Nameless Queen Book Review

Book: Nameless Queen
Author: Rebecca McLaughlin
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, Crown Books for Young Readers, for providing me with this ARC.

I really did enjoy this book. The characters and the world were just amazing. I love the mixture of the fantasy and dystopian elements. It just made for such as amazing vibe-think of the world of Red Queen. I don’t know what it is about this mix that always pulls me in. I know both genres are close, but there just is something about them being mixed together. Plus, the idea of rags to riches is just one of my favourite things in book. The whole street rat who is actually royalty troop is something that never gets old for me.

Coin is our lead character. I love how she stays true to her character throughout the whole book. She is strong and caring, but flawed. I love how she will do anything for those she cares about and how she stands up for what she thinks is right-even though she has been named queen. I just love it whenever characters are placed into different situations, but still manage to keep themselves pretty level headed.


Hat, though, was probably my favourite characters in the book. She remained me so much of Primm. She’s sweet and innocent. She is kind, but she is strong in her own way. It’s not the same kind of strength of Coin, but it’s there. It’s more of an innocent kind of strong.

The world building is great. Like I said earlier, there is just something about the mix of fantasy and science fiction that just makes it really difficult for me to put it down. This is  a world were some people have a name and some don’t. This leads to a class divide and a social ranking. I know, I know, a lot of you are rolling your eyes at this plot. However, I will always have a soft place for this.

What really made me drop a star off the book was the  fact that the ending was really rushed. It felt like for a long time that there was going to be a second book, but we ended up with a  really rushed ending. I really wish that the author had taken more time to flesh the story out in this first book, then made it a trilogy or something. Trust me, there is enough in this book to carry a series.


Anyway, this book comes out on January 7, 2020. I’ll be making a Youtube video on this very shortly.

East Book Review

Book: East
Author: Edith Pattou
Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

No matter how many times I read this book, it never gets old. I have read this story many times over the last nine years and have really enjoyed it each and every time. To me, that is making of a good book. It’s not about being the right age for a title, but about the quality of the work. There is just something about this world and the characters that always makes me feel like I am in a good space. It just always feels good to return to a well done world and a well written book.

I love the plot. I got so many Golden Compass vibes while reading this-not that this is anything like the Golden Compass. It is set in Norway in the 1500s and we get to see a lot of the country. The way Edith writes the country just makes you feel like you are in Norway traveling with the characters. I just got so many feels while traveling with the characters. I don’t know what is about stories in the north that make me feel good-probably because it is a big change from the normal book settings. Plus, there is this sense of the unknown about the north that makes for a fun read; I don’t know if anyone else feels like this, but if you do, then you know what I am talking about.

The characters are well done and well developed. I loved each and everyone of them. We do have a large cast of characters and a lot of point of view characters. I had no trouble keeping them all separated in my mind. To me, this just means that the characters are well developed and written in completely different ways. I loved Rose’s and the White Bear’s point of view. I loved traveling with them and seeing them grow. The first time I read this book, I really wasn’t all that fond of the Troll Queen’s point of view,  but now that I’m older, I really do like it and like how it adds to the story. I also liked getting to see how things were going at home. It just gave us a really nice look into the true lives of the characters.

Edith’s writing was very easy to get into. Yes, it is very simple, but don’t let that fool you. It’s complete and you really do get a nice taste of the world. I really enjoyed that and seeing just how a more middle grade fantasy could give us what we are looking for. I just really liked seeing what this world could do.

The Lies of Locke Lamora Book Review

Book: The Lies of Locke Lamora
Author: Scott Lynch
Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

Um…All I can say is blame Youtube. I honestly had never heard of this book until a couple of months ago and I don’t know how it slipped by me. I love heist novels and this one had a good one in it. So, if you are looking for a good heist, then pick this one up. Please note that this is an adult fantasy.

What I can I say other than I had a good time reading this. The world was amazing and the bones between the characters were great. I have heard those who were aware of this series say that the bonds between the characters are some of the greatest that they’ve ever read and they were right. I love the deep brotherly bonds that we get to see throughout this book. Yes, I know they are thieves, but what they will do for each other just amazes me. To me, I would much rather have a well developed friendship over a romance.

The world and the plot are so complex and just wow-it reminds me of why I really enjoy fantasy. I got Oliver Twist and Six of Crows vibes right away. (Yes, I know this one came out before Six of Crows.) it was bark and full of rather unpleasant people and Scott was able to capture it in a way that made it hard to look away. Plus, there were so many details weaved throughout the story that I had to take my time reading. I didn’t want to miss anything. It was well worth taking my time.

The big fight at the end-now that’s what I’m talking about! Fantasy writer listen up, we love our big fantasy fights at the end. Don’t give me hundreds of pages of build up and never get to our fight. (Priory of the Orange Tree-I’m talking about you.) I love getting to see how just how we got to this point and wow. Once again, Scott Lynch delivered here. I am just amazed at how so many little details came together in the end.

Overall, a very clever and fun read. This does have a lot of strong language and situations that are not appropriate-which I guess we have to tell people now. I do not encourage younger and more sensitive readers to pick this one up.

Jane Anonymous Book Review

Book: Jane Anonymous
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher, Wednesday Books, for sending me an ARC.

I really enjoyed this one. Both this title and author weren’t on my radar until a couple of weeks ago, but it was so worth it. I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about this book. It is so heartfelt and emotional that it was very hard to put this one down. I really do wish that more people were aware of this title.

So, this is the story of Jane who was kidnapped while she was picking up her best friend’s birthday party. The story weaves between now and then. Jane is writing this story in order to explore what really happened to her and as a way to heal. What I liked about this was we got to see just how difficult it can be to move on from a very difficult situation and how it can just be hard to get back to a normal life. Laurie does an amazing job at capturing not only the pain of the point of view character, but those around her. it just makes for a very real and hard hitting story, which is something that I love in my contemporaries.

I love books that make me feel and this one most certainly does. I had so many emotions running through my mind as I reading it. It just made me want to keep flipping through the book to find out what was going to happen. Even though this is first person point of view, we don’t have the whole story at once. We have to keep reading to find out just what really went down. Not only that, but we get to experience Jane’s emotions.

I guess what really pulled me into this one was just how hard hitting and real the story felt. It just made it very difficult to put the book down and move onto something else. I just love the feelings that I got. That is a sign of a very engaging and well done book. I’ve read kidnapping stories before, but none of them made me feel this way.

The struggle, the pain, all of it feel so real. It makes you really stop and think about the world. I strongly recommend this title-it comes out soon if you were wondering.

This book will be released on January 7, 2020.

Youtube: https://youtu.be/9H_sVFZlAB0

And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer Book Review

Book: And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
Author: Fredrik Backman
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

This is my first book by this author and I must say that I really enjoyed this little book. It’s such a short read that I read it in one sitting. Just because a book is short doesn’t mean that it can’t pack a punch. This was such an emotional punch and deeply developed characters. If you are looking for a short and hard hitting book, then pick this one up.

I was really surprised at how deep the characters were. I’m not saying that shorter reads don’t have well developed characters, but this one had such deep feeling and realistic characters. It just pulled at my heart to see how these characters had such deep bonds with each other and how they were really trying to hold onto each other as they slowly slipped away. I love seeing that connection between different generations and seeing how they were all similar, yet different in their own ways.

To me, it was these bonds that really made this book stand out. I love how Fredrik just writes these bonds in a way that makes them seem so real and they do actually take a lot out of you as a reader. I do really enjoy books that make me feel this way. It just shows how much that I as a reader am connecting with the book and story. It just means that this is a sign of a good book.

Anyway, I am going to be reading more of this author. I can’t wait to see where I end up. 

Good Girls Lie Book Review

Book: Good Girls Lie
Author: JT Ellison
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher, Mira, for sending me an ARC of this book.

As soon as I started reading this book, I got Pretty Little Liars vibes. Now, I do actually like Pretty Little Liars, but I thought the series went on for too long. I was actually thinking the same thing about this book-that we were going to have another series that lasted for too long. Imagine my surprise when I saw that this is a standalone. Don’t get me wrong, I do actually enjoy longer series, but there is just something wonderful about reading a standalone and being done with the world. Anyway, this is a stand alone set in an all-girls boarding school with a dark past that has been covered up. Not to mention that this is one of the top schools in the country and full of daughters of some pretty high profile people. It’s one of those books were everything looks great on the outside, but once you start reading, everything is actually messed up.

I really liked the different elements of the story. I mean, a lot of them were really unbelievable, but that’s okay. The really unbelievable parts are what made the story for me. I mean, in the real world, the events in the story would not have worked at all. However, sometimes it is good to escape from reality. Plus, we all know that stories like this are bound to have a lot of secrets and these secrets just suck me in. I really liked how everything was bound by some kind of tradition and a lot of the secrets were brought on by this tradition. I really can’t say too much about the secrets without ruining the book.

The writing was very smooth. I was sucked right in. Now, I will admit that I was a little more than hesitant at the beginning. The start of the book is just rough. I don’t know what it was about it, but it just didn’t have that first line hook that I look for in books. I kept on going and things did involve a lot.

While I did really enjoy this book, the ending was what really made me knock a star off this book. I did figure it out, but that wasn’t what ruined it. It was the fact that so much of it was spent explaining how we got to this point. I really don’t like that in books. I would rather been shown how we got to this point instead of being told, but that’s just me.

Overall, I did like this book. I know the characters are younger and this does have a YA feeling to it. However, there is a lot of content in here that just isn’t at all appropriate for younger readers-so be warned if you see this in the YA section or think that you are getting a YA thriller.

Anyway, this book comes out on December 31, 2019.

Youtube: https://youtu.be/1SVwluxNGvc

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale!

Hello everyone!
All of my books on Smashwords are going to be free from now until December 4, 2019!
Just use the coupon code FT58V at checkout and you should be good to go.
Also, on Monday and Tuesday (That's December 2 and 3) all of my teacherspayteachers products are going to be 20% off!
Be sure to check out these sites for some amazing deals-not just my own. Smashwords currently has over 7,000 books on sale and tpt will be having a site wide sale.
Happy Holidays!
Serena

The Kill Club Book Review

Book: The Kill Club
Author: Wendy Heard
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank Mira Books for sending me ARC.

So, The Kill Club is an adult thriller-let me just put that out there. I seem to be reading a lot of thrillers lately and I must say that I am really enjoying my time reading this genre. I did really enjoy a lot about this book. I love the idea of a murder club and having to kill people in order for someone who don’t like to die. This concept is really what pulled me into this book. Wow, was it done really good. You had no idea who was really the killers and who was the targets. A lot of times this role was actually switched around. I just loved the suspense that surrounded it and how we just really didn’t know what was going to happen from one minute to the next. It was this that really sucked me in and I read huge chunks of this book in one sitting.

The characters were developed pretty well. Wendy did keep a lot about them from us, which was great. I love getting fed bits of information about our characters as we read. It really does keep us guessing until the end. However, I do have to say that the ending really didn’t make any sense to me. I’m just putting that out there.

Anyway, I love Jazz. She has a rough life and is very rough around the edges, but as you get deeper into her character, you get to see another side of her. You see that she care so much about those who she loves and will do anything for them-even if it means breaking the law. It is this love for her younger and sweet brother that gets her involved in the kill club. What I love about this book was the relationship between Jazz and Joaquin. I love how she will do anything for him and how he just loves her. I just love books that explore the relationships between siblings.

This book does a lesbian relationship in it. However, unlike other books I’ve read, this one didn’t feel like it was just trying to get LBGTQ in it. This relationship made sense and you could actually feel the bonds between the characters. This is what I love about romance in books. I want a relationship that feels real and makes sense. I don’t want it for the sake of trying to claim that your book is diverse. So thank you for doing something that makes sense.

Anyway, it was ending that made me give it a four star instead of a five star. The big reveal just really bothered for some reason.

Anyway this book comes out on December 17, 2019.

Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/S1zlUlUoTno

The Woman in Cabin 10 Book Review

Book: The Woman in Cabin 10
Author: Ruth Ware
Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Stars

I really did enjoy this title, but like with The Lying Game, I felt it was really missing something. This is my last Ruth Ware book until she releases another title. There is something about her writing style that just pulls me in, but this just wasn’t a five star read for me. It just didn’t have that five star magic that I look for.

I really wanted to enjoy this plot. Don’t get me wrong, I did have a good time while reading it, but it really felt like I have read this story before, but with different characters. I don’t know if anyone else got that vibe, but I certainly did. It felt like Ruth was trying to force the words to come.  I like the idea of being on a cruise ship with murders and not really knowing what is going on. Plus, I like that it is the northern part of the world. However, there was just something missing.

The characters were pretty decent, but they just weren’t as fleshed out nor as complex as I would have liked to see. I know this is her second book so she was probably still learning. We had a very large cast of characters in a small book and all were trying to vibe for their spot in the spotlight. If they had been fleshed out, the big reveal at the end would had been a bit more shocking. I mean, all of the focus was on just a couple of characters and their backstory.

Now, even though I did figure out who done it, I still enjoyed the journey of getting to that point. Ruth is an amazing writer and always manages to pull me in. I just had higher expectations for a book that had been turned into a movie.

Overall not a bad read, but just kind of a letdown compared to some of the others books I’ve read by this author.

New Youtube Video: Best Books to Help You Get Ready For Christmas

New Youtube Video:
Link: https://youtu.be/RUY7Yq0JfgE
Description:
This week I am doing a list of books to help you get into the Christmas spirit! These are not Christmas books, but rather books that just happen to be set in the winter. I’ve tried to include a range of different books-so some of these books are NOT appropriate for younger readers.

Book Previews Coming Soon:  More to be added! Check back for these videos!

Subscribe, like, comment…You know what to do. Let me know what you want to see and I will try to make it happen.

My Thoughts:
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