Mini Reviews // How Much Do I Remember About Flame in the Mist and Marked?

Lately I’ve been able to review books quite quickly after I finish them, but there are some books that I just… forgot about. Thus why I decided to put them together in a post with mini reviews, because I don’t remember enough for full reviews. This shall be fun*

* Haha not help me please

Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: Fantasy | Retelling | YA
Series: Flame in the Mist #1
Goodreads rating: 3.97
My rating:  ★★★

 

 

 

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t really enjoy it either. The writing didn’t really pull me in and made me feel quite detached from the characters. I didn’t care about any of them which made the action scenes feel lacking. I was also really bored and had to force myself to finish it, because despite being bored I did want to know how it would end.

The worldbuilding didn’t feel that developed to me. I didn’t really have a sense of the world that it was set in and I’m really confused about the magic system. I wished that had been explored and explained more.

And don’t get me started on the romance. I found it incredibly forced and it came out of nowhere. I also loathed the love interest so that didn’t help.

I absolutely love the concept – we need more Mulan retellings guys – but the execution not so much.

Author: Kim Richardson
Genre: Fantasy | YA
Series: Soul Guardians #1
Goodreads rating: 3.7
My rating: ★

 

 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Kara Nightingale is unpopular, awkward and positively ordinary—that is until one day she is struck by a bus and dies…Within moments her life changes from ordinary to extraordinary as she wakes up in a mysterious world with a new career—as a rookie for the Guardian Angel Legion. Kara is pulled into the supernatural where monkeys drive the elevators, oracles scurry above giant crystal balls and where demons feed on the souls of mortals.

When an Elemental child is kidnapped, Kara is sent on a danger-filled quest and plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything she could ever imagine.Marked was not what I expected at all. There was a lot more focus on unnecessary relationship drama than on what it means to be a Guardian Angel, their world, the Elemental child and Kara coming to terms with being dead.

I have no idea why Kara was chosen to become a Guardian Angel, as we don’t know anything about her and the moment we’re introduced to her is the moment right before she dies. Then she even gets a ‘life-quest’, which is a special assignment and if you succeed you get your life back. But Kara is still a rookie, and not a succesful one. So why does she get it? Aren’t there Guardian Angels who would deserve it more? I found this really ridiculous, especially when it’s explained that ‘each guardian was chosen for their specific skills’ okay but what skills does Kara have.

SPOILER: It’s a really dangerous mission and out of all the Guardians chosen to try and succeed, all of them very skilled and with a lot of experience, she’s the only survivor lmao like sure that’s realistic

The characters were incredibly flat and the love interest downright annoying. I barely ever use the word ‘douchebag’ but this is the right word to describe him. His ego is not charming and funny, just rude. The romance came out of nowhere and we’re supposed to believe ‘they’re in love’

The Elemental child the summary mentions just felt like an afterthought and the entire book just read like a first draft. I have another book by this author on my Kindle app and I’m willing to give her another chance, but considering how much I hated the main characters of Guardian Angels I’m done with that series.

So I guess the common factor between these books is forced romance? I hadn’t even realised when I decided to review these together haha. I’m quite pleased with myself at how much I remembered* – I thought this would’ve been a disaster and I might end up deleting this post

* That’s half a lie – I didn’t remember anything about Marked but thankfully I had made notes in the ebookHave you read these? What did you think? How do you feel about forced romance? Do you know any good Mulan retellings? Let me know in the comments!

The Monthly and Weekly Hufflepuff #60 | I Live

I didn’t mean to skip last week’s wrap up, but I was busy with deadlines and felt really weird and weak? Might have caught a bug or something, I dunno. But I live yay!

ALSO THE BOLD TYPE HAS BEEN RENEWED FOR NOT ONLY SEASON 2, BUT SEASON 3 AS WELL

I’m DEFINITELY living

Right now I’m still working my way through Danger! Women Artists at Work (I love non-fiction yet it takes me forever to actually finish them whyyy) and I started Chasing Eveline which I can’t say antyhing about yet as I pretty much just started. Meanwhile I also finished Ewan Pendle, and I ended up loving it! Hopefully I’ll have a review up this week. But let’s skip the other books I read since my last wrap up and just talk about my September books because I’m lazy  and most of them will be discussed anyway in the list below¯\_(ツ)_/¯

💛 Marked by Kim Richardson ★ – Just realised I haven’t reviewed this one yet – woops. This one really disappointed me. I found it boring, flat, the characters annoying and the romance way too insta-y.

💛 America #6 and #7 – issue 6 was a bit of a let-down for me, as I felt like the arc was ended abruptly and solved too easily, but 7 was really interesting and fun to read as it dives into America’s past and shows us her moms’ past too

💛 Giant Days #30 and Holiday Special – Still a really fun read

💛 Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh ★★★ – Another one I just realised I still haven’t reviewed. Woops. I’ve talked about it before in a weekly wrap up, but this one was also a bit of a let-down. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t really enjoy it either. I’m still questioning my three stars actually. It had a lot of potential and I definitely love the concept, but I’m definitely not a fan of the romance and I also felt really detached from the story and its characters

💛 Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor ★★ – Such a disappointment. It started out SO GOOD. I could definitely see myself loving it. But then the romance completely took over and I wanted to rip my eyes out*

💛 The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl volumes 4, 5 and 6 ★★★★★ – Squirrel Girl just gets better and better with each volume. If you haven’t checked it out yet, YOU MUST

💛 The Backstagers all issues ★★★★★ – I LOVE THIS COMIC SO MUCH I NEED MORE. Queer theater boys?? Yes please. Backstage being an ACTUAL magic place that reminded me a bit of Wonderland? Yes please. Basically this entire comic is a YES PLEASE from me and I highly recommend it

💛 Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith by Shaun Hume ★★★★ – SUCH a fun read and I’m so disappointed that there might not be a sequel. Basically all of you must read it ASAP (and I shall try to convince you to read it sometime this week)

💛 Lumberjanes #42 – Have I already yelled my love for Lumberjanes into your face? No? Here ya go: I LOVE LUMBERJANES**

💛 Doctor Who Myths and Legends by Rirchard Dinnick ★ – Unfortunately not for me. I love Doctor Who but I couldn’t connect to the writing style which really got in the way of enjoying this

💛 Ms. Marvel #22 – uhhh last book of September and I don’t really remember it? I liked it, that I know for sure. It was a good ending to this arc

* Sorry for that image
** If you want more than just ‘I LOVE LUMBERJANES’ to convince you to read this amazing comic might I redirect you to my ‘why you should read lumberjanes’ post 

What have I done with my life

That’s not a joke I don’t remember. I’ve been super busy with school and trying to meet every deadline. I’ve also worked here and there and just… Watched some tv shows? Read some books? OH HEY GUESS WHAT I FINALLY CAUGHT UP ON TEEN WOLF. Right in time for the finale (okay actually after the finale but that meant I could binge watch)

Is there a ‘I’m disappointed club’ because

It doesn’t surprise me at all because 6A had a great ending, but this one?

I barely enjoyed the season as well. Sure there were moments I liked and loved, but mostly? Nope 6B didn’t happen. JUST LIKE KIRA APPARENTLY DIDN’T HAPPEN

Thankfully Brooklyn Nine Nine is back so I’m all good

asbfhsdg I love Holt so much I’d die for him

Okay but seriously, I don’t think I really did anything?* I just focused on school and work, but this week I’m going to treat myself and go to two art exhibitions in Rotterdam.

* My memory is so bad I can’t think of anything lmao

This week I only posted my review for Doctor Who Myths and Legends. But at least I posted something yay!

Now for the entire month of September:

💛 Reviews: Snow White and the Seven AngelsDaughter of Smoke and Bone
💛 Writing: When You No Longer Like Your Plot, But Your Characters Own Your Heart
💛 The Artsy Hufflehoe: I talked about Jordan Wolfson’s Female Figure and the violence of objectification
💛 The Discussing Hufflepuff: Do You Need to Read All the Blogposts? | Why I Can’t Relate to Library-related Posts 
💛 Tags: The Little Engine Tag | The Book Fangirling AwardThe Infinity Dreams Award
💛 Other: Why You Should Support The Bold TypeBooks Set in The Netherlands: So Many Opportunities!! | Things I Would Change in Books

I don’t remember if I mentioned this already*, but I decided to save all the blog posts I want to read from my WordPress reader to my favourites map (and pray that Bloglovin doesn’t delete any unread posts) so that I can read them whenever I have the time. Hopefully this will help me to keep up easier, but I’m still super behind. So sorry if I haven’t visited your blog in a while! 💛

💛 Annemieke wrote a letter to authors who request reviews
💛 Holly talks about her favourite libraries in Oxford
💛 Elm has 3000 followers!! I’m so proud (also go increase that number if you’re not following her yet)
💛 Savannah talks about what makes a book problematic

I actually wanted to share more posts, but I unfortunately don’t have any time to read more posts today 😪

* Did I already mention that I have a terrible memory

So on one hand I feel like I don’t have that much left to do when it comes to school and that I’ll have more free time now (mostly because I finished my articles) but on the other hand I feel like I have A LOT to do and I’m stressing*

Basically I don’t know how active I’ll be this month, BUT. I need to keep up with my reviews because obligations. So you’ll definitely see some reviews this month. I do hope that I won’t just post reviews, because I like variety but we’ll see. All I know is that this school year is FLYING BY and while that’s great it’s also not great because I still need to do so many things before going to Manchester (fun fact: I found out only recently that I’m going a bit earlier than I thought. Our school is so clear on everything :) Basically they never said that if you’re going to England you’ll start at the start of January, not at the end of the month. Also apparently I’m only going for three months instead of five)

SO YEAH I HAVE A LOT OF THINGS TO TAKE CARE OF

* Yay anxiety

Anyway, how was your week/past two weeks/month? Is there a ‘I’m disappointed with the Teen Wolf Finale’ club and are you a part of it? What have you been reading? Are you watching B99? Let me know in the comments!

The Weekly Hufflepuff #58 | Meh Reading, School, Periods, and Doug the Pug

I’m so grateful to past me for scheduling so many posts. Seriously bless past me

Reading-wise this was an okay-ish week. Thankfully I got to read Giant Days‘ latest issue, brightening up my week (and mood) because my other two reads were meh. I have a lot of mixed feelings about Flame in the Mist, and I kind of loathed Daughter of Smoke and Bone? I’ve already written my review for the latter and it will be up at the end of the month I believe, but I still need to gather my thoughts of Flame in the Mist

Unfortunately I didn’t finish a single path for The Reading Quest, but I came very close (4 out of 5 books) and honestly, I did better than I expected haha. I read 6 books in total, got 100 EXP (level 2) and 235 HP. Not bad for someone who usually sucks at readathons haha (I just hate the pressure? But at the same time they’re so much fun? Especially themed ones like this?)

School started again this week, and so far it’s been okay. Starting from this year we decide which path we want to take, which term we’ll take which classes, when we’ll intern etc. This term both my friend and I (along with the rest of our class) will be making our own versions of already established Dutch magazines. My friend and I are thankfully in the same group, and we’re creating our own version of ‘Opzij’, which is a feminist magazine. I would’ve prefered De Groene Amsterdammer, since that one doesn’t just cover feminist issues, but this one was my second choice so I’m still happy. Our group seems nice too and so far everyone seems to be hardworking and to take it all very seriously. Apart from creating our own magazine, we also have a research class and a class on multimedia storytelling. Thankfully we didn’t have that much to do outside of class yet, which is not only a nice way to start but also really convenient since I got my period

My friend gave me a beautiful and inspiring book on photography and a transparent phone case with a cat on it that seems to play with the Apple on my phone for my birthday (which was back in June but she forgot it at home twice and then she went on holiday haha). The book really made me want to go out and take pictures, but alas. School is back in session. It was her birthday actually this week, so on Thursday evening I went shopping for her birthday and my mom joined me. I found some great presents for her, but unfortunately I also found some stuff for me (I say unfortunately because I want to save money) It’s not like I couldn’t afford it but I wanted to put my salary from last week on my savings account haha. I’m really happy with it though!

I got this cute lightbox on which you can arrange your own message (mine right now says ‘Hogwarts is my home’ accompanied by stars and a heart) at the CUTEST store ever. They have so much great, fun, cute and AESTHETIC stuff I’m in love

I’m not joking the further I got into the store the more I started to not only love, but also hate the store because I NEED TO SAVE MONEY NOT SPEND IT

I also found a Doug the Pug notebook and pen case (not at that store), which wasn’t too expensive thankfully. You may know by now that I’m obsessed with pugs, but Doug the Pug?? Love of my life. Massive fan right here. First thing I check on Instagram in the morning? Doug’s account. I’m not even joking

💛 I shared the blog post I wrote for Stedelijk Journal, on Jordan Wolfson’s Female Figure and it’s take on the violence of objectification
💛 I wondered if we need to read all the blog posts. Thank you to everyone for making me feel better about this and giving me advice ❤️
💛 I did the Little Engine Tag in which I talked about pet peeves, my favourite (gay) song at the moment, ideal pets (I wonder what it could be…) and more

💛 Jordon talks about pet peeves in books
💛 Mikaela talks about the dilemma of reading diverse books as a diverse reader
💛 Marie talks about relatable blogging worries and anxiety 
💛 And also shared more about her WIP and AESTHETICS!!
💛 Inside My Library Mind shares a reading list for Hermione Granger
💛 Fadwa talks about Muslim representation she wants more of
💛 Analee talks about fictional schools she wants to attend
💛 Elly posted again!! And it’s another lovely playlist, this time for the month August
💛 Annemieke went to Harry Potter The Exhibition
💛 Shouni wonders if authors should keep expanding their own universes
💛 Bridget shares her blog design resources
💛 A.J. has a guide for LGBTQ+ book spine colours for Bookstagram rainbows
💛 Charlotte talks about her Melbourne Writers Festival Experience
💛 It’s the end of May’s writing challenge she hosted, and thus she shares writing advice and snippets of beautiful writing 
💛 Ilsa shares 10 perfectly fool-proof ways to encourage people to leave comments on your posts

How was your week? Favourite post you wrote/read this week? Did you read any good books? Most important question of the day: do you love Doug the Pug? Let me know in the comments!