To-Be-Read April 2021

Hey Guys!

I’m going to be through what books I will be trying to read through in the month of April! Some of these will be rereads, new books and even some ARCs! I hope you enjoy this list! All Synopsis are provided by Goodreads.

  1. Shadow and Bone Series

Synopsis:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

It has been quite a while since I last read this series. I am mainly rereading this series for the upcoming show, which is being released based on this book series on April 23rd. I haven’t read a Leigh Bardugo book in quite a while so, I’m excited to get back into the grishaverse! Hopefully, I will enjoy this series like I did the last time I read it!

2. You’ve Reached Sam

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Julie has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city, spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes.

Heartbroken, Julie skips his funeral, throws out his things, and tries everything to forget him and the tragic way he died. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces back memories. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cellphone just to listen to his voicemail.

And Sam picks up the phone.

In a miraculous turn of events, Julie’s been given a second chance at goodbye. The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam’s voice makes her fall for him all over again, and with each call it becomes harder to let him go. However, keeping her otherworldly calls with Sam a secret isn’t easy, especially when Julie witnesses the suffering Sam’s family is going through. Unable to stand by the sidelines and watch their shared loved ones in pain, Julie is torn between spilling the truth about her calls with Sam and risking their connection and losing him forever.

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley, and this but does not officially release until November (Thank you, NetGalley). This book sounds so amazing, and I’m so excited to start this in April! I’m sure I will be heartbroken by the end of it.

3. The Cost of Knowing

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus is trying his best. He tries to be the best employee he can be at the local ice cream shop; the best boyfriend he can be to his amazing girlfriend, Talia; the best protector he can be over his little brother, Isaiah. But as much as Alex tries, he often comes up short.

It’s hard to for him to be present when every time he touches an object or person, Alex sees into its future. When he touches a scoop, he has a vision of him using it to scoop ice cream. When he touches his car, he sees it years from now, totaled and underwater. When he touches Talia, he sees them at the precipice of breaking up, and that terrifies him. Alex feels these visions are a curse, distracting him, making him anxious and unable to live an ordinary life.

And when Alex touches a photo that gives him a vision of his brother’s imminent death, everything changes.

With Alex now in a race against time, death, and circumstances, he and Isaiah must grapple with their past, their future, and what it means to be a young Black man in America in the present

This book sounds so good and has such an intriguing idea! I’m excited to see how Alex’s power to see the future will play into the story and how the author will show what it means to be a young black man. This book releases in April, and I got it as an ARC from NetGalley. (Thank you, NetGalley!)

4. The Wild Ones

Synopsis:

Meet the Wild Ones: girls who have been hurt, abandoned, and betrayed all their lives. It all began with Paheli, who was once betrayed by her mother and sold to a man in exchange for a favor. When Paheli escapes, she runs headlong into a boy with stars in his eyes. This boy, as battered as she is, tosses Paheli a box of stars before disappearing.

With the stars, Paheli gains access to the Between, a place of pure magic and mystery. Now, Paheli collects girls like herself and these Wild Ones use their magic to travel the world, helping the hopeless and saving others from the fates they suffered.

Then Paheli and the Wild Ones learn that the boy who gave them the stars, Taraana, is in danger. He’s on the run from powerful forces within the world of magic. But if Taraana is no longer safe and free, neither are the Wild Ones. And that…is a fate the Wild Ones refuse to accept. Ever again.

This synopsis sounds so interesting. I’m excited to see how the magic system works in this book and how “the between” works. I’m also excited to meet all the Wild Ones because they seem like they would be interesting people. I want to see how all of this plays out! This book is not out yet, but it comes out in August. I got this book as an ARC from NetGalley. (Thank you, NetGalley!)

Hope you enjoyed this post! What books are you planning on reading for April?

March 2021 Wrap-up // first ever wrap up

Hey Guys!

I hope you all had a wonderful March! Today, I’m going to go through some of the best books that I read in March! In total, I read seven books this month, some good ones and some not-so-good ones. I did quite a few buddy reads and was able to get through some books that had been on my TBR for awhile!

Concrete Rose (The Hate U Give #0) by Angie Thomas

Concrete Rose is a prequel to The Hate U Give. Starring Maverick Carter, who is Starr Carter’s Father. It focuses on his life growing up in Garden Heights and what it is like to be a black young man in society. Before becoming a father, he is the son of a former gang legend and works to support his family by being in the King Lords. But when Maverick finds out he is going to be a father; he must decide on whether to continue the same path as his father or be something better for his child. 

This book was so amazing, and I would recommend it to everyone. It shines a light on issues in our society, especially what black men in our society face. It shows that it takes a lot to change your ways, and how important it is to set a good example for generations to come.

Read my review of Concrete Rose Here: inkingandthinking.wordpress.com/2021/03/07/example-post-2/

2. Skyhunter (Skyhunter #1) by Marie Lu

Skyhunter is the first installment in the Skyhunter series by Marie Lu. This book follows Talin, whose voice and home have been robbed by the Federation. The Federation has conquered dozens of countries, leaving Mara as the only free nation left. The strikers, Mara’s elite fighting force, fight to keep them out of their country. Talin, a striker, know what it is like to be forced from her home and lose everything. But one day, a prisoner from the front is brought to Mara, Talin realizes there may be more to him. Is he their enemy or their best weapon against the Federation? 

This book was top-notch. From the characters, worldbuilding, plot, and storytelling, this book captured my attention and never let go. I would go check this book out even if you aren’t big on fantasy because it deals with heavy subjects, such as racism and discrimination, that are present in our society.

Read my review of Skyhunter here: inkingandthinking.wordpress.com/2021/03/12/skyhunter-review/

3. Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield

Hurricane Summer is Bromfield’s debut novel. Tilla has spent her whole life trying to earn her father’s love. But that’s hard when her father returns to his home in Jamaica. When she finds out that she will be spending the summer in Jamaica, she dreads to see her father but is excited to see what makes Jamaica so great. In a turn of events, Tilla is faced with confronting a storm brewing in her life as she learns the dark secrets of the island. 

This book utterly destroyed me. It’s a coming-of-age story and focuses on hard-hitting topics that many girls experience in society today. It’s a story about love, forgiveness, and facing the harsh reality of the world. It’s an important book that I think everyone should read and it gives a voice to young girls all over the world.

Check out my review of Hurricane Summer Here: inkingandthinking.wordpress.com/2021/03/16/hurricane-summer-review/

4. Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

Letters to the Lost is the first installment of the Letters to the Lost duology. Juliet, one of our main characters is coping with the death of her mother by writing letters. Declan, our other main character, works at a cemetery for community service after he crashed his car into a building while drunk. One day, when Declan is working he finds a letter which is Juliet’s letter and writes “Me too.” The rest becomes history after that.

Honestly, this is such a beautiful book. It deals not just with romance but also grief, anger, and sadness. It’s a story that will make you look at life a little differently and be grateful for what you have with your loved ones. It’s a story written with a passion that will make you feel for these characters.

Check out my review of Letters to the Lost Here: inkingandthinking.wordpress.com/2021/03/28/letters-to-the-lost-review/

Thanks for checking out my post! I hope it gave you some new books to check out!

See you next time!

Letters to the Lost Review

Hey guys!

Today I’m gonna be sharing my thoughts on Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer! I hope you all enjoy this review and feel free to discuss with me your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for checking out this review!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
From Goodreads

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. 

One of the main things that made me love this book was the characters. Even though each of them had flaws, you still felt compassion for them and are still likeable. Declan has dealt with many problems within his family, and from a fatal day, he has felt like a failure every since. Juliet has to cope with her mother’s death and live up to her legacy. They both have heavy burdens on them, and together they can help each other out without even knowing.

Not only was the main character great, but the one of the side character was also great. Declan’s best friend Rev stole the show for me. When Rev was younger his father used to be abusive, but he escaped and got adopted by kind and loving people. He now lives a much better life and has people who support him. He is such a great friend to Declan, and I love having him in this book.

Another thing I loved about this book is the romance. Many YA books feel the need to have make-out scenes and kissing to show a sense of love. But this book did a great job of not needing it. Instead of that, we got heartfelt letters filled with grief, despair and their struggles. We got to see them help each other and truly understand how each other feels. It was such a beautiful relationship that didn’t need other factors.

This book deals heavily with labels and reputations. Declan Murphy was labelled as a failure and a disgrace because he got drunk and got into an accident while driving. But nobody cares why he did it or what caused him to do it. They immediately assume he is a horrible person like his father,(who is currently in jail). It shows how nobody cares what you are going through and that they are quick to judge you. So…

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover

The connection between Declan and Juliet was so beautiful. The way they just poured their hearts out for one another without even knowing who the other is. They are willing to pour their heart out to someone they don’t even know. Through the letters, they can cope with their grief and overcome the problems plaguing their lives.

Honestly, this is such a beautiful book. It deals not just with romance but also grief, anger, and sadness. It’s a story that will make you look at life a little differently and be grateful for what you have with your loved ones. It’s a story written with a passion that will make you feel for these characters.

Trope Themed Thursdays: Found Family

This week on Trope Themed Thursdays I’m going to be giving some of my favorite books that feature the Found Family trope.

All these books I’m about to recommend handle this trope in a great way that doesn’t come off as forced.

I hope you enjoy my picks!

Let’s Get Started

Six of Crows

This book handles the found family trope so well. It doesn’t feel like all the characters get mashed together to be a family. Rather, it feels like a natural bonding between all six of them. All the characters in this book have lost family members and now are alone. Through the heist they go on, they become closer and eventually beginning to care about each other. They all are willing to do anything for each other and have become their type of family.

The Gilded Wolves

Another good book that hits the nail on the head with the Found Family Trope. All the characters in the book come from different backgrounds and have dealt with trauma in their lives. Throughout the book, the characters start to bond over their interests, and the quest they are going on. All of them develop family-like feelings towards each other, and together they uncover dark secrets.

Vicious

Vicious is a dark and mysterious book, so you wouldn’t expect it has a found family trope, right? But it does. We see an unlikely family form between Victor, Sydney and Mitch. Throughout the book, we see them put in life-threatening situations and how they are always willing to sacrifice their lives for one another. They all care for one another and always want the best for each other. An unlikely trio makes a found family that you will fall in love with.

They Both Die at the End

In this book, Mateo and Rufus have one more day to live. To live their day to the fullest, they sign up on The Last Day app. Through the app, they meet each other. Throughout the book, the two of them start to form a relationship with one another. They bond over things that they experience in their life. They bond over the activities, they do together on their last day. The two of them create their own family between them, and slowly start to fall in love.

The Darkest Minds

A disease leaves some kids dead, but others with strange powers. Ruby is sent to a government camp “to control her powers.” She ends up escaping the camp, and along the way finds out kids like her. While they are trying to avoid being captured again, she creates a family with the new people she meets and starts to feel like she belongs. Working together to take down these camps, and they start to care for one another. The group creates an unlikely relationship, and they start to understand one another.

What did you think of my choices? What are some of your favorite books with found family?

If you have any tropes that you like me to do, feel free to leave them in the comments!

The Makeup Book Tag

Today I’m going to be doing the Makeup Book Tag! I hope you guys enjoy this!

Remember that you don’t need Makeup to be Beautiful! We are all beautiful on the inside and out! And anyone can wear makeup no matter who they are!

I found this tag on https://thesassygeek.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/the-makeup-book-tag/, so be sure to head over and check out her answers as well! 

Primer – Pick a book that left a lasting impression.

The Hate U Give is easily one of my favorite books that left a positive lasting impression on me. This book deals with heavy subjects such as racism, police brutality and death. It deals with injustices that Black people face in our society and shows that life isn’t what it’s painted out to be. It shows how we can make a change in our world for the better.

Foundation – Pick your favorite first book in a series.

This book by far has to be my favorite book that starts off a series. I fell in love with this book from the characters, worldbuilding and the storytelling. The characters are so memorable, and the worldbuilding is different from any other story I have read before. The whole plot grabs your attention, and never let’s go. I flew through this book while reading it and wanted to know what will happen.

Concealer – Pick a character you wish you could get rid of.

If I had to pick anyone, I would choose Mal from Shadow and Bone. Mal was a doofus. He didn’t care about Alina romantically until the Darkling was paying attention to her, and he becomes jealous. Mal would complain all the time, and that got annoying very fast. He is such a jerk throughout the series, and he hurts Alina on so many occasions.

Powder – Pick your favorite last book in a series.

This book by far has to be my favorite book that ends a series. This book did such a great job of wrapping up the characters’ stories and tying up any loose threads. It did a spectacular job of bringing new and exciting themes that shook the series up. I was satisfied with the ending, and it left me feeling like the series was complete.

Eyebrows – A Book you think everyone should read.

I would have picked The Hate U Give, but I already used it for another category. I have decided to pick Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson. This book deals with serious subjects such as racism, sexual & verbal abuse, kidnapping, drugging, addiction, rape, and murder. I would recommend this book to people ages 16 and older. But once you get of age, I would recommend this, because it shows that this stuff happens in the real world and especially for young women. It shows how we can help those who are suffering through this and support them.

Eyeliner – Pick a dark and mysterious book

This book is both dark and mysterious. It deals with the subject of “what happens if we go to extreme heights to gain incredible powers.” It’s a story of power-hungry people who try to gain power to further push themselves up in society. It’s about a school project gone wrong that leads to bad things to come in the future.

Mascara – Pick a Long Book

This is the last book of the Throne of Glass series. It is almost a thousand pages and it took me so long to finish. It makes logical sense because it’s the last book in the series.

Blush – Pick a book that had a cringe-worthy romance

Josh and Isla were in a relationship super quick, and already had feelings for each other. They sometimes treat each other like trash, and other times they care for each other. Isla brings nothing to the relationship, and the only one who puts an effort into is Josh. But he doesn’t put that much into either. This relationship was cringe-worthy because it was poorly written, and the characters did not work well together.

Highlighter – Pick a book that brightened your day

This book was such a great book and brought a big smile to my face. It was a story about Felix, who was trying to find his identity and find his place in the world. It was about him overcoming his challenges, and it was such an uplifting story. It made me happy to think that the world isn’t just negativity, but that there are people out there willing to support who you are.

Lipstick – Your favorite book kiss

I spent this book shipping Rhys and Feyre until finally, they got together. It is such a well-written romance, and I knew from the beginning that they were going to be together. They had such a perfect and pure relationship. You can tell how much the two care for each other, and how they are willing to do anything for one another.

My Nominees:

Rania @ Rania’s Rambling Reads

Ritz @ Living, Loving and Reading

Susana @ susanalovesbooks

Mash @ Mashlovesbooks

Phoenix @ Books with Wings

Brooke W. @ The Reader’s Game

Katie @ Whispering Pages

What did you think of my picks? Hope you Enjoyed this Tag!

Foretold // Arc Review

Hey guys!

Today I’m gonna be sharing my thoughts on Foretold by Violet Lumani! I hope you all enjoy this review and feel free to discuss with me your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for checking out this review!

Rating: 2 out of 5.
From Goodreads

Cassandra sees death and devastation all around her. In vivid detail.

It’s the price of living with her OCD and extreme anxiety. In every situation, Cass imagines the worst possible fate for everyone in her life. Her dad in a pool of blood after a break-in. Her beloved older neighbor, homeless. A splinter in her finger turned to gangrene.

But this time, it’s not her imagination. The boy next door, Colin, is destined to die. Cass has foretold a real death before; she knows this is a true vision.

Desperate to save Colin’s life, Cass immerses herself in a secret organization of soothsayers that promises to teach her how to change the future she foresees. But as she descends into their hidden world of divinatory magic and predictive technology, she discovers there’s always a price to pay for unraveling fate’s strands. And cheating death will cost her everything.

I had such high hopes for this book. The cover is gorgeous, and the synopsis made me want to read this book. I was sadly disappointed with what I got and expected so much more from this.

This book focuses on our main character, Cassandra. She sees death and devastation all around her. Cassandra suffers from OCD, and she imagines the worst possible situations. But these situations aren’t her imagination rather, these are visions she has. When Cassandra foretold the death of her next-door neighbor, Colin, She must immerse herself in a secret organization to help him.

Cool Concept, Right? Unfortunately, it was not executed well and end up being lacklustre. One of the main problems with the book is worldbuilding. (Specifically how this worldbuilding is) When we are introduced to this secret organization, information is thrown at us. This book suffers from lots of info-dumping. This caused lots of confusion. It was hard for me to grasp the concept of their magic system and how they scry visions. I felt like this could have been better if the worldbuilding was not thrown at us at once, but rather dropping bits of information here and there.

The pacing of this book was not consistent at all. At the beginning of the book, it takes a while for it to pick up. Same for the middle, it still keeps this pretty slow pace and doesn’t pick up towards the very end. It finally starts to pick up within the last 100 pages or so. This leads to the ending feeling very rushed and makes the ending very sloppy. Earlier sections in the book could have shortened the length, or they could have taken out scenes altogether. Mainly the pacing is what took me so long to read this book. When I first started reading the book, I could only read a little at a time because I would start to get bored. If the pacing was more consistent and didn’t drag so much, I feel like I could have enjoyed this book more.

One thing I did like about the book was the OCD representation. Our main character, Cassandra has OCD and extreme anxiety. Lumani brought Cassandra’s OCD to life and brought empathy to her grief. She handled it respectfully. Her OCD is drawn accurately, and it helps me to understand what it’s like to live with OCD. I appreciate how Lumani doesn’t try to portray OCD in a pop culture clique way but rather did it sensitively and thoughtfully.

The romance was a bit insta-love for me. It felt like Cassandra immediately had feelings for the boy she liked and it didn’t feel developed that much. Sure, you have scenes where they are joking around like friends, but then all of the sudden Cassandra has feelings for him. I would have liked if this relationship was developed more because we only see this relationship towards the beginning and end. This is mainly due to Cassandra being at camp, so she is not spending as much time with the boy.

The whole plot that the Aunt had planned also made no sense to me. It wasn’t developed, and the way it was written made it confusing to follow. The writing was also okay in this book. It wasn’t anything amazing, but just bland most of the time.

The characters were very bland. Most of them were very forgettable, and none of them stood out. Usually, when I’m reading, I want to root for a character and wish for the best to happen for them. But here, I’m not invested in the characters. Cassandra was bland and uninteresting. I wasn’t invested in her goal or journey through this book. She doesn’t have a personality of her own, and she doesn’t even feel like the main character. She feels like one of those characters that are present for five to ten chapters and then goes away.

Overall, this could have been a spectacular book, but many flaws held it back from reaching that potential. Overall, it was a bland book with many technical flaws.

TW: Blood, Death

Thank you to NetGallery for this Arc in exchange for an honest review!

The Boba Fett Book Tag

Hello Everyone!

I was tag by Brooke @ The Reader’s Game to do the Boba Fett Book Tag. Thank you Brooke for tagging me! I’m excited to do this tag because I’m a huge fan of Star Wars! Let’s get into this!

Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Link back to original post
  • Tag around 10 people
  • You don’t have to watch anything Star Wars related to do this- only to get the references!
  • Have fun!

Lightspeed Skipper – A character who is constantly in danger or on the run

Nova Artino (Renegades)

Nova is Anarchist, who wants to see the Renegades destroyed. She becomes a Renegade, and pretends to be one of them to learn secrets about them. Nova fits this very well because since she is in enemy territory; she always has to watch her back or else they might find out who she is. If the Renegades were to find out who she was; she would be in even more danger than before.

Razor Crest – A character with a spaceship

Carswell Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles)

I could not think of anyone else in this category except Thorne, who is perfect for this. Thorne is an expert pilot and has a spaceship. I wish I had a spaceship because exploring space sounds like such a cool experience. Thorne is hilarious, and he is one of my favorite characters in the Lunar Chronicles series.

Darth Vader – A villain who always hides their face

The Commandant (An Ember in the Ashes)

The one on the left side is the Commandant.

The Commandant is a terrifying villain. Her face isn’t 100% cover, but it’s cover enough, so I thought it would count. The Commandant is known for killing thousands of people, abandoning her son, Treating slaves horribly, and making deals with an evil force. She is one scary lady, and I wouldn’t mess with her at all.

Ex-Imperial – A character who is not what they seem

Holland Vosijk (A Darker Shade of Magic)

Holland is a very mysterious character in A Darker Shade of Magic Series. It’s hard to tell what his intentions are and what he intends on doing. His motives are unclear throughout the series, and you don’t know what side he on until the end of each book. He is an intriguing character with an interesting history and an unknown future.

Mando – A character tracking down something that was stolen from them

Melora Perseous (Lore)

Merola’s family was killed in the last Agon by a rival line and escape that brutal world. But now she is dragged back into Agon when Athena and her childhood friend coming knocking on her door for help. To stop the Agon from happening again, Lore must track down the Perseus Shield, created by Zeus, if she wants to stop the Agon.

Young Boba Fett – A character who had a family member killed/taken/beaten before their eyes

Nesta Archaeon (A Court of Sliver Flames)

Nesta lost her mother at a very young age, and her father when she was older. She wasn’t as close to her father but was very close to her mother. Both of their deaths affected her, and it took so much out of her to move on. Nesta overcame their deaths with the help of her friends and going to train every day.

Raised on Mandalore – A character who isn’t allowed to show their face

Helene Aquilla (An Ember in the Ashes)

Helene serves as a Martial, which is an elite force of warriors sworn to protect the empire. As a Martial, Helene has to wear a silver mask that bonds with her face to show her power and strength. Helene is an incredible fighter, who is willing to protect the empire and her loved ones.

Unexpected docking – A character who joins a mission at a random point on the mission

Nikolai Lantsov (Crooked Kingdom)

Nikolai makes a guest appearance in Crooked Kingdom (The 2nd book of Six of Crows) as his old identity of Sturmhond. He says that the King of Ravaka has permitted him to negotiate for the Kingdom of Ravaka. Nikolai is known for being a “go with the flow” guy and is known to keep a secret or two. He has been through many hardships, but he doesn’t let that stop him.

High bounty – A character in debt and/or on the run

Jesper Fahey (Six of Crows)

Jesper Fahey has accumulated lots of debt after moving to Ketterdam. His father sent him there so he could intend school, but Jesper had other plans. Instead, he used his father’s money and used it to play card games. After feeling awful for using his father’s money like that, he joins the dregs and goes on missions to get back the money he lost. He is a caring person but makes many mistakes. But he is willing to take accountability for them.

My nominees:

Ritz @ Living, Loving and Reading

Alex @ The Scribe Owl

Rania @ Rania’s Rambling Reads

Elli @ AceReader

Maeve @ Books By Maeve

Saima @ Stories with Saima

I couldn’t think of anyone else but if you want to do it, then I tag you!

What did you think of my picks? Do you think the characters fit well with the prompts?

What’s your favorite Star Wars movie/show? Leave it down in the comments!

Trope Themed Thursdays: Enemies To Lovers

Hello everyone!

I have decided to start a new project on my blog called Trope Themed Thursdays!

What is Trope Themed Thursdays?

Trope Themed Thursdays are where every Thursday I’m going to pick tropes that I enjoy reading, and are fairly common in Young Adult books. For example, this week I have decided to pick the trope Enemies to Lovers. I’m going to be talking about some of my favorite books that execute the Enemies to Lovers Troop very well!

Let’s get started!

These Violent Delights

Our two main characters, Juliette and Romeo, at the start of the book are fierce enemies. They come from two rival gangs vying to take over the streets of Shanghai. But the two of them must work together to stop a disease from spreading all over Shanghai before it’s too late. Before they know it they start developing feelings for each other that could mess with their lives as they know it. This book did an excellent job with handling the enemies to lovers and truly made them seem like they hate each other. She did a great job of gradually showing how their relationship changes throughout the book.

Six of Crows

This book has three romantic relationships, but only one of them is Enemies to Lovers. Nina is a Grisha who has the incredible powers to manipulate people’s bodies. Matthias is a Druskelle, who hunts Grisha down because they are not considered natural in his culture. They have to overcome prejudices and letting go of the past. They have to work past their hatred of one another to complete their mission. They slowly realize that maybe their passionate hate is not hatred.

Serpent and Dove

Lou is a witch on the run, and while on the run, she meets Reid. Reid is a Chasseur, who is sworn to hunt down and kill any witches he encounters. The two of them are forced into an arranged marriage. In the beginning, we see them not trust each other at all and bicker all the time. But through the book, we slowly see them fall in love, and their relationship starts to blossom.

The Cruel Prince

Jude is a human girl that lives in the faerie world, tormented by Cardan and his friends. We see the dynamic between the two get flipped when Jude gets the upper hand and uses Cardan to gain power in the faerie world. Not just in this book but in the 2nd book as well we see a push and pull relationship between them. They switch from hating each other to loving each other, which causes lots of tension in their relationship.

Red, White and Royal Blue

This is an enemy to lovers book that focuses on the First Son of the United States of America and the Prince of England. After a brush with Henry, Alex considers Henry his nemesis. But they get into an argument during the royal wedding, and now they must come off to the public that they are friends. As they play the part of being friends, they start to find that they are not so different after all, and they are not the complete opposite. This opposite attracts enemies to lovers relationship will sure have you invested.

To Kill a Kingdom

Lira is a siren, and Elian a siren hunter. Sirens and Humans have been at war for years. To pay for her mistakes, the sea queen turns Lira into a human and must get the heart of Prince Elian. Elian wants to end the Sirens and along the way meets a girl that says she can help. As they work together to destroy the Sea Queen, they start to develop feelings for each other, and all secrets are revealed.

What did you think of my choices? What are some of your favorite Enemies to Lovers books?

If you have an tropes that you would like me to do, feel free to leave them in the comments!

Hurricane Summer // Arc Review

Hey guys!

Today I’m gonna be sharing my thoughts on Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield! I hope you all enjoy this review and feel free to discuss with me your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for checking out this review!

Rating: 5 out of 5.
From Goodreads

Tilla has spent her entire life trying to make her father love her. But every six months, he leaves their family and returns to his true home: the island of Jamaica.

When Tilla’s mother tells her she’ll be spending the summer on the island, Tilla dreads the idea of seeing him again, but longs to discover what life in Jamaica has always held for him.

In an unexpected turn of events, Tilla is forced to face the storm that unravels in her own life as she learns about the dark secrets that lie beyond the veil of paradise—all in the midst of an impending hurricane.

It’s a heartbreaking story that deals with sadness, death, powerful and intense scenes. I would not recommend this book to everyone, because it involves getting into serious subjects and lots of getting into your feelings.

It’s a story about a daughter who is trying to keep her father’s love. Tilla is willing to do anything to keep her father still care about her. She wants to figure out why he cares so much more about his homeland of Jamaica is so much more important than her. It’s also about her trying to navigate Jamaica and her father’s family. She is continuously shamed by the family, judged without really knowing her. The family knew nothing about her and they immediately started making worse assumptions about her. While there, she learns some shocking things about her father, and all of the family. As she stays there, she learns that it isn’t just the hurricane she has to face.

We see Tilla make some choices that aren’t the best. But that makes logical sense. She is a teenage girl in Jamaica trying to find her father’s love. We see her make rash decisions because her father isn’t there to spend time with her and left her there. She doesn’t have any role models there. Her father hasn’t been there for her, and her mother is in Canada. We follow Tilla through her journey and see her interact with people she has never met, but immediately judge her. We see Tilla suffer from verbal abuse and feeling rejected by her family.

It’s about a young teenage girl who is trying to find love from her father and her family. It’s about a girl who wants to be accepted by her family and fit in. It’s about her first love and how it doesn’t always turn out pretty. It’s a story about her facing challenges like verbal and sexual abuse, jealously, racism and ultimately overcoming them.

This story was written so beautifully. We get vivid descriptions of the people but also what Jamaica is like. We what life is like for people who live there. We see how it is hard for them, and to survive. They had to be tough. They could not let people in. They had created a hard barrier around them. We get to meet the people who lived there and grasp who they are as a person. We get to see how living in Jamaica has impacted them and what they have had to give up.

One of the things I loved about this novel is that it uses the Jamaican dialogue of Patois. This adds so much more depth to the setting and we get to see how the people are. At first, it was challenging to figure out what they were saying. I would say that when you pick this up, you should use the Patois dictionary that the author provides. Once I learned some of the words, it made it much easier to understand. I have never seen a book done this before and I’m so glad the author added this in.

In this book, we see the belief that the woman must do whatever the man says and that you are lucky to even have him. We see people believe that young black women should only be raising children, and should stay in the house. Of course, it is a privilege for women who get to have other opportunities outside of the house. But we see how people go after Tilla because she is privileged. This isn’t right because, even though Tilla may be privileged, we all deal with the same struggles.

The metaphor of the hurricane was such a powerful symbol. As you may have known, a hurricane starts small, but as it travels over water it becomes more powerful and bigger. This is the perfect way to describe Tilla’s story. Small issues start to form, and then they get bigger and bigger while destroying everything in its path. But then it stops, leaving you with the aftermath.

It’s a beautiful book that shows the self-discovery of a teenage girl, and her transformation.

TW: Verbal and physical abuse, racism, death, and blood

Thank you to NetGallery for this Arc in exchange for an honest review!

To Kill a Kingdom Review

Hey guys!

Today I’m gonna be sharing my thoughts on To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo! I hope you all enjoy this review and feel free to discuss with me your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for checking out this review!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
From Goodreads

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

After hearing all the amazing reviews on this book, I just knew I had to read this book! I didn’t love it as much as everyone else but I still think it is a solid read.

One of my favorite things about this book was the overall story. Lira, the heir to the throne of the sea and a siren, loses her voice, and gets turned into a human after she disobeys her mother. She is told to tear out the heart of Prince Elian to her mother or she will be human forever. There is only one problem: he hunts sirens. Elian has always loved the sea and wants to take down the sea queen, to bring peace to the world. Their paths cross and soon they begin to fall for one another. It’s such an interesting concept and unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

I enjoyed the two main characters in this story. They were both super confident in who they were and they always knew exactly what they wanted. Both of them knew where they could not cross the line, and knew in their hearts what was morally right. Even though they questioned themselves and the decisions they made, they never strayed as who they were.

I also enjoyed their banter back and forth with each other. I found some of it quite funny, and it showed us who they were without all these responsibilities holding them back. The relationship between Lira and Elian slowly burns, and it takes a while before we see them start to gain feelings for one another. If you are not a fan of slow-burn relationships, I would say this book is not for you. For a while, we get witty banter between the two of them and in the end, we finally see them pursue their romantic feelings for one another. We get so much buildup on the banter that I feel like when we finally see them in a relationship, but it’s not fully developed all the way. It only happens within the last few chapters do we see them get together. I would have liked to see more of that side of the relationship than just the bantering back and forth.

The pacing of this book felt off to me. I felt like important scenes that had an impact on the story were rushed. But filler scenes were paced very slowly when they didn’t have a major impact on the story. An example of this would be when Elian and Lira are trying to get the stone for Pagos. Up until this point, we are told that it’s going to be hard to get this stone and that they might die getting it. But all they have to do is climb up a mountain, open a door and then Lira spills her blood on it to free it. This all happens within two-three chapters. I don’t understand why you build up this whole thing of “It’s going to be very challenging to get and make it out alive,” when it requires three simple steps. I felt like the author could have added another challenge or obstacle to prevent them from getting it easily.

I loved the dual POV in this book, and I think it worked very well. Sometimes books with multiple POVs can be hard to follow, but the author pulled it. She does this in a way where it’s easy to follow the story and see where the two characters’ stories connect. Elian was such an interesting character. He is painted as this rogue prince who doesn’t want to rule but rather wants to sail on the seas with his crew. Instead of just sticking with this archetype the whole time, Christo moulds him into her creation that is far from the original archetype. Lira was an incredible main character, who never diminished herself or ever say she was never good enough. In YA books, it is common for the main character to try to talk themselves down, because they don’t think they are good enough. I like how Lira didn’t do this and instead was unapologetically herself. She didn’t let anyone dictate who she was going to be.

The worldbuilding in this book was great and did not suffer from info-dumping. Instead, the information about the world was introduced slowly throughout the book, making it easier to comprehend all the kingdoms. By doing this world doesn’t just include two kingdoms but rather a vast majority of kingdoms. The one thing that confused me is that we are told that the sirens and humans have been at war. But I mean not really. Yes, Sirens have been ripping humans’ hearts out, but that is apart of their culture, and Elian has been killing the sirens. But otherwise, it’s just that. It’s not like the kingdom is getting involved or the Sea Queen is starting a war. Rather, I would call it rising tensions between the humans and sirens.

The ending did feel rushed and felt like it was being thrown at my face. We have this huge battle scene that happens in like five chapters, and then we have a final chapter saying what happened after. I feel like the ending could have been better if we had a few more pages getting into the battle and seeing multiple perspectives. Instead, it seemed rushed and went by way too quickly.

This book does have parallels to the Little Mermaid (Lira loses her Siren Song instead of her voice), but this is not a retelling. This is a completely new story dealing with different topics than the Little Mermaid. This book is much darker, and the characters are nothing like those in the Little Mermaid.

If you enjoy slow-burning romances, anti-heroes, fairy tales, and lots of banter, I would recommend you check this out!