Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Book Review: Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Okay, I need to quit with the Wonderland themed books because they are getting worse as I go.

So, I love wonderland. I mean, my blog is called Lizz in Bookland and I'm currently wearing leggings with Alice on them. Seriously. Give me all the Wonderland. HOWEVER, there is a slight problem, most Wonderland retellings AREN'T Alice in Wonderland and I'm left disappointed.

This book is lacking though, even more on the Wonderland bit. I actually liked the sneaky bits of Wonderland that were brought into this story. But there wasn't much of a story. There wasn't much plot. Like the writing was rushed but the whole time I felt like calling out "where are we going" and then end was just kinda like, "eh, it's over, oh well."

Friday, January 26, 2018

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Do you ever start a book thinking it is going to be okay. Like, a middle-of-the-road book. A book that you neither stay up late reading nor put down and forget about. When I saw that this book was recommended by James Patterson that is what I was expecting.

Not that there is anything wrong with James Patterson, but seriously, that is how his books makes me feel (and I have a sneaking suspicion that he isn't actually writing any books anymore, but that is a topic for another blog entry).

Anywho, back to the story. I was surprised. No, I was shocked at how good this was. My sister, whom I should probably listen to more often, don't tell her I said that. Anyway, my sister was like, "well, I've heard great things about it." Seriously? I hadn't heard anything about it. I just am enjoying these historical YA books lately. That's how it ended up on my list. Well, and it had an interesting cover.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Book Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love Snow White. It is actually my favorite of the Disney version fairy tales. It someone hadn't told me that this was a retelling of that original favorite, I probably wouldn't have guessed. It might just have been a little thought in the back of my mind, which honestly would have been better.

I expected Snow White, I was watching for Snow White ... I didn't get Snow White. Blah.

The story was good, I didn't ever really care for Lynet. I tried to like her, but her perfect face and her sweet attitude made her too flat of a character to love. There was no depth to her. I never really cared: lived, died, miserable, happy. It didn't matter.

Mina was brilliant and even with her own character flaws, she was my favorite. The whole "I want to be queen" bit was shallow and undeveloped. But she wasn't evil 100% of the time and wasn't good 100% of the time and was INTERESTING all the time.

The whole story with the snow magic, blood magic, and glass magic was interesting, but also undeveloped.

I never looked forward to reading this. That's always a bad sign. If I had more of a drive to read the book then I probably would have given it four stars. But I just didn't care that much about the story. It moved a little too slow.

Okay, so slow and undeveloped, weak characters and poor translation of Snow White. The story was still interesting, I mean, I read the whole thing. Partly because I am trying to read more genres and this was on my LGBTQ list.

Ummmm.... as far as romance goes this totally falls flat. I expected something MORE. I don't know what more, but if it were a boy and a girl I would have expected more angst, people figuring out what they wanted sooner, just more. I felt like the lesbian "romance" in this story was more of a plot point to help sell the book than an important part of the story. It was always awkward and strange, like the author was uncomfortable writing the words, which made reading feel strange and weird.

Moral of the story really is that Mina was a great character and made me finish the book. The romance falls flat, the plot is thin, the character under developed, and pretty much no emotional depth. I mean, I read the whole thing, but writing this review I'm wondering why.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Book Review: After Alice

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Strange, delightfully strange. If you are a lover of Wonderland and all the stories that go along with this, you'll adore this story by master-storyteller Gregory Maguire. If, however, you aren't much of a fan and don't know the real, original version (aka, not Disney but Lewis Carroll), you might feel a tad bit lost.

At the beginning I was a smidge annoyed, feeling like Ada's adventure into Wonderland was simply a retelling of Alice's adventure. Even worse, Ada is an unfortunate character with all sorts of physical issues and a total lack of imagination. I nearly stopped reading. Obviously Ada's adventure was going to tire me out.

However, bouncing back and forth to the "real world" and Wonderland made the journey feel so much more realistic. After all, not that much was happening, but it was only a mere afternoon.

I suppose Alice's original journey was much the same, but it felt longer.

I digress. Although Ada isn't much of a stellar character at the beginning, she definitely grows on you and becomes quite the heroine. In fact, the end was a bit delightful.

The book isn't long, but was fun. I enjoyed it.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Book Review: A Corner of White

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

DNF (Did Not Finish) at 53%

Okay, this book is beautiful. The language is lovely and the world is interesting ... but there are a million characters, who don't seem to be connected. Plus, here we have an issue of ZERO PLOT.

I just can't keep reading. There is nothing driving me forward. I even got to the point of the little papers, but I still don't care.

If you are looking for a winter read that is beautiful, beautiful descriptions and writing, then this is your book. But if you are concerned about plot and knowing what is going on then this one to skip.

View all my reviews

Saturday, January 6, 2018

All the Books in 2018

Oh 2018, you are bringing so many amazing books that I know I will be well entertained. Here are some of my favorites that are coming out soon.

Aces of Shades / Amanda Foody
          Proper young lady has to partner with a street lord to find her mother in the "city of sin"
Ash Princess / Laura Sebastian
          The protagonist has been compared to Sansa Stark ... yes please!
Between the Blade and the Heart / Amanda Hocking
          Malin is a Valkyrie ... her mom does something crazy, a guy needs help ... it's bound to be angsty and wonderful.
The Boneless Mercies / April Genevieve Tucholke
          A reimagining of Beowulf? Yep, I'm there.

Book Review: Birthmarked

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was FANTASTIC. I don't want to oversell it, but seriously it was good!

I actually skipped a Target trip to read this ... yep, I couldn't put it down.

Okay, so it is a semi-typical Dystopian world where there are two major class differences, those inside of the wall, and those outside of the wall. However, in a horrifying turn of events, the people outside of the wall have to "advance" the first three babies born each month into the city. Seriously.

2018 Reading Goals

Why do I do this every year? Probably because GoodReads prompts for it, but I do like tracking things. Last year I was TERRIBLY short of my goal, but that was mostly because of life getting in the way.

This year I plan to attack my goal and conquer it totally. Well, we shall see.

My goal this year is 100 books. What's yours?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Book Review: As Old As Time

As Old As Time by Liz Braswell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was SO much better than I expected it to be! I expected it to be just a silly retelling, but it was more than that. I expected it to be somewhat terrible like the Aladdin retelling, but it WASN'T.

Okay, about the story.

So the backstory part is BRILLIANT. Maybe that happens in the old French tale, I don't remember it, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. The detail and setting to build up to the story we all know and love is exactly the kind of "fleshing out" fairy tales need for adults to enjoy them. I was blow away by how Maurice and Belle's mother (sheesh, her name escapes me right now) met.

About Belle. She is a lot like the movie version, curious and brave. She is very princess-y in that she cares for everyone and everything. She is not the most interesting character here, but I think that is because we KNOW her so well.

First Book of the New Year: Midnight at the Electric

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an unlikely story. When I originally added this to my TBR I was adding anything that looked like a Circus themed story (there is a lesson here about judging a book by it's cover).

Although nothing alike, this reminds me of when I read Wink, Poppy, Midnight last year, because it totally took me off guard and even further commits me to reading more books outside of my preferred genre this year.

Anyway, Midnight at the Electric takes place in three different women's lives in the past, present (I think), and future (she's getting ready to go to Mars, this one I'm fairly confident on). The storyline was unexpected but quite delightful.