April Wrap up

Sadly, there were no bangs in April.

Please click on the book covers for full reviews.

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Interesting setting but the story was too familiar

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbomb


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Elementary writing; poor character development; awful pacing

Bang Bang Rating: bombbomb


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High school problems-No bueno

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbomb 1/4


grim lovelies

Plot moves too quickly and there’s not enough world building to connect to any of the characters.

Bang Bang Rating: DNF


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My co-worker and I have a challenge to recommend one book to each other.  Her recommendation was the first three volumes of Saga. I’ve read the first two and I like it so far.  Simple yet complex plot, great characters, and humorous.

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb


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The plot was a bit obscure and meandering but I really liked it a lot and I plan to finish but these books are so LONG and I really want to finish Game of Thrones this year.  I might do this first because I don’t want to forget what happens.  I watch GOT so there’s no threat of forgetting.

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 1/2

Did you read any of these books? What were your thoughts?



May TBR

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March Wrap Up-Any Bangs?

Hell NO!

March was a slow month for new pubs and my reading reflects it also. I didn’t feel like reading much so there’s that. As always, please click the cover or title for a full review (not all titles have reviews).

Because of my podcast with Roulette Reader, I try to only read books published in the month we are currently in.

Here’s our March best and worst podcast 

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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Basic writing and weak character development.  This got picked up by Netflix-SERIOUSLY?

Bang Bang Rating bombbomb


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Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

A little sluggish in the middle but great character development and story.

Bang Bang Rating bombbombbombbomb


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The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro

Cavallaro is a good writer I just wish she would focus.

Bang Bang Rating: DNF


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The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien

Unpopular Opinion Time-Lots of info-dumping. I’ll watch the movies but I won’t finish the books.

Bang Bang Rating: I’m not rating it-LOL


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Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Nothing new to see here folks but I liked the characters.

Bang Bang Rating bombbombbomb 3/4


April TBR

I’ve decided to start some adult fantasy and Robin Hobb came highly recommended. If I like it, I’ll read book two this month.  Roulette Reader and I have a challenge where I’m making her read a book and vice versa.  She recommended Saga, the first three volumes.

The Wicked Deep

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The Wicked Deep

By Shea Ernshaw

Genre: Paranormal/Witches

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Bang Bang Review

So there’s these three young ladies who happen along a small seaside town that absolutely HATES outsiders and I know this because the author reminds us ad nauseam. These ladies are not special besides their beauty and all the men, including the married ones, fall in love with them so the town agrees that they are witches and decide to drown them in the lake or sea or some body of water. This has become the 200 year old legend of this SMALL town and every year since those ladies were drowned, three boys are drowned. During the summer, people come from all over the country because of this legend and to see boys drown-the perfect vacation for the family.

Penny, our MC, is a plain gal who never wants to leave her town and is left to take care of her mother who is depressed over the sudden vanishing of her husband. Penny’s mother is also a tea leaf reader and has foretold that Penny will meet a mysterious guy-enter mysterious guy named Bo. Bo of course is dark and brooding. He has a nice body and great hair and he’s O so handy. Bo is a skeptic and doesn’t believe in the bullshit of these three witches but Penny does and she has a secret that I won’t share but I’ll remind you of her secret throughout my review so you can experience the agony I felt while reading this book. For 100/380 pages, Penny, her secret, and her best friend, attend an end of the year party with tropey classmates where Bo comes to her rescue. Penny and her secret spend time with Bo trimming hedges and discussing the town’s legend. The POV shifts from Penny and her secret to introduce the witches 200 years prior.

Finally after 100 pages, someone dies. Then the teens in the town loose their fucking minds and choose some random classmate to lock and tie in a boat house because they believe her to be a witch.  They have no proof and the teen captors then proceed to argue that she’s a witch and no you can’t just be judge and jury.  Hmmm, is this a modern day version of what happened to the witches 200 years ago? YES, WE’RE NOT DUMB. Penny, her secret, her best friend, and Bo just leave that girl locked up for days with no toilet.

Some stuff we all see coming happens, Penny reveals her big secret, Penny and Bo fall in love after a couple of weeks, more boys die, the mystery behind Penny’s father’s disappearance is told, and blah blah blah.

Wicked Deep had an interesting idea but the execution-YIKES!  Ernshaw tried to do something by adding the disappearance of the father and jumping back 200 years to tell the witches story but her writing just isn’t strong enough to make this book stand out. The storytelling is basic. The witches arrive and since they are independent ladies, they go to bars and drink and talk loudly-oooh scandalous.  They jokingly say they are witches and then the townspeople drown them. That’s literally how their story is told; no nuance or character development.  There’s nothing new or special about Penny or Bo and they fall in love too quickly.  And finally, this town has a population of 2000 people so if you do the math, three boys die every year for 200 years-that’s 600 people. That’s 1/3 of their town. If three teen boys were drowned every year in my smallish town, it wouldn’t be a vacation destination, people would be moving in droves.  And that ending-SERIOUISLY?!

I didn’t like this book.

Bang Bang Rating  bombbomb

Top Ten Tuesday

I haven’t done this in a while but I LOVE quotes so here are my favorite book quotes in no particular order:

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

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“People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”


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“The thing about falling is you don’t have any control on your way down.”


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“KISS ME, HARDY! Kiss me, QUICK!”


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“We all make mistakes… but it’s also a step in the right direction. If nothing else it’s a step away from the wrong one.”


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“Macho Nachos be damned!”


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“It does not due to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”


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“I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”


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Technically it’s from the movie and not the book but I’m using it anyway-LOL

“I refuse to be the goody bag at your pity party.”


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“They love their hair because they’re not smart enough to love something more interesting.”


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It’s more contextual than profound

“I don’t care.”

February Reads-Any Bangs?

YES!!

February was a slow month which caused me to lower my Goodreads goal from 70 to 50-YIKES. But I don’t want to stress myself out when October approaches and I’m 30 books behind.

I read some shitty books and one fantastic book.  As usual, click the picture or the title for a full review.

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The Last Beginning by Lauren James

I read this for SLJ (School Library Journal) so I can’t review it until after it is published.


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Losing Leah by Tiffany King

DAMN this book was disappointing.  Leah’s development was poor and there were no answers to her issues.  The pacing was bananas and some things were unrealistic.

Bang Bang Rating: bomb


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The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson

Great premise but the execution…Too many people giving Elena too much advice-it dragged down the plot.

Bang Bang Rating: bombbomb 3/4


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Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes

I stopped caring. I’m just glad it’s over.

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbomb


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Furyborn by Claire LeGrand

So this book is pretty great. There’s strong female friendships and complicated villains and uncertainty of identity and cliffhangers and a fascinating world and secrets and you just need to read it.

I want all the SWAG and I want to meet Claire.

bang




February TBR

  • Finally reading Lord of the Rings.  I haven’t seen any of the movies so I know nothing about it.
  • Kiss of Deception is in the top five favorite fantasy series of all time and I’m really excited to read Pearson’s new series. If you haven’t read Kiss of Deception, I highly recommend it but it is not a fluffy read-be prepared to take notes.
  • I highly recommend The Case For Jamie if you love Sherlock Holmes-great character development.

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza

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The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza

By Shaun David Hutchinson

Genre: Contemporary/Paranormal/LGBTQ

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

Bang Bang Review

Elena Mendoza was born from a virgin birth and since she was a child, objects have been speaking to her. At first it was small things like make friends with Fadil but then the voices began to tell her to heal people to save the world.  Sound interesting? I thought so too until I read it.

I thoroughly enjoyed We Are the Ants and I also like genre blending stories so I was excited about Hutchinson’s new book.  I personally think he got gipped in the award department with Ants and I think he thought so too and tried to write an award winner in Elena but I think he tried too hard.

The paranormal premise of Ants was the idea of pushing the button to save the world or not pushing the button to doom mankind and Elena was faced with the same decision except it wasn’t a button it was listening to inanimate objects.  With that being said, Hutchinson needs some fresh ideas.  Elena started off quickly with the shooting of her crush in the first couple of chapters which was good.  I also liked the voices; I thought they were bitchy and funny but after the first quarter of this somewhat different book, it went downhill.  The main characters talk about finding the shooter who vanished into the sky ad nauseam but they don’t do too much to find anything about him.  A good chunk of this book and when I say chunk I mean about 75% is basically different people giving Elena advice about making choices.  It’s all a bunch of introspection and that’s fine but her mother gives advice, then her shitty step father, then her best friend, then her crush, the a rando cop, then her mom again, then best friend, then her crush, then her crush, then her neighbor, and on and on and on. And they are all kind of telling her the same thing but using different words.  Actually Dumbledore gave us this advice-“It’s our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” This book is 430 pages too long.

While all of this advice is happening, Elena is developing relationships with her crush, Freddie, and her ex-Javi.  Freddie began as an interesting character but because of all ass dragging plot I didn’t care about their budding romance I just wanted Hutchinson to tell me the connection between her life saving abilities and the choice theme.  Usually this is the type of book where I don’t want to author to tell me the point but because the middle was just people giving advice, I just wanted to be told everything and not have to think.

Her best friend Fadil was okay but their friendship was nothing new.  He got a new girlfriend and he felt Elena was too dependent on him and blah blah blah. Then there was Javi who only wanted sex and then slut shamed her after she broke up with him. There was a moment when he asks her out and Elena has to tell him why he was a total dick and then she constantly had to tell him she wasn’t going to get back with him like several times over different events.  I don’t understand why that was in the book.  I don’t understand what Hutchinson was trying to say? Guys need to be told ten times that you don’t want to fuck them? I don’t know the point.

I think the ending was supposed to be this huge epiphany for Elena about choices and free will but I feel like teens kind of know this.  He seemed to try to make this point through a supernatural story and I applaud the concept but final message was not new info especially since Elena was getting advice about choice and free will for 200 FUCKING PAGES!  In Ants, he left it up to the reader to decide if the MC was being abducted by aliens or if it was imaginary but in Elena, he bashed us over the head with the theme.

Hutchinson is a good writer and I think he has a lot to say but this just was not it for me.

Bang Bang Rating: bombbomb 3/4

Losing Leah

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Losing Leah

By Tiffany King

Genre: Thriller/Child Abuse

Publication Date: March 20, 2018

Bang Bang Review

Losing Leah is told in two POVs, Leah and her twin Mia.  Mia was abducted when the twins were six years old by a woman who has held her captive in a basement for ten years.  Mia has been told that she has a sun sensitivity disease and her parents abandoned her because of it and this nurse adopted her.  During Mia’s chapters, we witness physical and emotional abuse which are tough to read and realistic but to readers who have never suffered abuse, we don’t learn anything new.  I’ve never been abused but I have a very basic idea of the affects of abuse by watching TV and reading books.  This book doesn’t add anything new to the narrative and that’s a shame because it’s a missed opportunity to dig deep into the mind and lives of the abused.

During Leah’s chapters, we are told that her parents have been affected by the loss of their child but we never see the parents.  There’s actually a reason why we don’t see the parents but it’s weak.  Leah has a boyfriend and a best friend but their presence does not impact the plot.  Leah suffers from debilitating headaches and seeing shadows but once again, I didn’t understand the significance.   Leah’s chapters could have been a discussion on how abduction affects a family but once again-missed opportunity.

Mia is rescued and reunited with her family but while she’s in the hospital, she meets a boy-of course she does.  I don’t understand why authors feel the need to write a romance.  Mia had a very strong relationship with her brother and I would have much rather the focus been on that or even a female patient living the same nightmare but no.  At one point, Mia is release from the hospital but she has to return for therapy but she never goes to see the love interest even though she claims he helped her.  I won’t say why but her psychologist SUX.

After a month or so in the hospital, Mia goes home and immediately returns to school-WHAT!!! This book is 320 pages so as you can surmise, the pacing is BANANAS!!!  Of course people are staring at her and calling her names but that’s the extent of her experience.  I won’t say more because it’s a spoiler but I’ll say that Mia’s brother who goes to the same school also SUX because he never checks up on her and meets her new friends.  It’s not her brother’s fault, it’s the authors fault for writing big plot holes.

This book was trying to do too many things.  First of all it’s pegged as a thriller/mystery but it lacked intensity.  The main characters are abused and suffering loss and have absent parents.  The main character is rescued and there’s a romance and she goes back to school.  The author should have chosen a couple of event of focus and develop them or WRITE A LONGER BOOK TO SUPPORT ALL OF THE EVENTS.  This book was too big for this author.  She had a good idea to write a thriller about an abused/abducted girl but she didn’t know how to execute it.

I haven’t read a lot of books about abuse but if you are looking for a slightly better book about physical and emotional abuse, read List of Cages by Robin Roe. If you are looking for a good thriller, read Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas, Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro or The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Bang Bang Review: bomb