Today, I'll be discussing Goodreads Choice 2018 winner: The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One.
The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace
The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. Lovelace's collection encourages resilience and emboldens women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.
As it turns out, I'm in the minority with this one. In the name of honesty, I ask you all to bear with me.
I have A LOT of complaints about this one. For starters, let's talk about how this piece is considered "poetry." If you've picked up Lovelace's The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One and have also picked up other works in the poetry genre, you may agree with me when I say that this is NOT poetry. Throughout the piece, Lovelace shares several messages with readers. On some pages it's 5 words, on others it's a sentence or two. Regardless, the writing, structure, and messages conveyed are evidence that while this is an expression of the writer's emotions, it should not be classified under the poetry genre. (Let's not even discuss the fact that the collection won a Goodreads award under this category.)
Another reason I have a problem with The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One is that it's both badly written and incredibly repetitive. Every single message reads like the last, and because of this, the book quickly becomes dull and monotonous.
The biggest issue I have with this piece is that while some messages can be considered empowering, there are many that just appear bitter and resentful towards the entire male gender. While it's important as a woman to support other women, it's also important to remember that not all men are horrible and untrustworthy.
Because of Lovelace's generalizations, tone, and writing, I'd suggest skipping The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One and checking out other picks in women's literature and the poetry genre.
What do you think? Send me a message with your thoughts!
Welcome back readers!
Today, I'm discussing Veronica Henry's How to Find Love in a Bookshop.
How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
Emilia has just returned to her hometown to rescue her father's business. Nightingale Books is a dream come true for book lovers. But the best stories aren't just within the pages of the books—the shop's customers have their own tales to tell.
There's the lady of the manor who is hiding a secret close to her heart; the single dad looking for books to share with his son but who isn't quite what he seems; and the shy chef trying to find the courage to talk to the man of her dreams. Meanwhile, Emilia is desperately trying to mourn her father while keeping the promise she made to her father. Will she succeed in saving Nightingale Books?
Everyone in this town has a story... will they get the happy ending they're looking for?
Veronica Henry's How to Find Love in a Bookshop is a heartwarming tale of community, love, and loss. The storyline is light yet moving, and the characters are genuine and charming.
Despite this, How to Find Love in a Bookshop isn't for everyone. Although the plot of the novel is delightful and enticing, Henry's writing style and the pace of events make the story appear a bit slow and tiresome. While this may not be an issue or even evident to some audience members, to readers who enjoy books with a fast and exciting pace, How to Find Love in a Bookshop may be uninteresting.
Nonetheless, Henry's beloved tale is a must read for fans of contemporary fiction and romcoms such as You've Got Mail and Love Actually.
Have you read How to Find Love in a Bookshop? Leave your thoughts down below or message me on Instagram!
Today, I'll be discussing Sally Thorne's latest novel, 99 Percent Mine.
A BIG thank you to William Morrow for sending me a free review copy in exchange for my honest review.
Let's get to rating!
99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world and is sure that no one measures up to Tom Valeska—the man whose only flaw is his most loyal friend and Darcy’s twin brother Jamie. When Jamie and Tom met as children, Jamie claimed him as his best friend and left Darcy with only one percent of Tom's heart.
Now, Darcy and Jamie have inherited a rundown cottage from their grandmother, and they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell it. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can run, a familiar face is on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom Valeska.
Suddenly, Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts or his handsome face.
Soon enough, one percent of Tom’s heart simply isn't enough for Darcy. This time around, she’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.
Sally Thorne is back, and this time, she's written another comical and heartwarming romance.
Similar to The Hating Game, 99 Percent Mine features concise and vivid language; a fun and unique storyline; and a fantastic set of characters. Like her previous novel, the protagonists in her latest release are bold, outspoken, and delightful.
While the narrative is a bit predictable and corny at times, 99 Percent Mine is amusing and original. Nonetheless, Thorne's latest could've been a 5-star read if the characters and the setting developed and changed as the story progressed.
Regardless, 99 Percent Mine is a great pick for readers who are looking for a light and enjoyable read or even a quirky romance.
Did you enjoy Thorne's latest? Leave your thoughts below or send me a message on Instagram @theazereads.
Today, I'm discussing Beartown's sequel, Us Against You.
Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
After everything that the people of Beartown have gone through, they are hit yet again when news circulates announcing the disbandment of the local hockey team. To make matters worse, the former Beartown players now play for the rival team in Hed. When it's discovered that the team might be saved after all, the new coach decides to build a team around Amat, the fastest player in town; Benji, the lone wolf; and Vidar, the troublemaker.
Soon, the big match is days away, and the pranks and incidents between both communities begin to get out of hand. Before the residents of both towns realize the war they've created, a resident of Beartown will be dead. Suddenly, everyone will be forced to wonder if, after all they’ve been through, the game they love can ever go back to being something simple and innocent.
Like Beartown, Us Against You features Backman's superb writing style, an intriguing storyline, and a one of a kind cast. The narrative is captivating and genuine: it perfectly exemplifies human nature.
Despite the wonderful narrative that Backman shares with readers, Us Against You is a bit repetitive and anticlimactic. The novel is so similar to its prequel that it raises an important question: did Beartown need a sequel at all?
Nonetheless, Us Against You is an authentic, heartbreaking novel. Like Beartown, this is a great pick for readers who want real insight into the human experience.
Did you enjoy Backman's Us Against You? Share you thoughts in the comments or chat with me on Instagram @theazereads!
Welcome back booksters!
Today, I'll be discussing international bestseller Beartown.
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake is the old ice rink, built decades ago by the men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe in a better tomorrow. The junior ice hockey team is days away from competing in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the dreams of this place rest on the shoulders of a group of teenage boys.
Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will change the life of a 15-year-old girl and leave the town in turmoil. Accusations are made, sides are chosen, and the consequences travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.
Beartown is like no other book I've ever read—it's a story of community, friendship, and right and wrong. Even more so, Beartown is a reminder that the choices we make have consequences, and like ripples, they impact each and everyone around us.
This fan favorite is not only wonderfully written, it's brilliantly developed. While the storyline may be difficult for some, it's impossible not to fall in love with the cast: the parents who would do anything for their children, the friends who have an unbreakable sense of loyalty, and every character in between.
Despite this being a story of community, Beartown is a powerful narrative for several other reasons. It's a tale of devotion and violence. The synopsis may give off a light and warm impression, but it's actually quite the opposite.
Nonetheless, it can't be denied that the story is a bit long and dragged out. Although it's difficult not to become invested in the narrative, at times, the book feels like it's on a loop.
The final verdict: this Backman pick is great but definitely hyped by readers.
Beartown is a good choice if you're looking for a fiction piece that is unique and significant. If you're in the mood for something quick, light, and easy, this may not be the book for you.
Welcome back readers!
Today, I'll be discussing Jason Reynold's For Every One.
For Every One by Jason Reynolds
For Every One is a piece for every individual. It's for every dreamer, and especially, for every kid. It is a reminder to never stop chasing our dreams.
Reynolds does not tell his readers how to make their dreams come true. As a matter of fact, he reveals how he's struggled to fulfill his own.
He's here to explain to dreamers that dreams take time to be fulfilled, and there is no shortcut. But no matter how many times dreams get knocked down, we must never let our passion be extinguished--never stop taking that leap of faith.
Reynolds' For Every One, which was written for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, is a raw and honest tribute to every individual chasing their dreams and working endlessly. This poem is not only beautifully written, it's candid and awe-inspiring.
For Every One is a piece that must be read by every person feeling lost and hopeless or even those who simply need reassurance and uplifting. Why? This piece serves as a reminder that no matter how many plans are made, life almost never goes as is expected. No matter, this book is a message to all readers: continue to fight, continue to dream.
Have you read Jason Reynold's speech or any of his other works? Comment your thoughts on his stories below.
Today, I'll be discussing a fan favorite...
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Lucy Hutton is sure that the nice girl will get the corner office. She prides herself on being loved by everyone at work--everyone except for her nemesis, Joshua Templeman.
Trapped in a shared office, Joshua and Lucy have become a part of their very own addictive, never-ending game of one-upmanship. The pair are experts at the Staring Game, the Mirror Game, and the HR Game. But this time, Lucy can't let Joshua win—a huge promotion, her dream job, is at stake.
If Lucy wins, she'll be Joshua's boss. If she loses, she'll resign. So why is she all of a sudden questioning herself? Maybe she doesn't hate him. And maybe, just maybe, he doesn't hate her either.
Most of you know I'm not a huge fan of the romance genre, but after obsessing over One Day in December, I was itching to pick up another love story. After a lot of research and recommendations, I decided to give The Hating Game a try. Luckily for me, it did not disappoint.
(Spoiler Warning: This review briefly mentions something that may be considered a spoiler to some readers.)
This beloved Sally Thorne pick features some great elements. For starters, the writing is concise and easy to follow, and the storyline is witty and lighthearted. Together, these components make The Hating Game a quick and fun read.
Despite the writing and storyline being splendid, the star of the novel is the cast—particularly Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman. The characters are strong, comical, and genuine. Their personalities make it impossible to not become completely invested.
Although there's no doubt that this is an amazing novel, I would've liked to see more depth as the story progressed. The Hating Game could've been a five-star novel if it featured more character growth/development and backstory instead of the pair's frequent intimacy.
In spite of the story being predictable and corny at times, The Hating Game is a great choice for readers looking for an amusing and refreshing read.
Did you enjoy this Thorne novel? Comment below!
Hey there, readers!
Today, I'll be discussing Lin-Manuel Miranda's collection of pep talks.
Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda spent his days inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement. He wrote these original sayings for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda's audience grew, these messages took on a life of their own. At the request of countless fans, Miranda gathered the best of his daily greetings and compiled them into a beautiful collection. Illustrated by artist and Twitter favorite Jonny Sun, Gmorning, Gnight! is a potential pick for anyone looking for comfort and motivation.
It looks like I'm in the minority with this pick... I did not enjoy Miranda's Gmorning, Gnight! Here's why.
As many of you know, Lin-Manuel Miranda used his Twitter platform to motivate thousands with amusing and unique messages. After some time, he decided to compile his most popular tweets and publish them as a collection. That collection became known as Gmorning, Gnight!
As individual tweets, Miranda's messages are probably great. However, as a book, they are repetitive, corny, and after a short while, plainly annoying.
Despite the writer's good attentions, every passage is so similar, the collection quickly becomes monotonous and uninteresting. The first couple of pages are uplifting, but soon the book develops into something foolish and uninspiring.
I am all for encouraging tweets on social media, but does that mean those tweets should be compiled into a book? In this case, probably not. The idea had potential, and if all the passages hadn't been so similar, this could've been a great motivational piece. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way... at least not for me.
Did you like Miranda's Gmorning, Gnight!? Let's chat below.