The Queen of Nothing

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the queen of nothing by holly black
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Author: Holly Black

Series: The Folk of the Air, #3

Published: November 19, 2019

ISBN: 0316310409

**If you would like to purchase this book please consider helping me as a blogger by using my link above, at no additional cost to you**

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity

My Mini Review:

“That’s what mortal means…Think of us like shooting stars, brief but bright.” ~Jude

What a satisfying ending to a magical series. Holly Black has woven a tale full of intrigue, court scheming, and assassins, with just the right amount of romance sprinkled in. I found myself constantly torn between wanting to savor every page, and wanting to know what happened next. In the end the latter won, and I finished the book in two days.

“Maybe it isn’t the worst thing to want to be loved, even if you’re not. Even if it hurts. Maybe being human isn’t always being weak.” ~Jude

This story was really about Jude, a girl who became one of my all time favorite female characters. In the beginning of this series, Jude was just a girl who wished to be a knight, but we saw her evolve into something much greater than that. Through her we learned what it means to be human in a world full of immortals. Jude constantly toed the line between doing what’s right and doing what’s necessary, and she was able to remain level-headed and strong throughout. I greatly admired her ambition, and her willingness to give up everything to attain her dreams.

“How do people like us take off our armor? One piece at a time.” ~Jude

Cardan was the Cruel Prince, and then he was the Wicked King, but through his story Black taught us that family sometimes means more than sharing the same blood. He taught us that being a leader is sometimes more than wearing a crown on your head. Some of my favorite side characters included Madoc, Jude’s father who passed on his ambission, and Oak, Jude’s little brother who never wished to become king. As always, I really enjoyed the small graphics and drawings throughout out the book, as well as the covers for the whole trilogy. I recommend this series to all Fantasy fans, and fans of this trilogy need to read it NOW.

Let me know in the comments what you thought about The Queen of Nothing!

Lifelike

Lifelike by Jay Kristoff
Lifelike by Jay Kristoff

Author: Jay Kristoff

Published: May 29, 2018

Publisher: Knopf Books by Young Readers

ISBN: 1524713929

**If you want to buy this book, please consider clicking on my link above or all the way at the bottom of the post to support a fellow blogger at no additional cost to you**

Synopsis from Goodreads:

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

My Review:

I really enjoyed the bonds between the characters in this book. The relationship and playful banter between Eve and Cricket reminded me a lot of that between Cinder and Iko in The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I also loved Lemon, and liked the bestie dynamic between her and Eve, always sticking by each other. I like how Kristoff always makes up his own language and slang words in his stories, and I find myself almost letting these words slip in real life, but I fear the weird concerned looks I would get from those not familiar with Kristoff’s work.

As always Mr. Kristoff made me ponder all sorts of ethical and moral dilemmas throughout this book. Should man-made AI’s be treated with the same rights as humans? What if they can feel and have all the emotions humans do? Is having machines do most of our manual labor considered slavery? I still don’t know where I stand on ALL of these, and I need a lot more time to digest all of it.

The ending of this book left me in shock, so I’m glad the next book “Deviate” has already been released. I could have used a bit more world building. I would’ve liked more detail on how this future post apocalyptic world looks on a grander scale. I highly recommend this series to all YA/ Fantasy fans and fans of Jay Kristoff. I will certainly be moving on to the next book soon and will let you guys know how it goes!

TBR Organization…Again!

TBR Organization To be read
My Instagram

Once again I had to re-organize my TBR List on Goodreads. I felt like the list was out of control and it was putting me into a reading slump. Now that I’ve organized it, I’ve been getting a lot more reading done. As you can probably tell I’m a bit OCD when it comes to organization, I hate clutter and everything has to have a place. Here are the categories I put my books into.

ARC- To Read

This category is for any ARC (Advance reader copy) that I need to read. I haven’t been doing a lot of those lately, but when I do I try to get them done as soon as possible so that it can be ready when the book gets released.

Next- Read

goodreads next reads

This category is reserved for any books that have been checked out of the Library and I need to read before my 14 days are over. I put them there to remind me to read those next instead of picking up something new from my TBR and then having these Library loans expire. I also put any books here that I’ve started reading but had to put aside before for one reason or another. Lastly, I put any books here that are about to release within the next few weeks and I already pre-ordered, or any ARC’s that are also about to release and I need to review before they do.

Own

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Is where I list all the books I own so that I don’t make the mistake of buying them again.

Old books to read

goodreads old books to read

By “old” I mean released before 2019. As a reviewer I feel like I must read books that have been recently released in order to stay relevant, but I also want to read older books that have been recommended to me. This is where I put those.

Owned e-books TBR

owned ebooks to be read goodreads

These are e-books that I own, but still need to read. I usually pick the kindle free book of the month and put it here. Also, any e-books I buy on sale for less than a dollar. I don’t tend to spend too much on e-books unless it’s an anticipated read by an author I love.

Series to Catch-Up On

This is where I shelve new series that have recently released new books and I haven’t read yet. I try to read at least one from this list every month to catch up.

Re-Read

re read on goodreads

I like to put books here which belong to a series and the next book in the series is about to release. Sometimes I need a good re-read to refresh my mind on the details of the story so I can thoroughly enjoy a new release.

To Be Released

It’s almost the end of the year so I barely have any books in this list. This is where I put all my anticipated releases for this year.

2020 Releases

2020 releases on goodreads

Another one that’s self-explanatory. I also think it will be handy to change the name of the list to “To be released” once 2020 starts, and I’ll delete the old one.

To Buy

Last but not least is the list of books I’ve loved so much that I must buy. I also put here any books my favorite authors are releasing in the near future, because honestly if I love an author I will buy anything they write. This list definitely comes in handy when I walk into Barnes and Noble, or when there is a sale at an online Book Store, it helps to keep my mind focused on the books that I actually need and want to buy. This helps me not spend my money on random books.

Hope you enjoyed this post and maybe got some ideas to organize your own TBR and become more productive. If you want to be my friend on Goodreads, please add me!

The Unhoneymooners

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the unhoneymooners by Christina lauren

Author: Christina Lauren

Publisher: Gallery Books

Published: May 14, 2019

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

My Review:

This book was just as hilarious as everyone made it out to be. I’m glad I listened to the hype and finally read it. There were many funny moments as well as real cringy ones. When a book gets a physical reaction from me, like a cringe, then I think it has done its job. Also, I really enjoyed all the Harry Potter references.

I loved Olive’s crazy Hispanic family, but I’m still undecided on whether I want a family like hers. On the one hand, I loved how supportive they were, but on the other I would hate it if my family showed up at my house unannounced at all hours of the day. I did enjoy reading all their texts and back and forth banter. I liked how this book integrated texting into the narrative, since it has become such an integral part of how we interact with each other.

Olive was a strong female character, and I liked seeing her work through different ethical and moral dilemmas and witness the repercussions of her decisions. I also enjoyed Ethan’s personality and how he was able to deal with Olive’s inability to lie, or her propensity to talk to much when she was put on the spot. Their romance was slow building and realistic, even though in theory the author could’ve gotten away with some “insta-love” since they actually had known each other for a very long time.

The only negative for me was the ending was a bit dragged out, and I felt that many parts of it were unnecessary. But overall, I would recommend this book to all Romance readers. The sex scenes were not too explicit, and it was a very funny light-hearted read.

Ash Princess

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Author: Laura Sebastian

Published: April 24, 2018

Series: Ash Princess Trilogy, #1

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 1524767069

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Captive animals grow to love their captors all the time, even when they beat them. It’s not surprising that you love one of yours.”

Ash Princess

My review:

Sebastian’s writing is succinct and poetic in nature. I enjoyed how fast paced the story was, and how it dropped you in the middle of the action, not stopping until the bitter cliffhanger ending. Theo was such a strong main character. The whole time she had me questioning whether I would’ve made the same decisions she did if I was in her place, and whether I could ever be strong enough to withstand the things she did. There were a lot of ethical and moral dilemmas presented in this book, and as similar as I found this story to Throne of Glass, I felt like it went a lot deeper into issues of morality and duty than the first Throne of Glass book ever did.

As traitorous as it makes me, I can imagine it. A life where a crown—gold or ash—doesn’t weigh heavy on my head. A life where I’m not responsible for thousands of people who are hungry and weak and beaten every day. A life where I can just be a girl, kissing a boy because she wants to”

Ash Princess

At some point I feared this was going to turn into a Religion heavy story. It’s okay when stories include Gods and Goddesses and different made up religions and religious entities, but I don’t enjoy it when religion takes the main stage. I found it a bit boring and frustrating that many of these characters, including Theo, had powers but they did not use them for fear of not being allowed into the “After” and rejoin their friends and families. In my opinion, Fantasy books which include magic should have people that can USE their powers. I’m hoping this changes in the future books. There was also some “insta-love” which is always annoying.

Why would the gods allow us to suffer like we have for the last decade? Why wouldn’t they have struck the Kalovaxians down as soon as they set foot on Astrean soil? Why didn’t they protect us?”

Ash Princess

Now, I know it seems like I have a lot more dislikes than I do likes, so how can I give this book four stars? The negative aspects were mildly inconvenient, but they did not make the whole story for me. Also, this has been one of the only Fantasy books that has made me tear up since the ending of Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. I really liked Theo, and I connected with her and her struggle. I’ve now moved on to the second book in this series, Lady Smoke, and I’m enjoying that as well. I have been trying to catch up with this series for a while, and I’m glad I’m finally reading it. I recommend this series to all Fantasy fans.

The Institute

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

My bookstagram

Author: Stephen King

Publication date: September 10, 2019

Publisher: Scribner

ISBN: 1982110562

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.

My Review:

No one writes like Stephen King. The characters in this book all had great character arches, even the minor ones. King can weave a whole backstory, and establish a unique personality for each one of his characters with only a few carefully worded sentences. Each character had a purpose and they were all somehow interconnected.

Luke was a great kid, he reminded me a lot of my own kid, so bright and kind and full of life. My favorite side characters were Kalisha and Nicky, but I did love all the kids. I felt for them. Now that I’m a mother of two I find that this happens to me more and more with stories involving children and I have been avoiding them, but I will endure anything for a good Stephen King story.

This story had me in the literal edge of my seat. It got my foot tapping, my breath catching, and my heart racing, like only a good thriller can. My only negative was that I felt like all this action and suspense was building up to something monumental, but the actual ending felt a bit anticlimactic. But to me it’s about the journey, not the ending, and the journey was amazing. I recommend this book to all Stephen King fans, old and new, and anyone that wants to read a good thriller/suspense.

The Kiss Quotient

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the kiss quotient by Helen Hoang
Picture from Goodreads

Author: Helen Hoang

Publication Date: 06/05/2018

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic.

I like you better than calculus, and math is the only thing that unites the universe.”

Stella

I completely devoured this book. I started reading it in the afternoon one day and unfortunately had to stop to get a few hours of sleep, and then I finished it in the morning. I fell in love with all the characters in this book, even the minor ones, especially Ngoai (Michael’s grandma). The plot was fast paced, and there was no fluff to fill gaps between time. For example, if their next date was on Friday the story skipped right to Friday without making us wait and filling the gap with useless pining. I love when stories are straight to the point.

People called it a disorder, but it didn’t feel like one. To her, it was simply the way she was.”

Stella

I became highly invested in these characters’ lives and wellbeing. I wanted them, or better yet NEEDED them to be happy. I appreciated the progress both the main characters, Stella and Michael, made throughout the story. They went through a lot of healthy personal and emotional growth, and learned to appreciate themselves and accept who they are. This was exactly the kind of feel good story I needed to balance out my dark TBR for this month. I highly recommend this light hearted read to all romance fans, and readers who need a little pick me up. Also, fair warning that the sex is very explicit and not shy on the details.

Have you read this book? Are you planning on reading book two? I know I definitely AM!

Geekerella Mini Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

geekerella book by Ashley poston
Picture from Goodreads

She wears life like Elvis wore sequins, with no apology laced into the seams.”

Elle

Geekerella (Once Upon a Con, #1) by Ashley Poston was a fun and entertaining take on Cinderella. I personally love fairy tale retellings, and this modern take on it was no exception. Darien and Elle are two lonely teenagers trying to figure out who they really are in a world set on sticking a label on them. This story was fast paced, and once I started reading it was hard for me to stop. Sage was one of my favorite characters, she was strong and confident and lived life with no apologies. (the quote above was about her) I liked the character growth for both Darien and Elle. I especially liked that they were both eventually able to speak up and stand up for themselves.

I’m strapped to the pilot chair of my life, and my hands are tied.”

Darien

I took off one star from my rating for two reasons. First, the relationship between Elle and Sage felt forced at first. Suddenly this girl (Sage) that has never crossed two words with Elle wants to talk to her? AND she happens to have amazing sewing skills? Second, I don’t like it when girls fall in love with guys they barely know. Elle and Darien just shared a few texts and all of a sudden they were in love, but I guess it wouldn’t be a fairy tale if they weren’t. Overall, I loved this whole geeky world and how the author shines a light on the fact that just because you “cosplay” or dress up as one of your favorite characters, doesn’t mean pieces of your true self can’t shine through. Sometimes pretending to be someone else can help you figure out who you truly are.

Starlight, star bright, you can be anyone you want to be tonight.”

Elle’s Dad

I love Poston’s writing, and I will definitely be reading the next book in this series. Did you read the book? What did you think? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Mini Reviews

the girl the sea gave back by Adrienne young
Picture from Goodreads

The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

⭐️⭐️/5

I really enjoyed Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, and I wanted to like this sequel, unfortunately that was not the case. This story takes place ten years after the events of Sky in the Deep. I thought Halvard was a great side character before, but he fell short as a main character in this book. Both him and Tova just had really bland personalities. Frankly, I found Tova to be a pushover with a lot of power in her hands.

The plot was slow going and I did not see any real action until I was halfway through the book. The back and forth between two years ago, ten years ago, and the present became really bothersome. I felt like just some explanation about what happened those years ago would have been sufficient, we did not need to be going back and forth in time every single time something about the past needed to be explained. Overall, I believe my expectations going into this book were set really high and maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but I would not recommend this one.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Picture from Goodreads

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I have said before that I will read whatever Bardugo writes forever and ever, and I will say it again. Her characters are always so unique, she can write scary scenes like no other, and the dialogue is amazing. Only bad thing, and this was totally my fault for not researching it first, but I didn’t know this book would ruin the rest of the Shadow and Bones series for me. Just a warning there are a lot of spoilers in this book for Shadow and Bones and for Crooked Saints. I bought this audio book on sale on the Audible app, and did not realize my mistake.

I loved Nikolai’s humor and how full of himself he is. He’s like the male version of Aelin from Throne of Glass. I also fell in love with Zoya, and I found it hilarious how terrified everyone is of her. I really missed Nina, from the Six of Crows series, and we also get a lot of her here. The plot is fast paced and there is constant action. The dialogue is full of humor, and I liked the playful banter between the members of Nokolai’s court. This book was really enjoyable and I cannot wait for the next one. I would totally recommend it if you have read all the other grishaverse books.

Illuminae Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Illuminae book by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
My Bookstagram

Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Publication Date: October 20, 2015

I would rather be numb than stand here in the light of a sun that can never chase the chill away.”

aidan

I have so many thoughts on this book that I’m struggling to put them all into coherent sentences. First, let’s start with the formatting. I struggled with it at first, but once I got used to it it read like any other book. I actually thought this book was an amazing work of art. It is comprised of emails, messages, descriptions of camera footage, audio recordings, pictures, and many other types of files.

You’re a speck of animated carbon and water with about seven centimeters of ballistics-grade ceramic between you and absolutely nothing. Ninety three billion light years of *ing nothing. No up. No down. No sky. No ground. Just endless dark shot through with tiny spears of sunlight older than you and your entire species stacked end to end. You want to feel small? Spend sixty seconds in a Cyclone’s cockpit…look out at nothing and feel it looking back. Then you know exactly how much you add up to.”

Ezra

The story is mostly set in space, which was described really well in my opinion (see quote above). Other than describing the inside and outside of the ships in perfect poetic detail, there was not much more world building to be done. We also get some maps of the ships as a reference. The main characters were adequately described, but I could have done with a bit more detail. The dialogue was where this book excelled, which is a very good thing since it was mostly dialogue. Conversations were full of humor and sarcasm in the midst of chaos, and they read like an action packed movie. I could almost hear the characters catching their breath as they talked, whispering, and shouting or screaming. It was very well done.

Miracles are statistical improbabilities. And fate is an illusion humanity uses to comfort itself in the dark. There are no absolutes in life, save death.”

aiden

The romance aspect of the book was great, and it did not take over the whole plot. I loved Kady and Ezra and I was rooting for them the whole time. They fought like a real couple, they compromised over their differences, and overall their relationship was very realistic. Emotions were described in such great detail that everything they could feel I also could. Their fear gave me chills, and their grief was so real it almost made me cry at times, but I don’t cry easily.

Part of being alive is having life change us. The people around us, the events we live through, all of them shape us.”

kady

I went into this book not really knowing what to expect and having no idea about what the plot really entailed, and I think that was the way to go. Many of the events caught me by surprise, and it was very refreshing to read something so different from the other stories I usually read. This book has definitely made me want more SCI-FI in my life, and I will be reading the second and third installments as soon as I can. I would recommend this series to everyone. Read it! I really don’t know why I waited so long.

The universe owes you nothing…it has already given you everything. After all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is if you do something worthy of remembrance.”

aidan