The Friday 56 (4)

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice.

This week I chose 56% of  of The Star Touched Queen from Roshani Chokshi. 

I plunged the knife into the tree, pushing all my force, my heartbreak, my broken dreams, into the tree’s thick bark. “


I’ve only read a few chapters of the book so far, but I am really enjoying the author’s writing style. I also participate in “First Lines Friday”, to see the first lines of this book head over to that post by clicking here


The Star-Touched Queen by [Chokshi, Roshani]Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.”


First Lines Friday (9)

First Lines Fridays is hosted by Wandering Words.

Here are the rules (as outlined by Wandering Words):

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book

Staring at the sky in Bharata was like exchanging a secret. It felt private, like I had peered through the veil of a hundred worlds.”


Scroll down for more info about the book.


The Star-Touched Queen by [Chokshi, Roshani]Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.”


I have had this on my library wait-list forever (seriously, I’ve been on it since March 11th!) because I received an ARC of the second book in the series A Crown of Wishes. I’m finally starting it today! I am also participating in the Friday 56 using this book as well —->click here to see that post 🙂

Top 5 Wednesday (on Thursday? Oops) (11)

Remember a couple weeks ago when I said I was going to do these every week again?

… oops

I am going to try and do what I used to do and have scheduled posts for when I know I will be having busy weeks at work. The biggest reason I have been so far behind on EVERYTHING is because my sons’ baseball seasons started. I have a 5 year old and 7 year old who both play. Of course they are on different teams, and practice at different times AND days of the week, including two practices a week where I have to leave work an hour early to make it there. SERIOUSLY, who makes practice START at 5pm?! Oh, and their games are at two different field locations.

My cup runneth over and I still have another 2 months of it. Wish me luck.


Well now that my whine fest is over, let’s move onto the goods. 

This feature is hosted in the Top Five Wednesday group on Goodreads.

The topic this week is….


.1.

Tahereh Mafi

In light of the announcement made yesterday, she moved to the top of my list. I adored the Shatter Me Series and have been waiting for her to release a new YA novel. I didn’t read her middle-grade novel because it’s not really my taste, but I’m so excited for more Warner Juliette. 😉


.2.

Sarah Lyons Fleming

I will literally read anything this woman writes. I’m currently waiting for her to release the second book in her City Series (review on first book here), and I have already re-read her Until the End of the World Series (review here) twice now. It’s possible that another re-read will happen before the next book is released (she says she’s shooting for a June release). 

I’ll just be here…waiting:


.3.

Sarah J. Maas

God, I feel like this one is obscenely obvious, but I’m waiting on ACOWAR right now (like thousands of others, lol). I had to include it though, forgive me. 😂😂 


.4.

Suzanne Collins

I loved The Hunger Games so I will definitely read anything new she releases. I haven’t read Gregor the Overlander because again, middle grade isn’t my taste. 


.5.

Colleen Hoover

I’ve read 4 of her books, but I’m currently working my way through the rest. She does contemporary romance so well and has complex characters with unique backstories. 


FairyLoot Unboxing!

I got my very first FairyLoot box this month and I am so excited to share it with you! I love it!! It’s definitely my favorite sub box I’ve ever gotten and I plan on getting this box every month now. 

Side Note: my poor DHL delivery driver. This box got delivered at 11:30 PM last Friday night! I couldn’t believe he was out delivering so late! 

 

This goes without saying…but spoilers ahead for the APRIL box!

 

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Format: Audio
Narrators: Steven Crossley
Description
(Source: Amazon):

Kell is one of the last Antarimagicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in ArnesRed Londonand officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.”



Review:
Sigh. I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. Pretty much everyone I know told me how amazing this series was, but I hard a hard time with this one. I think there be a couple reasons for this: 1. The hype going in 2. the narration (I listened to the audio). The narrator did terrible female voices. Honestly, some of the worst I’ve ever heard. I listened to this on the heels of Illuminae, which is easily the very best audio book I’ve ever listened to, but still this was bad. His male voices were good, but maaaannnnn those female voices.

The story also moved a bit slow for me for about the first 50% of the book. There was a lot of world building and character development (the world Schwab creates was pretty amazing), but this made for a slow start.

With that being said, I did enjoy the book once I got past the halfway point. The two main protagonists are well developed and complex, and even the supporting characters are engaging.

 

Rating:

    

I rated it 4/5 stars because while it was slow moving for me, I can appreciate the incredible world building that was cause for it being a little slow to start. 

Final Thoughts:
– While it didn’t quite live up to the hype for me, I will continue the series. The second and third books have a different narrator so I would be willing to give those a shot again. 


First Lines Friday (8)

First Lines Fridays is hosted by Wandering Words.

Here are the rules (as outlined by Wandering Words):

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book

Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.”


Scroll down for more info about the book.


In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.
On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.”

I have been meaning to start this series for ages. I’m hoping to start next week!


Top Ten Tuesday (7)

“Top Ten Tuesday” is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

It’s been a while since I did one of these because either I couldn’t connect with the topic or I was just too busy! The next few weeks look really good though so I’m hoping to be able to find time to participate. 

The topic this week is….

Brace yourselves – you’re about to get spammed with some of my Insta posts. I think pictures can speak better for me than words. 🙂


.1.

Space! I’m pretty obsessed with space and sci-fi right now. Read my reviews on Defy the Stars and Illuminae if you’re interested. 🙂

 


.2.

Kick-ass females. I’m reading Flame in the Mist right now and looooving it. I can’t wait to finish and share my review! Other favorite strong girls: Katniss, Cealena and Zoey (Collector Series, read my review here).


.3.

Angels! I loved Penryn and the End of Days (except the end, that was just meh for me). I’ve read so many books about angels, and I don’t even care if they don’t get great reviews. I’m still probably going to read them, lol.


.4.

Friendship. I think The Lunar Chronicles are a a great representation of this. 


.5.

Greek Gods/Goddesses. The tale of Persephone and Hades is my favorite, but anything Greek Gods and I’m down. The paranormal Romance series Lords of the Underworld is a great place to start if you are looking!


.6.

Fae. All of them. lol My favorite Fantasy series is ACOTAR/ACOMAF (ONLY 2 MORE WEEKS UNTIL ACOWAR Y’all!!!) My second favorite fantasy series is called the Collector series by Stacey Marie Brown. I mentioned it above, but I’m going to link my review again here. It’s so good! It’s a Fae/Urban Fantasy NEW ADULT (Sex and language, but no more sexy than ACOMAF was). 


.7.

Beta Males. This is a new one for me, but Beta Males are totally my thing. Every once in a while I like a good Alpha male book, but those sweet Betas get me. 😍😍😍 If you are in the mood for one, check out Archer’s Voice. UGH SO GOOD. (Review on Goodreads here). 


.8.

Anything Beauty and the Beast Related (See caption under Insta post to see reasons why).


.9.

Actually…..anything fairy tale retelling related, lol. 


.10.

A great romance. I’m such a romantic person, so it had to make this list. 🙂 Slow burns are my favorite(*cough* See the Collector series mentioned in numbers 2 and 6*cough*), but I can get into insta-love if done right. What I don’t do – love triangles. More on that next week though 😉 


What about you? Link your lists in the comments so I can visit your page! 🙂

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Title: Illuminae
Author: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA
Format: Audio and Hardcover
Narrators: Olivia Taylor Dudley , Lincoln Hoppe , Johnathan McClain, full cast
Description
(Source: Amazon):

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
      The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than a speck at the edge of the universe. Now with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to evacuate with a hostile warship in hot pursuit.
     But their problems are just getting started. A plague has broken out and is mutating with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a web of data to find the truth, it’s clear the only person who can help her is the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
      Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, maps, files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.”


Review:
Wow. This book brought out my emotions more than any I have read in a while. One minute I was laughing at Kady’s sharp tongue, and the next I was crying at people’s last messages recorded and held in a ship’s black box (the box that is recovered after a plane, or in this case a spaceship, crashes). I’m not really much of a cryer while reading so the fact that this book made me cry three separate times speaks to how great this book was for me. 

Illuminae caught my attention right off the bat, as the very first page made me LOL.

…though profanity remains censored as per your instruction. Sure, the story kicks off with the deaths of thousands of people, but god forbid there be cussing in it, right?”

I wanted to point out that the book grabbed my attention right away because I am someone who usually requires 2-5 chapters to start getting connected with a book and the characters. 

I did something with this book that I have never done before: I got the audio from my library, but found that I started to get confused on the timeline of events so I bought a hard copy of the book to follow along with, and I loved it. The audio is amazing because there are 20, yes-TWENTY, voice actors! There are even sound effects as well! I think if you are only listening to the book you are missing out on an important aspect of the book though. The art and structure of the book is fantastic and entirely unique. I’ve already bought the second book (Gemina) in both audio and hard copy as well so I can follow along again. 

The format of the book being files and dossiers makes it seem like a mystery unfolding before your eyes. I kind of felt like a detective who was reading a case file. There is a huge plot twist in the book (that caught me 100% by surprise, and I am usually pretty good at guessing any twists) so I can’t really say much about the plot. I can tell you that it has lots of action, a little bit of romance, a crazy AI (AIDAN, why do I kind of ship him and Kady?!🙊🙊), a kick ass heroine, and lots of tear jerker moments. 

Read.This.Book.

Rating:

   

Final Thoughts:
– If you have the chance, listen to the audiobook while following along with the physical copy. It’s so much better that way, IMO.
– As soon as I’m done with my ARC TBRs in April I am going to reread this book. After some of the plot twists I want to go back and see if I can find any clues. 


Top 5 Wednesday (10)

Gah. It’s been almost a month since I posted a top 5 Wednesday! I’ve been such a bad blogger the last month! I’m hoping to get out of this funk I’ve been in. 

 

This feature is hosted in the Top Five Wednesday group on Goodreads.

The topic this week is….


.1.

Maybe it’s because this book is fresh in my mind since I just read it a couple weeks ago (read my review here), but this was the first book I thought of. I think the maneuvering in the asteroid belt would be intense. There are a few scenes that I can picture being awesome video game scenes:

  1. The explosion and subsequent escape in Kismet
  2. Navigating the underground tunnels in Cray with the Mechs on your tail
  3. Restoring health points in Stronghold, followed by the attempted escape
  4. The prison break on Earth

.2.

     

I feel like this book will probably be on a lot of people’s lists, because duh. With the popularity of Assassin’s Creed, Throne of Glass would be an obvious hit. Plus, the potential for so many games would be great if you did one game per book!


.3.

   

This is one of my new favorite series! It’s not very well known, but it would make a great game. It’s full of action, to include hand-to-hand combat, foot chases, multiple locations to escape, knife and sword fights, and gun fights. Plus a super sexy Viking warrior. Each book is packed with enough material for an entire game, so you would potentially have 4 games with varying locations and villains. Read my review on the first book here


.4.

So this would be more of a puzzle and simulation game, but I still think it would be a good one!


.5.

  

This is probably another series that will be on a lot of lists, but it would really make a great game! 


So what was on your list? Make sure you leave a link to your post below so I can check it out!

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (10)

This is a weekly feature hosted over at Book Date.

Hey everyone! I missed last Monday’s post so this one will summarize the last two weeks!


            

Everything, Everything: Review here (4/5 stars), Contemporary YA
Beauty of the Beast: Review here (5/5 stars), Historical Romance, Retellings
Confess: Review here (4/5 stars) Contemporary Romance
Maybe Someday: Review here (4/5 stars), Contemporary Romance
Maybe Not: did not review, but read review of Maybe Someday to get more info on it (3/5 stars), Contemporary Romance
City in Embers: Review here (5/5 stars), NA, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
The Barrier Between: Review here (5/5 stars),NA, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Across the Divide: Review to come (5/5 stars),NA, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
From Burning Ashes: Review to come (5/5 stars),NA, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Ugly Love: Review to come (4/5 stars), Contemporary Romance
Defy the Stars: Review here (4/5 stars), YA, Sci-Fi, Space Opera
Alex: Review to come (4/5 stars), Contemporary Romance

Gah! I’m so far behind on reviews! I’m going to try on catching up this week instead of reading so much. I hate being behind. I’ll be doing mini-reviews of Across the Divide and From Burning Ashes for two reasons: 1. they are sequels 2. I blew through the series so quickly that they all started to run together. 


  

Illuminae: I’m listening to this on audio right now and loving it so far. It’s a little confusing sometimes but what an awesome audiobook.
Garrett: I read the first book (Alex) and loved it. It’s contemporary romance. 
Slammed: I’ve been on a Colleen Hoover kick lately, but I’m having a hard time getting into this one. So many people love it though so I’m going to push through. I think it’s because the characters are a little younger than her usual books (18).