Whatcha Reading Wednesday (#85)

Happy Wednesday! I hope you all are having a great week. Sorry for being MIA!

This week I’m reading Reflection by Elizabeth Lim.

This is another book in the Disney Twisted Tales series. I love the things that the authors choose to twist and I’m excited to read about Mulan’s change. Based on what I’ve read so far it feels very Orpheus and Eurydice and although I’m sure this book will end happier than that tale, I’m still stressed out at the thought of the trials Mulan and Shang will have to go through. I love how the book jumped right into the action and I’m really excited to see what happens next.

Have you read this book? What did you think of this twisted tale?

What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments!

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

RATING: 4/5

SYNOPSIS: The realm of All Ward is in danger when a descendant of the previous empire begins to open portals into with his only opposition being his teenage niece. Her and her ragtag team must work together to close the portals as quickly as he opens them to keep the realm from breaking apart, but not everyone is as they seem and not everyone can be trusted.

There were a lot of things that I loved about this book, but the chapter lengths made it very hard to read. I felt like the chapters were too long and drawn out so it didn’t help the action of the story. While I loved all the characters and wanted to keep reading, there were times where I felt the chapter should have ended and we should have moved on to a different character and the chapter kept going. When I read the first chapter it was so intense, fast, and emotional so I thought that was how the rest of the book would be, but it wasn’t. That being said Erida was probably my favorite character because I don’t think I’ve read a character like her before. I loved that she isn’t your typical young queen and I very much enjoyed how self-aware she was. She’s so smart and calculating and not at all what you expect when you first meet her. Although her choices are in opposition to our hero’s mission, I loved that they are logical choices for a queen to make and I love that she’s committed to cementing her legacy which is a storyline that is more often than not given to a male character. She is truly unique and I can’t wait to read more of her. The rest of the characters since they’re heroes are pretty much your typical fantasy heroes, but I do love their dynamic. I loved that in such a short time they became a little family and that all of their strengths and weaknesses as individuals makes them a stronger group. Sorasa is definitely my favorite hero because she is very no nonsense and gets things done. Without her Corayne would be dead five times over and her journey to being one of the team was fun to read. I also loved the the events Andry and Dom witnessed in the beginning affected their choices for the rest of the novel. While I do wish their grief could have been expanded on a smidge more, I liked that it was present in everything that they did. Sigil and Charlie were fun characters too, but they were added so late into the story that they weren’t given a whole lot of time for development so I’m hoping that in the next book they can get expanded on. Corayne was the only one that I wasn’t truly invested in which is disappointing because she’s the main character. I loved her backstory and I love how caring and capable she is, but compared to the other characters around her their was just something missing. I’m hoping that as her character matures and develops more I’ll enjoy her better, but because she’s still learning everything it puts her at a disadvantage when all of the other characters know who they are and are amazing at what they do. Overall I’m really excited to see where this story goes and I can’t wait to see what happens to this great cast of characters.

Watcha Reading Wednesday (#84)

Happy Wednesday!

I’m still reading Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard!

This is probably the longest book I’ve read so far this year, so it’s taking me a while to get through it. I’m still loving the pace of the story and I’m excited to learn more about all of these characters. Everyone has such a unique backstory and I’m super excited to learn more about this world!

What are you reading? Let me know in the comments!

Watcha Reading Wednesday (#83)

Happy Wednesday! I hope all of you are having a great week.

This week I’m still reading Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard.

This book is very thick and the chapters are long so it’s taking me a bit to get through, but I’m really enjoying it so far! I love the characters and the world is very rich. I’m excited to see what happens once all the characters are headed down the same path!

Have you read Realm Breaker yet? Let me know what you thought!

What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments!

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

RATING: 4.5/5

SYNOPSIS: Jacob Finch Bonner has struggled to find the success he has craved since receiving critical acclaim for his debut novel and has since become a creative writing professor for an MFA program in Vermont where he meets Evan Parker. Evan Parker has the most amazing plot that is sure to sell millions of copies once it’s actually published, but Evan dies before he can write the book, so Jacob believing he’s the only one that knows the plot writes the book instead and gains instant fame and fortune. However, someone knows the book wasn’t his idea and starts harassing him, so Jacob seeks to find out the identity of the mystery person.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of this book at first, but I ended up really enjoying it. I personally thought after all the backstory was set up that’s when the suspense was really allowed to start building, so I wish that the backstory could have either been spread out through the narrative or just a smidge shorter before getting right to the mystery. However, once things started rolling it was great! Although I did guess the twist of the novel and the twist of the story within the story I did love how everything progressed. Even though I had a guess, I still wanted to keep reading to see if I was right and the pay off was well written once the suspense was released. I can’t decide if I liked reading the book within the book though. While it was a good way to introduce some exposition for the big reveal in the end I felt like it didn’t add to the suspense. I would have been just as satisfied not knowing the subject of the book until the big reveal at the end because I think it would have been an even bigger shock. I did love how twisted the whole mystery was though. I liked how things kept going around in circles until Jake finally zeroed in on the important facts that all of the stories shared. Since I don’t want to spoil things I won’t reveal the mystery harasser, but I did like the game they played. I appreciated how smart of a villain they were and I liked the stakes that they created for Jake. I also liked Jake’s inner turmoil as the harasser’s comments became more and more public and widespread. I enjoyed his spiral and how it was affecting him internally more than his publisher and agent. I also liked that the reason behind all of this angst wasn’t that the plot wasn’t his original idea (because let’s face it every story boils down to the same struggles and themes), but that it wasn’t his story to tell. I thought that was an interesting way to view things and I love that it didn’t have a “Hollywood Happy Ending” to it with lessons learned and good conquering evil that a lot of mystery based thrillers seem to have in my experience. Honestly my favorite part was when the harasser was revealed and they did the classic evil villain speech where they explain how and why they did what they did and how they will continue to get away with it. That part was extremely well written and although I did guess the villain, I didn’t guess all the small details so seeing that unfold was really exciting for me as a reader. I also really loved the ending. I found it to be sinister, unexpected, and satisfying. I couldn’t guess that much and I loved that we continued to see different sides to how cunning the villain truly is. Overall while there were some small details that I didn’t like, I loved the book as a whole.

Have you read The Plot? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

Whatcha Reading Wednesday (#82)

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful week.

This week I’m still reading Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard.

I always go into new book series with no expectations that way I’m not disappointed and so I can give something new the benefit of the doubt, but I did not expect it to be such an epic fantasy right from the get go! I personally have only ever come across this epic of a fantasy in adult fantasy books so it’s really refreshing to see such an ambitious story line for YA. The pace is great so far and I’m eagerly turning the pages to find out what happens next!

What are you reading? Let me know in the comments!

The Ones We’re Meant to Find

RATING: Did Not Finish

SYNOPSIS: Kasey Mizuhara’s sister, Celia, has been missing, presumed dead, for three months and her decision to go off alone into the ocean is a mystery that might never be solved and with the rising climate crisis, Kasey has a lot on her plate trying to figure out what happened to her sister and how to save the world. Meanwhile on a deserted island, Cee wakes up with only the memory of her sister Kay and will do whatever it takes to make it home to her.

I wanted so badly to love this book, but unfortunately this became my first did not finish in a very long time. For some reason I just couldn’t connect to the story. I felt like the book moved at too slow of a pace and while I was interested in these characters and where the story was headed, I found myself feeling more confused as I went forward rather than feeling like I had any sort of idea what was going on. The world He was creating was extremely rich, but it was almost too complex to convey to a reader without a surrogate character to enter the world with. I had heard that there was a huge twist and I kept trying to hold out for that hoping that would be when the book’s pace would pick up, but I just couldn’t do it. I loved the mystery at the heart, but I didn’t feel like each new revelation built to something bigger. The pace stayed the same and I felt like with each new piece of information that we learned there should have been a build of some kind to continue to draw the reader in. I personally am a fan of fast paced books when it comes to my science fiction reads and this book was just too slow for my taste. I wish that the world, the characters, the mystery, and the writing could have been enough to make me finish, but for me they weren’t. I think He is a beautiful writer and I will gladly give any of her other books a chance, but this particular story was not my cup of tea.

Whatcha Reading Wednesday (#81)

Happy Wednesday! I hope you all are having a wonderful week!

This week I’m starting Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard.

I’m very excited to start this book! I loved Aveyard’s Red Queen series so I can’t wait to see how she outdoes herself in this new series. I love her fast-paced, action-packed writing style so I anticipate loving this series as much as her previous one!

My review for the previous book I was reading, The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He, will be published Friday.

What are you reading? Have you already read Realm Breaker? Let me know in the comments!

Watcha Reading Wednesday (#80)

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope all of you are having amazing weeks!

This week I’m still reading The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He.

So I’m further in than I was last week, but I’m having trouble deciding if I like this book or not. The concept is very intriguing and the mystery at the heart of this book makes me want to find out how it ends, but the pace is so slow that it’s hard for me to stay motivated. I haven’t given up on this book yet though so let’s see if I can make it to the end.

Have any of you read The Ones We’re Meant to Find? How did you like it?

What are you reading? Let me know in the comments!

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

RATING: 5/5

SYNOPSIS: Nikolai and Zoya must work together to appease the Shu and beat back the Fjerdans to preserve the peace in Ravka. Meanwhile Nina inserts herself deep within the Ice Court to spy for Nikolai and give life saving information to the Ravkan army while also trying to change the ice cold hearts of the Fjerdans. The Darkling on the other hand seeks to gain his old power and take back the country for himself.

I absolutely adore Nikolai as a character and his growth over these past two books has been amazing to read. I never cared that much about Zoya in the original Grisha trilogy, but I grew to love her just as much as Nikolai in this duology! Their dynamic was amazing and they were great foils for each other. Honestly Zoya’s journey of realizing that she should rely on others and that love isn’t a weakness was so amazing to read and there are so many beautiful quotes that came out of it! I also loved Nikolai’s journey of discovering that he was just as capable of protecting Ravka as himself as he was as king and it was also so beautiful to read. I loved how both characters learned so much about themselves and how much stronger that made them. Even Nina and Mayu’s storylines were fascinating. I loved getting to see more of Shu Han in Mayu’s POV chapters and part of me wished she had more in the story just because there was so much to unpack and it felt a little rushed to me just because the largest chunks of the book were devoted to what Nikolai and Zoya were doing on the front and what Nina was doing in the Ice Court. I loved that we got to see more of Fjerdan culture and got to meet the royalty for every country in this book. Nina has grown so much as a character and it was great watching her grow into a woman. I loved that through Hanne we could see a different side to tailoring and their relationship was so beautiful to read. I also loved that through Nina we get to see the grieving process and how losing a loved one is never something you truly get over no matter how much time has passed. Honestly all the characters go through such complex emotional journeys in this book and it was great to see such strong emotions worked through on page because war truly brings out complex emotions. I also loved that every character in the Grishaverse had at least some small part to play in this book and it was truly a great way to say so long for now. I was immensely satisfied with the way everything turned out, but there was one storyline that I felt was unnecessary and while it wasn’t a huge part of the book I was still disappointed whenever I was reading the chapters dealing with it. I know this is a super unpopular opinion but I do not care for the Darkling at all. I wished he had stayed dead and I felt like his storyline was completely unnecessary. The Fold popping up everywhere added nothing to the plot and wasn’t a huge hinderance to the main action of the story so I truly couldn’t understand why it even existed. The Darkling himself also didn’t add anything to this particular story the way he did in the original trilogy. While I didn’t care for it I’m sure a lot of people were happy to see him come back, but I don’t think he deserves forgiveness or redemption. It’s always going to be “cool motive still murder” for me. Overall I absolutely adored this book and the Darkling was not a strong enough plotline to make me enjoy the book any less than what I did.