Fashion Victim Review (Spoiler Free)

Fashion Victim by Amina Akhtar

*Spoiler Free Review*

 Fashion Victim is a fast-paced campy thriller about one woman’s experience in the fashion world and just how cut throat the industry can truly be.

Anya St. Clair is a fashion editor who is obsessed with her co-worker, Sarah Elizabeth Taft. Anya has looked up to Sarah ever since she was young. Following Sarah in magazines and news articles, Anya has wanted to be like Sarah for as long as she can remember. Now that they are both working at La Vietogether, she wants to be Sarah’s BFF, dress like Sarah, and have Sarah’s approval on every aspect of her life. Anya goes to any lengths necessary to stay in Sarah’s good graces, and does not hesitate to take out her competition along the way.

Anya and Sarah are pitted against each other for a promotion. Sarah already embodies what it means to be a “La Vie Woman”—tall, blonde, thin, and well liked. Anya has to work to lose weight under the supervision of her boss, dealing with daily weigh-ins and constant jabs at her appearance. There are also others in the office who do their best to ensure that the truth about Anya gets out. Anya will not stop at anything short of achieving her goals of becoming the perfect La Vie Woman.

Rating: 3.5/5

Fashion Victim will be published on September 11, 2018

*I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Fashion Victim is Amina Akhtar’s first novel. If you would like more information about the book or author, you can start here.

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A Court of Frost and Starlight

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

**Spoiler Free Review**

ACOFAS was a cute novella. I loved seeing the characters again and how they are coping with loss and their new roles in this new world post the events from ACOWAR. I truly missed the characters after finishing the last book and I was delighted to see the gang back together again.

But, you have to approach this book with a few things in mind.

Let’s start by getting a couple key points out of the way:

  • This is a novella, this is supposed to be short
  • This novella is a “gap filler.” This means that there is not a storyline because this book is not a standalone; it serves as a “check up” on the characters after the events of ACOWAR but before the spin off series.

There was a lot of hype surrounding this book and a lot of people came away from ACOFAS disappointed. I’m not sure what they were expecting this book to be, but I think some of them were expecting something more. This novella is short, but most novellas are. There is no fluid storyline. This concerned a lot of people, but not me. Because the novella is only 229 pages, there was not room to tell a new story. All of the books I’ve read by Sarah J Maas don’t even get to the “good parts” in the first 300 pages; usually she’s still building the story.

ACOFAS checks in on the characters we love from the series. All of the main characters are back together and preparing for Winter Solstice. Each character weighs what they lost with piecing together their future. A happy occasion and time to celebrate is plagued by memories of the past as each person has their own ghosts that haunt them.

While reading this book, I could see threads that Sarah J Maas might pick up in the spinoff series and I would love to see more of the Night Court gang outside of Rhys and Feyre. There is a sneak peak of the spinoff series at the end of this novella, and that was my favorite part in this small book. I’m excited to read the spinoff when I was initially worried that it would be overkill. But, it seems that different characters with their own stories to tell will be the prominent players in the spinoff series.

People have been giving this novella a lot of flak and while I can understand their gripe, I don’t think it is necessarily called for. ACOFAS has been pushed hard, but as a short novella not a long and drawn out new story. We were never promised a new plot development, just a Winter Solstice celebration. And I think Maas delivered on that promise.

If you miss some of your favorite characters from the ACOTAR series, I do believe that this is worth the read. But if you don’t care what they’re up to when they aren’t preparing for the worst, then you can skip this one. Overall, I would still recommend it. It won’t take longer than a couple of hours to get through and it will leave you feeling uplifted.

Rating: 4/5

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

“But life finds a way.”

I cannot believe that it has taken me this long to read Jurassic Park. If you’re anything like me, you love the movie series but never picked up the book. I was always hesitant to read the book because I adored the movies so much. While the movie is framed to be a blockbuster hit, the book is highly underrated. There is so much more action and adventure in this novel than the three blockbuster hits combined.

Crichton’s Jurassic Park is a story of a mastermind, John Hammond, who has not only found a way to resurrect dinosaurs but plans to open an amusement park and control the animals. The majority of the book takes place on the island of Isla Nublar, in South America.  Here, Hammond hopes to turn the park into an attraction and charge high prices for visitors to get a glimpse of animals that were long thought to be extinct. Hammond calls Dr. Alan Grant and his colleague, Dr. Ellie Sattler, as well as Ian Malcolm to the island to assess the animals and the park. Hammond also invites his grandchildren, Tim and Lex.

The primary “villain” in this novel is Hammond. He has taken dinosaurs and brought them back hastily. He often does not care about the science or what should be done, instead, he wants his park open fast. Hammond’s primary aim is to make money. He does not care much about the animals and how they are made, so long as they are made. He is naïve in believing everything can be controlled, despite the predatory nature of some of the dinosaurs. This is a stark contrast from the movie. In the movie, Hammond is seen as a sweet old man and not the vicious money hungry man Crichton wrote about.

Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Sattler are paleontologists who have worked together. Ellie’s primary focus is paleo-botany, or the study of fossil plants. Dr. Grant spends most of his time on the island with the children, Tim and Lex. While Dr. Sattler stays with the scientists to discover more about the process of creating the dinosaurs as well as studying the ones who are already on the island.

Ian Malcolm is a scientist who tries to talk sense into Hammond. Malcolm has repeated his theories to Hammond, such as his chaos theory, and Hammond is tried of hearing it. Malcolm correctly predicts that the animals on the island are no easily controlled and are likely to escape the island and make it to the mainland. Malcolm is the voice of reason, but he often isn’t reasonable. He is the hardest character to understand at times because he is science and fact driven, he’s not a relatable character due to his jargon and demeanor, but he does seem to mean well. He wants to warn Hammond that ha the is doing is wrong, even when it is ill received.

Tim is Lex’s older brother. Tim has a genuine interest in dinosaurs, while Lex’s interests lie in sports and pestering her big brother. Tim is a little reserved, but he looks up to Dr. Grant. Lex is more outspoken and is not afraid to complain when she’s uncomfortable or bored—which tends to happen often.

I enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would. I went in with high expectations, but also knew to keep the movie separate from the book. There are many differences between the movie and book and that happens any time creative leeway is given. But I have discovered that I love this book more. It is heavily based in science, but it is all explained in laymen’s terms. The characters are also more well rounded and fleshed out in the book. If you have not read Jurassic Park, then I highly recommend it. I cannot believe it has taken me this long to finally read it.

Rating: 5/5

Not That I Could Tell

Not That I Could Tell By Jessica Strawser 


Not That I Could Tell is set in the small town of Yellow Springs, Ohio. A group of local friends have a night where they might have had too much to drink and they talked about the problems plaguing their lives. But when they wake up the next morning, one of their own is missing. The women and local authorities do not know what to make of the sudden disappearance. Was it planned? Who is at fault? Where could she have gone? Is foul play expected? These questions and more become the center of the investigation.

I chose this book as my March BOTM from the Book of The Month Club. I’ll admit that I have fallen behind on my BOTM books and have decided to cast most of them aside. However, I chose to read this one because I had the chance to meet the author at a local event and wanted to get through most of the book before meeting her.

I want to start off my review by saying that this book was rough to get through for me. While reading I constantly felt like I was being left our of an important narrative or conversation. Some of the main characters were often left in the dark, so I understand why the reader is left in the dark as well. But I often felt lost or confused while reading.

This book is dense as well. The subject matter is convoluted, the number of main characters and their own problems blur the storyline as well. I feel like this book would go voer better if it were a television show where we could visualize each character and better understand what each is feeling. Strawser, however, does make you sympathize with the villain and each character’s personal stressors. From moving on from heartbreak to a hectic life as a stay at home mom, you won’t love each character but you will grow to understand what each is going through and what makes each character tick.

I am on the fence about whether or not I recommend reading this book. I’m not sure whether to characterize it as a suspense novel or a mystery because it falls short in all categories. It s also painstakingly slow and difficult to get through at times. Not because of the subject matter, but because the story slowly inches along and you just want to give up and read something that captures your attention. I often found my mind wandering onto other things, and I don’t like that when I’m reading. I would not call this a must read, but if it piques your interest you should give it a try. But don’t beat yourself up if you can’t seem to make it through until the end.

Rating: 3/5

May TBR

This month, I am setting our to read new books I hope to become some of my favorites, a book that seems like everyone’s favorite, and a classic I cannot believe I have not picked up yet. This May, I hope to finish Leah on the OffbeatA Court of Frost & StarlightSix of Crows, and Stardust.

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli 

Synopsis: “When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. She’s an anomaly in her friend group: the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.”–Amazon

I want to start out by saying that I LOVED Simon vs. the Homo-Sapien Agenda. I laughed, cried, had my heart crushed, and felt for each of the characters in that book. Alberalli’s writing style blew me away and I have been excited for this sequel ever since. I preordered this book a a while ago and I cannot wait to devour this. I have been a little upset that I haven’t found the time to sit down and read this book, so I am proclaiming this the first book that I must read this month.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

Synopsis: “Narrated by Feyre and Rhysand, this story bridges the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin and the upcoming novels in the series. Feyre, Rhys and their companions are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated – scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their court.”–SarahJMaas.com

Sarah J Maas is a quintessential young adult author While her other series, Throne of Glass is my favorite of the two, I am still excited to read this book. But I am also hesitant. I usually hate spinoff books, but I miss the characters from the ACOTAR series so much that my curiosity outweighs my hesitations right now. And I’m sure that once I dive into another SJM book that I will lose track of time and my heart.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Synopsis: “Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone… A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.”–LeighBardugo.com

I have heard nothing but positive things about this book. I can’t tell you why I never decided to pick up this book until now, but I am glad to finally have it in my possession. I’m a little iffy about Bardugo’s writing style, but I won’t be quick to judge because I’ve only read one book by her and my expectations were so high that disappointment was inevitable. Hopefully, this one lives up to the hype.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Synopsis: “In the sleepy English countryside at the dawn of the Victorian Era, life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall — a secluded hamlet so named for an imposing stone barrier that surrounds a fertile grassland. Armed sentries guard the sole gap in the bulwark to keep the inquisitive from wandering through, relaxing their vigil only once every nine years, when a market fair unlike any other in the world of men comes to the meadow. Here in Wall, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to beautiful Victoria Forester. But Victoria is cold and distant — as distant, in fact, as the star she and Tristran see fall from the sky on a crisp October evening. For the coveted prize of Victoria’s hand, Tristran vows to retrieve the fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. It is an oath that sends the lovelorn swain over the ancient wall, and propels him into a world that is strange beyond imagining. But Tristran is not the only one seeking the heavenly jewel. There are those for whom it promises youth and beauty, the key to a kingdom, and the rejuvenation of dark, dormant magics. And a lad compelled by love will have to keep his wits about him to succeed and survive in this secret place where fallen stars come in many guises — and where quests have a way of branching off in unexpected directions, even turning back upon themselves in space and in time.”–Barnes & Noble

I want to start of by saying that Stardust is one of my all-time favorite feel good movies. It is visually stunning and the story warms my heart. I knew it was based off of a novel, but I did not know that Neil Gaiman wrote the book. After reading American Gods and Norse Mythology, I can confidently say that I enjoy Gaiman’s books and I am excited to read this one. I have heard conflicting reviews and comparisons between the book and the movie. So I decided to approach this book as its own entity, and entirely different from the movie.

What are you reading this month?

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