Review: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) – Erika Johansen


The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) – Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)

Title: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1)

Author: Erika Johansen

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Publisher: Harper Paperbacks

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 464

Source: TBR Pile

Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.

This book will be a beautifully designed package with illustrated endpapers, a map of the Tearling, and a ribbon marker.

3 out of 5 stars


I’m kind of torn between giving this 3 stars and giving this 4 stars, but I don’t do half stars…. I really liked the last half of this, but the beginning was so so so slow. I listened to this on audio and read it in physical format because I wanted to read while driving. I kind of wish that I could have listened to the second half on the car ride because it was much more exciting, but such is life.

This book followed Kelsea who is now the Queen of the Tearling, as the title suggests. She has been living in solitude with her guardians for 19 years, and she’s taken away on her 19th birthday to become the Queen. She’s always known this was how it had to be, but she still wasn’t as prepared as she thought she should have been. Her mother was known for poor decisions, but Kelsea wasn’t told about her failures. She lived a sheltered life with lots of academic classes and always thrived in the stories she got to read from the fiction books in her house.

I really love the premise for this book, but I don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been. If I were to rate the first quarter of this book I probably would have given it a 2 stars, but by the end I was feeling 4 stars. I don’t know. There were quite a few issues about this book that I wasn’t fond of.

There was an instalove situation that pissed me off. So first off. Kelsea has never seen a large group of people in her life, so why the hell would she be able to be in love with someone. Also, how would she know how to flirt well? Umm. She wouldn’t. The only man she had ever been exposed to was Barty, her father figure. Hmm. I hate instalove, and I couldn’t appreciate the love because it felt so rushed.

I also didn’t like that there was so much unknown to the reader. I’m all for figuring out as you go, but I like when you know a little more than the characters know. I like being one step ahead, but it always felt as if you were dragging behind. Not a fan of that at all.

It was cool because by the end you got to see a little of the power with the sapphire necklaces, but you only got a taste, so you want more. Clever. I’m impressed with your miniature cliff hangers, Ms. Johansen.

Overall I think this was a good book. I’m interested to see what happens in the next ones. I definitely recommend audiobooks in general because I think I’ve fallen in love.

Review: Tricks (Tricks #1) – Ellen Hopkins


Tricks (Tricks #1) – Ellen Hopkins

Tricks (Tricks, #1)

Title: Tricks (Tricks #1)

Author: Ellen Hopkins

Release Date: August 25, 2009

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 627

Source: TBR Pile

Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching…for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don’t expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words “I love you” are said for all the wrong reasons.

Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story — a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, “Can I ever feel okay about myself?”

2 out of 5 stars


If you would have asked me what I would have rated this book about halfway through I might have said 5 stars, but the ending just fricked me up and I really didn’t enjoy it.

This story is about five teenagers; they all get caught up with people and say “I love you” and bad things happen.

There were LOTS of triggers in this book, so if you’re sensitive to rape, sex, drugs, alcohol, dysfunctional family units, parents dying, gambling, or prostitution, DO NOT READ THIS.

I don’t typically read books like this. Ellen Hopkins is the only author that I read about drugs, but I did not like this book very much! It was kind of confusing having 5 different perspectives. All the girls seemed so similar to me, and there were three of them. It was hard for me to separate them.

I honestly don’t even know how to review this because there was so much that happened, but none of it plot driven at all. I’ll give it a shot, I guess.

All these teenagers are desperate to find love. The gay boy lives on a farm with his father and basically gets banished from his home. One is a typical preacher’s daughter who ends up being kind of promiscuous. One girl has a broken family unit where her mother gets paid to let men rape her. One girl lives in the shadow of her older sister. And one boy has a problem with gambling and drugs.

The characters don’t even all meet up in the end. What the heck. I was waiting for some dramatic meet up situation and for everyone to figure out their lives together, but no. There was a brief meet up situation with two of the girls, but it was in very sad circumstances.

Ugh. I really did not enjoy this because of the last half. Ellen Hopkins has such a beautiful and intoxicating way to write that just pulls you in, but damn I didn’t like the content.

There was so much sex. So much unnecessary sex. After reading the little informational thing at the back, it talked about how her goal for this was to highlight the issue of child prostitution in the United States, so I get it, I guess. But there were pretty explicit sex scenes to claim this is a YA novel.

I’m 18 and I was still disturbed by it, I don’t even know what I would have done if I read this when I was 13 or 14. I read Perks of Being a Wallflower in early middle school and was traumatized…

I don’t know, honestly. Only read this if you’re not super triggered by what I listed above.

Review: July Lightning (Bad Bloods #4) – Shannon A. Thompson


July Lightning (Bad Bloods #4) – Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods: July Lightning

Title: July Lightning (Bad Bloods #4)

Author: Shannon A. Thompson

Release Date: May 1, 2017

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Format: ebook

Page Number: 267

Source: Author

From best-selling author Shannon A. Thompson comes an exciting new duology in the Bad Bloods universe.   Sixteen-year-old Caleb has been called many things: a patient, a musician, even a prostitute…now he has a new name–son. After his identity is uncovered, Caleb bands together with the family he once rejected in order to save the city of Vendona. But it won’t be easy. Enemies wait around every corner–and so do harsh realities. With Violet and Kuthun by his side though, nothing seems impossible. As Vendona sits on the verge of an economic collapse and a massive hurricane threatens the city, Violet and Caleb must show its citizens how to overcome decades of hostility and division to save themselves.Standing or not, a sea will rage, a wall may fall, and all will depend on immortal pain and sacrifice.

3 out of 5 stars


HUGE THANK YOU TO SHANNON FOR SENDING ME AN ECOPY OF THIS BOOK!

The conclusion of the Bad Bloods series. Violet and Caleb take on a brand new set of challenges, mainly dealing with the weather, and a situation with Vendona. As this is the fourth book in this series, I will not go into too much detail because spoilers, but I believe this was a nice conclusion to the series as a whole.

Personally, I liked the first two books the best. I loved Serena and Daniel. I loved that they were my age, and they were just figuring out their powers and they had to do a lot of trial and error, but it wasn’t overly depressing. The last two books were quite sad because they dealt with some heavy topics.

One thing I found interesting was that Caleb had a crippling disease called Stilts. It’s an STD that causes him to age or die faster. The way to combat this is to have a young bad blood girl sing to him to keep him healthy. I thought that was an interesting touch to the story. I liked that Caleb was represented as a bisexual character. I liked that it was handled that he liked people for who they were, not based on their gender. I feel like a lot of writing a bisexual character doesn’t take that into consideration super super well, but I like how he was portrayed.

I enjoyed Violet as a character because she was interesting and mysterious. You never really knew what she was planning to do, and I found it refreshing. Paranormal/sci-fi make up some of my favorite books, so I loved that this was taking some magical/paranormal elements and putting it in a dystopian world.

Also, ALWAYS READ THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS OF A BOOK! I cannot recommend reading the acknowledgments enough because you learn so much about the book as a whole! I learned that this was based off the falling of the Berlin Wall. Super cool. I knew there was some historical background, but I didn’t know what it was based on. Looking back at it, it was quite obviously tied to the Berlin Wall, but I didn’t realize it at the time.

I would recommend this series to any paranormal lovers, but read them close together! Don’t take long breaks in between the stories *@me* because I think they would be so much more enjoyable that way!

Thanks again to Shannon for working with me :)

Series:

November Rain (Bad Bloods #1)

November Snow (Bad Bloods #2)

July Thunder (Bad Bloods #3)

Review: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) – Kendare Blake


Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) – Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)

Title: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1)

Author: Kendare Blake

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Publisher: Harper Teen

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 398

Source: TBR Shelf

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

4 out of 5 stars


I went into this book knowing nothing but being intrigued by the synopsis, and WOW. I really enjoyed this book. The idea behind it was so interesting and the ending made me want to have the next book RIGHT NOW!

This story is about three triplet queens who have to fight each other with their powers in order to become the full queen of Fennbirn. There is Mirabella, the elemental. Everyone has always thought Mirabella was going to be their next queen because her powers were easily recognizable from a young age. Katharine is a poisoner and can eat or drink deadly poisons. And finally there is Arsinoe, the naturalist who can make plants grow and control animals.

Going into it I thought Arsinoe would be my favorite, and I was right. I loved reading about her and her companions because she was so sarcastic and funny. I loved her as a character, and loved the interactions she had with everyone. Her friends were my favorite characters. I love Jules and Joseph together, and the amount of angst that happens because of a magical problem are so frustratingly fun.

I was also drawn to Katharine because she is the biggest underdog in the whole situation. Her family has been poisoning her in order to make her poisoning abilities finally shine through.

Mirabella is the only one of the sisters to have her full powers by their sixteenth birthday. She is the strong one who is destined to become the new queen.

Guys, this book was really good. There were some fairly cringey parts, not going to lie, and the writing style was a little choppy, but the whole idea was so cool. I loved that they are triplets with different powers and the plot twist at the end was crazy. I was totally not expecting it at all. I loved the whole plot, and loved that it went back and forth between all the queens and their lives.

I recommend this book for people who like fantasy and paranormal. I loved that there were some magical elements sprinkled into the story. It was very interesting because it was set in somewhat medieval times and there were castles. I really enjoyed it.

SPOILERS:

Continue reading

Review: Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur


Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey

Title: Milk and Honey

Author: Rupi Kaur

Release Date: November 4, 2014

Publisher: Createspace

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 204

Source: TBR Shelf

milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

2 out of 5 stars


Let me start off this review by saying I know that a lot of people love this book, and I can totally see why. I understand why so many people think this is a great piece of literature about femininity and loving yourself. I just didn’t connect with it at all.

As someone who has never experienced heartbreak, I didn’t find much to connect with. I think it is beautiful and raw and was a quick read, but the writing style didn’t appeal to me very much. I haven’t been a huge fan of poetry/free verse just because I don’t like the choppy style.

I enjoyed the last section of this book because I could relate to it much more. I think that if the whole book was about loving yourself first and being confident with your body I would have liked it more. One of my favorite poems was on page 183. It says:

we are all born so beautiful

the greatest tragedy is being convinced we are not

I really liked this poem because I feel like every single teenage girl can relate to this. I don’t feel beautiful all the time; I don’t feel beautiful without makeup or when I’m not dressed how I like. It’s hard growing up in a society where beauty is pressured by everything. When you don’t feel beautiful you start to believe you never were in the first place. I related to this poem more than any others in this whole book.

Overall, I was pretty underwhelmed by this book. I knew so many people loved it and rated it 5 stars on Goodreads, but I don’t have any experience with the things that were mentioned in the book so I don’t believe I can have an accurate opinion about the matters discussed. I think that if people found this book helpful then the author did her job well. I think this is a book with the good message of loving yourself first, and I can appreciate that. I can appreciate this book, but I don’t love it.

Review: Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #3) – Iain Reading


Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #3) – Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #3)

Title: Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #3)

Author: Iain Reading

Release Date: April 19, 2013

Publisher: Createspace

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 220

Source: Author

Following in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart, Kitty Hawk sets off on an epic flight around the world and arrives in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik where she finds herself immersed in a beautiful alien world of volcanoes, Vikings, elves and trolls. Before she knows it Kitty is plunged head first into an amazing adventure that sweeps her across a rugged landscape where humans and nature exist in side-by-side in an uneasy truce and magical realms seem to lie just out of sight beneath the surface. Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue is the dazzling third installment of the Flying Detective Agency series featuring Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenaged seaplane pilot with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into – and out of – all kinds of precarious situations. This is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of readers of all ages – armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike. From dangerous criminals and corrupt government officials to mystical beings and clashes with the elemental forces of nature, this book has it all. Come and join Kitty Hawk as she experiences the strange and extraordinary world of the Icelanders, and unravels the Icelandic Intrigue.

3 out of 5 stars


Huge thank you to Iain Reading for sending me this book! I have enjoyed this series so far and am excited to finish the series!

Kitty Hawk flies to Iceland and encounters strange names, paper airplanes, and a car chase. Kitty finds herself in adventures she didn’t think she would come across, but loves the new experiences.

This is the third book in the Kitty Hawk series, and I took so long to read it! I started it on a trip I took and got about halfway through, then school got very busy and I kind of forgot about it. I finished it on a bus ride to a music event for my school’s concert band on Friday and am getting around to writing the review right now. Overall this book was kind of slow. I take part of the blame for it since I took so long to read it, though.

These books are more companion novels than in a series, because each book chronicles a new adventure in a new place for Kitty Hawk. She takes her bright red plane and flies across the world. It’s quite fun because I love traveling and love adventure books, so it’s a nice change from your typical read.

I enjoyed learning about the naming rules in Iceland. She traveled to Iceland and stayed with friends, and while she was there she learned that in Iceland the child takes the first name of either parent and adds son or daughter to the end, and then that is their last name. There aren’t family names, which I think it quite interesting. I thought it was cool that Iain Reading put this short piece of information in the book, it added a unique twist.

Overall, I think this book series would be good for a younger audience. I would consider this more middle grade. I think I would have liked it a lot more had I read it during early middle school.

Again, thanks to Iain for sending me a copy of this book!

Series:

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1)

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #2)

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #4)

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5)

Review: Redwall (Redwall #1) – Brian Jacques


Redwall (Redwall #1) – Brian Jacques

Redwall (Redwall, #1)

Title: Redwall (Redwall #1)

Author: Brian Jacques

Release Date: June 10, 1986

Publisher: Red Fox

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 352

Source: School Library

Redwall Abbey, tranquil home to a community of peace-loving mice is threatened by Cluny the Scourge – the evil-one-eyed rat warlord – and his battle-hardened horde of predators. Cluny is certain that Redwall will fall easily to his fearsome army but he hasn’t bargained for the courage and strength of the combined forces of the Redwall mice and their loyal woodland friends. . . . .

1 out of 5 stars


This book was soooooooooooooooooooooo slow it was painful to read. I liked the premise of the book and Matthias as a character was fun to read about. Other than Matthias as a character, there weren’t may redeeming qualities for this book.

The only reason I picked up this book was because I went to a local Little Free Library and found two books of this series. I was intrigued because it was a young adult fantasy series, and fantasy is one of my favorite genres, so naturally I decided to pick them up. I later found out that they were book numbers nine and eleven, so….

I picked up the first book from the library and it was so slow.

This book followed Matthias and his adventures to obtain the great sword of Martin. This was all that happened and I struggled to get through it. I don’t understand how this book has an average rating of 4.1 on Goodreads. IT WAS SO BORING.

I honestly don’t have anything else to say about this. I will not be continuing on with this series.

Also, 22 books in this series. No way is that even possible for me to read that much about small woodland creatures who don’t fight but end up killing the bad guys.