Sunday, July 21, 2019

Graphic Novel Review: "Mooncakes" by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu

Title: Mooncakes
Author: Suzanne Walker
Illustrator: Wendy Xu
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 256 pages
Publication Date: October 15, 2019
Date Started: July 17, 2019
Date Finished: July 17, 2019
Rating: 4 // 5 stars
*I was provided a free early copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Mooncakes was my most anticipated graphic novel release of this entire year. I was going to be studying abroad, however, when its release came and I knew I wasn't going to get to read it until December at the earliest. However, then I saw that it was on Netgalley. Once I had it downloaded, it was only a matter of time before I completely devoured this graphic novel. I started it the same night that I got it and I stayed up past midnight to finish it despite having work the next morning.

My absolute favorite thing about this graphic novel was how cute it was. The two main characters were so cute together and you could tell how much they cared for each other. I loved the main characters, of course, but I also loved the supporting relationships they had with outside friends and family. Seeing Nova and her relationship with her two grandmothers was wonderful. I honestly love the grandmothers and would love to see an entire graphic novel about them and their stories growing up.

The representation was so on point. We had a multitude of different queer, ethnic, and disability representations and I loved it. Diverse characters doing badass magical things in a cute graphic novel was definitely everything that I needed this year.

The plot was also interesting. I would have loved to have gotten even more information about the world and the magical systems but overall I would say it wasn't necessary to understand the plot well. I thought it moved pretty well and I think the ending was wonderful. I would absolutely love to see a sequel to this graphic novel even though it's not strictly necessary with how this one ended. I just want more of these characters!

The art was also beautiful. It was simplistic, colorful, and amazing. I got such cozy vibes from reading it and I can't wait to get myself a physical copy upon release to see the colored versions of the last two chapters!

Overall I just thought this graphic novel was the cutest. I will probably reread it sometime this year, maybe around Halloween, and I encourage everyone to pick up a copy when it releases later this fall!



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Book Review: "Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed" by Christine Doré Miller

Title: Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed
Author: Christine Doré Miller
Genre: YA Fiction
Page Length: 220 pages
Publication Date: April 24, 2019
Date Started: July 14, 2019
Date Finished: July 16, 2019
Rating: 2 // 5 stars
Goodreads

*I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

I'm honestly struggling with writing this review. I had moderate hopes for this book but I was still let down, which is disappointing considering this book deals with a pretty serious topic close to my heart. I knew this wasn't going to be a book that I necessarily had an amazing time reading or loved with all my heart, but I was hoping it would be a good, powerful novel representing dating violence that made me feel something. It didn't.

As a brief intro, this book is about a girl--Andie--who starts dating her first boyfriend--Josh--and is so happy with finally dating someone until he turns into an abusive partner. Now, obviously readers aren't meant to like the relationship and I wanted to punch Josh in the face most of the time. One of the things this book did pretty well, though, was in writing this relationship and how someone can go from happy one second to manipulative and controlling the next.

But I had a lot of issues with this book outside of that with pretty much everything you can think of. I didn't really like any of the relationships or characters except perhaps Stephanie--a friend of the main character and someone who got so little page time that I actually had to look up their name for this review. It seemed to me like all of the characters were very one dimensional and written to fulfill a  specific stereotype: shitty best friend, abusive boyfriend, knight in shining armor, absentee friend, etc. Even with the main character, I didn't get much from her. She felt stereotypical and the only part of her we get to see is the one who's with an abusive boyfriend and trying to heal from that. We don't get to see who she truly is even before the relationship.

The overall plot of the book felt meh to me as well. Yes, there were some stakes with having an abusive boyfriend, but what happened other than that? I guess if I revert back to elementary school I can categorize the climbing action, climax, falling action, and resolution but it's not very clear cut at all. I got about five pages to the end and the internal journey the main character was going through hadn't changed at all. Only in the last two pages did her mentality change.

Additionally, the main character was understandably in a not-so-good place mentally and emotionally throughout the book. It seems like the only reason she starts to get better, though, is because of a boy affirming for her that she's beautiful. I couldn't understand their relationship development at all because it was so quick and then all of sudden he was the reason she was getting better. Like, yes, other people can help along healing processes but if the only reason she gets better is because of a boy? Well...that just doesn't send a very good message to teenagers about what a healthy relationship is. They have a great example of an unhealthy relationship in Andie and Josh, but relying on a boy "fix" your mental state isn't a healthy relationship either.

I think just overall this book tried to do a good thing. It tried to tackle a very sensitive topic and bring light to it and possibly be inspiring. However, I don't think the execution was very good. A lot of the characters were unlikable and for a story so centered around inner growth, it's important to have a connection to the character. The plot, at times, was unrealistic. And I just don't think that this book did a very good job at showing how to get out of an abusive relationship. Overall, I'm just disappointed that this book didn't do as good a job at tackling such a sensitive topic.

Trigger warnings for: abuse, sexual assault and rape, self-harm.



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Monday, July 15, 2019

Book Review: "Red, White & Royal Blue" by Casey McQuiston

Title: Red, White & Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Page Length: 423 pages
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Date Started: July 7, 2019
Date Finished: July 13, 2019
Rating: 4.5 // 5 stars

Since before this book even came out people have been raving over it. Everyone talked about how it was phenomenal, funny, and one of the best debut books of the year. After reading it, I'm inclined to agree.

Do I think this book was perfect? No. There were a few times while reading it where I felt like it was dragging. I thought it could have been a bit shorter than 400+ pages. However, that was pretty much my only issue with this book. My overall thoughts of this book consist of: "Oh my gosh" and "AHHH" and "I love it."

I think one of the reasons I liked this book so much was that I could see myself in it. Now, obviously I'm not a princess or a the daughter of the president but when I saw I could see myself in this book I mean it in a different way. I could see myself in the struggles of the characters when they discuss their childhoods, their relationships, their sexualities. That representation is something I don't typically get in a fantasy book so I really enjoyed seeing it here. Additionally, I could see my political views represented in this book and that's something usually not shown in books.

I thought the story itself was compelling and interesting, though it felt a bit insta-love to me. I know the characters have big backstories with each other, but we didn't get to read those and were only told about their previous encounters. While I liked where we started, it felt a bit sudden to me when we'd moved so quickly past the just-friends stage. Still, I loved their relationship and the plot outside of just theirs.

Another thing that was absolutely amazing was the relationships the characters had outside of each other. Seeing strong sibling relationships, parental ones, etc was wonderful since so many books I read have negative relationships in them. Also, seeing a character with divorced parents like I have was great since usually parents are either in a (happy or unhappy) marriage still or one of them is dead. I have to say, I'd read an entire book about Henry, Alex, and all their friends hanging out at the lake house.

The political journey was interesting. I'm not one who enjoys politics but am more someone who is being forced to pay attention because it affects almost every aspect of my life. Seeing different political processes that I'd never much thought about was interesting to say the least and I'll definitely be looking more into it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It's definitely going to be one of my favorite contemporary books for a long time and I know for sure that I'll reread it at some point. I also highly recommend it to anyone who doesn't know much about American politics but wants to learn the basics without having to go to school for 10924 years.



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Book Review: "Hypnotizing Beat" by Katherine McIntyre

Title: Hypnotizing Beat
Author: Katherine McIntyre
Series: "Discord's Desire" #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Page Length: 208 pages
Publication Date: May 27, 2019
Date Started: June 8, 2019
Date Finished: June 8, 2019
Rating: 4 // 5 stars

*I was sent a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

I was pretty excited when Katherine reached out about a review for this book. I'd really enjoyed the first book in this series and I'd also enjoyed Katherine's other books that I've read so far. Additionally, something about the synopsis of this book just pulled me in.

I have to say, I think this is my favorite of Katherine's books. It involves some of my absolute favorite things to see in books such as friends to enemies to lovers, heists, steamy smut, and paranormal tensions. While the first book in this series was good, this one took it to a whole new level.

One thing that I find is my favorite part of books is the connection I make to the characters. These characters were so well-written and fleshed out that it was easy to connect to them and see their growth. I swear, a solid character arc is one of the best and hardest things an author can write. Seeing both Danica and Trevor grow throughout this book was just great. They both have their issues in the beginning and this book isn't one where they're just suddenly fixed---no, it takes time for these characters to work through their pasts. They're not perfect, it's not easy, and it's not instantaneous. But that makes it realistic and I really enjoyed the characters.

Like I said, plot wise this included some of my favorite things: heists, friends to enemies to lovers, paranormal tensions, smut, being on the run, etc. It was like a checklist of one thing I loved after the other. There were even more bits that I loved but don't want to talk about because of spoilers.


There were two reasons that I dropped a star. The first was that I felt like we didn't get to see as much of the band as we did in book 1. The two band members that haven't had a book felt like they didn't get much page time to me or bonding with the main characters. The other reason was that I felt for how high the stakes seemed to be, the ending was pretty fast and seemed a bit too easy to me. BUT that's not to say I didn't like how it ended because I did.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It's probably my favorite Katherine book and I already want to reread it. I really hope that Katherine writes more in this series and that I can see more of the characters we haven't yet heart from! I highly recommend this series for anyone who likes paranormal romance!



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag


Hey all! Today I'm finally doing a tag that I've been excited to do for months: the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag. I've seen so many people doing these and I've loved watching/reading all of it so I'm especially excited for this post. This tag was created years ago and this is my first time actually doing it! 

So far in 2019 I've read 87 (!!) books. I'm still not quite sure how I've managed to do that but I can only hope that the second half of the year is going to be as good. I have read so many great books and I have so many books that I'm excited to get to so let's just dive in! (P.S. just so that things don't get too crowded, all of these questions pertain only to this year and exclude rereads. P.P.S. some of these I could have listed 10+ but I've limited all but the last question to 5 or less). 



1. Best Book You've Read 

This was so hard to narrow down BUT I have a few. I'm not going to go super in depth on any of these since there are more of them than some other questions, but in no particular order we have:
  • The City of Brass and The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
  • Hunting Prince Dracula and Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
  • Kingsbane by Claire Legrand
I have so many other books I loved this year so far but these are the ones that are tied for top book of the year (so far). 



2. Best Sequel You've Read 

For this one I only have two, so I will be discussing them a bit but, again, not super in-depth. Also, I only picked books that were the second in a series even though I did read some books that were third, fourth, etc in a series. 

First up is Kingsbane by Claire Legrand. I was so highly anticipating this sequel that I was worried it wasn't going to live up to my expectations. It did. Everything got so much more intense in this book and the stakes were a lot higher. Additionally, that ending had me absolutely shook (and still does).

I also have The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty. I loved the first book so much and this book takes things to a whole new level. You care even more about the characters, the political intrigue and tensions are that much higher, and you're on the edge of your seat the whole time. 



3. New Release You Haven't Read but Want To

I have so many of these, so I've again narrowed it down to five. These are also only books I currently own and not all of the books I haven't yet bought but want to!
  • Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  • Finale by Stephanie Garber
  • We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

I'm actually currently reading one of these right now, but I'm not very far in yet so I still decided to count it for this question. 



4. Biggest Disappointment

I have three of these so I figured I would actually talk about them in this section. For two of these, I still enjoyed the book but it wasn't what I was expecting. For the last one, I just flat out did not like it.

First we have Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. Now, I didn't hate this book but I also was expecting something so much better. After the amazingness that Lady Midnight was, this book just let me down so much. I can't even get into it too much without making this super long so...just...here's my review.

Second is Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. Again, I still enjoyed this book but I also didn't think it lived up to my expectations, the hype, or the greatness that was the Illuminae Files. I also think that it might not have been the right time for me to read it as I was super stressed and basically forcing myself to get through it. You can find my full review here.

Lastly is Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan which I just genuinely did not like. I can see from a rational standpoint where the hype is coming from but I also don't understand how so many critical readers think that this book is so amazing and has nothing wrong (insert shame-faced emoji here). When I first finished it I thought it was pretty good but looking back over the past few months...I did not have a fun time reading it. I could go on a whole tangent as to why this book disappointed me.



5. Biggest Surprise

First I have Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard which surprised me in the sense that it took this series to another level that the first two books hadn't reached yet. Also, all the twists in the end were just BAM BAM BAM.

Second, I have Kingsbane by Claire Legrand due to that killer plot twist at the end of the book that I still cry over. I honestly didn't see it coming and that in and of itself was a big surprise this year. 



6. Favorite New Author

S.A. Chakraborty, hands down. I'm so excited that she's going to be releasing another series after the conclusion of the Daevabad Trilogy



7. Newest Fictional Crush

I don't really have one? I just don't crush very hard anymore and a lot of the characters I love are ones that I loved before this year. I think I crush hard in the moment but for crushes I constantly think about, I've noticed that it usually takes a few books for me to die-hard love them. 



8. Newest Favorite Character

Nahri from The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. She's just so strong and amazing even though she's in such a terrible situation. I love her so much and we STAN. 



9. Book that Made You Cry

The short list?
  • Only A Breath Apart by Katie McGarry
  • Kingsbane by Claire Legrand
  • Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
  • The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Some of these were happy tears, some were sad tears, and a lot had a mix of both. There were others, but here are the books where I cried the most. 



10. Book that Made You Happy

Pretty much everything above but add Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey and so many other books. I read a lot of books that made me happy so far this year and I'm so glad about that fact.



11. Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation

I didn't see any. 



12. Favorite Review You've Written
I think the main reason I liked these were because I could just gush or put a lot of discussion into them. Also, I loved most of these books. 



13. Most Beautiful Book you Bought

To go with one that I haven't yet talked about: Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout.



14. What do you need to read by the end of the year? 

Pretty much my entire TBR but especially:
  • Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard
  • Godsgrave and Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
  • The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
  • Red Rising saga by Pierce Brown
  • Finale by Stephanie Garber
  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
  • Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Sunday, July 7, 2019

June 2019 Book Haul!


So here we are with another book haul. I honestly thought this month's haul was going to be so much smaller than this, but I'm also pretty okay with the number I have. In terms of physical books, I got 21 of them. However, I only bought 5 of them. The rest were either gifts, giveaway wins, trades, or sent to me from publishers/authors. So 16 free books is pretty great, if I'm being honest. I also got 12 ebooks with all of them either being discounted to less than $3 or free. Let's just dive in because I have a lot of books to talk about!



Like I said, I got 21 physical books this month. I wasn't expecting so many because I hadn't budgeted for that but most of them were free. I was pretty lucky this month with publishers/authors and winning giveaways. 

Up first I have one of the actual books I did purchase and that is Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. I preordered this from Good Choice Reading back in April, so I didn't technically buy this this month but it still took until June to arrive. The reason I preordered it from them is because my copy came signed and personalized as well as with the bonus Memento novella. 

So the next book I have is obviously Memento by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This was free with my preorder but I have a funny story. I sent in my proof of preorder for my regular edition before I found out Good Choice Reading was hosting a signing. So I canceled that order and switched over, but my preorder giveaway entry was still valid so a few weeks later I ended up getting another copy of Memento. I have two right now and I'm not sure if I want to give one away or keep both in case I lose one in the many upcoming moves. 

Next I have a copy of Nocturna by Maya Motayne. I actually won a signed and personalized copy of this from a giveaway on Instagram which I'm super excited about. This book has been on my radar for a few months but with all of the amazing releases in May, I couldn't swing buying myself a copy. I've heard nothing but great things about this book and I'm so grateful to have won a copy so that I can read it sooner rather than later! 

Then I purchased Unchained by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I got this for super cheap on eBay and I consider it a pretty good bargain find. I am annoyed, though, because I ordered it in "Like New" condition and it came ex-library with stickers that started ripping the book when I tried peeling them off and a broken spine. Still, I didn't want to deal with sending it back and repurchasing, so I'm dealing with it because it is a book I'm interested in reading. If I do love it, I can always repurchase it in a better condition. 

Then I have Wish and Mercy by A.J. Gala which I got for free in order to participate in an Instagram tour for this book. Not only is the cover absolutely gorgeous but the book sounds so good! The author also signed and personalized the tour copies and included a bunch of swag items which I'm super excited about. 

Next I received three books from Penguin Random house in exchange for participation in the Summer Lovin Blogger Campaign. There were three new releases being talked about for this campaign and each participant was sent all three books but picked one book to focus on. I am so grateful to have been a part of this since I'd seen all three of these books around and was interested in reading them but didn't think I was going to get to do so. Did I mention that all three of these books have LGBT rep? Obsessed!

For the campaign, I focused on Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins. I'd seen this around and was interested, so when I got the chance to be included in this campaign I jumped at the chance. I really enjoyed this book and had such a fun time reading it and curating a playlist. You can find my post here.

The next book that was sent out for the campaign was Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan which I am so excited about. This book sounds so good and also hilarious. I mean, the main character is a dancing hot dog? Plus, the cover is stunning and I've heard a lot of good things.

The last book that Penguin sent me was These Witches Don't Burn by Isobel Sterling. This sounds witchy and spooky and awesome. I really want to read this closer to Halloween but since I'm going to be studying abroad, I'm not quite sure that I'll be able to read it this Halloween season. Still, it sounds awesome and I'm so excited to have a copy in my hands.

Then I got Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout which is her newest release. This book picks up after the end of The Dark Elements trilogy which is one of my favorite trilogies. It follows one of the non-main characters of that trilogy in a new story and I'm beyond excited to get to this book! I've heard nothing but amazing things and I honestly can't wait to dive back into this world and characters.

Up next I was sent a free copy of Forgiven are the Starry Eyed by Christine Doré Miller in exchange for an honest review (which should be up in August). This book is pretty different from what I usually read in terms of subject matter but it's on a topic that's close to my heart. I don't really know what to expect from this book but I am definitely interested in getting to it soon.

Next I traded with someone on Twitter for an advanced copy of Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron. This comes out in September and sounds absolutely awesome. The only thing I remember from being introduced to this book was being told that if you like Black Panther then you'll like this book.

Then I picked up a copy of Elixir by Jennifer L. Armentrout which completes my Covenant series. I've only read the first book in this series but the novellas are no longer in print so I wanted to get them before they became super expensive. I do really want to read this series soon, though I'm not sure if I'll get to before the end of the summer.

Up next I won the giveaway of all giveaways. I am honestly still so excited about winning this giveaway on Instagram and I can't actually believe that I have these books. Anyway, I won four advanced copies of summer and fall releases for this year and a lot of them are super anticipated for me.

The first of these arcs is Call it What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer. I'm not a big contemporary fan and I've never read anything of Brigid's before but the synopsis to this one sounded pretty cool so I figure that as long as I have a copy I can give the book a shot.

Next I won an arc of The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White. This is the first book in her newest trilogy that releases in November. It's an Arthurian Legend retelling focused all around Gwen, but in this version she's a changeling sent to protect Arthur. I am beyond excited for this book since I enjoyed And I Darken and I absolutely love the Arthurian Legend!

The next arc I won is The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh. This is her newest book and the quick pitch I got of this book was "vampire murder mystery set in historic New Orleans" and that got me to jump straight on board so quick. I have plans to read it in July and I just can't wait to dive into this world!

The last arc I won is the whole reason I entered the giveaway in the first place: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. I've heard so many amazing things about this book and it sounds so good. I've also been told that if you like ACOMAF then you'll enjoy this book so I am all on board for this one.

The next book I have is from a trade with a friend of mine: a signed and personalized first edition original hardcover of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Not only are these editions extremely difficult to find, but I was able to find one that is signed and personalized to my name. *Cue crying* I am so grateful that I was able to trade for this book and I can't wait for the day when I have shelves again and can put my entire collection up on them.

Then I purchased a copy of This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner from eBay. I got it for super cheap in such great condition and imagine my surprise when I opened the package and found out it was a signed copy! I am so excited to have completed collecting the Starbound Trilogy and now I'm just eager to dive in and start reading!

Up next I was sent an arc of Nottingham by Nathan Makaryk. This is somewhat of a Robin Hood retelling and I'm definitely pretty interested in it. I haven't heard much about it and it's a pretty chunky historical fantasy but I'm always up for a challenge!

The last book I got this month was Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey. I heard about this book part way through June and knew that I needed to read it. I was lucky enough to find a copy at Target one day and then I read it in one day while I was on vacation. It was such a fun, light-hearted read that still dealt with more than just the romance. One thing that I know for sure is that I can't wait to read more of Tessa Bailey's works! 



I also got quite a few ebooks this month--12 in total. I don't want to spend much time talking about them so I decided to just list them here. All of these were either free or on sale for less than $3 so I'm pretty happy with them. Additionally, a lot of them are either books I'm really excited about reading or books that I love and wanted the ebook for. 
  1. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
  2. The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
  3. Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
  4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  5. Reverie (e-arc) by Ryan La Sala
  6. Her Crown of Fire (e-arc) by Renee April
  7. Hypnotizing Beat (e-arc) by Katherine McIntyre
  8. Beyond the Veil by B.L. Brunnemer
  9. Emblaze by Jessica Shirvington
  10. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
  11. Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa
  12. A Strange Hymn by Laura Thalassa


Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here. A brand new giveaway will be posted soon!

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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Blog Tour: "Dragonslayer" by Duncan M Hamilton


Hey guys! Today I am bringing you an exciting blog tour for Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton. There's a ton of exciting stuff in this post including an exclusive giveaway so let's just dive in! 



SYNOPSIS

In his magnificent, heroic, adventure fantasy, Dragonslayer, Duncan M. Hamilton debuts the first book in a fast-moving trilogy: a dangerous tale of lost magics, unlikely heroes, and reawakened dragons.

Once a member of the King's personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He’s astonished—and wary—when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him? And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?

On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden. Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacingthe young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead. 
Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?



MEET DUNCAN M HAMILTON

Duncan M. Hamilton is the Amazon best selling writer of fantasy novels and short stories, including The Wolf of the North and the Society of the Sword trilogy. He has Master’s Degrees in History and Law, and practised as a barrister before writing full time. Duncan is particularly interested in the Medieval and Renaissance periods, from which he draws inspiration for his stories.

He lives in Ireland, near the sea, and when not writing he enjoys sailing, scuba diving, windsurfing, cycling, and skiing.

His debut novel, ‘The Tattered Banner (Society of the Sword Volume 1)’ was featured on Buzzfeed’s 12 Greatest Fantasy Books Of The Year, 2013.

Duncan is a member of The Society of Authors, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). He is represented by DongWon Song of Howard Morhaim Literary.


PHOTO CREDIT: JASON CLARKE




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xoxo
Lauren



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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

June 2019 Wrap-Up!


So, I had a pretty good reading month even though I'm still a bit disappointed in it. I've definitely had a better reading summer than last year, but I had a lot more that I wanted to get to this month and didn't. I had the time, but I chose to watch Netflix. Still, I don't want reading to become a chore so while I'm disappointed I wasn't up to reading more, I am still happy with what I read this month. I enjoyed everything I read and I found new favorites, so let's just dive in and chat about them for a while!

BOOKS READ
1.
Title: Dark Shores
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Rating: 3.75 // 5 stars
Dark Shores (Dark Shores, #1)

2.
Title: Only A Breath Apart
Author: Katie McGarry
Rating: 4.5 // 5 stars
Review
Only a Breath Apart

3.
Title: When Evil Comes to Play
Author: B.L. Brunnemer
Rating: 5 // 5 stars
Review
-reread-
Rereading this was honestly just so great. I think this series is definitely becoming one of my most re-read series ever and I wouldn't have it any other way. This book definitely takes on a different tone than the first ones and things start to really expand. Also, my heart was somewhat broken but it's okay because I had the next books ready to go. 

4.
Title: Secrets From the Grave
Author: B.L. Brunnemer
Rating: 5 // 5 stars

5.
Title: When the Dead Have it Easy
Author: B.L. Brunnemer
Rating: 5 // 5 stars

6.
Title: Aurora Rising
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Rating: 4 // 5 stars

7.
Title: Her Royal Highness
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Rating: 4.5 // 5 stars

8. 
Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Rating: 5 // 5 stars
Review
-reread-
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)
I was feeling a bit down in the dumps and decided I wanted to reread a couple of my favorite scenes from ACOMAF. I ended up reading the entire dang book--skim reading at times but entirely from front to back. I loved every second of it. I forgot how much I absolutely adored this world and these characters. I already want to reread the next book, though I know I should wait.

9.
Title: The Good Girl's Bad Boys: The Good, the Bad, and the Bullied
Author: Rubixcube89201
Rating: 4 // 5 stars
Review
-reread-
I mean, this book is in no way a literary masterpiece but I enjoyed it. It's funny, it's addicting, and it has a good message behind it. It's not super realistic but the overall metaphor and message the author is trying to put out there is a good one. I didn't realize rereading this how long it actually is, because it took me so long to read it. There's almost 70 chapters and they're all super long. Even with no official page count I would probably put this book at over 800-900 pages if it were in print instead of on Wattpad. Still, I enjoyed it and am excited to read the sequel because I never got to last time I read this.

10.
Title: Wires and Nerves
Author: Marissa Meyer
Rating: 4 // 5 stars
I forgot how much I missed these characters and enjoyed this world! I was so grateful for the recap at the beginning but I'm definitely feeling like I need a complete reread of the Lunar Chronicles. I'm ridiculously excited that I finally got to read this graphic novel, though, and I'm even more excited to have the second volume checked out on my Libby app and ready to go!

11.
Title: The Prince and the Dressmaker
Author: Jen Wang
Rating: 3 // 5 stars
This was super cute and I really liked the message behind it. I thought the art was beautiful. It had just the right balance of angst and cute moments throughout and I was glad at how the book ended. I can see why so many people love it.

12.
Title: Every Last Breath
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: 5 // 5 stars
Review
-reread-
This was my second time rereading this book but it was like a brand new experience since I didn't remember most of it from the first time. I absolutely loved this reread. This is definitely my favorite Jennifer L. Armentrout series thus far and I can't wait to dive into the spin-off sequel. Even though it follows different main characters, I know these ones make an appearance and I can't wait to see how they're doing. Overall, I just loved this reread and this trilogy is definitely one of my favorite series.

13.
Title: Rhapsodic
Author: Laura Thalassa
Rating: 4.5 // 5 stars
Review

14.
Title: Gone Rogue
Author: Marissa Meyer
Rating: 4 // 5 stars
Wow I enjoyed this one just as much as the first installment. I'm honestly just so happy that I finally was able to read this graphic novel duology. The story was interesting and I was pretty happy at how the ending was resolved. Overall, I just found it fun to be back with these characters and see how things were going after the ending of the Lunar Chronicles



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Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here. A brand new giveaway will be posted soon!

To get more awesome content like this post, click the follow button to the right!

I am a "BookishTextDesign" Influencer! Use my code LAUREN10 for a discount off your bookmark purchases! Check out the shop here

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link