effy's reviews
771 reviews

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

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Whilst I still don't really like 
Spoiler  Mal and Alina as endgame (I would have loved Nikolai and Alina as the eventual pairing),
the ending of this series did not bother me, I think maybe because it felt as though they had earned their peace. In a lot of ways, it was quite bittersweet because
Spoiler Alina had loved being Grisha but the epilogue did paint a beautiful picture of life where their friends still visited.

I am frustrated that this book featured
Spoiler the resurrection trope - even if the reasoning seemed pretty solid - and the fact that the price of war wasn't very severe
felt like a missed opportunity but I guess overall this series has not shied away from character death so minimal deaths in the final battle was okay, I guess.

My review seemed to have mostly been griping but those were my only real issues with a book that was actually a pretty compulsive listen and kept me guessing for most of the story.

I also loved how much Nikolai and Genya we got!  

Favourite quote:

SpoilerI am not ruined, I am ruination.

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Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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This was the weakest book in the trilogy and honestly was a bit of a slog to get through. Mal and Alina's relationship just wasn't believable as a romantic one to the point that I had to keep reminding myself that Alina's 
Spoiler dislike of Zoya was because she was being territorial.

I literally finished this book this morning and I am struggling to think what happened in this book. 
Spoiler I know there was questing for amplifiers, most of the second army dies, Mal is a dick and doesn't listen to Alina, the Darkling and Alina have some chats... tbh, that basically summarises this book in fewer words!

The only redeeming thing about this book was that we meet the amazing character that is Nikolai.

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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I went into this book with such low expectations as it feels like everyone says to skip this trilogy and go straight into Six of Crows.

I ended-up being really pleasantly surprised as we had an interesting cast of characters and a magic system that felt fresh. The only thing that I did not enjoy was the romance between 
Spoiler Mal and Alina
as it felt forced by also 
Spoiler whilst not biologically related, they had been raised as siblings and that just felt uncomfortable.

I did feel somewhat confused by how this series was going to be a trilogy as I was reading because there didn't seem to be enough story for 3 books.

Favourite quote:

SpoilerFine! Make me your villain!

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Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Review from first re-read: I picked up this book as I had just finished watching the TV show and wanted to go back and compare it to the book. I was actually surprised by how many random little things were changed by the TV show and pretty much all for the better. I was surprised that 
Spoiler Rod is gay in the book which we definitely don't see in the show although we do see Simone having a much more complex queer love story... why could they both be gay?

I think because I have just watched the TV show and basically seen a polished version of the story where characters have more agency and the fatphobia (the way Teddy is discussed in the book is so gross!) has been removed, it was hard to enjoy this book as much as the first time that I read it. It is definitely a compelling story with lots of twists and turns but the flaws were a bit more obvious now.

Favourite quotes:

SpoilerMen often think they deserve a sticker for treating women like people.

SpoilerWhen you're in a situation like that, when you have a man looming over you, it's as if every decision you made to lead to that moment - alone with a man you don't trust - flashes before your eyes. Something tells me men don't do the same thing. When they are standing there, threatening a woman, I doubt they count every wrong step they made to become the asshole they are. But they should.

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How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix

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I picked this book up with the intention of it being a hate read because my friend hated it and, unfortunately, it was even worse than I anticipated.

The issues that I have with this book can be largely split into three areas: the book was more focused on interpersonal dramas than the "haunted house"; there was a really nice, organic finish point for the book but then the story had another 3 hours after that; and
Spoiler the house wasn't haunted, it was a possessed puppet.

Spoiler possessed puppet
was a real issue for me because it just came across as utterly ridiculous and there was absolutely no sense of tension or terror created. The fact that Hendrix couldn't resist 
Spoiler giving the puppet a whole backstory about an uncle who died as a child
just furthered the ridiculousness and not in a fun way.

Honestly, I could rip into this book more but I just don't feel that it deserves any more of my time.

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The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin

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I was hyped to pick up this book as I really enjoyed Foul is Fair when it first came out. What I didn't realise when I picked this up was that it is a retelling of the life of Henry VIII and his wives. This book is essentially what Six would be if it were a book. Henry does feature in the story but it is much more focused on the "queens" and in particular getting to the bottom of an explosion that Annie Boleyn supposedly caused.

I feel like a lot of my brain power reading this book was spent trying to match the characters to the historical people even though their names weren't exactly changed by much 🤦‍♂️ I think this book did a good job of reimagining these historical figures in a contemporary setting. Overall the story didn't hold too many surprises as the two dead queens are the ones that Henry famously beheaded however I did like the fact that 
Spoiler Henry didn't died at the end of the book but had his reputation left in tatters so it was a social death.

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Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

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I picked up this book having heard that it was a little more complicated than a second chance romance and that it was hard hitting. Ultimately I feel as though the romance portion of the book was the weakest aspect and just let the whole book down.

The fact that our main characters were absolutely besotted with one another after only 14 days (with a 15-year gap in the middle) was a really hard sell for me. I also hated the way that 
Spoiler Ty was killed because Shane was happy and distracted; the point was that he was too involved in his mentees' lives and there was a co-dependency but it just felt too surface level the way that it was handled.

I also felt unsatisfied by Eva's whole situation. 
Spoiler I find it hard to believe that she could just choose to not write the next book in a series that she is probably under contract for. I also wanted to see more of her family history story. And then I also felt unsatisfied by her situation with her mother, I think I needed some catharsis of her letting her mother truly have a piece of her mind or maybe establishing healthy boundaries?
I dunno, it just didn't sit well with me.

Ultimately, it was the ending that destroyed my opinion of this book as it did exactly what I hated in Twisted Love and kinda fast-forwarded through a lot of the romance and truly building and developing a relationship. We did get to see a bit more development in this book than Twisted Love but it just kinda felt like a love story in bullet points.

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The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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I enjoyed this entry into the world of The Inheritance Games. I though it was a fun touch to have two games running alongside one another that seemed unrelated 
Spoiler but then suddenly they connected.
I also thought it was a beautiful touch that Avery seemed as though she had a found family and even had a game of her own to confirm how much of a Hawthorne that she is.

I thought this book did a great job of tying the series together and closing this chapter but I am very excited to see what is next in book 4 later this year. I hope that we get to see more of Xander and 
Spoiler his father. I also hope we get to see some of the yearly games that Avery promised at the end of The Final Gambit.
The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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After the mystery seemed to have been wrapped up in book 1, I was very intrigued to see where the story went next. I thought this story did a good job of organically extending the mystery. I particularly appreciated that it was revealed quite near the start that 
Spoiler Avery beliveved Toby was her father (the fact that he was not biologically her father but saw her as being like a daughter was a really beautiful touch).

I think I enjoyed this book a lot more than the first one because I have a clearer understanding of the dynamic with the games and the puzzles. I also felt as though the love triangle was basically gone; 
SpoilerAvery and Grayson clearly still had feelings for one another but the choice had been made and Avery was with Jameson and that was that.

Overall this book was a fun ride. 

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The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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I picked this book up as I was in a bit of a reading funk and didn't really know what I wanted to read. I have been mildly interested in this series for some time and had some expectations about this book namely that it was going to be somewhat of a competition. I am not really sure where I got the impression that our main character, Avery, would have to compete for the pot of money but I was quite far off with that. Avery stands to inherit the whole fortune and the only condition is that she lives at Hawthorne House for one year; the game in the book is simply for everyone involved to try to get answers about why Avery has been bequeathed the majority of the money.

Because I had certain incorrect assumptions going into this book, I found it to be a lot less pacey than I was hoping for. There were definitely multiple threads happening at once where we are wondering 
Spoiler who is trying to murder Avery, as well as the death of Emily
and, obviously, what Avery's connection to the Hawthornes is. I wasn't a massive fan of the romance in this book, especially as it seemed as though it was setting up a love triangle but it was definitely more of a subplot with the various mysteries being the main focus. 

Whilst I understand the reason why we don't get the answer as to why Avery was left almost everything until almost the end of the book, it was frustrating to have to wait. I think part of the frustration is due to the fact that there wasn't really any way that it could be guessed or theorized. Well, I'm sure some smart people put it together but I didn't 🤣   

I am glad that the story was relatively wrapped-up in one book rather than trying to stretch things out for the trilogy.

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