Waiting On A Sequel

king of scars by leigh bardugo a court of thorns and roses by sarah j maas six of crows by leigh bardugo chain of gold by Cassandra clare
Pictures from Goodreads.

I’ve been waiting on all these sequels for a while. Some of them have a release date, some of them don’t even have one yet. All I know is these authors need to get to writing, I’m getting super impatient. But I do understand writing is a hard process and it takes time to make a masterpiece that can top, or at least compare to, the first books in these series.

What are some of your most anticipated sequels? Let me know in the comments so I can add some to my TBR 🙂

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #2) and Six of Crows, #3 by Leigh Bardugo

Buy on Amazon. Picture from Goodreads

I’ve been patiently waiting for these sequels to be written and released. I understand Leigh Bardugo has been working on a Netflix series for her Grishaverse books, and I cannot wait to see how that turns out! But I really need the sequel to King of Scars and the third book for Six of Crows, now! Also, I really hope Netflix doesn’t mess the Grishas up for me, because it’s one of my favorite fantasy worlds. So far from what I’ve seen Bardugo post on Twitter, it looks like she is happy with how it’s all been coming along. I hope she gets back to writing soon though. I love Nikolai and I love the Crows, so I can’t wait to read more about them!

Chain of Iron (The Last Hours, #2) by Cassandra Clare

chain of gold the last hours series by cassandra clare
Buy on Amazon. Picture from Goodreads

There has recently been some progress for this one. Cassandra Clare announced on her Instagram that the cover for the second book will be released July 1st. This first cover was gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see what they do for the second one. I’m really hoping it’s James Herondale on the cover this time. You can read my review for the first one here.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (#4) by Sarah J. Maas

a court of thorns and roses by sarah j maas
Buy on Amazon. Picture from Goodreads

There’s actually a release date for this one now! January 26, 2021 🙂 There’s been a lot of speculation that this one will be about Nesta and Cassian, and I’m super excited about it. Cassian is one of my favorite characters, and I really hope Nesta doesn’t completely shred him to pieces. There isn’t a synopsis out yet for this one.

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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.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

my favorite half-night stand book by christina lauren
Picture taken by me. Buy on Amazon.

For fans of: Romantic comedies, friends to lovers trope, roosters (inside book joke)

Author: Christina Lauren

Published: December 4, 2018

ISBN: 1501197401

Pages: 384

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 🙂

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Millie and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

My Review:

This was another laugh-out-loud book from Christina Lauren. I really enjoyed the romance between Millie and Reid, mostly because I am a big fan of the friends to lovers trope. I liked how the authors explored the new online dating trends and explained the different websites available. It was interesting how they included group chat conversations, texts, and emails between Millie and her friends, which helped to show how friendships have evolved along with modern technology.

I liked that Millie was a strong woman leading a successful career in a field she had been passionate about her whole life. The authors delved into the nuances of finding the right man for a woman who knows exactly what she wants, but might not be ready to open herself up completely. I would have liked a bit more emphasis on the hardships of being a successful woman in a man’s world. Also, there is always that part in a Christina Lauren book when I start screaming at the characters to “just talk to each other already!”

As always, there was a very important emphasis on friendship and family, and being there for those who love us and need us. I enjoyed the relationship between Reid and his family, and I really liked his mom (her cooking sounded delicious). Seeing their close family bond pushed Millie to try to mend her own relationship with her sister and father. I highly recommend this one to all Romance fans for a light hilarious read.

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Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag 2020

I’m a bit in shock after having turned thirty years old a few days ago. Has it really been eighteen years ago since I first opened Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and fell in love with reading? I spent my birthday mostly in quarantine. My closest family members showed up and hastily sang “Happy Birthday” to me. We were outside, six feet apart, and my grandparents wore masks. They then lit a candle I couldn’t really blow, for fear of the particles in my breath traveling to them (I ended up covering it with my hand and blowing it). This has been a crazy year for sure.

I am grateful I got to spend it with those I love, and that they are all relatively happy and healthy (my oldest child has a stomach bug but he will be fine). I received a ton of book gifts. My favorites were a brand new book shelf, a book cart, and the Harry Potter illustrated editions from my hubby. I spent the day eating my favorite food, watching movies, organizing my book shelves, and cuddling with my kids. Overall, it was a perfect 30th birthday.

I cannot believe it’s the middle of the year already. Thanks to Worlds Unlike Our Own for tagging me. This was such a fun book tag to do. Everyone who reads this can consider themselves tagged. Please remember to tag me back, I can’t wait to read your answers! Moving on to the books 🙂

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.

What is the best book that you have read so far in 2020?

the house in the cerulean sea by tj klune
Buy on Amazon

This book really surprised me, I saw someone’s raving review on Bookstagram and I just had to go and read it. I went and tried a sample and I ended up buying the whole thing. I haven’t read many books that have reminded me of all the feelings I had when I read Harry Potter, but this was definitely one of them. This story was so full of magic, adorable characters, and surprising turns of events. The main character, Linus, had one of the most impressive character arcs I have ever read. Also, I went into this book without reading the synopsis and was very surprised. Here is my review and you will find a full synopsis there as well in case you don’t like surprises 🙂

What has been your favorite sequel of the first half of the year?

aurora burning by amie kaufman and jay kristoff
Buy it on Amazon

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff obviously hate their readers and love to stomp on their feelings and crush their hopes and dreams. BUT!! This book WAS amazing. The sequel to Aurora Rising was full of action, romance, and plot twists. True to their evil nature the authors left us all hanging off a cliff at the end, so they better hurry and write the next one or we might go and find them! (yes that was a threat) You can read my review here.

Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet but are really excited to read?

Truelife by Jay Kristoff
Buy it on Amazon

The sequel to Lifelike and Deviate will be released on June 30th, and I’m super excited. (click on the links to read my reviews) Like I said above, Mr. Kristoff is an evil bastard (don’t worry he knows this) and the ending to Deviate was a very bad cliff hanger. I won a pre-order of Truelife on a Bookstagram giveaway and I can’t wait to get it in the mail!

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

blood and honey by shelby mahurin serpent and dove book two
Buy it on Amazon

I fell in love with Serpent and Dove and I’ve been waiting for the sequel since I read it last year. (you can read my review by clicking on the link) This one will be released on September 1st. I can’t wait to learn more about my favorite side characters Coco and Ansel, and see where this sequel takes Reid and Lou after all the revelations that came to light at the end of the last book.

What is your biggest disappointment so far?

imagine me by tahereh mafi shatter me book six
Buy on Amazon

I was so excited about this one, but to be honest this series has been going downhill since the fourth book and the big “plot twist.” This was not the ending to a six book series that I had expected. There was some closure at the end, but the whole book was basically about Kenji and Warner, and the action was crammed into the last few chapters. The ending felt rushed, and I was underwhelmed. Click here to read my review.

What is your biggest surprise so far?

Buy on Amazon

I did not expect to love this book as much as I did, and I hope the rest of the series lives up to my expectations. I plan to read Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2) in July which is when I’m hoping to catch up with all my sequels, and then I need to move on to The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3). This story had such a unique premise, very imaginative world building, and great character arcs. You can read my review here.

Who is your fictional crush from this year?

a court of mist and fury by sarah j maas book one of a court of thorns and roses seres
Buy it on Amazon

No one will ever replace Rhysand from the ACOTAR series. I reread this series this year when this whole quarantine business first started. I usually turn to this one and Harry Potter when I land into a reading slump (I reread Harry Potter while in quarantine too :)) The characters from Chain of Gold (especially James and Mathew) came close for me, but nope.

Who is your new favorite character?

Buy it on Amazon

Finian from Aurora Rising and Aurora Burning definitely stole my heart as a great character. He is the comedic relief, and such a good friend to Squad 312. This doesn’t surprise me, because I always fall for the class clown (my husband was, and still is, the biggest clown I know). In my experience, they have the biggest hearts under all the witty remarks and sarcasm ❤

A book that made you happy?

josh and hazel's guide to not dating by christina lauren
Buy it on Amazon

I was laughing the whole time I was reading this, well maybe not in that awkward part where I was screaming at the characters to JUST COMMUNICATE! But yeah, most of the time I was cracking up with Hazel’s antics. Hazel was such an endearing character, and I was rooting for her happy ending throughout the story. You can read my review here.

Your favorite book to movie/tv show that you’ve seen so far?

wonder book by rj palacio
Buy it on Amazon

I really enjoyed the movie adaption of Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Of course, nothing is ever as immersive and detailed as the book, but the producers did a good job with this one. They included the most important parts from the book, and the actors and actresses did an amazing job. Well, with Julia Roberts as the mom, Owen Wilson as the dad, and Jacob Tremblay as August, it was expected for it to be a great performance by all of them. They definitely delivered. You can buy the movie here using my affiliate link if you like.

What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?

Harry Potter and the Sorcere's Stone illustrated edition
Pictures from my Bookstagram. Buy the book on Amazon.

I recently bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the Illustrated Edition, and it’s the most beautiful book I’ve ever seen. The art within is amazing as well. My husband then bought me the rest of the illustrated books for my birthday. I’ve been enjoying reading them to my kids before bed time, and they’re very into it. Needless to say I’m a proud momma.

What is your favorite post that you have written so far this year?

My favorite Series post

This post was super time consuming and I poured my heart and soul into it. Please go read it if you haven’t. I couldn’t just include my top five series, I had to do ALL ten of them. While in the middle of writing it I deeply regretted doing the whole thing, but I pushed myself to finish it. I am very proud of it.

What are six books that you want to read by the end of the year?

collage of books ninth house we hunt the flame one of us is next a good marriage beach read thunderhead
Pictures from Goodreads

Some of these I’ve been putting off for some time. Some I’ve just recently received from my Book of the Month subscription. (click on the link if you want to pay only $10 for your first month and I get a free book credit) Finally, some are sequels that I really need to get to. (click on the link to read my post on that topic)

Book of the Month Books:

1. Beach Read by Emily Henry –buy on Amazon

2. A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight –buy on Amazon

Sequels I need to read:

3. Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2) –buy on Amazon

4. Once of Us is Next (One of Us is Lying, #2) –buy on Amazon

Books that have been sitting on my shelf:

5. Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by Leigh Bardugo –buy on Amazon

6. We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arwiya, #1) by Hafsah Faizal –buy on Amazon

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.

Crier’s War

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

book one in series crier's war by nina varela
Picture from Goodreads

Author: Nina Varela

Series: Crier’s War, #1

Published: October 1, 2019

ISBN: 0062823965

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Impossible love between two girls —one human, one Made.
A love that could birth a revolution.

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, Designed to be the playthings of royals, took over the estates of their owners and bent the human race to their will.

Now, Ayla, a human servant rising the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier. Crier, who was Made to be beautiful, to be flawless. And to take over the work of her father.

Crier had been preparing to do just that—to inherit her father’s rule over the land. But that was before she was betrothed to Scyre Kinok, who seems to have a thousand secrets. That was before she discovered her father isn’t as benevolent as she thought. That was before she met Ayla.

Set in a richly-imagined fantasy world, Nina Varela’s debut novel is a sweepingly romantic tale of love, loss and revenge, that challenges what it really means to be human.

For fans of: An Ember in the Ashes, Lifelike, and Ash Princess

My Review:

If longing is madness, then none of us are sane.”

This book was included inside one of my book subscription boxes back when it was first published, and it has been sitting there on my shelf ever since. I thought it would be a good idea to read it since it’s LGBTQ+ month, and this covers the romance in between two girls; one made and one human. The romance did not take center stage, which was okay with me. These two girls had to deal with a whole different set of prejudices and stereotypes; centered around the fact that they were a human and an automa in love, while also being in the middle of a rebellion between their two peoples.

The first half of the story was a bit slow. I’m also not a fan of court scheming and boring council meetings and there was a lot of that. The action does pick up a bit on the second half of the story, but I felt like not a whole lot happened. I realize this is the first book in a series, and there was a lot of scene setting, character development, and history that needed to be explained, but that was all the book really was. It just set the stage for the next book in the series. Usually I would expect this type of transitional content in the middle book in a series, not the first.

The writing was beautiful, and the scene setting was captivating and descriptive. This book really delved into what it really means to be human. I loved the explanation of human things like hearts, souls, and tears coming from Crier’s point of view, because Crier was not human. I enjoyed the small history lessons in the beginning of the book, and during the story. I could’ve done with a lot more action and a bit more closure at the end of the story, instead of it being so open ended. The ending was a bit of a cliff hanger, but it didn’t leave me wanting to immediately get my hands on the second book like a good cliff hanger usually would. I would recommend this to YA/Sci-Fi fans who don’t mind a fairly slow story, who enjoy stories centered around royalty, and a like a light romance.

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 🙂

Crown of Feathers

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

crown of feathers by nicki pau preto
Picture from Goodreads

Author: Nicki Pau Preto

Series: Crown of Feathers, #1

Published: February 12, 2019

Pages: 496

ISBN: 1534424628

Synopsis from Goodreads:

I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

For fans of: Eragon, The Poppy War, and Mulan

My Review:

Is love ever really a choice?”

I enjoyed this story and found the plot and magic system to be very unique. The concept of animages (people who can control and communicate with animals) was interesting. Also, the idea of phoenix riders who bond with their mounts, similar to dragon riders bonding with dragons, was very appealing.

There was a lot of info dumping in the beginning, but the action picks up after that. I enjoyed the little history snippets and quotes from the old queens inserted in between chapters. I liked the flash backs which provided us with more insight into each character’s personality, and I enjoyed all the different character point of views.

This story had a few shocking moments, and the characters never behaved as expected, which was very refreshing. I liked Veronyka, the main character, and I enjoyed her character growth. She taught us about living in the moment, making your own happiness, and not letting it depend solely on any one person or thing. I highly recommend this book to all YA/Fantasy fans, and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.

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 🙂

One of Us is Lying

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

one of us is lying by karen m mcmanus

Author: Karen M. McManus

Series: One of Us is Lying, #1

Published: March 30, 2017

Pages: 361

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

My Mini Review:

This was a very fast paced and entertaining read. It had me guessing who the killer was for a while. I also really enjoyed the audio book because it’s voiced by four different characters. It was interesting learning about the story from different perspectives, and not knowing what kind of information was being withheld from me. It was also refreshing and fun having four unreliable narrators.

My favorite character was Nate, I loved his humor and the way he handled the cards he was dealt in life. I also thought Addy had a very impressive character arch, and she went from being one of my least favorite characters to my favorite at the end. I highly recommend this book to fans of books such as A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and YA/Thriller/ Mystery fans. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, One of Us is Next, which was published January 7, 2020.

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 🙂

The Existence of Amy

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva
Picture from Goodreads

Author: Lana Grace Riva

Published: August 2, 2019

Pages: 247

Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of ‘no immediate obvious indicators of peculiarity’, and you didn’t know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy’s real life. The only one her brain will let her lead.

My Review:

This was a very important and necessary read which dealt with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), anxiety, and crippling depression in a very relatable and simplified way. The story was captivating and entrancing from the very beginning. I read it in two sittings. At first, the first person narrative and the unusual wording were a bit confusing, but once I got used to it I became completely immersed in Amy’s world.

Being inside Amy’s mind was interesting to say the least. As we follow her through her daily routine we are shown the importance of being kind to strangers, and the fact that sometimes offering a simple smile can make someone’s day. We never know what kind of demons others are facing, even our closest friends. Riva also shows us the importance of having a good support group and surrounding ourselves with people who care about us when we are going through tough times. Her book reminds us to check on our friends from time to time, and make sure they are really okay.

Even though Amy is dealing with a debilitating mental illness, she still fights it every day and shows signs of having developed some coping mechanisms, such as deep breathing and being thankful for the little things in life. She thanks the sun several times for its warm rays on her face, and wistfully stares at the brilliant blue sky as well. Eventually when it all becomes too much, she does get the professional help she so desperately needs. Riva did a good job showing the importance of seeking professional help and medication when necessary. No one should try to deal with mental illness on their own. I highly recommend this book to everyone, because we all know someone like Amy.

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 🙂

The Boyfriend Project

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the boyfriend project by farrah rochon
Picture from Goodreads

Author: Farrah Rochon

Series: The Boyfriend Project, #1

Publishes: June 9, 2020 (Book of the Month early release)

ISBN: 1538716623

Synopsis from Goodreads:

USA Today bestselling author Farrah Rochon launches a new series about three young women who become friends when the live Tweeting of a disastrous date leads them to discover they’ve all been duped by the same man.

Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other “girlfriends,” London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men, no dating, and no worrying about their relationship status . . .

For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she’s always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy, honey-eyed Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? When it comes to love, there’s no such thing as a coincidence. But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?

My Mini Review:

I think the world would be a better place if more people reached out to help others.”

I really wanted to love this book. I thought the whole boyfriend project idea was a nice concept and I was excited that there would be more books about the other women involved in the story. It gave me a lot of Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test vibes, and I loved those books. But by the middle of the book, the story became annoying and repetitive. The characters still couldn’t make up their minds about whether they should date or not, and by the time they did the relationship and feelings felt rushed and unrealistic.

With that said, I did enjoy the developing friendship between the three women, and the fact that they were supportive of each other’s decisions and accomplishments. I liked that they were not catty and did not bring each other down; despite having met under such unusual circumstances such as being cheated on by the same man. Rochon also successfully tackled hard issues such as racism, sexism, and discrimination in schools and in the work place. I also enjoyed the criminal aspects of the story, as well as learning about coding and app development. Overall, this was an okay read and I would recommend it if you are looking for a light romantic escape, but don’t go in expecting anything new or life changing.

This was my first Book of the Month pick. If you want to try out Book of the Month for $10 including shipping, consider using my affiliate link. I get a free book credit every time someone signs up with my code 😊

https://www.mybotm.com/a2308v5zzsm?show_box=true

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 🙂

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the ballad of songbirds and snakes by suzanne collins

Author: Suzanne Collins

Series: Hunger Games, #0

Published: May 19, 2020

Pages: 540

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the 10th annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to out charm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined – every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

My Review:

Snow lands on top”

❄️

I am a big Hunger Games fan, so when they announced that this book was being released I decided I would read it no matter what, even if it was about President Snow. I honestly don’t know where to even start with this one, so I am doing something a bit different and separating my review into likes and dislikes.

Dislikes:

We all know Coriolanus Snow turns out to be an evil bastard, but what I wanted to know was how? What was the turning point in his life? What made him into HIM? Unfortunately, for approximately ninety percent of the book all I got was a story about a regular, albeit ambitious guy who had to make hard choices when he was put into tough situations. Then, in the last ten percent of the book I was not even remotely prepared for the changes in his character, and I had whiplash by the time I was done. I feel like these changes should have been more gradual.

I also cannot go into detail when it comes to Coriolanus’s relationship with Lucy Gray without giving away any spoilers, but I did not like the way it was handled at all. Just like his character arch, their relationship would have benefitted from a more gradual development, and then a steady decline. This is not what I got. Instead, at the end of their story I felt like I had been slapped with this random unsatisfying ending and left with a LOT of unanswered questions.

Likes:

Okay, now that I got all that off my chest. I did enjoy the non-stop action in this book, and it was very emotional being back in the Hunger Games and experiencing the very beginning when the games were not as elaborate and immersive as they later became. I really liked finding the little Easter eggs along the way, which were in the form of familiar characters, animals, items, and songs from the original Hunger Games. It was nice finding out how certain aspects of the later Hunger Games came to be.

I liked that the mentors had their own side game going on as well, and that they were being put through almost as much as the tributes were. My favorite character, and in my opinion the only one with any redeeming qualities, was Tigris. I admired her resourcefulness and loyalty to her family, especially to Coriolanus. I enjoyed learning about many of the behind the scenes workings of the Hunger Games, from the way tests were performed on people and animals at the lab, to how the Peace Keepers were trained.

My whole initial rant aside, if you are a Hunger Games fan you won’t want to skip this one. Like I told someone on Instagram recently, just keep telling yourself “He’s the villain, he’s the villain,” and you shouldn’t have as much of a shock as I did. I highly recommend this book to all Fantasy/YA fans, and Hunger Games fanatics should definitely read it.

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 🙂

The House in the Cerulean Sea

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the house in the cerulean sea by tj klune
Picture from Goodreads

Author: T.J. Klune

Published: March 17, 2020

Pages: 393

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

My review:

It’s the little things. Little treasures we find without knowing their origin. And they come when we least expect them.”

This book made my heart happy. It was so full of magic, love, and adorable characters that will stay with me for a long time after. For years I had been searching for a story that would give me all the same feelings that I had while reading Harry Potter, and I have finally found it. This story was all about family, and the fact that family can sometimes mean the people we surround ourselves with and love unconditionally, and not exactly the ones we are born into. It was also about overcoming our preconceived notions and prejudices, and learning to love others for who they truly are.

A person is more than where they come from.” “Than the sum of their parts.”

The character development was simply amazing. Each person stood apart from the others, with their own quirks and eccentricities. I had a really hard time picking a favorite character. From the adults I would have to say it was Linus, because how could I not? The story is told from his point of view, and we see him slowly come out of this fog he has been living in all his life and step into the light. From the kids I would have to go with Theodore, because I have a really soft spot for Wyverns. I should also mention that I found Linus’s next door neighbor simply hilarious, and I also loved his cat Calliope who always went after the neighbor’s yard squirrels.

“Sometimes,” Mr. Parnassus said, “our prejudices color our thoughts when we least expect them to. If we can recognize that, and learn from it, we can become better people.”

The plot was entrancing, and it kept me reading way into the early hours of the morning. There was a mysterious air to it that kept me wanting to learn more about this magical world and its inhabitants, about DICOMY and its function, and about the way the humans and the magical creatures could coexist. They barely did. If you have ever wondered what would have happened in Harry Potter if the magical world was no longer hidden from the muggles (or non-magical people), then this book is your answer. I recommend this book to all Fantasy fans, and all those wishing to read a wonderful heartwarming story.

We get trapped in our own little bubbles, and even though the world is a wide and mysterious place, our bubbles keep us safe from that. To our detriment.” She sighed. “But it’s so easy because there’s something soothing about routine. Day in and day out, it’s always the same. When we’re shaken from that, when that bubble bursts, it can be hard to understand all that we’ve missed. We might even fear it. Some of us even fight to try and get it back.”

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. However, if you click on my link and end up buying the book Amazon will pay me a small fee. Thank you for supporting a small blog like mine 🙂