Library/Library Sale Haul

Anna: Happy Saturday, bookish friends! Here’s my library/library sale haul from this morning. My currently reading pile is about to get a whole lot bigger!

Disappearing Earth and Mostly Dead Things are long-awaited, very-anticipated holds. I have high expectations!

I’m stocking up for My Harry Potter re-read. I grew up reading my family’s copy of Order of the Pheonix which is completely falling apart and now bound together by tape. I snagged this copy for 50 cents! 

One of my current reads is The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, so when I saw another book by her I couldn’t resist. I’m captivated by her writing and excited to try some of her fiction!

Have you read any of these? Check them out!

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Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org

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Review: Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Alexis:

I hate to say this, but I didn’t love Nocturna by Maya Motayne. However, Nocturna gave me a great writing idea, and Motayne even responded to me on Twitter! She’s super sweet and I think she has a lot of promise.

Nocturna has a great set up: a prince and a girl who can steal faces team together in a Latin-inspired world.

But here’s the thing: I’ve read this book before. Maybe not specifically this book, but all of the elements that tie it together. I found the magic system to be pretty generic: a mix of bending from Avatar: The Last Airbender and the magic from Harry Potter, only with Spanish verbs instead of Latin.

I’ve also read this plot over and over. Alfie, the prince, releases a darkness in order to save his best friend and vows to fix his wrongdoing to save his kingdom from destruction. He and Finn, the face stealer, team up in order to break a girl out of prison to help them.

My other biggest issue with the book is that it’s too “tell-y.” You know, the “show don’t tell rule.” Well, unfortunately, the first half of the book tells way too much. The dialogue sounds stilted because every character talks in chunks of exposition. While the beginning of the book was promising, the book starts to drag pretty quickly. At least 100 pages could’ve been cut from the book to make the plot flow faster.

The dialogue got better as the book went on, but it still wasn’t great. I think “quipped” is now my least favorite dialogue tag.

I also think that “maldito,” or “damned” in Spanish, was really overused.

I liked Alfie as a character, but other than that, I had a really hard time caring about the characters. For that reason, I found myself skimming the last ¼ of the book.

Unfortunately, this book wasn’t for me. But I have high hopes for Motayne, and I hope she grows as a writer for the next book in the series.

VERDICT: 2 stars

 

Alexis’ June Library Haul

Alexis: About a month ago, I requested three books from the library, and of course they all came around the same time!

  1. Nocturna by Maya Motayne
  2. The Editor by Steven Rowley
  3. The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

I already started Nocturna, and I can’t wait to read the other two!

On a different note, what’s your favorite Starbucks drink? I usually go for a matcha latte with almond milk, but the espresso machine was down, so I settled for a green tea frappuccino.

Check out the books below!

 
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Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org

Alexis’ April Library Haul

Alexis: Happy Friday, everyone!

Yesterday, I got an email that two of my requested library book were ready to be picked up: Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, and Tobias Iaconis, and Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi.

These are two of my most highly-anticipated reads, and I waited over a month for them.

I sat down and binged all of Five Feet Apart yesterday, so look out for a review tomorrow.

I can’t wait to dig into Gingerbread, because I have a feeling I’m going to love it!

Alexis’ Target Book Haul!

Time for a book haul! I ran to Target last night (in the pouring rain) because I needed cookie dough ice cream.

I told myself I was only going to read library books for a while, but both King of Scars and Pachinko were 20% off. Whoops!

These are two of my highly antipcated reads and I can’t wait to crack them open, after I’ve finished my library books, of course.

Alexis’ Library Haul: Part 2

Alexis: The little snow that we got turned into mush and then rain, so I was able to get my library books! Here’s a library haul part 2.

  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Afterlife by Thomas Pierce
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

For a change of pace, I’m intersecting my fantasy reads with some different genres! Even though I love fantasy and YA fantasy, I’m tired of the same tropes being recycled (I’m looking at you, love triangle). Sometimes I need to take a break and read something different. 

Review: Shadow and Bone; Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Alexis:

I’ve dedicated this past week to reading the first two books in the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, and hopefully I can get the last book from the library next week!

I read the Six of Crows Duology last year and I absolutely loved it, so I was looking forward to reading the first books in Bardugo’s Grishaverse.

I seem to agree with everyone else (at least on Goodreads) that the second book in the trilogy is better than the first. I was surprised to find that the first book relied on some tropes, the most prevalent of which is the love triangle. However, I thought that Shadow and Bone did a great job when it came to worldbuilding and introducing the Grisha’s powers. 

The second book’s plot is much more intricate than the first. It honestly reminds me of The Hunger Games. Politics come into play, and Alina starts to become a powerful symbol of hope. I enjoyed the new characters that were introduced, but I felt like Mal’s character wasn’t as strong as he was in the first book. However, Bardugo’s keen sense of humor comes out more in the second book.

Minor spoilers below:

One of the biggest issues I have with the two books is the way that male characters interact with Alina, which, unfortunately, only gets worse in Siege and Storm. Multiple male characters touch and kiss Alina without her consent, and the way the Darkling interacts with her makes me sick. In Siege and Storm, no one respects that Alina and Mal are in a relationship, and she gets kissed and even gets marriage proposals. I understood all of this happens for plot reasons, but here Alina is, in a different love triangle than in the first book, and she even enjoys the attention from Nikolai.

I feel like I say this in every review, but despite my issues with the books, I did enjoy reading them. I love the Grishaverse and I’m interested to see where the third book goes. I just can’t help comparing this series to the Six of Crows Duology. It’s interesting to see how much Bardugo’s writing has evolved.

Shadow and Bone: 3 out of 5 books

Siege and Storm: 4 out of 5 stars

Alexis’ Library Haul

Alexis:

Library haul time! These are some of my most anticipated reads on my #tbr list.

  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
  • In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

Anna and I went to a coffee shop and got some work and writing done today. And then we went to Ulta, my second favorite store after Barnes and Noble.

I’m starting with In the Midst of Winter since it’s currently 28 degrees outside and dropping! I’ve always loved Isabel Allende’s writing style and I’m enjoying the beginning of the book.