Book Review: Six of Crows by Leah Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Possible spoilers) There seem to be a quite a lot of popular books that other people love that I just…don’t. I don’t know why, because I’m not purposely trying to be contrary. Six of Crows is one of them. I wasn’t even sure what this was about before I picked it up, and when I finally read the description I was like, okay, heist, cool, not my typical but okay. I should add that when I start any book, they automatically begin with 5 stars. It’s up to the book (or, er, my reaction to it) to keep it at five stars. I loved certain things about this one, but ultimately it lost some stars because of the negatives. First, what I didn’t like:

-Too many points-of-view kept me from really connecting to anyone for a long time. I didn’t personally feel the voices were distinctive enough, and Jesper and Waylen ended up lacking to me. Their voices were underdeveloped, their backstories, even their relationship. I think it would have been stronger if she’d focused on even just 4 points-of-view. I wasn’t invested in the story until a good 40% into the book, and I kept putting it down without being excited to pick it back up. Whether that was due to the general feeling of disconnect or something else, it just wasn’t that interesting to me for awhile.

-Kaz. I just cannot with him. I get why people think he’s so hot and brooding…kind of? But no. The eyeball thing killed any chance I had to love him. I get that he was tortured, and once I read his backstory I did feel bad for him, but he was too sadistic, cold, and his only motivation for *most* of the book seemed to be getting loads of money? So, like, I can’t. Honestly he reminded me of Heathcliff a bit, and I just can’t with him either.

-The violence overall, the killing, the fighting, just not my cup of tea, but of course, that’s going to vary for everyone.

-The sexual tension with NO reward. Three separate couples, all with either slow-burn or enemies to lovers tropes and NOT ONE COUPLE HOOKS UP AT THE END? Like, was there even any kissing? I honestly don’t recall any.

-Also I did not buy that this was a YA book. Sure, no kissing or sex, or swearing (but extreme violence is a yes?) but the characters were not teenagers to me. Many reviewers agree, stating they saw Kaz at least in his late 20s/early 30s. Agree with that entirely.

Now, critical party over. What I loved and liked:

-Nina and Matthias. Just swoon a million times over. Their backstory, their witty banter, the tension between them, the conflict, the resolution, all of it. They were the clearest characters to me, and perhaps that’s why I connected so hard, but I also just think their storylines were the best. Honestly, if the whole book had been from their pov only with their relationship taking center stage (and the heist backstage) it would have easily been a 5 star read. I get what other people are saying, that this isn’t a romance novel and romance doesn’t always have to be the main course, but I can’t help my poor, romantic heart. Love is what makes the story for me. I’m totally going to go off and try to find some Nina/Matthias fanfic to gush over now.

-The strategy and planning, while heavy in some parts, was well thought-out, exciting and action-packed.

-The dialogue was snappy and funny. I think the characters related so well to each other.

-The author can paint a scene well, and it wasn’t a badly-written story (though I caught a lot of filtering), and I will read more of her work. I’m actually really excited to read The Language of Thorns!

So, overall it was a solid 3 star read for me. Lovers of action, adventure, and danger will love it. Lovers of well, lovers, may be a bit let-down at times.

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Book Review: The Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer 

The Gravity Between UsThe Gravity Between Us by Kristen Zimmer

Where does friendship stop and love begin?

At just 19, Kendall Bettencourt is Hollywood’s hottest young starlet with the world at her feet – but behind the glamour and designer dresses is a girl who longs for normal.

Payton Taylor is Kendall’s best friend since childhood, and the one person who reminds her of who she really is – her refuge from the craziness of celebrity life. 

With her career taking off, Kendall moves Payton to LA to help keep her sane. But Payton is hiding a secret that could make everything ten times worse. Because to her, Kendall is more than a best friend – she is the only girl that she has ever loved. 

Just as they need each other more than ever, they’ll have to answer the question of where friendship stops and love begins? And find out whether the feelings they have can survive the mounting pressure of fame…
3 of 5 stars

This was a really easy read, and it had lots of potential. I wanted to love it more than I did.

The good parts were Kendall & Payton’s relationship as friends. I felt they cared about each other. The underlying sexual and romantic tension also felt real most of the time. I also thought the conflict of what society/Hollywood would think made it stronger than just “will she/won’t she” because there was something bigger coming between them.

That said, I had to downgrade because of the bi-negativity other reviewers mentioned, the multiple times “retard” was used ::cringes:: and that the two points-of-view just sounded way too much like one person. It was a good read if you are looking for something light.

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Book Review: Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Song of the Current (Song of the Current #1)Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Song of the Current is a book I bought this summer in a local bookstore, and I loved the description. River gods, girl captain, intrigue? Yes, please! Despite my best intentions I just could not get into intially. I started it, read a few pages here or there, and then set it aside until last week. Then I decided I may as well read it. I’m glad I did. Though there’s a lot of sailing lingo which may put some people off, the story does pick up and get really fun. I liked Caroline (Caro) the main character well enough, and I loved that she was sassy and independent, plus she doesn’t take crap from anyone. But there were times I wasn’t that sympathetic to her and I wanted a bit more softness. I don’t want to reveal spoilers, but I’ll say I liked her interactions with a certain somebody. I think the story really got started more when she got off her wherry and onto land, only to steal another boat instead. I liked the general feel of the book, and I will probably read it again.

 I wasn’t sure what to rate this. In all honesty I’d probably say 3.5 stars because I think my emotional response was a little meh in parts and I wasn’t as connected as I should be, but I’m going to round it to 4. It’s a good story, with some fun characters, and a twist at the end I wasn’t expecting. I just wanted a tiny bit more.

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Instagram Book Giveaway 

Hi guys! I’m hosting a really fun giveaway on my Instagram until November 11th. There’s two options for entry, one super easy, one more creative. I’ll be picking TWO winners. 

Please check it out 😄 And come say hi and stuff. I’m really enjoying IG after resisting joining for so long, ha! 

And I hope you’re doing well. Revisions on Weightless are going incredibly (and surprisingly?) well, especially after my meh stage recently lol. I’m up to 47,000 words, much of which still needs fixing of course but I’m happy where it’s headed. 

Also, I’m coming off of reading a few books and desperately slacking on reviews- so sorry! I promise to post some soon 🙂 

Take care. And get thy butt to my giveaway! 

Amanda

Good Updates & SALE 

Hi guys! It’s been awhile. Is it weird to say I miss you? Because I do! 😘

Just popping in with some small, pretty cool updates. 

1. My Like Waves Goodreads giveaway ended, with nearly 750 entries! Thanks to all who entered. 

2. In the last Twitter pitch party, I recieved like, 16 favs from agents for my Witch Lessons pitch (Please check out my page What I’m Working On to learn more)! Those numbers are including a few likes from smaller publishers and 1 random guy. Lol. So, I sent most of the agents queries, and recieved 1 rejection already but I also got a full request from an absolutely rocking agent so….fingers crossed! 

3.  I participated in the Instagram #childrenofinksept2017 poetry contest and won (1 winner of 10) with this autumn-themed poem: 

4. And to celebrate, I am having a sale! Like Waves is just 99 cents on Kindle (still free on KU) until Wednesday. If you haven’t gotten yourself a copy yet now is a great time! 

5. Finally, I’ll be interviewed tonight on Twitter by Writer Moms! Please search the hashtag #WM_chat to learn more about moi and my writing 🙂 8pm PST. 

Have a great day! I’m off all week because my parents (babysitters) are in PARIS. OMG AM I JEALOUS. I’ll be working on my YA fairytale retelling. 

Cheers! 

Bookloot Unboxing August 

Yay! I received my second subscription box from BookLoot the other day. 

Without further ado…

In the box was:

-Lord of the Rings inspired bookmarks 

-Aslan-inspired soap. Kid used this, and liked it. 

-Loose leaf tea. I’m not a tea-drinker, but I will pass it to a family member 

-Seeds to plant my own tree- love this! 

-A short story, Protecting Neverland, by C.A. Perkins. Sounds interesting.

-insert card

-and the book of the month, The Wood, by Chelsea Bobulski, including a letter from the author, which was neat 🙂 I haven’t heard of the book, but I am excited to read! Sounds very cool. 

There was also some gummy bears, which again, my rugrats ate. It was a fun box, and I plan to order again!

Thanks for checking out my post! I’ll be back with another unboxing in October, and the theme is Horror Remixed..oooooo.. 

14 Days! 

I took this pretty photo today and wanted to share. 

Just two until Like Waves is released! I can hardly believe it. Don’t forget to enter my Goodreads giveaway, and if you’re interested please pre-order the ebook now. Paperback coming August 16th! Woohoo! 

And now, off to finish the last 30 pages of Witch Lessons edits. So pumped.

Nighty night 😄

Book Review: It Starts Like This by Shelby Leigh

It Starts Like This: a collection of poetryIt Starts Like This: a collection of poetry by Shelby Leigh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It Starts Like This has a great hook—Shelby Leigh wrote a poem every day for a year and decided to publish a poetry book of her favorites after that experience.

There were poems that weren’t my cup of tea because they lacked imagery or sophistication, some I liked enough, and some I absolutely loved, which I thought were really strong. It Starts Like This is a well-done debut poetry collection, and Shelby Leigh has a lot of potential. If she continues writing and ever publishes another book, I anticipate it being even stronger. The emotion and rawness in some of the poems was palpable, and even some I didn’t particularly love I could still appreciate because of the clear heart throughout the book.

In no particular order, I believe the best poems were: Battle Scars, Keepsakes (I love the rhyme here), Sleepwalker, Predator, Bones, Rhymes, and Journal. I think the brief Swearing was my favorite:

I swear
with every kiss
you leave words on my tongue
and every time you break away
I breathe a poem
into my lungs

4 stars for a good collection of poetry. It was dotted throughout with tiny gems I fell in love with, and will definitely read again in future.
Well done.

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I’m on Instagram! 

Hey there! 

So, after a little grumbling and more than a couple tries, I’ve finally signed up for Instagram! I’m still getting used to it, but come on and check out my account and follow 🙂 I’m @amandalinsmeier just like on Twitter. So, come say hi! 


See you there!