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.

Watcha Reading Wednesday (#79)

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

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

This is the book that I got in my May Owlcrate box and I’m excited to start! I love that this subscription service is bringing me books that I might not have picked up if I just saw it in the store and I hope I enjoy it just as much as I did the one from my April box.

I finished Rule of Wolves and my review will be posted Friday!

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

Watcha Reading Wednesday (#78)

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope you all are having an amazing week. I know I am!

This week I’m still reading Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo.

This book is a monster (both literally and figuratively)! The action is so fast paced and there have been WAY too many heartbreaking moments, but I still want to read more! I think Bardugo is doing a great job with balancing the action across so many different places and I’m so glad that every single character that we have come to know and love in this universe is getting to play a huge role in this grand finale! I’m both excited and scared to see how it all ends!

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

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

RATING: 4/5

SYNOPSIS: Many years ago Jazmyne’s mother killed the previous empress of Aiyca and took control of the island, but failed to find the empress’ missing daughter, Iraya. The new empress goes power mad and does whatever it takes to maintain control and to protect Aiyca, but her questionable motives cause Jazmyne and others to turn against her secretly. When Iraya is discovered in prison it throws a wrench into Jazmyne’s plans, but plans change and both girls want the same thing.

This book started out very confusing to me because both POV characters are already part of this world so they already know the terminology and the mythology. There was no audience surrogate character to help explain things so it took me a couple of chapters to figure out what certain words meant and it also didn’t help that I don’t know much about Jamaican or any Caribbean mythology. However, once I figured out what was going on I loved it. The action was so fast paced and I found myself wanting to know what happened next at the end of every chapter. I thought Jazmyne and Iraya were distinct characters and I loved that they represented the various cultures of this island and that while they had the same goal their motivations were vastly different. I only wish that their stances were just a little more distinct because I felt like Jazmyne’s stance of not killing her mother was changed just a little too early in the story for my liking and I think her change into this morally gray character that she becomes towards the end would have been more stark and unsettling if it was a little slower. I did think Iraya’s journey from reluctant queen to full blown leader was well written though. I loved that each girl had distinct relationships and I loved the contrast of Jazmyne relying on so many people to get what she wants and Iraya pushing everyone away to keep them safe. I really wish Kirdan had a POV as well since he is equally as important in this plot as Iraya and Jazmyne. There was a moment in the book where he changed alliances and I felt like that change wouldn’t have felt out of nowhere if he had is own POV. I liked how he also had distinct relationships with both girls and I loved how he like everyone else wasn’t quite what he seemed. Witches have never quite been my thing, but I loved that these particular witches were also warriors so their magic was more for aid in combat than it was for other witchy purposes so that really made the story more enjoyable for me. There definitely was a lot going on in this book, but I felt like all the elements truly worked. There wasn’t anything that felt like a throw away and it never felt like it was too much especially since everything was evenly distributed between the two girls POVs. I also enjoyed the humor of the story. There are a lot of really dark and dramatic moments, but there’s a nice balance of humor mixed in especially between the various friends of the girls. I really hope there’s a second book because I do want to know how Jazmyne and Iraya’s stories continue. I’m really interested to see how they continue to change especially since Jazmyne is headed down a dark road and Iraya is learning what it truly means to be a leader and to rely on others.

Watcha Reading Wednesday (#77)

Happy Wednesday! I hope the week is treating you well!

This week I’m reading Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo.

I’m very excited to see how this duology ends! I loved King of Scars and Nikolai was one of my favorite characters in the original Grisha trilogy so I can’t wait to see where his story ends.

My review for the last book I read Withces Steeped in Gold will be posted Friday!

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

Vacation Book Haul

Hello everyone!

Whenever I go on vacation I like to get a book that’s either set in the city I am visiting or deals with the history of wherever I am and I always buy from either a local bookstore or establishment where the money goes to a good cause. This past week I went to Boston and Salem, so here’s the books that I got!

The first book I grabbed was Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McColskey because for starters there’s a statue dedicated to it in the Boston Public Garden, so as soon as I found out about it I knew that had to be my souvenir book. My second grab from Boston was Wild Women of Boston by Dina Vargo because while I was in the Old North Church gift shop it caught my eye so I figured the more books the merrier!

Salem is where I really went wild. I found Wicked Good Books which was a local bookstore and I love checking out local bookstores for fun and while I was inside I got lost in the Salem Witch Trials section naturally. I grabbed The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry because it was signed and sounded interesting. I also picked up I, Tituba by Maryse Condé because you never see a lot about Tituba and I’m trying to read stories that don’t often get told in popular media. My last grab from Wicked Good Books was The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson because it sounded really cool so why not.

Lastly at the visitor center/national parks center I found another book specifically about the trails that had a really cool cover and the money supported national parks so it was a win win.

What books have you gotten recently? Let me know in the comments!

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

RATING: 5/5

SYNOPSIS: Zachary Ezra Rawlins was an ordinary college student working on his masters when he discovers a book with a chapter that’s word for word a memory from his childhood. Searching for answers he stumbles upon a story greater than himself that is also the story of his life.

I absolutely adored The Night Circus so I was so excited when I found out that Erin Morgenstern wrote another book. Part of me was worried that I wouldn’t love it as much as her debut novel, but those fears were unfounded because I loved The Starless Sea just as much. I’m a big fan of Morgenstern’s unconventional way of telling a story and I’m glad she used some new methods to tell this new story instead of repeating techniques from her previous book. I think what I loved most about this book was that there were stories within stories and it wasn’t immediately clear how relevant they were to the main story. They all connected together so beautifully, but at the same time held their own as individual stories. Quite honestly this book was written for people that love stories. I loved the idea that all stories were connected in some way and I loved the idea of some secret place underground where all stories were kept for posterity. I also loved the idea that a story isn’t a story until it’s had its ending because until then it isn’t complete. You always hear the idea that life is your story, but nobody ever goes much farther than that and the idea that it isn’t a story until it ends was so unique to me and made me excited. I also loved how this started out as a mystery and slowly morphed into an adventure story. The transition was seamless and it really helped drive home the point that a story isn’t just one thing. The only thing that I wished was that the main characters had just as much personality as the characters in the connecting stories. While I was eager to see what happened next, Zachary was a little boring to me and Dorian just seemed to exist. I really wanted to connect with them because they’re the romantic leads and they’re the catalysts for the main action of the story, but I just couldn’t bring myself to care about them the way I did the characters in the side stories. Also at times is seemed like the harbor cats had more personality than them. Mirabel felt like she had the most character to her and I also felt like she had more development because it turns out she was always in every story and I loved that twist. I did however really love the friendship between Zachary and Mirabel. I thought it was well written and their friendship developed naturally and beautifully. Their interactions were cute and I was always happy when they were in scenes together. Even though I wasn’t a fan of the main character the story is still a great story and is written so beautifully. I love Morgenstern’s way with words and even though her characters this time weren’t my cup of tea the plot was so good that it made me want to keep reading. That’s what I love about books sometimes one element makes up for what some of the others lack. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read any further novels from this author.

Watcha Reading Wednesday (#76)

Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing well this week!

This week I’m starting Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart!

This is the book I got in my May Owlcrate box and I’m super excited to start it. I probably would have picked this up on my own because the cover is gorgeous, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to expand my reading horizons through this service. I’m very intrigued by the summary in the dust jacket, so hopefully it’s just as good as it looks!

I finished The Starless Sea this morning so you can expect my review Friday.

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

Watcha Reading Wednesday (#75)

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

I’m still reading The Starless Sea and I’m about halfway through with it now!

The plot is thickening more rapidly now and I’m absolutely loving the little mini stories that happen just before the main action continues! I love, love, love the writing style just as much as I did when I read The Night Circus and I can’t wait to see what happens next from here! This book is definitely made for someone that loves stories like me.

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