Aurora Burning

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

aurora burning by amie kaufman and jay kristoff

Synopsis from Goodreads: (**Don’t read if you haven’t read the first book in the series**)

Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

My Mini Review:

Son of a biscuit! I love Squad 312. I don’t believe I’ve ever loved a band of misfits so much. If you haven’t listened to these books in audio form you are missing out! I couldn’t stop listening. The book is read by a full cast of characters along with sound effects and it is absolutely amazing. It sounds like listening to a very descriptive movie.

Speaking of characters, I love them ALL. Which I believe is so hard to pull off as an author. Each character is unique, but they are all likeable for their uniqueness and eccentricities. I did have favorites though. Tyler and Finian stole my heart. Tyler with his stubbornness and leadership, and Finian with his sense of humor. Also, Aurora’s uniglass Magellan was super hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud at many points in this story, and close to tears in others.

The story begins in the middle of the action, and the action doesn’t stop all the way until the end. The characters are on the run from… well EVERYONE, and it’s best if they don’t stay in one place too long. Their team chemistry was great. I was so sad when this book ended, and I cant believe I’ll have to wait another year for the next one. If you are a fan of YA/Fantasy, I highly recommend this 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 🙂

Call It What You Want

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Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer is a Contemporary/ YA novel involving two teenagers Rob and Meagan. Rob is living with the consequences of his dad’s actions, while Meagan is dealing with the repercussions of her own mistakes and those of her sister Sam.

People love finding the weak link that makes them feel superior.”

Sam

I usually try to avoid Contemporary, because good Contemporary fiction always ends up making me cry. But Kemmerer wrote this one so I just had to read it. Kemmerer paints such a vivid picture of what it’s like to a be a High Schooler that it brought back all my horrible High School memories. I hated High School. Emotions are so real in this story, and by real I mean not described in flowery detail, but in basic and deeply relatable terms.

My life has collapsed to the point where a ninety-nine-cent cup of coffee with a stranger is meaningful”

Rob

Another thing I liked about this story was Kemmerer’s inclusion of other books I love, like An Ember in the Ashes and Harry Potter. Call It What You Want is the only book that has ever made me add another book to my “to be read” list. She kept mentioning all these books I love, so when she mentioned Winner’s Curse I had to add it.

One choice doesn’t determine your whole future.”

Sam

I appreciate authors who can branch out into other genres and still write amazing stories. I loved A Curse so Dark and Lonely by her, which was Fantasy/ YA, and Call It What You Want definitely lived up to all my expectations as well. I would recommend this book to all Contemporary/ YA fans. This book delves into hard topics such as suicide, underage drinking, and abortion, amongst others. Overall, the main lesson I took from this story was that everyone is fighting their own battles and not everything is black and white. Real people live in the gray areas.

Sometimes when we’re trying to protect the people closest to us, doing the right thing doesn’t always look so clear.”

Maegan’s dad

This book released today June 25th. I hope you guys have time to check it out.

Many thanks to Bloomsburry and Netgalley for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Soul of the Sword

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Picture from Goodreads

Synopsis:

Yumeko is a kitsune shapeshifter who has been entrusted with a sacred scroll. Her mission is to take this scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the great Kami Dragon from being summoned. The dragon is the Harbinger of change, and it will grant one wish to whomever summons it. Hakaimono is a demon that has just been released from a sword called Kamigoroshi after being trapped in it for hundreds of years. He is still wearing the human body of Tatsumi, the Kage demon slayer who had been escorting Yumeko to the temple before the demon broke free. Hakaimono wants to destroy the sword so he can never be put back in it. He has teamed up with he Master of Demons and has promised to get him the scrolls in exchange for destroying the sword. The story ensues as the paths of Yumeko and Hakaimono cross once again, and the fate of the empire hangs in the balance.

True beauty is rare, hidden and often overlooked by others. And it can appear at the strangest times.”

Daisuke

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa transported me to a warm campfire under a starry night, while a bearded old man told this mythical tale in between puffs of smoke from his old wooden pipe. Suddenly, I was in a world in which emotions like grief and despair had smells, and everything from the scenery to the food was described in poetic detail. I particularly found the Forest of a Thousand Eyes terrifying, even when described from Hakaimono’s demon perspective, who tried to make everything sound amusing.

Around them, the shadowy forest stood frozen, tall shaggy pines drooping under the weight of snow and ice. It was an oppressive weight…cold and domineering, as if the snow was a cruel master, demanding silence and respect from everything it touched.”

SUKI

I liked the different points of views in each Chapter, and the fact we had a glimpse into the mind of the demon Hakaimono. We got to see what the human condition is like from a demon’s perspective, and how living inside humans for hundreds of years has changed him. The demon catches himself missing his “home” in Jigoku (a version of the underworld or hell), and wondering if his fellow demons have missed him as well.

I had spent too much time in the heads of these weak-willed humans.”

Hakaimono

I really enjoyed Yumeko’s humor and wit, but I especially loved her determination to complete her quest and to offer a helping hand to all who needed it along the way. As always, Yumeko’s point of view was full of mischief, true to her fox or “kitsune” nature. The dialogue between Yumeko and the band of misfits she has acquired in her journey was very entertaining. One of my favorite side characters continues to be Okame, who despite being a ronin, or disgraced samurai, has shown to be a very honest and loyal companion to Yumeko on her journey.

A small group who stand against insurmountable odds, who give their lives for the glory of the empire? It is what Bushido is built on.”

Daisuke

The story had a nice feeling of adventure, as our group of unlikely heroes, each with their own special skills, are taken from one predicament into the next. The plot was action packed, and the characters were all spurred into action by a single unifying quest to save the empire from certain doom. I adored the first book in this series, Shadow of the Fox, and this second installment was no exception. I recommend this story to all YA/Fantasy fans, and to all those who enjoy adventure and quest driven tales.

‪Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to review this title in exchange for my honest opinion‬

Have you guys read Soul of the Sword? What did you think?

Bookish Bucket List

I have a regular bucket list which includes things like “learn to drive stick-shift” and “help baby sea turtles reach the ocean.” Today, I realized there are many book related things I want to accomplish, and what better way keep track of them than with a Book Bucket List?

So without further rambling or reminiscing here are three things I’m adding:

Read Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Now I know what some of you are thinking. Half of you are saying: “What do you mean you haven’t read them? The other half are saying: “Why would you put yourself through that?” Because I can that’s why! Also, I have owned those two books forever and I feel that it’s time. I was just out of College when I got them, I attempted to read them and never really finished them. I had an English Lit professor who talked so passionately about them that I had to go and get them. I was probably not in the right frame of mind, but I will try again before I kick the bucket.

Go to London

Both Harry Potter and The Infernal Devices series were set there. I’ve always felt a connection to the gloomy gray streets of London, even if I have never physically been there. I’ve been there in mind and spirit, and I feel like I should come full circle and experience it in person. Also, I think a picture of me inside one of those red phone booths from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix would be fantastic.

Own the rest of the Throne of Glass series

Okay, so for some obscure reason I ended up with only the first book and last book of this series. Once again I know what you’re thinking: Just buy them! No really, please tell me to just buy them so I can justify it to my bank account, and my husband. There are many other series that I need to complete or own, but this one really bothers me. First, because the covers are so gorgeous. And second, I have a big girl crush on Celaena (used this name on purpose not to ruin for others), and how awesome would it be to stare at her on my bookshelf ALL day on six different book covers?!.

Please drop me a comment and let me know what’s on your book bucket list? I would love to hear form you!

My favorite series (after Harry Potter of course)

The Infernal Devices -by Cassandra Clare

Let me start by saying that these book covers are absolutely gorgeous. Each cover has one of the main characters, therefore it is easy to picture them in your mind’s eye as you read. Not that they’re not perfectly described and jump off the page, but it always helps when the covers enhance the reading experience.

Life was an uncertain thing, and there were some moments one wished to remember, to imprint upon one’s mind that the memory might be taken out later, like a flower pressed between the pages of a book…” -Sophie

This series is a prequel to the Mortal Instruments series, also by Cassandra Clare, and even though I really liked Mortal Instruments; this prequel stole my heart. The books are set in the year 1878. Tessa Gray arrives in London after being summoned by her brother and soon finds herself caught up in dark supernatural events involving warlocks, vampires, and demons. Shadowhunters take Tessa under their protection, and she befriends Will and Jem. Together they fight against the Pandemonium Club and its horrible clockwork creatures.

Life is a book, and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read. I would read them together with you…” -Will

Clare’s rendering of London was very real to me. I can picture the dirty cobbled streets under near constant smog and rain, and I can almost smell the smoke and pollution emitted by the nearby factories. I can imagine the beautiful dresses and horse drawn carriages.

One must always be careful of books…and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” -Tessa

The characters were so real, even the minor character like Sophie, and I of course can relate to Tess the most, since she is a book lover and avid reader. Both Will and Jem are swoon-worthy, and like me, you will surely find your heart split in two directions when it comes to these guys. Will is the broody bad boy who puts up walls to keep people away, except his parabatai Jem.

When two souls are as one, they stay together on the wheel. I was born on this world to love you, and I will love you in the next life, and the one after that.” -Jem

Jem is kind and sweet, and he plays the violin which makes him even more endearing in my eyes. Even though the characters are all sixteen through seventeen, they are all very mature, and their dialogue is memorable and insightful. As you can see here, some of my favorite quotes came from this series. I always highly recommend this whole series to all my young adult fiction and fantasy fan friends.

You want this?” His voice was hoarse.

“Yes,” she said. “Do you?”

His finger traced the outline of her mouth. “For this I would have been damned forever. For this I would have given up everything.”

-Will and Tessa

Leave me a comment and let me know what your all time favorite series was!

Wicked -by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Wicked #1)

⭐️⭐️⭐️


When I started reading this book, I was really in the mood for something light, fun and entertaining, and this did not disappoint. The cover is gorgeous, and I was instantly drawn to it. Once I began, it was impossible to put down. This book is about twenty-two-year-old Ivy Morgan who is juggling college classes during the day and killing faeries for an organization called the Order at night. When Ren Owens joins the Order, Ivy finds herself paired up with him. Ivy, who is still hurting after the loss of her parents and her long-term boyfriend Shaun, struggles to resist her obvious attraction to Ren, while they both attempt to investigate the recent appearance of dangerous faeries called Ancients in the city of New Orleans.

Armentrout has a quirky way to describe her characters which makes it easy to immediately picture them in your mind. One of my favorite passages is when Ren calls Ivy “Merida” from Disney’s “Brave,” due to her unruly red hair and “kick ass hotness,” a statement which just makes her threaten to stab him. Another character who I found absolutely hilarious was “Tink,” a very dramatic brownie (tiny ken doll sized faerie with wings) who Ivy rescued and keeps as a “roommate” in her flat. I found myself laughing like a lunatic at work, earning me weird looks from my co-workers, and then there were further questions upon my sanity when I attempted to explain what I was laughing at. I’m going to go ahead and confess now that I might be a little biased when it comes to Ren Owens because I have a thing for green eyed guys, (my husband has green eyes), that said, Ren did not disappoint. I found his straight forward, no non-sense attitude very alluring. The playful banter between him and Ivy was also very entertaining to read. On a side note, this is not a book for those who are averse to foul language or explicit sex scenes, as demonstrated by my quote above.

There are some cons to this book. If you are looking for something deep and insightful then this is not the book for you. Having just gotten through “Flowers for Algernon -by Daniel Keyes” and “A Cure for Suicide -by Jesse Ball,” I needed some light reading in my life, and this is exactly that. Also, if you have read enough Fantasy books like I have, then you will find this plot predictable. I will not go into details about the plot because I don’t do spoilers. Let’s just say everything from the big secret reveal to the ending I was already expecting, but once again this is what I wanted from this book. I picked it up while in search for an entertaining story, some hot romance, and the fun dialogue I’ve come to love in Armentrout’s books, and it left me so satisfied that I’ve been putting off reading book two. The characters and their interactions were enough to keep me engaged until the bitter cliffhanger end.