2 stars · 3 stars · book review

book review: A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab

2.5 stars | Goodreads

I can’t believe this book was about a powerful rock. And yes this took me more than a year to finish.

First thoughts:

– This works better as a movie.
– Lila is insufferable.
– Kell is a male Ariel
– Holland and Astrid deserved better than cheesy villain dialogue.
– I don’t get the 4 London hype. I can give you 4 alternate versions of a whitelandia suburb with more creativity than this (as a resident of one, I say small town life is romanticized and boring BUT I could make it work with the same premise but a middle of nowhere suburb).

Mild spoilers below.

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2 stars · book review

book review: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

2 out of 5 stars | GR review

What the hell did I just read? Interesting concept. Lackluster everything else with a few good sprinkles of Kashmir, the best character in this whole damn ordeal.

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2 stars · 3 stars · book review

book review: And I Darken + Now I Rise by Kiersten White

I just came back from vacation in Netherlands and Iceland and I felt like updating my blog here because I have a backlog of books I never posted reviews for here.

This is a joint review of And I Darken and Now I Rise by Kiersten White, books 1 and 2 of the Conquerer’s Saga. I preface this with saying that I’m in no way a Romanian + Ottoman history buff. I’m basing this review off of what I thought about the storytelling + writing. I will also say I love Kiersten White’s writing style and I don’t know the woman, but she seems pleasant and I enjoy her twitter account. What I think of the book and her characters doesn’t reflect how I feel about her. I don’t even know why I’m prefacing a review post with this because it’s been done before. In this particular instance I’m really disappointed with the work even though I love the author’s writing style. I think it’s entertaining, but I didn’t find the story itself to be like that.

And I Darken: 2.5 out of 5 stars | GR review

Now I Rise:  2 out of 5 stars | GR mini review

And I Darken booktube review

Now I Rise booktube review

And since I’ve gotten this far in the series, of course I’m going to read Bright We Burn. I do love poegranates and the cover has got me in its clutches.

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3 stars · 4 stars · book review

book review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

3.5 out of 5 stars | Goodreads review

Well I’ll be damned. This was pretty good!

To be more specific, I had abysmally low expectations for Ash Princess. The first 30 pages or so told me this was full of all the princess YA tropes we love to hate and hate to love. And you know… I’m all for that shit. I love princesses and the ragtag rise to power formula. Rarely is it done with 1) good writing and 2) a novel and compelling way. Ash Princess at least nails the 1st part with pretty decent writing. I did have to wait until page 400 for things to get rolling, but I’ll definitely pick up the sequel, Lady Smoke.
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5 stars · book review

book review: The Poppy War by RF Kuang

4.5 out of 5 stars. Basically a 5 stars with only a minor deduction.

Guys, I’ve been excited for TPW by Rebecca Kuang for a very short time because it was on my radar breifly before it came out! But jfc when I heard about it I immediately jumped onto goodreads and marked as to-read because I swear this was like the kind of book I’ve always wanted to read/write. As a Chinese reader, I was BEYOND STOKED to be the first person to get my hands on this from my local library and right after I finished it, I bought my own copy. I’m in no way completely coherent in my review of this. There was just so much to talk about I don’t feel like my review as it is paints a picture of how good this book is.

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4 stars · book review

book review: the City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

4 out of 5 stars | Goodreads review

Well. Hot damn. This was a good read despite the fact that I first picked it up without knowing anything about it.

I will admit the politics were hard to follow and if I were not told that the back of this book had a glossary, I’d have resulted in drawing a political dynamic chart for myself to keep track of this shit. But I like figuring this stuff out and piecing things together, so I appreciate that the intrigue wasn’t spoon-fed to me. Would I have liked some more clues? Yeah, but I never felt like the random comments/info-bites about the different tribes of Daevabad and their religions were straight-up useless/a waste of space.
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2 stars · book review

book review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

2 out of 5 stars | Goodreads Review

I tried to like this book, but it wasn’t something I found myself enjoying. Perhaps the writing will improve with more books. I hope the movie adaptation is good. Maybe it’ll be the avatar movie we always wanted lol.

Initial reactions while reading:

Wow how much of the general ATLA outline are they gonna copy… so far (as of p. 173) we have the first three episodes. They go to the Orisha equivilant of the Southern Air Temple and learn about something they have to do before the solstice before it’s too late. We’re thrust into what looks like is going to be a quest for a MacGuffin/sunstone. I hope Adeyemi doesn’t rely too heavily on ATLA in future books.

Inan’s got nothing on Zuko. I do like Amari, though. I don’t like how there’s an instant attraction between Inan and Zelie. You can TELL something just snaps into place between them. Yes, the psychic bond, but also the signs of romo.

Below is my review from Goodreads (cross-posted):

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