Book review: A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

SynopsisShe is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desireMy thoughts (1)Almost every review says this is better then The Star-Touched Queen but I actually disagree I think I like both of them equally, for different reasons. This is technically a campaign novel to The Star-Touched Queen therefore you can read it without having the previous book, however, I strongly suggest reading The Star-Touched Queen first. It will give you background on Gauri and the world that will make the book easier to follow, and make for a better overall reading experience. I really like the two main characters Gauri is fierce and Vikrram is clever they are both devolved well as is the romance, I adored their banter. At first I was indifferent towards Gauri it took me a while to grow attached to her but by the end of the book I had grown to really like her. I immediately liked Vikram he is very charming and I appreciated that he is less broody and territorial  then the typical YA male love interest he’s also nicer.

Vikram and Gauri change a lot throughout the book and have great individual arcs while also working very well together and having a lovely romance.  My only real problem with this is that I felt disconnected to the story, and at first the characters, I like all the elements of the story but while I did greatly enjoy it it wasn’t outstanding. The writing is lyrical and absolutely lovely, Roshani is an excellent storyteller her writing isn’t quite like anything else I’ve read and for me it’s the best part of her books. These books are based on Indian mythology I’ve never read anything else that is so it makes the books very interesting this one had a lot of magic and mythical creatures some are horrific, some are wonderful and some are both. My favorite character was one of the poisonous  poisonous courtesans mentioned in the synopsis I love her and I’m hoping she’ll get her own book. The synopsis makes this book sound more exiting then it is it is a fun book but it’s not one that keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat. It is rather slow yet it’s also hard to put down, the writing grabs you from the very beginning.

Revisiting my 2017 reading goals + the best books of 2017 so far

At the end of last year I posted a short list of reading goals now that the year is half way over, actually over half way over, I meant to write this last month. Anyway I thought it would be fun to see how well I’m keeping up my goals as well as talk about some of my favorite books I’ve read so far this year. Continue reading “Revisiting my 2017 reading goals + the best books of 2017 so far”

Mini review: The Rose and the Dagger

This review is spoiler free but the synopsis does have mild spoilers for the first book, if you would like to read my review of The Wrath and the Dawn, the first book in this series, you can find it here.

synopsis3In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. 

my-thoughts3The Wrath and the Dawn was one of my favorite books of last year I’m glad I finally got a chance to read the sequel, it’s more or less what I was expecting and while it could have been better I  still really enjoyed it. It gave me all the things I had wanted more of in the first one, the magic got expanded upon, there’s more action and adventure, it’s more exciting and you meet two new chatterers one of them is Shazi’s sister Irsa whom I adore. Irsa was a wonderful character I liked that she started out as timed but realized she was stronger then she knew and I liked the cute romance between her and Rahim. I loved the new characters and that the magic was so excellently expanded upon but one of my favorite characters from the first book, Despina is hardly in this I missed her and the friendship I loved so much between her and Shahrzad.

I think all the characters are great but not all of their stories were handled in the best way and I wanted more of some of them, I know this is Shazi and Khalid’s story but it would have given the books more depth to expand upon the other charterers. Tariq especially needed more development I liked his role in the first book, even though he annoyed me, but his storyline in this one wasn’t the best. I felt like he was regressing at some points and then his development was rather sudden, his arc could have been so much better. This book was not as good as the first one it has new and good things but it’s not as romantic, the banter isn’t as good and I really missed Despina,  however, it is still a great end to an excellent duology and I cant wait to read Renee Ahdieh’s other book, and anything she publishes in the future.

Book review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

synopsis3Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

 

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I had high hopes for this book but I had no idea that I would completely adore it and that it would end up being so special it’s definietly favorite Beauty and the Beast retelling, maybe even my favorite retelling. I love retellings and I always have high standards for them this one exceeded my expectations it blew me away. It kept the heart of the original tale while adding a unique spin, it has that perfect balance between classic and new that ever fairytale retelling should strive for. Beauty and the Beast retellings can easily get strange or even problematic but this one was pulled of masterfully and the romance was especially handled well and developed so well. Both Beauty and the Beast felt familiar and similar to other versions of the characters but they were each distinct and good characters with something new to offer.
I very much like this version of Beauty she’s called Yeva in this and she is clever and loves fairytales this is a great help to her, having a vast knowledge of fairytales is a valuable thing when your in one. Yeva is not quite nice as Beauty usually is she feels restricted by society she loves hunting but it’s not proper for a lady to hunt, she’s someone who longs for more. I understood her so well I could relate to feeling unsatisfied with your life even though you don’t have much reason to be, this book made me feel so unexpectedly understood. I’m not sure I’ve ever resonated with a charecter as much as I do Yeva, our personalities are different but I could relate to her loyalty towards her family, I can relate to not knowing what it is your searching for and merely knowing you want somthing more. You don’t get to know the Beast or any of the other characters nearly as well as you do Yeva but each character is in it just enough and I adored her sisters.

The writing is absoultly lovely it seemed like there was magic woven between the words, sometimes you read a book at the perfect time and it ends up being so specel that you struggle to find the words to deescribe how and why its so meaningful to you. I know this review isn’t objective in the slightest, but I actually can’t think of a single flaw everything was so carefully thought through, its magical, the charecters are fantastic and pacing was perfect the story moved fast but not too fast each storyline got just enough attention. Everything about this book is so good especially the ending I did predict the twist but that didn’t make me love it any less and it didn’t seem like it was meant to be that surprising. What a perfect book, with perfectly imperfect characters. This is a amazing fairytale retelling and a fairytale in its own right, it’s timeless, and utterly enchanting, read it.

Listy review

A few days ago I logged on to Instagram to find everyone talking about a new app called Listy, Listy is a social media for booknerds its sorta like a mash up of Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads. A ton of bookstagramers are switching to it I made an account but I’m not yet sure if I’m going to be active on it. When I downloaded it I was hoping it would take the place of Instagram since I don’t need another social media and Instagram has been frustrating me, but while Listey might have some cool features it comes with many annoyances. I was have seen a few bloggers do reviews of Listy and I have a lot of thoughts on it I figured I’d do one too. If you want to go into this with a better understanding of Listy then click here to read more about it or download the app.

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What I like about Listy

  • No algorithm: Instagram has a annoying algorithm that often shows you posts from days ago and causes you to mis3s a lot of posts from your favorite accounts. Listy has a chronological algorithm this is the reason many bookstagramers re switching to it.
  • You can put links in your captions: This is a small thing but it makes it way easier to promote blog posts no more saying the link is in my bio.
  • It’s exclusively bookish: I like that everyone on there is booknerd and this means no more random things popping up while I’m browsing bookish tags. I also feel like I’ll have a lot less people follow then imeadietly unfollow since most off the accounts that do that are not bookish ones.
  • Easier to see comments: You have a serrate notification menu for comments on Instagram I often don’t see comments because they get lost in all my other notifications having a separate screen for them is another small thing that makes things easier.

What I don’t like

  • The overall look: I don’t at all like the look of Listy I much prefer Instagram’s clean and simple design, I’m hoping they’l change the look to something better soon. It is fairly new so hopefully they will change the things I don’t like and improve it.
  • It’s not as good as Goodreads: I think it’s intended to be a more social goodreads but it’s not as good, you can’t add multiple shelves you just have the three standard ones, you can’t mark what dates you read a book and it gives you less information about the book. It doesn’t tell you the publisher or let you easily view all the editions of a book, overall it’s harder to use restrictive and not as good as Goodreads
  • Your posts can only be 451 characters long: How can you write a review that’s only 451 characters? I don’t post long reviews but I have Instagram captions that are longer then 451 characters. I can deal with having to write short posts but I would defiantly prefer to be able to have longer c captions.
  • There’s no messaging system. The comment system is better then Instagram but you loose direct messaging, and the stories which is a feature I’ve grown to love. I also don’t see how anything can truly be a social media without a messaging system.

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I really don’t know if I’m going to use Listy much I have the same amount of pros and cons I think I’m going to wait and see if it improves and then depending on what changes I might swich ovover completely from Instagram.  For now I’ll keep posting on Instagram and LiListy but if Listy doesn’t improve in a few months them I’m going to delete it.

What do you think off Listy? Do you have a Listy account, if not are you planning on making one?

Book review: The Siren

synopsisYears ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny…and Kahlen doesn’t want to.

Falling in love with a human breaks all the Ocean’s rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen’s feelings, she’ll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.

my-thoughtsThis book was not what I was expecting despite what the synopsis implies this so much more then a romance which is a nice surprise, the synopsis is very flawed this is not a supper cliche romance it has a lot gong for it. All of Kiera Cass’s books have lot more depth then people give them credit for they are a bit cheesy but there so good they have great charecters and great romance. The romance in this one is very fast and cute Akenli is a sweetheart him and Kehlen are adorable, but they did fall in love ridiculously fast. I know that’s a huge turn off for a lot of people it is for me too, but it works in this. It was still annoying just not wholly unnecessary and I don’t know that there was a way around it. Even though he isn’t even in it much I loved Akenli however, I didn’t love Kehlen she was bland but I didn’t dislike her she’s just sorta there carrying the story along.

The most unique character is the Ocean she was extremely interesting but I can’t decide if I love or hate her, either way she’s a neat part of the book. Kehlen is the Oceans favorite they have a complex mother daughter like relationship that I felt was just as prominent as the romance. The Ocean and the way the Sirens are done is very cool and now I want to read more books about Sirens and Mermaids. I like all of the sirens especially Padma, I love Padma it’s amazing how much emotion and complexity Kiera managed to convey in her few short scenes. I really like how much being a Siren effects Kehlen the other girls have found ways to be content with their new lives but Kehlen can’t accept the terrible things she’s done and obsesses over the pepeople she’s killed.

The other sirens don’t exactly like what they do for the Ocean but their more forgiving of themselves then Kehlen. They all cope in their own way, but Kehlen’s way was not healthy, the others are just trying to live the best lives they can given the unusual and dificult circumstances. All of the girls conversations, and the complex feelings they have about being Sirens as well as their compelling individual storylines added a lot substance to the book. My main problem with this book is a mayor spoiler but basically there’s a twist that I didn’t like and I think there had to have been a better alternative too. This book overall is captivating every thread of story is interesting, but there’s also something about nearly every storyline that I feel could have been mproved upon. Ultimately The Siren is a very good book and I don’t think it gets enough love there’s so many good things in it you just have to be willing to look past the insta love.

My love hate relationship with book adaptations 

When it’s announced that a book is getting adapted into a movie or show I’m always initially excited even if I haven’t read the book, but if I love the book then after a while I usually start to have conflicting opinions. I try to be cautiously optimistic it could be amazing and I do tend to want to see my favorite books on the big screen but it could also be awful.I used to always be exited about book adaptations but then the Divergent movie happened, I was so excited for the Divergent movie and it turned out terrible and now I’m scared that another beloved book will get a bad  movie. Bad adaptations don’t ruin the book, but they do sort of taint they can change your feelings about the books and it’s just not fun to watch something you love get turned into a bad movie. Getting to see your favorite book adapted could be one of the best things ever or the worst it could mean getting to see everything exactly as you pictured it and getting to revisit the story in a new way. It’s as close as you’ll get to reading the book for the first time.

What I love about good adaptations is how they often expand upon stories and add more to the world I think most of the best adaptations aren’t exactly like the book certain things don’t translate well on screen so sometimes the story needs to be altered for the movie be good. I think most people love it when a book they like gets adapted it can turn out so well but I’m not sure the risk of it being bad is worth it. I also think that they don’t always choose the right books to adapt The Selection would make a great movie yet it’s been optioned for like a year and it looks like it isn’t happening and I’m a little sad that I will most likely not be getting a Selection movie. I think it could be a really good movie. I really hope more fluffy and fun YA books start getting adapted I don’t care about dystopian books anymore and I know I lot of people feel the same way but yet there is at least two dystopian books currently being adapted. I want to see books like Anna and the French Kiss and Geekerella on the big screen.

As you can probably tell I have a love hate relationship with book adaptations they could be an experience or an awful one it’s hard to know even trailers don’t help since they can be misleading. It’s really a case by case basis it depends on what the book is, the cast and crew, how much involvement the author had and tons of other things, my excitement for it mainly depends on how important the book is to me. This is where I have conflicting feelings I want my favorite books to be adapted but only if it’s going to be close to perfect, I just don’t want to watch my favorite thing get turned into something bad. I haven’t been exited for a book adaptation in a while mainly because I haven’t read any of the books currently being adapted I should probably change that. Part of me wants Six of Crows to become a show it could be such a good show hopefully it becomes one and has the right people working on it, people who have at least read the books why do some directors of book adaptations not read the books it makes no since to be. Yes I am talking about the directer of the Percy Jackson movie that movie was awful like it’s one of the worst adaptations ever.

Mini reviews: disappointing fantasy edition

Long May She Reign By Rhiannon Thomas

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Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

Rating: 3/ 5 stars
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I should have loved this it has a lot of good elements like: female friendship, political intrigue and a decent mystery yet as a whole I didn’t like it much, although, it was refreshing in a lot of ways. I’ve talked before about about how I think more fantasy’s should have Worlds in which everyone is equal this book has a world like that and I think this is the only book I’ve read that does I really enjoyed this element. I also liked Freya she is adorable and she has a fluffy grey kitty! I have a fluffy grey kitty that’s not something I thought I would ever have in common with a fictional character. Freya has anxiety and I was initially exited about this since mental illness is almost never represented in fantasy books, but in the last few chapters Freya’s anxiety just disappears, obviously that’s not the way it works in real life, and it really bothered me.
I’m disappointed I expected more I thought it would be exiting but]t it was dull and nearly everything in it is mediocre, and I just wasn’t a big fan of the writing it wasn’t awful but it did need more refinement. This took me a while to read and it felt longer then it was probably since it’s slow and not much happened until the end. Most of the book is spent in one place as the characters attempt to solve the mystery surrounding the massacre and Freya adjusts to being Queen, these things are interesting but there needed to be more going on. I didn’t particularly care for most of the characters and therefore the side stories, as usual I didn’t like the romance it was generic, and badly done, it came out of nowhere and the way it was wrapped up was odd. This was a decent standalone that had a lot of compelling aspects that could have made for a great book if they had been executed well, and if the the story had progressed faster.

The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

 

I received this book from Netgally in exchange for an honest review.

synopsis330811001As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

Rating 2.5/ starsmy-thoughts3I have seen praise for this all over the internet and I wanted to love it, I thought I would love it, but I don’t instead it was only mildly enjoyable. It took me a few chapters to get into this during which I considered not finishing it the first third of the book is dull  but it picked up when they get to the palace. There was a lot of interesting concepts that ultimately weren’t executed well. The writing was good but needed more editing, I don’t even want to talk about the romance I feel like I keep repeating myself in every review as usual I didn’t like I didn’t like the romance, but this time it was harder to overlook then normal. The romance was my least favorite part of the book I might have given it a higher rating if it had been less intense there was no development.

I thought this would have a badass heroine but I didn’t like Kalinda she’s plain and doesn’t have many skills she’s feisty but can’t fight and isn’t even that clever everyone she encountered thought she was special but I couldn’t understand why. She isn’t a terrible character but she didn’t stand out to me in any way nothing in this book did. I was expecting more, there’s a lot happening but I didn’t love any of it, and it’s heavily bogged down by the romance. I also think that some of reasons behind the characters actions are weak and while the story is intriguing it’s also extremely predictable and familiar. I wanted to love this I though it would be captivating and action packed but it wasn’t either of those things and I’m disappointed, I just don’t think it’s a very good book overall.

Standalone Sunday: Why you should read Queens of Geek

Standalone Sunday is a weakly feature created by @bookslayerreads where each Sunday you feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend! 
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Today I want to talk about Queens of Geek an adorable quick read about three Geeky best friends that has two point of views and is full of cuteness it’s perfect for fans of Diverse characters, all things nerdy, Geekerella by Ashley Poston and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowel.

Why you should read it:

  • The Setting: It’s takes place it Comic Con well SupaCon, which is basically just Comic Con, and it made the book so fun. I loved all the con shenanigans the setting also means that it takes place over the course of just three days making for a super quick read.
  • It’s spectacularly nerdy: Obviously a book set at a con is going to be nerdy and this one does not disappoint in that aspect all the characters are huge geeks and there are a lot of references.
  • The characters: I love all the characters but my favorite is without a doubt Taylor that girl is amazing I liked her chapters more then Charlie’s, mostly because more was happening, but also she’s just more interesting. Charlie is still great I just like Taylor better I like reading about people going out of their comfort zone and trying new things.
  • It’s extremely quotable: I highlighted a lot of quotes that I wholeheartedly agree with, in addition to being a happy nerdy book it also has a lot of unexpected meaningful moments There’s so many great messages including ones about love, being kind and accepting of others, and accepting yourself. I don’t know how the anther managed to fit so many great quotes and messages into such a short book.

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Have you read Queens of Geek? Whats’s your favorite geeky book?

Exiting releases for the last half of 2017

Most of the books that I was most looking forward to have already come out but there’s still a few potentially amazing books that have yet to be released. I apologize for the lack of covers I had made graphics, but then I decided not to include a few books and didn’t feel like redoing them. Plus I had put the book covers in the wrong order. Anyway here are some upcoming books that I’m excited for.

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  • The Library of Fates : This says it’s perfect for fans of The Wrath and the Dawn and The Star-Touched Queen I love both of those, I hope this is just as beautifuly written and captivating as they are. 
  • Daughter of the Burning City: This one sounds so interesting! It looks to be very fantastical, and unique.
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer:  This is my most anticipated book on this list and maybe the year I can’t wait to see my favorite authors take on one of the most iconic charecters ever.

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  • Murder, Magic, and What We Wore: I actually have an E-arc of this but haven’t gotten to it yet, I will soon. It promises to be a regency set historical fiction with spies and a dash of magic it sounds delightful.
  • The Language of Thorns: Another Leigh Bardugo book I’m exited for because I just had to include this one I love short stories and folktales and I’m sure this will be fantastic.
  • There’s Someone Inside your House: Anna and the French Kiss is adorable this is so different and intriguing. Horror/ thrillers are not my favorite genre but I like anything if it’s done well and I think this will be.

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  • Among the Red Stars:  I definitely need a story, inspired by real life, about an all female aviation team in my life. So excited for this one!
  • The Midnight Dance: I love retellings and The Twelve Dancing Princess is one of my favorite fairytales, hopefully this will be a good retelling.
  • The Glass Spare: 24th I really like Lauren DeStefano’s writing style and her books tend to be unique the idea of this one sounds amazing.

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What upcoming releases are you most exited about?