All Booked

I tried to do this thing where I read a book subscription book sooner rather than a year down the road from reading it and it worked out pretty well. Though I got this book in February from OwlCrate, I did not post that unboxing as I had little interest in doing so at the time. Still, here’s the review!

Crown of Feathers
Nicki Pau Preto
Pages: 486
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Veronyka and her sister, Val, are the only two left of their family of phoenix riders. Riders and their animals have been banished from their country after two ruling sisters battled it out quite a few year prior. Despite this, Veronyka and Val manage to find phoenix eggs wherein only one hatches and becomes bonded to Veronyka who is thrilled at this rare chance to bond with something she is meant to bond with.

After a few events take place, Veronyka leaves her seemingly cold-hearted and cruel sister to find a community of phoenix riders rumored to still exist on a mountainside. She finds them, disguises herself as a boy, and hopes she can win their trust and still become a phoenix rider.

This story is told from several varying perspectives including a phoenix rider named Tristan, and a soldier named Sev, and Veronyka. I enjoyed their different sides and the reason they all were important in the end. The bonds between the phoenixes was a great piece of this story as well as the underlying story of the two ruling sisters who turned against each other and why that leads us to the story we have today. I also liked the ending with Val and why I think her story will become such a huge deal in the next book in this series.

Without giving spoilers, one piece I did not like are when Tristan, Veronyka, and the other riders spend their time training. Cut out some of the training pieces which become a little repetitive and give me more of the last third of the book which was fun to read.

Overall, a great and quick read that I enjoyed the entire way through. I’m glad I finally picked up a book box book so soon. Oh, and the cover for this book is insanely gorgeous!

Look. I’m going to be straightforward here. I have not been in the mood to type anything for this blog in months. I started 2019 strong by writing up a bunch of review posts but have dwindled on my enjoyment of them. Despite this, my reading hasn’t changed and I’ve got quite a few books I still want to review so here we go.

Warrior of the Wild
Tricia Levenseller
Pages: 352
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

This is a simple review. This was a relatively simple book. It was a fun read, but a simple one. Rasmira is hoping to follow in her warrior father’s footsteps and rule over her town one day. That is the path she chose as a child and now her trial is upon her to prove she is deserving of that title and to make her father proud. However, she is sabotaged during her trial and subsequently banished from her village with an expectation to return from an impossible task: killing a God.

This wasn’t overly complicated as I’ve already mentioned. You don’t have to know much about mythology or Gods or even warriors. This story felt like it had just enough character growth to be believable and I do have to admit I didn’t see the ending coming. There is a “romance” though it is not the main focus of the story and allowed me to focus on how in the world Rasmira was going to KILL A GOD.

I enjoyed the pacing of the story and definitely felt disappointment whenever I had to set this book down to sleep or eat (petty human tasks, tsk tsk). Minor complaints were around the surprise at the end which felt like an unnecessary jolt, and the way in which Rasmira interacted with her family which I felt completely disconnected to during the entire story.

Overall – great, easy, simple, fun read. Would recommend if you’re looking for something fun but not overly complicated!

Waking Forest Leo Comps6APPROVED.indd

The Waking Forest
Alyssa Wees
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 2/5

Read More

This book. THIS BOOK.

Into the Drowning Deep
Mira Grant
Pages: 448
Genre: Horror / Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Ya’ll. This book. I cannot. I read it a few months ago but never did a review. I remember telling my best friend while reading it how freaked out I was about this story. It’s creepy as hell.

Seven years before the present story, there was a ship, the Atargatis, that set out to visit the Mariana Trench. The only thing that comes back from that trip is video of what appears to be “mermaids” boarding the ship and killing everyone onboard.

Now, Victoria Stewart, who has dedicated her life to studying sounds in the ocean, is given a chance to make the same trip to prove (or disprove) the existence of the creatures who some believe killed the entirety of the Atargatis – including her sister who was on that ship seven years ago. This trip is fueled with some of the top scientific people in the world. While many are excited for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to study their life’s work, some are hesitant of the potential dangers.

I cannot really say much beyond this as, if I do, it gives away half the story. But, let me tell you my feelings around this story: They were INTENSE. I do not recall ever having to set a book down because my heart was racing so fast before. I’ve read suspenseful books, but this was so intense I wondered if I could finish this. One night I even had a nightmare about this story – that’s how scared I was. HAHA. Now, I’m also slightly a wimp so I wouldn’t bank your views of this book on my weak heart.

Despite the horror of this book, that’s also what I enjoyed about it the most – it didn’t chicken out at any point and you genuinely didn’t know what was going to happen because of that which I appreciate.

I would highly recommend this book and it is certainly a book that is going to stick with me for a long time.

Prepare yourself for a little bad-mouthy, snarky review. Not all bad, but…hey. This book deserved it. Haha.

Claire Legrand
Pages: 501
Genre: YA Fantasty
Rating: 3/5

This is a story told between two different girl’s (women’s?) perspectives. First, we have Rielle, who has more powers than anyone else of her time that center around all the elements. She has spent her life hiding her talents out of fear, but after they are unwillingly shown to those around her, she is put to the test to see if she is one of the prophesized queens. Second, we have Eliana, who is living a thousand years later where magic and powers no longer exist, yet she finds her body magically heals itself after any injury. She spends her life as a bounty hunter for the Empire and it allows her to take care of her brother and mother – who suddenly goes vanishing a long with hundreds of other women. Is Rielle one of the prophesized queens; the Queen of Light or the Queen of Blood? Where is Eliana’s mother and the many missing girls? Will she be able to use her skills to protect her?

As always, honesty is key. I struggled the first part of this book. To the point that I was forcing myself to read one chapter a day because I found I didn’t like either Rielle or Eliana at the beginning. I didn’t understand where the story was going, I didn’t understand why both were important to their own stories let alone to each other’s stories. Lastly, I didn’t like how selfish they both were. The beginning of their stories is a very slow build – I would say it was mostly around character build (which is probably why I struggled so bad). The people in both of their lives are initially dull, flat, and serve little purpose to the girls’ lives.

FINALLY, half way through this book I started actually giving a damn about these two characters and where their lives were suddenly heading. Eliana, in one swift move, is forced between the Empire and her enemies and ends up taking the journey of a lifetime (not in a necessarily all-inclusive resort type of way, that’s for sure). She drags along her brother in search of their mother. A lot of truths come out, a lot of thing are learned about Eliana and those around her. I enjoyed her story in the second half a little more than Rielle’s.

Rielle, on the other hand, is faced into these sort of extreme obstacle courses that everyone comes to see – mostly to see if she will die in the process of trying to get out of each of them. However, her secret is one that resides inside her head and it opens up a CAN. OF. WORMS., folks. That girl is T.R.O.U.B.L.E. I didn’t like her relationship to some of the other characters including the love interest which felt so…uncomfortably rushed at points. But, here we are.

Lastly, let’s briefly discuss that ending. Because. OK, ma’ams and sirs. Mostly I’m referring to the graphic and disturbing pieces around Eliana’s journey. Let’s just say “zombie” is a good reference for how it came across to me. I don’t like zombies. Creeped me out, but in a good way I think?

Overall, if you’re looking for a slow character build that leads to a very strange cliff-ending storyline, this is a great book to pick up. I did get an e-arc of Kingsbane but I wasn’t ready to start it until I could summarize my thoughts on this book, first. Just in the off chance I got things mixed up between the two!

Howdy. This is one of the few books I’ve picked up in the past few months. I’m glad I was able to read this book!

Hope and Other Punch Lines
Julie Buxbaum
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: 3.75/5

I enjoyed this. I enjoy every Buxbaum novel I’ve read and this was another I enjoyed. I didn’t enjoy it AS much as others, but I still found myself binging it all in one day.

This follows Abbi Hope, aka “Baby Hope”, is the main focus of a picture taken on September 11th when she was just a baby. This picture has sparked “hope” for many people and she grows up as somewhat of a symbol for those who have a story to tell about where they were that day. However, she struggles with this image being plastered to her as she is now a teen and finds herself uneasy being noticed as such an iconic symbol for so many people.

Abbi is starting an 8 week job at a kid’s summer camp and hopes to remain under the radar and enjoy her summer despite some recent issues that have arisen in her life. There, she runs into a fellow classmate, Noah, who thinks it’s fate running into “Baby Hope”. Noah believes Abbi can help him answer his own questions around the image of her as a child on that fateful day. He enlists Abbi’s help in digging for answers and they discover a lot about the world around them, each other, and mostly themselves.

I enjoyed both of their stories and how they combined. I should have seen how the book was going to end because I’ve read enough of Buxbaum’s stories by now to know, but I didn’t. Perhaps I enjoy living in the moment of the story so much I refuse to consider how things will end so I can still find a surprise here and there. This is a lovely, quick, witty, and fun story. I would definitely recommend for a quick summer read!

Hi. Long time no book-talk. I haven’t been feeling like writing posts recently. I’ve also skipped quite a few unboxing postings recently, but oh well. Let’s look at Owlcrate’s April Box!

Read More

Hi all!

I began reading many (MANNYY) moons ago. I have some of the most amazing bookish feelings and thoughts about a lot of books I read while growing up. This is one of those books. I couldn’t 100% remember the premise of this book, but I have owned this book for a while now, and I thought it was about time to give it an overdue re-read.

Read More

Hi. Again.

I recently did a physical book haul of what I’ve acquired over the past few months. My e-book hauling has increased greatly in exchange for the lack of physical books I’ve purchased. Let’s look at the list!

Did I go crazy recently? Slightly. Does that bother me? Mmm…nope!

Are any of these books you’ve recently picked up?? I’m currently reading Spectacle and The Bear and the Nightingale off of this list – thoughts??

Been a while since I partook in one of these. Whoops.

This week sounded fun, though! I love me a super generic and potentially let-downish TBR list. I have not been exceptionally great at completing any TBR I set for myself so let’s see how this goes (ha.ha.).

Topic this week: Top 10 Books on My 2019 Spring TB

In no particular order:

Some of these have been consistently on my month-to-month TBR but I never get around to reading them so hopefully I can sooner than later.

Favorites from this list?
Books you have your list? – send a link so I can check yours out!

Hi and hello!

Since packing all our stuff and moving I have not found much time to bring more books into our new home (though, I don’t think my husband minds my lack of book purchasing). I’ve also felt like my TBR has outgrown what I could have ever imagined and felt that hauling less books would be beneficial in a multitude of ways. Also – how many times do book bloggers or book tubers talk about this besides all the damn time? It’s a common problem for many so I know I’m not totally alone (right??).

I have not made too many grand purchases over the past few months, but the books I have acquired I would like to share. These few have been since (gasp!) November. Let’s take a look.

Save the Date
Blood of Elves
Last Scene Alive
A Very Large Expanse of Sea
After the Fire
The Gilded Wolves
Echo North
A Pack of Blood and Lies
The Cerulean
Crown of Feathers 2
The Wicked King
  • Save the Date by Morgan Matson
  • Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Last Scene Alive by Charlaine Harris
  • A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
  • Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend
  • After the Fire by Will Hill
  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
  • Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
  • A Pack of Blood and Lies by Olivia Wildenstein
  • The Cerulean by Amy Ewing
  • Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black

Tell me your thoughts here. Anything you’ve recently read? I’m super intrigued about After the Fire. Anyone??

My Real Name Is Hanna – Review

My Real Name is Hanna
Tara Lynn Masih
Pages: 208
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Would I recommend: Yes.

I was given a free copy of this book from Netgalley – so thank you to Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

My Real Name Is Hanna is about a young girl named Hanna, who is fourteen, and her family in the midst of WWII. Living in Ukraine, their land becomes overwhelmed with the Gestapo and they go from a normal Jewish family to one that must be on the run in order to save their own lives. From hiding in the forest, sending secret messages on trees, to living in a cave – Hanna learns the cruelty of humans, how to survive on little-to-nothing, and to never forget how important hope, family, and love are to the human spirit.

This was a great story. I typically seek out books around WWII, the holocaust, and other related matter as they are all such important stories that we cannot forget. While this is a fictional story, it is based on real events and Tara Lynn Masih does a great job at making you feel a lot of the same things Hanna and her family must go through. However, there will never be a way to fully understand the fear, hunger, despair, and the fight for one’s life that millions of people experienced during this time.

I enjoyed the “coming of age” piece of Hanna in this story especially with such a complex world happening around her at the same time. While I didn’t feel as many things for Hanna’s siblings in this story, I did love the depth that was played out with Abram (her father) and Eva (her mother). I also enjoyed Hanna’s friendship with her non-Jewish neighbor which wraps around by the end of the story, too.

The pieces I didn’t enjoy as much were the parts of the story that were very slow-paced regarding the location-at-the-time the family was living in – whether the small cabin or the cave. While I can understand and appreciate the need to slow down and really hone in on life in these conditions, there were times that it got sluggish for my style of reading. It didn’t always become relevant what was happening, either, but did bring out some great flashback stories or showcased the relationships Hanna experienced in her life.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this story and witnessing Hanna’s growth into adulthood as someone living in such a horrendous and difficult time in history. Despite the few small, personal things I may have not adored about this book, it was an overall wonderful and important read as are many books around this historical time.

Rating: 4/5

  • Have you read this book? Thoughts?
  • Do you enjoy WWII or historical fiction books?