Book Reviews

Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns, #1) by Bree Barton

Heart of ThornsTitle: Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns, #1)
Author: Bree Barton
Rating: ★★★

Fidacteu zeu bighotz limarya eu naj.

Trust your heart, even if it kills you.

I received this in the July 2018 FairyLoot box.

Once upon a time, an arranged marriage existed between Mia Rose and Prince Quin. But unlike her sister, Mia could care less about the fame and fortune. All she cares about is seeking revenge against the Gwyrach (pretty much a witch) who killed her mother. Following the below Hunters’ Creed as a lifestyle:

Heart for a heart, life for a life.

Trying to avoid the consummation of her marriage, Mia plans to escape with her sister. However, her plan backfires and she is stuck seeking revenge with none other than her beloved betrothed. Maybe not everything is how it appeared to be?

The First Law of the Dujia
The practice of magic shall never be used by Dujia to consciously inflict pain, suffering, or death on her fellow sister, unless the Dujia’s own life is in danger.

The Second Law of the Dujia
The practice of magic shall never be used by Dujia to consciously inflict pain, suffering, or death on herself.

The Third Law of Dujia
In situations wherein the practice of magic is necessary, it is at the direction of the Dujia to determine the most equitable balance of power and act accordingly.

Along their journey, Mia starts to uncover secrets, not only pertaining to her mother’s death, but about herself. 

The people you love are the ones who hurt you the most.

Speaking of love, Quin seemed, to me, to have some romance connections with three other people, so I totally get how Mia would be confused. At one point, I definitely thought things were going in a different direction. Quin is one confusing guy and everyone seems to want him.

What

So, I kind of saw the ending coming, but kind of not. I’m not sure why everyone kept blaming Mia for both deaths? Obviously, she didn’t do it and how do people make out that she did? Like, what?!

But, with that said, I did like it this novel! Unfortunately, things only start to get interesting about 75% of the way through the story. After that, I was entrapped in the plot. Two of the deaths I did not see coming whatsoever! I’m curious to see how everything will turn out in the next book as we now have a lot of loose ends to tie up. 

JULY 2018 FAIRYLOOT

Bookish Features

October 2017 LitJoy Crate

LitJoy Crate

OCTOBER 2017
DRAGON SLAYER

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Dragon Scale Scarf
LitJoy Creative

 

 

 

 

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The Complete Book of Dragons: A Guide to Dragon Species
Cressida Cresswell

 

 

 

 

 

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Dragon Slayer Candle
Flickering Tales

 

 

 

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Khaleesi Kisses Lip Balm
KDP Letters

I always thought I was allergic to Cinnamon, and after putting this on my lips, I think my theory was correct. Burn so good!

 

 

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STORMCASTER Sword Bookmark

 

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Jon Snow Bookmark
Marta @ Book Coyote Designs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Namsara
Kristen Ciccarelli
Hardcover, Author Letter, Author-Signed Book Plates, Illustration & Design by Julia Iredale & Isabel Davis

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I know this is way overdue, but the reasoning is because I just bought it. I had to! This was a novel I have been planning to read for a while and the goodies in the box were too good to pass up! Don’t judge haha

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Book Reviews

Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

Title: Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sense and Sensibility is my second favorite Jane Austen novel, so I was a little hesitant going into this manga since it has a lot to live up to. 

The Dashwood family lived at Norland Park in Sussex, England. We find John Dashwood visiting his sickly father, Henry. Henry’s dying wish is for John to take care of his mother and sisters as John is left with the entire estate. With the suggestion of his atrocious wife, Franny, John doesn’t give his sisters and mother-in-law any money, but only a place to stay.

When Franny’s brother, Edward, arrives, Elinor becomes quite attached to him. However, Edward’s sister disapproves and makes it clear to the Dashwood ladies. After a letter from Sir John Middleton, he offers the lady Dashwoods a home in a nearby cottage. While at dinner the next night, the girls meet Colonel Brandon, who quickly becomes enraptured with Miss Marianne; however, she deems him far too old for any romance connection.

One day while out walking, it starts to rain, Marianne sprains her ankle, and Willoughby comes to her rescue. As things start to become steamy between the two, Willoughby is sent to London on business by his aunt. Is that the real reason, though?

The Middletons receive two new guests: Anne and Lucy Steele, who are young women like Elinor. They have a secret. What is it? And does it affect our Miss Dashwoods?

Will Elinor and Marianne ever find true love? Or will things continue in a downward spiral for them?

Of course, nothing can compare to the original! However, this was only slightly behind. This would be a great read for someone who can’t quite read Jane Austen books yet. As I usually say, these Manga Classics are so pleasant because they breakdown the stories, still portraying the intended message, but weed out all of the ineffective descriptions. The only thing I was a little disappointed with, is that Margaret was kind of just thrown in at the end. I almost forgot about her. And in the original, we see Edward interact with her and it makes my heart melt! Otherwise, another great manga by Manga Classics and Stacy King!

 

Bookish Features

WWW Wednesday – August 16, 2018

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where bloggers answer three questions: What are you currently reading? What did you just finish reading? What are you going to read next?

Currently Reading:

I am currently reading Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik and Manga Classics: The Jungle Book by Crystal S. Chan.

Just Finished:

Since my last post, I finished Manga Classics: Jane EyreHeart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns, #1) by Bree Barton, and Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility by Stacy King.

Reading Next:

Next, I will be reading The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton and Castle in the Stars: The Moon-King by Alex Alice.

What’s on your WWW Wednesday this week? Be sure to comment below and I’ll check it out!

Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR + Q&A] The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie

TheRagingOnes_BlogTourBanner_onsale

Welcome to my stop on The Raging Ones book tour! Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Raging Ones_cover image

Title: THE RAGING ONES (The Raging Ones, #1)
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Pub. Date: August 14, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD

In Altia, everyone knows the day they’re going to die from the moment they’re born. But what happens when that day passes and you’re still alive?

THE RAGING ONES (Wednesday Books; August 14, 2018), a YA debut for bestselling authors (and twin sisters) Krista and Becca Ritchie plunges head-first into a sci-fi romance that will keep you guessing until the last page.
THE RAGING ONES follows three teens who should have died young: Franny Bluefort, a young orphan who lived fast and hard, only to wake up the next morning after her death day in the cold, unforgiving city streets; Mykal Kickfall, who was meant to die at 8 but instead was forced to flee his rugged home to avoid questions of his survival; and Court Icefort, the mysterious boy who acts like an Influential, but has a terrible secret. And, for some inexplicable reason, they can feel each other’s emotions as if they were their own.

With the threat of people learning the teens have dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet, Saltare-3, to survive. Who knows what will happen if people suddenly think they might be able to escape death? But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people who are far smarter, will live longer, and will never fear death the way that they do.

The Ritchie sisters have already amassed a large following for their steamy romances, infusing their young adult novel with romantic tension and displaying a new talent for excellent world building. Full of action and adventure, THE RAGING ONES is part space odyssey and part coming of age story with three teens trying to escape their difficult pasts.

“A potently addictive blend of romance, fantasy, and science fiction full of unexpected twists.”
— Kirkus Reviews, STARRED Review
“…a heartfelt, high-octane saga with gripping twists that will leave readers hungering for more.”
— Booklist Online


REVIEW

I’m not special because I’m dying. Everyone dies, and everyone knows when.

In a world where everyone knows the day they will die, we follow three teenagers on a journey to defy all odds.

I found it a little funny that the countdown to death hovered above the peoples’ heads for everyone to see. This reminds me of the video for “Remind Me” by Nickelback if anyone has seen that (and you’re old like me)?

I feel them. For the first time, I realize they’ve been my strength, my hope, and they can be my peace. I just have to let them help me.

Franny, Court, and Mykal have a grave secret. By sharing this secret, they become close friends, willing to die for one another. Instead of living a life hidden from the rest of the world, they decide to embark on a journey called the Saga 5 Mission. Five lucky Influentials will be launched into space to convey peace between the other planets. However, Franny, Court, and Mykal aren’t your typical Influentials. Competing against a thousand other applicants, will they make it abroad the ship and leave all of their worries behind?

It means my life. If I fail, I could die. Altia Law: people caught passing as Influentials will be sent to Vorkter Prison until their deathdays arrive.

But Court has a secret. Will Franny and Mykal ever find out the truth behind his past? If they do, does that also put them into danger? 

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! It was fast-paced, action-packed, and sucked the reader into the plot. There were a couple unexpected twists and there was never a dull moment!  My only complaint is I’m still slightly confused by the love triangle, but I’m excited to see how that develops in the next novel. I honestly have been waiting to be able to give a 5-star rating to something again for a while now, and this novel more than deserved it! Having never read a book by the twins before, this was a great experience, especially since their previous novels were of a different genre entirely. By their answers from the Q&A, it was nice to have a picture of who they describe the characters, as well as, a playlist to go along with the novel while reading!

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Krista & Becca Ritchie_Author PhotoKrista & Becca Ritchie are New York Times Bestselling Authors and identical twins, one a science nerd, the other a comic book geek. With their shared passion for writing, they combined their mental powers as kids and have never stopped telling stories. Graduates from
the University of Georgia in Biology and English & Journalism, the twin writing duo now lives in Atlanta. The Raging Ones is their first young adult novel.

Follow Krista & Becca:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


Q & A

Q: Working with another author is hard, let alone WITH YOUR TWIN, what was working together like and how did you address differing opinions on the work? What are your favorite and least favorite things about writing with each other?

A: We’ve been writing together since high school, so we’ve been able to really fine-tune our process. Being sisters seems like we’d bicker a ton, but we find our bond a huge strength. We understand each other’s vision and welcome varying opinions and ideas. We always describe what we have as a mini “writer’s room” where we constantly bounce thoughts off one another and try to improve our work. When we have different opinions, it kick-starts discussions, which often ignites better stories. Our favorite part of working together is definitely collaborating. We value our time together and our discussions surrounding our projects. Always having someone equally passionate and invested in the book fuels our love of writing. Least favorite part: honestly, there aren’t a lot of negatives! Maybe our three-minute silent treatments when we’re frustrated, and then we make up almost immediately.

 

Q: When did you first get idea for The Raging Ones? What was your inspiration for this book?

A: Back in college, one of us (Krista) had this concept about a world where everyone knows the die they’ll die, but three teens don’t die on their deathday. We’re huge fans of science fiction and fantasy, and we’d written several Young Adult novels that never saw the light of day. But we wanted to write a new story together with new characters, and I jumped on board once she agreed to add a fantasy element. While writing THE RAGING ONES, we were really inspired by character-driven stories with science fiction backdrops. From movies like Interstellar to television shows like The 100.

 

Q: THE RAGING ONES is your first YA novel. What made you decide to move into the genre, and was the transition difficult? Was writing in a different genre/for a different age group hard? Was your process different?

A: Even though THE RAGING ONES is our first published YA novel, it isn’t the first one we’d written together. In our childhood, high school, and college, we mostly only wrote YA. The harder transition for us had been going from writing Young Adult fantasy novels to writing contemporary romance. In a lot of ways, THE RAGING ONES was like returning to something we’d started but hadn’t finished yet. We always attribute our romance books as the reason why we’re better writers, and when we went back to this other genre, we realized how much more we could do and push ourselves. Our writing process is pretty much identical across the map for Young Adult and Adult.

 

Q: What is the weirdest thing you had to research for the novel?

A: Since THE RAGING ONES takes place on a frozen planet, we had to keep jumping down an Animal Planet rabbit hole. We paid close attention to the animals that could exist. It’s not too weird, but there were a lot of times we had to double-check each other and be like, “Cotton isn’t a fabric here” and “You can’t make them eat chicken. There are no chickens.”

 

Q: Did THE RAGING ONES have a certain soundtrack you listened to while writing?

A: Yes! We always listen to music while we’re writing, and we complied a public Spotify playlist for the book, which includes songs that were in our earbuds as we were typing. We love the dramatic scores from Gravity and Interstellar, but we always say “Keeping Your Head Up” by Birdy is the essence of the book.

THE RAGING ONES Spotify Playlist: https://spoti.fi/2AkHkXi

***I checked this out and I like a lot of the songs and it is really nice to listen to while reading the novel!***

 

Q: What is your dream cast for THE RAGING ONES?

A: We love dream casting our books and making Pinterest boards! For THE RAGING ONES, we can imagine Lyrica Okano as Franny Bluecastle, Henry Zaga as Court Icecastle, and Noah Teicher as Mykal Kickfall.

THE RAGING ONES Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.com/kbmritchie/the-raging-ones-series/

 

Q: What was your greatest challenge in writing this book? *My personal question*

A: Krista: One of the hardest parts was not revealing the end twist too soon. We didn’t want to give too much away, and we had to build the world around the idea that no one would see the twist coming. Which meant that the reader wouldn’t see it coming either.

Becca: Definitely what Krista said, and we went into THE RAGING ONES with a goal of making the characters the number one focus. We always hope that readers are invested in the characters first and foremost, and so we took a lot of time shaping these three characters into unique individuals, who we can only hope that readers will love, too.

 

Q: What writers inspire you? *My personal question*

A: Krista: Writers who juggle different genres and are hybrid really inspire me like Jennifer L. Armentrout and Wendy Higgins. On an indie romance level, I’m awed and inspired by so many; the list would be endless, too.

Becca: Like Krista, I’m inspired by so many authors. To name a couple of YA writers who have written books that still sit with me: Swati Avasthi and Lena Coakley.


 

Bookish Features

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Blogs/Bookish Websites

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The best thing about blogging…the community!

1. Fiction No Chaser – The reviews are so funny and there is always an alocholic beverage recipe!

2. The Bibliophagist – Sara has such an eclectic range of books and is always giving away some novel!

3. Runaway With Dreamthieves – Em is widely known all over Goodreads and always has the jump on any new YA read, always with a funny comment or two!

4. Bookidote – Lashaan is my favorite comic blogger out there and I’m jealous of the exposure he gets to comics I want! haha

5. Paws and Paperbacks – Bre is one of my good friends and actually got me into blogging! I love her blog, especially, because we have a lot of the same tastes in books! However, she’s into more romance than I am 😉 hah

6. That Artsy Reader Girl – How can she not be included on my blog as I participate in Top Ten Tuesday every week!

7. Books of Teacups – Anna and I seem to have a lot of favorite books in common and is a new blogger I’ve been following!

8. Cooking With A Wallflower – Andrea has such unique and interesting dishes that always make my mouth water!

9. Perfectly Tolerable – Brittany and I seem to have a ton in common! I love the gifs she uses in some of her posts!

10. Lola Et La Vie – Lola is super active on her blog. Not only that, but she broadens my horizons on so many different novels I have never heard of before!

Bookish Features

July 2018 SpearCraft Box

Spearcraft

JULY 2018
WICKED SEAS

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Wicked Inspired Quote Sticker
SpearCraft Book Box

 

 

 

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Mermaid Tail Tall Socks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mermaid Quote Magnet
SpearCraft Book Box

 

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Mermaid Metal Wrist Cuff Bracelet

 

 

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Ariel Bookmark
SpearCraft Book Box

 

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Ursula Inspired Enamel Pin
Laura Stites Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wicked Inspired Bookmark
A Strange Dreamer

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Poor Unfortunate Souls Glitter Candle
Salty Sea Water, Papaya, and Ocean Breeze
Dio Candle Company

 

 

 

 

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Little Mermaid Inspired Double Sided Art Print
SpearCraft Book Box

 

Sea Witch
Sarah Henning
Book, Author Letter, & Signed Bookplate

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So, the main reason I wanted this box was because of the novel. I’ve been wanting this book for a while now and, of course, had to get a signed copy! This was my first SpearCraft Book Box and, honestly, I was a little disappointed. I found my favorite items to be the ones not made my SpearCraft. I’m not really into all of the paper items since I can’t use them for anything. Also, a lot of the items seemed more generic to me than a lot of the other boxes I get. Is this a box I would order again? Probably not. However, I did enjoy a lot of the other items manufactured by other suppliers and I definitely loved the signed bookplate and novel!

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