Rating: 5/5 stars
Series: The Dragonmaster Trilogy, Book 0.5 (Prequel)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars
Series: The Dragonmaster Trilogy, Book 0.5 (Prequel)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
It’s been a while since I put in writing the books that I’ve picked up. While I haven’t gone as crazy as I have in the past with buying books, it’s been a couple of months so I’ve definitely added to my collection. Thankfully, I’ve read more books than I picked up so my TBR list is shrinking instead of growing.
Without further ado, here are the books that I’ve picked up over the last couple of months:
Sometimes it’s important to remember that you don’t have to buy a book to be able to read it. That’s why libraries are such a great place! While I’ll usually pick up a book or two throughout the month or borrow an eBook from my local library, this month I decided to pick up a bunch at once and see how things go. I grabbed a nice selection of books I’d heard of before and ones that interested me in the moment, books I’d read before and ones I was trying for the first time.
Without further ado, here are the books I picked up from my local library in the month of October:
I admit it, I have an addiction. However, I prefer to call myself a bibliophile than to admit that out loud. Below are the books that I’ve purchased throughout April and May.
Books Purchased: 36
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton: This is a mystery/thriller with a touch of fantasy. Evelyn ends up dying at the end of a celebration held at her house and it’s up to Aiden to relive the day and figure out who the killer is. Each day, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest and continues to try and solve the murder. The catch? Someone is determined to stop him.
The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Gläser: This YA Fantasy is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Emma believed that life was going her way and finding a magical book in her boarding school’s library that makes whatever she writes in it come true only furthers this belief. However, someone else also knows about the book and is determined to take it from Emma at all costs.
Keeper of the Lost Cities (Book 1), Exile (Book 2), Everblaze (Book 3), Neverseen (Book 4), and Lodestar (Book 5) by Shannon Messenger: These are the first 5 books of the Keeper of the Lost Cities Series. They start off with Sophie Foster, a 12 year-old telepath, meeting a boy named Fitz that can also read minds. She’s quickly whisked away from the life she knows in order to master the skills she’s always kept secret. Sophie must find out why she’s the secret key to saving her new world before the wrong person finds out why first.
Ruined by Amy Tintera (Book1): This YA Fantasy is about Emelina Flores and her question to find her kidnapped sister, Olivia. Lacking the powers of her fellow Ruined, she journeys to the enemy kingdom of Lera where she marries Prince Casimir, the next in line to the throne. Knowing that she’ll be killed if anyone finds out she’s not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em is willing to risk it all to salvage her kingdom and what’s left of her family. Can love soften Em’s heart enough to be her downfall?
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He: Probably my favourite genre of the moment, this novel is also a YA fantasy book. Princess Hesina of Yan dealing with the aftermath of her father’s murder and her sudden elevation to queen. Hesina turns to Akira, a cunning investigator with his own past, to help solve her father’s murder.
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Various Authors: This is an anthology all about the authors’ East and South Asian cultures.
Reflections by Elizabeth Lim (Book 4): This is a YA Fantasy Retelling of the story of Mulan – with a twist. Mulan needs to go to the Underworld in order to save Li Shang from King Yama (the ruler of the Underworld). While this is the fourth book of the “series”, each book is a standalone retelling of an old tale. This series is brought to you by Disney.
Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee: An Adult Contemporary story, this may seem different from the books I usually get myself but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in it. This is a story about two sisters and their journey through love, loyalty, and heartbreak. This is a book that deals heavily with mental health, a topic that is extremely important to understand.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon: This story takes place when Natasha finds out that her family is being deported back to Jamaica. The day before they leave, she runs into a boy named Daniel. This is a fast paced YA Contemporary Romance.
As Miss Beelzebub Likes by Matoba (Vol 1): This is a manga that caught my attention when I spotted it across the book store. The concept of Satan’s right hand [wo]man being a ditz and all about love sounds intriguing to me. I’m looking forward to reading the first volume of the series and, hopefully, continuing on with series.
Emma by Jane Austin: Being a Classic, most people probably already know what this book is about. Emma is an avowed spinster and matchmaker who’s convinced she knows best who should marry whom.
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James: Another Classic, in this tale spirited young Isabel Archer travels from Albany, New York to Europe to see what life has in store for her. She comes upon 2 suitors – one American and one English. This book shows the challenge between Isabel’s fierce sense of independence and society’s demand for propriety.
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy: Once again, a Classic novel. In Tess, the namesake heroine suffers through hypocrisy and injustices that plague Victorian morality.
Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, and Tobias Iaconis: This is a YA Contemporary Romance novel. It is about Stella Grant needing to keep everyone six feet away from her in order to ensure she’ll receive the lung transplant she’s waiting for. Will Newman can’t wait for the last week until he turns 18 to be over so that he can leave the hospital and see anything else. When they meet, six feet seems like torture to Stella. Would fix feet really make that much of a difference?
Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte: In this YA Fantasy novel, Keralie Corrington appears to be harmless but is, in fact, one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin is actually an honest, upstanding member of society but he runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him. When trying to get the package back, Varin finds the two of them in the middle of a conspiracy that ends with the four queens of Quadara dead. This leaves them reluctantly working together to find out who killed the queens in order to save their own lives.
The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston (Book 2): As Geekerella exceeded my expectations, I can’t wait to read the second book of the Once Upon a Con Series. This YA Contemporary is a Retelling of the Prince and the Pauper. Imogen Lovelace wants to do whatever it takes to save her favourite character in Starfield, Princess Amara, from being cut. Jessica Stone, the actor playing princess Amara, gets blamed when the script for the sequel gets leaked. This results in Imogen and Jess having to trade places in order to find out what happened.
Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima (Book 4): Without giving away a lot of the series, I can say that Chima’s YA Fantasy novels are some of my favourites. Her Seven Realms Series was a great read, though it started off a little slowly. As the Shattered Realms Series is the sequel series to the Seven Realms series, I highly recommend reading that series first to ensure a complete understanding of the characters and their situations (even though the Shattered Realms Series takes place during the following generation).
Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig: This is a YA Mystery/Contemporary novel with LGBT+ representation throughout. By day Margo Manning is a teenage socialite and by night she pulls off high-stakes cat burglaries with a team of flamboyant young men. One rebel heiress and four kickboxing drag queens find themselves in peril when the job to end all jobs backfires on them.
A Blade so Black by L.L. McKinney: A YA Fantasy telling of Alice in Wonderland is just my speed. I believe this is the fifth retelling of Alice in Wonderland that I’ve personally bought for myself. I know very little about this story aside from the fact that it’s a series and that Alice is battle hardened. I can’t wait to read what Alice gets up to in this version of one of my favourite children’s stories.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate: This is a middle grade story about animals and their lives in captivity. Ivan is an easygoing gorilla that enjoys his life in captivity until he meets Ruby, a baby elephant that’s recently been ripped away from her family. She shows Ivan that his home is not as perfect as he believed it to be.
Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi (Eternal Edition, Vol 1): A remastered (if that’s what it’s called when speaking about books) version of Sailor Moon. As this was one of my favourite anime growing up, I couldn’t help but pick up the first volume when I saw it in store. Usagi, known as a crybaby, begins her journey in discovering her hidden strengths and challenges as Sailor Moon.
King of Fools by Amanda Foody (The Shadow Game, Book 2): This is the sequal to Ace of Shades. As I’m looking forward to reading Ace of Shades and I believe I’ll enjoy the story, I went ahead and got the second book so I won’t have to wait a long time before continuing on with the story once I start. I haven’t even read the synopsis of this book yet as I don’t want it to spoil anything from Ace of Shades.
Legacy by Shannon Messenger (Keeper of the Lost Cities, Book 8): While at the time of writing this I’ve only read the first 2 books in the series, I’ve already fallen in love with the characters and Messenger’s writing. I know I’ll need to read this book as soon as it comes out (because I’ll definitely be caught up by then) so I had to pre-order the book. Legacy is scheduled to come out on November 5th, 2019 and I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. I know I haven’t gotten books 6 and 7, but I’ll definitely be getting my hands on them before November.
Of Ice and Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst (Of Fire and Stars, Book 2): While I haven’t read Of Fire and Stars yet, I’m anticipating I’ll enjoy this book based on what I’ve heard from other people. As this book is scheduled to be released on August 13th, 2019, I don’t have a lot of time to time to wait before I get to read it. I anticipate reading Of Fire and Stars as soon as I get Of Ice and Shadows.
The Lost Sisters by Holly Black (Book 1.5): This story (available as an audiobook and as an eBook) takes place between the events of The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King. I’ve alread posted a book review about this novella (and The Cruel Prince) if anyone is interested in more information about this series. I highly recommend it.
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee (Book 1): This story is about a girl named Jess and her trying to find her place in a world with superheros and supervillains. In a world where super powers are commonplace, being normal can’t be easy.
Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee (Book 2): This book follows the events in Not Your Sidekick, but follows Bells’ perspective instead of Jess’.
I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya: This is an autobiographical report about how Vivek, a trans artist, has had to face soceity’s ideals on what it means to be both a girl and a boy. It shows her struggles being labeled too feminine as a boy and not feminine enough as a girl. In this book, Vivek tackles the cumulative damage caused by misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia, releasing trauma from a body that has always refused to assimilate.
Sorry to Disturb the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell: In this contemporary mystery, Helen Moran must find out what happened to her adoptive brother and what caused his death. She must go to Milwaukee and face her estranged family in order to find out why her brother has chosen to die.
Jade City by Fonda Lee (The Green Bone Saga, Book 1): The island of Kekon is protected by honourable Green Bone warriors, people who are able to use Jade to enhance their magical abilities. When a drug is created to allow anyone to wield the power of Jade, the Kaul family must fight against their rivals the Ayt family in a clan war that’ll determine the fate of all of Kekon.
Entombed by Kate Baray (Book 7): This story takes place after the events of The Heartbeat in the House. As it is the 7th book in the series, I don’t want to say too much about it. For more information on this series, I suggest checking out my “March Wrap Up” post. While I’ve already committed to finishing this series, it’s not one that I’d recommend to others.
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera: This YA Contemporary takes place in a world where you’re told when you’re going to die the day it happens, but not how. However, there’s an app called “Last Friend” so that you can spend your last day with someone who is also supposed to die. This story follows Mateo and Rufus, two complete strangers that use this app to spend their last day together.
Whoops, I’ve done it again. My “too much” gene has caused me to buy even more books that I probably don’t need to own right this minute. Don’t be like me, spend your money responsibly. You don’t have to own a million different books, take advantage of your public library and borrow books when you can. I heavily encourage this as a library can give you an amazing selection of books and will allow you to branch out of your comfort zone way more often than paying for every book you read will.
Books purchased: 14
Okay, without further ado, my preaching is over. Here’s the books I picked up this month:
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan: After reading the Percy Jackson books, who wouldn’t want to read about Percy’s sarcastic comments about the Gods and their stories?
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend (Book 1): This is a Middle Grade Fantasy read all about a cursed girl named Morrigan Crow. Having been born on Eventide, she’s blamed for everything that goes wrong and is destined to die on her eleventh birthday. However, Juniper North appears and whisks her away into the safety of the magical city named Nevermoor. Once she’s there, Morrigan realizes that Juniper has plans for her to join the Wundrous Society. In order to join this, the most prestigious society, she needs to compete in four trials against hundreds of other children with talents – something Morrigan claims that she doesn’t have. She needs to find a way to win these trials in order to stay in the city to escape the death that was foretold. Reading the synopsis of this story gives me vibes of the hunger games with magic thrown in. I don’t know if that’s true at the moment as I haven’t read it yet, but I’m looking forward to figuring it out.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach by Mark Manson: While not the type of book that I usually go for, this Self Help book caught my attention. Who doesn’t want to learn how to take things a little less seriously sometimes? I’m not saying that you everyday life should be filled with not giving a flying f*ck, but sometimes people can care a little bit too much. This blogger cuts through positivity being the key to life, injecting his words with a dose of reality. One of the things that caught my attention about this book in the first place is the fact that Manson uses academic research along with “well-timed poop jokes” (because sometimes you need to appease the little kid in yourself) to get his points across. Learning when to stop running from your problems is something a lot of people struggle from, myself included. I’m looking forward to seeing Manson’s way of getting around your innermost insecurities in order to lead a fuller life.
Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers (Book 1): This is where living near a library comes into play. Seeing that this was the first book in a duology, I picked it up eagerly. Of course, I didn’t do enough research and it’s a duology based on a previously existing world in LaFevers’ His Fair Assassin trilogy. Luckily, instead of spending more money on books I’ll be able to borrow the trilogy from my public library. So while I bought Courting Darkness right now, I plan on putting it off until I can borrow LaFevers’ original trilogy first. Without saying much about the book, as I’m not sure what could be considered spoilers for the first trilogy, this is a Young Adult Fantasy read about two girls, Sybella and Genevieve, going along their separate quests. I’m sure they’ll meet along the way and this will change both of them – for the better I hope.
Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel by Val Emmich: This is a book inspired by the musical of the same name. When a letter that wasn’t meant to be seen gets shared to the world, Evan Hansen is no longer invisible. The only problem is, he has to lie about being the best friend of Connor Murphy, recently deceased. A Young Adult Contemporary book, Dear Evan Hansen focuses on Evan’s struggles with what every teenager struggles with – anger, regret, confusion, and most importantly a sense of self. A coming-of-age story, Evan needs to deal with himself in order to escape the hole he’s dug himself into and become a greater person.
Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett (Book 1): This is an Adult Fantasy story about Sancia Gradio, a thief with unique abilities. When she’s sent to steal an artifact of untold power – well, to her at least as she had no idea what she’d been sent to steal – Sancia catches the ire of someone for the Merchant Houses, resulting in her being wanted dead. In order to survive, Sancia has to team up with the unlikeliest of allies, use this powerful artifact for herself, and undergo a transformation that’ll change her in ways she never imagined. As an avid fan of the BookTuber Regan from the channel PeruseProject, I had to pick up this book. She’s mention it enough that it’s caught my attention and as I’ve had similar reactions to books as her in the past, this book intrigued me. I’m hoping this series is similar to the Poison Study series, as I also pick that series up on her recommendation and loved it.
A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan: A Historical Fantasy story about a family of witches that have been without magic for generations after Grandmére Ursule gives her life to save her tribe. The family never forget, though, and continued the Old Faith. However, magic begins to flow anew when Ursule’s youngest granddaughter steps into the magic circle in the middle of a ritual. This story takes the reader through five generations, starting in World War 2, as they fight to protect their family and heritage. Paranormal reads are a weakness of mine, so I can’t wait to pick this one up.
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody (Book 1): When her mom goes missing, Enne Salta must put aside her proper young lady ways, leave her finishing school, and enter the City of Sin. She enters the city with one lead – the name Levi Glaisyer. Not the gentleman she expects him to be, Enne offers up compensation for his help in uncovering what happened to her mother. Levi, a street lord and conman, agrees to help in the search. Unearthing impossible secrets about her past, Enne ends up needing to surrender herself to the city to save Levi from his enemies as they catch up with him.
The Bear and the Nightingale (Book 1) and The Girl in the Tower (Book 2) by Katherine Arden: Another BookTuber recommendation, I couldn’t help but pick up the first two books in the trilogy in paperback. I’ll have to patiently wait to purchase the third one, which shouldn’t be too hard as I’ve already got a wide selection of books to choose from at home. As I don’t want to spoil the series for anyone, the first book is about Vasilisa living in the Russian wilderness where winter lasts most of the year. When Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father remarries and her new stepmother forbids the family from honouring the household spirits. Vasilisa senses that more hinges on their rituals than they anyone realizes, defying the people she loves and calls upon long concealed powers to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.
Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton (Book 1): 17 year old Mia Rose has pledge her life to hunting Gwyrach, the same demons that killed her mother. When her dad pledges her marriage to the prince, she’s forbidden from taking up her knife again. She instead finds herself being forced into silk gowns. After the wedding goes horribly wrong does she realize she has the same magic that she’s sworn to destroy.
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst (Book 1): Princess Dennaleia has been betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria as a way to seal the alliance between the two lands. But Denna has a secret affinity for fire, dangerous for a queen while magic is forbidden in the kingdom. After a shocking assassination, Denna finds herself forced to rely on Princess Amaranthine – Mare – the sister of her betrothed. While originally intimidated by Mare, Denna quickly becomes her friend which in turn leads to something more. With the dangerous conflict brewing, the alliance between the two kingdoms is more important than ever and acting on their feelings could be deadly.
A great opportunity to get books at a discounted price as well as a way to save space in your home, eBooks often get a bad rap that they don’t deserve. While I mostly get my eBooks off of BookBub, and thus am able to survive off of free and heavily discounted eBooks, even without this site (which is very useful, believe me) eBooks are very reasonably priced. If you’re the kind of person that likes to own their books (I get it, libraries aren’t for everyone even though I highly recommend them), eBooks are a great way to go about this. It allows you to own the titles you want without having to dish out large sums of money to grow your collection.
Frostfire by Amanda Hocking (Book 1): Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful troll tribe. A tracker who’s determined to become respected, her only goal is to become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royal family. Not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden will stand in her way. When Konstantin, a fallen hero she once loved, begins to kidnap changelings, Bryn is sent out to stop him. I read this series a number of years ago and remember really liking it. While my tastes have changed over the years, I’m excited to see if this series is as good as I remember it being. Still, only getting the first book is a great way to dip my toe into the world before fully committing to the trilogy.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell: A Young Adult Contemporary book about sixteen year old star-crossed lovers over the course of a school year. While they both know that first loves rarely last, they’re willing to try to make things work. As I have already read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, I found myself wanting to try more books by this author. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book so I figured why not give it a try?
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford a lot of books like I do. Thankfully, there are still ways for book lovers to be able to read without having to buy the books themselves. One of my favourite ways to do this is to visit my public library. As well, the library is a great place to go if you’re not sure if you’d like to own a book or you want to try something out of your comfort zone without the commitment of owning the book.
This week, I swung by the library and picked up a couple of books. I only stopped by the Young Adult section this time as I didn’t have a lot of time to spend in the library. However, I usually try to diversify my picks a little more when I go to the library. Here are the books I picked up:
Pirouette by Robyn Bavati: As someone who took dance classes for 16 years – from age 3 to 19 – I’m always up for a good dance book. Sadly, not every book about dance that I’ve read has been good. In order to get around that, I tend to borrow these kinds of books from the library when I can. In the case of Pirouette, the story is a Young Adult, Freaky Friday-esque read with a touch of dance thrown into it. When twins Simone and Hannah are adopted by different families, they’re unlikely to know that they’re identical twins. Simone was raised as a dancer but hates performing, whereas Hannah loves to dance but her parents don’t take her passion seriously. The girls meet for the first time at age fifteen and decide that this chance meeting is a perfect opportunity for them to switch lives. Centered around one twin’s love of dance and the other’s unwillingness to continue, I find myself looking forward to reading more about this world of dance. I’m hoping that the book doesn’t throw dance into the background like most dance novels I’ve read do.
Replica by Jenna Black: A YA novel about Nadia Lake who has an arranged marriage with the most powerful family in her state. Living a life of luxury as well as public scrutiny, Nadia’s future is assured as long as she can keep up her image. Her fiance, Nate Hayes, is a notorious playboy and heir of Paxco, the company that created human replication technology. While not in live, Nate and Nadia are happy enough with there match. That is, until Nate ends up dead and Nadia was the last person to have (reportedly) seen him alive. When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows nothing about what happened after his last memory backup. Together, Nadia and Nate must find out who killed him without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.
The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright: In this YA Contemporary, American Evie Gray follows her now-deceased mother’s letters in order to discover what secret life she held before Evie was born. Her first stop, Oxford, her mum’s alma mater. Here she runs into Edmund Stuart, the second prince of England. They two face their growing attraction as they work together to unravel the clues that her mum left behind.
Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton (Book 1): 17 year old Mia Rose has pledge her life to hunting Gwyrach, the same demons that killed her mother. When her dad pledges her marriage to the prince, she’s forbidden from taking up her knife again. She instead finds herself being forced into silk gowns. After the wedding goes horribly wrong does she realize she has the same magic that she’s sworn to destroy. While I ended up ordering this book for myself while Barnes and Noble was having a sale, when I saw this book in the library I felt the need to pick it up. This way, I don’t have to wait to read it if I don’t want to but I also won’t feel the rush to finish the book before all of the library books are due.
The Reader by Traci Chee (Book 1): In this YA Fantasy, after her father is killed Sefia escapes to the wilderness with her aunt Nin. Nin teaches her how to hunt, track, and steal. When Nin gets kidnapped, none of Sefia’s skills can tell her where her aunt is or even if she’s still alive. Her only clue is an odd rectangular object she comes to realize is a book. In her otherwise illiterate society, this is a rare find. With its help, and the help of a mysterious stranger, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and figure out what really happened to her father. Of course, my primary reason for picking up this novel was that a key feature to the story is the book that Sefia has. As an avid reader myself, I love reading about books within books.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (Book 1): Maya is cursed with a promised marriage of death and destruction, earning her scorn and fear from her father’s kingdom. When her father, the Raja, arranges a marriage of political convenience, Maya soon becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. As Akaran’s queen she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife she finds compassion, protection, desire. However, Akaran’s secrets soon make Maya suspect her life is in danger. In this novel Maya needs to inravel an ancient mystery spanning reincarnated lives to save those she loves most… including herself.
As per my aesthetic, instead of focusing on homework or doing laundry like I should have, I found myself going to the bookstore once or twice. Here are the books I happily picked up this month:
eBooks (purchased this month, not including free books):