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.

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Review: The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

In a starred review for Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Kirkus Reviews declared: “Expect this truly one-of-a-kind series to come to a thundering close.”

When I think of The Raven Cycle, I think of two things: 1) Some of my favorite characters that I have ever read (and I’ve read a lot) and 2) One of the most confusing and strange storylines I have ever read (and I’ve read a lot). The Raven King is no exception.

I was really going to try to write this without any spoilers, but it proved to be unavoidable. They won’t be super descriptive spoilers, but if you want to read this without any idea what happens, I would stop reading here (and feel free to come back later!).

***BEWARE OF SPOILERS***

-I was hoping that things would finally all come together and make sense in this final installment, but it did not. There were a few revelations that were interesting and did make sense of a couple things, but there was a lot more that was just confusing. And strange.

-Henry Cheng, who had a few moments with our Raven Boys in the previous book, joined the gang in this book. At first I was slightly annoyed that there was a new character introduced so late in the game and I think the role he played could have probably been taken on by an existing character, but he is a character from the mind of Maggie Stiefvater, a character that Blue and the Raven Boys have come to know and like, so I obviously came to like him, too. I loved his sense of humor and he was a good addition to the team. I found myself a little sad that he wasn’t around much before.

-Ships. Gansey and Blue finally stop hiding their relationship (though it wasn’t exactly a surprise to anyone) and for those of you who don’t like romantic storylines, don’t worry, because it doesn’t really change the dynamic of any of the relationships. There are a few cute moments between them, though. Ronan and Adam shippers will be quite happy, I think. I’ve never really shipped them (I’m still not sure if I can buy into it to be honest), but I must admit there were a few good shippable moments between them.

-The end of the search for Glendower was quite disappointing. I was surprised that after all the build up, it was so anti-climactic. Of course, there were other things going on, other reasons for Gansey to be where he needed to be, but I felt like the storyline switched it up too much at the end. Of course, the storyline has never made sense to me anyways, so…I guess it’s ok?

-I didn’t really understand what was up with Noah. He wasn’t in the book as much as I would have liked, but he did have one big moment/revelation that was good (though I had to read it a couple times to understand what was happening – and I’m still a bit confused!).

-Artemus’ backstory was kind of…different? Blue’s part tree? Kind of? I’m choosing to just kind of ignore this part of the story…

-So we’ve known since book one that Gansey is supposed to die. We’ve all had theories about it. I’ll just say your theory about what goes down is probably close to right.

-I didn’t like that there was nothing in the Epilogue about Maura, Calla, and the rest of the Fox Way women, Artemus, or Mr. Grey.

-I love the core characters and I feel good about how we leave each of them in this finale. We don’t get definitive “this is what she/he does in the future” scenarios, but we get a glimpse of what’s next for them and hope for their future. All of these characters have grown so much since the beginning of the series and I’m really going to miss them!

Overall, this was a good ending to the series. It disappointed me just a little that it still didn’t make much sense to me, but it stays true to the books that came before it and really, I read this series for the characters and there were tons of great character development throughout the whole thing. I’m sad to see the series end and it will be one that I will re-read many times in the future.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

4 stars

The Raven Cycle 1-3 Re-Read

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It seems like we’ve been waiting for the last book of The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater for a very long time. In the mean time I’ve been singing the series’ praises and slightly forgetting all of the details of the story thus far. To gear up for the release of The Raven King on April 26th, I decided a series re-read was in order.

Stiefvater's latest drawing of the raven boys:

To see my original reviews, click on the links below:

The Raven Boys

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

(For some reason I never reviewed The Dream Thieves, but this link will take you to it’s Good Reads page.)

Some Thoughts from the Re-Read

*I originally rated the first two books as 3 stars and later decided I was probably too harsh with those ratings. However, after re-reading them I think I stand by my rating. While I could talk all day long about how much I love the characters, most of the actual plot is not really my cup of tea – and it’s a little confusing.

*Each book in the series is better than the one before. The characters become more developed, the stakes become higher.

*I completely forgot about how very much I ship Gansey and Blue! I’ve always loved them, of course, but I forgot about all the super cute moments they have throughout the series. I love that it’s such a slow burn romance and that it’s only a part of their relationship and not all encompassing.

*While I love the way Ronan and Adam’s friendship has developed, I’ve never really shipped them. Previously, I thought people shipping them were crazy because it seemed completely one-sided to me. While I still don’t ship them, I did notice a lot of moments between them that I see could give shippers hope than I did the first time around. And I apologize for the number of times I said “ship” in this paragraph.

*I thought that I would understand all the confusing parts of the story better the second time around, but I did not and it really annoyed me. While I still strongly maintain the characters make this series worth the read, I found how confusing it was to be a little intolerable at times. Am I the only one that doesn’t really understand Cabeswater and all the magic and Adam’s Cabeswater connection and most of what happened in the cave at the end of Blue Lily, Lily Blue?

*I LOVE THE CHARACTERS IN THIS SERIES. I adore them all just as much the second time around. I even enjoy some of the villains – Kavinsky and Colin in particular. I love the relationship between the core group – Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Noah, and Blue. When they are all together are definitely my favorite parts of the series. They are each so unique and well-developed and I wish I came up with them.

*While I didn’t completely enjoy the re-read as much as I thought I would, I still really do love and recommend this series. The characters are some of the best that I’ve ever read and Stiefvater is definitely a gifted writer. I’m really looking forward to see how it all turns out in The Raven King.

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2015 End of Year Book Survey

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This survey is created by The Perpetual Page-Turner.

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Number Of Books You Read: 123 (as of 12/27/15 – this will probably go up a book or two by year end)
Number of Re-Reads: 24 (not counted in the above answer)
Genre You Read The Most From: YA

 

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1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

I don’t think I can pick one book, but I have narrowed it down to my three favorite (which were also the ones I got for Christmas):

  1. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  2. Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
  3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (This book will be referenced a lot from here on out, BTW)

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway, Pretending to be Erica by Michelle Painchaud, and The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – in a Good way!

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West. I’ve had a few different people tell me they read it because I kept talking about it.

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Started – Six of Crows (Six of Crows) by Leigh Bardugo

Sequel – First Frost (Waverly Family) by Sarah Addison Allen

Ender – Winter (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Allison Leotta – The Anna Curtis series

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – I don’t read a lot of books that have LGBT romance.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Six of Crows!

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Big Little Lies

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

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The book only got 2 stars from me, but I adore the cover of A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray.

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows. He’s everything.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

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First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

This year I read for pure enjoyment purposes. I can’t say I read anything that was life-changing.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

Missing You by Harlan Coben. Not necessarily that book, but the author. I have never read him before and I know I’ll definitely be reading more of him.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

I don’t keep track of quotes. It’s not my thing.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest – Ten Rules for a Call Girl by Allison Leotta

Longest – Winter by Marissa Meyer

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

You know, there were several books that had some small twists or surprises, but there is not anything that stands out to me as being really shocking.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Cinder & Kai from Winter

Kaz & Inej from Six of Crows

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

The Six of Crows gang as a whole, Cinder & Thorne

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Six of Crows – previously read The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – because ALL THE HYPE

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

Kaz Brekker. Obviously.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

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Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Wrath and the Dawn

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

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The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

While it definitely wasn’t the sob fest that was Me Before You, After You by Jojo Moyes had me a little teary at the beginning.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

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Aimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia London was pretty cute.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I didn’t read a lot of heavy hitting reads this year. I’m not actually upset by this.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

You by Caroline Kepnes. This book was just Messed Up.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

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Vendetta by Catherine Doyle because it was RIDICULOUS!

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1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

I’m not entirely sure if it was this year or last year, but I’m pretty sure it was this year that I discovered Brandie is a Book Junkie. We don’t share the same tastes in everything, but we both love Suspense novels and if she gives a Suspense a favorable rating, it’s automatically going on my TBR. She is also the reason I read my first Harlan Coben book this year. And we also figured out that we live in the same county, which is pretty cool!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

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Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

If My Life were Like Chick Lit…The Wedding Date and All the Ways in which I am not a Proper Book Nerd/Blogger.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

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I went to a book signing/talk by Linda Castillo (of the Kate Burkholder series).

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

I had my first publisher provided giveaway – for a copy of Black-Eyed Susans.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

I’ve had several book slumps throughout the year and that bled over into not having anything to post on the blog. I’ve also had lots of Low-Blog-Self-Esteem moments where I kind of hate everything about my blog/blogging.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My review of The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne has the most views of the year. I don’t have any idea how to search by comments or likes.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I don’t really know. I wish every post got more likes/comments/views. But what can you do?

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Many new blogs

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

For the Good Reads Reading Challenge I wanted to read 115 books and I surpassed it.

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

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Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. I bought it when it was on sale, but haven’t read it yet. It’s first up after I get some library books and ARCs out of the way.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

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The Raven King!!!! How many times has this been pushed back?!?

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I can’t think of anything at the moment. I’m not super attuned to those yet, I guess.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

The Raven King, obviously, and Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Request less ARCs unless it’s a book that I know I REALLY want to read. I hate DNF-ing ARCs, but I also hate forcing myself to finish books I don’t like and then try to write coherent reviews about them.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

So far I’ve only read one and a half 2016 books and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them to everyone.