6 Mini-Reviews | I’m Back . . . For Now

  1. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Amazon|TBD

Rating: 4 out 5

This is one that was immediately on my TBR after reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and having it be an instant 5 stars. I was fortunate enough to receive this book for Christmas. And while I enjoyed it, it definitely didn’t strike me like Evelyn Hugo did.

Overall, the book was less impactful, but still entertaining. Maybe I’m just tired of the cliche, “rockstar life” stories.

2. Handbook for Martals by Lani Sarem

Rating: 1 out of 5

Jesus Christ.

This book is bad. I mostly wanted to read it, because I did a pretty intensive study in university on the literary market, and this book came up a lot. It’s as bad as everyone says, and people just need to stay away.

Grammar is terrible, and it reads like she wrote it in one sitting nursing a bottle of Diet Pepsi.

Don’t even read this for fun, kids.

3. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Amazon | TBD

Rating: 2 out of 5

Guys, I try and try with Bardugo. But I just can’t anymore.

I had such high hopes for Ninth House, but it honestly just came off as a fan fiction of Beetlejuice. Bardugo tries to be edgy, but ultimately fails, trying too hard to be relatable and get the shock factor out of her reader.

And yes, the trigger warnings of rape and human feces are real, and they are very strange and unnecessary, in my opinion.

Spoiler AlertIs the main character getting raped by a ghost entirely necessary? Come on.

4. The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Amazon | TBD

Rating: 3 out of 5

I don’t have much to say about this one. I felt it was, overall, a very generic mystery/thriller. It was played very safe. I didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t anything new.

5. Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Amazon | TBD

Rating 3 out of 5

I was really looking forward to this one, and the beginning was very promising. But, this book just took me forever to finish. I feel like I’m not that unfamiliar with large books, and this is definitely one, at over 700 pages. While they typically take longer to read on a normal reading schedule, if it’s good, it really shouldn’t take too much longer.

This book took me, like, two months.

By the end, it just got very very odd beyond explanation. Like he was already 500 pages deep and was like “shit, I have to think of something twisty.”

The writing, overall, was very good. The story was just missing some seasoning.

6. Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Olseman

Amazon | TBD

Rating: 5 out of 5

This was the second thing I’ve read by Olseman, and boy does she not disappoint.

You can check out my review of Radio Silence, but spoiler, I freaking loved it. Heartstopper was no exception. While this is a different format (a graphic novel), it definitely doesn’t disappoint.

An amazing LGBTQ friendly story that is basically designed to make you smile. I’m very excited to read more of the series.


Update

So, it sure has been awhile!

Two semesters ago, I got really really swamped with school, as well as this semester. And the transition with everything happening in COVID-19 hasn’t helped.

I can’t promise posting will be a regular thing, as I am finishing up my degree But overall I am fine. Everyone around me, thankfully, is fine.

Right now, I’m sending my best wishes out to all of you guys.

I thank you so much for constant support.

Daniel


What’s been keeping you sane during lockdown?

SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo (Review)

IMG_2323
I wonder if this is just going to slowly start turning into me posting pictures of the places I eat breakfast… (just kidding, but if you want that let me know).

480 Pages

Odds are, you’re already familiar with this book.

This is one of those books that has been on my TBR list since it came out in 2015. I remember the buzz that surrounded it, and I think I wanted to let all of it settle down a little before I took my hand at it since I wasn’t already a fan of the author or hadn’t read any of her work yet.  But, at the beginning of this school year, one of my friends let me borrow it and when the whole year went by without me touching it, I knew I would have to give it back soon, so I decided to go ahead and give it a go.

Because of a lot of the names and elements I do not want to get wrong, I am going to copy and past the synopsis from Amazon:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price―and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction―if they don’t kill each other first.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo returns to the breathtaking world of the Grishaverse in this unforgettable tale about the opportunity―and the adventure―of a lifetime.

Basic Thoughts

I think it is always slightly overwhelming to start a new YA read of this genre – a dystopian, speculative fiction type of world. The main reason being that you’re going to have to learn the meaning to knew words and terms that aren’t usually in the English vocabulary, but instead look like the author just smashed his or her face against the keyboard and where like “Yup, that’s our protagonists name – Zord Zovlfd (< see I just did it…pronounced Zord Zove-l-fed).

But, when done well, this can be one of the most amazing genres fiction has to offer.

Did Six of Crows manage to do this?

Overview

I think I’m going to stray away from the pros and cons list on this one.

In the beginning, not familiar with the Grisha series, I was extremely overwhelmed with new terms, as about 20 are thrown at you within the first quarter of the book. But, about half-way through, I felt I was comfortable enough to have a conversation about what was going on with the friend who had let me borrow it.

Is this book something I’ve never seen before? In short – no.

In my opinion, this is a very stereotypical YA book.

Did I enjoy reading this book? In short (again) – yes.

The reason that YA themes are so repetitive among works is because they’re entertaining and they sell. Does this book have a lot of the tropes that come with YA fiction? Abso-freakin-lutly. I was even able to guess the main character’s love interest within the first 50 pages (though it may have been intentional haha). But, what this book and many other YA books behind it do well is keep me (and many other people, for that matter) entertained.

I loved (most) of the characters, which were all super likable and interesting (especially Kaz and Wylan). The story was interesting. The world was pretty cool. And, while I don’t feel I received the most of what the world built had to offer, I’m going to give Bardugo the benfit of the doubt and say that the Grisha series and this duology combined would offer me a lot more of it.

One thing, that I have to say, is I do feel like this book was a little short, despite its nearly 500 pages, I almost wonder if the second book would have been just fine combined with this one, but, we’ll see.

In short, while this book is definitely not one-of-a-kind in most things, it did keep me very much entertained.

Final Rating:

Characters: 4.0 / 5.0

Action/Dialogue: 4.0 / 5.0

Overall Story: 3.0 / 5.0

FINAL RATING: 3.5  (3.667)

Final Thoughts:

I decided to round down on this one to a 3.5 for reasons that, while I enjoyed this book, a year or two down the road I’m, more than likely, not going to remember or care a lot about it (don’t worry, on GR I’ll mark it as a 4). I’m not itching to pick up the second one; I’m not starving for the movie. But, neither do I think that this book is garbage.

In the end, I’m glad I finally was able to read this one. I can not deny that this book did keep me entertained, and I did enjoy my time reading it. But, am I ordering the second book, rush-delivery? No.

You can buy it here.

Best,

Daniel