The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)

Started: July 28, 2017
Finished: July 30, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars


This dangerous girl. This captivating beauty.
This destroyer of worlds and creator of wonder.


When I read the excerpt for this novel, I felt as if it was almost exactly like the original story – and that made me push it away. I was not all that interested in reading A Thousand and One Nights but written with modern prose. After reading this novel, I still stand by the fact that there are a lot more of the original story in this novel than you might find in other retellings – but I do admit that the book is, still, amazing.

Renée Ahdieh’s writing is captivating and her characters and world feel incredibly real. I fell in love with Khalid and wanted Shazi as my best friend. I wanted to practice archery with Jalal and gossip with Despina. I wanted to live in their kingdom, despite the dangers present there, and I wanted to jump into the story more and more with every page.

If the many similarities with the original story did not bother me that much – and I honestly do not know why they did – this would have been a 5 star read. Especially since those similarities appeared less and less the further into the book you got. But, because of this, I have to stick to 4 stars. Still recommend that everyone reads this – and I can happily admit that I bought the sequel almost immediately after finishing this.


I read this book for the BookTubeAThon 2017 (Challenge #2: Read a hyped book)

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The Sleeper and the Spindle

Started: July 30, 2017
Finished: July 30, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars


It would be the end of her life, she decided, if life was a time of choices. In a week from now, she would have no choices.


In this short book, Neil Gaiman combines the tales of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Snow White is about to marry her Prince when three of the dwarves come to her castle and tell her of a curse in the kingdom beyond the mountains; everyone there is falling asleep. In order to keep the curse from reaching her kingdom, Snow White sets out together with the dwarves to break the curse – by waking the sleeping princess.

The base of this story is interesting and Neil Gaiman’s writing is, as always, a delight. However, the story could have been a lot more captivating if it had been longer. As it is now, it lacks in the character and world development – and even though the ending is a twist and a half, it could have been more.

All in all, an average book.


I read this book for the BookTubeAThon 2017 (Challenge #7: Read seven books)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Started: July 30, 2017
Finished: July 30, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars


I would like to take this opportunity to reassure Muggle purchasers that the amusing creatures described hereafter are fictional and cannot hurt you.To wizards, I say merely: Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.


Actual rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

A quick read made all the better by Eddie Redmayne – aka Newt – reading it!

I actually think I would not have enjoyed this as much if I had bought it as a physical book. Yes, it is an essential part of your Hogwarts library and the facts about each magical creature are really interesting, but having the man we now think of as Newt Scamander read it made it a lot better. But it is still a book that acts as an encyclopedia for fantastic beasts. If you’re looking for facts about a specific creature in these times of internet wikis, I’d recommend looking it up there instead.


I read this book for the BookTubeAThon 2017 (Challenge #5: Finish a book completely outdoors)

The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2)

Started: July 25, 2017
Finished: July 28, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 5/5 stars


“The rules of reason build towers that reach past the treetops. The rules of trust build towers that reach past the stars.”


Actual rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Going into this, I was terrified. I loved the first book a lot more than I had expected and I was terrified that, now that I knew who the Prince and the Assassin were, some of the appeal would slide away. As would the idea of a love triangle that did not drive me mad.

I should not have been afraid.

The writing in this series is exceptional! The world building, the character development (for Lia and Kaden in particular) – amazing! And the love triangle – although there and a bit annoying at times – did not annoy me as much as I thought it would. Also I’m not sure which of the boys I’d root for. After the first book I would have said Rafe, but after getting to know Kaden a bit more in this book… yeah, I’m not sure. Although, I’m not sure Lia actually needs to end up with either of them. She’s a pretty strong, independent woman who could take on the world without any man – Prince or Assassin – as her husband.

As we follow Lia’s adventures in Venda – as a prized captive of the Komizar – we get to see the part of this world that no one else has. We get to see the poverty of Venda and how the Komizar has turned that into an argument as to why they should wage war on the other nations, along with a lot of religious and mythological arguments that work with the tribes of this nation. It’s politics and mind games – which I am actually a fan of. I am a Ravenclaw, after all; I love a good puzzle.

What brings my rating down? Actually the loose threads. At the end of the book Lia and Rafe get out of Venda, which I fear might make it more difficult to solve some of the puzzles left there. Especially since Kaden, still in Venda, is not in the best position to investigate – judging by the last scene – nor does he know everything that Lia figured out. Maybe this will be cleared up in the next book, but I would have liked to see more of those threads cleared in this, as I do fear there will be too much to settle and explain in the final installment of this trilogy.

However; that cliffhanger.
OH
MY
GOD!


I read this book for the BookTubeAThon 2017 (Challenge #1: Read a book with a person on the cover)

Princess of Glass (Princesses of Westfalin #2)

Started: July 28, 2017
Finished: July 28, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars


“Dancing? You, Poppy? I never thought…”


I adore this series. It’s one of the sweeter retellings I’ve found so far – much more adapted to younger readers, but still enjoyable for those of us (like myself) who’s older. And I like how the author interpreted the end of the original story of the 12 Dancing Princesses – “They lived happily ever after and they never danced again.” – in order to explore what happily ever after and no more dancing meant.

In this story, we follow Poppy, one of the princesses made to dance every night for the King Under Stone. In an attempt to bring peace between the nations the royals have begun an exchange program – and Poppy has left her home country to stay in anot. Another exchange student is Prince Christian of Danelaw and the two become friends. One of the servants at the house Poppy is staying at, however, has a dark secret and wants to snatch Prince Christian for herself, and when a mysterious woman charms the court – wooing all the men and making all the women jealous – Poppy finds herself having to solve a magical mystery. Who is the woman with the glass slippers?

This retelling of Cinderella is much more in tune with the original story – not the Disney one – which I prefer. That some problems are solved far too easy, some of the characters feel a bit flat and the story progresses quite fast (which is most likely perfectly fine with a younger audience, but perhaps not with an older one) prevents me from giving it a 5 star rating. But definitely a good book and I am looking forward to reading the next one already!


I read this book for the BookTubeAThon 2017 (Challenge #3: Finish a book in one day)

Binge

Started: July 26, 2017
Finished: July 27, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 5/5 stars


“When life throws a wrench in your plans, catch it and build an IKEA bookshelf.”


Tyler seriously cannot disappoint me!

When this book was announced and, later, when it actually came out in print, I had my mind set on getting a physical copy of it. And then other things came between me and actually getting the damn book. So I decided to listen to it as an audio book instead.

I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED!

Tyler reads this book himself – and adds comments, questions and other things just for the listeners. Which does make this audio book feel like you’re sitting in the same room as him, just listening to him telling his stories. Because, comments and questions and other things are sweet and all, but they do not measure up to the stories.

I didn’t start actively following Tyler Oakley until about three years ago, around the time when I was doing my last semester at university. Sure, I knew who he was and had watched a few of his videos prior to that, but that was when I actually subscribed and started watching everything he uploaded.

However, videos lasting a few minutes can only tell so much. In this book, Tyler tells longer stories, more intricate ones, ones that he has sometimes only mentioned in passing but never delved into properly, or ones he has not touched at all. It’s pure and real, funny and sad, and it doesn’t take roundabout routes to point out the truth.

Two words; read it. Read this book. Right now!


I read this book for the BookTubeAThon 2017 (Challenge #3: Read about a character that is very different from you)

The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace #1)

Started: July 24, 2017
Finished: July 26, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars


You made tools of us. Have you never considered: the thing of a tool is that anyone may use it.


Actual rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

This book has an interesting premise, certainly, and even though I got it because of the cover I looked forward to reading it because of that. Unfortunately, it felt a bit “meh”. The characters felt flat and there was no real character development. It took some time for the story to actually get interesting – and once that reached its climax and I felt like things might actually turn out quite good, it went back to falling flat.

I still decided to give this story a 2.5 because of the LGBT representation and because of that the general premise of the novel, but I don’t think I’ll read the sequel.


I read this book for the BookTubeAThon 2017 (Challenge #6: Read a book you bought because of the cover)