Theme Thursday: Virtual Reality

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I saw this over on Sara’s blog and decided to join in on the fun. I’m currently taking a break from Two for Tuesday, but I do miss having that kind of content on my blog. I think I’ll try some more of these themed posts in the future.

Theme Thursday is a new monthly feature created by Sophie @ Blame Chocolate where bloggers can share recs and newly found books featuring that month’s theme.

  • There will be a different theme (genre, trope, etc) every month. You can check the theme calendar here.
  • Those participating have to list titles that feature that theme in some way (doesn’t have to be the main theme of the book).
  • You can choose one of the four (or five) Thursdays of every month to post.
  • You can use the three main categories: Books I’ve Read/I’m Reading, Books I Want to Read, and Other Books That Fit The Theme but this isn’t mandatory.
  • You can repeat books in different themes, if they apply, and choose as many as you want.
  • You don’t have to take part every month! Just when you feel like it.
  • You can use #BlameThemeThursday on Twitter and other social media to make TT posts easier to find.
  • Finally, use this boxed text (or similar) in your post, as it doubles as a pingback.

Today’s going to be a super short Theme Thursday. This prompt had me stumped until I saw Sara’s list. She mentioned both of these books.

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Dorothy Must Die (Book Review)

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What if everything you know about Oz is wrong? What if Dorothy came back after clicking those heels? It turns out that Dorothy may not be as “good” as the story goes.

Amy Gumm is not having the best day. She’s just been suspended for her supposed fight with resident bully and mom-to-be, Madison Pendleton. Amy tries explaining herself to her mother, but she’s already on her way to a “Tornado Party” held at the local bar. That leaves Amy and Star, her mother’s pet rat, to brace the tornado together, but that’s not where things end.

The tornado whisks Amy and Star to Oz, but it’s nothing like the story. Oz is losing its magic, fast. Through a series of events that draw Amy closer to figuring out what happened to the Oz she’d once read about, she gets her mission. Oz is in trouble and only she can save it. The only catch is, to save Oz, Dorothy Must Die.

The world building and descriptions were vivid. It was an interesting take on a cherished story. I’m a fan of fairy tale retellings, I love the creativity that comes out of it. I enjoyed some of the characters but there were quite a few that were forgettable.

Amy was a layered character. I liked the backstory presented at the beginning of the novel. There were moments throughout the story where this was brought up and definite character development took place. She is someone who reacts far more often than she acts, which is also mentioned during her training. I hated how much she hesitated instead of completing whatever action she was doing. The story would’ve been over a lot sooner if she didn’t hesitate so much.

My main complaint is that I feel like Danielle Paige missed out on a great opportunity to add some diversity to the classic tale. As a woman of color, I wouldn’t have expected such a lack of diversity in characters. Pale skin and blue/green eyes seemed a little too common for my taste.

3.5/5 Stars

Life As We Knew It (Book Review)

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Life As We Knew It is the story of Miranda and the world she’s known for so long coming to an end. Miranda is an average teenager living in Pennsylvania when reports of an asteroid heading toward the moon become the latest buzz. It becomes an event in which neighbors sit outside their homes to see the spectacle for themselves. The only problem, the scientists were off in their calculations.

What was expected was a small meteor, much like the ones that caused the moon’s earlier craters. What happened: a meteor large enough to send the moon just a little closer to the Earth.

At first Miranda is just disoriented by the moon’s strange appearance, it looks much bigger now. She soon learns that the moon’s appearance will be the least of her worries as reports of tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and shifting weather patterns cause what she sees as an apocalypse.

Will Miranda and her family survive through the end of the world?

I enjoyed the world-building of this story. It felt fairly accurate in the natural disasters that would occur in an event like this. I will say there were times I had trouble relating to the main character, but she did win me over toward the end.

All in all, I give this story a 4/5 stars and I would recommend it to anyone who’s into dystopian novels with a real feel to them.

Red Queen (Book Review)

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3.5 Stars

Red Queen details the story of a society separated by blood. Those with silver blood possess power, both literally and metaphorically. They are royalty, even called gods at many points. They have evolved to have powers like super speed, control of fire, immense strength, and many others. Those with red blood are the equivalent of peasants. They do the hard labor, they go to war, they are dispensable. When Mare counters the assumed roles of red blood by possessing a power she never knew she had, things become much more complicated. Add in the Scarlet Guard and their attacks on the societal structure, and you have a new issue altogether.

I honestly wanted to love this book. I’d heard so many amazing reviews and the plot sounded great. I thought it was really going to be new and exciting and something to love. In truth, I really did enjoy the first half of the novel, but something happened halfway through reading it. I just lost interest. It started getting too cliché with the romance and forbidden love. After a while the story was just too predictable. After over a month I had to force myself to finish it. I felt like there was an extreme lack of diversity among the characters. There was also a lot of unnecessary repetition and I feel it would have better benefitted the author to do more showing than telling.

A Thousand Pieces of You (Book Review)

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Disclaimer: These are all my personal opinions and therefore my own. They are not meant to hurt feelings, it’s just how I felt about the novel. It’s fine if you disagree, that’s why we have opinions.

First things first, let’s talk about the cover. It is by far one of the best book covers I’ve ever seen and one of the main reasons I decided to pick it up. Now I know why the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” is so popular, it goes both ways.

The contents of A Thousand Pieces of You were incredibly disappointing. I went into this novel expecting action and adventure, instead I got a romance I never asked for. The writing style wasn’t anything spectacular (I hated the constant commencement of sentences with “Probably he…”) and I couldn’t make much connection to the heroine. I felt like she was putting herself into a mindset of dependence on the people around her, rather than taking charge and thinking clearly enough to see what was actually going on. I felt like the plot and events were predictable to a point where the first hundred pages were unnecessary. But one of my biggest pet peeves about the novel is the fact that the blurb on the back was literally the first page, what was the point of that?

All in all, I did not enjoy A Thousand Pieces of You despite its gorgeous cover. If you’re someone who loves romance with added elements of world building, then this might be for you. It just wasn’t for me.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1010201796