[ARC] Counter Culture by J.L. Merrow

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4stars

Title: Counter Culture
Author: J.L. Merrow
Release date: November 4th 2019
Number of pages: 344 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was really sweet and the characters were great.
Bad things about this book: The drama! Why? But I must say it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This was so cute! The steampunk! The really nice Robin (full name Robin Christopher btw!), the adorable Archie (real name Mars!!). Archie’s mum was such a fresh character and, while I thought I was going to hate Bridge (the ex and mum of Archie’s baby), I came to like her a lot!

It was something like a slowburn romance with tons of little cute moments mixed with bits of serious stuff, like the homeless situation in the UK. I loved that Archie was unapologetically bisexual and nobody had anything to say about that. And how Robin was really opened about being gay even if his parents were really infuriating. They are cancelled!

This book flew in my hands. One moment I started it, then it was over! Some scenes had me giggling nonstop!! I just really enjoy Merrow’s writing and storytelling. I’ve read three times her The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries series! All of it!

Do I want to attend a Steampunk event? Of course I do. Can you imagine how cool that’d be?? Yes, please!

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Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

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5stars

“I felt this would be the point where a human would sigh, so I sighed.”

Title: Artifical Condition
Author: Martha Wells
Series: The Murderbot Diaries #2
Number of pages: 104 (ebook edition)
Good things about this book: Murderbot is even more relatable in this one.
Bad things about this book: Too short, I need more ART.
Do I recommend it? Yes, please do.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“Young humans can be impulsive. The trick is keeping them around long enough to become old humans.”

I waited too long to read this second novella. I do this all the time. With series. All the time, and sometimes I really shouldn’t. This series with an antisocial murderbot is so interesting, funny, intriguing, and so very relatable, and I just don’t know why I keep doing this to myself. I don’t like binge reading. I really don’t!

I wanted a short book because I’ve been suffering from reading slumps for months, and I thought about this novella. Best decision ever. It can be read in a few hours, it was perfect for a lazy Sunday.

Murderbot (who I pictured more like a woman in the first, but now I pictured more with masculine constitution) is still one of the most interesting not human characters I’ve found in books so far. Very relatable; I don’t get how it doesn’t consider itself more human, seeing as it’s far more human than many. Fixated on tv shows and wants to be left alone. Seriously? Same, Murderbot, same!

The best sidekick a Murderbot on a personal mission might need was without a doubt ART.

“ART (aka Asshole Research Transport)”

A non corporeal AI, inhabiting a ship? I already loved it just after reading that. But then it reacted to tv shows the way we do, staring for minutes at a wall, just because something bad happened. Again? Same! How are these two the most relatable characters in the book and they’re not even human? This is one of the reasons why I love sci-fi so much.

“I didn’t care what humans were doing to each other as long as I didn’t have to a) stop it or b) clean up after it.”

After finding out about what happened to Murderbot when it killed those people, I want to know exactly what and who is behind all of this! I’m happy there are still more books to read and a whole novel is coming out in the near future!

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Balefire by Jordan L. Hawk

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5stars

I’m really just a fellow who gets paid to translate what other people find. I ordinarily try to save my insane ranting for grant proposals.

Title: Balefile
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #10

Number of pages: 240 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: There’s more mysteries and more danger!
Bad things about this book: I still want Whyborne to learn more about using magic. He still uses almost always the same spells!!
Do I recommend it? I always recommend Whyborne & Griffin books!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

After nine books I thought I knew exactly where the story was going. Guess I was wrong. These books never cease to surprise me. Whyborne has grown a lot since book one. He isn’t as afraid to put himself in danger to safe the people he loves, he knows what he wants and he gets it! The only thing he doesn’t know is more spells; the man needs to study more if he wants to save the world!

At first I was a bit weirded out about Griffin’s chapters. I was really used to only seeing the story from Whyborne’s side that seeing the story from Griffin’s point of view and reading what was going in his head made me a bit scared. What if he was thinking something I didn’t like about Whyborne? The man can be whiny but I love him and I want to protect him. Luckily, that didn’t happen and I came to like Griffin’s chapters, even more now that he can see magic and actively helps Whyborne with the magic stuff.

The gang is in some island I don’t remember the name of, in the UK, and they’re unwillingly helping Whyborne’s hateful cousins, the Endicotts. Every time they call my Whyborne a monster, I just want to slap them in the face and stare at them angrily until they apologize.

Nice twists and surprises in this penultimate adventure of Whyborne & Griffin, and the gang. What is going to happen in the last book?? I’m afraid to find out but I’m sure it’ll be good!! I need a happily ever after and an epilogue with all the them in love and safe!

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All Systems Red by Martha Wells

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5stars

“As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.”

Title: All Systems Red
Author: Martha Wells
Series: The Murderbot Diaries #1
Number of pages: 144 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: An antisocial murder robot in love with tv shows. LOVE.
Bad things about this book: It might seem short, and it is, but it doesn’t feel like it.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“And in their corner all they had was Murderbot, who just wanted everyone to shut up and leave it alone so it could watch the entertainment feed all day.”

I love the bookstagram community because it recommends me so many new books I wouldn’t have known otherwise. There’s an account I follow that loves sci-fi just as much as I do, but knows so many more books that I do. It’s so perfect! I now have a lot of new sci-fi books to read and love!

The Murderbot Diaries was one of those recs. I dived into it as soon as I knew how short the books were. I’ve been in a reading slump the whole month so a short, engaging novella, was just what I needed. And it was exactly that; funny, intriguing, with an incredibly relatable Murderbot main character, and a very well built plot, not short of twists, even if the story was a short one.

I pictured Murderbot as a female even if it was stated that it was genderless. I tried real hard to picture it as it was meant to be, but my mind kept conjuring a female robot who really fangirled about her tv shows. The brain is hard to command!

I can’t wait to read the other novellas of the series. They will follow Murderbot in its adventured and misadventures in space, and I read the plot of this novella will be important to the following stories. What’s not to love about Murderbot and these stories? If you love sci-fi, then yes, read these novellas!

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Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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3stars

I think you have to have faith in people before they earn it. Otherwise it’s not faith, right?

Title: Daisy Jones & The Six
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Number of pages: 351 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: The writing style.
Bad things about this book: Annoying characters. I just didn’t like them.
Do I recommend it? Yes, my experience is mine alone. You may love it.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

As much as I did like how the book ended, the many annoying things that made me not like Daisy (and often Billy) outweighed the good parts. I can’t bring myself to rate this higher.

It’s subjective; I just didn’t like Daisy and her personality. She knew she was self-centered, spoiled and selfish, and those traits made me really dislike her some of the time, and actually hate her during others.

The whole I love and I can’t have you thing? I would’ve have liked it, but in this case, with these characters and their situations, I didn’t. I spent most of the book mad and begging them not to do what I was afraid they would.

Also, what’s with the I do what I want and I don’t care for the people around me? Why? I can understand she didn’t want to be pushed or used by others, she wanted to stay true to herself, but there are lines, and she crossed them all! I would’ve had a hard time tolerating her if I met her in real life. People can be true to themselves and still be polite, good people, who don’t think they are the center of the universe. She just made me mad.

I’m really sorry I didn’t like this as much as I wanted to, but we can’t always have the story that we build in our heads, right? I’m happy people loved Daisy, I respect that. I just didn’t.

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

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5stars

In darkness, we are naked. Our truest selves. Night is when fear comes to us at its fullest, when we have no way to fight it. It will do everything it can to seep inside you.

Title: The Priory of the Orange Tree
Author: Samantha Shannon
Number of pages: 827 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: There are dragons and magic and a prophecy. What’s not to love?
Bad things about this book: It is quite long but I didn’t see that as a bad thing, only it did took me long to finish it.
Do I recommend it? Of course, DRAGONS!!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

No woman should be made to fear that she was not enough.

What a book. What a journey. I didn’t want it to end.

Let me just say this things first: DRAGONS! I love dragons, always have and always will. They are majestic creatures. I love dragons in all the forms I’ve read them. So of course I needed to read this book with dragons in them. And, surprise!! It had two distinct types of dragons, at war with each other, and one called the Nameless One! What majestic name it is!

Moving on, this was a pretty great book. I liked the story, the characters, the revelations, the little twists it had. I was afraid, with a book this big, that I was going to submerse in plot twists. Not really a spoiler, really, there are many things happening in the story, a lot, but I was pleasantly surprised my crazy theories didn’t come true.

I loved the growth of the different characters and how we got to see different points of view of the story, because there isn’t really the good and the bad sides. Each side has beliefs, very strong ones, and if they only tried they’ll see they aren’t really that different. Things aren’t always only black or white, even more when there is a common enemy to defeat.

It took a me lot to finish this book and it wasn’t even that long. If you think about it, this was two standard books long, three if they’re the small ones. I should’ve finished it sooner that I did. And I was loving everything I was reading. There were so many great parts. Maybe I just didn’t want it to end? We will never know. What we know is that I finished it and that I loved it. It has everything I love about a fantasy book: great characters, dragons, magic, a not over the top love story, and DRAGONS. I love dragons.

Did I say DRAGONS too many times? Well, I’m speaking from my hoarder heart. Read this book (since I didn’t really explain anything about it) if you like them as much as I do!

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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

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5stars

“If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn’t spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.”

Title: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Number of pages: 386 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Great story, great characters, great book.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, I enjoyed all of it.
Do I recommend it? Always.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“Although it’s good to try new things and to keep an open mind, it’s also extremely important to stay true to who you really are.”

Truly captivating. Once I started reading it was hard to stop because I wanted to know more about Eleanor. I wanted her to have the best life. She deserved it. I loved Raymond and Sammy even if he wasn’t on page much.

I loved how the book ended. At first I didn’t know how I wanted it to end, I wasn’t sure. The more I went on with the book, the more unsure I was. But the book surprised me with a great ending. It left me smiling. Happy. Satisfied. Hopeful.

This review is very short because I’ve been struggling with writing them. I’m not inspired. This book made me feel and think so much and I don’t know how to put my thoughts into words. I guess you just have to read it, right? Wink wink!

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