SPOILER FREE REVIEW: LIFEL1K3 BY JAY KRISTOFF

Title: LIFEL1K3

Author: JAY KRISTOFF

Pub. Date: MAY 29th. 2018

Genre: YA SCI-FI

Publisher: KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS/RANDOM HOUSE

Pages: 416

Content Warning: Violence, suicidal thoughts, war themes, terminal illness, loss of a loved one

*HUGE thanks to Random House & Jay Kristoff for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE | AMAZON

    

A high octane YA dystopian described best by the author as “Romeo And Juliet meets Mad Max meets Xmen meets Blade Runner.” LIFEL1K3 is set in a post apocalyptic/post nuclear war North America…specifically a fictional island called “Dregs” in “Kalifornya”where Cancer is the biggest threat to life. The story opens up in a brutal heart wrenching scene that sets the stage for what’s to come. Our MC Eve is a teen who is just living to survive the day to day struggle of surviving the nuclear war. Eve makes her living in the War Dome fighting rogue robots that have broken the First Law…

1. A ROBOT MAY NOT INJURE A HUMAN BEING OR, THROUGH INACTION, ALLOW A HUMAN BEING TO COME TO HARM

2. A ROBOT MUST OBEY THE ORDERS GIVEN TO IT BY HUMAN BEINGS EXCEPT WHERE SUCH ORDERS WOULD CONFLICT WITH THE FIRST LAW

3. A ROBOT MUST PROTECT ITS OWN EXISTENCE AS LONG AS SUCH PROTECTION DOES NOT CONFLICT WITH THE FIRST OR SECOND LAWS

 

Either by malfunction or willfull rebellion, these robots have turned against humans. Eve is a tinkerer like her grandfather and has built herself a Machina to battle these rogue robots for money in order to buy him his Cancer medication. All is seemingly well until the day everything goes wrong in the dome leaving her exposed and marking her as a target. From this day forward, Eve and her companions will be on the run for their lives. Pulse pounding action that will leave you at the edge of your seat bracing for the next attack, LIFEL1K3 was one wild ride! With plenty of plot twists along the way, I honestly had a couple of “Ohhhhh Wow” moments haha! I wasn’t expecting a YA sci-fi to have as much depth and layering as LIFEL1K3 did but it went above and beyond. Paired with such unique world building are characters you can’t help but get attached to and root for. Perhaps what makes LIFEL1K3 stand out most is that by the very end it’s not at all what you thought it would be 😉

 

Eve- a kick a** fighter, loyal to those she loves, a character who is definitely dealing with PTSD. I really felt for Eve and admired her resilience through it all

Lemon Fresh – Quick witted, amazing ride or die friend to Eve, willing to go to the ends of the earth for those she cares about. Lemon has so much gratitude in her heart & this made her my fave character in this book

Cricket – a robot created by Eve’s grandfather to protect her with his robotic life. I wasn’t too fond of this little guy (he hated being called little haha) because of the hurtful names he used to refer to Ezekiel specifically regarding his missing limb

Kaiser (Cyborg dog) – a robotic dog also created by Eve’s grandfather who you easily come to see as a real dog. Kaiser is very much a part of this crew

Ezekiel (LIFEL1K3) – The LIFEL1K3 aka Human-like, Zeke has this undying love for Eve & I’m not quite sure how I feel about him tbh. Zeke isn’t human but he sure has developed as one, has independent thoughts, and acts of his own accord. Personality wise I can’t say much though cause he came across dull to me & I’m not sure if that was purposefully done or not

🖤 All in all I LOVED these characters as a whole and Lemon is a new fave I can’t wait to read more from. Through the grapevine I’ve heard we may also get Lemon’s POV in the next installment *fingers crossed*

LIFEL1K3 is the first book I read outside of the Illuminae world from Kristoff and I walked away pretty much sealing the deal…I have found a new TOP favorite author. I rated this book 4.5 stars simply for one reason & that’s the fact that I struggled just a smidge with the slang created for this world. Everything feels so authentic in this world that it renewed my interest in the post apocalyptic reads but the language is quick & raw. Kristoff does an excellent job at teaching you the slang along the way but it wasn’t without some effort on my behalf. Besides this small thing, I absolutely enjoyed this fun action packed read & already miss the hell out of these characters. I love the reads where you don’t walk away unscathed & there’s plenty of room for theorizing for the next book. LIFEL1K3 has definitely left me with plenty to sit on until the next chapter which can either be viewed as cruel or ingenious & I’m going with the latter of the two 😉


LIFEL1K3 has hit the shelves & is already making fans out of readers. Have you read LIFEL1K3? If so, who is your favorite character? if not, are you adding it to your tbr now that you’ve seen the book trailer up above? 😂


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REVIEW: MIRAGE BY SOMAIYA DAUD

Title: MIRAGE

Author: Somaiya Daud

Pub. Date: August 28th. 2018

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Pages: 320

Format: Physical ARC provided by the Publisher

*Thank you Flatiron Books for the arc in exchange for an honest review

Content Warning: Physical abuse, Kidnapping, and  Cultural erasure

Buddy Read: Melanie from Meltotheany, Amy from A Court Of Crowns and Quills, Julie from Pages and Pens, Jules from JA Ironside, and Chelsea from Chelsea Palmer

GOODREADS | BARNES AND NOBLE | AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

    

Mirage is Somaiya Daud’s Moroccan inspired debut that will leave readers wanting more from this author once the very last page is read. I’m not sure how I’d missed the fact that this is a Sci-Fi book when I first came across it however, this only further served to enhance my curiosity. The fact that it also spoke of poetry in the blurb was a major draw & wow! I had no idea how much of a treat I’d signed myself up for with this one. Daud gives us beauty and pain all wrapped into one with Mirage & that it’s set on another planet/moon is just the backdrop to this story. At its core, Mirage is a story about cultural erasure and the brutality faced by an invaded peoples. We are introduced to an MC who has had everything she values most taken away from her but somehow manages to hold on just enough to never surrender her spirit. I admired our MC, her values, culture, tradition, and people defined her and emboldened her to fight back. Mirage doesn’t read like a debut at all but instead that of the works of a seasoned author. Daud is an author I will be keeping an eye out for and hoping to everything that we get more of her writing in the very near future 🤞🏼

For Amani, receiving the tattoos on her face known as Daan on her Majority Night was everything to look forward to. A representation of stepping into adulthood, a rites of passage. Nothing could’ve prepared her for the events that destroyed her ceremony & took her away from those she loved. Kidnapped by imperial droids, Amani is taken covertly to the royal palace. There, she meets royal heir Maram who she is the spitting image of. Maram has plans for Amari that would make her a human shield. For Maram, being part Andaalan from her Mother’s side has always generated her much hate from the Vathek on her father’s side. She knows her life faces constant threat and figured Amani would make the perfect body double. Stripping Amani of her Daan was just the beginning, she is also made to learn Vathek mannerisms, history, and etiquette against her will and through physical abuse. Maram isn’t the only heir with a claim to the throne, she has an older sister who poses a threat and proving her worth to her father and the Vathek is her top priority.

We see Amani get sent out as Maram’s doppelganger which allows her an inside look to the politics of the kingdom. She also spends plenty of time with Maram which inevitably leads to learning her vulnerabilities. Part of acting in as Maram means keeping up appearances with her courtship as she is promised to Prince Idris ibn Salih. Idris is from one of the oldest and largest Andaalan royal families who once resisted Vathek invasion. Their concession to Vathek rule resulted in the loss of many lives and Idris the last surviving heir was pledged to marry Maram. The true test would be seeing if Amani could pass for Maram while in his company. Both Idris and Amani carry the weight of their peoples loss and pain on their shoulders. They both have so much in common that a connection is almost impossible not to make once they start spending time together as a part of their courting. This romance is dangerous and had my full attention from the very start, every meet-up had me a bit nervous for these two. We see both Amani & Idris make decisions in hopes of one day freeing their people which means they will also face some serious obstacles & I’m just here hoping theirs is a good ending 🤞🏼

If you’re looking for A+ world building, political intrigue, strong characters, Moroccan inspired culture, and yes a bit of insta-love (but I promise it’s the one you’ll want to root for 😂) and a bit of Sci-Fi along the way… then MIRAGE is the book you’re going to want to read! so much lush culture & tradition within these pages that I am left anxiously & patiently waiting on the follow-up.


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April Wrap-Up

Hello Bookworms & happy Friday!!! here in NYC we’ve decided to skip Spring & go straight to Summer and although when I’m outside I truly dislike it…when I’m inside, I get to blast that A.C. & no sleep is better than one right next to that powerful ice machine 😂 anyways, I pulled up Goodreads to see how many books I’d read in April & had to do a Britney…

I cannot remember the last time I read 8 BOOKS!!! *GASP* it was a great quality reading month, no complaints here (except for maybe Professed haha!) I was able to get ahead in my TBR 💜 I participated in 2 Buddy Reads and had so much fun talking to the Bookworms in our group chats. I also borrowed for the very first time from another blogger buddy who is simply an amazing human being! Thank you Sarah @TheYaBookTraveler I appreciate your kindness 💜 Out of the 8 books that I read, 4 were 5 star reads which means I had a lot of fun reading in April. I’m hoping for an equally as good May & so far I think I’m getting my wish thanks to Harper & some new arc approvals that came through. Now without further ado I present to you my April Wrap-Up…

Professed by Nicola Rendell ★★ STARS: Not what I expected but I read along since this was a book club pick for Julie & Chelsea’s Book Hangover Book Club. The characters just felt over the top & the “steamy scenes” were terrible 😞

Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas ★★★★ 4 STARS: This being the first book I p/u as a reintroduction to the NA genre (not that I’ve read all that very many 😂) was UNPUTDOWNABLE! 😳 I seriously couldn’t stop reading & now I’m on a Penelope Douglas binge

Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody (Review) ★★★★ 4 STARS: Falls into the younger side of YA but still very enjoyable with its Sin City/Moulin Rouge vibes. Book 2 was just announced today, titled King of Fools for 2019 & I’m REALLY looking forward to It 💜💜💜

Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young (Review) ★★★★ 4 STARS: Character driven, less focused on the bloody history of Vikings we’ve all come to know. This one is for those bookworms who love stories about family bonds and loyalty and choosing who your family is when you’ve lost it all.

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (RTC closer to publication date) ★★★★★ 5 STARS: I mean C’mon! I LOVED My Lady Jane to pieces when I first read it & waited ever so patiently for this sequel. When a bookworm friend offered to loan me her copy I was STUNNED & Happy & grateful! I devoured it & all I can say is THANK YOU My Lady Janies for the ode to my childhood faves The Ghostbusters 😂😂😂

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson (RTC) ★★★★★ 5 STARS: a witchy read with a plus sized POC MC who’s a bit of a curmudgeon dishing out the sarcasm when she sees fit. Practicing witchcraft was never supposed to yield any real results until she needed it to & then…👀

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Review) ★★★★★ 5 STARS: This is perhaps my fave read of the month! a black MC who kicks a** & doesn’t back down whether it’s racist white men or the walking dead trying to make a snack out of her. This book has so much more going on underneath the surface, #Blacklivesmatter, Colorism, and racism are all weaved into this tale. I have a giveaway currently running until Sunday 5/6, open to international Bookworms as well 💜 Click on the link to take you to my review post to enter 💜

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (Review) ★★★★★ 5 STARS: Take me back to this little town & island PLEASE! so atmospheric & haunting, I cannot stop singing this books praises! Please pick this one up before the Netflix series airs, it’s a short read but sooooo good that it’s guaranteed to stick around even after you’ve read that last line 😉

Avengers: Infinity War

    

Date Day this month with the hubby was a ton of fun & led us to visit some of our favorite haunts. Starting off with breakfast at our fave diner by the theatre & a quick trip to The Strand where I picked up Leah On the Offbeat (Creekwood #2)by Becky Albertalli & the Graphic Novel Moonstruck: Magic To Brew. I spent a little too much time in the stacks & we ended up having to cab it to the other side of Manhattan to the theatre for a 1:30pm show. IMAX 3D…why do I always forget to wear contacts? instead I watch movies through 4 lenses 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

The movie was about 2.5 hours long & it just exceeded expectations! Thanos our villain is one complex character with depth to him, he wasn’t just trying to kill everything in sight for power or control. I found this villain really interesting but that ending still had me giving him major side eye 😂 It was awesome seeing some faves back on the screen & after watching Black Panther just last month, I was super stoked to return to Wakanda. This being part I of II, I expected to walk away with unresolved story line and I felt the ending sets up for the next movie rather nicely. The after credit scene led to a really cool development & now I spend my time on Screen Rant looking for any bread crumbs being released for the next set of Marvel movies. Overall I gave this movie 5 BUTTERFLIES!!!


I hope you’re all having a wonderful start of the month 💜 what was your favorite read in April? feel free to link those wrap-ups down below & I’ll make my way over to your corner of the interwebz 💜’s! Don’t forget to throw your 🎩 in the ring for a chance to win a copy of Dread nation (see here)! 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼


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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I’ve had these 10 drafted for the past two weeks now cause they’re simply the books I’m MOST eagerly anticipating! I have a feeling I will be making some of these wishes come true but for now 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼

May 1st 2018: Top Ten Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early

🦁 What If It’s Us by Adam SilveraSelf appointed #1 Adam Silvera fan, there really isn’t anything he writes that I won’t read! I go in knowing my heart will be torn to pieces but there really isn’t anyone I’d let break my ♥ like I let Adam 🤷🏻‍♀️ This being a collab with his bff Becky Albertalli makes it easily one of those books I have a feeling will be a 5 star read 🙌🏼

🦁 City Of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab– Three reasons for which I need this book…. One: being that it’s Victoria Schwab & I can’t stay away from her books…Two: this book is set in Scotland which is one of my FAVE book settings…Three: Ghost-hunters 👻 that is all I needed to know 💜

🦁 King Of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo- Its been a minute since I read the Grisha trilogy but there’s one character that remains fresh in my memory. Nikolai in my opinion stole the show when he showed up & I knew there had to be more to his story. SUPER stoked to see the cover reveal today, EVERYTHING GOLD! I can’t wait to have a copy in hands since from what I’ve heard, there won’t be any arcs in circulation *sobs* haha!

🦁 On The Come Up by Angie Thomas- The Hate U Give had to be one of the most impactful, moving, and thought provoking books of 2017. Soon after I was buying copies for my closest friends & loved ones in hopes they’d see just how important Angie Thomas’ books are. Some have expressed concerns over the date of publication for On The Come Up being pushed back however, I think it’s a smart move. Production on The Hate U Give movie wasn’t without its hurdles & some distance between the projects is probably for the best. Nevertheless, I cannot wait to dive back into this wonderful authors writing.

🦁 Dark Age (Red Rising Saga #5) by Pierce Brown-  Having recently read Iron Gold, finding out that book 5 would be out later this year was EPIC news! Can’t say too much about this one since it’s way deep into the series, but I will say that it feels great to be back in this world even when certain characters continue to royally mess things up.

🦁 The Winter Of The Witch (The Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden- Katherine Arden is after my own heart with some of the most beautiful atmospheric writing I’ve ever come across on the page. The MC Vasya is one of my all time fave heroines who reminds me so much of Merida from Brave 💜 This is the conclusion to the Winternight Trilogy & although I’m not ready to say goodbye, I also really need to know what happens next!

🦁 Blanca & Roja by Anna Marie-McLemore- EVERYTHING McLemore writes is a MUST for this bookworm! magical realism at its best, it’s so hard to stay away from these books. I fell in love with this authors writing while reading When The Moon Was Ours & I can honestly say, I’ve never read anything that quite compares. All of McLemore’s books have LGBTQIA+ representation and POC main characters. I know I’ve said this for all the others but this is one I’m SOOOOO ready to get my hands on 🤗

🦁 Holy Sister (Book Of The Ancestor #3) by Mark Lawrence- Having just very recently read Grey Sister (Book Of The Ancestor #2) I can honestly say this is is my FAVORITE adult Fantasy! although seeing it end will be bitter-sweet, I have felt very much a part of Nona’s journey & can’t wait to see how her story comes to a close.

🦁 The ShadowGlass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rain Chupeco- eeeeK! I can’t even see the title of this book on the screen without flailing with happiness 🤗 this is perhaps the book I’d slay TWO lions for! 😂 It’s just SOOO good! Rin Chupeco’s writing is just a atmospheric as Katherine Ardens & just as beautiful. The main character Tea is one of my fave morally ambiguous MC’s & the ship in this book! *swooooooN*☺ oh & if you’re looking for a fantasy with a necromancer, this would be the book for you! 😉

🦁 Sea Witch by Sarah Henning- Hi! I’m Lilly & ever since I could remember, The Little Mermaid has been my favorite Disney movie of all time! haha! no seriously though, I obsessed over this movie. Did I ever think Ursula would get her own POV story? hell nah! evil sea Queens never get to tell their side of things. That being said, I read To Kill a Kingdom recently & LOVED the ish outta that dark gem! Sea Witch looks just as promising & I’m hoping it slayyyyyys my little ♥️! 


Happy Tuesday Bookworms! Hope you’re all having a wonderful week reading all the great books! What are some of the titles you’d slay a lion to get a early copy of? feel free to drop those links to your Top Ten Tuesday 💜💜💜

Friendly reminder, I have a Giveaway for Dread Nation by Justina Ireland running from 4/30/18-5/4/18. This giveaway is open to International peeps as well (See Here) 💙💙💙


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Meme Book Tag

The Meme Book Tag was originally created by Books are my Social Life & Dylanthereader5! I was tagged by  Melanie over at Meltotheany who has an AMAZING blog & EPIC reviews! ❤ ❤ ❤ This tag had me giggling quite a few times, thank you Mel for tagging me 🙂

Crying Kim Kardashian – A book that made you cry.

My last real tear jerker was The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (RTC) this book made me ugly cry at the very end *sobs*

 Salt Bae – A book that needed a little something more

Having just finished Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young, I’d say this book could’ve used a bit more in terms of plot. Well at least I would’ve appreciated a not so straight forward plot youknowwhatImshayin’ *CardiB voice*?

Guy thinking – A book that made you think

Easy! Furyborn by Claire Legrand & in such a satisfying way! This book is formatted so that the reader is following two timelines 1,000 YEARS apart! I buddy read it with some amazing bookworms & it was fun theorizing along the way 🙂

 Confused guy – A book whose hype you don’t understand

SMH…this one is kind of mean no? haha! Ok If I’m answering honestly that would have to be The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. I went in fully expecting to love it cause it had all the ingredients to be a hit in my corner. Ultimately it came down to this book not really being what it came across as…the Grim Fairy tales are there but they’re at the very end of the book. Still looking forward to the follow-up which I hear will be about the Hinterland…YASSSS! ❤

Evil Patrick – A guilty pleasure read (whatever you consider guilty pleasure to mean)

*giggles* I don’t feel guilty at all about this read but it is a genre I’m new to and am enjoying inhale reading cause they’re just that good & easy to digest. Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas was innnneresting haha! & perhaps not the book to read in public #jussayin

Meryl Streep – A book that you’re always hyping up 

Ok…I really hadn’t realized how hard I push the Winternight trilogy until several bookworm buddies told me they’d read it & loved it after seeing me gush about. Whelp, the second book came around & it was even better than the first which meant I had to go on another round of promos cause it’s Katherine Arden & I friggin love this human!

The Bear and the Nightingale

The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2)

Successful baby – A book (whether you liked it or not) that you felt accomplished after reading

For this one I’m going with my first venture into Adult Fantasy, cause I had always been intimidated for a number of reasons. I think the complex world building worried me the most in terms of remembering everything. Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence however proved me so wrong! this is another series I will gush about til’ the ink runs dry. I recently reviewed the sequel Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2) & it was also a 5 star read! Mark Lawrence really thinks about his readers & the world building is laid out in such a way that feels organic & won’t overwhelm.

Pennywise – A book with a promising concept/a book that you had high expectations for, but ultimately let you down

The hype was real on this one because of this authors last work. I never read Andy Weir’s The Martian but the love for that book wasn’t missed by this bookworm. So much so that I haven’t watched the movie cause so many of my closest bookworm buddies have said to read the book 1st! haha! I still plan to but I decided to get his latest Artemis & sadly it just didn’t work for me. I had such high hopes & was determined not to let the train leave the station w/out me but ultimately there were some problematic thangs in this one.

 Headphones guy – A audiobook that you enjoyed

The Serpent king by Jeff Zetner cause it hit me all in the feels & I’ll never be over that ending! *sobs for days* seriously this book is all about friendship & grieving and gahhhh! my book babies, love them so much! ❤

 Distracted guy – Two books; one you’ve been neglecting on your TBR for a long time and a new one that’s distracting you/peaking your interest. 

hmmm…not sure if I’m neglecting this one but I sure am willfully NOT reading it at the moment haha! with reason! I’m a big fan of Laini Taylor so much so that the wait in between books is brutal & can leave me slumping hard sooo…

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Promise I’ll be reading this one in the VERY near future)

As for the book that continues to make me break my neck every time I walk by my bookshelf…

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black  (I won this from a NOVL giveaway & I doubt I’ll be able to hold out for much longer cause y’all know those who read The Cruel Prince, that ending! smh)

 Cash me outside girl – A book that tried to be something that it’s not (pretentious, didn’t live up to what it was marketed as, etc.) 

Like Melanie, I’m also not fond of this meme. I had to dig through my Goodreads shelves & I did come up with one that really wasn’t what I expected. Wintersong (Wintersong#1) by S. Jae-Jones which I rated 3.5 stars at the time but would probably take my rating down to 2.5 stars now that I’ve had much time to think about it. Pitched as a Labyrinth re-telling, Wintersong is great when we’re with the Goblin King in the underground. Otherwise the heavy use of Classical music terminology all throughout really made me feel like a real outsider with scrunched eyebrows lol. Less Labyrinth, more something else…

Dog in fire – How many unread books do you own? 

Well this got awkward hella fast…I honestly couldn’t tell you since I own 2 large bookshelves in my living room & 3 medium sized ones in my bedroom and I don’t keep my unread books separate from the rest. Anywhere between 70-100 SMH (working on it) I know…I Know…

 BONUS – Pick a meme that wasn’t featured in this tag and pair a book with it 

My Question: A book with an ending you didn’t see coming…

Image result for shocked meme

3 words…The Cruel Prince! Holly Black legit shooketh the house with THAT ending & it took me a minute to recover. Twisted up more than ya fave pretzel haha! 🙂

I tag…

Flavia @Flaviathebibliophile

Ashley @SociallyAwkwardBookworm

Raven @DreamyAddictions

Sarah @TheCleverReader

Regina @Bookishinbed

Amy @ACourtofCrownsandQuills

Rebecca @BookishlyRebecca

Larkin @WonderfilledReads

Amanda @PeaksandPages

This was a fun tag &was a labor of love! haha (Thanks Mel for sharing the links to the memes). I invite everyone who is interested to take a stab at it 😉 also, friendly reminder when tagging a fellow blogger, choose one of their posts to link back to so that they get a ping aka notification letting them know you tagged them or were tagged by them <3’s


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WWW Wednesday 4/11/18

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On a World of Words and to participate all you have to do is answer the three W’s listed below. Once you’ve posted your WWW, drop a link to your post in Sam’s comments <3’s!

The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently in the midst of getting my blogging mojo back which is why you’re getting this post later in the day/night. I wanted to update you wonderful bookworms on my reading since that hasn’t been affected by my blogging slump. Thankfully, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel & have already started making my rounds on your blogs spreading my 💜! 

Ace of Shadows (The Shadow Game #1) by Amanda Foody

I am currently 70% into Ace of Shades & REALLY enjoying the read. I went in a bit hesitant after reading some not so great reviews on Goodreads. Truthfully speaking, if you’re going into this book comparing it to Six of Crows then you’re basically setting yourself up for disappointment cause that’s one hella high standard. That being said, there are some aspects that reminded me of Six of Crows in the same manner that SOC reminded me a bit of Ocean’s Eleven. I LOVE mobster stories (think Gangs of New York) & so this was one I knew I had to request from the Publisher while holding my breath haha! So far, I am loving so much of this story that I doubt the remaining 30% will change my mind. The LGBTQIA+ representation is STRONG in Ace! ❤  but I’ll go into more of that in my upcoming review 😉

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, an Brodi Ashton

Starting this MUCH anticipated follow-up TONIGHT! & I just cannot wait to leave the office aka The Dungeon…and snuggle up on the couch with this book! fave blanket and all *eeeeK* I expect to be giggling and straight out laughing out loud all through the night 🙂

Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2) by Mark Lawrence

FLAWLESS! Couldn’t have asked for a better sequel. This book had a little of everything & some dark humor thrown in the mix. I will forever be a fan of Nona & watching her character growth along the way has been quite the roller coaster ride (my spoiler free review here). 

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

On Monday I finished a buddy read of The Wicked Deep & this book is still haunting my every thought! it was just so damn good! I have  full review coming on the blog but in the mean time, please check out two of the lovely bookworms I buddy read with who have posted their reviews 🙂

Melanie @ Meltotheany & Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quills

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Ever since discovering Lagertha & Ragnar on Vikings…I haven’t been able to resist anything Viking related. I’m hoping to find yet another bad a** heroine to love 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼 also, I’ll be buddy reading Sky in the Deep with Melanie @ Meltotheany & Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quills this weekend *super stoked* 


I hope you’re all having a wonderful Wednesday & loving your current reads! If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts 💜


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The 20 Questions Tag

I was tagged to do the 20 Questions Book Tag by the amazing Melanie over at Meltotheany *whispers* follow Mel she really is amazing <3’s

I thought I was going to bust out this tag real quick earlier today while working & then I realized these ummm questions…required some thinking on my behalf. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my IG story where I’m an emotional mess after finishing Obisido & couldn’t process a single thought other than what now Jay & Amy? but on to the…

1. How many books is too many books in a book series?
I used to think this was a toughie cause the selfish reader in me just doesn’t want to let go of some of fave series. Now, I really do wish some of them would just STOOOOOP in the name of sweet mercy! I’d say no more than 5 & even that might be too generous for some.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?
cruel cruel techniques used by writers to keep us shamelessly crawling back for more! It honestly sucks a bit more now tbh because for those that I’ve had the blessing of reading in advance, the wait is torture (I’m looking at you The Cruel Prince smh)

3. Hardback or paperback?
I’ve always preferred hardback & will still buy all of my faves in hardback however…my wrists just aint the same! baha! maybe it’s all the book lifting I’ve done throughout the years but I just can’t do it smh! I carried Obsidio this entire week & was so close to getting some Ace bandages *flair for the dramatic*

4. Favorite book?

This question legit feels as if I were being asked which of my tiny humans is my favorite…I mean if I had to…just kidding! Ok so If I had to choose a favorite book, it would always be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. When I think of Harry Potter, the Triwizard tournament is one of the first things that springs to mind. It was also very festive & brought Hogwarts to life both on the page & the big screen. Also, THAT scene with Hermione confronting a clueless Ron…💔

5. Least favorite book?
Like Water for Elephants *Lé sigh* 😌

6. Love triangles, yes or no?
to date I’ve only come across a couple that I enjoyed. I’d say yes cause those that I read were some of the BEST ships EVER!

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?
I almost DNF’d The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert after nodding off in the tub 4 times at different hours of the day 😂 but I’m glad I stuck with it cause the last 20% really did grab my attention for the next book 🤞🏼

8. A book you’re currently reading?
Ok so as I mentioned when I 1st started this tag (see the very top), early this morning (on the elevator up to work) I finished Obsidio (Illuminae Files #3) and I’m still NOT ok & don’t think I ever will be w/out this crew in my life 😭 but the show must go on & the arc pile is threatening to crush me so *drum rollllll* I am set to start reading (if I’m not too busy swallowing my Obsidio tears)  Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody (The Shadow Game #1)😉

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

I recently recommended Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (my review here) to my BFF on a trip to Barnes & Noble. The plan is to get him to read it before the movie so that we can watch & compare the two 💙

10. Oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date)
had to pull up Ol’ Goodreads & at first I thought it was Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina but it seems that Mel & have yet another thing in common 😂 The Illiad & The Odyssey are also my oldest (favored) read books 💜

11. Newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)
OBSIDIO 🖤🖤🖤 is the most recently published book I’ve read & it was worth all of the stars in all of the galaxies

12. Favorite author?
I have 3 that I can’t choose between, whatever they write I am reading! Adam Silvera, Leigh Bardugo, and Laini Taylor. Jay Kristoff is quickly claiming the #4 spot in my 💜

13. Buying books or borrowing books?
Buying. My local library is just for show they have but a few shelves with books & all others must be requested from the city. As for borrowing from friends it isn’t really something I’d feel comfortable with unless it’s one of my BFF’s then it’s a possibility haha!

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seem to love?

I don’t think I’ve read a book that fits this description but The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert was definitely one that many of my bookworm buddies were split down the middle for…I just wasn’t a fan 👀

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?
Bookmarks all the way! the more the merrier 🤗 as a matter of fact I am currently looking for some Obsidio/Illuminae Files bookmarks, please help & leave some shop reccomendations in the comment section down below 💜

16. A book you can always reread?
I’m tempted to just copy & paste Mel’s answer cause well it is Goblet of Fire you know! but my other choice would be The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (my review) for its atmospheric vibes & magical powers of teleportation. Opening a page in that book is like stepping into another land 💜

17. Can you read while hearing music?
Instrumentals are what I pull up on Spotify unless the author has a set playlist which is the first thing I search for when starting a new read. Life in NYC means public transportation for most of us which means…

18. One POV or multiple POV’s? (POV’s = Point of views)
Books with multiple POV’s tend to be my faves just cause I enjoy getting to know the characters better this way. It’s like getting a free pass to be in someones head…creepy I know smh but I enjoy these 🤷🏻‍♀️

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?
Multiple days, it’s rare that I read a book in one sitting but it has happened. Books with a train wreck I just can’t find it in me to tear my eyes away from Orrrrr a New Adult that sinks its teeth into me 💜

20. A book you’ve read because of the cover?

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman 

Not only are they STUNNING on the outside, without their dust jackets they’re actually great ice breakers hehe! sometimes they also invite unwanted attention from chatty strap hangers on the train but can you really blame them?!? If I saw this book naked, I’d be breaking my neck too bahhha! smh…

 Who do you tag?

Ashley @ Socially Awkward Bookworm.

Sofii @ A Book. A Thought

Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek

Danielle @ Books, Vertigo & Tea

Amy @ A Court Of Crowns and Quills

LaRonda @ Flying Paperbacks

Kayla @ Books and Blends

Sarah @ The Clever Reader

Kelly @ Just Another Book in the Wall

Inge @ The Belgian Reviewer

This was a fun tag & a great way to share some of my bookish secrets with you all (Thanks Mel!). I invite everyone who is interested to take a stab at it 😉 also, friendly reminder when tagging a fellow blogger, choose one of their posts to link back to so that they get a ping aka notification letting them know you tagged them or were tagged by them <3’s


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The Wonder Woman Book Tag

Diana Prince, my favorite Superhero of all time has a tag! I gave a silent YASSSSS & fist pump when I got the notification from the WONDERFUL Sarah over at The Clever Reader! Thank you Sarah, this warrior is ready! ❤ ❤ ❤

Wonder Woman: Your favorite badass female book character…

Vasya from The Bear and The Nightingale (my review) is the definition of a free spirit! she won’t let anyone dictate her path in life & she knows exactly what she doesn’t want. Vasya reminds me most of Brave’s Merida…

 

Fantasy Island: A book setting you want to escape to…

This may seem odd to some but for those who have read The Bone Witch (my review) & LOVED it…you probably fell for the LUSH beautiful world building Chupeco brought to life through the eyes of young Tea. The Bone Witch gives off Memoirs of a Geisha vibes & I’m SUPER stoked to escape to this world again with The Heart Forger...

 

London: A hyped book that let you down…

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert…this book had all the ingredients to be one of the books I’d end up loving but ultimately it just didn’t work out that way. I am however hoping that the follow up Tales of the Hinterland is more up my alley since I’m guessing it will focus more on the dark fairy tales.

 

 

Steve Trevor: A book that has a beautiful cover and a great story (i.e. good personality)…

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell (my GUSH review). Not only is the cover STUNNING with its embossed coiled dragon, but the story takes place in NYC during the 20’s which is my favorite time period in NYC History…think Gangs Of New York! The follow-up to The Last Magician will hit shelves this October, The Devil’s Thief looks like it will be just as AMAZING as TLM 🙂

 

Lasso of Truth: A book you hated…

Hate is such a strong work & I try not to use it on the regular but I will say that I highly disliked Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Its been YEARS since I read this book but it still maintains the spot on my Goodreads shelves as the only 1 star read. It all came down to plain boredom cause circus stories are actually some of my FAVES! (heart eyes at The Night Circus)..

 

 

Wonder Woman’s Shield: A book so sad that you need a shield…

Hands down They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (my review)…CONFESSION: I actually struggled to pick one of the 3 Adam Silvera books cause they all broke my heart into millions of little pieces. However, TBDATE was the only book I actually needed emotional support from my fellow blogging buddies via Twitter DM’s (thanks again Krysti @ YA & Wine & yawednesdays lol)…

 

Ares: a villain that is scary, but you can’t seem to hate them…

This was perhaps the toughest prompt for me because I tend to really dislike my villains (not counting anti-heroes) but after recently reading & becoming OBSESSED with To Kill a Kingdom (RTC), I’d have to say Lira the MC. TKAK is basically Ursula’s story w/out saying as much. Deliciously dark, this book introduced me to Lira who now holds a special place in my <3! Yes she’s a villain. Yes I love her. No I don’t feel bad about this HAHA!

The Amazons: A book that you wish had more/better LGBT+ representation…

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis (my review) means so much to me for personal reasons but it isn’t without its flaws. The relationship between Evan & another guy on the surface seems Ok but in reality it felt like a ton of pressure being placed on the MC coming out as Gay before he was ready. There’s a lot going on in this book & 13 year old Lilly would’ve found strength in Evan’s story. Still I am thankful to have read this book if only to reflect on how far I’ve come in my personal journey. Evan’s story is based on the authors real life experiences & so that would be something to keep in mind when thinking about picking up this read…not everyone’s journey is filled with supportive people.

Justice League: What superhero book friends do you tag…

 

Flavia @FlaviatheBibliophile

Beth@ReadingEveryNight

Melanie @Meltotheany

Ashley@Sociallyawkwardbookworm

Larkin@WonderfilledReads

Destiny @HowlingLibraries

Kristin@KristinKravesBooks

Jasmine @Jasmine’sReading

TheBookishChic

Raven @Dreamyaddictions

Kelly @AnotherBookintheWall

Tiana@ TheBookRaven

Amanda @PeaksandPages

Kelly@Kelly’sRambles

I decided to tag some of my closest book blogging buddies that I know enjoy tags along with some new to me book bloggers I’ve discovered over the past couple of days. Friendly reminder if you’re tagging other WordPress bloggers, please choose any of their posts to link back to otherwise they sadly won’t get the notification telling them you’ve tagged them (took me a minute to figure that one out haha!) but most of all, I hope you have fun with this one <3’s!

Review: The Armored Saint by Myke Cole

Title: The Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne #1)

Author: Myke Cole

Pub. Date: February 20th, 2018

Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy

Publisher: Tor Books

Pages: 208

Format: Physical ARC

*HUGE thanks to Tor Books and Myke Cole for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion

    

In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.

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I’m singing this books praises to you all today cause it is well worth it & so much more! coming in at 208pgs, The Armored Saint has to be one of the top Fantasy books I’ve read in a really long time. Set in a small town, we meet Heloise and her father Samson as they go about their every day routine  of earning their living. Samson is a man of letters & travels light with only his quills, paper, and ink pot. It is during one of their travels down the road that they encounter The Order who are the equivalent of soldiers, these men are to serve the throne & rid evil from the world. It is believed that demons on the other side of the living world can possess humans. When The Order stops Samson & Heloise it is to ask them for directions to a neighboring town. Seeing them out in full force is never a good sign & this scene pretty much set the tone for the rest of the book. We got to know both Heloise and Samson in that brief interaction & all of the events that took place after that encounter felt like a domino effect. The fear that these characters feel is palpable & the tension is so thick that I read this book at the edge of my seat hoping they’d all make it through. I realized that I wasn’t the only one, all of the townspeople were hoping they weren’t next to be accused of harboring demons…

“Suffer No Wizard To Live”

The “Veil” is compromised and so The Order must make rounds looking for those that show signs of being possessed. The townspeople follow the law or the ways of The Writ which is sort of like their bible & anyone caught speaking against it can be accused of being possessed by demons. I totally got The Crucible vibes while reading certain passages where the townspeople out of fear were made to look unto their neighbor for any behavior that wasn’t considered “normal.” The Order however, isn’t some by the book group of men looking to do good & banish evil. They abuse their power & hide behind the royal banner. Perhaps what makes them even more evil than the demons they’re trying to excorcise is that they don’t actually get their hands dirty when they find said evils. Instead they have what are called Knittings & no they’re not the kind your sweet grandmother partakes in…these are much more scarier. When someone is accused of being a wizard, The Order comes through lining up all of the towns people & under their order the people must take up pitchforks to kill the accused. Failure to comply places you & your loved ones in jeopardy of being accused of protecting a wizard & harboring evil magic.

The characters in this town have all known each other for many years & their children have all grown up together. Up until the day The Order came around their town, Heloise spent her days with her bff Basina talking about their futures. Her biggest fear was the more than platonic love she felt for Basina. However, on the road where she & her father faced The Order, Heloise was forced to age years in a matter of minutes. She saw her father in a new light, he was no longer the pillar of strength & safety every good father works so hard to have their child believe. He was just a man keeping his head down in order to keep her safe. The rebellion this stirred within Heloise led to what many considered reckless but in her defense, it seemed like it was out of her control whether she reacted or not. Heloise was someone who grew up believing in The Writ & what they did to rid the kingdom of all evil. When she starts seeing their actions in each town, it’s like a veil is lifted and the part of her that seeks justice takes over.

I truly thought this was just going to be a story about herd mentality and how easy it is to instill fear in a group of people to establish control. It is the aforementioned, however it’s also a story about heroes. Many of the characters in this story were actually selfless in time of need. Heloise wasn’t someone who fooled herself into thinking she could save everyone from The Order & many others who didn’t think they’d sacrifice their own safety to help another in need, stepped up to the plate. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this book! the characters & world building were so well fleshed out. The fantastical/supernatural elements made their presence known yet they didn’t overpower the characters. When we finally get to see truths come to light, I was left pleasantly surprised. There’s also discussion about sexuality & the judgment of others in a world where homosexuality is not accepted. With a bi-sexual MC and one of the supporting characters alluding to being Gay, I found myself getting very invested in Heloise & her journey. The Armored Saint is a FANTASTIC start to a new adult Fantasy series! & Myke Cole is now on my radar which means, I’m going to need to read all of the books I hope he’s already writing 🙂


Happy Monday Bookworms! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend with amazing reads. The Armored Saint hits shelves TOMORROW February 20th! & this is one you won’t want to miss <3’s!


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The Valentine’s Day Book Tag

The Valentine’s Day Book Tag was originally created by CC’s Books and As Told by Tina! & I was tagged by the wonderful Mel over at Mel To The Any <3! Thank you Mel XoXo! ❤  Now I know Valentine’s Day was yesterday & some may say that it’s over but…LOL! I don’t celebrate my Valentine’s til’ tomorrow Friday. Such are the woes of a city gal always on the go with two tiny humans 😉
I hope you all had wonderful day yesterday whether you celebrate the holiday or not cause I love ya! I had so much fun watching all of my IG stories and Booktube Q&A’s with significant others & Galantines. Next year I definitely want to squeeze in a date night with my BFF cause it’s been a minute…but I digress haha! onto the tag..

1. Stand Alone Book you love

Although If I’m really being honest here I really could go for more Eliza & her world *SOBS*

2. Dystopian Book you Love 

This book! Gah! Mesmerizing while at the same time carrying a deeper message. This is one you won’t want to miss out on. I am FULLY supporting & showing my love for this book for many reasons, the main one being that in this world Clayton has given us a society who loves all skin tones & complexions. The social commentary on body image & high standards set by this fictional society really mirrors our own. There’s also LGBTQIA+ rep with three of the characters, one of them plays a main role & sexuality in this society is fluid–two women marrying would be considered normal by their society as subtly mentioned in the book (my heart warmed when I read this). I LOVED This book to pieces!!!!

3. A book that you love but no one else talks about 

Why am I not seeing more Bookworms talking about this BEAUTIFUL gem of a book?!?! for all but especially those who enjoy literary fiction from time to time…this YA book about 3 generations of women will warm your heart & leave you smiling! almost entirely made up of female MC’s this book covers an older matriarch, her children & her grandchildren…GAH! LOVED it & want to see more books like this one hit our shelves 🙂

4. Favorite Book Couple 

 Mustang & Darrow- Red Rising Saga…these two are fierce alone & together they’re a force to be reckoned with.

5. Book that other people love but you haven’t gotten around to read 

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor...with reason Bookworms LOL! Laini is one of my top 3 fave authors & I just couldn’t bear the wait til the sequel but now that we have cover art, guess what time it is?!?! (U.K. cover for Muse of Nightmares has yet to be released but this stunner down below is already giving it a run for my $$$)

6. A book with Red on the cover 

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas, a recent add-on to my BOTM box that I am really looking forward to reading soon 🙂

7. A book with Pink on the cover 

 A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena. My awesome friend Flavia over at Flaviathebibliophile was kind enough to get me a arc copy of this book signed by the author! & I am over the moon happy to get started on it very soon 🙂

8. You were given a book of chocolate what fictional boyfriend/girlfriend would give them to you. 

ummm well after this last book (Iron Gold) I don’t know how I’d receive this gesture but I think if Darrow walked up to me with some chocolates I’d be lying if I told you I’d say no….#jussayin

9. You are Single on Valentine’s Day. What Book would you read? What TV show would you watch? What Movie would you watch?

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne which I haven’t read yet but the hype is real & it seems ideal for the day & as for what I’d watch… It’s a tie btwn Sleepless in Seattle and Love & Basketball < ❤ ❤ ❤

10. You are in the Book Store. All of the sudden you get shot with an arrow by Cupid. What New Release will you love. 

Easily Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda cause the Universe has been screaming BLOODY READ IT ALREADY! @ me 😉 oh & BTW I’m counting this because the new special edition released 1/30  includes new Simon and Blue emails, a behind-the-scenes scrapbook from the Love, Simon movie set, and Becky Albertalli in conversation with fellow authors Adam Silvera and Angie Thomas….basically all of my faves Gushing about this book *eeeeeK*

11. Spread the Love Who do you tag? 

On every other tag I usually list a few but I am a day late with this so instead I’ll say…you’ve all been tagged by me 😉
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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