Welcome to the MOSL Book Challenge

Monday, January 22, 2018

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is LyingOne of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book got a lot of hype, so I absolutely ignored everything about it, including the blurbs, summaries, and reviews that were posted. I knew it would be best to go in without any knowledge or expectations, and I’m so happy that I did!

As soon as the book started, my first thought was that this book is so much like The Breakfast Club, and I love that! Now that I’m reading the Goodreads blurb, that is actually the first thing mentioned about the book, and it’s dead on. Then the story quickly became more of a Clue situation (flashback to my childhood board game days), with a Gossip Girls kind of feel about it. If you like high school drama and murder mysteries, this is perfect for you. Even if you don’t think you like that, you may find something to like in this story.

The mystery is excellent, and I became really invested in the characters, who were all well-developed, which is hard to do with so many POVs. Sure, you can potentially guess at the final outcome, if you read a lot, but I was never quite sure if I was actually right about my suspicions, not until the very end.

I liked this, and I would definitely reread it one day, even though I know how it ends. It might be interesting to take it all in again, knowing the final outcome.

Book 33 read in 2018

Pages: 361

Bloodmagic (Blood Destiny, #2)Bloodmagic by Helen Harper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book better than the first one. It got more in depth about who she is and showed that she would give her self to save others. The ending was very good!

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156 Pages
Bloodfire (Blood Destiny, #1)Bloodfire by Helen Harper
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book, however, it took almost half the book before I started to get into it. I plan on reading the second one and hope that it draws me in a little more.

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246 Pages
It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney, #5)It Happened One Wedding by Julie James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a nice final edition to the series. When they got caught was the best part of the book.

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304 Pages
Love Irresistibly (FBI/US Attorney, #4)Love Irresistibly by Julie James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book as much as any of the others in this series. I like how they bring the characters back from the other books. They also provide an update on them. I’m said that I will be finishing the next book soon. I wish there was more.

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274 Pages
About That Night (FBI/US Attorney, #3)About That Night by Julie James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book! It’s a great book, showing that you should not always judge a person by what you think they are. It was also nice to see that the guy was able to put himself out there.

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284 Pages

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Girls Made of Snow and GlassGirls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was not an immediate hit, and if I could score the book in parts, the first half would get maybe a 2.5 or 3 at best. The last half is significantly better, because things start to finally happen in the story, which means if you pick this up, you have to try to hang in there through the tedious start. That leaves my real score hovering around a 3.5, but I always round up.

Supposedly this story is feminist, though I confess I don't understand that classification. I never noticed anything that stood out or that made it more feminist than the next story about strong female characters. It's possible that I just don't get it, but I still don't understand why it's being called feminist by so many people. It's definitely female-centric, but without someone having pushed that label on to the book, I would never have come to that conclusion on my own. That leaves me wondering how many others would come to that conclusion on their own.

I think that in light of that label, I really expected some advocacy for women's rights and/or moments that truly address equality of the sexes--something that woman could get behind and pump their fist and shout with glee. Anything, really. This did not deliver that feeling at all, which could be a case of misaligned expectations, for which I blame all those people who went on and on about how feminist this book is. I wanted and expected to see some actual girl power, and I don't mean magic.

The worst part is the slow plot, but the most fascinating part is that it is a very unique retelling of Snow White, with an F/F romance. Although, I should say that it's a very underplayed and disappointing F/F romance, with basically an insta-love sort of feel that I didn't really enjoy (and I fully confess to typically enjoying insta-love, especially since I know that's how some real humans roll). The problem with the insta-love in this one is that their relationship isn't all that great. There's not really any chemistry, and the relationship is mostly built on loneliness, isolation, and lies. Sure, that adds to the drama, but it doesn't really convince me they're right for each other.

I like that this book is making me think so much while I review it, but I also hate that. The reason I'm analyzing it to death is because there were some great moments, but it often fell flat of being spectacular, which bothers me. And now I can't quit trying to figure out what it would have taken for this to be a better story. The concept was so great, but the execution just leaves more to be desired.

Overall, I think some readers may enjoy this one, but it's definitely not my favorite retelling, nor would I ever reread it.

Book 32 read in 2018

Pages: 384

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Selection Novellas by Kiera Cass

The Queen (The Selection, #0.4)The Queen by Kiera Cass  (Book 0.4)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was a fascinating look into how the Kind and Queen came together during their selection. I confess that I hate the King and often don't respect the behaviors and choices of the Queen. All the same, I think their story is very interesting and provides a lot of insight.

Book 28 read in 2018

Pages: 72

The Prince (The Selection, #0.5)The Prince by Kiera Cass  (Book 0.5)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


So far, this is my favorite of the novellas, probably simply because it digs deeper into who Maxon is and what he thinks.

Book 28 read in 2018

Pages: 64

The Guard (The Selection, #2.5)The Guard by Kiera Cass  (Book 2.5)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I enjoyed this less on the second read, mostly because I have lost a bit of interest in Aspen. I couldn't help wishing it was more about Lucy. That being said, it should still be read by those who adore the series, as it contributes more to who Aspen is.

Book 29 read in 2018

Pages: 64

The Favorite (The Selection, #3.5)The Favorite by Kiera Cass  (Book 3.5)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Okay, I was wrong before. This is my favorite novella in this series, because it's about Carter and Marlee, whom I adore. Their love story came out of the blue in the actual series, since they aren't the main characters, so it was great to see how that developed here.

Book 31 read in 2018

Pages: 58

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

The Heir (The Selection, #4)The Heir by Kiera Cass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I enjoyed this just as much the second time. I really like that initially, it's hard for me to like Eadlyn, and it takes some getting to know her (and her getting to know herself) for her to grow on me. It's kind of a reminder that if you judge people on first impressions, you really do miss out on a lot.

Book 26 read in 2018

Pages: 368

When I started this book, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like it, despite enjoying the original series. I had trouble understanding the main character and didn't particularly like her. However, I don't feel it's necessary to like a character, as long as I can love their story.

The more I read, the more this grew on me. I actually started to understand the MC more and more, and I appreciated the ways she changed and grew throughout the story. I also really enjoyed the wide variety of guys and all of their interesting personalities.

If you secretly love the bachelor, this book is probably for you. If you haven't read the original trilogy though, I recommend you do that first. It's a bit light on the dystopia and heavy on the romance and drama, so I often wish that balance was reversed. However, it's a different, fun read. I'm happy I kept going long enough to give this story and its characters a chance.

The Crown (The Selection, #5)The Crown by Kiera Cass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Yep. Still love this. It's just fun on so many levels, though on this second read, I would have liked a bit more resolution at the end, even though it ends well, overall. That may just be me being greedy.

Book 27 read in 2018

Pages: 288

This was a great finale to a series that's perfect for anyone who is secretly or publicly addicted to The Bachelor on ABC.

Also, I think while the first book had some weaknesses (particularly in world building), despite being enjoyable, I could really see how the author has grown and improved her writing across the series.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Summary: "In this gorgeous, page-turning saga, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew." - Amazon

This is a wonderfully written novel that begins with a young girl who makes a choice which alters her life forever.  The novel follows her path and those of her children and grandchildren, pulling you in seamlessly through simple, eloquent prose.  I was engrossed.  I was enthralled.  I was utterly lost in their world - until the last fifth or so of the book (hence the 4/5 rating).  That being said, this novel is worth it.  

Pick it up.  


496 pages

Starry Night by Debbie Macomber

Starry NightStarry Night by Debbie Macomber
A "girly girl" and an outdoor survivalist fall in love in this classic story of opposites attracting. This is a light, feel-good book that was a perfect holiday read. The partial setting in the Alaskan wilderness was fun to envision.

370 pages.

Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross, #2)Kiss the Girls by James Patterson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book, and I am looking forward to moving onto the next book.

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Pages: 458

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Summary: ""In a world of magical motorcycle gangs, eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael taps into her magical abilities to stop an evil spell before it can be fulfilled."

Okay, so what could you want more in a book than motorcycle clubs and magic?

Well, a sensible plot along with actual character development would be a place to start. 

As I loved Jennifer Rush's Altered series, I couldn't wait to get my hands on her newest YA novel. And wow, I can't believe this book was actually published! It honestly felt like I was reading a first draft. I can't describe my disappointment with how flat the world-building is and timeline of the story. I wouldn't recommend reading this book to anyone. 

328 pages

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I started rereading this book 30 minutes before bedtime, having forgotten what a compulsive read it truly is, which means I was up late and am tired today, though I don't regret having stayed up to read the book straight through (again).

This story is full of drama and intrigue, a lot like The Bachelor, which is another guilty pleasure. It amuses me how the characters mirror behaviors you see from women thrown into the live version of this story, but it is still a compelling piece of fiction.

Is it fluffy?  


Is if fun?   


Is it dramatic?

IS LIFE DRAMATIC? Oh, sorry. I mean yes. 

Yes, it is dramatic. 

Is the dystopian aspect of the story pretty weak?


Do I care about that?

Nope. It's not why I showed up. I'm just along for the ride, which is always twisty and fast-paced.

I mean, come on. I already know how the story ends up, but I still found myself stressing out over what would happen with America and Maxon in the middle of the night. And that's what I want from a story--something that drags me in and won't let me go.

Also, just like I do while watching The Bachelor, I couldn't help shouting at the both of them a few times, to try to get them to comply with my wishes, which they rarely did. That's unfortunate, because I feel sure I could have helped them avoid a few errors and delays along the way. ;)

Book 23 read in 2018

Pages: 336

The Elite (The Selection, #2)The Elite by Kiera Cass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Somehow, I didn't review this book the first time I read it. I suspect that was because I was too busy picking up book 3 to stop and write one. The same thing happened this time. As soon as book 2 ended, I immediately flipped to book 3. This series is so delightfully compulsive. I suspect I'll revisit again, from time to time, because it makes me happy.

Book 24 read in 2018

Pages: 336

The One (The Selection, #3)The One by Kiera Cass
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This was just as much fun as when I read it the first time, perhaps more so, because I had some amount of certainty that it would end on a good note. Yes, I say some, because the best stories always make you worry, even when you logically know there's no need.

Book 25 read in 2018

Pages: 368

WARNING: Stupid grins, swooning, crying, racing hearts, yelling at the story, and flailing may occur (In the best of all possible ways).

I loved this final novel in the trilogy. It was exciting and satisfying in all kinds of ways. I was very worried, as I often am about a final book, but it was all for nothing. This book sucked me in from the moment I glanced at the first page until I read the very last words...which were perfect.

A Lot like Love (FBI/US Attorney, #2)A Lot like Love by Julie James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book as much as the first one! I found that I could not stop! I enjoy how the story is realistic and keeps me wanting more.

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Pages: 274