#READ1040 : Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo and The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger

January 25, 2015

Alright, peeps, I’ve finished my first 2 books for #READ1040 (read 10 books in 40 days) with 8 books and 34 days to go...

First up, Book 1:

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo

I was excited to read this one, as I really enjoyed the first two books in the series. I wanted to dub this books as a beautiful blend of fantasy, adventure, and romance… until I saw Rick Riordan already did. On the back cover. O.O

I loved this book. It’s dark and haunting, particularly the Darkling. I could practically feel his hold on Alina. And yet there was much humor and beauty too. Plus cool The world was rich, the characters were vivid. Everything from compassionate to snarky, and everything in between. Nikolai was my favorite—though he’s surely everyone’s favorite, I’d imagined. :-) The love triangle here is extremely complicated, definitely not your typical lovers’ dilemma.

I don’t want to give anything away about the plot, but I will say, I was satisfied with how Bardugo wrapped things up, though I’m definitely sad it’s over.

This book is absolutely worth a read, though I’d recommend starting with book one, Shadow and Bone.

Alina’s story will seep into you like water into soil, completely taking hold of your imagination. It will stay with you, long after the last page is read.
Seriously. Go get your copy of Ruin and Rising now (or Shadow and Bone, if you’re new to the series) if you haven’t already. You won’t be disappointed.

Book 2:

The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger

Okay. To be fair, this is not my typical read. Constant angsty teen drama just isn’t my thing. But I’d seen this book a lot on twitter recently, and I know the movie is coming out, so I wanted to give it a try. And I thought the whole premise of girls who are DUFFs was kind of funny.

I will say: I can see how some people would connect to this book—I just wasn’t one of them. With its focus on Bianca (the MC)’s use of sex as an emotional escape and Bianca’s super cynical look at the world, I had a hard time connecting to her. There was a lot of family drama circling around Bianca, as well as Wesley, her “friend with benefits.” And I think the drama helped to round out the characters nicely. With everything going on, it was mostly believable that Bianca would throw everything out the window—grades, friends, family—and fall into an incredibly unhealthy physical relationship with Wesley.

Also, the ending seemed a bit rushed.

Again, I can totally see how there’s an audience for this book—primarily teen girls—but I’m too far out of the indented market audience. :) I would be hesitant to recommend this book to certain people, with its sex scenes and profanity (f**k is one of Bianca’s go-to words).  But if you’re looking for some steamy high school romance, sprinkled with snark and sorrow… then this might be your book. 

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