Odd and Bookish
Reading progress update: I've read 209 out of 400 pages.
Lighthouse Beach - Shelley Noble
Review
4 Stars
Daughter of the Pirate King - Tricia Levenseller

This book was so much fun!

 

For the record, I’ve always loved pirates. Back in 6th grade I was OBSESSED with pirates. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest came out that year and fueled the fire to my obsession.

 

So back to this book, I loved the premise. The main character, Alosa, sets up her own kidnapping so that she can steal a map. How clever and a nice twist!

 

Alosa is such a badass. She’s the pirate queen I never knew I needed. Not only is she smart and a great fighter, but she’s also part siren which gives her some awesome man-controlling powers. 

 

The one thing I didn’t like was that I wanted more of her female pirate crew and her ship. We get a taste of that at the end and I really wanted more. But I’m pretty sure the sequel will focus more on her ship and crew, so that’s not a big deal. 

 

Random side note: I loved that the endpapers were a map of the ship she was on. I always love maps in books so that was a nice touch.

 

Overall, this was a fast paced and exciting pirate adventure story that features a female lead who slays (both literally and figuratively). I can’t wait to read the sequel and see how the rest of the story unfolds!

 

Reading progress update: I've read 115 out of 320 pages.
Daughter of the Pirate King - Tricia Levenseller
Review
3 Stars
A Court of Frost and Starlight - Sarah J. Maas

So this was an interesting installment in the ACOTAR series.

 

For the first half of the book, I was bored out of my mind. After the halfway point I did get more interested in it. I had the hardest time getting into the story, probably because there wasn’t really a story. The book was mainly the inner circle preparing and then celebrating the Winter Solstice. There was talk of the aftermath of the events of ACOWAR, but there wasn’t enough to actually give this book a storyline. 

 

The book is told in alternating points of view, but in a weird way. It’s mainly told in first person by Feyre and Rhysand, but there are some chapters that are told in third person by Cassian and Mor. The shift from first person to third person was strange. I would have rather had it all be in first person. However, it was nice to see other character’s points of view because there is a lot to explore from the other members of the inner circle. 

 

This book also contains a sneak peek of the next book, and after reading it, I am definitely interested in continuing the series. It seems way more interesting than this book was. 

 

Overall, this was not as good as the rest of the series and I didn’t find it to be a necessary addition either. But if you are a super fan and want to spend more time with the characters and just read about them, then give this book a go! 

 

 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 112 out of 272 pages.
A Court of Frost and Starlight - Sarah J. Maas
Review
4 Stars
How to Walk Away - Katherine Center

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (St. Martin’s Press).

 

This book tackles the heavy subject of ending up paralyzed after an airplane crash. When I first started reading this I felt very sad for the main character, Margaret. Her situation was very depressing. But luckily the book didn’t continue down that path. It got pretty uplifting about a 1/3 of the way in. 

 

I really enjoyed seeing Margaret’s state of mind change throughout her recovery. It was really inspiring. Often times I stopped and thought about what I would do in her situation. 

 

I loved the love interest, Ian. I liked that he did have his faults, which made him feel real. So many times books like these have a “Mr. Perfect” type of love interest, so I was very happy to see that Ian was different. 

 

As for the other characters, I really liked Margaret’s sister, Kitty. She was such a fun character. 

 

I also really liked that the book was realistic. Like I mentioned previously, Ian felt like a realistic love interest, but besides that, the way Margaret’s condition was handled felt very realistic as well. It could have gone down the “miracle” route, but didn’t. The author did a great job highlighting the reality of Margaret’s injury and did it proper justice. 

 

The writing style was also superb. It was written in a very easy-going, conversational manner, which made it a joy to read.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The realistic characters and realistic portrayal of life in a wheelchair combined with great writing makes this book a hit! 

Review
3.5 Stars
Dead Girl Running - Christina Dodd

I received this book for free from the publisher (Harlequin) as part of their bookstagram publicity campaign. 

 

 

I always have a hard time with rating thrillers. I’m pickier with them than with other genres, and I usually end up rating them somewhere in the middle which is exactly what happened with this book (hence my 3.5 stars).

 

I loved how the book started off. The opening chapter was really good and helped set up the overall plot line well. 

 

The succeeding chapters, were a bit of an information dump. You get the main character’s backstory and get introduced to a ton of characters. I had a hard time keeping up with all the characters and who they were. 

 

The mystery was very interesting so I was eager to keep reading. I found that I really enjoyed the writing style. Christian Dodd is an excellent writer. I had just finished reading a not-that-great chick lit book before picking up this book, so the writing in this was a nice change.

 

The book kind of stalled a bit towards the middle, but picked up tremendously towards the end. There was a lot of action in the last 70 pages. However, there were some scenarios towards the end that didn’t feel very realistic so I didn’t love that. 

 

The book does end in a slight cliffhanger, so I am interested in reading the next book.

 

Overall, this was a well written thriller, but it did have its flaws. 

Reading progress update: I've read 236 out of 368 pages.
Dead Girl Running - Christina Dodd
Review
3 Stars
The Theory of Happily Ever After - Kristin Billerbeck

 

 

I received this book for free from the publisher (Revell Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Typically I really like chick lit and rom-coms, but I didn’t really like this one. 

 

My main issue with this book was the characters. The main character, Maggie, was pretty annoying for the first half of the book. All she would do was complain about her life over and over again. It got way too repetitive. Maggie’s two best friends were annoying too, especially Haley. I could not stand Haley at all. She acted like a spoiled brat and was not a very good friend, in my opinion. The male characters were slightly better. I really liked Sam, but I thought Brent was just okay. 

 

I also found the book to be too short. I felt like towards the end, the story was just starting to take shape. The book definitely could have benefitted from some more fleshing out. 

 

In regards to what I liked, I enjoyed the premise of the book. The singles’ cruise was a clever idea.

 

I also liked the references to Disney princesses. There were nods to Beauty and the Beast (at one point Maggie even dresses up as Belle) and one reference to Frozen (pg. 168-“I needed to find solace in another Disney princess and follow her advice: let it go”).

 

Overall, the book would have been more enjoyable if the characters were less bothersome.

 

Review
4.5 Stars
Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie (2013-11-19) - Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

I received this book for free from the publisher (Quirk Books). 

 

This was such a fascinating read. It contains mini-biographies of different real life royals (princesses, empresses, sultanas etc.) from around the globe, and throughout history. Some of the princesses are well heard of, but most are relatively unknown. 

 

I really liked how the book showed how complex and flawed these women were. They’re not necessarily depicted as being “good” or “bad”, just human. The context of their worlds were also given, which helped you understand their actions better. It also showed how being a princess was not as glamorous as one may think. 

 

Another thing I liked was how the book tried to separate fact from fiction. Historiography is complicated, especially when it comes to telling women’s stories. Women are vilified so much more easily and quickly than men. I appreciated how the author explained what was probably true and what was a myth. 

 

However, the one thing that I didn’t agree with was the author’s view on Disney princesses (it was a negative one). It was only briefly mentioned in the introduction so it wasn’t a huge deal to me.

 

The biographies themselves were all very entertaining. The most interesting aspects of their lives were highlighted. 

 

Overall, this is a fun read for princess lovers. 

 

Out of Left Field - Ellen Klages

 

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

 

I love historical fiction and I love baseball and I love girls standing up for what they believe in, so of course I loved this! 

 

I have a lot to say about this book.

 

First, I LOVED that it took place in the Bay Area, because I am from the bay. The SF Giants are mentioned in this and they’re my favorite team (Go Giants!). Additionally, I liked that it talked about the San Fransisco Seals because truthfully I’ve never heard of them. 

 

I also loved the diversity. One of the main character’s friends, PeeWee Ishikawa, is Japanese American and at one point in the novel he brings up Japanese internment. I always appreciate it when books mention Japanese internment because it is something that still gets overlooked at times. I’m glad the book acknowledged it. Her other friend, Chip, is black and through her friendship with him she learns all about the Negro League and how the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was white only. That made the book intersectional so I was really happy to see that.  

 

If you didn’t already guess it, this book is jammed pack with information, both baseball and not baseball related. I ended up learning a lot about the history of women in baseball. The book takes place in 1957-1958, so it incorporates real life events that happened in those years as well (The Little Rock Nine, Sputnik, etc.). 

 

The overall storyline was good. It did a really tremendous job at showcasing how unfair it is that girls can’t play Little League. 

 

As a random side note, I loved the little mention of Walt Disney and his television program. I love Disney so any mention of him is always a plus in my book.

 

Overall, this was an amazing, informative, and inspirational book, and if you read it, be prepared to be schooled in women’s baseball! 

 

Review
4 Stars
Alternative Remedies for Loss - Joanna Cantor

I received this book for free as part of an Instagram tour I did to promote the book. 

 

The author did a fantastic job taking you on a journey with the main character, Olivia, following her mother’s death. You really get an in-depth look into Olivia’s mind and how she feels. Olivia felt very real. Sometimes books that are the “coming of age self discovery” type, end up being excessive and unrealistic. The characters will do crazy things and end up in situations that probably would never happen in real life. Luckily this book did not go down that path. Everything Olivia did made sense and the things that happened to her were not too far fetched. 

 

I also really loved the supporting characters. Olivia’s family were a great addition to the story and seeing how they coped with things provided an interesting contrast to Olivia and her situation. It was also nice to see how Olivia’s attitude towards June, her father’s girlfriend, changed throughout the novel. That was excellent character development. 

 

The writing style was very easy and effortless, making it a pleasure to read. I read this book very quickly. The writing style just made me fly right through it. 

 

The reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 was because it was missing that spark. I enjoyed the book a lot, but there wasn’t that special something to make me stop and go, “Wow.”

 

Overall, this was a well written coming of age tale and I look forward to seeing what else the author puts out in the coming years. 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 96 out of 320 pages.
Alternative Remedies for Loss - Joanna Cantor
Review
4.5 Stars
The U.S. Constitution and Other Key American Writings - Founding Fathers

 

 

This is a hard book to write a review for because it’s just a collection of writings. 

 

The overall selection of writings was pretty good. Although I did find that the rules of baseball was an odd pick to include. I love baseball and all (it’s my favorite sport) but I don’t think it’s that important. Baseball isn’t that groundbreaking. I would have also loved to have seen more Supreme Court rulings since there was only one (Brown v. Board of Education). However, that’s just a personal preference because I love reading the Supreme Court Justices’ opinions. 

 

One of my favorite writings was the Susan B. Anthony one. There were few female writings in here so it was nice to see Susan B. Anthony included. 

 

My least favorite by far was the Social Security Act. That was a total snooze fest. It was over 40 pages and so dry. I also felt that it could have been replaced by a few, more interesting writings.

 

All in all, this is a really solid collection of fundamental American writings. I definitely recommend it if you are looking for a comprehensive collection of American documents and speeches. 

Review
5 Stars
The Bucket List - Georgia Clark

I received this book for free through an ARC giveaway on the author’s Instagram page. 

 

Please note, that despite the cute cover, this book does contain a lot of sex talk and sex scenes. 

 

Omg this book was amazing. It was serious, yet funny. Sexy but sweet. 

 

This was a very unique read. I’ve never read anything like it before. It was like a chick lit book, but less superficial and more deep than they typically get. 

 

The book deals with a very serious topic, being BRCA1 positive. The way the author handles it is incredibly well done. She did a phenomenal job tapping into the emotions and anxieties that come with the diagnosis. You can tell the author did a tremendous amount of research. 

 

I loved how sex positive this entire book was. Like I mentioned before, there is a lot of sex in this book, but it is never seen as a bad thing. It even calls out some double standards. 

 

I also loved the diversity. The main character’s two best friends were both POC. One was Asian and the other was British Indian who was also a lesbian. Even many of the love interests/sexual partners were POC too, including an Iranian fashion designer. I’ve read quite a few books set in New York City, but none had this much diversity. 

 

The romance aspects felt very real. All the decisions the main character made regarding her love life felt plausible. Sometimes romances can end up being too far fetched, so it was nice to see one that was more grounded. 

 

Lastly, the final 30 pages of the book were incredibly heartfelt and I just loved it! There was a lot of emotion and heart. 

 

Overall, if you’re looking for a different kind of chick lit book, I really recommend this one! 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 355 out of 434 pages.
The U.S. Constitution and Other Key American Writings - Founding Fathers

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Progress: 209/400pages