Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Book Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Have you ever read a book and the desire to rip it to shreds grows the more you think about it? You want to nitpick every error, every grammatical mistake, every character inconsistency until there is nothing left but a neatly shredded hamster home of literature on the ground. I've already written a concise review of this book on Goodreads but I'm not quite ready to leave this book alone and hopefully, I'm going to explore this in a little bit more depth.

Illusions of Fate was published in September, 2014.  This is relevant because the book it seems to rip off was published in 1986 and the subsequent animated movie was released in 2004. Now it has been years since I read the book since it is a children's book but I absolutely adore the movie. The director is one of the best story tellers of all time and when I have children, they will be watching Studio Ghibli instead of Disney.

I am, of course, talking about Howl's Moving Castle.

It's my goal to present this review as a detailed analysis and not a rage filled rant but this honestly makes me so mad. I can always understand if it is one thing that is similar or the main themes resemble each other but there was a lot in this book that was excessively close to Howl's

But first, let's start with a summary and move on from there. 

Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.
“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.” 
Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him. 
Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.

It's a cute idea and it is executed with an appropriate amount of fluff. Jessamin is likable enough and is clever. She likes to make her own way in the world and stay on the fringes of the society that she loathes. She is dragged into the magical world by Finn and she doesn't really want to be there. 

Their love story is cute. Finn wants to protect her and Jessamin is not the type to be protected. Her mother was seduced by an Albion man and she doesn't want to suffer the same fate but gets reeled in by his charm.

Ok...I can't hold this in any longer. I'm getting mad.

Illusions of Fate is a cheap disgusting rip off of Howl's Moving Castle. This was not accidental in any way as the author has claimed this book is a cross between Howl's and Pride and PrejudiceLink to Interview

This isn't a cross. This isn't a creative new blend. It is taking ideas that have already been fleshed out and explored in not one, but two different mediums and passing them off as your own.

Jessamin is an over simplified Sophie. Sophie is a strong young woman who works in her family's hat shop in honor of her father and to support her vapid social climbing mother. She recognizes herself as plain, especially when compared to her flamboyant relatives and is okay with that. Jessamin works to support herself and her education but she is (obviously) beautiful and unique and exotic. She's always been pretty and always will be. Sophie gets turned into an old lady and has to come up with a way to disguise herself. Jessamin gets stalked by a man because he thinks that she is desirable. 

Sir Bird is a mix of Turnip Head and Hime. And where Turnip Head is charming and Hime is adorable, Sir Bird is rather stagnant. Sure, he protects her from the other birds but he has no personality of his own. Where Hime is needy, Sir Bird just sits and watches. He can take care of himself and frequently gets forgotten. Sir Bird is loyal like Turnip Head but, besides being a book, he isn't helpful.

Finn as Howl. Once again, we see a watered down version of a fantastic character. Finn dyes his hair blonde, as does Howl, but he does it to make him look charming. Howl does it because he is intensely and deeply vain and has the most spectacular meltdown in the world when Sophie messes up his hair potions. He is a huge diva. Finn immediately falls in love with Jessamin where Howl has to gradually learn to let someone else into his life and not try to push them away. Howl has to grow to be brave and take action where Finn is already in the process of trying to prevent a war and is all noble and sacrificial from the beginning. He doesn't grow and he doesn't learn.

There's the house that has doors into different worlds where you can travel space without leaving your living room. 

There's the bird motif (even on the cover) that is extremely similar to Howl's.

This book seriously puts me into a massive rage. I want to throw my computer. I want to scream. I want to tell everybody in the world to not buy this book and just read or watch the original. These characters have no depth in comparison to the wonderful world of Howl's. Yes, I adore the movie and I'm a bit of a fangirl when it comes down to it but this is ridiculous.

This book is not a creative re-imagining of a story set in a different place and time where the characters are presented in new ways. This is not like taking Cinderella and setting it in modern Tokyo. This book is like taking Harry Potter, setting it in the USA and changing the names of the characters.

I've lost all respect for this author as soon as she said that she wanted to make it like Howl's. That's fine. But don't sell it as your own idea. Say it is a different take on the book instead of hoping that nobody notices. Because I noticed. And I'm pissed.

Don't buy this book. Seriously. Just watch the movie or read the book. I can't emphasize this enough.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why I'm So Easily Distracted by Distractions

I'm going to be the first to admit that I am excessively easily distracted. I have a short attention span sometimes and it takes something really interesting to catch and hold me for any long period of time. So, last year when I read something like 115 books, I was hooked into reading constantly and could never pull myself away from my kindle or bookshelves. It was wonderful (expensive, but wonderful) and I think I burned myself out a little bit.

So instead of filling my time with constant reading, I've found some other distractions this year that I wanted to share with y'all and hopefully try to show why I'm so hooked onto random things.

First of all, wedding planning.

It's stressful. I've given myself a year and a half to figure this out but there's so much going on with it. Whether it be picking out flowers, wedding colors, bridesmaids, catering, or whatever, someone always has an opinion and a better way of doing something. A word of wisdom to everybody who knows someone that is getting married: offer support, not advice. I don't need lectures about why I'm not getting married in a church or renting out a huge venue. Plan your wedding, not others.

Secondly, I've discovered Korean dramas.

There's a few big reasons that I'm completely in love with these things...

One of the biggest reasons is that they are clean to watch.

How many times are we watching a tv show or movie with someone and it turns to that sex scene that's so ingrained in Western culture and you can't help but blush and look away awkwardly? I hate that it's so predictable. That's not to say I don't appreciate Western shows but I've just gotten bored of them. In Korean shows, it will literally take a 16 episodes for a kiss sometimes. A single awkward eyes open kiss.

They're also pretty funny. There's a lot of silly misunderstandings, slapstick comedy and ridiculous dancing. One drama talked about having fangirls write fanfiction about the band members and I nearly lost it.

You're Beautiful
They do have a serious side and that's what really takes the cake for me. I have never cried so much in my life over anything. I sat one day and binge watched a show and went through an entire box of tissues. (That show was Boys Over Flowers and it broke my heart in so many ways. I wasn't emotionally stable for a week.)

You're Beautiful - favorite scene, favorite character
There's real life drama in them. Parents dying, being introverted, the one you love's all easy to relate to, despite the sometimes ridiculous situations that the characters are in. Sure, maybe you're cross dressing to cover for your absentee twin brother or your mother is the evil overlord of a multinational Fortune 500 company but watching the one you love be in love with a jerk is something that's universal.

So, if you're sick of the same plot lines of Western shows, want something different, or just want to cry an excessive amount, check out some dramas. 

Look for some reviews of these dramas in the future. I absolutely love them right now. I want to get other people hooked so I have someone to fangirl with. Many are available on Netflix and Hulu and they're super fun to watch.

So yeah...sorry about being distracted. 

I am getting back into my reading but I'm really enjoying these new shows and they are blocking out some of the stress of planning a wedding. Just bear with me. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Musing Mondays (3)

You know, so much of the time I feel like I'm just trying to keep up with what is going on around me and I completely forget to post updates or reviews. This past week has been crazy and I'm so looking forward to Memorial Day and having a chance to really relax for once.

Musing Mondays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. Each week, there are a few prompts and you can pick which one to talk about!
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week...
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What types of “special” books do you own? For example, do you have any really old books? Any collections based on your interests (eg. architecture, etc)?

So, right now I'm actually in the process of rereading a few books so I can finally finish a series. This morning, I finished Shatter Me which I've already written a review on and I started Destroy Me this afternoon, both by Taherah Mari. I loved the first book and the Warner novella that came after it but I just lost track of it somehow in the craziness.

Hopefully by this evening, I'll be moving onto the next book Unravel Me and apparently there is even more Warner goodness in the next one so I'm really looking forward to it. I can't believe I haven't read this entire series yet!

Random Question Answer:

I have a lot of environmental books. In college, we read a fair amount of ethics books and essays about land preservation and they've kind of stuck with me. I love going through Aldo Leopold every once in a while and remembering why I am in the field that I'm in. 

I also have all of my English anthologies and when I get bored or listless, I read through the poetry. I am trying to reestablish a relationship with certain authors that I used to hate but I'm now appreciating more. And I love reading my old notes and trying to learn more.

I'd love to hear some responses from y'all!

Much Love,

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Do you ever read a book and you aren't emotionally ready to talk about it for a while? The feelings, confusion, plot, characters, and twists all roll around in your head for days and you just can't figure out how to explain yourself without just going down the route of "Just go read this book. You won't regret it at all." I've been lingering over this book. Parts of it have me thoroughly confused and I am not quite sure how to attack it but I'm going to do my best.

Me during this entire book

Let's start with one part Science Fiction (since the book opens in Mars) and add a healthy dose of The Hunger Games and then blend on high, slowly adding a bit of The Way of Kings for military strategy and end with a dollop of dead puppy book and you have Red Rising.

I usually cannot stand science fiction books, especially the ones that are set in space. I never liked Star Wars or Star Trek. The only space movie I've ever liked it Spaceballs and that's because it made fun of everything. 
Ludicrous speed! GO!
So when I got into the first third of the book and they were talking about digging for Helium3 on Mars, I was skeptical and nearly DNF-ed it a few times. 

The first 35% is about rebellion. It's about sticking it to the man and pushing back. Darrow is a young man, only 16, who works as a Helldiver in the underground caves of Mars. It's the most dangerous job on the planet and you have to be quick, brave, strong, and a little bit cocky to do it. Darrow is all of these things and he makes it home every night so he can be with his equally young wife, Eo.  The Helium3 they are mining for is to restore the surface of Mars so that it is able to be inhabited by others. 
“Things are set in stone. Things are well ordered. Reds at the bottom, everyone else standing on our backs. Now you're looking at me and you're realizing that we don't bloodydamn like it down there. Red is rising, Mickey.”
Darrow is a Red, the lowest on the totem pole and is told that he is doing a great service for future generations. But there is more happening on Mars than just digging and when Darrow finds out, he is thrust into the world of Golds in the hopes of being able to usurp power and start a rebellion.
“Man cannot be freed by the same injustice that enslaved it.”
That's when things change in the book.

As I said, the first third is one book. The other two thirds are something completely different.
“We come as princes and this school is supposed to teach us to become beasts. But you came a beast."
Darrow sets out to infiltrate the commander training school of the Golds and establish himself in a position of power. This school is a huge battle simulation that is controlled by aristocrats where other kids his age are all set against each other in a fight to control the entire arena. It's huge. It's terrifying. There are dozens of other students and while it is meant to be a largely non-lethal affair, it doesn't turn out that way. There are pitched battles, back room plots, betrayals, starving students, and lessons of war.

See what I mean? If it was two separate books, I'd throw out the first bit and go with the second. It was too sharp of a turn for me to follow and I'm still confused about the differences of class and the distinctions between them. Does Darrow actually have wings and do they work? Is the biggest difference size or intellect? What happens if a Gold were to marry someone lower than them?

It's like two different worlds were constructed in this book and I understand the point of it, I just wish there was a better transition between them.

Darrow is a great character though. He clearly grows in more ways than one and fights the dark side of the Force his own demons in order to achieve his goals. Darrow takes some time to recognize his shortcomings which was an important step for his character. He was the top of the top on Mars and he was thrown into this completely different society where he is remarkably average as far as skills, size, and wits go. But Darrow has his history and that makes him stronger and he has a goal and that makes him dangerous.
“You do not follow me because I am the strongest. Pax is. You do not follow me because I am the brightest. Mustang is. You follow me because you do not know where you are going. I do.”
 The supporting characters play just as big of a role as Darrow does. Mustang and Sevro are wonderfully written and are made believable. I love that it isn't all about Darrow and the other characters show him up on a regular basis. He isn't the smartest one there and he isn't the strongest but his alliances with others give him an advantage. They aren't out for glory either and they understand the point of the game and don't let it get to their heads. I love it when a character has good friends.

Good gravy this book is hard to rate. It has awesome elements and is a great story line but it also has some flaws that hold it back. There is too big of a jump from the first third of the book to the last part and it felt like it was trying to do what The Hunger Games accomplished but simply didn't make it. The transition from oppression to fighting for your life was too rapid and it needed more development. A few more chapters in the middle would have bumped it up to a 5 star but it didn't quite reach for me.

It's about survival and tenacity. It's about knowing who your friends are. This book rewards the bold but punishes everybody. Nobody comes out of this book unscathed and that's awesome. It's terrifying and disjointed. 

Just go read it. You will either love it or hate it but it's definitely worth the experience.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Musing Mondays (2)

I hope everybody had a wonderful weekend! I spent the weekend and Mother's day at the lake with my parents, planting flowers, sitting one the dock and reading. I got terribly sunburned but it was worth it to be able to swim for the first time this season. The water was finally warm enough and since it's before Memorial Day, there wasn't a whole lot of boat traffic.

Musing Mondays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. Each week, there are a few prompts and you can pick which one to talk about!
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week...
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you have a “kindred” reading buddy — someone who very closely shares your taste in books? If not, do you wish you did?

I think, my next book will be The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig. It just sounds too damn interesting and the cover is amazing.

Blurb from Goodreads:
When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. We were perfect. They would have been disbelieving: nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega. 
They were born together and they will die together. 
One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death. 
The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts. 
The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they're free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts. 
Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose. 
The potential to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they're not careful both will die in the struggle for power.

I mean, how good does it look without even words on it? It doesn't even need a title on it and I'm drooling over it. It reminds me of the Harry Potter posters that came out before the 8th movie where there wasn't anything on them except the release date but everybody was going crazy over them. As soon as I finish the two books I'm actively reading right now, this one is getting downloaded onto my kindle. I've seen it in bookstores and I have resisted up until now but I don't think I can anymore.

As for the random question, I don't have any friends around me that have similar reading tastes because mostly, I'm the only one I know that reads extensively. Online, of course, I have friends that I can fangirl with as well as disagree with and we get along fine. I wish that there were more people I knew that were readers but I have a feeling that a lot of readers feel that way but we're all at home...reading. 

Book groups are fine and all but it would be so nice to have a friend who would be happy coming over and splitting a bottle of wine and not talking for a few hours just to read something good that just came out. 

What about y'all? Leave a link to your post or post in the comments!

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Friday 56 (5)

Thank God it's Friday! I never thought I would survive this week. It's been absolutely insane at work since everybody is about to go on maternity/paternity leave and it's only going to get more chaotic. Lucky for me, I have a nice weekend at the lake planned so hopefully, I get to swim and relax a bit.

This is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice.  This is a fun and simple meme, just follow the rules! It's a great way to connect with bloggers and share new or favorite books with them.
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Add your name to the link up at Freda's Voice

This week, my 56 is coming from one of my all time favorite books, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It's a classic. It's awesome and it has the most twisted plot lines ever. Set in Savannah, it takes the good will and charm of the South and intersects it with scandals, death and affairs. If you haven't read it, you need to. 

Mr. Glover stopped and faced me. He opened his mouth wide and drew a deep breath. From the back of his throat came a high, croaking sound, "Aaaaa lay loooo-yah! A-layyy-loo yah!" He had abandoned his tenor and was singing in wavering falsetto. Forever in his mind, apparently, "Hallelujah" would be a soprano piece as sung by the in church so many years before.
Such a good book!

Everybody have a great weekend!

Book Review: Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

ARC received in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.

If you know me, you know I love KPop. And I was so flipping pumped when I got approved for this book. But then the negative reviews started and I got a little bit apprehensive about it. But I charged ahead and I read this book anyways.  Let's just say that the negative reviews are well deserved.

Quick Summary: Grace moves to South Korea to get away from the drama of her family. It's spontaneous and crazy but she can't handle life anymore with her mother and her past. She enrolls in an international boarding school and finds herself immediately taking a liking to her exuberant roommate, Sophie. But Sophie's twin brother is a music star and is cocky beyond belief. He has a right to be though. He's famous, gorgeous and obviously talented. 

But Grace moved to Korea to get away from the music industry that her family is so entrenched in and she wants nothing to do with Jason. Being friends with Sophie means that she has to get along with her brother though and soon a grudging alliance forms. Grace realizes, after spending so much time with Jason, that not all is as it seems and not everything in his world is perfect. Their bonding sparks a romance that crosses language barriers and obvious fatal flaws in each other.

I'm just going to come out and say it: Grace is a ridiculous spoiled brat of a bitch. She's blonde, skinny, pretty, and is a princess in the music industry. She can't sing or play instruments but she's *awesome* at composing and is fantastic at everything.

She has trust and panic issues but it isn't really enough to make her relatable as a character. I wish someone in the book would have told her to lay off and actually be respectful of Korean culture and her friends but that never happens.

Grace repeatedly bashes Korean culture and shows such American elitism it made me want to gag.
"So people do play Western music"

She never really makes an attempt to dive in headfirst and opts to complain about everything that they do in Korea. Women wear skirts during winter? *Judgement* Girls are skinnier than her? *Judgement* They like to listen to bubbly pop music? *EXCESSIVE JUDGEMENT*
"I’m not sure what I expected--that they would be good? Pop is in the name of the genre. That never bodes well for the quality of the music. But I guess I’d hoped since they’re a big deal, they would be more than your average bubblegum band. After ten songs, my brain is ready to explode."
Get off your high horse. You sound like a baby. And it's not that I don't like her music taste. It's actually pretty good stuff in my opinion. But there's no need to be that person that judges everybody based off of what they are playing and listening to.

I guess that out of everything about Grace that bothers me, the worst is her obvious disdain for everything that she hasn't been exposed to. She tries to flaunt her hipster cred at every opportunity and it made me want to punch her in the face. 

Moving on now to some other flagrant flaws in this book.

Jason flip flops. He doesn't have any real personality to me. One second, he is cold and removed and then he is apologizing. This author started with what could have been a strong character in him but seemed to sort of give up and try to make him nice. I like him mean and rude. I liked how he pushed Grace and made her lose her cool. Jason clearly just didn't care and that was part of his character and all of that changes very quickly. He turns from outwardly aggressive to making snide comments and trying to push everybody away.

Sophie is obnoxious as well. She's happy and bubbly (which is fine) but for being a "best friend" she abandons Grace for a guy. And then tries to hide it from everyone. I can understand hiding a relationship with your brother's best friend from him just so it doesn't get awkward, but don't sneak around and act like nothing is going on and lie to your roommate. Everybody knows. Just be honest.

Honestly, out of all the characters, I liked Yoon Jae the most. He came closest to what I expected out of a book about KPop and he is thrown under the bus as far as character development goes. Yes, he's the drummer of the group but maybe he got roped into something he didn't want too. Everybody treated him like he was the one that caused the tension but really, he was just as unhappy as Tae Hwa and Jason in the band. Doesn't anybody else consider his dreams too? He wanted to be an Idol and he had to play backup to a sexy singer. Yoon Jae could have grown so much more and could have competed a bit more for Grace but he is one of the most passive characters I've ever encountered.

It's telling when your favorite character is a secondary character that has little to no personality. But hey, he danced and he sang and he was what I wanted when it came to a Korean star.

The plot was rather weak as well (now that I've raged about the characters). Grace helps Jason with a music project and somehow ends up being her Korean tutor despite not being able to read Korean. And then later, magically, he can write in Korean. It doesn't make sense. Sophie drags Grace around the country following the guys like a groupie and it came off as desperate. Yes, you're there to support your brother but it's borderline stalker for the guy in the group you like. It seemed awkward and forced.

Grace's mother and father are obviously a point of contention throughout the book and Grace has some baggage that she's carrying around but it never felt real to me. It felt like a plot device throughout and it was too dragged out. She focused on it too much while there was other stuff going on. What about the concern for your roommate? Does she not matter anymore?

Ugh...sorry for the rage filled review. When I hate a book, I always find I have a lot more to say about it. I wanted sexy KPop. I got a little bit of drama and a whole lot of whining. Whatever, I'm over it. Crash and burn.

So this book definitely deserves the negative reviews. It portrays Americans as elitist and self centered. It barely shows any of the Korean culture. The main character is a complete bitch and her love interest is so contrived it's ridiculous.

All of that being said, if anybody has any suggestions for other books based on KPop, I'd love to hear them. I watch Korean dramas a lot and I love stuff like that so I would love some more input!

One Star

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Book Review: The Other Side of Envy by C.L. Stone

This is my shameful series. The one I don't talk about to my friends (except for the other fangirls). The books you hide under your mattress but you can't put away completely. This series is a guilty pleasure that I can't step away from because I have to know what happens next ohmygod. I admit that this isn't the finest of literature but if you want a fun and dramatic read with a fair amount of suspense, The Ghost Bird series may be worth a shot. Just don't blame me when you become obsessed with reverse harems. Usually, when I talk about these books, there is a long warning at the beginning of my post. 

I sat and thought a lot about this book. It has taken me a few days to be ready to review it and it slipped from a 5 star OMG fangirl book to a 3.5. Trust me, I have my reasons.

Because let's be honest here. Nothing really happened in this book.

The best way to look at these books is as if you're watching a TV show. There are episodes that are action packed and you're constantly trying to keep up with what is going on throughout them. There are car chases and wild rescues and face to face conflicts. Then there are the episodes in between that support the craziness of the other episodes. They are quiet and are filled with the details of day-to-day life that you miss sometimes. There is character development but it isn't thrilling.

This was not an action packed book like the others. There is a fair amount of people spending time with each other and learning secrets and strategies. It wasn't boring by any means but it still makes you feel like you are missing something.

That being said...

There is a lot to fangirl about in this one.

Gabriel...Just Gabriel.

He's a hard character to understand sometimes. I feel like a lot of the time, he comes off a bit as a sassy diva type character and he's hard to take seriously.

He's creative and wants everything in his world to be beautiful. That's why he paints his walls and dresses up Sang. It's why he shops for everyone and fusses like he does. The only beauty in his life is his team and they keep him sane. But it's hard to keep up with the guys and Gabriel definitely has his weaknesses.

And I loved that this book exposed that in him. He isn't all sunshine and rainbows. Like the rest of the guys, he has his scars and this book allows Sang to explore that and help him in some ways.

Victor and Sang's relationship gets the chance to grow stronger in this book since we didn't see a lot of him in the last one but also, we get to see more of Dr. Sean Green. Which is awesome since it is breaking down that barrier between student and teacher in a real way. I love that all of the guys are struggling to hold themselves back from her as if they are scared of what they will do and how she will react. But I honestly wish they would stop treating her like she will break at any second. Luke is the only one with that kind of confidence in her and that's a bit heartbreaking.

As far as the plot goes, not much happens in this book. Volto doesn't crop back up really and while the whole phone tag thing is going on, it takes a back seat to the relationships. There's a lot of playing hot potato with Sang and you get this feeling that she's getting a bit sick of it. When will this girl get a driver's license? Seriously. This is ridiculous. The girl obviously needs to learn how to drive but she doesn't have a valid birth certificate or social security number so who knows how they will accomplish that.

So since we all know where this is going for her, does anybody else wonder about how all of these guys are going to live together with her? I don't care who you are, fitting 10 people in a house with all separate rooms is going to be difficult.

I keep imagining this as their nightly routine:

Kiss one, kiss them all, say goodnight, retreat to rooms until one of the guys decides to make a move on her. When will this girl assert herself in a real way? It's driving me crazy. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, these books are not about a strong female character. It reminds me of animes that have been created from otome games where the guys go through all of the action and the girl just follows along. The only difference is that in those animes, they try to develop the female character a bit better.

Sang seems to have lost a lot of her personality in this book so that's another reason why I downgraded it. Before, she was a little bit spunky and was developing an attitude but in this one, she just follows them around. If it weren't such a fun and ridiculous story line, Sang would make me one star these books. You read them for the guys, not her.

In conclusion, these books are a soap opera. Action happens in some episodes, in others it doesn't. This is one of those where you learn about all of the plotting and wait for the next book where everything comes to fruition. It's frustrating, but that's what this series is about.

I'm still a fangirl and I am still waiting on the next book. I obviously have problems.

I've warned people off these books before so I ask cautiously, had anybody else read them? Any other fangirls out there? Can somebody hear me?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Musing Mondays

Musing Mondays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm. Each week, there are a few prompts and you can pick which one to talk about!
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What would you do if you wanted to buy a book for someone, but didn’t know what they like to read? Would you ask them? Would you choose something you, yourself, like? How would you go about buying them something?

So right now, I'm reading Red Rising by Pierce Brown.

I'm not a big fan of sci-fi books but this one is done pretty well. It's a good mix of space adventure type stuff and fantasy and it works for me so far. The characters are diverse and interesting and the manin character, Darrow (love the name) is kind of a jackass so he isn't perfect. I will warn you though, this book is remarkably similar to Red Queen in some ways. They are almost two different side of the same coin but each one is unique and completely worth the read.

As for the random question...It definitely depends on the person. If it was a family member, it would be easy enough to search through their bookshelves and pick something that they like. But if it were for someone I wasn't close to, I would probably go with a book that I really enjoyed but isn't a niche book. I wouldn't pick high fantasy or sci-fi but something a little bit more down the middle of the road. Another option is a really nice copy of a classic book that they probably read in high school. It's nice to have hard covers of old favorites.

What do y'all think? What would you do?

Hope everybody has an awesome week!