The Dead Queens Club & Garrison Girl – Two NetGalley Reads

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Goodreads Synopsis: What do a future ambassador, an overly ambitious Francophile, a hospital-volunteering Girl Scout, the new girl from Cleveland, the junior cheer captain, and the vice president of the debate club have in common? It sounds like the ridiculously long lead-up to an astoundingly absurd punchline, right? Except it’s not. Well, unless my life is the joke, which is kind of starting to look like a possibility given how beyond soap opera it’s been since I moved to Lancaster. But anyway, here’s your answer: we’ve all had the questionable privilege of going out with Lancaster High School’s de facto king. Otherwise known as my best friend. Otherwise known as the reason I’ve already helped steal a car, a jet ski, and one hundred spray-painted water bottles when it’s not even Christmas break yet. Otherwise known as Henry. Jersey number 8.

Meet Cleves. Girlfriend number four and the narrator of The Dead Queens Club, a young adult retelling of Henry VIII and his six wives. Cleves is the only girlfriend to come out of her relationship with Henry unscathed—but most breakups are messy, right? And sometimes tragic accidents happen…twice…

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I love retellings, but I haven’t read many retellings of historical events. So when I saw this book on NetGalley I knew I had to read it.

I had an interesting time with The Dead Queens Club. At first I didn’t really care for the narration style. It’s first person told by Cleves, Henry’s ex-girlfriend but still friend. Cleves is sarcastic and witty, but for whatever reason it grated on me at first. It took me a good 25% in to finally start laughing and feeling interested in the style. I think that’s because the plot picks up more around that point.

Cleves is a great character. She’s broken up with Henry, been his friend for years but still isn’t over him. It makes her the perfect character to watch the events that unfold. I loved how feminist she is in the story, she calls out slut-shaming and gossip right and left. But she also isn’t perfect, she certainly had to learned how to be more feminist over the story.

The plot itself is dramatic, but also the life of Henry 8 was dramatic! And honestly I thought a retelling set in a high school was brilliant. I’ve read a fair amount about Henry and his six wives, but the politics of the time still confuse me.  But for whatever reason, this book added some new angles to the story that made sense to me, and were fascinating. I thought the murder mystery aspect of the story was great. I loved how the girls banded together and supported each other.  This book is about girls having each other’s backs and I am so here for that.

In the end I gave the book four stars, it took a little bit to get into but it was well worth the read.

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Goodreads Synopsis: A novel of adventure, romance, and monsters…set in the dystopian world of Attack on Titan, the mega-hit manga and anime series.

An original novel, with all-new characters and a new story set in the world of Attack on Titan! Fans of the series and readers alike will enjoy this immersive and engaging experience of the pop culture phenomenon and manga mega-hit.
With the last vestige of the human race threatened by unstoppable carnivorous giants, a brave young woman decides to defy her wealthy family and join the military to fight against humanity’s enemies. But Rosalie Dumarque soon finds out that bloody sword fights with monsters aren’t the only dangers faced by the Wall Rose Garrison. Can she earn the trust of her fellow soldiers, stand up to a corrupt authority, navigate a forbidden romance…and cut her way out of a titan’s throat?

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I haven’t seen or read the original Attack on Titan, but I knew a little bit about it and thought that this book might be a fun afternoon read.

I quit this book so fast it was kind of sad. But honestly I couldn’t stand how cliche it was! The writing started off with far too much exposition, I was bored by page 10. And in general I felt like all of the writing needed another set of edits.

On top of that you have cliche after cliche after troupe and I only made it about 40ish pages in! You have the rebellious daughter whose father is a mean man who just wants to marry her off.  You have her going off to fight but not fitting in, and of course a handsome but also mean man whom she works with.  Like really? We’ve all read how this story goes a hundred times and can predict exactly where it’s going to end.

So I stopped reading and gave the book 1 star.

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