Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – March 31

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 9 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

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Sundays in Bed With… The Last Namsara

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli.

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – Debut Books

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Debut Books and Authors. I will list the books by debut authors I’ve read that have been published in 2019 so far:

1. The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

2. White Stag by Kara Barbieri

3. The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin

4. Best Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala

5. Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

6. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Did you write a #SixforSunday post? What was your list of Debut Books and Authors?

Review: Mirror, Mirror (Twisted Tales #6)

Title: Mirror, Mirror (Twisted Tales #6)
Author: Jen Calonita
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Disney Book Group
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

What if the Evil Queen poisoned the prince?

Following her beloved mother’s death, the kingdom falls into the hands of Snow White’s stepmother, commonly referred to as “the Evil Queen” by those she rules. Snow keeps her head down at the castle, hoping to make the best of her situation.

But when new information about her parents resurfaces and a plot to kill her goes haywire, everything changes for Snow. With the help of a group of wary dwarfs, a kind prince she thought she’d never see again, and a mysterious stranger from her past, Snow embarks on a quest to stop the Evil Queen and take back her kingdom. But can she stop an enemy who knows her every move and will stop at nothing to retain her power… including going after the ones Snow loves? 

Review:

This is the first book that I’ve read in the Twisted Tales series. I love adaptations of fairytales, so I knew I would love this book!

This book is a modern adaptation of the classic Disney movie Snow White. It follows both Snow and the Evil Queen, Ingrid. I liked how familiar the story was, since I grew up watching the movie. It’s been many years since I watched it, but the characters were the same, so I could imagine what they looked like.

Though this story is based on the Disney movie, it has more modern themes. Snow is a leader who takes charge of the plan to remove the Evil Queen from power. She has more power than the original Snow White would have had in the 1937 movie. Gender roles were reversed when her prince was placed in a glass coffin instead of her (This is not a spoiler because it happens in the prologue). Snow is a much more active character in this modern story.

I loved this story! I’ll definitely have to check out the other books in the series.

Thank you to Disney Book Group for providing me an e-galley of this book via NetGalley.

What to read next:

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino

Part of Your World (Twisted Tales #5) by Liz Braswell

Have you read Mirror, Mirror? What did you think of it?

Stacking the Shelves – March 30

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I bought received six books I ordered from the Book Outlet:

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

Batman: Harley Quinn by Paul Dini, Neil Googe

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

I received six books from Thomas Allen and Son:

Changeling (The Oddmire #1) by William Ritter

A Gentlewoman’s Guide to Murder by Victoria Hamilton

The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason

Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small

The Fever King by Victoria Lee

Castle of Lies by Kiersi Burkhart

Thank you Thomas Allen and Son for these books!

What books did you get this week?

Review: Since We Last Spoke

Title: Since We Last Spoke
Author: Brenda Rufener
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When true love is shattered by tragedy—how much would you risk to save it all?

When Aggi Frank and Max Granger finally admitted their feelings for each other last December, it felt like love was beautiful and endless… until it wasn’t.

A fatal car accident involving their older siblings throws their lives into sudden chaos. And with a restraining order now in place between the two bitter households, Aggi and Max’s love runs cold. Being together again seems like a distant fantasy, even though they share the same driveway.

Still, Plum Lake is a small town, and staying apart can’t last forever. Aggi and Max eventually reunite at a lake-house party hosted by a mutual friend and break the ice after a year of silence. But just as they begin to rebuild their relationship, the unthinkable happens when Aggi’s little sister, Grace, flees from home after their father spirals into a fit of rage. With a support system of friends close by, Aggi and Max must confront each other and their families in the hopes of mending all the broken pieces.

Perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven and Nicola Yoon, Brenda Rufener’s (Where I Live) second heartbreaking and uplifting novel captures the ups and downs of star-crossed lovers in the face of unimaginable grief, the fragile balance of their family relations, and the rocky journey to healing, peace, and forgiveness. 

Review:

I loved this story!

This story was very emotional. The two main characters both lost their older siblings in a car accident. Max’s brother was killed in the accident, in which Aggi’s sister was driving. Aggi’s sister couldn’t live with the guilt of killing her boyfriend, so she killed herself. That was bad enough, but the two families, which had always been close neighbours, had a huge feud. Aggi’s dad sued Max’s dad, causing a lot of paranoia and driving a wedge between Max and Aggi. There was a lot of tension whenever the two families came face to face.

This story deals with a lot of serious issues, including suicide and abuse. Aggi’s sister commits suicide, because she was being blamed for a car crash, which was just an accident. Max’s friend, Henry, was abused by his father and brothers. Aggi’s dad abused her mother and sister as a way to show his pain. All of these things were difficult to read, but they are real parts of life that happen sometimes. There are hotlines listed at the end of the book for anyone who needs to talk about these problems.

The only thing I would change about this book is to make the two narratives more distinct. The narrative switches between Aggi’s and Max’s perspectives. Sometimes I was confused as to who was talking, because they sounded the same. This was especially confusing when they were together and the narrative switched quickly between both of them to create more tension. It would have been a much smoother read if their voices were more distinct.

I really enjoyed this story. It was a quick, but emotional, read.

What to read next:

Where I Live by Brenda Rufener

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Have you read Since We Last Spoke? What did you think of it?

First Lines Friday – March 29

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“After a year of slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point. Most of the thousands of slaves in Endovier received similar treatment – though an extra half-dozen guards always walked Celaena to and from the mines. “

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas.

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Goodreads synopsis:

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien. 

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Have you read Throne of Glass? What did you think of it?