Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Series Review of The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Series: The Wrath and the Dawn

Book 1: The Wrath and the Dawn
Book 2: The Rose and The Dagger

Goodreads Description of book 1, The Wrath and Dawn:
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

My Thoughts:
The Wrath and the Dawn duology was just okay for me. I wasn't captivated by these books I know are many poeples favourites. I had a good few problems with the books but I also think my expectations affected my reading experience. I had very high expectations because this series gets so much praise. I've divided my thoughts into 2 sections so if you haven't read either book you can read my thoughts under The Wrath and the Dawn but not under The Rose and the Dagger.

The Wrath and The Dawn
I found the plot of The Wrath and The Dawn to be so slow and dull in the beginning. I was struggling until 37% and then it finally started getting interesting and I was intrigued. Then it got super slow again until 75% when it really picked up. I flew through the story from there to the end. It was so interesting and compelling. I was thinking of DNFing but the last 25% saved it for me.

The Wrath and the Dawn is classed as fantasy but the magic and world are so underdeveloped which are the two thing that are key to a fantasy novel. At one point I thought 'oh this is it, this is how we are going to explore the magic and how it works and stuff' but nope, there was nothing. There was a tiny bit of magic introduced and then the characters acted as if it never happened it was a bit unrealistic given the situation in my opinion.

I liked Shazad but didn't love her. She's very hot tempered and got herself into trouble that could have easily been avoided. She was a typical YA protagonist and had nothing that set her apart in m opinion.

I wasn't really a fan of Kahlid either. He's such an interesting character with lots of mystery surrounding him and he does soften up a bit towards the end which is the part where I started to think he was ok. I think the mystery surrounding him made it hard for me as a reader to connect with him; I couldn't relate to him or feel anything for him.

The Wrath and the Dawn was good but nothing special and definitely not what I was expecting.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

The Rose and The Dagger
*there may be spoilers in this section of the post for The Wrath and the Dawn

I had the the same problem with the plot as I did with The Wrath and the Dawn; I found it to be so slow and I really struggled; I was going to DNF it but i kept going because I figured I was past half way in the series and might as well finish it. It did pick up in the last 30%  though and I was glad I stuck it out.

I really liked how we got more of Shazi's sister Irsa. I loved her little storyline that she had in The Rose and the Dagger and it was probably my favourite part of the book.

I didn't care about the characters (apart from Irsa and Rahim) so I really struggled reading. I felt very disconnected from them, I wasn't invested in their story so I wasn't rooting for them.

The ending was alright but I do think some parts were unnecessary and could have been done in a much cleaner way.

My Rating: 3 stars

Thanks for reading,
A :)

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Series: Guide, #1

Publication: June 27th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books

Goodreads Description:
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

My Thoughts:

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue is such a lighthearted historical fiction that I think anyone looking for something different but easy and fun to get through will really enjoy.

Monty was such a drama queen and it was annoying in the beginning how self absorbed he was but then it got endearing and hilarious.his narration, while a bit dramatic and takes a bit to get used to, is so much fun and hooked me; he is such a witty character. Loads of character development such a character journey type of story. 

This book is full of diverse represenation; there is a bisexual main character, a character suffering from trauma of child abuse, the issue of racism and even disability rep which I was not expecting. there was so much depth to the story which surprised me.

I loved how Monty's sister was part of the tour; their sibling interaction was one of my favourite parts of the story! There was some lovely heart warming moments between Monty and Felicity and I can't wait for the spin off with her; she was definitely my favourite character in this book so I am beyond excited for a whole book about her!

The romance storyline between Monty and Percy was cute but I wasn't obsessed with them; like they were not OTP material for me. 

The plot was a bit unrealistic in places but if you suspend your disbelief and just go with it it is so much fun. There was so much adventure it was great.

I really liked how the author included information about the historical aspects of the novel in the author notes such as information on the grand tour, race in the 18th century, politics, epilepsy etc. It really showed how much research went into the novel.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue was such a fun read. While reading it felt like I was watching a movie is was so quick and easy to get through. It is a little adventure with hints of silliness and heart warming moments and I thoroughly enjoyed it so I will be picking up Mackenzie Lee's other books when I want something light and easy to read.

My rating: 4.5 stars

Thanks for reading,
A :)

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Spoiler Free Review of Alienated Trilogy by Melissa Landers

Series: Alienated

Book 1: Alienated
Book 2: Invaded
Book 3:United

Goodreads Description:
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. 

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class. 

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

My thoughts:
I have divided my thoughts into three parts for the books. There are no spoilers for the book I am writing about under each heading(i.e. If you have only read book 1 you can read my review for book 1 and 2 without being spoiled)

Book 1: Alienated
I had fun reading Alienated but had a few problems with it.

I wasn't a big fan of the writing; it came across very babyish at times. I rolled my eyes reading so much times it was a bit ridiculous. There were some lines that felt like the author was trying too hard to sound like a teenager, for example 'full on banana sandwich' , like really? I felf like it was a very unrealistic way for teenagers to be talking.

A minor thing that annoyed me was the main characters name Cara, it's a lovely name but there it was pronounced wrong. They say it's the Irish word for friend which it is (I am irish and have studies the language my whole life) and Aelyx pronounces it 'cah-ra' which is right but there's a scene where they make fun of him and say it's pronounced 'Care-a' which is wrong.

I really liked Aelyx and he was definitely one of the reasons that I kept reading but Cara was so annoying and stupid and smart for a supposedly smart girl it annoyed me.

Alientated was a fun read but nothing ground breaking; I was expecting it to be like Jennifer L Armentrout's Lux series and be obsessed with it and find it so addictive but I didn't.

My rating: 3.5 stars

Book 2: Invaded
In my opinion Invaded was not as much fun as Alienated. Aelyx and Cara separated so their is hardly any interactions between the two which is what made book 1 so enjoyable.

The writing is still annoying in Invaded but not as much as it was in Alienated. There isn't as much dialogue that had me rolling my eyes and as much unrealistic stuff.

The plot was so predictable in this one, I predicted how it would end so early on that it made the 'twists'/'reveals' very underwhelming.
I really liked on aspect of this book in particular though; there was a big focus on Cara and her big brothers relationship which I loved reading about. I felt like they were written as a very realistic sibling relationship.

My rating: 3 stars

Book 3: United
I found United to be a lot better than Invaded. I was a bit hesitant to pick up this final book because I wasn't the biggest fan of the second book but United was actually quite good. I had fun reading it but I'm not sure if I liked it as much as Alienated.

While I had fun reading it I do think everything wrapped up super quickly and conveniently and it was all very predictable but I didn't mind it too much because it was fun having Aleyx and Cara together.

I had fun with the series but not as much as I'd hoped. I was expecting to be obsessed with it like JLAs Lux series but wasn't. 

My rating: 3.5 stars

Thanks for reading,

A :)

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

*warning this review contains spoilers for the first book in the Monsters of Verity duology, This Savage Song*

Read my review of This Savage Song here!

Series: Monsters of Verity, #2

Publication: June 13th 2017 by Greenwillow Books

Goodreads Description:

KATE HARKER isn't afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she's good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.



Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims' inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

My thoughts:
I really liked This Savage Song last year when I read it and I am a huge fan of Schwab's books so I had high expectations going into Our Dark Duet and unfortunately I was a bit disappointed. For me This Savage Song is the stronger book in the Monsters of Verity series, that's not to say Our Dark Duet was bad, it just wasn't as good as I was expecting it to be.

There was a handful of new characters introduced in the beginning but they just disappeared when Kate left and got no page time so they were very underdeveloped and I would have liked to see much more of them. Another new character that gets brought into the story is a 
new sunai called Soro. Soro is gender neutral which is something I've never come across in YA so they were cool to read about even if they didn't get as much page time as I would have liked.

We also get a new POV in Our Dark Duet- Sloan. I was meh about all his chapters, I only cared about Kate and August. His POV wasn't really that necessary and it didn't add much to the plot at all in my opinion.

I loved how Kate doesn't take anyone's shit and how strong  and capable August has become. Their character arcs in this book are a lot different than book 1.

I found the plot to be very slow until half way when the characters started interacting with each other. And I was struggling a bit which is a first for me with VE Schwab. It was okay though because halfway through it picked up and the last quarter was amazing. There was so much action and stuff going on; it got fast paced and compelling and I couldn't stop reading.

Our Dark Duet ended in an unexpected way but I can't imagine any other way it could have ended. Schwab did something I think a lot of authors wouldn't risk and it was perfect.

While ODD wasn't as good as TSS I still liked it and am a bit sad we won't get another book with these characters.

My rating: 4 stars

Thanks for reading,

A :)