Hype or Like Friday: Review of The Winners Curse

Happy Friday to you all,

For this weeks Hype or Like Friday it is a review of The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Jillian, Larkin, and Britt to discuss about hyped books and see if they’re hyped up or not. There would be book of the month that you can read, and the post your review for it on the end of the month, then rate it whether it’s a hype it or like it.

Summary

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love…

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

The Review 

I first read this book  last year, when I heard nothing but good things to say about it especially from the booktube community. Everyone saying how great and epic the series is and how you should read it. I read the book and I did not finish it. The book really disappointed me and it was one of the first time a book let me down.

I recently read the book again and while I actually finished the book, I still had many problems.

One of the problems I had was the characters. I just felt the characters was bland and uninteresting. I know the story was suppose to a  “Romeo and Juliet”  retelling but I felt the story and characters didn’t warrant it.

I was also disappointed in how they handled the subject of slavery. I know it is a YA book, but slavery is a tough topic and if the book handled the topic better, I felt the book would have been better.

I also didn’t feel transported into the world the book is set in. I also blame the poor world building for it.

While I felt towards the end the book gotten better I found myself bored with the story, and it didn’t get me enthusiastic about reading the next book.

Now if you liked the book that is fine, the book just wasn’t for me.

So my grade is Hype.

Did you like the book? If so should I continue with the series. Let me know in comments below.

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters I Defend

Happy Wednesday everybody,

For this weeks top 5 Wednesday it is Characters you defend.

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone

Sansa Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire

While she has gotten much better development as the series went on. Most hated her for doing stupid things. If you think about she was a 12 year old girl (going by the book), and she didn’t really know how to play the game yet.

Peeta Mallark from The Hunger Games

Peeta has always got the complaint that he was a weakling and not good enough. Also a lot of the short jokes, but he did survive the Hunger Games, and also cares about Katniss. The fact that they both share trauma about the Hunger Game adds to their relationship.

Amy Dunne from Gone Girl

I know, she has done terrible things and is basically an awful person for what she did. So why do I defend her, because she has an interesting character to her and as you read the book you start to find out why she does what she does.

Four from Divergent series

While the Divergent series isn’t one of my favorite series, I do like Four though. While he does come across as emo, but if you look at his upbringing you kinda feel for him.

Ron Weasley from Harry Potter series

While he isn’t exactly a hated character, he isn’t well loved either. He mainly has the sidekick role but he really cares about his family and friends Also a master at wizards chess.

There is my list. What Characters do you defend? Let me know in the comments below.

Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdom #2)

Summary (via Goodreads): The road to power… is paved with blood and magic.

Cleo is now a prisoner in her own palace, forced to be an ambassador for Mytica as the evil King Gaius lies to her people.
Magnus stands to eventually inherit the new kingdom but is still obsessed with his feelings for his adopted sister, Lucia.
Lucia is haunted by the outcome of the breathtaking display of magic that allowed her father to capture the kingdoms.
Jonas watched at the palace gates a troop of rebels behind him, waiting for him to tell them how he plans to overtake King Gaius.

After a bloody siege, Auranos has been defeated, its young queen orphaned and dethroned. The three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But the allure of ancient, dangerous magic beckons still, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the whole world over…

At the heart of the fray are four brave young people grappling for that magic and the power it promises. For Cleo, the magic would enable her to reclaim her royal seat. In Jonas’s hands, it frees his nation, and in Lucia’s, it fulfills the ancient prophecy of her destiny. And if the magic were Magnus’s, he would finally prove his worth in the eyes of his cruel and scheming father, King Gaius, who rules Mytica with a punishing hand.

When Gaius begins to build a road into the Forbidden Mountains to physically link all of Mytica, he sparks a long-smoking fire in the hearts of the people that will forever change the face of this land. For Gaius’s road is paved with blood, and its construction will have cosmic consequences.

My Thoughts: This is where I feel the series started picking up, especially after the way the first book ended. A rebellion is forming around Jonas, Cleo is now being forced the marry Prince Magnus, Magnus is dealing with issues with his father and Lucia is in a coma.

What I like about the book is that it expands the story and develops the characters. Cleo who literally had the worst days of her life is engaged to someone who she despises. This is where I feel her character gets some development. I also like her interactions with both Jonas and Magnus, and even though she is a princess she doesn’t put up with any of their crap either.

Jonas, also got a lot of development in terms of being the new leader of the rebellion and kinda feeling that he doesn’t have what it takes to take on the king with his band of rebels. I like his plan to kidnap Cleo on her wedding day, and hold her hostage in order to get what he wants.

Magnus is the only character I don’t really connect with in terms of development. I get that he is suppose to a dark prince like Prince Zuko from Avatar, but there are times where he sides with a father and times when you see him break away from his father and having a “dear God, what have I done” moment. I also didn’t like him lusting after his adoptive sister. I know Lucia is adopted but it just seems weird.

I also like that you get to see how much a dick King Gaius is. who I kinda envision as the Mad King from Game of Thrones

Lucia spent most of the book in a coma, but still communicating in the spirit world and trying to discover her power that her father is trying to use to take over the kingdom.

In the end I really enjoyed this book, while it did have some pacing issues and you almost felt that you needed a chart to know who wants to be with what person. It did keep me entertained to read what happens next.

Grade: 3.8/5

Hype or Like Friday: When do you consider a Book to Have Reached Hype Status

Happy Friday everyone,

For this weeks Hype or Like Friday it is: When does a book reach hype status?

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Jillian, Larkin, and Britt to discuss about hyped books and see if they’re hyped up or not. There would be book of the month that you can read, and the post your review for it on the end of the month, then rate it whether it’s a hype it or like it.

Hype is a term that could be both positive and negative. I will first give you a few examples of when a book reaches hype status.

1. Movie Adaptations 

Ever since adaptations has been made for bestselling novels, it always hypes up the popularity. Examples have included; Twilight, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, The Fault in our Stars etc. I admit I actually did read Twilight and Harry Potter before the movies were even announced. But seeing the trailers to Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars made me want to go out and read the books.

With movie adaptations, it takes those who haven’t read the book or heard of teh story will pick up the book and become fans. While a lot of the YA adaptions have been fairly hit-or-miss, it does expand the fan base of the book series and draws up more interest.

2. Booktubers and bloggers

Over the past few years Booktube and blogging has always played a key role in whether or not a book reaches hype status. Usually if the booktuber has hundreds of thousands of subscribers it plays a role if the book reaches hype status if they love the book. I know since, many of the books I pick up are well loved by those in the booktube community. While I still follow my own opinion, I feel many readers see if any of the booktubers like a book and read it for themselves.

I also think it could affect how one sees a book. An example is this months Book of the Month which is The Winners Curse. The Winners Curse was very hyped up by members of the booktube community. Last year I decided to read it and I DNF. I think as I was reading the book, I was wondering where is this “great book” everyone was talking about. I am currently re-reading it so I could give my own view for next weeks review.

3. Fandom

Fandom is a funny thing. I admit I am a fanboy of series like, The Lunar Chronicles, Harry Potter and a Song of Ice and Fire. If you seen some of my reviews for The Lunar Chronicles and especially Winter, where I admitted its my favorite final books of a series. The Lunar Chronicles is still one of my favorite series and I also admit there was some problems because no book is perfect.

Sometimes I think fandom can also lead a book series to be over hyped. An example is the works of Cassandra Clare. The fandom is very active and also over hyped a book. To be honest I only read the first two books of the Mortal Instruments and the first book of the Infernal Devices series. I just thought they were kinda “meh”. Not bad but also not mindbogglingly great. But sometimes the fandom can’t see the flaws in a book and keep saying how great a book is when really it is just okay.

Those are my examples of when a book reaches hype status. Do you have a book series that has reached hyped status that you haven’t read yet? When do you consider a book to have reached hype status? Let me know in the comments below!

Top 5 Wednesday: Summer Reads

Happy Wednesday everyone,

For this weeks Top 5 Wednesday it is: Top 5 Summer Reads

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I first read the book a few summers ago when I first saw the trailer for the movie. It’s a really good book and that’s all I will saw because I am not spoiling anything.

Stop Me if You Heard this One Before by David Yoo

This is one of my favorite contemporary reads. It has a nice summer romance story but than school starts and reality sits in. A very good book to read over the summer.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Its on the list, because when I read the first book, Cinder it was during the summer. Loved it so much I decided to read Scarlet and Cress in order, and it became one of my favorite series.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

I know, the author is very much an asshole. But I really love the book. I read the book when i spent the summer in Haiti. I loved the story, the characters and everything about the book.

Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

I know I put Harry Potter on a lot of my previous lists, but you can’t fault me because the series is awesome. I read the first book many summers ago and never looked back.

That is my list. Let me know your favorite summer reads in the comments below.

 

 

Hype or Like: Tragically Bad or Superbly Awesome Books

Happy Friday everyone,

For this weeks Hype or Like Friday I will be discussing Tragically Bad and Superbly Awesome Books

Hype or Like Friday is a meme created by Jillian, Larkin, and Britt to discuss about hyped books and see if they’re hyped up or not. There would be book of the month that you can read, and the post your review for it on the end of the month, then rate it whether it’s a hype it or like it.

For my pick for a tragically bad book it is Fifty Shades of Grey

 

After read Jillian’s post on awful dialogue last week, it caused me to revisit how awful the book really is. Most would say its a book series that set the women movement back 100 years, with a male lead who is a controlling abusive  stalker who needs psychological help and not a girlfriend. That is true, but I want to tell why it is bad from a story perspective. The story is just Twilight fan-fiction, that got a publishing deal. Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey are just stand ins for Bella and Edward with a much blander love story. Which got me thinking, if you take out all of the BDSM scenes in the book, than it is just a dumb love story, with a man who is a controlling abusive stalker.

Also the dialogue is just awful especially Anastasia inner monologue or her “inner goddess”. I think it just annoys me that a book with that much awful dialogue got a publishing deal and became a best seller.

My pick for my superbly awesome book it is The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The reason why the book series is awesome is because it is very different from the normal YA genre. It was developed characters, a great plot and story, and manages to retell fairy tales in a different way while maintaining the essence of the original tales. While Cinder starts off a bit slow, the story really picks up in Scarlet and Cress. I also consider Winter to be a very good final book of the series that both develops the characters and gives us a satisfying conclusion.

What are your favorite tragically bad and/or superbly awesome books. Let me know in the comments below.

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters I am Mostly Like

Happy Wednesday everyone,

For this week Top 5 Wednesday it is characters you are mostly like.

Top 5 Wednesday is a group in Goodreads and was formerly created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey and is now done by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. It is open to everyone

Charlie from Perks of Being a Wallflower

Charlie, like myself started of introverted. Mostly throughout my life I was a wallflower and it took me a while to really branch out. I also had dreams of becoming a writer.

Park from Eleanor and Park 

Like Park, I was always geeky and still am. Spent most of my time reading comics and making mixtapes before Itunes and Spotify took over. Also like Charlie he started off as a loner.

Stanley Yelnats from Holes

There was a time when I always felt that I have had bad luck, and that what Stanley always faced which led him to Camp Greenlake. Even while in camp he always looked at things in a positive way.

Samwise Gamgee from Lord of the Rings

While Frodo is said to be the main hero, Sam is the one who saved the day. Like myself he is always there for his friends and will do anything to protect them.

June Iparis from Legend Trilogy

June is very smart, and she always thinks logically before anything. As someone who thinks a lot about their studies I relate to her. Her logic also has her see things that others don’t.

That is my list. Let me know what characters you are mostly like in the comments.