March 2021 Wrap-Up

I’d like to start by apologizing for publishing this wrap-up post so late! How is it that we’re already almost half-way through April? It’s crazy!

But I can assure you that I have an excuse for the delay: I was extremely busy in March! It was definitely a month that kept me on my toes. I spent the majority of it finishing up schoolwork to prepare for Spring Break, and by the end of March, I was feeling very burnt out after so many weeks of online classes. But thankfully, I was able to escape into books during my spare time, and I actually ended getting a lot of reading done!

Total Number of Books Read: 12

Amazon.com: A Very Large Expanse of Sea (9780062866561): Mafi, Tahereh:  Books

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi: Tahereh Mafi is one of my all time favorite authors. I absolutely adore her Shatter Me series, and ever since finishing it, I’ve desperately wanted to pick up her contemporary novel, A Very Large Expanse of Sea. I finally got around to reading it last month, and as expected, I loved it. It was such a powerful book that I think everyone would benefit from reading. My only complaint is that the romance felt a bit flimsy at times, but despite that, the story was still incredible! Rating: ★★★★☆

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A Trial of Sorcerers (A Trial of Sorcerers, #1) by Elise Kova

A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova: A Trial of Sorcerers was my first Elise Kova novel, and it certainly did not let me down! The story was fast paced and intense, and I loved the characters! The plot was a tad predictable, and the magic system was pretty generic, but I enjoyed this book nonetheless! If you’re looking for a light, entertaining fantasy novel, A Trial of Sorcerers is, without a doubt, the book for you. Rating: ★★★★☆

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Hunted (9780062422286): Spooner, Meagan: Books - Amazon.com

Hunted by Meagan Spooner: This stunning Beauty and the Beast retelling definitely took me by surprise! It was unique and gorgeously written, and I felt like I was reading an actual fairy tale! Meagan Spooner is an extremely talented author (especially when it comes to retellings), and I’m so excited to read more of her work in the future! Rating: ★★★★☆

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Twilight (Meyer novel) - Wikipedia

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer: Yes, that’s right! Last month, I finally picked up Twilight, the book that I once vowed to never EVER read. Oh, the things this pandemic has made me do. I mainly read this book out of curiosity, even though many people warned me that it was cheesy, predictable, and ridiculous. It was indeed all of those things, but I confess, I did sort of enjoy poking fun at all the corniness! Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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Outlander: Gabaldon, Diana: 9780440212560: Amazon.com: Books

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: I was quite intimidated by this book prior to picking it up. For one thing, it’s MASSIVE! The whole novel is well over 800 pages! But even so, I now know that I had no reason to be nervous, for I ended up loving this book! The atmosphere was absolutely breathtaking… I truly felt like I was standing right alongside Claire and Jamie as they ventured through the lush Scottish highlands. I will most certainly be reading the next book in this series, and hopefully the books that come after that as well! I can see the Outlander saga quickly becoming a new favorite of mine! Rating: ★★★★☆

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Amazon.com: Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy Book 1) eBook:  Bardugo, Leigh: Kindle Store

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Re-read): As you might’ve already guessed, I re-read this book in anticipation of the upcoming Netflix adaptation, which I am SO stoked for! Even though I really enjoyed Shadow and Bone the first time I read it, for some reason, I never got around to finishing the series. The Netflix show has definitely given me motivation to finally do so! Rating: ★★★★☆

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Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo, Paperback |  Barnes & Noble®

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo: It’s common knowledge that sequels are typically either hit or miss… Fortunately, Siege and Storm was a hit! I would say that it’s probably just as good as it’s predecessor, Shadow and Bone. The addition of Nikolai’s character really made the book shine, especially when it came to his relationship with Alina. And even though the Darkling and Genya, two of my favorite characters, were annoyingly absent for a majority of the book, I still really enjoyed it. Rating: ★★★★☆

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The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2) by Julia Quinn

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn: It’s official: The Viscount Who Loved Me is now my FAVORITE Bridgerton novel! Well, out of the three that I’ve read… But that’s not the point! The point is that this book is beautiful, wonderful fluff that will have you swooning until the very last page! Kate and Anthony are such lovable, flawed characters, and their romantic journey was such a pleasure to read about. I am now more excited for Bridgerton Season 2 than ever! Rating: ★★★★.5

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Amazon.com: Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy Book 3) eBook:  Bardugo, Leigh: Kindle Store

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo: I’m not going to lie… the final book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy was a bit of a let-down for me. It was decent, but not the grand finale I expected it to be. The book dragged on and on and on, and the majority of it felt extremely slow paced. In all honesty, I wish this series had been a duology instead of a trilogy. Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Amazon.com: Opal: A Lux Novel eBook: Armentrout, Jennifer L.: Kindle Store

Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout: The Lux series has become a new obsession of mine! The characters are so easy to root for, and the plot is fast paced and exciting! Jennifer L. Armentrout’s writing is so fun and witty, I just can’t get enough of it! Opal ended on a colossal cliffhanger, so I’m dying to know what will happen next in book four, Origin! I can’t wait to read it! Rating: ★★★★☆

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An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgerton Series, Bk. 3): Quinn, Julia:  9780380815586: Amazon.com: Books

An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn: An Offer From a Gentleman was a fun read, but it was not quite as good as its predecessor, The Viscount Who Loved Me, which set the bar very high for future Bridgerton novels! The beginning of the story had me completely hooked (it was the perfect set-up for a Cinderella retelling), but the middle felt a bit dull. Additionally, Benedict, one of the two main characters, could be very entitled and obnoxious at times, even though Sophie, the other main character, was far more likable. But I still really enjoyed this book, and I’m looking forward to seeing it brought to life on screen! Rating: ★★★.5☆

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The Soulmate Equation - Kindle edition by Lauren, Christina. Literature &  Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren: Ah, Christina Lauren has done it once again! The Soulmate Equation is everything you could possibly hope for in a romance novel! It’s addictive, swoon-worthy, and charming, full of wonderful characters, shocking plot twists, and endless romantic tension. I’m so lucky to have received an ARC of it! Keep an eye out for my full review, which I’ll be posting in the near future. Rating: ★★★★.5

February 2021 Wrap-Up

ARC Review: A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova

My Least Favorite Reads of 2020

Sequels I Can’t Wait to Read

April is definitely turning out to be a month of re-reads for me! I’m currently knee-deep in my re-read of the Folk of the Air trilogy, which I’m having such a blast diving back into! Jude and Cardan are two of my all time favorite characters, and I’m so excited to be reuniting with them!

I’m not sure what I’ll be reading after that, but I have a feeling that I’ll be tackling a lot of ARCs this month… That will surely keep me busy!

Anyways, that’s my March in a nutshell!

I hope you all had a great month! Be sure to let me know what books you read, and what you’re planning on picking up next.

Well, I guess that’s it for now! ❤

Until next time,

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Sequels I Can’t Wait to Read

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’ve all had a fantastic week.

As you might’ve gathered from the title of this post, today I’m going to gushing about all of the sequels that I’m DYING to read! I’ve been meaning to publish a sequels-related post for some time now, so trust me when I say that this list is long overdue.

One of my reading goals for 2021 is to stop leaving so many series unfinished, so naturally, there are quite a few sequels on my TBR. Some of these books are ones that will be coming out in the near future, while others are back-list books that I can’t wait to devour!

Let’s go ahead and dive right in!

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Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander, Series Book #2)

Dragonfly in Amber: A Novel (Outlander): Gabaldon, Diana: 9780440215622:  Amazon.com: Books

I finished Outlander last month, which was a big accomplishment for me… That beast of a book is over 800 pages long! But thankfully, the intimidating length ended up being nothing to worry about, since the novel was absolutely phenomenal! I’m very excited to see where Claire and Jamie Fraser’s story goes next in book two, Dragonfly in Amber (which is even LONGER than Outlander!). In preparation for Dragonfly in Amber, I’m currently watching Season 1 of the Outlander TV show, which I’m enjoying quite a lot so far. The show is beautifully filmed, and I’m finding that it follows the events of the book pretty closely, which is a big relief! Watching the show is getting me super eager to start Dragonfly in Amber; Hopefully I’ll be able to pick it up sometime next month!

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The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout (From Blood and Ash Series, Book #3)

The Crown of Gilded Bones - Jennifer L. Armentrout

The From Blood and Ash series has quickly become a new obsession of mine. I simply adore the characters, world-building, and romance, and I’m beyond excited to see how they’re further developed in book three of the series: The Crown of Gilded Bones. You can rest assured that I already have my copy of the book pre-ordered, and that I’ll be diving straight into it as soon as it arrives on my doorstep!

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Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Aurora Cycle Trilogy, Book #2)

Amazon.com: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720926): Kaufman,  Amie, Kristoff, Jay: Books

Ever since I flew through Aurora Rising last December, all I’ve wanted to do is devour its sequel, Aurora Burning. The only thing that’s kept me from doing so is the knowledge that the final book in the series won’t be coming out until November… Womp, womp, womp. I’ll probably have to wait a little while longer until I start this book, or else I’ll forget everything that happened in it by the time book three comes out! But on the bright side, the cover and title for Aurora Cycle #3 will be released on the authors’ Instagram accounts TODAY! And I can hardly wait! I’ll be refreshing my Instagram feed every five seconds until the cover/title reveal is posted, lol. Does anyone have any guesses for what the title will be and who will be on the cover? I myself haven’t come up with any great guesses… Maybe Aurora Shining? Or Aurora Blazing? Or… Aurora Colliding???? As for who will be on the cover… I feel like it’ll be Scarlett or Finian!

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Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (Bridgerton Series, Book #4)

After hearing all the buzz about the Bridgerton TV show, I knew it was about time I read the book series! I finished The Duke and I, the first book in the series, a few weeks ago, and while it was a decent read, I personally didn’t think it was anything special. Then, about a week ago, I read The Viscount Who Loved Me, and let me tell you… IT WAS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! The writing was quick and witty, and the two main characters, Kate and Anthony, were so much fun to read about. Now, I’m about halfway through book three, An Offer From a Gentleman, and I’m enjoying it a lot! As soon as I finish that, I’ll move onto book four: Romancing Mister Bridgerton. I’m especially excited to read this installment in the series because it focuses on Penelope Featherington, a character who I am very intrigued by! I’m just so glad that I didn’t give up on this series after finding The Duke and I somewhat mediocre… Books two and three have proven to be much better, so hopefully I’ll be able to say the same about book four!

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Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie (Bone Grace Series, Book #2)

I buddy-read Bone Crier’s Moon with my friend a couple months ago, and we both really, really liked it. The magic system was so absorbing, and I loved the character dynamics! The sequel, Bone Crier’s Dawn, comes out at the end of the month, and it’s yet another book on this list that I have pre-ordered! After the jaw-dropping events of the last few chapters of Bone Crier’s Moon, I desperately need to know what will happen next! For that reason, I’ll definitely be diving into Bone Crier’s Dawn as soon as I possibly can. I’m counting down the days til March 30th… This book truly can’t come out soon enough!

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A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer (Cursebreakers Series, Book #2)

I read A Curse So Dark and Lonely, the first book in this series, a pretty long time ago, so I’m probably due for a re-read before I pick up A Heart So Fierce and Broken. But regardless of that, I’m still very much looking forward to reading this sequel! From what I’ve gathered, it contains chapters written through the perspectives of not just Harper and Rhen, but Grey and Lia Mara as well! I absolutely love books written in multiple POVs, as long as the author is capable of juggling them all while still thoroughly developing each character. But I’m certain Brigid Kemmerer is up to the task! So far, her work has failed to disappoint me, so I’m sure A Heart So Fierce and Broken will be no exception!

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The Queen Will Betray You by Sarah Henning (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky Series, Book #2)

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of The Princess Will Save You last year, and I absolutely loved it! Unfortunately, though, reading an early copy of the book has made the wait for the sequel all the more agonizing! I’ve now been anxiously anticipating the publication of The Queen Will Betray You since May of 2020, but thankfully, release day is almost upon us! 3.5 months isn’t that long of a wait… right?

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Are any of these sequels on your TBR as well?

If they are, let me know! And feel free to tell me what other sequels you’re looking forwarding to reading, too!

Well, I suppose that’s it for today! Thank you so much for reading this post!

Until next time,

My Least Favorite Reads of 2020

A few weeks ago, I published a list of my favorite reads of 2020, and I thought it’d be fun to do the same thing for my LEAST favorite reads of 2020! I know it’s already March, and that I should be leaving 2020 in the past (where it belongs), but venting about books I hated can be so cathartic… I couldn’t NOT post this list! While I didn’t read that many downright TERRIBLE books this year (which is a good thing), there were a couple that I really struggled to get through. And I’ve listed them all down below!

Please keep in mind that reading is completely subjective, and if a book you love is one of my least favorites, it’s totally okay! No one is “right” or “wrong” when it comes to reading, and that’s the beauty of it! We all have different tastes, and that should be celebrated!

So, with that being said, in no particular order, here are my least favorite reads of 2020!

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The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

The Betrothed by [Kiera Cass]

Like most people, I picked up The Betrothed because I loved The Selection, Kiera Cass’s most well known series. I was expecting a light, fluffy, and charmingly royal romance novel, but yikes… this book was simply horrible. The protagonist, Hollis, was about as interesting as stale bread, and the same thing can be said about literally every other character in the story. The plot was essentially non-existent, and the so called “romance” was very poorly developed. Such a let down from Kiera Cass!

Crave by Tracy Wolff

Crave (Crave Series Book 1) by [Tracy Wolff]

I was warned about how terrible this book is by many of my fellow readers, and oh, how I wish I had listened to them! Crave, in short, was a massive waste of time. It reads off like a sloppily put together Twilight fan fiction written by a thirteen year old. The main character is “not like other girls”, and her love interest is a grumpy, manipulative jerk… They both annoyed the heck out of me! I’ve heard that book two, Crush, is a lot better, but I doubt I’ll read it. If it’s even the slighest bit like Crave (and how could it not be?), I probably wouldn’t enjoy it. Maybe YA vampire fiction just isn’t for me!

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

Catherine House: A Novel by [Elisabeth Thomas]

This is another book that just felt sloppy to me. The writing was all over the place, and I had a lot of difficulty connecting with the characters. The ending was annoyingly open ended, and while the author might’ve intended for it to feel thought-provoking and powerful, it was just confusing and odd!

Ink in the Blood Kim Smejkal

Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood Duology Book 1) by [Kim Smejkal]

I really, really loved the idea behind Ink in the Blood, but the execution failed to impress me. To be fair, I think this is a matter of personal taste. I found the writing style bland and boring, but I know that many people would disagree! And that’s okay! I’ll give credit where credit is due and say that I really enjoyed the magic system in this story, but sadly, that’s about it. The flat characters, slow pacing, and dull writing made Ink in the Blood beyond redemption for me.

Queen’s Peril by E.K. Johnston

Queen's Peril by [E. K. Johnston]

I’m a big Star Wars fan, so I was super excited to read this book! Unfortunately, though, it didn’t live up to my expectations. It’s supposed to be a prequel about Padmé’s backstory, but it didn’t add anything new or refreshing to her character arc! It was incredibly boring and uninteresting, which is such a shame, since I love Padmé! Fellow Star Wars lovers: I recommend sticking to the movies. This book isn’t worth the read!

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

An Enchantment of Ravens by [Margaret Rogerson]

An Enchantment of Ravens had the potential to be an incredible book, but it was ruined by a nasty case of insta-love! YUCK! The worst trope ever! There’s nothing worse than watching a seemingly intelligent female character completely lose her wits the second she meets her love interest. UGH. A lot of people compare this book to ACOTAR, and personally, I think that that’s an insult to Sarah J. Maas! ACOTAR is worlds better than this hot mess of a book!

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game: A Novel by [Sally Thorne]

Meh. This book had a few enjoyable moments (most of which took place within the last 100 pages), but as a whole, it wasn’t my cup of tea. The main characters, Josh and Lucy, are both extremely toxic and unlikable, so I guess it makes sense that they’re attracted to each other? I don’t know. I feel like I’m missing something, because everyone else seems to love this book, and I just found it very cringey and underwhelming. Oh well, we can’t love ’em all!

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And, there you have it!

My least favorite reads of 2020! Please remember that this post is all in good fun, and that if you liked any of the books listed above, that’s perfectly fine! After all, we each have different tastes when it comes to reading. But… I’m sorry for roasting them so harshly 😂

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you did, feel free to stay tuned for more fun bookish content that will be coming your way soon!

That’s it for now!

Until next time,

ARC Review: A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova

Thank you so much to the author, Elise Kova, for sending me an ARC of this title!

A Trial of Sorcerers by [Elise Kova]

Ice is in her blood.

Eighteen-year-old Waterrunner Eira Landan lives her life in the shadows — the shadow of her older brother, of her magic’s whispers, and of the person she accidentally killed. She’s the most unwanted apprentice in the Tower of Sorcerers until the day she decides to step out and compete for a spot in the Tournament of Five Kingdoms.

Pitted against the best sorcerers in the Empire, Eira fights to be one of four champions. Excelling in the trials has its rewards. She’s invited to the royal court with the “Prince of the Tower,” discovers her rare talent for forbidden magic, and at midnight, Eira secretly meets with a handsome elfin ambassador.

But, Eira soon learns, no reward is without risk. As she comes into the spotlight, so too do the skeletons of a past she hadn’t even realized was haunting her.

Eira went into the trials ready for a fight. Ready to win. She wasn’t ready for what it would cost her. No one expected the candidates might not make it out with their lives.

A Trial of Sorcerers is the first book in a brand new, young adult, epic fantasy series intended for readers who love stories involving: sorcerer competitions, slow-burn romance, adventures to distant lands, and elemental magic.

A Trial of Sorcerers was my first Elise Kova book, and I really, really enjoyed it!

Eira, our main character, is a Waterrunner, someone who can control (you guessed it!) water, oftentimes in the form of ice. To my delight, Eira reminded me a lot of Elsa from Frozen (did you know that “Eira” means “snow” in Welsh?), and I was SO there for it! In the book, Eira struggles a lot when it comes to controlling her ice powers, largely because she has many emotional triggers linked to a traumatic event from her past that has left her with endless pain and guilt. Which leads me to my next point: Eira is such a layered, well written character who is very easy to root for and connect with. She’s someone who has been belittled and overlooked her entire life because of a mistake she made when she was young, so naturally, I had a lot of empathy for her and wanted to see her prove herself to the world. Overall, I just really loved Eira as a character! She’s stubborn, determined, and thirsty for knowledge, and I enjoyed getting to experience the story from her perspective.

Eira’s relationships with her friends and family were incredibly developed as well! For starters, her relationship with her older brother, Marcus, was so beautiful and heartwrenching… I couldn’t get enough of it. I also loved Eira’s budding romance with Cullen, a snarky, arrogant Windwalker (someone who can control wind). I love a good enemies-to-lovers arc (it’s easily my favorite trope ever), and this one was simply PERFECT! The banter between Eira and Cullen was EVERYTHING, and I loved the serious, emotional moments between them as well. This book ALSO contains the “Characters are about to get caught snooping around somewhere they shouldn’t be, so they start making out passionately as a cover-up” trope. So, if you’re into that (and honestly, why wouldn’t you be???), A Trial of Sorcerers is the book for you!

Now, enough about characters. Let’s talk about this book’s plot, which was fueled by constant mystery, political intrigue, and action! The story centers around a magical competition between sorcerers (hence the title, A Trial of Sorcerers), so, as one would expect, it was full of EPIC magical battles, trials, and obstacles courses! I could see all of the action sequences so vividly in my mind that it felt like I was watching a movie! I’m a firm believer that the best books are the ones that make you forget you’re reading, and that’s what this one did to me!

All in all, A Trial of Sorcerers was a phenomenal book that I had so much fun reading. I can hardly wait for book two, A Hunt of Shadows, to come out, but in the meantime, I’ll be exploring all of the other books set in the Air Awakens universe!

If you like fantasy books packed full of magic, secrets, competitions, and romance, A Trial of Sorcerers is definitely the book for you!

Do you give half stars? Here's why I don't. | Mom's Radius

February 2021 Wrap-Up

Wow, can you believe February is over already? I certainly can’t! Ever since the pandemic began, all the months have just blurred together. At this point, my concept of time is completely messed up! 😂😭

But in regards to the pandemic, we’re finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel! People are slowly but surely getting vaccinated, making us one step closer to herd immunity! After months of hopelessness and repetition, it’s nice to finally get some good news.

Beyond the vaccine news, nothing all that big has happened in my life this month! The weeks are still full of endless Zoom meetings (*gags*) and basically nothing else. I wish I had a more exciting monthly update for you all, but, alas, I don’t really have anything exciting to share! Hopefully when life gets somewhat more normal I’ll have better updates to give you.

On the bright side, February, despite being rather uneventful, was a pretty decent reading month for me! I only read seven books, which is a bit fewer than usual, but some of them were super chunky (ACOSF and War Storm to name a couple), so I’ll give myself a pass!

Total Number of Books Read: 7

Amazon.com: King's Cage (Red Queen, 3) (9780062310699): Aveyard, Victoria:  Books

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard (Re-read): While King’s Cage isn’t nearly as good as Red Queen, it’s a whole lot better than its predecessor, Glass Sword. It’s a book full of tension, excitement, and pain, as we get to see our favorite characters overcome MANY challenging obstacles! Even though Mare, our protagonist, continued to be whiny and overly dramatic at times, she did go through some significant character development. I also really loved getting to read through the POV’s of some of the other characters in the story, in addition to Mare. Underdeveloped secondary characters are the WORST, so I was thrilled to see Victoria Aveyard dive deeper into some new character arcs. Complex, multi-layered characters are so great to read about! Rating: ★★★★☆

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Amazon.com: War Storm (Red Queen) (9780062422996): Aveyard, Victoria: Books

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard: War Storm was a good book, but my big issue with it was this: It could have EASILY been condensed into 300 or 400 pages. This beast of a book is over 600 pages long, and in my opinion, it should’ve been much shorter. Many scenes felt like they were being stretched out to unnecessary lengths, which caused the plot to slow down a lot. I still enjoyed the emotional intensity of the novel, and the politics of Norta were very interesting to read about, but again, War Storm really didn’t need to be 600+ pages long! Bigger isn’t always better! Rating: ★★★.5☆

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Amazon.com: A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses  Book 4) eBook: Maas, Sarah J.: Kindle Store

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas (Re-read): I re-read this book to prepare for the release of A Court of Silver Flames, and while I really disliked it the first time I read it, I LOVED it this time around! I’m not really sure what changed, but I guess it helped that this time, I was going into it knowing exactly what to expect: a fun, light-hearted novella full of adorable moments between my favorite characters! Truth be told, ACOFAS is not a plot-driven book (it really just serves as a bridge between ACOWAR and ACOSF), and if you read it with that knowledge in the back of your mind, I think you’ll enjoy it quite a lot! Rating: ★★★★.5

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The Traitor Queen (The Bridge Kingdom, #2) by Danielle L. Jensen

The Traitor Queen by Danielle L. Jensen: The Traitor Queen is easily my favorite Danielle L. Jensen book yet! I relished every single word of it, and I truly didn’t want it to end. Lara and Aren’s relationship is such a beautifully complicated one, and it’s expertly written as well. These two characters go on such a breathtaking journey together in this novel (a journey that is both physical AND mental), and I couldn’t get enough of it. I’m truly sad that Lara and Aren’s story is over, but I’m comforted by the knowledge that there will be MORE Bridge Kingdom books in the future, told in the perspectives of new characters! Rating: ★★★★★

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The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1) by Julia Quinn

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn: The Duke and I was a light, fluffy historical romance, but nothing more than that. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t knock my socks off. The characters were likable enough, even though they were a little bland. Simon and Daphne’s romance was, for lack of better words, fine, but again, it was nothing groundbreaking. I know that the TV show adaptation for The Duke and I (Bridgerton on Netflix) has gotten a LOT of praise, so maybe it’s better than the book??? But anyways, I can’t see myself continuing on with this series. Book #1 was alright, but life is too short to waste time reading mediocre books! Rating: ★★★☆☆

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: Angelou, Maya, Winfrey, Oprah:  9780345514400: Amazon.com: Books

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou: Maya Angelou is an absolutely incredible woman, and a phenomenal writer as well. Her memoir is emotional, impactful, and gorgeously written. It’s full of stunning imagery and beautiful figurative language that will leave you shaken to your core. Ms. Angelou’s story is one that I think everyone should read at one point or another. It’ll make you feel every emotion possible: joy, sorrow, heartbreak, anger, love, and hope, to name a few. I highly recommend giving this memoir a read. Rating: ★★★★☆

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A Court of Silver Flames - Chicklit.nl

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas: Sarah J. Maas books always come with a cost: an extremely painful (yet inevitable) book hangover. A Court of Silver Flames, Maas’s newest book, proved to be no exception! This book was my most anticipated release of the entire year, and boy oh boy, did Sarah J. Maas deliver! I’ve never been a big fan of Nesta, so you can imagine how surprised I was to find myself connecting and relating to her in ACOSF. Her feelings and emotions were so raw and real, and I resonated with them deeply. Seeing Nesta go through so much development and growth was a truly beautiful experience, and I think that SJM has outdone herself when it comes to mental health representation in her books. I’ll have a full review for this book published soon, so I won’t say too much more, but just know that it was an easy five star read for me! I officially love Nesta. Rating: ★★★★★

January 2021 Wrap-Up

WWW Wednesday 2/24/21

I’m probably going to spend the first half of March struggling to cope with my ACOSF book hangover (we all saw this coming from a mile away lol). I knew this book was going to destroy me, but that doesn’t make the book hangover any less painful. Oh, the woes of being a book lover!

When/if I get out of the funk ACOSF has left me in, I’ll try to tackle some of the ARC’s I need to read/review in the near future! These include The Soulmate Equation, A Trial of Sorcerers, and Luck of the Titanic!

Anyway, that’s it for my February!

How was your month? Did you read any good books? If you did, PLEASE drop their titles down below in the comment section! I’m always looking for new book recommendations!

Well, I guess that’s it for now! I hope everyone has a fantastic March. ❤

Until next time,

WWW Wednesday 2/24/21

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over on Taking on a World of Words! Its purpose is to share what you’re currently reading, what you’ve just finished reading, and what you’re going to read next.

I haven’t done a WWW Wednesday post in quite some time, so I’m super thrilled to update you all on what I’ve been reading recently!

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A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas (33% through)

Amazon.com: A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses Book 5)  eBook: Maas, Sarah J.: Kindle Store

I’ve been waiting for this book for YEARS, and I can’t believe it’s finally here! I’m nearly a third of the way through, and while the first chunk of it was rather slow and underwhelming, it’s been smooth sailing since I hit the 150 page mark! Nesta is a very flawed character, and I’m incredibly excited to see her go through some fantastic character development in this novel! Sarah J. Maas never fails to amaze me with her astonishing writing, and I know that A Court of Silver Flames will not make an exception! I can tell I’m in for a real treat! Let’s just hope I manage to make it through the next 500 pages without stumbling across any spoilers.

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (30% through)

Outlander (series) | The Great American Read | WTTW Chicago

Like ACOSF, Outlander is a very long book. While I was intimidated by its size going into it, I’m happy to report that I’m enjoying it quite a lot so far! The atmosphere is rich with historical detail and imagery, and Diana Gabaldon’s writing is some of the best I’ve ever read! I’m really looking forward to continuing on with this series, and knowing that it’s over nine books long, I can tell that I’m in for many wild adventures!

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Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout (25% through)

Amazon.com: Opal: A Lux Novel eBook: Armentrout, Jennifer L.: Kindle Store

Opal is the third book in the Lux series, and reading it has been a lot of fun! It’s such a fluffy, lighthearted book, and while it can be extremely juvenile at times, that’s what makes it so entertaining! Paranormal fantasy/romance has never been my go-to genre (that’s probably why I never had a Twilight phase), but the Lux series has definitely been a welcome change in my normal reading material! Jennifer L. Armentrout is a truly skilled author!

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The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (Rating: 3/5)

The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1) by Julia Quinn

The Duke and I was a light, entertaining read! It certainly didn’t knock my socks off, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I mainly read it in anticipation of its TV show adaptation, Bridgerton, which has been getting nothing but praise these past few months! I wonder if I’ll like it more (or less) than the book!

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The Traitor Queen by Danielle L. Jensen (Rating: 5/5)

Amazon.com: The Traitor Queen (The Bridge Kingdom Book 2) eBook: Jensen,  Danielle L.: Kindle Store

The Traitor Queen was nothing short of a MASTERPIECE! I loved its predecessor, The Bridge Kingdom, but somehow The Traitor Queen managed to be even better! The world, characters, and relationships in it are simply breathtaking, and its plot is driven by endless twists, turns, and surprises! Danielle L. Jensen has definitely made it to my list of favorite authors, and I highly recommend everything she’s written! In short, the Bridge Kingdom series is a must-read for all fantasy lovers!

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A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova

A Trial of Sorcerers (A Trial of Sorcerers, #1) by Elise Kova

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book as an ARC, and I can’t wait to dive into it! It’ll be my first Elise Kova novel, which is very exciting. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Kova’s writing, so I have a really good feeling about A Trial of Sorcerers! My plan is to start reading it right after I finish ACOSF, which will hopefully be soon!

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Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

I am a MASSIVE Greek Mythology fan, so you can imagine how excited I am to read Lore, Alexandra Bracken’s standalone Medusa-inspired novel! I haven’t gotten the chance to read any reviews for this one, so I honestly have no idea what to expect. But that, in a sense, is a blessing, since I’ll be going into the story with a completely open mind!

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WHAT ARE YOUR WWWS? I’D LOVE TO KNOW!

Feel free to chat with me in the comments! Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? If so, what did you think of them? Or, are any of them on your TBR? Let me know!

Until next time,

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January 2021 Wrap-Up

Hey everyone! Welcome to my first wrap-up post of the year!

While the first month of 2021 has certainly been very eventful world-wide, not much has happened in my personal life. All the weeks just blur together, making every month feel the same. It makes it really difficult to write these monthly updates, since I honestly have nothing to talk about? My life these days is just a constant, never-ending cycle: Wake up. Zoom. Sleep. Repeat. And I’m sure a lot of you can relate!

Since I don’t really have any life updates to share with you all, why don’t I just skip ahead and tell you what books I read in January? I picked up SO many great ones. Spoiler Alert: I had quite a few five star reads!

TOTAL NUMBER OF BOOKS READ: 10

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The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen: The Bridge Kingdom was my very first read of 2021, and as expected… I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! After loving Jensen’s debut series, the Malediction trilogy, I had high expectations for The Bridge Kingdom… and I was completely blown away! The intricate fantasy world Jensen has crafted is truly breathtaking, and I wish I could just live there! Who wouldn’t want to be transported to a tropical island kingdom full of beautiful beaches and lush jungles? The characters in this novel were incredible as well. Lara is clever, brave, and fierce, and Aren is selfless, compassionate, and courageous. Both of these characters were so complex, as was their relationship with one another. The enemies to lovers trope PLUS the arranged marriage trope is the perfect set up for a swoonworthy, fiery romance! Overall, The Bridge Kingdom was a fabulous read, and a PERFECT book to start off my reading year with! Rating: ★★★★★

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Sweet & Bitter Magic

Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley: I was lucky enough to receive an early review copy of this lovely novel, and it ended up being my second five star read of January! The two main characters, Tamsin and Wren, completely stole my heart with their unique, wonderfully developed personalities, and I loved reading the story through their perspectives. I ALSO really loved getting to see their beautiful romance develop… it was so so sweet and wholesome! Sweet & Bitter Magic is marketed as a YA novel, but having read it, I think that it’d be a great book for middle grade readers as well, since it’s fairly tame. I highly encourage adding this upcoming release to your TBR, or even pre-ordering it! Trust me, it’s wonderful! Rating: ★★★★★

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Beauty Queens by Libba Bray: I picked this book up on a whim, and it totally took me by surprise! I hadn’t had it on my TBR before reading it, and I only decided to read it because I had heard that it was a loose retelling of Lord of the Flies, which I had just read and thoroughly enjoyed. Well, I’m happy to tell you that I liked Beauty Queens even MORE than Lord of the Flies. This story is full of SO MANY wonderful female characters who I loved so much… They each had different struggles, emotions, and desires, making them all so fun to get to know. The friendships between the girls were equally amazing and empowering, which is probably why I liked Beauty Queens more than Lord of the Flies (let’s be real here… friendship isn’t a very prevalent theme in LotF). Beauty Queens is also a very funny book, and it made me laugh out loud many times! I listened to it as an audiobook, and Libba Bray, the author AND narrator of the story, made it all the more hilarious! Her vivid voice impersonations were incredible, and she delivered the book’s witty dialogue so well! Overall, Beauty Queens is such an underrated gem, and I wish more people would read it! Rating: ★★★★★

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Court of Bitter Thorn (The Fae of Bitter Thorn Book 1) by [Kay L Moody]

Court of Bitter Thorn by Kay L. Moody: I had a lot of fun reading this book! I always love venturing to whimsical new fae worlds, and the one in Court of Bitter Thorn was full of so much magic, intrigue, and mystery! The book contains a quick witted female protagonist and numerous interesting side characters who I hope to see more from in future books (since I’ll definitely be reading the sequel)! Book One ended on a MASSIVE cliffhanger, so I’m beyond excited to see where the story goes next! All in all, I really enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it to fans of The Cruel Prince and A Court of Thorns and Roses. Rating: ★★★★☆

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ALL THE STARS AND TEETH

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace (Re-read): I first read All the Stars and Teeth less than a year ago, but since I managed to get my greedy little paws on an ARC of the sequel, All the Tides of Fate, I figured it was time for a reread! It was so wonderful getting to revisit the world and characters of one of my favorite books last month. All the Stars and Teeth is such a fun, swashbuckling adventure, and re-reading it made me more excited to dive into the sequel than ever! If you haven’t read this book yet, I really think you should! It contains mermaids, pirates, princesses, magic, enchanted islands, sea monsters… Basically, there’s something for everyone! Rating: ★★★★★

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All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace: This book was a phenomenal conclusion to an absolutely stunning duology! I’m still reeling from that ending! Even though it broke my heart, it was beautifully written and incredibly hopeful. While I’m very sad to say good-bye to these characters, they’ll always hold a special spot in my heart. Adalyn Grace is such a talented author, and I’m so excited to see what she write next. Truthfully, I think a certain character in this series still has a lot of unfinished business, so I am hoping, praying, and BEGGING for a spin-off novel. I desperately want to return to the gorgeous world of Visidia in the future! Rating:★★★★★

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The Project by Courtney Summers: The Project was by no means a bad book, but it was, unfortunately, a bit of a let-down for me. I went into it with high hopes after reading and loving Sadie, my favorite Courtney Summers novel, but it was a big mistake to expect The Project to be just as good. There wasn’t a big mystery to unravel (the book is about cults, but we already know that cults are… bad), so naturally, there weren’t any surprising plot twists or revelations either. The plot just dragged on and on since it had no mystery or suspense to fuel it. The characters and their relationships with one another were interesting enough, but they didn’t really make up for the lackluster plot. I know that some people will absolutely love this book, but sadly, it just wasn’t my cup of tea! Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (Re-read): Red Queen was one of the first books that got me hooked on the YA genre, so you can imagine how much fun I had re-reading it last month! Red Queen is in no way a “perfect” novel, but if we’re judging it solely on entertainment value, it deserves infinite stars! It’s one of those rare books that literally makes your heart POUND while reading it! It’s simply impossible to put down! Rating:★★★★★

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Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (Re-read): Unfortunately, Glass Sword isn’t nearly as good as Red Queen. In fact, it’s probably the weakest novel in the whole series. The first half of the book is tediously slow… The first 250 pages could easily be condensed into 100 pages. That’s how uneventful they were. But thankfully, the second half of the book is FAR better than the first! And don’t even get me started on the ending… Victoria Aveyard never fails to leave us with a juicy, devastating cliffhanger! I don’t know if I should love her or hate her for it! Rating: ★★★☆☆

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The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare: The Duchess Deal was my very first “historical” romance novel (it was also my first Tessa Dare book), and I enjoyed it quite a lot! It was light, fluffy, and very fun! It’s a story that’s super easy to get sucked into, since reading it doesn’t require much effort! Emma and Ash are both very complicated and flawed, but still so lovable! The only big complaint I have about The Duchess Deal is that it contained too many overly graphic steamy scenes for my liking. They didn’t really add anything to the story, and they were extremely repetitive. A few are fine, but one every other chapter? Well, that’s a bit much! Rating: ★★★.5☆

I didn’t have much time to blog last month (same goes for this month, that’s why this wrap up is being posted so late!), but I still managed to get a few posts published:

December 2020 Wrap-Up

Top Ten Tuesday: 2021 Bookish Resolutions

My Favorite Reads of 2020

ARC Review: All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace

ARC Review: Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

The month is already half over, but I’m hoping to spend the remainder of it reading some amazing books! I’m a big mood reader, so I don’t typically set of monthly TBR, but a few of the books I’m hoping to get to this month are The Traitor Queen, A Court of Silver Flames, and The Duke and I!

I am also going to try to get a few more blog posts written and published before the month is over. I’m SO behind on my blogging, you guys! Spring Break is somewhat close, so hopefully I’ll be able to catch up then.

I hope everyone had a great January, and if you didn’t, just know that your negative feelings are completely valid. We’re living through very difficult circumstances, so remember to be kind to yourself. ❤

That’s it for now, everyone! I’ll be back with another post soon!

Until then,

ARC Review: Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

Thank you so much to the author, Adrienne Tooley, for sending me a gorgeous review copy of this title!

Sweet & Bitter Magic | IndieBound.org

In this charming debut fantasy perfect for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Girls of Paper and Fire, a witch cursed to never love meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic, and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom.

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.

Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.

When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.

Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first…

This book was everything I could’ve hoped for and MORE!

It was my most anticipated book release of the year, and when an ARC of it showed up on my doorstep, I nearly cried. And I nearly cried AGAIN once I finished it because it was absolutely phenomenal!

If you’re looking for a fresh, delightful fantasy standalone full of cursed witches, mysterious magic, and a wonderful sapphic romance, allow me to introduce you to Sweet & Bitter Magic! This enchanting tale of witchcraft, love, and magic really has it all: intricate world-building, sensational writing, a fascinating magic system, and two very complex main characters who I had so much fun getting to know!

The first of those two characters is Tamsin, an exiled witch who, after practicing dark magic and thus breaking one of the most critical laws of witchcraft, has been cursed to never feel love again. You might think that a character who has no capacity for love would be quite a boring one, but believe me, Tamsin is the opposite of boring. She’s such a unique character who I found myself connecting with instantly, because even though she’s unable to feel love, her desire to feel love makes her so fascinating. Not only that, but her grief, guilt, and regret over things that happened in her past captivated me… I just LOVE a character with a complicated backstory! Another thing: Tamsin’s relationship with Marlena, her sister, really added to her depth. It’s such an absorbing dynamic, and you can feel how much thought Adrienne Tooley put into it. In Tamsin and Marlena’s relationship, every emotion is present: love, loss, anger, jealousy, sacrifice… My heart broke for both Tamsin and Marlena, for I was able to connect and empathize with both of their struggles and hardships.

Now, let’s talk about Wren, our second main character. I loved her just as much as Tamsin, and want to know what makes that so amazing? The two girls’ personalities never ever blur together. They’re just so different! Wren is curious, adventurous, and bold, and she longs for so much more than the hollow, dull life she’s been given. Like Tamsin, Wren has her own personal struggles and desires that weigh heavily on her throughout the novel. She desperately wants to save her ailing father who has become a victim of a horrible plague, but the sacrifices she’ll have to make to do so terrify her. Wren’s relationship with her father is so interesting, because while she loves him endlessly, she also knows that her dedication to him is holding her back from living the life she yearns for. Wren’s conflicting emotions make her such a wonderful, complicated character who is easy to root for. I really loved getting to read through her and Tamsin’s perspectives, especially since their romance is SPECTACULAR!

It was so sweet, wholesome, and swoonworthy… no words could ever do it justice, in my opinion! I also really appreciate that it didn’t overpower the other elements of the book, such as the character development and magic system. This story is perfectly balanced, and that’s why I loved it so much!

In sum, Sweet & Bitter Magic is a FANTASTIC novel that I’m so glad I got to read! Part of me is sad that it’s over, but that’s why we have re-reads, right? 😂 All in all, every single second of this gorgeous, breathtaking tale was utter perfection, and I can’t recommend it enough.

HVAC Inspections, Maintenance, Service and Installation. We specialize in  residential HVAC Service. Mountain Air and Heat | Mountain Air and Heat, LLC

About the Author:

photo by  Sylvie Rosokoff . can be used with credit.

Adrienne Tooley was born and raised in the desert suburbs of Southern California. She grew up in the theater, earning her B.A. in Musical Theatre from Point Park University. She and her wife currently live in New York City where she works in hospitality tech. In addition to writing novels she is also a singer/songwriter and has released several EPs which are available on Spotify & other streaming sites. Her debut novel, SWEET & BITTER MAGIC, will publish from S&S/McElderry in Spring 2021. Her second novel, SOFI AND THE BONE SONG, will release from S&S/McElderry in 2022. She can be found on Instagram and Twitter at @adriennetooley.

Buy the Book:

SWEET & BITTER MAGIC: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | INDIEBOUND

ARC Review: All the Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace

Thank you so much to the publisher for kindly sending me a digital galley of this title!

The thrilling sequel to instant New York Times bestseller All the Stars and Teeth, called “captivating” by Tomi Adeyemi, “Vicious and alluring” by Hafsah Faizal, and “phenomenal” by Adrienne Young. Now author Adalyn Grace is back with more high seas adventure in All the Tides of Fate, this electrifying fantasy, perfect for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

Through blood and sacrifice, Amora Montara has conquered a rebellion and taken her rightful place as queen of Visidia. Now, with the islands in turmoil and the people questioning her authority, Amora cannot allow anyone to see her weaknesses.

No one can know about the curse in her bloodline. No one can know that she’s lost her magic. No one can know the truth about the boy who holds the missing half of her soul.

To save herself and Visidia, Amora embarks on a desperate quest for a mythical artifact that could fix everything―but it comes at a terrible cost. As she tries to balance her loyalty to her people, her crew, and the desires of her heart, Amora will soon discover that the power to rule might destroy her.

*SPOILERS FOR ALL THE STARS AND TEETH AHEAD*

I honestly have no idea how to start this review. All the Tides of Fate was such a phenomenal book, and I am still REELING from that ending! Adalyn Grace, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?!? #WorstBookHangoverEver

In all seriousness, though, this book truly was spectacular, and there are no words in the English language that can properly express how much I loved it. It’s one of those books that falls under the “Had Me Bawling Into My Pillow At 3 AM” Category. There, THAT should give you an idea of how much I loved it. 😂

I was rather apprehensive when going into All the Tides of Fate, as its predecessor, All the Stars and Teeth (AKA, one of my favorite reads of 2020), left me with SKY HIGH expectations. I was worried that, like so many other sequels out there, All the Tides of Fate would be a victim of the dreaded Book 2 Curse. But guess what? It totally wasn’t!

All the Tides of Fate was just as good as All the Stars and Teeth. In fact, there are some aspects of the book that made me like it even MORE than All the Stars and Teeth. For example, the development of the various characters in the story.

Let’s start with our protagonist, Amora. The poor girl had to go through A LOT in this book. After witnessing the brutal death of her father in All the Stars and Teeth, Amora’s heart is heavy with grief, guilt, and regret. She finds herself getting easily panicked and overwhelmed, and for a majority of the novel, she is very emotionally closed off. I really appreciate that Adalyn Grace did NOT gloss over Amora’s trauma and grief like many other YA authors do when a character faces a major loss. Instead, she made Amora’s pain a big part of the story and portrayed the reality of grief with such rawness and honesty that I can’t help but applaud. In most of the YA novels I’ve read, when someone the protagonist loves is killed off, they spend a very brief amount of time mourning them, and then they continue on with their adventures as if nothing has changed. This is NOT realistic. That’s why I love that Adalyn Grace didn’t shy away from making Amora’s grief a primary focus of the book. Grief is NOT short-term, and it’s important to portray it realistically in literature. Because of her PTSD and grief, Amora went through a tremendous amount of growth in this novel, and I’m so proud of her. She’s a character I’ve loved getting to know these past two books, and her depth and complexity make her a very memorable one as well.

And of course, I can’t forget about the wonderful supporting characters in this story! Ferrick, Vataea, and Bastian occupy an extremely special place in my heart. They’re all very different, and that’s why I love them so much. In the past, I’ve seen authors dedicate all of their energy to developing their protagonists, resulting in very bland casts of supporting characters. Adalyn Grace is different. Her secondary characters are JUST as phenomenally developed as her protagonist, even though we’re not reading from their perspectives. Ferrick, Vataea, and Bastian each have so many layers to them, and it’s been a pleasure getting to peel them all back as I’ve gotten to know them better and better. But I must admit… I have a feeling that some of these characters’ adventures aren’t quite over yet (*cough cough* VATAEA), so I’m hoping, praying, and BEGGING for more stories set in Visidia in the future! (Adalyn Grace, if you’re seeing this… Can we PLEASE get a Vataea novel? PRETTY PLEASE?)

Moving on, I also really loved how the character relationships in this duology were developed. We got to see a lot more of Amora and Bastian in All the Tides of Fate, and I like how Adalyn Grace really took their relationship to a deeper and more emotional level. They’re definitely one of my new favorite fictional couples, as I’ve become so attached to both of them!

Now, before I wrap this review up, can I please take a moment to express how glad I am that this series was written as a duology and not stretched out into a trilogy? Even though it absolutely tore my heart apart, the ending of All the Tides of Fate was absolutely PERFECT, and the story as a whole came to a very neat conclusion. So many series these days are unnecessarily long, which is why I’m happy that the author and publisher recognized that only two books were needed to tell this fantastic story. #DuologiesForTheWin

Overall, All the Tides of Fate was a magnificent (and heartbreaking) ending to a series that I love so much. The characters in this story are some of my favorites of all time, and I already miss them endlessly!

If you like swashbuckling, high-seas adventures full of magic, beauty, and self discovery, you MUST read this series! It’s beyond amazing!

FIVE-STARS • Stay Green Turf

My Favorite Reads of 2020

2020 is finally over (thank goodness), so you know what that means… It’s time for my annual Best Books of the Year list!

The thing is, I was in a really bad reading slump for the first few months of 2020. I honestly don’t think I picked up a book until the beginning of April! But thankfully, I still managed to bounce back and read tons of fantastic books in 2020! I devoured over 100 novels last year, so it’s difficult to narrow them down to a select few favorites, but I’m going to try! I’m not going to be including rereads, because that would defeat the whole purpose of this list, don’t you think? The following books are ones that I discovered this year and fell absolutely IN LOVE with. If you follow me on Bookstagram, you’ve probably seen me gush about them endlessly on my stories and posts! I’ve probably mentioned some of them here on my blog as well! But there are quite a few that I haven’t talked much about, which is why I’m so excited to be sharing this list with you all!

I’ll be listing these books in no particular order. As we all know, I’m an extremely indecisive person, and being forced to rank my favorite books is basically the worst form of torture I can think of. These books were all so good, and while I enjoyed some more than others, ranking them would be wayyyy too stressful. So let’s just… not???

Oh, and just to be clear, these are all books that I READ in 2020, not books that CAME OUT in 2020 (though some of them did)!

Now, with that out of the way… LET’S DIVE RIGHT IN!

Ladies, gents, and gentlefolk, allow me to introduce you to THE BEST BOOKS I READ IN 2020!!!!! Starting with…

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners: Lauren, Christina: 9781501128035: Amazon.com: Books

I picked this book up on a whim with literally no expectations at all, since I’ve read hardly any rom-com novels. But I ended up absolutely LOVING it. Maui is probably my favorite place on the entire planet, so getting to visit the island alongside our main characters, Olive and Ethan, resurfaced so many happy, pre-pandemic memories. Olive and Ethan have such sizzling chemistry, and I’m pretty sure I shipped them from their very first interaction. Their witty banter was charming and hilarious, but Christina Lauren also did a fantastic job of showing us what a healthy relationship looks like through their romance. Olive and Ethan challenge each other in the best ways possible, and throughout the book, they have so many important yet difficult conversations with one another that you don’t often see in the rom-com genre. This meant SO much to me, because I love how we get to see the light hearted, playful side of their romance as well as the serious side. I’m not sure if I’ll ever find another rom-com novel as good as The Unhoneymooners, but it has definitely left me wanting to explore the genre more! As someone who mainly reads fantasy, I’m really happy that I took a leap outside of my comfort zone and decided to read this book! It was absolutely fantastic, and reading it was utter bliss!

Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi

Amazon.com: Defy Me (Shatter Me Book 5) (9780062676405): Mafi, Tahereh:  Books

It’s impossible to put my love for this book into words… It took me completely by surprise! I was quite scared to pick up Defy Me, because I had heard from other fans of the Shatter Me series that it was a very disappointing installment in the series. But I ended up LOVING IT. The tone of Defy Me was far more emotional than the tone of the previous Shatter Me novels, and I think that’s why I loved it so much. There were so many scenes that had me tearing up, and I think that it’s truly incredible when a book is capable of drawing that much emotion out of a reader! Juliette, Warner, and Kenji continue to go through so much wonderful character development in this novel, and getting to read through all of their perspectives was a dream come true. They each have something valuable to contribute to the story, and I know that without a doubt, this book wouldn’t have been the same if it was only told through Juliette’s perspective (I love her, of course, but Warner and Kenji are amazing too)! These characters have my whole heart, and I can’t express how much I love and connect with them. I finished this book weeks ago, but Juliette, Warner, and Kenji are still constantly on my mind, and carry them in my heart everywhere I go. I’m not sure if I’ll ever read another series as beautiful and addictive as this one, and while I understand that it has it’s flaws, it will always be very special to me. I’ll definitely be reading it again in 2021… it’s left me with the WORST book hangover EVER!

One Way or Another by Kara McDowell

Amazon.com: One Way or Another eBook: McDowell, Kara: Kindle Store

I was lucky enough to receive this book as an ARC earlier in the year, and it ended up being one of my favorite books of 2020! With a relatable main character, a swoonworthy love interest, an adorable romance, and phenomenal mental health rep, One Way or Another was the YA contemporary novel of my DREAMS! And guess what? It’s also a Christmas book! What could be better than that? Pretty much nothing, if you ask me! I flew through One Way or Another in just one sitting, the endless fun, hilarity, and charm of the story giving it a sort of addictive quality. Paige, our protagonist, was someone I could really relate to, and it felt so good to see some of my own inner struggles mirrored through her. Overall, this book is simply fantastic, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, regardless of whether it’s the holiday season or not! Even though it’s a Christmas novel, One Way or Another is a book that can be enjoyed any time of year (I should know, I read it in August)!  Its heartwarming themes, fabulous mental health rep, and wholesome romance all make it an absolutely spectacular story. I truly cannot recommend it enough!

Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoaka

Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka

Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoaka is yet another 2020 release that I received as an ARC last year! And guess what? It was BREATHTAKING! I have only just begun to dip my toe into YA contemporary these past few months, but Everything I Thought I Knew showed me just how beautiful and heartbreaking the genre can be. It is a powerful and beguiling story of love, loss, hope, reality, and heartache, and every single second of it was wonderful. It captivated my imagination from the very first page, and before I knew it, I was done with it! I rarely read books in a single sitting, but this one easily made an exception! Shannon Takaoka’s writing is classically stunning, and her words just flow so smoothly across the pages. Not only that, but her characters were so easy to love and relate to, and it was a delight to see them develop throughout the novel. All in all, this book was simply fantastic, and whether you’re a contemporary reader or not, I HIGHLY encourage giving it a read!

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3) by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s trilogy really snuck up on me in 2020! I’d known about it for quite awhile, but for some reason, I never felt strongly about picking it up. What a fool I was, because this trilogy was FANTASTIC! It’s one of those series that just gets better and better every book, and that’s why the third book, The Winner’s Kiss, made it on this list! It was the perfect finale to this wonderful trilogy, though I will confess, there were times where I was FURIOUS at Marie Rutkoski for messing with my emotions so much! I didn’t realize how attached I’d become to our main characters, Kestrel and Arin, until they were forced to go through so much devastation in this novel. They’re easily two of my all time favorite characters, as they are both so thoughtfully written! I love them AND the Winner’s trilogy endlessly… I can definitely see myself rereading it in the future!

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720964): Kaufman,  Amie, Kristoff, Jay: Books

Wow! Just wow. Reading Aurora Rising reminded me how much I LOVE science fiction! It was my first Kaufman-Kristoff novel, and I couldn’t be more impressed by it! It’s one of those rare books that is equally plot-driven AND character-driven. The plot is fueled by constant action, suspense, and wild spaceship chases, making it nearly impossible to put the book down! And the characters??? Oh boy, where do I even start?! They were all so complex and interesting! I think my favorites have to be Kal and Scarlett, but I truly do love all of them. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are both incredibly talented authors, and I’m beyond excited to dive into more of their work in 2021. It’s only a matter of time before I start Aurora Rising’s sequel, Aurora Burning!

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

The Queen of Nothing was a sensational conclusion to the Folk of the Air trilogy! Jude and Cardan are some of my all-time favorite characters, and I love how even in this final installment, Holly Black never shied away from writing them out to be extremely morally grey. Characters that have a little (or a lot) of wickedness in them are always the ones I find most interesting, and that’s why I adore Jude and Cardan so much! This series has been quite a wild ride, and while I’m terribly said that it’s over, I know that I’ll definitely be re-reading it in the future! If you haven’t read it yet, you MUST! It’s such an enchanting, magical series that will leave you with the WORST book hangover once you finish it. Holly Black is a truly amazing author, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

The Shadows Between Us was such an entertaining read! It had a fast-moving plot, addictive romance, and fascinating characters. The protagonist, Alessandra, was downright EVIL, and I absolutely loved that. Like I mentioned before, I always find myself most drawn to characters who are morally grey, and that’s exactly was Alessandra was! She was calculating, selfish, and violent, but all the same, I was so intrigued by her character. Would I want to be friends with someone like Alessandra in real life? Well, probably not. But I LOVED getting to read through her perspective, as she was such a fun character to get to know! I highly recommend The Shadows Between Us if you’re looking for a short, captivating story that will have you hooked until the very last page!

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Amazon.com: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth Duology, 1)  (9781250307781): Grace, Adalyn: Books

All the Stars and Teeth is the fantasy novel I never knew I needed, for it contains ALL of my favorite fantastical elements. Princesses, mermaids, pirates, magic, sea monsters, curses… What’s not to love?! Nothing, if you ask me! I loved every single second of this book, and by the time I finished it, I felt so close with the four main characters: Amora, Vataea, Bastian, and Ferrick. They were all so different and complex, I couldn’t help but fall in love with them. I swear, if anything bad happens to them in the upcoming sequel, All the Tides of Fate, I WILL SCREAM!!

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Danielle L. Jensen is one of the new authors I discovered in 2021, and I am simply in awe of her work! So far, my favorite book by her is Stolen Songbird. It took my breath away with its vivid world building, sizzling romance, and complex characters. Cecile and Tristan, our main characters, were both very easy to root for, and the chemistry they had with one another was so addictive! The magic system in this novel is spectacularly developed as well, as it completely debunks everything you think you know about certain mythical creatures. This was such a thoughtful and unique approach for Danielle L. Jensen to take, and it’s especially impressive since Stolen Songbird is her debut novel. In short, if you’re searching for a delightful fantasy novel that will allow you to escape reality for a few hours, Stolen Songbird is definitely the book for you!

What a wonderful reading year!

I know that as a whole, 2020 was an absolutely horrendous year, but I feel extremely lucky that I managed to find solace in so many wonderful books amidst all the confusion and chaos. It is my sincerest hope that you all were able to enjoy some fantastic reads last year too!

Cheers to a better 2021!