Tag: Autumn Tag

I was tagged by Alexa over at Writing the Universe to do the Autumn Tag! Link directs you to her answers if you’re interested! Autumn and winter are my favorite seasons so I genuinely enjoyed this tag and I’m excited to see what I have in common with everyone! Let me know in the comments below what connected with you and what we share in common!

Hot chocolate – what is your comfort book? hot cocoa.jpg

For sure it would have to be Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. This book was one of the first series I really got into in middle school/high school and it floods me with memories of my grandmother’s house during Thanksgiving. This familiar series is one that I can easily pick up and dive back into that world with ease.

Pumpkin Carving – what is your favorite creative outlet? pumpkin.jpg

Besides writing, I love to sing. I’m big into music, specifically singing and playing the flute/piccolo. I’ve been playing the flute since 4th grade and the piccolo since 11th grade and picking up the instrument is like an extension of my body. When I’m not playing the flute, it’s singing. To listen to a song and relax as the words flow out is something I do all the time to make myself feel more at ease and it’s fun.

Falling Leaves – changes that appear bad but you secretly love? leaves.jpg

I don’t think I have any drastic changes in my life that I can reflect on much less love. The changes I have experienced have been subtle or gradual, so not much to love or hate at the moment thankfully.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte – something you love that others tend to judge psl.jpg

I just recently got into yoga, specifically hot yoga, with my friend. And I went non-dairy and meat free as well for my health. I’ve gotten a lot of “oh me too”‘s and “that’s great”‘s but there have been a few looks of “why?” which is annoying. I’ve been going to yoga 4-5 times a week on average and with the diet change, I feel amazing. So whatever.

Night – what makes you explode with joy? bonfire.jpg

Babies. Every time I see or interact with them, my heart just melts. And then the baby fever begins. Also hearing about people’s accomplishments – especially ones they’ve been working towards for a while. It just gives me joy to hear other people are feeling joy so that’s always wonderful!

Fright Night – favorite scary book or film scary scene.jpg

I’m not big into horror novels or films so I don’t really have one to mention or talk about. The scariest I would go is City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab. I do like murder mystery novels though! One of my favorite murder mysteries is Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte – and I’m excited to read her new novel, The Vanishing Deep!

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My favorite things to eat change depending on my mood. Right now, my favorite things are these Kashi granola bars, the chocolate chip chia ones (AMAZING!) and fresh berries with honey. I could eat them all day, every day and so far, that goal is accomplished!

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Cardigans, sweatshirts, and loose long sleeved shirts are my go to with leggings. That’s essentially all I wear during the fall/winter – which is why they’re my favorite seasons! Specifically, I am obsessed with my long sleeved, black, Phantom of the Opera shirt and my maroon pink leggings. Best outfit combo for a cozy fall day.

Fire – a book or film that burns your soul fire cracker.jpg

As of right now, I’m OBSESSED with Serpent and Dove and There Will Come A Darkness. I’m currently in a reading slump due to how amazing these stories are because nothing can compare at the moment. I hope it passes quickly though so I can continue reading these amazing new releases and ARC’s I have!

Toffee apples – a book or film that seems one thing but really has a different inside apples.jpg

I feel like every Disney and Pixar movie trailers are so misleading. Of course they take the most iconic sound clips or images, but some of those don’t end up in the film. For Frozen, I thought it was going to be a completely different movie based on the trailer and I find this keeps happening with every Disney movie. The trailer gives me an idea of one thing and then when I actually go see the movie, it’s completely different. Why are they trying to confuse me!?

I don’t really have anyone to tag because the only person I can think to tag already tagged me in this one! So feel free to do this tag yourself and let me know your what your answers would be! I hope you enjoyed this tag!

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October TBR

For this month, I’m going to TRY to actually read more than 2 books in the month (it probably won’t happen) so let’s go for like, 4.

Here is my TBR and hopeful reading schedule for October!

The Beautiful

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In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

The Light at the Bottom of the World

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At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean’s surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.

Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father’s been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people,often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he’s innocent, and all she’s interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.

When she’s picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted: Leyla must venture outside of London for the first time in her life, to find and rescue her father herself.

Now, she’ll have to brave the unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a secretive, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If she fails, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture-and her father might be lost forever.

The Guinevere Deception

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There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl.

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution–send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere’s real name–and her true identity–is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old–including Arthur’s own family–demand things continue as they have been, and the new–those drawn by the dream of Camelot–fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?

Fate of the Fallen

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The Shroud of Prophecy tests fate to discover what happens when the path of good and right, the triumph of light over darkness, the only path to salvation… fails.

Everyone loves Mathias. So naturally, when he discovers it’s his destiny to save the world, he dives in head first, pulling his best friend Aaslo along for the ride.

Mathias is thrilled for the adventure! There’s nothing better than a road beneath his feet and adventure in the air. Aaslo, on the other hand, has never cared for the world beyond the borders of his sleepy village and would be much happier alone and in the woods. But, someone has to keep the Chosen One’s head on his shoulders and his feet on the ground.

It turns out saving the world isn’t as easy, or exciting, as it sounds in the stories. Mathias is more than willing to place his life on the line, but Aaslo would love nothing more than to forget about all the talk of arcane bloodlines and magical fae creatures. When the going gets rough, folks start to believe their only chance for survival is to surrender to the forces of evil, which isn’t how the stories go. At all. To make matters worse Aaslo is beginning to fear that he may have lost his mind…

Gravemaidens

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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 am so excited to read (hopefully) all of these this month! If I can manage to finish the current book I’m reading right now. . .

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Which October release are you most excited to get your hands on?

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September Wrap Up/Mini Review

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

Here’s what I managed to finish though:

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

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

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

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To DNF or not to DNF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Bone Houses

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

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

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

2. The Grace Year

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Survive the year.

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

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

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

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

3. The Tenth Girl

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

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

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

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

4. Gideon the Ninth

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The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

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

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

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

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

Of course, some things are better left dead.

5. Tunnel of Bones ***

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

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

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

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

 

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

6. House of Salt and Sorrows

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

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

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

7. Spectacle 

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Paris, 1887.

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

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

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

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Making Assumptions About Books I’ve Never Read

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

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

1.

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

NEXT!

2.

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

3.

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

4.

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

5.

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

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

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

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Tag: Book Blogger Confessions

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

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Answer these questions truthfully.

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

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


2. Which book is your guilty pleasure?

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


3. Which book do you love to hate?

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


4. Which book would you throw into the sea?

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


5. Which book have you read the most?

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


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

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


7. Which book could you not live without?

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


8. Which book made you the angriest?

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


9. Which book made you cry the most?

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


10. Which book cover do you hate the most?

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

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I tag anyone that wants to do this!

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Writing Update #1

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

So how am I going about fixing this issue?

By avoiding writing of course!

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

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

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

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

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

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

WIP #1: 23,119

WIP #2: 656

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

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

Review: Serpent & Dove

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

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Here’s the description from Goodreads:

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

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

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

And love makes fools of us all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tag: 20 Question Book Tag

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

Here’s the 20 Question Book Tag!

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

2. How do you feel about cliffhanger endings?

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

3. Hardback or paperback?

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

4. Favorite book?

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

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

5.  Least Favorite book?

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

6. Love triangles: yes or no?

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

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

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

8. A book you’re currently reading?

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

9. Last book you recommended?

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

10. Oldest book you’ve read?

Not counting biblical texts, Beowulf. 

11. Newest book you’ve read?

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

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12. Favorite author?

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

13. Buying books or borrowing?

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

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

Hunger Games lol. Also never got into Illuminae…

15. Bookmarks or dog ears?

Bookmarks you monsters. Always bookmarks.

16. A book that you always reread?

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

17. Can you read while listening to music?

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

18. One POV or multiple POVs?

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

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

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

20. Who do you tag?

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

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

ARC Review: The Grace Year

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

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Survive the year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ARC Review: Tiger Queen

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

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

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Heres the synopsis from Goodreads:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

September TBR

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

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

Gideon The Ninth

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Girls of Storm and Shadow

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Serpent and Dove

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The Tenth Girl

Goodreads Link

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***Good Luck Girls

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***Kingdom of Souls

Goodreads Link 

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

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

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

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

My Experience at ALA

This past weekend (June 22 – June 24) I attended my first ALA convention in Washington DC. Being a first timer, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I signed up for it, but I was definitely excited!

Arriving an hour before the floor opened on Saturday, my friends Alexa, Morissa, and I stood in a calm line of about 100 people while we patiently waited for them to let us in. When 9:00am rolled around it was a calm wave of people checking badges as we descended the escalators down to the exhibit floor.

Within 1 hour I had filled my backpack and a large tote bag with books. It became so heavy, I had to transfer them to tote bags and check them in. We were so exhausted from all the books we were carrying, and the walking around, that we left early.

By the end of Day 1, I had a full backpack and two full tote bags. It was honestly painful walking the two blocks to the hotel next door to retrieve my car. Poor Alexa was also drowning in tote bags and a full backpack as we made our way to the car.

Here is what my day 1 haul looked like when I got home:

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For Day 2, I learned from my mistake and brought a freaking suitcase to haul everything back. I still had my backpack and tote bags, but fortunately I didn’t need to dump everything until about 11am that day. The plan for Sunday was to avoid the massive amount of books that we received on Saturday and stick to the most important ones:

  • A Heart so Fierce and Broken
  • The Burning Shadow
  • The Starless Sea
  • Tiger Queen

We not only got everything that we were looking for (SUCCESS!) but everything else that we were “trying” to avoid. And by trying, I mean accepting every ARC or book that was handed to us with minimal resistance. It was hard to say no! It was also hard to avoid asking or taking one that was being given away. Getting ARCs is never this easy and it was too hard to pass up on hundreds of them being given away.

While I didn’t get every book I wanted to (and there were SO many that I wanted to get), I got about 98% of them and for me, that is a crazy success.

After Sunday, with the amount we had accumulated, Alexa and I agreed that we were absolutely going to skip Monday. Which meant we missed out on probably 100 more books, but we had accrued almost 100 each and it was too much. Which is something I never thought I would say.

Here is my weekend ALA haul:

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The most surprising thing for me was 1) THESE WERE ALL FREE (wtf) and 2) It was so calm and easy. In my experience with book conventions, it’s always a massive struggle to get books, especially ARCs. Everyone is fighting over them and it’s pretty ruthless. At ALA it was as easy as saying please.

One shocking experience I had was at the Harper Collins booth, where they displayed titles of books that they brought with them to give away during the weekend. All you had to do was walk up, name the titles of books you wanted, and say thank you. That was how easy it was to walk away with six titles from them. Same with Penguin. And Macmillan.

As the convention wore on, some publishers became a bit more reserved in giving out books since a lot of people in attendance were readers and bloggers – which I understood. The point of the convention was the give out titles to librarians and book sellers so they can order the books. While bloggers are important, we weren’t necessarily the priority.

Overall, the experience was very relaxed for all the ARC drops and giveaways, with the exception of The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. That was probably the most chaotic part of the entire convention as hundreds of people were trying to get that book. Thankfully, being the first person in line as directed by one of the Penguin reps, I snagged a ticket. Originally, the signing line would be first come, first serve, but since people were lining up 3 hours early, (sorry) they had to change the plan. Everyone in line when tickets were handed out were guaranteed a book.

Skipping Monday was a hard decision, but leaving the convention with almost 100 books meant that I wasn’t going to have space to store them, much less read them, if I went for another day. It also saved us some gas and parking money!

Compared to BookCon, ALA was a calm, easy convention. It wasn’t hard to secure the titles you wanted, so long as you got there first. Nor was it an aggressive, blood thirsty mess. No one was hurt in retrieving books. The only disappointing thing was missing out on a title you wanted. But hey, you can’t get everything you want.

If ALA wasn’t in Chicago next year, I absolutely would go again in 2020. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can afford a vacation like that or the shipping costs for all those books. While it’s promoted as the Librarian conference, everyone is welcome to join ALA, as stated on their website. If you’re looking for a relaxed convention with books, friends, and cool displays, check it out! I will definitely try to go again soon.

ARC Review: A House of Salt and Sorrows

This is the second horror/paranormal novel I’ve read this year and it did NOT disappoint! House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig is an amazing, well written fantasy read which releases in August 2019. I managed to snag an ARC at NoVa Teen Book Festival back in March and while it took me a while to pick this book up, it didn’t take long for me to finish it.

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

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

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

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

When I first started reading this story, I knew it was a ghost story of sorts. The deaths of Annaleigh’s four sisters is hard to stomach, and thinking they’ve come back to haunt her is worse. We start off the story at the funeral of her fourth sister as they return her body back the waters she came from. This seen was a bit sorrowful for me and almost hard to stomach for personal reasons, but a beautiful scene nonetheless. But it’s the rest of the book that leaves me breathless, and a bit terrified.

Now, I like horror novels. Horror movies are a no-go for me, but novels are different. I like them to be extra scary so that when the lights go off at night, I can be sure to hide under the covers. This one was a great contender for that top spot! Not only did the mystery aspect of it leave me on the edge of my seat, but the horror images actually made me squirm. There were several moments in the story where I had to shut off that internal movie because the images were too gruesome or gross.

While this book is horrifically good, it’s also got an interesting romance to it. One that I wasn’t sure was developed enough. It feels almost forced that Annaleigh is enthralled with this one person because this person barely reciprocates. Until the end at least. Now, since this is an ARC review, these details could change. And I hope they do. I can appreciate a good romance in a novel, but not if it feels forced.

Besides the forced romance though, the relationships between Annaleigh and her family are heartwarming. Even though there is tragedy striking her family, they still remain close knit between the sisters. And I loved seeing that. While there is a few quarrels and differences of opinion, its clear that the sisters love each other and are constantly supporting each other. Which makes sense for what is going on in their life. Nonetheless, still something I love to see, as I have sisters myself.

Finally, the mystery of the story and the plot development is PHENOMENAL. Like, scream with delight amazing. It can be so hard to find horror stories that take care in the details and progression of events, especially YA horror. But Craig is careful and meticulous in her plotting, which shows by the end.

Overall, I would give this book star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png/5 stars, because while this story was amazing, the romance kind of drew it back for me.

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If this book sounds interesting, check out The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees.

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

ARC Review: Spin the Dawn

I received an advance e-book copy of Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Let me start off by saying THANK YOU! I adored this story and let me tell you why!

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

First off, the blurb at the top of the Goodreads synopsis:

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Totally accurate. This is definitely Project Runway meets Mulan and it is AMAZING. My favorite thing about this story is that it is not what it seems. I assumed it would just be Maia avoiding being discovered as a man during the trials, but so much more happens and it is epic!!!

One of the most interesting things in the story is the magic system that Lim builds. Most people in the world don’t have magic, but it’s revealed that magic was a more prominent aspect in people’s lives. Certain people still can possess and use magic, but it’s limited to very specific people. Lots of other stories have this type of element, but the way Lim uses this in the story is the unique part that I liked so much. She doesn’t make it the important part of a quest, but a hinderance to the people who possess it since they are used and abused. It’s sad, but it’s new.

Another thing I liked about the story was the characters. Maia herself starts off very timid and obedient then slowly evolves into someone more confident and self assured, which I love to see! Her personality grows every page and helps her become a stronger person – I love positive character growth. Then there’s Edan – my favorite character in this story. The enchanter is another person we see a large shift with over time. He goes from being a snarky, cocky person to someone who is caring, kind, and loyal. Less of a brooding bad boy and more of a reserved jerk? That’s the best way to describe it. Meanwhile, the other people we meet and most definitely not what they seem and it’s obvious there is something going on.

I thought the first half of this book was going to be the entire story, but a grander, more interesting story emerges. It’s so good! While I would love to see Maia kick butt during the competition, the whole second half of the story changes everything. It adds so much more to the growth of Maia and Edam – and the story.

Overall, I would give this a star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png/5 stars. There is nothing in this book that I wasn’t a fan of. The imagery is beautiful, characters are enchanting, and the storyline shoved me from my seat onto the page. It was … magical!

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If this book sounds interesting, check out We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. 

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

 

May TBR – Unrealistic Goals

I always find myself saying I’m going to read certain books and then I never actually follow through with what I say I’m going to do. So here is my HOPE – I want to read all of these books, but we’ll see. Also, enjoy my comments with these titles, I thought it would add a bit of pizzazz.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

      *** I’m already more than halfway through this book, I just put it down to review some other titles, but I’m going to finish it this month because it is amazing!!!

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Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

         This book is so beautiful and while I wasn’t a fan of Illuminae, I’ve heard nothing but amazing reviews – so I’m excited!

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House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

I have been putting off reading this for so freaking long, even though the ARC is currently sitting on my shelf because – idk! I just need to read it. Why am I scared? 

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The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

I will probably adore this book, I just need to pick it up and read it in a day. That’s how this works, right?

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

I will probably never hear the end of this, but yes, I have not read this book yet. I will read it, and hopefully that will happen in May! Also, do not come for me. I’m taking my time, I know!!

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Sightwitch by Susan Dennard

LOVED the first two books and I know I need to read this before Bloodwitch – so I’m going to read it!

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Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

And of course if I read Sightwitch I’m going to immediately start reading Bloodwitch because that’s what happens when you read Susan’s books! 

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Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

I’m still in shock I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m going to! I just might wait until after a few other, not so heart wrenching books have been read. 

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All right! This is my TBR for the month of May. This will most likely, actually definitely, change during the course of the month. That’s just how it goes sometimes. I hope to read all, if not most, of these though. I guess we’ll see which ones I get to during my May Wrap Up! Stay tuned for some more unrealistic goals!

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ARC Review: Treason of Thorns

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.

Image result for a treason of thorns

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 star.pngstar.pngstar.png/5 stars, because the ending really did redeem the book and the other characters were so fun to read!

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If this book sounds interesting to you, check out The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert!

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