And another buddy read review! I read this book with my friend Grace again and I absolutely loved it. I loved the story, the varying formats, and the ending.
I’m back again with another buddy review book review! I buddy read Blood Countess by Lana Popović with my friend Grace and it was kind of a disappointment. But I also liked it?
Welcome everyone! Book Terminal Tours is very excited to be kicking off our tour of Playing With Fire by April Henry! We are featuring some amazing bloggers on this tour, so be sure to follow along with the schedule this week!
I’ve attached the list of bloggers, but please be sure to check back at the official tour schedule for links every day!
I have always been interested in reading this book, ever since it came in a Fairyloot box last year. When I received an e-ARC of Written in Starlight, I knew I needed to get moving and read this book and I finally did! It was my final read of 2020 and I ended up loving it! But based off the ending, I’m curious how there’s going to be a sequel. While I have some ideas I’m excited to see what we have in store for us next. As for now, here are my thoughts on Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez!
I know I did a wrap up for 2020, which included all of the books I read in December, but this wrap up is a little more in-depth, so I’m doing it anyways! I actually love doing wrap up posts because it reminds me of the books I read and how I felt about them. It’s a nice stroll down memory lane!
This was a book we did a tour for at the end of December/beginning of January, and it was too cute not to read! This was my first read of 2021 and it was a great way to start off the year.
I received an ARC from Amulet Books through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This has not impacted my rating or my thoughts on this book.
Welcome everyone! Book Terminal Tours is very excited to be kicking off our tour of Every Single Lie by Rachel Vincent! We are featuring some amazing bloggers on this tour, so be sure to follow along with the schedule this week!
I’ve attached the list of bloggers, but please be sure to check back at the official tour schedule for links every day!
I am so excited to be able to participate in another book tour for TBR & Beyond Tours – this time for a new contemporary fantasy, Glimpsed by G.F. Miller! Thank you again TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me to participate – I absolutely adored this book and I can’t wait to share my review and 15 thoughts I had while reading Glimpsed!
Be sure to check out the schedule for other amazing posts! The tour starts today, January 5th and goes through January 11th!
I was lucky enough to receive this ARC from Penguin Teen and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This has not impacted my opinion of this book – all thoughts are my own.
Thanks again Penguin for allowing me to review this title early (even though I was a little late in getting it out). I was so excited to read this new book from David Yoon and it did not disappoint!
Now that we are jumping into the New Year, I’m jumping back into my ARC TBR. I have a lot of ARCs I’m overdue on and a lot of upcoming ARCs to read. While I also have a very large finished copy TBR, I want to try and get my NetGalley rating higher and so I’m focusing on these books right now.
So here are the books I’m planning to read in January!
2021 is two days away…
I know, I’m freaking out too!
This means we’re entering into a new month with new releases that I can get excited for! So here are the January releases I’m DYING to read!
I posted my welcome post for A Universe of Wishes anthology edited by Dhonielle Clayton earlier this month, but I never posted my full review. So here are my thoughts on this anthology!
Thank you again to Penguin Teen for supplying me with a finished copy for review. This has not impacted my thoughts or opinions on this book.
It’s Christmas today, and while I’m Jewish, I also have lots of friends and some family who celebrate Christmas, so what better way to help celebrate than with a Festive Christmas Book Tag!? I found this tag on Jenniely‘s blog, but it was originally posted by GirlReading on YouTube. I love the Holiday’s and December in general, not only because it’s my birthday month, but because it just feels like such a joyful, thankful time.
It’s Christmas Eve Eve, I’ve been drinking, and I don’t have anything planned for today, so it’s a great day to do a mini review! Today, I am reviewing How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black. This is a short story collection told from the perspective of Cardan from The Cruel Prince. If you have not read the trilogy yet, this short story collection will spoil you for the series, so please be warned.
I’m back again with another collab with Alexa @ Writing the Universe! Today, we are going over five books we bought solely based on their covers and rating whether we would buy them or not. I know, I know, you shouldn’t judge a book based on its cover, but if you saw what books we’re talking about today, you would understand these are a necessity. I am a total sucker for a gorgeous book cover and if a book is pretty and fits in a genre I like to read, I will buy it. So today, here are some books I bought solely based on their covers, and Alexa’s opinion on whether she would do the same!
It’s been a little while since I’ve done this post and since then I have been pressured to buy so many more books from Amazon. Any time I open my BookBub emails or go on Amazon, I end up getting more books. Usually about $0.99 or free, depending on what’s available.
So here’s some of the titles I’ve recently gotten from Amazon!
Today, I’m doing a mini review for The Princess and the Pawn (The Raven and the Dove #0.5) by Kaitlyn Davis. This is a prequel novella for The Raven and the Dove, which if you haven’t read, you absolutely need to! I will link my review here for that book. You can definitely read the prequel before reading the first book, as it’s intended, although it’s not necessary to read the first book.
When I saw Star was doing this tag, I got so excited! This is such a fun tag so thank you Star @ Star is All Booked Up for tagging me in this! Originally from Kat @ Katytastic on YouTube. I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you end up doing this tag, feel free to tag me in the comments so I can see your responses!
Today I am reviewing Soulswift by Megan Bannen. No joke, this book is a perfect combination of Serpent & Dove and Wicked Saints in terms of some tropes and the overall vibes. Forced marriage between two enemies? Check. Religious differences impacting the fate of the world? Check. Creepy, disturbing monsters hunting main characters in the woods? Check again!
I am so late on this post, but better late than never, right? It’s finally here, my final NaNoWriMo post for 2020!!
Welcome everyone! Book Terminal Tours is very excited to be kicking off our tour of A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology edited by Dhonielle Clayton! We are featuring some amazing bloggers and bookstagrammers on this tour, so be sure to follow along with the schedule this week!
I’ve attached the list of bloggers and Instagrammers, but please be sure to check back at the official tour schedule for links every day!
I haven’t done a haul post in a while (excluding my B&N haul I did a couple weeks ago) so here is what I received in the month of November! This includes birthday gifts, books I bought, blog tour/giveaway books, and books I requested on NetGalley. And well, it’s a lot of books. So sorry!
Another month, another wrap up post!
Okay, so I did horribly this month with reading. Better than I expected, but still horrible. Thankfully, I have a lot more free time in December, so hopefully next month’s wrap up will be a lot more fun! But for today, here’s what I read in November.
It’s the first day of December (holy crap it’s December!) and that means it’s time for my December TBR! It’s also MY BIRTHDAY! I’ll be offline most of today, but if you want to wish me a happy birthday, you can in the comments or on Twitter (@wewrite_atdawn)!
There are so many amazing books in the world and a few of them are not getting the recognition they deserve. I feel like some books are over recommended over sometimes even overhyped, while other titles are pushed to the sidelines.
So, here are some books I think are underrated and if you haven’t read them, you should read them now! All current reviews will be linked too if you want to check them out!
Happy Friday everyone! Today is a lazy day, especially since I’m writing this Friday morning, late. So, we’re going to be doing something easy and going over books I’m currently reading and shows I’m currently watching!
December is my birthday month and this year I’m blessed to have it fall on a Tuesday, which is book release day! So here are the top books I’m DYING to read in December and will mostly likely buy on my birthday!
I own a kindle so sometimes I like to browse through the free or $0.99 books to see what there is. And it’s usually a lot. I’m also subscribed to the BookBub email, so I get alerts on kindle deals every day – which makes it even harder to resist books when they show up for free in my email.
Here are some of the more recent books Amazon made me buy!
I am so excited for the review I’m doing today! This was a highly anticipated book for me and I freaked out when I was approved for it on NetGalley!
Today I am reviewing The Queen’s Council: Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault. I received a copy for review from NetGalley and Disney Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I thought I had a post scheduled for today, but I didn’t. This was a tag sitting in my drafts that is mostly completed, so I guess this will have to do! Feel free to tag me in your responses if you decide to do this tag.
Reading slumps are the bane of my existence. Every time I’m on a roll with reading and feel motivated, I’m hit with a bus and left withering on the floor.
And of course, fail at whatever goal I was trying to succeed at.
The beginning of this month I was doing so well! But after the middle of the month, I only managed to read TWO books. Ugh. Out of ten books total, I’m a bit disappointed with myself, but oh well. There’s nothing I can do about it now.
Anyways! Here’s my October 2020 Wrap Up!
I managed to trade for an ARC of Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald a couple of months ago. I had heard great things about this book, so I wanted to read it for myself, and it was so good!
The hardest thing for me, once I finish a book, is finding another book to read! Sometimes I want something along the same lines as what I just read and not being able to find something that satiates that hunger is so frustrating. So, here are some book recommendations for fantasy books if you’re struggling to find a new book to read!
October has been a crazy month and while I’ve been reading a lot, I’m also doing a lot of work on the book tours, my actual job, and other adult things. You know, like cooking, cleaning, crying because I’m stressed – the usual!
Anyways, I wanted something light to post today, so here’s what I’m currently reading and watching!
This is the first book by Ashley Poston that I’ve read, so I didn’t have any preconceived ideas of her writing style or her books in general. So when I received this book, I was open and leapt in blindly.
I’m sincerely regretting not reading more of her books.
I received an eARC of The Cup and the Prince by Day Leitao from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
This was such an interesting fantasy that, at first, I wasn’t sure where it was going, but soon, I was absolutely hooked.
Thanks again to Cielo for tagging me in this new book tag! I recently watched Enola Holmes and absolutely loved it, so there was no way I was going to pass up doing this tag!
I am so excited to be participating in my first blog tour with TBR and Beyond Tours! Today is the first day of the tour, so I will link the schedule here so you can follow along!
This book was such a unique fantasy, I’ve never read anything like it! And based off the ending, I have a feeling I’m going to love book 2!
I didn’t read nearly as much this month as I did the previous months. And that’s okay. But you know what’s not okay? The fact that I can’t format this post like the rest of my posts because, for whatever reason, WordPress is messing up the formatting no matter what I do! So this post is going to look different and I’m sorry about that. I hate it too.
Anyways, here’s what I read in the month of September!
September was an okay month reading wise, but a few books have to be carried over in order for me to finish everything like I need to. I have a feeling some books from October will carry over into November, but if I’m able to get through all of these I would be so happy!
I have a few book tour books, some NetGalley reads, and
Here is my current October TBR.
I made my way over to Barnes & Noble this past weekend to pick up some new releases that I have been dying to read, so I thought I would show you what I got!
Book Terminal Tours has a NEW blog tour sign up going on right now and this is a book you don’t want to miss!
With only a week left in the month, I thought it would be fun to hype up some of my favorite September releases that I think people should put on their TBR! This is mostly going to be debut or not as well know releases, so no Cassie Clare or any other sequels/spin offs.
Some of these I haven’t read yet, but want to, so I’ll mark which ones I have and have not read. For the unread books, I’ll be putting in the official synopsis!
Let’s get started!
I received an eARC of Hush by Dylan Farrow from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I hadn’t heard a lot about this book when I requested it except that it was a fantasy novel, so I didn’t have any preconceived thoughts going in (besides what the synopsis said). I didn’t know if I would like it, but I’m here to report that I loved it!
It took me a week to read White Fox by Sara Faring, which means that I am not reading a lot, so I thought it would be fun to do a currently reading and watching post!
My watching habits are mood based, so it can honestly change from week to week. But this is what I’ve been watching and reading this week and what I plan to watch soon!
I saw that The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi was Read Now on NetGalley and without thinking, I downloaded it to my kindle. I hadn’t read The Gilded Wolves, in fact, I had DNFed it originally. But I downloaded it anyways because *cue the theme song* I’m an idiot!
But I ended up loving The Gilded Wolves and, not surprisingly, I loved The Silvered Serpents even more!
I received an eARC of White Fox by Sara Faring from Fierce Reads in exchange for an honest review.
I have been on such a thriller kick lately that this book sounded like exactly what I wanted to read. A ten year old disappearance? A chance to investigate what really happened? Spooky, creepy clues as to what may have happened popping up? It was too interesting to resist – and I loved it!
This month is full of books I need to read for blog tours and for review before publication. It’s kind of stressful, but I’m also really enjoying the books I’ve read, so it’s not a chore for me. Here’s some of the books I read this month, the books I’m currently reading, and the books I plan to read next!
I received an eARC of The Hunter and the Mage by Kaitlyn Davis in exchange for an honest review. Kaitlyn sent this to me a couple of months ago and I finally got a chance to read it!
The Hunter and the Mage is the sequel to The Raven and the Dove – so if you haven’t read book 1, be sure to order a copy today! I’ll also link my review here if you want to check that out!
This will be a spoiler free review, but I cannot guarantee that this review will not include spoilers from The Raven and the Dove – so if you haven’t read it yet, you have been warned!
Today I am reviewing Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and I’m so glad I got to read it early. This book has quickly become one of my all time favorite books and I was so happy to find out it’s going to be a series!
This book is filled with magic, adventure, and some American history and it is AMAZING
I received The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart from Goodreads from one of their giveaways in exchange for an honest review.
I was hesitant to read and review this book due to some drama on book twitter, but I had won the copy and felt I should at least read it.
So, here are my thoughts.
I received this book from Penguin Teen through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
First off, can we just admire this cover? Like, I absolutely love how beautiful it is. And the contents match it. This book was so beautiful and healing for me, I couldn’t put it down. With less than 300 pages, this was a book I devoured in two sittings – 50% before bed, 50% when I woke up. I really enjoyed Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour and couldn’t stop myself from reading.
I found this tag over at Laura’s Book Reviews. It looked like so much fun, I had to do it for myself!
Answer these questions truthfully.
Once you’ve completed this tag, tag 5 other book bloggers to answer these questions next.
I don’t have anyone to really tag for this, so I’m tagging everyone! Be sure to tag me or comment so I can see your answers.
1. Which book, most recently, did you not finish?
Recently, I DNFed Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher. I enjoyed the book, but unfortunately, the anxiety and paranoia Vali was dealing with was too much for me to handle. I started reflecting that and becoming so anxious I was about to have a panic attack. Needless to say, definitely couldn’t continue reading it, even though I liked the story and was interested to see what happened next.
2. Which book is your guilty pleasure?
I’m not sure I would call it my guilty pleasure, but I am a huge fan of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – actually, anything by her really! I could re-read that series any day. That and Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas.
3. Which book do you love to hate?
I really hated The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Another book I hated was Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. Could not get into either of them at all and ultimately DNFed.
4. Which book would you throw into the sea?
Oh jeez, probably The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Absolutely awful! One of the most boring books I’ve ever read in my entire life and I’m still mad I was forced to read it. This book made me hate my 11th grade English class so much.
5. Which book have you read the most?
I am not a big re-reader. In fact, I haven’t re-read a book in years so I can’t really answer this question. When I was younger, I re-read Twilight, Vampire Academy, and The Mortal Instruments series multiple times. I couldn’t get enough of them.
6. Which book would you hate to receive as a present?
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
7. Which book could you not live without?
Ohhh, that’s a difficult question. There’s not a single book alone I couldn’t live without, I can’t give up any of my books! If I HAD to choose one, then my first edition copy of Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Not only did I pay a lot for it, but I love that book so much, it’s one of my prized possessions.
8. Which book made you the angriest?
Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin. The ending made me so mad, I threw my kindle across the room . . .
9. Which book made you cry the most?
It’s a tie between Crescent City and Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas. Both made me absolutely sob for over an hour.
10. Which book cover do you hate the most?
There are some pretty bad book covers, but I don’t think I’ve found one that I hate the most. I don’t like the new ACOTAR covers at all. I think they’re hideous.
If you didn’t see, I created a Ko-fi account! I’m not expecting anything to come from it, but if you like my content and want to me get my own domain and host bookish giveaways, I’ve linked it here! Thanks to anyone who checks it out!
I had to take a few days to really digest this book, because if I wrote my initial thoughts after finishing this it would just be screaming (AAAHHH) across the screen.
I won an ARC of To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini from Bookish First and Tor in exchange for an honest review. I’m going to start off by saying that I love the Eragon series (though I haven’t read it in many years) so I was a little biased going into this. But let me tell you, this book is so good, it blew my expectations out of the water!
I received an ARC of Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher from Penguin Teen through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I don’t think I’ve ever written a DNF (did not finish) review before, so this is a first. Usually when I DNF a book, it’s not an ARC I’ve been given by the publisher for review, it’s one that I decided to read on my own. After the whole debacle on Sunday regarding an author calling out a reviewer for DNF-ing and posting a “bad” review on Goodreads, I am a little nervous to post my thoughts.
But, the whole point of reviewing books are to review them, good or bad. So I’m gonna talk about why I DNFed this book and what my thoughts are. Surprisingly, they’re not bad at all!
So we’re doing something a little different today. Today, I am doing a Bookish This or That but with a twist! I teamed up with Alexa @ Writing the Universe to guess what I think her answers to these questions would be. Alexa and I have been friends for a year and a half now and I think I know her reading preferences enough to at least guess.
I am going to post my guesses for Alexa first and then below I will be posting my own responses! If you want to see Alexa’s guesses about me and her responses, make sure to check out her post!
We got this post off of Kim @ KimberlyFayeReads so be sure to give her some love!
I did this a few months ago under a different name (Making Assumptions About Books I’ve Never Read) but I thought, hey! New books, new covers, more things I haven’t had a chance to read yet – why not!?
I’m always catching myself making assumptions about books and what they’ll be about based on the cover. Usually I go for aesthetically pretty covers because I think they’re pretty (duh), which means that sometimes I buy a book without even knowing what it’s about. It’s pretty ridiculous and I really have to stop myself form doing it! Today, I am going to be making assumptions about what these books are about based on their cover and title alone. I will post the actual synopsis under my assumption so you can laugh at me at how badly I guess these books!
All of these assumptions are written BEFORE I read the synopsis and paste it below. Let me know how well you think I did on guessing these!
I have been holding off reading Wicked Fox by Kat Cho for a while. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book honestly but it sounded so good that I didn’t want to ignore it. When I got approved as a Penguin Teen Influencer, one of the first books I received was an e-ARC of Vicious Spirits, so I knew I had to read this book.
And here we go, adding another book to the “WHY THE HECK DID I WAIT TO READ THIS BOOK!?” list. Because I cannot believe that I didn’t read this book sooner!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.
But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.
Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He’s drawn to her anyway.
With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.
So when I moved, I didn’t bring the finished copy of this book with me, I decided to bring the ARC. So yes, technically this is an ARC review – don’t come for me! lol
So off the bat, from page one, I was invested in this story. I don’t know much about the gumiho legends, so reading this book was so much fun for me! I loved learning about the legend and how these gumiho survive in today’s society, especially since people are so crowded together now.
Miyoung’s character is complex and realistic. She’s not overly friendly and good, but she’s not evil – she’s pretty human in that respect. While she’s cold to most people as a way to protect herself, she warms up around Jihoon enough for a friendship to blossom. And they’re friendship is really cute!
I loved Jihoon’s character a lot. Reading from his POVs made me so happy, except when he’s going through some not so fun stuff, because he has such a positively infectious attitude! Every time he’s positive, or nice, or optimistic, I found myself emulating that. It was so refreshing – especially compared to Miyoung’s cold, calculating demeanor. Usually we see the guys as reserved and cold and the girls are peppy and sweet, but this flip was great! It was way more realistic and showed that girls don’t have to be peppy or sweepingly optimistic to be good people.
I think my favorite thing about this book, besides the legends its based off of, are the characters. I found myself connecting with them easily and getting a good feel of their personalities and emotions. It was refreshing. Not to say that the plot isn’t great, because it is! This book was so well thought out I couldn’t stop myself from reading what happens next. In fact, most of the book I read in one sitting because I had to know what was going to happen next.
I’m so glad I have Vicious Spirits already!
This book is really, really good and I think fantasy lovers will adore this book! Especially people who enjoyed The Mortal Instruments. You have the fantasy world mixed with the real world and all the mess that comes with it!
I love it so much, it’s a // 5 stars for me!
If this book sounds interesting, check out A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow.
If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!
I received an electronic galley of The Companion by Katie Alender from Penguin Teen in exchange for an honest review. This review will be spoiler free.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
The other orphans say Margot is lucky.
Lucky to survive the horrible accident that killed her family.
Lucky to have her own room because she wakes up screaming every night.
And finally, lucky to be chosen by a prestigious family to live at their remote country estate.
But it wasn’t luck that made the Suttons rescue Margot from her bleak existence at the group home. Margot was handpicked to be a companion to their silent, mysterious daughter, Agatha. At first, helping with Agatha–and getting to know her handsome older brother–seems much better than the group home. But soon, the isolated, gothic house begins playing tricks on Margot’s mind, making her question everything she believes about the Suttons . . . and herself.
Margot’s bad dreams may have stopped when she came to live with Agatha – but the real nightmare has just begun.
I’ve been on a thriller/horror kick recently, so when I received this book from Penguin Teen, I was jumping for joy! I really enjoyed this story and how it builds up on itself. We go from a somewhat calm beginning to terror filled mayhem and it was pretty epic!
For starters, poor Margot is suffering from nightmares after she is the sole survivor in a car crash that killed her entire family. After losing all her friends and no family to take her in, Margot ends up at a group home. Luckily, her father saved the life of Mr. Sutton, who wants to repay his debt by taking Margot in.
But Margot is not brought in selflessly – they want her to be a companion for Agatha, who has come down with a mysterious illness. Unable to talk, barely take care of herself, and generally absent from reality, Agatha isn’t much of a bother. Weird things start happening in the house and Margot realizes that things aren’t what they seem.
There were some moments in this book where I thought this was going to be a ghost story. If you’re not into that, don’t worry, it’s not! But from the creepiness level of this book it was a strong possibility. Margot experiences some scary and weird things in the house and those experiences alone would have made me run screaming for the hills. I don’t know why she didn’t run on the first day!
This book was not only very well written, but the story, the cast of characters, and Margot’s experiences made this book one of my favorite thrillers. I had suspicions on what exactly was happening, but the ending still blew my mind! I really liked the set up of Agatha and Margot’s friendship. Even though Agatha is not coherent, they still manage to communicate and cultivate a trusting friendship. It was really cool to watch this progression, especially later on in the book as Margot starts to figure out that something isn’t quite right.
One thing I didn’t like about the story though was the ending. Specifically, the fact that it ends so shortly. We get some kind of resolution, but not enough details that I felt satisfied. The book leads up to the climatic moment and the resolution afterwards fell flat for me. I either wanted a better recap of what happened or another scene before the end that explains what is going on. The ending is just too short and quick in my opinion. It’s why I can’t give this book 5 stars.
While the ending may have not been to my liking, the rest of the book is so well thought out and planned, I’m still reeling over what happened. The last 25% of the book was so fast paced and intense I didn’t want to look away to take a sip of water. With a different ending, this book probably be a 5 stars for me, but with what we have, this is a .5 // 5 stars. The Companion releases on August 25th, 2020, so be sure to preorder your copy today!
Thank you again to Penguin Teen for sending me a copy for review!
If this sounds interesting, check out They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman
If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!
I really couldn’t figure out what to post for today, so I’m just going to do some ranting and give my unpopular book opinions! These opinions are solely my own and are not meant to hurt, insult, or offend anyone.
Okay – let’s go!
I’m gonna start off with something easy . . .
I hate the Hunger Games
I have probably said this, like, a thousand times, but I really don’t like The Hunger Games. I tried to read it when I was younger and was absolutely bored to tears after almost 100 pages. Then I tried AGAIN a few years later at the request of one of my friends, and still couldn’t get past 100 pages. It was just boring and I didn’t like it. I know this is a huge favorite in YA, but I actually hate it. And no, I’ve never watched the movies either.
ARCs are over-valued
I am pretty active in the book community which means I do a lot of buying, selling, and trading and let me tell you, some people really over-value their ARCs. If you don’t know what an ARC is it stands for Advance Readers Copy, which is basically a bound manuscript sent to reviewers, book sellers, and librarians for early review. This helps boost sales before and after the book is published and generally helps the publisher.
But there is a whole thing, especially in YA and adult Fantasy/Science Fiction, where certain popular authors or certain books will be WAY over valued. People will only trade these books for other “unicorns”/rare books or really expensive items. Technically, trading is supposed to be a way for people to get receive ARCs for review from other people, but people turn it into a collecting nightmare.
Trading ARCs for finished copies/other purchased items is the same as selling them
On the topic of ARCs, here’s another opinion! ARCs are free books given for review and they are not meant to be sold. This brings into the ethical question of – if it can’t be sold, does trading it for an item that was purchased count as “buying” the ARC. AKA, if someone buys a book I want in exchange for me sending the ARC, does that mean they bought the ARC? In my opinion, yes.
Some people will ask for REALLY EXPENSIVE stuff for an ARC. I saw someone trading an ACOTAR by Sarah J Maas ARC asking for a copy of a book valued over $250. How is this any different from just selling it?
You can hate/disapprove of an author and still enjoy their work
Before anyone comes for me, hear me out.
In the example of J.K. Rowling, some people may not have realized before how awful she is as a person. Once they found out, they feel pressured to denounce her and her work entirely which puts people in a dilemma. Do they continue to enjoy something that they have for years and risk being cancelled or shunned or do they denounce the work they have found a connection with and love, ultimately giving up a part of themselves?
I hate the idea that some people have to feel like they can’t love things because the author is awful. I agree that once it is known they’re awful, we shouldn’t continue to support them (ie. purchasing items, buying their books, movies, etc) but we can continue to enjoy the things we did before. If you love Harry Potter and reread the books or rewatch the movies you own every year, feel free to continue to do so. But don’t think I condone a continued support. Nor do I believe in overlooking a problematic author simply to enjoy their work. I.E. – If you are looking for a new book and found one you’re interested in, but the author is a known racist, don’t buy their book!
E-Readers and Audiobooks are BOOKS.
Why is this one even a debate? Books are books are books. If you listen to a book, you’re reading. If you’re using an e-reader, you’re reading. If you listen and read the book at the same time, you’re READING.
It’s so silly how people get pressed over HOW people are reading. I have friends who are blind or have very bad vision that require e-readers to enlarge texts because large print books are expensive. Or they listen to audiobooks. I also have friends who just simply enjoy listening to audiobooks or prefer e-readers over physical books. That doesn’t make them any less of a reader. And it doesn’t make people a “better” reader simply because they only read hardcover books!
I may have to make a part two to this post another time, because I don’t want to rant forever. But you get the point!
What are some of your unpopular opinions? Do you agree or disagree with anything I said?
Today I am going to be reviewing Steel Tide by Natalie C. Parker, the second book in the Seafire trilogy. I received an ARC of this book back in June 2019 from the ALA (American Library Association) Convention and just never got around to reading it. Finally, after getting an eARC of Stormbreak, I knew I had to make time to read this book immediately!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
The second book in a heart-stopping trilogy that follows the captain of an all-female ship intent on taking down a vicious warlord’s powerful fleet.
Caledonia may have lost her crew, but she’s not done fighting yet. After nearly dying at the hand of a powerful foe, Caledonia is pulled from the sea and nursed back to health by a crew of former Bullets that call themselves Blades. The Blades escaped Aric Athair’s clutches and now live a nomadic existence, ready to disappear at a moment’s notice should trouble come their way.
But Caledonia wants to do more than just hide. She wants to find the Mors Navis and her beloved sisters. She wants to continue fighting Aric’s fleet and to take back the Bullet seas. She’ll need to do everything in her power to convince the Blades that fighting is their only option, that there has to be a life better than the one under Aric Athair’s reign, and that finding the women of the Mors Navis is the first step to revolution.
It’s been awhile since I last read Seafire, probably two or so years now, so jumping into this book took me a minute to get reacquainted. But once I got myself situated and familiar with what happened, it was like I never left! This book picks up where Seafire left off as Caledonia is resting and recovering from her near deadly fight with Lir. She is nursed back to health by a group of Blades, ex-Bullets who have escaped Aric’s clutches.
Maybe this was just because I had to figure out what the heck was going on, but the beginning felt a bit slow to me. After Caledonia starts to recover, she’s living life with the Blades and I was just waiting for something to happen. I remembered the first book being filled with action and adventure and I was patiently waiting for it to start back up again.
Okay, so once the action started it was actually nuts! There was so much fighting, sneaking, danger, and sailing my brain didn’t know what to do. And as we make our way to the end of the book – dread filled me. I knew what was coming.
But I guess I didn’t, cause I was totally wrong and the ending was way better than I could have guessed! I would crack open Stormbreak right now if I didn’t have other books to read right now.
I really enjoyed the storyline and the challenges that Caledonia has to face. While revenge is always on her mind, she shifts her focus to helping the people around her too. I also appreciate the new cast of characters we get acquainted with – Pine being my favorite.
There was a certain thing that I wasn’t a fan of, but it was kind of minor in the scope of things. Overall, I really like this book, and the series in general, and can’t wait to read the final book in the series! This is a // 5 stars for me.
If this book sounds interesting, check out A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow!
If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!
I have a very optimistic TBR for August. Three of these books I need to read in order to read the sequels, which either come out in September. The other eight books are books that come out in August/September that I need to read. And these aren’t even all of the September releases. I left three end of September releases for later and I’ll just have to read and get through at the beginning of next month.
I don’t know if I’ve had a TBR of more than nine books before, so this should be interesting. The last three can always be read beginning of September if it comes down to that, but I want to try and get these read as soon as possible.
I ended up with a longer TBR for August due to one thing – the Penguin Teen Influencer program. I signed up and got in (yay!) but when I requested the books I wanted, I didn’t think I would get ALL of them. I requested three books for each month, August, September, and October. And in one afternoon received six of those nine books in my inbox. It was awesome yet terrifying.
See, I’m used to requesting more than normal because I’m usually declined for like 80-90% of them, so I didn’t expect to have six additional books fall into my lap. Plus I received Legendborn from the publisher and won Traitor in a giveaway. Ha ha, I’m freaking out.
What’s your August TBR looking like?
If you liked this post, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!
I am so happy I read this book when I did. I was reading some not so great books recently and now my luck has turned around, this one included! I’ve heard such great things about this story and it did not disappoint for me.
Today, I will be reviewing The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:
1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.
No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.
But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?
Wow okay where to start with this one? I guess let’s start with characters.
I loved Alessandra as a character. She’s tough, but not cruel. She owns her body and her sexuality, but doesn’t shame other girls for having different opinions (ie. while she may be sexually active, she does not shame other girls for waiting until marriage). She’s pretty funny and she gets stuff done! She’s pretty impressive. Then Kallias. Ugh – King Kallias is too much for me sometimes. Not because he’s ignoring Alessandra or being rude – which he definitely is – but because he’s so tortured and he just needs a hug. But, you can’t touch him, so air hug? Then we have Alessandra’s friends who are all so funny. It’s a perfect set up.
So plot wise, I couldn’t find any faults that I thought needed to be changed or were bad. In fact, I really like how the plot went and the ending is spectacular. I gasped, I was happy, I was sad, shocked, disturbed, and in the end, satisfied. This story had so many ups and downs between Alessandra and Kallias and even between other characters! So much is going on.
I was cheering on Alessandra the whole time, even when her goals changed because she’s a fun character. I liked seeing how cunning and smart she was and the fact that Kallias appreciated that! They’re one of my favorite couples now.
SPOILER ALERT!!! I will be discussing spoilers below. I will mark once the spoiler talk has ended!
Okay so first off I have a question, because I realize this may not have been answered in the book. During Kallias’ assassination attempt at the ball, the little girl tells Alessandra that it was the man who made a toast and the woman in black who told her to come. And that the woman in black was now wearing green tonight. Lady Zervas matched the description but she claims it wasn’t her – do we know who this woman was? Is it confirmed or denied that it was Lady Zervas? And if it wasn’t – who was it?
I don’t know if we ever got that answer and I’m kinda of sad. I wanna know who it was. I was hoping that it was one of Alessandra’s friends, like Hestia or Rhoda who were actually in on the whole thing. But that didn’t end up happening.
I think that’s my only complaint plot wise – we never confirm or deny who this woman is and why she’s important.
One other thing I do want to mention too was I wasn’t a fan of how Kallias reacted to Alessandra’s murder charge. He doesn’t worry that she will try to murder him? He pardons her immediately? I just don’t understand his reasoning besides wanting to keep the engagement and letting it slide?
I was kind of hoping for some dramatic thing where he gets upset and locks her up or throws her out. Or even her Father and her sister get her and take her home. But that didn’t happen and I wish it did. I feel like that would have been pretty intense too.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I love the characters, the story, and certain scenes just made me fall in love with Kallias. I also really wanted to give him a hug, poor thing. All in all, this is a great fantasy standalone that I’ll probably be recommending for a while, so I think it’s obvious this is a // 5 stars for me!
If this book sounds interesting, check out Tricia’s other series, Daughter of the Pirate King!
HOLY COW WHY HAS NO ONE SHOVED THIS BOOK IN MY HANDS BEFORE NOW!?
I won an ARC of Empire of Gold, which is book three of the Daevabad trilogy so obviously I have to read the other books. I have been wanting to read City of Brass for so long and just never got around to it and DANGIT I hate myself for waiting so long!!
So here is my review of The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.
But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.
In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.
After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…
First off, I love historical fiction fantasies. I love seeing how fantasy can fit into our past and shape the way we see history. We set our story in Cairo in the 1700’s and off the bat I was ready to go. I knew this was going to be insane and I was right!
The plot was so good. Like I’m speechless with how good the plot is and again, no one said anything? No one bothered to hit me on the head with the book and say, “read it!”?! I’m a bit disappointed. We have magic upon magic, a city filled with Daeva’s and djinn, a poor girl mixed in the middle of a mess she knows nothing about. And don’t forget the protective warrior with her.
The characters were perfection. Nahri is the kind of girl who can take care of herself until she’s thrown into this new world and has to rely on her warrior hero Dara to take care of her. Ali is like a german shepherd: tough, follows the rules, and yet is still a big softy underneath. And Dara? Well, he’s a psycho warrior, kind of like a pitbull, where he’s sweet unless you mess with him. Then he’ll mess you up. And there’s so many other fantastic characters in this story with completely different personalities. It’s great.
I found myself getting heavily invested into this story. The world building was intricate but not overwhelming and the writing made the magic come to life. By the time I finished this book I wanted to start Kingdom of Copper immediately, but I can’t and it’s killing me.
City of Brass has become one of those fantasies that I can’t stop thinking about and at this point, I’m becoming obsessive. Soon I’m gonna be hunting down fan art and bookish items for this series and all my money is gonna fly away. We’re entering the level of Throne of Glass obsession right here, so be warned.
I’m going to dive into some spoilers, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, skip down to the end!
SPOILERS START HERE:
Okay so the ending. WHY!? First off, love the whole scene with Ali under the lake. Hearing the marid talk to him as he’s being eaten alive by this magical lake was intense and it didn’t help with the battle going on overhead. The battle on the ship was heartbreaking, especially Muntadir crying over Jamshid. And then when Ali literally rose from the dead to “kill” Dara – I WAS SCREAMING.
One thing I noticed and want to discuss is the relationship between Muntadhir and Jamshid. First off, they’re totally together and in love and I feel like Muntadhir is hiding his relationship because he knows he has to marry and have children. But then again, I’m not sure if this book discusses the Daeva’s feelings towards homosexuality and if it’s something they approve, disapprove, or are neutral on? I can’t remember. I just want everyone to be happy and if that means shipping Muntadhir and Jamshid, I’m all for it.
But as of right now, we have Muntadhir and Nahri betrothed and I’m so upset!! I don’t know what exactly happened to Dara yet and I really just want him to come back. Everything is just going to shit with them right now and it makes me so sad. I want Dara and Nahri to be able to be together even though I have a feeling that is not going to happen, at least not easily.
Plus now Ali has been banished!? What the heck!? I’m getting really invested into this world and it’s taking over all my thoughts now! I just want to know what happens next!!
SPOILERS END HERE:
Overall, I loved this story. It mixes all my favorite genres into this one epic book that I can’t stop thinking about. I’m still recovering form the ending and I’m desperate to know what’s next. This is a strong // 5 stars for me!
If this book sounds interesting to you, check out The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang!
I finally finished the last few collections and wow, I have thoughts!
*Warning, this may contain spoilers for Legend of Korra, so if you haven’t watched the show, be warned!
Smoke and Shadow synopsis from Goodreads:
The Fire Nation is threatened by a prophecy told by the Kemurikage–mysterious figures thought only to exist in legend: “remove Zuko from the throne or the country will perish!” Unrest is brewing as the New Ozai Society prepares to make its move against the crown, and children begin to go missing from their homes under mysterious circumstances! Avatar Aang and his friends are doing everything in their power to save them–but will it be enough?!
North and South synopsis from Goodreads:
When Katara and Sokka return home to the Southern Water Tribe, they are shocked to find that it has gone from a small village to a bustling city! Malina, a Northerner, is behind the change and plans to unify the two groups, but Gilak, a Southerner, leads a fierce rebellion to stop her. In the face of these two opposing tribes, Katara will have to make peace with her nostalgia and distrust to save the home she loves from being permanently torn apart.
Imbalance synopsis from Goodreads:
When Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph return to Earthen Fire Industries–the factory owned by Toph’s father–Aang is surprised when their arrival is met with a cold shoulder. As soon as the team is asked for help at a business council meeting, the reason for the slight becomes clear: a massive bender-versus-non-bender conflict has gripped the town and is threatening to turn violent. In order to heal the divide and save the town, Aang and the team will all face tough decisions about power and identity that could tear them apart.
Okay so – gold. This whole series is just pure gold. I feel like this review is going to be very short and very repetitive because I only have nice things to say about the show and the comics honestly! But I’ll do my best to get some kind of review out of this.
Book 4, Smoke and Shadow, Aang is in the fire nation as Sokka and Katara move on to the Southern Water Nation to visit their family. I’ll start off by saying I loved the way the Kemurikage are drawn in this book. It really amplifies the spookiness of what is going on as they are kidnapping children and taking them hostage. We get more time with Zuko and other friends like Mai, Ty Lee, and others. Without spoiling, we also get to see another character that’s been missing for a bit. While not ideal it is nice to see the gang back together, even if said gang is fighting.
Book 5, North and South, I think is on the same timeline as Smoke and Shadow, just showing what Katara and Sokka have been up to. If you haven’t watched Korra, I would definitely be warned cause there’s some spoilers coming. I loved how this book sets up the conflict between the Northern and Southern Water Tribes.
As we see in Korra, the water tribe is now a large city instead of the small town that Katara and Sokka left. And it kind of foreshadows the sibling rivalry we experience in Legend of Korra book 2 which I thought was smart. Overall, I really enjoyed getting to see the water tribe and Hakoda again!
Book 6, Imbalance, is the final book in the comic series for Team Avatar and I loved so many aspects of this book. Warning, another Korra spoiler!
I loved how the set up the situation of a town with benders and nonbenders, and the benders are from different nations which would ultimately lead to Republic City. Plus getting to see the little island Aang creates as Air Temple Island where I assume he and Katara raised their children. It was just heart warming and made me a little sad even. I also thought it was interesting that they had the bender vs. nonbender conflict. We see how years of “superiority” have lead to benders feeling like they are better than others and creates this overall conflict. I’m sure this scenario relates to many other issues going on in our world today even and I appreciate how this is discussed.
Overall, I thought this was a great end to the comics. I legit cried at the end of it because I know what comes later for Team Avatar and how their lives ultimately turn out. It was bittersweet getting a continuation on this series and I’m addicted! Now I just need to read the Korra comics and the Kyoshi books!
Obviously these books are // 5 stars for me. Team Avatar for life!
If you liked this post, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!
This was another book that I was supposed to review for Fantastic Flying Book Club as a part of their blog tour before I ended contact with them. Obviously, I’m going to post my review of this book, just not in relation to FFBC.
Today I will be reviewing Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy. I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by HMH.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
A YA historical fantasy set in nineteenth-century Denmark, where secrets can kill and magic is a deadly gift.
For Marit Olsen, magic is all about strategy: it flows freely through her blood, but every use leaves behind a deadly, ice-like build-up within her veins called the Firn. Marit knows how dangerous it is to let too much Firn build up—after all, it killed her sister—and she has vowed never to use her thread magic. But when Eve, a fellow orphan whom Marit views like a little sister, is adopted by the wealthy Helene Vestergaard, Marit will do anything to stay by Eve’s side. She decides to risk the Firn and uses magic to secure a job as a seamstress in the Vestergaard household.
But Marit has a second, hidden agenda: her father died while working in the Vestergaards’ jewel mines—and it might not have been an accident. The closer Marit gets to the truth about the Vestergaard family, the more she realizes she and everyone she’s come to love are in danger. When she finds herself in the middle of a treacherous deception that goes all the way up to the king of Denmark, magic may be the only thing that can save her—if it doesn’t kill her first.
From the start, this book had my full attention. There wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t enthralled with what was going on. We have a historical fantasy, set in Denmark, and a mystery all packed into one? I was smitten.
I loved the alternating POV’s in this book. We get to see the story through Marit and Philip’s eyes with Philip going between the past and the present. I thought it added extra mystery to the story instead of just seeing the world through Marit’s eyes. I kind of wish we got to see the world through Eve’s eyes as well, but I have a feeling it wouldn’t add that much to the story.
Plot wise I loved this book. We are shot forward from the very beginning as we follow Eve and Marit from the orphanage to the Vestergaard home and meet all the new people in their lives. As Marit tries to uncover what happened to her father, please Mrs. Vestergaard, and prevent the Firn from killing her, this story gets intense. The last 25% I was absorbed as we find out what exactly is going on.
Another aspect I love about this story was Marit and Eve’s relationship. Sister’s by choice stories just make me so happy and the love these two girls have for each other is endearing. It melted my heart every time they interacted with each other, especially with how Marit treats Eve. As the oldest of three girls, I know the feelings Marit has towards Eve, even if she doesn’t go through moments of rage like any normal sisters might. The love and protectiveness she has towards Eve hits home, even if they are much kinder to each other than me and my sisters are.
There wasn’t much I disliked about the story except I wish we got more background on some of the other people in the house. Liljan and Jakob become friends with Marit quickly, but we don’t really get to learn about them as much as Marit or Eve. I wanted a bit more time to get to know some of these other characters before we’re thrown into action.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I adored this story. I was so sad to finish because I didn’t want it to end. I have to give this a .5 // 5 stars.
If this story sounds interesting, check out Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers.
I had some serious nostalgia hit me today as I was looking through old books I had read back in middle school. It’s been so long since I had read some of these, so I wanted to create a tag that would make everyone feel nostalgic. So – here is the Nostalgia Book Tag!
– Thank the person who tagged you
– Answer all the questions down below
– Pingback to the creator (me): Sammy @ We Write at Dawn
– Nominate 3+ bloggers you’d like to do this tag!
The first book you’ve ever read
I had to read a lot in elementary school for school, so technically this isn’t the first book I’ve ever read, but it’s the first one I picked out to read outside of school. The first series I ever read on my own was The Percy Jackson series. My fifth grade teacher read The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan to us and I was hooked. I read the first book on my own that summer and read every book that came after it and I was hooked. I’ve had a book in my hand ever since.
Your favorite book from middle school
I read a lot in middle school, so there was a lot of books I deemed my favorite. The three series I remember adoring in middle school was The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, and Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I could not get enough of those books and would reread them all the time.
A book you read that no one has seem to read before
There’s several books that I’ve read that none of my friends, or anyone I talk to, know about so I’ll list them:
Shadowland by Meg Cabot
Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan
Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer
These are the few I could think of off the top of my head, but I loved these series in middle school and I really want to reread them now!
Worst book you’ve read
Worst book I’ve read, that wasn’t for school, would probably have to be the first book I ever DNFed (did not finished), which was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I read 5 chapters in middle school and hated it. Tried reading it again in high school and just couldn’t do it. It was just so bad I couldn’t get through it.
An author you loved when you were younger
I loved so many authors but I’d have to say that I loved Meg Cabot a lot when I was younger. I could pick up any of her books and instantly fall in love, no matter the genre.
An author you hated when you were younger
I don’t know that I necessarily hated anyone, but I definitely was very mad at Stephanie Meyer and Cassandra Clare as I read their books!
A book you swore you would never read – and then finally did.
I was hesitant to read Harry Potter when I was younger. Back in elementary school a lot of my friends had read them and loved them, but I wasn’t a stronger reader then and the books were very big. I didn’t want to embarrass myself trying to read them, so I said I never would. I refused to read them for a while, and then in 7th grade, I cracked. Finally read them and got on the HP bandwagon until JK went full bigot and I quickly hoped off.
A book you’re embarrassed to admit you read and loved
Twilight. Need I say more?
Favorite book memory when you were younger
Every year my family would go to Florida for Thanksgiving to see my grandmother and we would go to the local bookstore and get new books for me to read. I would spend the whole vacation reading by the pool, at my grandma’s house, in the hotel – anywhere and everywhere. In the week we would be there I could get through a book a day with how much I read. I kind of miss it.
A book from your childhood you’ll cherish forever
The Lightening Thief kickstarted my love for reading and The Mortal Instruments helped propel it forward. Those two books will forever be books that I can go back to and love again and again.
This is a fun announcement I get to make and I’m so excited to be able to share this! As you may, or may not know, Auburn @ What She Will Read, has created a new website for book lovers called The Book Terminal. If you haven’t check it out, you totally should! You can link your blog and other media, join a database to find other bloggers, be featured on the website, trade/buy books, and now – you can participate in blog tours!
Auburn created a section called Book Terminal Tours and a blog tour company! And I’m one of the co-owners/co-hosts for it!
Yes, you heard that right. Auburn and I created a blog tour company! And we just brought on Shreya @ The Baroness of Books to help run it! We are so excited to be working together on this and can’t wait to hopefully work with you all in the future!
If you are a blogger who is interested in participating in any of our tours, please sign up for our newsletter here to get first access! You will be the first to know and sign up for any tours so be sure to sign up soon!
For authors, publishers, publicists we are accepting requests and have different types of tours we can host for you. I will link the page with different tours that we offer here. And if you would like to request a tour, you can do so here. Our tours are currently completely free so you will only have to provide the physical or electronic books and any other promotional material you need.
We are currently running a tour for Jaybird by M.A. Foster and sign ups close TOMORROW! I will include the description of the book below. If you would like to participate in this tour, be sure to sign up here!
Jaybird was just a nickname my father gave me when I was born.
But after he died, the name took on a life of it’s own.
Jayla King has the world at her fingertips.
A loving family.
Two amazing best friends.
A promising music career.
And the heart of the only boy she’s ever loved. Zach.
But then everything changes.
When news hits the streets that famous rock star and celebrity judge, Marcus King, has suddenly died,
the spotlight shifts to his daughter.
*Not recommended for readers under the age of 18 due to language, sexual situations, and mild violence.
Jaybird is a standalone in a series
This book was given to me for review by the publisher and Fantastic Flying Book Club. After hearing all the awful things that FFBC was doing, I formally left the tour. I was supposed to post my review for their blog tour, but instead, I will simply be posting my review for the author and the publisher.
Today, I am reviewing A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens, a debut YA paranormal novel about two teenage witches who unwillingly band together to fix the magical mess they’ve made. This title releases on July 28th, so be sure to preorder a copy today!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina meets The Craft when modern witches must save teens stolen by an ancient demon in this YA fantasy-thriller debut.
Dan and Liss are witches. The Black Book granted them that power. Harnessing that power feels good, especially when everything in their lives makes them feel powerless.
During a spell gone wrong, Liss’s boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss’s friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured?
Months later, Liss discovers that her boyfriend is alive, trapped underground in the grips of an ancient force. She must save him, and she needs Dan and the power of The Black Book to do so. Dan is quickly sucked back into Liss’s orbit and pushes away her best friend, Alexa. But Alexa has some big secrets she’s hiding and her own unique magical disaster to deal with.
When another teenager disappears, the girls know it’s no coincidence. What greedy magic have they awakened? And what does it want with these teens it has stolen?
Set in the atmospheric wilds of California’s northern coast, Sasha Laurens’s thrilling debut novel is about the complications of friendship, how to take back power, and how to embrace the darkness that lives within us all.
I really enjoyed this book. It was magical and fun with some very interesting characters. The beginning pulled me in quickly, but I found that the middle was pretty slow. I felt like the beginning and end were well thought and executed, but the middle was lagging in terms of action. It began to feel repetitive as the same issues rose up for Dan and Liss that they had to work through.
Alexa’s story on the other hand got my attention. I wanted to read more about her and what was going on with Lorelai’s investigation. The whole first half of the book was focused on Dan and Liss’ situation with occasional sections on Alexa – but in the second half we get to see her a lot more and that’s when things get interesting.
Focusing on the plot, this book was so good. The actual events that go on and what these girls have to face was insane and super creepy. I wish I had read this book for Halloween with the amount of creepy, eerie things that happen. I also was a bit upset about who Alexa ended up with, because I was kind of rooting for someone else. On the other hand, she ends up with a really sweet girl and seems really happy.
For the characters, we see a lot of growth between the three, especially for Liss in my opinion. Honestly, I didn’t like Liss’ character at all in the beginning, but after finding out more about her home situation and her motivation for things, I just feel sorry for her. The changes she goes through made her into a much healthier person and I loved seeing her growth. Dan also goes through a much needed change and comes out a healthier, hopefully happier, person.
One thing that I think the author was trying to make cannon was Dan’s sexuality. We know Liss is straight (or at least very interested in her boyfriend Johnny) and Alexa is gay, but we never learn about Dan. Not that it’s important, but I can’t help but wonder where the author was going for her. See, in the book, Dan comes across as ace (asexual) or somewhere along the ace spectrum. But it’s never confirmed, denied, or really discussed. Part of me wants an answer, but it doesn’t really affect the story much whether or not she is. I’m just curious, I guess.
Overall, this book was written beautifully and it dives into things like self harm, depression, abusive home life, and other important conversations like that. These issues are discussed and handled carefully and I appreciate the work the author put in to represent these topics well. Though the middle was really slow for my taste, I think this book was still awesome. I loved learning about how magic worked in this world and pairing it with real teenage problems.
I think a lot of people will not only enjoy this book, but learn that things aren’t always what they seem. So, I’m giving this a // 5 stars!
These are books from September to December 2020 that I not only can’t wait to read, but will probably have 50 copies of each! This isn’t EVERY book I’m excited for, and this list will probably be update 50 times before the end of this year, but this is the majority! I can’t wait to read all of these!!
What are your some of your most anticipated reads for the fall?
If you liked this post, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!
I received an exclusive advance copy of Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco from Fairyloot and I loved it! My review is not in affiliation with Fairyloot and I paid for the box the book came in.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
When a hidden prince, a girl with secrets, a ragtag group of unlikely heroes, and a legendary firebird come together…something wicked is going down.
Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left encased in ice when the Snow Queen waged war. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.
Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them.
A new hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala must unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.
I was worried, going into this book, that I wasn’t going to like it because a friend of mine didn’t like it and DNFed it really early. But once I started reading it I was immediately sucked in! There is a lot of American history and politics at the start (because this world is set in an alternate universe from ours), but it quickly moves along quickly.
The plot is immaculate. I mean such good plotting and storytelling goes on in this book. Even with all the crazy politics that have to be followed, and there are some crazy politics in this world, it’s so captivating. Especially once we meet the Snow Queen’s minions.
With a diverse cast of characters we’re off to save the world and the kingdom of Avalon from the evil Snow Queen. One thing I really like about this world is that it’s not only a magical version of ours, but incorporates actual fairytales into the history. Snow White, Sleeping Beaty, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Robin Hood, King Arthur, any and all fairytales you can think of are real people in this world, just not all at the same time.
Our rag tag team is so much fun too and each personality adds another layer to our group’s overall personality, and makes the team that much more interesting. I love a lot of the jokes between these new friends and I kinda miss them. Each has their own weapon and their own skill to help Prince Alex, or just Alex, as well as their own distinct trait/thing that they add and feed off of each other.
Because this is a political fantasy, if you don’t want to read about American politics then I would avoid this title. But, I would recommend looking past the few pages of political history for this epic fantasy if it really bothers you. I personally loved the history and the discussion of America’s current political climate and thought it helped me connect with the story and the characters better.
Overall, this book is really good! I can’t wait to read the next one, especially after that ending! This was a solid .5 // 5 stars!
If this book sounds interesting, check out An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir or Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton.
I feel myself slowing down this month. I can’t seem to finish books as quickly as I usually would and I’m stressed. Especially since I have to read two books by next week for a blog tour. After that though, I can read what I want – so hopefully once the stress is gone I can read what I feel like and get back into the swing of things . . . hopefully.
Books I read:
Reviews for these should be up or coming up soon, but I liked all of them so far! Especially Crave by Tracy Wolff and Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco. I’m on such a fantasy kick right now I can’t seem to branch off!
Books I’m reading:
I’m about 25% into A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens and just starting The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty and Spinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy. I’m doing a tour for Splinters of Scarlet and was supposed to do a tour for A Wicked Magic, but that fell through. Nonetheless, I’m obviously still going to review A Wicked Magic on the day I said I would, which will be Monday! I hope to finish these two soon, so fingers crossed I can get my two review books done in time!
Books I want to read:
Some of these are a mix of review books, like Ignite the Sun by Hanna C. Howard, Hush by Dylan Farrow, and To Sleep In A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini – while the others are just for fun! I’m trying to mix it up during the month so I get a good balance of requested/required reads and for fun reads each month. Not to say that I don’t want to read my review books (I wouldn’t have asked for them if I didn’t), I just like to add some other books that are more flexible. So if I end up not in the mood or mindset to read them, I can push them aside guilt free!
What are some books you’ve read this month? Any you’re excited to read?
Warmaidens by Kelly Coon is the sequel to Gravemaidens and releases on October 20th, 2020. If you have not read Gravemaidens yet, feel free to check out my spoiler free review here. This review will be spoiler free, but I cannot guarantee it will not spoil content from Gravemaidens.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Warmaidens is the dark, action-packed conclusion to the heartwrenching Gravemaidens fantasy duology. Kammani and the maidens are now going to war against the ruler who tried to entomb them.
Just a few moons after escaping the tomb in Alu, Kammani and the other runaway maidens have found refuge in the city-state of Manzazu. There, Kammani has become a respected healer, especially among the warriors she’s brought back from the brink of death. Now that the nightmares of Alu are fading, she can finally decide whether or not to take Dagan’s hand in marriage.
But when an assassin murders a healer he believes is Kammani and attempts to kill the displaced queen of Alu, the maidens realize they’ve been found.
Hungry for revenge, Manzazu’s queen wants to strike back at Alu with her fiercest weapons—her scorpion warrior maidens—but Kammani knows that war harms more than it heals. To save the innocents and any chance of a future with Dagan, Kammani must take down Alu’s ruler before their lives burn up in the flames of war.
After reading Gravemaidens, I wasn’t sure how there was going to be a sequel. After reading it, I now realize there was a lot more that needed to get done after the maidens fled the tomb.
I really enjoyed Gravemaidens and was excited to hop back into this story. Warmaidens takes place nine months after they escaped the tomb and fled Alu to Manzazu. In those nine months we see the changes these characters have gone through, especially in Kammani’s sister, Nanea. Nanea went from a wishful thinking child to a more mature women very quickly. Escaping death might do that to you.
I found myself not liking Kammani in this book in comparison to Gravemaidens. I’m not sure what about her rubbed me the wrong way, but I was really frustrated reading through some of her thought processes. It was always brought back to being a healer and wanting to not do any harm. I felt like that was her only personality trait and it was so repetitive. Any time something happened that she was involved in, it was always brought back to this thought point. I wanted more out of her personality than that and I thought we lost some of her from Gravemaidens.
I can say though that I appreciate her growth through this book a lot. Her ability to change her viewpoint allows her to continue to develop her relationship with Dagan and Nanea in a more loving and fulfilling way. It was so sweet.
Another thing I didn’t really care much for are the fighting scenes. Again, not sure what about them rubbed me the wrong way, but I wasn’t a fan. Except for the final fight scene – that was intense! I also didn’t like the pacing. It was a quick book, but it felt like it dragged at some points. It ended up being the same sequence of events. Plan, attack, fail, retreat – over and over again and it got repetitive. Maybe that was the point as Kammani is stuck in this loop and tries to find her way out and save herself and her friends? But it was rough reading.
Plus, with all the jumbledness of their failed attacks and other people’s interference, the book felt jumbled as well. I liked the character growth, I liked the ending, and I liked certain scenes, but the book has some issues.
Warning: there are remarks of rape and an attempted rape. There is also a comment of someone being “broken” after losing an arm. This definitely was hard to read through and didn’t feel right, so I did want to make note of that. Other possibly concerning things discussed are child brides and the common mention of the lack of rights for women. I understand why this was included in the book and it is discussed, but this might be upsetting so I wanted to include it.
Overall, it was an interesting book. I wanted to reach inside the story and nicely smack some of the characters but unfortunately, I can’t. But, it was a quick read that nicely wrapped up the series for me, even if there was a lot going on. So I think I’m gonna give this a .5 // 5 stars.
If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae
This review is going to be for the Avatar: The Last Airbender comic book collections. I thought about writing reviews for each, but honestly – that’s too much, even for me. So here is my overall review of the first three comics!
These comics take place immediately after the end of the show, Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The comics, in order, are:
- Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise
- Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search
- Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Rift
- Avatar: The Last Airbender – Smoke and Shadow
- Avatar: The Last Airbender – North and South
- Avatar: The Last Airbender – Imbalance
Today I will be reviewing Avatar: The Promise, The Search, and The Rift!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads for The Promise:
The Avatar’s adventures continue right where the TV series left off, in this beautiful, oversized hardcover of The Promise, from Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko! Aang and friends must join together once again as the four nations’ tenuous peace is threatened in an impasse between Fire Lord Zuko and Earth King Kuei! As the world heads toward another devastating war, Aang’s friendship with Zuko throws him into the middle of the conflict! Featuring annotations by Eisner Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and artist Gurihiru (Thor and the Warriors Four), and a brand-new sketchbook, this is a story that Avatar fans need in an edition they will love!
And the synopsis from Goodreads for The Search:
The biggest mystery of Avatar, the fate of Fire Lord Zuko’s mother, is revealed in this remarkable oversized hardcover collecting parts 1–3 of The Search, from Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko!
Featuring annotations by Eisner Award–winning writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and artistic team Gurihiru (Thor and the Warriors Four), and a brand-new sketchbook, this is a story that Avatar fans need in an edition they will love!
And finally, the synopsis from Goodreads for The Rift:
Avatar Aang and friends honor an Air Nomad holiday that hasn’t been celebrated in over one hundred years, but when cryptic visits from the spirit of Avatar Yangchen lead Aang to a refinery operating on land sacred to the Airbenders–they soon find themselves in peril as a dangerously powerful ancient spirit awakens with vengeance and destruction on its mind!
This collection of The Rift Parts 1-3 features annotations by Eisner Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and artists Gurihiru (Thor and the Warriors Four), with a brand-new sketchbook section!
After my rewatch of Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix, I had to read the comics. I had been wanting to read them for years and it made sense to read them now that the show was fresh in my mind. Since these comics pick up right where the show left off, it really was like another season, just printed instead of animated.
Since I had watched Korra several years ago, I knew that Aang and Katara end up together, but seeing their fresh relationship in the comics is really cute! And Toph and Sokka’s reactions to it make it that much cuter.
For The Promise, we get to see Zuko as the new Fire Lord and what happens to the Fire Nation after Ozai is overthrown. I really liked the story line and the overall changes that happen in this world. How separate nations can not only live together, but become integrated into their own world – kind of like how our world is now. You can have people from different nations living in different areas of the world and people aren’t restricted to loving people solely from their group.
For The Search, I was just happy to find out what happened to Zuko’s mom! We never got resolution from the show and to finally know what happened to her is so nice. Plus all the stuff that comes afterwards. I thought her story was not only really cool, but also really sad. We get a lot of backstory into Zuko’s relationship with his mom, her relationship to Ozai, and how this all affects Azula as well.
For The Rift, we get some closure for Toph. We know from Legend of Korra that Toph teaches other people how to metal bend and in this story, we see her first students at her new school. And we also find out about some history with the last airbender Avatar along with some other cool things in the spirit world! The thing I love the most was this one scene with Toph, which I will not spoil, because it just gives everyone some much needed closure and it’s really sweet!
Overall – I’m a huge Avatar nerd. I love the show, I love the comics, and I love the spin offs! After I finish the rest of these comics I am definitely reading the Korra comics and the Kyoshi comics too! I just need more Avatar in my life overall. I don’t even have to rate these because it’s very clear that these are all a // 5 stars for me!
I haven’t read many comics in my life, so I’m just gonna suggest you watch Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legen of Korra because they’re great shows. Also, read the comics!!!
I am so excited to be a part of the Mayhem blog tour through Wednesday Books! I was lucky enough to win a copy of Mayhem by Estelle Laure through the Wednesday Books giveaway, Nostalgia Hour, a couple months ago and when I saw the opportunity to jump on this blog tour, I had to take it!
Here is the synopsis through Goodreads:
A YA feminist mash up inspired by The Lost Boys and The Craft.
It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else. But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good. But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.
From the acclaimed author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back, Estelle Laure offers a riveting and complex story with magical elements about a a family of women contending with what appears to be an irreversible destiny, taking control and saying when enough is enough.
When I read the synopsis I knew I had to read this book. Feminist mash up? Inspired by The Craft? Sign me up! I was so excited to read this book, until I start reading it. This was a really intense book that I honestly didn’t expect and I have a lot of thoughts on it.
One thing I wish I knew going into this book was that the beginning (and some of the tones in general) are pretty heavy. In the final draft there will be a note from the author discussing some of the more serious topics in this novel, but I didn’t get a letter or a warning for the ARC. There is a lot of heaviness to this book, including rape, suicide, assault, murder, and drug abuse. I didn’t realize how intense this book was until I started reading, but Laure does a great job in discussing these issues and not just using them as a shock factor or background. While I would have liked to know those topics would be discussed, I think the author did a good job in discussing them.
I will include Laure’s note, which will be printed in final copies, below in the Author Information section.
The beginning was a bit “slow” in a way as we’re introduced to Mayhem and Roxy, as well as their past. We learn about why Roxy left Santa Maria and why they’re returning home after all these years. I like how Laure mixes in the past with the present to give one cohesive story. Though, I found that the plot of the book didn’t start until more than halfway through.
I wanted more of The Craft, feeling wise, and I didn’t get it. The majority of the book felt like a contemporary novel as Mayhem deals with her and her mother’s past once they return to Santa Maria. The fear of Mayhem’s step-father coming after them, relearning how to feel safe, dealing with her mother’s addiction – it’s a lot for a teen. And honestly, if that was the whole book, I would have been satisfied. The focus on Mayhem and her mother’s relationship, and working through their trauma, would have been a beautiful book.
But once the magic is added in, about 50% through, it changes the feel of the story. I liked the magic, though I didn’t understand it fully. My only complaint is that since the magic and this new storyline comes in late, I wish we had more time with it.
The main climatic event is fast and it left me unsatisfied. I wanted more to solving the mystery, more to the magic, and more in general.
Overall, I like the story and I loved watching Mayhem and Roxy reconnect. I thought the murder mystery was a cool aspect, though it wasn’t really touched on much. And the magic had so much potential, but it just felt underdeveloped unfortunately. Though I do love Laure’s writing and the Mayhem’s overall journey.
In the end, I would give this book a .5 // 5 stars.
Estelle Laure is a Vonnegut worshipper who believes in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theater Arts from New Mexico State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her children.
Like Mayhem, I experienced a period of time when my life was extremely unstable. I can still remember what it was like to be shaken so hard I thought my head would come off, to watch the room vibrate, to feel unsafe in my own home, to never know what was coming around the next corner. I wanted to run. I always wanted to run.
I ran to friends, but also movies and books, and although girls were more passively portrayed in movies like The Lost Boys back then, that feeling of teenagers prowling the night, taking out bad people, being unbeatable . . . that got me through it.
I guess that’s what I tried to do here. I wanted girls who feel powerless to be able to imagine themselves invincible. And yes, I used a rape as the seed for that fierce lineage, not without thought. For me, there is nothing worse, and I like to think great power can rise up as a result of a devastating trespass.
Please know I took none of this lightly. Writing this now, my heart is beating hard and my throat is dry. This is the first time I not only really looked at my own past, the pain of loss, the pain of the loss of trust that comes when someone puts hands on you without permission, the pain of people dying, the shock of suicide, and put all of it to paper in a way that made me feel victorious, strong, and warrior-like. It is also terrifying. I know I’m not the only one who had a scary childhood, and
I know I’m not the only one who clings to stories as salve to smooth over burnt skin. I am so sick of girls and women being hurt. This was my way of taking my own vengeance and trying to access forgiveness.
Thank you for reading and for those of you who can relate, I see you and you are not alone.
They Wish They Were Us by debut author Jessica Goodman is a YA Mystery/Thriller that releases on August 4th, 2020. Be sure to preorder this book and find out what really happened to Shaila Arnold.
This was, once again, a buddy read book that I read with my friend Grace, but this time we also read with our friend Bliss! We read about 50 pages every day, except for the ending which was about 70-80 pages.
And our group chat was going CRAZY talking about this book!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Gossip Girl meets One of Us Is Lying with a dash of The Secret History in this slick, taut murder mystery set against the backdrop of an exclusive prep school on Long Island.
In Gold Coast, Long Island, everything from the expensive downtown shops to the manicured beaches, to the pressed uniforms of Jill Newman and her friends, looks perfect. But as Jill found out three years ago, nothing is as it seems.
Freshman year Jill’s best friend, the brilliant, dazzling Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend. After that dark night on the beach, Graham confessed, the case was closed, and Jill tried to move on.
Now, it’s Jill’s senior year and she’s determined to make it her best yet. After all, she’s a senior and a Player–a member of Gold Coast Prep’s exclusive, not-so-secret secret society. Senior Players have the best parties, highest grades and the admiration of the entire school. This is going to be Jill’s year. She’s sure of it.
But when Jill starts getting texts proclaiming Graham’s innocence, her dreams of the perfect senior year start to crumble. If Graham didn’t kill Shaila, who did? Jill is vows to find out, but digging deeper could mean putting her friendships, and her future, in jeopardy.
For starters, we talked extensively about who we thought the killer was. It was a lot of back and forth, but in the end, we guessed correctly – we just didn’t guess HOW it ended. This was a rollercoaster of a book as we’re lead with Jill through all the possibilities and all the obstacles in finding out what really happened to her best friend.
Besides the mystery, we also talked a lot about Jill’s perception of Shaila and her friends in general. Mostly because they don’t seem to act like friends. Maybe it’s the Gossip Girl like situation, where everyone wants to act mature for their age and show that they don’t care, but it just came across really fake. Especially when Jill would remember moments with Shaila or interacts with Nikki. They just seem nasty with each other and overall rude at times.
It was a bit weird.
But besides this weird dynamic, I was more invested in the mystery overall. I wanted to know who did it and why – because it really didn’t seem like Graham was the killer, even during the flashbacks Jill was having.
I thought the build up to the reveal was awesome and it had me on edge, waiting to see what would happen. It was also really interesting getting to hear about this “secret society” they were initiated into called the Players – it was like a sorority and fraternity mixed together, but high school.
Overall, I liked the story and the ride in general, but the friendship dynamics were really weird. Jill’s relationship with Shaila, and even with Nikki, don’t seem genuine at times and it was at times uncomfortable. They claimed to be best friends but then pitted themselves against each other. Overall, I think this was a .5 // 5 stars for me.
If you like murder mysteries and/or Gossip Girl, you will definitely like this book. I thought it was set up well and the ending was really intense!
If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban!
This is a sad update because honestly, I haven’t written in weeks. I was on such a roll with writing and then *poof* my motivation disappeared and now I have a half finished manuscript sitting on my computer, judging me.
This will be a short update because there hasn’t been a lot going on. Honestly, I just need to finish the dang thing so I can start editing. I like editing more than drafting personally it seems (I say until I start the editing process) so if I can just cram out this book, then maybe it will actually turn into a publishable manuscript. Maybe.
So far, my manuscript is currently at 52,516 words (a 27,495 word increase) or 162 pages (up from 76 pages). I’m definitely nearing the climax of this book as we build up to the scene revealed in the prologue and I think because I’m nearing the end of this first draft, I don’t wanna write it. I would guess there’s about maybe 20,000 or so more words to finish this book and then with LOTS of editing, I can get it up to 80-90k. I don’t want my story to be too long, especially for a first draft/first book, but there’s so much that happens I can’t make it too short either.
UGHH THE STRUGGLES.
So yeah, I’m currently stuck in a cycle of “I can’t write, but I need to finish this book and it’s stressing me, but I can’t write because I’m stressed” – we love writing.
Hopefully I can get out of this rut, finish this book, and start editing! I want to have this manuscript finished and polished by the end of summer so I can start querying. We’ll see if that actually ever happens.
Wish me luck!
Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is the second book in the Aurora Cycle series. If you have not read the first book, Aurora Rising, feel free to check out my spoiler free review here! While this post will be spoiler free, I cannot guarantee that it will not spoil the first book, so if you have not read it yet, thanks for checking out this post and hopefully I’ll see you again once you’ve finished Aurora Rising!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.
First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.
Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.
And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.
Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.
When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.
Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.
So I had seen some … adverse reactions to this book. And I’ll be honest, I was nervous. After finishing Aurora Rising, and crying for hours afterwards, I knew Jay and Amie were out to get us.
The beginning of this book was sad. Everyone was still sad and sore about Cat’s death (honestly, me too) and we’ve now unlocked a piece of the puzzle. Seeing everyone go through their mourning for Cat, as well as continuing to fight to help Auri save the world, is hard. Especially for Tyler.
While the beginning started off slow (for like a few pages lol), we quickly jump back into action and into galaxy saving mode. This whole book was an action filled revelation waiting to happen and the last 150 pages had me locked in.
And the ending. Well, I think I summarized my feelings on the ending with this tweet. Also Jay’s reaction was pretty funny!
Yeah, I was pretty upset. Not sure why Amie and Jay decided to end the book this way, but it ripped my heart out and I’m mad! If you know their writing style, you’ll know what kind of ending I’m talking about.
One of the things I loved the most about this book were the characters. Tyler, while always the golden boy, breaks out of his strict mold. Zila speaks up more and I love it. We see a change in every character throughout this book and I’m here for it. And after that ending, I’m really curious to know what happens to them now.
One thing that annoyed me though was a certain moment in the book. I won’t go into detail, but this revelation came about and I don’t know how I felt about the reaction to it. Like, it didn’t seem fully fair and I think some biases came into play here. It made me really upset and this character did not deserve it one bit.
Besides that, I love this series. I’m really upset I don’t have the next book in my hands ready to go. I really want to know what happens next!
If you’re surprised that I’m giving this book // 5 stars – why? I loved Aurora Rising and I loved Aurora Burning – each for their own unique reasons. I can’t wait for the next book to come out and hopefully we don’t have to wait too long!
If this book sounds interesting to you, check out Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Series) by Marissa Meyer or Zodiac by Romina Russell.
I loved The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman. I remember how hyped everyone was for this book. The ARC trading world was going nuts trying to get a copy, blogs were posting 5 star reviews, and generally everyone was really excited for this book! But once The Deck of Omens was announced, I didn’t see that kind of energy and it was really sad. I was surprised people weren’t cutting off limbs to read this book early and I was seeing no press or reviews floating around.
Y’all are missing out! This was such an amazing sequel and I’m mad no one is talking about it more! People, get your bullhorns out and start shouting about this series because it’s so good!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
The teenagers of Four Paths must save their home.
Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her and Justin’s father.
May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town–Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it.
Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most.
With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, all of the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all.
But maybe the monster they truly need to slay has never been the Beast…
We leave off The Devouring Gray with a team of kids who all need a hug. The Beast is subdued and the Gray is quiet, but there are still a LOT of things that need to be discussed. Soon, we find ourselves in some trouble as The Gray is overcome with corruption which is leaking out and attacking the occupants of Four Paths.
While The Devouring Gray was more plot driven, this book is WAY more character driven and I LOVED IT. Often times I wish for more character development in stories either because so much is going on in the plot that we aren’t shown their changes or the changes never occur – but this book is the opposite. So much character development happened in The Devouring Gray and is now seeping into The Deck of Omens. We see characters self reflect, have ground breaking realizations and acceptance, and the relationships *chef’s kiss* perfection.
Not to say that the plot isn’t a big factor or good, because it is. I mean, it’s Four Paths guys, everything is pretty messed up there. The beginning was a reintroduction to the town and to our characters, then we are quickly moved along to our problem and our potential solution. With the introduction of new characters, like Justin and May’s father and Issac’s brother Gabriel, we get some additional background on our characters, but an increased tension through the group.
It was the perfect storm.
All in all, I love this series and I think it’s so spooky and disturbing that you can’t help but read more to find out what terrifying thing happens next. This gets a .5 // 5 stars for me. I can’t wait to read more from Christine, hopefully I can get my hands on another one of her books soon!
If this book sounds interesting to you, check out Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan, Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, or Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee!
June was a good reading month for me! Although I didn’t necessarily follow my intended TBR. I’ve put Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare on my TBR for the past three months and it just hasn’t happened. I find myself getting approved or buddy reading other books, so it will have to wait for now.
I only ended up reading half of the books I wanted to read and one of those books ended up on this months TBR. I totally ignored Touch of Gold and Curse of Gold by Annie Sullivan, which I shouldn’t do. I do need to read those soon. Maybe I’ll try to fit at least Touch of Gold into this month’s TBR so I can read Curse of Gold before release.
Here’s my TBR for July 2020:
Most of these are books I received for review or I need to read in order to review other books. A Wicked Magic is for a book tour, They Wish They Were Us is a buddy read, Warmaidens, Ignite the Sun, and Hush are all NetGalley reviews I need to read. I hope I can get through all of these and stick to my TBR but we’ll see. I tend to abandon my TBR apparently.
But, I still want to continue my reading streak and get all of these books (and then some) read before the end of July!
What are some books on your TBR? Any you’ve been putting off and want to get to?
I received a copy of Greythorne by Crystal Smith from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I had a physical ARC of Greythorne that I received at YallFEST 2019. I got it during a mystery ARC drop where there were only 25 copies and they handed out this title. I had not read Bloodleaf but I heard great things about the first book, so I was excited! I requested a copy through NetGalley because digital takes up way less space, but I find myself loving the series too much to part with my physical copies. Regardless, here are my thoughts.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Princess Aurelia’s life is turned upside down when the kingdom she thought she saved turns to ruin, a loved one is tragically killed in a shipwreck, and her home country refuses to respect her brother’s legitimate claim to the throne. With no place left to call her own, Aurelia returns to Greythorne Manor—her best friend’s family mansion—only to get swept up in a coup d’état on the night of her brother’s coronation.
With everyone turned against her and enemies closing in on all sides, Aurelia has nothing left to lose in a mad fight to protect the only people she has left—her family. But in her darkest moments when all seems grim, will Aurelia find a spark of hope from a love she thought long lost?
After finishing Bloodleaf I wasn’t sure where the story was heading. The plot was finished right? WRONG. Clearly, there is much more to the story. Jumping into Greythorne I found myself really confused. We start a few months after the end of Bloodleaf and Zan is dead!? I was so confused and thought that the ending of Bloodleaf had changed between the ARC and the finished copy – but I just had to be patient.
I am not patient. I really wanted to find out what was going on and when I did, I was not happy. Crystal – why do you have to mess with us like this!?
The trend of middle book syndrome concerned me. I thought Greythorne was not going to be as good as Bloodleaf because we’re in the middle of a story right? WRONG AGAIN. It was so much better! My only fear now is what’s going to happen in Ebonwilde! But, I’ll have to wait another 18 or so months to find out! (cue the endless sobbing)
So I loved this book and the series overall – and we’re adding it to the list of “books I regret not reading sooner”. I should make a Goodreads shelf for them one day!
I thought the plot was so good, all the puzzle pieces were coming together in a way that the only word I can think of is, relieving. Like you see everything building up and then finally, you understand what is happening and it’s almost a relief. Okay maybe relief isn’t the best word, but it’s the only one I can think of.
And I’m not going to get into character development because it was superb. Not just from book 1 to 2, but through book 2 our characters change and grow and I loved it.
It was also nice to get to spend time with characters from book 1 we didn’t get to see much. Overall, I really like this book and this series. It’s new and different and fun and yeah – I’m rambling. Let’s wrap this up. // 5 stars from me.
Greythorne releases on September 1st, so be sure to preorder your copy today!
If this book sounds interesting to you, be sure to check out Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco
I had an ARC of Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith sitting in my house since November/December 2018. Two of my friends went to YallFEST 2018 and while I wanted to go, I couldn’t. They asked if there was anything they could pick up and I said, yes – Bloodleaf! They were so sweet and managed to grab me a couple other titles as well as Bloodleaf – but I never read it. Until now.
Flash forward to YallFEST 2019 and I find myself in line for a “mystery” ARC drop that only had 25 copies. Some speculated what it might be, but we were all shocked when they handed us Greythorne. Then, I also managed to receive an eARC through NetGalley and finally, I realized I needed to read this book.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Aurelia is a princess, but they call her a witch.
Surrounded by spirits and burdened with forbidden magic, she lives in constant fear of discovery by the witch-hunting Tribunal and their bloodthirsty mobs. When a devastating assassination attempt reveals her magical abilities, Aurelia is forced to flee her country with nothing but her life.
Alone and adrift in an enemy kingdom, Aurelia plans her revenge against the Tribunal, desperate to bring down the dark organization that has wrought terror upon her people for hundreds of years. But there’s something deeply amiss in her new home, too, and soon she finds herself swept into a deadly new mystery with a secretive prince, the ghost of an ancient queen, and a poison vine called Bloodleaf.
Aurelia is entangled in a centuries-long game of love, power, and war, and if she can’t break free before the Tribunal makes its last move, she may lose far more than her crown.
I’m going to have to make a category or a list of all the books I say, “I wish I read this sooner” because there are a lot now, and this is one of them.
Why did no one tell me this book was so good? Why did no one mention how amazing this book was and let me go a year and a half without reading it!? I was gonna trade away my copy because I thought I wasn’t going to read/like it. Who let this happen!?
Okay, so it’s my fault for not listening to my friends when they told me how amazing this book is. And I regret not listening to them. This was such a fun read, also really intense, but I really enjoyed myself! I liked a lot of things about this book including the magic system, the history, and our group of characters.
Sure, Aurelia/Emilie does give off the “I’m doing this for the greater good, it’s best no one knows” ideology even though I want to smack her for it. But her character was also fun to read about as she explored her magic and the actions of her predecessors that brought herself and everyone around her into this situation.
And what a sticky situation we have here folks.
The characters can not catch a break, at all. There were several moments I gasped, shed a tear, or even full on cried. It’s like I forget how powerful YA books can be when they play with your emotions.
Especially that ending. Was not emotionally prepped for everything that happened and everything I KNOW is gonna have to happen for two more books to appear. I’m worried but also excited.
I really liked this book and I’m really excited to read my copy of Greythorne now, so this is going to be added to my // 5 stars list.
Let me know if you’ve read Bloodleaf and whether or not you’re ready for Greythorne because I am NOT.
If this book sounds interesting to you, check out The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson or Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko.
I received an eARC of Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Burn Our Bodies Down releases on July 7th, 2020 – so be sure to preorder your copy today!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Wilder Girls comes a new twisty thriller about a girl whose past has always been a mystery—until she decides to return to her mother’s hometown . . . where history has a tendency to repeat itself.
Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.
But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.
Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?
The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.
I read an ARC of Wilder Girls by Rory Power and I liked it. I wanted to know what was going to happen next, but I wasn’t sure how much I really liked the story. But after reading Burn Our Bodies Down, it’s clear that I didn’t like WG nearly as much as I like BOBD. I’m a sucker for thrillers and this book brought some interesting characters to light.
For one, we have a morally grey main character, who follows in the footsteps of her morally grey mother/grandmother. I think characters that are morally grey, especially in thrillers, is much more interesting and entertaining than people who are inherently good or bad. Margot is seventeen and wants to know more about her family and she’s willing to ditch her neglectful mother to do so. Arriving in town, she makes a friend, Tess, who helps her figure out why her mother left and the mystery of her family.
I loved Tess’ character. I thought she was great opposite Margot. Where Margot is cold, Tess is warm. Margot is quiet and to herself, Tess is outgoing and bubbly. It made the scenes with them together more fun honestly. And of course we have Tess’ mother Jo and her grandmother Vera/Gram who are like cats fighting on the street. Nasty, ruthless women who are not only manipulative, but solely care for themselves and occasionally for their family.
Tess’ relationship between her mother is heartbreaking. She honestly just wants to be loved and her mother can’t bear to even show her the slightest bit of affection. It makes her motivation to run away and find out about her mother’s past reasonable in comparison to the life she was currently living. And of course Gram, who we learn to love then hate before we can blink. I felt so bad for Tess, not having a good relationship with anyone in her family and then suffering the trauma of discovering the reason why her mother left. It’s messed up.
So, let me just add this – this book is gruesome. There are some scenes that I WISH I could get out of my head and I might be permanently scarred from it. There is some scenes with gore and other scenes with weird stuff to up the creepy factor. If you are not a fan of dark fiction/science fiction – do not read this book. For the most part, it’s pretty tame, but other moments are really intense.
Overall, this was a // 5 star read for me. The beginning was a bit slow as Tess makes her way home, but it really picks up about 30% of the way through. Once you’re past 60% it’s like a jet racing past to the finish line. I couldn’t put this book down after that.
If this book sounds interesting to you, check out One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.
This was another book I received from YallFEST 2019 and buddy read with my friend Grace. We’ve been buddy reading a lot lately!
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko releases on August 18th, 2020 – so be sure to preorder a copy!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
The epic debut YA fantasy from an incredible new talent—perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi and Sabaa Tahir
Nothing is more important than loyalty.
But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?
Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself? With extraordinary world-building and breathtaking prose, Raybearer is the story of loyalty, fate, and the lengths we’re willing to go for the ones we love.
The beginning was like a fairytale. I think that’s what got me really interested in this story. We see Tarisai’s introduction to life and her childhood the same way a story teller would weave the images for you, speaking so rhythmically and songlike, you’re entranced. As we move into the story line, I found myself liking the story even more. I wasn’t sure what path this was going to go on, but the surprises it has in store will definitely shock you.
I really liked this book and thought this was well written except for the ending. The ending kinda confused me. On Goodreads, it says this is a standalone. But the author, and other people who have asked the author, say that there is a sequel. We end like there is supposed to be a sequel – and I hope there is one! – but if it’s supposed to be a standalone, then I think the ending needs to be wrapped up better. We have so many loose ends not tied up that need to be in order for this story to properly finish. I want there to be a sequel, but since I don’t see one announced, I have to look at it as a standalone.
So, the ending was kinda confusing and a bit disappointing because of that. We leave off in such a way that there is a call to action when we should be getting closure. And it made me want more to the ending.
Besides the ending, I thought the plot was concise and well written, the characters are definitely interesting people, the challenges our MC go through are not easy – a perfect set up for a good book. Tarisai goes through some pretty serious stuff throughout this book and by the end, I feel really bad for her. There were moments that I wanted to give her a hug because she could really use it.
Raybearer has faeries, fantastic journeys, lifelong friendships, and a found family mixed with African folklore to make an epic fantasy debut.
This was such a great book and I have to give it // 5 stars. Please be sure to preorder a copy for yourself through any major retailer – Amazon, B&N, or any other place you buys books.
If this book sounds interesting to you, check out Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi or A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown.
I have been seeing a lot of posts promoting books by POC authors due to the BLM movement and #PublishingPaidMe (which is AWESOME). There are a lot of new books I’ve added to my list that I am so excited to get my hands on and read! But there was also a lot of books that I didn’t see mentioned that I think people would be interested in too.
So, here is a thread of diverse books I have read and LOVE and some books that I can’t wait to read! Some are not released yet, so be sure to order/preorder a copy and help support our book community!
There are so many books that I loved and so many that I can’t wait to read. I’m sure I missed a LOT of books, so please suggest some titles I should add in the comments below! I’m a sucker for fantasy and science fiction, but would also love some thriller and historical fiction recommendations too!
So far, I’m pretty happy with how much I’ve read this month! Some of these books I started at the end of May and finished in the beginning of June, but I’m counting them! My goal is to read eight books this month and so far, I’ve done really well and I’ll definitely going to meet that goal. Let’s just hope I continue reading such amazing stories for the rest of this month.
What I read
What I’m reading
What I plan to read
I’m surprised I am able to read so much this month. Before moving in I thought I would have no time to read and would be lucky to get through 2 books a week. But it looks like I’m getting through a book about every other day or so, which is awesome! I hope to continue to have as much reading time going forward and hopefully, you’ll be seeing reviews of these books soon!
What books are you currently reading? Are you close to your goal for this month?
I got an ARC of The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae a couple of weeks ago and, after reading a sneak peak, I had to pick this up asap. The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae releases on June 16th, 2020 – so be sure to preorder a copy!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Holly Black, this enthralling fantasy adventure follows a teenage girl chosen to be the human sacrifice in a deadly game between three heirs who will do anything for the crown.
Zahru has long dreamed of leaving the kingdom of Orkena and having the kinds of adventures she’s only ever heard about in stories. But as a lowly Whisperer, her power to commune with animals means that her place is serving in the royal stables until the day her magic runs dry.
All that changes when the ailing ruler invokes the Crossing: a death-defying race across the desert, in which the first of his heirs to finish—and take the life of a human sacrifice at the journey’s end—will ascend to the throne and be granted unparalleled abilities.
With all of the kingdom abuzz, Zahru leaps at the chance to change her fate if just for a night by sneaking into the palace for a taste of the revelry. But the minor indiscretion turns into a deadly mistake when she gets caught up in a feud between the heirs and is forced to become the Crossing’s human sacrifice. Zahru is left with only one hope for survival: somehow figuring out how to overcome the most dangerous people in the world.
I read the first two chapters on Bookish First, a site that gives you a preview of a book that you can read and rate and possibly win! I’ve never won anything from them before, but I had read the excerpt on there and really wanted to read this book. It seemed like such an interesting fantasy novel and I wasn’t wrong.
I adored this book. It was an easy fantasy to get into and from start to finish, I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next. I love the aspect of different magic’s having different societal implications – such as a Whisperer (someone who can speak to animals) being seen as a lower member of society and therefore not eligible for royalty, or even schooling. While I don’t think that system is right, it sets up our character for her first mistake – making her way to the banquet where they choose the Firsts for a race through the desert.
Then of course, we have the Princes’ and their personalities and rivalry. The toxic sibling dynamic throws poor Zahru into the worst possible situation: becoming a human sacrifice. I loved the plot, the characters, and the humanity behind the story. Kindness is important and it matters – we can all appreciate Zahru for reminding us of that.
It made me laugh every time poor Zahru was thrown around from one person to another. Or I guess I should say stolen from one person to the next. But I got so frustrated every time Zahru would make a valid point about not sacrificing her, since she’s not supposed to be sacrificed, and everyone would go “eh”! Like, people! Don’t kill innocent people!! This story was a rollercoaster for sure.
This fantastical story is one that I not only wish I could read for the first time again, but I need the second book right now. The ending made me gasp and I need to know what happens next! If you like magic, near death experiences, budding romances, and complex characters – this book is one you’ll want to add to your list!
I loved this book and after the epilogue, this is a definite // 5 stars for me! Be sure to preorder this book before release day and get ready for a wild ride.
If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin.
I love Victoria/V.E. Schwab’s books – including her middle grade series, The Cassidy Blake series. The first book, City of Ghosts, was so good! I read the ARC that I received at BookCon 2018 and fell in love.
Some people have a weird thing about not reading younger books, as if they’re not as good or as sophisticated, but that’s simply not true. I think middle grade books are important and should be read! They can be silly and “childish” (since they’re FOR CHILDREN) but that doesn’t mean they don’t talk about important issues. Same thing with YA. Just because it’s marketed for young people doesn’t mean that it’s not a good story to read – and I think this series is awesome!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab is the second book in the Cassidy Blake series and it takes place in Paris, France. If you haven’t read City of Ghosts, Cassidy Blake #1, here is the link to my review! My opinions have changed a lot since that post, especially about middle grades, so take that part with a grain of salt.
This book is so good. I read it in one sitting and I can say, this is a keeper. I can see myself passing this along to my kids to read along with Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Cassidy is such a fun character to hang out with, and her best friend Jacob is awesome too! (He’s making me write this)
We get to explore the haunted parts of Paris and learn about a new kind of ghost, a poltergeist. Jacob, our handy dandy ghost friend, isn’t doing so well either and Cassidy is scared he’s going to become just like our new found poltergeist friend. Their friendship is really cute and it touches on important moments for young friends, like gathering up the trust to tell an important secret or a bad memory.
As a kid, I would have loved to read about a series that lets me travel the world and go ghost hunting! I read so many ghost stories, especially in middle school, including Meg Cabot’s The Mediator series. You have no idea how much I wanted to be able to see and talk to ghosts (and maybe even fall in love with one?) because of these stories.
While Victoria’s series isn’t as romantic, and definitely more scary, they’re a fun adventure that any kid can follow. If they ever get an opportunity to travel the world there are sights to be seen from this book. And if not, it’s like you’ve already been there.
Overall, I think this book is so good and so cute. I worry for Jacob and I’m curious to see how his character changes in the next book. I’m not sure how many books are in this series, but I hope it continues cause I love this.
For my rating, I have to give it // 5 stars for top scares, excellent scenery, and fun moments between friends. If you, or your child, is looking for a good middle grade ghost story – check out the Cassidy Blake series!
If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out Percy Jackson and the Olympian’s, The Lightening Thief, by Rick Riordan OR The Mediator series, Shadowland by Meg Cabot.
I received a copy of Divine Blood by Beck Michaels in exchange for an honest review. This book releases today, so be sure to purchase a copy from Amazon, or wherever you get your books from 🙂
My friend Alexa, whom I’m sure you all know by know over at Writing the Universe, read and loved this book! She told me everything she loved and how she couldn’t wait for me to read it! Unfortunately, I wasn’t as much of a fan as she was.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
The Shadow demon nearly took everything from Dyna, and it would soon return for more. When she discovers a way to fight back, she must go on a perilous journey and risk it all for those she holds dear.
Along the way, she meets Cassiel, a Celestial Prince with magic blood and wings as black as his heart. He wants nothing to do with Dyna until he learns she could lead him to a place he has been searching for all his life.
But reaching their destination is not as easy as they thought, nor are they the only ones who search for it. With danger at every turn and harrowing secrets between them, the quest will require much more than determination. They must fight for what they desire—or die trying.
For fans of Throne of Glass and Lord of the Rings comes a new debut series with remarkable characters, a budding romance, and gripping action. Divine Blood is the first book of an enchanting dark fantasy that explores the depths of loss, acceptance and the true meaning of courage.
The prologue/first chapter sucked me into this book. I was ready and excited for an incredible journey to save her village! But as we creep further into the book, the pace drops and I felt like it was dragging. I wanted a steady build up into pure action, but as we moved along, I didn’t feel a steady progression.
I don’t mind slow build ups, as long as there is something to fill that void, like side journeys and character build up. We get a lot of side journey’s as our characters work to get what they need, but it was the character moments that I struggled a bit to get through.
I think my biggest issues were the characters, overall. Their personalities seemed to change between POV. Dyna, for starters, comes across as a sure, confident girl who is ready to protect and defend her home. But then in Zev’s eyes she’s a weak toddler who can’t even walk by herself without getting into trouble. And then Cassiels’ POV, she’s clumsy, baby-ish, and yet enchanting.
It’s like I’m reading about three different people. Now, I’ll admit, the way a person perceives themselves is different from how others see them, so I get that difference. But even between the two men, it’s two different people.
I think that disconnect made it more difficult for me to enjoy the story. I found myself liking the action scenes and the plot, but the slower moments between characters was a bit harder to get through. But I stuck it out, and I thought the remaining 40% of the book was amazing! It was action filled, the plot progressed, and it set us up for the rest of their journey. We even meet new characters who add another dimension to the characters and their stories, which I really liked. I couldn’t put it down as our heroes, and our villains, worked towards their goals.
For the most part, I really liked the book. I thought the plot was interesting and new. We had a clear goal for each character on what they wanted and what they were willing to do. I genuinely got excited at the end of the book wanting to know what is coming next. And I think I’m definitely going to buy and read book 2 when it releases in December.
Overall, I would have to give this book a // 5 stars. I think that’s a neutral enough rating. There were some things I didn’t like in the story and other things I loved, so this feels like a natural resting place for my thoughts.
If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.
I received an electronic manuscript of Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin and I am so happy, and lucky, that I did. Blood & Honey is the second book in a series, the first being Serpent & Dove. If you have not read the first book yet, feel free to check out my spoiler free review! I will try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible, though I do talk about some ideas of the book. No dialogue, plot points, or overall journey is talked about – but I do reflect on my feelings about them. While this review is spoiler free, it may spoil the first book if you have not read it yet.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.
To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.
Let me preface this review by saying that I am angry. I am so mad at how Shelby has played with my emotions in this book. If you thought Serpent & Dove was emotional, a rollercoaster ride, or any concoction of those types of feelings, Blood & Honey blows them out of the water. I found myself laughing, crying, and screaming so you know this book is going to be good. And it is confirmed that it is no longer a duology, but a trilogy, and I’m conflicted. On one hand, THANK GOD, because I love this series so much. On the other hand, WHY! Because so much happens in book 2 and I just want everyone to be happy.
I loved Serpent & Dove, and after reading Blood & Honey, I can say that this is one of my favorite series. It has become one of my most recommended series and I am so thankful I got to read Blood & Honey early. The book took me on a rollercoaster ride that I was not expecting. Like I actually was yelling and screaming as I read it and evidently threw my kindle I was so upset. I cried actual tears. Shelby has a way of writing things so emotionally and realistically that it pulls my heart strings too well. Her writing makes me feel things the characters are feeling, and those feelings aren’t always good. When they’re high – they’re high. When they’re low – they’re low.
I thought this book was not only more emotional than the first book, but the emotions are also really intense. We see the characters going through some serious changes and those changes effect their friends and loved ones. I’m not kidding when I say I cried multiple times from how emotional this book is. We deal with trauma, grief, mental illness, and so many other aspects of life. Well done Shelby. It is hard to make the reader feel things for starters and a whole other thing to make them feel it as strongly as the characters themselves. It was an experience.
As part of these changing emotions, we also see the change in relationships too. The fluidity of feelings and how they can appear or disappear for people is highlighted and it was refreshing seeing that change. We get a good look at relationships and how they are not easy – they take hard work and commitment. I like the more realistic approach because sometimes YA romanticizes relationship so much, it can become unattainable. Shelby is definitely one of my favorite authors due to her ability to write relationships, and emotions, so well.
It took me so long to read this book, I didn’t want to finish it. And it took me extra long to write this review because I didn’t know how to wrap my thoughts and feeling around it. My first attempt writing this was a jumbled emotional rant that I’m pretty sure would have spoiled anybody reading this – so thank goodness I edited this review when I did. This book made me laugh, cry, scream, jump for joy – any and all emotions you can think of, I felt them. My poor kindle is probably dented from throwing it too. If you loved Serpent & Dove, you will adore Blood & Honey.
If you expected anything less than a // 5 star review, I don’t know where you got that idea. I adored Serpent & Dove – I have raved about it since it’s release last year – and I think Blood & Honey is an amazing sequel, though I do ask myself “why does she want to hurt us so bad?” If you’re ready to be hurt emotionally, Blood & Honey releases on September 1st, 2020!
If you have not already read Serpent & Dove, pick it up. We have witches, witch hunters, enemies to lovers, and all the magical mayhem you can enjoy!
If this book sounds good to you, make sure to check out Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas or The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant (releases on June 2nd, 2020).
May was an amazing reading month for me! I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to read that much ever again, especially since I’m moving!
My reading habits may be on a downward trend from there, but I’m hopeful that I can get through at least five books in June. Here are the eight books that I want to read this month, if all goes well. Two of these are NetGalley books that I need to get through. Two are ARCs I received in a trade that I want to read. And the rest are for fun!
It feels good to include some books that I want to read for fun rather than an “obligation” although, can you really call it that? It’s still so much fun! I added City of Brass on there because I won the third book so I need to get reading! I don’t currently own the second book so I’m not sure if I’m going to order a physical copy or get an e-copy yet. Either way, I’m finally reading this series.
I’m so nervous to move! By the time this post goes up I’ll be moving TOMORROW!!! One thing I am most worried about is losing my reading/posting motivation, so if anyone has any recommendations for that, I would greatly appreciate them!
I’m also worried that my writing habits will decrease too. I haven’t written a word in the past week and with the stress of moving, it may be a whole month before I can even sit down and write again. But I’ll try to write as much as possible before moving day.
What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in June? Any June releases you’re especially excited for?
I received an e-ARC of The Bone Thief by Breeanna Shields from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I loved The Bone Charmer and I was so excited to read the sequel! I will keep this review spoiler free for book 2, but cannot guarantee it will be spoiler free for the first book, The Bone Charmer. If you have not read The Bone Charmer, feel free to check out my spoiler free review!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Saskia returns to Ivory Hall to train in bone magic, determined to stop Latham from gaining the power of all three Sights—past, present, and future. But danger lurks within the fortress’s marrow. Trials are underway for the apprentices, and the tasks feel specifically engineered to torment Saskia, which is exactly what Latham wants.
As she grows increasingly more suspicious, her thirst for revenge becomes all-consuming. Together with the friends she can trust and the boy she loved in another lifetime, Saskia traces clues from Latham’s past to determine what he’ll do next. Their search leads them across Kastelia and brings them to a workshop housing a vast collection of horrors, including the bones Latham stole from Gran, and the knowledge that the future isn’t all that’s in jeopardy—but the past as well.
So for those that aren’t aware, The Bone Thief releases today! (WOO!) If you have read the read the first book, pick up this book NOW. If you haven’t read The Bone Charmer yet, you should still pick up book 1 and book 2 because I love this duology.
It has taken me a while to write this review because I wanted to get my thoughts in order. I loved the first book and I loved the second book, but there was ONE thing in this book that makes me not want to rate it 5 stars like I did The Bone Charmer.
For those of us that did read The Bone Charmer, we know that Latham is our bad guy, he’s a super bad guy. We don’t know why he’s going after Saskia and the mystery of this is what made me love this series. Obviously we find out why he is doing what he’s doing and let me tell you, I wasn’t impressed with the reasoning. I thought it could have been a stronger motivation. You’ll understand once you read it.
Besides that issue though, everything is great. The ending felt a little too easy in a way, but I’m just here for the drama and the happy endings.
I enjoyed getting to see Saskia learn and grow from Bram a second time, although I just wanted them to just fall in love already! We meet up with some old friends and the story is like watching a movie from your childhood as an adult. There are certain things you remember, things you thought occurred but didn’t, and things that occur you don’t remember at all. It’s kind of a fun mind trick.
Besides my slight disappointment with the ending, I would still rate this book a // 5 stars. Honestly, the creativity of this series and the growth we see in all of the characters outweighs my thoughts on the ending.
If you haven’t ordered a copy of The Bone Thief please go do so! It’s a great series and it’s worth the read.
If this book sounds interesting, check out Thorn by Intisar Khanani, a Goose Girl retelling about a princess who’s robbed of her identity and her title by a revenge seeking sorceress.
Here are some of the summer releases that I am DYING to read! This list will not include ARCs that I have already read – these are titles on my TBR that I can’t wait to read! This is not everything, because that would be insane, but these are some of my most anticipated reads for this summer!
- A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
- Burn by Patrick Ness
- My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows
- Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross
- Seasons of the Storm by Elle Cosimano
- The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant
- The Boundless by Anna Bright
- Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee
- Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena
- Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters
- Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
- Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim
- Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
- The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson
- Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
- Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch & Kristen Simmons
- Star Daughter Shveta Thakrar
- Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
- Igniting Darkness by Robin LaFevers
- The Notorious Virtues by Alwyn Hamilton
- Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud
What are some books you’re excited for? Let me know what titles I missed in the comments!
I received an eARC of The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book releases on June 2nd, 2020, so make sure to preorder a copy today!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.
First off, the tag line for this story is what caused me to request it and it’s pretty accurate! Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution. I love the rewrite of Les Mis because I think we can all agree that Eponine deserved better. And she got that new ending in this story and not only did it make me jump for joy, but it made me love this book more.
We enter France after the first revolution has failed Eponine (Nina) must go to the Court of Miracles and pledge her allegiance to the Guild of Thieves in order to survive. Her sister has been taken by the Tiger and gave Nina the chance to get away. She’s one of the best thieves in the Guild and while she is surviving, she also is plotting her revenge. Years later, she adopts a young Cosette and cares for her. When the Tiger realizes Cosette’s beauty though, Nina does everything she can to take him down.
So adopted sisters are something I don’t see often and I loved it. Second, historical fiction of the French Revolution is exactly what I needed. From start to finish Nina not only proves she’s a tough cookie and a survivor, but that she has maintained a somewhat good heart through her trauma. We love morally grey characters. Another thing I really liked about this book was the fact that there wasn’t really a love interest. Ettie jokes with Nina about certain people being in love with her, but there is never confirmation and acceptance of Nina loving anyone in a romantic way.
I not only thought that it fit with the story well, but for once we don’t have a teenage girl falling in love during a revenge plot or a secret agent, thriller style plot. Nina is too busy formulating her revenge, taking care of Ettie, and looking out for herself to fall in love which I thought is pretty badass. We stan an independent queen. Now, I’m not sure if Nina is Ace, because she hints she might like a certain character, but she never fully confirms her feelings or talks about loving anyone romantically, so until the author says otherwise, I’m going with she’s Ace.
Overall, I didn’t have any complaints about this book. I thought it was a great rewrite and having this secret criminal society working in the underground of Paris was so exciting to read. This was a solid .5 // 5 stars and people are going to love this book!
So, if you like historical fiction, books set in Paris/Les Mis, morally grey characters, thrilling adventure, and a top notch revenge story – you’ve found your next favorite read!
If this book sounds interesting to you, be sure to check out Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok for your mid-1800’s Paris murder mystery vibes or The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi for your mid-1800’s heist novel!
I am lucky to be a part of the blog tour for The Boundless by Anna Bright, so I thought a great way to prep for that would be to post my review of the first book, The Beholder!
I read the ARC of The Beholder, so I am going to count it as an ARC review, even though the book has been released. This is my first blog tour EVER, so I hope you all join me on June 7th to read my thoughts on The Boundless!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.
But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.
From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.
Okay, so I had heard a bit about this book and how it was like The Bachelor on the sea (technically The Bachelorette) and it wasn’t wrong, but this book is so much more. Selah’s proposal is rejected at home and her stepmother sends her on a journey across the sea to find a husband claiming no one will marry her after her public rejection. Selah is shipped across the sea and has to make a stop in the Imperiya, which is like awful. She’s terrified of the fabled, but possibly real, Baba Yaga.
Now, I love romance in books, so long as it’s not the main plot point, but I actually really enjoyed this book! The romance was a big portion of the story, but it also shows Selah cultivating friendships and learning about different cultures as she’s shipped across Europe (or what we would deem as Europe).
It’s clear that Anna created her world off of our current world, keeping some names the same, and changing some to fit her world. My favorite part was her inclusion of Finland! While it was funny to base some of the characters off of the vikings, which were more Norway/Sweden than Finland, it was still heartwarming to see my second home mentioned. For those that are not aware, I am Finnish and I actually have dual citizenship for the USA and Finland! Though I don’t speak the language well, so don’t ask!
I like Selah’s personality, more specifically her sense of honor and her trusting nature. She’s a very genuine person with her friends and her love interests – it makes the book much more enjoyable.
There wasn’t much I didn’t like, although I was a little disappointed in one of her reactions. I was rooting for them, but I understood it was to keep the plot going (STILL UPSET THOUGH!) I have heard some pretty divided debates about this book, but it’s a strong .5 // 5 stars for me!
I’m really excited to read The Boundless and if you are interested in reading my review, it will be posted on June 7th, 2020! Of course, it will be spoiler free. This is my first blog tour ever, so I’m very excited to get to participate!
Have you read The Beholder yet? What are your thoughts and what do you think will happen in The Boundless?
If you like this book, check out The Selection by Kiera Cass!
Today I am reviewing The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte. I read her debut novel, Four Dead Queens and absolutely loved it! The ARC I had received was a BookCon exclusive and it almost killed me to get it. Her second book is just as good, asking the question “What would you do if you could have more time after someone has passed?”
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Tempe was born into a world of water. When the Great Waves destroyed her planet, its people had to learn to survive living on the water, but the ruins of the cities below still called. Tempe dives daily, scavenging the ruins of a bygone era, searching for anything of value to trade for Notes. It isn’t food or clothing that she wants to buy, but her dead sister’s life. For a price, the research facility on the island of Palindromena will revive the dearly departed for twenty-four hours before returning them to death. It isn’t a heartfelt reunion that Tempe is after; she wants answers. Elysea died keeping a terrible secret, one that has ignited an unquenchable fury in Tempe: Her beloved sister was responsible for the death of their parents. Tempe wants to know why.
But once revived, Elysea has other plans. She doesn’t want to spend her last day in a cold room accounting for a crime she insists she didn’t commit. Elysea wants her freedom and one final glimpse at the life that was stolen from her. She persuades Tempe to break her out of the facility, and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents’ death and mend their broken bond. But they’re pursued every step of the way by two Palindromena employees desperate to find them before Elysea’s time is up–and before the secret behind the revival process and the true cost of restored life is revealed.
This is Astrid’s sophomore novel and just as good as her first! I got an advanced copy of 4DQ at BookCon 2018 and it was so good! Getting an ARC of Vanishing Deep was awesome – I love Astrid’s writing and was so excited to read this book.
The hardest part about this book was the beginning. I recently had three deaths in my family this year and the death of a friend. To read Tempe’s struggle of her parents and sister dying hit me really hard and reminded me of the feelings I had experienced and am still going through. As she talks about the revival and getting to see her sister one more time alive, it almost broke me. I wanted to continue but also had to stop for my own sanity.
I’m glad I kept going though. While the beginning is heavy, the action picks up and pushes towards a different message thankfully. As the plot progresses, we get more details about the characters and find out that everything is not as it seems.
I thought the main characters were well set up and had clear motivations and intentions. The only person who I thought was under developed was the director at Palindromena. We get a character shift from her, or at least a bad perspective of her from other characters. She starts off as a nice characters we meet, but then we find out she’s a horrible person, and then we interact with her again and she’s okay to be around? It was confusing for me. I wish there was more development with that or at least a better explanation for why they somewhat ignored warnings about her.
Overall, I had fun with this story, even though it was heart breaking at first. I give this story a //5 stars for the unique plot, sisterly love, and fun adventure. This was a fun read and it showed a realistic look at loss and what people will do to see their loved ones one last time.
If this story sounds good for you, check out Seafire by Natalie C. Parker for an all girl, seafaring adventure.
I buddy read the BEA ARC of this book with my friend Grace and it took us about a week to read through it. This monster of a book is 800 pages of pure fantasy awesomeness. We have dragons, witches, mages, dragon riders, and so much action. I was a bit nervous to read this, but I read Kingdom of Ash which is almost 1,000 pages in the span of three days, so it can’t really be that intimidating. Spoiler: it wasn’t intimidating at all and I loved it!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.
At first, I was unsure if this book was part of a series or a standalone, but looking at Goodreads it appears it is a standalone. This is a monster of a book, in the fact that not only is it about 850 pages, but there are multiple perspectives and places that this story jumps between. Once you’ve become acquainted though, the jumps become much easier to go with. I really go into it about 150-200 pages in and found myself sucked in until the end.
We read 75 pages at a time, until the last chunk where I read about 200 pages at once. Once you get to the last 300 pages, the action gets really intense and you just want to read right through it. First off, we are introduced into a world where a great dragon was defeated and locked away for a thousand years, and now might be coming back. There is the West where they worship the six saints of Knighthood and they believe the Queen of Inys is what keeps the Nameless One at bay and her future daughters will do the same.
Then there’s the East, who worships dragons, but a different kind than the Nameless One. Fire breathing dragons are feared, but there are others that are worshiped, kind, and even are ridden. These two sides of the world do not cooperate but as the threat of the Nameless One grows higher, they may have to put their differences aside to fight a common threat.
So the multiple characters we get to meet are all awesome, except I hate Dr. Roos. I won’t go into details about why but he is such a little snake and I could do without his POVs. Everybody else was a wild ride to read about. We get love affairs, battles, pirates, and such much stuff going on! Some chapters do drag a little because of background information, but for the most part the book starts and you’re immediately getting into action.
This was an easy read for me and I found myself glued to the edge of my seat unable to put the book down. The last three 300 pages of reading I suggested increasing the amount of pages from 75 to 100 then ended up binging the last 200 pages. The ONLY thing I thought could have been better was the epic battle this book was leading up to! It was intense, it was wild, and it was short. I wanted like the last 200 pages to be this epic battle going on and it just wasn’t that. It really disappointed me and my friend Grace that it couldn’t be longer.
Overall, the fantasy is fantastical, the characters are captivating, the plot is superb, and the battle was okay. This was a .5 // 5 stars for me. And honestly, the only thing that prevented it from being 5 stars was Dr. Roos and the battle scene.
If this book sounds interesting to you, check out Samantha’s other series The Bone Season or Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.
April was an amazing reading month for me! I read twelve books last month which is amazing for me cause usually I read two. Yes, you read that correctly – normally I’m lucky if I finish two books in a month and I read twelve in April. Thanks quarantine.
Since I’m on a roll, here’s what I hope to read in May!
A lot of the books I’m reading are part of series or a duology because I was approved to review the sequel, but haven’t read the first book yet. So for The Bone Charmer/Bone Thief and The Storm Crow/Crow Rider, I was approved for the second book and now obviously need to read the first one.
For The Boundless I am actually part of a blog tour for it! So you will see my review at the beginning of June! I haven’t read The Beholder yet, so I’m going to read that and then I can get working on review The Boundless. This is my first blog tour EVER and I’m really excited to be able to participate, although I have no idea what kind of things they want me to do before I review it. I guess promote it on social media? But when? Lots of questions here!
Currently I am reading The Bone Charmer and The Court of Miracles and I hope to have them finished by the end of the day.
Let me know if you’ve read of these and your thoughts on them! And let me know what you’re planning on reading next!
So not to surprise anyone, but this is the first Marie Lu book I’ve ever read. I managed to trade for an ARC of this book from a friend and it was so good! I love historical fiction and as a classically trained flute player I’ve played a lot of Mozart. To get to see a new side to the composer and his lesser known sister was an experience for me. And to mix fantasy into it? Even better.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.
Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish–to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age–her tyrannical father has made that much clear.
And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true–but his help may cost her everything.
In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.
As a musician, reading about their playing and composition struggles hit home for me. I had composed some small pieces myself in music theory classes, including a duet I co-composed between flute and clarinet. It was very relatable for me to see struggles that they were going through and sympathize with the doubts Nannerl felt. While my flute playing never brought in any money, even though it could have, it was interesting to see the historical differences for Wolfgang (Woferl) vs. Maria Anna (Nannerl).
As a woman, Nannerl can only perform until she is of age to marry and can never compose. Meanwhile, Woferl can play and compose until his dying breath (which he did). When Nannerl wishes to be remembered, she is approached by a Guardian spirit – Hyacinth, who strikes a deal with her: if you complete three tasks for me I will make sure you are remembered forever.
So, first off this is not high fantasy. This is more like urban fantasy where the fantastical elements are hidden from the modern world, except the modern world is 18th century Austria. While the Kingdom of Back moments are filled with faeries and monsters alike, it is written more like a dream than a world beyond. I thought the tone of it fit the story well as the Kingdom was “created” by two children looking to escape from their world of societal expectations and music. But don’t be fooled, this is not a high fantasy novel and most of the book is not set in the fantasy world.
Once you get past that expectation it does fluidly mix the fantasy world and real world together. Most of the story takes place in the real world and is primarily historical fiction mixed with some fantasy, but I love historical fiction so it wasn’t an issue for me. We have moments of hidden faces and unexpected images which I thought was even better than spending the entire book in the Kingdom. We get to see the children grow up and face real things that happened to them: Wolferl getting sick frequently, Nannerl’s secret compositions, and their journey around Europe.
There wasn’t much that I didn’t like about the story honestly. I enjoyed seeing a young Wolfgang, since we really only hear about his scandalous days at court as a young man and not his childhood, and getting to learn about his sister Maria Anna. We see their relationship, their home life, their music careers. It reminds the reader that these were real people.
The thing that sealed the deal with this story was Marie’s author note at the end. This book was a decade long project for her and her objective made me cry. Nannerl did not get to grow up and be a musician and composer like Wolferl, but her music lives on, hidden in his work. Now, for the most part, girls can be whoever and do whatever they want. Nannerl’s wish was to live on forever and now she can, inspiring girls everywhere to live their dreams.
This book was a //5 star read for me. The ending made me emotional and brought back the reasons why I love music. I miss the experience of performing someone’s creation long after they are gone and bringing to light the world as they saw it.
If this book sounds interesting, check out Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones.
Before I get into this review, just a reminder that the giveaway my friend Writing the Universe and I are holding ends on Monday! Here is the link to enter – please make sure you enter through Rafflecopter (link in the giveaway post) and are doing all FIVE of the mandatory tasks to be entered properly! Good luck!
After a lot of pushing, I was forced to start reading House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas. I wanted to wait to read this because once you’ve read something, you can’t read it for the first time ever again, but after being pressured to read it, for my own good, I did. And wow. Sarah J Maas is always a favorite.
As a warning since Sarah has written both a young adult and new adult series, this is 100% adult fiction. While it is similar to her younger series, there is a lot of cursing, violence, sex, and other adult references. If you are not prepared to read an adult series, this book is not one to read right now. You can check out her other younger series Throne of Glass which is YA or A Court of Thorns and Roses which is New Adult.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.
Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.
As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.
With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.
As an avid lover of Sarah J Maas, this review is going to be biased. I’ve read every book she’s written at this point and have loved everything she’s written and I can safely add this title to the list.
To start off this review, I’m going to go over a few different areas/concepts. To start, let’s look at characters.
We meet Bryce Quinlan and her partner in crime Danika – two party queens enjoying their youth. After meeting these friends, we only get a glimpse at their shallow lives. It’s all about drinking, sex, drugs, and enjoying themselves but we don’t get a lot besides that and their intense friendship. As we move along, we learn more about Bryce and Danika revealing they are much more than shallow party girls, but real genuine people who care deeply about the people around them. Among other things.
As Bryce shows her true colors and her development over time, it shows that people can be big hearted, have fun, and be smart and sophisticated. Nobody is one dimensional. While she may be a party girl in the beginning she also proves that she was and is much more than that. Other’s perceptions cloud her true personality and people make assumptions about who she is, which we can all relate to. I love seeing a realistic look at bullying (yes, even adults get bullied unfortunately) and how she responds to it. Bryce allows people to make assumptions about her and doesn’t correct them, proving you have to get to know her to see who she truly is.
Another person we see growth from is Hunt. When we meet him, he is a cold angel of death. As he encounters Bryce after the murder of her best friend there is no love or sympathy behind his eyes. When the two start working together we see both of them start to slowly change over time as they both relearn to love. Another thing about getting to know Hunt was his struggles with mental health as well. Often we don’t see men shown as weak or needing help and I thought that the way Sarah portrays both of them helping each other is just what society needs. Everyone sees Hunt as this tough guy, but he shows Bryce that not only is there more to him than being a killer, but he is just as much of a softy as anyone else.
When I look at the plot – I love it. We have a classic murder mystery mixed with high fantasy in a modern-ish world. It’s like mixing everything I love into one story. I do have to admit that the first 400 pages are slow. We get world building, backstory, and plot build up which takes away from the rush of action sometimes. The plot of the story starts around page 200 or so, about 25% into the story, but it starts to accelerate 50% of the way through and doesn’t stop. Once the halfway mark hits, everything goes crazy and you’re dragged along for a wild ride. There are so many twists and turns in this story I’m sure my head spun a full 360 degrees by the end.
Besides the character development and plot, I love the world of Crescent City! We get different factions of beings who serve different purposes. A whole world of vampires, fae, angels, werewolves, shifters, merpeople, demons, and more alike to keep you entertained. There was a lot of laughter and tears for me reading this story and I think it’s equal to the TOG series, if not better. I discovered Maas’ books just after Empire of Storm was published and ACOMAF close behind so while I haven’t been a fan for years like others, she is definitely one of my favorite authors. I can’t wait to read more from her.
Now, to get to the review. Would anyone be surprised that this is a //5 star review? I loved this book so much and it was so refreshing to see someone deal with trauma and mental illness in a such a realistic way. It feels like myself and other people suffering from mental illness are finally being seen and it makes me so happy.
If this book sounds good to you, check out Sarah’s other series Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses for similar content. Another fantasy epic you’ll love is Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon.
I received an eARC of Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.
As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.
The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost
The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told
The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide
FIRST OFF. This review would have been MUCH higher if not for two things. 1) Half of the book is filler. I am not joking. Half of it is filler. There was so many unnecessary scenes that just slowed down the flow of the book it was driving me mad. I stayed at 30% for almost two months because the second the “plot” started and the main character arrived in town, it felt like LITERALLY NOTHING HAPPENED FOR 100 PAGES.
2) THIS BOOK IS SO CONFUSING. I don’t mean, “oh wow, this is really complex and might be hard to grasp”. No, I mean like it was not explained well and the twists and turns don’t make sense at all and you’re just sitting there going “huh”??? Now, maybe I’m dumb, a definite possibility. But after talking to my friend who also finished the book and revealing that they don’t know what happened either, I’m gonna go with bad writing on this one.
Was the plot super cool and interesting? Hell yeah! Were the characters complex and engaging? Absolutely! Did that cover up the bad writing? No. And it’s unfortunate because the writing itself is beautiful. She went for a mystical, mysterious feel and she succeeded, but her ability to explain concepts and plot points clearly was lacking. It was so hard to get through at points due to the writing and not understand what she was trying to say/show. It made me want to skim so I could get to dialogue or clearer lines to clarify what was going on. Even with the temptation, I stuck it through and read the book and just didn’t like it. And trust me, I really wanted to like it!
In the end, I could really only give this book //5 stars. Again, not because I hated the book (I really didn’t hate the book) but because there was a lot going on that left me bored, confused, and unsatisfied. It made me dislike reading it and made it difficult to get through.
Now, granted, I read the ARC, so the finished copy may have fixed a lot of these issues and might be clearer. And you should definitely give this book a try because I loved the concept, just not the execution.
If you’re looking for a dark, mystical fantasy, check out Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
Okay, I’m not normally a ranter.
Alright maybe that was a lie, but I don’t rant on my blog often. Today I feel like I need to get this off my chest and maybe that will be the catalyst to turn this around.
I am finding it extremely hard to find a book that I want to read right now. After reading several amazing books this month (check out my latest reviews!!) nothing seems to catch my attention the same way.
As of today, I am currently reading three books: Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles, The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu, and Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson. While I’m enjoying them for the most part, I am .01% away from DNFing Goddess in the Machine and I’m just trying to get through Where Dreams Descend because this is my 3rd? 4th? attempt trying to finish it. The only book I’m not pulling hair to get through is Kingdom of Back at the moment.
Now, the most annoying problem is, is that normally I would love all of these books. They fit right into my favorite genres and have amazing plots, characters, pacing and tone is great. But, still, I just can’t love them.
I’m worried that not only am I about to fall into a reading slump, but my slump will turn books that I should love, and probably would love, into books that I can’t stand. And I’m so frustrated with this! The second I get myself into a reading frenzy I can’t bring myself to like the books I’m getting through. I can’t figure out what is causing this or how I can fix it, so I guess be prepared for some not great reviews on these books because my stupid brain can’t detach the stress of life and wants me to hate them.
And I really want to like them.
I’ve found myself in these slumps before and it usually marks the end for my reading. I get through a couple really good books and then BAM! I can’t reading anything else for a month and I’m stuck. Really frustrating for a book blogger. I’m hoping I can turn this around and keep going since I have been doing much better with finishing and reviewing books in a somewhat timely manner right now, but we’ll see.
Anyways, that was my rant. I’m just frustrated with my brain and my reading at the moment. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for staying with me. 🙂
Okay, I’m going to get back to reading and hopefully get myself out of this rut.
***If you haven’t seen, I am currently co-hosting a giveaway with my friend Alexa who runs Writing the Universe. We are giving away four bags full of books, ARCs, and swag from ApollyCon and our personal collection as well as two prizes for our international people! Here is the link to enter. Please be sure to enter through the Rafflecopter link in order for your entries to count! Okay, now back to the review 🙂
I received an eARC of The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
So I requested this book on NetGalley solely because of the cover. Don’t ask me why I was judging this book on its cover, but I was. After requesting the title I looked at the tag line and was instantly hooked: Four fates collide in this avian-inspired, epic fantasy retelling of Tristan and Isolde perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo! This screamed my name and I am so happy I got a copy because it lived up to its tag!
Here is they synopsis from Goodreads:
A princess longing to be free…
On the dawn of her courtship trials, Princess Lyana Aethionus knows she should be focused on winning her perfect mate, yet her thoughts wander to the open sky waiting at the edge of her floating kingdom. One final adventure calls. Upon fleeing the palace, the last thing she expects to find is a raven prince locked in a death match with a dragon.
A bastard aching to belong…
Reviled son of a dead king, Rafe would do anything for his beloved half-brother, Prince Lysander Taetanus, including posing as him in the upcoming courtship trials. When a dragon interrupts their secret exchange, he orders his studious sibling to run. After suffering a fatal blow, Rafe is saved by a beautiful dove who possesses forbidden magic, just like him.
Fate brought them together, now destiny will tear them apart…
Unknown to the world above, on the foggy sea ten thousand feet below, a young king fights a forgotten war. He believes Lyana is the queen prophesied to save the world, and with the help of his favored spy, hidden deep in the highest ranks of the dove royal house, he will stop at nothing to have her.
When I started reading this book, I thought to myself “Wow! This is a great read, it’s so fun, I’m very interested. What happens next?” As I continued to read I found myself unable to put the book down. I would read pages upon pages of the story before I could convince myself to stop because the story is that engaging. We have free-spirited Lyana or Ana who’s big heart and big sense of adventure makes you want to follow her and her journey. Cassi, who’s air of mystery keeps you guessing from one page to the next. Xander, who is so sweet and loving that you just want to give him the biggest hug and shield his eyes to any wrong doings. And finally, Rafe, who is so tortured that you can’t help but want to make it all better.
These 4 POVs each bring a different personality and view point into the mix and it makes the story so good. I can’t imagine reading it from just one of their POVs for the entire story. Each view point brings so much to the plot and the depth of the story it makes it a wild ride!
So yeah, I really liked this book. I thought the characters are awesome, the plot is new and interesting (but also familiar enough to like), and the author’s writing is enjoyable. Did I dislike anything? Honestly, no. I was captivated from the first page and loved every second of the ride. I’ve already preordered the second book so I can read it once it’s released in September.
So for this book I gave it //5 stars. So you might be asking yourself, Sammy, why didn’t you give this 5 stars then? Well, I don’t know. I thought the book was great and everything about it was awesome but it didn’t bring about that excitement. The exhilaration and heart pounding certainty that I’ve just read something so amazing words cannot explain. Did I find myself glued to my chair the entire time, unable to put the book down? Yes. Did I love it and have nothing to complain about? Yes. Is it a story I can’t stop thinking about and need to dive back into immediately? Well, no. And that might be why it’s not a 5 star read for me. But, I still adored this story and I cannot wait to read book 2! In fact, I’m anxious to find out what happens next.
If you want an adventure filled with big personalities, multiple POVs, and a solid plot – well, what are you waiting for? Go read it now!
If this book sounds interesting, check out Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool!
So I wanted to update my NetGalley waitlist/stats since the last one went up end of January. I have been reading a lot more since being forced to work at home. Less commute time = more reading time.
With all that reading time meant I had to request more titles too! So here is my updated NetGalley waiting list 🙂
So far, I have been approved for these titles:
Declined on these titles:
*Cries softly at all of the books I got rejected for these past two months, including Deck of Omens which was actually devastating! Especially since I was approved for an eARC of The Devouring Grey. Okay, I’m not going to cry! Moving on!
And still waiting to know about these titles:
I would be so excited to read any of these, but I’m anxiously checking my inbox to see if I get approved for Addie LaRue because if I don’t, I will cry. No, I will sob. This is a unicorn for me and getting to read it early would probably give me a heart attack from pure joy. So fingers crossed that I can cry happy tears instead of sad ones.
At the moment I am currently reading Shielded by KayLynn Flanders and will be reading The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte next.
From my last update I have read:
Lobizona by Romina Garber
Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke
Night Spinner by Addie Thorley
Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Sensational by Jodie Lynn Zdrok
The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis (review to come!)
Aurora Rising and Sensational were two “overdue” books that I had sitting in my cue for well over three months and finally finished them! I had Aurora waiting for about a year and Sensational was about five months – but I completed them and I am somewhat up to date on my reading! Yay!
I have linked my reviews of each book that I have read for you to check out – these six books were AMAZING! I can’t wait to continue reading the new books I have and hopefully, read some of the others I’m waiting for.
What is a title you’re anxiously hoping to be approved/waiting to read? The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is by far my top choice but, if I could request it, I would also die to read Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir.
You may or may not have seen that I am co-hosting a huge giveaway through my blog and my friend Alexa’s blog, Writing the Universe. I will link the post to enter to win ARCs, books, and ApollyCon swag! You must enter through the Rafflecopter in order to count your entry. Thanks for looking, good luck!
***Just a reminder: If you want to be entered to win one of the 4 bags or if you’re an international reader, you NEED to enter and do the task via the Rafflecopter. If you do the tasks and don’t track them in the Rafflecopter, you won’t be counted as a possible winner.
So I’m a bit peeved at COVID-19 because, well, everything. I had planned to go to ApollyCon 2020 and was so upset when the event was cancelled. This would have been my first time going to this event and I was so excited to see some of my favorite authors and meet new authors, but alas, it was not meant to be. While I am in support of Jen’s decision to cancel the event and move it online, I’m still really sad I wasn’t able to experience it in full, but I loved the online experience. Getting to hear from different authors and the different giveaways they did were so much fun! While ApollyCon 2021 is not confirmed, I really hope it can put be on and I can experience the event for myself next year.
While ApollyCon may have been cancelled, the fun continues on! I am so excited to be able to co-host this HUGE ApollyCon giveaway with Alexa over at Writing the Universe. I met Alexa just after ApollyCon 2019 and we quickly became friends after meeting up for a trade. Her giveaway last year looked like so much fun that I had to participate this year.
For 2020 we are giving away FOUR ApollyCon prize bags. Each will contain a mixture of books, ARCs, ApollyCon swag, and book box swag. There will also be TWO international giveaway winners who will receive a choice of a Jen Armentrout book through Book Depository (if BD ships to them) or a kindle copy of her newest book From Blood and Ash!
I will post the Terms and Conditions of the giveaway below, but I wanted to post a sneak peak of some of the items you could win!
We will be randomly choosing the winners through Rafflecopter and I will provide a link in my post. Here are the terms and conditions for this giveaway:
This Giveaway is split between my blog Lady and Star and my friend Alexa’s blog, Writing the Universe. We each will post 2 of the 4 ApollyCon Bags. These bags are what were included with the purchase of a Titan ticket for the event, plus extra books and book box swag. These bags are packed completely full of books and bookish items. Each bag is a mix of genres, fandom, and items. Each bag is different but may share similar/same items.
4 winners will be chosen, but you do not get to choose your bag.
There is a list of 10 things you can do to enter this giveaway, 5 of them are mandatory, the other 5 are bonuses – giving you a possibility for 10 total entries.
These are mandatory:
- Follow Lady and Star (My Blog)
- Follow Writing the Universe (Alexa’s Blog)
- Follow Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Twitter (@JLArmentrout)
- Follow my Twitter (@SuchABadBASS)
- Follow Alexa’s Twitter (@lexacourtney)
*Email followers count as well; you do not need to have a WordPress account to qualify. We just have to be able to determine you are actually following our blogs
- Retweet Pinned Giveaway Tweet on My Twitter
- Retweet Pinned Giveaway Tweet on Alexa’s Twitter
- Follow My Blog Twitter (@ladyandstar)
- Comment on this post with your favorite JLA Book
- Comment on Alexa’s Giveaway post with your favorite JLA Book
All of these tasks are listed in the Rafflecopter, as well as all the terms and conditions listed below.
Here is the link to enter! RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY
This Giveaway is going to run from April 6, 2020 8 AM EST, to April 27, 2020 12:00 AM EST . Winners will be announced April 29, and notified via email with a Google Doc to fill out.
***Due to circumstances surrounding COVID -19 and various forms of Stay At Home Directives in place, we will notify you when we are able to ship. Of course, we will do our best to get them out as soon as possible after announcing the winners.
NO GIVEAWAY ACCOUNTS FOR EITHER KIND OF PRIZES.
NO FOLLOWING TO UNFOLLOW AFTER THE GIVEAWAY ENDS.
We will be checking, and you will be blocked from any future giveaways.
For the 4 Apollycon 2020 Bags
Bags contain a mix of Apollycon 2020 books and swag, plus a variety of ARCs and Book Box swag. Each bag is different, but there may be some similarities. The above photos contain what you may receive, but are not a guarantee of what will be included in your prize if you win.
– Must be US residents with a US mailing address
– Must be 18+ or have a parent’s permission
The four Apollycon bags will ship in a Medium Flat Rate USPS Box.
We wanted to include our international friends in this giveaway, while keeping it Apollycon related. Since Jen, the creator of Apollycon, surprise released a new book at the end of March, we wanted to give people a chance to acquire it.
For the 2 Books* – 2 Winners
*This is for International People ONLY, please do not enter if you are a US resident!
– Must be 18+ or have a parent’s permission
– If Book Depository ships to your country, you can chose any Jennifer L. Armentrout Book up to $15, OR get a Kindle version of her Newest Book FROM BLOOD AND ASH.
All the same rules apply, 10 possible entries, but only 5 are mandatory. If chosen as a winner, you will be notified via email with a Google Doc to fill out.
Alexa and I are so excited to be able to put on this giveaway for you and wish everyone the best of luck!
***If/when you head over to Alexa’s blog, you’re going to see a lot of the same information. Know that it doesn’t mean double, the Rafflecopter’s are the same, with all of the same tasks. It does not matter which link you click on, or who’s blog you access it from.
Thanks for entering! ❤
I received an ARC of Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust through a giveaway on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.
I was lucky enough to receive a manuscript/early ARC through YallFEST but was so disappointed when it was a black cover. If you haven’t seen the cover art for this book, it is absolutely beautiful (as shown below). On a whim, I entered a Goodreads giveaway for a newer ARC because it had the cover art and with the expectation that I was not going to win. Normally, I don’t – but this time I did. And let me just say, the cover art is more beautiful in person.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.
As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.
Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.
Reading the synopsis was one of the first things that pulled me into this story. I knew I was in for a wild ride after reading that and I was right. We meet Soraya, a poisonous princess locked away in her room for others protection. While she does have access to the secret tunnels in her “castle”, she is aware that were she to run into anybody it could be deadly. The feeling of isolation and loneliness due to being locked away from Soraya really resonated with me. Everyone has felt lonely at times, but true loneliness is a difficult and cyclical feeling for people and it broke my heart when we first encountered our protagonist. I think Melissa writes this out beautifully though and shows the conflict in Soraya’s mind between finding a connection and keeping boundaries while also not only keeping it realistic, but unique to our character.
As we go on our journey, the twists and turns never stop. The way I thought this plot line would go was nowhere near the truth of this story – we go from point A to C to G to Y and my head is spinning (in a good way). I really didn’t expect the book to go the way it did but I think it makes it that much better. The self love Soraya is encouraged to find is an amazing message to anyone reading this and it feels genuine. The reader and Soraya learn some valuable lessons along the way and see the motivation behind every decision and their consequences. This book is not boring to say the least.
Now, there wasn’t much that I disliked, but, there are certain moments I wanted the author to write more into and extend and others I wanted to shrink. I won’t go into details, for obvious reasons, but some scenes I wanted more of! I really enjoyed reading Soraya’s story and I think anyone who loves a fierce heroine who can not only save herself, but learn to love herself in the meantime, is going to love this story.
I gave this book //5 stars with no regrets. I loved this book and while I have a strong feeling this is a standalone, I would be so happy to read a sequel just to spend more time with these characters!
If this book sounds interesting, check out The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh and The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi.
I received an e-ARC of Sensational by Jodie Lynn Zdrok from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review:
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
The 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris is full of innovations, cultural displays, and inventions. Millions of visitors attend over the course of several months…so no one would notice if a few were missing, right? Maybe—but someone is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the guillotine with a display of their own: beheaded victims in some of the Exposition’s most popular exhibits.
Nathalie Baudin’s ability to see murder scenes should help, but she’s suffering the effects of her magic more than ever before. Fortunately she has other Insightfuls to team up with—if they can be trusted.
I genuinely enjoyed this book and thought it was a great conclusion for this duology. We follow Nathalie as she continues her work helping the morgue and police with murder investigations. She has a suitor, is still working with Le Petite Journal, and while everything is going well, is still recovering from the Dark Artist murders two years earlier. It was sad to read that even two years later Nathalie is still suffering from the murder of her best friend. While I’m aware that grief does not have a timeline, I would have hoped she was feeling more comfortable and secure than we see her at the start of the book.
I also enjoyed getting to see more of her friends in this book. In Spectacle, we see a lot of the morgue, Le Petite Journal, and Aunt Bridgette. In Sensational, we see Nathalie with her friends more, going out and about. It was a nice change of pace from the first book and I liked the social interaction as well.
I thought the plot was great and even when I thought I knew the killer, I was still shocked to find myself wrong. It was interesting having the events coincide with the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris and to see what the exposition would have looked like through Nathalie’s eyes. It’s always fun to include a big historical event in a murder novel!
My only complaint was that there was sometimes too much of nothing in between scenes. The filler slowed down the book a lot in certain areas and it was preventing me from devouring the story like I did with Spectacle. Regardless, I like the plot, I like the ending, and I thought it was a great way to wrap up Nathalie’s story.
This book was a solid //5 stars for me. I loved book 1 and book 2 was just as great.
If this book sounds interesting, check out My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
I received a copy of Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I know, I know, I’m late on this one, but better late than never right? This book has been sitting in my NetGalley queue for like a year now and I finally read it. In less than 24 hours. Why did I wait so long!?
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering
And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.
They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.
So first and foremost, OW. Like, OWWW. I wasn’t expecting my heart to be ripped clean from my chest like that and honestly, I’m hurt. I know Jay is well known for his ability to sever heart strings and murder his readers, but damn Jay! Damn Amie! You didn’t have to destroy me like that! So yeah, the ending hurt. I was definitely holding back tears and this is my warning to you.
Besides that, WOW this book was amazing. I’m a fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy books and this one filled my heart with joy (you know, until it was ripped from my chest). We had a rag tag group pushed together and struggling to work with each other. We have sass and lots of it. An epic space adventure. Spy work. It was everything I could have asked for and more.
There really wasn’t much I didn’t like about the story. It was fast paced and had me sitting on the edge of my seating waiting for the next twist and turn. Even the cheesy moments, and there were a few, didn’t make me roll my eyes. I was elated reading them and shipping characters together.
Overall, a total win for me. //5 stars
If this book sounds interesting, check out Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman’s other series, Illuminae.
I received this eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Before the massacre at Nariin, Enebish was one of the greatest warriors in the Sky King’s Imperial Army: a rare and dangerous Night Spinner, blessed with the ability to control the threads of darkness. Now, she is known as Enebish the Destroyer―a monster and murderer, banished to a monastery for losing control of her power and annihilating a merchant caravan.
Guilt stricken and scarred, Enebish tries to be grateful for her sanctuary, until her adoptive sister, Imperial Army commander Ghoa, returns from the war front with a tantalizing offer. If Enebish can capture the notorious criminal, Temujin, whose band of rebels has been seizing army supply wagons, not only will her crimes be pardoned, she will be reinstated as a warrior.
Enebish eagerly accepts. But as she hunts Temujin across the tundra, she discovers the tides of war have shifted, and the supplies he’s stealing are the only thing keeping thousands of shepherds from starving. Torn between duty and conscience, Enebish must decide whether to put her trust in the charismatic rebel or her beloved sister. No matter who she chooses, an even greater enemy is advancing, ready to bring the empire to its knees.
So the beginning of this story was kinda boring. I don’t say it because I’m expecting great action from the start but it wasn’t until about 30-40% of the way through the book that things got really interesting. There were some seriously slow moments in the story that had me going “do I even want to finish this”? Well, I read the whole thing and I really enjoyed it. I thought the plot was good and loved the aspect of the world. Besides the slowness there were some things I wasn’t a fan of – like the main character’s demure. She kept repeating how weak and small she is even though previously she was one of the strongest and most confident warrior. It wasn’t very believable that someone’s personality would change that drastically. Would I believe they would doubt themselves more? Yeah. Would I believe they wouldn’t take as many risks? Yeah. But to go from warrior to a soft noodle didn’t comprehend for me or for the character.
Another thing I wasn’t a fan of was the unanswered plot point. I won’t spoil it, but this point was made over and over again but after every twist, turn, and reveal, this question still was not answered. I hope it will be answered in future books because I’m curious why it was brought up so frequently with no answer or follow up. Besides that, I liked the book. Some characters annoyed me but you don’t get a long with everyone you meet and that’s fine.
Overall, I liked the book. Once you get past the beginning and the backstory has been explained it picks up a lot. There were still some dull moments which is why this isn’t a higher rating for me, but generally a good book. I would give this a //5 stars.
If this story sounds interesting, I would check out Everless by Sara Holland.
In times of quarantines, it can be hard to keep yourself entertained, even with all the extra free time. Sometimes especially because of all the free tim