Let’s Talk About… Song of the Dead by Sarah Glenn Marsh [ARC Review]

I was granted access to an eARC of this book through Edelweiss late last year. I had originally hoped to read this back in January before the release date, but clearly I prioritized other books! Regardless, I was still very excited to read this book because I remembered loving the first installment last year. I needed to see how this duology was going to wrap up, so here are my thoughts on that!!

My Rating: 2 stars
Goodreads Rating: 3.89 stars

Pages: 416
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: 22 January 2019

Quick TLDR: I feel like Marsh fell into the YA trap of trying to make all of her characters find romance in some way, and I didn’t feel like any of it was necessary. The entirety of the important plot action occurred in the last quarter of the book. That just didn’t make sense to me considering we started off with the promise of a lot of plot action that then got buried under all of the romance and pining.

*This review will contain spoilers since I’m assuming people will have read at least the first book and also possibly this second book too already!* Continue reading “Let’s Talk About… Song of the Dead by Sarah Glenn Marsh [ARC Review]”

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Spring Cleaning Book Tag!

As summer approaches, it’s time for some late-spring cleaning, and my friend Beth over at Divine World of Books tagged me to do the Spring Cleaning Book Tag! This was a fun one to do because I had to do some deep thinking about books that I didn’t like rather than raving about books I loved. I don’t like hating on books, and I wouldn’t say that this post is me hating on any book or author, this just points out a few books that I struggled with a bit and series’ that I liked but wasn’t in love with! Enjoy!

The struggle of getting started: A book or series you struggle to begin because of its size 21853621.jpg

The Nightingale is so intimidating because it’s so freaking thick! I love WWII historical fiction and I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time, but it just keeps getting pushed to the end of my TBR because I don’t feel like I have the time to dedicate to it! I will get around to it… eventually. Continue reading “Spring Cleaning Book Tag!”

Stories of the Month: May 2019

Television

Dead to Me [Netflix Original]

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Photo from IMDb

I watched this show on a whim while packing up my school apartment, and I was instantly hooked. I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy the show just based on how depressing the subject matter was, and I was looking for something fun and mindless to watch. This show is anything but that. Dead to Me is both emotional and humorous (in a dark sort of way); it’s about grief, anger, revenge, friendship and betrayal, family, you name it. I’m fairly certain that this will be back for a second season, based on the cliffhanger it ends on, so I look forward to seeing more!

My Grade: A
Rotten Tomatoes: 87%

Books

Excess Baggage (Babes of Brighton #1) Audio Book by Laura Barnard

excess baggage
Photo from Goodreads

I was asked to listen to the new audio book for Laura’s Babes of Brighton book Excess Baggage and she kindly gave me a free audible copy. I had so much fun listening to this book while cooking and cleaning in my apartment, and sometimes I just had to sit still and listen during the more intense scenes. I was thoroughly entertained once again by Laura’s saucy, fun writing. She writes wonderfully intricate, but independent stories because she mostly writes standalone series’ where you can pick up any of the books first and not feel lost. Personally, I read the third Babes of Brighton book first last year, and then read this one, and I didn’t feel like anything was missing from one or the other. Each book follows the story of a different couple and their complicated romances which are so fun to watch (or listen to) unfold! My full review is already up and you can check out my review of book #3, Bagging Alice, as well if you’re interest 🙂

My Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads Rating: 4.10 stars

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

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Photo from Goodreads

I was so excited to be granted access to this book through NetGalley from Thomas Nelson last year because I loved Fawkes when I read that last fall! I really enjoy that Brandes focuses on a specific historical event, puts as much accurate detail in as she can, and then adds her own magical spin on it. In Romanov, as in Fawkes, I was awed by the lack of romance (which I very much appreciate because YA fantasy is usually overwhelmed by romance cliches) so that was lovely as well. I am fascinated by the Romanov story, and luckily this book didn’t have too much of an overlap with I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon, which I read recently. To avoid repeating myself too much, I’ll drop the link to my full review so you ca read all my spoiler-free thoughts there!

Full spoiler free review

My Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads Rating: 3.89 stars

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

Ensemble
Photo from Goodreads

Now, as you can see, this book has a beautifully promising cover, but I was less enthralled by the story. I didn’t dislike anything in particular, I mostly felt that the characters were hard to connect with because we only get snippets and glimpses into their lives and character traits. Overall, not a bad book, it was just a bit slow for my taste, but it deals with very complex emotions and aspects of adult friendship that I think everyone will experience in life. The quartet stays together over 2 decades, playing together on a daily basis and being there for each other’s kids. It’s fascinating to imagine such a close-knit friendship between people whose career requires then to stay close and constantly together. If you like contemporary fiction that stays away from romance and follows the more gritty parts of life I would recommend this novel! I think it would be good for fans of Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, which I really wasn’t a fan of, but I feel like the messages of the novels are similar. I do have a full spoiler-free review up already so you can read my thoughts here too!

My Rating: 3 stars
Goodreads Rating: 3.48 stars

Song of the Dead (Reign of the Fallen #2) by Sarah Glenn Marsh

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Photo from Goodreads

I have a full review coming soon, but you can see from my star rating that I was not as impressed with this sequel as I was with the original (which I gave 5 stars). I really loved Marsh’s world-building in Reign of the Fallen, and there was inherently less of that since the world had already been established for the second book. I have no complaints about that, I do have issues with the paths her characters went down in this second book. It felt both repetitive and underwhelming to me because I felt like the plot took a backseat to all the drama (and yes it was drama that hardly affected the plot but really took away from it) the characters went through. More to come in the full review, but suffice it to say I was disappointed with the second part of this duology.

My Rating:
Goodreads Rating: 3.89 stars

Follow me on Goodreads (LadyKatieReads) and on Twitter (@ladykatiereads) to see what I’m reading next!

 

 

Summer TBR

I have high hopes for this summer reading list, which will hopefully expand to even more than the books listed below if I can read fast enough. This list contains what I plan to read during June-August, so I should be able to handle at least this much! I’m super excited to read these books, a couple are on my most anticipated books of the year list (check that our here if you want to see how I’m doing!). I’m not going to put the synopsis for each book because then this post would be a mile long, so instead I’ll be giving a brief intro and a link to the Goodreads page for each book 🙂

It probably goes without saying, but I gained access to the books under these first two categories through NetGalley and Edelweiss in exchange for honest reviews; some are old and some are new/upcoming releases. Continue reading “Summer TBR”

Let’s Talk About… The Ensemble by Aja Gabel [Spoiler-Free Review]

This should be a quick, spoiler-free review because I genuinely just thought this book was average as far as adult contemporary novels go. I wasn’t particularly drawn in by the story, but I wasn’t put off enough to stop reading it entirely. It was just somewhere in the middle for me, which is not something I experience very often when reading. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About… The Ensemble by Aja Gabel [Spoiler-Free Review]”