First Lines Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


“A health to the bride!” Sir John Seymour smiled and raised his goblet as the company echoed his toast.

Jane sipped her wine, watching as her new sister-in-law blushed prettily. Edward seemed besotted with his new wife. At seventeen, Cathrine was a very comely girl, a year younger than he. Jane had been surprised at how practiced she was at the art of coquetry, and how warmly the men were looking at her. Even Father seemed to be under her spell.


I would have kept going but holy shit that was mindnumbing. And, it went on in that same vein. So, obviously not a great start to the book, but it’s interesting me because, well, it’s Tudor!

And it’s a relatively recent release.

It is…

Jane Seymour, the Haunted Queen

If you’ve stuck around this blog long enough, you know that Weir and I have an iffy relationship. The past two books I’ve read by her, I’ve hated. So, this book is one of those that I’m a little worried about. I want to like it, but I have a feeling that something bad could happen with this book.

Also, it got a bit better after that opener. At least for me.


That spring, rain fell in great sweeping gusts that rattled the rooftops. Water found its way into the smallest cracks and undermined the sturdiest foundations. Chunks of land that had been steady for generations fell like slag heaps on the roads below, taking houses and cards and swimming pools down with them. Trees fell over, crashed into power lines; electricity was lost. Rivers flooded their banks, washed across yards, ruined homes. People who loved each other snapped and fights erupted as the water rose and the rain continued. 


Welcome back to Chantel picks a book she wants to read but will not actually start reading it. 

Seriously though, I have no idea why I continue to be haunted by a reading slump. My TBR is very large (not nearly as large as Caidyn’s) and there are so many books I want to read. So many books and I’m sad that my brain isn’t into it. 

However, I present another book that I would love to read and I want to share it with you all. 

It is…

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
The Great Alone cover

I think everyone knows about our love of Book of the Month, and if not you should follow us on Instagram @bwreviewsblog. That was smooth wasn’t it? Anyway, this was a book I got as an add-on because it sounded incredibly interesting to me. Honestly, the first paragraph of this book is gripping and I already love the writing. I’m eager to see if I still enjoy the book. 

That is if I ever get around to reading it. 


Talk to us!

What do you think of the two books we chose? Would you read them?

Mini Reviews

Caidyn's review (1)

Welcome to another edition of my mini reviews! These are books that I want to review but don’t have a whole lot to say about. This time, I’m doing three books: Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault, Blue Is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh, and Kill the Father by Sandrone Dazieri.


Fire from Heaven (Alexander the Great, #1)

1/5 – DNF at 36%

This was one of my most anticipated reads for June. I’ve had it on my radar for years, but, I finally got around to reading this.

But.

Meh.

I hated the writing style, the characters didn’t jump off the page, and I easily spaced out from the story. That’s literally it. See why I wanted to do the mini review here?

Literally, this felt like a sub-par book that didn’t have anything to drive the story forward for me. Doesn’t help that I know next to nothing about Alexander the Great.

Still, I’m going to try the next book in the series since they don’t have to be read in order.


Blue Is the Warmest Color

4/5

Chantel’s review of the book and movie is here!

When I asked Chantel for recommendations for this Pride, this was one of the ones she gave me. I know that she really enjoyed it and the movie, so I thought that I might as well! After all, she knows me well. She knows what I like.

This graphic novel was great.

I loved the characters. I loved the story. I loved how it progressed. It was the perfect book to just sit and read, paired with some good beer.

The thing that I appreciated the most was how adult this is. It’s not for kids. There’s nudity and sex and I loved seeing it all. It was so refreshing to see the topic of a teenager discovering her sexuality and the burden that comes with it but it wasn’t YA. It was adult and very much so. I loved that because it didn’t feel like I was reading YA at all.

Would I suggest this book? Yes! I really would. It’s a beautiful graphic novel with amazing art and a great story attached to it, one that’s so earnest and genuine that you feel how real it is.


Kill the Father (Colomba Caselli #1)

3/5

Sadly, this reread didn’t go as I wanted. My original review of this book was a four-star read. I remember it having great characters and being very intriguing. One of those “I can’t put it down!!” books.

But, my reread, it was good but I didn’t find it as compelling as before. I couldn’t remember a whole lot of the book but things came back as I read. Not everything — there were still places I was shocked at — but a whole lot of it.

Would I recommend the book still? Oh, yes! Colomba was a great character. I loved her strength and how she held herself. Dante was hilarious and horrifying and compelling. The mystery was good, too. It just didn’t hold my attention like it did before.

All I can hope is that I enjoy the sequel!


Talk to me!

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think about them? I’d love to hear! For those who haven’t, did I convince you to pick up or put down any of these?

Down the TBR Hole

Down the TBR Hole

Another week, another trip down Caidyn’s horrifyingly huge TBR. I added more books, too. I fail at this whole thing, don’t I?

But, here’s the needed little insert about the tag:

Down the TBR Hole is a meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story.

Most of you probably know this feeling, your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well that’s going to change!

IT WORKS LIKE THIS:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Paris

I love Paris, but not that much. This book is 800+ pages! That’s insane! And it’s a family saga? This book sounds insane and I’m good without reading it in my life.

Verdict: GO!


London

THIS IS NEARLY 1200 PAGES. And goes from Julius Caesar to, basically, now?? Omg. This book. Why did I add this? Did I even read about it?

Verdict: GO!


The English Patient

It doesn’t sound that good? Like, that cover is cool af, but it doesn’t sound that great to me.

Verdict: GO!


A Boy's Own Story

Wow, another classic gay novel. Not surprisingly, Chantel has it on her TBR, too. But for me? Eh. If Chantel reads it and tells me that it’s worth it, then back on the TBR it’ll go.

Verdict: GO!


Rebels and Traitors

If this was set during the Wars of the Roses, then I’d be happy to read 750+ pages. But, this is the wrong civil war for me.

Verdict: GO!


I Swear

This book sounds a lot like stuff I’ve already heard about. And it also sounds like I’ll have outgrown the way it’s told and all that. I’d have loved this in high school.

Verdict: GO!


The Cranes Dance

Ehhhh. Like, it sounds like it has promise but I’m not sure if it fits my specific interests. You know?

Verdict: GO!


Souls Set Free

Another one that sounds good but also like I might not be particularly interested in it anymore. It sounds a lot like other mystery novels I’ve read.

Verdict: GO!


The Beloved Daughter

Based on the description, I think that I’ll pass. I’d rather read a nonfiction book about this, you know?

Verdict: GO!


Murder in the Cathedral

Okay, this sounds really good. Really really good. I’d read the shit out of it on a chilly fall afternoon.

Verdict: Keep


Last TBR: 2087

Books kept: 1

Books removed: 9

Current TBR: 2085

Image result for success gif

I managed to keep it down!! For once. I succeeded.


Talk to me!

Have you read any of the books I removed? Did I make a mistake with removing them or was I right?

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.


Before Hannah left, she asked if I was sure I’d be okay. She had already waited an hour past when the doors were closed for winter break, until everyone but the custodians were gone. She had folded a load of laundry, written an email, searched her massive psychology textbook for answers to the final exam questions to see if she had gotten them right. She had run out of ways to fill time, so when I said, “Yes, I’ll be fine,” she had nothing left to do except try to believe me.


This is an impromptu addition to this month’s TBR because of Chantel. She read it and when I asked for some recommendations for Pride reads, this was one of the books she gave! So, it’s up on my list of books I want to read before June ends.

It is…

We Are Okay

You can read Chantel’s review here and you all should totally read it. (Because Chantel’s reviews are fantastic.) I honestly don’t know a whole lot about this book besides that Chantel recommended it to me. So, I’m actually really excited to be going into this pretty blind!


I’m almost positive that I’ve used We Are Okay for FLF before, but I’m just happy that Caidyn is finally reading one of my favorite books of 2018. 

Now, onto my book. 

Charlie refuses to answer my texts. Or she has her phone set on silent. Or she forgot to charge it. Or she had a rare fit of temper and tossed it into a toilet, thereby rendering it unusable. 

Whatever the case, this lack of communication between us is decidedly not normal. 


This week I’m keeping it short and sweet. This is a book that came out this year that I’ve been excited to read. It is a book written by an author of one of my favorite books of the year so far, so my expectations are high. Not only that, but the plot sounds incredibly interesting and I want to see how it unfolds. 

I chose…

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Girl Made of Stars cover.jpg

Earlier this year I read How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake and I loved it. It will go down as one of my favorite books of the year (so far). I would highly recommend it for the complex relationship between Grace and her mother as well as a great f/f romance. So good. 

But this is not another How to Make a Wish review. I have been excited to read Ashley Herring Blake’s new books (she has two just from this year!) and this one captured my attention as it’s about a girl whose twin brother is accused of rape by her best friend. It’s an extremely heavy subject, but I’m very interested to see how it unfolds. 


Talk to us!

What do you think of our choices? Have you read them? Did the first lines hook you in?