About The Book
Welcome, welcome to the Caraval’s Finale. All games must come to an end. With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him. Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3MUxFdi
This is the final book in the Caraval trilogy, so beware that this review will contain spoilers. The book starts right off from where the second book, ‘Legendary’, ended. The dates have been released, and now everyone’s lives are at risk.
Something that was weird to me is that the whole second book was about Donatella’s desire to bring back their mother. However, she played such a small roll in this book. We didn’t even get to know anything about her. However, she did have a role in the overall plot without actually being in the story if that makes any sense. Related Post:Legendary // Book Review
In the book, Donatella, Scarlet, Jillian, and Legend are trying their hardest to defeat the fates. That plot sounds amazing! And, although the book is fantastic, it was kind of slow moving. Tella’s whole story arc became all about her romance with Legend and Jacks (King Of Hearts).
I wanted there to be more fantasy, and less pinning for Legend. And, don’t even get me started on the slow burn between Legend and her. There’s even a sort of love triangle between her, Legend, and Jacks.
“There is nothing quite so precious as the love of a sister.”
On the other hand, Scarlett’s story arc was amazing. We learn something about her that left me stunned. Also, her and Jillian’s romance is super cute. But, I’ve always found Scarlett to be very likable. Not to say I don’t like Tella, because out of the two I actually relate more to her than Scarlett.
Now I did feel like this book had a lot going on, maybe a little too much going on. It was very plot driven, which to be honest the trilogy as a whole is more focused on the plot than characters. And, although there was a lot of packed into the story, it all came together at the end.
However, Tella’s story didn’t go exactly how I wanted it too. Let’s just say I’m a ‘villain gets the girl’ kind of reader. But, I liked how everything was wrapped up, and the last few chapters had me on the edge of my seat!
Overall, the book was well written. The characters didn’t have much development this time around, but were still very likable, and the story was fantastic. Although, it didn’t give me that 5 star feel, I would still recommend it to any YA fantasy lover.
In the comments, let me know your thoughts on the Caraval trilogy. Don’t forget to follow the blog for more book reviews.
About The Book
A gothic romance following a girl with Death constantly hovering nearby, Belladonna is the gripping story full of wealth, desire, and betrayal that will sweep readers up in its haunting tale from the very beginning! New York Times bestselling author Adalyn Grace brings to life a highly romantic, Gothic-infused world of wealth, desire, and betrayal. Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/42R54ek
The thing that appealed to me about this book was the title, because I happened to play the role of Belladonna in my college production of ‘Sleeping Beauty’. So, you could say the name holds a special place in my heart. But, other than the book title, and that it was a YA fantasy, I knew nothing about the book.
The main character is Signa, an orphan, who has spent her whole life being shipped off to relative after relative. She’s also sees death. Picture along the lines of the Angel of Death. When she arrives at Throne Grove, she starts seeing spirits, and discovers hidden powers within her.
Signa was problem my least favorite thing about the book. I found her to be a little annoying at times. Early in her life, she learned that if she poisoned herself, the poison doesn’t affect her, but death will come to her. What was so annoying was her ability to blame death for all her problems. She accused him of always following her, when she was literally poisoning herself to see him.
Other than the main character being a 7 out of 10, I loved the book. The plot was fascinating and very gothic inspired. There were a few good twists, and even a love triangle, consisting of involving Signa, Death, and a stable boy. But let’s get real, this was more of a Bella, Edward and Jacob love triangle in which there’s not really any competition.
“Do not change the parts of yourself that you like to make others comfortable. Do not try to mold yourself to fit the standards someone else has set for us.”
Death was sexy as hell, no pun intended. He was dangerous, charming, smooth, and kind. Honestly, I’d poison myself if I knew I wouldn’t die to see him as well. The romance aspect was on point, and their relationship was awesome. Not too smutty, but hot. I was here for those little steamy moment’s between Signa and Death.
The ending of the book was incredible, and it will make you want to pick up the next book immediately. I loved how everything was wrapped up. The twist was great, and I can’t wait to continue on with the series. Adalyn Grace knows how to write a fantasy/romance for sure. However, despite my love for the book, the main character’s flaws kept it from being a 5 star.
Overall, I highly recommend this book – especially if you enjoyed the ‘Kingdom Of The Wicked’ series. I chose not to continue on with that series, but in my opinion this book has very similar vibes. One thing to note, there aren’t a lot of triggering topic but you should definitely check on them before jumping into the book.
In the comments, tell me if you’ve read this book, and what your thoughts were on it. Don’t forget to support my blog by giving it a follow!
It’s time for another Friday reads post! I am going to try and finish a few books this weekend, but as always this is a flexible weekend TBR. I might change things up depending on what my Libby app has available on Audiobook, but I like having options.
‘Furyborn‘ by Claire Legrand
I’ve been reading this book for months and still just at 30%. It’s a YA fantasy that is apart of my 12 Book Challenge.
‘A Magic Steeped in Poison‘ by Judy I. Lin
I’m like 4% into this young adult fantasy, but so far I am loving it! I’m really going to try and get this finished but the end of the weekend.
‘With and Without You‘ by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley
I’ve read every YA contemporary released by this author duo. But, I have yet to get to their release from last year, which is about two teens trying to navigate a long distance relationship.
‘Icebreaker’ by Hannah Grace
I posted a poll on my Bookstagram account voting on what ‘smutty‘ book I should read and this was the winner. Guess, I’m going to be seeing what all the hype is about.
Those are the books that I’m planning on picking up, but I’ve been in the biggest reading mood lately. And, right now I want to read everything especially fantasy series. Before you go, hit the follow button to get notified whenever there’s a new post.
About The Book
After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name. Buy The Book:https://amzn.to/3KroBvD
This is the sequel to Caraval, which followed Scarlet as she joins the magical game, Caraval, in order to find her sister Tella. But this time, Tella is the leading lady – and boy did I love her.
I found myself a lot like Tella. Not only is she the younger sister, a bit immature, but she’s also stubborn and driven. The story takes place right after the first book, and the writing is just as phenomenal.
I love being in the magical world that is Caraval. However, this time we get to see a more darker side of Caraval, with higher stakes. Just like in the first book, Caraval is filled with lies, misdirection and it messes with your mind.
There were some new characters introduced, all of whom I enjoyed. And, as always, the sister relationship and family was at the forefront of the story. The major plot point of this book is Tella’s desire to find her mother, and we do get to know a lot about her.
“Every story has four parts – the beginning, the middle, the almost ending, and the true ending.”
There were a lot of twist and turns throughout the entire book, which made it go by so fast. However, the story had a lot of components to it, so it was definitely hard to keep track of where the plot was going.
Overall, I would completely recommend this book, and cannot wait to dive into Finale, the final book in this trilogy. Although, I would say that if you are looking to read these books, they are most likely ones you should binge read.
In the comments, let me know if you love the Caraval series! Don’t forget to share and like this post. And, all my bookish friends, give the blog a follow!
About The Book House of Hollow is the dark, haunting tale of three sisters shrouded in more mystery than they can even imagine. Since their strange, unsolved disappearance as children a decade before, the Hollow sisters have been plagued by the unexplainable. Lyrical prose and atmospheric world-building complete this eerie novel that will leave readers unsettled in the best way possible. Buy The Book:https://amzn.to/3j6TKbS
I had heard a lot of mixed things about this book, so I was nervous picking it up. But, the first chapter was creepy, and gripped me in a way that I instantly fell in love with the story.
The book follows 3 sisters; Iris, Grey, and Vivi, but the main protagonist is Iris. She is the youngest of the sisters, but had to grow up quite fast. Her sisters left home in their teens to follow their dreams, but Iris stayed behind with their mother.
Each of the sisters have very different personalities, but are all likable. Iris is smart and shy, while Grey, the oldest, is strong willed and confident. Vivi is rebellious and outspoken, which I loved.
The characters were actually not a big part of the story. We learned a little about them, but not a lot. However, I liked that it was less character focused but more plot driven.
In the book, the girls disappeared at a young age and returned out of the blue. They each handled the disappearance differently, which is very real. People deal with traumatic events in their own ways. Their is a small romance, but the main character didn’t necessarily have a love interest. It was nice to see that twist with the romance side plot.
For me, this book is magical realism at its finest! I would even compare the book to a Brothers Grimm type of story. It gave off such classic Grimm-esque vibes. Honestly, the writing was amazing. The author mixed fantasy, real world, and horror together perfectly.
“I’d realized there were scarier things in the world than the monsters that lived in my nightmares.”
There was also a moment when the book reminded me of Stranger Things. I must admit I’ve never seen the show, but I definitely got ‘Upside Down’ vibes when reading certain parts.
There are just so many good things about this story, one being the fact that I didn’t want to put it down. There was an amazing twist, but I did figure it out part of it beforehand. There were even some sad elements in the story.
Overall, I loved this book, and the ending worked so well. It was left open ended, but that made sense with the story. And, the message that not all evil is truly evil was conveyed perfectly.
Another great thing is all the LGBT+ and diversity in the book. However, one not so great thing is that the book has a lot of trigger warnings. I would probably say this book is a 16+ or maybe even 18+ read.
Before reading the book, visit Book Trigger Warnings for a list of all the topics the book touches on. Please support my blog by giving it a quick follow!
About The Book In the darkness of night, magic awaits and you will never forget what you find here. The Nutcracker for adults, perfect for fans of Robert Dinsdale’s The Toymakers, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and Stephanie Garber’s Caraval.
All I knew about this book was that it’s a ‘Nutcracker’ retelling with a stunning cover. Since, I read ‘The Toymakers Apprentice’, which is also a ‘Nutcracker’ retelling, and loved it, I decided to give this one a try.
The story is set in the 1900’s and follows an aspiring ballerina, Marietta. Throughout the book, Marietta expresses her desire to dance professionally, but her parents are more concerned with their social status, and getting Marietta married, to lend her dreams any consideration. Her parents were cruel and unfeeling, which worked well with the story the author was trying tell.
As for Marietta, I found her to be stubborn, but strong. Smart, yet childish. She reminded me of Belle, from ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Her goal in life wasn’t to be a wife and mother. She wanted to choose her own path.
Marietta’s brother, Frederick, was a much needed addition to the story. He wasn’t afraid to remind his sister of her privilege, while still supporting her dreams. Although, he followed his parents’ plans for his future, and kept his relationship a secret, he wasn’t bitter about the life he had.
When a new charming man arrives in town, Marietta wasn’t impressed by him. She wasn’t fooled by his façade, and knew there was more to him than met the eye. It felt as though people shrugged off her concerns because she was a woman, which is all too true for that time period.
At first, I found the story a little confusing, and my mind kept wandering. But once the magical realism aspect was introduced, I fell in love with the story. The author created a world that transported the reader into an enchanted, but scary land. It was easy to see how Marietta was fooled by the king, and also by Everwood’s beauty.
“Never dull your sparkle for anyone else, flame fiercely into your own glittering future.”
While in Everwood, Marietta meets two other girls who are trapped within the kingdom as well. They forge a bond that is strong, and somewhat sisterly. And, they start to fight back. The girls in the book are seen as something to be owned, and will bend to a man’s will.
In the book, Marietta starts to connect with the captain of the King’s Arm. Let’s just say that he was swoon-worthy. His and Marietta’s relationship felt real, even though Marietta didn’t belong there. It shows that you can find love in the most unexpected places.
The ending was amazing, and had a strong message of following your dreams, no matter the cost. Still, the ending was quite sad, yet it plays off the famous quote “’It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”
Overall, the plot focuses on privilege, and if having money is worth sacrificing your dreams. As for the writing style, it was a slow paced story with poetic writing. Much like ‘The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein’ by Kiersten White, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
There are a lot of triggering topics in this book. To name a few, there’s sexism, violence, and stalking. Please do your research before reading it. You can visit the book’s StoryGraph page to see a full list of all the content warnings for the book.
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Synopsis “The blockbuster co-writing debut of Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman, All of Us Villains begins a dark tale of ambition and magick. You fell in love with the victors of The Hunger Games. Now, prepare to meet the villains of the Blood Veil.”
When I read the synopsis, I assumed that I would be getting a ‘Hunger Games’ type of story. And, while there are similarities to ‘The Hunger Games’, the books differ dramatically when it comes to the main storyline. This book is all about magic and there was a lot of focus on world building. The authors went in-depth to explain the magic system, but I was still confused by the magic aspect.
In this book, we follow 4 characters: Briony, Alastair, Isobel, and Gavin. The characters are the chosen ones amongst their families to participate in this magical fight to the death. Honestly, I think the battle must be done because of some sort of curse. However, I don’t think the whole history behind this competition was explained well enough.
The main four are from different classes in society, and each have their reasons to win the battle. Obviously, they don’t want to die, but they also want to make their families proud. But I found their families to be rather cold and heartless. Alastair’s family is very well known in the magic world, and he has a lot of pressure to live up to his families reputation. He was my favorite character of all, and I found myself sympathizing with him.
Isobel was forced into the battle. You could tell that her family only cared if she won, despite knowing that she might end up dying. She was the typical ‘pretty girl’, which I didn’t care for. I could tell that she and Alastair were going to be romantically linked, but I found their relationship boring, and it didn’t add anything to the story. It would have been more interesting if they developed a brother/sister type of bond instead.
“What is happily ever after to the child is a nightmare to the monster.”
Briony’s character was strong and smart. I could compare her to Katniss in some ways. She was, to me, the most likeable of the characters. She did make some bad decisions, but was honored to be a part of the competition. You get to see her grow throughout the book, and a lot of her opinions changed. I think that she got a bad rap from the other characters, because of her past actions.
As for Gavin, I wanted to like him, but he was very whiny. He blamed Alastair for all his problems. He was cold and ruthless, which is what he accused other of being. I didn’t find his chapters to be all that interesting. Each of the characters made decisions that had dire consequences, and there was a lot of manipulation going on.
There weren’t many side characters, since the authors wanted to focus on those core four. I think there is a lot of things happening in the story, and because of that, they chose not to have any more characters that were developed in depth. Especially since the plot was heavily character driven.
One of the things the book lacked was action. We spent a good 60% of the book waiting for the competition to start. It left me bored and struggling to get through it. When the main plot is the magical battle, I want it not to take most of the book for it to start. I do, however, understand that we needed to get each character’s backstory in order to establish some sort of connection with them.
The ending mainly left me confused. I am completely unsure of what actually unfolded. Even going back and rereading the last chapter didn’t clear things up for me. Maybe this book went over my head, or there were just too many elements at play. For me, young adult fantasy is always a hit or miss type of genre.
Overall, this book isn’t something that I would read again. And, maybe should have DNF’ed it at the halfway mark. This is a duology, but I am unsure if I will be picking up the second book. In the comments, leave me your YA fantasy book recommendations. Don’t forget to follow my blog for more of my book reviews!
I did a little book shopping last month, and always like sharing all the books that I buy with you. Keep in mind that I didn’t pick up all these books at once, but across multiple trips. I have been loving the Barnes and Noble buy one get one 50% off deal. Honestly, book sales are my kryptonite. Plus all the 2022 releases have been so good, that I can’t stop myself from buying them. I have been adding a ton to my Wishlist! Okay, that’s enough rambling, let’s get straight to the haul!
Barnes and Noble
Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco What if every story you’d ever heard was true? Jack killed the giants. Red slayed the wolf. Rapunzel fled the tower. But the greatest one of all, had yet to be told.
All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue Maeve’s strangely astute tarot readings make her the talk of the school, until a classmate draws a chilling and unfamiliar card—and then disappears.
Lock the Doors by Vincent Ralph The truth won’t stay hidden behind locked doors. A brand new addictive, psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of 14 WAYS TO DIE—for fans of Karen McManus, Holly Jackson, and Lisa Jewell.
Love from Scratch by Kaitlyn Hill This summer, Reese Camden is trading sweet tea and Southern hospitality for cold brew and crisp coastal air. She’s landed her dream marketing internship at Friends of Flavor, a wildly popular cooking channel in Seattle. The only problem? Benny Beneventi, the relentlessly charming, backwards-baseball-cap-wearing culinary intern—and her main competition for the fall job.
The Shadow in the Glass by JJA Harwood One night, among her beloved books of far-off lands, Ella’s wishes are answered. At the stroke of midnight, a fairy godmother makes her an offer that will change her life: seven wishes, hers to make as she pleases. But each wish comes at a price and Ella must decide whether it’s one she’s willing to pay… A smouldering, terrifying new spin on Cinderella – perfect for fans of Laura Purcell and Erin Morgenstern.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life—which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job—Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That’s when things start to get crazy.
10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston Would you let your family play matchmaker to help you get over a broken heart? Ashley Elston’s 10 Blind Dates is the perfect Christmas treat: delicious, warm, funny, escapist YA romance.
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love and the hidden violence of silence.
Omens Bite: Sisters of Salem by Kristin Cast and P. C. Cast Twin sisters, Mercy and Hunter are witches, direct descendants of the Goode family, the founders of their town. After the murder of their mother at the hands of a foul demon, they have become the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds–ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and the darkest of creatures exist.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry An insightful, delightful, instant #1 New York Times bestseller from the author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation.
Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.
The Fear by Natasha Preston Hot on the heels of the New York Times bestsellers The Twin and The Lake, the undisputed queen of YA thrillers is back. Don’t be afraid. Be terrified.
14 Ways To Die by Vincent Ralph ONE KILLER. THIRTEEN VICTIMS. A MILLION VIEWS. A page-turning thriller for the social media age, perfect for fans of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and One of Us Is Lying.
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes An addictive and twisty thriller, full of dark family secrets and deadly stakes. Perfect for fans of Karen McManus and Holly Jackson. A BILLION-DOLLAR FORTUNE TO DIE FOR.
Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West What do you do when you’ve fallen for your best friend? Funny and romantic, this effervescent story about family, friendship, and finding yourself is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han.
Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West Fan favorite author Kasie West delivers an effervescent story about chasing your dreams and following your heart, perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Huntley Fitzpatrick.
The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West Smartly observed and wonderfully romantic, Kasie West’s talent shines in this tale of one girl’s unexpected quest to find love…and possibly herself.
On the Fence by Kasie West On the Fence is a sweet and satisfying read about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect it.
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West Caymen Meyers learned early not to trust the rich. Enter Xander Spence he’s tall, handsome, and wealthy. Despite his charm and the fact that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she knows his interest won’t last. But soon she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized.
Moment of Truth by Kasie West Beloved author Kasie West once again delivers a witty, lighthearted romance that will charm her legions of fans and is perfect for readers of Jenny Han and Huntley Fitzpatrick.
American Royals by Katharine McGee What if America had a royal family? If you can’t get enough of Harry and Meghan or Kate and William, meet American princesses Beatrice and Samantha. Crazy Rich Asians meets The Crown. Perfect for fans of Red, White, and Royal Blue and The Royal We!
Those are all the books that I have splurged on lately. Yes, I know, it isn’t a small haul, but I have a serious book addiction. However, I find that is pretty typical for most book lovers. Still, I would like to go on a small book buying ban. Or at least try to have a bit more self control when it comes to book shopping. Especially since I am focusing hard on getting through my owned TBR this year. And, with all the new releases coming out I am not doing so well with that goal. I have like no self control when it comes to book shopping. In the comments, let me know your latest book purchases. Before you go, don’t forget to hit that follow button.
It’s FriYay! I have been loving sharing with you my weekend reading plans even if I haven’t always managed to read the books I’ve planned too. This weekend my plans might be overly ambitious, but what else is new.
“From rising star Jessica Goodman, author of They Wish They Were Us, comes a new fast-paced thriller about two sisters vying for the top spot on their cross-country team—until a teammate’s disappearance throws their lives off course.”
“Joyful and captivating, Blackout is a collection of interconnected stories of Black love that all take place when the lights go out during a> midsummer blackout in New York City.”
“A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.”
Please tell me that I am not the only one with intense reading plans for this weekend. Don’t forget to like and share this post! And, thank you to all my blog followers. Remember to follow my blog if you want to get notified whenever I post.
It’s the weekend once again! I am here to share my weekend reads with you all. I have been on a pretty good strike with these Friday reads posts, so I thought I would keep them coming.
“Tourists, protesters, and reporters alike flock to its spellshops and historic ruins to witness an ancient curse unfold: every generation, seven families name a champion among them to compete in a tournament to the death.”
“A coming-of-age novel about facing fears and grief, discovering sexuality, and self-awareness. While packing up for a move, rising senior Emily finds her mother’s summer before senior year bucket list.”
“Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?”
I think that I can probably get all of these books read this weekend. However, I am not sure what reading mood I will be in. Leave a comment telling what you are currently reading. If you want to support my blog give it a follow before you go.