books

Books I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

I first made a Goodreads account back in 2009. Ah, the good ol’ days when I used to read every hyped new release and 2-3 books a week. Things have obviously changed since then. I now avoid hyped books like the plague after being disappointed far too many times, and I’m lucky to read one book a month.

Last year, I removed over 200 books from my to-read shelf if they had been there since I started my account and had less than a 3.75 star rating. I also removed books if they were added during my YA paranormal and dystopia phase, those are genres I’ve grown out of. There are a few books I kept on there just in case, but honesty, I’m probably not going to touch them.

The first four books on this list are actually sequels to series I once loved. Please don’t hate me. Haha.

1) The Queen of Air and Darkness
by Cassandra Clare

Lord of Shadows bored me. I struggled through it for OVER a month. In the past, I could read one of Cassandra Clare’s books in a few days, or up to a week. She’s always been known to get me out of a slump… This actually put me in a slump!

Things started off great and picked up where Lady Midnight ended. Then it became love triangle after love triangle, lies and relationship drama. Not a whole lot happened plot wise.

Lord Of Shadows could have been condensed down to 400-500 pages, not 700. There was seriously so much filler and nonsense. The only POVs that didn’t bore me were Kit and Ty’s.

I’m not at all happy with the direction the story and characters are going, so I think it’s time to stop reading the Shadowhunter Chronicles…

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2) The Burning Maze
by Rick Riordan 

It took me months to read The Dark Prophecy, and I’m deeply saddened because 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.

Riordan’s quality started going downhill in The Blood of Olympus, the fifth and final book in The Heroes of Olympus series. He keeps using the same formula and character personalities over and over again, and his jokes are becoming stale and unfunny.

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3) Tower of Dawn
by Sarah J. Maas

I was going to abandon ship on this series, but after reading and loving A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury and being blown away, I decide to give the Throne of Glass series I once loved another chance and read Empire of Storms… and I am full of regret.

The Throne of Glass series has turned into 90% lust/flirting and 10% recycled plots. I ship no one anymore. Please, kill the main character brutally, SJM.

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4) A Court of Frost and Starlight
by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury were SOOOOO GOOD. A Court of Wings and Ruin didn’t live up to my expectations. It was boring and I felt annoyed most of the book. I remember thinking “If I have to read ‘my mate’ or ‘the (fe)males’ one more time…”

Rhysand and Feyre’s relationship lost a lot of steam in A Court of Wings and Ruin. There is hardly any sass, tension and angst now that they’re married. Sarah J. Maas needs to stop writing sex scenes. They’re so cringy.

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5) The Name of the Star
by Maureen Johnson

From my understanding, this is about a kid from Louisiana (US) who goes to London. During her stay, there is a serial killer mimicking Jack the Ripper, and she’s the only one who can see him…

It sounded interesting when I first heard about it. I’m pretty sure I bought this for Kindle during a sale. I just don’t care to read it anymore. I’ve read Maureen Johnson’s writing in Let it Snow and Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter anthologies, and there’s something about it that I don’t really care for.

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6) Stormbreaker
by Anthony Horowitz

This is a spy book about a teenage boy who mysteriously lost his uncle after an accident.

Again, this is another book I got on Kindle during a sale. Maybe I’ll try to read this series to my nephew when he gets older. I’m not sure. But for now, I’m not interested.

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7) The Diviners
by Libba Bray

When this first came out, I remember being intrigued with 1920’s New York, a serial killer, and the supernatural. Plus, like most of you, if BookTubers raved about a book, I HAD to read it. I’ve since learned that most of them get paid, or rate books 4 and 5 stars to keep getting ARCS and freebies from publishers.

I remember reading a Great and Terrible Beauty around 7-8 years ago and I didn’t really care much for it, but I liked Libba Bray’s writing, which is why I got this… I just don’t care anymore.

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8) Life As We Knew It
by Susan Beth Pfeffer 

A meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth, and a bunch of natural disasters start to happen.

After reading The Hunger Games in high school, I went on a dystopian binge for about a year or two and bought this book on Kindle. I vaguely remember someone spoiling a later book for me which is why I haven’t read this yet. I’ve since lost interest in dystopias.

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9) Of Poseidon
by Anna Banks

I’ve really been wanting to read a mermaid book, so I got this on Kindle a few years ago and planned on reading it, and totally forget it existed until I was going through my Goodreads looking for books for this post. The synopsis kind of sounds silly to me now…

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom…

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10) Starcrossed
by Josephine Angelini

I think I got this on Kindle after hearing it was about Greek Mythology… I’m still kind of interested, but at the same time, just the thought of reading a YA romance is making me cringe.

What’s happening to me? Haha.

*Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and has been moved to That Artsy Reader Girl.*

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books

Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read

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  1. The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman
    I don’t remember who recommended this book to me, but it was back when I used Tumblr all the time in 2011.
  2. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
    I believe I got this book for Christmas in 2010 or 2011?
  3. The Risen Empire by Scott Westerfeld
    This is part of a duology, I own both books and constantly forget they’re there.
  4. The Golden Compass by  Philip Pullman
    I got an omnibus of His Dark Materials in 2010 or 2011 after Vintage Stock came to my mall.
  5. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
    My mom read The Hobbit to me when I was a kid, and we got the LOTR trilogy when the movies started coming out. I always planned on reading them, but well…
  6. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
    This is another book I got from Vintage Stock when it opened.
  7. Extremely  Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
    I don’t remember when I got this. It’s always been on my shelf.
  8. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
    This was one of the first books I got from Thriftbooks when I discovered them in 2009/2010ish.
  9. Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
    I got this so I could watch the movie… Whoops.
  10. Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind
    My brother asked me to read this series like 12 years ago.
books

Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About

Hey everyone! I’m back with Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s theme is books I really liked, but can’t remember anything/much about. There are WAY more than 10 books that I remember enjoying and don’t remember, but these are the first 10 that came to mind.

Where the Red Fern Grows
by Wilson Rawls

Synopsis: Billy, Old Dan, and Little Ann – a boy and his two dogs.

A loving threesome, they roamed the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee county. Old Dan had the brawn, Little Ann had the brains, and Billy had the will to make them into the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming, but sadness waited too.

Where the Red Fern Grows, is an exciting tale of love and adventure you’ll never forget.

This was required reading back in grade school. I can’t remember I read it in fourth or fifth grade. Maybe both?

All I remember is crying… a lot.

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Cleopatra’s Daughter
by Michelle Moran

Synopsis: At the dawn of the Roman Empire, when tyranny ruled, a daughter of Egypt and a son of Rome found each other…

Selene’s legendary parents are gone. Her country taken, she has been brought to the city of Rome in chains, with only her twin brother, Alexander, to remind her of home and all she once had. 

Living under the watchful eyes of the ruling family, Selene and her brother must quickly learn how to be Roman – and how to be useful to Caesar. She puts her artistry to work, in the hope of staying alive and being allowed to return to Egypt. Before long, however, she is distracted by the young and handsome heir to the empire… 

When the elusive ‘Red Eagle’ starts calling for the end of slavery, Selene and Alexander are in grave danger. Will this mysterious figure bring their liberation, or their demise? 

According to Goodreads, I read this book over the span of three days back in 2011 and gave it five stars. I’ve read two books on Cleopatra’s daughter, and I remember pizza being in one of them. lol

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Eldest
by Christopher Paolini

Synopsis: Darkness falls… Swords clash… Evil reigns.

Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesméra, land of the elves, for further training in magic and swordsmanship, the vital skills of the Dragon Rider. It is the journey of a lifetime, filled with awe-inspring new places and people, each day a fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and Eragon isn’t sure whom he can trust.

Meanwhile, his cousin Roran must fight a new battle back home in Carvahall – one that puts Eragon in even graver danger.

Will the king’s dark hand strangle all resistance? Eragon may not escape with even his life…

I read this the summer before my senior year of high school (2009). I don’t remember anything but one scene where Eragon was meditating… I think? I plan on re-reading Eragon and Eldest so I can read the other two books.

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The Warrior Heir
by Cinda Williams Chima

Synopsis: Before he knew about the Roses, 16-year-old Jack lived an unremarkable life in the small Ohio town of Trinity. Only the medicine he has to take daily and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from the other high-schoolers. Then one day Jack skips his medicine. Suddenly, he is stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. And it feels great—until he loses control of his own strength and nearly kills another player during soccer team tryouts.

Soon, Jack learns the startling truth about himself: He is Weirlind; part of an underground society of magical people who live among us. At the head of this magical society sit the feuding houses of the Red Rose and the White Rose, whose power is determined by playing The Game—a magical tournament in which each house sponsors a warrior to fight to the death. The winning house rules the Weir.

As if his bizarre magical heritage isn’t enough, Jack finds out that he’s not just another member of Weirlind, he’s one of the last of the warriors at a time when both houses are scouting for a player.

Yeah… I don’t remember a thing from this, other than the kid having a stone that he wasn’t supposed to have. Or maybe that was another book in this series… Or another book all together.

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A Little Princess
by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Synopsis: Sara Crewe’s young but doting father sends her to a London boarding school when she is seven. On her eleventh birthday her life of luxury comes to an abrupt end when she receives news that her father has died, shortly after losing his entire fortune. The school-mistress turns Sara into a servant to pay off her debts, and though Sara uses the entire force of her imagination and her good heart to remember who she is and keep starvation from the door, her life is desperate. Until the past returns in a very unexpected manner…

I used to read a lot of Dear America and Royal Diaries when I was in elementary school. This was the first book I read on my own with chapters, not diary entries.

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The Oath
by Frank Peretti

Synopsis: An ancient sin. A long forgotten oath. A town with a deadly secret. Something sinister is at work in Hyde River, an isolated mining town in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Something evil. Under the cover of darkness, a predator strikes without warning–taking life in the most chilling and savage fashion.

The community of Hyde River watches in terror as residents suddenly vanish. Yet the more locals are pressed for information, the more they close ranks, sworn to secrecy by their forefathers’ hidden sins.

Only when Hyde River’s secrets are exposed is the true extent of the danger fully revealed. What the town discovers is something far more deadly than anything they’d imagined. Something that doesn’t just stalk its victims, but has the power to turn hearts black with decay as it slowly fills their souls with darkness.

I read this in 8th grade and don’t remember a thing. I think there was a scene in a cave?

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Peter and the Starcatchers
by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Synopsis: Orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious cargo the “greatest treasure on earth” – but is it gold, jewels, or something far more mysterious and dangerous? Adds to classic Peter Pan.

I read this in 7th grade, I think? I don’t know if I remember a scene from this book, or if I’m crazy… But were there glow in the dark creatures on the beach? lol

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Out of the Dust
by Karen Hesse

Synopsis: This gripping story, written in sparse first-person, free-verse poems, is the compelling tale of Billie Jo’s struggle to survive during the dust bowl years of the Depression. With stoic courage, she learns to cope with the loss of her mother and her grieving father’s slow deterioration. There is hope at the end when Billie Jo’s badly burned hands are healed, and she is able to play her beloved piano again. The 1998 Newbery Medal winner.

I remember this was a really popular book when I was in middle school… But that’s all I remember.

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The Angel Experiment
by James Patterson

Synopsis: Six unforgettable kids — with no families, no homes — are running for their lives. Max Ride and her best friends have the ability to fly. And that’s just the beginning of their amazing powers. But they don’t know where they come from, who’s hunting them, why they are different from all other humans… and if they’re meant to save mankind — or destroy it.

I read this six years ago and couldn’t tell you a thing about it, other than the kids have wings.

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The Amulet of Samarkand 
by Jonathan Stroud

Synopsis: Nathaniel is a boy magician-in-training, sold to the government by his birth parents at the age of five and sent to live as an apprentice to a master. Powerful magicians rule Britain, and its empire, and Nathaniel is told his is the “ultimate sacrifice” for a “noble destiny.” 

If leaving his parents and erasing his past life isn’t tough enough, Nathaniel’s master, Arthur Underwood, is a cold, condescending, and cruel middle-ranking magician in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The boy’s only saving grace is the master’s wife, Martha Underwood, who shows him genuine affection that he rewards with fierce devotion. Nathaniel gets along tolerably well over the years in the Underwood household until the summer before his eleventh birthday. Everything changes when he is publicly humiliated by the ruthless magician Simon Lovelace and betrayed by his cowardly master who does not defend him.

Nathaniel vows revenge. In a Faustian fever, he devours magical texts and hones his magic skills, all the while trying to appear subservient to his master. When he musters the strength to summon the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus to avenge Lovelace by stealing the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, the boy magician plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything he could ever imagine.

I read the first two books in this series, and all I remember is hating Nathan’s chapters.

book review · books

2 Reviews in 1

Title: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus
Author: Nabeel Qureshi
Published: February 1, 2014
Genres: Nonfiction, Autobiography, Religion, Theology
My Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: An Unexpected Journey from Islam to Christianity In Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, Nabeel Qureshi describes his dramatic journey from Islam to Christianity, complete with friendships, investigations, and supernatural dreams along the way. Providing an intimate window into a loving Muslim home, Qureshi shares how he developed a passion for Islam before discovering, almost against his will, evidence that Jesus rose from the dead and claimed to be God. Unable to deny the arguments but not wanting to deny his family, Qureshi’s inner turmoil will challenge Christians and Muslims alike. Engaging and thought-provoking, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus tells a powerful story of the clash between Islam and Christianity in one man’s heart—and of the peace he eventually found in Jesus. 

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Nabeel Qureshi passed away from cancer in 2017. He was one of my favorite Christian apologists.

This is the emotional story of a Pakistani-American Muslim who made the heart-wrenching decision to convert to Christianity after being convinced (against his will) that Christianity is historically accurate.

Nabeel’s parents are Pakistani immigrants. His father served in the United States Navy, so he moved around a lot as a child. He grew up mostly in the U.S., but spent a good amount of time in the U.K.

After starting college, Nabeel met David Wood. David was an atheist who became Christian. Today, David is a Christian Apologist. Both David and Nabeel were devout and would have conversations about their faiths. Eventually, through years of debates, struggle, and research, Nabeel became a Christian.

Nabeel wrote respectfully about Islam, and he sourced everything he quoted or mentioned briefly (ie: Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim) so the reader can look for themselves.

I read this book in three days. Considering the slump I’ve been in the past 8 or so months, that’s pretty amazing. I love Nabeel’s writing style, and his banter with David. Man, this book had some emotional parts. Especially at the end with his family.

If you’re interested, check out Act 17 Apologetics run mostly by David Wood, and NQMinistries on YouTube sometime. Nabeel’s wife is currently running his YouTube page.

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Title: Hiding in the Light
Author: Rifqa Bary
Published: May 5, 2015
Genres: Nonfiction, Autobiography
My Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: Rifqa Bary grew up in a devout Muslim home, obediently following her parents’ orders to practice the rituals of Islam. But God was calling her to freedom and love. He was calling her to true faith. He was calling her to give up everything. Leaving Islam for Christianity cost her more than she imagined but gave more than she could have dreamed. Hiding in the Light is the story of Rifqa’s remarkable spiritual journey from Islam to Christianity. It is also the untold story of how she ran from her father’s threats to find refuge with strangers in Florida, only to face a controversial court case that reached national headlines. Most of all, it is the story of a young girl who made life-changing sacrifices to follow Jesus-and who inspires us to do the same. Teens and young adults will be moved by Rifqa’s story of standing up to religious persecution, literally giving up everything to follow her faith. 

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Rifqa was born in Sri Lanka and was blinded in one eye after an accident when she was a child. Her family moved to America and spent some time in New York before moving to Ohio. While in Ohio, Rifqa met a Christian girl at school who invited her to church.

Rifqa’s story was all over the news when she ran away from home because she said her family and community wanted to kill her for becoming Christian. It’s shocking, but true. Many Muslims do honor killings when someone leaves Islam. It’s constantly in the news worldwide, even here in America. Keep in mind, not all Muslim families are abusive in the way that Rifqa experienced, and not all Muslims kill apostates.

This wasn’t a super powerful and emotional conversion story like Nabeel’s (I read the books back to back). I really enjoyed the first half of the book because there was suspense with her family. The second half  bored me, so my raiting lost a star.

Considering how awful Rifqa’s family sounded, I’m curious how she got away with being on the cheerleading team and having a job as a waitress. Also, how in the world did she managed to sneak out of her house multiple times for long periods of time without her family noticing?!

Some parts of this book (and news interviews) just didn’t sit well with me, but it was still a good story.

book review · books

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.

books

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: ★★☆☆☆

books

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*

book review

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.

book review

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.