Review: The Moth and the Flame (The Wrath and the Dawn #0.25) – Renee Ahdieh


The Moth and the Flame (The Wrath and the Dawn #0.25) – Renee Ahdieh

The Moth and the Flame (The Wrath and the Dawn, #0.25)

Title: The Moth and the Flame (The Wrath and the Dawn #0.25)

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Release Date: March 22, 2016

Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Format: eBook

Page Number: 37

Source: Nook

It started as playful, if barbed, banter before rising to a fateful wager with a most notorious rake—the Captain of the Guard, Jalal al-Khoury—who may have finally met his match in a lovely, if haughty, handmaiden, Despina. But she, too, seems to have met her match in the handsome Jalal. What begins as a tempestuous battle of will and wit in short order becomes a passionate affair spurred on by tragedy of the worst kind.

4 out of 5 stars


This was what I wanted while reading The Wrath and the Dawn duology, so I’m really glad that this was a thing. Despina has always been one of my favorite characters, so a short story about her… I’m here for it.

I love me some cute mushy romance, and this is the beginning of a relationship that I totally ship so hard. I love Jalal and Despina together, so it was super cute seeing them interact for the first time. I know that Jalal was kind of a player before he met Despina, but once he started talking to her he didn’t want to think about anyone else. Awww cute cute cute.

I love reading kissing scenes, so this was real cute. Again, here for it. I love seeing some of the characters that don’t get talked about too much in the full series, in novellas like this. I’m so excited to read the rest of them because I know that I’m going to love them all. I HOPE THERE’S ONE ABOUT SHARZHAD AND KHALID TOGETHER OMG. I would be LIVING for that.

Series:

The Crown and the Arrow (The Wrath and the Dawn #0.5)

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)

The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)

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Review: Gilead (Gilead #1) – Marilynne Robinson


Gilead (Gilead #1) – Marilynne Robinson

Gilead (Gilead, #1)

Title: Gilead (Gilead #1)

Author: Marilynne Robinson

Release Date: October 28, 2004

Publisher: Picador

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 247

Source: City of Literature Class

Twenty-four years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America’s heart. Writing in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Marilynne Robinson’s beautiful, spare, and spiritual prose allows “even the faithless reader to feel the possibility of transcendent order” (Slate). In the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life.

3 out of 5 stars


I read this book for my City of Literature class, and this has been the least awful one we’ve read so far. I didn’t hate this book, but I did find it very boring. Less horribly boring than the others, but still difficult to get through.

Gilead is told from the perspective of a dead man who is writing letters to his seven year old son for him to read when he becomes an adult. The whole plot is based around his findings about life through being a pastor and a follower of God.

My professor described this as more of a history of Iowa than anything, and I do not understand that at all. There wasn’t much history at all, and it mostly just told random stories from John Ames’ perspective. I found him to be quite an unreliable narrator throughout the whole book, and found it hard to trust what he was saying. This book was very religious and I wonder how the people who aren’t Christian felt about it. I bet it would be confusing if you knew nothing about the different denominations of Christianity.

I’m very impressed with how masculine the narrator sounds as the author is female. I think that it was an extremely strong perspective to take and write about, but it was done very well. I wish there would have been more information about Ames’ wife. The third book in this series follows his wife, Lila, but I have no intention of reading it. I get that if I really wanted to know more I could just read the rest of the series, but I just wish there was more in this book.

I never realized how heavily I relied on chapter breaks before there are none. NO CHAPTERS. Just random letters to his kid. Which makes sense with the idea, but the formatting was very bothersome to me. I think it just made it harder for me to get through. I’m extremely grateful to my library for having the audiobook to this, because it was nice to hear it read in a man’s voice. The narrator sounded VERY familiar to me, so I looked him up and found out that the only thing he’s been in that I’ve seen was Spiderman 2. So I don’t know if he just has a normal voice or if I’ve seen that movie more than I thought I had…

Overall I think this was a decent book. I don’t get the point of reading it for my class, but I’m sure I’ll find out when we discuss it tomorrow.

October Wrapup + November TBR


Read:

  1. The Song Rising (The Bone Season #3) – Samantha Shannon *review*
  2. The Lighting Thief: The Graphic Novel (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #1) – Rick Riordan *review*
  3. The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #2) – Rick Riordan *review*
  4. Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #2) – Yumi Unita *review*
  5. Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #3) – Yumi Unita *review*
  6. The Dressmaker’s Secret (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #1) – Kellyn Roth *review*
  7. The Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot #10) – Agatha Christie *review*
  8. The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) – Renee Adieh *review*
  9. Mentor: A Memoir – Tom Grimes
  10. Ms. Marvel (Volume #1) – G. Willow Wilson *review*

TBR:

  1. The Iowa Baseball Confederacy – W. P. Kinsella
  2. Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri
  3. On the Merits of Unnaturalness (The Bone Season Novella) – Samantha Shannon
  4. James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra – Colm McElwain
  5. Secrets for the Mad: Obsessions, Confessions and Life Lessons – Dodie Clark

Review: Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #3) – Yumi Unita


Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #3) – Yumi Unita

Bunny Drop, Vol. 3

Title: Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #3)

Author: Yumi Unita

Release Date: March 29, 2011

Publisher: Yen Press

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 224

Source: Public Library

As an impromptu dad to Rin, his late grandfather’s illegitimate child, Daikichi Kawachi has experienced his share of firsts while caring for his little aunt (?). Now it’s Daikichi’s turn to battle the initial wave of separation anxiety as Rin leaves the nest… for her first day of elementary school! Rin’s elementary school isn’t the only place with new faces, either. Daikichi’s office is also inundated with first-timers, some of whom have their eyes on their gangly new coworker! And while father and daughter are experiencing (coping with?) all these firsts left and right, the first anniversary of Gramps’s death also sneaks up on the pair… as does the first anniversary of their paths crossing…

4 out of 5 stars


This has been my favorite volume so far because Rin has grown up a little bit and is talking more. This is a really cute series, and I’m glad that I’ve kept going. There is more plot now, and we’re finding out more about Rin’s biological mother. Daikichi is struggling with work and trying to find a balance in his life with everything that’s going on, but Rin is trying to help with anything she can.

This is seriously so cute. I know that a lot of manga is kind of violent, but this is just adorable. There isn’t much to the plot, but I want to keep reading. I think I might try to watch the anime because I’m enjoying the manga so much. I really enjoy the art style; it’s easy to follow and I like how Rin is portrayed.

Rin is a very real character. She acts just her age, and the way she repeats some sentences reminds me of the younger sister in My Neighbor Totoro. One of my all time favorite movies, by the way…. Highly recommend, super cute.

I really have been enjoying Daikichi because he’s having to deal with raising a daughter, lots of work, but he’s also trying and failing with his love life. It’s funny how bad he is at talking to women. One of my favorite scenes was at the factory he works at, a woman comes up to him and tries to talk to him, and he’s just going on and on about how he’s so bad at talking to women. It’s funny. I enjoy it.

Like I said on the review of the first in this series, if you have any manga recommendations PLEASE comment them below! I really hope to get more into manga :)

Series:

Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #1)

Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #2)

Review: Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) – Robin Hobb


Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) – Robin Hobb

Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1)

Title: Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1)

Author: Robin Hobb

Release Date: May 1995

Publisher: Del Ray

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 435

Source: TBR Pile

4 out of 5 stars


FitzChivalry, the Prince’s bastard son. Taken away with the mother, then brought back to the kingdom at age six. The confused six year old boy doesn’t remember his mother’s family. He doesn’t know his father. He’s thrust into this mysterious world full of politics he will take years to fully understand. Taken in by the stable master and cared for with the careful hand of someone good with animals. Later taken in, and trained. Trained to be an assassin.

Although this book took me quite some time to finish, it was so good. I loved reading this, because it’s the start of an epic fantasy series that I know I will love. Robin Hobb is introduced with this debut novel that starts the Farseer world that takes the fantasy realm to a whole new level. I can’t wait to read the next books!

There was so much that happened in this book, and I don’t know where to start because there are so many things that will spoil the ending or the journey to the ending. Oh my gosh. Okay, I’ll do my best here…

Fitz was a wonderful character. He was so innocent at the beginning, and I related to him on so many levels because he’s quiet and shy and doesn’t want to be a trouble to people around him. One of my favorite parts happened near the middle-end of this book while he’s with Prince Verity. Verity cares for him as a nephew, and disregard the fact that he’s a bastard of his brother. It was so sweet and such a turning point in the story for Fitz.

Chade, the man who ends up training Fitz to be an assassin is such an interesting and deep character, and I can’t wait to see his backstory and how he came to be in the position he’s in. No one really knows about him. He lives in the castle along with everyone else, but no one really knows he’s there. He’s silent to everyone. Everyone except Fitz.

Burrich is Fitz’s caretaker throughout his childhood, and they come to love each other in a very strange distant sort of way, but are still family none the less. Burrich is the stable master and cared for all of Prince Chivalry’s animals. He is a loyal follower of Chivalry, and loves him as a friend, and what I feel like is a brotherly bond.

There is so much to talk about, but again, don’t want to spoil anyone. My advice for this. Let yourself take it slowly. There are SO many small and important pieces of information that you will miss if you speed through. This is a slow-going book because Robin Hobb describes everything in such detail, but it’s so worth it. The detail oriented writing style that is necessary to create a great story of fantasy is here. I see so much potential in this series, and I know that I’m going to love the rest of the Elderling Realm series/world.

This is both character driven, and plot driven. The writing is so beautiful, and the last half of this book was amazing. Please give this a try if you love fantasy. You won’t regret it!

August Wrapup + September TBR


Read:

  1. The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) – Erika Johansen *review*
  2. Alex + Ada (Alex + Ada #1) – Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn *review*
  3. Alex + Ada (Alex + Ada #2) – Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn *review*
  4. Alex + Ada (Alex + Ada #3) – Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn *review*
  5. Nimona – Noelle Stevenson *review*
  6. In Real Life – Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang *review*
  7. Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #1) – Yumi Unita *review*

TBR:

  1. Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) – Robin Hobb
  2. The Mime Order (The Bones Season #2) – Samantha Shannon
  3. Mask of Shadows (Mask of Shadows #1) – Linsey Miller
  4. The Dressmaker’s Secret (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #1) – Kellyn Roth

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.