WWW Wednesdays #101 – July 27th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve only just started When We Collided by Emery Lord, but I have heard so many great things about it that I can’t wait to continue reading! I won’t be having a lot of spare time this week, but hopefully I will be able to finish it before the weekend.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I was able to finally finish was The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse. I can’t say I really enjoyed it. The first part was quite slow and I had problems with the prose. I also wish the story would have focused on the war itself… The Neverland descriptions were really entertaining to read though.
* I then read the Dorothy Must Die novella Ruler Of Beasts by Danielle Paige. This one was probably one of my favorite novellas of the bunch… Mostly because Ozma played a big role in the story and a new interesting character (the Nome King) was introduced.
* Next up was The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel, which made it to my list of favorite 2016 reads. Such a powerful and well written story! I can definitely recommend this one.
* I then finally finished The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz, a book I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would. I normally love historical fiction, but I didn’t like the main character Joan and there was too much ‘strong’ religious dialogue and cheesy romance in the last part of the story.
* Next up was the supershort, but action-packed story Environmentally Friendly by Elias Zanbaka. Without doubt an interesting and fast-paced read!
* I then read Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry for free at Riveted. Check out the website if you haven’t already; each two weeks or so they offer four new free titles to read online! (This one is available until August 1st). Rot & Ruin turned out to be a very good read, which I’m still surprised about because I normally don’t really like stories with zombies… But it’s well written and I like that there’s almost no romance (at least in the first book).
* The last book I finished is The Fire Child by S.K. Tremayne, which turned out to be even better than her first novel. Well written prose, great descriptions that set a spooky atmosphere and many many plot twists… Recommended!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I will probably read my last pending ARC first: the Jamie Quinn Mystery Collection by Barbara Venkataraman. It definitely sounds like an entertaining read! I also want to read The Bird And The Sword by Amy Harmon, but I might try Thunderlight by Adrienne Woods first. I really enjoyed the first book and since I’m in the mood for a dragon story this one sounds like a great choice. Secret Letters by Leah Scheier is still my newest TBR jar pick.

BOOK REVIEW: Ruler Of Beasts – by Danielle Paige

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Title: Ruler Of Beasts
(Dorothy Must Die #0.6)
Author: Danielle Paige
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
First published: February 16th 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Finished reading: July 20th 2016
Pages: 84
Rating 3,5qqq

“You are not Wicked, dear Lion. But sometimes you put what you want over what is good for Oz.”

myrambles1review

Although I still think the novellas are not as good as the actual series, I do think Ruler Of Beasts is one of the most entertaining prequel short stories of the bunch. Unlike some of the other novellas, this one actually adds a whole new possible angle to the actual story. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed the Nome King will make another appearance in the actual books, because his character is without doubt an interesting one! Like with the rest of the series, Danielle Paige‘s prose turns Ruler Of Beasts into a really easy and fast read. The beginning is a bit slow and Glinda is annoying, but I think one of the reasons I enjoyed this particular novella so much is the huge part both the Lion and Ozma play in the story. Lion can become a bit whiny, but he does know how to spice up a story. If you have read the previous novella, you will surely enjoy this one as well. I can’t wait to finally start the third book though!

shortsummary1review

When the Cowardly Lion first started his journey with Dorothy and the others, he wanted to have courage above all else. The Wizard gave him what he has always wanted, and now we find out what happens afterwards. The Lion’s wish has finally come true, but his life is not how he had imagined it. Sure, he is the courageous ruler of the forest and the beasts, but with Ozma ruling and Oz this peaceful, the Lion is bored. He misses the days of his adventures with Dorothy, the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow, and now he is desperate to find something to liven up his day. Then Glinda shows up on his doorstep with a mission, and even though the Lion is not sure if it’s wise to accept, he jumps at the chance to do something exciting anyway.

finalthoughtsreview

I think Ruler Of Beasts is one of my favorite novellas so far. I really enjoyed the fact that Ozma played an important part in the story and the Nome King surely is a great new character! I’m keeping my fingers crossed he will make another appearance in the future, because it will definitely add a nice plot twist to the main story. Like I said before, if you enjoyed the other novellas, definitely make time for this one as well. It’s not a must-read, but Ruler Of Beasts is without doubt entertaining.

BOOK REVIEW: The Straw King – by Danielle Paige

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Title: The Straw King
(Dorothy Must Die #0.5)
Author: Danielle Paige
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
First published: November 10th 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Finished reading: July 8th 2016
Pages: 156
Rating 3qqq

“The monkeys ignored him completely as they discussed wind currents and angle of approach, and even the Lion seemed to have forgotten he was there. He might as well be back in that field tied to a post for all the good the Wizard’s gifts were doing him.”

myrambles1review

I haven’t been a big fan of the Dorothy Must Die novellas so far and in a way I’m asking myself why I still continue reading them. The fourth novella was particularly bad, but after being promised that the next two were better I decided to pick up The Straw King anyway. And I agree this one is without doubt a huge improvement from the last one! Not mindblowingly good and I would have liked to see more of the Scarecrow himself in it, but all in all still quite entertaining. This novella reads a lot faster than the previous one and I liked that it gave new information about how Ozma first came to power. The battle scenes were interesting! But like I said, the novella didn’t do much to further develop the Scarecrow’s character. It was more just another random background story where Glinda and the Lion seemd to play a bigger role than the character this novella was named after. Not exactly what I was expecting when I decided to read The Straw King. If you liked the other novellas you will most likely enjoy this one as well… But I can’t say it’s a must-read.

shortsummary1review

The Scarecrow only ever wanted to have a brain, but it looks like he got more for his wish than he can handle. What happens to the Scarecrow after he finally gets the gift of a brain from the Wizard and was appointed the new ruler of Oz? The Scarecrow is desperately trying to make up for lost time and reads as many books as possible to learn more about his new kingdom. He has the brains, but he feels he still lacks the information to be a proper ruler… And things take a turn for the worse when his reign is threatened. He is not sure how to handle this situation, since something similar has never happened in Oz before. And the Scarecrow is so desperate that he will turn to anyone who can help, even if that might not be the best thing for his own future.

finalthoughtsreview

I liked this fifth novella a lot better than the previous ones, but I still stand firmly by my opinion that the novellas are nowhere as good as the actual series. Why do I still read them? I guess I already had the copies of the first few and I don’t like leaving a series uncompleted. The Straw King was probably one of the best novellas of the bunch, although the Scarecrow doesn’t exactly plays a big role it. At least it adds some new information to the original series!

WWW Wednesdays #99 – July 13th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m currently reading Wanderlost by Jen Malone, which is turning out to be a quick and entertaining road trip story from what I can see so far. I’ve also started reading The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse because I was in the mood for a Peter Pan retelling, but I can’t say I’m enjoying it. The tone and prose don’t seem to fit the theme at all and I’m struggling to continue this one… Same goes for The Stepmother by Claire Seeber: I started reading it last week, but I couldn’t get into the story and decided to keep it temporarily on hold and read a few other titles instead.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished since last week is My Girl by Jack Jordan, which is probably one of the most twisted and disturbing thrillers I’ve read so far this year. If you are into the genre, definitely make sure to check out this book!
* I then finished Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys, which is without doubt my new favorite of this author. The setting, prose and character development are excellent and I really felt like I was right there in the 1950s along with the characters.
* I also read The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza, which by no means suffers from the ‘weak-second-book’ syndrome. It’s fast-paced, well written and has an intriguing plot and plot twists. It’s without doubt a very entertaining read!
* I then read The Straw King by Danielle Paige. This novella was surprisingly good compared to the last few previous stories, but I still wasn’t overwhelmed by it.
* I’ve also been able to finish Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, a title that was on my 2015 most-antipated-releases list. I enjoyed reading it and I admit it was a ‘cute’ read, but I did have some problems with the credibility of the plot. I mean, if the main character is really that sick, doing what she did is incredibly stupid.
* The last book I managed to finish is The Sister by Louise Jensen, which I ended up really enjoying. It’s dark, messed with your mind and has many plot twists… The story jumps back and forth between the past and present and there are quite a few unreliable characters, but it only added to the whole mystery around Grace and Charlie.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Depending on what genre I’m in the mood for, I will read When We Collided by Emery Lord. Although I really want to read The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne as well, both because I’ve heard great things about it and because I want to The Fire Child by the same author. If I want something different, The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey is also high on my list… And my latest TBR jar pick is still The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz. (Which I should read soon since it’s been too long since I last read a TBR jar book.)

BOOK REVIEW: Heart Of Tin – by Danielle Paige

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Title: Heart Of Tin
(Dorothy Must Die #0.4)
Author: Danielle Paige
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
First published: July 28th 2015
Finished reading: June 13th 2016
Pages: 93
Rating 1,5qqq

“Think about the first time you really fell in love. No, I mean, really think about it. How it was like your whole life before that moment was a black-and-white movie, and suddenly you stepped into Technicolor.”

myrambles1review

I wasn’t going to read any more Dorothy Must Die prequel novellas because the first three mostly disappointed me (especially the third one), but I decided to give them a go anyway before reading Yellow Brick War. And I don’t like to say this about any book or novella, but reading Heart Of Tin was simply a waste of time. I REALLY didn’t like this sappy romance story where all that happens is that the Tin Woodman pines for Dorothy all the time and tries to win her over…My feelings went between feeling annoyed and wanting to vomit, and honestly I still wish I would have just DNFed it. I will still read the next two novellas though, since various bloggers have confirmed that Heart Of Tin is the worst story of the bunch and the others are a lot better. But if you ask me, definitely stick with just the main Dorothy Must Die series and skip the novellas unless you REALLY love the series in the first place. They don’t actually add a lot to the main plot…

shortsummary1review

The Wizard finally gave the Tin Woodman a real heart, but he didn’t live happily ever after just like in the original story. In fact, the new heart of the Tin Woodman has it bad for Dorothy. What was onces a gift now turns into torture as the Tin Woodman pines for Dorothy and she doesn’t seem to return his feelings… And he is determined to do whatever it takes to show his loyalty, win over her heart and make her his. Even if this means ignoring the fact that Dorothy seems to have a completely different agenda since the last time she was in Oz.

finalthoughtsreview

Like I said before, I enjoyed the the actual series a lot better than the prequel novellas, and Heart Of Tin has to be the worst one by far so far. This novella doesn’t add anything new to the main plot and is mostly VERY annoying. There is no real plot and the story is mainly about the Tin Woodman repeating on and on how wonderful Dorothy is, hearing him pine for Dorothy and him feeling rejected when Dorothy doesn’t seem to respond to his feelings. Even if you loved the main series, I would recommend just skipping this novella and continue with the fifth one.

WWW Wednesdays #95 – June 15th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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The only reason I haven’t finished The Munich Girl by Phyliss Edgerly Ring yet is that I don’t have a lot of time to read, because I’m really enjoying this historical fiction story so far. Hopefully I will be able to finish it before the weekend! And I haven’t actually read any new pages of A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas since last week, so process is still minimum. It’s not that I don’t want to read it, but I wanted to finish other books first.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Three books sounds like a lot when I didn’t have a lot of time, but when I wrote last WWW I had the first title already almost finished… And the other two are a collection of short stories and a novella, so supposedly ‘quick’ to read.
* I really enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes retelling A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro, and I will definitely be looking out for the sequel. Fast-paced, entertaining and it really shows the main characters were based on the original duo.
* The Opposite Of Loneliness by Marina Keegan wasn’t as good as I was hoping for, but I guess that was mostly because I didn’t realize there was going to be a fiction part. I didn’t really like the fiction stories in general, although there were a few exceptions. The non fiction essays are really good though.
* I don’t like to say this about any book or novella, but reading Heart Of Tin by Danielle Paige was simply a waste of time. I REALLY didn’t like this sappy romance story where all that happens is that the Tin Woodman pines over Dorothy and tries to win her over… But since I’ve been promised this is the worst novella and the others are better, I will still read the next two.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have a new ARC pending:Cascadia by H.W. “Buzz” Bernard. It promises to be an adrenaline-filled suspense story about the after effects of extreme natural events (in this case a massive earthquake and tsunami), and I’m definitely looking forward to read it soon. And I decided to keep both Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum and The Ex by Alafair Burke on my list since they sound like really entertaining and ‘easy’ reads (which is something I need right now since I don’t have a lot of spare time to read). My newest TBR jar pick is The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz.

BOOK REVIEW: The Witch Must Burn – by Danielle Paige

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Title: The Witch Must Burn
(Dorothy Must Die #0.2)
Author: Danielle Paige
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
First published: November 11th 2014
Finished reading: June 7th 2015
Pages: 100
Rating 3

“You can’t choose who you are. But you can choose what you’ll become.”

myrambles1review

This second prequel novella of the Dorothy Must Die series is slightly better than the first one, although I still wasn’t too impressed by it. The writing style is about the same as the actual series, but I cannot say I’m a big fan of the characters she decided to focus on in the novellas. I can’t deny Jellia is an interesting character, but she is actually quite similar to the Amy Gunn of the actual series and I really can’t stand Glinda and her pink castle. I wish Danielle Paige would have chosen something a bit more original for her novellas, because the ‘big secret’ Jellia has isn’t exactly that shocking. The Witch Must Burn was more of a very long description of both the Emerald City where Dorothy lives and Glinda’s cotton candy pink castle… Not exactly something exciting or a novella you have to read to really understand the actual series. It’s a quick read though, so if you like pink descriptions and want to learn a bit about Jellia’s history I guess it’s still an ok read.

shortsummary1review

Dorothy is quickly turning into the newest wicked witch in Oz, power and magic hungry and slowly destroying the Oz as it is known. And she is not the only one in control. Glinda still has a big influence on Dorothy and she didn’t bring back Dorothy without having her own secret agenda. The supposedly good witch of the North is searching for a way to mine the magic of the land of Oz, and Dorothy and the Scarecrow play a big role in it. When Glinda pays a visit to Emerald City, she decides that the head maid Jellia has something special about her… And demands Dorothy to lend her Jellia for a few months. They travel back to the pink castle that Glinda calls her home, and Jellia soon discovers GIinda is planning something wicked.

finalthoughtsreview

I’m glad I’ve read Dorothy Must Die and The Wicked Will Rise first, because I don’t think I would have continued the series after reading the novellas. They just aren’t as good so far as the actual series, and the characters Danielle Paige focuses on are quite annoying. I admit I like Jellia, but Glinda plays a big role in The Witch Must Burn as well and I really can’t stand her and her pink world. Only imagening her castle already gives me a headache! The writing is quite entertaining and it’s a short read, but still it cannot compare to the actual series.