CROOKED KINGDOM (SIX OF CROWS #2)

crooked kingdom

Written by: Leigh Bardugo
Book #2 / 2 of the Six of Crows duo logy
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars

Summary: Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Continue reading “CROOKED KINGDOM (SIX OF CROWS #2)”

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SIX OF CROWS (SIX OF CROWS #1)

six-of-crows

Written by: Leigh Bardugo
Book # 1 / 2 (so far) of the Six of Crows series
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars

Summary: Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist: break into the notorious Ice Court – a military stronghold that has never been breached; retrieve a hostage – who could unleash magical havoc on the world); survive long enough to collect his reward- and spend it. Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Continue reading “SIX OF CROWS (SIX OF CROWS #1)”

WWW Wednesday // 3.8.17

www-wednesday-title-card

Hey, y’all! Sorry I’ve been a little sparse with the book reviews lately, but life happens, and reading is (unfortunately) not always my #1 priority. To alleviate my time between reviews, I decided I’m going to jump on the meme train! WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @Taking On A World Of Words, where I have to answer three simple questions: what am I currently reading, what I have recently read, and what I want to read soon. I did this for the first time last week and really enjoy this meme, as I am always reading multiple books at once and queueing my next choices right on my nightstand. So, here we go!

What am I currently reading?

crooked kingdom   outlander   sabriel

  • Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo: I loved the first installment in this series, as I did Bardugo’s previous Grisha Trilogy series. Pretty much right after I set down Six of Crows, I vehemently searched to see which library was the closest to me and had a copy of the book available. The one right by my house had it, which I believe to be pure destiny. I am excited to see how Kaz’s Dreg crew figures out how to save their missing member and their money at the same time.
  • Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon: Good historical fiction is the bane of my existence – and by bane, I mean its biggest blessing. I’ve had multiple people recommend this book to me, although I am definitely beginning to see the beginning of what others don’t like about it: mentions into domestic abuse. So, definitely be warned if that triggers you; I am willing to keep reading the book to see if that improves, and because Gabaldon is an incredibly talented writer who transports the reader with Claire to the Scottish Highlands.
  • Sabriel (Abhorsen #1) by Garth Nix: This is another YA fantasy novel series that I’ve had people recommending to me left and right, and I’ve just never had enough drive to pick it up. My understanding is that it is about a girl descended from a powerful sorcerer who can help prevent ghosts from haunting this world, but who struggles with her powers especially as her father and mentor disappear. I’m only about three chapters in and I’m already kind of lost, as it seems to be a complex new world and I’ve received little to no explanation of what’s going on. I hope this improves throughout the story.

What did I recently finish reading?

the rose society   when the night comes   cress

  • The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2) by Marie Lu: Okay, so disclaimer – I don’t like Adelina, nor have I ever, and I think that really hurts the rating of this book since most of the book was just following her around and being angsty bordering on psychotic. I really learned to love the Daggers in the first book, and they’re basically never mentioned in this book; even the new characters in this novel are rarely mentioned, with the story focusing on Adelina almost the entire time. The plot seemed to take longer than it needed to, while the battle at the end seemed too rushed and easy. All of the humor and joy and strength that I liked about the first book is completely lost in the unnecessary darkness of the second. Considering how much I loved its predecessor, I was extremely let down by this book. Rating: 3 / 5 stars, review coming soon.
  • When the Night Comes by Favel Parrett: This is another book that I had to read and evaluate for potential use in the University of Florida’s 2017 Common Reading Program for first year students and faculty. When I finished reading this book and met with the rest of the group, I automatically said no, absolutely not. Although Parrett’s style of writing is interesting, as it sometimes almost comes across as poetry, I’m still not really sure what this book is supposed to be about. The back makes me believe that the main character, Isla, is going to suffer some loss or face some turning point in her life… but I don’t think that ever really happens? I honestly am still confused. Rating: 1.5/5 stars, review coming soon.
  • Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer: This is still one of my favorite series to date, because it is a truly unique idea. Although retelling fairytales isn’t anything new, the world that Meyer creates by the addition of the Lunar aliens and the combination of the different fairytales is incredibly interesting. Additionally, Meyer’s stories are fast-paced and entertaining on every page; there is humor and heartbreak, battle scenes and lengthy dialogues, and always the question of who is actually on the right side of things. Cress is a continuation of this and I love Cress as a character; I think she might actually be my favorite character out of the three heroines we’ve met so far, but we’ll have to see where Winter takes all of them next. Rating: 4/5 stars, review coming soon.

What do I think I’ll read next?

book of life   passenger   the man in the high castle

  • The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness: This is a series that although it started off a little rough and I definitely still have some large transgressions with it, I’ve grown to love it in a very begrudging manner. This is the finale to a series in which a powerful witch named Diana works alongside vampires (including her husband), demons, and humans alike to determine the origin of the supernatural beings and find out why they seem to be decreasing in number. I’m butchering the explanation of this, but the plot line is only part of this book; Harkness is an incredible writer and is immensely intelligent, so her books are a bit of a more challenging but entertaining read than most.
  • Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken: This is one of those books I’ve been seeing all over the Internet in the last year or so, and I decided to give it a try. Also, it sounds incredibly sic-fi, which is my kind of thing. After tragedy strikes, Etta finds herself transported from the world she knows into a different one, forced across time and space to find a long-lost object at the behest of a family she’s never known. This sounds so incredibly interesting and promising, and I am very excited to start this book and check it out.
  • The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick: This book has been at the tippy-top of my reading list ever since Amazon started a TV series based off of it more than a year ago, but it has continuously been pushed back down by other books. I’ve been in a historical fiction kick, especially alternative history fiction, recently, so this seemed perfect to finally pick it up.  I’m incredibly excited as my minor in school is in history and World War II specifically, so to see the aftermath of a world in which the Axis Powers won instead of the Allies is interesting indeed.

WWW Wednesday: 3.1.17

www-wednesday-title-card

Hey, y’all! Sorry I’ve been a little sparse with the book reviews lately, but life happens, and reading is (unfortunately) not always my #1 priority. To alleviate my time between reviews, I decided I’m going to jump on the meme train! WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @Taking On A World Of Words, where I have to answer three simple questions: what am I currently reading, what I have recently read, and what I want to read soon. I did this for the first time last week and really enjoy this meme, as I am always reading multiple books at once and queueing my next choices right on my nightstand. So, here we go!

What am I currently reading?

kings-cage   jane-eyre   american-gods

  • King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard: The next installment of Mare Barrow’s adventure is finally here! This YA series takes place in a country called Norta, where people with “silver blood” and powers rule over those with red blood, who are believed to have no powers. Mare is a Red herself, but she has the powers of a Silver that wind her up in a lot of trouble that I will not go into too much detail about in fear of spoilers. I’ve reviewed the two previous novels in the series (Red Queen (#1) and Glass Sword (#2)), and although the second book was kind of a letdown from the first (which I loved), I’m hoping that Aveyard picks up the pace again in this third book.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: So, sadly, my love for classic literature started a little late in my life, and now I’m playing catch up. While many people read this book back in high school for one class or another, I was reading war novel after war novel after war novel mixed with a little Shakespeare, and although I’m not complaining, I wish we had delved a little more into the classics. I was re-reading The Princess Diaries a few weeks back and fifteen-year-old Mia goes off about how much she loved Jane Eyre, so I figured that was as good a place to start as any. I’m only 100 pages in, but I’m here for the long haul.
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman: If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – I will spend so much money on books with modern day retellings of mythological stories, and American Gods was promised to me as kind of/sort of that. My AP Literature teacher from high school who I still keep in contact with all but threw this book at me, saying I would love it and even buying a copy for me for high school graduation that I totally forgot I even had until I bothered to move my bookshelf over winter break. Despite my slowness in getting to it (and forgetting about it), I am very excited to read it! Also, they’re making it into a TV show which looks fantastic, so of course I have to read the book first.

What did I recently finish reading?

big-little-lies   bend-not-break   six-of-crows

  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: Well, color me surprised. This was a book that I had written off as a hyped-up novel due to suburban mom book clubs, but I finally picked it up once they made it into a HBO show with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard, and Adam Scott. Although 9 times out of 10 I despise the movie/show that arises from a book, nothing gets me to read the book faster than announcing there’s going to be some sort of adaptation of it. But Big Little Lies was more than I had expected it to be. Although not overwhelmingly creative or well written, it was an easy read that took me no time at all considering it’s 450 pages, and she kept me invested and guessing all the way throughout and up until the end – and that is a feat. 4/5 stars, full review coming soon.
  • Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds by Ping Fu: I received this autobiography to judge for the University of Florida’s Common Reading Program 2017. I’ve been trying to read more non-fiction books recently, and thought that this would be a good choice; however, I was immensely disappointed when I rolled onto Goodreads and saw that Ping Fu, the author of the book, had largely fabricated her own story, exaggerating and lying about different aspects of her story. Even if what she had said was true, Fu tended to sound like she was bragging about rather than sharing her story, even adopting a condescending tone when trying to discuss the advanced world of 3D printing technology to the reader. 1/5 stars, review not even worth it; was red listed for CRP choice.
  • Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo: I have loved Leigh Bardugo ever since I picked up her Grisha trilogy almost three years ago now. The world that she has created – with the Shu, Ravkans, Kerch, Fjerdans, and more – is a twist on a trope in which a select portion of the population has powers, but she does it so beautifully that it doesn’t even seem cliche. I was nervous about her adding to the same world, as Six of Crows runs parallel rather than perpendicular to the original Grisha trilogy – but that was for nothing. Six of Crows was like Ocean’s Twelve taking place in the world of the Grisha – and I loved every second of it. Additionally, there is no love triangle in this book either (*sounds of angels singing from heaven*), but it does suffer from what I call “convenient love” – where there are six of them, and all of them are nearly paired up by the end of the novel. All in all, it really was an incredible book and only received a 4.5 / 5  because I couldn’t quite get into it at the start. 4.5 / 5 stars, review coming soon.

What do I think I’ll read next?

the-shift   heir-of-fire   born-a-crime

  • The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’s Lives by Theresa Brown: So, obviously this one is for school (#StudentNurseLife), but I am interested to see what stories she feels so inclined to share during this book. Theresa Brown is an RN (Registered Nurse) who after becoming a mother, left the world of English academia behind to become a nurse. She’s written two books about her time as a critical care/palliative/oncology nurse, and this is her second book. We’re required to read it for class to understand how much can happen in one shift, and how even the most mundane things can greatly affect our patients’ lives. I’m actually weirdly excited to start it.
  • Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas: It’s not that I’m having a hard time getting through the Throne of Glass series or anything, but I just can’t seem to quite get super invested in it. I think that the premise of the story is creative and enticing, but Maas’ execution in telling it doesn’t quite seem to match. I think she took a dip in the second book with her quality of writing as well, so I’m really hoping she gets herself out of the rut in the third installment of the series.
  • Born a Crime by Trevor Noah: I LOVE Trevor Noah. He’s basically one of my favorite human beings of the moment, and the only good thing that has come out of Trump getting elected besides hilarious SNL skits is my continuing love, respect, and admiration for Trevor Noah. I had the opportunity to see him come do a show and talk at my university last year, and it’s still one of my favorite college memories. I was a little wary of him replacing Jon Stewart, who I almost three years ago now and who was genuinely so funny and brilliant right off the bat, but Noah himself is the same way and more. This autobiography is about how he was born, half-white and half-black in apartheid South Africa, which, as the title would suggest, is a crime. I am super excited to finish reading it to allow for my respect for him to only continue to grow.

WWW Wednesday // 2.1.17

www-wednesday-title-card

Hey, y’all! Sorry I’ve been a little sparse with the book reviews lately, but life happens and unfortunately, reading is not always my #1 priority. To alleviate my time between reviews, I decided I’m going to jump on the meme train! This will be my first one, and I am very excited. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @Taking On A World Of Words, where I have to answer three simple questions: what am I currently reading, what I have recently read, and what I want to read soon. Sounds like my perfect kind of list!

What am I currently reading?

hidden-america   clockwork-princess   the-lost-world

So, I’m that person that some bibliophiles cringe when they think about, who keeps three books open at a time and piled on top of each other to boot. My interests are always changing, so my book choices do as well.

  • First off, I’ve got my nonfiction choice of the week: Hidden America by Jeanne Marie Laskas. Each chapter of the book follows some misunderstood or underrated occupation, ranging from coal miners to air traffic controllers to Bengals cheerleaders. It’s an incredible commentary on how there are so many things that we take for granted, and that someone, somewhere, is tasked with doing. I’m only about halfway through, but I already think it’s going to be a four or five star review.
  • Secondly, I’ve got my YA choice: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare. I love the Shadowhunter world, but unfortunately, I kind of read them all out of order. This is the last of the books I have to read to finish up all of the separate series, so I am very excited to see how it ends (although the Mortal Instruments kind of already ruined it for me).
  • Last but not least for my current reads, my sci-fi choice: The Lost World (Jurassic Park #2) by Michael Crichton. I’m about 75% through with this book and am finding that it suffers from the same issues the second Jurassic Park movie did. I struggle to connect with any character, wondering why they are stupid enough to go back to the island and go through everything all over again. Crichton has obviously spend a good amount of time researching everything for his story, but I often feel like he tries too hard to use the dialogue to explain the deep science of the story. Either way, I’m interested to see where this story goes, because I still think Jurassic Park is an incredibly unique idea.

What did I recently finish reading?

homegoing    hard-eight    the-casual-vacancy

  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. I’ll likely be posting a review of this within the next week, but I gave it four stars. It’s an amazingly beautiful story of two different lines of the same family, rooted in Africa, after one sister gets sold into slavery and the other marries outside of her village in the early 1800s. Each chapter is told my a new member of the family in the next generation, expressing the differences between the two cultures and the different eras, and finally connecting beautifully in the end.
  • Hard Eight (Stephanie Plum #8) by Janet Evanovich. I love this series. This series follows a hot mess of a bounty hunter named Stephanie Plum who lives in New Jersey and constantly gets herself into all sorts of trouble, having her cars blown up, getting stuck between her two lovers, and refusing to have a gun with her even though she’s constantly getting shot at. The books are all incredibly easy to read, and one of my guilty pleasures.
  • The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. I’m planning on posting a review of this within the next week as well, and it’s about a 3.5 / 5. It took me an incredibly long time to get through this book, but once I picked it up again about two weeks ago, I rushed through the last 200 pages or so. Rowling, unsurprisingly, is an incredible writer, but this is even further accented by the fact that she made me even be interested in local British politics, of which I have no previous knowledge. If you wanted to ever try it out, I’d definitely recommend it.

What do I think I’ll read next?

faithful-place    six-of-crows    callings

  • Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad #3) by Tana French. This has become one of my favorite series, as it is a complex and well thought-out crime set of books, and French, at the helm of it, has become one of my favorite writers. Each book follows a minor character from the book before it, which is such an interesting idea. I can’t wait to read about Frank, who I wanted to learn so much more about in its predecessor, The Likeness.
  • Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo. I loved her Grisha Trilogy series, and was immensely excited when I heard she had another series, and in the same universe to boot! I’ve also read a lot of good reviews of this book, so I’m eager to start it.
  • Callings by Dave Isay. I’m on a selection committee for my university to choose book for incoming first years next year, and this is one of my assignments. I love StoryCorps videos, and am looking forward to reading this book, with excerpts from all the best interviews about people discussing what they do and why they love it.