Friday, 1 January 2021

DECEMBER '20 WRAP-UP

 



Time for another wrap up!

Happy New Year everyone! Here's to a better year than 2020! 

December was a pretty slow reading month for me. I managed to read five books this month, and some of them were books that I've been wanting to read for awhile. 

Time to talk about the books I read this month.


PHYSICAL BOOKS

 



The first book I read was Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco. This was a new release for 2020 and it was one that I was really excited about. This is about Emilia and her twin sister who are witches who hide their powers from the world who would hunt them if they knew. One day Emilia's sister doesn't come home and Emilia goes out to look for her and finds her dead. Emilia swears revenge on whoever killed her sister and ends up getting tangled up in plots with people she really needs to be careful around. I don't want to spoil anything so that is all I'll say about the book but I ended up really enjoying it! I love the characters and I thought the storyline was really interesting and fast-paced. I rated it 5 Crowns. 

The second book I read was One of Us is Next by Karen McManus  This was the sequel/companion novel to One of Us is Lying. I can't say too much without spoiling the first book however, this was a lot slower paced and I found myself confusing a lot of the characters. I ended up rating this one 3 Crowns. 

The third book I read was Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi. This is the sequel to Furthermore and follows a girl named Laylee who is a mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, where she has to wash the bodies of the dead and prepare their souls for the afterlife. But when two familiar strangers appear, Laylee's world is turned upside down. Whichwood has much darker themes than Furthermore but the theme of friendship was what tied the entire book together. I ended up rating it 4 Crowns.




The fourth book I read was The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. This is the prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy and I must admit that I was a little concerned going into this but it ended up being such a good book. I loved how we got to learn a lot more about Panem and the world. It was also interesting to find connections between people and things in this book with people and things in The Hunger Games. I rated it 4 Crowns.

The fifth book I read was The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang. This was the last book that I read in 2020 and it was a heavy one (and I don't just mean the length). Before going into this one, you should definitely check out the trigger warnings and just be mindful of those. This is about Rin who aces the Keju which is an Empire-wide test designed to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies. Rin is a war orphan from a small Province and it is a surprise to everyone when she aces the Keju and gets into the most elite military school. However, being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is hard at an elite school and when she discovers she has shamanic powers, everything changes. I really enjoyed this one even though it was dark and I ended up rating it 4 Crowns. 


AUDIOBOOKS READ

NONE

ARC'S READ

NONE

REVIEWS IN JUNE: 

NONE

WEEKLY WRAP-UP:

NONE

DISCUSSIONS/OTHER:



FAVORITE COVER OF THE MONTH:


NEW FICTIONAL BAE'S: 

Wrath from Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco

NEW FAVORITE FEMALES: 

Emilia from Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco 

Lucy Gray from The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Rin from The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang 


NEW FAVORITE BOOK RELATIONSHIPS: 

Emilia and Wrath from Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco 


TV SHOWS I WATCHED THIS MONTH:

NONE


MOVIES I WATCHED THIS MONTH:




WHAT BOOKS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:





There's so many more but these are the main ones! 


NEW BLOG FINDS

NONE


SONGS ON REPEAT

Christmas Playlist 

Christmas Tree Farm - Taylor Swift 

No Body, No Crime - Taylor Swift 

Flying Solo - JATP

Now or Never - JATP

Night Crawling - Miley Cyrus

Savages - MARINA

Teeth - 5SOS

All the Things She Said - Poppy 

She's So Gone - Naomi Scott 

Haunted - Taylor Swift 


 BOOKS I WANT TO READ NEXT MONTH



The graphics at the top belong to me. The background pictures for them, however do not.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

WINTER 2021 RELEASES I AM EXCITED FOR

 There are so many good books coming out in 2021 so I've decided to break my list down by season. In this list, I have my Winter 2021 anticipated books (which includes the months of January and February).




JANUARY 





1. Lore by Alexandra Bracken ~ January 5, 2021

Lore by Alexandra Bracken is marketed as a Greek mythological Hunger Games where the descendants of Greek heroes try and kill the Ancient Greek Gods. I've already read several reviews of this book and they're very positive so I am excited for it! 


This is pitched as The Mandalorian meets Six of Crows and Throne of Glass. Also, I've read that it's a sort of mix between fantasy and medieval fantasy which sounds so cool!


We Hunt the Flame is one of my favorite books and I have been highly anticipating this sequel! Especially since the first book ended on a cliffhanger. 


This is the prequel to the Dark Shores series, about Marcus before the events of Dark Shores. Marcus was one of my favorite characters in the series so I am excited to see what happened to him before those events. 

5. City of Villains by Estelle Laure ~ January 26, 2021

City of Villains is pitched as Disney Villains meets Gotham and tells the stories of Disney villains before they became villains which is such a good concept. 


FEBRUARY 







1. Muse by Brittany Cavallaro ~ February 2, 2021

Muse is set in an alternate American reality where there's a monarchy which is a super interesting concept. It's also set at the World's Fair which sounds really cool. 


This is apparently a twist on the typical vampire book which focuses more on female friendships! Honestly, I love that vampire themed books are coming back into style. 

3. Liberte by Gita Trelease ~ February 2, 2021

Liberte is the sequel to Enchante. I honestly thought Enchante was a standalone but I am excited to see what else happens in this series. 

4. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna ~ February 9, 2021

This is titled as a West African inspired own-voices Fantasy that is also compared to Black Panther, which just sounds so cool! 


Apparently this is a Snow Queen retelling that is Western themed, set against a frozen-snowy backdrop. 


This is described as The Cruel Prince meets The Mortal Instruments with faeries and murder. Also, it takes place in modern-day like those books which I love. 






Are any of these books on your anticipated lists for 2020? 

Friday, 16 October 2020

The Cup and The Prince by Day Leitao Blog Tour + Review

 


Thank you to The Fantastic Flying Book Club and the publishers for letting me be a part of this tour. I received an eARC of The Cup and the Prince by Day Leitao as part of this blog tour but all the opinions are my own and this is a spoiler free review. 

You can find the rest of the tour schedule on the FFBC website and here.  There is also a giveaway going on so be sure to check that out! Make sure to check out the other posts on the blog tour!





The Cup and the Prince
Written by Day Leitao
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Sparkly Wave
Release Date: October 15, 2020
Pages: 256
Source: eARC from Publisher
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 13 and up!


Summary:

One prince wants her out.
Another wants her as a pawn.
Someone wants her dead.

Zora wants to win the cup and tell them all to screw themselves.

Yes, 17-year-old Zora cheated her way into the Royal Games, but it was for a very good reason. Her ex-boyfriend thought she couldn't attain glory on her own. Just because she was a girl. And he was the real cheater. So she took his place.

Now she's competing for the legendary Blood Cup, representing the Dark Valley. It's her chance to prove her worth and bring glory for her people. If she wins, of course.

But winning is far from easy. The younger prince thinks she's a fragile damsel who doesn't belong in the competition. Determined to eliminate her at all costs, he's stacking the challenges against her. Zora hates him, hates him, hates him, and will do anything to prove him wrong.

The older prince is helping her, but the cost is getting Zora entangled in dangerous flirting games. Flirting, the last thing she wanted.

And then there's someone trying to kill her.
 

"Nothing is more dangerous than a woman scorned."

A royal competition? A strong female MC? Political intrigue? This book essentially has it all.

The Cup and the Prince is the first book in a new Fantasy series which follows a 17-year-old girl named Zora who is from a place called the Dark Valley, which has been sentenced to isolation because of the shadow monsters within its walls. When she finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, she takes revenge by taking his place in the royal games, representing the Dark Valley for the first time in a long time. All she wants to do is win the competition and prove herself, however, she gets a lot more than she bargained for.

The main character, Zora, is a girl who knows how to fight for herself in all senses of the word. She is a strong female character who is determined to get what she came for and not let anyone get in the way of that. She has constant determination and resilience throughout the book and is dedicated to proving herself. I really liked her as a character. The other characters didn't have too much development and it mostly focuses on Zora.

The plot was fairly fast-paced as we jump right into the story which I really liked. There were several plot twists that I really didn't see coming and I loved being surprised at every turn. I also loved how this book didn't have too much romance and that the romance can be slowly developed over the course of the series.

Overall, this was a solid start to the series and I am both excited and curious to see what happens next with Zora and this world.

Trigger/Content Warnings: sexism, cheating, violence






My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Crowns

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

AUGUST '20 WRAP-UP


Time for another wrap up!

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during this global pandemic. Please wear your masks and practice social distancing. Also, if you have a minute, please take a look at this link for resources on how you can help the BLM movement and other issues around the world: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

Okay, my public service announcements are over.

So, this wasn't the best blogging month as I only posted once, however, I did manage to read quite a few books. 

Time to talk about the books I read this month.


PHYSICAL BOOKS

 


The first book I read was City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare. This was a reread for me and my first time reading it, I really enjoyed it but this time, I did not. I thought a lot of the book was extremely awkward and the 'romance' made me uncomfortable. I also thought the storyline in this book was boring and I just ended up not enjoying it. I rated it 2.5 Crowns.

The second book I read was The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. I loved the first book, The Raven Boys, and I loved this one even more. The development of the characters, their friendships and the overall story was what made the book so good! I am so excited to keep reading this series. I rated it 5 Crowns. 

The third book I read was Blood Promise by Richelle Mead. This is probably my least favorite book in The Vampire Academy series so far. The storyline was a little bit slow, though I liked seeing a different setting from the school setting in the previous books. I don't like the main relationship and how it was handled in this book which seemed super toxic, but we'll see how it develops later on. I rated this one 2.5 Crowns. 




The fourth book I read was The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller. I loved this book so much and I am so excited that I finally read it! This is about Alessandra who is tired of being overlooked, by society and her own family. She hatches a plan: woo the Shadow King, marry him, then kill him and take his power and throne for herself. But Alessandra's not the only one out to kill the king and as more attempts are made she finds herself protecting him and growing closer to him. Alessandra was such an interesting main character and it was such a good morally grey enemies to lovers romance. I rated this one 5 Crowns.  

The fifth book I read was You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson. Everyone has been recommending this book and loving it so I had to pick it up. Liz is very upset when she doesn't receive the financial aid she was expecting to help her study at the college that her mother graduated from. She wanted to make her mother proud and bring some happiness to herself and family in her mother's name after she passed away due to sickle cell anemia. But when she hears about the cash prize for the one who win's the prom queen's crown this year at her school, she knows she can get enough money in order to study at the prestigious college. However, Liz has been hiding in the side lines for years, and it isn't easy to step into the spotlight especially when she is black and queer. I really liked the overall story and it was a very quick read. I also really liked the two main characters and their development. I rated this one 4 Crowns. 





The sixth book I read was Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas. This is the sequel to A Wicked Thing which I read earlier this year. This one continues with Aurora's story and I liked it a lot more than the first book. I loved seeing Aurora's journey and her becoming a lot more confident and brave. I rated this one 3.5 Crowns. 

The seventh and last book I read was Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell. This is a retelling of Les Miserables and a book that has been on my TBR for a while now. This is set in in the planet of Laterre which is a place where an elite class reigns supreme, and the poor starve in the streets.  However, there are whispers of revolution and a rebel group is resurfacing. There are three POVs in this book: Chatine who is a street-savvy thief wanting to escape the brutal Regime and the planet, Marcellus who is an officer and the son of a traitor, and Alouette who is living in an underground refuge where she helps protect the last library on the planet. I really enjoyed this book. It was so new and different from any YA book, while also including several dystopian and sci-fi tropes. I rated it 4 Crowns. 


AUDIOBOOKS READ

NONE

ARC'S READ

NONE

REVIEWS IN JUNE: 

NONE

WEEKLY WRAP-UP:

NONE

DISCUSSIONS/OTHER:




FAVORITE COVER OF THE MONTH:



NEW FICTIONAL BAE'S: 

Gansey from The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Kallias from The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller 

Marcellus from Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

NEW FAVORITE FEMALES: 

Blue from The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Alessandra from The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller 

Chatine from Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell


NEW FAVORITE BOOK RELATIONSHIPS: 

Alessandra and Kallias from The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller 

Marcellus and Chatine from Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell


TV SHOWS I WATCHED THIS MONTH:



MOVIES I WATCHED THIS MONTH:

NONE


WHAT BOOKS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:





There's so many more but these are the main ones! 


NEW BLOG FINDS

NONE


SONGS ON REPEAT

King - Zayde Wolf

Would You Come Home - Tyler Blackburn

Love Again - Dua Lipa

Lonely Boy - The Black Keys

Bad Memory - K.Flay 

Myself and Me - Halocene

Mamma Mia Here We Go Again Album

Bullet With Butterfly Wings - Tommee Profitt

X - Jonas Brothers ft. KAROL G.

Begging for Thread - BANKS

Take it Off - Kesha 

Alors on danse - Stromae 

Evil - Interpol

Close Your Eyes - Kim Petras

Lies - Will Jay 


 BOOKS I WANT TO READ NEXT MONTH




The graphics at the top belong to me. The background pictures for them, however do not.

Monday, 24 August 2020

JULY '20 WRAP-UP


Time for another wrap up!

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during this global pandemic. Please wear your masks and practice social distancing. Also, if you have a minute, please take a look at this link for resources on how you can help the BLM movement and other issues around the world: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

Okay, my public service announcements are over.

This was a good reading month as I participated in the Reading Rush and other challenges. 

Time to talk about the books I read this month.


PHYSICAL BOOKS

 

The first book I read was Defy by Sara B. Larson. This was a reread for me and I really enjoyed it. Defy is about Alexa Hollen who has been masquerading as a boy in order to be a member of the Prince's guard. She's one of the strongest fighters but when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace, she can't defeat him and is abducted along with her fellow guard and best friend Rylan and Prince Damian. The three are taken into the jungle and enemy territory. I really liked the Mulan vibes from this book however, I really could have done without the love triangle. I rated this one 4 Crowns. 

The second book I read was Ignite by Sara B. Larson which is the sequel to Defy. I think I liked this one more then the first book though they were pretty close. I can't say much about this one without spoiling the first book, but I loved seeing the characters develop especially Alexa. I rated this one 4 Crowns. 

The third book I read was Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi. I love Tahereh Mafi's books and I bought this one shortly after it came out but I never read it. This is about Alice who lives in the magical land of Ferenwood, where everything is colorful. However, Alice is colorless which means she also has no magic and it makes her an outcast. She feels like she'll never fit in until she gets the opportunity to join a boy named Oliver on a journey to the land of Furthermore, the land where her father disappeared many years ago. This was a hard book to get into because the writing is so different but I ended up really liking it. The world is so interesting and entertaining. My main complaint is that the ending was really rushed. I rated it 4 Crowns. 




The fourth book I read was Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland. This is the sequel to Dread Nation which was one of my favorite books that I read last year. I loved how much more we got to learn about the characters and how the relationships really developed in this book. I rated it 4 Crowns. 

The fifth book I read was Lifelike by Jay Kristoff. I bought this back in 2018 when it was released but I didn't read it until this month. This book is described as X-Men meets Romeo and Juliet meets Mad Max. Lifelike is about a girl named Eve who lives in a post-apocalyptic USA and she builds robot gladiators so she can earn money to help her sick Grandpa, who is her last remaining family member. However, everything goes wrong when one of her gladiators is destroyed and she stops the other robot with the power of her mind. Her newfound ability is revealed to all due to the fight being public and now a puritanical organization is after her. On her way home with her AI robot Cricket and best friend Lemon Fresh, they discover an android boy who recognizes her. Together they all go on the run from the people after her and she learns more about her past. I loved the plot of this and I also loved how fleshed out and complex all the characters were. I can't wait to read the next one and find out what happens because this one had like 6 plot twists. I rated it 5 Crowns. 

The sixth book I read was Frostbite by Richelle Mead. This is the second book in The Vampire Academy series and I really enjoyed it. This series is a new guilty pleasure of mine as it is so different to what I originally thought. I really liked learning more about the characters and their lives. I rated it 4 Crowns. 





The seventh book I read was Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead. This is the third book in The Vampire Academy series so I can't say much without spoiling but I think this was my favorite of the series so far. I rated it 4 Crowns. 

The eighth book I read was Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf. This book is one of my new favorites. I've had people recommend it to me for awhile now and I was very wary about picking it up but I really enjoyed it. Bring Me Their Hearts is about Zera who is a Heartless aka the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. She is bound to a witch named Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family however, she wants freedom but with her heart under Nightsinger's control, she can't go anywhere. But, when Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince's heart in exchange for Zera's freedom, Zera accepts. Crown prince Lucien hates the royal court and doesn't care for any of the girls sent to court in hopes of impressing him, until Lady Zera who challenges him. I really enjoyed this book and I loved that the relationship was enemies to lovers and super slowburn. I rated it 5 Crowns. 

The ninth book I read was City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. This was a reread for me but since I didn't remember most of the book, it was like I was reading it for the first time. This is the first book in The Mortal Instruments Series and it's about a girl named Clary who figures out she is a Shadowhunter (a warrior dedicated to ridding the world of demons) when her mother is kidnapped. It's a pretty fast paced book and I think I read it all in one day. I really enjoyed it even though I don't like the idea of Clary being only fifteen years old! I rated it 5 Crowns. 




The tenth book I read Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson.  I bought this as soon as it was released back in 2019 but I waited until this July to read it. This is about Elisabeth who is an orphan raised in the Great library of Summershall where she learned the arts of tending to books and guarding them against the world as well as guarding the world against them. One night, Elisabeth wakes up to find the library's Director slain and a Malefic free to loosen its wrath on her city. She takes the monster out but before she can even process everything she is branded as a murderer and a traitor. And when the Great libraries start falling under attack, Elisabeth has to seek help from Nathaniel Thorn, a sorcerer whose family is rumored to use necromancy. I loved this book. The characters were all so enjoyable and fully fleshed out. I rated it 5 Crowns. 

The eleventh book I read was Tears of Frost by Bree Barton. This was probably my biggest disappointment of the month. I didn't really enjoy the first book but I was invested in the story so I read the sequel. However, the characters all fell flat and the development that they did have wasn't done well. I also didn't really like how the plot progressed. I rated it 2.5 Crowns. 


AUDIOBOOKS READ

 

The first and only audiobook I listened to this month was Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Caraval is about Scarlett Dragna who lives on a tiny island along with her sister, Tella, and a powerful/cruel father. Scarlett's father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval which is a magical performance where the audience can participate in the show. But this year, Scarlett's invitation that she's dreamt of for years arrives and with the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show but as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval's mastermind, Legend. It turns out that this game revolves around Tella and whoever finds her first is the winner. Scarlett has been told that Caraval is just a very elaborate performance however it seems like it is a lot more than that. This was my third time listening to this audiobook and I love it more with each listen. I rated it 5 Stars. 


ARC'S READ


The first and only ARC I read was The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning. This is a retelling of The Princess Bride but with the Princess saving her farm boy. It's about Princess Amarande who when her father dies, is given the choice to either marry a stranger or lose control of her family's crown/kingdom. But Amarande was raised to be a warrior and she refuses to marry a stranger. In an attempt to force her choice, a neighboring kingdom kidnaps her true love, stable boy Luca and she can't trust anyone so she goes after him herself. I thought this was a super cute book and I loved how it was a sort of gender-swapped retelling. I rated it 4 Crowns. 


REVIEWS IN JUNE: 

NONE

WEEKLY WRAP-UP:

NONE

DISCUSSIONS/OTHER:




FAVORITE COVER OF THE MONTH:



NEW FICTIONAL BAE'S: 

Damian from Defy by Sara B. Larson

Ezekiel from Lifelike by Jay Kristoff

Adrian from Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Lucien from Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Nathaniel from Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

NEW FAVORITE FEMALES: 

Alexa from Defy by Sara B. Larson

Eve from Lifelike by Jay Kristoff

Amarande from The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning

Zera from Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf 

Elisabeth from Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson


NEW FAVORITE BOOK RELATIONSHIPS: 

Damian and Alexa from Defy by Sara B. Larson

Ezekiel and Eve from Lifelike by Jay Kristoff

Amarande and Luca from The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning 

Zera and Lucien from Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Elisabeth and Nathaniel from Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson


TV SHOWS I WATCHED THIS MONTH:



MOVIES I WATCHED THIS MONTH:

NONE


WHAT BOOKS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:




There's so many more but these are the main ones! 


NEW BLOG FINDS

NONE


SONGS ON REPEAT

King - Zayde Wolf

Would You Come Home - Tyler Blackburn

Love Again - Dua Lipa

Lonely Boy - The Black Keys

Bad Memory - K.Flay 

Myself and Me - Halocene

Mamma Mia Here We Go Again Album

Bullet With Butterfly Wings - Tommee Profitt

X - Jonas Brothers ft. KAROL G.

Begging for Thread - BANKS

Take it Off - Kesha 

Alors on danse - Stromae 

Evil - Interpol

Close Your Eyes - Kim Petras

Lies - Will Jay 


 BOOKS I WANT TO READ NEXT MONTH

 


The graphics at the top belong to me. The background pictures for them, however do not.