Bookish Features

Waiting on Wednesday – June 12, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

Vow of ThievesFrom Goodreads:

Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor’s Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor’s Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.

Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits.

See my review for Dance of Thieves.

Bookish Features

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I didn’t like the theme, so I changed it up.

1. “The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to seekers after it.”
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie

2. “Skills could be taught, but talent could not.”
Wintersong, S. Jae-Jones

3. “Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It’s disgusting, and I can’t stop.”
The Cruel Prince, Holly Black

4. “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling

5.  “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
C.S. Lewis

6. “When I read a book it feels like real life and when I put the book down it’s like I go back into the dream.”
Then She Was Gone, Lisa Jewell

7. “Every fall is an opportunity to stand.”
King’s Blood, Jill Williamson

8. “I cannot live without books.”
Thomas Jefferson

9. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien

10. “…most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, where the situation feels hopeless. But that’s when hope is needed most.”
Legendary, Stephanie Garber

Book Reviews

Esther: Royal Beauty (Dangerous Beauty #1) by Angela Hunt

Esther

Title: Esther: Royal Beauty (Dangerous Beauty #1)
Author: Angela Hunt
Rating: ★★★★★

A Bible story brought to life! After she is forcibly taken to the palace of the king, a beautiful young Jewish woman, known to the Persians as Esther, wins a queen’s crown and then must risk everything in order to save her people . . . and bind her husband’s heart…

An ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews in ancient Persia, so an inexperienced beautiful young queen must take a stand for her people.

When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king’s heart and a queen’s crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king’s permission to exterminate all Jews–young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people…and bind her husband’s heart.

Esther marks bestselling author Angela Hunt’s return to biblical fiction. In each novel she explores an example of a Hebrew Old Testament tob woman: a woman whose physical beauty influences those around her–and can change the course of history.

Esther: Royal Beauty ★★★★★

This is a historical fiction novel based on the story of Esther. Living in a time where women are seen more as objects than equals, Hadassah dreams of becoming a royal one day. After both of her parents die, Hadassah is sent to live with her cousin and his wife. Not truly understanding the life of a royal, she wants more than the simple life her cousin provides and is content with.

After getting bored with his current wife, Xerxes sends out a royal decree in the search of a new wife. Men go on the lookout for these women and kidnap them in exchange for money. On the way to freedom with her betrothed, Esther is captured and brought to the king’s eunuchs. When presented to the king’s eunuchs, these women are prepped and pampered to impress the king. However, only one will be chosen and the rest will be sentenced to lives as the king’s concubines. In a place where Jews are viewed as inferior and killed for no reason other than their nationality, Hadassah cannot let anyone in the castle know her secret, so she changes her name to Esther.

Esther is the first presented to the king and chosen as his new Queen. However, she receives all of the king’s attention in the beginning, until her own unhappiness reveals itself after losing her first child. After that, the king seeks the comfort of others.

When a new counselor takes an evil approach to Jews, especially Esther’s cousin, Esther must stand up for what she believes, even if that means risking her life. With the help of the king’s eunuch, Harbonah, Esther finds true friendship and empathy.

Hadassah (“Esther”) – Queen; Beautiful; Courageous

Harbonah – Eunuch; Gentle; Emphathetic

A story of growth, disappointment, ambition, and an exciting account of the Bible, Esther will have readers fall in love with a story of righteousness and maturity.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – June 7, 2019

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). The book I picked today is one that contains a highly  important message, especially with everything we see in YA books these days being. You can check out my review of the book here!

I don’t need to dissect the bird to know how it died. I watched it fly straight into the mast moments ago, its limp body falling to the deck, its fragmented skull rattling beneath my fingers as I picked it up. But its death isn’t what interests me. I want to know how it lived.

At the first incision blood trickles down the black feathers on to my fingers. It’s still warm. I wipe it away. Not because I’m squeamish, but because I want to see beyond, to the tiny organs hidden behind delicate bones. My previous attempts at this have taught me that my touch has to be gentle. One slip and the fragile body collapses in on itself, keeping its secrets buried within.

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

Viper

Title: Viper (Isles of Storm & Sorrow #1)
Author: Bex Hogan
Rating: ★★★★

Marianne has been training to be the Viper for her entire life – to serve and protect the King and the citizens of The Twelve Isles – but to become the Viper and protect the islands she loves she must find the strength to defeat her father. A new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas.

He will make me a killer.
Or he will have me killed.
That is my destiny.

Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.

But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.

He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.

She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?

A brave heroine. An impossible dilemma. An epic new fantasy trilogy set on the high seas.

Book Reviews

An Authentic Experience by Kelly Wittmann

An Authentic Experience

Title: An Authentic Experience
Author: Kelly Wittmann
Rating: ★★★★

Fifteen-year-old Silver Abelli’s life has been as tumultuous as the punk rock she was raised on. Her divorced parents just don’t get along, even though they’re both musicians who stubbornly spurn the mainstream but secretly crave the limelight. Silver has always lived with her mom, Nicola, but when Nicola is diagnosed with a brain tumor, she must go to live with her obnoxious, hard-partying father, Renz. Because her family is so traumatized by Nicola’s condition, Silver doesn’t know where to turn when she suffers her own trauma. Will the truth set her free, or will it only make a bad situation worse? Find out in this story of family, friends, and young love.

CW: Rough language, one scene of violence

This story hits close to home for me. There are some similarities I have experienced that our protagonist experiences.

“No. I mean it. Jake has a lot of good traits, I know. I’m not saying he’s the bad guy in this situation. But if this is a deal breaker for him, just let him go. He has a streak of self-righteousness that really sends up red flags for me. It’s controlling.”

“I know”, Silver said. A part of her still loved Jake, but a part of her resented him, even disliked him. She knew she could never be the girl or woman or whatever that he wanted her to be.  She had once admired him for having high ideals, but she now realized how suffocating his unrealistic standards had been. She was hurting and she was missing him — terribly — but she was not blaming herself.

“I don’t have time for a guy who couldn’t be there for my baby girl when she was going through hell”, Nicola went on, “and neither should you.”

“That’s all very sensible”, Silver replied, “but feelings don’t just go away overnight.”

Just like Silver, I, too, dated someone that had characteristics that I admired entirely. But, being clear from the beginning that I was never going to be that same way, I thought he had accepted that. But, just like Jake (and probably without realizing it), it was controlling. As soon as things get bad (or no longer ideal), that person leaves when the one they “love” needs them most. And not only that, but they can’t accept you if you don’t have those same ideals, even if they say they love you the way that you are. They don’t if they can just leave. That isn’t love.

I admire Nicola and Silver’s strength when it comes to overcoming their setbacks. Life throws a lot of bad at you, but it is how we react to those situations that make us who we are. And Silver, not being the typical stupid annoying girl, sees her value and what someone who truly cared for her would be like for her. He wouldn’t leave. He would be there for her. Especially during a hard time. He would put her feelings above his own. He would be a man.

But what I enjoyed most about this story is that it inspired me to write a story of my own (with some added comedy, hopefully).

 

Bookish Features

Waiting on Wednesday – June 5, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart

Queen of RuinFrom Goodreads:

A fierce sequel full of sisterhood, heart pounding action, betrayal, and intrigue in the royal court in a series that “breathes new life into the feminist story of oppression and resistance” (Publisher’s Weekly).

Banished by Asa at the end of Grace and Fury, Nomi and Malachi find themselves powerless and headed towards their all-but-certain deaths. Now that Asa sits on the throne, he will stop at nothing to make sure Malachi never sets foot in the palace again. Their only hope is to find Nomi’s sister, Serina, on the prison island of Mount Ruin. But when Nomi and Malachi arrive, it is not the island of conquered, broken women that they expected. It is an island in the grip of revolution, and Serina–polite, submissive Serina–is its leader.

Betrayal, grief, and violence have changed both sisters, and the women of Mount Ruin have their sights set on revenge beyond the confines of their island prison. They plan to sweep across the entire kingdom, issuing in a new age of freedom for all. But first they’ll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.

Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, and build something better in its place.

The stakes are higher and the battles bolder in Tracy Banghart’s unputdownable sequel to Grace and Fury.

See my review for Grace and Fury.

Bookish Features

May 2019 Wrap Up

May

Books Read:

Currently Reading:

Life:

  • Volleyball started!imagejpeg950
  • My parents picked up three little baby goats this month.
  • Completed an escape room with my friend and three randos and third-wheeled another (completed both)!image951
  • My mom and I did a flower arrangement class for mother’s day at a distillery, which was a blast (I’m impressed with myself!)Resized_20190511_140133
  • Sarge went to Camp Bow Wow for the first time this month and he loved it!Resized_20190517_173801(1)
  • Early release Fridays started at work! 🙂

My Posts:

June

Tentative TBR:

Life:

  • I have two Bachelorette parties and a wedding!

What books did you read in May?!