Beauty and the Beast Book Tag // Only a few more days!! Shh, I’m not obsessed.

Another Beauty and the Beast-themed post? Why, yes, yes it is. Hush, no, I’m not obsessed with Beauty and the Beast…! But seriously, I haven’t done a book tag in SUCH a long time and this one is perfectly-themed. ❤ I was tagged by Emily @ Embuhleeliest–thank you so much! (My current obsession with Beauty and the Beast is being satisfied with this tag, pretty much so I AM GRATEFUL.)

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator; Kirsty at Kirsty and the Cat Read.
  • Match a book to each of the songs/characters below.
  • Tag as many people as you like.


“Tale As Old As Time” – A popular theme, trope or setting you will never get bored of reading

Does the sassy/sarcastic/witty character count as a trope?? I say it does. It’s very common, I think? I will never get bored of reading it though?! Looking back on my reads, so many of my favourite books have at least one, if not more, witty character and I LOVE THEM. They just bring so much light and just always bring a smile to my face. I just get all the banter via them and it’s so amazing, especially if you love the characters. Some of my favourite books with this trope:

Oh my preciouussssss children; Will, Kaz, Nina, Wylan, Jesper & Co, Blue & the Raven Boys (!!!!!!!!!!!)

I can’t seem to think of any contemporary novels right off the bat, which is a problem… #moresassycharactersplz

Belle – A book you brought for its beautiful cover that’s just as beautiful inside too.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

JUST LOOK AT IT. It’s so beautiful it makes me want to cryyyyy. ❤ ❤ It seems to be a hit-or-miss among readers, but for me it was definitely a hit! I didn’t fall in love with it as much as others, granted, however I did love the beautiful writing and other aspects of it, which is great because THAT COVER. If I didn’t love the story it would be such a shame haha. (Am I the only one who kind of adored Kamala more than the main character though…)

Beast – A book you didn’t expect much from but pleasantly surprised you

Starflight by Melissa Landers

Prior to picking up this book, I had read the author’s previous book, Alienated, which I was not the biggest fan of, so I’ll admit, I didn’t have high hopes for this one? I really shouldn’t judge on past experiences? But, I was wary anyway. Fortunately it seems like I had nothing to be wary of, because I ended up loving this book! I fell in love with the characters the plot was exciting, and it was just a really great experience. I need to read Starfall now though, asap!

Gaston – A book everyone loves that you don’t

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

I wouldn’t say everyone loves this?? Because I do know a fair amount of people who were disappointed/didn’t enjoy this book. However, I think this series in general has a relatively large fanbase and many people did love this one (which is awesome!! GO ENJOY BOOKS, children) but, unfortunately, I just couldn’t help but be disappointed. Mare was so annoying, and there were just many things that didn’t click for me (that I can’t remember specifically because #terriblememory here whoops). I’m holding out hope for King’s Cage though? PRAY FOR ME.

Lefou – A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counterpart

Sevro from Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

This one was SO hard because generally, I love the sidekick less or equally as much as the main character? But guys, SEVRO. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Darrow, but SEVRO IS AMAZING. I loved him so so so much, and as much as I was concerned with everyone’s fate, his was one that I especially looked out for because guys, he is so great. So loyal, so brave, so fierce, witty and aghhhh. He deserves all the love!! ❤

Mrs Potts, Chip, Lumière & Cogsworth – A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught you something valuable

A List of Cages by Robin Roe

This book didn’t exactly help me through a difficult time, but it did teach me something so valuable, and SO IMPORTANT. Julian’s story was so heartbreaking, but showed the value of kindness, of friendship, of love, and the profound impact a person can have on others–see?? SO VALUABLE ahhhhh I loved it so much. ❤ ❤

“Something There” – A book or a series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

I haven’t yet read the fifth book, but I really enjoyed Frozen Tides. I got onto a rough start with the first book, mostly due to the characters, and the very cliché plot. Although the clichés didn’t necessarily diminish as the books went on, I did get more drawn to the characters and the action kept me invested, so that’s a plus! I’m looking forward to reading Crystal Storm, though at the moment it’s not exactly a priority… #strugglesoftoomanybooks

“Be Our Guest” – A fictional character you’d love to have over for dinner

Kell and Rhy from Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Did you really think I’d get through this post without mentioning them?? Haha. Nope. But seriously, having these two over for dinner would be so amazing?? Rhy’s sense of humor and charisma is SO GREAT (*cry as I am reminded he is not real*) and KELLLL. ❤ ❤ Why aren’t they reallllllll. *cries some more*


That’s it for this post!! Join me in my B&B-obsessed party (or perhaps not because it is very difficult to escape once you have–I’m warning you!) and let me know your thoughts! What book is your Belle/Beast/Gaston/Lefou/etc? Who would you invite to dinner? (Or you could join me and Kell & Rhy, of course. :P) Happy Tuesday!

EDIT: I didn’t tag anyone for this, but if you want to do this tag, GO FOR IT. I take back any of my warnings, come join me in my B&B party and link back to this post if you do the tag. And if you have done it already, be sure to send me the link down below so I can come check it out. 🙂

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard | Book Review

Red QueenRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard

4 stars - Entertainment Rating

Publication Date: February 10th 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young-Adult
Series Status: Red Queen #1
Page Count: 383
Source & Format: Owned, Hardcover

Synopsis from Goodreads:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …

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Hype, hype, and MORE hype, galore!! If you guys haven’t heard of this book yet, you must’ve been living under a rock, for this book has been EVERYWHERE since it’s release. No joke. So naturally, my interest was piqued! I had meant to read this when it was released, but somehow never got around to it until September last year. Oops! Better late than never, right? The sequel to this is being released this February, so I figured I should probably do my review on the first book before I read it. 😉 So without further ado, my review on Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard!

Red Queen book review

Okay, so, I’m going to be trying out a kind of mixed reviewing style for this one: a list and my rambles, all in one! If you’re looking for the lowdown, and most general form of the things I liked/disliked, just reading the list below should suit you. I have a lot of thoughts on this—both positive and negative, so just bear with me! Feel free to skip to the overall part if you want—I won’t mind, LOL. Even I can admit this review is really long! XD

Red Queen Review Pros and Cons List

Plot

Two words; déja vue. Because yes, I won’t lie, there are indeed several elements in this book which have been seen and used before in other books. If you’ve read The Hunger Games or The Selection, when reading this book, you could probably notice the similarities. I’ve also seen comparisons to Red Rising, but as I have not read that yet, I can’t really judge.

BUT I DIGRESS.

Did the familiar tropes used in this book bother ME, personally? Well, I still enjoyed the book, but I must admit that I had been hoping RQ would manage to stand out on its own, be unique under the mesh of common tropes. From that perspective, my expectations weren’t completely fulfilled.

Having said that, I did still thoroughly enjoy the world of Red Queen. Although perhaps not fully unique in terms of themes and messages (a battle between social standings of rich and poor, tension, threat of rebellion, etc.) Red Queen had a premise/concept that I loved; the idea of Reds and Silvers. I do wish there was more backstory included about them, but for now, I’m hoping some unanswered questions will be answered in the next book.

As for the world-building, it isn’t in-your-face obvious, I’ll give you that. It does go at more of slower pace, and through various descriptions and events, you get the gist of it. I really enjoyed it! In addition to that, the plot as a whole was great to read. Plot twists, suspense, intrigue. Even though the pacing can be slow at times (especially the beginning), it really built up the to final moments of the story.

Anyone can betray anyone.

Speaking of plot twists and final moments, I must mention this: The final plot twist was mind-blowing—even though now looking back I can see the signs. It’s funny, because while reading, there was this part where I was thinking “What if the bad guy ends up being [name of bad guy which I will not write for sake of no spoilers]?” And I dismissed it–probably ’cause I didn’t want to believe it. But then I got to the end and I was kind of in a state of shock! Like noooooooo…!

Okay, NOW I’m definitely rambling. You get what I’m saying here though, right? Moving on to…

Characters

I’m a Red girl in a sea of Silvers and I can’t afford to feel sorry for anyone, least of all the son of a snake.

In the fairy tales, the poor girl smiles when she becomes a princess. Right now, I don’t know if I’ll ever smile again.

The characters are definitely one of the hit or miss parts of Red Queen. You either like the characters, or you don’t. I, for one, have to say that I liked them well enough, for the most part. 

Let’s start with the good, shall we? I know several readers complained about Mare, but I must say that I found her to be a pretty good character. She has the typical characteristics of most female protagonists these days; strong, reckless and sassy, yes, but she still managed to be a bit realistic and someone I could root for. She made some terrible decisions at times, and her emotions were all over the place in several spots, but at the end of the day, she was a good character.

BUT. She didn’t really go through any major development by the end of the novel… so don’t go in expecting some major changes! I also wasn’t a huge fan of her flitting and bipolar-like feelings over the love interests in this book. One minute she’s trying to convince herself the guy is good, the other minute she’s 100% sure he’s evil. Make up your mind!! It’s what caused me the most trouble, trying to figure out what MY opinion was. Lol.

Apart from her, there’s of course, the two princes; Cal and Maven. I have to say I wasn’t the biggest fan of Cal for a pretty long time throughout the story… although I’m not sure whether that’s because of his character, Mare’s feelings or just MY feelings on Maven clouding my opinion. 😉 I don’t know, I respect him and he was fine and everything, but he just didn’t sit right with me for a good chunk of the story.

Maven, on the other hand, I found to be so interesting! I suppose I liked him more than Cal for a lot of the story, but that’s not just it. His character just seems so layered and complex! I could empathize with him, yet I could… gah, it’s hard to express how I feel without giving away spoilers. XD Let’s just leave it at the fact that he’s layered and a very intriguing character!

A forgotten son, a vengeful mother, a brother with a long shadow, a strange mutation. Together, they’ve written a tragedy.

Also, an important fact you might want to note before entering the realm of this book; There IS a love triangle—though it’s more of a love rectangle or a everyone-loves-Mare thing. To be honest it’s not that aspect of it that bothered me the most; it’s more the fact that Mare’s feelings were so inconsistent sometimes, it just didn’t feel like there was enough depth to all the relationships. But maybe that’s just me. One good thing though, is that the romance didn’t FULLY dominate the plot. Yes, it did take up a good part of it, but it’s not the extent of what this book’s all about! (To me, anyway. I know some people feel differently.)

Writing Style

The sparks are gone, replaced by fierce, ugly tears that track down my face. Thunder rumbles somewhere far off and the air is warm. But the humid temperature is gone. The heat has broken and summer will soon be over. Time is passing. My life is moving on, no matter how much I want it to stay the same.

Despite being simple and straight-forward, Victoria Aveyard’s writing managed to really hook me in. I loved how vivid and descriptive the style was, without being too over-the-top. Sometimes simplicity beats flowery prose, you know? The narration, everything, was suited to the mood of the story and was super easy to read.

However, there is a little thing that perhaps won’t bother everyone, but did occasionally get on my nerves. At times, there was a bit too much repetition. I understand now that it’s to emphasize and foreshadow, in a way, of what was to come, but it still was a tad bothersome. I don’t know. Personal preference, I guess.

Overall

Red Queen, although not without flaws, is still an entertaining novel. Depending on your taste, if you like fantasy and/or dystopian novels, this one is a good pick for you! Here’s a little recap of what you should know and how I felt about this book:

  • This book won’t be the most original one out there. Readers of The Hunger Games, The Selection and/or (supposedly) Red Rising might enjoy this book for the similarities—or might dislike this book because of the similarities. It kind of depends on your personal taste!
  • The plot is relatively entertaining (though it is unnecessarily dragged out at times). Despite having similar elements to other storylines, the plot in Red Queen is quite intriguing and suspenseful to read! The world of Red and Silver was interesting and a cool concept to read about—though don’t expect the best backstory for it.
  • Characters like Mare, Cal and/or Maven are subjected to personal preference, but I liked them okay. Mare is a strong, albeit reckless and naive at times, female character who I was able to root for despite the reasons why I might’ve been tempted not to.
  • The writing style is simple but engaging and descriptive. I had no problem with the writing in this book! It was easy to read and suited the story. There was a bit too much repetition of words and expressions sometimes, but I credit that problem more to my own self and the plot.

Funny, how all that rambling that I did before the overall part was summed up so easily here! LOL.

So, the real question here that I’m sure you’re all wondering: Should you read it? From a critical view, I’ll admit this isn’t the best book, but from an entertainment perspective, it definitely isn’t the worst book out there–it’s quite good, actually! If you’ve taken into account all the above info, and think it’s a good fit for you, I don’t see why you shouldn’t read Red Queen! If you go in with lowered expectations, you should be fine. (Or so I hope!) I, for one, can’t wait to get my hands on Glass Sword, the sequel, if only to see what will happen next! ❤


Now, it’s time to talk! What did you think of Red Queen? What parts did you like/dislike the most? Also; how do you feel about having themes and tropes from other books being included in another book? Are you planning on continuing the series, or are you quitting? Do you want to read this book? Let me know whatever thoughts you may have below!

Thank you for reading (even if you didn’t read the whole thing :P) and Happy Monday!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

WWW Wednesday #22 (September 2nd, 2015)

Hello! Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, a meme formerly hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading and now hosted by Sam @Taking on a World of Words. All you have to do to join in is answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

I recieved my copy of Queen of Shadows yesterday, and immediately started it. So far, so good! Unfortunately I’m not that far into it yet, but I’m hoping I’ll get to read more of it today.

I started The Final Empire last week, and I’m still reading it. It’s not that it’s bad, completely opposite, actually. I had been reading other books, and I didn’t want to taint my enjoyment of The Final Empire in between so I took several breaks from it. But I’m almost finished, I probably will finish it before binge-reading Queen of Shadows, lol.

Recently Finished

Burn For Burn was a fun and enjoyable novel, although I did have some issues with it. Not sure yet whether I’ll be picking up the next novels anytime soon though.

Love Letters to the Dead was an okay novel, but I wasn’t a big fan of the main character, Laurel, and the story gave me The Perks of Being a Wallflower vibes. I love The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but the story for Love Letters didn’t completely click with me.

Red Queen is a good novel! I can definitely see what the hype is all about, but I did have several issues with it, that I will be touching on when I get around to posting its review.

Read Next

I still haven’t read most of the books on last week’s  ‘read next’, so I will definitely be trying to get to those. In addition to those reads I also plan to read More Than This by Patrick Ness as part of a September read-along hosted by the Bookish Nerds Goodreads group. I’ve been meaning to read More Than This for a while now (come on, it’s Patrick Ness!) and so I’m super excited to finally get around to picking it up soon. And as you can see I’ve also put Reawakened by Colleen Houck on there! I’m not 100% sure yet whether I’ll be picking it up this week, but I’m definitely curious to see whether it’s as good as it seems! 😉


 

How has your reading been this week? Feel free to link your WWW post if you have one, (and I’ll definitely come stop by) or simply tell me in the comments below. ❤ Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone!

Analee 10

Top 10 Tuesday #13 (July 07): Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

Hello fellow bookworms! I’m back from my unofficial hiatus (you might’ve noticed I haven’t been interacting as much on my blog or on other blogs) with a Top Ten Tuesday post. This is a popular meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, today’s topic is ten hyped books I’ve never read. Now, I can basically use my list for books I want to read this summer, since those books are pretty hyped up (like We Were Liars, Extraordinary Means, etc.)—you can check out that list here—but I’m going to make another list, since heaven knows my list of to-read hyped books is endless! Book titles link to Goodreads, and you can hover over the cover to read the synopsis from Goodreads. So, in no particular order:

The Kiss of Deception_bookcover1. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

I really want to read this! Especially since the second book, The Heart of Betrayal, releases today. It just seems so interesting!

2. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab A Darker Shade final for Irene

Or anything by this author, like Vicious. I have A Darker Shade of Magic currently waiting on my shelf and I’ve heard such great things about it that I’m just itching to get to it.

The Wrath and the Dawn_bookcover3. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

I really hope I can read this book this month. Ever since it’s been released (and before!) I’ve heard so many things and it seems like a great book.

4. Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnGone Girl_bookcover

Another hyped up book! It also has a movie if I’m not mistaken, so I really want to read this to see what the hype is all about and then watch the movie. 😉

The Girl on the Train_bookcover5. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I’m trying not to sound too repetitive, but this book seems great! I’ve heard lots about it and it seems like a very intriguing thriller.

6. Red Queen by Victoria AveyardRed Queen_bookcover

I have my fingers crossed to read this book this month! If I can get past my review copies and other books, I will definitely be making time for this one. The cover, the synopsis, and all the great reviews has me intrigued!

Anna & the French Kiss_bookcover27. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Don’t kill me! I haven’t read this book or the series, BUT I do plan on reading it. Someday.

8. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (or anything Colleen Hoover, really.)Ugly Love_bookcover

This book has been on my TBR for a while now, and I’m actually currently reading it! It still counts for this list, since I just started it today and am only at the beginning of it. 🙂 This book has been really hyped up, well, actually, basically all of Colleen Hoover’s books have been hyped up. So yeah.

A Game of Thrones_bookcover9. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

This is the first in a series, and has a TV show based off of it. To be honest, I’m not that interested in these books at this moment, but I will probably still read the series one day. It’s pretty hyped up, and what can I say? I like to know what the hype is all about. 😉

10. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (or Since You’ve Been Gone & Second Chance Summer)Amy & Roger's Epic Detour_bookcover

Morgan Matson’s books have been hyped up as well (obviously, since she’s on this list) and the most notable books I know that have been hyped up (I’m not sure whether or not she has other books written aside from these three, but oh well) are Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Since You’ve Been Gone and Second Chance Summer. I really want to read all three of these!

 


Oh! I also forgot to add The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. I really want to read this one, I’ve heard wonderful things! And I also want to check out the movie, too.

The Book Thief_bookcover

So that’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! What hyped up books have you never read? Do we share any in common? Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments below or feel free to link your post!

Happy Tuesday!

-A