My Library Haul

Last weekend I picked up some exciting reads from my local library! These titles are ones that I’ve been anxiously awaiting to start!

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Back in my college years, I began reading Anna Karenina since I was intrigued by the love story. At the time I only knew that Tolstoy wrote War and Peace, so I was curious. Alas, I eventually placed the book to the side…not because I was disinterested, but my focus was placed toward my studies!
Let’s see how much I can absorb this time around!

A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton
Laurell K. Hamilton is known for her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series,enthralling readers with Anita’s fearlessness and sexual escapades. A Kiss of Shadows follows the story of Meredith Gentry, a P.I. in Los Angeles whose true identity is Princess of the high court of Faerie. I’ve always been intrigued by this steamy world of the Fae, so I’m looking forward to reading it!

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
I received The Lost Girls of Paris yesterday at my local library’s monthly book club. It was my first meeting with this wonderful group, and although I didn’t have time to read up on the book club pick, I really wanted to attend. One of the club members was nice enough to lend me her copy of the book. I was very grateful!
This is a Historical Fiction novel, set around the time of World War II. Since Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres, I’m going to dive right in!

My Disneyathon/August TBR

Next month I’m trying my hand at the Disneyathon (Disney Reasathon) throughout the month of August. I don’t need to read Disney-related stories (but I am tempted in reading the Descendants stories!), but this readathon is divided into teams. I signed up for Team Mulan; I already own one of the group books, and I love Princess Mulan!

The following are the prompts for Team Mulan:

Read a book with at least 500 words

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I picked up Outlander a couple months ago, so I can’t wait to finally begin reading it! It’s well over 500 pages (almost 800!), and I haven’t watched the program (surprisingly), so it should be fun!

Synopsis:
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Read a book that features a ‘squad’

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

The moment I heard about Emily Duncan’s debut novel, I wanted to buy it right away! It has a dark premise that I appreciate in stories. Very excited to finally read this book!

Synopsis:

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.
A prince in danger must decide who to trust.
A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.


Read a book with a strong female lead

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Prieto

I also received Crown of Feathers through OwlCrate. They put out great fantasy books! This is Nicki Pau Prieto’s debut novel.

Synopsis:
I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

Read a YA Romance

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Again, but Better is Christine Riccio’s debut novel. She is a well known Book Tube personality who took the plunge in writing her first book!

Synopsis:
Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?
Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.
Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.


Group Book

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Team Mulan has the option of reading either Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim or Circe by Madeleine Miller. Since I already have a copy of Spin the Dawn (thanks to OwlCrate), this will be my group book of choice!

Synopsis:
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.


‘The Gilded Wolves’/Reading Blog #1

I’m up to page 108 in ‘The Gilded Wolves’. I’ve heard many mixed reviews about this novel, plus many comparisons to ‘Six of Crows’. So far, the only resemblance I see to ‘Six of Crows’ is that there is a planned heist, and it involves a group of people. Aside from those two facts, the comparisons end there. The characters each have their own storied past, each filled with their own forms of mental and emotional baggage. It will be interesting to see how these friendships/relationships progress as I continue reading the novel.

I’m really liking the scientific, magical aspect of this Parisian landscape. It involves a complex system of Forging (manipulating solid and liquid matter to benefit the means of the user), with many rules. It does seem complicated to follow all the rules through at times, yet so far I really appreciate it.

October 9, 2018: Gateway to Fourline Review

The Gateway to Fourline by Pam Brondos is the first installment of a three part series. It delves into the world of Natalie Barnes, a college student trying to do what’s right for her family’s farming business while struggling to maintain her good college standing. Natalie finds a job in a costume shop to pay for her college tuition, yet one day, she enters a room that is off-limits. Curiosity leads Natalie into a world filled with powerful women and an evil lord, with plenty of unanswered questions. Before she knows it, Natalie gets drawn into the world of Fourline and fights for a cause that grows deep into her heart. She develops an affinity toward a blighted race, and this threatens her well-being, as well as ones who are closest to her while on her journey.

Although it took me a while to finish this book, I found Gateway to Fourline to be well paced. It left me wondering what would happen next right until the very end. I look forward to learning about what will happen to Natalie and the others in Fourline as I take on the next book in this world fairly soon.