Sunday, December 31, 2017

Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

(The Witchlands #1)
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Hardcover, 416 pages, Tor Teen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

My Review

Two young women taking on the world together is always a fun story to read. Two young women with witchy powers and a knack for getting into trouble is most definitely a fun adventure.

Iseult and Safiya are Threadsisters, which basically translates to bffs x100. Iseult is a Threadwitch, and Safiya is a Truthwitch, which is apparently a very rare form of witch. Both girls are easily able to kick butt; they also have unique personalities that made following their POVs and the POVs of the other two male characters very easy.

While it was fun to read about the two on their journey running from kings and Bloodwitches, it was also a little confusing in the beginning. The magic system is a little complex at first, and so is the political layout. I wasn’t sure who was who of the minor characters until almost halfway through the book. The names are pretty similar, and they’re often just casually dropped with little explanation. Also, the magic system wasn’t described as well as I hoped. I’m still not entirely sure what a Threadwitch does…

However, despite some of my initial confusion, I very much enjoyed the character interactions. I loved seeing not only Iseult and Safiya interact, but Iseult and Merik, Merik and Safiya, Safiya and Aeduan, and Iseult and Aeduan. They all had such explosive energy together, especially Safiya and Merik. I was constantly smiling when I read their parts. The plot of the book wasn’t the most original YA fantasy storyline I’ve ever read, but this was easily remedied by the characters’ personalities.

All in all, this book is definitely one to read if you’re in any way a lover of young adult fantasy stories. You should pick it up even more if you love complex magic systems with some kick-butt characters thrown in. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: The Not Christmas Edition

 "Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

So this isn’t my Christmas haul. I mentioned in past posts that my Christmas got postponed. It was actually yesterday, but since I will be with my family on Friday, I’m pre-posting this haul. #sorrynotsorry

The Last Namsara by Kristen Cicarelli
The Last Star by Rick Yancey
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I wasn’t planning on getting any books except the ones I received as Christmas presents, but my dad asked me if I wanted to go to Barnes & Noble while my mom shopped for more gifts. Of course, I said yes, especially if the books were on him. ;)

I ended up getting these three. I kind of regret getting A Darker Shade of Magic, simply because I wanted, and still want, to get the UK paperbacks. Those covers are much prettier. However, I figure I’ll read the first book to decide if I even like the series before I purchase the UK versions.

As for The Last Namsara, I had borrowed it from the library, but I just didn’t have enough time to really read it. And with The Last Star, it was bargain priced for under nine dollars.

So there’s my pre-Christmas haul. I’ll have my Christmas haul up next week.

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, December 29, 2017

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the gif.

Oh my gawd! I forgot about this episode! Dean looks like such a cute nerd! I love it so much.

Please CW, make him wear glasses more often.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

My Thoughts on Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I thought I’d share my thoughts and feels on Star Wars: The Last Jedi. In case you, for some inexplicable reason, haven’t heard of the eighth installment in this mega franchise, I’ve posted the trailer below:

Alright, so, first thing’s first, the trailer made this movie look way better than it actually was. The mood in the trailer is dark and atmospheric. The mood in the movie: odd.

I loved The Force Awakens. Now, I’m not the world’s greatest Star Wars fan, but I enjoy it every now and then. So, adding on another film trilogy was super fun for me. Even Rogue One was entertaining. But this movie lacked The Force Awakens’ overall fun, action-packed energy. The jokes were also severely lacking. BB-8 is about the only humorous part of the movie.

I can’t go into too much without giving away spoilers, but I just thought the way the Force worked in this movie was strange. There was no explanation for why some of the characters could do the things they did. I also found the balance of the Force mojo crazily off-putting. It was like a mind-game mystery or some Inception-level stuff, not a space story.

Also, while the story follows the same characters in The Force Awakens, they were just different in this installment. Rey was a strong heroine, but she made off-putting decisions. Poe was reckless and stupid. I am very glad he got his comeuppance, though. I can tell where they were going with his character’s story, but the entire portion of his, Finn’s, and Leia’s plotline was just boring. It was almost like the filmmakers were trying to put in filler storylines between the Rey and Luke scenes. Oh, and Luke was weird. I’m very baffled by his character arc.

I could totally tell what messages they were trying to achieve with this film about heroes and war, but something just wasn’t working. I know I’m not alone in this because a lot of The Last Jedi watchers have voiced their complaints.

Overall, I was disappointed in this film. Will I see the ninth movie? Absolutely. Will I be expecting to enjoy it? Not if something doesn’t drastically change between the two sequels.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Rage by Cora Carmack

 "Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

(Stormheart #2)
Publication Date: July 5, 2018
Hardcover, 352 pages, Tor Teen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack's young adult debut series: the second in a captivating new YA fantasy/romance series perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard

Princess or adventurer.

Duty or freedom.

Her Kingdom or the Stormhunter she loves.

If Aurora knows anything, it's that choices have consequences. To set things right, she joins a growing revolution on the streets of Pavan.

In disguise as the rebel Roar, she puts her knowledge of the palace to use to aid the rebellion. But the Rage season is at its peak and not a day passes without the skies raining down destruction. Yet these storms are different—they churn with darkness, and attack with a will that’s desperate and violent.

This feels like more than rage.

It feels like war.

My Thoughts

At the time I am writing this post, I have yet to read Roar. BUT I really want to. The covers for this series are gorgeous, and the premise for Roar sounds fantastic! I just need more time in the day so I can read ALL THE BOOKS.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2018

 If you’re unaware, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly original feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there’s a new Top Ten theme that the blogger responds to with their own list of answers.

This week’s theme is… *drumroll please*…

Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2018

Another year, another bajillion books to add to my collection. ;)

The Darkest Warrior by Gena Showalter

Every year I get a new Lords of the Underworld book. While I’m not enthusiastic about the main characters of this one (and not for the reasons other fans are upset, I’m just not a Gilly, Puck, or William fan), I’m still eager to see what happens in the overall LOTU storyline.

The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine

I just finished The Wish Granter not too long ago, and this one sounds even better!

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Okay, so I don’t know a lot about this book, and I don’t really want to. I just know it’s a YA fantasy novel I want to read.

Everless by Sara Holland

This one is too pretty! I hope its insides match its outside.

Rage by Cora Carmack

Yay for sequels!

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

I’m so glad I only had to wait a few months for this book and not the year or so other fans had to wait. Those are the perks of putting off reading a series for so long.

Throne of Glass #7 by Sarah J. Maas

I just want this series to be over already.

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

This one sounds so freakin’ good! It has gay pirates in it! If two of my most anticipated finales weren’t coming out in 2018, then this book would be #1 on this list.

Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes

*crossing fingers* Please let this be good. Please let this be good.

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

OMFG! I can’t. I don’t know what to do with myself for this one. It’s just too much.


Alright, there you have it. My Top Ten Tuesday and my list of books I’m looking forward to getting my hands on in 2018. Did you notice an overall, unintentional theme?

What books would you put on this list? Let me know in the comments section.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it! And, to those who don’t, Happy December 25th!

Like I mentioned a few posts back, my family isn’t really doing a lot on Christmas. I have to wait until sometime between then and New Year’s to eat all the food and open all the presents because my sisters couldn’t make it on the 25th. It sucks that I have to wait (I feel like this is typically how the middle child is treated. Punished for being prompt), but at least I’m back in Missouri for the week.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Festive Christmas Book Tag

Yahoo! It’s Christmas Eve! I think that deserves a festive post, don’t you?

I’ll be doing the Festive Christmas Book Tag, so get ready for the Christmas-y feels. This tag was created by GirlReading.


1.  A fictional family you would like to spend Christmas dinner with?

GirlReading already gave the perfect answer for this question: the Weasleys. That would be an awesome Christmas.

However, because she already said it, I’m going to choose… the Starks.

 Although, I’d want it to be pre-events of the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

2.  A bookish item you would like to receive as a gift?

Anything Harry Potter-related would be fantastic, but to change it up a bit, I’m going to say a direwolf.

Does that count as a bookish item? Well, it does now.

3. A fictional character you think would make a perfect Christmas elf?

Dobby! Duh. He’s already an elf, so all you have to do is put a hat on him! 

I think he’d love it. He could pass all the presents out on Christmas morning!

4. Match a book to it's perfect Christmas song.

This is kind of weird, but I could totally picture Darrow from Red Rising storming a ship to “Carol of the Bells.” 

5. Bah Humbug. A book or fictional character you've been disappointed in and should be put on the naughty list?

 Lifeblood by Gena Showalter was a very disappointing read. It was one of my first reads of 2017, and it was just not good. :( 

6. A book or a fictional character you think deserves more love and appreciation and deserves to be put on the nice list?

Chaol from the Throne of Glass series always deserves more love, even (in my opinion) from the author.

7. Red, Gold, and Green. A book cover that has a wonderfully Christmas-y feel to it.

Should I just go with the obvious and say My True Love Gave to Me…? 

8. A book or series you love so much, you want everyone to find it under their Christmas tree this year so they can read it and love it too?

Harry Potter should be under every kids’ tree! And Narnia too!


Alright, there you have it. My answers to The Festive Christmas Book Tag. What books would you put on this list? Let me know in the comments section.

Oh, and Happy Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: The Ash Lady Edition

 "Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

Only two books this week… Kudos to me, though, for not buying any. Especially before Christmas.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

I already had a copy of this that my roommate graciously got for me via her job at Simon & Schuster. However, I didn’t have the pretty, new paperback edition that matches the new The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices boxsets. Now I do. And, once again, it’s thanks to my roommate. She nabbed a copy for me.

Thank you, roomie!

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

I also was approved on NetGalley for Ash Princess. This title is on my most-anticipated books of 2018 list, so thank you Delacorte for letting me read it early!

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, December 22, 2017

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the gif.

This is how I feel right now. Christmas isn’t going to be on December 25th for my family this year. We’re having it a little late. So, while everyone else is being all jolly then, I get to watch their Facebook feeds. *sigh*

I'm also currently on a plane from New York to Chicago, so that's super fun... not.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Review: Roar by Cora Carmack

(Stormheart #1)
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Hardcover, 380 pages, Tor Teen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

My Review

Alright, I have to start with how amazing the overall concept of this book is. I mean, the characters hunt, control, and manipulate storms! And the storms are alive! That’s so weird. In a good way. I bet a lot of people are kicking themselves for not thinking of the idea first.

While I did love this fantastical idea, I wasn’t always sure how the magic system actually functioned. I couldn’t quite understand what the difference was between Aurora’s family’s power and the power the storm hunters gain. Hopefully book two will sort that out though.

As for the characters themselves, Aurora was unique as a fantasy princess. She wasn’t fleeing her family because she didn’t want to marry a prince she’d never met before; instead, she wanted to grow her own power. That was a great concept. It’s one that should be in more YA stories: protagonists trying to find themselves before becoming attached to one love interest.

As for the love triangle that pops up, I have mixed feelings. We’re introduced to the Stormling prince Cassius first, so, naturally, I grew attached to him only for another male character, Locke, to be introduced. And, over time, he grew on me too. Cassius is the brooding prince to a dark kingdom, and Locke is the rebel good guy. I could be swayed either way, honestly. ;)

Despite my love of the magic system and the characters, the ending of this book threw me off. For some reason, the end of the book really just becomes an excuse for characters to make out. It seemed like these make out sessions were taking over entire chapters, and they were eerily similar to the preceding chapters’ smooching scenes. While I love a good romance, that was too much.

Also, the book just ended. There was no real climax or resolution. It just cut off. I assume Rage, the sequel, will fix this, but I’m still unhappy that things were left so unsatisfactory.

All in all, I’m still eagerly waiting to get my hands on book two. I’m also doubly excited to see what actions Aurora takes as her secrets are let loose.