Shadow and Bone By Leigh Bardugo

A few months ago I finally got around to reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and  I’m very conflicted about how I feel about it. On the positive side I really did like the story and I got through the first two thirds in a day or two, but then I just sat on it and I didn’t end up loving it by the end. The story itself was very compelling, and I loved it, but I felt like many of the characters fell sort of flat and I didn’t really end up feeling like many of them grew over time. I am still going to continue with the series for two reasons. 1) I have the first book 2) I’m hoping the characters grow and become more 3D in the second book.

img_3608.jpgShadow and Bone is set in the Grisha universe, where the elite of the population have abilities to manipulate, create, or change things around them. Shadow and Bone is mainly about an orphan named Alina who lives in a country named Ravka and worked as a map maker for the military. Her best friend, Mal, knew her since she arrived at the orphanage and followed Alina as they both continue their paths in the military. That is, until the day they are sent on a mission to attempt to cross the fold, a great darkness that has taken part of the country hostage. While in the fold Alina releases a great power that fends off not only the darkness of the fold, but the monsters that live inside it. The problem? She didn’t know it was there, she doesn’t know how to control it, and she’s taken from her friend to be taken to the small palace and serve the Darkling. That’s where this story begins. During the book we follow Alina as she spends her time at the small palace developing her power, growing stronger, and falling in love.

Overall this book got a four out of five stars because I love the universe and the story was entertaining. I didn’t love the characters as much as I hoped to, but they have a lot of growing to do and I think in the next book is when that I will really happen because they are left to a much more difficult situation than what they’ve been used to. I also hope to watch as their relationship grows a little more.

Warning: stop here if you haven’t read the book. I recommend it if you’re looking for a new fantasy series, and I really do hope that you read it, but if you don’t want spoilers stop here. If you’re read it, keep going.

Continue reading “Shadow and Bone By Leigh Bardugo”

December 2017 Wrap Up

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I really liked Shadow and bone to be honest. I think that it was such a unique universe that has so much area to be explored that I couldn’t help but love it. I also really liked to examine the motives of the individual characters because I think that it puts a lot into the individual characters and what they do. I really want to look into the Darkling’s background more because he just overall is an interesting character that I think deserves to have the spotlight a little bit more. I hope to learn more about him with the next books but I’m not going to really hold my breath on that. Honestly, I didn’t have the next book I pry wouldn’t actually continue the series, regardless of how great the world is. I didn’t like the real overall story very much and I didn’t find myself connecting to the individual characters. I did start to like the two main characters’ relationship once they left the palace, but I wasn’t too overall interested in the main story because it was pretty normal where a girl gets taken away by a prince and goes to live happily ever after. I enjoyed the story overall but I didn’t really like it enough to continue it.

 

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I did like The Lightning Thief a lot, but I’m not able to give it all five stars. I honestly loved the audio book and can’t wait to continue it via OverDrive. The biggest drive for me to continue this series is because I really like to look at Mythology and I find it one of the most interesting subjects I have ever had the pleasure to learn about while I was in school. I enjoyed the story and I really liked how many of the demigods had learning disabilities outside of camp because it’s such an amazing representation for people, especially the marketing audience, to have in great books because it makes them seem more real to the individual. I also just liked it as a “new classic” that many people read and is known by most people if not just by the basics of the story. I was afraid that this story had been inflated beyond a point of being able to live up to its hype, but it was great and I really did like it.

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I liked the idea of Witch and Wizard, I really did, but I just got so bored halfway through that I couldn’t finish it. I loved the production of the audiobook too, but it was such a slow story that I wasn’t able to complete it. I ended up stopping around 3/4 of the way through and I just haven’t been able to pick it back up. Because of this I’m giving this a 2/5 stars even though I ended up DNF-ing it. It honestly made me sad that I had to do that, but what are you going to do sometimes? I completed most of it so that I feel like I can discuss it and talk about it, which is why I gave it a review but it just wasn’t my favorite read by any stretch of the means.

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I LOVED Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children. I flat out loved this book and I can’t explain to you how happy I am that I read this book. I fell in love with all of the characters and I can’t wait to read more about them in the next books. I also really like that the inspiration behind this story was pictures that the author found AND that the pictures were included in the book, just because it’s such a unique thing. I also love seeing Jacob and Emma together, they’re so cute and Olive is hands down my favorite because she is so sweet. I just love this book, so watch out for a video and blog post that’s just me gushing about it.

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I don’t know why I really read Burning Glass to be honest. It seemed interesting and the cover was cool but it just didn’t hold my attention and I don’t know why. The story was good, and when I sat down and forced myself to listen to it the story was great. The story overall was really good and I really enjoyed it. I loved the character and the settings, but just overall this book just wasn’t my favorite and I don’t know why.

Annotating Books

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about my opinions about annotating and writing in books. Typically annotating a book causes bookworms to gasp and feel like someone had hit them or destroyed something they love. I want to talk about it a little bit, though, just to discuss my thoughts about it and what I think.

I’m going to spoil you right now, I annotate my books. I’m going to talk later about how exactly I do this, but I’m going to spoil you right now.

I see why people don’t want to, and honestly I take all of my pictures of my books before I even start reading them most of the time. I would like to change that process in the future, but for now I like the way that I take my pictures and interact with them.

Not annotating your books keeps them in perfect condition, and if the book is your absolute favorite book that’s signed by the author I totally get it and don’t suggest writing in the book. I have a few books like this and I wouldn’t take those books out of the house for anything, because let’s face it those books are my favorite things in the world.

On the other hand, when I first read a book I don’t know that it’s my favorite. Let’s take a recent read for an example. I recently read Scythe by Neal Shusterman and I absolutely loved it and can’t wait for the squeal to be released in the near future. I decided to annotate this book just because I liked the cover and I had a feeling that this book would bring up great ideas and thoughts. I didn’t know that the book would become my favorite, but now it is and I’m happy that I actually have highlighted my favorite parts and quotes. I like the fact that I can go back and see what I wrote in the margins when I was first reading it. Especially when I got to a few huge plot twists and I as able to go back to see what I was thinking before then.

I was actually reading through my notes after I finished it and it really helped me put together the story as a whole and suddenly something small made so much sense all of a sudden.

I also recently gave a book that I had annotated to a friend and they said that once they got into the book they thought it was amusing to see my thoughts and what I was thinking at any point in the book.

The main reason I choose to annotate my books is because I keep looking at one of my most loved books, A Great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Brey, it is my most loved book. The binding is beat up, the cover is ripped, and the pages are dog eared where I absolutely loved the page or something important happened. To me seeing this makes me happy because things aren’t always meant to stay perfect. They’re meant to be bent, used, and wear down. That’s what I love about books because the more beat up a book is the more it’s read, the more the story is heard, and the more those characters have found their way into your heart.

I feel like this post is a little messy and unorganized, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on the topic with you.

What side are you on with this discussion? Let me know in the comments below!

~Amanda Ann

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

In November I decided to listen to the audiobook for Heartless by Marissa Meyer.  I got it on Overdrive from my local library, and to be honest I absolutely loved it. I don’t think it took me more than a few days to listen to it all and although I already knew the ending I ended up loving the book more than I thought I would. I have had this book on my TBR pile for a few months now and I was excited finally get around to it.

The story follows a girl named Catherine through her courtship with the King of Hearts. Although this book ended up being a great Wonderland Love Story I found that I wasn’t really rooting for the king to win her hand at the end. Instead I was rooting for the new Court Joker, Jess, to win Catherine’s hand in the end. As Catherine beings to court the king and find love with Jess she doesn’t give up on her long time dream of running a bakery and does everything in her power to make the dream come true while the horrific tales of the Jaberwok come true in the land of hearts.

Overall I really did like the book, but what I hate is that Catherine couldn’t get a better ending. Since this is a villain origin story I couldn’t expect anything beyond a poor ending for her but the entire time I ended up rooting for her. Originally I didn’t really want to because she does become the Queen of Hearts and a villain in another story, but this book was written in a way that I couldn’t help but absolutely love her and hope for the best.

I’ve never read any of Marissa Meyer’s work and this was a great introduction before jumping into the Lunar Chronicles that I’m hoping to start soon.

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Intimidating TBR Tag

I wanted to take a little break today and talk about my TBR pile, because after my Black Friday Book Haul I sort of have a TBR shelf that’s a little too big and overwhelming.

IMG_3647.JPG1. A book on your TRB that you haven’t finished?

Right now I am reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and Witches and Wizzards by James Patterson. So those would be the only two books that I’ve started and haven’t finished.

 

2. A book you haven’t had time to read

All of them

IMG_3651.JPG3. A book you haven’t read because it’s a squeal?

Witch’s Pyre by Josephine Angelini. I bought this in my latest book outlet haul and didn’t know that it was a squeal but this is the only book in my TBR that is a squeal that I don’t have the first book for.

4. A Book you haven’t read because it’s brand new

All the books in my haul.

5. A book by an author that you’ve previously read and didn’t like

Alright so this is pushing it a little bit because I didn’t not like the previous book I just marathoned them and got tired of them. I have The Adjustment by Suzan Young and although I loved the program and the treatment I felt like The Epidemic and The Remedy just dragged it out and I didn’t really need those books in comparison to the others so I’m not looking forward to the next book or reading The Adjustment 

IMG_3655.JPG6. A book in your TBR pile that you just aren’t excited to read

Honestly Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. I don’t know why i don’t want to read this book, because it sounds good, but I just don’t want to read it. I want to read every other magical book on my shelf but not this one.

7. A book on your TBR that you haven’t read because it’s enormous?

Besides the Game of Thrones books?  City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I want to read this book, apparently this series is great, but I just can’t get around to it. It’s too intimidating of a series because they’re all bigger books.

8. A Book on your TBR that you bought because of the cover

All of them. Isn’t that how you buy your books?

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National Novel Writing Month 2017 Results

Today I wanted to take a look back to November and talk about how National Novel Writing Month went for me and how my results turned out. This will be a short post, because I really don’t have a lot to say about it, but I feel like it’s something that needs to be addressed.

In total I wrote 32,143 words in November and I am insanely proud of that, even if I officially lost NaNoWriMo. I feel like I won overall, though. A lot happened in November, I took on more hours at work, and my boyfriend decided to buy a house so with all of that piled on top of just my “normal” life I don’t think I could have asked myself to do much more.

Although my goal was to write the 50,000 words the real goal was to get me excited about writing again, and I have to say that I accomplished that. Writing was something that I Was big into during high school and when I went to college it was something that I had to put down, even if it was a great coping strategy. I was doing way to much to have time to sit down and read so it just wasn’t going to happen. In that way I did win and that’s what I’m focusing on and what I’m very happy with.

The other thing that I want to note was that I went into NaNoWriMo as a pantser and without any plan, which was something I did not want to do at all. I liked the story that I spent time with but it isn’t something that I’m going to be continuing because I just don’t like it that much. For what it came from I am very proud of it, but it’s still not a story that I’m going to continue to work on.

How did your NaNoWriMo go? Let me know down below!

See you soon,

Amanda Ann