I have no idea where the time went in June. Is it just me or did it seem like the shortest month this year?! I didn’t realize how little books I read until I was writing this post 😳 Also, I ended only reading ARCs because I was so far behind on them once again because I bit off more than I could chew with the requests (although to be fair I won a bunch of those ARCs from a YALLWest giveaway!). So I didn’t get to read any new releases that I wanted to, but I’m hoping I’ll have better luck nest month!
WHERE DREAMS DESCEND: All the story is pretty slow-moving, I was really enthralled by dark atmosphere and magic. The Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge influences are easy to spot and give the book an interesting twist. I really enjoyed learning about all three characters; Jack, Demarco, and Kallia. My only gripe would be there was a lot of mystery in this book but not enough reveals by the time it ends. I’m still left with far too many questions. I think fans of the Caraval series will love this! ARC provided by Wednesday Books through NetGalley. ★★★★
SET FIRE TO THE GODS: This book can easily be described as Spartucus meets Avatar: The Last Airbender, in which gladiators fight to the death using elemental magic to settle skirmishes between the gods. And yes, it’s just as awesome as it sounds. The worldbuilding is really the strong point. The story starts out strong and fast-paced but kind of looses steam as it goes on. I really wish there were more gladiator fight scenes! ARC provided by HarperTeen through a giveaway. ★★★★ [review]
HEAD OVER HEELS: This is categorized as a rom-com, but it’s very light on the comedy so I would really only consider it a contemporary romance. The romance was lacking in this one and I couldn’t care less about either of the main characters, Avery and Ryan, nor their relationship woes (if you could even call them that). The book has a nice premise but definitely needed some more development in that area. It touches on abuse in the gymnastic worlds which I thought was really well-written and an important topic. ★★½ ARC provided by Atria Books through NetGalley. [review]
STAR DAUGHTER: I really loved how rich in Hindu mythology this book was. The story was unique and whimsical, following a main character who is half mortal, half star. The world-building was absolutely magical, from the Night Market, to the Hall of Mirrors, to the Svargalok palace. I was expecting to be swept away by this fantasy, as it had many of the elements I love, but it was lacking a lot of tension and I was unconvinced by the “stakes” of the competition. I also felt like the contemporary aspects of the book kind of threw off the overall vibe of the magical story and was a strange narrative choice. ARC provided by HarperTeen through a giveaway. ★★★
EMPIRE OF GOLD: This remains one of my favorite series, but I was more disappointed by the finale than anything. I gave the book an extra star for Dara’s character arc which was truly the most magnificent thing I’ve ever read in literature. However, the forced, unnecessary romance and jarring tone shift between chapter POVs had me feeling let down by my one of my most anticipated releases. More details to come later this week when I finish writing my full review! ARC provided by Harper Voyager through Edelweiss. ★★★★
2020 Mid-Year Book Freakout | Let’s Talk Bookish: Reading Book Reviews| 5 Reasons Goodreads is the Worst | Top Ten Tuesday: (Ten More) Frequently Used Words in YA Fantasy Titles, Part II | Blog Tour + Giveaway: A Court of Miracles | Blog Tour + Giveaway: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin | WWW Wednesday #31