I’m back with some mini reviews. I always have some opinions on the books I read. Sometimes, it may not feel like enough to make a full review though. Or I may feel like so many reviews have already been made, like with Carry On. So here are 3 mini reviews for you!
Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara Raasch
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating: 3.5/5 stars – ★★★.5
Synopsis: Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since. Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
There are three reasons I decided to pick this up: (1) it’s a fantasy novel, (2) it has different kingdoms per season and (3) I had seen so many people rave about it. I have to admit that I felt quite disappointed by this book.
Here’s what I liked: I liked Meira as a main character. I thought she was a fun main character, and I never had any issues when reading from her perspective. I also enjoyed the different seasons for different kingdoms, and the way it influenced the culture of its people.
The downside to this book is that it just felt like any other YA fantasy to me. It didn’t stand out from the other ones I’ve read. It felt like a typical story line, you know? Conquered kingdom, revolution, royalty in hiding, rebels chased down, civilians as slaves in mines. If I just gave you that description as a synopsis, you couldn’t tell me which book this is. I wasn’t truly impressed, and the plot twist didn’t take me by surprise either.
It wasn’t a bad book, not at all. I still enjoyed reading it. But it didn’t feel special or amazing either. I don’t really have a desire to read the next books.
The Breakup Doctor (The Breakup Doctor #1) by Phoebe Fox
Rating: 3/5 stars – ★★★
Synopsis: Call Brook Ogden a matchmaker-in-reverse. Let others bring people together; Brook, licensed mental health counselor, picks up the pieces after things come apart. When her own therapy practice collapses, she maintains perfect control: landing on her feet with a weekly advice-to-the-lovelorn column and a successful consulting service as the Breakup Doctor: on call to help you shape up after you breakup. But when her own relationship suddenly crumbles, Brook finds herself engaging in almost every bad-breakup behavior she preaches against. And worse, she starts a rebound relationship with the most inappropriate of men: a dangerously sexy bartender with anger-management issues—who also happens to be a former patient. As her increasingly out-of-control behavior lands her at rock-bottom, Brook realizes you can’t always handle a messy breakup neatly—and that sometimes you can’t pull yourself together until you let yourself fall apart.
I really liked the idea of this book. A therapist trying to specifically help people through a breakup -or even help with relationship advice. That sounds great! A person who actually knows what they are talking about, and doesn’t just give advice out of experience.
I enjoyed the first half of this book. She was giving advice, and really helping people. She had a great best friend, and was a fun main character to read about. She started her own business, and a column for more general relationship advice.
The second half of this book was a complete disaster. I don’t even know where to begin. Brook turned into a complete crazy-ex-girlfriend. Honestly, I understand you’re hurting. You now what doesn’t help? Breaking into his place to check out his stuff! What?? That’s a felony. And extremely creepy. And she was so judgy! She was so rude to her best friend, when that friend finally got into a good and healthy relationship. She was so rude to her mother as well. I can’t deal with people like that.
I still gave this 3 stars because I truly did enjoy the first part. I’ll just pretend the second part didn’t exist.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating: 4/5 stars – ★★★★
Synopsis: Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.
Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.
I read Fangirl before reading Carry On, so I knew what it would be like before I started Carry On. I knew it would be a Harry Potter-esque story, so when I started reading, the similarities never bothered me. I had lowered expectations when starting this though, due to all the mixed reviews I’d seen.
I really enjoyed the magic system here. It was completely different than anything I’d read before. Magic is used by uttering popular contemporary phrases. You can invent a spell by using a sentence often used, etc.
I also liked the characters. All except for Agatha. She was a spineless, self-absorbed woman. I especially liked Penelope! She was so sassy, smart and a wonderful friend. And Baz. I loved Baz.
Lastly, I love the fact that this was a standalone. I very much appreciate standalones.
It wasn’t the best book ever, but it was definitely an enjoyable read.