The Bookshelf Corner

A creative space for all things books and writing….


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Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: The Folk of the Air, book 1
Rating: DNF
Recommend to Others?: No

 

Summary (via Goodreads):
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

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My Review:
DNF at Chapter 15, Page 142. No Rating.

My thoughts from a previous post: I’m no stranger to Holly Black’s books and writing. At first I wasn’t sure if I would like this book – I didn’t think it was the right story for me at the time or at all. But Black does all things fae well so maybe it could turn out to be a good read. I’d like to give it a try.

I couldn’t find it in me to keep reading. I didn’t want to keep reading.

The title is an understatement. I couldn’t take the extreme bullying Jude was receiving from Cardan and his friends. It was all too much.

Jude was an okay character. Willful but reckless. I wouldn’t completely agree that she’s a glutton for punishment by provoking Cardan so much but I’m also glad she refuses to lower herself to being a doormat. Because she’s human, the only logical way for her to succeed in her desires would be to outsmart her adversaries and be mindful of words and favors. But it’s a mystery how she’ll overcome overcome; right now she’s angry and desperate to not feel powerless anymore. She also seems to be heading towards a dark path, one that might cause her to stoop to the same cruel level as Cardan. And I don’t think, and it seems she’s starting to see a bit, that she’s really thought through all her choices and decisions.

There were very few bright moments up to where I stopped. Vivi (Jude’s older sister) was the only character I actually liked. Taryn (Jude’s twin sister) I did not care for. Madoc (Jude’s “father”) was more terrifying than unlikable (based on his thoughts about the state of affairs in Elfhame). And Cardan is cruel to a T. Locke (who’s in Cardan’s circle) I don’t trust at all and suspect he’s up to something of his own.

There wasn’t enough to keep me interested, not enough good to cling to in the dark, wicked, beautiful world of this book. And with the impending change of rulers it seems the tone will be gloomy for quite a while. Objectively, I’m indifferent about this book. I can’t say if it’s actually a good or bad book unless I read the whole thing. But I don’t see myself finishing it in the future.


If you’ve read this book already, I’d love to know your thoughts about it. Let me know what you thought in the comment section below.

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Quote of the Day: The Object of Fiction…

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Summer Reading 2018 List!

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A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers

Black Butler (Volumes 23-25)

Fruits Basket (Volume 17 to end)

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen, book 2)

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

Star In The Morning by Lynn Kurland (A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms, book 1) (2nd Read)

With Every Breath by Lynn Kurland (MacLeod, book 7) (2nd Read)

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (The Books of Bayern, book 1) (2nd Read)


These are all the books I would like to get through this summer. However, I’m not gonna push myself to finish this entire list because I know I most likely won’t have the time. I’ve changed this list so many times but this final version seems right for the summer. I’m excited and curious about the possibilities of the stories here. Whatever happens I’ll get through them all eventually.

What books are on your summer reading list this year?


As Always, Happy Reading!


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Mid-Year Look-Back: Top 5 Favorite Books of 2018 (so far)

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2018 has been an exciting year for books for me. There have been surprisingly fantastic reads, reads that made me feel the feels and swoon, and some I didn’t expect to be disappointments. But it’s still been a good reading year.

I’ve managed to read 64 books so far and surpass my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal earlier than last year.

I recently posted my 100th book review to this blog, which was amazing.

I read books by 19 new authors that I haven’t read from before.

Obsessively read 39 volumes of manga (and probably consumed equally as much anime).

But the best thing has been being able to share this crazy passion for books with all of you and in turn discovering new books/authors from you. So thank you thank you to you lovely people. May your book hunting and reading be ever more fortuitous. 🙂

Here are my favorite books of 2018 so far (titles lead to my reviews):

Black Butler by Yana Toboso, Translated by Tomo Kimura (Volumes 1-22)

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce (2nd Read)

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen (ARC review)

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven


How are you all doing on your TBR lists? What are your favorite books that you’ve read so far this year?

As Always, Happy Reading!!!



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Book Review: Treasured by Thursday by Catherine Bybee

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: The Weekday Brides, book 7
Rating: 3 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

Summary (via Goodreads):
The seventh and final tale in the dazzling, heartwarming, pulse-racing Weekday Brides series.

Gabriella Masini: She’s a woman haunted by her past, with the scars to prove it. She believes that fairy tales are for other people. An elite matchmaker at Alliance, she’s great at crunching numbers, but something doesn’t add up with her latest prospective client: a billionaire bad boy with his own secrets. When Gabi refuses to be his temporary wife, Hunter forces her hand with an offer she can’t refuse. But marriage to a man like that could never last…or could it?

Hunter Blackwell: Only his bank account is bigger than his ruthless ability to obtain anything he wants. These days, he has a secret reason to settle down, at least for a while—and he thinks the sensual and sassy Gabi will fit the bill perfectly. But when their marriage of convenience becomes downright dangerous, Hunter must decide how far to take his vow to honor and protect Gabi forever.

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My Review:
Not what I was expecting, kind of disappointed, but still want to read more of Catherine Bybee’s books.

I think I would have liked this book more if Hunter wasn’t such a jerk (the nicest term that can be used) and if the relationship that develops between him and Gabi wasn’t so implausible.

Hunter is a self-made billionaire and ruthless businessman. If he wants something, he gets it by any means, even if those means destroy others. Most of his demons he solves with money. But his current secret requires a temporary wife, Gabi, whom he blackmails. As he gets to know her, discovers more of her secrets, and his attraction for her increases, he softens more and more into a “decent” guy and soon he’s doing everything to “protect” Gabi from danger he, for the most part, caused/set in motion. Even after learning all of Hunter’s secrets and understanding how he got to where he was, I still find it hard to trust and like him as a character.

The relationship is too one-sided with Hunter holding all the cards and Gabi trying to stay afloat as the demons of her past resurface. She’s survived so much and deserves a HEA; I’m just not sure if Hunter’s the guy. She hates him at first – and rightly so – but is also attracted to him. She slowly begins to like him as she begins to see the real mean beneath the billionaire playboy and does her best (albeit reluctantly at first) to make this temporary marriage work (find some peace they can both live with for the duration of the contract). This is why it feels so one-sided. As their feelings for each other become more real, Gabi seems to put in more than Hunter. I do respect Hunter for giving her space in the beginning after he learns the kind of relationship she last left behind. But by the end of the story, I’m still not sure about their relationship.

I think the conflict of the story is really good. It was a slow tease at first and then slowly inclined into greater detail. But the conflict didn’t really take shape until closer to the end. A good way to weave in the conflict. Yet, at least for me, the whole business with Hunter really overshadowed the impact of the conflict.

I really like Gabi. When she’s comfortable and in her element her character shines really bright. I just wish she had more chances to shine and grow. I also think it was a bit of a disservice making her too much a damsel in distress but I get it comes from a place of love. Her family and friends really care about her and will do anything to protect and support her after all she’s been through. And sometimes that’s what you need to really pull yourself out of the dark hole life has left you in.

This was a difficult review to write. I think Hunter’s character ruined the story for me but I still had a decent reading experience and finished the book in under two days. I still want to read more of Bybee’s books because the story and writing is good and keeps me interested from start to finish.


My Reviews of Catherine Bybee’s Books:
Not Quite Mine (Not Quite, book 2)
Taken by Tuesday (The Weekday Brides, book 5)

 


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Happy Book Release Day! to How We Roll by Natasha Friend

Thank you again to NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for providing me with an e-ARC to read and review.

*title/author link leads to my review of How We Roll*


Image via NetGalley

How We Roll by Natasha Friend

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating:  4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

Summary (via NetGalley):
Quinn is a teen who loves her family, skateboarding, basketball, and her friends, but after she’s diagnosed with a condition called alopecia which causes her to lose all of her hair, her friends abandon her. Jake was once a star football player, but because of a freak accident—caused by his brother—he loses both of his legs. Quinn and Jake meet and find the confidence to believe in themselves again, and maybe even love.


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Book Review: Taken by Tuesday by Catherine Bybee

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: The Weekday Brides, book 5
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

Summary (via Goodreads):
He’ll do anything to keep her safe…for the rest of their lives.

Judy Gardner: College graduate Judy stands ready to conquer the world…if she can get a job. Hoping to transition from aspiring architect to famous architect as quickly as possible, the dark-haired beauty moves to LA, staying in the home of her celebrity brother, Michael Wolfe. But it’s hard for Judy to focus on work when the sexy bodyguard she fell for last summer keeps showing up in her life and leaving her breathless.

Rick Evans: With his hard body, green eyes, and easy smile, Rick could have any woman he wants. But the Marine-turned- bodyguard only has eyes for Judy and her spitfire attitude. When a faceless villain attacks Judy, Rick will stop at nothing to protect the woman who opened his heart from the monster hunting her.

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My Review:
I really enjoyed reading this book. I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t want to put in down and finished it in under two days. Taken by Tuesday was just a sweet tale and interesting mystery inter-playing with each other.

I love Judy’s strength and persistence. She’s independent and relies on herself to make her dreams come true. Rick is very persistent in pursuing Judy, an alpha male to a T. He’s a good, honest man and very swoon-worthy. Judy and Rick are very attracted to each other (which started before the book began) but Judy wants a career first. She just graduated college feels pursing her long-time crush now would derail those plans.

In terms of fictional couples, Judy and Rick’s has the craziest beginnings of a relationship that didn’t seem nor was there any time to really explore what could be. Then threat to Judy becomes a major interruption. But against all odds the relationship is still able to find a way to develop.

Finding the culprit was an interesting mystery that gets complicated as the story goes on. I wasn’t sure who the bad guy was until right before the characters found out. I totally forgot the whole bride aspect of this series until it was brought up in the book and it was shocking yet impressive with how it’s inserted in this book. The climatic scene was slightly anti-climatic, but the story still ended well enough.

This is only the second book I’ve read of Bybee’s and I’m now a huge fan of her writing. This book was so good.  I loved the story and the family ties that bind everyone. Taken by Tuesday is a nice light, attention-grabbing, contemporary romance.