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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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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Stalking Jack the Ripper Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“Fear is a hungry beast. The more you feed it, the more it grows.” 

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Publication: September 20th 2016 by Jimmy Patterson

Pages: 337

Genre: Fiction; YA; Mystery

Rating: 4/5

Summary:

Audrey Rose Wadsworth is not like many women her age – organizing tea parties, attending silk dress fittings, or jumping in on the latest gossip. Instead, she lives a secret life unbeknownst to her father as an apprentice to her Uncle, a professor of forensic medicine. Amidst her dissection studies, she stumbles upon an investigation of a notorious serial killer who rampaged the streets of London. Despite the brutality of the murders, Audrey’s curiosity and tenacity pushes her to search for answers and reclaim justice for the victims. But as she gets closer to unraveling the clues, it leads her to the most blood chilling conclusion.

Characters: 

Audrey Rose WadsworthSmart, Witty, Kind, Fearless – Its official. Audrey has fallen into my top favorite female leads of all times 🙂  She has such a great combination of strength, tenacity and intelligence which makes you want to root for her throughout the novel. Despite these esteemed qualities, she does have her weaknesses too and that showcase her to be more relatable as a character. Nevertheless, I loved her curiosity and her passion for forensic science and it was so refreshing to see her fight for women given the time period that the novel is set in.

“By my blood, I will make this right or die trying.” 

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Thomas CreswellCharming, Witty, Arrogant – Oh Lord. This guy haha A close representation of Thomas’ character would probably be Captain Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles whom I adored from the start and Thomas was no different. I swear, the amount of eye rolls and laughter I experienced whenever he would comment with a sly and witty demeanor is exponential 🙂 And when paired with a feisty heroine with sass of her own, you get the most entertaining banter ever! I loved it!

“I don’t blame you, I am rather attractive. The tall, dark hero of your dreams, swooping in to save you with my vast intellect. You should accept my hand at once.” 

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Final Thoughts: 

After finishing Truly Devious, I was in the mood for some more mystery novels and this one immediately caught my attention. Everything about the premise was so interesting and I am happy to say that the author delivered an awesome story! One aspect of the novel which I really enjoyed was the setting. The late 1800s London was very well delineated and I honestly felt as if I was walking through the streets with these characters. It was also refreshing to read about a heroine who is from a mixed background – half Indian and half British. It’s not so often I come across characters who I can relate to! And I loved the bits of Indian heritage that the author had woven into the story but I would have definitely liked to have seen more of it.

In addition, the author does a fabulous job setting the tone for the novel, creating an eerie yet mysterious atmosphere which entangles you into the story. I will say that there were certain parts of the novel which completely creeped me out! But if you are a fan of forensics and criminal investigations, then I would definitely recommend this book to you!

Have any of you read Stalking Jack the Ripper? What were your thoughts on it?

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

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Truly Devious Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Schools may be famous for many things: academics, graduates, sports teams. They are not supposed to be famous for murders.

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publication: January 16th 2018 by HarperCollins

Pages: 416

Rating: 5/5

One of my reading goals for 2019 is to read novels of various genres and I am so excited that I picked up this one! Truly Devious completely strays away from the typical fantasy novels I usually reach for and it definitely surprised me!

Summary:

Amidst a late April night of 1936, a business tycoon’s named Albert Ellingham found that his wife and daughter were kidnapped and the only real clue was within a mocking riddle signed as Truly Devious. And now present day, Stevie Bell, a girl who wishes nothing more to have a successful career as detective, ventures into the Ellingham Academy as a student. She has one goal in mind: to reopen and solve this cold case. In a sudden twist of events, the past returns to the Academy and the students are surrounded by a death which has them shocked and bewildered – Was it an accident or was it murder?

Characters: 

Stevie – Goal-oriented, Diligent, self-driven – Don’t we all love a smart female lead? I was really thrilled to read about character like Stevie who is able to notice quirks that maybe we as readers may sometimes miss. I definitely found her relatable since she also seems grounded with her awkwardness in social situations despite having a brilliant and intuitive mindset.

Janelle – Smart, Kind and Driven – Janelle was a such a pleasure to read about and I loved that the author included diversity within the novel. Although we did not see too much of her within this book, I definitely found her to be a character who values relationships and her friendship with Stevie.

Nate – Distant, Secluded, Writer – As with Janelle, I felt that we did not see too much of Nate in this book and he did not have much layers to his personality as we see with Stevie. However, I did find him to be a great friend to Stevie even with his grumpy personality.

Final Thoughts: 

Written in a dual past and present day perspective, this novel is surely a thrill for fans of Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes. I would say that the present day narrative does flow slowly; however, the author does this for a reason as she tries to enable the reader to understand the present day characters, environment and circumstances. The flashbacks were interesting to read since we get glimpses of secrets and twists to the cold case. The author did create a good balance of when and how to switch from the past and the present so we as readers understand the case well enough to follow with the present timeline.

There is also a moment in the book where a major plot event occurs and after that, I couldn’t help but fly through the pages. I just could NOT put it down. That was how addicting it was! The author kept you on the edge of your seat and offered many twists and turns that had you scrambling to figure out who the culprit could be. AND THAT ENDING!!

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Overall, I think Truly Devious is a wonderful read for anyone who loves mystery novels and the second book is definitely on my 2019 TBR!

Until next time, keep reading and I will be back with another post!

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Wolf by Wolf Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“Her self-reflection was no reflection at all. It was a shattered mirror. Something she had to piece together, over and over again. Memory by memory. Loss by loss. Wolf by wolf.” 

Author: Ryan Graudin

Publication: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, October 20th 2015

Pages: 388

Rating: 5/5

Plot:

Set in an alternative history during the year 1956 where the Axis Powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan hold significant control over the world, Wolf by Wolf details the journey of a young girl named Yael who vows to restore unity to the world through destroying the one man responsible for her people’s suffering: Adolf Hitler. After her heartbreaking and terrifying experiences within a death camp, Yael tattooed five wolves on her arm to serve as a reminder of the ones she lost, each representing a significant part of her character. Through cruel and painful experimentation, Yael develops the ability to skinshift – allowing her to exhibit the facial features of a character she chooses to imitate. As a result, she proves to be a brilliant candidate for the Resistance to take part in the imperative mission to bring down Hitler. By winning the annual Motorcycle Tournament under the character of the previous year’s champion Adele Wolfe, Yael would be given the opportunity to dance with Hitler himself at the Victor’s Ball. But the mission seems to grow complicated as Luka, Adele’s former love interest, and Felix, Adele’s twin brother, enter the picture. Even with the growing relationships with the other candidates, Yael must prove herself to be as ruthless and daring enough to bring down Hitler and his regime.

 

Characters:

Yael – Strong; Smart; One of my favorite aspects of Yael was that she was very goal oriented from the start and her passion and determination for her mission is truly remarkable.

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Adele Wolfe – Passionate; Strong; Although we see Adele Wolfe for a limited time within the novel, we can already see that she is strong and capable of standing on her own.

Felix Wolfe – Protective; Supportive; Smart; Felix was enticing from the start. He loves his family and will do anything he can to keep them together.

Luka – Extroverted; Bold; Strong; Adele’s former love interest who has a strong passion for winning the game despite knowing that Adele (Yael) is participating.

 

Final Thoughts:

If you have not read this book, please pick this up!

It is a thrill ride and it had me hooked from the start. One of my favorite aspects of the entire novel is the writing and storytelling – it is absolutely amazing and so well done. The setting does shift from the past to the present many times within the novel but I never felt as if it slowed the pace or left the plot lagging. It was done at the appropriate moments to add depth to the character and progress the story. By revealing her past experiences, we learn why Yael is the way she is and what are her weaknesses/regrets/strengths. It was through these areas of the book where I found her to be relatable since she is a strong character; yet she also had her own monsters/vulnerabilities’ within her which made her seem more human.

I have also developed a strong appreciation for the historical fiction genre. As with writing any novel, research is crucial to develop a thorough world/setting. However, with historical fiction it is imperative to maintain accuracy to previous events in order to provide credibility to the reader. While Wolf by Wolf is an alternate history novel, I truly appreciate the author’s efforts for creating a work of literature while maintaining a believable world and an accuracy to history. Previously I have read Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anna Blankman which had a sense of mystery and intrigue entangled with the historical fiction genre which made it a compelling and brilliantly crafted read. This was the first novel that really helped me to venture into a new genre and through reading Wolf by Wolf, I will definitely be picking up more in the future!

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Have any of you read Wolf by Wolf? What are your thoughts on it? And if you have any historical fiction recommendations please let me know 🙂

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

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Legendary Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“Your future can be whatever you wish. We all have the power to choose our own destiny.” 

Author: Stephanie Garber

Published May 29th 2018 by Flatiron Books

Pages: 451

Rating: 5/5

I loved the first book, Caraval, and OMG I love this one even more! Everything about the setting, the plot and the characters are so rich and dynamic that you can’t help but be glued to the pages. LOL I even had to rush to class since I was busy finishing up this novel 🙂

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Summary:

After the events of the first Caraval, Tella is required to repay her side of the initial bargain she made to save her sister from a terrible arranged marriage. Her contact requires her to once again enter Caraval to retrieve Legend’s true name. This time the game is more darker, mysterious and real than she ever imagined. As determined as she is to win the games, Tella realizes that there may more at stake than she ever realized. Stephanie Garber dazzles with this electrifying sequel which adds additional layers to the original story and heightens the stakes to the point where you can’t help but be thrilled by this novel.

Characters:

Tella – bold, brave, intelligent – I personally did not enjoy Tella’s character in the first book but she definitely earned my appreciation in this sequel. I think everyone can find certain qualities in both Scarlet and Tella which they can relate to and the more I read from her perspective, the more I understood her and ended up really liking her character.

Dante – the tall, dark and handsome HAHA – Just as I enjoyed reading about Julien in the previous book, I really liked Garber’s portrayal of Dante in this novel as well. Garber can seriously write some great male leads 🙂

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Favorite Quotes:

“Once a future is foretold, that future becomes a living thing and it will fight very hard to bring itself about.” 

“. . . she liked to say that love trapped and controlled and ripped hearts apart. But the truth was she also knew love healed and held people together . . . “

“There are two types of endings because most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, where the situation feels hopeless. But that’s when hope is needed most. Only those who persevere can find their true ending.” 

Final Thoughts:

Garber once again weaves the mysteriousness and potential danger throughout her writing as she did with the original Caraval – but this time the imagery and detail is exquisite and very well done. You can tell that her writing improved from the last book. She keeps the reader hooked from the very beginning with stories from Tella’s mom and she slowly starts revealing details which sets up the plot of the book. It does not lag from the start and this is one of the strong points – it had my attention from the very beginning. Do not get me started on those cliffhanger chapters . . . I honestly could not stop reading.

The plotline within this sequel is a little more intricate because of the addition of the multiple characters and the folklore of the Fates. Speaking of the folklore, I loved how she gave a story/background to each Fate. It was interesting how she pointed out the different magic that the Fates had yet each of them had a flaw. With sequels, additional story lines are added  to thicken the plot but sometimes it would be overwhelming and difficult to follow but everything seemed to flow flawlessly with Legendary. Every single character, new and old, were placed perfectly and the new setting at the palace definitely added to a darker tone of the novel.

We are automatically thrown into a web of mystery from the start of the novel and cannot help but keep asking questions. I was constantly curious about the characters, the additional story lines, and ultimately, where the line of reality/fantasy exists in the game. We are all told to believe Caraval is only a game. But as we venture deeper and deeper into the story, we can’t help but question: Is this really just a game? 

Have any of you read Legendary yet? What are your thoughts on it?

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