#BookReview Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Steifvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue was an intriguing novel.

It’s my own fault that I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I could have. It has been YEARS (and I mean, literally years – probably five?) since I’ve read the first two books in this series (The Raven Boys and The Dream Theives) so I don’t remember much of what this series is all about. But, I really love Maggie Stiefvater so I wanted to continue on with this series! It’s safe to say that I was REALLY lost about what was going on.

What I got out of this book was: witches, fantastic friendships, parental drama, ghosts and death, and a giant cave.

I really enjoy Gansey in this series even though I’m not quite sure about what his character is supposed to be. He’s not the love interest, he’s not the typical best friend side character and he has no typical trope about him. I love that aspect of these characters (Maggie is great at not making a typical trope-filled book) but I’m still just so unsure. I love him, but… I need to know what happens in this last book to see how it all plays out.

Noah the ghost interests me too. What was going on with him and Blue? He’s still her energy but he is also acting very strange. Something is up with these ley lines! I want to know more. I’m too analytical for books like this – I need to know everything now.

The plot itself just confused me. The screaming man, the man they found in the cave, the lady at the end… Don’t stop this series if you intend to keep reading it. That’s my biggest suggestion. Reading other reviewers’ reviews helped a lot but I really should have re-read the series to make sure I knew what was going on. It’s a real shame too, because Maggie has a beautiful writing style and her prose is to die for! She’s fabulous.

I did binge this book in one sitting. Since I forgot most of what happened in the previous books, I knew that if I put it down I would never pick it back up. The binging was okay, but I’d rather have read it in bits and pieces.

My biggest praise is the cover. My gosh, all of the covers for this series fall into the realm of absolutely beautiful!

Overall, this book is marvelous but didn’t hit high with me. Hopefully one day I will be able to jump back into this whole series and mass read the entire set. Maggie is such a good writer but it’s a shame that we had to wait for her books. That’s what really did me in – waiting for books to come out and then not being able to afford them so I had to wait until I could. One day Maggie! One day I will read this excellence in full and understand the whole darn thing!

Three out of five stars!

 

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Check out some other reviews you might enjoy:
#BookReview Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
#BookReview Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop
#BookReview Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay Bowles

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#BookReview Kissing Coffins by Ellen Schreiber

Ah, yes. Another throwback from my teen years – Kissing Coffins, the second book in the marvelous Vampire Kisses series.

Just a gentle reminder, these books are Young Adult novels with young, lovely characters who act like immature kids (because, they are YOUNG). If you’re looking for a True Blood or Game of Thrones level of maturity, you’ve come to the wrong place.

As a teen, these books were my LIFE. They were a big part of my high school years and I was madly in love with them. I wanted to find my own Alexander and live in a big, spooky house. I idolized Raven and her style (because, let’s be honest, she was my inner self). At the time, these books made so much sense – young mistakes, young love, lots of young fun! Reading them as my older self, obviously I wouldn’t make the same decisions as Raven because I have life experience. But I believe Ellen did a really good job of making Raven feel like a real teen. Well, a real teen from my timeline.

That being said, this book is a lot of fun, full of goofiness and full of adorable romance. Alexander and Raven are a really cute couple and they really deserved the many books they got in this series. I found this series was a lot more fun to binge read then read alone. I wanted the story to keep going because I was so addicted. Not every reader has found this to be true, but I sure did! I love escaping into a YA like this series, and sinking into a fun, not totally realistic book. Did anyone really expect a vampire romance to be realistic? This series is like a vampire, soap opera for teens! It’s excellent.

My biggest con for this series was at the time of my initial reading, I had to actually WAIT for the next series in the book. Oh man, was it frustrating. I’m glad I can jump back into this series as an adult and read it all in a row like I dreamed of back in the day. Other than that, I found this book to be fun and flawless! I love Ellen and her books!

Five out of five stars!

 

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If you enjoyed this book, check out another book or review you might enjoy!
#BookReview The Coffin Club by Ellen Schreiber
#BookReview Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller

 

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#BookReview I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan

I am Thunder by Muhammad Khan was a pleasant surprise!

I love books that let me inside another person’s life and culture, and I am Thunder met the bill! This book welcomes the reader into a Muslim and Pakistani lifestyle which is something totally new to me. I’ve seen the headlines, I’ve had classmates, but I’ve never been able to learn this much about a culture in one sitting. While this book is only ONE view in a Young Adult (and slightly dramatic) book, it was still truly intriguing. Hats off to Muhammad Khan, seriously.

This book does cause some waves in the reading community though – I’ve seen lots of praises and lots of criticism. So, I’ll just share my thoughts.

I like that this book follows one young woman’s story. Yes, it’s like a soap opera and slightly dramatic at times but isn’t all YA? Muzna’s story gives some fabulous insight into her culture (for example, the difference between a religion and the actual practices someone follows). Her family life, her thoughts, her trouble deciding what to do with her life and the effect it has on everyone felt very REAL. It felt like I was reading a book made for and by a teen – she wants to meet boys, she wants to impress people, she wants to try to have a life but do what’s best for her family too. I could totally relate to her in that aspect. She struggles with being a teenage girl trying to just BE a teenage girl.

Are there parts of this book that were rough and tough? Yes. I don’t fully know what this woman’s culture would be in an accurate depiction, so maybe this is all my views as a reader. Buuuut… her parents are HARSH. It seemed like no matter what this girl did that they weren’t proud of her. It’s no wonder that Muzna “acted out” because there was no way she’d ever please those parents. It was borderline abusive. I don’t think it was a culture thing… honestly, I’m certain it’s not supposed to be a reflection of their culture. Those parents were borderline abusive if not actually abusive. Like, show a little familial love? Or at least, don’t be cruel at all times of the day?

Extreme religion was also apart of this book, so let there be a trigger warning for those who might be bothered by this topic. I found it interesting to read, but at times it felt like everyone were quite extreme with their religious practices. I know there’s only so many pages in a book, but there could have been some “softer” practices or realistic ones. I know many lovely people who study and follow various religions who aren’t as “crazy” or as extreme as some of these characters.

If I had to list the good things about this book, they’d be the following:
1. This book showcases a different religion and a different point of view in a largely read genre. I like that YA has diverse books like this one floating around so readers can learn more about the world. Difficult topics like religion and politics should be brought into books (especially YA) so more people can learn and experience the world.

2. Muzna felt like a real character with real struggles. She didn’t feel out of place or goofy. She made me really feel for her story and want to know more about her.

3. This book can start wonderful discussions. It’s the type of book I wish we read back in high school. I could have picked apart this book and had some really great discussions with my classmates and teachers. Just think of a diverse class discussing their points of views on topics like these! Oh, it’d be an interesting time!

Overall, this book is a really well written book! Muhammad Khan has written a beautiful story that will introduce you to Muzna’s world.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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Or check out another book you might enjoy:
#BookReview Gods in Oslo by John Plaski
#BookReview The Fencers by Geza Tatrallyay
#BookReview A Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon

 

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#BookReview Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

One of my life long reading goals is to pick up more classics, and since I am ALWAYS in a Halloween mood I figured Frankenstein would be right up my alleyway.

But let me set the record straight, Hollywood has done Mary Shelley some dirty. This book was NOTHING like what Hollywood told me, and I almost wish I would have picked it up in an audio book format to make it more enticing and scary for me.

First things first, Mary Shelley is a CHAMPION of writing. She is one of the best there is and this story is woven in such a beautiful way that it’s hard to say anything bad about it. The style, the prose, the word choice… It’s so intriguing and beautiful, despite being touted as a “horror” novel. Yes, there’s scary parts and a monster, but it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. The story is more dramatic, full of powerful scenes about life, death and family and it makes you question your feelings about the lead characters a LOT.

I would highly recommend reading this book if you’re into classics or want to see the real Frankenstein’s monster. I hardly saw Victor as a villain, more of a sad character due to circumstance. Even Frankenstein’s monster wasn’t as scary as I anticipated, I felt so bad for him. He’s given life but no existence… It’s a truly marvelous read. He might be a monster due to creation, but he’s not as horrifying as the movies would lead you to believe.

I will absolutely be jumping back into this book and tearing apart the themes and prose one day. I think this is a uniquely written book that presents itself in a ridiculously cool fashion. That being said, it did take me a long time to read it. It’s old fashioned, the writing style is different and it’s not fast paced and as crazy as Hollywood’s renditions. I did enjoy it though! Before I was able to watch a few videos and translate some of the more confusing parts of this book, it sat at a solid two for me. It’s jumped to a three only because it’s not something I’d read again without the help of an English major. It’s really cool and I did really love it, it’s just not the star studded book I expected it to be.

A lot of this book is delivered in letters and about a trip, very little felt like the scary horror novel I was expecting. I am impressed how the Hollywood renditions has changed the story, but it did throw me off when half of this book was just letters between two individuals. Either way, it’s still really cool. I can’t imagine being nineteen years old and writing a book that causes so much drama and excitement for people two hundred years later. That’s a good well done for Mary Shelley!

Three out of five stars!

 

Do you love the classics? Horror? Despise them all? Comment below!

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out others you might enjoy too:
#BookReview The Murder of Leopold Beckenbauer by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview NYV: Goth by K.D. McQuain
#BookReview The Stickman’s Legacy by Benjamin Appleby-Dean

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#BookReview Monster Blood (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine

Goosebumps was one of my all time favourites as a kid. I scrambled to the library at every chance to get my hands on any Goosebumps novel. I didn’t care if I read them over and over and knew the story by heart, I’d read them again! And then hope the library got the television show and movie versions so I could watch them.

As an adult, I’ve been trying to find the Goosebumps series in my home town without much luck. Then, lucky me found five at a local thrift shop and my inner child went wild.

Fortunately, these books were just as good as I remembered!

Monster Blood follows Evan and Andy at Evan’s great-Aunt’s house. They buy some monster blood, slime like toy and suddenly all heck breaks loose! Evan’s dog grows in size, the cat is evil and his Great-Aunt Kathryn is seemingly weird. Is she a witch?! Is she crazy?! Either way, that monster blood is taking over the city!

This book was a hundred pages of pure fun and mild terror. As a kid these were so much scarier, but they were still just as epic! I loved the story moving quickly, being full of wild twists and turns and being a great book for both children and adults. This book also brought me back to my childhood with lots of nostalgia. Do you have any Nintendo games?!

Was there any negatives about the book? Yes. Trigger was an elderly dog who acted very young. Was it super duper scary? No. I think it might scare the middle grade readers who this book is aimed to scare, but it’s not scary to adults. Either way, it was still a fun and easy read that had me chuckling along the way. I enjoy R.L. Stine’s writing style. It’s not meant to be taken seriously (it’s not It or Carrie or any Stephen King book). This book was meant to bring the younger demographic a little horror novel and introduce them to the genre. Can every Goosebump book be an absolute winner? No.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It’s a little spooky and is totally getting me in the mood for Halloween and October!

Four out of five stars!

You can find this book on:
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Check out some other reviews you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Boy Who Cried Ghost by Richard Clark
#BookReview Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
#BookReview The Mega Collection by Scott Gordon – Nine Awesome Bedtime Stories!

 

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#BookReview For Her Own Good by Tamsen Parker

Oh man, oh man, oh man! Another Tamsen Parker gem!!

This book is a 6 out of 5, but unfortunately that rating does not exist on this site so I guess I can settle with just a 5 out of 5.

Seriously though, this one was a DOOZIE!

Tamsen has amped up the plot, has some truly epic references and kept me hooked the entire time! Starla and Lowry (amazing names, by the way) are one incredibly interesting pair that make this book feel more than just a romantic, erotic tale. These characters felt real – mental health issues, sweet and seductive storylines and one heck of a finale! This book is just AMAZE-BALLS.

So, down to the actual plot – Starla was Dr. Lowry Campbell’s patient way back in the day (about 15 years if you are a numbers person) and suddenly he’s back into her life. Except, this time he’s not her doctor and is instead a sexy man she’s interested in. She liked him back then, but now the lines are blurred and it’s their chance to pounce at each other. Their romance is slow burn and faces many obstacles along the way. Starla has some mental health issues but deals with them like a champ. Lowry is an understanding man who is hella sexy and ready to be in her life.

If I have to summarize ALL of the amazing things I liked, here’s a list to start you off:

1. Lowry’s descriptions and accents and OMG Tamsen seriously made this man my dream man. She’s killing me! Reddish copper hair, smart doctor and the European twang… Ugh. SO SEXY.

2. This story has such a way with words – “Tongue like a whip” – seriously majestic. I loved some of the amazing phrases used because they added SO MUCH to this book. It felt like this book had attitude and was sassy at times. Example number two: “He deserves to have his heart cut out with a rusty spoon and fed to him.”

3. Star Wars references galore! “My enemies encased in carbonate” was the best gem, but there’s SO MANY.

4. “Daddy kink kryptonite” is the best way to describe this novel AND that’s a quote from the book!

5. Oh, and did I mention there’s a dominatrix? Oh yeah, this book is SPICY.

This slow burn novel is ridiculously amazing. Tamsen’s writing is only getting better and this book was seriously cool. Not all readers will like it – it takes about half the novel for the couple to get dealing with their romantic emotions – so readers who like quick, fast-paced romance might want to steer clear. There’s also talks of self-harm and suicide, so this book might be a little triggering for some.

Overall, I think this book is incredible! As I said, 6 out of 5 stars level good! I liked that Tamsen keeps taking risks with these stories. They are different, totally romantic and erotic and well written! What more can this reader ask for?

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free from Tamsen Parker in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
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Fall down the rabbit hole into my many reviews of Tamsen Parker books:
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview If I Loved You Less by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Thrown Off Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Fire on the Ice by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

 

Check out Tamsen Parker on Twitter @TamsenParker or on her website

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#BookReview Scarlett by Marissa Meyer

I almost NEVER buy books full price because as a university student it’s just not in the budget. BUT AFTER THAT AWFUL CLIFFHANGER IN BOOK ONE I COULDN’T LEAVE THIS BOOK ON THE SHELF! I mean, I did get a good sale on the book BUT I STILL BOUGHT IT FROM A FANCY SMANCY BOOK STORE!

So, dear Marissa Meyer, you have crafted an excellent story that forced a university student to find the money in her budget to continue this series. ONLY FOR YOU TO LEAVE IT ON ANOTHER CLIFFHANGER AND I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU WOULD DO THIS TO ME. Since this time, it’s not in the budget to get the next book. So, poor little me is going to be waiting and waiting until I can find this book on sale somewhere.

UGH.

This book is absolutely delightful, despite my epic rant. I think Marissa Meyer has crafted a wonderfully epic story that is packed full of wild, fairy tales! Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, the Wolf and a Han Solo-esque man have made me fall in love with this book more than I did for the first novel! It’s a rare feat in my reading world, so someone give Marissa ALL of the awards! Okay?!

This book continues on with Cinder’s story but we also have another character, Scarlett (Red Riding Hood) to follow along with two. Their stories intertwine near the end and make for one epic finale (not a finale for the whole series, just this book – calm down epic readers! We’ve got two more books to go!).

I really enjoyed Scarlett and Wolf, especially the twist on the typical Big, Bad Wolf story. I thought they were quite cute and reminded me of a Leia meets Han Solo vibe (I love Star Wars too, I think Marissa and I would make great Star Wars buddies). Also throwing in our Captain Thorne who gives SERIOUS Han Solo vibes… Yep, this woman has crafted a story made for me! Why in the world did I wait so long to pick up this book?!

If I had one negative in this book, it was that Cinder and Prince Kai don’t get to interact. I was really hoping for a reunion but I don’t think we’ll be seeing one until the next book. I really liked their interactions in the first novel and their relationship, but such is life… Cliffhangers galore.

I didn’t exactly see this ending coming, but I did have a good guess. I still really enjoyed it despite there being a few predictable parts of this book. I honestly haven’t loved YA this much in a while. I got tired of the tropes and predictable lines, but Marissa has sparked my love for YA and fairy tales all over again. We need authors like her who make these amazing stories that any age can love. Just because it’s in the YA aisle doesn’t mean it’s only for Young Adults (I mean… I’m a Young Adult still, but I tend to move towards the adult aisles more).

This book is all around great! Pre-teens, teenagers and adults alike will love this book! There are some rougher scenes so I’d put this in the PG folder, but I think this would make a great book for parent and child bonding time. Because, why not?

Overall, I loved this book! I seriously needed to continue this series and I’m a little frustrated and flustered that I’m going to have to wait until I find Cress and Winter.

Five out of five stars! Heck, give it six or seven! I love this book! I hate when authors make me love books this much, I’m an impatient person and I don’t want to wait!

 

Find this book on:
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Check out my review for Book 1: #BookReview Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 

Looking for some other books you can read? Click the links below!
#BookReview Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller
#BookReview Something Like Love by Sara Richardson

 

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