The Cruel Prince Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Holly Black

Publication: January 2nd 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 370

Rating: 5/5

GoodReads

It’s official! I finally did it! I read the Cruel Prince MWAHAHAHA

Ahem . . . but I also have a confession. I ended up annotating this book – GASP!!! I couldn’t help it!!! One moment I was on BookTube browsing through some reviews and I happened to come across an annotation video and down the rabbit hole I went!! But truth be told, I kind of enjoyed my experience . . . cause I had a lot to say about this book!!! LOL

Summary (from GoodReads):

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Characters:

Jude – Intelligent; Defiant; Determined: In a highly dangerous and political world where her kind are treated with the least amount of respect or acknowledgement, I was amazed at the level of endurance and strength she had to maintain her composure and also fight back when necessary. I loved seeing her internal battles as well where she tries to navigate through the world and determine whether she has the qualities of a human or Fae.

nehemia

Prince Cardan – Wicked; Cruel and Arrogant; I am not sure what to think of Prince Cardan since his treatment of other beings (faerie or mortal) are completely vile and absurd. Although there were moments where I noticed he does have his limits and you do have some sort of empathy towards him, I still do not consider him to be a completely good character – he seems to operate in the gray line . . .

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Final Thoughts

So the Cruel Prince is the first in the Folk of the Air series by Holly Black who is basically referred to as the Queen of Faerie stories and I can see why! This book was absolutely captivating from the start! Within the first 50 pages, the characters and plot already evoked so much emotion from me that I pretty much sensed that this was going to be a five star read. I just could not put it down. Holly Black’s writing is so addictive that I found myself reading one page after another which soon turned into late night reading routine! I have no regrets!

This book was definitely more political than other YA fantasy novels I have read and I found that aspect to be quite refreshing. Throughout the course of the novel, Holly Black was able to place so many bread crumbs hinting at the upcoming climatic moment and she was able to do this so cleverly.  AND OMG the amount of twists and turns within this novel had my mind spinning – in a good way of course! There were times when I literally gasped!

On a side note, I found that annotating this book to be really helpful since I was able to read more carefully and fully immerse myself into this fantasy world. I think annotating also helped me retain more info and capture all the details since there was a lot of topics, issues, plot points which were discussed that underlining, tabbing and using index cards and post-it notes really helped me to read more carefully and I found it to be a great experience. I am not sure whether I will continue to annotate all my books but perhaps the ones which I know I am for sure going to enjoy.

But overall, I really enjoyed reading this first novel of this series and I will for sure continue on with the other books!

Have any of you read the Cruel Prince? What were your thoughts on it?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Can you guys believe it is already July??? LIKE HOW?? I felt like the new year just began!! It’s crazy!!! Can time slow down for a second? Please have mercy on this poor soul . . .

Ahem. So since we are mid way through the year, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to do this tag! Thank you so much to the lovely Jane @ BloggerBooks for tagging me! And please check out her blog, because it is absolutely amazing and I love all our bookish conversations!

This tag was originally created by ReadLikeWildfire and Earl Grey Books. Without further ado, let’s jump into the questions!

1. Best Book You’ve Read so Far in 2019

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Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

OMG. This was so far the best read of 2019. I loved everything about it: the plot, the characters, the setting, the banter, the character dynamics/ growth, etc. It was all done so well! This series definitely made Kerri Maniscalco as one of my favorite authors of all time! She is absolutely brilliant and if you have not picked up the series yet, I highly recommend it!

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

 2. Best Sequel You’ve Read so Far This Year

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Finale by Stephanie Garber

Another stunning read of 2019. GAHHH It did not take long for the Caraval series to become one of my favorite series of all time. Each book just got better and better! The world was so different and magical from any other fantasy book I have read and I loved the journey the characters go through with each book. I loved that the plot focuses on the journey of two sisters since this is something I can relate to since I have a younger sister myself. Just Brilliant!

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Really Want To

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Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

I am kind of bending the rules here since I am currently reading this but it still fits the category 🙂 The writing is exquisite!

4. Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

There are so many upcoming releases for this year that its so hard to pick one. Even after attending BookCon, I was surprised to learn that there were so many new and upcoming titles so I have listed a couple here which I am eagerly anticipating!

 

5. Biggest Disappointment of the Year

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I don’t think I read anything this year which turned out to be a huge disappointment. The lowest I rated any of my books was probably a 3.5 out of 5. If I were to choose, I would probably say Girls with Sharp Sticks? While I did enjoy the plot, themes and twists, I was not a huge fan of the writing style and some of the characters. It was not a terrible read, but I thought it could use some improvements here and there.

6. Biggest Surprise

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Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Being a book in the mystery genre, I think this novel fits the question completely. I did see a few reviews for this book ever since its release and I never got around to reading it until early this year. I will say I was pleasantly surprised and it evoked my interest into the mystery genre. I can’t wait to read the next installment – I heard that one was even better than the first! AHHHH!!!

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

7. Favorite New Author (Debut or New to You)

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I recently just finished this novel and OMG it was absolutely brilliant. I was hesitant since I saw a couple of mixed reviews but I ended up loving it! I understand that Brigid Kemmerer might be an author that a lot of other book bloggers know, but I recently just discovered her with this novel. I am definitely looking forward to her next book in the series (especially with that ending!!)

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

8. Newest Fictional Crush

LET 2019 BE THE YEAR I DISCOVERED THOMAS CRESWELL!!!! MWAHAHA

(I’m totally sane I SWEAR!)

9. Newest Favorite Character

Audrey Wadsworth – This girl is epitome of strength, intelligence and empowerment!

10. Book That Made You Cry

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Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Can we talk about character growth? THIS WAS PHENOMENAL! I was absolutely stunned at how well Sarah was able to showcase emotion, pain and struggle with this installment. After reading this book, I am really looking forward to read the next one ASAP.

If you want to read my full review, you can find it HERE!

11. Book That Made You Happy

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Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

WAIT! I have my reasons for this one!

To be honest, I did not know which book to choose for this question. I have not read any comedic or light-hearted contemporary books this year so its difficult to answer. However, if I were to choose one book, I would most like go with the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. The banter between the two leads always put a smile on my face!

If you would like to read my review of the first book, you can check it out HERE!

12. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought or Received This Year

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

I mean take a look at this cover:

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13. What Book Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?

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Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

After marathoning the first three books (which were awesome), I had to step away from reading for awhile due to work/classes. I am finally at a state where I can read more books and spare more time diving back into this fantasy world so I can’t wait to see what happens next!

14. Favorite Book Community Member?

OMG! It’s really hard for me to choose one specific member within the book community as an answer. Ever since I joined, I met so many great bloggers who have been so supportive and inviting on this platform so I extremely thankful to each and everyone who have read my posts, shared their opinions and have showcased their support! Ya’ll are the best!! ❤

I tag these lovely bloggers:

Joanna @thegeekishbrunette

Becky @becky’sbookblog

Dini @dinipandareads

Kristi @Confessionsofayareader

Jennifer @sleepingsuburb

Jess @crowingaboutbooks

Macy @afictionreality

Grace @Sheheartsfiction

If I tagged you and you have already done this, so sorry! And if you do decide to do it, have fun! 🙂

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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BookCon 2019 Haul + Experience

BookCon

EXPERIENCE 

My first ever BookCon! I will say that part of me found it to be quite overwhelming since there were times when I was super intimidated by the crowd and wanted to crawl into a cave being the introvert that I am. HAHA But at the end of the day, it was definitely a great experience and I ended up walking away with a ton of books which I am super excited to share with you in this post!

So for some highlights – I managed to randomly bump into Sasha Alsberg and Stephanie Garber! AND OMG i WAS FangIrling So Hard! Ahem . . . thankfully my coffee kept me steady and I was able to speak coherently. Sasha was so sweet and I made sure to let her know how her channel actually sparked me to dive into my passion for reading, start blogging, instagram, etc. Stephanie was amazing as well! I rambled a bit on how Finale wrapped me in a bundle of emotions and that the series now become one of my favorite series of all time! I honestly can’t wait for her project! i am sure it will be fantastic!

ARCs/ Book Signings

*All Summaries below provided by GoodReads*

Cursed by Frank Miller and Thomas Wheeler From Simon Teen/ Riveted

Whosoever wields the Sword of Power shall be the one true King.

But what if the Sword has chosen a Queen?

Nimue grew up an outcast. Her connection to dark magic made her something to be feared in her Druid village, and that made her desperate to leave…

That is, until her entire village is slaughtered by Red Paladins, and Nimue’s fate is forever altered. Charged by her dying mother to reunite an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, Nimue is now her people’s only hope. Her mission leaves little room for revenge, but the growing power within her can think of little else.

Nimue teams up with a charming mercenary named Arthur and refugee Fey Folk from across England. She wields a sword meant for the one true king, battling paladins and the armies of a corrupt king. She struggles to unite her people, avenge her family, and discover the truth about her destiny.

But perhaps the one thing that can change Destiny itself is found at the edge of a blade.

SuperNova by Kass Morgan From NOVL

(Sequel to Light Years – Summary may contain spoilers to the first book)

The 100 meets Ender’s Game in the captivating and romantic sequel to Light Years from New York Times bestselling author Kass Morgan!

With a galaxy on the brink of war and loyalties divided, the friendship of four Quatra Fleet cadets will be tested as their greatest enemy closes in.

Arrested for espionage, Orelia’s future is looking bleak . . . until the Quatrans make her a surprising offer that could save her life — and the lives of everyone in the galaxy. Reeling from a betrayal, Arran finds comfort in a sympathetic boy from Loos, someone who understands how hard it can be to fit in. But is it enough for Arran to forget his heartbreak? Meanwhile, Cormak’s position at the Academy is in jeopardy when someone discovers his own treasonous secret, putting everything he’s fought for in peril. And Vesper is on the brink of becoming the superstar officer she always dreamed she’d be . . . until she uncovers a conspiracy that shakes her faith in the Quatra Fleet to its core.

As secret machinations come to light, these cadets will be forced to overcome their differences and band together to restore peace to their worlds.

Kass Morgan, the bestselling author of The 100, once again delivers pulse-pounding action and glittering romance in this sequel to Light Years.

Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart From NOVL

(Sequel to Grace and Fury – Summary may contain spoilers to the first book) 

A fierce sequel full of sisterhood, heart pounding action, betrayal, and intrigue in the royal court in a series that “breathes new life into the feminist story of oppression and resistance” (Publisher’s Weekly).

Banished by Asa at the end of Grace and Fury, Nomi and Malachi find themselves powerless and headed towards their all-but-certain deaths. Now that Asa sits on the throne, he will stop at nothing to make sure Malachi never sets foot in the palace again. Their only hope is to find Nomi’s sister, Serina, on the prison island of Mount Ruin. But when Nomi and Malachi arrive, it is not the island of conquered, broken women that they expected. It is an island in the grip of revolution, and Serina–polite, submissive Serina–is its leader.

Betrayal, grief, and violence have changed both sisters, and the women of Mount Ruin have their sights set on revenge beyond the confines of their island prison. They plan to sweep across the entire kingdom, issuing in a new age of freedom for all. But first they’ll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.

Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, and build something better in its place.

The stakes are higher and the battles bolder in Tracy Banghart’s unputdownable sequel to Grace and Fury.

A Match Made in Mehendi From NOVL

Fifteen-year-old Simran “Simi” Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole-matchmakers-with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the “gift.”

But Simi is an artist, and she doesn’t want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama. That is, until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah’s social status. Armed with her family’s ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service-via an app, of course.

But when she helps connect a wallflower of a girl with the star of the boys’ soccer team, she turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.

Into the Crooked Palace by Alexandra Christo From LitJoy Crate

Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA fantasy series from Alexandra Christo, the author of To Kill a Kingdom.

The streets of Creije are for the deadly and the dreamers, and four crooks in particular know just how much magic they need up their sleeve to survive.

Tavia, a busker ready to pack up her dark-magic wares and turn her back on Creije for good. She’ll do anything to put her crimes behind her.

Wesley, the closest thing Creije has to a gangster. After growing up on streets hungry enough to swallow the weak whole, he won’t stop until he has brought the entire realm to kneel before him.

Karam, a warrior who spends her days watching over the city’s worst criminals and her nights in the fighting rings, making a deadly name for herself.

And Saxony, a resistance fighter hiding from the very people who destroyed her family, and willing to do whatever it takes to get her revenge.

Everything in their lives is going to plan, until Tavia makes a crucial mistake: she delivers a vial of dark magic—a weapon she didn’t know she had—to someone she cares about, sparking the greatest conflict in decades. Now these four magical outsiders must come together to save their home and the world, before it’s too late. But with enemies at all sides, they can trust nobody. Least of all each other.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He (Book Signing) – Joan He is so down to earth and awesome! I always love reading novels with an Asian setting and she made sure to recommend me some – Spin the Dawn, Tiger at Midnight and The Candle and the Flame. Will definitely be adding those to my never ending TBR!

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

Queen of the Conquered by Kheryn Callender (Book Signing)

An ambitious young woman with the power to control minds seeks vengeance against the royals who murdered her family, in a Caribbean-inspired fantasy world embattled by colonial oppression.

Sigourney Rose is the only surviving daughter of a noble lineage on the islands of Hans Lollik. When she was a child, her family was murdered by the islands’ colonizers, who have massacred and enslaved generations of her people—and now, Sigourney is ready to exact her revenge.

When the childless king of the islands declares that he will choose his successor from amongst eligible noble families, Sigourney uses her ability to read and control minds to manipulate her way onto the royal island and into the ranks of the ruling colonizers. But when she arrives, prepared to fight for control of all the islands, Sigourney finds herself the target of a dangerous, unknown magic.

Someone is killing off the ruling families to clear a path to the throne. As the bodies pile up and all eyes regard her with suspicion, Sigourney must find allies among her prey and the murderer among her peers… lest she become the next victim.

Queen of the Conquered reckons with the many layers of power and privilege in a lush fantasy world—perfect for readers of V. E. Schwab, Kiersten White, and Marlon James.

The Tenth Girl From Fierce Reads – I happen to receive this book by chance since this was a mystery ARC that Fierce Reads announced on twitter. I did not know about it until one of my fellow book readers advised me and I was so fortunate that they still had a copy. And its a paranormal thriller, so I am super excited for this one!

Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.

Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.

One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.

Eight Will Fall From Fierce Reads

In a land where magic is outlawed, eight criminals led by seventeen-year-old Larkin are sent on a mission to kill an ancient evil that plagues their kingdom. Descending into an underground realm full of unspeakable horrors, Larkin and her party must use their forbidden magic to survive what lies in wait, teeth sharp and jaws deadly. 

As she fights for her life, Larkin finds a light in Amias, a fellow outlaw with a notorious past. Soon Larkin and Amias realize their fates are entwined. The eight of them were chosen for a reason. 

But as the dangers multiply and her band of felons are picked off one by one, Larkin must confront a terrible truth: They were never meant to return. 

Sarah Harian crafts a thrilling, high-octane fantasy adventure that explores the often-thin line between light and darkness, good and evil.

Beyond the Black Door From Fierce Reads

Kamai was warned never to open the black door, but she didn’t listen …

Everyone has a soul. Some are beautiful gardens, others are frightening dungeons. Soulwalkers―like Kamai and her mother―can journey into other people’s souls while they sleep.

But no matter where Kamai visits, she sees the black door. It follows her into every soul, and her mother has told her to never, ever open it.

When Kamai touches the door, it is warm and beating, like it has a pulse. When she puts her ear to it, she hears her own name whispered from the other side. And when tragedy strikes, Kamai does the unthinkable: she opens the door.

A.M. Strickland’s imaginative dark fantasy features court intrigue and romance, a main character coming to terms with her asexuality, and twists and turns as a seductive mystery unfolds that endangers not just Kamai’s own soul, but the entire kingdom …

Wicked as You Wish by Rin Chupeco

Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends. 

And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated….

Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau

Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin’s Creed in this epic, gripping fantasy romance from debut author Maxym M. Martineau.

Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins…not even to save the woman he can no longer live without.

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TIPS AND ADVICE

Plan Ahead – You have no idea how planning ahead actually helped me with my first trip to BookCon. When I initially started researching about other reader’s experiences, nearly everyone had planned out a full itinerary but trust me, it helps so much. When you first arrive to the Showfloor, it can be overwhelming since there are so many publishers, vendors, and exhibitors who have booths throughout the show. Therefore,  one of the most strategic things you can do is plan ahead. So for a lot of first timers, you may ask – How can I? I would suggest following your favorite publishers on social media such as Twitter, Instagram, etc. They will most likely release their schedule within 2 weeks before the show starts and sometimes even earlier so it is within our best interest to compile a schedule of all the events and arc drops which we want to attend. In addition, BookCon would also release a schedule of all panels and autograph sessions as well so make sure to include them as well.

Autograph Sessions – The autograph sessions at the main Autographing stage will be revealed online a couple of weeks before the show. BookCon enables one general ticket holder to sign up for two autographing sessions per day. These tickets tend to go fast so if you really want to meet an author I would advise that you try to sign up for them as soon as you can.

Ticket Information – There are 3 type of tickets: Weekend, Saturday and Sunday. There are also VIP tickets available as well. Tickets will need to be purchased online and if you are able to purchase them early, they will be mailed to you a few weeks before the show. I highly suggest that you purchase your tickets as soon as you can so you can avoid the Will Call Line in the morning of the show and that can take up time.

Earlier the Better – I am pretty sure a lot of other bookbloggers have stated this before but depending on your schedule and what you specifically want to do at BookCon, try to arrive early so you will be able to attend these events. Each year, the convention grows and grows so it is best that we keep this mind and prepare ourselves when attending the show.

Pack Snacks – With the time you spend waiting for ARC drops, autographing lines or simply strolling through the show floor, I guarantee that you will loose track of time there. I most certainly did since I had a pretty packed schedule! Therefore, I highly suggest that you pack some snacks to keep you energized throughout the day just in case some events may run longer than expected.

Take a Light Jacket/Sweater/ Comfortable Shoes – The convention center can get quite cold so I would suggest that you bring a light sweater. In addition, it is highly advisable that you wear some comfortable shoes. I made sure to go in with some flats and I was so thankful that I did. But even with the amount of walking and standing in line, my legs were still screaming at me by the end of the event HAHA

Choose ARCs which you are interested in – ARCs are meant to serve a promotional purpose for authors so when you are waiting for an ARC, please try to get ones which you are interested in and are willing to provide a review on GoodReads, BookBlog, Amazon etc. This would even help newer authors to gain recognition for their work and it would overall help in the actual release of the novel.

Be Polite – This one is pretty self explanatory but please be polite while waiting in line. I did not have too many issues during the ARC drop lines but I have heard some unpleasant accounts from other attendees so please be courteous to one another and be polite. We are all book lovers here and we all want to have a good time in the event. So even if  you are unable to receive the book you want, then no worries – You can always get it when it releases! Hakuna Matata! 🙂

I hope you all enjoyed this post! Have you ever been to BookCon? How was your experience?

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post! 🙂

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Top Ten Tuesday – Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019

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I am really excited for this week’s prompt but also kind of intimidated because I feel like this is going to extend my TBR list! HAHA For today’s list we are talking about our most anticipated releases for the second half of 2019! YAYYYY! Can you believe we are already halfway through the year already? It feels like just yesterday the year only began! I have so many interesting titles to share with you! Maybe we may have similar titles on our list!

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 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Without further ado, here are my top 10 most anticipated novels for the second half of the year.

JUNE 2019

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Release Date – June 25th 2019

Summary from GoodReads:

A fresh and addictive fantasy-romance set in modern-day Seoul.

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.

Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He’s drawn to her anyway.

With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.

Ok so how does this not sound AMAZING??? As a fan of KDRAMAS and BTS, I am a bit familiar with the Korean culture but I would love to learn more about it. And how better through my favorite way of all? Through reading a novel! This summary itself sounds super intriguing and from the early reviews, it looks like so many bloggers already love this one so I am so excited to grab a copy of this as soon as it releases!

JULY 2019

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Release Date – July 9th 2019

Summary from GoodReads:

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

A Mulan re-telling? I am already intrigued! If you have been following by blog, I think it’s no surprise that I would add this book to my list since I am a fan fairy tale re-tellings. But in addition to that, I was actually recommended this book through Joan Ae (Author of Descendant of the Crane) at her book signing at BookCon so I am even more excited to read this upon release! 🙂

SEPTEMBER 2019

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Release Date – September 3rd 2019 by Harper Teen

Summary from GoodReads:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

This book was brought to my radar after Epic Reads announced it was on their ARC Drop list for BOOKCON and OMG how do you not want to read it after seeing that summary? Having read a few early reviews, I can already tell this one is going to be amazing!

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Release Date – September 3rd 2019 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

Summary from GoodReads:

The Age of Darkness approaches.
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it… or unleash it? 

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.

All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:

A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart. 
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.

One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer? Perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes.

When the summary describes it to be for fans of  Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes, you better believe I will pick this up!

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Release Date – September 10th 2019 by JIMMY Patterson

Summary from GoodReads 

In the shocking finale to the bestselling series that began with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse has them fighting to stay one step ahead of the brilliant serial killer—or see their fateful romance cut short by unspeakable tragedy.

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?

I feel like I mention this series all the time with every post on my blog HAHA And it is so sad that it is coming to an end. How are we supposed to say goodbye to Thomas Creswell??? THE FEELS!!! Ahem . . . I am totally sane I swear. In other news, if you guys have not picked up this series, I highly recommend it if you are into mystery genres!

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Release Date – September 10th 2019 by HarperVoyager

Summary from GoodReads:

Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval.

There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.

OH. M. GOODNESS. OK, How can you read this summary and not be curious about this book? It sounds absolutely amazing! WITCHDOCTORS? A DEMON KING? MAGIC? YES PLZZZZZ

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Release Date – September 24th 2019

Summary from GoodReads:

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it about Ellis that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

I heard about this novel through NOVL reads and it immediately peaked my interest. Ranging from gravediggers, the rising dead, mysterious pasts, and a dangerous curse definitely sends a bone-chilling aura. Sounds like this one will be quite a thrilling read!

OCTOBER 2019

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Release Date – October 1st 2019 by Blackstone Publishing

Summary from GoodReads

IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. 
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. 
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned. 

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields—though has yet to fully understand—Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed. 

To kill it. 

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known. 

That is… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

GAHHHH. I really wanted to visit Coco Ma at her signing at BookCon but I didn’t get the chance! 😦 When I saw some news of the release of this book, my interest peaked upon reading the summary. A princess and her team heading off to slay a demon. LETS GOOOO!!!

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Release Date – October 8th 2019

Summary From GoodReads:

Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA fantasy series from Alexandra Christo, the author of To Kill a Kingdom.

The streets of Creije are for the deadly and the dreamers, and four crooks in particular know just how much magic they need up their sleeve to survive.

Tavia, a busker ready to pack up her dark-magic wares and turn her back on Creije for good. She’ll do anything to put her crimes behind her.

Wesley, the closest thing Creije has to a gangster. After growing up on streets hungry enough to swallow the weak whole, he won’t stop until he has brought the entire realm to kneel before him.

Karam, a warrior who spends her days watching over the city’s worst criminals and her nights in the fighting rings, making a deadly name for herself.

And Saxony, a resistance fighter hiding from the very people who destroyed her family, and willing to do whatever it takes to get her revenge.

Everything in their lives is going to plan, until Tavia makes a crucial mistake: she delivers a vial of dark magic—a weapon she didn’t know she had—to someone she cares about, sparking the greatest conflict in decades. Now these four magical outsiders must come together to save their home and the world, before it’s too late. But with enemies at all sides, they can trust nobody. Least of all each other.

OMG I am so thankful to LitJoyCrate at BookCon for providing me an ARC of this novel. I am so excited for it and I never thought I would be able to get a copy! *insert pterodactyl screams* The summary of the book was something I love seeing in a lot of novels – A group of diverse individuals coming together to save the day! I am so curious to see how the story will unravel and the various character interactions! I can’t wait to dive into it!

DECEMBER 2019

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Release Date – December 3rd 2019 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Summary from GoodReads:

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the stunning sequel to Tomi Adeyemi’s New York Times bestselling debut Children of Blood and Bone, the first title in her Legacy of Orïsha trilogy.

SO CLOSE. YET SO FAR AWAY 😦 I was a huge fan Tomi’s first book and the ending had me yearning for more! Although we have to wait for a few more months, I am so happy to know that it would be out this year! Just gotta keep counting down the days LOL

What books are you eagerly anticipating the remainder of the year? Did we share any similar titles? Let me know!
Until next time, keep reading and I will chat with you all soon!
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Top Ten Tuesday – Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books

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Hello everyone! It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday and for this week’s post we need to address the outrageous things we’ve done for the love of books. Let’s face it. Being a book blogger or an avid lover of books could place us in some silly situations and I’m here to share a couple with you! I think this has got to be my favorite Top Ten post ever. Gawd I’m so EXTRA LOL

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 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Without further ado, here is my list!

1. Pulled an All Nighter til 4AM – This was all because of one book – An Ember in the Ashes. As I mentioned in my review for this novel, it was so addicting. It was because the stakes were so high and the characters were placed in crazy situations and as readers, all we can do is just sit in anticipation wondering what in the world could happen next. And I didn’t even realize how late it was until I heard my family getting ready for work  LOL

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2. Suffered Back Pain – Nope. You didn’t misread, this did happen recently while I was reading Hunting Prince Dracula. I think the hardest thing to do while reading is finding a good reading position. Ahem. . .it’s pretty obvious that I didn’t really find mine. My usual reading spot is on my bed and I was pretty addicted to my book so I didn’t really pay attention to anything else. Which is why I woke up to a severe back pain in the morning. *slow motion clap*

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3. Read at Work – Ok, so hear me out! I have a logical reason for this, I swear! You know when you are reading a novel and every single time we have those darn cliffhanger endings? That was the case for this reason. So whenever I had a break or when my coworkers would want to go out for lunch, I would stay with my novel on my desk, determined to finish a couple of chapters . . . . That didn’t really sound convincing. But you get my point right?

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4. Nearly broke down when my book covers don’t match – Yes, I am that person LOL Maybe I’m being a little over dramatic, but I do like to keep my shelves organized and it can be frustrating when I do spot a cover change T_T

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5. Brought books to vacation just in case – Well . . . you never know when you might need it right? Who am I kidding? With my family, there is barely enough time to sleep when I am on vacation so when will I even find the time to read? And despite knowing this, I still bring a couple books in my suitcase!

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6. Glared when people try to talk to me when I am reading – Just to clarify, this tends to happen with people I know and not with strangers haha Even if I purposely place myself in seclusion to read my novel, someone would think this is the perfect opportunity to start a conversation and ask questions about something I do not particularly have any interest in. Of all times, WHY NOW???

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7. Bought an extra a copy of the book in Hard Cover so my series are uniform – Hey now, don’t give that look. I’m sure this happens to the best of us . . . . In my case, this was because my Falling Kingdom series were all in hardcover except the first book so when I found the first book in hardcover in a local book sale, I immediately grabbed it!

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8. Forgot to Turn the Stove Off – Let’s face it. Sometimes we are just a little too invested in our books. A similar situation happened to me when I was heating up milk on the stove and it ended up overflowing and creating a mess . . . my Mom was not happy hehehe Not sure what gif to use for this one soooo:

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9. The amount of hours I spend working on my blog – As bloggers, it is necessary for us to be consistent with our posts and network with other bloggers in order to learn and grow our own blog. Long story short – It takes a lot of effort and time to maintain a blog and I feel like I am constantly preparing posts or scheduling times on my calendar on when to release my final drafts.

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10. Hiding books from the FAM – So there was a period of time where I did not own bookshelves so a lot of my books were just scattered all over my room. And whenever my parents would saunter in, they would often give a look of clear judgement. So when I noticed my collection was growing,  I did what any logical person would do – I “cleaned” up by hiding a couple in my closet or dresser. I mean. . . what are you going to do?

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I hope you all enjoyed this post, I had so much fun writing this. Any of you done outrageous things for the love of books? And if you completed the Top Ten prompt for this week, link it below and I will check it out! 🙂

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

 

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It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s post is related to the things which make me pick up a book. I super excited for this one! 🙂

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 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Without further ado, here is my list:

Diversity

I absolutely love stories which include people of various beliefs/backgrounds, new cultures, traveling to new destinations, etc. This is the part of reading that intrigues me and what I find so endearing! Part of reading includes gaining knowledge but not just in terms of school curriculum but also to learn about the world around you and see life with an open mindset.

Forbidden Love Trope

I will admit it. I am one of those readers who absolutely adores the forbidden love trope! But NOT in a Romeo & Juliet sense. That’s a separate discussion lol I am referring to books such as the Prisoner of Night and Fog duology where there is a romance between a Jewish reporter and a German girl who grew up within Hitler’s inner circle. Such situations create an interesting and also thrilling premise for what’s to come in the novel and it also heightens the stakes and makes you root for the main leads even more!

Friendships

Reading about friendships is something that warms my heart. And when they are strong female friendships, I am even more excited! There are so many types of media that place women against one and I think we need to move in a more positive direction to urge women to support one another. Let’s face it. We are all on the same team. And we should try our hardest to understand each other.

Fantastical World

For me, reading is an escape and when I am transported to fantastical worlds, it gives me the utmost joy! It’s no surprise since I adore fantasy novels. One example would be the Shades of Magic trilogy. Victoria Schwab did an amazing job cultivating the world and magic system that you almost believe it’s real!

Enemies to Lovers Trope

I am definitely not a fan of insta-love. It just seems so unrealistic to me. So when I read novels which hints the enemies to lovers trope, I would automatically pick it up – No questions asked! I think this situation also gives opportunity for a lot of witty banter and hilarious situations and it makes a book even more fun to read. In addition, it also shows the growth of the characters and how their relationship evolved over time and I absolutely love seeing this process.

Favorite Authors

Through my book blogging years, I discovered so many authors which I have grown to love. Some include Victoria Schwab, Marissa Meyer, Sabaa Tahir and Sarah J. Maas. Their work is absolutely astounding and so well written and if you have not read any books from them, I would definitely recommend their novels since they are just so well done from character growth to world building. They showed so much potential in their debut novels and have delivered in their later works. There is absolutely no doubt that if I ever see a new release from them, I will definitely be picking that up!

Positive reviews

Another reason I tend to reach for new books is through recommendations from you lovely book lovers! I would not have found new novels which I have grown to love without the help of you guys! Some bloggers have recommended to me Throne of Glass, Stalking Jack the Ripper, Truly Devious and The Shades of Magic series and these are all books which I have enjoyed reading. So a big thanks to you guys ❤

Favorite genre – Sci Fi/Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Mystery

When a book falls within my favorite genre, I’m sold. It’s very difficult to convince me otherwise haha It may be a matter of preference but I honestly felt that most of the books I have read within these genres have turned out to be my favorite novels of all time so they have become a determining factor for whether I automatically reach for a book. However, I am trying to keep an open mind and explore new genres to expand my reading experience – you know?

Fairytale Re-telling

I have a serious weakness for Fairytale re-tellings, especially authors who place a dark spin to the tales we have grown up with through Disney movies or middle grade books. Recently, there are also tales of a villain backstory such as Heartless by Marissa Meyer and these are even more intriguing to read about. Although we are aware of the conclusion, it still makes it such an interesting read to see a character grow to become one of the most iconic villains of all time.

Synopsis

One of the most important deciding factors on whether I pick up a book would have to be the synopsis. It’s the basic outline of the plot and if it peaks my interest, I will automatically start looking it up on GoodReads, checking the rating or learning about the author. If it is something that intrigues me, I will definitely be checking it out!

What are your top reasons for picking up a book? And if you have done this week’s prompt, link it down below and I will check it out!

And a side note – Were you guys able to snatch those Avengers Endgame tickets this morning? LOL Those twitter reactions were hilarious! 🙂

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post!

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Girls with Sharp Sticks ARC Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Suzanne Young

Publication: March 19th 2019 by Simon Pulse

Pages: 400

Rating: 3.5/5

GoodReads

Thank you very much to Netgalley and the publisher for the free advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

When I first began to read a few pages of this book, I will admit that I wasn’t as hooked. It was probably due to the typical YA dystopian aura I felt from earlier books that it did not grasp me. However, it was not until the 80 page mark when I noticed a more mysterious and thrilling atmosphere looming within the pages. I grew curious and that made me more invested into wanting to complete the book. It wasn’t long before I found myself flying though the pages wanting to know what happens next. If you are a fan of dystopian/thriller novels, then I think this one is the book for you!

Summary:

The Innovations Academy prioritizes in providing the studies and activities for the girl students to be the best in society. However their curriculum is quite different from those offered today. Some of which include courses such as  “Growing a Beautiful and Prosperous Garden” to “Art Appreciation” and “Interior Design.” The main purpose is to ensure that the girls grow to be obedient young ladies – something that Mena and her friends realize is part of a darker scheme within the school. Together they hope to uncover the secrets of the school, their background and the purpose of their studies there no matter how ugly the truth may be. 

My Review:

Setting : Who doesn’t love a boarding school setting? Especially if it incorporates a thrilling atmosphere such as this one? While it is quite obvious from the first few pages that the Academy is not your typical High School, it still peaks your interests with the strange behaviors of the students and faculty.

“The roses. . . They’re alive, you know. All . of them. And if you listen closely enough, you can hear their shared roots. Their common purpose. They’re beautiful, but it’s not all they are.” 

Plot: I believe the main issue for me was the story line. Maybe it was because I read a lot of dystopians before but it felt a bit similar especially in the beginning. However, over time I noticed the story changing and when the elements of thrill were thrown into the mix, that was when I became invested into the story. I will admit there were moments which made my skin crawl! I didn’t expect that going into this book. And the amount of plot twists in this book too! These were the moments which the author handled very well since she cleverly weaves the threads of suspense and danger into the book where the readers would have no choice but be glued to the pages!

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Characters: We follow the perspective of Mena who in the beginning we see her venture through her school life one day at a time, but a sequence of events has her questioning the origins of the Academy and because of her experiences, she grows to be very dynamic. I really liked her as a character since she truly cares for the other girls around her and develops an intense bravery despite the odds. We also see her with her close friends, Sydney, Brynn, Marcella, Annalise, Valentine, and Lennon Rose. We also have a side character by the name of Jackson who is the romantic interest; however, it was not over bearing and it did not overshadow the main plot.

Themes: Definitely do not let the Girls Private School setting fool you! While some may expect to find a lot of toxic jealousy, I was so surprised to see the amount of female friendship in this novel and it was truly one of the aspects that made it a delightful read. The feminism in this book is worth noting and I love the spin the author took on this subject and I am sure it is something that the readers will find intriguing.

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Overall, I did find this to be a quick easy read and it is definitely something to get you out of a reading slump for sure!

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you all in my next bookish post!

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