Photo Review – The Wicked King (Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black

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The Wicked King

(Folk of the Air #2)

by Holly Black

Summary: You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Source: I borrowed a kindle copy from my library

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Review:

I enjoyed The Cruel Prince and decided to finally pick up the sequel. I knew from other reviews, especially around the release date, that it would end with a fairly unsatisfying cliffhanger. I thought the knowledge would prepare me for it so it wouldn’t be so crushing.

It didn’t.

I found myself reading the book way too quickly, way too invested in what would happen, and was totally blindsided by some of the twists. And the cliffhanger at the end just made it all the worse because I momentarily forgot about it in all my rage, not paying attention to how many pages I had left. Curse you, Holly Black!

I really enjoyed The Wicked King and can’t wait to see what happens next. I love that the fate schemes are so front and center. Instead of another glamorous fairy story, we truly grasp the politics of fairy in a way that few other books really delve into.

My biggest issue with the story so far is that I feel like the whole thing could’ve been avoided had Jude just worked harder at manipulating her father, a more predictable person, than her high stakes attempts in the first and second book to manipulate Cardan, but we’ll see how it pans out.

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Star 4

Photo Review – Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

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Confessions of a Shopaholic

by Sophie Kinsella

Summary: Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is, she can’t actually afford it—not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from the bank—letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read. She tries cutting back. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something . . . just a little something.

Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever.

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Source: I borrowed a kindle copy from my libary

Review:

I’m torn with this book. On one hand, it’s a light and fluffy contemporary romance with a scatterbrained heroine and shouldn’t be taken seriously. I felt like the movie was like that from what I remember.

On the other hand, I can’t just let it go.. it was stressful to watch her rack up credit card debt, not pay her bills, lie and lie and dig herself into a deeper holes, and NEVER LEARN HER LESSON!

I get that it’s not supposed to really be a serious book, but I just couldn’t help but be so frustrated for most of it. Part of the book actually showcased the shopping addiction, the rush of a sale and what not, but the other part of her problem was her obsession with what other people thought of her. She worked for a financial company, so I feel like she could have at least attempted to pay her bills or avoid them in a common way, but instead she did over the top things to avoid paying. It was not cute.

It’s one thing to be a shopaholic, it’s another to be shallow and selfish and lie to literally everyone around you all of the time.

I’m only giving this 2 stars (but it’s not 1 because I do work in finance, so I realize that perhaps I’m just being overly harsh!)

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Star 2

Photo Review – Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Maybe in Another Life

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Summary: From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Docomes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

Source: I borrowed a paperback from my local library

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Review:

I checked out Daisy Jones and the Six from my library and the librarian informed that the monthly book club book was this one, Maybe in Another Life, by the same author. I decided to check it out as well, as I’d never even heard of Taylor Jenkins Reid and didn’t realize she was a major contemporary author with tons of books before her two most recent popular ones.

Maybe in Another Life was such an interesting concept! What if you made different choices? How would they impact your life?

It was not only fun to read, but one of those books that bring up so many awesome discussion topics if you’re in a book club. I found myself wondering which timeline I was rooting for, even though both were tragic in their own ways. Throughout both of them, though, we got to see Hannah grow into more of her own person, which was enjoyable.

I definitely recommend the book and I will be looking for more TJR books in my future.

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Star 4

Photo Review – Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Daisy Jones and the Six

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Summary: Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

Source: I borrowed a hardcover from my local library

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Review:

Before I go on about how awesome this book was, I will state that this book isn’t for everyone. It’s told in an interview style format, which can be hard to connect with. It’s about a band that doesn’t exist, but would’ve fit in to the 60’s-70’s and the book is told like a written Behind the Music. If 60’s-70’s rock music isn’t your thing, it might be hard to connect with. If you don’t like interview format, it can also be hard to read. I’ve heard the audiobook is amazing if the format isn’t to your style, but I think you still have to appreciate the rock scene in order to really enjoy the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed Daisy Jones and the Six and could not put it down!

I was reading about all of these fictional people and I felt like it was so well done, totally believable, and if you didn’t know it was a fictional band, you’d think it was a real story. I felt so immersed in the drama. I could hear the songs in my head, I could feel the tension between the band members, and I loved watching the story unfold as they bounced ideas off of each other and wrote song lyrics.

One of my favorite movies for some weird reason is Almost Famous, but I almost never run into (or purposely seek out) anything out like it. This book felt like that movie for me and I absolutely loved it. I highly recommend the book!

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Star 4

Photo Review – Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

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Go Ask Alice

by Anonymous/Beatrice Sparks

Summary: It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean streets of an unforgiving city. It was a journey that would rob her of her innocence, her youth — and ultimately her life.

Read her diary.

Enter her world.

You will never forget her.

Source: I purchased a paperback

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Review:

I love “issue” books and cautionary tales, especially in YA, so I thought I’d love this book. Unfortunately, it was a super fake diary meant to showcase the dangers of drugs. It was unbelievable, over the top, and totally cringeworthy. Drugs ARE bad, but if you’re going to write about it, be authentic. This was just… terrible. The reader doesn’t really connect with or truly grasp the horrors of what drug addiction can be like in the book because it’s so fake, not at all researched, and therefore not a true “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” type of book at all. E for effort…

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Star 1

 

Photo Review – The Hand that Feeds You by A.J. Rich

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The Hand That Feeds You

by A.J. Rich

Summary: Morgan’s life seems to be settled – she is completing her thesis on victim psychology and newly engaged to Bennett, a man more possessive than those she has dated in the past, but also more chivalrous and passionate.

But she returns from class one day to find Bennett savagely killed, and her dogs – a Great Pyrenees, and two pit bulls she was fostering – circling the body, covered in blood. Everything she holds dear in life is taken away from her in an instant.

Devastated and traumatised, Morgan tries to locate Bennett’s parents to tell them about their son’s death. Only then does she begin to discover layer after layer of deceit. Bennett is not the man she thought he was. And she is not the only woman now in immense danger …

Source: I purchased a Kindle copy

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Review:

The premise was really interesting since the main character was studying victimology while also being a victim. There were many twists throughout the book as she uncovered secrets about her fiance, his life, and the circumstances of his death.

The writing wasn’t very good and everything fell flat, but the content and premise was incredibly interesting. I think I’d rate it lower if it took me longer to get through, but I flew through it despite the dull writing and still enjoyed the twists and turns.

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Star 3

Photo Review – Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K Hamilton

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Guilty Pleasures

(Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1)

by Laurell K. Hamilton

Summary: Ever since the Supreme Court granted the undead equal rights, most people think vampires are just ordinary folks with fangs. I know better. I’ve seen their victims. I carry the scars…

But now a serial killer is murdering vampires—and the most powerful bloodsucker in town wants me to find the killer… “

“In a world where vampires, zombies and werewolves have been declared legal citizens of the United States, Anita Blake is an “animator” – a profession that involves raising the dead for mourning relatives. But Anita is also known as a fearsome hunter of criminal vampires, and she’s often employed to investigate cases that are far too much for conventional police. But as Anita gains the attention of the vampire masters of her hometown of St Louis, she also risks revealing an intriguing secret about herself – the source of her unusual strength and power.”

Source: I borrowed a kindle copy from my library

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Review:

Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres, so I have to give credit where it’s due to this book, especially as the first of the series, for paving the way for the genre. Before this book, there wasn’t really any urban fantasy.

I enjoyed the story, but I prefer other urban fantasy novels that have better character building and development. Much like other first books, this one paved the way for other books to do it better.

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Star 3