Sunday, November 19, 2017

Weekly Recap: 11/12 - 11/18


TRACY'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you're all enjoying your weekend! My week began with another trip to the vet where it was confirmed that my little guy had a fever after his surgery. He's spent the week on two antibiotics and has also been put on an allergy medicine to see if it makes a difference in his cough! We will figure this out eventually! In case you hadn't noticed, this hasn't been the best posting week. I've been so preoccupied with this dog that I really haven't had much time to focus on blogging. Hopefully now that he's on the other side I'll be able to get back to it! This week has continued the Buffy rewatch and I'm not mid-season 6. I've decided to continue with the season 8 comics after I'm finished and I'm so excited to break into new Buffy territory!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK



THIS WEEK I READ

 



MC'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi, everyone! After my super busy weekend last week, I was pretty much a lazy lump this week. I was super unproductive and I barely read. I needed a few days of peace and quiet because I am off on another adventure this week. I have a LOT of reading to catch up on by the end of this month, so I am trying to get as much done before Thanksgiving as possible. I love Thanksgiving so much, so I can't wait for it to get here! Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

No new books this week!


THIS WEEK I READ

No books read this week!



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Monday ARC review of Renegades
The topic was books I want my niece to read for Top Ten Tuesday
Thursday ARC review of The Bone Witch


UPCOMING REVIEWS

 


We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Thursday, November 16, 2017

ARC Review: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Title: The Bone Witch
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publication Date: March 17, 2017
Publisher: Sourcefire Books
Pages: 411
Add to Goodreads


//I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review//

The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

Tea comes from a magical family. All of her sisters are witches. But when Tea accidentally raises her brother, Fox, from the dead, she realizes that her magic is nothing like that of her sisters. She is a bone witch, and she is feared and shunned for her powers. Finally, under the guidance of another bone witch, Tea gains an education and learns to harness her powers of darkness.

I don't even have the words to describe how much I enjoyed The Bone Witch. This book is absolutely fantastic. I can't believe it took me so long to pick it up. Anything I say about this book will sound like it was written by a child compared to the eloquence of this book, but I will try.

The best thing about The Bone Witch by far was the writing style. The writing is dark and lyrical and you can easily find yourself completely lost in the story. The characters were described with such detail that they jumped off the page and felt real. While the book does jump right into the story without much initial introduction to the world, as the story continued, I found that I could clearly picture every aspect of it. If you like lyrical and descriptive stories, you will be salivating over The Bone Witch. If you want a lot of action in your books, you will not find it here. But it is very much worth the read anyway.

Stylistically, The Bone Witch reminded me of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (another absolutely fantastic read, by the way). The story is told in alternating perspectives - from Tea, as she recounts the past five years of her life as a bone witch, and from the man who is interviewing her for her story. The plot moves slowly through Tea's education, but details about her from the perspective of the interviewer are interspersed throughout the book, leaving the reader wondering how this young girl became such a powerful dark witch. I assumed that the remaining books in this series will continue in the same format, until Tea's tale of her past finally intersects with the interviewer's notes on the present.

The twist at the end of this book was spectacular. I seriously cannot wait for the next book to be released so I can devour it. I was hooked from the first page of The Bone Witch and I want to be back in that world so badly. You will not find a lot of action, adventure, or romance in this book, but it is so beautiful that you have to give it a try. It will be so worth it.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #163: Books I want my niece to read


Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Books I Want My Niece to Read

I love this week's topic because I happen to have a 10-year-old niece who actually enjoys reading! I started her on the Magic Treehouse books, but I fear she's outgrown them. I've been slowly buying her the Harry Potter series and I believe she's enjoying it (I think?)! These are ten books that I either enjoyed around her age or have loved recently and think she'd like now!  



The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Giver by Lois Lowry



The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Monday, November 13, 2017

ARC Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Title: Renegades
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 576

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//I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review//

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

If you've followed my reviews for awhile, then you know I love Marissa Meyer! The Lunar Chronicles was one of the first YA series that I followed from beginning to end and Heartless is easily in my top five retellings. Combine my love of this author with my love of superhero movies (okay, really just Marvel movies) and I was SO excited when I heard about Renegades! Unfortunately, it turned out to be a little bit of a letdown.

Renegades is a heroes versus villains story. Nova is an anarchist, one of the villains, and has good reasons for being one. Not only was she born into it, but the Renegades failed her as a child when she needed them most. Adrian is a Renegade, also by birthright. I really loved both of these characters! I could totally sympathize with Nova's reasons for seeking vengeance and wanted to see her succeed. At the same time, I really loved Adrian's sense of moral duty, which could have easily been annoying but never reached that level, thankfully. And for you romance haters, there really isn't much here to annoy you!

I also did enjoy the other heroes and villains, but thought that everyone aside from the main characters was kind of over-the-top one dimensional. Everyone was super good or super evil and there wasn't much in between. For a story set in a world similar to our own, I wish the secondary characters had been a bit more believable.

Speaking of the world, I wish there had been more to it. Everything in Renegades is confined to one city and, although other cities are briefly mentioned, I never felt like I had a good idea about the world and how it came to be in its current state. Reading this book kind of felt like playing a closed world video game, to be honest. I know that Marissa Meyer is capable of incredible world building and I really hope she shows us a bit more of this world in future books because it has potential to be amazing!

Like the characters, the plot was pretty bland and predictable. Villain seeks revenge, villain finds out not everything is black and white. Honestly, the story wasn't terrible, but I think it suffered from being way, way too drawn out. Renegades could have been about 250 pages shorter and still have accomplished everything that happened in the story. A major problem I had with this book is that, while the world isn't very description-heavy, everything else is way too drawn out. Details I didn't care to know are included while details that could've made the story better were left out.

Overall, I thought Renegades was just okay, and maybe that's because I had such high expectations. The main characters were fantastic and the story was interesting, but the pacing was unbearably slow and the world building left a lot to be desired. There was also a ridiculous cliffhanger at the end that I'm sure a lot of people would hate! I'll probably wait until the audiobook is available for Renegades 2. I'm still interested to see how the story continues.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Weekly Recap: 11/5 - 11/11


TRACY'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you all had a better week than I! My week started off fine, but my puppy was neutered on Thursday and it has been quite an experience. He's not quite a normal puppy as it is, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he has been chasing his tail ever since he came back home. The vet says she has no idea why he would do that except (possibly) pain, but she's never seen it before. Leave it to my dog! Since I've had to stay close to him for the last few days, I've been having an epic Buffy rewatch! I'm in the middle of season four and I have to say, this is my favorite by far. Is it just me or did everyone get funnier? Between this scene and this one I was laughing so hard I cried! XD I know some people think Spike ruined the show but he's honestly my favorite!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

 


THIS WEEK I READ

Nothing read this week!



MC'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi, everyone! I had to write this recap early this week because I have a jam-packed week. So who knows what I am actually doing when you read this. I'm off to a competition this week, then spending some time with my boyfriend's family. I have a baby shower to go to, and a stop in New York City to meet up with people as well. I'm going to be going nonstop, and I'm already tired just thinking about it. But it should be a really fun weekend! After my great reading week last week, this week was a bit of a failure. I only picked up one book, and decided to give up about a third of the way through. Oh well. Hopefully I can pick up something great next week. Have a good weekend!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

No new books this week!


THIS WEEK I READ




IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

On Sunday I had a stop on the Renegades blog tour
The topic was great literary leaders for Top Ten Tuesday
On Wednesday I shared the Dystopia Challenge November link-up
Thursday book review of This Monstrous Thing


UPCOMING REVIEWS

 


We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Book Review: This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

Title: This Monstrous Thing
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 384

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In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

Alasdair Finch has brought his brother back from the dead. Alasdair and Oliver lived their lives in hiding as Shadow Boys, using clockwork to repair men who had lost limbs during the war. But when Oliver dies tragically, Alasdair believes he can attempt the impossible. He tries using clockwork to bring Oliver back from the dead, and he succeeds - with consequences. Oliver is not the same, and now Alasdair is tied to Geneva to care for him, his dreams of going to school crushed. Until Frankenstein is published, and the city goes on a rampage to find the real Dr. Frankenstein and his monster.

This. Book. Was. So. Good. It has been sitting on my shelf for a while now, and I have been trying to save it to read during the fall. I read it during Halloween time this year, and it was an absolutely perfect read. There were so many wonderfully amazing things about this book. It might become one that I read over and over again.

The characters were perfect. Alasdair and Oliver's relationship was beautiful, even through their more trying times. Even the smaller side characters were given such distinct personalities. It made the story so vibrant. What I personally loved was that there was no real romance in the book. Alasdair was hung up on an old love, Mary, but it was a small detail of the story and didn't distract from the main plot line.

My absolute favorite part of This Monstrous Thing was the historical fantasy aspect. I adored the way the story took the classic of Frankenstein and turned it on its head. It was both a retelling of the original and an explanation of the story's origins. I was completely fascinated by the world that Mackenzi created, and I want to spend more time there. It is always fascinating to learn what an author's motivations were for their book, so it was so cool to see an interpretation of how Frankenstein was born.

One aspect that I found really interesting was how much trouble the publication of Frankenstein caused. I couldn't believe how the people reacted to the book, saying that it destroyed lives. I kept thinking to myself that it's just a book. How could they be making such a big deal out of it? How could they read this work of fiction and believe so whole-heartedly that it was real? Then I remembered all the times that books have caused a stir in real life. When I was younger, my parents put me in Catholic school. When The da Vinci Code was released, I heard so many lectures about how it was sacrilegious to even pick it up and read it. It amazes me what a book can do in our world. It was so much fun reading Mackenzi's interpretation of the commotion Frankenstein would have caused in her world.

This book covers so many genres and interests that a wide variety of readers can enjoy it. If you like history, literature, steampunk stories, or retellings, you will love This Monstrous Thing. It made me want to learn more about Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and Europe in the early 19th century. I can't recommend this book enough. I hope you decide to pick it up. I'm off to do some research.