Mini Reviews - Spring Tidbits

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Paper Bindings : Hysteria (Reign #2) by Lily Blake ★★★★ // The Spectacular Now (audio-book) by Tim Tharp ★★ // The Land of 10,000 Madonnas by Kate Hattemer ★★★ // The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan ★★★★

There have been quite a few books that I've liked, or disliked, lately that haven't inspired me to write a lengthy review. But I wanted to say something about the books.

So here is the latest batch of mini reviews:

  • Hysteria (Reign #2) by Lily Blake ★★★★
  • The Spectacular Now (audio-book) by Tim Tharp ★★
  • The Land of 10,000 Madonnas by Kate Hattemer ★★★
  • The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan ★★★★

Paper Bindings : Hysteria (Reign #2) by Lily Blake ★★★★
TITLE: Hysteria (Reign #2)
AUTHOR: Lily Blake
RELEASE DATE: May 12th 2015
PUBLISHER: Poppy Books

France is aflame with rumors of witchcraft and treachery. Who will be burn for their transgressions? Find out in this haunting original novel based on the hit CW television show, Reign.

Something sinister has been sweeping the villages surrounding the French court. Rumors of Satan's horsemen traveling the countryside and claiming the souls of villagers have sent the people reeling into a religious frenzy and soon fear and suspicion lead them to accuse a young girl of witchcraft. After the prisoner is brought to the palace for questioning, Mary, Greer, Kenna, and Lola work to prove her innocence. But there are others who will stop at nothing to see the girl and her secrets silenced forever... - Goodreads

While some of the plot did not follow the show (namely the Francis and Lola part) and I wasn't completely pleased with how they portrayed Francis, I liked the novel for the most part.

Paper Bindings : The Spectacular Now (audio-book) by Tim Tharp ★★
TITLE: The Spectacular Now (audio-book)
AUTHOR: Tim Tharp
RELEASE DATE: July 19th 2013
PUBLISHER: Brilliance Audio

SUTTER KEELY. HE’S the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever. -Goodreads

I recently re-watched the film and felt that there were a lot of unsaid things that I thought were most likely in the book... turns out I was wrong. Characters that were frustrating, but complicated and intriguing in the film became so annoying in the book. Aimee was such... a silly character... I suppose Sutter eventually helps her become more confident, but snap out of it - he clearly does not love you! For most of the book, Sutter does not even seem to like her. Also, while I usually am a fan of open ended books, the film's ending was much more satisfying.

Paper Bindings : The Land of 10,000 Madonnas by Kate Hattemer ★★★
TITLE: The Land of 10,000 Madonnas
AUTHOR: Kate Hattemer
RELEASE DATE: April 19th 2016

Five teens backpack through Europe to fulfill the mysterious dying wish of their friend.

Jesse lives with his history professor dad in a house covered with postcards of images of the Madonna from all over the world. They’re gotten used to this life: two motherless dudes living among thousands of Madonnas. But Jesse has a heart condition that will ultimately cut his life tragically short. Before he dies, he arranges a mysterious trip to Europe for his three cousins, his best friend, and his girlfriend to take after he passes away. It’s a trip that will forever change the lives of these young teens and one that will help them come to terms with Jesse’s death. -Goodreads

It was a fast read that made me want to keep going, but I wanted to know more about Jesse: the short stories woven in between the plot still did not reveal enough about him. I became frustrated with the group for not appreciating that they were in Europe on a trip lovingly paid for by their cousin/friend. Also, as a young black woman who has traveled to various places around the world I felt that some of the comments and situations brought up about  Lillian (very randomly and unnecessarily) were incorrect and narrow minded.

Lastly, ultimately, the plot did not go anywhere. I never felt the connection to the characters or the situation that I felt I should have.

"It was gnawing at her, not speaking the language, being surrounded by meaning that she could not divine. It made her feel mute and stupid, arrogant and American."

"She was so young." He signed. "I was young too. That's the strangest thing about growing up, I think. Realizing how young you used to be. You were always young."

Paper Bindings : The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan ★★★★
TITLE: The Royal We
AUTHOR: Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
RELEASE DATE: April 7th 2015
PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing

"I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they'll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next."

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.
- Goodreads

The first part of the novel is definitely the best. In this part the characters are the most interesting and defined. The rest of the book goes around and around in circles for 400 pages (!) and the whole situation just becomes very frustrating. That said I enjoy a "Prince and Me" type story as much as anyone and the writing is well done even if long winded.

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As an INFJ Tisha doesn’t like she obsesses. Luckily, she has television, film, and books to keep her busy. Although YA is her favorite, she loves all types of books especially historical fiction. This resident Gryffindor also enjoys traveling and seeing where her wanderlusting nature will take her. Twitter

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