The City of Brass by: S.A. Chakraborty *Review*

Barnes and Noble
Book Depository
Rating:4/5 Stars
Synopsis:Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.
But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.
In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.
After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…
Review: I won’t lie. This book took me a bit to get into. I read the first 100 pages on my Kindle and just found myself picking it up, reading a few pages, and then putting it down. I was not interested and it was taking me forever to get into. Then I switched to the audiobook on Scribd and I was hooked. There was something about the narrater that made the story go by quicker and was all around an enjoyable experience.
I am a HUGE fan of politically driven fantasy as well as romance in fantasy and I felt like this story did a great job at both of those things. The atmosphere was unique and immersive. Overall this was a really enjoyable story and I will be moving onto the second and third installments very soon.

I read the audiobook on Scribd. If you are interested in trying Scribd for free for 60 days you can use my referral link here. I do not receive financial compensation, however I do receive Scribd for 30 days if you use my link. I am not sponsored, this is a referral program anyone can participate in.

Normal People by: Sally Rooney *Review*

Barnes and Noble
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Synopsis:Connell Waldron is one of the most popular boys in his small-town high school–he is a star of the football team and an excellent student, and he is never wanting for attention from girls. The one thing he doesn’t have is money. Marianne Sheridan, a classmate of Connell’s, has the opposite problem. Marianne is plain-looking, odd, and stubborn, and while her family is quite well off, she has no friends to speak of. There is, however, a deep and undeniable connection between the two teenagers, one that develops into a secret relationship.
Everything changes when both Connell and Marianne are accepted to Trinity College. Suddenly Marianne is well liked and elegant, holding court with her intellectual friends, while Connell hangs at the sidelines, not quite as fluent in the language of the elite. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle each other, falling in and out of romance but never straying far from where they started. And as Marianne experiments with an increasingly dangerous string of boyfriends, Connell must decide how far he is willing to go to save his oldest friend.
Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a novel that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the inescapable challenges of family and friendships. Normal People is a book that you will read in one sitting, and then immediately jump up to share with your friends.
Review: It has been just about a week since I read this book and I am realizing that this may be the hardest review I have ever had to write. With everything in the world in shambles currently, I was struggling to read my typical fantasy. I found myself too distracted and not able to pay attention enough to learn a new complex world. I had placed an ebook hold with my library for Normal People back when the show was first announced, and if I am being honest, I completely forgot about it. I woke up one Tuesday morning and found this book waiting for me. I read the first page, fully expecting to get distracted and put it down like all the rest of the books I have been reading recently. Boy was I wrong.
Normal People hooked me from the very first pages. I was instantly in love with these two damaged main characters and within the first few pages I found myself obsessed with their relationship and pulling for them. This book grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go until I had seen it through. I devoured Connell and Marianne’s story in one sitting.
In this story you are thrust into these characters lives as they establish this “casual hookup” relationship in high school. We then continue to follow Connell and Marianne through many years of their lives and seeing them come together and fall apart time and time again. At the core this is a beautiful look into our young adult lives and how our lives intertwine and change. It is a look at how people come in and out of our lives and the affect that has on the bigger picture of our life. There is such a realistic look at flawed characters that feel so real. They make bad decisions, but they are all a part of learning and growing.
The only real way I can describe my feelings after reading this books is that my heart was ripped from my chest in the most beautiful way possible. This book got under my skin and made me feel such strong emotions. I cried real tears more than once. It is one that will sit with me for the rest of my life.
All of this being said, I DO NOT think that this book will be for everyone. The passion I have for absolutely loving this book, I could absolutely justify someone hating it with just as much passion. The tone in this book is not going to work for everyone, and the ending is definitely for a very specific audience. My advice is to give it a shot and see where you fall. It is a relatively short read, however it is a very heavy read. If you have read this book I would LOVE to know your thoughts and chat about it in the comments or over on my Instagram.

From Blood and Ash by: Jennifer L. Armentrout Review

Series:Blood and Ash #1
Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis: Captivating and action-packed, From Blood and Ash is a sexy, addictive, and unexpected fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Laura Thalassa.
A Maiden…
Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.
A Duty…
The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.
A Kingdom…
Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.
Review: I was VERY excited when I logged on to Instagram and saw that Jennifer L. Armentrout had released a new book. Not only was it a new book, but it was also her first time writing an adult high fantasy. I had never read one of Armentrout’s and immediately downloaded and started this book. I went in with the expectation of an entertaining book filled with drama and romance. That is EXACTLY what you get with this book.
The character of Poppy is one of my favorite female protaganists I have read in awhile. She was badass, but also super realitstic. She messed up and made mistakes, but you understood why she was behaving the way she was. She was treated really horribly, she was constantly growing and learning. Her character growth was fantastic!
As I was reading this book, I was so ready to give this book five stars and recommend it to all of my fantasy romance lovers. I was loving the relationship between Poppy and Hawke. I loved the politics and the world. Hawke was set to become a new favorite character. He was the strongest and sweetest love interest. However, at about the 80% mark there was some choices made that really turned me off of the story. I would say for about 80% of the book it was a 5 star, but the last 20% was about a 2 star for me. That is as far as I can go into it without spoilers. I know that I will continue on with the series when the next books are released, however my expectations will be set way lower after how this one ended.
In the end I settled on a 4 star, mostly based on me really really enjoying most of the book. I would definitely recommend this to people who love fantasy with heavy romance. If you love forbidden romance or friends to lovers, then I think this is still a must read.

Get to Know the Fantasy Reader *TAG*

Today when I pulled up my Youtube subscription box and saw that Sam from Thoughts on Tomes posted a Get to Know the Fantasy Reader TAG I knew that I had to do it. Unlike most fantasy readers I fell in love with the genre much later in life. Of course I read Harry Potter, but all through middle and high school I read a lot of mainstream contemporary and romance novels, along with the bestselling mysteries and thrillers. Fantasy came into my life about 3 years ago when I discovered Booktube and I haven’t looked back since. Make sure you leave your answers to the questions below, or tag me if you do this tag!

What is your fantasy origin story? (How you came to read your first fantasy novel)
In 2016/2017 I fell down a Booktube and Bookstagram rabbit hole. I ton of my new friends were recommending me a bunch of YA Fantasy books, so I picked up A Court of Thorns and Roses by: Sarah J. Maas I fell in love with the fae world and couldn’t get enough. After reading the first two books I remember googling “Fantasy Books” and stumbled upon The Magicians by: Lev Grossman and I never looked back. I put all of my Nicholas Sparks books up on a shelf and immersed myself into the world of adult fantasy.

If you could be the hero/heroine in a fantasy novel, who would be the author and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?
I for sure would want Lev Grossman to write me into a college/school setting.

What is a fantasy you’ve read this year, that you want more people to read?
I am SO EXCITED for everyone to read The Kingdom of Liars by:Nick Martell I recently read it and really enjoyed it. I think it will be a good one to discuss within the community.

What is your favorite fantasy subgenre? What subgenre have you not read much from?
I love a lot of epic fantasy, as well as sword and sorcery fantasy! I do not read a ton of urban fantasy.

Who is one of your auto-buy fantasy authors?
Sarah J. Maas is definitely an auto-buy fantasy author. (I know, I know, I know) Lev Grossman and Nicholas Eames are also auto-buys for me!

How do you typically find fantasy recommendations? (Goodreads, Youtube, Podcasts, Instagram..)
Instagram, Goodreads, and Youtube are my main platforms for finding fantasy recommendations. I have a good handful of people that I trust and follow closely for all of my fantasy news and recommendations.

What is an upcoming fantasy release you’re excited for?
I am SO EXCITED for A Chorus of Fire by: Brian D. Anderson. It is the second book in The Sorcerer’s Song series and after reading the first book I am excited for it to continue. It is set to release in August of this year. I currently have an ARC on Netgalley, but I am trying to hold out until closer to release so that I don’t have a painfully long wait for book #3.

What is one misconception about fantasy you would like to lay to rest?
THERE IS NO REQUIRED READING LIST TO BE CONSIDERED A FANTASY READER/FAN. The fantasy genre is full of gatekeeping and telling people they are not a fantasy fan unless they have read the “classic” fantasy. You can still be a fantasy reading without having read Lord of the Rings. You can still be a fantasy reader without having read Wheel of Time. You can still be a fantasy fan without having read Robin Hobb.

If someone had never read a fantasy before and asked you to recommend the first 3 books that come to mind as places to start, what would those recommendations be?
Mistborn by: Brandon Sanderson
Kings of the Wyld by: Nicholas Eames
Foundryside by: Robert Jackson Bennett

Who is the most recent fantasy reading content creator you came across that you’d like to shoutout?
I recently found the blog Realms of My Mind and I think that you should all go over and show them some love!

The Kingdom of Liars by: Nick Martell Review

Series:The Legacy of the Mercenary Kings #1
Rating:4/5 stars
Synopsis:In this brilliant debut fantasy, a story of secrets, rebellion, and murder are shattering the Hollows, where magic costs memory to use, and only the son of the kingdom’s despised traitor holds the truth.
Michael is branded a traitor as a child because of the murder of the king’s nine-year-old son, by his father David Kingman. Ten years later on Michael lives a hardscrabble life, with his sister Gwen, performing crimes with his friends against minor royals in a weak attempt at striking back at the world that rejects him and his family.
In a world where memory is the coin that pays for magic, Michael knows something is there in the hot white emptiness of his mind. So when the opportunity arrives to get folded back into court, via the most politically dangerous member of the kingdom’s royal council, Michael takes it, desperate to find a way back to his past. He discovers a royal family that is spiraling into a self-serving dictatorship as gun-wielding rebels clash against magically trained militia.
What the truth holds is a set of shocking revelations that will completely change the Hollows, if Michael and his friends and family can survive long enough to see it.
Review: The Kingdom of Liars was a FANTASTIC debut. Nick brought to life one of the most unique fantasy premises I had read. It was very refreshing to read something that seemed so incredibly different from a lot of the fantasy I am used to.
The world in this is really great. In this world chunks of the moon fall from the sky and magic costs you memories. My biggest criticism with this story is that I wanted more. I wanted more! I actually found myself wishing that it was longer and I got more of a history of this incredible world.
There were two elements of this story that I felt were near-perfect. Martell’s character work, specifically the character of Michael, as well as the political intrigue were the shining stars of this book. Michael is a character that I think people will have very mixed opinions about, but he worked for me. He is a character who is constantly making questionable decisions, but so many times I understood his motivation and if I am being honest I probably would have done the same thing in his shoes. He continues to grow throughout the story and by the end I was so connected with his character that he felt like a real friend. The political intrigue in this story was truly the driving force for this entire story for me. Political intrigue is something that I either love, or hate within a story and The Kingdom of Liars hit the nail on the head.
Overall this story highlights the best parts of modern fantasy and puts an fun and fresh spin on it!

Thank you to Gallery Press for providing an eARC. This in no way changes my thoughts and feelings on this story. These are my 100% honest thoughts.

Malice by: John Gwynne (The Faithful and the Fallen #1) Review

Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen #1) by:John Gwynne
The world is broken…and it can never be made whole again.
Corban wants nothing more than to be a warrior under King Brenin’s rule – to protect and serve. But that day will come all too soon. And the price he pays will be in blood.
Evnis has sacrificed – too much it seems. But what he wants – the power to rule — will soon be in his grasp. And nothing will stop him once he has started on his path.
Veradis is the newest member of the warband for the High Prince, Nathair. He is one of the most skilled swordsman to come out of his homeland, yet he is always under the shadow of his older brother.
Nathair has ideas – and a lot of plans. Many of them don’t involve his father, the High King Aquilus. Nor does he agree with his father’s idea to summon his fellow kings to council.
The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Now, the stones weep red and giant wyrms stir, and those who can still read the signs see a danger far worse than all that has come before…

This may be one of the hardest books that I have EVER had to review. Throughout the entire book I felt like I was enjoying it, but found myself reading 10-15 pages at a time and then not ever really wanting to pick it up. I was blaming my mood and not the book, but the farther along I got I realized I think a lot about this book just did not work for me.
This story has multiple POVs and I found myself VERY confused for a lot of it. There were points where I felt like I was getting a grip on what was going on, but then confused again. There was really only two timelines that I cared about and I found myself not really caring for the other story lines. That being said, this book does characters VERY well. The character of Corban is almost impossible not to love. Gwynne plays with the idea of good vs. evil and seems to represent the gray area between the two perfectly!
The last 20% of this book turned around drastically for me though, the plot FINALLY picked up and story lines ended up coming together in a way that I really enjoyed. It wasn’t until after I finished that I came to the conclusion that I am a very PLOT focussed reader. A lot of the issues I had in the story in the beginning was the lack of action and plot. It was full of brilliant character development, however that was not enough to really captivate my attention and keep me wanting to read it.
Overall my feeling are still very scambled on this novel. I do think that I will give the second book a shot, because I enjoyed the direction of the plot at the end of the first book. If you are a fan of character driven epic fantasy I suggest picking this up.

I Let My Followers Create My Pandemic Reading List!

I am not going to lie guys, this COVID-19 stuff has really gotten into my already anxiety-filled brain and taken up residency. I have been trying to be aware of the amount of social media that I am consuming and the news that I am paying attention to. I know that filling so much of my life with this virus is a recipe for disaster, so I turned to my trusted Instagram followers and asked them for their recommendations. I asked specifically for light, entertaining reads and they certainly delivered! This is the list of books that they suggested. As always, you can click on the title to be taken to the Goodreads page for more information.

The Dragon With a Chocolate Heart Series by: Stephanie Burgis
Aventurine is the fiercest, bravest dragon there is. And she’s ready to prove it to her family by leaving the safety of their mountain cave and capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human. But when the human she finds tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, Aventurine is transformed into a puny human girl with tiny blunt teeth, no fire, and not one single claw.
But she’s still the fiercest creature in the mountains — and now she’s found her true passion: chocolate! All she has to do is get herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she’ll be conquering new territory in no time…won’t she?

The Dresden Files by: Jim Butcher
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.
Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a—well, whatever. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks.
So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get interesting.
Magic – it can get a guy killed.

The Inheritance Cycle by: Christopher Paolini
One boy…
One dragon…
A world of adventure.
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and tge advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.
Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.

Dragon Marked by: Jaymin Eve
There are supernatural prisons hidden across the globe. Contained within these fortresses are some of the deadliest criminals from the five supernatural races: vampire, shifter, fey, magic users and demi-fey.
Jessa Lebron, twenty-two, has spent her entire life in Stratford, Connecticut, one of the gateway towns adjoining these prisons which protect the fortified borders. She’s a wolf shifter, and her father leads the town council. She learns that much of her life has been hidden from her, secrets which threaten to tear apart the very fabric of her world. Especially the biggest secret of them all.
She is dragon marked.
Jessa only knows what she’s been told about the dragon marked, that they are dangerous and must be eliminated to prevent the rise of the dragon king, the powerful warmonger who had his head removed a thousand years ago. So now Jessa’s on the biggest hit list of all. Dragon mark hunters are lethal and her only hope to evade detection is to keep the energy contained.
As more secrets unfold she finds herself locked up in Vanguard, the notorious American supernatural prison. Thankfully she’s not alone. Braxton, the dragon-shifter has her back. Together they must survive long enough to free themselves and the other dragon marked.
Because it’s time for the dragon marked to rise.

Blood Oath by: Raye Wagner & Kelly St. Clare
Dark Fantasy. Dragons. Intrigue. Romance.
More than anything, I crave adventure. But in the disease ridden land of Verald, life is mapped out much like the well-established rings of our kingdom.
At the very heart reigns our vicious king and Lord Irrik, an invincible dragon shifter, at his side. Their power poisons the land and the people, leading to a steadily mounting number of enemies.
But change is coming.
When the rebellion surges, the king strikes back. Captured by Lord Irrik, I’m suddenly embroiled in a deadly game. One where I’m desperate to understand the rules.
Because I’m not only fighting for my life… but also a love that could be the very key to my freedom

Howl’s Moving Castle by: Diana Wynne Jones
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

The Folk of the Air Series by: Holly Black
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

The Hating Game by: Sally Thorne
Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.
Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.
If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.
Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Would Like to Meet by: Rachel Winters
In this charming, feel-good debut novel, a cynical assistant at a screenwriting agency must reenact the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedy movies in order to help her #1 client get his scriptwriting mojo back–but can a real-life meet-cute be in store for someone who doesn’t believe in happily ever after?
After seven years as an assistant, 29-year-old Evie Summers is ready to finally get the promotion she deserves. But now the TV and film agency she’s been running behind the scenes is in trouble, and Evie will lose her job unless she can convince the agency’s biggest and most arrogant client, Ezra Chester, to finish writing the script for a Hollywood romantic comedy.
The catch? Ezra is suffering from writer’s block–and he’ll only put pen to paper if singleton Evie can prove to him that you can fall in love like they do in the movies. With the future of the agency in jeopardy, Evie embarks on a mission to meet a man the way Sally met Harry or Hugh Grant met Julia Roberts.
But in the course of testing out the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedies IRL, not only will Evie encounter one humiliating situation after another, but she’ll have to confront the romantic past that soured her on love. In a novel as hilarious as it is heartwarming, debut author Rachel Winters proves that sometimes real life is better than the movies–and that the best kind of meet-cutes happen when you least expect them.

Oona Out of Order by: Margarita Montimore
A remarkably inventive novel that explores what it means to live a life fully in the moment, even if those moments are out of order.
It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order…
Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met? Surprising, magical, and heart-wrenching, Margarita Montimore has crafted an unforgettable story about the burdens of time, the endurance of love, and the power of family.

Nevermoor by: Jessica Townsend
A cursed girl escapes death and finds herself in a magical world – but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart – an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests – or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

The Story of Son by: J.R. Ward
Held captive by a dark, seductive vampire with an unworldly hunger, the beautiful Claire Stroughton fears her life as a lawyer has irrevocably taken a turn for the worse. But when this deeply sensual-and highly dangerous-vampire convinces Claire that his desire for her is stronger than his lust for blood, she is compelled to give everything up to him, body and soul…

The Iron Druid Chronicles by: Kevin Hearne
Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.
Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

The Undomestic Goddess by: Sophie Kinsella
Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweeting has just done the unthinkable. She’s made a mistake so huge, it’ll wreck any chance of a partnership.
Going into utter meltdown, she walks out of her London office, gets on a train, and ends up in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she’s mistaken for an interviewee and finds herself being offered a job as housekeeper. Her employers have no idea they’ve hired a lawyer–and Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. She can’t sew on a button, bake a potato, or get the #@%# ironing board to open. How she takes a deep breath and begins to cope–and finds love–is a story as delicious as the bread she learns to bake.
But will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does…will she want it back?

I Heart New York by: Lindsey Kelk
Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, get ready for the summer debut of the year…When you’re running away from a broken heart, there’s only one place to go…Adjusting tiaras at the foot of the aisle, Angela and her best friend prepare for the wedding of the year. But events don’t go as planned. And when a girl is in possession of a crumpled bridesmaid dress – and can’t go home – New York (for the very first time) seems like an excellent idea. Angela’s new friend Jenny Lopez gives Angela a whirlwind tour of the city that never sleeps, and a makeover. Who hasn’t dreamed of starting afresh with a sassy New York wardrobe, a new haircut and a trip to the make-up counter? Before she knows it, the new Angela is getting over her broken heart by having dinner with two different boys. And, best of all, she gets to write about it in her fabulous new blog. But it’s one thing telling readers all about your romantic dilemmas. It’s another trying to figure them out for yourself! Warm, funny and unputdownable, I Heart New York is an unforgettable debut.

To Nigh Owl from Dogfish by: Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer
Avery Bloom, who’s bookish, intense, and afraid of many things, particularly deep water, lives in New York City. Bett Devlin, who’s fearless, outgoing, and loves all animals as well as the ocean, lives in California. What they have in common is that they are both twelve years old, and are both being raised by single, gay dads.
When their dads fall in love, Bett and Avery are sent, against their will, to the same sleepaway camp. Their dads hope that they will find common ground and become friends–and possibly, one day, even sisters.
But things soon go off the rails for the girls (and for their dads too), and they find themselves on a summer adventure that neither of them could have predicted. Now that they can’t imagine life without each other, will the two girls (who sometimes call themselves Night Owl and Dogfish) figure out a way to be a family?

One of Us is Lying by:Karen M. McManus
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.

Fawkes by: Nadine Bandes
Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.
Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.
But what if death finds him first?
Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.
The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.
The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.
No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

Inebriated by:Katey Taylor
Barely seventeen and as pretty as can be: the summer is their playground. Cait and her best friends Steph and Allie take on San Francisco’s party scene with fake IDs and short dresses.
When Cait meets Adrien Cross, the charismatic lead singer of her favorite indie band, she’s introduced to a hedonistic world of liquor and lust that she never wants to leave.
But then that world spirals out of control and the harsh realities of reckless living take a toll on Cait and the ones she loves.
What will be left when the makeup masks wash off, the bottles are empty, and Cait begins to lose her grip on everything?
Katey Taylor’s heart-wrenching debut novel will have you strapped into the intense rollercoaster ride of Cait’s life and one chaotic summer that will change it all.

Dragonskin Slippers Series by: Jessica Day George
Fifteen-year-old Creel is floored when her aunt suggests they sacrifice her to a dragon to attract the attention of a marriageable knight. But when the dragon appears, Creel bargains for her life – and ends up with an unusual pair of blue slippers. It’s not until the slippers are stolen by a princess that Creel learns a terrible truth.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this list! Be sure to click on their Instagram handles below to check them out and show them some love.
@dreams_in_blue @library.of.kicks @what_banana_read @niebieskie2 @drunkondragonflies @baby_got_books @glendaofalltime @grilledcheesedamurai @phxgriffor @a_boy_and_his_books @bookishbrookeish @rosieblue16 @book_mamabear @thebookofhan

House of Earth and Blood by: Sarah J. Maas (Crescent City #1) Review

Title: House of Earth and Blood
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Crescent City #1
Star Rating:5/5

Synopsis: For this review I am going to go against everything we know and NOT post the synopsis. I went into this book without having read the synopsis, and after finishing and reading the synopsis my hope is that everyone goes into this blind. The synopsis gives away one of the biggest plot twists for me and I want everyone to be able to get the most out of this story!

Review: This book is a very difficult one for me to review. I have been waiting YEARS for this book to release, and so i went into this story with a bit of a bias. I have had quite a relationship with Maas from the beginning. I did NOT enjoy the first book in her Throne of Glass series, however I LOVED her A Court of Thorns and Roses series.
This book delivered exactly what I expected from Maas. A fast-paced story with characters that you grow to absolutely love. Her books are significantly different from what I usually read, she is strictly a guilty pleasure read for me. I flew through this 800 page tome within days, it is the perfect brain candy.
I really enjoyed the world that Maas created for this new series. The futuristic fantasy world had an urban fantasy/sci-fi fusion feel and it was refreshing to read something completely different from my usual fantasy. There were points in the story where the world-building came off as a little info-dumpy, but was surrounded by enough character development and plot that I did not mind.
The characters were truly what I loved about this story. Everyone on the page was so well fleshed out and you felt like you truly knew them. I am not someone who cries in books, but towards the end I was sobbing. Over the course of the story you become so attached, and I think that is something that is hard to accomplish. Sarah J. Maas pulled this off beautifully.
THE ROMANCE! I am a sucker for romance and I am not afraid to admit it. This book delivered on that front. I was actually surprised that this book was not as smutty as we have come to expect from Maas. It actually made me love the two characters more. In this new story the relationshiop had hundreds of pages to build emotionally before physically and I really appreciated that change of pace for a Maas story.
The plot… oh boy this plot! It went so quick that this 800 page book felt more like 300 pages. Every chapter seemed to end on a cliffhanger. It kept you intrigued and guessing the entire time. It is a RIDE!
Overall this book exceeded my expectations and was an easy 5 star read for me. The worst part is going to be waiting for book 2!

Follow-up Friday March 6th, 2020

Hello everyone!

We did it! We survived yet another week! Follow-up Friday is something I am going to make a new series on my blog where I just chat about what I am reading and what is going on in life. With this blog I not only wanted a longer form platform to talk about books, but I also want to use it to connect more with you guys. I want to get to know you all a little better, and I want to open up a space for you all to learn more about me!

What I Read!
I did not finish a single book this week, however that was okay because I made some serious progess on a couple super anticipated books.

I started out the week reading Malice by: John Gwynne. I am slowly but surely making my way through this epic fantasy. So far I am really, really enjoying it. There’s something about this world and these characters that just allows you to curl up and the whole world melts away. I am currently about 33% through and I am confident that I will finish this one up this month.

Crescent City: House of Blood and Earth by: Sarah J. Maas finally hit shelves this Tuesday and it has been occupying most of my reading time this week. I am about 350 pages into this 800 page tome. I am loving it, which was to be expected. It has been so nice to just fall into this fun and entertaining story. I am excited to finish it and get my review up for you guys!

Book Mail!
This week I received a few really exciting packages! Of course my pre-order copy of Crescent City came in!
EpicReads sent a copy of Redeption Prep by: Samuel Miller. It is a YA Thriller set to release in April of this year. For more info, check out the Goodreads page here.
I had won a giveaway months ago for a signed copy of In the Unlikely Event by: L.J. Shen that I had completely forgotten about. That was such a great surprise to receive. It is an adult romance novel that you can check out here.
Last but CERTAINLY not least, my friend Traveling Cloak sent me his ARC copy of Black Leviathan by: Bernd Perplies! This book has been on my radar since I saw it announced. I mean, DRAGONS. Do I need to say more? Be sure to check it out here and add it to your TBR! I have heard such great things from everyone that I trust and cannot wait to dig into this.

What I Watched!
This week I haven’t watch a ton of TV. I caught up on the reunion of Love is Blind and that is about it. My hubby has been catching up on The Magicians so I have been using that time to get some extra reading in!

Pet Pic of the Week
Ever week I will post a pet picture for your entertainment. Today is a photo of our Mini Aussie, Layla. She is two and a half years old and a ball of affection and energy.

The Bridge Kingdom by: Danielle L. Jenson

Title:The Bridge Kingdom
Author: Danielle L. Jenson
What if you fell in love with the one person you’d sworn to destroy?
Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.
But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?

Review: On paper this is a book that I should love. It has romance, politics, and an awesome world. Unfortunately, this one fell flat for me. Objectively it is a good book. The writing is solid, the world is atmospheric, the romance is good, however it ended up being just an ok read. I struggled to get through this story, like REALLY struggled. I have picked it up and put it down over the course of a month an a half, and it is only 340 pages. I am frustrated because nothing is wrong with this book, it just didn’t knock my socks off like it did for so many others.
I wish I could say what I worked and what didn’t work for me, but I don’t really have anything specific. Nothing stood out as new or original, everything was pretty predictable. This book left me wanting more. I wanted it to be more epic, the stakes to feel higher. I wanted desperately to connect with the characters, but I found it so hard to care.
It kills me to give this book 3 stars. It came so recommended from so many people that I trust. At the end of the day, this book just wasn’t for me.