Six for Sunday – Witch-y 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 Witch-y Books. Here’s my list:

1. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

2. The Witches by Roald Dahl

3. Mooncakes by Wendy Xu, Suzanne Walker

4. The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner

5. Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan

6. The Babysitters Coven by Kate Williams

Did you write a #SixforSunday post? What was your list of Witch-y Books?

(All book cover images from Goodreads)

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The third installment in the all-new series from the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. 

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

Review:

This was a great book in the Raven Cycle series!

There are many subplots that go along with the main plot of Gansey’s search for Glendower. Each of the main characters (Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Blue) have their own distinct lives and stories. They each have their own subplots, which could be their own plot in an individual book. Though the book isn’t too long, each character could easily take up their own book to tell their story.

Maggie Stiefvater does a great job at characterization. There is an ensemble cast, but everyone gets their own part. The characters seem like real people, because they have detailed backgrounds, motivations, and goals. I felt like I really knew them as people.

I love the historical elements of the story, as well. The search for the Welsh king Glendower brings in lots of Welsh history to the story. The fictional town, Henrietta, also has an extensive history, making it a character in itself.

I really enjoyed this book! I’m excited to see how the series ends in the next book!

What to read next:

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater

Love and Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford

Have you read Blue Lily, Lily Blue? What did you think of it?

Stacking the Shelves – October 26

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 was approved for a book on NetGalley from Amulet Books:

Blood Countess by Kana OPopović

Thank you Amulet Books for this book!

What books did you get this week?

Review: Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

Title: Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
Author: Bill Willingham
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Publisher: Vertigo
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 22, 2012 (originally December 31, 2002)
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the “mundys,” their name for normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society that they call Fabletown. From their exclusive luxury apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, these creatures of legend must fight for their survival in the new world.

Fables is the winner of 14 Eisner Awards and is one of the most enduring Vertigo titles ever. Here, in this new, 10th anniversary edition, is a newly colored 8-page story from the Fables prose work Peter & Max: A Fables Novel, as well as a beautiful new cover from series artist Mark Buckingham.

Collecting:Fables #1-5

Review:

I first read Fables a few years ago and I loved it! I love adaptations of fairytales, and this series is a lot of fun.

The characters from fairytales have left their lands and entered the human world, or the mundane as they call it. They have to keep their special powers hidden or they face consequences from their leaders, in particular Snow White and Bigby, the Big Bad Wolf.

In this story, Snow White’s sister, Red Rose, has gone missing. Red Rose’s apartment was covered in blood, but her body was not there. Snow White and Bigby have to search for the answers to her disappearance, and possibly find her body.

Though this series is based on fairytales, it is not meant for children. There are adult themes and language in the story. However, they are entertaining and funny. I highly recommend this series!

What to read next:

Fables, Vol. 2: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham

Have you read Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile? What did you think of it?

First Lines Friday – October 25

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:

“Water closes over the body. Swallows it. The rocking of the boat subsides quickly. Its occupant waits until the surface of the lake is still.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan.

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Goodreads synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of What She Knewconjures a dark and unpredictable tale of family secrets that explores the lengths people will go to hurt one another.

When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind.

Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew.

Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…

In this compulsively readable tale of secrets, lies, and deception, Gilly Macmillan explores the darkest impulses and desires of the human heart. Diabolically clever, The Nanny reminds us that sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.

Have you read The Nanny? What did you think of it?

Review: Twice in a Blue Moon

Title: Twice in a Blue Moon
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 22, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.

Review:

This was an adorable romance!

There was loads of tension in this story. The romance between Tate and Sam started fast and strong. It was quite a whirlwind on their vacation. However, it ground to a halt once Sam exposed Tate’s secret. I had a hard time figuring out why Sam would do it, because he seemed like a good guy. This tension kept me reading.

I found some of the story predictable, but in a comforting way. I guessed that Sam would betray Tate’s secrets, because he was the first person she had told them to. Once the story jumped to the future, I suspected that Sam would come back into her life with a good reason for betraying her years ago. He was a frustrating character because he betrayed Tate, but I couldn’t help rooting for them to get together.

I loved this story!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Have you read Twice in a Blue Moon? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – October 24

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Two Dark Reigns (Three Dark Crowns #3) by Kendare Blake.

Goodreads Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kendare Blake returns with the highly anticipated third book in the Three Dark Crowns series! And while Arsinoe, Mirabella, and Katharine all have their own scores to settle, they aren’t the only queens stirring things up on Fennbirn Island.

Queen Katharine has waited her entire life to wear the crown. But now that she finally has it, the murmurs of dissent grow louder by the day. There’s also the alarming issue of whether or not her sisters are actually dead—or if they’re waiting in the wings to usurp the throne.

Mirabella and Arsinoe are alive, but in hiding on the mainland and dealing with a nightmare of their own: being visited repeatedly by a specter they think might be the fabled Blue Queen. Though she says nothing, her rotting, bony finger pointing out to sea is clear enough: return to Fennbirn. 

Jules, too, is in a strange place—in disguise. And her only confidants, a war-gifted girl named Emilia and her oracle friend Mathilde, are urging her to take on a role she can’t imagine filling: a legion-cursed queen who will lead a rebel army to Katharine’s doorstep.

This is an uprising that the mysterious Blue Queen may have more to do with than anyone could have guessed—or expected.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: A Sparrow’s Roar

Title: A Sparrow’s Roar
Author: C.R. Chua, Paolo Chikiamco
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 22, 2019
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A Knight’s tale about duty, duels, driving your sister crazy…all while trying to save the country from a secret that threatens to tear it apart.

When a seemingly harmless prank goes wrong, knight-in-training Per of Esterpike watches her sister Elena, famed hero and leader of Lions, murdered by a barbarian horde set on wiping Esterpike off the map. Together with Elena’s second-in-command Amelia, Per must impersonate her sister and travel to Unity’s capital to convince the Generals of each city-state to provide aid against the oncoming horde. But as Per moves forward on her quest, she comes upon a conspiracy that might just threaten Unity itself!

Join writer and illustrator C.R. Chua (Adventure Time Comics) and writer Paolo Chikiamco on Per’s grand adventure all about strength, swords, and sisterhood. 

Review:

I liked the concept of this story, but it took a little too much work to figure out.

When Per’s sister, the general Elena, dies in front of her, she takes her place so their enemies don’t find out. She ends up discovering secrets in the capital.

One thing that was confusing was that Per and Elena looked almost exactly the same. They had different coloured eyes but the same hair style. This was especially confusing when Per was impersonating Elena, so she was wearing Elena’s clothes. I also found that a lot of characters were putting on an act in front of others, so they weren’t saying what they meant. They said one thing but did something else, which made it difficult to understand the story.

Unfortunately this story didn’t work for me.

Thank you BOOM! Studios for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Mythspace: Humanity by Paolo Chikiamco, C.R. Chua

Have you read A Sparrow’s Roar? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – October 23

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens #1) by Kelly Coon. The expected publication date is October 29, 2019.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave. 

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame. 

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her. 

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Ninth House (Alex Stern #1)

Title: Ninth House (Alex Stern #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 8, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

The mesmerizing adult debut from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

Review:

This was one of my most highly anticipated books of 2019. It was worth the wait!

I loved the way magic and ghosts were brought into the university life. It reminded me of my time at university, and all the colleges that it was divided up into, like the houses in this book. There were real locations at Yale used in this book. It’s great to see images of these locations, so that the story is brought to life.

There were a lot of thriller elements to this story as well as fantasy. Though there were ghosts, called Greys, and supernatural rituals, there were also murders and lots of drugs. The real gritty underworld of drugs and gruesome murders, mixed with the supernatural underworld of ghosts. These genres blended seamlessly.

I loved this book! I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

What to read next:

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Have you read Ninth House? What did you think of it?