A Curse so Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1) by Brigid Kemmerer | Hmm… not my favorite retelling.

I knew I wasn’t going to love this book. That’s probably why I kept pushing it until the end of the month. Turns out that I don’t have many books that include shapeshifting to pass the Transfiguration exam, and this was one of the most obvious choices. 

Of course, I didn’t go into «A Curse so Dark and Lonely» expecting to dislike it. G from BookRoast, the host and creator of OWLs read-a-thon, spoke so highly of this first book in the series and Brigid Kemmerer’s writing overall that I wanted to believe that this book was going to be for me.

Continue reading “A Curse so Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1) by Brigid Kemmerer | Hmm… not my favorite retelling.”

House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig | An eerie retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”

I finally did it! «House of Salt and Sorrow» came out in August of last year, and I was so upset with myself for not requesting it on NetGalley (I assume it was available on NetGalley?!). Just seeing this gorgeous cover, I knew it would be something I’d like. And then I heard that it was a retelling of rather famous Brothers Grimm fairytale – “The Twelve Dancing Sisters”, which surprisingly I’ve never read! 

When I was little, the leatherbound edition of Brothers Grimm fairytales was one of my favorite books to read and play with. Maybe it didn’t have that particular fairytale? Or maybe I just never read all of them? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The «House of Salt and Sorrow» was a very enticing read. I flew through it in two days and I want more! I hope Erin A. Craig will write more eerie and atmospheric standalone fantasies in the future. Her next book «Small Favors» should come out in 2021 and I’m already excited about it!

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Wilder Girls by Rory Power | All elements I love in one book but…

Ever since the release of «Wilder Girls» in July of last year, I’ve been constantly thinking about this book. The dystopian premise of a School for Girls on an island under quarantine due to unknown illness sounded VERY interesting to me [and it still does, even after finishing the book and seeing that it wasn’t quite what I expected]. After reading «The Grace Year» earlier this year, I expected from «Wilder Girls» something just as bizarre, weird, and utmost mind-blowing, especially since it was classified as Horror! 

This was one of the books I picked for the Reading Rush this year, and while it read very quickly, I wasn’t as surprised by it as I was expecting to.

Continue reading “Wilder Girls by Rory Power | All elements I love in one book but…”

The Vampire of Maple Town by Kane McLoughlin | The vampire book you didn’t know you needed!

Once again I’ve proven to myself that a low Goodreads rating doesn’t mean the book is bad or that I won’t like it. With a mere 3.04, «The Vampire of Maple Town» was a very solid and magical debut novel that I would highly recommend to anyone who loves fairytales and inexperienced vampires trying to find their place in the human society.

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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.

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

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.

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

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.

Continue reading “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!”

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.

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

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.

Continue reading “Songs from the Deep by Kelly Powell | Misleading book cover and title?”