Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess

I tried so hard to like this book. But it simply wasn't meant to be. I somewhat enjoyed book one, and felt curious about this sequel, and hoped that I would like it a lot. But I didn't. Not at all. Giving it two stars, which even feels like too much. But I did like parts of the plot. I felt like it could have been so, so much more, though.

I don't even know where to begin. I had so many issues with this book. The only parts I really liked were the last few pages. And even those weren't perfect. I'm going to spoil some things, with the romance, and some other obvious stuff. Nothing too big, but not writing it feels like it might kill me. Must get rid of my feelings.

I will start with the writing. Which I'm sorry to say that I hated beyond words. I have no way to describe how much I hated it. It was simply so awful. I couldn't connect to anything or any of the characters. I felt nothing for the main girl, Henrietta. I felt like she cared about nothing at all. She felt so so false to me. The writing was also very different from book one. With how she's thinking and such. She keeps cursing in her head all the time. Normally I don't mind this at all, but in this book, it made no sense, and it was highly annoying. One thing I noticed was that in book one it's mentioned many times that her skin is dark. In this book, it wasn't mentioned a single time. Which seemed odd to me. Well, all of the writing was odd to me, to be honest. Disappointing.

This book takes place two months after the end of the first one. I sadly knew right away that I wouldn't like this one. Sigh. Noticed how I didn't like the writing pretty fast, and I just couldn't make myself care about the characters at all. Henrietta is just so boring. Claims to love people. Didn't see that at all. Claims to feel guilty about things, yet continues to make stupid decisions. Not the chosen one, yet still acting like it, and she's the one figuring everything out and doing everything the best. So so unreal. She was not amazing.

Then there were a few other things that I disliked a lot too. How everything was so very obvious, yet none of them saw any of it. Like who the father of Henrietta really is. I saw that coming early on in book one. Yet she didn't get it at all. And when the prophecy girl showed up, there were tons of big clues that she was the one, yet none of them understood that either. And Henrietta did not see that Blackwood was in love with her, which was beyond obvious. Ugh. Stuff like that annoyed me to pieces. It was the worst.

Shall mention the plot a little bit. I liked it a lot in book one, but it felt a bit awkward and silly in this one. A lot of people die. Horrible deaths. Yet they don't really seem to care at all. I felt nothing. And the monsters even felt silly to me. The way they were written wasn't really good at all. Sigh. I am not sure what else to say about it. Just that I was disappointed. Had hoped for more. Still, two stars, because I did like some of the plot. And Blackwood. But for the most part, this book pretty much sucked. It could have been so good.

I have to mention that the summary is full of lies. First of all, there is barely any romance at all in this book. It isn't seductive at all. It isn't monstrously romantic. Not even close. There are a few kisses, but they are tame and I felt nothing from them. The romance isn't a focus. Not really. And this book doesn't focus at all on Henrietta trying to save Rook. Because she isn't really trying at all. And Magnus. That story line was pathetic, to be honest. Seems like he is in love with Henrietta. Yet he's just there, doing nothing.

And hah. The rest of the romance. I can't even mention it all. Henrietta claimed in all of book one that she was in love with Rook, her childhood friend. Yet she spent zero time with him. And she's still claiming now that she's in love with him. And he loves her too. And so they kiss. Yet once again they spend about zero time together. She barely thinks about him at all. I have seen zero reasons for why they should love each other as well. It is the most awful romance I have read about. Just, well, silly and did not feel real at all.

And then there was Blackwood. Sigh. I still love this boy the most, but even his story line is starting to annoy me. He's seventeen years old. Yet the author is trying to make him seem like he's seventy, with how much he knows, and how serious he is all the time. It got to be highly annoying. And I hated the way that Henrietta seemed to always be judging him for smallish things. He was an interesting character, but nothing amazing. I shipped him with Henrietta, though, and I liked their ending. But nothing special. Aw.

I'm not going to say much more about this book. Just that I'm really disappointed by all of it. I thought there would be a lot of romance, like the summary is claiming. This wasn't true. I had hoped there would be amazing fighting and magic and friendships. But it all just felt silly to me. I liked the new characters; Maria was pretty amazing. But it wasn't nearly enough to make me like this book. Even reading about the monsters were boring, considering how they were written. Bad writing can truly ruin a book for me. Sigh.

I'm a bit heartbroken over how much I just about hated this book. I disliked it so much. It could have been so good. But it wasn't. I'm sort of glad that I gave this series a try, but also disappointed to have wasted my time on them. Sigh. I think I will read book three, simply to see how it ends, and with the romance too. A bit curious. But not invested at all. Sadly wouldn't recommend A Poison Dark and Drowning to anyone. Sigh. Still, thank you so, so much to Penguin Random House International for this stunning review copy.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #302

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Goodreads Description:

Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.

In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.

Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: September 12th 2017 by Amulet Books 
Pre-Order here and here

Ahh, I'm excited about this book. Adore Cat Winters so, so much :D And her books are all amazing. I cannot wait to read this new one by her. Eee. Doesn't it just look beyond gorgeous? Love that cover so much. And it sounds creepy and amazing and oh, I can't wait to read it. Having an ARC coming my way in August, which is soon, and I'm the most excited. Really think that I will love this book to pieces. Yess.
What are you waiting for on this monstrous Wednesday?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

I didn't really know much about this book at all before I ended up with an ARC of book two. And then I decided to buy this one, to give it a try. And I'm glad I did so. I didn't love this book, but I did enjoy the magic a whole bunch. And the world was amazing too. But yeah, I did have some issues with this book too. How rude.

I shall begin with the writing. I had a bunch of issues connecting with this story at first. The writing didn't agree with me much, aw. I grew used to it, but never grew to love the writing, sadly. Hope that will change in book two, though. It was not that awful, just annoyed me a little. I notice the writing the most while reading.

I've decided to give this one three stars. I liked the story a whole lot, but had a lot of issues too. Hmph. I fear that something will bother me in book two, ahh, but also have high hopes about the plot and magic. So fingers crossed I will love book two a bunch. Feeling a bit unsure about what I wish to share about this book. And feeling a bit unsure about how I felt about it. It was sort of a quick read, and I didn't want to stop reading. I was curious about the plot and what would happen next. I liked reading about Henrietta a lot. She was an awesome main character. Had some issues with her feelings, ugh, but besides that I liked her a bunch. I loved figuring out things about her magic and such. Was fun and interesting. And I liked her as a person. She was kind.

But I also didn't love her, because as I mentioned, I had some issues connecting with this book. Mostly because of the writing. Sigh. I need amazing writing to fully connect to characters and things. But even so, I liked this book a whole lot. I loved reading about all the magic. About the sorcerers and magicians. About them finding out that Henrietta had magic, and her leaving her sad and small life to go live and train magic with a bunch of boys. It was fun to read about. I liked reading about her training and such.

And I liked reading about the boys too. They were interesting to get to know. I liked how Henrietta cared for them and got to know them. Though I also felt like there could have been a bit more about them all. And I must admit that I never did like Magnus, the flirt. And that is also why I had some issues. Because it seems like Henrietta is slowly falling in love with him. While also being in love with her childhood friend, Rook. And it just made zero sense to me. Sigh. Magnus was a good friend, for the most part. Not more.

He was an awful flirt and flirted with every girl. Didn't see at all how she could want to be more with him. There is only one kiss in this book. With him. Ugh. Though she does come to realize that she does not really want him. But she still seems unsure, and that bothers me. Then there was Rook. She insisted he move with her. Yet she never has time for him. Yet it seems that they both love each other, in secret. She thinks about loving him often. Sigh. Just never saw why. Didn't get to know him at all. Disappointing. Aw.

I suppose that this book has a love triangle. But it didn't really bother me, probably because I didn't really care about the characters that much, lol. But also because there wasn't a battle with the boys. Henrietta and Rook aren't a couple. They have never kissed. And she's growing closer with Magnus, sure, but she doesn't really love him either. Sigh. But, well, the boy I loved was named Blackwood. Not too much about him, sadly, but I cared about him a great deal, and wanted to know more about him so badly. How rude.

Anyway. Enough about the romance. It wasn't a big deal in the book, as it didn't take much place in the story. Mostly this book was about magic. And the girl learning to use it the right way. See, Henrietta can set herself on fire. And that is all kinds of awesome. And I wanted to read more about that very badly. And oh, this world was so exciting to get to know. There are awful creatures there. Monsters that kill and hurt. And reading about them was all kinds of fun and awful. I wanted to know more. So curious about them all.

Not going to say more about this book, just that I am glad that I read it, despite having some issues with it. I'm crossing all my fingers that I will love book two. A bit nervous, since I know the triangle thing will be a bit bigger, maybe. But hoping it will be amazing even so. It sure do look gorgeous. If you haven't read A Shadow Bright and Burning yet, then I really think you should. It is full of magic and evil creatures and handsome boys. It does not have the best writing, but it was an amazing story even so. I enjoyed it a lot.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

In My Mailbox #298

Just busy dying. I had my hospital surgery yesterday. Plus side, didn't have to take something awful first, like they told me I had to. Called the surgeon, and he said that I didn't need to. Hmph. So happy about that. But yeah. They put me to sleep, and then exam started. He said it went really well, and things look good, no new fistulas or abscesses. So yay for that. But, well. He also finally removed the seton thread I had in the older fistula. And holy crap I'm in a lot of pain right now. Not getting into too many details, but I had this one in the worst place, and now everything hurts. So much blood. Had a high fever last night too. And puked today. And uuugh. Not feeling good at all. But hoping this will heal fast.. fingers crossed. It doesn't look too bad, because it's mostly on the inside. But yeah. Still blood and pain. So trying to deal with that this weekend. Sigh. Three new blog posts this week. I posted my Book Recommendation of Flashfall. <3 Love it so. And my review of Flashtide :D And this week I'm waiting on Reign the Earth. <3 Because of my hospital visit yesterday, I wasn't in the mood to read anything after Flashtide until after that. So hoping to start a new book today :D Just need the energy. Body sucks at the moment. Oh, well. Please let me heal better. And fast. Ahh. Tired of pain all the goddamn time. And now I must have a break from spa bath too. At least a week, maybe. Uugh. But, plus side, we are finally getting a week of sun and heat from tomorrow :D Yesss. Will be outside. Despite pain. I need more heat, finally. Anyway. Not much mail this week, but still some gorgeous things :D Eee. And more next week too.. and, well, all the weeks to come, lol. Always getting mail. <3 Despite very, very little room left for more. Ahh. So rude.

The Forgetting. Stunning new US paperback edition of this lovely book. <3 Just love it so so much. Sigh.
A Shadow Bright and Burning. Since I got book two, had to get this one :D And I'm reading it next. Ack.
The Girl With the Ghost Machine. Thank you so much Kristie :D SO happy with this ARC. <3 Love love.
Riders. Eee, thank you Whitney for trading me this gorgeous ARC :D I love it so. And postcard too :D
Bukowski Plush. Got these from my mom. And eee. Tiny seal. Love. And big bunny. So fluffy. Love it so.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #301

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Goodreads Description:

Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarlet will hold readers spellbound.

Hardcover, 448 pages
Expected publication: January 30th 2018 by Bloomsbury
Pre-Order here and here

Gosh this cover is gorgeous. Looking at it makes me so happy. Ahh, I cannot wait to own this book :D Wish to read it right away. It sounds amazing too. So exciting. Though the romance makes me worry.. I don't like triangles at all :\ But hoping this won't be bad :D I think it will be amazing, though. <3 Can't wait.
What are you waiting for on this desperate Wednesday?