Book Reviews

My Top 5 Books of 2018

I feel live overall this year I had a bit of a reading slump, I read quite a few books there were just not a large number of them that really stuck with me especially in the new release department. I still wanted to share a few of my favorites for the year. Some old, some new and in no particular order.

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses (series) by Sarah J. Maas

While I was super late to the bandwagon on this series I really got sucked into it and enjoyed it. Rhys for sure goes on the list of all time book boyfriends and I loved the smut in this book. I would say I would put this more as a New Adult book and would not recommend for “teens”. 

A Court of Mist and Fury Chapter 55

2. Legendary by Stephanie Garber 

I heard a lot of negative feedback on these books but I have to say they are quick enjoyable reads that suck you in and keep you wondering what on earth they are going to do next…this was the second book in the Caraval Trilogy that will be complete early in 2019.A Court of Mist and Fury Chapter 55

3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This book was not a fast-paced suck you in book but it was very neat and such a fun concept. I really enjoy the Grishaverse world Leigh has created and I will be reading the sequel to this duology Crooked Kingdom soon! See my post Six of Crows- Book Review for a more detailed summary. 

Yoda with Six Of Crows Book

 

4. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

So I read a good bit of SJM this year with discovering ACOTAR and completing the Throne of Glass series… While I did enjoy all of the TOG books this is one of my all-time favorite and one I saved to read for the first time right before Kingdom of Ash released. I am so glad I save it because this was the ultimate in “Maas Destruction”. I also found out after the fact that there is a guide to reading Empire of Storms and Tower of Dawn at the same time since the timelines are concurrent. I totally wish I had done this and will for sure try this out the next time I reread. Oh and Tower of Dawn was actually really good as well… just didn’t make the final 5 cut 😉

5. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis- Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be

I used my free trial of Audible to purchase and listen to this book and it was really great. I went into it with no expectations and didn’t think I had anything to gain from it and was so surprised. Listening to the book was such as great choice for this as Rachel narrates it herself and had me laughing and crying along with her as she told her story and the lessons she learned.

Girl Wash Your Face Audible

 

Book Reviews

The Dark Artifices- Review of Books 1 and 2

Overall: ***

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: ***

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Recommend if you liked: The Mortal Instruments 

Purchase on Amazon here 

I will preface this review by saying that I read both The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices and while I won’t say they were literary wonders I enjoyed both series. They offered great binge worthy heart wrenching paranormal drama (and I am a sucker for it)!

Shadowhunter Books

Knowing how Cassandra Clare loves to tear my heart out I waited until the series was complete with the release of Queen of Air and Darkness to start reading. Like the first series of hers I read I was expecting to be sucked in right away and devour the whole series in a few days… Yes I admit I have a problem….. BUT alas it has taken me WEEKS to get through the first few books and I am not even interested in diving into the third at this point.

Now I have heard a lot people raving about The Dark Artifices and how it is their favorite Shadowhunters novel but I just cannot make it happen for me.

My issues *spoilers*:

  • I think this being the third of her series that I have read I might be a little burnt out on the same concept being repeated – Forbidden love, lack of communication, narrow-minded Shadowhunters. Like that one person we all know that keeps making the same mistakes and wondering why they have so much drama?
  • I personally and not a fan of the Julian being the parent dynamic.
  • 2/3 of the way through the series and I don’t feel like the villain or villians are really built out.
  • I don’t not like the cameos from The Mortal Instruments main crew. I mean if you are going to write a book with Jace in it, I want it to be all him lol. Plus after they hinted about Clary dying I almost didn’t want to keep reading to find out if it really happened.
  • These cameos also ruined Alec and Magnus for me. While I get it was trying to show them in an adult/parent light years down the road I just didn’t care for their new softness.

While curiosity will get the best of me eventually and I will finish Queen of Air and Darkness and hopefully it will be so amazing it changes my mind on the whole series. But as of right now I have no plans to purchase her two new books releasing in 2019 Red Scrolls of Magic or Chain of Gold.

Stay Tuned….

Products I love!!

Book Outlet Review

I started seeing a lot of people posting unboxing videos from Book Outlet online and wondered what all the fuss was about. I decided to check out the site and when I saw the prices I had the same thought as many folks “there is no way this can be real”. I was thinking they had to be damaged books or maybe different versions of the books. But, the prices were so cheap and there were a ton of books on my wish list so I decided to give them a try.

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They have the book prices color coded according to type, such as red for bargain books and green for “scratch and dent” so when you are browsing you can clearly see what you are getting. I went for all bargain books because I wanted them to be in the best shape possible and for only a few bucks more they were still totally worth the buy up for me. My first order was 11 books and with the additional 10% off coupon I used for signing up on their site before my first purchase I only spent $66…. and they were almost all hardbacks

Shipping: In the U.S. they have free shipping on orders of $35 plus, but I have heard that international shipping gets pretty outrageous. I also heard some complaints about shipping time, and while they certainly are not Amazon Prime I placed my order on 12/16 and received it on 12/24. I thought that was pretty impressive especially for the holiday season on something I didn’t pay expedited shipping for. 

Now a few things to keep in mind if you are picky about your books.

1) Most of the books that arrived do have “reminder marks” on the pages. This wasn’t a deal breaker for me but it does affect the overall condition rating of the book long-term.

Book Reminder Marks

2) There were some books that had sale stickers from their original retailers on them. This I was actually not really happy about, but both books that I purchased the stickers came off really easy and there were no marks left on the books.

Book Outlet Stickers

3) There were just a few books that had a little wear on the book jackets but this is really something that I see with all retailers. I have pre- ordered books from major book chains that have come in with a decent amount of damage on them so I don’t take this away from them at all.

Book Outlet Book Jacket Wear

Would I order from them again? Well…. I already have!!! They had a great coupon for $40 off $100 (which I think is actually still good for a few more days) and I got 18 books for $60 shipped!!!! I will be sure to share the haul and any quality or shipping updates I have when they arrive!

Book Reviews, Products I love!!

Six of Crows Book Review

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Book 1 of the Six of Crows Duology

Overall: ****

Romance: ***

Reading Rate: **

Pages: 465

Recommend if you liked: Shadow & Bone Trilogy, Oceans 11

Release Date: September 29, 2015

Publisher: Henry Holt

Purchase on Amazon here

I recently finished reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I know I am super late to the game reading this book but I put it off for so long due to all of the hype. I finally dove into the book and I am glad that I did. Now I do have to preface this with it was not a suck you in fast paced read like the Shadow and Bone trilogy was for me, but overall I felt the story was WAY better.

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Without any spoilers: This book to me was almost an Ocean’s 11 goes back in time with magic. It takes some time to build out the various characters but it was really time well spent.  While you don’t have to read the Shadow and Bone Trilogy to read Six of Crows I would have found parts of the world difficult to understand without all the background laid out in the prior books, and there are also spoilers for Shadow and Bone as all of the events happens shortly after the end of the first trilogy.

What I liked:

  • Complex characters
  • Continuing to build on the world I was introduced to in Shadow & Bone- I also feel the characters and world really grew up from the initial trilogy.

What I struggled with:

  • This is not a fast paced binge read in my opinion. I picked the book up and down over time, and was in no rush to get to the second book in the duology when I was done.

Official Synopsis:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.