Review: The Poppy War

Title: The Poppy War
Author: R.F Kuang
Publication Date: May 1st 2018
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.


This book is a whirlwind of emotions that left me feeling all types of ways. I read this book back in May and I still think about it sometimes. Don’t be alarmed by the fact that I gave it three stars. Three stars for me still means that I enjoyed it. I think this book was a great primer into adult fantasy for me and I can’t wait to continue exploring the genre.

Before I start my review, I do want to say that this book has a lot of trigger and content warnings.

Self-harm – Suicide – Violent rape – Sexual assault – Murder – Massacres – Brutalization – Mutilation – Torture – Substance abuse – Abuse – Emotional abuse – Physical abuse – Relationship abuse – Human experimentation – Chemical warfare – Genocide

This is a very dark book and if that is something you can’t read about then maybe don’t pick up this book.

Continue reading “Review: The Poppy War”

Down the TBR Hole #6

Another week another down the TBR Hole. I feel like this week I’m not going to take that many books off my list.

Down the TBR Hole is a (very) bookish meme, originally created by Lia @ Lost In A Story. She has since combed through all of her TBR (very impressive) and diminished it by quite a bit, but the meme is still open to others! How to participate:

Let’s get started!

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  • Order by Ascending Date Added
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or let it go?

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 //


One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1)

#1 One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

This sounds spooky and I love it. So this is definitely a keeper.

Keep


The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

#2 The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Another murder mystery! This one I’m not really that interested in anymore so bye bye.

Go


Continue reading “Down the TBR Hole #6”

Review: Opposite of Always

Opposite of Always

Title: Opposite of Always
Author: Justin A Reynolds
Publication Date: March 5th 2019
Genre: Contemporary
Format: E-Book 
Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis

Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . . 

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.


This book was so sweet and fun. I adore the author’s writing style and I can’t wait to read more of his work. However, there was one thing that irked me about this book.

Continue reading “Review: Opposite of Always”

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Like to Switch Places With

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

  1. Nova Artino
Renegades (Renegades, #1)

Nova has such a cool superpower in the series and she also has a cool super villain family and not to mention her love interest is an absolute babe.

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Like to Switch Places With”

Review: The Fever King

The Fever King (Feverwake, #1)

Title: The Fever King
Author: Victoria Lee
Publication Date: March 01 2019
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.


This book was so intriguing that I finished in about two sittings. I would close out of my kindle and would immediately want to know what happened next so I would open it back up and continue reading. It was just that consuming.

Continue reading “Review: The Fever King”

February 2019 Wrap Up

I successfully read more this month than I did last month and I’m very proud of myself for it. Even with school and work getting in the way I managed to read/listen to three books this month! One more than last month! Hopefully as the year goes on I’ll be able to read more books each month.

Nightblood (Frostblood Saga, #3)

Nightblood by Elly Blake: ★★★★

This is the final book in the Nightblood Saga and it was a good ending to the series. I didn’t like it as much as the second book which is definitely my favorite but overall Nightblood was still enjoyable. I’ll have a more detailed review up eventually.

The Fever King (Feverwake, #1)

The Fever King by Victoria Lee: ★★★★

I got to read this book early due to the fact that it was part of Amazon’s First Reads program for this month. I’ll talk more about the program in my review for this book when I get to writing and posting it. However this book was so intriguing, there was so much that happened. It was a mix of urban fantasy and political intrigue which I really liked.

Renegades (Renegades, #1)

Renegades by Marissa Meyer: ★★★★

This is the first audiobook I listened to ever and I really enjoyed the narrators for the book. I think the narration was done really well and it’s a huge part of why I enjoyed the book. I didn’t love this book as much as I love Meyer’s other series but it was still enjoyable. More to come in my review whenever I get to it.

I don’t know if I’m going to post a March TBR only because I don’t really plan what books I want to read. I just kind of go with the flow and hope that I get to read something. Also don’t you love that I haven’t written reviews for any of these books yet. I’ll get to them eventually! I swear!

Review: The Wicked King

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

Title: The Wicked King
Author: Holly Black
Publication Date: January 8th 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world. 


I have reviewed the first book, The Cruel Prince, in this series here

Wow wow wow. I love this book with all my heart. Holly Black is an absolute genius and I wish I could be her friend. The world that Black has created is gorgeous and with each page that I had read I fell in love with even more. This review might be a little bit of a mess as I try to write my feelings about this book as coherently as possible. 

Continue reading “Review: The Wicked King”

Audiobooks: are they worth it?

Recently I read a blog post over at seeliepages where she talked about her first experience with audiobooks. Now I’ve also been wanting to get into listening to audiobooks but I didn’t like the idea of not holding a physical book in my hands and seeing the words that the author wrote. However I also don’t have a lot of time to be sitting down and reading, which is why I’m interested in audiobooks.

I drive a lot. I drive to school, to both my jobs and in total I probably spent at least three hours a week driving, which means I could be using those three hours a week to read, which is where audiobooks come in. I decided to go ahead and use the free 30 day trial that audible has to see if I would like listening to audiobooks.

I know that Libby and Overdrive have audiobooks and I could borrow them through my library but the waitlist for the books I wanted were weeks long, so hence I decided to just try audible. I got two credits or books for my 30 day trial and for the first one I decided to listen to Renegades by Marissa Meyer.

I ended up really enjoying the book overall but by the end of it I wished that I had a physical copy of it in my hand.

Pros:

  • Audiobooks are very convenient. I could listen to it wherever I wanted since I had it on my phone. I listened to it while working, walking to and from class and most importantly while driving.
  • The narrators for Renegades were amazing and I think they were a big part of why I had enjoyed it so much.
  • Visualization; hearing someone else read the words helped me visualize everything much more easily.

Cons:

  • I ended up getting distracted a lot by things going on around me and having to rewind a bunch of times.
  • I missed having an actual book in my hands as well as seeing the words in front of me.
  • I missed being able to track pages read in Goodreads as it isn’t really compatible with audiobooks.
  • They’re expensive. Audible is 14.95 a month and you only get one book and the company pretty much has a monopoly on all books so unless you want to outright buy it, you’ll have trouble finding it elsewhere.

I think overall I enjoyed listening to the audiobook but I don’t know if I want to keep up with it. I like buying books and they are much more easier to access and obtain than audiobooks. Having the audiobook experience was definitely something I’m grateful for but I’m going to stick to physical copies from now on.

Do you guys listen to audiobooks? And if so do you like them?

January 2019 Wrap Up

I read exactly two books this month which wasn’t exactly my goal. I wanted to read a book every week but once school started back up that went out the window. I’m ready to read more in February though and I have a plan set in place to keep reading even if I get busy with work and school.

Image result for the wicked king

The Wicked King by Holly Black: ★★★★★

I loved this book so much. It was everything I expected and more to be honest. The characters were my favorite thing about this book and how each one of them grew and developed to stand on their own. I have a more in depth review coming hopefully sometime soon.

Puddin'

Puddin’ by Julie Murphy: ★★★

I enjoyed this book. There were a bunch of things that I didn’t really like but for the most part overall it was an enjoyable read that left me feeling light and happy. If you want to see more of my thoughts on this book head on to my review of it here.

Well that’s it for my January wrap up. I know I’m posting this a little bit later than I should but I wanted to get it out there before I forgot and it was already the end of February. I should have a February TBR up either tomorrow or the day after. And I hope that this month I read more books than I did in January.

Review: Puddin’

Puddin'

Title: Puddin’
Author: Julie Murphy
Publication Date: May 8th 2018 
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis

It is a companion novel to Dumplin’, which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean’s star turn in the Clover City pageant. 

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined


I was not as impressed with this book as I was with Murphy’s previous book, Dumplin’. That’s not to say I didn’t like this book. I thought it had a sweet message but I didn’t connect with Millie or Callie as much as I did with Willowdean. There was just a lot in this book that honestly didn’t make that much sense to me.

Continue reading “Review: Puddin’”