Netflix & Chill: Bridgerton

Just like everyone else, I jumped on the bandwagon with this one. Truth be told, I didn’t think it’d be my thing, but damn I LOVED IT!! Not sure if I’ll be reading the book yet. It’s not my kinda read..but we’ll see. I might be curious enough to wanna compare the show to the book.

What do you think? Is it worth the read? Or should I skip it?

LADY WHISTLEDOWN

I already had a few people in mind from the get go, but it took me till about episode 4/5 to figure it out. Turns out I was right! Still..I loved the big reveal at the end.

I really liked the diverse cast! They couldn’t have chosen a better Simon & Queen!

I also loved Lady Danbury.

Bless her heart and soul! She was such a fantastic mother figure. All the characters were great to be honest. The cast and costumes were just incredible!

You gotta hand it to Shonda Rhimes for producing an awesome scandalous show (as always).

For anyone who’s into steamy romance, forbidden love, fake dating, scandals & gossip. YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS!

I do have to say, I definitely would not watch this with my children around!! 😉

My Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Have you watched it yet? Plan to?

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Mystery

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (4.5 stars)

If you like:

-YA

-Gothic, historical settings

-Mystery

I reeeally enjoyed this one! Dead bodies, brutal murders..yes please!!

Was I surprised by who Jack turned out to be? Not really, but I did have someone else in mind who I thought was more likely. Hats off to the author for making me second guess myself and proving me wrong!

Really looking forward to reading the next book!

Have you read it? What did you think?

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life. 

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world. 

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 (3.5 stars)

This book has been sitting on my shelf for a really long time, and I finally had a chance to buddy read it with Jonny @Jaunts & Haunts

Here’s how our chat went down:

Jonny: I’ve never flown a plane before, but I figure it can’t be much harder than driving a car, right?

Gigi: I’m afraid of heights, so I’d be too afraid to fly a plane (even though I’ve been on one a few times). 😜

Jonny: Yeah, I’d need to strap some pillows on me for reassurance, haha! Alright, on to the buddy rant!

Jonny: So how did you like this book? This was my first time reading Brandon Sanderson, and I think he did a pretty great job!

Gigi: It was my first time reading his work as well. Overall, I enjoyed it. But it wasn’t quite the 4 or 5 star read I was hoping for it to be.

Jonny: Well I’m glad it wasnt a total disappointment for ya. We talked about this during our read, but the first half of the book’s pacing was kind of here and there. One chapter would have great developments, then the next would be a little slow for my taste. Rinse and repeat.

That being said, after that the pacing was really good, enough so for me that I think it redeemed itself.

Gigi: I agree. The beginning was a little rocky. It had some great moments & revelations, but then it would lose momentum. The second half was the best part and what really kept me going. I wanted to see if I was right about Spensa’s dad.

Spoiler alert: My theory was that something else happened but got covered up. I didn’t believe he was truly a coward.

Jonny: Oh yeah, the truth behind her dad’s death was a big part of it for me too.

Did you like Spensa in general? I did like her spunky, scrappy demeanor. Characters like that usually win me over pretty quickly, but I actually liked M-bot better with it’s odd humor and personality. ‘I hate your shoes!’

I actually wish she would’ve spent even more time with the ship, so I’m hoping the next one has tons of M-bot.

Gigi: I like her initially, but her arrogance ruined it along with the constant use of the word ‘scud’.

I really liked M-bot too! He kinda reminded me of AIDAN from Illuminae, even though they’re completely different.

Jonny: Yeah, I do think that she could’ve been a bit less arrogant, but I do think she had some good progression along the way.

Haha, I agree! I didn;t mind the use of scud, but if they came up with more swear words to switch out it would’ve been less repetitive.

I actually haven’t read Illuminae yet. Hmm, the best comparison I can make is that he’s kinda like a mix of Ax and the Helmacrons from Animorphs. The humor and personality was super unique and I loved every second of it, especially his little rivalry with Rodge.

Did any other characters stick out to you?

Gigi: I actually liked Jerkface (aka Jorgen). It was easy to judge him for being privileged, and I really liked that we got to see the other side of him. As with real life, it’s so easy to judge others without knowing their background.

How about you? Who else did you like? Or not like?

And omg. You need to go read Illuminae! Coolest book you’ll ever come across! You need to get your hands on a physical copy!

Jonny: Haha, deal once my TBR settles down a smidge. I actually liked Kimmalynn a lot. She reminded me of my high school friend Michelle. Talented, but has a hard time accepting it sometimes.

I didnt like the admiral Ironsides, but I think that was what the author wanted. Even after we learn all the knitty gritty I still felt like ‘Nah, I still dont like you very much’, but it can be hard for me to forgive characters after some shady business.

Gigi: I didn’t like Ironsides either! She was really petty.

Yes! I liked Kimmalynn too. She had a good heart. Loved when she gave Spensa a dinner roll in one of the chapters!

I did like the flight training and all the scenes with them flying the ships and fighting the Krell. I too, liked that we weren’t overwhelmed with info!

Jonny: I know, right? Even though things were more complicated than meets the eye, I think she could’ve led her people better and strived to be a better person.

Totally! That and Kimmalynn had a cute sense of humor. ‘Bless your stars’, haha! She definitely gets miss congeniality award in this book.

Yeah, some of those fights were insane and action-packed, just like I like it. Would you consider reading other Sanderson books in the future? I have a copy of the first book in the Reckoners series that I’m just dying to give a try!

Gigi: 😂 Yeah..Kimmalyn was a sweet heart.

Hmm.. I don’t know to be honest. I might try a different series of his down the road, just to give it another chance. But I know for this particular series, I’m going to leave it.

How about you?

Jonny: Most definitely!

That’s fair. His novels span a good many genres, so who knows what may work for you a bit better down the line.

I think I’ll continue with the next book in this series in a little bit. I think he even has a third coming out this year if I’m not mistaken. Definitely going to try out some other stuff of his in the future.

Thanks so much for reading this with me! I can’t wait for our next adventure!

Gigi: Yes, the 3rd in this series is supposed to release this year!

You are so welcome! I’m so glad we read this one together. As always, it was fun! I’m looking forward to our next read!! ❤️

 So..What did you think? Have you read this one?

Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.

 

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Genre: YA, YA Fantasy

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The story started off very strong, but as the story progressed, it became underwhelming for me.

What Didn’t Work..

⁃ It started to feel like something I’ve read before. Like all the fairytales I’ve read growing up, crammed into one. Think, Shrek and Alice in Wonderland put together.

⁃ this read more like it was meant for a younger audience..like a middle grade book. I mean, it wasn’t horrible. I love MG books! But if I wanted to read one, it’s what I would have chosen.

⁃ All the characters were just ‘meh’ to me, except Grimalkin. I liked him the most, but he also felt way too familiar. There’s nothing original about a talking cat.

The story does move at a really good pace. There was enough going on to keep the reader focused. But the amount of creatures encountered combined with the number of captures and escapes, were completely unnecessary in my opinion.

Like I said, it wasn’t a bad read, but it’s not a series I would consider continuing either.

Have you read it? Have you read the Shadow Of The Fox series?

MY NAME IS MEGHAN CHASE.

In less than twenty-four hours, I’ll be sixteen. Countless stories, songs and poems have been written about this wonderful age, when a girl finds true love and the stars shine for her and the handsome prince carries her off into the sunset.

I DON’T THINK IT WILL BE THAT WAY FOR ME.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan Chase’s life, ever since her father disappeared when she was six. Ten years later, when her little brother also goes missing, Meghan learns the truth—she is the secret daughter of a mythical faery king and a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she loves, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Top Ten Books I Wanna Read For 2021

I’m horrible at making resolutions and sticking to them, but one of my goals this year is to read more of my unread books and tackle my TBR! How about you?

Here are my top 10 reads I’m hoping to read for 2021. In no particular order:

1) THE IRON KING BY JULIE KAGAWA

2) THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE BY SARAH J MAAS

3) AN EMBER IN THE ASHES BY SABAA TAHIR

4) A TALE OF MAGIC BY CHRIS COLFER

5) CINDER AND SPARROWS BY STEFAN BACHMANN

6) HOUSE OF DRAGONS BY JESSICA CLUESS

7) THE ROAD BY CORMAC MCCARTHY

8) ALL THE STARS AND TEETH BY ADALYN GRACE

9) A THRONE OF SWANS BY KATHARINE CORR

10) STALKING JACK THE RIPPER BY KERRI MANISCALCO

Have you read any of these? What book are you hoping to get to this year?

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Today’s Burn Book entry..

Genre: YA Fantasy, Retelling

My Rating: DNF @ ch.8 ⭐️⭐️

The story started off really well..just like a fairytale. I was very intrigued by Soraya and her curse of being poisonous. But somewhere along the way, it started to go downhill for me. It was slow with very little happening. I grew bored and a little frustrated with Soraya. Did we really need an entire chapter describing Soraya’s need to talk to her brother during the Nog Roz celebration. She’s gifted with this power/curse and could have been a fierce MC, yet cowers and lets Ramin treat her like shit. Umm.. aside from her power, isn’t she royalty?!! It was infuriating. And don’t even get me started on the instalove/love interest! It felt forced.

It’ll come down to personal taste (doesn’t it always?), but I really wanted more action and evil! I would have been more interested in seeing Soraya become evil or killing someone. But that’s just me. Maybe the story picks up later on? I don’t know, and really didn’t care to find out.

Have you read this one? If so, did you like it more than I did?

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story. 

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison. 

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.

The Wife Upstairs By Rachel Hawkins

** Thank you NetGalley & St.Martin’s Press for gifting me an eARC **

Genre: Domestic Suspense, Retelling

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

If you like:

-domestic dramas & suspense

-multiple POV’s

-retellings

This was a slow burn read, with each character harbouring a secret of their own. I both loved & hated the twist at the end (if that even makes sense), which by no means is a bad thing! It’s the sign of a good writer who knows how to get under your (my) skin! I just wanted a different turn of events and outcome for some of the characters.

I haven’t read Jane Eyre yet, but I do have a general idea of the story and liked the author’s use of the same names!

This was like Wysteria Lane (Desperate Housewives) meets The Usual Suspects. Lies, gossip and drama! There wasn’t one character I was rooting for, Jane included! Which didn’t bother me, cause if you know me by now, I actually kinda like the unlikeable characters 😜. They make for good stories!

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and found myself reading late into the night.

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?

Book Vs Show: A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (for the book)

After watching the first season and loving it, I decided to give this book a second go. I had DNF’d it the first time, which was back in my Twilight loving days.

BOOK VERSUS THE SHOW

As with any book to film adaptation, the book is always more detailed and obviously different than the show. Personally, I’m glad I watched the show first! It was SO good!!

Book

– It started off strong with the mention of witches, vampires, daemons and a mysterious manuscript (Ashmole 782).

– I loved the setting and all the magic that Diana possessed. I just wish we got to see more of that, rather than spend the entire time with Diana reading textbooks, drinking tea, eating, drinking wine, drinking more tea, sleeping and other useless activities that had no relevance.

Show

– I really enjoyed the chemistry between Matthew & Diana on screen. Unfortunately, the book was too PG for my liking, and I wasn’t as invested in their relationship as I was with the show.

– The characters are a little different in the show than in the book, which was totally fine by me. Some of the ones that took a back seat or were merely mentioned, played a much larger role in the show, which I really liked. I loved how the power of witches and vampires were shown in the show. It’s only in the book that we learn what daemons are capable of.

-There was definitely waay more action in the show versus the book. I found the book slow, making it hard for me to want to binge read. Hardly anything happens in the majority of the book.

I did however, enjoy the background history on the Bishops, Matthew & Ysabeau de Claremont that we get to see in the book, that was missed on screen.

OVERALL VERDICT

It’s a very rare occurence when I like a show or movie adaption better than the book.

While I enjoyed the book, I didn’t love it like I did the show. It had the potential to be an amazing read, but got caught up in too many mundane details.

To be honest, if I hadn’t watched the first season and loved it, 1) I would have never picked up the book again and 2) I would have DNF’D it..AGAIN.

My advice: WATCH THE SHOW!! (Whether you’ve read the book or not).

Buddy Read: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Sorry, but this one’s going in the burn book! Today’s rant: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

For some, third time’s a charm..but in this case, not so much!

This is the 3rd book by Marissa Meyer I’ve now attempted to read, and have come to the conclusion that her storytelling and writing is just not for me.

Jonny @ Jaunts & Haunts and I buddy read this one, and both of us threw in the towel..he actually lasted much longer than I did. He made it to chapter 15. I only made it to chapter 5 🤦‍♀️.

Here’s how our convo went down:

Jonny:

*stomps into digital room pouting* Gigi, I’m so disappointed! I wasn’t able to finish this book. You know I love me some superheroes (and hate hate hate not finishing books), but I just couldn’t get through it.

Gigi:

Ugh. You too? I didn’t like it either! I DNF’d at ch. 5 😭

Jonny:

Well, at least I’m not alone in that.

I actually bought a print copy back in April at the beginning of the pandemic and was really looking forward to it. Now I kind of regret it. I had issues after the prologue, but somehow managed to last until Chapter 15 before calling it quits.

What was the main thing that killed it for you?

For me there was just way too much detail packed in each page. I don’t need to know what color the wallpaper is (that’s not an actual example from the book but a comparison) in the room, just what is important to the story. At first that didn’t bug me too much, but once it was clear that wasn’t going to change I got a bit miffed.

Gigi:

I bought my hardcover from Book Depot a few years ago and was hoping that 3rd time would be a charm for me. I’ve tried to read 2 other books written by Marissa Meyer and wasn’t feeling them. I should have known better! Marissa Meyer just isn’t for me.

The descriptions killed it for me too. Too much effort was spent describing the scene and setting in my opinion. There wasn’t enough character building, which was a shame. There was potential for some really great characters, but none of them really stood out.

To be honest, at times I felt like I was reading a reimagining of Teen Titans Go. It was cheesy.

Jonny:

Oh wow, that’s awful! I’m sorry this author isn’t for you. I probably won’t be trying anything by this author anytime soon to be honest.

The sad thing was that it could’ve been great with some simple tweaks and cutting out of unnecessary bits. Editing sucks (I would know!), but it’s a necessary part of being a writer.

I agree with you that the characters didn’t really wow me. I did like Adrian and his powers, but there wasn’t enough there to warrant me continuing. I understood where Nova was coming from but kind of wish there was more behind her overall goal than revenge. I feel like the author would probably try to gear Nova and Adrian towards each other in a romantic way, but I didn’t get that far.

Oh no, I do not like Teen Titans Go, but the original cartoon? Yes, yes, yes!

I’m definitely not giving up on superhero novels. Dreadnought was phenomenal. This one just didn’t work.

Gigi:

I feel like Nova could have been a great character. I actually liked the revenge angle. I just wish the story was executed better.

Lol. My kids love Teen Titans Go! I find it a bit annoying. 😂

Most of the superheroes I read about are pretty much in graphic novel form. So when you find another one in novel format, let me know!!

I can’t wait to read Skyward with you!!

Jonny:

I can see the appeal with Nova. I did like her power if that’s any consolation, and there were redeeming qualities about this book I enjoyed. The concept and world it’s set in was seductive. I love the idea of a world where superpowers are rather common.

Oh, I hear ya! The new show I found very annoying. You are not alone!

Graphic novels and comics are great! I grew up reading Xmen comic books. I just prefer books a bit more these days. Haha, I have a list of superpowered novels I have yet to try. I’ll definitely be sharing that with you soon!

I’m looking forward to it too! Thanks for giving this one a chance with me. 🙂

Gigi:

No problem! It’s always fun reading with you! Especially when we both go on a rant. 🤣🤣

Looking forward to our next buddy read ❤

What did you think? Have you read it? Did you like it?

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