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 #57 | HELP I’M NOT READY FOR SCHOOL

I’m sorry the old Michelle can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh! Cause Crooked Kingdom murdered her ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

A lot of you warned me that Crooked Kingdom was going to break me, and guess what!! It did!! It would’ve put me in a reading slump (BECAUSE WHAT CAN COMPARE) but I had already started Marked by Kim Richardson while on the bus the other day. Which was so bad that I just need to read something that’s slightly better (so hey at least it cured me from my possible reading slump that Crooked Kingdom almost put me in!). I’ll hopefully review it soon but… So much lost potential.  I also read America‘s latest issue and am so glad that we’re leaving this artist behind. I really didn’t like that art style. Though the arc felt really rushed, which is a shame because I really liked the previous issue. Issue 1 and 5 seem to be exceptions to the really odd pace the comic has going on.

As for The Reading Quest, I’m currently at 70 EXP, which means I’m now a level 2 Mage and 145 HP

MY FINAL WEEK OF SUMMER VACATION JUST FLEW BY. WHERE DID IT GO. I’M NOT READY

I worked a lot this week, so I barely had any time for myself (and the blog) too, but at least the work was fun and you know

On Tuesday and Wednesday I had meetings from the social media team, on Thursday I was the host of the Keith Haring Summer School (throughout the entire week a group of teens followed lectures and workshops and the like, all in the theme of Keith Haring) and got to meet fashion designer/artist Bas Kosters which was really cool since he incorporates LGBTQ+ and gender themes in his clothes and on Friday we had a party to close the Summer School so I had to help set that up. Oh and there was a moshpit at the museum lmao (not an agressive one but it was still funny) Oh and I saw an old teacher from secondary school which was really weird?? He only taught me for like half a year so I don’t think he recognised me and I felt too awkward saying hi.

I was going to meet up with a friend after work on Tuesday, but the meeting was shorter than anticipated so I had to wait for her for an hour or so. But the weather was nice and I had brought Crooked Kingdom with me so it was fine (tbh I really like my friend but I was a bit disappointed when she showed up since that meant I had to stop reading – I’m sure a lot of you relate right?) We just sat in the sun, looked at dogs playing in the water, caught up and then once we got to my house watched Pretty Little Liars. We still haven’t finished it and with school starting again I guess we’ll finally finish it during winter break. I’m kind of amazed I haven’t seen any huge spoilers yet? Really hope I didn’t just jinx it 

Oh I’ve also been listening to Keiynan Lonsdale’s Good Life nonstop and obviously I need to spread the love so give it a listen:

💛 I freaked out about books in the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag
💛 I wrapped up August already and freaked out about school
💛 I reviewed Snow White and the Seven Angels, a cute transgender retelling

💛 Analee made beautiful aesthetics for The Book Aesthetics Tag
💛 Marie talks about her WIP and shares some lines!
💛 Cátia reviews Her Book Boyfriend which has quite a few problematic aspects
💛 Sinead talks about glasses (or lack thereof) in books
💛 May shares 9 things you should never say to bookworms
💛 Amber made her own Ravenclaw book box
💛 Vivian shares bookish pins that you need 
💛 Sarah shares seven empowering books
💛 A.J. has a helpful post on how to prepare for a book festival
💛 Bridget talks about hype and the fear of missing out
💛 Juliana talks about mood readers vs scheduled readers
💛 Mikaela talks about blogging burn-out

And that’s a wrap! I’m really worried about how I’m going to be able to combine blogging and school, but I’m determined to make it work and not let school dictate my life. I’m going to take my advisors’ advice from last year and work a little less hard. I need to think about my health (both physical and mental) and blogging really helps my mental health. You’ll probably see a little bit less of me, but I’m hopeful that I’ll stay around

Anyway, how was your week? What have you been reading? Listening to? Should we start a support group for all of us who are not ready to go back to school (or are already back in school don’t worry you’re all welcome too)