Tag Archives: reading

Words Deep in Blue by Cath Crowley 

When I read the synopsis for Words Deep in Blue by Cath Crowley @cathcrowleybooks, I was expecting a cute contemporary read. I got that and more! It’s a story about missed chances, dealing with loss, and friendship. I also love stories about childhood friends growing up to have feelings for each other, but something goes amiss, they lose touch, and they find each other again, but there’s a Pride and Prejudice vibe going on between them (I love Jane Austen! If you’re not familiar with P&P, it’s the hate turns into love trope!).

Another aspect that I loved about this story was that Henry’s family owns a used bookstore. They have a section called the Letter Library. People are welcome to use the books there to write notes in the books or leave hand written notes in certain books for others to pick up. It’s such a fantastic part of the story but becomes even more exciting when the characters use it themselves to write notes to each other. 

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Childhood friends? Coming to terms with loss? Bookstores? Cute letters? Pride and Prejudice vibes? Pretty much the perfect recipe for a summer read for me. I included the Goodreads summary below

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First day of summer, but it’s been summer vacation here for the past few days. We’re enjoying our time off but it’s quite an adjustment having everyone home! 😊

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QOTD: What kind of stories do you like to read during the summer? 

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Book Challenge: Violent Books

For #grimdragon Challenge, Violent books, Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire series pretty much wins this prompt imo. I read this series earlier this year and I’m still thinking about that ending! It was tragic, bananas, and pretty much had me questioning what I just read! But I enjoyed it mostly because of Jorg Ancrath. He is unapologetically ruthless and will double cross you without hesitation, but I could not stop myself from hoping he would succeed in his impossible quests. This was also my introduction into grimdark fantasy and it was quite an intro! .

Thank you to Holly @the_infinite_book_dragon and Corey @grimdark_dad for hosting this challenge and introducing me to books I would not have picked for myself! Check out their tag #grimdragon for more SFF recs and if you’re not following them, you definitely should! 

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Saturday! I’m so glad it’s the weekend! Hope you’re having a great weekend so far! What books have read lately outside your usual genre? 

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June TBR 

Jumping in real quick to share my June TBR! Better late than never right? 😆.

I’ve actually gotten through The Hate U Give, Tell Me Three Things, Thick as Thieves and The Song of Achilles. I’m making great progress on the others! 

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Featured also is my reading tracker. I want to read diversely but also consistently on a daily basis. Having it tracked like this helps with seeing my progress for the month and also which books I gravitate toward. I also included a close-up of my layout, if you’d like a better look. Or you can check out my tag #jennfscurrentreadstracker!

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It’s the last day of school! Yaaas! But I also realized my kids will be home and so I need to take pictures!! 😆

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Do you have any favorite reads for this month so far? Do you have vacation plans for the summer? 

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May Wrap-up 

A bit late, but here’s my May wrap-up. I had a fantastic reading month and June is shaping up to be just as good. .

I can’t pick a favorite because I really enjoyed them all. One of my reading goals is to read outside my comfort genre which is YA Fantasy and I managed to read three YA Contemporaries (Words Deep in Blue isn’t pictured), a graphic novel, and an adult fantasy. I did pretty well and I’m hoping in June to fit in non-fiction and middle grade books. 

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I created this Genre tracker to help keep track of the books I read and which genre they’re from. You can see a close-up of it in the next picture. 

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Do you guys set up reading goals? Have you read any of these books? What did you think? 

Happy Sunday!

Happy Sunday everyone!! I hope you’ve had a fabulous weekend so far. I saw Wonder Woman last night and I’m ready to see it again! It lived up to the hype and more! If you haven’t seen it yet, I hope you get to soon! It’s worth the trip out to see it in the theater. .

What are your plans for today? I’m going to an author signing with Maurene Goo who wrote I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Cindy Pon whose new book Want comes out Tuesday, and Sherri L. Smith who wrote Pasadena. I’m excited to meet these awesome ladies!

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So how are you? What have you been up to? Me? Trying to survive the end of the school year with my kids (4 more days) and LOTS of reading.

Book challenge: Favorite Wizard/Magical Couple

I finished A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab @veschwab this week and saved to post about this for Mäeva’s @readinginhongkong #amagicalbookchallenge “Favorite Wizard/Magic Couple”. Harry Potter is bae, but I loved the magic and characters in this story! Kell and Delilah Bard are life! Whenever I think about this story, I can’t help flailing–the world building is so unique! And the characters–Kell is a wizard from Red London where magic is alive and Delilah is from Grey London where no magic exists. Delilah is a pick-pocket and when she picks Kell’s pocket, she unknowingly takes something that could destroy the boundaries of all the Londons. I’m so excited for A Gathering of Shadows! And guess what? I’m going to a signing for VE Schwab tomorrow and Marie Lu @marieluthewriter and Gretchen McNeil @gretchen_mcneil will be there too! I can’t you guys!! #booknerd #bookwormlife #bookworm #booklover #bibliophile #ilovebooks #booksarelife #reader #becauseofreading #readerlife #readingisfun #readingislife #fantasy #booksigning #veschwab #adarkershadeofmagic #bookchallenge​

  

Time for a book review!

Book Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Crimson BoundCrimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*Some spoilers in this review*

Crimson Bound is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. If you enjoy fairytale retellings, this is a fantastic story. I actually enjoyed this more than Cruel Beauty (which was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast), but I actually liked Cruel Beauty too. I think Rosamund Hodge’s storytelling improves in this one.

I enjoyed the author’s take on the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, but she also incorporates the tale about the Girl with No Hands by incorporating a male character with silver hands. Rosamund Hodge has a talent for taking a fairy tale and making it her own.

When I think about the story, my favorite part was the world building. She incorporates historical French details with magic stemming from the Forest and the wolf-like creatures. She really took the big bad wolf character and created not just a reimagining of a villain, but a history within the setting. The French influences were from a period that was Marie-Antoinette-ish—an aristocracy that easily turns a blind-eye to the suffering of the lower class and they do it with lavish balls and opulent ceremony. The author really created a believable setting where the return of the Devourer could be easily dismissed for the pursuit of climbing the aristocratic social ladder.

The characters were drawn out really well. Rachel is a bloodbound—bound to serve the king or be sentenced to death for being bloodbound (a child of the Forest). She helps to fight the wood spawn from the Forest. Although she’s lost her humanity by becoming a bloodhound and kills for the king, she feels guilty for what she’s done and tries to atone for it by protecting humans even though they hate and distrust who and what she is. I really liked her characterization—she’s unapologetic about what she does because it’s necessary, but she still feels guilty and self-loathing about it. Because she’s bloobound, she’s also got supernatural reflects, healing powers, and energy and stamina—in other words she’s very good at killing. Despite her powers, she hates it because of what they mean and how she got them. I really like characters who have this kind of inner-struggle.

Eric is such a good villain. At first, he seems charming, confident, bit full of himself—a bit of the bad boy kind of character. But Rachelle hates him and at first you think she needs to relax, but as the story progresses, you start to understand their dynamics. Then you start to see past the charm and swagger and you start to hate him like Rachelle does. I love how the author brought this change so gradually and subtly. It made the ending with this character so much more satisfying.

Armand reminds me of those quiet, but thoughtful people who are bemused by their popularity, but accept it with grace. He’s the opposite in temperament of Rachelle which I found odd that she would be attracted to him and not Erec, but as the story progresses, we see how Armand’s personality acts as a way to ground Rachelle.

Despite the character dynamics, it didn’t feel like a YA love triangle to me. Rachelle’s feelings toward Erec were always consistent—she hated him the whole time! I don’t see how that would be considered a love triangle.

I also enjoyed the writing too. I have a new appreciation for writers who can keep up lyrical prose-like writing throughout an entire novel. I loved the imagery of the palace and aristocracy, and Rachelle’s reactions to low and high moments in the story.

I’d recommend this to readers who enjoy a dark fairy tale retelling with lyrical-like prose. I also recommend it if you enjoy word building details. There are some scenes of graphic violence and mention of sex. I would recommend this to readers 14 years and older.

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