Crooked Kingdom Reading Blog #2

I’m about a quarter of the way through ‘Crooked Kingdom’ by Leigh Bardugo. I most likely won’t get through with the story until another few days, but I’m loving the story. One thing I enjoy reading about is the addition of ordinary (non-combative) characters. It adds a nice blend to the outlaw way of life that this duology dictates. Wylan’s involvement with the group also provides the group some form of etiquette when interacting with outside influences. Kaz usually goes about his own business, but it’s refreshing to see non-combative dialogue. Of course, I’m all for different types of interaction throughout the book!

Crooked Kingdom: Reading Blog #1

I finally began reading Crooked Kingdom! I’m at Chapter Five, where the Dregs are formulating a plan to rescue one of their own valuable members. The story begins with Kaz Brekker and his crew are at a severe disadvantage, trying to navigate around their community when the entire area is at odds with them.

Like Six of Crows, this story immediately drew me in. I can’t believe that it took me all month to begin reading it! I purchased the story as a Kindle read, so I can now catch without worrying about returning it to the library. I adore library books, but I took too long to get around reading my borrowed copy, and I couldn’t renew it since another patron wanted to borrow it (since it’s being adapted to Netflix soon, I can understand the demand).

I can’t wait to delve deeper into the story, especially reading about the strong female characters in the book.

I’m also reading a Netgalley selection, Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald. This story takes place in New York City in the 30s, centering around an engineer falling in love with a mysterious woman he sees among the crowds. I love everything about New York City. Since I was once a resident in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan, I always hold a special place in my heart for New York.

Professional Reader

March 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

For the month of March, I read 6 books. One was an audiobook, one was an eARC through NetGalley, three were library books, and one was a Barnes & Noble purchase.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
462 pages
Book 2 of Ketterdam Duology

I gave this story 5 Stars. I picked up Six of Crows through the local library. I really enjoyed how diverse the characters were in this book, and I enjoyed how inventive Kaz and the Dregs got while pulling off their heist. The female characters were also very strong and lovely to read.

Is There Still Sex In the City? by Candace Bushnell
Publisher: Grove Atlantic Press
272 Pages
Publication Date on August 6, 2019

I gave this book 4 Stars. I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley. This story follows the struggles of dating while living through your 40s and 50s. Candace delivers the adventures of her friends with brutal honesty, while adding her own unique humor that was her trademark in the Sex and the City series.

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Ballantine Books
368 Pages

I read this story as an audiobook through Audible, and I’m so glad I purchased it through this format! Listening to the characters speak about their adventures in music and life felt like I was listening to a rock documentary. I’m equally excited that this book is being turned into a mini-series, since it brings the chance of The Six’s songs coming to life. I gave this book 5 Stars!

Minion by L.A. Banks
Publisher: Saint Martin’s Press
286 pages
Book 1 of the Vampire Huntress series


(cover is pictured at the top photo)
I also received this book at the local library. I gave this book 4 Stars. This tells the tale of Damali Richards, a young women who is destined to become a Neteru, a powerful vampire huntress, upon her 21st birthday. The book begins a short time before Damali undergoes her awakening, as her Guardians fight to protect her from an unknown evil that proves stronger than any vampire they’ve come across. ‘Minion’ largely sets up the major plot line for the next installment of the series, but I appreciated catching up with the story.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzar and Bray
444 pages


I gave this book 4 Stars. I purchased ‘The Hate U Give’ through Barnes & Noble. It tells the story of Starr Carter, a 16 year old girl who is the sole witness of the murder of her best friend Khalil. This book does a wonderful job of taking on the issue of discrimination and police brutality with raw honesty. Starr strives to finds her voice within her community and the school she feels restricted in.

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
Publisher: Doubleday Books
322 Pages


I gave this book 4 Stars. This was the third book that I received from my local library. I appreciated the adult take towards the Scooby Doo gang stories. The group has different names in this book, yet their excitement in taking on their a case takes on a hint of nostalgia towards the television series it takes from. It takes on an adult tone though, as the dark humor and jump-scare moments indicate.

Professional Reader

March 6, 2019: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo/A Review

     I really, really enjoyed Six of Crows! This is Leigh Bardugo’s fourth novel within the Grishaverse, centered within the city of Ketterdam. Six young and fearless fighters venture out to achieve a high stakes heist, led by Kaz Brekker, leader of the Dregs. They face impossible obstacles as they discover the root of the issue, and also look into their own personal demons along their journey.

     As I began reading Six of Crows, I immediately sensed that Leigh Bardugo took a radically different turn with writing her lead female characters. It’s a multiple perspective novel, following each member of the group as they embark on the heist. The two main female characters, Inej and Nina, are fearless. While fighting their own personal demons, these two women are extremely confident in their abilities. It’s very refreshing to see after reading the Grisha trilogy. I enjoyed the series, but I wanted more from the lead female character, and Six of Crows certainly came through with that.

     This book takes place a couple years after the trilogy’s storyline. References of the ‘Ravkan civil war’ is threaded throughout the story. I’m going to enjoy reading ‘Crooked Kingdom’, as I feel that Ravka will be more prominent.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

March 3, 2019: Six of Crows Reading Blog #2

I’m about halfway through Leigh Bardugo’s ‘Six of Crows’ (midway through Section 3: Heartbreak). This part goes heavily into the backstory of the Dregs’ members, how they came into the lives they chose to live. I love how it shows the human side of all of these characters. Way before their notorious reputations were cemented, they were small children forced into indentured servitude, or living a life of intense gambling. Fate also brought bitter enemies together, forcing them to ignore their biases in each other in order to survive and adapt. (The parts involving the history of Nina and Matthias were very intriguing). I definitely notice that Bardugo’s writing style is quite different from the Grisha series. Her female characters in Six of Crows are feminine and fierce, which is quite refreshing to read. Perhaps I’ll be able to finish this story by mid-week.

February 16, 2019: ‘Ruin and Rising’ by Leigh Bardugo/A Review

I heard so many mixed reviews about ‘Ruin and Rising’. I went into this book bracing myself, since I wasn’t sure whether I would be pleasantly surprised or throw the book down in disgust after sticking with it for this long.

It turns out that I feel…well, pleasantly surprised!

‘Ruin and Rising’ by Leigh Bardugo is the third book in the Grisha trilogy. It follows Alina and her quest in searching for the final amplifier in order to save Ravka from the Darkling. Along the way, Alina discovers more about her powers, and also which characters in her inner circle are truly her supporters in the darkest of times.

There is a major plot twist toward the end of this book, which did make me want to put the book down and say, ‘Really? It’s going down that path?’, but I decided to keep reading. Only because I was almost finished with the trilogy, so I might as well see what happens. As it turns out, the way it all wrapped up was a pleasant surprise. I do wish that I received more input from certain characters, but I wasn’t dissatisfied with it.

I’m glad that I completed ‘Ruin and Rising’, and now on to ‘Six of Crows’. The world of Ketterdam is touched on briefly in Ruin and Rising’, and I’m curious to learn more about this different landscape.

One more thing…so many readers love the Darkling over Mal. As for me, I’m just not into the Darkling. Manipulation is not for me!

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

My TBR list for January

Now that 2019 is underway, I want to share my TBR list for the remainder of January. While I know that half of the month is now gone, I would still love to share what I want to take on after I finish ‘Shadow and Bone’. Since it appears that we’re going to be snowed in this weekend, I’ll have plenty of time to enjoy my books!

I only have two books listed in my TBR pile for this month:

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo 

This is book #2 in the Grisha trilogy. Since these books are going to be adapted into a series on Netflix, I wanted to read the books to have an idea of what the characters were all about. From what I understand, only the first book of the trilogy is going to be adapted, but I still want to read all three books anyway.

  The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faruqi 

‘The Oyster Thief’ is an underwater tale that centers around a valuable ocean ecosystem. I placed a request for this book at my local library earlier this month, as they didn’t have the novel available. I’m looking forward to receiving the notification that the Faruqi’s book is finally in.

Professional Reader

Reading ‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo

I began reading ‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo over the weekend. I’ve been hearing all about this story and ‘Six of Crows’ being picked up for a Netflix series, and so many people have been expressing their excitement over this news. Since I have yet to read Bardugo’s Grishaverse series, I decided to pick up Shadow and Bone at the library.

I’m about a quarter of the way in, and so far I’m liking what I’m reading. I enjoy the ‘magical training school’ plot line…along the lines of Harry Potter, yet the trainees are older. The main character is certainly enduring a life altering experience. I hope to get in more reading by the end of the evening. My work schedule complicates things!