Sunday, August 25, 2019

"Sorcery of Thorns" by Margaret Rogerson Review

8:53:00 AM

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Book: Sorcery of Thorns

Author: Margaret Rogerson

My Rating: ★★★ 3/4 (3.75 Stars)

Synopsis: All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.


      Before receiving my OwlCrate box with Sorcery of Thorns, I’d heard very little buzz on the book. It was something that popped up a little bit on Goodreads and Twitter, but nothing overly hyped that put it on my radar. That being said, when I received it in my OwlCrate box, I was pretty excited because not only was the cover super pretty with my favorite shade of purple, but the premise of books coming alive that surrounded the book captivated me. That being said…


      I have mixed feelings on this book. Even after having a day to mull over my thoughts, I’m not quite sure where I’m at. I don’t hate the book by any means, but I don’t think it was fantastic. I saw another review describe the book as “fantasy-lite” with a sprinkle of romance, and that is exactly what this book was. The fantasy in this book was very light, and that’s an aspect of the book that really let me down. I was expecting more explanation on how the magic system worked, some world-building, why the wardens hate books, why the wardens and sorcerers have beef, more on the whole books coming alive thing, but that didn’t really happen. I was super let down about the whole no explanation on the books thing because the concept of books coming alive is something so foreign that it needs a lot of explanation, especially since I couldn’t really get an imagine of what these transformed books might look like in my head. Basically what I’m saying it I wanted more fantasy from this fantasy marketed book.


      As far as the plot went, it wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Special girl meets boy, boy is special so she hates him of course, something happens that only special girl can solve, special boy eventually comes around to help special girl, they fall in love, the end. I’m pigeon-holing the story of course, but that’s essentially it wrapped up in a nutshell. I think the plot (and the fantasy to be honest) could have been flushed out better if the story was not a standalone. Going into this book, I thought this was the start of a trilogy, or at the very least the duology. I soon realized about halfway through that this was probably just a standalone and that bummed me out. I think a lot of the issues I had with the book could have been resolved if the overall story was a part of more than one book. For instance, the pacing of this book was super odd and something that I just couldn’t shake off. A lot happened in the beginning, then it slowed down, then a shit ton was thrown at us, then it slowed down and I was like where is this, going and finally it ramped up again until wham bam we were at the end and I was like that’s it? All in all, I didn’t hate the plot, but damn could it have been more.


      The final, and arguably one of the most important aspects of the book, was the characters. I’m going to be honest from the get go: there was nothing special about any of the characters. There I said it. Elisabeth was the typical “quirky” girl who was seen by others as this adorable weirdo, especially when she was first put into the limelight. It’s clear from the beginning that there is something different about her as far as magic effects her, and when the explanation of that was given, I was disappointed. It wasn’t a terrible explanation, but it just kind of felt like a cop-out and not as magical as it could have been.


      As far as her love interest, Nathaniel, is considered, I’ll be honest and say he kind of stole a piece of my heart. Nathaniel is this a sarcastic, queer, loveable, asshat and the lines he delivered were pure gold. Every time he went to speak, I thought, “what amazing weirdness is this boy going to speak now”. He kind of reminded me as a mix of Damon from “The Vampire Diaries” and Stiles from “Teen Wolf” and that did it for me. I loved the fact that him being bi was not a big deal and not an element that pushed the plot. If I could get a book just about him from his perspective, I would get it in a heartbeat.


      The final character who really matters is Silas. He was a character I didn’t expect to like as much as I did. He’s a stoic yet funny character in the way that he deals with Nathaniel’s shit. I wish we got to know more about him, but I guess that air of mystery is part of what makes him the character he is.


      Overall this was a quick, entertaining read. It drew me in from the beginning, and while the pacing and plot wasn’t the greatest, it was enough to keep me interested and entertained. Nathaniel and Silas really made the book for me, and if they weren’t as great as they were, I would not enjoyed this as much as I did. And as I mentioned before, I still have mixed feelings. This book was by no means the best book I’ve read in a while, but it also wasn’t awful. I think the majority of people will really enjoy this book, and I suppose that is all that matters.

      This was a super long review, and if you read it all the way through, then damn, thank you. If you read this book, what are your thoughts? Are you one of the people who thought it was amazing? Or are you like me and thought it was just pretty good? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Bout of Books 26: Day 2 & 3 Update

10:54:00 PM

BOUT OF BOOKS 26: DAY 2 UPDATE

      So yesterday was an okay reading day for me. I had to work, so I didn't get as much reading done as I did for Day 1. I got to about the halfway done mark in Sorcery of Thorns after skyping my parents and hanging out with my roommate. Not as much has happened as I feel like should have happened. As I mentioned before, the pacing is super weird as is the characterization. Sometimes the things and thoughts that happen seem out of place or unnecessary. 


      I only got about 15 minutes worth of reading done on the bus today because I had to run a lot of errands and pack for my cruise. As expected, not much happened in those 15 minutes, I think I read maybe 3 chapters. I'm starting to feel like maybe the hype for this book was blown a little out of proportions, or maybe I'm too critical of the book. For the most part, I like the setting, and I really like Nathaniel and Silas, but the world building and overall plot could be better and Elisabeth isn't a main character that I find myself drawn to. She's very vanilla to me. Maybe some shit will pop off in the 2nd part of the book that will win me over.


      So those are my updates for yesterday and today. For those of you who were unaware, today mark's The Nerdgirl Review's 5th anniversary!!! So head on over to my anniversary post for a chance to win 3 books of your choice from Book Depository. Just click here! Tomorrow I head to my mom's place for 2 days before the cruise, but she doesn't have Internet, so I'm going to do my best to post, but if not, I should be back this weekend. 

5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY + GIVEAWAY

8:30:00 AM

5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY + GIVEAWAY

      Well by some sort of magic, The Nerdgirl Review is 5 years old!!!


      A lot has happened throughout these 5 years, not just in the blog, but in my life. I started this blog when I was a junior in high school, and now I'm a college graduate getting ready to apply to Ph.D programs. I've experienced a lot of things throughout these 5 years that have made me a different person. I've experienced crippling anxiety and depression but I've also experienced amazing joy.


      As far as this blog is concerned, I've written over 430 posts. Not exactly sure how to be honest, but I have. In the beginning I blogged a lot more than I do now, and honestly, I needed that back then. Reading and writing was my way with coping with my situation and finding an escape. Now I live a life in which I don't necessarily need books and this blog the way I did then. That's not to say I'm going to stop blogging. Despite the infrequenty of my posts, I do enjoy writing on here. I'd love to read more books and focus more on this blog, but I've got other things that I have to prioritze and think about. Maybe someday I'll be able to apply the energy this blog really needs.


      I can't even begin to fathom the amount of books I've read in the past five years. I've read over 500 books and that's wild because the majority of people will never read even a fifth of that. Being a part of the book community has introduced me to so many books that I never would have come across on my own, and many of these books have become some of my favorite books. These books will have a lasting impact on me, and I'm forever greatful for being introduced to them.


      Running this blog has introduced me to some pretty fantastic people. Being a part of the book community has been a bit of a struggle. I was a part of booktube for a while (something I may be returning to soon) and that led to me really being introduced to the bookish community. I haven't felt particularly close to the book blogging community, but that's partially my fault and something I'm working on.


      All in all, I can't believe everything that has happened in the past 5 years. I hope to continue to grow and improve, and hopefully I'll be around for the next 5 years. I'd like to show my thanks to all the support I've had and as a token of my appreciation, I'm throwing a giveaway!


Giveaway Info

To show my appreciation and to celebrate 5 years, I'm throwing a giveaway. After running a poll, y'all have decided that you want me to get y'all books. 

How: Rafflecopter Giveaway
When: August 21st - August 30th, 2019
What: 3 books of your choice from Book Depository valued $50 or less
Who: This is an international giveaway open to everyone! If Book Depository ships to you, then you're good to go!

Rules
*You must be subscribed to me. Can subscribe via Blogger, email, or bloglovin. 
*Must comment on this post or any other post

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Bout of Books 26: Day 1 Update and Day 2 Challenge

6:06:00 PM

BOUT OF BOOKS 26: DAY 1 UPDATE & DAY 2 CHALLENGE

Day 1 Reading Update

      Hey you guys! Bout of Books is under way and I'm off to a pretty good start! Yesterday was the first day and I started reading "Sorcery of Thorns" by Margaret Rogerson. I'm about a third done with the book and I have mixed feels about it. I loved the first quarter of the book, but since then, things have gotten kind of weird... Like the pacing and characterization has gotten strange. Furthermore, things that I thought were going to be explained, especially as far as the world building and magic goes, haven't been explained yet, so that's pretty dissapointing. But maybe that will get explained later...


      That being said, I am enjoying the book overall. It's been super easy to power through and I really like the characters. My favorite character without a doubt is Nathaniel Thorn. He's such an annoying smart ass and I love it. He's delievered some of my favorite lines. 


      My second favorite character is his servant Silas. The main character Elisabeth is honestly too much of a trope in my opinion. She's the quirky, smart, strong, speaks her mind, naive girl and I'm real tired of reading that character. I don't hate her, but she does not make the story for me.

Day 2 Challenge
Challenge: Adaptation Aspirations
What book would you like to see adapted for another medium? What would be your preferred format? Movie? TV Show? Broadway musical? Something else? If you want to elaborate even further, who would you cast to play the characters? Who would you want to write the script/screenplay? Write the music? Direct? Are there adaptations that exist that you think could be better? Tell us all about your aspirations for the perfect adaptation!
      This was such a hard question for me because there are so many books that I would absolutely love to be turned into some sort of adaptation. Ultimately, I decided to choose "The Power" by Naomi Alderman. I think this would amazing on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or HBO as a limited series. There is a lot of material to touch on, which is why I think it would do well as a tv series and not a movie, but I don't think it needs to be stretched out like a normal tv series. I don't have anyone chosen as far as actors/actresses or directors, etc. If you know me, I'm all about movie/tv soundtracks, so if any of my fav composers did it, I would be head over heels. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Bout of Books 26 TBR

6:58:00 PM

BOUT OF BOOKS 26 TBR

      So it's been a long ass time since I've been able to participate in a readathon due to school and work. However, forever the first time in forever, I'm going on vacation! I'm going on a cruise to the Bahamas with my mom this upcoming week, and this upcoming week just happens to be the Bout of Books readathon, which you can find out more about that here. Well, in the swing of trying to read more and be involved in the bookish community, I'm going to attempt to participate. Now I'm not expecting to be the greatest participant ever, but I'm going to try my best. So, I thought I would show y'all my highlight ambitious TBR.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

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I received this book in one of my Owl Crate subscription books. I've attempted to read it a couple of times, but I just haven't been in the mood or had time to really read like I wanted to. So, after having this book for a little time, I'm going to finally tackle this bad boy. I really enjoy the premise of it since it centers around books and magic, so I'm pumped to read it.

In the Darkness by Mike Omer

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This is the 2nd book in the Zoe Bentley Mystery series. Last year I read the first book, A Killer's Mind, and really enjoyed the book. It was actually one of my top 5 books of last year. Anyway. the 2nd book came out this year, so of course I jumped on that. Unfortunately, I can just haven't been in the mood or had the time to read this book, so I'm hoping I can dive into this book on the vacation because I love mystery books and I can devour them pretty quickly.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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So if you haven't heard of this book, you're probably living under a rock. Everybody and they mama has been talking about this book. At first I was hesitant about reading this book because I tend to not by into the hype, but I love me a good LGBT+ book, so I decided, why not. If I hate it and it doesn't live up to the hope, so be it.

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      Those are the main books I have on my TBR for Bout of Books 26. I have some other books I might read if I get through these books. but I don't anticipate that happening because I will be doing other things on this vacation outside of just reading. 

      Anyways, will you goes be participating in the Bout of Books 26 readathon? If so, I'd love to hear about what books you guys are reading, so drop your TBR down below if you have. Also, if you have read the books on my list, what are your thoughts on them? I'd love to hear your comments down below, especially if you've read the Red, White & Royal Blue book cause everyone has read that and has good things to say.

My Rating System

★★★★★ This book is a gift from the literary gods
★★★★ This book was pretty damn good
★★★ This book had potential but missed the bar
★★ I probably didn't finish this book or it was god awful
★ Why does this book exist?

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