Book Review: Rough Rider

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.

So a funny thing happened when I read this book. I sat down one night after dinner and very quickly read about half of the book before setting it down for the night. Then the next day I go to finish the book and I’m left wondering “What the heck did I read last night? What happened in the book?” This was weird because I was enjoying the book as I read it and yet already, after less than 24 hours, I couldn’t recall 99% of what I had read. I could have gone back and reread the first half, but instead I decided to continue on from where I left off – I felt that rereading the first half so soon after the initial reading would make me dislike the book. Luckily, at least some of it came back to me once I started reading again.

I can’t really say much about this book to be honest. I enjoyed it while reading and it was a very fast read, but the story never really one hundred percent pulled me in. My attention seemed to ebb and flow, never losing interest enough to put down the book, but never feeling that usual strong connection to the characters and story. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Boone and C.J. enough, but their characters never really spoke to me. When I read, I want to feel a connection to the characters, and unfortunately, I never got that with this book.

One thing I felt that was off about this book, and the others for that matter, was that the titles never seemed to really match the content of the story. I would think that a book called Rough Rider would would involve more horses and riding and rough cowboys. All three of those things occurred in the books, but it was only the later that really existed throughout the entirety of it.

Despite giving this, and the previous two books in the series, three stars, I am still glad that I read them and if there is another in the series, which I feel like there might be (even though it’s supposed to be a trilogy), then I will definitely read it as well. If you are looking for a quick read series with a tad of suspense and romance mixed in, then this series might be for you.

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Book Review: Fairest

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Villains have always been my favorite part of books and movies. So whenever there is a story that focuses on a villain, I want to read it. I have really been enjoying The Lunar Chronicles, but was feeling that I didn’t quite know enough about Levana to truly appreciate her role as villain in this series. So when it was time to read this book, I was excited to see exactly what pushed her to be the woman we all know her to be.

This book is quite short and I was able to read it in one sitting. One thing I did find strange was that there were no chapters in this book. Yes, there were breaks put in at different parts, but the lack of actual chapters was weird.

I really enjoyed getting to see Levana as a young child and teenager. It helped to really paint a full picture of what her life was like before the events of the series and gave up a look at what she was like before she became this evil queen we all know and love. What really made this book was the various relationships it’s showed that shaped Levana’s life, from her parents to her sister and the man she loves, they all help in their own ways to push her into becoming the woman we see in The Lunar Chronicles.

One part I really found interesting was that she has something in common with Cinder. I can’t really go into detail about it, but it definitely tied the two women together beyond their shared blood.

Overall, I thought this was a great book. It really adds something to the series as a whole to finally find out what made Levana into the woman we know, why she does what she does and helps to fill in some gaps that otherwise would have been left unanswered. If you haven’t started this series, I would recommend that you do. They are all fantastic book and I cannot wait to finish them.

Book Review: Erased Volume 2

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

After reading the first volume, I immediately wanted to know what was going to happen next. So I ordered the second volume and waited until it arrived several weeks later. I can’t go into much detail, because I don’t want to spoil the The story picks up right where the previous volume ends.

Once again, I enjoyed watching Satoru try to navigate the past, as well as the present, while trying to solve two different murders. It was interesting to watch him try to piece two different time line together, gathering what clues and evidence he could find along the way, while also avoiding getting too tangled up into either situation. In fact, it’s this double mystery that is one of my favorite aspects of this series. A single mystery would be interesting enough, but toss a second one in and you’ve got quite a story.

I have to say that the art is also growing on me. I wasn’t a huge fan of it with the first volume, but I’m certainly loving it more. I think as the story progresses with each volume, I will come to love it more and more.

I’m really looking forward to the next volume to see exactly what will happen next. So many things are up in the air at the moment and I can only guess at how things will turn out.

Book Review: The Last Olympian

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

I almost didn’t read this book. I had pretty much lost interest in this series with the previous book and wondered if I should even bother. But then it started to bother me, knowing that there was just one book left in the series and that if I didn’t read it, it would be forever unfinished. So I sucked it up and read this book.

No surprise here, I didn’t like the book. I had stopped caring about the characters and their problems, I stopped caring about whether they could stop Kronos or not. I just didn’t care.

I will admit, that I am a bit bummed that I didn’t love this series more. It started off strongly but then just got less and less interesting with each progressive book. I guess all books in a series can’t be stellar. Ah well.

But you know what, I read it, so at least I can say I read the entire series. However, now I’m wondering if I should bother with the Heroes of Olympus series or not.

Book Review: Dead Ringer

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.

After reading Dark Horse, the first book in the series, I was eager to continue on with it. So I quickly dove into Dead Ringer. This is a very quick book to read, I got through it in a couple of hours.I found the flow of this story to be really good, smoothly going from one moment to another, which really helps to pull the reader fully into the story. The only downside is that I found the book didn’t stick with it. A couple of days after reading it, I had begun to forget big chunks of it. Which makes reviewing it a bit difficult but I will do my best.

One thing I do know if that I enjoyed this one more than the first book, despite the story of the book fading fairly quickly from my memory. I can’t say that the characters really stood out to me, as many of them had been introduced in Dark Horse and it was simply their turn to be in the lime light. It was the fast paced story that was the thing I enjoyed the most. From the moment you start reading, you are left wondering what will happen next and just how things will turn out, not just for the main characters but those who have smaller side rolls as well.

I did have one issue with the book, however I won’t do into too much detail so as to not spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet. But there was one clue that should have been caught by pretty much every family member but wasn’t until the very end when a new and sudden element came into play. The only person who noticed it was the mother, who since she’s in a asylum couldn’t really put it into words, but her reaction should have clued in the others, especially her ex-husband who was there at the time.

Overall, this was a pretty good book. It’s just a shame that it didn’t stick with me. I will be continuing on with the rest of the series to see how the story ends. If you are looking for a quick and entertaining read, then this series might be for you.

Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Cress by Marissa Meyer

What I did Last Week

Read

Nothing. I didn’t have the time nor the desire to read.

Watched

I didn’t watch too much last week. I did finally finish up the last few episodes of River Monsters from the PVR, as well as some episodes of The Incredible Dr Pol and a couple of documentaries I had recorded like a year ago. I also watched Miss Hokusai, which was different but I really enjoyed it. For Family Movie Night we watched Princess of Thieves, which we all enjoyed.

Life

It was a semi-busy week. I got more things done around the house, knocking off a lot of things on my to do list. The weather was pretty nice, though we did get quite a bit of rain in the last half of the week, but I still managed to get outside quite a bit in between the rain and storms. so when I wasn’t working, I was outside taking Penny for lots of walks and working in the garden.  Speaking of the garden, all that work of covering it the previous week due to frost has paid off. I was finally able to harvest a ton of beans and quite a few peas as well. I should be able to get at least one more big harvest before the end of the season. I did have to pull up some plants that has started to die, but overall, 90% of the garden is still there and looking really good. I also took another load of donations out of the house. These were things I had tried to sell in the last two weeks but no one showed any interest in, so off they went. I’m slowing gaining back all the space that is being used to temporarily store the things I am trying to sell. A few more weeks and it will all be gone – hopefully.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I don’t know how much reading I will get done this week. I have family visiting, which means the chance of sitting down to read is limited. If I sit down to read, someone will inevitably come up and want to talk to me.

Watching

Much like everything else this week, what I have time to watch will be limited. My parents will be here and I swear they drive for two days just to watch TV the entire they are here, but I might be able to watch one of two things if I’m lucky.

Life

All plans I might have had this week have been put on hold due to family visiting. I don’t know what we will do, likely just sit around the house and be uncomfortable.

Book Review: Cress

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

For some silly reason, it took me a full month to read this book. Mostly it was because I was busy with other things, you know how life gets in the way of a good book, yeah that’s what happened, and then when I did have time to read I would pick up other books (generally short manga’s that I could read in one quick sitting). I wanted to read this book so badly, but everything seemed against me finishing it. Luckily, I did manage to get it done a whopping thirty days after starting it, and I really enjoyed it.

I’m not going to go into much detail with this, but I will cover some key points. First off, I thought Cress was a great character. She had her quirks, some faults and a definite zest for life. There is a lot of character growth for her over the course of this novel and I think the Cress we will see in the next book will be even better. I still hate Thorne. Not as much as I hated him in Scarlet, but I still really, really don’t like his character. He has redeemed himself some through his actions in this book, but ugh I just can’t stand the man.

Like the previous novels, everything has been coming together smoothly, perhaps not for the characters, but in the sense of all the story lines intermingling and joining into one very strong and appealing plot. It’s this aspect alone that has made me enjoy these books so much. I honestly didn’t think I would like this series at all, and didn’t see how these retellings would work in any way, and yet here I am loving these books and looking forward to reading the next one.

Am I the only one that was disappointed that Cress’ hair got cut so early in this book? I get why it happened, but I was hoping to see more Rapunzel-ish action.

Overall, this was a really good book. I only wish I could have read it in more of a one sitting fashion instead of it taking weeks to complete. Even so, I loved it and am really looking forward to finishing off this series, and yikes the end is so close I almost don’t want it to end. If you haven’t read this series yet, I would recommend checking it out, as it has great characters and a wonderful story line.