Wrap-ups and TBRs

January Wrap-up!

Hey guys!

Today, I am going to talk with you all about my rather shameful wrap-up. A grand total of three books go knocked down my TBR this month.

Now, for the month of January, I had started off pretty great. But near the half of the month, first I couldn’t read for a while because of some study stuff, then the book I picked up turned out to be an invitation to reading slump. I know the last book in this wrap-up will surprise you guys, considering all the raving reviews it gets, but it just wasn’t my piece of the pie. Anywho, without further ado, let us jump right in.

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Top 5 series I want to start in 2018!

Hey guys,

I don’t know about you, but not only is 2018 off to a really good start for me, it also has me really excited. Like, I am not usually a new-year new-me believer, but this year I am really getting more organized and goal-oriented in my life and loving it so far. Hence, I decided to make a goal of reading at least five series, mostly trilogies and get at least half-way through of each one of them during the course of this year. So without further ado, lets jump on the action plan.

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Wrap-ups and TBRs

January TBR!

Hey guys, it’s that time of the month again where I plan my reading goals which I almost never accomplish. But I like making these plans anyway because apparently I just love torturing myself, by failing my goals every month. So without further self-deprecation, let’s jump to my January TBR.

Now, for the month of January, I have a fairly decent TBR and also my reading challenge this year is comparatively small so this might be the year when I don’t follow my tradition of failing a lot, here’s to hoping.

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Wrap-ups and TBRs

December Wrap-up

Hey guys, I feel like it’s been a long time since I have done a proper monthly wrap-up. That is because last few months of 2017 was insane, and I couldn’t get much reading done. There were even whole months when I would end up reading nothing at all. Hence I couldn’t post much in here either.

But December changed that a lot, I ended up getting a decent amount of reading done. And managed to get through a couple of really great books. I managed to finish a total of 4 books this month. So without further ado, let’s jump into the discussion.

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Book Reviews

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Elantris (Elantris, #1)Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When you accept authority, you must be willing to take responsibility for it at all times– even when you don’t particularly feel like it.

This book was a pleasant surprise, to say the least.
I had once started this book a couple of years ago, back when I wasn’t this much Sanderstruck. And ended up DNFing it after a couple of chapters, maybe that just wasn’t the right time to start it. This time though, I was positively dreading picking this one up, but I was in so deep in Cosmere verse that I needed to finish this book to get to the other, more cooler ones. But maybe because I have been reading so much grand-scaled fantasy so often lately, this book’s subtleness really felt refreshing.
True, this book is really weak compared to Sanderson’s other work, but considering that this was a debut, one can see its author writing masterpieces like Stormlight Archive in the future.
I enjoyed the simple characters in this the most. They weren’t much complex, rather close to flat. But their arcs were really memorable. And as has become a Sanderson tradition, the side-characters really sparked in this book as well. What pleasantly surprised me a lot was the OTP. Sanderson has only written one book purposefully romantic in his career, and I hated that aspect of Warbreaker. I would never have imagined that he was capable of doing this in such a subtle manner, I really loved the little focus it had on Raoden and Sarene. And these characters, particularly Sarene, had such a misfit vibe to them that they really belonged to each other. Although I can see where most of the complaints about Sarene’s character are coming from, I for one really enjoyed finally seeing a character who enjoys politics. Fantasies are in their heart political books, and in all of them, we almost always end up with the main character who hates politics and isn’t good at it. So seeing Sarene who was not only good but also enjoyed manipulating things, felt such a refresher to me.
The most memorable transformation has to be of Hrathen. He is a unique character and I really enjoyed seeing him, although he frustrated me more times than he didn’t, and I rarely cheered for him, but his perspective felt the most eye-opener to read from.
Overall, it is not as grand as other Sanderson works, but Elantris is a little book of quite some import not only in Cosmere verse but in a reader’s life as well. So I would highly recommend reading it, but still, hopes should dick low when entering this book.

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Book Reviews

Keeper by Kim Chance

KeeperKeeper by Kim Chance

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

More like 2.5 stars.
The book had started on such a strong note, I really enjoyed the first quarter. The small-town setting was done really well, the characters intro was done in a way that I really appreciated. The way the power was being introduced, I was honestly really impressed.
But first of all, when the action really started kicking in, instead of feeling that the story is diving in the actual plot, we got almost the second quarter of the book filled with the main-character whining over her sudden powers. I really didn’t like so much emphasis at that, although I wanted for it to be relatable. But at one point, her reaction started feeling too much.
I really liked most of the side-characters though. Maggie was my favorite thing in this whole book and will remain my favorite for a long time. I liked Gareth a lot and his girlfriend whose name I suddenly forgot. Both of them were great to read about.
And I was really loving Tyler’s character too. Which is rare for me, I rarely enjoy a romantic interest in a YA novel, I really liked his character. (view spoiler)
The downward slope was so steep, at one point I had started to count pages to wait for the end. The plot and world are so rich, but the more it drew close to the end, the more I realized it is not being used to its full extent.
This is a debut book by a new author, and I can see a lot of talent and potential here. But still, this book read a lot like an early draft that still needs a lot of edits.
But I am certainly going to keep up if more books come in this series since I think the story is going to take off and get interesting in the next installment if there is any. But this particular one left a lot to be desired.

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Book Reviews

Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive # 2) by Brandon Sanderson

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2)Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Expectation. That is the true soul of art. If you can give a man more than he expects, then he will laud you his entire life. If you can create an air of anticipation and feed it properly, you will succeed.
“Conversely, if you gain a reputation for being too good, too skilled… beware. The better art will be in their heads, and if you give them an ounce less than they imagined, suddenly you have failed. Suddenly you are useless.

And how does he manage to always outdo himself? That is the question…
So much perfection is such a huge book. When reading the first book in the series, I was convinced that even Sanderson can’t outdo himself now, but he proved otherwise. The book had the Sanderson waterfall effect, the buildup was slow with an epic and breathtaking climax, but as is always the case with my experience in Cosmere books, I enjoyed the journey way too much to even bother about the destination. Yep, a Cosmere fan pun, I managed to crack it. As in; Journey before destination. Ring a bell? No?
Let’s just move forward with the review then.
This book, as promised, focused on another character’s arc than the first book. This time it was Shallan’s. But that didn’t mean that Kaladin didn’t get his own arc again in this book. And what an arc it was.
The characterization in this book was as top-notch as always. Shallan, Kaladin, Adolin, Dalinar, and even other side characters got attention as much was due to them. Each character had to battle their own demons, find their places in the new truth that had been established for them. I really liked the sprens and their character in this book too. Syl is always a fan-favorite, but I think Pattern deserves more love and attention than he is getting from the whole fandom.
Also, there is this thing I really wanted to mention. The last book, the first one in the series, had started with a lot of characters facing really big obstacles. The biggest one must be their loneliness. But by the end of the first book, that part had gotten some closure. Characters had developed relationships, albeit strange as they were. This book had a lot of darkness and action to its credit, but I realized again and again that the fact that these characters had started interacting made it so ripe for humor, and Sanderson used it to its full advantage. There were a lot of moments where I found myself chuckling thanks to these characters. Already so close to me as good friends.
The finale was epic, but the epilogue settled so much of the world-building, promising so many more things yet to come. It makes me want to dive back into the Cosmere books right away. The proportions in which this world is expanding is jaw-dropping.
Overall, I gave this book a full set of stars and really would recommend any passerby and her dog to read this book.

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Book Reviews

Origin (Professor Langdon #5) by Dan Brown

Origin (Robert Langdon, #5)Origin by Dan Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Honestly, when I was about three quarters way through this book, I suddenly started founding it lackluster. I was even contemplating to give it three stars! For a Dan Brown book. I know, I couldn’t believe myself either. It was because the thing that we had anticipated in the most of the book, and I stayed up until four in the morning to get the big reveal, was obvious.
It wasn’t a ground-breaking new insight in the world that I have come to expect from Brown.
The whole reasoning behind the lackluster third act was to not over-shadow the ending. Which was done so subtly, hints dropping with such delicacy; the foreshadowing was subtle yet done really well. And the ending revelation was the classic Brown morphine we have all have came to love.
Definitely a must read!

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Book Reviews

Enchantment Lake (Northwood Mystery #1) by Margi Preus

Enchantment Lake (Northwoods, #1)Enchantment Lake by Margi Preus

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.75/5 stars.
Copy provided to me by the publisher for review.

Enchantment Lake is the story of a young girl, Francie, in pursuit of the acting career in New York when during an audition she receives a call from one of her Great-Aunts. The mysterious call hints on something relating to a murder, she is terrified and gets off to her hometown. That being a small settlement near a lake. The settlement is so remote that they don’t even have a road yet.
There is a talk about making a road going around the town, but most of the old dwellers are against it as they rightfully believe it will ruin the charm of this town and taint it with the same technological era.
But most of those old people are dying, mysteriously. Francie gets drawn to the whole mystery without even wanting to, mostly because her eccentric great-aunts has started a rumor that she is a big detective in New York. While in reality, she only played the role of a detective in a sitcom. A situation which I found quite amusing.
I was actually quite surprised how subtly the theme started playing out in the second half of the book. The theme of forest destruction prevention. I think it was done really well.
The protagonist herself, and most of the other characters in this book is quite eccentric and fun to read. The smalltown setting was done really well, to an extent that I almost knew most of the town myself and seeing those characters would always bring that sense of familiarity. Managing to do that in so little pages is quite a feat in my opinion.
The one issue I had with this book was the small romance aspect. I didn’t like the character mostly because he was the only normal and sane one among all the weirdness. But also because he was just so perfect and boring. The romance aspect wasn’t much explored though, so maybe in the future installment, that particular subplot will enrich. For now, I am not interested in the two of them.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I found it whimsical and magical, albeit being set in our world and had no speculative aspect in it, the feel was still magical.
So I would definitely recommend this book to read. 🙂

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