This is one of my most anticipated reads of 2022 and it did not disappoint! Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for allowing me to participate in this tour. Be sure to check out tour schedule for the other tours posts this week!
This book sounds so cute, I was so excited when I was chosen to participate in this tour! Be sure to check out the other tour posts – this one spreads across social media so be sure to check out the other reviews, Instagram posts, and TikToks! You can check out the schedule here!
Thank you to Turn the Page Tours and the publisher for sending me an advance copy for review! This is an honest, spoiler free review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
When I saw the announcement for a new Tycho book, set four years after the events in A Vow So Bold and Deadly, I literally screamed. I love the Cursebreaker series and couldn’t wait to return to that world and revisit some of these characters!
If you haven’t read the original trilogy, you’re definitely going to want to. If you haven’t check out my spoiler free review of the third book, A Vow So Bold and Deadly you should definitely check it out!
Thank you to Bloomsbury YA for sending me an advance copy for review! This is a spoiler free review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
Unbeknownst to me, in the span of six months I went from a hardcore fantasy/sci-fi girl to a hardcore fantasy/sci-fi/romance girl. I’m not sure when that happened but I have been reading so many contemporary romances recently and this one was a favorite!
This is a spoiler free review, all thoughts and feelings are my own.
When I first started this trilogy, it was after winning an ARC of The Empire of Gold and I realized I screwed up. Because I had not read either of the first two books and even though they sounded really good, I didn’t intend to pick them up for a while. But after reading, and down right loving, The City of Brass, I was so glad that giveaway gave me the push to read this series, because it’s one of my absolute favorites.
This is a spoiler free review and all thoughts and feelings are my own. Enjoy!
Hello and welcome back! Or, thanks for welcoming me back? Either way, I’m back. Hello!
I recently read The Kingdom of Copper and I’m currently reading The Empire of Gold and … oh my goodness. I don’t want this series to end! It can’t end!
I read The City of Brass in July 2020 so it’s been a little while since I picked up the books. Even coming in with nothing remembered from book 1, this book still captivated me from the start and I could not wait to find out what happens next…
Reminder: this is a sequel so there may be spoilers for The City of Brass! If you have not read the first book, feel free to check out my spoiler free review here!
This is a spoiler free review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
During my break, I continued reading this amazing series that I cannot describe how much I love it. I loved Gild and loved Glint and Gleam so so much, I am so excited for the next book in the series, Glow! I decided to do a joint blog post for books 2 and 3, so without a doubt, here are my thoughts!
Hello again and welcome to another blog post! Today I am reviewing A Court of Honey and Ash by Shannon Mayer and Kelly St Clare, which was recommended to me by my bookselling friends Kaitlin and Emma.
This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
It’s very overdue, especially since I read this book almost a month ago, but I finally managed to get some words down on the page and here it is: my review for A Spindle Splintered! I know everyone has been anxiously waiting for my thoughts on this, so I won’t delay it any longer lol
I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for a review. This is an honest, spoiler free review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
I’m back today with a review of Marissa Meyer’s newest book, Gilded! I read an excerpt on Bookish First and was hooked. A friend of mine happened to have an advanced copy he could let me borrow and I could not put this book down. Ironically, I won a copy from Bookish First, and have yet to receive it. So sending all my thanks to my friend Brad (you can check out his Instagram @audioshelfme which he co-hosts with Britney!) for letting me read your copy and allowing me to devour this book!
This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
Since the moment I heard about this book, I have been dying to read it! I love the cover, the synopsis sounds so good, and it’s a perfect book for spooky season. I was so excited to receive an advanced copy via NetGalley and couldn’t wait to dive in!
Thank you to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy for review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
I went into this book open minded, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me. The actual story and content wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t something that I enjoyed and had a hard time getting through.
I received an e-ARC of I Am Margaret Moore from Wednesday Books through NetGalley in exchange for a review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
Thank you to Inkyard Press for hosting this blog tour! I was so excited for this book, I couldn’t believe I was getting a chance to read it early. If you haven’t heard of The Keeper of Night, you absolutely need to check it out, it is phenomenal!
I received an e-ARC from Inkyard Press and NetGalley in exchange for a review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
I’m going to be honest, I didn’t even read the description for this book. I saw the cover and requested the book and that was it. But though the cover is beautiful, this book is more romance than fantasy and I wasn’t expecting that at first.
Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
I requested this book on NetGalley solely because of the cover. I didn’t even need to read the synopsis; I saw this beautiful cover, requested it, and hoped for the best!
And oh my gosh this book was so good!
I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
Thank you to Inkyard Press for giving me the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and share my spoiler free review! I loved Crown of Coral and Pearl and couldn’t wait to read her new book, especially after seeing the cover. Mara is just blessed to have gorgeous covers and I’m a little jealous. This book took a few unexpected turns though and ended up being completely different from what I thought it was about . . .
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
Hi everyone! I’m very excited to share my spoiler free review of City of Shattered Light for the TBR & Beyond tour! This book quickly hooked me in and I can safely say that there were so many twists that I couldn’t see coming, it was so well done. Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours for letting me participate and share my thoughts! Be sure to check out the tour schedule to see all of the amazing posts on this tour!
I’m not going to lie, when I got an email with a link to download this book from the publisher, I didn’t even read the synopsis. I saw this gorgeous cover and added it to my kindle without a second thought. I know they say never judge a book by its cover, but this is the exception because this cover perfectly describes the vibes of this book and oh my gosh, it’s so good!
Thank you to Macmillan and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
Hey everyone! I’m very excited to share my review and favorite quotes for Vespertine and participate in the blog tour with Turn the Page Tours! This was such a spooky book and the cover is absolutely gorgeous, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read and review it! Be sure to check out the tour schedule and stick around to the end of my review to find out more information about how to win a copy of Vespertine!
Thank you to Turn the Page Tours and Simon Teen for sending me a copy via NetGalley for review! This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
Penguin Teen hyped up this book so much! I was so excited for it, I snagged it when they offered it to me and couldn’t wait to start reading. But I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sucked into it like I thought I would be. This was more of a slow intro, a book to take your time with, and then, when everything is set up, then the fun begins.
Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
All of my friends are hopping on the NA/Adult Fantasy Romance train (aka fantasy with a sprinkle of spice/smut) and Gild was one my friends could not stop talking about. Two of my friends work at Barnes & Noble (which is half the reason I’ve been buying so many books) and they shoved this book into my hands and told me to read it. So, I read it. And I really liked it. So much that I went back a few days later to pick up the sequel!
This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
I just finished this book. My mind is blown. I didn’t think I could read a book so intense with an ending that made me want to scream, but here I am. Literally screaming.
Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review! This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
Vampires are back and I love the direction Sonia took this story. From the first chapter, I was invested in forever 16 y/o Holly who has to work at Taco Bell because she decided to be turned into a vampire and can’t manage to get a job anywhere else.
I loved the story, but for the love of God, publishers PLEASE allow the pdfs to be sent to kindle! I had to read this on my laptop, which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it was seriously annoying. I would have much rather read this on my iPad or phone where I can at least take it around with me, instead of having to remain somewhat stationary.
So for future reference, please don’t force me to read this on my laptop, please and thank you!
Thank you to Page Street Kids and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book for review! This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
I love the cover of this book and how simple, yet eerie it is. I wasn’t sure how scary or intense this book was going to be, but it ended up being really good and not too much! I love the historical fiction elements, the murder mystery, and the female empowerment all wrapped up into one book.
Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review! This is a spoiler free, honest review, and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
Thank you to Goodreads and the publisher for selecting me as a winner for this book! I was drawn in by the cover alone and the description just sealed the deal for me, so I was so happy when I won a copy! I went into this story semi-blind, open to what was going to happen, and I absolutely loved it. I can’t even articulate how much I loved this book and how hard it was for me to finish it, I did not want this story to end.
This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
Okay, listen. I know I’ve been reading a lot of paranormal thrillers (I mean, come on, they’re so good!) and I know we’re ready for some new genres, but listen. LISTEN! This book is so, so good and it just came out on Tuesday, so you need to do me a favor and pick it up ASAP!!!
Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own!
I have had this book sitting on my kindle for over a year. I hate having books sit on my Netgalley shelf or kindle shelf for a very long time, so I made a vow to read this book as soon as I could. And, finally, I did!
Thank you to Imprint and Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for a review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own!
Hey everyone, I’m happy to to be participating in the book tour for Mary, Will I Die? hosted by Terminal Tours. Check out my review and moodboard below! Be sure to check out the tour schedule and the other amazing posts for this tour!
Thank you to Scholastic Press for providing me with a physical ARC in exchange for a review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
Hey everyone! Today I have a special review because I was lucky enough to get to interview the author, Sasha Peyton Smith, for Turn the Page Tours – The Witch Haven tour! This book has everything I love in it: historical fiction set in NYC, with magic, romance, and a murder mystery! It’s literally all of my favorite genres in one book and I loved it!
If this sounds like a book you’d be interested in, be sure to check out the giveaway details at the end of the post to win one of TWO finished copies of the book! And check out the tour schedule to see the other amazing posts for this tour!
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own!
Hey guys! I’m so excited to be able to share my review This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron! I loved Cinderella is Dead and was so excited for this new series! Last year, I binge read Cinderella is Dead in one sitting (took me about 2.5 hours) because I couldn’t put the book down. It was so, so good and when I saw that Kalynn had a new series coming out, I was so excited!!! Surprisingly enough, I somehow managed to receive an ARC of the book, but it arrived a few days before release day, so I didn’t get a chance to read it in time. Then, I got the Owlcrate version of the book and put it on my July TBR! Well, July turned into August and two months post release, my review is finally here! Yay!
I received an ARC from Bloomsbury for This Poison Heart in exchange for an honest review. I read the finished copy so this review is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own!
Another day, another thriller novel review! But this one is just thriller, no paranormal/fantasy thriller today. I know, you’re so sad! I promise you though – this book is so good. And terrifying. I was dumb enough to read this late into the night and ended up finishing it at 2am. Yeah, not a great idea. But I can definitely say that this book will creep you out and scare the heck out of you. So, let’s dive in!
Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review! This is an honest, spoiler free review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
I managed to snag an ARC of Goddess in the Machine at YALLFest 2019 with my friend Grace and I really liked it! It was hard to get into at first with the changes in vocab and syntax from the futuristic characters, but once I got the hang of things, I was so excited for the story.
Thank you to Penguin Teen for sending me an e-ARC and a finished copy of the sequel, Devil in the Device, for review! This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
***This may contain spoilers for the first book, Goddess in the Machine. If you’ve not read the first book, feel free to check out my spoiler free review here, or proceed at your own risk!
Welcome back to another review of a paranormal thriller! If you missed these, me too, so I’m back again to review the upcoming release of Dark and Shallow Lies!
Thank you to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review. This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own! And with that, let’s dive in.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Bloomsbury YA for sending me an ARC of Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer!! I love Brigid’s books and when I saw this new series coming out, I HAD to request it!
This is a spoiler free, honest review and all thoughts and feelings are my own. I’m going to do my best to be coherent, but honestly, this book was just too damn good!
I don’t usually like novels in verse, I tend to resonate more with prose novels, but sometimes, a verse novel just hits me right in my feels. This is one of those books.
Are we surprised that I read another thriller? Because I’m not. This book had me doubting my own sanity and I absolutely loved the lead up, the reveals, the ending. All of it was just so well done, I couldn’t force myself to read this book quickly if I tried. This is a book that needs to be savored until the very last line! I’m obsessed lol
I am so excited to be able to participate in the blog tour for Mark of the Wicked by Georgia Bowers, hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours!
This book was everything I want in a paranormal thriller: death, doom, and destruction! I really enjoyed the story and while I wish some things were different, this review is spoiler free, so I won’t be touching on them today. But, I will share some thoughts I had while reading the book!
Be sure to check out the tour schedule for the other amazing posts on this tour!
I have been alternating between fantasy and horror and this book is a little bit of both. I read this book in less than 24 hours and loved the overall vibes, though I was getting a little freaked out reading this book at night!
Thank you to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review!
After several people, and many more TikToks, told me to read this book, I couldn’t resist. I have been reading a lot of romances recently and this one sounded so cute, so I bought a copy and read it in 2 days. And y’all, this is so cute!!
Today I am reviewing the second book in the From Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. If you haven’t read From Blood and Ash, this review may contain spoilers for the first book, and I highly recommend you check out my spoiler free review of book one instead.
If you have read From Blood and Ash, this review will be spoiler free for the second book, so buckle up. I have some thoughts.
I’m a big fan of historical fantasy books, so when I saw Erin was writing one, I knew it was going to be good! If you haven’t read her first book, House of Salt and Sorrows, you should definitely check it out! It’s a twelve dancing princesses retelling and very, very creepy!
I was excited for another fantasy horror and this book did not disappoint. Thank you to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy for review!
I have been reading so much fantasy lately that I needed something different to switch things up. I loved They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman and I was so excited to receive an e-ARC of her next book, They’ll Never Catch Us! While both murder mystery/thrillers, these books have totally different vibes and I was happy to see this book wasn’t a carbon copy or remixed version of her debut.
If you haven’t read They Wish They Were Us, no worries! These stories are unrelated, so you can read one and not the other. If you want to check out my review of They Wish They Were Us though, you can find it here!
Hey everyone! I’m very excited to be able to participate in the tour for A Dragonbird in the Fern by Laura Rueckert! This cover is so pretty and the contents of this book were so good. It’s definitely going on a favorites list for me and possibly a re-read list too. Thanks for stopping by for my review and favorite quotes from this book! I hope you enjoy!
Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours and Flux for allowing me to participate! Be sure to check out the tour schedule for all the amazing posts this week!
I have been following along with this series since before book one even came out. I received an ARC of The Raven and the Dove and fell in love with this story and with this world. If you haven’t read books 1 and two, you can check out my spoiler-free reviews here:
This review may contain spoilers for books 1 and 2, but will not spoil book 3. Please read at your own risk.
I am obsessed with this cover and after reading the contents of this book, I’m obsessed with this story too. While I have some issues on background and the general spooky world, mostly the lack of information, this book is too good not to read. This book made me cry and think and feel so many different things that I read it in less than three hours because I couldn’t put it down.
Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me to participate in this tour! Be sure to follow along with the tour schedule and check out all of the other amazing posts!
Guys, I am obsessed with this book. When it says The Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses, they weren’t lying. I think that is one of the most accurate taglines I have ever read and I cannot emphasize how good this book is. I read it in one day because every second I wasn’t reading, my mind drifted to this book. To what was happening. And I had to know what was going to happen next. And now that I’ve finished it … I need the next book immediately!
If you haven’t read the Cassidy Blake series by Victoria Schwab yet, check out books 1 and 2, City of Ghosts and Tunnel of Bones! I will link my reviews for them here:
If you have read the first two books, or don’t mind possibly getting spoiled, then come on in and enjoy the review!
I had been trying to read this book for months. Every time I thought I would be able to sit down and read it, something came up. And it didn’t matter that it was staring at me on my shelf, patiently waiting for me to pick it up and read, oh no. None of that mattered.
But, finally – FINALLY! I had some free time to really sit down and devour this book. I read this in less than 48 hours and I probably could have finished it in a day if I didn’t have to work. I had some doubts going into this book, but after reading it, all I can say is wow.
This book took me by surprise because while I was expecting a dark fantasy, wow some of these scenes were pretty intense. I mean, like torture intense. It definitely was not what I expected but it was still pretty good! I originally got an e-ARC of this book wayyyy back, but then eventually bought a physical copy, which is what I will be reviewing today!
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae back in 2019 and since then, I’ve been obsessed! I couldn’t wait for the sequel and oh my goodness, it lived up to my expectations and then some!! If you haven’t read The Kinder Poison, check out my spoiler free review here!
Have you ever wondered what an Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery would be like with an island full of influencers? Well, then this book is the one for you! With a bisexual main character and a lot of horrendous jokes, this book is such a middle of the road read for me, I can’t even explain it.
I am so happy I finally finished reading this book. This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021 and I am so thankful for the publisher for sending me a finished copy for review! I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait for the sequel!
Honestly, I requested this book solely based on the cover. The colors, the two girls staring at each other lovingly, the lightening – everything was coming together and screaming “READ ME!!!”
And what I got was a complex story about two girls trying to survive the end of the world and it was so freaking good!
My friend Alexa over at Writing the Universe somehow managed to get an extra ARC of Better Together from Wednesday Books and she was kind enough to give me her extra copy (thank you!). We ended up somewhat buddy reading this book together and um… it was interesting. Definitely interesting.
I’m going to link her review as well, since she has some strong opinions about this book too.
I LOVE historical fantasies, along the lines of The Diviners, and this one was so good! A gender-bent Indiana Jones set in the 1920’s? SIGN ME UP!
I have been sitting in front of my computer for days trying to put into words how this book made me feel. All of my incoherent thoughts just swimming around my head and unfortunately, I have no way of getting them down nicely on paper. So, instead, here is my incoherent screaming about The Wolf and the Woodsman. Thank you so so much to Harper Voyager for the ARC!
Many years ago, when I was in middle school, I was obsessed with the Marked series. I loved the storyline and the world and while I never finished the series, I got 8 books in before I ran out of books and moved on with the series. When I saw P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast were writing a new series together, I was so excited! I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from the publisher and some swag as well! (pics below!)
I don’t know a lot of books with queer Jewish representation. And when I saw this book available for request, I had to hop on it. This was such a cute read about a girl questioning her sexuality as she’s torn between the guy of her dreams and the girl she can’t forget.
I have been on a contemporary kick and this book scratched all of the itches I had! Fake dating? Friends to lovers? Anxiety rep? Super cute moments and references I can’t get out of my head? This book checked them all!
Ah high school. It’s so bizarre to think I graduated six years ago. I haven’t walked the halls or gone to classes and yet this book pulled me right back in and I loved it. With this enemies to lovers story, two rivals do everything in their power to outdo the other leading to an intensely passionate relationship that I am IN LOVE WITH.
I am a big thriller fan, but I’ve never been someone who could get into horror. While this isn’t Stephen King esque, it is pretty gruesome and intense and there were several moments that I had to take a break to calm my heart rate down. But this book was so fantastic that I could get past all of the horror elements because I had to know what was going on. The mystery of this world, of Sophia’s experience, and the disappearances on this island captivated me and I absolutely loved it!
I’m a sucker for the enemies to lovers trope and this book is an amazing example of a well executed enemies to lovers! With magic, murder, and mayhem, this book is a rollercoaster told from two POVs – the prince of the stolen kingdom and the girl set to take it back.
Before I start with my review, I want to mention that this book has several trigger warnings. While this review is spoiler free, there might be mentions of certain themes that might be triggering. Please proceed with caution and stay safe.
TW: anxiety, panic attacks, racism, suicide attempt, suicide of side character, child abuse
I managed to get an ARC of this book right before release on NetGalley, but it wasn’t until I purchased a physical copy at B&N that I got motivated to read it. See, I knew I was going to love this book (and obviously I was right) so it made sense to just buy a copy and I’m so glad I did. I loved this book so much and I can’t wait for the sequel!
I won a copy of What Big Teeth from BookishFirst after reading a sneak preview on their site. The prologue and first chapter got me so excited for this book, but after reading it, it didn’t live up to my hopes.
I finally finished this book! It has been so hard trying to find time to read these past few weeks. If you weren’t aware, my fiance and I are currently in the process of buying a house! And at the same time, I’m also unfortunately dealing with some medical issues and too many doctors appointments. Oh and this week is the week of Passover.
I’m a little busy. So trying to read has been pretty difficult. But, I finally found time to finish this amazing book and I’m so desperate for more!
Immediately after finishing Havenfall, I picked up Phoenix Flame and read it in one sitting. At just under 300 pages, I devoured this book to find out what happens next and now I’m curious if this series is a duology or a trilogy…
Today, I am reviewing one of my most highly anticipated reads of 2021 – Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson! This is a genderbent Phantom of the Opera retelling with magic and I was so excited to be a part of this tour! Thank you again to Turn the Page Tours for allowing me to participate in the Sing Me Forgotten blog tour! I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait to share my favorite quotes and 5 reasons to read this book. Be sure to check out the tour schedule for more amazing content!
I could not believe I am able to participate in this blog tour for Sweet & Bitter Magic. This is one of my most anticipated reads and WOW did it live up to that expectation! I am not joking when I say that I’m obsessed with this book and I need a series continuation of at least 10 more please.
Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me to participate and review this book! Be sure to check out my post on Instagram as well as the giveaway being hosted! More information at the end of my post. And be sure to check out the tour schedule on TBR & Beyond’s website for more reviews and other amazing posts!
This book has been on my radar for a while, especially since my blog tour company, Book Terminal Tours, did a blog tour for this book! Seeing everyone’s amazing reviews and gorgeous posts got me so hyped for this book and while I have some qualms with it, this book definitely lives up to its hype.
I received an ARC of The Gilded Ones from Delacorte Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is an honest, spoiler free review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
This is my first Veronica Roth book and it was one that I actually wished for and my wish was granted on NetGalley! It took me a while to getting around to reading it and this book ended up being very middle of the road for me. Not great, but not bad.
I was lucky enough to win a physical ARC of Down Comes the Night from Allison in one of her giveaways (which I’m still screaming about!) and received a digital ARC from Wednesday Books through NetGalley. This is one of my most anticipated reads for 2021 and I absolutely loved it. If you’re a fan of enemies-to-lovers, only one bed trope, and some strange, but awesome magic – then keep reading!
I finally was able to read my copy of ACOSF and I loved it. I connected with Nesta’s journey a lot and found ways to help myself heal through her story, so if you’re not a fan of SJM and were planning on coming to my blog to harass me for reading this book, please don’t. I know SJM is a polarized author, I know not everyone supports her, but her books have really helped me face my own trauma and mental health and I appreciate her writing about those experiences.
Please remember to be kind and that everyone has their own story to tell. Thank you.
I read Crave several months ago and fell in love with it. After that ending, I was so curious to see where this series was heading and how we were going to have any more books! I was lucky enough to be accepted to participate in a blog tour for Covet and knew I had to overcome my fear and read Crush.
And oh my gosh – you need to read this book.
If you haven’t read my review of Crave, you can check it out here. This review may contain spoilers for the first book, so be warned!
I finished the Seafire trilogy and I’m so sad!! But thank you to Penguin Teen for sending me a finished copy for review. I have loved this series since June 2018, which feels like forever ago, and I’m so grateful to have been able to follow along with this series since the beginning.
I won an ARC of The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold from BookishFirst, so thank you BookishFirst and Penguin Teen for sending me a copy! I was pulled in by the premise and the first few chapters and wow, this book only gets better from there! I absolutely loved this story and once I got halfway through I physically could not put this book down.
Valentine’s Day is Sunday and while this year is going to be very different, I think self care is always needed. So I made a list of recently published YA romance/contemporary books you need to read for Valentine’s Day! Whether you have plans with someone or not, these books are a great way to love yourself and enjoy some quality me time. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and feel free to leave suggestions for other great romance books!
It’s over … it’s finally over. I read the last book in the Diviners series as a buddy read with my friend Grace and I’m so sad! I loved this series so much, even if it mildly terrified me, and I want more!
If you haven’t read my review of Before the Devil Breaks You, the third book in the series, you can check it out here!
I am so excited to be able to participate in the blog tour for Unchosen by Katharyn Blair! This was a highly anticipated book for me and it did not disappoint. Thank you to Turn the Page Tours for allowing me to participate and to Katherine Tegen Books for sending me a finished copy for review!
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?
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!
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.
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 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.
The final book in the An Ember in the Ashes series, A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir has officially crushed my soul. Did I expect to be upset once the series ended? Yes. Did it still hit me hard? Absolutely. I cried like a little baby once the story was over and I’m just so glad I was able to follow along this journey. Here is my spoiler free review!
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.
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.
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!
This is such a hard review for me to write. I loved A Curse So Dark and Lonely and when I received an ARC of A Vow So Bold and Deadly in the mail, I damn near fainted. Now, the series is over and I just – I’m dead. This review might be a mix of coherent thoughts and babble, but bear with me! Just know that this book is amazing and I loved every second of it!
Today I am so excited to be able to participate in the book tour for The Bitterwine Oath by Hannah West. Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours and Holiday House for letting me participate in this tour! You can follow along with the tour schedule here.
I received an advance copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has not impacted my review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Today I am reviewing War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi – the first in the War Girls duology! I received an ARC of this book back at ALA 2019 and just never got a chance to read it. But now that the second book is out, I knew I had to jump on it and see what the hype is about and oh. my. gosh. I loved this book!
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 am so excited to be able to participate in the blog tour for Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett! Thank you Turn The Page Tours and Simon & Schuster for letting me participate! Be sure to check out the tour schedule and the other tour hosts! And they do currently have a giveaway for a copy of this book, so be sure to check that out if you’re interested!
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!
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 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 am not someone who normally DNFs (did not finish) a book, but this one pushed my buttons.
I received a copy of How to Break an Evil Curse by Laura Morrison from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This was marketed as a high fantasy, which it is not, and I just could not get through it.
I received a copy of A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe from NetGalley and Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review.
I found myself unable to put this book down while I was reading it. It’s an intense read that asks a lot of philosophical questions. A lush realistic fantasy that warns the readers – what will you give up for power?
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!
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!
I knew since April that I was going to receive an ARC of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab from Tor Publishing (thank you again Tor!) and when I received this book, I cried. I have loved every book Victoria has written and I knew I was going to adore this book.
Oh boy, was I right.
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!
Today, I am reviewing the audiobook for Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather. This was the first audiobook I’ve ever listened to (at least fully) and it was pretty good! Finding the right speed for me was tough and I’m pretty sure I missed like half the book just zoning out listening, but I really liked the experience! Especially since I can get them through my library through Libby.
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’ve been in this awful habit of requesting sequels I have the first book for and just haven’t read. It’s such a bad habit that it’s caused me to have more than 20 eARCs I had to read and simply not enough time. Which is why I’m basically bingeing off all the upcoming September and October reads right now. I’m overwhelmed!
I received an eARC of A Curse of Gold by Annie Sullivan through NetGalley from one of these requests. I owned the ebook of A Touch of Gold, so thankfully it wasn’t too much of a panic to receive book 2, but I was still panicking a little.
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 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!
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!
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!
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!!
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!
If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!
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.
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:
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!!!
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!
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 finally read Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon and I am so excited to read the next book, Warmaidens!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.
In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.
When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.
But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.
Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.
I managed to grab an ARC of Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon during ALA 2019. It was one of those books that I put off reading because another, newer title was grabbing my attention. I managed to get an eARC of Warmaidens, so I thought now was probably the best time to start reading!
I thought this was an interesting book. Not sure how this is a fantasy as it doesn’t delve past basic herbology, but I’m hoping the fantasy elements come into play in the next book. I enjoyed Kammani’s passion for healing and her desire to save her sister. I felt so bad for her family with everything that they went through – anyone would be bitter after all of that.
I liked the plot, but I wanted more fantasy. This book didn’t feel like a fantasy novel to me, though I still like it, I just don’t understand where the fantasy element comes into play?
Besides that, it was a fun ride. The last 150 pages had my head spinning. I didn’t want to put the book down and miss anything that was going to happen next.
This was a really interesting book and I liked Kammani’s story a lot. This was a // 5 stars. I’m really excited to see where this story is heading in book two, and thanks to NetGalley, I will get to read the sequel shortly!
If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron.
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.
Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim is the sequel to Spin the Dawn, which releases on July 7th, 2020. I managed to get an ARC of this book and I was so excited! I read Spin the Dawn last year and ADORED IT. I have never read a story like this before and it was one of my first reviews on this blog. It’s crazy to think that a whole year has gone by. If you have not read Spin the Dawn, feel free to check out my spoiler free review here. This review is spoiler free, but may spoil events in the first book.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
The thrilling sequel to SPIN THE DAWN, a magical series steeped in Chinese culture.
Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.
But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.
YA fantasy readers will love the sizzling forbidden romance, mystery, and intrigue of UNRAVEL THE DUSK.
We pick up right where we left off in Spin the Dawn and are immediately thrown back into Maia and Edan’s mess. And what a mess there is.
Honestly, I adore this series. I’m so sad that it’s only a duology and not a trilogy (I swear I thought it was a trilogy) but I will take what I can get in this series! I love the world, the storyline, the characters. Everything about this book is fun and yet also awful – I hate seeing characters turn into literal monsters.
I didn’t find myself disliking anything in the book overall. I think the only comment I would have though is that I wanted more EDAN!! He was so present in Spin the Dawn and his interactions with Maia made me so happy. I wanted to see more of him in Unravel the Dusk. I also wanted to see a different kind of ending. I won’t go into details, and I thought the ending was beautiful, but it felt … easy? I guess that’s the word I’m gonna go with. I just wanted to see a different kind of ending and I’m curious what kind of outcome a different ending would bring. Besides that, I thought this was a great wrap up of the series.
We see Maia’s internal struggle, external struggle, her actions are presenting clear consequences and obstacles for her to overcome, and we get to see different sides to familiar characters. What more can you ask for in a story? Oh yeah – awesome dialogue/character interactions – which this book definitely has!
If I hadn’t been moving these past few days, I would have finished the book ages ago, but I’m glad I got to finish the book in my new apartment. First book finished in my new home! (woo!)
There were multiple points in the book that I was tearing up or about to cry – they were so beautiful. And some parts really painful. As Maia undergoes these changes in herself she fights a literal demon inside of her, but I think anyone can relate to fighting against the voice in their head. Whether the author intended it or not, it had great symbolism to mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, and seeing Maia struggle to feel like herself and keep her head above water was beautifully written.
So, I love this series! And I really liked this book. There were certain things that I thought could be changed or a bit “easy”, but I won’t go into anymore details than that! This was a great ending to the series and I think everyone should read this beautifully written story. .5 // 5 stars from me.
If this book sounds interesting, check out Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan.
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 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!
Spoiler warning: If you have not read the first book in the series, Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan, then I cannot guarantee this will be a spoiler free review. If you have read Wicked Saints, this review will not spoil Ruthless Gods.
I am torn. On the one hand, this took me forever to read because I knew this would probably hurt me, so I didn’t want to finish it. The other part of me is mad I put it off and should have just finished sooner. Not sure which side will win the argument, but the fact is I took months to finish this book and the ending almost killed me, so here we are: writing this review in anger and resentment. Enjoy!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.
As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.
So to be clear, I read the ARC of this book. Now that the finished copy is out, even though ARCs are basically final drafts, there are some editorial changes that can occur, meaning some things may be different. For the most part though, we should all be on the same page, though I’m not going to go into detail as this is a spoiler free review.
Let’s start off this review with the obvious: Emily wants to murder her readers. The emotional rollercoaster that was Ruthless Gods not only gave me several heart attacks while reading, but almost slew me at the end. Wicked Saints was a journey of its own because of the new characters we meet and grow to like – and then hate to love. Now we have characters undergoing big changes and it’s hard to watch your favorites change before your eyes.
Then theres also the fact that the previous book ended with attempted and actual murder.
My journey with this book was difficult. I often have a conflict with books I like: one part of me feels starved and needs to read it, the other is terrified of rushing through the book. I want to know what comes next without the aspect of finishing the book. Once the book is finished, there’s no more – until the next one comes out.
I have had a long time to reflect on this review because the emotions were high for me when I finished, but I’m going to be honest. It does suffer from middle book syndrome.
Now before anyone raises their pitch forks and torches, let’s remind ourselves what middle book syndrome is. It is essentially the idea that the middle book is a sort of filler between the events of book 1 and book 3 or books whatever, depending on how many books there are. Since this series is a trilogy, it’s books 1 and book 3. Now, I say this because the entire first half of the book I felt like I was going nowhere.
Nothing really happened. Why? Because we had to recoup from the ending of book 1, set up the driving force for book 2, and make sure that the momentum takes us into book 3. Middle book syndrome is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be a good thing, but it does mean that the book can lag. And Ruthless Gods lagged in the beginning.
But once the action started – OH MY GOSH. The last two hundred pages grabbed the collar of my shirt and dragged me along, whether I wanted to go or not.
So besides the apparent middle book syndrome, and character changes, what else is there. Well, nothing bad. I loved the driving force in this book and the chain of events that seemed inevitable, but really weren’t. One thing I did have to pick a fight on is Nadya. Sweet, stupid Nadya. Her actions and her decision making irritated the shit out of me. I wanted to smack her upside the head and scream at her. Now, I get the motivation behind it, but come on! So many bad choices were made and now I’m left to suffer because of it?
Why are you making me suffer?!
To wrap up my convoluted thoughts I really liked this book. Now don’t act all surprised because of what I said earlier. I was mad. Even with the lag at the beginning, once the plot gets going, you won’t be disappointed. I threw the book and was SCREAMING at the end, so that should tell you the mindset I am coming from as I write this. Just like with Wicked Saints, this book is a // 5 stars for me. If you haven’t read Wicked Saints yet, get on it. It’s a fantastic series!
If this book sounds interesting to you, be sure to check out Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Cruel Prince by Holly Black, or Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin.
Lobizona was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020 and it did not disappoint. If you haven’t read Romina’s other series, the Zodiac series, you need to check it out! I snagged an ARC of her new series and here are my thoughts!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.
Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.
As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.
Reading Manu’s story brings up issues of immigration through a fantastical lens, as well as a realistic one. The separation between the real world and the fictional is a thin line that is crossed about 1/4-1/3 of the way through and highlights similar issues between these two worlds. Between the review version (300 pages) and what seems to be the final version (400 pages) there is a lot of details that could have been added, moments that changed, or even new scenes that I didn’t get in the review, but I hope are there. I feel like the beginning, which takes place in Miami, is more fleshed out than the fantastical world. It’s not clear whether it’s due to lack of explanation, or that it’s a completely different world these characters are living in, but I felt a bit lost.
In some moments I find myself not fully comprehending what Romina wants me to see or getting confused on the technicalities of what Lobizóns can and can’t do. It made it difficult to fully immerse myself during those moments and I felt pulled away. With 100 pages being added to the final copy, I assume, and I hope, that the fantastical world is fleshed out a bit more. If so, then I think the book is going to connect and resonate a lot more with readers than it would right now.
Overall, I really liked the story. I’m a fan of Romina’s work in general and I’m excited to see this new story come to light soon! I would rate this book //5 stars but I’m excited to see if I like the finished copy even more.
A friend of mine had an ARC of Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Waymouth that she graciously sent me to be able to read! It releases on September 10th, 2019 so keep a lookout!
I was so excited to read this story and see what happens! Unfortunately, it wasn’t as amazing as I had hoped.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic kept both the countryside and Violet happy.
That is, until her father’s treason destroyed everything.
Now she’s been given a chance to return home. But Burleigh isn’t what she remembered. Wild with grief, Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain. As its tormented magic ravages the countryside, Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.
A house left unchecked will lead to ruin.
But I will not let it ruin me.
This synopsis sounded AMAZING to me! But I noticed problems within the first chapter. I thought the magic system in this story was crazy unique – the house has all the power and its Caretaker wields a key to help hone its power responsibly. I haven’t heard of a system like this before and it was really interesting to read. My problem with it though, was that I didn’t get a true sense of the magic system until more than halfway through the book. This not only made it confusing as to what was happening, but kinda boring. Which was unfortunate, because I thought the premise was really cool! It also made it hard to understand the issues going on with Burleigh and why it was having such a destructive response.
Reading this, I really wanted to see and understand more of the House’s magic system and then be thrown a problem, not the other way around. While I understand Laura wanted a sense of mystery, it didn’t connect with me and made it harder to enjoy the story.
Another thing that irked me was the repetitiveness of the main idea. Caretakers put their houses first, before anybody or themselves. Violet consistently repeats this in her head, out loud, to Wyn, and anybody who will listen. It gets a bit annoying after awhile. I understood the author was trying to make a point, and have Violet learn something by the end, but it was a struggle to read the same line/thought over and over again. It also occurred with several other ideas, such as the house magic, the house dying, saving the house, and other main issues with the book. It was like everything had to be repeated on every page lest the reader forget what is going on. It was so hard to get through, I almost DNFed at one point. Thankfully, more than halfway through the story, it redeems itself and gets crazy good. I absolutely loved the ending!
Besides those issues, I really enjoyed the story and thought it was a fun read. I did want to see more of the “side characters” we meet, because they brought a lot of personality to the story. It was a shame they weren’t included more. Especially since Violet felt a bit flat in some parts (might be the result of the repetition but who knows).
Overall, interesting new read that I haven’t seen before and think everyone should give a try once it has been published in September! I’m excited to reread and see what changes have been made.
I would give this book a /5 stars, because the ending really did redeem the book and the other characters were so fun to read!
If this book sounds interesting to you, check out The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert!
I managed to snag an ARC of Wilder Girls by Rory Power at NoVa Teen Book Festival this past March and I was so excited to read it! One of the biggest things that attracted me to this book was the gorgeous cover (can we just drool over this together?)! I hadn’t heard much about the plot but I was ready to jump in and read what was going to happen.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.
One of the things I really liked about this was the storyline – an apocalyptic sickness taking over the school and the entire island it resides on. Turning the girls into deformed monsters and killing everything in its path. I’ve read and seen apocalyptic illness stories before, but never like this. Usually they take on a zombie standard, but most of the girls remain the same and keep their sanity – for the most part. It was interesting to see how they changed overtime because of this illness and to read about their new normal.
The new social survival standard was interesting too. Loyalty was still present even in the dog eats dog world as the girls fought each other over everything. Even between friends, Hetty still has to fight to survive as she continues to look out for the people she cares for.
One thing I wasn’t a fan of was Hetty and Reese’s relationship. They weren’t friends but they were more than strangers and it was hard to accept that they were loyal or cared for each other. Hetty was much closer with Byatt and clearly cared for her deeply – so to make it seem like Hetty and Reese had an intense relationship felt false. While it’s clear their relationship changes, there are some aspects to it that don’t feel right or could have been developed more.
Another thing that was somewhat explained but I didn’t fully understand was the sickness itself. There’s some explanation of symptoms and what happening to them, but it doesn’t explain why some people survive while others don’t. Or what is actually happening to them. It kinda hinders the story for me as we continue to see the effects of this illness on everything. I think this will impact book 2 in two ways: 1) We’ll get more explanation of what’s happening or 2) We won’t and we’ll still be confused. Or at least I will be.
I think the story is an interesting take on something that has been done before. Strange illness kills the population and changes the landscape. Survivors have to figure out how to live in new world and continue to survive. It’s a plot that has been done before but Power does something different with it, which I liked. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t super impressed with the storyline and honestly, Reese and Hetty’s characters annoyed me. I would have loved to have read the entire story through Byatt’s perspective though!
Overall, I enjoyed the story, but it wasn’t a winner for me. The synopsis is a little misleading because it makes it seem like a grand adventure but most of the story takes place at the school. While there is a lot of action, it’s not as action packed as I hoped. I am definitely interested in reading what happens next though! Definitely a .75/5 stars for me.
I won an advance copy of We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal from Goodreads and I am so thankful. This book is one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and it ABSOLUTELY lived up to the hype. I knew I was going to like this book, but I did not expect the roller coaster ride of emotions that Hafsah included in order to KILL ME. I am deceased from this story. This book releases on May 14th, 2019 – so make sure to preorder now!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.
Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.
Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.
War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.
Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.
So first and foremost – the setting is magical and gorgeous. Literally. The world has been abandoned by magic and as a result, leaves the Earth desolate and in distress. Where there was once a sprawling desert is now snow. Rich, fertile soil now barren. A seaport city is cut off from the ocean by a dark forest. The images Hafsah evokes just from the land is so amazing and intense I felt like I was there. I also felt the suffering that the people living there felt; the struggle of this relatively new land they have to navigate. Hafsah’s prose pulls you into the story and places you down with the characters and that means suffering with them too.
Onto her writing – it was so lyrical and amazing I’m stunned. I’ve always been a fan of lyrically descriptive prose. I want to see what the characters see because it helps me envision the story better and Hafsah does it in such a beautiful way; some scenes almost made me cry with how beautiful or intense they were. Because of this writing technique though, the beginning can seem a bit slow. Not to say that nothing happens, because a lot happens in the beginning with setting the characters up, but it can feel sluggish compared to the rest of the book. Honestly though, I didn’t mind it. I enjoyed getting to see and know everything that was happening in a descriptive way – it makes the world more real to me.
For her characters, there’s a lot I could say. 1) Love the distinct personalities that each character has. While there is a little overlap between two characters, each person is an individual – which doesn’t always happen. Even with multiple “main” characters (the important characters that are not the protagonists), everyone has a distinct voice and brings something to the story that nobody else could. 2) I ABSOLUTELY LOVE NASIR AND I JUST WANT TO CUDDLE MY CINNAMON ROLL. Okay – yes, Nasir is one of my favorite characters for one BIG reason: his evolution. The way he changes and morphs throughout the story is honestly the biggest reason I adore his character. I love the person he becomes by the end of the novel. I find myself loving the male characters more than the female characters too, including Zafira for some reason though.
The only issue I had with the story though – was Zafira’s repetitiveness. I found that this happened only with Zafira’s main POV and was a common thing about her thought process. She would think the same thing a lot: same phrases, analogies, sayings. It’s not horribly noticeable, but it was something I noticed and it irked me a little by the end. Thankfully, it wasn’t something that ruined the character for me because I still adore Zafira, even with her flaws. Actually, for her flaws. I find myself having trouble really thinking of things I disliked about the characters because so much of these dislikes are the quirks in their personality. It’s what makes them unique and I can’t hate that. I don’t hate it.
Finally, the plot. Loved it. I can’t think of anything wrong with the events that happened other than sometimes things would happen and not be explained very well. Or a character would conveniently black out so it’s hard to say exactly the events that occurred. While this wasn’t a common thing, it happened twice which is something I immediately noticed. I don’t mind plot points like that, but I hope to see a different or revised version of events in the final draft. I want to know how a problem is solved!
Overall, I ADORED this book, the characters, the plot, everything about this novel. I am stunned at how amazing it was for Hafsah’s debut and I cannot wait to read the second book. I would give this book a definite /5 stars! No questions asked!
Thank you again to Goodreads for picking me as one of the winner’s for this giveaway! Even if it was just a random name generator.
If this book sounds interesting to you, check out Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim (out July 9th, 2019!)
I just finished Kingsbane by Claire Legrand and all I can say is WOW. Finishing the book left me hollow and broken – I’m not sure how I’m going to wait until next year for the final book. If you haven’t read Furyborn – the first book in the series – check out my review and pick it up! This review will still be spoiler free, but just in case, if you haven’t read it, check this out when you have!
Here is the summary from Goodreads:
Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.
Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana’s power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother’s power, or rejecting it forever.
I read Furyborn back in February (technically finished it in March) of this year and I was hooked. Picking up from where we left off, Kingsbane hit me in the feels immediately. As we continue on Eliana’s journey, and Rielle’s history, I find myself understanding the struggle Rielle experiences in maintaining her appearance. It was hard to see her character consistently berated and tested by those around her while she keeps up her image and resists the temptation to smack them all down. I feel you girl. Meanwhile, with Eliana struggling to accept her truth, while helping the Red Guard, it’s clear she’s going through a similar struggle as Rielle.
The similarities between mother and daughter continue throughout the story up until the end. Which, by the way, destroyed me. To find out more of Rielle’s story, and Eliana’s journey, not only made their characters feel more realistic, but allowed the storylines of the characters around them to come to life more. In the first book, while I loved several of the side characters, they didn’t feel fully fleshed out until the second book. And while it’s hard to see the events leading up to Eliana’s world unfolding, it gives the perfect edge to the story and and still leaves questions to be answered.
Warning: if you hate crying and horrible middle book endings – you will not want to read this ASAP. Buy the book ASAP (because it’s gorgeous), but maybe wait until book 3 is closer to release. Trust me. I was not prepared. Overall, I would give this book /5 stars. 1) I’m biased and ADORE this series and 2) this is a well written story with so many emotions, lessons, twists, and turns, it’s hard not to give it all of the stars! I think everyone should at least try these books (not everyone will love this series and that’s okay!) because I think they’re fantastic – if not crazy!
If you like Kingsbane, you’ll love Courting Darkness by Robin LeFevers OR Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas.
I received an eARC of Killing November by Adriana Mather from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was also late on this one, but I read and reviewed it, so it counts!
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
It’s a school completely off the grid, hidden by dense forest and surrounded by traps. There’s no electricity, no internet, and an eye-for-an-eye punishment system. Classes include everything from Knife-Throwing and Poisons to the Art of Deception and Historical Analysis. And all of the students are children of the world’s most elite strategists—training to become assassins, counselors, spies, and master impersonators. Into this world walks November Adley, who quickly discovers that friends are few in a school where personal revelations are discouraged and competition is everything. When another student is murdered, all eyes turn to November, who must figure out exactly how she fits into the school’s bizarre strategy games before she is found guilty of the crime…or becomes the killer’s next victim.
When I started this book, I was honestly so confused as to what was supposed to happen. We start off with November ending up at her new school, with no recollection of how she got there or where it is. With no information from her father, and the school an honest death trap, we are left with no information and just as confused as November.
As we move on, we meet November’s roommate and her twin brother, as well as the rest of her class, who are obviously not the friendliest people. The secretive private school gave me a “I’d Tell You I’d Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You” Vibe, but with some higher stakes. This book was fairly stereotypical, but the more the book progressed, the more unique it became. By the end, I was in love with the story and the characters. I honestly can’t wait for book two!
One issue that I had throughout the book was the push towards a love interest for November. It felt like the author was trying to force a relationship between these characters to add tension, especially since they can’t date at the school. It felt so forced and it was a bit uncomfortable to read honestly. If there wasn’t this romance, and other random romances in it, the book would be really good!
Overall, I enjoyed this read and I’m interested in reading the second one, if there will be one. I rated this /5 stars, because while I had trouble with the beginning and the romance, it was a fun, exciting read!
If this book sounds interesting to you, check out The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross.