magical but not much more? | book review

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Rating: ★★★☆☆

One magical challenge, two contestants, and a special setting: the circus. Celia and Marco have been pulled into a challenge by their mentors, a challenge of magical skill and vision. However, this challenge quickly becomes more than just a show of talent between them; lives of others are intertwined, feelings evolve, and unforeseen consequences occur. Magical and mystical, this book tells the tale of those involved in the Night Circus.

Recommended if you like:

  • Whimsical, atmospheric settings
  • Un-chronological timelines, jumping back and forth in time and between characters
  • Slow-paced plot and character development

Continue reading “magical but not much more? | book review”

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october wrap-up

It’s that time of the month…

Man, October has been busy and fun and productive and ALL THE THINGS. I did a ton this month, including

  • read a whole bunch,
    • (and was emotionally torn apart by the Tawny Man trilogy)
  • prepped for NaNoWriMo,
  • continued going to the gym 2-3 times a week,
  • GOT A FULL TIME JOB,
  • saw Wicked the musical with family,
  • volunteered at the library twice a week,
  • hung out with family to celebrate my grandpa’s 80th birthday
  • AND MORE

But it’s all been good. Time has flown by in a great way. I’ve felt more content lately than I have in a while, which is really nice. I’m looking forward to these last two months of the year and all that they bring. BRING ON THE HOLIDAY SEASON!

Read on for my monthly wrap-up!

Continue reading “october wrap-up”

i am in love with fitz and the fool | series review

the tawny man trilogy by robin hobb

Series Rating: ★★★★★

Within the series: Fool’s Errand (#1), The Golden Fool (#2), Fool’s Fate (#3)

This trilogy reunites readers with FitzChivalry Farseer and his story, picking up where the Farseer Trilogy left off. This time around, his adventures are filled with some familiar faces and some new ones, much political intrigue, magic, majestic creatures and their mysterious history, and fulfilling visions of a certain White Prophet.

Recommended if you like:

  • Character dynamics that rip your heart out and stomp on it
  • Slow, politics-driven plots with adventure interspersed
  • Rich, descriptive writing
  • ROBIN HOBB AND HER BRILLIANCE

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Be warned!

Instead of my usual Spoiler-Free review, today I’m writing a Spoiler-FILLED review. You got it, folks! The review below is absolutely fiiiilled with spoilers. We’ve gotten to the point in this series where it’s very hard to describe anything (other than the synopsis I gave above) without giving away some spoilers for the previous books. I’ll try to keep the spoilers for the Tawny Man trilogy to a minimum, but I do have a lot to squeal over.

So, if you don’t mind being spoiled, read on! If you’d rather avoid spoilers…see ya later.

Continue reading “i am in love with fitz and the fool | series review”

pirates, serpents, and ships — oh, my! | series review

the liveship traders trilogy by robin hobb

Series Rating: ★★★★★

Within the series: Ship of Magic (#1), Mad Ship (#2), Ship of Destiny (#3)

‘ware pirates, sea serpents, and sentient ships in this trilogy! Told through multiple POVs and story lines, this tale is full of drama, adventure, romance, and politics–not to mention magic.

Recommended if you like:

  • pirates and sea voyages
  • multiple POVs and intersecting plotlines
  • a bit of everything–adventure, romance, politics, and more
  • complex characters and relationships

Continue reading “pirates, serpents, and ships — oh, my! | series review”

september wrap-up

It’s that time of the month…

September just flew by! I’ve been keeping busy with my multitude of personal projects–they seem to be getting out of hand lately! Writing, crochet, blogging, keeping up with my TPT store, reading, working out…it’s been A Lot.

But it’s been a good month, and I finally feel truly ready for fall. (If only it’d stop being so abnormally hot around here…) I’ve been productive and busy and overall pretty positive about life. Which is great!

Read on for my monthly wrap-up.

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i’m so giddy thinking about these books | anticipated releases for the last third of 2017

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

This post is basically just what the title says: 10 books that are coming out in these remaining few months of 2017 that I’m SUPER pumped about! I know people tend to do these types of posts quarterly…or perhaps just twice a year…but I’m going to be original and cut the year into thirds. Yes, I know I’m weird awesome.

ANYWAY, here we go, 10 upcoming releases and why I’m excited about them!

Continue reading “i’m so giddy thinking about these books | anticipated releases for the last third of 2017”

i’m very glad my childhood was not so creepy | book review

the ocean at the end of the lane by neil gaiman

A man returns to his hometown to attend a funeral, and while there, old memories resurface. He finds himself making his way back to a farm where he met a girl and her family, who protected him during a most mystical time in his life, that he didn’t even remember until now. This book is the story of that time, during which the man was just a boy trying to escape an evil being that had been accidentally let loose.

Recommended if you like:

  • whimsical and nostalgic short stories
  • a sort of witchy, mysterious, and unexplained magic
  • brave little boys who try their best to overcome evil

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My Spoiler-Free Review

This was my very first Neil Gaiman read, and I’m pleased that I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this 181-page story, but it certainly wasn’t what I got. This book is freaky, mystical, and somehow also nostalgic and sweet. Only a master writer could evoke all of those feelings at once.

The things the little boy goes through in this book make me very glad my childhood was normal and free of fantastical happenings. He has a hard time of it! (And he doesn’t even have a name…this poor child!) I mean, goodness, the story begins when his best-buddy kitten gets run over. That was enough to make me sympathetic, and that’s only the beginning.

Thank goodness our little boy makes a friend with one Lettie Hempstock, and together they learn all about bravery and defeating evil.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by 6vedik
art by 6vedik

Beware the freakiness in this book. If you’re looking for a great thrillery, strange, Halloweeny read, I would definitely recommend this. I was honestly scared at more than one point in the story. The magical realism is so mysterious that you’ll want to keep reading for more of it. The writing is so lush and vivid, it’ll make you think of your own childhood.

My only major disappointment with this read is that I didn’t have a huge emotional connection to the story–probably because it was so ~out there. I also wished there was a bit more of a definite conclusion at the end. I’m all about vague endings, but in this case I wanted a bit more.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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What books have you read that make you thankful for a normal childhood? Leave your thoughts below!

Until next time,
Brianne