Kassandras Musings – a new addition to The Bashful Bibliophile

Hello, I’m Kassandras Musings and I’m a guest reviewer for The Bashful Bibliophile. While I love to read books, I always find it more enriching when I get to talk about a story with a fellow book lover. *Que the reuniting of long lost friends over bookish ravings.* I have known Taylor for many years and as we have reconnected over our love of books I’m honored that she’s considered adding my thoughts as a reviewer on her page. 

A little about me. I love rain, mountains, rivers, trees and moody weather. I like being by water and hate the sun. I love disappearing in incredible stories and then forcing my family to relive them with me for days afterward. My young son doesn’t seem to mind and my husband likes to pretend he does. I have a hunting dog who won’t fetch but likes to cuddle. I’m a history nerd with an unnecessary knowledge of British Royal History (by that I mean trivia spanning the last two thousand years, not whether Harry will reunite with the family or if the Queen (RIP btw) greased the breaks) (for the record though, the answer to both is no.) I’d like to say hiking is among my hobbies but I think the term nature walk is more accurate for me. 

Greek mythology has been an ever present interest to me and I believe it’s fueled my love of stories. In myth, Kassandra was a princess of Troy. Cursed by Apollo for rejecting his advances, he blessed her with prophecy only to have no one believe her. So as she was haunted with visions of a burning Troy, her warnings and advice went unheard and dismissed as madness. Take my adopting her name in this exercise as you will. 

What are your favorite genres of books to read?

 I love historical fiction (The Nightingale, The Alice Network), psychological thrillers/suspense (City if the Lost series, The Turn of the Key), Greek myth (Circe, Helen of Troy, a Touch of Darkness) and lately I reignited my love of fantasy/romance (From Blood and Ash, Gothicana). Dark Romance is mind bending fun. On occasion I do enjoy reading memoirs about people defying odds (I am Malala, Hillbilly Elegy). 

What is your least favorite? 

Sci fi usually doesn’t hold my attention though never say never. 

What made you want to start reviewing books? 

When I completely fall into a story it’s difficult for me to sort out all my thoughts and feelings bottled in my brain. Getting some of that on paper while offering praise or feedback for an author seems like a win win. 

What do you look for when reviewing? 

Character development and ambience of a story really grab my attention. 

If you could pick one book series to have with you on a deserted island, what would it be? 

A Shadow in the Ember and From Blood and Ash series. Technically, TECHNICALLY, it’s all the same world and it’s the original series and prequels so I’m counting it as one. 

Do you have a favorite writing trope? 

Enemies to lovers is classic . Redemption. Morally grey anything. Found family. Destined to be together. Slow burns. Whatever you call characters who find untapped power (literal or figurative) in themselves through trial. 

What is something that makes you instantly want to DNF a book, if anything? 

Yet to be discovered. Though I do struggle at fantasy books that seem to try very hard to be unique and go overboard with creature creation. Spicy books that just jump immediately into spice I find boring.

Would you describe yourself as a more critical reviewer, or more easy going? 

Probably more easy going. 

Do you have a favorite book character? If so, who? 

Good lord, too hard to choose. Sera/Nyktos (A Shadow in the Ember), Vianne (The Nightingale), Rhysand (A Court of Mist and Fury), Casey Duncan and Eric Dalton (City of the Lost), Hecate (A Touch of Darkness), Sam Roth (Shiver) all have special places in my heart. 

In your opinion, which movie or TV series based on a book is most accurate to the book? 

 Typically if I’ve read a book I steer away from the show or if I’ve seen the show I won’t read the book. The main exception being Twilight (books were great, movies nailed aesthetic and soundtrack. That’s all I have to say about that). I am hopeful for Melanie Laurent’s rumored production for The Nightingale and I think the City of the Lost series would adapt well for T.V. I cringe at the idea of fantasy series being made into shows. If they don’t have GOT level budgeting, it shouldn’t be done. 

I am thrilled to have someone join me in writing reviews for the Bashful Bibliophile blog! Kassandras Musings is an old friend of mine, and I love her point of view, being able to discuss books with her and look forward to reading her reviews. If you are looking for an extra ARC reviewer or simply want a different perspective – you can let me know when you reach out that you want your book reviewed by her, and I’ll help make that happen. Much love! The Bashful Bibliophile

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