I decided to do a ‘Friday Reads’ post to share with you my weekend reading plans. Currently, I’m reading ‘The Housemaid‘ by Freida McFadden and I will for sure be finishing it this weekend. It’s a mystery thriller book that I’m really enjoying.
Next, I plan on making some progress on ‘Furyborn‘ by Claire Legrand. I’m hoping to get to the 50% mark by the end of the weekend. This is a YA fantasy that is a part of my 12 book challenge for 2023.
There you have the books I’m hoping to pick up this weekend. Hopefully I will finish two of them, but we’ll see how the weekend goes. In the comments, let me know what you are currently reading. Don’t forget to hit the follow button to get notified whenever there’s a new post.
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!
Today I am doing my May TBR! As always my TBRs are super short and sweet. I have a lot of books that I was sent for review that I need to read in the month of May, so I don’t know how well I’ll do on this TBR. However, I am going to try and read as many of these books as possible.
Previous TBR:This was on my August 2021 TBR, and one of the only children’s classic books that I would like to read. I know that Lily Collins narrators the Audible audiobook, which is really cool. “And so begins the story of one of the most beloved characters in children’s literature, Peter Pan. J. M. Barrie’s classic tale, completely unabridged, features a boy who refuses to grow up, Tinker Bell the fairy, and the Darling children — Wendy, John, and Michael.”
Sequel:I am going to be honest and say that I probably won’t get to this book, because I have so many ARCs to read. The audiobook is 17 hours long (for that would be 8 hours), so I am not sure I’ll have the time to read it. “Shanghai is under siege in this captivating and searingly romantic sequel to These Violent Delights, which New York Times bestselling author Natasha Ngan calls “deliciously dark.”
Owned TBR: This is a short story collection that I bought when it first came out. It is a YA contemporary with stories that focus on black teens. I haven’t heard it talked about, but I am excited to dive into it. “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.”
Those are the books that I personally would like to get to, but my TBRs are never really set in stone. I am a big mood reader, which you most likely know by now. In the comments, tell me what is on your TBR? Please like this post and follow my bookish blog.
I have been seeing people do these self destruct or unhaul TBR posts and videos for a while. This year, I have made it a goal of mine to read more of my own books. So, I have picked 8 books from my shelves that must be read before the end of the year. If they don’t get read than they must be sold or donated. This is a good way to In courage me to read some books I’ve had forever, and remove unwanted books from my bookshelf.
Renegades by Marissa Meyer: I have a few unread Marissa Meyer books, but this is the first in a YA superhero series that sounds pretty interesting. If nothing less, I will discover whether or not I want to continue with the series.
Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas: I read 40% of this book a couple of years ago. However, I put it aside and never picked it back up. I read liking the story, but I’m unsure if I really care to read it anymore.
Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen: In 2014, I received this book from the publisher. It interested me back than, but my reading taste has changed a lot since than. Still, I want to give it a chance.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: I am pretty positive that I won’t be picking this book up. Still, I could be wrong. The only reason I got the book was because I saw the move version, and wanted to read the book to compare it too.
Looking for Alaska by John Green: This book has been on my shelves for a long time now. However, I am hesitant to read it since I haven’t been a fan of any John Green book I have read. Yet, I want to read it before watching the new Hulu series based on the book.
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson: I tried reading this YA mystery, but I couldn’t get into it. Hopefully, the second time is a charm and it will keep me intrigued enough to want to keep reading. This book series is highly praised, so I want to learn what all the hype is about.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith: This is actually a short read that I didn’t hate. Yet, the plot was slow moving and the romance was definitely a slow burn, which I don’t typically like. But, I still own it so I would like to finish it.
One Day in December by Josie Silver: This is another book that was sent to me that I haven’t read. I have been reading more adult books, so I think this is the perfect time for me to try to read it.
There you have the eight books that must be read by twenty-twenty three and like them, or must be unhauled. Please, share and like this post, and show your love for my blog by giving it a follow.
Twenty Twenty-Two will be here before we know it, and so will a bunch of new books. I love finding new releases to add to my TBR. Who knows if I might discover a new favorite author? I have put together a list of the new releases that I would like to read. This list will only contain books from January to June, so the first half of the new year. Also, to keep things relatively short I only mentioned two books per month.
Echoes and Empires by Morgan Rhodes (January 4th)
“A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic in the first book of a new fantasy duology from Morgan Rhodes, the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series.”
The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder (January 11th)
“Sleeping Beauty meets Indiana Jones in this thrilling fairytale retelling for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and The Cruel Prince.”
Finding Her Edge by Jennifer Iacopelli (February 8th)
“For fans of Emma Lord and Abbi Glines, Jennifer Iacopelli’s swoony, romantic new novel follows elite ice dancer Adriana Russo as she finds herself drawn to both her old dance partner and her new one.”
League of Liars by Astrid Scholte (February 22nd)
“In this fantasy thriller, four teens charged with murder and caught up with the illegal use of magic band together to devise the ultimate jailbreak. Perfect for fans of Six of Crows and How to Get Away with Murder.”
Remember Me Gone by Stacy Stokes (March 22nd)
“Lucy Miller’s family has the unique ability to remove people’s painful memories—but Lucy isn’t prepared for truths she will uncover in this speculative YA debut thriller, perfect for fans of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”
Live, Laugh, Kidnap by Gabby Noone (March 29th)
“From the author of Layoverland comes another bitingly clever, laugh-out-loud funny novel, about a group of teen girls going up against an exploitative megachurch in their small Montana town.”
Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor (April 5th)
“For fans of Caraval and The Night Circus, this decadent and darkly enchanting YA fantasy, set against the backdrop of a Belle Époque-inspired hotel, follows seventeen-year-old Jani as she uncovers the deeply disturbing secrets of the legendary Hotel Magnifique.”
With and Without You by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (April 19th)
“#Wibbroka is back with another swoony YA–this time tackling long-distance relationships, in a novel based on their own romantic history.”
The Noh Family by Grace Shim (May 3rd)
“A sparkling K-drama inspired debut teen novel by Grace Shim, THE NOH FAMILY introduces irrepressibly charming teen Chloe Kang, who is reunited with her deceased father’s estranged family via a DNA test, and is soon whisked off to Seoul to join them.”
Beauty and the Besharam by Lillie Vale (May 10th)
“Heated competition leads to even hotter romance in this YA summer rom-com for fans of Sandhya Menon, Emma Lord, and Wibbroka.”
TJ Powar Has Something to Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo (June 7th)
“A charming rom-com about high school debater TJ Powar who—after becoming the subject of an ugly meme—makes a resolution to stop shaving, plucking, and waxing, and prove that she can be her hairy self and still be beautiful…but soon finds this may be her most difficult debate yet. Perfect for fans of Netflix’s Never Have I Ever.”
A Secret Princess by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz (June 28th)
“A surprising and romantic YA retelling-mashup of A Little Princess and The Secret Garden by bestselling authors Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz.”
Those are some of the books that I’m anxiously awaiting. But, I have a ton more that I have added to my TBR as well. I always post reviews on each book I read, so my sure to follow the blog for those reviews, as swell as more bookish posts.
Title: Legendborn Author: Tracy Deonn Published: 2020 Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus. A flying demon feeding on human energies. A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down. And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw. The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates. Source: Goodreads
This book is filled with twist and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This is a new fantasy book series with a lot of elements to it. I enjoyed certain aspects of the story. Others, not so much. At first, I didn’t know how to feel about the main character, Bree. She was very guarded, which I’m not usually a fan of. However, it worked for her, considering she was still going through the motions of her mother’s death.
I enjoyed the magic system that the author created in the story. By the end of the book everything fell into place and worked well together. It was pretty mind-blowing. As for the world-building, I found it somewhat complex. There was a lot of pieces to the society and it got hard to follow at times. I could see the struggle to navigate the world lowering a readers enjoyment of the story. The author probably should have simplified things, since it was only the first book in the series.
“Don’t make your life about the loss. Make it about the love.”
One of my least favorite aspects was the romance. Bree’s relationship with Nick started off fine, but it quickly became that prepackaged ‘insta-love’ that we’ve all had served to us in just about every way imaginable. Nick was falling hard and fast for Bree. He needed to simmer down. He was a little immature, too – always acting hurt when she didn’t tell him things, or trying to defend her. Yes, Bree was stubborn, but she was strong too. She was no damsel-in-distress.
My favorite character was Sel! Although, he wasn’t the main focus of the book, I think he had strong character development throughout the book. On the outside, he has a tough, devil-may-care attitude, but inside he is kind and protective. I can completely see Sel and Bree together, but then again, I love a good hate-to-love romance any day.
The best part of this book was, hands-down, the ending. It was exciting, jawdropping, and left me wanting more. The way the author added a twist that you never saw coming, but worked it in so well, was amazing. I cannot wait for the sequel, and to read more of Tracy Deonn’s work.
Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? Let me know your thoughts on ‘Legendborn’ in the comments below.