Yet Another Book Haul – Over 20 Again!

These are some books I accumulated back in January and am just getting to them now.  I did not include some books that I got in January from Bookoutlet because I already hauled them on here and you can see that post HERE.   I also got a lot of graphic novels during this month, so I’m doing a separate post later for those.   January was my birthday month, so a lot of the books were gifts.

Continue reading “Yet Another Book Haul – Over 20 Again!”

ARC Review: Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

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My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 336
Pacing: Faster Pacing
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Published: February 26th 2019

Trigger Warnings: Violence, Monster Gore, Abandonment, Parental Abuse/Neglect, Bullying

 

 

How do you kill a god? As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.  – Synopsis by Goodreads.  

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“Each scar marks me as a survivor.  A Warrior of the Wild.”

Tricia Levenseller knocks it out of the part for me again.  I just adore her writing and her strong, intelligent female characters.  She also has her banter game on-point.

It’s not secret that I’m a huge fan of Tricia’s debut duology Daughter of the Pirate King and when I heard she was writing a viking inspired story, I was pretty excited to say the least.  Did it live up to my expectations? Of course it did! Rasmira, our protagonist, is a very likeable character and it’s really easy to get on her side and root for her survival and success.  She has a lovely relationship with her sister, a complicated one with her father and a nightmare of one with her mother.  The story starts off with Rasmira practicing for the trials for joining the warrior ranks.  There are some bullies that seem to have it out for Rasmira because she is the daughter of their leader and feels she gets too much special treatment.  I won’t say much about that but my heart hurts even thinking of what they do to her.  The stakes are high right off the bat because we learn that anyone that doesn’t pass the trials will be banished from their village to go survive on their own in the wild.  The only way they can come back home is if they completely an impossible task (their matugr).  She, of course, fails her trial and is banished with the task to kill a God that has been terrorizing the villages forever.  Eek!

When she is banished to the wild, it doesn’t take that long before she meets a couple of other boys that have been outcasted from their villages, for the same reason, as well.  She meets Soren, who is a very sweet and loyal boy that purposely lost his trial so he could go help his friend Iric.  Then we have bratty but genius little Iric, who I completely adored.  His wit and sarcasm were top notch.  He is also gay and desperately missing his boyfriend that he had to leave at his village. He might have been my favorite honestly and I would love a companion novel that featured Iric, his partner and all his crazy inventions.  I felt like his character, along with Rasimra’s had the most growth.

While in the wild, there are lots of insane creatures which were really fun and very well-detailed.  It can get a little gory at times, but nothing that would bother most people I don’t think.  Just monster gore.  The three characters are trying to accomplish their impossible tasks together, so we get lots of action and cool scenes.  Rasmira also has to beat a God, which is a lot of fun.  I won’t say much about any of this though.

Probably my favorite thing about Tricia’s writing is that it gives enough character development and world building that you are satisfied but it’s also not at all complicated.  If you still want to stay in the fantasy realm but need a little palette cleanser  from high fantasy, this is perfect for it.

Overall, this was a fun ride and I enjoyed every minute of it.  This is a standalone fantasy, so it’s not a huge commitment and it reads very fast.  I think a lot of people will have a good time with this one.

Thank you to Feiwel & Friends for the physical arc in exchange for my honest review.

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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”

November 2018 Owlcrate Unboxing SPOILERS

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Yes, this post is really late because I didn’t get my box till the other day.  Canada Post was on strike (they have since been ordered back to work), so things were moving very slowly.  I figured I’d still do my November Owlcrate Unboxing all the same and give my thoughts on last month’s box.

Continue reading “November 2018 Owlcrate Unboxing SPOILERS”

Review: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 336
Pacing: Average/Normal
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books
Published: November 6th, 2018
Trigger Warnings: Sexual Assault, Rape, Grief, Graphic Animal Death (short but upsetting), Violence, Sex Trafficking, Slut Shaming

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It’s the highest honor they could hope for…and the most cruel. But this year, there’s a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she’s made of fire.  In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest.  Continue reading “Review: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan”

ARC Review: The Girl King by Mimi Yu

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 496
Pacing: Average/Normal
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Published: January 8th, 2019

Trigger Warning: Violence, Emotional and physical abuse.

Two sisters become unwitting rivals in a war to claim the title of Emperor in this richly imagined, Asian-inspired fantasy for fans of Renée Ahdieh and Sabaa Tahir.

Sisters Lu and Min have always known their places as the princesses of the Empire of the First Flame: the eldest, assertive Lu, will be named her father’s heir and become the dynasty’s first female ruler, while timid Min will lead a quiet life in Lu’s shadow. Then their father names their male cousin Set the heir instead, throwing both girls’ lives into chaos.  Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu is forced to flee, leaving Min to face the volatile court alone. Lu crosses paths with Nokhai, the lone, unlikely survivor of the decimated Ashina, nomadic wolf shapeshifters. Nok never learned to shift–and he has no trust for the Empire that killed his family–but working with the princess might be the key to unlocking his true power.

As Lu and Nok form a tenuous alliance, Min’s own hidden power awakens–a forbidden, deadly magic that could secure Set’s reign . . . or allow her to claim the throne herself. But there can only be one Emperor, and the sisters’ greatest enemy could very well turn out to be each other. Told in three distinct points-of-view, this first book in a sweeping fantasy series weaves a story of ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice. – Synopsis from Goodreads

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All Hail the Girl King!

Betrayal! SO. MUCH. BETRAYAL.   These royals are some shady ass people and I lived for it! I need the second book and the first one is not even officially released yet.  #readerproblems

When I read this synopsis. saw the STUNNING coves and then realized it was an ownvoice Asian-inspried fantasy – I knew I needed to feature this book and ask Mimi Yu to come visit us in 2019 on TBR and Beyond.  Thankfully, she generously accepted and I’m so glad.  I think the members are going to adore this one when we read it in February.  The Girl King is about two young princesses.  The first, Lu, is very strong, brave, opinionated and determined to do things her way.  While the second sister, Min, is timid, polite and does everything that is expected of her.  When Lu finds out that she is not going to become the next empress and must marry her arrogant cousin, she sets out to change her fate and everything goes to hell in a handbasket after that.

I also can’t forget to mention my favorite character in this whole story – Nok.  I don’t want to say a ton about him or how he fits into the story.  I’ll let that unfold for you all as you read.  Amazing character and completely surprising plot point involves him.  All of the characters are well developed, including some amazing side-characters.  I feel like I’ll be obsessed with The Oracle, Vera for a long time! Badass is putting it lightly.

I am not sure if this will be a polarizing read in the YA community or not.  The female characters in particular are very fierce but not always likable.  I personally loved very flawed characters and I love how many dimensions these young women have in the book.  Sometimes I adore them and am cheering them on and sometimes I’m banging my head against a wall from a decision that is being made.  I love that though!

The Girl King has complex world building and a really cool magic system.  I love that the author takes her time to build it so I fully understood what was going on and became completely immersed.  One thing I adored about this book is that there is an EPIC battle scene.  They don’t hold back at all and it gave me all the feels and goosebumps.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  Too often the battle scenes feel rushed, not this one! This one is perfect!

I highly recommend checking this book out when it is released on January 8, 2019.  I think this is going to be a huge hit and rightfully so.  Give me more of that diverse fantasy because I’m living for the different stories that we are getting from it!

Thank you Bloomsbury.  ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

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