Mini-Reviews: The Cruel Prince, Red Queen, Sythe, Shatter Me, & Time’s Convert

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The Cruel Prince
(The Folk of the Air #1)
by Holly Black

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Rating:★★★★

Mini-Review: Going into this book, I fully expected that it would be a 5-star read, and when I wasn’t completely blown away, I was pretty disappointed. Not necessarily in the story, but in the fact that this book didn’t immediately scream FIVE STARS to me. To be fair, when I read it, I don’t think I was particularly in the mood for a YA Fantasy. At some point I’d like to do a re-read of this entire series and just binge it. On the other hand, the bullying aspect in this book kind of put me off. I tend to hate that particular plot device in contemporary novels and it does nothing for me either even when translated into fantasy.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Red Queen
(Red Queen #1)
by Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Rating:★★★★

Mini-Review: I wasn’t sure what to expect when reading this novel. I don’t think my expectations were particularly high, I’d just seen this book absolutely everywhere when it first came out. Perhaps that is why I liked this book as much as I did. There were a lot of things about this book that I feel could’ve been done better, but overall I really enjoyed the reading experience overall. I, of course, wish the romance was a little more prominent, however, the ending leads me to believe that the rest of the series may have a bit more of the romance in the forefront.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Scythe
(Arc of a Scythe #1)
by Neal Shusterman

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Rating:★★★★★

Mini-Review: I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Given the synopsis, it’s not something I would excitedly reach for, however, the story absolutely sucked me in. Again, I wish there was more of a romance, but it didn’t even matter that there wasn’t. I was also surprised by how emotional this book made me in several areas. I adored the overarching question of morality and ethics and how this book made you question everything.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Shatter Me
(Shatter Me #1)
by Tahereh Mafi

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Rating:★★★★

Mini-Review: I feel like I should have loved this book. The writing is unique and flowery and I typically really gravitate toward it, however, it felt a little excessive. I’m not sure if it was because it was a little too distracting or if it made the story drag a bit. I almost lost the storyline because of how the book was written. Surprisingly, this book was pretty forgettable for me. I don’t see myself reading on in the series.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Time’s Convert
(All Souls Universe #1)
by Deborah Harkness

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches–now a hit TV series airing Sundays on AMC and BBC America, and streaming on Sundance Now and Shudder–comes a novel about what it takes to become a vampire.

On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor–the young employee at Sotheby’s whom Marcus has fallen for–is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both–forever.

A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time’s Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries.

Rating:★★★

Mini-Review: I so wanted to like this book. I LOVE Marcus. I loved him ever since he was introduced in the original series and I was so excited about his romance storyline, however, this book was unfortunately pretty boring. Marcus’s past dragged on quite a bit for me. However, seeing the characters I fell in love with in the Discovery of Witches series made my heart flutter with excitement and nostalgia.

My Top 5 Favorite Male & Female Romance Audiobook Narrators (and My Favorite Books they Read)

As you may or may not know, I’m an obsessive reader of audiobooks. A decent percentage of the books I read are on audio, and a lot of times, even if I read a physical or eBook and enjoy it, I’ll likely purchase it on audio as well.

I’ve always loved having people read to me, but I totally get that it isn’t for everyone.

I’m a really good multitasker, so listening to audiobooks actually makes me more productive and as long as I’m not reading, writing, or talking while listening to an audiobook, I get sh*t done a lot faster when I’m listening to a book.

If it wasn’t for audiobooks, I wouldn’t have read as many books as I have (200 last year! 150 the year before!). I don’t have a lot of down time to sit and read a book without feeling guilty, but with audio, I can still get what I need to get done while also getting some reading done.

In my many years of listening to audiobooks, I’ve come to love certain narrators and even will purchase audiobooks based on the narrator first, then the author/synopsis second.

I’ve become a huge fangirl of these narrators.

Of course, all of these narrators are popular in the romance genre because, obviously, that’s my main love.

Continue reading “My Top 5 Favorite Male & Female Romance Audiobook Narrators (and My Favorite Books they Read)”

Reading Recs: Favorite Forbidden Romances

Forbidden Romances are one of my all-time favorite tropes. I don’t know what the “official” definition of a Forbidden Romance is (or if there even is one – I’m too lazy to look it up), but I consider any book in which the main character’s love interest is someone that he or she should not be involved with for any given reason.

The books I’m listing below are a few of my favorites in this category. They’re filled with the longing, intensity, and excitement you’d expect from forbidden love stories.

The genres run the gamut: contemporary romance, fantasy, dark romance, paranormal romance… everything from age gaps to body guards to dueling mystical creatures to supernatural interspecies to teachers and students to religion … it’s quite the mix!

So, without further ado…

My All Time Favorite Forbidden Romance Stories

Continue reading “Reading Recs: Favorite Forbidden Romances”

Book Haul 08.07.17 [Library Bookstore, eBooks, & Audiobooks]

book-haul

Ok, I am seriously trying not to load my Kindle up with so many free ebooks, and if you’ve seen my past hauls, you’ll notice this week’s haul is significantly less than others. At least, as far as ebooks go.

I immediately made up for that by perusing my local library’s bookstore and picking up a ton of books. In my defense, I also donated a big reusable bag full of books that I knew I wasn’t ever going to get around to reading. My hard copy TBR shelf is overflowing once again, though.

If a room without books is a room without a soul, then my house has so many souls it’s basically a cemetery.

That came out way more morbid than I intended.

Anyway, onward to last week’s haul!

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