book review

Scythe|Book Review

Top Ten Tuesday-51

Title: Scythe37378443.jpg

Author: Neal Shusterman

Pages: 447

Rating:

Synopsis: A dark, gripping and witty thriller in which the only thing humanity has control over is death.

In a world where disease, war and crime have been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional scythes. Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythes’ apprentices, and despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation, they must learn the art of killing and understand the necessity of what they do.

Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice and as Citra and Rowan come up against a terrifyingly corrupt Scythedom, it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser.

Spoiler Free Review

This was such a good book. I find the concept of it so intriguing. I haven’t had the best luck with dystopian for quite awhile so I was definitely happy that I liked this book so much. The characters were well rounded and their development as the book went on was very well done. 

The book takes place in a society where everyone has everything and wants for nothing. There is a computer interface named the Thunderhead that proceeds over everything and makes sure everything is in order and working well. One of the major things is that society has mastered death. By this, there are no more natural deaths. Instead to keep the population in check certain people perform gleanings. Gleanings, in other words, is killing. Chosen people have a quota for how many people they glean, and who they choose is up to them as long as bias is not shown. These people are known as Scythes. Scythes are chosen after going through an apprenticeship and trials and if chosen, they will become a Scythe. 

Citra and Rowan are both chosen by Honorable Scythe Faraday as apprentices. Either both of them will pass and become Scythes or whoever doesn’t pass will go back to their life. Through their apprenticeships both Citra and Rowan will be tested, physically and mentally, as well as questioning what they know. The book alternates between their point of view so we get to see the contrast in how they view the training process and the thoughts of becoming a Scythe.  

Citra is the first character that we meet in the book. She is a strong and intelligent character. She was a very strong minded and didn’t stray away from asking questions that might later get her reprimanded. Citra’s growth wasn’t as big as Rowans but as a character I found myself liking her more. Citra meets Scythe Faraday when he asks Citra’s mother to provide food for him while he waits to glean their neighbor. When Citra comes across Scythe Faraday, she is both frightened by the thought that someone in her family will be gleaned(her family didn’t know he was going to glean their neighbor until after he left) but she is also intrigued and the combination of this is what peaked Scythe Faraday’s interest in taking her on as an apprentice. 

Rowan is the character we meet next. Rowan views himself as “the lettice” meaning no one really pays attention to him and easily overlooked. As Rowan continues to train for possibly becoming a scythe, he begins to see the act of gleaning and becoming a scythe rather differently and this leads to his development on a rather morally-grey path. When Rowan first meets Scythe Faraday at his school. Scythe Faraday has come to glean the star quarterback at his school. Instead of letting the kid die alone, he joins him and holds him when he dies. His compassion is what peaked Scythe Faraday’s interest in taking Rowan on as an apprentice. 

This book had a bit of a slow pacing and it was a bit difficult to get through for me. This book took me about a week and a half to read which a bit long for me with a book that has around 400 pages. I found myself skimming some parts because I just wanted to finish the book and figure out who becomes an apprentice. The pacing is really the reason as to why I am giving this 4 stars instead of 5. 

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I found the world building and the writing to be very well done. Though I did favor one character of another, I did enjoy both characters and enjoyed their development. I am very much looking forward to reading book two!

Spoiler Section

So, in the end Citra becomes the scythe(which is who I wanted to win) and I was very curious to see who she would choose as her Historic Patron. Now earlier in the book I started thinking who I would choose if I was to become a Scythe and I decided it would be either Marie Antoinette or Anastasia Romanov. Now when I read who Citra choose I had a huge fangirl kind of moment. My favorite character chose my favorite princesses as her Historic Patron and I was just freaking out. I also loved the reason she gave as to why she chose Anastasia Romanov as her Historic Patron because it is very true and sad. So yeah, that is all I wanted to say. 🙂

 

book review

She’s Powerful Trouble|Book Review

Top Ten Tuesday-47.png

Title: She’s Powerful Trouble38095597._SY475_.jpg

Author: Taylor Hartley

Rating:

Synopsis: The Mothers of Mariah Stark’s Coven insist she possesses an evil power. Mariah’s attempts to pull flowers from the Earth or heal injuries result in killing fields of crops and scorching flesh instead. Called away by a prophecy, the young witch learns she must cloak her magic to protect her Sisters and their secret. But despite her best efforts, Mariah fails at maintaining a low profile in Wicker Creek, North Carolina. Now, as Mariah navigates her senior year of high school, vicious town darling Shelley Stallings and her minions seek to reveal Mariah for the witch they believe her to be. Such exposure could ruin the magical world—if Mariah doesn’t destroy it first.

While Finn Shepherd may not have magical powers, he’s on his own path to self-destruction. Struggling to cope with his father’s death, he abandons his passions for swimming and sketching and seeks solace in drugs, pissing away his chances at graphic design school as he lashes out at the people who love him most. His tunnel-vision blinds him—so he never sees Mariah coming.

What follows is a cycle of fated encounters. Mariah’s powers soften as she grows closer to Finn, and she wonders: is he destined to save her from her ravenous inner darkness? And Mariah reminds Finn of who he used to be and the future he might pursue. But as Shelley relentlessly taunts Mariah, the dark side of her magic takes on a mind of its own…threatening anyone in its wake and driving Mariah to a choice that might unleash a force strong enough to shatter both the magical and ordinary worlds…

Spoiler Free Review

This was a pretty good book. It took me a little while to get into it but once I was it was difficult to put it down. I liked how in this book we follow both Mariah and Finn’s point of view, I thought it allowed a better connection to the characters and allowed for me/readers to get to know the characters better.

Mariah is really the main main character for this story. Mariah is a witch and the leader of her coven is convinced she posses this great evil power. Throughout the book the struggles Mariah has with this power and controlling it are clear. It is definitely a big struggle that Mariah has in her life and the author shows how it not only affects her but also those around her. One trait that I loved about Mariah is that she is undoubtedly her. There are so many rumors about her around the town but Mariah doesn’t let it phase her, sometimes she even plays into it(without giving away she is a witch). Mariah is a well developed character who also has her flaws as a character.

Finn is the other main character in the book. Finn has just recently lost his father so when we meet him he is still dealing with this lost. And then he and Mariah become reconnected and as they develop a relationship, he starts to become more like his old self. I think the author did a good job with the character development of Finn and his own like self recovery after the loss of his father. There are high moments and there are low moments and the author doesn’t exactly shy away from them.

I enjoyed the plot of this book. However I was a little disappointed with the lack of magic in this book. Now I am not saying there is no magic in this book because there definitely is. I was just expecting magic to play a bigger role than it did. The book felt more like a contemporary book with magic as a background. I did enjoy the relationship between Mariah and Finn and I liked watching them grow as a couple. I do have a feeling that book two will contain some more magic than book one did after this book’s ending.

Overall this was an enjoyable book and I can’t wait to read book two!

 

book review

Skyward|Book Review

Top Ten Tuesday-46

Title: Skyward39348113._SY475_

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Pages: 510

Rating:★★★

Synopsis: Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with that of her father’s—a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa the daughter of a coward, her chances of attending Flight School slim to none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.

Spoiler Free Review

This book is so scudding amazing!!!! I had no interest in ever reading this book but it was my library’s book club pick for the month of November so I decided to read it and OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! I am so glad I ended reading this book because its definitely become a favorite of the year. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this because I did enjoy Sanderson’s book Mistborn, but I was not a fan of The Well of Ascension. But as you already know, I ended up loving the book.

Spensa is someone who has had to live with the repercussions of her father’s actions. In a battle, Spensa’s father was branded a coward and its a label Spensa has had to live with all her life. But Spensa’s dream of becoming a pilot was so big that no label was going to hold her back. The determination Spensa has is super clear and is seen throughout the book. She will not let the label she has had to live with stop her from following her dreams of flying in the sky. Spensa is pretty brash and the comments she makes had me laughing a few times. But as the book continues we get to see that this brash Spensa may just be a mask. The character for Spensa was really well done and we got different layers of her throughout the book. We get brash, confident, insubordinate, emotional, and other different versions of her and all of this makes for a great character.

M-Bot is probably one of my favorite characters. M-Bot is an AI ship that Spans stumbles across in a cave she happened to be exploring. He is so funny and the things he said made me laugh a majority of the time. He is definitely a character I didn’t think would make me feel the feels and someone I did not think I would find myself caring for.

A subject that Sanderson touches on in this book is class. It is very clear in the book that those who are wealthy are given more opportunities than those who are not. This is something Spensa learns rather quickly as she sees the treatment she gets because of her father. Though Spensa is determined to not let this define her and her biggest goal is to become a pilot whose name is celebrated throughout the whole planet and whose name makes the Krell(the aliens they fight) tremble.

I loved all the action in this book and the proportion of action scenes to slower scenes. Some books are all action scenes and some are more slower scenes but this book I found had a nice balance. There was not one point in this book that I found myself getting board and skimming pages because I wanted to get to something more interesting. The fighting scenes are just so suspenseful and also so well described, I could easily picture the battle in my mind.

Overall this is a book I scudding enjoyed and I just did not want to put it down. I loved the characters and the action in this book! I just cannot wait for book two to come out!

Tags

Real Neat Blog Award|I was nominated!

Top Ten Tuesday-45

Hello fellow people reading my blog! I was nominated by Joanna(@thegeekishbrunette) for the Real Neat Blog Award(as you can see from the title). Thank you so much Joanna for this and everyone, make sure to go check out her blog because its positively great!!


(Stole this from Joanna’s post)

The Origins of the Real Neat Blog Award

Before I answer the questions I did a little googling to try and find the origins of this award and the earliest reference I can find to it goes all the way back to 2014 and to a blog called Dear Kitty, Some Blog.

The award came about as a way to highlight bloggers that need more attention because of their awesome content on their blogs and the first logo ever created for the award is this one that I found on the same Dear Kitty, Some Blog page:

real-neat-blog-award.png


 

Rules:

  1. Display the award logo
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog
  3. Answer the questions of the one who nominated you
  4. Nominate some bloggers
  5. Ask them seven questions

The Questions

Why did you decide to start your blog?

Well I saw that a fair amount of bookstagrammers had one and I was like “hey, this seems cool to have” and also that when requesting an ARC, having a blog is really helpful. So I decided to start one and I’ve grown to really enjoy it and I think it has made me a better reader which is pretty cool and I like sharing my thoughts on books.

Whats the worst book you’ve read?

Ooof this is a bit of a hard one. I’ve read a few bad books but I’m not quite sure which of those has been the worst. However, I think I’m going to have to say that Prisoner of Silk by Lidiya Foxglove. The plot for this book sounded interesting and the cover is pretty. But the content of this book fell so so flat. Here is the little mini review I posted on my Goodreads account:

This book had potential. A dark twist on a fairytale, faeries, and a life based on Marie Antoinette, sounds like a pretty good book right? Wrong. This book was full of smut. In the 100 something pages of this book, I counted 7 smut scenes and each one was about 2 pages plus. Also, I think someone needs to put up a missing persons ad for the plot because it was MIA in this book. The plot was so weak I’m not even sure there was even one to begin with. This book could of been something really good but it just fell flat.

I hate the court in this book so much. I mean the rules they have and the expectations they have of their king and queen is disgusting in my opinion. The main character in this book prepares to take on the role of the Queen Who Bowed and I find this role so demeaning. I mean her whole role is basically to pleasure her husband whenever and wherever he wants and to basically bow and submit to her husband. And that just didn’t really sit well with me.

What is your favorite book trope?

This is a no brainer for me. Hate to love is my favorite trope. One sure thing that will most likely make me pick up a book is it having a hate to love trope. One of my favorites with this trope is The Wrath & the Dawn by Renné Ahdieh.

If there was something you could change about any book, what would it be and what is the book?

This question is a thinker aha. The book which I would do the changing in is Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. What I would change is that Livvy would not die at the end! Her death just broke my heart and shocked me and she should not have died so I would make it where she never died!

Do you have any hobbies outside of reading?

Yes! In the spring I swim on my school swim team. I have been swimming on and off my whole life and then just decided my freshman year to join the swim team and I have really loved being on the swim team!

If you could give someone the best piece of advice you have, what would that advice be?

Ahhh I really don’t know this one. Maybe something like don’t die what matters to you for any reason. What I mean by this I guess is like, I’ll just give my example of like myself and this advice. I am Jewish and there are people out there who want to wipe us off the planet but I don’t hide that I am Jewish because those people are out there. I hope this answer makes sense😅

Where would you love to vacation?

There are so many places on my bucket list and more of them are in Europe aha. My top place and the place I would want to visit most in the world and take a vacation to is England but if one wants specifics than London. Ever since watching Doctor Who I have been dying to go and visit London.


Nominated Bloggers

Hasna

Ally

Sasha


Questions for bloggers

  1. What is the first book you remember falling in love with?
  2. Who are all your book boyfriends/girlfriends?
  3. What TV shows are you currently obsessed with?
  4. Why do you love to read?
  5. Suddenly Voldemort is back alive, which two nonmagical book characters would you want to form your Golden Trio?
  6. Which dead historical figure would you like to meet and why?
  7. What has been the hardest book to write a review for so far?
book review

Throw like a Girl|ARC Review

Top Ten Tuesday-44.png

Title: Throw like a Girl40195260._SY475_.jpg

Author: Sarah Henning

Publication Date: January 7th  2020

Rating: ★.75

Synopsis: When softball star Liv Rodinsky throws one ill-advised punch during the most important game of the year, she loses her scholarship to her fancy private school, her boyfriend, and her teammates all in one fell swoop. With no other options, Liv is forced to transfer to the nearest public school, Northland, where she’ll have to convince their coach she deserves a spot on the softball team, all while facing both her ex and the teammates of the girl she punched… Every. Single. Day.

Enter Grey, the injured star quarterback with amazing hair and a foolproof plan: if Liv joins the football team as his temporary replacement, he’ll make sure she gets a spot on the softball team in the Spring. But it will take more than the perfect spiral for Liv to find acceptance in Northland’s halls, and behind that charming smile, Grey may not be so perfect after all.

Disclaimer: I received and ARC from the publishers to review but all thoughts are my own

Spoiler Free Review

I really enjoyed this book, think I finished it in two days! The plot was enjoyable and I liked how prominent football was in the book. The characters were enjoyable, the main and the background characters. I liked how quick and easy this story was to follow even for people who are not familiar with football like myself.

Liv was a great main character. In the heat of the moment she punches an opposing teammate and is no longer able to attend the private school she currently attends. So now she must navigate her zoned high school where she knows no one but everyone knows her. But then she is recruited to play football by the staring quarterback himself. It was awesome how the author showed us so much of how hard Liv worked at football. The dynamic between Liv and the football players was nice to see and how well they got together. I wasn’t sure which way the author was going to go with the football players because there are people who think it is a male only sport, but I was happy to see the author didn’t go that route and the guys accepted Liv’s spot on the team. Though Liv puts on this tough outer shell it was nice to see this other side of her at times in the book where she let that shell come down. I liked how we got different sides of her as a character, it was nice and it added more depth to her.

Grey wasn’t what I thought he was going to be. I expected him to be this cocky and arrogant football star and he was that a little bit but not all the time. Just like we got to see with Liv,  we got to see different sides of Grey. One thing that I admired about Grey as  a character was he does something stupid throughout the book but in the end he owned up to it which wasn’t what I was expecting from him but I was glad to see him do it.

I was happy to see that almost all of this book focuses on football and not the budding romance. I wasn’t sure of the romance was going to take a front for this book but it was more of an afterthought. This book says its about Liv and being the only girl on the football team and it delivers. I do not watch football so I didn’t;t know exactly all the key terms they used and what they plays meant exactly but the author provides enough details to where that doesn’t matter. Like me, you could have no prior knowledge of football and have no problems understanding what is going on in the game because of the details the author provides.

One thing that I found a little unrealistic was Liv and her football abilities. Maybe this isn’t unrealistic like I think it is, but it just seems unrealistic to me which is why I have a little problem with it. Liv has never played football before, only really tosses a ball with her brother. And suddenly she is almost as good as the guys who has been playing forever. Like that just seems so unrealistic to me.

Overall this is an enjoyable read and I cannot wait for you all to read it when it is published!

Uncategorized

Rereading Throne of Glass|My Experience and Thoughts

Top Ten Tuesday-43.png

Hello everyone. So I am not a huge fan of rereading, I think I’ve only reread three books, maybe even two. I don’t like to reread because why spend my time reading a book where I already know whats going to happen when I can read a book where the ending is a mystery. Plus isn’t the point of reading to find out the ending of the book, isn’t that why we pick up and read in the first place? So for me, why would I read a book where I already know what is going to happen?

As you can guess from the title of this blog post, I reread Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I wasn’t planning to reread this book by any means, but Throne of Glass(ToG) was my libraries teen book club pick for the month of October. Initially I wasn’t going to reread it and I was going to rely on my excellent memories as well as go off of what other people say. But the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize some things.

The first thing I realized is that the lines between what happens in what book has become nonexistent. For instance I can’t remember if Aelin(Celaena) hooked-up with Dorian in the first book or Chaol, or did Nehemia die in book one or two. And I didn’t want to accidentally spoil things for those who have not read the full series. Secondly, the book club does a trivia and whoever gets the most points gets a free ARC. Now the first time I read ToG was probably around three years ago, and though I remember the main parts of the story, I don’t remember the little details which will sure to be questions. So I decided to reread the first book.

I was a little nervous rereading this book. I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it because I already knew what happened at the end as well as the whole series. And though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I read it the first time around, it wasn’t a miserable read. Within a few chapters it became clear to me that when rereading it isn’t to find out the ending, you already know that. But more for the details, being with the characters again, and being in that world again.

I didn’t realize how much I missed the characters in this series. Rereading this makes me want to reread the whole series. One thing that was cool about rereading this was that the character growths because so much more apparent. As I read I got to see how each character grew but now reading how they started out, it just because so much clear for me. I sorta miss how Aelin, Dorian, and Chaol were in the first book. In a sense they were carefree. As the series continues each character takes on a considerable amount of weight and they have some big responsibilities. And so naturally they changed because they had to. I miss how snarky and sarcastic Aelin was in the first book. True, she is still like that throughout the series, but not nearly as much as she was in the first book. Dorian too, I miss the flirty little dude he was in the first book aha.

Another thing rereading ToG made apparent to me was how much Maas’s writing has improved. I knew it improved with each book she wrote but reading the first book she wrote and published made it easy to see just how she improved in her writing. Writing about an author’s writing style is a bit of a struggle for me so to spare you from the pain of having to read it, I am not going to compare her style from now to then, sorry.

For me, rereading took a little bit of joy out of the joy that is reading. Though I did enjoy this reread, I just felt it wasn’t the same. I already knew what was going to happen and for me, that took a little bit out of the fun of reading the book. I remember when I first read this I couldn’t put it down because I just had to know what was going to happen. And this time it wasn’t like that because I already knew what was going to happen. And maybe I’m just looking at the whole rereading process in the wrong way, but it’s just how I see it.

My favorite part about rereading the book was just being with the characters again and reading funny scenes I forgot about. Like the scene where Dorian picked up the romance book Aelin is reading, I completely forgot that scene existed but it was such a funny scene and I think it is definitely one of my favorites from the book. I don’t know how soon I will be yearning to reread a book. But I do have to say it was more enjoyable than I originally thought it was going to be.

Wrap-Up

October Wrap Up|2019

Top Ten Tuesday-42.png

I hope everyone had an awesome spooky October! I went into October hoping to read all the thriller and mystery books…that did not happen. I sadly only read a few thriller/mystery books. What other books did I read if not those might you ask? Well good question, your about to find out!

The first book I finished in October was the last book in the Five Dark Crowns series Five Dark Fates. I really enjoyed this book and enjoyed all the action it had. I was not a fan of the ending in any way and if I could I would change it. I enjoyed this series overall and thought this was a nice conclusion to the series. I gave this 4/5 stars.

My first spooky book of the month was Never-Contended Things by Sarah Porter. This was a book. It’s pretty hard for me to gather thoughts on this book(its a wonder how I managed to write a review about it) and I’m still not that sure on how I feel about it. It touches on some important subjects like consent which I thought was a good aspect of the book. If you want to read more of my thoughts click the link here to read my review. I gave this 3/5 stars.

I strove away from the spooky books and read Defiance Falls Revolution by Ali Dean. I was not a huge fan of this. I definitely found it better than the first which was good. However it felt like nothing, absolutely nothing of importance happened in this book. But the plot was less messy than the first one which made it easier to read. There was also no character growth or depth that I hoped would happen. I gave this 3/5 stars.

Then I reread a childhood favorite of mine The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. I loved this book as a young one and this time was no different. The characters are my favorite part of the book. They have more depth than some YA books I’ve read which honestly surprised me a little because it is a middle grade book. All these characters are so fun and different and I loved seeing/reading them interact with each other and solve the mystery. You can read my full review here.

I finally went back to a spooky book because Spookathon started(which I triumphantly failed!) The first book I read was Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach. I was a bit disappointed by this book. It didn’t quite turn out as I expected and it seemed a little bit anticlimactic throughout the book. I gave this 3/5 stars.

My second and last book that I read for Spookathon was Nightbird by Brian Freeman. I was pleasantly surprised by this book! This is definitely a thriller book I think people should read. The whole main concept is so interesting and crazy at the same time. The main characters were alright. This book definitely kept me on the edge of my seat and threw in some twists toward the end. I gave this 4/5 stars.

Next I picked up When the Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis. I enjoyed this book. I liked how relatable the main character was with applying to collages and the stress of it. If you want to read my full review it is here. I gave this a 3/5 stars.

I finally read my last spooky book of the month, Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie. This was definitely not my favorite of her books that I have read. I didn’t find the mystery all that interesting and it took me a while to finish. The ending where they were discovering who the murderer was was my favorite part and probably the most interesting part to me. One thing I like about Christie’s books are the person who did it is never who you think it is. I always think I’ve guessed it only to realize I was so far off the course. I gave this a 4/5 stars.

The last book I read for October was Defiance Falls War by Ali Dean. This was a decent conclusion to the series. It was a lot more anti-climatic than I thought which made the book a little disappointing to me. Still no character depth for Hazel very much but I was happy to see we get a little character depth from Cruz. There are chapters in this book from Cruz’s point of view and through these chapters we got to see a bit into Cruz’s mind. Like I said earlier I was expecting more from this story action wise and it felt like nothing really happened. Some things just felt rushed and felt like they could be explained better which left me a bit confused at some parts, especially the whole “we have the power now” dynamic. The ending was so rushed and I did not like it. There was this one thing that happened at the end of a chapter and it could of been something major in the plot but by the next chapter it was all solved and I wonder why the author even included it because it didn’t even really plot all that much. In the end, I wouldn’t say the books in this series were Ali Dean’s best works

So there it is, all the books I read in the month of October. I have to say, I read a lot more than I thought I did which I’m happy with.

How many books did you read in October?

book review

The Fountains of Silence|Book Review

Top Ten Tuesday-40

Title: The Fountains of Silence43220998._SY475_.jpg

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Pages: 512

Rating:

Synopsis: Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming guise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of a Texas oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.

Spoiler Free Review

Wow, another amazing book by Ruta Sepetys! Within the first 100 pages of this book I was entrapped. This is definitely my second favorite book of Sepetys(my first being Between Shades of Gray). The whole story is just a beautiful story. In all honesty I didn’t really know there was a Spanish Civil War or what happened during Franco’s reign and this book has definitely made me curious. I will definitely be looking up and reading more about this time period.

There are quite a lot of characters in this book and there are a few different point of views that we follow. We follow the perspectives of two families and within those families there are the two main characters, Daniel and Ana. The side characters are many but each and everyone adds to the story. The side characters are Rafa, Julia, Antonio, Fuga, Puri, Nick, and Ben.

Daniel is 18 who is from Texas and has come to Madrid on a family vacation. Daniel’s father is a rich oil tycoon and his mother was born in Spain. As much as Daniel’s father would like him to follow in his footsteps, Daniel wants to be a photojournalist and his mission so to say, is to take pictures that will grant him access to journalist school. I really liked Daniel as a character as I loved seeing how much photography was such a big role in his life and how that also plays into part of the plot. Daniel doesn’t quite understand in fully the life that Ana and her family lives and the complexity of living under the Franco regime. He sees a completely different Spain than he does but as he begins to get to know more about Ana and her life, he sees that the Spain he knows is very different from the actual Spain. One thing I liked about Daniel was his like originality, more specifically through his sense of style. Almost 90% of the book it feels that Daniel is wearing jeans, boots, belt buckle, and plaid shirt and I liked how he stood out against all the embassy diplomats and other officials, I just think it added another layer to him so to say.

Ana is the other main characters. I really loved Ana and I think she might be my favorite character. Ana’s parents went against the Franco regime and because of that they paid with their life, leaving Ana’s older sister Julia and her husband Antonio to take charge. Ana is a dreamer and she often thinks of a life outside of Spain and visiting somewhere out of Spain. Ana works in the hotel in which Daniel is staying at and that is how the two meet. Ana has secrets of her own and though it doesn’t really play much into the plot, it does appear periodically throughout the book. Ana is the one who opens Daniel’s eye to the real Spain and sort of shifts his views, showing him that the Spain he knows and sees is different from the real Spain, the one that she sees.

There are quite a couple of background characters that play a role in the story. At first I wasn’t a huge fan of them and I thought it made the book a bit confusing. But as I read I got to understand why these characters were present and why we got chapters in their point of view. Each of them have their own story/views of living under the Franco regime and their own way in dealing/coping with it and the hand they were given. One clear example of this is Rafa’s friend Fuga. Though he does not have many words his anger can be felt and he uses bullfighting as a way to channel his anger and fight for the kids who have no one to fight for them. Then there is Puri, who is Ana, Julia, and Rafa’s cousin. Puri works at the orphanage and believes in being the perfect image of a perfect Spanish girl. But with more access Puri gets, the more knowledge she learns, and questions start to form. Puri doesn’t get many chapters but I found her storyline interesting. Puri starts to question those she once looked up to and the teachings she’s been taught. At the end of the book it was interesting to see how she turned out and how she changed.

One of my favorite things about Sepetys books is her writing. I find her writing so beautiful and it just adds an extra level to her books. Her writing is just so beautiful and it flows just so well. In between chapters she included little news articles/clippings from the actual time period and I thought that was really cool to see.

One thing I wasn’t a complete fan of was the ending. I can’t say too much without spoilers but I’m just not an overall fan of those kinds of endings. That being said, I think it fits the story.

I was nervous to read this book because from appearance it seems like a dense book. But this book is not a dense book because of the way Sepetys tells the story. It was so easy to get swept up into this story with these characters. This is a book I would definitely recommend to any historical fiction fan or someone who wants to get into historical fiction.

 

cover reveal

Cover Reveal|Disenchanted

Top Ten Tuesday-39.png

I am happy to be teaming up with Parliament Press(website) to reveal the cover for Brianna Sugalski’s upcoming novel Disenchanted!!

Disenchanted is a dark fantasy novel that is set to be published on March 10th 2020!

Synopsis

Centuries ago, the flames of a terrible war engulfed the sprawling wildwood of Brittany, displacing hoards of monsters in its wake. These beasts fled to the remaining patches of forest, the largest known as Brocèliande—home to the elusive Fae, and within unsettling proximity to the mortal kingdom.

***

A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents’ castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst… Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever.

Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the gregarious stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.

This is the story of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch that can save them both.

Now for the moment you have been waiting for, the cover reveal *drum roll*
giphy.gif

Cover Reveal

Isn’t this cover just gorgeous😍IMG_3460

I seriously cannot wait until this book is out so I can see this gorgeous cover in person because I have a feeling it is going to be 10x more pretty in person. unnamed-2.png

book review

When the Stars Lead to You|ARC Review

Top Ten Tuesday-37.png

Title: When the Stars Lead to You41908418.jpg

Author: Ronni Davis

Publication Date: November 12th

Rating: ★.5

Synopsis: The stars.
And the boy she fell in love with last summer.

When Ashton breaks Devon’s heart at the end of the most romantic and magical summer ever, she thinks her heart will never heal again. But over the course of the following year, Devon finds herself slowly putting the broken pieces back together.

Now it’s senior year, and she’s determined to enjoy every moment of it as she prepares for a future studying the galaxies. That is, until Ashton shows up on the first day of school. Can she forgive him and open her heart again? Or are they doomed to repeat history?

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

Spoiler Free Review

I want to start off this review by starting how pretty this cover looks. Okay, now that I said that, onto the review! This was an enjoyable read. We follow a high school senior named Devon. Devon spent the summer before junior year at her cousin’s house near the beach. At a party she meets a boy named Ashton. Right off the bat the two of them click, and they spend the whole summer together. And then Ashton breaks Devon’s heart, leaving her all alone of what was suppose to be their last day together. Devon spends the next year trying to get over Ashton. Senior year rolls around and Devon is ready to focus on her future. That is until she sees an all familiar face at her school. Ashton arrives at her school and all her feelings rush back. Devon struggles with her feelings for him and what he did to her.

Devon’s dream is to become an astrologist and it’s really clear in the book. I like how there is this constant underlying theme in the book that revolves around the stars in the sky because Devon is really passionate about it. Some books mention something that is important to the main character but they don’t exactly show it, I like that Davis clearly showed how much Devon likes astrology. Devon is a senior in college and that means college applications. I appreciate that Davis showed how stressful applying for a college can be and the stress of getting into your dream college. As a senior I am going through these same notions as Devon and  I really related to her and her stress about college.

This book deals with mental health like depression and suicidal thoughts. I feel like this book just touches base in a way with depression and suicidal thoughts. Because this book is Devon’s story and from her P.O.V we don’t really get the depth of how the person is dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts. However I think the book did a good job of showing how tough it can be being in a relationship with someone who is currently battling depression and has suicidal thoughts. We see the worries Devon has and her fears and it felt very real to me.

This book has bi-racial rep in it which I really liked. Devon comes from a bi-racial family and enters a bi-racial relationship herself as well. It hits on good conversations about race and acceptance of dating outside your race.

Overall I enjoyed this book. I liked Devon as a main character and I loved how she felt relatable as a character. I liked how the book was split up into three parts. Before when Devon first met Ashton, During when she sees Ashton again, and After, when high school ends. This was a book where I enjoyed it but didn’t exactly love it.