G. Bianco, 2019
In her debut book, Rosaria Munda brings readers into a world of dragons, revolution, and adventure. The first book of The Aurelian Cycle, Fireborne, introduces readers to this fantasy world that fans of Games of Thrones will enjoy!
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone--even the lowborn--a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders. Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn't be more different. Annie's lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee's aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet. But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city. With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he's come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.
This was a really interesting YA fantasy! There was political intrigue on top of fantasy world building and dragon riding that kept the action of the plot moving. And a fierce competition between two childhood friends who just need to admit their feelings to one another in my opinion… Can you say drama???
While it took a little bit for me to get into the book, the last few chapters were super engaging and I really liked how the book ended to set up the plot of the second book! I also liked the alternating POVs between Annie and Lee and the flashbacks to their childhoods to help deepen the plot and enhance the intrigue of the characters.
Overall, I think this was a really good debut book and I’m looking forward to reading Flamefall and seeing what Lee and Annie will have to face next. If you’re looking for a fantasy book with dystopian themes then this is the book for you!
Bestselling author Colleen Hoover is known for numerous different novels spanning various genres. In one of her most recent releases, Regretting You, romance and family drama intermingle to create a unique family dynamic and showcase a riveting mother-daughter relationship.
Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike. Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body. With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara. While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.
I’ll be honest: I knew Colleen Hoover was a fan-favorite author on Bookstagram, but I didn’t truly believe how amazing her books were until I read Regretting You. This book was raw, emotional, twisted and messed up in the best way possible. I was shocked, I was appalled, I was heartbroken, and just overall emotional while reading this book. The way Hoover connected everything together and the little details she wove in was fanatically done.
I liked the way Hoover handled grief and tragedy. The way you can still mourn someone yet be so angry at them and the way your perspective changes once a bomb is dropped on your life. She also handled the family dynamics and certain relationships very carefully to have everything make sense and not seem forced or thrown together.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading the rest of Colleen Hoover’s back list collection. Bookstagram, you were right once again and thanks for the great recommendation!
Sarah J. Maas has finally graced her fans with the newest installment in the A Court of Thorns and Roses Series, A Court of Silver Flames, and it is everything they were hoping for. This story picks up after the events of the third book, but this time the focus rests on Feyre’s sister, Nesta, and her finding a place in the world of Prythian.
Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she's struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can't seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it. The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre's Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta's orbit. But her temper isn't the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other. Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts. Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other's arms.
What can I really say about this book besides that I absolutely adored it? The book was definitely more romance-heavy than it was action-packed, but there was still a good amount of high adventure included in this fantasy book. The steam in this book is UNREAL (which was more than welcome by this romance lover!), but more importantly the character development in this book was EVERYTHING. Between Nesta and Cassian sorting out their own issues and helping each other overcome them, the character growth of these two Faeries that we knew little about from previous books in the series was so lovely to see.
Speaking of previous books, I really appreciated that this book wasn’t just another fantasy/adventure story, but instead it took the time to highlight why Nesta acted the way she did in the first three and a half books and how it affects her in the present. The insight into even more of the characters we’ve learned about in the past was interesting to see and I was still left wanting more. I also loved the new characters that were introduced in this book and I hope their characterizations are further elaborated upon in future books. Also, I would love to join a book club with Nesta, Emerie, and Gwyn and have The House be my best friend.
Basically, Sarah J. Maas can do no wrong and I need another ACOTAR book ASAP because I love these characters too much! If you haven’t already checked out this book series, I seriously have no idea what you’re waiting for. GO READ THESE BOOKS!
Random Quotes I Fell in Love With While Reading:
“I’m always thinking of that look on your face.” (pg. 183)
“Keep reaching your hand out.” (pg.197)
“Our stories are worth telling.” (pg. 573)
“She would not be mastered by anything again. She was the master of herself.” (p. 629)
Hello fellow bookworms!
I’ve noticed I don’t tend to write super big reviews for certain graphic novels I read, so I figured I’d combine them all into one big multi-review!
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
This Middle Grade graphic novel was super cute!! The colors and illustrations were wonderful and I loved the idea of a young girl learning about roller derby! It showcased female empowerment and was a fun and quick read!
When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed
This book is the inspiring tale of a Somali Refugee and his life growing up in a refugee camp with his disabled brother. This story is one of hope that will inspire readers of all ages and show that even when all seems lost, there are still reasons to be thankful for what you have.
The illustrations are fantastic and the storytelling is wonderfully done (and might make you cry like I did...). Overall, this is a really well-written graphic novel that shows how those in other parts of the world live and will force you to reflect on the blessings in your own life.
Be More Chill: The Graphic Novel by Ned Vizzini, David Levithan, and Nick Bertozzi
I really enjoyed this novel in graphic form! The heart of the novel and the plot translates well and it’s just as witty and weird as the book. The illustrations are simple, yet effective and the SQUIP speech bubbles are easy to distinguish from the rest of the speech from other characters.
It’s important to note that this is not an adaptation of the musical (which has different characters and plot points than the original novel), but fans of both the musical and the novel will appreciate this story!
In her debut novel, Bright Burning Stars, A.K. Small shows the extremes that two girls face in a Paris ballet school. The novel, which was released in paperback on March 2nd and is the inspiration for the upcoming film Birds of Paradise, is a story that asks the question of how far will you go to reach your dreams.
Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they’ve formed an inseparable bond forged by respective family tragedies and a fierce love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves what they would do to win the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they die? Cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic would make them shine, too? Neither girl is sure. But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. And as selection day draws near, the competition—for the prize, for the Demigod—becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.
Small does a fabulous job of showcasing the world of ballet and what it’s like being in a dance school. The friendship between Marine and Kate is bittersweet because while they are best friends, they are also both competing for the same thing: one coveted spot in a professional ballet company. Mix in some boy drama, mental illness, and the pressure to be the best and you’ve got a YA novel with high school drama kicked up a notch!
This book got a bit dark at times with mentions of eating disorders, depression, abortion, suicide, and other mental illnesses; however, these topics only solidified that the world of ballet can be unforgiving and can be as dark as it is beautiful. The topics show the raw and real side to the people who seem perfect and ethereal on the stage. But sometimes there are demons lying just under the surface...
Overall, this book was a fascinating and quick read and I highly recommend it for those looking for a darker contemporary read including flawed protagonists striving for the unattainable: to be perfect.
*I received a copy of the book from Algonquin Young Readers in exchange for my honest opinion.
To celebrate the publication of The Queen’s Secret by Melissa de la Cruz on March 2nd, I have decided to post a review of both books in the duology. Special thank you to Penguin Teen for an ARC of The Queen’s Secret in exchange for my honest opinion!
Book 1: The Queen’s Assassin
Fans of YA fantasy, this book is for you! This book was a great read! I'll be honest: I predicted the major plot twist that happens at the end after reading Chapter 1... so while I felt very satisfied that I guessed correctly, I didn't get the major shock factor that de la Cruz was probably hoping I’d experience (but maybe we can chalk up my accurate prediction to me being an adult who's read WAY too many YA novels to count). That being said, I still really enjoyed this book. The first few chapters take a bit to get through because it’s a lot of world building, but by the middle of the book I was pretty interested to see where the plot would go. The best part of this novel was the ending, which left you wanting more and eager to see what would happen to Shadow and Cal. For my first Melissa de la Cruz story, I was not disappointed and I cannot wait to start reading the sequel!
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
The Queen’s Secret
If I’m being honest, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I was hoping to. This book seemed too focused on Lilac and Cal’s forbidden romance that the rest of the plot felt cast aside and rushed at the end. And the whole point to Cal’s blood oath from the first book seems irrelevant until the very end of book two. Another thing I was disappointed with was the character development. In The Queen’s Assassin, most of the plot rests on Shadow/Lilac and Cal so the character development wasn’t really an issue. However, in The Queen’s Secret, there are many more characters with semi-prominent roles in the plot that barely get any development or enhancement. While I love a good fantasy/romance book. I felt that the plot got sacrificed for the sake of the romantic elements that weren’t even all the satisfying in the end. So while I was not disappointed with the first book in this duology, I was a little disappointed with this one.
Rating: ⭐ ⭐
Overall: Maybe it’s because I’ve read my fair share of fantasy books or because I’m *technically* not the target demographic for this duology, but i just thought it was okay. If you’re a hardcore YA fantasy/romance lover then I think this duology is definitely worth checking out, but I think that there are other series out there that are more appealing and enthralling.
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
In her adult romance debut, acclaimed author Trish Doller shows readers how something beautiful can come out of a tragedy. Float Plan, which comes out on March 2nd, tackles finding yourself, dealing with grief, and learning how to love again.
Since her fiancé suicide, Anna has been shipwrecked by grief—until a reminder goes off about a trip they were supposed to take together. Impulsively, Anna goes to sea in their sailboat, intending to complete the voyage alone. But after a treacherous night’s sail, she realizes she can’t do it by herself and hires Keane, a professional sailor, to help. Much like Anna, Keane is struggling with a very different future than the one he had planned. As romance rises with the tide, they discover that it’s never too late to chart a new course.
I just adored this book and genuinely didn’t not want it to end. The plot was perfectly paced out, the characters were fantastic, and there was just enough steaminess to make this romance lover fall even more in love with Anna and Keane!
I really enjoyed reading about all of the unique and gorgeous places in the Caribbean that Anna and Keane explored. It makes me want to jump onto a boat and see these islands for myself (well maybe a plane instead... I don’t know if boats are really my thing...). But this definitely will make you want to go on an adventure and experience the beauty in the spontaneity and in the world.
The way Doller talks about Anna’s grief and how she tries to move on from Ben is so real and authentic. She doesn’t try to sugarcoat anything and really shows the complexities of moving on from someone you care about that was taken from earth too soon. She also contrasts Anna’s grief with Keane’s amputated leg and how he lost something as well. However, Dollar emphasizes that idea that we can still carry the things and people we’ve lost with us and that learning to move on in our grief doesn’t make those things forgotten. And even though the way our lives work out don’t match up with our initial plans, everything has a way of working itself out in the end.
As I turned the last page of this book, I was so disappointed that Anna’s story was over. I can only hope that Doller will write a sequel or release another book like this one to satisfy me. Any fans of Katherine Center or romance in general will love this book and I am definitely adding Trish Doller to my auto-buy author list! In summary, this book is a must-read for all!
*I received an ARC from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest opinion.
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!