Sunday, 12 May 2019

Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories by Kelly Barnhill





Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch ★★
Open the Door and the Light Pours Through ★★★
The Dead Boy’s Last Poem ★★★
Dreadful Young Ladies ★★★
The Taxidermist’s Other Wife ★★
Elegy to Gabrielle, Patron Saint of Healers, Whores, and Righteous Thieves ★★★★
Notes on the Untimely Death of Ronia Drake ★★
The Insect and the Astronomer: A Love Story
The Unlicensed Magician ★★

I rated these stories on the author's skill, not on my enjoyment. I must admit, apart from Elegy to Gabrielle, I truly enjoyed none of them. 
I felt like all the pretty words were only there for the aesthetic, and that the narrative was not tight enough, which in short stories is an unforgivable sin to me. 
But just because I didn't like it doesn't mean it's not good. It simply wasn't my cup of tea. 


Buy Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories
@ The Book Depository (with free worldwide delivery!)

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse so Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer





Too bad this isn't a stand alone, had it been I would probably give it 5 stars, because Idon't remember the last time I was that invested in a story! Re-reads aside...

This started out great; Harper is that kind of character who we'd love to be friends with, she's quick witted, and loyal to default to her family. 
She has cerebral palsy, that makes her limp, but she doesn't let that stop her from trying to be some sort of bad-ass warrior princess... Sorry, but you 'll have to read it to understand it ;)

Grey *scary Grey* and Rhen were also extremely well developed. So much so that at times, and with the way this ended, I was getting some 'love triangle mess' vibes, *dear writer, NO*, but after reading the summary of the next volume and thanks to the author's own replies, I'm glad to report that a love triangle will not be happening: thank you!
Now I only have to wait until January to read the sequel!
Image result for cries gif 


Friday, 8 March 2019

The Austen Playbook ( London Celebrities #4) by Lucy Parker





                                         Arc Provided by Carina Press

                                                         Release Date: April 22nd

I love author Lucy Parker's voice! She creates the most lovable characters... some of them are of the cuddly variety, the type I would love to be their friends with; others are more of an acquired taste.
Like... radish, maybe...

First we may want to hit them with a frying pan ;) but we end up loving those 'old' cranky souls. *cough, Richard, cough, Griff*

The Austen Playbook has all of the author successful trademarks: Lively dialogues, witty banter, *seriously people, if you need to trade barbs with someone, you should read these books*, a couple who feels real enough to cheer for, and a bunch of interesting secondary characters, some of them slightly insane... you know? The usual :D
And then there's Sadie... remember her? *Inserts fake smile*
That woman is fucking terrible!

I loved 'seeing the romance' about lively Freddy and *I don't have any sense of humor* Griff. Once again, I had a great time reading about that whole theater drama scenario. Mixed with it we have family drama, siblings dynamics, secrets about to be unveiled, Austen's plays and... Sadie. -___-

GUYS, hell's about to break loose! And you'll love reading about it! ;

p.s- When can I read the next one?

Author's Official Site 

Pre-Order it (BookDepository.com) 

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1) by Julie C. Dao





This is a solid fantasy novel, beautifully written, and with interesting characters.
Xifeng is one of those characters that is not easily forgotten, and I hope to re-read this soon enough; reading it in less than a month will 'probably' improve my reading experience.
The scenario is lush and sometimes brutal. Be warned that there's some gory scenes like decapitations and hearts _yup_ being eaten. One of an animal, so :/
I would say this is more new adult than ya. Although there isn't anything graphic about it.

Romance is not a focus point of the story, which I liked. Until the end, Xifeng keeps herself faithful to her sociopath and later on psychopath self... so that was 'fun'! :D

I only wish that the story had been told in less pages. Towards the end it gets a little tiresome, but I was not in a good place and time when I was reading it, so who knows? Maybe I just need to re-read it in another moment.
So yes, I'm definitely looking forward to reading the follow up.


Damsel by Elana K. Arnold





                                 *A 2018 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book*

DNF at 25%

TW: Graphic animal deaths, Rape (from what I've read from other reviewers, since I didn't want to read it)

I was reading this and feeling as if my hands were full of chalk (you know the feeling?) and the 'sound' of impending doom in this was driving me insane.
This story describes a f*****g nightmare. A long, tedious (the writing style is SO basic), nightmare.
Which was the point, right? Here's how a 'real' 'fairy tale' was actually like in (more) patriarchal times.
But with a story so obviously dark, I think that a little more work in the writing style was actually needed. Urgently.

It was irritating/frustrating in the sense that I could feel that some trickery had been done, and I wanted to find out what it was, but the basic writing style and 'lets keep the reader in the dark plot' really annoyed the hell out of me. And you know what, I'm not going to re-read it, hell NO _ I was pretty much hating it (view spoiler) so, there, I quit.
I'm old and my life is dark enough, thank you very much. And gratuitous animal violence is really not my thing...
I did go and read the last pages, which were probably the best thing in this story. In an incredibly gory _ although deserved _ kind of way.
Don't go into this expecting a typical romance.
Such a pretty cover (even with the bleeding hearts -_-) for such an ugly story.

The Bear and The Nightingale ( Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden





Here's the thing, if it wasn't for the last _ I don't know _ 10% of the story, I would've mostly hated this.
Yes, it is beautifully written, but it has so many boring details, that I was seriously losing my patience with it. And don't even get me started on the religious BS -_- , because we don't have one crazy zealot character, there's actually TWO, with lots and lots of 'air time'. Which explains the length of the book... and my reaction to the characters.

It was draining to read and to care about so many characters, when in reality only Vasya and her interactions with some fantasy characters drew my attention.
So why did I finish it?
lol Because I didn't want to start DNF'ing books so early in the year.

But c'mon the story starts even before Vasya is born!
Why? Who cares about smelly socks and cabbage?
So, yes, it was tedious to watch Vasya grow, and to await this Bear and Nightingale arrival... and let me tell you that they took their own sweet time.
So, why oh why, am I considering _ after all this rant _ reading the second volume?
Well, obviously I'm deranged, but _ and it's a BIG and cute BUT _ there's talking horses!  
Oh and there's also this ice demon dude with issues...
So, yeah, I may give the second one a try... even though religious insanity drives me bollocks.
 


 Author's Official Site

BookDepository.com 

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

January 2019 Releases

Here's some of the titles that are going to be released this month and that seem interesting enough...

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1) The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1) Slayer (Slayer, #1) A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1)
            Dragon Pearl The Girl King Echo North 
                               Song of the Dead (Reign of the Fallen #2) The Severed Moon: A Year-Long Journal of Magic


'Slayer':
Expected publication: January 8th 2019 by Simon Pulse 
 
'The Girl King':
Expected publication: January 8th 2019 by Bloomsbury YA
 
'The Gilded Wolves':
Expected publication: January 15th 2019 by Wednesday Books


'Echo North' -
Expected publication: January 15th 2019 by Page Street Kids 
 
'Dragon Pearl':
Expected publication: January 15th 2019 by Rick Riordan Presents
 
'Song Of The Dead':
Expected publication: January 22nd 2019 by Razorbill 
 
'King Of The Scars':
Expected publication: January 29th 2019 by Imprint
 
'The Severed Moon':
Expected publication: January 29th 2019 by Imprint
 
'A Curse So Dark':
Expected publication: January 29th 2019 by Bloomsbury Children's
 

Monday, 19 November 2018

Petit by Hubert




Book provided by Lion Forge through Netgalley

TW: gore, attempted rape, cannibalism

   In a royal family of monstrous ogres, continuous inbreeding has been yielding smaller and smaller children. Petit is the smallest yet. So small his mother did not know she was pregnant with him until she birthed him. Instantly reviled for his human size, the court demands to eat him, so such blight can be erased from the royal family.
   His mother, however, believes Petit will bring about great things, much as their distant ancestor: the Founder, who mated with humans and thus had bigger and bigger children. 

   I absolutely LOVED this! Petit reads as a grotesque fairy tale, certainly not for the faint hearted, but amazing just the same. The monstrous court, violent and stupid, feasting on humans and reveling in their reign of terror, the bizarre architecture of the gigantic palace, the story meandering through the present interspersed with short stories about the great ancestors of the royal family... it was all absolutely delicious! 

   I highly recommend this one, and I can't wait for the second volume!

Buy Petit @The Book Depository (with free worldwide delivery!)

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Watersnakes by Tony Sandoval






ARC provided by Lion Forge Comics through Netgalley

   Watersnakes is a beautiful graphic novel. 
   I'd heard of Sandoval before, but I'd never checked his work until now, and I'll be sure to see what else he has to offer. 

   In Watersnakes, Milla is a girl on summer vacation who, on one of her wanderings, meets Agnes and falls in love with her. Her fascination with Agnes' teeth and their role in the story, as independent entities, as warriors, is surrealistically fetishistic but fits into the world of dreams and magic where nothing has to be logic as long as it propels the story forward. Agnes turns out to be a ghost who lingers in this world because an ancient octopus king resides inside her. And with Milla's help, perhaps Agnes' octopus king and his warriors can wage war on their enemies. 

  Watersnakes' plot and artwork really manage to convey a dreamy, somewhat disjointed atmosphere which is what really sells the book. 

   Hope to see more from Sandoval!


Tony Sandoval's Deviantart

Buy Watersnakes @ The Book Depository (with free worldwide delivery!)

Monday, 12 November 2018

All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella's Stepmother by Danielle Teller






So... I haven't written a proper review in so long, that I don't even know if I can do it anymore...

In my case, the thing that mostly draws me to retellings is that magical element. The anything can happen vibe mixed with a dash of serendipity. That is not the case with this story, because it removes every magical/serendipity element and gives its readers a cold hard reality.
A cold harsh reality of people living difficult lives in dangerous and bleak times, especially for women.
That was not what I was expecting, because it ended up being a boring narrative most of the times.
Like I mentioned in one of my updates for this book, this could be called 'Agnes: A Tale of Drudgery'.
There's a lot of 'not going anywhere, and not specifically interesting' details!
Most of those details are right at home in a literary fiction work, but with a retelling? o_O
(...)
So, what kept me reading, you might ask?
 Well, unfortunately for me, it is extremely well written. -_- So, even when I was mumbling to myself, 'please, no more hair descriptions...', I was reading it!
And I think I finished this in less of a week; which for me lately is almost a miracle! Ha!!

                                                         
So, what can you expect from this?
Well imagine if a fairy tale was deconstructed of all of its interesting/magical/loving details and Ella was actually a spoiled brat, you'd pretty much have this. :D
Oh, and all the 'bad things' that the stepmother is rumored to have done to the Cinder girl ?
Yeah, actually they were just misunderstandings. -_-

 And people needing therapy for all the lying they do!!
(...)
But, it is really well written!
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