Glass Town Wars: A Review

Glass Town Wars by Celia Rees

My Rating: 2 stars

Cover Rating: 8/10 really love this cover. It is the reason I picked this book up. It’s honestly really beautiful in a weird way to me.

Publisher: Pushkin Press

Publish Date: September 8th, 2020

Number of Pages: 320

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

“The thrilling adventure story based on the writings of the Brontë children, by the bestselling author of Witch Child

When Tom is in a coma, his friend Milo decides that he can be a guinea pig for a new gaming device – a device that will take him to a troubled world where he meets the the warrior-like Augusta who is fighting to save her kingdom from takeover by her rival. With Tom at her side, she finds extra courage. Slowly but surely, Tom starts to leave his life in London behind as the two of them become ever more embroiled in a world of chaos and tension that encompasses the past, the present and the future.

But life in London won’t let Tom go so easily. His friends and family gather around him to try and bring him back – as does a girl from school he barely knows, who comes each day to his bedside to read to him from her favourite book, Wuthering Heights.

In this wonderful speculative fiction Celia Rees has created a meta-fictional world that will delight readers. This epic story, with Rees’s trademark strong female character and romance at its heart, is a compelling action-driven adventure with delightful twists and turns that thrill and surprise right up to the last page.”

Opening Sentence: “notHing is stRaigHtfoRWaRd. Nothing is as it seems… As in life, so in dreams.”

Musings:

So I didn’t like this book. I tried to enjoy it, but it isn’t the story that it says it is. It’s weird, but not the weird I fall in love with. It took a lot of old tropes and meshed it together to try and come up with a real story that seemed more of a ghost of something that many have written so much better before.

I’m not writing this in my usual format because I literally didn’t like anything about this book. Some of it was ok. Vaguely. But, even then I don’t remember a single name but Tom, and he was the only character I only vaguely liked, but even him I had problems with.

This apparently was supposed to be set in a video game world, but none of it felt like an actual video game. It felt like it was written by someone who knows nothing about them and didn’t even pick one up to get a feel for what it’s like. Even narrative driven video games aren’t like this.

I felt like she should’ve written a western themed novel and just left it at that, but she decided to bring it into another “game” completely negating pretty much everything about The Glass town narrative and to throw in some zombies? It felt sloppy. It was confusing and honestly I don’t even know what kind of story this even was?

It certainly wasn’t a love story despite Tom getting with another girl character. There was no real connection there. Literally the only thing was that Tom is from modern times and understands modern ideas and believes in the girls right to chose her partner instead of being arranged to marry. Other then that I did not see any other connection. It came off as very flatly written.

The only reason I didn’t give this book a one star is that I didn’t hate it and it’s bad but I’m mostly just indifferent about it. Anyway, I read it cause I’d heard nothing about it and now that my curiosity has been curbed I am happy to move on from it.

About the Author

Celia Rees has written over twenty novels and has become a leading writer for Young Adults with an international reputation. She says, ‘I like to write what teenagers like to read’.

She has written in different genre, from gritty realism, ghost stories and horror before focusing on historical fiction with the publication of Witch Child, its sequel, Sorceress, going on to Pirates!, Sovay and The Fool’s Girl.

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea: A Review

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10

Publisher: Candlewick press

Publish Date: May 5th, 2020

Number of Pages: 368 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

In a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic, a desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial lady find a connection on the high seas.

The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive—including sailing under false flag on the Dove as a marauder, thief, and worse. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well—accompanied by her own casket. But Evelyn’s one-way voyage to an arranged marriage in the Floating Islands is interrupted when the captain and crew show their true colors and enslave their wealthy passengers. 

Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands—no matter the cost.

Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sweeping fantasy debut, full of stolen memories, illicit mermaid’s blood, double agents, and haunting mythical creatures conjures an extraordinary cast of characters and the unforgettable story of a couple striving to stay together in the face of myriad forces wishing to control their identities and destinies.”

Opening Sentence: “Long after the sun had set, when the passengers were nestled neatly in their cabins, the crew gathered on the deck of the Dove.”

Musings:

I greatly enjoyed this book. I loved so much of it. The structure, the characters, the magic! It was so well-constructed.

What I loved:

The discussion of gender. Flora is both Flora and Florian. Flora the girl who struggled alongside her brother Alfie to survive and Florian the boy who becomes a pirate of his own right. As far as I could tell reading Flora embraces both and I really loved seeing that in this novel. Also, The Pirate Supreme is non-binary and such a badass. They are also straight up called The Pirate Supreme and every-time their mentioned it’s full of badassery and I love them! I just liked that it’s there and that I’m seeing it so much more now then before. It makes me happy to see.

The way the story broke into parts. I loved the structure of this book. I rarely fall in love with pure structure, but this book does it so well. Each section was clearly defined and told the narrative well. It just fit neatly in a way I really appreciated.

Flora and Evelyn together. These two my lord! I love them together. They have this amazing bond that starts from Evelyn wanting to share books and stories with Florian and teach him how to read. To fighting together and loving each other later on not just as Florian but flora. This made my heart so happy. Especially, the ending which I refuse to spoil. It’s too good!

Rake. At first I wasn’t sure if I even liked Rake, but as the story went on I realized how much of a strong character he was. He’s one of the good guys as difficult as it is to be good in the circumstances of the novel.

The magic. I love a good magic system and I swear a magic system that uses stories to create magic is so beautiful. I loved the many stories the witch told in this book. I’m obsessed with it. It was amazing.

The mermaids. I loved how mermaids were portrayed in this book. I love what they eat. I love how Evelyn connected to the mermaid she wanted to save and saw how wrong it was for the sailors to take mermaid blood for their own. It was so cool. I don’t want to spoil the awesomeness of it.

All in All:

If you want to read a magical swashbuckling romance that is beautifully queer and just amazing in every way pick up The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea. I loved every moment of it. So amazingly written.

About the Author:

Maggie Tokuda-Hall is the author of the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal winning picture book, Also an Octopus, illustrated by Benji Davies, and the young adult novel The Mermaid, The Witch and The Sea.

She lives in Oakland, California with her husband, son, and objectively perfect dog.

She has a BA in Studio Art from Scripps College, and an MFA in Writing from University of San Francisco. 

She is represented by Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Lit.

You can follow her on Twitter, @emteehall
Or on Instagram @maggietokudahall

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

Ya Books by Black Authors that need to be read!

There are so many wonderful and incredible books written by black authors that deserve to be read and spread like wildfire.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

“Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orleans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orleans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite, the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orleans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land.
But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie, that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 

With the future of Orleans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide: save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles, or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.”

This book is AMAZING! It’s horrifying and so good. I loved every moment of it. Highly recommend this book.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, Everything; Bone Gap; and All American Boys.

In this stunning debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodouculture. 

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life. 

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own. 

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?”

I have this book on my shelves and I can’t wait to dive into it! It sounds like a beautiful piece of writing that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Girls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this unique and powerful retelling of Cinderella from a stunning new voice that’s perfect for fans of A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again. 

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.”

This book isn’t out yet, but I have a galley for it I will be reading in June. From the moment I saw it I knew I had to read it. It sounds absolutely amazing and I already know I will be recommending this one for ages.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

“Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.

But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral . . . for all the wrong reasons. 

Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.  

Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.”

This book sounds sooo good! All of Angie’s books should be read in classrooms everywhere. By now most know and love The Hate You Give, so I thought mentioning one of her other timely and powerful books would be great here.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

“Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela.

The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. 

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free. 

Plus don’t miss Elizabeth Acevedo’s Clap When You Land!”

A young mother trying her best to make it during difficult circumstances and pursue her dreams. This book sounds like it’ll be a beautiful and hopeful novel.

The Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

“Debut author Justin A. Reynolds delivers a hilarious and heartfelt novel about the choices we make, the people we choose, and the moments that make a life worth reliving. Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon and John Green.

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. 

But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.

Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind.

Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.”

I love the premise of this book. It sounds like it will be a heart-wrenching read.

I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest

“When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams, she devises a secret plan to drive two hundred miles to the nearest audition. But Chloe hits her first speed bump when her annoying neighbor Eli insists upon hitching a ride, threatening to tell Chloe’s mom if she leaves him and his smelly dog, Geezer, behind. So now Chloe’s chasing her ballet dreams down the east coast—two unwanted (but kinda cute) passengers in her car, butterflies in her stomach, and a really dope playlist on repeat.

Filled with roadside hijinks, heart-stirring romance, and a few broken rules, Kristina Forest’s I Wanna Be Where You Are is a YA debut perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon.”

An adorable sounding rom com about a ballerina on the road to an audition. Too cute sounding not to pick up!

Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles

“Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she’s finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del’s right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he’s inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge.

His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn’t believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del’s not about to lose his dream girl, and that’s where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers’ questions…about sex ed.

With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can’t think about that too much, though, because once he gets the girl, it’ll all sort itself out. Right?”

This book sounds so funny and sweet and I’d love to pick it up! Plus the cover is beautiful. Looks amazing!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.

If you love my content and wish to offer me extra support by me a Kofi on my donation page!

The Olympic Games Read-a-thon: TBR

Welcome everyone to the Olympic Games Read-a-thon hosted by

Nicole the Weapons Master https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfatiovNuLoBTjojCncpKvQ

Sasha the Monster Tamer https://www.youtube.com/c/thewildSasha

Ally the Activities Coordinator https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ-uWE9JeIGNj1OxizzRLaA

& Ishi the Oracle https://youtu.be/0ETUce-ypo4

I did this quiz https://www.readriordan.com/2017/10/12/what-god-are-you-descended-from/

And found that I am on Team Poseidon!

As a part of Team Poseidon I will be completing the following reading challenges in the month of June!

Mandatory Challenges

Read a book set at sea or on a coast: Replica by Lauren Oliver

“Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.

While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Turn the book one way and read Lyra’s story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma’s story. The two distinct parts of this novel combine to produce an unforgettable experience for its two young heroines—and its reader.”

Never knew this book took place off the coast of Florida on an island. Made this the perfect fit for this challenge and I’m so excited to read this!

A main character that uses a sword: Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

“The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and track down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.”

I’m pretty sure the main character uses a sword in this book if I’m wrong please correct me.. otherwise I’ll have to re-read Graceling..but I’m pretty sure there is sword use in this book. I’m hoping this is a good fit

Non-human main character: The Lost City by Amanda Hocking

“The storm and the orphan

Twenty years ago, a woman sought safety from the spinning ice and darkness that descended upon a small village. She was given shelter for the night by the local innkeepers but in the morning, she disappeared―leaving behind an infant. Now nineteen, Ulla Tulin is ready to find who abandoned her as a baby or why.

The institution and the quest

Ulla knows the answers to her identity and heritage may be found at the Mimirin where scholars dedicate themselves to chronicling troll history. Granted an internship translating old documents, Ulla starts researching her own family lineage with help from her handsome and charming colleague Pan Soriano.

The runaway and the mystery

But then Ulla meets Eliana, a young girl who no memory of who she is but who possesses otherworldly abilities. When Eliana is pursued and captured by bounty hunters, Ulla and Pan find themselves wrapped up in a dangerous game where folklore and myth become very real and very deadly―but one that could lead Ulla to the answers she’s been looking for.”

I’m pretty sure the main character is a troll/fae the whole thing is about finding her heritage and the magic me thinks means she’s troll. I’m basing this on the description.

Trident finish a book in exactly 3 days: What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin June 16th

“Lex was taken–trafficked–and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn’t quite know how to be Lex again.

After she moves in with her aunt and uncle, for the first time in a long time, she knows what it is to feel truly safe. Except, she doesn’t trust it. Doesn’t trust her new home. Doesn’t trust her new friend. Doesn’t trust her new life. Instead she trusts what she shouldn’t because that’s what feels right. She doesn’t deserve good things. 

But when she is sexually assaulted by her so-called boyfriend and his friends, Lex is forced to reckon with what happened to her and that just because she is used to it, doesn’t mean it is okay. She’s thrust into the limelight and realizes she has the power to help others. But first she’ll have to confront the monsters of her past with the help of her family, friends, and a new love.

Kate McLaughlin’s What Unbreakable Looks Like is a gritty, ultimately hopeful novel about human trafficking through the lens of a girl who has escaped the life and learned to trust, not only others, but in herself.”

I am on the blog tour for this novel so I’m going to get it read first and do it in the three days so I’m prepared to write my post about it and have it up on the 16th. This will be a hard novel to read. The topic is a difficult one, but a necessary one I think. I’ll divide it up evenly for the three days.

Read a book you haven’t heard much about before: Glass Town Wars by Celia Rees

A new novel by the bestselling author of Witch Child: an adventure story drawing on the early writings of the Brontë children

All these Glass Town intrigues. No matter how long you’d been absent, how far you’d travelled, once you were back, it was as though you had never been away.

Tom and Augusta are from different places and different times, but they meet in a virtual world to combine forces in battle, to save a kingdom, escape a web of deceit and find love. In a place where fictions can be truths and truths fictions, learning who to trust is about more than friendship, it is about survival.

Glass Town Wars, inspired by the early writing of the Brontës, is a captivating, magical novel by the renowned Celia Rees.”

It’s safe to say I hadn’t heard a peep about this book before I saw the cover on Netgalley and requested it. I’ve not seen anyone talk about this book. Nothing. I was intrigued by its cover and so that’s why I requested it. I’ll be excited to discover what awaits inside.

Advanced challenges (can only be begun after the mandatory challenges)

A Book Featuring a character you would not get along with: Little Creeping Things by Chelsea Ichaso

“A compulsively readable debut with a narrator you just can’t trust, perfect for fans of Natasha Preston.

As a child, Cassidy Pratt accidentally started a fire that killed her neighbor. At least, that’s what she’s been told. She can’t remember anything from that day. She’s pretty sure she didn’t mean to do it. She’s a victim too. But her town’s bullies, particularly the cruel and beautiful Melody Davenport, have never let her live it down. In Melody’s eyes, Cassidy is a murderer and always will be.

When Cassidy overhears what sounded like an abduction and Melody goes missing, Cassidy knows she should go to the cops, but… She recently joked about how much she’d like to get rid of Melody. She even planned out the perfect way to do it. It’s up to Cassidy to figure out what really happened, because if she comes forward without a suspect, she knows people will point fingers at her. Again. And she can’t let that happen.

But the truth behind Melody’s disappearance will set the whole town ablaze.”

I don’t know if I’d get along with someone who jokes about and plans on how to get rid of someone else. In fact I’d probably not get along with them much at all.

A book shorter than 200 pages: The Stranger by Albert Camus

“Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.””

I was looking for a book to read under 200 pages and found this book. I don’t own really any books that are less then this so finding this classic was awesome. I’d never heard of it before and I’m super intrigued by it.

A book published in the last 5 years: The Orchid Throne by Jeffe Kennedy

“In the Forgotten Empires magic is forbidden, dreams are destiny, and love is the greatest power of all…

A PRISONER OF FATE
As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Lia will do anything to keep her people free―and her secrets safe―from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world―a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

A PRINCE AMONG MEN
Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Lia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes―nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?”

Published September 24th, 2019 this book like a majority of the books on this list is published within the last 5 years.

A book featuring magical creatures: The Emporer’s Blades by Brian Staveley

“In The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

Kaden, the heir to the Unhewn Throne, has spent eight years sequestered in a remote mountain monastery, learning the enigmatic discipline of monks devoted to the Blank God. Their rituals hold the key to an ancient power he must master before it’s too late. 

An ocean away, Valyn endures the brutal training of the Kettral, elite soldiers who fly into battle on gigantic black hawks. But before he can set out to save Kaden, Valyn must survive one horrific final test. 

At the heart of the empire, Minister Adare, elevated to her station by one of the emperor’s final acts, is determined to prove herself to her people. But Adare also believes she knows who murdered her father, and she will stop at nothing―and risk everything―to see that justice is meted out.”

I think by the cover alone you can tell there is magic creatures in this book. I mean giant flying hawks sound pretty darn magical to me.

A book with a blue cover: Witchmark by C.L. Polk

“In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family’s interest or to be committed to a witches’ asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans’ hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is. 

When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.”

This cover is a gorgeous blue and inside it is a highly praised novel I can’t wait to read!

The next book in a series: The Morning Flower by Amanda Hocking

I’m not going to put the about on this one cause it’s book 2 to The Lost City. I thought it’d be perfect to read for this cause I’m reading the first book in my mandatory challenges.

One of your most anticipated books: The Unstoppable Wasp by Sam Maggs

Ahhhhhhhhh! Ever since I learned of Sam Maggs existence I have stanned her hard. I haven’t read anything from her yet, but I got approved for this on Netgalley and I’m Soooooo excited!!!!! Literally going to finished all the mandatory challenges as fast as possible for the sake of reading this book!

That is all the books! I’m so excited about this read-a-thon and I can’t wait to share my opinions on all these books with all of you!!!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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WWW Wednesday!

Haven’t done this in ages, but I thought it would be fun today! What are you reading Wednesday!

What I just finished reading:

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

This book I rated 5 stars! It was fantastic! It was an intense read and I had such a good time with it!

What I’m currently reading:

Horns by Joe Hill

I’m reading this a chapter a day because it is pretty intense and I don’t care to get into the mind frame of the book for too long, but overall it’s fantastic so far!

Diamond City by Francesca Flores

I am almost finished reading this book and might get done with it tonight! Unlike Horns it is much lighter and tons of fun! If I finish it today my review should be up tomorrow!

What I’m Reading Next:

Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald

I don’t know much about this book. This came as a random draw from the books I own to read next. It looks like a cool sci-fi so I’m definitely excited for it! If you’ve read this book, let me know what you thought of it!

What are you currently reading?

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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My Netgalley Request Spree

A few days ago I made a judgement call that would force me to get back into reading in a manic way. I went on Netgalley and requested a bunch of books. I’d banned myself from doing this ages ago. But, I’m not a depressed bean anymore. I’m excited about life and moving forward and I missed reading. It’s one of the biggest most magical parts of my life and I wanted to give myself an even larger incentive to read then ever.

I really didn’t know what I was expecting when I did this. I’ve been reviewing a bit lately and I just wanted to see what would happen and boy has it been an interesting line of approvals so far.

Also, I’m so incredibly grateful to Netgalley and all the publishers that approved me to read all these amazing titles. THANK YOU!!!

Books Requested and Approved:

Mayhem by Estelle Laure

That cover my goodness! I saw it and had to request.

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

This was a Hail Mary request. Did not expect the approval, but ohhh yeah I’m excited!

Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos

Couldn’t resist these creepy vibes! This novel looks like a mystery I wanted to know about.

Glass Town Wars by Celia Rees

This cover is UNIQUE. I wanted to know what the story was inside. I’m excited to get to find out!

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

This book is a mix up of so many things yet it looks so much like it fits. I am so so happy and excited I got approved to read it!

I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan

Again a good Mystery and I couldn’t resist requesting! It sounded amazing!

The Unstoppable Wasp by Sam Maggs

I said so many prayers to get approved for this title. I have a fat crush on Sam Maggs and holy smokes I’m so so excited to read this book!!! I was happy all day when I saw this approval!

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

So I’ve always wanted to read Anger is a Gift and I already know that book is soooo well loved so I had to request this book! So happy to have the chance to read it!

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera

This book has MAGICAL REALISM!!! Let me say that again MAGICAL REALISM alert!! Freaking will want to read every ya magical realism book I can get my hands on. It’s my jam! Plus omg that cover is chef’s kiss gorgeous!

Hush by Dylan Farrow

The magic in this novel sounds freaking amazing lemme tell you. I read the description and was like HELL yes sign me up for that thank you!

My Rejection:

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

That’s right this is the only book I’ve heard back as a no from and I get it. This is a very popularly requested book and I’ve gotten many many yes’s to many amazing novels! Still gotta appreciate that cover tho A+!

Pending Requests:

So all that looks like a lot of books right? Well when I say I went on a request spree.. I went on a request SPREE. Anyway here’s what I’m waiting to hear back on.

Last Girls by Demetra Brodsky

Soooo about this book. I kinda sorta got notified today that I won it in a giveaway sooo.. it may be pending, but like.. hell yess I get to read this book!!!! I have her other book Dive Smack on my shelves and I also won that in a giveaway way back. Apparently I’m meant to read Demetra’s books. I’ll be owning both books she’s written so far! Very excited!

The rest in a beautiful collage of ohh my gosh I hope I get to read these!!!!

That’s 18 more books I’ve yet to hear back on! All of them books I’d feel so happy to read! We’ll see what happens sometime soon! But, gosh I can’t wait to see if I get approved for any of these. Looking at them all together my heart swells. They all look so beautiful!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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The Grace Year: A Review

The Grace Year by Kim Ligget

My Rating: 5 stars!!!

Cover Rating: 9/10 I love this cover! It’s perfect for the novel inside it. The dead look on the girls face and the red ribbon devolving into blood is a perfect representation of the book itself. What you get in this cover is what you get in this book and that’s what makes the art of it so amazing!

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Publish Date: October 8th, 2019

Number of Pages: 416

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Survive the year.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden. 

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive. 

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life―a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other. 

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

Opening Sentence: “No one speaks of the grace year.”

Musings:

‘The Grace Year’ is a fantastic novel. Just a chef’s kiss kind of novel. It’s got everything that makes a great novel great. I had such a wonderful time reading.

What I Loved:

Darker then Dark. The girls in this novel are vicious. They are deadly. They are girls that you want to stay very far away from. Kim Ligett swing for dark and hit a home run. It’s scary how mentally these girls get so attached to believing they have magic they must purge that they turn so savage. It’s a wonder anyone survives a grace year. The whole time I kept thinking am I really reading this? Did she just tell that girl what I think she told that girl to do? Is that really what that tree is for? It’s so dark.

Somehow the Romance manages to be adorable anyway. One light in all the dark is the love story. I loved it! Yet it’s a little bit later in the story so I don’t want to spoil anything about it. Just that it’s swoon worthy.

I didn’t know how hope could live in this world. If your a woman in this novel your life is good for either a. Being a wife b. Working terrible jobs or c. Being sent to the outskirts to be a prostitute. Also, if your husband gets tired of you he can just say that you’ve been harboring magic and then you get hung. The prospects for a woman in this book aren’t great. I was wondering for a while where the hope lied and there is hope in this novel it just took a while to get there.

It’s a nail bitter of a book. The entire time you wonder is this girl going to make it? Is it possible for her to survive the savagery of the Grace Year. It’s madness. There is no other way to describe it the Grace Year is utter madness. Getting through it with a bit of your sanity is a miracle.

I’m still thinking WTH.. I can’t get over this book really. What it says about women. What it reflects about society. How goddamn dark it was. I’m still in awe. What a fantastic book it was.

All in all:

I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Grace Year. If you love a strong heroine with bite you’ll love this book. If you love a good dark story you’ll love this book. If you want to stare up at your ceiling wondering about life you’ll love this book. What are you doing still reading this? Go pick up this book!

About the Author

At sixteen, Kim Liggett left her rural midwestern town for New York City to pursue a career in music. Along with lending her voice to hundreds of studio recordings, she was a backup singer for some of the biggest rock bands in the 80’s.
Kim spends her free time studying the tarot and scouring Manhattan for vials of rare perfume and the perfect egg white cocktail.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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P.S. I Still Love You: A Review + Thoughts on the Film

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 8/10 it’s beautiful and completely relative to the story inside. It captures Lara Jean and her style beautifully. A very well put together cover!

Publisher: Simon & Scutcher

Publish Date: May 26th, 2015

Number of Pages: 337

Received: My Mom Purchased this for me from Barnes and Noble

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. 

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once? 

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

Opening Sentence: “Dear Peter, I miss you.”

Musings:

The Culture. I love how they have Lara and Kitty explore their Korean heritage. From the food to what they wore on New Years the small touches were really beautiful.

Kitty’s Personality. Kitty is a feisty one. She’s full of life and loves to make trouble. I love having a little sister character that stirs the pot. She made the book so much fun to read!

The Game. Having a game between friends that has lasted throughout time was so much fun. I loved how seriously everyone took it. It was one of my favorite parts.

John Ambrose. I am 100% on John’s team here. I like him so much more then Peter. I feel like John fits Lara better. Plus, I think he’s just really good at romantic gestures and I’m such a sucker for them.

The story is simply cute. I love a cute story and this is that. There are some somewhat serious topics, but mostly this is a fun novel about a girl whose navigating first love and it’s lovely for it.

All in all:

P.S. I Still Love You is great! I very much enjoyed it. I had a great time reading it. Loved the characters and the fun of it. Was an amazing story.

Was the Film Better?:

I would say that the book was so much better then the film. A lot of the plot points that I loved in P.S. I Still Love You were taken out of the film and replaced. The story itself gets moved around in a way that felt off beat. Plus, a lot of the time the movie felt inauthentic in a way that the book was all authentic. I liked the film, but it was nowhere near the goodness of the book. I don’t think I’ll be rewatching the film.

About the Author:

She is an executive producer on all three Netflix films– To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, and To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Lara Jean. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Summer I Turned Pretty series. Her books have been published in more than thirty languages. A former librarian, Jenny earned her MFA in creative writing at the New School. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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My Current TBR: May 2020

It’s only May 4th and already I’ve read three books! Glow, Monstress Vol. 1, and P.S. I Still Love you. I’ve been killing it already this month and I have so many more amazing books to read.

I’ve only mentioned it once before, but the way I pick my TBR is that I have a book for review and then I have all my personally owned books in a tbr document that I put into a random word picker to get the book I will be reading. This way I’m reading both books I own and my review books at a steady rate. What I appreciate about this system is that having my personal books being randomly picked means I don’t prioritize books I just bought over books that have been on my shelves for ages. Everything gets equal opportunity to be picked.

On to the tbr!

The Grace Year September 17th

Horns 

The Orchid Throne September 24th

Witchmark 

Diamond City Jan 28 2020

Luna new moon

Jack Keri is dead to me April 7th 2020

Pride and Prejudice 

Orchid Unshaken Diana’s release 

1984 

The miseducation of Cameron Post (friend’s Christmas gift to me)

Replica

The Orchid Throne may 26th

Glass sword 

The Fiery Crown Netgalley 

Flame in the mist 

The Lost City Netgalley 

Crazy house

The Morning Flower Netgalley 

All the birds in the sky

It came from the sky Netgalley 

All rights reserved 

Little Creeping things Netgalley 

Me Before You

What I love about this tbr is how mixed it is. From classics to Romance to a lot of fantasy, but also some thrillers and Sci-fi. I love all genres and having them reflect in my tbr as random as it is brings me joy.

I have to say I’m most excited to read Jack Kerouac is Dead to me and The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Jack because I love Gae Polishner with all my heart and Post because I can’t wait to discuss it with the friend that got it for me.

As my Netgalley reads come in I add to the list and since I’ve started doing this for my tbr I’ve had so much fun! I don’t know if I’ll get to all of these books in this month, but I can’t wait to see where I end with once May finishes! I’m looking forward to the rest of the month.

I wish you all happy reading in May!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Monstress Volume 1: A Review

Monstress Volume 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

My Rating: Easiest 5 stars of my life

Cover Rating: 10/10 there is no other rating accepted. The art of the cover and inside this amazing comic is top tear. I’m singing this artwork the highest of praise. It’s GORGEOUS! Perfect! Stunning! GLORIOUS! Sana Takeda is a QUEEN!

Publisher: Image Comics

Publish Date: July 19th, 2016

Number of Pages: 202

Received: My mom bought it on Amazon for me and I read it in one sitting as soon as it came in.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers.

Opening Sentence: “It took three years to find a name.”

Musings:

This comic book was incredible! I can’t stop thinking about it and it’s been a few hours since I read it! It’s beautiful, stunning, gorgeous. It’s everything! The story is dark and gritty and gorgeous. The art is some of the best I’ve ever seen. I LOVED Monstress so much!!!!

What I loved:

The art. I mean.. duh. The art is fabulous. It’s dark and only I scene basically has lighter tones. It’s simply gorgeous. There is not a page that isn’t beautifully drawn and colored it’s just a chefs kiss top quality amazing work of art.

The Latin Influences. I love that the author put her heritage into writing this. The bits of Spanish here and there. The mix of latinex characters in a fictional world is something I live for. I can’t wait to read more and see what other influences pop up.

It’s dark. I love a dark story. This is exceptionally so. When your allies can’t trust you cause you might eat them and not know your doing so at the time it’s real. There is a lot of death. A lot of action. A lot of stakes. It’s really awesome.

Adorable history from a cat professor. This is a cute side thing that pops up every so often and though the history is dark having an adorable cat tell it didn’t fail to make me smile.

Great world building. This story feels massive even though it follows a single girl. The larger history and learning about the various races and kingdoms makes it feel like a billon stories could be written from the world. It’s incredible.

I just want to go jfidoenr wlap. I am fangirling so hard over this story that words don’t even matter. It’s all incomprehensible and straight feeling. It’s awesome!

All in All:

I LOVE THIS COMIC!!! It’s the first I’ve ever physically read and I adored every single second. I’M OBSESSED! It’s great!

About the authors

The QUEEN!

Sana Takeda is based in Japan and is best known in the United States for working with Marjorie Liu, most recently on their hit fantasy series MONSTRESS.

Another QUEEN!

Marjorie Liu is an attorney and New York Times bestselling author of over nineteen novels. She is the co-creator of the Eisner-nominated series MONSTRESS published by Image Comics. Her comic book work includes X-23, Black Widow, Dark Wolverine, and Astonishing X-Men, for which she was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for outstanding media images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. She currently teaches a course on comic book writing at MIT.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.