The Obsidian Tower (Rooks and Ruin, #1) by Melissa Caruso | A bizarre reading experience!

At first glance, «The Obsidian Tower» has so many elements that I love in fantasy books, that’s why I was so surprised to find out that I didn’t like it. I was even more surprised when I couldn’t pinpoint what exactly was wrong or what exactly I didn’t like. 

So this review will be my attempt to discover what went wrong and hopefully give some meaningful feedback at the same time.

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Burn by Patrick Ness | The most weird dragon book you’ll ever read!

I have a very special relationship with Patrick Ness’s books. They either break my heart in the smallest pieces [«A Monster Calls»] or leave me dumbfounded, wondering what the heck did I just read?! [«The Rest of Us Just Lives Here»]. «Burn» definitely falls more into the second category. While I liked the characters and the story more than in «The Rest of Us Just Lives Here», it was still a very weird book. 

That’s probably why I’ve been staying away from the Chaos Walking trilogy for now. I really want to love it, but I’m scared that it might be too weird for me and I won’t be able to connect to the characters the way I want to.

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Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova | Inquisition Spain, Assassin’s Creed and a new favorite YA series?

Maybe I’m not allowed to say that, but holy *** the very early parts of this story gave me huge Assassin’s Creed vibes and I was LOVING it! Okay… maybe it was the fact that there is one scene where the characters decide that roofs are the lesser crowded spaces, and use them to get to the center of the square, but like… isn’t that what you supposed to do while playing Assassin’s Creed?! Climb and jump down from all the roofs you can find?! 

And the second important point [that has nothing to do with the story] is how gorgeous this UK edition is?! Once again, the UK publishers did it much better than the US ones (sorry, guys! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ). I much prefer some intricate design vs. a levitating girl, even if that girl is supposed to be Renata Convida, our main character.

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The Fantastical Exploits of Gwendolyn Gray (The Chronicles of Gwendolyn Gray, #2) by B.A. Williamson | Middle Grade books are the answer to the reading slump!

Tell me honestly, do you love reading Middle Grade? I’ve been escaping into these whimsical worlds since March and loving every single experience! No other genre can make me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. So, of course, I had to jump on the chance of reading the sequel in the middle-grade series by B.A. Williamson. 

The first book, «The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray» came out in 2018 and I had a lot of fun trying to come up with adjectives to describe Gwendolyn that would start with the first letters of rainbow colors. I know! I have the craziest ideas sometimes! 😀

Since Gwendolyn lives in a Gray world that has no colors, besides her wonderful red hair, I thought it would be appropriate to bring some color in her life that way.

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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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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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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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Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

This has happened again! Just like with «Miracle Creek» by Angie Kim, «Ten Thousand Doors of January» by Alix E. Harrow didn’t grab my attention enough to care about the characters or the destiny of different worlds. And while in my review of «Miracle Creek» I mentioned that there wasn’t anything I hated about the book, in «Ten Thousand Doors of January» I can say with confidence that I would have enjoyed this book so much more if not for the writing style. 

After seeing such a warm and loving feedback from the bookish community for this Alix E. Harrow novel, I’m very disappointed that I didn’t love it. And, although, my opinion is in minority, I still saw those 2 and 3 stars reviews on GoodReads of people who felt similarly to me. 

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | The book that pulled me out of a reading slump!

«Shadow and Bone» by Leigh Bardugo is the first book in the acclaimed Grisha world that surpassed all of my expectations! And yes, it is still the usual YA fantasy with cheesy lines, the fake “flawed” main character with big emphasis on the romance. But however cliché it was, I loved it! 

As I will be writing this review, there might be more and more “negative” things that I will think of, but I don’t even care about them anymore. I enjoyed reading this book from the moment I picked it up until the very last page, and nothing can change that. So be aware that my rating is solely based on my enjoyment of the book.

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Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson | “A true child of the library”

One of the most anticipated releases of this month, «Sorcery of Thorns» by Margaret Rogerson made me fall in love with gigantic libraries, enchanted books, witty sorcerers and one brave apprentice librarian. As I plunged into the story, my reader heart immediately warmed up towards Elisabeth Scrivener, the orphan raised in the Great Library of Summershall, whose only big desire was to become a warden.

She was to be a warden, keeper of books and words. She was their friend. Their steward. Their jailer. And if need be, their destroyer.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
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