Quick book thoughts on some May reads! (Including a really long, spoilery review of ACOWAR!)

Strange The Dreamer (Strange The Dreamer, #1) by Laini Taylor

So I am definitely one of the odd people out with this book. While I really did like reading it, it wasn’t my favourite book. I wasn’t automatically hooked on the beautiful writing – in fact, while I thought that Laini does know how to make something sound beautiful, half the time I just wanted her to get to the point. This is a LONG book and there’s so much filler language. I definitely skimmed parts of this and still got the story.

I loved the story of Lazlo and how he worked in the library and then got to go on this big adventure, but aside from that, I wasn’t a fan of the romance (I am very much in the camp of him having a relationship with another character in the story) and I did NOT like the ending. It almost felt like a cop out and not the way the series should’ve gone. Major instalove happens and there was just so much potential for what could have happened, but so much didn’t.

I remember really enjoying the first book in her last series, but honestly? I don’t think I will continue with this or read more of Laini’s work. I feel like she’s just not the author for me.

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1) by Renee Ahdieh

I am SO glad that I read this book! I originally downloaded the audiobook from the library — something I do with a lot of my pre-2017 TBR books — and I didn’t really connect with it. I thought maybe the story wasn’t for me and I put my book in my donate pile. BUT then I saw so many good things about this book that I wasn’t quite ready to let it go! I picked up the paperback copy when I had an hour or so to read and just dove in. And it was a lot of fun!

I don’t know the story that this book is based on, so I can’t compare it to the original, but I loved the romance, the atmosphere, and just everything about this book. There were a few stories going on and I wondered how they connected and I kind of loved the tension that they brought to one another. And the cliffhanger? Oh my goodness! Needless to say, I definitely bought the second book in this duology to read soon. And I definitely plan to read Ahdieh’s newest book, too!

A Million Little Things (Mischief Bay, #3) by Susan Mallery

I remember seeing this book all over social media, pushed by the publisher. It looked like something I would love so I picked it up when I saw it in the drug store one day (seriously, drug store books are my crack). I did like reading this book, but oh my gosh, some of the characters drove me nuts. First off, one of the storylines is about Jen and her son who is 18 months old and doesn’t talk. She’s very, very, VERY worried about this to the point of being driven crazy. She’s taken him to every single doctor and specialist and no one is doing anything about it. Now, frankly, I have issues with this. Frankly, your kid is 18 MONTHS OLD. This is basically when they just start to talk. I have a 22 month old who doesn’t say anything and am I worried? Not really, but this book makes a person want to worry. I could see why doctors and speech therapists weren’t helping her – her kid was too young FOR therapy. Maybe when they hit 2.5 or so they’d respond, but I did not see why she was panicking when he was so young. (And this is coming from someone who has a 3.5 year old who’s in speech therapy because of motor speech issues – the whole storyline ended just so neatly that I literally felt my eyes roll into the back of my head.)

On top of this, Jen’s mom is the worst character ever. She’s super annoying and just pushes her agenda and thoughts onto everyone and has MAJOR judgment towards another character in the book based on something she did when they weren’t even friends. Honestly, I wanted to like this story, but there was just too much going on that made it annoying.

A Court of Wings & Ruin (A Court of Thorns & Roses, #3) by Sarah J. Maas

I was SO anticipating this book after completely falling in love with the second book in this series. At the end of that book there was so much potential for this one and while I did really enjoy reading this series finale, there were quite a few things I didn’t like.

WARNING: THERE MIGHT BE MAJOR SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT! 

Like I said, the second book ended so well and I was just sitting on pins and needles waiting for this book, but I felt like what I wanted to happen just … didn’t. I expected Feyre to march into Tamlin’s court and just completely ruin his life and have major payback, but it all happened so quickly and there really wasn’t a lot that happened.

There was a lot of talk that happened and not a crazy amount of action. I expected to be shedding tears while reading this, maybe losing some favourite characters, or something, but nothing really happened. I read some reviews of how this book just seemed to have happy endings for everyone and I totally agreed. Everything just sort of went too smoothly, everyone was agreeable, everyone was in love, and everyone had some sort of redeeming quality. EVERYONE.

What did I expect? Well, I expected Tamlin to continue to be an ass, to NOT just turn around and be the good guy. Same thing with Baron. I know it sounds terrible, but I expected Rhys to die. I kind of expected Feyre to be pregnant in the end (which, after all the sex, wouldn’t be too unrealistic). I knew that Feyre’s father was going to come back in some kind of capacity so it really wasn’t any surprise to me at all.

I thought that Nesta was just a huge bitch through the whole story and I just don’t know why. I was okay with Mor and her story towards the end, though while it was nice to have some diversity, was it just thrown in for the sake of diversity? I thought Cassian should have died OR have lost his wings. I don’t know. I just felt like too many good things happened in this story and while I did enjoy the writing and the story, it was all just too agreeable. I did have to laugh, though, reading some reviews, with some people calling this erotica or smut … yes, there were sexy scenes and I didn’t have issues with them. They weren’t over the top or grotesque, though they did happen a lot — in fact, the only issue I had with the sex scenes was the fact that they were present in a book that is marketed to young adults and is usually found in the 13+ section of the bookstore. Personally, I wouldn’t want my 13 year old reading this! Why do we not have a New Adult section yet in the bookstore?

Anyway, I looked forward to this one and enjoyed reading it and I managed to push myself to finish the story after nearly a week of reading, but I still maintain that the second book is the best in the series. I loved the whole falling in love aspect of that book and in this book the only thing we had of “love” was seeing who would be mated up with who (this is the same issue I had with the Lunar Chronicles — why can’t someone be alone? Why can’t someone die? Why does everyone have to have a “mate”?).

I feel like I’ve griped so much about what I didn’t like (which seems like a lot after I rated it 4 stars) so here’s what I did like … I looooved Lucien! He was such a great character in this story and I loved his story and kind of wanted more of where he went. And as much as I hate Tamlin, is it weird that I kind of want something from his POV? I loved any and all battle and fight scenes – maybe the shorter ones more than the end scene. I love Rhys’s library and that he kept it for people who needed a safe haven. And I even kind of loved the “thing” in the bottom of the library (LOVED the suspense when Feyre was down there!).

Anyway, like I said, even though it seems like I disliked so much of this, I did really enjoy reading this story. I read another review that says there will be four more books in this series and I don’t know why … I feel like this story has been told. Even though I love this story, I’m hoping that the only additional novels we get are companion stories that take place in the same time frame.

The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1) by Rick Riordan

This book was so much fun! I had seen quite a few reviews and thoughts about this series on YouTube and it just appealed to me so much, with it being about the god Apollo being turned into a 16-year-old boy and having to complete his trials so that he can be a god again. This book was just laugh out loud funny.

I loved seeing the world through Apollo’s eyes. He’s just so all about himself and thinks everything revolves around him, that people are gushing about him, that no one can get any job done without his help and can never have any abilities of their own – and he sees no problem with that. I love that the other characters in this book kind of help teach him a bit, bring him down to a more earthly level. And this book is full of such fun mystery and adventure that only Rick Riordan can write. I’m glad I picked up the second book in this series because it’s just so much fun!

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My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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