Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas Reivew

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Apparently there are a ton of mixed reviews on this novel, but I'm not really sure why. I absolutely loved this book from start to finish! The plot is a bit hard to follow, but if you pay attention and keep up with all the little threads running throughout the story, you should be fine. I enjoy something that makes me think, even if this is considered YA. This is one of the best books I've read so far this year; I can see myself re-reading this series because there is so much going on in each book. Between the novels and the novellas, there are a ton of characters and settings. Again, pay attention to everyone and keep an open mind and you will fall in love with the series.

The characters are unique and show tons of development as the plot progresses, although it is a little tough to keep everyone straight in my mind at times. It's not an issue simply because Maas is a master story-teller and knows how to weave everything together. I was a little stressed out when I realized there wouldn't be a resolution in this particular book, but I am excited to see where she goes with it. Hopefully the next book comes out soon!

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The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton Review

The OutsidersThe Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If I hadn't know Hinton was only sixteen when she wrote this, I would have had no idea! Seriously, she is way beyond her years and she wrote a fantastic story!! This isn't normally a book I would go for, but it's a classic (and it fit one of the criteria for my yearly reading challenge); it definitely deserves recognition.

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Troublemaker by Leah Remini Review

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and ScientologyTroublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars is mostly because Remini repeats herself several times throughout the book. Like, literally copies and pastes sentences (or changes a few words and inserts them into other paragraphs). Definitely an eye-opening read! I knew very little about Scientology before reading this, and I'm still not 100% sure exactly what they believe in. However, I do have a better understanding now. I want to find more information on the religion/ cult, and I would love to read more biographies from actors and actresses who have left the church (even though not many would likely publish a book similar to this one).

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell Review

FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn't like this book as much as I was excepting to... but I also didn't hate it as much as I thought I would either. My main issue with the book is the fact that it's marketed as a "coming of age" novel, even though it mainly revolves around Cath's fanfiction. This book offers a somewhat realistic narrative about the life of a college freshman, I really wouldn't call this a "coming of age" story simply because there really isn't enough character development to warrant this claim. Yes, Cath grows up a little bit as the story progresses. However, it's a little silly to me that she would be so concerned with writing her fanfiction that she pretty much blows off her college courses (plus her career, relationship, family, etc.) to finish it. I also hate that this whole story is based around a horrible Harry Potter fanfiction... Sorry, but I can't let that one go. Honestly, if fanfiction weren't the major focus of this book, I would have liked it soooooooooo much more. I know I'm not Rowell's target audience, so that's probably part of the reason why I wasn't overly impressed.

Don't get me wrong, I love good fanfiction! As long as it's not overdone and ridiculous. Unforuntaely, Cath's/ Rowell's piece is not quite up to my standards. Sorry guys... this just wasn't the book for me.

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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood Review

The Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where do I even start with this review? It's probably important to note that this book is definitely controversial, and the Goodreads community had given it mixed reviews (which really isn't shocking based on the subject matter being presented). I'm not one to read reviews before writing my own, but I was curious to see what others thought; and I'm still not 100% sure what to make of all the conflicting opinions/ reviews.

Some people get hung up on the grammatical aspects (or possibly Atwood's writing style?), thus missing the overall purpose of this story. Our narrator is UNRELIABLE- she says multiple times through her account that it may not be accurate and she doesn't even want to be recounting what transpired. She is not meant to be trusted completely. Additionally, she is only one voice, and therefore only has one perspective of the society as a whole, the actions of those around her, etc. etc. Yes, there are a lot of unanswered questions, and we really don't have a "proper ending." That's the point. You're meant to question everything.

If you don't ask questions and you take what everyone says for gospel, we will end up creating the culture and society presented in the book. Don't just blindly follow what someone else is telling you. Don't accept all things as fact until you have the evidence to prove it. Even then, be cautious.

In my opinion, Atwood's overarching goal is to make the reader question every single detail given to them. I haven't read anything quiet like this, even though I have read my fair share of dystopian novels. It's unlike anything else, and for good reason.

I'm not even going to get into the political side of this, simply because I don't feel qualified enough to do so. Political science is not my strong suit. I would love to have my poli-sci minded boyfriend read this and pick his brain for more information. If that does end up happening, I'll update this review!

Anyway, I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone. It should be a requirement for high school or college level classes (assuming the students are mature enough to handle the content), in my humble opinion. Honestly, give it a try, especially if you're interested in watching the Hulu series!

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