Tag Archives: book reviews

Review: The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“There have been too many stories in between, miracles and martyrdoms, too much blood spilt, too much ink. There was a war. There were a thousand wars. I knew a killer. I knew a hero. They might have been the same man.’’ 

The Lives of Saints, Leigh Bardugo

Hi everyone! Today I will be talking about The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo which is a companion book to her other books in the Grishaverse. Also if you are a Grishaverse fan, you might be interested to know that there’s an art fundraiser going on right now until April 23. Artists have teamed up and designed beautiful Grisha-themed works for sale on RedBubble with all proceeds going to support BLM and Stop Asian Hate. Check it out here!

How stunning is this book?

The Lives of Saints tells the stories of the various saints in the Grishaverse, and the physical copy is actually designed to look like a copy of the Istorii Sankt’ya that Alina would have in Shadow and Bone! I love this idea because it’s like you have something out of the universe for yourself. When it first was released, there was a lot of criticism on how the half dust jacket looked with the book, but the reason it’s there is so information is not printed on the physical book and it looks as close to a replica as it can be. The dust jacket can easily be taken off too!

close up of gold detailing on the red cover of "The Lives of Saints", background is the sky and branches of a tree
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I would recommend getting a physical copy of the book if you can, as it is so pretty! The book is very sturdy and the texture makes it feel like a real religious text, especially with the beautiful gold foil decorating it. This attention to detail continues on inside with beautiful illustrations for each saint’s story. I initially wasn’t sure if I would buy it for myself since it is on the pricer side, but I was lucky enough to receive a copy as a gift from my friend, Karli! I’m really grateful that she got it for me because it is the perfect addition to my collection! 

Thoughts on the Stories

I first heard the story of Sankt Nikolai, because Leigh Bardugo read it on her IGTV just before the release date and I loved it so much. (I think this would be great to read in audiobook form as well! I also just saw that Ben Barnes narrates it so, YES) The stories are just a few pages long so it is very fast to move through, but I also think you could take your time and come back to this book since they all are individual stories! The Lives of Saints displays Leigh Bardugo’s work as an incredibly enchanting storyteller with the twists and turns she packs in these short stories. Some people might prefer The Language of Thorns for the longer stories, but I personally enjoyed The Lives of Saints more!

Some stories are based only on the saint’s life, while others tell the story of someone who prays to that certain saint. I think my favourites were probably Sankt Nikolai and Sankt Egmond (which gives the story of how the Ice Court came to be, which Six of Crows fans will love). There are of course other references to the Grisha Trilogy with “Sankta Alina of the Fold” and “The Starless Saint” at the end of the book which were also very cool to read. The stories can get quite dark (a lot are martyr stories) and I think I had a nightmare from reading this before bed the other night, so I’d recommend maybe not reading before bed if you’re like me…

Let me know your thoughts, feelings, and/ or questions on The Lives of Saints! Have you read it, or are you planning to?

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Book Review: They Both Die at the End

I thought the title of this book would prepare me for the ending. I was wrong. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera takes place in a world where Death Cast calls you on the day you will die. There is nothing you can do to change this, just decide how you want to live your last day. Both Mateo and Rufus got the call, and they both unfortunately will have to spend their last days alone, without their friends and family. They come together to try and live an adventure on the last day of their lives.

I thought the writing and the plot of this story was great, and I started to care so deeply for the main characters, Mateo and Rufus. It’s hard to get attached to characters when you know they’re gonna die, but they were very well written. The book was written so well I felt that I could visualize everywhere they went, imagining what every setting looked like.

Even though the title of this book is a spoiler in itself, the real plot of the book is the journey along the way. It’s not focused on death, but instead on how they live. With that said, this book hit me hard, and I finished it at 2:00 am and had to have a good cry. It made me think about my life, my loved ones, and how I would spend my last day. I would still warn everyone to have tissues on hand during the reading of this book.

If you’re up for it, I would highly recommend this book. It’s such a great story, and such a great piece to make you think. What would you do on your last day? Would you tell your friends or sneak away to live one last day?

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Book Review: 11/22/63

This book is much different than the other books I have been reviewing on this site, but this is my favourite book I have ever read. 11/22/63 is by Stephen King, but don’t let that fool you. I can’t handle horror at all, I would instead categorize this book as a historical, science-fiction, thriller love story. I was interested in this book in the first place because I had heard such great things about King’s writing, but I could never handle any of his most popular books like It, The Shining, or Pet Semetary.

The story focuses on Jake Epping, a high school English teacher. One day his friend Al who owns a diner tells him a secret, his storage room is a portal to 1958. Jake goes on a mission to stop the Kennedy assassination. He goes undercover as George Amberson, and jumps right into the late 1950s and early 1960s. While there he meets a librarian named Sadie, who may be the love of his life. What follows is his adventures trying to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from killing JFK, and dealing with the affects of changing anything in the past and what it will do to his future.

This book is not a light summer read by any means, the hardcover copy is almost 850 pages. But don’t let that scare you off. I truly think this is a terrific book, and I recommend it to all of my friends (even though none of them have taken me up on it yet). If you have the time to settle into a longer book, I highly recommend this. The plot of the book is well worth the long page count.

If this hasn’t convinced you, there is also a TV miniseries that was created starring James Franco. I have yet to see it, but it looks great and I will one day watch it.

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Press Release: Procrastireader has an Email!

Procrastireader now has an official email! If you are a publisher or author looking for a review of an upcoming release, feel free to send any inquiries to procrastireader@hotmail.com. Reviews will be posted on my blog as well as my Goodreads. Procrastireader strives to offer honest reviews on Young Adult and the occasional Adult Fiction book, focusing on diverse stories. Book businesses are also encouraged to reach out if they are interested in reviews of their products.

The Diamond Girls Book Review & Nov. 26 Reading Update

I wanted to update you all on my reading progress, and also post a book review for a book I just finished last week, so I thought I would combine them both into one post again. I’ll talk about the book review first, and if you continue reading, the update will be underneath it!

Book: The Diamond Girls by Jacqueline Wilson

Genre: Children’s/Middle Grade Fiction, Contemporary

Thoughts/Review: I loved reading Jacqueline Wilson’s books when I was young. She was one of my favourite authors, and I had a TBR (to be read) list with all of her books on it. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to read them all, but I loved all of the books I read by her! I was extremely excited when I found a book club that featured her books, so I joined right away, and The Diamond Girls was this month’s read.

This book is from the perspective of a little girl, named Dixie. She has 3 sisters, and they all live with their mom, who is once again pregnant with a baby boy. Their mom is very excited to welcome a boy into the family, and they move into a new house, which isn’t exactly what they had expected it to be. The Diamond girls have to find ways to adjust to their new living arrangements, and very quickly their mom is off to the hospital to have her baby. While their mom goes through having her new baby, one of Dixie’s sisters gets into fights, another is hiding a secret, and the last is beginning to date. Dixie also meets a new friend. When her mom returns, Dixie is the only one who notices that something is wrong, and must navigate how to deal with all of the difficult problems she encounters.

I really liked this book! It was a fun, easy read, and I really missed Jacqueline Wilson’s writing. I’m so glad I was able to read this book by her this month! There were so many things going on in this story, and I found myself being frustrated by so many of the characters, specifically Dixie’s sisters and mom. It was difficult at times to read about how each of them was trying hard to hide what they were going through, and not talking to each other about it. I loved the subplot of Dixie’s friend, and the ending was really nice and sweet. Bruce is also a very fun character, that is introduced originally just to help the Diamond girls move into their new house, but ends up becoming family very quickly. He becomes Dixie’s Uncle Bruce, which was super sweet to read.

This book discusses some important topics, but from the perspective of a 10 year old girl. I won’t go into details because this is a no-spoiler blog, but within this story readers see discussion of pregnancy, mental health/illness, abuse, and dating at a young age. These are all important topics that I was surprised to see within this book, but it reminded me that this is one of the things I love about Jacqueline Wilson’s books. That she writes children’s/middle grade fiction that addresses important topics, and speaks about the perspectives of young people who are struggling or facing new challenges. I would definitely recommend this book, if you’re looking for an easy and sweet read! Reading this was a really was a nice way to end long, busy days because it was a light read before sleeping.

Rating: 9/10 Stars

Reading Update:

I just started reading Gulliver’s Travels, for a class, and also The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, for another book club. Gulliver’s Travels is an interesting read so far, and I’m curious to see what happens next. I’m absolutely loving The Invisible Life of Addie Larue! It is so well written! It’s the first book by VE Schwab that I’m reading, and I definitely understand now why her books are as popular as they are. It caught my attention as soon as I read the first page. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue reading that this week, but it’s starting to get busy with classes again, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to finish it before December. Even so, it’s amazing, and I can’t wait to continue it!

That’s all from me today, but thank you for reading this, and I hope you’re having a lovely day!

Dust Bowl Girls: A Review

Dust Bowl Girls: A Team’s Quest for Basketball Glory Author: Lydia Reeder Publisher: Algonquin Books Genre: Nonfiction Oklahoma. The Dust Bowl. Women’s basketball. The season that made history. The 1930s were a hard time for many, but none so much as the farmers of Oklahoma. At the time, poor families made dresses out of grain…

Little Nothing, by Marisa Silver

Little Nothing by Marisa Silver Penguin Group/Blue Rider Press “The silence is so dense that it is just as hard on the baby’s eardrums as is any sound. It is the silence that will become the refrain, when a stranger falls speechless in the child’s presence, or when a villager pushes her children behind her skirts…

The Wolf Road, by Beth Lewis: A Review

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis Published by Crown Publishers, Penguin Random House Elka hasn’t had much luck in her life. Between the nightmare of the thunderheads that keep her awake at night, and the raging memories behind the locked doors in her memory, she can count the people she’s cared for on a single…