Dooku: Jedi Lost by Cavan Scott

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
After reading Black Spire, I decided to tackle the entire Del Rey Star Wars canon. For those counting, it's currently at 23 books long. Jumping in at the beginning of the canon, my first read was Dooku: Jedi Lost by Cavan Scott. Now this one is a little bit different, in that it was originally created as an audio production, then the script was turned into a book. Because of this, I chose to listen to the audio while I read along to the script so I was able to consume the media in its intended form.

This is basically Count Dooku's back story. This tells the tale of how Dooku started as a Padawan, training to become a Jedi. It talks about his family, as well as the relationships he had with other major Star Wars players, like Master Yoda (he was Yoda's own Padawan), and Qui-Gon Jinn (who Dooku chose as his Padawan). It also tells of how he abandoned the life of a Jedi to become Count of Serenno. The whole story is basically told through flashbacks, as his assasin Asajj Ventress learns about what makes her master tick.

I loved listening to the audio of this story as I read along with the script. It did take me a while to get through it this way, but hearing the full cast along with the sound effects really brought the story to life. I don't listen to a ton of audiobooks, but when I do I really prefer ones with a full cast.

I think learning about Dooku's back story was fascinating, and I really enjoyed the insight into why he is the way he is as we know him in the movies. You also got to learn more about Ventress through this story as well. 

Next up in the canon for me is Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray, a story about Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Bunny by Mona Awad

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What did I just read? I knew that Bunny by Mona Awad was going to be weird based on the reviews I was seeing, but I don't think I ever expected how weird it actually was. I picked this one up after seeing it reviewed by Books and Lala over on YouTube. This story follows Samantha, a student in an elite MFA writing program. As a scholarship student, she constantly feels alienated from her wealthy peers, not like she would want anything to do with them anyway. Especially The Bunnies. 

The Bunnies are four pretty, dainty, rich girls who are obsessed with one another and call each other Bunny, and they happen to be the only other members of Samantha's writing cohort. When Samantha gets an invitation to join them one night, she goes, more out of curiosity than anything, but soon finds herself absorbed in the twisted and sweet world of The Bunnies.

I was just so obsessed with The Bunnies themselves! I can absolutely see being fascinated with people like them in real life. From their clothes, to the way they talked, to the way they were obsessed with tiny food, I loved it all. This story was dark and twisted and super disturbing. 

There should be a trigger warning on this for brutal animal deaths. Interestingly enough, that's usually a big problem for me and something that turns me off from a book, but it didn't bother me at all in this story.

As weird as this book was, I really enjoyed it! I could see this one being a fantastic movie. The only reason I knocked off a star was because I felt the ending wasn't as strong as the rest of the book and left me wanting more than I was given.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

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If you haven't yet read Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan, where have you been? I absolutely adored this read when it came out last year so I was really excited to get my hands on an ARC of the next book in the series, Girls of Storm and Shadow. This series is a YA fantasy full of Malaysian influences and great LGBTQ+ representation.

Since this one is a sequel, I can't give too much away in a synopsis. In this world, there are three castes, including humans (paper), demon/human hybrids (steel), and pure demon (moon). The paper caste is the lowliest of them all, and they are frequently mistreated by the castes above them. Something HUGE went down at the end of the first book and the main character Lei is having to deal with the repercussions of that event throughout this second installment. Feel free to check out my review of the first book to get a little more detail on the back story of this world. 

Unfortunately this book just didn't live up to the first one for me, which was a shame since this was one of my most anticipated books of 2019. I felt like not much happened and I didn't like the direction some of the characters started to take. I did like the inclusion of some new characters here, especially Nitta, Bo, and Merrin. The ending of this one was not nearly as gripping as the first book either. It was still good, don't get me wrong. I love this world and Lei's character. But it didn't suck me in like Girls of Paper and Fire did.

There is still one more book to come in this trilogy and even though I didn't love this book as much, I still plan to pick up the third to see how everything plays out. 

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Thanks so much to Little Brown/Jimmy Patterson Books for an arc of this thrilling fantasy! Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan just released last week!

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Cover Art Courtesy of Goodreads
If you've been reading my blog lately, you may have noticed that I've been getting more and more into romantic comedies. I've come to really love this genre and can't seem to get enough of these funny, swoon-inspiring reads. 

After a near-death experience causes web-designer Chloe's dull and boring life to flash before her eyes, she decides to get a exciting one. Enter the list. From enjoying a drunken night out and riding a motorcycle, to meaningless sex and going camping, Chloe has determined that by checking off the things on her list, she'll have a life worthy of flashing before her eyes should a near-death experience hit again. She never expected to find love with that list, but when her gorgeous superintendent Redford agrees to help her check some items off, she finds herself falling deeper than she ever expected.

First, let me give a huge shout out to Talia Hibbert for putting a content warning about a character recovering from an abusive relationship in an author's note at the beginning of the book! THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT PEOPLE! It didn't take away from the plot at all but was the perfect way to let a reader know that something potentially triggering existed in the book.

I absolutely appreciate that the main character struggled with a chronic illness. Chloe has fibromyalgia, and even though I have a different chronic illness than her (endometriosis here), I really identified with a lot of the things she went through. I thought she was really stuck up at first, but soon realized that this was just a coping mechanism that she used to protect herself from the fear of people leaving. I thought Red was a super stand-up guy and really loved seeing the softer, artist side of him. This book also had an adorable cat named Smudge, so I couldn't possibly leave that part out of the review!

There was a little too much instalove in this one for me, even though that normally doesn't bother me much. I just thought that Chloe and Red went from completely despising each other to being all over each other in literally seconds flat.

It looks like one of Chloe's sisters is getting an installment next, so I can't wait to read that book as well!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Thanks so much to Avon for a finished copy of this read! Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert is out TODAY, November 5th, so be sure to pick up a copy to get your rom-com fix!