#BookReview Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

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Here’s another #ThrowbackThursday – a novel I read years ago, but reread and created a review for!! This is one of my favourites – Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.

 

 

Clockwork Princess is a beautiful finish to one of YA’s best series in recent years.

For years I waited anxiously for a book like Clockwork Princess – a story that ends beautifully, perfectly and without total heart break. With characters as strong as Jem, Will and Tessa, we needed a solid ending that would make all fans happy but also tie up the story just perfectly, and Cassandra Clare delivered.

This book will pull at your heartstrings and destroy you. It’s such a beautiful ending it’s hard to believe it’s all over with. The ups and downs of this series is ended just perfectly that there are no loose ends and no destroyed fans (at least, from what I’ve seen). I dare say that this book is the best book Cassandra Clare has ever written – it rivals the base Mortal Instrument series, and has one step up. This book was even better than City of Heavenly Angels, in my opinion. With such a satisfying conclusion, I have to say it deserves more than five stars. Not many books can be finished so perfectly.

Would I recommend this series? Absolutely. While it’s a YA, it definitely doesn’t feel like your typical YA story. Adults can enjoy this – there isn’t as much ooey, gooey silly teenage angst that is in most YA books. It’s a grown up YA with the odd silly scene. So it’s safe to say it’s a good read. This series can also be used as a standalone – you don’t need to read all the other series (Mortal Instruments, Dark Artifices) to understand this book at all. It is the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments, if you’re interested in reading further (they can be read out of order via the series though. TMI came out first, then this series and now The Dark Artifices). I would suggest reading the three books of this series in order though – it’s worthy.

It also has one of the most beautiful covers. I love the original cover – I saw a new one at my local book store recently and it wasn’t as beautiful, but in terms of cover art – judging the book by it’s cover it allowed for this book. With such a great cover comes such a great story.

Problems with this book/series:
Yes, there’s a love triangle. Can they be annoying? Yes. Does it work in this book? Yeah, it’s YA so it’s kind of an expected plot twist these days.
Weak characters – yeah, there are some. But personally, I find having all characters be strong can make for a boring book.
Repeat characters – Cassandra Clare uses the same characters/developments with different names and faces. It’s annoying, but as long as you aren’t just reading her books and expand your library, you don’t notice to much.
Rule Breakers – some of the “cannot be broken rules” are broken in this book. It’s kind of annoying in my eyes, but what can you do? It created the happy ending most fans wanted, so I guess we can over look that…
Tessa – FINALLY we learn what Tessa is. I’m a little disappointed it took so long because it would have been cooler to flesh out all about her throughout the series, but whatever, it works, I guess.

So, overall, this book is really on the fence for most readers – people either love it passionately to no end (ugly cry, putting the book on a pedestal and praying to it sort of deal) or hated it (rip the pages out, burn the book, demand a refund, etc). I’m on the end that enjoyed it and I definitely kept the book (Look at that cover, how can you not love the book for the cover alone?).

So, I will give it five out of five stars. It had it’s faults for sure, but it was a great read that kept me interested, was fast paced, and had an ending that I found to be good.

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#BookReview Seduction on the Slopes (SIG #2) by Tamsen Parker

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*Arc courtesy of Tamsen Parker/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Why am I reading a book about winter games in freezing weather when I’m cold and dreaming of the summer? Because Tamsen Parker has another wonderful book out! So maybe reading a book about cold isn’t the smartest idea, but Tamsen has some hot and heavy romance in this book to warm you up! (Well, I wish it worked that way…).

Pros:
1. F-Bombs galore! For me, this was actually one of the more amusing parts. There are some perfectly timed f-bombs for comedic purposes. Ah, how I love Tamsen’s fruity language.

2. I’m not the biggest fan of M/M books (mainly because most of them are trying to follow the “stereotype” of what society has deemed M/M relationships to be) but this one was more realistic (within the scenario). It’s a major plus for this book not to be the stereotypical “norm” that has become some recent M/M books.

3. “Ass-Muffin”. That term, that’s a pro all on it’s own.

4. This book is a rather quick, easy read – I found it to be addicting to the point I wouldn’t put it down.

5. There’s some great comedic tones within this novel. This book is not just hardcore M/M romance scenes page after page, there’s a plot, some sporty goodness and drama all wrapped up into one beautiful bundle. It’s also complex in the character development and back stories. These characters aren’t Mary Sue’s!!!

Cons:
1. Too Short? I felt the first book in this series was to short, and now this one also felt a little too short. But on a positive note, it’s also not too long…

2. This can be a pro or a con depending on what type of reader you are – there is lots of CHEESE in this book. And by cheese, I mean cheesey dialogue. For me, I love it (mostly because Tamsen does it “right” in my mind) but it can be considered a con by many – so I’ll list it in my con list.

3. Series wise, these books are all focused on different characters. To me, that’s kind of a con considering I love some of these characters and want much more of them. Maybe I can convince Tamsen to make some Infinity War-esque novel of all of these characters… Maybe not. It might be worth a shot though…

4. Two books in a row now have had these sugary sweet endings that all tie up perfectly super quickly. That might be my biggest con of all for some of Tamsen’s books. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s definitely something that could be worked on (can you tell I’m in school exam mode right now with the constructive criticism and feedback? Oh boy).

Overall, this book is hella sexy and definitely worth a read. If you are a fan of romance, M/M, sporty novels or a splash of comedy in with your romance, this book is for you!

Five out of five stars!!

 

Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out Tamsen Parker on Goodreads! Tamsen Parker on Goodreads

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Or check out my Goodreads page for an archive of all of my reviews! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy: HIS CUSTODY by Tamsen Parker Book Review

#BookReview Immortal by Gillian Shields

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Here’s a quick #FlashbackFriday review featuring a YA novel!!

 

Immortal by Gillian Shields is a fantasy YA novel focused on witches.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series (aka this book, Immortal). The take it has on witches was different than what I had read about before, and I enjoyed it’s uniqueness. It wasn’t on my top list of YA books I read years ago, but it’s still a good book.

Gillian Shields is a skilled writer, and I really want to pick up more books from her. This novel isn’t an A+ book, but I can only imagine how much she has grown since she first wrote this book. With so much potential, it’s hard to believe she won’t write an even better book in the future.

I did think there was a pinch too much romance in this book. If there was more focus on the plot line and witches I think it could have peaked up to an even higher rating on my end. I’ll have to pick up the rest of the books in the series again to see if it gets any better or if my ratings change from when I first read this series. It also features some cliche characters and plot lines…

So, for me, it’s a little bit boring.

It’s still a sweet book, and I think there’s lots of room to grow for Gillian. Hopefully she has more books out because I absolutely LOVED her writing style within this. Her books are easy to read and move at a relatively fast paced!

Three out of five stars.

 

Check out Gillian on Goodreads! Gillian Shields on Goodreads

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Did you enjoy this review? Here’s another you might like! Book Review: Boys That Bite by Mari Mancusi

#BookReview Manchester Vice by Jack Strange

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*Arc given by the author, Jack Strange, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review*

Warning: Spoilers below.

Jack Strange’s books are of an interesting variety – when reading the synopsis I always get this very melancholy or “yeah, yeah” feeling, but when I pick up the book I’m blown away by the sheer excellence of his writing skills. Truly, the synopsis of anyone of his books don’t do the novels justice.

If I had to describe this book in one sentence, it would be “what the eff”. Now, that might sound rude, but I mean it in the nicest way possible. This book is all kinds of messed up, and truly memorizing. It gives me Dexter-like vibes in every way, in every good way. If you’re into severely messed up crime, this book is for you. It’ll blow your mind with how crazy, surreal and descriptive a novel like this can be.

I’m honestly surprised that Jack isn’t a more popular author than he is. I could see people lining up for these books in my local book shops, but they aren’t. It really boggles my mind how some really talented people aren’t getting the recognition they deserve.

Pros:

1. Excellent story telling – Jack Strange has true talent with how he weaves his narrative together. You don’t know what’s real or not until the very end – and that’s just how I love a good quality crime novel!

2. Unique descriptions – This man has a way with words, as I already said. But not only is his story telling fascinating, but his word choice enhances this novel to another level.

3. I find it interesting that most crime novels that feature a murderer don’t delve into the actual feelings they have (why they murder, what they feel after, etc) but Jack finally did. It’s a nice change, because I always wondered if the murderers felt anything at all or if they were just emotionless monsters.

4. The arc of the storyline was intriguing and followed every note I hoped it would hit. Some of it is easily guessed, but I’m glad Jack took the route he did (trying to explain this without any major spoilers is tougher than I thought it would be…). In a world like today where Big Brother is always watching us and social media is king of all, it was nice to see this book accept this fact and play along with it.

5. The King Lear references about tragedy being brought on by the character’s themselves is a very nice addition.

Cons:

1. Drugging a cat annoyed me as a cat lover, I won’t lie. That’s a major con for me.

2. My personal con/questions: I would have liked to know what swung Brian into being the bad guy that he is. Was he always this bad? Was it just a situation that led him to this? I have lots of questions as to how someone could be so easily swayed into the life/choices they made. But that’s just me and my over active imagination/thoughts. It’s not necessarily a con against the book, it’s my personal thoughts/loose ends that didn’t get tied up for me.

3. I found that at some points of this book it got a little boring/slow. I get bored very quickly with books that don’t interest me 99% of the time, so that’s a “me” con.

4. The ending is ridiculously obvious if you paid attention while reading the book. Just saying.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It’s a great read that can be easily devoured in one sitting.

Four out of five stars.

 

Check out Jack Strange on Goodreads! Jack Strange on Goodreads

Or visit his website: Jack-Strange.co.uk

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Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another you might enjoy? Book Review: Confessions of an English Psychopath by Jack Strange

#BookReview The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

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The Goddess Inheritance is the final book in the Goddess Test trilogy.

I really liked the idea behind this story – Persephone and Hades’s relationship but in a YA novel. At the time, it was kind of mind blowing for me. I was used to seeing vampire novels pop up everywhere, so this was a nice change.

So, that being said – let’s look over the positives and negatives in this story. This MAY contain minor spoilers – so beware.

Positives:
1. This series had a really nice ending. I didn’t feel like anything was left wide open and it wasn’t an ending that destroyed me and made me hate Aimee Carter! Great job!!!

2. The cover is absolutely gorgeous! I like this series covers, so if you judge by covers this might be the series for you!

3. I really like Henry. I almost want a book just centered around a character like him and watch his character continue to grow. I felt like his character was WAY more likable than Kate, and we’re following her story…

4. The side characters got more action in this book!! Gotta love when the author actually uses their side characters instead of throwing them away to focus on the main duo.

Negatives:
1. Man was this book SLOW. This whole series isn’t the fastest paced or most addicting, but still book felt drawn out. This story felt like it could have been finished in two novels.

2. Kate is annoyingStats, at least to me. I didn’t find that her character developed enough over the three books, and she still felt just as whiny as the first novel. I kind of hoped for some wild character development in this book since the last book didn’t have very much, so I was left disappointed. Perhaps she’s almost…too flawed?

Overall, this book is a great romance YA novel. It’s not super action-packed. It’s definitely a good fit for the romance section. I need to read more by Aimee Carter soon, I just never seem to be able to have the time! At least it’s nice to see her books pop up a LOT in my local book stores. She’s always on the shelves!!

I definitely recommend this entire series to fans of YA, especially those who want a great romantic read!

Five out of five stars.

Check out Aimee Carter’s Goodreads page! Aimee Carter on Goodreads

Or visit her website! AimeeCarter.com

Give her a shoutout on twitter! @Aimee_Carter

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Why not look at another review you might enjoy? March Manga Book Review: The Infernal Devices Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

#BookReview We All Fall Down by Eric Walters

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This #ThrowbackThursday is from over a decade ago for me. Oh how time flies!!!

We All Fall Down by Eric Walters is a tale of struggle in a fictional version of a real event.

Warning: Spoilers below.

Eric Walters came to my elementary school (yeah, I feel old, I read this YEARS ago initially) and brought a giant amount of his books. I ended up reading quite a bit by him and I wish I could find more because I remember loving him. The worst part about this book for me (back in the day of course) was one of my bullies in school did a book review on it as well and used his book review to make fun of me for reading the book. Which basically left me with a sour taste in my mouth for this book (despite it not being this book’s fault).

But now for the real review…

This book is sad. Really sad. But when you look at the events it is based off of, it’s understandable why it’s so sad. Especially when it’s introducing a young audience to such a big event! But I think Eric did a great job with this novel. When I first read this book when I was younger I did NOT understand how big this event was. I was pretty young and didn’t understand what explosions and twin towers were (I was more focused on Power Rangers, Sailor Moon and if there was a new Disney movie coming out). Having this book and having conversations with my parents, teachers and classmates involving this situation was a BIG step for me – and I applaud this book for making it possible.

Overall, this is a unique book. I like that it brings tough events up to a younger audience and leaves room for conversations. Is it totally realistic? Absolutely not. Did it need to be? No. As a kid, I don’t think I would have been prepared for these characters to die – I couldn’t contemplate death. Having bad things happen within the realm of reality was a much better alternative.

This book isn’t just made for kids as I keep saying, but as someone who read it as an adult and as a child, I truly respect it. It’s hard to write a book about real events, have it written in a respectful and truthful way, and have it be good. Good job Eric!

Five out of five stars.

Find Eric Walters on Goodreads: Eric Walters on Goodreads

Visit his website: Eric Walters.net

Or give him a shout out on Twitter! @EricRWalters

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#BookReview Restless Ambition by Cathy Curtis

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Restless Ambition: Grace Hartigan, Painter

This novel took me a VERY long time to finish – partially because it’s long, and partially because it didn’t draw me in. I love a good biography, but this book didn’t do it for me as much as I would have thought it would. That being said, it was well written and it’s a great read for those who like non-fiction.

Following a painter in the 1950s is the main path of this book. Grace’s life definitely deserved a book – the ups and down this woman goes through it more interesting than most soap operas. Her marriages and her motherhood are two of the more interesting parts of this novel, alongside knowing she was a female painter in the 1950s (which seems like it would be harder than today – there was no social media to show off your skill back then. You had to work hard to get noticed!).

This book is informational and seems like it was highly researched. I appreciate a biography that sounds more than someone who watched a couple YouTube videos and figured they could write a story about the person. It seems like the type of novel I would have loved in my art classes in high school – it’s researched and has incredible information I could have used for an essay or two. And considering I didn’t know anything about this author (or knew she existed) before reading this novel I was thoroughly impressed.

Overall, this was a great book. I definitely suggest it to those who enjoy non-fiction books and biographies.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Check out Cathy Curtis on Goodreads! Cathy Curtis on Goodreads

Or check out her website: CathyCurtis.net

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