Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Books I Read in February

I had a really good reading month in February, I read 11 novels and one short story. February is such a hard reading month, since it's shorter, but rereading really helped me stay on track. Here's the books I read and some of my thoughts and opinions on them... 

Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes - This is the sixth and final book in the Falling Kingdoms series. I had so many fears and expectations going into this book and I was extremely satisfied with how everything wrapped up. Falling Kingdoms is one of those series that gets better with each book release, and I was no disappointed in this book.

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada - This is the first in a science fiction, dystopian series, which follows a genetic hacker. This book is pretty different than my usual fantasy binge, but it was an enjoyable and different read. I actually really enjoyed the science fiction element and I was intrigued with the world building. I'm looking forward to the next book's release in October.

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson - This trilogy revolves around Lia, a princess, who escapes from an arranged marriage, and the prince and assassin who follow her. This was my first big reread of the month and I absolutely loved getting a chance to jump back into this world, and I ended up rereading this whole trilogy in 2 days. Marathoning this trilogy actually helped me realize how detailed this story is, and I loved seeing that element. I absolutely loved this trilogy just as much the second time around. I also finally got to read the short story, Morrighan, which was a nice addition to the series. All in all, this was a great set up for the release of Dance of Thieves, which is set in the same universe as The Remnant Chronicles.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton - This book follows Camilla, a Belle, someone with the ability to change and alter beauty. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, it's a great first book in an upcoming series, and it's obvious that this book provides a lot of set up for the future books. I'm definitely going to be picking up the series, because I'm curious with how the world will build.

The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski - This trilogy revolves around a well respected general's daughter, Kestrel, and the consequences she faces after purchasing a slave. This was my second big reread of the month, and I wanted to pick this series up again because there was so much that I had forgotten. I absolutely loved this trilogy just as much the second time around, because it was almost like I was reading this book again for the first time. Kestrel is one of my all time favorite female characters, and I loved being back in her world.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore - This is a magical realism book, following a family of women who have a magical ability to grow gardens. The writing of this book is beautiful, but it took me so long to get into the story, and differentiate the many characters.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert - This book follows Alice, who has to travel to the magical world of her grandmother's stories to rescue her mother. I had heard so much praise for this book and unfortunately for me it did not live up to my expectations. I really enjoyed this book and the dark, fairytale elements, but I struggled to connect to the main character and I felt the second half of the novel was a little rushed. I will probably pick up the next book, cause I'd like to see more from the Hitherlands, and I'm really looking forward to the short story collection, based on the fairytales in this book.

And those are all the books I read. I'm continuing my rereading trend into March, as so far 3/4 books I've read have been rereads. There's a ton of new releases in March that I'm excited about and hoping to get to. - Jessica

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February Snapshots

1. I finally organized my shelves! I kept putting it off because I didn't think that all my books would fit, but they did and now I'm really happy with how they look (even if they are a bit cluttered).

2 & 3. Yesterday, I shared about my candle addiction, and I wanted to share some full pictures of my Owl and Bone order. I absolutely loved the designs on the candles and I got the prints to match, which I can't wait to add to my Harry Potter wall.  

4. Last week, I met Susan Dennard for the second time and I got her to sign my copy of Sightwitch. I have yet to start this, but I'm looking forward to reading it, as it sets up a lot for the next book. 

5 & 6. The most important moment in February: meeting and seeing Lights. It was my third time seeing her live, and this time I splurged on tickets to meet her for the first time. It was such an incredible experience to finally meet one of my favorite musicians, that I've been following for 9 years. I was able to get my Skin and Earth vinyl and Issue 6 of the comic signed. And I basically revealed myself to be the biggest nerd for the comics to her. The concert itself was amazing, and I'm still having post concert withdrawals. - Jessica

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Bookish Candles

I've mentioned several times on this blog that I have a candle obsession, specifically a bookish candle obsession. It all started when I started to get candles in subscription boxes and I would see photos of bookish candles on Instagram. I've amassed quite a collection, but I didn't start burning candles until very recently. Now burning candles has become an important part of my reading routine.

My collection of candles got a little out of hand this month because this was the first time that I actually bought candles from a bookish candle company. I really wanted to add some more Harry Potter candles to my collection, specifically some Hermione candles, and I stumbled upon Owl and Bone. I also bought the Rampion Crew box from Novelly Yours, and I'm already want to place another order with that shop. This is one current obsessions, and I have to constantly stop myself from buying candles at every candle company featured in this post. - Jessica   

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Reading Slumps

Arguably one of the worst things for a reader to hear is the term "reading slump." I think one of the most frightening parts of having a reading slump is the uncertainty surrounding how long they can last. When I was in high school, I only read a handful of books on my own accord, and I fear that I will revert back to those times when I didn't read on a regular basis. Ultimately, I don't want to lose my love of stories or lose my love of getting consumed within the pages of a book.

I'm so used to reading almost every single day but earlier this month, I went almost a full week without picking up a book. At that point, I started to panic. I searched my shelves for a book that I actually had a desire to read, since I've learned that I tend to not enjoy a book as much when I force myself to read. I ultimately decided to reread The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, and just three days later, I had finished the entire trilogy. I think revisiting favorite books is one of the best cures for reading slumps. Even though, I know what's going to happen in the end, there are always so many elements I've forgotten and details that I didn't pick up on before. My recent rereads have really fueled my desire to reread more books, and I'm already planning my TBR to include some more of my favorite series. - Jessica

Friday, February 2, 2018

Books I Read in January

I had a really good reading month in January, I read 10 books and 2 graphic novels. Here's what I read and some of my thoughts and opinions on them...

Everless by Sara Holland - This is the first book in a fantasy duology, that is set in a world where time is currency. This was a great first book, the plot is unique and there are elements of mystery and political intrigue that kept me entertained. I did struggle getting into the writing style, but I enjoyed this book.

Frostblood and Fireblood by Ellie Blake - This book follows a Fireblood, Ruby, who lives in a world of Frostbloods and she becomes enlisted to take down the corrupt Frostblood ruler. I enjoyed the first books in this trilogy, it definitely has plenty of cliches, but I found the story interesting and the writing is executed well. I'm looking forward to the release of the last book in June.

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu - This follows Bruce Wayne before he becomes Batman. I'm not a huge superhero fan, I like watching the movies, but I was never into the comics, but I've really enjoyed the DC Icons series so far. I also was surprised to see a Filipino main character in this book, and I wish she had a larger role. Overall this was a quick and fun read.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black - This story follows Jules and her sisters, who are kidnapped and raised in the world of Faerie. There has been so much hype surrounding this book, that I was eagerly anticipating it's release, and I was not disappointed. It took a while for me to get swept up into the story, but once I did, I couldn't put this book down. The plot definitely leans towards a slow burn type of story, and I loved that aspect. I really grew to love the characters and I can't wait until the next book is released.

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli - This book follows Asha, a dragon slayer, enlisted by her father to kill the first dragon and motivated by his promise to end her impending marriage. I loved this story, the world building is incredible and I loved the characters. I listened to this on audiobook, and I would highly recommend it. This is another book that had a slow burn development and at times it did drag, but I still really enjoyed it.

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett - This book follows Kamzin, who is enlisted by a renowned explorer to help climb a deadly mountain. I enjoyed this book, the world building is so well done and I love how the author was inspired by Himalayan culture. I was also really surprised that the author chose not to explore the love triangle angle of this story, and I really enjoyed that it wasn't an issue in the story.

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye - This story follows two enchanters as they compete against each other to become the royal enchanter of Russia. I was really intrigued by the premise and the inclusion of Russian history, but every other aspect of this book fell flat. There was no world building and the plot suffered due to an instalove-love triangle. I really don't think I'll continue on with this story.

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - This series follows six criminals, who are hired to pull of an impossible heist. This was a reread for me, because I saw that the audiobook for the first book was on sale, and I've been dying to be back in this universe. The first time around, I didn't fully understand the hype surrounding the first book and I came to absolutely love the second. Reading this again, I was able to fully understand how incredible the first book is, the world building in that book and the character development is absolutely stunning. The only (tiny) issue I have with this series, is that I feel like one character's storyline was left incomplete, and I fully believe that Leigh Bardugo could write a billion more stories surrounding these characters. I absolutely love both of these book, and I definitely will be rereading them again soon.

Wires and Nerve and Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer - This is a graphic novel series that continues the story from The Lunar Chronicles, and follows Iko. I really loved the chance to get back in the Lunar Chronicles universe and read more about some of my favorite characters. These book are  great and quick reads, and I loved the character development of Iko and Kinney. I really hope Marissa Meyer is planning to write more from this universe, because I never want it to end.

And those are all the books I read in January, I did start Wild Beauty but I didn't get too far into it, so I should finish that this month. So many of my anticipated releases are coming out this month, including Immortal Reign, the final book in the Falling Kingdom series, and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy. - Jessica