Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Synopsis: "This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart."
Review: I've had a copy of Red Queen for over a year now and I CAN'T BELIEVE IT TOOK ME THIS LONG TO PICK IT UP. I am SO excited to pick up the following books, but for now let me explain why I love this book so much.
This book was essentially a perfect mix of a couple other YA books that I really enjoyed. YES, that makes this books feel somewhat "unoriginal", but it was written so well and it a way that still gave this story its own style and uniqueness.
What is Red Queen essentially formed of?
Red Queen = The Selection + Storm Siren + SJMaas writing style + (I'm not sure why? but hunger games/divergent vibes)
Victoria Aveyard did everything right with this novel, despite the fact its similarity to other novels, everything still felt so new. Let me just split this up into categories to make it easier to explain:
- I'm a sucker for a great plot and it almost always depends on predictability for me (as I love guessing what might happen). I completely overestimated myself and was much too confident about my guessing abilities when it came to this novel. Although I did end up predicting a minor detail or two, the main plot twists really had me surprised. The way the whole story weaved together was beautiful and I really could not put down this book.
- Mare is wonderfully complex and I definitely argued her character's choices at points, but I was easily dragged into her mind and her thoughts. This novel also includes so many amazingly written characters that you will love and hate, but I won't say anymore.
- I often pick up books with romance, but this novel had so much complexity that made the romance all the more engaging. I will say however there is a somewhat annoying love triangle(?) that I didn't particularly enjoy, but they are practically unavoidable and with all the other amazing plots going on, it was easily ignorable.
- OMG This entire creation is mindblowing. This dystopian society is so well thought out and just incredible to learn about and I loved it from the first sentence! The whole idea of red versus silver was so unique and something I really loved throughout the story.
All in all I just wish that I had picked up this book sooner and I plan on getting Glass Sword asap!
Cover: ★★★★★ (um yes)
Favorite Quote(s): "You don't see us, and so we are everywhere."
"And we will rise up, Red as the dawn."
"It takes hours to paint and polish me into the girl I'm supposed to be, but it seems like just a few minutes. When the maids stand me up in front of the mirror, silently asking for my approval, I can only nod at the girl staring back at me from the glass. She looks beautiful and terrified by what's to come wrapped in shimmering silk chains. I have to hide her, the scared girl; I have to smile and dance and look like one of them."
"It does no good to dream."
Branded by Eric Smith
*I received an ARC of Branded from Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "Eric Smith returns to the world of Inked in this adventurous new sequel. No longer a sheltered farmboy, Caenum is caught in the crossfire of the rebellion he ignited. As the final battle with the Citadel approaches, he must choose his own destiny one last time…or let the Citadel choose it for him."
Review: When I first received this book I was STOKED. Inked (the first novel) was an absolute amazing novel and I was incredibly excited to see what was going to happen next!
Reading this novel however, I found both good and bad surprises. Starting with the bad news, I found that I preferred the first novel to Branded. Inked was full of world building and although Branded introduces some new characters I didn't feel like enough of the world was developed for the reader. This sucked because the settings sounded cool, but there could be so many interesting details. I also found that this novel would fare much better as a movie. Lots of pieces felt awkward and only included one perspective. If Branded became a movie I feel like it would be incredibly interesting for not only the plot, but also by providing those extra details about the landscape. Due to this it took me awhile to get through this novels, and even longer due to finals and other events.
Despite its setbacks, Branded also brought in a lot of aspects that I did really enjoy. For instance, I really enjoyed the twists that this story had. As an avid book predictor, I found this novel to really surprise me along the way! I'm also still in love with the concept of magical tattoos. Overall the concept was still fun and I did like Flycker as a character and those were what was really keeping me reading. However, the romance was also bittersweet. His romance was Dreya was obvious from Inked and was still as sweet as ever, but this novel really took a turn and (no spoilers), but I definitely did not agree with how the romance took a turn in this novel.
Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
*I received an ARC of Nyxia from the Random House Children through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "Emmett Atwater isn't just leaving Detroit; he's leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.
Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden--a planet that Babel has kept hidden--where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.
But Babel's ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won't forever compromise what it means to be human."
Review: I just want the next one. If that doesn't give it away, I REALLY enjoyed Nyxia! I found it to be a unique mix of Hunger Games and Ender's Game vibes. I'm not the biggest sci-fi reader, but this definitely had me turning page after page, digitally of course.
Almost immediately I noticed the diversity present in this novel and I couldn't have been happier! It's always amazing to find more diversity in YA books and Nyxia definitely has plenty of diversity. I'm also glad that this diversity although apparent, wasn't incredibly in your face with culture, making it feel much more authentic. The natural input of diversity it something I was definitely looking for and Nyxia delivered it!
Sci-fi's are always full of action! Nyxia had a moving plot full of adventure, action, and some major plot twists! It's plot was definitely one of my favorite aspects of this movie and I think, if done right, this could be turned into one heck of a movie! There is a hint of romance for all you romance lovers (is that repetitive?) out there!
Scott Reintgen not only filled this novel with action, but he also created some amazing characters.
Nyxia was an incredible read and I would definitely recommend this to everyone, but even more to all you sci-fi readers out there! I'm also super excited to see what continues on in this series because this cliff hanger IS KILLING ME. Anyways, Nyxia is an amazing diverse read that is full of action and suspense and please go and pick it up!
"She reads until I fall asleep, until I'm no longer afraid."
"The words of the book echo."
"As the rooms shrink, I shrink with them. I wake up right before I'm reduced to nothing."
"I'm right here, and I'm not going anywhere."
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
Synopsis: "Witness the fate of beloved heroes - and enemies.
THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED...
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.
WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell - once assumed to be the last surviving Antari - begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?
WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace - but never common - thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.
WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay. "
Review: THIS BOOK CAN TAKE MY SOUL. Since picking up A Darker Shade of Magic, my life has never been the same and I still can't quite believe this series is over. (If you have not read this series or have only read the first novel, go and check out my reviews forA Darker Shade of Magic andA Gathering of Shadows to catch up and avoid spoilers!)
Quick tip! I would highly recommend anyone who has not read ADSOM or AGOS recently to reread them, as it took me quite a few chapters to remember everyone and everything that was going on.
Lila Bard. She was all I needed to become SO excited to read this novel. As usual, Lila was her usual Lila self and I can't help loving her character even more after this novel. Lila is such an empowering female character full of interesting traits that we, as readers, learn to love. She also has her flaws, but that only makes her that much more amazing.
As always, Schwab has created such a fantastic, adventurous, and gripping plot. So much happened in this novel and my heart was constantly on edge, but I couldn't help it but to keep on going. Her writing is absolutely beautiful and page turning.
Kell, Lila, Alucard, Rhy, and Holland are all characters I will never forget. In this novel you will get to meet and unfortunately, lose, many characters that touch your heart. However, as much as I wish this series could go on and on forever, V.E. Schwab blew my mind with this last novel and left me content (though I would say no to more!).
Not much of a spoiler, but for those who have read this novel, please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks that if Osaron had a science fiction counterpart it would be like that in Illuminae!!
Now what are you waiting for! Go change your life and pick up this book!
Favorite Quote(s): "It was cowardice, he knew, but cowardice came so much easier than hope."
"A queen could leaver her throne. But a mother never leaves her son."
"Sometimes you had to pretend, everyone knew that. Pretend to be happy. Pretend to be brave. Pretend to be strong. If you pretended long enough, it eventually came true. Pretending not to be sad was the hardest, but looking sad made people think you were weak, and a girl on top of that, you had to work twice as hard to convince them it wasn't true."
"One day. A matter of hours. A world of change."
"Dying doesn't help the dead. It doesn't find the lost. A lot of people have fallen. But some of us are still standing."
"It is an arrogant man that thinks himself a god. And an arrogant god, thought Tieren, looking to the window, that thinks himself a man."
"Life is chaos. Time is order."
"People always spoke of love as if it were an arrow. A thing that flew quick, and always found its mark. They spoke of it as if it were a pleasant thing, but Maxim had taken an arrow once, and knew it for what it was: excruciating."
"anoshe -- until another day ... Anoshe brought solace. And hope. And the strength to let go."
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Synopsis: "SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST
Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.
This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter. "
Review: Every CoHo book that I have read so far has made me cry and knocked out all the air from my lungs and my brain doesn't work for a good day or so after. This book was no exception. Let's start at the best place to start, the beginning.
When I started this book I have to say that I almost felt a strong sense of disappointment. This novel seemed to be much to cliche for Colleen Hoover and although I enjoyed it, I soon would be hit with the true depth of this novel. However, I won't touch on any spoilers and when I do you will be readily warned so don't be scared to continue reading!
This book started as what I innocently believed to be a cliche, contemporary, new adult, romance novel. As you can probably tell from the synopsis there seems to be some sort of love triangle, BUT WAIT. It's NOT what you think. This is not your ordinary love triangle and I would still urge you to pick up this book despite that fact.
The main character, Lily, is women I would strive to be like.
* SPOILER ALERT *
Turn back now if you want to remain spoiler free! This book went completely past my expectations. It Ends With Us covered such a unspoken side to abusive relationships that I truly believe everyone should read. It breaks the stigma that leaving an abusive relationship is easy. I truly am inspired and strengthened by the words, thoughts, and actions of Lily throughout the novel.
The ideas of this novel are ideas I will carry with me forever and ideas that have reshaped me and even served some sort of protection if I ever have to face this situation, whether it be myself or someone I know, because unfortunately so many women go through this quietly and this book really gives them some sort of voice. Although it is still a fictional novel Colleen's words in her note at the end has really inspired me and I would be so honored if I could ever meet her one day because both her and her mother have taught me such an important lesson and gave me a new perspective on the entire issue.
I know I'm avoiding how I usually review a book (it's plot, characters, etc.) but this is one book where those parts matter much less than the purpose itself. This is why I really urge anyone and everyone to pick up It Ends With Us, because it will truly make an impact on your life.
PS: if you have finished the book go back and read the dedication! (it broke my heart)
"I love it when the sky makes me feel insignificant."
"We'd just been two people who helped each other when we needed it and got our hearts fuses together along the way."
"Maybe love isn't something that comes full circle. It just ebbs and flows, in and out, just like the people in our lives."
Unpopular Opinions Book Tag
I love reading other people's bookish tags and I'm so excited to do one myself! If you've been here you may know that I like the majority of the books I read so... let's see how this goes!
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
*I received an ARC of Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller through Netgalley, but this in no way affected my honest opinion about the book.*
Synopsis: "Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.
Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home.
When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen's personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.
But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive. "
Review: Mask of Shadows was an interesting read, but as usual there were some pros and cons. Unfortunately I also don't feel this book really deserved to be named for lovers of Sarah J Maas or Leigh Bardugo and the only thing those three had in common was a book under the genre of fantasy. If anything, I found this book almost like a less thrilling version of Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. However, the novel was still one that I'm glad a read, here were my thoughts:
I'm actually really excited for the rest of series! I can't wait to see more of this world and I'm really hoping to see more character development, as that often appears more in following novels. While I keep a look out for the following the book, anyone who has not yet read Mask of the Shadows should do so and be prepared for the rest of the series!
Favorite Quote(s): "You cannot rush things -impatience courts failure."
"Under the moon alone, I broke as ice breaks."
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke - I thought they were witches
Synopsis: "Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.
Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.
What really happened?
Someone is lying."
Review: Silly, silly me. I went into this novel with some silly notion that Wink, Poppy, and Midnight were some cackling witches and that this was a fantasy novel. ... I was very wrong
Wink, Poppy, Midnight is more of a thriller/contemporary which is quite short and can definitely be read through quickly. So, you might be thinking, if Wink, Poppy, and Midnight aren't some magical witches ... who are they? Without any spoilers let me give a quick, vague run down:
Now the plot of this book was something I didn't expect (due to my wrong assumption about this book), but it was predictable once I had a grasp on the situation. Warning: I am not good with anything creepy. This book definitely gave me some chills, but overall I don't think I'll spend sleepless nights freaked out about it. However, the ending did upset my brains for a good hour or two.
This book is written in the three perspectives of Wink, Poppy, and Midnight and their extremely different minds leaves admiring April Genevieve Tucholke so much. Although I understand that these perspectives are from the perspective of teens, I did feel like they were incredibly immature or simply stupid at certain points where they should have done something but didn't. (how much more vague can I get lol). However, even with the immaturity, the story was able to have depth and I appreciated that.
Wink, Poppy, Midnight is the perfect read for someone in search of something quick, mysterious, and slightly romance-y. let's pretend that word exists ... cool
Cover: ★★★★★ so freakin' gorgeous that it's already all over my bookstagram
Favorite Quote(s): "If I was going to lead a life of desperation, then it would be loud, not quiet."
"We were like the three fates, weaving the story together, threads of gold, red, and midnight blue."
Hey! I want to get to know you better! Comment below with your favorite genre!
The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh // A FANTABULOUS BOOK THAT YOU NEED TO READ RIGHT NOW
Synopsis: "One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end."
Review: ALSKFHDSFUGOJIE This book is FREAKIN FANTABULOUS. I did a read along with Kyla from@ourbookworlds on instagram and I am more than happy that she urged me to read this book because words cannot really explain how much I adored this book.
THINGS I LOVED ABOUT THIS BOOK:
If you can't tell... I thought this book was FANTABULOUS. I would reccommend to everyone that can read. You're welcome in advance.
"But I'm not here to fight. I'm here to win."
"Your hope will be our tinder, and my righteouness, our blaze."
"A shared history does not entitle you to a future."
"Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky."
"If you are just one girl, I am just one boy."
"There is no one I would rather see the sunrise with than you."
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Synopsis: "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?"
Review: This book will make you feel something. This is not the first book I've read by V.E. Schwab and this book has made sure it will never be the last. Vicious may seem like some typical YA fantasy novel BUT IT IS NOT. (it's hiding all the secret gooey good stuff inside don't fall for it!).
My favorite part of this novel was it's incredibly full (as in they have so much background and personality) characters. The characters are not good or bad and l love that because unlike so many other YA characters there is uncertainity instead of that blind love for a character. They aren't pure. Here's why I love them and the "good" I would rate them as. (5 being an angel):
This book's format was also intriguing. The time line wasn't set straight. We catch glimpses of the past and the present and this really helped make the book such a mysterious read! (though when I tried to explain this book it was a bit harder). The writing was also FANTABULOUS. V.E. Schwab is one heck of an author and she deserves all the praise and more!
This book may be a YA fiction novel, but it brought with it some amazing life advice (while forcing me to question my morals). I can't word the advice as well as V.E. Schwab can so scroll done for some beautifully written quotes!
Favorite Quote(s): "All Eli had to do was smile. All Victor had to do was lie. Both proved frighteningly effective."
" 'You're the hero...,' she said, find his eyes, '... of your own story, anyway.' "
"He's not a bad man,' she said. 'There are no good men in this game,' said Mitch "
"Plenty of humans were monstruous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human."
"A good friend, Mr. Turner, is very hard to find."
"When no one understands, that's usually a good sign that you're wrong."
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.