Title: My Lady Jane
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows
Absolutely brilliant. I haven’t had that much fun reading a book in a very long time. My Lady Jane was clever, funny, well-written, and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish.
The book is told in three different POVs, written by three different authors, and surprisingly enough, it works. Each character’s voice was distinct and interesting, without the writing becoming disjointed and abrupt. Everything flowed together in such a smooth way that you never would have guessed that it was written by different people. It’s full of humor, romance, adventure, and puns upon puns. I was not bored once. Jane, Gifford, and Edward were each likable in their own unique ways, and I found myself invested in all of their stories, something that is usually hard for me when there are multiple POVs. The historical context was mixed perfectly with slight (and some not so slight) alterations of fact, and the fourth-wall breaking interludes made by the narrators were added bonuses, as were the little nods to pop culture (from Shakespeare to The Princess Bride to Game of Thrones).
A very enjoyable read that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a lighthearted, smexy, fun story (with a little bit of history)!
It’s my first Top Ten Tuesday today, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and I’m super excited! This week’s topic asks what our most anticipated releases are for the rest of the year. For me, it seemed the first half of the year there weren’t as many new releases I was looking forward to, but it’s a completely different story from this point on. It was hard to choose only ten!
AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White (June 28) | BROKEN PRINCE by Erin Watt (July 25) | THE FLAME NEVER DIES by Rachel Vincent (August 16) | A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT by Sabaa Tahir (August 30) | THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake (September 20) | CROOKED KINGDOMS by Leigh Bardugo (September 27) | BRIGHT SMOKE, COLD FIRE by Rosamund Hodge (September 27) | A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU by Claudia Gray (November 1) | BLOOD FOR BLOOD by Ryan Graudin (November 1) | CRYSTAL STORM by Morgan Rhodes (December 13)
Comment and tell me what you’re most looking forward to reading!
Title: Empire of Dust (Blood of Gods and Royals #2)
Author: Eleanor Herman
ARC received through NetGalley.
Even though Legacy of Kings was a bit lacking and slow, I really enjoyed it and knew I’d be continuing with the series. I like the mix of historical fiction with fantasy and the plot is super interesting. Luckily for me, Empire of Dust definitely improved from the first book. There was more action, the world building is expanded, and the plot and characters continue to develop wonderfully.
There were more things I liked about this book than disliked, but my biggest issue was that there were way too many POVs. As with most books I read that have multiple POVs, I found myself only looking forward to a few of them, and then skimming the chapters written about the characters I couldn’t care less about – mainly Jacob and Olympias. It made the book seem like it was dragging on in a few spots since I had to wait a while until I could return to the characters I really liked. My favorite character so far has to be Hephaestion. I absolutely love whatever is growing between Heph and Katerina. I’m a sucker for a slow burn so the fact that there has been two whole books of built up tension and developing feelings has me totally hooked on their storyline. I’m also excited to learn more about the Gods and seeing what ends up happening with Cynane.
Is Blood of Gods and Royals the best YA fantasy series I’ve read? No. But am I thoroughly entertained and invested in what happens next? Absolutely. I’m looking forward to the next in the series!
P.S. Does anyone know how many books are going to be in this series? Is it a trilogy or longer? I hope it’s more than three books, I think there’s still too much left to be resolved in one last book without it feeling rushed.
Title: The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game #1)
Author: Evelyn Skye
“For the winner of the game, there would be unimaginable power. For the defeated, desolate oblivion. The Crown’s Game was not one to lose.”
There’s no other way to say it: this book was a disappointment. Magic? Fantasy Russia? Battle to the death? Romance? It seemed like it had everything going for it. Even when I read an excerpt back in the spring, I thought it was going to be such a big hit! I had expected so much more than what I read, however. My biggest issue was the plot. It was so boring. I was hoping for big, epic battles full of magic and pages after pages of action and tension. There was none of that. It wasn’t until about the last ten percent of the book that it started to pick and become more exciting.
I was not a fan of the writing either. It was a bit juvenile at some parts and there was also too much telling and not enough showing. Another thing that bothered me was how similar it was to The Night Circus. The plot and characters were almost identical, just with a different setting. It was almost like reading a Young Adult version of the original, which meant I could guess exactly what was going to happen later on in the book. Overall, it was a light and quick read, but not at all what I was expecting when I had read the synopsis.
Title: The Problem With Forever
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
It’s no big secret that I love Jennifer Armentrout and (with only a couple exceptions) everything she writes. At this point in my life, I think I’ve grown past reading high school contemporary romances. It’s hard to find one that I really enjoy but I knew I’d make an exception for JLA. And boy, I was not let down. This book was excellent. It was raw, emotional, heart-wrenching, and real– a hauntingly beautiful story.
“I promised I’d keep you safe forever. Just don’t make a sound.”
Her writing was flawless and addicting as usual. I was gripped from the prologue. I knew from the beginning my heart was going to get painfully squeezed but it was going to be totally worth it. Not to mention, childhood best friends to something more is my bread and butter. Sign me up every time. Mallory was a wonderful main character. I enjoyed watching her character develop throughout the story. Her growth was very well written and felt real. Her quiet strength and courage by the end of the book was something to admire. Rider was fantastic as well. He was sweet, protective, flawed, and totally adorable. Every time he blushed or his cheeks turned pink I turned into a puddle of mush. Seriously. I don’t know how she does it, but JLA writes the most swoon-worthy guys. She holds the most spots on my top ten Book Boyfriends which is pretty impressive.
Mallory and Rider’s background was not easy to read: it was heartbreaking. The effects of their childhood has stayed with them and affected the way they now live their lives, but in very different ways. I loved reading about their struggles to overcome the trauma and to heal, both themselves and each other. The ending was perfect and sweet and beautiful.
“I want to be the guy worthy of your love, and I swear, if you’ll have me, I’ll do everything in my power to be that man. I’ll never stop trying. Ever.”
I literally did not want this book to end. I kept finding out things to do rather than finish it because I didn’t want it to be over. The Problem With Forever is an emotionally gripping read that I highly recommend!