August 2020 Wrap Up

It seems like monthly wrap ups are the only blog posts I’m consistently writing. This is kind of late though and that has to do a lot of with the fact that I don’t currently have a laptop. It’s in a shop right now and I’m hoping that it can be fixed. If it doesn’t I might buy a new one or I might wait until my birthday next year.

I read five books this month but I still haven’t caught up to my reading goal for the year which is really annoying. I’m currently three books behind and I’m hoping that this holiday weekend I can finally catch up!

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury: ★★★

This was a cute standalone that I listened to while I was driving to and from work. I have a review of it in progress and hopefully I publish it soon!

The Dragon Republic by R.F Kuang: ★★★★

I loved this book so much!! I honestly think it left me in a slump. I gave TPW three stars because I thought it was complicated for me to understand but when I read TDR I was blown away. It all came together for me suddenly and I loved it so much.

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Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings, #1)

Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis

Henry “Monty”  was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.


I laughed a lot throughout the course of this book even though it took me ages to actually finish it. I just finished it yesterday and all I can think about is how much I enjoyed reading about Monty, Felicity, and Percy. 

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Review: Furyborn

Image result for furyborn cover

Title: Furyborn
Author: Claire Legrand
Publication Date: May 22 2018
Series: Empirium Trilogy #1
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis

Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.


“We all have darkness inside us, Rielle,” he said, his voice rough. “That is what it means to be human.”

This book was good. I enjoyed it a lot and I did get invested in the characters, so much so that I was anxiously reading wanting to know what was going to happen next. However there were a couple things that I didn’t really like.

Characters

To me there were four main characters that Legrand wanted us to get to know. There was Rielle, Eliana, Simon and Audric. Yes there were only Eliana and Rielle’s POV, but both Audric and Simon played important roles in both of these characters narratives.

I want to start with Rielle. Rielle is the daughter of the king’s captain. She has a secret that both her and her father are keeping from the rest of the kingdom. Rielle is able to wield all 7 elemental powers with just her bare hands, something that only two prophesied queens would be able to do. Rielle doesn’t want to believe that she could be one of these queens due to the fact that one is supposed to be light and the other dark. Rielle has already proved herself to be a little due to the fact that she murdered her mother when she was younger as she wasn’t able to control her powers.

Rielle was not my favorite character. I kind of found her to be annoying at times. The only thing I really liked about her was when she tried to fight the darkness that inevitably always surrounded her. She was the kind of antihero that I like reading about. However I wanted her to have more development. Her whole story revolved around proving herself to be the Sun Queen which wasn’t that interesting to me. It was obvious that she had a lot of power but she also didn’t have any control no matter how much she tried to say she did. Rielle is a character that I think has a lot of potential to grow and become a little more complex.

Eliana was my favorite character. It’s 1000 years after Queen Rielle has doomed them all and Eliana is keeping her family alive and safe by killing for the Empire. She knows what she does is wrong and yet she tries not to let it affect her. She just wants to protect her brother and mother, everyone else be damned. When her mother is captured though, she reluctantly joins forces with the Red Crown rebellion group to try and get her back. Along the way she finds out a lot about who she truly is.

Eliana is a flawed person and she knows and accepts it. She doesn’t try to change or twist what she has done to somehow make it. She knows why she does what she does and that’s all that matters to her. I liked Eliana a lot more than Rielle only because I already knew what was going to happen to Rielle, but you don’t know what’s going to happen to Eliana. Every little bit of truth is new for her and not something that she had any inkling of before. I also loved Simon. Simon was my favorite love interest and he’s the one I want to know more about.

Plot/Writing

Ok my biggest point of contention with this book is the fact that it was so action packed. There weren’t that many scenes with room for the characters to talk and grow and develop into something more. Every page there was action which to some people is a good thing but I didn’t really enjoy it. I wished there was more dialogue. Also I didn’t really like the skipping of POVs every chapter. I would rather there be two chapters of one character and then two of the next. The constant skipping around actually kind of confused me as to what was actually happening.

Another thing is that the beginning of the stories for both Eliana and Rielle is kind of slow. I didn’t really get fully invested into both of them until about halfway through the book. I just didn’t really know why I should care about what was going on until later in the book.

Overall Thoughts

Furyborn is a well written and planned out book that had just a few things wrong with it in my opinion. I still want to read the next books and I know that I will read them. Hopefully Kingsbane will end up being better in terms of pacing and how much actually happens in it.

Review: Frostblood

Image result for frostblood review

Title: Frostblood
Author: Elly Blake
Publication Date: January 10th 2017
Series: Frostblood Saga #1
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating – yet irresistible – Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her – and from the icy young man she has come to love.


“Face them all like a warrior, whether you are one or not.”

I liked this book; I didn’t love it but I definitely enjoyed it. There were a lot of cliches that I have come to expect in fantasy books, number one being enemies to lovers. Don’t get me wrong; I am a huge fan of this trope. It’s my absolute favorite. However I only like it when it’s done out over a course of at least two books. This book had the snarky banter I like but it only lasted for about half the book before the two characters were in love with one another. I wish there had been more of slow burn or drawn out romance that bled into the other books.

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