Month: February 2018

Book Review: War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Book Review: War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Joey is a warhorse, but he wasn’t always. Once, he was a farm horse and a gentle boy named Albert was his master. Then World War I came storming through and everything changed. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Book: War Horse Author: Michael Morpurgo Publication […]

My Favorite Bookish Friendships

My Favorite Bookish Friendships

Have you ever read a book that had a friendship that gave you all of the feels? I can honestly say that I haven’t read many books that actually have made me feel much towards the characters. I’ve read a decent number of books, but perhaps […]

eARC Mini Review: Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

eARC Mini Review: Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

Release date Feburary 27, 2018!

Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.

Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.

Heart of Iron

Author: Ashley Poston
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Page Count: 480
Format: eARC
Genre: Young Adult, Science-Fiction
Cover Artist: ---
My Rating: No Rating - DNF

Heart of IronHeart of Iron by Ashley Poston

All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication. I received a copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

DNFing at 40%

Today, the Grand Duchess would choose her heir–and the thirtieth Emperor of the Iron Kingdom. So naturally, with everyone distracted, it was a good day for a heist.

I think I need to take a break from YA Sci-Fi for a bit. Heart of Iron felt like a loose combination of Zenith and Illuminae, (but replace the creepy zombie people with creepy red-eyed “metals” aka robots) and Star Wars. The main problem I had with this book was that I felt that there wasn’t really anything new. Besides the religious system developed, everything else seemed too typical (and predictable) for this genre.

The story is told from multiple character point-of-views, shifting between the main protagonist Ana, to D09 (a robot), to Robb, Erik, and then Jax which makes it difficult to follow who’s head we are in. All characters are from variable backgrounds when considering class, status, orientation, and race. Robb and Erik, both sons of the royal Ironblood family, stand at opposing ends from one-another. Tensions between their family, including their queen mother, are high. Ana, a girl-turned-thief that has no recollection of her past and is searching for a new core to fix her beloved glitching robot D09. Jax, a Solani pilot from an ancient race of beings has special abilities to predict others’ futures. Clearly, diversity is highly represented between the characters on multiple levels, which is refreshing. However, there is little distinction between the characters themselves when the point-of-view is shifted from one to another.

This section will contain SPOILERS.

There are a couple of aspects that I want to discuss that turned me away from this book. This does not go to say that another reader won’t like this book. I just wanted to give a more concise depiction of why I DNF’d this read.

#1 There is one particular romance that is budding from the beginning between Ann and D09. While some people may not mind the fact that a human is in love with a robot, that’s fine. For myself, this is downright weird and something I don’t care to read about.

#2 The fact that this is said to be an Anastasia retelling makes it perhaps too-revealing? In the first portion of the book, we learn that Ana has no recollection of her past. She was found in space in an escape pod with her robot. Then, there is talk of a missing female heir. So…if my conclusions are correct…she’s the one missing. This is speculation, as I didn’t finish the read. However, all arrows seem to be pointing in that direction.

End of SPOILERS.

Overall, the plot is set up to be overly-predictable. Up until almost half-way through the read, I didn’t feel any unique pull grounding me to the story, and I lost interest. I also didn’t care for some of the connections being made between the characters, and decided overall that this isn’t a read for me.

Vulgarity: I counted 45 words (including made-up cuss words) up until 40%.
Sexual content: Kissing only.
Violence: Moderate – there are several fighting scenes.

View all my reviews

Why I Started Blogging & Why You Should Too!

Why I Started Blogging & Why You Should Too!

I’ve been blogging for over a year already… It was Winter 2016 when I decided that I really needed to do something in order to keep me sane (for lack-of-better-terms). Being a wife to an amazing husband, mother to an adorable toddler (we are also expecting a baby boy), a […]

Barnes & Noble Birthday Book Haul

Barnes & Noble Birthday Book Haul

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a book haul post! It’s literally been months since I last did one, which means I’ve been successfully sticking to my book-buying ban! I must admit, I’m doing this ban a bit begrudgingly because they’re books. I want […]

eARC Review: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

eARC Review: Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

Release day February 27, 2018!

Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. 

Book: Tess of the Road

Author: Rachel Hartman

Publication Date: February 27, 2018

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Page Count: 544

Format: eARC

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Cover Artist:

My Rating: No Rating – DNF

Tess of the RoadTess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

DNFing at 30%

”If Tess pretended she was married hard enough, could she fool herself into having a baby?”

I can confidently say that I have given Rachel Hartman a second chance with reading this book, hoping for the best. I read Seraphina in 2017 and ended up DNFing it. Unfortunately, I’m finding myself in the same boat with Tess of the Road. While the writing is well-composed and encompassing, I just didn’t like the main character Tessie, or the way in which the plot was headed.

Tessie Dombegh is the main character. At a young age, her curiosity got her into rough waters with her mother. Holding onto her past mistakes, she becomes rather spiteful towards others, making her a very unlikeable character to follow.

”I don’t envy you, if that’s what you’re worried about,” said Tess, not lying exactly. It wasn’t envy so much as self-pity. Did that make her “all right” or not?

When her twin sister Jean is proposed to, Tess tries to hide her jealousy of her sister’s position. However, her true feelings bubbling beneath the surface pour out at her sister’s wedding, when out of her drunkenness, she starts a fight.

From this point on, I simply lacked interest in the plot. With the main character being so unlikeable, I fail to see a reason to move on.

Another point to mention is that there is a lot of focus on sex, in a very tactless way.

”Is it true what they say, that the saar are slow to warm up, but once they get going they burn hot as the sun?”

Sorry, but I don’t think this is a necessary addition to a YA novel. If anything, this book reads more like an adult fantasy novel due to its content. This is where the book crossed a line for me. Tess’ obsession with the topic was just off-putting.

Vulgarity: While there wasn’t a lot, (I counted six up until the point of stopping) the overall mannerisms of the characters were vulgar.
Sexual content: There isn’t anything explicit, but this topic is constantly being discussed between characters.
Violence: Minimal.

Since this is a DNF read, I will not be assigning a star-review.

View all my reviews

Thursday Blog Trot #1 Let’s Get This Thing Started!

Thursday Blog Trot #1 Let’s Get This Thing Started!

It’s Thursday, and it’s time to start a new Meme! What is Thursday Blog Trot? Well, since I don’t have all the time in the world to spend following my lovely fellow book bloggers, bookstagrammers, booktubers, and the like, I wanted to dedicate some time each […]

Nine While Nine Cover Reveal!

Nine While Nine Cover Reveal!

Nine While Nine Publisher: Parliament House Press For fans of This Savage Song! Find Out About Other Books by Stasia Morineax at http://stasiamorineaux.wixsite.com/stasiamorineaux Isabeau Finne’s perfect world utterly unravels when she meets Death’s right-hand man one fateful night, spiraling her life into a world of […]

My Favorite Romance Novels

My Favorite Romance Novels

Since we are still in February, let's talk Romance, shall we?

I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of romance in books. That doesn’t come to say that I don’t appreciate a good romance if I come across one! 

If we want to be really honest, then if you get to know me a bit, you’ll find out I’m not really a romantic. You’re a girl, and you aren’t romantic? Nah, not really. I grew up with horses, dirt under my nails, and biceps which could contend with most guys my age.

I think it’s also due to the fact that our society has dumbed-down romance and made it into something meaningless and shallow and I don’t want to read about it! But, that’s a topic for another discussion.

These five books are focused on romance, or dance around the topic, and have become favorites for reasons of their own (which I’ll be sharing). The first two are a TIE–I cannot choose which I prefer more, so a tie will have to suffice. 

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

I know I won't be alone here on this one. Where are all my Mr. Darcy fans at? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen has always been, and will always be one of my absolute favorite romances. This book has the perfect combination of wit, complexity, simplicity, irony, and...everything else that makes a novel a good novel. Not to mention, Elizabeth Bennett is one of my favorite female characters, ever!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

If you like suspense in your romances, then Jane Eyre takes the cake! I remember the first time I read Jane Eyre, and how utterly enthralled with it I became (and still am) afterwards. There's a reason why this is my all-time-favorite book! The dark setting, the cranky and moody Mr. Rochester, Jane's meekness, and the secret makes this book a splendid read.

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Published in 2018, The Girl in the Tower is the sequel to The Bird and the Nightingale. This series is based off of Russian folklore, primarily focused around Father Frost. As the plot unfolds over the course of these two books, a steeping paranormal romance buds between Father Frost and Vasilica, the main character. Again, if you are one for amazing atmospheric tales, check this series out!

Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

The Wings of the Wind is the third and final book in the Out of Egypt series. These are Christian fiction retellings, sprinkled with romance. The story overarching all three books tells of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt, and the years following. In this final installment, a fiery Canaanite woman named Alanah is found after a battle between the Jews and the Canaanites by a Jewish man named Tobiah. Due to customs and other complications, the two are forced together. If you love tales of redemption, healing, and so much more, check out this series!

The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

The Queen's Rising is another new release for 2018. I was skeptical when I picked this baby up, but boy, was I blown away by this read! This book is the epitome of forbidden and slow-burning romances. I won't tell you who falls in love for spoiler's sake, but if you like a book that has a solid romance that doesn't take front and center stage, you might want to give this one a try!

That's it for today! Tell me, what are your favorite romance reads? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Finding Jade by Mary Jennifer Payne

Book Review: Finding Jade by Mary Jennifer Payne

The year is 2030, and climate change is making life on Earth more challenging. Fourteen-year-old Jasmine Guzman is struggling to come to terms with the abduction of her twin sister, Jade, and her mother’s illness. Things go from bad to worse when a series of […]

The Bone Roses Cover Reveal!

The Bone Roses Cover Reveal!

The Bone Roses Publisher: Parliament House Press Sixteen-year-old Rags is the most feared Rustler in the world, and for good reason. When she’s not raiding the post-Yellowstone Kingdom’s established settlements for supplies to keep her frontier, Rondo, alive another day, she’s fending off witch hunt-happy […]

eARC Review: Hunger: A Tale of Courage by Donna Jo Napoli

eARC Review: Hunger: A Tale of Courage by Donna Jo Napoli

It is the autumn of 1846 in Ireland. Lorraine and her brother are waiting for the time to pick the potato crop on their family farm leased from an English landowner. But this year is different—the spuds are mushy and ruined. What will Lorraine and her family do?

Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.

Book: Hunger: A tale of courage

Author: Donna Jo Napoli

Publication Date: Feburary 13, 2018

Publisher: Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

Page Count: 272

Format: eARC

Genre: Childrens, Historical Fiction

Cover Artist:

My Rating:  ★★

Hunger: A Tale of CourageHunger: A Tale of Courage by Donna Jo Napoli
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received this copy from the publisher via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review

 

In August 1845, Phytophthora infestans–a fungus-like organism–attacked the potato crop in Ireland.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this read, other than the fact that it wouldn’t be an easy one to ingest. I really enjoyed getting into a different genre in childrens/YA, and hoped for the best, but simply wasn’t as impressed as I’d hoped. While the topic is solid, the characters and plot suffered from an inability to make much progression.

Things I liked:

#1 I appreciated the hardship the author portrayed throughout this story. Lorraine, the main character, is a twelve-year-old Irish girl. Her family work as farmers–tenants on a wealthy English family’s land. She paints a horrific picture of the famine the potato (better known as “spuds”) plight brought to Ireland. Napoli doesn’t spare the reader from the ugly truth. While the book remains clean, it doesn’t keep out the fact that these people suffered greatly during this time, and many (if not all) lives were changed because of it.

#2 Ireland is known for its tumultuous weather and beautiful landscapes. Both of these played a big role in the story and helped the reader to understand how everything must remain in balance in order for life to thrive. It also makes the reading flow as we get to travel through the green hills with the characters.

#3 The author does a great job at incorporating several poignant factors throughout this period. Politics, Religion, and Class division play big roles here, in several ways. These issues come out immediately in Lorraine and Susanna’s interactions.

Things I didn’t like:

#1 There was a lack of direction throughout this plot. It was the main factor that killed this book for me. While the characters definitely underwent turmoil, it never seemed to go anywhere. Without character or plot progression, it’s difficult as the reader to really follow the point of the story. Definitely, this is a tragic tale. Yet, I couldn’t grasp what actually was trying to be portrayed here? Perhaps I’m reading too far into it. I feel as if it could have been written as a non-fiction story instead, and have been more effective as it’s more factual than anything.

#2 I had a very difficult time making a connection to the characters. I didn’t really like any of them, and I’m not sure why. Food is the main topic here and takes center stage in every conversation, and I think that’s why it’s difficult to make this connection.

This is not a bad read by any means. I just had a lot of difficulty with feeling that the plot was driven towards a purpose other than obtaining food.

Vulgarity: None.
Sexual Content: None.
Violence: There are scenes where the children come across dead bodies, and another where people are shooting at one another.

View all my reviews

#ReviewRally Challenge

#ReviewRally Challenge

Are your reviews-to-write list getting you down? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. I’ve been sitting on some reviews that I need to write for a few months. It’s time to buckle down and get them done! Currently, I have seven reviews that I need to […]

Fairy Tale Friday #1: The Lily of Life by Carmen Sylva

Fairy Tale Friday #1: The Lily of Life by Carmen Sylva

The Lily of Life: a Fairy Tale written by The Crown Princess of Romania, aka Carmen Sylva The Lily of Life: A Fairy Tale is a children’s story that was originally published in 1913. Written by the Crown Princess of Romania, Pauline Elisabeth Ottilie Luise zu […]

Just a Little Update…

Just a Little Update…

Good Evening, Everyone! And Happy Almost Friday!

We’re nearly to Friday already. These weeks seem to just fly by lately! How has everyone’s week been treating them?

I just wanted to drop in and give a quick update. Most of you know that this WordPress blog is a new one for me, yet She’s Going Book Crazy has been established for over a year! I’m working on slowly transferring all of my past book reviews, discussions, and other posts over to this blog, but have to do all of it manually (which is so much work.) Anyways, I just wanted to warn you that your feeds may update with some older material from me here and there, but stuff that I don’t want to lose it all! 

Anyways, I just wanted to warn you that your feeds may update with some older material from me here and there, and I'll try to space it out as much as possible.

On another note, tomorrow is my first Fairy Tale Friday post! I’ve been pretty excited about starting this new series, and am looking forward to your thoughts on the tales that are shared. The goal is to dive deeper into the vast world of fairy tales, and pull from sources all over the world and feature the more-obscure tales. Doing so, there may be some weird stories that we come across, but that’s okay (and sort of fun, if you ask me!)

Lastly, I’m going to be starting a new, reoccurring post that will go up each Thursday called Thursday Blog Trot. Since I don’t have a lot of spare time to follow everyone and the hard work they put into their book blogs, I wanted to have one day a week to allot some time to catch up on what everyone is doing, but also to feature some fellow blogger’s posts! I hope this will not only help me keep up with everyone’s progress, but also be able to support fellow bloggers more!

We'll see how it goes 🙂


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