BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Ember Queen

Welcome to my stop on the Ember Queen book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host!


ABOUT THE BOOK

39216077._SX318_Title: Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy #3)
Author: 
Laura Sebastian
Release: February 4, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Fantasy

Princess Theodosia was a prisoner in her own country for a decade. Renamed the Ash Princess, she endured relentless abuse and ridicule from the Kaiser and his court. But though she wore a crown of ashes, there is fire in Theo’s blood. As the rightful heir to the Astrean crown, it runs in her veins. And if she learned nothing else from her mother, she learned that a Queen never cowers.

Now free, with a misfit army of rebels to back her, Theo must liberate her enslaved people and face a terrifying new enemy: the new Kaiserin. Imbued with a magic no one understands, the Kaiserin is determined to burn down anyone and everything in her way.

The Kaiserin’s strange power is growing stronger, and with Prinz Søren as her hostage, there is more at stake than ever. Theo must learn to embrace her own power if she has any hope of standing against the girl she once called her heart’s sister.

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REVIEW

What is this book about? Theo has survived the Fire mine, and now she’s ready to reclaim her throne and birthright. In Ember Queen, Theo continues to amass an army to help her defeat the Kaiserin, Crescentia, and the Kalovaxians.

What did I like? This series stayed strong throughout the trilogy. Ember Queen never slows down: the action begins early on and doesn’t let up. The book is over 500 pages long but it felt like half that length because it completely compelled me. I also really loved Theo’s continued growth. You can see her trying to adjust to her new role as a leader of her people and she has to make some tough decisions in Ember Queen. The book also introduces readers to a new and interesting effect of Theo’s trip into the Fire mine that really added some intrigue into the plot.

What didn’t I like? My only complaint was that I would have like a little bit more of an epilogue. The book ends with all of the action and plot wrapped up nicely, but I usually enjoy more of a “what happened next” in epilogues of series to give a glimpse to readers of what our beloved characters are up to and whether things really improved and are as hopefully as we are led to believe.

Overall thoughts: Ember Queen was the perfectly conclusion to an excellent and exciting fantasy series! I’ve loved these books since I first read Ash Princess and I’m really glad that the trilogy remained strong throughout, never losing steam or my attention.

★ ★ ★ ★ 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author-photo-300x200Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo)and has always loved telling stories–many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her first book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully.

After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still here and madly in love with it.

When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes,buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit, or forcing her lazy dogNeville to take a walk.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram


GIVEAWAY

Win one (1) finished copy of Ember Queen (US only).

✨ ENTER HERE ✨

 

Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2020

February was a pretty good reading month! Because of the holiday and my participation in the Bookish First’s Valentine’s Day Bingo, I read a lot of contemporary romance and I believe that’s why I had such a great time with books this month.


44280868ALL THE STARS AND TEETH: This a fun, adventurous story about the heir to a kingdom joining a cast of vastly different characters in order to prevent an evil force from destroying their world and regaining what they’ve all lost. This book was not short on action, that’s for sure. And the pacing was executed perfectly. It never felt like the plot was stalling or that unnecessary pages were spent on passages of time.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★½

49366204._SX318_SY475_THE BEST LAID PLANS: Ladies and gentleman, I don’t believe it’s too early to say that I have found one of my favorite reads of the year. The Best Laid Plans was everything I had hoped it would be and so much more. Basically, all you need to know is that it contains best friends-to-lovers, unrequited pining, delicious drama and lots of angst!  ARC provided by the publisher through BookishFirst.  [review]  ★★★★★

AlwaysNever_BOM_4p.inddALWAYS NEVER YOURS: Wherefore art thou, Romeo? I loved that Megan was unapologetically flirtatious and “boy-crazy”. Every relationship she’s been in ends with her boyfriend finding the love of his life while they’re dating, and instead of being bitter and feeling sorry for herself, Megan is carefree and just has fun with her dating life. Which makes it even more special to see the bond that develops between her and Owen.  [review★★★★

39216077._SX318_EMBER QUEEN: This was such a great finale to a series that I have absolutely loved. The hard part about trilogies is that many times one of the books either lags or weakens, but that never happened with the Ash Princess trilogy. The third book finished strong and wrapped up the plot in a way that felt complete yet realistic. For a book that is 500 pages long, I was actually surprised as to how fast the plot moves. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend it.  ★★★★

49538360UNDERCOVER BROMANCE: As with The Bromance Book Club, the idea of a book club for men who unashamedly enjoy romance novels and use the “knowledge” they learn from said romance novels to better their love lives is amazing and Lyssa Kay Adams knocks it out of the park. This story totally changed my opinion about Braden Mack: there’s definitely more to him under the surface of easy-going charm and we need more men like him in the world!  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★

44646004._SY475_THE WILL AND THE WILDS: This was such a unique fairytale fantasy story! After enlisting his help, a young woman works together with a demon to break the magical pact they had created to save both their lives. I flew through the pages. I loved the built up romance between Maekallus and Enna and how it stemmed from the trust and understanding they had to slowly develop first. I think this is my favorite Charlie H. Holmberg book!  ★★★★

40950392THE STARS WE STEAL:  My favorite thing about this book is the sci-fi retelling of Jane Austen’s novels. I have to admit that I’ve never read Persuasion, but that didn’t stop me from understanding the plot of this story or the nods to the original. I think that Alexa Donne did a fantastic job writing a unique and clever twist on the classic novel and making the story her own. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys subtle Jane Austen retellings.  ★★★

46404345CHASING LUCKY: Usually I really enjoy Jenn Bennett’s books, but this one was very disappointing. I didn’t like any of the characters, the plot failed to keep my attention, and I found parts of the story a little ridiculous. Some parts were still really cute and I enjoyed, which is why I didn’t completely hate it, but it was definitely not my favorite and fell short to the other stories I’ve read by this author.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★½

45891343THE UPSIDE OF FALLING: This book is about two teenagers who decide to fake being in a relationship for their mutual benefit. I mean, is there anything better than a fake-dating that turns into real feelings kind of book? Unfortunately, although I loved the premise of the story, the rest of the book didn’t do it for me. The first major issue was that the pacing was extremely fast, especially for such a short book. My other issue was there wasn’t enough to convince the reads as to why they need to be in a fake relationship. It happened just for the sake of the book.  [review]  ★★½


OTHER

Blog Tour: Foul is Fair | Favorite Young Adult Contemporary Romances | WWW Wednesday #26 | Blog Tour + Giveaway: All the Stars and Teeth | The ABC Book Challenge W

REVIEW: The Upside of Falling – Alex Light

45891343Title: The Upside of Falling
Author: Alex Light
Rating: ★★½

What is this book about? The Upside of Falling is about two teenagers who decide to fake being in a relationship for their mutual benefit. I mean, is there anything better than a fake-dating that turns into real feelings kind of book?

What did I like? Obviously, given my track record with other YA contemporary books, I am trash for any story featuring a fake-dating trope. So the concept of The Upside of Falling was fantastic. I also really loved that there was no unnecessary drama that moved the plot backwards or in redundant circles. Everything that happened had a purpose plot-wise.

What didn’t I like? The first major issue I had with this book is that it moves way to quickly. The plot was very, very rushed and not as flesh out as I would have like it to have been. Because of this, the story felt very superficial to me and the characters lacked depth. The book is only 280 pages which is where I think the problem lies. It really could have benefited from another 100 pages to help flesh out the story and slow down the plot.

The other problem I had with the book was that I couldn’t quite figure out the point behind the fake-dating scheme between Brett and Becca. There wasn’t ever really a good reason given on either side: the choice to pretend to date each other occurs so suddenly and randomly which made the story feel very unbelievable and pointless.

Overall thoughts: The Upside of Falling centers around two teens who decide to pretend to date each other to fool their peers. I love a fake-dating trope, and while the concept was good, the execution was poor.

REVIEW: Always Never Yours – Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Title: Always Never Yours
Author: Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Rating: ★★★★

What is this book about? In each of Megan’s relationships thus far, her boyfriends end up falling in love…just not with her. Megan is looking to gain entrance to college and start her career as a film director, but the college she’s interested in requires acting experience. When she is unexpectantly cast as Juliet in their high school’s production of Romeo and Juliet, Megan begins to realize she has the chance of becoming the leading love interest of her own story instead of always the Rosalind.

What did I like? Megan is without a doubt my favorite part of this book. She’s definitely a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of other contemporary romances. She’s outgoing, unapologetically flirtatious, and “boy-crazy.” Instead of letting her past love failures turn her bitter or resentful, she’s carefree and just has fun with her dating life. Megan is also clearly a much better person than I am, because if I had found out one of my friends did what her best friend did, I would never talk to them again.

I loved watching her relationship develop with Owen! The phrase “opposites attract” has never fit a couple better. Owen was reserved and shy, whereas Megan was loud and bit brash, saying whatever comes to her mind. Their initial friendship was lovely and the transition to deeper feelings was written so perfectly that it felt very natural and never forced.

What didn’t I like? I can’t help but wish more of Megan’s situation with her family was explored. She obviously has a lot of feelings about what’s happening between her dad and his new family and then later with her mom and her mom’s boyfriend. The ending felt like it wrapped up too cleanly, and yes, I understand that some blended families do all get along and work nicely together, but I felt like Megan was too quick to accept everything and not enough communication was made between her and dad to resolve those feelings.

Overall thoughts: If I’m Being Honest was one of my favorite books last year, so I think I put off reading this because I was scared it wasn’t going to hold up. Thankfully, I was definitely proven wrong! Always Never Yours is a super fun and heartwarming contemporary romanced and I’m definitely this writing duo to my auto-read list!

ARC REVIEW: Undercover Bromance – Lyssa Kay Adams

Title: Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2)
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Rating: ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

What is this book about? Undercover Bromance is the companion novel to The Bromance Book Club which I absolutely adored last year! Basically, these stories center around a group of prominent men who like to read romance novels and form a club to help each other with their love problems.

What did I like? As with The Bromance Book Club, the idea of a book club for men who unashamedly enjoy romance novels and use the “knowledge” they learn from said romance novels to better their love lives is amazing and Lyssa Kay Adams knocks it out of the park each time. I also really liked how the topic of masculinity and societal expectations is mentioned and talked about in this book!

I was pretty unsure about Mack’s character in The Bromance Book Club but I’m thankful that Undercover Bromance was his story because it totally changed my opinion about him! There’s definitely more to him under the surface of easy-going charm and we need more men like Braden Mack in the world 💕

What didn’t I like? I know she’s written to be this way for characterization purposes, but I could not stand how stubborn Liv was at times. Girl, I know you want to be independent and self-reliable but there is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need help, instead of constantly trying to do things yourself and ending up in even deeper trouble.

Overall thoughts: I highly recommend these books to any fan of romance. Undercover Bromance is a spectacularly follow-up to The Bromance Book Club and I look forward to reading whatever shenanigans these men end up getting into in the future.