Books That I Enjoyed More Than Their Goodreads Rating

Recently I was looking through my Read shelf on Goodreads and noticed that there are quite a few books on that list that I have a much higher opinion of than the rest of Goodreads apparently. I admit that I go fairly easy with my ratings compared to some other reviewers. If I’m entertained by a book then it’s probably going to get a decent star rating. I can’t help myself, okay?! I do think one of my goals for next year is to start rating books a little harder, but we’ll see how that really goes.

With that being said, I’ve compiled a list of books that I seem to have enjoyed a heck of a lot more than their average rating on Goodreads. Sometimes we let the ratings on Goodreads deter us from picking up a book that we are interested in, which can lead us to missing out on enjoyable reads. I’m here to help you out and name a few books that I still enjoyed, even if Goodreads didn’t!

For the sake of this post and all of our sanity, I’m going to stick to books with less than a  3.75 average rating. Because some people are just picky, ya know? Review links will be included if available!


 13623785

Goodreads Average: 3.49, My Rating: 4.0 – Review

I think the synopsis might’ve promised something a little different than what the book really gives, but the story is still very good!

18404312

Goodreads Average: 3.60, My Rating: 4.0 – Review

Don’t let that gorgeous cover fool you! This book is fairly dark and a much more realistic retelling of the Peter Pan tale. Also, a bit more adult than what you might think.

24951755

Goodreads Average: 3.32, My Rating: 4.0

Why all of the hate? This book was a decent historical fiction on a lesser known real-life historical figure, who was an inspiration for one of Da Vinci’s first masterpieces. What’s not to like about that?

27970025

Goodreads Average: 3.4, My Rating: 4.0 – Review

Don’t let Angel’s POV deter you from picking this one up. Frederick more than makes up for it!

love-that-split-the-world

Goodreads Average: 3.67, My Rating: 5.0 – Review

Emily Henry is an auto-buy author for me and it all started with this book right here. So join me in obsessing over her wonderful stories. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t really enjoy magical realism!

16158565

Goodreads Average: 3.5, My Rating: 5.0

I wish I could tell y’all how much I enjoyed this book and how much I need the sequel to be released. I’VE BEEN WAITING TOO DAMN LONG. Now I want to reread it…

15018709.jpg

Goodreads Average: 3.53, My Rating: 5.0

Listen, it’s melodramatic. But come on, sometimes we are trash for those kinds of stories! And this is one of those times. P.S. This is actually a trilogy and I recommend them all.


What are some books that you enjoyed more than Goodreads? Would you consider those books to be guilty pleasures? What’s the minimum average rating you require to pick up a book or does it not matter to you?

Hype or Like Friday – A Modern Spin

This meme and Goodreads group were created by myself, Jill @ Rant and Rave Books, and Britt @ Geronimo Reads. To join our group and find out more information about what it’s all about, please go to our Goodreads page HERE.

The August BOTMs are Heartless by Marissa Meyer and/or Hunted by Meagan Spooner.

RULES:

  • Answer the weekly discussion topic.
  • Optional: Discuss your chosen hyped book of the week.
  • Optional: Talk about your progress on the BOTM.

TOPIC OF THE WEEK: A Modern Spin… What are some of your favorite retellings?


  • The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore – Romeo & Juliet, REVIEW
  • Helen of Troy by Margaret George – Trojan War
  • Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige – Wizard of Oz
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – Trojan War, REVIEW
  • Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen – Peter Pan, REVIEW
  • Asleep by Krystal Wade – Sleeping Beauty, REVIEW
  • A Million Junes by Emily Henry – Romeo & Juliet, REVIEW
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas – Beauty and the Beast, REVIEW

What are some of your favorite retellings? What do you look for in retellings – darker story, modern setting, etc.? Leave a link to your Hype or Like Friday post in the comments below!

Hype or Like Friday – Just Can’t Get Enough

Just another Hype or Like Friday! This meme and Goodreads group were created by myself, Jill @ Rant and Rave Books, and Britt @ Geronimo Reads. To join our group and find out more information about what it’s all about, please go to our Goodreads page HERE.

The July BOTM is A Million Junes by Emily Henry.

RULES:

  • Answer the weekly discussion topic.
  • Optional: Discuss your chosen hyped book of the week.
  • Optional: Talk about your progress on the BOTM.

TOPIC OF THE WEEK:  Just Can’t Get Enough… What are some of your favorite retellings of classics?


  • A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas – Beauty and the Beast retelling
  • Heartstone by Elle Katharine White – Pride and Prejudice retelling
  • Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen – Peter Pan retelling
  • Helen of Troy by Margaret George – Trojan War retelling
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – Trojan War retelling
  • The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore – Romeo and Juliet retelling
  • Juliet by Anne Fortier – Romeo and Juliet retelling

These are just a few of my favorites that I’ve read the past few years. I’m sure that I’ve forgotten plenty and still have so many sitting on my shelves waiting to be read. Looks like I might need to do a retelling exclusive TBR one month, huh? That might be fun to do this fall!


What are some of your favorite retellings? Have you grown tired of all of the retellings published lately? Have you read any of my favorites?

WWW Wednesday – May 10th, 2017

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam!

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

31423188

Startup by Doree Shafrir

I thought this would be a good book to ease myself into after my heart got ripped out when I finished A Court of Wings and Ruin last night. This seems like a fun light read and I can always trust Book of the Month Club to choose great books!

Mack McAllister has a $600 million dollar idea. His mindfulness app, TakeOff, is already the hottest thing in tech and he’s about to launch a new and improved version that promises to bring investors running and may turn his brainchild into a $1 billion dollar business–in startup parlance, an elusive unicorn.

Katya Pasternack is hungry for a scoop that will drive traffic. An ambitious young journalist at a gossipy tech blog, Katya knows that she needs more than another PR friendly puff piece to make her the go-to byline for industry news.

Sabrina Choe Blum just wants to stay afloat. The exhausted mother of two and failed creative writer is trying to escape from her credit card debt and an inattentive husband-who also happens to be Katya’s boss-as she rejoins a work force that has gotten younger, hipper, and much more computer literate since she’s been away.

Before the ink on Mack’s latest round of funding is dry, an errant text message hints that he may be working a bit too closely for comfort with a young social media manager in his office. When Mack’s bad behavior collides with Katya’s search for a salacious post, Sabrina gets caught in the middle as TakeOff goes viral for all the wrong reasons. As the fallout from Mack’s scandal engulfs the lower Manhattan office building where all three work, it’s up to Katya and Sabrina to write the story the men in their lives would prefer remain untold.

An assured, observant debut from the veteran online journalist Doree Shafrir, Startup is a sharp, hugely entertaining story of youth, ambition, love, money and technology’s inability to hack human nature.

I’ve also put aside Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk indefinitely. I just have no desire to finish that book right now. Oops?

What did you recently finish reading?

  • A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3) by Sarah J. Maas – 5/5 stars, full review coming tomorrow
  • Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen – 4/5 stars, REVIEW

Yes, yes I did cry all of the tears during ACOWAR. No, I’m not ashamed to admit it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m trying to keep it all mixed up this month, so I’m making sure each book is extremely different from the next one. I think that’s the best way for me to approach my TBR for May after having such a terrible reading slump. Down with the terrible reading slumps!


What are you currently reading? What books have you finished this past week? Have you read any of the books on my list? What did you think of them? Leave a link to your WWW Wednesday post in the comments below!

May TBR: Where I Try and Play Catch-Up

I’m really terrible about sticking to TBRs because I’m such a mood reader. However, let’s see if I can stick with one this month to help get me back on track with my reading challenges! It’s nice to have a goal, right?


My May TBR

I think I have a very varied TBR for this month, which will hopefully help keep me pulled into what I’m reading and not get too bored. I will admit that I’m not looking forward to reading Go Set a Watchman, like at all. Luckily, next month is my month to get to choose our book club pick! FINALLYYYYY!


What are y’all reading this month? Have you read any of the books on my TBR? What did you think of them? What books do you think would be a good choice for book club?

Book Review: Alias Hook

I love a good fairytale retelling, obviously. However, I have to admit that Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen, was actually a cover buy for me. I saw that it was a Peter Pan retelling but didn’t know much more about it. But I’m happy to say that the story was just as beautiful as the book cover!

“Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile who drags him down to a watery grave. But it was not yet my time to die. It’s my fate to be trapped here forever, in a nightmare of childhood fancy, with that infernal, eternal boy.”

Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan’s rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain.

With Stella’s knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be Hook’s last chance for redemption and release if they can break his curse before Pan and his warrior boys hunt her down and drag Hook back to their neverending game. Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen is a beautifully and romantically written adult fairy tale.

The plot in this book was fantastic. I had first thought this was a YA novel, however, it becomes very apparent within the first chapter that this is an adult story. This is not a tale of Neverland following the adventures of children, but the story of the cursed adult Hook, stuck in a land controlled by the whims of a certain child. It was gritty, heartbreaking and a definite eye-opener. I appreciated how unique the story was for a retelling, giving us a continuation of Hook’s story, rather than just retelling the original one from his point of view.

 The pacing was a bit uneven throughout, speeding up in certain places and then pulling back in others to allow the characters to shine instead of the action. If you’re one of those who craves non-stop action and excitement then you might not enjoy this book as much, as the action is fleeting with more of a focus on the story of Hook and his character development. I find this to be the case in regards to most adult fiction stories, which is a big difference from most YA novels.

A moment of silence for.png

And oh, those characters…  Jensen’s Hook reminds me so much of Hook from Once Upon A Time. He lives his live fueled only by his anger and vengeance, believing himself to be beyond saving and worthy of redemption. So obviously, I was in love. Haha! I really appreciated getting a true backstory to how he ended up in Neverland and the reasons for why he is destined to remain there. It made his character that much more real, giving a much better reason for his being the villain. Stella was also a fun character. She was strong and clever, able to handle her own against Hook’s strong personality. But oh Peter, he just wasn’t the same boy that we’ve had a tiny crush on at some point or another. This boy was heartless, cruel and so selfish that all of his adventures in Neverland can be attributed to his insatiable need to be the only winner. Honestly, I really hated him in this book. He was a legit villain!

If you’re looking for a unique retelling of the story of Peter Pan, then I highly suggest this one. Jensen does an amazing job bringing a new spin on the classic tale that immediately feels real. Just realize that you may finish this story unable to ever look at Peter Pan the same.

Final Verdict: 4/5 stars


Have you read Alias Hook? What did you think of it? Did it make you change your opinion of Peter Pan and Hook?

WWW Wednesday – May 3rd, 2017

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam!

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

18404312

Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

This book has definitely changed my view a little on the fantastical place that is Neverland. I’m starting to see it in a more realistic (maybe even depressing) light. While I will always be obsessed with the tales of Peter Pan, Hook is now looking like the more appealing character. WHAT?!

“Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile who drags him down to a watery grave. But it was not yet my time to die. It’s my fate to be trapped here forever, in a nightmare of childhood fancy, with that infernal, eternal boy.”

Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan’s rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain.

With Stella’s knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be Hook’s last chance for redemption and release if they can break his curse before Pan and his warrior boys hunt her down and drag Hook back to their neverending game. Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen is a beautifully and romantically written adult fairy tale.

29939353

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

So this was last month’s pick for my book club, that I am still trying to finish. I really do enjoy good literary fiction every now and then, but nothing about this book appealed to me when it was first released at the beginning of the year. And it still doesn’t. Which is why I have yet to finish it or even made myself pick it up in almost two weeks. Blahhhhhhh….

It’s the last day of 1984, and 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish is about to take a walk.

As she traverses a grittier Manhattan, a city anxious after an attack by a still-at-large subway vigilante, she encounters bartenders, bodega clerks, chauffeurs, security guards, bohemians, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be—in surprising moments of generosity and grace. While she strolls, Lillian recalls a long and eventful life that included a brief reign as the highest-paid advertising woman in America—a career cut short by marriage, motherhood, divorce, and a breakdown.

A love letter to city life—however shiny or sleazy—Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

What did you recently finish reading?

29939230

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3) by V.E. Schwab

Killer finale, for real. You can read my full review HERE.

Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

What do you think you’ll read next?


What are you currently reading? Have you read any of the books on my list? What did you think of them? Leave a link to your WWW Wednesday post in the comments below!

Teaser Tuesday – May 2nd, 2017

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme currently being hosted by Ambrosia @ The Purple Booker. All are welcome to participate!

Rules:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! You don’t want to give too much away so as to not ruin the book for others!
  • Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

18404312

Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

“That’s right, run away,” she says tersely. “Go back to your ship, your men, your precious boys, back to your stupid war; that’s all you care about. You’re just like all of them! Stay here forever, if that’s what you want. God forbid you should ever grow up and be a man!”

-page 245

I honestly didn’t know much about this book before I picked it up, and I have to say that it’s nothing like I imagined. This is a much more mature and adult version of the infamous Captain Hook’s story after he was eaten by the crocodile. It will definitely change your view of the story of Neverland.


Have you read Alias Hook? What did you think about it? What are you currently reading? Leave a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in the comments below.