The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey

Pages: 457

Audio Rating: 5 stars

Story Rating: 4 stars

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

 

Review: I know that I’ve said that I don’t really care for Audiobooks but this one has totally changed my mind. In fact, I think everyone should record their books just like this one. What made this one so different? They used a cast of characters rather than one person doing a bunch of voices. No, each character wasn’t a different reader but there were enough people involved that you felt like you were listening to a complete cast.

This is a very different genre than I’m used to reading. That’s why I was surprised that I really enjoyed the story. I kind of felt like it belonged in a collection with Stephenie Meyers’ The Host. In this book, the aliens don’t come down and start blowing everything up, like in War of the Worlds or Independence Day. They are a lot sneakier than that and it takes the human race a long time to figure out what’s going on.

Rick Yancy did a great job at making me feel like I was in the story and I enjoyed every minute of it.

There is a little bit of language but I don’t think it’s even near what kids hear in school so I would say this one’s ok for teens and adults.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed The Host or who likes Sci-fi.

lissy

 

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Graceling

Graceling

Graceling (Graceling Realm #1) by Kristin Cashore

Pages: 471

Audible Rating: 4 stars

Story Rating: 3 stars

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

She never expects to fall in love with beautiful Prince Po.

She never expects to learn the truth behind her Grace—or the terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

Review: Ok, remember that extra long road trip I talked about in the review for A Great and Terrible Beauty? Well, after I finished it, I turned on Graceling. I really enjoyed the story and the audio was well done. This book had a unique take on people being born with special abilities (think Xmen) in a medieval type world. I don’t want to say much because I really don’t want to spoil any of it. Even though I really did enjoy it, I only gave it 3 stars because I didn’t care for the ending but I think it’s just me and others will think it ended perfectly. Kind of reminds me a bit of how Game of Thrones ended. Not the storyline but how some people thought it was the perfect ending where others thought it really fell short.

This book had a tiny bit of sex in it but it was written in the “fade to black” style so it’s clean enough for high schoolers and possibly even middle schoolers.

For an easy summer read, this is one I do recommend.

lissy

A Great and Terrible Beauty

A Great & Terrible Beauty

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1) by Libba Bray

Pages: 403

Story Rating: 3 stars

Audible Rating:3 stars

 

It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?

Review: I’ve mentioned before how I’m not a huge fan of audiobooks. I’m starting to find that I can enjoy them if they are done well and if the narrator’s voices match what I imagine the characters sound like. This is one of those that I didn’t really care for the audio version. Several of the voices sounded the same and I found myself mixed up on who was talking.

I hate to admit that it took me several months to get through this one but that was because I have limited time in which I can listen to an audiobook.

Funny story. So, I mainly listened to this while mowing the lawn during Fall 2018 and then when the weather turned cold I didn’t have time to finish it. Fast forward to February and our family decided to take a trip to Bryce Canyon in Utah. It’s a 4 hr drive and shortly after getting home I realized that I had left my purse at the Costa Vida; 2 hrs back!!! I called and they had found it so I hopped back in my car and drove 2 hours back, grabbed my purse and some dinner and then drove 2 more hours home. Yes it was a horrible drive, yes I was exhausted, and yes I wanted to cry BUT it gave me a great excuse to turn on A Great and Terrible Beauty and finally finish it!

Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the audio, I really enjoyed the story. There were a few points that left me with questions but I have a feeling that they will resolve in future stories. It’s not in my pile of favorites but I will likely read book #2 and I definitely recommend it to those who like dark arts type magic and a good mystery. It is clean and I’d recommend it for middle school ages and anyone who enjoys YA books.

 

lissy

The Guardian

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The Guardian (The Guardians of Eternal Life #1) by A.M. Mahler

Pages: 288

Rating: 3 Stars

Jack Justice didn’t believe in love or the power of the human spirit. But that all changed when he saved Lady Eleanor from highway bandits and agreed to escort her to Boston. As they evade British soldiers and run into trouble at every turn, Jack discovers that Nora is hiding a dark secret—one that could change his destiny forever. 

Gifted with eternal life as a young woman, Nora has spent decades protecting the mythical Philosopher’s Stone from those who would misuse its power. With Jack by her side, she’s convinced she can accomplish her task—if only she can convince him to believe in her quest before it’s too late. 

In the first installment of a four-book series, Jack and Nora must learn the value of teamwork, the importance of trust, and the power of a love that can span centuries. 

 

First Impressions: I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy from the author. So far I am really enjoying the story. The only hangup I have is that there is nothing in the writing that makes me feel like the story is taking place in colonial times. Everything else about it is written very well but quite often I feel like I’m reading a modern Urban Fantasy.

I also think there could be less use of historical characters. It feels like their names were included as a way to remind you what time period the book was written in rather than being needed for the story. I did enjoy Benjamin Franklin being a part of the story, I just think it could have stopped there. This is a minor thing, though, and not something I would knock a rating down for.

I’m guessing that I will give this book 3 stars. If I felt like the story was taking place in the 1700s, I think I would give this an easy 4 stars.

 

Review: Ugh, I finished reading this book in February but it’s taken me ’til the end of May to write this review. And unfortunately, a lot of this book just wasn’t that memorable; although I do remember there were lots of reasons that I just didn’t really care about it.

I think the main reason is that I never really felt pulled into the story. As I said above, I was told that we were in colonial America but I never felt like it. Nobody spoke or acted like they were from that period but every once in a while a “tis” or “thee” was thrown in; almost like the author just remembered the time period and hurriedly threw in a word to remind us of the time period.

I also didn’t like how Nora was always talking about how tough she was and what a good fighter she was but I never saw anything to back up her claim. She was always so ticked that Jack wanted to protect her but every time there was trouble, he had to bail her out. With all her time on the run, she should be a much better fighter than she was. I would have liked it a lot more if her character was written more like Celeana Sardothien (Throne of Glass).

Even with everything that I didn’t care for, I decided to give it 3 stars because I didn’t struggle to finish it. I was always curious what was going to happen next and how the story would end.

I can say, though, that I won’t likely be picking up book 2 when it’s released.

 

lissy

Highland Fire

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Highland Fire (Guardians of the Stone #2) by Tanya Anne Crosby

Pages: 328

Rating: 2.5 stars

Scotland, 1125, the Legend Begins … For two centuries, Aidan dun Scoti’s kinsmen have guarded Scotland’s greatest secret, the real Stone of Destiny. Now King David seeks an alliance with the mountain Scot. But only one woman will tempt him–the accursed beauty whose father once betrayed his clan … Tempted by Revenge Cursed by Aidan’s people for the sins of her father, Lileas MacLaren is the one woman Aidan believes he is immune to … she is also the one woman who may bring the fierce chieftain to his knees. Rich with history and lore, HIGHLAND FIRE brings back favorite characters from The Highland Brides and introduces you to new ones.

 

First Impressions: I’m guessing that I’ll give this 3 stars. I’m about 80 pages into it and so far it’s the same story line as just about every other Highland Romance book. Proper young lady is forced to marry the scary savage Scot.

In all honesty, I kind of assumed it would be “just another Highlander book” but sometimes you need a light read in between more intense books.

 

Review: This is a good “Poolside Read”. It was fun and quick and I enjoyed reading it. The writing was well done and while the story line was as expected, I wasn’t looking for something new & unique.

The entire way through the story I thought I would give it 3-3.5 stars as it was a fun read. It’s rating dropped to 2.5 stars for 2 reasons.

1) I seriously read this book thinking it was the 2nd book in a series. Tanya Anne Crosby must have written an earlier series about Aidan’s sister because her story was referenced throughout this book but it was never really recapped enough to make me feel like I knew what happened.

2) The ENTIRE story is about Lileas trying to figure out how to save her son while not harming Aidan. Every chapter is building up to the climax of seeing how she will make everything right but then it never happens. You seriously go from her struggling to figure out what to do, to everything being resolved, and then a recap tells you how she accomplished it. It was a huge letdown and completely removed the reader from feeling a part of the story.

 

Conclusion: If you’re looking for something quick and easy to read, this isn’t a bad choice but I would read some of the other dozens of Highlander books first. It’s cute but the ending spoils it and you never feel that buildup of love that you come to expect from these types of books.

 

lissy

Outlander

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Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon

Pages: 850

Rating: 5 Stars

There has been a ton of hype about this series since Starz made a series out of it, so I don’t think I need to say too much about it.

I love this series, and especially this first book. I have read it several times and I’m just about as obsessed with the TV series as I am the book. The first few chapters aren’t anything special. It’s all just the setup of Claire & Frank trying to reignite their marriage after WWII. It’s sweet but that’s it. Once she finds herself in 18th century Scotland, I couldn’t put the book down. Gabaldon did an amazing job of not only making you feel like you are in Scotland but that you are a modern day person stuck in the 1700s. Clarie does some very foolish things, throughout the book, but they are all things that one of us might do if we found ourselves in her place.

I had a hard time reading the parts regarding Jamie in Wentworth prison. They were graphic and turned my stomach a bit but they were a historically accurate of what life was like in those times and they played an integral part in the story.

I absolutely recommend this book but due to the amount of sex and violence it is definitely for adults.

 

Help!!! What do I do with all of these books?

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I have a problem. I collect books. It doesn’t matter that I have a TBR pile with over 200 books in it, if I see a book that interests me, I will get it. Luckily for my husband, most of my books are digital but I think that also feeds my problem; well, that and Bookbub.  I don’t have a large book budget so whenever I see a free book that sounds interesting, I grab it. Then it seems to get lost in my virtual pile until I stumble across it years later.

So this is my current dilemma. I need a new book but I can’t justify buying another one yet so I need to read one I already have. It’s just such a daunting task, trying to sort through everything I have to find that book that’s going to really catch my interest.

I’m curious, what methods do you use to organize your TBR pile? Do you read them in order of when you acquired them or do you have another system. Do you periodically purge your TBRs or do you keep them all because Heaven forbid you accidentally get rid of something that would become one of your favorites?

lissy

Top 5 Bad A** Females

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Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm. If you haven’t visited her site yet, you definitely need to check it out. Her Top 5 lists are always fun to read and her book reviews are great.

I absolutely love getting into a book with strong female character. I hate when women are portrayed as weak and helpless. That being said, I do love when a big strong male character can step in and help as long as I know that the female character could have still accomplished her goals without him

So, this brings me to my list of my top 5 bad a** female characters.

1) Aelin Ashryver Galathynius. If you’ve read the series, you don’t need any explanation. She’s tough and smart and everything she does (well most of it) is for her people.

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2) Sara Grey. This is another one where if you’ve read the series, you’ll probably agree. Sara learns that her world is a lot scarier than she had imagined but she doesn’t hide. Of course she gets scared but she does what needs to be done and she doesn’t let an overprotective Mohiri Warrior boss her around.

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3) Claire Fraser. Claire is a different type of bad a** female but I think she still makes the cut. If I found myself in the 1700s I would have an absolute breakdown and then I would have been burned as a witch because I’m pretty sure I would tell anyone and everyone that I was from the future and ask them to help me get back. Although Claire is confused and definitely in an unfamiliar world, she adapts and learns how to survive, all while not giving in to the notions that women were 2nd class citizens.

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4) Daenerys Targaryen. I couldn’t not include Dani on my list. She’s first introduced as a meek young girl who is sold by her brother to the warlord Kahl Drogo. Instead of remaining a meek and subservient wife, she builds herself into a powerful queen and the Mother of Dragons. I love that she hasn’t lost sight of her goals but she wants to find a way to take back her kingdom without becoming a tyrant; or worse, like her father.

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5) Penryn. Imagine waking up and the world is ending; angels have come to destroy the world. Penryn is willing to do whatever it takes to fight these angels and get her little sister back. This book is full of nightmares but Penryn doesn’t give up.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my list of Top 5 Bad A** females. Who do you think should be on this list?

lissy

Uprooted

uprooted blog

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Pages: 435

Rating: 3.5 Stars

First Impressions: I’m 100 pages into Uprooted and I honestly have no idea if I like this book or not. There are some parts that drive me crazy. For one, Agnieszka starts out as very timid and willing to live her life as a simple woodcutter’s daughter. She remains timid until her village needs help and then all of a sudden she’s brave and using magic that she had barely any knowledge of; there wasn’t any character growth at all. Afterwards, she’s instantly wanting to learn all the magic that so recently she was terrified of (which I’m not sure why she was afraid of it) but the author glosses over all of her learning.

Second, I HATE Dragon. At first I thought this would be the typical “grumpy guy has his heart softened by the maiden and learns to love” type story. But at this point, he has no redeeming qualities. If Agnieszka falls for him, she will be in an abusive relationship. He forces her to leave her family and live with him for 10 years but from the minute she’s there he belittles her and is disgusted by her. He hates that she’s there but makes her stay anyway.

Despite those things, this book has captured my attention and I am currently enjoying reading it. I really hope that by the end, it’s not a disappointment.

Review: First the good. I really enjoyed this story. It was unique and fun to read. The world building was great and really drew me in. I loved the idea of the Wood and how that part of the story resolved. I would have loved to have had more of the story about the Wood-Queen and Linaya but I enjoyed how the Wood was explained.

Now the bad. I took away half a star for 3 reasons.

1) This book needs to be re-edited. There were a few places where there was a wrong word used but it was obvious what the correct word was supposed to be. More often, though, whole sentences were written so poorly that it was hard to understand what the author was wanting to say. A couple times I just gave up trying to understand and just moved on.

2) There were several plot holes that drove me crazy. Agnieszka is always a mess; dirty and hair a disaster. She’s often embarrassed by it but she never thinks to use the first (and easiest) spell The Dragon taught her which changes you into a new dress, cleans you up, and does your hair. She also jumps back and forth between being a magical newbie with no idea how to do magic and being able to create her own spells to do anything she wants. The author hardly gives us a taste of her learning and leaves the reader to assume that at some point between hating The Dragon and The Dragon ignoring her, she does a lot of studying and becomes a great witch but forgets everything once she panics a little.

3) There was absolutely no need to put in any kind of romantic relationship. It felt like Novik just added it so she could call Uprooted a YA Fantasy ROMANCE. The Dragon & Agnieszka’s relationship is emotionally abusive. He forces her to join him and then treats her horribly. This scene for example:

He was irritated with me every time I came into his library, even on the few days that I managed to keep myself in good order: as though I were coming to annoy and interrupt him, instead of him tormenting and using me. And when he had finished working his magic through me and left me crumpled on the floor, he would scowl down at me and call me useless.” 

There are never any scenes where they build a relationship and there’s absolutely no chemistry. He’s always a jerk to her and she’s always annoyed by him but becomes attached to him anyway. Then she decides to climb in bed with him and even that doesn’t really make you feel like they have any feelings towards each other. You could honestly strike out that scene and the ones of her feeling attached to him and it wouldn’t change the story in any way at all.

Even though there were some things that really annoyed me, I truly enjoyed the story and would recommend it to others.

Top 5 Books than need to be made into Movies

top 5 tuesday - template

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm. If you haven’t visited her site yet, you definitely need to check it out. Her Top 5 lists are always fun to read and her book reviews are great.

I love when one of my favorite books is turned into a movie but ONLY if it is done well. Harry Potter is a great example of that. Although, the movies aren’t nearly as magical as the series, they did a great job fitting each book into a 2-3hr show. Outlander is another movie series that while not exactly the same as the books, did a great job of telling the same story and keeping true to the most important parts. Divergent, completely failed as a movie, in my mind. I loved the series beforehand but since the movies came out and were so disappointing, I just haven’t been able to look at the books the same way.

So, this weeks list of the Top 5 Books I would like to see made into a movie comes with the disclaimer that I ONLY want to see them as a movie IF they are done extremely well.

1) Because I’m still obsessed with it, I would LOVE to see Throne of Glass as a movie. I can totally see it as a new Peter Jackson series with Doranelle set similar to Rivendell; and the war with Erawan definitely has a Lord of the Rings feel to it.

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2) Although I don’t think it would be a timeless movie, I would enjoy seeing the first 3 books in the Relentless series as movies. It’s a YA Paranormal romance but is so much more than Twilight. As long as they don’t cast Kristen Stewart or make their vampires sparkle.

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3) The Clan of the Cave Bear is a very interesting and unique book that I think would do very well as a movie. It wouldn’t have a ton of dialog and would need great actors to tell the story through actions and emotions. I can easily see it done as an independent film; maybe at The Sundance Film Festival.

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4) The Study series by Maria V. Snyder would be a fun trilogy to watch. It would also do well as an HBO original series. Plus, if they did well, it could be continued with The Glass series and The Healer series.

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5) House of Night is 12 books long so I can’t really see it being made into movies but a TV series would be awesome. There’s enough going on that they could make one season a year and never lose steam. Hey, HBO, here’s something for you to do once Game of Thrones ends.

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Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks House of Night would make a great series. Check out this fan made poster by loveisthelaw on deviantART. It’s absolutely gorgeous and Nina Dobrev would be perfect as Zoey Redbird.

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lissy