Book Review: Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone#3) by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone#3) by Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Pages: 422 (Hardcover)

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The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

The Shadow and Bone series has it all (or did). Great dialogue, gruesome fights, and some of the finest humour out there. With this said, I had very little expectations for Ruin and Rising the third and final novel in the series. The Darkling plays such a large role in this series. Not only as the villain but as an ally and a lover, and I just…I didn’t see his importance here. To be completely honest, I didn’t see anything, no growth from the most beloved characters. Although I admit, Bardugo is the queen of twists and turns, I got very few twists except that one fucking huge one that made my eyes water.

Because in all actuality, what the hell happened? There was so much tension, so much build up in the first book that completely fell flat by the end of this one. This love triangle is just getting out of hand. It’s stupid and I hate it now. Bardugo used a great twist and something unique, to tie everything in a nice, sloppily done bow. How the war goes down is just not logical. It really isn’t. Moreover, the actual ending is not anything special. It’s so unlike the story that I think a lot of her fans are having an extremely hard time with it.

Nonetheless, Bardugo did put in one large plot twists, showing her brilliance through beautiful writing. I do like some of the secondary characters a lot more than before. Like Zoya, who has a great sense of humour and Nikola–everything about him, he’s kind of amazing.

It’s the classic ‘last book in the series’ syndrome. Many second books are cursed with being boring but the last book is always cursed with leaving many readers unsatisfied. And I am apart of that group of readers. I actually had to re-read the war because it was so fast, so clean, I just couldn’t believe it. Shadow and Bone is still an amazing series, just keep your expectations of this book low.

3.5 Interesting Clouds

Click here to see my review of Shadow and Bone.

Click here to see my review of Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone#2).

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Song of the Week (Revamped) #18-Alone/ With You by Daughter

song of the week revamped

Song of the Week is a weekly meme of some of my current favourite songs or songs that I can’t get out of my head. Leave your favourite songs and I’ll be sure to check them out.

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Daughter are an indie folk band from England. Fronted by North London native Elena Tonra, they were formed in 2010 after the addition of Swiss-born guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella from France.

Daughter has recently changed up their tune. Although they still have their usual delicately haunting vocals, and depressing yet heartfelt lyrics, they added a poppy tune. Think….light electronic music. But still, the song is really good. Daughter will always have a spot in my heart no matter what.

Favourite part:

I hate sleeping alone
Terrified with the lights out
I hate living alone
Talking to myself is boring conversation
Me and I are not friends
She is only an acquaintance
I hate dreaming of being alone
Cause you are never there
Just a shadowy figure with a blank face
Kicking me out of his place
I hate walking alone
I should get a dog or something

Listen to the song here.

Lyrics are here.

Song of the Week (Revamped) #17-New Year’s Eve by Mal Blum

song of the week revamped

Song of the Week is a weekly meme of some of my current favourite songs or songs that I can’t get out of my head. Leave your favourite songs and I’ll be sure to check them out.

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Mal Blum writes often self-referential, first-person narratives, sets them to music containing elements from anti-folk, punk or folk genres and tours nationally, usually alone in a little car, but sometimes with a band or another songwriter for company.

With a song that’s so sad yet so relatable it’s crazy that I haven’t heard of this girl before. The song, albeit whiny really gets to you. Why? because her lyrics and the images they create are extremely vivid and smooth that you feel like the one watching the events unfold. It’s a long song but every time it comes on, I don’t have the heart to stop it when I reach my lectures. I just let it play until the crying is over.

Favourite part:

We’re not friends

Friends don’t do the things we did

And the ones you’ve done since then makes think we’ve never been

When is this night gonna end?

Are you lying in her bed?

All these questions hit my head

Hey where’s the whiskey at again

You were discombobulated

When you showed up at my door

Leaving glitter on my floor

But I don’t like you anymore

Listen to the song here.

Lyrics are here.

Song of the Week (Revamped) #10-Tears over Beers by Modern Baseball

song of the week revamped

Song of the Week is a weekly meme of some of my current favourite songs or songs that I can’t get out of my head. Leave your favourite songs and I’ll be sure to check them out.

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Modern Baseball is an American rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

Typical high school song. But you know what? You can relate to it because there will always be that one person who you liked but could never have because they liked a complete moron. Always.

Favourite part:

When I moved away from home, 100 miles or so,
I knew a change had grown inside my awkwardly long limbs and bones
That girl who’s next to me, she’s friendly and thoughtful and quite awfully pretty,
But all she has to say is a meat head-themed monologue on why Brad ran away

She said, “All I can hope for is for me to get better,
because all I can take is no more.
I’ll win him back again, we’ll be lovers, best friends.
He won’t need no other woman like he did way back when he was with me.

Listen to the song here.

Lyrics are here.

Book Review: True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan

24485772True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: June 7, 2016

Pages: 336 (Hardcover)

good good

If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy.

But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world–letters he never intends to send–he spills the truth: he’s trying hard, but he just isn’t into Theresa. It’s a boy who lingers in his thoughts.

He feels trapped by his parents, his teammates, and the lies they’ve helped him tell, and he has no idea how to escape. Is he destined to live a life of fiction?

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, HarperTeen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

I’m really glad this got to be one of my first summer reads. It’s fairly light yet a solid novel. With great characters and a steady plot, Kenneth Logan delivers a lovely coming of age story. Although I didn’t absolutely love James, the secondary characters are the ones who really had me. Derek, Hawken, Topher, and the parents. They kept me lightly on my toes by not being the predictable supporting characters that I assumed they would be and I really enjoyed that.

Despite the high rating I’m giving it, there are some flaws. One of them being the intense info-dumping in the very beginning. During the first chapter, readers are handed an essay long description on characters that have yet been introduced. A prime example of this is with Theresa, where James explains their long history and feelings. This could have been easily handled with showing us the friction of their relationship rather than telling us because I started to quickly lose interest. The book, for that matter, is mostly telling rather than showing like from the letters and how James writes them to how he speaks and thinks of his friends. Instead of being put in his shoes, understanding his pain and struggle, I just felt as if I was reading a very personal, extremely distant essay (sorry for the contradiction but it’s the only way I could really explain it. Like a cold ‘I love you’). The whole book is surrounded by the letters and how they make him feel and transform him as a person but I felt this part of the novel was poorly executed because I couldn’t connect with it as I was being told about it instead of showed it. More is written about the letter than what is actually in them. Which is really sad as the letters are his way of expressing himself.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed True Letter from a Fictional Life. it’s straightforward plot wise, it contains plenty of twists, and holds some sad truths about the world we live in. I’m glad Logan made the characters different, especially with Derek because of course there are more issues outside of the LGBT community and just even shining a small light on those issues like race and religion is always appreciated. Moreover, I still liked the idea of writing letters, as a strong believer in this approach to dealing with anger (I’ve been writing letters to people since I was in grade two, I swear) I could connect with where James was coming from. looking past all of the telling and lengthy explanations, the writing itself is quite smooth. It’s easy to lose yourself in the story and keep on reading until everything gets resolved.

You should read this. It’s not a heavy book, definitely finish it within a day, no more than a week. The writing style although not unique, has a one-of-a-kind approach to a popular topic and I loved reading about it. There’s more to this novel than what one read will tell you.

4 Dreamy Clouds

Book Review: Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

17693452Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: May 13, 2014

Pages: 304 (Hardcover)

good good

Some secrets are too good to keep.

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Katherine Tegen Books for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

I don’t even know why I tried with this one. I really don’t. Everything is just everywhere and I had no clue what was going on. And I actually tried to like this one, reading until the very last page despite my many groans and screams of anger and frustration and head banging and almost throwing my E-Reader at the fucking wall.

The whole concept of Life by Committee is stupid. The whole community is insane, the rules aren’t explained well and the assignments are so juvenile and stupid. They aren’t realistic nor do they support ‘living life to the fullest’. The characters suck, Joe is as interesting as a fucking toaster. Moreover, the romance is complete shit. Nothing about it explained. They’re just fucking together. What is this, Kindergarten where people bump into each other and are like, “We’re dating now.”

On top of this, the ending is dumb and pretty plain and kindergarten like.

However, the writing is all right. There’s nothing completely horrendous about it.

Life by Committee is not by any means a good, fun, enjoyable read. If anything, it’s dull, frustrating, and childish. Don’t read this book. It’s boring and nothing is explained.

One Lonely Cloud

One Lonely Cloud

Book Review: Sweet Reckoning (Sweet#3) by Wendy Higgins

16007855Sweet Reckoning (Sweet#3) by Wendy Higgins

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: April 29, 2014

Pages: 379 (Paperback)

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It’s time.

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, HarperTeen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

All Anna does is cry.

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Sweet Reckoning is so boring and I couldn’t help but be upset by it. Kaidan, the boy that I swooned over for some time turns into a complete lovesick loser in this book and I understand that he’s in love but come on! Keep it interesting! This is the last book in this trilogy and I couldn’t help but feel disappointed by it.

I also had a problem with the length of the book. I’m being honest when I say that it could have been cut down by AT LEAST 200 pages. Because those first two hundred pages are completely pointless. What makes me even more angry though is how it all went down in the end. I mean, seriously? It’s boring and predictable. Ugh.

Nonetheless, I liked the writing and for the most part, most of the characters. I think that’s it though.

Disappointed is an understatement for what I felt for this book. Sweet Reckoning was supposed to be the big finale, with a shit ton and stuff happening left and right. However, it’s all just sitting around being all cute and whatever. This is still a good series, just lower your expectations when you get to this book.

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

2.5 Mess Up Clouds