Book Review: This is Beautiful

 

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Title: Checkmate: This is Beautiful
Series: Checkmate Duet Series (Logan & Kayla, #2)
Author: Kennedy Fox

Rating ★★★★☆
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2pbTtV1

Synopsis 

The anticipated conclusion of the Logan & Kayla saga in the Checkmate Duet Series from a secret duo under the USA Today bestselling author pseudonym, Kennedy Fox!

This second-chance romance will have you gasping and cheering this two on from the first to the last page! Are you ready to play the final game?

***

Kayla Sinclair is a saint and real life Angel.
She wears her heart on her sleeve and inspires me to be a better person.
Rescuing dogs, feeding the homeless, volunteering at the local food pantry are just a few of the ways she gives back to others, although no one has ever been there for her.
Falling for her was inevitable, losing her will destroy me.

Letting someone in didn’t come easy, but she made me want to try for the first time in years.
Her bubbling personality and kind spirit make it impossible to forget a girl like her.
But when tragedy strikes and she loses all memory that our relationship ever existed, my worst nightmare comes to life.

I’ll do anything to remind her of the love we shared. I know it’ll be an uphill battle, but I won’t walk away without a fight. Whoever said all is fair in love and war never played by my rules.

Checkmate, Angel.

Review 

Argh I’m so excited to finally have the conclusion to this series, I can’t believe the cliffhanger the previous book with on, good lord that was cruel 😀

I think this might be my fave out of the Checkmate books, it felt honest, and it felt real in a way that was very relatable.

The characters were great, I loved the development that Kayla went through after her accident, and it was refreshing and so great to see her put herself first, something that more women, in my opinion, ought to do. She stood up for herself as well, and spoke her mind, moreover she took the plunge and went for her dream, a very admirable thing to do.

Also, can I get a doggy dealer like Kayla in my life?

It was interesting to see how she wanted to pursue a friendship with Logan after it was revealed to her that they’d been a couple before her accident.

Speaking of Logan … oh my word. YES, where can I find me one of those please and thank you?

I can’t even imagine what it must be like to see your loved one, and then realizing that she doesn’t recognize you, let alone remember everything you had together.

Logan has the patience of a saint, he stays close becomes her friend, and lets Kayla set the pace.

It was great that the focus, for the most part, was on their mutal relationship and how they were trying to come to terms with their new reality. I will say though that some of the drama seemed a bit dragged out, and a bit repetitive, with some sudden and rather unexpected guilt from both parties as well.

That being said, this was a perfect way to end the Checkmate series, Logan and Kayla have become my absolute favorite of the three couples, and I’ll never look at a sprinkled donut the same way again 😉

Thanks to the author for generously providing me an ARC to review.

 

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Book review: A Court of Mist and Fury & A Court of Wings and Roses

FullSizeRender-1.jpgTitle(s) A Court of Mist and Fury & A Court of Wings and Ruins

Author Sarah J. Maas

Rating ★★★★☆

★★★☆☆

 

Synopsis 

A Court of Mist and Fury

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

A Court of Wings and Ruin

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

Review

 

Back in June, I read A Court of Thorns and Roses and enjoyed it tremendously, however I did find it a bit drawn out at times.

Last month I finally finished reading ACOWAR and ACOMAF, and thankfully, I got loads more action.

In ACOWAR (which I think is the absolute best of the 3 books) Feyre goes through some serious growth and development, which was something to behold. After the events in ACOTAR, how could anyone really imagine her to be the same? I certainly couldn’t, and I’m so happy that she changed, and found the will to nurse her new strengths and become accustomed to them, however it also became annoying that everything just worked out for her: “oh a problem occurs, wait Feyre discovers a new power to overcome that problem.” It was too convenient and didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Ahh the love aspect of the stories – I get why people ship Feysand, I GET IT! My god what a controlling bastard Tamlin turned out to be, I won’t spoil, but Cauldron have mercy on my, he turned out to be a dick.

Rhysand on the other hand, sigh. Can I get my very own? The front he puts up for others, being a bad boy and more evil than good, turns out to be just that, a front. In reality he is selfless and thoughtful, and he’s looking for a partner in life, someone who is equal to him.

These books are long, like long-long, and lots of it could be left out, it seemed a bit too rushed and just in need a good editor.

There were a lot of things that I liked about this series, but there were also a lot of flaws, the whole class systemm with high feaes and lesser faires seemed odd and irrelevant, and don’t get me started on the ending of ACOMAF, my god! I’m not going to spoil, but good lord!

Everything was just too perfectly wrapped up, I might continue with the spin-offs.

Have you read these books?

 

Book Review: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

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Title(s) Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

Author Leigh Bardugo

Rating ★★★★☆

Synopsis 

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to clai
it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Review 

I ended up buying this duology after seeing it all over Instagram, and it’s been on my shelf for quite some time. I finally decided to read them last week, and oh my goodness!

The story had me a bit confused at first, everything was very fast-paced and it felt a bit like you had to know something about the worlds made by Leigh Bardugo, which I didn’t.

That, as well as the fact that she introduced a lot of characters within the first few chapters had me feeling a bit confused and to be honest, lost.

However, you quickly catch on and wow, it just turns into a fast-paced adventure!

The books take place in what seems like an alternate Netherlands, and it’s an intriguing environment. There are street gangs, brothels, corruption and in the midst of all of this, you’ll find a diverse set of characters. The characters are flawed, they’re convicts, runaways, thieves, sexworkers, murderers, you name it and you’ll find one among this cast.

The characters really made this book for me, they were gritty, they were honest and they were flawed. Thanks to the alternate POVs you’ll get a beautiful insight to what’s going on with these characters.

There’s the leader of the gang – Kaz – Dirtyhands – a fearless anti-hero, who is a criminal genius with a secret past.

Kaz narrowed his eyes. “I’m not some character out of a children’s story who plays harmless pranks and steals from the rich to give to the poor.”

There’s the wonderful, absolute badass Inej, who has so much guilt about the choices she’s made to survive.

Nina – a fire-cracker with powers, Matthias the warrior and the relationship between these two is just UGH.

Wylan – just adorable, and has had to adapt and come to terms with lots of things in his young life, oh and he blushes all the time gaaah!

Jesper – the joker with the perfect aim, and a love of gambling.

I cannot gush enough about this cast, each of them have a backstory that will shock you and then draw you in. They’re multi-layered and the females in this story have a wonderful relationship. There’s no love-triangle, there’s no competition over who’s the prettiest, or who can get the man, they are equal and they help each other, instead of tearing each other down, and that was amazing to witness.

There’s also an element of romance in these books, but it’s never something that takes over. It’s natural, and it doesn’t disturb the rest of the story. There are stolen glances, sexual tension, lots of blushing, but it never overshadows the plot and that was great!

Crooked Kingdom dragged a bit on for me, there was a lot that could’ve been left out and that’s why I’ve given the books 4/5.

But honestly just read them, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

Book review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

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Title A Court Of Thorns and Roses

Author Sarah J. Maas

Rating ★★★☆☆

Synopsis Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

Review

Ahhh this is the first kind of Beauty and the Beast retelling I’ve ever read, and I really enjoyed it.

And this book has pretty much everything you could ever wish for! There’s magic, betrayal, romance and danger, all ingredients that make up a delicious story.

The world in which this story takes place was original and greatly described, and I was sucked right into the univserse filled with faeries, humans and different courts.

Feyre, the human girl – whose perspective we hear the story from, takes care of her family by hunting. She lives with her father, and two sisters, in a small house barely scraping by.

Feyre kills a particular animal and it turns out to be a crime, and she is taken to the Spring Fae Court, where she is forced to live with Tamlin  – oh be still my heart and Lucien that cheeky bastard.

It takes a while for the three to warm up to each other, and sparks start to fly between Feyre and Tamlin. Their relationship gradually builds over the course of the story, and it is a glorious thing to behold. I like the fact that they take their time to come to terms with their feelings and it evolves in a very natural way.

The story dragged on a bit for me, it took a while before the something really happened, but my goodness when it finally did, holy Cauldron! But really, I wanted more action!

That being said, the writing was great, and every character and every scene were written with so many vivid details that you had no trouble imagining what it looked like.

I am so excited to continue this series, have you read it? What did you think?

 

 

Book review: Caraval

FullSizeRenderTitle Caraval (Caraval #1)

Author Stephanie Garber

Rating ★★★★☆

Remember, it’s only a game … 

With a sentence like that in a synopsis, how can you not be drawn to this story immediately?

I’ve seen so many posts about Caraval in the #bookstagramcommunity and seen rave reviews for it, and let’s be honest the cover of this book is incredible, a bookstagrammer’s dream!

So I had to get it, not really knowing what kind of story I was in for, and what a ride it was.

Plot 

“Welcome, welcome to Caraval … beware of getting swept too far away.” 

The Dragna sisters, Scarlett and Donatella, have never left their tiny island where they live with their cruel and powerful father. Scarlett is set to marry a count in a marriage arranged by her father, and due to the upcoming wedding, Scarlett once again dreams of attending Caraval, a once-a-year performance, in which the audience participates until the very end.

Scarlett has been writing letters to the creator of Caraval for years and years without getting a reply, but now she not only receives a reply, she receives an invitation to join in on the performance.

Alongside her sister and a mysterious sailor, Julian, they whisk away to the show.

And that’s when it happens, Donatella – Tella, is kidnapped by the creator of Caraval, a mastermind called Legend, and soon it becomes clear that the show revolves around finding Tella, whoever finds her first, will be crowned winner.

Scarlett is desperate to find her sister, and she has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is just an elaborate performance. Real or not, Scarlett is thrown into a world filled with magic, love and heartbreaks, and she only has five days to find her sister, otherwise Tella will be gone forever.

The world of Caraval was so intriguing and the set-up was brilliant, I found myself drawn to Scarlett, but even more so to the character of Julian and the budding romance with one of the sisters (I’m a sucker for romance, alright?!)

The relationship between the sisters was a compelling one, and the way they both tried to save each other from their father’s abuse.

All in all, it was a great book, with wonderful writing, however it fell a bit flat, after all of the hype I’d seen. I thought it was going to be something more, something more spectacular, and the ending was a bit of a let-down. That being said, it did have a twist that made me very eager to read the second book in the series.