The Symmetrical Bookworm

I am a person with many interests. But first and foremost I am a reader.

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy) - Marie Rutkoski

At last!!!! At long last, I have finally finished!!!! Hooray!!!!


Assorted thoughts:
1. I am so disappointed. I loved the first two books. But this one? Nope.
2. The main reason I didn't like The Winner's Kiss was because it was sooooo slow. It dragged on and on and I thought it would never end.
3. Idk why, but I really didn't like the writing in this one. I used to love it, because it was beautiful, but in this one it was too purple for my tastes
4. I don't even have much to say, I'm just glad to be done with this thing.


Probably not going to write a full review for this. I don't wish to dwell on it anymore, I'm just relieved to be done with it.

And I Darken - Kiersten White

I loved this book. It was incredible. It was intense and action packed and vicious and....ugh, I can't take it! IT WAS SO GOOD!!!! *cue fangirl flailing*


I've calmed down enough to make a list of coherent thoughts. I'm probably forgetting some things, but whatever. If I remember it, I will add it later. For now, here is my review:


As always, let us commence with characters. Lada is not one of those anti-heroes who claims to be all badass and then isn't. She is VICIOUS. She kills, she fights, she is violent and vicious and, quite frankly, terrifying. I thought Adelina from The Young Elites was scary, but hell no, that girl's got nothing on Lada. Lada. Such a pretty name for such a vicious and fierce character. I both admire and fear her. I also loved Radu, he's much softer and gentler than Lada, so he's more lovable. More huggable. Oh my god, I felt so much love for him. So much pain too- I just wanted to give him a big hug and take away all his sorrows. He's always getting underestimated and people think he's weak. And his love for Mehmed? *sobs* If you need me, I'll be sobbing in the corner screaming that it isn't fair. Radu deserves love and happiness. IT ISN'T FAIR!
I liked Mehmed at first, when the three were younger, but as he grew I came to resent him. Radu is too good for this guy.


Okay, the setting was amazing. The Ottoman Empire is really fascinating, and it's not a place that is featured in a lot of books. It made this unique, I liked it. Also: THIS IS NOT FANTASY. Yup, this is historical fiction. Some liberties were taken to make the story original, but still it's historical and I loved it. I took AP World History, yo. History's kind of my thing. And I actually knew some of the places/people that were mentioned.


Also, the writing is so gorgeous. *fangirls*


Tl;dr version- have literally no complaints about this book. None. It was perfection. I haven't loved a book this much since The Song of Achilles (and people, I love that book with all my heart and soul). I think And I Darken and The Song of Achilles are now officially tied for the book I love the most.

The Rose Society - Marie Lu

Well, that was an intense adrenaline rush of a book.


And I thought Adelina was dark in the last book. She's power hungry and vengeful and angry and terrifying, but oh so interesting to read about. It's fascinating to be in her head, but also emotionally draining and toxic. Damn. What an experience.

As scary as Adelina, she's got nothing on Teren. He has completely lost his marbles. I feel sorry for him, but I'm also terrified and disgusted by him.


Okay, does anyone else ship Raffaele and Enzo? I know Enzo and Adelina is semi-canon, but NO. No I don't ship that at all. I don't ship Adelina with anyone.
I ship Raffaele and Enzo because those two have history. They have been friends for a long time. Adelina barely knows Enzo, not to mention she's a fucking monster who isn't really capable of love.
So yeah. Raffaele and Enzo. Totally ship it. <3


The other characters are not nearly as interesting as Adelina. I mean, I do like Magiano, but I don't truly care about the other characters.


Also, so much action! It's awesome and oh so entertaining.


I'm so glad I read this. Now, onto book 3! Here's hoping it does not disappoint.

Under the Lights - Dahlia Adler

I usually open up my reviews with a general statement about the book, but fuck it, I'm just gonna skip right to discussing characters.


Well, I really liked Vanessa. She was funny, sarcastic, and oh so relatable. Not to mention, we need all the queer people of color we can get in literature #weneeddiversebooks.

In the beginning, Josh was a douche. A hilarious douche, but a douche nonetheless. But he grew up so much throughout the story and he also said this gem (I think?? Or was it Bri?): "fuck pleasing everybody else. You only live once. Who are you gonna do it for?"
Side note: that quote ^^ is amazing
One more thing about characters: Zander was a goddamn asshole. I felt sorry for him, but he was also a jerk.


I love the romance between Bri and Van. So adorable!!!


I liked the ending. I thought there was a few things not concluded but overall I was satisfied with how things finished.


Tl;dr version- I didn't fall in love with it, but it was enjoyable enough, and I do recommend it.

The Lost Hero - Rick Riordan, Joshua Swanson

Well well well. I was not expecting to enjoy this so damn much


Alrighty, new characters! I loved all of them so much. Leo was a riot, Piper was badass as hell, and the mystery surrounding Jason was interesting. Jason himself wasn't the best, but he was nice. In addition to new characters, the characters I know and love from the first series are back. Thalia, Annabeth, Chiron. I miss Percy though.


Ooh, Roman mythology. Tbh I'm partial to Greek mythology and don't really like the Romans. But it was still damn interesting.


So much action in just one book! It set the stage nicely for the rest of the series. The only problem is...I've already read The Hidden Oracle, so some things have already been spoiled for me. But no matter, I'll still enjoy seeing it all unfold.


Me at the end: Percy!!!! Nooooooo!!!! (if you've read the book, you know exactly what I'm talking about).


Tl;dr version- I swear I thought I had some more things to say...well, I will finish by saying this: I had so much fun with this, and I can't wait for the next books!

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods - Rick Riordan, John Rocco

Just a heads-up: this book is big. I thought it would be the size of a novel, but no, it was closer to the size of a textbook.


So, I already knew most of these stories, but damn Percy's commentary sure made it entertaining. Percy Jackson, I officially love you. I also learned a few new stories.


Also, there's so much feminism and I love it. Percy points out the inequities between men and women in Greek mythology, and doesn't just gloss over the terrible things women were subjected to.


The illustrations are gorgeous too.


Now, I am so ready to read Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes.


Also, I said I would include some quotes but I returned this book to the library so I can't do that now. Sorry. If I ever reread it, I will definitely include some of my favorite quotes.

Demigods & Magicians: Percy and Annabeth Meet the Kanes - Rick Riordan

I really enjoyed The Red Pyramid, and I grew to love the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I was very excited for this crossover. But, idk, it just wasn't as epic as I thought it would be. I guess it's because it was so short. Or maybe because there's more of an emphasis on Carter and Sadie's story/Egyptian mythology rather than the Greek aspects.
It was enjoyable, but I don't know if I would recommend it.

Two Boys Kissing - David Levithan

Edit November 2016: I loved this book. Truly, I did. Here's the thing, though: I would need to reread it in order to write an in depth review. Because I didn't take notes when I first read it so all I have to say is "I fucking loved this book" and "go read it right now". Expect a reread and a full review sometime in the next six months.


Original "review" Aug 2016:
I didn't cry, but I came pretty damn close to it.
I don't even know if I can review this now. My thoughts are just so incoherent and a sea of randomness.
I will need time to process this masterpiece.

The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed - Judy Shepard

I can't write a review for this. I can't rate it either. I'm too emotional.
All I can say is seriously, read this book. Please.

Reconstructing Amelia - Kimberly McCreight

Wow, this was intense. It was hard to get into at first, but after the first couple chapters I was enthralled. I couldn't put it down.


All the terrible shit Amelia went through with the club and the hazing and the girls harassing her? It made me thank my lucky stars that I've never had to experience that for myself. I have good friends who actually give a damn about me, and this book made me remember that I'm so fucking lucky. Amelia was a complex, complicated young woman with her whole life ahead of her, and I really enjoyed her chapters. I really liked her and I'm really sad she died.


I did not see that ending coming! There were so many twists and turns and it was so exciting. This was also a sad read. I didn't cry, but it made my heart hurt.


My only complaint is that there's a few plot developments that seem irrelevant? But I guess every mystery needs some red herrings.


Tl;dr version- Overall I really recommend this one. It's a nice good mystery.

Dance With Me - Heidi Cullinan

Okay, actually I really don't have much to say about this one. I just have a few random thoughts:

•to be quite honest, Laurie was a total jackass in the beginning. But I grew to like him. He's not a favorite character of mine, but I don't dislike him so that's good
•as for Ed, I always liked him. He's cool
•I guess hate to love relationships aren't my thing? I've read a few and I've never loved them. I did like this one overall, but it's certainly not a favorite of mine
•there's a weird scene where Ed and Laurie have a foursome with another couple. And I try to be open minded about sex, since it's all about personal preference. But, I don't know, this scene just sat weird with me.


That's really it. Overall it's not something I would recommend and it's not Heidi Cullinan's best. But I did enjoy it somewhat.

Haunted - Meg Cabot

Well this series took a turn for the worst. I love The Mediator series. I adore Suze and her tough, kickass nature. And I've grown fond of the other characters: Suze's stepbrothers, Jesse, CeeCee, to name a few. I do like this series. But Haunted was probably the worst book in this series so far.


Paul is a pushy, invasive, patronizing piece of shit who does not understand the meaning of the word "no", and I hate him with the fire of a thousand suns. Someone kill him.


There's literally nothing happening in this one. There's just some love triangle-esque, romantic angsty bullshit. Can Suze and Jesse just admit they have feelings for each other so Suze can get back to ghost busting and kicking ass? Ugh.


I have two simple requests for the next book: Suze needs to resume her badassery, and Paul needs to fuck off. That's literally it.


Tl;dr version- So fucking disappointed with this one. Paul is the bane of my existence. He literally ruined the entire book.

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, Book 4) - Maggie Stiefvater

To say I am disappointed is the fucking understatement of the year. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy this book! But I was expecting to love it with all my heart and soul, and I didn't. I only mildly liked it. *sigh*


Assorted thoughts:
1. I really like Pynch, I think Ronan and Adam are such a cute couple. But goddamnit, I wanted more. More kisses. More sweet moments. More Pynch! I feel cheated.
2. The thing about The Raven Cycle is that the plot is wandering and all over the place and so, so confusing. Originally I was able to forgive this because of how much I loved the characters, but now I'm just annoyed. Since this is the last book I had higher expectations for The Raven King.
3. There's so many loose ends. Noah? The Gray Man? Declan and Matthew? Maura and Calla? Henry's mom and all the other collectors? Ugh, what even happened to them?
4. Despite that, I liked how the four main characters got closure.
5. This series is the strangest thing. I did like it overall, but I'm disappointed with The Raven King. I don't even entirely know why, I just am.
6. Side note: that cover is gorgeous


It's been two months since I read this, so I guess no full review.

The Year of Ice - Brian Malloy

I don't even know what to say about this one.


Kevin, to be completely honest, is a jerk. I know he has his reasons and sometimes he's funny and relatable. But other times he's just a complete asshole and I didn't like him. Come to think of it, pretty much everyone is an asshole at some point in this book.

There's no romance at all, and although I appreciate that it was a much more complex coming of age story, I really wish there was a romance. Kevin could use some happiness. (For the record, I kind of ship him and Tommy).


Tl;dr version- I didn't particularly like this, and I wouldn't recommend it. It's not a bad book by any means, in fact at some parts I did enjoy it. But overall I wish I'd read something else.

Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World - David Silverman, Cara Santa Maria

Where do I start with this amazing book? This book, like I said in my status update, is my everything. I fucking loved it. It basically summed up every single reason why I am an atheist, and it does so much more eloquently than I ever could.


I have a very low stamina and find it hard to focus. That's why I barely read nonfiction, because usually the writing and/or subject matter makes it too dense and I can't finish it. This is so NOT the case for Fighting God. It is well-written and intelligent, but it's also written in a way that isn't boring.


I need to make something very clear: Criticisms of religious ideas and religious people are not the same thing. There is a huge difference between being disapproving of religion as an institution and being disrespectful of religious people. Fighting God, like everything other atheist work I have been exposed to, falls in the former category. Much like how feminism is about dismantling the patriarchy and not hating men, or how racial justice is about fighting white supremacy not white people. Are we clear? Good.


I think that no matter wha your religious beliefs (atheist, agnostic, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, etc.) you should read this book. Even if you don't agree with it, it's very thought provoking and interesting. And if you do agree with it (as I did), then you will just love to hear someone talking sense.

The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan

Percy and the gang certainly have come a long way since The Lightning Thief. I waited for a long time before reading starting this series, because I tend to avoid books that get a lot of hype. But eventually, I caved and read it. And I'm so glad I did.


Some of the battle scenes got dull after a while, but I'm so happy with the ending I don't even care. The war was won, Kronos was defeated for now, the gods are trying to be better...things are good, but there's mor adventures to come. And Percy and Annabeth! I'm not too fond of this pairing, but I like how they have such a chemistry and are so close and such good friends.


Overall, I'm really happy with the way this series has progressed, and I can't wait to read more. On to Heroes of Olympus!