The Six Days by Anna Carolyn McCormally

  

I got this book for review from Big Squid Books. I am so sorry for taking such a long time to write a review!!

General summary from Goodreads: “You have six days from midnight until the Gate closes again. Bring me what I need by then and maybe you’ll get your brother back.”

Fifteen years ago, in the middle of the night, Jamie Carpenter’s mother went up to the dark lighthouse on the cliffs. She never came back.

Jamie has spent his whole life trying to forget his mother. But when his little brother goes missing, Jamie has to face the facts. There is another world through the lighthouse, the world of his mother, a powerful witch. And the dangerous magical inheritance she left her sons is now the ransom for Danny’s life in a war between the Council of Witches and the rebel group Jamie’s mother abandoned her family to lead.

Desperate to save Danny, Jamie and his best friend Nia cross into a universe they never knew existed. Struggling to survive in a world of shadowy magic ravaged by war, Jamie and Nia seek the help of the Council. But the Council’s leaders aren’t too happy that the son of the witches’ most infamous traitor has returned to Emanu…

With no help, no idea where to look, and no magic on their side, Jamie and Nia have to learn fast if they’re going to survive Emanu and rescue Danny. Because there are only six days until the gate between worlds closes again.

Plot: A- 

This book had an original and enjoyable plot, but I did feel like it was slightly forced at times. 

Characters: A

I really liked the well-developed characters in this book, especially Nia. 

Dialogue: A

I was honestly quite impressed with the dialogue in this book. I’ve read many fantasy books with similar-ish premises, and they often have juvenile and unrealistic dialogue. This one was quite enjoyable. 

Worldbuilding: B

As with the plot, I thought it was a little bit forced. It was clearly laid out and creative, but I do feel like it was kind of pushed into my face. 

Writing Style: B+

I liked the writing style overall, but I think it didn’t completely mesh with the plot. I can only describe it as descriptive with an almost pensive tone. I would have liked something a little plainer, but that’s just me. 

Engagement: B+

I was mostly engaged, but I did find myself distracted from time to time. This was probably my fault, though. 
Overall: A-/B+

I found this book enjoyable. I especially recommend it to fans of the YA Fantasy genre. 

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My Thoughts on Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Hello and happy February! I just finished this book, and I can definitely see why there is a ton of hype around it. I got this when it was free on iBooks and the Kindle Store, which was really great, because I was too skeptical of this book to spend actual money on. I do intend to continue on with the series at some point, but it’s definitely not an immediate priority.

While some people compare this book to Twilight, I disagree completely. Twilight has vampire and werewolves in a love triangle with a spineless and one-dimensional female protagonist, which was why I was so reluctant to start this series. However, I felt that the author did an admirable job defying these tropes by using an intelligent and mostly sensible protagonist and (so far) excluding a cheesy love triangle. Katy (the main character) is a book blogger who posts reviews and freaks out over new releases, which was a really fun thing to read about, since I can totally relate. I also really enjoyed the dialogue in this book, particularly the snarkiness and sass between Katy and Daemon.

My only main problem was with the male members of the alien group, especially Daemon. They were super controlling and stubborn to the point where it was annoying and unproductive. I disliked how they were always the ones to fight, because they felt it was their duty to protect the delicate females. I thought Dee was a super strong and awesome character, and I really wish she would have had more of a role in the fighting.

I really hate the cover, though. Look at it. The bind-up edition on the left is slightly more appealing to me due to the sparkles and the fact that it’s two boos in one, but I still dislike both covers. The one on the right, which is the original cover, is just the cheesiest thing; it looks like a trashy romance.

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This book, as I said, was overall a fun and quick read. I give it 3.5 stars.

Afterworlds Review Part 2- GIFs

To see GIFs in the next section without getting spoiled, scroll quickly without reading the text
Spoiler discussion

First of all, here are some GIFs that describe my reactions to various scenes.

The airport shooting: scared37

 

The kiss between Imogen and Darcy (which I thought was forced and kinda insta-lovey:

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The part where Lizzie kills that bad man (or is it the old man? I mix them up):

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The moment when Imogen makes up with Darcy and sneaks her friends into BEA:

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Quick Thoughts:

I was pretty mad that Imogen and Darcy got together at first, but as I became more accustomed to it, I came to accept it. I never fully fangirl shipped it or anything, but they were pretty nice together. I really liked the falling out they had, as I think it added more emotion to the story.

I’m still not sure how that underworld river thing worked out.

That’s basically it!! What did you think of the book? Also, feel free to give me answers on any of the above confusions.

Afterworlds Review

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Title: Afterworlds

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Goodreads Average Rating: 3.75

Pages: 599

Hello! I haven’t reviewed a book in a while, and it’s been way too long. Remember that I have a weird rating system which you can find here.

Non-Spoiler Thoughts

Plot: A

I really thought that this was a creative idea and I have never seen anything like it, but I was somewhat confused by certain logistical aspects. Maybe I just have reading comprehension problems, but I just wasn’t 100% sure how the transition between the real world and the Afterworld worked out. I was very happy to get a sort of behind-the-scenes view of the publishing industry, no matter how inaccurate it might have been. They referenced book bloggers, ARCs, and BEA, and I thought it was pretty awesome.

Characters: B+

Most of the characters were pretty well-developed, but I did feel like some of them were kind of one-dimensional. For example, I wasn’t a huge fan of Yamaraj or his sister, but I did like Darcy and Imogen.

Writing Style: B

There was nothing terribly unique about it, but I did enjoy reading it. The different tones for different parts of the book was good. There were some dark moments, some contemplative and some happy. The writing style in Darcy’s book and the writing style about Darcy were similar, but different enough that it was believable that they were two different authors. Does that make sense? I hope so, because I don’t really know how else to phrase that. Also, I found one or two typos.

Engagement: A-

I found myself engrossed more at the beginning and end of the book, which I think is totally normal. I still found the middle interesting, but not enough to read through it in one sitting. I still had some self control to put the book down.

Dialogue: B

Some of it was really great, like the deep conversations that Darcy and Imogen had together, but some of it was just kind of blah. Also, the scenes with all the authors complaining about writing certain scenes and stuff was a lot of fun to read. I have seen much worse dialogue.

Wordbuilding: B

As I already mentioned, I had some trouble understanding exactly how the Afterworld and the Underworld worked. It was a pretty cool concept, though, and I could still basically understand the story without a complete understanding of the world.

Romance: B

It seemed a little forced at first. I will go into more detail in the spoiler discussion section, which is coming up soon.

Overall: A-/B+

I really enjoyed this book and found it a creative and interesting read. Also, I love the cover so much. The actual cover in person is even cooler, as it has a sort of pearly glimmer.

I will be uploading a spoiler discussion section soon as well. There will be GIFs, and you can look at them without reading the text if you do not wish to be spoiled. See you soon and thank you for reading my review!

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix Review

Hey! I feel like it’s been forever since I posted! There are so many reasons, mainly school. As soon as school starts, I kind of get into a nine-month reading slump because I’m too tired to read, and it’s really bad. Sorry about not posting a TBR, but I kind of want to do whatever this month, and I’m sure you’ve seen enough TBR posts on your reader anyway.

I got a finished copy of this book, which comes out September 23rd, so I thought I should probably read and review it before it comes out. I’m really glad I did, too! Be prepared for a super long review; I have so much I wanna say.

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The first thing you need to know about this book is that it is written in the form of a furniture catalog for a company called Orsk, basically a fictional Ikea knockoff. When I heard about this book, I was intrigued as to how the book was executed, so I assume you probably are too. It takes place inside the store, where there have been several cases of vandalism in the store, so the manager, Basil, asks employees Amy and Ruth Anne to stay behind with him overnight to try to catch the intruder. All of the ghost stuff happens throughout the night, and it’s super creepy and gory.

Sorry for the disorganization of this post, but my thoughts are out of order. Anyway, I really just want to focus on the design of the book. Here are pictures of the inside cover and end pages:

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It seriously looks authentic! Also, each chapter starts out with a picture of a piece of furniture and a description of it. The pieces actually loosely correspond to the occurrences in the chapter. It actually took me like half the book to realize it, but it totally does! The first chapter starts out when the workers notice a poo-like substance on one of the sofas in the display area. Here is the chapter title page:

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As the story intensifies, the furniture gets less harmless and more creepy. The ghosts actually use these items to torture the employees, but that’s too spoilers for me to really get into. Here is a sample of one of the chapter title pages closer to the middle:

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There is another map in the back that corresponds to the front map and explains where each obstacle in each chapter was in the store. Does that make sense? Probably not, but I think you’ll understand if you read the book. It took a while for me to fully understand how each of the end pages and everything actually connected, but when I did, I literally shouted and started pacing. It was kind of weird.

I had a bunch of ratings and everything, but they somehow got deleted, and I really don’t want to redo them, so I give this book an A/A- overall. It had a really nice and compelling style, and some of the dialogue was great. Although it was pretty predictable, its creative premise made it so worth it.

August Wrap-Up

These are the books I actually ended up reading! I think I was able to stick to my TBR decently, which is nice and quite unexpected. I totally went in a different direction with my reading this month, though. There aren’t too many books because I had an audition for orchestra seating, so I spent much of my time practicing for it and freaking out.

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I received an ARC of this book. I requested it a while ago, and if finally arrived in the mail! I really enjoyed this book. It was such a cute story, and it was about friendship rather than romance, which made it even better. Yeah, I know. This is another cancer story, but it’s about friendship and takes place in Australia. I think this story takes a more candid approach on the whole disease thing, as the two characters are clearly miserable and bored.

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I’m pretty sure everyone has at least heard of the Mortal Instruments series. If you haven’t, that’s weird. Anyway, I am marathonning the series along with the Infernal Devices. This brings me to the next book. Can you guess what it is? I bet you can….

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Wow! What a surprise. I’ve already read this trilogy, but I need to refresh myself. It’s been a while, and I am reading the Mortal Instruments for the first time. There is much discussion about the order in which the books should be read, and it seems the most popular approach is to read them in the order they were published, putting the trilogy in halfway through the Mortal Instruments. I personally think reading all of the Infernal Devices beforehand is the best method, as it gives so much more insight. Also, Church the cat appears in the Mortal Instruments, and you won’t care if you haven’t read the Infernal Devices. I hope this paragraph made sense. Anyway. Thoughts on the order of reading these books? I would love your opinion.

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I’m about halfway done with this book, and I already cried several times. This book gives me so many feels! I’m really mad, though, because I got spoiled. I went on goodreads to add it to my shelf, and someone didn’t hide their spoiler. I was so mad, because it was a huge spoiler that completely ruined the ending for me!

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I got an ARC of this book, which I am currently reading, and it’s really interesting! It’s written by the founder of okcupid, and it’s a bunch of data about human behavior and sociology based on the internet. It cites specific examples and includes lots of really cool graphs.

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I got this from NetGalley, and I really liked it! I’m excited for the next book in the series! It was really fun and had a good plot. I thought it was an excellent piece of middle grade fiction.

Those were the books I read this month! Tell me if you’ve read any of these or of you’d like to. I will post my TBR for September soon, hopefully.

Happy reading!

A Tale for the Time Being Wrap-Up

Hey! So I totally realize how long it’s been since I’ve posted, but I’ve just had so much to do with school and all that. So yeah. I might be even busier as the year goes on, but I will post sporadically. Please don’t forget about me! I love the blogging community! Wow. I’m really off-topic.

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But that’s totally ok, because this book was kind of like that. I felt it covered so many themes and ideas in such a short period of time, and it was full of culture and philosophy and science and magical realism. I really think the author did a good job of neatly incorporating so many different things into the book and managing to make an interesting story. There was also a lot of emotional depth to the story, and I really enjoyed it. Overall, it was quite a thought-provoking book. 

 

I realize I took a really long time to read it, and I have reasons, although I am questioning their legitimacy. This is the section in which I try to make excuses for taking so long. First of all, I’ve been in a HUGE reading slump for the longest time. It’s still going on, and I am seriously ashamed of myself. I have to strain my brain all day with challenging classes, and I just kind of deflate when I get home. Also, I just feel like this is the kind of book you should read little by little. It’s rich in culture and philosophy, and I just think that digesting it incrementally is more enjoyable. I’ve really felt super guilty about not finishing it sooner, but I really just could not bring myself to read it or any other book, really. 

 

This concludes the buddy read! It kind of fell apart because of my trip to Japan, so I’m really sorry about that! As you can see in my sidebar widget thing, I am reading 5 books, 4 of which are ARCs. I am focusing on finishing The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare and Zac and Mia by AJ Betts, so you can look forward to those reviews. 

 

Until next time, which is hopefully really soon!