The Will and the Wilds eARC Review

 

The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg

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GoodReads:
Enna knows to fear the mystings that roam the wildwood near her home. When one tries to kill her to obtain an enchanted stone, Enna takes a huge risk: fighting back with a mysting of her own.
Maekallus’s help isn’t free. His price? A kiss. One with the power to steal her soul. But their deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. Only Enna’s kiss, given willingly, can save him from immediate destruction. It’s a temporary salvation for Maekallus and a lingering doom for Enna. Part of her soul now burns bright inside Maekallus, making him feel for the first time.
Enna shares Maekallus’s suffering, but her small sacrifice won’t last long. If she and Maekallus can’t break the spell binding him to the mortal realm, Maekallus will be consumed completely—and Enna’s soul with him.

My Review

A fairytale at heart, reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast with some delightful twists. I loved the mysting creatures and how many different ones there were. The world-building was intriguing in regards to the mystings and humans.

[The Mystics actually reminded me a lot of the creatures in Spiderwick Chronicles, I think it was the woods and the creatures combined that made me think of the similarities.]

Though I did feel I enjoyed this, quite a lot of the story was filler which was unfortunate. There wasn’t a lot of progress with the storyline and it felt stagnant because of that. The MC was likeable but there was something missing from her, she felt not quite fleshed out, as the story felt like a filler, so did a lot of her actions. I wish we would have spent more time in ‘The Deep and that we could have gotten to know our MC, Enna, more.

Enna’s in this amazingly isolated world that her father and she have built, and we get glimpses of that but not enough to really give it the attention I think it deserves. Of course, half of it is circumstance, Enna can’t be in two places at once but some of it is also the ‘not being fleshed out’ that I felt was the main core of my problem reading it.

I really wish I could have learned about her father more, or her mom even but I know this is me having a personal preference rather than it being a ‘problem’ with the story.

Maekallus is also super intriguing as far as characters go and definitely a unique interpretation of the beast. He has no soul to start with and watching him find it or ‘gain it’ makes for some of. the best parts of the story.

The interactions between Enna and Maekallus are varied and often but for some reason, I don’t always fully connect them together which is a shame, I think I would have liked watching their relationship develop more, in between the plotline.

All in all, an enjoyable story but with slow pacing and not quite fleshed out.

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

Pros:
-Really neat world and creatures
-I can never get enough Beauty and the Beast retellings
-Unique Beast
-Enna is not just a reader but of a scholarly/scientific mind
-the villagers are a bit more complex than in the original tales

Cons:
-A lot of filler
-It is another Beauty and the Beast retelling which may think is overdone
-There’s not a huge connection for me as a reader to Enna [or Enna and Maekallus.]
-It felt a little incomplete at the end but I also did enjoy the ending? Idk how to explain it.
-Pacing is off

One Year Blogiversary & INTL. Giveaway

 

Guess what January 3rd was?

My Blogiversary

Guess who had no clue until I looked it up on January 3rd?

This girl.

So, I did a Twitter poll, and a few people did it, so it’s been decided that today I’ll do my blogiversary post and celebrate by…

Giving you all a tour of my bookshelves.

Prepare yourselves, we still haven’t really worked out how many shelves we need and we’re still trying to find space to put all this crap that we own so the pictures will be scary in the sense that there’s no sense of order, it’s just chaos. Pure chaos. And mess.

Also, to celebrate my blogiversary I would like to do an international giveaway for a book depository gift card worth £10. It’s not much but I wanted to do something, and I promise there’ll be more giveaways to come this year.

My Bookshelves

First up, my Ikea cube shelf, which, I’m not putting a full picture of because it’s basically blocked by random game consoles and accessories and random pairs of shoes…oh…and a drill. [Looking right at it as I type, shuddering as I realize how messy I am]

 

The Cube shelf is mostly for my YA books as they’re the ones I own the most of, but we also have had to use this shelf for board games and puzzles and videogames which is why everything’s so smooshed in it. Oh and random videos apparently. Yea, that’s right that bottom right corner picture is Star Wars IV-VI on VHS. Boom.

I try to kinda keep it by genre, generally, but this go it’s literally been like ‘if it it fits, it sits’

You’ll note a Harry Potter lego set, may I just say that was a Christmas present to myself and the husband from my sister-in-law? She knows me too well.

I…I can’t get over how messy this all is! I couldn’t even take a picture of one of the cubes cause it was blocked by so much shite. Bahaha. Okay upward and onward [well downward shelf wise]

On the plus side, these shelves are slightly neater? Maybe?

Anyway, I have a whole shelf dedicated to Cassandra Clare cause she turns out books like I eat chocolates. Also, Mortal Instruments holds a special place in my heart as it was the first YA series I really read after the Harry Potter books.

I also have some books I’ve bought for the spawn AND myself, and I’ve kept them here for now such as Artemis Fowl and Percy Jackson [not pictured here]. The Worst Teachers book is hers too, spawn prefers humorous books and graphic/comic books, I love seeing her develop her own tastes. Anyway, you’ll also see I have a cube of manga, that’s right, all manga there, and it’s three rows deep of manga lol. [Why does that sound dirty?]  I’m actually surprised by how many books I’ve actually read in these four cubes, go me, but haha the rest is all like 50% read, 50% forgot I owned.

Onto the other shelf in our tiny living room!

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Fortunately, this one is public appropriate to show you the full shelf lol. You’ll notice this is mostly classics, and hey, what can I say, I do love classics, as does the husband so this is more our shelf whereas the black cubicle one is definitely like all me lol.

I also love to collect older books so the first few shelves are the ones I find in charity shops while the bottom shelf as like our B&N pretty editions lol

And now we’re off to the basement/ground level!

 

Here we have historical fiction, ‘chick lit’ and more classics. As well as one set of my HP books and my Tamora Pierce books. ❤ The bottom shelf is like all Agatha Christie behind those other mystery books.

On the right we have….wait for it, nonfiction. There are reference books for musicology studies and the general nonfiction that the hubs and I can both bond over. Except he reads boring things like Napoleon stuff while I’m like ‘hey let’s read about actors and the Romanov dynasty’ lol.

Where will we go next? To our bedroom! [Bookshelves only, pervs]

Now, the bottom right picture is actually a different shelf, it’s a small one we keep our TBR books on, and you know, whatever else needs to go on there. You’ll spy Wolf Light and Curses & Kisses on the top of that shelf, I’m so excited to read those lol. The taller shelf holds signed/special edition books and my husband’s Hemingway and philosophy books as they’re important to him ❤

I know I’ve got multiple editions of some books on there, but, these books really made an impression on me so I have more than one copy.

I’ve got Goldsboro and Illumicrate editions of Kingdom of Souls, Fairyloot editions of Girls of Storm and Shadow, The Beautiful, The Merciful Crow, and Serpent and Dove on the first shelf. There’s also the Goldsboro editions of The Gods of Jade and Shadow and Aurora Rising. Pan’s Labyrinth is a signed Forbidden Planet edition, and that’s the Waterstones exclusive edition of The Deathless Girls. The rest of the books are regular editions but they’re all signed and most are personalized to me, they’re the authors I’ve been lucky enough to meet!

Second and third shelf are mostly Waterstones or even Barnes and Noble special editions, and more signed by the author/signed bookplate books. There’s also a Faecrate edition of The Red Labyrinth because I really thought that book was awesome and underrated. Finally the bottom shelf, I want to point out my Goldsboro and Illumicrate editions of Blood Heir, man, I thought that book was pretty great.

There we go, I have shown you all my horribly messy bookshelves, and consider these all ‘before’ photos as we are going to be getting wall/floating shelves for the mess that is the living room.

One Year

I’ve met so many amazing people, and read so many equally amazing books, that I can’t imagine my life without some part of the bookish community. I’ve joined street teams, I’ve found friends, met lovely people in publishing, authors, and book reviewers who have influenced my bookshelves.

I could go on and on about what I’ve done, but I already did a year in review, I read a lot, over 240+ books, put up over 174 book review posts, participated in readathons, blog tours, and Book Ending events, and really all that I can think to write about is how happy it’s all made me and how much fun I’ve had. This is all thanks to the people I’ve encountered and without them, there wouldn’t be this post.

Wouldn’t be here without you either.

Sending love and wishing you all the best, let’s see what another year will do on this blog. [Still updating my Patreon stuff, and will be bringing back Comparing Notes, just for starters]

Now onto the important stuff!

Giveaway Information

Giveaway is for a 10 gift card for book depository, it is open internationally, to be entered for it just comment on my blog OR F/RT the tweet about it. That’s it! [If you comment on here but don’t want to be entered in the giveaway for any reason, just state that you’d like to be exempt]

 

 

Update and Giveaway Announcement!

 

I meant to post yesterday, really, I did, and I meant to post earlier today, really, I did. But. Shit happens.

I’m pretty sure I’ve not had a cold this bad in quite a long while so this has really thrown me off my game between it, the loss of my laptop charger, and the move.

Just let me lay here for eternity. Sounds good.

Anyway, reading on till the end of the year/looking ahead!

I still have some life in me but like many of you, soon I’ll be surrounded by chaos with different events and holidays. [Spawn’s birthday is 15 days before Christmas, mother’s is four days after, sister’s anniversary is on New Year’s Eve….it’s like they all wanted me to be poor for the rest of my life ;)]

**I’ll also be out of the UK for just over 2 weeks in December and though I’ll be in the US I really won’t have signal because my sister lives in the middle of bum f*ck nowhere. So, if you’re not hearing from me, know it’s because there’s no signal lol. But I will have posts scheduled and up in that period**

As far as reading goes, I’ll have one more blog tour tomorrow, and then two more for December and that’s it until January.

I need to concentrate on my NetGalley and back list more and I’d like to focus on some pretty specific awesome eARCs screaming my name for 2020. Especially the ones I’m on the street teams for!

The rest of this year, my plans for backlist books are to read these: Aurora Rising, The Familiars, The Tiger at Midnight, and more of the books I had planned on reading for YARC!

I’ll be pushing out posts about gift recs for book lovers, and the other half of my top faves of the year. Also, uh, BE Winter is almost upon us and that’s super exciting, I can’t wait to see what the hosts come up with this round!

Also, my Patreon and blog will be getting some makeover stuff doooone. Nothing major here on the blog, just finally taking off my Halloween stuff *sob* and messing around with the pages.

But onto the exciting stuff!

Giveaway Announcement!

 

If you don’t have a Twitter and would still like to be in this giveaway, just comment here or message me on Instagram if that’s your preferred method!

So far this has gotten like no notice, aside from the lovely Fictionally Sam RT for me, but, I mean, I have these books, and it would be nice to give them away! This goes on until December 1, Midnight GMT.

UK only, but I’ll do a gift card giveaway in the New Year that will be INTL.

Tell me what your reading plans are, anything in your life happening that you wanna screech in excitement about? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

I Like What I Like

 

I feel like this is something I should just tackle. I kinda have before in Crap Critiquing Skills

To give a run down, I know I rate books pretty high. I do it knowingly.

Why?

Because I liked them… because they were enjoyable because that’s the rating I felt they deserve.

Now I know that I don’t really critique books in my reviews but that isn’t my point. My reviews are used to highlight what I liked/didn’t like about a book and lately, I’ve liked more than I’ve disliked. So sue me.

If there are areas of contention in a book I do try to mention them, I do try and say, hey I’m not sure how this will go for you all, but it’s there. And I’m going back through my reviews to add trigger warnings to anything and everything that I think needs it and that I’ve overlooked lately.

This is me trying to do better as a reviewer, but, the fact that I enjoy books shouldn’t be an issue. And almost no one aside from a friend has pointed it out to me, so I’m not here to defend myself against fake haters, I’m here to tell you all that it is absolutely 100% okay to like what you read, it is also okay to not like what you read. The reviews are not just for readers, they’re for you. You’re reflecting on what you read, you’re giving your opinion and voice to something you read.

Do not feel bad about hating a book everyone has loved, and on the same token, don’t feel bad for loving a book people hated.

Romance is your go-to genre and you tend to love them all? That’s wonderful, or maybe it makes you pickier, that’s also wonderful. I value your opinions and so do most, but even if we didn’t, you hold that head high and don’t worry about it.

It can be so easy to tear a book down, and sometimes it is so very very justified, but we have to remember to not tear down the readers with it.

[And unless it has some serious ethical problems [racism, sexism, prejudice, harmful language toward certain groups then maybe we should pause before tearing down an author with their book as well but I have to say I think we’re pretty good in our community about being supportive.]

My reviews are still growing, I’m still learning but I don’t think I should feel guilty about just really enjoying books I read and I hope others don’t either. You want to five-star rate the last four books you read? You do it! Want to DNF? Go for it! Want to give a 1 star because you absolutely disliked the book? Put that one star down, GoodReads is a community but those ratings aren’t just for other readers, they’re a reflection of your opinion. So give it honestly, and guilt-free.

Meanwhile, I’ll try to pterodactyl screech less while fan-girl raving and make my reviews a bit more coherent.

 

Down The TBR Hole #2

It’s a meme kinda day for me, I’m reading a couple of books simultaneously to try and play catch up, we’ll see if it works or if I break down in tears lol.

Down The TBR Hole, a meme originally hosted by Lia @ Lost In A Story where you clean up your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it and get a better handle on what all you got! (If someone can slide me the current host, I’ll gladly update this post)

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well that’s going to change! – Lia @ Lost In A Story

What do you do?

  • Go to your GoodReads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I’m doing 10-15 today!

GoodReads: 

In this dark, thrilling fairy tale, it is the wolf who saves the girl. Fell, the dark-furred twin brother of Larka, the heroine of The Sight, must face life without his sister or the rest of his loving pack. He’s a lone wolf now, a “kerl,” an outcast from his kind who shares his sister’s fatal gift for seeing the future and the thoughts of others. This gift leads him to befriend a young girl, also an outcast from her people. They have a shared destiny: to free the land from a tyrannical ruler who would enslave man and animal alike.

I loved The Sight and I own this one, so, it stays.

 

GoodReads:
Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fire is a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel. 

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Another that I own and loved the first one, so this one stays as well!

 

GoodReads:
The stunning third and final novel in Stieg Larsson’s internationally best-selling trilogy.

Lisbeth Salander – the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels – lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge – against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

~from the jacket

Another that stays, but, I’m labelling this as maybe. If I start to lose interest in the second one then I might just donate these and say I tried!

 

GoodReads:
Complete text of Legacy and Spellbound in a single volume.

Holly Cathers is not the same person she was almost a year and a half ago. After discovering her connection to an ancient legacy of witches, Holly has accepted her destiny as a descendant of the House of Cahors. She is determined to end an intergenerational feud that has plagued her family for centuries.

Holly will have to overcome unworldly obstacles as she battles to protect her loved ones — including Jer, a member of the rival House of Deveraux and her one true love. A war of magical proportions is being waged, and Holly is at the center of it all.

Lives will be lost, and sacrifices will have to be made…

Okay…Another that I already own, already read the first, are you seeing the pattern here? It stays. Man. I suck at this.

 

GoodReads:
WHAT IS LOST…
WILL BE FOUND

In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling – a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths…all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, DC., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object – artfully encoded with five symbols – is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation…one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon’s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon – a prominent Mason and philanthropist – is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations – all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

As the world discovered in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown’s novels are brilliant tapestries of veiled histories, arcane symbols, and enigmatic codes. In this new novel, he again challenges readers with an intelligent, lightning-paced story that offers surprises at every turn. The Lost Symbol is exactly what Brown’s fans have been waiting for…his most thrilling novel yet.

So I’ve read the first two but I’m not really in a hurry to read this, for now, I’m going to say it goes, if I get around to reading it, fine, if not, not bothered lol.

 

GoodReads: 
Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in an Italian hospital, disoriented and with no recollection of the past thirty-six hours, including the origin of the macabre object hidden in his belongings. With a relentless female assassin trailing them through Florence, he and his resourceful doctor, Sienna Brooks, are forced to flee. Embarking on a harrowing journey, they must unravel a series of codes, which are the work of a brilliant scientist whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for one of the most influential masterpieces ever written, Dante Alighieri’s The Inferno. 

Dan Brown has raised the bar yet again, combining classical Italian art, history, and literature with cutting-edge science in this sumptuously entertaining thriller.

Goes. Same reason as #3 in the Langdon series!

Final Score:

3/6 Stay, 2/6 Go, 1/6 Maybe

At least it was better than my first round lol. Anyone else whittling away their TBR?

Charity Shop Finds!

We actually had like two HUGE hauls but it was so ridiculous I didn’t even bother sharing because we deserved to be in timeout after those sprees.

But it looks like we kinda mostly got it out of our system, slowly I’ll update the list on the Charity shop page to less publicly shame myself and my spending habits lol but today I’ll share with you what I bought this weekend.

It was the one store we tend to frequent where it was 2 for .99P so I just ended up taking two instead of one.

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2 for .99P!

I’ve really been wanting to read The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and not to mention as much as I love reading history books I couldn’t just leave The Holocaust The Jewish Tragedy behind, especially because most books are about WWII itself, the battles and the like and of course we do have books about the horrors of it all from the concentration camps to the battles but I liked that this one was focused on the people persecuted the most in that tragic time in history.

I’ve finished reading I Will Find You by John M. Taylor and will have the review up tomorrow but feel free to click on the link to the GoodReads page to learn more about it if you’re curious.

I know this is a  short post but it’s Sunday and I’ve spent the day at the beach and just want to sit here and pay Dragon Age II but I actually have to go read more now lolol, go see my book reviewing, a process post to find out which part of the never ending cycle I’m at!

Book Reviewing: A Process

Hey all, it’s Saturday, you know what that means?

I revel in being lazy lol.

But also it’s the weekend for most of us, so yay for that.

Today’s post is more of a way to hopefully give you a laugh than an in-depth look at my process as my process is really…having none lol.

Step 1. Pick Which Book to Read Next

I look through my list to see which one is next to come out chronologically but sometimes it’s not that easy, there’ll be multiple ones coming out within like a two day span of each other. And so it’s just mostly a lot of me being overwhelmed.

 

Step 2. Read the Book I’ve picked

This is so much harder than it seems, the less time I have to read, the more pressured I feel. But pressured by who you may ask? Me. Myself. Oh, and I. Even though I can read most books in a day, I choose to worry over it until like 10PM and then I settle in to the actual act of reading.

 

Step 3. In Between Reading Take Copious Notes

I take notes to help me be more critical when writing my review. At least that’s what I’m telling myself I’ll accomplish by taking notes. More often than not I just suck at taking notes as well as writing up reviews.

 

Step 4. Finally Finish Reading!

I’m pretty good at this step haha, once I finally get into a groove with a book I’ll break it up over one to three days into a few sittings just so I don’t get too bored or distracted unless the book is really gripping.

 

Step 5. Writing up the Review

At this point I begin to sit there and look over my notes and stare at the laptop. It’s a hard process for me who really just is like ‘I liked it. It was good.’ I never feel I’m qualified enough to write up a review for you all lol.

 

Step 5A. Forget Everyone’s Names and Have to Look Them up

I don’t know why this happens to me, I’ll remember like one person’s name and it probably won’t be the person I’m actually wanting to write about at the moment so then I have to go back and look.

 

Step 6. Finish Writing Review and Publish it

I sit there, proud enough of it to just throw it at you all, knowing I finished.

 

Step 7. JK. It’s Never Done. Pick Another Book

 

And there you have it, book reviewing, a process!

 

Toodles guys!