New World Rising by Jennifer Wilson // Review

new world rising

New World Rising by Jennifer Wilson. 

Published by Oftomes Publishing on January 5th, 2016. (Originally published August 14th, 2014.)

Genre: Dystopian.

My Format and Page Count: Paperback // 318 Pages.

Buy on Amazon


Summary:

Worlds collide in debut author Jennifer Wilson’s graphic dystopian series where Divergent meets Mad Max.

Since witnessing her parents’ murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix’s only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother’s dying words – to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls – outside of The Sanctuary – is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, “Join or die.”

Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself…

“Once I had opened a book and read its pages, those characters could never be taken away from me. Even if the books were burned, they would still live on in my mind.”


My Thoughts:

This was one of the biggest surprises for me when it comes to books. I had no intentions of reading this since it seems like the typical dystopian, but I am very glad I drew it as my random book of the month. This is anything but typical. It does have some of the tropes you find within the genre, but they are done so right that it doesn’t even matter. The characters are written so well, the plot is kept interesting throughout, and the world is super gripping. Pick it up!

Pros:

The World: The world within these pages is very gripping. It follows a society outside of the walls, within is the perfect Utopian life. We follow characters who live outside of this society, instead having to survive the deadly world. That was a terrible explanation. The point is the world is done very nicely, which is something that falls flat often times in dystopians.

The Characters: Unlike many dystopian novels, the characters in this novel are fleshed out pretty well, each having their own personality. You wont find any cookie cutters in here, only personalities that stand strong on their own. You also grow to love most of them.

The relationships: When I say relationships, I don’t only mean romantically. The romance, the friendships, the family aspects, even the rivalries are done so well. They don’t just instantly happen, it builds up. Every relationship within this novel has its reason, and isn’t just their to fill space.

The Pacing: Jennifer Wilson wrote the pacing PERFECTLY in this novel. It was very fast paced, and just done well in general. Pacing is very important to me when I am reading.


I decided not to do a spoiler section because I don’t really feel like I have much I feel the need to say in that regard.

Overall, this is definitely one of the most enjoyable and fun books I have read this year.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars.

This review was rather messy compared to my others… or maybe not, I am not sure.

What are your thoughts on New World Rising? Have you read it? Is it on your TBR?

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Series I Need To Finish

Everyone in my life always asks how I can read so many series at the same time. My answer is always the same, that being I can’t… but that doesn’t stop me from doing it. Today, I will be talking about 11 of said series. I have started more than that, but I will only be talking about finished series.

1. The Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children Trilogy by Ransom Riggs. 

Miss P goodness

I know what you are thinking… this is your favorite series, how have you not finished? My answer to that is fear. I have read the first two books in the series, so all I have left is Library of Souls. I am rereading Hollow City, or may have already read this since I prewrote this, this month, so I will probably read Library of Souls in December or January. I also need to read Tales of the Peculiar, but lets not talk about it. Also, THERE WILL BE 3 MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES! I don’t believe I have talked about my excitement… but yeah, I am excited. I am still counting this series since it was technically finished, though.

2. The New World Trilogy by Jennifer Wilson. 

new world trilogy

I had very low expectations going into this first book. It was my random pick of the month, so I had to read it… and it got 5 out of 5 stars. It takes all of the dystopian tropes we have come to love and turns them on the head. Not much else to say, I need to read the last two.

3. The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling. 

harry-potter-series

Yes, I have only read Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone and Chamber of Secrets. This is probably the most well-known series ever, so people are shocked when they hear that I, a bookworm, have yet to finish. The truth is I don’t have the motivation to at the moment, and this is one I don’t want to force. I will pick up the third book when I feel like it, that also gives me more time to pick up the illustrated edition. I already have the first 2.

4. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. 

TLC

I absolutely love retellings, so I am pretty surprised I haven’t finished this series yet. I was/am a bit discouraged due to rating Cinder a 5 star and Scarlet a 3. I’m nervous the first book will be the best. A 3 star read is by no means bad, but it is just discouraging since I loved the first so much. Enough rambling, I love Marissa Meyer’s writing, so this is one I will probably continue soon… I hope.

5. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. 

the mortal instruments

Do you see a trend here? Because I do. Another very popular series I have only read the first book of. I really enjoyed City of Bonesso I know this is a series for me. Also Alec. That is another very good reason.

6. Wolf by Wolf Duology by Ryan Graudin. 

This is the only duology on this list. I didn’t expect to like Wolf by Wolf because I am not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but wow it was a roller coaster. It follows a girl who enters a motorcycle contest with the end goal of killing Hitler… I was all in. I have only read Wolf by Wolf, so I still have Blood for Blood and the short stories to read. I am a bit nervous about this one because I have such a specific ending in mind I am worried I will be disappointed otherwise. That’s my fault, though.

7. The Endgame Series by James Frey. 

This is the biggest surprise for me. I put this series off for so long because I thought I would hate it, but I have since read the first two AND training diaries (the first of 2 novella sets set in this world), and I adore it. It follows 12 players, all fighting for their line. People like to say it is a hunger games rip off, but I personally believe this is better… and very different. Anyways, I have one novella collection and the final book left to read!

8. The Dorothy Must Die Series by Danielle Paige.

dorothy must die

From this series I have only read Dorothy Must Die and Dorothy Must Die Stories Volume 1. That means I still have the 3 sequels, and 2 other novella collections. Everyone knows I love retellings, and I have never read one based on The Wizard of Oz, so this was a must read for me. I actually gave the first book 5 stars, so I have high hopes for the rest of the series.

9. The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead. 

the vampire academy series.png

I read the first book in this series about a year and a half ago and LOVED it. The more time that goes on I realize it wasn’t all that good. I still really enjoyed it, but it was no 5 star read, probably closer to a 3.5-4 star. I am still very excited to read the rest, though.

10. The Selection Series by Kiera Kass. 

the selection series

Whenever I pick one of these up I finish it very quickly, but the issue with it is I am never motivated to read them until I am in the midst of reading one. So far I have read The Selection and The Elite, so I technically only have one in the main trilogy left. I have also heard mostly bad things about the last 2 books in the series, so that makes me a bit nervous. #TeamMaxon.


Those are the 10 series I am currently making my way through! There are more than just these 10, but these are the series that I am putting most of my focus into.

What are your thoughts on these series? Have you read any?

Down the TBR Hole #2

I’m back with another week of Down the TBR Hole! I decided last week I will be doing this every week, so I hope you guys enjoy it!

Rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week!

Last week I got rid of 1 book out of the 10 I looked through, so let’s see how this week goes!

Current “To-Read” Shelf: 379 Titles.


11. A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis.

a madness so discreet

Date Added: January 11th, 2016.

Do I Own It?: Yes.

The Judgement: I bought this book due to the haunting vibe that I got from it. Since owning this, I have read one other book by her. That being Female of the Species… and I loved it.

The Verdict: KEEP.

12. Wither by Lauren DeStefano. 

wither

Date Added: January 12th, 2016.

Do I Own It?: Yes.

The Judgement: I bought this book off of Bookoutlet over 2 years ago due to the cover. Reading over the description again I just lost interest.

The Verdict: REMOVE.

13. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

red queen.jpg

Date Added: January 18th, 2016.

Do I Own It?: Yes.

The Judgement: This book has very mixed reviews, which makes me a tad bit nervous. That being said, I am interested and would like to develop my own opinions.

The Verdict: KEEP.

14. Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier.

dream a littlwe dream

Date Added: January 26th, 2016.

Do I Own It?: Yup.

The Judgement: Another one that I have heard mixed reviews on. Like I said in my last Down the TBR Hole, I love Alice in Wonderland.

The Verdict: KEEP.

15. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton.

The strange and beautiful sorrows of ava lavender

Date Added: January 26th, 2016.

Do I Own It?: Yes.

The Judgement: I have heard nothing but good things about this novel, and I really want to read more magical realism. The type of writing that comes with the genre usually isn’t my cup of tea, but who knows!

The Verdict: KEEP.

16. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma.

the walls around us

Date Added: January 26th, 2016.

Do I Own It?: Mmhmm.

The Judgement: I actually completely forgot this book existed, and upon looking up the plot I am intrigued again. I may get around to this soon!

The Verdict: KEEP.

17. Perfect by Sara Shepard.
Perfect.png

Date Added: January 26th, 2016.

Do I Own It?: Maybe…

The Judgement: This is my guilty pleasure series, LEAVE ME ALONE! I will continue some day.

The Verdict: KEEP!…

18. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.

dark places

Date Added: January 26th, 2016.

Do I Own It?: Yes.

The Judgement: I recently read Sharp Objects and really enjoyed it. I have heard the rest of her novels are even better, so I am excited!

The Verdict: KEEP.

19. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

The graveyard book

Date Added: January 26th, 2016.

Do I Own It?: Yes.

The Judgement: I have owned this book for WAY too long. Neil Gaiman is a well-known author, so I really need to just get to it!

The Verdict: KEEP.

20. Night Film by Marisha Pessl.

night film

Date Added: January 26th, 2016.

Do I Own It?: Yup.

The Judgement: I have heard only good things about this novel. It is so intimidating to me for some reason, but someday I will conquer it!

The Verdict: KEEP.


Another week, only 1 more book removed from my TBR. Maybe next time I will feel more willing to let some go 😉

Also, I may do something in the future in which I take all of my hesitant keeps and try them out! In this I would talk about my feelings upon giving the book a try. We will see.

Have you read any of these novels? Let me know how you liked them!

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera// Review

Before I start this review, I would like to say Happy Thanksgiving to those in America who celebrate!

More Than Happy Not

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. 

Published by Soho Teen on June 2nd, 2015.

Genre(s): Contemporary with a twist.

My Format and Page Count: Hardcover// 293 Pages.

Buy on Amazon


Summary:

Part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, part Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Adam Silvera’s extraordinary debut confronts race, class, and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.

The Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto – miracle cure-alls don’t tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can’t forget how he’s grown up poor or how his friends aren’t always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it’s not enough.

Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn’t mind Aaron’s obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn’t mind talking about Aaron’s past. But Aaron’s newfound happiness isn’t welcome on his block. Since he’s can’t stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.

“I’ve become this happiness scavenger who picks away at the ugliness of the world, because if there’s happiness tucked away in my tragedies, I’ll find it no matter what. If the blind can find joy in music, and the deaf can discover it with colors, I will do my best to always find the sun in the darkness because my life isn’t one sad ending—it’s a series of endless happy beginnings.”


There are a couple of trigger warnings for this book, those being Suicide, Depression, and gay bashing.

My Thoughts:

Adam Silvera is an author I always wanted to read from, so this is my first novel by him. He did not let me down. This is the first time I have ever read a book and saw a main character I relate to on a personal level. That being said, I loved this novel. There were some points that bored me a bit, but for the most part this book kept my attention. #OwnVoices literature is so important, so it is nice to see people on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum writing. The main character, Aaron, went through a coming out experience similar to what thousands of teens, so this is definitely a book that should be accessible to a younger audience. It has a heart breaking ending, but does eventually end happily.

Pros:

Gay Main Character: LGBT+ literature is important. If it is written by an LGBT identifying author, it makes it all the better. This book follows a gay main character who struggles to accept himself, especially due to the area he lives. He goes through some of the same struggles as gay teens in real life, and has some of the same thoughts. This is a very important contemporary novel with a twist.

Contemporary with a Twist: This book may come off as a contemporary novel, but it has a slight twist to it. It takes place in a near future, one that has a procedure called the Leteo procedure. It erases certain memories that the person no longer wants to relive, or can even change a whole part of a person. This is such an interesting take on the contemporary genre, giving a strong story an even larger edge.

The Characters: Adam Silvera wrote a diverse cast of characters living in the Bronx. There were characters you hated, characters you loved, and even characters that you weren’t sure of how to feel about. He does a great job especially with Aaron and Collin, the two gay characters. Aaron is the main character, and him being gay comes out of nowhere. The reasoning for this is revealed towards the end. Collin is the type to refuse to accept the fact that he is gay, and doesn’t really change throughout the novel.

Curve Balls: I am not going to go into this too much, but this book threw a lot of curve balls. Right when you think you know where it is going,  it takes a sharp turn and goes elsewhere. This is definitely something I liked.

The Relationships: I appreciated every relationship in this book. Some weren’t healthy, hell, most weren’t healthy, but they were realistic. They all served as a what not to do guide.

There are not any notable cons to this book.


*Spoiler Section*

  • Aaron and Collin: I appreciated this relationship. It showed 2 gay guys secretly dating even though they have girlfriends. Although the situation is screwed up, it does happen in real life, so I appreciate the addition of this. Collins character in general was a nice addition to the story.
  • Aaron’s Procedure: I was completely shook when it was revealed Aaron already had the procedure done… but it made sense. It gave us insight onto why he never saw any red flags as to being gay. It also revealed that he had a relationship with Collin.
  • Aaron’s Friends: When Aaron’s friends jumped him I was pissed. What assholes? All because he is gay? That just shows how nasty this world can be.
  • Thomas: I thought this book was going to be stereotypical. Best friends end up with each other. When it was revealed Thomas is straight I was surprised, but it was necessary. It shows everything doesn’t always turn out perfect.
  • Amnesia: Once again, this had me shook. I had NO idea this is how the book was going to turn out. Aaron is left with a certain kind of Amnesia, one that leaves him with short-term memory loss. It was a heart breaking conclusion, but he did end up with his happy ending.

*Spoiler Section Ends*


Overall, this book felt real. I appreciate what Silvera did, giving us real characters who identified as gay. I am excited to read more of his works.

My Rating: 4.75/5 Stars.

Would I Recommend?

–  I think this is an important read for teens struggling with their identity. Even if you are not, this may teach you what goes on in the minds of LGBT teens. Read it!!

The Goodreads Book Tag

I have been looking around for some tags to do and I saw this one, so let us jump right in!

gr

1. What was the last book you marked as read? 

The last book I marked as read was More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera. I absolutely loved this book, so I am happy this is the answer. The more I can talk about this novel, the better. I gave it a 4.5/5 Stars, and will have a review going up on Thanksgiving! 

More Than Happy Not

2. What are you currently reading? 

I am actually currently reading 3 books, the first of which being Sky Key , which is the second book in the Endgame Series by James Frey. This is one of my all time favorite series. People who haven’t read it often describe it as a Hunger Games rip off, but that is far from what this is. It is much better if you ask me. 

Next, I am reading Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. I am not going to say much about this, it is the last book in the series. Everyone knows what it is, I love it, blah blah blah. 

Finally, I am also reading Half Wild, a short story collection by Robin McArthur. This is a collection of stories following the people who live in Vermont, more specifically the woods. They tend to be of lower intelligence, or from family’s of such. I am not enjoying it at all. 

3. What was the last book you marked as “To-Read”?

The last book I put on my Goodreads TBR is Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman. I know close to nothing about this book, and the only reason I want to read it is because Booksandlala said it has a “teen horror” feeling. I love horror!

girls on fire.jpg

4. Do you use the star rating system?

I definitely do… I not only use full stars, but books can even receive .5 or .25ths of a star from me. SO YES.

5. Are you doing the 2017 Reading Challenge? 

I am. I am only 2 books away from completing my goal of 50 books, which is significantly smaller than usual. Obviously for good reason, though. 

6. Do you have a wish list? 

Of course I do, I’m a reader????? 

7. Who are your favorite authors?

I love so many authors, but to pick a few I will say Ransom Riggs, Morgan Matson, and Rick Riordan. 

8. Have you joined any groups? 

Yes, I am apart of Around the Year in 52 Books, Bloggers Lift, #AYEARATHON, and Monthly Recommendations.

9. How many Goodreads shelves do you have?

I have 2 outside of the default 3. They are To-Buy and Classics TBR.


There you have it, The Goodreads Tag! I tag anyone who wants to do it!!

I hope you enjoyed, what was the last book you marked as read?

Monthly Recommendations: Books I’m Thankful For.

Before I stopped blogging, I decided to start doing monthly recommendations posts, all based on themes from the Goodreads group found here.  I only did one before leaving the blogosphere, but I decided to continue now that I am back! November’s topic is books I am thankful for!

The Fear Street Series by R. L Stine.

Fear street

This is the series that sparked my love of reading. I remember back in 3rd grade I would always have one of these for reading time. My teacher called my parents, asking them if they knew about me reading these at such a young age. They told her they don’t care what I read, they are just proud that I am reading. With that story aside, I still pick one of these up on occasion!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

TH

Over the years I lost interest in reading, but in 7th grade this series brought me back. This is such a stereotypical answer, but that shows the degree in which these novels influenced literature. I will admit that the more time that goes by the more I realize these aren’t the greatest of books, but that isn’t enough to wipe the nostalgia and falter my opinion.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

Miss P goodness

This is my all time favorite series. This is also the series that brought me back into the reading world permanently. I know I talk about these books a lot on my blog, but deal with it! The world within these novels is so unique, and it helped me get away from my real life when times were tough. The catch? I haven’t even read the final novel. I was so worried and sad about finishing the series I put it off, but now that Ransom announced there will be 3 more book sin the series I can finish… after I reread Hollow City.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.

Second chance summer

This is a book that I am thankful for for different reasons then the rest. This is the first book that made me cry. That may not seem like a big deal for some people, but it is for me. I am not one to cry, especially while reading. This book actually cracked me open, doing something I didn’t think was possible. It may seem dumb, but this is something I am thankful for.

The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan.

PJ

Unpopular opinion: I enjoy this series more than Harry Potter. I love both, though. I am actually not finished with this series, but I am currently reading the final novel. This is the most fun I have had while reading a series, and it has taught me a lot about Greek Mythology, something I have always been interested in. It sits next ti Miss Peregrine’s in my all time favorites.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera.

More Than Happy Not

This is one that is really important to me. It is the first book I read that I saw a main character that is similar to me. Growing up gay is never easy, and this is a novel that really catches the struggle gay teens encounter. It is something I will forever be grateful for.


Sorry for the short reasoning’s, this was meant to be a quick post for you guys!

What books are you grateful for? Let me know down below!

Down the TBR Hole #1

I have seen people doing this meme around, so I decided to start as well! My Goodreads TBR is RIDICULOUS. It has books I own and do not own, so I will be doing them ALL! This meme was started over on Lostinastory, which you can find here!

Rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Current “To-Read” Shelf- 380 Titles.


Book 1: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan.

The Lost Hero.jpg

Date Added: December 21st, 2015.

Do I Own It?: No.

The Judgment: Rick Riordan is one of my favorite authors, and I am actually reading the final book in the Percy Jackson series now. The only reason I haven’t read this yet is because I haven’t finished his other series, so it is safe to say I will be keeping this.

The Verdict: KEEP. 

2. Legend by Marie Lu. 

legend

Date Added: December 21st, 2015.

Do I Own It?: Nope.

The Judgment: Marie Lu is an author I really want to read. I rarely buy books full price, and the sole reason I haven’t read this is due to never finding it on sale.

The Verdict: KEEP.

3. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan.

the red pyramid.jpg

Date Added: December 21st, 2015.

Do I Own It?: No.

The Judgment: Honestly, same as The Lost Hero.

The Verdict: KEEP.

4. Wake by Lisa McMann.

wake

Date Added: December 21st, 2015.

Do I Own It: No!

The Judgment: The premise of this book does sound interesting, but since I added it I lost interest. Most people I know who have read it disliked it (Other than one friend I have who is OBSESSED), so I think it’s safe to say I wont care for it too much.

The Verdict: REMOVE.

5. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski.

the winners curse.jpg

Date Added: December 21st, 2015. (Damn, I was pumped when I discovered Goodreads.)

Do I Own It?: No.

The Judgment: This series struck me due to the covers, then I heard how much people love it. My predicament? I don’t really care for the synopsis, but I know people who also didn’t think they would like it and did… Hm.

The Verdict: “Hesitant” KEEP.

6. Everlost by Neal Shusterman.

everlost.jpg

Date Added: December 21st, 2015.

Do I Own It?: Nope.

The Judgment: This is the first one I actually needed to read the synopsis of again, and I realized why I added it in the first place. It sounds so intriguing! I don’t see any 5 star reviews of it in the featured reviews, though. I also don’t see anything worse than a 2!

The Verdict: KEEP.

7. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

shadow and bone.jpg

Date Added: December 21st, 2015.

Do I Own It?: Yes.

The Judgement: Leigh Bardugo is another on of those authors I REALLY want to read from. I have decided I will be reading the Grisha Trilogy before Six of Crows, though. So that answers this question!

The Verdict: KEEP.

8. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.

acatar.jpg

Date Added: December 21st, 2015.

Do I Own It?: Yup.

The Judgment: Another one of those beloved books I haven’t read. I LOVE Beauty and the Beast, so I am sure I will love this.

The Verdict: KEEP.

9. Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

heartless

Date Added: January 8th, 2016.

Do I Own It?: Yes, I own the pretty black and white Owlcrate edition!

The Judgement: I absolutely love the Lunar Chronicles, although I have only read the first two. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of my all time favorite stories and Marissa Meyer is one of my all time favorite authors… This is made for me.

The Verdict: KEEP!

10. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard.

truthwitch.jpg

Date Added: January 8th, 2016.

Do I Own It?: A signed copy!

The Judgement: I actually met Susan Dennard for the release of this book. She is so sweet! Unfortunately, I still have not gotten to this… I tried once but decided to put it down until I could devote more time to it.

The Verdict: KEEP.


Well, I REALLY enjoyed that! Enough to where I think I will make this something I do every Friday!

So I only removed 1 book… I guess that’s a start? The first 50ish books will probably be similar because they are mostly books I own, so we will see.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore// Review

Wild Beauty

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. 

Published by Feiwel and Friends on October 3rd, 2017.

Genre: Magical Realism.

My Format and Page Count: Hardcover// 335 Pages.

Buy on Amazon


Summary:

Love grows such strange things.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

“Of course he would think the whole glittering universe existed to spin anything he wanted out of stardust. He was a man, and a rich one, and these together made him believe the planets and moons orbited around the single point of his desires.”


*Non-Spoiler Section*

My Thoughts:

This book is the epitome of a slow-burner. The writing is very lyrical and “flowery”, reading beautifully. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book. This is completely based on opinion, so don’t let this review dissuade you from picking this novel up. I went into this excited, the concept being one that seemed very original. Unfortunately, I am the type of reader who enjoys fast-paced novels, so I was bored throughout this. The story is not for everyone, so if you are like me then this probably isn’t the book for you.

Pros:

The Family- I love books that follow the dynamic of a family. In Wild Beauty we meet the Nomeolvide women. A family of 15 girls that spans 3 generations. The main focus of this book is the family dynamic, and how each of these girls can grow a specific type of flower depending on their name. The family was my favorite part of this novel. They argued and didn’t agree on everything, but they still loved each other. Although they had powers, this felt like a real family.

The Characters- Anna-Marie did an amazing job at creating 15 very different characters. Some others would have made the 5 main girls similar, each taking form of some cookie-cutter trope, but Anna created characters full of depth, each having a personality of their own. Estrella was naive, strong. Calla was the youngest, but she was one of the smartest. Azealia was flirty and fun, but also had a bite. You get the point.

The Premise- What really drew me to this book (Other than the cover), was the interesting plot. A family of girls who can grow flowers with only their hands, the cost being the one they love? I was sold. The execution just wasn’t up to par.

The Diversity: I really enjoyed the diversity that went into this book. The Nomeolvide women are of color, and many of them are not straight. Fel’s brother is also gay. My favorite part about this is how nonchalant it was. It was not an issue for the reason’s society says it is now.

Indifferent:

The Writing- Anna-Marie McLemore’s writing is absolutely beautiful. It is a style that most people would enjoy, but it causes the story to come off as slow, which is something I do not enjoy. The reason it is here is because I really do like the lyrical way she tells her story, but it also hinders the pacing.

Cons:

The Relationship: I really wanted to like this relationship, but I didn’t. I am talking about the main relationship. The reasons I didn’t like it is because it felt forced, and it just wasn’t very practical. I will go more into this in the spoiler section.

The Pacing: This was definitely my least favorite part of the novel, and unfortunately it is one of the most crucial. This book was too damn slow for me, and I know that a lot of people enjoy slow-burners, but I am not one. There was a part in the middle that actually had my full attention, but before and after that 50 page stretch I was very disinterested. This book just did not do it for me.

The Execution: The premise of this book was so interesting, but the execution fell flat. The pacing made this very boring, and it just wasn’t done greatly in general. This is completely my opinion and I am pretty sure I am in the minority, so definitely check this book out and form your own!


*Spoiler Section*

Everything below will spoil major plot details, so please read at your own risk.

  • All the Girls Love Bay: It was definitely very interesting to read about these cousins who were all in love with the same person. Not only that, but the person was a girl. This racked lots of points for me, and I believe the right move was made when Dalia ended up with Bay.
  • Estrella and Fel: This relationship felt so forced. Right when Estrella found him in the garden you knew what was going to happen, and it seemed as if her finding him meant she HAD to be the one to fall in love with him. I do think it was a cute sub-plot, but it felt too forced.
  • Damn Briars!: It is revealed near the end that the Briar family covered up a mining incident that killed hundreds of men. Not only this, but it was also revealed that they send the disappointing members of the family to the land hoping it will devour them, similarly to what it does to the Nomeolvides lovers.
  • Reid: I actually didn’t hate Reid until his intentions were shown. I thought that they were quick to judge, but then they were proven right. Reid fled the land at the end, probably being the best option for him.
  • The Ending: Although I did enjoy the ending, it was not practical. All of the lost lovers and men who died in the mining accident were uncovered and miraculously came back to life. It definitely gave us a happy ending I enjoyed, even if it didn’t make much sense.

*Spoiler Sections Ends*


 

Overall, Wild Beauty fell flat for me. The beautiful writing wasn’t enough to carry it’s poor pacing, and that is the biggest influence on my opinion.

My Rating: 2/5 Stars.

Would I Recommend?

–  Although I didn’t like this novel, I feel my reasons were solely opinion based. That being said, I would recommend everyone read this novel and develop their own opinion.

I hope this review gave you some insight on the novel! What were your thoughts on Wild Beauty?

ScallywagAThon Wrap-Up!

Ah, how nice it feels to be back!

This past week was the ScallywagAThon, a readathon hosted by HardbackHoarder and Read All The Books over on YouTube! The concept? Read books that help you get through a map, the end result getting you to treasure. You complete four challenges that relate to pirates in some way. I completed 3, so that is what we will be talking about today.

1. Deadman Wonderland Volume 4 by Jinsei Kataoka.

Deadman Wonderland Vol, 04

Since this is a sequel I can not talk much about its contents, but Deadman Wonderland follows a prison. The prison is set up like an amusement park, allowing the public who view shows and rides, all killing prisoners in the process.

This series is confusing. I get more and more confused with each volume, but it also clears itself up. My issue? With every issue that is resolved, more confusion occurs. That probably doesn’t make sense. Anyway’s, this was enjoyable.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars.

2. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore.

Wild Beauty

Wild Beauty is a tale of family and love. For generations, the family had daughters with a peculiar power. They could bloom plants with only their hands. The cost? The one’s they fall in love with disappear, claimed by the land.

First of all, this cover is beautiful. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the content within. This was not due to poor quality, but simply opinion. The plot is interesting, pulling me into the world before I even opened the book. The writing style was not my taste. This book was a slow burner, with writing that would be labelled “Flowery”. I am a fast paced reader, so this didn’t do it for me. The characters were written beautifully, though.

Rating: 2/5 Stars.

3. Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan.

Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth

I am almost done with this series!!! This book did not disappoint, it was a great continuation and lead up to the final novel. I am sad that it is almost done, though.

Rating: 5/5 Stars.


Those are the books I read for the ScallywagAThon! I really enjoyed doing this readathon. Keep your eyes out for full reviews of Wild Beauty and Percy Jackson!