Welcome to the MOSL Book Challenge

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3)The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An epic conclusion to a thoroughly enjoyable YA fantasy series. I have all the feels.

Pages: 679

The Remnant Chronicles

Morrighan (The Remnant Chronicles, #0.5)Morrighan by Mary E. Pearson   (Novella 0.5)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novella gives some of the ancient history for this unique world and magic system. It's technically okay to read this first, since there are no spoilers, as it follows people from the past. However, I think in this instance that it actually helps for you to get your feet wet with book one, then go back to this novella for some deeper history and world building.

Pages: 121

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1)The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson  (Book 1)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, this just grabbed my attention and held on. It's a fascinating world with a unique magic structure and strong character development. It follows Lia who won't stay in the box her kingdom tries to put her in.

The story does a good job of building relationships, not just romances, but also friendships and mentors. I appreciate that, since it's often the relationships in stories, and how those evolve, that intrigues me so.

In book one, the magic structure begins to gradually announce itself, but it's the world and characters that get my full attention in this story.

Pages: 492

The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson    (Book 2)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm obsessed with the travels across this world to different places and cultures with this story. I'm intrigued by all the different customs and lifestyles, and this is the book where the magic structure starts to be more fully explained and developed.

There's so much that happens in this story, that I sort of can't believe it all got crammed into 470 pages. For a long book, this never felt lengthy or drawn out. I can't wait to pick up book 3 and see how this all sorts out.

Pages: 470

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Chaotic perfection with just enough Henrietta charm to keep things grounded. Would have loved just a tiny bit more closure for a few characters, because I'm greedy, not because the story demands it.

Pages: 439

I have no words that seem right for reviewing the final book in this series. I have tried, but they are all wrong.

Listen to the audiobook, as Will Patton is a fantastic narrator.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This time through, I have realized how much I enjoy Blue. She is such a strong and opinionated character, and I appreciate that. She has a lot of feminist values, which is a nice contrast, especially considering the significant number of important male characters in this series, many of whom have traditional Southern values and perspectives. She does a good job of reeducating her Raven Boys to see her as something more than just the girl they hang out with.

I do love me some Raven Boys, but Blue is equally admirable and enjoyable on the main character front.

Pages: 400

I’d watch these characters sit for a whole novel and discuss paint drying. That’s how freaking much I love them and everything they do and say and are to each other.

Luckily, this story contains an actual plot, so all the above is unnecessary. I just wanted you to realize that I’m not the best equipped to discuss the story line (nor will I), because when you’re in love with all the Raven Boys and desperate to spend just a bit more time in their world, it’s very hard to take off the blinders and worry about something as seemingly insignificant as story structure. ;)

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

I loved the author's first book The Hating Game and have been anxiously awaiting her newest. I waited for years! Worth it. Granted I still hold the first one as my favorite, but I couldn't put this one down! The main character is tough, funny, and full of problems which makes her feel so real. Humor abounds and the romance was enchanting though a bit drawn out. Definitely worth a read if you like contemporary romance.

Rating: 4/5
Pages: 368

Stay Sexy and Don't Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

I listen to the My Favorite Murder podcast religiously, so of course I picked up their book! It serves as a duel memoir of the podcast hosts and discusses their ups and downs in dealing with alcoholism, eating disorders, general anxieties, and how they learned to begin to heal themselves. From listening to the podcast, I had heard outlines of a lot of their life stories, but this book delves deeper into their lives and how they became murderinos (people who are obsessed with true crime).


Rating: 4/5

Pages: 304

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Storm and Fury (The Harbinger, #1)Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fascinating world and concept! I was so caught up in this story and addicted to these characters. Jennifer L. Armentrout can do no wrong, as far as I'm concerned.

This is an unusual take on angels and demons that focuses far more on Wardens, which are gargoyles come to life. And oh, my goodness, do I need a gargoyle, stat. Holy mother of all that is sexy and brutal.

This book will definitely cross appeal to both the YA crowd and the NA crowd. I think it is a must purchase for all collections serving those audiences, and while there is a solid wrap up and conclusion to book one, I still can't wait to get my hands on book two.

This is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys a bit of forbidden romance tucked in between vicious demon attacks. There's also some good humor with this story, and Trinity, the MC, is very strong, determined, and impulsive. She gets herself into scrape after scrape, because she doesn't allow a group of men to dictate what she should do or who she should be. I really enjoyed her.

I meant to post this review yesterday, when the book was released, but I was delayed by unexpected house guests (oops!). Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Pages: 512

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
by J.K. Rowling


752 pages

Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup. He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly.

I like this one a lot.  It marks a dark turning point in the series, for sure.  Onward to Order!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Last 3 In The Series

Succubus Heat (Georgina Kincaid, #4)Succubus Heat
by Richelle Mead

My rating:
5 of 5 stars

This book is full of wrongs that feel oh-so-right.

Pages: 304

Succubus Shadows (Georgina Kincaid, #5)Succubus Shadows
by Richelle Mead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Still loving this series.

Pages: 281

Succubus Revealed (Georgina Kincaid, #6)Succubus Revealed
by Richelle Mead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a great finale! Very satisfying, overall.

Pages: 277

Monday, June 10, 2019

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
by J.K. Rowling

448 pages


For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort.

Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts."

Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.

Yes, yes, y'all!  Whew, this book!

While it's not my favorite of the series (don't worry - it's high!), it is my favorite of the movies.  I just love how Hermione comes into her own here.  I'm mean, she's always been awesome, but she OWNS it from here on.  Awesome.

Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead

Succubus Dreams (Georgina Kincaid, #3)Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Still loving this series, but book 3 kind of broke my heart over and over again. I just wanted everyone to catch a win, and nobody could.

Pages: 296

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Succubus on Top by Richelle Mead

Succubus on Top (Georgina Kincaid, #2)Succubus on Top by Richelle Mead
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is another excellent read in this series, and I really enjoyed seeing all the characters evolve in this one. It has more interpersonal drama, but that added to the intrigue of the story.

The world keeps growing, and new layers appear as the story progress, which makes me curious about how this world will continue to expand in the next 4 books.

Pages: 314

Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1)Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Mead's YA series, so I'm not sure what took me so long to pick up this novel, as I really enjoyed it. It's an urban fantasy that is more of a paranormal mystery than a romance, not that it doesn't have a few romantic moments, but the storyline and plot always come first.

The characters are interesting and well-developed, as with all of Mead's books, and I read this straight through and immediately picked up book 2.

Pages: 343

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I love all the new layers that appear and are exposed in the second book. Plus, I think that I missed some of the small moments in this book, particularly with Adam and Ronan. It's really easy to brush right by those understated interactions when you have no idea where things are headed with the broader storyline of the series. So I overlooked small interactions in the past that I now know were/are part of something bigger and worth paying attention to.

Pages: 439

I feel sure these characters are my neighbors and friends, for despite their issues and strife, I desperately want to be a part of their world, preferably within their inner-circle. This second novel was equally fascinating, and I can’t wait for the third! I listened to the audiobook which is superb. Something about the setting of this book makes me want to say words like superb, and it would be quite sufficient as a word choice and not at all pretentious, especially if I eased it out with a gentle Henrietta accent.

I highly recommend this series. You will appreciate the unexpected nature of these stories, as well as the carefully woven mysteries and gentle uncovering of truths.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by J.K. Rowling


341 pages

Harry Potter's summer has included the worst birthday ever, doomy warnings from a house-elf called Dobby, and rescue from the Dursleys by his friend Ron Weasley in a magical flying car! Back at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year, Harry hears strange whispers echo through empty corridors - and then the attacks start. Students are found as though turned to stone... Dobby's sinister predictions seem to be coming true.

This is my least favorite of the series.  It drags for me just a bit.  I still love it dearly (it is Harry Potter after all), but I always feel like I am just pushing through this one.

Onward to the amazeballs that is Prisoner of Azkaban!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


It was such a pleasure to revisit these old friends and make them new again. Also, my perspective on some aspects of this story seems to shift a bit as I age, so I love how that makes the story just a bit different every time I revisit it.

The Raven Boys continue to charm me, even though the majority of them could never be called charming. Will Patton's narration for the audiobook is beyond stellar, and I can't read these in print anymore. I have to listen to the Audible version, because Patton has become such an inherent element to the atmosphere of this story that I cannot accept it any other way at this point. It's audio perfection.

Page: 409

Wow! I had no idea what this novel was about when I started, and it shocked me in a very good way. The concept is fascinating and unexpected. The characters are unique and surprising. Some of the plot twists blew my mind. It definitely took me to new and interesting places.

I listened to this on audiobook, and the reader is outstanding. I’m picky about being read out loud to, but I really enjoyed this audio. In fact, I think the excellent reading totally added to the overall experience. My favorite part of the story was the richness of the characters though. They were so captivating and strangely charming, even when they weren't necessarily being pleasant.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Finale by Stephanie Garber

This is the third installment of the Caraval series. I've been waiting for this one to come out for a while and I was not disappointed. It's face-paced and it kept me turning page after page. Before I knew it the book was over! There are some loose strings I wish I could have seen resolved, but I kind of like not knowing everything at the end. If you like fantasy, magic, betrayal, and a good love story, this series is for you.

Rating: 4/5

Pages: 496

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
by J.K. Rowling

5/5 (duh)

336 pages

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin! 

I'm so excited to start these again.  :)  Jim Dale totally rocks.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1)Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to confess that I'm a bigger fan of the deadly zombies than the entitled white rich folk of this story. One thing this book does do is make a lot of good points about social issues and social inequity but without ever pulling you away from the actual story. It's both a reminder of what progress has been made in regards to racial issues in America, as well as a slap in the face to remind us that we are nowhere near where we should be, considering it's 2019.

Also, Jane is one of the most badass YA characters I have ever met, and she manages to remain confident and badass at all times, despite the endless racial slurs and overall degradation that comes with her position (effectively an enslaved zombie slayer for the privileged elite).

This is a dystopia that occurs in the midst of the Civil War, when the zombies rise up, but it's more of a Historical Horror Dystopian blend, with both faux history (on the zombies rise up side) and real history (on the serious racial inequity and oppression side).

This would be great paired up with some of these other YA books for a specialized lit class to discuss race issues in America, and even though I've already read them all, I would definitely want to take that class:
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Dear Martin by Nic Stone The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon American Street by Ibi Zoboi With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi American Panda by Gloria Chao How Dare the Sun Rise Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

I'm sure there are other great options, but I've only listed books that I've read and that I think would add something interesting to group discussions.

Pages: 455

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Boxcar Children (The Boxcar Children, #1)The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was obsessed with The Boxcar Children as a child. I mean what's not to love about a smart group of orphans who learn to survive on their own and do their best to stick together and protect each other? There are 4 of them, and I have 3 siblings, so I was sure that should the need ever arise, I would be ready to live with my siblings in a boxcar. In fact, I wanted to (not that I wanted anything bad to happen to my mom, but boxcar in the wilderness would have made a kickass club house).

Also, the children adopt an inured dog, even though feeding it means less food for themselves. I mean, come on! Could these children be any more amazing?

As an adult, I was curious to reread this to see if it still held the charm and whimsy of my childhood. I confess, I enjoyed reliving this book, but a bit of my realistic adult has snuck in at this point and therefore questions some of the things I never questioned as a child. Go figure. Growing up does seem to ruin a lot of good things, but it comes with some amazing perks, like being able to drink coffee without being told it will stunt your growth (clearly that was a lie, as I'm 5'10").

Anyway, long story short, this is a charming and fun read for elementary students. While I confess that I could have survived in the wilderness (and practically did) as a child, I don't think my nieces and nephews would far this well, which makes it even more interesting to me and probably also to them.

Pages: 160

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Still Trying to Finish the March Books

Deal with the Devil (Forge Trilogy, #1)Deal with the Devil
by Meghan March

My rating:
5 of 5 stars

Heavy drama and intrigue with a James Bond feel, so obviously I enjoyed it.

Pages: 275

Luck of the Devil (Forge Trilogy, #2)Luck of the Devil by Meghan March

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ends on a cliff-hanger with no resolution (like always), and I'm too upset about not having book 3 handy to write a decent review.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Guys! I've loved the movie since it came out and I decided that it was finally time to read the book. It was great! A lot of differences from the movie that adds to the story and Crichton really knows how to keep the tension going. The only thing I missed was the little DNA cartoon guy simply explaining the scientific process that brought the dinosaurs to life. Crichton did his homework and gives a lot of detail of the creation of the dinos but, as someone who has a general understanding of genetics, I felt that the scientific rants bored me. Get me back to the dinosaurs!

The movie still holds up on his own, but I think this book is definitely worth a read for any Jurassic Park fan.

Rating 4.5/5

Pages: 466