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T5W: Unlikable Characters…

Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey and has passed down the torch to Sam from Thought On Tomes, our current host for T5W.  Go join the group on Goodreads. °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

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This week’s topic is Unlikable Characters...Now every now and then, a book has an unlikable character. Here are my choices:

  1.  Tamlin (ACOTAR & ACOMAF) – Alright, if you have read  ACOMAF, you would understand why Tamlin is on this list. I don’t want to go into spoilers here, but I really can’t seem a redemption arc for Tamlin. He went from boring to unlikable.
  2. Bella (Twilight)  – I’ve tried rereading Twilight and I couldn’t. First time around, Bella was okay for me, but as the years, literally years, gone by I’ve changed my mind.
  3. Tris Prior (Divergent) – I’ve only read one book, and I didn’t like Tris at all. I thought she was a bit too whiny, but a lot of people like her.
  4. Eva (Kissing In America) – When I read Kissing in America, I was amazed by how many foolish choices the protagonist made…I liked her at first, but the more I kept reading, the more I found Eva to be unlikable.
  5. The Narrator (Sick Pleasures) – The short story was really depressing…the narrator did not help at all.
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T5W: Recent Wishlist Additons

Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey and has passed down the torch to Sam from Thought On Tomes, our current host for T5W.  Go join the group on Goodreads. °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

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This week’s topic is Recent Wishlist Additions. I can’t believe the year is halfway over, and the holidays will upon us soon. I have several items that I want on my wish list I want different book editions of my favorite authors. Here are my picks:

  1. These minimalistic editions of Murakami’s books. haruki murakami redesigned
  2. This might be my favorite edition of The Chronicles of Narnia, I absolutely love these covers.chronicles of narnia first editons reissussed
  3. Every time I go to Barnes and Nobles, I always find myself wanting these books. I actually own one. (The seven novels in one)barnes and nobles editions jane austen
  4. Look how beautiful this book set is!!!! I might add this to my wedding registry. Ha ha!
    f scott fitzgerald book set
  5. You can never own too many Harry Potter books. I prefer these covers than the original ones. 15th anniversary harry potter
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Top Ten Tuesday: Facts About Me

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you want to join, please check out the blog!!

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This week’s topic is Ten Facts About Me. This topic may be the easiest one this year! I’ll try to list facts that I don’t really reveal about myself…starting now!

  1. I am a slow reader – As I have gotten older, I read a lot slower. I like reading at my own pace.
  2.  I get distracted easily – I’m constantly on my phone. I’m even more distracted because of Pokemon Go.
  3. I like listening to Chillhop whenever I’m cleaning or reading. Chillhop Music on YouTube is one of my favorite channels.
  4. I have a disorganized bookshelf – I share my bookshelves with my sisters. I have several random items on my shelves. I need to clean it soon 🤔
  5. I prefer a good cup of tea over coffee, preferably peppermint. 
  6. I am into Korean Skincare 💖
  7. I am into everything kawaii…though it is an expensive lifestyle.
  8. I dislike with a burning passion liver and onions. 
  9. I prefer reading on an iPad than a Kindle.
  10. At the moment, I love reading about self improvement and happiness. 
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A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas

a court of mist and fury

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Link: Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

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Hey guys, it’s been a while since I last reviewed a book. I finished A Court of Mist and Fury last month. Let’s be honest here, I wasn’t a big fan of the first book in the series. I was debating on actually reading A Court Of Mist and Fury. I’m proud that I read it. There will be minor spoilers for the first book since I’m reviewing the second book. So if you’re reading this review, stop reading! You have been warned!

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If you didn’t love the first book, you’ll end up falling in love with the second book, I can guarantee that. Now, this book takes place months after Feyre has saved Prythian. She is a completely different person from the first and she has a complete personality change in this book. She is a faerie, but has a hard time adjusting to her new surroundings. She is broken. She suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. Who can blame the girl? She died in the first book. She is no longer the human huntress, but is now a fae with several magical abilities. She was saved all thanks to the High Lord of the Night Court. Even though she comes back to life, she suffers from constant nightmares and she is not getting the help she requires. Tamlin is utterly useless, there I said it, useless when it comes to helping Feyre cope with her trauma. It’s mentioned that he too is affected by what happened under the mountain. Tamlin causes Feyre more harm than anything else, and it doesn’t help that he keeps pushing her away. Their relationship physical, there is no emotional connection between the two.

Alright, A Court of Mist and Fury is going to change the way you see the male characters. Especially Tamlin. I haven’t read Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series, but I know what she did to a certain character in her last book. (Unavoidable spoilers on Tumblr). I really liked Tamlin, I really did. I had to look over my ACOTAR review just to see my thoughts on him. As I’ve mentioned in my previous review, I didn’t see Tamlin as the beast…and I was right. Though I am not a huge fan of seeing Tamlin the Tool as a villain, I wished the author could have gone for another route such as Feyre falling out of love with Tamlin. The Tamlin from the first and the second book are completely different. Tamlin is such a tool…forget Tamlin and Feyre as endgame. Don’t get me started on Lucien…Lucien was my favorite character. I was looking forward to a lot more of Lucien, but I was so heartbroken. I was disappointed with the lack of Lucien and I can’t completely “hate” Lucien for his actions. I do feel that his friendship with Tamlin is borderline abusive. You may be asking why I can’t hate Lucien, well it’s because he tried to help out Feyre even though his actions failed. Lucien is pressured to be in a position that is of high status, and he can’t go against his Lord (even though Tamlin’s actions are very questionable indeed). I hope that Lucien plays a bigger role in the last book, I want him to be a spy as well.

As for Rhysand, I loved him.  Rhysand is one of the most interesting characters in ACOTAR series. He got my attention the first time around, and I adore him. I love his backstory. Rhysand truly is the “beast” while Tamlin is Gaston since it was based on Disney’s Beauty & The Beast. Now going back to Rhysand, everything had a purpose. His actions are explained, there was a reason why he acted that way towards Feyre in the first book. Rhysand has a persona to play, he’s supposed to be “wicked”, but he’s not. I really respect Rhysand as a character because he is a feminist. But as much as I love Rhysand, I did find him to be a little too perfect…that’s one of my minor issues with this book. Rhysand’s inner circle is really loveable. His inner court is fantastic, and they were such a great addition to this series. My favorite had to be Amren. Why? She has no fear whatsoever and she’s fiercely loyal to her group of friends. One of my favorite scenes with Amren had to be when she used her bounty as a paperweight. Hopefully her backstory gets told in the last book. The ladies of the Night Court are badasses. The guys are just as great, especially Cassian.

I felt that ACOMAF focused a lot more on Feyre finding her own freedom and overcoming her obstacles. Feyre is in a abusive relationship. Tamlin doesn’t do anything to comfort Feyre. There is hardly any communication between the two. Tamlin believes that material items will bring joy to Feyre. Instead of trying to resolve Feyre’s brokenness, he rather lock her up. Feyre is miserable, and it’s especially telling when Feyre constantly throws up. I really despise how he forced Feyre to adjust to her faerie life. Also, Ianthe was the worst…I did not trust her and my intuition was completely right about her. She also made Feyre suffer, for example Feyre tells Ianthe that she doesn’t want any red for the wedding and what does Ianthe do? She includes red in Feyre’s wedding. I have a couple theories on what might happen in the last book, but I’ll save that for another time. As I’ve mentioned, Feyre isn’t given any freedom in the Spring Court. When Feyre lives in the Night Court, everything is drastically different. Rhysand lets Ferye do what she wants. He doesn’t force Feyre into situations like Tamlin. Feyre doesn’t realize that was in an abusive relationship until much later in the book! I am impressed with the character development of Tamlin, Feyre, and Rhysand.

I did feel that the book did drag on a bit. It was enjoyable, don’t get me wrong, but I felt that some chapters could have been cut shorter in length. I felt that the plot was stronger in ACOMAF than ACOTAR. Also, I really didn’t expect those plot twists. ACOMAF left me wanting more. I did buy my edition from Target since that edition came with a bonus story. Another minor issue I had with the book is that there were several love relationships being established. You had the main ship: Feyre and Rhysand, and others. But, I did end up liking the romantic pairs. One of my favorite secondary pairing is Cassian and Nesta, I like those two a lot. I love how Cassian,who is mostly interested in himself, finds himself captivated by a fiercely loyal human. I hope to reading more about that pairing. I’m hoping that Lucien and Elain get more scenes together in the last book since they are mates. I still don’t understand why ACOTAR & ACOMAF are labeled as YA. It’s not YA! Not with those sex scenes. Overall, ACOMAF was such a great read and there’s one book left! I can’t wait to see what happens. Especially excited since the last book is going to be a Snow White retelling, and now that I got to read!

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5)

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It’s Been A While…

Hey guys! It feels a little weird to be writing since I haven’t been writing at all. Nothing. I haven’t had time to write reviews nor read as much. Last month, I hardly put any effort in my blog. I just disappeared without really mentioning a “vacation” post or anything. For that, I apologize.

I promised myself to overcome any reading slumps, but I’m in a reading slump at the moment. It doesn’t help that I have several arcs to read. I’ve been mostly working, watching anime, and wedding planning which is such a “joy”. I’ve fallen behind on several things like buying my wedding dress, looking for sponsors, and I haven’t sent my save the dates…I’ve been stressed and I haven’t had time to read. I miss reading at my own comfort, but life catches up on you. I miss the book community.😦

Again, I feel bad for not interacting with anyone. I’m trying to be much more active for this month since I have been gone. Tomorrow will be a better day. I have a new notebook and I have already jotted down a couple posts for this month.

As for my reading slump, watching anime helps me out. A lot. But, I won’t give up on the book. At the moment, I’m reading Summer Days & Summer Nights and I’m going to try to finish it before next Wednesday. Sorry for rambling on and on, but I hope everyone is having a great day.

Quote of the day:

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Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books From The First Half Of The Year

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you want to join, please check out the blog!!

This week’s topic is Favorite Books From The First Half Of The Year. I’ve read several books this year, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. It was really tough narrowing down what books I really loved. Here are my choices:

  1. The Rose & The Dagger – A beautiful ending to a series that I cherished. One of my favorite fiesty protagonists from YA.
  2. The Winner’s Kiss – Stressful, but I loved it. Underrated. Loved the story and was satisfied with the ending.
  3. Ruin and Rising – Nikolai. Nikolai. Nikolai. I wasn’t as pleased with who Alina ended up with, but I will miss this series.
  4. Stars Above – I loved the short stories.
  5. The Start of Me and You – Such a cute YA book! I read it in one sitting and absolutely adored it. One of my favorite contemporary books of 2016.
  6. Chasing Spring – Loved it, and the romance was excellent. Swoon-worthy boy next door. Check.
  7. Truthwitch– I really liked the first book. I am excited to see how this series will progressed. Very interesting characters.
  8. The ‘Ohana Tree – Never thought that I would like a New Adult Book. The characters grow on you and this story depicts a healthy relationship between teh characters.
  9. Wolf By Wolf – I was amazed by Wolf by Wolf, and Yael is one of the most interesting YA heroines yet. She doesn’t really know who she is anymore, and she’s on a mission to kill Hitler.
  10. Risuko – A fun book that is more middle grade than YA. Though there is no romance in this book, there is a lot of character development.
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The Rose & The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

the rose and the dagger

Genre: Fantasy, Retellings, Romance, Young Adult

Links: Goodreads | Amazon 

Goodreads Synopsis: The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

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The Rose & The Dagger has been very hyped up since last year, and I was one of the fans that was highly anticipating the conclusion to The Wrath & The Dawn. The hype did not kill my reading experience at all, in fact I was really excited when I was reading it. The Wrath & The Dawn duology is absolutely perfect. There were hardly any flaws in both books, and I am so glad that it was just two books.

I’ve noticed that most readers complained that the beginning of the story started off slowly, but that was not the case for me. The story was good from beginning to end. This book had several things going for it. The curse, and the upcoming war played a huge part in this book. I was stressed when I was reading the book. More than usual. And the stress wasn’t unnecessarily bad, it just made the reading experience much more fun. I was emotionally invested, and I love being transported into the world.

Now, moving on to the characters. I love Shahrzad, she is terrific and just as feisty in this book. Her character was consistent throughout the book, and she did get some character development. Shahrzad may not be physically strong, but when you mess with her, she fights like a lioness. I found her interactions with Khalid to be hilarious, especially concerning her temper. As for Khalid, he was wonderful. I really can’t imagine anyone else for Shahrzad, besides him. Also, how can you not like him?

“Two stubborn lovers, protecting each other from the very same threat.”

As for the supporting characters, I grew to love Irsa (Shahrzad’s younger sister). I loved the sister dynamic. Shahrzad is fighter and loud, while Irsa is docile and meek. I love the way how Irsa would compare herself as a meek mouse. I can completely relate with Irsa. I was glad that she got a lot of screen time in the book, and I especially love the growth she goes through. She even stands up to Khalid, even though she is completely terrified of talking back to royalty. Irsa’s story had me in tears. (That was probably the only time that I cried during reading TRATD)

I was a bit disappointed that Despina and Jalal were not as involved with the story. I really wanted more moments between Despina and Jalal. I have to say that Despina’s family history is revealed, and I was not expecting it, and what a twist. That’s one of my minor complaints from the book since I loved them in the first book. Lastly, I loved how much girl power this book had. I don’t really want to spoil this book, because it is one of my top books for this year.

Renée Ahdieh has a beautiful writing style, and she’s been one of my favorite authors since last year. If you find yourself having a reading slump, then I would highly suggest reading this series. Honestly, the first book was the one to save me from my reading slump and it has a special place in my heart.

Quotes: 

“It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.”

“I’ve missed the silence of you listening to me.” Shahrzad attempted a weak smile. “No one listens to me as you do.” His expression turned quizzical. “You don’t wait to speak,” she clarified. “You truly listen.” “Only to you,” Khalid replied gently.”

“For nothing, not the sun, not the rain, not even the brightest star in the darkest sky, could begin to compare to the wonder of you. Khalid”

Final Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

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One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

one paris summer

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Links: Goodreads | Amazon 

Goodreads Synopsis: Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren’t betrayal enough, he’s about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.

Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn’t support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.

Still, no one is immune to Paris’s charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch—he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie. While the summer Sophie dreaded promises to become best summer of her life, one person could ruin it all.

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I received One Paris Summer in exchange for an honest review on Netgalley.

Over the weekend, I finished reading One Paris Summer. Now, I didn’t have high hopes for this book, but I was in the mood to read a contemporary book. One Paris Summer is about siblings who are forced to go to Paris for their summer vacation. Sophie, the protagonist, loathes the idea of going to Paris. Why? The reason why she doesn’t want to travel to Paris is because her father left her. Abandoned. Gone for good.
It is understandable why Sophie feels bitterness towards her father. Did he even try to win her or her brother back? Not really. One Paris Summer was jammed packed with a lot of drama. Much more than I had anticipated. I’ve seen some comparisons to Anna and the French Kiss since both books are set in Paris and contemporary. Anyways, Anna and The French Kiss is a delightful, fluffy read while One Paris Summer is a bit more dramatic.

As for the characters, I really liked Sophie. She was stubborn most of the time, and she wasn’t allowing herself to enjoy Paris, let alone learn the language. She constantly feels betrayed by her father. He left without saying goodbye, left the country to live abroad, and remarried. Sophie’s father never bothered to even email or call his children. I found myself annoyed at the actions of the father. Worst YA father of 2016, calling it already. Her new stepmom is surprisingly not evil, but a kind lady who wants Sophie and her brother to feel like family in her home. Life would seem great, but Sophie has an evil stepsister that makes Sophie’s summer vacation nearly impossible to enjoy. Sophie doesn’t have a backbone. She endures all the malice coming from her sister. Sophie doesn’t have anyone to defend her expect her older brother. I like how much the book focused on Sophie’s relationship with her brother. At first, they were the typical siblings that didn’t get along, but as they moved to Paris for the summer, they had to team up in order to survive. He is a good older brother towards Sophie; he cares for her and stands up for her against Camille. He may be a bit overprotective when it comes to guys.

As for Camille, I actually liked her. She was bitter to no end, and was the only “villain” in this book. She was a walking cliché. She is extremely good looking and a “boyfriend” stealer. She is manipulative and makes Sophie feel like a constant outcast. She controls her group of friends to go against Sophie and her brother. Camille was very petty throughout the whole book. She doesn’t get any character growth till the very end of the book.

Moving on to the romance, I wasn’t a huge fan of it. Alright, so it is very instalove. Sophie is a crybaby, and she becomes very emotional especially when Camille is involved. She meets the mysterious stranger and instantly feels a connection towards him. The love interest randomly shows up whenever Sophie cries, but he does have a crucial role in this story. Mathieu is Camille’s ex-boyfriend, and he is instantly drawn to Sophie. He keeps mostly to himself, and tries to avoid the wrath of Camille. He is sweet to Sophie, but Sophie takes his kindness the opposite way. She thinks that Mathieu will hurt her in return. As the story progressed, there were some cute interactions between Sophie and Mathieu, but there was a lot of drama between them. Honestly, I would have been happier if Sophie was single.

Lastly, I thought the world building was beautiful. It felt like I was experiencing Paris. I liked that the author was very descriptive. I would actually like this book to be made into a movie only to see Sophie’s musical abilities. Other than that, Sophie was the most likable character.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you want to join, please check out the blog!!

This week’s topic is Top Ten Most Anticipated Book Releases For The Second Half Of The Year. Now, this one is my favorite one since I have so many books that I look forward to reading! Also, I’ve noticed that most of the books on the list have a dark cover. Ha ha. Here are my choices:

  1. Harry Potter & The Cursed ChildBased on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016

    It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

    While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

  2. Heartless: Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

    Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

    At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

    Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

  3. Crooked Kingdom: Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.
  4. Labyrinth Lost: Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

    I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.

    Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.

    The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

    Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure.

  5. Nemesis: The princess didn’t expect to fall in love–with her nemesis.

    Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude.

    Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

    Sepora’s gift could save Tarik’s kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?

  6. The Graces: Everyone said the Graces were witches.

    They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

    They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

    All I had to do was show them that person was me.

    Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

    This beautifully-written thriller will grip you from its very first page.

  7. And I Darken: NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL.

    And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

    Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

    But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

  8. Of Fire And Stars: Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

    Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

    When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

    But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

  9. Vassa In The Night: In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

    In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

    But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .

    Inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful and Sarah Porter’s years of experience teaching creative writing to New York City students.

  10. The Reader: Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.
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WWW Wednesday June 8th, 2016

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?