Sunday, April 24, 2016

Review Mash-up! [1]

 Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Dorothy Must Die #3
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Pages: 270
Format: Hardcover
Average Rating: 3.85
My Rating: 2.0

After arriving in Oz via tornado—as you do—and a botched assassination attempt on everyone's beloved Dorothy, Amy Gumm finds herself back where she started; stranded in Kansas and unable to perform magic. When a new threat presents itself and Dorothy's long lost silver shoes are recovered, Amy and the Order must find a way to return to Oz before Dorothy has a chance to hatch a new plan and destroy both worlds forever.


As I have said many, many times: I lo(ooooooo)ve retellings and/or reimaginings, which is what prompted me to pick up the first book in this series, Dorothy Must Die, when it came out a few years ago. I loved the story and characters, and found it very fun and entertaining. The second book was not as good, but still enjoyable. The third one, however, had me rolling my eyes and shaking my head throughout the entire thing because nothing made sense. Granted, nothing has ever made much sense in this series, but with the first book, I could overlook it because the plot was easy to follow and there was only one villain; Dorothy. In book two, we added a few more antagonists, which got a little confusing, but was still relatively manageable. Now there are even more and I have no idea what the heck is going on anymore and who we are supposed to be fighting. Not only that, but now the people we trusted in book one may also be the enemy? I could get behind multiple villains if we were defeating one or two each book, but nothing is getting resolved, we are back to square one, and the plot/storyline are jumping around way too much. And do not even get me started on Amy... She has turned into a needy, annoying character that is constantly contradicting herself - though, to be fair, Amy is not the only one doing this; it's pretty much every single character at this point. The descriptions of Oz were pretty much the only thing keeping me interested during book two, but even they cannot appease me anymore, and there was very little about this book that I actually liked. Add a few crappy decisions (seriously, Amy, get it together), solutions that are really just more problems in disguise, a cringe-y romance that is moving way too fast, and you have Yellow Brick War.

At this point, I will probably continue reading the series out of stubbornness, with hope that it can only go up from here.

Author: Amy Engel
Series: The Book of Ivy #1
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Pages: 282
Format: Paperback
Average Rating: 4.22
My Rating: 4.0

"A boy who doesn't want to lie, married to a girl who can't tell the truth. If there is a God, he has a sick sense of humor."

Ivy Westfall is on a mission. After years of planning, she is about to marry Bishop Lattimer, the son of the president, in an attempt to end an old feud between their two families. What her soon-to-be in-laws don't know, however, is that Ivy has been trained to kill her new husband shortly after their union - the first step in what her family hopes will be a revolution; earning them the authority that should have rightfully been theirs after a nuclear war leaves the United States ravaged and very few people alive. There's just one problem; Bishop is not as evil and conniving as her family made him out to be, and Ivy is no longer sure she can kill him. In the end, she must make a choice between Bishop and her family, love and justice, and doing what is right for her people or doing what is right for herself.


I fell in love with this story immediately, and this book was probably my favorite read in the month of April. Though the plot had been done before—girl must kill boy, falls in love—it was still very enjoyable and I found myself emotionally invested in the characters because, get this: though the story was full of cute, romantic moments, it wasn't so overbearing that it took away from the plot, like all most love stories. I love it when that happens! Though the plot and action did not add much to the story until the very end, Ivy was still a very interesting narrator and, despite the fact that the choices she made were based on other people and not herself, there was a struggle there that kept me interested. She didn't want her family to dictate her life, but they are her family and she owes them her loyalty. She didn't want to be open and honest and have fun because she doesn't really deserve it, but it happened anyway because Bishop is a nice guy. Seeing her struggle with this was extremely interesting and created a story that is a classic example of how a character-driven plot can be done well, even if there is a love interest involved.

I very much enjoyed the different characters, particularly Bishop, and how Ivy discovers her family may not be as selfless as they seemed. The ending had me howling in rage in Ivy's defense, and I am excited to pick up the next one and see how this duology ends.

Author: Allie Brosh
Series: N/A
Publisher: Touchstone
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Pages: 369
Format: Paperback
Average Rating: 4.15
My Rating: 3.75

Stories about Allie Bosh's dogs, depression and life. But mostly about her dogs.


I had originally read this book in 2014 for a quick laugh and decided to pick it up again recently for the same reason. Really, since this is a book made entirely of drawings and crass, self-deprecating humor, there is not much to say. I found certain things relateable, and others not. There were things I found extremely funny and other incidents where Allie's humor was a bit lost on me. Overall, I enjoyed the book; it is a quick, light read that I was able to finish in a day and, should Allie ever write/illustrate another one, I would definitely read it as well.

(During my original read, I gave Hyperbole and a Half 4.0 stars. After my reread, it was knocked down to 3.75.)

Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley
Series: N/A
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Pages: 323
Format: Hardback
Average Rating: 4.04
My Rating: 3.75

Katie is in trouble. Not only is her new restaurant not coming along as fast as she had hoped, but there are complications with her current fling, her ex boyfriend shows up, and one of her best waitresses becomes badly injured. That's when the House Spirit arrives. Write down your mistake. Eat a Mushroom. Go to sleep and wake up anew. These three rules redefine Katie's life as she begins to erase mistakes made throughout the day and replace them with an alternate situation. Waitress's injury? Gone. Awkward encounter with ex boyfriend? Never happened. An incident that occurred a few years ago that you can't seem to get over? Nope. But what Katie thought was an easy fix to her everyday problems quickly gets out of hand, and she must find a way to set her life right before it's too late.


Graphic novels are easy to read/get into and do not take much time. As such, they are the perfect sort of thing to check out from the library when you already have a large pile of books sitting at home, staring at you with betrayal every time you even think about buying or reading something new. As a graphic novel newbie, I was unsure where to begin, exactly, so when I saw Seconds sitting on the shelf and remembered that several Booktubers had really enjoyed the book a few months prior, I decided to pick it up.

I did have a few problems with this story. Katie, to me, was not a very likeable character and, when things started to go wrong, she blatantly ignored the warning signs, which I found a little unrealistic. Overall, however, I found the story to be interesting—particularly the part about House Spirits—funny, and endearing. The last quarter of the book was very well done and exciting, and I especially enjoyed how things wrapped up.

No comments:

Post a Comment