Wednesday, August 28, 2019
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It’s been a while since I’ve written an actual review, hasn’t it? I’ve got some reviews on the back-burner that I need to let out into the world, and hopefully change someone’s life. Hey, I’ve got high hopes!

I’ve yielded to making smaller reviews for books that I haven’t received from NetGalley or Edelweiss, or from an author straight up. I still want to review all the books I read, whether they are short and sweet, or have a little more length and depth to them. So without further ado, here’s some of the latest that I’ve read.


A LESSON IN THORNS

Abbreviations (#4)A Lesson in Thorns
(Thornchapel #1)
Author: Sierra Simone, read by Jim Dale
Published: March 19th, 2019 by Orchard Books, Pottermore
Genres: romance, erotica, contemporary, adult
Source: Owned
Format: eBook, 343 pages

When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel’s tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother twelve years ago. It should be easy enough—keep her head down while she works in the house’s crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her...

As Poe begins uncovering the house’s secrets, both new and old, she’s also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends—and drawn to Auden’s worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden and St. Sebastian start unravelling into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes…

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3 Stars

I’m gonna warn you guys now, this book is SMUT to the max. (Hello, it’s got boobs on the cover.) I usually don’t go for this genre honestly… but I needed a little something different since I was in a fantasy rut, and my friend Jes was reading it with some other bloggers, and I just decided I wanted to read it, too.

WHAT I LIKED

  • I like that it was a smut novel, but with a back story. I’ve read a couple of books in this genre before where the plot was completely lacking, and therefor it turned me waaaay off. I don’t want to read about sex just for the sex. I’M A LADY. I need more substance. ? 
  • For the most part, I was able to care about the characters. There were a couple that I didn’t care about as much (Becket and Rebecca), which kind of makes me feel terrible because Rebecca was a woman of color and Becket was a priest… what does that say about me? But I just felt more strongly attached to Poe, Saint, Auden and Delphine (a little bit).
  • I actually really liked the author’s writing. Sometimes that’s hard accomplish with erotica writing.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

  • Not saying it’s not a bad thing, but maybe it’s just not a fit for me… but there’s a lot of polyamorous stuffs going on, and it just felt … weird? … to read about. I don’t know if I can put my feelings into words. Just felt a bit unsettled.
  • Well, like I stated in the “likes” area, there were some characters I wasn’t completely attached to… and characters in a book are very important to me.

One Sentence Review

Even though it had a pretty good background story with some substance to it other than just sex, it was lacking something and my interest withered the closer I got to the end.

Will I continue the series?

I’ve been flickering back and forth between continuing the series or not the past couple of days, but I’ve decided to end it here. As much as I want to know about the deeply rooted hate that’s blossomed between Auden and Saint, and I’m very curious about Poe’s mother’s fate and whether or not Becket knew about it, I think it’s best to treat this series as a standalone. I’ve read too many negative reviews for Feast of Sparks, and honestly, I just don’t have time or energy to waste on a series that’ll infuriate me in the end. 

→ Do you read erotica/adult books? Would you be interested in this?


A THOUSAND PERFECT NOTES

Abbreviations (#4)A Thousand Perfect Notes
Author: C.G. Drews
Published: June 7th, 2018 by Orchard Books
Genres: young adult, contemporary, romance
Source: Owned
Format: eBook, 288 pages

An emotionally charged story about the power of dreams, and how passion can turn to obsession.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music - because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

Thrilling and powerfully written, this is an explosive debut for YA readers which tackles the dark topic of domestic abuse in an ultimately hopeful tale.

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4 Stars

Yay, I finally read Cait’s book~ And I really, really liked it.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Gah, the writing was incredible, but if you read Cait’s blog, Paper Fury, you’ll know what a great writer she is. I just love reading her blog, because her quirkiness explodes off the page, and you can just tell how much she likes what she does.
  • She compares Beck, the main character, to a burnt marshmallow. Love.
  • All of the characters were captivating and unique in their own, special way. I adored Beck’s little sister, even though she had underlying issues shaped by her mother’s behavior, and even though I despised Beck’s mom, she felt real. A real, albeit hateful, character who you really wanted to root for when it came to development, but just let you down every single time she took out her anger and frustration on her kids.
  • The pacing was perfect. It didn’t drag or go too fast for me.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

  • Is it fair to knock off a star because the length was unsatisfactory? Cait, make your books longer!
  • I’m kidding Cait, I appreciate you. ?
  • I wish the ending felt a little bit bigger. The climax didn’t feel earth-shattering, which is the only reason I couldn’t give it 5 glowing stars.

One Sentence Review

Cait really knows how to pull the heartstrings while making you envy her talent for writing, but ultimately the climax was the only thing I felt was lacking.

→ Have you read Cait’s novel?

* I would just like to say that as a contemporary, this book really moved and captivated me, but I can’t wait to see if Cait explores other genres (ie., fantasy, science fiction), because I would be ALL OVER THAT.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Abbreviations (#4)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
(Harry Potter #4)
Author: J.K. Rowling, read by Jim Dale
Published: November 20th, 2015 by Pottermore
Genres: young adult, fantasy
Source: Owned
Format: Audiobook, 21 hours, 12 minutes

Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup. He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly.

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5 Stars

I’ve really enjoyed re-reading this series via audio. Jim Dale is an amazing narrator, and has definitely turned me on to audiobooks when I thought I’d never be a fan.

I don’t have much to say that probably hasn’t been said about Harry Potter before, but even though I rated this one 5 stars (because the series in itself is obviously a masterpiece that may never be duplicated in my lifetime), it’s probably my least favorite one so far. Sorcerer’s Stone is an amazing series starter, Chamber of Secrets is an intricately woven novel, and Prisoner of Azkaban has just always been my favorite because Harry meets Sirius, and I love the time-turning aspect of it (also, there is a glaring lack of Voldemort, the roguish devil). 

Goblet of Fire is full of action, especially the scenes from the Tri-Wizard Tournament, and then there’s Alistair Moody… But just overall, it didn’t leave the same taste in my mouth. And I can’t tell if it’s because Harry (and Ron, also) is becoming increasingly more angsty and difficult for me to tolerate (ie., when he and Ron are fighting, it really gets on my nerves), or if this novel just wasn’t on my level as much as the previous three were.

As far as the audiobook versions go, Jim Dale is exceptional. I seriously don’t know how he does it. He finds a voice for every character and makes their voice stand apart from all the others.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if you want to re-read Harry Potter, I strongly suggest the audiobook versions with Jim Dale as your narrator. You’ll thank me later.

→ What would you say is your favorite Harry Potter novel? What do you think of Goblet of Fire?

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