NerdyBirdie

A teenage girl who likes to think she can read all the books in the world. I also live off of coffee to get through the day. And . . . I like to read, a lot. Thanks for reading my socially-awkward profile. Have a great day and eat a cookie :D

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

Missing, Presumed: A Novel - Susie Steiner

Oh, look! It’s me not loving a book I should love… again! I think my 3 star rating is actually more of a “It was okay… could’ve been better.”

 

Anyway; Missing, Presumed revolves around the disappearance of the beautiful Edith Hind, who’s the daughter of the famous surgeon Ian Hind. When her disappearance becomes a high profile case, the responsibility to find the truth falls onto the Cambridgeshire police force, one of them being our main character, DS Manon Bradshaw.

 

This literary crime novel is definitely more character based. The novel spent more time revolving around Manon’s problems and her love life (online website dating descriptions) than the case. It almost made the first half unbearable. I also found Manon to be an annoying character which lead to another problem: it’s harder to enjoy the novel when you don’t like the main character.

 

Along with my problem for Manon (she did redeem herself in the end), there are various perspectives that are shown within the novel. I was hoping the police department would be closer considering the kinds of cases they work on, but the only side characters who were really brought to life (in my opinion) were Davy, Mariam, and Helena.

 

The mystery itself was very slow moving. And once a small thing happened in the book (a little over halfway) I knew who did it. And I was right. So, unfortunately, I didn’t get to appreciate the plot twist as much. There were also a lot of irrelevant events that were discussed in the book in terms of what happened when Edith disappeared.

 

I wish I felt for Edith. But, honestly, she just reminded me of those fakes who have grown up with money and upperclass society and make a huge show of being “simple” and “minimalist”. Edith was such an irritating brat.

 

I didn’t really enjoy the ending. It felt all too “wrapped up in a bow” for me. And I still wasn’t too fond of most of the characters.

 

Although this book is a good literary crime novel, you should pay attention to the fact that it is less crime and more about characters. Even then, if the characters are unlikable for you, the enjoyment of the novel goes down. And plus, if you guess the mystery, then it also makes the anticipation very disappointing.

Let the Booklikes Halloween Bingo Begin (For Me . . . Cause I’m Late)!

First of all, a HUGE thank you and shoutout to Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue for organizing and making Halloween Bingo possible! Thanks for bringing the community together, guys! :D If you want to participate, you can let the any of the two know by commenting on this post and then joining the club by clicking here!

 

 

Basically, my plan for Halloween Bingo is going to be a bit different. Since the rules are that you must complete 5 squares to make a line vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, I’m going to try to do that. But I’m going to use a little empty jar that I have to complete the squares by picking out a square for each of them. :D 

 
That way, it’ll be like “calling out squares” for Bingo!  
 
Anyway, this is just for fun, my goal is try to get 5 squares. Since the posters are very helpful (this is for fun after all), if I’m near the end and realize that I haven’t completed a line yet, then I’ll just read some books that will help me do that the fastest way possible. :D 
 
So far, I have made a list of books that I would like for each square: Please note that these are subject to change. 
 
Read by Candlelight or Flashlight
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
 
Magical Realism
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
 
Witches
The Witches by Roald Dahl
 
Horror Genre
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
 
Black Cat
M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman 
 
Diverse Authors Can Be Spooky Fun!
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
 
Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
 
Young Adult Horror
The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender 
 
Scary Women (Authors)
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and Laura Miller
 
Reads with (Booklikes) Friends
I DUNNO HEHE :D
 
Grave or Graveyard
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
 
Mystery Genre
Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner 
 
FREE SPACE! 
 
Gothic
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen 
 
Creepy Crawlies
The Insect Farm by Stuart Pebble
 
“Fall” Into a Good Book!
Persuasion by Jane Austen
 
Locked Room Mystery
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
 
 
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
 
Set in New England
The Secret History by Donna Tart 
 
Full Moon
Winter Moon by Dean Koontz
 
Vampires vs. Werewolves
Soulless by Gail Carriger 
 
Supernatural
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
 
Classic Horror
Dracula by Bram Stoker
 
Pumpkin
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
 
Set on Halloween
The October Country by Ray Bradbury
 
Hope you guys have fun! :D Good luck! 

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10 - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

Damn, I shouldn’t have read this book before going to bed…

 

Mostly because Lo would freak out over the smallest things (due to her depression and claustrophobia), but I swear to God, this woman made me paranoid.

 

Anyway, the premise for The Woman in Cabin 10 was intriguing enough. Lo has been suffering depression for a while. After being burgled, she finds that her paranoia has reached an extreme and she can’t sleep at night anymore. So, along with antidepressants and alcohol and gin, Lo relies on those for sleep.

 

Until she gets the chance to review a luxury cruise and witnesses a body being thrown overboard from the cabin next door to her—Cabin 10. As she goes to check in on her cabin neighbor, she realizes that there’s no one there. And if that isn’t messed up enough: all the passengers and staff are fully accounted for.

 

This book definitely felt less of a thriller and more of a character driven novel for me. We witness Lo desperately try to work through her phobias and depression to try and prove that what she saw was real.

 

Also, the author made a point of sticking to Lo’s character and the main plot; so that felt really nice to have. There wasn’t anything unnecessary in my opinion in this story.

 

I liked Lo as a character. She was consistent throughout the novel. I have a pet peeve about women in psychological thrillers, and I feel like every author does this: it’s the fact that almost every woman seems to have a sense of infidelity as their character (the “Oh I’m engaged or have a boyfriend but my sexy ex who was apart of my old life is back and I just can’t resist it!” I hate that so much; it doesn’t add complexity it just increases the story’s word count). I don’t agree with this because this just drives unnecessary attention away from the main course of the story. I am so glad that the author made sure that Lo knew her priorities and didn’t add any unwanted relationship BS.

 

You may or may not like the ending of this story. I was fine with it—but, once again I felt like this focused more on Lo as a character. A decent read overall, didn’t really make me creeped out or jump, but I was invested nonetheless.

When you’re in a reading slump… 

The Goodreads Empire of Storms Debate: My Two Cents

28260587NOTE: THE TYPE OF RATINGS THAT I AM TALKING ABOUT ARE FROM ONE STAR TO FIVE STARS AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN. THIS IS ABOUT THE FACT THAT THERE IS A RATING, NOT WHAT STAR IT IS. I WILL FEEL THE SAME ON THIS TOPIC FOR A ONE STAR AS I WILL FOR A FIVE STAR. 

 

Okay, so if you don’t know, there’s been a debate on Empire of Storms on Goodreads. This debate is actually surrounding the issue of pre-release ratings. Some people are saying that they don’t like them and other reviewers have decided to post their opinion on it. 

 
I decided to post my opinion and two cents. Feel free to discuss with me in the comments below (since that’s what we’re all here to do)!
 
First of all: yes. I like the Throne of Glass series. Am I aware that it his issues with under-representing and seems to have characters go through ridiculous situations that have pushed away numerous readers? Yes, I am aware. I listen, I like some of those negative Throne of Glass reviews, and then I move on.
 
Here’s a questions that I’m chosing to answer. Do I have an issue with pre-release ratings IF AND ONLY IF they have NOTHING to do with any of the content the reader has read? Yes. Yes I do. 
 
I DO NOT have a problem with ratings for a book based on:
- an eSample or a small sample of the book
- an ARC 
- a DNF (even if it’s DNF at page one, I don’t mind)
 
This is what I DO have a problem with: ratings based on someone’s dislike for a previous book written by the author. In the case of Throne of Glass, I’m talking about ratings for Empire of Storms (one star, five stars, and all those stars in between) based on The Assassin’s Blade, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, and Queen of Shadows
 
Do you see Empire of Storms in that list above I gave you or in any “read”, “dnf”, or “sample”, or “read-and-loved” shelves in any phrase or context? What is your rating for this individual book based on then? The last three books? What does that have to do with this one? 
 
And, like I said. I have a problem with these kinds of ratings. If you’re someone who does this, then you’re not breaking any law. It won’t ruin my day, but I might roll my eyes and scroll on. 
 
I DON’T have a problem with pre-release reviews. I’m talking about the reviews for Empire of Storms that are shelved as “will-never-read” and “poison-to-my-soul” and “not-until-i-am-in-my-deathbed” and “i-love-this-author”and “dorian-is-my-bae” and “best-series-ever” and have a review but NO RATING. I AM FINE WITH THAT. 
 
A review will explain to me WHY you have shelved this book as something you will never read or as something you will buy on the first day and allows you to approach your topic of criticism for the series and the previous books that have impacted you not to read or to definitely read the next one. I don’t mind those at all. In fact, I’ve even liked some of them (for Empire of Storms nonetheless). 
 
I just stated why I am one of those people who have a problem with rating a book that you haven’t even seen one page of. I don’t mind anything else, actually.
 
That is my two cents on this topic. What are your guys’ thoughts? 

The Fireman by Joe Hill

The Fireman: A Novel - Joe Hill

So, I haven’t written a review for The Fireman because it’s taken me a while to get my thoughts together for this book. There was a pretty mixed blend of things I liked and things that I didn’t like.

 

First of all, the concept for The Fireman was great. Only my expectations of Harper and the Fireman were completely different. What I expected the characters to be was so far from what I got. I’d assumed because of Harper’s determination to keep her baby, she’d be someone who’d be more smart and not as naïve. There were so many moments in the book where Harper would be so upset when people would do something wrong or she “would have thought better of” this and that.

 

The world is ending Harper! You’re NOT Julie Andrews because she didn’t live in an apocalyptic world! Get real! What happens in a disaster?! People change, they turn, their goal is dominance and/or survival!

 

The Fireman was just annoying. In my opinion. I didn’t really enjoy his character and where is story eventually ended up was just predictable for me. I knew exactly what was going to happen and it did.

 

The other side characters such as the Father, Allie, Nick, Ben, Don, Michael, Rene, and Carol were a hit or miss for me. Hated Allie, Ben, Michael, and Carol and actually liked Nick, Don and the Father. I wish characters like Allie were consistent and made sense, but I found that I had an extreme dislike to her.

 

The concept of Dragonscale was amazing. But one thing I was confused about was the direction it took. Joe Hill spends a good decent amount of time explaining the concept of Dragonscale and where it comes from. We have scientific research and an explanation for how it’s spread. But wait! It can also form into a bird! You can light yourself without burning! Where’s the science in that? Why does this feel like they’re FIREBENDING??? *cough cough* Avatar: The Last Airbender *cough cough*

 

The story was just too long. I can give a nice lengthy list of many things that could’ve been taken out of here.

 

Although the premise was interesting, and Joe Hill shows a good representation of sociological groups and the need to protect and survive, a lengthy story with too many inconsistent characters that I didn’t enjoy really made the story fall flat for me.

HEY AUTHORZZZ: TEENS DON'T TXT LIKE DIS NOW. IMO I THINK U SHLD ALL C Y WE DON'T TALK LIKE DIS IT'S ALL TXT H8TE 4 US TBH. LOLZZZZZZZZ #YOLO

Drown by Esther Dalseno

Drown: A Twisted Take on the Classic Fairy Tale - Esther Dalseno

I can’t remember the last time—if there even was a last time—that I closed a book and thought, “Wow, the author really put themselves into this world.”

 

Since I’m only human, I experienced heartbreak throughout this book (← if you read the book, you’ll know what I did there).

 

This book will tell you that this is a twisted version of the fairytale—believe the blurb, because it is. And it will twist your heart as you see what Esther Dalseno does to The Little Mermaid.

 

Esther Dalseno will tell you this story. She’ll make you think and wonder and anticipate what’s going to happen. She’ll tell you the story of the little mermaid, the self-mutilating Prince, the lonely sea witch, and the Uncle. Her writing honestly flows really well.

 

After I turned the last page of this book I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters and their stories.

 

My heart ached so much for the little mermaid. I’ve never read a character that was so giving, so determined, and in the end so loved by so few. I want to find the little mermaid, and give her a hug and tell her that I care about her story.

 

The Prince was also a well written character and the author let’s us see through the little mermaid’s eyes what he goes through and what kind of a King he’d be.

 

And last of all, my favorite character, the uncle. Oh my God, my heart almost aches as much for the uncle as it does for the little mermaid. I love the uncle so much, because he’s real, and flawed, and so ready to love and to give… it makes me sad, really.

 

The characters and the writing were beautiful. I felt this world, saw it, felt what the characters did, and in the end my heart was broken.

I just got the Mercy Thompson series—all the books that are currently out. But I got them all on iBooks because there’s no way anyone’s ever going to see me carrying around those horrendous covers. (Sorry! They’re a bit much for me) 

 

Anyway, for some of you that may or may have not read the Mercy Thompson series, can you tell me what you guys think about it? I’m trying to get into adult books now, and I have read a lot of them, but I just wanted to know what you guys think about this as a series. 

 

Lemme know your thoughts! :D 

Lady Renegades (Rebel Belle #3) by Rachel Hawkins

Lady Renegades: a Rebel Belle Novel - Rachel Hawkins

Whoa. What happened here?


We went from light, fun, fluffy, and humor in Rebel Belle to convenience, unexplained world building, multiple missed opportunities and relationship problems in Miss Mayhem to Lady Renegades.

Lady Renegades which is filled with more “separated lovers” angst, to a mindless and useless road trip, to even more useless world building to a completely convenient ending.

Harper just questions herself too much in these books, and while I understand the need for character development, I just didn’t see the point to what Harper was doing and why she was having multiple doubts about herself.

The side characters weren’t that interesting in this installment, so yay! Well, I mean, I like the whole girl power aspect in here. That Blythe, Harper, and Bee all were the ones meant to do something.

If it wasn’t the boredom that made me realize I didn’t even care or enjoy this installment it was this: I felt nothing for the ending. Not when the huge climax and aftermath happened. I didn’t care. Felt nothing.

I would recommend reading Rebel Belle and just stopping there. The first book doesn’t really end on a cliffhanger or anything so it’s not that bad.

Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle #2) by Rachel Hawkins

Miss Mayhem - Rachel Hawkins

Whereas Rebel Belle was a light, fun adventure, Miss Mayhem was just a chore to read. I’d thought that after the events of the previous book, this book would be a little more focused on the action and how Harper and her group of friends would navigate learning things and adjusting to their new lifestyle.

Nope. Nada.

Instead we have relationship problems. Cause those are so important. Definitely more important than the fact that David’s life might be in danger! I swear to God, if I see the words “ex-boyfriend” and “ex-girlfriend” again I’ll explode. There’s a reason humans have names! Use them!


In terms of the actual world building and plot: it was all too convenient. Eventually, it was noted that this book focused so much on relationships that, Oh Maw Gerd, they forgot the plot! So: convenience! Duh! The ending of this book made me cringe. I’m trying not to give this book a 2 star rating based on the consideration that even though this book was a huge disappointment from Rebel Belle, I didn’t dislike the book a lot.

Just. Too much boyfriend/girlfriend problems that I don’t care about, not even a single point to this book got through my head, and and the convenience of things was just irritating. You thought this was this? No! It’s actually that! How? Magic! Where did the magic come? Who cares, Harper has to kick butt at the beauty pageant!

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle #1) by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle - Rachel Hawkins
“Paladin: an honorable knight; defender of a noble cause.”

“Laaaaaame,” I whispered. I much preferred superhero.

This book was definitely a lot of fun.

Rebel Belle is filled with the southern way of things at Harper Price’s small town called Pine Grove. Except that she becomes a Paladin at Homecoming Night after seeing her janitor die and killing her history teacher. Just the normal ;)

Although Harper is usually the kind of character I don’t like, aspects of her felt very real. I agreed with some of the difficulties Harper had in terms of actually accepting what it meant to be a Paladin, and I don’t blame her for being very hesitant or scared to accept the new responsibilities that she had.

The only thing that I had a problem with in this story was that at times it was annoying to read about Harper’s boyfriend problems. I really didn’t care that Ryan was this or that. I was hoping for more action instead of a huge buildup towards Cotillion.

Overall, a fast paced and fun read with a southern aspect. Definitely continuing on with the trilogy.

Ash and Bramble (Ash and Bramble #1) by Sarah Prineas

Ash & Bramble - Sarah Prineas

Buddy read with Hansrox!

I am a huge sucker for retellings, and Ash and Bramble was no less! I was just as excited to read this, and I didn’t really have any problems at first.

This book is definitely creative, and it doesn’t really follow along other retellings that I’ve read. But, I was just hugely disappointed with the ending…

It wasn’t really just the ending, it was also the fact that by the time I actually reached the ending I felt like the whole buildup towards the end was just a huge letdown.

Ash and Bramble made it sound like the ending would resolve the whole “Does Cinderella really fall in love with the Prince?” theme, but in reality it made me feel as if the entire book could’ve been a lot less focused on the romance.

Kind of disappointing, but since the take on this retelling was okay, I don’t really mind trying out Prineas’s next retelling: Rose and Thorn. This time, I’ll be sure to control my expectations based on the romance.

The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3) by Mary E. Pearson

The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles) - Mary E. Pearson

This book had the same problems as The Kiss of Deception and The Heart of Betrayal.

I gave it a 2 star rating considering the things I liked and didn’t like. So… I’ll say why the things I didn’t like had a bigger impact on me.

Inconsistent characterization. You’ll see A LOT of this throughout The Beauty of Darkness! The first 25% was great, and then it all went downhill when Tamlin Rafe chooses to lock up Feyre Lia because he wants to protect her. Deja vu, anyone? Also, Lia who was someone very compassionate and ready to listen to everyone’s voice in the first two books of this series suddenly (along with Rafe) turns into mega-bit—meanie!

“I never scorned my duty, Lia. I came to Morrighan to marry you. I sacrificed everything for you. I put my own kingdom at risk—for you.”

The bloody furrow inside me tore wider. What he said was true. He had risked everything. “Is that my debt to you, Rafe? Do I have to give up all that I am and everything I believe in to pay you back? Is that really who you want me to be?”

LIKE, WHERE THE EFF IS THIS GIRL GETTING THIS FROM THAT’S NOT EVEN WHAT WAS HAPPENING, QUIT SLIPPING! Lia would say that one of the characters would do something and then she’d do that exact same thing!

Angsty love that wasn’t really necessary. Ugh. I really didn’t care for the romance in this one. I was looking forward to how Lia & Co. would outsmart the odds against them, but really, when Lia and her love interest weren’t fighting, she was just sauntering around going all like: “This is what I’m meant for!” I mean, the romance wasn’t even the main drive for this book, so I see no sin in just having a nice romance where the characters actually supported one another.

Anti-climactic ending. Yeah, I was waiting for the final showdown. But, don’t worry! Even though our characters are completely ridiculous at communication, they talk their way out of completely ridiculous situations consistently!

Too much deja vu moments to A Court of Mist and Fury. What the eff?! That moment when Tamlin Rafe locked up Feyre Lia made me so mad! And OH MY GOD, Kaden is so creative! He named a baby Rhys! (-.-)

Kind of disappointing. I was invested in a good third for this book before I was laughing my head off because this was just too funny.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I and II (Harry Potter #8) by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - J.K. Rowling, John Kerr Tiffany, Jack Thorne

I wanted to give this book two stars. But man, it’s actually an official addition to the series!

One thing I will say is that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a pretty believable story in the aspect that none of the goddamn characters are consistent.



Like, what crime have I done by actually having realistic expectations from this book?! Hermione, Ron, and Harry didn’t even feel real. You’re seriously telling me that Hermione and Ron made a brat-child together? When this book was coming out, Rose was supposed to be “ambitious like Hermione” but instead, she’s a spoiled brat who has no sense of loyalty like her mother, Hermione, did.

Harry Potter—the boy who longed so much for family—actually says something petty to his son like he’s a five year old! The eff?

In terms of plot, I actually predicted a lot of the things that were happening. Yes, there were many moments where I was fangirling over Harry Potter moments:

DRACO: Keep up, old man.

HARRY: We’re the same age, Draco.

DRACO: I wear it better.

But! It smacked me in the face to remember that I was relying on the nostalgia of the previous seven books to get through this one. So, no. Sorry.

I enjoyed the story for what it could’ve been—not what it really was. In reality this could’ve been better executed. My advice (like I’ve seen on MANY of the reviews for this play) is the exact same as what others have said: don’t read this as a Harry Potter sequel. You’ll be disappointed. I’d say to go in this with expectations of reading a different book that’s a Harry Potter fan-fiction.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help - Kathryn Stockett

I really disagree with people who say that The Help is cliché. I’m going to go as far as to say that it offends me when people call this a cliché. Because as someone who has been apart of discussions like the women in this book about racism, no one is a cliché. Maybe people are calling it a cliché because they’re seeing this over and over again. Hopefully, these people will think about why these “clichés” are showing up again and again. Maybe because it happens so much even today without the world really noticing. If you don’t like this book, it’s okay, but please don’t call this a cliché.

At first, this book was a four-star rating. But then, I got to this one page in The Help. It was so normal, though. It wasn’t anything really amazing or anything. But it slapped me in the face. Like, big time.

I ended up sitting there thinking, “Oh my God, could this book have said it in a more simpler way?” No, it couldn’t have.

It was a conversation between Aibeleen and Minny, after someone who was white had tried to attack Minny at her workplace. Aibeleen says in simple words, that if it had been someone who was black then there would be news coverage on it, and all the states would’ve been all over the place because a black man would’ve done what a white man did.

And this was such a deja vu. I have heard this conversation so many times in my life. I have been in this conversation so many times in my life. And it literally set into perspective why racism is something that is character driven in novels (you would be surprised by the number of reviews that state the lack of “excitement” in this novel was an issue).

There is a quote on the cover of the paperback edition that I read and it said that The Help is probably one of the most important pieces of fiction since To Kill a Mockingbird, and I completely agree (about the importance, haven’t read To Kill a Mockingbird yet).

This book is slow, because it’s about three women living in the society the way it was and the cultural views that these women had to live with. So, yes. Read this if you want to understand racism. Because I can definitely say that if the author can show racism and the way it happens to the characters in this book is still real as a concept years after these characters stories then the author has seriously accomplished something.

Currently reading

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray