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Friday, June 16, 2017

50/50 Friday (37): Favorite/Least Favorite Book Read in the First Half of the Year

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Favorite/Least Favorite Book Read in the First Half of the Year


This is so hard!!  Why did I even suggest this topic?  I'm going to list three here because I can't even decide...

The Queen of the Tearling #3

Goodreads Blurb:
"In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has grown from an awkward teenager into a powerful monarch and a visionary leader.

And as she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she has transformed her realm. But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies - chief among them the evil and feared Red Queen, who ordered the armies of Mortmesne to march against the Tear and crush them.

To protect her people from such a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable - naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne.

So, the endgame has begun and the fate of Queen Kelsea - and the Tearling itself - will be revealed...

With The Fate of the Tearling, Erika Johansen draws her unforgettable story full of magic and adventure to a thrilling close."

This is the last book in the series and I read it back in April.  I rated it 5 stars (obviously) and loved pretty much every minute of it!  It's just such a deep book (and series in general) and the ending is so unexpected and sad and tragic and perfect; I just loved it!  If you haven't read this series yet, I highly recommend it!  You do need a little patience because it's a very slow burn type of series but it's completely worth the wait.

See my review HERE.

Caraval #1

Goodreads Blurb:
"Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away."

I read this in April as well (April was a lovely month) and loved it!  The atmosphere is perfectly achieved and world is so magical and mystical and wonderful.  It's also pretty dark and unsettling which is partly why I love it so much.  I can't wait for the next one to be released!

See my review HERE.

Hercule Poirot #13

Goodreads Blurb:
"There's a serial killer on the loose, bent on working his way through the alphabet. And as a macabre calling card he leaves beside each victim's corpse the ABC Railway Guide open at the name of the town where the murder has taken place. Having begun with Andover, Bexhill and then Churston, there seems little chance of the murderer being caught - until he makes the crucial and vain mistake of challenging Hercule Poirot to frustrate his plans."

I've been really getting into Agatha Christie's books lately and it all started at the beginning of this year!  This is one of the first books I read this year by her.  I finished it in January and have been devouring her books ever since!  I had previously read And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express but I had forgotten how much I love her writing.  This is one of those books that really makes you think and has all the wonders of Hercule Poirot.

See my review HERE.

Least Favorite:

I've had three books that I've rated with 2 stars (part of my attempt to spread out my ratings a little although I'm still not really giving out any 1 star ratings) so I'll be listing them all here since one doesn't really stand out from the others.

The Red Era #1

Goodreads Blurb:
"Athens was once the cradle of civilization. Now it's slowly but surely becoming the tomb of humanity.

The Red Plague, a violent virus which had run rampant decades ago, left its imprint on the planet and the flesh of men. All that remains of the modern world is an endless wasteland of ruins—Erebos—and two cities—Elysion, the obscure island of the Non-Infecteds about which no one knows a thing, and, Tartaros, the crumbling town of the Infecteds where despair, hatred, violence and poverty are the operative words.

And at the heart of this universe lives Irisya, a sixteen-year-old Non-Infected girl, staying recluse in her home to be safe and relying on her brother, Memphis, for everything.

But then, one day, he disappears without a trace.

Irisya has no choice. To save him, to survive, she will have to brave all the dangers of the outside world."

I was one of the few people who didn't really enjoy this for several reasons.  One, I couldn't get past the unrealities of the character's actions.  Two, the romance changed course dramatically and abruptly.  And three, I didn't think the world was developed enough.  I read this back in May.

See my review HERE.

Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"The United States is under siege!
A devastating new bacterial disease sweeps across the states on the west coast and saps its victims of their own free will. Four strangers must work together to survive a mad dash across the United States to find safety in the nation’s capital. The outbreak chases them from their homes on the west coast, and they struggle to reach the capital before the disease does. When they arrive, danger rears its ugly head again, and the four must race against time to save not only themselves, but the entire country from destruction. The Departed is a story filled with the unlikeliest of heroes, who must find hope even when things look hopeless."

I also read this back in May and while it had so much potential, there just wasn't enough development of anything really.  The characters are pretty 2-dimensional, the plot was simplistic (albeit with some subplots nicely woven in), and the writing was pretty much telling and not enough showing.  Currently, I'm the only person to have reviewed it on Goodreads so I have no idea if I'm in the majority or not.

See my review HERE.

Escaping the Rainfield by Eliza Rich

Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"“April 12, 2003. “Beep. Beep. We interrupt your radio station to bring you this important message. The counties of… no. The states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and southern portions of Iowa and Nebraska are in a Flood Warning.””

This was no typical flood warning. With eleven states expecting three to ten inches of rain for an unprecedented number of days, the United States was in a frenzy. Families were evacuating their hometowns in hopes of locating refuge on dry land, but Hannah Davis’ family thought that they could out wait the storm. When their panicked Grandmother reaches out to them, requesting help, they find themselves fighting the weather and time to rescue her. As if that wasn’t enough, shortly after joining forces with two of Hannah’s classmates, Adrian and Ophelia, they come face to face with a gang that wants Adrian dead. As the days go by the family grows increasingly wary whether or not they will reach their Grandmother in time. Will the Davis’ be able to come together to outwit the storm and its surrounding catastrophes? Or will Hannah’s affection for Adrian put her family in more danger than it is worth?"

This book sounded so good from the blurb that I just knew I would enjoy it.  It sounds so different, right?  So many dystopias follow the same track and this one picked a different disaster.  In any case, the characters continued to baffle me, the setting was constantly blurry, and the constant mention of religion all turned me off to the book by the halfway mark.  Most of the reviews settle around the 3 star mark so I'm just slightly lower than the majority.

See my review to HERE.

So there you have it!  It's been a pretty mixed year so far, that's for sure.  What have been your favorite and least favorite books of the past year?  Have you read any of the books I have?  Make a post and link up down below!

Next Week's Topic: Favorite/Least Favorite Format of Books (HC, PB, ebook, etc)

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