, but I didn’t feel that much about them either. Not a bad book, but kind of a disappointment, given my love for JLA.

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Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder #8) by Linda Castillo. Read July 12-16. 4 Stars.

This is the eighth book in the Kate Burkholder series and I think it’s my new favorite. I really liked the story – the undercover aspect and how genuinely creepy some of the characters were. There was a surprise towards the end that I definitely didn’t see coming. I was a little concerned about Kate being in a different state and not having the usual cast of characters around, especially Tomasetti, but it worked. And while I am always wanting more Tomasetti, he still had a presence in the book. I wish there was just a bit more interaction with Bishop Schrock since he was such an interesting, creepy character. Overall, though, a very good read.

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Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein. Read July 17. 3.5 stars.

There was a great deal of cuteness in this book, but there were several things that kind of annoyed me, too. Lately I seem to be reading a lot of books where the main characters hide behind sarcasm and a generally bad attitude to avoid having feelings about things. And while I completely and totally relate to that, it’s made me start to wonder how annoying other people must find me. I mean, about 99% of the drama June goes through in this book is manufactured by herself. I felt like a lot of it could have been avoided. But, overall, while I did have some issues with this book, it did have so many cute moments. I loved, loved Oliver and I really liked June’s friendship/relationship with him (when she wasn’t screwing everything up). A cute, fast read that I think a lot of YA lovers will enjoy.

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Best of My Love (Fool’s Gold #20) by Susan Mallery. Read July 16-17. 3.5 Stars.

I was a little iffy about this in the beginning. The premise that you need to set up some “experiment” to be friends with a member of the opposite sex was kind of silly to me. I also thought setting up a time limit for that friendship was odd. But once I got past that, I did really end up liking the relationship between Aiden and Shelby. I wish there would have been a little more Just Friends time before they started to fall for each other, though. However, I did really like that they became such good friends and I shipped them hard. The message of opening yourself up to love got a little heavy handed towards the end and a part of me wish they would have only been just friends. It kind of took away from the point that men and women can be just friends by having them fall in love. But, I guess you can’t really expect anything else to happen in this type of book. And I did really like their relationship. Overall, it was a cute, quick read that fans of romance and the Friends to Lovers trope would enjoy.

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Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare, Read July 18-22. 3 Stars.

This book was ridiculously too long. It could have been a couple hundred pages shorter and if it was I think it would’ve been much better. It was still a solid 3-star book, but I do have to admit I got bored for long stretches of it.

I liked pretty much all the characters. I liked that one of them is on the Spectrum and how he was written. I was a big fan of the romance, but found the ending regarding it completely annoying (though not as annoying as supposed incest like in some of other Clare’s books…). Julian was my favorite. It was often repeated that he kept a lot of secrets, but I thought they were completely obvious. When he pulls Mark and Emma aside to tell them about one of the secrets, I was expecting something really shocking, but what he told them was something I thought we already knew? And did Emma really not figure it out before that?

While the book was almost completely predictable, I was surprised by who the Guardian was, so that was a good twist, even though it made me sad. I think the rabid Clare fans will really enjoy this book and the cameos from characters from the other series. For me, it was kind of average, but I’ll still plan on reading the next book in the series.

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Splintered (Splintered #1) by A.G. Howard. Read July 23-24. 3 Stars.

I’ve had this on my TBR shelf forever (mostly because I adore the covers for the books in this series) and when nothing else was keeping my attention, I decided it was finally time to try it. I think I *wanted* to like it a little more than I actually liked it. I liked the premise and for the most part I liked Alyssa. I liked Jeb to an extent, but his super-protectiveness often veered into controlling, which is not cool. Morpheus had SO MUCH potential to be this really awesome character, but he fell a little flat for me. Though there were several chapters I kind of skimmed, I did overall like the book enough to continue the series.

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The Moth in the Mirror (Splintered #1.5) by A.G. Howard. Read July 24. 3 Stars.

I liked the idea of getting to see some of Jeb’s POV from the first book, while getting new scenes with Morpheus. Unfortunately, most of Jeb’s scenes were him finding things out we already knew, with little insight into anything else. I did like the scenes with Morpheus, though. I have high hopes that he’ll live up to his potential in the next book.

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Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard. Read July 24-26. 3 Stars.

There was a bunch of nothing happening for most of the book and it would have benefited from being shorter. However, there were some good things that happened, too. I liked Morpheus a lot more in this installment, though I still don’t LOVE him yet (but I’m definitely not Team Jeb, either). I’m glad that we got to find out more about his and Ally’s mom’s past. I liked where things ended and am looking forward to the next book.

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Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. Read July 26-29. 3 Stars.

Once again Moriarty writes some amazingly well-developed characters. While they weren’t always likeable (in fact they were almost all unlikable a good deal of the time), they did really start to feel like people I knew and cared about. Poor, sweet Oliver was my favorite.

While the character development was spot on, the story, unfortunately, underwhelmed me. It took over half way through the book to find out what the big incident at the barbecue was and it wasn’t as shocking as I thought it was going to be. I felt myself just wanting to kind of get through it, instead of enjoying it or being entertained by it. So while it definitely wasn’t my favorite Moriarty book, I think fans of really character-driven stories would enjoy it.

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BACK ON THE TBR

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Blitzing Emily (Love and Football #1) by Julie Brannagh. I got a copy of this for free awhile ago and we all know how much I love fake relationship stories. But this one just wasn’t keeping my interest. I do plan on trying it again sometime, though.

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And I Darken by Kiersten White. I was really looking forward to his book since I love some of White’s other books, but it just didn’t really keep my attention. I’m not sure it’s my type of book, to be honest. However, it might have just been my mood and I will definitely try it again someday.

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DNF

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Lady Renegades (Rebel Belle #3) by Rachel Hawkins. I just could not get into this book. After reading some reviews I decided it didn’t look like it was going to be something that would suddenly catch my interest. I ended up skipping ahead and reading the last couple chapters and I’m glad with my decision to not continue reading.

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Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker. DNF at about 44%. Since I got this from NetGalley, I really wanted to finish it, but I just couldn’t take any more. The characters are completely unlikable, the plot is unbelievable. While Christian is slightly more likable than Lexi, his POV included basically caricatures of Mexican culture and was honestly a little offensive and uncomfortable to read sometimes. I think heist books need to have a certain level of Fun, but I was completely unentertained. I just felt sad for the characters.                  

Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

ΕRCHOMAI, SEBASTIAN HAD SAID.

I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance?

I’ve been a firm believer that this series should have ended after the third book (City of Glass). Books four and five were mostly awful and made me not as excited to read this last book. However, I was really pleasantly surprised with how well City of Heavenly Fire wrapped things up. I felt like relationships and friendships were solidified and the big threats were dealt with conclusively.

However, that’s not to say that the book was perfect. I have about three major problems with it.

1. Too many POVs. There are a lot of characters in this series. A lot. While I don’t have a problem necessarily with that or with using multiple POVs, there were just too many in this book. It seemed like almost every character got some time, instead of focusing on the big three: Clary, Jace, and Simon. I felt like there was not enough time spent with the characters that mattered to me and the transitions between POVs and scenes were not well done.

2. Using a “finale” as a “back-door pilot”. I’m still bitter over Richelle Mead’s treatment of Adrian in the final Vampire Academy book, just to set up his (much better) spin-off series, Bloodlines. While Clare doesn’t mistreat any of our main characters in that fashion, she introduces – and gives a significant amount of time – to the characters of her new Dark Artifices series. While I’ve enjoyed the series, I’m not a huge Shadow-Hunter world fanatic and I don’t really care about the spin-off. I might read it. I might now. What bothered me is the time dedicated to setting that up, detracting from the original story.

3. References to other series/books. I have not read The Infernal Devices series yet. I’ve always planned on it, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. So when some of the characters from that series show up, I felt like I was missing important plot points in this book and I’ve also been spoiled for how the Infernal Devices series will end. There were also multiple references to Magnus’ past that I assume were explained in his spin-off book. If I had read these other books, I probably would’ve loved the incorporation, but since I haven’t yet, I found it really disappointing.

I don’t know what else to say about this book without spoilers. I remembered why Simon was my favorite character in the whole series and have mixed emotions with how the story played out for him, but ultimately I think I’m happy with it. I think that fans of the series will enjoy this book, especially if they read the other series. If you haven’t yet ventured into the Shadow Hunter world, I would recommend you start with The Infernal Devices series first, like I should’ve.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 3
Characters: 3
Readability: 3.5
Enjoyability: 3.5
Overall Average: 3.25 Stars