Size Doesn’t Matter (17): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger

Size Doesn’t Matter (17): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #3
Published by Scholastic on September 11, 2001
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Pages: 435
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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five-stars

Harry Potter is lucky to reach the age of thirteen, since he has already survived the murderous attacks of the feared Dark Lord on more than one occasion. But his hopes for a quiet term concentrating on Quidditch are dashed when a maniacal mass-murderer escapes from Azkaban, pursued by the soul-sucking Dementors who guard the prison. It's assumed that Hogwarts is the safest place for Harry to be. But is it a coincidence that he can feel eyes watching him in the dark, and should he be taking Professor Trelawney's ghoulish predictions seriously?

POA was always my favorite Harry Potter book when I was younger. It’s been several years since I reread, and I’m very glad to find that this book remains completely perfect. I’m very curious if it will still be my number one fave from the whole series or if one of the later books which made me too sad to revisit until now will supplant it.

Reasons I love POA so fucking much:

  • Harry blowing up his aunt and not getting into trouble.
  • Crookshanks, who is so totally like Percy.
  • Lupin <3, who will forever be my favorite View Spoiler ». I will forever be sad that he could continue as DODA teacher because he RULES.
  • Buckbeak attacking Malfoy for being rude; Hermione slapping Malfoy for being rude.
  • The way things end up View Spoiler ».
  • The fact that even Scabbers is totally plot-relevant.
  • McGonagall’s loathing of Trelawney and divination. Also, Hermione’s. Sassy McGonagall is my favorite.

Obviously many more reasons, but those are some of the shining highlights. Besides, who am I kidding? You all either know the awesomeness already or you’re grumpy hipsters.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (17): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
Series: The Elemental Trilogy #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on September 17, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Adventure
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.

Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.

The Burning Sky—the first book in the Elemental Trilogy—is an electrifying and unforgettable novel of intrigue and adventure.

I started my review copy of The Immortal Heights, and I felt out of place. Though Thomas recapped a bit of what was going on at the start, emotionally I was in completely the wrong place because it starts in the middle of a battle and emotions are high but mine aren’t because what. As such, I decided I needed to reread the prior two books so I’d be in the right frame of mind. So far, this is working out excellently.

I’m always nervous on a reread because the book might not live up to what I remembered. Thankfully, The Burning Sky did. In some ways it was a little better and in some a little worse. The ship wasn’t quite as well done as I’d remembered (a bit rushed, but still very ship), but the world building made slightly more sense to me this time around. I very much stand by my original review, so check that out for actual commentary.

Size Doesn’t Matter (17): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerCam Girl by Leah Raeder
Published by Atria on November 3, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 415
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads

Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art and her best friend—and sometimes more—Ellis Carraway. Ellis and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.

Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.

Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.

She’s got nothing left to lose.

So when she meets some smooth-talking entrepreneurs who offer to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night stripping on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.

It’s just a kinky escape from reality until a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they chat intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. It’s an easy decision: she’s starting to fall for him. But the steamier it gets, the more she craves the real man behind the keyboard. So Vada pops the question:

Can we meet IRL?

Blue agrees, on one condition. A condition that brings back a ghost from her past. Now Vada must confront the devastating secrets she's been running from—those of others, and those she's been keeping from herself...

I’m really struggling to decide how I feel about Cam Girl. On a lot of levels, I fucking love it. Leah Raeder’s prose is like nothing else, both gorgeous and gruesome. Her descriptions of art are out of this world. She writes some of my very favorite prose.

Cam Girl, like Black Iris which I loved, centers on fucked up people making bad life choices. Watching Vada make all sorts of horrible choices is painful. She’s both likable and unlikable both, which makes her feel pretty damn human. Despite the unhealthiness of her relationship with Ellis, I found myself semi-rooting for them, although I also rooted for Dane and blue, so maybe it’s just that Vada has ridiculous amounts of chemistry with just about everyone.

There are two mysteries of sorts within Cam Girl, both of which I found very compelling. The first is what caused the accident car accident at the start of the novel. The driver of the car, Ryan, died, and Vada needs to understand what was going on with him so that she can have closure, or so she thinks. The other mystery is the identity of blue, one of Vada’s clients in her work as a cam girl. I have a weakness for romances through letters or chats, and I found myself shipping this obviously unhealthy relationship which is testament to Raeder’s skill.

At the end, just the last chapter, things fell apart for me, unfortunately. Not enough to kill my enjoyment of the novel as a whole, because I still think it’s fabulous and would recommend it, but enough to keep it from being a favorite. These are all spoilers unfortunately, aside from the fact that I think the ending was too rushed and unrealistically happy.

View Spoiler »

Despite those issues, I very much encourage readers who are comfortable with pushed envelopes to read Cam Girl. It’s unique, covers important subjects, and will definitely make you think.

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