16 January, 2018

Mini Review Collection { 5 }


Hi friends! Since I like knocking off several reviews at once, I've decided to create Mini-Review Collection, where I'll usually post 3 quick reviews of books I recently read!

In this fifth collection, I'll be reviewing The Afterlife of Holly Chase, Blood and Sand, and Beneath the Haunting Sea!

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The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
standalone novel
published October 24, 2017 by HarperTeen
e-ARC provided by edelweiss
On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she'd become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn't.

And then she died.

Now she's stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge—as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly's afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change...

♫ 

Ugh. 

Uuuuugh. 

Look, I wanted to like this one. Because that cover is great and it involves people dying and, I don't know? It sounded unique and different and cool. So I wanted to like it. 

But I literally disliked every single character. I didn't care about a single one. Everything was booooring. And to my disappointment, it wasn't even all the Christmas-y (never mind that Christmas has well and passed now). Heavy sighing. 

This had the kind of humour that didn't feel... natural to me. It had its moments but it wasn't the kind that genuinely made me laugh—something just felt a little too stiff, or something. I can't explain it; I'm extremely picky with writing sometimes. It had to do with the voice though—Holly's voice was just... sort of absent. I don't know! It's all weird to me. 

Also, that ending. I won't lie: it was not what I expected because it doesn't make any fucking sense to me. I'm not even going to pretend I understand it or anything. I definitely do like the message (even though one part of it was wrong for me.)

There's a romance in this and I was surprised that it took such a big focus for the most part. It wasn't bad but it was just... meh, I guess. 

(I... I doubt I'm making sense here. Maybe I'm just finding reasons to not like like this book more. Who knows! I just didn't.) 

[sighs a million years] There ya have it, ladies and gents. 2 stars, and goodnight.

Buy links!

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Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk
Blood and Sand, book 1
publishes January 16, 2018 by Tor Teen
e-ARC provided by Netgalley
goodreads
FORGED IN BATTLE...
FROM THE DUST OF THE ARENA...
A LEGEND WILL RISE


The legendary Spartacus is recast as a fierce female warrior in this action-packed tale of a 17-year-old princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus...

♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫

Oh my god. 

Oh my gooooood. 

I’ve been waiting for this novel since I found out it would exist and I am so, so ecstatic to say that this book did not disappoint. Not one single bit. On the contrary—Blood and Sand exceeded every single expectation I had for it. And when you’re anticipating a book for months, yeah that means something. 

My only complaint is that the book is too damn short. At only 320 pages according to goodreads, Blood and Sand just seemed to fly by. Yet, within those pages, Wyk not only gives life to her amazing characters, but also manages to make you feel for them in every sense of the word. I honestly adored the main characters—Xanthus and Attia—in this novel, and I wanted nothing but good things to happen to them (even though, you know, they weren’t. Because when is it ever that easy?) I wanted them to be free, to be themselves, to be together, to overcome every enemy and every obstacle in their way, and oh. Oh, god, guys, I love them so much. 

The story moves at a fast pace… but in a way that doesn’t make it seem rushed. Like I said, this is a pretty short book and a lot of things happen from its start to its end. I loved the way it was paced! It allowed for great development of all kinds—relationships, friendships, murder and revenge, all of it! 

That ending just about killed me. I can’t not mention it. It killed me. I was literally in denial. For some of you, it might deter you to pick it up—which. I cannot blame you, but. Please consider buying this book on release week! It’s such a strong and powerful debut. Even if you don’t read it right away, just please consider purchasing or borrowing it! 

Overall—oh! But Mith, you didn’t talk about the romance! I know. This is supposed to be a “mini review” and I’m pushing my boundaries. Let’s just say I LOVED IT, like I loved everything else. Anyway: OVERALL, I lovedlovedloved this book and I cannot recommend it enough.

Buy links!

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Beneath the Haunting Sea by Joanna Ruth Meyer
standalone novel
published January 9th 2018 by Page Street
goodreads
Sixteen-year-old Talia was born to a life of certainty and luxury, destined to become Empress of half the world. But when an ambitious rival seizes power, she and her mother are banished to a nowhere province on the far edge of the Northern Sea.

It is here, in the drafty halls of the Ruen-Dahr, that Talia discovers family secrets, a melancholy boy with a troubling vision of her future, and a relic that holds the power of an ancient Star. On these shores, the eerie melody of the sea is stronger than ever, revealing long-forgotten tales of the Goddess Rahn. The more dark truths that Talia unravels about the gods’ history—and her own—the more the waves call to her, and it may be her destiny to answer.

♫ ♫  

Ehhh. I won't lie, part of me strongly despises the romance in this novel. It's a complicated, messy thing—not quite a love triangle, but also not not one, y'know?—and I wish it didn't exist, because I'm honestly failing to see how it was even important. Other than to cause unecessary drama, which. Let's be real, I am not for. 

In any case! The first part of the book was really slow, just a long journey over the sea. I mean, stuff, important stuff happens, but it failed to really grab a hold of my interest. It was only after the long voyage that things picked up, but even somewhere in the middle, it somewhat lagged. My favourite parts were the scenes with Wen, the sweet, quiet little angel. I adored him, and disliked his brother immensely. 

For the most part, I liked Talia. I mean, in the second part, when Caiden was introduced, I was very iffy. (That whole arc kind of... just really ruined the book for me if you couldn't tell). But I admired her character and her strength, and I loved her development. 

Overall! Beneath the Haunting Sea had its ups and downs. The writing was beautiful, though, and it made the characters shine out. The story with the gods added to the depth of the world. Had it not been for the strange love triangle, this would've been a great read for me, soo. It stays a 3.5

Buy links!

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