The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) by Libba Bray | An amazing cast of characters & entertaining roaring twenties!

Oh, man! «The Diviners» was such a roller coaster of emotions! 

The beginning of the book wasn’t as exciting as I hoped it would be, which translated into me starting this book twice. For the second time as I passed that first chapter (prologue) about the party and spirit summoning, I met Evie and fell in love with her character. The book just kept getting better and better from there. However, by the end, I was started to feel tired of reading the same story and the last 100 pages took me a couple of days to finish.

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Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, #1) by Emily A. Duncan | Feeling disappointed by my most anticipated book of last year!

«Wicked Saints», the first book in Something Dark and Holy trilogy, was published in April last year. I remember it being one of my most anticipated releases at the time when I first saw it on NetGalley and the fact that it was inspired by Eastern European culture immediately drew my attention. As someone from Eastern Europe, I often find these books very nostalgic to read, as they tend to reference a lot of Slavic folklore or events that I used to study in my history classes. 

Emily A. Duncan said in one of her interviews that Leigh Bardugo was her favorite YA author, and you can easily see by the way the book is written where she drew her inspiration from.  «Wicked Saints» reminded me of the Darkling, Mal and Alina – not the plot of events but the characters and their interactions. 

Maybe every single YA fantasy inspired by Eastern European culture will always remind me of The Grisha trilogy now? 

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Starsight (Skyward, #2) by Brandon Sanderson | Continuing my journey through Brandon Sanderson YA books!

Here we go again, talking about yet another Brandon Sanderson book! 2020 is going to be a very Sanderson heavy year and I’m loving it so far. I’m yet to dip my toes into the Cosmere world, but I will be starting «Elantris» very soon as I want it read before the live show of Cosmerealong, which should take place sometime mid-March. 

I have now successfully read and loved all of his YA Sci-Fi books, starting with the Reckoners trilogy and finishing with the 2nd installment in the Skyward series. It feels good to finally be able to cross these books off my never-ending TBR list. 

This review might contain minor spoilers for the first book – «Skyward», so if you haven’t read that one, I’d recommend reading the book (and my review *cheeky self-promotion included*) first and then come back to this post! 🙂

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Skyward (Skyward, #1) by Brandon Sanderson | M-bot & Doomslug are my favorite non-human characters!

I wouldn’t have started this book in January if it wasn’t for Rafaella @The Portuguese Bibliophile. Thank you, for suggesting to buddy read this book with you, and also thank you for going along with my crazy idea to start it immediately and read 100 pages per day to finish this book in less than a week!

This was my first ever time reading a book with someone else. I’ve never participated in book clubs before, I never did buddy reads. I guess I’ve done some read-a-thons, but most of them have prompts to follow, so everyone was reading different books for the same prompts. And I had so much fun! To be able to discuss the “spoilers” was a lot of fun (and also quite weird in the beginning, as my mind kept saying – those are spoilers! you aren’t supposed to say them out loud!). 😀

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Saving Missy by Beth Morrey | Is it really for readers of «Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine»?

This happens every single time! The publishers pitch the book as “perfect for readers of…” and I immediately fall for it, especially when they reference it to «Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine», which was my favorite book of 2018.

Will the readers of «Eleanor Oliphant» find similarities and love «Saving Missy» just as much?

My answer is No. BUT! (there is always a “but”, isn’t there?) «Saving Missy» has the same feeling of warmth and wholesomeness as «Eleanor Oliphant» did. So if you loved it because of how attached you grew to the character and how much you wanted her to do well, «Saving Missy» will be perfect! However, don’t expect any mysteries or funny moments. 

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What Kind of Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel | The contemporary book that you might be “forced” to like

When I first started blogging, I threw myself into every book I heard about online. It didn’t matter if it was mentioned on youtube or on one of the blogs I followed, as long as the book was “hyped enough” I had to get my hands on it. 

This led to me reading a lot of YA contemporary novels that I wasn’t a big fan of.Lately, I try to avoid YA contemporaries as Adult Fiction tends to be so much more interesting and more relatable in a way as well, as I’m sloooowly approaching my 30s (did I just say this out loud?!)

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott | The sweetest, most heartwarming book I’ve ever read!

I never thought that I would fall head over heels for the March sisters! Just a couple of chapters made me care deeply for Meg, Joe, Bess, and Amy, and I wished to be their friend, to see them grow up and set foot into adulthood! 

«Little Women» is a perfect book to read during childhood and early teens. And I’m actually sad for not reading it sooner. It is slightly “childish” in terms that the author feels the need to explain all the lessons to her audience, the hints and the acts would have been enough for me, but I do understand why the younger audience might need less subtle explanations.

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Ashlords by Scott Reintgen | The most epic phoenix horse racing!

If you haven’t read the Nyxia trilogy by Scott Reintgen, what are you doing with your life?! Scott Reintgen’s work deserves so much more attention than its getting, and I won’t get tired to spread the word about his amazing skills to write the most exciting YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy competitions!

Everyone who loves the Hunger Games, Divergent or The Maze Runner, YOU NEED TO READ THE NYXIA TRILOGY. And after you are hooked, just as I am, immediately pick the first book in his new YA duology – «Ashlords»!

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Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber | Surprisingly, it’s not a bad book!

«Caraval» will definitely be on my list of most surprising books of 2020! I don’t go into my books hoping to hate them, of course. But I always stayed away from «Caraval» thinking that it wouldn’t be for me or it would be filled with cliche YA tropes that would ruin my enjoyment of the book. And generally, circuses and carnivals, and performances are not something I seek in my books. 

But here I am, two days after finishing «Caraval», questioning myself if I loved it enough to continue reading this trilogy.

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The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork | The Nutcracker retelling to prepare for Christmas!

The Nutcracker is one of my favorite childhood Christmas stories. Last year, I started my preparation for Christmas with the Nutcracker Ballet on the 1st of December. It was a magical experience, filled with incredible music, beautiful costumes, and enchanting performance. 

This year, I decided to find a magical book to put me in the Christmas mood. And that is when I discovered «The Enchanted Sonata» by Heather Dixon Wallwork.

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

I heard amazing things about this series, and considering how short the first book is, I decided to give it a try. The blurb sounded interesting – disappeared children, a magical school and many different Narnias truly appealed to me! My expectations were very high, especially because two of my favorite YouTubers loved this series and constantly talked about it on their channels. 

That’s probably why my disappointment in this book was so big.

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Songs from the Deep by Kelly Powell | Misleading book cover and title?

I’m always very sad when the book I have high (or even moderate) expectations for, ends up being a complete miss. «Songs from the Deep» by Kelly Powell promised a dangerous world where sirens weren’t a myth but a reality that tourists from all over the world came to witness. 

Instead of following this fantastical thread, Kelly Powell led the plot differently. It often felt like the author couldn’t decide what genre she wanted to write, and ended up mixing mystery, fantasy, historical fiction (??), romance and a love letter to music. In turn, I found my mind wandering from one plot element to another, not able to focus or care about any of them.

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The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys | A masterpiece of historical fiction!

Historical Fiction was never a genre I considered to be my favorite. I dipped my toes into it, tried some of the most popular books, like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Fall of Giants by Ken Follet and All the Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. And while I was impressed by these works, I never truly experienced a full immersion in this literary genre. 

Everything changed with just one Ruta Sepetys book, who masterfully introduced the heartbreaking story of love, fear, and truth into the most severe times in Spanish history. 

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Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron | The unexpected DNF and what didn’t work for me in this new YA fantasy!

Such a promising concept, but… You’ll see my Goodreads “history” of reading this book and understand just how much of a pain it was to actually read it. I don’t want to say that I understand why other people might love it. Because, honestly, I don’t. But at the same time, I don’t think that this book is bad. However, it had a lot of issues, that I couldn’t just overlook. 

I felt so excited and happy to have my “wish granted” on NetGalley, as that rarely happens and this book sounded amazing. So I’m slightly disappointed that it wasn’t my cup of tea.

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American Royals by Katharine McGee | Scandals, drama and gossip of the American monarchy!

When I was just out of high school, I was obsessed with the Gossip Girl TV show with Blake Lively as Serena and Leighton Meester as Blair, this TV show was the most stylish drama of my youth. It was actually my high school boyfriend who introduced me to the show, I remember that we watched some episodes together.

If you’ve never seen Gossip Girl, it’s the most addicting show that follows the lives of privileged teens in the upper east side, NYC. I was always wondered what was the budget of this series considering the settings and some of the most iconic wardrobes. I loved Serena’s style ❤ 

Much later, I’ve watched a couple of episodes of another TV show, called «The Royals». Basically, again the drama infused story about the royal family showcasing all the luxury but also the lack of privacy that comes with that life. 

«American Royals» is a perfect mix of these two shows, following the lives of royal children – Princess Beatrice, the eldest and the heir to the throne, and Princess Samantha and Prince Jeff – the twins who are always loud and in trouble. Every family, especially royal, needs a couple of troublemakers.

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