REVIEW: Beasts Made of Night – Tochi Onyebuchi (ARC)

33395234Title: Beasts Made of Night
Author: Tochi Onyebuchi
Rating: ★★★

ARC received through Penguin First to Read. 

The best thing about Beasts Made of Night is how unique and refreshing this story is. This is the first YA fantasy I’ve read (or am aware of) that draws from Nigerian influences and it was super interesting. The idea of sin-beasts and sin-eaters was unlike any other fantasy I’ve read before and the world created is vivid and compelling. Unfortunately, for a story that has so much going for it, I still struggled to really love it. After I had finished, I couldn’t help but wish that there had been something more to the story. I still think Beasts Made of Night is a wonderful story and that other’s will probably love the unique fantasy aspects of it as well!

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Hello everyone! I’m finally getting back into the swing of things: I’m starting to get out of my reading slump and I’m writing more reviews and blog posts. I don’t know what was going on, but I’m glad to be moving out of whatever funk I’ve been in these past couple of months! I’ve seen a few other blogs do this Unpopular Opinions tag and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share my thoughts!


A POPULAR BOOK OR SERIES YOU DIDN’T LIKE

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. I read the first couple of books in the series and didn’t like them, and I still don’t get all the hype. 


A POPULAR BOOK OR SERIES EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO HATE BUT YOU LOVE

Paper Princess by Erin Watt. I think this book is really a love-it-or-hate-it, which for me was a love. I made the mistake of starting it just before bed and didn’t stop until I had finished it in the early hours of the morning!


AN OTP YOU DON’T LIKE

Rowan/Aelin in the Throne of Glass series. I won’t delve too much into this but it mostly stems from my hatred of Rowan as a terrible character and a toxic love interest.


A POPULAR GENRE YOU HARDLY REACH FOR

I was going to say YA Contemporary, but I’ve been reading a lot more of those recently, so I’ll say graphic novels. They just never really interested me. 


A POPULAR CHARACTER THAT YOU DON’T LIKE

Severus Snape from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I never, ever liked him and probably never will. 


A POPULAR AUTHOR THAT YOU CAN’T SEEM TO GET INTO

Sarah J. Maas. Her books are not for me.


A POPULAR TROPE YOU’RE TIRED OF SEEING

I don’t know why this is becoming such a theme recently, but villainous characters as love interests-especially in the YA genre. I’m not talking morally grey characters; I’m talking about characters that are truly horrible, or that have physically/emotionally been abusive towards the main character and yet the fandom and/or author decides to make them the love interest anyway. How can you not see how toxic those relationships are and then market them to young, impressionable teenagers as “romance”? I could go on and on about this but I’ll leave it at that.


A POPULAR SERIES YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN READING

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

(Although, ever since season 7 ended, I’ve been toying with the idea of possibly trying to read them.)


The saying goes “the book is always better than the movie,” but what movie or tv show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

Atonement by Ian McEwan. I loved the book but the movie is just so good.


 

REVIEW: A Short History of the Girl Next Door – Jared Reck (ARC)

30040068Title: A Short History of the Girl Next Door
Author: Jared Reck
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

A Short History of the Girl Next Door is a funny, incredible, emotional story. I laughed. I suffered second-hand embarrassment. I cried. 

Matt was one of the most wonderful characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about. He can easily be described as the sweet, funny, sometimes awkward, boy next door. I loved having the story narrated from his point of view and from very early on, I had the easiest time connecting with him. It was not difficult to put myself in his shoes throughout the book: I felt all of his frustration, embarrassment, heartbreak, anger, grief, and pain right alongside him. My heart truly broke for him and I’m not ashamed to admit that it made me cry ugly tears. That not-so-little twist that comes almost two-thirds of the way through the book caught me completely off guard, and when I realized the book was heading in a totally different direction than I had been expecting, it was heart-wrenching.

This book was nothing short of amazing and tells a very touching story, one I won’t be forgetting any time soon. A Short History of the Girl Next Door is an impressive debut novel that I highly recommend!

REVIEW: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding – Alexandra Bracken

33785202Title: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding (The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding #1)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Rating: ★★★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

This was such a fun read! It’s middle grade, but I totally enjoyed it nonetheless and I really think readers of all ages will enjoy it. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding is the perfect read for the fall. The story features witches, demons, Salem, curses, pumpkins, and other magical creatures that definitely put me in the mood for Halloween!

The story is very well written; it’s creepy and mysterious, but light-hearted and humorous at the same time, which can be hard to execute but Bracken does it perfectly. It features the perfect cast of characters, and I loved both the main character, Prosper, and his inner monologues with Alastor, the fiend. 

The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, but I really enjoyed this and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel!

The New York Times “By the Book” Tag

I’ve been itching to do another book tag, especially since I’ve been in such a reading slump lately, and the first few questions really caught my eye! I first saw this tag on Thrice Read’s blog a while ago and it seemed really fun!


WHAT BOOK IS ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND RIGHT NOW?

Well, technically, my Kindle is on my nightstand. But I’m currently reading The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken and Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff. Like I said, I’ve been in a reading slump lately so I’ve been really unmotivated to read anything, which is a shame because my ARCs are starting to pile up. 


WHAT WAS THE LAST TRULY GREAT BOOK YOU READ?

The Dark of the Moon by E.S. Bell was the last book I gave five stars to. Not only that, but I wrote a pretty long review gushing all about it which is pretty telling about my feelings for a book. 


IF YOU COULD MEET ANY WRITER – DEAD OR ALIVE – WHO WOULD IT BE? AND WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO KNOW?

This is one of the questions that drew me to this tag. Without a doubt, George R. R. Martin. SPOILERS to those who haven’t watched season 7 of Game of Thrones yet! There are quite a few questions I would like to pick Mr. Martin’s brain about, but mostly: please, please tell me Jon’s real name is not actually Aegon in the books 😒. Also, Jonsa is totally going to happen, right?!


WHAT BOOKS MIGHT WE BE SURPRISED TO FIND ON YOUR SHELF?

Okay, because I’m a huge nerd, I actually have a two different bookshelves. I have my regular bookshelves and then I have a smaller bookshelf which is where I keep all my “nonfiction” books. Mostly, it’s made up of textbooks I’ve kept over the years and a whole ton of books about different world mythologies/folklore. 


HOW DO YOU ORGANIZE YOUR PERSONAL LIBRARY?

I like things to be neat and orderly, so my books are all in alphabetical order by author. 


WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU ALWAYS MEANT TO READ AND HAVEN’T GOTTEN AROUND TO YET?

There are a few books that would fit to answer this question, but I think I’ll go with The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman. I’ve started it so many times but can never seem to get past the first chapter.


DISAPPOINTING, OVERRATED, JUST NOT GOOD: WHAT BOOK DID YOU FEEL YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO LIKE BUT DIDN’T?

Hmm. If anyone has ever ventured onto my Tumblr, it’s quite clear how I feel about the Throne of Glass/A Court of Thorns and Roses books. I’ll just keep it simple and say Sarah J. Maas’ books are not for me (anymore). 


WHAT KIND OF STORIES ARE YOU DRAWN TO? ANY YOU STAY CLEAR OF?

I’m definitely drawn to YA/Adult Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Historical Romance. I also love a good mythology/fairy-tale retelling. I try to stay away from contemporary, although there are a good number that I’ve really enjoyed. There are certain tropes, though, that I’m a sucker for that will make me pick up a book. 


IF YOU COULD REQUIRE THE PRESIDENT TO READ ONE BOOK, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

There are so many different ways to answer this question but I don’t feel like being too political so I’m just going to skip it. 


WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO READ NEXT?

Oh gosh, there are so many books downloaded on my Kindle right now. I’ll probably read Warcross by Marie Lu since I won a copy of the book and I can’t wait for it!


If anyone else decides to participate in this tag, post a link in the comments, I want to read your answers! I would also love to hear any ideas on how to get out a reading slump! It’s been months and this is the longest slump I’ve ever been in.