Book Review : In a Holidaze

Rating 5/5

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Mae is at the lowest point in her life; hating her job and living with her parents at twenty-six because of a failed attempt at a career in L.A. She is spending the holidays in her favorite place in the world, a cabin in Utah with her family and closest friends, including the one she’s been in love with since she was thirteen. This should be the best kind of pick-me-up, but instead, she makes a mess of things with her lifelong best friend and she finds out that this is the last year they all will spend in the cabin.

On December 26th, she dejectedly heads home with her family wishing she knew what would make her happy. On the way to the airport, they get into an accident. She hears metal crashing and tires screeching, and everything goes black. She wakes up panicked, but instead of a hospital, she finds herself on a plane…on the way to Utah…on December 20th. She now has to relive her holiday vacation over and over again until she figures out why she is in this time loop and the answer to the question she was asking the universe right before this all started.

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REVIEW:

The value of your wonderful family, lifelong friends that become necessities of your life, is really illustrated by this novel. The parents of Mae have friends that go back more than thirty years. They became a family, and now their kids are growing up in the same way. They all live in different parts of the world, but they have such a deep love for each other that they return to this cabin in Utah every year and it’s like they’ve never been apart before. I could feel the love through the pages of this book.

I enjoyed this book. All around, it is funny and heartwarming. I smiled at myself for the whole time I read it. This is one of the feel-good books that each time I picked it up placed me in a good mood. I love the fact that this is a holiday novel, because I’m going to treat it like a Christmas movie I have to watch every year and I’m going to pull it out every December.

Book Review : Emergency Contact

Rating: 4 out of 5

Goodreads Synopsis

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

Book Review

One thing that I really liked about Emergency Contact was the double perspectives. The book is told from the point of view of Sam and Penny. Two POVs don’t work out sometimes. This, fortunately, was not the case here! Sam and Penny are different, and their voices are separate. I loved reading from both of them, and they brought something new to the table from both their POVs.

I love romance. Slow burn, best mates, hate love, you name it, I love it! In Emergency Contact, after she becomes her emergency contact, Penny and Sam become close friends. It takes a while for something to happen, but it was cute with the longing. Penny and Sam are both not sure what to do with their thoughts, what to do and how to act on them. It was cute to see them go through these crushes, and the relationship was worth the wait.

I loved Emergency Contact, if you couldn’t tell from my review. I thought it was an appropriate (and hilarious) college representation. I liked Penny more from two points of view. Sam was amazing, but Penny seemed to be much more genuine. The relationship was so adorable and the reverse of insta-love.

Book Review: Serpent and Dove

Rating : 4 out of 5

Synopsis

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

Review

I enjoyed a lot about this book. Shelby Mahurin’s debut novel is a strikingly passionate, chilling story.

I went into this book expecting witchcraft to be large and present all the time, but as I read, I realised that this was a slow-burning love storey with an equal amount of witchcraft present. Mahurin manages to align the romance of the book well with the action that is well-associated with the witches. Whenever I thought I was lacking the action in the novel, here comes the action scene to bring me back to the plot.

The truth is there was nothing I didn’t like about this tale. When I thought that I didn’t like the way the magic method was explained in the novel, Mahurin made me realise that I needed to be patient and that in the next few pages it will be completely planned for me. When I thought I didn’t like how Reid couldn’t let go of his convictions, I was made to understand his storey, and then I felt very bad about him.

Overall, I gave this book four stars because I wouldn’t have made it any other way. The storyline was fantastic, the relationship was great, and the end left me wanting more of the world of Lou and Reid.

I would certainly recommend this book to people who love the bad-a** female protagonist who secretly has a heart of gold.

Book Review : Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

If you have never read Six of Crows, do it. I promise you, you will NOT regret it!!

-Six of Crows

I never felt so pleased with a book, and Leigh Bardugo’s Six of the Crows certainly satisfied me. It’s an absolute pleasure to read. All I wanted to do was keep turning the pages to find out what happened next. Six of the Crows is a beautiful novel. Pacing is excellent, high packed action and jaw-dropping reveals.

-Crooked Kingdom

What. A. Book.

The action in these books is similar to no other, and you really get caught up in it! Tension and risks are getting so high that you literally can not stop reading when you start. I have found myself promising ‘one more chapter’ over and over again. The humorous dialogue combined with the tension and emotional wrangling of the end made this one of my favourite books of all time.

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V. E. Schwab

Release Date: 6th October 2020

Publisher: Titan Books

Pages: 560

Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever-and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore, and he remembers her name.

In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After Life, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s #1 New York Times Bestselling Author genre-defying tour de force.

Review

One of my favourite writers is V. E. Schwab. I had the highest hopes when I went into Addie LaRue, and I always felt this was going to be a five star reading. Addie LaRue’s Invisible Life isn’t just a five star read, though, it’s without a doubt my favourite 2020 novel and probably my all-time favorite book. If you take from me one book suggestion, it will be to pick up this one.

I’m not sure I’ve got the words to express how much I enjoyed this book. V. E. Schwab has such a beautiful style of lyrical writing and in this story, it shines. I liked Addie’s timelines in the present and in the past. It’s a very slow-paced tale, but it suits the mood and the atmosphere perfectly.

This is a really brilliant story and part of the reason I think I enjoyed it so much is because Schwab has produced a terrific protagonist. As you follow Addie, you are so attached to her that it was interesting to see her evolve as a character and adapt as an immortal to her life. She is a smart and determined character and she somehow picks herself up and moves ahead even though she thinks of giving up.

A compelling story, full of love and heartbreak. It is the ideal story to lose yourself in. There’s been quite a lot of speculation about this one already, so it’s totally worth it. I didn’t want this one to end, a magical tale from beginning to end. I can’t wait to see what V. E. Schwab is doing next.

Book Review: The Cruel Prince (Holly Black, The Folk of the Air #1)

Rating: ★★★★/5

“Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.” – The Cruel Prince

Hello! How are you all today?

Ever since it came out, I have been wanting to read this book and I’ve been putting it off for so long. This is my first book on my November TBR, and it didn’t disappoint, so keep reading to find out what I’ve been thinking about The Cruel Prince!

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS

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.

MY REVIEW

One of the aspects about The Cruel Prince that I enjoyed most was its settings and its details. The writing style of Holly Black is very poetic, and she managed to create a beautiful setting for this dark tale. When a book has a map at the beginning, I love it and this one is so beautiful!

I felt like all the lush depictions of luxurious homes were really quite a great contrast to what was actually happening as well as the characters. I got the feeling that the atmosphere really helped make the whole thing even darker and more atmospheric.

I really enjoyed the character descriptions and developments in this book. It was a cast that was really solid. With the number of characters, it could seem a little confusing, and one or two times I had to go back a few paragraphs to check, but as the book progresses, the story really focuses on the most important ones. I always liked how we got to learn more about these characters in relation to what was happening and find out how important they were.

If you like dark fantasy with faeries, betrayal, some brutality, cruelty, beautiful descriptions, solid world creation, and the growth of characters, then I think you’re going to like this book as much as I did.

♡ Book Review: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim ♡

♡ What it’s about :

When Maia’s father is summoned to compete in a competition to become the new royal tailor, Maia disguises herself as her brother and goes in his stead. But the competition is only one of her problems. Edan, the royal enchanter, is infatuated with her secret and Lady [name] finds fault in everything presented to her. When Maia is tasked with creating three impossible dresses, she sets off on a journey to capture the sun, moon, and stars… and just might find more than she bargained for.

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♡ From the first page, I knew I would love this story. The magic, the writing, the protagonist, the plot—these aspects breathe new life into the fairy tale genre. Paired with Elizabeth Lim’s prose, Spin the Dawn is spellbinding.It is a gorgeous retelling of several fairy tales that introduces a brave new heroine and a romance to last the ages. Some aspects fell short of my expectation, but fans of YA fantasy are sure to love this story.

♡ Book Review: Anya and the Dragon by Sofiya Pasternack ♡

♡ What it’s about :

Anya is the daughter of the only Jewish family in her village. When the bigoted magistrate threatens to take away their home, Anya agrees to help capture the last dragon in the area in exchange for money. But when she finds out the “scary old” dragon isn’t old or scary, she begins to rethink her decisions. Faced with an impossible choice, Anya can either save her family or the dragon. 

♡ I saw the cover plus the word “dragon” in the title and I immediately hit the request button. Reading Anya and the Dragon, though, was like reading a fairy tale. It has its slow parts, its exciting action scenes, and its important moments that make you step back from the page and think. Overall, it’s a fun middle grade fantasy about family, friendship, and magic.

♡ Book Review: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig ♡

♡ What it’s about :

Once there were twelve sisters, but after four die tragically, rumors of the family being cursed begin to circulate throughout the surrounding islands. When Annaleigh sees ghostly visions of her sisters haunting the manor’s halls, she becomes convinced that they didn’t die by accident. Her remaining sisters, however, have been sneaking out to attend enchanting balls and dance their grief away. As Annaleigh searches for answers about their family’s tragedies, she begins to suspect something more sinister is at work, and everything—the balls, the deaths, her family’s history—is connected.

♡ This book kept me guessing, even until the end. There were so many moments I was angry at the story because it didn’t go in the direction I had hoped only to have everything to flip upside down as the plot yanked me somewhere else. The twists and turns of the book are as turbulent at the sea surrounding the island the sisters live on. At times, this made the book confusing, but in the end, I was able to piece together everything that was happening. House of Salt and Sorrows is a great read if you’re looking for something slightly creepy, somewhat magical, and extremely atmospheric. It’s perfect to pick up for an autumn read or if you’re in the mood for a dark fairy tale retelling.

♡ Book Review: Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto ♡

♡ What’s it about :

Veronkya has been dreaming of one thing: to find a Phoenix egg and become one of the legendary Phoenix Riders. But the Phoenix Riders have been in hiding since the war that ripped apart the kingdom. When her sister betrays her, Veronkya sets out to find the Phoenix Riders on her own, but joining them means she’ll have to disguise herself as a boy and lie about who she is. Meanwhile, the empire is on the hunt for Phoenix Riders and will do whatever it takes to destroy them once and for all.

♡ Crown of Feathers is a long book, but it’s packed with a lot. I love the concept of the phoenixes and how they can bond with animages. I also like the depth of history and lore the story has, especially in connection to the two royal sisters. Plus, that cover art is gorgeous and it includes a cool map. If you like well-developed fantasy stories with cool mythical creatures, morally gray characters, and an epic story lines, read Crown of Feathers.

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