The Everlasting Rose

Goodreads Summary:In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and new love Remy must race against time to find Princess Charlotte. Sophia’s Imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep the rebels from returning Charlotte to the castle and her rightful place as queen. With the help of an underground resistance movement called The Iron Ladies-a society that rejects beauty treatments entirely-and the backing of alternative newspaper The Spider’s Web, Camille uses her powers, her connections and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and restore peace to Orleans.

It had actually been a really long time since I read the first book (The Belles) so the beginning of The Everlasting Rose was a challenge. I completely forgot what happened at the end and I forgot names so trying to figure out who was who at the beginning was honestly a struggle. Thankfully it did a pretty good job reminding the reader what happened so I caught up quickly. 

Likes: The idea of people being born grey and the Belles being able to change everyone’s appearance however they want it is so unique! Honestly, how their society is changed because of this ability is so cool. I love reading books that are political and have societies different than my own. The simple ways that society was changed, that I never would have thought of but that make so much sense, is interesting. For example, they have laws limiting how small your waist can be because people would try to make their waist so small it would not be safe for them physically. The fact that they communicate with message balloons is pretty interesting too. The author is so good at describing scenery and the way in which their magic works. I can really picture everything they are doing when I read the story. I love how she describes the magic, and how they see it like sculpting and painting. It was truly beautiful to picture.

Dislikes: For the entire book one of the sisters is hating on the other sister. She wants to leave her behind in terrible situations and she believes that the sister is betraying them all. The book is from Camille’s POV which may be why there seems to be no reason for the sisters to not trust each other –  because Camille doesn’t think there is. However, this sister goes so overboard in her mistrust – no matter whether she should have mistrusted her or not – that it is a little scary and disarming. It is just hard to believe that two people who grew up together and were basically sisters could really dislike each other so much that would be willing to let the other fall in harms way and not do anything. 

Overall, I have this book four stars. The book was a little slow at some parts and didn’t give me the spark of joy that five star books give me. I honestly loved most things about it and truly did enjoy the story line and the world, I just didn’t get that feeling that I attribute to five star reads. I would 100% recommend this book though! 


Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman 

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Edition: Audiobook

Goodreads Summary: Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?

I listened to this book on audiobook and I think this might be the most satisfying audiobook that I have ever listened to. The voice of the reader was so calming yet they were somehow able to make me feel as if I was really there – to where I was sitting on the edge of my seat towards the end.

Likes: I don’t know how Neal came up with a world like this, it is such a unique but logical idea. I feel like so many people want immortality but don’t realize the negative effects that would take place and the fact that we would have to somehow control the population. Though the idea of Scythes is dark, I love it. The twists and turns in this book were so surprising and disarming, the direction that it went wasn’t a direction that I saw it going at all – though that’s not a bad thing. There was a lot of political intrigue in the book which adds another layer to the world and the book expands upon the effect the end of the first book has on the story. 

Dislikes: There were a few confusing and slower parts when a third character’s point of view comes into play. This character does some things that I didn’t necessarily understand, though I realize that it was most likely on purpose. That is honestly the only negative thing I can think of for this book. It would say that it was too long but the pacing and the different plots with multiple POVs kept it entertaining the entire time.

Overall, I gave this book five out of five stars because I would honestly read it over and over again. I thought Scythe was complex and well-thought out, but I was definitely not ready for Thunderhead. This book blew me away with the beautiful writing, intricate plots, and jaw-dropping plot twists. I would recommend this book to everyone, just make sure to brace yourself!

Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: Four stars 
Genre: Sci-fi, YA
Edition: Audiobook

Goodreads Summary: IN THE YEAR 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. 

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

I initially became interested in Ready Player One after seeing the movie. For me, the movie was so much fun. I love gaming and the OASIS truly seems like the perfect game. The world building and nerdy references sucked me in and I am not ashamed to admit that I have watched it several times since it came out. After my boyfriend told me that he enjoyed the audiobook, I knew that I had to listen to it. 

First off, Wil Wheaton did a great job reading this audiobook. Sometimes that can make or break a story and I was not disappointed – and I am relatively picky about these things. 

Likes: The OASIS is such a beautiful place, I would honestly pay so much money to be able to join in the game! The thought process that went into each of the trials was so intricate, I can honestly tell how much time the author took thinking of them. I also liked how the school system was transferred into the OASIS to show how much the OASIS truly affected their everyday life. The author showed unique ways that the game could be used that I would not have thought of but made sense – schooling, working out, etc. 

Dislikes: The relationship between the main character and love interest happened so quickly and honestly seemed a little forced. The back and forth nature of it seemed to just be added for drama and left a whole segment of the book that was a little boring. There were also some really important scenes in the book that happen but the author made the scenes so long and so boring – seemingly to offset how important it is supposed to be so that it would be a surprise. 

Differences between the book and the movie: I know that many people were annoyed that the movie was so different from the book, and I don’t know if it was because I read the book after or not, but I enjoyed both. They were extremely different but I understand there are only so many scenes that can be put into a movie. The book still had the nerdy references that I loved, however, they were older references so I did not get as many. The references in the book were more about old games that am not familiar with while the movie had newer references that made me geek out. 

Overall, I gave this book four stars because, while I would definitely read it again, the book did have some issues and slow points that would stop me from wanting to read it often. I loved the world and the humor but there was a whole section of the book towards the end (I don’t want to discuss because spoilers) that I don’t know if I would want to dredge through again.