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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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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Small Spaces (Small Spaces #1) by Katherine Arden | “At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.”

I became a big fan of Katherine Arden’s work after falling in love with the Winternight Trilogy, especially with the first installment «The Bear and the Nightingale». She released her first middle-grade book – «Small Spaces» in 2018 and I’ve been trying to get my hands on it ever since. 

What I didn’t know going into this book, but was pleasantly surprised by, was that this is going to be a four-book series! With each book representing one season. «Small Spaces» focuses on autumn, it’s set in October and is filled with scarecrows. I assure you, you won’t look the same at scarecrows after reading this.

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The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1) by S.A. Chakraborty | 18th century Cairo, Djinns, and lots of political plays!

I had too high hopes for this book, so when I didn’t love it as much as I hoped to, I felt slightly disappointed. That being said, it’s still an amazing Adult fantasy book with a very unique premise and settings, and I for sure will be continuing and reading the rest of the trilogy as soon as possible. 

It’s difficult to say if my low enjoyment was due to the reading slump I kinda have been experiencing, or everything that is going on in the world that constantly occupies my mind, or the fact that I read it in Russian instead of English. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I think that reading this book in translation was a mistake, and I will be buying the other two books in English. I might even re-read the English version before I continue (?) [who am I kidding here… when was the last time I re-read anything?! 😀 ]

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Majesty (American Royals, #2) by Katharine McGee | A very good conclusion to the duology!

This is not my usual type of book, but OMG… it was just as addictive as the first installment! «Majesty» picks up right after the events of the first book, «American Royals», which I read and reviewed last year. If you haven’t read it, I wouldn’t recommend reading this review. Even though I’ll try to keep it as spoiler-free as possible, the blurb for the second book does give away a lot of things that happen in the first one.

I mentioned in my review of the first book that reading this story reminded me a lot of my favorite TV shows – «Gossip Girl» and «The Royals». There was just enough drama to keep me flipping pages as fast as possible without being overly-exhausting to read.

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Just Like You by Nick Hornby | Literary fiction, romance or social commentary?

Nick Hornby is one of those authors I always wanted to read more. Right after finishing «About a Boy» and «Slam» almost 10 years ago I intended to read his other books, but never got around to picking them up. Seeing his new novel on NetGalley, «Just Like You», made me incredibly happy! Not only because I knew I was going to enjoy the prose, but also because “tender but also brutally funny” sounded exactly like something I’d love!

I need to warn you though that this blurb is very misleading. On one hand, it does capture the bare bones of the story, but on the other hand, it makes you believe things that are not actually in the book. It made me wonder if I would have noticed that the main characters had “nothing in common” without reading the blurb.🤷‍♀️

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The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith by Loris Owen | A Scientific magical school & tons of adventures!

I LOVE MIDDLE GRADE! 😀 Every single time I pick up a middle-grade book, it makes me feel so content, happy, cozy. Basically, everything you want to feel while reading a good book. Middle-grade is the only genre that will ALWAYS accomplish that for me.

I’ve been checking my excel spreadsheet recently (because Goodreads is not enough) and I noticed that this year I read at least one MG book every month. Seeing this makes me very happy. As one of my goals, every single year is to read for fun. With constant blog posts, ARCs, reviews, new releases, and the need to stay relevant, I tend to forget to pick up books outside of popular YA or Adult books.

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The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart | A fantastic beginning to a new epic series!

Whenever I start slowing my reading pace and prioritizing other tasks over reading, I really should remind myself how truly great books make me feel. Picking up «The Bone Shard Daughter», while slumping through the other two books, felt like a breath of fresh air. I didn’t know what to expect from Andrea Stewart, but I can say that I was very pleasantly surprised by how quickly it drew me into the story and how incredible each Point of View was!

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#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso | A motivational book to stop procrastinating!

I’m sure that «#GIRLBOSS» is my second nonfiction of this year [not counting numerous law books]. The first one was «You’re Never Weird on the Internet» by Felicia Day, which was just as inspiring and had a similar message: Stay yourself, do what you love, dream big, and never stop being weird.

While Felicia Day was someone whose career I already followed and whose work I loved, Sophia Amoruso was very new to me. I remember watching the Netflix adaptation and loving it. I remember seeing this book pop up here and there and I always wanted to read it to see whether I’d like it or not. [spoilers: I did!]

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Traveling in time to Ancient Greece | The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

As I was reading «The Song of Achilles» I couldn’t help myself but compare this book to «Circe» also by Madeline Miller. Both of them follow a famous figure from Greek mythology, both a very heavy influenced by Ancient Greece, and both are told in a very beautiful way. While «The Song of Achilles» was a fairly quick read (in comparison to «Circe» which took me over a month), I feel like I will forget it just as quickly.

It might be due to the fact that this was an epic love story, or maybe because none of the characters in this book sparked love or even admiration in me. «Circe», on the other hand, is the book that will stay with me for a long time. I read it in July of last year and I still remember how it made me feel, I still think about it from time to time.

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Traveling to Egypt | The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

When I was in high school I discovered one of Paulo Coelho books that took me on a trip through his stories and I literally became obsesses with «Veronica Decides to Die». I lost count of how many times I read that book. Looking back at it, I wonder if I was too young to read his novels, as they always made me feel almost hypnotized by his words and the powerful messages he sends through his work. 

After many intense years of constantly re-reading the couple of Paulo Coelho books I owned, I finally decided to take a break from them, and haven’t read anything by him until now.

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Visiting Spain | With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo.

«With the Fire on High» was my first Elizabeth Acevedo book and now I understand why there has been so much hype around her books. The writing is beautiful, flaws seamlessly, which made the whole reading experience an absolute pleasure from the beginning till the end.

This is one of those “unputdownable” books that will make you addicted to the story and the characters from the very first pages.

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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia | A true horror story that will make your heart beat faster!

Emer! Thank you so much for reviewing this book and for making me so curious about it! I honestly don’t think that I would have picked it up if it wouldn’t be because of your review. 

That being said, I didn’t quite like it as much as Emer did [make sure to read her review as well!] but I definitely enjoyed the suspense and horror bits Silvia-Moreno Garcia included in «Mexican Gothic». I think I’ve only read 1 or 2 gothic-ish books before, so this one was definitely a lot of fun.

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The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda | The perfect book to read in one sitting and preferably with lights on!

Apparently, the word “thrilling” means causing excitement and pleasure. I can agree with excitement, but pleasure? When I think thrilling, I imagine stories that make my heart beat faster, slightly spooky, maybe a little bit creepy, with a lot of unpredicted plot twists! And that’s exactly what «The Girl from Widow Hills» was like. 

It’s been a very long time since I’ve read a book until late at night, refusing to go to sleep because I needed to finish it and see the things finally unravel. This was my second Megan Miranda book and it took me completely off guard.

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The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett | The must-read book of this summer!

This book was phenomenal! It’s for a reason that many popular magazines and bookish media keep mentioning «The Vanishing Half» by Britt Bennett as one of the most-anticipated releases of this summer. I literally saw a dozen of 2020 summer reading lists with this book. 

It’s such an important book as well, especially with everything that is going on right now and the need that people feel to educate themselves on race and racial identity. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to read it and discuss it with all of you.

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