Review: Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao

First, I would like to thank Penguin Teen Canada for providing me a physical ARC of this. I am honored to have received a copy!

Review: 

3 stars

This review doesn’t contain spoilers.

From what I understand this is a companion novel from one of her other series. I have never read anything else by her. And I can happily say that you don’t need to in order to understand this book.

What I loved most about the book was actually the setting, history, and politics. And I don’t like politics, so that’s saying a lot. 

Julie did a really wonderful job of putting you right into the world. Showing you where they live, and how. The setting was very beautiful; in just a couple of lines you can tell exactly what the characters are seeing.

However I was not highly invested in the main story between the main characters. There was a lot of side characters though that I would have liked to know more about. The main story is very soft. Starting softly and ending so as well. The stakes don’t seem very high, and even when they do, I didn’t feel that there was enough emotional build up to feel strongly about what was happening. 

I also felt that a lot of the timing of certain point reveals was quite a bit off. One character served only to confirm the plot points that were already known by the characters. To the point where you can actually tell when we would be interacting with that character. It was almost always a chapter after a big reveal, only for them to confirm what we already knew. 

If you like books that don’t necessarily have a lot of emotional turmoil, this would be perfect. I find that this book would be a good palate cleanser. Or if you like books that don’t have super high stakes, then I would definitely recommend this. 

Review

Review of Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer

I received an ARC copy on netgalley of this poetry collection, in exchange for my honest review.

“To sing of love is almost always to sing of war.”

I’ve followed Trista’s journey as a poet for a very long time. All the way back before her collection Honey Bee, when she was still only on Tumblr.

From there her poetry has grown, while never losing touch with who she is. And always having a consistent voice.

Now typically with poetry collections, I tend to skip a poem here and there. As they just don’t click with me. However with Trista’s poetry, I can find something to connect with in each poem. Whether it’s the whole poem, or simply just a phrase.

Her writing always manages to spark emotion. I will be giving this collection a 4.5 star.

“She says, “I thought you weren’t looking for love.”

I say, “That doesn’t mean I’m not hoping it will find me.”

A reading update, because I don’t have a writing one.

So far this year I’ve read 25 books is here. My Goodreads goal was 30, so it’s looking like I’m going to have to up that pretty soon.

I’m going to give you a reading update, instead of a writing update, because I don’t have one of those yet. I’m hoping to have one by September. During August I’m going to try to edit my manuscript into something that’s ready to query.

So since I talked to you last I’ve read about three to four books.

The Strange the Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor. (both books are undoubtedly five stars)

This series was one hell of a wild ride. It was beautiful and immersive, filled with so much detail. Because of its size, it’s a little intimidating to start. But once I finished the first book I knew immediately I had to pick up the second one. Thank God I had both.

Laini Taylor is seriously a master at what she does. There was multiple times that I couldn’t actually decide what genre it was. And that didn’t bother me, in fact I actually enjoyed it more because each page was a surprise.

I attempted Women Talking by Miriam Toews

(No stars)

This was rough. I was buddy reading this book with my mom, and if she wasn’t reading it out loud, I wouldn’t have even made it as far as we did before we DNF-ed it. We only made it 20 pages in. And it’s not a very long book. But quite frankly, it was boring.

I wanted a story about what happened to the women during the process of it happening. Instead you’re thrown into a story of a back-and-forth debate about what happened afterwards. I don’t think the synopsis gives a good interpretation of this. As I didn’t realize what we were getting into.

And the rerelease of The Near Witch by V.E Schwab.

(Also 5 stars)

I found out about this book before it was re-released, but after it was out of print. I always wondered what the first book was. And was a little bit sad that it didn’t make it very long. I can only imagine how happy she was when she found out that it was being re-released. Because I’m such a fan of her writing, I just about cried when I opened the first page. I’m ecstatic that this book is out again, when the market is more ready for it. When readers are ready for it. It’s a soft story with sharp teeth. And like everything I’ve read by this author, it’s phenomenal.

I’ve currently started Year One by Nora Roberts and The House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt.

…Hopefully I’ll have an update soon!