Novella Reviews- Cruel Crown (Red Queen 0.1-0.2)

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Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard
Published by HarperTeen on January 5th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Novellas: Queen Song and Steel Scars
Goodreads
Amazon

Queen Song


Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.

Steel Scars

Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.


25005214.jpgQueen Song (Red Queen 0.1)

Pages: 53

This novella follows Coriane from when she is 16 to her death.

The story feels a little cramped, and I wish there was a lot more detail, but then again it is a short novella, so I didn’t expect it to be super detailed. I loved to learn more about Coriane, and Tiberius (or Tibe) as they met and got married and eventually had Cal.

This novella definitely gave me a lot more of the King’s background, and it’s so interesting to see him in this vs. how he is in the Red Queen books. It just goes to show how much Coriane’s death and Elara really affected him.

It was also really interesting to be able to see into Coriane’s head, through her diary entries, as she spiraled into Elana-induced insanity. It did feel a little rushed, but again, it is a short novella, so I didn’t expect it to be too detailed.
Although I don’t think this is a “must-read”, I am glad I read it, and it gave me a lot of insight into some of the less explored characters of the Red Queen series.

I am going to give Queen Song four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


untitledSteel Scars (Red Queen 0.2)

Pages: 94

Farley is one of my favorite characters from the Red Queen books, but sadly this novella fell a little short for me.

Farley was as cool as ever, but this story was a little confusing. There were these correspondences between the Scarlet Guard that took me forever to figure out how to decipher, which was pretty frustrating.

And then there was Shade. Beautiful, lovely Shade who I seriously love so much. I just don’t feel like this novella did him justice at all. Yeah, it was cute seeing how he and Farley met and started working together and stuff, but it felt like I was reading about a different Shade who kind of had the same characteristics as the Shade from the main novels… if that makes any sense.

This novella wasn’t bad at all, it just wasn’t as amazing as I hoped.

I am going to give Steel Scars three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

Thanks for reading!!

And don’t forget to check out my reviews of the rest of the Red Queen Series:

Red Queen
Glass Sword
King’s Cage

YA Series Recommendations- What are your favorite series? What series are not worth the read?

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Finding a new series to dive into can be a hard and daunting task. Series are a big commitment. They are scary. And more often than not, they get shoved down to the bottom of a TBR because who has time for that?

What are you talking about? Obviously people read series.

Obviously. But think about it for a minute: has there ever been a series that you put off reading for so long and then when you picked it up you were like “why did I wait so long to read this? This is amazing.” ???

If your answer is “no, does that really happen to people? Hah puny mortals.” then get out of here what are you doing you wizard/god

wait, actually on second thought please come back and teach me your secrets because I need them

But seriously, what is the purpose of this post?

Well:

We are gathered here today to join John and Jane in holy… oops.. wrong place

We are gathered here today to discuss great YA series and inspire each other to finally pick up that amazing series and stop missing out! I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite YA series, and then we can talk about them and you can tell me what your favorite series are and then we can all be sprinkled with pixie dust that will make all our responsibilities go away so we can read forever.

Or something like that…

So what counts as a series? Basically anything with more than one book. So douologies through 100 book series (if such series exist). Or at least that’s my definition of a series, so I’m rolling with it.

My YA Series Recommendations (in no particular order):

Anna Dressed in Blood (Duology) by Kendare Blake

I will never not recommend these books. They are amazing. The end.

Red Queen (Quadrilogy) by Victoria Aveyard

I’m not sure if this series is going to stop at 4 books, but that’s all I know of for now, and based on the ending of King’s Cage, I think the fourth (still unnamed book) is probably going to wrap everything up.

This series is one of my favorite dystopias, and I can not wait for the fourth one to come out! It is gripping and exciting. There are powers, princes, rebels, high stakes, and heart wrenching events. If you love dystopia, this is not one to miss.

Ruby Red (Trilogy) by Kerstin Gier

I regard these books as the best time travel books to grace the planet. Good luck convincing me otherwise.

The Selection (Trilogy) by Kiera Cass

I adore everything about this trilogy. I know that technically The Heir and The Crown exist… but I don’t really consider them a part of this (do you?). Plus I’ve only read The Heir and I don’t really think it lives up to the glory of the original trilogy.

This series is so adorable and swoon worthy!! And it’s a quick read, which is always a plus!

Throne of Glass (6 books? 7? More?) by Sarah J. Maas

So remember in the beginning of this post when I said something about putting off a series for wayyyy too long and then being like “why did I wait so long?” Yeah so that’s pretty much this series.

I’m only on the second book as of right now, BUT ITS SO GOOD I HAD TO PUT IT ON THIS LIST. Seriously this writing is some sort of sorcery. Don’t deprive yourself of the amazingness.


Okay so that’s it for my list.

Are there more amazing series out there?

Obviously. That’s where you guys come in! I want to hear what your favorite series are!

28962906And, also, there are of course series that are just starting. As in only the first book has been published as of now. Like Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. SOOOO GOOD.

But I tried to only include complete or almost complete series on this list, so if anyone decides to start one of the series I recommend, you won’t be stuck waiting for the rest of the series to come out (which could take years).

Because binge reading rules!

But also support new authors. Because that is important.

But what about the series that are not worth the read?

Well, I’m sure that ever series has it’s fans. And, a lot of people like the series that I had a lot of trouble reading. But, here is a list of series that I could not get in to. Just remember that these are my opinions, and if you like any of these series that is great and I’m glad that you were able to find something in them that I wasn’t.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Trilogy) by Ransom Riggs

I don’t have anything against this series (I actually kind of enjoyed the first book… kind of), but I could never bring myself to pick up the second book. I just don’t think this series is worth reading.

Shatter Me (6 books) by Tahereh Mafi

I don’t want to say I hated the first book of this series….

A lot of people enjoy this series, but I can’t figure out why for the life of me. I just can’t stand anything about it.

Girl Online (Trilogy) by Zoe Sugg (Ghost Writer Siobhan Curham)

These books are the bane of YA. I don’t know why they exist. The first book was so cringey that I could barely finish it.

The Maze Runner (Trilogy? Not really sure at this point) by James Dashner

The Maze Runner was actually a DNF. I tried to read it several times and never got past the middle of the book. I watched the movie, too, just incase that would inspire me to finish the book… but I didn’t really like the movie either.


Anyway, that’s it for this post!

What are your can’t-miss YA series? What series are not worth the read?

Also: if you make a post similar to this one, link me in it so I can see it!

Thanks for reading!!

July Wrap Up: Where did the summer go?!? How did I read 25 books?!?

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HOW IS JULY OVER ALREADY?!?!?!?!?! IT WAS LITERALLY MAY YESTERDAY. WHAT THE WHAT?

No but seriously I’m having a crisis here. Where did July go?

I haven’t done a wrap up in forever. Probably because last time I checked it was still May 2nd and no where near the end of a month… much less the end of the summer! AHHHHH

Breathe Emma, breathe.

I’m just now realizing the sheer number of books I have read this month.

I’ve kind of been in a reading binge, which has been wonderful. BUT THAT MEANS I’VE BEEN POSTING SO MANY REVIEWS!!

There are also a bunch of books that I read that I haven’t posted reviews for yet… so I’m gonna split this up into two sections:

Books I have Reviewed This Month:

 

Links to the Reviews:

5 ‘s:  The Anatomical Shape of a Heart //  King’s Cage //  A Midsummer’s Nightmare
4 ‘s:  The Hidden Oracle //  Glass Sword //  How To Hang A Witch //  Just Friends //  Cress //  The Wood //  Traveler
3 ‘s: Illuminae // Winter // Caraval
2 ‘s:  The Book Jumper // #famous //  Romeo and/or Juliet
1 ‘s:  As I Wake

Books I have Read this Month but Haven’t Posted Reviews for Yet:

The Infinity of You & Me and Scrappy Little Nobody were actually both DNFs, so I’m going to be publishing a post on DNFs pretty soon.

The Throne of Glass series is amazing so far, and I’m going through them like nobody’s business. I’m planning a series review rather than individual reviews, because why not?

I am going to be a part of the “A Short History of the Girl Next Door” blog tour in September, so my review for that will be in the blog tour post.

And the other two reviews are drafted, I just haven’t had a chance to post them yet!

Woah… I have read 25 books this month?! I’m in awe of myself. I might need to go get ice cream to celebrate.

Any excuse for ice cream, am I right?!

So, along with reading a record amount of books, here are some of the posts and tags I have published this month:

The Dreaded Book Slump: Why they happen and how to beat them

Why did I write this post? I was so obviously not in a book slump. Maybe I just wanted more people to join my book binge? Idk…

Author Q&A with Peyton Garver

It’s been a while since I posted an author Q&A, but I’m so glad I got to interview Peyton! She is so nice, and her book, Sublime Karma, sounds amazing!! (I have a copy of it sitting on my TBR pile, so I’ll write a review of it eventually!)

Discussion: WHAT’S WITH ALL THE GREEN EYES IN YA? Have all other eye colors been banned?

In which I talk about the over abundance of green eyes. Seriously, I know like 3 people with green eyes. Something is wrong here.

Comparing US and Foreign Edition Covers

Because book covers are beautiful, and I love looking at foreign edition covers!

The Book Titles Tag

Welcome to the title of my life. Read at your own risk. Featuring: Food: A Love Story

You are probably wondering right now if I have a life offline. That’s a good question. I’m not really sure anymore. Here is what I have done this month:

  • Binge watched The Night Shift (in which Jill Flint plays Jordan, a female doctor)
  • Binge watched (this is an ongoing binge) Royal Pains (in which Jill Flint plays Jill, who runs the hospital) (totally coincidence by the way..  I had no idea she was in either show)
  • Wrote 40,000 words for Camp Nano (a project that will probably never see the light of day)
  • Became a volunteer librarian at my local library
  • Stayed over at a friends house because I haven’t seen her in forever (it was a blast!)
  • Got a head cold from my younger brother when he (and my two other brothers and dad) visited me (seriously dude, cough into your arm)
  • Had three (yes 3!!!) picnics while my family visited.
  • Mowed the lawn, twice
  • Went to target to buy dorm essentials for the school year (which is coming wayyy to fast)
  • Chopped my hair off (waist length to shoulder length) and got bangs.

When did I sleep? What’s my secret?

HAHAHAHA good question. I don’t sleep. As I said in my Book Titles Tag, I am the Queen of Shadows.

AKA I am never asleep. It’s becoming a problem.

BUT IN OTHER NEWS I AM ALMOST AT 500 BLOG FOLLOWERS!!!!!

HOLY COW GUYS, YOU ARE AMAZING AND I HAVE SO MUCH LOVE FOR ALL OF YOU!!!

Also, I’ll be running a giveaway when I do hit 500. I’m thinking either a book of the winner’s choosing (from book depository) or maybe an ARC? Let me know in the comments what you would want to win!!

And finally, to wrap up this wrap up, here are some of my favorite posts from other bloggers this month!

The “Never Have I Ever” vlog from Paper Fury and her sister!

I love Paper Fury! Her blog is amazing and 100% goals. Also this vlog was hilarious and I was laughing the whole time!

Ten Weird Habits of Mine from Bionic Book Worm

These habits are so relatable!!

Books that aren’t set in/inspired by The Western World from My Bookish Dream

This post showcases some amazing books (like The Forbidden Wish ) that are set away from the Western World.

The Dreamy Book Covers Tag from Reactionary Tales

Because I think we all know by now how much I love a pretty book cover!

August is on the horizon.

I’m not a big planner (which I why I don’t do monthly TBRs), but I do have some pretty exciting plans for this month.

  • I have a friend from school coming to stay with me for a week (probably, she hasn’t gotten her tickets quite yet)
  • My best friend and I are going on a road trip together!!!!!
  • I have an ARC of Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco to read (and I can’t wait to start it)
  • I have some AMAZING blog posts lined up for you guys (or at least I think they are amazing… hopefully you’ll agree)
  • and of course I’m going to be doing a lot of blog surfing, so I can see all of your amazing posts!

And that’s my July Wrap up! What have you guys been up to this month?

Thanks for reading!!

Book Review- King’s Cage

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King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
Published by HarperTeen on February 7, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Pages: 528
Goodreads
Amazon

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

If you have not read my review for the first two books in this series, click these links: Red Queen, Glass Sword

MY HEART!!! NOOOOOOO

Okay so I have so many feelings about this book. Like my heart has actually been destroyed.

Mare allowed herself to be captured so the ones she loves could get away. AND OH MY GOSH DOES SHE PAY FOR IT. I knew Maven was bad, but damn this took it too a whole new level. And then there were moments when I felt so bad for Maven and liked him and then I was reminded about what a bad person he is. The feels are too much here guys, it’s killing me.

My love for Mare is ever growing, and I just think she is an amazing character. She is so strong and resilient, even though she has been through so much. I just want a great ending for her. She deserves it.

The plot of this book was AMAZING too. It had me on the edge of my seat THE WHOLE TIME. There was a little foreshadowing, but for the most part I had no idea what was going to happen next and I NEEDED TO KNOW. Which meant yet again, I was up all night finding out the fate of Mare Barrow and the Guard.

Can I just take a second to address the FEELS IN THIS BOOK?!?! Everything was so raw and real. The love, the anguish, the heart break, the hope… it just all was too much for my poor heart. King’s Cage just ruined me. Completely.

The ending of this book (no spoilers, I promise) wrenched my heart out. WHY?!?!!?! HAS MARE NOT BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH?!?!?! I guess not. But I can not wait for the fourth book to find out what is going to happen.

If you love dystopia and have not read this series….. YOU DON’T LOVE DYSTOPIA. If you want a good dystopian series to read: LOOK NO FURTHER.

As you probably guessed, I am going to give King’s Cage five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Glass Sword

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Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Published by Harper Teen on February 9 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Pages: 444
Goodreads
Amazon

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

*If you haven’t read my review of The Red Queen, click here

This book was every bit as exciting as The Red Queen, if not more. Quick warning: if you have not read The Red Queen, this review will probably contain some spoilers.

Mare, now on the run, is attempting to build a New Blood army to face King Maven. Everything about her journey is filled with heart pounding danger, and taunts from the new king. I love how Victoria Aveyard not only included physical struggles, but emotional and mental struggles. Mare is heartbroken. Cal is heartbroken. They struggle with Maven’s betrayal and struggle with the fact that now they are being hunted by the boy they once–and still–love.

There is a bit of a love “v” in this book, between Mare, Cal, and Kilorn. But it wasn’t in the cheesy-to-the-point-its-unbearable. It was actually very realistic, and wasn’t overplayed. The romance kind of took backseat, even though it did add a romantic element to the book that was very well done.

Lots of characters were introduced in this book; which makes sense considering Mare and her gang are trying to build an army. All of the characters, no matter how small they were, each had a distinct personality that made the story all the more interesting. I loved the interactions and the tensions and fights and battles and closeness and love and need. Everything felt honest and real. Also, not gonna give away too much here, but I definitely cried at the end. This book wrenched my heart out.

It’s really hard to hate any of Aveyard’s characters, and when I do hate them, I love to hate them. The Red Queen series so far is much better than I expected, and is a must-read for anyone who loves dystopia or anyone who wants to try a dystopian series.
I am going to give Glass Sword four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- The Red Queen

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The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Published by Orion on February 12, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Pages: 383
Goodreads
Amazon

This is a world divided by blood-red or silver.

The poverty-stricken Reds are commoners, living in the shadow of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Then Mare finds herself working at the Silver palace, in the midst of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

After having this book recommended *ahem, shoved in my face* multiple times by multiple people, I decided I should probably just read it- so at least I could tell people to back off if I didn’t like it. But, I was actually really surprised by this one.

I’ve been trying to move away from the dystopia book, mostly because after a while they just all sound the same. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed this so much- because I haven’t read a dystopia in quite some time.

Anyway, I’d be lying if I said that this book doesn’t remind me of others. It reminded me A LOT of The Selection series (which I also enjoyed, so I didn’t mind that at all), and had some similarities to a bunch of other dystopias, like the Hunger Games (the whole area/fighting aspect), and pretty much any dystopia where the main character finds out they have powers.

I loved the characters in this book, and the depth they had to them. Yes, some of the *ahem* not as important characters were a little one sided *ahem* Evangeline *ahem*. But for the most part, the characters were interesting and some had some very surprising sides to them.

The one thing that really sets the Red Queen apart from other dystopias was the theme repeated throughout the book: Anyone can betray anyone. It was so relevant throughout the story, and I felt like it really tied the events of the book together.
BUT THE END. OH THE END!!!!!! I wont spoil anything, but that just threw me for a loop. UGH. WHYYYYYYYY.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend this book to people who love YA, The Selection, and/or dystopia (or are looking to get into/back into dystopia). But just be sure to have the second book on hand, because if you are anything like me then you’ll have about two seconds to breathe before your nose is buried in the Glass Sword!

I am going to give Red Queen four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥