Books

Bite Sized book Reviews #1

If you haven’t noticed, this blog has kinda been taken over by a lot of bookish content.  It’s not going to completely convert to being a book blog, but I go through phases where I want to write about one thing, and do one thing more than other things.  Right now, that’s reading, so sorry to anyone who sticks around for the anime and television reviews.  I want to work on doing a bit more opinion pieces and editorials also, just have to get some scheduling and organizing out of the way for that.

 

But I figured I’d like to get some reviews out of the way for some books that I didn’t feel like I wanted to write a full blown review for.  I honestly don’t have enough comments about these books to say more than a paragraph or two’s worth of things about them, so in enters my first edition of Bite Sized Book Reviews!

 

 

Uprooted By Naomi Novik

 

I was so excited about the premise of this book, and when I read the free preview of it on Amazon, it got me hooked enough to buy it and read it the same night.  The beginning of the book I really enjoyed, and the mystery set up about The Wood I found super fascinating and gripping.  However, as the story progressed, we stepped further and further away from this mystery and only returned to resolving it at stories end, and that left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.  The main character wasn’t very…intelligent, rather naïve, and her failure to use common sense in a lot of the sections in the middle of the book really started to get on my nerves and detracted  from the story for me.  When we got back to the actual interesting plot about The Wood, the reveals for said plot just felt really out of left field, and wasn’t the payoff I expected overall for the story.  I enjoyed aspects of this book, the beginning and the end I think make up for the slog in the middle.  But at the same time, you can just feel the potential of what the story could have been if we stuck with the story set up in the beginning, which was what is up with this haunted wood?  It didn’t make me dislike the author at all:  her writing style is gripping, and there’s only so much you can expect from a fairy tale retelling.  It just didn’t quite hit the mark I was hoping it would, but overall was enjoyable, and I do plan to check out the author’s other books because of the really captivating writing style.

 

The Tahaerin Chronicles Series By J. Ellen Ross

 

 

This is for a trilogy of books:  An Oathbreaker’s Vow, The Heretic’s War, and Fear and Bitter Thorns.  I’m not gonna lie, while I don’t classify things as “guilty pleasure reads” this would totally go into that sort of a category for me.  It’s fantasy romance at its finest, full of drama, fluffy lovey-dovey romance, straight up good vs evil conflicts, and interesting enough plots to keep you reading.  There’s a certain charm to this series that while I was rolling my eyes at how tropey and predictable it was, at the same time it was an easy to read page turner where I wanted to continue reading.  Each book is episodic in nature, and while you’ll get something more out of reading them in order, you also don’t have to to get what goes on in each story. It’s more of a trilogy because all 3 books are set in the same universe with the same characters, not because it’s a story arc carried over 3 books.

 

The characters are engaging enough, the relationships both romantic and platonic are really well done, and you root for every one of the good guys to wind up with their happy endings.  Just don’t expect this series to subvert any tropes or be some super enriching experience, because it’s nothing more than light hearted fantasy fun.  If you can predict it, it’ll happen, and the good guys always win the day no matter how tough the situations may become:  But I super enjoy reads like that, and used these books to lighten the mood after a more somber read I had previously.  As much as I shook my head at how all 3 of these panned out, I still was rooting for the characters, and was happy when things turned out right for them.  But these I feel are a highly acquired taste, so I’d suggest only reading if romance novels and soap opera style stories are your thing – which, I’m totally into so enjoyed these immensely.

 

The Queens of Innis Lear By Tessa Gratton

 

And this is the read that I love to pieces to the point where it can do no wrong and I would throw it at people to read.  A fantasy retelling of King Lear, it crafts this beautiful world, engaging characters, and the writing is just so lyrical and beautiful and heart-wrenching, that I couldn’t tell if dialogue was lifted from Shakespeare or not half the time.  It’s a beautiful tale of 3 sisters and their Father, and not letting “destiny” rule you.  Not letting peoples expectations for you define who you are, making sure your self and identity are sound enough in your mind so you can live a life satisfactory to how you want to live it.  It’s just so perfect, I felt for every character in this book and honestly, I want this to be the new cannon version of King Lear.  A great standalone fantasy I’d highly recommend reading for one of those life altering sort of experiences, just can’t sing the praises about this book enough.

 

And that’s my first round of bite sized reviews!  If you have read any of these books, or decide to, let me know how you feel about them in the comments!

 

Books

Getting Into Goodreads

At the end of last year, I found out that Kindle on PC was accessible.  Now me being an avid reader, I dove into reading a lot more than I used to.  I gotta say, I’m so happy that I did, because there’s a part of me that really missed reading and I’m just so excited to be able to read as much as I used to as a kid.

 

I watch a fair amount of Booktubers, and always hear them talking about using Goodreads.  I figured since I got back into reading, I’d go join and give it a shot.  I didn’t realize how much fun I’d have with it, and it’s honestly helped me stay on track with reading, find books I wouldn’t normally find, and just really enjoy getting engaged in reading in a way that wasn’t possible before.  I’m usually not one for apps if I’m being honest, but there’s just something about the features that I like to use on Goodreads that makes me really enjoy Goodreads as a whole, and I wanted to share that with you.  Keep in mind, I don’t use nearly close to all of the features on Goodreads.  I think that’s a good thing about the site though:  You can choose what you like to use, and not feel like you have to use every aspect of the site to enjoy what you do enjoy using on Goodreads, if that makes sense.  I notice a lot of apps try and upsell you to use EVERYTHING on its platform and that always has annoyed me, so it’s just nice to use what I want to use, leave the site, and call it a day until I’m ready to hop back on and do it all over again.

 

The main features I use on Goodreads are the progress updates on what you’re currently reading, hunting down book recommendations, using the shelves, and writing reviews and rating books.  My favorite feature out of all of these is the update progress feature.  All you have to do is mark you’re currently reading a book, and you get to update your progress in page numbers or percentages.  You have the option to leave little notes about how you feel about the book you’re reading too, and this is my favorite part of this feature.  When you’re done, you can go back and read what you thought and it’s just a lot of fun to me to see if my thoughts about the book have changed, if by books end I liked it a little or a lot, and it helps me with reviews, as I can see my general thoughts of the book overall and use that for my rating and reviewing of the book.  I also like that when you mark the book finished it counts towards your reading count for the year instantly, and towards the reading challenge you set for yourself for the year.  It’s just a really convenient way to track your reading, and it’s my favorite part of the site.

 

I really like how after you’ve rated a certain amount of books, Goodreads recommends very on the nose books to you after a certain point.  Sometimes it isn’t what I’d personally want to read, but I get why it recommended the book to me in the first place because it would be  something someone who liked the genre I read the most would like.  Reviewing and rating is fun and easy too, and it helps me stay engaged in reading consistently.  Seeing my progress just makes me feel accomplished as weird as that sounds, and just reading without Goodreads to track this sort of stuff in the past has made me fall off the wagon.  The reading challenge really helps with that too, and I’ve set it up so I can hopefully read 30 books by the end of the year, like I wanted to do a few years ago.

 

All in all, Goodreads has been a really enjoyable experience for me.  It’s helped me find books to read, given me enjoyment in tracking my reading progress, and it motivates me to read a bit more than I would be without it.  It’s highly accessible for the parts of it I use, and there’s so much of it that I haven’t touched on here simply because I don’t use those aspects of the site.  Will I use things like lists, communities, and friends more in the future?  Maybe, but as of now I honestly really enjoy Goodreads just being for me, and I think that’s something that gets lost on people sometimes.  I use Goodreads more as an enjoyable efficiency  tool, and have enjoyed every moment of doing so.  I’m not ready to make that change, so as of now it’s just going to stay as a book tracker and recommender for me.  So

happy I decided to use the site though, really like it!

 

What aspects of Goodreads do you like to use?  Let me know in the comments below!