Book Reviews · Reading Challenges

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest Review

25740412Goodreads Summary: A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear.

My Thoughts:  I found this book when I went to Barnes and Noble for the release of another book, and since I am obsessed with witches, the title and cover caught my eye right away.  I looked it up on Goodreads, as you do, and saw that it had a TON of controversy, so of course I had to get it and see what all the fuss was about.  The minute I started it I was HOOKED.  I was immediately drawn into this fantasy world, and loved learning about all of the different races and cultures.  Each one has its own complete history and societal rules, and I wanted to learn more about all of them.  The world as a whole is very segregated and racist, with The University being a melting pot of all cultures.  While I can understand how someone might have an issue with the idea of such a racist society, it made sense in this case.  The whole point of the novel is our protagonist, Elloren, and her friends discovering that what they were raised to believe about people isn’t necessarily the truth.  One of my favorite scenes was Elloren and her brother trading rumors with a couple of Lupines about things they had heard about each other’s cultures, and realizing how wrong both sides were.  There were a lot of dynamic characters, and I felt that they were all really well developed.  Elloren could get a little whiny sometimes, but it made sense with her naiveté and her sheltered upbringing.  She had a great arc, and though it takes her a while to move past everything she was indoctrinated to believe, I thought that her arc felt natural and realistic.  There was also a ton of good sexual tension with her and her love interests, and who doesn’t love that?  I was completely absorbed in the plot, especially towards the end, and while it was slower moving at some points,  it was super character driven.  I fell in love with these characters and their magical world, and I can’t wait to see where they go from here after that cliff hanger ending.

Untitled design (5)

Advertisements
Tags

Disney Song Book Tag

I am, and always have been, a Disney fanatic.  I know all the songs by heart, and sing them fairly regularly.  There is something about Disney that just makes my heart happy.  I found this tag on The Thrifty Bibliophile, and had to give it a go.  Check out her answers too- she picked some good ones! 🙂

A Whole New World- Pick a book that made you see the world differently:

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts is one of the best books I have ever read.  So inspiring, beautifully written, and about a mix of cultures that I had very little experience with.

33600

Cruella De Vil- Pick your favorite villain:

I’m gonna go with the character that I have the most hatred for, and that is William Hamleigh from Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

I Won’t Say I’m In Love- Pick a book you didn’t want to admit you loved:

Do I agree that these books are trash? Yes.  Did I still devour them? Absolutely.

10818853

Gaston- Pick a character that you couldn’t stand:

First of all, I take offense because Gaston is my favorite, and I’m not so secretly in love with him…… and my answer to the question is Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses.  I never liked him from day one.

Part of Your World- Pick a book set in a universe you wish you could live in:

Is there even a question? I literally cried at Harry Potter World….

3

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes- Describe what the book of your dreams would be like:

A historical-fiction fantasy romance with witches

Someday My Prince Will Come- Pick a book character you would marry if you could:

God I have so many book boyfriends.  Right now my current love is Chaol from Throne of Glass, but I’m only on Book 2 so we’ll see how that goes.

I See the Light- Pick a book that changed your life:

This book is everything, and I think everyone needs to read it.

865

When You Wish Upon a Star- Pick a book you wish you could read for the first time:

One of my friends from my last show was reading them for the first time and my heart hurt with jealousy and excitement for her!!

3

I Just Can’t Wait to be King: Pick a book with a monarchy:

I loved this book.  One of my biggest book disappointments to date was the ending of this trilogy.

18712886

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Book Characters I Would Love to Play in a Movie

TTT-Big2

Happy Top Ten Tuesday everyone!  This week’s theme from the fabulous That Artsy Reader Girl was a FREEBIE, so I decided to share 10 Book Characters That I Would Love to Play in a Movie (or play/musical, etc).  As an actor, I always like and relate most to characters that I could see myself playing, and in almost every book I read I find myself trying to figure out what my role would be.  Hey Hollywood! I’m available 🙂

Emma Woodhouse from Emma by Jane Austen

I am reading Emma right now, and I am just obsessed with her.  I love how feisty and stubborn she is.  Plus she is so good at throwing shade.

Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Celaena is a bad ass, and such a complicated character.  I am only two books into the series, but I can’t wait to see what is next for her.

Evangeline Samos from Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Evangeline is hands down my favorite character from this series.  She has such an amazing arc and the more we find out about her life, the more complicated and amazing I find her.

Eris Dodd Radson from The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

I immediately connected with Eris while reading The Thousandth Floor.  Her journey from spoiled rich girl, to finding out who she really is was great, and would be fun to play.

Mor from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

As much as I love Feyre, I connect with Mor.  I love the duplicity she has to play outside of the Night Court, and her backstory is so complex.

Agatha Wellbelove from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Out of the friend group in Carry On, there was just something intriguing about Agatha wanting to be normal and having to deal with all of Simon’s magical problems.

Emmeline Hartford from The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

I get cast as the ditzy party girl a lot, so I knew immediately that I wanted to play Emmeline.  She is the catalyst for so much, and I think would such an interesting part to take on.

Adelaide from The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

I was not crazy about this book, but I really loved Adelaide.  The main reason I picked up the book was because she sounded like an a-typical heroine, and she was.  She was entitled and materialistic, but she had a good heart and was willing to grow throughout the novel.

Vivi Ann Grey from True Colors by Kristin Hannah

The emotional rollercoaster that Vivi Ann goes through in this book is insane.  It would be a huge challenge to play as an actress, and I love how deeply she feels and how strong her convictions are.

Daisy Peshkov from Winter of the World by Ken Follett

This trilogy is one of my favorites, and of all the characters throughout the generations, Daisy was the one I connected to most.  She has my favorite journey, and I just think she would be so much fun to play.

Reading Challenges

My New Book Buying Ban

Like most of you, my book shelf is quite literally overflowing with books I have yet to read.  I recently just made a ton of headway on my TBR by putting myself on a book buying ban from November- March (I know.  I don’t know how I did it either.)  There were a few little loopholes, like a couple of library trips, but for the most part I stuck to it and finally got through a lot of the books that have been sitting in my apartment for a while.  I really would like to get to the point where I actually need to buy a new book.  I decided to break my ban at the end of March, and bought one book at a train station after having a good audition… Once I broke it, all bets were off and I became a monster.  I could not stop buying books.  It culminated with me crying in Barnes and Noble because my boyfriend told me I couldn’t buy the PILE of books I had chosen… Yes. I am overdramatic.  After this incident, I have decided to put myself back on a ban, but I have figured out some new rules which should make it easier, and hopefully will curb the book buying binges that I have learned depriving myself leads to.

Lexie’s Book Buying Ban Rules

I must read ten books that I own before buying one new book.

Library books do not count towards the ten, but ARC and review requests do.

Anticipated new releases do not count in the ban.

IMG_0347

Wish me luck folks!

 

Tags

Do Re Mi Book Character Tag

I am a total theatre nerd, so when Adrianna from For the Love of Books tagged me in her new Do Re Mi Book Character Tag, I got so excited.  I have grown up loving The Sound of Music, I have several friends who are currently touring the US with the show, and I even modeled for some of the ads for the tour (even though I’m not in the show haha)!

1508877952_102617h-at-sound-of-music-maria-sound-of-music_t1070_h46852594157c9b93b00a18de37843b7aacb53b02

Do, a deer, a female deer – Name a book character with an animal sidekick!

I’m gonna go with Ayla from the Earth’s Children Series by Jean M. Auel.  She has both the lion cub, Baby, and the horse, Whinney, that she raises and they become her only companions for a while, and they help each other survive.

Re, a drop of golden sun – Name a book character who puts a smile on everyone’s faces, they just light everything up with their presence!

Fred and George Weasley.  I know I always use them, but they’re just my favorite!

Mi, a name I call myself – Name a book character with a name you always pronounce wrong or one you wish was pronounced differently! 

I’ve come to terms with it and pronounce it correctly now, but I struggled with Rhys from A Court of Thorns and Roses.  I originally pronounced it like “R-eyes” instead of “Rees” and I had to force myself for a while to pronounce it the right way once I found out.

Fa, a long, long way to run – Name a book character who is either forced or chooses to runaway from home.

Enzi from The Gwythienian by Savannah J. Goins

So, a needle pulling thread – Name a book character who’s a healer or puts people back together in some way, you know cuz sewing! (Just go with it!)

Caris from World Without End by Ken Follett.  I love her and her whole journey as a physician in a time when so little was known.

La, a note to follow Sew – Name a book character who’s a bit of a follower, but could totally be a leader with some encouragement!

Neville Longbottom.  He starts to get there towards the end of the series, and it always makes my heart happy.

Ti, a drink with jam and bread – Name a food that a book character made you want to eat and who that character is!

I really just want to eat all of the feasts at Hogwarts….

Thanks again to Adrianna for tagging me and creating this awesome tag! I tag:

Claire @Cup of Books

Kellie @Kellie’s Book Shelf

Alana @The Bookish Chick

Top Ten Tuesday

Books I Loved But Will Never Re-Read

TTT-Big2

It’s Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s theme from That Artsy Reader Girl is Books I Loved But Will Never Re-Read.  This theme was fairly easy for me because, with the exception of Harry Potter, I very rarely re-read books, but I fall in love with so many.  Here are 10 books that I love but have absolutely no desire to re-read.

 

33600

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

4981
Slaughter-House-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

 4406
East of Eden by John Steinbeck

6867
Atonement by Ian McEwan

24770
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

101299
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

19486412
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

776137

The Confessions of Max Tivoli

17133946

The Mourning Hours by Paula Treick DeBoard

13158800
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Book Reviews · Reading Challenges

Murder On the Orient Express by Agatha Christie Review

34066636Goodreads Summary: What more can a mystery addict desire than a much-loathed murder victim found aboard the luxurious Orient Express with multiple stab wounds, thirteen likely suspects, an incomparably brilliant detective in Hercule Poirot, and the most ingenious crime ever conceived?

My Thoughts: I have been looking forward to reading this book ever since I saw the preview for the recent film adaptation.  I knew I had to read it before I saw the movie, and I finally did.  I have to say that I was slightly underwhelmed.  With this being one of the most famous mysteries of all time, I was expecting my mind to be blown.  The ending was great, and I honestly had no idea who the culprit was going to be until it was revealed, but the rest of the lead up was a little boring.  There didn’t seem to be an actual plot, just very by the book mystery solving.  It kept me far removed from the story, and while I was intrigued by figuring it out, I was pretty unconnected.  I’m fairly new to detective stories, if you don’t count Nancy Drew, but I feel like I was expecting a more immersive experience.  I also would have liked to have been able to figure it out a little more, but there was so much information that Poirot just knew, that came out of nowhere, that it was pretty much impossible to infer anything yourself.  I watched the film after reading it, and I enjoyed it (how could you not, that cast is incredible), but I was still underwhelmed.  I’m thinking that maybe this style of story telling just isn’t for me.

Untitled design (3)

Tags

Unique Blogger Award

uniquebloggeraward

I am so happy to have been nominated for the Unique Blogger award by the lovely Erin at A Redhead’s Rambling.  I am a huge fan of her blog, and love that she’s a theatre geek like me 🙂  Make sure you check her out folks!

The Rules:

1) Share the link/s of the blogger/s who has/have shown love to you by nominating you.

2) Answer their questions.

3) In the spirit of spreading the love nominate 8-13 people for the same award.

4) Ask them 3 questions.

If you could be friends with one bookish character, who would you choose and why?

Mia Thermopolis.  She’s smart, funny, goofy, loves books, and is a loyal friend.

What three songs would you pick as the playlist to your life?

Work Bitch– Britney Spears, New York, New York– Frank Sinatra, and Slide– The Goo Goo Dolls

If you could only watch one film for the rest of your life, what would you pick and why?

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (or Harry Potter 1-8 on a continuous loop if that counts…)

My Nominations:

Kate @Reading Through Infinity

Bree @Bree’s Books

Shane @The Blue Green Reader

Maisy @Hawthorn Book Reviews

Adrianna @For the Love of Books

My Questions
  1. If you could pick the brain of one author, who would it be and why?
  2. What is the first book that you fell in love with?
  3. If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

 

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Liked in Books I Didn’t

TTT-Big2

It’s the first Top Ten Tuesday of April! This week’s theme from That Artsy Reader Girl is Characters That I Liked from Books I Didn’t.  This was hard for me, because I am pretty easy to please when it comes to books, and I’ve been on a really good streak recently, but I managed to find 10 characters that I liked from books that ranged from ones I hated to some I luke-warm about.

119089

Rowan Mayfair from The Witching Hour by Anne Rice–  It’s no secret that I hated this book, but I actually did like the main character, and I wish the plot was stronger and more focused on her journey.  I wish I knew what happened to her, but I could barely get through the first book.


27272506

Adelaide from The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead–  I didn’t love this book, but I did love the main character Adelaide.  She was super spunky and strong, but super entitled and dramatic.  She was fun to read about, and I was rooting for her the entire time.


6442769

Quentin Jacobsen from Paper Towns by John Green– This ending disappointed me so much.  I felt super let down after reading the book, but I did have a soft spot for Quentin.


6101718

Alice from The Magicians by Lev Grossman– I despised this book and all of its pretentious characters.  The only one I liked was Alice, which didn’t work out well for me.


5526

John from Dear John by Nicholas Sparked–This book made me so mad, and I was mad because I loved John and thought he deserved better.  I threw this book across the room.


36653509

Bella from Oak and Mistletoe by J.Z.N. McCauley– This series is terrible, but there was one character that I actually liked and that was Bella.


22896

Gillian Owens from Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman– Don’t get me wrong, I liked this book, just not as much as I expected to.  I was underwhelmed, but I fell in love with the characters, Gillian especially.


35615310

Tiana from Bubblegum by Sari Taurez– Another book that wasn’t my favorite, but I really did enjoy the main character.  I connected with her more than any others, and I loved her fire.


28693701

Becky from The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot– I love Meg Cabot, but this one just wasn’t my favorite of hers.  I liked Becky and the way her mind worked was funny and entertaining.


29056083

Scorpius Malfoy from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child–  I love this book because I love everything related to Harry Potter, but I had A LOT of problems with it.  I’m still dying to see it, especially, now that it’s on Broadway, as I’ve heard its absolutely incredible live.  Despite my disappointment while reading it, I fell in love with Scorpius and I think he’s just adorable.


Monthly Wrap-Ups

March 2018 Wrap-Up

MonthlyWrap - Up

What a great month!  I was lucky enough to be performing and working in Guys and Dolls for the entire month with an absolutely incredible cast of people.  I’m so sad to say goodbye to this show and these lovely humans, but I’m excited to get back to NYC and find out what’s next!

IMG_0274 2


Books Read:


Favorite Book of the Month:

the-great-alone-kristin-hannah


Currently Reading:

17167166


Challenge Updates:

Goodreads Challenge: 15 of 50

A to Z Challenge: 7 of 26 (C, G)

Classics Club: 3 of 50 (Murder on the Orient Express– Review Post to come)


Broadway Book Chat: Mallory King

29693484_10216184949835647_565937325_o

March Reviews

 • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah •

March Posts

Blog Tour: The Torcian Chronicles: Defiance Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Favorite Book QuotesCurrently Reading TagTop 10 Tuesday: Books That Surprised MeBook Blogger Insider TagTop 10 Tuesday: Books on my Spring TBRA-Z Bookish Survey TagTop 10 Tuesday: Books That Take Place in Another Country •