Can I Say

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

I like to mix up my genres every once in a while. Helps to keep me from going off the fiction deep end (happened once.) 

I am hopelessly cut off from main stream pop culture figures. I didn’t know exactly who Travis Barker was before I read this. I know basically zero about drums, guitars and band history. It’s almost like this book was more like fiction to me! 

I have to say that about 1/3 of the way through this, I didn’t like Travis Barker very much. He had some redeeming qualities, but they were hidden under a lot of bad, annoying and ridiculous ones. 

The most important part of an autobiography is the redemption. They all seem to follow the same arc. The hero has to come out the other end having learned something, and changed in some way. This is where this autobiography did things right. You can hear Travis’ voice in the writing. When he talks about his kids…something changed about him. I had no feelings whatsoever about this human until he had his kids and showed some humanity.  

This was worth the read, if you’re a fan it’s likely to have lots of people and places you care about. If you’re just a regular ole book reader, you will find that story you’re looking for. 

I can’t say I came out liking Travis Barker because of this, but I can say I respect the road he’s been on and definitely see a man that was birthed from boy. 

Also, his daughter is named Alabama after the character from True Romance. One of the greatest movies on the planet. If he liked that movie enough to name his daughter after her, then he’s got my vote. 

Well done, looking forward to seeing what his next 40 years brings. 

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Caraval

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Author: Stephanie Garber

I wanted to love this. I still do. This digital book was crazy expensive and all my to be read novels are over $11 for the digital. I’m not here to complain about money.

I requested the ARC for this book, I was waiting for its release when I wasn’t approved for the ARC. I liked the dark and ominess presence of a circus type environment. Perhaps, I built it up too much. 

I was about a third of the way through when I thought to myself, “I hope it doesn’t stay this way.” I began to feel like I didn’t trust the author to take this anywhere. This makes me sad because she seems like a really sweet gal and I follow her on instagram. 

The build up was good, the world building was so so. The male lead was being set up to be a big reveal, and I was hoping, really hoping it wouldn’t fall flat. 

It fell flat. 

I didn’t like the protagonist, she was indecisive and bothered me. I think I even found her to be dumb. Gosh, sometimes when I write reviews they get worse when I think about the book more. 

If this was self published and had a worse cover, it wouldn’t be a huge deal. Characters weren’t very dimensional, story had promise then fizzled. The one character that had promise, the main boy…can’t remember his name, turned to mush in the last quarter just like Four in Allegiant. 

I still want to love this. 
**********SPOILER AREA***********

If I had been in the publishing process for this. I’d like this as a first draft, I would have suggested that the boy character actually be the betrothed of the protagonist since we were hoping he was Legend. Characters needed to be fleshed out, all of them. And the world needed more magic. When you’ve got magic…you can do anything. ANYTHING! Also, no rules were broken. The story stayed in the lines, and we are not into that anymore. 


Break the rules, make more magic! That’s good advice folks. 

Army of Fire (The Elementals Book 1)

armyoffire

Three Stars

Author: Jennifer L. Kelly

Army of Fire is a YA dystopian novel that takes you on an adventure on a whole new planet, and world in most every way. The magic of having a whole new world and the future is that basically anything is possible! This is the first book of a series and is laying the foundation for the story going forward.

I found the pace of this novel to be great! I am picky about pace. It doesn’t take much to make a reader feel rushed or bored. Character development was good for YA, this was only the first book so there is likely MUCH more development to come.

I enjoyed this book! I was right there with the characters and could sense their personalities. The voices of the characters didn’t get muddled together and the story was fun and exciting!

This reminded me of Divergent and even Lord of the Rings at a couple points. I could feel the heaviness of the story to come and I am excited that they next books will be released soon.

If this is your type of novel then Army of Fire will fit right in and leave you wanting more!

****I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review****

 

Unmentionable By: Therese O’Neill 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Unmentionable by Therese O’Neill (my phone is adamant about the apostrophe in your name, apologies) was an unabashed and unconventional view into the life of a woman in the 19th Century. 

There was no stone left unturned, no body part not scalded by the acid of Dr. Kellogg. If you don’t blush at the word vagina or get uncomfortable with discussion of body fluids then you won’t flinch at the topics and depth of discussion in all things “private”. If you do however get a little naseous or uncomfortable then take a pill, and dive right in.

I LOVE that this was not only encyclopedia worthy content, but shamelessly treaded into topics of poop, blood, sex, masturbation and birth control. If you think when you get to the weight loss remedies if the 1800’s that you can take a break from the shocking…DO NOT PASS GO! I have told at least 20 people this week about this little golden piece of knowledge of weight loss history. 

This was a non fiction historical account and normally this is hella boring, BUT Therese took us on a roller coaster of crazy and I came out the other end needing a 21st century bath. 

This is totally worthy content for the normally fiction reader, you will not be let down! 

Have fun! 

*****I received and ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*****

Heir of Fire By: Sarah J Maas

heir-of-fire

FOUR STARS

Author: Sarah J Maas

I attempted to read Throne of Glass before A Court of Thorns and Roses, and because I didn’t know Sarah J Maas was magical and trustworthy with my reading time, I didn’t finish Throne of Glass on my first try.

It was after I finished A Court of Mist and Fury, and with tons of pressure from the book community that I tried Throne of Glass again. If you don’t already know, Heir of Fire is book three in the Throne of Glass series.

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After I was blown away by Maas’ other novels I decided to give this series another try. It took muscling through the first two to get to Heir of Fire but it was worth it!

Do not judge this series by the first or even second novel, they are all just foundational layers of a much larger and greater story. You will not be left wanting.

Yes, the first two are a bit slow and even angsty at times, but Maas soon shows us the growth of the character and timeline that is WORTH IT. After all, the protagonist is only a teenager when this story begins.

In this novel the adventure and depth begins to twirl into that magical place of book heaven known to those that love the other Maas series. 

I cannot recommend this series enough, it is exactly the type of world that is worth living in and slowly digesting. After all, you can’t get that first time reading experience again.

Maas takes her characters on a real and uncensored progression, she doesn’t back away when other authors might be worried about messing with main character or story. I can never say I know what’s coming.

There is a complete abandonment of rules and normal YA story arc… and I LOVE broken rules that rock my world.

PS: I have officially had a dream about Sarah J Maas, so you may want to understand the degree that I am fangirling into the weight of my words.

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*****Possible spoilers ahead in my discussion******

Rowan buddy you’re growing on me with your aloof angry self.

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I have no idea if Rowan and Aelin will make out or not, how can’t I tell?! I am usually so good at knowing if that’s coming.

IF, I were to guess I would say yes they will, but in true Maas fashion we won’t really know until they lock lips and our world gets all turnt.

The world with the witches and the whole back story is very over and above the standard. This novel would’ve been a best seller without it, BUT we are not left with just being satisfied. We’re gorging ourselves on story and world and it is gluttonously amazing! 

 

Heartless By:Marissa Meyer

heartless

Three Stars

Author: Marissa Meyer

Non-Spoiler Review

This is the back story of the Queen of Hearts. This novel encompasses the early days of Catherine who would one day become the Evil Queen. She begins as a sought after nobel daughter, sought after by the King himself.

Despite the possibility of becoming Queen, Catherine desires to find love on her own terms. A feeling that often disrupts arranged marriages!

I enjoyed this novel, more so the first 3/4. I was hoping to really see the transformation of a good character into a bad one. We sometimes read stories with the villain becoming villainous in the background of the “main” story, but not with Heartless. Our protagonist that were rooting for, is destined to become evil. Just what does it take to turn her bad? I will keep my opinions that have spoilers to myself as the book has not been released.

I did like this novel, and I did finish it. I will say that I do wish it had delved a little deeper and not rushed the plot. If it must be rushed then at least give us some juicy falling into darkness type stuff!

I liked it, but sadly was wanting more. Read this novel, it’s a part of the YA fantasy retellings and important for any of us collectors.

The bar for YA fantasy has been raised in the last few years and although this was good, it did fall a bit short.

***I received and ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review***

 

Crown of Midnight

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Author: Sarah J Maas

Non spoiler review:

I decided to give this series another chance after I read her other series.

I didn’t love Throne of Glass so I didn’t have super high hopes for this one. The writing is great, perfectly paced, thorough, content is fun… Pretty much everything is perfect. The story does seem to lag, but if you remember that the series is long and it’s Sarah J Maas, you won’t be in fear of wasting time. It has always paid off to stick with her through the story building!

My only gripe is personal, I get spooked really easily so some of the darker scenes were tough. I remedied this with reading in well lit places. Not joking. Sarah J Maas is fabulous, this series is good. From what I see they also get better as they go so I’m already reading the next one! Heir of Fire here I come!

POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*****

I’m trying to think of something to discuss that isn’t vague like the non spoiler area. I think all that I can come up with is that the separation of Chaol and Celaena emotionally felt a bit forced. The instant drop of trust didn’t make much sense since Her princess friend held back important info as well, and Celaena is super devoted to her still. Celaena even does that same thing to people, and yet it isn’t that huge of a deal.

I also had a similar thought about Feyre in ACOMAF. Interesting.

I’m sort of thinking maybe Sarah J Maas is attempting to create distance between Chaol and Celaena so a new love interest can come in. We shall see.

***Is Celaena spelled right? 😳