Top 5 Wednesday: Books you’ve read because of blogging/Booktube

Happy Wednesday everyone, here is another Top 5 Wednesday and the topic is,

September 27th: Books You’ve Read Because of Booktube/Blogging/etc.
–Discuss the books you’ve picked up because you’ve heard of them in the online book community or platform you use

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.

Red Rising series by Pierce Brown

While this maybe cheating because this book was on my TBR before blogging, it wasn’t until several bloggers recommended it to me because of my love of sci fi. It was an amazing book and I hopefully try to finish the series.

The works of V.E. Schwab

I decided to put all of her books on here. It started with This Savage Song, loved that and than I read Vicious which was amazing and all of a sudden she became one of my auto-buy authors. She comes up with these brilliant worlds and characters that you just want to keep reading her work.

The works of Adam Silvera

Earlier this year I read More Happy Than Not, which was an amazing book. I heard so many good things about his work and I think I read it when History is All You Left Me was coming out. Both of those books were amazing. I wanted to get They Both Die at the End but it was sold out at Boston Teen Author Festival, but I was still able to meet him.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I read Shadow and Bone, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the book, so at first I wasn’t interested in reading Six of Crows. Than I kept hearing so many good things that I had to check it out and it was amazing. A great plot with extremely well done characters.

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

I remember hearing about this book when Gemina, the sequel was about to come out . I was also afraid to read it because how hyped up it was, and the book was worth the hype. Even if the book is written unconventional it still had an engaging plot.

Those are the books I read because of Blogging/Booktube. What books were you introduced to because of the bookish community? Let me know in the comments below!

Our Dark Duet by: Victoria Schwab

Summary:

THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

The Review:

As a fan of the previous book, This Savage Song this book was of course one of my anticipated books of 2017. I am also a new fan of Victoria Schwabs work and she is one of my new auto buy authors.

The book picks up several months after the events of the first book, with both Kate and August separated from one another after what happened at the end of the book. Kate is basically living life as a nomad going from place to place and never really settling down. You can already tell that Kate has been through a lot and she is not the same person as she was at the beginning of This Savage Song. That is one of the strength of Victoria Schwab’s writing is how she can write characters and their development. Kate spends most of her time hunting monsters.

August is also going through some changes as well. He is still reeling from the events of the previous book, and he is not the same sweet, brooding boy from the first book. He realizes that he has to take the lead when some stuff is going down. He spends most of his time using his violin to reap souls, and every time he does so, it always pains him to do it.

The main plot deals with a new monster causing humans to turn on one another and the monster feeds off of that. It first comes to Prosperity, where Kate has started a new life for herself and than moves on to Verity which forces Kate to go back. I would say that the beginning of the book is a little slow, but I wasn’t bored by it. Kate and August are great characters and I loved seeing them together in This Savage Song, and when they were reunited in Our Dark Duet, that is where the story really picks up in the best way possible.

There are also some new characters that I liked. Soro, who is a gender neutral character who acts as a sort of sidekick for August. They were such a great character, and I kinda wish they were a bit more fleshed out.

I also thought the villains were good as well. The main villain was Sloan, who had his own POV chapters, and you really get a sense of his psyche. There is also Alice, who serves as a mini-boss character.

I felt the ending was a bit rushed. A lot of things were going on at once and I wish it was a bit slowed down in order for me to process a lot of the information, because a lot of emotional stuff does happen. It was an emotional whirlwind, in the best possible way.

In the end, Our Dark Duet, was a great conclusion to an already great duology. It really felt as if it was a final book. The characters go through so much and the ending is an emotional one.

Grade: 4.7/5

 

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

Summary:

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

The Review:

With A Conjuring of the Light being released, and also as a new fan of V.E. Schwab (her two other books I have read was Vicious and This Savage Song), I felt a need to read this book series because I have heard great things about and it definitely lived up to the hype.

What I love about her writing style is how descriptive everything is, every single word means something, and adds to the world building, in which multiple London  exist, which is already a great concept in itself.

Kell, is a erand boy for the King and Queen of Red London, where magic is worshiped and has to travel between London’s in order to do so. It is while he is traveling through London’s he meets Lila, or becomes a victim on Lila’s theft, and then the two go on an adventure.

I love Kell and Lila, and what strikes me about V.E Schwab’s writing is how she writes characters interactions with each other, without having a romantic aspect seem forced. They also worked well together with Lila using her skills as thief and Kell using his skills with magic

A lot of the supporting characters are also great like, Prince Rhys, Kell’s “brother”. While Kell was adopted into the royal family, not much is given about his life before that. But Rhys and Kell’s relationship is also really well done, while we don’t see much of Rhys at least until towards the end of the book, but you still get a sense of their relationship throughout the book.

Another set of supporting are the villains, the Dane twins who are trying to take over all of the London’s with the use of a stone that both Lila and Kell has with them. They were great villains, even if they didn’t get as much development as they should have. But boy were they evil.

While the plot of the book is a slow burn, but it is a good slow burn which does a good job at developing the characters and the world around them and makes you care about what happens to the characters. The different London’s were very good and I want to see more of them.

In the end, A  Darker Shade of Magic was a great first book in what hopefully will be a great series. As a fan of V.E. Schwab’s writing it always kept me wanting more and seeing how the story continues.

Grade: 5/5

 

Vicious by VE Schwab

Summary:

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

The Review:

This is another great book by V.E. Schwab and like This Savage Song it was on my TBR list for a while now before deciding to finally pick it up, and it did not disappoint. This book kept me engaged from page 1 and it didn’t slow down one bit.

I thought the characters were also very engaging despite the fact that they are sort if anti-heroes, who still do bad things but you see why it would be understandable. It is basically a revenge story told from both sides and with a very unconventional story telling device, with the use of flashbacks

You see Victor and Eli start off as good friends and than you see how their friendship turns to hatred for one another after an incident happened while in college you start to see the different paths both men take in their lives.

Some probably wouldn’t like the use of flashbacks, but I thought the flashbacks were very well done it helped build both of Victors and Eli’s character arcs, even though they are awful people you kinda see why they do the things they do, and you see that they are two sides of the same coin.

The other supporting characters also have good arcs as well. Sisters Sydney and Serena who are also on opposite sides, and you see how they got separated, with Sydney working for Victor and Serena working for Eli. Also with the great use of flashbacks you see their character arcs as well.

I also liked the world-building, on how people with abilities or Extraordinary people got their powers is through near death experiences, it was actually very simple to explain.

I also felt that the plot was also very simple and that’s what I love about VE Schwabs writing is that she makes a simple plot very compelling and engaging with every flip of the page.

In the Vicious was a very compelling book, with interesting characters and a plot that was both simple and engaging. I think a sequel is the works because I know there is more stories to be told with these characters.

Grade: 4.7/5

This Savage Song by: Victoria Schwab

Summary: 

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

The Review:

Victoria Schwab was an author on my TBR list for a while now, and last week when I was at the library I picked up this book and decided to read it, and I really liked it.

Let’s talk about the characters. Kate is kinda your “F the world” type girls who always acts out and puts up a tough girl act. Even though her character may seem cliched at first, but as the book went on her character began to develop, and you got to see more her than just the spoiled daughter who likes to get into trouble.

August, while he may be the poor-tortured emo soul, which sort of reminded me of Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer; in that he is a monster who has a “soul”. I also liked his character in the book. He was very closed off and it wasn’t until he met Kate that is where he came out of his shell. I also liked his relationship with his family, and even though his adoptive parents are human, he wants to be like them.

I liked the relationship between them. I also liked that it wasn’t a romantic relationship  and that’s what made the book stronger. Most times when authors write characters of opposite genders it seems like they have to be forced in a romantic relationship. The lack of romance between them made their character arcs a lot stronger and focused on their development.

I also liked the plot. It dealt with a shaky truce between the “monsters” and the humans, and how Kate and August are caught in the middle. While the first half of the book did sort of dragged on, but the second half is where the book picked up and did not stop. I also liked how the powers were used with musical instruments like with August and his violin and would take people’s souls. Also the book takes a lot of twists and turns, while some were kinda of obvious, other plots I really didn’t see coming.

In the end, this book was very good and Victoria Schwab is an author that lives up her hype and I am ready to read her other books.

Grade: 4.4/5