Friday, June 23, 2017

5 Ways That Blogging Has Changed My Bookish Habits


Today I am going to be discussing things about my reading and book buying habits that have changed since I started book blogging, or just generally lurking in the bookish parts of the internet. These are probably the five biggest things that I have noticed a change in since I really started thinking about it.

1. Where I Buy Books

Before discovering the bookish corner of the internet, I was perfectly content to buy books from the store. Being from a small town in the middle of nowhere, that store was usually Walmart or Target. Walmart generally had a really sad selection of books. And to be honest, the selection at the Target that I was able to frequent wasn't much better. I got to go to a Barnes and Noble like, once a year.

It wasn't until I discovered the bookish corner of the internet that I started to buy a few books here and there online. Now that I live really far out in the boonies and am neck deep in bookish stuff online, I buy most of my books online.

I still buy a book or two everytime I find myself in a bookstore, but there are just some books that need to be gotten RIGHT NOW, not whenever I can make it to B&N.

2. How I Choose What To Read

Nowadays, I know what most of the books that are out/soon to be out are. I only browse the bookstore enough to figure out which books they have in stock that I KNOW I want to buy. I don't even browse when I shop online, I shop with a purpose there.

Before blogging and the book community, I would pick up books that I liked the cover or title of and buy it if the synopsis sounded good. I will admit that I haven't bought as many giant disappointments since I stopped book shopping that way, but sometimes it's fun to just go buy a random book off the shelf.

3. What Format I Buy My Books In

I used to not really care what format I had books in as long as my series all matched. I bought a lot more paperbacks and ebooks. Now I find that I would rather have the hardcover than anything else.

I can probably attribute that to buying so many of my books right after they're released now, but I also just like the way hardcovers look better than paperbacks. And I have just lost most of my interest in ebooks all together since I learned the hard truth that I wasn't actually going to save much money by going digital.

4. Where & When I Stop Reading a Book

Before blogging, I wouldn't let myself put a book down anywhere except at a chapter break. I found it a lot easier to keep track of what was going on and I didn't have to search the page to figure out where I had left off. Now that I spend a lot more time reading, and not solely just for pleasure, I have stopped caring so much and will stop reading mid sentence if I need to get up and do something.

I also just refused to DNF books. It felt like such a waste of money if I stopped reading a book that I paid for. I just pushed on through and hoped that things would turn around. I can think of one book that I DNFed before I started blogging and that was Eat Pray Love.

I haven't DNFed a LOT of books, I probably should do it more than I currently do, but it's a lot easier to do now that a lot of books I'm reading are for review and I don't have to pay for them.

5. Reading a Series

I used to be really particular about reading a series. If I read the first book and liked it, I would go out of my way to get the rest of the books so I could read them all back to back. I have gotten really lax about that.

I have SO many trilogies and duologies on my bookshelves right now that are partially read. I will read the first book, LOVE it, buy the rest of the series, and watch it gather dust on my shelves. I have at least 11 series right now that are started and need to be finished.

This is probably my least favorite change in my reading habits since I started blogging. There's just no time to read a whole series because I am forever behind on my obligation reading.

What are some ways that your bookish habits have changed since you started blogging? Do you have any of the same problems as I do? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I am waiting for...


Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller
Daughter of the Pirate King #2
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: February 27th, 2018
Pages: 272

Summary (from Goodreads):

As of the time that I am writing this post, there is no summary on Goodreads. So I guess I won't be including one. But I don't need to know what happens in this book to know how desperately I need more Alosa, MORE Riden, and so much more general lady pirate badassery.

What books are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts


Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Netgalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 352

Summary (from Goodreads):

Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . . 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

What I liked:

One of my favorite things about this book is the characters and the friendship that they develop over the course of the story. Tilla, Jax, Miles, Zell, and Lyriana are all thrown together simply because of the fact that they all sat at the bastard's table at a feast held in Tilla's home, Castle Waverly. Tilla and Jax are half siblings, sharing a mother. Miles is the bastard of House Hampstedt, who are close friends with House Kent, which Tilla is the bastard of. Zell is a fierce Zitochi warrior, disowned by his brutal father. And Lyriana is the visiting Princess of the Kingdom, who just wanted to sit at the bastard's table to learn more of them.

For the most part, they don't really belong together, but after being framed for a murder they didn't commit and racing to warn the King of the impending second Great War, they become close. They look out for each other and save each other's skin a time or two. I don't really think it's the best developed friendship ever, but I still enjoyed it.

Another thing that I liked about this book was the fact that it was pretty much nonstop action. I think that this was a really good book to get me out of my slump because there was really never a dull moment from the moment they watch the Archmagus be killed.

I appreciated the reason behind the impending second Great War. I have been sitting here forever trying to explain why I feel that way, but I can't do it, but just know that I liked it.

What I didn't like:

While I did like the characters and the relationships, I didn't really feel like any of them were really well developed. I don't really feel like I know any of the characters. I don't really know anything about them except that they're bastards and the reasons around why they're bastards still or at all. I don't know what they like or really who they are beyond being bastards.

I liked the relationship pairings that we ended up with in the books, but like, they didn't completely come out of left field, but I didn't see in the books really WHY these characters ended up liking each other. How they grew on each other. They just kind of felt forced together.

Something else that I don't know how I really feel about is the way the character's talked. It was so modern for the setting, which felt kind of off for me.

Another thing that felt off to me was being inside Tilla's head. I liked her as a character. And I liked following her and getting her perspective. But her thought processes just didn't feel like they were from a girl to me. I thought it was weird how she was so concerned with kissing and making out all the time. It felt so weird to me.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this book. It was a quick, engaging read. I think it may have pulled me out of my reading slump! It was fast-paced, had an interesting group of friends, and this book even managed to make me cry twice. Which, if a book can make me cry, it automatically makes me like it more.

If you like books with scheming, magic, and life and death stakes, you will probably like this book.

Have you read Royal Bastards yet? What did you think of it?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

Today I'm going to be sharing the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag! I had kind of a sad selection of books to choose from because I've only read 15 so far. Oooooops. But here we go!

Best Book Read in 2017

     

I would have to say either Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham or Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer.

Best Sequel Read in 2017

I have been doing so poorly at reading since March that I have hardly read anything at all this year so far and none of the few books that I have read have been sequels.

New Release You Haven't Read Yet, But Want To:

          

     

Umm... All of them? Seriously there are so many that I want to read. Just a few of them are Song of the Current, The Beast is an Animal, Given to the Sea, When Dimple Met Rishi, and The Hate U Give. I have all of these except The Beast is an Animal. So I should hop to it already.

Most Anticipated Release for Late 2017

     

Obviously Alexandra Bracken's latest is going to be on this list. Besides that though, I am super looking forward to Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz. There are probably a bunch more I'm looking forward to, but these are definitely the most notable.

Biggest Disappointment of the Year So Far

     

Wintersong and Empress of a Thousand Skies are 2017 books that I was highly anticipating. But they are definitely two huge disappointments for me this year. With Empress I just didn't really care what happened, but I just flat out hated Wintersong.

Biggest Surprise


I'm going to go with Letters to the Lost for this one. While I did think that it sounded like a book I might like when I picked it up, I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did. Mostly because contemporary isn't usually my thing. I was on vacation and I found that I just couldn't put this one down!

New Favorite Author

While I have liked a lot of the books I have read by new-to-me authors this year, I don't know if I can say that any of them have hit my list of favorite authors yet.

Newest Fictional Crush

     

I don't think that I've read about any fictional boys that were super memorable to me or really made my fictional crush list, but if I were going to have to choose, I think that Vikram from A Crown of Wishes and maybe Arcus from FrostBlood were probably my favorite.

Newest Favorite Character

I don't think that I've read a book with a character this year that would go so far as to make my All-Time-Favorite-Characters list. But for the sake of choosing a character I'm going to say Rev from Letters to the Lost. I just really liked his character and I'm SO happy that he is getting his own novel next year!

A Book That Made You Cry

     

I found myself getting a little teary-eyed during both Royal Bastards and Blood Rose Rebellion. 

A Book That Made You Happy


I'm going with Geekerella for this one. This was a light read. It was fun and cute! I am glad that I gave this one a chance because it definitely sounded a lot fluffier than the contemporaries I usually find myself enjoying.

Favorite Adaptation You Saw This Year

I honestly don't even think that I've gone to a movie yet this year. And I don't think I've watched any adaptations at home either. I bought the adaptation of Dark Places by Gillian Flynn though.

Favorite Post You've Done This Year

I'm going to say either my Bookish Aesthetics post or my A Glimpse Back in Time post for Dreamland Burning.

The Most Beautiful Book You Bought This Year


I'm going to go with Song of the Current for this one because I love that the letters on the cover are GLITTERY!!!

Books You Need To Read Before The End Of The Year

See "New Releases You Haven't Read Yet, But Want To" as well as "Most Anticipated Release For Late 2017" above.

Also:

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi
Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
The Rattled Bones by Shannon M. Parker
This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis
Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
Hunted by Meagan Spooner

...you know, just to name a few. There are so many that I'd love to read before the end of the year, but at the rate I'm going, that's not gonna happen!!

What are some of the best books you've read so far this year? What was your biggest disappointment? Did you find any new favorite characters, crushes, or authors? What do YOU need to read by the end of the year?


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (#67)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to highlight books received each week!

In the last week, I received...

Purchase:



I love the glittery letters on this cover!!!

Trade:


Gift:


THANK YOU, EMMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3

What kinds of goodies did you get in the last week?


Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Glimpse Back in Time (#9): Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham + GIVEAWAY


A Glimpse Back in Time is a feature where I talk about the interesting history behind the books that I read! If you want to see previous posts for this feature, look here!

Today I'm featuring Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham!


Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 21st, 2017
Pages: 365

Dreamland Burning is a story about the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. It is thought to be the worst incident of racial violence in American history. It occurred during a period of rising racial tensions and growth of the Ku Klux Klan.

In 1921, the population of Tulsa was over 100,000, with 10,000 African American residents. Most of the African American residents lived in the Greenwood district, an area with newspapers, churches, a library, and plenty of black-owned businesses. 

The riot began as the result of the arrest of a young black man named Dick Rowland. On May 30th, 1921, Rowland was riding on an elevator operated by a young woman named Sarah Page. She screamed and the most common explanation is that he might have stepped on her foot, but despite there being no evidence, white Tulsans believed that he attempted to assault her.

He was arrested the following day and barricaded in the top floor of the courthouse. The newspaper had printed an article that stated that Rowland attempted to rape Page and it obviously stirred everyone up. Armed groups of white and black men began showing up outside the courthouse. The white people were demanding that the police hand over Rowland, presumably so that they could make their own justice. The black people showed up to offer their assistance in protecting Rowland.

The actual riot began because a white man was trying to disarm a black man, causing a gun to accidentally go off. By the early morning hours, the looting and burning of Greenwood had begun, with the police doing little to nothing about it. By the time the National Guard arrived the next morning, most of Greenwood had been burnt to the ground. Martial law was instated and the National Guard began rounding up black people for internment, they also gathered up those held by white rioters as well. In all, over 6,000 people were held, some for up to 8 days.

Twenty-four hours after the riot began 35 city blocks were torched. That included around 1200 homes, making most black Tulsans homeless. Around 800 people were injured and the death toll started at around 30, but is today believed to be close to 300, almost all black.

Despite white people's attempts to drive away black Tulsans, they began to rebuild Greenwood.

Dick Rowland was exonerated, but an all-white jury found that the riot was pretty much entirely the fault of black Tulsans. And despite massive amounts of evidence, no white people were ever imprisoned for any murder or arson they committed. 

Sources:

BlackPast.org

Oklahoma Historical Society

Tulsa Historical Society and Museum

Have you read Dreamland Burning yet? Did you know about the Tulsa race riot? I know I sure didn't before reading this book.

After reading this post (and possibly my review if you clicked the link above), are you just DYING to read this book? Well, today is your lucky day because I am giving my copy away! Due to the fact that I already own this book and am giving it away, this giveaway will be US only (but not to worry international folks, I have another giveaway going on my blogoversary post!).

As always, no giveaway accounts will be accepted as winners.


A penny for your thoughts??

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting for...


Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
The Nevernight Chronicles #2
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Pages: 384

Summary (from Goodreads):

A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.


Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere.

I looooved Nevernight! And after that ending (TRIIIIC), I really want to see what is in store for us in this sequel!

What books are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Review: A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi


A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
The Star-Touched Queen #2
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: March 28th, 2017
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Netgalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 369

Summary (from Goodreads):

An ancient mystery. An unlikely union. For one young princess in a state of peril, a dangerous wish could be the only answer…

She is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

A Crown of Wishes, companion to The Star-Touched Queen, was everything that I had hoped for in a continuation of this story. It has the same magical quality to the book and the same beautiful writing. I have seen a lot of people say that they liked this book even better than the first one, but I don't think that I am in that same boat.

This book is every bit as amazing as The Star-Touched Queen was. I loved Gauri. I loved Vikram. I loved their journey to and through the Tournament of Wishes. I was just in the worst book slump of my entire life ever since my calving/Breath of the Wild hiatus and the gorgeous writing kept going over my head. It is so lovely to read, but I just have such a horrible time comprehending such flowery writing sometimes.

Anyway, this book follows Gauri as she meets Vikram in a dungeon in Ujijain before she is set to be executed at the request of her brother, Skanda. He invites her to be his partner in the Tournament of Wishes, held in Alaka in the Otherworld. The challenges start immediately as they are taken prisoner by a group of vanaras before they even hit the Otherworld.

The book is told from the points of view of Gauri, Vikram, and a vishakanya named Aasha that they meet during the first challenge in the Tournament of Wishes.

Gauri is fierce, she is brave, she is a soldier skilled in battle. She wants what is best for Bharata, even if she doesn't always go about doing what is best in the right way. She is the heir to Bharata, but she was sent away to be executed.

Vikram is cunning and smart. He is soon to be the ruler of Ujijain, a job that he is ready for, but will only be his in title.

I loved the romance in this book. I love the hate-to-love going on in this book. Gauri only plans to tolerate Vikram until she can get rid of him and make her way back to Bharata to save her friend. Vikram only chooses her as his partner for the Tournament because she fits the description he was given for who his partner should be. Vikram definitely makes more of an effort to be friendly than Gauri. But they really grow on each other in their adventures and I loved it.

The only reason this book fell a little bit flat for me is because this book slump is ruining my life. And as much as I love how beautiful the writing is, I really struggle to comprehend what is being said sometimes. Besides that, this book was everything I had hoped it would be. 

If you are a fan of The Star-Touched Queen, Indian mythology, and beautiful descriptions, this book is for you!

Have you read this series yet? What did you think? Am I the only one who struggles with flowery writing?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (#66)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to highlight books received each week!

In the last week, I received:

Purchase:

     

These two books I actually received longer ago than just this past week, but I was too lazy to put the pictures in my last post because I got them after I made the whole post. I bought them off the trade tag!

#OTSPSecretSister


This is a book I received in my May Secret Sister box! Thank you Lauren!!


This awesome magnet was a surprise from Emma!! I am so pumped to have it!!! She's so thoughtful and awesome!! :')

What goodies did you guys get in the last week?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on...


The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding #1
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Pages: 272

Summary (from Goodreads):

"I would say it's a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness."

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper's great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn't exactly the forgiving type.

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor's control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there's a lot Alastor isn't telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a tale of betrayal and revenge, of old hurts passed down from generation to generation. Can you ever fully right a wrong, ever truly escape your history? Or will Prosper and Alastor be doomed to repeat it?
 

New Alexandra Bracken books make me so happy! This one sounds like so much fun! And the cover is so cute, September can't come fast enough!

What books are you guys looking forward to this week?

Monday, June 5, 2017

Review: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves


Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Blood Rose Rebellion #1
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 28th, 2017
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Source: Netgalley
Format: eARC
Pages: 416

Summary (from Goodreads):

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show h
er prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

**I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

After causing a bit of a scandal during her sister's debutante spell and her parents being unable to marry her off, Anna Arden gets shipped off to Hungary with her grandmother until people have forgotten about the drama she caused.

Anna is our heroine. She was born to a Luminate family, but she herself is Barren, meaning she doesn't have any magic. However, she inexplicably has the ability to break spells as they are being cast. I liked Anna. In the beginning, I wasn't entirely sure how I was going to feel about her. It seemed like she wasn't going to be a character that I was going to like. I can't really pinpoint a real reason as to why I felt that way, I just did.

However, I had nothing to worry about because I ended up liking her just fine. After a group of rebels found out about her ability to break spells, she was asked to consider breaking the Binding, a spell that the Circle created to regulate the use of magic and only allow Luminates to use it. Which is basically the plot of this story. The rebels want her to join their cause.

I don't really know why this stuck out to me so much, and has stuck out to me more as I have thought about this book after finishing, but I really appreciated how much Anna weighed the pros and cons of her actions before coming to a definite decision. Breaking the Binding is a huge action that is likely to change her entire society as she knows it. There are a lot of good reasons to break it and plenty of good ones not to break it. Unlike a lot of books where it feels like the heroine makes more hasty decisions about such huge things, a lot of this book kind of felt dedicated to her trying to decide what to do. She would make a decision, get new information, and reassess the situation. It feels like such a little thing, but I really appreciated it because it felt so real to me. I just really appreciated how it was handled.

In Hungary, Anna lives with her cousins, Matyas and Noemi, her grandmother, and her uncle, Janos. I liked her family. Her grandmother seems so sweet and is so excited to have Anna with her in her home country that she loves so much. Her uncle isn't a huge character, but her cousins are kind of important. I liked them both.

In the beginning, Noemi and Anna get off on the wrong foot. Anna really offends Noemi, so they don't become fast friends. It takes awhile for them to warm up to each other, but I liked the relationship that they had after they started to like each other.

Matyas and Anna have a bit of a different wrong start. Shortly after meeting Anna, there is a bit of an uncomfortable scene where Matyas kisses her. They're cousins! And that just feels wrong and weird. However, it doesn't stop them from becoming close. Matyas often has to accompany Anna when she goes out from the estate in Hungary for propriety. I really ended up liking Matyas. He seemed like a fun guy.

The romance in this story is kind of a hit-or-miss for me. After arriving in Hungary, Anna stumbles across a group of Romani people and meets Gabor. He doesn't like Anna at first, but they keep running into each other and start to develop feelings for each other.

I liked Gabor, but I don't feel like he was really developed that much? The whole romance felt kind of like an afterthought that was just thrown in because generally YA has romance. It felt just so meh and really he only felt like he was at all present in this book because he just got caught up with this family and their drama. He doesn't want Anna to break the Binding, he doesn't really want anything to do with this rebellion, I don't think. He just got roped into all this basically by association. He doesn't participate a lot in this rebellion. He just feels like he's there to kiss Anna and cause some romantic angst or something.

I really liked that this book was set in Hungary. It was a very nice change from the beginning where it's set in England. I loved the culture and picture you get of Hungary. I want more books set in fun countries like that. I really liked how much Anna grew to love Hungary.

Overall, I liked this book. I was kinda meh about it in the beginning, but it definitely got better once Anna ended up in Hungary. It still wasn't amazing, but there was a moment in the end of this book that made me sob for some reason and it definitely redeemed the book for me. I don't know, I usually feel a lot more strongly about a book once it makes me really feel something like that. Before that moment, this book was probably more of a solid 3 for me.

I want to say that I would recommend this book, but I think it's only because I personally liked it. I don't feel like I have a real reason as to why I would recommend it. If it weren't for the sad scene at the end, I definitely would have liked it less. If you're unsure about picking this book up, I feel like you should either wait to see if people like the second book better (because right now on Goodreads, I'm seeing overwhelmingly more negative reviews) or just skip it altogether. If you're looking forward to it, I would say go for it. It isn't a bad book, it just wasn't the best book I ever read. I am probably going to pick up the second book when it comes out because I'm curious to see what happens next.

Have you read Blood Rose Rebellion? What did you think of it? Did you like it more than I did?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (#65): Recent Acquisitions

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to highlight books received each week!

Since I mostly disappeared from the blog for the last two months, I obviously haven't been doing Stacking the Shelves posts. And even before that, I kinda petered out on them. So it has been awhile since I shared with you what my recent acquisitions were!

Let me first tell you that just because the urge to pick up a book and read stopped, the NEED to buy books did not! Although, recently I do feel like I have had a lot more chill in the book buying department. Except when I actually go into a bookstore. That's when the struggles begin.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the books I have added to my shelves over the last two-ish months!


Wait For Me by Caroline Leech
Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi


Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes


To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough
Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle
Roar by Cora Carmack
Now I Rise by Kiersten White


The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally


A game guide for Breath of the Wild
Hyrule Field candle from The Melting Library

Not super bookish, BUT it is a book and a candle from a literary candle maker. And the guide is super pretty and I wanted to take a picture of it.


The newest additions to my Alexandra Bracken collection!

The UK paperback of The Darkest Minds
The Polish paperback of The Darkest Minds
An Australian paperback of The Darkest Minds

Thanks to Mariam for the UK and Polish versions and to Rebecca for the Australian one!

So yeah, that's all the books that I remember getting relatively recently! I have a lot of reading ahead of me it would seem!