Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Tropes

I found this topic easy and hard all in the same breath. I also could think of more tropes I DON’T like easier than I could come up with tropes I DO like. When I’m reading a great book I honestly don’t notice many tropes (besides the first one below). After the fact and seeing other reviews I realize how many tropes were actually present in the plot. But you better believe I notice when tropes are done poorly, making them stick out like a sore thumb.

So after a lot of thought, I’ve come up with some that I remember that I love. Not in any order, except for the first one because ENEMIES TO LOVERS ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY.

I added some covers of books that remind me of the trope, it’s definitely not an exhaustive list!

Enemies to lovers

OH MY GOODNESS. This is really my one and only ultimate trope and it never gets old. NEVER.


Someone being secretly royal

I’m looking at you Throne of Glass.


A romance that begins with one of them undercover

And no, not in a bad way. I’m thinking along the lines of The Kiss of Deception and The Traitor’s Kiss. That moment when the reader knows what’s going on, but they don’t yet and the fall out leads to a passionate kiss. YES.


Families with a lot of siblings

Big families (Dance of Thieves – Ballenger clan) are great. I love all of the banter between siblings. SO FUN.


Forbidden romance (star-crossed lovers)

UGH WHY CAN’T THEY JUST BE TOGETHER FOREVER?


Parents who are still alive (at least one)

I like a present parent, what can I say?


When a legitimate villain does a good thing

I’m a sucker for a bad guy who makes one good move in their time.


A good partnership with fantastic banter

I LOVE when the banter is off the charts between a working friendship. These are some great examples.


Squad goals

Squad 313, Night Court, Court of Terrasen, Skyward. This is without a doubt one of the greatest tropes ever.


Royalty living in exile, running away

Banished royalty gathering a group to take back their throne? YESSSS.

What are some of your favorite tropes? What about least favorite? It was fun seeing how many tropes are in one book! Lets talk in the comments!

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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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Characters from 2019

This week for Top Ten Tuesday is a Character Freebie!

I wanted to highlight my favorite characters from this year! My only rule is that is has to be new characters. I will only choose characters that are new to me in 2019 (so no series that I am continuing). I hope to highlight some new books you may not have read yet!

Though as I made this list I realized I loved too many from one book so I did combine as necessary. WHOOPS.

I will link as many reviews as I have!

SpensaSkyward (Skyward #1) by Brandon Sanderson

If could name all of the things I love about Spensa we would be here all day. She is strong, tenacious, unwilling to back down, but is also fiercely loyal and loving to those around her. This book was AMAZING and I literally have no chill about reading Starsight this fall.


Alyssa ana’Raisa – Shattered Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

Flamecaster || Shadowcaster || Stormcaster || Deathcaster

When Lyssa walked onto the scene in book two of this fabulous series I was DONE. I love a warrior heart that I want to cheer on through every facet of a book.


Persephone, Suri, Brin, Moya & Arion – The Legends of the First Empire Series by Michael J. Sullivan

Age of Myth || Age of Swords (RTC – 5 stars)

I am obsessed with these ladies y’all. I’ve only read the first two books (Age of Myth & Age of Swords) because I’m waiting for my library copy of Age of War (book three of six). And I am loving this so much. These women hold their own and are bright and cunning. If you’re a fantasy love (especially like Sanderson) check out these!


Alex & Sage – The Traitor’s Circle by Erin Beaty

The Traitor’s Kiss || The Traitor’s Ruin || The Traitor’s Kingdom (releases TODAY!!)

One of my latest OTP’s (I have many). I love these two even when their lack of communication in book two had me anxious and shouting at my book. STILL LOVE. I am so excited to finish out this series Tuesday! I especially love that Alex doesn’t hinder Sage. He trusts and believes she can and will do what she says. Nobody holding her back.


Squad 312 – The Aurora Cycle by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Aurora Rising

I LOVE EVERY MEMBER OF THIS TEAM (especially Kal, of course) . This book was absolutely amazing and I love this writing duo.


Jackaby – Jackaby Series by William Ritter

Jackaby || Beastly Bones (RTC – 4 stars)

Jackaby is so clever! His antics actually make me laugh out loud. I love his dynamic with his work partner Abigail Rook. I need to finish this series stat.


Lara & Aren – The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

MY NEW FAVORITE NEW ADULT FANTASY ROMANCE.

Take note and look for my review on July 15th. I loved every single piece of this book and can gush for hours. I need more people to read this to discuss!


Bayr – The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon

I love anything Amy Harmon writes, this was no exception and I absolutely fell in love with Bayr. You watch him grow up in the book and UGH if it doesn’t pull at all the heart strings. All I wanted while reading was for him to get his happy ending.


Vhalla & Aldrik – Air Awakens by Elise Kova

RTC – 4 stars

I’ve only read the first book (and part of the second), but you know when you read a book and know in your bookish soul that you will love these characters? This is how I feel about them.


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

The Lightning Thief (RTC – 5 stars) || The Sea of Monsters (RTC – 4 stars)

Another series I’ve only started (and am only getting to now – I KNOW I KNOW), but I am loving these two! I feel like I’ve seen some spoiler-y stuff that they’re endgame? I SURE HOPE SO. But I also love where their friendship is and how much they care and respect one another.

Have you read any of these books? What is on of your favorite new to you characters of 2019? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Shadowcaster (Shattered Realms #2) by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 551 pages
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 4th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A lifelong war.

Alyssa ana’Raisa is the reluctant princess heir to the Gray Wolf throne of Fells, a queendom embroiled in a seemingly endless war. Hardened by too many losses, Lyss is more comfortable striking with a sword than maneuvering at court. After a brush with death, she goes on the offensive, meaning to end the war that has raged her whole life. If her gamble doesn’t pay off, she could lose her queendom before she even ascends to the throne.

A life in peril.

Across enemy lines in Arden, young rising star Captain Halston Matelon has been fighting for his king since he was a lýtling. Lately, though, he finds himself sent on ever more dangerous assignments. Between the terrifying rumors of witches and wolfish warriors to the north and his cruel king at home, Hal is caught in an impossible game of life and death.

The shadow of defeat.

GOOD.

It’s simple. This book was good, not great. I still was captured into the story by the writing and characters, but it was still missing that last little oomph that makes it a 5 star.

I love love love Lyss. She is a beast. A warrior. Independent. Lyss doesn’t even own a dress! And she has muscles! Oh how I adore the way the author portrays her heroines. I can’t wait to see how Lyss grows into the future Queen of the Fells and rules her Queendom. This is a big reason why I continue to love this (and her previous) series.

The love story is cute, definitely not insta-love like it was in Flamecaster. A little more slow-burn, with my favorite trope: enemies to lovers. Hal is caring and enigmatic. I really want more of his back story. I think there relationship is going places and I am here for it. He only annoyed me when he became a little too love-struck and that literally all he could talk about.

I was a bit confused that we only saw a few characters from the previous book. As a series it was strange to change to essentially a whole new cast. The two stories with Ash and Lyss haven’t combined yet so I’ll see what kind of answers I get in the next installment, Stormcaster.

The plot is engaging and continually moving forward. The antagonists are closing in from both sides on the Fells. And the action kept me on my toes. I’m definitely still interested in continuing this story.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: an intense-ish make-out
  • Violence: arrows, knives, poison, explosions, physical

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: Flamecaster (Shattered Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 535 pages
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A burning vengeance.

Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. The son of the queen of the Fells, Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

A blood-based curse.

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Destiny’s fiery hand.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.

DRAGONS Y’ALL.

If that word doesn’t drag you in, the fact that Chima is an amazing author should convince you. I love her writing and her books. This series is setting up to be added to my favorites.

This book is filled with so much evil. I mean whoa, within the first few chapters I already felt like sobbing. I mean HOW, JUST…how. But this, in a weird way, is one of the better things about Flamecaster. I hate the antagonists. I mean, with a passion. I love that I feel that deeply because it goes to show just how enchanting the writing is.

The only real big reason I went with 4 stars is the insta-love. It’s not terrible, I wasn’t overly frustrated with it, only perplexed. There could have been a lot more build-up to it. A scene where magic is used to “see” each other (as vague as I can be without spoiling) tries to make-up for the attraction. I’m still boarding the ship, but I imagine I’ll get there.

My favorite was the handful of minor twists that tie in from the previous series. I kept thinking to myself, how did I miss that? The book is a little slow, but all of these enlightening moments will definitely be involved in further installments. The dynamic conglomeration of different cultures and people throughout this world is amazing.

All of these characters are strong and realistic. They’re young, they make mistakes, and have a lot of feelings. You’re on their side from the get-go. I love, once again, how strong and independent the female leads are. I’m excited to see how these heroines grow and adapt.

Shout out to my tagline, there’s dragons you guys!! An actual dragon, who could even speak some. Oh I hope we see it even more! There’s a big story-line here that is waiting to burst.

“Oh, I see. This situation isn’t bad enough, so you’re going to try and make it worse.”

This quote is a direct picture of how this book went. A lot of diving into sketchy situations without thinking them through. Plenty of action and political maneuverings. I am so excited to read Shadowcaster.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Important to read Seven Realms series first
  • Violence: physical, swords, knives, poison, attempted suicide
  • Romance: some kisses, an intense make-out
  • Language: some
Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Book I Meant to Read in 2018 but Didn’t Get To

Welcome welcome to another week of Top 10 Tuesday!

I’m one of those weird book people who keeps a really tight leash on my TBR. It’s currently only at 62 books. Which is more than I’ve had in awhile honestly, so I had to be inventive about what books I really wanted to read last year but must get to this year!

Without further adieu, and in no particular order:

My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton by Stephanie Dray

I was on a huge Hamilton kick last summer and read almost everything I could get my hands on about his life. This one slipped through my fingers though. It’s already on my Kindle, so there’s still hope I get to it in 2019.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Only added this to my TBR because of the movie, yet still never got around to it BECAUSE, y’all, my library has a 6+ month wait-list on it. Yes, I’m still waiting. Update: I am now 12/36 people originally in line.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

After being delighted by his latest series: Scythe I wanted to read move Shusterman novels, maybe it’ll happen this year.

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood and Co.) by Jonathan Stroud

A Bookstagram I follow loves this series and hasn’t let me down on recommendations yet, so I wanted to try this series out! I am definitely getting to this one in 2019.

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

I went back and forth on keeping this on my TBR. After I saw her with SJM at the Kingdom of Ash event I wanted to try on of her novels.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Heard a lot of good things about this, and it is my all time favorite trope. So with that combination I should have picked it up last year!

Eidolon by Grace Draven

Low-key real obsessed with the first book of this series, Radiance. Truly meant to read the second book so I must know what happens soon!

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

Since of course, I love SJM I was going to go ahead and read this (and maybe read the others in the series, oops).

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I have seen this book EVERYWHERE. And it’s a Sunshine Club book pick, and since Reese Witherspoon can do no wrong, I’m sure I’ll pick this up at some point in the near future.

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Her first series I read, The Demon King, was one of my top top top reads from 2018. It only makes sense to further my obsession.

And that’s a wrap! Have you read any of these yet? Which ones should I definitely read first? Let’s talk in the comments!