Caraval by Stephanie Garber

official blurb

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever. Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . beware of getting swept too far away.

my blurb!

When the world’s most annoying sisters go to a Magical Carnival only to become even more annoying as they attempt to navigate their way to the carnival finale.

1 out of 5

Okay, I have seen this book on SO many bookstagrams saying it was amazing.  I even succumbed to the peer pressure and read this even though it is the first book of a series and a recent release.  THIS. BOOK. WAS. AWFUL.

First of all, the way everything is spelled out for the reader. Whew.  We get it- your dad is a bad guy. The first chapter REALLY goes on an on here.

Also, how many storylines are we going to have? Abusive father, grandmother’s tales of the awe-inspiring circus, arranged marriage to a mysterious stranger, flirtatious sailor, secret threats from daddy about the sister.

Next gripe- the protagonist is awful! She reminds me of the main girl in Hush Hush, except the HH one was somehow likable! (Check out our must read guilty pleasures for the review of Hush Hush!). Is her cheesy nickname throughout the book really necessary? Her thought process is juvenile. “Does he want the wish? Surely not. No way. Okay, I won’t ask him bc he definitely doesn’t want it.”  To be fair- that’s not a direct quote from the book, but I feel like I definitely captured the thought process.

Oh did you want a quote from the book after that teaser? Okay, I won’t leave you hanging.  “It was the kind of night where she could smell the moon….” What?! What does that even mean?

Spoiler question I want answered:
She was so worried about her sister and then hasn’t seen her in days and just assumes she’s fine and at the Caraval?

Wow. That. Book. Was. Awful.

Why is there so much hype over this book? Don’t waste your time like I did! Save yourself!

 

IF you insist on reading this …while reading you should

Listen to: Inception Soundtrack
Wear: something warm

DuxSignature smallercopy

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Official Blurb: Here

My Blurb: Romeo and Juliet type story in a fantasy setting with magical gifts and lots of people who hate each other.

1.5 out of 5

I have to be honest: I barely finished this book.

Veronica Roth built a really interesting world. I loved the cultures she created, I loved the history. The current–a magic of sorts that gives people special abilities–was interesting. I liked her characters. I liked Akos, who was a soldier but also a scientist with a soft heart. I liked Cyra, who somehow ended up with a fairly decent moral compass, but was more of an ends girl than a means girl, which I also liked. I wanted Cyra and Akos to succeed. You knew there was never going to be a happy ending (at least in the first book of the series), but you liked to see the small things that made people happy.

But despite all that, for some reason, I just could not fully connect with the book. Maybe it was too long. Maybe in theory it was a dark tale, but not descriptive enough to make me actually feel what the characters were feeling. It kind of seemed like the story was told in passing, with enough detail so you get the idea, but nothing more. I’m feeling unemotional about it even now. Like, literally no feelings about it. I’m struggling to write this, that’s how non-feeling I am.

If you’re a fan of Veronica Roth, check out Carve the Mark. Don’t let my lack of excitement stop you. I know people who enjoyed this book. I’m just not one of them.

-Hawk-

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

1.5 out of 5

Blurb via GOODREADS:
Can’t buy me love…
Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—
She wins!
In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.
Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?
 

My blurb:  Girl seems fairly normal. Girl wins the lottery. Girl loses all semblance of rational thinking and makes awful decisions for way too long in the book. Cute boy. Drama.

First of all, let me state that I am a huge Kasie West fan.  If you’re looking for a fun beach read, she is your girl.  And fun fact, she also regularly interacts with her fans and answers their questions on the goodreads website. So overall, she is an A+ in my book.

THIS book however, fell short. The “heroine” in our tale is so annoying!  I feel like she could have watched any movie ever made and known to not just give people money whenever they ask for it.  The premise for this book itself is hard to get behind, because how many of us can identify with being suddenly rich? Like 33 million dollars rich?  Ya, no one.  I could not get through this book fast enough, but I was happy at the chance to practice my speed reading.

The ONLY saving grace in the book is Seth.  He is super sweet and thoughtful and confident.  You know, we probably need to air high five for a great depiction of a normal American Asian. (insert air high five here).  Also, one of her best friends was a pretty good character too- Blaire. But she was also partway annoying so she doesn’t get to share the title with Seth as the saving grace.

Overall my vote is to skip this book but pick up any of Kasie West’s other books.  And don’t forget her dystopian series Pivot Point- because it’s pretty solid.

.Dux.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1) by Rae Carson

1 out of 5

I would be surprised if anyone liked the heroine in this novel. And honestly, if you can’t get behind the main character, then you’re in trouble.  She is very weak- not the bold heroine I read about in previous reviews. She goes on and on about her size and jealousy of her sister, which gets annoying VERY quickly.
I read the majority of this book but stopped with about 4 chapters left- so that’s how little interest I had invested in the characters and the plot.

.Dux.