Blog Tour: Beastia by Zoe Cruz

So I’m part of the blogging tour for Beastua written by Zoe Cruz! Shout out to Andrea Thatcher who organized this Blog Tour. 

 

First off, the intell on the book:

Beastia by Zoe Cruz

Synopsis:

The meanest of the mean girls, Rebekah Austin rules her Chicago school with sharp outfits and an even sharper tongue. She has a way of making even the most beautiful and brilliant girls in her class feel like dirt. But underneath the queen-bee façade is someone who feels ugly, repulsive…beastly.

When Rebekah falls prey to a madman, the bully becomes the bullied. Scarred and tormented, she abandons her previous life and adopts a new identity, but her ghastly appearance haunts her everywhere she goes. Only with the help of determined friends can she move past her horrifying experience—and maybe even let herself be loved.

And if the madman returns to finish what he started, will she be ready, or will she give up hope?

Secondly, some info on the author, Zoe Cruz:

I love traveling, writing, reading, and binge watching my favorite shows on Netflix.

I’m a geek too. Anything from classic Tortallan and Hobbit lore to a DS9 Trekkie and a Browncoat. I love any good sci-fi and fantasy book, show or movie.

I’ve lived in Spain for almost four years, so adapting back to U.S. life for now.

Thirdly, my thoughts on the book:

The premise is a lot of fun. A twist on Beauty and the Beast, this time with a girl in the “beast”-role. I found this very interesting, definitely because there is a lot of pressure on women to look a certain way in today’s society. The book is written in a very fast paced way, it just really grabs you and pulls you along for the ride. I enjoyed this pacing in a way because of my massive reading slump and this really helped me get over that a bit by just making me want to read more and get to the ending sooner. But the speedy pacing really also left things a bit superficial. I feel like sometimes it dances around a bit (too) much to get a lot of depth to situations at times, sometimes you just seem to get some snippets from Bea’s life where there is a lot of telling instead of showing going on. It also left me feeling pretty detached from Bea herself, and I love feeling connected to the main character in a story. And I did miss that here. Especially because, like Beast in the original story, she is very defensive about a lot of things which make her seem very unlikable to people. We know it’s just a facade and her way of protecting herself, but when you add this to the high pace it leaves you at a certain distance from Bea. In a way it’s nice that everyone here seemed to have a bit of a complicated backstory, because people are complex and no one really has it easy, but at times it felt a bit much.

In the end it was a fun read and a quick one at that.

Sidenote:  this is great timing on the publisher’s part what with the new Beauty and the Beast movie coming out!

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Catch-up reviews #1

Since my blogging is less than regular these days I have decided to play catch-up with my overdue reviews by doing a couple of shorter reviews at once. Maybe this will help banish the looming tower of books that need reviewing to a more acceptable stack.

Animorphs #6-14

by Katherine Applegate

I like these books but they are pretty annoying to review. All the reviews I’ve done of the previous books feel like a variation on “fun characters, enjoyable storyline”. And it’s true for every one of the books. I just don’t know what else to say (mainly because I just keep waiting too darned long before getting to the review, and that just seems to be what these books boil down to). So this is me saying the characters and the storyline are still fun in 6-14. I have grown weary with the recap every time, but that’s what you get when you binge-read a series with recaps I guess.

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)
Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2)
Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3)
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4)

by Darynda Jones

So I enjoyed these books so much! I flew through them and I’m looking forward to getting back to this series. I love Charley’s spunk, the quotes at the start of every chapter make me laugh out loud more than half of the time, and the mythology is enjoyable. Is it a bit over the top? Yes, at times it really is. Did everything feel awesome during the whole thing? Not exactly. Did I find myself unable to stop reading these babies once I had started them? For sure! I think that, even though this is not an in depth review of the books, you get the gist of my feelings regarding these books…

Sea Wrack (Fredrik Broman #1)

by Håkan Östlundh

I read this book in Dutch, but it’s actually a Swedish book. I’m a big fan of Scandinavian crime fiction and this did nothing to make me feel differently about that. It was a very well done crime story that really had me reading fast by the end just to see how things would end. I have most of this series if not the complete series, and I will definitely keep reading these books as they will most likely be awesome too.

 

Movie night: Finding Dory

Back when finding Nemo came out I really loved it. It was a lot of fun but also had some hidden gems in those moments that went deeper. When Finding Dory was announced I wasn’t that excited at first though. I thought it might just be too similar to Finding Nemo or that the story would just be lacking seeing as that’s sometimes the case with sequels. And then I saw the cutest trailer of Dory as a baby-fish and I was hooked! So I went to see it pretty soon after it came out here in Belgium.

As with most (all?) Pixar movies these days there is a short-film that preludes the movie and let me tell you, it was totally adorable! I don’t know if these shorts are included on the DVD’s, but I sure hope they are. (I also remember really loving the short that came with Brave! I can’t talk about the others because I haven’t seen them.)

So the movie picks up a little after Finding Nemo ends with Dory having flash backs of her parents causing her to set out to find them. But I can hear you think it already: another travel story spanning oceans, which new elements will that bring to the screen?! You are wrong, the main part of the story doesn’t play out in the ocean but in an aquatic park, which was just a lot of fun to watch because the “modes of transportation” were vastly different and it also brought a lot of challenges with it.

In this movie we meet some new characters, and Hank wins that hands down. He himself is just a lot of fun, but the way he interacts with Dory and the way their relationship grows throughout the movie was just so entertaining. I really liked Nemo and Marlin, but I was really happy the story didn’t focus on them. It just made the whole feel less like a spin-off.

I can truly say that I recommend this movie, it’s very entertaining, you will laugh, you will be excited but you will also be hit with a boatload of feels! It’s just a great mix of so many elements as many of the pixar movies are these days.

 

Have you seen Finding Dory? What did you think of the movie? If you haven’t seen the movie, how come? 

Review: Animorphs #2-5

So, anyone who has read my review on the first animorph book, or has been follwoing me on goodreads probably will have caught on to the fact that i’ve been reading a lot of the animorph books lately, but because they are quite slim books I think it’s easier to bunch a couple of them together per review. FYI, there will be some spoilers because these books just keep building off of each other and it would be very hard to keep talking about things without discussing some of the big storylines.

Here that goes!

 The Visitor (Animorphs, #2)

# 2:The visitor

The story in 50 words or less:

The animorphs find out that who another human-controller is, and it just so happens to be the father of a friend. Rachel takes it upon herself to investigate her friend’s situation.

The Encounter (Animorphs, #3)

# 3: The encounter

the story in 50 words or less:

Tobias has a bit of an identity-crisis after getting stuck in his hawk-morph. Meanwhile he also finds out about yeerk-supply runs the animorphs will try and sabotage.

The Message (Animorphs, #4)

#4: The message

the story in 50 words or less:

Cassie is getting some really weird dreams that turn out to be more than just dreams. Will she understand the message in time?

The Predator (Animorphs, #5)

#5: The predator

the story in 50 words or less:

The animorphs are now one member up from their original start-up and they now have knowledge about alien technology. Can they use that to help them in their fight againts the yeerks? Marco never wanted to be an animorph and is on the verge of quitting, can he find a reason to stay in the fight?

My take on the books:

 

I have to say I love these books, they are just such a quick read, things happen  at a quick pace though it doesn’t feel hugely overwhelming. That’s why I think it’s some real solid middle grade reading material. I also really enjoy how every book switches between the characters, it keeps things a bit fresher. Every character is very well-defined which is very fun. They all have such a different mindset and you can really read that too which is great. I strongly dislike different POV’s that all just feel extensions of each other, but that’s definitely not the case here. Everyone brings a different aspect to the story as a whole which really gives the whole thing another layer.

The morphing is a lot of fun, not only the description of the act, but also how the mind of the animal they are morphing into takes hold of the animorphs. I definitely love the seagul morph, it just cracks me up. And just like the POV’s feeling different everytime, the morphs also feel different which helps keep the story fresh (imagine all of the morphs being the same, how boring would that be!)

I am starting to dislike the beginning part where the story so far is recapped, though I will admit it’s done pretty well. I just read the first chapter diagonally now because of this though.

The stakes are definitely getting bigger, or maybe it’s more that they realise more and more that there is a lot more danger than they realised in this fight against the yeerks. There is also a lot of danger attached to just the morphing alone, even besides what happened to Tobias, and that’s something that is really becoming clear to these kids.

My rating:

3 stars ~ Entertaining middle grade books about an alien invasion!

Review: The invasion by K.A. Applegate (Animorphs # 1)

The Invasion (Animorphs, #1)

The story in 50 words or less:

Five kids are witness to a horrible incident concerning aliens and they come out with the ability to morph into animals. Also, they now carry the burden of trying to save the world from an alien invasion.

My take on the book:

 

I read a couple of the books in this series back when I was in middle school, though I missed a lot of them (because my library never had the right ones in when I needed them!). And even though I hadn’t even come close to reading half of the books in the series, I did really enjoy them. So I decided to pick them back up. And this time I would be reading them in order!

I really enjoyed this book a lot. It’s just so entertaining! Jake may not be my favorite character in the book, but he’s not unlikable either, so I didn’t mind that this book was told from his point of view. The story moves quickly and there’s just no boring moment really. Things are just constantly happening during the (short) span of this book.  The writing isn’t anything special, but it’s definitely not bad either.
This book is just the beginning of a very vast series and it just makes me excited to check out the other books. All the books are told from different point of views and I can’t wait to find out how their voice brings something extra to the story. Plus I’m really excited to find out how these books will evolve and where the story will go.

My rating:

3 stars ~ A very entertaining book with average writing.  All in all, some very enjoyable middle grade books!

Have you read this book? Have you read this series? What are your thoughts on it?