Something To Look Forward To – Week of December 3rd, 2018

December 3, 2018 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult, and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

_________________________________________________

Week of December 3rd, 2018

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

All the Wandering Light (Even the Darkest Stars #2) by Heather Fawcett [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Balzer + Bray

Once a King (Clash of Kingdoms #3) by Erin Summerill [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Crown Books for Young Readers

Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Delacorte Press

Realm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles #2) by Hannah West [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Holiday House

Valiant by Merrie Destefano [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Entangled: Teen

What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Sourcebooks Fire

Dare to Fall by Estelle Maskame [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Sourcebooks Fire

Splendor and Spark (Shimmer and Burn #2) by Mary Taranta [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Never Evers by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Delacorte Press

North to Benjamin by Alan Cumyn [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

Legacy of Light (Effigies #3) by Sarah Raughley [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Simon Pulse

King of the Road (Brotherhood of the Wheel #2) by R.S. Belcher [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Tor Books

The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of The One #2) by Nora Roberts [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Blood of Ten Kings (Guardians of Aandor #3) by Edward Lazellari [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Tor Books

The Darkest Captive (Lords of the Underworld #14.5) by Gena Showalter [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated

The Shattered Sun (Bound Gods #3) by Rachel Dunne [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Harper Voyager

Splintered Suns by Michael Cobley [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Orbit

Soulbinder (Spellslinger #4) by Sebastien de Castell [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Orbit

Before We Were Strangers by Brenda Novak [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Mira Books

Into the Night (Gemma Woodstock #2) by Sarah Bailey [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Grand Central Publishing

Murder at the Mill: A Mystery (An Iris Grey Mystery #1) by M.B. Shaw [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Minotaur Books

Keep Her Close by Erik Therme [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 5th 2018 by Bookouture

For the Sake of the Game: Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon by Laurie R. King [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Pegasus Books

The Dakota Winters: A Novel by Tom Barbash [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Ecco

Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Gallery Books

The Three Secret Cities (Jack West Jr #5) by Matthew Reilly [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Gallery Books

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson[Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Gallery Books

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Gallery Books

Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Bloomsbury Publishing

North of Dawn: A Novel by Nuruddin Farah [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 4th 2018 by Riverhead Books

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Early Review – An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

November 29, 2018 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2018 4 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks &  Sarah PekkanenAn Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 8, 2019
Pages: 384
Genres: Mystery
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads


three-stars

The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

“We all have reasons for our actions. Even if we hide the reason from those who think they know us best. Even if the reasons are so deeply buried we can’t recognize them ourselves.”

Jessica Farris is a makeup artist in New York City and when she overhears information about a psychological study for some quick cash she finds a way to get into it. Sitting in an empty room she answers questions on a computer on ethics and morality. She’s prompted to be as honest as possible and she is; she has no reason not to be. This is an anonymous study after all where she is referred to only as Subject 52. She’s generously paid and when the individual in charge of the study, Dr. Shields, dangles the carrot of further payment if she continues the study outside of the classroom she accepts. The things Jess is asked to do are slightly unnerving and confusing, unsure how it has anything to do with ethics and morality, but the desire to help her struggling family out is more than enough incentive to quiet the discontent in her mind. The more studies she completes though, the more the discontent grows.

Most mysteries these days tend to count on unreliable narrators to keep the reader guessing. In the end, you’re thrown a curveball of an answer that causes you to question the hundreds of pages you’ve just consumed. It can be just as fun to work your way back through the story, reevaluating everything you assumed but now with a new understanding. That’s what I enjoyed most about An Anonymous Girl, you think you know exactly what’s going on, and you might be right, but there’s just enough uncertainty that you can’t be sure, so you keep reading. Alas, the lead up was great, but the ending wasn’t quite the shocker that I had anticipated and felt a little too ‘easy’ of a conclusion when compared to the chaos that led up to it. I sometimes feel that by reading too many mysteries that I’m dulling any future enjoyment, that I become too adept at deciphering what’s truly going on. Or maybe this was simply a mediocre mystery.

For more unreliable narrators…

Night Film by Marisha Pessl [Purchased|Review]
The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan [Purchased|Review]
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough [Purchased|Review]

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Mastermind: Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal. by Evan Ratliff

November 28, 2018 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 9 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The Mastermind: Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal. by Evan RatliffThe Mastermind: Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal. by Evan Ratliff
Published by Random House on March 5, 2019
Pages: 496
Genres: True Crime
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

The incredible true story of the decade-long quest to bring down Paul Le Roux—the creator of a frighteningly powerful Internet-enabled cartel who merged the ruthlessness of a drug lord with the technological savvy of a Silicon Valley entrepreneur

It all started as an online prescription drug network, supplying hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of painkillers to American customers. It would not stop there. Before long, the business had turned into a sprawling multinational conglomerate engaged in almost every conceivable aspect of criminal mayhem. Yachts carrying $100 million in cocaine. Safe houses in Hong Kong filled with gold bars. Shipments of methamphetamine from North Korea. Weapons deals with Iran. Mercenary armies in Somalia. Teams of hitmen in the Philippines. Encryption programs so advanced that the government could not break them.

The man behind it all, pulling the strings from a laptop in Manila, was Paul Calder Le Roux—a reclusive programmer turned criminal genius who could only exist in the networked world of the twenty-first century, and the kind of self-made crime boss that American law enforcement had never imagined.

For half a decade, DEA agents played a global game of cat-and-mouse with Le Roux as he left terror and chaos in his wake. Each time they came close, he would slip away. It would take relentless investigative work, and a shocking betrayal from within his organization, to catch him. And when he was finally caught, the story turned again, as Le Roux struck a deal to bring down his own organization and the people he had once employed.

Award-winning investigative journalist Evan Ratliff spent four years piecing together this intricate puzzle, chasing LeRoux's empire and his shadowy henchmen around the world, conducting hundreds of interviews and uncovering thousands of documents. The result is a riveting, unprecedented account of a crime boss built by and for the digital age.

“As directors, we spend countless hours imagining heightened plots and memorable characters that will leave a lasting impression on audiences. The true tale of obsession, genius, intrigue, and vengeance detailed in The Mastermind is as gripping and cinematic as anything we could endeavor to conjure up.”—Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War

About Evan Ratliff

Evan Ratliff is an award-winning journalist and the author of The Mastermind: Drugs, Empire, Murder, Betrayal, about the 21st century’s most ambitious criminal cartel and the programming genius behind it (coming in 2019 from Random House). The story is also being adapted into a television series by the Russo Brothers, Noah Hawley, and Skybound. His writing also appears in Wired, The New Yorker, and other magazines. Evan was previously the cofounder and editor in chief of Atavist and the The Atavist Magazine, acquired by Automattic in 2018. On the side, he cohosts the acclaimed Longform Podcast, and was the founding story editor of Pop-Up Magazine.

Sounds like a good time. 😂

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of November 26th, 2018

November 26, 2018 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 3 Comments

Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult, and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

_________________________________________________

Week of November 26th, 2018

Runebreaker (The Runebinder Chronicles #2) by Alex R. Kahler [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Harlequin Teen

Come with Me by Helen Schulman [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Harper

Hazards of Time Travel: A Novel by Joyce Carol Oates [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Ecco

The Dinosaur Tourist by Caitlín R. Kiernan [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 30th 2018 by Subterranean

How Long ’til Black Future Month?: Stories by N.K. Jemisin [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Orbit

Abandoned (Donovan Trilogy #2) by W. Michael Gear [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Daw Books

The Razor by J. Barton Mitchell [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Tor Books

#HeroFail (Superheroes Anonymous #4) by Lexie Dunne [Purchase]
Published November 27th 2017 by Harper Voyager

The Book of Ballads and Sagas by Charles Vess, Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Titan Comics

The Mortal Word (The Invisible Library #5) by Genevieve Cogman [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Ace

Tiger’s Claim (Shifter Rogues #2) by Celia Kyle [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Forever

Ghost Virus by Graham Masterton [Purchase]
Expected publication: December 1st 2018 by Head of Zeus

Rowankind (Rowankind #3) by Jacey Bedford [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by DAW

The Eternity War: Exodus by Jamie Sawyer [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Orbit

Sherlock Holmes and the Sussex Sea-Devils (The Cthulhu Casebooks #3) by James Lovegrove [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Titan Books

Tom Clancy Oath of Office by Marc Cameron [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Kingdom of the Blind (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #14) by Louise Penny [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Minotaur Books

Sweetpea (Sweetpea #1) by C.J. Skuse [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Mira Books

Someone to Trust (Westcott #5) by Mary Balogh [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Berkley

The Duke That I Marry (Spinster Heiresses #3) by Cathy Maxwell [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Avon

Condition of Secrecy by Inger Christensen [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by New Directions

The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Algonquin Books

The Adults by Caroline Hulse [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 27th 2018 by Random House

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Rapid Reviews – 2018 Christina Lauren Releases

November 23, 2018 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Rapid Fire Reviews, Read in 2018 5 Comments

Sometimes review writing is hard. Sometimes you don’t have a lot to say. Sometimes you’re just lazy as fuck. These are Rapid Fire Reviews.

I only just discovered the wonders of Christina Lauren this year and am so glad that they write as fast as they do! I’ve got quite a backlist to look forward to as well. But here are my mini-reviews for their three 2018 releases.

Rapid Reviews – My Favorite Half-Night Stand, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, Love and Other WordsMy Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Published by Gallery Books on December 4, 2018
Pages: 400
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Short Summary: When Millie and her four male friends all realize they need dates for an upcoming banquet, they make a pact to join an online dating site thinking that’ll be a quick fix but Millie finds herself matched with one of her friends and decides to keep her identity secret from him.

Thoughts: I really love how consistently the authors develop their characters, but I definitely felt a kinship with Millie’s dry sense of humor and fascination with serial killers. My Favorite Half-Night Stand highlights the perils of online dating (and falling for your best friend) in the most hilarious of fashions.

Verdict: My love for Christina Lauren books was definitely not a phase — this hilarious swoon-fest gets all 5 stars from me (and is the current reigning favorite).

five-stars

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rapid Reviews – My Favorite Half-Night Stand, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, Love and Other WordsJosh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Published by Gallery Books on September 4, 2018
Pages: 320
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Short Summary: Josh and Hazel have known each other since college but after Josh gets unceremoniously dumped, Hazel decides to agree to go on a bunch of double dates with him to get him back in the game. Even though the sparks fly, they’re dating other people, they’re definitely not dating each other.

Thoughts: Josh (quiet, professional) and Hazel (quirky, one of a kind) were the perfect counterpoints to one another and their double dates were a super cringe-y good time. The humor is never over the top as it is paired with Hazel learning how to stand up for herself and not let people change her colorful nature.

Verdict: This one is great, of course, but the ending was not one I expected (and I’ve heard this is definitely not the norm in CL endings). I must say that despite the curveball ending, it was handled surprisingly well.

four-half-stars

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rapid Reviews – My Favorite Half-Night Stand, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, Love and Other WordsLove and Other Words by Christina Lauren
Published by Gallery Books on April 10, 2018
Pages: 432
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Short Summary: Macy and Elliot fell in love when they were just teenagers but tragic events separate the two and they don’t have the opportunity to reconnect until a chance run-in gives them a second chance to fix what broke 10 years prior.

Thoughts: This book made me realize that I’m a super fan of the friends to lovers trope and that I love a good dual timeline story but I hate stories where there is unnecessary drama simply because people don’t know how to communicate.

Verdict: Having read more CL stories, this one is definitely heavier and angstier in terms of plot, but it will definitely put you through the emotional ringer (in a good way).

four-stars

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Suspicious Minds (Stranger Things #1) by Gwenda Bond

November 21, 2018 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 3 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Suspicious Minds (Stranger Things #1) by Gwenda BondSuspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond
Series: Stranger Things #1
Published by Del Rey Books on February 5, 2019
Pages: 304
Genres: Sci-fi
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

An upcoming book A mysterious lab. A sinister scientist. A secret history. If you think you know the truth behind Eleven’s mother, prepare to have your mind turned Upside Down in this thrilling prequel to the hit show Stranger Things.

It’s the summer of 1969, and the shock of conflict reverberates through the youth of America, both at home and abroad. As a student at a quiet college campus in the heartland of Indiana, Terry Ives couldn’t be further from the front lines of Vietnam or the incendiary protests in Washington.

But the world is changing, and Terry isn’t content to watch from the sidelines. When word gets around about an important government experiment in the small town of Hawkins, she signs on as a test subject for the project, codenamed MKUltra. Unmarked vans, a remote lab deep in the woods, mind-altering substances administered by tightlipped researchers . . . and a mystery the young and restless Terry is determined to uncover.

But behind the walls of Hawkins National Laboratory—and the piercing gaze of its director, Dr. Martin Brenner—lurks a conspiracy greater than she could have ever imagined. To face it, she’ll need the help of her fellow test subjects, including one so mysterious the world doesn’t know she exists—a young girl with unexplainable, superhuman powers and a number instead of a name: 008.

Amid the rising tensions of the new decade, Terry Ives and Martin Brenner have begun a different kind of war—one where the human mind is the battlefield.

About Gwenda Bond

Gwenda Bond is the author of many novels, primarily for young adults. Among others, they include the Lois Lane trilogy, which brings the iconic comic book character front and center in her own YA novels, and the Cirque American trilogy, about daredevil heroines who discover magic and mystery lurking under the big top. She and her husband author Christopher Rowe also co-write a middle grade series, the Supernormal Sleuthing Service. Her first mystery project for adults, Dead Air, a novel and podcast written with Carrie Ryan and Rachel Caine, is out now, and in 2019 she’ll release a Stranger Things prequel. She co-hosts the weekly podcast Cult Faves.

Her nonfiction writing has appeared in Publishers Weekly, Locus Magazine, Salon, the Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. She has an MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in a hundred-year-old house in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and their unruly pets. There are rumors she escaped from a screwball comedy, and she might have a journalism degree because of her childhood love of Lois Lane.

Ooooh, yes please!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of November 19th, 2018

November 19, 2018 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult, and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

_________________________________________________

Week of November 19th, 2018

The Dark Days Deceit (Lady Helen #3) by Alison Goodman [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Viking Books for Young Readers

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Dragonshadow (Heartstone #2) by Elle Katharine White [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Harper Voyager

Firefly: Big Damn Hero by Nancy Holder [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Titan Books

The Search for Spark (Willful Child #3) by Steven Erikson [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Tor Books

Fire & Blood (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Bantam

City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Tor Books

Lies Sleeping (Rivers of London #7) by Ben Aaronovitch [Purchase]
Published November 13th 2018 by Daw Books

The Comforts of Home (Simon Serrailler #9) by Susan Hill [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by The Overlook Press

Target (Alex Cross #26) by James Patterson [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 19th 2018 by Little, Brown and Company

So Many Doors by Oakley Hall [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Titan Books Ltd

A Marriage in Four Seasons: A Novel by Kathryn Abdul-baki [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by She Writes Press

Master of His Fate (House of Falconer #1) by Barbara Taylor Bradford [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Tony’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Harper

Beauchamp Hall by Danielle Steel [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Delacorte Press

The Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #3) by Julia Quinn [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Avon

The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl (The Lady Travelers Society #3) by Victoria Alexander [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by HQN Books

Extinctions by Josephine Wilson [Purchase]
Expected publication: November 20th 2018 by Tin House Books

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Book Review – Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

November 17, 2018 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2018, YA 4 Comments

Book Review – Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – The Original Screenplay by J.K. RowlingFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
Illustrator: MinaLima
Series: Fantastic Beasts The Original Screenplay #2
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on November 16, 2018
Pages: 304
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Cuckoo's Calling, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


two-stars




J.K. Rowling’s five-film Fantastic Beasts adventure series continues with the original screenplay for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his former Hogwarts student, who agrees to help once again, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

This second original screenplay from J.K. Rowling, illustrated with stunning line art from MinaLima, expands on earlier events that helped shape the wizarding world, with some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of both the books and films.

What the fuck even was that.

I haven’t watched the movie yet so this is solely a review of the book, but wow, I’m certainly not rushing to the theatres anytime soon.

The story is seriously a big hot mess though and while I loved the first installment, the follow-up really threw everything I liked about it into a blender. The characters changed in ludicrous fashion, the motivations behind the characters themselves were murky at best, and there was little to no plot development. This feels like the middle book of a trilogy but apparently, we have three more books to “look forward to.”

The biggest issue I had was the very clear attempt to merge these “prequel” stories with the original Harry Potter series. I felt if the writers simply focused on telling these stories and letting them stand on their own merits they might not have felt the need to remind us every so often that hey! This is set in the Harry Potter world! It just felt messy. The biggest flaw was McGonagall’s cameo. She was in her 70s in the original stories, which began in 1997, yet in The Crimes of Grindewald she’s a Hogwarts professor in a story set in the mid-20s. I can imagine the cameos are far more exciting in film, but the timeline super doesn’t match, at least in accordance with what Rowling has stated previously about her characters. Seriously, so unnecessary.

There are also additions to the story that simply don’t end up making a whole lot of sense. Like that bit about Nagini having been an actual human at one point in her life? It’s revealed that she’s a Maledictus, able to transform into a snake but due to a blood curse passed down in her family, she’ll transform into a snake one day and never be able to transform back. Sure, it was interesting tidbits and expands on Nagini’s story, and sure, maybe this all becomes more vital later on in this series, but the small bit we’re given seemed pretty inconsequential.

But the icing on the cake was the “twist” at the end. Serious spoiler, beware. View Spoiler »

The original stories are already so fascinatingly complex and these attempts to expand on what has already been drilled into our brains from many a re-reads just comes across as lazy and is really destroying the magic of Harry Potter for me.

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Monthly Rundown: October 2018

November 15, 2018 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 7 Comments

Yes, I’m well aware that the month ended over two weeks ago. 😂 November has been an odd one for me and I’m having a difficult time sitting down to read or blog even though I have buckets of time on my hands now that I’ve found myself jobless. I’m used to rigid scheduling and working my ass off, so having hours upon hours to just do whatever is causing me to develop a bit of an eye twitch. lol Relaxing? What’s that? October was a productive month of reading but November isn’t shaping up to be real great. It is what it is.

Books Read = 24

That looks like more than it really was, I swear. Four of them were shortish stories and another four were graphic novels.

Posted Reviews

Apparently, I didn’t post a single review! lol Sounds about right.

Unreviewed Reads

There are a couple review books I read in October that aren’t listed since I’ll be reviewing them… eventually.



 

Best of the Month: The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle ★★★★½
This was my first LaValle and it’s not going to be my last. I have no idea why I waited so long to pick up anything of his up but this one was a perfect introduction. This was like dark Urban Fantasy + Lovecraftian horror and it was near perfect.

Least Favorite: The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal ★★
I bought both books in this series at the same time because I anticipated that I would adore this. I am so disappointed. I really loved the beginning of this but the love definitely died. Kowal really goes all out trying to cover all the things (women’s rights, race issues, religious issues) and while I love a good book on empowerment and focusing on issues that need discussing, it began to feel like the primary focus of the novel rather than the whole saving the world bit it was supposed to be about. Also, the sex scenes were super fucking awkward.

Biggest Surprise: Roomies by Christina Lauren ★★★★½
This has been the year of Christina Lauren for me (this is my fourth of theirs) and while not my absolute favorite due to a little sputtering at the end of this one, it still surprises me how much I love their books. I don’t read a whole lot of fluff but this is some real good fluff. Exactly what I’ve come to expect for this dynamic duo.

Biggest Disappointment: Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire ★★
I’ve loved pretty much everything of McGuire’s and (much like The Calculating Stars) everyone I know raves about this series but it super didn’t work for me. Everyone talks about how whimsical this series is and I really thought that I’d love it but I didn’t like the characters, the world-building, or the unnecessary gruesome aspects. This is, unfortunately, going in the series graveyard.

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