Saturday, September 30, 2017

ARC Review: The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

Title: The Goblins of Bellwater
Author: Molly Ringle
Publication Date: October 1, 2017
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Pages: 288
Add to Goodreads


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

Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out.

Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.

Unaware of what’s happened to Skye, Kit starts dating Livy, trying to keep it casual to protect her from the attention of the goblins. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kit, Skye draws his cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods, dooming Grady and Skye both to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever.

It’s a midwinter night’s enchantment as Livy, the only one untainted by a spell, sets out to save them on a dangerous magical path of her own.

The Goblins of Bellwater caught my attention with its gorgeous cover and exciting title! I'll admit, I probably wouldn't have been quite as excited about it if I hadn't recently read an absolutely incredible goblin story. Who knew books about goblins could be awesome? But let me start out my review with this: The Goblins of Bellwater is NOT Wintersong! I've seen a few reviewers who were disappointed that they weren't getting another book about a sexy goblin king and I'm not sure that's fair because this book never claims to be that.

Skye is the protagonist of this story and the person who has an unfortunate encounter with the goblins. Skye finds herself in a state of depression and bound to secrecy by an inability to communicate about what has happened to her. The only person who she is really able to communicate with is Grady, brother of the local mechanic and Skye's own private chef. I really enjoyed both these characters! I felt for Skye and found myself frustrated for her as she tried to communicate what had happened and for Grady as he tried so hard to understand. Their romance was totally believable and sexy! Which seems like a good time to mention that The Goblins of Bellwater is definitely a new adult story!

Of course, there are other characters who are nearly as important as Skye and Grady - their siblings, Livy and Kit. These two have their own romance throughout the story that was fantastic, but perhaps a little too perfect. I enjoyed their story, but I felt like it was perhaps a bit silly for both sets of siblings to be romantically involved.

I said before that this book is nothing like Wintersong, so allow me elaborate. Where Wintersong was a romance ABOUT a goblin (king), The Goblins of Bellwater is a new adult romance WITH goblins. If you go into this book expecting it to be a goblin romance, you'll be disappointed. If you go in knowing it's a romance that also involves a lot of goblins, you'll probably end up enjoying it! Molly Ringle's take on goblins is different than anything else I've read in YA or NA fiction, although they definitely fit the mold of mischievous fae. I loved the intricacies of the goblins' world and their curse on Skye and Grady!

The world building of this book was extremely well done. Although it's mostly set in the Pacific Northwest, the woods are a totally magical realm with all kinds of magical creatures. The world of the goblins comes and goes depending on the time of day and the person passing by and I could totally picture it in my head each time it appeared. (It's pretty creepy, by the way.)

I felt like The Goblins of Bellwater was a fantastic read overall! The ending was a little too tied up (bow and all) for my usual taste, but I still really enjoyed it. Although this book didn't end up being anything like I thought it would be, it ended up being a really fun read with great characters and a magical setting! I'd definitely recommend this to fans of new adult urban fantasy who are looking for something a little different!










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Friday, September 29, 2017

When your favorite author disappoints


We all have our absolute favorite authors! You can probably list your auto buy authors without even thinking about it. (I know I can!) One of the worst experiences a reader can have is picking up their favorite author's next series and being totally underwhelmed. It always leaves me wondering what went wrong! And whether my favorite author is really still my fave. I've had this happen many times and today I'm going to share a few of them. 

When I read the Grisha trilogy I fell instantly in love with Leigh Bardugo's writing. This series instantly moved to the top of my favorites shelf and I have spent the last few years collecting ARCs and exclusives and cool swag. When I picked up Six of Crows I was SO excited to get back to this world! Imagine my surprise when I didn't love it. Leigh is still an auto buy author and I will always fangirl over her and The Darkling will forever be my favorite villain, but the SoC duology just didn't quite get there for me. 

Cruel Beauty is one of my absolute favorite Beauty and the Beast retellings! I also adored Crimson Bound and have collected both ARCs and they're honestly due for a reread. I loved the complex worlds and magical systems and the characters who weren't exactly easy to love. I expected the same from Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, and it was one of my most anticipated reads of last year! Unfortunately, it was way too convoluted for me and I didn't end up enjoying it very much at all. I'll still read the next in the series because Rosamund Hodge has impressed me so much in the past, but I'm definitely hoping it's more in line with her first two books. 

This one surprised me more than any other! When I found out about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child I was just as excited as everyone else! How could it NOT be amazing?? But then I got it. And I read it. And I cringed. A lot. Knowing Rowling didn't write it herself makes me feel a tiny bit better, but knowing she signed off on it makes me wonder what she was thinking! Will I still read every single piece of Harry Potter material she writes? Obviously. 

I'm really not sure what happened here. I'll admit The Selection was a big pile of fluff, but it was an entertaining pile of fluff that was exactly what I needed when I read it. I loved the entire series and was super excited to grab The Siren when it hit the shelves! Imagine my surprise when it was awful. :/ 

Her Dark Curiosity was my favorite book of The Madman's Daughter Trilogy, although I don't think I gave any of them less than 4 stars. The Cage caught my interest because it sounded like one of my favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone, but it was a total mess. I still ended up reading all three of them, but I was pretty unimpressed. 

Carrie Ryan is the final example I have but it's one that really disappointed me a lot! I loved The Forest of Hands and Teeth so much! It was one of the first YA books I ever read and I adored the whole series! When Daughter of Deep Silence was finally announced and I read the plot, I couldn't think of a reason I wouldn't love it. But, alas. 



Are there any books you'd fit into this category?
Do you still read authors if a book lets you down? 
Let me know in the comments!
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Audiobook Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: December 2, 2010
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 372
Add to Goodreads


Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome √Čtienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for? 

Just when everything in her life seems to be going right, Anna's father decides to ship her off to Paris for her senior year. Thrown into a country that she knows nothing about and separated from her best friend and almost-boyfriend, Anna is absolutely miserable. Luckily, she is taken in by a group of friends shortly after arriving in Paris. The group helps her adjust and shows her all the secrets that Paris holds. But Anna is also struggling with developing feelings for her friend Etienne St. Clair, who is already taken and totally off-limits.

This book has been on my TBR for so long, but I have never had any real desire to pick it up. I am not typically a fan of contemporary novels, and I really need to be wowed by them or I will put them aside. I had heard that Anna and the French Kiss was super cute and fluffy, and that was not something that interested me at all. I finally decided to pick up the audiobook so I wouldn't be wasting too much time if I didn't like it, and I'm glad that I did.

Ultimately, Anna and the French Kiss didn't completely wow me. But, that being said, I still enjoyed it. It was not nearly as cutesy as I had anticipated. The best thing about this book that it was very realistic. The conversations and interactions that the characters had were things that could (and often do) happen to anyone. So many contemporary romances feel so unnatural to me, so it was refreshing to encounter a very realistic story in this book. The romance in Anna was not insta-love at all. The characters developed feelings for each other over time and approached their feelings with a level head. That is often not how romance is handled in YA, so it was like a breath of fresh air to read this story.

Since I was reading this book after the entire trilogy has been published, it was fun to see nods to the future books showing up. The character of Isla (from the third book, Isla and the Happily Ever After) popped up a couple times in Anna. This made me even more excited to read the rest of the books to learn how everything connects. I love it when authors put in the effort to make small connections throughout a series, so I can't wait to see what is coming in the rest of the trilogy.

While I didn't fully love Anna and the French Kiss, I did enjoy the story and I do plan on continuing with the series. I have heard that Anna and Etienne make appearances in the other books in the trilogy, so I am looking forward to seeing how their story continues.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Weekly Recap: 9/17 - 9/23


TRACY'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

I am ready to go hooommmeeeee! Today is the day I fly back to the US and I honestly couldn't be more excited. I've had fun on vacation but I've concluded that three weeks is just too long to be away! I saw some amazing things in the last week - a new Disney park, the Colosseum, some crypts - but my puppies and my books await! I have not read a single thing since I've been gone! I brought three books with me assuming I'd have plenty of time but I just... have not. So now I'm even more behind and I haven't had time to comment on anything and yep, ready to get back to normal!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

Nothing new this week!


THIS WEEK I READ

Nothing this week!



MC'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hello everyone! Happy weekend! This week has been a long and interesting one. There have been some big things happening in my life that I'm not quite ready to announce online. Maybe in the next few weeks I'll be able to share more information with you. For right now, things are good, but I haven't been reading very much lately. I'm slowly getting back into it. Oh! I'm at Boston Teen Author Fest this weekend, so I'll be able to meet a lot of awesome authors and see some blogger friends! Hope you all have a great weekend!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

No new books this week!


THIS WEEK I READ

Nothing this week!



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Monday graphic novel review of Fresh Romance
On Tuesday I did the Anything But Books Tag
MC featured Whichwood for Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday audiobook review of Enclave


UPCOMING REVIEWS

 


We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Thursday, September 21, 2017

Audiobook Review: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Title: Enclave (Razorland #1)
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publication Date: April 12, 2011
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 259
Add to Goodreads


New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters--or Freaks--who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight--guided by Fade's long-ago memories--in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.

Ann Aguirre's thrilling young adult novel is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world--facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they've ever known.

In the Enclave, living to your teens is a feat in itself. Children aren't even given a name until they reach the age of 15. When Deuce finally has her naming ceremony, she finally gets her wish of becoming a Huntress. She will now be responsible for making sure the people of the Enclave get enough food to survive. She is paired with Fade for her hunting missions, and he is not like any other boy she has ever met. He was born topside, and she is fascinated by the fact that he was able to survive out in the wild. When Deuce and Fade make a discovery while hunting one day, they find themselves questioning the knowledge and authority of the elders who make the decisions for the Enclave. Now they are on their own, trying to survive in the tunnels and topside, and learning what else inhabits this earth with them.

The only thing I really knew about this book going into it was that there were zombies. Everyone always describes Enclave by mentioning the zombies. I don't really care about zombies, so it has taken me a while to finally pick this book up. Unfortunately, it wasn't one of my favorites. I enjoyed the beginning, but it went downhill and there were too many strange plot holes for me to really enjoy it.

At first, I found Enclave really interesting. Our world has been destroyed, and the humans of the future have retreated to a system of tunnels underground. I loved discovering how people had learned to adapt in these tunnels. It was also fascinating to watch Deuce and her friends learning about the past and being awed by the artifacts they found. Unfortunately, this did not last long, because the entire second half of the book was just a bunch of teens wandering around in the wilderness trying to survive, while nothing that exciting happened. The book never really had any climax or action-packed scenes, so the ending fell completely flat.

The plot holes were what really bothered me in the end, however. The synopsis of the book says that Deuce is 15, but it was never actually mentioned in the book. In a society where people rarely live to be 25, it seemed a little odd that they would wait until 15 to give children names and jobs. That means they spent more than half of their lives being nothing but a drain on the society's resources. If they were really in need of workers, you would think children would start earning their keep around 12 or 13. This may sound like I'm really nitpicking here, but this was just one of many aspects of the book that didn't make much sense.

While the idea of the entire human race trying to survive underground seemed really intriguing at first, it eventually felt like not much research had been done to make this world seem plausible. These people were basically surviving on rat meat without any access to fresh air and sunlight. When they did encounter sunlight, all they did was squint their eyes and complain of a small sunburn on their face. After spending their entire life underground, the sun would have done a lot more than cause some mild discomfort.

One more tiny annoying point about this book...There are no zombies! The Freaks (what everyone refers to as zombies) are basically just cannibals that live in the tunnels. They will hunt and kill humans for food. But they are not undead, and their bite will not make someone a Freak. They are just trying to survive. So stop saying this book is about zombies, people!

Ultimately, there were too many problems in Enclave for me to really enjoy it. There was barely any romance to speak of, and the little bit there was seemed weird and didn't make much sense. The world seemed interesting, but the plot eventually became boring and lackluster. There was no climax to keep readers interested, and no cliffhanger to keep them anticipating the sequel. This book called for way too much suspension of disbelief and felt as though it was thrown together without any forethought. Unfortunately, while I was interested at first, I don't think I will be spending my time reading the rest of this series.

PS - Call me immature, but I could not stop thinking about poop every time Deuce's name was mentioned in this book. Seriously, though, some of the names were just ridiculous.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday #12: Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi

Happy Wednesday, fellow book lovers! This week's "can't wait to read" is:

by Tahereh Mafi
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
A new adventure about a girl who is fated to wash the bodies of the dead in this companion to Furthermore.

Our story begins on a frosty night…

Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear.

But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship. 

I am SO excited for this companion novel to Furthermore! I absolutely adored Furthermore, and I have been waiting to read Whichwood for what feels like forever. I really love middle grade stories, and I can't wait to get lost in Tahereh Mafi's beautiful writing again. I'm looking forward to going on another adventure with her characters. I'm going to devour this book the second I get my hands on it!




Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Wishful Endings.
This meme is based on Waiting-on Wednesday, which went inactive last year.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Anything But Books Tag

I saw this tag over at Read All The Things and immediately knew I had to do it! I don't often get to talk about non-bookish things so hopefully this is as much fun to read as it was to write!


CARTOON(S) YOU LOVE?

My favorite cartoons that I currently watch are Family Guy, South Park, and American Dad. Who's shocked? My favorites from childhood that I love rewatching are Rugrats, Doug, and Spongebob.



YOUR FAVORITE SONG RIGHT NOW?

I have something super shocking to share - I really don't listen to music. Like, ever. If I do it's probably a Disney movie soundtrack, so I guess my favorite right now is Evermore from the new Beauty and the Beast movie.



WHAT COULD YOU DO FOR HOURS (THAT ISN’T READING)?

Binge watching movies or shows, lurking on Reddit, walking around Barnes & Noble.



SOMETHING YOU LOVE THAT YOUR FOLLOWERS WOULD BE SURPRISED BY?

Trash reality TV - don't judge me. I love Survivor and The Challenge and, yes, even The Bachelor(ette).



YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO LEARN ABOUT?

Serial killers from (way) back in the day, Walt Disney, urban legends, religions, ancient history.



SOMETHING UNUSUAL YOU KNOW HOW TO DO?

Assist an ophthalmologist with cataract surgery. It's surprisingly quick and easy once you get the hang of it!



SOMETHING YOU’VE MADE IN THE LAST YEAR?

A lot of candles, which I actually really like doing, thankfully! Sadly there are always more ideas than money to go around :/



YOUR MOST RECENT PERSONAL PROJECT?

Choosing paint colors and attempting to decorate my house. I watch a lot of HGTV and try to act like I know what I'm doing but the truth is I don't have a creative bone in my body.



SOMETHING YOU THINK ABOUT OFTEN?

Climate change, how the world will end, whether my dogs are really that dumb or if they're just acting that way, what's for dessert.



YOUR ODDLY SPECIFIC FAVORITES?

Reading by a window on the second floor of Columbia Harbor House in the Magic Kingdom, weather just cold enough to wear a sweatshirt but not cold enough to actually be cold, vinegar on turkey.



THE FIRST THING THAT POPS INTO YOUR HEAD?

Bob (I don't know anyone named Bob but okay, brain.)




If you enjoyed this post, I tag you! 
Monday, September 18, 2017

Graphic Novel Review: Fresh Romance, Vol. 1

Title: Fresh Romance, Vol. 1
Authors & Illustrators: Sarah Kuhn, Kate Leth, Sarah Vaughn, Marguerite Bennet, Kieron Gillen, Arielle Jovellanos, Sarah Winifred Searle, Sally Jane Thompson, Trungles, Christine Norrie
Publication Date: August 3, 2016
Publisher: Oni Press
Pages: 224

Add to Goodreads

The critically-acclaimed anthology FRESH ROMANCE is finally available in print! Have you been wondering what the fuss is all about? FRESH ROMANCE is an exciting collection of romance comics from some of comics most talented creators, including Kate Leth, Arielle Jovellanos, Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Winifred Searle, Sarah Kuhn, Marguerite Bennett, and Trungles. From unhappy historical marriages to covert teenage romances, there's something for everyone in FRESH ROMANCE. 

I picked up Fresh Romance in early 2016 and had every intention of reading it. Instead it sat on my shelf for over a year and I am just now getting around to picking it up. I didn't realize when I brought this home that it was an anthology of short graphic novels ranging in genre from paranormal to historical fiction. My main takeaway from this anthology is that the stories are entirely too short. I was interested in most of them, but they were SO short that it was really hard to feel like I'd enjoyed them fully. Something I really did appreciate though was how diverse most of them were. Here are my thoughts on each of the four (five?) stories included:

SCHOOL SPIRIT
This story was cute once I got my bearings. I felt a bit thrown into things, but as I understood what was really going on I really enjoyed the romance and the paranormal elements I totally wasn't expecting. School Spirit is the most diverse out of all of these stories and, while it was hard reading about the reactions to Justine and Malie's relationship, I loved them together! Sadly, this story really had no resolution. School Spirit feels like there SHOULD be something more to it - more volumes - but I can't find them. Overall a sweet story but annoyingly unresolved. (3 stars)

RUINED
Completely switching gears, Ruined is about a woman named Catherine, her mysterious backstory with an unknown lover (I'm assuming this is where she was "ruined"? *cringes*), and her arranged marriage to a man named Andrew. I actually really enjoyed this story a lot, but I wish I could find the rest of it! Ruined ends with "to be continued..." and is titled "Volume One," but it seems like there haven't been any additional volumes published and the author has fallen off the map. (4 stars)

THE RUBY EQUATION
This story was a little too weird and fast for me. It's about a girl named Ruby who is from some other unspecified world and her mission is to make people fall in love in a coffee shop for reasons. This one just really wasn't for me. Ruby was okay, but the speed with which she changed her outlook and the lack of explanation given for anything really just didn't do it. (2 stars)

BEAUTIES
Beauties was another really, really weird story. It's apparently a Beauty and the Beast retelling in which Beauty's father is a prince with two other daughters. The Beast is made the family pet and Beauty falls in love with him for (again) reasons. This story was incredibly short and definitely could have stood to be a bit longer to fill in some (any) details. (2 stars)

FIRST, LAST, AND ALWAYS
Honestly, I don't even know what this is. I tried really hard to understand the point. I mean... at least the art was pretty. (1 star)

While I didn't love every story, this anthology had SO much potential! Unfortunately it seems like it has been abandoned and the one story that ended with "to be continued" will go unresolved. After reading I checked out the website advertised in the back of the book ("Can't wait for more Fresh Romance? Head over to rosypress.com...") only to find that there's absolutely nothing there except a link to an old Kickstarter. Keep in mind, this anthology was published in 2016. I feel fortunate to have gotten a copy for free. If I'd paid for it I would've been pretty irritated.

My rating for Fresh Romance was originally 2.5 stars, but I'm taking off a star because the story that ended on a cliffhanger (the only one I really, really enjoyed) has no next volume and the rest of the stories are so unresolved. I've read quite a few graphic novels over the years and I've never felt quite this irritated over the distinct lack of endings. I definitely can't recommend seeking this one out.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Weekly Recap: 9/10 - 9/16


TRACY'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Happy weekend, everyone! I've spent the week between Dublin, London, and Paris and it has been an adventure! I've seen Dublin Castle, Buckingham Palace, and Versailles. Each one was progressively more impressive! In hindsight I probably should've planned less countries to visit because we haven't had much time to see things, but we've done a few highlights that we were excited about. Luckily our house made it through the hurricane just fine, although we still don't have power. Hopefully it's back by the time we're home. Thanks for sticking with me while I've been a horrible commenter! I promise I'll be back soon!



NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

Nothing new this week!


THIS WEEK I READ

Nothing this week!



MC'S HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Alright guys, I've got another boring recap for you. This one is going to be short and sweet because I literally did nothing but work this whole week. When I wasn't actually at work, I was at home, working on a huge project. By the time Friday night arrived, I was exhausted and didn't want to do anything. I haven't picked up a book in a while, and I probably won't for at least another week. But this weekend I'm off to a wedding in a library! I'm so excited. It's going to be a blast and I can't wait to help my friends celebrate! Fingers crossed that next week I will actually have something interesting to share with you!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

No new books this week!


THIS WEEK I READ

Nothing this week!



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Monday audiobook review of The Sandcastle Empire
The topic was throwback books for Top Ten Tuesday
I featured Winter Glass for Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday DNF audiobook review of Soundless


UPCOMING REVIEWS

 


We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Thursday, September 14, 2017

DNF Audiobook Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead

Title: Soundless
Author: Richelle Mead
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 266
Add to Goodreads


In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people. 

Fei lives in a dangerous world. Everyone in her village is deaf, and living on a rocky mountainside prevents them from getting supplies. They rely on a zipline to bring them food and supplies from a nearby village. But when the villagers also begin to lose their sight, they fear they will no longer be able to produce goods to trade for the food they need to survive. One day, Fei is awoken by a sound. Suddenly she is able to hear, and she may now be the only one who can save her village.

Ugh. This book could have been so amazing, but it fell so, so flat. Before its release, Soundless was hailed as a unique standalone novel steeped in Asian culture and mythology. Add in the fact that it is about an entire village of people who have lost the ability to hear (and later see), and you have a novel that sounds absolutely fantastic and inclusive. Well, that is unfortunately not the case. I only listened to about one third of Soundless, but from other reviews I have seen, I feel that my analysis of this book is still accurate.

First of all, with the exception of the character names, there is absolutely no indication of Asian culture in this book. (I believe it is supposed to occur in China, but I am not positive.) Replace the names and this story could have occurred anywhere in the world. This was such a disservice to Asian mythology and culture, which is vibrant, unique, and so interesting. This was a lost opportunity to explore a culture that is not displayed nearly enough in our current young adult literature.

Another disappointment in Soundless was the way that hearing and sight impairment were handled. Firstly, there was no description of how the villagers learned to alter their daily lives to adjust for their hearing and sight. Typically, those with one sense impaired learn to rely more heavily on the other senses, but there was no description of this in the book. The most disheartening thing was that Fei regained her hearing and was therefore able to save the village. Why did she have to get "fixed" to be our heroine? Again, a huge opportunity for inclusivity was lost with this plot line.

In addition to these huge slights, the writing was also poor and the world was undeveloped. The society is divided into three groups - artists, suppliers, and miners. What type of society could possibly survive with only those jobs? There was no explanation of why these social groups were created or how they managed to keep the village running. Also, how did this village get so separated from society? When they started losing their hearing, why didn't they travel down the mountain while it was still safe to get help? Why don't the people at the bottom of the mountain help them? There were so many unanswered questions and so many plot points that didn't make sense.

Typically when an audiobook is short enough, I will listen to the entire book instead of giving up. Soundless was very short, but I just could not continue reading. There were too many problems with this book and it was too boring to push forward. After my experience with this book, it may be a while before I try Richelle Mead again.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday #11: Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer

Happy Wednesday, fellow book lovers! This week's "can't wait to read" is:

by Lexa Hillyer
Publication Date: April 10, 2017
A curse comes undone. A kingdom shatters. But some bonds can’t be broken.

Princess Aurora, torn from the dream world, plots to assassinate the faerie queen Malfleur, only to confront temptations she never expected. Isabelle, meanwhile, opens her heart to Prince William as they attempt to unite their kingdoms and wage war against Malfleur’s army. But when the appearance of an unbreakable glass slipper prompts Isabelle to discover more about her lineage, her true identity begins to take shape and her legacy becomes as clear as ice.

Devoted half-sisters Isabelle and Aurora will grapple with their understanding of love and loyalty as they face a threat even greater than that of the evil queen—the threat of losing each other forever. 

Last year I was lucky enough to read an ARC of Spindle Fire and fell in love with it! Unfortunately, this means I have to wait for literally ever to read book two and now I'm dying because LOOK AT THIS COVER! I'm so excited to see how this story continues!




Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Wishful Endings.
This meme is based on Waiting-on Wednesday, which went inactive last year.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #157: Books that are Throwbacks


Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Books that are
Throwbacks to Another Time

Happy Tuesday, everyone! This week's topic was a Throwback Freebie, so I decided to list some of my favorite books that pay homage to a time in the past! 


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Timeline by Michael Chrichton



Soulless by Gail Carriger
Rook by Sharon Cameron
Maus by Art Spiegelman
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows




Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.