Reading Update

Hello everyone! I’ve been settled at school for about a month now so I figured that it was time to post a little update.

Living in Boston definitely has its perks for finding books. I recently got a library card at the Boston Public Library, which is not only aesthetically beautiful but has hundreds and hundreds more books than my library back in Vegas. I’ve recently checked out Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson, and Twisted Palace by Erin Watt.

PictureI also went to the Boston Teen Author Festival (BTAF) where I may have *accidentally* spent like $80 on books. Oops. I got to see some great authors like Heidi Hielig, Mary Pearson, Sasha Alsberg, S. Jae-Jones, Holly Black (!!!) and a lot of other cool people that I don’t have room to name. Unfortunately I had to leave before the signing, but I did get to see some pretty interesting panels.

So, what have I finished this month? Well I am kind of ashamed to say that I hardcore binged the Paper Princess series by Erin Watt. For those of you who don’t know, Erin Watt is the pen name of two erotica authors. Let’s just say this series is as cheesy as Riverdale and as explicit as Game of Thrones, which makes for some super-addicting soap-opera-esque trashy fiction. I highly recommend for anyone who’s looking for something with high entertainment value at the cost of style, and realism, and subtlety, and brain cells…

29283884I’ve also read Year One by Nora Roberts (4 stars, but huge cliffhanger) and Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (3.5 stars, also huge cliffhanger). I might be reviewing these in the future. I listened to Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (4 stars), and am currently listening to Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker through Kobo Books. Right now I’m reading The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, but so far it isn’t living up to the hype. Reagan at Peruse Project highly recommended it, so I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt even though I’m almost done.

That’s it for now! In October I plan to attend another book festival. I’m also going to NYC with my roomie, and I’m incredibly excited to visit the Strand while I’m there.

ALSO. OCTOBER IS THE HEART OF BOOK RELEASE SEASON. WE’RE GETTING A MUSE OF NIGHTMARES AND KINGDOM OF ASH THIS MONTH. PREPARE YOURSELVES!!!

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Rule by Ellen Goodlett

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The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.

Or rather, three unexpected options.

Zofi has spent her entire life trekking through the outer Reaches with her band of Travelers. She would do anything to protect the band, her family. But no one can ever find out how far she’s already gone.

Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by whispers of rebellion and abused by her father. Desperate to escape, she makes a decision that threatens the whole kingdom.

Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady’s maid and scheming her way out of the servants’ chambers. But one such plot could get her hung for treason if anyone ever discovers what she’s done.

When the king summons the girls, they arrive expecting arrest or even execution. Instead they learn the truth: they are his illegitimate daughters, and one must become his new heir. But someone in Kolonya knows their secrets, and that someone will stop at nothing to keep the sisters from their destiny… to rule.

Magic, mystery, and blackmail abound in this sensational and striking fantasy debut.

Read below for my spoiler-free review. (Thanks to Netgalley for sending me this ARC. This is an honest review and all opinions are my own) Continue reading

The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

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  • My rating: 3/5 stars
  • Published by Central Avenue Publishing
  • 289 Pages
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon

Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out. Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.Then Kit starts dating Livy, and Skye draws Kit’s cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods. Skye and Grady are doomed to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever, unless Livy, the only one untainted by enchantment, can unravel the spell by walking a dangerous magical path of her own.

I have always loved stories about the fae that dwell just beyond the human world–this can include goblins, elves, fairies, and countless other creatures. Some of my favorites in this genre include An Enchantment of Ravens and The Treachery of Beautiful Things. I thought I’d give this one try, and it was about what I expected. Nothing amazing, but entertaining nonetheless.

If you’re looking for a story with depth, originality, and elegance, then this is not the book for you. I gave it three stars because it is average: nothing more, nothing less. The characters, while bland, aren’t annoying. The book is short enough that even the slow parts weren’t too boring, and the action was just intense enough to keep me reading. It’s a short, simple read with basic prose and very little stylistic voice. I would say that it is targeted towards younger readers, but it is a bit mature in terms of sex–there is no explicit detail, however, I wouldn’t recommend it for a pre-YA audience.

Overall, the book was simple with just enough intrigue to make me want to read it. It’s not a great novel by any standards, but it’s something I would pick up for a short read on a rainy afternoon. It’s super cheesy, but that’s what makes books like these fun to read sometimes. (Key word: sometimes. Normally I wouldn’t tolerate a book like this but I haven’t read something so unambitious in a long while).

(P.S. Sorry for posting twice in one day! I wanted to get my review up on Netgalley ASAP. Disclaimer: I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Granted, it came out a year ago…but at the time I downloaded it, it was an ARC. lol it took me a while to get around to it)

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Furyborn by Claire Legrand

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  • My rating: 2.5/5 stars 😦
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon
  • Published by Sourcebooks Fire
  • 512 freaking pages

Description: When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable―until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire’s heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world―and of each other.

My spoiler-free review is below.

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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders… but her father isn’t a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife’s dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers’ pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed–and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it’s worth–especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.

Read my spoiler-free review below.

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Hello everyone! Recently I’ve only been posting reviews, so I thought I’d find a tag that I could do–I haven’t been reading as much this year, so it was a little difficult to find one that I could find applicable books for. I ended up choosing this one, which I originally found on Two Book Thieves’ blog (see their post).  Also, just a disclaimer, these are books that I’ve read in 2018, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they were released this year.

  1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018?

I’ve read so many good books this year! I think one of my favorites is The Golem and the Jinni. Surprisingly, it’s not YA, but it was an excellent fantasy novel that ties itself up perfectly, although I think there will be a sequel.

 

 

 

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018?

Looking at my Goodreads reading challenge, I see that most books I’ve read this year are actually the first in the series…so almost by default this one has to go to A Reaper at the Gates. Key word is almost…because I probably would have picked this one even if I had read many other sequels. Ms. Tahir never fails to deliver on an epic story. It was bone-chilling and tense and beautiful. I cannot wait for the next one. (Although I am disappointed about the mid-series cover changes. bleh.)

 

 

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to? 

Okay so this one came out a while ago, but I still haven’t gotten around to it yet. I absolutely adored the first novel, Wintersong, and I’ve heard that this one does not disappoint.

 

 

 

 

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of 2018?

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 10.12.48 AM.pngThis one’s a no-brainer. I’ve been following these books since I was 12 years old and no one had ever heard of Sarah J Maas. Ever since I picked up Throne of Glass I’ve been hooked. Every year I re-read the series and waited anxiously for the next one to come out…and this is the last year that I get to do that. I have grown up with Celaena and this series will always have a piece of my heart.

 

 

5. Biggest disappointment?

Marissa Meyer has always been one of my all-time favorite authors, but recently with Heartless and now Renegades, I have to say that I’m losing faith…

 

 

 

6. Biggest surprise? 

I’m taking this to mean the biggest pleasant surprise, though I had some unpleasant ones too. This one goes to Assassin’s Heart. It didn’t get great reviews, but I was seriously blown away by this book. It was completely different than the usual YA assassin novel, which have been popping up everywhere ever since ToG, and I finished it in about one sitting. Its characters are unique and captivating and the premise dragged me in from the first page. I loved it!

 

 

 

7. Favorite new author?

I’ve read the first two books of the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden this year, and I am absolutely in love with her writing.

 

 

 

8. Newest fictional crush?

For this one I’m going with Simon from Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Yes. I know he’s gay. But he’s really adorable and I’m still allowed to have a crush on him. It’s probably due to the fact that he’s played by my love Nick Robinson…

 

 

 

9.  Newest favorite character?

For this one I’m choosing Elisa from The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. I absolutely love Elisa’s evolution of self-love and acceptance in this story. I can personally relate to her struggle and I can honestly say that I learned so much from her.

 

 

 

10 . Book that made you cry?

I haven’t bawled this year because of a book, but A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea definitely made me tear up. It is a brutal memoir that doesn’t flinch from the horrors of North Korea, and it is a chilling read that opened my eyes to the extent of suffering and inhumane treatment that is occurring.

 

 

 

 

11. Book that made you happy?

Geekerella is a light-hearted, adorable read that I could 100% relate to. 10/10 would recommend.

 

 

 

 

 

12. Favorite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year?

The Swedish version, NOT the American one. Excellent book and excellent movie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year?

Okay. So I actually wrote this review on December 31st last year…but I really want to include it since I love this book. You can read my review here.

 

 

 

 

 

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year?

This one hands-down goes to The Gallery. While it wasn’t the most well-written, the cover is a beautiful work of art. Also, shoutout to Bookoutlet.com for having all of these beautiful books for super cheap.

 

 

 

 

 

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year? 

These are just a few I’m looking forward to reading. A couple have already come out but I haven’t read them.

Thank you so much for reading! I really enjoyed doing this tag, it’s been a while since I did anything other than a review. I tag anyone who wants to do this–I would love to see your version of the tag. Feel free to leave a link in the comments or just tell me what you would have answered. Do you have the same answers? Or do you disagree with some? Let me know 🙂

Happy reading,

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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 Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

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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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The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

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  • Spoiler-free Review (there may be minor spoilers for the rest of the series)
  • My rating: 4.25/5 stars
  • Series: The Raven Cycle #4
  • Published: Scholastic Press, April 26th 2016
  • Pages: 439, Hardcover
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon
  • Maggie’s Site

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey… and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

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The Stone Bearers by Jacque Stevens

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  • Review type: Spoiler-free
  • My rating: 1/5 Stars
  • Format: E-copy in exchange for an honest review
  • Goodreads
  • Amazon
  • Price: $13.95 USD, paperback (available for free on Kindle Unlimited)
  • Pages: 336
  • Publisher: Future House Publisher

Fifteen-year-old Ashira just received the worst coming-of-age prophecy imaginable.

After years dreaming of oceans, princes, and fairies, she expected to hear the words that would finally whisk her away from her ordinary desert village. Instead she hears, “you will live a life of no renown.”

Ready to choose her own fate, she discovers a djinni’s bottle and starts making wishes. When the djinni proves uncooperative and annoying, Ashira sets out to the great city of magicians to learn magic and free herself from an uneventful life as a potter’s daughter.

But there is another prophecy being whispered in the shadows. It is said that among the great magicians, there is a demon on the rise with the power to destroy the world. The djinni might be Ashira’s only chance to become someone important, or he just might be the very demon that triggered the dark prophecy.

With the world on the brink of destruction, can Ashira fight her fate and stop the forces that threaten to upset the balance of the universe?

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