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Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

I love fairy tales, and I am a big Disney fan. Which is your favorite Disney movie? Let me know in the comments! My favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast, so needless to say I was super excited when I found this book tag in Raji’s blog: Worlds Unlike Our Own Blog. Thanks for tagging me Raji! Anyone who is reading this can consider themselves tagged. Moving on to the questions.

a court of thorns and roses by sarah j maas
Picture taken by me. Follow me on Instagram.

“Tale As Old As Time” -A popular theme, trope, or setting you will never get bored of reading

Fairy tale retellings and enemies to lovers trope. This is why I’m such a big ACOTAR (A Court of Thorns and Roses) fan. ACOTAR is both a Beauty and the Beast retelling and an enemies to lovers trope. I love when two people who used to hate each other are forced to co-exist, and after they give each other a chance they can find common ground and eventually friendship and love. Other books like this one I enjoyed: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, and the Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi, to name a few.

the house in the cerulean sea by tj klune taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Belle” -A book you bought for its beautiful cover that was just as beautiful on the inside too

I don’t usually judge a book by its cover (no pun intended). I did recently buy The House in the Cerulean Sea on a whim because it was so beautiful and it has such glowing reviews on Instagram. Best impulsive buy ever! You can go read my review and see everything I loved about it.

House of salt and sorrows by erin a. craig picture taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Gaston” -A book everyone loves that you don’t

Everyone seems to have loved House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig, and I just thought it was an okay read. I have learned my lesson since then that I just don’t enjoy ghost stories. It took me forever to get through that book since I found it super boring. There was a lot of poetic prose and descriptive setting, but not a lot of action going on. You can read my review here.

Cress (the lunar chronicles, #1) by marissa meyer picture taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Lefou” -A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counterpart

Definitely Iko from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I liked Cinder, but Iko was the best. She had the best personality and was such a good friend to Cinder, never mind that she was a robot. I think this is why Marissa Meyer also wrote a whole comic series with Iko as the protagonist called Wires and Nerve.

harry potter series by j.k. rowling instagram picture taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere, and Cogsworth” -A book that helped you through a difficult time or taught you something valuable

I came to the U.S when I was eleven years old. It would take a lot more words than I have time or energy for right now in order to fully explain what it felt like to leave everything and mostly everyone I knew behind, and embark on a journey to a completely new place where no one spoke my language. My happiest memory from that time was getting my very own library card. The first book I read was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, in Spanish. By the third book, I was reading in English. Harry Potter helped me escape out of my roach infested apartment, which my family shared with other distant relatives of ours, to Hogwarts and a world of magic and adventure. Oh, how I wanted that Hogwarts letter to arrive! I still read the Harry Potter series when I need a pick-me-up or when I’ve landed into a reading slump.

Scythe (arc of a scythe, #1) by neal shusterman picture taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Something there” -A book or series you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end

I recently started the Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1) series by Neal Shusterman, and I loved it. I had picked it up a couple of times, but I guess I wasn’t in the right mood. I can’t wait to continue on with the series and see where the author goes with it. You can read my review here.

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.

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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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dividersupersmall.jpg

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.

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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 🙂

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Series I Need to Finish

All pictures from Goodreads

Lately I feel like the number of series I need to finish or catch up with has multiplied, so I’m mainly making this post to keep myself accountable. I’m planning to dedicate the month of July to catching up with all these series. I will do my best to follow through with this, but I am ultimately a mood reader and it’s hard for me to stick to a set TBR list, which is why I usually don’t make one.

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 or the links under them.

One of Us is Next (One of Us is Lying, #2) by Karen M. McManus

one of us is next by karen m mcmanus
Get it on Amazon

I recently read One of Us is Lying, and it was a five star read for me. You can click on my link to read my review. I’ve been told this sequel is just as good, but since the first one had some closure to it I didn’t immediately feel the urge to continue with the series. I definitely will get to it soon. It has a 4.06/5 rating on Goodreads.

Here is the synopsis:

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.

Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, #1) by Holly Jackson

good girl bad blood by holly jackson
Get it on Amazon

I just read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, but again I didn’t immediately move on to the sequel (I need to stop doing that). I’ve also heard really good things about this one. It currently has a 4.59/5 rating on Goodreads.

Here is a synopsis:

Pip Fitz-Amobi is not a detective any more.

With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.

But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared but the police won’t do anything about it. And if they won’t look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way… and this time EVERYONE is listening. But will she find him before it’s too late?

Heart of Flames (Crown of Feathers, #2) by Nicki Pau Preto

Heart of Flames by Nicki Pau Preto
Get it on Amazon

I just finished Crown of Feathers and I really liked it. I’m looking forward to starting Heart of Flames. It currently has a 4.35/5 on Goodreads.

Here is a Synopsis:

You are a daughter of queens.

The world is balanced on the edge of a knife, and war is almost certain between the empire and the Phoenix Riders.

Like Nefyra before you, your life will be a trial by fire.

Veronyka finally got her wish to join the Riders, but while she’s supposed to be in training, all she really wants to do is fly out to defend the villages of Pyra from the advancing empire. Tristan has been promoted to Master Rider, but he has very different ideas about the best way to protect their people than his father, the commander. Sev has been sent to spy on the empire, but maintaining his cover may force him to fight on the wrong side of the war. And Veronyka’s sister, Val, is determined to regain the empire she lost—even if it means inciting the war herself.

Such is your inheritance. A name. A legacy. An empire in ruin.

As tensions reach a boiling point, the characters all find themselves drawn together into a fight that will shape the course of the empire—and determine the future of the Phoenix Riders. Each must decide how far they’re willing to go—and what they’re willing to lose in the process.

I pray you are able to pass through the flames.

Thunderhead (Scythe, #2) by Neal Shusterman

Get it on Amazon

Scythe, the first book in this series, was a five star read for me. I really need to move on to Thunderhead, and eventually The Toll. This one has a 4.49/5 rating on Goodreads.

Here is a Synopsis:

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?

The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3)

the hand on the wall by maureen johnson truly devious number three
Get it on Amazon

I read the first two in this series: Truly Devious and The Vanishing Stair a very long time ago. I really need to finish this last one in the series and hopefully have the mystery solved. The last two books were both cliff hangers. This is a nice YA/Mystery series, this last one has a 4.22/5 rating on Goodreads.

Here is a Synopsis:

Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie’s greatest triumph . . .

She knows who Truly Devious is. She’s solved it. The greatest case of the century.

At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it’s hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow—somehow—all these things connect. The three deaths in the present. The deaths in the past. The missing Alice Ellingham and the missing David Eastman. Somewhere in this place of riddles and puzzles there must be answers.

Then another accident occurs as a massive storm heads toward Vermont. This is too much for the parents and administrators. Ellingham Academy is evacuated. Obviously, it’s time for Stevie to do something stupid. It’s time to stay on the mountain and face the storm—and a murderer.

In the tantalizing finale to the Truly Devious trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson expertly tangles her dual narrative threads and ignites an explosive end for all who’ve walked through Ellingham Academy.

Ember Queen (Ash Princess, #3) by Laura Sebastian

ember queen by laura sebastian ash princess number three
Get it on Amazon

This series I also started a long time ago and I need to finish. The first two books were: Ash Princess and Lady Smoke. They are really great books and I really don’t know why I haven’t finished this last one. Like I said before, I am a major mood reader and I regularly switch between genres so that I don’t land myself in a reading slump. This one has a 4.10/5 rating on Goodreads.

Here is a Synopsis:

Princess Theodosia was a prisoner in her own country for a decade. Renamed the Ash Princess, she endured relentless abuse and ridicule from the Kaiser and his court. But though she wore a crown of ashes, there is fire in Theo’s blood. As the rightful heir to the Astrean crown, it runs in her veins. And if she learned nothing else from her mother, she learned that a Queen never cowers.

Now free, with a misfit army of rebels to back her, Theo must liberate her enslaved people and face a terrifying new enemy: the new Kaiserin. Imbued with a magic no one understands, the Kaiserin is determined to burn down anyone and everything in her way.

The Kaiserin’s strange power is growing stronger, and with Prinz Søren as her hostage, there is more at stake than ever. Theo must learn to embrace her own power if she has any hope of standing against the girl she once called her heart’s sister.

P.S. My 30th birthday is this week. If you would like to enter my Instagram Birthday Giveaway go follow my account and follow the steps. I’m giving away two $15 Amazon gift cards. Open internationally ♥️

https://www.instagram.com/deesreadingtree/

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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 🙂

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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 🙂

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Scythe

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

scythe by neil shusterman
Picture from Goodreads

Author: Neil Shusterman

Series: Arc of a Scythe, #1

Published: November 22, 2016

ISBN: 1442472421

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

My Review:

Hope in the shadow of fear is the world’s most powerful motivator”

I can’t believe I waited so long to start reading this series. This was such a great book with a very unique story. I enjoyed how the author went into great detail describing this new world where there is no famine, war, or disease, and everything is controlled by an entity called “The Thunderhead,” which for some reason really reminded me of “The Cloud” I-phones use to store information. Shusterman did a great job explaining all the new terminology, and I did not feel overwhelmed or lost at any point.

There was a lot of character development as Citra and Rowan navigate through the moral and psychological ramifications of taking human lives. Usually I go for the strong female characters, but I couldn’t decide whom I liked best out of these two. Rowan definitely went through the most changes throughout the story, and Citra was so smart and cunning. There was a small romantic aspect here, but it did not take center stage.

Without the threat of suffering, we can’t experience true joy.”

The story was fast paced and action packed, but it also allowed some lulls in between the action for explanations. I especially enjoyed the diary entries from the different Scythes, which gave us a glimpse into their inner thoughts and fears. If you are a fan of YA/Fantasy and you have been putting off reading this story, I highly recommend you read it! You will not regret it. I can’t wait to dive into the rest of the series.

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 🙂

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The Poppy War

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the poppy war by r.f. kuang

Author: R.F. Kuang

Series: The Poppy War, #1

Published: May 1, 2018

Pages: 644

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

My Mini Review:

War doesn’t determine who’s right. War determines who remains.”

I decided to read this book after reading some of the raving reviews. I didn’t even read the synopsis and just dove right in. I was definitely not expecting such a monumental book, not only is it 644 pages, but the story develops across many years of Rin’s life. When we begin the story Rin is fourteen years old, and by the end she is nineteen. The character development was amazing to say the least. One of my favorite side characters was Kitay, who becomes one of Rin’s best friends. I adored the way he just had to say what was on his mind at all times, and I appreciated his honesty.

Children ceased to be children when you put a sword in their hands.”

I think I should warn you all, since no one ever warned me, that this book is very graphic. It contains explicit descriptions of rape, killing, and it does not discriminate between women or children. I listened to the audio book, and at times I had to stop because it made me very uncomfortable. I do believe the author’s point in doing this was to enrage the reader, just like these heinous acts enraged Rin into taking action. But as a reader, I only ended up feeling powerless and frustrated. I do recommend this book if you can stomach graphic violence, and I believe Kuang has created an amazing work of art depicting the realities of war and the effect it can have on a nation and its people.

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 🙂

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TBR Organization…Again!

TBR Organization To be read
My Instagram

Once again I had to re-organize my TBR List on Goodreads. I felt like the list was out of control and it was putting me into a reading slump. Now that I’ve organized it, I’ve been getting a lot more reading done. As you can probably tell I’m a bit OCD when it comes to organization, I hate clutter and everything has to have a place. Here are the categories I put my books into.

ARC- To Read

This category is for any ARC (Advance reader copy) that I need to read. I haven’t been doing a lot of those lately, but when I do I try to get them done as soon as possible so that it can be ready when the book gets released.

Next- Read

goodreads next reads

This category is reserved for any books that have been checked out of the Library and I need to read before my 14 days are over. I put them there to remind me to read those next instead of picking up something new from my TBR and then having these Library loans expire. I also put any books here that I’ve started reading but had to put aside before for one reason or another. Lastly, I put any books here that are about to release within the next few weeks and I already pre-ordered, or any ARC’s that are also about to release and I need to review before they do.

Own

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Is where I list all the books I own so that I don’t make the mistake of buying them again.

Old books to read

goodreads old books to read

By “old” I mean released before 2019. As a reviewer I feel like I must read books that have been recently released in order to stay relevant, but I also want to read older books that have been recommended to me. This is where I put those.

Owned e-books TBR

owned ebooks to be read goodreads

These are e-books that I own, but still need to read. I usually pick the kindle free book of the month and put it here. Also, any e-books I buy on sale for less than a dollar. I don’t tend to spend too much on e-books unless it’s an anticipated read by an author I love.

Series to Catch-Up On

This is where I shelve new series that have recently released new books and I haven’t read yet. I try to read at least one from this list every month to catch up.

Re-Read

re read on goodreads

I like to put books here which belong to a series and the next book in the series is about to release. Sometimes I need a good re-read to refresh my mind on the details of the story so I can thoroughly enjoy a new release.

To Be Released

It’s almost the end of the year so I barely have any books in this list. This is where I put all my anticipated releases for this year.

2020 Releases

2020 releases on goodreads

Another one that’s self-explanatory. I also think it will be handy to change the name of the list to “To be released” once 2020 starts, and I’ll delete the old one.

To Buy

Last but not least is the list of books I’ve loved so much that I must buy. I also put here any books my favorite authors are releasing in the near future, because honestly if I love an author I will buy anything they write. This list definitely comes in handy when I walk into Barnes and Noble, or when there is a sale at an online Book Store, it helps to keep my mind focused on the books that I actually need and want to buy. This helps me not spend my money on random books.

Hope you enjoyed this post and maybe got some ideas to organize your own TBR and become more productive. If you want to be my friend on Goodreads, please add me!

Uncategorized

Red, White and Royal Blue

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Author: Casey McQuiston 

Published: May 14, 2019

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

ISBN: 1250316774/9781250316776

Synopsis from Goodreads:

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramablefriendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through?

Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.

Maybe there’s more than one dream for you, or more than one way to get there.

June

My Review:

This book was absolutely hilarious. The puns, the analogies and the wit had me laughing out loud the whole time. I kept see this book everywhere on social media alongside raving reviews. I’m happy I finally decided to read it. I also liked the historical background of the story, as well as all the letters from previous gay men and women in history that were provided. I enjoyed the idea that this type of political change could ever be possible in the United States as well as England. Mostly, I would love to live to see the day when there is a sitting female President of the United States.

I kind of fell in love with Prince Henry. I believe this was inevitable because his character is so likeable, and Alex’s descriptions of Henry were so full of affection…eventually. At first, they’re mortal enemies, and this enemies to lovers trope is also one of my favorites. I liked Alex as well, although his personality was a bit too much at times, which I think he was also aware of which helped a bit. I could also have done with a bit less angst, pining, and introspective musings from both of them. I did love all of Alex’s Harry Potter references, he took “The Prisoner of Azkaban” with him on one of the flights and I was in love with him too then 🙂

Not only did I love Henry and Alex’s relationship, I also really enjoyed how they interacted with June, Nora, Pez, and Bea. My favorite minor character was June, I liked how down to earth and supportive she was. Another minor negative for me was I thought the ending was a bit dragged out and I could’ve done without a lot of that. This book had me wishing we actually lived in a world where political changes like this could be possible, it had me thinking maybe they are within our reach. Love is love. 

A bit of a warning, the sex scenes were not SUPER explicit but there were some details mentioned as well as a lot of language used. It’s not as much detail as I’ve encountered in other books, but it’s there, so be warned. I apologize for how many times I wrote the word “love” in this review I just really really enjoyed this book. If you’re looking for a feel-good Contemporary Romance, I highly recommend this one.