Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Characters I Would Love to be Best Friends With

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

I would want to be friends with SO MANY CHARACTERS. Why aren’t any of them real!? (Not that I wouldn’t want be caught in their situations most of the time haha).

Below are a handful that came to mind when I wrote this post! I know there’s plenty more that will cross my mind before I even publish this. Lets talk in the comments about what character you’d love to be friends with!

Sevro – Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown

Okay, who WOULDN’T want to be friends with this Howler? Especially after just finished Dark Age I am so down for being besties with Sevro, ALWAYS.


Night Court – ACOTAR Series by Sarah J. Maas

I can’t even pick one. I want to be a part of this whole dang court. Fictional characters can be made real, right?


Fenrys – Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

Honestly, I’d love to be friends with pretty much anyone in this cast, but Fenrys has a special place in my heart. I love him so much!


Kestral – The Winner’s Curse Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

I flippin’ love Kestral. She’s brave, kind, and amazingly smart. I love how her scheming mind.


Vhalla – Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova

AH I LOVE HER SO MUCH. I am almost finished with the last book and I can’t get enough of Vhalla. I would love to be her best friend. She’s seriously the best.


Lira – To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Quite frankly, I just want to be best friends with a mermaid. That is all.


Elizabeth Bennett – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I think I would have an absolute ball being friends with Elizabeth. She is a kindred spirit in many ways.


Spensa – Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Not only would I love to have Spensa watching my back, her friends M-Bot and Doomslug would be the most amazing side kicks ever. I love them all.


Annabeth Chase – Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

I need Annabeth keeping me in line and not letting me get away with anything. We all need a friend like that.


Kazi – Dance of Thieves Duology by Mary E. Pearson

I am obsessed with Kazi as a person and would love nothing more than to be her sister. We would be as thick as thieves.

Fictional characters need to be real. I could use some friends like this in my life! What about you? Are any of these on your list? Who would you want to be friends with?

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Book Review

Book Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 456 pages
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderberry Books
Release Date: June 4th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

A FANTASTIC SOPHOMORE BOOK.

I initially went into this book a little nervous because I was iffy on her first book, An Enchantment of Ravens. I LOVED this book so much more! Oh I’m so happy I picked this up, it was an easy 4 stars to give (which yes, still means I enjoyed it!).

One of my previous issues was that the writing was too flowery for me personally. I don’t need a page describing a tree for me to feel like I’m there. This book really cut back on that, but still built an amazing setting and world. It was such a relief. The way the grimoires were crazy clever. I loved the idea of the books being able to come to life and having their own personalities.

The sass from Nathaniel was on point. I love a good cheeky sorcerer as much as the next fantasy reader. The relationship between Elisabeth and Nathaniel was a great slow-er burn. I never felt like it was rushed and actually wondered at times when it was coming back on screen. This was another big step-up from book one. They had great chemistry and it was easy to ship them.

I could have used a little less of Silas *shrugs*. At times I felt he was a bigger piece of the book than Elisabeth was and she’s the main POV. I’m cheering for her, and I don’t want the focus to continually be on a side character. I did like his arc and thought he was the perfect dose of a creepy, good-at-his-core, demon. Those are hard to find.

Elisabeth was a great character. She had emotions, ambitions and went out and did what needed to be done. I appreciate that she didn’t wait around to move the plot forward and took matters into her own hands. She was brave and strong, and I would definitely love to be her friend.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses, an almost love scene (clothing is beginning to be removed), make-outs
  • Violence: magic, poison, explosions, swords, murder

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Book Review

Book Review: The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3) by Rick Riordan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA fantasy + mythology
Length: 320 pages
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: June 10th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When Percy Jackson receives an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he’ll need his powerful demigod allies at his side; his trusty bronze sword, Riptide; and . . . a ride from his mom.

The demigods race to the rescue to find that Grover has made an important discovery: two powerful half-bloods, whose parentage is unknown. But that’s not all that awaits them. The Titan lord Kronos has set up a devious trap, and the young heroes have just fallen prey.

Hilarious and action-packed, this third adventure in the series finds Percy faced with his most dangerous challenge yet–the chilling prophecy of the Titan’s curse.

JUST PLOWING THROUGH THIS SERIES.

I’ve been listening to the later books on audio and the narrator does voices for everyone and it’s so fun! Really liking this format.

Book three brought it better than book two. YAY.

I love meeting so many new characters! Each book has had a new layer of mythology plus the addition of characters to back it up. It’s great meeting other kids and gods and really rounding out the story as a whole.

There’s more adventure and we see Percy have to handle the situation without Annabeth (which of course, has many ups and downs). I missed Annabeth though! I lover her intelligent, slightly snarky, but golden-hearted self. Her connection with others and ability to help those around her willingly makes her a forever favorite. The chemistry between Percy and Annabeth (and I’m not even meaning romantically) is easy to love and I am fully behind this friendship before anything.

I do have hope that Luke is heading for redemption. I think in this series it would be a great character arc for him to realize his faux pas and be able to come back to the fold. There were some other character moments I didn’t see coming! I’m curious how that will play out in the next book with different people going different ways. No matter, this series is fun and engaging.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult/middle grade fantasy + mythology
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: some, never gory, all creatures “disappear” rather than die a bloody death

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Book Review

Book Review [Re-Read]: The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: YA fantasy romance
Length: 355 pages
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: March 4th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love…

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

RE-READ WAS SO WORTH IT.

I listened to this on Audible with narration by Justine Eyre. I really loved it on audio and thought the voices and accents were great. Highly recommend in this format.

Oooooh I missed this book, Ooooooh I missed these characters and this romance that still felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest when I finished it.

THIS OTP Y’ALL. Kestrel and Arin are all mine. I can’t get enough and love the absolute slow, angsty burn they give off the entire book. Coming from two different sides in their world they have a lot to conquer to realize they want each other. They slowly build from a tentative friendship to a passion-filled moment where the pieces start to fall into place. I love that the power dynamic flips between the two and we get to see how each responds to their struggles. While still fighting for their country, Kestrel and Arin realize they have started to fight for each other too.

Sneaky politicking and schemes abound in this entire series, but I love seeing the start-up in TWCurse. There’s a glimpse of the players laying out plans and putting others into action that really build over the books. I love the sharp mind Kestrel has to flush out and strategize. It’s even cooler how their game, Bite and Sting, has its own roll in the books.

So much action. I love how things are constantly fluctuating from slower, quiet moments to big, WHAT WILL HAPPEN moments. I found myself this time (it’s been 3 years since I’ve read it), still guessing a bit and LOVING IT. I generally knew what was going to happen, yet, when a book can provide the feels a second time around, you know it’s good.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy (focus on romance)
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a few passionate kisses
  • Violence: battles/skirmishes, duels, poison, swords

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Young adult historical fiction + fantasy
Length: 384 pages
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: September 3rd, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Some legends never die…

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it. 

Thank you to the publisher, Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for the e-ARC. All opinions are my own. Release date, page length, etc. subject to change before publication.

OVERALL ENJOYED.

I feel really conflicted about this book. It took me longer than usual to get through and I really did enjoy it, but I didn’t love how the ending went down which kinda bummed the book overall.

The world building was really cool. I love that it was set in Romania! That is unique and vastly different than a lot of YA books and thought it was great. The world building was well done and I felt like I was running all over the countryside with Theo and Huck. They really went on an adventure and that wasn’t stagnant in the slightest.

What I did realize after finishing this book was that I am not [as big of a] fan of second chance romances where they grew up together. I didn’t get all the feels for them that I was hoping. Their banter and interactions were sweet and funny so I still shipped them overall. I was happy things worked out enough in the end. They had decent chemistry but I hated the nickname Banshee (and he would not stop calling her that).

What annoyed me with the ending was the transition to caring more about her Father than Huck. I get that the premise was about family, BUT Y’ALL, we spent the entire book reconnecting with Huck and looking for her Dad (where Theo continually talked about how annoyed and upset she was with him). Then, she leaves Huck in his moment of need to find her Dad, and I don’t know. Since she talked up not liking him, I frankly didn’t care that much what happened to him. There was an interesting twist involving Theo that was creepy and accurate for a novel set around Vlad the Impaler.

I did like the dialogue and writing style. The addition of the history from the region was very interesting. Bennett must have done a lot of research to make it as accurate as possible (with creative choices for the book). I do enjoy her style and look forward to reading more books from her.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult historical fiction + fantasy
  • Language: some strong language
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: poison, dark magic, scythes, losing a finger

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Redesigns I Loved (&A Few I’m Not So Sure About)

This was so hard!? I also didn’t realize how many cover redesigns there have been. It’s practically every other book had a redesign at some point.
There are definitely more cover changes I loved so I included more of them, but at the bottom you’ll find a few that I’m not so sure about. I don’t hate them, they just wasn’t what I was hoping for.

Though, I will say I’m NOT counting any cover redesigns that involve movie changes. I HATE WHEN COVERS CHANGE TO LOOK LIKE THE MOVIE. I will wait forever to see one that I do like.

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Cover redesigns I loved:

An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir

I love the addition of putting the characters on the cover! They deserve the spotlight and while I wish I could get all of the other covers (one day!) I love having the third (and fourth soon!) in this new design.


The Winner’s Curse Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

I never quite got the first cover. It’s pretty, and I love the dress. Maybe a nod to her nobility, but the new covers actually show Kestrel for what she is. A strong minded warrior.


Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson

These first covers were all just…odd haha. Showing Vin in a better light and more realistic is so much better!


Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

OH I’m ecstatic these changed before I even started reading them. That first cover is awful. Sorry not sorry. I love the eyes and think it’s really creative!


Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

We all know the new covers are AMAZING. I loved seeing every new design (especially the backs with those dresses!). I didn’t even realize this was a cover change when I started reading them.


Anna and the French Kiss Series by Stephanie Perkins

Ooomph. I love the bright, bold colors that these cover redesign went too. INFINITELY BETTER.


The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

I WANT THE NEW COVERS SO BAD. THEY’RE SO PRETTY.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

I LOVE the new covers. They are more colorful and inviting. Makes me want to pick them up and read them.

Cover redesigns that I’m on the fence about:

But wouldn’t say hated, just not quite what I was already loving.

Shattered Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

I do love the new covers, but I really wanted them to all match the first series in this saga, Seven Realms. I’m on the fence about these. They aren’t bad, but I like fluidity in novels on my shelves when possible.


I don’t know. I like the addition of Amani on the cover, but the first cover WAS SO PRETTY. I have the book on the left and the other two books as the new covers.

Do you love or not like any of these covers? What’s a cover change you loved or hated? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 336 pages
Author: Adrienne Young
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Expected Release Date: September 3rd, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

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.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Wednesday Books (St. Martin’s Press) for the e-ARC. All opinions are my own.

IT PAINS ME THAT I DIDN’T LOVE THIS.

I found myself scanning by the end. This let me down compared to Sky in the Deep (a favorite of mine last year). I’m trying to break it down so here are some bullet points:

What I did like:

  • I liked having Halvard as the protagonist. Since he’s up and coming as the next clan leader it was a good perspective. He learned and experienced a lot to help him better serve his people. I found him fierce and easy to cheer for. I wanted things to work out for him.
  • Tova. I really enjoyed her character.
  • The strong focus on family bonds. This was a highlight in SITD too. A favorite part is the fierce loyalty they feel for one another and trying to protect what sense of peace they have.
  • Realllll obsessed with the cover.
  • It’s a really quick read! Even when I started scanning (which wasn’t until after the halfway mark) I noticed how fast I was flying through it. The chapters are short and the writing has a whimsical style to it.
  • How clean the book is. I love a book that doesn’t have excessive amounts of language or romance. This hit those marks well (regardless of what I thought overall). It’s a clear YA book.

What I didn’t like:

  • That we hardly got to see Tova. She may have been a POV, but we hardly learned anything about her until the last few pages.
  • There is no romance (which I’m only noting as an issue because other reviews highlight it, but I did not see it). I stand by that sentence. Tova & Halvard don’t even have a full conversation with each other until so deep into the book there isn’t time to form chemistry. The kiss at the end came out of nowhere for me.
  • A lot of side characters (especially on the Svell’s side) who had no history. So they were supposed to be seen as bad, but I wasn’t invested in them.
  • It was missing depth and development for the plot in general. As I mentioned above, we barely know anything about the Svell (and Tova’s clan – the Kyrr). Everyone is thrown together without much of a story.

Okay, I think I have broken it down enough. While this wasn’t quite for me, it could be for you! There was definitely some highlights, I just overall had some issues.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a kiss
  • Violence: a lot, clans warring, arrows, knives, swords, axes, murder

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