Baubles · Tags

Most Anticipated January YA New Releases | Miscellaneous Monday

New Year, New List of Most anticipated books. I decided to make this a monthly list just because I didn’t want to make a “most-anticipated-books-of-the-year” for me when I don’t know everything that is going to be published this year. Yes, sure I can tell you about the ones I know are coming out this year but that’s what this list is for, I’ll just do it monthly.

Anyways, I feel like because it’s the start of a new year, publishers put out a lot of books this month, or is it just me? But regardless, my list has some interesting titles that I can’t wait to read eventually. So here’s the list.

  • A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison: to be completely honest with you, I only chose this book because the cover looked amazing. Also, this year I’m trying to be more selective about the books that I’m reading and I’m trying to not to add just any book that might look interesting to be Goodreads want-to-read list. So, when I went to check this book out the story itself seem very promising and it deals with some social issues that I would love to read more about. Moreover, this book reminds me of the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles and I really loved that series so hopefully this one is as good.
  • Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen: This book I know I’ll get to read in February closer to the Barnes and Noble YA book club time because the closer I read it to book club I know the story will be fresher in my memory. But, I’m super excited to read it because not only does it look good but I also got an ARC for it when I went to Yallfest this year so that makes me happy.
  • A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer: I’m not going to say anything more about this book. I wrote a pretty extensive review on this book a couple of months back, so if you want to know how I feel about it keep scrolling down. Spoiler alert: I didn’t like it. The only reason is one of my most anticipated is because I want to see how everyone else will react to this book.
  • Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin: Girl (or guy) this book was awesome. I already wrote my review on it and it was amazing. I’m not going to say anything else about it because the review for this book is located two posts below this one. Just scroll and read it, you’ll see why I think it’s such a great book. You will really enjoy it.
  • The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord: I’m sad to say that I’ve yet to read anything by Emery Lord before so I’m excited to give her a try. I’ve read that she’s a pretty good author and I got to meet her a few years back and she was super sweet so I decided to give this book a try.
  • Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim: Now, talk about a badass looking cover. I’m here for all the assassins looking covers and just covers that look ready to kill someone (LOL), which even though we can’t see her face in this cover, she still looks like she is ready to kill. I’m here for it. I want it in my hands right now.
  • Ashlords by Scott Reintgen: This particular book I know nothing about, but I do know about the author. He was at YALLFEST this year and I fell in love with him. In the YA Smack-down section of YALLFEST, he recited a poem that he wrote to his wife many years ago and wow, he was amazing. I fell in love with him right there. He’s also super cute so mad respect to his wife. Now, I want to read his book. So, here we go!
  • Throw Like A Girl by Sarah Henning: I’ve already read this book and let me tell you it is like reading a Morgan Matson book or a Kasie West one. It was cute and adorable and super modern in terms of her writing style.  You’ll surely enjoy this book. I give it a 4/5 stars. P.S. it also helps that the author is super cute too.
  • Infinity Son by Adam Silvera: This book I fought so hard to get an ARC for and I got it and now I’m super excited to read it. It also helps that Adam Silvera and I are country neighbors, he’s Puertorican and I’m Dominican which makes me love him even more. Quick secret though, this will be my first Silvera book, but don’t tell anyone I told you that, let’s keep it a secret between you and me.

That’s my list everybody. Now, let me know if you are interested in any of these books because I would love to talk to you about them. Moreover, if you have any other books that you are excited for this January, please let me know in the comments down below because I could add some more to my list! And as always guys, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my post. I truly appreciate it. 

 

Baubles · Tags

Let’s Wrap-Up the Year | My Top Favorite Books of 2019

Well, we are closing the year once again. I did want to say thanks to all that have stuck with me through it all. Since it’s the end of the year, I thought it would be nice to list my favorite books this year. The ones that got 4 to a 5-star rating on my blog. This year my goal was 50 books and I got to read 52, unfortunately, not many of them made the top lists. However, there were some really good ones that I really appreciated and that I’m so glad I got to read this year. 

  1. Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin – 4.5/5 stars

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This book is such a quick and easy read. I finished it the same day I started it. It was sooo good. Packed and full of action. I know this book doesn’t come out until 2020 but I did get to read it this year so I’m including it on this list.

  1. The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh – 4.5/5 stars

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This was a very simple read but at the same time, it was a great read! I don’t even know how to explain it. Vampires in the 1800s. A little bit of old-time fashion mixed in with the dangers of the unknown. Seriously a great experience.

  1. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin – ⅘ stars

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Honestly, I wasn’t extremely surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It was amazing. The characters were great and their banter even better. You’ll really enjoy it.

  1. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Choksi – 4.5/5 stars

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Amazing book! I’m super excited for the next one. This book has a mix of everything. Even things I didn’t think I would ever enjoy, like math. But somehow, Roshani makes it work in the most perfect way possible.

  1. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas – 5/5 stars

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This book is hilarious but not only that, very real too. It speaks the truth of the city, the truth of this country. I’m glad it’s not as dark as THUG but it is still an amazing book that I believe everyone should read!

  1. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – 5/5 stars

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I’m running out of adjectives in which to explain the awesomeness of these books. In this one, there’s not only action but also a sweet sweet romance and even better friendship. I can’t explain how good this book is and how much I hope there’s a second book. You must, MUST, must read this book. I can’t say it enough.

  1. Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee – 4.5/5 stars

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The funniest book I’ve read this year. It had me laughing so hard I cried. Good tears this time you guys, which is a new thing for me. Whenever I read a book from Zentner there are always ugly tears running down my nose. But this beautiful story about two best friends will warm your heart while making you laugh at the same time.

  1. Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith – ⅘ stars

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This one is about magic and witches and racism and classism and everything else I can’t think of right now. I genuinely liked this book and I’m super excited to read the next one. The romance in this book was perfect too. You absolutely have to read this one.

  1. Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller – 5/5 stars

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Oh guys, how do I explain this one without sounding like a psychopath that’s a little too obsessed with this book? It is a really quick and fast read that will have you at the edge of your seat th entire time you are reading it. Packed and full of action, there’s never a dull moment in this one. You’ll 100% enjoy it.

  1. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – 5/5 stars

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Now, for the long-awaited number #1 in my list, the most desirable, the most awesome, the better-written-book-of-2019, the I-love-it-so-much-I’ll-never-get-enough-of-it, ACSDAL. This book was everything to me in 2019. The characters, their chemistry, the friendship, the power, the magic, the monster. Everything about this book was amazing. I can’t say the same about the sequel, but this book right here? Deserves all your money!!!

These are the top ten books that have made this 2019 such a great year for me. Although it was hard for me to categorize some of them, I loved every single one of these books in their own unique way. They brought joy into my life and every time I think about these books they bring a smile to my face. These are the books that I’ve spent all year selling at my bookstore and that I can’t wait for one day (in the very far far away future) for my grandchildren to read them. Please let me know if you’ve read any of these books this year and which one on this list is your favorite. Also, please let me know your favorite books of this year that are not included in my list. I would love to know what other books you guys found interesting.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Fountains of Silence,” by Ruta Sepetys

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  • Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
  • Pub Date: October 1st, 2019
  • Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
  • Publisher: Philomel Books
  • Product #: 9780399160318
  • Pages: Hardcover, 496

Now, this is the perfect review for someone who’s not a history buff. I generally don’t read Historical Fiction because TBH, I don’t care enough. However, I’m a Spanish major and as soon as I heard this book was going to be in the history of Spain I wanted to jump all over it because I got to study the history of Spain in college and I loved it. The book though didn’t make sense to me at all. Yes, the historical elements were there and it was very interesting reading it from Sepetys perspective but at the same time, it felt like the book led nowhere. Please keep in mind that I’m reviewing this book from the perspective of someone that doesn’t like historical fiction in general, but that still appreciates a good story. That was not the case with this book which is why I gave it 2 out of 5 stars.

In this book, we follow the story of Daniel and Ana in the era of General Francisco Franco dictator of Spain back in the 1950s. Daniel is an American tourist that loves to take pictures, he wants to be a photojournalist when he grows up. He, later on, starts to have feelings for Ana and this book is pretty much their story–although there are so many things going on for it just t be the story of the two. This story is not only about love, but also about tragedy, friendship and hardship. And I have to give it to the author, she did a great job of delivering all of those emotions in one book. The way she executed those factors in the story was excellent.

The main issue that I had with this story though was the fact that besides all this history and development that happens throughout the book, (to me) the story didn’t seem to lead anywhere. There were so many things going on, with Ana’s sister and her cousin, and her brother and his best friend. And on Daniel’s side, his father, his mom, his ex-girlfriend, the hotel. However, even though there were so many things happening at once, it doesn’t lead to anything. And who knows, maybe that’s the way historical fiction has always been written and since I don’t read it I don’t know how it goes. I’ve never read a book by this author before so maybe this is her writing style and people are used to that, which is completely fine. It is just that, for me, I was looking for so much more. 

The other thing that bothered me was how the book ended. I’m not going to say much because of spoilers but al those years that they had to wait to come back…. That was just too much like it didn’t make sense in the story. Whatever Daniel could’ve done then was not going to erase what happened back then. It is going to sound confusing because you’ll need to read the story to understand what I mean. Moreover, say what you want to say, but how did either of them know they were going to see each other after all those years? And all of a sudden, however many years later, they are stilling waiting for each other? That was just a little unrealistic to me, especially given Ana’s family situation. But who am I to judge? To each its own. 

I would like to point out that I love the fact that Sepetys gives us her sources at the end of the book. That was a really good detail that I appreciated in this book. Other than that, if you like historical fiction like Stalking Jack the Ripper, Passenger, My Lady Jane, etc., then you’ll for sure enjoy this book. Anyone 14 years old and older can read this book. Thank you guys for reading my post, I truly appreciate it.

 

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

“Nameless Queen,” by Rebecca McLaughlin

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  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Pub Date: January 7th, 2020
  • Genre: YA, Fantasy
  • Publisher: Crown Books for Young Reader
  • Product #: 9781524700263
  • Pages: Hardcover, 352

“There’s a reason you haven’t killed me yet,” I say. “Two, actually. One: I’m Nameless, and you have no idea what that means for magic (…) And the second reason you haven’t killed me is that I am Nameless.” I pull the blade from my sleeve and stab it into the table. “Go ahead and try.”

Wow. Guys, I was really impressed. Like, very much so. I don’t know how to explain it, (I say as I write an entire review explaining how much I liked the book), but it was such a good book.

In this world, there are three kinds of people. The Royals, the Legals, and the Nameless. Each of them powerful in that order. For generations, their world has been built in the idea that the Nameless have no power or say in anything. They are considered the worst of them all and all of them never get to acquire jobs or houses or anything really. Most Nameless live alone in the streets, barely getting by while Legals are the ones who control the market. They would be your middle-class blue-collar worker if you will. The Royals, as their name dictates, are the ones in power, in charge of both Legals and Nameless. The thing about the Nameless is that they literally have no names, which is why our main character nicknamed herself Coin. They have no parent to speak of (or at least that wasn’t mentioned throughout the book) and since they are not registered in the judiciary, most laws don’t apply to them because they don’t technically exist. They are treated very poorly and it has been like that for generations.

Coin is a clever Nameless that lives in the streets, she and her friend Hat have been surviving on their own for quite some time. In this world, the way the kingdom works is that whoever is king or queen must speak the name of someone right before they die so that they can transfer a tattoo to them that holds the magic and power of becoming the next heir to the throne. One day, Coin wakes up with the tattoo in her arm which causes unease and restlessness throughout the kingdom because there has never been a Nameless queen.

You know, despite the fact that Coin was nameless and had been on the streets her entire life, she was so fierce and strong. It seemed like she didn’t fear anything and I was extremely impressed by how she handled herself in the situations that they put her through. You know, everybody at court was kind of against her because everyone at court hates the Nameless and it under their recent administration that the Nameless have suffered so much, so to have a Nameless queen caused reason for people wanting to kill her among other things. But, she persevered. She kept pushing. I was extremely impressed with her behavior. 

“So stand. Face me.”

Something else I surprisingly enjoyed about the book was the lack of romance. If you know me, you know I can’t stand a book that doesn’t have romance in it. For me, it needs to have at least a kiss. However, with this story, that was not the case. There was not even a hint of romance throughout the entire book. Nothing. Nada. So, for those of you who like that, I guess you are lucky. But anyway, it still managed to be a really good book. I’m honestly still a little shocked at how much I enjoyed it without having romance. 

The book was also super quick, full of action, there was never a dull moment between these pages. The reason I gave it a 4.5 instead of 5 stars was that it did drag a little bit at times, but other than that, I started this book today and finished it the same day. The world-building was great, we got a great insight into the political part of this world, which I truly enjoyed because I’m a political major in college as well. Moreover, I enjoyed the fact that even though Coin had been raised in the streets she was politically savvy too. She showed them that although she was a Nameless she was part of their country just as much as the royals were and she proved herself at the end. 

If you guys liked Crown of Feathers, Warrior of the Wild, The Storm Crow, The Merciless Crow, Circle of Shadows, Bloodleaf, etc., then you’ll surely enjoy this book. Anyone 13 years old and older can read this. And as always, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my post, I truly appreciate it.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Bring Me Their Hearts,” and “Find Me Their Bones,” by Sara Wolf

Bring Me Their Hearts (#1) and Find Me Their Bones (#2)

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pub Date: June 5th, 2018 & November 5th, 2019
  • Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
  • Publisher: Entangled Teen
  • Product #: 9781640631465 & 9781640633759
  • Pages: Hardcover, 370 & 400

Okay, so the reason I’m posting these together is because they were read together. I read these two books once the second one came out and they looked so pretty together so I just went for it, read one in one night and the other one the night after. 

In these books, we follow the story of Zera, who’s a heartless. A heartless in this world is an immortal, unaging servant of a witch and for Zera to get her heart back she needs to infiltrate the castle and disguise as one of the prince future brides and take his heart. Needless to say, she falls in love with the prince and then things become complicated and taking his heart is not as easy anymore. Not only that but war is brooding in the horizon between the witches and the people. The people also hate and are afraid of witches. So, Zera can’t be discovered because she’ll get killed. 

Now, Zera is a very strong character. Poor girl lost it all when she was transformed as a heartless and all she wants back is her heart which also contains her memories. At the palace, she makes the most unimaginable friends where they ask her to help them figure out what is going on with the kingdom and who’s been threatening the king. But in this story there are secrets within secrets, no one wants to trust anyone and hearts get broken, it’s truly a disaster but a good story nonetheless.

In the first book, Zera doesn’t know what she wants anymore. After falling in love with the prince, things are not as clear anymore and she has to figure out a way to prevent war without taking the prince’s heart. But in the second book, she realizes that no one but herself is going to help her get her heart back but herself, so it is completely up to her to go take back the heart that was once hers. Unfortunately, the witch who promised her her heart back is not keeping her promise which turns into more chaos. I really didn’t like the ending of the second book, it felt incomplete (and no, not because it was a cliffhanger), the way she just cut-it off right there didn’t make sense and then the issue from the beginning is still an issue at the end of book two which tells me that this is going to be a truly long story.

I don’t know what else to tell you about these books without spoiling it to you. Give it a chance and you may enjoy them. I know I did. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes The Merciful Crow, Crown of Feathers, Circle of Shadows, Everless, Bloodleaf, etc. Anyone 13 years and older can read this book. And as always, thank you guys for taking the time to read my post, I truly appreciate it.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Blood Heir,” by Amelie Wen Zhao

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  • Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
  • Pub Date: November 19th, 2019
  • Genre: YA, Fantasy
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press
  • Product #: 9780525707813
  • Pages: Hardcover, 496

I’m not impressed. I have to admit I did read the book because of all the controversy going on with it, but to be honest, that was not the issue I had with this book. Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean.

In this book, we follow the story of Ana, the princess, who’s also an Affinate. Affinates in this world are feared and oppressed, most of them used and trafficked as slaves. The princess lives inside her palace walls until someone murders her dad and then tries to kill her. Now, she’s on the run and with Ramson, a criminal, it is up to her to figure out who’s trying to kill her and her family. 

Now, this review is going to be short because I don’t remember much about it, I read it a while ago and the notes I took of it got lost somewhere. Anyways, the main reason I didn’t like this book was because of the author’s writing style. To give her credit though, in her opening letter she does address that she learned English as her second language so that may be the reason. However, that doesn’t help the fact that the book was poorly written. The book time period did not match with her writing style at all. She took a pre-imperialist world where people still walked on horses and used words like Kohl to describe makeup and made them talk as if they were with us today. It’s a bit hard to explain but she pretty much took an old world where nothing about it changed but made the characters speak like we do today and it did not match the storyline at all. It was confusing at times to follow the storyline because of how they spoke. Also, at times the book dragged for too long and it felt incoherent. I can appreciate it a bad story if it was written correctly–I’m not going to give it a 5-star rating but at least it was well written. In her case, she did the opposite, what could’ve been a great story ended up being a mess, in my opinion.

In regards to the controversy, this book went through at the beginning of the year, I honestly could care less. I’m not going to mention exactly what the issue was about because that’s spoilers but I genuinely didn’t seem anything racially wrong with the book. Also, I did receive an ARC for this book but I didn’t receive the first edition of it, the one that caused people to be angry. I received the revised and updated one, but I don’t she changed anything on the book because the main issue that people were discussing was still present in this book, so I’m not sure why the fuzz.

Moreover, something else I didn’t enjoy in this book was the constant teasing of a kiss. Again, if you guys know me, you know that I can’t read a book that doesn’t have some romantic element to it, (doesn’t mean that I won’t do it, but generally I don’t enjoy them as much). In this book, however, there was a romance that never happened. And, I wish I could tell you it was because it wasn’t the right time or whatever, but no. There were too many times when that kiss could’ve happened because she literally wrote the scenes were they almost kissed and never gave it to us. It was frustrating having to read those scenes because of how she staged them. I can’t say much without spoiling, but my issue is, either give me romance or don’t but don’t tease me with it. And it is the bad kind of teasing, you know what I mean? The kind that’s annoying and totally unnecessary.

Other than that, the story itself wasn’t bad, I just wished it was better written. There are trigger warnings, just FYI. You should give it a try though, maybe you’ll enjoy it. If you like the story of the Romanov family and the movie Anastacia, then you’ll enjoy this story. Anyone above 14 years of age can read this book. Thank you guys for taking the time to read my post, I truly appreciate it. 

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “The Beautiful,” by Renee Ahdieh

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  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Pub Date: October 8th, 2019
  • Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
  • Product #: 9781524738174
  • Pages: Hardcover, 448

You guys, this book was so good. I don’t know why people are being so hard on it, I really loved it. It was a surprising read and it took me a while to get into it because the first chapter or two are not really attention-grabbing but once you get past those first couples of chapters you’ll be hooked, I promise. Actually, that’s the only reason I didn’t give 5 stars.

In this book, we follow the story of Celine Rosseau, she’s moved to New Orleans and it is 1872. She’s escaping a dark past from Paris, little does she knows that she comes to find an even darker future in this town. There’s a strange group of people that Celine immediately falls in love with but unfortunately, that group of people is not the safest of them all. Now, Celine must figure out what’s best for her all the while fighting her growing feelings for the “leader” of the group of friends, Sebastien Saint Germain. 

Now, if anything, you must read it for the romance. Yeah, there are some vampires in this book, but I honestly don’t think that that is what is really important. Renee marketed the book as it being a vampire book, but you don’t get to find out about that until the end. Which I guess it kinds ruins the spoiler, but I’m just telling you because the author herself said it too. However, that’s not what got my attention, my attention was the relationship between Bastien and Celine. I thought the tension between the two was going to make the book explode. Their tension was so much so, that even I was like… Umm, is it hot in here? Or is it just me?… Like wow, the chemistry, the forwardness (despite the time period and the social norms), the romance, the hated but heated gazes, guys this book almost blew me on fire. 

Celine, as I mentioned above is running from an ugly past she left in Paris in search of a new beginning here in New Orleans. Unfortunately, the ugly seems to follow her everywhere and all because she fell for the wrong man. She’s strong, she has a spine of steel, and she’s quite frankly, fearless. Everything that she’s been through in her life made her strong to face anything and she shows it throughout this story many times, which is one of the things I loved most about her. She’s also very courageous, she did things and stood up to people that I wouldn’t think possible, especially given her position and the fact that she was a woman in this time period. Which is another quality worth mentioning. Even though she’s a woman in the late 1800s, she doesn’t let that stop her from speaking her mind and being frank and honest with her words and with those around her. She’s just a great character overall.

Now, Sebastien Saint Germain is the overall brooding overlord, with a lot of money. He’s gorgeous and very handsome and every girl wants a piece of him. Which makes Celine dislike him even more. Their first encounter was unpleasant, to say the least, but for some reason, they can’t get away from each other. Now, there’s a murderer on the loose trying to target everyone Bastien loves and he’s trying to protect Celine at all cost which makes them become separated for all of a minute. He is stubborn but prideful of what’s his. I didn’t necessarily like him, but he was perfect for Celine. 

I can’t say much more without spoiling the book for you, but just know that you won’t regret reading the story. The cliffhanger will leave you dying to read the next book but it’ll be so worth it. The story is well built and the storyline and writing style fall under the time period where the story was placed and everything made sense and was coherent. Well, that’s a lie, LOL. There’s a random point of view throughout the book that comes in and out in between chapters that took me a while to figure out what was going on and why that point of view was there but once you get to the end of the book, it makes sense. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Twilight, Marked, Shadow Falls, Tiger’s Curse, Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, Shiver, etc. If you like historical fiction, you’ll also enjoy this book. Anyone 16 years and older can read this book. There is a hot scene in this book that had me blushing, although short and nothing truly serious happens, Ahdieh still teases us, so keep an out for that. Other than that, thank you guys for taking the time to read my post, I truly appreciate it. Until the next one.

 

Books · Reviews - Adult books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Ninth House,” by Leigh Bardugo

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  • Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars
  • Pub Date: October 8th, 2019
  • Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books
  • Product #: 9781250313072
  • Pages: Hardcover, 458

Now, I enjoyed this book very much. That 3.7 is not a bad review, it is a good 3.7 if that makes any sense. The only reason I didn’t give it a whole 4 or 5 is that the book dragged at times for too long, and some of the story itself was incoherent at times too, which we will get into later. But other than that, the book was a good read.

In this book, we follow two points of view, Alex and Darlington. Alex has been a survivor of a horrific accident and for second chance at life, she’s given the opportunity to go to Yale university to be part of this society, that in other words, solves ghost mysteries. I know that’s not the right way to explain what the society does in that school and it doesn’t explain truly what she does there, but honestly, it’s too complicated for me to even explain. You’ll have to read the book to know what I mean. Darlington is training Alex to be in his position once he graduates. The story switches from the present Alex to past Darlington and there we figure out that Darlington has been missing and that some girls are being murdered and now it is up to Alex to figure out who’s killing all these girls without Darlington’s help. 

Now, I think that the main thing that we have to all keep in mind is that this book is NOT YA. Since Leigh is a young adult author, I feel like many of her YA fans moved over to read her adult fantasy book and were disappointed when it wasn’t what they were expecting. Honestly, you shouldn’t have been expecting anything because this book is marketed and written for adults who like fantasy books. With that being said, I’m not a fantasy fan, I barely read anything outside YA and this was a very interesting read for me. However, many adults who already read lots of fantasy books have told me that this book wasn’t good at all, which makes me think that maybe Leigh needed to do more research before writing this adult novel. On the other hand, I can’t say anything because I don’t read adult fantasy like that so I really can’t tell if this book was written “right” or not. 

Anyways, moving on, I personally enjoyed the story regardless of what anyone says. I actually wanted to read this book because I love every YA book Leigh Bardugo has written and I was super curious to see how this book would turn out, and I have to say I’m not disappointed. Alex is very determined and despite the fact that she almost died she was able to survive and kick life in the balls. Not only was she able to survive, move across the country, start her life anew, but she also got to solve a murder case all by herself. Like she’s the definition of badass. There’s no other way to describe her. And although she’s been able to see ghosts her whole life and been treated differently because of it, she still manages to pull her through. That’s what I most admire about her. Life has dealt her all the wrong cards and she’s still fighting. Still looking for a way to survive and live. You’ll enjoy this character very much.

Darlington is your prim and proper kind of guy. Ace student, that does all his homework and loves the society like it’s his own. We all know he has a thing for Alex but his prim and proper self won’t allow him to do anything about it, which shame on him because there’s some serious tension going on there.

The story itself felt incoherent at times, like when it jumped from time periods I couldn’t follow well. Who knows, it may be my lack of reading adult books and switching from only reading teen books to reading this one that’s got me all confused. But the storyline itself was confusing at times too like it was hard for me to follow at times and again, it may have to do with my lack of adult literature in my life. LOL. And I guess because it was an adult book the overexplaining and over-detailing in this book was necessary, (something that you don’t see much in YA), although I just found it dragging and at times boring. Other than that, the overall story itself was great, after I was done reading the whole book and got to put the pieces together in my head things made sense and I cannot wait for the next book because that cliffhanger is killing me. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes murder mysteries, ghost books, dark and creepy stuff, spells, magic and more. Anyone 17 years and older can read this book. There are some trigger warnings in this book, so I would look into that if you are someone that worries about that. Other than that, thank you guys for taking the time to read my post, I truly appreciate it. 

 

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Gravemaidens,” by Kelly Coon

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  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
  • Pub Date: October 29th, 2019
  • Genre: YA, Fantasy
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press
  • Product #: 9780525647829
  • Pages: Hardcover, 416

Well, this book was a disappointment, unfortunately. I’m not going to lie, the only reason I read this book was because of the cover. That cover looked amazing. However, the story itself was a flop for me.

In this book, we follow the story of Kammani, an older sister who’s only desire is to be the best healer in town just like her father was. In this world, three maidens are chosen every year to accompany the emperor in the castle. Kammani’s little sister Nanaea gets chosen to be a maiden and her little sister is happy but Kammani isn’t. Kammani gets upset and then the emperor is ill so next thing you know Kammani is also going to the palace to help the emperor because her father can’t do it, and from then on out things just get complicated.

Kammani is a strong character. She has to save her sister and save herself and save the emperor who is very sick and no one is taking care of him properly, so the responsibility of the whole empire falls pretty much on her hands. Her little sister has this idea that being chosen as a maiden is an honor, not knowing that you pretty much die if you are chosen as one. So, it is up to Kammani to save everyone. 

The thing I didn’t like about this book, was the storyline itself. The story seems to go nowhere and even when it did, I found it lacking. Nanaea is a very annoying, naive, little girl that is soo full of herself I wanted to pull my hair throughout this entire story whenever reading about her. Oh, and then that random guy, (who’s name I forgot because I can’t remember details after I’m done reading apparently) who at the beginning was clearly in love of Kammani and Kammani was all like, “No, I can´t. I must support my family and not think about love at all” but then she ends up falling in love with him anyway. And to think that guard guy had a chance. 

Anyways, this is a half-assed review because I don’t remember much about the book other than it not being my favorite. However, who knows, you may enjoy it. There’s potential here. I would recommend it if you like reading about mythology, death, maidenhood or anything of the sort, and if you are 13 and older you can read this book. Thank you guys for reading my review, I really appreciate it. 

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “To Kill a Kingdom,” by Alexandra Christo

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pub Date: March 6th, 2018
  • Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
  • Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
  • Product #: 9781250112682
  • Pages: Hardcover, 344

This book was a surprisingly good read, it had been on my TBR list for the longest time and I’ve finally got to it and I’m happy I did. I was not expecting it to be like it was, but it turned out to be better than expected.

In this book, we follow the story Lira who is a siren princess. Every year for her birthday she gets to kill a person and take their hearts for a complicated process that I’m not going to explain. You’ll have to read the book to know what I mean. Now, two weeks before her birthday she takes the heart of a prince that she wasn’t supposed to and her mom to punish her takes her “singing voice” away and gives her legs and tell her that if she wants to come back she needs to take a prince’s heart without her powers. It’s kind of like a Little Mermaid retelling but a little bit more badass if you will.

That is where Prince Elian comes in, he is actually a mermaid and siren killer and hunter, and then when he is sailing on the sea to find the “Prince Killer” he sees Lira’s human body in the ocean. From then on out, you know how it goes, they both hate each other and the prince wants to kill Lira but he doesn’t know she’s the princess. The princess knows who he is and she knows that she has to kill him, which to her credit, she does try multiple times. But other than that, feelings start developing later on and things get complicated. Elian is a great captain of his bot, I loved the crew and the way he commanded his ship. This is the type of book I’ve been waiting for, in terms of mermaids actions with pirates, and prince and princesses and all that jazz.

Character development and world-building were great too, the storyline was easy to follow and her writing felt consistent and it always went along with her time period. The relationship between the two main characters will leave you reeling because they both know what they should but it is hard for both of them to follow their orders when their hearts say something else. Read this book if you like Pirates of the Caribbean, The Beholder, Sea Witch, the Little Mermaid, and you get the idea. I recommend this book for 14-year-olds and older. And as always, I want to thank you guys for taking the time to read my post, I truly appreciate it.