Celebrity Gulag Review

Celebrity Gulag

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Dr. Philips Bruno used to be a well known scientist who was even showing his team’s work to the prince of the country. However, ever since the prince was bored with their presentation, he was imprisoned with only a man to talk to through a toilet. One day, the prison door opens, and he is simply taken on a ship and told to escape. He runs from gunfire and has to go through harsh conditions before he gets to the main city. This is where the Celebrity Gulag show comes into play, the reality show where people would literally die to become famous.

This story takes place over an alternating timeline, where you hear about Bruno’s life before prison, in prison, and after prison sometimes at the same time. While this could get confusing from time to time, it definitely meant that I was never bored by reading the book.

I enjoyed the dystopian environment of the story, especially when he got to the city. No one cared about anyone else anymore, someone could be in the middle of being attacked and people would just avoid them in order not to be hurt themselves instead of trying to help them. No one is happy anymore, all they care about is getting rich and famous. But the book never specifies what becoming rich and famous will actually do for anyone, giving me the feeling that they were basically doing all of this horrible work for nothing. This book definitely made me think about what would happen if all people focused on was getting rich and famous, and didn’t care about their surroundings or themselves at all unless they were there.

I recommend this book for someone who is looking for a fresh dystopian thriller guaranteed to make you think about life.

Overall Rating: 4/5

The Council Review

The Council (Witch's Ambitions Trilogy #1)

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Lilith Lace thinks she is born powerless, and doesn’t even want to have powers. Her friend Clio has fire powers, and is perfectly happy to have them. Her other friend Helena doesn’t have any powers, but she is determined to find some in order to be able to perform in front of the Council.

Lilith slowly begins to gain what seems to be some strange telekenesis powers right before the Council come to her town, but her leg that was hurt by deep burns while she was younger also begins to bother her more than usual. When the Council comes, she has to show her true powers when saving a councilman, and she is taken away from both Helena, who remains powerless, and Clio, who is taken with the Fire Adepts, and is put into training by the Council. She is put under the guidance of Crowe, a shape shifter whom she hates almost immediately, in order to hone her powers. Secrets start to come out about what her powers truly are and what really happened to her leg.

Lilith is honestly one of the most determined book characters I have read, as she never lets her disability of having a bad leg stop her from doing what she wanted to do. Although she doesn’t want to be a part of the Council, she doesn’t play the part of the spoiled brat, and does treat the members respectfully. She is always a character who plans and executes instead of mindlessly flailing trying to get out of a situation she dislikes.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading a new trilogy with excellent worldbuilding, a great main character, and a creative and interesting storyline.

Overall Rating: 5/5

A Court of Wings and Ruin Review

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

FifteenthWonder is one of my good friends in real life, and he bought me this book, so shoutout to him! Thank you!

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court and Tamlin thinks that she was under Rhysand’s spell the whole time and actually wants to be back with him. However, she is the High Lady of the Night Court, is Rhysand’s mate for life, and is just there so that Rhysand can protect her sisters who have been turned into Faeries. She speaks to Rhysand through the mating bond from time to time to keep him caught up. When Tamlin explodes a room with his anger towards her during an argument, slamming a table into her, she forgives him and tells Rhysand through the bond that she is okay, but she knows that she will not be able to stay in Spring Court much longer. She and Lucien, who is mated to Elain, Feyre’s sister,, are attacked by Ianthe and some of her people, and have their power drained by apples, but they fight them off. They escape the Spring Court and go to the Winter Court, where they are saved and brought home to the Night Court.

Feyre and Rhysand are trying to avoid a war between the courts, but Hybern is trying to attack the Night Court and succeed in many isolated attacks.

Okay let me go back. I wanted to discuss Rhysand for a second. I loved when he had his monologue in a Court of Mist and Fury and spoke about how everything he had done in the past Under the Mountain had been for Feyre and to protect his court. I physically feel the fury that Feyre has whenever someone in ACOWAR speaks about Rhysand as “Amarantha’s whore” because it clearly states  in that monologue that most of the stuff that he had done he was forced to do and was only to keep her calm so that she would hurt less people. He never enjoyed any of it. However, because he had a slightly cocky attitude, a facade, and because no one knew of the things that he was doing for any of the people that Amarantha took, they pinned him as being a whore. He wan’t a whore, he was forced to have sex with Amarantha for 50 years. And he still comes back strong, unbroken, and only with nightmares and maybe some slight PTSD that hasn’t been triggered yet. Right now, to me, he is the strongest character in the series. But he still doesn’t attack people for the things they say about him. In fact, sometimes Feyre is the only one who seems to have any reaction. I just…I love Sarah J. Maas so much just for creating him, so that I could read about a character who has been through the hell that he has been through and still made it out okay. Usually I am not one to be totally inspired by a book character, but although I know I will never be in his situation, I am completely inspired by his resilience.

Okay now back to everyone else. Feyre and Rhysand are honestly everything. They respect each other, but they are still crazy in love with each other. Hearing more of Mor’s backstory just made me adore her. I hope she grows in the next book and hopefully finds her soulmate. I am interested in where Nesta and Cassian will go in the next book, as their relationship was not expanded upon that much in this book. Neither was Lucien and Elain’s, so I hope for more of them. Tamlin has gone down so much in this book. I hate it, but I love it because it truly harps upon the fact that your first love may not be the one for you, and that it is perfectly okay if he/she isn’t. Even if that person becomes a petty angry mess, it is best to do what is right for you.

Feyre has a lot of powers now. She is still learning some things, but I liked seeing her grow even more powerful through the course of this book, and with Rhysand’s help. Nesta and Elain also have powers that will definitely be expanded upon in the later books. In this book, because of the war, so many new characters were introduced/expanded upon because of their involvement, so I just have so many more people to fall in love with. I just, every book this series just seems to get better, and I recommend it to everyone. Again.

Overall Rating: 6/5

A Court of Mist and Fury Review

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

FifteenthWonder is one of my good friends in real life, and he bought me this book, so shoutout to him! Thank you!

Feyre has escaped from Under the Mountain, she is with the love of her life Tamlin, and she is supposed to be happy. However, she is plagued with nightmares of the horrors under the mountain, and she has a permanent tattoo on her hand, as you can see in the picture, reminding her of the fact that eventually Rhysand is going to call in his favor of visiting him for one week a month. Tamlin is worried about her more and more, because of some random danger in the land, so he allows her out less and less. When it is their wedding day, Feyre is scared out of her mind, and begs in her mind for someone to come and save her, and all of a sudden Rhysand shows up and calls in the bargain, saying that he allowed her three months of freedom but that he absolutely must have her at his castle now. She hates Rhysand, but he doesn’t bother her besides his insistence that she must learn how to read, a fault that almost caused her to fail one of the trials Under the Mountain.

Tamlin becomes even more worried now that he thinks both Rhysand and possible enemies are after Feyre, and so he refuses to let her out at all, putting a shield over the house so she can’t leave. Feyre absolutely loses it, as this reminds her of the prison cell Under the Mountain, and succumbs to her powers until Mor, one of Rhysand’s friends comes to take her away. Rhysand then starts to show her the true Night Court, and Feyre starts to wonder where her true loyalties lie.

This book was huge. It didn’t feel huge though, and although it took me awhile to finish I enjoyed every minute of it. I wish I could talk more about my favorite parts of the book, since they were closer to the ends, but they are full of spoilers so it would be wrong for me to talk about them. I just have to say that although A Court of Thorns and Roses was amazing, this book was 10 times better, simply because of the character development.

Feyre has gone from being a human who had some strength but was mostly helpless against the Faeries to being a High Fae herself due to the other high Fae bestowing those drops of light. She has many powers that will be tapped into throughout this book. She also shows that she refuses to be the caged and protected princess. She wants to be out there, doing things to help other people, even when she is brand new in her powers. And whether she is afraid of being locked up or just doesn’t want to be for her own pride, she really comes into her own through the book. Even though Rhysand saves her…technically twice, she doesn’t rely on him throughout the novel.

Rhysand. Oh my goodness. I will talk more about him in my Court of Wings and Ruin review since the good bits are all spoilers.

Tamlin just degrades in this book. He was always considered the perfect boyfriend in the first one, but this book shows that someone who may have been considered perfect at first may not actually be the best choice in the end.

THIS BOOK IS NOT YA. It is New Adult. There are about….4 really sexual bits in this book, but there are a lot of adult themes scattered throughout including quite a bit of gore. If The Mortal Instruments is considered YA and people read it in middle school, this would have to be New Adult because 12 year olds are just not mature enough to read that kind of materiel. However, for older teens, or young adults, this is a perfect book. The story is amazing, and the characters are just wonderful. Everyone read this book.

Overall Rating: 6/5

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman's women-only screening causes outrage - Nerd Reactor

Okay, I didn’t know what to expect at all when I walked into this movie theatre. I was always more of a Marvel gal to be honest. I watched Agents of Shield and skipped Gotham. Then Supergirl came out and I have been obsessed with that for basically forever. And now, Wonder Woman came out and I was expecting a movie about current times, not about the past. But this is more of a Wonder Woman origin story, which I ended up loving even more.

Wonder Woman/Diana lived on an island full of Amazon women who were put there by the Greek gods from Olympus in order to learn how to fight and eventually kill Ares with a sword called the godkiller. Diana’s mother forbids young Diana from training because they think that Ares will never return, but Diana’s aunt Antiope trains Diana in secret. A few years later when they are found out, Antiope convinces Diana’s mother to let Diana continue training. By the time she has grown into an adult woman, she is an amazing fighter, but she has some powers that no one can explain, such as the bracelets that she wears that accidentally knocked down her aunt with some kind of sound wave when she crossed her forearms. A pilot named Steve crashes into the ocean within the island’s mist barrier, and the Germans are after him on ships, but they get through the mist barrier by accident and begin to attack the Amazonians with their guns. Steve is captured, the Germans are killed, and he says that there is a terrible war going on outside the island. He says that there is some crucial information that he MUST share with the British in order to stop more people from being killed in the war. Diana thinks that the war must be caused by Ares, so she and Steve leave the island together, him in search of the commanders he needs to give the crucial information to, and Diana in search of Ares.

I loved this movie. I really loved this movie. I know people always said that they didn’t think it lived up to the hype, but I never listened to any of the hype so I wasn’t expecting anything. I thought that by having the backstory of the island, it felt much more personal when she left and went to see the outside world. I also liked the view of WW1, it was sad to me because as she tried to save humanity in the movie, in real life the humans just kept fighting each other which got them nowhere. This was a great plot line for her, although I don’t know if it followed the comics or not simply because I never read the comics. (Steve was Chris Pine, and if you are a girl like me, you watched Princess Diaries 2 when you were young, so seeing him go from Nicholas to Steve has been such a journey for me.)

The movie looked amazing. The only issue I had in the theatre was that they had so many metaly sound effects during the fight scenes that sometimes I felt like I just had the permanent whine of metal screeching on metal stuck in my ears. But other than that none of the other sound effects were particularly obnoxious. I would recommend this movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but if you have sensitive ears to those noises then either see it in a theatre that you know has the sound down a little lower than others or wait for it to come out on Netflix or DVD to watch it.

Overall Rating: 6/5

Mask Of Shadows ARC Review

Mask of Shadows (Untitled, #1)

Sallot Leon is a highway robber who wants to escape that dangerous yet tedious life. Sal stole a flyer for the audition for The Left Hand, Queen’s personal assassins, and so Sal jumps on the opportunity to infiltrate the court and get revenge for the attack that killed Sal’s family members and destroyed Sal’s village. The audition is filled with many contestants, and they are allowed to kill each other, sometimes, to get towards the goal of winning. Sal moves forward in the competition, starts a romantic relationship with the court scribe Elise who is teaching Sal how to write, and tries to survive as the competition becomes more deadly.

Okay, so the big kicker about this is supposed to be that Sal is genderfluid throughout the book. One of the contestants has a problem with this and is a bit rude, but otherwise nothing really happens. Heck, in the competition the judges ask Sal which pronouns they should use! However, this seems really strange. Clearly there are people in the world that still do not support genderfluid citizens. It seems strange to me that the judges would make even the slightest effort to make anyone comfortable when they have permission to kill each other and when they are training to be an assassin. Not that I wanted to see more people be rude to Sal, but it seemed kinda easy in the book to be a genderfluid thief/assassin in training. But then, it seems as if there was more opposition outside the area, because when the maid decided to keep Sal’s measurements for both male and female clothing secret, probably to not tell anyone if Sal had male or female genitals, Sal almost started crying, as if this was the nicest thing. If everyone was really accepting, it would have been normal for that to happen. And if the area was split on the issue, then why were the judges so willing to accept Sal, ask questions about Sal, and even reprimand other opponents for Sal? It just seemed to be hypocritical.

The story itself besides the unique main character did not seem to be that special. It was basically the usual “fend for yourself” type of situation. No one else but the maid and the slightly protective judges cared or tried to help anyone else in the competition, but they followed the rules about killing times and types of killing mostly. Overall, the story itself was just average, and the whole genderfluid situation was confusing. I will give it an okay rating as it is new, and if the series improves from this point on then I can definitely learn to like all of the characters.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Splendor Luxe Book 4 Review

Splendor (Luxe, #4)

Pregnant Elizabeth married Mr. Snowden in order to give her and Will’s baby a father. However, many strange things have been happening with Mr. Snowden, and Elizabeth has begun to think that her father’s old friend may have had more to do with her father’s death than anyone knows.

Lina is still interested in Leland, and pursues him for most of the book. However, her past is starting to catch up to her, and as she falls more in love with him she wonders if she should tell him the truth about her past.

Diana goes to Cuba to find Henry, who has enlisted in the army there. They find each other and are happy, hoping to just be able to run away from New York forever. But eventually someone is going to have to go back for some reason, and then what is going to happen to their relationship?

Penelope is unhappy with her absentee husband in the army, but when a prince comes to town she begins to think above simply being rich in the states, but instead actually being a princess.

Okay I enjoyed this book immensely. But I was not happy at all with the way it ended, except for Elizabeth’s line of the story. I just thought that everything else ended so unfairly for one character or another, and it was so unnecessary. Of course, I can’t talk about the end of the book without making spoilers, but just know that the book ended in a way that was unfavorable to me. But, I won’t take that many stars off, because its up to the author how they end the series. And it wasn’t as if the book was poorly written all the way through. the endings were just so random.

Diana and Elizabeth probably had the most growth throughout this book. No one else seemed to change at all, which may not be considered bad, but it just made them not so great characters. The storyline behind Mr. Snowden was the most interesting in probably the entire series, but it wasn’t fleshed out in the romantic portions. This was understandable because he was not supposed to be romantic with her, it was a marriage of convenience, so the storyline was altogether perfect. I just wish more had been said about him specifically.

Overall this book was an okay end to the series. I wish some of the storylines had been ended differently, but only one of them seemed to be even related to poor writing. I would still recommend this series to anyone looking for a quick historical fiction read.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Fangirl Review

Fangirl

Okay, let me just start this by saying that I didn’t know Carry On was actually a book, and then I went on my digital library and it was available, I never checked out something so FAST. So now, expect a Carry On review in the near future!

Cath loves the book/movie series Simon Snow. She writes fanfiction for it constantly, including her biggest project yet, called Carry On which is supposed to be the 8th book in the series. Her biggest goal is to be able to finish Carry On before the 8th book comes out, that way her many readers will be able to see her version of the ending before the series actually ends. She and her twin sister Wren both go to college, but Wren wants to live in a room separate from Cath, so Cath is on her own for the first time in her life. Wren is having a great time, making new friends, but Cath doesn’t even want to go to the cafeteria because she is afraid of going alone.

Reagan, Cath’s roommate, has a best male friend named Luke who she keeps letting come into the room to hang out with her. Cath is uncomfortable with both of them, but her biggest worry is her advanced writing class with college juniors, and the partnered writing project that she has to do.

I enjoyed this book, although I enjoyed most of the storyline besides the romance. The romantic part was just okay for me, I didn’t see much of the connection between the two. But I enjoyed the growth between Cath, Wren, and their father throughout the story. I enjoyed the parts that spoke of Cath’s growth as a writer of just fanfiction to a more well rounded person. My favorite character in the book had to be either Reagan or Cath. Reagan was a generally calm girl, but she was strong and held her own throughout the whole book. She helped Cath in many ways, sometimes by simply being there for her. Cath I loved because of her love for books and her love for writing fanfiction, because I love to read books and I adore good fanfiction and read it often. Overall, I recommend this book to someone looking for a nice family story with a main character that loves books and fanfiction, but not necessarily for people looking for a mainly romance novel, because while the romance makes up a lot of it, the best parts of the story are in the non-romantic pieces.

Overall Rating: 4/5

The Tower Treasure Review

The Tower Treasure (Hardy Boys, #1)

Frank and Joe Hardy, 16 and 15 years old respectively, ride their bikes down the road for fun when a driver with red hair in a yellow car almost runs them over. The car looks a lot like their friend’s car, and when they go to speak to the friend about it they find out that his car was stolen. Frank and Joe, who’s father is a private detective, go to the police station in order to report the stolen car, and to report the reckless driver incident. While there, they find out that a man has been committing a few robberies around town, but no one can agree on his appearance. Then, after they find the yellow car abandoned, one of the town’s rich residents claims that he had things stolen from his house, and when one of Frank and Joe’s other friend’s father is blamed for it, the boys know they have to do something to clear his name.

Unlike the Nancy Drew original book, this book did not have any instances of racism that I could see. I cannot claim for the rest of the Hardy Boy’s Originals series, but this book didn’t have any. There was some split between the male and female characters in the story, as none of the female characters were actively involved in the mystery, but there was nothing overly sexist, and anything that was outdated could be brushed off as just being the 1920s culture as it wasn’t that offensive. This book was truly just a nice clean mystery with two brothers who wanted to help out a friend. The middle may have been a tad slow, but with only about 200 pages in the whole book nothing really dragged the story down to a crawl. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to see the original Hardy Boys, and to anyone who simply wants a good clean mystery.

Overall Rating: 4/5

The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation Review

The Viscount's Christmas Temptation (The Dukes of War, #1)

Lady Amelia Pembroke is a woman who likes to plan. A lot. She wants to make sure that everything is in order all the time, and while some may consider it overbearing at times, they are all relieved when something seems to go wrong but she still has it all under control. Viscount Sheffield is a man who always has a Christmas gala and invites all the rich families from the area to come and celebrate, but a lightning strike burns the building where he usually holds the event to the ground. He wants to cancel it, but Amelia is determined to help him make it happen. As he has to spend day after day with her as she fixes his party and tells him what to do in order to pull off the event, he finds himself falling more and more in love with her.

This ebook was around 100 phone pages, so it is a very short book. The main character isn’t that interesting however. She’s 30 years old, single, and her “superpower” that makes the Viscount fall for her is her “amazing” organization skills. However, most of the time she just comes off as being rude and quite pushy. All the time. It’s the Viscount’s party, he could have canceled it if he wanted to. But instead, she goes and sits on the doorstep of his office until he comes out and accepts her help to re-plan HIS party. Honestly, I don’t even know what he could have seen in her. The Viscount was a nice character though, no crazy flaws that I had to get over in order to see the good in him. I just didn’t like Amelia. Overall, it was a quick read, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Overall Rating: 1.5/5