Easter Time Book Tag

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Since Easter is coming up, what better way to welcome the holiday with a tag?? Thank you to Sea of Pages for tagging me! I had so much fun with this! This tag was originally created by Theresa @ The Calico Books. Please check both these blogs because they are so amazing! 🙂

Please note that the title graphic was created by Sea of Pages and the graphics used in the post were created by Theresa, and I claim no credit for these.

Without further ado, let’s get on with the tag!

Rules

  • Answer the prompts.
  • Tag some friends.
  • Link back to this post, and be sure to mention the creator (Theresa @ The Calico Books)
  • Have fun!

 

BOOK OF IVY

The Book of Ivy truly surprised me and it is unfortunate that it does not receive more recognition. This duology was a true gem since it helped me get out of a reading slump with it’s fast paced plot and character dynamics. While it does have a dystopian backdrop, it was handled a lot differently than other novels of the same genre so I highly recommend this one!

 

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Children of Blood and Bone – Do I even have to say more about this novel? OMG this was a thrill ride from start to finish and I absolutely loved the amount of representation! In addition, the characters are phenomenal and I loved being part of their journey. It’s always amazing when we hear stories inspired from different folklore. We get a better understanding of the world and the people around us and I hope more authors share stories like this in the future.

 

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A Conjuring of Light – This was the first series I ever read by Victoria Schwab and I was finally able to understand the enormous praise and love for her books. This woman has a brilliant mind and her writing is exquisite. By the time I came to the third book, I was experiencing quite a bit of bittersweet emotions since I did not want to say goodbye to all these amazing characters. However, there is some hope since I know she is planning to write more books in this world so I cannot wait for that!! 🙂

 

the darkest minds

I was super lucky with this one. I happened to attend the Annual Library Sale that my Public Library holds and as soon as I saw the hardcover copy of The Darkest Mind on sale, I immediately picked it up! And to make it even better, I ended up loving this book!

 

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Fangirl – I related to this book on multiple levels! I think the main character is someone who a lot of us could relate to. She can be introverted, sassy at times, deals with social anxiety but also has a strong passion for writing which was displayed through fan fiction. I loved that this book incorporated that element since we do not typically see it in YA fiction. This is probably one of my favorite, cute contemporaries that I have ever read and I am so happy I decided to pick it up.

 

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The Lunar Chronicles – I think I have mentioned this before but I have to say that the Lunar Chronicles is the series which changed my life. I read this during a not so great time in my life but the themes of self-determination, strength, confidence and loving yourself really did provide a bit of consolation so I am grateful for Marissa Meyer for writing these books!

 

caraval

Ok, talk about a novel with a twist after a twist. Honestly, this book was a roller coaster for me since the plot swayed left and right and it kept me on my toes wondering what could happen next. Caraval has definitely joined the ranks of my favorite series of all time!

I tag:

Grace @SheHeartsFiction

Tiffany@Readbytiffany

Jane@BloggerBooks

Tilly@TheBiblioshelf

Becky@Becky’sBookBlog

PJ@Reviewerpj

Malin @Grimmsnaught

 

If you have not checked out their blogs, please do because they post great content! If you were already tagged for this and I added you, I’m so sorry! And if you completed this tag, please link your post below so I can check it out! Have fun everyone! 🙂

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

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Top Ten Tuesday – Rainy Day Reads

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Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a great start to the week! It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! And for this week’s post, it’s all about Rainy Day reads. I don’t have anything specific I read during Rainy Days, but I mostly reach for books which may offer an escape or fit the ambiance which reflects the dark atmosphere. And knowing me, it would most likely be dark fantasy with a mix of other genres as well 🙂

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.A Darker Shade of Magic

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Basically anything from Victoria Schwab could be an ideal answer for a rainy day read. I feel that she truly captures that dark atmosphere with her morally gray characters and her thrilling and high stake plots which you can’t help but devour!

2. Six of Crows

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The Six of Crows duology is for sure a gritty and dark novel with it’s setting in Ketterdam and its the group of criminal characters lead by a devious mastermind. And when you add in the action packed plot for pulling off the greatest heist, how could you not pick this up as a rainy day read?

3. Stalking Jack the Ripper

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Rainy days are truly reflective of a dark mysterious atmosphere and when thinking of books which can best represent these attributes I couldn’t help but think of this novel. Set in the Victorian Era with a serial killer wrecking havoc among the streets of London along with an empowered female lead who is determined to be a forensic scientist, it really does bring together a great premise for thrilling read.

4. Wolf by Wolf

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As soon as I read the summary of this novel, I was automatically drawn to it. An alternative history where the Nazi Party wins the war? A motorcycle race infiltrated by a girl who goes undercover to win so she can end the leader of the Nazi regime? How does that not seem intriguing? Anything from this time period is frankly very interesting to read since you can learn a lot about history. The author did a fabulous job creating a balance of history and fiction while maintaining that thrilling and dark atmosphere which is the reason why this soon became one of my favorite historical fiction novels.

5. The Illuminae Files

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Now let’s move onto a different genre: Science Fiction! And what better book to introduce a dark and mysterious aura than The Illuminae Files!!! If you have not read this series yet, I highly recommend that you do since it is a thrilling and gripping novel set in outer space and is uniquely told through interview transcripts, e-mails, texts, etc. It is definitely something I sometimes reach for during a rainy day, especially if I want a quick and thrilling read.

6. Prisoner of Night and Fog

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Coming back to historical fiction novels, I would definitely say that this book is certainly a rainy day read. It’s creepy, it’s thought provoking and at times terrifying, which would make you want to snuggle into a blanket with your eyes glued onto the gripping pages. When I first read Prisoner of Night and Fog, it definitely had a dark ambiance which completely fits this atmosphere since it does explore Hitler’s inner circle and his character with some blood-chilling moments.

7. A Court of Thorns and Roses

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Something about high fantasy reads just screams rainy day reads to me, especially those which have a darker tone to it. Not only does this novel incorporate elements of fantasy, but it also is a dark fairy tale re-telling unlike any other. Set in a land ruled by fae, this re-telling of Beauty and the Beast is more gripping. I will admit that it does take time for the story to pick up but Sarah J. Maas always does such a great job in building magical and thrilling worlds which we get pulled into and I really appreciated that.

8. Truly Devious

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Recently, I have been into a lot of mystery novels and I feel like this one is the best to read during a rainy day. Told with multiple flashbacks, there are two mysteries which are investigated in the novel – one happening in the present and another which happened in the past. I’m not going to lie. There are moments which had me shook! For these reasons, I would say that this is a perfect Rainy Day read! 🙂

9. Hush, Hush

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Now stepping into the paranormal genre, I would honestly recommend this series. I understand that there are a lot of other paranormal ya fiction out there but for some reason, this one stuck out to me than the rest. It has been some time since I last picked up this book but when I initially read it, I remember being very intrigued by the level of mystery where you are not sure on who to trust. There are times when there were creepy situations which made my heart panic haha I would definitely be curled up in my blanket with a hot drink and this book in my hand with a thunderous storm looming outside.

10. Caraval

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Caraval became an easy favorite of mine as soon as it was released. I remembered staying glued to the pages for hours while highly anticipating what could happen next. While it is an addicting, magical novel, I also believe it would be great to read during a rainy day since its also quite dark and mysterious. When reading Caraval, there are times when you would question what choices to make and wonder whether the so-called “game” within the story really is a “game.”

What are your recommendations for a rainy day read? Have any of you tried this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt? Link it down below and I will definitely check it out! 🙂

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

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Heir of Fire Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“She was the heir of ash and fire and she would bow to no one.” 

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publication: September 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Pages: 565

Rating: 4.5/5

GoodReads

I will advise that there are minor spoilers in the description for Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight so you have been warned! 🙂

Summary (GoodReads):

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

The king’s assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Crown of Midnight. 

Review:

How can someone make your heart SOAR and CRUSH it at the same?? Well, Sarah J. Maas can! GAHHHHH!!!

Characters:

Celaena  – Or should I say Aelin? Wow. The character growth here was absolutely stunning. We are finally able to explore deep into Celaena’s mind and understand her turmoils, deepest despairs and what is truly holding her back from accepting her past. Sarah was able to deliver this in such a heart wrenching and beautiful way that you were able to relate with her character. And yes, it got to me! I teared up! IT WENT DEEP!  I did like Celaena as a character in the previous books but I found that she had many flaws. She seemed to operate on a gray line so I couldn’t fully embrace her. That was until Heir of Fire. Finally, I was able to connect with her and I have to say that she growing to be one of my favorite characters of all time. ALL HAIL THE QUEEN.

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Dorian – Oh GAWD. My precious prince Dorian. You are the sweetest little cinnamon roll and if I could give you the world I would AND . . AND I JUST WANT HIM TO BE HAPPY!!! GAHHHH! And I appreciated those flashback scenes – thank you Sarah J. Maas 🙂 I think Dorian had the most character growth in Crown of Midnight; yet, he still showcases a more mature side to him in this book and I loved watching him grow and displaying his  courage.

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Chaol – From the previous book, it was clear that Chaol’s priority was to serve the King. Throughout this novel, you see him struggle to face the imminent threat posed on the world and whether he should do something about it or return to Anielle as urged by his father.

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Rowan – Sarah, couldn’t you have at least given a little warning here. Cause dayumm I did not see this coming. Ok, Rowan is Bae! Yes, I will admit; it took him a while to grow on me but at the end of novel, he won me over. He does build a barrier so its difficult to see through to his raw character; however, I loved how he slowly begins to lower the walls and work together with Celeana. And his actions at the end . . . gawd my heart! Who doesn’t love a bad boy with a dark past?

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Manon – Oooo the witch chapters . . . yes, they were the ones which I was on the border about. I loved how Sarah gives life to the clans of witches, giving them their own background and laws in which the operate under. Manon herself undergoes a journey of her own within her Witch Clan, the Blackbeaks, determined to achieve her title of Wing Leader although her decisions may not be in line with the views of her clan.

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Aedion – I will be honest, I was not prepared for this entry haha All I can say is that it will be interesting to see how Aedion’s story interconnects with Celeana’s and I am looking forward to it!

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Final Thoughts:

The world of Throne of Glass just keeps getting better and better with Sarah’s intricate yet superior world building. I am amazed at how much Sarah’s writing has improved since the first Throne of Glass novel. And along with the world building and introduction of different groups of people, characters and settings, she did a phenomenal job of expanding the world that you almost believe the Kingdoms you travel to. Not only does she define a new group, she also gives them their own characterizations, needs/wants, and where they exist in the societal hierarchy. Developing a fantasy world and adding depth is extremely difficult but Sarah seems to have done it with such as ease!

In terms of plot, I believe the best way to describe this book would be “Celaena’s Journey” as she travels from Adarlan to Wendyln and discovers her heritage, and  evaluates her fears while simultaneously learning about the threats to come in the future. Honestly, there were some moments in the book that was just beautifully captured that it almost flows like a cinematic masterpiece. AND I WAS LIVING FOR THOSE MOMENTS!!

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Sarah also incorporates a lot of relatable themes into the plot on how we are never truly alone despite what we might think and that the only way to truly move forward is to overcome your fears. It is true that everyone has scars and it shouldn’t prevent us from moving forward in our lives. I think that was the reason why I really enjoyed the third installment of this series since it captures the complexity of life and the importance of perseverance and determination.

Have any of you read Heir of Fire? What were your thoughts on it? Let’s chat!

And on a side note, I also have some mental preparation before BTS’s comeback tomorrow. MY SOUL AIN’T READY FOR THIS!!! Ahem. . . I’m totally fine, I swear. LOL

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

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The Boyfriend Bid ARC Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Jodie Andrefski

Publisher: April 8th 2019 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Crush)

Pages: 236

Rating: 3/5

Form: e-book

I received an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Summary (From GoodReads):

Sarah Campbell’s never bid in the soccer team’s charity auction to win a hot date with one of their players. And she’s certainly not going to start now––when she’s still hurting over a bad breakup. The absolute last thing she’d ever do is bid on Mr. Ego himself, Chance DuPont.

Chance just wanted to help out a worthy cause, not get roped into not one but six dates with someone who seemingly can’t stand him. But when Sarah’s friends bid on him on her behalf, that’s exactly where he ends up. Now a local blog is covering the story by following them on all their dates, too? 

Seems like everyone loves a good love story––except the two living it.

Characters:

Sarah Campbell – As a main female lead, I think Sarah was good character to follow due her intelligence, passion and kindness. I really wished we got to see more of her dreams and aspirations since it could have created a more dynamic and intense layer to her personality.

Chance DuPoint – Chance is a adorable. I have no other words. Yes, he is immediately misunderstood by Sarah due to his popularity and position in the School’d Soccer team but he really does show a caring side to him which you cannot help but adore.

Final Thoughts:

After reading a large amount of historical fiction and high fantasy novels, I was looking for a fluffy, contemporary read to calm my feels. That was when I noticed I had this ARC waiting for me and I found it to be the perfect opportunity to dive into it! While I will say it was not the most well written novel with fleshed out characters, it was definitely a cute read! If you are looking for a short, adorable and quick read, then I would recommend you try this one.

I guess my main criticism of this novel would be the plot and that it hangs on a string of disbelief. The story line itself was a bit strange since I do not think the high school administration would allow an event like this to happen but maybe I am just being nit-picky. In addition, I do think the author’s technique of writing resembled more of just telling what happens instead of showing and letting the reader infer the plot details. There were moments of flashbacks and I think these were key moments that could have been developed even more to give a deeper connection to the characters. Overall, I think there could have been potential for this novel if the plot was more gripping and the characters had more layers to their personality.

Otherwise I thought the developing romance was very cute. And my main girl, loves to read. What’s not to love? And there were a couple of library scenes which was an adorable touch. So Sweet! One of my favorite aspects of any novels are those which contain strong female friendships and I was so happy to see a strong and supportive sisterhood throughout this book!

If you are looking for a quick and cute summer/spring read, then definitely try it out!

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

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Thank You, Next Book Tag

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Hello everyone! It’s time for a book tag!!! And for today’s post, I will be doing the Thank You, Next Book Tag. I was not tagged in this one but saw this on Jananie channel thisstoryaintover and I thought it would be super fun! This tag is based on Ariana Granda’s song Thank You, Next. Enjoy! 🙂

  1. Name a book that you said “thank u, next” to, i.e. DNF’d (did not finish):

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Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne – I am so sorry, but this book was not for me. I read this a long time ago since the dystopian element did draw me into the plot but I wasn’t able to relate to the characters and I ended up finding a lot of flaws while reading it so I ended up DNFing it.

The next three questions can be answered together or separately with completely different books.

2. Name a book that taught you love (i.e. a book you loved)

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Doon series by Carey Corp and Lorie Langhorn – I’m not sure if this series is well known to the book community but it was something I was recommended by abookutopia and I couldn’t help but be enchanted by the premise. The entire series is quite lighthearted but it also has an aspect of adventure, romance, and  the wonder of being transported to a different world which is probably why I loved it so much. It was what I primarily look for in books: an escape. Plus, the Scotland setting and the male leads were a huge plus in my book!

3. Name a book that taught you patience.

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A Gathering of Shadows by V.E Schwabb – Now the Darker Shade of Magic series is one of my favorite series of all time. Having said that, I will say that the second book to the series does have a slow pace, especially in the beginning. I still enjoyed reading the book but it took a long time for the plot to thicken and drive the story forward. However, I didn’t think too much of it since I understand that the author had probably done this to add more layers to the characters.

4. Name a book that taught you pain.

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A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir – I have no choice but to list a repeat from the original video because this book brought SO MUCH EMOTIONAL PAIN. You have no idea. I just want all my characters – Laia, Helene and my luv Elias to be happy! iS THAT TOO MuCH to ASK???? I JUST CAN’T OMG.

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5. Name a book that you loved at the time of reading but in hindsight you do not like as much anymore but which you still learned some other quality from.

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Twilight by Stephanie Meyer – This is probably an unpopular opinion but in the beginning when I picked up Twilight, I will admit it was because I was curious about the movie release and I wanted to know what it was about. For some reason, I did not fall into the fandom. To add to that, I do believe that my reading taste have changed over the years so when I attempted to do a re-read, I just couldn’t bring myself to like it as much. Maybe because I have ventured into other novels and genres which peaked my interest and I had gotten used to different writing styles or characters that it was not the same anymore. However, I will say that this series is one worth of recognition since it brought many people to read books and that itself is a huge accomplishment 🙂

6. Name a book you’re currently talking to, i.e. have the hots for

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Stalking Jack the Ripper – Recently, I have been into mystery novels and this was the book that started it! Everything about the setting, the characters and plot was just so well done! And I guess the majority of the reason why could be because of Thomas but I’m not complaining 🙂

7. Name the book that gon’ last – the book of you – the book that helped you love yourself a little bit more.

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Cress (actually the entire Lunar Chronicles) – I read this series during the most difficult moments of my life and it really did help to lift my spirit and help me to become more positive. Moreover, it also urged me to speak up against those who were constantly judging me or pushing me to corners where I did not want to be and overall taught me to love myself.

(But I do have to give some credit to BTS and their music as well HAHA And speaking of which they have an album coming on April 12th AND UR GURL IS HYPE! And it was just released today that they are nominated for Top Group/Duo and Top Social Artist for the Billboard Music Awards YAYYYY Go team Go!!! )

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8. Tag Someone to do this tag

I tag these lovely bloggers:

Blogger Books @Blogger Books 

Jasmine @MyQuietLittleCorner

Ash @InkTrails

Ellyn @allonsythornraxx

Angelica @TheBookCoverGirl

Grace @SheHeartsFiction

Malin @Grimmsnaught

Spines That Shine @Spinesthatshine

JoBeth @BlueBinding

Tilly @TheBiblioshelf

M @MissterReader

Becky @Becky’sBookBlog

If you have not checked out their blogs, please do because they post great content! And if you completed this tag, please link your post below so I can check it out! Have fun everyone! 🙂

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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Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Anna Blankman

Publication: April 21st 2015 by Balzer + Bray

Pages: 406

Rating: 5/5

GoodReads

“We are each our own person, separate from our family, not wholly formed by our experiences. We decide who we want to be.” 

So  . . . I don’t have this sort of reaction for the novels I read but OMG I teared up. THE EMOTIONS GOT TO ME! I was so invested! Anne Blankman has a way of effortlessly blending facts with fiction into something that’s so captivating and heart wrenching that you can’t help but be completely addicted to this work of art! 🙂 This duology is probably my most favorite historical fictions ever!

(Please note the summary below has minor spoilers for the first book, Prisoner of Night and Fog)

Summary (GoodReads):

The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.

But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland.

Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first? 

Characters:

Gretchen Muller – It’s amazing to see Gretchen’s growth from the first novel to the second. The amount of courage she has despite the heightened stakes in Germany is truly amazing to see. The girl we meet in the first book would have never made the hard choices she does in this novel and it is great to see that much growth within a character.

” . . she chose to see with her own eyes, however painful and ugly the view.” 

Daniel – Daniel is such a great character! Because of his reporter background we can see how determined and passionate he is about finding the truth and bringing those at fault to justice and I loved seeing that part of him. I really wish we had Daniel’s perspective in this story just so we can learn more about him and his thought process. I definitely think it would have added an extra boost to the story telling within this story. I still enjoyed Gretchen’s perspective but I really liked Daniel’s character and would have liked to see a bit more from his perspective.

“I don’t believe that we can blame our actions on our upbringings. If we could, then nobody would be responsible for anything they do.” 

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My Review: 

Setting – Although it took a couple of pages for the story to pick up pace, I ended up glued to the pages after about 50 pages. Blankman really captivates the reader with the high stakes and overall danger of Gretchen’s decision to venture into Germany during the Nazi reign. As soon as you enter the country, you are just filled with this sense of thrill, panic and worry for the characters. It was a rush of emotions!

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Plot – While the author does use the Forbidden Love trope, the romance was handled so well. While it does form a major arc of the storyline, the author is careful to weave it into the novel in correct doses while simultaneously focusing on the journey of the characters. It is so realistic and heartwarming that you can’t help but wish they would find their happiness. As with the first book, I also loved the incorporation of psychology. It added an extra level of insight and knowledge to the book and in a way, helps us understand why people are the way they are.

Character Growth – The amount of effort and perseverance that Gretchen has towards locating Daniel is remarkable to see. The lengths of travel she takes to find him is truly sweet but also courageous.

Themes – There are quite a few themes and morals which the author incorporated into the novel such as exploring the concept of relationships whether it is within family, a lover or friends and how we need to have them in balance in order to truly live happily as a human being. Also, while psychology may allow us to understand another person’s mind or how they behave, everyone ultimately has a choice and they are responsible for their actions.

Overall, I honestly believe that this was a solid duology that aligned well with the course of history. As an author, it takes an extensive amount of research in order to produce a work of fiction during this time period. While this is a sensitive topic, I felt as though the author addressed the major concerns professionally.

Have any of you guys read this duology? 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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