Sunshine Blogger Award #2

I was tagged by the lovely Lori to receive and participate in the Sunshine Blogger Award! I’ve received this award once in the past, and I absolutely love how it spreads kindness and love throughout the book blogging community!

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog (Thank you Lori!)
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person(s) who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions (Let’s be real… if you can’t think of 11 people to nominate, it’s completely fine).
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Lori’s Questions:

1. Name a book you can’t shut up about!

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Just one? But there’s so many!!!

If I had to choose one book, though, I’d go with To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. It’s one of my all-time favorite books, and it’s actually the inspiration behind my blog name, Mermaid Reads. TKAK rekindled my love of mermaids and sirens, and ever since reading it, I’ve been nothing but obsessed with the mysterious underwater creatures!

2. What TV show are you currently finding yourself recommending?

Outer Banks - Season 1 - Review

Outer Banks on Netflix! I’m only on episode 4, but I love the characters and the plot so far. The vibe of Outer Banks is so fun and carefree, making it easy to get lost in the story. The beautiful scenery, beautiful people, beach parties, and boat rides allow you to slip into another world.

3. Whats a book cover change you really loved?

When the cover for Anna and the French Kiss finally got the update it deserved, I was so happy! Let’s face it: the original cover is incredibly cheesy, and it doesn’t fit the story at all. The romance in this book is so well developed, and the corniness of the first cover gives the impression that it’s just your everyday cringey YA romance. The new cover is simplistically beautiful, and it sparks feelings of breathlessness, adventure, and wanderlust.

4. Name a bookish villain/anti-hero you’re obsessed with!

Cardan Greenbriar | The Folk of the Air Wiki | Fandom

Cardan Greenbriar from the Folk of the Air trilogy! I was smitten with Cardan from the very start, so I never really viewed him as a villain, but he deserves to be recognized in this post nonetheless! 😍💗

5. A book you’ve read that includes some star-crossed lovers 😉 ?

The Hunger Games trilogy | The Hunger Games Wiki | Fandom
The Hunger Games: 5 Worst Things Katniss Did to Peeta (& 5 Worst ...

Of course I had to choose none other than Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark for this question! Their relationship is one of the most beautifully developed romances of all time 😍 I love how their relationship faced many hurtles, but at the end of the day, their love for each other was all that mattered 😩❤ Peeta is the reason why I have such unrealistic dating expectations… “Having an eye for beauty isn’t the same thing as a weakness… Except possibly when it comes to you.” Like, come on! What guy is ever gonna say something like that to me? 😭

6. Whats one of your favorite diverse books? (trying to expand my reading!!)

Amazon.com: The Hate U Give eBook: Thomas, Angie: Kindle Store

I’ve read tons of amazing books by #OwnVoices authors, and there are still so many others out there that I’m dying to read! One of my favorites has to be The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It’s such an important book to read, and it will never stop being relevant. Also, the movie is great too, so if you wanted to, you could have a book-movie marathon!

7. Whats your favorite snack?

Beautiful chocolates wallpapers and images - wallpapers, pictures ...

Chocolate. Doesn’t matter what kind, just give me any form of chocolate and I’ll love you forever.

8. How do you organize your books/bookshelves (is there a method to the madness or are books just sort of…everywhere?)

Row of colorful paperback books » Clipart Station

I have A TON of books, so organization is a huge struggle for me. I have a tall, skinny bookshelf in my bedroom where all of my favorite books go, as well as a few other bookshelves throughout my house where I put all of my other books. I also have a little TBR cart where I keep all of my unread books on, so I know what I need to read next before going on another book shopping spree 😂

9. A series that’s perfect for binge reading?

The Regal Critiques: Series Summaries #3: The Selection Trilogy

The Selection series (particularly the first three books) couldn’t be more perfect for binging. The books are fun, quick, and effortlessly romantic, despite being somewhat corny at times. Sure, this series is no fine literature, but how can you complain about its undeniable swoon-worthiness?

10. Your favorite book trope?

Five YA Books With Delicious Hate-To-Love Romances | The Nerd Daily

Easy. Enemies to lovers. The romantic tension is EVERYTHING, and something about falling in love with the person you hate is so sexy?

11. Tea or coffee?

How to Taste Tea - Tasting Guide by Twinings

Tea!

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My Questions:

  1. You need to escape your house (for some reason?) and can only bring 3 books in your bag. What books would you take?
  2. What was your last 5-star read and why?
  3. If you could read any book again for the first time, which book would it be and why?
  4. What popular book and/or author do you hate?
  5. Is there anything thing you’d change about the book + book blogging communities?
  6. Is there a genre you just can’t read no matter what the book is like or the author that writes it- even if your favorite author wrote one book in that genre- you just, can’t?
  7. Do you reread books, or is reading them once enough?
  8. What is the first book you name whenever someone asks for a book recommendation?
  9. What unread book has been sitting on your shelf the longest?
  10. Do you prefer movie adaptations, or TV series adaptations?
  11. Series or standalone?
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I Tag:

May 2020 Wrap-up + Tier Ranking All of the Books I Read in May (Plus Some Important Resources)

I think we can all agree that May 2020 wasn’t a great month for many reasons. With all of the horrible things that have been going on in regards to racism, police brutality, and outright murder of innocent black people (not just recently, this has been going on for CENTURIES), I’ve realized that my reading is not very diverse, and that that’s something I need to fix immediately. Looking at all of the books I read in May, I’m so disappointed to admit that nearly ALL of them were written by caucasian authors… and I didn’t even make a conscious effort to exclusively read books from authors of one race. I’m disappointed in myself, but I promise to do better. I’m lucky enough to have this platform, even if it is small, and I have an obligation to use it to speak up about the horror and injustice going on in our world. You can rest assured that this month’s TBR is going to be full of books written by authors of color, plus LGBT+ authors (happy pride month)! At the end of this post, I’ll also link some resources you can use to help educate yourself and spread awareness about the #blacklivesmatter movement. Remember, silence is NOT an option.

Even though I’m not particularly proud of the fact that I read books mostly by white authors this month, I would still like to tier rank them and include them in a wrap-up post, mainly just so I can visualize how un-diverse my reading currently is (and how I need to fix that!!). Plus, a lot of you guys seemed to enjoy my tier-ranking of the books I read last April, so I thought it would be fun to continue the trend!

Like I did in April, I’m going to be sorting these titles into seven categories because I’m indecisive and need a wide range of options. These categories are: Trash, Bad, Meh, Good, Great, Spectacular, and GOD. I’ll categorize the books and explain why I put them in a certain category, and then I’ll reveal the final image of all of the books tier-ranked together. I’ll also link reviews I’ve written to certain books’ titles! Disclaimer: I didn’t read any trash or god books this month, but I wanted to create the options in case I decide to tier-rank books for future monthly wrap-ups (which I most likely will)!

With that being said, let us begin!

Trash Tier:

Thankfully, I didn’t read any trash books this month!

Bad Tier:

  • Amazon.com: An Enchantment of Ravens (9781481497589): Rogerson ...An Enchantment of Ravens by Maragret Rogerson (2 stars): I totally thought I was going to love this one, which is why I was so disappointed when I didn’t. The first 50 pages or so were pretty great, but then the female protagonist was introduced to the hot, brooding male love interest, and her brain essentially turned to mush. I hate insta-love, and I didn’t know that this book used said trope. If I had, I definitely wouldn’t have wasted my time reading it.

Amazon.com: Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer (1 ...

  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (2 stars): I know you’re probably all shocked to see this book on Bad Tier, and frankly, so am I, because I was so certain it was going to become a new favorite. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me. The writing style is so beautiful, but I’m not really into lush, flowy, description-y fantasies like Strange the Dreamer. I need action and thrills, or else I get bored. I definitely see why people like this book, but sadly, it wasn’t an enjoyable read for me.

Amazon.com: Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood Duology ...

  • Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal (2 stars): I picked this book up because the concept sounded really interesting, but unfortunately, the execution let me down. The plot moved soooo slowly, and the characters were very flat and difficult to connect with. I’m so sad that I didn’t enjoy this book, because it has AMAZING queer rep.

Meh Tier:

  • Amazon.com: Star Wars Queen's Peril (9781368057141): Johnston ...Star Wars Queen’s Peril by E.K. Johnston (2.5 stars): I’m a huge Star Wars fan, so I was super disappointed when I didn’t love this one. The writing style just wasn’t for me, and the characters and plot were incredibly bland. Padme’s character was very watered down in this book, which might just be the biggest let down of all. I think I’ll stick to the movies, thanks. 😬

Good Tier:

  • Amazon.com: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden) (9780373210800 ...The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (3 stars): I liked this book. The protagonist and I didn’t really connect, but I can appreciate how she was a very morally grey character, because that’s not something we see very often in YA. The plot was really interesting, and I’m so excited to see where it goes in the next book! I can already tell that this is going to be a super fun vampire trilogy.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (4 stars): Guys… the hype is real! This book was so beautifully heartbreaking. I’ve mentioned that I’m not a fan of flowy, descriptive books that don’t have tons of action, and that’s true. But this book makes an exception because Greek mythology holds a very special place in my heart. ❤ I really hope Madeline Miller publishes more Greek mythology books soon!

Amazon.com: The Kingdom of Little Wounds (9780763666941): Cokal ...

  • The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal (3.5): This was a pretty gorey read, but I think that with the goriness came very powerful themes about the ugliness of humanity. Truly, I’ve never read a book quite like this one, and though I know it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I recommend giving it a chance.

Great Tier:

  • Amazon.com: The Queen of Blood: Book One of The Queens of Renthia ...The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst (4 stars): The Queen of Blood has one of the most beautifully developed fantasy settings I’ve ever had the pleasure of being swept away into! The world was so original, and the characters were wonderful as well. I can’t wait to read the second book in this trilogy!

Amazon.com: The Grace Year: A Novel (9781250145444): Liggett, Kim ...

  • The Grace Year by Kim Liggett (4 stars): This book was so good, I read it in one sitting! It’s haunting, thrilling, and action-driven, and it’s also full of thought-provoking themes and symbolism. I love that it’s a speculative fiction novel where you can’t tell if the alternate reality is one of the past or the future. The only weak aspect of The Grace Year is the romance. It’s poorly developed, and it disturbs the creepy atmosphere of the book. But other than that, the story was such a thrill to read!

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1) by Beth Revis

  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis (4 stars): This was such a fun sci-fi/dystopian/mystery novel! I get why the publishers changed the cover because despite what the steaminess of the original cover suggests, this is not a romance novel at all. Frankly, the hint of romance in this was what I liked least about it.
  • A Million Suns by Beth RevisA Million Suns by Beth Revis (4 stars): The wonderful sequel to Across the Universe! This book was just as enjoyable as its predecessor, and it was full of constant twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. I’m currently reading Shades of Earth, the last book in this trilogy, and I can’t wait to see how this story ends!

Spectacular Tier:

  • Amazon.com: Stolen Songbird: Malediction Trilogy Book One ...Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen (4.5 Stars): I’m mentally smacking myself for having put off reading this book until just recently. It was so so good! The world, the characters, the romance… everything was amazing. I got more and more invested in the story as it moved along, and I can’t wait to read the remaining books in the series!
  • The Unhoneymooners: Lauren, Christina: 9781501128035: Amazon.com ...The Unhoneymooners (5 Stars): This book was SO adorable and SO much fun to read! I don’t typically rate chick-lit books five stars, but I just enjoyed this one so much, there was no other appropriate rating to give it! Ethan and Olive might just take the cake for my favorite enemies-to-lovers couple. I can’t wait to read more Christina Lauren books!

Amazon.com: The Princess Will Save You (9781250237422): Henning ...

  • The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning (5 stars): I’m SO lucky to have received an arc of this one! The Princess Will Save You was definitely one of my favorite reads of the month, and I’m eagerly anticipating the sequel! I’m hoping to pre-order a finished copy soon so I can have this beautiful book on my shelves!
  • Amazon.com: The Wild Mermaid: An Atlantean Adventure eBook ...The Wild Mermaid by Mel Braxton (5 Stars): The Wild Mermaid was one of my reads for #MerMay, and it was absolutely incredible! The story was so original, and every plot device was used in such a unique way. The Wild Mermaid is actually on sale NOW, for only $0.99! This sale only lasts until June 5th, so claim your copy soon!
  • Amazon.com: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth ...All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace (5 stars): Holy crap… this book was amazing! The characters were so loveable, and the plot kept me hooked from start to finish. I loved the world-building and magic system as well, and I think that Adalyn Grace overall just did a fantastic job at developing every aspect of her book. I can’t wait to read the sequel!

God Tier:

I’m trying to be VERY sparing with the number of books I put in God Tier… God Tier books are those super rare gems that you only come across once in a blue moon. So none for this month!

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As you can clearly see in the image above, my reading in May was not diverse at all. I intend to fix that in the upcoming months, so feel free to recommend any diverse reads down in the comments!

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES:

From suggested donations to ways to learn to be an anti-racist, here are some resources that will guide you in volunteering time and money to Black Lives Matter. I’ve also listed some wonderful organizations and businesses run by Black people, which I highly recommend you support and donate to. Please link any additional resources you have down in the comments!

Keep fighting and using your voices, my friends.

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10 Books on my TBR That are Written by Black Authors

I’ll start by saying that this post is long overdue.

Recently, I’ve realized just how little diversity there is in my reading, and I plan to fix that immediately. I don’t have the largest platform ever, but I have an audience nonetheless, and I need to do my part by speaking out about the horrifying racism and injustice that has been in our world not just in recent years, but for centuries.

As a white person, I’ve always felt like I should “stay in my lane” and avoid participating in the #blacklivesmatter movement simply because it’s “not my place”. But I can’t even begin to stress how wrong and dangerous that mindset is. For change to occur, we need EVERYONE to stand together and do everything possible to spread awareness about the terrifyingly racist things that have been going on for so long. White people like myself need to be aware of the privilege we have and recognize that there are so many struggles that we will never have to go through just because of our skin color. We need to join the fight for change. If you’re white, if you’re any race, really, and you’re not speaking up, you’re part of the problem. We can’t just keep ignoring all of the hate there is in the world, for if we do, how will it ever go away?

I want to do better. I want to look at the books I’ve read and not just see titles by caucasian authors exclusively. I want to see books written by disabled authors, people of ALL colors, LGBTQ+ authors, and anyone with a story to tell that is different from my own. So why not start by sharing 10 books on my TBR that are written by black authors?

I must shamefully admit that I have not made a conscious effort to diversify my reading, and it clearly shows if you take a quick look at any of my Goodreads shelves. So it’s time to change that.

Here are 10 books on my TBR written by black authors, all of which look and sound AMAZING!

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1. A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of blood and marrow–a dark and terrible magick that hasn’t been seen for generations in the vibrant but fractured country of Myre. Its last known practitioner was Queen Raina, who toppled the native khimaer royalty and massacred thousands, including her own sister, eight generations ago, thus beginning the Rival Heir tradition. Living in Raina’s long and dark shadow, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne–because in the Queendom of Myre only the strongest, most ruthless rulers survive.

When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead. As tensions escalate, Eva is forced to turn to a fey instructor of mythic proportions and a mysterious and handsome khimaer prince for help in growing her magick into something to fear. Because despite the love she still has for her sister, Eva will have to choose: Isa’s death or her own.

A River of Royal Blood is an enthralling debut set in a lush North African inspired fantasy world that subtly but powerfully challenges our notions of power, history, and identity.

2. A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

Synopsis:

In a society determined to keep her under lock and key, Tavia must hide her siren powers.

Meanwhile, Effie is fighting her own family struggles, pitted against literal demons from her past. Together, these best friends must navigate through the perils of high school’s junior year.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice at the worst possible moment.

Soon, nothing in Portland, Oregon, seems safe. To save themselves from drowning, it’s only Tavia and Effie’s unbreakable sisterhood that proves to be the strongest magic of all.

3. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

4. War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

War Girls by [Tochi Onyebuchi]

Synopsis:

The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.

In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.

Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.

And they’re willing to fight an entire war to get there.

5. Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Synopsis:

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack.

But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.

Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind.

Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.

6. Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Synopsis:

Heir to two lines of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. Yet she fails at bone magic, fails to call upon her ancestors, and fails to live up to her family’s legacy. Under the disapproving eye of her mother, the Kingdom’s most powerful priestess and seer, she fears she may never be good enough.

But when the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, Arrah is desperate enough to turn to a forbidden, dangerous ritual. If she has no magic of her own, she’ll have to buy it―by trading away years of her own life.

Arrah’s borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal, and on its heels, a rising tide of darkness that threatens to consume her and all those she loves. She must race to unravel a twisted and deadly scheme… before the fight costs more than she can afford.

7. Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughly

Synopsis:

Years ago, everything changed.

Phantoms, massive beasts of nightmare, began terrorizing the world. At the same time, four girls—the Effigies—appeared, each with a unique power to control a classical element. Since then, they have protected the world from the Phantoms. At the death of one Effigy, another is chosen, pulled from her normal life into the never-ending battle.

When Maia unexpectedly becomes the next Fire Effigy, she resists her new calling. A quiet girl with few friends and almost no family, she was much happier to admire the Effigies from afar. Never did she imagine having to master her ability to control fire, to protect innocent citizens from the Phantoms, or to try bringing together the other three Effigies.

But with the arrival of the mysterious Saul—a man who seems to be able to control the Phantoms using the same cosmic power previously only granted to four girls at a time—Maia and the other Effigies must learn to work together in a world where their celebrity status is more important than their heroism.

But the secrets Saul has, and the power he possesses, might be more than even they can handle…

8. Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

Synopsis:

Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.

Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.

9. Oh My Gods by Alexandra Shappard

Synopsis:

Life as a half-mortal teenager should be epic. But, for Helen Thomas, it’s tragic . She’s just moved in with her dorky dad and self-absorbed older siblings – who happen to be the ancient Greek gods, living incognito in London! Between keeping her family’s true identities secret, trying to impress her new friends, and meeting an actually cute boy, Helen’s stress levels are higher than Mount Olympus. She needs to rein in her chaotic family before they blow their cover AND her chances at a half-normal social life. Or is Helen fated for an embarrassment of mythical proportions?

10. Wrong in All the Right Ways by Tiffany Brownlee

Synopsis:

Emma’s life has always gone according to her very careful plans. But things take a turn toward the unexpected when she falls in love for the first time with the one person in the world who’s off-limits: her new foster brother, the gorgeous and tormented Dylan McAndrews.

Meanwhile, Emma’s AP English class is reading Wuthering Heights, and she’s been assigned to echo Emily Bronte’s style in an epistolary format. With irrepressible feelings and no one to confide in, she’s got a lot to write about. Distraught by the escalating intensity of their mutual attraction, Emma and Dylan try to constrain their romance to the page―for fear of threatening Dylan’s chances at being adopted into a loving home. But the strength of first love is all-consuming, and they soon get enveloped in a passionate, secretive relationship with a very uncertain outcome.

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How will you be contributing to the #blacklivesmatter movement?

Are there any books written by black authors that you’re just dying to read? Or better yet, are there any amazing books by black authors that you’ve read and would recommend? Please let me know if there are any, and feel free to chat with me in the comments below! ❤

I’ll see you soon, friends!

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WWW Wednesday 5/27/20

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over on Taking on a World of Words! This past week has definitely been a pretty slow one reading-wise, and I’ll explain why in this post. But despite that, I’m still so excited to update you all on what I’ve been reading lately!

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The Grace Year by  Kim Liggett (71% Through)

Amazon.com: The Grace Year: A Novel (9781250145444): Liggett, Kim ...

This book started out SO GOOD. The atmosphere is dark, gritty, and haunting, and it’s easy to see the similarities it has with popular dystopias like The Hunger Games and The Handmaid’s Tale. However, about halfway through the book, the male love interest is introduced, and a flimsy, insta-lovey romance is “developed”. Ugh. This is the type of book that totally doesn’t need a romance sub-plot to make it interesting, and I honestly think that its romantic element is just making it worse.

I’m really conflicted with this one, to say the least. It started off as a five star read, but now I might have to knock it down to three or four stars, depending on whether the romance continues as it is throughout the rest of the book. I’m still enjoying it, but I just hate when an action-driven story becomes a romance-driven one. Is it bad that I’m hoping the love interest gets killed off so we can get back to all the excitement and thrills?

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (75% Through)

The Unhoneymooners

Finally getting on the Christina Lauren fanwagon! I’ve REALLY enjoyed reading this book. I’ve been listening to it as an audiobook, and it’s such a fun, easy read, perfect for when you just want to relax and de-stress.

I’m nearly done with this book, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to give it either 4 or 5 stars. I don’t usually give rom-coms 5 stars since they basically require no effort to read (they’re so light and fluffy!), but I might have to make an exception for this one… I’m loving it that much!

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer Series #1) by Laini ...

This book was certainly not bad, but it left me feeling so disappointed! I went into it expecting something totally different than what I got. I have such mixed feelings about this book, and I really don’t want to get into all of that messiness, but it boils down to this: Strange the Dreamer is beautifully written, but it’s a boring story. I know others will disagree, but the book’s plot moved so slowly, and as a result, picking it up felt like a chore. When nearing the end of the book, I read some reviews saying that the plot picked up at like 80%, but even then it just didn’t interest me. Strange the Dreamer is definitely one of my most disappointing reads of 2020!

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The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

Amazon.com: The Betrothed (9780062291639): Cass, Kiera: Books

So… I’m really scared to read this one. With all of the one star reviews rolling in, I’m already disappointed, and I haven’t even opened the book yet! I loved The Selection, but according to some of my friends who have read The Betrothed, the two books are nothing alike! I’m so bummed because when I first heard about this book, I was so sure that I would love it. And maybe I still will, but right now, I’m doubtful.

Far From Normal by Becky Wallace

Far from Normal by Becky Wallace

The other day, I literally did a little happy-dance when I received an ARC of Far From Normal in the mail! As a smaller blogger/bookstagrammer, I don’t receive physical arcs very often, so seeing this one on my doorstep was a wonderful surprise! Lockdown has had me binge reading tons of light, swoonworthy romances, and that’s exactly what Far From Normal is! I can’t wait to read it within the next few weeks and share my thoughts with you all. I have high hopes for this book!

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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?

Stay healthy and safe, my friends!

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Mermaid and Siren Book Recommendations

Hey everyone!

As the month nears its end, I thought a great way to finish off #MerMay would be by recommending some of my favorite mermaid and siren books! Mermaids are very near and dear to my heart (hence the blog name), as I’ve been obsessed with them since I was a little girl! As a kid, I even had a phase where I pretended I was secretly a mermaid, and that if I touched sea water, I would sprout a tail and fins. Yeah, I definitely drove my mother crazy with that silliness 😂

But anyway, I’m really excited to share all of these amazing books with you! Let’s dive into these fin-tastic tails (three puns in one sentence… that must be some kind of record)!

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1. All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth Duology Book 1) by [Adalyn Grace]

Synopsis:

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

Why You Should Read It:

If you like mermaids, but you’re not really obsessed with them, this is the book for you. It has a hint of mermaid magic, but the overall storyline focuses on something entirely different. One of the four main characters is a mermaid, but we also have a princess, a pirate, and a stowaway! How fun does that sound? All the Stars and Teeth was one of the books I read for #MerMay this year, and it was an easy five-star read! I’m dying to get my hands on the sequel that comes out next February!

2. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a Kingdom by [Alexandra Christo]

Synopsis:

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most–a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen and or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby–it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good–But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

Why You Should Read It:

This book is dark, bloody, and full of siren lure! To Kill a Kingdom is easily one of my favorite books EVER, and I can’t gush enough about it. Fun fact: it’s actually the inspiration behind my blog name, Mermaid Reads (though in TKAK, mermaids and sirens are actually two incredibly different species 😂). If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly encourage you to pick it up! Even if mermaids and sirens aren’t really your forte, I think there’s a good chance you’ll still love it!

3. The Siren by Kiera Cass

The Siren by [Kiera Cass]

Synopsis:

Kahlen is a Siren—bound to serve the Ocean by luring humans to their watery graves with her voice, which is deadly to any human who hears it. Akinli is human—a kind, handsome boy who’s everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. Falling in love puts them both in danger… but will Kahlen risk everything to follow her heart?

Why You Should Read It:

I picked this book up because it’s by Kiera Cass, the author of the Selection series, and I ended up enjoying it a lot! I read it years ago, so my recollection of it is a bit foggy, but I remember thinking it was a lovely siren romance! Definitely give this one a read if you’re looking for a sweet, lighthearted mermaid love story.

4. The Wild Mermaid by Mel Braxton

The Wild Mermaid by Mel Braxton

Synopsis:

Cora was thrilled. Today she would reach Atlantis, and after a long migration she was eager to finish the journey.

But when the Queen appoints Cora as the next soloist, she must take an unusual medication, physic. As the drug reshapes her mind, Cora discovers Atlantis to be far more sinister than her daydreams.

To escape, Cora must navigate the Queen’s palace. Along the way, she is befriended and betrayed. She learns that myths can be lies and tragedies often leave scars.

It’s an adventure that’ll ultimately transform her into The Wild Mermaid.

Why You Should Read It:

The Wild Mermaid is a quick little “tail” that had me hooked from start to finish. The idea behind the story is so refreshing, original, and unlike anything I’v ever read before. This book is set in the mythical underwater city of Atlantis, which we discover may be far for sinister than the legends lead us to believe… The story was fast-paced, thrilling, and filled with endless twists and turns that kept me reading long into the night. I had such a blast reading this one, and I highly recommend picking it up!

5. The Daughter of the Pirate King Duology by Tricia Levenseller

Daughter of the Pirate King by [Tricia Levenseller]

Synopsis:

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Why You Should Read It:

Tricia Levenseller has slowly become one of my favorite authors. I’ve read all of her books that have been published so far, and each one makes me fall in love with her writing even more! The Daughter of the Pirate King duology is a fast-paced, swashbuckling adventure that has sirens AND pirates! This series was so much fun to read, and the books are pretty short, so you can read them quite quickly! My only complaint is that the story is incredibly predictable… the title of the second book, The Daughter of the Siren Queen, basically gives away the big “plot twist” in Book 1. But if you’re okay with it being predictable, I highly recommend this wonderful duology!

6. Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Sea Witch by [Sarah Henning]

Synopsis:

Ever since her best friend Anna died, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. Hiding her talents, mourning her loss, drowning in her guilt.

Then a girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears on the shore, and the two girls catch the eyes of two charming princes. Suddenly Evie feels like she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But magic isn’t kind, and her new friend harbors secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad—or on two legs—without Evie’s help. And when Evie reaches deep into the power of her magic to save her friend’s humanity—and her prince’s heart—she discovers, too late, what she’s bargained away.

Why You Should Read It:

This was a really interesting interpretation of the Sea Witch’s story. I really loved how the author layered this retelling with hundreds of years of Danish history. It was an interesting touch! Though the story is somewhat slow-paced at times, the writing is beautiful and mesmerizing, which completely makes up for it. This is a very unique take on the classic story of The Little Mermaid that you should definitely go read!

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And… there you have it!

A list of all of my favorite mermaid and siren “tails” to wrap up #MerMay (and yes… I’m well aware that I’ve probably used that pun a billion times in this post. 😂 Can you blame me though?)! I definitely encourage picking up some of these wonderfully swashbuckling reads!

What are your favorite mermaid/siren reads? I’m always looking for recommendations!

Thanks for reading, and happy MerMay!

Until next time,

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Book Series I Won’t Be Continuing

I got this brilliant post idea from Kyla over at Kyla’s Library! Please go check out her post and her lovely blog!

Like Kyla said in her post, this post is probably going to be very controversial! Most of the series on this list are quite popular, so I wouldn’t be surprised if one of your favorite books is mentioned 😂 What can I say, I’m Crazy Minority Girl! This is kind of an unpopular opinions post, so prepare to get triggered. Just please promise not to bash me in the comments because I’m a sensitive snowflake 🥺👉👈 (jk I’m really not if you want to fight me go for it)

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The Arc of a Scythe Trilogy by Neal Shusterman

Kids Reference - Arc of the Scythe Trilogy

I didn’t hate Scythe, but it wasn’t good enough for me to want to continue the series, you know? I have SUCH A MASSIVE TBR, and I’m not about to waste my time reading “meh” books when there are so many others I should be prioritizing. There’s a chance that I *might* give book two a chance, because the ending of Scythe left me somewhat intrigued… but probably not. Though the concept behind the story was interesting, the book as a whole moved so slowly, and I have a feeling that the next two books in the trilogy will be more or less the same.

The Something Dark and Holy Trilogy by Emily A. Duncan

BeFunky-collage (3)

I feel like I’m the only person in the universe who disliked Wicked Saints. It was just SO SLOW (which I’m now realizing is a common pattern found in the books on this list). The characters were so bland, and the pacing was terrible. I was so close to DNFing this book, but I didn’t want to give up on it, in hopes that perhaps the book would pick up within the last 20% (spoiler alert: it didn’t). I wish I could understand why so many people loved this book. Someone please explain in the comments because I’m genuinely curious!

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Get Excited For 'The Raven Cycle' TV Series Adaptation | The Nerd ...

Why does everyone love this series so much? The characters in The Raven Boys were some of the driest ones I’ve ever encountered in a young adult novel, and that’s saying a lot. I’ve only read the first book, so I can’t speak for the whole series, but there was just nothing appealing about it. IT WAS SO BORING. I want to give some of Stiefvater’s other books a chance, but I’m scared to because I hated The Raven Boys so much!

The Witchlands Series by Susan Dennard

Witchlands Series Sweepstakes! | Tor.com

Truthwitch is the one book on this list that I actually did DNF (at about 60-70%). As a reader, I take pride in the fact that I hardly ever DNF books (what can I say, I’m very stubborn). It really says something about Turthwitch if I disliked it SO MUCH that I had to abandon it. It was just (you guessed it) so boring! The pacing was so slow and I remember just reading the book and desperately wanting it to be over. It was that bad! Since I couldn’t ever get through book one, it’s safe to say that I will never be picking up the remaining books in the series.

The Ember in the Ashes Quartet by Sabaa Tahir

anemberintheashesseries

I think this series is going to be a quartet… right? Anyways, despite the fact that I wasn’t the biggest fan of this series, it’s probably the best one on this list. I definitely see the appeal. But with that being said, it really wasn’t for me. I liked An Ember in the Ashes quite a lot (I think I gave it 3 or 4 stars), but A Torch Against the Night just bored me to death. I didn’t love the characters, except for Elias’s mom, who, although extremely frightening, was one of the most interesting YA antagonists I’ve ever come across. Honestly, the series had its pros and cons, but I don’t think it’s worth my time to finish it. I don’t regret reading the first book, but I don’t plan on reading the last two books in the series.

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That concludes this post!

YES, YES, I have no taste, blah blah blah (People who were about to come @ me in the comments– I said it so you don’t have to!)

After typing up this post, I’m realizing that there are SO MANY popular series that I have abandoned… So perhaps you’ll be seeing a Part 2 of this post in the near future? Maybe??? We shall see.

What are some series that you won’t be continuing? I’d love to know! I promise I won’t judge you if it’s a series I like… Let me rephrase that: I’ll *try* not to judge you if it’s a series I like.

Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed this post!

Have a happy weekend!

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Down the TBR Hole #2

Hey guys! I’m back with another Down the TBR Hole post!

Down the TBR Hole is a weekly meme hosted by Lia @Lost in a Story. Its purpose is to clear out your TBR shelf so it’s not overflowing with books you know you’re never going to read.

Here’s how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Recently, I’ve been adding TONS of books to my TBR, and as a result, the number of books I now have on it is embarrassingly high. In this post, I’m going to tackle my TBR and *attempt* to get rid of at least a few books!

A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole

A Conspiracy of Stars by [Olivia A. Cole]

Synopsis: Octavia has always dreamed of becoming a whitecoat, one of the prestigious N’Terra scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. So when the once-secretive labs are suddenly opened to students, she leaps at the chance to see what happens behind their closed doors. However, she quickly discovers that all is not what it seems on Faloiv, and the experiments the whitecoats have been doing run the risk of upsetting the humans’ fragile peace with the Faloii, Faloiv’s indigenous people. As secret after disturbing secret comes to light, Octavia finds herself on a collision course with the charismatic and extremist new leader of N’Terra’s ruling council. But by uncovering the mysteries behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family, she threatens to be the catalyst for an all-out war.

My Thoughts: I don’t really love sci-fi, so I was kind of confused as to why past-Octavia added this to her TBR. Now, after rereading the synopsis, I’m pretty sure it’s just because the main character shares my name 😂 Like I said, I don’t typically gravitate towards science fiction, so I can’t really see myself reading it in the near future.

Final VerdictREMOVE

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

Heretics Anonymous by [Katie Henry]

Synopsis: When Michael walks through the doors of Catholic school, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow atheist at that. Only this girl, Lucy, isn’t just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest. Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies one stunt at a time. But when Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.

My Thoughts: I like the idea behind this book, but I feel like I would have picked it up by now if I really wanted to. It’s been on my TBR for years, and there are just so many other books that I’d rather read before this one. Sadly, I think it has to go.

Final VerdictREMOVE

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Synopsis: After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too. Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath. With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: She must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

My Thoughts: Since Children of Blood and Bone was a pretty “meh” read for me, I don’t really know why I added the sequel to my TBR. Even if I did want to give the story a second chance after not loving book one, it’s been such a long time since I read it, and my memory of the events that took place is very blurry. Taking that into consideration, I don’t think it would be beneficial to keep this book on my TBR.

Final VerdictREMOVE

Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott

Synopsis: Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions. The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals. Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment. What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

My Thoughts: I already watched the movie for this one (pls don’t hate on me, I know I should have read the book first!), and I enjoyed it, but for that reason, I don’t think it’s necessary for me to read the book, since I already know what happens. But honestly, I feel like since it’s been a long time since I watched the movie, I might still be able to enjoy this book. For that reason, it stays!

Final VerdictKEEP

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead. The risen corpses are known as “bone houses”, and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good? Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the deeply-buried truths about themselves. Equal parts classic horror novel and original fairytale, The Bone Houses will have you spellbound from the very first minute.

My Thoughts: I seriously need to get around to reading this one! It sounds absolutely fantastic, and it’s been on my TBR shelf for far too long. I’ve heard such great things about it. It’s definitely staying!

Final VerdictKEEP

Not too shabby!

I got rid of three books, which isn’t that significant in the grand scheme of things, but I applaud myself nonetheless.

Do you think I made any mistakes? Should I reconsider removing some of these books from my TBR? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

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#SixForSunday: Heartwrenching Endings to Series

Six for Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Steph @ A Little But a Lot! Today’s topic is Heartwrenching Endings to Series.

I’ve read so many series that ended with me crying like a baby, and I’m so excited to share them all with you! These books literally shattered my heart into a billion pieces!

*some spoilers ahead*

1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Amazon.com: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices Book 3) eBook ...

Ugh. MY HEART! I can’t even think about this book without breaking down into sobs. It was such an unexpectedly perfect conclusion to an amazing trilogy. The Infernal Devices is easily my favorite Cassie Clare series, mostly because I adore the characters so much! Their story was wrapped up in such a beautifully heartbreaking way.

2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Amazon.com: Mockingjay (Hunger Games) (9780545663267): Collins ...

The Hunger Games is one of my all-time favorite series, but I hardly ever reread it in order to avoid the emotional damage Mockingjay will inflict upon me. Poor Finnick! Poor Prim! Poor Peeta! POOR EVERYONE. Oh my god, don’t even get me started on the epilogue. I don’t think a book scene ever made me cry so hard! LEAVE IT TO SUZANNE COLLINS TO LITERALLY BREAK MY HEART BEYOND REPAIR.

3. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Amazon.com: The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air (3 ...

What can I say? My emotions got one hell of a work out with this book! I loved The Queen of Nothing so so much, I cried for hours after reading it! Partly because I was devestated that the trilogy was over, and partly because I was so happy that Jude and Cardan got the happy ending they deserved! ❤

4. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Amazon.com: Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy, Book 3) eBook: Roth ...

Y’all can hate on me for being a Divergent stan, but I HAVE ZERO SHAME! That series introduced me to the wonderful genre that is YA, and it’s one of the reasons why I love reading so much. The series had it’s issues, sure, but I had so much fun reading it. And Allegiant was yet another book that had me sobbing my eyes out after reading it! Not only did the ending devastate me, but it also really angered me! TRIS SHOULDN’T HAVE DIED! And I hated it so much when in the last chapter a romance was hinted between Tobias and Christina! Veronica Roth really had to do us Fourtris stans like that.

5. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

The Midnight Star (The Young Elites, #3)

The Midnight Star was a fantastic book for so many reasons. I think what made me love it most was the way Marie Lu wrapped up Adelina’s character arc. I really didn’t like Adelina in the first book, but that’s what makes this series so amazing. Adelina goes through SO MUCH character development, and the sacrifice she makes at the end of The Midnight Star is truly heartbreaking. It shows how far she’s come as a character and how her difficult journey has allowed her to become the person she never thought she could be. Such a beautiful way to end a series!

6. Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Amazon.com: Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky Trilogy ...

The Under the Never Sky trilogy is amazing, and I don’t talk about it enough on my blog! Into the Still Blue was a wonderful conclusion, and I absolutely loved the way Veronica Rossi wrapped everything up in such an exquisitely beautiful way. The characters had been through so much and had gone through so much development. They remained true to themselves though, and it is so amazing. Love this series so much!

I’m not crying, you are!

What are some of your favorite series with heartbreaking endings? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

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The Best (and Worst) Books in my Favorite Series

I was struggling to come up with post ideas, and then I had a thought: Wouldn’t it be fun to take a look at my all-time favorite series and decide which book in each of them is the strongest AND which book is the weakest? This is definitely going to be a challenge, as none of these titles are books I really disliked… they’re part of my favorite series, after all! I’m extremely indecisive, so I’m probably going to struggle a lot. Brace yourself, reader!

I don’t think any further introduction is necessary, so let’s just dive right into these series!

The Folk of the Air Trilogy by Holly Black

Of Cruel Princes and Wicked Kings: Holly Black's The Folk of the ...

This is literally the hardest decision EVER. The Folk of the Air trilogy is my #1 favorite series, and I can’t name one bad thing about any of the books in it. How am I supposed to choose which one is the strongest and which one is the weakest? Ugh, why did I decide to do this post? *face palm*

Best: The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince - Wikipedia

After A LOT of contemplation, I have to say that I *think* The Cruel Prince is my favorite book in the Folk of the Air trilogy. I absolutely love the way Holly Black set up the plot and characters… God, that woman is a genius! I fell in love with Jude and Cardan in this book, and I absolutely loved how they hated and had feelings for each other at the same time. I know that The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing had some memorable elements that The Cruel Prince lacked (being the first book in the series and all), but overall I think that it was an incredible start to an amazing adventure!

Worst: The Wicked King

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) by Holly Black

I hate using the word “worst” when talking about this book, because there couldn’t be a more ill-fitting word to describe it with! I loved The Wicked King with all of my heart, and it was an easy five star read for me. Honestly, it just didn’t pack as much of an emotional punch as The Queen of Nothing did, which is to be expected. Again, this is my favorite series EVER. All three of the books were amazing. But The Cruel Prince and The Queen of Nothing might have been SLIGHTLY better than The Wicked King.

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass | Kiera cass books, Selection ...

Yes, yes, I know that this series is kind of trashy but I ATE THAT TRASH UP. Period. Anyways, it’s much easier for me to decide which book in this series is my least favorite, as I really didn’t enjoy the last two books. I mean, they were fine, but you really can’t compare them to the amazingness that was the original first three books in the series.

Best: The One

Amazon.com: The One (The Selection) (9780062060006): Cass, Kiera ...

“Break my heart. Break it a thousand times if you like. It was only ever yours to break anyway.” I’M NOT CRYING, YOU ARE. The One was the perfect conclusion to America and Maxon’s story, and for that reason it’s my favorite book in the series!  It really had me feeling all the feels. America and Maxon are my OTP! ❤ Aspen can go to hell.

 

Worst: The Heir

The Heir | The Selection Wiki | Fandom

Like I said, this wasn’t the worst book ever, but I don’t think I would have minded if it hadn’t been released. Honestly, I just really didn’t vibe with Eadlyn, and I think that’s why I didn’t love the two books told in her perspective. She read off as such a spoiled brat (probably because she was one lol). Also, JUSTICE FOR KYLE. My boy didn’t deserve the crappy ending he got!

The A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas

SERIES REVIEW: The A Court of Thorns and Roses Trilogy by Sarah J Maas

I really hated A Court of Frost and Starlight, an ACOTAR novella, so for that reason I don’t consider it a part of this series. I’m also aware that this series has not been finished yet, so I will only be judging the three books that are currently out: A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruin.

Best: A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury A Court of Thorns and Roses: Amazon.co.uk ...

My all-time favorite Sarah J. Maas book! A Court of Mist and Fury is emotionally charged, touching, and serious, but it is also funny and wildly entertaining. Some of my favorite characters were introduced and developed in this book, and the witty banter they share is hilarious! I love how healthy relationships are portrayed in this book. We get to see how Rhysand views Feyre as his mate and his equal, whereas Tamlin’s love was a toxic obsession. I absolutely love ACOMAF and I think it is the best book Maas has written to this day!

Worst: A Court of Wings and Ruin

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses Series #3 ...

I still loved this book, but for some reason it didn’t have the same addictiveness that ACOTAR AND ACOMAF had for me. I think this is because it was a much more emotional read. It’s not my favorite book in the series, but I definitely think that it was a perfect ending to Feyre and Rhys’s story. It was a long book, yes, but every page contributed to the story!

Again, I really hate using the word “worst” to describe all of these books, because they’re still some of my favorites!

The Infernal Device Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

Book Recommendation: The Infernal Devices | EverythingNyze

Best: Clockwork Princess

Clockwork Princess - Wikipedia

MY HEART! This book hit me so fucking hard. It was beyond amazing! I never saw the ending coming, but it was so unexpectedly perfect. My heart literally broke into a million pieces! This is the best Cassie Clare book of all time AND I STAND BY THAT. It was actually one of the first books to ever make me cry… I say that’s a pretty big deal. Honestly, 5 stars isn’t enough to describe my love for this book.

Worst: Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Prince, Walmart Edition (The Infernal Devices, Volume 2 ...

I still really liked this book, but like many of the other books I have rated “worst” (ugh, really starting to hate that word), it didn’t have as much of an emotional effect on me as the other books in the series did. However, I really appreciated all of the wonderful character development that occurred in this book! I LOVE YOU WILL HERONDALE.

 

The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

The Legend Trilogy | Legend Marie Lu Wiki | Fandom

Not including the spin-off books! I really love all of Marie Lu’s series, but the Legend series might just be my favorite! Honestly, if you want your heart to be shattered into a million pieces read this series.

Best: Champion

Champion (novel) - Wikipedia

Out of all the books in the Legend series, Champion has to be my favorite. It tore me apart! After reading it, I was completely broken and I didn’t think I could ever heal again. This book was so good and I just will not get over how fucking cute Day and June are and the ending will forever have me crying. A fantastic conclusion to the series.

 

Worst: Prodigy

Amazon.com: Prodigy (9780142427552): Marie Lu: Books

This book was not bad!!! (I’m really starting to sound like a broken record here, aren’t I?). It just wasn’t as good as Legend and Champion. The second book curse! Just kidding, I really loved Prodigy, I just have to rank it as worst because I tend to enjoy the first and third books in trilogies slightly more.

 

 

I’m seriously regretting making this post!

Why in the world did I think it would be a good idea to force myself to choose books in my favorite series and label them as WORST? Literally none of the books with said label are actually bad. I apologize for my stupidity. This is what quarantine is doing to me, you guys!

Welp, I guess I’ll see you in my next post! Hopefully it’s better than this one!

So long,

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I’VE BEEN SPOILED WITH ARCS! (ARC TBR)

So, when I got out of my awful blogging slump last March, I thought it would be a great idea to log onto NetGalley and binge-request tons of arcs (Why, past-Octavia, why?!). I now realize that that was a very stupid mistake.

Now I have a crap ton of arcs that all have to be read and reviewed fairly soon… It will be a challenge to tackle all of these books within the next few months in addition to my normal monthly TBRs, but ya girl’s not about to let her NetGalley feedback ratio plummet. Plus, I requested all of these books for a reason! They’re all upcoming releases that I’m really looking forward to reading. Thank you to all of the wonderful publishers who have spoiled me with arcs these past few months!

Without further ado, here are all of the arcs I’m planning to read in the near future!

Star Wars: Queen’s Peril by E.K. Johnston

Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press

Release Date: June 2, 2020

Synopsis: When fourteen-year-old Padmé Naberrie wins the election for Queen of Naboo, she adopts the name Amidala and leaves her family to the rule from the royal palace. To keep her safe and secure, she’ll need a group of skilled handmaidens who can be her assistants, confidantes, defenders, and decoys. Each girl is selected for her particular talents, but it will be up to Padmé to unite them as a group. When Naboo is invaded by forces of the Trade Federation, Queen Amidala and her handmaidens will face the greatest test–of themselves, and of each other.

My Thoughts: I love anything Star Wars, especially when it comes to my girl Padmé! I’ve heard great things about E.K. Johnston’s other Star Wars novels, so I’m super excited to read this one. I’ll probably pick it up pretty soon, as this is the earliest release out of all of the arcs on this list.

What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: June 23, 2020

Synopsis: Lex was taken–trafficked–and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn’t quite know how to be Lex again. After she moves in with her aunt and uncle, for the first time in a long time, she knows what it is to feel truly safe. Except, she doesn’t trust it. Doesn’t trust her new home. Doesn’t trust her new friend. Doesn’t trust her new life. Instead she trusts what she shouldn’t because that’s what feels right. She doesn’t deserve good things. But when she is sexually assaulted by her so-called boyfriend and his friends, Lex is forced to reckon with what happened to her and that just because she is used to it, doesn’t mean it is okay. She’s thrust into the limelight and realizes she has the power to help others. But first she’ll have to confront the monsters of her past with the help of her family, friends, and a new love. Kate McLaughlin’s What Unbreakable Looks Like is a gritty, ultimately hopeful novel about human trafficking through the lens of a girl who has escaped the life and learned to trust, not only others, but in herself.

My Thoughts: I’m so excited to announce that Wednesday Books invited me to participate in the blog tour for this book! I’m really looking forward to reading it and sharing my thoughts with you all in my upcoming blog tour review.

Rebel Spy by Veronica Rossi

Rebel Spy by [Veronica Rossi]

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: June 23, 2020

Synopsis: Rebellious Frannie Tasker knows little about the war between England and its thirteen colonies in 1776, until a shipwreck off her home in Grand Bahama Island presents an unthinkable opportunity. The body of a young woman body floating in the sea gives Frannie the chance to escape her brutal stepfather–and she takes it. Assuming the identity of the drowned Emmeline Coates, Frannie is rescued by a British merchant ship and sails with the crew to New York. For the next three years, Frannie lives a lie as Miss Coates, swept up in a courtship by a dashing British lieutenant. But after witnessing the darker side of the war, she realizes that her position gives her power. Soon she’s eavesdropping on British officers, risking everything to pass information on to George Washington’s Culper spy ring as agent 355. Frannie believes in the fight for American liberty–but what will it cost her? Inspired by the true “355” and rich in historical detail and intrigue, this is the story of an unlikely New York society girl turned an even unlikelier spy.

My Thoughts: I absolutely love historical fiction, so of course I had to request an arc of Rebel Spy by Veronica Rossi! It sounds like such an interesting story, and I have such high hopes for it!

Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang

Opium and Absinthe: A Novel by [Lydia Kang]

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Release Date: July 1, 2020

Synopsis: New York City, 1899. Tillie Pembroke’s sister lies dead, her body drained of blood and with two puncture wounds on her neck. Bram Stoker’s new novel, Dracula, has just been published, and Tillie’s imagination leaps to the impossible: the murderer is a vampire. But it can’t be—can it? A ravenous reader and researcher, Tillie has something of an addiction to truth, and she won’t rest until she unravels the mystery of her sister’s death. Unfortunately, Tillie’s addicted to more than just truth; to ease the pain from a recent injury, she’s taking more and more laudanum…and some in her immediate circle are happy to keep her well supplied. Tillie can’t bring herself to believe vampires exist. But with the hysteria surrounding her sister’s death, the continued vampiric slayings, and the opium swirling through her body, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a girl who relies on facts and figures to know what’s real—or whether she can trust those closest to her.

My Thoughts: I’m so happy that vampires have been making a comeback in NA/YA fiction lately! This book sounds so creepy and mysterious, and I’m always down for that kind of read! Also, I’m totally in love with the cover!

The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning

The Princess Will Save You by [Sarah Henning]

Publisher: Tor Teen

Release Date: July 7, 2020

Synopsis: When her warrior father, King Sendoa, mysteriously dies, Princess Amarande of Ardenia is given what would hardly be considered a choice: Marry a stranger at sixteen or lose control of her family’s crown. But Amarande was raised to be a warriornot a sacrifice. In an attempt to force her choice, a neighboring kingdom kidnaps her true love, stable boy Luca. With her kingdom on the brink of civil war and no one to trust, she’ll need all her skill to save him, her future, and her kingdom.

My Thoughts: GUYS: I’m actually reading this book right now and (so far) it’s everything I dreamed of and more! In this gender-swapped Princess Bride retelling, Buttercup gets a total revamp! Amarande, our protagonist, is so badass! I’m low-key tempted to preorder a finished copy right now because I’m enjoying it so much! Also, Sarah Henning reposted my Instagram story featuring this arc… Rest assured that I have been fangirling all day!

Mayhem by Estelle Laure

Mayhem: A Novel by [Estelle Laure]

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: July 14, 2020

Synopsis: It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else. But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good. But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.

My Thoughts: Huge thanks to Wednesday Books for inviting me to participate in yet another blog tour! I’m so excited to read Mayhem, as the synopsis sounds so intriguing. I absolutely love dark, gritty reads, so I’m sure this book is right up my alley!

Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay

Cut Off by [Adrianne Finlay]

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: August 11, 2020

Synopsis: Each contestant has their own reasons—and their own secrets—for joining the new virtual reality show CUT/OFF that places a group of teenagers alone in the wilderness. It’s a simple premise: whoever lasts the longest without “tapping out” wins a cash prize. Not only that, new software creates a totally unprecedented television experience, allowing viewers to touch, see, and live everything along with the contestants. But what happens when “tapping out” doesn’t work and no one comes to save you? What happens when the whole world seemingly disappears while you’re stranded in the wild? Four teenagers must confront their greatest fears, their deepest secrets, and one another when they discover they are truly cut off from reality. Sci-fi, mystery, and romance converge in this high-stakes, fast-paced read that will leave you guessing to the very last moment.

My Thoughts: I don’t know why, but the synopsis for this book gives me Hunger Games and Warcross vibes… And those are both books that I loved, so I’m sure to enjoy this one as well!

Ignite the Sun by Hanna Howard

Ignite the Sun (Blink) by [Hanna Howard ]

Publisher: Blink

Release Date: August 18, 2020

Synopsis: Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow. Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old days that she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria’s need to please them is greater than her fear of the dark, and so she heads to the royal city—the very center of the darkness—for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel’s court. But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball will send her on a quest that could bring back the Light—or doom the kingdom to shadow forever. Accompanied by a ragtag group of rebels, she sets her course for the North, toward the last vestiges of the sun.

My Thoughts: This books sounds like such a lush, beautiful fantasy. I love the idea behind the world, and I’m really looking forward to diving into it. And just look at that stunning cover! If I enjoy this one, I might have to snag a finished copy!

Greythorne by Crystal Smith

Greythorne (The Bloodleaf Trilogy Book 2) by [Crystal Smith]

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: September 1, 2020

Synopsis: Princess Aurelia’s life is upended when the kingdom she thought she saved falls to ruin, a loved one is tragically killed in a shipwreck, and her home country turns against her. With no place left to call her own, Aurelia returns to Greythorne Manor—her best friend’s family mansion—only to find that Greythorne has sinister secrets of its own. With enemies closing in on all sides, Aurelia is caught in a mad fight to protect the only people she has left—her family. In her darkest moments, when all seems grim, will Aurelia find a spark of hope from a love she thought long lost?

My Thoughts: When I got the email that my request for this arc had been approved, I was literally jumping up and down with joy! I LOVED Bloodleaf, so it’s such an honor to be able to read and review its sequel, Greythorne, before its release date. I’m definitely going to have to reread Bloodleaf first, though, because even though I loved it, my memory of the book is pretty foggy!

Bright Shining World by Josh Swiller

Bright Shining World by [Josh Swiller]

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Release Date: November 24, 2020

Synopsis: Wallace Cole is perpetually moving against his will. His father has some deeply important job with an energy company that he refuses to explain to Wallace who is, shall we say, suspicious. Not that his father ever listens to him. Just as Wallace is getting settled into a comfortable life in Kentucky, his father lets him know they need to immediately depart for a new job in a small town in Upstate New York which has recently been struck by an outbreak of inexplicable hysterics–an outbreak which is centered at the high school Wallace will attend. In the new town, go from disturbing to worse: trees appear to be talking to people; a school bully, the principal, and the town police force take an instant dislike to Wallace; and the student body president is either falling for him or slipping into the enveloping darkness. Bright Shining World is a novel of resistance, of young people finding hope and courage and community in a collapsing world.

My Thoughts: Bright Shining World sounds like such a dark, funny thriller! This book doesn’t come out till November, but it’s still a highly anticipated 2020 release of mine! I’m so excited to read it!

It looks like I have a lot of reading ahead of me!

Not that I’m complaining!

Are any of the books on this list on your TBR? What are some of your most anticipated releases? Are there any arcs that you’re hoping to get your hands on?

Let me know in the comments!

See you soon,

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