January Wrap Up:

It was a good reading month for me ya’ll! Sorry it took me so long to get this up but I’ve been drowning in work for the uni. Ugh.

 1. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (reread, see previous review):

2. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien:

  • I felt like as an English major I pretty much had to read this trology. However, I wasn’t a huge fan of them. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore the movies I will marathon all three of them any day (and the Hobbit!) but I think the books are a little overhyped.
  • People call Tolkien the king of fantasy and I just kind of felt “meh” about the books. I enjoyed the first one, but honestly I thought there was just way too much clutter around the actual plot of the books.
  • I’m going to try to really review the core of the novels and not all the extra drab that Tolkien included. These books are super creative. Like the worldbuilding (and language building) is incredible, and I loved how Hobbits saved the world. The ones you wouldn’t expect who everyone looks down on and treats like children ended up saving everyone’s asses that’s just so great. The setting is mindblowing. Like I want to visit Hobbiton and Rivendell and Minas Tirith so bad.
  • A huge setback is the language. The writing style and just overall language in the books makes them incredibly hard to get through. Like, I have read some thick books in my day and have come across some complex literature but this is on a whole other level. People say there isn’t a boring moment and I’m just like??? I’m sorry but have you read the books? Like please be real. There are some VERY dull and boring parts. There’s a difference between building up the world you’ve created with a rich backstory and bombarding your reader with terms, places and things of the past that do not belong in the book at all. I was very confused (and bored) and felt like I was drowning in backstory. Tolkien needed to write an entire separate book on the history of Middle Earth. Oh wait HE DID and he still included too much backstory.
  • The story is very black and white. The villains aren’t fleshed out and everything just seemed to amount to characters being either good or evil; no inbetween. TOO. MUCH. SINGING. I listened to the audiobook and the poor narrator was singing at least once every chapter for minutes on end. There are no women in any of the books besides Eowyn and I was getting a little tired of all the men. Also, it’s so gay. SO GAY. That’s not a bad thing but I wish it would have been more open like Frodo and Sam are so gay for each other its ridiculous.
  • All and all I really just finished this book to say I’ve read it. As a huge fantasy nerd I was disappointed. But Legolas is bae.

3. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman:

  • Guys this book is so SO good!! I was completely blown away by the research that went into this novel like goddamn. I was truly transported to the WWII era to the point where I actually got creeped out at times. So many details just built up that made it feel so seemless and real I’m just in shock. I literally just love this book so much.
  • The story was original and fast paced (which I LOVE) and almost has a thriller vibe? I was definitely on the edge of my seat a lot! I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was phenomenal. I’m really picky about my audiobook narrators but I loved this narrator she really made the story come to life. I couldn’t stop listening!!
  • If you know me at all you know I HATE insta love. Luckily, there’s no insta love in this book! The romance is gradual and Daniel is so realistic. He makes mistakes, he gets angry, he isn’t perfect. Sometimes in books (looking at you, YA) the men are just too perfect. It’s not that I don’t love them, but I like it when characters are flawed. Then my expectations for men in real life arent so ridiculously high.
  • If you love WWII historical fiction you have to read this book. The perspective is just so unique and chilling. It’s hauntingly beautiful; this book shows that its never too late to change your views on something. Yes, truly horrible things have happened in the past and we can never ever forget them, but love will always be stronger.
  • Gretchen turns her whole life upside down for the truth and refuses to turn away from the unimaginable. She realizes her mistake and changes her views even when everything she thought was right is actually horribly wrong. Not only that but she is willing to admit she was wrong and changes her way of thinking after she realizes how poisoned it is.
  • She’s not stubborn to the point of being ignorant. She’s a strong character, but not ridiculously stubborn about changing her views. The most powerful message I got from the novel is you realize part of your mindset is toxic, its never too late to change. You can always fight injustice in the world and fight against tyranny.
  • As a side note: book two does not exist. This book is a standalone. Do not ruin this book by reading the second one please. We do not discuss book two because there is no book two.

4. The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi:

  • Finally a book I’m happy to review!! I’ve been reading so many “meh” books lately The Star Touched Queen was a very happy and much needed escape for me. Yes it is VERY fluffy at first. I’m gonna call it poetry fluff. If you don’t like poetry/beautiful, whimsical prose, this book is not for you. I’m not saying poetry fluff is bad, but definitely takes some getting used to. I adore prose and poetry and still struggled to get used to this writing style. Its fantastical, and beautiful but its basically like you’re reading poetry.
  • The imagery is literally out of this world. Holy wow. The fantasy world and creatures are so freaking original. Kamala is literally my spirit animal because she is hilarious and terrifying and the inner horse girl in me was like HORSE HORSE HORSE.
  • The main character, Maya, is strong, witty and able to hold her own. She’s snappy, but not blatantly rude. Sometimes in YA I feel like the girls are just so unbelievably bitchy and rude even to complete strangers. Like no one is that rude in real life unless you’re a complete asshole? There’s just no way you would get away with being so horrible to people (lol I’m talking about Clary Fray if you can’t tell). BUT thankfully Maya isn’t like that! She wants to figure stuff out for herself ad make her own choices/decisions which I really respect. Also she doesn’t make super important decisions immediately. Like she takes time to think about her actions, their consequences and what the right thing to do is. You go girl.
  • At first I thought the romance was a little too close to insta love for my taste, but then the plot develops more and that’s not the case at all. Well kind of but I won’t spoil anything. If I was the editor I might have made it a little less insta-lovey but I’ll give it a pass this time because the romance was just sooooo beautiful and the insta attraction was explained later on.
  • Did I mention this is an adaptation of persephone and hades told through an indian setting!! beautiful!! But it’s also really original. I didn’t instantly make the Hades/Persephone connection but then again I rarely see retellings for what they are lolz.
  • I met the author and she is SUCH a sweetheart. She is so kind and truly deserves everything and the good reviews that this book has received.

5. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon:

  • Listened to the audiobook and the narrator was okay. But my main problem was the super confusing world this book is set in. The author throws a lot of terms, places and just general worldbuilding at the reader at once.
  • None of the characters were unique. Not one of the characters stood out to me. Paige was such a bland character. like there wasn’t anything special about her. she was just another classic “special snowflake”ya heroine. Ughhhh.
  • Literally crying at this review I found on goodreads “paige is like a limp rag. She really done’t do much.” LOL
  • I also felt like the romance between paige and warden was just like??? rushed? Thrown in at the end? Absolutely unnecessary? Pretty much all of the above. I’m confused as why she even liked Warden (and vice versa) like Warden was pretty horrible to her and I felt like he really didn’t know Paige well enough to like her.
  • It also didn’t help that I’ve seen sooooo much hype on bookstagram and even though I didn’t have any expectations (I didn’t know what the book was about at all) it still didn’t meet my expectations. That’s really sad actually…
  • Its super difficult to read. I had to rewind the audiobook five times to understand things which is super annoying.
  • I did not appreciate how the villains were basically just glorified vampires. “They’re not like us” and whatnot like please be more original.
  • NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
  • Even though this book is told in first person I still had no idea what the hell Paige was thinking or feeling and got no sense of her personality or any complexity of character.
  • Sidenote: I really don’t know why I make myself read these books that I clearly don’t like. Its just once I’m five hours into the audiobook I just want to make myself finish it because I’m already committed. I need to stop doing this because books like this are putting me in a reading slump.

6. The Young Elites by Marie Lu:

  • Again, listened to the audiobook, and the narrator was ok at best. She was so breathy and kept whispering so I would turn the volume up and then she would talk normally and my eardrums would get blown out so that was fun.
  • Anyways if you think it couldn’t get worse wait for my review. I hate giving out one star reviews. I really do. It saddens me. I know the authors work hard to get their work published and the book is like their baby but I just can’t help it I have to be honest.
  • I’ll start off by saying this: yes it was cool to have a protagonist turn into an antagonist but other than that this book is very dull. The first time I tried to read it I couldn’t finish it. I made myself read it again and regretted the time I spent reading (or rather, listening to) it.
  • Malfetto powers just aren’t anything new. It just seemed like typical magic powers that aren’t explained. Yes there was a plague that caused them to have powers but it really didn’t dig into how the magic works, etc.
  • I thought the plot was drab and honestly didn’t have anything I hadn’t already seen before besides being narrated from the point of view of the villain.
  • Another infuriating fact: I didn’t connect, relate to or like a single character in this book. They all could have died and I probably would have been like “finally some action.” Adelina was annoying and not very fleshed out. I never knew her drives or motives and just didn’t really care about her at all.
  • The plot was seriously lacking, basically nothing happened. It barely touched on her training and it just seemed kind of “meh” the whole time. My heart was never pounding. I really just couldn’t bring myself to care.
  • The world its set in isn’t creative either. I just wrote a review for the Bone Season and I keep getting them mixed up because they were both so bad lol h8ers gonna h8) but anyway it was not a creative world, again it didn’t seem like anything I hadn’t seen before. Yes Adelina is different but not complex or layered. The most exciting thing that happens in this book is she really turns into a full fledged villain. I honestly don’t think this book would have been published if she didn’t turn out to be the villain.
  • She’s just a typical bad guy who was “made” not born ugh. We need more Joffreys in the book world. Joffrey is a complete shit for no reason besides the fact that he can and I love him. He’s terrifying and just evil for no reason other than its fun bless him.
  • EVERYONE LIKED THIS BOOK AND I DON’T KNOW WHY. Literally could not care less about the love interests. I was literally so shocked when she kissed Enzo because I had no idea she liked him.
  • The writing is completely lifeless. It’s so bland. It was like half cooked oatmeal with no sugar or anything. Like ew. Told in first person but still couldn’t get a grasp on her personality or anything. NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

(I’m so sorry. I promise I’m not a hateful person at all. I love people I really do but with books I’m a SUPER harsh critic and just have strong feelings all the time but I promise I am a really nice person in real life and am not a grouch. I promise. I’m just a harsh book critic lol).

I also read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince but I want to wait and review the entire series once I finish my reread 🙂

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