Hey guys! We are now at the end of June, and, as much as I hate to say it, it wasn’t that great of a reading month for me. I read a couple books that I really didn’t like, found myself in a slump because of them, and then I was super busy to top it all off. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to read as much as I would have liked, but I still got done with some of them, even though most of them weren’t on the list I gave myself. But that’s okay! As long as I read SOMETHING, right? Below is the list of the books I read, reviewed and rated! Take a look!
Twisted Tales: As Old As Time by Liz Braswell
Synopsis: When Belle touches the Beast’s enchanted rose, memories flood through Belle’s mind — memories of a mother she thought she would never see again. And, stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful enchantress who cursed the castle and all its inhabitants.
Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast will have to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is 21 years in the making.
I am a huge Beauty and the Beast fan, so naturally I was really excited for this book. This is the third Twisted Tales book I’ve read, and I’m starting to think that maybe they’re just not my thing.
So basically what happens in this series is that they take the original story, ask a question (this one was “What if Belle’s mother cursed the Beast?”), and then tell a story to twist the tale and give an alternative to what actually happens in the original story. It sounds cool, right? While I do admit that it is a cool concept, I feel that it is often times poorly executed, and As Old As Time has been the most poor so far. I’ve decided that I don’t like Braswell’s style. At all. I’ve read two of her books now, and I did not like either of them, though A Whole New World was at least better than whatever it was that was supposed to be Beauty and the Beast.
The book opens well enough, so it has that going for it. It starts out going back and forth between present time with Belle, and then goes back in time to when her father, Maurice, was younger to tell the story of how he met Belle’s mother. I did really enjoy reading young Maurice, and I found myself wishing it could be his story since Belle’s bored me to death. Also, in my opinion at least, I don’t think Braswell captured Belle at all. She read like a bratty girl who would pout whenever things didn’t go so well, and I really, really hated reading from her point of view.
I get that it’s a retelling, but like, Gaston wasn’t even the main villain. He was just a minor annoyance that was playing at being the real villain, which made his character completely pointless in the story. Not to mention that we weren’t given any real time with the actual villain, so there’s not really any room to care about what happened with him. If you asked me to tell you something about him (or any of the other characters, for that matter) I don’t think I could tell you anything about him.
The ending was very, very abrupt. It felt like there were no high stakes. And worst of all, zero character development. It was just kind of like, “we’re done here, and literally nothing’s happened, but bye!” I was at least expecting, like, I don’t know, a big battle with all these magicians and such. But nope! Just an anticlimactic ending where the book tries to make Gaston seem like he actually IS important.
All in all, this book was a big disappointment for me. Maybe it’s just that I’m terribly spoiled by the original and the remake? I don’t know, but this was just not the books for me. Liz Braswell’s style just rubs me completely wrong. Unfortunately for me, however, it seems that all my favorite Disney movies (i.e. Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty) are all told by her instead of Elizabeth Lim, who I like much better. Still, I guess I’m going to give them a try…
Rating: 2/5 Stars
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Synopsis: For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.
Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Then Kelsier reveals his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.
But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets. She will have to learn trust if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.
Somebody help because I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!!!!! This book, which I listened to the audio version, took me awhile to get through. But help. me. now. Ladies and gentlemen, I have found my new favorite book and author!
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from this book, but it told me to sit down and listen because it was going to take me for a crazy rollercoaster ride, and it did just that. I will have you know that I sat crying in my grandma’s basement at two a.m. because of this ridiculous, crazy book. Why do I say ridiculous? Because who the heck writes a book this long that can still hold my attention??
I had been reading Stormlight, which is also by Brandon Sanderson, and I stopped to go back to read (listen) this one since I was told you should start with this Mistborn series, and I wish I had done this a lot sooner because this book was just simply incredible! The characters are lovable, ESPECIALLY my dearest favorite, Kelsier. It’s a high stakes read with SO MUCH HAPPENING! It’s a rollercoaster because they’d all be sitting around having a good time and then the next thing you know people are dying and everything’s taken a dark turn. Like, you literally never know what’s around the corner!
This book brings you to the lowest of rock bottoms and then brings you back up again, only to drop you and leave you plummeting down back to rock bottom. Sometimes I just had to sit there and be like, “man, these people can’t win. It’s impossible”. But that’s what was so beautiful about this book, it takes the impossible and makes it possible, and you get a front row seat to the show!
I HIGHLY recommend this book to any lover of fantasy, or lover of reading in general. It is such a sad, heart-wrenching, beautiful story! Just be sure to strap your seat best real tight!
Rating: 5/5 Stars
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley,
Synopsis: This is the story of Corlath, golden-eyed king of the Free Hillfolk, son of the sons of the Lady Aerin.
And this is the story of Harry Crewe, the Homelander orphan girl who became Harimad-sol, King’s Rider, and heir to the Blue Sword, Gonturan, that no woman had wielded since the Lady Aerin herself bore it into battle.
And this is the song of the kelar of the Hillfolk, the magic of the blood, the weaver of destinies…
I really don’t know how to feel about this book. Like, I did end up enjoying it, but I feel like there’s something about it I don’t like. I’d seen some hype surrounding it, but I honestly don’t know what it’s all about after having read it. I didn’t go in with high expectations, but I didn’t go in with low expectations either. I just kinda…read it, I guess! I wasn’t even quite sure what it was about either!
The characters had a tendency to feel rather flat, but I probably would have put the book down if it hadn’t been for them. The plot was very, plain, I suppose. It’s a story riddled with clichés. For a book about swords, battles, and beastly men, the only word that comes to mind when I think about this book is “cute”. Why cute? I have no clue, really. I just can’t help but think of The Blue Sword as a cute, almost fairytale like story.
There was a lot of things in the book that just didn’t make sense at all. Oh, you just got captured by this guy? No problem, we’re gonna be calm, collected; we’re not even going to ask any questions, we’re just gonna do exactly as they say. Oh, we’re losing this battle? Well, I’ll just use my magic powers that I suddenly have and drop a mountain on them.
Yep. This book ended incredibly abruptly, I feel. The whole thing had been building up to this fight, and it lasted all of a few minutes when the main character used her special powers, which she hadn’t had until she was kidnapped by the secondary main character, to kill the entire army at once. It was about as anti-climactic as they come (it still doesn’t outdo the Beauty and the Beast book though…).
Even after pondering about, I still don’t know whether I liked this book or not. It was very, I don’t know, unremarkable? But even that sounds cruel. Maybe someday I’ll figure out.
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Synopsis: It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
I think you’re going to start to see why this was such a bad reading month for me, because here is another book that I really didn’t like.
I had already been hesitant to read this. I had never read John Green before (and I don’t think I ever will again). There’s just something about his writing that I really don’t enjoy, unfortunately. But while I was hesitant to read this book, I was also mildly excited because of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder representation, seeing as I have that myself. Now, I have to admit that that part of the book was done very well. It can be very difficult to write something like that, and I admire Green for doing it. Sometimes writing about your own mental disorders can cause your own to flare up, and I think it was a very brave thing to write a book completely surrounding the main character’s OCD and anxiety while he was struggling with it himself.
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that the other parts of the book were just plain boring. The love interest was really kinda meh, and the whole mystery thing surrounding the billionaire was, in a way, thrown to the side. Really the only thing that kept me from putting this book down was the fact that it was a quick read and I’m majorly behind in my reading.
My only praise for this book is that Green told OCD like it really is — that it’s not just some word that can be thrown around lightly, as it so often is. Aza is constantly tormented by her spiraling thoughts, and to look at a character and be able to empathize with them because you’ve been there before is something that has actually helped me with my own anxiety. However, I don’t think that is enough to save this book from a poor rating.
Rating: 2/5 Stars
Sadly, that is all of them… But I have a feeling July will be a lot better! I’ll be posting my list of books I’ll be reading in July tomorrow! Most of the same books from the last list are on there, but that’s okay! This time I’m certain a good amount of them will be read!
Got any thoughts on these books? Let me know in the comments! God bless y’all and have a wonderful week!
The synopsises were taken from Goodreads