Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · Reviews

Book Review: Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles (Book 1) by J.M. Sullivan

Alice

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Pen Name Publishing, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling

Plot: “Always protect your queen.”

Ever since the outbreak of the Plague, life hasn’t been easy, and for seventeen-year-old Alice Carroll, it just got worse. Her sister, Dinah, has contracted the ‘un-deadly’ Momerath Virus and without a cure, will soon be worse than dead. She’ll be momerath.

Alice must leave the safety of the Sector and venture into Momerath Territory to find the antidote – if it exists. Chasing a rumor about a mysterious doctor with the cure, Alice falls down the rabbit hole into Wanderland, where ravenous momerath aren’t the only danger lurking.

Opinion:

How doth the little crocodile improve his shining tail…?

Apparently with a bleakness as black as night, and a book review that just says:

Fail.

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Look. The first book in Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles isn’t necessarily bad…it’s just …not great.  I found it boring, dull, overly dramatic and cheesy, and felt that I had already seen/read this same plot about thirty other times. With that ridiculous zombie movement that hit Hollywood and every book shelf a few years ago, it’s hard not to feel like you have read EVERY single zombie story out there. But when I saw this, I had to request it from Netgalley because I LOVE an Alice retelling.

I’ve read the twisted versions, and I’ve read the sweeter versions. I had even read another Alice/zombie version years ago, Alice in Zombieland, and absolutely loved it. So naturally, I assumed this was going to be another series to add to my love of Alice in Wonderland retellings.

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I found Alice to be…okay. Her character felt simple and not fully developed, almost like the author was just riding the coattails of the Alice that we already know and love and assuming they wouldn’t have to put much effort into giving her a full-blown personality makeover. I found that I enjoyed how much she talked to herself, which reminds me greatly of the original character, because it gave another instance for the reader to find out what was happening instead of us just “sitting in her head” and “watching” through her eyes. But the constant moments of her jaw dropping when the moment BARELY called for a jaw drop, or her saying things like “awesome” and “how interesting” without being given a chance to see WHY those things were “awesome” or “interesting” was just…EXHAUSTING.

As I continued to read, it seemed that none of the characters really had much substance or excitement spewing from their made-up pores. Chess was a slightly interesting character, with a creative name, and I liked that his character was left shrouded in mystery for a good length of the story. In my opinion, he was probably the most interesting of all the characters just because it seems like he had the most thought put into him by way of snarky comments and pet-names for Alice. There IS a love triangle in this story that involves Alice, so if you’re ALSO starting to tire from these shapes, then beware. It’s a romance crammed into just a few days, so enjoy if that’s your sort of thing.

My grumblings and negativity aside, there were some positives in this story. You’ll notice while reading there are random bold letters in different words and paragraphs. If you want to take the time, like you KNOW I did, then it will spell out a little message. I found it a cute little touch for this story, and a little treat for the reader if they caught on…even if it didn’t spell out a clue to the story, I still found it intriguing. Another positive was the action and fight scenes that were spilling from the pages. There was a LOT of exciting moments for Alice to show off her skills, even though I’m still wondering how she learned all those deadly and murderous moves.

OH, SHE JUST KNEW HOW?!

For sure. I get it.

Anyways…I was hoping this story was going to blow me out of the water. Instead, it just blew up an inflatable water toy for me and I floated around a pond for a while. It wasn’t horrible, but it didn’t keep my attention or really grab me in at any time. I had little invested in the well-being of these characters by the end of the story and even went as far as skimming most of the last half of the book just to end it. Hopefully the next Alice story I read, which is waiting patiently on my Netgalley shelf, will be a little better.

2-stars

 

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books

Binding of Bindings: Love is in the Book Air

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I can show you the world,

Love, affection, devotion.

Tell me, reader, your afflictions,

So that you can avoid those books.

I can open your eyes,

To heartbreak and true love.

Under harsh rules and above,

On a magic book ride.

A whole new world,

With Fae, Ghosts and Murderers.

Some stories may start out sweet,

But then end dark and bleak.

But don’t let that keep you away.

A whole new world,

One where you can find your mate and lover.

You may cry with despair, or even joy

But no matter which, your tears will deploy.

Because those mushy stories are here!

Your heart will start pounding,

You might feel like you’re drowning.

But just make sure you come up for air.

A whole new world,

One of intrigue, passion and flare,

Don’t you dare turn away,

Here is where you have to stay.

Because:

~ * ~ Love is in the Book Air ~ * ~

 

 

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

*Sigh*

We all just need a Rhysand, don’t we?!

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This series is EVERYTHING our mushy, hopeful souls need when it comes to romance. Some Fae male to steal us away from the human realm, a first love, despair, true love/mates and a High Court of lethal dark characters.

I am currently reading this series over, AGAIN, just because I needed that soul-clenching love to hit me like a ton of bricks.

 

2. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen

A favorite of mine for YEARS! Just Listen is an incredibly sweet and sad story. It follows a girl named Annabel who is dealing with a very traumatic event that happened one night with her former friend Sophie. As she tries to come to grips with the event, she meets a guy named Owen who helps put her back on her feet.

This is SUCH a touching story that focuses on some serious topics like anorexia and sexual assault, but it is also a tender story of acceptance and forgiveness.

This will make you swoon.

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3. The Purification Era series by Angie Grigaliunas

If you want a Fantasy series obsession, with a truly envious romance, READ THESE BOOKS!

Sowing and Quelling follow the lives of two sisters, Ariliah and Rabreah, as they try to find their place in a village ruled over by the Hulcondans – ruthless soldiers who are meant to protect the city and inhabitants. For Ariliah, the Hulcondans are her protectors and people she trusts without question, but for Rabreah, they are vile and will take advantage of men and women just because they are the law.

Rabreah joins the rebellion and meets Sorek, their fearless leader. So ensues a tale of an uprising, battles and murders, and of course…romance.

The romance in this series is definitely one of my favorites, because the characters feel SO real and relatable. The love in this series is a slow-build, so one you can definitely get to know and appreciate. Plus, the female characters are BADASS and Sorek is truly my dream man. LOVE it.

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4. Atonement by Ian McEwan

Atonement

Grab your tissues boys and girls.

This will rip your heart out.

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This book starts in 1934 and takes the reader through World War II, following the lives of two lovers, Robbie and Cecilia. It begins with a young girl named Briony making a colossal mistake of accusing Robbie of a heinous crime one summer night, which in turns changes the lives of these three characters forever.

This is a tale of fierce love and loss, and will absolutely make you WEEP.

I’m not kidding guys, this will crush you.

But it’s just OH SO worth it!

 

5. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

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This is a BEAUTIFUL and UNIQUE YA contemporary romance that I know you guys will LOVE!

Steffi is a selective mute, and has been for years. But with her choice of silence comes isolation from her peers at school, until she meets Rhys. Rhys is deaf but is able to communicate with Steffi through sign language. Soon a romance sparks between them, and they learn how to navigate through the world together.

This book does a fantastic job of showcasing the struggles that both of these characters endure, while also giving it a positive layer of perseverance and helping one another grow.

It’s a fantastic coming-of-age story, and one with a romance SO sweet and innocent that you’ll want to put these two in your pocket.

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6. The Mediator series by Meg Cabot

I have always had a liking for Meg Cabot books (especially the 1-800-Where-Are-You series) and this series is no exception.

The main character, Suze, can speak to the dead. The series goes through her life at school, and each book showcases a new spirit who needs her help to cross over or move on. But the real story is with a ghost named Jesse who she falls MADLY in love with, even though they obviously cannot be together.

It is a very lighthearted and enjoyable series, and one you will FLY through.

 

7. Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

There obviously can’t be a “Love is in the Air” post without Throne of Glass!

This series as you know (at least, I hope you know) is positively SEEPING in romance and lust! There’s endless games of cat and mouse, love triangles, mates, deaths, battles and murders. It is a series with such intense and soul-crushing romance that you will never again be satisfied in an actual relationship in real life.

You can thank Sarah J. Maas for that.

There’s just SOMETHING about a man that would skin someone alive for hurting you

 

8. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

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Dreamland is another book you will need that box of tissues for, so I hope you’re stocking up now!

Caitlin and Rogerson.

The beautiful relationship that starts out so promising, so smoothly, and then…it shatters.

It’s a relationship that is just as much addicting as it is toxic. It is one that is SO relatable to so many readers, and teaches us all a really amazing lesson.

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Your heart will need bandaging after this one.

 

9. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

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I think we have all seen this amazing movie, but have you read the book?!

The book is set in 1958 and follows Landon Carter as he recounts his days in high school. He starts to spend his time with Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister, and soon a romance blossoms. This story is a passionate fairy-tale dream, one with a bad boy falling in love with a sweet girl…but one that also ends on a sad note.

If this doesn’t capture your heart, I don’t know what will.

My stomach is doing little flips just thinking about it!

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10. The Garden by John Nuckel

The Garden

The Garden is a short story of love and forgiveness.

Walt is nearing the end of his life, and while laying in the hospital he recounts small memories with his daughters and late wife, Meg. The reader follows Walt as he makes his journey into the afterlife by making amends with his daughter.

It is a short and sweet tale filled with love and adoration, and one that completely reminds me of Carl and Ellie.

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11. Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

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Thirteen Reasons Why has been at the top of my “Most Obsessed-Over Books” for years now, and there’s so many reasons why.

Not only is it COMPLETELY unique, but it gets down and dirty into suicide and what comes after.

Clay Jensen comes home one day to find a box of cassette tapes addressed to him. As he plays the first tape, he realizes it is Hannah, a girl who had committed suicide two weeks earlier. On each tape Hannah gives a reason that lead to her decision to kill herself, and that the tapes will be sent to each person who played a role in her suicide.

This book will strip you bare, make you take a long hard look at yourself and your actions, and will make you feel EVERY SINGLE FEEL there is.

It’s the story of a romance that never was, but in my opinion, a romance that is incredibly powerful and important.

 

12. The Darkness series by Stacey Marie Brown

On a lighter note…

The Darkness series!

This is a Mature YA Paranormal Romance that includes demons, faeries, goblins and Dark Dwellers. This series is HOT, HOT, HOT!!! It’s like a Twilight for the mature reader, but with more bloodshed and better writing 😉

It is about a girl named Ember who is forced into a school for troubled youth after she accidentally causes a series of electrical explosions. Here Ember learns the truth of what she is, a species of Otherworld that is forbidden to be alive, and falls for the alluring and dangerous Eli Dragen.

It is another story with a romance that builds, so don’t worry…no Insta-Love here!

 

13. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Flipped

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Awwww…Young love!

If you have not had the immense pleasure of reading Flipped, you NEED to get involved!

It’s a Pre-teen/YA Coming-of-age Contemporary Romance, but is a wonderful read for all ages! The story flips back and forth between Julie Baker and Bryce Loski as they grow older. Julie has been in love with Bryce since the day they met when his family moved in across the street, but Bryce wants nothing more than for Julie to leave him alone.

It is a WONDERFUL, innocent and heart-filling story of two young characters as they grow, make life decisions, and really find out who they are and who they want to be.

 

14. The Immortals series by Alyson Noel

The Immortals is YA Fantasy/Paranormal romance series about a girl who acquires the ability to read people’s auras after a fatal car accident. By just touching someone, Ever can learn someone’s life story. This pushes Ever into a life of isolation from her peers, until a boy named Damen enters her life. Damen is both mysterious and intoxicating, but knows just how to help her and keep her sane among the insanity that her life has become.

This series is the epitome of a love story. It is SO sweet and beautiful, and definitely the reason I have such high expectations when being courted! 😉

 

15. Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler

AW, this brings back such wonderful memories!

I read this series in high school. I fell in love with it, and expected all my future loves to be JUST. LIKE. THIS.

Obviously, I was very wrong. But I’m still hoping!

Ivy and Tristan are everything that embodies the title of love. When Tristan suddenly dies in a car accident, Ivy’s world shatters from the loss of her soulmate. But when Tristan comes back as an angel to protect and watch over Ivy, his dreams are crushed when she is unable to feel his presence.

I know it sounds cheesy, and it is. I mean come on, it’s a LOVE story guys! But trust me, this is a swoon-worthy series and will make you wish you had an angel to fall in love with.

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Ugh, am I the only one nauseous from the FEELS of all those books?!

I just want to crawl into a hole and suffocate myself with every single one of these romance books, until my hole becomes a puddle from my tears.

Which will turn that puddle into a river, that you can tell me to cry for you.

Let me know how these turn out for you, I’m dying to know how much they rip your heart out!

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Binding of Bindings: Ball Gowns & Royals

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Once Upon A Time and A Kingdom Far Away,

is how every tale begins and how it will stay.

Stories of honor, battle and conquest,

courtiers who scheme and who fight to be best.

Some fight for kingdoms and some fight for love,

Some lose with class and some with a shove.

There is magic, wands, fairies and spells,

so they better be good or they’ll be put into cells.

Heroes, Heroines and Villians fill these pages,

Some perform on thrones, and some on stages.

This is about those who are fierce and most loyal,

this showcases simply:

 

Ball Gowns & Royals

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Amber Sky (C.O.I.L.S. of Copper and Brass, Book 1) by Claire Warner

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Amber Sky is a fantastic way to start off this Ball Gowns & Royals post! A title that is less-known by the book community to my utter astonishment, and one that is a whirlwind of a read! In this story the nobility control everything from food to resources, which leaves many poor and dying in the mines. Our main character Tay is forced to beg for help from a noble named Darius after her father is arrested, and in return she makes a dangerous deal. Tay is thrust into the palace of courtiers and lies, whilst all the while fighting for the rebellion.

Think badass female spy in a ball gown.

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Enchantée by Gita Trelease

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If you have joined the obsession that is Enchantée, or you haven’t, allow me to overindulge you.

This is a BEAUTIFUL Fantasy/Historical Romance set in Paris right before the French Revolution. If you have a Marie Antoinette obsession, a Versailles obsession, or you are looking to get obsessed: read this now!

It is about a girl named Camille who begins to use la magie (magic) to turn cards at Versailles in order to bring in money for her and her sister. It goes through the repercussions of her decisions, the beauty and vile nature of the courtiers in Versailles, and even has some romance and the occasional hot air balloon.

 

Glitter and Shatter by Aprilynne Pike

 

 

Just like Enchantée, these two books are set in Versailles and have the same decadent yet vile vibe. Danica is forced to go to court by her mother, a place she loathes, and is eventually forced into the despicable young Kings hands by her mother, who is nothing but a social climber. Danica wants a way out, and that way is buy selling Glitter, an addicting drug in the form of makeup, to every courtier in the palace.

This series gets quite dark and gritty, and there is PLENTY of deviousness to go around. Danica is definitely the courtier dressed in black and up to no good.

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Kiss of the Royal (Book 1) by Lindsey Duga

Kiss of the Royal

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It’s like any other Disney fairy-tale, Princesses and Princes kissing.

Except this one has a comical and BRILLIANT spin!

In Kiss of the Royal the Princesses are who save the Princes. They follow the princes into battle, and wait on the sides until their prince is injured so they can rush to him and give him a healing kiss.

But Ivy isn’t okay with being a dainty Princess on the sidelines, as she shouldn’t be!

This girl gets RIGHT into the action to fight off evil, and eventually ends up on a long quest with a mysterious Prince from another land.

This book is ACTION-PACKED and VERY funny.

 

The Lone City Series by Amy Ewing

The Lone City Series

Look, if you guys are tired of me talking about this series….I get it…

But I also don’t give a s**t.

THIS SERIES GIVES ME BREATH!

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Or takes it away. It’s a tough call.

It’s a Handmaid’s Tale vibe for the YA book world. Less devastating, but equally f****d.

Extravagant mansions, nobility dripping in diamonds and throwing away money like it’s an apple core, and the ever-casual slavery and forced surrogacy.

OoOoOoOo…sounds fun, right?!

 

The Carnelian Legacy series by Cheryl Koevet

 

 

I have only read book one in this series, so I guess that proves just how behind in books I am!

This series is about a girl who is thrust into an alternate dimension where there are nobles, horses, battles and a few magical creatures. It’s a YA romance with our main character Marisa being the epicenter of turmoil and a possible full-out war in Carnelian.

I thoroughly enjoyed book 1, so I plan on reading the final two books….eventually.

 

The Frost Chronicles by E. Latimer

 

 

I requested Frost from Netgalley before its release date, and then tried to get Flame, but was cruelly DE-NIED.

HARD.

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Anyways, I mentioned Frost in my Winter Reads post not too long ago, so naturally I’m bringing it up again. It’s a YA Fantasy set in a world where Fire and Frost Giants are at war with each other. Our main character is forced to choose a side to fight with, but naturally gets to be decked out in a few fabulous dresses first.

 

The Kanin Chronicles by Amanda Hocking

Frostfire Series

Another series from my Winter Reads post, and absolutely one worth mentioning again!

The Kanin Chronicles promises readers another fierce and badass female lead who wants nothing more to compete next to the “big boys” as a member of the King’s elite guard. When a former lover of our heroine begins kidnapping changelings, she is forced to travel to surrounding kingdoms in order to keep a war from breaking out.

This is an annual reread for me, so that HAS to tell you how good it is. Not only that, but it’s set in a snowy kingdom! What’s not to love?!

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Roseblood by A.G. Howard

Roseblood

Roseblood was a HUGELY anticipated release in 2017, and after reading, I knew exactly why.

It is a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera that is set in the aftermath of this well-known romance. Rune is sent to a prestigious French arts conservatory in an opera house for her singing. She soon meets a boy named Thorn who is both secretive and entrancing. So begins a whirlwind romance doused in sweetness and sadness.

This book will satisfy that musical craving you didn’t know you wanted, while also serving you a little taste of finery and class.

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The Blood Rose Rebellion series by Rosalyn Eves

 

 

With only having read book 1 in this series, I can still tell you with full confidence that these books are a MUST for your TBR list.

Our story starts out with our leading lady, Anna, making a s**tstorm of her sister’s debutante ball by accidentally breaking her sister’s “coming-out-in-society” spell. In this world, magic is what makes you rise in the ranks in society, and to her family’s dismay, Anna is barren. Or…so they thought.

Blood Rose Rebellion tracks Anna as she is exiled to Hungary and learns the truth of the magic wielders, the Luminate. It is a story of oppression and rebellion, so put on those glass slippers and jump in!

 

The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

 

 

I know I keep talking about this series, but it’s the perfect Ball Gown and Royalty story!

Kestrel is forced to choose between joining her fathers military or get married. She comes across a young slave boy up for auction, makes the rash decision to buy him, and so ensues a tale of romance and rebellion. This story was FANTASTIC and has an old-timey feel to it.

I mean, there’s nothing better than a female who rocks a dress and then fights in battle.

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The Selection series by Kiera Cass

 

 

Probably the MOST royal set of books on this list!

These books are a dress addiction waiting to happen, so tread carefully you fashion slaves!

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The Selection is your typical story of a prince finding his princess through a televised competition. It’s a literal fight for the crown, and naturally a few skirts will be torn and punches will fly ❤

 

The Ash Princess Trilogy by Laura Sebastian

 

 

If you want to talk about a fierce Princess, let’s talk about Theodosia.

The poor girl has had her kingdom ripped out from under her, her mother’s throat slit in front of her, and is now the mascot in her own castle to the Kaiser who conquered her lands. She is paraded around at balls with people who despise her race, and forced to wear a crown of ash to show that she is a princess of nothing.

Brutal.

And yet, I CANNOT wait to read Lady Smoke!

 

The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black

 

 

*Sigh*…let’s start this exactly how I start every conversation that involves these books. Shall we?

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THIS SERIES IS DEVASTATION!

DO NOT read this if you’d rather not have a cursing episode of anguish after finishing The Wicked King.

Because you WILL fall into a coma of DESPAIR and REGRET and I won’t be able to pull you out because I’M ALREADY IN IT!

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A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge

A Face Like Glass

A TRUE MASTERPIECE AND FLAWLESS STORY!

I LOVE A Face Like Glass. And when I say LOVE, I mean I’m die-hard psychotic for it.

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This world, is WILD. Expressions do not exist in the city of Caverna, so the rich pay “Facesmiths” to be taught how to show a facial movement like sadness or excitement. For Neverfell, she has a face so terrifying that she has worn a mask since she was a young child. But when she is shown that her face can make expressions on its own, she is thrust into turmoil.

The book is insane and CRAZY addicting. The “high society” is ravenous, extreme and makes the people in the Capital of The Hunger Games look like men in boring suits!

Don’t think. Just buy!

 

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

Royal Bastards

A book I have not had the pleasure of reading yet, but one I have on my list!

The premise is exactly what it sounds like, a tale of royal bastards. Tilla is the daughter of a Lord who cast her aside after he was gifted with “trueborn” children. Only wishing to be accepted as a royal and to wear beautiful dresses, Tilla and the other bastards are shunned by their peers.

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It promises rebellion, action and romance…so it’s an obvious MUST for me!

 

Coiled by H.L. Burke

Coiled

Another retelling…and another book I haven’t read.

This one is a twist on Eros and Pysche (if you know of it) and is about a Princess who is made bait for a serpent by command of her parents. She soon meets a Prince who has a curse of turning those who look at him into a serpent, and fights to free him.

It looks positively PRECIOUS!

The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell

The Forest Queen

ANOTHER RETELLING!

And this one is based off your favorite man in tights…

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…except this Robin Hood is a female. WOO!

Sylvie runs away to the forest with her friend in order to help the poor survive the abuse her brother inflicts on them. It sounds like a classic tale of rebellion and fighting for justice!

 

Now, for the upcoming releases:

 

The Blood Heir Trilogy by Amélie Wen Zhao

Blood Heir

This series looks like it is going to be AMAZING!!

It is a story about a world where affinities are detested and a Princess who fights to keep her liking for blood a secret. But when her father is murdered and her yearning for blood is shown, she is framed and said to be the culprit.

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House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

House of Salt and Sorrows

IT’S A RETELLING EXTRAVAGANZA!

A twist on the fairy-tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, of a family that is cursed by the Gods.

After four of her eleven sisters mysteriously die, Annaleigh suspects that the deaths were something more sinister than just an accident. She finds that her sisters have been sneaking off to nightly balls where they dance and dance for hours, and soon meets the mysterious stranger they are dancing with.

 

Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter

Never-contented things

That cover though, am I right?!

It’s a tale of the scary kind of fairies who entrap and seduce you, so get ready! If you’re needing a cure for you Cruel Prince and Wicked King hangover, maybe this will help. I know I’m willing to try anything at this point, and this cover and premise just hooked me!

 

The Bloodleaf series by Crystal Smith

Bloodleaf

Bloodleaf is about a princess and a marriage arranged at birth to a Prince in another kingdom. Aurelia fights between doing what is expected of her and what she wants, which is the typical princess tale…is it not?

Well this one sounds a WHOLE lot more in depth and exciting, so I am ready to get it started!

 

That is THAT for the Ball Gowns and Royals!

Was it as magical for you as it was for me?

I love hearing what you guys think, so let me know if you have read any of these or if you found some new ones for your growing TBR lists!

Until next time my magical witchlings!!!

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Netgalley · New Releases · Reviews

Book Review: Enchantée by Gita Trelease

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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Flatiron Books, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Plot: Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

Opinion:

There once was a young French girl and her little sister,

Who were poor beyond belief due to their gambling brother.

The death of their parents turned their life quite tragic,

That’s why the eldest sister Camille turned to gambling and magic.

A dress that requires blood to enchant and disguise,

Was all that she’d need to sneak into Versailles.

But little was said about the toll on the soul that trickery would take,

Or the consequences that come from a life lived fake.

Livres, love, ball gowns and hats,

Hot air balloons so high, that one tip and you’ll splat.

Versailles may be enchanting, with a Queen like Marie 

But nothing in Versailles is black and white, and nothing is free. 

Hold on to your wigs, there’s a new Versailles tale in town!

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My dear Vicomtes and Vicomtesses, Enchantée is EVERYTHING and MORE that you could EVER ask for in a historical fiction set in late 1700 Versailles!

It is extravagant, it is DANGEROUS, and it is exactly what you would expect a palace of courtiers to be like.

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JEALOUSY is CLAWING at my insides, my brain is working mercilessly to assure me that I will never be able to step into this beautiful world, and it is taking EVERY bit of self-control to not throw myself on the ground and weep.

Weep because I will never experience the abhorrent glory that was Versailles in 1789.

OR a Versailles with magic and trickery.

Enchantée was all the things I hoped for when I read its description: cinched waists, expensive dresses, powdered faces, dapper men with MANNERS galore, magic….and cake. But that’s a given. I think we can ALL agree that any and ALL Versailles retellings are welcome to us book lovers, especially when a Fantasy aspect is thrown into the mix.

You had me at aristocrat and la magie.

Though the beauty of Versailles may pull you in to reading this book, or even the cameo of Marie Antoinette, I can assure my lovelies…you will stay for the characters, plot and writing. Gita Trelease has outdone herself! This book is elegant and suave, delectable and enticing. I was swept away in the world that she presents on a golden platter smattered in frosting and wine, and I am horribly STRICKEN that it is over. The author has fused fact with fiction and given readers a story that is both historical, while also fantastical in that it is filled with magic. She included events leading up to the French Revolution, the prices in bread increasing and the eventual riots, while also capturing the voices of the rich and the poor beautifully. These courtiers are the typical snooty aristocrats that you know and love, so enjoy.

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Camille is the main character of this story, and her story is quite a sorrowful one at that. Her parents had both died from small pox, her brother is a drunk and gambling addict who cannot control himself, and she must work la magie to provide food for her and her youngest sister. Once things turn worse for Camille’s brother, she is forced to work la magie on a higher scale. She infiltrates the Palace of Versailles posing as a Baroness, in hopes of earning money through gambling by changing cards with her magic. She is quickly swept up in the allure of the courtiers and the palace, and who could blame her?! There are masquerade balls, endless parties and games in the gardens, and cakes and wines all around! Courtiers strewn every which way, running wild with little to no rules to hinder their wants and needs.

 

Though a wonderfully created world, the truly amazing aspect of this story is the writing. The author has combined French words and phrases with this English version, and it made it THAT much more real and authentic. The reader will feel like they are in Paris in the late 1700’s, walking the streets with Camille or dining with her in Versailles! The creative writing was fantastic, and the setting was described impeccably. The characters were given such vast and comical personalities, while also proving to be well-versed in the etiquette and “ways” of the time period.

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Don’t worry darlings, there is INDEED a romance to be had. It is a truly touching and gentle romance at that, and one that I wish I could catch and put into my pocket. It will give you the audible *sigh*, the immense feels, and of course…make you wonder why the hell men aren’t this chivalrous anymore! I thought the author did a wonderful job of keeping the characters true to the era by ensuring proper rules for courting and attire, and even found it to be amusing at the modesty that was displayed back then.

“If he took off his coat, she might expire”

I wish I could say more! With all of that said, I think it’s obvious that I LOVED Enchantée to the gold-encrusted moon and back! It was an incredibly fun and creative read, and I only wish this was a series and not a stand-alone! I suppose I will just be here waiting and hoping that Gita Trelease will write another story that can compare and compete with this. Because I feel as I do at the end of every beautiful party, sorrowful and nostalgic.

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5-stars

 

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Binding of Bindings · Books · New Releases · Reviews · TBR · Wrap-Up

Binding of Bindings: January Book Wrap-Up

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Come little children, I’ll take thee away

Into a land of enchantment

Come little children, the times come to play

Here in my garden of magic.

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January Wrap-up

Let’s just DIVE right in!

 

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, Book 1) by Holly Black

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If you haven’t started this series yet….

well I just don’t even know what to say to you.

The Cruel Prince is the opposite of everything you thought you knew about the Fae. They aren’t dainty creatures that act like little cherubs, they don’t want to shower you in luck and magic, and they sure as s**t DO NOT love humans.

These faeries are RUTHLESS and CUNNING tricksters.

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The Cruel Prince is about a human girl named Jude, her twin, and their half-Fae sister who find themselves living in Faerie. Jude is tortured and ridiculed on a daily basis, but finds that she has grown to love the world of Faerie. It is a FANTASTIC story and a WONDERFUL introduction to this series.

(See my review here)

 

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, Book 2) by Holly Black

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…there’s not much to say here.

Except, you know…

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This book evoked only the BEST and ANGRIEST gifs I had.

This book might kill you.

You may see darkness, a brief flash of all your best moments in  life, and a light at the end of a VERY SMALL and VERY NARROW tunnel.

But don’t worry. Because you won’t be reaching the light.

It’s all SWEET, LINGERING, WOEFUL DARKNESS from here my friends.

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(See my review here)

 

Immortal Girl5 by Griffin Stark

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Not the best of my January reads, but a decent one at that.

Or a decent attempt at least.

Immortal Girl5 is about five (duh) girls throughout history that are turned immortal to protect the world…I mean, I think that’s what their purpose is? They basically show up in well-known parts of history, like to defeat Jack the ripper or to assist Anne Frank and Joan or Arc. It is an interesting concept, but just wasn’t executed well.

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However, I think it would be a great starter book from a child or young teen though.

(See my review here)

 

Evenfall (Shadowfire, Book 1) by Gaja J. Kos and Boris Kos

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If the cover doesn’t make you fall in love, I don’t know what will.

Evenfall is about a girl who wake in a world that isn’t hers. One where magic flows and is used by men AND women, and one where she is hunted. Ember is the savior of this world and the others, and the Crescent Prince is hunting her down to use her powers for his bidding. Supposedly 😉

Look. This book was WRITTEN BEAUTIFULLY and the world that was created was BREATHTAKING. The only issue is the pacing, and the insta-love. The beginning starts out a little slow and boring, but then halfway through it is RACING to the finish line.

There IS an insta-romance, so if this annoys you to no end, I won’t blame you.

BUT. If you can get past these little things, the book really is an intriguing and interesting read. It’s a magical YA Fantasy that has legs to become truly fantastic.

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(See my review here)

 

The Giver, Graphic Novel by Lois Lowry and P. Craig Russell

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THIS.

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THE GRAPHIC NOVEL FOR THE GIVER.

Need I say more?

(See my review here)

 

The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

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Here we come to The Cold is in Her Bones.

By far the strangest read of January 2019.

It is a retelling of Medusa, mother of us Slytherins! ❤ It is about a young girl who has an affinity for Snakes. Once her family sees this though, they basically say she is possessed by the devil.

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She curses the village and all the women living and to come, that they will have the same affinity to snakes as her. It is a VERY compelling read and has a dark 1800’s folktale vibe to it. You will probably give an audible WTF at least once while reading, but trust me. It’s worth the read.

(See my review here)

 

Dream Keeper (The Dark Dreamer Trilogy, Book 1) by Amber R. Duell

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I REALLY tried to like this and I REALLY tried to stay positive about it.

But sometimes, there’s just not a opening for positivity.

This is a Sandman retelling, or spin-off…however you want to look at it. It is about a girl that has been visiting the Sandman in her dreams since she was 12, and is now thrust into the throngs of murder and terror. The Weaver (the Lord of Nightmares) begins terrorizing Nora’s life by killing her family and friends, in order to get a dream that she has.

It had great potential, but was just SO hard to get through. The characters were dull, the pacing was off, prominent characters weren’t mentioned until 75% into the book, and it just had a cheesy feel to it.

I don’t recommend.

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(See my review here)

My January Book Wrap-up leaves me with a total of 7 books read, and honestly, that’s not too bad.

I am currently reading Enchantée by Gita Trelease, which I started in January, but am still reading. I am hoping to have 7 or more books done in February, so fingers crossed!!

Thanks for reading witchlings!

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Book Promo · Books · Cover Reveal · Pre-order · Reviews · The Parliament House Press

Cover Reveal: Hook & Crown by Nicole Knapp

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Publisher: The Parliament House

(@theparliamentpress)

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Book Title: Hook & Crown

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Author: Nicole Knapp

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Book synopsis

Elena Hart arrives in London, bound for a new boarding school operated by her estranged uncle. A fresh start is exactly what she needs. But when strange things begin happening, things she can’t explain, she begins to wonder if she has lost her mind.
Until the night a strange girl appears in her room, claiming to be a fairy from Neverland, come to take her to the fantasy world at the request of its ruler.

Skeptical, Elena refuses. But the following night, a young man with strange green eyes appears, and though she tries to resist his charms, something about him draws her in and Elena is whisked away from the world she knows, to a world she always thought was make believe.

But when she arrives in Neverland, it is nothing like the stories and Elena realizes that she must figure out for herself who the true heroes and villains are.

Binding of Bindings · Books · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Binding of Bindings: My Ten Anticipated February Book Releases

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I’m baaaaaaaaaack!

Can you feel it guys?!

That first month of 2019 is just about to blow away into the wind. A distant memory. An inconsequential blip in the amazingness (shhhhh, it’s a word) that next month will be.

January was just a warm-up. It was a couple high knees, jumping jacks and about ten half-assed burpees. You were exhausted, you looked a little crazy. But it’s okay.

Because you’re conditioned now.

And Walking into February like…

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What BETTER way to get hyped for the big F-E-B than to check out its anticipated reads?!

Here it is boys and girls:

My Ten Anticipated February Book Releases

 

1. The Queen of Cursed Things (Book 1) by S.M. Gaither

Release Date: February 1, 2019

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I’ll just never get enough of these rebellion stories.

And you better not either…because there’s a whole couldronload of them below ❤

This is a story about humans and Gods, and about a girl who brings back a clan that was thought to be eradicated decades before. Alana learns that she is the descendant of the serpent clan, and accidentally awakens them. It sounds like it is going to be a battle-royal and a great story where a female kicks some ass. You go girl!

 

2. The Cerulean (Book 1) by Amy Ewing

Release Date: February 5, 2019

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A YA/Fantasy by Amy Ewing, writer of The Lone City series?

Psh. Say no more.

I have a REALLY strong inkling that this book/duology is going to be truly amazing and special. It already sounds like the perfect amount of fantasy and imagination that all of us crave! It’s about a girl who lives in a city above the sky which connects to the (or a…?) human world below. She feels like an outcast around her people, the Cerulean, and wishes they would just cut the tether that connects the two worlds.

So she is chosen as a sacrifice to break the tether of the worlds. Basically, she just has to throw herself off the ledge and die.

The….f**k?!

Honestly. Amy Ewing is a Goddess.

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3. Lady Smoke (Ash Princess, Book 2) by Laura Sebastian

Release Date: February 5, 2019

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MY TOP ANTICIPATED READ FOR FEBRUARY!!!!!

Did you guys DIE for Ash Princess like I did?!?

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I have been waiting and waiting for book 2, but it seems my approval from Netgalley has…*cough cough*…gotten lost in the mail…

I don’t want to reveal too much if you haven’t read book 1 – Ash Princess (DO IT NOW), but it hards not to. Theodosia is a princess who has been trapped under the Kaiser’s thumb for years, and now she has finally made her move against the people her ruined her kingdom and life. It is a tale of deception and sadness, and royalty and rebellions. Obviously, my favorite.

 

4. Enchantée by Gita Trelease

Release Date: February 5, 2019

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I THANKFULLY received this beauty from Netgalley (thank the witches) and CANNOT wait to get it started. I have been hardcore into these YA/Fantasy/Historical fiction books. I don’t know what it is about these books.

The GLITZ, the GLAM.

The Murder.

It’s positively swoonworthy.

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5. Courting Darkness (Book 1) by Robin LaFevers

Release Date: February 5, 2019

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Another Historical Fiction for February!!!!

 

to be honest, the description of this book has me a little lost. Sybella is the darkest of Death’s daughters (ugh to-die-for), accompanies a duchess to France to help with a battle of sorts, and to save her sisters in the process.

Look. Sometimes that’s all you need to get a girl hooked, okay?! Let’s do it.

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6. A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Release Date: February 5, 2019

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Another book I so graciously received from Netgalley, and one I cannot WAIT to sink my teeth into!

Call me a psycho, but I just love a tale about a character being put into a mental institution.

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Although the description of this story gives the reader a slight inkling that it may have a more serious mental health tone rather than a murder-y vibe, it still tells the reader that they are going to be guessing and guessing during the entire read.

Curiouser and Curiouser.

 

7. Crown of Feathers (Book 1) by Nicki Pau Preto

Release Date: February 12, 2019

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Fierce Warrior Queens? Pheonix Riders?

A young woman who infiltrates a man-driven legion of warriors?

Enough said.

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8. James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes by James Acaster

Release Date: February 19, 2019

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If you don’t know who James Acaster is, you need to get involved.

The British Panel Shows have a special place in my witchy heart, and so do all of the interesting characters who fill them. James is at the top of my favorites list for his comedy. He’s a man-boy prone to brooding with snarky comments and a whole host of embarrassing stories. His book details countless moments from his life when his NERD has shown proud, and he has made a giant ass of himself.

If that doesn’t grab you, just look at those yellow/brown color choices for attire.

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9. We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Release Date: February 26, 2019

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The cover, the title…it’s just working.

You all know i love a rebellion book, and this one is just REEKING of rebellion. There are high and low factions, and a school where women are groomed to go into one of two roles: to run a husband’s household or raise his children. Daniela is the top of her class, but has a secret.

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Anything that leaves me in SUCH suspense with their description is a MUST read.

 

10. What We Buried by Kate A. Boorman

Release Date: February 26, 2019

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This cover gives me tingly M.C. Escher vibes.

I saved the BEST cover for last…but also because it comes out the latest in February…so..

It’s about two siblings that couldn’t be more different, and who don’t have a keen fondness for one other. One if the siblings, Liv, decides to sue her parents for emancipation but on the day of the hearing the parents disappear. It’s in the mystery “aisle”, but I’m wondering what type it will be. Will there just be a wild hunt where the siblings bond? A murder?!?! A twist of all twists? Oh, the anticipation!

I hope you guys found some new reads for your overflowing TBR lists, and some you plan on reading in February!

As always, stay witchy my amazing readers!!

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