Tag Archives: victoria schwab

Tunnel of Bones: A Review

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this sequel to City of Bones. It’s a middle-grade book written by Victoria Schwab, my favorite author. While I don’t normally read middle-grade, I know I’ve liked everything written by her, so I will probably read anything written by her (I have a huge backlist to get to). Still, I had a fun time reading the second book in this series and will try to review it spoiler-free. The main plot of the series is about a girl named Cassidy who, after a near-death experience, can see ghosts and enter the Veil. Her best friend is a ghost named Jacob. And her parents have a ghost hunting TV show that brings them to the most haunted places in the world, much to Cassidy’s (and Jacob’s) dismay.

My favorite part about this series is the history that is woven into the story. The first took place in Edinburg, Scotland and this one took place in Paris, France. I’ve been to Paris, so reading about places I’ve visited was pretty cool. Although, I probably wouldn’t visit the spooky Tunnel of Bones, personally. They did include some of the highlights of the city, including Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre. My favorite ghost story was the one about the man in the black coat at the Jardin de Luxemborg, which is an actual ghost story. The author really immerses you into the culture and views of the city.

I also liked how each story is building off of the other. In the first book, Cassidy has to learn to trust other people, and I felt like Jacob learned this lesson in the second book. There are questions from the first book that are clearly answered in this one, and we have questions at the end of this book as well. The final book is set in New Orleans, which is where I grew up. It is the perfect spooky destination, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the author will do with it!

There is no profanity or sexual content. There is a good bit of mild violent content. Considering this is a book about ghosts and death, that should be assumed. Great series and a big recommendation from me!

Favorite Books of 2018

Reading has slowed down significantly as the holiday season arrived.  Plus, I’ve been spending a good portion of my time in November putting together furniture.  Still, I thought it would be fun to look back over the books that received five stars.  I definitely saw some trends that I thought I would share with you.  All of the links will send you to my reviews of each book.

Favorite New Author:  This year, I started following Victoria “V.E” Schwab on social media.  I had heard of her books, and that people really loved them.  So, I started with The Archived series, which I checked out of the library.  I absolutely loved both The Archived and The Unbound.  Which led me to pre-order her new middle-grade book, City of Ghosts, which I again, of course, loved.

Favorite YA Books: In addition to the above books, I also really loved a few newer authors, as well as a couple of authors I was already familiar with their writing.  Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi introduced me to a new African mythology, and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was a poignant and beautiful contemporary novel about grief and racism.

I also thoroughly enjoyed Thunderhead (the second book in the Scythe series) by Neal Shusterman and Library of Souls (the third book in Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series) by Ransom Riggs.  I’ve read Unwind by Shusterman many years ago, which I liked.  I’ve also been reading Riggs’ series for a couple of years now and plan to read this next book (which I already own) Map of Days that continues the story of his Peculiar series.

Favorite Adult Books: All of the adult authors I enjoyed this year were new to me.  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was an impulse buy that I really enjoyed and probably prompted more impulse buying this year than I have in a long time.  How to Stop Time by Matt Haig made me tear up at the end.  It actually answers the question of how to stop time through this fictional, magical story.  And What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty was a surprise because it wasn’t the main story that made me love it so much, but the subplot of her sister and infertility that kept me turning the pages (and I think I cried at the end of this one, too).

Favorite Non-fiction/Memoir: Kathy Khang’s book Raise Your Voice is a perfect narrative of this moment in history.  It challenged the reader to face the excuses used to stay quiet when we need to speak up.  And on a completely different level, Anne Bogel’s book, I’d Rather Be Reading, was a perfect collection of essays for any reader to relate to.

All of these authors have inspired me in so many different ways and prompted me to see life from new perspectives.  I think they have all taken a part in shaping me this year, and I look forward to seeing what new favorites will come into my life next year!

What are some of your favorites? 

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab: A Review

61tqsgzgmql
City of Ghosts
by Victoria Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my third book written by Victoria Schwab that I’ve read (which I’m trying to slowly remedy) and I absolutely loved it. It made me want to visit Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s the first middle-grade novel that I have read in a long time, but since I have enjoyed everything she has written so far, I was happy to add this to my read list.
The story is about a girl, Cass, who had a near-death experience and now sees ghosts, namely her best friend Jacob who is a ghost. And her parents also happen to be writers of the paranormal (though they do not see ghosts). So, when they get an opportunity to travel to Scotland for a documentary, they do. And her adventure begins.
The plot moves along quite fast, and it is a very easy read (I read it in less than 24 hours which is big since I have a baby). And there are questions that aren’t answered in this book that I hope will be answered in later books. I’m looking forward to the next one.
There is no profanity in the book. And there are no sexually explicit scenes, in fact, there really isn’t any romance at all which I found refreshing and appropriate for the target audience. There is violence, namely ways that people die. Cass is able to enter the veil and see ghosts playing out their deaths over and over again on a loop. It’s not explicit, but it definitely was sad.
If you want a good mystery wrapped up in a beautifully descriptive city, with a little spooky thrown in, then I would highly recommend this book.

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab: A Review

71ed1su1ccl
The Unbound
by Victoria Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this sequel to The Archived by Victoria Schwab. I’m going to try to do this spoiler free, but it’s important to read the first book before this one. The two plots are very connected.
Speaking of plot, this book was really well paced for me. I enjoy a pretty fast-paced read. While the first book really explored the Narrows and the Archive, this one was more about how much being a Keeper affected Mckenzie’s life. The last book was over the summer, and this one was during the school year. So, we have a new cast of characters that she meets as she starts at her new school.
Like the last book, this one also has a mystery to solve, and Mac has to learn, again, to believe in herself and out-strategize the enemy. There are some triggers to self-harm to be noted. There is also an almost assault as well.
There isn’t any profanity in the book that I can recall. There is some sexual content with kissing and touching, like the face, hair or arms, nothing graphic. Also, there is violence in this book, lots of fighting and attacks. There is mention of blood, cuts, and the aforementioned cutting, but nothing completely graphic or detailed.
Overall, it’s a great series. I really like the world that was created and the characters. I would have liked to see more of the Archive characters play a role, but I understood that this was a focus more on the Outer world. Another recommend!

September Favorites

Each month seems to be going by so quickly!  On to my September favorites!

Book of the Month

511ll1q99xl-_sy346_

This was my first book written by Victoria Schwab that I’ve read, and I absolutely loved.  I wrote a review here.  I’ve already read two more books by this author.  Reviews coming soon!

Baby

51ydlpa4dgl

I think I, unfortunately, passed on my allergies and sinus issues to my son.  These Boogie Wipes

really came in handy this month!

Beauty and Fashion

91azzhyhukl-_sx522_

On a whim, I found these Garnier Fructis hair masks at Target and decided to try them.  I used it once a week and loved the avocado mask for the frizziness due to the humid weather here in Texas.  I just got the papaya mask to try next.  I can really tell a difference after using it, even into the next day (I don’t wash my hair every day so a product that lasts two days or more is worth talking about!).

Entertainment

mv5bnjiynzhhmmqtmjnlzs00mgrklwe0odgty2e4mgmzmjk2m2izxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymtmxodk2otu-_v1_

I watched this movie the day after I posted my August Favorites.  And I would have changed it if I could.  I absolutely loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  It’s about a community, books, and World War II on a little island between England and France in the English channel.  I loved all of the characters, but Amelia was my favorite.  The book is definitely on my Want to Read list now.  Five stars.

What are some favorites you have been enjoying this month?

All disclaimers have now moved to my About Me page.

The Archived: A Review

511ll1q99xl-_sy346_

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my first V.E. Schwab book, and I really enjoyed her writing. This particular story is about a girl named Mackenzie who inherits this job from her grandfather as a Keeper. Apparently, when someone dies, a record of them is created in the Archive in the form of a body that looks like what they did before they died. Sometimes these records, or Histories, “wake up” and get lost in the space between the Archive and the Outer (the real world) called the Narrows. So, it’s up to the Keepers to get them back to the Archive. But something is going wrong and a lot of the Histories are mysteriously waking up. So, it’s up to Mackenzie to figure out what’s going on before it’s too late.
There are a few triggers. Of course, the story is about people dying, and it opens with Mac’s family moving into a renovated hotel to an apartment complex after her brother dies. It also addresses grief and loss.
The plot is fast moving, and the world is built pretty well. There were definite twists and reveals that I enjoyed. I wasn’t ever sure just where the author would take the story. The chapters are short and the writing enabled it to keep a fast pace.
I really enjoyed Mac’s transformation throughout the book. She goes from an isolated loner to learning how to trust herself and others. Also, her grief transformation is good as well.
There wasn’t any profanity, which was a nice change from the other recent YA novels that I’ve read. I’m not sure if this is normal for her, but it was nice to see.
There are violent components, mentions of blood and several fight scenes in the book since the Histories don’t always go back to the Archive willingly.
There is romance in the book, but it’s mostly kissing. There is a scene with touching, but touch is a theme in the book. Keepers can see the thoughts and memories of a person they touch unless it is a History which gives off nothing but silence.
I’ve already picked up the second book in this series, and I’m excited to get back into the world. I highly recommend this book.