Monday, 16 July 2018

Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst Review

This is a spoiler free review.



Inkmistress
Written by Audrey Coulthurst
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Pages: 400
Source: Library
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 13 and up!


Summary:

Asra is a demigod with a dangerous gift: the ability to dictate the future by writing with her blood. To keep her power secret, she leads a quiet life as a healer on a remote mountain, content to help the people in her care and spend time with Ina, the mortal girl she loves.

But Asra’s peaceful life is upended when bandits threaten Ina’s village and the king does nothing to help. Desperate to protect her people, Ina begs Asra for assistance in finding her manifest—the animal she’ll be able to change into as her rite of passage to adulthood. Asra uses her blood magic to help Ina, but her spell goes horribly wrong and the bandits destroy the village, killing Ina’s family.

Unaware that Asra is at fault, Ina swears revenge on the king and takes a savage dragon as her manifest. To stop her, Asra must embark on a journey across the kingdom, becoming a player in lethal games of power among assassins, gods, and even the king himself.


Most frightening of all, she discovers the dark secrets of her own mysterious history—and the terrible, powerful legacy she carries in her blood.
Review:

Inkmistress is the second book that I've read by Audrey Coulthurst and I enjoyed this one so much. This book moved me so much and I was crying by the end of it, partly from sadness but party from happiness. I also really liked how the book normalized sexuality.

COVER

The cover is beautiful. I love how the main color used is red but there are also bits of white and black that sharply contrast with the rest of the cover.

WORLD-BUILDING

The world-building was very important to the story as it would have been hard to understand everything that happened without it. In this world, people emerge into adulthood when they can manifest, or bond with an animal by being blessed by one of the six gods. It is very important to be able to manifest in this story.

Then there are the characters.

ASRA

Asra has lived her whole life secluded away in the mountains because she is a demigod. She only travels down to the village below when weather permits it in order to help them with medicinal needs but many people view her as a witch because of her abilities. I loved how powerful Asra was as she has the power to change the past, present and the future with her blood but it has a cost. Asra is bisexual as at the beginning of the book she has a relationship with a girl who has accepted her for who she is but she soon finds out that this girl has been hiding a lot from her.

INA

As the girl that Asra loves, Ina has a big part in the book but she turns out to be hiding a lot from Asra. Ina wants to manifest which Asra helps her do but Ina becomes something very powerful and because Asra helped shape the future, there are a lot of consequences. We learn that Ina has a dark side and she isn't the sweet, innocent village girl that we meet at the beginning.

HAL

Hal is a PoC who I loved so much. He is such an amazing character who can be viewed completely separate from Asra (his love interest). Hal has a lot of strength and he was so humorous. He is also a demigod and he is very good at manipulating other people's minds which was interesting and cool. I really liked how supportive he was for Asra.

FRIENDSHIP/FAMILY

Asra finds out that who she thought was her family was completely wrong and that influences her a lot. Also, her friendship/relationship with Ina seems to feel like a lie as we move throughout the book which influences upcoming decisions. Friendship is something Asra feels like she struggles with because she was so isolated but she learns how to trust certain people and to be more wary around others.

PLOT

This book has everything in it from girls with hidden powers, tyrant kings, and travel to gods, blood magic and betrayal. I loved it so much because it seemed totally targeted for me or my audience. I liked how much she was able to throw into one book and she didn't make it seem overcrowded.
ROMANCE

This book has important discussions on love and how you are worthy of deserving of it no matter what. We see heartbreak that is unapologetic which is important and it discusses how it is very rare to have your first love be your only love. Overall, it had very important topics and conversations. The romance between Hal and Asa was so cute and it was refreshing to see.

WRITING

The writing was very beautiful. I loved how she wrote the whole journey and the romance. I also loved how she included a lot of feminist themes and important messages.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I highly recommend this book to any Fantasy lovers. It has something for everyone to enjoy, even if you don't like everything about most Fantasy novels.

Quotes from the Book:




My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Weekly Recap: 7/8 - 7/15

Weekly recap is where I update you on my life, reading and watching. Plus any posts I have done or will do.

I have had a busy week as I am now in California for my vacation. I also, am trying to get back on my blogging and writing game. Campnanowrimo is halfway done and I still haven't reached my midway goal which is sad but I am trying hard to catch up.

Now, let's get into recapping.


New Books

Purchased:





Library: 

 

 





Received for Review: 




In Case You Missed It

This Week I Read




This Week I Watched

 


This Week I Listened To 

Done for Me by Charlie Puth ft. Kehlani
Blood//Water by grandson
You Drive Me Crazy by Britney Spears
My Prerogative by Britney Spears
Boys by Britney Spears


Next Week I'm Reading



Upcoming Reviews



Upcoming Posts


Monday: Inkmistress Book Review

Tuesday: TBD

Wednesday: TBD

Thursday: TBD

Friday: TBD

Saturday: TBD

Sunday: Weekly Recap




Around the Blog Community

Friday, 13 July 2018

Rule by Ellen Goodlett ARC Review

I received an ARC from the publisher. Thank you! This is a spoiler free review.



Rule
Written by Ellen Goodlett
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Pages: 384
Source: ARC provided by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Recommended Age: 13 and up!


Summary:

Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.

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

Or rather, three unexpected options.

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

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

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

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

Review:

I was so excited when I received Rule in the mail from the publisher. I really enjoyed this book and I liked how the whole concept was about three sisters from different areas of the kingdom. The different backgrounds of the sisters made the book a lot more interesting. Also, it is shown to be Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars which is true.

COVER

The cover is really pretty. I like how there is a crown in the middle symbolizing the fact that the three girls are children of the King and trying to get the crown after the King dies. I also think the colors are very appropriate for the story.

WORLD-BUILDING

The world-building is done gradually throughout the book which I liked. I was still a little confused about some of the places and how they related at the end but for the most part it was done really well.

Then there are the characters.

ZOFI

Zofi is a very fierce, strong and independent. Zofi is a Traveler which is an outcast and someone the kingdom doesn't really like but tolerates. I enjoyed her character because she brings a lot of the female empowerment to the novel. Zofi is a character who is determined to find things out, if not for others, then for herself. Also, she tries to be very loyal to her Traveler heritage which I admired.

AKEYLAH

Akeylah is the second sister who is an Easterner. Easterners are also seen as outcasts and different from the people in Kolonya. Akeylah is from a family where her stepfather (who she thought was her father, her whole life) physically abuses her because he blames her for the death of his wife who died during childbirth. Akeylah curses the king by accident when she is trying to curse her stepfather and she is constantly trying to fix it. She was also the LGBT representation.

FLORENCIA

Florencia is the only one that comes from Kolonya as she is a maid in the castle. Florencia really wanted to move up in the world and when she finds out that she is a daughter of the King, that seems to be the answers to her prayers. Ren has dirt on many a member of royal society and wants to avenger her low status. Florencia is also a very strong female character though she is seduced by the power of being a royal.

FRIENDSHIP/FAMILY

Family is what brought the three girls together as they find out that the King is dying and that they are his heirs. For most of the book, the three sisters are forced to work together because they are being blackmailed by someone but later on, they truly bond as sisters.

PLOT

The plot is very dark and mysterious. It is almost written as a mystery as the three sisters are trying to figure out who is blackmailing and threatening them. They are brought together because they find out that they are the heirs to the King's throne. Soon, they receive nasty notes threatening to expose their dark secrets.
ROMANCE
There are three romances in this book but they do not take up the whole plot which I really loved. I'm not going to say much about them because it is hard to explain but I really liked Akeylah's romance as well as Zofi's. Also, there is a f/f romance.

WRITING

The writing was great. I loved how she started straight into the story and I was never bored.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I highly recommend this book as it is very fast paced and entertaining. There is so much to love about this book from the POC and LGBT diversity as well as the characters. It comes out in September and is a must read.

Quotes from the Book:




My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Weekly Recap: 7/2 - 7/7

I have decided to start doing a weekly post called weekly recap where I update you on my life, reading and watching. Plus any posts I have done or will do.

I finished three books this week despite having a terrible start to my reading week. I didn't finish a book until Thursday as I just wasn't motivated.

I also watched Ant-Man and the Wasp on Saturday and it was so funny and really lightened the mood after Infinity War destroyed everyone.

Now, let's get into recapping.


New Books

Purchased:




Library: 




Received for Review: 



In Case You Missed It

Saturday: June '18 Wrap-Up

This Week I Read




This Week I Watched




This Week I Listened To 

Done for Me by Charlie Puth ft. Kehlani
Blood//Water by grandson
You Drive Me Crazy by Britney Spears
My Prerogative by Britney Spears

Next Week I'm Reading



Upcoming Reviews



Upcoming Posts


Monday: June '18 Wrap-Up

Tuesday: TBD

Wednesday: TBD

Thursday: TBD

Friday: TBD

Saturday: TBD

Sunday: Weekly Recap




Around the Blog Community

Saturday, 7 July 2018

JUNE '18 WRAP-UP



So, it's the end of the month and that means another wrap-up!

How is June over? This is so crazy!

Summer is officially here which means it is very hot and I have more time. I've been working on my novel and preparing it for CampNanoWriMo which is in July. I also finally saw the movie Ant-Man which I enjoyed so much. It's hilarious. 

Join my book club: here.

 Anyways...

Time to talk about the books I read this month.


PHYSICAL BOOKS



The first book I read was The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth. I really enjoyed this book even though I forgot a lot of the first book (whoops!). I liked seeing where the story went and I loved seeing Cyra and Akos and how they progressed which was amazing. I rated it 4 Crowns. 

The second book I read was There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins. This book got so many bad reviews which didn't make much sense to me because I really enjoyed it and thought it was a good thriller. It scared me so much and I think she should write more thrillers. I rated it 3 Crowns. 

The third book I read was To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. I am obsessed with this book! I loved Lara Jean and the Song girls as well as Peter Kavinsky. I am planning on writing a full review of this one because it was so good. I rated it 5 Crowns. 



The fourth physical book I read was Romancing the Throne by Nadine Jolie Courtney.  I wasn't sure what to expect from this book as Contemporaries are often a hit or miss with me but I decided to read it because it's about royalty which is always a fun time. I rated it 3 Crowns. 

The fifth physical book I read was All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller. I've seen this around the blogosphere and on bookstagram so I wanted to try it. I really liked how she gave a backstory for Cinderella's Stepmother which was great. I also liked how it showed that not everyone knew the full story about how she lived with Ella. I rated it 4 Crowns. 

The sixth physical book I read was The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud. This is the last book in the Lockwood & Co. series and I am so sad to see it go. I really enjoyed this series as it had complex characters and was hilarious. I highly recommend this Middle Grade series if you like books for slightly younger readers, humor and ghost stories. I rated this one 5 Crowns. 




The seventh physical book I read was From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon. I loved When Dimple Met Rishi so I had to pick up another book by the same author. I loved how Twinkle was an aspiring filmmaker and they make a gender bent Dracula which was so original. I rated this one 4 Crowns. 

The eighth physical book I read was The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. This is an Adult book featuring Russian folklore and fairytales and there was no romance. It was so interesting to read and absorb all this Russian culture that I didn't know about previously. I also really liked the main character who was very independent and wouldn't conform to what a woman was supposed to be like. I rated it 4 Crowns. 

The ninth physical book I read was The Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh. I have been trying to read this book for so long as my audiobook kept expiring. Fortunately, there was a physical copy at the library so I just picked that one up and I read it in one sitting. I loved the characters, the history and the world. Mariko is a great heroine who represents Mulan as she disguises herself as a boy in order to infiltrate an enemy camp. Okami was a great love interest who was a hero as well. I rated it 5 Crowns. 



The tenth physical book I read was Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst. I read Audrey Coulthurst's other book and really enjoyed it.  I liked this book a lot more than the other one as I felt like Asra was a better heroine. She wasn't familiar with the world outside of her mountain but she stepped up to the plate to save it. I rated this book 4 Crowns. 

The last physical book I read was Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge. I had a lot of problems getting into this book because the concept was very confusing but I ended up enjoying it. This is a darker version of Romeo and Juliet which isn't saying much cause Romeo and Juliet is already very dark. Juliet is born to kill which is crazy and I liked that Juliet was a stronger character. I rated this book 3 Crowns. 


AUDIOBOOKS READ

NONE

ARC'S READ


The first and only ARC I read was My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma. I ended up reading quite a few diverse YA reads this month and I am so pleased with myself. I enjoyed this book and wrote a full review of it so I am not going to say much about it. I rated this 4 Crowns. 


REVIEWS IN MARCH: 



MUSIC MONDAY:

NONE

TOP TEN TUESDAY: 

NONE

TOP FIVE WEDNESDAY: 

NONE


WEEKLY WRAP-UP:





DISCUSSIONS/OTHER:





FAVORITE COVER OF THE MONTH:




NEW FICTIONAL BAE'S: 

Peter Kavinsky from To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Sahil from From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon

Dev from My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

Okami from Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Hal from Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst


NEW FAVORITE FEMALES:

Lara Jean from To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Twinkle from From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon

Vas from The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden 

Mariko from Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Asra from Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst


NEW FAVORITE BOOK RELATIONSHIPS: 

Peter and Lara Jean from To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han 

Cyra and Akos from The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth

Sahil and Twinkle from From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon

Dev and Winnie from My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

Okami and Mariko from Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Asra and Hal  from Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst


TV SHOWS I WATCHED THIS MONTH:





MOVIES I WATCHED THIS MONTH:

 

WHAT BOOKS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:



 



NEW BLOG FINDS

NONE

SONGS ON REPEAT

Done for Me - Charlie Puth ft. Kehlani 

No Tears Left to Cry - Ariana Grande

Blood//Water - grandson

Back to You - Selena Gomez

Lie to Me - Mikolas Josef 

That's How You Write a Song - Alexander Rybak 

Love you Better - Neon Hitch 

 BOOKS I WANT TO READ NEXT MONTH




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