Review: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) – Erika Johansen


The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) – Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)

Title: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1)

Author: Erika Johansen

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Publisher: Harper Paperbacks

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 464

Source: TBR Pile

Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.

This book will be a beautifully designed package with illustrated endpapers, a map of the Tearling, and a ribbon marker.

3 out of 5 stars


I’m kind of torn between giving this 3 stars and giving this 4 stars, but I don’t do half stars…. I really liked the last half of this, but the beginning was so so so slow. I listened to this on audio and read it in physical format because I wanted to read while driving. I kind of wish that I could have listened to the second half on the car ride because it was much more exciting, but such is life.

This book followed Kelsea who is now the Queen of the Tearling, as the title suggests. She has been living in solitude with her guardians for 19 years, and she’s taken away on her 19th birthday to become the Queen. She’s always known this was how it had to be, but she still wasn’t as prepared as she thought she should have been. Her mother was known for poor decisions, but Kelsea wasn’t told about her failures. She lived a sheltered life with lots of academic classes and always thrived in the stories she got to read from the fiction books in her house.

I really love the premise for this book, but I don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been. If I were to rate the first quarter of this book I probably would have given it a 2 stars, but by the end I was feeling 4 stars. I don’t know. There were quite a few issues about this book that I wasn’t fond of.

There was an instalove situation that pissed me off. So first off. Kelsea has never seen a large group of people in her life, so why the hell would she be able to be in love with someone. Also, how would she know how to flirt well? Umm. She wouldn’t. The only man she had ever been exposed to was Barty, her father figure. Hmm. I hate instalove, and I couldn’t appreciate the love because it felt so rushed.

I also didn’t like that there was so much unknown to the reader. I’m all for figuring out as you go, but I like when you know a little more than the characters know. I like being one step ahead, but it always felt as if you were dragging behind. Not a fan of that at all.

It was cool because by the end you got to see a little of the power with the sapphire necklaces, but you only got a taste, so you want more. Clever. I’m impressed with your miniature cliff hangers, Ms. Johansen.

Overall I think this was a good book. I’m interested to see what happens in the next ones. I definitely recommend audiobooks in general because I think I’ve fallen in love.

Review: Mistress by Mistake – Kim Lawrence


Mistress by Mistake – Kim Lawrence

Mistress By Mistake

Title: Mistress by Mistake

Author: Kim Lawrence

Release Date: February 2000

Publisher: Harlequin

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 185

Source: Campground Free Library

Did he want a mistress — or a wife?

Drew Cummings more than lived up to his reputation for being incredibly sexy. He’d misjudged Eve, though, believing her to be a calculating gold digger chasing after his wealthy nephew….

So when Drew began seducing Eve himself, was he simply protecting his family fortune? Why else would he be interested in shy little Eve? There was no denying he wanted her…but was he looking for an affair — or something more permanent?

1 out of 5 stars


I know what you’re thinking. Aubrey, this doesn’t seem like the type of book you like to read, and you’re right! I kind of hated it… a lot. Anyway, story time. I picked up this book because I went camping with two of my friends, and FORGOT MY BOOK AT HOME. The tragedy of it all. Neither of them brought a book either, so we went to the little free library thing at the campground lodge and we thought it would be funny to read romance novels. We went camping so that we could relax, go cliff jumping, swimming, and hammocking. So, we all chose Harlequin romance novels, as there was an abundance of them at this small library. I just finished it, and hated it as much as I thought I would.

This story follows Eve and Drew, who mistakenly fall in love. Lots of sexual tension, lots of unnecessary angst.

I knew going into this there wouldn’t be much story, but there was pretty much no plot, and there was no character development at all. They meet in a very strange way that had nothing to do with anything. So she meets this magical Drew, and of course hates him at first. Hates him so much. As in, tells him that he’s pretty much an entitled prick. Umm. Yeah, if you’re attracted to someone just go ahead and tell him that he’s a horrible person before you meet him. She of course first sees him with no shirt and just a towel that “defied gravity” by staying on his slender, sexy hips… vomit.

I knew what I was going into, but damn I can’t explain how horrible the writing was. It switched perspectives literally every two sentences. There were no quotation marks, and the conversations were just in the paragraphs as opposed to how they normally are. There were so many characters introduced with NO backstory whatsoever. So many. It was horribly difficult to follow at the beginning, not going to lie. I feel like I have a decent concept of following characters through stories. I read a lot, but this was just so hard to understand. I think it was partly because the writing was SO BAD.

There were also random plot points that were just thrown in to make the book longer. First off, if you add that many random words and plot suggestions and the book is only 185 pages you’re for sure doing something very wrong. There was a party. An ex-fiance. Gardening. House fire. Saving a cat from a tree. Climbing up the side of a building to get to the girl you love *eww*. Lying. There were just so many random things that shouldn’t have been in this book, but whatever. I do not recommend reading this book at all. I personally do not understand reading a purely romance novel. There is typically no plot. There is a cringey romance that is in no way realistic at all. Trust me here. I’ve been dating the same lovely boy for almost 4 years now, and this is not what it’s like. There’s actual emotion and real feelings, not just being “hopelessly in love at first sight.” Just putting that out there. If romance novels are your thing, go for it. You do you, but I do not plan on reading any more romance novels. Books with some romance. I’m all for it. Anything for me to fangirl over, but there was no… anything to this story.

Review: Legend (Legend #1) – Marie Lu


Legend (Legend #1) – Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)

Title: Legend (Legend #1)

Author: Marie Lu

Release Date: April 16, 2013

Publisher: Speak

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 305

Source: TBR Pile

From different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths…

Until June’s brother is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect.

In a shocking turn of events, the two uncover what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths to which their country will go to keep its secrets.

5 out of 5 stars


I should have listened to everyone giving me recommendations for reading this book WAYYY earlier. It was so good, and I can’t wait to pick up the next one.

June and Day meet under strange circumstances. June thinks Day killed her older brother. She wants revenge. She wants him to suffer as she is suffering, but she never expects to see a boy who is just trying to live.

I love going into books very blindly, and tend to do it often, because I like actually reading the story and learning the plot that way rather than hearing everyone talking about it, so as usual, I recommend you go into this book blindly. It’s about a dystopian society with a corrupted government, but the citizens don’t believe anything is wrong. It’s honestly such a well-crafted book. I loved that the different POVs were in different a different font and color. It added something unique to the reading experience.

Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time… You try to walk in the light.

This is my favorite quote from the whole book. I actually stopped and re-read it a few times because I thought it was so beautiful. I like that philosophy. You make whatever you want from each and every single day.

Guys. If you haven’t read this book, please go read it! I think anyone who likes YA dystopian would LOVE this :)

Review: Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5) – Iain Reading


Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5) – Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5)

Title: Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5)

Author: Iain Reading

Release Date: February 14, 2015

Publisher: Createspace

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 222

Source: Author

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces is the eagerly anticipated fifth instalment of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency book series. This series features the intrepid teenage seaplane pilot and amateur detective Kitty Hawk as she continues in the footsteps of Nancy Drew and Amelia Earhart on her epic flight around the world.

After meeting up with an old friend in the eternal city of Rome, Kitty Hawk unexpectedly stumbles (almost literally) into a bizarre mystery involving creepy disembodied voices, secret hidden rooms, unbreakable mathematical codes, ominous chain-smoking strangers and an array of plundered artworks by such famous masters as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Vincent van Gogh – all of it wrapped up and entwined in an enigmatic riddle hanging in plain sight right in front of everyone’s noses.

With the help of friends both old and new, Kitty Hawk follows a trail of cryptic clues that leads her on a breathless tour across a quintessentially European landscape – from ancient Roman Italy to the darkest corners of Germany, Austria and beyond.

As with the previous books in the series, this new installment is perfect for firing the imaginations of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history, this exhilarating adventure will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they attempt to help Kitty Hawk try and solve the extraordinarily bizarre Mystery of the Masterpieces.

4 out of 5 stars


Huge thank you to Iain for sending me a copy of this book! I’ve loved getting to read this series; thank you!

Kitty Hawk takes on Rome, and mystery solving happens because of it.

I really enjoyed this book. These last two books of this series were so much fun and so full of energy and so adventurous. I really enjoyed this one because it took place in Rome, and I’ve been there, so it was just so much more special to read this. The atmosphere of Rome is just as it’s described in the book. Crazy, crazy busy, but there are always little alleys or back streets with only a few people on them. I loved when Kitty went to the different tourist sites because I’VE BEEN THERE, TOO. It’s seriously so crazy that I’ve been to Rome, and I loved every second of it. Highly recommend.

This book follows Kitty and Charlie, and a family they meet while in Rome. They meet under unlikely circumstances, but quickly become friends. Kitty, of course, instigates a mission. She sees that there are some paintings hanging on her new friend’s walls that look eerily similar to those of famous artists. So similar in fact, that it is soon found out that they are actually originals. Crazy stuff. There’s a secret room, some decoding, and fast driving. Kitty Hawk just doesn’t know how to stay out of the mysteries.

Again, I really enjoyed this book. One complaint, though. Why can’t Kitty and Charlie be a thing? There were hints, but I want them to kiss. I was hoping and praying that they would kiss in front of the Trevi Fountain at the end, but I was sorely disappointed ;) Come on, Iain! I just want some romance!

Thank you again for letting me be part of this story! I can’t wait to read more from you. Also, another Kitty Hawk book? :)

Series:

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1)

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #2)

Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #3)

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #4)

Review: The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) – Samantha Shannon


The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) – Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1)

Title: The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1)

Author: Samantha Shannon

Release Date: August 20, 2013

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 466

Source: TBR Pile

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

5 out of 5 stars


Why did it take me so long to pick this book up?! I knew that it was going to be amazing, and I wasn’t disappointed.

I did a buddy-read with Kenedie from afangirlsbookshelf on Youtube and we both really loved it. We emailed our thoughts after every chapter and there was so much to talk about with this book! I loved so much about this book I don’t even know where to start…

This story follows Paige who is working with a group of clairvoyants in Scion London in 2059. The voyants are in danger because no one wants them to be living in London, so they have to hide their gifts in order to survive. Paige and her crew are all rare voyants, and Paige is a dream walker. She can connect with the aether and see inside people’s dreamscapes. All is well until she gets captured by the Rephaim and taken to Oxford. She has to learn to live with the Rephs and find out how to leave safely. She learns to trust those around her in order to survive…

Again, this book was AMAZING. I just want to read the whole entire series, and plan on reading the books that are out as soon as possible. It’s been awhile since I’ve wanted to read a whole series back to back, but I just need to know what happens next!

The characters in this story were so interesting and so unique. Every person in this book had their own voice and their own personality, and I feel as though that’s hard to come by sometimes. I loved Paige as a character. It’s crazy to think she’s only 19… Umm that’s only a year older than me… I’m impressed with her.

The plot was so intricately written, and there are plenty of opportunities for old scenes to be explained in the future novels. The writing style kind of reminded me of Cassandra Clare. I was hooked the second I started reading this book, and I cannot wait to read the rest of the books!

Series:

The Pale Dreamer (The Bone Season #0.5)

Review: July Lightning (Bad Bloods #4) – Shannon A. Thompson


July Lightning (Bad Bloods #4) – Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods: July Lightning

Title: July Lightning (Bad Bloods #4)

Author: Shannon A. Thompson

Release Date: May 1, 2017

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Format: ebook

Page Number: 267

Source: Author

From best-selling author Shannon A. Thompson comes an exciting new duology in the Bad Bloods universe.   Sixteen-year-old Caleb has been called many things: a patient, a musician, even a prostitute…now he has a new name–son. After his identity is uncovered, Caleb bands together with the family he once rejected in order to save the city of Vendona. But it won’t be easy. Enemies wait around every corner–and so do harsh realities. With Violet and Kuthun by his side though, nothing seems impossible. As Vendona sits on the verge of an economic collapse and a massive hurricane threatens the city, Violet and Caleb must show its citizens how to overcome decades of hostility and division to save themselves.Standing or not, a sea will rage, a wall may fall, and all will depend on immortal pain and sacrifice.

3 out of 5 stars


HUGE THANK YOU TO SHANNON FOR SENDING ME AN ECOPY OF THIS BOOK!

The conclusion of the Bad Bloods series. Violet and Caleb take on a brand new set of challenges, mainly dealing with the weather, and a situation with Vendona. As this is the fourth book in this series, I will not go into too much detail because spoilers, but I believe this was a nice conclusion to the series as a whole.

Personally, I liked the first two books the best. I loved Serena and Daniel. I loved that they were my age, and they were just figuring out their powers and they had to do a lot of trial and error, but it wasn’t overly depressing. The last two books were quite sad because they dealt with some heavy topics.

One thing I found interesting was that Caleb had a crippling disease called Stilts. It’s an STD that causes him to age or die faster. The way to combat this is to have a young bad blood girl sing to him to keep him healthy. I thought that was an interesting touch to the story. I liked that Caleb was represented as a bisexual character. I liked that it was handled that he liked people for who they were, not based on their gender. I feel like a lot of writing a bisexual character doesn’t take that into consideration super super well, but I like how he was portrayed.

I enjoyed Violet as a character because she was interesting and mysterious. You never really knew what she was planning to do, and I found it refreshing. Paranormal/sci-fi make up some of my favorite books, so I loved that this was taking some magical/paranormal elements and putting it in a dystopian world.

Also, ALWAYS READ THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS OF A BOOK! I cannot recommend reading the acknowledgments enough because you learn so much about the book as a whole! I learned that this was based off the falling of the Berlin Wall. Super cool. I knew there was some historical background, but I didn’t know what it was based on. Looking back at it, it was quite obviously tied to the Berlin Wall, but I didn’t realize it at the time.

I would recommend this series to any paranormal lovers, but read them close together! Don’t take long breaks in between the stories *@me* because I think they would be so much more enjoyable that way!

Thanks again to Shannon for working with me :)

Series:

November Rain (Bad Bloods #1)

November Snow (Bad Bloods #2)

July Thunder (Bad Bloods #3)

Review: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) – Kendare Blake


Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) – Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)

Title: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1)

Author: Kendare Blake

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Publisher: Harper Teen

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 398

Source: TBR Shelf

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

4 out of 5 stars


I went into this book knowing nothing but being intrigued by the synopsis, and WOW. I really enjoyed this book. The idea behind it was so interesting and the ending made me want to have the next book RIGHT NOW!

This story is about three triplet queens who have to fight each other with their powers in order to become the full queen of Fennbirn. There is Mirabella, the elemental. Everyone has always thought Mirabella was going to be their next queen because her powers were easily recognizable from a young age. Katharine is a poisoner and can eat or drink deadly poisons. And finally there is Arsinoe, the naturalist who can make plants grow and control animals.

Going into it I thought Arsinoe would be my favorite, and I was right. I loved reading about her and her companions because she was so sarcastic and funny. I loved her as a character, and loved the interactions she had with everyone. Her friends were my favorite characters. I love Jules and Joseph together, and the amount of angst that happens because of a magical problem are so frustratingly fun.

I was also drawn to Katharine because she is the biggest underdog in the whole situation. Her family has been poisoning her in order to make her poisoning abilities finally shine through.

Mirabella is the only one of the sisters to have her full powers by their sixteenth birthday. She is the strong one who is destined to become the new queen.

Guys, this book was really good. There were some fairly cringey parts, not going to lie, and the writing style was a little choppy, but the whole idea was so cool. I loved that they are triplets with different powers and the plot twist at the end was crazy. I was totally not expecting it at all. I loved the whole plot, and loved that it went back and forth between all the queens and their lives.

I recommend this book for people who like fantasy and paranormal. I loved that there were some magical elements sprinkled into the story. It was very interesting because it was set in somewhat medieval times and there were castles. I really enjoyed it.

SPOILERS:

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