YA Dystopian Binge

stack of dystopian ya books
Picture taken by me.

When I was little, I would walk around my neighborhood with a notebook “solving crimes.” I would write down my suspect list, interrogate the neighbors, and use ground up pencil lead to “fingerprint” the neighbors’ dogs and cats. I thought I wanted to be a detective, but what I was really doing was writing stories and doing research. It took me about 28 years and a Forensic Degree later to realize that I wanted to be a writer.

I’ve been recently trying my hand at writing. My work in progress is potentially a YA/Dystopian book, so I decided to read this stack of highly recommended books in this genre for research and inspiration purposes. I probably won’t ever end up publishing it, but the idea popped into my head and I just had to write it. Any other YA/Dystopian books you would recommend? Which one of these should I read first? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

unwind book one by neil shusterman
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Unwind (Unwind, #1) by Neal Shusterman

Goodreads Rating: 4.18/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

the maze runner book by james dashner
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The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner, #1) by James Dashner

Goodreads rating: 4.02/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

under the never sky book one by veronica rossi
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Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1) by Veronica Rossi

Goodreads rating: 4.00/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.

enclave book by ann aguirre razorland book one
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Enclave (Razorland, #1) by Ann Aguirre

Goodreads Rating: 3.92/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters–or Freaks–who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight–guided by Fade’s long-ago memories–in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.

Ann Aguirre’s thrilling young adult novel is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world–facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

the fifth wave by rick yancey
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The Fifth Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1) by Rick Yancey

Goodreads rating: 4.05/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

the house of the scorpion by nancy
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The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Goodreads rating: 4.10/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

With undertones of vampires, Frankenstein, dragons’ hoards, and killing fields, Matt’s story turns out to be an inspiring tale of friendship, survival, hope, and transcendence. A must-read for teenage fantasy fans.

At his coming-of-age party, Matteo Alacrán asks El Patrón’s bodyguard, “How old am I?…I know I don’t have a birthday like humans, but I was born.”

“You were harvested,” Tam Lin reminds him. “You were grown in that poor cow for nine months and then you were cut out of her.”

To most people around him, Matt is not a boy, but a beast. A room full of chicken litter with roaches for friends and old chicken bones for toys is considered good enough for him. But for El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium—a strip of poppy fields lying between the U.S. and what was once called Mexico—Matt is a guarantee of eternal life. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself for Matt is himself. They share identical DNA.

the program book one by suzanne young
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The Program (The Program, #1) by Suzanne Young

Goodreads Rating: 4.05/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

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Steelheart (The Reckoners, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads rating: 4.15/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

Bringing Down the Duke

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

bringing down the duke a league of extraordinary women #1 by evie dunmore
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Author: Evie Dunmore

Series: A League of Extraordinary Women, #1

Published: September 3, 2019

ISBN: 1984805681

Goodreads Rating: 4.01/5

For fans of: Historical Fiction/ Romance, women’s suffrage movement, books set in Oxford, books about royalty

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?

Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke….

A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford Rebels, in which a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a duke in a fiery love story that threatens to upend the British social order.

My Mini Review:

This was a light and entertaining read at first, but I found the second half of the book a bit boring and hard to get through. I liked Annabelle’s strong willed character, and the fact that she represented the women who at the time wanted to be educated and have the right to vote. It was frustrating to read how oppressed women were, and I am glad there were those like Annabelle who stood for change. It was exasperating how women were thought to have smaller brains and lack the capacity to understand political issues.

I did not care for the Duke’s controlling and domineering character at all, and I found the romance to be a bit forced. In my opinion, the sexual aspects were too steamy for the time period, compared to how prim and proper the characters acted at other times. I thought the ending was predictable but I was satisfied with it all the same. Overall, I would recommend this one if you are looking for a light Historical Romance read, and if you don’t mind getting through the slower second half of the book.

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My Life in Books Tag

I saw this book tag over on Eleanor Sophie’s blog, and I thought it looked super fun. Thanks for doing this Ellie! If you are not currently following her you should, her blog is amazing. If you are reading this then consider yourself tagged. Looking forward to reading your answers.

deviate book by jay kristoff lifelike book two
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Find a book for each of your initials:

D -Deviate by Jay Kristoff –read my review

E – Edge of Oblivion by J.T. Geissinger

E – End of Days by Susan Ee

the boyfriend project by farrah rochon book
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Count your age along your bookshelf:

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon. You can read my review for this one here.

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Pick a book set in your city or country:

A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith. This book is set in Florida, and it’s one of those that they made me read in College, but I ended up actually enjoying it.

infernal devices series by cassandra clare
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Pick a book that is set in a destination you would love to travel to:

I would love to travel to England. Many of my favorite books are set in England, including Harry Potter, but I would have to pick The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. I fell in love with the way she describes the gray sky, the near constant rain, and all the landmarks. I would love to visit the bridge that Tessa and James chose to meet at. Clare has posted pictures of people who still travel there and leave notes.

kingdom of ash by sarah j maas book seven in throne of glass series
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Pick a book that has your favorite color on it:

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7) by Sarah J. Maas. I almost cried when I saw this cover announced. Empire of Storms was such a bad cliff hanger and I had waited almost two years for this last one to be released. I was so excited that it was yellow 🙂

harry potter and the cursed child book by j
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Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. I found this book when I was in a really bad reading slump and super depressed. This book took me out of that dark hole, and I attribute it all to Scorpius (Draco Malfoy’s son in the book), his character makes my heart happy.

under the dome book by stephen king
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Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

Under the Dome by Stephen King. I lost count of how many times I put this book down and then picked it back up, sometimes months later. It is a massive 1,074 pages, and it covers some very difficult topics such as very descriptive rape scenes. King does not hold anything back and I love his writing, but a lot of these scenes were very uncomfortable to get through.

the lightning thief by rick riordan book
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Which book on your TBR pile will give you the most achievement when you finish it?

I’m going to go with the whole Peter Jackson series for this one. This is a series I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and I will feel a great sense of accomplishment when I finally get to it.

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

One of Us is Next

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

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Author: Karen M. McManus

Series: One of Us is Lying, #2

Published: January 7, 2020

ISBN: 0525707964

Pages: 377

Goodreads rating: 4.05/5

For fans of: YA/Mysteries, Who done it trope, High School drama, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now.

This time it’s not an app, though—it’s a game.

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe’s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark.

Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.

My Mini Review:

Once again McManus delivered a fast-paced and action-packed YA/Mystery. I solved part of the mystery by the middle of the book, but the other twists were completely unexpected. This book had my heart racing in some parts, something the first book did not do for me. I liked that there were some familiar elements from the first story mixed in with completely new content.

I really enjoyed our two new characters’ point of views, Phoebe and Knox, and I liked learning more about Maeve (who was Bronwyn’s sister from the first book). All of these characters went through a lot of growth throughout the story as their lives were taken apart and they attempted to put themselves back together. McManus puts an emphasis on leaning on family and friends when you need it, and the fact that you shouldn’t hide things from those you love. If you enjoyed One of Us is Lying, I highly recommend you don’t wait to read this sequel, and if you are a fan of YA/Mystery then you will definitely enjoy this!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

booktag image

The Hopeful Book Tag

We need a bit of hope in the world, especially during these uncertain times. I’m sure this year is kicking all our butts, and reading has been a nice escape for me. This book tag was a lot of fun to write. Thanks to Soulful Thoughts for tagging everyone. Everyone who reads this can consider themselves tagged. Remember to tag me back and I can’t wait to read all your answers!

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone by j.k. rowling
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1. A book world you would like to escape to: Hogwarts

I will forever be waiting for my Hogwarts letter. Always. This is the series I turn to for comfort, and I love rereading it when I’m in a reading slump. I also like to re-watch the movies when I need a reminder.

beach read by emily henry
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2. A romance that left you all mushy inside: Beach Read by Emily Henry

This was a much heavier romance book than I expected, both from the cover and from the synopsis. It was all very misleading, but in a good way. I thought about this book a lot as I was reading it, and for some time after. You can read my review here.

the existence of amy by lana grace riva
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3. A friendship we should all aspire to have: Nate and Amy in The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

We would all be lucky to have a friend like Nate. Nate did things for Amy that I wondered if I would ever do for someone I work with. I think I would only go so far to help my husband and kids, and maybe my sister. Honestly, there is maybe only one work friend who I might go that far for. Am I a terrible person? Maybe. Go read my review for this book here.

my siberian husky names leah
Picture taken by me.

4. Intermission! Insert the cutest picture of your pet or the cutest animal you can find.

Meet Leah, my nine year old husky 🙂 She was named during my Twilight phase after the only female wolf in the pack. Don’t judge me!

the boyfriend project by farrah rochon
Picture taken by me. Buy the book on Amazon.

5. A character in a leadership role that inspires you.

Even though this wasn’t an amazing read for me, I still consider Samiah to be a great role model for little girls and grown women alike. Samiah taught the girls she mentored that the color of their skin did not determine the career they should follow, and that they should work hard and do what they were passionate about. I was also inspired by the fact that Samiah went back to school as an adult to obtain another degree in the field she loved, as opposed to the degree she first got in order to please her parents. You can read my review here.

The house in the cerulean sea
Picture taken by me. Buy this book on Amazon.

6. Recommend three books that fill you with hope.

1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune -read my review here

This book filled me with hope for humanity. If more people like Linus exist, then perhaps there is still hope for this world.

2. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes -read my review here

These women were heroines in their own right, and as a bookworm this story about a traveling library made my heart happy.

3. Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox, #2) by Julie Kagawa -read my review here

This story spoke of resurrection, and this is something that I’ve always wanted to believe in so badly. It gave me hope that maybe those who love us never really leave us, and their souls will always find us again.

7. (Optional) Tag People.

If you are reading this consider yourself tagged, and remember to tag me back. I want to see all your answers!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

Most Anticipated 2020 Releases

Pictures from Goodreads.

I cannot believe June is over already. My birthday month just flew by! This has been a crazy year. I’ve found that reading has been a great form of escape, and this blog has been a great way to express myself. Thank you all for reading and following me!

I decided I needed to talk about my most anticipated releases for the next half of 2020, because the list is getting a bit lengthy and I am bursting with impatience. Some of these I’ll have to wait until the end of the year for, and some are much closer. If the book is part of a series, then I only provided a synopsis for the first book in the series, because I did not want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read them.

What are your most anticipated 2020 releases? Let me know in the comments!

Truelife (Lifelike, #3) by Jay Kristoff

truelife by jay kristoff lifelike #3
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This one will be released today June 30, 2020, and I’m super excited I won a copy from a Giveaway on Instagram. I love everything Kristoff writes, and I hope this won’t be the last series we see from him. Deviate had a terrible cliff hanger, so I’m excited to see how he ends this series. You can read my review of Lifelike here, and Deviate here.

Here is a Synopsis of Lifelike, the first book in the series from Goodreads:

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

Blood and Honey (Serpent and Dove, #2) by Shelby Mahurin

blood and honey serpent and dove #2 by Shelby mahurin
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Look at that gorgeous cover! This one will be out on September 1, 2020. I’m very excited to learn more about our side characters Ansel and Coco from Serpent and Dove, click on the link to read my review for the first book.

Here is a Synopsis of the first book from Goodreads:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

The Lost Book of the White (The Eldest Curses, #2) by Cassandra Clare

the lost book of the white by cassandra clare the eldest curses #2
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I love the Shadowhunters, but I love me some Magnus Bane even more. The best thing Clare ever did was start this series where Magnus is one of the main characters. This second book will be published September 1, 2020. Here is my review of The Red Scrolls of Magic, #1.

Here is a synopsis of the first book from Goodreads:

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

to sleep in a sea of stars
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I love the Eragon series by Christopher Paolini, and he hasn’t written anything since then. I am very intrigued about this new book of his. It’s a hefty one, 800 pages. The cover is amazing and the synopsis looks very interesting. It will be published on September 15, 2020.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

It was supposed to be a routine research mission on an uncolonized planet. But when xenobiologist Kira Navárez finds an alien relic beneath the surface of the world, the outcome transforms her forever and will alter the course of human history.

Her journey to discover the truth about the alien civilization will thrust her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact, epic space battles for the fate of humankind, and the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

instant karma by marissa meyer
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Marissa Meyer hasn’t written anything else since she finished The Renegades series, and The Lunar Chronicles, which as you all know is one of my favorite series of all time. This is going to be Contemporary Romance, and I’m very excited to see where she goes with this story. The premise sounds interesting to say the least. This one will be released on November 2, 2020.

Here is a synopsis from Goodreads:

Chronic overachiever Prudence Daniels is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her. Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to karaoke hecklers, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner and all-around mortal enemy. Soon, Pru begins to uncover truths about Quint, her peers, and even herself that reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed . . . love and hate.

A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4) by Sabaa Tahir

a sky beyond the storm an ember in the ashes #4 by sabaa tahir
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The last book in this series, A Reaper at the Gates, completely tore me apart. I hadn’t started my blog yet so there is no review on here for it. But even if I had, I don’t think I could’ve gotten my thoughts in order for a coherent review. I know Tahir has received a lot of bad reviews for it, but in my opinion any book that makes me feel so many emotions, even IF these emotions were anger and frustration, is a book worth reading. I can’t wait to see how she ends the series. I’ve seen her evil tweets, saying how many characters she is going to kill and how they will suffer, and I’m anxious. This one will publish all the way at the end of the year on December 1, 2020.

Here is a synopsis of the first book in the series:

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
 
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
 
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
 
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
 
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

Beach Read

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

Author: Emily Henry

Published: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 1984806734

Goodreads Rating: 4.17/5

For fans of: Romance, enemies to lovers trope, books about writing and reading, books about grief and mental health

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

My Review:

Let me start by saying that I really loved this book, but this cover and the synopsis were a bit deceiving. I liked the beach setting, but these two went to the beach maybe once in the whole book, and they went more when the lake was completely frozen than when it was nice out. With that said, this book was amazing, and a lot heavier than I expected. It dealt with grief, depression, suicide cults, identity crisis, and terminal illness, just to name a few of the topics.

The romance between January and Augustus was the slow-burn enemies to lovers type that I absolutely adore. But it was not a light romance in the slightest. These two really worked on their respective personal issues, as well as worked on all the problems they ever had with each other. They took their time throughout the story to work on their mental health and talked about what they wanted out of life.

I enjoyed that this book was about writing and the characters were also big readers. They talk about getting over writer’s block, and January and Augustus go into the details of their writing process. They also take us on their interviews, and trips to places that inspire their stories. January also talks about the events in her life that made her into a reader, which I always find interesting to read about out. I highly recommend this book to all Romance fans.

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The Anonymous Bookaholics Book Tag

Thanks to Mani’s Book Corner for tagging me. This was such a quick and fun book tag to do. Everyone reading this can consider themselves tagged! I look forward to reading all your posts 🙂 Now, on to the books!

my new book cart where i put all the books i need to read
Picture taken by me. Add me on Instagram

What do you like about buying new books?

I haven’t been to a book store in a while, since this whole COVID-19 thing began. But I do enjoy ordering books online. I love seeing the delivery truck outside my home, and then the feeling I get when I open the box. I like holding and looking at my new book, and then finding a perfect place for it on my shelf or my book cart.

How often do you buy new books?

Maybe once a month? I only buy books from my auto-buy authors, or books from a series I’m already reading. I don’t like to take chances on buying books that I’m not sure I will enjoy. The only time I do that is with my Book of the Month books. I only get to read a small synopsis on those before I pick the ones I want for that month. I’ve been quite enjoying my subscription. Use my link if you want to save on your first box, and I get a book credit 🙂

picture of inside of small used books store
Picture taken by me. Little bookstore by the beach

Bookstore or Online book shopping? Which do you prefer?

Bookstore 🙂 Except, like I said before, I haven’t been to one of those in a while. I cannot wait for this whole COVID-19 thing to be over. There is nothing like walking into a bookstore and browsing the isles. I love the book smells and taking my time looking at everything.

Do you have a favorite book shop?

There aren’t many options where I live. There’s a big Barnes and Noble in town, and there’s the Target book isle. I like going to Barnes and Noble when I can. There’s also this small book store at the beach one town over, and I love going there when I can.

Book of the Month Bookhaul

Do you pre-order books?

Yes, mostly books I’ve been waiting for a while for, and I know won’t be available at my Library for quite some time. These are usually books in a series I love, and written by an author I am familiar with.

Do you have a monthly buying limit?

People have those? Just kidding honey! (for my husband who sometimes reads my blog) If I really want a book I’ll just buy it, but this doesn’t happen too often. I also spend my money on book merchandise every once in a while if I really fall in love with something. I’ll buy something book related maybe twice a month.

picture of my blue book shelf
Picture taken by me.

How big is your wish list?

My book wish list is a mile long. I have one on Amazon and one on Book Depository. It’s mainly there for my husband, friends, and family members so they know what to get me for my birthday and Christmas.

Which three books from your wish list do you wish to own right now?

I really want to pre-order:

Blood and Honey by Shelby Mahurin (Serpent and Dove, #2)

A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4) by Sabaa Tahir

The Lost Book of The White (The Eldest Curses, #2) by Cassandra Clare

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

Of Rioters and Royals

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Picture taken by me. Buy on Amazon.

Author: M.L. Greye

Published: January 18, 2019

Pages: 421

Goodreads Rating: 4.16/5

For fans of: The Hunger Games, Ash Princess, The Selection, rebellion trope, competition trope

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Emry is a Royal – a princess of Enlennd. As is tradition, she must have a knight at her side as her protector. The only way to appoint one is through The Trials. Her Challengers from the five regions of Enlennd must compete for the infamous title of Princess’s Knight. The problem, though, is that the people of Enlennd are split into two categories: Rioters and Royals. Finding the perfect knight may be the last of her worries. War is coming to Enlennd.

Declan is a Rioter. An upriser. An anarchist. He mistrusts the Jewels – the sovereign family of Enlennd. Yet, he is offering himself up as a Challenger in The Trials. The Mistress, leader of the Rioters, has a mission for him. The first step is for him to become the Princess’s Knight. He is ready for the task, until he actually meets Emry and discovers that betraying her would be much more difficult than he’d thought.

My Review:

Those who were covered in filth tended to be frowned upon by those who could afford to never get dirty”

I really enjoyed the unique magic system in this book, my favorite part being the fact that the person’s eye color determined what powers they had. Emry, the main female character, had gray eyes and the coolest powers in my opinion. I did feel like the story needed a bit more scene setting and descriptions of the characters’ surroundings as we switched from one scene to another.

I loved how fierce and brave Emry was, and how she loved her sister and her kingdom. Declan was smart and cunning, and he complemented Emry’s personality well, they made a great pair. I enjoyed the romance between them, but I was glad it did not completely take over the plot. The plot was very character driven, which I liked. I also enjoyed how the story was told through different characters’ points of views.

The history lesson in the beginning of the book was very useful, and it helped to keep the amount of info dumping minimal throughout the rest of the story. The book was fast paced and action packed after that, and I really enjoyed the tournament, since the competition based trope is one of my favorites. There were some unexpected plots twists, which kept me on my toes. I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed, but other than that this was a great YA/Fantasy story. I highly recommend it, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

Disclaimer: A signed copy of this book was provided to me for free by the author in an Instagram Giveaway. I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Series I Need to Start

There are a lot of series I need to finally start. I have the first books from various series just sitting there on my shelf. Let me know in the comments which one of these I should definitely read next!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

1. We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1) by Hafsah Faizal

we hunt the flame by hafsah faizal
Picture from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

Goodreads rating: 3.8/5

This is one of those books that was inside one of my book subscription boxes. I don’t even know which one, because it was so long ago. It has decent reviews on Goodreads, but I just haven’t had the time.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

2. The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

city of brass book one of the daevabad trilogy by s.a. chakraborty
Picture from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

Goodreads rating: 4.15/5

I’ve heard so many great things about this one. It has been recommended to me over and over by all Fantasy lovers, but somehow I’ve put off starting it. I’ve seen the excited posts on Instagram from those finally getting their copies of the third book in the series The Empire of Gold, which was just released June 11th.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…

3. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

Picture from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

Goodreads rating: 4.25/5

I know, I know, have I been living under a rock? Somehow I grew up with Harry Potter and not Percy Jackson. Now that the new T.V series is about to be released, I really need to get to reading these.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

4. The Bromance Book Club (The Bromance Book Club, #1)

the bromance book club #1 by lyssa kay adams
Picture from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

Goodreads rating: 3.95/4

I’ve had friends who have read this one and really enjoyed it. I need to start it soon when I’m in one of my light romance moods. The reason I put a lot of these series off is because I’m a major mood reader and I have to be in the right kind of mood.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

5. Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

ninth house alex stern #1 by leigh bardugo
Picture from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon

Goodreads rating: 4.07/5

I love Bardugo’s YA/Fantasy series, so when I saw she was publishing an Adult/ Fantasy I pre-ordered it immediately. I then decided not to read it due to some trigger warnings about rape. I had a friend who read it some time later and she said that the rape scene was not too descriptive and it was necessary to the story. The book has been sitting on my shelf since then, and it probably will be until Bardugo announces a sequel, because she has so much on her plate that I doubt she has even written one.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

6. Get a Life Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1) by Talia Hibbert

get a life chloe brown by talia hibbert
Picture from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

Goodreads rating: 3.85/5

I recently added this series to my TBR after reading some glowing reviews on Instagram. I really like the premise of the story, and that the main character Chloe makes a list that she thinks will help her “get a life.” I’m interested to see if she will follow through with her list. The second book in the series Take a Hint Dani Brown was just released June 23. I hope I can catch up with this one soon.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.