Monday, December 12, 2016

November Reads // Feast or Famine

From about October 25 - November 21 I read NO books. Then I read two in a day, another one that week, and another one the week after... talk about feast or famine over here. Still, with November being the busiest ever... I feel good about checking some books off my TBR. :)

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

4.5 Stars - I highly recommend this book if you enjoy fantasy. I picked it up, and I couldn't put it down. I especially recommend this if you like books that center around a competition (The Hunger Games, The Selection, HP - Goblet of Fire, GOT, etc.). This just came out and will eventually be a series.

In every generation on this island a set of triplet queens is born. Each has a special gift, there is a poisoner (able to tolerate and mix poisons), a naturalist who can grow plants and control animals, and a elemental who can control the elements. The triplets are separated and raised to hone their gifts. For when they come of age, they battle to the death, and the last queen alive is the true ruler. The trouble is, two of the sisters have no gift at all. Arsinoe is unable to control any plants or animals, and Katharine is poisoned and cannot tolerate it. Mirabella controls the elements with ease, but doesn't want to kill her sisters. This book is full of intrigue, betrayal, adventure, and magic.

I really enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood, so I thought I would read this book as well. I didn't read the synopsis of this book before reading it... so I just dove right in and couldn't stop reading. I thought that the premise of this book was really interesting, and I liked that it was split up and different chapters were told from the point of view of different sisters. Overall I like how the plot, setting, etc. were very complex, and I didn't see everything coming that happened. The one thing that was a little strange to me was that The Poisoner gift seemed to be a lot more interesting than the others. Perhaps because it is a less common idea? I'm not sure but the other two gifts seemed kind of boring by comparison. Either way the plot was interesting, and the ending was twisty! This is set up to become a series, I can't wait to see where it goes next.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

4 Stars - I recommend if you have read Anna and the French Kiss, and you enjoy YA and romance novels. Again, Perkins perfectly captures what it's like to be a teenage girl! 

This book follows Lola, a quirky and artistic teenager living in San Francisco with her two dads. She's 17 and dating a 22 year old, and her parents are NOT pleased. One day she notices that the house next door is being moved in to... and it's her ex-nemesis Calliope Bell, and her twin brother Cricket. Lola and Cricket started a relationship before he moved away, what will happen now that he's back?

Yet again, Perkins perfectly captures what it's like to be a teenage girl (in my experience). Lola is independent, but she's so young. She doesn't know what she wants... and she's growing up quickly. I think that even though this was my least favorite of the three books I really loved this. Cricket is such a quirky character, as is Lola, and I loved reading this book. I would say though, that Lola is the least mature of the three characters in my opinion, so maybe that is why I related to this book less? I don't know, either way, after being in San Francisco recently the book captured the spirit of the city pretty well! There's not much I can go into detail on, but I really liked this, and I am glad that Anna & Etienne were in this book as well. 

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

4.5 Stars - I highly recommend this one if you like YA and romance novels, and have read the other two books. You go Stephanie Perkins... still writing so accurately from the teen girl perspective.

This story is about Isla (eye-lah) who meets her school crush Josh (from Anna and the...) over summer break, she talks with him, she has a great time, and then she falls asleep at the table. She'll be mortified the next day when she remembers this whole situation happened while she was on pain medication after getting her wisdom teeth removed. (OMG I LAUGHED SO HARD!) He says he'll meet her the next night, but he never shows up. When they get back to Paris for school she tries hard to avoid Josh... but has no such luck. Why did he avoid her? Can she put her multi-year crush out of her head?

Ok, this was by far my favorite of the three (don't get me wrong, they were all super good!)! I don't know if it's because the beginning is SO FUNNY and SO AWKWARD... or because I can kind of relate to Isla.... or because I think Josh is WAY dreamer than Etienne or Cricket... I just thought this book was great. It also doesn't hurt that Josh is an artist, and they do some Euro traveling, and that they seem a little older than the other characters in the other books. Also, I think there is less wishy-washy-ness. They just KNOW they want to be together. He's a lot more assertive, and the relationship just seems more "grown up"... I don't know guys, but I loved this. The conflict was a little meh, but also I was like.... but please just be togetherrrrr! I definitely stayed up until 1:30 am reading this before getting up at 5 am for GG. (thoughts on that here). I can't wait to read more Stephanie Perkins books. I got My True Love Gave to Me at that HUGE bookstore in Nashville... and I can't wait to read those short stories soon! 'Tis the season! 

Speaking of 'Tis the Season....

I am a sucker for those stupid holiday romance books. They're so predictable, but I have a soft spot for them! hehe

12 Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber*

3 Stars - I recommend this book if you enjoy these light-hearted, somewhat silly Christmas romance novels as well. However, this is my least favorite of all of the Macomber ones I have read.

This book follows Julia who is way too perky for her neighbor Cain. She's all "woohoo xmas!!" and he's more like "bah humbug". He's irritated with her morning elevator chatter, and she gets mad. Her friend suggests "killing him with kindness" - and blogging about it to win a social media job she is after. She starts the project, at first with little success, but lots of blogging success. Eventually Cain warms up a little, but he's still a grumpy guy. As their relationship develops she realizes why he's so grumpy, and that she just might be in love with Ebeneezer Scrooge himself.

This book was fluffy and predictable as expected. I really really liked it up until the conflict, which kind of killed it for me. We all know that Cain will be upset when he finds out about the project and the blog, but that's so ridiculous. He gets really mad, and that's just not realistic to me. Also, no way can you get blog hits just by blogging. Sorry, that's not how it works. I did love Cain's grandpa though, he was a cute character. Overall it was pretty good, but it just seemed so over the top. And yes, I realize what genre this is.

Currently Reading:

A Fork in the RoadBe Your Own Fairytale, and The Bear and The Nightingale. I finally removed Possession and War and Peace... because I just don't feel like reading them right now, and I was getting stressed out seeing them on goodreads all the time!

On Deck:

Linking up with Jana and Steph for Show Us Your Books tomorrow. :) 

Life According to Steph

What have you guys been reading? 

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Let's be friends on Goodreads!



* Asterisks denote titles that I was given advance access to by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. These reviews are my own opinion, and based on the edition of the book I was given at the time. Thank you Netgalley!

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