Hello! Long time no read… I’ve been so busy with AP Exams and USABO lately it’s driving me insane! Today I was able to carve out some writing time for a ‘Top Ten Tuesday’! I do have my own TTT; however, this prompt is really fun and I will be doing these ones more often!
In this weeks TTT, I will list 10 book covers that I absolutely love to look at. There are so many amazing illustrators and artists out there contributing to the making of book jackets! I have to say I prefer a mix of matte and shiny finishes for a dust jacket; though if I had to pick one or the other, matte is definitely more appealing for me. When it comes to colors, I love the whole spectrum! As of now a majority of the books I have on my shelves are murky and on the darker side, but I’d love to have brighter colors!
The color scheme on this cover is fantastic; and I love the way this book looks on my shelf. In fact, the cover is the amazing mix of matte and glossy I mentioned earlier! All three books in this trilogy look amazing, but I enjoy the colors on the first text the most.
2. Red Queen Collector’s Edition by Victoria Aveyard
Now, the ‘Red Queen’ series is one I’m actually not the fondest of, but nonetheless I had to snatch this collector’s edition! The hardcover and page edges are red, making the whole book a delightful treat for the eyes. The hardcover actually is a mix of matte with glossy drips that I absolutely love. So simple yet it makes the whole thing so incredibly beautiful!
3. Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
This cover is illustrated by the lovely Charlie Bowater, and I love the dull but warm color scheme! It seems like it would be a book on the brighter side, but on a shelve it fits in with the darker books just fine. I usually don’t enjoy covers with “people” on it per-say, but this one is definitely an exception.
4. Circe by Madeline Miller
On the actual dusk-jacket, all of the orange shown in this image is a metallic gold along with hints of matte black. This one looks and feels like a treasure sitting snug in my bookshelf; always catching the light and twinkling. I can never get enough gold on my shelves but this cover has me more than satiated.
5. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
I love this cover so much for the sole reason of how it looks with the book’s sprayed edges. The pages are sprayed red on the edge, with the hardcover being of the same color. It just looks…so freaking good. The dust-jacket is matte except for the title which is glossy, and I love the subtle tinge of red on the cover while the rest of the book is that same color!
6. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
If you couldn’t already tell, red is my favorite color when it comes to book covers. V.E. Schwab’s books always have simple and bold illustrations which makes them so fun to look at. This dusk-jacket has a matte finish and bright spine to really stand out on shelves!
7. Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast
This book’s cover is mostly matte with a metallic touch. I like it so much because of it’s beautiful spine (not shown) and the way it hides the amazing metallic hardcover! This illustration also reminds me of how curious I was when first looking at the book, wondering what the image of a dandelion could possibly mean. An attractive cover for an attractive publication.
8. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
First of all, the way the letters change colors to blend in with the rest of the cover is amazing. The texture of this dusk-jacket is actually super unique; a scratchy matte on one half with a glossy finish on the other. I love the way the texture and color changes from one side to another! One lighter half while the other darker makes the whole image complex despite how simple it may seem.
9. The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah
There is so much to say about this cover. Most importantly, it’s beautiful. In the bookstore, this book cover made me instantly interested in it’s story’s world and conflicts. I really do adore the aesthetic of sea animals “swimming” in the sky, which is a more personal reason to why I adore this illustration so much. The dust-jacket is matte except for a glossy title, and I’m content it’s this way because it lets me just focus solely on the beautiful scene of London thriving deep beneath the ocean’s surface.
10. Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
This is one of the brightest books I have on my shelves, and I am so incredibly thankful for it. This cover has a glossy finish and lovely neon color scheme, bringing my dark shelves to life! Doesn’t it make you so curious? Gosh, I love this cover so much. Despite it being so vibrant, the background is on the darker side of the spectrum. Its a super cool mixed feeling to encounter when looking at the illustration!
It was super fun to do this prompt for this week’s ‘Top Ten Tuesday’! There is a whole entire list of prompts and I’m super excited to visit all of them in the future!
The next blog post will be a book review! So stay tuned!
Welcome 2020! With a new year comes new goals, and new knowledge. I saw this tag on Clo’s blog ‘Cuppa Clo’ that is created by Rae at ‘Book Chronicles’! It’s open to everyone and seemed like such a fun way to start off the year!
The ‘Caraval’ series by Stephanie Garber and ‘Folk of the Air’ series by Holly Black both reached their conclusions in 2019. I have to say I adore both those trilogies and find them to be pretty memorable! The thrill of anticipating the release of a book in a series to see the fates of characters you know and love is so exhilarating. I love it!
Authors That You’ve Recently Found And Would Like To Read More Of In The New Year?
I recently discovered the author Renée Adieh by reading her book ‘The Beautiful’ a while back! The text was pretty awesome and I’m eager to read her ‘Wrath & The Dawn’ series which I still haven’t got my hands on yet.
Most Anticipated Book Turned Movie/TV Show?
Oh gosh, I binged all of ‘His Dark Materials’ the other day on HBO based off the series of the same name by Philip Pullman. I remember reading the book series years ago! I barely remember anything that happened in the books but watching the series feels so nostalgic despite it being newly released! I will definitely keep up with that show.
Name A Character That You Wouldn’t Mind Sharing A Kiss With At Midnight?
Oh gosh. There are obviously characters I really love but I’ve never thought of them in this way before. Most of them have significant others as well! It feels dirty to list those that have lovers…is that so wrong? I would probably give Nikolai Lantsov from the ‘Grishaverse’ by Leigh Bardugo a peck on the cheek, however after reading ‘The King of Scars’ I think he has a little crush on you-know-who…
How Many Books Do You Hope To Read In 2020?
I know this is ambitious, but I hope to read 200 books in 2020! I was able to read around 160 books this year which is pretty insane, so I believe I may be able to hit the 200 mark. I’m not going to kill myself trying to hit that number, but it’s a good motivation to read plenty more this year.
Will You Participate In The Goodreads Reading Challenge Or Any Others?
Yes! As of now I’m participating in the ‘Goodreads Reading Challenge’! I just recently started a Goodreads! I know I’m very very late in doing so. I’ve been filling in as many books as I can think of that I’ve read, and giving them star ratings for quick reviews! Please feel more than welcome to friend me!
Any New Year’s Resolutions?
Start working! I’ve applied to various jobs and already am going to interviews soon. These books aren’t buying themselves!
Make sure I have time to read! My life is only getting busier, and I want to make sure reading isn’t eliminated from my schedule.
Keep a 4.0! I have a 90% and above in all my current classes, and I’d like to keep it that way…
Continue self studying! I self study languages and neuroscience as a hobby. Right now I am studying Korean and Japanese simultaneously (I know I’m crazy). 여보세요! こんにちは！Neuroscience has always been something I was interested in, I plan to take a program at a university over the summer to learn even more! I’m pretty thirsty for knowledge over here…
Cookand bake more! I have to admit, I eat out—a lot. Whether it’s a restaurant, cafe, or bakery, I’m always spending money on food! I’m not a terrible baker and cook, so I’d like to make my own meals! It’s a good life skill I need to work on.
I hope you all have an amazing 2020; I give you best wishes! To anyone that would like to participate in this tag, feel free to do so! Just make sure to follow the rules and link me (I’d love to read your post)!
Hello booksworms! Today I will recommend one book published from every year up until 2019 (it will be a TTT but with 9 books not 10)! Today is New Years Eve in America, so I thought this would be a great way to celebrate the past decade! Here we go!
2010: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?
Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.
Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason’s amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?
I remember when this book released it was a huge deal. Everyone adored Percy Jackson and the expansion on his world was amazing. The series is a breeze to read and super fun!
2011: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyoneinvolved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
This book is stunning. The visuals are beautiful and I crave to enter this world every time I read of it. An amazing story, perfect for a blooming imagination.
2012: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.
This book is so saccharine and adorable I love it so much. If ever in need for a cozy and fuzzy romance, give this one a go!
2013: Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
V.E. Schwab is one of my favorite authors and this book was so incredibly entertaining! It’s cover is beautiful too isn’t it? Dramatic and full of modern fantasy, a highly recommended read.
2014: Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
This book was actually recommended to me by a teacher of mine and I had a fantastic time reading it. Darrow is such a passionate and driven character, the story so entertaining and compelling. Not your typical dystopian.
2015: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill–the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price…
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
It is already known that I love this series very, very much. Romance and fantasy galore, it’s an amazing and unique take on faeries!
2016: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Welcome to the world of the Grisha.
Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.
Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.
A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.
Now, I was going to put ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ by Sarah J. Maas in this spot but that seemed a bit dull so here’s another fantastic read! If you haven’t read the first book in this series: ‘Six of Crows’ I highly recommend it—because who doesn’t love a good heist?
2017: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant–and that her lover is married–she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son’s powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.
Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan’s finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee’s complex and passionate characters–strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis–survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.
This story is powerful and ever so compelling. A break from fantasy and sci-fi but not at all lacking in action and entertainment.
2018: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.
A powerful fantasy with a world so unique and magical. It is so fresh and new from what I’m used to reading. I love it.
2019: King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.
Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.
Will I ever get enough of the ‘Grishaverse’? No. Is that good? Hell yes. This book is a wonderful read and I fell quickly in love with all the new characters introduced! Highly recommended for those that loved ‘Six of Crows’!
I hope you all enjoyed all the books released this decade. I can’t wait for more, there are already so many reads I’m aching for that will be published in 2020!
I was able to pump out around 160 books read this year. My goal for 2020 is 200! What is your reading goal?
Today is Tuesday and this week is all about cozy standalone books. The cold is creeping up on us and it’s time we settle in for warm blankets, fluffy pillows, and a good book. Here are ten wonderful texts I recommend for the occasion! No particular ranking just a normal list:
1. Emergancy Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.
Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.
When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.
I found this book incredibly heart-warming. Slightly reminds me of My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren, both showing that change in confidence and relief of conversing over the internet. I really enjoyed this one, a good read for some wholesome love!
2. Twice In A Blue Moon by Christina Lauren
Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.
During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.
Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.
On the note of Christina Lauren, her book Twice In A Blue Moon is the wonderful story of “the one that got away”; one that really had me sitting on the edge of my seat screaming “JUST MAKE OUT ALREADY. Please, I. NEED. THIS.” If outside is unbearably cold and there’s a lot of time to kill, grab some tea, a couple blankets, and snuggle up for this saccharine read.
3. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.
Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.
At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.
Until one day, he does…
As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
Cozy does not necessarily mean heart-melting modern romance. Some people—like me—need a constant fantasy fix; and this book does the trick wonderfully. I can’t seem to ever get enough of faerie, and this book—fortunately or unfortunately—has me begging for more. I loved this one, as a standalone it was so satiating, I will miss the characters dearly…
4. When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.
Wholesome and compelling, Miel and Sam’s tightly knit friendship is put to the test. What a roller-coaster, I was all over the place—rolling on the ground squeezing my hands together in hope they never loose hope in each other, never give up. I learned a lot by reading this book, and I hope other readers do as well.
5. Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him-at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change.
Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl-she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again.
An incredibly sweet story about how love can be found in the most unexpected of places. Both Henry and Grace were so pleasant and I found it to be a quick and fuzzy read perfect for the season.
6. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.
Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.
As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.
I am always down to read fantasy, I hope plenty others feel the same. This book was unique and action packed, something I could definitely sit on the couch and finish in one sitting. I also greatly appreciate the cover art by the lovely Charlie Bowater. I digress, but her drawing of Rhysand is spot on and it is dangerous to see him look so real. Dangerous.
7. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
Another fantasy standalone by Margaret Rogerson, An Enchantment of Ravens is a story of survival, and coming to power. I found the folk’s unfeeling nature particularly interesting, and I hope other readers do too.
8. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.
Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.
But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.
A witch haunt, something I haven’t seen in much too long. I loves the plot of this story and found it to be such a satisfying and exhilarating standalone. This book is good if the reader doesn’t want to bide awake all night finishing “one more chapter”. I found it easy to put the text down and doze off, but difficult to find boredom as well.
9. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.
But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.
What could go wrong?
With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.
And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars
Starry Eyes is a popular romance, and I definitely see why—it’s addicting. This book is good for a long car trip of flight, something that is hard to take the eyes off of. Zorie and Lennon’s relationship is adorable, and I always take pleasure in the “enemies to lovers” trope.
10. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.
Who are the Nowhere Girls?
They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:
Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.
Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.
Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.
When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.
Yeah, romance is sickening sometimes, all the steam can sometimes be such a bore, and these girls definitely agree. I loved this book so much because all these girls have such a tight bond, while all being such different people (I connect with Erin Spiritually). This book is powerful and uplifting, I found it hard to wipe a grin off my face while reading—some people might’ve honestly thought I was reading steam…
I hope these books are found interesting and perfect for the warm indoors. Please indulge in them with Pj’s on, a hot drink, lots of layers, snacks, and a crackling fire.
I also want to announce again that I have a Bookstagram now! Find me on Instagram @Byunziereads for pictures of my books, snippets of my life, and blog polls/updates!
Another book review for ACOTAR! Now, this book… oh my goodness it is one of the most beloved on my bookshelf. I’ve read this book around 7 times over, engrossed and joyous all the way through every time! This review might be longer than others because it gets me quite excited, however let’s start slow with the synopsis:
Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
Feyre’s journey from human to fae reaches it’s conclusion after A Court of Thorns and Roses. She now returns to spring court comfortable in the faerie realms of Prythian. However, she has a new power within her, reborn from the high lords in every court, she bears their abilities. Feyre comes to have difficulty handling her newfound strength, the weight within her crackles with aching—untamed and unknown.
Believing the worst is over, Feyre Archeron and her lover Tamlin are to be married after their relationship bloomed in the first book. Feyre however, has fear flickering within her as she and Tamlin begin the ceremony, and begins to beg for a way out of it. Miraculously, Rhysand appears to take Feyre away to The Night Court before vows are taken place, as apart of a bargain and bond for saving her life under the mountain. The Night Court’s hidden city, Velaris, becomes an escape for Feyre as Tamlin grows to be unbearably overprotective after Amarantha’s reign and fails to treat her as an equal. Feyre’s bond with Rhysand that was gained under the mountain appears to be less horrible than she presumed; as he teaches her to control her newfound strength as well as reading. However, a new terror creeps into both the fae and human worlds; war with Hybern is imminent, the kingdom that sent Amarantha as an emissary to torment Prythian previously. The King of Hybern wants to invade both human and fae lands for absolute control with the assistance of The Cauldron, a sacred and powerful relic fae acclaim somewhat religiously. The Courts wish to cease this at once, and Feyre trains to constrain her powers, hoping to become a weapon in saving her mortal world.
In A Court of Thorns and Roses I found that I didn’t connect to the characters nearly as much as this book. Sarah J. Maas did a wonderful job creating a world that stays with one long after they’ve closed the covers! I’ve grown much too emotionally attached to the characters, they linger in in me and the minds of many because of the unique personalities and stories Maas has weaved within them. Rhysand (also known as Rhys) is most definitely my favorite character (still one of my favorite characters of all time). Even with his smaller appearance in the first book, he struck me with much curiosity, pleasantly surprising me in this book with a personality so different while seemingly staying true to his demeanor under the mountain. While I admire the characters and how they have developed from A Court of Thorns and Roses, many new characters are also introduced, making Prythian so much larger and material than it seemed before.
The story overall was addicting, something new on every page leading up to the fight everyone has been waiting for in the third and final book in the trilogy, A Court of Wings and Ruin. “Bridge” books I call them, books that build up the beginning to reach the end. They tend to be the least admired in any series, as conflict almost never happens in a satisfying way since the climax usually occurs in the following text. However, here it is entertaining through and through, as well as the romance—oh god the romance—within it, making it my favorite book in the trilogy (and one of my favorite books everlasting).
Feyre and Rhysand’s growing relationship struck me incredibly hard right on my ticker in the first book (for I never seem to agree with shipping the main protagonist with their set love interest, my heart always says otherwise). In A Court of Thorns and Roses, Tamlin and Feyre much resemble the tale The Beauty and the Best, whereas her with Rhysand seem to be the myth of Hades and Persephone (not to mention Feyre’s last name Archeron is a river in the Greek underworld! “The River of Woe”). I very much enjoyed the dynamic between them both under the mountain, and I’m exceedingly happy to see how their hatred evolves into something greater (sometimes my heart can forsee the future?). This might be the sole reason I have this book as my best-loved, I’m obsessed with watching love bloom; whether that be from friendship—or loathing.
While the romance is ever so enticing, it is not the only focus in the book. Feyre comes to meet all of Rhysand’s ‘Inner Circle’, a group of both his friends and close associates in the Night Court and Court of Dreams (aka Velaris).
“The Court of Dreams. The people who knew that there was a price, and one worth paying, for that dream. The bastard-born warriors, the Illyrian half breed, the monster trapped in a beautiful body, the dreamer born into a court of nightmares…And the huntress with an artist’s soul.”
A Court of Mist and Fury
As malicious power creeps upon Prythian, Feyre agrees to aid the Inner Circle in retaining peace and hopefully reconcile the relationship between human and fae. Feyre’s feelings about the seemingly temporary alliance with the the night fae is apprehensive and ambivalent at first. Nonetheless, as time passes she learns to not only accept, but enjoy the group’s company; appreciating them as friends along with a majority of the Night Court and it’s City of Starlight, Velaris. She gains an especially close companionship with Rhysand’s cousin, third-in-command, and overseer of both the Court of Nightmares and Court of Dreams, Morrigan (better known as Mor). The Inner Circle consists of both Mor and Rhysand, as well as three others equally as interesting: Cassian, the general commander of the Night Court’s armies; a warrior who fights as if like a dance; Azriel, Rhysand’s shadowslinger (a fae with the predisposition to have heightened senses and the ability to move through shadow) and spymaster; and last but not least, Amren, an immortal otherworldly beast contained in a high-fae body. Feyre’s relationship with all these characters is amazingly strong, and they develop to have such a deep love for each other that one would have a hard time believing regarding the first book.
Feyre’s long-absent sisters Elain and Nesta also make an important appearance in A Court of Mist and Fury, assisting the Inner Circle in connecting with the human world. This is particularly interesting as both the siblings have a certain loathing and fear for faeries, the species in which Feyre has become. Tamlin held his word; Elain and Nesta now live on a large estate, indulging in a more than comfortable lifestyle. Feyre believes they have no memory of her being seized from them, and seem to think she is safe and sojourning elsewhere in human realms. When Feyre realizes this is not entirely true, a void between her and her sisters grow creating a detrimental and distant relationship between them. Elain and Nesta have a larger role in this book, but it is meager compared to their predominant roles in the third book, A Court of Wings and Ruin.
Feyre’s coming to power is a slow, but rewarding process. She learns to master her abilities in this text, where they appear full fledged in the following one. When I thought she couldn’t become any stronger willed than how A Court of Thorns and Roses concluded, I was proven wrong. I’m always afraid when a writer gives their protagonist such all-powerful capability. When a character is too strong it tends to dull down the story and it’s conflicts. However, Feyre’s heart remains human even as a fae; she has her weaknesses which inevitably slow her down, but that’s what I believe makes her such a compelling character. I feel conflicted about her demeanor and its origin in the previous book, but her strength and reason in this book is clear, and I absolutely love it.
This book is known to be one of Sarah J. Maas’ best pieces, and it most definitely lives up to it’s hype. The perfect dosage of both passionate romance and exhilarating action, A Court of Mist and Fury is an addicting andcaptivating read; sure to bury a special place in any readers memory.
Hiya! Today I’m here to review the first book in the ongoing series fans have deemed as “ACOTAR”; an acronym of the first book that represents the entirety of the collection thus far. I’ve also found that some readers call it the “A Court” series as they all start with that similar phrase, but I will stick with ACOTAR as that seems to be more well known. Before I share my thoughts and opinions here is the description:
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it…or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
This is the first book I’ve read by Sarah J. Maas, I find that this particular story is similar to the well-known fairytale: The Beauty and The Beast, and other books in the series have footing in various classic stories as well.
The story recounts the life of Feyre in her point of view, a young adult human taken from life with her impoverish family by a faerie she and her society deem as an equality to the devil. While she lives in this unfamiliar world she grows to fall deeply in love with the creature that took her, an immortal faerie named Tamlin—and pushes her body and soul to save the faeries she once hated from a seemingly indestructible blight. Throughout the book, the new world she is taken to tests all she knows as well as both her strengths and weaknesses; evolving her into a brave, interminably determined, and passionate being. A Court of Thorns and Roses is a remarkable story of friendship, love, sacrifice, and un-quantifiable passion.
The story is set in the fantastical lands of Prythian, a continent that is composed of seven fae-ruled regions called “courts” with unique environments and miraculous powers based off seasonal or solar segments. They border human lands, where a large wall splits and isolates the fae and mortal worlds. A faerie is a concept that is known well throughout the Fantasy genre, the malicious and mischievous fairy counterpart. Faeries are supernatural beings, generally conceived as having a diminutive human form with pointed ears possessing magical powers. In ACOTAR, faeries are the size of humans, if not larger, and possess magic based on the court they originated from. I’ve come to really enjoy the world Sarah J. Maas has built, where the beings of Prythian fascinate me with the way they converse and live. In the fantasy genre, world building is such an important factor to creating a compelling story. I personally enjoy a world that seems outlandish and extraterrestrial compared to my own, and Sarah J. Maas executes that beautifully with a mosaic of both enchanted, and human components.
The book incorporates a slow burn, type of romance (my favorite kind) that itches the reader to crave and beg for more intimacy. Feyre starts the story bearing a certain loathing, and hate for Tamlin based on various common rumors humans have for faeries. As she bides in his manor, she grows closer to him and his kind. Her relationship with Tamlin cultivates into a lustful and intrepid passion, which is the kindling for her fiery endurance necessary to save Prythian. I do not connect too emotionally with the dynamic between them, I feel that too little has happened in between Feyre’s original and final affection for it to seem believable. It makes me question if Feyre’s feelings are real, or if Tamlin truly is her lifelong lover. No matter what the answers to my questions may be, the sexual tension in the text is intoxicating. The book is categorized as “Teen fiction”, I know many disagree with this because sex is written in detail just as much as everything else is. Sarah J. Maas’ writing does not diminish when it comes to particularly intimate and romantic scenes, and personally I do not mind it. Passion and love are important factors driving the plot, it further helps me as the reader understand Ferye’s emotions and motives that decide how she carries herself throughout the book. The sex is not decisive enough for one to feel that they must read it to understand the story, however. I could easily skip over these occasional moments and still have plenty of compelling text to read, while completely understanding the story and emotionally connecting to the characters.
A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first in a series of books I read back to back, my mind committed to the pages. It is not my favorite piece from the series, but there was never a dull moment where I felt un-entertained—the pages overflowing with emotions that make me feel joyous and sorrowful, guilty and proud, and however suspenseful without ever faulting on satisfaction. I recommend this to all fantasy and romance readers that would like a compelling and captivating read!