Rome In Love is a pile of garbage (Review)

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Who would’ve thought that I would find a book worse than The Book Of Speculation. Never would I have dreamed that I would one day find a book worthy of one star, but I did. One star books really do exist. Rome in Love by Anita Hughes is hands down the worst book that I’ve ever read. The premise was cute. I was sold on the homage to Audrey Hepburn. I love chick-lit. So I gave it a go.

But let me tell you…..It took me a week to get through this mess. 300 pages took me a week. The writing is down-right atrocious. How the hell did this book get by an editor!? This books reads like a first draft. A collection of ideas that needed to be fleshed out.

She saw this. She saw that. She remembered this. She remembered that.

And the creepy emphasis on everyone having creamy white milky skin……

I should’ve played a drinking game for every time someone saw something, or remembered a thing. Hughes’ writing reads like a long check list. A slow train wreck. The story was so unimaginative. Sure the premise was kinda cheesy but it could’ve worked. But nope. One dimensional characters and one dimensional writing ruined it.

AND LET ME TALK ABOUT AUDREY HEPBURN’S LETTERS!!

They didn’t even read like actual fucking letters. Nobody writes letters like full story narrations.

The passages switched settings so often, I would get lost in where the characters were. They’d be in a hotel in one paragraph then a space break later they’re in a cafe. I’m convinced this book only had one draft. Check lists and footnotes. That’s how I can perfectly sum up Hughes’ writing.

She has a lot of published books. I wonder if they all read like this. I won’t be making any efforts to find out. I will never in my life pick up another book by Anita Hughes.

I also noticed that Rome in Love shares the same publishers as The Book Of Speculation.

Maybe there’s a pattern.

TLDR; Don’t read this garbage. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. BUT IF YOU WANT TO BE ENTERTAINED BY HOW BAD IT IS THEN KNOCK YOURSELF OUT!!

Me Before You ~ Book Review

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Me Before You is one of those books that has been ripped apart by outrage culture due to its popularity. Did I enjoy this book? Yes! I loved it and cried an hour after it ended. It’s one of my favorite books of all time now. Does it deserve the criticism it received? Yea sure. Anything deserves fair criticism. I have realized a trend in people denouncing books before reading them. For example, the outrage that Outlander managed to receive.

Let me start off first with what I loved about this book. It’s not necessarily a romance novel. The romance takes a huge backseat in this story. It’s heavily character driven. Louisa and Will are my favorite fictional pairing. I won’t say couple because (spoiler) it never really happens. At least not in the book. I would like to state first that I haven’t seen the movie and I feel no need to. All of the characters are amazing. Even Louisa’s dweeb of a boyfriend. Jojo Moyes’ writing is simple but colorful. Straight to the point but haunting in some passages.

Now, I am an able-bodied person. So what I experienced while reading this is likely not comparable to what a disabled person might experience. I thought this book did a great job at highlighting how our everyday life functions and navigation isn’t readily accessible to disabled people. I don’t think this book sensationalized Will’s disability either. So when I hear that particular criticism I’m wondering if I’ve even read the same book. Will was an amazing character. We often talk about the need for diversity and Will I think, deserves a lot more credit as a disabled, smart, handsome, and witty character. In the book, it even explains that there was a point in time where Will was confident in his circumstances. He tried to live his life, but he could no longer regulate his body temperature, anything could trigger pneumonia, and his health was slowly debilitating. He would never get better.

How Louisa and the Turners handle Will’s decision is part of an important point that Moyes was trying to make. No one agrees with Will’s decision. Not a single person. Louisa even talks to other quadriplegics with varying opinions and experiences on a forum. Which is another thing people seem to ignore, but once again. I haven’t seen the movie so I don’t know if this is left out.

If Will had decided to live, people would still be upset that a woman made his life meaningful to him. Regardless of how this story ended, some people were still going to be upset.

I loved this book, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. Even those who haven’t even bothered to pick it up.

The entire point of this book, I think, was about Will’s autonomy. And if you read the book, then you know what I mean. I can’t properly articulate how I feel and I’m aware that I’m speaking from a place of privilege.

TLDR; Even though there has been controversy surrounding Me Before You, I do recommend everyone to give it a try and if it makes you uncomfortable then you can at least say that you gave it a shot. It was worth the time.

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Eight Hundred Grapes (800 slaps to my face) ~ Book Review

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Eight Hundred Nopes–you know a story is off to a bad start and dull as fuck all when the names of the characters escape you 100 pages in. Often, I found myself flipping a few odd pages back just to help me remember who was who. That’s not good at all. The shit thing is, Laura Dave’s writing isn’t bad. It’s actually pretty clever but once again good writing cannot save a lackluster story.

Maybe this book wasn’t a good introduction to Dave? Because I saw hope neatly packed within her prose. I have a strong feeling in my stomach that that’s exactly what it is.

There’s Eight Hundred shitty things wrong with this book though. The plot, for one, consists of everyone being stupidly dishonest with one another, everyone is having some kind of affair or on the edge of one…….wait what am I saying. There wasn’t any plot. Just one hella of huge big miscommunication.

Eight Hundred Miscommunications.

Eight Hundred Ways To Avoid Your Problems.

EVERYTHING could’ve easily been solved with some open honest dialogue. There’s nothing wrong with miscommunications in stories but they have to be cleverly done. Not just random plot devices to stress out the protagonist. The Fords were forgettable, annoying, and carried a blood line of fucking stupidity.

Hate hate hate hate hate……

But there were a lot of moments that saved it for me. Enough to give this soap opera three stars. I think Dave did a good job at wrapping everything up. I was so happy when it was over…I could finally move on from the pettiness. The only person I liked in this entire shit storm was Jacob. That’s who I wanted to read about. His super smart girlfriend too.

I will give Laura Dave another try because I honestly could see myself enjoying her story telling. This book just seemed really messy? I just don’t like messy characters that can’t solve easy problems for themselves.

TLDR; I honestly don’t have much else to say about this book other than it’s meant for mindless reading. This would be a good book to read while traveling. It’s not long, the prose isn’t pretentious. It’s very straight to the point, be it all the points are pretty dumb and predictable.

The Bees by Laline Paull~ Review

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I rate books based on the way that they make me feel. I’ve read things that I know are relevant culturally and have hated them (i.e. Love by Toni Morrison). The Bees is similar in that, while I enjoyed it far more than any Toni Morrison book that I’ve read, it didn’t leave me contemplating my life. The Bees is a great work of fiction and I honestly see it being referenced years from now as a classic. It stands out and stays true to the nature of honey bees. The bees in this book aren’t human and the reader is hyper aware of this throughout the entire book. They don’t think like humans, they don’t operate like humans…save for the theme of love at the end of the book. But that’s spoilery territory.

For me, The Bees was more of an experience than mindless entertainment. It was incredibly new and refreshing from anything I’ve ever read. Laline Paull’s writing is beautiful and lyrical. While I did give this book three stars on Goodreads, I am anticipating another novel from Paull. The Bees wasn’t an amazing roller coaster ride but I appreciate it for its very different perspective and tone. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to imagine the story either. It kind of gave me James And The Giant Peach vibes. Or Disney’s A Bug’s Life.

This book deserves more buzz and I encourage everyone to step outside of their comfort zone and experience the story of Flora 717. You will also learn a thing or two about honey bees.

Maybe if I had read it before ACOMAF I’d be a more enthusiastic about it.

TLDR; If you love challenging yourself or simply enjoy unconventional stories then this book is the way to go. It lulls in some parts but you won’t be bored with the ton of information you will consume about bees. Very easy to read and not saturated in idle details.

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A Court Of Feels And Misery (ACOMAF Review)

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Do I simply enjoy my guilty pleasures? Have I come to terms with being a sucker for vapid romance? Sarah J. Maas isn’t a perfect writer by any means. She recycles phrases (everyone loves to vomit and rip things to ribbons) and she has this tendency to describe things in threes. Without commas. She substitutes them with an abundance of ‘ands’. Surprisingly, to my elitist horror (yay for self awareness) the flaws with this book did not take away from the story. Maas is actually an amazing story teller and I hope one day she will step out of the New Adult/YA genre and write for us grown women (haha if 24 is really grown??).

A Court of Thorns and Roses was swiftly redeemed by A Court of Mist and Fury. It was the best 600 pages of my life. I went in seething, absolutely HATING the immediate flip of Tamlin, but the more I read, the more I understood and I absolutely ADORE Rhys. HOWEVER I wish in ACOTAR Feyre and Tamlin had interacted just as much as Rhys and Feyre interacted in ACOMAF. I get what Maas is trying to do. She’s not creating a love triangle and this pleased me. Feyre grew as a person. She grew out of Tamlin, but I think having more Feyre and Tamlin in the first book would’ve made the transition less blunt and forced.

I don’t know how to feel about the complete Tamlin 180 either. We got so little perspective on him in ACOTAR that I find myself really not caring about Feyre leaving him. I don’t care about him as a character at all, which makes me sad considering he was Feyre’s ‘first’ love or whatever. It made the ending very jarring.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, so far Tamlin seems really misunderstood? Maybe Maas plans to give us some insight on him in the third book coming out this year. I’m not trying to excuse his actions. Rhys deserves Feyre. I don’t want her back with Tamlin, but I kinda need closure.

Maybe he’s just incredibly delusional and insane. Clearly he is weak. He literally sat there while Feyre was being tortured to death to save him. He sold out for a woman who made it VERY CLEAR that she didn’t want him. What the fuck happened to Tamlin guys….I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS AND THAT ENDING WAS SO EVIL!!

I would also like to point out the not so subtle Game Of Thrones vibes Maas has going on. Her map looks a little bit like Westeros, the religious fanatics, the wall, the narrow sea…..I feel like there’s something else I’m missing.

TLDR; If you value your sanity and time. Don’t read this. It will literally consume you. I loved all of the fluffy trash in this book. I squealed the entire time. It moves a bit slow but picks up in the middle. So much fluff. So much cheese. I can’t believe I went in wanting to hate this series. I really enjoy it and Maas deserves its growing popularity. ACOMAF so far is the superior book.

My ACOTAR Casting (I’m not asking you to agree with me!!!)

Feyre: Emily Browning

Rhys: Ezra Miller

Tamlin: Jamie Campbell Bower

Lucien: Eddie Redmayne

Mor: Lily James

Amren: Christina Ricci

Cassien: Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Azriel: Ian Somerhalder

Nesta: Mia Wasikowska

Elain: Lily Rose Depp

Amarantha: Eva Green

I feel like I’m missing some people >:

A Court Of Thorns And Roses and the case of my blushing tatas. (Review)

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A book can be lackluster but still entertaining. That has become a hard pill for me to swallow. I’ve read things that are beautifully written but writing alone cannot save a book from its dullness. I have actually read more books with awe inspiring prose that couldn’t hold my attention than books with meh writing and an amazing plot.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a Beauty and The Beast Retelling by Sarah J. Maas. Its marketed as young adult but is in fact a part of the new adult genre. Our protagonist, Feyre, is a poor village girl who kills a fairy while she is hunting. As payment/punishment, she must give up her life for a life to a fairy lord.

ACOTAR started off really strong but dropped off between pages 70 and 250. I experienced a mix of emotions while thumbing through the middle chapters. Maas’s writing is kind of bipolar. There were moments when she’d gorgeously paint a scene. Her imagination would literally seep off the pages and THEN there were times the writing became redundant and flat. The beginning and end were great but I really don’t know what happened in between.

Let me start off by pointing out that it felt like Feyre spent more time with Lucien than Tamlin. At least it felt like that to me. While I love Feyre and Tamlin together, their love seemed to manifest out of nowhere. While I’m aware there could’ve been a huge lapse in time, it just wasn’t explained properly maybe? Maybe a season or two had gone by? Either way, the middle of the book could’ve been more of Feyre and Tamlin bonding. I would’ve loved to have had a scene where Feyre would’ve allowed Tamlin to help her learn how to read. Or they could’ve sparred together? Their passion at the end of the book just didn’t add up to what was going in before they realized they loved each other.

I know what you’re all thinking. I denounced young adult not too long ago, but I saw so much buzz around this story. Even my favorite people on goodreads loved this book so I had to give it a chance. I’m practically clinging to its new adult label just to make myself feel better for enjoying it. That being said, ACOTAR reads like a YA novel. It moves along quickly.

I  had trouble figuring out what I would rate this book. While I did love it, it had a few problems. Which I hear is common for most of Maas’s first books in her series. So I gave it three stars and I’m waiting on my copy of the second book to come in the mail. I hear A Court of Mist and Fury is the superior book. Fingers crossed.

I’M NOT A RHYS AND FEYRE SHIPPER!!! I STAND FIRM IN MY FEYRE AND TAMLIN SHIP!!

I really don’t like love triangle plots and I hope Maas doesn’t turn it into that. I would like to believe that Feyre is just as stubborn in her relationships as she is when it comes to everything else. I also really hate love triangles because it makes the lead female seem fickle. Which I don’t think Feyre is. She has an extreme case of tunnel vision. A love triangle would only ruin her characterization. At first I hated Feyre for being so stupidly stubborn, but I grew to like it. It kept her very solid towards the end.

I would also like to point out the obvious Game of Thrones inspiration. The map in ACOTAR looks like westeros. There’s a wall, a narrow sea, and religious fanatics who worship ‘the old and forgotten gods’. I wonder if I’m the only person who’s ever noticed it.

TLDR; If you’re into fantasy/paranormal  YA then you will love this book. It’s got a lot of action and it moves pretty fast save for the awkward middle portion of the book. At first, the characters might seem irritating but Maas tightens everything up later for their reasons to make sense. A great read. There wasn’t a boring moment. Maas excels in storytelling. The sex in this book is sparse and very tasteful.