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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Elevation by Stephen King | One of the best short books!

I’m slowly dipping my toes into Stephen King’s works. Last year I tried his dystopian novel «Cell» and this year I decided to start with one of the shorter books – «Elevation». I’m still avoiding his horror books, even though «Elevation» is classified as Horror and even won Goodreads awards in the horror category (shocking!) you’re safe to read it because it’s nothing more than a Fiction book with elements of fantasy? sci-fi? something out of the ordinary. 

This was an outstanding story and it instantly made it to my “favorites of 2020” list!

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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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Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #1) by Shannon Messenger | I’m hooked and plan to binge-read this series!

I need to thank Regan from PeruseProject for voraciously reading this fantasy series last year, always so excited about the next installment! Her reading vlogs made me want to purchase the entire box set for myself, and that’s when I spotted the ARC of the first book on NetGalley

Simon & Schuster Children’s UK are re-publishing this wonderful middle-grade / YA series, and I’m so happy that I got approved and had a chance to try the first book.I instantly became addicted to the characters and already got myself a couple of next books in this series.

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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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Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid | The tale of “good intentions”!

Reading in December hasn’t been the best so far. This has been one of the busiest months of the year, with many extra hours at work, many blog posts to prepare for the end of the year, and just, in general, the whole hustle and bustle of Christmas season. I’ve spent too many hours at the malls trying to figure out Christmas gifts for family and friends, and I still didn’t buy all of the things I wanted.

«Such a Fun Age» was a perfect book for this busy time of the year. Captivating and engaging, this novel brought to light many important subjects in an easy-to-read way.

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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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Dear Lily by Drew Davies | The perfect book to take on a trip to Copenhagen!

When I finally get my stuff together and plan a trip to Copenhagen, this is the book I will bring with me to read on the bus, airport and on the flight! Touching, witty and very emotional, it’s a perfect book to space out, lose yourself in someone else’s life, and enjoy the hustle and bustle of traveling.

Set in Copenhagen, Denmark, «Dear Lily» is a collection of letters from Joy to her younger sister Lily, where she recollects her experiences of moving to a different country, getting a new job, finding friends and dealing with mundane struggles of everyday life.

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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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Houdini’s Curse (The Phantom Files #2) by William B. Wolfe

Last year, I was lucky enough to read William B. Wolfe new book – «Twain’s Treasure», absolutely loved it and hoped that there will be more installments in this children’s series!

Before and during my teenage years, I used to be obsessed with children’s series, especially something like Nancy Drew. The Phantom Files brought back that nostalgia. So you can imagine my excitement when I spotted book number two on NetGalley, and was once again very lucky to get approved for this ARC. 

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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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