A Rose, A Key (The Waste Lands – A Book Review)

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3)
Author: Stephen King
Published: 1991

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

Rated P for paradoxical twists that’ll leave you mind-bent.

 

Then he realized that it was not blood he was looking at, but roses…

Some time has passed and Roland, Eddie, and Susannah are well on their way toward the dark tower. There is conflict within Roland. He is struggling with two alternate realities since he saved Jake from getting shoved into traffic and run over by a car. Now, he can’t tell what’s real. Is Jake dead from him leaving him to die and go after the man in black or is Jake truly alive because he’d never been hit? Roland must fix himself before he completely comes unhinged. They cannot continue onward to the dark tower until he does.

 

The Dark Tower series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 3 of 7 (technically 8, but I’m not including The Wind Through the Keyhole, though I will be reading it.)

 

This book really picked up the series’s pace. There was much more action than in the books before it. Roland struggled to fix what he’d done to Jake in The Gunslinger and it put a great strain on the journey to the dark tower for him and his companions. Eddie and Susannah were very helpful in guiding him, though all three of them weren’t sure about where they were going. They followed ka-tet and their guts blindly. It’s really crazy but always keeps me guessing. Nothing about this series is predictable.

My hopes didn’t let me down! Jake returned. Granted it was touch-and-go for a good moment, but Jake is back and I’m so glad. While it’s hard to pick a favorite character, the crew feels complete with him a part of it. I got really giddy when Jake created a bond with Oy, a billy-bumbler. They’re very strange-looking creatures and very much in the so-ugly-they’re-cute category but incredibly brilliant. This one is no exception.

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SyFy Wire

Charlie Choo Choo made his debut in this book. In fact, he was one of the major points aside from Jake. It was the main destination of this book actually and without Jake, they wouldn’t have made it. Learning of Charlie led them to Blaine the Monorail. He helped Roland and crew get to Blaine the Mono. Both Charlie and Blaine are super creepy. The kid’s book unnerved me and when Charlie made his appearance I swear I shuddered.

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Dark Tower Wiki

The world the crew was in this time is still crazy-wild. So desolate and dangerous. While they moved across the waste lands, there were strange doors, creatures, and crazy, psycho people. The detail is so deep and intricate. King didn’t spare a single sense useless. Sometimes the density made me slow down some, but I didn’t give up on it.

Also really admired the images created to help add to the story, such as Roland’s explanation of the dark tower and how it’s the pinnacle of all universes. It really does help and give better visuals for certain bits. Not only did it give me something better to go on, but I saw it how the characters did.

Scarlet Reader - Dark Tower

The Waste Lands

 

Overall

This book left off on such a cliffhanger! I can’t wait to get to the next one. I’m really glad I didn’t give up on this series. Incredibly inventive and creative and dark. I’m so living for it! While it’s uber twisty and sometimes a struggle to get my brain to keep up with all of the overlapping time paradoxes, I just can’t get enough.

 

Quotables:

“We are ka-tet, which means a group of people bound together by fate. The philosophers of my land sad a ka-tet could only be broken by death or treachery…” (Roland, p. 422)

“You’re a long way from Forty-second Street, sweetheart—hope is a great thing, no matter what anyone says, but don’t hope so hard you lose sight of that one thought: you’re a long way from Forty-second Street…” (Eddie, p.460)

“Old ways are sometimes the best ways.” (Roland, p. 471)

 

More to come soon…

  – K.

 

P.S. Song today? Behind Blue Eyes by The Who.

 

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Fires Everywhere (The Outsiders – A Book Review)

The Outsiders
Author: S. E. Hinton
Published: 1997

On Goodreads

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Wiki

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated

 

A heroic story of friendship and belonging.

Ponyboy has been struggling of late between understanding right and wrong in a society that automatically decides it for him, his brothers, and friends: greasers. His thoughts pull him in one direction and his brothers and friends pull him in other directions. After Johnny saves him from being drowned by a soc, the result something dreadful. Murder. The two go on the lamb. Even doing the wrong thing for the right reason can have consequences, and they’ll stay with you for a very long time.

Ponyboy’s world crumbles around him and this not only affected him but everyone around him, and he soon learns that it doesn’t matter if you’re a greaser or a soc, pain hurts all the same.

 

This is a classic I’ve wanted to read for years. I don’t care that people usually read it back in middle school. For me, The Giver and The Cure were what was read. Classics are ageless and this a classic. It’s a dark and tragic story that proves that it doesn’t matter what social class you are put into, everyone bleeds the same and hurts the same.

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Pintrest

Actually, experiencing life from such an unexpected perspective is incredible and fresh. Greasers, like everyone else at the time, worked hard, fell in love, and felt heartbreak like everyone else, but because of where they live and what they look like they still get hassled horrendously. It made me fill pity, to be honest. Nobody understands what it’s like to struggle at the bottom unless they’ve been there and to have people that don’t understand or care add on to it is heavy. This book really gives readers a chance to experience that some. You fight for all that you have. In this case, it was for family, respect, and dignity.

The family dynamic is heart-wrenching. Sure, the decisions the boys make more often than not made me frown because they were quite the troublemakers but the way they supported each other was the true spirit of family. This book also reiterates that blood isn’t all that makes a family.

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Rebloggy

The setting of the book really gives way to a time when society really was a bastard. Today, it’s still pretty bad and disturbing. What is so wrong with the human race that we beat each other because of status?

 

Overall

I’m really glad I read this. It really got me to think. No matter how old you are, a book doesn’t tell you that you can’t read it because you’re too old. They all have interesting lessons, stories, and/or emotions to give you, and for a reason. Now, I can’t wait to watch the movie to this and compare thoughts. This really is a valuable read.

 

Quotables:

“Suddenly, in the red glow and haze, I remembered wondering what it was like in a burning ember, and I thought: Now I know, it’s a red hell. Why aren’t I scared?” (Ponyboy, p. 92)

“I am a greaser. I am a JD and a hood. I blacken the name of our fair city. I beat up people. I rob gas stations. I am a menace to society. Man, do I have fun!” (Sodapop, p. 136)

“We’re greasers, but not hoods, and we don’t belong with this bunch of future convicts.” (Ponyboy, p. 141)

 

More to come soon…

  –K.

P.S. Song today? Surrender by Cheap Trick.

 

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Alcohol and Bipolars Don’t Mix (After – A Book Review)

After (After Series #1)
Author: Anna Todd
Published: 2014

On Goodreads

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Amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

Rated F for Freshmen that make those fresh-y mistakes and don’t learn from them.

 

There was a time before Tess met Hardin, and then there’s everything after.

Life will never be the same.

Tessa is a good girl. She’s always followed the rules, worked hard, and even has a great boyfriend and got into her first-choice college. The moment she steps foot on campus, everything changes. No, it’s the first time she meets Hardin that everything changes. Everybody warns her about him, but she can’t help that they keep being drawn together.  He’s cruel and reckless, always leaving her feeling hurt one second and sweet, telling her he cares and that wants nobody else but her the next. But, try as she might, she can’t seem to quit him and he can’t stay away from her.

Everything she’s worked hard for is in jeopardy and it may just crash and burn for Hardin. Is it worth it? To try and love someone who doesn’t seem to know how?

 

Where the hell do I start!? Oh man, no. Just this book is a no with a dash of yes. I was so bugging out!

I became interested in this series when I saw the movie trailer. It looked amazing. I’m still planning on watching it, only when it’s out on DVD/Digital though. The movie cover for the book is beautiful! I love how dramatic and intense it. And the summery, sunset color is mouthwatering.

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As for the book, well…

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OKAY! I didn’t like it, or rather, I didn’t like the writing. It was driving me insane how terrible it was. It just about ruined the story for me, and I really enjoyed the story itself. It was filled with the complicated heart-pulling of drama and desperation of exploration and needing to be wanted, which can be dangerous. It can lead one to make really bad decisions.

Hardin and Tessa are complicated. The two of them are so different, yet they are drawn together by a dangerous magnetic attraction. Everyone around it could see it, and they tried to warn Tessa more than once, but Tessa kept going back to Hardin. There wasn’t a logical reason behind it either except that I kept getting the notion that she got thrills off of being hurt a lot. It was aggravating on a major scale. She kept saying the same thing over and over, almost word for word whenever she’d be hurt by Hardin. The circle got old fast.

One character won the great award the of hatred all the way around in the book, and that honor goes to Tessa’s mother. Nothing about her was motherly. In fact, I’m pretty sure she’s Satan. LOL. Controlling and cruel, nearly crueler than Hardin, I can’t believe she’s a mother to begin with. My jaw kept dropping with the things that would roll out of her mouth, What mother told their daughter they’re a slut just because they wear mascara!? I was so disgusted with her

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BuzzFeed

More so, there were so many times I wished for the book to be more detailed. It was just too vague in many places and some bits could be omitted. They were parts I ended up skimming past because they weren’t important. I wish I wasn’t so bugged by things like this, but it disrupted my trying to enjoy this. It was as if Todd didn’t trust the reader to keep track of the story and characters and it came across as super basic, leaving nothing much to explore in the setting.

Side Note: Tessa is the only–ONLY college student I’ve met/read that can get her ducks in a damn row so fast and easy without a problem. Girl got a car, a nice paying internship in a dream spot and managed to stay on top of her studies. Like damn! I didn’t get that lucky in school and I worked my ass off. Real. Fricking. Hard. And the fact that she managed all of this like it was nothing off her back even though she blatantly says her mom worked paycheck to paycheck and she had to earn everything through grants and scholarships? Where the hell did she have the money to go shopping all the time and to get a car, let alone the time to do it?

 

Maybe the plot points and connections aren’t super important to some people out there that’s ve read the book, and that’s awesome. I mean that. Ride the wave if you can get past the illogical bits. But there was so much lacking. So much that was illogical and pointless. It drove me nuts. The emotions would’ve pulled me more if they were stronger, but the drama that Tess supposedly wanted to stay away from won out. I couldn’t register any emotions until the great ‘I love you’ came out and when it did I wondered where the hell the desire, passion, and crushing feelings were that come before it. Poor Tessa and Hardon just latched on and it was super awkward.

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Giphy

 

Overall

Did I enjoy this book? It was majorly hit or miss. There were more parts I didn’t like, but yes, I’ll definitely be finishing it! It was the end that helped me make that decision. While it was nearly exactly like the peak moment of Cruel Intentions, I want to know what comes next. The cliffy was a good one that took my breath away. So much heartbreak (and naivety). There are pieces everywhere and I can’t sort them out between Hardin and Tessa.

 

Quotables:

“All that I’m certain of is that my life and my heart will never be the same, not after Harden crashed into them.” (Tessa, p. 2)

“You can’t end something that never began.” (Tessa to Hardin, p. 177)

“…You took my kindness for weakness and you were sadly mistaken.” (Tessa to Hardin, p. 325)

 

P.S. Song today? Love Me Harder by Ariana Grande.

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

 

Scarlet Playlist – May 6, 2019

Scarlet Reader

Hey, booknerds!

Happy Monday! I hope you have a happy week! Here’s the playlist of the week!

2002 – Anna Marie

Ruin My Life – Zara Larsson

Uncover – Zara Larsson

Escape – Enrique Iglesias

Gorgeous – Taylor Swift

Call It What You Want – Taylor Swift

Sledgehammer – Fifth Harmony

The Heart Wants What It Wants – Selena Gomez

Run Away With Me – Carly Rae Jepsen

Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira

Colors – Halsey (Stripped Version)

Happier – Bastille

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

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Thoughts? A favorite song? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Rules for Retribution (Half Bad – A Book Review)

Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy #1)
Author: Sally Green
Published: 2014

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

Rated P for parents who unknowingly and unwittingly put a shunning curse on their kid.

 

Wanted by no one. Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage. Son of the most infamous Black Witch, Marcus, he’s given rules and limitations, pushing him to the brink. His captors run him ragged and his only hope is to escape so that he may receive the three gifts that’ll bring him his magical powers. Only then can he go after his father and put an end to him. How can he do that when there’s nobody he can trust?

 

I’d heard such good things about this book, so when I saw a copy on sale I couldn’t help but grab it. And as much praise, as it’s gotten, I am in that small percentage that just didn’t enjoy it. Well, enjoy isn’t the word. I didn’t get hooked. I gave it my all, but it was just slow and lacked excitement for me.

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Giphy

 

Taking place in Europe, witches are divided between white witches and black witches. Nathan was unlucky to be borne by both, his mom being a white witch and his father, a white witch. Many rules/laws kept him from having any normal kind of life because it’s quickly assumed he’ll be just like his father, a killer and power snatcher of witches.

Visually pleasing, the world building was impeccable. It was wide open and also beautifully bleak. I really liked how exploratory it was with Nathan’s journey.

This wasn’t dreadful, and I’ve read a dreadful book and reviewed as so. The characters were actually pretty moving. They carried such heartache and darkness. It was heavy and raw and deep. With Nathan struggling as everything worked against him, it was amazing how strong he was. Those that revolved around him showed how outside factors can strongly influence one’s life. It was pretty dang tragic.

Scarlet Reader - Kissed by an Angel

I struggled with the POV the most to be honest. Nathan is sixteen, but the book starts off much younger than that. What really caught me up, was that Nathan’s tone throughout it came across much older. More so, the POV switched up with second-person POV and first-person POV. It was a little confusing and distracting.

 

Overall

Though the imagery is strong, I struggled around other bends. I love the paranormal genre and the YA genre. This one just didn’t capture my love and that stinks. So, this goes to my donation pile.

 

Quotables:

“The new trick is no easier than the old trick.” (Nathan, p. 156)

 

P.S. Song today? Halfway Gone by Lifehouse.

 

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Midnight Tease

Midnight Tease - Giphy

Hello, book lovelies!

It’s the midnight hour. And if you’re awake right now, then you must be a night owl like me. It’s finally Justin Timberlake’s favorite month of the year. MAY! LOL. Last month was an epic one for reading. Got lots read up. Didn’t quite to a few, but that’s okay.

Here’s what’s going on this month!

 

Coming Soon…

Ghost_atniquity - LiveJournal

 

Wicked & Torn & Brave
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
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Scarlet Reader

I have been working to get my greedy hands on this trilogy for a WHILE. So happy I can finally read it! And, it’s on my New Year’s Resolution list.

 

William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Mean Girls
Author: Ian Doescher
Scarlet Reader

Quirk Books

I love LOVE Will and the quirky spin-offs that are created in his name. My favorite is ultimately Fool by Christopher Moore, but I look forward to adding this to my favorites. #SoFetch

 

The Host
Author: Stephanie Meyer
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Goodreads

I watched the movie and it was okay. Everybody I know that’s read this though says it’s phenomenal.

 

Lothaire
Author: Kresley Cole
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

By now, you should know how hopelessly addicted I am to The Arcana Chronicles, so I’m beyond ecstatic to read another story from Cole.

 

Currently…

HQ

 

Last Magician & The Devil’s Thief
Author: Lisa Maxwell

Scarlet Reader

 

Little Monsters
Author: Kara Thomas
Scarlet  Reader - little monsters

Goodreads

 

The Stand
Author: Stephen King
Scarlet Reader - 13 Book Tag
Goodreads

 

 

Good Omens
Author: Neil Gaiman
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Penguin

 

 

Up For Review…

Up for Review

 

Half Bad
Author: Sally Green
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

 

After
Author: Anna Todd
Scarlet Reader

Amazon

 

The Outsiders
Author: S. E. Hinton
Scarlet Reader

Wiki

 

Daughter of Egypt
Author: Constance O’Banyon
Scarlet Reader

Amazon

 

Busy month! And that’s the way I like it! Have an amazing month. I can taste summer on the horizon. So excited. Also, Godzilla: King of Monsters comes out this month! I love a great monster movie and this one looks promising!

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Tenor

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Sundown Rundown – April 2019

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Hey, Book Addicts!

Hope you are doing well. April is coming to a close and with that, I have the Sundown Rundown where you can catch up on any reviews you might’ve missed this month.

This month has been filled with a lot of anxious anticipation with the final season of Game of Thrones to Avengers: Endgame. Both have turned me into emotional wrecks. I’m not giving away any spoilers, but they’re so good! However, if you want to talk about them then let’s do it!

For now…

Grab a glass of wine, or a glass of whatever isn’t alcoholic, and relax. Here’s what’s happened this month.

 

 

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die #2)

Author: Danielle Paige

The first plan to assassinate Dorothy Gale, cruel dictator of Oz didn’t work out, so it’s time to find a new strategy. First, regroup and figure out who’s on your side.

 

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

Gwendy’s Button Box

Author: Stephen King

If given the gift of a mysterious box that contains both gifts and danger, what would you do?

 

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Harper Collins

Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die #3)

Author: Danielle Paige

We’re in Kansas again. But, nothing is the same as it was. Amy Gumm discovers the life she left behind isn’t the one she was thrown back in to. First things first though. Dorothy still needs to die.

 

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

Riverdale: The Day Before

Author: Micol Ostow

What happened during that final day of summer right before the tragic death of Jason Blossom.

 

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Goodreads

The End of Oz (Dorothy Must Die #4)

Author: Danielle Paige

It’s finally the end of the road for Dorothy and everyone. The war for Oz ends now. Who will be standing when it’s over?

 

Scarlet Reader

Harper Collins

The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol. 1 – Phantom

Author: L. J. Smith

Fell’s Church is finally back to the way it was before evil came to town with nothing but destruction. Elena Gilbert and her friends plan to take the summer before college and have fun. A jealousy demon has other plans for them though.

 

Scarlet Reader

Scarlet Reader

The Wood

Author: Chelsea Bobulski

The wood is a dangerous place. The rules are simple. Never stray from the path. Never linger after dark. Don’t break the rules. It could mean your life. It was for Winter’s father. Now she takes his place as guardian of the wood.

 

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

King’s Cage (Red Queen #3)

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Mare Barrow is still reeling from the loss of a loved one and now she’s a prisoner of King Maven. Turned into a traitor as the war finally begins, she refuses to break.

 

Scarlet Reader

Harper Collins

The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol. 2 – Moonsong

Author: L. J. Smith

Elena Gilbert and her friends are finally in college, but that normal life they thought they’d finally get is scratched when students go missing and then turn up gruesomely murdered. With two vampires, a hunter, and a witch, they can handle this, right?

 

Favorite book this month: King’s Cage is the big winner this month. So many feels and intense moments! Mare Barrow is still a mother-freaking boss. Powerful writing as well.

 

Least favorite book this month: The Wood fell flat for me. It just wasn’t my jam. I’m not super big into history. I value it, look back on it, and enjoy its study, but it takes a lot to get me interested in a story that uses time travel with it to capture my attention. This one just didn’t do it for me.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!