NaNoWriMo Mid-Month Update!

So, here’s the thing. I’ve tried to do Nanowrimo a few times in the past. I think it was two years ago that I spent all of October outlining in the hopes of hitting that golden 50,000 word count goal. However, this hasn’t happened yet. I know, I know. It should be about starting your novel, and any word count greater than zero is amazing.

But, I want that 50k.

November is a tricky month for me. For one thing, I am currently enrolled as a full-time student at University. November is this time when midterms are over, and everyone is stressed about final papers and exams. (I’m an English Literature major, so I have more papers than actual exams) So, I need to make sure that I’m focused on doing well in my classes and completing any larger assignments.

I also work at the University 20 hours a week. I love that I’m able to do this, and the fact that my classes and workplace are so close together is incredibly convenient.

Thirdly, in America, November has a couple of holidays that throw schedules out of whack, the largest of which being Thanksgiving. Now, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Time off from school and work to indulge in delicious food with family? Yes, please!

I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining here. I am incredibly grateful for how privileged I am to go to school and work and spend time with family. This just takes up a significant part of my time. All of those important aspects combined with this blog (and reading!) leaves little to no time for writing.

But, I want to write. It’s my respite. It’s what I’m working toward. It’s my life. I love everything about writing to the last little detail. So, it sucks when I don’t get to devote as much time to it as I’d like to. Cut to Halloween of this year.

That night, I was talking with one of my friends and my sister about NaNoWriMo. They’re incredibly encouraging and supportive and told me to go ahead and “finish your damn novel, so I can read it” (Thank you, Brian). So, on November 1st, I opened up the document and began to write.

For the last two weeks or so, I’ve had an amazing time writing. I feel like I’m really getting to know my characters. And, putting their story down on paper (or . . . on the screen, rather) is immensely gratifying. I’m nowhere near where I need to be in terms of word count, but I’m writing more and more at my own pace. I didn’t want to be overwhelmed this year and abandon my studies. I did that last year, and it resulted in some of the worst anxiety attacks I’ve ever had. I decided to go into NaNoWriMo this year with a much more casual attitude than in Novembers past. I told myself that any word count was better than nothing, and if I hit that 50k, that was just gravy. Giving myself a little bit of leeway helped me not be so hard on myself and still spend time working on my classes.

Here’s where I am now. It’s just about the middle of the month (and holy cow, did it come quick), and I am currently sitting on 7,026 words. I’m happy with that. If you want that converted into pages, that’s about 27 pages. Considering where I was that Halloween night, that’s pretty great. I definitely feel motivated to continue my draft after the November 30th deadline.

I’ll be channeling Nick until I’m finished with this book!

Here’s hoping to (at least?) another 7k words by December 1st. I’ll be sure to provide another writing update.

Until then, happy writing,

Geektana

Am I finally going to read the Throne of Glass series?

With the release of the final installment in Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series, it’s only appropriate that I dedicate an entire post to is what sure to be a classic YA Fantasy series. 

My first disclaimer: I have only read the first two books, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. However, I do own books 3-6 and will be picking up the 7th very soon. You may be thinking, “You haven’t read the entire series yet?! And you’re going to write a post on the whole series?” Well, hold on a second there. 

I will only be writing about my experiences regarding the first two books. As I continue the series, I’ll add additional posts. 

Way back when (2012, to be precise), I was working as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble. Yes, this seems like a dream job for a book-lover, and perhaps I’ll discuss my time spent there at another date. I remember when Throne of Glass was released. It was placed on an endcap with the older, first-released cover. I was intrigued by the cover and title, and one day, when I had some free time, I grabbed a copy and read the inside flap. Immediately, this sounded like something I’d be into. A badass assassin that’s fighting for her eventual freedom? I was sold. However, as with all book lovers, it takes forever to reach a certain book in the massive TBR pile. So, it took a while before I eventually began reading it.

In 2015, after the newer covers came out, I was in a small reading funk and saw the first book on Amazon. Feeling like I would enjoy it, I went ahead and bought both the first and second in the series. It finally arrived (I swear, bookmail always seems like it takes forever to get here), and I cracked that sucker open. It was in the Summer, so whenever I had to do yardwork, I would listen to the audiobook. More thoughts on that later. I liked it enough. I didn’t immediately fall in love with it like I thought I would. The characters, including Celaena were interesting enough to keep me engaged, but not enough to cause met to fly through the pages at top speed. When I finished the book about a week later, I picked up another book instead of diving into Crown of Midnight. And another. And another.

In April of 2018, I had a little extra money from work and decided to splurge on the entire series (so far) in hardcover. (Thank you, Book Outlet!) I read some of her other works, including the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (which will DEFINITELY be getting an entire post in the future!). Flash-forward to June 2018. I was in the best reading mood ever. I wanted to keep the momentum going, so why not finally pick up Crown of Midnight? It took me several weeks, but I finally finished it. Now, you might be thinking, “With that ending, you didn’t immediately read Heir of Fire? That’s blasphemy!”

Well, no. Let me back up a bit. See, I already knew all of the spoilers going into Crown of Midnight. In fact, it was kind of why I picked the series back up in the first place. I loved the idea of a hidden identity and this weird, but wonderful relationship that Celaena would eventually have with Rowan. There are so many new characters that are introduced in the third book that the rest of the series feels like a completely new world. It does not match the feel of the first one. The real reason I haven’t picked up the rest of the series may throw you for a doozy or confuse you entirely. 

You see, I’m a little superstitious.

When I read those first two books, I experienced bad luck. Especially with Crown of Midnight. It seemed like nothing good happened whilst I was reading that book. As soon as I stopped, my luck changed. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I can’t help it. The superstition around it has grown so much that I almost dread even talking about the books for fear of something bad happening. This is why I’m writing this post. Not to capitalize on the Kingdom of Ash release hype, but to finally put my anxiety around these books to bed. I want so much to read and love these books and take part in the fandom, so I am writing this post to help me get over it. (If any of you have experienced anything like this, please let me know–It would be nice to know I’m not alone).

Look at this beauty. I can’t pass this one up!

So, I am going to be picking up Heir of Fire and reading it. I’m a full-time college student, so this time of year is a bit (read: VERY) busy for me, so I’ve decided to start the series back up after final exams over my winter break. I’ll have several weeks to completely get lost in the world that Sarah J. Maas spent years creating, and I’ll document that process here. 

Happy Reading,

Geektana

Issues in the Bookish Community

Click-bait title aside, I didn’t want to write this post. I hate anything to do with “drama”, but I feel this needs to be addressed within the book community. Not that I’m some kind of authority on the matter, but I’m going to explode if I don’t get it out somehow. 

Throughout the last six to eight months, I’ve noticed several controversies (if you want to call it that) in the bookish community, specifically booktube. I’m going to try to keep my thoughts somewhat coherent and linear, but if I go off on a tangent, forgive me.

First, I want to talk about booktube specifically. Throughout the last seven years, I’ve had two different booktube channels. Once, in 2011, when the community wasn’t as big it is now, and again earlier this year. Let me just say before I get into everything that I love booktube. For the most part, it’s a lovely and welcoming community. However, there are a few outlying issues that can sour one’s experience in it. These issues are also found in other issues on youtube, so don’t think I’m only knocking booktube. 

Let’s get into the argument for and against the negative reviews. Here’s my stance: negative reviews are a good thing! Not every book warrants a stellar, raving review. Sometimes, a book just won’t do it for you. And talking about it is okay. You didn’t like the main character? Pacing a little slow? Guess what? You can and should be able to talk about that in your review. However, tagging an author on social media just to say “your writing sucks!1!!!1!” is not conducive to an open and welcoming book community. There’s no constructive criticism in that statement. It’s also not even a review.

What seems to confuse people is trying to separate the two. A person who writes a negative review on a book and posts it online is not a bad person nor are they seeking attention. Just because someone doesn’t love your favorite author doesn’t mean they are attacking that person. Their works are simply not their cup of tea. Simple as that. There is no need for this outrage culture that insists on tearing down another book blogger for not loving Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass nor is there a need for attacking Cassandra Clare on twitter because of her views on the “Shadowhunters” television show on freeform, which brings me to my next point, ownership of fictional characters. 

Part of me wants to sit down and write a full, separate, dissertation on this topic (There actually is a dissertation about fandom culture here, if you’re interested!), but I’m already a full-time college student and time is precious. So, I’ll just get down to the nitty gritty. When an author creates a fictional world filled with fictional characters, those belong to the author. Sure, it’s wonderful that people write fan-fiction (I did too, once upon a time!), but it’s important to realize the true ownership that exists. I’ve witnessed countless people on social media try to dictate what should happen in a fictional universe. Y’all, it’s fictional. Yes, it’s wonderful and offers us a much-needed escape, and books are the best things since . . . ever, but ultimately, it doesn’t totally belong to you. I know, it’s heartbreaking. (I’m not being sarcastic or trying to be condescending here. It really sucks). But, that’s why we have things like fan-fiction. You get to change things up, and that’s freaking awesome. However, the canon is still canon. At the end of the day, it still belongs to the author. As I mentioned earlier, you can disagree with the author, but don’t attack them because of that disagreement.

It’s not just in books. Look at the Star Wars community after episodes 7 and 8 came out. Right now, people are actively trying to remake the movies. Guess what, buddy? If you don’t enjoy something fully, that truly sucks. But, instead of using all that energy to take down something, use it to consume something else you might enjoy. Maybe I’m being a little preachy here, but life is too short and too long to spend that much time angry and hating something. 

I feel like I’m starting to ramble, and class is about to start. Perhaps, I’ll revisit this post in the future, but for now, I’m going to let it be.

Happy Reading,

Geektana

The Cruel Prince Book Review

This is a special B&N edition

Let me preface this by saying that I hadn’t read any of Holly Black’s work before. I’d heard of many who praise her books, but I simply hadn’t got around to reading any of them. Of course, when The Cruel Prince was released earlier this year, I was so intrigued by the premise that it immediately went in my TBR. I bought the book sometime in the summer, but like most of the books piled at the foot of my bed, it went unread. UNTIL, this past week.

You see, I felt myself falling into another reading slump. I mean, after the wonderful month that was June (I will forever be going back to that month as my most successful month ever), I felt spent emotionally and mentally. Reading takes a toll, people! Combine that with the book hangover from the three Shadowhunter books I read back to back, it was inevitable. However, I felt myself itching to read something, and The Cruel Prince was first on my list. Firstly, because it was by an author I had not read before. Secondly, it had one of my favorite tropes of all time: Hate to Love. And by golly, this book did not disappoint.

The Cruel Prince is the first in a trilogy(!), and it is set in a mythical world of faerie. Even if you’re not a fantasy/faerie person, do not rule this book out! It centers around Jude and her two sisters who are taken away from the mortal world and into the faerie world by a man who has murdered their parents. And that’s just the prologue! The story follows Jude and her desire to become a knight whilst at the same time avoiding Prince Cardan, a faerie prince who is equal parts brooding and a prick. But the banter between these two is GOLD.

What is so great about this relationship is that it isn’t insta-love. Barely anything happens until the end of the book, but it is the journey there that makes your fingers clench the page and your heart go pitter-patter. This is a Hate to Love that seems to be done right. (at least so far, since there ARE two more books!) If you read this book and love their dynamic, follow the incorrect Cruel Prince quotes account on twitter. That stuff makes me legitimately laugh out loud.

Jude’s character was one I couldn’t pin down in the beginning. In the first few chapters, I kept thinking I had her personality pegged, but Black kept surprising me. While Jude might have made a decision or two that I wouldn’t have thought of, she became such a great character that I would love seeing more characters like her. Ambition for power in a main character, especially a female one, isn’t featured in many YA novels. Normally, it’s the opposite. The main character doesn’t want power and wants to stop the antagonist because THEY desire power. I loved the switch and want to know if Jude’s ambition grows or withers with the next two books.

If you’re a sucker for beautiful world-building and an intricate writing style, this is the book for you. Black makes sure to introduce the reader to the world with just enough information that you can fill in the rest of the blanks yourself. I’ll be honest; the first few chapters dump a bit of faerie politics on you, but once you get that straight, it’s smooth sailing from there. *Without getting into too many spoilers, this information is vital to fully understand the ending.

Speaking of the ending, Black employs the use of surprises to her advantage and genuinely sets up enough interest to continue the rest of the series. The plot and subplots are engaging, and I can imagine the fury with which fanfiction writers will imagine the rest of the series. I haven’t checked out fanfiction sites in a while, but with the anticipation between now and January 8th, I might have to.

The second book, The Wicked King, comes out January 8, 2019. You can preorder it here. The third and final book, Queen of Nothing, does not have a release date as of writing this review.

The Lost Sisters, an e-novella told from Taryn’s point of view, comes out October 2nd! It’s available here.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

LINKS:

Holly Black’s Website

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Indigo!

Book Depository*

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Happy Reading,

Jenn

Mid-book Update!

Hello! So, this Summer was very weird in terms of reading. Let me regale you with a (somewhat short) tale of my adventures in reading. Let’s start with May. I read maybe 3 books that month. I considered this successful since in April, I read nothing. June. LET ME TELL YOU. June was my best month, probably ever? I read 9 BOOKS. NINE! Not just little bitty things either. 3 of those were Cassandra Clare novels, and y’all know how big those things can get! July and August followed dismally. Perhaps, I got too cocky with my reading in June. 

Anyway, now that classes are back in session (Thank ya jesus!), the inspiration to read is coming back. While I normally jump wildly into the first YA Fantasy I can find, I figured a nice New Adult Contemporary would be great to ease me back into reading. So, I picked up (the?) Good Luck Charm by Helen Hunting.

The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting

Published/Sold By: Forever & Hachette Book Group

Date of Publication: August 7, 2018

Links to Buy:
Book Depository*
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Excerpt taken from Goodreads.com: Lilah isn’t sure what hurt worse: the day Ethan left her to focus on his hockey career, or the day he came back eight years later. He might think they can pick up just where they left off, but she’s no longer that same girl and never wants to be again. 

Ethan Kane wants his glory days back. And that includes having Lilah by his side. With her, he was magic. They were magic. All he has to do is make her see that. 

This won’t be an entire review. I want to do a mid-book update because I have some things to say about this book. According to my kindle, I am 66% through the book.

The first half was interesting. It definitely had some breakup angst that I was totally loving (sounds morbid, but whatevs). It seemed like it was going to be a great emotional read. BUT. It. Just. Stopped. All of that wonderful tension was . . poof! Gone, as we get into the second half of the book.

The middle has this weird rushing of time that left me, as a reader, discombobulated. It skipped like six months! Including fall and winter, which are the best holidays, don’t @ me. I digress. So many of the important characters in the first half are just glossed over. Maybe this is the author’s intention, and we’ll get these revelations at the end of the story.

As of right now, it feels like two completely different books smushed together. Again, maybe the ending will pull it together, but I’m not holding my breath. I had such high hopes after reading the beginning. I was totally hooked then. Now, not so much. The book now feels clunky.  I’m pretty sure this is my first time reading a sports-themed romance. I normally stay away from those, but I wanted to give this one a go. I’m very hesitant about finishing this one, however.

Now, to get into the REAL reason why you want to know about this book → all the lovey dovey stuff.

In terms of the more romantic scenes, the first one or two were written well. Like, really well. I was rooting for Lilah and Ethan. The ones after that were eye roll-inducing and incredibly rushed! I don’t know what happened in the middle of this book, but I find myself struggling to care. A few things seem problematic, but I’m gonna wait until the end to see if anything gets truly resolved.

Again, I need to reiterate that this is ONLY an update. This isn’t a full-length review! My thoughts can always change. 🙂

Happy Reading,

Geektana

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Upcoming Disney Movies!

Obviously, you’ve heard of the name Disney. It’s synonymous with imagination and movie magic. With the success of live-action remakes such as The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, those in charge have remade two children’s classics.
1. Christopher Robin
  • Director : Marc Forster

     

  • Release Date : August 3, 2018

     

  • Cast : Haley Atwell, Ewan McGregor, Jim Cummings

Christopher Robin Trailer

First up, Christopher Robin is a remake/new story surrounding the titular character of Christopher Robin. Much like Peter Pan in Hook, Robin has grown up and started a family of his own. When visited by his childhood friends, Pooh and company realize that Christopher Robin may be older, but he still needs help from his friends.
Watching the trailer gave me that nostalgic feel, but I can’t get over the look of Winnie the Pooh. I love that they’re doing a remake of a beloved classic, but live-action Pooh scares the crap out of me! I won’t let that derail my enjoyment, and I will definitely see this in theatres.
2. Dumbo
  • Director : Tim Burton

     

  • Release Date : March 2019

     

  • Cast : Eva Green, Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny Devito
Released just hours ago at the time of writing this post, Disney gave us the first look at Dumbo, another live-action remake. This story follows the story of Dumbo as he lives with a circus. Similar to the original 1941 film, Dumbo has abnormally large ears that cause him to be the butt of jokes within the circus itself. Interestingly, while I was doing some research on this film, I read nothing about Dumbo’s mother. Perhaps, they are saving those heartstring-tugging scenes for later trailers or the movie itself. With it being directed by Tim Burton, I am definitely expecting several of his signature elements.
I’ll be honest. I never liked Dumbo as a child. It seemed too sad for me, and I, as a general rule, try to stay away from sad movies. However, because this is Disney, it’s directed by Tim Burton, and the fact that I love movies, I’ll have to pluck up the courage to buy a ticket to this next Spring.
Happy Watching,
Geektana

Top 5 Reading Slump Tips

Ah, the Reading Slump. Just saying the words causes my stomach to turn. If you’ve spent any amount of time in the bookish community, you likely have heard the phrase. It’s used to describe the awful feeling that accompanies not wanting to read. I know, NOT wanting to read? Blasphemy.
However, it is a totally normal thing to feel. While it can definitely be discouraging, here are five tips that I’ve used that have successfully pulled me out of that dreaded pit of despair.
TIP #1: Try to read something short.
This first tip might be a bit obvious, but reading something shorter gives yourself a sense of accomplishment. If you’ve been neglecting reading simply because your TBR pile has grown to gargantuan proportions, this is an easy fix. No matter how long or short a book is, it is still a book. It counts toward your reading goal and makes your reading slump a little less ‘slumpy’.
TIP #2: Read a different medium.
Perhaps you’ve grown a bit bored with long, drawn out novels and are in need of something different. Reading a play or graphic novel can jumpstart your reading momentum and encourage you to tackle those other books in your TBR. As I said with length, it doesn’t matter if a book is written in play format or accompanied by pictures. A story is a story, and it counts.
TIP #3: Try a standalone story.
Starting a series or trying to work your way through a series can seem daunting when in the midst of a slump. A standalone allows you to see the definite ending, while series (especially ongoing ones) can give the illusion of no end in sight. A one and done novel might be the ticket to ending the slump.
TIP #4: Mix it up!
I’ve fallen victim to a seemingly unending parade of YA fantasy stories. Those are my favorite to read, and I am always confused when I can’t seem to push through a reading slump to read more YA fantasy! Maybe this is why. Getting lost in fantasy can be a good thing, but reading one fantasy after another can cause details, characters, and plot twists to get muddled. Those wonderful books can get lost in the massive genre. So, try mixing it up. After reading a fantasy novel, try YA contemporary then a classic. This helped me recently, and reading Geekerella was just the contemporary bit of fluff that I needed to read again!
TIP #5: If you can’t sit down to read a book, then listen to one.
Lately, I’ve been busy and can’t seem to find time to sit down and read an honest-to-goodness book. In the past, I never considered audiobooks partly because I am a visual person. I need to see the words on the page and feel the book in my hands. When I ventured into the world of audiobooks, Audible was the obvious choice. If you’re into classics, Librivox is a wonderful free app that offers different versions of your favorite classic books! The quality isn’t as good as Audible’s, but it’ll do in a pinch. I started listening to audiobooks this year as I got ready for work, running errands, and driving. I get so much reading done! It helps when I feel like I’ve neglected my precious books.
BONUS TIP: Don’t beat yourself up. Really.
I went through a four year long reading slump. Yes, you read that right. FOUR. YEARS. It wasn’t fun, and I hated it. But, it ended. I’ve found myself reading books one after the other again. These tips helped me, and I hope they work for you.
Maybe these tips won’t work. If that happens, that’s okay. It’s okay to be in a slump from time to time. It’s normal. We all go through it. It isn’t fun, but try to remember that. Just know that the slump will end! When that happens, you can find a new favorite, and that’s something to look forward to!
Happy Reading,
Geektana

Persuasion by Jane Austen Review

Oh, Miss Austen. What have you done to me? Persuasion is the first Austen novel I’ve read, and oh my goodness! I’ll admit; I was familiar with the story of Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth due to my viewing of 1995’s film adaptation of the same name. It’s a well-loved (read: worn) dvd in my collection, and I wanted to give myself the pleasure of having read the novel. After all, isn’t the book always better?
Persuasion follows the story of Anne Elliot, the daughter of Sir Walter Elliot, a vapid and prideful man who cares for nothing other than his own name and his own reflection. Eight years prior, when Anne was nineteen years old, she was persuaded by a family friend to reject Frederick Wentworth’s proposal on the basis of his being of inferior birth with no money to his name. By the time the story starts, Anne is twenty-seven years old (only one year older than me at the time of reading this!) and considered by many an old maid of sorts. Frederick Wentworth is now Captain with an amassed fortune of twenty thousand pounds(!). Due to finances no longer being what they were, the Elliot family must leave their home at Kellynch Hall, providing the catalyst for Anne and Wentworth’s meeting again.
Anne’s character is one of kindness, humility, and sensibility. While I felt for her and tried to understand her decisions, several times I wanted to jump into the novel and push her toward happiness. I couldn’t bear to see her so unhappy in several of the chapters. However, Anne’s personality is juxtaposed by her family, almost all of whom are shallow, superficial, and sometimes just plain hilarious. Of course, this is an Austen novel, so the social commentary jumps off the page and throttles the reader. I loved hearing about Anne’s happenings in Bath and Lyme with the Musgroves, a family her sister, Mary, married into.
Despite the precise and cutting narration, as I’ve said before, this is a Jane Austen novel, and no Austen novel would be complete without a healthy dose of romance. Austen writes feeling and emotion so clearly, as a reader, I can clearly imagine every thought going on in Anne’s head and feel exactly what she feels. Perhaps a small spoiler (!), but the letter at the end of the novel was completely swoon-worthy and earned a little heart marked in the margin of my copy. I don’t want to give too much away, but while this is one of Austen’s more mature novels (with an older heroine and written at the end of Austen’s life), the romance doesn’t falter throughout the story. It only grows, causing me to lose track of time whilst getting lost in the pages.
Knocking Herman Melville’s Moby Dick down a peg and becoming my new favorite book, Persuasion is a delight and must be added to everyone’s ever-growing TBR list.
Rating: 5/5
-Geektana

white teacup and saucer beside books
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Geekerella by Ashley Poston Review

Marketed as a ‘love letter to fandom’, Geekerella plays with the well-known Cinderella story and strives to offer a fresh take. Our titular geek, Danielle (or Elle for short) is orphaned and living with a ‘stepmomster’ and two stepsisters.
Poston writes Elle as a fan obsessed with the fictional science fiction show, Starfield. Starfield comes across as a Star Trek/Firefly hybrid, and it is around this show where the rest of the story takes place. Hoping to reinvigorate interest in the show, Hollywood announces a reboot starring a soap opera star as the lead character of Federation Prince Carmindor, much to the chagrin of Elle and most of the Starfield fandom. Through a chance encounter via text, both Darien (the soap opera star) and Elle spend the bulk of the novel getting to know one another without actually exchanging who they really are.
What I liked about this story was the relationship between Elle and her late father. Poston did a fine job illustrating the close relationship the two shared through their love of Starfield and all things geeky. This is where the story truly shined. I never tired of reading about Elle’s remembrances of her parents dancing in the living room.
While I’ve never personally been to a Con, the depiction of Excelsicon felt real, and my desire to attend ComicCon only grew. Also, Sage was a great character. I loved her personality and her hilarious lines.
However, there were a few drawbacks. I liked the pacing of most of the story, but the last twenty pages felt rushed with a couple questions left unanswered. Of course, this was a YA contemporary and meant to be ‘fluff’, so I expected cheesy dialogue. Surprisingly, the dialogue flowed and wasn’t too cringy.
I wanted the stepmother and stepsisters to be more fleshed out than they were. They felt too much like flat stereotypes, although I appreciated the little extra depth applied to Calliope’s character. Readers don’t get a lot of information about Chloe or Catherine in terms of their motivations or their fears. Their characters felt rushed without much thought given to them. I know this was a retelling of Cinderella and that includes the evil stepmother and stepsisters, but I wanted a little extra something involving their characters.
(Perhaps it was only my copy, but there were four spelling and grammatical errors that took me out of the story.)
Overall, I’m glad I finally read this story, and I look forward to Ashley Poston’s other works.
Rating: 3/5
-Geektana

woman in white wedding dress holding red bouquet
Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

The Elite by Kiera Cass Review

I felt that the plot of this book compared to the last one was pretty much perfect. In the first book, we get a lot of set up- the caste systems, a quick history lesson, etc. The second book is usually where authors tend to slow things down. It was fast-paced enough and kept me engaged the whole time. Of course, I will try to keep this spoiler-free, but I will say that the plot of this book did not disappoint. I was shocked numerous times and often enough, stayed up late or forwent bathroom breaks in favor of reading just one more page.
When it came to the setting, honestly, I wasn’t expecting much. Usually when I read a sequel, the author uses the same adjectives to describe a place or feeling. In The Elite, I felt that I was still enraptured by the descriptive writing. I could picture the lavish palace with lush gardens.
Of course, to me, the characters are the most important element of any story. It’s their story, for goodness sake! While America, at times, seemed hypocritical that I felt like screaming, I knew that was a good thing because it meant that her character was developing and she was changing as a person. Every character has to have a flaw, right? She was relatable in that aspect. I definitely know that feeling of panic when you have to do something/make a decision by a certain date and you have no idea what you’re going to do. People don’t always get along, and this book displayed that perfectly. It made me feel something.
Speaking of characters, the dialogue flowed well. When you have characters who have obvious chemistry, the dialogue goes smoothly. It’s effortless. I didn’t feel like I was reading the author’s words, I felt like I was listening to America converse with those around her like I was there. (And in one of those beautiful dresses!)
Rating: 3/5
-Geektana

 

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