Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Okay, this book was partially a cover buy and partially because when it was released it was all over the internet and the storyline just begged to be read.

For those of you who don't know it's about a girl, a boy, and a prince. Together they have to work together to assassinate a king and stop a war. The girl can speak to the Gods, the boy has a pretty monstrous secret and the prince has a lot to learn about who to trust. It's got romance, gothic feels, and its the type of fantasy that I love with plenty of magical things going on.

Right off the bat you get thrown into the action. There's a war going on and don't you know it!

The magical element was really different too, and I totally loved it. Having a story about a girl (and culture) of people who, when chosen, can speak to the Gods and use their abilities was pretty seriously great. The other magical element of having people who use their blood to activate spells they tear out of books they wear on their waist was so neat!

This was fast read for me, partially because I was totally absorbed in the story, and partially because it's wasn't an overly complicated read.

The writing in this book was something really great. The way the author wrote the characters, it was like you knew them immediately and you developed feelings about them so fast that when something happened, you could really feel for the characters. This was especially apparent with the villains. One second you feel one way and then it's call different! I won't say more, you'll just have to read the book!

The story was so built up that I was in a hurry for the ending because I NEEDED to know what was going to happen. This meant that the ending didn't quite satisfy me. I've since learned this will be part of a trilogy, so it makes sense the ending I was after didn't quite happen yet.

It's also possible I'm missing something in the ending because I read it so quickly. I think I might need to revisit it, especially before I read the next one when it come out. I will admit that when it was over I felt like I was missing something.

Overall, I really liked this book! It was an interesting and different gothic fantasy young adult read and I enjoyed it! I will definitely read the rest of the series when it comes out.

Recommendations: For fantasy lovers who love a good magic system, gothic elements, and interesting villains!

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Struggle With TBR's

I began this book blogging journey by keeping a notebook where I would write down my thoughts on the books I'd like to write about. At this point I am on my fifth notebook.

On the first page of the first one I placed sticky notes listing the names of all the books I planned on reading and reviewing. I think I was able to get 25 on each side of the first page if I lined them up just right.

I started this because I am a big believer of writing down simple to-do lists and things like that so that I can get that satisfying feeling of crossing out things once I've done them. This was the same idea I had when I created this sticky note list of books. Once I finished reading and taking notes on a book I would gleefully tear off its corresponding sticky note. 

A book made it onto a sticky note usually when it came home with me (either from a bookstore or the library) and I thought it would be perfect to review. Somehow I managed to fill up the first notebook before I finished the list of sticky noted books so I transferred them into the second notebook. By the end of the second notebook, the sticky note list was a lot smaller but still hanging on.

I transferred it into the third book for all of 10 minutes before I pulled half of them off and replaced them with new books that I was more excited to read. That lasted I think for another day till I pulled them all off and threw them out. 

The books on the sticky notes just became like failed tasks. A lot of the remaining books have been on the list since the very beginning and it was starting to drive me nuts. The list was supposed to make me feel more organized but instead I felt confined. 

This feeling was exactly the reason I've stopped trying to keep TBR (to be read) lists. Every single time I wrote out a monthly TBR list, I would give up after about two books. What I think I would love to read would change all the time. Either new books would find their way into my hands or my moods would change and the lists would be ugly little reminders that I wasn't keeping up with my goals again and nobody needs that kind of negativity.

I've since acquired a book cart and decided right off the bad that the top shelf was going to be where I'd place books I'd like to read soon. I went and pulled some books from my bookshelves and then arranged them on the cart. I told myself it wasn't a TBR because those didn't work for me. I told myself that I was just going to put books on there for now and grab them when I wanted to read. It's been about three months, if not more. Some of those books are still there. Do I go there when I need a new read? Nope. It's like those books I was so excited for are now being ignored because they aren't on my bookshelf, they are on my cart.

I believe that am done with ever having another TBR. Goodbye to the book lists and shelves of books set aside because I think I'll read them soon. Goodbye to the stress they cause. I am just going to read what I want when I want and throw the rest out the window. 

Don't worry about my book cart though! She's still there, and still so very useful. Right now I'm in the middle of about 5 different books and they are living on the top shelf along with books who are simply waiting to be put onto my shelf. The middle rack is a catchall from my desk, and the bottom are books I'm going to donate or drop off at a free library.

How about you? Tell me your thoughts! Do you love TBR's? Do you hate them? If you love them, tell me how you deal with them and make them work!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Murder at the Grand Raj Palace by Vaseem Khan

This completely new to me book was one I stumbled across by sheer luck on my last bookstore trip. It's bright beautiful cover was facing out at me on the shelf as I walked by. As soon as I read the back, I was hooked.

It's the 4th in a series and it's about a retired Inspector turned private investigator in India. The best part? He is quite often accompanied on his investigations by his baby elephant Ganesha!

This book has never crossed my feed on bookstagram, and I'm seriously sorry for that because this book/series deserves all the attention!

As I intend to gush about each and every one of these on my blog when I finish reading them, I'll tell you a little bit more about the actual story: There has been a death at the Grand Raj Palace hotel. An American billionaire business man has been found dead, the day after buying India's most expensive painting. Officially, the police and officials want to label it a suicide, but the man in charge of the investigation doesn't believe it's suicide. Chopra is called in to investigate, and along with his baby elephant Ganesha, he gets down to work on the case.

The writing is so good! The characters are phenomenal! The story is just so much fun that you just can't put it down! This is a more intricate cozy mystery. Books like this one are exactly the kind of reads I so adore!

There are four books in the series, with another one coming out later this year in August. I believe there are also two short stories as eBooks too that go along with this series. All I know is I need to get shopping and put these on my shelf A.S.A.P for a binge reading weekend! I will say I was a little miffed because even at the bookstore, I could tell this wasn't the first in the series, but they didn't have any of the other books in stock. After going online and checking my other local bookstores, they don't have them either, which I think is totally nuts.

Honestly, I don't even want to tell you anything else about the book because its so good. If you're reading this, you need to just go read the book and see what I mean Really though, I don't remember being this excited about a book I've read in a really long time. It's that freaking amazing!

Recommendation: If you love mysteries, this is 100% for you. It's got amazing characters, intriguing mysteries, and wonderful writing. You need to read this book!