Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2019 + Mini Hiatus

Hello everyone! I usually post my wrap-ups on the last day of the month, so I’m a bit late with this, but I figured better late than never. Again, I didn’t read that many due to school, but I’m really proud of the amount of reviews I wrote this month! I go through reading phases where it’s hard for me to put my thoughts into words, but this past month they just seemed to flow out of me!

The semester is wrapping up for me, with only two and a half more weeks to go, and I’m really feeling the strain of all the studying and exams I have coming up. I still plan to read a little but I will most likely be taking a mini hiatus for the new few weeks from blogging. I’m hoping to be a good little blogger and have some posts scheduled but in case you don’t hear back from me in weeks, it’s probably because I’ve got my nose stuck in a textbook. 


38496253HONOR BOUND: Honor Among Thieves was one of my favorite reads last year and I was really looking forward to this release. I’m so disappointed that I didn’t love it as much as I was anticipating. I was also under the impression that this was a duology so the plot was extremely slow and dragged in some places. Unfortunately, but the end I was just bored and it made me rethink about finishing the series.  ★★★

39863494ENCHANTÉE: I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did, especially since I had just finished An Affair of Poisons, and the two books have very similar settings. Luckily, this was a completely different story and full of magical elements and wonderful characters that I loved. This book totally charmed me and I’m so glad I gave it a chance!  [review]  ★★★★


36535913THE DEVOURING GRAY:
This was totally atmospheric: the vivid descriptions really brought forth the creepy elements and made it easy to become immersed in the story. It really has the whole Riverdale meets Stranger Things vibe going and the author totally kills it. I wasn’t that invested in the characters to begin with, but I changed opinion by the end and came to really like them all. Usually if I don’t connect with the characters, I tend not to like the book, but the plot and writing were so good it was easy to overlook.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  [review]  ★★★★½

40510629THE QUEEN’S RESISTANCE:  Everything I loved about the first book was also present in this stunning sequel: the visual writing, the lovely characters, and the compelling storytelling create such a unique YA fantasy. I loved the inclusion of Cartier’s chapters. Not only was the addition of his POV expertly executed, but it really added to the narrative and helped move the plot along. This a seriously underrated series that I cannot recommend enough!  [review]  ★★★★

38376046THE HUNTRESS: It’s hard to explain just how ecstatic I was to learn that Kate Quinn wrote another WWII-inspired historical fiction. If you haven’t learned by now, she is the ultimate queen of historical fiction novels and I devour everything she writes. As always, Quinn did such a tremendous job weaving historical facts with fiction to create a totally unique and captivating story. Once the story really gets going, this is a hard book to put down. The theme of Nazi criminals and the aftermath of World War II and the Nuremberg Trials was absolutely fascinating to me. Another amazing story by one of favorite authors.  [review]  ★★★★

42201431THE UNHONEYMOONERS: As I’ve said in previous reviews, no one writes contemporary romances quite like the amazing duo of Christina Lauren. I read the synopsis once and immediately requested the book and I’m so extremely thankful I was approved. This was honestly like reading my own romantic fantasies come to life: hate-to-love romance, fake dating trope, and a dream vacation to Hawaii. My one and only complaint was there was not nearly enough angst for a book focuses on two characters who hate each other, pretending to be in love.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★½

37545571 (1)KING OF FOOLS: It took me a bit longer than I had anticipated to get back into the world of this book, and to remember everything that had happened previously. But once I did, I I found myself once again really enjoying the characters and the story! Amanda Foody has repeatedly called this book her Girl Gang book and I can totally see why. I’m really looking forward to the conclusion of this series!  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★★★

39280480 (1)FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN: Okay, I’ll admit that I put off reading this book because I had misconceptions about what it was actually about. This was a totally different story than what I was under the impression of it being, and I’m thankful I took the time to reevaluate the synopsis because otherwise I would have never read it. As with all of her books, Emma Mills excels at writing contemporary books that are fun, light, and easy to pass the time with.  ★★★

40556417 (1)TO BEST THE BOYS: I’m extremely glad this was in the March FairyLoot box, otherwise I would have totally missed out on this! Once again, I had a different perception about what this story entailed. This book is an super fun, female-empowering story that reminded me of Stalking Jack the Ripper meets The Maze Runner. If you enjoy science-minded females kicking butt, I highly recommend this!  ★★★★

OTHER

Game of Thrones: Favorite Moments | Blog Tour: In Another Life | Game of Thrones: Favorite Characters | The ABC Book Challenge – E | #ARCstravaganza: Dark Shores | Blog Tour: Beware the Night | The ABC Book Challenge – D | Blog Tour: An Affair of Poisons

Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2019

Is it just me or did February fly by? It’s probably just me because I’ve been so busy. In case you are wondering how nursing school is going, this month alone I had twelve exams 😅 Yes, TWELVE. Because of classes and work, you can see that I read way less this month than I usually do. I’ve also been feeling really unmotivated to read anything the last couple of weeks which I think is due to my lack of energy. Fingers crossed that I have a better reading month in March!


38714357A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY: When I first saw that this was a modern-day Beauty and the Beast retelling, I was super excited but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was a little unsure about it at first, but as I read on I ended up really enjoying it! The retelling was really unique and different and I look forward to the companion novel.  ★★★★


Waking Forest Leo Comps6APPROVED.inddTHE WAKING FOREST:
This had such an interesting premise, and the book itself was so atmospheric and eerie. The writing is something that readers are either going to love or hate. For myself, I found the beautiful prose and lush descriptions the perfect compliment to the two enchanting stories already being told. The way the author weaves two different stories together seamlessly made for a very unique story. ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★½

3630062599 PERCENT MINE: I was so excited for this book, but ultimately I was left disappointed. I like the idea of the story but not the way in which it was executed. I think my biggest problem was Darcy, our protagonist. I really did not like her at all, and I had issues with the way she acted a few times. I also had trouble feeling the tension between Darcy and Tom. I was expecting a smart, steamy book full of angst and ended with a lukewarm story.  ★★★

GJFuiczsAN AFFAIR OF POISONS: I absolutely adored this book so much more than I thought I would. The first word that comes to mind when in describing this is fun. The writing is completely compelling and the fast-paced, interesting plot easily keeps the reader entertained. The plot is full of magic, murder scandals, and mayhem; all set in a historical French setting and based on real historical events (see: L’affaire des poisons). The story Addie Thorley has created is so imaginative and well-crafted. A lot of time, effort, and research went into creating this book and it easily shows.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★★★

30339493ISLE OF BLOOD AND STONE: This is definitely one of the most underhyped YA fantasies, and now I can say with the utmost certainty that it deserves way more recognition than it gets. It contained the perfect blend of adventure, mystery, hints of romance, and steady pacing to captivate me as a reader. The backstory and character histories were written in a way that it felt completely natural: I knew exactly what was going on without having piles of information dumped on me.  [review]  ★★★★

36230905LAST OF HER NAME: Okay, I was honestly not expecting to love this as much as I did (that seems to be the running theme). This was such a really fun and cool sci-fi story based on the story of Anastasia and the last Romanovs. There were a few plot twists that were totally unexpected and completely surprising which made the book even more entertaining!  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★★


35707080BLOODLEAF:
Have you ever read a book and felt like you’ve read it before? That’s exactly how reading this book went for me. Unfortunately, it was nothing new. It followed many of the same tropes and cliches as half of the other YA fantasies out there. This is supposed to be a loose retelling of Goose Girl, but there aren’t many of those elements present, and I think it could have been written in a way that was much more compelling and interesting.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★

LDPtoZvVBEWARE THE NIGHT:  I just felt so unmotivated to read this and completely uninvested in the plot, story, or characters.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  DNF @ 42%

 

 

OTHER

WWW Wednesday #18 | The ABC Book Challenge – C | Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Underrated Books | Favorite Romance Tropes | Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Couples in Books | #ARCstravaganza: We Hunt the Flame | The ABC Book Challenge – B | Blog Tour + Giveaway: Dark of the West

Monthly Wrap-Up: January 2019

It’s a new year, and the same (mostly) me! I have to admit, I really did not expect to have read as many books as I did this month. I starting nursing school this month, and I knew going into this semester that it was going to be hard and that I was going to be b u s y. And while it is tough and I do have a lot of work, I’m really proud of the way I’ve been managing my time, leaving myself a few hours a week to read. I might not be able to blog as often, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to continue the trend the rest of the semester!


35425827ARCHENEMIES: Honestly, not much happened as far as the plot in this book. I really wish this series had remained a duology, because this just felt like a filler between the first and third books. I did enjoy the twists and turns towards the end, especially that cliffhanger! However, the story didn’t really feel like it was moving towards anything. ★★★★


36575823TOUCH OF GOLD:
 This book fell really flat for me. There was hardly any worldbuilding and I couldn’t bring myself to care about any of the characters. Not to mention, there was not just one, but two instances of insta-love. The book was pretty romance-heavy, and since I didn’t particular enjoy either of the love interests, it couldn’t make up for the lacking plot. I almost DNF’d this a few times but forced myself to finish it. I kept thinking about how badly I just wanted this to be over the entire time I was reading.  ★★

40046030ECHO NORTH: The was such a breathtaking, brilliant retelling of one of my favorite fairytales, East of the Sun, West of the Moon. The book completely blew my expectations out of the water. Joanna Ruth Meyer did such an excellent job in taking the original elements of the fairytales in which the book was inspired by, and adding little twists to create a whimsical story that was both true to its roots, and yet totally unique. The vivid descriptions and writing had me completely enamored by the book. The ending was a little bittersweet, but it was entirely satisfying and wrapped the book up perfectly.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  [review]  ★★★★★

32949202DARK OF THE WEST: This book has an extremely fascinating premise. The best way to describe it would be YA fantasy meets World War II. The story is full of political intrigue, nonstop action, romance, family drama, and interesting characters. The prologue does an excellent job of pulling the reader into the book and promising a story in which not everything is what it seems. However, while I really enjoy books that have plots that are complex and multidimensional, I was confused about what was going on for a good portion of the book. There are so many different conflicts and it took me a very long time to figure out who was fighting who and why.  ARC provided by the publisher.  [review]  ★★★

38237340THE WICKED KING: I waited an entire year for this book and I was not disappointed in the least. There was so much political machinations going on and I loved every second of this book. And the development between Jude and Cardan had me screaming. By the way, that ending that slayed us all? I have a feeling things are not what they seem. There will be no ARCs of The Queen of Nothing, so we will all have to suffer together.  ★★★★★

26839798UNDYING: This was a really good sequel and conclusion to the story. The thing that I missed the most while reading this was that the setting was no longer on an alien planet in space. I really missed the Indiana Jones vibes from the first book. However, there was a lot of adventuring and action in this book, we were introduced to a some fun new characters, and I loved all the interactions between Mia and Jules.  ★★★½

35715518CROWN OF FEATHERS: This is probably my biggest disappointment of the year thus far. I had been looking forward to this book for so long. The premise of the book and the phoenix riding aspects is really cool and interesting, but for some reason I just wasn’t that into it. The beginning was slower to pick up, but once it gets to the middle the action really starts to get going. Girl Pretending to be Boy is one of my favorite tropes, and that was one part of the book that I actually did really enjoy and though was well-done.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★

34842208STAIN: This book blew me away. It was a hauntingly beautiful fairytale unlike any other. The dark, gothic elements and vivid descriptions made this such an atmospheric read. There were so many clever intricacies to the plot and the small details were woven together so carefully and in a way that made this a really well-constructed book. I also loved the theme of a rose gaining thorns in regards to Lyra’s character growth throughout the story.  [review]  ★★★★½

43446574WARRIOR OF THE WILD: This book was so much fun to read. It was action-packed, fast-paced adventure with a loveable, fierce warrior girl as the star of the novel. The action starts from the first page, and doesn’t let up until the last. Rasmira was such a wonderful heroine and I enjoyed reading through her point of view so very much. In addition to our protagonist, we also are introduced to two side characters, Iric and Soren, and I loved the interactions between those two boys and Rasmira. The book has an important and inspiring message of overcoming adversity and growing into the person you want to be, regardless of what others believe of you.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★★★

39855052THE KINGDOM OF COPPER: One of the fears of reading a sequel to a book that quickly became such a favorite, is that the second one won’t live up to the enjoyment of the first. I am here to tell you that there is nothing to worry about: this was an impressive second installment full of all the same wonderful things that made The City of Brass one of my favorite books. The story has everything I love in a book: political intrigue, complex characters, and mesmerizing writing. The characters I loved so much in the first book are back, and I continue to adore all three of them, despite any mistakes they might be making (looking at you, Dara). A truly unforgettable story, and impossible to put down.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★★½

34466910ROOMIES: I always fear there is going to come a time when a Christina Lauren book won’t live up to my expectations. Thankfully, that time is not now. This had the whole package when it comes to what I look for in a contemporary romance: relatable heroine, witty writing, great dialogue between characters, steamy scenes, and a love interest I wish I could pull forth from the pages. Fake dating/marriage is a trope that I absolutely love to read and it was executed perfectly! ★★★★★

OTHER

#ARCstravaganza: The Storm Crow | The ABC Book Challenge – A | #ARCstravaganza: House of Salt and Sorrows | Blog Tour: Lady Smoke | Top 5 Wednesday: Hyped 2019 Release I Won’t Be Reading | #ARCstravaganza: The Waking Forest

 

Monthly Wrap-Up: November 2018

The end of the year is approaching fast, and if you’re like me, there are still a whole lot of books left on the TBR from this year that haven’t been read yet! November was a bit of slower month for me, reading-wise, due mostly to the fact that I was on vacation for two weeks. I had anticipated catching up on my TBR while I was gone, but I’m not one to sit around do nothing, so vacations usually aren’t as relaxing as they sound, as I’m always finding things to do! I also went to YALLFest a couple of weeks ago, and I had so much fun!! I met so many great people, made some new friends, and got a ton of books and ARCs, including a couple highly-anticipated upcoming releases that I was desperate for!


36739553FURY: I loved this conclusion to the Menagerie series! For the most part, I thought it wrapped things up well. There were a few things, however, that I wish would have been different for the final book. A lot of questions were left unanswered and I think certain plot points needed to be fleshed out a bit more. Although I didn’t mind the bittersweet ending, it was almost a little too bitter, and since I’m a hopeless romantic, I truly wish there has been more of the romance and felt a little cheated. I’m also still unsure how I feel about the epilogue, and it has bothered me ever since. ★★★★½

25883848THE HATING GAME: If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m complete trash for a love-to-hate relationship and witty banter. This was everything I never knew I needed in my life, and I wish I could go back in time and slap myself every time I saw this book on my TBR but skipped over it to read something else. The highlight of the book were the characters themselves; I thoroughly enjoyed reading about both Josh and Lucy and really enjoyed the evolution of their relationship. I now understand all the high praises I’ve seen about this book, because it deserves all it.  [review]  ★★★★★

39863498THE GILDED WOLVES: I figured I would enjoy this because it’s Roshani Chokshi but I didn’t realize just how amazing it would be! The world created here can only be described as opulent and magical. Roshani has written such a unique story full of dark magic, thrilling adventures, and a diverse cast of compelling characters. From the mysteries and secrets, to the heists and plot twists, there is a lot of good stuff going on in this book. One of my favorite aspects was the interactions between the characters. There are a lot of different dynamics to love and each was written so beautifully and believably. The characters are truly the heart of this story and I can’t wait for everyone to meet them!  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★½

29939390WINDWITCH: My first attempt at reading this when it was released nearly two years ago, I had to stop at about 15% of the way in. The pacing was so tedious and I was disappointed when I learned that some of the beloved characters weren’t going to be reunited during the course of the story. I’m proud of myself that I picked it up again and was able to finish it this time! There was a lot about this book that I didn’t enjoy: the slower pacing, the fact that Safi and Iseult don’t reunite and the absence of their sisterhood, the fact that Safi and Merik don’t reunite or interact, and the lack of action. I also hated that the story kind of hints towards a love triangle, because I am not here for it. The pacing and action does start to pick up towards the end, and the last part of the book begins to resemble everything I had loved about Truthwitch.  ★★★½

9780451477538_RebelOfTheSands_JK.inddREBEL OF THE SANDS: This was my second reading of the book, in anticipation of finally read the entire trilogy. I’m so glad I reread it, because I hardly remembered anything about it and because I enjoyed it so much better the second time around. I loved the world-building done in this book: Miraji is a Middle-Eastern inspired setting with Old-West aspects + magic. There is so much action and fun stuff happening here. We have amazing characters, a slow-burn romance, treks across the desserts, an abundance of princes, and a kick-butt heroine that I adore. This fast-paced book is full of plot twists and plenty of action.  [review]  ★★★★

31574408TRAITOR TO THE THRONE: I’m thankful I was able to read this right after finishing Rebel of the Sands, because otherwise I think my experience would have been a lot different. This book focuses more on Amani and is a lot slower paced than the previous book. Instead of a plot filled with action and adventure, we get introduced to political intrigue and court machinations. Beloved characters from the first book – including Jin and their romance – are sadly missing for a good portion of this book, but there was so much happening that it never bothered me. A few new key characters are introduced and there were two that I absolutely loved getting to know: Rahim and Sam! The action starts to really build towards the last few chapters, and by the end we’re left with a big cliffhanger!  [review]  ★★★★

35406534HERO AT THE FALL: This was such a thrilling and wonderful conclusion to the series! The fast-paced and action-filled plot returned, and now the stakes are raised. I was happy that Jin and Amani were together again in this one, because I love the way their relationship changed and grew over the course of these books. I also loved the relationships Amani had with all of the other characters, but especially her friendships with with Shazad, Amed and Sam. More of the book’s mythology was included, and I really enjoyed reading those bits of stories and their creativity. As much as I loved everything that went on, we also said goodbye to some characters, including one of my favorites. And while I liked the ending/epilogue, I do wish that a couple of the characters were given more a more satisfying conclusion to their stories.  [review]  ★★★★

30518319A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION: This wasn’t my favorite in the series, but I really loved the setting! Veronica and Stoker find themselves in a remote island off the coast of Cornwall, in a possibly haunted castle, as the guests of Lord Malcolm. The entire plot/setting is very reminiscent of a murder mystery dinner and it was so very fun to read. The pace of this book was a bit slower than the others, and it took a while for it to really pick up. However as with all the other, it was full of thrilling adventures, witty conversations, sexual tension, and of course – murder and mayhem. And after years of waiting, we finally get a nudge in the right direction towards romance between Veronica and Stoker – and it was totally worth the wait!  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★

32796839KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS: I thought I would love this a lot more than what I actually did. I really liked the story, the writing, and the world-building. The fairytale retelling aspects were enjoyable and I thought they were creative and intriguing. However, even thought the story is told through first-person POV, I had trouble connecting with Bristal and felt disconnected from the story. And while I really liked the romance, there was an aspect of it that just felt kind of strange. ★★★½

26061583THE DARK DAYS DECEIT: This was the conclusion to the Lady Helen series – a series that I absolutely love – and yet I was so disappointed while reading this. I’m going to attribute my lack of enthusiasm towards this book to my high expectations and longer than usually wait. The release date was pushed back nearly a year, so I had forgotten a lot of things that had happened in the previous book. The book felt like parts of it were drawn out too long, while other parts were rushed and didn’t make any sense. The three books build up towards a romance between Helen and Lord Carlston, and yet what we’re given at the end was such a letdown. The conclusion of both the plot and the romance were honestly really anti-climatic and I finished this book feeling saddened and unsatisfied. ★★★½

35298956THE OTHER MISS BRIDGERTON: I haven’t enjoyed a Julia Quinn book this much since I first read The Viscount Who Loved Me. I had such a fun time reading this! There was so much that I loved about it, but I’m not ashamed to admit that the hate-to-love romance is what did me in. I have been disappointed that I haven’t really liked any of Quinn’s books other than The Viscount Who Loved Me, so I’m glad to find another favorite! ★★★★

OTHER

WWW Wednesday #16 | Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Fanart | Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Books | #ARCstravaganza: Crown of Feathers | Blog Tour + Giveaway: West

 

Monthly Wrap-Up: October 2018

Happy Halloween! 🎃 I can’t believe November is already upon us and we’re now approaching the end of the year. October was a pretty decent reading month; I read quite a few books that I really enjoyed! I leave for my two week vacation next week and I cannot wait. I have so many books that I plan to read. Speaking of which, I have a poll at the end of this post for you guys to vote on! Help me decide which long-overdue trilogy I should read while I’m on vacation! 


B1ciZ4RumOSTHE DARK DESCENT OF ELIZABETH FRANKENSTEIN: This was the perfect read for October. It’s a spectacular retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, told from the point of view of Elizabeth. Kiersten White has reimagined a classic with a unique perspective, while maintaining the story’s dark, twisted, gothic tone. The way in which the author wrote this book is brilliant. She manages to both keep true to the original, and yet elaborate on some parts to create a new tale. Elizabeth Lavenza was an absolutely fascinating character to read about. She is transformed from a secondary character, into a strong, manipulative, intelligent protagonist.  [review]  ★★★★ 

33876440THIS MORTAL COIL: I’m so mad at myself for sleeping on this book for a year, especially with all the rave reviews I had seen for it. It had everything I love in a Dystopian novel, and reminded me why that genre used to dominate my bookshelves. The entire concept is extremely intriguing. I’m the first person to admit that anything involving coding and hacking goes way over my head, but even with all the science terminology and technical jargon, I never found myself overly confused and could (for the most part) follow along with what the characters were talking about. A spectacular debut perfect for fans of science-fiction, dystopian settings, and compelling characters.  [review]  ★★★★½  

40042561THIS CRUEL DESIGN: I started this immediately after finishing This Mortal Coil, and finished it within a day, so that should tell you all you need to know about my feelings about this book. It picks up right where the first leaves off, and was just as fast-paced, well-written, and absolutely addicting as its predecessor. Readers have no cause to worry as there’s no second book syndrome here! I could hardly put it down and there are plenty more plot twists and reveals that kept me hooked. As with the previous book, the science and technology elements continue to be really intriguing and unique. I had no problem following along with all of the terminology and jargon. I was under the impression that this was a duology (it’s not), so the last couple of chapters really had me nervous! The ending is a total cliff-hanger and I have so many questions!  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★

37570566GRIM LOVELIES: I think expected to enjoy this a lot more than I did. I loved the concept and the basic plot, but I wasn’t a fan of the execution and I think it ended up lacking a lot of things that I was looking for. I don’t know. I wasn’t that into it but I’m still really curious about the sequel, so I may or may not continue with the series. ★★½

 

36949995THE BONELESS MERCIES: I loved (almost) everything about this book. What I liked: the amazing characters and sisterhood/friendships between the girls, the really neat retelling of Beowulf, and the awesome setting based on Norse mythology. What I didn’t like: the romance seriously confused the crap out of me. It’s hardly present, but the entire book continually hinted towards feelings between Frey and another character, and then by the end it seemed to abruptly go in another direction. I felt very annoyed; like I was being led on only to be given something else entirely at the end.  ★★★★

38336563THE DEVIL’S THIEF: Have you seen this book? It’s massive. But it was 700 pages of pure fun, action, and magic. It picked up right where The Last Magician ended and I was instantly pulled back into this world and ready to be with these characters. It did drag a bit in the middle, but I think that was mostly due to my belief that this was only a duology and wanting Esta and Harte to get on with their quest already. The angst between those two went up a few notches and it was both the best thing and the worst. I’m really excited this was extended into a trilogy (I don’t believe it was originally) because there is so much more left to this story and I can’t wait to continue, especially after that cliffhanger! ★★★★

37007910THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL: If I’m being completely honest, I ended up enjoying this tremendously more than I had anticipated I would. This was a gothic, historical novel that enchanted me from the beginning. There was a lot to enjoy about this book, but my favorite thing was its atmospheric setting. It reads like a Jane Austen book with some witchcraft and eerie paranormal activity mixed in. The period drama aspects were so charming! The romance that develops between two characters was really cute and I couldn’t get enough of it. Hester Fox does a fantastic job of blending the drama with suspense. Although the story is more of a gothic romance, there are still some spooky encounters and mysterious elements that make this a wonderful read for October.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★

35843937THE CAGED QUEEN: After I finished this, all I felt was overwhelmingly conflicted. I was initially disappointed that I wouldn’t be following more of Asha and her story, but since I found Roa’s backstory and relationship with Dax to be intriguing, I attempted to go into this book with an open mind. Unfortunately, it still didn’t stand up to my enjoyment of The Last Namsara. I really love the world that Kristen Ciccarelli has created here, and even though I appreciated being back with these characters, I spent a majority of this book extremely frustrated. Probably 99% of the issues and conflicts that happen could have been solved if Dax and Roa had simply talked. The lack of communication between them caused so many unnecessary understandings and after a while I began to get both annoyed at Roa and at the plot.  [review]  ★★★

1187138A FEAST FOR CROWS: I FINALLY FINISHED THIS. Seriously though, it took me a little over six months to read this damn book. While appreciate that GRRM split the book so that we wouldn’t be reading 2,000 pages, there was so little going on in this one that I got bored so easily. The only chapters that I really cared for were Alayne’s (obviously; she’s my favorite character), Cersei’s (she’s batshit crazy and I love reading from her mind), and the conflict in the Iron Islands. I’m really looking forward to A Dance With Dragons and being back with my boy, Jon.  ★★★★

38640729EAST: East of the Sun and West of the Moon has always been one of my favorite fairytales, and yet I don’t have an answer as to why it has taken me so long to read this book. The pacing and flow of the story is so well-crafted. Even with all the different POVs present, each character had a distinct voice and every chapter added to the plot. The writing was whimsical and helped maintain the fairytale aspects of the original tale the story draws from. I absolutely adored Rose. I loved her intellect, her perseverance, her kind nature, and her strength. This was a beautiful, fast-paced, magical story. I’m sad that it took the sequel’s release for me to finally pick this up, but I’m so glad that I did.  [review]  ★★★★

31822495WEST: If East is a whimsical, magical fairytale, then this is it’s darker, more mature sister novel about what happens after the happily ever after, and how things don’t always remain that way. All the fairytale-esque elements that were present in the first book are also present here, but the book also has some grimmer aspects and our beloved characters go through some really tough times – and they don’t always end well. And even though this wasn’t as whimsical and light-hearted as East, I still absolutely loved it.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★★½

39088520EMPIRE OF SAND: This was a really unique southeast Asian adult fantasy with elements inspired by the Mughal empire. The writing was wonderful and really pulled you into the story. I also really liked the protagonist, Mehr, and enjoyed following her on her journey and rooting for her throughout the story. The only small complaint I had was that some of the magical aspects were a bit confusing, and to be honest, I didn’t fully understand everything that was going on.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★½

37854049THE SISTERS OF THE WINTER WOOD: If you like books such as Spinning Silver and The Bear and the Nightingale, then this is definitely a book for you! I love stories that are rich with fairytale elements and yet blend seamlessly with historical aspects. I also really liked how both Liba and Laya were given distinct voices; Liba’s chapters were told narratively and Laya’s were in verse. This was a very magical, atmospheric story and I adored everything about it!  ★★★★

OTHER

Top Ten Tuesday: Spooky Shows to Watch on Netflix this Halloween | Blog Tour + Giveaway: This Cruel Design | Halloween Creatures Tag | Blog Tour: The Witch of Willow Hall | #ARCstravaganza: The Gilded Wolves | Five Spooky Podcasts to Listen to this October | Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Villains | #SixforSunday: Favorite Debuts of the Years | Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’d Love to Meet | Sunshine Blogger Award


And now I need your help! Vote below and help me choose which books to read when I leave for vacation next week!