September Wrap Up/Mini Review

This month has been HORRIBLE for reading. With my schedule changing at work to an awful reading slump, September was Septem-NOPE.

Here’s what I managed to finish though:

  1. Kingdom of Souls
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    This was a star.pngstar.pngstar.png//5 stars for me. Not because the book was bad, but it just was not for me. It gives off CoBaB vibes in the beginning, but takes a unique, magical twist later on. The biggest thing for me was that it felt impossible to get through. Each time I picked it up, I immediately wanted to put it back down, even thought I was genuinely enjoyed the story. It was frustrating, but still a beautiful story and I think a lot of people will enjoy it more than me, especially those who are own voices.
  2. Serpent and Dove
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    This was a definitestar.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png//5 stars was for, I absolutely ADORED this story! The marriage of convenience, enemies to lovers trope, witches, and strong willed women had me SOLD. Everything about this book was wonderful and I loved the sass, the plot, and all of the characters.  The only thing I disliked was that the ending came way too soon and I need book #2 RIGHT NOW. Shelby, can we make this happen?

I know, pretty pathetic, but this was all I could get through unfortunately. I was in the process of reading Gideon the Ninth and Crier’s War but with limited free time, I barely made it past 100 pages for both. Hopefully I can get through more books in October and can actually give some substance to these wrap ups!

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Please check out these books, links included for their respective Goodreads pages for synopsis and purchasing details! Let me know if you’ve read these new releases and what you thought!

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To DNF or not to DNF

To DNF or to not DNF? It’s a difficult question to answer sometimes and one I had to ask myself recently with Gideon the Ninth. I find myself refusing to DNF because by the time I come to the realization that I don’t like a book, I’m over halfway through. At that point, I feel like I have to finish it. I mean, I’ve come so far, so why not? And then of course there are those books that I cannot get through, no matter how much I want to, and I have to put it down.

With Gideon, it’s the case of good book – wrong time. Love the story and the characters but it’s not a vibe I can get with right now. I wish I could get through this story and enjoy it, but I find myself falling asleep and getting bored. It’s unfortunate really because I want to like it, but I just can’t.

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So how do you decide whether or not to DNF a book? Well, that’s a matter that’s up to you reader. What is your limit? Usually I say if I can’t get into a YA book within 100 pages, then I give up on it, because it’s not going to get better after that. Sometimes I’m wrong, but that’s usually the page limit of when awesome stuff should be happening. With Gideon the Ninth, it’s a longer, adult novel, so this page count method doesn’t typically work. For adult fiction, I give it until the 25% mark to see if anything interesting happens, and DNF if not.

Some people are against DNFing, and will not give up on a book at all. I have those moments as well, but I also don’t have time to read books I don’t like or I’m not feeling. I think that whatever works for you is what works best! If you refuse to DNF, then don’t DNF. If you can’t get into a story and DNF, then more power to you! – read something you’re gonna love.

What are your thoughts on DNFing a book? Are you for or against and what is your criteria to meet?

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Halloween/Fall Reads You Need to Add to Your TBR Now

I love fall. It is absolutely my favorite season out of the four and that means I read a lot of fall and Halloween related books during this season.

These books are top notch to put you in a fall, spooky vibe so if you’re looking for something to make you check under your bed an extra time, check out these reads!

1. Bone Houses

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Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

2. The Grace Year

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Survive the year.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

3. The Tenth Girl

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Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.

Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.

One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.

4. Gideon the Ninth

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The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

5. Tunnel of Bones ***

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Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass’s parents are filming their TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Sure, it’s fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there’s true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter — and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she’s unleashed could haunt the city forever.***

 

*** This is the second in a series – the first is called City of Ghosts

6. House of Salt and Sorrows

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Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

7. Spectacle 

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Paris, 1887.

Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day’s new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine. That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered–from the perspective of the murderer himself.

When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine days later, Paris begins to buzz with rumors that this victim may not be the last. Nathalie’s search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs. As the killer continues to haunt the streets of Paris, it becomes clear that Nathalie’s strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover the killer’s identity–and she’ll have to do it before she becomes a target herself.

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I am such a fan of horror, thriller, and spooky reads. Let me know which ones spark your interest this Halloween season! And if you have any recommendations, pass them here! I tried to focus on books published in 2019 – so let me know which other 2019 reads I missed.

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Making Assumptions About Books I’ve Never Read

I always find myself judging a book by its cover or even by the synopsis, which then determines if I read it, and I’m usually wrong. There have been so many times I have assumed what a book is about, then I read it, and I am so wrong! Like Serpent & Dove – was completely wrong about that book and what it was going to be about. So I’m curious how right I am in guessing the plot of a book based on its cover and title. Let’s see how well this goes . . .

Here are five books I’ve never read before, don’t know the plot, and I have to guess what they’re about. Let me know how right I am! All of these will be released reads so people will have had access to read/borrow them.

1.

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So I see a castle, a person wearing a robe, fire, and crows, and of course the title is The Merciful Crow. Based on all of that, I think this book is about a society focused around birds, specifically crows, who have magical powers or status. The magical people have become too powerful and now the world is ending (hence the fire and person standing with arms open). In order to save their world, they team up with the crows to fight back and … I’m not sure. There’s definitely a hierarchy though because of that castle. Maybe the royalty is ruining/ending the world?

NEXT!

2.

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So American Royals has a cover of a woman, wearing a beautiful shirt/dress, nice nails, and sunglasses. So obviously this book is about an average woman who falls in love with a prince/princess and is thrown into the world of royalty. She struggles to fit in, hates everyone, and almost leaves it all. Except her love is much too strong to leave and they eventually work it out – the end! I’m assuming this is similar to Crazy Rich Asians – which I shouldn’t assume, but that’s the only thing I could think of. Or its about royalty and their crazy, fabulous life! I’m not sure.

3.

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So obviously, the story is about someone inside their house. I would assume this a thriller novel or a murder mystery. I’m going to guess that this book is about a girl, a teenage girl, who is being stalked and has to hide from a murderer in her home. The entire book is a back and forth between present and past as she looks back on that horrible night. She may or may not be dead. Or I’m totally wrong and this is a slumber party novel! I guess we’ll find out!

4.

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Soooo I’m gonna go with clones. This is totally about clones and government control. You think you can choose your destiny and be your own person, but you’re actually a robot clone slave to the government who need you to be involved in a secret project. As they call the troops, you’re like, what the heck? I didn’t even know I was a part of this mess until now. All my friends are dying (cries). All I know about Kristoff books are that people die and most people cry, so I’m going with that.

5.

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So I know this is something about Russia/Russian myth? I think this is about a girl assassin in Russia who runs into a boy assassin and they have similar targets, but they can’t let the other person get it because if they do they lose money. Or maybe this is more magical, like blood magic stuff and they have to destroy the world? Based on the blood I know theres fighting and death in here, but I’m not sure exactly how it relates. And wicked could mean a lot of things, like they’re bad people or they’re wickedly good at what they do. This one is really hard because I genuinely have no idea. I think I’m going to go with more magic stuff mixing with the end of the world, but they kinda want to save it?

So how well did I do? This was embarrassing but still a lot of fun, so I hope you had fun with this too! Let me know what I may have gotten right and what I got absolutely wrong! Comment below what books I should guess next.

I tag Alexa over at Writing the Universe to do this challenge and let me know how it went!

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Tag: Book Blogger Confessions

I saw this on LauReads blog and wanted to do it, so here it is! (post I saw linked)

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Answer these questions truthfully.

1. Which book, most recently, did you not finish?

The Gilded Wolves was one that I just couldn’t get through. Not sure if it’s due to the book or because of me, but I just couldn’t get through it, no matter how many times I’ve tried to pick it up.


2. Which book is your guilty pleasure?

Throne of Glass because it fulfills all of the things I want in a book and I can reread it at any time, no problem.


3. Which book do you love to hate?

I hated The Hunger Games and I have no shame with that. I don’t think I will ever like that series.


4. Which book would you throw into the sea?

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. If you love yourself, don’t read this book, ever.


5. Which book have you read the most?

I don’t reread a lot of books, but The Mortal Instruments series is one I’ve picked up the most at 3 rereads!


6. Which book would you hate to receive as a present?

Anything John Steinbeck. Or Hunger Games. Or non-fiction. I think there’s a theme here…


7. Which book could you not live without?

1984 – it’s so good and if I didn’t have it on hand to read during hard times, I don’t know what I would do.


8. Which book made you the angriest?

Empire of Storms/Tower of Dawn because THE ENDING. And I had to wait almost 2 years to find out what happened.


9. Which book made you cry the most?

It’s between Clockwork Princess and Lord of Shadows – of course Cassandra Clare makes me have full blown sobbing sessions over her books.


10. Which book cover do you hate the most?

I hate film covers. When Twilight and City of Bones film covers came out I hated them so much I started a boycott with my friends.

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I tag anyone that wants to do this!

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Writing Update #1

For those of you who didn’t know, and I assume that is almost all of you, I am writing a book. Multiple books actually. So far, I’m about a third of the way through one of my first drafts and it’s …. not going well at all. I think the biggest thing with writing, and specifically my writing, is that I have the beginning and the end in my head, but the middle? Nonexistent. Like completely not there. Which of course makes it difficult to write the middle and get to the ending I have envisioned.

So how am I going about fixing this issue?

By avoiding writing of course!

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I’m just kidding. I sometimes meet up with my friend Alexa from Writing the Universe to talk through plot holes, character develop, and overall writing issues. Last Monday we worked through the middle section I was trying to envision. Thankfully, we found a solution together that feels right for the book and it fits. Now I just need to write it.

Besides that, figuring out ages for characters is also incredibly hard. The book with the most progress has older characters, oldest being 25 and the youngest being 12. My main characters are 18, 21, and 25 with other 16-22 year old characters in there too. This is supposed to be a YA novel, but I’m worried people will dislike the fact that some of the characters are older. But I have to make them older or else it doesn’t work with timeline.

It also doesn’t make sense for the society to make them all 15-18 year olds unfortunately. The content and topics are still YA, and the main POV is of my 18 year old, but I still worry. At least Sabaa Tahir did it first with making Laia 18 and Elias 21 (THANK YOU).

After the brainstorm session today I also was pushed to start writing another book idea I have. This one has a younger MC (16) and its a really interesting premise. I’m so excited! The biggest thing I love about this is the Greek mythology included in it. I haven’t written anything with Greek mythology in it before, but I’ve been a Percy Jackson stan since 5th grade and I’ve been obsessed with the mythology since I was young.

It feels so nice to have somewhat of a plan for now, but with enough wiggle room to not feel trapped. It actually makes me excited to write. And to give you all updates on my writing.

So of the two main WIP I have going on here is the word count so far:

WIP #1: 23,119

WIP #2: 656

I can’t decide which book I want to work on for NaNoWriMo in November, but we’ll see how developed each are when we get there.

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Review: Serpent & Dove

So while I read Serpent & Dove pre-release, it is now out in the world! So pick it up because this book is so good, especially if you’re a fan of Throne of Glass! There’s witches, witch hunters, magic, and good old fashioned enemies to lovers – now lets find out why I love this book so much!

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Here’s the description from Goodreads:

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

First and foremost, AELIN AND ROWAN VIBES. The relationship between Louise (Lou) and Reid is one that makes you want to hit someone because you just want them to finally kiss. Louise is a snarky, bad mouth witch who doesn’t care what others think of her, she’s there to protect herself and her best friend Coco. Reid is a disciplined Chasseur, aka a witch hunter, who follows orders, doesn’t take bullshit, and hates witches. Ironic. The two together is just a mash of snark, sass, and hatred – it’s great. Every time they interact, it just makes my heart warm because “the mean one is soft for the other mean one” – awwww. While it is definitely not a good relationship at first, it evolves into something so sweet and heartwarming, I just love them.

Second off, the plot is wonderful. It’s action filled, fueled by wants and needs, and written beautifully. I’m a definite fan of this story. Shelby brings you along on a journey that has you on the edge of your seat for the entire ride. I was up until 2AM finishing this off because I had to know what happens next – I couldn’t put it down. And the uniqueness of the witches was also wonderful; there are different types and groups, it’s not a general witchiness. Love it!

Third, Ansel is my sweet little baby and I love him. As a Chasseur in training, he is put on babysitting duty for Lou and his innocence is just so endearing. He’s a friend I would love to have and his willingness to defend those he loves is a trait I love the most about him. He is just such a fun character to watch grow and progress, especially in comparison to the other Chasseurs.

This book is such a fun, exciting read – it pulls you in from the first chapter and getting to read both Lou and Reid’s POV makes it that much better. I can’t imagine what book 2 has in store for us. Especially after that ending!

As you can tell, I adore this book and it’s a star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png / 5 read for me! If you want sass, action, romance, witches, and personal growth – what are you waiting for? Go pick it up now!

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If this book sounds interesting, check out Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas or Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

Tag: 20 Question Book Tag

So this isn’t cheating, because Sara over at The Bibliophagist tagged everyone who hasn’t done this tag yet, but no one actually tagged me. I don’t care, I’m still doing it! Join me in the revolution!

Here’s the 20 Question Book Tag!

1. How many books are too many in a series?
It really depends on the books for me. I usually say 4 is a good maximum number – unless you’re Sarah J Maas or Cassandra Clare. Then you can kinda do anything!

2. How do you feel about cliffhanger endings?

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This is my face when I get to the end of a book and there’s a cliffhanger. I love to hate them.

3. Hardback or paperback?

Hardback all the way! 99% of the books I have (excluding ARCs) are hardcover books – they’re a guilty pleasure.

4. Favorite book?

That’s like asking someone who their favorite child is. The expected answer is, I don’t have one. But obviously it’s Twilight.

Just joking – I have 5 favorite books for each subgenre, there’s no way I can make a decision on that. Lets just say Four Dead Queens, A Curse so Dark and Lonely, Throne of Glass, Diamond City,  Furyborn, and An Ember in the Ashes are my all time favorites as of right now.

5.  Least Favorite book?

This is tricky to answer because I can dislike a book now and love it later. This one I couldn’t love it even if you paid me, my all time worst is The Grapes of Wrath. I had to read this my junior year of high school and every other scene is a description of the desert. John Steinbeck likes to torture his readers and I thoroughly hated this book and still hate it to this day.

6. Love triangles: yes or no?

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Only if they’re done really well and actually have an importance to the plot/character development. Otherwise – nah.

7. The most recent book you couldn’t finish?

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Got 100 pages in and still couldn’t get into it. Put it down and still haven’t picked it back up.

8. A book you’re currently reading?

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I love this book so far. It just came out on September 3rd if anyone hasn’t discovered this book yet!

9. Last book you recommended?

Uhhhh I don’t even remember the book I read last week at this point – I’m pretty sure it was There Will Come A Darkness or The Grace Year.

10. Oldest book you’ve read?

Not counting biblical texts, Beowulf. 

11. Newest book you’ve read?

Diamond City because it doesn’t even come out until January/February of 2020.

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12. Favorite author?

Uhhhh again – favorite child question! There are so many authors I love and will love forever. I’ll put down Sarah J Maas, Cassandra Clare, Claire Legrand, Brigid Kemmerer, and Sabaa Tahir. And like 50 other amazing authors AHH.

13. Buying books or borrowing?

Buying because I’m selfish and want to keep them all.

14. A book that you disliked that everyone seems to love?

Hunger Games lol. Also never got into Illuminae…

15. Bookmarks or dog ears?

Bookmarks you monsters. Always bookmarks.

16. A book that you always reread?

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This whole prequel series I could read over and over again.

17. Can you read while listening to music?

No. I’m so easily distracted I would hear a song I love and start singing. Then all of a sudden its three hours later and I’ve sung the entire Waitress: The Musical and Hamilton soundtrack and my book is forgotten. So short answer: no.

18. One POV or multiple POVs?

Multiple because you know some awesome stuff is about to go down and multiple people need to tell the story so I can become attached to all of them and cry even harder! Also most fantasy novels now have multiple POVs and I’m all for it.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

Usually over multiple days because I work, but occasionally one sitting if I have a few hours to kill and nothing distracting me.

20. Who do you tag?

Everyone because I love to include people. But Alexa from Writing the Universe better do this tag or I will be sad.

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I hope you liked this silly post, I know its a much needed diversion from the numerous reviews. If you liked this kind of stuff, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

ARC Review: The Grace Year

I managed to snag an ARC of The Grace Year by Kim Liggett at ALA and there are no regrets here. First off, let me just say, the description is awful because this book is that and so much more. I really found myself invested in the story and message behind it and I think the way this book is described, it just falls a bit short. This review is going to be very in depth because Liggett talks about a lot of important issues that I think should be touched on and talked about. So if you’re looking for short and sweet, this is not a review you will enjoy reading. But if you’re looking for my opinion on topics such as female relationships, female sexual agency, and other important topics – tune in!

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Survive the year.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden. 

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive. 

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other. 

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

First and foremost, we have an outcast main character. Some people don’t like this trope, but Tierney is different. She doesn’t understand why women are seen as inferior to men, why she has to purge herself for a year, why the girls she’s with can’t bring themselves to help each other instead of hurt. I like that Liggett talks about this issue, because it is one, of why women tear each other down even if it ends up hurting everyone. It’s important for young girls to read this story and feel the frustration of wanting peace between characters and instead they get none of that.

Another thing this book touches on that I adore is sexual freedom for women. Why some may not think this topic is important for YA, I absolutely believe it is. Even if a girl, at whatever age, is not having sex, she should still understand that there is nothing wrong with and that she is meant for more than just pleasuring men. This topic can be very awkward to explain to young adults, but to show a healthy sexual relationship is very important. Liggett mentions that the women are simply vessel’s for sons in Tierney’s town, but shows each time how that is not right and shouldn’t be the standard – A+.

Along with a woman’s sexual agency, Liggett also reveals another important idea – women are not objects. It should be obvious to people alike, but women are not simply present to serve men. In Tierney’s society, that is exactly what they are though. Women are subservient to their husbands and are actually possessions. They are bargained over for marriage with no say from the girls themselves. They cannot do or say anything not approved by men and it’s infuriating. Liggett shows the outcasts of this society as free though, showcasing how women should be allowed to have freedom and be treated as equals. With each issue she raises, she presents a healthier alternative which is really important. It should be the standard and Liggett makes that clear to her characters and to the reader.

She makes it obvious that its not right to treat women as objects – which should be obvious but for some girls, this kind of story is reality. Making sure we educate people all over the world how important fair treatment and healthy relationships are. I appreciate the fact that she covers these topics and showcases how insane it is that Tierney’s world isn’t fair and probably will never be.

Overall, important topics talked about in an amazing way, plus an interesting plot mixed up with it makes this book a star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png / 5 stars for me. If you’re looking for a crazy, heart wrenching read put this on your TBR. You will not regret it.

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If this book sounds interesting, check out The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

 

ARC Review: Tiger Queen

This was the first Annie Sullivan book I’ve read. The author of Touch of Gold has released a new story about Princess Kateri, who is fighting her way through suitors in order to win her place as Queen. If she fails, she has to marry her competitor and he will take the throne.

Meanwhile, the wells are drying up and there are thieves stealing the water from the people. What the hell, am I right? But things aren’t as they seem – who really are the good guys?

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Heres the synopsis from Goodreads:

In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.

But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.

First and foremost, I love retellings. This book is a retelling of a short story and I’m all for it. It’s a bit slow to get into plot wise but it definitely starts to pick. One of the things I like about the plot is that its familiar but still original. There’s the oppressive family, a crisis, an unlikely love interest, and of course – a strong willed female main character, but theres a lot of originality to it as well.

Following a formula doesn’t mean a book is bad, it’s following a path that is common and familiar. Sullivan adds a unique and fantastical backstory to this world and brings an intense story. I genuinely enjoyed reading Kateri’s story and was silently rooting for her during my read through!

One thing I had a problem with was pacing. Some moments that were slow I wanted to speed up a little, other moments were too fast. Since this was an ARC I read, the pacing may have changed and scenes may have been extended or shortened, so it’s hard to take my word or judgement on that one. I also had an issue with Kateri’s dad. To me, he felt too villainy. Like unrealistically evil personally. I wanted a bit more of a humanistic approach to him instead of some person who was always awful. Villains are understandably hard to write, but it was hard to read scenes with him, it was just a bit too much.

Overall, I liked this story and I think it’s a great YA read. A strong female lead, morality is judged, and good triumphs – or does it? I would give this book a star.pngstar.pngstar.png.5 / 5 stars.

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If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton!

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

 

September TBR

Will I actually completed this TBR? Probably not. But a girl can dream and plan for things right?

First and foremost, I’m gonna have to finish reading The Grace Year by Kim Liggett (I’m counting this as August) before I can start. So here are the books I’m hoping to read in September! Let me know if any of these titles are on your TBR list or if you’ve read them yet!

Gideon The Ninth

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Girls of Storm and Shadow

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Serpent and Dove

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The Tenth Girl

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***Good Luck Girls

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***Kingdom of Souls

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*** I really want to read these but realistically I will probably only read 2 or 3 of these titles because I cannot manage time well enough to read all of them. If I manage to read all 4 and have time to read these 2 in September, then I definitely will.

There are so many titles coming out in September and while I know I won’t get through all of them before or even close to release, I hope I can do a good job of shouting them out so other people can! I can’t wait to dig in and read all these amazing stories this month.

Which books were you planning on reading in September? Let me know in the comments!

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