Books

Bite-Sized Book Reviews #2

Time for another round of Bite-Sized book reviews, this time for a few series I’ve read recently.  I have full reviews for the individual books on my Goodreads page, so if you’d like to see more detail for them, head on over there.  This is basically my excuse to gush about these series’, because I really enjoyed all of them and waiting for the installments in them reminds me why I don’t like to read books unless the series is finished, because waiting for all of these is going to drive me nuts!

 

The Forgotten Kingdoms Series by Lichelle Slater

 

This is a fairy tale retelling series that at first, feels rather bland.  I didn’t find The Dragon Princess to be particularly attention grabbing, but I finished it because I’m all about The Little Mermaid (my favorite fairy tale) and The Siren Princess was next in the series.  It was worth getting through book 1, because book 2 was really action packed, the Princess who was the main character was a lot more fun, her romantic interest was waaaay better, and all in all the polish of book 2 and book 3 made me super hyped for books 4 and 5.  There’s a consistent character throughout all of the series that I really enjoy his character arc, and he was the reason why I continued the series in the first place.  I think this series overall does a really good job of keeping the stories self-contained, while still furthering the over-arching plot of the series.  The Beast Princess was amazing start to finish, and hands down my favorite one in the series.  I find narratively, this is one of the better fairy tale retellings, and while it pays homage to the fairy tales they are inspired by, it doesn’t focus solely on fairy tale tropes like other retellings I’ve read.  The cast is well fleshed out, plot and world are great, and overall this series is an enjoyable fantasy romp that I can’t wait to read to its conclusion.

 

Fairy Tale Adventures by A.G. Marshal

 

Do you notice a trend here? I majorly got into reading fairy tale retellings in the early months of the year.  Fairy Tale Adventures however takes a very mature angle with the fairy tale retelling genre, and deals with heavy topics like not feeling like you’re good enough for your family, finding your own self-worth, and overcoming obstacles.  The romances in the series are really well rounded, and none of the couples feel like they are out of place.  I read Princess of Mermaids first in the series, and in this series it actually does affect your knowledge of the rest of the narrative because A.G. Marshal does have plot points from previous books interlink.  It wasn’t a huge hindrance, I just went back and read the first two books in the series, but it did make way more sense after doing so.

 

I think Princess of Shadows is the weakest book in the series.  I liked Leena fine, but her love interest I really didn’t care for and while it said it was a Princess and the Pea retelling, it really wasn’t.  It was an interesting story, don’t get me wrong, but fairy tale retelling as far as I know the story The Princess and the Pea was a stretch.  A better job was done for both Princess of Secrets and Princess of Mermaids, so I feel like Princess of Shadows just was a case of rocky book 1 writing.  But, if you want an awesome series, with powerful Princess that live up to having both feminine and masculine traits well balanced, pick up this book series.

 

The Elvan Alliance Series by Tara Grayce

 

I saved the best for last, as I adore this series!  The premise is a human marries an elf so an alliance between the two peoples is formed, but the books are so much more than that.  Essie and Farrendal’s relationship is just so sweet, and the themes of working towards growing your relationship, choosing your partner, making the best of a situation, and creating a family bigger than yourself out of two is just so wonderful.  I just finished book 2, and the cliffhanger at the end is so ugh!  I can’t wait to read book 3, I really need to revisit this world and see how it ends for the characters!
The world building is really interesting in the series too.  Sort of a steampunky industrial evolution vibe, but also with magic interwoven into the Elvan world masterfully.  I can picture all of the landscapes and structures described in the book, and while romance is definitely the focal point of the series, the politics and court intrigue aren’t just shrugged off for lovey-dovey bits.  There’s tons of lovey-dovey bits, don’t get me wrong, but both politics and romance take center stage when they need to.  It’s just overall a really enjoyable series, I can’t wait until September when the third book comes out!

 

And that does it for Bite-Sized Book reviews #2.  If you decide to read any of these series’, let me know!  I’d love to be able to talk about these with other people!

 

Once again, for more detailed reviews of these books, head on over to my Goodreads Page.  Thanks for reading this post, and happy reading any books you’re reading right now!

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!

Books

My TBR List for June and a Very Mini Review of Blame

I was going to write up this intense review of this anime movie I watched a few days ago, but honestly I don’t really have much to say about it.  It was called Blame, it was fantastic, if you like a character piece with a really slow burn that still is interesting, go see it.  I don’t have anything constructive to say about it, because I just loved it so much.  So, if you’re looking for a good anime movie that’s sci-fi cyberpunk, check it out!  I heard it was a really long running manga, and I hope this means we get some OVAs of it because the ending was so open ended but I want more so bad.  Such an amazing movie!

 

With that out of the way, on to my TBR list!  I’ve gotten a pile up of books that I really need to read, so much so that I’ve canceled my Audible subscription until I finish them up, because I don’t just want a ton of Audible credits piling up while I have books waiting in the wings I need to read (that may work for some people, but for me it drives me nuts and puts pressure on me to read super quickly or spend all of my credits and ayaaah the pressure!).  I’ve picked a lot up from sales, some were on my wishlist, some just books that sounded interesting so I picked them up.

 

  • Theft of Swords by Michael J Sullivan:  Picked this up on a Audible 2 for 1 sale.  The summary sounded ok enough, but when I listened to the book preview the writing and characters sold me.  The world building and characters are great, but my main issue with it is the issue  have with epic fantasy:  it moves so slowly!  I’m up to chapter 6 in this book, and am hoping I can finish it before the month is up.  I’m enjoying it so far, just wish it were a bit faster.
  • On the Edge by Illona Andrews: One I picked up on a sale a long time ago, just haven’t gotten to it yet.  Want to get to it this month!
  • Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margret Weis and Tracey Hickman: The 2nd book I got on the 2 for 1 sale.  I’ve only read a little bit of the prologue and sounds interesting enough, but I hope it doesn’t fall into the slow epic fantasy pacing that I don’t like.
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber: I’ve been wanting to read this one since it came out, and when I was needing to use my last credit before cancelling I looked at my wish list, saw it and went “Oh yeah, I need to read this!” so picked it up.  Can’t wait to start it!

 

That’s everything I got, I’m hoping I can get through these books in the month!  What’s on your TBR list?

Books

30 Book Challenge

I made this challenge up for myself because I’ve been wanting to read more.  To keep track of what I read, I wanted to make this list so I have somewhere I can catalog what I’ve read, and any reviews I’ve written for what I’ve read.  A few stipulations for this challenge, as follows:

  • The book has to be started in 2017.
  • The book has to be something I haven’t read before, not a book I’m re-reading.
  • No fan fiction allowed! Any book that counts for this challenge has to be a published novel, of any genre, and of any length.
  • Write a review or overview/impressions post of the book after I’ve finished reading it.
  • Books I plan to read will also be on this list. If I wind up not reading a book I have listed to read in a month, knock it off the list and pick another.
  • Books in multi-book series count (I may be cheating a little here, but whatever it’s a book I’ve read)

Books I’ve Read

 

  1. Winter [The Lunar Chronicles, Book 4] by Marissa Meyer
  2. Stars Above [A Lunar Chronicles Short Story Anthology] by Marissa Meyer

3. The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

4.  Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron

5.  One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron

6.  Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Books I Plan to Read

 

  • Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
  • Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas
  • No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished by Rachel Aaron
  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • On the Edge by Illona Andrews