The Belles, a lavish and dark new YA series

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined.

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The world of Orleans is vastly original the idea of the magic system is what drew me to this, it was as wonderful as I’d hoped it would be. The writing is beautiful but at times too flowery, there are too many overly descriptive passages on hair and rooms. The world is very dark and it grows darker as the story progresses, the villain is obsessed with being the most beautiful and simply pure evil. I thought they were well done, all of their scenes are intense, I simultaneously wanted and didn’t want to know what they were about to do.

I thought Camila would be an unlikable protagonist, obsessed with becoming the favorite but it turns out she’s not what I wanted or expected. Camila wants to make people love themselves she wants to improve the world, she’s more kind and empathetic then anyone else in this world. Despite having admirable qualities I oftentimes found her aggravating. The other Belles are ushered out of the story early on, their only in a few scenes not enough for any development, I would like to see more of them in the next book.

I didn’t think there was any real chemistry between Camila and the love interest every scene between them was both boring and frustrating. I think he should have been cut from the book, the plot would only have needed to be slightly tweaked, and I would have enjoyed it a lot more. There are two scenes that I’m not sure are necessary they seem more for shock value then anything else. One of them definitely could have been removed without greatly effecting the plot. I have no idea how many books are going to be in this series I think everything could be sufficiently wrapped up with just one more book. I am definitely interested in seeing where the story goes.

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Books with female friendships shouldn’t be hard to find

Happy Galentines day! What’s Galentines day you ask

anigif_enhanced-buzz-13301-1422878212-6Galentines day is a fictional holiday from Parks and Recreation and it is one of the bestest holidays. It’s all about ladies celebrating ladies. In honor of this wonderful holiday I wanted to share some of my favorite books that feature strong female friendships. Sadly there are not many books that have well done female friendships all too often the friendship is pushed to the side in favor of romance. Female friendship and just friendship in general is so important. Platonic relationships can definitely be just as important as romantic ones, despite what popular media tends to convey. I would love to see more books where the romance takes a step back in favor of friendship, or better yet no romance at all.

The mean girl trope does at least seem to be going away, and there are more and more books coming out with good female friendships. However I still think we can do better, I could only think of two books that had a female friendship at the forefront of the story. When there is female friendship it often falls flat, the best friend is usually a one dimension character, who the main character forgets about when they start dating.

The Wrath and the Dawn, has a great female dynamic between Shazi and Despina but at its core it’s a romance. A good romance sure however, I want to make a list of books about female friendships, not books featuring it as a substory. I have been searching the internet for thirty minutes and I can only find a small list of YA books that fit what I’m looking for.

YA comics seem to be doing a little better I’ve only read a few of them and found three that feature it: Squirrel Girl, Paper Girls, and Ms Marvel. I strongly recommend them all. And if your interested in reading comics but aren’t sure where to start there each a good introduction.

The only two YA books I’ve read that are about female friendship are Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo and Truthwitch by Susan Denard. I was delighted to find that Warbringer is about two wonderful female protagonists whose relationship is at the center of the story. And there’s practically no romance! I know I’ve already mentioned Truthwitch a few times but I can’t seem to stop thinking about it. The dynamic between Safi and Isult in Truthwitch is one of my favorite things ever, it’s at the heart of the story. Their friendship might even be the thing that ends up saving the world.

Lucky for me the next Witchlanders novel, Sightwitch comes out today! It’s partly what inspired this post, I will be spending the day reading it. I also intend to look for some friendship focused books while I’m getting it at the bookstore. So definitely leave me some recommendations in the comments. And let me know your thoughts on female friendships in young adult lit. I’m thinking about also buying Moxie I have great things about it and it would definitely be a good book ti read on Galentines day.

Revisiting my first ever book review

I thought it would be fun to share with you the first review I ever wrote and see how I have grown as a reviewer. The first book I ever reviewed is All the Bright Places, I reviewed it on February 17th 2015. That’s almost exactly three years ago it feels like I’ve been reviewing books a lot longer then three years. I will insert my review below for you guys then tell you how my thoughts on the book have changed.


This book is marketed as The Fault in Our Stars meats Eleanor and Park I haven’t read The Fault in are Stars but I have read Eleanor and Park and I see very little similarity’s between the two. I’m getting really tired of the this book meats this book thing, All the Bright Places is perfect for fans of Eleanor and Park but it definitively stands on its own. Its very original the characters were realistic although I would have liked to see more of the minor characters.

Violet had a lot of fantastic character development throughout the novel. Finch is complex and quirky and I loved him I liked his point of view better then Violets. I’m not normally a fan of alternating point of views but this one was very well done the characters both had very distinctive voice, the romance was cute, the last half of the book felt rushed and the ending was predictable but well done. The writing is wonderful and overall this book is thoughtful honest and lovely.


Well I don’t think it’s too bad for a first review but now I would completely cut the first paragraph and go into more detail. I’ve definitely learned to be more critical and how to better explain why I did or didn’t enjoy a book. I am positive that if I were to reread this that I would not enjoy it as much, and I’m sure I wouldn’t call it original. But part of what I adore about reading is that where you are in life can greatly effect how you feel about a book.

When I read All the Bright Places I had just begun to read contemporary and this was the first hard hitting one I ever read. Now I have a lot of books to compare it to and my reading tastes have changed. I originally gave this four stars if I were to read it now I would probably give it three maybe even two. It’s hard to say exactly how I would feel about and I don’t remember it too well. I know though that the book did not stick with me for long like I originally thought it would. I have since read contemporary stories that deal with important topics with a lot more care.

January favorites

This year I’ve decided to post a list of my favorite things I discovered or did each month. I don’t have many this month January mostly consisted of listening to Disney music, going to work, reading and cuddling with my cats basically it was pretty typical. I also spent a ridiculous amount of time watching YouTube videos.

The Last Jedi

This was my most anticipated movie of 2017 I went to see it on New Years day, watching Star Wars is the perfect way to start a new year. I absolutely love this movie I have my complaints with it but overall it is epic. I don’t know why people have so many issues with this movie I think it’s amazing. I love the message of learning from failure and I didn’t mind that it was often dark, Star Wars has always had dark moments, it was still extremely hopeful. I loved the direction the movie took the Star Wars franchise needed a little something different.

Tangled the Series

I started watching this just because it was Tangled and that’s my favorite Disney movie at first it was a little too silly. But it got better and I was surprised by how invested I become it is now one of my favorite shows. I adore the new characters, the style of animation is so pretty and the story is actually very good. Plus there’s some pretty good songs that are written by the same people who wrote the music in the movie. I am so glad the original team came back it would not have been the same without Mandy Moor and Zachary Levi.

Netgally and Hoopla

I started using Netgally again this month and I’m quickly getting redacted to it. I also discovered Hoopla which is a library service that’s similar to Overdrive but they of course have different things. They have, movies, shows, and music as well as a ton of books and the best part is that there are a ton of comic books. Comics are so expensive and while I would much rather read physical copies I’ll take what I can get. The only downside is that you can only barrow six things a month.

Sky in the Deep

This book is epic it’s about a girl whose clan has been at war with the Riki centuries. One day she’s on the battlefield and sees her brother who she thought was dead fighting with the enemy. What follows leeds her to question everything she believes in. Sounds intriguing right? it has lovely writing, wonderful characters, and epic battles. It doesn’t come out until April 24th I will be posting a review closer to its release. I would definitely recommend picking it up when it hits shelves or requesting it on Netgally.

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

It’s warming up here but a few weeks ago it was unusually cold, the brisk weather made it a perfect time to pick up a book with such an iconic winter setting. I was surprised by how much I liked it, it’s a classic that can be enjoyed by all ages. It’s imaginative and kept me entertained I liked the writing style but it was at times too simple. I was expecting it to be a lot more detailed I would have liked prety much everything to be expanded upon, especially the characters. The set up of the world is good enough for me, even the straightforward plot is compelling, but I can’t overlook the poor characterization.

There was a lot of saying this charecters is good, just, wise etc. but not a lot of explaining what made that character good. None of the characters had much going for them, the Asland seemed a bit dull to me, they were pretty much all jsimply good or evil. Edmound’s stands out because he messes up but I found him rather annoying. Lucy is endearing, she has to my favorite, Susan and Peter really don’t have much personality. I did still like this despite that big problem, and I will eventually give the next book a chance, however I don’t know if I’ll end up reading the whole series.

Reading update #1/ First reads of 2018

I have been at a loose for post ideas lately and I think this is probably not going to be the most interesting of posts but it’s all I can think off right now. I figured since I have been reading a lot recently that I would give you guys a reading update. I’m going to share with you the books I’ve recently read, what I’m currently reading and what I plan to read next. I have already read seven books this month and an half way through another one, I don’t usually read more then five books a month. They have all been short which is mostly why I’ve read so much four of them were comics that only took me a few hours to read.

Books I’ve finished

  • Runaways vol 1 & 2: Very fun and filled with teen angst but I’m not in a hurry to read the next installment.
  • Paper girls vol 1: This is my favorite read of the year so far.
  • This is not the End: This one was quite different, I don’t even know what genre you would label it as, I had some issues with it but overall it was good.
  • Rapunzel’s revenge: The story was sweet but I wasn’t a big fan of the art style.
  • The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One: I think I like this better then her first collection I did feel like it was occasionally reparative though. I really liked the overall theme and messages and found many of the poams to be empowering.
  • A Wrinkle in Time: I can understand why this is a classic but I personally don’t love it. But I’m am very excited for the movie the effects look spectacular. It does look like it will deviate from the book but I don’t think I’ll mind.

Current reads

  • The Shadow Queen: I’ve only read the first two chapters of this it’s good but I don’t think I’ll finish it before my library loan expires. I got distracted by the next book on the list and now I’m not really in the mood for this one.
  • The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe: I’m liking this a lot more then I thought I would I’m not even sure what compelled me to pick it up maybe it was because of how cold it’s been.

TBR

  • The Girl Drank the Moon: I actually already started this but it’s been over a month so it doesn’t really count as being currently read. I would like to finish this soon I just keep getting distracted by other books but I think I’ll puck it up again soon.
  • Prince Caspian: I think I want to read these slowly so I will probably read about one a month. I might not even get to this one in February there’s a lot of good books coming out or that have just come out and I want to catch up on new releases.
  • The Radical Element: I’m so excited that I got approved for this on Netgally! I adored A Tyranny of Petticoats I can’t wait to read more stories about dauntless girls written by equally amazing and inspiring women.

I’m planning on preordering Sightwitch abd Heart of Iron and I will most likely read them as soon as I get them I’m so excited for them. I normally don’t buy books often but seeing as how they come out around by birthday and how there by two of my favorite authors I decided to treat myself. I was going to buy these in store so I wouldn’t have to wait on them to ship but it’s going to be cheaper to order them online.

What’s the best book you read recently? What are you currently reading? And what do you plan on reading next?

This is Not the End

Seventeen-year-old Lake Deveraux is the survivor of a car crash that killed her best friend and boyfriend. Now she faces an impossible choice. Resurrection technology changed the world, but strict laws allow just one resurrection per citizen, to be used on your eighteenth birthday or lost forever.

For each grieving family, Lake is the best chance to bring back their child. For Lake, it’s the only way to reclaim a piece of happiness after her own family fell apart.

And Lake must also grapple with a secret–and illegal–vow she made years ago to resurrect someone else. Someone who’s not even dead yet.

As Lake’s eighteenth birthday nears, secrets and betrayals new and old threaten to eclipse her cherished memories. Lake has one chance to save a life…but can she live with her choice?

Rating: 4/5 stars

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This is a pragmatic thought provoking story that I got way more enjoyment then I was expecting from. I was intrigued by the idea of resurrections but I was still weary going into this book I had never heard anything about it before. So for once I had no preconceived ideas of what I would think.

This was worth the read, the writing grabbed me right from the beginning, and wouldn’t let me go, when I wasn’t reading this I was thinking about it. The resurrections was an interesting concept every character had a different take on it. Some thought it was this miracles thing while others saw it as corrupt. Then there’s the fact that when you bring someone back from death they may not be the same person they used to be.

I really liked the flashbacks you got to see Lake meeting Will and Penny and how deeply they all cared for one another. The relationship between all three of them was adorable and made the rest of the book all the more sad. I really synthesized with Lake she has to make an impossible decision and no one makes it easy for her, everyone is pulling her in a million different directions.

I understand where the adults are coming from after all most parents would do anything for their kid and they should never have to outlive them. But they still ask too much of her even Lake’s own parents put a weight on her shoulders that she shouldn’t have to carry, they really aggravated me.

This book keeps you guessing some of the twists were unnecessary they were there to add drama but didn’t add any substance. All the characters are complex I don’t necessarily love them all but I can understand and appreciate them. The story took some interesting turns I love reading about alternative worlds they tend to raise some interesting questions. Overall it’s a remarkable story that’s worth checking out.

In which I attempt to review comic books

I’m going to read a lot of comics this year I’ve already read three and I want to talk about them on here but I’m not really sure how. Comics are so short that’s it’s really hard to find enough to talk about and to not spoil anything. These are like the shortest reviews I’ve ever posted, I’m hardly sure why I’m bothering, hopefully you’ll enjoy them though and let’s hope I get better at reviewing comics. Practice makes perfect right?

Paper girls

By Brain K. Vaughan (writer), Cliff Chiang (illustrator), Mathew Wilson (illustrator)

My first read of the year was extremely satisfying. I didn’t understand what was going on a lot of the time, but I really enjoyed it, and I’m hopeful that the next installment will give me some answers. I love the art, the colors are beautiful, the art alone is a good reason to pick this series up. Upon finishing I immediately wanted to buy the next volume, it ended on an exiting note. This was a fun book that set up the characters well I’m now invested in their story and eager to know what happens next.

Runaways vol 1 & 2

Brain K. Vaughan(writer), Adrain Alphona (illustrator),

The main reason I read this was so I can watch the TV show I have never before read any comics pertaining to the marvel cinematic universe but I want to this time. The story is very intriguing and it’s a fun comic book it wasn’t amazing but it has potential and I’m glad I picked it up. I liked the second volume better and I definitely want to continue the series. Sadly it will be a while before I do I found the first three volumes on Hoopla but I don’t know when I’ll get to read the rest. Comics are pretty expensive and there’s others I would rather spend my money on like the next volume of Paper Girls. In the meantime I’m excited to watch the TV show and see how it compares to the comics. I might do a book vs tv show post once I watch it.

I didn’t even realize when I was reading them that they are written by the same person and that he also writes Saga.

Merry Christmas! Five things I’m thankful for

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Even though I didn’t post for all the twelve days of blogmas I would still call posting eight times in twelve days a success. Especially considering, I was on vacation, and then working everyday, throughout the twelve days.

Will I do blogmas again? I want to but next year will probably be even more hectic so who knows if I’ll be able to. This whole thing has made my realize that I definitely don’t want to quilt blogging. However I don’t know if I’ll have the time when I start University. So for now I’ll keep blogging because I do love it it sucks sometimes but it’s been a wonderful experience.

Since the years coming to a close, and it’s Christmas eve, it season a good time to talk about a few things I’m thankful for.

  • My family: They aggravate me to no end they also support me and keep my laughing. My family especially, my little brother, are all weirdos and I love them for simply being their silly selves.
  • Books: I’m endlessly grateful for books, and that feeling of escaping into a story, and of finding the perfect book at the perfect moment.
  • Blogging: I’m thankful for all the people from all over the world I’ve met through blogging. I’m thankful to have an outlet to talk about one of my most favorite things.
  • Getting to go to Disney: I went to Disney a week ago it has been nearly ten years since I had last gone and I loved experiencing all the new things. And I got to cross something off my goals list: visit Disney at Christmas time.
  • Getting into my #1 college: Right now I’m mostly just glad that all the stress off applying to college is behind me. And of course excited for what’s to come.

Most anticipated books of 2018

This blogmas thing has been fun but I definitely should have planned it better then maybe I wouldn’t have missed three days. I’m going to try to post twice tomorrow to make up for one of those days we shall see if that works out. Anyway today I’m bringing you yet another list (I feel like that’s all I post) this one is of my six most anticipated books of 2018.

Sightwitch

The Witchlander series is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite fantasy series I cannot wait to dive deeper into the amazing world. This is a companion book I think it will expand upon the world and I can’t wait to learn more about the sightwitch’s. I’m so excited for this story, it’s going to be told through Diary entries and feature illustrations.

Heart of Iron

I loved Geekerella and even though I would read anything else Ashley comes out with I’m really excited that she’s doing something different from her previous books. I also know that she’s a huge nerd so I’m excited to see how her love for Firfly Star Trek etc, will influence the story.

Throne of Glass 7

I was disappointed in EOS and I’m not sure I’m liking where the story is going but I’m so invested in the characters and have to know how it ends. I still love the first three books in this series and really hope I’ll love this one too.

See Witch

Books about sea creatures is something I have been really waiting I know there’s a few books about them, but honestly none of them, except the one I read, sound appealing. This one however sounds great it’s about the origin of Ursala!

The Radical Element

I love a good anthology and A Tyranny of Petticoats is one of the very best ones. I’m so glad were getting another collection of stories of badass ladies.

Aru Shah and the End of Time

Roshani Chokshi is one of my favorite writers I did have issues with her two books but her writing is just beautiful and therefore I will read everything she writes. I’m curious to see what she does with a middle grade book it sounds like a fun story.

What are your most anticipated books of 2018?