Buttons Book Reviews

All books are magical, whether enchanted or not.

Life Update (Where Have I Been?) — May 12, 2019

Life Update (Where Have I Been?)

Hey guys! I’m back. I burned out in January and took an unexpected hiatus. I wish I could have come back on sooner, but I wasn’t ready. I probably won’t post as much, one or two times a week, but I will still try to post. Hopefully, I will do more tags and maybe a weekly meme. I have always loved this community and I can’t wait to start writing posts again.

XOXO Annalee

The Rise of Winter, by Alex Lyttle — January 17, 2019

The Rise of Winter, by Alex Lyttle

Title: The Rise of Winter

Author: Alex Lyttle

Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing

Date Published: April 1, 2019

Centuries ago, Terra, the world, was nearly destroyed by humans. In the wake of that destruction, Terra created the Guardians—a group sworn to protect Her. But humans have returned to their plundering ways and Terra needs the Guardians. The Guardians are now fractured, their leader murdered years before. They need a new leader—a new Terra Protectorum—but when a young girl is chosen, outrage ensues. Questions demand answers.
Why has Terra selected a girl with no knowledge of the Guardians? Why has she chosen a human when it is the humans destroying the earth? And most importantly, why has she chosen the girl whose father murdered the last Terra Protectorum?

Well, that break went on a little longer than expected, but I’m back!!!! Thank you Netgalley and Central Avenue Publishing for providing me with this ARC. I really enjoyed this book, but it had some faults. My favorite part of The Rise of Winter was the fantasy aspect, which I can wait to talk to you about.

The writing style was very distinct and I enjoyed reading The Rise of Winter. Alex Lyttle’s writing was very to-the-point and crisp. Alex described the setting very well and I enjoyed reading about Terra. There were also lots of cute illustrations through the book that I enjoyed immensely. I also enjoyed stumbling upon an illustration that depicted the plot. I felt like I was in the book with the characters, the setting was so well done. I really enjoyed Alex Lyttle’s writing style and how he described the setting. I also enjoyed the illustrations.

The characters were very well-written and I loved hearing about their lives and backstories. Alex put a lot of thought into the characters and it really showed. They all had a very detailed backstory and were very well-developed. There was also mention of an LGBTQ+ relationship, and when it was questioned, the character replied: “Love is love.” Those are the kind of characters I want to see more of. Winter, the main character, was also really cool. She made mistakes, felt bad, and tried to fix them. She also stood up for her values. Winter is a role model that young girls can admire and look up to.

The future aspect in The Rise of Winter was my favorite part of the book. I loved hearing about the talking animals and their various abilities. I wish I had been able to meet the Guardians and learn about their abilities. The aspect that the Earth, or Terra, was sentient, intrigued me and I enjoyed learning about that. When the fantasy aspect, Alex also taught that everyone should respect the Earth and should live in harmony with nature. I was impressed that Alex Lyttle was able to teach about caring of the Earth with the high fantasy aspect.

The plot was very action-packed and I enjoyed reading it. There were a lot of cliff-hangers. There was also a lot of suspense. I loved reading about Winter and her adventures, which was very intriguing. The plot was set up in this book, but there was quite a bit of action. I enjoyed hearing about everything and I wish I was able to enter this world. The plot and the rest of the book were very well done and I highly recommend it.

I loved reading The Rise of Winter and I recommend it. I got the summary from Netgalley. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

In The Afterlight, by Alexandra Bracken — December 21, 2018

In The Afterlight, by Alexandra Bracken

When the Children’s League disbands, Ruby becomes a leader and forms an unlikely alliance with Liam’s brother, Cole, but competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IANN and free psi children from the camps.

This book was a thrilling conclusion to The Darkest Minds series!!! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading this book. Alexandra’s writing was very good and I can’t wait to read The Darkest Legacy.

Alex’s writing style is very distinctive. Her style is also very addicting, which means that right after Christmas I know what book I’ll be getting. I really enjoyed how well Alex described the setting. I could envision myself in the book with Ruby and her crew, experiencing what they were experiencing and learning what they were learning. I wish that I had been able to spend more time in certain places, but I loved traveling all around the country. There were other ways that I learned about the setting, like through people’s stories. I really wish I knew how to travel inside of books so that I could see whether the setting that Alex described was where I wanted to be.

The characters were really great!!! They were so detailed and I enjoyed reading about them. Some characters that we previously met and had left, have returned!!! That made my day. When characters did return from previous books, their backstories were explained and their traumas were dealt with. I really enjoyed seeing some of the newer characters react to situations that the other characters had already been through, and them learning how to act. There were some heartbreaking deaths as well. I was crying at some points in this book because of who died and what happened to some of my favorite characters.

They don’t burn do they? Not like us.


Bracken, Alexandra. In the Afterlight. Hyperion, an Imprint of Disney Book Group, 2015.

The fight for a cure was very impressive and I was really interested in seeing what characters wanted a cure and what characters didn’t. I found it really interesting to see what Clancey’s thoughts on the cure were. His mother was an interesting character and I wish that she got more page time. The cure wasn’t all that it seemed to be, and Clancey turned out to be fairly on point with his thoughts on how the cure would be. I wish that I could have talked to him on his thoughts and that he wouldn’t have manipulated me if I did.

The plot was very action-packed and I loved it to the end!!! There were a couple camp breakouts and I was sitting on the edge of my seat for all of them. I wish that I had been a part of the story so that I could have helped with some of the stuff that they did. There was a lot of relationship stuff, but that was okay. There was a lot of questions on who could be trusted during this book, which helped keep me engrossed in the book. I really enjoyed reading In The Afterlight.

I loved reading this book and I highly recommend it. I got the book summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

The Rose Society, by Marie Lu — December 15, 2018

The Rose Society, by Marie Lu

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her. But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele, and the Dagger Society want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

This book was a stunning chronicle of Adelina’s descent into darkness. I highly recommend it and can’t wait to read The Midnight Star.

Marie’s writing was so lyrical and I loved it a lot. It was also really addicting and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. I wish I had the next book on hand so that I could start reading it. Marie described the setting very well and I felt like I was in the world with Adelina and her Roses. I wish that Adelina wasn’t the only character in the first person, though. It was a bit disconcerting when the story switched POVs. I really enjoyed reading Marie’s writing and I hope that it is just as good when I’m reading The Midnight Star.

The characters were very well-written and I loved reading about them. I wish I knew all of them in real life. All of the characters were very detailed and I knew the side characters almost as well as I knew Adelina and Violetta. I really enjoyed reading about all of the character drama and Adelina’s slow descent into something less than human. I wish that there was more Adelina and Enzo time, but I understand why the book needed to be written the way it did.

The effects of the magical deterioration were really well-written. When Raffaele, found out that all of the Elites were dying, my heart stopped in my chest. I wish that all of the characters didn’t have to die, but it is logical that they should die. Adelina took a dark terrible path in this book and I just wanted to stop her and tell her that she was making a terrible choice so many times while reading this book, even though I know that her abilities were driving her insane. I appreciated the realisticness of this predicament in The Rose Society, but I wish that it didn’t have to be this way.

They were the flash of light in a stormy sky, the fleeting darkness before dawn. Never have they existed before, nor shall they ever exist again.


Lu, Marie. THE ROSE SOCIETY (#2). G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015.

The plot was very well-written, but, once again, I wish that it had been different. I wish that Adelina’s mental health didn’t deteriorate, I wish that Adelina had tried to win over the Daggers, and I wish that some people hadn’t died. I really enjoyed reading about the intensity of the bond between Adelina and her Roses. I wish that the ending wasn’t written the way it was and that it was happier. I saw Adelina turn darker and darker every day and that made me decide that if I ever go down that path, I’ll talk to a therapist.

I really enjoyed reading this book, even though it dragged Adelina’s mental health through the mud. I highly recommend it, as well as the rest of Marie Lu’s books. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

City of Ghosts, by Victoria Schwab —

City of Ghosts, by Victoria Schwab

Ever since her near-fatal drowning, Cassidy has been able to pull back the “Veil” that separates the living from the dead and see ghosts, not that she wants to, and she was really looking forward to a ghost-free summer at the beach; however her parents are going to start filming a TV series about the world’s most haunted places, starting with Edinburgh with its graveyards, castles, and restless phantoms–and Cass and her personal ghost companion, Jacob, are about to find out that a city of old ghosts can be a very dangerous place indeed.

I really enjoyed the fun (yet slightly dark) little story that is City of Ghosts. It was so sweet and charming and I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Victoria’s writing style was so unique and I loved it a lot. I wish I had been able to pick up City of Ghosts faster. Victoria says that Edinburgh is the city where she buried her heart and it really shows in her descriptions of the city. I was blown away reading about all of the places in the city, especially Blackwell’s Bookstore. I think that after reading City of Ghosts, I have to visit Edinburgh sometime in the future if only to see if it’s as beautiful as it seems.

I loved the characters so much. I wish I had been able to talk to them and meet them in real life. Cassidy seemed so realistic and I loved reading about her. The side characters were great too, but my favorite character was Lara. Lara is her own person, and that’s what drew me to her. She takes Cassidy under her wing and teaches her most of what she knows. I wish we had a spinoff series for her.

It might surprise you to know that I have, on occasion, broken a few rules.

Schwab, Victoria. City of Ghosts. Scholastic Press, 2018

The ghosts in this book were very well-written. I enjoyed learning about ghost hunting and the ghosts themselves. Jacob, The Raven In Red, and all of the ghosts were very detailed and had very clear boundaries. Like their inability to touch things and their avoidance of certain objects. I wish I knew more about why the ghosts couldn’t move onto the Afterlife when other people could, but I think that’s a question for another book. I can’t wait to learn more about ghosts and ghost hunting in the next book.

The plot was very action-packed and surprisingly dark for a middle-grade book. You don’t normally read about some of the topics in this book when you’re in middle school.  I really loved reading about the ghost hunting and I can’t wait to see what happens next in the Cassidy Blake series. I had one main thought after I finished City of Ghosts. That book didn’t need a series. It would have been an open ending, but I’ve always enjoyed those. I’m not sure whether I want this book to become a series or not, but I’ll pick up the second book to see what happens next for Cassidy.

I really enjoyed City of Ghosts and I recommend it. I got the book summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Wildcard, by Marie Lu — December 13, 2018

Wildcard, by Marie Lu

Teenage hacker Emika Chen embarks on a mission to unravel a sinister plot and is forced to join forces with a shadowy organization called the Blackcoats.

This book was a wild ride!!! I loved it so much and I hoped that it would never end! Emika was so developed and we learned a lot more about all of the side characters as well. The plot was a bit slow in the first half of the book, but it picked up around the halfway point. We also learned a lot more about the setting and the Warcross game itself. I wish that I could read more about Emika and what happens next for her.

Marie’s writing style didn’t change very much but it still worked really well. I was into the book from the first page, even if it was a little slow. I was addicted to the writing and now I have to wait until another one of Marie’s books is published. I loved how well the world of Warcross was described, especially the game itself. Since such a large part of the book was situated inside the game it is a good thing that it was done well. I loved reading the descriptions of all of the objects and the world.

All of the characters were very detailed and I learned so much about them. Marie used the first half of Wildcard to talk about their backstories and explain their motives. Then, when that was done Marie made sure to challenge the characters’ motives and develop them. The characters were very well-written and I wish that some of them had their own spinoff sequels. Relationships changed drastically in this book and I really enjoyed that. We saw a lot more characters, like Ziggy Frost and Max Martin, who were mentioned in passing but now were more prominent. I would love to hear more about characters like them so a spinoff would be nice.

The coding aspect of this book seemed very realistic and I wish I was able to code like Emika, Hideo, and Zero. There was not as much technical talk in this book as I had expected, but I think that’s for the best. Many people don’t know very much about coding, so talking about it might confuse some readers and convince them to put down the book. I wish that there was a bit more technical talk, but I can live without it. I wish I knew more about what coding language Hideo and Co. used, but I can figure that out.

The plot was very well-written, even though it took half the book for it to start moving. I wish that the action in Wildcard had happened faster, but the character motives and build-up were important. So important that without them the second half of the book wouldn’t be possible. The plot twists were very unpredictable and I was always sitting on the edge of my seat. I loved reading about the final showdown (and countdown). I wish I had been able to talk to Emika, Hideo, and the Phoenix Riders to give them advice and to talk about coding and virtual reality.

I loved Wildcard and I highly recommend it, just like I recommend any of Marie Lu’s books. I got the summary for the book from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

La Belle Sauvage, by Phillip Pullman — December 11, 2018

La Belle Sauvage, by Phillip Pullman

When Malcolm finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust, he finds himself embroiled in a tale of intrigue featuring enforcement agents from the Magisterium, a woman with an evil monkey daemon, and a baby named Lyra.

This book was way better than the original trilogy!!!! I really enjoyed it and we got some answers to the questions that we asked. There were a lot of cameos and meetings that made me so excited because I saw some of my favorite characters before The Golden Compass. I really enjoyed reading this book and can’t wait to see what happens next in this trilogy.

Phillip’s writing style was very lyrical and I loved reading it. I got the signed collectors edition of this book at the Boulder Bookstore so there were a lot of illustrations that I didn’t want in the book, but otherwise, I really liked that. Phillip was able to display Malcolm’s thought process really well and I enjoyed seeing another character react to Lyra, even when she was that young. The writing style was not terrible, but I’ve seen better. I wish that Phillip’s writing had been a bit more down to earth and that he was able to give us more Lord Asriel and Lyra together.

Malcolm, Alice, Lyra, and all of the other characters were so detailed. I enjoyed learning about Malcolm and how he interacted with the world. The side characters were just as detailed as the main character and I loved reading about the interactions between some of the characters. There seemed to be a larger cast of characters in this book than in His Dark Materials but that might just be me. I loved reading about Malcolm and all of the other characters and I can’t wait to learn more about them.

The daemons were very well written and I loved learning about them. All of the daemons were very detailed and I wish I had learned more about them in this book and the earlier ones. I always wondered whether daemons felt the pain of their human and vice versa. Thankfully, I got my answer in this book. I also enjoyed learning about how much daemons could shift and whether you could tell how someone was feeling just by looking at their daemon. From the minute I started The Golden Compass I knew that I had to know everything about these daemons as possible and La Belle Sauvage helps me with that.

The plot was very well-written and I enjoyed reading it. The plot only sped up during the second half of the book, but that doesn’t mean that the first part was any less important. Without the first part and everything that happened there, the second half of the book wouldn’t have been there. There were lots of plot twists and I guessed about half of them. The idea for this story was very unique and I enjoyed reading about something that hasn’t been done yet.

I really liked reading La Belle Sauvage and I highly recommend it and the His Dark Materials trilogy. I got the summary for the book from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Unravel Me, by Tahereh Mafi — December 9, 2018

Unravel Me, by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point, the headquarters of the rebel resistance and a safe haven for people with abilities like hers. She is finally free from The Reestablishment and their plans to use her as a weapon, but Warner, her former captor, won’t let her go without a fight.

This book was not as good as I’d hoped that it would be. I wasn’t terrible but there were a few things that upset me. Like the dreaded love triangle, that I hope doesn’t continue onto the next book. This book could have been a lot better, but I still enjoyed it.

The writing style was beautiful. I really enjoyed reading it and I really loved the way that Tahereh portrayed Juliette. I know I probably talked about the strikethroughs, the obsession of numbers, and the odd formatting, but I really enjoyed it. It was a break from the normal formatting and I would love to try it sometime. But I don’t think that I would be able to pull it off as well as Tahereh. It would be fun to try, though. I really enjoyed how lyrical Tahereh’s writing was and I wish that I could write like her.

The characters were really well-written and I really enjoyed reading about them, but the dreaded love triangle almost ruined it for me. I’ll talk about that later. All of the characters were very detailed and I loved reading about them. We learned a lot more about all of the characters, villains included, which helped me understand a lot more about the choices they were making. A lot of relationships progressed in this book and it was really interesting to read about them. I wish that Unravel Me had gone into more detail about the characters, but it was okay that Tahereh didn’t.

Now I can talk about the issues in this book. Mainly, the love triangle. I hated it. I wish that it hadn’t been in this book at all. It was between Juliette, Adam, and Warner. It was so irritating!!! I think that it would have been better if Juliette had not been with anyone and instead just been friends with those two and everyone else. I mean, we know that Juliette and Adam aren’t right for each other, but why does she have to be with Warner then? I mean, I like Warner, but I don’t think that he and Juliette are right for each other, either.

The plot was very interesting. We got a darker side of Juliette and I sort of liked it. This book seemed to be very relationship-based, which frustrated me. I wanted the main focus to be on Juliette growing her new powers, not Juliette breaking up with Adam and then feeling bad about herself. The battles and training were very interesting and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. When Juliette wasn’t moping about Adam, the story actually was really good. Tahereh ended Unravel Me on a cliffhanger so now I guess I’ll have to read the next book as soon as possible.

I did enjoy this book for the most part, and I recommend it if you can deal with all of the moping and romance. I got the summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Kingdom of Ash, by Sarah J. Maas —

Kingdom of Ash, by Sarah J. Maas

With Aelin locked in an iron coffin by Queen of the Fae Maeve, Aedion and Lysandra struggle to defend Terrasen, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian face their own fates, and Rowan seeks his captured wife and queen.

This book was amazing!!! I loved it so much and can’t wait to discuss it with you. Although, Kingdom of Ash did have its faults. Which I will also be discussing. This might be a longer review. I wish that this book was perfect but it did have its issues. There were a few parts where my jaw was dropping in surprise, and I loved Kingdom of Ash but I think that it could have been a little bit better. 

I loved Sarah’s writing style. It was so clear and defined. I just wish that it was a little less flowery. I think that would have cut down on the length a little bit. I like how Sarah’s writing can be really brutal and make all of her readers feel things from just one sentence. I wish I could do that. The setting was really detailed and I loved reading about it. There was not very much that Sarah needed to do, but I pictured all of the places that the characters traveled perfectly.

The characters were not bad. But I did notice that they were not very fleshed out. Some of the characters that came back from The Assassin’s Blade were not fleshed out at all. Sarah expected us to read that book and to have already understood the characters. I wish that we had been provided some backstory so that people who did not read The Assassin’s Blade could understand some of the characters’ a little bit better. 

Aelin and all of the other characters (but Aelin especially) had a very interesting journey to go through. Aelin has been tortured for months at this point and has to deal with the effects of that. Rowan has to know that his mate is being tortured for months, he has to find her, and that she might not be okay when he finds her. Fenrys has to watch Aelin being tortured for months and Lorcan, Gavriel, and Elide have to deal with Rowan. While Aedion and the rest of the characters have to suffer through not knowing whether Rowan was successful or not. All in all, the characters handled it realistically and I sympathized with all of them. Except for Maeve. 

The plot fell flat for me. I was waiting for Sarah to astound me and make me gasp me in shock, but that happened far less than I anticipated. I was still gasping in shock at some points, I just thought that it would happen more. The plot explained a lot of things, but to know what they are you’ll have to read the book. The book was divided into many characters’ POVs, and I think that it was done well. Sometimes, I had to think about whose head I was in though. That was annoying.

I did enjoy reading this book and I highly recommend it, in spite of its faults. I got the book summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

The Diviners, by Libba Bray — December 7, 2018

The Diviners, by Libba Bray

download (1)Seventeen-year-old Evie O’Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.

The Diviners was a great book!!!! Everyone has been reading and loving this book recently and so I just had to pick it up. The characters were superb and I loved reading about them. The plot was like nothing I have ever read before and I loved it so much!!! I can’t wait to tell you how much I loved this book.

Libba Bray’s writing style was so funny!! No, it really was funny. Her sarcasm was appreciated and I will definitely be picking up another one of her books just to see if her style is the same (as it probably will be). Libba described the setting very well and I imagined myself with Evie and the rest of her crew hunting Naughty John. I really enjoyed this unique writing style and can’t wait to read more from Libba. Her writing style really was like nothing I have ever read.

Evie, Sam, Memphis, and all of the other characters were really well done. But I didn’t understand the point of some of the characters, like Mabel. She was a very well written character and I enjoyed reading about her, but I didn’t see how she was crucial to the plot. Mabel wasn’t helping Evie figure out who the killer was, she just sat around. But, Mabel and all of the other side characters were very detailed. I really liked reading about them and hearing how they interacted with each other. Even though I couldn’t see the point of some of the side characters, I did enjoy reading about them.

There was one main thing in this book that I didn’t like. That was the trope of us knowing the killer before Evie and the other characters. I hated that. Whenever this happens I find myself wanting to yell at the characters for their ineptitude. I know that is probably cruel, but that is why I don’t normally like books like this. The Diviners was an exception to this. That trope in The Diviners was well written, but I didn’t particularly want to be reading it. I wish that it was not in this book, but at least it was done well.

The Diviners

The plot was exceptional and I loved it!!! It was very unique and I couldn’t wait to hear what happened next. It made being forced to put the book down a very side time for me. I wish I had been able to sit down and read this book in one sitting, but I don’t think that was possible. I have never read a book like this and I loved reading a unique idea. I don’t think that very many people could have pulled this off but Libba could.

I loved reading The Diviners and I highly recommend it. I got the book summary from the Library of Congress. Remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link to it on my About page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

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