Spelbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle
One stormy summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hair clips and jewellery, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something bigger; something she won’t talk about.
Then Olive meets three wild, mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel and Rowan. Like Rose, they’re mourning losses – and holding tight to secrets.
When they discover the ancient spellbook, full of hand-inked charms to conjure back lost things, they realise it might be their chance to set everything right. Unless it’s leading them towards secrets that were never meant to be found . . .
At the risk of sounding entirely stupid, I will admit that I actually did listen to all of this book… and I just don’t know what the fuck happened. I heard The Accident Season by this author and I really liked it and I was expecting this really weird and twisted book for Spellbook, and it was, but I was just so lost I can’t even begin to tell you what happened in the book or what it was about. I wanna blame it on stress, I’ve been pretty stressed the last few weeks and had a lot on my mind so it was hard to concentrate on this story while listening. I also kept thinking that maybe this would be a better book for me if I would have read it instead of listening to the audiobook because I kept thinking it would be so much better if it had more than one narrator… only to find out at the end of the book that it was actually narrated by 3 different narrators. I swear, they all sounded so similar it was hard to tell the difference. I’ve seen good reviews on this book which is a shame that I just couldn’t click with it. I will say that the parts I did get were definitely weird and interesting (like her last book), unfortunately when it came time to piecing it all together and realizing which girl was narrating which part and at what time (in the present or the past), it was just too much for me to keep up with. I tried sticking with this one until the end, which didn’t help at all in this case since I was still lost at the end.
A Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.
So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.
The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.
Unfortunately, when it came to this book, I just couldn’t find myself caring what happened with the story or the characters. I really liked The Wrath and the Dawn but was disappointed with the sequel, however I am a huge fan of Mulan so I was really excited for this story. Right from the beginning, things didn’t start off well. Other than a few similar phrases from the Disney movie and the original story, it was really hard to tell that this was even a Mulan retelling. My biggest issue with this book is that I felt like I had already read this book so many times. There are quite a few books that feature girls disguised as boys going into war that are much better than this so there was never really anything in this case that stood out for me in terms of characters or the story. The romance… I can’t even tell you if there was some or who it was with because I just didn’t care. I always try to finish audiobooks because it’s easier to listen to a book as opposed to wasting your precious reading time if you don’t like a certain book. I actually got to 65% of the book when I realized that I was spacing out more often than not, that I was bored and that I just didn’t care what happened. This one was a DNF for me and looking at some of the reviews on this book, I’m kind of glad I didn’t waste my time.
Have you read any of these books? Have you ever read a book where you weren’t sure what happened… or didn’t care? Let me know in the comments!
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