Monthly Wrap-Up

January 2019 Monthly Reading Wrap-up!

Is it really the end of January already?

Sometimes I look at my day and think it’ll never end, then I realize I need to write my monthly wrap-up and am amazed that it’s already here! Oh how times flies, and oh how I always wish I read more!

I finished a series this month and got around to knocking off some old ones on my TBR. Yay for a good month of choices.

Favorite book: Skyward / King of Scars
Least favorite book: Evermore

How was your month of reading? Were any of these on your list? Lets talk in the comments!

Publishing Day

Happy Publishing Day: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (ACSDAL #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

Happy publishing day to an inventive and dark Beauty and the Beast retelling! I was immersed in the story and am excited for the second book. Plenty of monsters, romance, strong heroines, and overcoming barriers that will keep you on your toes.

Thank you again to Bloosmbury and Netgalley for the e-ARC.

Book Summary:

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Find my original review here and make sure to add this to your TBR!

Book Review

Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

Rating: ☆☆☆.5
Audience: Young adult fantasy re-telling, no language, a little love, some violence, disability rep
Length: 496 pages
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Expected Release Date: January 29th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin. 

*Note: I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Bloomsbury YA, for the opportunity to read A Curse So Dark and Lonely. Publication date, length, etc. subject to change.

OVERALL, PRETTY GOOD.

I think the hype from this book did get me a little. I did really enjoy it, and got through it fast, but it wasn’t everything I expected it to be. I was completely pulled in for the first few chapters, and it’s comforting “knowing” (since it’s a re-tell) what’s going to happen and reading the take the author spun on it.

I’ve read a good handful of B&TB (Beauty and the Beast) re-tellings. Everywhere from a loose interpretation (like ACOTAR) to much closer lines (such as Hunted by Meagan Spooner). This falls in the latter category of a very parallel story line.

Some awesome points are the disability representation in the main character, Harper. She has high-functioning cerebral palsy. Harper is capable and strong-minded. Her disability does not define her and she takes it with grace and resilience to still do whatever she wants too. Double points for her love interest, Rhen, never talking down about her either.

I’m not sure that the contemporary aspect (Harper is kidnapped from D.C.) is truly necessary. There wasn’t enough back story to her family, lifestyle, etc. We only know that’s where Grey takes the girls from. I think it could’ve all been done in Emberfall and would’ve still been a unique take on B&TB and would have dampened the “kidnapper vibe.”

I was totally crushing on the castle, y’all it made food every day. Always having food prepared and music to listen too, yeah I could’ve stayed there. Beast or no beast.

Grey should’ve had his own POV. It appears that this is a series (did not know that originally) and he’ll get one in the next book, but a lot of ACSDAL was focused on him, he needed a bigger spotlight. I might have liked him more than Rhen most of the time. He seemed to have a more interesting history that I wanted to know more, more, more of. The twist for him was thrown in so randomly I was thrown off, then realized that must be the set-up for the next book. So I get it, and I love Grey enough to read the next book.

Jake and Noah are a cute addition that I think would be fun to explore their relationship more. Jake was in my face a lot and annoyed me. I think Noah was the real takeaway winner for me. I do think it was a bit convenient that Noah was a doctor *shrugs,* but it worked out fine.

The evil enchantress, Lilith, is cheesy and typical. Her reasons for cursing Rhen were a bit dramatic and petty. Lilith tried too hard and I love to hate corrupt characters which made it disappointing to deal with her.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy, B&TB re-telling
  • No language; Excessive use of the phrase “my lady” though
  • Romance: some kisses
  • A lot of violence: knives, guns, attempted suicide
  • Trigger warnings: discussion of suicide, and attempts
Book Talk

2019 Most Anticipated Releases

I am so hyped for all the new books in 2019!! This is a compilation of some of my top choices for reading this year.

The only books that don’t have an official release date are Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas (super thrilled to see what story she’ll give us next) and The Bone Season #4 by Samantha Shannon (I can NOT be the only one waiting for this!?)

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer: Very fortunate to be currently reading an ARC – Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury YA!
  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo: She is one of my top insta-buy authors
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black: The hype is real with this one; hope it doesn’t disappoint!
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden: Best December present was receiving an ARC of this via Netgalley and Del Ray!
  • Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller: Real obsessed with this author after her debut, Daughter of the Pirate King
  • Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith: the synopsis + the hype = an impatient reader
  • Sherwood by Meagan Spooner: I enjoyed her Beauty and the Beast re-telling (Hunted), which makes me intrigued for this gender-bend Robin Hood story!
  • Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi: Impatiently waiting for this cover and this book because HOLY CLIFF HANGER
  • The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews: Her debut, A Thousand Perfect Notes, was a bitter-sweet story & I expect great things from her next novel
  • Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan: Another uber-hyped book I can’t wait for!!
  • Finale by Stephanie Garber: BE EXCITED WITH ME, THIS FINALE WILL BE EPIC
  • Rage by Cora Carmack: I HAVE BEEN WAITING TWO YEARS

  • Dark Age by Pierce Brown: I am here for all things related to Red Rising
  • Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez: The first book in this series left me shook. I’m so excited to see what happens next!!
  • Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #2) by Mary E. Pearson: Okay, I’m still recovering from that ending.
  • The World of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: I must have more of ToG
  • The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh: I have loved all of her duologies, so of course I’m buying her next one!
  • Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare: Did someone say MORE WILL HERONDALE!?
  • This seems to be the only month I don’t have any known releases. Is there something I need to add? Let me know!

Are any of these on your TBR for 2019? Let’s chat in the comments!