Hello Bookworms! a part of me wanted to believe I could abstain from buying or collecting books in any shape or form in May… what with BEA/Bookcon right around the corner first week of June SMH. Things didn’t quite pan out that way & May ended up being the month of book mail/approvals every other day. This isn’t the norm around these parts haha! but nonetheless I rolled with it & also finally purged my shelves of some books to make space for new stories…
*Both FURYBORN & To Kill A Kingdom were 5 star reads, so happy to have them on my shelves! Girls’ Night Out is the only physical arc I received in May, super excited for this one since the thriller/suspense bug has finally bitten me 🙂
*Here’s where I started justifying my purchases smh…I have physical copies of Astonishing Color & Hating Game but I just couldn’t resist a good Kindle deal ($1.99) & said why not?!?
No words…well maybe a few 😂 I can honestly say I’m excited over each & every one of these titles. I’ve already rated Bruja Born 5 EPIC stars!!! Scream All Night is not a book I’d gravitate towards cause spooky and I don’t mix. However, the publisher reached out after reading my review of The Dangerous Art Of Blending In & sold me on this book! Both What If It’s Us & Blanca Y Roja are on my HIGHLY anticipated list. Adam Silvera & Anna-Marie McLemore are two of my FAVORITE YA authors, ANYTHING they write is a MUST read for this Bookworm! 💜
Sprayed edges is almost always a win for me but Onyx & Ivory is one of those book I’ve really been looking forward to. This box was a slam dunk! from the beautiful book sleeve to the practical lip scrub I had heart eyes while unboxing 😍 the art print is STUNNING & I’m already using the page flags 💜 my least favorite item is perhaps the tea once again 🤷🏻♀️😂
I hope you’re all having a wonderful day while squeezing in a good read or two along the way! 💜 if you’ve read any of the books I’ve posted here & think I should boost up on my TBR, drop a comment down below 💜
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’sBook 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.
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)! 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼
Content warning: pedophilia, addiction, drug use, gambling, death, loss of a loved one, torture, and violence (Huge thanks to Melanie for these)
*HUGE thanks to Harlequin Teen, Edelweiss, and Amanda Foody for the ARC copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.
Fast paced with many reveals along the way, Ace of Shades takes off running from the first page when we meet Enna Salta as she arrives in the city of Sin, New Reynes. She’s the perfect picture of propriety and the education to back it but all that won’t help her in a city where street smarts are the only creds of value. Enna Abacus Salta is searching for answers that will lead her to her mother Lourdes who’s been missing for the past two months. She never imagined that a name on a card left behind by Lourdes would lead her straight into the heart of gang territory. Even less, that it would be the start to uncovering many lies & truths about herself and the woman who raised her as if she were her own daughter.
Enna finds her way to Levi Glaisyer who is leader of the Irons, and at the moment quite busy trying to scrounge up $$$ for an investment scam gone wrong. Levi is not trying to take on Enna’s mission to find Lourdes even though the name does strike a chord in a way that spells trouble. Enna is determined to find out what Levi knows but isn’t prepared for the consequences that come with being associated with him and his gang.
We follow Enna & Levi through alternating POV chapters as they realize helping each other is beneficial & in both their best interest. What ensues is a race against the clock that takes us through casinos, cabarets, dark alleys, meetings with mob bosses, and one sick twisted game from which only one player in history has ever won.
“New Reynes: red lights that flashed without flame, women of loose morals dancing on street corners in sparkling, skin-tight corsets, gambling dens beckoning passersby with seedy smiles and the allure of fast fortune.”
Pictures for aesthetic are from Pinterest,not my own
Enne Abacus Salta is already proving to be one of those characters you either love or hate. Personally I found Enna to be entertaining & full of hope. For starters, everyone in this world is born with an inherited talent from each of their parents. Their last names typically tell which talent their family carries. Enne has both Arithmetic and dance talent, with dance being her blood talent making it the strongest of the two. These talents haven’t really helped Enne much in her school of dance where she is considered low rank. The Salta’s aren’t one of the more prestigious families however Lourdes has made sure Enna attends the best of the best schools. Feeling like she’s always had to prove her worth, life in New Reynes sees her fortune take a turn. I LOVE well developed characters & authors who aren’t afraid to take their faves and turn their lives upside down. Enna is completely out of her element when she arrives in the city of Sin, within minutes of arrival she’s had to ditch all of her personal belongings. Walking away with just a welcome guide to New Reynes that she treats like a bible. Some may call her annoyingly naive, I found her evolution to be realistic. Also, the fact that she didn’t break decorum even when feeling the charm of Levi was hella impressive! Cause I think even I would’ve given in #jussayin 😂😳
Levi Glaisyer so much to say about this gift of a character! Levi is our black bi-sexual MC who also happens to be the leader of the gang known as the Irons. I’ve seen rumblings of this character being compared to Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows which I find to be a unfair comparison. These two guys could not be more polar opposites, nor do I think he was intended to mimic our beloved Kaz. Levi isn’t the don who everyone fears, he is simply a guy who dreams of building an empire. He’s gained the respect of a few and as a boss that means many have sworn an oath to him. These oaths are more than spoken word & are actually binding in this world. His specific gang is known for their expertise in the casinos, gamblings and swindling. If he’s not busy casino hopping stacking chips, he’s politicking with other influential players in the game. Perhaps what I loved MOST about this character was the fact that he wasn’t made to be this hardened criminal unable to show a more vulnerable side. Levi is heavily flawed, not only can’t he say no to the possibility of winning another hand at the tables but he also can’t resist a pretty face. With a wardrobe filled with the clothes of his romantic flings…
“Levi had a long romantic history of scattered affairs-a few girls and many boys-that had become the subject of teasing from his friends. They claimed he had a hopeless habit of kissing and telling”
It’s interesting how you’re led to believe at first that Levi is made for this lifestyle…yet it’s Enne who seems to have a natural hack for it 😉
There are a few supporting characters to get invested in & some nefarious ones to keep an eye on. Interestingly enough, Enna’s mother Lourdes plays a major role in the progression of the story even though we don’t actually see her as she is M.I.A. We learn so much about Lourdes who is gender fluid with a passion for journalism & social justice.
A solid start to a new Fantasy, Ace of Shades offers up a new setting sure to entice those who with a love for mobster stories & casino settings. I’m a fan of Cabaret, Moulin Rouge, Chicago, Gangs of New York, Goodfellas, Six of Crows..I LOVE them all! which made this book a MUST read & I’m very thankful to the publisher for sending a copy my way. Foody brought New Reynes to life with vivid descriptions of the gaudy clothing worn on Sweetie Street & the different territories run by either the Irons, Scarhands, or Doves. Dropping a character like Enne into this setting with nothing but a guide of the Do’s & Don’ts of New Reynes was brilliant! experience alone is now molding Enne into a completely different person & I can’t wait to see who she is in the next book. Same goes for Levi who we see walk away a completely different man than when we first met him. There are a ton of other players in the game & some hella intriguing supporting characters like Jac & Lola that were really fleshed out. The only reason I gave it 4 stars (still HIGHLY enjoyable) was because the magic system paired up with the history of the Revolution and a Great Street War that took place in New Reynes felt overwhelming when first trying to settle into this new world. The allure in Ace of Shades is STRONG! & once I got into the story, I found it hard to put down for long. I can only see this story getting better & I’m excited to see what the future holds for Enne, Levi, and the Irons ♠️
Happy Monday Bookworms! hope you all had a wonderful weekend & read all the good books 💜 are you planning on picking up a copy of Ace of Shades? if you’ve already read Ace of Shades, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below 💜
*HUGE thanks to Ace and Mark Lawrence for the early finished copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of Sweet Mercy Nona must choose her path and take the red of a Martial Sister, the grey of a Sister of Discretion, the blue of a Mystic Sister or the simple black of a Bride of the Ancestor and a life of prayer and service.
All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the ambition of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a blade, and the vengeance of the empire’s richest lord.
As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she has sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pull of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.
And in all this only one thing is certain.
There will be blood.
Grey Sister was on my highly anticipated list of sequels being released in 2018 after reading & loving Red Sister (my review here) to pieces last year. The main protagonist Nona still remains one of my all time favorite kick a** females I’ve come across on the page. If you’re primarily a YA Fantasy reader but have been curious & feeling the urge to dip your toes into the waters of adult fantasy then I’d say please start here! If you’ve been looking for more books featuring positive female friendships, please start here! & if you are a lover of school settings where magic & martial arts come together, please start here! If you’re looking for positive LGBTQIA+ representation in Fantasy, please start here! I was one of those readers intimidated by adult fantasy because of the vast world building & discovering Mark Lawrence will always be one of the best reader moments in my bookworm life. The complexities of the world building once again felt weightless when I picked up Grey Sister which speaks to the talent behind the pen. The inclusion (before the prologue) of a quick run-down of the major happenings in Red Sister is a wonderful courtesy to readers & so appreciated by this bookworm!
Hunska: Speed (faster than your average human)
Gerrant: Physically large & strong
Marjal: ability to do magic on a smaller scale
Quantal: ability to walk the path & more complex magic
*Nona is a rare triple blood having Hunska, Marjal, and Quantal abilities
Novices have 10 years to complete training & take orders as one of the four classes “Holy Sister (entirely religious duties), Grey Sister/Sister of Discretion (trained in assassination and stealth), Red Sister/Martial Sister (trained in combat), Holy Witch/Mystic Sister (trained to walk the path)”
When we pick up, Nona has moved up to Mystic class (she’s completed both Red & Grey Class) and is on her way to becoming one of the illest Red Sisters alive. Sweet Mercy is still her home where she trains alongside friends and foes. Classes are way more intense & so are the rivalries but this time is a little different. Nona has a unwelcome companion that adds a bit of dark humor to the mix & I found myself laughing out loud at his “words of encouragement”🤦🏻♀️one thing does remain the same, Nona may be fierce as hell but she is still willing to forgive those who have wronged her. Friendship is once again center stage & is one of the things I love most about this series. Nona has pretty much had to create her own family within Sweet Mercy, her sisters are all she has. We see the return of some favorites while they mourn the loss of others & cope with the betrayal of those they thought most loyal. For Nona, letting go of the past without answers to the questions haunting her every move is just not an option. This book sees Nona take action and go after those corrupt leaders in the Empire who are thirsty for more power.
We also got to see more of our favorite teachers in action alongside Nona & crew. This time around there’s also more opposition from some of the teachers who’d rather Nona be released from her duties in Sweet Mercy. Nonetheless, Abbess Glass (reminds me a bit of Dumbledore hehe) is fair & just, taking a rather protective stance over Nona who she knows has no ties to the outside world. Revenge is a recurrent theme, Nona is out to get hers while also being sought out for her actions in Red Sister. Nona’s character development is perhaps one of the best aspects of this series. She’s no longer the 8 year old we met at the gallows in book 1, she’s matured into a teenager who is learning how to manage her demons. If you’ve been around my blog for a minute, it’s no secret I admire Nona and Grey Sister only amplified my love for this character. If she wasn’t dealing with her new Nemesis in Sweet Mercy (who btw made me want to jump through the book and back up my girl Nona), you could probably find her in the caves underneath Sweet Mercy with her friends, plotting her next moves.
My favorite parts were seeing Nona both prep and actually go through the Shadow Trial, in Sweet Mercy these convent games determine your passage to the next class. The ingenuity she mustered up in the face of truly devious competition had me smiling from ear to ear rooting her on. The action sequences have a cinematic feel making it very easy to picture & get caught up in the moment. Lawrence takes us along on Nona’s journey through the ranks, her victories and failures are truly felt on the pages. The villains in this installment have been identified on the chess board but I have a feeling Lawrence has a few more tricks up his sleeve for the final installment in this trilogy, Holy Sister. The Book of the Ancestor is set to wrap up in 2019 with Holy Sister already completed 🤗 SUPER STOKED to see how it all ends & seeing Nona in all her Red Sister glory!
Buddy read with the wonderful Melanie from Meltotheany, seriously bookworms if you’re not following her you’re missing out on some of the BEST EPIC reviews & insight in the blogosphere & Goodreads 💜
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 Albertafter 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 💜
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…
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
*HUGE thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and Claire Legrand for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion
I was initially drawn to Furyborn when I heard it features two queens 1,000 years apart that are somehow connected…curious about the format of writing & just how exactly the author pulls it off, I knew I had to pick this one up. As fate would have it, I was asked to join a buddy read & thought to myself ahhh well this is just Kismet! It’s been 2 weeks since I finished this book & I can’t get it out of my head, it was that awesome! my review/rating is based on my enjoyment of the story, characters, and world-building. Were there some flaws? sure. Will I be continuing on with this trilogy? ABSOFRIGGINLUTELY! 💜
Told in multiple POVS’ we get introduced to both Queen Rielle & Eliana as they live out what has been prophesied without their knowledge. In what has to be one of the BEST Prologues I’ve ever read, we get a blast from Rielle’s past as her journey comes to an end (not a spoiler, Rielle lived 1,000 years ago & Eliana is present day) & also serves as the jumping board for many theories.
Before Rielle became Queen, she lived with her father who served the royal family. Rielle is very powerful & her abilities are a source of great concern for her father who keeps her indoors as much as possible. With the help of Tal a Firebrand (I kid you not this guy gives off Hunger Games Haymitch vibes later on in the book 😂), Rielle trains to control her abilities. However, Rielle isn’t one to be controlled & has taken a interest in horse races on the low (not betting on them, she full out has a alias as a rider). It’s actually something she shares in common with the crown Prince Audric & during one of their races, Rielle thwarts an attempt to kill Prince Audric led by men in disguise. In doing so, Rielle exposes her abilities to wield more than one elemental magic. In a land filled with Windsingers, Earth Shakers, Firebrands, Metal Masters, & Sun Spinners…those who posses magic in their blood can only wield one type. However, there is a prophecy the people of Celdaria know well…
“Two Queens will rise. They will carry the power of the seven. They will carry your fate in their hands. Two Queens will rise”
Rielle’s exposure brings focus to the prophecy which also speaks of the return of humankind’s #1 enemy, the angels. Angels have been kept away from mankind ever since the Gate was built to keep them out. Although it is just a prophecy, the kingdom is forced to take it seriously & so Rielle must go through the Seven Trials. These trials are designed by the heads of each elemental magic & the purpose is to see whether Rielle is the prophesied Sun Queen (or Blood Queen)…
Via alternating chapters. 1,000 years in the future we follow Eliana aka the “Dread Of Orline” who is really just trying to keep herself & her family alive. Eliana works for the Emperor by finding & bringing back anyone who is against him, especially any rebels from Red Crown. Skilled with her weapons Arabeth, Whistler, Tempest, Nox, and Tuora there really is no stopping her. She has fully flipped the switch on her humanity by capturing innocents in exchange for a safe home & coin to eat. Eliana’s present day world is one without magic, the time & seven trials of Queen Rielle are just fairy tales. This all changes when her mother is kidnapped and her whole world is turned upside down. Her hunt for those who abducted her mother along with many of the young females in the area, place her on a crash course with Rebel Captain Simon. Nothing is as it seems in the Empire & Simon carries many pieces of the puzzle…
Rielle Dardenne & Eliana Ferracora are the main protagonists in this dual POV story & although their stories take place 1,000 years apart, their lives run parallel pulling off the whole “fates aligned” vibe really well. Both Rielle & Eliana are rebels at ♥️ & they both are also able to manipulate the seven elements. It took some warming up to Eliana but I soon realized it was all a part of her character’s personal growth. Since I spoke so much of these two in my 411 portion up above, this section will focus more on the MOST amazing side characters you’re going to want to meet…
Remy Ferracora aka Eliana’s little brother who loves to bake & read books was after my 💜! he loves Fantasy & everyone he comes across is drawn to him like honey…I LOVE REMY! 😄
“What is this child, who knows so much of the world?” Her expression turned tender. “Oh, sweet one. You are a dreamer, a teller of tales. I see that now. You ache for magic, and for all those golden giants of the past.” Remy flushed with pleasure. “Before the invasion,” he said eagerly, “people stole books from the temples, so they wouldn’t be destroyed. I buy them whenever I can and read them all.”
Audric the Lightbringer akaRielle’s love interest aka the Crown Prince but it wasn’t always this way. Audric, Rielle, and Ludivine have been friends since they were children and have such a beautiful realtionship that at times gave me Polyamory vibes #jussayin Audric also happens to be a Sun Spinner and can wield the power of the sun with his sword Illuminor.
Ludivine aka Lu is BFF’s with Rielle & she also happens to be Audric’s cousin/betrothed…yea as we all know, the royal families loved to keep it all in the family. Lu comes from a noble family with a great army that would be beneficial for the Kingdom. I LOVE Lu! she’s everything a BFF should be 💜
Simon half angel/half human is shrouded in secrecy & adamant on making sure he has his eye on Eliana at all times. Simon has been through a lot & he didn’t ask for any of it! he is broken & I want nothing more than to see him get his happy ending 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼
Corien I’m still unsure how I feel about this character, he’s pretty angry & manipulative. I can only assume we’ll get to know his intentions in the next book & I am hella curious! 👀
Navi akathe Princess of Astavar & genuinely one of those people who radiates goodness. Simon is on a mission to get Navi back to her kingdom which to date has remained free from the Emperor’s rule. Navi LOVES her people & they in turn love her! she embraces Eliana & treats her like a sister.
Zahra aka The Wraith!!!! 💜💜💜 I only know of one other wraith I LOVE to pieces & ever since Inej walked out of my life, there’s been this hole! 😭 Whelp, she’s not Inej but Zahra is just as awesome! she’s a protector through & through making sure the refugees that have escaped the clutches of the Emperor are safe. There were some theories on Zahra’s true identity in our buddy read & I’m stoked to see more of her!
Thoughts I have a plenty! In Furyborn we get two EPIC MC’s and their seperate yet forever linked stories. Fast paced with never a dull moment, it was easy to follow the 1,000 year jump between each chapter. The world is so well fleshed out that the stark differences in the land & it’s people is sobering when you’re in Eliana’s timeline. A ton has happened since Rielle’s rule & magic has been done away with by order of the Emperor. As I was reading, I found myself really enjoying Rielle’s chapters & that was probably my love of everything magical at work but I also got invested in the movement taking place in present time. These characters are heavily flawed & morally ambiguous with tons of growth along the way. We get our dose of hot & steamy sexual tension but perhaps what really got me handing out an applause was the discussion of contraceptives! we don’t get enough of this let alone in a Fantasy book 💜 Both MC’s are Bi-sexual, they express interest in the same sex & are attracted to other women. Neither of them is romantically paired off with the same sex & yet that doesn’t take away from their sexuality. I found myself really appreciating the subtle messages Legrand weaved into Furyborn. If you’re looking for a Feminist kick a** Fantasy with characters you won’t forget, this is one you’re not going to want to miss! 💜💜💜
*Quotes taken from ARC provided by the publisher may be subject to change by publication date
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.
This past week I participated in a group buddy read for a book that I loved to pieces! I also started one of my MOST anticipated reads for 2018 & have been absorbed within its pages (more on that down below) which probably means there will be a GUSH review coming your way. I don’t know about you Bookworms but 2018 has been SOOOOO good to me with the books I’ve been picking up. Maybe it’s because I’m being a lot more tougher on myself with the books on my TBR & those I request, but it’s been a great January & February soooo let’s cross our fingers & hope for an even better March 😉
Heart Of Iron by Ashley Poston
Last week I embarked on a fun & fast paced Sci-Fi journey that was Heart Of Iron. I rated this book 3.5 stars which is still a really good rating from me…I feel like 3 star ratings get such bad rep but in my book, anything above 3 stars is considered enjoyable. If this gets turned into a series I will definitely continue on with this story. If you enjoyed The Lunar Chronicles, chances are you’ll enjoy this new adventure. I LOVED the characters & history introduced, I just wanted them to be more fleshed out because I found them to be so interesting. Heart of Iron will hit shelves tomorrow 2/27, my review may be viewed here.
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
I’m going to trrrrrry & control myself in this post when it comes to this book. I LOOOOOVED this book *inserts Toy Story reference* to INFINITY & BEYOND!!!! I had the pleasure of buddy reading TKAK with Melanie at Meltotheany, Destiny at Howling Libraries, Jules, and Wren at Fables & Wren who are all phenomenal Book lovers & Bloggers! I will have a spoiler free GUSH review up by Thursday 3/1.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
I had a feeling I would enjoy this book but nothing could’ve prepared me for the love I already have in my ❤ for these characters. I’m only 135 pages in & have already shed a few discreet tears on the subway. I’m walking around with page flags Bookworms! yeah this tome is chock full of info, the world is rich & deeply layered. My understanding of the religion COBAB is influenced by only deepens my attachment to this story. Vulture recently interviewed Adeyemi (Vulture) & when asked about her research for this book, she recalls a visit to a shop in Brazil. A visit that led her to discovering a poster with 9 African Gods & being taken aback because all her life she had only seen white Gods. This is where the idea for COBAB started formulating & I found this to be super interesting because I grew up learning about these Saints/Angels. I won’t know til’ I finish reading but it’s looking like this book may just make it into my Top of 2018 🙂
Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand
On March 1st. I will be joining a buddy read for this highly anticipated book & I’m SUPER stoked! no, seriously Bookworms! I already penned it into my planner with a cute little reading girl sticker which means it’s GOING DOWWWWWN! Haha! when a Goodreads blurb starts off with “Follows two fiercely independent young women”it’s pretty much a given that I will want to read said book lol so I have my fingers crossed this will be yet another hit in my book cause I’m on a roll *knocks on wood*…don’t judge me 😉
Happy Monday Bookworms! hope you all had a wonderful weekend & that you discovered your next best read 💜 What have you recently finished reading? plan on reading next? Sound off in the comments below 💗 ‘s!
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..
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 $$$)
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 😉
*HUGE thanks to Disney Hyperion, Netgalley and Dhonielle Clayton for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion
The Belles is the type of book that will sink it’s teeth into you without you ever noticing. The opening scene sets the stage for this lush & colorful world, leaving you hypnotized by all Orléans has to offer. The Belles are introduced to us readers & the royal court on their 16th birthday. Beautiful carriages stream in one by one, each carrying a Belle named after a specific flower. Each one will be introduced to the royal family & each one will hope to be chosen as the “Favorite.” The Favorite will solely tend to the needs of the royal family while the others are assigned to the different tea houses in the land where they will provide a service. Born with a special gift, The Belles are the only ones that can bring beauty to a otherwise gray world & people. Their services are sought out by the wealthy who can afford to pay the hefty price for beauty.
“Belles are the descendants of the Goddess of Beauty, blessed with the Arcana to enhance the world and rescue the people of Orléans”
We are introduced to our MC Camellia Beauregard whose mother once was the Royal family’s Favorite, and whose footsteps she hopes to follow. Camellia & her sisters are recieved by the court with great celebration, a vote will be cast for the Favorite. Camellia wants the coveted position of Favorite more than anything in the world but so does her closest sister Ambrosia. Both Camellia & Ambrosia have shown great skill with their power called the Arcana, a power that is not without it’s consequences if misused. The Royal family is hiding many secrets & The Belles are unfortunately pawns used to maintain appearances. The Favorite will find herself pushing the limits of the Arcana at the risk of her own destruction. Filled with plot twists and political intrigue, this book had me on my toes trying to figure out the next move in the game.
“Always remember that emotions are tethered to the blood, and the blood is where your gifts are. Any excess passion can cause contamination and too much pressure. It can damage the Arcana. I cannot stress this enough.”
We’re introduced to Camellia, Ambrosia, Edelweiss, Padma, Valeria, and Hana on their 16th birthday. Although each one doesn’t get a ton of page time, their personalities definitely jumped off the page, some more than others. The MC Camellia has a reputation for being a rebel & going against the rules set for The Belles, she’s very unpredictable. Camellia wants nothing more than to follow in her mother’s footsteps, she is ambitious & confident in her Arcana. I enjoyed meeting a MC who walked into the story with confidence & determination, she refused to allow self doubt to creep in. Camellia’s only real competition is Ambrosia who she is most closest to having been raised together by their Mamans aka Mothers. The Belles for the most part get along well & treat each other like sisters. They’ve been raised together since infancy & so we see the typical sibling rivalry take place but none as complicated as Camellia & Ambrosia’s relationship. They cheer each other on & look-out for one another but they both desire a position only one can hold.
Edelweiss is probably my most favorite besides Camellia, she cares not for being a Belle & would much rather see the world. We see Edelweiss often challenge Madame Du Barry who is head of their house & responsible for their training. I really enjoyed seeing how far Edelweiss would push the limits, very outspoken & quick to set any of her sisters straight, she quickly became one of my favorite characters in this book. There is one other supporting character that deserves mention, Rémy who is assigned to protect & watch over Camellia. Although there is no romance between Camellia & Rémy in this book, there is some budding chemistry between the two. Rémy is loyal, the kind of guy who is hard on the exterior but mush for those he loves. I appreciated that he wasn’t made out to be some raging jealous guy once he saw Camellia’s actual “love interest” come around, he respected her space.
The villain…cause it wouldn’t be a Fantastical world without one amiright?!?! Ha! Princess Sophia, daughter to the Queen & King of Orléans will make anyone’s blood go cold just by looking their way. Cruel, Vain, implacable, and unpredictable. She’s also one of the smartest villains I’ve met in YA Fantasy, always ten steps ahead of the game. She is calculating & mainpulative & many times left me asking myself “does she know?” Princess Sophia plays her cards close to her chest & what she does and doesn’t know is a source of tension for both the reader and those in her court.
The first impression I got when I read the first page of this book was beauty would be splattered everywhere!!! In the fashion, foods, and streets of Orléans and that it was! giving off Hunger Games Capital vibes, you are sucked into the MOST colorful & opulent world guaranteed to leave you eyeing the closest pastry shop. The world building was A+ but perhaps my only complaint is that the magic system isn’t throughly broken down early on. This book is quite hefty and that means that for the first half you are only holding certain pieces of knowledge on the way things work with The Belles. We know that their treatments are temporary fixes & that only the wealthy can really afford them & the maintenance that goes along with it. The consequences of pushing the limits however, isn’t disclosed in the first half of the book. It wasn’t too complex of a system at all to understand, I just wish we had been given more of it towards the beginning. There is a TON of information that is revealed towards the end, the second half of the book is absolutely much faster paced than the first. That being said, I cannot deny the lure of this world & how I couldn’t put the book down for long. The rich color palette encompassing all skin colors/tones used by the Belles to treat the Gray, signified the lack of racism in this book. However, classism is well & alive in The Belles where only the wealthy can afford to receive treatments while the less fortunate walk around Gray & drained of life. There are also three characters from the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, one who is Bi-sexual & the other two are Lesbian (won’t say who cause spoilers). Orléans is a world where LBTQIA+ and people of color live well among others without discrimination. I LOVED the commentary on beauty & societal standards this book brings to the forefront! Camellia loves being a Belle & bringing color to peoples lives but then there are those who are never satisfied…
Hello Bookworms! hope you’re all having a wonderful day & enjoying all of your current reads, has The Belles made its way onto your TBR’s? Thoughts? The Belles will be out on February 6th. 2018 🙂
Trigger Warnings: Suicide, Islamophobia & Hate Crime
*Thank you Soho Teen and Samira Ahmed for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion
It’s been weeks since I finished this book & yet the feelings that stirred within me are still very raw. Last year I praised The Hate U Give along with many of my fellow book blogging buddies, and still do. This year although it is only the beginning, I confidently recommend Love, Hate & Other Filters as a MUST READ! We alternate between two storylines, that of Maya a young Indian-American Muslim trying to navigate her way through her wants & her families beliefs and a suicide bomber leading up to a horrific event. Maya’s first passion in life has always been Film, she wants to make movies & to get to that she has chosen to apply to NYU Tisch. Maya’s parents really just want her to marry a suitable/respectable Muslim guy…preferably one they’ve chosen. The life they’ve imagined for Maya doesn’t quite align with the life she has already set her sights on & is actively pursuing. Maya also can’t help her feelings towards a Caucasian boy she has known since their childhood. Phil has just recently started making it a bit more clear where his feelings lie towards Mya & that means Mya’s parents match-making will take a back seat. We see Mya try to respect her parents wishes by going on a date with a boy they consider suitable. We also see Mya firmly hold on to her dreams for the future even when that meant going against the grain. We also follow the suicide bomber in this story briefly as he calls upon memories of his childhood. We are left to speculate whether certain people & abuse lead him to the path he is now on. We also see the effects of the suicide bombing & the Islamophobia both Mya and her parents face immediately after the horrific crime. Filled with culture, sweet moments, awesome characters, family ties, sadness, hate, & other filters….this is one you’re not going to want to miss!
Our MC Maya is seriously a go-getter! passionate & in love with life itself, Maya was inspirational to me. I learned so much from Maya, she had a very “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it” type of attitude without even knowing it if that makes any sense. Maya may feel most comfortable behind the lens of a camera but her passion for film & capturing all of life’s moments will also be her strength. We see very real moments with her parents where at times she feels bad for the bad communication & lack of understanding. I did find myself sympathizing with her parents at times but also wanting Maya to do what makes her happy. Although Maya’s parents weren’t exactly supportive of her passion for film, you can also see how much they love their daughter & just want what’s best for her. I personally didn’t agree with their approach but could see it didn’t come from a bad place but rather from genuine concern & love. Maya’s mother is very much stuck between the life she left behind & life raising a teen in America. All very real struggles that I enjoyed seeing included in this book.
Stand-out supporting character would go to Maya’s aunt who is living her life in a very non-traditional way. She isn’t married and has no kids but is very much happy with single life living on her own. Maya’s aunt is very supportive of her and will often go up to bat for her niece. I LOVED see their relationship & seeing Maya have such a positive role model in her life.
As for the guys in Maya’s love life…Kareem who is the guy Maya’s parents set her up on a date with ended up being one of my fave characters for very different reasons. I never shipped these two but LOVED Kareem’s personality to pieces! & as for Phil who is Maya’s childhood crush, I liked him enough & had thoughts on how this ship would sail and I’m so glad I was right! ultimately these characters were in Maya’s life to guide her along to where she needs to be 😉
All throughout Love, Hate & Other Filters we toggle between Maya’s story & the suicide bomber which was really sobering. I don’t want to go into too much detail in regards to the suicide bomber since that would be spoilery. I will say however, that the way it was written into this story was done so well & will hopefully have you self reflect. I most definitely will be reading more from this author & cannot recommend this book enough! I love when characters are fleshed out through their hobbies & interests which was flawlessly done with our MC Maya. The classic Film references Maya makes throughout her day to day made me root harder for her to follow her dreams. Ahmed doesn’t simply tell us what Maya enjoys & wants to be in life, she takes us along giving us a view through Maya’s lens. I experienced both feelings of happiness & anger reading this book, both of which were necessary when trying to see things through Maya’s POV. By the time I read the last page, I walked away with a feeling that can’t be described as anything else but hope. Hope for change…
Hello Bookworms!!! Happy Tuesday, I hope you’re all having a wonderful day. If you’re like me then you’re just getting back to the daily grind after a 3 day weekend. It’s tough & what better way to get back in the flow of things than a GIVEAWAY?!?!? I’m giving away 1 hardcover copy of this wonderful book & all you need to do is comment down below & follow my blog. I will also give 1+ point for each follow on Instagram & Twitter. This giveaway is open to international Bookworms as well & will run until January 21st 💜 Happy reading & may the luck be with thee…