Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling | Rating: ★★★★★ 
"My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice."

A lot of people are going to blow the lid off on this one for various reasons. I'm not going to argue with you on that--there are many reasons to be put-off by this one. There's no use denying it. That's that. But, I think the first thing that needs to be said is that I didn't like the screenplay only because J.K. Rowling penned it. I liked it because it was something that captivated me from the get-go. 

Newt Scamander is far more likable than I was expecting when I picked this up. You need to know this and you also need to remember that he is not Harry Potter. It's easy to compare him to Harry if you allow yourself but that's a mistake. And while it is set in the same world (with differences and similarities, as well as mentions of characters we knew of from Harry's story)--this isn't at all the same story. 

I find the characters we're introduced to have the same shimmering magic that we've come to expect from J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World. You (or rather, I) can't deny this because there's just something about them. From Newt, to Tina, to Queenie, to Jacob--there's something that draws you in from the start and keeps you in their orbit. If ever there were four characters that belonged around each other, it's them. And the way they form a connection with one another feels very permanent and indescribable. 


Dark Parties by Sara Grant | Rating: ★★☆☆☆

I can't change what happened. If I'm honest, I don't want to. I won't regret it. I'll keep those memories trapped in a bubble away from labels of good and bad and right and wrong. 

I've been trying to put together my thoughts on the good, the bad and the in betweens in Sara Grant's novel Dark Parties for at least a week now. But, I can't. There was something so disappointing about it--and a bit patchy in terms of how things tied together--but I am having difficulty putting it into words. I think I expected something else entirely when it came to this novel due to its intriguing blurb. There's something about the description that holds a promise for a dystopian novel that is unique in a sea of similarities.

But Dark Parties seems to trip over itself on more than one occasion and it is what ultimately makes this read to be so tedious. It just felt like at every damn turn, the concept could have really worked but didn't quite make the mark. The entire time you felt like you knew what would happen--that you'd read it in some other variation before. Like literature deja vu. Except you hadn't, not really. Dark Parties isn't a bad novel, it's just not terribly good and hits so many speed bumps on the way.

Which kind of makes no sense because Sara Grant isn't an awful writer.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg, Siobhan Curham | Rating: ★★★☆☆

“Sometimes you have to face up to your fears to realize that they aren’t actually real.” 

As a note, a copy of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

I've been a fan of Zoella's Youtube channel for years and years but I'll be honest: I'd been hesitant to pick up this book for quite some time. In fact, I've started to pick it up on multiple occasions but always talk myself out of it. I've had this feeling that I'd burned myself out on this genre in the years since I'd begun reading--plus, it felt like I may be out of the target age group as well. So, it never really stuck with me to actually give it a go.

When I saw it up on Net Galley, I threw caution to the wind and found myself quite surprised by how much I enjoyed Girl Online. It really, really was a fun read and I'm kicking myself for not having picked it up sooner. My first, and perhaps only, description of it is the warm and fuzzies. Girl Online just has that automatic feel-good vibe to it that will ultimately please its audience; no matter the age. I can't explain it, really, but it's just a delight to feel that way when reading a contemporary novel.


Priest by Sierra Simone | Rating: ★★★☆☆

"...it was rewriting my mind and my soul, my future and my life..." 

If you’re not easily offended, or overly religious, and you love some seriously steamy sexy times and if you are just looking for an easy read to pass the time, Priest is for you. I'm pretty positive it's going to be one of the next big things and the way it's crafted is in a league of its own. For those of you who have friends that devour romance novels, this is the perfect holiday present for them.

Perhaps one of those novels that is attached to controversy in a big way, Priest is still--somehow--equally thrilling, captivating and cringe worthy. It's certainly much more beautifully written than many novels in its genre. One things for certain: it will grip its readers and refuse to let it go until the final pages. Heavy on angst and lust, it is a ride, to say the least.

The worst thing a reader can do is take the novel too seriously. This isn't real life and it's not always going to be the most realistic and actively accurate read you've ever picked up. It's not meant to be. And in spite of all of this, it's still the type of novel that captures your attention instantly. I was surprised by how much heart there was--and the level of honesty involving both Poppy and Tyler's life before they met was fascinating, if a little underdeveloped, and heartfelt.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Instagram Roundup: November 2016

Just like that, November has come and gone! What a month, though, what a month. I'll let my pictures tell the story--because really, what else can you do when you're rounding up your Instagram posts for the month? For those of you who don't already follow me on Instagram, I mostly post bookish stuff, and plants if I'm feeling ambitious, you can find me here.

*I only add my square images to my roundups to keep the format even. I'm so picky.