Review for Halayda by Sarah Delena White

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  • My rating: 2 Stars
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon
  • Pages: 438
  • Publisher: Uncommon Universes Press
  • Spoiler-free review

A mortal alchemist. A faerie king. A bond that transcends death.

Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.

King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.

Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.

Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed. Less

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Review for The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell

Description

Imagine that you live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses. You’ve known your neighbors for years and you trust them. Implicitly. You think your children are safe. But are they really?On a midsummer night, as a festive neighborhood party is taking place, preteen Pip discovers her thirteen-year-old sister Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of a lush rose garden. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?


Details/Synopsis

  • My rating: 3.5 Stars
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Spoiler-free review

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Review for The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

Description

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.


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July 2017 Wrap-up

Wd125_19 I cannot believe it’s already August!! Summer (despite my lazing about)
has passed so quickly. School starts in less less than two weeks for me…

So, the summer has been super slow reading for me, unfortunately. I reduced my Goodreads goal from 110 books to 90 books–hopefully I can reach it! I think it is a more reasonable goal, and I’m a little past halfway done.

I read 6 books in July (but one of them was only 100-ish pages lol). Here are my thoughts:

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The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

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  • My rating: 3.5 Stars
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  • Amazon
  • Pages: 400
  • Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Spoiler-free review

Eleven years ago, Stella and Jeanie disappeared. Only Stella came back.

Now all she wants is a summer full of cove days, friends, and her gorgeous crush – until a fresh corpse leads Stella down a path of ancient evil and secrets.

Stella believes remembering what happened to Jeanie will save her. It won’t.

She used to know better than to believe in what slinks through the shadows. Not anymore

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The Little Queen by Meia Geddes

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  • My rating: 4 Stars
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  • Amazon
  • Pages: 110 Pages
  • Publisher: Poetose Press
  • Spoiler-free review

When her mother and father pass away, the little queen must figure out how to be a little queen. And so she begins her adventures, journeying away from her palace and into the world to determine how she should go about going on. The little queen soon encounters numerous folks who teach her a thing or two: the book sniffer, the dream writer, and the architect of silence are just a few. Along the way, the little queen finds friendship, love, and meaning in being a leader in her world. The Little Queen is a magical exploration of self-discovery, vocation, community, and home

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The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Details/Synopsis

  • My rating: 4 Stars91A8+mFtlxL
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon
  • Pages: 339 Pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  • Spoiler-free review

A sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who is sent a mysterious old book, inscribed with his grandmother’s name. What is the book’s connection to his family?

Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home, a house perched on the edge of a cliff that is slowly crumbling into the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks.

One day, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name Verona Bonn, Simon’s grandmother. Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before fate deals its next deadly hand.

The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler’s gorgeous and moving debut, a wondrous novel about the power of books, family, and magic.

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Euphoria by Lily King

Details/Synopsis

  • My rating: 3 StarsEuphoria by Lily King cover
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon
  • Pages: 261 Hardcover
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Spoiler-free review

Inspired by the true story of a woman who changed the way we understand our world.

In 1933 three young, gifted anthropologists are thrown together in the jungle of New Guinea. They are Nell Stone, fascinating, magnetic and famous for her controversial work studying South Pacific tribes, her intelligent and aggressive husband Fen, and Andrew Bankson, who stumbles into the lives of this strange couple and becomes totally enthralled. Within months the trio are producing their best ever work, but soon a firestorm of fierce love and jealousy begins to burn out of control, threatening their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives…

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My hiatus is over! (After one more short hiatus)

Hey guys, so I’ve been missing for… a while now.  I’ve still been reading, but at a much slower pace than I’d like to. AP exams are coming up, along with finals, and then there are the dreaded college applications. I’m reaching the end of my junior year, so universities and general existential crises are major concerns.

Its scary!

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University of Washington

 

A year from now, I’ll be packing my bags to move to a city where I don’t know anyone at a completely brand new academic environment. It’s so terrifying to think about life away from my parents, but it’s also very exciting. I’m definitely a homebody, so the transition will be pretty rough, but I’m eager to see where life will take me. So far, I’ve been looking at schools with strong art programs (hopefully I’ll go into a sensible direction and not become a starving artist) with a lot of other options. I don’t want to be trapped in the art department if I realize that it’s not for me. So far, my favorite schools have been Washington University (St. Louis) and University of Washington (Seattle). The campuses have been unexpextedly beautiful. It’ll be like living at Hogwarts!

That being said, I do want to focus more on my blog and on reading starting mid-May. All of my AP exams will be done at that time, so a few of my classes will be blessedly DONE. That’s also when I’ll be taking the SAT (please pray for me), so after that I’ll have very little to worry about until school starts again in the fall and I have to deal with college applications.

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The UDub library *gasp*

Well, there’s my really long excuse for being missing! I hope you all have been doing well and reading good books. Which ones have been your favorite this year?

Mine definitely have to include A Crown of Wishes by Rokshani Chokshi and Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. Both of them are high fantasy (and a bit odd), but they are extremely unique. They are both heavy on the romance but I really enjoyed  the way they were written. I’ll probably have full reviews for both coming (maybe) sometime soon.

 

 

The Last One by Alexandra Olivia

Details/Synopsis

  • My rating: 3 Stars27245997
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon
  • Pages: 304 Hardcover
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • Spoiler-free review

Survival is the name of the game as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself in Alexandra Oliva’s fast-paced novel of suspense.

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it human-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.

Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated.

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