ten mini book reviews part 9 featured image

Ten Mini Book Reviews Pt. 9

Hello everyone! I’m back with another set of mini book reviews! This time, it’s part 9.


Honestly, I read so much so fast that I started writing part 9 before part 8 was even up. I just find that if I wait until I read 10 books, then too much has happened for me to keep up! I do have to say that when I first started writing this post I felt that I both loved that I have read so much, but also was kind of sad about it. I felt like I just had been reading so quickly that I didn’t have time to really sit with what the book made me feel after I’ve finished. I love to watch book reviews or just think about the story but I’d had so many books come through from the library from my holds recently that I just see the deadlines creeping up and I had to read it. I mean, due dates exist for a reason!

I think this all led to a huge reading slump that I’m currently in. I have a ton of interesting books that I want to read, but I just haven’t felt like it! Also, I think that it might be combined with a slump of having finished Gilmore Girls, which I loved so, so much! I am still reading though, just very slowly. But here are the next ten books I’ve read.

Note about my ratings: I’ve switched to using the StoryGraph to track and rate the books I’ve been reading. This site uses 1-5 stars, 5 being the highest, in 0.25 increments. Feel free to friend me on the StoryGraph – my username is StarringPamela there!


Majesty by Katharine McGee

This is the second of the American Royals series. I don’t know if it’s the last but the series basically imagines a present day America if George Washington had chosen the title of King over President. It’s pretty cool to imagine how the USA would have turned out with a monarchy so it’s a fun read. In this one, Beatrice becomes the first Queen of the country and we see her try to figure out how to be a queen.

I did enjoy reading the book, in all honesty. It’s not the best book I’ve ever read but it’s just a cutesy story. I loved Beatrice’s journey and I feel like there is a strong influence of Queen Elizabeth II on this story. That makes sense given how that is the most well known monarchy story I feel, since there is the show The Crown and all that. It might not sit well with everyone because at times I did find myself wondering if there was going to be anything unique in the story or if it was just going to borrow from Queen Elizabeth II the entire time. But it did have it’s own spin on it and it was pretty good. I also loved that we came out of American Royals with a clear idea of how the story “should” end for Beatrice and Sam, and even Nina, but this book gave us something even better. Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think it’s the last book because there was still other things that could happen in a third but I wouldn’t be mad if this was where this series ended.

I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.

A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

This is the second book of the Crusebreakers series. Slight spoilers for A Curse So Dark and Lonely if you haven’t read it will follow so skip ahead if you don’t want to be spoiled! This story follows mostly Grey after the curse is broken. It picks up soon after the end of the first book, with Rhen trying to lead Emberfall despite the growing rumors that he is not the true heir and that there is a mage loose around the kingdom. Lia Mara, Karis Luran’s daughter, also takes an active role in this story as she tries to convince Grey to work with her to bring peace to Emberfall, while Rhen and Harper play more minor characters in this one.

This book was okay. I did like that there was more Grey in this one and we got his POV, and Lia Mara’s character reminded me a lot of Harper, but I was sad that there wasn’t more Harper in this one! I think we only got her POV once, maybe twice? Also, it was kind of boring because most of the book is just Grey and Lia Mara’s journey trying to escape Emberfall. The ending certainly picked up and while the journey was still important because of Grey and Lia Mara’s character development, it was ultimately just them travelling. I don’t think it was a terrible read or anything, but I just found myself wishing more was happening often.

I gave this book 3.25 out of 5 stars.

We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian

I picked this book up because I was watching the Booksplosion Book Talk of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which I read last year, and it just so happened to be the last book talk of the year. In the final book talk they ranked all the books from the twelve they read that year for the book talks specifically and this one was one of the ones that they spoke highly about. I didn’t know what it was about until I read it though! This book follows a girl’s varsity field hockey team for 24 hours before their first match of the season and it’s told through six POVs. The team lost the championship game the year before so this night, their annual sleep over, is meant to serve as a powerful team building night for them. Traditionally, the team sneaks out of the sleepover at midnight and has a wild adventure, but this year the pressure is on to make sure the season is a success.

This book was so clearly meant for a younger reader as it is firmly a high school story but it was pretty interesting. The team is under the control of a toxic coach that the girls blindly follow, due to the love for the sport and their team. It sort of read like a horror story at times as the coach was clearly grooming some of the girls, or just being manipulative towards all of them. But it was a good journey as they grew and each realized that they had to take back the power as a team.

I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

This is the third book of Kemmerer’s Crusebreakers series. Slight spoilers for the two books before this one, but this was basically all the previous POVs coming back together. I don’t think there was anything too particularly unexpected by it and it was pretty good. I’m not sure if this is the final book of the series, to be honest. I feel like it could be the end of the series, as it felt like it was wrapped up quite nicely for all the major plot points but it could also continue because it was open ended enough to do so. I don’t think I’m invested enough in this series to keep going if it does go on, but I might if any future books get some big hype or something.

I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Roar by Cora Carmack

I’ve had this book in my TBR for ages, I’m not even sure where I first heard of it. But I saw it on Libby so I decided to finally check it out. It is the first book of Carmack’s Stormheart series, which I was surprised that it was a series because I had thought I had heard it was a standalone. This book follows Aurora, who is the princess of Pavan, born into a family of strong Stormlings, people who fight the deadly storms that attack her kingdom. But Aurora’s secret is that her magic has never appeared, and without it she cannot protect her home. Aurora’s mother arranges a marriage to a Stormling prince from another kingdom and as Aurora gets to know him in the days leading up to their wedding, she realizes she can’t trust him. Desperate for another solution, she finds a black market that sells magic that she needs and joins a group of storm hunters to try and gain magic of her own.

I really liked it. I felt like it was pretty well paced, and I loved the character of Aurora. I feel like we didn’t really get to know most of the storm hunters though, just got peeks into their characters, but they were purely there to support the main characters despite being featured in most of the book. I also liked how many enemies there were in this book. There was the storms that threaten Aurora’s home, as well as the prince’s family, the Locke’s. But there was also the enemy of the Locke’s that creeps up too. I really liked how much was happening and it really drew me in. So much so, that I immediately looked for the next book of the series.

I gave this book 4.25 out of 5 stars.

Rage by Cora Carmack

This is the second book of Carmack’s Stormheart series and I was so happy that it was immediately available when I finished Roar. Stop reading if you don’t want some slight spoilers for the first book! I didn’t like this one as much as the first, but that’s quite common in series. Aurora gets back to Pavan to realize that the Locke’s have taken over her home. In order to set things right, she joins the rebellion but the rage season is in full swing, in addition to the Locke’s enemy now at Pavan’s door too. Too many times during this book I found myself losing interest though because it just sort of dragged on and on. Rora spent so much time trying to get into Pavan, then into the castle, then out of the castle, then out of Pavan and it was just an endless cycle of ins and outs. I was still interested in reading the third book but it wasn’t available as an ebook or physical book at my library so I wasn’t able to get it. I’m not completely sure it’s been released yet so maybe that’s why but I could have sworn it was. I’ll have to check back on it later!

I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

If you have kept up with other posts I’ve done, you’ll know that I recently binge watched Gilmore Girls for the first time. I adored the show and I couldn’t get enough of it. Once I finally reached the end, I saw that Graham had written a memoir that heavily featured her time as Lorelei Gilmore and I immediately checked out the ebook from my library. It was a very easy, fast read, which was great because by this point I was in a very sudden and strong reading slump. I loved reading about Graham’s experiences on the show and learning a bit more about her life in general, but I did find myself wishing she talked even more about the show. It was not a very deep dive into it but there were some very funny and cute little stories about it so I did appreciate those!

I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick

This was my latest book club book for my library’s adult nonfiction book club. Per usual, we were given a list of 5 or so books to pick from and most of us gravitated towards this book which follows six North Koreans who had escaped to South Korea. The author throughly interviewed so many different points of view too. She found North Koreans who had been wealthy and well off, who largely avoided some of the harsher realities that many others faced at the start but eventually suffered hard too. She talked to a devoted North Korean and her rebellious daughter. There was also a few who had always been quite poor due to one reason or another. At the end of the book I understood so much about the North Korean experience and it was a really heavy and sad read. But I was glad I read it because I feel like it gave me so much more understanding and empathy for North Korea. I can’t possibly imagine why anyone in charge of the country would see the suffering and not understand that they were doing the people a disservice, and I don’t know how they could live with that. Sure, every country has their issues but these stories were all just so horrific.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

I finally got my hand on President Obama’s newest book! I read one of his previous books for high school years ago, and I’ve always meant to reread it, in addition to reading his other books. This book had a huge hold list but I ended up getting it way earlier than I expected to. I was in a huge reading slump though, and still kind of am, so I put off reading it until I had two days to go to the due date. Sure enough, I managed to read it by spending almost all of those two days with the book.

And boy, is it long! It was over 1,500 pages on my device, and I think around 1,300 of them were the actual book (the rest was the index and photos and such). President Obama even said at the start of the book that he knew it was long, and the description did say it was part of multiple volumes, but I didn’t expect how little time it would cover! It took about 400 pages to get to the 2008 election, and then the rest of the book covered the first year and a half or so of his presidential terms. So there’s still six and half years to go! I was honestly surprised by how much happened in that first almost two years. I remembered reading and seeing all about all those events in the news, but I’d forgotten that it had all happened so close together. It was written before the results of the 2020 election so I wonder how it would have been different if written after, but it was a fine read regardless. I am excited to read the next volume(s) although I know it’ll be a journey.

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Girl With No Job by Claudia Oshry

After the very long read of a presidential memoir, I switched to a much shorter, comedic memoir of Claudia Oshry from The Morning Toast. I’ve been a “Toaster” for over a year now, so I was excited to read Claudia’s book. I have to say, I had huge reservations about it though because of the fact that Claudia had stated, multiple times, on the Toast that she is not a reader and despises the activity. It was honestly sort of annoying that she would get a book deal and accept it even though she doesn’t read! But as it got closer to the release date, Claudia was clearly so proud and excited of her book that I got excited too.

Claudia talks about her formative childhood experiences, including attending “fat camp” and losing her father early in her life. She also talks about her sisters and husband a ton, as well as acknowledging her very controversial mother. And then she spoke about cancel culture and warned against it, as well as detailing several other key experiences in her career. All in all, Claudia’s book truly sounded like Claudia and I found myself reading it in her voice the entire time.

I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.


So those are ten more books I’ve read recently! It’s always a lot of fun to share these posts, and share what I thought of what I’ve been reading. Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought if you did!

Thanks for reading!

Pamela

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