Wrap-Up

March Wrap-Up|2020

Top Ten Tuesday-54

Hope everyone is doing well! March wasn’t the best of reading months for me but I did read some good books which is nice because the past months haven’t been many 4 star reads, So, onto the books I read in March!

Iphigenia Murphy by Sara Hosey

This was such a good book. I loved the characters, they all had my heart. The plot is also just wow and parts of this book just broke my heart. Iphigenia is the main character and she ran away from home and the book follows her journey as she looks for her mother who is homeless. I have a full review for the book here if you would like to read my full thoughts on the book. I gave this 4/5 stars.

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

I started this before Iphigenia Murphy when I was in my mystery/thriller mood so I picked it back up after I finished Iphigenia Murphy. I was sad that I did not love this book. I read another book by Ruth Ware and enjoyed it and I wish that was the case for this book. I didn’t find the mystery aspect all that interesting, thought it fell flat a bit. I also wish the lying game played a bigger role in the book, after all, it is the title. I have a mini review for it up here for those who want to check it out. I gave this 3/5 stars.

Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas

I just had to pick this book up next and omg I loved it! I was worried that I wasn’t going to love it because I was hearing some mixed reviews about it but I ended up loving it! The beginning of the book was a little hard to get into but once I got over halfway through it started to pick up and then I was hooked. I ended up staying up till 1:30 in the morning to finish it which is late for me. I love Hunt he is my new book bf and I also love Bryce. I gave this 5/5 stars.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

I started two readathons at the end of March(failed miserably at both) and A Torch Against the Night was the first book I read for both. I didn’t love it as much as I did the first. I just didn’t find the plot all that interesting and it didn’t suck me in like the first one did. I am going to continue the series and I’ve been told its better so I am looking forward to it. I gave this 4/5 stars.

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen

This was the second book I read for the readathons and also the last book I finished for the month. I really enjoyed this book. It follows a teenage boy named Even as he spends a summer in Alabama. He meets this girl named Juniper and together they go on different summer adventures. But, Ethan isn’t welcomed in the town because of the color of his skin and for the first time he’s faced with the hardships of discrimination in the south. This book has joyful and frustrating at times. I liked Ethan as a character but liked Juniper much more. I have a full review here if you want to read more of my thoughts on the book. I gave this 4/5 stars.

So while I didn’t read many books in March they were all mostly good ones which I’ll take. I rather read less books but have them be 4 or 5 stars than read more books but they are 3 stars and under. I am hoping with the OWLS underway in April, April will be a much better reading month than March🤞🏻

What were some of your favorite books from March?

book review

The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones|ARC Review

Top Ten Tuesday-53

48077645Title: The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones

Author: Daven McQueen

Publication Date: 5 May 2020

Pages: 312

Rating:

Synopsis: It’s the summer of 1955. For Ethan Harper, a biracial kid raised mostly by his white father, race has always been a distant conversation. When he’s sent to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle in small-town Alabama, his Blackness is suddenly front and center, and no one is shy about making it known he’s not welcome there. Except for Juniper Jones. The town’s resident oddball and free spirit, she’s everything the townspeople aren’t―open, kind, and full of acceptance.

Armed with two bikes and an unlimited supply of root beer floats, Ethan and Juniper set out to find their place in a town that’s bent on rejecting them. As Ethan is confronted for the first time by what it means to be Black in America, Juniper tries to help him see the beauty in even the ugliest reality, and that even the darkest days can give rise to an invincible summer.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy to review but all thoughts are my own

Spoiler Free Review

This book follows Ethan who is a sophomore in high school and after an incident he is sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Alabama. Once he arrives its quickly brought to the surface that he isn’t wanted there, all because of the color of his skin. While reading this book there were parts where I just got angry and wished I could just shelter and protect Ethan and Juniper.

Ethan is an enjoyable character to follow. Before coming to Alabama he had a bit of a sheltered life, meaning he wasn’t very aware of the discrimination down in the south. As the story goes on he becomes more attuned to the injustices going on surrounding race and it hurt my heart at times seeing what he had to go through and witness.

As much as I liked Ethan, I found Juniper to be a much more enjoyable character, she is someone I would love to be BFFS with! Juniper is just filled with so much positivity and energy. When she meets Ethan she decides then and there that they are going to become best friends and have this amazing and invincible summer together. While Ethan is faced with discrimination Juniper tries to give Ethan reasons and adventures to stay positive.

The author weaves in heavy topics like discrimination while also not weighing down the book with the heavy topics by including all the great and fun moments Juniper and Ethan have on their adventures. This book is joyful at times and heartbreaking at others; it is a good book that I think everyone should put on their every growing TBR.

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites|Villains

Top Ten Tuesday-59

Hey guys, Friday Favorites is hosted by Lorraine over at Geeky Galaxy. And this tag is just a fun way to share some of your favorite things every Friday 🙂

Hello everybody, hope you are all staying safe! Its been awhile since I’ve done a Friday Favorite, I’ve been bad at remembering to do them🙈 but hopefully with nothing much to do I will start to remember! Now, onto my favorite villains…

Captain Hook from Peter Pan

Peter Pan is my favorite Disney movie and Captain Hook just became one of my favorite villains. I used to use a hanger as my “hook” when I was little. If we are going to go off looks though, Killian from Once Upon A Time obviously wins aha, I will pass on the handlebar mustache of the OG Hook lol.

The Darkling from Shadow and Bone

Before I go any further I just want to say, I am not a fan of the Darkling. You might now be thinking to yourself, “then why Macy is he on this list?” Well, though I do not like him, I appreciate him as a villain. I mean the whole thing in King of Scars, A+ villain move right there lol.

Jacks from Caraval

Strangely I wasn’t a huge fan of him in the second book but the third book is where I started to like him. Its weird I know because we got more of him in the second book than the third but thats just what happened. Before I came around to Legend I shipped Tella and Jacks(please tell me I am not the only one🙈), I just, I know he’s a Fate and whatever but I sorta was shipping them. Anyways, I am getting off topic here, back to the scheduled program.

The Phantom from Phantom of the Opera

I am not one to “fall” for the villain but the Phantom, man he just captured my heart. I was so mad that Christine choose Roul over him, never did I want someone to end up with the villain more than in this movie. The Phantom is definitely one I wouldn’t mind overlooking all the murders to be with. Also, no, its not because he is played by Gerald Butler, I honestly don’t find him that good looking, I don’t know if anyone does but I just wanted to say that incase people thought that is why I like the Phantom.

So there it is, all my favorite villains. Who are some of your favorite villains?

Uncategorized

My Social Distancing TBR

Top Ten Tuesday-60

So like many people around the world, I am staying in my house which means I have lots of time to read and knock out my TBR. I’m not a huge TBR setter but during this time there are definitely books I want to get to which are…

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Anyone else still not call this book by its actual title? Anyways, I’m about 38% through with this book and I cannot wait to finish it! I am looving it and I’m pretty sure SJM just gave me a new book bf lol. Hoping it won’t be such a long wait till book 2 comes out.

Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare

I have yet to read this book but now that I know I need to read it before Chain of Gold I am planning to read it next!

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

I am so very much looking forward to seeing Will and Tessa all grown up and with kids! Very interested to see Will and his parenting techniques aha

Crave by Tracy Wolff

As soon as I got this in the mail I have just been looking forward to reading it!

So as of now, those are the books I am planning to read. After I get through these I’m not sure what I’ll read next but after all these big books I’m planning to read I bet it will be a short contemporary book.

book review, book tour

Iphigenia Murphy|Book Tour/Review

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 1.59.53 PM

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the bookstagram & creative blog tour for Iphigenia Murphy by Sara Hosey hosted by MTMC Tours! A novel that explores the sustaining love of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and the indelible bond of family, Iphigenia Murphy captures the gritty side of 1992 Queens, the most diverse borough in New York City. Releasing on March 10th, 2020 from Blackstone Publishing! Also, information on the international giveaway will be down below! 

47914500Title: Iphigenia Murphy

Author: Sara Hosey

Pages: 272

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Publishing Date: March 10th, 2020

Genres: YA Contemporary

ISBN: 1982618299

Rating:

Links: Blackstone’s Website | Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Synopsis: Running away from home hasn’t solved Iphigenia Murphy’s problems. In fact, it’s only a matter of time before they’ll catch up with her. Iffy is desperate to find her long-lost mother, and, so far, in spite of the need to forage for food and shelter and fend off an unending number of creeps, living in Queens’ Forest Park has felt safer than living at home. But as the summer days get shorter, it all threatens to fall apart.

A novel that explores the sustaining love of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and the indelible bond of family, Iphigenia Murphy captures the gritty side of 1992 Queens, the most diverse borough in New York City. Just like Iffy, the friends she makes in the park–Angel, a stray dog with the most ridiculous tail; Corinne, a young trans woman who is escaping her own abusive situation; and Anthony, a former foster kid from upstate whose parents are addicts–each seek a place where they feel at home. Whether fate or coincidence has brought them together, within this community of misfits Iffy can finally be herself, but she still has to face the effects of abandonment and abuse–and the possibility that she may be pregnant. During what turns out to be a remarkable journey to find her mother, will Iffy ultimately discover herself?

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the publishers but all thoughts are my own

Spoiler Free Review

This book , I don’t even really know how to describe it. I don’t think I’ve read a coming of age story that is done quite as well as this one was. There are so many beautiful and touching parts in this book and I loved reading the book.

The book starts out with Iffy running away from home to the park where she believes her mom is. Iffy is such a brave character and its shown different times throughout the book. She is also a teenager still in school so as we get the brave side of her we also get scared parts of her. I loved seeing Iffy grow as a character. In the beginning she is this scared girl who is out in the park alone but as the book continues she transforms into this brave girl who isn’t as scared anymore.

Corinne is such a great character. She meets Iffy after running away from a not so great situation and the two of them just hit it off. Corinne is full of spunk and she just added something great to the story. Her and Iffy look out for each other and throughout the book we see their friendship grow stronger with each thing they face and overcome.

In the beginning of the book we meet Angel who is a stray dog that Iffy comes across and takes care of. I loved Angel and seeing what she gave Iffy in companionship just warmed my heart. Toward the end we meet Anthony and out of all the characters I cared for him the least. I don’t really have any specific reason other than I just didn’t care for him.

This was a moving story and though it is fiction, it can very much happen to someone which is just sort of shocking to me at least. To know that this experience could happen to someone breaks my heart a little. The characters in this book just have my heart and I just wish I could shelter them from the world. Such a good book and I urge everyone to read it.


Book Aesthetics

Below is an aesthetic I made for the book! I enjoyed browsing Pinterest for the images and putting it together.

IMG_4902


Giveaway Info

Head over to my Instagram account where ONE reader will win:

A hardcover copy of IPHIGENIA MURPHY!
(And don’t miss out the rest of the tour stops to get more chances to win!!!)

Tour Schedule:

Februar 17
@thereaderandthechef – Bookstagram + Blog

February 18
@timeladyreads – Bookstagram

February 19
@ernest.bookingway – Bookstagram + Blog

February 20
@lajathereader – Bookstagram 

February 21
@paperfury – Bookstagram + Blog

February 22
@tata.lifepages – Bookstagram

February 23
@paperbacksandpen – Bookstagram + Blog

February 24
@anovelescape – Bookstagram

February 25
@afictionrealityBookstagram + Blog

February 26
@shobizreads – Bookstagram


About the Author

7273735Sara Hosey holds a PhD in American literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is an associate professor of English and Women and Gender Studies at Nassau Community College. Her book, Home Is Where the Hurt Is: Media Depictions of Wives and Mothers (McFarland, 2019), looks at representations of the domestic in popular culture. Sara grew up in Queens and now lives in Sea Cliff, New York, with her partner and their children. She is working on a second novel.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram 

 

book review

The Lying Game|Mini Book Review

Top Ten Tuesday-55

Title: The Lying Game36622726._SY475_

Author: Ruth Ware

Pages: 416

Rating:

Synopsis: On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten, along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister…

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isa—receive the text they had always hoped would never come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second-rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty. But their little game had consequences, and as the four converge in present-day Salten, they realize their shared past was not as safely buried as they had once hoped…

Spoiler Free Review

What I Liked:

  • The plot was interesting, a bit boring but interesting. The whole secret wasn’t as big as I thought but it was still interesting to read and figure out what is was.
  • It was interesting to see the relationship between Isa, Thea, Fatima, and Kate. Even after 13 years of being separated these girls are as tight as if they never spent time apart.
  • The ending was a bit of a twist. Even though the whole book felt a little anticlimactic and boring the ending still packed a tiny punch, definitely left me in a little bit of a shock
  • The Lying Game. I found this really interesting, just wish there was more of it in the book. I think if this was the main plot Ware could of done something interesting with it.

What I Disliked

  • The slowburn plot. This was a slowburn mystery and I just didn’t like it. I feel like mystery books should be gripping and keeping me on the edge of my seat but this book didn’t do that for me.
  • I found the plot a bit boring. I wasn’t interested in the book and I almost considered DNFing it because I wanted to read other books. But I stuck with it and ended up finishing it.
  • A bit anticlimactic. The mystery/secret wasn’t too shocking to me and it just felt way overhyped. When I read it I was like “wow, thats it? thats the big thing?”
  • I wish more time was spent on the lying game. Its the books title but I feel like it didn’t even play that big of a part in the book. It was mentioned a few times and it was very briefly explained. From the title it just seemed like it would have a bigger part in the book than it did.

Overall I just didn’t love this book and found it a bit boring. Hopefully the next Ruth Ware book I read will be better.

book review

The Best Lies|Book Review

Top Ten Tuesday-53

Title: The Best Lies40525361

Author: Sarah Lyu

Rating:

Pages: 352

Synopsis: Remy Tsai used to know how her story would turn out. But now, she doesn’t even know what tomorrow will look like.

She was happy once. Remy had her boyfriend Jack, and Elise, her best friend—her soulmate—who understood her better than anyone else in the world.

But now Jack is dead, shot through the chest—

And it was Elise who pulled the trigger.

Was it self-defense? Or something deeper, darker than anything Remy could have imagined? As the police investigate, Remy does the same, sifting through her own memories, looking for a scrap of truth that could save the friendship that means everything to her.

Told in alternating timelines, Thelma and Louise meets Gone Girl in this twisted psychological thriller about the dark side of obsessive friendship.

Spoiler Free Review

Anyone down to join me on a search party while we search for the psychological thriller aspect of the book? I was expecting a psychological thriller and all I got was a contemporary. I think if this was pitched as a contemporary book and not a psychosocial thriller, I wouldn’t have felt as let down as I did.

The main focus of this book is the relationship between Remy and Elise. Their relationship can only really be described as toxic. Throughout the book we see the development of their relationship and see how toxic it becomes over time. The synopsis mentions obsessive friendship and thats what this relationship was, Remy had this obsession with Elise and their friendship. Remy puts Elise on such a high pedestal, picturing in her mind as this hero.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Remy, My main issue with her was the excuses she was making for Elise. I can understand why Remy would do this, because she put Elise up on this pedestal but it bothered me that she did it. She started to realize things but kept making this excuses which ultimately led to the shooting.

I liked Elise better than Remy, but by a little. Elise is a manipulative person and its very easy to see that. I’ll be honest, the way she manipulates Remy reminded me of the signs they tell you in health class about abusive relationships. Obviously not all of them but a few things that Elise does allowed me to make the connection and think of it.

Jack was probably the only character I liked. I wish we got more time with him. Even though he was shot in the beginning we get to know him through flashbacks.

The alternate timeline sort of felt unnecessary to me. A majority of the book takes place in the past, and not so much in the present. I get why this is because through the flashbacks we see Elise and Remy’s relationship evolve, but it made the present parts feel a bit useless. After saying this I should maybe say a way that it could of been different but I really can’t think of one lol, the only thing really I can think of was more parts that took place in the present.

And lastly, as I mentioned earlier, this book didn’t come across as a psychological thriller, it came across more of a contemporary book.

Overall, this was an okay read. Love the cover but didn’t love the inside. Was hoping for a  psychological thriller but got a contemporary book instead. The relationship between Elise and Remy was interesting to read and see develop over the course of the book.

Wrap-Up

February Wrap-Up|2020

Top Ten Tuesday-54

Hope everyone had a good February! My February reading wise was sadly not as strong as my January was. I only ended up reading a total of 7 books which isn’t bad, its normally my usual amount. Onto the books I read!


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I started this in January but ended up finishing it February. In the beginning I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it. It was a bit confusing in the beginning having Alex already in the secret society, I thought it would star out where she just joined it. But the flashbacks that appeared as the book went on made it easier to understand the society and magic. I am still not 100% clear on everything magic and society wise but it became less muddled as the book went on. This was an enjoyable read and I am very much looking forward to the next installment. I gave this 4/5 stars.

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I did not enjoy this book. It took  me forever to get through and almost put me in a bit of a slump. I didn’t find the story enjoyable or the characters. Don’t really have much else to say about this book other than I did not enjoy it. I gave this 3/5 stars.

In Restless Dreams by Wren Handman

My main issue with this book was the length. It felt way too short, especially for a fantasy book. Because it was short the story felt rushed and not flushed out and the characters felt one dimensional. I did like Handman’s writing and how she describes the faerie world. I have a full review here. I gave this 3/5 stars.

The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett

This was a book that took me a bit by surprise. I thought I was going to get lost in all the political talk but I wasn’t! The main character is also new to the political side of things so having her being new to it made it easier for me to understand. The only issue I really had with this book was the magic system. It was confusing to me and it was never really explained. I have a full review here. I gave this 4/5 stars.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Wow. I really enjoyed this book. I loved every minute of it and I never wanted to put it down. Everything about it had me on the edge of my seat. This was such a well done debut book I cannot wait to read more of Jackson’s books. The only issue I had was with the cliché aspects of the book, did a little eye-rolling from time to time. I have a review here. I gave this 4.5/5 stars.

With Malice by Eileen Cook

I was disappointed by this book. It just turned out to be like every other cliché thriller/mystery book. It was also predictable and it was easy to see where the author was leading the book. Didn’t really like any of the characters, except maybe one of the doctors. Also didn’t really like the ending, wish there was some more explanation to go along with it. Very mediocre read. I gave this 3/5 stars.

The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu

I am not going to say too much about this book because I am planning on doing a full review for it. This was my last book of the month(finished it about 2hrs before midnight lol). I think the genre was misleading which made the book a little disappointing. Its pitched as a psychological thriller but I was searching for that whole aspect of the book while I was reading. This read more of a contemporary book. That being said, the plot was interesting and it really dives into toxic relationship, mainly the one in this book. I gave this 3.5/5 stars.

So, those were all the books I read this month! I’m hoping March will be a stronger reading month and also include a 5 star read or two, fingers crossed!

 

 

book review

A Good Girls Guide to Murder|Mini Book Review

Top Ten Tuesday-55

Title: A Good Girls Guide to Murder45874065

Author: Holly Jackson

Rating: ★.5

Pages: 400

Synopsis: Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

Spoiler Free Review

Wow, thats all I have to say. I ate this book up!! I love books where you never want to put them down and its been awhile since I’ve read one of those, this book was like that for me. Any spare minute I had I was reading this book, I just wanted to know what happened to Andie and Sal. This book does such a good job of keeping readers engaged.

Things I liked:

  • The pacing of this book! There were some aspects of the book that were fast paced but there also parts that were slower paced. It was a nice balance between the two
  • The characters. Pippa is our main character and she’s an intelligent person and has an eye for things people can’t see(like finding connections in a murder case). She is 17 and she felt 17. Sometimes characters don’t feel like their age to me so it was nice that Pippa felt 17.
  • The documentation in the book. Parts of the book are told in documents Pippa writes for her project. I love when books do this because it just adds more to the story. Plus I think it adds a little extra fun to reading the book. Most of the documents are her capstone logs but there are a few diagrams thrown into the mix as well.
  • The mystery wasn’t predictable was a big plus! Mystery/thriller/crime books that are predicable are such a huge bummer and I feel like I read the book for nothing, or if anything just some conformation on what I already knew. But this book wasn’t predictable.

Things I didn’t like:

  • The person who did it. I feel kind of stupid that I didn’t guess who did it but I guess that goes into the beauty of the way Jackson wrote it. However, the person who did it I feel is a cliché in the mystery/thriller/crime genre so I was a bit let down by that
  • The popular girl holding many secrets cliché. I feel like a ton of mystery/thriller/crime books, at least in the YA genre, have the cliché of the popular girl getting murdered and when the main character goes digging into their murder, they learn that the person had many secrets and was good at keeping them. When this popped up in the book, I did a little eye-roll, why can’t their be a popular girl who didn’t keep secrets!

Overall I super enjoyed this book and 100% recommend it!

 

book review

The Winter Duke|ARC Review

Top Ten Tuesday-53

Title: The Winter Duke 51201758._SX318_SY475_

Author: Claire Eliza Bartlett

Publication Date: 3 March 2020

Rating:

Synopsis: When Ekata’s brother is finally named heir, there will be nothing to keep her at home in Kylma Above with her murderous family. Not her books or science experiments, not her family’s icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the tantalizingly close Kylma Below, a mesmerizing underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness.

In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother’s warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her own ministry. Nothing has prepared Ekata for diplomacy, for war, for love…or for a crown she has never wanted. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family’s power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield it.

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher to read and review but all thoughts are my own

Spoiler Free Review

This book is described as part Anastasia and part Sleeping Beauty and thats really all I needed to know. I didn’t exactly see the Anastasia aspect, the only connection I could make is Ekata loosing her family. And I guess Anastasia did too but unlike Ekata she didn’t survive. But the Sleeping Beauty part came through which I enjoyed! I would not call this a Sleeping Beauty retelling though, more like the plot drew inspiration from that story.

When I was reading The Folk of the Air series I got a little lost sometimes in the political aspect of this. That was a big worry I had when going into this book that I would get lost in the political aspect of the book. And in the beginning I did. But as the story went on I got to understand everything just a little bit more. Also, Ekata, the main character, is new to being Grand Duke and all the political roles and information that comes with it, so I think having the main character new to the political side of things helped me get a better understanding of everything.

Ekata is our main character. She has grown up in a family where the way to the crown is through bloodshed, and all she wants is to be is far away from it. In one night she goes from unimportant sibling and daughter to Grand Duke. Throughout the book we see Ekata go from this naive person to a powerful person. When I saw powerful I don’t mean with stature or magic, I mean powerful as a person and powerful in who she is. She changes as a person as she goes through the hardships of being Grand Duke and it strengthened her and her will. There is this scene in the end of the book where I was just clapping for her(not physically though because I was reading the scene in public and I am not about those strange looks) and I said to myself “yas Ekata, yes.” I think Ekata is a character people will enjoy and enjoy seeing her grow.

One thing that was a little confusing for me was the magic in this book. I didn’t really understand the system of it. I wish the author elaborated more on the magic because it does play a significant role in the plot and because it isn’t explained I’m not 100% sure how the things happened, happened.

I was here for the LGBTQ+ representation in this book! I liked the romance that goes on and how it doesn’t play a major part in the plot. Sometimes a book can get overshadowed by the romance but that didn’t happen in this book. I wouldn’t really call it a slow-burn romance but at the same time I kinda feel like it was.

Overall I super enjoyed this book! It took me a little while to finish but I think that just has to do with the pacing. It wasn’t exactly slow paced, but it also wasn’t fast, it felt in the middle. I thought the political aspect of the book was very interesting and easy to understand. Also, can we all just agree on how pretty the cover is!! I am excited for this book to be published and for everyone to be able to read it!