Monday, July 2, 2018

Review: Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga

Kiss of the Royal
Publication Date: July 3, 2018
Paperback, 400 pages, Entangled Teen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that.

Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that.

With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that.

My Review

A fantasy book about magical kisses? Sounds like a cliché Sleeping Beauty, right? WRONG. Okay, yes, there is some cheese to this book, but boy was it good cheese.

I went into this one expecting a light, quick-paced YA fantasy read, and that’s 100% what I got. Ivy is a Royal, which means she has a magical kiss. Okay, so at first I was very put off by the kissing aspect. I think I forgot between reading the synopsis and requesting this book for review on NetGalley that power smooching was a thing. However, after I got used to the idea, I picked the ebook back up, and I was hooked.

Ivy meets Zach, an unconventional Royal and wants to partner with him so they can be the most powerful couple in the world. Mwahaha. No, I’m kidding. Ivy just wants to save her people from the Evil Queen and her evil creatures. Honestly, Ivy and Zach’s dynamic was so entertaining. I loved it. Zach is kind of a dreamy goofball/bad boy combined. It was sad, though, that some of their romantic tension fizzled out a little towards the end of the book. But that’s how most YA romances go as they progress.

As for the plot of the story, it was fun. Various dwarves, griffins, and mythical creatures that typically aren’t depicted as evil and menacing was a cool concept. The only I problem I saw with the plot was how a certain character’s introduction and mysterious secrets were rather predictable, but even then, I couldn’t guess the major details.

All in all, if you’re looking for a book to give you a rest between all those giant fantasy sequels like Reaper at the Gates, War Storm, etc., Kiss of the Royal is probably perfect for you. It’s easy-to-swallow fantasy that has a swoon-worthy love interest and a unique, if awkward, magic system.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher to review via NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

June Wrap-Up and July TBR

Well, the first half of the year is officially over and we are now in the midst of summer. I can’t believe we’re only six full months away from 2019. Craziness.

But, anywho, it’s time for June’s wrap-up. June was a really good book month, so I’m excited to share all the things I read, bought, and got over the past thirty days.

Books Read and Reviewed in June

War Storm: 4 stars
Buffy Season 9 Volume 3: no rating
Kiss of the Royal: 4 stars (review will be up July 2)
And I Darken: 4 stars
Buffy Season 9 Volume 4: no rating
Now I Rise: review to come
Crooked Kingdom: review to come
Exquisite Captive: reread, no rating

Like with last month, I’m surprised by how much I read. Not only that, but I read things I’ve been wanting to get off my TBR for oh-so-very-long. Such as Crooked Kingdom and the reread of Exquisite Captive. I’m actually excited now to pick up some of my backlist TBR books, so I think I’m going to hold off on the amount of book-buying I’ve been doing lately. Although, most of the books I acquire tend to come to me freely, so I’ll still be adding to that giant TBR stack. Ugh.

Books Bought in June

I only bought six books this month. Three of which were special circumstances and one of which is not getting to me until August. Boo. Warcross and Smoke in the Sun were purchased during the Penguin Teen signing I attended, and Royals during BookCon. I bought Allied randomly during my lunch hour when I went to visit The Strand. It was only $9. I also got an ebook of Running With Lions, and I preordered Maas’s Catwoman book, the UK edition, from the Book Depository. Unfortunately, Book Depo already charged me for it, even though I won’t be getting the actual book until August.

Books I Received for Free in June

There were so many free books this month. Some were from BookCon, some were from work, and one was from my roommate’s work. Basically, my TBR pile is a giant catastrophe right now.

Book Budget Status for June

Warcross & Smoke in the Sun: $39.28
Royals (at BookCon): $19.59
Catwoman UK ed. (preorder): $15.89
Running With Lions (ebook): $3.50
Allied: $9.80

So I said earlier this year that any BookCon purchases would not count towards my book budget status. That means Royals is not being added to this grand total. However, all of the rest of these books equal to $68.47. Unfortunately, I overspent last month, which meant my normal $75/month budget went down to $68 for the month of June. This means I went over the budget by a whopping $0.47.

Now, I can only spend $74 and some change during the month of July. I’m hoping, though, that I don’t buy any books except two I’ve been planning to get: the UK editions of Now I Rise and Bright We Burn by Kiersten White. I want to read some of the books I own before I buy more. We’ll see if I stick to the no-buying issue. I don’t really think I will, but I’m not enforcing the ban. As long as I’m below $74 when July is over, I can’t complain too much.

June Events Attended

The beginning of June was a very busy time.

First, was the June 1st Penguin Teen signing where I met Renee Ahdieh and Marie Lu for the first time.

Then, there was BookCon on July 2nd and 3rd. That was craziness in and of itself.

And the last, non-book-related event actually happened towards the very end of the month. I finally saw The Incredibles II. I should have a movie review up for this one sometime soon.

Currently Obsessed With

Well, I’ve finally moved on from my Buffy phase, even though I would still like to read the comics. I’m just not devouring fanfiction like I was, nor am I re-watching the episodes. I’m also dying down a little on the Game of Thrones fanfiction and video-watching. It’s still there, but the urge isn’t as strong as it was during the month of May and beginning of June.

Right now, I’m super obsessed with two things: Jason Todd and Animal Kingdom season three. For Jason Todd, I’ve been reading fanfiction. For Animal Kingdom, I’ve been obsessively thinking about the current season and wishing all of the episodes were out already so I can know what’s going to happen.

Oh, and big news! The Titans TV show, which I guess is supposed to release sometime this fall on a DC app/subscription service thing, let the actor who plays Dick/Robin share a photo. And HOLY COW does he look amazing! And apparently, Jason Todd is going to be in the show! I’m so freakin’ excited! This brings me to my next “Currently Obsessed With.” I’ve been catching up on Supergirl and Flash since their latest seasons are now available on Netflix. I’m also dipping into the Black Lightning show. Maybe I’ll start the latest season of Legends of Tomorrow just to round it all out. (Just in case anyone asks, I stopped watching Arrow a long time ago.)

Currently Reading/July TBR

As of today, I’m currently trying to finish The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine. It just started to pick up around page 120, so I’m thinking I should be able to finish it this weekend. I also started Wild Hunger by Chloe Neil, since it’s a review copy I received from NetGalley. During the month of July, I’d like to read Blood Passage and Freedom’s Slave, and I know I’m going to read Bright We Burn. Other than those, I’m hoping to keep my TBR pretty open.

July Events

There’s only one event I know of that I’ll be “attending” in July.

That’s right. I’m 75% certain that I’ll go see Ant-Man and the Wasp. However, I think I’m just going to see this one by myself, simply because it’s not a movie that’s worth the hassle of trying to find someone to go with me. I just want to get in and get out and not make a big deal of it. Does that make sense?

So yeah, other than that movie, I’m doing zilch. My roommates will be going to San Diego Comic Con, but I’m too cheap for such endeavors. I’m actually pretty excited to have the apartment to myself for a few days, though.


Okay, well, that’s the month of June, plus some July sneak peeks, all wrapped up into one post. Do you have a wrap-up post for this month? If so, share in the comments!