TBR Challenge #5: Blood for Blood

blood-by-blood

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Series: Wolf by Wolf

Rating: 4/5

Theme: Historical

*****Please Note: Since this is the second book in the duology, there are tings that will be discussed that might reveal things from the second book*****

Why? A few years ago I read Wolf by Wolf because it was all the rage to read and I enjoyed it. It was different and unique. So I definitely waned to get my hands on this books. I’m not really going to get into details of this book since I don’t want to reveal anything pertinent to those who haven’t read it yet.

Review: As I’ve mentioned before, I read the first book in this series during the hype of its release. I wasn’t really the biggest fan of it, but I enjoyed it enough that I decided to pick up this book. I’m glad that I did because Graudin was able to tie off all the loose ends nicely, not necessarily the way I would have liked, but it did answer questions that I have.

I enjoyed the progression of the characters in this book, especially Yael. I love her strength and her determination to see through her plans, even though she knows that she is risking more than her life. I also love the relationships seen in this book. Although I’m not a fan of Adel or Felix, I understand their decisions for their actions. I would love to seen more of Henrika, but I think I would have enjoyed it less if I did.

This book broke my heart more than once and there was a lot of things that saddened me about it. I don’t think that the ending with Felix and Adel was fair to Yael, since I feel that she gave up a lot of things to get to that point. I would have enjoyed it more if Graudin changed one thing  about the ending  (*L!!!* I hope that hint is good enough).

The author has a great way of writing his books that you can envision a very gritty, noir style of movie. This is the third book of his that I’ve read and I always envision his books with a dirty, sepia filtered atmosphere, almost similar to an old photograph. All his characters are well written and well thought out that you can picture them vividly as the story progress. I especially enjoy his heroes and heroines. They are all so perfectly imperfect that readers can relate to them. I would definitely read more of his YA novels.

 

 

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top-5

Sorry I’m bringing in another Top 5 on this blog, they’re great but it’s not much of a variety in content. I wasn’t able to post on my usual days because we’ve been painting our house and it’s taking a lot of my free time and energy.

Anyways, this week’s Top 5 is another topic that I really like. Basically list the top 5 books that you have read as an adult, but would have been a good read for your younger self to learn a lesson.

Here is my Top 5:

I won’t go into details as to why I picked each one for this list. Know that these books that I’ve read have all taught me a thing or two about life in general. I would have loved to have read books like these when I was younger to teach me more about friendships, acceptance, diversity and relationships. These books made a great impact to me while reading them and I believe that even as a child I would have enjoyed them. I especially love how more and more artists/writers use graphic novels to convey stories and reach lessons to the readers.

I think out of these five books, I would pick Maus as my favorite. It’s a great resource on teaching students, or anyone else who wants to learn more, about the Second World War. This is a very grave part of our history, but I think it’s important to teach this to people. I also really love Lumberjanes and the fact that I include it in many of my recommendations just shows how much I adore it. It’s a great story of friendships, diversity and adventure. I love the volumes.

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That’s it for my Top 5. Let me know if what books you feel made an impact with you as an adult and would have been an interesting read as a child.

Top 5 Favorite Friend Group

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It’s been awhile since I posted a Top 5 Wednesday and this week’s topic is pretty interesting. This is pretty self explanatory, just give your top 5 books that are your favorite group of friends.

not a drop to drink

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

This is a recent read for me and I’m glad that I read it. I wasn’t a fan of some events that occurred in this book, but I did enjoy the friendship between the protagonist and her neighbor. I enjoyed it a lot because of their respect for each other even with the age difference. It’s something different and unique. It may not be a group of friends, but it’s still a lovely example of a friendship.

winter

Winter by Marissa Meyer

This is a series of books, but I included the last book from the series, because this is were you see the friendships bloom between all the characters. I love each and everyone of them as an individual character, but they are even better together. The spin off graphic novel, Wire and Nerve, show more of the deep connection between the nine major characters.

Forbidden Wish

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

I’ve mentioned this before in my review, but the relationship in this book is amazing. I love the bond between the princess and her Watchmaidens. I understand that they are her bodyguards, but there is still a level of respect from the princess towards her maidens, which I think is amazing.

Air Bender

Avatar the last Airbender by Michael Dante DiMartino

This isn’t the original graphic novels of the Avatar, but still a great representation of friendships. I love all the characters and the bond that they have with each other. I especially love the age range between the four characters because it shows that they are inclusive of everyone. Plus, great show of diversity, when diversity wasn’t as popular.

lumberjanes1

Lumberjanes by  Noelle Stevenson

I always include this graphic novel when people mention ‘Favorite Friend Group’. I love the characters in this graphic novel and the friendships are just amazing. I love the diversity of the group, the inclusion it represent and the respect that they have towards each other. Such a great graphic novel for your readers.

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That’s my top 5 for this week, hope everyone enjoyed it. Let me know books you enjoyed that represents great friendships.

 

TBR Challenge #4: The Conspiracy of Us

conspiracy of usThe Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Series: The Conspiracy of us #1

Rating: 2.5/3

Theme: Series (A Book that is part of a series)

Why? I’ve been meaning to read this series for awhile now every since one of the booktubers I follow compared it to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci code. Since this is part of a series, I would say it counts.

Review: I originally picked this book up because I heard it being compared to The Da Vinci’s Code by Dan Brown. Since it is one of my favorite books, I was very intrigued by the comparison and had to read it. Unfortunately, I think those who believe that the two books are similar, are dead wrong. Besides the fact that they mentioned a historical fact, I don’t really see any similarities. I was really disappointed.

Like I said, there really wasn’t any similarities between the two books and I wished that the booktuber I follow didn’t even bother mentioning that information. The mystery aspect of the book is somewhat cliche and the plot is similar to other books that I’ve read with the same premise. I didn’t really find anything unique about it and the “action packed” scenes, are not very packed with action. In fact, I feel that the author spent more time on building the relationship between the protagonist and the love interest, than the actual mystery.

Speaking of relationships, I wish that someone mentioned to me that there was going to be a love triangle in this series. I hate this trope and wouldn’t even have picked it up if I knew that there was this possibility, so please be warned, there is a love triangle here.  I didn’t really pick this book up for romance, I wanted mystery, intrigue and puzzles. As you can tell I’m a bit bitter about reading this book.

That being said, Hall’s writing is pretty good. I really didn’t have a problem with her writing and her character developments. As much as I did enjoy some of the quirkiness of this book, I don’t think its enough for me to keep with this series. Seriously my main concern about this book is not the author’s fault, but rather the recommendation that it was given. I expected one thing and yet received a totally different story.

 

TBR Challenge #3: Follow Me

Follow MeFollow Me by Sara Shepard

Series: Amateurs #2
Rating: 3/5
Theme: Contemporary

Why? Usually when people say contemporary, you instinctively thing romance, but technically, anything can be contemporary, just as long as it is set in our present time. So of course I would pick a contemporary mystery, because that’s just my preference.

Review: During my teen years I read Shepard’s popular series, Pretty Little Liars, and I was totally hooked, I might not have finished the series (because it was too long), I still highly enjoyed the pace of her books. Therefore, when she release her new series, Amateurs, I really wanted to get on board again. Unfortunately, I’m not as hooked with this series as the PLL. Although this series incorporates similar attributes as PLL, I’m just not as gripped with the story line or even the mystery. I have a feeling it might be my reading preferences now. Since I’ve read a ton of mysteries from different sub-genre: cozy, thriller, psychological, etc. I feel that this type of mystery is no longer up my alley and for those who are fans and readers of mystery novels, I don’t think these books are for you as well.

Let’s start with the mystery itself. At the end of Amateurs we find out who the suspect is and so, in this book all throughout the whole novel we know the who and the why the crime is committed. The only reason why readers would keep on reading is to find out the why on the main story arc of the series. I’m not really sure if I’m making myself clear, but it’s really difficult to explain it without revealing things from the first book. For those who has read the first book, then this review makes more sense. I also felt that there were too many events that wasn’t realistic, considering the situation that they were in. I feel that Shepard is creating her characters to be both smart and yet dumb simultaneously. There’s just no way the group of friends are that oblivious to the people surrounding them, when they claim to be so observant.

In terms of character development, there really isn’t much with the main characters. There changes in the relationships between the characters, but it’s really not something the readers are shocked about, especially with the events in the first book. Obviously there are new characters in this book and a different location to make the mystery feasible.

I’m a bit on the fence with this series. On the one hand, I really want to see what happens to the main story arc of the series. Then on the other, the books are just not gripping enough to sustain my interest. Even with the ending, it didn’t really leave me wanting for more. I’ll see what happens.

 

Book Date Monday

its-monday-what-are-you-reading

It’s been awhile since I did a Book Date Monday, so here are I am to remedy that problem. Let’s get right into it.

Last Week

The Lost City of Fortunes

I’ve been reading this book since the beginning of May, but wasn’t able to finish it before the Disney Readathon, so technically I had to put this aside and start reading my first book for the readathon.

Currently Reading: 

magnus-chase-2

This is my first book for the Disney Readathon that I’m participating in, if you want to see my TBR please click here. Anyways, The Hammer of Thorn is the second book in the Magnus Chase trilogy. It’s ok so far. I haven’t gotten far into in for me to enjoy it.

Upcoming Read: 

I’m debating between the two books. I’ll have to see how I’m feeling to see which one I would prefer.

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So that’s a quick way to update everyone one what I’m reading and thinking of reading next. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get to all these books this week.

Top 5 Urban Fantasy

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Fantasy is one of my favorite genre besides mystery and science fiction. Here are my 5 favorite urban fantasy novels and graphic novels. I realize that I actually read more middle grade urban fantasy compared to YA or adult novels.

lumberjanes11. Lumberjanes

I’ve been reading these volumes since 2016 and it is one of the few graphic novels that I actually enjoy. Not only are they great for children to read, but I’m pretty sure there are also a large number of adult fans out there as well.

2. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

I actually enjoy all of the novels that I’ve read that Riordan has written, but I’m including this one on this list because this is the first book that introduced me to his writing styles. I still need to get my hands on the Kane Chronicles and The Trials of Apollo, but I’ll eventually get to those.

3. Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

Technically, I haven’t finished this series because it’s been awhile since I picked up the books. I’m not sure if I will try to finish it, but they are really great reads. A bit on the erotic side for my taste, but the writing is pretty well done and the characters are also well written.

4. Secret Series by Pseudonymous Boschthe name of this book is secret

I read these books so long ago and I really enjoyed them at the time. I don’t really think it’s a series for adults, but it’s really great for its intended target. There’s adventure, magic and mystery so what more could you want.

5. Jackaby by William Ritter

This is a new series for me but I’m definitely enjoying it very much. This is mystery, fantasy, historical fiction and paranormal all rolled into one. I’m fond of all the characters that Ritter has written and I also enjoy the different fantastical creatures that he uses in the book. Definitely a must check out series.