The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Author: Mark Haddon
Published: July 31, 2003
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery

Goodreads Synopsis: Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.

Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher’s mind.

My Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

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What a terrible way to start off the New Year. I’m not 100% over my slump, but I do have a tiny desire to read. I thought this was going to be some cute mystery, and boy was I disappointed.

The first half of the book was interesting-ish, even though it kept reminding me of The Catcher in the Rye (which I hate more than anything).  The  mystery was solved halfway through in such a lame way. After that, things got boring and I started to lose interest. I didn’t much care for the plot of the second half of the book, or why Christopher went to London by himself.

The author really needed to research autism some more, if he even did any research at all.

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The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

Title: The Bane Chronicles
Authors: 
Cassandra Clare (and others)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, LGBT+

Synopsis: Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material. 

My Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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This is an anthology of 11 novellas. I’ll put the author who co-wrote with Cassandra Clare next to each title.

I never really liked Magnus, he’s probably my least favorite character. This anthology actually made me dislike him even more. I’m not at all upset with what Cassandra Clare has going on with him in The Dark Artifices.

I’m sorry if the formatting on here is weird, it doesn’t want to cooperate with me. 😦

1) What Really Happened in Peru (Sarah Rees Brennan)

There are good reasons Peru is off-limits to Magnus Bane. Follow Magnus’s Peruvian escapades as he drags his fellow warlocks Ragnor Fell and Catarina Loss into trouble, learns several instruments (which he plays shockingly), dances (which he does shockingly), and disgraces his host nation by doing something unspeakable to the Nazca Lines.

Boooooring. If you’re wondering why Magnus was banned from Peru, this novella won’t answer your question. Nor does it contribute to the main storyline. We already know Magnus is an annoying, sex crazed, self-pitying fool. Also don’t forget he’s bisexual. That’s mentioned in every novella multiple times. *rolls eyes*

My Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

2) The Runaway Queen (Maureen Johnson)

While in France, immortal warlock Magnus Bane finds himself attempting to rescue the royal family from the horrors of the French Revolution—after being roped into this mess by a most attractive count. Naturally, the daring escape calls for invisible air balloons…

This wasn’t as bad as the first novella, but it was still boring and didn’t contribute to the main storyline. Magnus is really annoying in all the novellas he meets a dark haired blue eyed boy, or anyone attractive.

I really want to know where Magnus got the monkey from.

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

3) Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale (Sarah Rees Brennan)

When immortal warlock Magnus Bane attends preliminary peace talks between the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders in Victorian London, he is charmed by two very different people: the vampire Camille Belcourt and the young Shadowhunter, Edmund Herondale. Will winning hearts mean choosing sides?

We get it Magnus, you like fashion, attractive people (especially men with blue eyes and dark hair), and sex. *yawn*

Can Cassandra Clare write a male character who isn’t Jace/Will all over again?

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

4) The Midnight Heir (Sarah Rees Brennan)

Magnus thought he would never return to London, but he is lured by a handsome offer from Tatiana Blackthorn, whose plans—involving her beautiful young ward—are far more sinister than Magnus even suspects. In London at the turn of the century, Magnus finds old friends, and meets a very surprising young man . . . the sixteen-year-old James Herondale.

Jem, Will, and Tessa were in this and they were the only good parts. I don’t even remember what happened in this now.

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

5) The Rise of the Hotel Dumort (Maureen Johnson)

In 1920s Manhattan, Magnus Bane hobnobs with the elite at a glamorous Jazz Age hotspot.

The immortal Magnus Bane is making the most of his time in the Roaring Twenties: He’s settled into New York society and is thriving among the fashionable jazz set. And there is nowhere better to see and be seen than the glamorous Hotel Dumort, a glittering new addition to the Manhattan landscape. But a different type of glamour may be at play…

Like with “What Really Happened in Peru”, you don’t really learn about the rise of the Hotel Durmort seen in The Mortal Instruments.

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

6) Saving Raphael Santiago (Sarah Rees Brennan)

A Manhattan teen—Raphael Santiago—is missing, and Magnus Bane must track him down before it’s too late.

In 1950s New York City, a distraught mother hires Magnus Bane to find her missing son, Raphael. But even if he can be found, is Raphael beyond saving?

FINALLY! A novella that contributes to the main storyline. We learn about how Raphael became a vampire. This was actually good… Probably because Magnus wasn’t thinking with his little head for once.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

7) The Fall of the Hotel Dumort (Sarah Rees Brennan)

Magnus Bane watches the once-glamorous Hotel Dumort become something else altogether in 1970s New York City.

Fifty years after the Jazz Age rise of the Hotel Dumort, immortal warlock Magnus Bane knows the Manhattan landmark is on the decline. The once-beautiful Hotel Dumort has fallen into a decayed thing, a ruin, as dead as a place can be. But the vampires don’t mind…

I’ve never really cared about Camille, or the Camille/Magnus relationship, but this was an okay novella that sort of contributed to the main storyline.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

8) What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (Sarah Rees Brennan)

Magnus Bane may or may not be dating Alec Lightwood, but he definitely needs to find him the perfect birthday present.

Set in the time between City of Ashes and City of Glass, warlock Magnus Bane is determined to find the best birthday present possible for Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter he may or may not be dating. And he’s also got to deal with the demon he’s conjured up for a very irritating client… 

The tenticle demon was the only good part. I really feel like Magnus just likes Alec because he has dark hair and blue eyes.

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

9) The Last Stand of the New York Institute (Sarah Rees Brennan)

Magnus meets Valentine in battle as the Circle attacks the Downworlders of New York City.

In the time of the Uprising, Valentine’s Circle goes after Downworlders in New York…and the Shadowhunters of the Institute must decide whether to join him, or fight with Magnus and his kind. This is the first time Magnus sees Jocelyn, Luke, and Stephen—but not the last. It is not long before Jocelyn seeks him out…

This was the best novella out of the entire book, and it contributes to the main storyline. Magnus meets the Circle (Valentine and his crew) and it’s heartbreaking. If you’re going to read any of these novellas, read the one about Raphael and this one!

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

10) The Course of True Love [and First Dates] 

Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood might fall in love—but first they have a first date.

When Magnus Bane, warlock, meets Alec Lightwood, Shadowhunter, sparks fly. And what happens on their first date lights a flame…

Alec and Magnus went on their first date. It was super cringy, and then a warewolf emergency happened… Booooring.

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

11) The Voicemail of Magnus Bane (Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson)

The voicemail of Magnus Bane, High Warlock of Brooklyn, in the days following a certain incident in City of Lost Souls.

This was nothing but Isabella calling and being crazy.

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Physical TBR

Hello everyone! I’m sorry I’m not posting much anymore. I’ve been in a massive slump, and I’m just waiting it out, since nothing I try to read helps. 😦

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I moved all my unread books over to a shelf I got at a garage sale. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, but I know they’ll be read eventually. *cries*

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
Series:
Alcatraz #1
Author:
Brandon Sanderson
Genres:
Middle Grade Fantasy
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Synopsis: On his thirteenth birthday, foster child Alcatraz Smedry gets a bag of sand in the mail-his only inheritance from his father and mother. He soon learns that this is no ordinary bag of sand. It is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians who are taking over the world by spreading misinformation and suppressing truth. Alcatraz must stop them, using the only weapon he has: an incredible talent for breaking things.

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Brandon Sanderson is popular and well-loved in the book community, so it’s kind of intimidating reading and reviewing his books. This is only my second book by him, I  read Mistborn: The Final Empire last year. Sanderson is very creative, and his magic systems are unique, albeit weird at times.

I heard this series was a mashup of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and A Series of Unfortunate Events. I can’t say how accurate that is when it comes to ASOUE (I haven’t read that series yet), but I have read Harry Potter and Percy Jackson (both 5/5 star series). There are some parallels to HP and this book, and Sanderson’s sense of humor is similar to Rick Riordan’s before it got cringy.

Alcatraz has a Talent for breaking things. After breaking the stove and setting his foster parent’s house on fire, his case worker Ms. Fletcher comes to talk to him. That same day, Alcatraz received a mysterious package for his birthday containing a bag of sand and a scribbled note, a man broke into his house trying to kill him, and a wacky older man saying he’s his grandpa saves him.

Alcatraz discovers the sand is missing, and that the Librarians have it. He learns from his grandpa that he’s been living in the Hushlands, a territory controlled by Librarians, and that there are three other secret continents in the Atlantic and Pacific ocean full of people with special Talents called the Freeworld. Grandpa Smedry’s Talent is that he’s always late.

You’re probably wondering why breaking things and being late are considered Talents. Alcatraz hasn’t honed in on controlling his Talent, but things break to save his life, and when someone shoots at or tries to hurt his grandpa, he doesn’t get injured. Some other characters have talents like tripping and talking gibberish.

The Freeworld has “advanced” technology like swords and stairs, while the Hushlanders have guns and elevators. The librarians also lie about dinosaurs being extinct. The entire story is purposefully ridiculous, and honestly really stupid at times. Sanderson’s sense of humor is definitely an acquired taste. 

I liked Alcatraz’s narration style, and I liked the first third and the last third of the book. The middle section where they were running through the library kind of bored me. I lost interest in reading this book for over a week because I was so bored.

My biggest problem with the book is that I didn’t like Bastille, I thought she was really hateful and needed to cut Alcatraz some slack. I have an itching feeling she’s going to be Alcatraz’s love interest later on.

Although I rated this three out of five stars, the ending intrigued me enough that I want to continue to the second book.

The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2) By Rick Riordan

Title: The Dark Prophecy  
Series: The Trials of Apollo #2
Author: Rick Riordan
Published: May 2, 2017
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Mythology, LGBT+
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Goodreads Synopsis: The god Apollo, cast down to earth and trapped in the form of a gawky teenage boy as punishment, must set off on the second of his harrowing (and hilarious) trials. He and his companions seek the ancient oracles – restoring them is the only way for Apollo to reclaim his place on Mount Olympus – but this is easier said than done. Somewhere in the American Midwest is a haunted cave that may hold answers for Apollo in his quest to become a god again…if it doesn’t kill him or drive him insane first.

Standing in Apollo’s way is the second member of the evil Triumvirate – a Roman emperor whose love of bloodshed and spectacle makes even Nero look tame. To survive the encounter, Apollo will need the help of a now-mortal goddess, a bronze dragon, and some familiar demigod faces from Camp Half-Blood. With them by his side, can Apollo face down the greatest challenge of his 4,000 years of existence?

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It took me months to read this book, and I’m deeply saddened.

I love Rick Riordan’s writing and imagination. He has been one of my favorite authors since I first read The Lightning Thief in 2009. Sadly, Riordan’s quality started going downhill after The Blood of Olympus, the fifth and final book in The Heroes of Olympus series.

My feelings towards The Dark Prophecy aren’t because I’m recovering from a major slump, because I HATED the Magnus Chase and Gods of Asgard books and I wasn’t in a slump when I read those, and I wasn’t in a slump when I read The Blood of Olympus either.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just my tastes changing as I get older? Maybe it’s the fact Riordan keeps using the same formula and character personalities over and over again, resulting in me feeling burned out? Maybe it’s his stale unfunny jokes? Sometimes he’s like the weird uncle trying too hard to be hip and cool with all the pop culture references thrown around for no reason. Someone needs to tell him to stop.

Apollo is way more annoying in this book than I remember him being in The Hidden Oracle. I loved The Hidden Oracle! It made me feel nostalgic for the original PJO series, and this book totally killed the mood for me. Apollo and Leo (who I hated in The Heroes of Olympus series) together were unbearable. Leo is one of my least favorite characters of all time. I was SO DISAPPOINTED when I found out he was still alive.

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Leo on Festus

The plot in this book is so slow, there were many times I wanted to DNF it. It’s mostly Apollo complaining about how “great” he used to be when he was a god, saying he was bisexual, or sulking about being human. Good grief, how many times do we have to be reminded that he’s bisexual? We get it. Most Greek and Romans weren’t heterosexual. Move on to something else now. You don’t need to mention it almost every few pages.

Mentioning Apollo’s sexuality reminded me of the backlash from parents after Nico came out as gay in The Heroes of Olympus series. I always thought it was kind of funny because hellooooo… You’re reading about Pagan Mythology. Not only is there LGBT+ in EVERY culture’s mythology (click here to read more about it), Ancient Greeks and Romans were notorious for NOT being heterosexual. Heck, Roman soldiers had young boys come with them during war.

Overall, I’m unimpressed and annoyed with Riordan’s past few books… You know, there comes a time when an author needs to either 1) take a break so a series doesn’t go downhill, or 2) start writing something new and different… Especially after writing over a dozen books on the same subject.

I believe the time has come for Rick Riordan to move on, but I have a feeling he’s going to keep writing other culture’s mythology. If he’s going to keep writing mythology, I would like to see him write a historical fiction with demigods instead of modern-day demigods. That would also get rid of all the stupid pop culture references.

I think I’m going to jump off the Rick Riordan wagon for now. I might even get rid of the books of his I don’t like to make room on my bookshelves.

Books I Read Because of the Online Book Community

thekissofdeception

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson
This is a YA fantasy dystopia that focuses a lot on romance. This trilogy was on booklr a lot. I’m not going to lie, I only read this book because of the cover.
Click here to read my review.

thewinnerscurse

The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy) by Marie Rutkoski
This is YA fantasy about a girl who falls in love with a slave, who is undercover to start an uprising. I used to see this trilogy lot on Booklr, and once I started seeing people say “Don’t read this trilogy because it’s problematic!” posts everywhere, I did the opposite and read the first book.
Click here to read my review.

hopeless

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover is a New Adult romance author. Hopeless is her most popular book to date. Her books are pretty popular amongst romance readers.
Click here to read my review.

allthebrightplaces

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
This is a YA romance dealing with depression and suicide. When this first came out it was compared to The Fault in Our Stars (one of my favourite books) and Eleanor & Park (one of my most hated books). Since I kept seeing it everywhere, I needed to find out for myself if it was worth the hype.
Click here to read my review.

MPHFPC

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs
This is a pretty popular YA paranormal book that has been around for a while, and is always brought up around Halloween.
Click here to read my review. 

 

Books to Read Without the Synopsis

darkmatter

Dark Matter is a adult science fiction thriller about multiple realities.

thegirloffireandthorns

The Girl of Fire and Thorns is the first book in a unique YA Fantasy trilogy with POC. Be sure to read the novellas with this series.

uprooted

Uprooted is a high fantasy standalone. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a dragon with scales or fire breathing abilities.

salttothesea

Salt to the Sea is a historical fiction novel about the ship Wilhelm Gustloff.

thefaerieguardian

The Faerie Guardian is the first book in a clean YA fantasy romance series about the Faerie realm.

Books I Had a Hard Time Reading

And I Darken by Kiersten White

I marked this DNF around 41%. At first, it was unique and I found the plot and setting interesting. Once the characters became teenagers, I got annoyed and started hating them.

The plot painfully slow, and I got bored, so I decided not to finish it.

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown

This is going to come as a shocker for a lot of you, but I didn’t like Red Rising. Merge The Hunger Games and Uglies, and put it on Mars, and you have this book. I marked this DNF around 39%.

Again, annoying characters, and slow plot.

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I love the Grisha Trilogy, but I just couldn’t get into this. I got 31% through before I couldn’t read anymore.

Interesting characters, but slow plot. I might try again someday, but it’s unlikely.

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The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The first 15% was interesting, but then I got bored with all the travelling that went on for about 30% of the book. I read 48% before the mile long descriptions started to annoy me.

I felt zero connection to any of the characters, and someone spoiled the series finale for me when I was reading this.

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Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

I don’t remember when I tried reading this, but I remember my mom and brother both read and loved it, so I tried reading it and couldn’t get very far into it.

I didn’t like the movie either.

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Now for the books I finished and had a hard time reading.

lordofshadows

I had a really hard time reading and finishing Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. I have very little desire to pick up another one of her books (aside from The Bane Chronicles and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy).

ACOWAR

Sarah J. Maas did an outstanding job writing ACOTAR and ACOMAF. A Court of Wings and Ruin just didn’t live up to its predecessors and bored me silly. Maas can’t write consistent character personalities at all either, and almost ruined Rhysand for me.

queenofshadows

Another SJM book I had trouble with was Queen of Shadows because I HATE what she did with the story and with all the characters.

Abundanceofkatherines

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green is probably one of the most pointless books I’ve ever read.

isla

I LOVED Anna and the French Kiss soooo much, I devoured it in one sitting. Lola and the Boy Next Door was cute. I was dying for years to get my hands on Isla and the Happily Ever After and kept waiting for Stephanie Perkins to post updates on its release. My expectations were so high and I was so disappointed.

Death Note: A Netflix Movie Review

Death Note is one of the most loved anime series of all time. This movie is already getting heavily criticized. No surprise there. When has a live action movie ever done an anime series justice?

The screenwriters and director took the concept and a few events from the original source material, then made their own re-imagined version. When you separate the anime from the movie, and ignore the awful acting, it’s not too shabby.

In the anime, Light has a rough transition period after first writing in the Death Note. In this movie, he goes on a criminal killing spree just to impress Mia. Mia and Light have a Joker and Harley Quinn toxic relationship, become crazy with killing power and betray each other.

Pros:
– The special effects and gore weren’t too cheesy.
– L and Watari’s relationship was portrayed well.
– It kept me entertained.

Cons:
– A 12+ hour anime series shoved into around 90 minutes = Hella rushed, and a lot of important things left out.
– Mia was an annoying cheerleader, and didn’t get her own Death Note.
– The high school scenes were cliché with a school dance, detention bullies, cheerleaders and football players.
– So many plot holes. So. Many.
– The cliffhanger ending was terrible.
– Ryuk wasn’t the same 😦

Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

Title: Archer’s Voice
Author: Mia Sheridan
Date Published:
January 25, 2014
Genres:
New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads: When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

Archer’s Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

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Archer’s Voice is told in first person point of view and follows Bree and Archer. Bree’s chapters are present day, she’s on a road trip from Cincinnati, Ohio after witnessing her father’s murder and finds a little lakeside town to stay at for a while. Archer’s chapters start out with childhood flashbacks where we see his family life with his alcoholic and abusive dad, and his mother who is in love with his dad’s cousin. Later on, Archer has some present day POVs.

Not long after being in Pelion, Maine, Bree comes across Archer at the grocery store, and is intrigued by his mysterious silence. She asks some people around town about him only to find out he’s the town weirdo, but she still feels drawn to him. The day her dog slips through his property’s gate is a blessing.

Although Bree felt a connection when she first met Archer, their romance gradually builds up and starts from a strong friendship before getting to something more intimate. I absolutely loved Bree and Archer’s friendship, and Bree’s dedication to help Archer learn how to live his life outside his property and the grocery store. I really enjoyed the sexual tension between them, but once they started having sex, I was kind of put off. Sex scenes in books make me uncomfortable, especially if there are words in them that make me cringe, like the word “cock”.  I also hate the words “belly” and “tummy” for some reason. Haha.

“I’m afraid to love you. I’m afraid that you’ll leave and that I’ll go back to being alone again. Only it will be a hundred times worse because I’ll know what I’m missing. I can’t…” He sucked in a shaky breath. “I want to be able to love you more than I fear losing you, and I don’t know how. Teach me, Bree. Please teach me. Don’t let me destroy this.”

There some family owned town political drama in this book that got on my nerves, but there’s a good reason it’s there. The second half of the book was also kind of boring and knocked the star rating down for me, but the ending was exceptional.

For some reason this book reminds me of New Moon (Stephenie Meyer)+ Ugly Love (Colleen Hoover) + Confess (Colleen Hoover). Haha. So if you like CoHo, definitely pick this one up.

I think it’s important to note that the dog does not die.