A Year Full of Beautiful Covers

Listen, I’m not saying I judge books by their covers. I’m just saying, they’re nice to look at, and I’m more inclined to take pictures of them and display them on my shelves and okay maybe I judge books by their covers.

It’s just so hard not to when the books coming out are so dang pretty, and this year’s releases are no exception.

My blog is full of posts talking about books and their contents and reviews of those books. I think I’m entitled to be shallow every once in a while and bask in the beauty of a butt-load of book covers.

So here we go.

51ub94q0GWL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Even though I may not have loved A Very Large Expanse of Sea, the writing on this cover is so aesthetically pleasing. This combination of colors and pretty fonts is perfect, and I’m just disappointed I couldn’t love the inside as much as I loved the outside.

91JGnozCxiLThere is something so wonderfully ghostly about this paranormal re-imagining of Jane Eyre, My Plain Jane. I also happened to really enjoy this read, even more than I did My Lady Jane! Although I’ve never read Jane Eyre before, it definitely made me want to get into the original! And anything that inspires me to want to read classics is a win in my book.

81PYy9EQs1LWhat’s a pretty cover collection without a Schwab title? So I’m mad that this cover isn’t available in the US and I ended up with the blue-ish cover, but I can still admire this beauty from a distance. *soft crying noises* City of Ghosts was such a fun, adorable read, and it has convinced me that Victoria Schwab can literally write anything. Any genre, any age group, anything.

60869Another stunning cover that I think everyone can agree is just jaw-dropping is The Hazel Wood. The gold and silver embossing on this book is to die for; if I hadn’t actually enjoyed this read, I still would have kept it on my shelf just because. This one has such opposing reviews online, but thankfully I found it inventive and haunting and I can’t wait to read the next one!

the-wicked-deep-9781481497343_hrThe Wicked Deep is another obvious one for me, especially for the naked hardcover on the first edition and the beautiful night sky. *heart eyes* Such a lovely, atmospheric read, with writing just as pretty as the cover. I can’t wait to reread this next year around Halloween!

34499221I’ll indulge myself one moment longer and share the cover of To Kill a Kingdom, this beautiful Little Mermaid retelling. I absolutely loved this read, and it gave me hope that retellings aren’t completely hopeless! That’s not to say I don’t enjoy them, but lately they’ve become a little repetitive. To Kill a Kingdom was inventive and unique while still remaining true to the source material.

Thank you for sticking around for my book fashion show. I promise I’ll go back to intelligent musings and discussions after this, but come on. You have to admit. They’re so pretty.

Finally Fall Book Tag

wide angle photo of road

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

It’s fall! … but it doesn’t feel like it for me, sadly. I live in Hawaii, which in retrospect is amazing and I know I’m unbelievably lucky to be here. Still, I do miss the temperature getting below 70 degrees and being able to wear sweaters and scarves without getting funny looks (because yes, I do still try to get away with it).

But it’s still fall in my brain, so by golly I’m gonna do this tag.

51bIN6SUb1L._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_Crisp Fall Air – a book that felt fresh and new

It took me way too long to come up with a single book that this applied to, which I suppose is a good thing! This means I’ve read lots of unique, amazing books so far this year. There were many contenders, but the title I decided on was Bird Box by Josh Malerman. This was such a great read and gave me hope that the thriller genre isn’t dead yet. It’s been such a struggle for me to connect with this genre lately, which is a shame because I love thrillers! They’ve just become so bland and predictable lately, and Bird Box breathed life into me again. Read my full review here.

9781250095312Howling Winds – an ending that blew you away

This one was also a close call, between Legendary and An Absolutely Remarkable Thing; and Legendary wins over by just a fraction. The whole book was a wild ride, and the reader was always thinking: Who is Legend? I loved the big reveal, but that cliffhanger was rough. Tella became a new favorite character and I found that I enjoyed this installment even more than I loved Caraval, the first book. Read my full review here.

81Csb1x-vSLComfy Sweaters – a book that gave you the warm fuzzies

So Love and Other Words may be a strange choice because this broke my heart, but it was also undeniably sweet. There’s nothing quite like a childhood love blossoming into adulthood, but this one had angst and tragedy as well. I felt about every emotion on the spectrum during this read, but ultimately, my heart grew and felt warm in the end.

411h5t91y4LBright Colors – a cover with either red, orange or yellow

I chose the first book I came across that applied and ended up with Vicious, a read from October. This book was positively villainous and I can’t wait to read Vengeance soon!

9781619636118Leaf Fight – a book with nonstop action

There was no question what book I would choose for this: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas. This final installment in the Throne of Glass series was chock-full of action and battle sequences that forced me to keep reading long into the night. Seriously, I stayed up until 4 am to finish this. It was worth it. Read my full review here.

KingofscarsPumpkin Spice – your most anticipated read

This was another obvious one for me; Leigh Bardugo is at the top of my list of auto-buy authors, and Nikolai is my sweet little cinnamon roll. Of course King of Scars is my most anticipated read. I could not be more excited for Nikolai’s spin-off books and I’m ready to just eat this up.

Thank you for joining me today! If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged!

BOOK REVIEW: Victoria Schwab “Our Dark Duet”

our-dark-duet-victoria-schwab-book-coverTitle: Our Dark Duet

Author: Victoria Schwab

Genre: Fantasy/Dystopian

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

 

This book picks up a few months after the events of the first book, This Savage Song, and follows the same two main characters: August and Kate.

I’m having a very hard time reviewing this. On one hand, objectively, this book is amazing. Both books are. Schwab is an amazing author and the world-building in this duology was great. It’s a solid, good quality story.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid it’s not my cup of tea.

For one, the books are slow. I feel like a story about monsters and mayhem should have more going on, but I feel like very little happens in either of these books. In fact, even at the end of Our Dark Duet, conflict has still not been resolved. Really, I feel like the characters accomplished nothing.

The characters are likable enough, but it was hard for me to stay engaged to the story. I know the ending was intended to hit me in the feels, but it didn’t affect me much.

I still stand by my 4 star rating for the first book, even if I did think it was slow. A lot more actually happened in This Savage Song and I felt that upon closing the book, the story was promising. I guess Our Dark Duet just didn’t deliver for me.

It’s hard for me to say much more for fear of revealing spoilers, but I know that many, many people have enjoyed this duology. Don’t take my opinion of it as any sort of indication as to how you might enjoy the book. You’ll probably love it based on the average reviews I’ve seen flying around on Goodreads!

I feel the need to again mention the beautiful writing and my deep admiration for Schwab and her abilities. A Darker Shade of Magic is on my immediate TBR list and I’m still quite excited to jump in. I haven’t given up on her yet!

 

Victoria Schwab: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

BOOK REVIEW: Victoria Schwab “This Savage Song”

{A62F21A6-0618-40CF-BDDA-23C38468FA5C}Img400Title: This Savage Song

Author: Victoria Schwab

Genre: Fantasy/Dystopian

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

In the city of Verity, the people live in fear of two things: the monsters, and the man who controls the monsters.

There are three types of monsters: the Corsai, the Malchai, and the Sunai. The first two are terrifying creatures that murder their prey brutally, the first feeding on flesh and bone, the second feasting on blood. That is, unless you’re under the protection of Callum Harker. Then you carry a medallion that will ward off the monsters and ensure your safety.

The Sunai are much more rare. In fact, there are only three known Sunai, and they’re the most mysterious and terrifying of all. They feast on the souls of sinners.

August Flynn is a Sunai, but he doesn’t want to be. He wishes he were human and he hates what he is. Still, his path crosses with that of the daughter of Callum Harker, Kate, and there is born an unlikely friendship between enemies.

My thoughts:

I love how unique this story is; there really isn’t anything quite like it. Each monster is born from some sinful act, whether it be theft or lies or murder. Unlike the Corsai and the Malchai, August, a Sunai, can only feed on the souls of sinners. AKA, people who have killed mass amounts of people in this case. These monsters appeared after the Phenomenon, or the Phenomenon occurred because the monsters were born, I’m not sure. Honestly, the Phenomenon is still a mystery to me, and I think that’s the idea. This aspect of the story is very intriguing and I’m excited to learn more in the second and final book, Our Dark Duet.

The characters were interesting and well-done, particularly the two main characters. I enjoyed Kate and August’s interactions and banter, and I loved the friendship that develops between them. When Kate finds out what August really is, I love that she gives him the benefit of the doubt, and she takes into account what she knows of his character. She doesn’t immediately write him off and grows to trust him despite his true identity.

Unfortunately, while I was still very interested in the story within the first half, it was also slow. I understand that Schwab was taking her time building the world and unfolding each character to us, but it took me forever to read it and seemed to drag. Still, it picked up later on and I loved where it went.

Other than that, I don’t have too much to say about the book. What else is there to mention? I look forward to reading Our Dark Duet soon so that I can finish this up and see how August and Kate’s story ends. I have high hopes!

Victoria Schwab: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

24-Hour Read-A-Thon and Certain Death

Hello, book people! I feel terribly because for a few weeks, I was posting so regularly and then I hit a dry spell. My excuse is that my husband and I started a keto diet, which is high fat, low carb. Incidentally, less than 48 hours into it, the carb withdrawals began, and boy, my body was not happy. I had major headaches, stomach aches, and several not-so-fun trips to the restroom. To say that I wasn’t in the mood to read or blog is an understatement.

However, I started feeling better Thursday, and it just so happened that my husband, a soldier in the Army, had a 24-hour duty scheduled. He basically has to go and stand watch at one of the singles barracks and tell people to settle down if they’re being too rowdy, but mostly the job consists of sitting in a chair and trying not to fall asleep from 9 o’clock one morning until 9 o’clock the next.

So I thought, “Hey, my husband’s going to be up all night, and I feel absolutely horrible when he comes home exhausted the morning after a duty.” So I decided to stay up for 24 hours also, and use that time to catch up on the week of reading that I missed. In addition, Alex (the husband) told me I was welcome to come to the barracks he was watching and sit in with him.

That night, I packed a bunch of books, some snacks, and I did just that. We settled in for the night around 7 p.m. By then, I had already finished my first book of the day, Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, and I was ready to knock out at least two more books. I even packed a book for my husband, The Lightning Thief, the first book from the Percy Jackson series, although he didn’t read it for long. He’s not much of a reader.

The next book I read was This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab, which I finished around midnight. I’m estimating here because the night was a total blur. I documented my all-nighter on my Instagram story, but that has long since disappeared unfortunately, so I can’t refer to it for times. However, I do know that I very much enjoyed the book. It was unique and interesting and dark; but I feel like it took me forever to get through it! Maybe it was because the first half was so slow, or maybe it was because fatigue was starting to set in. (What can I say? I’m a grandma. I’m in bed by 10.)

Even though I had the second book in the duology with me, Our Dark Duet, I wanted a break from that world and decided to read Little Monsters by Kara Thomas next.

That book was a ride. I had picked it up at the library a few days before and I was so excited. I had heard it was good, and I was so freaking ready to read a mystery/thriller that I hadn’t guessed the ending to. Maybe that sounds braggy, but it feels like lately, all the mysteries I’ve been reading have been predictable for me, and so I was never surprised and ended up being pretty unimpressed.

Little Monsters ended up surprising me, which is all I could have asked for, so I was very, very pleased. The book kept me guessing the entire time, and while I did try to predict the ending throughout, all of my theories ended up being wrong. Which made me happy?

By this time, it was 3 a.m. and I was beat. I wanted to keep reading, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to retain any of it. So I just sat there for the rest of the night, or at least until 7 when I gave up and went to the car to sleep. I slept until 9, when my husband got to the car, and then I crashed when we got home and slept until noon.

Suffice it to say, I am not good at all-nighters, and I didn’t do as well during my read-a-thon as I had hope. I had wanted to read at least two more books but I am a wimp. Still, the books I read were all pretty good-sized books. I’ll definitely be doing more read-a-thons in the future, but preferably one where I’m lounging on a couch instead of sitting in uncomfortable chairs outside where there are frat boy-like soldiers acting stupid and a chilly wind.