Nemesis.

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Hello, my fellow bookworms!!!

After massive procrastination in an effort to NOT finish the book and have to wait until the next one, I finally forced myself to finish the Nemesis ARC provided to me by the wonderful, fabulous and talented Kat Ross. Yes, I know. It might not make sense to you but it is what it is. I loved it so much I didn’t want it to end.

There is SO much I want to say about this book, but given that it is not out yet and I hate spoilers, I am going to keep all those thoughts to myself except for this:

When can we expect the next book…?

oh, and

WHAT. IN. THE. HELL. WAS. THAT. ENDING?!

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Throne of Glass Series.

 

1537126960687Hello everyone! I hope this entry finds you all well. If you are wondering where I have been and why I have been so quiet, this is the reason why. I have spent every spare moment of the last 6 weeks down the rabbit hole that is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas.

The final book, Kingdom of Ash [KOA] is not due out until 10.23 and Lord knows I can’t wait to get my hands on it, I’ve already pre-ordered and everything, which isn’t something I am known for. I am known for waiting for the books to go on sale and then purchasing them or borrowing them from my local library.

There is so much I want to tell you all about this book, so much I want to say about Caelena, Dorian, Chaol, Aelin & the rest of the crew but I cant. Not without giving way too much away and I don’t want to do that. All I can and will say is this, I am not a fan of long series, 3-4 books is the most I can do. Don’t believe me? Check out my Goodreads page and you will see that the ONLY series that has more than 3-4 books to ever keep my interest until the end has been Harry Potter. Outlander lost me halfway through book 5. My attention span is tragic and I always figure out the plot twist and how it’ll end but for this story, that was not the case. What is more, by Empire of Storms, Mrs. Maas had me in tears. I connected with these characters like I haven’t connected with any in years, their victories were my victories, their failures my failures and when they lost one of their own, I mourned with them. I love this series and it has just joined Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, Slains & The Queen of Tearling on my favorites shelf.

I finished Tower of Dawn [TOD] last night and I have so so many questions. The fact that KOA will be nearly 1,000 pages just gives me hope that ALL of those questions will be answered and if I have to mourn any of my favorite characters at the end, I think I will riot!

Ah!!! So much I want to say, but I guess I will wait until after I read KOA to then put all of my questions and thoughts down because I am hoping that someone will read this and get curious enough to go read the series and I really don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. It really is the type of story that you have to experience fully from beginning to end.

I have to go now and try to read something that will help me recover from the emotional beat down that EOS & TOD gave me this last couple of weeks. God knows I tried to drag out TOD in hopes of finishing it just in time for KOA but I simply couldn’t do that. I had to read. I had to know. I needed more. I still do!

Til next book!

Love,

-N

Dear Stephenie Meyer…

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You don’t know me, but I feel like I know you. You are the woman who wrote the series who can get me out of each and every reading rut. You are the author of a world I’ve visited so many times and yet can’t get tired of visiting again and again. You created a story that was very personal to me because, without the vampire & the werewolf, it was very close to my story and I could relate.
At that moment, I was struggling to reconcile the person I was with who I was becoming, and 2 different people I loved very dearly but one represented the past and the other the future, and I struggled with letting go.

I know you got a lot of crap from people who aren’t fans and didn’t love or understand the story. I know you heard how whinny & weak Bella was and how manipulative & controlling Edward could be, but I never saw the story that way. I saw 2 people in love who did all they possibly could for love. I saw a family that was always there for each other.
As I am sure you can already tell, I am not one of those hateful people.

I loved Jacob, but I always knew he never stood a chance, and my heart broke for him every time because I knew what making that choice felt like. To this day, when I wonder if I made the right choice, if I should’ve gone right instead of left, when I am missing him, I pick up Eclipse. It is my favorite book in the series and it reminds me of why I made the choices I did, and I don’t regret them, sometimes life just makes you question everything you think you know.
I love Jasper & Alice together as a couple and separately as well, but mostly I just loved Jasper. Jasper loved Alice, but he also loved his family and he wasn’t above doing whatever it took to protect them, he struggled so much and yet he was always kind to Bella. Despite all the fantasy and fiction, you created characters that people loved and related to, had you not, the series would not have been as successful as it was.

I am here because while you have already given us, your readers so much with the Twilight series & your other books, which I will admit to own but not read yet [so many books, so little time] and I know that you don’t owe your fans anything, I am still asking you to please finish Midnight Sun. Please!

Actually, I have a few stories I would love to request, starting with Jacob & Renesmee followed by Jasper & Alice and Sam & Emily, but I have read what little there is of Midnight Sun so many times, and the story is so much more telling from his point of view, and if you could just bring yourself to, at the very least, finish that one book for us, we would all be thrilled.
In a perfect world, you would tell us the entire story from Edward’s point of view, because I know that many of us are wondering a lot of things, like where Edward was and what he was doing during his absence in New Moon, in detail not just vaguely, but I am not picky. I will ask from the bottom of my heart and as sincerely and politely as I possibly can and then I will pray and hope and settle for whatever I can get.

I hope that you will at least think about it, because while I understand all of the reasons why you no longer want to write more on Forks and the Cullens, I believe Edward has much to tell us fans about his side of things, and we are all looking forward to reading it and hopefully, about what they have been up to over the last 10+ years.

Love,

-N

The problem with the Garrett Girls.

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They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. For me, that is exactly what went wrong with this book.

This is the blog entry I did not want to write and yet felt I had to. While I feel like my huge disappointment in this book is likely a personal problem and not entirely a reflection of the book itself, I also know I am not alone in my complaints.
I have not read anything by this author before, so I don’t know what she usually writes. I did, however, do my research after the fact and I noticed a pattern in the complaints.
Mrs. Spotswood’s writing was not the problem, nor does it seem to be the problem in any of her books, judging by a lot of the reviews I came across, the story was the problem and I will say this, though it hurts my heart to say it, the book was a huge missed opportunity.

I stumbled upon the Garrett Girls on Netgalley and was immediately interested, so I put in my request and was declined. I did not let that deter me though, in hindsight, I probably should have. I was dying to get my hands on this book, it was just screaming my name. I knew without a doubt that it would be a great YA book as it seemed to have a little of everything and so when I saw a copy at my local Barnes & Nobles, I knew it had to come home with me.

I really wish, it hadn’t.

For those of you who don’t know, the Garrett Girls is a YA book about 4 orphan sisters raised by their grandmother, 4 sisters who could not be more different, all in a different stage in life.
Des, is the oldest at 19, she’s the responsible yet naive one who graduated high school and stayed home to help Grams with the house, the business, and her sisters.
Bea is 18, fresh out of high school & college-bound, off to follow her dreams and work towards all the goals that her and her longtime boyfriend Eric, have set in place over the last 5 years, all goals and dreams she no longer thinks she wants.
Kat, is 17, a drama major, both in life and in school, she can be a little bitchy, selfish and immature but when it counts, she can step up and prove that she really does have a heart of gold.
And last but not least, Vi.
Vi is 15, she is a loud and proud lesbian who marches to the beat of her own drum and comes off as the most secure person on the planet even though inside she feels awkward and insecure, like most 15 yr olds. Vi is loving and considerate and the least selfish person in this book, which is very common with the youngest sibling, from my experience. And here folks, you have what should have been the premise for a fantastic coming of age, YA story about 4 sisters discovering who they are, who they want to be and how to face the struggles that life gives us all along the way.

This book had SO much potential. I know because I was actually interested in the characters enough that I was able to finish the book, but I feel like the situations, actions, and reactions, as well as the endless pop culture references, all felt forced. Almost like she had a certain number of clichés and references that she was required to hit by the end of the book.
In this book, you have a small town where everyone is just so welcoming and accepting, where all of the business owners seem to be females over the age of 50 [assuming the ages, since every business owner was someone’s grandmother] and when you need something that isn’t available locally, you, of course, drive 2 hours to a “small female-owned business” to support it, the owner of this business is, of course, a lesbian. You have a handful of not very manly men in this town that leave little to no impression in the story, one of which is bisexual and the other a photography nerd with 2 mothers. You also have the insecure player who needs to get around and last but not least, the perfect boyfriend. You have Vi, who is, our main lesbian character and her crush, Cece, the next door neighbor who may or may not be bisexual herself, and whose grandmother is a Hispanic Catholic who may be potentially homophobic.
You have a collection of references to things like Harry Potter, The 100 & Riverdale, the women’s march and a “Hillary Clinton-esque” pantsuit [because it can’t just be a pantsuit] along with a lot of overly stated feminist phrases like “We don’t need a man to change a lightbulb” and the difference between sex and gender… and none of these things, separately, are an issue, but when you take those details and add 4 different characters’ POV to a novel that is less than 400 pages, it was just too much and enough time to move the story along or properly develop of the characters. The story felt slow and forced while the romances felt rushed. The ending directly contradicts the title, which does not make sense to me, but at this point, it’s such a petty thing to focus on when the story itself has so many unresolved issues.

Mrs. Spotswood had a collection of diverse characters and yet she failed to give them a real voice. They felt predictable and one dimensional. The story never had any real conflict and the apologies [for the little conflict there was] were just way over the top.
I feel like she tried extremely hard to create a sort of LGBTQ+/Feminist utopia that just fell short. I kept reading in hopes of it turning around and getting better but in the end, there is only so much you can do with just a little over 350 pages. Sadly, this book will not age well.
I do agree with Vi, the gay community does not have enough representation in the world, books about gay characters are not exactly overwhelmingly present in the market and to write this book, and not fulfill its potential was nothing short of a tragedy.

Til the next book!

Love,

-N

Dear Simone…

 

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I love you & I have loved you for about 8 years now. I have read just about everything you have written and the Fuentes brothers are at the very top of my book boyfriend dreams.
I was so excited about this new book, you had not given us anything in a few years and I had already decided that Ryan Hess would end up at the very top of that list after Carlos, Alex & Luis [very much in that order, too] and so, after a very long week in Florida in the middle of the month from hell, I came home to Crossing the Line because I just knew your book was just what I needed to lift my spirits up…

And BOY! Was I wrong! I could not have been more wrong, had I wanted to be.

After I finished the book last night, I took to Goodreads to look over the reviews, something I had not even considered doing before I ran out and purchased the book, I mean, you wrote it, I did not even consider the misery that I would find at the end, it never even crossed my mind that you would write something that would make me want to bang my head on a wall and cry for a week.

Simone, sweetheart, WHAT are you doing to me?! Way to kick me while I am down.

Yes, I know, that is real life. Kids grow up and realize their parents aren’t who they thought they were, or wish they were, and yes, in some cases, step-parents are straight out of a Grimm Brothers’ novel. I was fine with all of that. Really, I was.
I was even perfectly fine with how quickly these two fell in love and how quickly it all came together between them with little to no conflict and everything just sort of worked itself out. I was even fine with the Spanish grammatical errors [many Spanish words change by male/female so Loca, female. Loco, male. so on and so forth. I’m here if you need a little help with that next time.] what I was NOT fine with, what I can’t and I mean CAN’T forgive, what I will never get over, is that ending.
You knocked the wind out of me with that. It was really unexpected and what is worse, I am not the only unhappy person who was blindsided by the absolute and sheer madness of that ending.
Why did you do it?
Do you hate us?
Is life not miserable enough as it is, that you just had to throw that in there to really twist the knife in…???
WHY?! That is all I need to know, WHY?!
Why couldn’t we get that happy ending that we all have come to know and love from you?
Where is my happily ever after?
Why did you do this to me?!

For so long your books have been something that I have picked up time and again as a means to remind myself that while life sucks, things always get better, nothing is set in stone and everything can change. This is not that book. This is not the book that I will ever pick up unless I want to purposely give myself a good cry. This book will not sit on my favorites shelf with the Perfect Chemistry and the Paradise series, it just won’t. This book will join the shelf of The Notebook & A Walk to Remember, for when life is stressful and you need a good cry to let it all out.

I hate to say it, I hate to do this, I really do but I  really don’t think I can recover from this betrayal.

With love & respect,

-N

A little disappointed in myself.

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I consider myself to be one of the least judgemental people on the planet. I love and listen and respect.
I love to be open-minded and try to see everything from all angles, to really understand the situation, and if it was anyone else, I would have a million logical reasons for why it’s perfectly understandable that their reading goal isn’t everything they hoped it would be and more, but it is not anyone else, it’s me, and I am my own worse enemy and my harshest judge.

It’s funny, how much can change in just a few short weeks.

Just last June 18th I was celebrating on an Instagram post the fact that not only had I added 10 more books to my original reading challenge goal, but I was also 5 books ahead of my schedule. I was so proud of myself! This was going to be the year I read more than 30-40 books, but most importantly, they would all be new books to me, not re-reads.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with re-reading old favorites, I do it all the time, I have a list of books that I read at least once a year, for example, anything Francine Rivers, but not this year, this year I am not working, I have more free time and I wanted to focus more on my reading and discover new books, new authors and I got off to a good start, as you can see by the attached picture and then I could not help myself, I picked up The Last Sin Eater because I felt myself missing the characters, but then I read 2 new books by 2 authors I had not read before so that wasn’t so bad, until I felt myself missing the world of Twilight, missing Edward & Bella and their crazy story, and yes I know, its no one’s favorite book, at least not one they admit to but I love it! I love Jasper & Alice and all the rest of the Cullens [Well, maybe not Rose] and I am still patiently waiting for Stephenie Meyers to finish Midnight Sun and give me all the rest of the books from Edward’s point of view [go ahead, call me crazy, I realize it will never happen but my hopes and dreams are all I have in life] but I only read Twilight & Eclipse so I didn’t feel too terrible about the fact that I had once again picked up an old favorite, and then I picked up The Fill-In boyfriend, which is another re-read but I had more new books than old and so I decided not to be so hard on myself…

But life has a way of kicking your legs out from under you, and when surprise turned to tragedy in the span of 3.5 short weeks, not only did I not pick up a book for over a month but I also lost most of the headway I had piled up and here I am, having just  finished another old favorite, The Summer I Turned Pretty, which is, of course, a trilogy.
Realistically and from a logical standpoint, I know I have every reason in the world to fall apart, mourn, feel a little sorry for myself and not really want to read, no one would blame me for it, if they fully understood all the details, but you see the thing is, I expected more from myself, and so all I can see is that I let myself down, that I fell behind and that I have 7 re-reads when I should’ve had none. I went down the rabbit hole that is my brain and let it all spiral out of control, when really I should’ve lost myself to the comfort of books and just allowed them to serve as a distraction from the madness and the heartbreak, but I just couldn’t concentrate, and I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, its just a Goodreads challenge that I chose to impose on myself and if I don’t reach it to my satisfaction, there is always next year. I just really wanted to do this for myself this year, but it’s not exactly the end of the world… so why am I so disappointed in myself?

Because I enjoy being hard on myself, I am a masochist. That is why.

I am going to shut up now, stop the pity party and pick up a book which is what I should have been doing all along, but sometimes you have to get the self-pity thoughts out of your head before you can really move on.
Thanks for listening!

Love,

-N

Bellewether

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Susanna Kearsley’s books are magic.
I have loved her stories since I stumbled upon The Winter Sea in 2014 and I have gone out of my way to purchase everything ever since.
I chose this cover picture because this is the cover I wish I could purchase here in the states but since I can’t, I will settle for making it the entry pic of this blog.

This book was everything I thought it would be and more, Susanna has what I consider to be a rare talent for writing intricate stories, this one from multiple points of view, often set in the past and the present and they flow so incredibly well, they move forward together without really missing a beat. Sometimes, authors attempt to do that and they somehow don’t get it quite right, but for me, she always does.
Much like The Winter Sea, I have learned a little bit about The Seven Year War, the hardships that people faced in those times, during the battle, the difficulties some people faced simply because they spoke French. The hatred between the continents involved.  I love history, and Susanna always gives me just enough of something new to leave me wanting more, which then sends me on research mode. I will be learning more about this war and how it affected life here in the states for the British subjects as well as those in Canada and the West Indies.

In the Bellewether, we get the story of Charlotte, as she works to create the Wilde Family museum intertwined with Lydia & Jean-Philippe and the true story of how they met and how their relationship, as well as Jean-Philippe’s relationship with the Wilde family,  progressed and grew. It is a story of love, forgiveness and what happens when you get the know people before you judge them. I am hoping to see more of the Wilde family in the future, but if not, more of Charlotte would be more than welcomed!

Til next time!

Love,

-N

Dear Kat Ross…

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Before I launch into my thoughts, first let me say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for the ARC. I appreciate you so much but…

Sweetheart, what are you doing to me?

This is the book that I could not wait to finish and yet did not want to finish. I wanted to know how it ended and yet I did not want it to end.

I so did not see that end coming.
Of course, it makes sense, and I should have seen it coming, especially after that scene with Meb, but I have to say that I was so caught up in the story that the thought never crossed my mind.

I have so many questions. Too many, really, but only a few that matters right now.
What is happening to Victor and can you fix him, urgently?
Where is Delilah?
Am I ever going to see any of the characters from the original trilogy? I miss them. I want to know what they are up to, especially Tijah & Acheameanes, and they were powerful badass characters in their own right, so if we could see them, soon,  I would be thrilled.
And yes, I realize I made that request after I reviewed both of the previous books, but if you never ask…

I am not going to lie, I am a little miffed that Thena & the stupid Pithia are still alive, I hate them. I don’t hate Nico, and maybe I should, but I definitely hate them. I firmly believe good things come to those who wait and so wait I shall. Nazafareen & Darius have never let me down, and they won’t start now. Though to be quite honest, dead is dead, so at this point, you could have Galen kill them and I would be beyond ecstatic.

I anxiously await your next book, with a desperate need for answers.

Love,

-N

 

***Note***

To my fellow bookworms,

If you enjoy a well-told sci-fi/fantasy story I suggest you check out Kat Ross’ book. The original trilogy where we first meet Darius and Nazafareen is The Fourth Element series and you can find book 1, The Midnight Sea for free on Amazon or you can get the Kindle box set of the trilogy for $3.99!!!

Love, Life & the list

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I read YA books.
I love YA books.
I feel no shame about it.
Not now. Now ever.
YA books are typically well written,  feel-good stories that make you feel the love.
Sometimes we need to feel the love.
It’s also helpful to have already read the books when your kids show interest. Wouldnt want them to read something that isn’t exactly age appropriate. They are growing up too quickly as it is, don’t need to rush the process.

What I love about Mrs. West’s books is that she always gives me a fun easy read that doesn’t feel like it was written by a 5 yr old, like some other books feel. She creates likable characters, who feel real and relatable. This book also gives the reader a reminder that we need to step out of our comfort zone once in a while. Try new things, get to know people, listen to their stories, face our fears, to be open and honest with ourselves & those around us. It helps us learn and grow into better people. The world could always use better people.

I really enjoyed this book. I can’t wait to get into her new release Listen to your Heart.

Til next time!

Love,
-N

The silver lining.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hey, bookworms!
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been around these parts, between the end of the year school activities, family get-together and life in general, I have not had too much time to read, let alone put enough thoughts together to write about something.

What I have made time for is to follow the F.H./Cocky madness over the last month.
Yes, I am referring to it as madness and will continue to do so, because I honestly feel this is just that, out of control madness, but I am not here to talk about who did what and who was out of line. We all know that story and know it well. I am here to talk about the silver lining in this ugly mess.

I am a reader. I am a reader who appreciates authors and their hard work. I have the utmost respect for them and I always do all I can to support them. I can’t imagine it’s easy, writing a book, putting your ideas out there for the whole world to judge, smiling when you get a good review and still holding your head up when someone absolutely hates your story. I really do have great respect for every one of you who is able to do that day in and day out. My interest in this debacle has been out of concern for all the authors involved and for the readers who will be affected by the terrifying precedent this TM sets. It really is a case of right and wrong.

What has been truly amazing to witness over the last month, has been the outpour of love, support, and friendship from the community. It has not mattered how big the author is, how much money they make, how many books they have published or whether or not a reader is a fan of any of the authors affected or a fan of that specific genre. I have watched a community come together, to talk, to listen, to support, to encourage, to offer assistance whether that assistance is services rendered, financial support or fund-raising, it has not mattered. People have stepped up, they’ve helped, they’ve been there for each other.

I am an open-minded person and I am always willing to look at every situation from every possible angle. You have to be willing and able to look at things from someone else’s point of view to truly understand what they are doing and where they are coming from. I tried and failed to do that with FH and to be quite honest, the more I got to know this community of authors and readers, the more I struggled to understand, but for all her flaws and faults and selfish actions, I want to thank her for this gift, because I have to admit that it has been a gift and without her overreaching trademark and her choice to dig in her heels, I would not have met such great people, I would not have seen so much selflessness and what this community is capable of when one of their own is down.

Please do not misunderstand me, I do not agree with a single word or action that has taken place. I do not agree with the choice to TM a single, everyday adjective and I firmly believe this whole thing could have and should have been handled differently, but I will take my blessing where I can get them. I will look for the helpers. I will look for the demonstrations of love. The silver lining. And I will take to heart that no matter what happens with the legal aspects of this TM, that rainbow, that ray of sunshine is the love and support that I have witnessed, the people that have come together to make sure that no one feels alone and left behind and that to me is huge. I am so grateful for that. So in awe of this community and so thrilled to have found even more amazing authors to support. Thank you!

Love,

-N