Monday, January 28, 2019


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Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
Rating: 12+

Humans and androids crowd the ravenous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. . . 

Sixteen-year-old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second class citizen with a mysterious past and is reviled by her stepmother. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future. Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something that others would kill for. 

I know I was supposed to post something last week, but in my defense, I had midterms last week, and my brain was kind of dead.

Via Giphy

Anyway, I've been busy these past few weeks and haven't had much time to read new books. I did, however, read the first two Renegades books, also by Marissa Meyer (reviews on both coming soon. Probably.) as per request of a friend. After I finished those, I was like, "Wow--why have I not read any of her other books before?!" and checked Cinder out of the library. Thank you for listening to my life story. 

I have to admit--I didn't enjoy Cinder as much as I did Renegades. I felt like the plot was a little predictable, and that the secret identity of Cinder was kind of an obvious one. It was very trope-y compared to her other series, but I suppose that that's a given when you're retelling any fairy tale. 

That being said, I did think that the cyborg, future-esque setting of the novel was a very original idea, and I enjoyed learning about the world of New Beijing. 

I do admire Meyer (hey, that rhymed) for taking on such an interesting take as to turn Cinder into a cyborg. I think that she did as good of a job as she could, making a not-completely-human character read as human. But, Cinder cannot cry, or blush, or feel everything the same way a human would and I felt that her character was a little hard to relate to as a result of this. 

The Lunar people (who also aren't human) that Meyer introduced into her world were a great addition, and a fantastic way to intertwine some other traditional fairy tales with this one. The Lunar Queen made a compelling antagonist, and I can't wait to see what she'll have in store for Cinder in Scarlet. 

I also adored Prince Kai, the charming emperor of New Beijing. In my opinion, the scenes that included him were the most enjoyable to read. I think it's safe to say that I have a new favorite character. XD

Me--fangirling over Kai

However, as much as I enjoyed the setting, I wasn't very invested in the story until about half way through. The pacing at the beginning was a little slow for my taste (but then again, I am very picky about pacing). 

I was told by a friend who'd read the full series, that Cinder was sort of the "before story" and that the rest of the books are where the real action happens. 

I have high hopes for Scarlet, and I think that Meyer left off at a good point, leaving herself a good chunk of action to let unfold in the sequel. 

Overall, I give Cinder 3 out of 5 stars, but have higher expectations for the rest of the books. 

So--have you read any Marissa Meyer books? If so, who were your favorite characters. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Top 5 Reads of 2018 + Mini Reviews

Wowza--2018 is over already! (It's been over for about a week now. But I'm just going to ignore that for the sake of the GIF.)

via Giphy

I didn't really make any New Years Resolutions this year, because I can never keep them. I am, however, hoping for less rain in 2019. It's rained A LOT where I live. 42% of the year--to be exact.

I think I'm done with rain for a long while. The only kind of precipitation I want to see is snow. XD

via Giphy

The only thing that's kind of appealing about rain is the fact that it forces me to stay inside, which means that I get more reading done. I have to say--2018 was a pretty good year for me--book-wise.

Image result for flashback shannon messengerShannon Messenger is my favorite author—and she did not disappoint with the latest installment of her Keeper of the Lost Cities series. The beginning of this book didn’t move quite as quickly as the others in the series had, but it was a fantastic read all the same. Unlike all of my other top reads of 2018, I was already familiar with the characters when I started Flashback—but I think that Messenger did an excellent job exploring each character’s personality. The only thing that I was *slightly* sad about was the fact that my favorite character wasn’t as involved with the story as he normally is. (Although—Keefe tends to be a scene-stealer, so I totally get why he wasn’t there as much as he was in Nightfall. XD) There were also some new characters, and plot lines introduced in Flashback, that I thought Messenger pulled of fantastically. This is *definitely* a series you should read!

Image result for renegades marissa meyerThis was the first Marissa Meyer book that I'd ever read and wow--I was missing out on a lot! Meyer has flowing prose and gorgeous descriptions that narrate a highly compelling story centered around a modernized Superheroes vs Supervillains story. I admit that I have a soft spot for books revolving around Superheroes (their powers are just so cool!) so I was thrilled to find Renegades. I'd put it on the bottom of my TBR pile--until I realized that the book was told from a villain's point of view. I know that it's kind of odd--but I just really love the juxtaposition that comes from hearing a story told from the "Bad Guy's" point of view, as opposed to the "Good Guy" telling the story. I ended up finishing the book in under 24 hours, and immediately moved on to Arch Enemies, the squeal. This book definitely earns 5 stars from me!

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The Fault in Our Stars absolutely destroyed me. Which is why I think all of you should read it. John Green’s writing style is snarky, and hilarious, and did an excellent job of portraying a teenager girl’s innermost thoughts. Despite the life-threatening cancer that the main character faces, John Green still managed to make me smile, and borderline laugh-out-loud with some of Hazel’s narrative. That was in the beginning of the book though. The end made me sob like a baby. It was nearly impossible to keep from falling in love with the characters, and I was especially sad to see the book come to an end. This book is a 10-out-of-10 on my scale, even though it ripped my heart out just a little. XD

Image result for anna and the french kissAnna and the French Kiss, is another falling-in-love story, although it wasn’t nearly as painful when I finished it. Set in Paris, this book made me wish I could fly across the Atlantic to learn at a French boarding school. (Even though I would probably get homesick within a week and want to fly back home. :P) A little like John Green, Stephanie Perkins definitely has a snarky edge to her writing, which I absolutely adore. Anna Oliphant, the main character, is such a normal teenager, I think it would be hard for someone not to like her. So many times, I see teen-aged main characters written like their 25—but that was never the case for me with Anna. Over all, the cast of characters was well written, and carried the plot beautifully.

Image result for #murdertrendingI hadn’t been so hooked by a cover in a while, as I was with #murdertrending. There’s just something so intriguing about a headless stick-figure. The plot of this story is very original—and caught my attention from page one. The main character—Dee Guerra—is framed for murdering her step-sister, and is sent to Alcatraz 2.0. The island is home to two groups of people—those convicted, and a group of serial killers, each with their own trademark homicide techniques. The convicts are given an identity and a home, and their main goal is to avoid the killers, and survive as long as possible. But Alcatraz 2.0 isn’t just a prison—it’s the set of a live-stream, where viewers can follow the convicts in their attempts to survive, and view their eventual murders. The story, based in the twisted new reality, was one that I could not put down. The characters were fully developed, and the plot twists were major game-changers. All around a magnificent read!

So--have you guys read any of these books? 

If not--what were a few of your favorite 2018 reads?

Review of The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, by Jenn Bennett

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