Book Reviews

These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders, #1) by Sara Raasch

These Rebel WavesTitle:These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders, #1)
Author: Sara Raasch
Rating: ★★★★

Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace.

These Rebel Waves: ★★★★

A politican, a spy, and a pirate walk into a bar…nah, more like try to save the world!

“Everyone, remain calm,” she announced. “I’m about to blow some shit up.” “Nay!” Vex shouted from the pilothouse. “We’ve a kid here now, all right?” “Sorry. I’m about to chaotically rearrange some shit up.” “That wasn’t the problem—” Vex started to say at the same moment Lu cried, “Don’t—”

First of all, look at that cover! Not only that, but I have the FairyLoot edition and I’m in love with the green sprayed edges. So beautiful!

So, pretty much everyone I follow on Goodreads gave this novel a lower rating, besides for one. I really enjoyed this novel! And for the first time ever, I think I fell in love with the world. I want to visit Cansu and the secret spot. I want to hop aboard the Meander. 

I believe this idea is unique. Very rarely do we read stories based upon the effects of botanical magic. We have the Argridians who pray to a Pious God and want to cleanse everyone else of the “evil” these magical plants possess. This is a different kind of “evil” from what I’ve seen in most novels because it is not inherently human.

Not only that, but there are so many reasons that war is looming. We see the difficulties of immigration, prejudice, and other political issues known to us in our very own world.

“My sister used to say you could tell a person’s character by what they considered their weaknesses, rather than their strengths.”

For once, there wasn’t one character who irritated me beyond measure. The closest one would have to be Jakes. I love Adeluna (Lu)! And who wouldn’t fall in love with Vex?! But even more than that, Raasch created some amazing supporting characters. I want friends like Vex, Edda, and Nayali (and I think, am lucky to have them!).

Adeluna “Lu”: Growing up as a spy for her father as a child, Lu tries to forget the harm she caused others while being an assassin. Bent on using magic to overthrow Argrid, she doesn’t realize the extent the Council (her parents are part of) is truly “helping” others. What I love about love is how genuine of a person she is. She would do anything for the people she cares about. But there is a secret even Lu can’t unfold.

Devereux “Vex”: Pirate, thief, scoundrel. Vex is a black market trader of magic plants forbidden on the island. People believe Vex is behind the abduction of a political scandal, making all who use the magical plants as a means to life a target. Hired by Lu to find the Argridian, this wittier Jack Sparrow is my favorite character. His loyalty, devotion, and selflessness to those he loves easily overpowers his flaws.

Benat “Ben”: his father is the king of Argrid. Unbeknownst to others, he works with the same magic his father is strictly against. But when his father asks him to pursue his dreams and work with these magical plants, will it be for the betterment of his country, or for Argrid’s gain?

“You forgive yourself for what you’ve done,” Edda told her. “You admit mistakes. You learn from them. And you improve.”

I expect to hear more from Ben’s perspective in the sequel, I hope love blooms between Lu and Vex, and we hear more from Nayali and Edda!

That ending, though! I’m excited to see what will become of that!


Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – July 5, 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). You can check out my review of the book here!

When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist. They called my nymph, assuming I would be like my mother and aunts and thousand cousins. Least of the lesser goddesses, our powers were so modest they could scarcely ensure our eternities. We spoke to fish and nurtured flowers, coaxed drops from the clouds or salt from the waves. That word, nymph, paced out the length and breadth of our futures. In our language, it means not just goddess, but bride.




Title: Circe
Author: Madeline Miller
Rating: ★★★★

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Bookish Features

June 2019 Wrap Up




Books Read:

Currently Reading:


  • Had a blast at my best friend’s Bachelorette party! We did a booze cruise, dinner, and went out.
  • Went to a Brewers-Pirates and White Sox-Yankees game with the boyfriend (we had amazing seats!)
  • Had a blast at my friend Lindsey’s Bachelorette party! We went to a pottery shop (I’m hella proud of myself – p.s. this is pre-fired) and dinner.
  • Went to my best friend’s wedding out in Colorado! We also went to Cave of the Winds, Pike’s Peak Summit, and Seven Falls.

My Posts:


Tentative TBR:


  • My annual 4th of July Party!
  • My sister’s graduation party
  • Hopefully a baseball game or an adventure (maybe the Dells?)
  • And a whole lotta reading!

What books did you read in June?!

Bookish Features

WWW Wednesday – July 3, 2019

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:

The Express Bride

I am currently reading The Express Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #9) by Kimberley Woodhouse.

Just Finished:

I recently finished reading House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig and Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim.

Reading Next:

These Rebel Waves

Next, I will be reading These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch.

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

Bookish Features

Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I decided to post the first five books based upon actual length. However, the last five novels are books that felt like they took me forever to finish.

1. Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White

2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis

3. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien

4. Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss

5.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle

6. Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder

7. The Boxcar Children,Gertrude Chandler Warner

8. Nancy Drew, Carolyn Keene

9. Dolphin Diaries, Ben M. Baglio

10. Animal Ark, Ben M. Baglio

Book Reviews

The Express Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #9) by Kimberley Woodhouse

The Express BrideTitle: The Express Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #9)
Author: Kimberley Woodhouse
Rating: ★★★★★

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

The Wilderness Is a Great Place to Hide 
Jacqueline Rivers manages a Pony Express station in 1860 Utah territory after her father’s death. There are daily stresses placed on her in this unconventional role—and now a government official is asking her to sniff out counterfeiters. When Elijah Johnson passes through on the stage while on an exhausting quest to find his boss’s heir, he doesn’t want to leave the beguiling station manager. In fact, he may never leave when caught in the crossfire of the territory’s criminal activities. Can she remain strong when secrets of the past and present are finally unearthed?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)​
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1836 Texas (February 2019)
The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1849 San Francisco (April 2019)
The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1860 Utah territory (July 2019)

After an arranged marriage prepared by her parents, Anna quickly falls in love with her husband…until things go awry. After being beaten one too many times and scared for the life of her baby, Anna escapes much quicker than planned. In an effort to hide from her husband, she changes her name and identity. She shortly dies after discovering happiness and security in the life she never had prior.

After recently losing her father, Jacqueline “Jack” Rivers finds herself as manager of a Pony Express station and handling the lives of two handfuls of young men. Already being scared of detection by the owners because of her gender, she is then asked to spy for counterfeiters.

Along the way, Elijah Johnson shows up. Tasked with the “impossible” task of finding his employer’s daughter, he quickly finds himself falling in love with Jack. To make things more stressful, his employer is on his deathbed and hoping to apologize to his daughter before it’s too late.

Will Mr. Johnson find his employer’s daughter? Who is she and where has she been? Will Jack be able to continue to manage the station? What dangers lurk ahead? What secrets do others have?

What I enjoyed most about this novel more than others in the series was we see multiple kinds of love from parental to romantic. Instead of the main characters being at fault for their actions, we find one of the supporting characters with this dilemma. And I really enjoyed that because it wasn’t the same story line of the woman helping the man to become a better person after he makes mistakes.

A story of redemption, forgiveness, and love, readers are likely to fall in love with this brave woman and protective gang of young men!