Six of Crows vs. The Grisha Trilogy

So I recently read the Six of Cros and I couldn't help comparing it to the Grisha Trilogy. Is that just me? I wanted to get down all my thoughts and see if it's actually justified to like one better than the other. The better being Six of Crows *sigh* ps. if you want to talk books, stay tuned for the questions at the end!


Covers
My photographs do not do the Six of Crows justice at all, oops sorry. I think all of Leigh's book covers are gorgeous though, they reflect the mood of the book very well and they're hella nice to look at. So this is a tie.


Characters
I loved everyone in the Six of Crows (except for the people you’re meant to hate, I’m not that nice). The crew were deadly little jelly beans that all deserve so much better than what they got. The Grisha trilogy, not so much. I can only really remember around threeish characters from those books? And I have the actual books. So um, these are my character profiles of people that I kind of care about. Sorted in the order of who I like the most. ps. I tried to make this spoiler free but read at your own risk. I'm pretty sure it's spoiler free though. 


Inej (Six of Crows)
Also known as the wraith for intimidation reasons and probably my favourite person in the book. Theres no lack of ‘spiders’ in the barrel, she’s just the best one. Even Kaz gets surprised by her and he sees EVERYTHING. Well he has to keep alive somehow. She’s gorgeous but also really good at not being seen. Which is kind of an oxymoron because the people you tend to notice the most are the really pretty ones. Oh well. She’s also a wizard with her knives . . . who she named after the saints (some of them were introduced in the Grisha trilogy). I love how she’s able to keep her faith through everything, as well as preaching to Kaz about fate and all that jazz.

Kaz (Six of Crows)
Manipulative, ruthless and a little bit broken on the inside. He carries around a cane, perfectly weighted for break bones. Something that gets put to use more often than not, just like all of his tricks that he spent hours as a child trying to get right. He has an excess of feelings bottled up inside of him, he just doesn’t know how to show them.

Mal (Grisha Trilogy)
Was ruined by his romance with the main character. Had HE been the main character I may have enjoyed the book more, however his storyline is taken over by trivial love spats and getting angry when he wasn’t given enough time with his ‘one true love’. Unfortunately when it comes to Alina he’s a one dimensional character. So much potential lost. 

Jesper and Wylan (Six of Crows)
They’re separate characters but I’m doing them together because they just . . . go together? I ship them if you can’t already tell. Both of them are from slightly posher backgrounds and they’ve both chosen to come a ‘slum’ in the barrel with the rest of the dregs. They love to insult each other (well it’s mostly Jesper, but I think Wylan gets some good ones in there too) and they both work with machinery and metal. 

Nina (Six of Crows)
She loves cake. A lot. I'm sure theres so much more that I could say, but right now I'm drawing a blank. 

Helene, Rollins and Mattias (Six of Crows)
I’m going to be real here, I’m probably going to forget Matthias in a couple of books which is why I’m putting him with the villains. He’s kind of half half in the books, not quite on their side but not quite willing to kill them either. The other two are almost 100% against them (or at least in the mids of the crew) and are some of the bad guys of the book. Helene was the worst, getting paid off of young girl’s suffering all the while landing them more and more in her debt. Truly terrible. 

Zoya and Genya (Grisha Trilogy)
Two of my favourite characters from Leigh’s first series. Badass and they don’t take shit from anyone. They also make small cameos (well not really, they get mentioned in one or two sentences) in the six of crows. Even Leigh knows of my deep love for them.

Alina and the Darkling (Grisha Trilogy)
I put them together because they were both quite . . . unremarkable. Alina seemed defenceless and the Darkling was the epitome of power, and not in a good way. Mal had to come in and save her nearly every book just as the Darkling gets great joy in terrorising an old woman. Hmm. 

World Building
I suppose that the fact that the Grisha trilogy introduces us to the world allows Six of Crows to expand quite eloquently. Which it does. We're introduced to everyone and everything (well not quite, but close enough) in this book which solidifies the universe a bit more for me. 

There are also more detailed maps in the Six of Crows. I think there are two where the Grisha trilogy only has one. Upon further investigation, my version doesn't actually have any! Then again I never really study the maps. Countless people find them very useful though so that's one more plus for SOC.




Cleverness and Tricks
The six of Crows just came together so much better? I mean I know, it's only the first book, maybe something terrible is coming. Although it is the SIZE of two ish Grisha Trilogy books, so that's how I'm measuring it. We actually discover things, true some of them are quite small things, but they show of the mind of Kaz and everyone else on the team. The ending was good (okay not good, it was terrible NOOO - but it was well written). Whereas the Grisha Trilogy just left me upset, why did it have to happen like that? Honestly it lost my attention, I was barely invested in the characters and the ones that I actually liked were becoming worse and worse. 


Question time! Have you read either of these? Or both? What did you think? ★ or more like ★.5? BTW yes, I know that Seige and Storm is only the second book, I don't have the first or third with me oops.

The Best and Worst Parental Figures

This is my first blog post based on the group 'Top 5 Wednesdays' on goodreads! I think I was meant to do favourite maternal figures, which I kind of did. I just added some terrible ones as well. 


The Best ; 

Hopefully you know who these people are. If not . . . read it? Maybe? Although the characters are memorable, some of the books mentioned here aren't all that great, so the choice is yours. Are you going to risk it?


Molly Weasley from Harry Potter

With 7ish kids this family is where the saying ‘one big happy family’ comes from, and Molly takes care of them all. One kid is hard enough. But when you have a houseful and at least two of them are accidentally setting of magical bombs in the house, you’ll need a hell of a lot of patience.
Plus how cute are those ugly sweaters! That makes no sense, I know, but you get what I'm saying. I love how she takes the time to knit everyone their very own jumper (including her 'adopted' kids Harry and Hermione) no matter how terrible she keeps getting told they are.

Miss Peregrine from Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

She’s been taking care of these kids for hundreds and hundreds without any break. Like ???? How ??? I can barely take care of myself half the time. It’s doubly impressive at how well she takes care of them, how structured everything is. They have lessons, scheduled meal times and strict rules that keep them alert, but most importantly ALIVE. To have gone centuries without spiralling into some sort of despair about how never ending everything seems is slightly unrealistic but it adds to her character as a whole. Shaping her as the resilient woman that we know and love.
Plus the fact that she has very little to no contact with the rest of her family/other people who are mature enough to lead. She's basically been doing this all by herself for years.  Pretty impressive.


Dad from To All the Boys I've Loved Before

He tries his best, he really does. Tea is made (albeilt it’s not the same as their mothers, but they don’t tell him that), sleepovers are arranged and love trouble is discussed. Theres a huge gap in the family where their mother should be, but he makes it seem so much smaller (along with the girls being extremely self sufficient). I almost forgot that they didn’t have a mother, but then again that could be because 99% of young adult books conveniently forget to mention the parents. Oops.
Sidenote. We seriously need more kick ass dads in our books. They're mostly portrayed as the drunken fool or the super distant parent that has a deep deep secret that serves as a part of the plot. What about the supportive dad?

The Worst ; 

By the way, I focused on parents who are supposed to be normal. Not the 'I want to take over the world and I'll go through my child to do it' kind. Just in case you were worried that I thought that kind of things was normal. 


Mrs. Crue from Vitro

Negligent af is how I would describe her. Backstabber is another (especially as you get further on in the book). I seriously don’t get how she’s meant to be one of the ‘good guys’ in the book? Her morals are terrible, she abandoned her daughter out of choice and is totally cool with all of the terrible things that happen in skin island. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a spoiler. I mean the place is called SKIN ISLAND, it’s probably not going to be all rainbows and butterflies.



Calla’s mother from Nightshade

This is more to do with her upbringing rather than the choices she makes, but theres still a whole lot of things that she could have done better. I get that she was raised like this, that her pack has enforced this upon her again and again - but show some backbone please. She consuls her daughter that how she looks is the most important and that you must always submit to the mans wishes, and theres NO mention (apart from Calla’s little rebellions) that this is wrong.

Evernight by Claudia Gray


The Synopsis thanks goodreads

Bianca wants to escape. 
She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in. 
Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him. 
"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would." 
But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

and a half

This was very easy to get through, short and fast paced it's good for when you just want to take a short break from the real world. I haven't read about vampires for so long, not since the whole twilight era . . . not that I actually read twilight. But it seemed like vampires were the only thing anyone was writing about. 

The book is set in a beautiful old stone castle, the main character complains about it but in my mind it's gorgeous. Towers and everything. There are weird rules and stunning students, dead squirrels and a ball coming up in a couple of months. It's all action, kind of, well not really. 

The Good

1. Patrice. She was the best thing about the book to be honest (not in a negative way, most things were pretty good). She surprised us being being a surprisingly nice person, and no, that isn't a spoiler. We find that out almost as soon as we meet her. I suppose one of the reasons we think she's going to be a nightmare is . . . Bianca's  (Crap I had to look that up. That tells you something, remembering Patrice's name but not the main character's, damn.) quick judgment of her. Which is understandable. No one, especially not the pretty ones (everyone) have done anything to make her feel like she fits in.
All Patrice's little things though agh. She's so adorable with all of her nail polishes and gorgeous clothes. She even helps Bianca get ready for her dates and everything! She's comforting, sweet and just overall wonderful. So um, yeah.

2. All the descriptions of food. I want fries now. *sobs quietly*

3. The plot twists. I read a few of the reviews which unfortunately contained spoilers. I can't help myself, it's a problem. (read more on that here) Which means that I knew a tiny bit of what was going to happen. To my surprise I actually enjoyed it. All of the other reviews are chock full of people complaining about it but I think it gave the story a bit of originality. Although I have to admit, if I didn't know what was going to happen, I definitely wouldn't have looked upon it as favourably as I do now. 

Surprisingly...

I found myself not minding so much at the whole instant love thing in this book. Usually I HATE it, but in this book it just seemed right. Especially later on, when you realise that she may actually have a good reason for falling so hard and so fast. We see a similar thing happen to one of the other characters. 

The Not So Good

1. Lucas. Not Lucas himself but the way he's described in the book; maybe it's just me, but straight off the bat I'm imagining him as a 30 year old. A THIRTY YEAR OLD. He was way too mature, had way too many muscles . . . Okay scratch that. I'm fine with the muscles, but there was something about the way that he was described that made me picture him as a thirty year old. It took some dedication from me to mould him into something that more appropriately fit the whole high school thing.

2. Why are all the mean girls in high school blonde, skinny and pretty? I actually didn't mind Courtney all that much, she kept the book entertaining, but she was meant to be the problem character in Bianca's life. Meaning that we were supposed to hate her. BREAK THOSE STEREOTYPES!

Would I recommend it?

Sure, although if you're looking to get really involved with the characters and plot . . . then maybe not. This is better off as a casual read. Usually if I like a series I HAVE to read them one after the other, although with this series I feel as though I can get through them slowly. I do have the next three books though (they came as a set for $10 and one of them is a hardback, hell yeah) so I'll probably get around to reading the sooner or later. 

Reviews: Are We Influenced by Others?





So, you probably know me from Goodreads. I mean there's a 99% chance as I literally do not use any other website for books. But um, if you know me from somewhere else . . . hi? Welcome to my blog thats basically still under construction, don't forget to leave a comment on your way out! But back to the topic on hand. I use Goodreads as a place to post all of my reviews of the brilliantly written books that I've read (and some not so brilliantly written ones as well).

Although recently I read a fantastic book (check out my review here) and made the mistake of looking through the reviews, just as I was writing my own. Bad idea. What was going to be a five star rating, plummeted into a four star rating (and yes, one star makes all the difference).

Perhaps I'm just extremely susceptible to what other people think or maybe they opened my eyes to something new? This got me thinking, is it just me who does this or do other people do it too? Are reviews just the same words written over and over again but by different people? Okay, they're not the same words written over and over again, but you get the point. Hopefully. 


So what did I do? I carried out a survey.

Kind of. Well I asked a grand total of three people to answer some questions for me, and they did. Thanks guys!

1. Do you look at reviews before or after you read the books?
2. Do you think you rate books higher because a friend or family member has recommended it?
3. Does a book being over hyped cause you to lower your review? Maybe you expected too much from it?
4. If you love an author, do you rate books by them higher than if they were unknown?
5. Does being influenced make our review a little less personal/meaningful? 


I sent them these questions, which they could structure their answers around (if they were stuck for ideas). Overall, I think it went pretty well. I got some amazing replies and learnt a few things too! Huge thank you to Victoria (bookindulgences) and Allison for actually taking the time to message me back. 

Drum roll please!

thanks again for agreeing to participate!

VICTORIA SAYS

Personally, before I go to pick the next book I read I'll go on goodreads or even B&N to look at reviews and just the overall rating so I can get a feel if I'll like the book or not. Usually I will end up buying it if there has been a lot of good reviews for it. However, I don't feel that others reviews affect if I end up liking or disliking the book after I'm done with it. Some of my tastes might be different than others so there have been times where someone loved a book and I didn't, and vice versa. 

Recommendations by my friends/family don't really influence how I rate/review the book, they usually influence my expectations. If a book is overhyped, of course I'm probably going to go into it with high expectations but I don't let the fact that's overhyped affect the review I give it. I also don't think an author's name changes the way I feel after I read the book, however, I will say before reading the book, I'll probably expect more if I love the author. I feel that anytime we let others influence our own opinions and feelings, they become a little less personal

ALLISON SAYS
I look at reviews after I read a book, mostly because I'm scared of being spoiled. Haha. I try REALLY hard not to do this and to give my honest opinion of a book, but yes, sometimes I find myself rating a book higher if it's been recommended to me, especially if it's from someone who's talked to me about it in person, because their excitement transfers over to me. If they tell me they really love something, and I care about their opinion, I'll probably like it, too. (This isn't always the case - my review on C.C. Hunter's AWAKE AT DAWN was pretty negative, even though my best friend recommended it to me.) 

Sometimes my review is low on books where I've heard great things and have gotten my hopes too high. (I was disappointed that I didn't enjoy The Maze Runner trilogy as much as I was expected to believe I would.) If I love an author I actually hold higher expectations from them, so if I end up not liking one of their books I'll be honest. Sometimes I find myself wanting to be more generous to unknown authors, especially if I know it's their first book. (Again, I try to resist this urge and be honest.)

I think it definitely can make it a little less personal. Then again, I think that can be okay. I don't think humans consume novels and books in a vacuum, just how novels and books aren't written in a vacuum. Things influence us. It's not just about what we thought about a book we read, but it's also about the lives we are living as we are reading a book, and our lives are all unique to us. Influences are always around us, and I guess it's how we interpret those influences that can either make reviews more or less personal/meaningful.


That's it!

I may make a part two of this if anyone else wants to participate in answering the questions. It's always interesting to see what's going through other people's heads, particularly readers. Maybe it has something to do we how we spend out time. Imagining things . . . and stuff?

Also a huge thank you to PaperFury (Cait) who basically inspired me to make this blog. I think I may have (accidentally) structured my posts somewhat like hers. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me on twitter!

Lastly, thank you for reading! Even if you skimmed over some bits (I do that sometimes too), you've made it to the end. I'm so proud of you! Okay this is getting weird, maybe it's time to end this post. Bye!

Ps. As you can probably tell, I didn't take these photos or create the vectors. The vectors were Designed by Freepik.


Do you agree with what Allison and Victoria have to say? Do you have anything else to add? Or did they capture your thoughts perfectly?

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Review



 by Becky Albertalli (Goodreads Author)

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Just to show you how many sticky notes I used. They all fell out, oops.

and a half

This book was one of the most adorable things I've read this year. Seriously. I spent the next few hours with a smile on my face due to the fluffy ending of this book (if that's not normal, then please ignore the last sentence). But yeah, it was cute asf.

In the beginning I wasn't sure if it was my type of book, maybe it was a bit too slow or nothing was really happening. But whatever it was, it made me contemplate putting this back onto my shelf. Maybe to be picked up again in a couple of months when I have nothing to read. Who knows. But is this is you, trust me. It gets better.

All of the Amazing Things:


1. The way that Simon was portrayed was so damn real. I personally don't know any boys who speak in the way he does, but I know plenty of girls who do. This just made the book so much more real to me, because I can actually picture the expressions, the tone etc.

2. "I mean he is a real junior at Creekwood. I know that. But in a way, he lives in my laptop." Truer words have never been spoken. There's always going to be a sort of detached communication between people online. Not quite sure if this has any relevance whatsoever but um, yeah.

3. There was a huge emphasis on people being a house (?) and not being able to see what they were actually thinking or feeling. Which I think is so cute because Simon realises that he does not in fact know everything and everyone. He gets to kind of discover the world a bit more in this book, and us along with him. "You never really know what he's thinking. But I have this theory that Bram's probably really funny in his own head." There's something about that line that's just so damn cute. Ugh.

4. "People are shameless when it comes to cake." Hell yeah we are.

5. Nawh people sticking up for each other and holding down the fort. How adorable is that? There were such nice (yes I'm using the word nice, hopefully there are no English teachers reading this) people in this book and it just kind of lifted my spirits.

6. Nora is a precious ball of fluff and I'm keeping her. That is all.

7. "Why are you looking at me sweet one? I don't have any cookies." Um, this just reminded me of how I act around my dog. So I thought I'd put it in here.

8. Eyeliner on boys? Um yes please, sign me up.

9. Blue being selfish and not telling Simon who he is. Now wait, let me explain. To me, it just seems to add a whole dollop of realism to the book, he's been quiet about it all the time so what makes you think he's just going to announce who he is because Simon wants him to? Being anonymous is usually for a reason (just ask trolls in the YouTube comments).

10. How adorable Simon is when he's drunk. I'm not encouraging drinking but damn Simon needs more drunk memories, because the ones we saw in the book are so effing (don't judge me) adorable.

The Friend Order:

I'm doing this because Simon is supposed to have known one of his friends since they were four. He was supposed to have known another one for six years. But I can't see any of that. So here's a list of people he seems the closet with, even though the book says otherwise.

Nope, I haven't got two books. It's just the dust cover.
1. Blue (they literally don't know each other)
2. Abby (they've known each other for like, five months? but they're still the closest irl relationship)
3. Leah (six years)
4. Nora (his sister so...)
5. Martin (um, he's blackmailing simon)
6. Cal (they have drama together)
7. Taylor (they also have drama together, it's one class damn it)
8. Nick (they've known each other since they were babies?)
9. Garret (they sit on the same table, literally everyday)
10. Bram (who?)
11. Two other random girls that I've forgotten the name of (they also sit on the same table as him everyday. yet they're interchangeable, his words not mine, and I've completely forgotten about them)



Buying Conditions

I got this at a quarter of the retail price. My friend and I were rummaging through the Salvation Army and ta daa. I also bought Vitro by Jessica Khoury (hardback as well agh), so if I write a review on that I'll limk it here. Unless I forget. I'll probably forget.


Would I recommend this?

Nah. 


Just kidding. GO READ THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. Y'know. If you want.


have you read this book? if so what did you think? maybe you really want to read it but haven't had the chance. did you adore it like me or did you think something was lacking?





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