Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge review

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Published by Balthazar + Bray on January 28, 2014
Genres: fantasy, young adult, romance
Pages: 352
Goodreads

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

REVIEW

I REALLY wanted to love Cruel Beauty, I usually love fairy tale retellings: ACOTAR, Cinder and Heartless just to name a few. Cruel Beauty started off well, but I feel like it just went downhill from there. There are just so many aspects which I don’t even know how I feel about and I wasn’t particularly invested in the romance, which was the focal point of the story :/

Cruel Beauty was unique in the fact that it wasn’t a retelling of just ONE fairytale, but it was an amalgamation of quite a few, the main one being Beauty and the Beast. It also featured Greek Gods, Hades and Persephone, Rumplestiltskin, magic and more. However, all this combined with curses, secrets, bargains and demons felt a bit too much for me. There wasn’t enough foundation work and more aspects kept being added, leaving me confused, overwhelmed and not knowing how to feel. But one of my major issues was that it was so reminiscent of ACOTAR and ACOMAF, not only was the whole concept similar, but there were actions and lines within Cruel Beauty that were almost identical to those in ACOTAR and ACOMAF. So I couldn’t help but compare the two, even though I know I shouldn’t have! ACOTAR and ACOMAF are my all time favourite books, it’s going to be hard for anything to come close, so reading about this lack-lustre version, didn’t help my enjoyment of the story. Personally, I believe if I read Cruel Beauty prior to reading ACOTAR I might’ve appreciated it a lot more.

The characters in Cruel beauty were alright, but I was hoping for more! I liked Nyx, she was fiery, fierce and determined, just how I like my lead female characters! But in contrast to that, a few times just acted rashly and made poor decisions which I found a bit silly. The Gentle Lord is, of course, the frightening dark-haired man who looks 20 but is actually 10000 years old (sound like someone similar). But I felt like he lacked in certain ways, I didn’t fall for him and I didn’t find him alluring. Yes, sometimes he was funny and I enjoyed his banter with Nyx, as well as him appearing out of thin air and treating Nyx with respect. But his presence didn’t radiate off the page in a way that I hoped for. Unfortunately, the romance didn’t feel genuine enough for me, I wasn’t invested in it and it definitely didn’t make me swoon 😦 It kind of felt forced in my opinion, and I wasn’t for it.

Although it sounds like I despise this book, I certainly don’t, just comparing it to similar books, there was a lot that could be improved in my opinion. I did really enjoy the castle and it’s magical abilities, it would shift and change so Nyx was always exploring and opening various doors. Behind one door there could be deathly demons but behind another, there could be a magical glistening pond of water that you could drift across, it was truly magical!

Overall, I felt like Cruel Beauty has a lot of potential, and if a few tweaks were made it could be an incredible story. Or maybe my vision is just clouded because of reading ACOTAR and ACOMAF, who knows?! Despite not 100% enjoying this story, I have no doubts there are people out there who would love this book!

★★★

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Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is a meme created by Marcia of To Be Continued, you can find the dedicated blog here.

Physical Books

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivy

Winter 1885. Lieutenant Colonel Allen Forrester accepts the mission of a lifetime, to navigate Alaska’s Wolverine River. It is a journey that promises to open up a land shrouded in mystery, but there’s no telling what awaits Allen and his small band of men.

Allen leaves behind his young wife, Sophie, newly pregnant with the child he had never expected to have. Sophie would have loved nothing more than to carve a path through the wilderness alongside Allen – what she does not anticipate is that their year apart will demand every ounce of courage of her that it does of her husband.

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

A teen plunges into a downward spiral of addiction in this classic cautionary tale.

January 24th

After you’ve had it, there isn’t even life without drugs….

It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean streets of an unforgiving city. It was a journey that would rob her of her innocence, her youth — and ultimately her life.

Read her diary.

Enter her world.

You will never forget her.

For thirty-five years, the acclaimed, bestselling first-person account of a teenage girl’s harrowing decent into the nightmarish world of drugs has left an indelible mark on generations of teen readers. As powerful — and as timely — today as ever, Go Ask Alice remains the definitive book on the horrors of addiction.

Wool by Hugh Howey

An epic story of survival at all odds and one of the most anticipated books of the year.

In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.

Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.

To live, you must follow the rules. But some don’t. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism.

Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside.

Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.

eBooks

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.

The Kiss of Deception of Mary E. Pearson

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia’s life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There’s Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny.

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

Lia has survived Venda—but so has a great evil bent on the destruction of Morrighan. And only Lia can stop it.

With war on the horizon, Lia has no choice but to assume her role as First Daughter, as soldier—as leader. While she struggles to reach Morrighan and warn them, she finds herself at cross-purposes with Rafe and suspicious of Kaden, who has hunted her down.

In this conclusion to the Remnant Chronicles trilogy, traitors must be rooted out, sacrifices must be made, and impossible odds must be overcome as the future of every kingdom hangs in the balance.

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Carlos Fuentes doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him in Boulder, Colorado. He wants to keep living on the edge, and carve his own path-just like Alex did. Unfortunately, his ties to a Mexican gang aren’t easy to break, and he soon finds himself being set up by a drug lord.

When Alex arranges for Carlos to live with his former professor and his family to keep him from being sent to jail, Carlos feels completely out of place. He’s even more thrown by his strong feelings for the professor’s daughter, Kiara, who is nothing like the girls he’s usually drawn to. But Carlos and Kiara soon discover that in matters of the heart, the rules of attraction overpower the social differences that conspire to keep them apart.

As the danger grows for Carlos, he’s shocked to discover that it’s this seemingly All-American family who can save him. But is he willing to endanger their safety for a chance at the kind of life he’s never even dreamed possible?

Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas

The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power.

Freya was never meant be queen. Twenty third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne.

Freya may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, Freya knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom – and her life.

Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisors. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her, but also wanted more power for himself.

As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.

Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

Ringer by Lauren Oliver

Like its ambitious companion novel, Replica, this far-reaching novel by powerhouse bestselling author Lauren Oliver digs deep into questions of how to be a human being in a world where humanity cannot be taken for granted.

In the world outside the Haven Institute, Lyra and Caelum are finding it hard to be human—and neither of them knows where they belong or who they can trust. When Caelum leaves without warning to pursue the dream of a place he belongs, Lyra follows him, convinced that together they will hunt down a cure for the illness that’s slowly consuming her mind. But what they uncover is a shocking connection to their past—even as their future seems in danger of collapsing.

After discovering the uncomfortable truth about her connection to the Haven Institute, Gemma struggles to return to her normal life. But when she learns that her controlling and powerful father has new plans for Lyra and Caelum, Gemma and her boyfriend, Pete, leave in the middle of the night to warn them of the danger they face.When an untimely accident derails them, they are mistaken for the escaped replicas and seized by strangers hired to capture them. The Haven Institute wasn’t destroyed after all, and now Gemma is the one behind the walls.

Lyra’s and Gemma’s stories can be read separately—with either story first—or in alternating chapters, but no matter which way you turn the book, the two distinct stories combine into one breathtaking experience for both heroines and readers alike.

Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin

They have one summer to find what was lost long ago.

“Never settle for less than the truth,” she told him.

But when you don’t even know your real name, the truth gets a little complicated. It can nestle so close to home it’s hard to see. It can even flourish inside a lie. And as Chase Walker discovered, learning the truth about who you are can be as elusive–and as magical–as chasing fireflies on a summer night.

A haunting story about fishing, baseball, home cooking, and other matters of life and death…from the author of The Dead Don’t Dance and When Crickets Cry.

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

New York City.
1927.
Lights are bright.
Jazz is king.
Parties are wild.
And the dead are coming…

After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that early claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough of lies. They’re more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward’s Island, far from the city’s bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten–ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows.

With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over, and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them fact-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they’ve ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation–a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves.

The Friday 56 (3)

Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rosecityreader and The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, be sure to visit their blogs!

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Beginning:

I was raised to marry a monster.

Page 56:

It looked exactly like the shadow that would be cast by a man walking one step in front of me, dragging me forward. But no hand grasped my wrist, only a band of shadow; and no one walked in front of me.
Except this walking shadow.
Nobody knew what the Gentle Lord’s demons looked like, because no one had survived meting them sane enough to tell.

 

The Friday 56 (3)

The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin review

The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin
Published by Broadway Books on June 1, 2010
Genres: fiction, romance, contemporary, adventure, adult fiction
Pages: 336
Goodreads

When a blizzard strands them in Salt Lake City, two strangers agree to charter a plane together, hoping to return home; Ben Payne is a gifted surgeon returning from a conference, and Ashley Knox, a magazine writer, is en route to her wedding. But when unthinkable tragedy strikes, the pair find themselves stranded in Utah’s most remote wilderness in the dead of winter, badly injured and miles from civilization. Without food or shelter, and only Ben’s mountain climbing gear to protect themselves, Ashley and Ben’s chances for survival look bleak, but their reliance on each other sparks an immediate connection, which soon evolves into something more.

Days in the mountains become weeks, as their hope for rescue dwindles. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever? Heart-wrenching and unputdownable, The Mountain Between Us will reaffirm your belief in the power of love to sustain us.

REVIEW

On its base level, The Mountain Between Us is a story of survival, but it is so much more than what meets the eye. It delves deep into hard-hitting topics and talks about love, loss, relationships and the hardships of life. It had me laughing out loud, grinning like an idiot and ugly crying so hard. This book is equally heartbreaking and heartwarming, and it has now become one of my new favourites!

Set in the middle of Utah’s wilderness in the middle of winter, The Mountain Between Us was a brutal representation of nature and how without the right resources humans are destined to die out in the wild. It was unforgiving, brutal and shone a light on the harsh reality of our world. Every time I open up a survival story I’m always reminded how fortunate to be where we are now, and this book was definitely no exception.

The characters within this novel are really what brought this book to life. Although reading about the cruel and constant struggle Ben and Ashely were forced to endure was intriguing, I was wholly captivated by the characters. Essentially, The Mountain Between Us is told in two separate time periods, we experience the unrelenting reality of their predicament as well as being transported back in time when Ben talks about his past with his wife Rachel. These alternate timelines would end in mini-cliffhangers which would continually ignite my interest, and I found myself not wanting to put the book down! Ben, the protagonist, was something else entirely. He is one of the most caring, loyal, determined and strong-willed characters I have ever come across. He’s a surgeon so he’s extremely intelligent, but not only in the medical sense, he seemed to grasp the meaning of life. There were a multitude of incredible paragraphs and quotes of Ben explaining his take on hope, love and relationships it was astounding how introspective he was. Not only did he have to take care of himself but he also with the burden of Ashely, which he had to haul for miles and miles, he remained steadfast and unwavering, it was incredibly inspiring. Ashley was the perfect companion for Ben, even with a broken leg she found light in any situation, she was patient and kept urging Ben on. Ultimately, Ashley was the reason why Ben tried so hard to save them both, and not only did they learn a lot about each other, but they also discovered themselves along the way.

The plot in The Mountain Between Us complemented the characters within the story and added suspense and intrigue to the novel. There was always something that nature would throw their way, whether it was lack of food, a snow storm or even an avalanche. The plot kept me on my toes, hoping so hard for these two characters to get out alive and safe. There were definitely moments that I wasn’t expecting, and one in particular that snuck up on me and broke my heart into pieces.

The Mountain Between Us is unlike any survival story I have ever read, to me it was less a book about survival but about life and everything it encompasses. This novel explored countless facets including relationships, love, loss, marriage, mindset, humour, positivity and more. Medicine and athletics featured heavily in this book as they were a considerable part of Ben’s life, so if you have more knowledge of those two topics then I think you will appreciate this book. I also loved Ben’s voice recordings, it was so unique and endearing, I really gained a better insight into his characters through his recordings.

Highly accessible in its writing style, The Mountain Between Us is a survival story infused with the deep meanings of life, love and loss. You will fall in love with the incredible characters as they take your emotions on a rollercoaster ride. This is my first Charles Martin book, and it definitely won’t be my last!

 

The Liebster Award

First off I’d like to give a huge thanks to Lyndsey @ Lyndsey’s Book Blog who nominated me for this award, be sure to check out her beautiful blog! Also sorry for my lack or award and tag posts, I’m super behind on all of my tags and nominations but I’ll soon be catching up!

Rules:

  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions they gave you.
  • Nominate 11 blogs and let them know they’ve been tagged.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.

Lyndsey’s Questions

  1. If you could live in any fictional world (doesn’t have to be fantasy, just any book world) which would it be?

umm… Prythian – Night Court. Enough said.

2. Which fantasy creature would you love to have as a pet?

Can I pretty please have a pet Rhysand?? He’s like half bat so does he count as a “creature”? 😂

3. If you could control one of the elements (earth, air, water, fire) which would you choose?

Preferably all (I mean can’t I just live my dream and be Feyre please?), but if I had to choose I think I’d go with air!

4. Do you prefer tea or coffee? How do you take it?

I used to like neither, but now I drink tea like 5 times as day funnily enough! I like herbal teas 🙂 p.s coffee makes me unbearably hyper so no coffee for me.

5. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

Too hot, I HATE cold weather and winter just ended so I’m happy now 🙂

6. What’s your favourite colour?

White and gold (if that even counts as a colour), I know it’s so weird but white is just like so refreshing and bright and minimalist I just love it!

7. Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Neither???

8. Go to your Goodreads to read list, what’s the fifth book on your list?

The Maze Runner by James Dashner!

9. Ketchup or mayonnaise?

Ketchup, or should I say tomato sauce? Cause that’s what we call it in Australia. Tomato sauce makes everything taste 10000x better and mayonnaise is just yuck (no offence to all the mayonnaise lovers out there)

10. Do you prefer paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks?

This is hard one cause really it all depends on the moment. I love paperbacks cause they’re tangible and easy to read but books cost money! Hardbacks are amazing but seriously I don’t have the type of money to be buying all my books in hardback just so my bookshelves are beautiful (but to the people who do, can I be you???). eBooks are sooo cheap and portable which I love AND I enjoy highlighting them and making notes without potentially ruining the book, but I hate it when the screen hurts my eyeballs. And audiobooks are great in those times when my eyes are dead and my brain can’t be bothered reading words. I love them all for all their different purposes, but if I had to choose one I’d have to go with paperbacks!

11. Who would be your dream book boy/girlfriend?

I’m sure everyone knows the answer to this question… RHYSAND. Btw, he’s not my dream boyfriend, he is my boyfriend.

My Questions:

  1. Are you into rereading? If so, what are some of your favourite books to reread?
  2. What was the last book that you added to your Goodreads TBR?
  3. A book that you think is over-hyped?
  4. What book did you think was better than the movie?
  5. Do you collect anything other than books?
  6. Have you always loved reading? If not, when did you discover your love for reading?
  7. Favourite time of day to read?
  8. A book that you loved but you now hate or don’t think you’ll like anymore?
  9. Favourite beverage or food to have whilst reading?
  10. Do you read when commuting?
  11. What is a book that you love but hate the cover of?

I Nominate

Ally @ Ally Writes Things / Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense / Lauren @ Northern Plunder / Namitha @ Teen Memoir

The Friday 56 (3)

 

Select by Marit Weisenberg review

Select by Marit Weisenberg
Published by Charlesbridge on October 3, 2017
Genres: young adult, romance
Pages: 352
Goodreads

Coming from a race of highly-evolved humans, Julia Jaynes has the perfect life. The perfect family. The perfect destiny. But there’s something rotten beneath the surface—dangerous secrets her father is keeping; abilities she was never meant to have; and an elite society of people determined to keep their talents hidden and who care nothing for the rest of humanity. So when Julia accidentally disrupts the Jaynes’ delicate anonymity, she’s banished to the one place meant to make her feel inferior: public high school. 

Julia’s goal is to lay low and blend in. Then she meets him—John Ford, tennis prodigy, all-around good guy. When Julia discovers a knack for reading his mind, and also manipulating his life, school suddenly becomes a temporary escape from the cold grip of her manipulative father. But as Julia’s powers over John grow, so do her feelings. For the first time in her life, Julia begins to develop a sense of self, to question her restrictive upbringing and her family prejudices. She must decide: can a perfect love be worth more than a perfect life?

 

 

I was kindly provided with an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

REVIEW

Select is an entertaining young adult novel that features an elite group of people with superhuman abilities. We follow Julia Jaynes as she traverses her new high school and becomes entangled with the alluring John Ford. Littered with secrets, betrayals and a forbidden romance, Select is intriguing, fast-paced and a story with an edge!

Set in modern-day Texas, Select reads like a contemporary with a few paranormal elements. The protagonist Julia Jaynes is part of the secret society of inbred preternatural beings who are a different species of humans. I found the first few chapters of Select extremely bemusing and slightly irritating, there was little to no explanation of who these “divine human beings” were, and I couldn’t fully immerse myself in the story because of this. However, as the story moved along, more pieces of information were provided and it slowly began to make more sense, it’s one of those novels where crucial information is purposefully withheld to maintain the reader’s attention. And I must say after I had some sort of sense of what these people were, I began craving more, and I instantly became intrigued. There was also a constant air of paranoia, as Julia had to keep her abilities under the radar which made the novel more suspenseful.

Select is hugely dominated by the forbidden relationship between Julia and Ford, therefore, these characters were the primary focus. I didn’t find any of the characters to be particularly special or mindblowing, but I enjoyed seeing Julia and Ford together. Julia is a part of the Lost Kids group, I found that she wasn’t bursting with personality, however, I think this was mainly due to the confinement and strict rules she was forced to abide by. Like many of the Lost Kids, she acted recklessly, needing to find some release from her abilities. However, meeting John, Julia slowly discovered another side of herself. John is that dark haired dark eyes, mysterious boy that Julia has an instant connection with. If anything it’s major insta-love, but I still really enjoyed reading about them as a couple. There were a few other characters present including Julia’s dad Novak, he sister Liv and step-mother Victoria, however, I didn’t really feel for any of these characters.

The plot was mainly focused on the romance, but there was also the looming “relocation” that was soon going to take place and added some intrigue to the story. As Julia spends more time with John she begins to unravel some of the secrets her family are keeping from her, as well as parts of herself she’d never known about. I loved how Julia could read John’s mind, he thought some hilarious things and Julia would burst out laughing! I haven’t read many books where characters could read others minds so I really appreciated this aspect. There was a huge contrast between Julia’s extremely wealthy family and John’s who were struggling financially, and it was a nice exploration of socio-economic status. Select wasn’t brimming with diversity, however, John’s brother Alex had a boyfriend named Dave, but this was only mentioned once or twice. Julia’s family and The Lost Kids’ abilities were quite unique, they were as if the were advanced versions of human beings. They were faster, strong, could sense something that was about to happen and had telekinesis. I enjoyed reading about their abilities, I found it to be something different to most novels.

Overall, Select was a great read, with an alluring romance, unique powerful superhumans and secrets waiting to be revealed.

★★★

The Friday 56 (3)

 

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is a meme created by Marcia of To Be Continued, you can find the dedicated blog here.

ARC’s

Smoke & Mirrors by Michael Faudet

Smoke & Mirrors is the third book from internationally bestselling poet Michael Faudet, author of Bitter Sweet Love and Dirty Pretty Things—both finalists in the 2016 and 2015 Goodreads Readers Choice Awards.

Michael Faudet’s latest book takes the reader on an emotionally charged journey, exploring the joys of falling madly in love and the melancholy world of the brokenhearted. Beautifully captured in poetry, prose, and short stories, Faudet’s whimsical and sometimes erotic writing has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of readers from around the world.

Depression and Other magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim

Depression & Other Magic Tricks is the debut book by Sabrina Benaim, one of the most-viewed performance poets of all time, whose poem “Explaining My Depression to My Mother” has become a cultural phenomenon with over 5,000,000 views. Depression & Other Magic Tricks explores themes of mental health, love, and family. It is a documentation of struggle and triumph, a celebration of daily life and of living. Benaim’s wit, empathy, and gift for language produce a work of endless wonder.

Physical books

Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking

The second novel in the Kanin trilogy, from the international bestseller Amanda Hocking.

In this series, we return to the world of Hocking’s million-copy bestselling Trylle trilogy…

Bryn Aven is still struggling with her burgeoning relationship with Ridley. She’s also set on completing her mission to find the missing Skojare Queen. But when they do finally discover what happened, Bryn finds out that things are much more complicated than she’d originally thought.

And as she gets closer to the truth, Bryn is framed for the murder of the Kanin King himself. She ends up on the run, as home holds too few answers and no solutions.

Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking

Cast out by her kingdom and far from home, she’s the Kanin people’s only hope.

Bryn Aven – unjustly charged with murder and treason – is on the run. The one person who can help is her greatest enemy, the enigmatic Konstantin Black. Konstantin is her only ally against those who have taken over her kingdom and threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. But can she trust him?

As Bryn fights to clear her name, the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets are coming to light… and now the entire troll world is on the brink of war. Will it tear Bryn from Ridley Dresden, the only guy she’s ever loved? And can she join forces with Finn Holmes and the Trylle kingdom? One thing is certain: an epic battle is underway—and when it’s complete, nothing will ever be the same…

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

One of the most talked about fictional debuts ever, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing – among many other things – with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep in

to her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

eBooks

An Enchantment of Ravens by Magaret Rogerson

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

Soft Magic by Upile Chisala

‘soft magic.’ is the debut collection of prose and poetry by Malawian writer, Upile Chisala. This book explores the self, joy, blackness, gender, matters of the heart, the experience of Diaspora, spirituality and most of all, how we survive. ‘soft magic.’ is a shared healing journey.

Today Means Amen by Sierra DeMulder

Vivid, courageous, and candid, the poetry of Sierra deMulder speaks straight to the heart.

Dear you:
Whoever you are,
However you got here,
This is exactly where you are supposed to be.
This moment has waited its whole life for you.

These are the opening lines of “Today Means Amen,” YouTube star Sierra deMulder’s immensely powerful and virally popular poem, which lends its title to this collection. Like her fellow Millennial poets Tyler Knot Gregson, Clementine von Radics, and Lang Leav, Sierra has the gift of speaking directly to the reader. “Today Means Amen” has become an anthem of sorts to thousands, who find themselves reflected in its pain, its fierceness, its tenderness — but also in its triumphant culminating refrain:

You made it
You made it
You made it
Here.

The poems in Sierra’s new book explore the rocky terrains of love, family, and womanhood with this same remarkable honesty and generosity. Today Means Amen brings this important young poet’s work to an even broader audience.

Jane, Unlimited by Kristen Cashore

If you could change your story, would you?

Jane has lived a mostly ordinary life, raised by her recently deceased aunt Magnolia, whom she counted on to turn life into an adventure. Without Aunt Magnolia, Jane is directionless. Then an old acquaintance, the glamorous and capricious Kiran Thrash, blows back into Jane’s life and invites her to a gala at the Thrashes’ extravagant island mansion called Tu Reviens. Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.”

What Jane doesn’t know is that at Tu Reviens her story will change; the house will offer her five choices that could ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But every choice comes with a price. She might fall in love, she might lose her life, she might come face-to-face with herself. At Tu Reviens, anything is possible.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

Before

Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.

After

Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale

At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

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October 2017 TBR

I don’t have anything really going on in October so it should be a pretty relaxed month for me. I also might be participating in the Spook-a-thon, so I have quite a few books I’d like to get to!

 

 

Select by Marit Weisenberg

Coming from a race of highly-evolved humans, Julia Jaynes has the perfect life. The perfect family. The perfect destiny. But there’s something rotten beneath the surface—dangerous secrets her father is keeping; abilities she was never meant to have; and an elite society of people determined to keep their talents hidden and who care nothing for the rest of humanity. So when Julia accidentally disrupts the Jaynes’ delicate anonymity, she’s banished to the one place meant to make her feel inferior: public high school.

Julia’s goal is to lay low and blend in. Then she meets him—John Ford, tennis prodigy, all-around good guy. When Julia discovers a knack for reading his mind, and also manipulating his life, school suddenly becomes a temporary escape from the cold grip of her manipulative father. But as Julia’s powers over John grow, so do her feelings. For the first time in her life, Julia begins to develop a sense of self, to question her restrictive upbringing and her family prejudices. She must decide: can a perfect love be worth more than a perfect life?

The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba. An atmospheric, suspenseful and gripping story of two people finding love while fighting to survive. 

When a blizzard strands them in Salt Lake City, two strangers agree to charter a plane together, hoping to return home; Ben Payne is a gifted surgeon returning from a conference, and Ashley Knox, a magazine writer, is en route to her wedding. But when unthinkable tragedy strikes, the pair find themselves stranded in Utah’s most remote wilderness in the dead of winter, badly injured and miles from civilization. Without food or shelter, and only Ben’s mountain climbing gear to protect themselves, Ashley and Ben’s chances for survival look bleak, but their reliance on each other sparks an immediate connection, which soon evolves into something more.

Days in the mountains become weeks, as their hope for rescue dwindles. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever? Heart-wrenching and unputdownable, The Mountain Between Us will reaffirm your belief in the power of love to sustain us.

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

The next thrilling installment in the Harry Hole series.

The night the first snow falls a young boy wakes to find his mother gone. He walks through the silent house, but finds only wet footprints on the stairs. In the garden looms a solitary figure: a snowman bathed in cold moonlight, its black eyes glaring up at the bedroom windows. Round its neck is his mother’s pink scarf. Inspector Harry Hole is convinced there is a link between the disappearance and a menacing letter he received some months earlier. As Harry and his team delve into unsolved case files, they discover that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years. When a second woman disappears Harry’s suspicions are confirmed: he is a pawn in a deadly game. For the first time in his career Harry finds himself confronted with a serial killer operating on his turf, a killer who will drive him to the brink of insanity. A brilliant thriller with a pace that never lets up, The Snowmanconfirms Jo Nesbø’s position as an international star of crime fiction.

Depression and other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim

Depression & Other Magic Tricks is the debut book by Sabrina Benaim, one of the most-viewed performance poets of all time, whose poem “Explaining My Depression to My Mother” has become a cultural phenomenon with over 5,000,000 views. Depression & Other Magic Tricks explores themes of mental health, love, and family. It is a documentation of struggle and triumph, a celebration of daily life and of living. Benaim’s wit, empathy, and gift for language produce a work of endless wonder.

 

 

Turtles all the Way Down by John Green

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

Feed by Mira Grant

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop.

The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives—the dark conspiracy behind the infected.

The truth will get out, even if it kills them.

 

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

This Mortal coil by Emily Suvada

When a lone soldier, Cole, arrives with news of Lachlan Agatta’s death, all hope seems lost for Catarina. Her father was the world’s leading geneticist, and humanity’s best hope of beating a devastating virus. Then, hidden beneath Cole’s genehacked enhancements she finds a message of hope: Lachlan created a vaccine.

Only she can find and decrypt it, if she can unravel the clues he left for her. The closer she gets, the more she finds herself at risk from Cartaxus, a shadowy organization with a stranglehold on the world’s genetic tech. But it’s too late to turn back.

There are three billion lives at stake, two people who can save them, and one final secret that Cat must unlock. A secret that will change everything.

Smoke & Mirrors by Michael Faudet

Smoke & Mirrors is the third book from internationally bestselling poet Michael Faudet, author of Bitter Sweet Love and Dirty Pretty Things—both finalists in the 2016 and 2015 Goodreads Readers Choice Awards.

Michael Faudet’s latest book takes the reader on an emotionally charged journey, exploring the joys of falling madly in love and the melancholy world of the brokenhearted. Beautifully captured in poetry, prose, and short stories, Faudet’s whimsical and sometimes erotic writing has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of readers from around the world.

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September 2017 Wrap Up

September was a good reading month, I ended up reading 7 books (1 was a re-read). I’m looking forward to October!

Favourite book: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Least Favourite book: 
Odd & true by Cat Winters
Favourite review I wrote:
 The Dinner by Herman Koch

My lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

 My review   ★★★★☆

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be Queen of England.

Like that could go wrong.

The Dinner by Herman Koch

My review   ★★★★☆

Paul Lohman and his wife Claire are going out to dinner with Paul’s brother Serge, a charismatic and ambitious politician, and his wife Babette. Paul knows the evening will not be fun. The restaurant will be over-priced and pretentious, the head waiter will bore on about the organically certified free-range this and artisan-fed that, and almost everything about Serge, especially his success, will infuriate Paul.

 

 

Welcome Home by Eric Smith

My review   ★★★☆☆

Welcome Home collects a number of adoption-themed fictional short stories, and brings them together in one anthology from a diverse range of celebrated Young Adult authors. The all-star roster includes Edgar-award winner Mindy McGinnis, New York Times bestselling authors C.J. Redwine (The Shadow Queen) and William Ritter (Jackaby), and acclaimed YA authors across all genres, like Adi Alsaid, Lauren Gibaldi, Sangu Mandanna, Karen Akins, and many more.

 

 

 

Odd & True by Cat Winters

My review   ★★☆☆☆

Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.

In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

My review   ★★★★☆

The unrequited love of the girl next door is the centerpiece of this fiercely funny, yet heart-breaking debut novel.

Fifteen-year-old Matt Wainwright is in turmoil. He can’t tell his lifelong best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her; his promising basketball skills are being overshadowed by his attitude on the court, and the only place he feels normal is in English class, where he can express his inner thoughts in quirky poems and essays. Matt is desperately hoping that Tabby will reciprocate his feelings; but then Tabby starts dating Liam Branson, senior basketball star and all-around great guy. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough; but, as Matt soon discovers, he’s close to losing everything that matters most to him.

Humorous and heart-wrenching, A Short History of the Girl Next Door is perfect for readers who fell in love with All the Bright Places’ Finch or Stargirl’s Leo.

Anna and the French kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Re-read   ★★★★★

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up hearing in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

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Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rosecityreader and The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, be sure to visit their blogs!

Select by Marit Weisenberg

Book Beginning:

“Julia!”
That startled me. I turned my head, tucking my hair behind my ear so I could see Angus come to stand beside me.

56%:

John had bent his head to kiss me again when a knock vibrated through the door right behind my head.
“Mom and Dad just pulled in!”
“What?” John moved me unceremoniously to the side and opened the door. He walked into the hallway and must have seen that us brother was right.

 

What are you currently reading? Did you enjoy this book beginning and 56?

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