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ElleMNOpe

ElleMNOpe

Joined September 2016

“She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.“ - Annie Dillard (http://linktr.ee/ErraticProjectJunkie)
review
ElleMNOpe
Dark Corners: A Novel | Megan Goldin
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I love the podcast element in these books.There were some moments that felt unrealistic & I didn't really need the romantic aspect, but overall I enjoyed this quick paced read. There's a lot of great character work & the organization of the plot is well executed. I enjoy how Goldin's writing feels natural & unpretentious while still remaining somewhat authoritative in the feel. I'm looking forward to the potential of continuing installments.

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ElleMNOpe
Other Birds: A Novel | Sarah Addison Allen
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An interesting paranormal flavored magical realism tale. Charming & cute with fun characters & great development of a found family. Some very sad circumstances that had me aching. The mild twists were well-written & the soft magic of Allen's writing is soothing. Comforting despite some heartbreaking & serious situations. I didn't want to put this read down & stayed up late to finish in a two day binge. Emotionally wonderful & beautifully written.

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ElleMNOpe
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A laid back, cutesy YA contemporary romance with a fun setting & good inclusivity. Sweet & cute teen characters. Includes several difficult topics, including some good discussions about grief & self-confidence. The tone stayed moderately light though there were moments of contemplation & some good information/considerations in the character interactions. The story reads really easily & quickly, making it a great comfort read.

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ElleMNOpe
Daisy Darker | Alice Feeney
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There are a lot of And Then There Were None retellings out there & this is a good one. The narration style is intriguing & the I really didn't see the twist coming, though looking back there are definite hints there for careful readers. Things moved very quickly & it was one of those books that you sit down with on an afternoon & then just don't want to walk away from. Though it didn't really blow me away, it was absolutely a great binge read.

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ElleMNOpe
Happy Place | Emily Henry
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Emily Henry's writing feels so effortless & yet conveys so much. Her characters are always great & the stories feel like something new every time. She has a way of creating characters who make me feel seen. There was a lot of myself I could see in Harriet. The ending does feel a bit rushed & a I would have liked a more thorough epilogue, but that was really my only issue. Overall, this was a read I just immersed myself in & didn't want to leave.

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ElleMNOpe
Fourth Wing | Rebecca Yarros
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Worth the hype! I was hooked by page one & I DEVOURED this chunkster in just a couple of days. I don't typically like high fantasy or “dragon books“, but loved this. Nonstop action with a plot that is a grown up D&D meets Harry Potter or Game of Thrones magical school. Brilliantly written with excellent tension. Prepare yourself...this book will consume you & the ending is going to slap you square in the face. I can not WAIT until book 2.

RamsFan1963 I've come to the conclusion that I am the only person whose read this book who didn't like it. 10mo
ElleMNOpe @RamsFan1963 I know of at least one other person who thought it was just mediocre. 😉 10mo
12 likes2 comments
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ElleMNOpe
After I Do: A Novel | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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This book punched me square in the gut. An incredibly raw exploration of marriage & separation. There were so many moments that made me contemplate my own life & relationships. Incredibly emotional without feeling sappy & strips the idea of long-term relationships down to bare bones. It focuses on how we have to allow the relationship to grow & change as we do and gives so many little moments of pause .I really appreciated how honest it felt.

15 likes1 stack add
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ElleMNOpe
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It should come as no surprise that I loved this book. TJ Klune just has a knack for writing interesting tales with some serious heart. This adorably queer Pinocchio retelling with bits of other sprinkled in pop culture references had me hooked right away and I adored Klune's lovely characters. The snarky wit in his prose is incredibly humorous and his plot moved so incredibly well. I could not put this book down.

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ElleMNOpe
Please Join Us: A Novel | Catherine McKenzie
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Mehso-so

An interesting, moderately intense thriller with a cult-style premise & decent stakes. Good twists & turns with an intelligent plot & solid writing. Slow first half pacing & unbelievable over-the-top moments reduced my enjoyment & the protagonist actions weren't always logical. The slightly rushed ending had some great surprise twisting for a solid finish. Overall, a decent read that makes me think I may have to give McKenzie's backlist a glance.

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ElleMNOpe
Omens Bite: Sisters of Salem | P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast
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Mehso-so

An unfortunately disappointing sequel. Lots of slow burn & teenage angst, so buckle up for some whiny characters.The story just kind of wandered around & felt sloggy. The tension was all packed into the ending, of course a cliffhanger. Will I still read the next one? Most likely. I enjoyed first one enough to hook me & the ending left me hanging. I just hope the finale is more solidly & maturely written with consistent action start to finish.

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ElleMNOpe
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Epic fantasy always intimidates me, so I just kept putting this one off. Okay, okay...it was worth the hype. Super descriptive and packed with action there is a lot of creativity in this novel. It's still not super up my alley, but I will admit that I did quite enjoy it. And yes...I will be reading the next in the trilogy. Are you happy? All of you high fantasy nerds have got me hooked.

TieDyeDude I've tried three times, and I always give up around the time they meet Aragorn in the tavern. 11mo
16 likes1 comment
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ElleMNOpe
A Hunger of Thorns | Lili Wilkinson
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Magical & dark modern YA fairytale. A great journey of self-discovery amidst a wonderfully written fantastical world, perfect for lovers of a twisted Alice in Wonderland type tale. Fun & flawed characters in a creepy & perfectly weird world. Excellent storytelling that kept propelling me deeper into a world I couldn't get enough of. Excellent female protagonist & great inclusion. I really enjoyed this & look forward to the sequel!

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ElleMNOpe
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A female-centered retelling of the Perseus myth told without magical elements & re-envisioning the hero as a violent, gaslighting abuser. The writing is beautiful & Heywood creates fantastic characters. The book carries home the lesson that history is written by the victors. Heywood's imaginative story created a LOT of moments that caused me to consider how the tale would be altered based on the teller. An intriguing read & good thought piece.

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ElleMNOpe
The Terraformers | Annalee Newitz
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SUCH a good book. Writing reminiscent of Becky Chambers & magnificent world-building. Creative, inclusive cast of characters. Intriguing & immersing. I was absolutely absorbed & did NOT want to leave. If there was ever a case for a book to be a trilogy THIS IS IT. Constructed in three parts, this should be three separate books. Putting them together is a disservice to the story, resulting in things transitioning & ending too abruptly. I NEED more.

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ElleMNOpe
Many Waters | Madeleine L'Engle
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I've been a fan of this series for years & it mostly holds up as an adult reading. More of a YA read than middle grade due to sexual content. There are discussions on good & evil, peer pressure, misogyny, & sex. I enjoyed the setting & retelling of Noah & the Ark. Very clever & entertaining. A bit of deus ex machina, but I let that slide since this is a younger book. L'Engle continues to be one of my favorite writers even after oh so many years.

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ElleMNOpe
Such Pretty Flowers | K. L. Cerra
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Mehso-so

Dark read with creepy undertones. I loved the botanical flavor. Excellent & unique premise, but lackluster execution. The protagonist's dumb choices pulled me out of the story a few times because it didn't feel believable. The antagonist, however, was a nicely written, mysterious character. I liked her crazy a bit too much. A good storyline, but didn't go far enough. A lot of set up & development, but a fairly rushed, flat ending. Disappointing.

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ElleMNOpe
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Krueger's writing is straightforward & doesn't pull punches. His storylines are easy to follow with characters who feel almost universally realistic without hyperbole or stereotyping. Fantastic atmosphere that captures the Minnesota landscape & cultures. Though not OwnVoices, I understand that he consulted with tribal members as to content & portrayals. A fast-moving plot with interesting twists & turns. I will definitely be continuing the series.

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ElleMNOpe
Groupies | Sarah Priscus
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Mehso-so

Daisy Jones & the Six meets Almost Famous. Good writing & construction, but a bit of a repetitive plot & some slower pacing. I did enjoy the story & the atmospheric descriptions. The protagonist is a bit bland, mostly blending into the scenery as a fly on the wall. This made for a disjointed feel amongst the famed drugs, sex, & rock & roll. A slightly different spin on the 70s band themed fiction novel, this is a decent read but not a stand out.

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ElleMNOpe
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Mehso-so

A good start to an interesting younger middle grade series steeped in Japanese mythology. Lots of adventure & great background information. Things a bit heavy for a middle grade read. However, I did appreciate the inclusion of some difficult topics in the story, including peer pressure & bullying. There is a LOT packed into this read. A good start and I'm interested to see where this journey might go. I will be continuing the series.

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ElleMNOpe
Never Coming Home | Kate M. Williams
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Mehso-so

Closed circle retelling of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. A fast-paced read that kept the intrigue high & tension cranked. Good writing & an atmospheric setting. Williams does not hold back on this horror-style thriller. It is gory & intense. Unfortunately, the characters were unlikable cookie cutters & stereotypes. I liked the action, but didn't connect with the cast. Still...this is fun beach read slasher. (That's a thing, right?)

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ElleMNOpe
The Luminaries | Susan Dennard
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Panpan

I found myself mostly bored. Great concept, lackluster execution. The world-building was interesting, but not well-written. Too much telling. The protagonist & the writing both came off a bit whiny. Winnie has a strong backstory, but wound up being a fairly bland character. Meanwhile, the writing felt a bit childish. The ending is a bit abrupt & things were highly unresolved. I walked away feeling frustrated & likely will not continue the series.

15 likes1 comment
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ElleMNOpe
Cursed | Marissa Meyer
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A great retelling duology. I loved the characters & atmosphere. The storyline is clever & fun. The level of dark is ample & fantastic. I will admit that it wasn't quite as gripping as the first book. It is a little bit long & did slow down a couple of times, but the world building is on point & I love the historical background that gets built for this world. It felt like a blend of Greek mythology & Rumpelstiltskin in the best ways possible.

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ElleMNOpe
The Drift | C. J. Tudor
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Mehso-so

A highly atmospheric read. The style did lend itself to some confusion, which some may find frustrating. A dark blend of mystery, thriller, & horror. It's an interesting mix & an attention-grabbing read. Though not necessarily scary, there is a good amount of gore. The writing is fairly visceral. An interesting read with a lot of tense situations. The myriad of characters can become a bit confusing, but it is overall fast-paced & gripping.

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ElleMNOpe
Station Eleven | Emily St John Mandel
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I love Emily St. John Mandel's writing & how well-woven her stories are. hough a little overhyped, this is unique & 100% worth reading. The writing is fantastic & the character work is also really well-done. Each & every character feels intensely real. I don't know how she does that when some only exist for a small handful of pages. There is a lot in this narrative that just made me think. Beautiful, lyrical, & warranting of a reread.

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ElleMNOpe
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Mehso-so

There was a lot to really like, including a some great action sequences, good character interactions & fantastic world-building. Unfortunately, I got dragged down by the pacing. I didn't connect to the characters as well for whatever reason, & struggled through the middle chunk of the novel. However, my interest in the series was amped back up by the final 1/4 & I am definitely going to be reading the finale. This baby ends with a kick!

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ElleMNOpe
Weyward: A Novel | Emilia Hart
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A well-written witchy debut told in three timelines. A page-turner with good atmosphere & interesting characters. A highly feminist novel with some good historical content. The characters are strong & resolute & I enjoyed following their character arcs. They were clever, smart, & resourceful women. The three storylines are very well timed & woven together. There is a lot of talent to the writing & the construction. Emilia Hart is one to watch.

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ElleMNOpe
Dawnlands: A Novel | Philippa Gregory
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A good merging of nonfiction & fiction. The plot can move a bit slowly, but retains the charm of a typical Gregory novel. Her character work is fantastic & the family saga continues to be interesting with the addition of a fourth generation. Livia is an excellent villain & may be one of the best characters in the book. I loved to hate her. The ending leaves things potentially open for further novels. Possibly my favorite in the series so far.

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ElleMNOpe
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This series is a fantastic blend of action-packed snark. Teagan Frost continues to be a really great character & having a 4-year-old as the bad guy? Awesome. Nonstop high stakes. The humor created from Teagan's wild personality melds incredibly well with the rollercoaster of action. There is a lot of craziness. This is a super enjoyable read, but be prepared. As with the first installment, this sequel ends on a honey of a cliffhanger.

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ElleMNOpe
A House With Good Bones | T. Kingfisher
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I love how well Kingfisher writes the creepy & absurd. This whole novel is straight out of left field & it is freaking marvelous. Gothic atmosphere on point. The narrative is a magnificent blend of horror & humor. Everything about this book felt unique & interesting. There is some mild predictability to the plot, but I actually didn't mind that. Putting normal people in paranormal situations is just Kingfisher's forte. Super fun & quick read.

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ElleMNOpe
Episode Thirteen | Craig DiLouie
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Entertaining, intriguing, & perfectly spooky. Told via a multimedia, the tale follows the crew of a reality ghosthunter show. I did not want to put this down. The plot moved rather quickly & included a couple of good jump scares & some fantastic atmosphere. The ending had some fantastic qualities & I absolutely enjoyed where the plot headed, but did feel it ended too suddenly. HIGHLY recommend the audio for full atmospheric effect.

10 likes1 stack add
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ElleMNOpe
The Light Pirate | Lily Brooks-Dalton
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Mehso-so

Atmospheric writing captures the dystopian setting of flooded Florida amidst climate change. A good survivalist story & climate fiction exploration, but the magical realism component just didn't work for me. It felt a extraneous & ineffectively explored.That aside, the writing is good & there is some wonderful exploration of human relationships & the ways in which we adapt. An interesting read & a believable examination of climate change.

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ElleMNOpe
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Extremely well-written account of the Osage tribe serial murders in Oklahoma during the 1920s. A testament to the sheer lack of the American educational system, as I had no idea about any of this. This account is both intriguing & appalling. So much corruption & unfair treatment of human beings. Unfortunately a true exploration of the greed this nation was built upon. Excellent nonfiction & an eye-opening account. Highly recommend the audio.

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ElleMNOpe
Goblin Market | Diane Zahler
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A fairytale style retelling of Rossetti's The Goblin Market in spectacular fashion. The atmosphere was wonderful & the darkness was on point. The exploration of the original story was well-done, though I would have loved more. It is a middle grade novel, so there is some hold back on the creep factor. The characters are well-developed & the focus on sisterhood is really well done. Intriguing & fun, this is a very quick & enjoyable read.

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ElleMNOpe
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Mehso-so

A middle grade fantasy heavily influenced by Harry Potter. In fact, it can read as female led fan fiction. The plot is fun & fast moving, but not as well-developed as I would have liked. There is a lot left unexplained & quite a few coincidence happenings in the plot. The basis is interesting & it will likely be a good read for younger middle graders. Not a bad read by any means, just not enough creative exploration & thoroughness to hook me.

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ElleMNOpe
This Vicious Grace | Emily Thiede
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An interesting fantasy read with mythological & religious influence. High stakes narrative with a strong female protagonist & flavors of Black Sun & In a Garden Burning Gold. The world building can be a little info dumpy, resulting in diluted atmospheric content, but the plot is interesting & tense. Lovers of the grump/sunshine trope will enjoy the character banter between Alessa & Dante. An enjoyable debut.

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ElleMNOpe
Key to My Heart | Lia Louis
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A lovely P.S. I Love You flavored contemporary romance examining the personal nature of grief. Gently written with a naturally developing plot following heartbreak, friendship, & love. Heartwarming story that isn't full of fluff & contains a protagonist who feels unapologetically real. There are moments of levity in the banter, but the narrative is more seriously centered & things move at a slow burn. An enjoyable, contemplative read.

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ElleMNOpe
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A fantastic follow up to Anatomy: A Love Story (thank goodness, because the ending was a total killer of a cliffhanger). I'm in love with Dana Schwartz's world & could this continue as an infinite series at this point. Gorgeous cover & a great blend of historical fiction with a touch of sci-fi. Gripping & entertaining. The historical content was lovely, both imaginative & intriguing. Great story, wonderful characters, & atmospheric writing. Loved.

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ElleMNOpe
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Lauren Graham is always entertaining. This short collection of anecdotes is just as much fun as her other essay collections and I enjoyed my quick read. It's always best to listen to her books as I just love how her personality comes shining through so well in her narration. I'm not typically one who loves random little stories about random celebrity lives, but I'll always make an exception for her.

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ElleMNOpe
Upgrade: A Novel | Blake Crouch
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A quick moving sci-fi thriller with a highly scientific plot. Reads like a blockbuster movie with a lot of action & fairly high stakes. Because of scientific detail, there are pieces where the information was well above my understanding, but the scientific basis feels solid. There is a lot of thought-provoking material including climate change, human impact, & the basic foundations of humanity. This kept my attention & was a lot of fun to read.

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ElleMNOpe
A Closed and Common Orbit | Becky Chambers
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Becky Chambers is just amazing. I love her writing. Her books create a kind of calming effect, comfortable & cozy. The scenes are rich with detail & nearly tangible, yet everything she puts to the page flows effortlessly. The discussion of identity in this book is so well done & her inclusion is perfect. The information was delivered in an intriguing & wonderful, yet gentle way. Her characters not only feel real, I get beyond attached to them.

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ElleMNOpe
When Women Were Dragons | Kelly Barnhill
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Fantastical & emotional. Beautifully written allegory that celebrates acceptance of self in a highly feminist telling. The writing is gorgeous & lyrical with amazing interpersonal relationships between female characters. The plot is occasionally a little repetitive & slow-paced, but it feels as if it is simply like a way to “circle back“ & reinforce ideas as the story progresses. Barnhill's intentions felt wholesome & welcoming. A lovely read.

16 likes1 stack add
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ElleMNOpe
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A cute Shakespearean inspired YA contemporary with a neurodivergent female protagonist. There is some hyperbole in the plot that creates some over-the-top drama, but it leads to a quirky & entertaining read. The characters are well-written & the story arc moves well, with a good slow burn teen romance. There may be a few missteps in how Bea is encouraged to grow & change (by both her parents & friends), but the result is a good coming-of-age tale.

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ElleMNOpe
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Mehso-so

The concept is good & the twist fantastic, but the journey caused me some issues. I enjoyed Hamdy's writing. He weaves a good story & includes some great introspection. But the nature of the book requires a lot of information to be held back. Unfortunately, this leads to a slow-paced plot & is occasionally confusing. The end made it worth the read & was quite clever, but the mix of genre & the way things come about will not be for every reader.

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ElleMNOpe
I'm Glad My Mom Died | Jennette McCurdy
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Two things sold me on reading this: the hype & the cover. I barely knew who Jennette McCurdy was prior to reading this book, but the things I heard piqued my curiosity. The relationship between Jennette & her mother is shocking. Told in short vignettes, the writing is visceral, candid, & blunt. The journey McCurdy went on to reclaim her life & work through her decades of trauma is nothing short of shocking. The hype is warranted. Read this book.

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ElleMNOpe
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My feelings for this book are confusing. My insides have been completely ravaged. It's a slow, almost monotonously paced narrative that works in a visceral & inexplicable way. The realism is on point. It's absolutely a good read. It's a slow burn with a literary flavor & won't be for everyone, but there are some fantastic moments of brilliance. It's a completely different kind of read & I've definitely been affected by it in a meaningful way.

Rissreads Great review! 1y
33 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ElleMNOpe
Begin Again | Emma Lord
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This cozy college-set YA contempoary is fun & entertaining. A quick read, some strong predictability, but still good. Andie is a decent protagonist, a little quirky & occasionally overly cutesy, but I liked her all the same. However, everything surrounding her relationship with Connor fell flat. I've had a better relationship with my toaster. Still...despite it's flaws, I enjoyed the storyline. Also, Milo is perfection. We could all use a Milo.

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ElleMNOpe
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Gorgeous writing full of beautiful descriptions & historical atmosphere. The plot moves languidly, but still gripped me so that I didn't want to put it down. Lucrezia's fate was looming & my heart just ached. You know from the beginning more or less what the ending will be & that spurs on a mild anxiety during the read. Something about that just feels right & delicious, despite the atrocity. Maggie O'Farrell is a queen of historical fiction.

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ElleMNOpe
The Merciless Ones | Namina Forna
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An action packed plot with a world that continues to impress. The writing remains gorgeous & the construction is clever, resulting in an intricately built story full of complicated political & social culture. Though relevant to the plot, there were moments where the inclusivity felt a little heavy-handed. The pacing was occasionally slow, but revived to an explosive & tense pace for the last third. Overall, a great 2nd installment.

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ElleMNOpe
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I love this series so incredibly much. Seanan McGuire does portal fantasy right. Her characters are wonderful, her stories both heartbreaking & uplifing. The narrative is beautifully written & atmospheric. There is some gut-wrenching & potentially triggering content at the introduction of the story, but it is gracefully handled. The plot is full of wonder & magic, but also contains her trademark nature of allegory & life lessons. Perfection.

TieDyeDude I love this series! 1y
14 likes1 comment
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ElleMNOpe
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Hilariously irreverent writing style and a fast-paced plot that is full of action. The protagonist is the absolute best and I love her. The story is complex, but easy to follow and has a great mix of genres to it. A little bit mystery, a little bit sci-fi, a little bit thriller. There's a little something for everyone here. Fantastic intrigue and a whole lot of fun.

8 likes1 stack add