Month: January 2019

‘House of Salt and Sorrows’ by Erin A. Craig/A Review

‘House of Salt and Sorrows’ by Erin A. Craig is an adaptation of the Grimm’s Fairy Tale ‘The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces’ (also known as ‘The 12 Dancing Princesses’). This story is due for release on August 6, 2019. I received an ARC of this novel through Net Galley, and the synopsis intrigued me: a wealthy Duke enduring the mysterious loss of a daughter year after year. I never read the fairy tale before taking on this story, but I decided to read the story based on the paranormal aspect.

‘House of Salt of Sorrows’ is set in Salann, an island territory in the world of Arcannia. Each territory follows its own deity based on the climate of the area (the residents of Salann worship Pontus, a god akin to Poseidon. The story follows the perspective of Annaleigh, who is now second in line to her father’s inheritance, due to the eldest daughters suffering tragic, unexplainable deaths. Annaleigh sets out to solve the mystery of her sisters’ deaths, and encounters disturbing elements of paranormal occurrences along the way. Her youngest sister endures quite descriptive images of paranormal activity, yet Annaleigh doesn’t acknowledge these signs until she is in the throes of her journey. She finds herself racing to discover the origin of her family’s dilemma before any further losses take place.

I loved how descriptive the death and violence were in the book. I enjoy reading books with tragic elements, and I was pleasantly surprised that I read this inside a YA novel. I love a good tale with mystery and paranormal elements.

‘House of Salt and Sorrows’ is a very good story, and I am thankful to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for giving me an eARC!

Professional Reader

New Book Releases in February 2019

I always found February to be a very special month: my birthday and my anniversary both fall around this time. New book releases make February extra special for me!

Here are some titles coming out next month:

The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1) by Jenn Lyons
Kihrin is a bastard orphan who grew up on storybook tales of long-lost princes and grand quests. When he is claimed against his will as the long-lost son of a treasonous prince, Kihrin finds that being a long-lost prince isn’t what the storybooks promised. Far from living the dream, Kihrin finds himself practically a prisoner, at the mercy of his new family’s power plays and ambitions. He also discovers that the storybooks have lied about a lot of other things too: dragons, demons, gods, prophecies, true love, and how the hero always wins. Then again, maybe he’s not the hero, for Kihrin is not destined to save the empire. He’s destined to destroy it.
(February 5, Tor Books)

  Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik All through her childhood in Tehran, Forugh Farrokhzad is told that Persian daughters should be quiet and modest. She is taught only to obey, but she always finds ways to rebel—gossiping with her sister among the fragrant roses of her mother’s walled garden, venturing to the forbidden rooftop to roughhouse with her three brothers, writing poems to impress her strict, disapproving father, and sneaking out to flirt with a teenage paramour over cafĂ© glacĂ©. During the summer of 1950, Forugh’s passion for poetry takes flight—and tradition seeks to clip her wings.
(February 5, Penguin Random House)

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

  American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant, but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club. Her career has stalled out, she’s overlooked for every high-profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she’s given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes. Yes, even though she secretly admires the work Sankara is doing for his country. Yes, even though she is still grieving the mysterious death of her sister, whose example led Marie to this career path in the first place. Yes, even though a furious part of her suspects she’s being offered the job because of her appearance and not her talent.

(February 12, Random House)

January 28, 2019: My February TBR List

Here are the stories I plan on reading for the month of February:

See the source image
  • The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faruqi – I intended to read The Oyster Thief this month, yet I needed to wait for my local library to carry the selection. Now that I received word that it’s present, I can finally go through it and see what it’s all about!
See the source image
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – This is the third novel in the Grisha series. Alina’s journey against the Darkling comes to a conclusion.
  • Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay – This novel is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. I received this ARC from NetGalley.

Professional Reader

My First NetGalley ARC

Yesterday I began reading my first book from NetGalley, House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig. The story follows a young woman named Annaleigh, who attempts to uncover the reason why her sisters are dying one after the other. I’m about a quarter of the way into the book, and I enjoy the amount of paranormal scenes that are in this book. I’m looking forward to reading more and see what direction this story takes.

NetGalley provides reviewers ARC’s (Advanced Reader’s Copies) in eReader format only. This does not bother me, since I enjoy reading books in both physical and digital forms. Since I’m waiting for a copy of The Oyster Thief to become available in the library, I enjoy this NetGalley selection to keep me busy.

Professional Reader

‘Siege and Storm’ by Leigh Bardugo/A Review

**This review contains spoilers**

I appreciated ‘Siege and Storm’ a bit more than ‘Shadow and Bone’. This installment in the Grisha series heavily ventures into military strategy and royal influence as Alina fights to defeat the Darkling and restore peace to Ravka. Alina generates a following among commoners and Grisha alike, as many see her as the ‘Sun Saint’ who will bring an end to chaos. I appreciated viewing Alina’s friendship with Nikolai, as he uses his power of royalty to school her in military etiquette, as well as navigating diplomacy.

What I didn’t appreciate was the fact that Alina’s communication with Mal constantly led to lovers’ quarreling. Both characters have passionate feelings toward each other, yet Alina allowed her emotional bond with the Darkling interfere with restoring honesty in her relationship with Mal.

I absolutely enjoyed the final battle scene in the book. It contained just the right elements of action and shocking revelations.

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

Professional Reader

Currently Reading Book Tag

I came across this book tag through BookHookedNook‘s page. It looked like a fun tag to complete!

How many books do you usually read at once?
Just one book at a time for now. My current work schedule is too hectic for more than one!

Do you ever switch bookmarks when you’re partway through a book?
No, I stick to the same one.

Where do you keep the book(s) you are currently reading?
On the desk, and in my purse when I head to work.

What time of day do you spend the most time reading?
I read during the evening. Once in a while I read during my break at work, if there’s time.

How long do you typically read in one sitting?
It depends, between 1-2 hours.

What position do you mainly use to read?
Sitting at my desk, or in bed.

Do you take the book you are reading everywhere you go?
During the week, sure!

How often do you update your Goodreads progress on the book you’re currently reading?
I update my progress once a day.

Have a good evening everyone! I’m off to read some Siege and Storm!

OwlCrate January 2019 Unboxing (With Spoilers)

I received my January OwlCrate subscription box a couple days ago! I’m excited about the items I received. (All descriptions are taken from the OwlCrate Magical Artifacts spoiler card,   pictured above)


  • Antler bracelet
  • Wooden letter opener (inspired by Juniper and Ivy Designs)
  • Alchemy and Ink enamel pin for January 2019
  • Harry Potter inspired socks, designed by Michelle Gray
  • Luggage tag, inspired from The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
  • Zipper pouch, designed by Stella Bookish Art
  • The Golden Compass wall tapestry, illustrated by Holly Dunn Design
  • OwlCrate exclusive edition of The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (signed by author)
  • Letter from the author
  • Sneak preview card of next month’s OwlCrate (shown with zipper pouch, described above)

I’m looking forward to reading The Gilded Wolves, and I fully intend to do so upon completing my current reads for this month. Have you received your OwlCrate for this month? If you did, feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment section below.

Happy Reading!