The Favorites — February Guest Post

Cue a new series here on InkTrails!!

One of my favorite things about blogging and the bookish side of any platform is meeting new people. I’ve made such amazing friends through comments and buddy reads and guest posts and I’m so incredibly happy to say that I’ve made another! But, even beyond that, her and I have collaborated to bring you guys this post — a bookish themed favorites post! How this works is that Chrissy and I (mainly Chrissy) came up with 5 bookish questions and then we both answered them.

This has been such a fun process that we have decided to make this a monthly thing for you all! So keep an eye out for that.

Now, more on Chrissy! Chrissy is an amazing book blogger who you all can find over on https://chrissysbooks.com, or you can click the link attached to her name. 10/10 blog posts and book reviews, highly recommend. So please, go show her some love, angels!

Now, without further ado, let’s get into The Favorites.


1) Favorite Genre?

Ash: High Fantasy — no doubt. I love everything having to do with it — the fighting, the action, the friendships, the constant fast paced motion — ugh I love this genre so much! The only thing about it is I don’t really like a lot of politic based high fantasy, but I’m getting better with that so now, officially nothing can stop me from falling down a high fantasy WHOLE.

Chrissy: That’s a hard one! I love SO many different genres as you can tell from my blog. I can read just about anything! Although, I do have to say, my favorite genre that always keeps me on my toes, is……drum roll please!……….Psychological Thrillers. Yep! I LOVE a good plot twist. Always been a sucker for them. The reason why suspense/thrillers are my fav genres is because if I’m ever having a reading slump, or need a pick me up after a heavy book, thrillers are my ‘go to’ genres to fix me right up. I can’t get enough of them. Funny enough, I can go ages without reading a single thriller book but once I get back to it, it brings me such satisfaction after reading it and going through all the twists and turns of these books. I just adore them.


2) Favorite Book Cover?

Ash: I had to search through all my books for this one and I finally found one (*cough* three) that I have decided are my favorites and those are the three books in the Queen of Hearts Trilogy. The coloring of these books are so beautiful to me, I love the way they mimic the queen in your standard deck of cards, the inverting of the colors and the coloring as the series progresses is so thoughtful and stunning, hell, even the back of the cover is beautiful. I’m just completely in love over here don’t mind me. (also this picture is NOT mine so don’t get any ideas)

Chrissy: We all love a good book cover. I hate to say it, but I am definitely guilty of judging a book by it’s cover most times. Especially these days, book covers have come such a long way and now when you walk into your local bookstore and peruse the aisles, some of the book covers are just stunning! This was a very difficult decision for me because there are so many book covers that I adore. I am also judging this by books that I have read. My current favorite has to be Sing, Unburied, SIng by Jesmyn Ward. Boy that was a hard decision. My number 2 was very close! Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (the red and gold armor cover). I have included a photo below. From the moment I held this book I was captivated by the cover, it’s so haunting and fragile and sad. I feel like he looks deep into your soul. After reading the story, I loved the cover even more. I loved the warm colors, the vibe of the cover was also striking and raw. Loved it.


3) Favorite Place to Read?

Ash: I have to go with Chrissy on this one — there is nothing like curling up with a cup of tea, a book, and a blanket and reading for hours. It’s the easiest way for me to get into a book and forget the time! Close second goes to the back — I know, kind of weird but let me explain. I love drawing a bubble bath, lighting a candle, and using my book light to read. It’s so peaceful and lovely. If you haven’t done this, definitely give it a try!!!

Chrissy: This is an easy one, my bed. At night, before I sleep. There are so many other places I love to read, especially a deserted island with a cocktail in hand (that has never happened but could you imagine!). The park, the couch, a coffee shop, they’re all amazing but nothing will ever come close to that cosy feeling you get when you crawl into bed after a long day, and grab your current book and read a chapter or two, or ten! Also it’s such a great way to unwind after the day and helps you sleep so much better than staring at your phone scrolling through fb or insta. As much as I love to do that, I love my good bed habits and will never ever change.


4) Favorite and Least Favorite Book of 2018?

Ash: I’m going to start off with my least favorite book of 2018 because some of you may fully get angry at me for this. Whoops. But, my least favorite 2018 read was Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. Okay, listen — I read this novel and I was so excited but as I read, I started getting more and more frustrated with the entire book, so much to the point that I almost DNF’d it. OKAY, now to make you all not hate me anymore, hopefully. My favorite read of 2018 was actually a contemporary novel from a debut author which was surprising because I’m not one to read a lot of contemporary novels, though I am starting to get more into them (I know, we love character development). This novel though was Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow and I loved this book more than I could ever probably describe. This novel follows Charlie who is in a hospital for trying to kill herself. The book takes you through Charlie’s life, before and after the first moment we meet her, and takes us through her process of healing and all the roadblocks in the way. It is such a beautiful novel and I love it beyond belief, so much so that it’s actually my favorite standalone novel.

Chrissy: Fun question 🙂 My favorite book of 2018 was When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. A nonfiction memoir that took my breath away. So very beautifully written too. It follows Paul Kalanithi, a respected and well known neurosurgeon, he almost completes a decade’s worth when out of the blue he gets diagnosed with inoperable stage IV lung cancer. It tells the story of his life and legacy. This book just broke my heart but in a moving way. Such a beautiful story that stuck with me till this day. The reason it’s my favorite book of 2018 is because of just that reason. I haven’t been able to forget about it. I gave it a 10/10 on my ratings.

My Least Favorite Book of 2018 was, One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Every now and then I like to mix in a classic literary read and this was one of the ones I read last year, but boy oh boy did it bore me!! I was just NOT feelin it in the slightest. It’s about an ordinary prisoner inmate named Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, set in a soviet labour camp in the 1950s under the ruling of Stalin’s communist oppression. It follows him on a normal work day in the camp/prison and the struggles he faces in order to survive a brutal, gruelling and harsh day in the prison. I really tried, because reading for me, is a joy. This just killed my soul. Just did not do it for me.


5) Favorite First Line in a Book?

Ash: “People often shit themselves when they die”. How can you not want to read the novel that follows that line. This one comes from Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and I read this novel recently, and have become completely entranced with Kristoff’s writing style and this series as a whole.

Chrissy: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again…” Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. What a line. I loved Rebecca so much! It’s one of those books you can read over and over again. Such a classic read. I don’t even want to explain more than that except that it’s an awesome book and everyone should read it. It’s got everything in it. Deception, romance, suspense, you name it. A well rounded classic read indeed.


And that is all for the FIRST Favorites Q & A with Chrissy! This was such a fun post to make and I hope you all love it. I will see you guys soon! Bye, angels!

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Weekly Wrap Up #1 > February 11 – February 17

It’s baby’s first weekly wrap up!!

After a poll on Twitter (you can follow me @iinktrailss if you want) where everyone voted yes to this, it’s finally here.

I had full intentions of doing this weeks ago but then my life got in the way. But I’m doing it now! These posts are probably going to be pretty scatterbrained and the only real layout they have is that I will be writing them throughout the week if something big happens, but probably writing most of them and finishing them on Sundays, and then they will be posted on Mondays at the normal time (2pm EST).

And without further ado, let’s get into it!


I don’t think these are going to be structured in any specific way so it’s just going to be super ramble-y. So have fun with that!

This past week I finish 2 books, one of which you already know about. The first book I finished this week was The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and oh my god, you guys!!! I bought this book during December when I went on a huge book shopping spree and I was so excited to finally get my hands on this masterpiece. I had heard so many amazing things about this book and it totally lived up to my expectations. If you want to hear me rave about it some more, check out its review that I posted on Friday.

The next book I finished this week was Warcross by Marie Lu! I was actually buddy reading this with a really good bookish friend of mine, Becca, aka Peter Parker’s Girlfriend, and I finally finished it on Saturday and oh my god. That ending caused me physical PAIN. Becca has been so busy with work so she hasn’t been able to finish it yet and I cannot wait until she does so I can cry to her about it. I don’t exactly know when this review will be up but it should be posted sometime this month or early next month. Just watch out for it, okay?

Oh! I’m also participating in my very first Read-A-Thon this month and it’s going pretty well! I’m doing the Shoulda Coulda Woulda Read-A-Thon that lasts the entire month of February where the participants read books they’ve been putting off that fall into that month’s theme. This month’s theme was 5 star predict/chosen by a friend. This basically means that I wrote a list of about 17 books, about half of which I predicted would be 5-star reads and I let my best friend pick 6 books — 4 for weekly reviews and 2 for extra reads. I only did 6 this month because I had a lot of other books I knew I would have to read this month including Warcross and King of Scars (because I am Leigh Bardugo TRASH). So far I’ve finished 3 books Cherry Blossom chose for me — those three being Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller, and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. If you want to check out this month’s full TBR, click here.

The only other bookish thing that happened this month is that I got this month’s Unplugged Book Box!! The unboxing post for that will be up tomorrow at 2pm EST. I don’t know guys, I have a subscription with them until next month and I’m thinking about switching. The main thing is that they include a lot of merch from books that are highly popular and one’s every single person, even non-readers, know about and would love, such as Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and so on. That’s great for someone who enjoys those books, but that isn’t me. Another thing is that they also include merch from popular TV shows but I don’t really watch a lot of TV and when I do, it’s not normally popular shows. I just want something more centered around YA books instead of books everyone knows about, does that make sense? So if you have any recommendations for other book boxes, let me know!

Let’s end off this long as hell wrap up with what I’m currently reading! If you are ever curious as to what I’m reading at any given time, you can keep up with all of that over on my Goodreads account (@iinktrailss, again) because that’s basically all I use Goodreads for, besides looking up books and keeping track of all the ones I want to read. Right now, though, I am currently reading The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins, and Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani! These are the last three books on my TBR for this month and in between these books, I’m also in the process of re-reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo for BooksWithChloe’s book club reading so I’m ready for the liveshow that’s going to be held at the end of this month. If that sounds interesting to you, definitely go check out all the details.


I think that’s all I have for this week’s wrap up, guys! I hope you have a great day and I’ll talk to you all soon, bye!!

Unplugged Book Box Unboxing – February 2019

How are you, angels?

Early last week, I got my second Unplugged Book Box for February and my week was so hectic, that I’m only getting to this post now. Whoops.

But I’m here!!!

This month’s theme was Listen to Your Heart and all the goodies that came with were so lovely, so without further ado, let’s get into it!!


So if you guys don’t know, Unplugged Book Box is a monthly subscription service that focuses on promoting self-care in all bookish forms.

Each month, the receiver gets one hardcover new YA/New Adult release, 4-6 self care items themed around books, and a card that has a healthy recipe on one side and a soundtrack on the other.

Now, enough chat, let’s get into this.


Let’s start with the cards ~

Firstly, we have the themed card which has this month’s theme and a description of all the items included in the box. Along with this, there’s a card revealing next month’s theme which is Bloom Where You Were Planted. As usual, we also have our personal mixtape and a recipe, this one being the Anti-Dementor Smoothie! Our final card is a Gratitude Journal on one side and the other side explains why effective communication is a priority — both being very helpful items.


Now, let’s get into the items.

There were supposed to be 5 items this month but one of those got left out of my box for some reason so I’m just going to go over the 4 that I received!

First, we have probably my favorite item from this month — a candle themed around my actual baby Nikolai Lantsov. This candle, dubbed the Too-Clever Fox (a nod to a story in Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns), is in honor of King of Scars being released this month and it smells of sweet tobacco, ocean mist, and cloves — all three being very Nikolai and making me very happy.

Next, we have my second favorite item from this box — a wine glass that says “When in doubt, go to the library” which is such a fun quote and even though I don’t like Harry Potter, I have been putting this glass to a lot of use (for soda, I’m straight-edged so drinking alcohol is definitely out for me).

Thirdly, we have a bookmark themed around Stranger Things, the Netflix show that everyone lost their shit over. I personally didn’t enjoy it (wow I’m really negative whoops) but the bookmark is SUPER spooky and cool and I can’t wait to use it.

Finally, we have three heart shaped candies, two silver, one red. Can you guess what that’s a nod to?

For those who don’t know, these candies refer to the Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard, in which Mare Barrow, a Red, has a love triangle with two Silvers — hence the one red and two silvers.


Finally, let’s talk about the book!

This month’s book is Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok and it’s basically a Paris version of Jack the Ripper and I could not be more excited for it.

Spectacle follows Nathalie Baudin as she documents the mutilated bodies of young girls who are being murdered across Paris. But even more than this, Nathalie has been getting visions of these murders as they happen.

This sparks a hunt in Nathalie as she tries to hunt down this killer, without being killed herself.

My favorite brand of historical fiction is murder-y historical fiction so I cannot wait to read this book!


That’s all for this month’s unboxing, guys! I hope you guys have an awesome week and I will see you soon!

Novel Review > ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


Page Number 

516

Genre

YA > Fantasy; Historical Fiction; Romance

Summary

The Circus arrives without warning.

No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Amidst the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance. 


Pre-Reading Notes

It’s about damn time, honestly. 


Thoughts While Reading

“Yo this is so cool”

“Wow okay, that’s sad” x 50

“This woman already owns my entire heart”

“I wish I had a clock like that are you kidding me”

“This actually makes me want to go to a circus”

“Which I have no desire to do”

“I —“

“I would die for Marco”

“And Celia alright love this for me”

“One of them has to die, don’t they?”

“I love Tsukiko so much okay”

“Me too wow”

“This is going to end sad, huh”

“NO NOT HIM WHY OH MY GOD”

“HECTOR >:(“

“I am much anger”

“Why can’t he just die oh my god”

“What is she gonna do”

“WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO”

“BAILEY”

“Thanks I love it”


Post-Reading Notes

I wish I would’ve read this sooner.


Favorite Quote from the Novel

“Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is you role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that. There are many kinds of magic, after all.”

— Mr. A. H., page 505

My Thoughts

This Aura of Mystery

The people around me, and myself, describe me as a mysterious person — telling everyone I meet my entire life story has never really appealed to me, so I tend to keep quiet about myself and what I do. I only really tell people details about myself when they ask. 

So the mystery that surrounded the circus and everyone in it made me fall in love with this story because first off, I felt connected to it, someway. I felt like this could be a place I belonged and loved and it was a feeling I cherish when reading. Another reason I loved the mystery within this story is because I myself am drawn to mystery. It’s something that appeals to me because in this day, not many people keep that factor. Getting to read a story where basically every character and location is mysterious was a very nice experience and I loved every second of it. 

We! Stan! Romance!

I am completely in love with Celia and Marco! I relate to both of their characters on so many levels and them together was so amazing! Each character was extremely interesting to get to know but when the two combined, it was like everything was magnified and it was perfect and beautiful and I loved it. 

The Overwhelming Love of Stories and Books​

It’s so obvious that Morgenstern loves to read. She put words and literature scattered around this novel and it was so fun to pick out all the pieces. It was such a nice feeling to read characters who were like me in two different aspects that are usually very separate from each other. I just loved this book okay I know I keep saying that much it’s TRUE!

Favorite Character

You’re Really Going to Make Me Choose? . . . Tsukiko

This was such a hard decision because I love Celia and Marcos, but I already talked about them. So after they were eliminated, I was stuck in between Poppet and Tsukiko — but I had to go with Tsukiko!

She’s such a badass and sarcastic and she knows she’s amazing and everything she could possibly be and I just love that about her so much, okay. That was a lot of “and”s I’m sorry. 

Final Review and Rating

4.5/5

I definitely plan on returning to this novel and its quirks very soon. I have so many pages tabbed with scenes and entire chapters that I adore and I plan on keeping them with me for a very long time.

Would/Will I Continue the Series?

This novel is a stand-alone, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a spin off story with Poppet and Bailey. 

Who Should Read This Novel 

People with a bit of mystery. And those that think ordinary life is a little too mundane for them. 


Question Corner

What would your act be in the Le Cirque des Rêves?

  • I feel like I would do something similar to Marco, but maybe not on as grand a scale as he did. I prefer staying behind the scenes when in production of plays or shows and I feel like that would translate over 

Top 5 Wednesday > Top 5 Independent Ladies

What’s up, angels?

Welcome back to another Top 5 Wednesday, an amazing tag made up by Samantha and Lainey, who you should definitely check out!

This week, we are talking about Independent Ladies and I’m so excited!!! I love so many independent female characters so this one was actually a little difficult narrowing them down but I tried to go with females that I don’t mention as often as others, but still admire.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!


1) Ava > Firebug Duology by Lish McBride

Firebug and Pyromantic were two of the very first novels I ever reviewed on this blog and it seems like such a long time ago!!!

This series was definitely a fast read for me and one of the reasons for that was the humor in it, which a lot of the time, could be rooted back to Ava.

Ava is our main protagonist in this duology and she’s had to be strong and independent most of her life due to her past. She’s just such a badass I love her.

2) Evelyn Hugo > The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Literally no one should be surprised.

If you, for some reason, haven’t read my review on this book, it will be linked below (with all the other books mentioned) but you can probably gather that I loved it — very much.

Evelyn Hugo is such a badass who doesn’t need anyone else. She went through so much throughout her life and not everyone could have gotten through it in the first place, but beyond that, not a lot of people could have thrived through it all like she did.

I just love her, okay?

3) Jude Duarte > The Folk of the Air Series by Holly Black

Jude goes through some shit, guys.

She’s watched her mother’s ex-husband kill her mother, grew up around fey who, you know, hate her very being, and she has to deal with trying to prove herself to them over and over again and try not to get killed by them over the smallest thing!

She goes through a lot.

Even through all this, she remains strong and steady and she plans her next moves and proves herself to those around her again and again. She’s not afraid to kick some ass and even when she is afraid, she still does what needs to be done.

And that’s why she’s a legend.

4) Princess Amari > Legacy of Orisha Series by Tomi Adeyemi

I would die for Amari and that’s just the cold hard truth.

She spent her life trying to learn all of these lessons that go completely against her morals and when the time came to step up, she did.

Then she went against every single thing she’d be taught and came to know and did what she thought was right.

What could possibly be more strong and independent than that?

5) Elka > The Valiant Series by Lesley Livingston

*whispers* She’s such a badass.

SHE’S JUST SO COOL, OKAY? Throughout this series, Elka has always caught my eye as a worthy opponent, an amazing friend, and an independent and strong ass woman.

That’s just it.


FOR ALL YOUR LINKING NEEDS ~

Firebug (Firebug Duology, #1) by Lish McBride Review

Pyromantic (Firebug Duology, #2) by Lish McBride Review

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid Review

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

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha Series, #1) by Tomi Adeyemi Review

The Valiant (The Valiant Series, #1) by Lesley Livingston Review

The Defiant (The Valiant Series, #2) by Lesley Livingston Review (if I ever decide to post it lol I’ll do it sometime thanks love you bye)


That is all for this Wednesday, you guys. I hope you all are having an amazing week and I’ll see you Friday. Bye!

Novel Review > ‘Daughter of the Pirate King’ by Tricia Levenseller

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller


Page Number 

311

Genre

YA > Fantasy; Adventure > Pirates; Romance

Summary

There Will be Plenty

of Time for Me to Beat

Him Soundly Once I’ve Gotten what

I Came For. 

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map — the key to a legendary treasure trove — seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.


Pre-Reading Notes

If you’ve been here for about 5 minutes, you may already know that I am partial to books about female pirates — I just love them so much!!! 

So of course I had to read this.


Thoughts While Reading

“Oh here we go”

“There’s already murder? I’m in this”

“Fine mannnn”

“This seems like it’s going to suck for her”

“There’s no way she’s completely human”

“She’s half-siren, calling it now”

“Knew it”

“Oh wow”

“That’s awful”

“THANKS I HATE IT”

“Wow he’s really awful”

“We going: fight?”

“WE GOING: FIGHT”

“OH YES”

“This is gonna be a mess”

“I was right”

“OOOO PAPA’S BACK”

“Wait that’s THE END”


Post-Reading Notes

Huh.

Just imagine whatever image you may have of me nodding my head. 


Favorite Quote from the Novel

“Everyone has something dark in their past. I suppose it’s our job to overcome it. And if we can’t overcome it, then all we can do is make the most of it.”

— Tricia Levenseller, page 61

My Thoughts

Just What I Needed

This novel was exactly what I needed at this moment in time. I wanted a fast read that wouldn’t cause me too much emotional distress and this book was perfect for that. This novel was pretty short compared to my usual reading lengths, being only around 300 pages, so it wasn’t surprising when I finished this novel in a day. With that being said, it definitely didn’t cause me any emotional distress so that was fun! I was definitely involved with the book but I wasn’t too terribly attached to the characters or the plot so it definitely helped me speed through it pretty fast. 

Favorite Character

Alosa, Daughter of the Pirate King

She’s just so badass??? And the siren portion of her is also super interesting to learn about. 

Alosa is the most interesting character in the book, though I don’t think she’s up there with my favorite characters ever. 

Final Review and Rating

3.5/5

This is definitely a good book to read for reading sake. 

Would/Will I Continue the Series?

I probably won’t search for the second novel, Daughter of the Siren Queen, outright but I will definitely pick it up if I see it. 

Who Should Read This Novel 

People who are in a reading slump. And the female pirate lovers should give this one a try. 


Question Corner

Would you rather be a siren or a pirate?

  • Probably a siren honestly, as much as I love pirating. Sirens have just always interested me beyond belief. 

Top 5 Wednesday > Top 5 Nostalgic Ships

What’s up, angels?

We return in February for another Top 5 Wednesday! Now, for those who don’t know, Top 5 Wednesday is a tag created by Samantha and Laney and it’s so much fun!

This week’s topic is Top 5 Nostalgic Ships, and I actually only have three ships that give me a nostalgic vibe. This is because I really didn’t read a lot of romance books until I got into high fantasy and fell down that rabbit hole.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it!


1) Alice Bell and Cole Holland

LISTEN THIS WAS THE FIRST COUPLE I WAS EVER SUPER INVESTED IN!!!

Alice and Cole are from The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter and I love this series more than I can possibly explain.

I would die for this couple and that’s just the truth.

2) Clary Fray and Jace Herondale

Our last two both come from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare because this series definitely has some nostalgic vibes for me.

First up, we have Clary and Jace. I,,,, loved these two together so much. And even as the Shadowhunter Universe progresses, I still love their dynamic together and it just makes me super happy.

3) Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane

These two may just be my favorite couple to ever come out of the Shadowhunter Universe, next to Gwyn and Diana, and that’s saying something because I love these pairings SO MUCH!!!

But Alec and Magnus’ whole vibe have always entranced me and their interactions together are so cute and I’m just in love okay.


Pretend there are two more, will you?

That is all for today, everyone. I hope you all have a good day!!!

Novel Review > ‘King of Scars’ by Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo


Page Number 

514

Genre

YA > Fantasy

Summary

Face Your Demons . . .

       Or Feed Them.

The Boy King. The War Hero. The prince with a demon curled inside his heart. Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. The people of Ravka don’t know what he endured in their bloody civil war and he intends to keep it that way. Yet with each day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built.

Zoya Nazyalensky has devoted her life to honing her deadly talents and rebuilding the Grisha army. Despite their magical gifts, Zoya knows the Grisha cannot survive without Ravka as a place of sanctuary — and Ravka cannot survive a weakened king, Zoya will stop at nothing to help Nikolai secure the throne, but she also gas new enemies to conquer in the battle to come. 

Far north, Nina Zenik wages her own kind of war against the people who would see the Grisha wiped from the earth forever. Burdened by grief and a terrifying power, Nina must face the pain of her past if she has any hope of defeating the dangers that await her on the ice. 

Ravka’s king. Ravka’s general. Ravka’s spy. They will journey past the boundaries of science and superstition, of magic and faith, and risk everything to save a broken nation. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried, and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.


Pre-Reading Notes

I’m literally TOO excited over this book. 

IT’S FINALLY HERE, GUYS! KING OF SCARS IS FINALLY OUT AND IN MY HANDS AND I HAVEN’T STOPPED SCREAMING.


Thoughts While Reading

“This is going to: hurt”

“Wow this already hurts alright”

“Matthias :(“

“I’m sad”

“I would die for Nina”

“I would also die for Zoya alright”

“Thanks, I love it”

“I wonder how long it’s going to take for shit to hit the fan”

“Okay NOT LONG”

“NOT LONG AT ALL”

“OOF”

“Alright creepy castle here we go”

“Please fall in love with her PLEASE YOU DESERVE IT”

“Dragon man oh god yes!”

“We stan”

“Oh wow” x100

“Oh god” x100

“Oh no” x100

“I KNEW HE WASN’T DEAD YOU COWARDS


Post-Reading Notes

Wow uhm okay. I really have only one coherent thought and it is . . . I KNEW HE WASN’T DEAD


Favorite Quote from the Novel

“Most women suffer thorns for the sake of the flowers. But we who would wield power adorn ourselves in flowers to hide the sting of our thorns.”

— Sankta Elizaveta, page 387

My Thoughts

The Hints of the Past

Something that immediately got my attention and something that was prevalent throughout the entire novel is that there were bits of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy and the Six of Crows Duology snuck in. I mean, I kind of already knew that there was going to be elements of the trilogy in the book but I wasn’t expecting as many references to the Dregs (which was admittedly a bit foolish) but no matter, because I loved every morsel. Getting the little sneak peaks back to my favorite characters and these characters’ past stories was so amazing and I loved it. 

I especially loved the reference to Alina at Keramzin :(((

Full Circle (Also Referred to As > I KNEW HE WASN’T DEAD YOU IMBECILES)

*** SPOILER BEGINS ***

The Grishaverse began in Shadow and Bone. In Shadow and Bone, we met Alina Starkov, who would become our beloved Sun Saint, and we also met the Darkling, whom I had a feeling that we hadn’t seen the last of by the end of Ruin and Rising

And I was RIGHT! Kind of. 

I had a feeling that we hadn’t seen the last of our dear Darkling, and we most certainly haven’t. The Darkling is officially back, in poor Yuri’s body (he kind of deserved it, the delusional fool), and I cannot wait to see where this goes in the story. And how the Trimurvate is going to handle it (probably not well). 

I wonder if someone’s going to tell Alina and Mal?

*** SPOILER ENDS ***

The Perfect Set Up! 

The main “complaint” I’m hearing about this novel is that some people weren’t stoked on the ending. And I can see why. A lot happened in those last 100 pages and it was a bit crazy. 

Personally, I enjoyed the ending. I enjoyed the Darkling as a character so a part of me is glad that he has returned because I know it’s going to have a huge impact on our protagonists. 

But with the ending in general, I honestly think Bardugo’s goal was to make us angry. Because this ending is the perfect set up to another book, one I cannot wait to read!

Let’s Talk About Our Main Three — and some Saints

Nikolai — Oh, my tortured king. He’s doing his best. I loved seeing his witty self again and I am very excited to see where his story leads. 

Zoya — I’ve grown to love Zoya. Getting to know her throughout this novel was truly a blessing. Her power is growing so much stronger and I am so excited to see just how powerful she will become, and how she will change Grisha forever. I also enjoyed her and Nikolai’s little moments and I wouldn’t be too upset if they blossomed into something else, though I don’t know if it’d be my first choice.

Nina — My sweet baby, ass kicking angel. I love her so much. I loved seeing her in this novel as she deals with her grief, her interactions with Trassell (when I tell you I WEPT), and I loved seeing her get close to Hanne. Most of all, I loved turning the last page of this book knowing that Nina Zenik was going to do what she had to do for the Grisha, for us, and, most importantly, for herself.

Now, About the Saints — When I first realized that these people in this castle were the Saints, the ones we’ve heard about since Shadow and Bone, the ones who SWEET Inej names her blades after — I was worried. I didn’t know how they could die in but it was stupid of me to doubt Bardugo — she delivered. I ended up enjoying their portions immensely. 

Favorite Character

Zoya Nazyalensky

I’m gonna be real with you guys — I was a little apprehensive about Zoya, I didn’t really like her in the trilogy. But getting to know her throughout this novel was so amazing. I ended up falling in love with her. She reminds me of myself and how people who don’t really know me perceive me and I don’t know, I guess a lot of her resonated with me. 

Final Review and Rating

4.5/5

It was amazing. And I cannot wait for more. 
How is Bardugo going to wrap all this up in only one other book???

Would/Will I Continue the Series?

I literally don’t have a choice . . . I have to.

Who Should Read This Novel 

People who love troubled kings and badass women. And Saints. Also, the lovers of Leigh Bardugo.


Question Corner

What’s your favorite series in the Grishaverse?

  • Got to be honest, my favorite series is still the Six of Crows Duology. Those books changed something in me, something I don’t know if another book or series can replicate. 

Novel Review > ‘Nevernight’ by Jay Kristoff

Hello, angels!

I’m sorry that this review is a day late. I got super sick this week and I had plans to write the review for this book Friday morning, but then I didn’t wake up until 1:30pm and when I did, I felt awful.

But here it is!

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff


Page Number 

444

Genre

YA > Fantasy

Summary

In a world where the suns almost never set, a woman gains entry to a school of infamous assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers that destroyed her family. Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. alone and friendless, she wanders a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and its thugs. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the hearth of a retired killer and a future she never imagined. 

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic — the Red Church. Deadly trails await her within the Church’s halls: blades and poisons, treachery and death. If she survives to initiation, she’ll be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder and be one step closer to the only thing she desires: revenge.


Pre-Reading Notes

First off, I love Jay Kristoff’s author bio.

Secondly, I am so excited for so many reasons!!! This is the first book for this month’s Shoulda Coulda Woulda Read-A-Thon and I cannot wait!If you want to know all the details of this read-a-thon, click here. But the short version is that I compiled a list of 18 books, let my best friend pick 6, and that is my TBR for this month. 

Out of the books on that list, the first one I’m going to read is Nevernight because I cannot wait any longer. I need to read this book, guys. 


Thoughts While Reading

“Alright so we’re getting right into it I see”

“Wow what a douche”

“Sweetie”

“This got sad”

“She really just threw him overboard, I understand”

“I love Mister Kindly”

“Thanks, I love it”

“How does he have that powerful of a nose?”

“Are they going to fall in love” (Yes, and it’ll break your sad little heart)

“Bastard is really relatable”

“She saved her yay!”

“Oh okay understandable”

“Enemies already??”

“He just cut her arm off okay”

“WHAT IS HAPPENING”

“HUH”

“Bookworm”

“HA”

“What is she doing”

“This is going to end bad”

“YEP I WAS RIGHT NO”

“TRIC MY BABY NO”

“I’m going to fight”

“Go Mia!”

“I feel like a proud mom”


Post-Reading Notes

Will I ever get tired of assassins??? Probably not. 


Favorite Quote from the Novel

“You’ve got words in your soul. The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of words, A girl with a story to tell.”

— Chronicler Aelius, page 243

My Thoughts

It’s Just So Good

I loved basically everything about this novel. Every piece of information given, I devoured. 

The characters, whether good or bad (well, in this book, it’s just a matter of perspective — every character is a little bad), are so interesting to learn about.

The hints of magic here and there were so cool and gorey (*cough* blook magick *cough*) and I can’t wait to learn more about it.

The entire premise surrounding the plot itself was fascinating! I loved learning about the Red Church and all its inhabitants. The twists and turns this novel kept me on the edge of my seat and I was so surprised at the ending! 

This world was built to perfection and I loved it so much. 

The Footnotes!!!

One thing that really stood out to me about this novel was the use of footnotes. For those who don’t know, footnotes are notes that can be found at the bottom of a page. Footnotes correspond to a number, or in this case, a symbol in the next. I had never seen footnotes used in any fiction books I’d read until this one and the use of them really helped me learn more and more about this world. They were an amazing touch to this already amazing book. 

Our Lovely Narrator

This narrator is definitely one of, if not my favorite, narrator that has come from a book. They are so witty and borderline cruel and their personality fits this novel so well. The Cavet Emptor and the Dicta Ultima were the major parts of the book where the narrator got to shine through and I loved those parts so much. They give the vibe of the beginning and intermission of a fairy tale — except this one has a lot more murder and sand krakens.

Favorite Character

Mia Corvere

I’m completely in love with so many of these characters and it’s so hard for me to choose just one!!! The way Kristoff wrote these characters and brought them to life was so spectacular.

That being said, my favorite character has to go to Mia. She’s so badass and hard but she’s also soft and lovely. She’s so caring to those around her but she’s also kind of awful and I kind of love it? 

Final Review and Rating

4.5/5

I’m hopelessly in love okay??? Are you happy now???

Would/Will I Continue the Series?

I mean, of course. I have Godsgrave in my arsenal, ready to break my little mortal heart. 

Who Should Read This Novel 

Those who are fascinated with all things death — from the people who help you there to the things that help you avoid its clutches. And those who need a reminder that what you are born as doesn’t make you who you are. 


Question Corner

Which deadly art would you excel in?

  • Probably the Hall of Masks. Pulling faces and changing personalities at the flip of an internal switch is a powerful thing. 

January 2019 Recommendation > ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Happy February, angels!

I’m sorry January’s recommendation is going up late, I forgot to write it before the day of . . . and then I got real sick. So this recommendation may be a bit more scatter brained than usual. Have fun with that!

Without further ado, let’s get into it!


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid!

This novel took the entire book world by STORM.

I saw everyone talking about this book — from avid readers to the people who just read the books on those “100 Books to Read Before You Die” lists. But not only was everyone talking about it — everyone was raving about it.

This book united all readers of any kind together and that is powerful.

I was on a ledge for a while, deciding if I should actually take the leap and read this book. After seeing a good friend of mine whose book opinion I trust rave about it, I knew I had to pick it up.

And I did! When I first picked up this book, I couldn’t stop. I read it all in one day and when I finished it, I sat in bed and stared at the wall with all that this novel was coursing through my head.

This novel deserves everyone talking about it. It’s such an interesting take on 60’s Hollywood and takes beautiful lengths to talk about so many things people go through: from domestic assault to divorce to the female sexuality and so much more.

Everyone can find something to connect with here.


FOR ALL YOUR LINKING NEEDS ~

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid Review


That’s it for now! Hopefully by tomorrow the review that was supposed to go up today will be up!