The Cruel Prince ~ Review

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Cruel Prince definitely got better the farther into the book you got. The beginning felt kinda slow and wasn’t really all that interesting/captivating. However, the second half of the book really took off and I read the second half in like, an hour and a half it was that entertaining! I was really nervous that this book wouldn’t live up to the hype, but I feel like it really did in some aspects.

The things I liked:

-I loved how complex and crazy the plot was, and how the court was so conniving and were backstabbing people left and right! How the fae were able to get around their inability to lie was really fantastic to read, and was honestly pretty awe inspiring. Not that I’m going to use that as an example, but it may come in handy some day. (Just kidding! Or am I?) I started to guess what was going on with Locke when Taryn started acting strangely whenever Jude would mention him, so that wasn’t really a big surprise to me. What was a surprise was the way Jude handled it, I love that she defended her honor instead of fighting over him.

-I also loved that the world building lived up to my expectations. All these books that we have on faeries say that they are deadly and their world is perilous for humans, and this really shone through in this book. The fae are cruel and deadly, and so is the environment. The bullying that Jude goes through is harsh, but definitely fits in with what we know of the fae and how they treat humans. There is so much cruelty and murder and honestly, its pretty freaking fantastic.

-I love and hate Jude all at the same time. I think she is so wonderfully complicated, but she is also kind of heartless and yeah, she says that her actions are to protect her brother, but really its so that she can have power over the faeries that have had power over her for so long. The fact that she admits that if she stopped to think about the murder of her parents the fear would swallow her whole is something that makes her more relatable. She is absolutely ruthless when it comes to her scheming and getting what she wants to happen. Love it! (And hate it, which I’ll explain later.)

-Cardan is so horrible, but I love him at the same time? He does kind of redeem himself in the second part of the book (I won’t say how because spoilers), so I actually really enjoy his character and cannot wait to see more of him in the next book! I especially cannot wait for the interactions between him and Jude, and I totally ship it! (Even though that seems highly unlikely to happen since they kinda hate each other)

-I have heard people mention the plot twist at the end, and it was really entertaining to watch it play out finally! I wouldn’t quite call it a plot twist, because Jude walks through her decision making process and we can see where it is going, but it was still fantastic and had me flying through the last few pages!

The only things I didn’t like about the book was that the first part was a lot of set up for the second half, so it was a little bit slower. I wouldn’t say that that was necessarily a bad thing because every book does better with some background, and I’m definitely being nit-picky.

The other thing that I didn’t really like is actually also one of the things I liked about the book, which is Jude. I loved her, but at the same time I hated her and thought that she could’ve been a much better person than what she was. I didn’t totally enjoy how heartless she came across, but at the same time I totally understand why.

I was really afraid that this wouldn’t live up to the hype, but for me it really did and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves books about faeries and stabby stabby books!

Harry Potter reread review

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my first time EVER rereading Harry Potter! I read them forever ago (I distinctly remember dressing up as Harry when one of the last books came out), so it was obviously time for me to do a reread. I listened to this on audiobook, and it was fantastic! I couldn’t help but to compare everything to the movies (which I love) and I had a lot of fun noticing the differences between the two. Obviously it gets rated a 5 out of 5 because Harry Potter is amazing!

Markswoman ~ Review

Markswoman (Asiana, #1)

Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book and I thought it was a great first book in a new series. It set up a lot for the second book, which means that now I need to read book 2 to see what happens!

I loved the characters, especially Kyra. She’s almost like a “chosen one” character, with none of the regular tropes that go along with that. She isn’t instantly powerful or super talented right off the bat, she is still learning skills as the book goes on and makes mistakes, just like anyone else. What I really love about her is that she never needs anyone to come after her and clean up her mistakes, she owns them and deals with it. She also never lets her feelings for Rustan get in the way of achieving her goals, which is very refreshing. Rustan was also a great character, I love that he has this inner struggle with himself after killing an innocent man, he doesn’t just say oh well and move on from it. I really hope the second book goes deeper into his past and gives us more about him, because he was really enjoyable.

There was romance in the book, but not once did it overshadow the plot. They are never all lovey dovey with each other, mainly because it is against the law for them to be together, but they don’t let their feelings get in the way of what they have to do in order to survive and serve their orders.

I also really liked the world that this is set in, its a post apocalyptic fantasy type world, where there was a Great War where an ancient civilization disappeared and left behind all their technology. The people who currently live in Asiana don’t fully understand how that technology works, but they are still able to use it and study it. I hope that this is expanded upon in the second book because it almost doesn’t fit in with a fantasy world, having these doors that can transport you through time to another door. That was really the only thing in this book that I didn’t really like, it took me out of the story and seemed more like it was a way of solving the issue of traveling from one place to another, instead of adding to the story.

I loved that we got to see different parts of this world, from Ferghana with its forests and mountains to the Empty Place with its deserts and sandstorms. There are 5 orders, all are made up of women but one, the Order of Khur which lives in that desert. They aren’t well respected as Marksmen because the Markswomen mostly think they are an abomination and should not be allowed to bond with the blades they use.

I do wish that we got more fight/assassination scenes, because that is the purpose of the Markswomen, to kill people who disrupt the peace. Hopefully we get more of that in the next book.

Overall, a great start to a new fantasy series and I cannot wait to pick up book 2 to see where the story goes, since the ending of this one left so many questions unanswered and wow, that reveal at the end! I kind of saw it coming but it was actually a surprise the way it was revealed. Definitely recommend!

Siege and Storm ~ Review

Siege and Storm (Grisha Verse, #2)

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow this was a fantastic second book! No second book slump here, the writing is excellent and the plot even more so. I still love all the characters (even the Darkling, who I love to hate), but my favorite is definitely Nikolai and now I understand why everyone is so excited that he is getting his own spin off series! I really enjoyed the fact that Alina doesn’t just want to be a pawn, she wants to lead the army and help fight the Darkling. The end of the book was so intense, I couldn’t put it down! I actually stayed up late to finish it, and I haven’t done that with a book in a long time.

I never really saw Alina with Mal, so I’m actually kind of happy with the way their relationship turned out because I totally ship Alina and Nikolai, even though at the end of the book we don’t even know if Nikolai is alive (I definitely think he is, because that would be a waste of a fantastic character).

So far my favorite book in the series, but I haven’t started the third book yet so that could change.

Shadow and Bone ~ Review

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Verse, #1)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actual Rating: 4.5

I’m really happy that I finally got to read this book after so many people have been telling me to read it! I enjoyed it immensely, and cannot wait to continue the series (right after I’m done typing up this review!)

I liked Alina and Mal, especially together because they just build each other up and it almost seems to me like together they are a whole person, but separated they are not. I think the Darkling is a fantastic villain and I love him so much, even though hes not really a good hearted character.

Leigh’s writing style really appeals to me, its something that you don’t really notice while you are reading and nothing sticks out like a sore thumb, which for me is my favorite kind of writing. I don’t like if you have to sit and really think about the words on the page and what they mean, I just want to be able to read the story and really get into it. For me, good writing shouldn’t be noticeable when you are actually reading, if that makes any sense!

The chosen one trope is literally one of my favorite tropes ever, so obviously I really enjoyed that part of the book! The one thing that I didn’t really like was when Alina first met Genya and she wanted to make her pretty. I don’t really get why the main character always has to be pretty? I understand that in this world, having Grisha power gives you a longer lifespan and makes you healthier, which is why they are all pretty. But why can there not be average looking Grishas? Its not a huge issue, but definitely one that stood out to me, especially because they keep mentioning how beautiful the Grisha are.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I think it’ll be really interesting to see what happens in the next two books. Everyone says that they will rip your heart out, so hopefully it doesn’t destroy me too much!

The Valiant ~ Review

The Valiant (The Valiant, #1)The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actual Rating: 4.5

I really enjoyed this book! Originally I thought that this book was going to have more of a fantasy element, but it is definitely more of a historical fiction than a fantasy novel. I loved Fallon and how she was so strong and fought for herself. She was always learning and wasn’t the perfect female main character you get in some books, she was definitely flawed and made mistakes, but she learned from them and that’s part of why I like her so much.

I don’t mind the romance in the book, although I do think it go really intense too quickly, especially considering how much Fallon hates the Romans and the love interest is a Roman soldier.

The plot was something that I’ve never read before and was really different and refreshing! Fallon is the daughter of a Celtic king who’s sister was killed in battle with the Romans. Fallon really wants to be a member of her father’s war band, but doesn’t get the chance after she is captured and ultimately is sent to become a gladiator for Julius Caesar.

I love the friendship that Fallon develops with Elka even though they were off to a rough start when they met, they always have each other’s backs.

The ending of this book set up the second book wonderfully, and I cannot wait until it comes out!

Hunted ~ Review

HuntedHunted by Meagan Spooner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. This was a fantastic retelling of Beauty and the Beast! I absolutely loved that it combined this classic tale with Russian folk tales, it made it all the more exciting to read. I loved that Yeva was a hunter and went against the social norms of the time. A strong heroine always makes for a great read. I loved the beast and how we got little snippets from his perspective. I loved that the author made everything meld together seamlessly, and really made the love between Yeva and the Beast more plausible. At first, Yeva doesn’t know that the beast is her captor and that definitely adds a nice touch to the story. I also loved that Yeva never lost sight of her goal of killing the Beast, and even talked about falling in love with someone that is abusive and what that means to them. I was pleased that that issue was addressed in the book.

Overall, this is a great book for fans of retellings and fantasy in general! I definitely recommend it!

Flight of a Starling ~ Review

Flight of a StarlingFlight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I just finished this book and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. I liked it, but I can’t quite put my finger on what I liked, and at the same time I didn’t like it, but again, I’m not sure why. It was definitely a sad story, but when I was reading it I didn’t really feel that sadness myself. I didn’t really connect with any of the characters and it took me forever to get through. I’m not sure if it is the writing style that made it so hard to get through or what exactly it was, maybe it’s the circus aspect, because I also had this issue with The Night Circus. For now, I’m going to set this as a 2.5 star rating, because I still don’t quite know what to make of this book.

2018 Most Anticipated

Today is just the day of blog posts! I really want to get more into the blogging aspect of the book community, so here we go with a list of my most anticipated reads of 2018!

Since there is a lot of them, I’m going to break it into the month that they are going to be released in. I will come back and update this list as more are added, because I’m sure this list will be growing as the year goes on!

 

JANUARY

  • The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black (Jan 2)
  • Everless by Sara Holland (Jan 2)
  • Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman (Jan 9)
  • Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (Jan 16)
  • Markswoman (Asiana #1) by Rati Mehrotra (Jan 23)
  • The Defiant (The Valiant #2) by Lesley Livingston (Jan 23)
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (Jan 30)
  • Reign the Earth (The Elementae #1) by A.C. Gaughen (Jan 30)

 

FEBRUARY

  • American Panda by Gloria Chao (Feb 6)
  • By a Charm and a Curse by Jamie Questell (Feb 6)
  • The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross ( Feb 6)
  • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (Feb 6)
  • Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms #6) by Morgan Rhodes (Feb 6)
  • Witch’s Reign (Desert Cursed #1) by Shannon Meyer (Feb 6)
  • Sightwitch (The Witchlands #0.5) by Susan Dennard (Feb 13)
  • The Traitor Prince (Ravenspire #3) by C.J. Redwine (Feb 13)
  • The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg (Feb 20)
  • Ink, Iron, and Glass (Ink, Iron, and Glass #1) by Gwendolyn Clare (Feb 20)
  • Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (Feb 27)
  • A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena (Feb 27)

 

MARCH

  • Tiger’s Dream (The Tiger Saga #5) by Colleen Houck (Mar ?)
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Mar 6)
  • The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (Mar 6)
  • To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (Mar 6)
  • I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon (Mar 27)
  • The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton (Mar 27)

 

APRIL

  • Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2) by Mark Lawrence (April 3)
  • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (April 3)
  • Circe by Madeline Miller (April 10)
  • Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young (April 24)

 

MAY

  • A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1) by Sarah J Maas (May 1)
  • Royals by Rachel Hawkins (May 1)
  • Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett (May 15)
  • Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake (May 15)
  • War Storm (Red Queen #4) by Victoria Aveyard (May 15)
  • Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber (May 29)

 

JUNE

  • Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl (June ?)
  • Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pérez (June 5)
  • Rage (Stormheart #2) by Cora Carmack (June 12)
  • My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton (June 26)

 

JULY

  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (July 10)
  • Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart (July 24)

 

AUGUST

  • Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #1) by Mary Pearson (Aug 7)
  • These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders #1) by Sara Raasch (Aug 7)

 

There are also a few that don’t have a release date yet, but it does say sometime in 2018. Those are:

  • The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck
  • Vengeful (Villans #2) by V.E. Schwab

 

For Synopses of all of the books listed, you can check out my Goodreads list!

2018 Reading Goals

I have a good feeling about 2018 as far as reading goes (not quite sure how everything outside of reading is going to go, but we’ll see). 2017 saw me start my bookstagram/book blogging adventure, so now its really go time to see how well I can do with this new hobby. I set myself a reading goal of 75 books, but that goal isn’t set in stone. I’ve never actually counted the books that I read in a year, so this is more of a guess as to how many I think I read and to see if that’s really true!

Also, in the last few months I’ve gotten so many new books, I had to buy another bookshelf! Now I’m up to 3.5 bookshelves, and they are mostly full already. I don’t want to say that I won’t buy books in 2018 (which would be impossible since there are so many interesting new books coming out this year) but I do want to kind of cut back on my book buying habits. I know that hardbacks are usually so much prettier than their paperback counterparts, but the paperbacks are soooooo much cheaper, so when I do buy books (other than new releases, because who can really wait that long until the paperback version comes out?) I plan on buying almost exclusively paperbacks.

 

Here’s to 2018 and a great reading year!