The Moonlight Library (Nemo)

My name is Nemo. This is me on Goodreads

By day I work in IT, by night I turn into a vigilante kitten snuggler.

Is there anything better than a lap filled with kittens and shelves filled with books? I think not.

 

"A good book resting unopened in its slot on a shelf, full of majestic potentiality, is the most comforting sort of intellectual wallpaper." - David Quammen

SPOILER ALERT!

Delicate Scheming Backstabbers

Tiny Pretty Things - Dhonielle Clayton, Sona Charaipotra

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Before I start – just UGH HOW GORGEOUS IS THAT COVER? I love the delicate pink ribbon spelling out the title, slashed through with glass, and the black ribbon behind it. Glorious.

 

SUMMARY

Tiny Pretty Things follows the story of three very different ballerinas at the American Ballet Conservatory as they compete and scheme to be the best and earn a spot at the Company.

ballet good form

 

WORLDBUILDING

I was flat out impressed by the worldbuilding in this. I swear I almost know my way around the Conservatory building. I don’t know much about ballet, but I do know a lot about performing, and I totally buy everything in this world, including the scheming backstabbers.

ballet group feet

 

CHARACTER

The biggest problem with this novel is the inconsistent characterisation. I’m not sure if this is the effect of the book being written by two authors, but I found myself getting whiplash over the main characters’ antics, attitudes, and motivations. While they each had a base characterisation, their layers, what gave them motivations and goals to act upon, never seemed to line up and all seemed really inconsistent.

ballet on toes

Bette is the hardworking legacy girl living in her sister’s shadow, the star of the school, who doesn’t exactly have the thinness of a typical ballerina. But she’s also majorly inconsistent. She’s utterly perfect, yet doesn’t get the lead role. She hates Gigi because she’s new and shiny and wild, but maybe she hates her because her boyfriend Alec leaves her for Gigi. And the worst part is she has an old knee injury we don’t even know about until two-thirds through the book – I mean, this is a major source of anxiety, and it’s only brought up when the book’s nearly over? Inconsistent. Not to mention she hates Gigi with a passion, glares at her at a gala and then a few hours later just suddenly decides to call a truce. We’re not privy to her motivations so it all seems very inconsistent. Then, at the very end, she’s the super obvious villain when in reality it could have been any number of girls (or boys) who want Gigi or Bette out of the spotlight.

bella twins brie such a bitch

Gigi is the new girl, a black Californian stealing the limelight from Bette, and has a heart condition and shouldn’t be dancing in the first place. She’s perfect and all the girls hate her. She can’t tell when glass has been placed in her ballet slipper until it’s too late. She’s constantly beating herself up because her new boyfriend ‘matches’ his ex and she can’t ever believe he really wants to be with her. She is also determined to find out who’s plotting against her – but only half the time, when it’s convenient to the drama of the plot for her to have a break down and temper tantrum.

bella twins nikki wtf

June is the half-Korean girl with an eating disorder who doesn’t know her white father, who lives in the shadows and never gets the lead role despite ten years at the school. But her character is possibly the most inconsistent. She decides to take down Gigi because she wants the lead role she’s understudying, starts ‘pranking’ (the nice word for bullying?) and then just randomly gives it up for no reason. Then near the end of the novel she thinks, I WILL TAKE DOWN GIGI ONCE AND FOR ALL (dun dun duuun!). And then nothing. She also decides to get back at her ex-best friend by stealing her boyfriend, but then starts moping about ‘why won’t he choose me?’ Her half-assed attempts sabotage are at odds with her perfectionist, uber-controlled personality.

surprise bitch

It’s like the authors didn’t want Bette to be the only bitch, to show how the other girls in the school were just as bitchy and backstabbing, but Bette was the only one who owned it, even though she played innocent.

 

RELATIONSHIPS

The relationships here are all over the place.

Gigi likes June, even though June is a bitch to her.

Gigi is jealous of Bette, even though Gigi gets everything Bette ever had or wanted.

June hates Gigi. Except when she doesn’t.

Bette hates Gigi.

Bette likes June. Except when she doesn’t.

June feels kind of neutral towards Bette.

Then there’s Alec, whom Bette loves, and Henri, whom acts like a creeper towards her, both seducing and threatening, and Will, who is her ex best friend. Alec loves Gigi. Once again, June is delegated to the background, until for no reason whatsoever Will decides to share a secret with her… and Will himself is an inconsistent character because he’s in love with Alec, and then he’s in love with Henri, and then he’s in love with Alec again. Both of whom are straight.

 

OVERALL

While there were aspects I really enjoyed about the novel – the ballet classes, the rehearsing, the discussion of the roles and performances, and yes, even the backstabbing and petty cattiness, I was frustrated with the lack of consistent characterisation and motivation. I was also frustrated by the ‘mystery’ aspect of this book, because it wraps up without all the threads neatly tied together. We know Bette is responsible for some pranks on Gigi, but not all of them, and it’s heavily hinted June is responsible for several more, but there’s also Eleanor and Henri who both have something to gain from framing Bette, whom I’m convinced have something to do with some of the things that happened… but it’s not wrapped up and never made clear.

 

That’s because this novel has a sequel, and like with my review of Get Even, I absolutely hate with a passion when information is deliberately left out of telling a complete story in the hopes readers will be blackmailed into reading the sequel when it’s released. So I’m docking a star, because I should be able to read and enjoy a complete story in one book and not be forced to buy the sequel just to find out who the real bad guy is.

 

And to end this review on a happy note, enjoy the kitty who just wants to be a ballerina:

ballet cat

 




Notes from halfway

Tiny Pretty Things - Dhonielle Clayton, Sona Charaipotra

5%

Oh cool, starring in today's lead roles are a blonde white girl, a Californian black girl, and a local of Korean descent. Wow for diversity!

 

6%

Wow, 6% to finally reveal the cast. I realky hope this pivks up the pace because politics aside that's asking me to read/invest in A LOT before the payout.

 

19%

This is really good so far but oh my god these girls are horrible, horrible bitches.

 

39%

Private auditions? I reckon something dodgy is up with the teachers.

 

49%

OMG I bet June's dad is (the famous dancer who cheats on his wife) (can't specify who for spoilers) which is why her mum left the academy when she got pregnant!

 

50%

These girls as so fucked up, I love it!




How To Write A Mary Sue Without Her Being A Mary Sue

Storm Siren - Mary Weber

Mary sent me a signed copy because she's the sweetest, most awesomest author EVER.


SUMMARY
Slave girl Nym is snatched up by a court advisor when her true identity, that of an element-controlling mage, is revealed, with plans to use her as a weapon. But she can’t control her curse. How is she supposed to save her kingdom?


WORLDBUILDING
The worldbuilding in this book was so vast, but effortlessly imparted. I never felt any infodumping or preaching whatsoever, it was so subtle. True, I’m still not 100% sure what kingdoms have which magical abilities but I’m sure that’ll be sorted out eventually. What I didn’t like was the idea of there being normal animals and there also being hybrid animals like horse-bears or lion-turtles (examples, I don’t actually recall if they were mentioned). There was this horrible creature called a balcrane, which was also used as a swear word, but we never actually saw this creature despite its presence, which I think was cleverly done. Last there were the meat-eating horses, which, although sounds cool in theory, would be completely impractical seeing as how horses were herd animals and prey for only all of their evolution. When they were let off to go hunt I was thinking sure, cats have claws and wolves have tireless stamina but how would a horse hunt something?


CHARACTER
Nym was a class all in herself of how to write a Mary Sue without her being a Mary Sue. She had several of the trademarks of being a Mary Sue – the only one of her kind, physically different, special, orphaned, etc… but her personality! She was so strong, and had such a kick-ass attitude even though she was enveloped by this eternal grief because she thought she was responsible for her curse killing people. People never made it easy on her or gifted her things just because, and she had to work really hard for everything she got, including control over her power, which came at a great price. There was only one love interest, and he took his damn time, practically toying with her because it was forbidden. Nym was just so perfectly imperfect. She was enduring, and that’s what I liked most about her.


RELATIONSHIPS
I really liked her relationship with the charming Colin because he was so confident and arrogant and funny, but I much less liked the relationship with blind Breck. Breck was pushy and bossy and I often lost my patience with her. The other established relationship was with Eogan, Nym’s trainer, but I kind of feel lukewarm about him. I don’t really ship Nym with anyone. I can see her close, plutonic friendship with Colin, and I can see her attraction to Eogan, but I didn’t feel anything. I was far too invested in Nym as a character, and what she was going through, to care about her kissing other guys. Sorry, Eogan, I know you must have your fans out there. Although I do have to give the book 10/10 for diversity! Eogan is not your typical mainstream white asshole YA love interest.


OVERALL
I put off reading Storm Siren for a LONG TIME because I wanted to love it SO MUCH, I was so invested in this story that seemed like it would speak to my soul... but I would only ever get to read it for the first time once!
tumblr_mg9s742AtL1qamh0zo1_500

Also, I heard there was a cliffhanger, so I sneakily waited until I had Book 2 Siren's Fury and could dive into it next. HA HA SNEAKY NEMO IS SNEAKY.

But I have an incredibly short list of authors who write my favourite genre of books, that speak to my soul, that seem to be my author soul mates, if such a thing existed. So far those places are taken by Louise Cooper, Maria V Snyder, and Heather Dixon. I am so happy to announce that Mary Weber also takes a very special place in my heart and joins these wonderful fantasy authors.

The author sent me a signed copy of this book as thanks for encouragement. It was not offered in exchange for a review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.




And now for the proper review *flail*

Illusionarium - Heather Dixon

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


SUMMARY
In an alternate steampunk 1800s London, a young surgeon-to-be Jonathon is required to find the cure to a deadly illness affecting the world’s women by competing in an parallel world’s competition of illusion creating, but there’s more to illusions and other worlds than meets the eye.


WORLDBUILDING
Oh my god where do I even start. There’s an alternate steampunk 1880s London called Arthurise that this story starts in, then it moves to a parallel world to that one, then within that parallel world there are illusions that change the way people perceive things. It’s complicated and awesome. I totally bought the alternate Arthurise and once that was settled, the parallel London, called No’dol, was also quick to accept. The world-building was rich and varied and oh so very strange, but the strangeness made sense as the story unravelled. It was amazing the way the strange hallucination-inducing fantilium was introduced and used and how that affected the world as well.


CHARACTER
Jonathon was, in a word, amazing. A perfectly ordinary boy, nothing special at all, happens to be a very powerful illusioner – but not right out of the gate. He learns and uses his past education and experience to help him achieve greatness. It was wonderful watching him develop.

Anna/Hannah was also a delight. Both girls were very funny and brave and it was great seeing a young girl unconfined to what the times should have bound her. I liked her a lot.

Lockwood was a surprise to me, but really, he shouldn’t have been. I have an extraordinary weakness for reformed bad guys, and although Lockwood at first seems like a villain, over the course of the novel he and Jonathon enter a somewhat tumultuous almost-friendship. More like frenemies. I absolutely loved Lockwood, and I hate that I loved him. He was such an asshole! But that makes it even better. I think he’s an incredible character and the novel was greatly enriched by his mere existence.


RELATIONSHIPS
There isn’t really a romance for Jonathon – he has a girl he quite fancies, a friend of his sister’s, but she only appears at the beginning and end. The real relationship is between Anna and Lockwood, but because it’s set in the 1880s, you know, it’s all about looking at each other and blushing. It was quite adorable.

But Jonathon’s powerful relationship to both Hannah and Anna (am I confusing you yet?) was beautiful to watch. We don’t get enough brother/sister relationships in adventures like this, and his plutonic relationship with alternate-world Anna was gorgeous.

Of course, the stand out was Jonathon’s relationship to Lockwood. Like I said, Lockwood is a complete asshole and he starts out as an antagonist, but the relationship advances into mutual begrudging respect and even, I daresay, some degree of friendship, the type where you’re always competing.


DREAM CAST

Illusionarium was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, and as I was reading it I was imagining certain actors in the main four roles of Jonathon, Anna/Hannah, Lockwood and Lady Florel.

 

Freddie Highmore as Jonathon

 I would make Jonathon a little older in the film as he’s 16 in the book but that makes Anna/Hannah 14, and I think she should be older as well. So I’d make Jonathon 18 or 19 and starting his surgeon studies, and as Highmore’s a youthful looking 23 year old we still have time to cast him. DO IT DO IT NOW MAKE A FILM IT WOULD BE AWESOME.

 

Lucy Boynton as Anna/Hannah

 As I was reading the book I kept seeing Anna Kendrick as Anna/Hannah,

but Kendrick is already 29, so I looked for British actresses born in the 90s and found Lucy. I think she has the right look for beautiful, stubborn, rebellious Anna/Hannah and can pull off being Highmore’s sister.

 

Jeremy Sumpter as Lockwood

Sumpter is actually American but for some reason I couldn’t stop picturing him as Lockwood, the roguish, handsome, brave enemy-turned-frenemy to Jonathon. I think Highmore and Sumpter would bounce off each other quite well.

 

 Helen Mirren as Lady Florel

 Because she’s a queen. Obviously.

 


OVERALL
Dixon’s Entwined is my favourite novel of all time, so I was quite afraid Illusionarium wouldn’t hold up to it. I am so pleased to be wrong. Even though the style is different, using first person POV and endnotes to enhance humour, Illusionarium still sparkled with Dixon’s trademark wit, onomatopoeia, and lush, cinematic writing. Like Entwined, the story took a while setting things up before it really got going but soon enough I was entranced and deeply, deeply in love. I had a somewhat disappointing reading year in 2014 and I can safely say this is the best book I have read in a long, long time.




Notes on the best book I have read in a LONG time

Illusionarium - Heather Dixon

        1.0% "Unexpected 1st person POV! I wonder how this will change the narration, as that's what I found particularly enchanting with Dixon's previous (and my favourite) book."
        
    2.0%     "Not sure I agree with the presence of endnotes though, they break up the flow of the narrative."
        
    5.0%     "I embraced my mother as well, gently, because I'd outgrown her at age twelve and if I squeezed her too tight, she might snap."
        
    9.0%     ""Growing up I'd mostly ignored Hannah's friends, until one morning a year ago I woke up and they'd suddenly become funny and pretty and all shades of clever."

I love a witty teen boy POV."
        
    42.0%     ""Oh please," said Divinity. "Everyone knows kissing is all boys ever think about."

I am SO CHARMED by this pseudo-historical alternate world that I can't even. That's probably the cutest sentence in the whole world. This is why I love Dixon."
         
    54.0%     "Lockwood is such an ASS but I love him! Don't you hate it when you find a character you hate to love? HE'S AWESOME!!"
         
    61.0%     "I wish they would change the spelling from theater to theatre. It's set in London, after all, even if it is written by an American."
         
    77.0%     "Books are wonderful and everything, but this is so cinematic it would make the most excellent alternate steampunk film."

 

  100.0% OH MY GOD IT WAS SO GOOD I AM IN TEARS I DON'T KNOW WHY I WAS WORRIED I WOULDN'T LIKE THIS AS MUCH AS ENTWINED ALTHOUGH COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DIXON IS A MASTER STORYTELLER AND I'M FLAILING AND CRYING OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS BOOK TEN STARS AND I CAN'T STOP USING CAPSLOCK.  




900 followers!

I haven't been as active lately because over the past couple of months my husband's been on medical leave for depression/anxiety/suicidal planning and I've been on carer's leave making sure he doesn't kill or otherwise harm himself, so I'm not posting as many status updates as I used to when I was sitting at a computer all day.

 

But thank you all for following and if there's anything you'd like to know about me or the blog The Moonlight Library or kittens or anything really feel free to drop a comment/question and I'll get back to you.

 

Thanks for the follows and I look forward to hitting 1000!

 




A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

I received this book for free from Bloomsbury Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

SUMMARY

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a lush, highly imaginative and somewhat original fairie story inspired by East of the Sun and West of the Moon (which is one of my favourites) and Tam-Lin. Some say it’s also inspired by Beauty and the Beast but since East of the Sun and West of the Moon is basically Beauty and the Beast but more intricate and complex, I’d forego that.

 

WORLDBUILDING

When I first looked at the map offered at the beginning of the book, I was disappointed. It was so minimalistic I thought it was only half done. But after reading the book, I can see why it was left that way. The worldbuilding in A Court of Thorns and Roses was immense, with a rich, detailed back history of human slavery and oppression at the hands of the fairies, a civil war, human independence, and then more details about what happened to the fairies that directly relate to the story. Much less was devoted to the human world, which seemed to be set in something similar to twelfth or thirteenth century Europe. I really enjoyed seeing Maas’ imagination at work unravelling the fairie world and although some of the rules needed to constantly be rewritten, by nature of the book being about tricksie fairies, I’m pretty sure I have a firm grip on it.

 

CHARACTER

My biggest issue with Maas’ debut series, Throne of Glass, was that the main character was fetishized and essentially useless; despite all of her and the author’s bravado, really should have ended up dead; despite being an assassin, never killed anyone; and we were reminded on every single damn page how tragically beautiful and beautifully tragic she was. This doesn’t happen in A Court of Thorns and Roses, mostly because Maas used the much, much better idea of telling the story from first person point of view.

I had assumed that even if Maas wrote Feyre the same way as Celaena from the other series that I would enjoy the book. I am slightly  ashamed to say that I underestimated Maas (but I kind of hate Throne of Glass so can you blame me?). Feyre is a wonderful character, cold and prickly, and independent and stubborn but with a loyalty and a will of iron and a passion just waiting to be unleashed. I absolutely love ‘beauty and the beast’ retellings but I do have huge problems when the beast is really just a gorgeous guy being nice to the girl waiting for her to fall in love, but Maas once again upended this by writing a slow-burning romance that evolved from a friendship and didn’t even kick in until over the halfway mark, despite some sexual tension before that.

 

RELATIONSHIPS

I really liked all of the relationships in this book, even the complicated one between Feyre and her sisters and father. Of course Tamlin wins because he’s a big broody beast of a man and that’s how I like my men, but I have to mention the wonderful banter and eventual friendship between Lucien (I like foxes, so perhaps I’m a little biased) and even the sick bond with Rhysand. Everything was constantly in flux as truths were exposed so affections towards certain characters changed over time, and that’s the mark of a good writer.

Also, other reviewers have said this book is steamy for a YA and how Tamlin sets their loins aflame, but it didn’t work for me. Yes, there was sex, but I’m afraid I’m just not into pretty boys, and I think I’m jaded from the few eroticas I’ve read in the past.

 

OVERALL

Basically I can’t believe how much I enjoyed this when I had such huge problems with Throne of Glass. I’m really glad I gave Maas another (fourth) chance to wow me, because it (finally) worked. Of all the first books in a series I read and then don’t continue, I probably will continue with this series. In fact, I might even buy the hardcover, because it’s got a pretty jacket, too.




Page 72 and 100

A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

72:

Feyre's motivation to escape hinges on her family' survival (not reuniting with them), but if fairies can't lie and one promised they would be taken care of, why would Feyre still want to leave a life of luxury, especially if her life was so shitty before?

 

100:

Well, that was the revelation I was waiting for. Also, Tamlin and Lucien aren't so bad.




Project Tomorrow: Darkness, Be My Friend

Darkness, Be My Friend - John Marsden

We can’t all be winners all the time.

That’s the theme of this book.

Sure, in the past, things have gone wrong. Plans have gone awry. People have been killed.

But the main objective was always achieved.

Wirrawee Bridge. The officer’s houses. Cobbler’s Bay.

Not in this book.

This book is all about failure.

Small mistakes.

The kind you make because you’ve been living a perfectly ordinary life for six months.

The kind you make because you’re adjusting to being dumped back in a war zone.

The kind you make because you take things for granted.

The main objective is not achieved, not by either group.

Despite their failure, it’s still a good book to read. Ellie’s reflects a lot on the trauma of war, of being reintroduced to it against her will, but at the same time tempering it with the joy of being home and in the bush doing what she does best.

There’s plenty of action, including a high-speed chase while being shot at and riding horses bareback in the middle of the night whilst being shot at. Well, there’s a lot of being shot at, and not a lot of time spent in Hell.

Even though the gang failed in their main objectives, there’s still thrills enough to keep reading and although the climax doesn’t culminate in the usual explosions there’s enough to want to know what the gang will be up to in the next instalment.




Page 42, so far so good

A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

So far I'm enjoying this far more than ToG, and I think it's because it's in first person POV, so I'm not hit over the head with how beautifully tragic and tragically beautiful the main character is on every friggin page.




A Court of Thorns and Roses map
A Court of Thorns and Roses map

Is anyone else ridiculously confused by this map? I feel like it's only half done? Why is only the left hand side detailed and the right not? There's a wall at exactly the same place across two continents? Is the second page a zoom in of somewhere on the first? I'M SO CONFUSED.




An Atheist Reads Christian Medieval Romantic Fiction

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest - Melanie Dickerson

First of all, why would an atheist read Christian romance? Apart from the fact that it’s absolutely no one’s business but my own what I read, I do actually have a reason for trying this. I know that Christian fiction is generally clean content-wise, with heat rising from perhaps a forbidden kiss but no sex before marriage. Since I was sexually assaulted as a child and didn’t lose my virginity until I was 22, I’m not interested in reading about teenagers having sex, simply because I can’t relate at all. I’m much more interested in reading a romance with no sex – if I want sex, I’ll read erotica.

 

That’s not to say that I don’t approve of sex in YA, just that I prefer my reads clean. So that’s my reason, if you needed one, for trying Christian romance.

 

SUMMARY
The Swan Princess meets Robin Hood as beautiful, kind Odette poaches the king’s deer in Thornbeck Forest to feed the poor, starving children of her village. When the new forester, Jorgen, enters her social circle, she can’t help but be mesmerised by his handsomeness and wholesome personality. But Odette needs to marry a rich man to help feed the poor, and whatever would Jorgen do if he found out his beloved Odette was the one sabotaging his career?

 

WORLDBUILDING
The book was set in about 1300s Germany, but apart from the very occasional use of Germanic words (although ‘ja’ was used a lot) it was very hard to say there was much other worldbuilding. This is because the writing was exceedingly bland, unpoetic, and not very descriptive. Clothing was only described in detail when it either appeared on Odette or Jorgen, and left up to the imagination to everyone else (‘gaudy’ was used to describe someone’s clothes, once, I believe, but nothing to explain <em>why</em> they were gaudy). I suppose the use of chamber pots and chewing mint leaves and having a servant brush hair is part of worldbuilding, but I suppose this could have been set in any pre-industrial village. There weren’t even very good descriptions of the forest where so much time was set, although there was an awful lot of time dedicated to characters dancing.

 

CHARACTER
Odette was a pretty special character. Even though she broke the king’s law she believed she was doing the right thing by God by feeding the poor. I would have something cynical to say about the fear of God and Christian superiority but I actually enjoyed the book. I believe if Odette was atheist she’d still be poaching in the forest, but maybe not have her faith in a higher power that she’s doing the right thing even though it’s illegal.

 

Jorgen was a brilliant character as well. He was just so amazingly handsome and kind and caring and wholesome that I can’t even. Are these characters common in Christian fiction? Absolutely perfect, flawless beings? Seriously, they had no flaws. Not even their poor backgrounds held them back. It was just God making them suffer before he could make them happy, or something.

 

RELATIONSHIPS
Odette and Jorgen’s clean romance was a delight to read. It certainly wasn’t instalove, although they were both young adults instantly attracted to each other. They took the time to get to know one another through discussion and spending time together, learning to rely on each other and turn to each other for help and guidance. It was actually a nice change to read something different to the usual YA books I read where the guy generally treats the girl like shit and she pants after him like a bitch in heat anyway. The romance wasn’t exactly forbidden, but the two getting together was an impossibility because of Odette’s stature and Jorgen’s lower class. Of course I figured out how it was going to have a happily ever after ending and was pleased to see it come to fruition, for I can’t think of two characters that deserved each other as much was Odette and Jorgen, even if there was a certain level of deceit throughout the courtship.

 

OVERALL
Apart from the occasional preaching which I believe could have been left out with no detrimental effects, I actually enjoyed my first foray into Christian romance, and despite the unimaginative way the tale was told I am quite looking forward to reading the other Melanie Dickerson books I have in my collection.

 

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.




Disturbingly Familiar

Crimson Bound - Rosamund Hodge

You’d be entirely forgiven for thinking that Crimson Bound had something to do with Hodge’s first novel, Cruel Beauty.

 

  • Both books reference red on the cover.
  • Both cover make use of the initials CB
  • Both books use the same font for the title
  • Both books feature a spiral on the cover
  • With a girl wearing red
  • running up/down the spiral staircase


Yes, you’d easily be forgiven for thinking, at first glance, that these books were related, or at least similar.

You wouldn’t be entirely wrong.

While Crimson Bound is not part of the Cruel Beauty universe, it does have some remarkable similarities between the pages as well:

 

  • Both books feature an independent, fierce headstrong teen female lead
  • Who needs to explore the building she is trapped in
  • To find something that will save her world from destruction.
  • Meanwhile, there’s a love triangle
  • Between a cocky boy and a gentle one
  • And they are both so beautiful it hurts.
  • One of them is meant to be off-limits
  • But she dithers backwards and forwards between both of them.
  • The gentle one appears to betray her.
  • She gives herself to the cocky one.
  • The sex is her first time
  • And it comes out of ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE. Like, one moment, hello, next moment, BANG. SEXYTIMES.
  • In the end she betrays her people to save them.


Yep, you’d be entirely forgiven for thinking these books were somehow related.

 

But they’re not.

 

Crimson Bound is told from third person point of view and the worldbuilding is deeper and more complex than Cruel Beauty’s. It’s also half inspired by Little Red Riding Hood and The Girl with No Hands, which is itself a batshit INSANE fairy tale, so Crimson Bound is kind of half batshit insane itself. It doesn’t stick to its own worldbuilding rules (once early on and then once much, much later into the book), which is very frustrating, because apart from that there’s some really beautiful ideas (bound by a crimson thread! A Wild Hunt of forestborn, some kind of demi-god creature), recurring motifs (the forest, the sun and moon), and prose in there.

 

Rachelle’s a likeable protagonist. I always like the baddest good guy trope, the character who’s a good guy but does the dirty work of bad guys the real good guys won’t do. Rachelle complains a bit about being bloodborn but she really revels in the excuse it gives her to be bloodthirsty.

 

Like Cruel Beauty, I just get the feeling Crimson Bound wasn’t entirely thought out, planned ahead, or fleshed out as I would want the end product to be.

 

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.




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And I think it's important.

Reblogged from The Ninja Reader



I Need YOU

I'd like to write a blog post aimed at newbie/wannabe book bloggers explaining some of our industry jargon.

 

Ie BEA, ARC, Mary Sue, love triangle

 

So tell me, what did you need explaining or found unfamiliar when you first started blogging about books?




New Guidelines For Readers

  • It is OK to not read the “it” book.
  • It is OK if you do read the “it” book, no matter what your reason.
  • It is OK to not like the book everyone else seems to adore.
  • It is OK to adore the book everyone else is slamming.
  • It is OK not to finish a book.
  • It is OK to take a month (or more) to read a single book.
  • It is OK to put a book down and come back to it later.
  • It is OK to read Romance novels.
  • It is OK to read Young Adult literature (or Middle Grade literature or Children’s literature) when you are an adult.
  • It is OK to not read Young Adult fiction.
  • It is OK to purchase a new book even if you still have some unread books sitting at home.
  • It is OK to only get books from your library.
  • It is OK to read ebooks only.

 

As for what is not OK? Shaming other readers for their reading habits.

 

-Reblogged from Book Riot.