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

TTT-NEW

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

WICKED FOX.jpg

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

spin the dawn.jpg

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

serpent and dove.jpg

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!

there will come a darkness

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!

Capturing the Devil.jpg

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!

kingdom of souls.jpg

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

the bone houses.jpg

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

shadow frost

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!!!

Into the Crooked Palace.jpg

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

virtue.jpg

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!
sign

 

Advertisements

Grace and Fury Book Review (Spoiler Free)

grace and fury.jpg

Author: Tracy Banghart

Publication: July 31st 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 320

Rating: 4/5

GoodReads

Since I managed to get the ARC of the second book (Queen of Ruin) at BookCon, it’s about time I picked this one up! I was actually surprised on how this book turned out! While I do feel that there were some YA tropes which I recognized from previous books, I think author did a great job in moving the storyline in a different direction which overall delivers the main theme of feminism and strength. In addition, this is also a great novel to pick up if you are ever in a reading slump since its very fast paced and I ended up enjoying it! 

Summary (From GoodReads)

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace – someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

Characters:

Serina – Patient, Submissive (at first) – Serina’s character growth is phenomenal and I think she was my favorite part of this entire novel. She is initially very accepting to all the societal rules around her and believes that as a woman, that’s how she is supposed to be but then later develops a boldness and courage which I really appreciated.

serina gif.gif

Nomi – Strong, Determined, Outspoken – While Nomi’s story was not as dynamic as Serina’s, we still see developing tension and court politics moving into play. She faces a lot of struggles as well and takes a powerful blow to her inner strength with her experiences.

queen gif.gif

Final Thoughts

While I do feel like there were similar tropes such as the Cinderella fairytale and the Hunger Games dystopia setting, I liked that it focused on feminism and the sister relationships which I love to see in books mostly because they remind me of me and my sister. At first,  I was not able to connect as deeply with these characters and it could be because it moved too fast but with the progression of the story and the character growth, I found myself developing a connection with them over time. I will also say that there was one instance which I found to be predictable but I think this is also because of the amount of YA novels I have read so it was not much of a surprise to me. 

But let’s talk about the positives! The main points of interest is that we follow these two sisters who are placed in situations which are completely out of their comfort zone and they endure serious challenges which overall contribute to their character growth.  We do have to two perspectives (one for each sister) and I ended up preferring to read Serina since her plot dynamic suddenly flips to the most extreme and I was so curious and interested to see how her journey would progress! I think she is faced with so much challenges which push her to her limits and she develops into a strong leader and I loved seeing that growth! Nomi is also a character I admired. She is already strong in her values and beliefs from the very beginning but she finds herself caught in a web of court politics and it is interesting to see her navigate through this web which she has never come across before.  

In terms of plot, I think the story only gets interesting about halfway through the novel. We see plot lines growing more intricate and dangerous. We see the stakes being raised even further. While the beginning does incorporate a lot previous YA tropes we have seen before, I do believe that the author only started to differentiate the storyline about midway through the novel. One of my favorite scenes (not a spoiler) is the cliff scene where we see a build up of a lot emotions and it was handled very well: “You fight back. Always.”

Overall, I definitely think this was a satisfying opening to a series. While there were some similar tropes used, we do end up receiving a different storyline by the end along with a dynamic character growth which I loved seeing unfold. BUT THAT CLIFFHANGER ENDING THOUGH!!! 😦

Have any of you read Grace and Fury? What did you think of it? And stay tuned for my review of the second book coming soon!

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

sign

Top Ten Tuesday – Unpopular Bookish Opinions

TTT-NEW

For this week’s prompt, its all about Unpopular Opinions. Let’s face it. We are all different and we may have very different reading interests which should be no surprise that a lot of us do have some unpopular opinions. So let’s share ours and discuss! Who knows? Maybe we both may share similar ones!

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.

So without further ado, let’s begin the list!

The Twilight Saga Was not For Me

Now let’s start with the positive – One of the elements of the Twilight Saga which I can appreciate is that it inspired so many individuals to read and I love this aspect. However, I couldn’t bring myself to finish this series. Maybe because my reading tastes evolved over time so I do not find this genre as interesting anymore. I have heard that a lot of people enjoy it since it is entertaining and addicting but unfortunately, it was not for me. Another reason for this unpopular reason is my second rationale below:

Love Triangle 😦

Oh the YA Love Triangles! HAHA Through the course of my reading journey, I discovered that I am not a fan of them. While this may be used as a plot element to create tension or drama, I found that it is a bit overused and it becomes almost a struggle to read through. Now I have noticed that a lot of book bloggers have mentioned that they were only able to tolerate the love triangle from The Infernal Devices which I find intriguing. Now that I got the first book of that series, I will definitely try it out.

Red Queen 

I know there are a lot of people who love the Red Queen series but unfortunately for me, I found the plot to be predictable and this may have been one of the reasons why I did not enjoy it as much. That “wow” or “omg” moment at the end did not happen for me. In addition, when I continued with Glass Sword, I was extremely disappointed with the characters and the plot line. However, I do think Victoria has a gripping and beautiful writing style so I would be open to pick up another novel of hers in the future.

“Katniss” Character 

There are times when I noticed that a lot of the protagonists within YA novels tend to have the typical “Katniss” characteristics. I love Katniss but sometimes it is refreshing to see individuals who work their way to become epitome of strength and valor. This is one of the reasons I love characters from the Lunar Chronicles. Each of them are very different in personality but they are amazing in their own way. For example, Cress is absolutely sweet and shy but a complete BAWSE with her tech skills. Through her journey, she grows stronger and it was refreshing to see these types of personalities so I hope we see more diverse stories in the future. Another example would be Laia from An Ember in the Ashes who has a complete 180 turn from the beginning of the novel and I LOVED THAT!

Prefer Paperback over Hardback

Ok. This may be a 50/50 for me actually. I actually prefer reading in paperback (it’s so much more comfortable, easier to travel with, etc) but I love displaying my books in hardback on my bookshelves since it looks absolutely divine!

Hooray for Hate-to-Love Romances

I’m gonna say it. It’s honestly my most preferred type of romances in novels. Instalove does not work for me. Sometimes it seems so forced and unnatural. I always love seeing the growth of characters and how they take time to appreciate each other despite their flaws and I think that is best displayed with the Hate-To-Love Romances.

Writing is Crucial

There are a lot of reasons why we may reach for a book. It may be because of a recommendation or the summary sounded interesting. But what really keeps you reading? Does it provide the hook you need to immerse yourself into the world? For me, I feel that the writing plays a huge role. If I feel that it is not a style I am comfortable with, I probably would end up DNFing it.

DNFing Books

Speaking of DNFing . . . I honestly do not think it’s a problem if you decide to DNF a book. Sometimes a book just isn’t for you. I had one particular case where I experienced this with Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne. I just could not get into it so I ended up DNFing it. As readers, our reading tastes are very different and what may work for one person may not work for another. So I don’t believe it’s a serious issue in my opinion.

I LOVE YA BOOKS

Now despite being marketed as books for teens aged 13-18, I honestly think the YA genre is open for older audiences too. I am in my 20s and I absolutely love YA novels. I do read new adult and a few adult books here and there but I am always willing to read a novel from the YA genre. I feel like YA authors now a days do a splendid job with their writing, their world building and character development and this makes it such a pleasure to read them!

Judge a Book by Its Cover

I am not going to lie. There are so many times when I would reach for a book on the shelves while randomly browsing through a bookstore solely for the reason that it has a dazzling cover. I can’t help it. If the cover looks pretty, I will most certainly pick it up!

And that’s pretty much it. I hope I did not offend anyone with my choices . . How about you guys? What are your biggest bookish unpopular opinions? Let me know below! I would love to hear from you guys! 🙂

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

sign

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Characters That Remind Me of Myself

TTT-NEW

A lot of authors take pride and commitment into creating diverse and vibrant worlds filled with characters of various personalities and throughout my reading journey, I have found that there are a lot of characters who share multiple similarities with me. For that reason, I am very much excited about this week’s writing prompt: Characters That Remind Me of Myself

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.

So without further ado, let’s get on with the list!

an ember.jpg

Laia (An Ember in the Ashes Quartet) 

I loved that Sabaa Tahir took a different route with Laia’s character when compared to other female protagonists in YA Literature such as “Katniss” or “Celena.” Laia is quite different from them since she is fearful and naive in the beginning but we also grow attached to her spirited and determined characteristics. What I found the most intriguing about her character was her phenomenal growth within the novel. I think this was the aspect which I related to the most since I definitely think I am a completely different person than who I was 5 or 10 years ago. And not only were the character traits similar but also the physical traits since it was not until recent years when authors included characters of color as their main protagonists and I really appreciated that.

book1

Audrey Rose Wadsworth (Stalking Jack the Ripper) 

When I first read Stalking Jack the Ripper, I knew Audrey would be become one my top favorite female leads of all times! She has a level of intelligence and dedication to her forensic work which makes her so appealing. I love that she takes pride in what she does which does resemble myself in some cases, since I am goal oriented and dedicated to my  classes and work.

tog

Nehemia (Throne of Glass)

Being a princess, Nehemia has a huge responsibility on her shoulders. Nevertheless, she carries this weight effortlessly and handles all tribulations in her path with grace and dignity. While I may not have that level of maturity, I definitely can relate to having to deal with pressure especially since I am the first-born and there are expectations which are placed upon me. Nehemia also has the capability to look after other characters  and since I do have a younger sister, I can relate to that aspect of her personality.

Cress_Cover

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles)

I definitely saw myself within Cress while reading the Lunar Chronicles since (1) I do spend way too much time online and (2) I can have my head stuck in the clouds sometimes! Cress does start off as a shy, sheltered girl who eventually learns to be the hero of her own story. I also liked the fact that she was quite a fangirl over Captain Thorne and that I can almost positively relate to!

caraval

Scarlet (Caraval)

Being the eldest of two, Scarlet is definitely the most cautious having taken ownership of leading the family. While it can be overbearing, she can’t help but act this way due to her troubling past and present. But with the sole purpose of helping her sister, Scarlet soon goes through a dynamic character growth and becomes a stronger person. What I liked most about Scarlet was her appreciation for her sister despite their differences and that was something I could relate to since I have a younger sister who I care for a lot.

tomi

Amari (Children of Blood and Bone)

Amari resembled Laia in the beginning since she was fearful of her mother who raised her in strict manner. While it is true that she was a scared princess, her character develops into a strong leader/warrior. She stays true to her values and morals despite having to face various obstacles thrown in her path and this was the essence of her personality which resembled by character. While her strengths are underestimated and overshadowed by her older brother, she still manages to persevere and show her capabilities.

harry.jpg

Hermione (Harry Potter)

OMG Hermione has got to be the first book character who I ever felt close to! Growing up, I was mostly to myself with a heavy focus on school and studying. While I may have not fit closely with my other peers due to this aspect, having read about a character like Hermione whose knowledge became her strength truly helped me to overcome those insecurities. I loved that J.K Rowling wrote a character who took pride in learning since it serves as a great motivator for the up and coming generation.

doon

Veronica (The Doon series)

A major reason why I immediately connected with Veronica or Vee was her love for reading. I think this is primarily why she is quite a dreamer and yearns to escape her domestic life for adventure. Who wouldn’t want to travel and explore the world?

fangirl

Cath (Fangirl)

I think the title says it all! FANGIRL 🙂 There was definitely a period of time in our lives (past or even present) where we had an idol/group who we were very passionate about. As readers, we may be a fan of a certain author’s work since their stories and characters could inspire us. Due to these reasons, I believe Cath was a character who I found to share many similarities with. We both tend to avoid social situations but we can be snarky or sarcastic should the occasion arise 🙂

Six of Crows

Inej (Six of Crows)

Till this day, Inej is probably one of my favorite characters of all time! She has her morals which she abides by and she strong despite her past. In addition, she was the “glue” of the group and truly cared for everyone around her. I found that maybe since I am one of the eldest of my family, it brought about the responsibility to look after others.

What characters do you relate to the most? Let me know!

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

sign

 

Hunting Prince Dracula Book Review (Spoiler Free)

hunting prince

“The world is neither kind nor is it cruel. It simply exists. We have the ability to view it however we choose.” 

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Publisher: September 19th 2017 by Little, Brown & Company

Pages: 434

Rating: 5/5

HOLY CANNOLI! I think it’s safe to say that I loved the second book even more than the first! It’s honestly something that rarely happens with most series since some of them fall into the “Second Book Syndrome,” but I am so happy that this book did not! As with the previous book, I did not see that ending coming! JUST WOW! 🙂

Please note the summary/review below may have spoilers from the first book, Stalking Jack the Ripper

Summary (From GoodReads):

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Characters

Audrey Rose Wadsworth – I definitely liked Audrey a lot more in this book! Although she was a strong character in the first novel, I felt that her character was more relatable in the second. She is going though the aftermaths of her days in London and the Ripper murders and even with this period of grief, she still is a formidable force and has so much strength.

“Please do not make the mistake of telling me what’s best for me, as if you are the sole authority on the subject.” 

emma belle

Thomas Cresswell – Excuse me, but where can I find this man? Like I must know. Right now! I love how the author provided us more depths to his character. His flaws make him seem more human and also gives us more reason to adore him! Besides his charm and kindness, he also has level of maturity which is a quality I greatly admire. There were so many quotes from him in this book where I had to take a moment and be like . . . wow that was deep! But usually he is a devilish flirt LOL

“Try not to miss me too much Wadsworth. Though that might be an impossible task. I, for one, miss myself terribly when asleep.” 

kili

Final Thoughts

While Stalking Jack the Ripper takes place in Victorian Era London, Hunting Prince Dracula is set in Romania. Similar to the first book, the author does a phenomenal job creating the vast and gorgeous scenery of the Romanian landscape and it does feel that you are within the country. She is very skilled in capturing the exquisite details to make the setting very realistic and I loved venturing into these new lands and learning more about the culture.

Audrey’s character development  was done quite well in this book. Although it wasn’t anything too dynamic, we do see her struggle with the aftermath of the previous novel and fight to regain her strength to overcome her demons. Although she is filled with such turmoil, what makes her more interesting to read about is her endearing personality and her passion for what she does and wants to achieve. We also given more insight into Thomas’s background and I appreciated that we were able to see the different layers of his character.

The overall pacing of the novel was well done in my opinion. From the very beginning, it was very gripping and as a reader, you knew you were in for a wild ride! The writing was beautiful as well. It captured the Romanian scenery, the ambiance of the horrific murders, the tension between the students at the Academy and terrifying moments of the investigations. In addition, the quotes in this book are worth recognition! Let’s just take a moment to appreciate the artistry in this piece of literature:

“Monsters could wear the smiles of friends while secreting away the rotten soul of the Devil in the darkest crevices of themselves.” (pg. 287) 

“Monsters are only real as the stories that grant them life. And they only live for long as we tell those tales.” (pg. 132)

“No matter how much death and horror existed, there were still things of beauty to find.” (pg. 407)

JUST STUNNING.

Overall, I LOVED this sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper and I would definitely recommend this series if you enjoy reading books with sassy characters, hilarious banter, gripping and mysterious plot and beautiful writing!

Have any of you read this series yet? What were your thoughts on it?

Until next time keep reading and I will see you all soon with another bookish post! (Hopefully, that would be soon since I am still recovering from the BTS performance and 2 wins on the Billboard Awards last night. DAYUUMMMM )

jimin cute guf.gif

 

sign

 

House of Salt and Sorrow ARC Book Review (Spoiler Free)

house of salt arc.jpg

Author: Erin A. Craig

Publication: August 6th 2019 by Delacorte

Pages: 416

Rating: 4/5

GoodReads

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

A fairy tale re-telling of 12 Dancing Princesses! OMG! As soon as I read that summary, I was hooked and I was yearning to read this. Never had I thought I would actually get a request approval from NetGalley! That was a complete surprise but I am so thankful they gave me the opportunity to read this!

Summary (From GoodReads): 

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next. 

Characters: 

Annaleigh Thaumas – Kind, Strong and Brave – Annaleigh was an interesting character to follow since she loves her family, is very selfless and cares for her sisters. It was great to read from her perspective and see the world through her eyes. 

Camille Thaumas – Headstrong, Leader – As the eldest of the group of sisters, Camille does have a huge responsibility placed on her shoulders for upholding the family name for the future generations. She is also the next in line after her father who would eventually take over the estate. It is interesting to watch her struggle with this responsibility especially after her sisters’ passing and how it effects her throughout the novel.   

Final Thoughts:

First of all, can we just take a moment to appreciate this gorgeous cover? Its stunning!! 🙂

vanessa

I think this book is the perfect example as to why I love fairy tale re-tellings so much. It draws the right amount of plot details from the original story but in the end, it offers the readers something new. I especially loved this one from the start due to the amount of mystery and intrigue interlaced throughout the chapters. It keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what is really happening. I also love how the author incorporated a larger story arc over the re-telling.

Before reading this novel, I tried to recollect the details of the original story and I all I could remember is the vague outline of 12 Princesses who would be found every morning with worn out dance shoes. The King urgently requested for anyone’s help to understand the reasoning behind this and it wasn’t until one soldier had found that they were sneaking out in the middle of the night through a magical door to a ball each night.

The author provided a lot of backstory and character depth for the sisters in this version of the fairy tale which made it more enticing to read. I found myself intrigued with the family dynamics and relationships between the sisters. They definitely do not agree on everything and they share different opinions from time to time but they are grounded by their sisterhood and I loved that aspect of the book. You also understand the reasoning behind the sisters’ desires to venture to nightly ball (the main plot point of the original story) and it interesting to see that part of the story unfold since we can understand the character’s decisions which may not have been clear in the original version. I also appreciated the amount of detail the author placed into creating the ambiance of living on an estate by the sea, the sandy beaches, the salty mist in the air, etc. It truly captured the atmosphere and almost made it seem as if you were walking beside the characters. 

If I were to split this book into two, I would say the first half is very mysterious where your curiosity grows as a reader regarding the family’s curse and in the second half, the plot moves in a quicker pace where multiple mind games are thrown at you and you are hooked until the very end. The reason I was not able to give this book a full five stars was because it did lack a bit with characterization, there were still some questions I had at the end and there was a case of insta-love but thankfully, it did not bother me too much. Other than that, I thought it was pretty great re-telling and I was entertained throughout the novel. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of dark fairy tale re-tellings and loves the mystery/fantasy genre.

This book is due to release on August 2019! I am definitely looking forward to grab a copy of this 🙂

demi

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

sign

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Rainy Day Reads

TTT-NEW

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

A Darker Shade final for Irene

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

Six of Crows

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

book1

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

WBW

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

Illuminae Ray V6FrontOnlyA2A_V3.indd

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

17668473

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

acotar

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

truly devious

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

hush hush.jpg

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

caraval

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!

sign