Waiting on Wednesday // Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
The Shadow Game #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 10th, 2018
Pages: 400

Summary (from Goodreads):

Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn't have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne's offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems. 

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi's enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

What books are you looking forward to this week?

Review // Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine
Of Metal and Wishes #1
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: August 5th, 2014
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: Purchase
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 321

Summary (from Goodreads):

There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.

Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her... for a very long time.

As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her... and she might go down with it.

Of Metal and Wishes was a series that I picked up, probably like 90% because I remembered reading a review of the second book and I thought that it sounded really interesting. I honestly don't think that I ever looked up what the first book was about.

I probably would have liked this book better if I had read the synopsis and knew what it was actually about, but I went into this book pretty blind and I don't think that my reading experience benefitted from it in this particular case.

This book is kind of a steampunk retelling of Phantom of the Opera. The main character, Wen, lives in the Gochan One slaughterhouse factory that is "haunted" by the ghost of a factory worker that died on the job. There is an altar in the factory where workers leave offerings with little notes detailing their wishes and the ghost will grant wishes if it's within his power.

This book takes place during the busy season so the factory has just hired on a group of Noor boys and men. The Noor are like... another race or something, they're somehow different from the Itanyai, which is what Wen and the rest of the factory workers are. But the Itanyai really look down on the Noor as being less than human. They just want to make enough money to live and to send some home to their families, but with the way the factory bosses do things, that really isn't going to happen.

There is an accident in the factory involving a Noor boy that humiliated Wen in the cafeteria. The incident was brought about by a challenge that Wen issued to the ghost because she truly didn't believe in him. This accident brings Wen closer to the Noor and she ends up falling for the leader of the Noor, Melik.

So, the most notable thing about this book that I have to say is that I HATED the setting. The world feels so incredibly small in this book. The majority of the book takes place in the Gochan One factory and a little bit of it takes place in the Ring, which is like the group of businesses and houses just outside the factory. It literally doesn't feel like there is any world at all outside of the Ring. And I really just can't get over how much I hated the slaughterhouse factory setting.

The people in this book are awful too. I liked the Noor, and Wen and her father. And that's about it. I didn't like the ghost. I didn't like any of the Itanyai people. And I mean, honestly, I think that's the correct thing to take away from this book?? The Itanyai are awful to the Noor because of how they view them as less. They're also awful to women. They kind of act like their women need to be pure, but once they no longer are, they're like.... free game to whoever wants them? I would definitely say there should probably be a trigger warning for rape in this book. There isn't any ACTUAL rape, but there is at least one scene where some men try to take advantage of Wen because her relationship with Melik is out in the open and her reputation is 'ruined'. And it's gross.

Probably the only thing I liked about this book was seeing Wen's relationships bloom. Her relationship with her father. Her relationship with the Noor. And especially her relationship with Melik. Wen looks at the Noor the same as the rest of the Itanyai do in the beginning. Her views change after the accident that happened after her challenge to the ghost. She definitely blames herself and she ends up spending a lot of time with the Noor taking care of them when they're sick because her father is the doctor and she's kind of his unofficial assistant.

This is how she starts to get close to Melik. And they go through SO much in this book. There is literally something going wrong at every turn. Sometimes from the ghost. Sometimes from the Itanyai people. Sometimes it's one of those things where Wen sees something and immediately and vehemently believes the worst of Melik. Even though at the point that I'm thinking of, they barely know each other.

But by the end of this book, they definitely deserve to be together because of all the hardships they went through and how hard they fought for each other. I loved it. I loved them. And I hated the ending of this book because, of course, they get separated.

Overall, this book was mostly meh for me. It was a quick read, I read most of it in one day. The setting and people left a lot to be desired from this book, but the romance 100% saved this book for me. I don't know if I would actually recommend this book though. I mean, if you're a die hard Phantom of the Opera fan or you like steampunk stuff, maybe you'd like it.

Have you read Of Metal and Wishes? What did you think of it?

Waiting on Wednesday // Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: April 24th, 2018
Pages: 352

Summary (from Goodreads):


Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

What books are you looking forward to this week?

Monthly Wrap Up // February 2018

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Hello everyone! Can you believe it's already March? I can't!

Anyway, since I never ended up doing a wrap up for January, I'm also going to mention what books I read way back then. My goal for this year is to read 75 books. To hit that, I need to read 6.25 books per month, so I am aiming for about 6 books per month.

In January, I did not hit that little goal, but I made up for it in February! Also, I am counting DNFs toward my goal because I read as much of the book as I am going to!


So here is what I read in January:


1. Spy on History: Victor Down and the World War II Ghost Army by Enigma Alberti and Scott Wegener // Review + A Glimpse Back in Time

2. Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking // DNF Review

3. Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp // Review


4. Shadowsong by S. Jae Jones // DNF

5. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows // Re-read

Favorite of the month: The Orphan Queen

Least favorite (excluding DNFs): Before I Let Go


Read in February:


1. Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia // Review

2. The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows // Review

3. The Cruel Prince // Review


4. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco // Re-read

5. The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco // Review

6. Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine // Review to come

7. Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine // Review to come

Favorite of the month: THE HEART FORGER (!!!)

Least favorite of the month: Of Metal and Wishes


Book Haul

I feel like I lack self control so I have acquired quite a few books in the last couple months... Oops. Sorry, wallet.


1. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
2. Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
3. In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken
4. Through the Dark by Alexandra Bracken

^^ These were the new covers!

5. Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch
6. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
7. Here We Are by Kelly Jensen
8. Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon
9. Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst
10. Fate of the Tearling by Ericka Johansen

^^ These were from Book Outlet.

11. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
12. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
13. Sailor Moon vol. 2 by Naoko Takeuchi

^^ These were from a Barnes and Noble excursion.

14. Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

^^ This was from the publisher.


1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown
2. Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

^^ These were from #booksfortrade!

3. Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
4. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

^^ These were from Alyssa, my round 7 secret sister!

5. The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross
6. Orange by Ichigo Takano
7. Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki by Mamoru Hosada, Yuu

^^ These were from another Barnes and Noble excursion.

8. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

^^ This was the Owlcrate Exclusive edition.

9. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

^^This was because I loved it so much and needed a physical hardcover.

10. Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition, Vol 2: Oracle of Seasons & Oracle of Ages by Akira Himekawa

^^This one was from my round 8 secret sister!

11. The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

^^ This was an extra copy from a LitJoy Crate I got.


On the Blog

In the last couple months, I have posted a few interesting things besides the reviews I mentioned above!




You may have noticed that I also started a Booktube channel in February! I only have a few videos so far, but if you're interested, I have posted:


March TBR

These are the books that I am hoping to read in March!

1. Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
2. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
3. Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
4. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
5. The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh
6. Orange by Ichigo Takano
7. Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki by Mamoru Hosada
8. Sailor Moon vol. 2 by Naoko Takeuchi
9. Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons & Oracle of Ages by Akira Himekawa

The last four are for the Manga Madness Readathon at the end of the month. They have two options. One is to follow a bingo board with challenges and the other is to just read whatever. I will definitely be doing option two because these are the only four unread mangas I have at this time.


Life Stuff

So, I guess nothing super exciting has happened in the last couple months here. We had a group of early calving heifers that had their calves in the last week of February. They're basically done by now. But it's always fun to have little baby calves running around! I might put some fun footage of them in one of my booktube videos one day.

Besides that, I have finished all of the DLC in Breath of the Wild. I think I have like 150 korok seeds left to find and a couple of outfits left to level up before I'm ready to defeat Ganon. Because I think that's literally all that I have left to do in the whole game.

I started playing Stardew Valley. I played that like, nonstop for two weeks and now I'm slowly working on building up all of my friendships. I played it so much right away because I REALLY wanted to marry Harvey. Now I'm married and have a baby and am on year three. I even went out and bought myself a fun pink xbox controller to play with!

I still need to come up with a gamertag for my xbox account. Because unhorsedgem### isn't going to work for me. But I can't think of anything good! I'm half tempted to just use my blog name, but I don't know if I want to. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

The one friend I had at work doesn't work there anymore. He just kind of stopped showing up. It makes me sad because he was fun to talk to. But also I was sad because I had let him borrow six of my amiibos and I wasn't sure how I was going to get them back. But someone else from work is kind of friends with him, I think and got them for me. I was so pumped. That was like $100 worth of them and I wasn't sure how I was going to get them back because I didn't know how to get ahold of him.

I have been watching a lot of anime with my sister. We have watched Erased, Your Name, Forest of Firefly Lights, and now we started Your Lie in April. I am going to have to finish that one by myself because there just wasn't enough time when I was home. Which is fine because she claims I'm going to ugly cry and I think I'd rather do that alone. I like the show, but I think it's kind of dramatic for me.

Like I said, pretty uneventful over here. So I guess I'll quit rambling now!

How was February for you? What was your favorite book you read?

Review // The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco
The Bone Witch #2
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: March 20th, 2018
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: #booksfortrade
Format: ARC
Pages: 400

Summary (from Goodreads):

In The Bone Witch, Tea mastered resurrection―now she's after revenge...

No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life...and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her―and took the life of her one true love.

But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea's dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can't kill someone who can never die...

War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.

Bear with me as I struggle through this review. I am not entirely positive that I have good enough words to describe how I felt about this book.

The Heart Forger is told in the same way as The Bone Witch was. There is the present day point of view of the bard who is following Tea around while she takes care of business. And then the flashback portions where Tea is telling her story to the bard.

I was so enthralled by this book. I think that this one might be better than the first one. If only because it felt to me like it had more action. The story takes place over a shorter amount of time and focuses less on lessons and parties and learning the basics of being an asha.

Tea has now taken over Lady Mykaela's job of putting down daeva because she has grown far too weak to do it herself. She can't even leave Odalia because the nearness to her still missing heartsglass is what is keeping her going at all.

The plot of this book surrounds the Faceless going after the the direct descendants of the Five Great Heroes with their sleeping sickness. Prince Kance is the last to fall to the sleeping sickness and the old heart forger has figured out a cure, but has also mysteriously gone off the radar after going to Daanoris.

So the part of this book that is Tea's story basically is their journey to Daanoris to find the heart forger and save Prince Kance. And the present part of this story, if you recall from the end of the last book what she was off to do, was to overthrow Daanoris.

So what did I love about this book? First of all, the characters. This book definitely contains squad goals. Tea, Kalen, Fox, Zoya, Shadi, Inessa, Likh, and Khalad all go to Daanoris to find the old heart forger. I really liked this whole little group! I liked how they worked together and trusted each other. They were all just so fun to read about! I love them.

I loved the romance in this book as well. I love Tea and Kalen together. This book kinda tells you where in the first book they started falling for each other and now I want to go read The Bone Witch AGAIN just so I can see if I can tell. This is a book where pretty much everyone ends up kind of paired up, but I liked all the pairings! There is an m/m pairing and also an f/f one.

I need the conclusion to this series SO BADLY (I'm assuming it's a trilogy??) to find out what Tea did to find herself in the situation she is in. Because whatever it is, I'm positive that she is being framed or something because I feel like she hasn't done anything bad so far that wasn't called for or justified or somehow excusable.

Ooh! I loved the azi too! I thought the connection that Tea had with it was so cool. I thought the other daeva were cool too in the bard's point of view, but the azi was definitely the coolest.

This book is faster than the first one, it has more action, it has squad goals, it's got a little bit of heartbreak thrown in at the end, and this book ends in much the same way as the first one. Basically, Tea is leading her daeva on to another kingdom that she's got beef with and we still don't know what happened to Kalen.

I would definitely recommend this series if you're looking for books with necromancy, politics, magic, and did I mention SQUAD GOALS?!

Have you read The Bone Witch? Are you looking forward to this sequel?
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