The Valiant ★★★★☆

4.5 stars 

I read this book in about 4 total hours and it was amazing. Every time I opened the book I couldn’t stop reading. I loved reading about female gladiators and how Ceaser realized that women could fight just as good as the men. I’ve only seen a few negative reviews and I can see why! It’s just such a good book!

Goodreads Summary:

Princess. Captive. Gladiator.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.

My review: 

The main character in this novel, Fallon, was such a cool character who just wanted to make a name for herself. She trained every chance that she got and was trying her hardest to become a warrior like her older sister. I love the fact that she follows the goddess of war/death, the Morrigan because I’m such a nerd when it comes to anything Celtic.
They jump straight into a romance with this book and I wasn’t ready at all. It was a shock but I can see why the author did it. It definitely led to a quickly moving plot. Even though us, as readers, are thrown into a romance that we’ve never seen before, it’s one that has been solid for a while. I haven’t read a ton of books where the main character was actually with someone in the first chapter of the book.
I didn’t really see the plot twist coming in this book until I was five pages away from it actually happening. It was such a cool twist and I feel like the characters really handled it well. Everything in this book was about sisterhood and I haven’t really read a book that focuses so much on how much sisters need each other (that’s including the sisters she makes later on in the book). It was something I really loved and want to see in more books that are coming out. I’m sick of reading books where they pit girls against each other because it is just a cheap way to make the plot “interesting.”
I feel like this book could and should have been longer. I feel like this book was just setting up the next book and to be honest, I don’t really mind it because this book was actually really good. I just got to the end of this book and was like “oh this it?” and it wasn’t like every other time that I’ve said that because it just felt like it should have had more. I’m not mad at where this book ended though because it was a natural ending that left a good starting point for the next book to happen. I think this is quickly going to become one of my favorite series.
I loved the setting in this book and I’m really excited to continue reading about the people living in it. I think that the author painted a really clear picture in my mind and I could see the entire book happening like a movie in my head. That’s something that I love. There’s nothing like letting your mind run off with the images that the words in the book create.
I’d highly recommend this book, obviously. This is one that I think lots of people would enjoy and I will definitely be telling my friends to read it while I’m waiting for the second book to come out. Only about 2 months till I can finally get back into the story!!

 

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All the Crooked Saints ★★★☆☆

3 stars

I really thought I would like this book more. I don’t think I liked the writing style too much and the story was just a little off, to be honest. I think the whole thing is that I just don’t like Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style. Also, sorry for the late posting, everything’s been a mess with college applications and stuff. That’s also why this review isn’t the longest one.

Goodreads Summary:

Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place, you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

My Review:

There wasn’t really a main character in this novel and that’s totally okay and it worked for this book. This was a book told in third person and if it hadn’t been, I think the book would have lost something. It wasn’t hard to follow and the writing style was actually really nice.

I did like the way the story progressed and the idea that it was trying to convey. The characters were kind of two-dimensional but they weren’t the worst people I’ve ever had to read about. I’d also like to mention that magical realism is a Latinx creation and some people aren’t the happiest that Steviagter decided to tell this story. I can see their point of view but I’m choosing not to voice my opinion on this platform. The only thing that I will say is that reading certain things did make me cringe a little because I know that she is a white woman writing this stuff.

This book just didn’t hold my attention. Like at all. This book was one that I considered DNFing because it just wasn’t that interesting. I really don’t think that this is an author for me so I’m going to stop buying her books. This makes me sad because I’ve heard so many great things about her but I guess she’s not just for everyone.

I can’t see myself recommending this book to any of my friends but if you like Maggie Stiefvater then you might like this book. I just think there are better books out there and this might end up being not worth your time.

Finally Fall Book Tag

The weather where I am is so unconventional but it’s slowly becoming more fall-like. I’m going to have a few more book tags going up this month because I love Halloween and the fall season. So, I’m sorry if you’re not interested in tags but I’ll be back to predominantly book reviews next month!

1. In fall, the air is crisp and clear: name a book with a vivid setting!

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Six of Crows has such a vivid setting and I really loved the description of all the different places in the book.

2. Nature is beautiful… but also dying: name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven is such a beautifully written book and I loved how it dealt with such heavy topics.

3.Fall is back to school season: share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

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Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown is a really influential book that while I’ve only read portions of the book, it’s one that’s stayed with me for a while.

4. In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

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The Inner Circle from A Court of Mist and Fury omg can I please just join your group?Thanks! They’re just such an amazing group of people (or fae) and I’d love to be a part of that group.

5. The colourful leaves are piling up on the ground: show us a pile of fall-coloured spines!

6. Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

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The Star Touch Queen by Roshani Chokshi is the only book I can really think of where the main character is telling a story. I know there’s another book where someone is telling a story but I really can’t remember anything right now.

7. The nights are getting darker: share a dark, creepy read.

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Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge is definitely one of the creepiest reads that I’ve read recently.

8. The days are getting colder: name a short, heart-warming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

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Me and Milo the Great by Michelle Schlicher is a book that I can see anyone falling in love with, or at least being warmed by.

9. Fall returns every year: name an old favourite that you’d like to return to soon.

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City of Bones and The Infernal Devices are books that I really want to read again because I loved them so much.

10. Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: share your favourite cozy reading “accessories”!

I love reading with cute bookmarks, fall leaves, and a chunky maroon scarf! I got the scarf while I was in Inverness and I love it so much!

Scotland & Ireland – Update

So I leave for Ireland today! I’m really excited to spend two weeks in Europe learning about the history of everything I can. I have a lot of stuff planned and for that reason, I’m not entirely sure how much I will be able to post. Because of this, I think I’m going to only post on the Tuesdays and Saturdays that I am there. This will make it easier for me and will give me the opportunity to write quality posts instead of posting a mass of book tags. Some of my posts will also be about my trip so if you’re not interested just feel free to ignore me for a day or two.

I have nothing against a good book tag but I do not want my blog to be overrun like it sometimes has been in the past. I like having a mix of both reviews and tags so that the blog never really becomes stale but I just can’t post book tags.

As of right now, I will have a post up on June 29th, July 1st, July 4th and July 8th while I am over in Europe. I fly home on July 11th and once I am home I will be moving house so once I come back I will have to decide if I will have enough time to publish things I am proud of. As much as it pains me to say, I might have to go back to posting twice a week throughout July but I’m not entirely sure yet.

I hope that all makes sense and I hope you can all understand why I’m changing things for the time being. I will most likely go back to posting three times a week in August because I really do like posting so frequently. I hope you all have a great day and the next time you hear from me I will be hanging out in Europe!!

 

OMG This Song Book Tag

This is such a cool tag because I love both music and books! I’ve linked the original tag below and I definitely recommend checking it out! I didn’t really explain the reasoning behind any of the books but if anyone is interested in knowing just comment down below and I’ll be happy to explain a little!

1. My Jam: a song you MUST listen to every time it comes on, no matter how old or how many times you’ve listened to it / a book you’ll never get sick of

Floral and Fading by Pierce the Veil; The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner and of course A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

2. Throwback: a song that reminds you of the cringest time of your life / a book that also reminds you of this time (or just something you wouldn’t like as much if you picked it up for the first time now)

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Bad Boy by Cascada; House of Night series by P.C. Cast

3. Replay: a recent song you have on repeat right now / a recent favorite book

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Dinner Bell by With Confidence; TruthWitch by Susan Dennard

4. Gets Me: this song IS ME / this book is me in book form

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Hard to Please by State Champs; City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

5. Wut: weird but I like it? / a unique book that stuck out to you for whatever reason

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Young and Menace by Fall Out Boy; Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufmann

6. Let’s Go: best pump up song (for workouts or just life) / a book that inspired you

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Believer by Imagine Dragons; The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

7. Chill: fav chill, relaxing song / a book you’d curl up with and read on a rainy day

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Jamie All Over (acoustic) by Mayday Parade; A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

8. Addicting: guilty pleasure song – one that’s catchy and addicting but not a whole lot of substance / guilty pleasure/trashy/fast/light read

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Fergalicious by Fergie; Cherub series by Robert Muchamore

9. Nostalgia: throwback you look back on fondly / a book you read forever ago that you look back on fondly or reminds you of a happy childhood time

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Nine in the Afternoon by Panic! at the Disco; Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan

Wink Poppy Midnight ★★☆☆☆

2 Stars

I really expected more from this book. This book was a mess and it just wasn’t worth the time it took to read it to be completely honest. This book wasn’t terrible, which is why it’s got a half point above 2 stars but it was just so lacking.

Goodreads Summary:

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair, and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

My Review:

I feel bad for just trashing this book but I just really didn’t like it. I read it in two hours and if I hadn’t decided to sit down and finish it I highly doubt I would have ever finished it. This is the kind of book I would read 75 pages of and then put on my DNF list.

The cover is so beautiful but I hated the title once I started reading the book. I thought the book title was a hint towards the plot but no it’s just the names of the three main characters. I don’t mind books with more than one main character, for example, Six of Crows was done amazingly well but this book was a mess. There are no real chapters and you switch POV’s so often and randomly it just doesn’t work.

One of the characters, Poppy is “that” girl. Except she’s “that girl” to the max. She isn’t just mean, confident and cocky. She is vindictive, harsh, arrogant and selfish. The goal of the author for Poppy might have been to create a “villain” but it just didn’t work. This character was one that I wanted to throw out of the book and never hear from again.

This book attempts to have a good plot twist but it doesn’t really work. The character was made to be a certain way but then she magically does something completely out of character? It was just a dumb plot twist and I think that it didn’t add anything to the story.

I will say that the writing style in this book is amazing. It is whimsical and was one of the reasons I continued to read it because it kind of wraps you into a snare. I wish the writing style was enough to save this book but it just wasn’t. I haven’t read any of Tucholke’s other books but after reading the writing in this one I still might pick up Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.

I don’t really think I would recommend this book to anyone because it just isn’t worth it. Maybe if you don’t have anything else to read this might be a cool pick but definitely, don’t buy it. This is a last result kind of book and as much as I hate to say it, the characters are not memorable at all.

 

6 Random Book Recommendations

So I’ve done a decent amount of book tags recently so I thought that I’d change it up by recommending some of my favorite books! I’m going to recommend both contemporary books and series’s because why pick one! I do have reviews for almost all of these books up on my blog so I do link to them in case anyone is interested in reading more about a particular book. I also don’t mention anything by Cassandra Clare or Sarah J. Maas because I talk about them a lot and figured I should mention some other books.

Continue reading “6 Random Book Recommendations”