Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Badass Sequel: The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine

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A Badass Sequel: The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine
The Cursed Queen
Sarah Fine
Series: The Imposter Queen
Genre: Action, Fantasy, YA
by Margaret K. McElderry Books

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As a child, she fought the invaders who murdered her parents and snatched her as a raid prize. She fought for her place next to Thyra, the daughter of the Krigere Chieftain. She fought for her status as a warrior in her tribe: blood and victory are her way of life. But the day the Krigere cross the great lake and threaten the witch queen of the Kupari, everything changes.

Cursed by the queen with fire and ice, Ansa is forced to fight against an invisible enemy—the dark magic that has embedded itself deep in her bones. The more she tries to hide it, the more dangerous it becomes. And with the Krigere numbers decimated and the tribe under threat from the traitorous brother of the dead Chieftain, Ansa is torn between her loyalty to the Krigere, her love for Thyra, and her own survival instincts.

With her world in chaos and each side wanting to claim her for their own, only one thing is certain: unless Ansa can control the terrible magic inside her, everything she’s fought for will be destroyed.
-A copy was provided by Margaret K. McElderry Books for review-

OKAY SO JUST READ THE IMPOSTER QUEEN and THE CURSED QUEEN and EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY. I dove in expecting to love The Cursed Queen and while I did struggle some with it, it packs just as much of a punch as The Imposter Queen. Both books have their strengths and weaknesses. The weaknesses of TIQ are the strengths of TCQ and vise versa in my opinion.

While both Elli and Ansa are strong heroines, they are also very different from each other and I enjoyed that. Ansa is not as easily likable as Elli was and that was one of the reasons why it took me longer to get into the novel but her journey and her character development is worth it. Even though Ansa is not as likeable, she is still a well-written character. She is complex and even though I AM SCREAMING AT HER NOT TO MAKE THE CHOICES she does, I still understand them.

The romance in this one is so painful too because I just wanted Thyra and Ansa to KISS but GODDAMNIT EVERYTHING IS PAINFUL and the OTP is painful and so much pain. They are perfect for each other though. They are foils and as cheesy as it sounds, they make each other better people because in their own ways, they push each other to strive to be better. Thyra is also more than just a love interest. She is a complex character and one you aren’t always sure of but….. I am going to leave that sentence hanging because I love being vague.

I am not entirely sure if it was the pacing or my getting distracted by my phone a lot but I didn’t ~really~ get into the book until the second half. The first half was GOOD and engaging but I didn’t get really sucked in until some shit went down and made me more than a little excited to flip the pages. I was about to put the book down for the night and just continue reading the next day BUT THEN THINGS HAPPENED and I was up until 5:30 AM reading the book :’)

Ansa’s world is very different than Elli’s. They’ve grown up amongst very different kind of people who value very different things. I dont like writing in books but I had to mark a couple passages in this one because Fine makes A+ commentary about social issues through the differences in these worlds and her words are so powerful. That’s one of the amazing strengths of this book and one that made me cherish it even more.

Politics, betrayals, magic, first love, this series has it all. At the end of The Imposter Queen I was sure I was #teamElli for queen but after finishing The Cursed Queen, I am not so sure anymore about where my loyalities lie. Either way, the both of them will give each other a good run for their money and I am going to want the next book right now so I can DEVOUR it and also have cute OTP moments. PLEASE READ THESE BOOKS. They are so so underappreciated but so amazing and should be read and loved by a whole lot more people.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

5 Books to Read if You Love Books About Books (AND INKHEART)

5 Books to Read if You Love Books About Books (AND INKHEART)

Posted by on 12/16/2016 • 11 Comments

Yesterday, I posted a review for The Book Jumper talking about my disappointment because I am really into books about books and thought I’d do a follow-up today recommending some A+ books about books (most I’ve read and others come highly recommended by friends.)

1. The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Whenever I make recommendation lists, I don’t have any particular order in which I list the books in but The Invisible Library is #1 on this list because it was one of my fav books of 2016 and I didn’t have a lot of favs. IT IS ULTIMATE BOOK PORN. Blurb in a sentence: Detective Librarians who venture into alternate universes to find and protect different versions of books or find new ones that only exist in that universe.

2. Ink and Bone by…

Pales in Comparison to Other Books About Books: The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser

Pales in Comparison to Other Books About Books: The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser

Posted by on 12/15/2016 • 6 Comments

Man, I don’t even know about this book. I was so excited to dive in because BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS but also because I’ve enjoyed a lot of books by German authors that have been translated into English in my life time and I was ready to discover another author I could add to my favs. The Book Jumper is not by any means a terrible book but if you’re reading it because you love books about books, you are gonna be disappointed. The world building is severely lacking in this one and there were a lot of things I did not understand about the world in which this book was taking place in. It represents a world similar to ours except for this select group of (white) people that have…

Romance Mini-Reviews: Two Mysteries + A Blast from the Past

Romance Mini-Reviews: Two Mysteries + A Blast from the Past

Posted by on 12/14/2016 • 2 Comments

 

Hard Rules Lisa Renee Jones

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Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy in the smoldering, scorching first novel in the explosively sexy new Dirty Money series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.

How bad do you want it?

The only man within the Brandon empire with a moral compass, Shane Brandon is ready to take his family’s business dealings legitimate. His reckless and ruthless brother, Derek wants to keep Brandon Enterprises cemented in lies, deceit, and corruption. But the harder Shane fights to pull the company back into the light, the darker he has to become. Then he meets Emily Stevens, a woman who not only stirs a voracious sexual need in him, but becomes the only thing anchoring…

9 Books I Wish I Had Read in 2016

9 Books I Wish I Had Read in 2016

Posted by on 12/12/2016 • 15 Comments

There were SO MANY good books that came out this year but this year has not been a good one for reading for me. There are books I was eagerly anticipating but ended up never reading. This post is a shout-out to some of those wonderful books and maybe you’ll read them and shower them with the love they deserve. These books are listed in no particular order 😉

1. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

I read Ember in the Ashes back in December 2014 and the cliffhanger at the end of that book had me eagerly anticipating this one. I WANTED THIS BOOK SO BADLY but ended up never reading it because wow time. I might still be able to squeeze it in before the year ends…

Fresh Batch (December 11th – 17th)

Fresh Batch (December 11th – 17th)

Posted by on 12/10/2016 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Forever, Again Victoria Laurie Publication date: December 13th 2016by Disney-Hyperion

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Lily Bennett is less than thrilled to be the new kid as she starts her junior year in high school.

But soon after classes begin, she meets a classmate, Cole Drepeau, with whom she forms an immediate and intimate bond. As Cole and Lily grow closer, Lily learns about the murder that divided the town more than thirty years before. In 1985, graduating senior Amber Greeley snapped, killing her boyfriend Ben—Cole’s uncle—and taking her own life.

Lily feels inexplicably linked to Amber, and she can’t help but think that there’s…

Rose Lerner on Jewish Representation in Media

Rose Lerner on Jewish Representation in Media

Posted by on 12/06/2016 • 4 Comments

Hi friends! I don’t want to say much because I want this to be Rose’s space to talk but brief background. A while ago, after reading Lerner’s short in Gambled Away, I invited her to do a guest post about why representation in literature is important to her and being the kind, wonderful soul she was, she agreed to do it. SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, PLEASE PROCEED TO READ HER INCREDIBLY WELL WRITTEN and THOUGHT OUT POST.

When Rashika asked me to write a blog post about Jewish representation, I really struggled with where to start. How to focus. I had so much to say. I wrote thousands of rambling words, and felt dissatisfied with them.

Then I read this, from Aaron Lansky’s memoir Outwitting…

Giveaway: Spindle by E.K. Johnston

Giveaway: Spindle by E.K. Johnston

Posted by on 12/05/2016 • 9 Comments

Today we are partnering with the lovely people at Disney-Hyperion to bring you a fabulous giveaway! E.K. Johnston is an incredibly talented author and I am SO excited to read Spindle. I enjoyed A Thousand Nights and CRIED while reading The Garden of Three Hundred Flowers (a short b/w A Thousand Nights  and Spindle, more info will be below) so I am sure Spindle will be even better. Exit, Pursued by a Bear (a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale) was also one of my favorite books of the year so basically, I just need all of Johnston’s books in my life :’)

About the Book About the Author

E.K. Johnston had several jobs and one vocation before she became a published writer. If she’s learned anything, it’s that things turn out weird sometimes, and there’s not a lot…