Balancing the Books for March 2020

This month definitely has been a month for reading. It also has been a month for me personally. I did not expect at the beginning of the month that I would be off work for two weeks (now three, and potentially longer) and I did not expect to be reading this much during that time. I can say that starting the blog, and my instagram, really has helped me to be a little more social during this time of social distancing and I really have enjoyed it! That all being said here is the list of everything that I have read this month along with very short reviews of them, links to buy the books on Amazon, and where you can find full reviews on them if I have them! Also as a note, all links to Amazon in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you to anything extra to buy using those links, it just gives me a small commision from your purchase to help keep this blog running.

This Months Books

Once Upon a Silent Song; A.R Summers

This story is a retelling of the little mermaid. I read it at the beginning of the month when I was doing my OWLs apart from everyone else because I didn’t realize that book roast did it every year. I absolutely loved this books 10/10. I love little mermaid retellings and I am going to be reading another one for the April OWLs.

Quidditch Through the Ages; J.K Rowling

This is another book that I listened to on Audible early in the month for the OWLs. As a Harry Potter fan I loved the book. I would give it an 8/10. If you are not a Harry Potter fan though you probably wouldn’t like it. So I don’t necessarily recommend it if you are not a big fan of Harry Potter.

Alone With The Stars; David R. Gillham (audible original)

Here is the thing, I actually really did not enjoy this book. I listened to it because it was short and I needed another book for my OWLs but I just couldn’t get into it. It is a story about Amelia Earhart that is inspired by true events. So it is a fictional book with some real things mixed it. I thought I would love it because of that, but no. Honestly it was like a 2/10 for me.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; Jk Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne

Now this book, as I am sure everyone knows, is controversial among Harry Potter fans. The first time I read it, I was in love with it! The second time I read it (which was this month) I started to see why people maybe were not as happy with it as they could have been, but the real truth is if you stop thinking that it is meant to be set in the same exact moment in time as the original Harry Potter books you will likely enjoy it. Also it is a screen play, not usually my cup of tea. Id say a 7/10 (which I know a lot of Harry Potter fans are going to drag me about).

The Wedding; Nicholas Sparks

This book was one I fought until the very end. I am weird because though I do enjoy Nicholas Sparks movies I almost never enjoy the books that the movies were based off of. I don’t know if it is the writing or if it is that I am just much more into YA fiction than I am fiction that is written more for adults. The ending of it was good, and definitely wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. 5/10 for the ending and because the books wasn’t horrible. It is not something I will read again however.

Nights in Rodanthe; Nicholas Sparks

Another one of those Nicholas Sparks movies that I liked better than the book. That being said though I enjoyed this one a lot more than I did The Wedding. 7/10 because I enjoyed the writing of this book for the most part and it actually kept me engaged. Most Nicholas Sparks books don’t do that. So hats off to this one.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the Original Screenplay; Jk Rowling

After reading The Cursed Child I almost did not read this because I was not in love with the way screenplays were written. This one had a lot more information describing the set up of scenes and what was going on and focused less on character development and dialogue. I am okay with that though particularly in a screenplay because it lets me decide how I see the characters instead of being told how to see them. I give it a 7/10 because I’m still not fully convinced on the screenplay aspect of this. But I do like it.

In An Instant; Suzanne Redfearn

This books was a good one. I usually do not read thriller books but I did enjoy it. 8/10 since I am not a thriller persona nd I did enjoy the story line. I got a little confused form time to time reading it like a detail had been left out or changed, but nothing major that would make me hate the book.

Honor Among thieves; Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

We have finally arrived at books that I have review for. All I will say is that this is the first in a trilogy of books and it is weird. I enjoyed it as much as someone that doesn’t usually like syfy books could, but that does not negate that parts of the story are weird. 7/10 and I really recommend you read the full review to hear all my thoughts and feelings about this book.

Honor Bound; Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

This is the second book in the Honors trilogy. I actually hated this book. To the point that I almost did not read the last book in the trilogy. You can read my full review to see my thoughts on this book. I gave it a 4 out of 10 which is one of the lowest ratings I have given this month.

Honor Lost; Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

I liked this book a whole lot better than the second book let me tell you that. I am glad that I keep reading the trilogy after the second book. This was a good intro into syfy, which is something I generally don’t like in books. You can read my full review to see what I thought on this book, as well as my full series wrap up.

I am Watching You: Teresa Driscol

This book. As I said earlier I’m usually not a thriller person, but I do love myself a good murder mystery show. That being said I really enjoyed this murder mystery thriller. It was confusing at times but over all a great read. I’ve got a full review for this one too that you can check out!

What Light; Jay Asher

I read this one more for fun, and less for reviewing purposes. I am trying to get a start in posts for later in the year. This one is a typical YA romance book that is centered around Christmas. I read it now not knowing that it was about Christmas, but I still enjoyed it. The first book I read of Jay Asher’s was 13 Reasons Why. This book is a total 180 from that.

Five Feet Apart; Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, and Tobias Iaconis

I have a review for this one too!!! Yay! I had been waiting so long to read this book and had put off watching the movie as well. I loved the book! It was great, you can read my full review for that information. I still have not seen the movie but rest assured I will be watching it soon.

The Rest of The Story; Sarah Dessen

I read this book as the first book for a 24 hour Readathon hosted by @escaping.through.novels on Instagram on March 28,2020. I love me some Sarah Dessen and I hope to do a review on it in the coming weeks. It was a typical Sarah Dessen book. YA romance with a lot of awkwardness from them, but written beautifully. This one made me laugh out loud. Honestly I have to give it a 8/10!

Milk and honey- Rupi Kaur

This book. It is a book of poems though and a lot of people enjoy it. I am not usually a big poetry person, so that could help with my view of the book as a whole. I will write a review. I won’t say much more about this here. Other than this was my second book in the 24 hour Readathon I participated in.

Divergent- Veronica Roth

I loved these movies. So much. I had not actually read the books though until this month and it made me love the story even more. The movies don’t even come close to the books but they are great in their own right. The movies include most of the important things from the books and the books give so much more detail. I will be writing a review on the entire series and companion books coming soon. I just have to finish them all up.

Insurgent- Veronica Roth

Not much more to say than what I did for Divergent. I did love the book. I started doing partial audio book during this one and would actually listen to the audiobook while I read. It was such a great experience. I am actually planning on doing this with most of the physical books I have if I can.

Allegiant; Veronica Roth

I saw the movie for this book before I read it and it broke me. I did not realize how different the movie was from the book. Specifically the ending. They played with my heart. Gave me hope. And then Veronica Roth just shoved a knife right through it. I still haven’t processed this book completely. I loved it. I will add my full review on the blog soon because I have some thoughts. I cried reading the last probably 30 pages of this book. Ugh. Even Five Feet Apart and The Fault In Our Stars didn’t make me cry as much as this one did.

Four: A Divergent Collection; Veronica Roth

When I read this I did not expect to have the emotions about it that I did. I knocked it out in like 2 hours because it is about half the size of the other books but it still broke me. I got a better idea of how Four felt during pivital moments in the books but damn. I think having read it after Allegiant made it even harder for me. This one though made me feel like I needed a drink. I’m debating on writing a review for this one, I probably will. I am planning on writing them for all of the series.

Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene; Veronica Roth

This is my bonus book for the month. It isn’t really a book so I won’t count it, it is a short story. I wanted to include it for all the Divergent Fans out there. I loved seeing this seen from Four’s perspective. Seeing how his relationship with Tris was forming in his mind. It is the same reason I loved Four. If I hadn’t already loved Four I would have after these last two books. Please read this if you want more from that trilogy. 5/5

This month really paned out with reading that is for sure. I don’t know that every month will be this productive, but I can only hope it comes close to being even half as productive as this. 20 books! That is insane! I will see you guys back here at the end of the month for another balancing the books (and you know three days a week at least until then for book reviews and other things)!

Five Feet Apart- Book Review

She didn’t get it. I don’t know how in the hell, but she didn’t”

Will, Five Feet Apart, Chapter 28 Page 255

Author: Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis
Published: 2018
Pages: 276
Rating: 9/10

This book…..it gives you all the emotions. I knew it would, but it still shook me. I have not watched the movie yet, so though I knew the general idea of the story from seeing the trailers for that I didn’t know what was going to happen. I had to wait and sleep on the book until I could write about it, because I was too emotional about it to write as soon as I finished.

Without much needed introduction, here is the goodreads summary of the book:

Goodreads Summary

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

My Thoughts

Five Feet Apart is written from both Sella and Will’s points of view. I usually am not a big fan of this, because it seems most of the time the chapters are repetitive, however this was done perfectly. While each chapter was their view point, it was their view point from the ending of the last chapter. If you see Stella stomping off to her room, Will will be talking about what happened from the point she started stomping off towards her room. Not what happened in that same encounter from his view point. It was the perfect way to write this kind of book. I wish that all Authors would right their multi person view point books this way. I would probably enjoy them so much more.

This book is also full of emotions. I know many people don’t want to read it because of that. Do it! Find yourself a free couple of hours and just sit down and read it. It is sad, I won’t lie about that. But it is worth it.

I didn’t love the ending. In fact I wrote in huge letters UGH at the end of the book. I won’t spoil it but it just made me sad. If I am being honest the ending is probably how it really would end for two people with CF, but I still wish it would have ended differently.

Final Recommendations

I really to recommend this book to everyone. The books sprinkles in facts about CF which was really nice. I was able to learn more about a disease I didn’t know much about while not feeling like the story was being interrupted. It is sad though. Not exactly The Fault In Our Stars sad, but almost like that. If you enjoyed The Fault In Our Stars by John Green I do think you would enjoy this book though. I also recommend reading this book before you watch the movie. I personally felt like some of the magic of learning some of what was going to happen early in the book was taken away because I had seen the trailers for the movie. I couldn’t imagine how I would have felt if I had already known how the entire book was going to end. I am not usually a book before movie kind of person, but I think with this one it is needed.


If you are interested in buying Five Feet Apart you can find it here. This link is an affiliate link, buy using it to purchase this book you will be supporting this blog at no extra cost to you! I earn a small commision from each sale, so if you are interested in helping keep this blog running please think about using the link above!

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll- Book Review

That first postcard was inside an envelope. A black card with letters cut out of a magazine. WHY DIDN’T YOU HELP HER?”

Ella, I am Watching You Chapter 4, page 26

Author: Teresa Driscoll
Published: 2017
Pages: 301
Rating: 8/10

I am usually not into thriller/murder mystery books, which is interesting because I really enjoy murder mystery t.v. shows like forensic files. This book though….it was great. It was a rollercoaster that is for sure, but I enjoyed every minute of it, and every twist and turn there was.

As I did in the last book review I am going to provide the goodreads summary of the book because I feel like it did a much better job of explaining this book than I will ever do. Plus I’m afraid I would give waaaay to much away if I even tried to summarize it.

Goodreads Summary

When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.

A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters—letters that make her fear for her life.

Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night—and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.

Someone knows where Anna is—and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella. 

My Thoughts

This book is written from the perspectives of 4 different people. Ella, Sarah, Henry, and Mathew. This can get confusing at times, but if you are paying attention to what you are reading and you are not watching tv or listening to music or something else then you will be able to follow it just fine. The characters in this book had a lot of development to them, but the character that I was able to relate to the most was Ella. Not because we are similar in age, but because I was really able to think of what I would do in her shoes. Would I have reacted the same way? Would I be blaming myself if I hadn’t done something.

That was my favorite part of the book I would have to say. Being able to really dig in to what I would do if this ever happened to me. To be honest, I don’t know that I would have done anything differently. One of the first questions that Ella poses in the book is what would you think if you saw two men board a train, each holding a black bin bag-contents unknown? I know that I would have thought it was a little bit odd and started to watch what they were doing, but that is something that I do with everyone. I have watched too many crime shows and I am always very aware of my surroundings when I am out alone. The only thing that I think I would have done differently than Ella would have been that I would not have hidden the letters. I would have gone to the police right away. I think that Ella was a bit too trusting, but I can see why her being a 40 year old woman with a teenage son would make her think that it was something innocent that could be stopped. I’m in my twenties so that is probably why I wouldn’t trust that it wasn’t some psycho.

The next character that I really could sort of relate to was Anna, the missing girl. Not because I have ever gone missing, but because I know what it is like to finally be trusted to go out and do something by yourself and be afraid to call your parents because you think you will never be able to go out and do anything again. I felt for her because she was trying to do the right thing. She was trying to get back to the hotel so that she could be somewhere she felt safe.

The character that made me the most angry was a tie between Sarah and Henry. Sarah was Anna’s best friend and you find out pretty early on in the book that she didn’t tell the police the truth about what happened that night. I don’t know that her telling the truth would have changed the outcome, actually I know that it wouldn’t have, but I get angry just thinking about her caring more about what people would think of her than caring about what could have happened to her friend. Henry is Anna’s dad and he just made me angry from the beginning. You also find out early on that he is lying, though it is made to seem worse than what it actually was. I don’t want to ruin the story by telling you why I hated him, but I did. Especially by the end of the book.

Aside from characters I did really like the book. The plot was good, I was not able to guess who the person was that was involved in the case. It had me thinking it was different people all of the time. I also was surprised by who ended up writing the letters. I did know what the outcome to the case was going to be, but for a time I did still hold out hope that it would be different than what I thought. I don’t mind the ends of books being predictable though. The writing was also great. The book invoked a lot of feelings and really made me ask myself what I would do if it was me in this situation.

Final Recommendations

I recommend this book to really anyone. Especially if you like true crime tv shows. Even if thrillers usually don’t interest you I think you would end up enjoying this book. Overall I gave it an 8/10 rating only because it is probably not a book I would pick up to read again since I already know how it would end.

If you would like to read I Am Watching You you can find it here, The link is an affiliate link, but it does not cost you any money to shop through it. It just means that I will earn a small commission from your purchase to keep this blog up and running, and to help me during this uncertain time in America and the world.

Honor Lost- Book Review

Honey, I don’t like anything about you anyway, so it doesn’t matter much. I’m not coming with you, if that’s what you’re here for. And you are not going to be able to take me. Don’t embarrass yourself. Just cut your losses.”

Zara, Honor Lost Chapter 8, page 147

Author: Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre
Published: 2020
Pages: 448
Rating: 7/10

I enjoyed this book much more than I did the second one. To think I almost didnt read it because I disliked the second book so much. This review will contain spoilers for the first two books in series. You can find my reviews for Honor Among Thieves and Honor Bound by clicking on their titles if you are interested in that.

To try to avoid giving away more of the books that I really want to I am going to be using the Goodreads summary for the book. I also feel like it does a better job explaining what this book is about that I ever could.

Summary

Space renegade Zara Cole may have finally met her match. Lifekiller—a creature that can devour entire planets is spreading terror throughout the universe, and it seems nothing can stand in the monstrous godking’s way.

Reeling from a series of battles, Zara and her wounded band of allies are going to need a strategy before they face Lifekiller again. Zara’s street smarts may not be enough when their enemy could be anywhere, destroying civilizations and picking his teeth with the bones.

And just when it feels like she’s reached a special place in her bond with Bea and Nadim, an ex from Earth with an ax to grind comes after her with nefarious intentions. With human enemies, alien creatures, and mechanical stalkers on her tail, it’s down to the wire for Zara to save the galaxy—and the people she calls home—before the godking consumes them all. 

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I was going to based on my annoyances from the last book. Maybe I was a little to harsh when I complained about the character development. I am still annoyed that it was not laid out in the first book that the main character is black, once I knew that I found it much easier to picture Zara. This book also seemed to stop trying to shove a non-binary storyline in like the last book did. It was there, with Starcurrent, as it was in the first two books but this time it was more eloquently added into the story.

Now going forward I am going to be including quite a few spoilers because there were a few things that needed tied up in my head from the first two books, so if that is not something you want to read I suggest skipping to the final recommendations section of the review, or just stopping here.

Assuming everyone left reading is okay with spoilers let’s get right down into my final thoughts on this book, as well as the trilogy as a whole.

Zara/Nadim relationship: I am still not sure how I feel about this relationship. The first book I thought it was just written weird and was not meant to be romantic. The second book laid out pretty well that it was meant to be a romantic relationship. The third book took that to a whole new level. Once I started to read this book I was able to wrap my head around the relationship a little better. It seemed as if Zara loved Nadim but also knew that it really couldn’t be anything more. This was because Zara started to fall for Beatriz. This made more sense to me because they could have an actual physical relationship together. Though the book did a good enough job explaining that there were ways that Nadim and Zara could have those same experiences with each other without being able to be physical. There was wsa quote on page 27 that said “I liked everything about him. I’d given up on thinking I was weird for being all into this. I’d never had a human lover treat me half this well, or interest me half this much.” I am trying to follow Zara’s lead and just take this relationship for what it is. I will say it is a very well developed relationship and I appreciated that it wasn’t just kind of left to fester with no real development.

Zara/Beatriz relationship: This relationship I was happy to see. I was happy that Zara was going to be able to have a real relationship with someone and be happy. Beatriz treats Zara wonderfully through the entire book and I am glad that the entire love story part of this book didn’t fall solely on the Zara/Nadim relationship.

Zara/Beatriz/Nadim relationship: Yes these three also have a relationship together that is not just them living on the same ship. I found it interesting the way this was worked in. This is how Nadim and Zara are able to experience the same experiences of being physical without being physical together. That is not to say that Zara does not love Beatriz because being physical always starts out being the two of them, but someone always pulls Nadim in.

Beatriz/Nadim relationship: Now this one I am still a little confused on. It seems to me that the only common tie between their relationship is Zara and that these two only have a friendly relationship not a romantic one. Since the book is written from Zara’s perspective this could be wrong, and they could have a romantic one that we don’t know about. But knowing Beatriz I feel like she would have told Zara if that was the case.

Past the main relationship questions I had I really liked the way certain other situations tied themselves up with pretty bows during this book. Derry and Deluca have been dealt with. Both were killed by the robot Jury (this is a spoiler, but really it isn’t that major of a story. Just ties up loose ends that Zara had on Earth) when the robot decided that they were both guilty of crimes punishable by death. They also tied up what would happen with the Leviathan ships that did not have a crew, the few that were left.

Overall I was satisfied with this book. I did not like it anymore than I liked the first one, but I found it a hell of a lot better than the second one.

Final Recommendations

Just like the first book I would recommend this one to you if you are just getting into the world of syfy books. As a series I don’t know how I feel about recommending it because of the second book. There were only a few things in the second book that struck me as knowledge you had to have before reading the third book and if you didn’t have it you still wouldn’t be completely lost. I will say if you know ahead of time that the characters are not white and that there is a bit of a not so well developed story line about non-binary aliens then you would probably enjoy that second book a lot more than I did. For this book I give it a 7/10, for the series I would probably say a 5.5/10. I enjoyed the first two, not the second. I liked it for what it was, but I likely won’t read the series again.

So that is it for the world of Zara Cole. I’m glad I made the decision to read the last book so I had some loose ends tied up. If you are interested in knowing where you can find the books you can find them at the links below. The links I have included are affiliate links. You will not be charged extra, but if you purchase through these links I will earn a small commision from your purchase to help keep this blog up and running.

Honor Among Thieves Honor Bound Honor Lost

Honor Bound- Book Review

You are as you should be. It was the kindest thing anyone had ever said to me, and it felt…pure.”

Zara Cole, Honor Bound Chapter 10, Page 202

Author: Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre
Published: 2019
Pages: 470
Rating: 4/10

If you have yet to read my review on Honor Among Thieves you really should go read it before you read this review. Honor Bound is the second book in the Honors Trilogy and to really understand some of the things I am going to talk about you are going to probably want at least a little knowledge on the first book and my feelings about it.

Now with that out of the way let’s talk about Honor Bound. This might be a bit shorter than the last review because for me to give a long summer about this book would mean giving away much of what happened in the last book. There will be some spoilers but I will try to keep them vague. My feelings about this book are all over the place right now, so I guess lets start with the summary as we did the last time.

Summary

Honor Bound picks up right where the last book left off. They have just been in a fight and now Zara is getting treated for alien blood that is now all over her. That blood is also poisonous. Zara, Nadim, Beatriz, and the crew of others they have picked up along the way know that they will not be able to survive long if their ships do not get the starlight they need to heal and repair themselves. They set off on a journey to find a place called the Sliver where they will be able to purchase starlight baths and some weapons for their next battle.

Sliver is even more of an outlaw alien hideout than any of them could imagine. They quickly learned from their alien honor friend Starcurrent that music is a universal currency and that they would likely be able to trade much of the music that they had on board Nadim to get them whatever currency was used on this planet. They were rich, but that wasn’t going to buy them everything they needed. This meant that they were going to have to find another way to get the second type of currency they needed. They were going to fight for it.

Overall they spend the majority of the book on the planet until the head honcho of the place calls them up and tells them she wants them gone because they are going to bring the phage to them. Zara makes a deal with them and they go off to find something that they want. The problems start to arise at this point when Zara and her crew realize that this alien queen of sorts has sent them on a suicide mission. The crew recovers what they want and in the process of transporting it back they awaken it and that is when things get real. From that point forward not only are Zara and the crew fighting their original battle, but now they have been forced into fighting a battle they never intended to.

My Thoughts

Carina Storm enjoying some reading time with Mom. ❤

I did not like this book as much as I liked the first one. It wasn’t bad but there were so many things going on that I had a hard time remember what character was what and who was doing what when. I think this story definitely could have been pared down a little bit to only include some of the information it did. There was a lot of interesting things happening, that did serve to push the story forward, but just way too many idea. I also found myself really annoyed because the relationship that I was hoping was not trying to hint at being romantic turned out to be a romantic relationship. Then they added more people to it, it was weird. I still don’t know how I feel about it.

My other problem with this book is that it isn’t very well written for what you find out the characters look like. Almost the entirety of the first book I thought all of the characters were white. They were not. I found out at some point that Zara and Beatriz are actually black, which I think is a great thing. Except that the descriptions of the characters never lead me to believe that until it was flat out said. I was hoping that would change in book two which is why I didn’t touch on this in the original review. I focused more on the story there. It actually somehow got worse in the second book. They referenced it more often which was nice, but they just didn’t do those characters justice. One incident I am thinking of is when they talk about Zara washing her hair. It is one of the few things they actually use to explain that she is black, and they just gloss over it. Both of the ladies who wrote this book are white, and as a white woman myself I find it very annoying that they wrote these characters to be black and then kind of white washed them in my eyes.

The final problem I had with this book specifically had to do with making characters non-binary. Now, I do not have an issue with them doing this, it is the way they did it that makes me mad. Once again they just kind of threw the pronouns around and made a few people non-binary and didn’t really touch on it any more. I honestly forgot half the time that these characters were non-binary. That was not something I loved. I did sort of foresee that issue in the first book but it was only touched on briefly at the end of the book so I had held out hope that it would be explained better in the second book. It was not.

Recommendation

Unlike the first book I am not overly impressed with this book. Maybe it is because I don’t love the story so all the other things that are not great about it are making me upset, but I honestly don’t know that I recommend this to anyone. If I felt like the characters were portrayed better and actually had characteristics of the ethnicities they were trying to say they were I think I might have liked it a little more. If you read the first book and you like the story then you may be able to see through the issues I had with it, but overall I just don’t love it. Now I am left trying to decide if I want to read the 3rd book just to finish the trilogy, or if I want to just skip the last book all together because at this point I don’t have hope that the things that are bugging me are going to get any better. Let me know in the comments what you would do.

O.W.L Magical Readathon TBR List

Earlier this month I found Book Roast’s Magic Readathon from 2019. At that time I didn’t realize that the this was something that she did every year. A few weeks ago, when I originally started doing the 2019 version of the readathon I started to see posts of people talking about the 2020 Magical Readathon and I got super excited. Like stopped what I was doing immediately and started planning for the readathon. Let’s just say, I have gotten super into this. So this post is going to be all about my O.W.Ls in April 2020, what career I am going for this year, and what my TBR list is for this readathon.

Also here is Book Roast’s video all about the 2020 O.W.Ls if you want to learn more about it!

My Career

Book Roast seriously has put so much work into this readathon that it blows my mind. There are entire career guides that explain all the careers you can select from and what you need to read to get them, and explanations of all of those careers. The attention to detail is fantastic. Now, when I started to do last years version of this readathon earlier this month I did not pick a career first. I decided to just start reading and get as many O.W.Ls as I could and then I would pick a career after. That was a mistake let me tell you. So this time I decided to go ahead and pick my career first, that way I had a bit of an idea of what I needed to be looking for to get to something I wanted to do. So what did I chose you ask…

A Hogwarts Professor of course! I always tell the girls that work for me that I was an elementary teacher in another life because I love to do bulletin boards, make certificates, and create fun games. So with that information I felt like this would be a fun career for me to work towards.

The Requirements

Each career has its own set of requirements to be able to become qualified to do that career. There are lists for both O.W.L.s and N.E.W.Ts but in this post I only am going to talk about O.W.Ls since that is the readathon for April.

To become a professor you need to pass 7 O.W.Ls in total and they are as follows:

* A subject you wish to teach
* Defense Against the Dark Arts
* 5 additional subjects of your choice

As you can see the requirements for this career are pretty open and let you go for pretty much anything you want to. This leaves it pretty much open for me to do anything that interests me.

Courses, Siminars, and Training

Another fun thing that Book Roast added this year was the option to do courses, siminars, and training to go along with your career. She put just as much time and effort into these as she did to the regular careers and I couldn’t be more excited. There are a bunch of options but I did narrow it down to a few.

*Animagus Training- requires O.W.Ls in Arithmancy, Potions, and Transfigurations
*Legal Defence of Fantastic Beasts Seminar- requires O.W.Ls in Care of Magical Creatures and History of Magic

TBR List

Finally the part we have all been waiting for…what I will be reading in April to start working towards my wizarding Career.

Professor
I will be reading the books below to work towards my career as a professor:

If you Tell, Gregg Olsen: Arithmancy (something outside my favorite genre)
Sea Witch, Sarah Henning: Defence Against the Dark Arts ( book set at the sea/coast)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Newt Scamander, J.K. Rowling: Care of Magical Creatures (Creature with a beak on the cover, also subject I wish to teach)
The Vine Witch, Luanne G. Smith: History of Magic (book featuring witches/wizards)
My Big Fat, Fake Wedding, Lauren Landish: Charms (white cover)
Harry Potter A History of Magic, J.K. Rowling: Astronomy (read the majority of this book when it is dark outside)
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck: Potions (book under 150 pages)

Animagus Training and LDFB Seminar
For Animagus training I have to read a book for Arithmancy, Potions, and Transfiguration and for LDFB i have to read a book for Care of Magical Creatures and History of Magic. Thankfully Book Roast cleared up in a recent video that the books you used for these extra courses could also be ones that you read for your main career. That means I only have to read one extra book, for a total of 8 books.

To Be Determined: Transfigurations (a book/series that includes shape shifting) I really have no idea on this one yet, so I will just have to pick that out as I get to it

So there it is, my O.W.L Magical Readathon TBR list for April. To be honest I don’t know if I will be able to get more reading done than that, but we can hope that I will at least get this done. Happy Reading! If you are also going to be doing the Magical Readathon let me know what career you picked, or what O.W.Ls you are going to be trying for.

Honor Among Thieves- Book Review

You were a seed, surrounded by hard shell and stony ground. Now you can grow in any direction that you wish. I will leave you alone until you see that.”

Nadim, Honor Among Thieves Chapter 8, page 186

Author: Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre
Published: 2018
Pages: 468
Rating: 7/10

I usually do not read syfy books, but the cover of this one just made me want to read it. Also, I didn’t read the description of the book before I read it. Had I, I probably would not have even given the book a second thought.

Summary

Honor Among Thieves is the story of Zara, an outcast who just wants to “be free” and live by her own rules. When we meet Zara she is living life as a thief in the Zone. She steals a purse from a seemingly wealthy girl who is walking down the street without a care in the world. Once she has time to look through the bag she found tech, prescription meds, and a box that contained some type of chem (drugs) that she had never seen before. Zara takes her haul to a seller and gets quite a decent chunk of money for what she has stolen. All she is thinking of is that she will be able to feed Derry, her chem addicted boyfriend, and herself for at least a week.

When Zara returns to Derry and the rest of her crew a man shows up looking for the box that she stole from the young girl. Zara pretends that he has no idea what he is talking about, but internally she is freaking out once she realizes that the girl she stole from what the daughter of a wealthy business man who everyone thought was crazy.

Once Zara realizes that she can not get out of this on her own she leaves Derry to go back to Parkview Rehabilitation Home. She knew she would not be able to stay there, but she is hoping that Mrs. Witham can help her get somewhere safe; Camp Kuna.

When Zara arrives at Camp Kuna she believes that she is now safe for the time being, but she is very very wrong. The first friend that she makes tries to kill her. All in the same stretch the guards come for her to take her to meet with the CEO of the camp as well as a man names Marko. Zara soons finds out that she has been selected for the Honors, a program she despised while others were fighting just to be selected. She is effectively forced into taking the spot on the Tour because she realizes if she does not she will die.

Zara soon meets an ex Honor who tells her not to go out on the tour because they are lying to her. Marko tells her to ignore the Honor because he couldn’t handle the Tour and was sent back to earth. Not long after this encounter Zara meets Nadim, her ship. The alien that will take them on a tour through the stars. She also meets Beatriz, her partner for the next year.

Zara and Nadim soon learn they have a connection that is different from what he has with others. A connection that is likely to get them into trouble.

My Thoughts

I do have to say I did enjoy this book. As I said in the beginning of the post I usually don’t read syfy books but I wanted to give this one a try. The book is a bit slow to start, which almost made me put it down. It also is a bit confusing because they switch between who they are talking to and whose thoughts are being shown quite a few times in the first couple of pages. Once I finally got into the book through and started getting into what I can only say is VAGUE SPOILER ALERT an alien/human romance I started to get into it. To be honest I don’t think that you are meant to see the relationship that I am talking about as romantic, I think it is supposed to be seen as a relationship that is on a deeper level than the superficial relationships the characters are used to; but the way it is written really suggests there is something more going on. The book also lacked the in depth details I was craving from an alien space travel story. Funny enough I usually enjoy stories that have more dialogue than filler, but in this case I definitely feel like the story would have benefited from more of what I call filler information. Overall I really did enjoy the book, though there are some concepts in it that I find it hard to wrap my head around. The ship Zara is on being an actual living being for one things. The book is part of a series though (currently at 3 books, unsure of if there are plans for more) so I am hoping as the series goes on I will be able to wrap my head around it better and better.

Final Recommendations

I would say that I recommend this book for people like me who really are not super into syfy and just want to dip their toes in the water. If you are someone who really loves these types of books you would probably dislike this one just based on the fact that the story really does not go too in depth on the concepts it is talking about.