Saturday, June 20, 2020

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo - Book Review


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Publication date: September 29, 2015
My rating: 4 stars


I finally did it. I finally read Six of Crows. 

*Whew* 

I got to admit, my logic and my emotions were in disagreement on how I was going to rate it. 
Logic wanted me to rate it 3 stars, and emotions wanted me to rate it 4 stars. 
I guess emotions won. 

Because on one hand, I'm aversed to books with descriptive/dense writing, and on the other hand despite all of that I just could not... stop... reading. It was so addictive I sat for hours reading none-stop. 

I do think you need to be in the right kind of mood to read Leigh Bardugo's books though, especially if you're, like me, a lover of books that are easy to read and don't demand your brain to constantly stay in total focus mode or else you're going to miss something in the writing. 

So under normal circumstances, I would be too impatient to finish this book, but in the right mood I would be addicted to it. And I really was in the right mood, as I was becoming burned out on my usual type of books and I needed something different, something fresh. 

I would also mention that the first few chapters - more specifically, the first two chapters - are hard to get through. They'll make you Quint in confusion and maybe even be so bored you want to drop the book. I do suggest you push through though, read at least a few chapters before you decide. 

Kaz & Inej

One minute he made her blush, and the next he made her want to commit murder. 

I ship these two. I SHIP THEM *screaming this into the void*. 

Interestingly enough, I actually started this book really liking Inej and kind of disliking on Kaz, and ended this book loving Kaz and having conflicted feelings for Inej. 

I felt like Kaz is having a great character development here, while Inej... well, despite finding a purpose, I can't say I'm seeing much character development yet, so maybe in the next book. But compared to Kaz, Inej pretty much stayed the same. 

My annoyance with her was that she didn't seem to take into account Kaz's PTSD at all. I mean of course she deserves someone who can give her what she needs, but I felt like she was being unfair to demand so much out of Kaz so soon when he's only now starting to open up more. I'm not saying she should settle for scraps, I'm just saying she shouldn't try to make him feel bad about what he can't offer her yet, and that's just what she did. 

And Kaz... gosh, going from wanting to slap him to wanting to hug him - okay, maybe not hug him, that would be dangerous - just shows what a great character development it was. I love Kaz. 

I thought it was adorable how he kept thinking of Inej, how even his memories of her helped him deal with his anxiety, how he would do anything to save her, how angry he is at anyone who dares to hurt her. 

Jasper & Wylan 

Jasper: "If Pekka Rollins kills us all, I'm going to get Wylan's ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost." 
Kaz: "I'll just hire Matthias' ghost to kick your ghost's ass." 
Matthias: "My ghost won't associate with your ghost." 

Those two had the least page time out of all the six crows, with Jasper having the least POV time and Wylan not having a POV at all - though he's going to have one in Crooked Kingdom so I'm excited to see that. 

Okay, so Wylan IS CUTE. Right from the start I knew this kid had to be protected. Sorry, Wylan, I know you're not a kid, you're just precious though. 

As for Jasper, I felt sorry for his gambling addiction problem. Poor guy. Addiction is no joke. 

And yep I totally ship them. We only saw very little hints of the romance between them here, and only at the very end from Jasper's side of things, which is why I'm so excited for their romance in the next book! 

Nina & Matthias 

"If we make it out of here alive, I'm going to kiss you unconscious." 

Speaking of character development, MATTHIAS'S CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT WAS SO GOOD. 

Like seriously, what character development wouldn't be out of this world amazing when said character starts out as a brainwashed with hunter who follows the rules and arrests criminals, who ends up part of a group full of criminals and in a relationship with a witch - Grisha? 

Similarly to Kaz, I started out being conflicted about Matthias and ended up really liking him. 

*Spoilers from now on* 

Kaz & Inej

"I'm going to get my money, Kaz vowed. "And I'm going to get my girl." 

I loved how Kaz brought up military plans with Inej after she was recovering from her injury just to have an excuse to talk to her because he didn't know how else to approach. 

And at the end? When Inej was kidnapped? And Kaz is going to go after his girl? I SCREAMED. 

Jasper & Wylan 

"Nina might not be able to put you back, you know. Now without another dose of parem. You could be stuck like this. "
"Why does it matter?" 
"I don't know!" Jasper said angrily. "Maybe I liked your stupid face."  

Jasper being a Grisha was definitely a random plot twist. I was sort of "Eh... okay?" about it, it kind of seemed out of nowhere, even though I know it' probably going to be addressed further in Crooked Kingdom. 

The ending with Wylan's father was... I bet we all wanted to join Jasper's anger when we realized what those letters really meant. 

Nina & Matthias 

"I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath." 

I saw spoilers for some stuff that goes down in Crooked Kingdom so the spoiler bellow is going to discuss something that is going to happen in Crooked Kingdom and relates to my experience knowing this spoiler as I was reading Six of Crows, so do not keep reading unless you like spoilers or unless you've read Crooked Kingdom. 

Me reading the Nina & Matthias chapters and chanting "I'm not going to cry I'm not going to cry" because I already knew what was going to happen in Crooked Kingdom. I just... and then when they finally got together in the end I just... they were just so beautiful together, all the character development Matthias went through, all that enemies to lovers and love to hate they went through together, to find love together, and just... just for him to die in the next book? 

Reading their chapters was hurting MY SOUL. 
I wanted them to be happy, I WANTED THEM TO BE HAPPY, and knowing it was all doomed from the start, all the while reading about their love story, hurt. 

And when Matthias vowed "I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath." Yeah... yep... haha... HAHA... *sobbing*. 


Only one King - Tommee Profitt (ft. Jung Youth)
(Kaz at the end of Six of Crows)


He needed to tell her... what? That she was lovely and brave and better than anything he deserved. That he was twisted, crooked, wrong, but not so broken that he couldn't pull himself together into some semblance of a man for her. That without meaning to, he'd begun to lean on her, to look for her, to need her near. He needed to thank her for his new hat. 

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle - Book Review


You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
Publication date: April 7, 2020
My rating: 4 stars

My nerves are this incredible mix of awkward Gahh and fluttery Eeeee
 
My smile's so wide it's hurting my facial muscles, and I lie on the bed and kick my legs and squeal. 

*Internal squealing* 

Do you see those quotes over there? That was me reading this book. 

Listen, when I say this book was cute and funny, I don't mean that this book had cute and funny in it, I mean that this book was cute and funny. THE WHOLE BOOK. 

It wasn't "Aw, this is cute!" 
It was "JFKDSJKLJIEI cuteness overload." 

It wasn't "Haha, this is funny!" 
It was "I CAN'T STOP LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY." 

And that's coming from someone who is 90% of the time "meh" and "this was nice" wen it comes to contemporary romance. (I'm a fantasy romance lover through and through). And trust me, I've read many contemporary romances, so it's not like I'm just discovering the genre, it just never really... excites me? 
And that's obviously just me personally, for some reason it's harder for me to connect to contemporary. 

Of course, every now and then comes that book that makes me remember why I never give up on this genre, like Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover and The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, which is why I keep on reading contemporary romance, to see out those type of books that set my heart on fire (and laughter). 

I think I've found a new favorite trope. 
The "I didn't get to truly know you/love you after we've already been together for a while" but in a funny sense, not the angsty sense. 
It was basically a love to hate to love second chance romance while they're still together the whole time, and I loved every second of it. 

Like seriously, it was HILARIOUS. Everything was hilarious. And Noamis dramatic thought process was GOLD and so relatable. *laughing just thinking about that scene with the flowers*. 

I'm telling you, even some fantasy tales pale in comparison to the battle of wills taking place in this book. And boy was it a battlefield. Literally, the book is described like a battle of hate and love, I'm not joking. 
And when Noami and Nichols finally started working together against the forces of darkness? 
*VKJFJVOFLKELDJVKFDLJ* :') 

Also, am I the only one who is kind of obsessed to know more about Zach? I guess I have a think for the crazies. 

But anyways... READ THIS BOOK. You must. 
It absorbed me so completely, made me so happy, helped me during a time of Anxiety. Sarah Hogle, thank you, I'm a fan 🧑 



(Just change it to snow instead of rain and it's like it was written for this book) 



I'm a miserable cynic (a newer development) and a dreamy romantic (always have been), and it's such a terrible combination that I don't know how to tolerate myself. 
 

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The King's Men by Nora Sakavic - Book Review


The King's Men by Nora Sakavic
Publication date: December 2, 2014
My rating: 4 stars

"Ready?" 
"Waiting on you," Andrew reminded him. 
"I didn't invite him," Browning said. 
"Trust me," Wymack said. "You'll fare a lot better if you take them both." 

It's like falling down the rabbit hole. 
Only at first you think you're totally in control because you're scaling down the wall. But then you lose your grip and you're falling, falling, falling

In the first book I was: "Ohh, this is interesting!" 
In the second book my heart was already thumping in my chest and I was all: "πŸ‘€πŸΏ" 
By the third book I was: "πŸ˜­πŸ˜πŸ˜‚πŸ₯ΊπŸ§‘" and also occasionally screaming or squealing. 

This book isn't perfect. 
Heck, I even debated whether to rate it 3 or 4 stars. But at the end of the day I decided that a book that can make adrenaline course through my veins when I'm supposed to be sleeping, deserves the 4 stars. 

I loved Literally every Andreil moment. Seeing Andrew opening up to Neil and Neil crushing on Andrew and refusing to leave him alone, getting to know him, joking with him, was everything. 

The characters that frustrated me most - aside from the mafia characters of course - were Aaron and Kevin. Honestly, I hoped to like those two by the third book, especially since it seemed like we might like Aaron after the events of the second book, but nope. 
Oh well, I still loved the rest of the characters - Dan, Matt, Allison, Nickey, Renee.  

It's going to be hard to find a couple like Andreil to read about. 


*Spoilers from now on* 


In no particular order, let me explain what I loved about this book: 

  • That moment when we saw Andrew going insane to see Neil after he's back from his kidnapping. And when he chocked Kevin, whom he promised to keep safe, to find out about Neil because at that moment all he cared about was Neil, because Neil was gone and Andrew's lost his mind 😭 
  • Their conversation when they were reunited and just couldn't physically let go of each other. 
  • Andrew refusing to let Neil go alone to the interrogation and threatening everyone who would dare take him away was just... *sob*. 
  • You can honestly feel their love through their actions. Like how Neil refused to sit with Kevin and the rest and went to sit with Andrew, talking to him for hours. Or how he again followed to sit with Andrew even when everyone sat all together for the first time. 
  • And when Neil said he doesn't swing any way and Andrew is the only one he swings to? Just... MY HEART. 
  • Or when Andrew opened Neil's protein bar without saying a word when Neil struggled to open it due to his injuries. 
  • Andrew pushing Kevin away when he was distressing Neil with his questions. 
  • Andrew helping Neil to shower, dry, dress I CAN'T 😭 
  • "Yes or no?" Because it means so much to Andrew 😭
  • LOL I just love how Andrew was threatening Kevin every time he even slightly opposed Neil, it WAS SO HEARTWARMING. 
  • Andrew choosing to let Aaron go FOR NEIL. EXCUSE ME WHILE I SCREAM. This is literally an Andrew's declaration of love I can't. 
  • Andrew letting Neil put his hand on him 😭
  • Andrew protecting Neil from Riko 😍



"It's a waste of time and money. They'll all lose. I've said all year I don't swing and I meant it. Kissing you doesn't make me look at any of them differently. The only one I'm interested in is you." 
"Don't say stupid things." 
"Make me," Neil returned. He buried his hands in Andrew's hair and tugged him in for a kiss." 

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Raven King by Nora Sakavic - (Short) Book Review


The Raven King by Nora Sakavic
Publication date: July 10, 2013
My rating: 3 stars


"Some of the strongest people I've known are women." 

This trilogy is way too addictive for my peace of mind. 

Last night it nearly made me pull an all-nighter just to finish this book, and I had to force myself to stop and go to sleep even though it was hard with the adrenaline still coursing through my veins. 

It's like I just... can't... stop... reading. 

Even though I'm aware of its flaws, like the lovely descriptive writing for certain scenes but not enough descriptive for other scenes, or hardly enough page time for Andreil, or how I feel like, due to his condition, so it's not his fault, Andrew doesn't really "care" about Neil, which makes me sad (I know, I know he does it in his own way, but it's still hard to read sometimes), yet it's still just so addictive! 

I still adore Neil, he's just so precious and I love him. 
I also love the rest of the Fox family, and I can't wait to see more of Andreil in the next book. 




He was their family. They were his. They were worth every cut and bruise and scream.


The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic - (Short) Book Review


The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic
Publication date: January 15, 2013
My rating: 3 stars

The unwavering trust Kevin had in Andrew was amazing. How Kevin thought one psychotic midget could protect him against a family as twisted as the Moriyamas, Neil didn't know.


Ohhhh, this was nice! 

I definitely knew but also didn't know what to expect going into this. 
I wanted to love it because everyone else has, but I also heard from people it's super dark and twisted. 

Good news, I liked it! And I actually love reading dark books - heck, I've read books that were just as dark, even more so, than this. I do think it's going to get even darker in the next books, though, from what I've heard. I'm definitely dreading for these characters to be hurt even more. 

I absolutely loved Neil! That precious, tortured boy who just wants to belong but can't trust anyone - with good reason - and I just wanted to hug him 😭
I'm also definitely intrigued by the rest of the crazy cast, especially Andrew. 

I'm looking forward to learning more about everyone, and for the relationship between Neil and Andrew that I heard so much about. 





What if a psychotic teenager really was enough?


Saturday, May 30, 2020

Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin Van Whye - (Cute, but...) Book Review


Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin Van Whye
Publication date: May 19, 2020
My rating: 2.5 stars
 

I never know what to do at parties. Seriously, what do I do with my hands? Do I shuffle my feet to this song?  
 

This was cute! 

Unfortunately, my reasons for not liking it have more to do with my personal tastes and not against the book itself.

If anything, I thought the message was great, I found Kai relatable (regarding some personality traits) - and I never related to a male protagonist before, so this was a big yay for me! - and I enjoyed the cuteness between him and Bryson (even though I was embarrassed with some awkward scenes haha).

However, contemporary romances tend to have that same old same old cycle of events that gets... really... tiring. Like, seriously, it's almost always literally the same chain of events only change some scenarios and names. 

I'm especially frustrated when we reach the inevitable "breakup" due to
misunderstanding/jealousy/characters wanting to "protect" the other for "their own good". 

That cycle of events tends to tire me out and it's part of the reason why I am currently pretty much aversed to most contemporary romance books (be them YA or adult). The other reason is that my favorite genre is fantasy romance, and contemporary romance is basically the opposite of that, the patterns they follow being very different from one another.

I'm still giving contemporary romance a try every now and then, but since they mostly end up disappointing me, I don't do it too often.

I would still recommend this book though, it was a fun and quick read, which I'm sure many people would love, I read it hardly without stopping because it was really easy to read, it's just that is lacked for me due to personal tastes, even though I was sure it was going to be amazing because I loved the beginning. Oh well.


*Spoilers from now on*


I honestly thought we were going to skip that breakup trope in this book, it really looked like we were and I was happy about it, but then it did happen (lol), and a character in the story even commented about it (!), by saying: “You know what trope I really hate is when the main character decides to give up on the person they love in the name of protecting them. That’s what you’re doing right now. You’re trying to protect Bryson, but you don’t realize you’re hurting him instead.” Nice touch, I admit, but if the author was aware of it, then why do it at all?

Granted, it wasn't as bad of a "breakup" scene as it usually is, it was more of a "put on hold" due to wanting to protect the other person, but I was still slightly annoyed at it.

They eventually make up, of course, but often the story ends there and we never see what, you know, happened after. In this book, the case was especially strong as it was more of an HFN than a HEA, and I probably shouldn't complain because this seems like what the author wanted from the story, to make us see how to live in the moment, BUT the romantic in me tends to disagree *sigh* what can I say, I love love. 

Another point I may add, is that some of the reviews I read here mentioned the story pretty much erasing bisexuality. I have to admit, thinking back, there's truth to that. It really did feel like, if you were going to introduce a character that was potentially bi - Bryson - you should do more than have them throwing it as a possibility in a moment of panic. Also, Kai pretty much always asked himself "Is Byrson gay?" without seeming to consider the possibility that Bryson could be bisexual...? Or Pansexual...? 


Tempo - Margaret


Lying to those closest to me is exhausting, but at any hint at my possible sexuality, I become a knight protecting his kingdom—armed and ready to defend my secret until the very end, or at least until I’m away at college.


Defy by L.J Shen - (Short) Book Review


Defy by L.J Shen
Publication date: October 18, 2016
My rating: 2 stars


Well, this wasn't horrible... but also not great. 

I actually wanted to read the first book in the series first, but then this prequel novella piqued my interest, and it was also recommended to read it first for some background information about the characters, so I decided to start with this. 

Though now I'm not so sure I really want to continue. 

What bothered me wasn't actually the insta-love insta-lust, considering we were pretty much warned about it from the get-go, but rather how a lot of the dialogue or situations felt unrealistic/disbelievable. It was really weird, and it bugged me throughout the book. 
Like some of the things the characters said or the way they acted made me raise an eyebrow and wonder "do people really say/do that in that situation?" because it didn't seem very plausible to me. 

Considering this is a novella, I usually don't judge insta-love or insta-lust or even lack of character development too much, but combined with all that and unrealistic events - heck, even the sex scenes gave off a weird feeling - and I'm just now engaging with the story. 

I also felt the epilogue was really rushed and could have used some more scenes. 

I might still try out the first book in the series, as I saw it was a lot of people's favorite one, we'll see. 




“Why the anchor?"
"Because sometimes, it's nice to feel like there's someone who can save you.”