A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

A Thousand Beginnings and EndingsA Thousand Beginnings and Endings Published by HarperCollins on June 26th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Short Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 336
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This is definitely one of the better YA short story collections I have read. As with all anthologies, some stories are much stronger than others, but I enjoyed far more than I disliked. Plus, it was just so great to see the exploration of mythologies we don’t often see in the mainstream. My average rating over the fifteen stories was 3.7.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War by R.F. KuangThe Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
Published by HarperCollins on May 1st 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 544
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“But I warn you, little warrior. The price of power is pain.”

 

Holy hell, what did I just read??

➽ A fantasy military school
➽ A rich world based on modern Chinese history
➽ Shamans and gods
➽ Detailed characterization leading to unforgettable characters
➽ Adorable, opium-smoking mentors

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

The Bird and the Blade by Megan BannenThe Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen
Published by HarperCollins on June 5th 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 432
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“Should you fail to answer correctly each riddle by the end of seven minutes, you shall forfeit your life. Do you understand?”

 

Mongolian fantasy with ghosts and riddles, anyone?

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand

My Plain Jane by Cynthia HandMy Plain Jane by Cynthia HandBrodi AshtonJodi Meadows
Published by HarperCollins on June 26th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Historical
Pages: 464
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I really wanted to love this. So badly. My Lady Jane was so so much fun when I read it last year, but I just felt like both the humour and the story were pretty bland in this book. I felt like the previous book was a hilarious historical comedy; this one was a meh Jane Eyre retelling.

One StarOne Star

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila SalesIf You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say by Leila Sales
on May 1st 2018
Pages: 336
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Before we go any further, I want to make sure you understand this: I am not a good person. If that’s important to you, to only read things by good people and about good people, where all their conflicts are unfair things that happened to them despite their pluck and kindness, then you should stop reading right now. I am not the girl for you.

 

^Heed this warning. Seriously. If you are someone who needs to like your protagonist, this book – and Sales’s books in general – are not for you. If you need books where bad actions are justly punished and all the right moral lessons are learned, this book isn’t for you. This book made me angry, made me pause, think, and question; it is not an easy book to read.

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst

The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth DurstThe Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
Published by HarperCollins on May 15th 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 432
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I suppose I’ll need Jastra’s plan after all. Pity.
It would have been nice to avoid murdering anyone.

 

I have really enjoyed this series. I came to the end of The Queen of Sorrow and, aptly, felt a lot of sorrow at having to leave these characters behind. At least the author’s note promises a standalone set in the same world – in Belene this time – so I will get to return to, and explore more of, Renthia.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring BlakeGirl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on May 15th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 304
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I can’t think about Owen. I can’t attach his name to Hannah on a hospital bed, bandages on her wrist, tears on her lovely face.

 

I cried.

Girl Made of Stars is about a situation that for the vast majority of us is not only horrifying, but unimaginable. For other feminists like me, our default is to offer compassion to rape survivors. To offer belief. To unite against the rapist. But… imagine if the alleged rapist was your closest friend, your anchor, the one person you’ve always been able to trust. Imagine if it was your twin.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Furyborn by Claire LegrandFuryborn by Claire Legrand
on March 1st 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 512
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The one question that kept spinning around in my mind as I read Furyborn is “why should I care?” I didn’t like the characters, the story almost put me to sleep, the stakes were never high enough to get my blood pumping, and the sex scenes made me laugh (not in a good way). I dislike giving one star but there was literally nothing I enjoyed about this book.

One Star

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone by Lisa JewellThen She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Published by Simon and Schuster on April 17th 2018
Genres: Mystery & Thriller
Pages: 368
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This was a fairly average experience for me. It’s a very quick read – I read it in a single day – and it goes down smoothly and easily, but it is so easy to predict everything that will happen. I was always several chapters ahead of the characters and it sapped a lot of tension out of the story.

One StarOne StarOne Star

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin KwanCrazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Published by Anchor on May 20th 2014
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 527
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“Imagine wanting to marry a girl from such a family! So disgraceful! Really, Nicky, what would Gong Gong say if he was alive? Madri, this tea needs a little more sugar.”

 

This is some seriously trashy crack-lit. And no that’s not a typo– this book is as addictive and dramatic and ridiculous as you surely imagine it to be. I should probably hate it, but, well… oops.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star