Top Five Most Disappointing Books We Read in 2018

Since we did a Top Ten Books list, we had to counter it with our most disappointing/worst reads for 2018.  This list is merely opinion and it’s not here to personally attack any of your favorites.  If you loved any of the books below, that is awesome.  They just weren’t for us for one reason or another.  Ok, enough of a disclaimer – let’s get to it!

Continue reading “Top Five Most Disappointing Books We Read in 2018”

Our Top Ten Books We Read in 2018

This was a hard one for us! We are including any books that we read in 2018 despite the date published but we are NOT including any 2019 arcs.  It was hard enough to narrow it down without bringing in next year’s books as well! Ok, let’s get down to the list and yes they are counted down in order.

Continue reading “Our Top Ten Books We Read in 2018”

Top Ten Tuesday #6: Winter TBR

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Hey guys! It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, which is currently being run by the lovely Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl.  We knew instantly that we wanted to take part in this weekly meme because both of us love making list, so this is perfect!

This week’s (December 18th, 2018) topic is:  Winter TBR 2018. We decided to pick the topic: Winter TBR

Since there are two of us running this blog (Melanie and Mireille), we’re going to break these memes up between us and each pick five! Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday #6: Winter TBR”

BOOKISH NAUGHTY OR NICE TAG

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I was tagged my Lili, over at Lili Star Reads and it looks like great fun, so I thought’d give it a shot. The creator of the tag is Jenniely and it is a tag to discover if you have been naughty or nice this year!

Rules

  • Tag & link the person who tagged you
  • Tag and link the creator
  • Tick/cross off the ones you’ve done
  • Tag another 10 people!

Continue reading “BOOKISH NAUGHTY OR NICE TAG”

Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: YA  Fantasy
Pages: 342
Pacing: Slower Pacing
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: April 26th, 2016

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.  – Synopsis by Goodreads

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“I know your soul. Everything else is just an ornament.”

I have no idea how to even begin to review such as this one.  It’s such a beautiful story and the writing is stunning.  I know I’ll never be able to do this one justice but I’ll take a stab at it.

TBR and Beyond is doing a group read on The Star-Touched Queen duology and I couldn’t be happier about it.  We are lucky enough to be having Roshani Chokshi visiting us for a live chat in January (I’m still fangirling about it) and the group is getting all ready for it.  The Star-Touched Queen is my second book that I’ve read of Roshani’s and this one is based around Indian mythology and I believe is slightly inspired by the Greek mythology  – Hades and Persephone.  I am loving all these new mythologies we have been getting lately – I was starting to feel like we’d only ever see Greek, so I couldn’t have been more excited to read this book.

We start off with our main protagonist, Princess Maya stalking around the castle, eaves dropping in on political dealings with her father that she is not allowed to participate in herself.  She’s been educating herself over the years, hoping for something better with her life than just being someone’s wife – she wants to rule like her father.  Her father announces that she will be married to someone from another country that they are at war with to secure an alliance.  The only catch, it’s a big scam and her father is actually asking that she kill herself that night and therefore starting an even bigger war.  Yes, we’ve seen these tropes all before and I wasn’t really sure where it was all going to go, but it takes a very unexpected twist early on that threw me for a bit of a loop but I loved every minute of it.  A stranger, Amar, rescues her and asks for her to come rule an unknown city called Akaran with him as his queen.

I don’t want to go into too great of detail on this story, so that you can watch it unfold for yourself but the romance between Maya and Amar is one of the most swoony, breath-taking romances. I could gush on and on about the love in this story and I’m not normally a romance person but you can’t help but be captivated by the words and actions of these characters.

The Star-Touched Queen is probably one of the most quotable stories I’ve eve read.  Sometimes it almost feels like the story is one big quote after another.  I know that can be a tricky thing and really verges on purple prose but I think Chokshi mostly manages to keep her beautiful lyrical writing while maintaining an interesting plot.  There are a few times where the writing does get a bit distracting and that is why I took one star off, but overall I thought it lent to the story, not took away from it.

This story also focuses a lot on fate, family, sisterhood, and trust.  The relationship between Maya and her younger sister is beautiful and felt very authentic.  I love seeing strong sibling relationships in YA novels, because it isn’t as common as it should be.

Can we also talk about the AMAZING flesh eating horse? Probably my favorite part in this whole book is that sassy, crazy but loyal horse.  The horse gave such a needed touch of humor to the story – I laughed out loud several times and I’m now determined to own a demon horse.  I’m really not sure what that says about my character but anyone know where I can get such a thing?

Overall, this story is stunning but somewhat polarizing.  It’s not the fastest-paced book and it’s certainly one that you need to take your time on and enjoy the writing.  If you like a faster pace, then this probably is going to be a harder read for you.  I personally loved it and can’t wait to read more of Roshani’s work.

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Review: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

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My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA  Contemporary
Pages: 304
Pacing: Average/Normal
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: September 18th, 2018

Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.  Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable. Continue reading “Review: Pride by Ibi Zoboi”

ARC REVIEW: Slayer by Kiersten White

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: YA  Urban Fantasy
Pages: 416
Pacing: Average/Normal
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: January 8th, 2019

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic. 
Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Continue reading “ARC REVIEW: Slayer by Kiersten White”

Top Ten Tuesday #5: Favorite Holiday Reads

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Hey guys! It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, which is currently being run by the lovely Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl.  We knew instantly that we wanted to take part in this weekly meme because both of us love making list, so this is perfect!

This week’s (Dec 11th, 2018) topic is:  Freebie.  We were grateful to see a freebie week here because we wanted to do a post on our favorite holidays reads! So here is our Favorite Holiday Reads.

Since there are two of us running this blog (Melanie and Mireille), we’re going to break these memes up between us and each pick five!

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Yes, I actually love this story! I’ve read it several times and for anyone who loves classics, this is a great one.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynitha Hand
This is a really freaking cool take on A Christmas Carol.  I didn’t expect much but it was full of wit and heart.

My True Love Gave to Me by Various Authors
I love anthologies and this was adorable.  I’m not normally a fluffy contemporary reader but this was really enjoyable.  If I have time, I might even read it again this year!

Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
This was always my mom’s favorite Christmas story and I looked forward to hearing it every year.  I lost my mom this year and so I know I will treasure this story even more now.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
No, this is a Christmas book per se but it certainly gives me those magical feelings that Christmas does.  I just had to include it.

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
I love classics and one of my fav author is Charles Dickens. So put the two together and of course one of my Holiday reads was going to be A Christmas Carol.

My True Love Gave to Me by Various Authors
This one has so many cute little novellas, just perfect to get into the spririt of Christmas. I the one I prefer in it is the Rainbow Rowell story, I just love her writing.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I lov the Christmas scene in this one, where the girls decide to give up their dinner so that less fortunate could have a merry Christmas. It just shows how there is good in the world.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
My favourite Harry Potter book is the Goblet of Fire. I love the Triwizard Cup Tournament, the fact that we see other schools too. Plus we get the Yule Ball, which would just be a hoot to go to.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
OK I live for this book and it has a Christmas scene in it, so it works, right? It’s such a fun book, with witty dialogue. I can’t wait to meet up with Baz and Simon again next year.

 

 

 

Book Haul – Over 20 books!

I haven’t been buying books as much as I usually do because of Christmas but I still ended up with a stack somehow.  So let’s just get right into this shall we?

Physical Arcs

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The Song of the Dead by Sarah Marsh Glenn
The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees
White Stag by Kara Barbieri
The Girl King by Mimi Yu <— see full review Here
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kremmerer (not pictured) see full review Here
I passed this one on to a good friend because it was one of her most-anticipated for next year.

Continue reading “Book Haul – Over 20 books!”

ARC Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 496
Pacing: Average/Normal
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Published: January 29th, 2019

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer. Fall in love, break the curse. Continue reading “ARC Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer”