Kristen Otte

Finding Love and Laughter through Story

August 2014 Book Reviews

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Before the pugs take over the blog for the rest of the week, here are my August book reviews. I have so much more to say about Words of Radiance, so expect a blog post about that book very soon. Until then, happy reading!


Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson – The only disappointing part about Words of Radiance was knowing the next book in the series won’t be out until Fall of 2015. Words of Radiance is the 2nd in the ten book epic fantasy series titled the Stormlight Archive. Words of Radiance is perhaps the best book I will read this year, and better than its predecessor. Whereas The Way of Kings focused almost entirely on world building and character development, the second book dives into story and action. The world building continues in breathtaking fashion, meanwhile more depth and layers are added to the main characters. Since I knew what I was getting myself into, I didn’t mind the length at all, and the pacing of the story was great. I often had to force myself to shut off the kindle every night to get sleep. 7 out of 7 stars!


Frost by Kate Avery Ellison – Frost is the first in a YA fantasy/dystopian series. I picked the book up through a special promotion, so I didn’t know much about the series or author beforehand. I enjoyed the book. The descriptions were great to put you into the setting, and the characters were likeable and relatable. I think the potential for the series is great with the setup created in this book, but this book was a little too simple and predictable for me. It is a YA title, but it reads more like a middle grade novel to me. The book was enjoyable; I just expected a little more which might come in book two. 4 out of 7 stars


The Necromancer’s Betrayal by Becca Andre – The Necromancer’s Betrayal is a novella set in between the second and third book in the series. We are introduced to a new character, Elysia, while learning more about James. Just like the novels, the story is fast-paced and fun. Normally, I’m not a huge novella fan, but I love how these novellas in the Final Formula series get us into the heads of other characters. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to book 3! 5 out of 7 stars

Paper Towns by John Green – I’m having a hard time nailing down how I feel about this book. I’ll start with the positives. I love the voice of the book. Green has a knack for putting his readers inside the head of teenagers. The pacing is great–I wanted to keep reading and reading to find out what happened to Margo. I give credit to Green for not settling for stereotypical happy ending. Yet, I felt like I wasn’t fulfilled by the ending, and I didn’t like the character of Margo. The book did make me think about the lives we lead and our “paper towns.” With all that in mind, I’m giving it 5 out of 7 stars.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – I’m sorry it took so long for me to read this book. It’s been on my to-read list for awhile, and I finally got an audio book copy through overdrive. I don’t do audiobooks often–I simply enjoy reading more than listening, but Eleanor & Park was a great audiobook. The narrators were fantastic. I loved the dueling point of views. It really added depth to this book. Eleanor and Park are adorable and their love story is much different than many of the YA books I’ve read. I don’t want to give too much away, so just read the book. 6 out of 7 stars

Rating System Guide

7 stars = Phenomenal book – one of the  best books I’ve read

6 stars = Great book – worth your time to read

5 stars = Solid book, if you like the genre pick it up

4 stars = Okay book, maybe lacking something in the way of language, character development, story

3 stars = I probably should have stopped reading this book.

1 or 2 stars = Serious issues with plot, structure, language, or not a book for me.

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