Red Queen: My First Aveyard

Hey guys! I am trying out a new format with my blog so bear with me…

THE BOOK:

Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Series: Red Queen #1

Published February 10th, 2015 by HarperTeen

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Sci-Fi

Pages: 383

“This is a world divided by blood—red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance—Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.” -Goodreads

MY REVIEW:

Plotwise this book had everything. Characterwise this book had everything. Romancewise this book had everything. This book was everything I wanted and more!

Before reading this, I was in a total reading slump. I had five books on my book cart begging to be read, but they did not entice me. I thought, “Okay, let’s try one more attempt at recovery.” I grabbed the first book on my shelf, something new, something fresh. I had never read Aveyard’s work before. I had attempted to read this one a long time ago, but it became overdue at the library and I had no care to continue on.

But damn how I have missed out!

From the moment I picked up this book, I devoured it. I began reading it last week and then just finished today. I have not finished a book in a week since Summer. School has been kicking my butt and this was the perfect escape.

The plot was exciting. Aveyard is a temptress. She brings you into the story with vivid details and then smashes your face into the Silver’s diamond walls with twists and turns. I got to see the seedy underbelly of the elite in this society, and I want more.

Whenever I started getting comfortable with the storyline, thinking: “What else could possibly happen?” I was thrown into a whole new hole and sunk deeper and deeper into the story.

The graphics in my mind were so amazing. Aveyard found the sweet spot when it came to describing the setting. It wasn’t overcontrolling but it wasn’t so little I could have thought of anything and it would fit. The imagery wrapped around me like a nicely fitting glove.

Mare Barrow, the main character, excites me, infuriates me, and charms me in every word of the story. She goes from peasant Red in rags to noble Silver in silks. We, as readers, see the internal struggle she feels working with her enemies. We feel all of her emotions as we go through the story.

The kind, sweet-hearted Maven was my favorite character. Emphasis on the was. I was really rooting for him throughout the book. I wanted the second child to get some sort of recognition in this book. He was handsome, smart, and emotionally available for Mare. Again, emphasis on the past tense.

Cal infuriates me. Yeah, I said it. He is annoying and I do not root for him. He stands against everything Mare stands for, which I am always going to be on Mare’s side, and that makes him a little punk in my mind.

The other side characters were amazing. Everyone was well developed, no matter who they were and if they only showed up once or twice. I got to love almost everyone in this book.

I think this book was super entertaining. I have heard that it might be made into a TV show or movie. I would die! I think that it would be so cool to see the story of Mare Barrow brought to the big screen.

Go check out my Twitter and Instagram @abookiesbooks

As always, thanks for reading

A Bookie

MY RATING:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Blackout: A Must Read

Title: Blackout

Authors: Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon

Published June 22nd, 2021 by Quill Tree Books

Genre: Contemporary YA, Romance

“A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks…

A first meeting. 

Long-time friends. 

Bitter exes. 

And maybe the beginning of something new.

When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.” –Goodreads

My Review:

This is going to be short, I am just trying to catch up!

I read this book in the summer. And clearly, I am posting this review in the fall. I am sorry. I have been doing a whole lot of reading and not a lot of blogging. Blame it on the various ways I am able to read books these days. Audiobooks have made it so I can literally read without my eyes open.

That is how I read this glorious book.

Let me tell you, I love these short story books by multiple authors. This is similar to the winter My True Love Gave to Me book. Except it is even better.

It is about black teens of all different sexualities in New York City. It has representation and New York City. What more can I ask for?

I don’t have a lot to say about this book other than it is really good. I think that everyone should read it. If you like romance and short stories that you definitely should read this book.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A Not So Warm Beach Read

AHHHHHHHH

SO SORRY FOR TAKING SO LONG!!!!!!

I am so trying to handle school, three jobs and this blog. This blog just had to sit on the back burner, sadly. Anyways, I think posts are going to be more infrequent. I think I am going to write posts when I am procrastinating my homework (like right now). I again apologize but lets move on…

Title: Beach Read

Author: Emily Henry

Published May 19th 2020 by Berkley

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

Pages: 361

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.” –Goodreads

My Review:

Apparently, I have been crazy into romance novels this summer. I have never read so many before. I think it has to do with getting turned down for an internship at a publishing house because I “did not know enough about the genre,” but that is besides the point.

I listened to this book on audio, which let me say, I was not expecting the spicy scene halfway throughout the book and was getting weird stares while listening to it in my car.

This book was a pretty great book. And by pretty great I mean, really really great. The entire premise of the book was amazing. I think I mentioned this before in another review, but I am really digging the this-could-happen-to-literally-anyone books. I am so deep into fantasy novels that reading books about real life situations is such a load off my back. No longer am I swinging swords on the battlefield and running away from scary dragons, I am just casually relaxing by the beach gossiping with my girl January.

January is a great character. I think she is so down to earth. Authors try to make their characters different and quirky, but I think Emily Henry just brought us a real girl with real girl problems. She was obsessed with one dude in college. That one dude became her next door neighbor after her dad cheated on her mom, died, and than left January a fancy house. See, very normal.

One thing I will have to say about this book that irks me is that they are not near a beach. Technically any mass of land and sand probably equals beach, but they are on the shores of Lake Michigan. Isn’t it cold in Michigan?

The title totally made me believe nice warm read. And yes they describe it as warm sometimes, but I just cannot help but imagine the mitten shape of Michigan and how cold it must be.

This book was so cute and fun to read. I do not think it was the best book I have ever read. Certainly was not the best book I read this summer. But it was still a fun book.

The book kind of lacked in conflict and problems. Yes there were overlying issues and the main couple broke up ~sorta~ not. But maybe the main focus of the book was on the character finding themselves and not whether or not they fell in love with the dark, mysterious author who lives next door.

I am telling you, too much fantasy and too much romance. I need to read more normal books with normal problems.

All in all, Beach Read is a great read. It is fun and light hearted and nice book to pick up.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

What am I reading this week?

For those that dont know, WWW is a meme and this meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of WordsAnd it involves answering the 3 Ws!

What am I currently reading?

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

A Veil of Truth and Trickery by Analeigh Ford

*If you want to see the whole list of my current reads, my Goodreads is listed in my sidebar of this blogsite.

What did I recently finish?

Layla by Colleen Hoover

What am I reading next?

Beach Read by Emily Henry

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” -That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s theme:

Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

  1. The Harry Potter Series J.K Rowling
  2. The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas-specifically the first first three books
  3. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  5. Paper Towns by John Green
  6. Heartless by Marissa Meyers
  7. Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  8. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  9. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  10. the sun and her flowers by rupi kaur

Let me know down below what books you would put on this list or link your own TTT post in the comments.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

An ACOTAR Christmas Special

Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1

Published May 1st 2018 by Bloomsbury YA

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance, Novella

Pages: 229

Hope warms the coldest night.

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and, with it, a hard-earned reprieve.

Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated—scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their court.

Narrated by Feyre and Rhysand, this wondrous tale of hope and promise picks up after A Court of Wings and Ruin and sets the stage for the thrilling events in the future books.” -Goodreads

My Review:

So did anyone else reading this read it as a Christmas special?

This book basically picks up after the third book. And it was basically a Christmas special but in book form.

In the novella of the Throne of Glass series, Maas wrote back stories for Aelin and Celeana. This novella was a Christmas special. I guess you could say I was just quite a bit surprised. It was a different change. I guess I do not know what I expected.

It was a cute little story though. I have been on a romance kick, if you have been seeing my Goodreads shelves updating or reading my reviews. So this is just one of many romance books I will be reviewing. I finished it in one day. It was a cute little book to read and to get me back in the physical book reading mood (before this I did a lot of Kindle and audiobook reading).

It started to introduce the new little love triangle between Elain and Azriel. I know the Gwen is not introduced in this book, but this is the start of Az and Elain’s little romance. I am not sure how I feel about it just yet. I know that a lot of BookTok and BookTwit don’t like them. I am really not sure how I feel. I do really like the fanart for Gwen and Azriel I have seen though. I have yet to purchase ACOSF, so the wait for my opinions on the remaining canon plot is yet to be had.

Feyre and Rhysand seem to be recovering after the War. Obviously they are not healed but they do seem to help work through that. So far, Rhysand has helped her through so much. You can see Feyre’s healing in the end of this. She is returning to herself pre-Under the Mountain. This series is really cool because you can see how far she has come from the beginning of the series.

One thing that bothers me a bit about this series is how Feyre is seemingly becoming a housewife. I understand that, yes, in this book there is not fight to be had and she does have to rule her Court. I feel as though she does sit out of a lot of fights. She is less of a bad*ss (not offense).

This is a contrast to Aelin in Throne of Glass. It is hard for me to love Feyre and this series as much as I loved Throne of Glass. I loved Throne of Glass because it shattered those gender stereotypes for me. The MC could still be an assassin, ruthless in everyway, and still love to wear fancy clothes and get dressed up. I thought it was an important lesson. Also, Throne of Glass emphasizes that Aelin can save herself most of the time. ACOTAR seems like she needed a man to save her in every bad living situation.

I hate to bash on it, but it is true.

I did enjoy getting to see the other character’s POVs. I hope to see more of them in other books. (Again, still haven’t read ACOSF so I don’t know if it has them or not.) I liked Cassian’s POVs the best probably. I think he is my favorite side character so far. He just is such a fun and loyal guy.

Nesta in this book made me mad. But I understand why she acts the way she acts, mostly. She is traumatized and in pain. I feel like her being with her sister, at least Elain for the solstice would help her. But hey, I am not a licensed therapist so I have no real authority over others emotions.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I can not wait to read the other books. I chuckled all day over this book because it felt like a Christmas special. Out of everything, I have never read a Christmas special to a book series before. Is this a real thing?

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 3.8

Add a Little Bit of Magic…

Title: White Magic

Author: Elissa Washuta

Published April 27th 2021 by Tin House Books

Genre: Essays, Non-fiction, Feminism

Pages: 432

“Throughout her life, Elissa Washuta has been surrounded by cheap facsimiles of Native spiritual tools and occult trends, “starter witch kits” of sage, rose quartz, and tarot cards packaged together in paper and plastic. Following a decade of abuse, addiction, PTSD, and heavy-duty drug treatment for a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, she felt drawn to the real spirits and powers her dispossessed and discarded ancestors knew, while she undertook necessary work to find love and meaning.

In this collection of intertwined essays, she writes about land, heartbreak, and colonization, about life without the escape hatch of intoxication, and about how she became a powerful witch. She interlaces stories from her forebears with cultural artifacts from her own life—Twin Peaks, the Oregon Trail II video game, a Claymation Satan, a YouTube video of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham—to explore questions of cultural inheritance and the particular danger, as a Native woman, of relaxing into romantic love under colonial rule.” –Goodreads

My Review:

If you know me, I do not read a lot of non-fiction. But my super great reader friend had this book with her when we went out to read once. I asked her about it and instantly I was intrigued. It is about Elissa Washuta, a Cowlitz woman. The Cowlitz tribe is a tribe from my home state and the tribe of the aforementioned friend. So I ran to the Barnes and Nobles and picked it up.

First off, this book was amazing. The writing was spectacular. The design of the book was beautiful.

But I just didn’t get it.

Like the ending wasn’t a clear cut answer to any of her questions. The reader was left at the ending with the same feeling of despair and dissolution as the author was at the end of her essays.

I really liked it, but also really liked it. As a fiction reader, I am so used to stories with tied up endings. But this had ended with the authors feelings when she decided to finish the story.

It reminded me of the Bo Burnham Inside special. It was a lot of upbeat(sorta) moments in the beginning and than slowly spirals into all out despair and desolation.

We, as readers, saw the murky insides of Washuta and her feelings as she combats her feelings about life and her relationship with her ex-boyfriend.

I think it was a super raw and emotional book. I should warn people that there are a lot of triggers in this book. There is talk of r*pe, abuse, racism, alcoholism, and other things. I definitely had to put it down a few times because of how heavy the topics were. It is still really eye-opening for people who do not struggle with some of these issues.

Along with the heavy topics, Washuta adds in pieces of Native culture like lore and stories about her ancestors. This illuminated some of the Native history in my own home state which is lacking in most formal education systems.

I really liked meeting Elissa Washuta through the pages. I found some of the stories she told to be relatable. It illuminated some things about my own life, past and present, that I decided I needed to change or became grateful for the change. I am pretty sure this book is the reason I reach out to my therapist again.

Please go check this book out. It is important to me to support Native culture and Native authors. I think this book deserves a lot of recognition.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4.0

See what I am reading this week!

For those that dont know, WWW is a meme and this meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of WordsAnd it involves answering the 3 Ws!

What am I currently reading?

The Diabolic by S. J Kincaid

*If you want to see the whole list of my current reads, my Goodreads is listed in my sidebar of this blogsite.

What did I recently finish?

She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen

What did I recently finish?

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

TTT: My Favorite Places to Read

“Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” -That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s theme:

Favorite Places to Read

Currently I do not go a lot of places to read. I do a lot of listening on my phone as I play video games on my computer. Or I sit on my couch. But here is my list:

  1. My Room
  2. Around my school’s campus
  3. A park next to my friend’s old apartment
  4. The trunk of my car
  5. The infamous hill in my college town
  6. My grandma’s old work (a library)
  7. Any library really!
  8. While driving home (audiobooks, do not read and drive)
  9. My school’s Lit building
  10. On late night coffee runs while I sit passenger

Thanks for reading my list!

Link your posts down below or let me know of any places you relate to on here.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

The Vine Witch Series: Trilogy Mini-Reviews

Title: The Vine Witch

Author: Luanne G. Smith

Series: The Vine Witch #1

Published October 1st 2019 by 47North

Genre: Fantasy, Witches, Romance

Pages: 263

“A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.” -Goodreads

My Review:

As the first book in this series, I saw it as I scrolled through Kindle. I took as chance and began reading it. I was immediately intrigued and pulled into this book series. I had never heard of it but I was looking for something different to read than my normal smutty books.

I was first intrigued by the details. It was incredibly detailed. I always could see everything that was happening around me. The smells and tastes of everything was so vivid, I felt as though I was Elena.

Meeting Elena was a magical moment. She was a cunning and relatable character to read about. I think there was little character development on her throughout the series, which was a little disappointing. I do love a good character shift but she stays pretty stagnant. She is very likeable. She always does the right thing and is always there to lend her friends a helping hand.

Elena and Jean-Paul do give this book a bit of romance that gives it a push into the romance genre. It is not a lot, however, and is kind of in the background. I almost didn’t even notice.

I would say this book was a little slow to start and the romance was a little lack luster but the ending was thrilling and made up for my dislike of the beginning.

Star Rating: 3.0

Then came the next book…

Title: The Glamourist

Author: Luanne G. Smith

Series: The Vine Witch #2

Published June 9th 2020 by 47North

Genre: Fantasy, Witches

Pages: 282

“Abandoned as a child in turn-of-the-century Paris, Yvette Lenoir has longed to uncover the secrets of her magical heritage and tap her suppressed powers. But what brave and resourceful Yvette has done to survive the streets has made her a fugitive. With a price on her head, she clings to a memento from her past—what she believes to be a grimoire inherited from the mother she never knew. To unlock the secrets of her past, Yvette trusts in one woman to help solve the arcane riddles among its charmed pages.

Elena Boureanu is the vine witch of Château Renard, noted for its renowned wines. Even as she struggles with her own bloodline—and its poisonous threat to her future—Elena can’t ignore a friend on the run. Joined by a cunning thief, the proprietor of an enchanted-curio shop, and a bewitching black cat, Elena and Yvette are determined to decode Yvette’s mysterious keepsake. But what restless magic will be unleashed? And what are Yvette and Elena willing to risk to become the witches they were destined to be?” -Goodreads

My Review:

The Glamourist was everything the first book was not. It had suspense. It had multiple POVs of our main characters of the series, Yvette, Elena, and Sidra. This book mainly focused on Yvette’s story with Elena to back up the story with side plot.

Yvette was awesome. I liked her a lot. I believe there was a bit of development in this story with her character. The whole story centers around her finding her true identity.

Smith wrote this story even better then The Vine Witch. The senses were even more stimulated. I now really want to go to Paris to try some of the food and smells they talked about in the book.

This book was definitely my favorite in the series. It was just so much action and struggle. I felt so connected with the characters.

Star Rating: 3.1

Title: The Conjurer

Author: Luanne G. Smith

Series: The Vine Witch #3

Published January 12th 2021 by 47North

Genre: Fantasy, Witches

Pages: 241

“Sidra didn’t murder her husband. Yet even a jinni can’t wish away a wrongful imprisonment. Determined to prove her innocence, she returns to her adopted home—a French village renowned for its perfume witches—with her friends Elena and Yvette by her side. Here is where Sidra’s true destiny awaits, but danger also lurks in the village’s narrow lanes.

On her trail is Jamra, another jinni, who’s after more than revenge for the murder of his brother. He also seeks vengeance for the indignities inflicted on jinn by mortals over the centuries. When he learns of an ancient relic capable of unleashing chaos on the world, and that the weapon is in the hands of his murderous sister-in-law, he vows to destroy Sidra to get it.

Relying on a sisterhood of magic, a mysteriously faithful dog, and a second-rate sorcerer, Sidra defends herself using the village’s greatest asset: its perfume. It’s as beguiling a lure as it is a formidable shield. But is it enough for Sidra to protect herself and those she loves from powers yet to be released?” -Goodreads

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book like the others. But there were some downfalls.

Like the first, Sidra did not have a lot of character development. Smith also had Sidra hide a lot of things from the reader even in the third person limited she wrote in. I feel like we could have had a little more insight with out spoiling too much in the grand scheme of things.

Also, the plot up until the end was not as flushed out as I thought it could be. At times it was confusing and just seemed like they were passing time till they were leading up to their final battle.

But, the ending, like the first book, made it all worth it. I was tearing up at the end of the last line. It was a pretty good ending.

Star Rating: 2.8

Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed my mini-reviews of the series. I am pretty backed up on my reviews so I wanted to flush some out as fast as I could. I am doing a lot of reading but not a lot of writing. So this post was to make it a bit easier on myself. I would definitely go check this series out. I thought it was really good and well written.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie