The Reader’s Problems Tag

I wasn’t sure what I was going to post today, since I had these ambitious plans to post every day for the last two weeks to meet my “ Views” goal on my blog for the month of July, but now that I’ve met my goal, I have space to fill with random posts, and I was tagged to do this post, so it works out! This tag was originally created by About To Read on YouTube and I was tagged by Musings of a (Book) Girl.

You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

 A lot of times, I’m a mood reader, but lately I’ve been trying to read through some of my backlist titles – I have many – which means I have to give myself a smaller portion of my TBR. I then set myself a time limit – say, 3 months to read ~20 books – and I just do my best to work through them. OR I stare at everything I have to read, want to read it all, and then read none of it, because I can’t decide which book to pick up.

 You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?

This depends – depends on a few things. If it’s a debut, I’m more likely to DNF it, especially if I honestly cannot get into it. An author I love, usually I push through. Sometimes the writing style can put me off, but if the story/plot has promise, I’ll try to push through. But an almost automatic DNF if the book is advertised in its synopsis than what the actual story is about. Nothing will anger me and cause me to put the book down faster. I will say that; I do really try to give books a fair chance 30-50% before DNF-ing them.

The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?

I’ve never actually done a Goodreads challenge. I usually forget to set it up, and then start late, and haven’t quite figured out how to backlog my books and it’s all just frustrating so I give up. I’m 55(?) books read into 2019, with an informal goal of ~100, so we’ll see how it goes.

The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

Hmm, depends on the series. Like, yes, I wish they’d match, but for some it’s not the end of the world. I’m more annoyed if the spines don’t match, since those are what stick out on my shelves. But I will say that the biggest cover change annoyance I have is with the Sy Chasers trilogy by Amy Kathleen Ryan, where each book is a different style of cover because the second and third books took so long coming out, that they rebooted the covers each time. The trilogy in no way matches, and it makes me so mad. (Not to mention the ending of the trilogy made me mad as well). Long story short, do I wish they wouldn’t reboot the covers mid series, hell yes, does it really bother me, not as much as it used to. I’m just glad the book is being published.

Everyone and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?

Mainly my best friend who for whatever lame reason (jk) isn’t on social media so I can’t tag her. But in the case, she hasn’t read the book, and assuming I’ve read the book while the hype is ongoing, I can usually find someone on Twitter to scream about the book with. My mom has also gotten her fair share of me complaining/gushing about whatever book(s) I’m currently reading.

You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

F*c k it, I cry. If you have a problem with it, so be it. But if you come over and ask me why I’m crying, be prepared for me tot explain the book to you through tears.

A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!?!?!?

 This is another “it depends”. Most of the time I’ll go into the sequel and pray the first book comes back to me – usually it does. If it’s been more than a year, the chances of me picking it up become less likely, and as more time passes, the chances are even slimmer. I will go back at re-read a synopsis or a review to refresh, if I feel like it.

You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?

 I’ll let people borrow my books, but there are rules. If it’s replaceable, then it’s if you break/wreck it you buy me a new copy. If it’s an ARC, then you take care of it, or I wreck you, especially if it’s for an author I collect, no dog earing the pages, and try not to break the spine. I just ask that you take care of it and don’t treat it like it is garbage. As long as you do that, you don’t lose your privileges when it comes to my library.

Reading ADD. You’ve picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over your reading slump?

Give me a Jennifer L. Armentrout book and 9 times out of 10, it’ll get me out of my slump. There’s just something about her books that feels like coming home, and I usually know what to expect going into them, so I can just mindlessly lose myself in them, and jump start my reading again. And if JLA doesn’t work, any light, fluffy contemporary, or New Adult will do the trick. I just need something that doesn’t make me think, and that will have a happy outcome.

There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

More than I should, though I’ve been better about that this year. I will buy a book based on the hype surrounding it, even if I might not read it right away. Now, there are definitely auto-buy authors, even if I don’t plan on reading the right when it comes out, but that’s more so to support them during release week. I’m running out of shelf space quickly, so I’ve had to be pickier in what I actually purchase, and when I do purchase, I try to do so during a sale, since books are so freaking expensive.

After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?

This is another “it depends” – books I really want to read will get read. If I buy them more so to support the author during release week, they can sit on my shelves for months. Anything older than 2 years, I try to determine whether or not I still have an interest, and depending on the level of interest, determines if I keep the book or not to eventually read.

Feel free to tag yourselves or answer in the comments! I want to know your answers these questions! And thanks Mari for tagging me!

 

 

 

Writing Update #6

img_5072Not much progress again. So, this post won’t be a long one.

It’s frustrating. I spend more time deleting words, than doing any real revising. What’s the most frustrating thing is that I know what needs to happen, how it needs to happen, in order for me to move onto the next scene for revising.

But when the words – the right words – refuse to come, there isn’t much I can do. Except keep writing the scene over and over and over until hopefully they do come. Well, come and sound right. That’s also important.

You might ask, “why don’t you just skip to the next chapter or the next scene?”

If this current chapter I’m working on wasn’t supremely crucial in the set up of a much larger plot element I would, but if I don’t get it right, it’ll just throw off the rest of the book, and ultimately, I’ll just be back where I started.

So, I’ve stepped back for a bit. I’m on vacation – hence the above picture – and I’m just going to let my mind think about it, or not think about it, and see if when I come back, something has changed. Staring blankly at my screen while my finger is holding down the delete button isn’t doing me any good and it’s just as unproductive as not writing at all.

Hopefully soon, I’ll be back in the swing of things. Maybe next month I’ll finally have something more exciting to write about than me being stuck.

Though, I do wish this book would just write its damn self. It’s been finished in my head for years; the Word doc just needs to catch up.

 

Book Review: Becoming the Dark Prince (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3.5)

46184206. sy475 Title: Becoming the Dark Prince (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3.5)

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Pub. Date: July 15, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


In this irresistibly-priced short story, catch a glimpse of the inner struggles and triumphs that drive Stalking Jack the Ripper’s endearing but troubled hero. 

Enigmatic, brooding, and darkly handsome, Thomas Cresswell has always been the one mystery Audrey Rose has never been able to fully solve. As brilliant partners in crime investigation, they understand each other perfectly…but as young lovers, their passionate natures have led to both euphoria and heartbreak throughout the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.

This novella features a collection of scenes that takes place during and after the pair’s horrifying Atlantic voyage in Escaping From Houdini. Experience new and familiar scenes from Thomas’s unique point of view, including an intensely personal look into his plea for Audrey Rose’s hand in marriage.

With a romance for the ages, Audrey Rose and Thomas reach the conclusion to their epic, irresistible partnership in their final adventure, Capturing the Devil.


This will be a spoiler free review, but I won’t be censoring any details of past books if they come up as they’ve been out for a while now.

This novella came out on my birthday…who could ask for a better present than Thomas Cresswell? Move over Audrey Rose, he’s my book boyfriend now.

Just kidding, but damn, I love Thomas Cresswell and if the first novella, plus all the books hadn’t already solidified my love for him, this novella would have done it. I’m also thoroughly convinced that I need the entire series from his point of view. I want to know how he sees the world. I binged this the day it came out which was a good and bad move. Good move, because it gave me a little dose of one of my favorite duos. Bad move, because I gave me a little does of one of my favorite duos, and now I have to wait until September to be reunited.

I really enjoyed this novella, even though it did bring back some rage-y feelings towards Audrey Rose in Escaping from Houdini – you can check out my review for that book here. Thomas got the horribly short end of the stick in that book, and I nearly disowned Audrey Rose as my favorite female character and would have if the Epilogue didn’t exist – you can legit read all about it in my review.

Becoming the Dark Prince was an in-depth – albeit brief – peek inside Thomas’s head, and if it wasn’t clear, that boy is utterly in love with Audrey Rose. So much so, that he’s pretty stupid when it comes to her. I find it endearing and just absolutely love him more because of it. He’s a young man in love and just as nervous and vulnerable as she is. Reliving some familiar scenes from his point of view, shows that even though he’s a brilliant scholar, he’s not immune to jealousy and the pains of young love. For a character that is often depicted as cold and unfeeling by his peers, these scenes from his point of view, prove that he feels just as much as those around him. He’s just as human and therefore flawed in the ways all humans are. This novella made me love him even more and I’m anxiously awaiting the release of Capturing the Devil because I need to know how this dynamic duo’s story comes to a close, with perhaps a marriage?

My fingers are crossed in the hopes that one day there will be a separate physical bind up of the two already released novella’s, so that I can have them sitting on my shelves with the rest of the books. This series quickly became one of my all-time favorites, and I push it on all of my friends.

If you haven’t started on Audrey Rose and Thomas’s adventures through the streets of London in Stalking Jack the Ripper, to Romania in Hunting Prince Dracula, to the RMS Etruria in Escaping from Houdini, you need to! They’re headed for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and H.H. Holmes in Capturing the Devil, out September 10, 2019 and it’s sure to be one hell of a book as Kerri brings Cressworth’s story to a close.

 

 

Anything but Books Tag

I’m on vacation and wanted to do a post that wasn’t just another book review and when I was browsing the internet for a vacation/beach book tag, I found this one. It’s perfect, kind of like a Q&A and I haven’t done one of those in a while.

I saw this on The Caffeinated Bookworm Life, and she initially found it on My Tiny Obsessions. I’m excited to jump into this tag, so let’s get into it!


  1. NAME A CARTOON THAT YOU LOVE

Image result for sailor moon gif

I didn’t expect this question to be hard, but there are so many. But I guess if I had to choose, I fell in love with Sailor Moon at a young age. I would say that The Winx Club comes in a close second. Clearly, I have a favorite type of story.


  1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG RIGHT NOW?

Image result for wait for me hadestown gif

Um, probably Wait For Me from Hadestown. The chorus is chills worthy and the narrative element of the song is just gorgeous. Do yourself a favor, if you haven’t already, 10) listen to the song and 2) watch the Tony’s performance of the song. It’s so aesthetically pleasing. I get goosebumps every time I listen to it.


  1. WHAT COULD YOU DO FOR HOURS THAT ISN’T READING?

Image result for matchington mansion gif

Besides binge a TV show? I have this game app – Matching Mansion and if I have unlimited time in the real world, and in the game (you are given 5 lives that regenerate every 15 minutes, but sometimes you’re given 30 min/1 hour or more to play consecutively) I will literally play until I have no lives or time left. Usually I’ll put whatever show I’m currently watching on, and have it play in the background while I play the game on my phone. It’s literally just a match 3 of a kind game, which gives you stars for each level, which you then exchange to help restore aspects of the mansion. Saw an ad for the game and embarrassingly I’ve spent money on in-app purchases.


  1. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU LOVE TO DO THAT WOULD SURPRISE YOUR FOLLOWERS?

Image result for disney park gif

Hmm, I don’t actually know. I’m pretty open on this blog. So, let’s see…I guess something y’all don’t know about me is that I’ve never been to any Disney park. This surprised most of my friends and still occasionally surprises people if they ask.


  1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE UNNECESSARILY SPECIFIC THING YOU LIKE TO LEARN ABOUT?

Image result for yellowstone gif

Yellowstone. The fact that it’s a giant caldera and that when it erupts it’s going to shroud the world in so much volcanic dust that we’ll be thrown into another Ice Age. I don’t know when the fascination started, but it was a National Geographic magazine and ever since then I read any article, I can get my hands on. It was last fall, I think, when people on my Twitter timeline just realized/ just learned that Yellowstone is a volcano, and it will erupt and end life as we know it…it shocked them to say the least.


  1. WHAT IS SOMETHING UNUSUAL THAT YOU KNOW HOW TO DO?

Image result for tim the tool man gif

I don’t know how “unusual” it is, but I can install a garbage disposal? And uninstall one as well. Compared to my friends, I’m pretty handy, which means, I come in handy when they need help with something. I’m also taller than my best friend, and everyone else in her family, so if I’m over, I’m often asked to reach stuff on high shelves. LOL!


  1. NAME SOMETHING YOU MADE IN THE LAST YEAR AND SHOW US IF YOU CAN.

Image result for writing gif

I could show you the mess I’ve made of my SF WIP, but I’m not going to.

Just take my word for it, that it’s still very much a work in progress, even all these years later. Sadly, I haven’t really expressed my artistic side in a while, whether through painting, crochet or drawing. I haven’t really felt inspired.


  1. WHAT IS YOUR MOST RECENT PERSONAL PROJECT?

Image result for exercise gif

Does ignoring my WIP because I hope it somehow magically writes itself count? No? I didn’t think so. So, I guess my answers would have to be – be more active. I’ve let myself get genuinely super lazy and it was starting to affect me and get this WIP done this round of revisions. I know what needs to happen, but NONE OF THE WORDS FEEL RIGHT. I literally write, then delete and don’t move forward. It’s frustrating.


  1. TELL US SOMETHING YOU THINK ABOUT OFTEN.

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How I wish that I had taken some roads not traveled. I try not to think about the past too much, because it’s not productive, but sometimes, there are regrets. On a happier note, I think about my characters all the damn time and how I wish my WIP was published and being made into a movie or a show.


  1. GIVE US SOMETHING THAT IS YOUR FAVORITE.

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Farscape. Go watch it. Go fall in love with it. Go. Go. Go. You’ll thank me later.


  1. SAY THE FIRST THING THAT POPS INTO YOUR HEAD.

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“F*ck.”

LOL, that’s too on brand. Whoops.


Aaaaannnddd, that’s a wrap!  I managed to steer clear of talking about only bookish related things in my answers, I call that a success. I’m going to wrap this post up here, so I can get it scheduled and climb into bed. Tomorrow (as I’m writing this, today as you are reading it) is the first full day of vacation and I want to get a semi early start! I’m exhausted and will shortly be falling into bed and sleeping…once I play a few levels of Matchington Mansion LOL. I hope y’all enjoy your week!


QOTD: What are some of your favorite non-bookish things to do/watch/enjoy? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

What Books I’m Bringing to the Beach! – 2019 Edition

img_4973If you’re reading this when it goes live, I’m hopefully about half way to Topsail Island, North Carolina for a week of beach, family and BOOKS! If you’re reading this later, there is a very good chance I’ve parked myself in a beach chair, at the edge of the surf and already engrossed in a book.

Last year I did a post showing the books I decided to take with me and it’s no different this year…but you knew that already based on the title of this post. Technically I should be in bed right now, seeing as we’re leaving at like 4:30AM yikes, but these blog posts don’t write themselves and my plan for getting ahead of them and having them scheduled to post did not happen.

Anyways, I’m really excited for my selection of books and somehow since I took this photo, I’ve added two more? Granted one’s an eARC and literally always on my phone, so I’m not really counting it, and there was book in my purse, and I’m just not going to take it out. Eight books might be overreaching and over estimating my abilities on how many books I can read in a single week and still be present for family interaction, but we will see. I’m not going to list the two extra books, that way there’s a little mystery when I do my monthly/beach reads wrap up!

Normally I like to read fluffy YA Contemporaries, or New Adult books while I’m at the beach, but this year I have kind of a mix.

So, let’s get into it!


First up –

36678876. sy475 The Last Hope – Krista & Becca Ritchie

I’m so excited to read this! I loved The Raging Ones when I read an ARC of it last year, so when

I was able to snag a copy of book 2, I knew I would be reading it while at the beach. I can’t wait

to find out how this duology comes to a close, Krista & Becca promised that readers won’t see what’s coming.

Sacrifice all you have to survive.

Imprisoned for weeks on an enemy starcraft, Franny, Court, and Mykal have sat with an unfathomable revelation. But as they fight to stay alive, escaping prison means trusting a young mysterious stranger. He knows everything about their lost histories, and when answers aren’t given freely, the bonded trio are forced to join a mission. One that will determine the fate of humanity.

Legend says, a baby—the first of her species—has the power to cloak and teleport planets. Tasked with retrieving the infant, Court fears the baby is just a myth, and if they fail, they’ll never find the truth about their origins.

As Court and Mykal grow closer, their linked bond becomes harder to hide, and dynamics change when Franny begins to fall for someone new. Vulnerable and with no choice, the hunt for the baby sends the trio on a dangerous path to Saltare-1: a water world where their enemies can’t die and survival comes at a high cost.


Second –

Echoes between us .jpgEchoes Between Us – Katy McGarry

I kind of freaked out when I saw that they were handing bound manuscripts out during her signing at ALA and managed to snag one! I loved Only A Breath Apart so I’m hoping that this is another new favorite! I mean, just read the synopsis, and I’m pretty sure this is going to be the first book I dive into!

Veronica sees ghosts. More specifically, her mother’s ghost. The afterimages of blinding migraines caused by the brain tumor that keeps her on the fringes and consumes her whole life haunt her, even as she wonders if it’s something more…

Golden boy Sawyer is handsome and popular, a state champion swimmer, but his adrenaline addiction draws him to Veronica.

A girl with nothing to live for and a boy with everything to lose–can they conquer their demons together?


And then –

call it what you wantCall It What You Want – Brigid Kemmerer

This is a re-read since I read it back in January of this year and I need a bit of a refresher. It’s also a book I’ve been requested to bring by a few family members. I’ve turned a couple of them into Brigid fans. I’m also taking my copy of A Heart So Fierce and Broken for those same family members and they’re anxiously waiting for it!

 When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care. 

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?


Fourth –

38362765. sy475 Shatter City – Scott Westerfeld

I read Imposters last year while at the beach, so it seemed only fitting that I read the second book to this new trilogy? Series? In the world of the Uglies. This is also going to be read by other family members, and if it goes missing from my bag, I’ll know why.

When the world sees Frey, they think they see her twin sister Rafi. Frey was raised to be Rafi’s double, and now she’s taken on the role . . . without anyone else knowing.

Her goal? To destroy the forces that created her.

But with the world watching and a rebellion rising, Frey is forced into a detour. Suddenly she is stranded on her own in Paz, a city where many of the citizens attempt to regulate their emotions through an interface on their arms. Paz is an easy place to get lost . . . and also an easy place to lose yourself.

As the city comes under a catastrophic attack, Frey must leave the shadows and enter the chaos of warfare – because there is no other way for her to find her missing sister and have her revenge against her murderous father.


Next –

43744300American Royals – Katharine McGee

I’m so excited to dive into this and I’ve heard nothing but good things. I think this is going to be an excellent book to read while sitting on the beach. I think I’m going to be able to get easily lost and just enjoy myself.

 Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown. 
Two girls vying for the prince’s heart.
This is the story of the American royals.

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American. And their country was born of rebellion.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

The duty. The intrigue. The Crown. New York Times bestselling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet faded–and where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.


And finally –

LovestruckLovestruck – Kate Watson

I’m a sucker for Greek mythology and I bought this a few months ago with the sole intention of reading it while at the beach, and I’m so excited that the time has come! I can’t wait to dive into this and see what this book has in store for me!

Sixteen-year-old cupid-in-training Kali is in an Olympus-sized mountain of trouble. Rule number one in arrow-toting matchmaking: don’t stick yourself. But accidents happen, and Kali instantly falls hard for her indie rock, bass-playing target, Benicio. 

The God of Love is going to kill her. Even if he is her dad.

Being the daughter of Eros isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For one thing, a girl can get jaded when her parents have the most beautiful and fatalistic love story in history. For another, immortality royally sucks when the Oracle condemns you to eternity in the wrong profession. Do the Gods care that Kali wants to ditch the love stuff and be a muse?

Nope.

To reclaim her heart and her destiny, Kali is left with no choice but to defy the Gods, tempt the Fates, date the mortal love-of-her-life, and hope she doesn’t lose her best friend, Hector, in the process.


QOTD: What kinds of books do you like reading while on vacation?

Book Review: The Girl the Sea Gave Back

the girl the sea gave backTitle: The Girl the Sea Gave Back

Author: Adrienne Young

Pub. Date: September 3, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.


This will be a spoiler free review and potentially a bit rant-y, so bear with me. I also want to thank NetGalley for providing a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I want to start this off by saying, I did not read Sky in the Deep and I also did not realize that this book is a sequel/companion novel to it. I thought it was just a new fantasy by the same author. I definitely don’t think you need to have read Sky in the Deep to read The Girl the Sea Gave Back The author summarizes and recounts in brief detail what happened in the first book, to give enough context – i.e. there was a long time feud between two clans, they fought, there were some demon-ish hordes they also fought against and it united them. (That’s super brief and definitely not wholly accurate, but you should get the point).

This book unfortunately fell short for me. When Sky in the Deep came out I wasn’t really interested in reading it, and I can’t say I’m any more interested now. There was a brief moment towards the start of the book that I was contemplating reading it, but not after how this one ended. This wasn’t a bad book per se, but I felt kind of lost and confused through the whole thing. It was hard for me to picture the world, the characters, the whole plot felt rushed and almost like we were dropped into the middle of the story…and I guess in some ways I was.

I was just left with this overwhelming feeling of meh, it could’ve been better. Maybe my expectations were unreasonably high from 1) not having read Sky in the Deep and 2) the raving reviews I’d heard about her debut. I guess on some level I expected this to be some amazing Nordic inspired fantasy, and it just wasn’t.

The time jumps that happened in this book are probably my biggest complaint besides the unbelievable romance (which I’ll get to in a moment). If done correctly (and to me, in this case, they were not) should benefit the plot, add to it, giving necessary bits of information crucial to the plot. So, other than some not so crucial backstory, they served no purpose to otherwise pull me from the main narrative. Every single time there was a time jump into the past to divulge some teeny aspect of one of the main character’s pasts, I was pulled from the story. It was annoying and more than once it made me want to stop reading. It took me days to finish this book, and I kind of had to force myself to finish it.

And the ‘romance’ between Halvard and Tova, I hated it. I’m all here for “fated to be together” but I didn’t buy it for one second. It felt too forced, and definitely not enough time passed for even “fated feelings” to happen. Feeling an inexplicable pull? I scoff.

Also, I didn’t even expect there to be a love interest, let alone a male point of view. Based on the synopsis, I thought the book would be about Tova learning who she is, and what her purpose is. While, yes she does these things, it feels rushed and cheap? I think the synopsis sells this book as something it’s not, and that’s a problem. The book I imagine in my head after reading the synopsis, is not the one I read.

And maybe this is explained in Sky in the Deep but the weirdly close relationship between Halvard and Eelyn? For someone who inexplicably drawn to the Kyrr Girl (Tova) he’s got a weirdly close bond and it came across as he liked her more than “just friends/family”. I definitely acknowledge that I might just be missing a part from Sky in the Deep, but it just felt weird.

And Halvard, let’s talk about him for a second. Not a fan. He felt more like a little kid pretending to be a mature adult than, actually being a mature (or slightly mature) adult. I get not wanting to accept mantels, and filling someone’s shoes when you don’t feel like you’re ready, but he just felt not ready. At all. The fact that he ends up in the position he ends up in at the end of the book, and everyone is like, super fine with it, just makes no sense! In a world were status is determined by strength and power, and Halvard has yet to even fight in a battle, and he’s chosen for that position. I scoff again. I don’t buy it.

AND the ending was way too happily ever after. I get it, fate and all that, but COME ON. Literally every character, well the ones who mattered, got what they wanted, whether it was to survive, or die, or be with who they want. Only the antagonist’s got what they deserved.

Ugh.

I think this book would have either 1) benefitted from being a little longer, so there is more time with the characters, so the stakes feel higher, and 2) some more editing to make the story a little more seamless and make the time jumps not so jarring. I wanted to desperately like this book. It sounded so good, but honestly fell so short. I think my rating of 3 stars is generous and I think the concept of what this book could’ve potentially been, is the thing saving it from a lower rating.

Sigh. I don’t know. The more I think about this book, the more it irks me. I need to just end this review here, before I start screaming. I thought it was going to be so good, and it just wasn’t. Will I read other books by Adrienne Young? Possibly, maybe if they aren’t set in this world, but I highly doubt I’ll read Sky in the Deep any time soon. I would say, if you read the first one, you should probably check this one out, hopefully you like it more than I did. This is probably not a book I’ll be adding to my personal library, despite how much the cover makes me want to buy it.

Though, if you have read it, and did read the first one, let me know your thoughts. I felt like I grasped enough of what the first one was about to comfortably read this book, but maybe I’m wrong. Let me know in the comments.

 

Book Review: There Will Come A Darkness (Age of Darkness #1)

There will come a darknessTitle: There Will Come A Darkness (Age of Darkness #1)

Author: Katy Rose Pool

Pub. Date: September 3, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


The Age of Darkness approaches.
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it… or unleash it?

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.

All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:

A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.

One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer? 


This will be a spoiler free review!

I think it was back in January when this book first appeared on my timeline and I was immediately hooked. It had no cover, just a graphic with the title, Katy’s name and the release date. Even the synopsis was different, but I knew I wanted to read it.

Then when early manuscripts and ARCs started circulating, I started drooling, and the FOMO was real. I just wanted a chance to read it. It sounded so amazing, and so like something I would absolutely enjoy. I was finally able to get my hands on it at ALA in June and finished it about a week ago.

I will say that my expectations might have been just a tad too high, but this book definitely did not disappoint. For me it was a little slow to get into after the initial first chapters, but quickly picks up when storylines start to converge. From there I didn’t want to put the book down. I stayed up until some ungodly hour to finish reading it and now I need book 2.

I might’ve been going through a slight reading slump going into TWCAD and that could explain why I struggled through the first bit, but regardless, this book has one of the best opening lines ever, and it instantly catches you, drawing you in.

As for the five characters – Ephyra, Beru, Anton, Jude, and Hassan – who will either save the world or destroy it; I was a fan of some more than others. I did like however that none of them where wholly good or bad, but kind of morally grey. That even their best intentions could go horribly awry, not panning out how they’d intended. I will say that I think my least favorite character of the main five is Ephyra. I understand why she does what she does, and acts the way she does, but I found her kind of annoying. I also found her a bit selfish. Again, I can see where she’s coming from, and she’s got semi-good intentions, but she’s only ever concerned about her feelings when it comes to her sister. I’d go into more detail, but that would border spoilers territory. You’ll have to read the book to see what I’m talking about.

Though, that’s not to say that the other characters are any less selfish, Beru just wants her sister to stop doing what she’s doing, Anton just wants to forget his past and survive, Jude wants to go by what his heart wants, though duty says otherwise, and Hassan wants to desperately be the hero his people think him to be. All different forms of selfishness, but for whatever reason Ephyra’s just rubbed me the wrong way.

One other thing that annoyed me was that there was no map. I’ve since learned that the finished copies will have maps, apparently very pretty maps, so I’ll be able to spatially visualize the world better. While I was reading, I kept struggling to see the world. Katy’s writing paints a very, very pretty picture, and I was able to see the characters, the cities, the different places very easily, but I struggled to see the world as a whole. I don’t tend to reference book maps while reading, but I do like to have them to look at before I dive in. I’m definitely a visual person, and they help build the world in my mind.

Katy has a brilliant way with words and through them, this world came to life. The writing was a bit dense at times, but I think it served a purpose. She’s laying down the groundwork for this world and establishing it in readers minds. I kept saying that if this book were ever made into a movie or a show, it would be very easy to create the locations due to the details Katy included.

The ending. I sat in my bed, gaping, jaw slacked because oh my god. There were a couple of things that surprised me towards the end of this book, but who the Prophet was, surprisingly wasn’t one of them. I had kind of pieced together the clues, but that didn’t mean that it still didn’t surprise me – it was just lessened because my hunch proved to be correct, but again, Katy has this way of telling the story that’s just beautiful. You see these characters grow in this book and come to reconcile their beliefs and thoughts and in light of who the new Prophet is, how that affects them. You see the characters come to terms with who they are, face fears from their pasts, and just simply acknowledge their histories. So many of them have altered their memories to hide from painful truths, but by the end of this book, they’ve all come to light and have no choice but to face them head on.

I’m definitely excited for book 2 and to see what Katy has in store for us and these characters. The end has me reeling, still, and the wait might kill me. I’m so grateful I was able to read one of my most anticipated reads before release and I hope you pick up There Will Come A Darkness when it come out in September!

Book Review: A Heart so Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2)

a heart so fierce and brokenTitle: A Heart so Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2)

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Pub. Date: January 7, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Find the heir, win the crown. 
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom. 
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?


This will be a spoiler free review, but I won’t be censoring any details that might come up from ACSDAL.

I’ve been sitting here all day trying to start this review. Unsure of whether or not I could even write it…and if I’m being completely honest, I’ve been sitting for two and a half weeks thinking about how I’m going to write this review.

I loved this book, maybe even more than A Curse so Dark and Lonely. Watching Grey grow into himself, learn to accept who he is and find himself was just so incredibly heartwarming. In Curse, he had it so rough, and to see this softer side to him, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

But, before I get into my review, I just need to scream, so bear with me for aa moment.

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Okay. I’m fine.

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I knew going into this book, that it had the potential to wreck me, most of Brigid’s books do. Since, her words, not mine “I like to take a happy concept, with happy characters, tie them to a brick and throw them off a cliff and see what happens” and if you’ve read any of her books, you know exactly how good they are and how true that statement is. Heart was not exempt from that.

img_4968For months, Brigid teased about a scene that wrecked her in this book, and when I got to it, my jaw dropped, and my heart hurt, and I wanted to cry. It’s a tough scene and I completely get why it wrecked her, it wrecked me. It’s kind of the inciting incident for Grey, and Brigid told me how it was originally going to go down, and trust me, be glad she didn’t do it, because omfg. Brutal. There would have been no redemption, no coming back.

Every character in this book (old and new) goes through a lot of changes. Rhen is ruled by his fear of magic and it coats every decision he makes, clouding his judgment on all things. Harper is ruled by her love for Rhen, and even though she’s smart and full of common sense, it creates a slight blind spot concerning him. Grey is ruled by his desire to protect Rhen and ignoring his truth. Lia Mara is ruled by the fact that her mother never chose her and that leads to the need to prove herself. Tycho is ruled by his adoration of Grey and that puts him in precarious positions. Karis Luran is ruled by her thirst for power and it blinds her. Jacob is ruled by his desire to return home with Noah and get back to their lives. Nolla Verin is ruled by the fact that her mother chose her, but on some level, she wishes she hadn’t. And Iisak is ruled by his determination to get home by whatever means necessary. By the end of the book they’ve either come to terms with the changes, or they’ve ignored them. You’ll have to read the book to find out their fates.

I think my favorite new character would have to be Tycho, and I’d legit die for him if it came down to it. It would be a rush as to who would lay down their life first, me or Grey. The correct answer is me. He’s just so innocent and even though he’s been through…so much, he still somehow manages to see the good in people. Once he deems you worthy, he’ll never leave your side.

I also really liked the new characters – Tycho, Lia Mara and Nolla Verin, Iisak. The book is told between alternating POV’s (minus the first and last chapter, being Harper and Rhen, respectively). This is Grey and Lia Mara’s story and it’s my favorite kind of fantasy. Journeying through the forests on a mission, all while falling for each other around a fire. I think they compliment each other very well, and I’m excited to see what book 3 has in store for them.

As for Lia Mara, she’s a badass, but not in a ‘I’m good with weapons and can physically beat your ass’ way. Her power is in the long game, to be able to see what others can’t, to be able to tell when brute force and violence aren’t going to win, but logic and reasoning will. Given the chance, Lia Mara will out think you any given day of the week. Her physical strength comes from her unwillingness to give up, and this surprises her – that’s she capable of physical acts of strength, when it’s not a trait usually sought after is Syhl Shallow.

Nolla Verin is Lia Mara’s twin, and while there are similarities, she’s vastly different. I think this is mainly due to the fact that Karis Luran chooses her over Lia Mara, and therefore is a certain image that needs to be maintained. She was an interesting character because there were always these moments that I questioned if she was going to act in the way I expected her to. Just these tiny little moments, before her decision was cast. She is very much set up to be like her mother, but Brigid put these tiny, minuscule seeds of doubt into the book.

And, last but not least, Iisak. Besides the magic Lilith wielded in A Curse so Dark and Lonely and the creature Rhen became, Iisak is the first magical creature to not be introduced hell bent on death and destruction. Not wholly good nor evil, he has his own journey and own reasonings for doing what he does throughout the book. More and more about his story comes to light as he (dare I say) befriends Grey and Co. but there’s still so much more to unpack and so much further he has to go.

Emberfall – it was fun being back in this world. As always, Brigid paints a vivid picture that is easy for me to imagine. It’s not the same kingdom as it was in Curse, things have changed, obviously. With the killing of the beast, and the news of an heir, there is upheaval and dissention brewing and Rhen is terrified which makes him dangerous in a sense. Fear of magic clouds his judgement and the cruel prince that Grey used to know (before their eternity together) is making a reappearance.

img_4965Every moment of this book will keep you hooked, on the edge of your seat, or silently screaming internally because you’re reading on a plane and screaming audibly is frowned upon. And as for the end…you aren’t ready. You aren’t prepared for what Brigid has in store for you. You thought the wait for Heart was bad…waiting for book 3 is killing me. It blew my mind and I did not see it coming, and I wanted to angrily shake a character and punch another. It’s so good but oh my god.

Here’s a screenshot of me texting Brigid upon finishing. It’s censored for spoilers, but I think the devil emoji says it all. It says, you aren’t ready.

If you’ve been dying to get back to this world, with these characters, A Heart so Fierce and Broken will not disappoint. “The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.” You won’t want to put this book down once you start it, and you’ll fall more in love with Grey and fall in love with Lia Mara as they fight to what’s right for all. Out January 7, 2020, you don’t want to miss this.



And EXCITING NEWS!

img_4943In case by some weird glitch in the matrix, you haven’t already seen, but the pre-order incentive for A Heart so Fierce and Broken went live on Monday! It’s a quote print designed by Erica Chan and if you preorder before midnight Eastern Standard Time on January 6, 2020, you’ll receive one in the mail in the weeks following the release of the book. I’ll include the link below if you’re interested!

I think the print is absolutely gorgeous and cannot wait to submit my preorder to get one! Make sure (if you are able) you go and preorder AHSFAB and after January 7, 2020 we can all scream about the book together and support each other through the long wait for book 3.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken Pre-Order Link!

*More info – i.e. rules and regulations – are listed in the link if you have questions!



As a final note, if you’ve already had the lucky chance to read Heart early and need someone to scream to about it to, my DMs on Twitter and Instagram are open! Feel free to message me with all your thoughts and feelings about Grey and Co. I’m likely to share them and quite honestly, I need more people to scream with about this book.

 

 

Book Review: Failed Future (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #3)

45361401Title: Failed Future (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #3)

Author: Elise Kova

Pub. Date: July 21, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


When worlds collide, and things are rarely what they seem, there may be no one Vi can trust.

Having forsaken her crown for a chance to save her family, and the world, Vi Solaris washes up on the shores of Meru. She’s wounded and barely alive. But Vi’s fight for survival is only just beginning.

As a princess in a foreign land, everyone is after her.

The pirate queen Adela wants to sell her to the evil elfin’ra. The Twilight King wants to use her to settle an old score. And, perhaps most dangerous, is the scheming Lord of the Faithful who sees her as an opportunity to further consolidate his power.

The only path for Vi is forward. But she doesn’t yet know if she’s running toward salvation… or a brutal end to everything she loves.

Vi’s journey continues with even more betrayal, romance, magic, and a twist you never saw coming that leaves readers begging for the next book. 


This will be a spoiler free review. I want to thank Elise for gifting me an early copy to read and review!

I’m still screaming.

This was by far my favorite book in this series. It starts with a bang and keeps going, until your mind explodes in your skull, because Elise did that.

If you’ve read the book, then you’ll know what I mean.

Nothing, absolutely nothing prepared me for the ending. It was amazing, and while it blew my mind upon reading it – there were a bunch of little follow up explosions when I realized what it actually meant in the whole scheme of things.

If you haven’t yet, you definitely need to check out the Air Awakens series as well as the Vortex Chronicles…because you’re missing out big time. Elise knows how to tell a story, how to create a vivid and lush world with complex characters, and she does it in the most amazing manner.

This is the third book in the Vortex Chronicles, and it pulls all the punches. From the very beginning, picking up right where Chosen Champion leaves off, Vi on a beach and Taavin somehow miraculously there.

From there things just hit the fan right after another and Vi is tested in ways she’s not previously been. Some new characters are introduced, and truths are revealed.

Vi’s been on a journey for the whole series, obviously, but more so in this one, does she truly grow as a person. Her beliefs, her heart, everything she thought are challenged and she has to decide whether or not she’s strong enough to make it out the other side. Her world – everyone’s world is ending, and she will do whatever she can to try and stop it. That’s what I like about her, it was the same thing I liked about Vhalla in the Air Awakens Series – that it didn’t matter if there was a guaranteed successful outcome, that they would fight or die trying. That even the faintest spark of hope, of success was enough to get them to fight. Vi proves her strength, her smarts and her skills over and over in this book, and I cannot wait to see how her story progresses and closes in this series.

As for Taavin, I don’t want to say too much, since he has a really big role in this book, and to really talk about my feelings would be too much of a spoiler. But I will say that as much as I do love him, I’ve always had this sneaking suspicion that he was too good to be true. I’ll let you form your own opinions. I don’t think he’s a bad guy, I think he’s just been dealt a seriously shitty hand.

If it wasn’t clear, Elise blew me away with this book, and I’m infinitely more excited for the next one, Sovereign Sacrifice. If you’re looking for a lush, vivid, diverse fantasy world where the fate of the world is at stake and hearts are tested, then you should definitely check out this series, and the first one if you haven’t already. You’re missing out on an amazing journey with amazing characters. Elise’s worlds are so easy to picture, to visualize, they feel absolutely real.

Sovereign Sacrifice is out October 2019, so you have time to catch up!

I also just want to thank Elise again for giving me the opportunity to read Failed Future early!

 

Book Review: Warrior of the Wild

warrior of the wildTitle: Warrior of the Wild

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Pub. Date: February 26, 2019

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


How do you kill a god?

As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: To win back her honor, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year—or die trying.


This will be a spoiler free review!

I knew Warrior of the Wild was going to be an auto-buy for me, with how much I loved her first two books. While I did enjoy this book, I do wish it were longer. This is where I get into catch-22 territory – I liked that it was a short quick read amidst a bunch of longer books, but I also wish it had been longer. I wish I had gotten more time with the characters. It just felt a little rushed. Stuff happens so fast, and that’s fine. It’s more of a plot driven story versus character driven in my opinion, but it felt like I should have been more about the characters and how Rasmira deals with the fact that she’s been betrayed and exiled. As the reader, you do get some of that, but it’s constantly go, go, go for Rasmira in her attempts to regain her honor. I think the book could have been slowed down and expanded just a little bit – not to mention the love interest (who I loved; thought he was pretty funny) was rushed as well. It’s kind of enemies to lovers…but on fast-forward.

Despite my many wishes, this book is good, it’s a fun read. There’s a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming and definitely surprised me. I wouldn’t have guessed it at all. I also liked how it was inspired by Norse mythology and Viking influence, and I’m totally into reading more books inspired by the lore and culture. I find it fascinating and will legit read any YA that has it.

I will say that I’m not sure if my opinion is wholly based on the story – or the fact that I listened to the audiobooks for her first two books – Daughter of the Pirate King and Daughter of the Siren Queen – but didn’t listen to the audiobook for this one. I’m not sure if maybe her writing style isn’t for me, or if the narrator of the audiobook made the story better? I don’t know. Or maybe this book just wasn’t as good. I hate to say that, but I guess it could be possible. This hasn’t deterred me from reading anything she writes, because I will always read anything Tricia Levenseller writes. She sealed that deal when I fell in love with Riden and Alosa.