collections: may reads

28 May 2015

I have conflicted emotions over this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed it – I wanted to enjoy it; on the other hand, I finished this book and didn’t feel anything, and that’s not a good sign. The main character, Meira, was awesome and bold and brave – but also slightly reckless. Mather I never really felt any connection to, and in ways, Meira never really became anything more than a two-dimensional character to me. The plot is not totally unique and I slightly guessed a major twist in the story which was disappointing. However there were a few unexpected turns that I was not expecting and overall, I enjoyed Snow like Ashes a lot; it’s one of those books I read, enjoy, but never really pick up again.

 “Yes, stop playing, Kestrel, she told herself. Clear the bets, clear the table. Walk away from the game. Now."
Marie Rutkoski writes those books that make you walk around in a daze long after the last page has been turned and the last word has been read. The Winner’s Crime was painful to read: less romance, more secrets and tension; misunderstandings that make your own heart splinter as the character’s own crack. The writing style was beautiful, the novel is exquisitely crafted and we learn more about the East, the past and how its events are now leaking into and effecting the present. What I especially loved was how intricate the plot is, how new characters slotted in so seamlessly with the overall intrigue and action. Rutkoski has got me with this one, even more so than The Winner’s Curse: she made me fall for and feel for the characters in book one, so now my heart is being chipped at, piece by piece, by the events of book two – I never want this series to end. 
 Geek Girl: All that Glitters is probably my least favorite of this series. Harriet is wearing me out. Her immature, mostly self-centred nature and total inability to function in the world is rubbing me up the wrong way. There is an important, and very clear theme throughout these books about bullying, self-acceptance and friendship, however at the same time, I feel like each Geek Girl book is just repeating itself in different situations and circumstances. Wilbur does not make a [physical] appearance in this book, Nick is nowhere to be found: it felt like the story fell flat as there were no supporting characters I loved, and hence, Harriet takes the spotlight the entire novel: and when this happens you realise how naive she really is. Overall, I felt disappointed with this fourth instalment of the Geek Girl series, I will read the entire series because I feel invested enough in the characters and plot to want to know what happens at the end; however this book, sadly, did not make me laugh or smile enough to enjoy it fully – it was more grimacing and constant shakings of the head.

“Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place, but there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around.”
Mac and cheese and baked beans; instrument cases used as suitcases; baths in the fountain of an art museum: From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler is a book of adventures, secrets, and small details building to a whole that make the ‘escape’ of Claudia and her brother Jamie that much more interesting. I hadn’t read a ‘middle grade’ book in a long time before this one, but I’m so glad I picked up this book. While aimed at younger readers it has an all-encompassing air of mystery that could capture the attention of any age if they so wished to be entertained by this novel. What struck me most was Claudia’s bubbling frustration and annoyance at her regular life. She wanted to be different, somehow, and she thought running away would accomplish that – yet when she did, she realised that it wouldn’t. This book is about the importance of knowing when you are not satisfied, and perhaps realising that you are allowed to want something more, even when you are, as Claudia is, an A grade student with a privileged lifestyle compared to others and a loving family.
thank you to the publishers for sending  me these books free in exchange for honest reviews


  1. I also read Snow Like Ashes this month and I really enjoyed it! I can see what you mean about meira it's being reckless and having no connection to Mather though

  2. The Winner's Crime was truly agonizing to read. I loved everything about it but it really killed me seeing the dynamic between Kestrel & Arin slowly shift. The ending was SO excruciating because in the end I really do love Kestrel & Arin together and if it just happened earlier... But yeah i need that third book so bad!

  3. I really want to read Snow Like Ashes, but I decided against From the Mixed up Files because I had a feeling it wouldn't be a MG read that I would enjoy or that would stretch across age-groups- some MG reads do, some don't. It sounds like it definitely did for you, which is so great. Middle Grade reads can just be so brilliant. x

  4. I read Picture Perfect last month, and feel pretty much the same as you about the Geek Girl series. It's become very repetitive: Harriet does something stupid, her parents react the same way EVERY. TIME. These characters never seem to learn anything and although I will finish the series, knowing that the fourth book is similar is putting me off.

  5. Marie Rutkoski is out to break all our hearts with the last book. Will we even survive?

    And aww, it's sad to hear about Geek Girl. I enjoyed the first book because it was hilarious, but if it doesn't improve, well, that sucks.

  6. I was thinking of reading Snow Like Ashes .... but hmm. Maybe not. The Winner's Crime/Curse sounds good though! If I see the first one .....

  7. I'm sorry you didn't really *love* Snow Like Ashes. I really enjoyed it and was incredibly attached to Mather... Theron on the other hand, I did not like at all. (I actually forgot his name and had to look it up... Oops.)

    I'm glad you loved The Winner's Crime, though! I'm in the minority when I say I liked Curse more, but I agree that Crime had an air of intrigue to it that I absolutely adored.

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

  8. Ehhh, sorry to hear that Snow Like Ashes wasn't too impressive, even if it was enjoyable! I have a looooong overdue galley of it in my Kindle and I have some pretty high expectations for it; everyone seems to really like it so far. Hopefully I'll have a better shot at it than you, haha. :P

    The Winner's Crime on the other hand... I NEED IT SO BAD. The Winner's Curse broke my heart to pieces and it will probably be the best book of the year (I am sorry, other books. You have all just fallen short of the glory of The Winner's Curse), so I can't. effing. wait. for. the. sequel. The less romance part kind of gets to me. I'm not a romance person at all, but I lovedddd Arin and Kestrel so much. Argh! It's like Shadow and Bone all over again -- another beautiful series.

    The rest I haven't heard of/am not interested in, but thanks for the reviews, Hawwa! Also, loved your picture. :D

  9. Love the photo for this one! And yay, I'm done with exams! Looking forward to reading more of your blog soon and yep, I really need to pick up the winners trilogy..


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