Posted in Kendare Blake, Reading, Review

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake [Review]

Unrelated to the rest of this review: I don’t know why I didn’t connect Kendare Blake, author of Three Dark Crowns, to Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood (one of my favourite books) until now. I think it’s because the book themes and plots and her writing style seems to be completely different in both. And that’s sad because I loved Anna and Girl of Nightmares but didn’t really like this book.

I don’t really have much to say on the book as a whole, so I’m just going to focus on the characters and their individual storylines.

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Posted in Reading, Review, Stephanie Garber

Legendary by Stephanie Garber [Review]

This is one of those books where I originally didn’t want it. As much as I loved Caraval and wanted more of that magical world, I kind of felt that it was good enough to standalone, and I was afraid that a sequel would be a let-down. But this is also one of those rare books where I loved the sequel so much more than the first book.

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Posted in Madeline Miller, Reading, Review

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller [Review]

I’m currently trying to review every single book I’ve read this year but months after I read them, so I apologise in advance if half the stuff I write is a) inaccurate, or b) potentially not even about this book. My brain doesn’t work sometimes.

I got this book because reading Rick Riordan’s books gave me an obsession with Greek mythology and this is a new take on the Iliad, an epic poem about some of the significant events of the Trojan War. As this is arguably one of the most important/iconic events in Greek history, learning more about it felt like a good place to start.

Spoiler alert: this book broke me.

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Posted in Reading, Review, Stephanie Garber

Caraval by Stephanie Garber [Review]

I read this back in January but (eight months later) suddenly decided to review every book I’ve read this year. So, here I am.

First thing first: this book is completely magical. I’ve seen it about on Instagram and Twitter for so long surrounded by so much positive vibes that I was almost afraid to read it because I thought it would be overhyped and wouldn’t live up to the expectations. But Caraval surpassed all my expectations and more. I’ve always had an interest in circus/carnival themed books but I’ve never found one that really caught my attention until now.

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Posted in Cath Crowley, Reading, Review

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley [Review]

I got this as an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, but it turns out the book came out months ago, so this isn’t really that ‘advanced’.

Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry, and she tucked a love letter into his favourite book in his family’s bookshop the day before she moved away. She waited for him, but he never came. Now, she’s returned to the city – and to the bookshop – to work alongside him, although she’d rather not see him for the rest of her life. But she needs the distraction: her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side – surrounded by books (*quiet screaming*), watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages – they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

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Posted in Emily X.R. Pan, Reading, Review

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan [Review]

Shoutout to NetGalley (like usual) for giving me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

A description of the book: Leigh – half Asian and half white – is certain that her mother turned into a bird when she died by suicide. She travels to Taiwan to meet her grandparents for her first time, and she’s determined to find her mother in bird form. She ends up chasing after ghosts and uncovering family secrets while making a new relationship with her grandparents.

I’m very conflicted about what star rating to give this, because I feel like it deserves a high one? But, three stars is ‘liked it’, and four stars is ‘really liked it’, and I think I just ‘liked it’. So three stars isn’t a bad rating.

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Posted in Cat Clarke, Reading, Review

We Are Young by Cat Clarke [Review]

I got an eARC copy of this book from NetGalley ahead of the book’s release in exchange for an honest review.

Having read ‘Undone’ a few years ago (a book that’s had a pretty secure spot as one of my favourite books of all time), I knew that Cat Clarke was an author to keep an eye out for, and that’s a huge part of the reason why I requested this book. I enjoy how she doesn’t make a massive deal of LGBT+ representation and includes it casually, unlike many other YA authors. She also throws a lot of other major contemporary issues into her stories in a way that is neither romanticised or sugar-coated.

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Posted in Reading, Review, Riley Redgate

Final Draft by Riley Redgate [Review]

I saw that this was available on NetGalley (shoutout to them) and I was instantly hooked by the description. It said something about being ‘sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed’ and I’ve never related to something so much in my life.

This book is a treasure. It’s about Laila’s obsession with artistic perfection, and that’s a feeling I know very well. It’s about how the growth of her writing corresponds to her own personal growth. It’s about being shy and learning to expand horizons and branch out into ‘real life’ in a way that is interesting rather than overdone.

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Posted in Melissa Albert, Reading, Review

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert [Review]

So, for me, this is one of those books where the cover is the best thing about it. I didn’t actually have a cover – I got an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review – but I’ve seen pictures from people who received physical copies and it does look gorgeous.

I would usually only give something a one or two star rating is it’s problematic or I have a personal vendetta against it because it reminds me of exams, but I’m giving this one a low rating because it’s just so boring. I feel like it’s marketed as a fantasy, but I was two-thirds into the book when I finally reached the fantasy aspect, and at this point I had stopped caring about the story entirely. This book feels more like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ rewritten as a YA mystery, and mystery is a genre that I’m not a huge fan of reading, so that could be why the story didn’t work for me.

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Posted in Alexandra Christo, Reading, Review

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo [Review]

I’m sad that I don’t have a physical copy of this book – the cover is gorgeous and I imagine it’s shiny and I want to take endless photos of it – but I did get to read an ARC from NetGalley just ahead of the book’s release, in exchange for an honest review. Shoutout to NetGalley. I read this book in mid to late February, and I’ve decided to wait until the night before the book is released to write the review.

First and foremost, I have a huge soft spot for books revolving around the ocean, whether it involves pirates, mermaids, sirens, sea creatures, or any mix of those things. When I first heard about this story, I knew that I had to request it, and I was ecstatic that it appeared in my library.

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