Book Review: Tess of the Road (ARC)

Disclaimer** I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
tessSeries: Standalone
Published by: Random House
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 544
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Release Date: February 27th, 2018
Rating: DNFed @ 44%
Synopsis:

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and break a relative’s nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it’s a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl–a subspecies of dragon–who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she’s tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.

Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Thoughts

I feel bad that I had to DNF (did not finish) this book. Especially because Random House was kind enough to let me review it! For some reason I just couldn’t get into the story. There were too many words in the story that I didn’t know so I had no idea what was going on. After reading the book about 44% of the way through, the only thing I understood was that Tess was just walking. That’s about it. There didn’t seem to be much of a destination in mind and therefore, I felt like there wasn’t much of a plot.

I did really enjoy Tess’s character. I thought she was fun and sassy. Her mother, on the other hand, was a piece of work. I get she only wanted the best for Tess but she didn’t execute it well. I also found Tess’s friend, Pathka, to be super interesting but I didn’t know what they were exactly. I pictured them as a dragon shaped dog for some reason??

The cover is absolutely gorgeous. I’m very sad I couldn’t get into the story. However, I think other people would like it! Especially if they enjoyed Seraphina 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday | Unique Titles

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Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Please note that 10 is just a starting number. You can post however many books you want or less!

This weeks topic is: “Unique Titles”


Hello friends! As you know, book covers play a vital role in capturing a readers attention but what about titles? Sometimes the more unique the title, the more intriguing the book sounds. Here are book titles I really like..

 

Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest

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Series: Standalone

Published by: Little Brown Books

Genre: Fantasy,Adventure, Young Adult

Pages: 336

Source: paperback

Rating: ✬✬✬

 Synopsis: 

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Favorite Quote

“Ben told stories. Hazel became those stories.”

Thoughts

Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about this story. I felt like the chapters were jumbled all over the place. I get that we were getting back story but I don’t like that is went from, for example, Chapter one: plot, Chapter 3: back story, Chapter 4: Plot, Chapter 6: Backstory. It was getting obnoxious. Like I was just just getting into the story and then it would be like BOOM HERES SOME BACKSTORY ON A DIFFERENT CHARACTER. Honestly, that was probably the main reason I gave this book a 3/5. That and I didn’t think the characters were really memorable. I really disliked the characters are first because I thought they were bland but then I ended up liking them.

Although this book is a standalone, I give mega props to Holly. I feel like she did a great job at having good world building along with having a pretty interesting read in just a standalone . It felt like a good childrens story that makes you want to sit by a fire on a winter night then dream about fairytales. Does that make any sense? XD

The writing was gorgeous. I loved the metaphors. Some of them didn’t make sense to me but others punched me right in the gut and I could relate on a deep level. Holly’s writing is dreamy and captivating. I love the way she describes things. She did more showing than telling. I felt like I was right there with Hazel and Ben and the rest of the bunch.

I also like how a character in this book almost has two selves and it’s kind of a battle between “good and evil” and which one we want to win the fight. It’s just like Sirius Black tells Harry, “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” So I like that she played around with the idea that we all have a more “evil” self inside of us but we’re only that person if we want to be.

Down the TBR Hole #2

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Down the TBR Hole is a meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story.

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!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 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?

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This is about a girl that keeps dying and coming back to life as a new person because she’s some kind of test subject for some government experiment. The synopsis sounds amazing… the first chapter was amazing… but the cover is hideous. I think I want to take this off my TBR on goodreads but save it to read off my library app or something! 🙂

VERDICT: go

 

 

I believe this is about an obese boy thats contemplating on killing himself? I’m not sure how to explain it but it sounds amazing. I actually kind of really like the cover, too!

 

 

VERDICT: keep

 

 

Just read the first chapter of this. I’m definitely keeping it. Sounds badass, intense, and mysterious. People are trying to kill this girl but she doesn’t even know who she it!? I NEED TO KNOW WHY!

 

 

VERDICT: keep

 

 

This book sounds badass. A badass female lead that’s the stronget of her kind? Sign me up! but then the synopsis lost me because it felt like instead of being a role about a badass, it’s about a girl that becomes mad weak for being interested in a guy. gaggggg…. 

 

VERDICT: go

 

 

I believe this is a re-telling of Alice in Wonderland? It sounds amazing… Plus Alice in Wonderland has been a favorite movie of mine since I was young. I want these books in hardcover so freaking bad! 

 

VERDICT: keep

Can we really represent diverse characters correctly?

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Lets talk about you and me, lets talk about di-ver-sity… 

The past few years have been HUGE when it comes to talk about diversity in books and how important it is. Which is something I believe is important. I think it’s awesome that more nonwhite authors are emerging with nonwhite characters.  However, many authors have been criticized for not including diverse characters… One that really sticks out is Sarah J. Maas and her Throne of Glass series. Many people were furious that she didn’t include diverse characters. People constantly told her on twitter that she had tons opportunities to do so.

Which leads me to my next thing with Veronica Roth, who attempted to include diverse characters and then got backlashed for being racist.  You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. 

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How can you write a character 100% correctly if you don’t know what it feels like to be ridiculed for you race or religion or sexual preference? How can you describe what that feels like if you, yourself, never actually experienced it?

Honestly, I don’t think it matters how much research you do. Your character will never be 100% accurate. One description about a character may seem completely accurate to you whereas someone else with a different experience sees that same description as racist or poorly done.

I guess what I’m trying to say, let’s try to be happy that authors are now currently trying to include diversity in their books. And do try to understand that because something seems like poor representation to you don’t mean it does for everyone. But it if honest to god is a terrible representation, talk about. Explain why it is instead of bashing the person that wrote the store or the character. Maybe they honest to god didn’t know.

Thoughts? Options? I feel like this post is all over the place.