Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

I’m really proud of myself for this list. I only bought one book in January and the rest were from Christmas or before. I’ve been trying this year to keep my purchases in check and make sure I REALLY want them on my shelves. There’s not enough to time read a book that isn’t what you want.

Physical Books:

One of Us Is Next (One of Us is Lying #2) by Karen M. McManus

This was my first purchase for new releases in 2020! It was a great read and I have loved all of McManus’s books.


The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

Yes, yes. We allllll know I’ve read this multiple times but I really wanted the physical copy and I got one for Christmas! YAYAYAYAY.


180 Seconds by Jessica Park

I actually finished and wrote for the review for this just yesterday! Spoiler alert: I LOVED IT.


Confess by Colleen Hoover

Of course another CoHo book is in this group. I have read this one too already and it was another 5 star amazing book by her.


P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

I plan on reading this soon as my second West book. Didn’t love the first one, but I’ve seen this one has the highest ratings so hopefully this works out better.


A lot of these books were from a HPB sale I went too, hence why I picked up another West book. Thought it was about time to read a couple of these.


Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson

THIS SERIES IS SO AMAZING. AND MY MIND IS ALWAYS BLOWN BY THE INTRICACIES. Oh guys. Take a chance on these books. Pleeeeease.


Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

There’s a theme here y’all. Because, OH LOOK another CoHo book! This was the book my friend and I chose for our book club in January. SUCH A GOOD BOOK.


Digital Books:

Vortex Visions & Chosen Champion (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #1 and #2) by Elise Kova

I am reading this series through Kindle Unlimited so I’m counting these as adding to my bookshelf. I really enjoyed book one and have just started book two. I love being back in this world.

Have you read any of these? What was your last book added to your bookshelf? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Imber (Thanatos Trilogy #1) by Tyffany Hackett

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy + romance
Length: 422 pages
Author: Tyffany Hackett
Publisher: Archangel Publishing
Release Date: June 12th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The locks are failing.

The keys are calling.

The Titans are waking.

Crowned before her time, nineteen-year-old Natylia is thrust into an unpleasant reality—her people don’t want her, her family doesn’t need her and, despite her best efforts, she can’t seem to shake an incorrigible suitor. But when rumors begin to swirl throughout her kingdom the young queen shifts her focus and realizes that the world she loves could be destroyed in an instant.

An ancient enemy, long thought gone, is trying to return.

Forgotten legends have resurfaced, stories that tell of three scepters: the keys to unleashing these foul beings. Across Araenna the hunt rages for this trio of formidable power—to command the keys is to hold the power of mortal gods.

Aided by her snarky elven bodyguard, an unassuming blacksmith, and a clever nature witch, Natylia races to correct the mistakes of the past… before they can destroy her people’s future.

KEPT ME ENTERTAINED.

Which is saying something. I constantly felt like picking this book up and continuing the story. It had the right kind of magic for me to really enjoy. The pacing was good throughout and the flow was steady with waves of action and lighter moments.

Nataylia was a great main character. I love that she was strong and brave, but had her faults. She felt more real and like an actual human. Not a pretty much perfect Princess turned Queen who’s hard to love. Her motives are for the betterment of her people and Nataylia is fueled by her love for her friends and family.

The romance was a bit of a miss for me. Namely because I had my eyes on a different character for Nataylia. And it wasn’t even a love triangle, I apparently saw a lot of chemistry between her and Jyn and am still accepting that she’s with Camion. I do love Camion though. He’s a sweet, caring cinnamon roll who needs a hug. One of my favorite kinds of book boyfriends. Their relationship is adorable and pure so I’m slowly building a ship for them and I’ll decide if I want it to sail during book two.

The magic system is broad, yet well explained. I understood the information and loved the adventure Nataylia and her cohorts had to go on to find one of these magic scepters. There’s a lot of action as they traverse through catacombs and dungeons, with a heavy dose of magical creatures standing in their way. It kept me on edge because I was wholly convinced someone was not walking out of there alive.

A great fantasy that needs a bigger audience. I’m grateful that I saw a friend recommend this because she has never steered me wrong in book choices! I’m excited for the next book.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a kiss
  • Violence: magic, murder, swords, animal/creature attacks

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Book Review

Book Review: Storm and Fury (The Harbinger #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy + romance
Length: 512 pages
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: June 11th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

WHERE AM I?

That’s how I felt most of this book.

My biggest issue was the total lack of world building. I know this is a spin-off from a previous series of hers. I was told by multiple people that you don’t have to read it to be able to understand and enjoy this one. I agree up until the point that if the previous series has better world-building that would have been a major help here.

I finally gathered that it is some type of dystopia / fantasy universe. There were normal US cities, but we had magical powers and people who could transform into gargoyles, so somewhere between all of that is your world. Do I know why it is that way? NOPE, this book’s focus is the romance (not necessarily a bad thing), but since the everything else was sorely lacking, I couldn’t be as involved with the romance.

Though the romance is the part I did like best. I thought the flow between Zane and Trinity was great. It’s sort of slow, with a touch of animosity at first, that gives way to some tender moments. The love scene was kind of odd, but other than that, I ship them.

My other problem with this book was the immaturity of conversation. Using phrases like *douche nozzle* takes me out of the story and I’m clearly still not over that this word was used. The lingo annoyed me as well. Just the whole combination of conversations bothered me the entire time. I didn’t love Trinity as an MC. Never got on board with her.

The plot was focused around finding a lost friend…that was it. There were hints and nods towards some bigger focus, and I wish we had more of that. It made the story somewhat boring because of how intensely focused they were on this one thing. Whoever is really pulling the strings needs to come out of the word work so this book can liven up some more.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + romance
  • Language: some throughout
  • Romance: kisses, make-outs, once love scene (with some description)
  • Violence: battles, physical, knives, swords, magical

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Putting this list together made me all the more excited for the great books I’m excited for this year. It’s going to be an amazing first half of 2020.

WHO’S EXCITED?

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Release date: March 3rd

OH MY GOODNESS I CAN’T WAIT TO HAVE SJM’S NEXT BOOK IN MY HANDS.


The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Release date: February 25th

I love everything Levenseller writes (no really). This book sounds so crazy good I can’t even stand waiting one more month.


The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy #3) by S.A. Chakraborty

Release date: June 30th

This finale is sure to be epic. It’s been a fantastic series and I’m stoked to finish it this year!


Dark Skies (Dark Shores #2) by Danielle L. Jensen

Release date: May 5th

I adored book one in this series and helped with the cover reveal for this one. I’m definitely a fan!


All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn Grace

Release date: February 4th

Did someone say mermaids? I’LL BE RIGHT THERE.


Wild at Heart (Wild #2) by K.A. Tucker

Release date: March 3rd

The Simple Wild was one of my top books of 2019, I clearly have flippin’ high hopes for BOOK TWO!


Tiem of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Release date: April 21st

I absolutely ADORED If I’m Being Honest. If that was their sophomore book I am on edge waiting to see what their junior book will be like!


Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Release date: March 10th

I’m apparently all about sequels this year. This is another sequel I’m excited for after loving The Bromance Book Club. I’m curious how this story will develop with a new main character!


Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Release date: May 5th

LOOK AT MY BABE ON THE COVER. AHHHHHHH, this book will probably destroy me. I welcome it.


The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

One of my favorite “series” of historical fiction books! I was so happy when I saw that there was going to be another one from Cleeton. YAY!

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Book Review

Book Review: Heart of the Fae (The Otherworld #1) by Emma Hamm

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy romance + Retelling
Length: 350 pages
Author: Emma Hamm
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: November 26th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Beauty and the Beast meets Irish Mythology in this sweeping retelling of the beloved fairytale….

Once upon a time…

A plague sweeps across the emerald hills of Uí Néill, leaving a young midwife’s father with months to live. To save her people, Sorcha makes a deal with a dangerous Fae. She must travel across the sea, through merrow and kelpie lands, to find a forgotten king on a crumbling throne.

Born king of the Seelie Fae, Eamonn fought battles unnumbered to uphold honor, duty, and freedom… until his twin brother sank a blade between his shoulders. Crystals grew from the wound, splitting open skin and bone. His people banished him to a cursed isle for his disfigurement, now king of criminals and fools.

With the help of brownies, pixies, and will-o’-the-wisps, Sorcha battles to break through his crystalline shell and persuade him to take back his stolen throne.

This determined beauty could come dangerously close to stealing his beastly heart. 

A GREAT RETELLING.

I definitely think this is one of the better retellings of Beauty and the Beast that I’ve read.

This really followed the flow of B&TB. I could definitely tell what scenes were being recreated and the plot line it was going for. I enjoyed this take on it because of that fact. I liked seeing how someone else interpreted the story (and adding fae is ALWAYS good). This was full of faeries and the romance was kicked up to a much steamier vibe.

The romance felt a *tiny* bit insta-love at first. It came off as mostly lust and I was worried how that was going to affect the story. Never fear, the way that Sorcha and Eamonn built their relationship after some initial contact was fantastic. I loved the enemies to lovers type banter, the slow tender moments they had, that all led to a partnership that I ship.

Sorcha as a character was amazing. Her role as a healer gave focus to her decisions and mindset. I liked how firm she was on HER choices and that she never gave up on her original intentions for seeking out the fae. There was no wishy-washy character here. Sorcha was a lovely and strong heroine.

Eamonn was the beast. And that sentence is wholly accurate. His role was exactly how I expected it and I LOVED seeing the small things he started doing for Sorcha purely to make her happy. Ohhhhh so cute y’all.

The story itself was well put together and I thought the plot had everything it needed. There was a point and reasoning behind choices and I never had to ask why. I love the way the fae were woven into everything and I love all things faerie in general.

I’m definitely interested in continuing this duology (and the other books in this universe). This was a self-published book and I LOVE finding these kind of gems.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy romance + retelling
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: some kisses, make outs, one moderately detailed love scene
  • Violence: physical, magic, skirmishes with swords, a creepy blood beetle epidemic

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: November 2019

My birthday month is over. And I’m a bit sad about it. BUT NOW IT’S ACTUALLY CHRISTMAS SEASON. Yes, I only truly dive into the Christmas holiday AFTER Thanksgiving. Because that’s how it works.

Put the Christmas tree out yesterday, played some Christmas music and am currently rounding up the gifts I’ll need for this year. Happy Holidays everyone!

Lots of good reading this month. I did DNF three books (Hidden Huntress, The Rage of Dragons and Truth or Beard) which is unheard of for me. I still managed to make it through 20 books though so YAY.

All reviews will be coming out in the next few weeks. I’m ahead of posting reviews vs. monthly wrap-ups. Stay tuned if there’s a book that sounds good to you! (Or ask me in the comments!)

  • Be the Girl by K.A. Tucker – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3) by Deanna Raybourn – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Storm and Fury (The Harbringer #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – (☆☆☆)
  • Imber (Thanatos Trilogy #1) by Tyffany Hackett – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Supernova (Renegades #3) by Marissa Meyer – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1) by Elise Kova – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker – (☆☆☆☆)
  • New Orleans Rush by Kelly Siskind – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka – (☆☆☆☆)
  • One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) by Kendare Blake – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Valiant (The Valiant #1) by Lesley Livingston – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Green Rider (Green Rider #1) by Kristen Britain – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Queen of Nothing (Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Give the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1) by Beth Revis – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] The Raven and the Dove (The Raven and the Dove #1) by Kaitlyn Davis – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Rebel (Legend #4) by Marie Lu – (☆☆☆☆)

Favorite books this month: Supernova, New Orleans Rush, The Bromance Book Club & The Raven and the Dove

Least favorite book this month: Storm and Fury

How was reading for you this month? What was your favorite book? Have you read any of these? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Crystal Crowned (Air Awakens #5) by Elise Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 400 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: July 12th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Long live Solaris. One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire. Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?

THIS IS JUST MY FAVORITE EVER OKAY?

I waited to read this book because I didn’t want this story to end.

I waited to write this review because I didn’t want to sign-off on my love for this series.

So now I’m sitting here, a few weeks after finishing Crystal Crowned still trying to put into words how much I love this series.

It had everything that I look for when it comes to a young adult fantasy novel. I got the romance (always y’all), battles, politics, friendships, magic, world-building and so much more that combined to make a stellar series. Crystal Crowned was no exception. It was an impressive finale.

VHALLDRIK FOREVER. I love Vhalla and Aldrik and they are without a doubt, my new OTP (hello Feysand, you now have someone tied with you). Their relationship grew and changed with them as time went on. They adapted and fought to be by each other’s side every dang time and I AM HERE FOR IT.

The magic system is intense, yet easy to follow. There were some small tidbits of other characters that popped in that had me connecting a thousand dots at once. I loved how it all came together! The villain was wicked and we got some back story on him which really brought him out as a character.

FRIENDSHIPS. Vhalla and Fritz, Elecia, Jax, etc. While yes, this is heavily flavored with romance, it is also very strong in friendships. The bonds formed between all of these characters make my heart MELT.

Vhalla remained strong, intelligent and fierce. Even when faced with some crazy odds and poor choices she persevered and endured. She has got to be one of my favorite heroines. I love that Vhalla never gave up for what she was fighting for. Yes, times got tough, but she continually strove to remember the peace she was seeking.

If you’ve ever thought about reading these, you should. I can’t wait to read the rest of Kova’s books because I don’t doubt I will obsess over them just as much as these.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: A handful of love scenes that are barely detailed and fade to black
  • Violence: demonic creatures and soldiers, elemental magic, physical, torture, swords, battle scenes; fairly gory
  • Trigger warnings: miscarriage

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