Darkdawn

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

dark dawn by jay kristoff
Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

Author: Jay Kristoff

Published: September 3, 2019

Publisher: Thomas Dune Books

Series: The Nevernight Chronicles, #3

**If you are considering buying this book, please click on my link to support a fellow blogger**

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A ruthless young assassin’s journey for revenge comes to a stunning end in the conclusion of this acclaimed epic fantasy trilogy.

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

Fear was Can’t. Fear was Won’t. But fear wasn’t ever a choice. To never fear was to never hope. Never love. Never live…Part of having is the fear of losing. Part of creating is the fear of it breaking. Part of beginning is the fear of your ending. Fear is never a choice… But letting it rule you is.”

Darkdawn

My Mini Book Review:

I’m doing a mini book review on this because there is no way I can put ALL my thoughts about this series into coherent sentences. How do I review a series like this one? These books made me cry tears of happiness, of sadness, frustration, and despair. In short, they made me feel everything a good series should.

I did pick Darkdawn up a couple of times to read it in September, but I ended up putting it down twice. First, I did not expect the religious aspect of the books to take center stage in the story, and that is always a turn-off for me. Second, I read so many dark books in September that I felt like I needed some happiness in my life. I finally got my hands on the audio version (the narrator Holter Graham does an amazing job), and this helped me get through it. Once I got through most of the setting up part, I could not stop listening.

I loved all the characters in these books. I fell in love with all their stories and I was proud of their growth throughout. I came to respect Mia and her strength and perseverance, and how she was set on revenge, but not willing to cross certain moral lines. I liked the side stories, the humor, the colorful cursing, and yes even the footnotes. I’m sad that this series has come to an end, and I cannot wait to see what Kristoff comes up with next. If you are a fan of dark Fantasy, read these!

The Bride Test

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the bride test by helen hoang
My bookstagram

Author: Helen Hoang

Series: The Kiss Quotient, #2

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

My Review:

I was a little cautious about reading this book. I enjoyed the first one (The Kiss Quotient) so much and I didn’t want to ruin that feeling. I shouldn’t have worried, this book was just as enjoyable as the first one, and it could even be read as a stand-alone book. Hoang’s highly descriptive writing is phenomenal. Her stories are full of humor and had me laughing by myself at times. Her analogies and metaphors are hilarious and very unique. Thankfully, this was another buddy read so I was able to talk about the funny parts with my friend and I didn’t feel like a complete maniac.

The characters in this story had such big hearts (even if Khai did think his was “made of stone”). Hoang provided great insight into the mind of a high functioning autistic man, and she is able to switch back and forth from his character to the eccentricities of Esme, his immigrant “fiancée.” I really liked Esme, she was such a strong hard-working female character, and a great role model. I also liked that some of the characters from the previous book made appearances, especially Quan. I’m very much looking forward to Hoang’s next book which features his story.

If you need a funny and lighthearted read, then look no further! I highly recommend these books to all Contemporary Romance fans. Only negative for me was that the ending felt a little rushed, almost like she crammed a lot of important things at the end. Also, be warned once again about very explicit sex scenes. For those interested, her next book comes out May 5, 2010. I can’t wait!

Book Subscription Box Comparison

These past few months I’ve been trying out a few book subscription boxes. I didn’t want to clog up this post with a bunch of pictures, so if you want to see pictures of everything go check out my Instagram page.

*Disclaimer*

I paid for all of these myself and I’m not paid in any way by these subscription boxes for sharing my opinion

Owlcrate $34.99

I ordered the May 2019 box, and it arrived May 18th. This subscription auto-renews and I have to cancel it every month that either I don’t like the theme or I cannot afford it. I liked how fast the box arrived, and I really liked that it included useful and practical items as well as collectibles. This box included:

-We Hunt the Flame book (exclusive silver cover edition) by Hafsah Faizal along with a pin designed by the author herself.

-A Court of Mist and Fury sleeping mask.

-Howl’s Moving Castle inspired vinyl sticker.

-A passport wallet featuring a quote from the Hobbit.

-An exclusive edition water bottle featuring a quote from Stardust.

-A pillow case featuring a quote from A Darker Shade of Magic.

-Some character design cards.

Faecrate $41.65

I ordered the June 2019 box, and it arrived July 11th, I didn’t like that it arrived the month after, but I did appreciate the very unique items that were inside; like a puzzle and car coasters. This box included:

-The Red Labyrinth book by Meredith Tate special faecrate edition, with a signed plate and a note from the author.

-Two Gilded Wolves car coasters.

-A Six of Crows bracelet that says “Trickery is my native tongue.”

-A Ready Player One puzzle.

-A drawstring cloth bag that says “TBR level 1000.”

-A globe with a map of Prythian -A Court of Thorns and Roses world.

-A collectible metal coin from the Raven Cycle.

-A Warcross collectible polaroid of Emiko.

Illumicrate 41.99 euros

I ordered the June 2019 box, which arrived June 25th. This one also had two books, which I appreciated. I loved the color for this box, it has been my favorite one so far, but it was also the most expensive. It included:

-This time will be different book by Misa Sugiura, with signed plate and yellow sprayed edges.

-Birthday book by Meredith Russo, with signed plate, rainbow edges, and bookmark.

-TBR Jar (one of my favorites).

-Goddess of reading tapestry, illustration by Carol G.

-Page flags (another favorite).

-Tea and books booksleeve.

-Reality bookend part 1. (Part 2 comes in the July box).

-Collectible coin, featuring Hermione Granger.

Shelflovecrate $39.98

I ordered the May 2019 box, and it arrived May 24th. I liked that this subscription does not auto-renew and I don’t have to worry about cancelling it every month. I loved that this box brought two books instead of one. It included:

-We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal book, signed special edition with reversible dust jacket.

-Romanov by Nadine Brandes, signed special edition with navy blue and gold cover.

-The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare first chapter sample.

-ADSOM -Kell and Lila chess pieces.

-Ready Player One bookmark.

-Strange the Dreamer moth pin.

-Harry Potter portkey water bottle.

-Chronicles of Narnia plastic pouch (note: this is the only item I’ve had an issue with since it broke after a few uses).

Have you tried any other boxes you would recommend or advise against?

Rapid Fire Book Tag

I saw this tag on the For Book s’ Sake page and it looked like so much fun. So without anything further here are the questions and my answers.

E-book or physical Book?

Here is the thing, there’s nothing like holding a physical book in my hands, being able to turn the pages and seeing how far I’ve come, and the smell of a book is one of my favorite scents. BUT, I do have two kids under four and it’s much easier for me to read an e-book while I watch them than to read a real book.

Paperback or hardback?

This is a hard one. Paperbacks are so much easier for me to hold and carry around everywhere. Hardbacks are so pretty and look much better on my shelves. I always have to remove the dust cover so that I don’t damage it while I take it everywhere, and then when I’m done with the book I put the dust cover back on and put it on my shelf. If I really had to choose, I think I would choose paperbacks.

Mother’s Day bookhaul

Online or in-store book shopping?

Books are so much cheaper online, but there’s nothing like walking through a bookstore for me. It’s actually one of my favorite things to do in the world. This year for mother’s day that was actually my only wish, going to the bookstore. My husband was such a trooper, he handled the kids while I spent some uninterrupted time browsing for books. As you can see on this picture, I really spoiled myself.

Trilogies or series?

As long as the book is good, I don’t really care if it’s a trilogy or a series. As long as I like the author and the story still holds my interest I will read all the books they write, even if it’s an 18 book long one (Black Dagger Brotherhood anyone?).

Heroes or villains?

Heroes all the way. Give me heroes I can root for the whole time. Once I start liking the villains and wishing they would kill the hero already, that’s when I know I’m hating the book.

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone book, jk rowling
My bookstagram

A book you want everyone to read?

Hands down the Harry Potter series. I could read those books over and over. I’m in love with that whole world, and I always hope I can pass my love on to others. You can read all about how I grew up with this series here.

Recommend an underrated author?

Is Julie Kagawa considered underrated? I’m not sure, but her Immortal Rules series was one of the best I’ve read and I never see it talked about anywhere. You all already know I loved her Shadow of the Fox and Soul of the Sword books.

The last book you finished?

Call it What you Want by Brigid Kemmerer. It was a four star out of five for me, and you can read my review here.

Weirdest thing you’ve used as a bookmark?

*Cringes* …a banana? Okay, hear me out. I was really busy at work multi-tasking, I was reading and eating, and then I got a phone call…so what do I do? I stick my banana in my book to hold my page. Don’t judge me.

Used books: Yes or no?

I love all books, definitely yes. I like imagining where the book has been and how many people have read it. I don’t sniff them like I do new books, but still used books are great.

Top 3 favorite genres?

Fantasy, YA, and does New Adult count? I occasionally delve into Contemporary, but I really try to avoid it because it makes me cry.

Borrow or buy?

I try not to borrow books, when I do I warn the owners that it might not come back in the same condition. Like I said, I have two kids. I love buying books. My bank account not so much though.

Character or plot?

Plot. If the plot goes downhill, then it doesn’t matter how good your characters are. For example, I really loved the Divergent series, an I loved the characters, but once the plot started slipping I hated the whole thing. Also, I hate bad endings.

Long or short books?

Size doesn’t matter! Okay, but for real if you can tell me everything you need to tell me, if the characters are well developed, and so is the plot, then I don’t really care what the size of the book is.

Kingdom of Ash, Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass (#7)

Name the first three books you think of?

Throne of Glass

Lunar Chronicles

Shatter Me

Three of my favorites 🙂

Books that make you laugh or books that make you cry?

I hate crying, I love books that make me laugh. I’m currently listening to an audio of Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff, and I love the humor they use.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Picture taken by Me

Our world or fictional worlds?

Depends on the world. I would love to live in the Harry Potter world, but would not like to live in the post Apocalyptic Shatter Me world.

Audiobooks: Yes or no?

A month ago this would’ve been a no, but recently I have developed a liking for audio books. I only listen to them on my work commute, in the shower, and while I’m doing chores around the house. It has been a good way for me to stay productive. I always listen to a sample first before I get the book though, because if I don’t like the narrator’s voice then the whole thing is ruined.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

Too many times to count, although I have learned from my mistakes. I now read the reviews and usually a sample before I commit to buying a book now. I’m a sucker for pretty covers, and thanks to Bookstagram my TBR is full them.

Game of thrones series, books, George rr martin
Picture form Goodreads

Book to movie or book to TV adaptation?

It depends on the book? I recently was so disappointed by the Game of Thrones TV show 😦 But I did love most of the Harry Potter movies, they really made the whole world come alive with only a few minor flaws and omissions.

A movie or TV adaptation you preferred instead of the book?

None, I always like the book better.

Series or stand alone?

I like series. Stand alone books always leave me feeling empty and with no purpose after. At least with a series I can delay that feeling until the last book 🙂

WWW Wednesday

This is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where you answer three questions: What are you reading now? What did you just read? What will you be reading next?

This past week I haven’t been very productive at all when it comes to reading. My birthday is coming up, and my husband surprised me with a Goldendoodle puppy ♥️ Puppies are a handful, it’s like having a third child 😅

Meet my new bookblogging buddy

What I’m reading now:

I can’t believe I got an ARC of Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa (the sequel to Shadow of the Fox). I love these characters and I can’t wait to see how the story ends.

I’m also listening to This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab during my work commute. This is one of my first Schwab books and I’m loving it. I had started reading Vicious, also by her, but I had to stop so I could read the Soul of the Sword ARC before release day.

My bookstagram

What I just read:

I recently read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. It was a nice read. I gave it three stars. You can read my review here.

Picture taken by me

What I will read next:

I want to finish the Vicious e-book by V.E. Schwab, which I had found very interesting before I had to stop reading it. I also need to finish Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, which I had stopped reading as well.

What are you guy’s WWW’s?

Priority TBR List

Recently I did some major TBR cleanup on my Goodreads where I made a Priority TBR list. On this list I have my “physical” TBR books, these are the hardbacks and paperbacks I actually own but have not read. I also have the e-books I own but have not read; which I usually only read from the library, but every once in a while there is a sale on Amazon from .99 cents to $1.99 that I will take advantage of. This is also where I put any ARCs that I need to review soon. Lastly, I also add what I’m currently reading on here.

This is my Priority TBR List as it stands right now:

Picture from Goodreads

Lifelike by Jay Kristoff

This is an e-book I bought on an Amazon sale for $1.99. I have yet to read any of Kristoff’s books, but I have heard wonderful things about them. I read the sample, and the relationship between the main character and her robot really hooked me, because it reminds me of Cinder and Iko from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

Picture from Goodreads

Vicious (Villains, #1) by V.E. Schwab

This is one of my current reads. I had never read a V.E. Schwab book, and it was recommended by one of her fans from bookstagram to read this one first. I am loving it for now. I love the characters, the story seems unique, and the writing style is amazing.

My Bookstagram

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1) by Hafsah Faizal

This one arrived inside my Owlcrate subscription box. This was the first box I subscribed to and I was really happy with the contents. I also received another copy inside my Shelflovecrate subscription box. I will be doing a subscription box comparison as soon as I get my last May box which seems to be running late. I hope this book lives up to the hype.

Picture taken by me

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

I always loved Anastasia, and this books I about her so I’m really looking forward to reading it. This is a special dark blue with gold accents copy that came inside my Owlcrate box.

Picture from Goodreads

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)

This one is an audio book which recently became available to be checked out from the Library. Since I just got done with The Raven Boys audio, I decided to listen to this one. I always need an audio book to listen to during my work commute. For now, this sounds like a very unique world and I can’t wait to keep listening.

Picture taken by me

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha, #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

This is a hardback I bought on Mother’s day and I have yet to get to it. I read the sample and reviews before buying it and they were all great. I can’t wait to see for myself.

Picture taken by me

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This will definitely be the next hardback I read. It looks like such a unique book. I have seen great reviews on this one, and I feel like I need to read it before someone spoils it by mistake, and definitely before I read any of their other books.

Picture taken by me

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

This is a paperback I bought on Mother’s day on my Barnes and Noble splurge. It has glowing reviews from all my like-minded reviewers on Goodreads and absolutely everyone has recommended it.

Picture taken by me

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

I really would like to know where Bardugo gets her story ideas from. These worlds are so immersive and the characters so real. This is one of my current reads and I’m definitely loving it. The only problem is that it might derail me from my priority list because it’s a series and I’m sure I’m going to want to dive into the next one as soon as I’m done with this one.

Picture from Goodreads

To Best The Boys by Mary Weber

This is another hardback that I hope lives up to my expectations. I love stories in which girls disguise themselves as boys and still best them at everything. Reminds me of Mulan. The cover is also gorgeous.

I really hope this tactic will help me keep my TBR priorities straight. I’ve been trying my best to keep to it and not stray into other books, especially my physical TBR I really need to read those.

What do you do when it comes to your TBR? How do you decide what to read next?

Bookish Bucket List

Recap of Last Week:

Last week I added: read Wuthering Heights, visit Paris, France, and own the Blood of Eden series to my list.

This week:

Go to BookCon

I was so sad I missed BookCon this year. It looked like a lot of fun and I have never been to one. It feels like something I would really enjoy. I need to gather a few of my bookworms friends and we need to plan a visit to one of these. Maybe next year.

My Bookstagram

Own the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor

I really loved all these books. I think her writing is close to hypnotic, but so realistic at the same time. Even though this world is full of magic, I felt like any day I could just encounter one of these doors and step into it myself.

My bookstagram

Have dinner inside the Beauty and the Beast castle at Disney World

I have been to Disney World many times. It might sound cliché, but to me it is the happiest place on Earth. The scenery, the music, and the characters are all presented with great care and attention to detail. Even the employees are very well trained, and one of their main jobs is to make you smile. Even though I have been there many times, I have never dined inside the Beauty and the Beast castle, mostly because it’s so hard to get a reservation. Having just read A Curse do Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer made me a bit nostalgic for Beauty and the Beast. Now I want to go to the castle and “Be their Guest.”

My bookstagram

Item marked off:

I finally own all the Throne of Glass books! Sure, some of them are hardback and some are paperback, but don’t judge me 🙂

What are some book related things you wish to do?

WWW Wednesday

This is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where you answer three questions: What are you reading now? What did you just read? What will you be reading next?

My bookstagram

What I’m reading now

Lately, I’ve gotten in this habit of reading and listening to multiple books at a time. For now, it helps that they are all in different formats; I also read them in different places and times. Currently, I am reading the Shadow and Bone paperback by Leigh Bardugo, but I’ve only been reading it on my breaks at work. I’m listening to an audio book of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiedvater, but only on my work commute and while doing shores around the house. Finally, I’m reading an e-book of Lifelike by Jay Kristoff on my down time at home while I watch the kids. Out of all these formats, real books are still my favorite.

My Bookstagram

What I just read

I just read the hardback version of Daughter of the Pirate King by Levenseller, which was fun and entertaining but only a three star read for me. Also, I half read and half listened to One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake, the second book in the Three Dark Crowns series which was only a two star read for me. (read my mini reviews here).

I read the hardback version of A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, which will definitely make my top ten reads this year (review coming soon). I also listened the Sky in the Deep audio book by Adrienne Young. This book was an amazing read with great world building and character development. You can read my full review here.

Picture from Goodreads

What I plan to read next

I really don’t know. My physical TBR has so many good potential reads on there that I don’t know what to pick. In the end I think it will come down to Iluminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff or Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

What are your WWW’s?

May Wrap-up

Book-haul

My bookstagram

Did I go a bit book-buying happy this month? Yes, I definitely did. I’m going to blame it in part to Mother’s day. Also, trying to complete some of my favorite series that I don’t own yet and finding a sale on Amazon. Finally, the fact that I subscribed to three different book subscription boxes so I can compare them might also have something to do with the amount of books sitting on my bookshelf right now. But mostly, books make me happy 😊

On Mother’s day I got:

📖 Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

📖 Illuminae by Amie Kaufman

📖 Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

📖 Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

📖 To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

📖 A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer (which I’m currently reading).

All of these I read samples of before I bought them, and they were all highly recommended by both my Bookstagram friends and my Goodreads friends.

I’m happy that I finally own all the Throne of Glass books by Sarah J. Maas, which was on my bookish bucket list. I also bought the first of the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, which is one of my comfort books, and the second one of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor, which is another series I want to complete. All of these were on sale on Amazon for less than $8 and I could not resist.

I got We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal and Romanov by Nadine Brandes from my owlcrate and shelflovecrate boxes, along with some very nice book merchandize. I’m still waiting on my last box from faecrate so that I can do a comparison post for all three boxes.

Books I read

My bookstagram

I actually made a small dent on my physical TBR this month which I’m very proud of. I read a hardback of Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller, and half paperback/half audio of One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (I did a mini review of these yesterday). Unfortunately, these were a three and a two star read respectively, which was sad since I’ve had such good luck lately with my books. It was bound to happen I guess.

When it comes to e-books and audio books, I read/heard:

📖Legendary by Stephanie Garber (e-book) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare (e-book) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (e-book/audio) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (e-book) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas (e-book/audio) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖The Sparrow by Denna M. Davis (e-arc) ⭐️⭐️

📖The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw (e-arc) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young (audio) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I can’t wait to read what all my fellow book bloggers accomplished this month 😊