A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic

by V.E. Schwab


A Darker Shade final for Irene

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Disclaimer: The above Amazon Link is an affiliate link. If you purchase anything through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

I buddy read this with Leslie from Books are the New Black! This was my first time ever buddy reading with a fellow blogger! It was a lot of fun and cool to hear her thoughts as we went! We are going to buddy read A Gathering of Shadows together too!

This book is awesome! The main characters Lila and Kell are amazing!  Lila is a bad-ass go-getter who yearns for adventure.  She is all fire and passion.  She can be a bit impulsive and foolish, but she is strong and clever.  She is the type who always gets in trouble, but can also take care of herself.  Kell, on the other-hand, is more steady and thinks things through.  He is loyal and caring.  He is a bit serious but I think that is just because of the events that transpire in the book.  He seems like he would be a little bit more carefree normally.

The setting is really cool and unique.  Its three different Londons that exist in the same place.  Only people with special abilities can travel between them.  Kell is one of only two people remaining that have the special ability.  They call the different Londons Red London, White London, and Gray London.  One of my favorite lines of the book is when Lila calls them “Dull London, Kell London, and Creepy London” I don’t know why but I thought it was really funny.

This was a fast paced exciting book! It has a unique world with awesome characters.  I would recommend it to anyone who like reading about adventures with magic.  I can’t wait to get started on the next book!



by Naomi Novik



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Disclaimer: The above Amazon Link is an affiliate link. If you purchase anything through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

Last weekend at Comic con I got to meet Naomi Novik!!!!!!!!!!! Uprooted is one of my favorite books and I was so excited!!!!! I also got a free signed ARC of Spinning Silver!




Spinning Silver is not exactly a sequel to Uprooted, but I still wanted to re-read Uprooted before starting Spinning Silver anyway.  Naomi’s editor explains the connection between the two books: “Naomi said she wanted to write another novel in that same vein – not a direct sequel to Uprooted, but a spiritual sequel, if you will, again rooted in the realm of Eastern European tales.”

I LOVE Uprooted! It is one of my favorite books. I found it randomly, years ago, at Powell’s Book Store in Oregon.  This was way before my blog and I didn’t have any interaction with any sort of book community.  I thought that it was a little known gem of a book and it was kind of like my secret.  (its hard to explain) When I started book blogging I didn’t think anyone else would have read Uprooted, but it didn’t take me long to realize it was actually a really popular book.  At first I was a little sad because everyone already knew about it, but it was so fun to fangirl with everyone that I quickly got over it!

The main character Agnieszka is amazing.  She is free spirited and fun and loyal and strong.  She cares so much for the people around her and she refuses to accept anything bad that happens to them.  She works endlessly to try and find a way to help them.  She is not perfect which just makes her that much better. I love her so much!

At first, you can’t help but hate the main male character, The Dragon.  He is stuck up and cold.  But slowly you see his stoic outer layer fade and you get to know the real him underneath! He really is a great guy, despite all his issues.  He cares more deeply then he will admit and he is upset when he learns some of the misguided things people think about him.

Small Spoilers ahead!!! Don’t read the next paragraph if you haven’t read the book!

The romance is almost reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice.  Its a slow start romance filled with misunderstandings and obstacles.  Uprooted is not a Pride and Prejudice re-telling because the story line is completely different, but the romance speed is similar and that might have something to do with why I love it so much!!

The world building is amazing.  For a standalone book Naomi is to create such an amazing world.  She sets it up mostly in the real world and adds an evil wood and magic.  Its brilliantly done! Also the villain of the book being a forest is such an epic bad guy.  How do you fight an evil forest?  One that has been around for hundreds of years and has planted so many seeds to spread its evil! Its awesome!

Overall I just love this book so much! I would definitely recommend it to anyone that likes fairy tales and fantasy! (Its like Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, and Pride and Prejudice all rolled into one!)

The Season

The Season

by Jonah Lisa Dyer and Stephen Dyer

**** (4 out of 5)


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Disclaimer: The above Amazon Link is an affiliate link. If you purchase any books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

The Season is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice.  That means that I am completely biased toward liking this book!  Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book, and I have a soft spot for retellings, even if they aren’t actually that good.

The Good

I love the “Elizabeth” of this story.  Her name is Megan and she has all the components needed to be a classic Elizabeth.  She always has the best intentions, and is fiercely loyal, but she is blinded and manipulated by her prejudices.  Plus she is extremely athletic.  She plays soccer for a D1 college and this makes up a huge part of her life.  Its what sets her apart from the other Debutantes.  As an athlete myself, I loved this take on the character!

Another awesome character is Ann Foster, Megan’s debutante mentor.  I love her no BS attitude.  At first you think she is going to be awful, but she grows on you.  And she calls it like it is.  When Megan tries to do the right thing but fails, Ann tells her what she did wrong and how she did it wrong.  But she also tells her what she should have done instead.  She doesn’t sugar coat it.  I am not exactly sure which Pride and Prejudice character she was supposed to be, but she was one of my favorites in this story!

The Bad

Megan’s “best friend” is one of her fellow soccer players named Cat, but she really didn’t serve any purpose in the story.  I didn’t mind having her in there, but they had a huge random fight that made no sense.  And the resolution was quick and hurriedly stuck in there.  Plus Megan didn’t learn anything from the fight.  Some of the early comedic scenes with Cat were fine, but the other scenes seemed incomplete and random.  They didn’t help the story and were just odd.  Maybe the author’s were trying to make her into Kitty? She didn’t seem anything like Kitty other than her name was Cat, and none of the other characters has names similar to their original counterparts?

I really liked the idea of an all-star athlete debutante, but it wasn’t written right.  Her school/sports/debut schedule wouldn’t have worked.  The soccer scenes were thrown in randomly and kind of glossed over.  It was like the authors wanted to make Megan well rounded but didn’t want to take the time to actually write about all the aspects that made her well rounded.  The soccer scenes had a lot of potential, but they just fell short.

The Ugly

Not only were the soccer parts not utilized to their full potential, but they way her parents handled her soccer career really pissed me off.  First, her mom asked her to “take a season off” like it was no big deal.  I don’t know if you have ever played college sports, but you can’t just take a year off! It doesn’t work that way! Especially in a D1 school! And throughout the book her mom kept going on about how much she will learn from being a debutante, which is fine, but its not like there is nothing to learn from sports! You learn soooo much being an athlete, and none of it was shown in the book! Plus asking her to quit the team not only effects her but would also effect her team! (because of course she is the best player on the team) Second her dad claimed to be a huge fan and she has flashbacks of him helping her learn and makes him sound like this great soccer dad and fan, but he didn’t go to any of her games!  He seemed to brush off her soccer skills when it suited him.  It was weird!

I red-shirted my freshmen year of college (that means I practiced with the team but wasn’t eligible to play in games) and my parents still came to almost every one of my games! I had zero chance of actually playing and they still came to watch!! In High School my sister was in the school play and my parents went to every single showing.  They watched the same play 4 times and my sister didn’t have any lines! I know not all parents are this awesome and supportive, but the parents in the book were said to be awesome and supportive and you are supposed to think they are good parents, but I didn’t see it in any of their actions? And it really really pissed me off!

The Conclusion

So even though I was really pissed off about the soccer thing, I still gave the book 4 stars.  If you ignore that issue, it was a fun read and I really liked all the characters! So if you are looking for a fun Pride and Prejudice retelling then you will probably like this book! If you are looking for a good Pride and Prejudice sports story or a profoundly written story, then this is not for you!


The Hazel Wood – Guest Review

If you follow my blog regularly you may have noticed me talking about my friend Phil.  He is one of my best friends and one of three people that I know in real life that know about my blog.  Plus, he is the only person, outside of my blog, that I talk about books with on a regular basis! He was the one that told/asked me to read the Hazel Wood, so its only fair that he has to write a guest review! So without further ado, here is

Phil’s Review of The Hazel Wood


To give some context, I really love dark fairy tales. I love the idea of taking sweet, pleasant stories that we typically tell to children, and turning them on their head with murder and mystery. It’s why I love the the show Grimm, the graphic novel series Fables and its spin off game, The Wolf among us. Its probably why I have such a soft spot for this book.

First, let me get out of the way what me and Brittany both agree on. The pacing is terrible! The beginning was way too slow and the ending way too fast. It felt as if the author was trying to hold back the intriguing mysteries of the story and forgot about a compelling beginning. The only argument I can make for the fast dizzying pace towards the end, would be that it was made to match the setting of the later half of the book. I also agree, to a lesser extent, with her point on how relationships play out in the book.

So why did I still love this book? It’s hard to fully describe without spoilers but I will try. To me (pacing aside) it was a hauntingly beautiful book. The love her mother had for her and all the trouble she went through for Alice made the stakes compelling. Alice’s growth and struggle to fight a possibly tragic destiny was the biggest draw for me. I personally hate the idea of fate or destiny. Like all the best dark fairy tales, The Hazel Wood has a great mix of beauty and tragedy.

I completely understand why some people didn’t like this book, but to me it hit a soft spot with the emotional punches it landed. Overall I have to give the book 4 stars. It would have been higher with a more compelling start and better pacing throughout.

The Wendy

The Wendy

by Erin Michelle Sky & Steven Brown

**** (4 out of 5)


Amazon | Goodreads

Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links. If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

I read this book as part of the April read-along hosted by Steff @ Reader Fox and a Box of Books.  Go check out this blog! Its awesome 🙂 And it has been really cool to participate in a read-along! Right now I am planning on participating in May too, but it is dependent on the book picked and my schedule, but fingers crossed!

Lets start out with the cover.  I LOVE this cover!  It might be one of my favorite covers ever!!!

The book itself is an easy read.  Its only 280 pages and I read most of it in one night.  The way it is written it fairly simple, but it works well with the story.  There are parts where the narrator breaks the fourth wall and I really enjoyed that.

I loved the way the incorporated the original story into 1780’s London.  At first the connection to the original story was subtle.  Mostly just their names were the same.  Wendy, John, and Michael are coworkers and they are best friends.  Close enough to be family, but definitely not related.  The connection got a little less subtle when Peter Pan and Captain Hook were introduced. In all honesty I thought they kept those two characters a little too much like their originals.  Peter is too childish and Hook is too mean.  I think it would have made for a better story if they were both a little bit less single faceted.  You can keep their basic personalities but not go too over the top.  I also think the conflict within Wendy would be more realistic if Hook was more likable.  If you slowly discovered his faults instead of having them thrust upon you, it would have been much better.

Even tho I wasn’t crazy about Peter or Hook, I LOVED Wendy! She is both feminine and a fighter and I love it! She has to work to fit in and be accepted in a male dominant society.  She has to get people to like her, then trust her, then accept her, then understand her and then finally she can show them her skills and ask them to help her improve.  Its brilliant.  She is such a strong woman and she knows what she wants and doesn’t let discrimination stand in her way!

The ending was just ok.  There is obviously going to be a sequel, and it just sort of ended without any real conclusion.  This is one of my biggest pet peeves.  You are just left hanging.  Plus with the book being so short why didn’t they just make it into one larger book? Why make it into a series?  It doesn’t make sense to me.

I debated giving this book a 3 instead of a 4.  I didn’t really like Hook or Peter and I found the ending lacking.  But the book isn’t about Peter or Hook, its about Wendy, and she is amazing.  Plus it was an easy fun read and overall I enjoyed it.  Even though it has its flaws, 3 just felt too low, so 4 is my final rating.  If you like fairy tale retellings then you will probably enjoy this book too!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Audiobook and Movie Review)

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

by Becky Albertalli

narrated by Michael Crouch


Amazon | Goodreads

Disclaimer: The above Amazon Link is an affiliate link. If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon. I don’t if the rest of the links on this page are affiliate links as they were provided to me through the blog tour!

I finished listening to the Audiobook around 7 pm on Saturday 4/21 and decided I needed to see the movie immediately.  Its been in theaters for a while, so I didn’t have a lot of options, but I found a 9:30 showing that was half an hour away.  I very rarely go to movies by myself but on such short notice and so late on a Saturday I didn’t even bother trying to find a friend to go with me.  Thats how desperate I was to see the movie!

I really should have written my review right after I saw the movie, because I had so many distinct thoughts I wanted to point out, but over the last week, they have all kind of morphed into just general feelings.  But after the movie I was too pissed to try and write the review.  Don’t worry I wasn’t pissed at the movie.  I loved it! I was pissed because there was this couple behind me that TALKED THE WHOLE MOVIE!!! It was awful! They were so rude! And they obviously didn’t read the book because they kept guessing what would happen next and were so, so wrong! I was tempted multiple times to tell them to shut up, but I wasn’t brave enough. Instead I am just going to rant on my blog!


Thanks for listening to my rant.  Sorry about that.  I will try to move on and write a good review now. (Tho it is making me pissed all over again thinking about those two!)

Moving on for real now! The book was amazing! I put off reading it for a long time because I was worried I wasn’t going to like it.  For starters, it took place in High School, and it has been a really long time since I went to High School.  Would I be able to relate to the characters? Would they be too childish? Would their issues be childish? My second concern was that its main character was gay. (I’m not homophobic! Hear me out!) I like to put myself into the shoes of the main characters.  Thats why I like bad ass female leads.  (Not saying I am bad ass, but I wish I was like them) I was worried I wouldn’t be able to relate to a gay teenage boy.  I was worried the romance wouldn’t appeal to me. I’m not explaining it right, but I was worried that I wouldn’t like it.  I have absolutely no problem with people being gay I just didn’t have any desire to read a book about it. Its the same as me not wanting to read Horror, or Mystery.  Just personal preference.

But now I realize that my fears were a bunch of crap. I adore good love stories and this one was awesome! It made absolutely no difference that the main character was gay.  I still got those butterflies in my stomach that I get when I feel like the lovers are perfect for each other.  The love story was romantic and sweet and so beautiful! But it was also real and had its ups and downs! If you have any reservations about reading about a gay boy then this is a great book to pop that cherry! Its worth it!  Simon and Blue are adorable! And I love them! And I wish they were my best friends too!

Oh and my fears about reading a book about High Schoolers was unfounded too.  Most of the drama wasn’t your normal High School drama.  It was real and could effect people of any age.  It just happened to take place in a High School.  But I think that is because it was just well written.  I will still have reservations about reading High School books in the future.

There was only really one part in the story that I didn’t like.  At one point Simon got grounded and his parents took away his phone.  This section gave me really really bad anxiety.  I am attached to my phone because I am worried something will happen and no one will be able to get a hold of me to tell me.  Simon wasn’t able to let his friends know what was going an and it really bugged me.  I know this is a weird thing for me and its not specific to this book.  I have a friend who took her daughters phone away because she was getting bad grades and it made me anxious too.  I know its a normal form of punishment for teenagers but it makes my anxiety flares really bad for some reason.

If I had to do it over again I think I would read the physical copy of the book instead of listening to the audio book.  I didn’t really like the narrator’s voice, it was kind of whinny in my opinion.  He also made Nick sound like a stoner, but I definitely pictured him as more up-beat (I thought the movie did a great job of casting his personality)  Also there were sections that consisted of e-mails back and forth between Blue and Simon.  I got a little lost a couple times because I couldn’t look back to reference the previous emails and if I wasn’t paying really close attention then I missed who was writing which email.  It wasn’t that bad, but would have worked better with a physical copy of the book.

And last but not least the Movie! Overall I thought the adaptation was good and did a good job of capturing the spirit of the book, but I still think they changed to much. Warning! Its hard to talk about the book vs movie without giving stuff away.  I don’t think anything I said below is a spoiler, but they are borderline.  If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, proceed at your own risk!

The movie changed too many characters.  They removed Alice and added the principal and the guy at the waffle house.  They also minimized the role of Cal. I liked the principal and the waffle house guy, but would have preferred Alice and Cal instead! Also they changed Leah’s love interest and made Nora younger and into cooking? And the ending? In the movie it was very public and everyone was watching, while in the book it was private and better. None of these really detracted from the story, but they were decently significant changes.

There were two big changes that I thought changed the story.  The first was the level of involvement Simon had in Abby’s love life.  In the book he didn’t do anything but talk Martin up and get them to hangout.  In the movie he blatantly lied to Nick and tried to keep Nick and Abby apart.  The actions of movie Simon were way worse! Tho, the biggest change, was how Martin was portrayed.  In the book he wasn’t really that bad.  Even Simon admitted they could be friends if it wasn’t for the whole blackmail thing.  But in the movie we didn’t get to see as many of his redeeming qualities and we don’t get to see him come into the realization that he messed up.

But despite all these changes the movie was still good.  I thought everyone they cast was perfect! I enjoyed it! (despite the best efforts of the two jerks sitting behind me!) Without further ado, here are my ratings:

Book:  wafflewafflewafflewafflewaffle (5 waffles out of 5)

Movie by itself: wafflewafflewafflewaffle (4 waffles out of 5)

Movie as an adaptation of the book: wafflewafflewaffle (3 waffles out of 5)

Have you read the book and/or seen the movie? What did you think?



by Jay Kristoff

***** (5 out of 5)


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Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links. If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

I was inspired to read this book solely based on this picture:


Source: Baby Chick @ Birdie Bookworm

I didn’t know anything about the book except that the cat pictured above was a character, and the Author, Jay Kristoff, contacted the artist, Baby Chick, on Instagram saying he liked her artwork and wanted a copy.  This picture is awesome and I was intrigued!  I love cats, especially black cats, and I wanted to know who this character was!! So I read the book! Just to figure out who the cat is!

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The cat’s name is Mr. Kindly and he is awesome!!! I want to go into more about him but I can’t because I don’t want to spoil anything! But I want him! He would be the best, best friend ever!

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All the characters are awesome! Mia is great! She isn’t perfect but that is part of what makes her so believable.  She is strong and stubborn and smart!  She sticks to her beliefs even when facing difficult situations.

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I really want to know more about Cassius!! Urg again I can’t go into more details without spoilers!!  But he is so mysterious you can’t help but be drawn to him!

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Its not just the characters that made the book great, it was the story line as well! I loved the plot! (Tho I am partial to assassin schools for some reason)  It is dark and twisted (duh its about a school for assassin’s) but at the same time its also hopeful and compelling.

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Forever ago, I created a poll asking which Audiobook I should read and Nevernight was one of the options.  Spasciuti helpfully pointed out that Nevernight has a lot of footnotes and doesn’t translate well to Audiobooks.  It was good to know and I agree it would not have worked very well in Audiobook! So if you are going to read this I highly suggest getting a physical book! (I don’t know how well it would work with e-books either because sometimes the footnotes are really long)

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Overall this is a great book and I highly recommend it! Here are some more black cat gifs:

Also I have been working on my bookstagram skills and here are some of the ones I liked:

Thats my cat Kaylee, by the way! She is awesome and I love her! Tho it was a pain in the butt to get her to pose with the book for pictures. (There may or may not have been cat nip involved) This is my favorite pic:


I like it cuz Kaylee is all blurry and out of focus which fits really well with the story! The only bad thing is that she is kind of obstructing the cover.  She isn’t obstructing the cover in the top right picture but I don’t like her pose as much, so this one is still my favorite!

Update: For some reason the pictures in the collage keep changing their order so if my sentence above doesn’t make sense, just refresh your page until this pic is in the top right:


Have you read Nevernight? Did you like it?

I bought Godsgrave last night and can’t wait to get started!