Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Edelweiss+ · Netgalley · New Releases · Reviews

Binding of Bindings #30: 10 Badass Female Leads…

Murder, revenge, plotting, espionage, manipulation and sarcasm.
These ladies just don’t give a f**k.

 

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~* 10 Badass Female Leads…

That Will Kill You in Your Sleep *~

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1. Fortuna Sworn (Book 1) by K.J. Sutton
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

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We’re starting this “Badass Bitch” list off with a true nightmare:

Fortuna Sworn.

Fortuna is literally a Nightmare – a creature whose face shifts and transforms in order to accommodate the onlookers tastes, but who can reach into your mind to find your fears, and make you think they are now reality.

Twisted, right?!

Not only is this lady FIERCE and lethal, but she says demented things like this:

“For a terrible moment, I considered snapping my brother’s neck.”

This Adult Fantasy is by the amazing Kelsey Sutton who has written a ton of fantastic YA novels, but this is her first adult Fantasy and it is hot, HOT, HOT! If you like a Fae story that shows off the evil side of those intoxicating creatures, then read this. It has ACOTAR and The Folk of the Air vibes ALL over it!

(See my review here)

 

2. Alarum (Walking Shadows, Book 1) by Talis Jones
Genre: YA/Dystopian/Sci-fi

Alarum

Flinch, Vizsla, Kid, Fury.

All one person, and ALL total badassery!

Fury is the epitome of a ruthless, strong, sassy, resilient and dangerous woman. From being sold as a slave into a new world after the collapse of the United States, she is thrust into a simple lifestyle: kill or be killed. This tale tracks her childhood in a slave camp, her time working for a brutal family, and her transition into lawless renegade.

This lady is the shit!

Plus, Alarum will most likely make you cry…so that’s a plus.

(See my review here)

 

3. Serpent & Dove (Book 1) by Shelby Mahurin
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Romance

Serpent and Dove

No list is complete without a Witch to spice things up, right?!

Allow me to introduce the one and only, both incredible and crude, yet arrogant and hilarious, Louise le Blanc.

Look, a woman that will scream a pub song called “Big Tiddy Liddy” at the top of her lungs is a winner in my book. But throw in some SERIOUS Witch heritage, insane abilities, and murderous tendencies…then I will just turn to jello.

Serpent & Dove is a newly released YA Fantasy about Witches vs Church. Our main character is forced into marrying a guard of the church, even though he is unaware that she is actually a Witch and is VERY good at gutting people.

A Witch marrying a Witch Hunter.

Romance.

(See my review here)

 

4. Glitter (Book 1) by Aprilynne Pike
Genre: YA/Historical Fantasy/Dystopian

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Versailles, ball gowns and royals, high-tech automation and a courtier selling makeup with drugs in it?

Get it, girl!

Glitter doesn’t seem to be a super well-known series, and I am wondering WHY?! It has everything us YA book lovers need! Romance, scandal, an asshole young king and a leading female who just wants to take those bastards down…one jar of rouge at a time!

It’s a Historical Fantasy with a Science Fiction twist and it is SUPREMELY amazing!

 

(See my review here)

 

5. 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller

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Drownings, scandals, near decapitationsOH MY!!

13 Minutes is a slinky little YA Contemporary Thriller that will have you mumbling “wtf” while also grinning from ear to ear. I really can’t say who the badass is in this without giving EVERYTHING away, but just know…it’s delightful

It follows Natasha as she wakes up in the hospital after being washed up on an embankment. Nobody knows how she got there, and worst of all, she can’t remember anything. Natasha links up with her friends and a former friend to find out what really happened, and the truth is…shocking.

But just know this, these girls are twisted.

(See my review here)

 

6. With Malice by Eileen Cook
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Thriller/Mystery

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Want to be completely blindsided, infuriated AND appreciative of the truly devious acts of women?

You’ve come to the right place.

With Malice is exactly as the title describes: Malicious.

It is another story about a girl waking up in the hospital not remembering what happened to her. Slowly it becomes revealed that she was involved in a car accident, and there was someone else involved.

There are some serious Amanda Knox trial vibes going on here, and involves some cutthroat behavior by a female that I just can’t help but slow-clap for. This book has a twist and an ending that will make you just

(See my review here)

 

7. The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling/Feminism

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You know what I love?

A feminist retelling of men being drowned for treating women like they’re nothing.

The Surface Breaks showcases a mermaid named Gaia who starts out as a meek and subservient daughter of the Sea King, but swiftly turns into a truly glorious character hellbent on standing up for herself and her sisters.

It’s a darker version to the original Little Mermaid tale you know, but one that NEEDS to be read!

(See my review here)

 

8. Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Genre: YA/Mystery/Horror/LGBT

Wilder Girls

I am obsessed with this book, and even more obsessed with the female characters that grace its pages!

Wilder Girls is a YA Horror/Mystery filled with a collection of girls who are as freakish as they are resilient. These girls will claw at each other for food and kill you on the spot, but their hearts are filled with immense love and loyalty for one another.

This breathtaking and eerie story is about a school on an island that has been quarantined after a Tox infiltrates their walls. The girls are mutated and dying, and it is downright DARK! But oh so good.

(See my review here)

 

9. Darkness of Light (Book 1) by Stacey Marie Brown
Genre: New Adult/Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance

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Looking for another Celaena Sardothien and Rowan Whitethorn to swoon over?

Okay, technically this isn’t like TOG at all, but it’s Fantasy, it’s hot and I just love a female who can fight alongside some fantastical creatures!

Darkness of Light is an Adult Fantasy series filled with demons, fae, goblins and dark dwellers. This series is exciting and soooo romantic, but most importantly, it gives you a female lead who is SO saucy and fierce!

I am planning on reading it again this weekend, so jump on the train with me and let’s all just drool over this series together!

(See my review here)

 

10. Killing November (Book 1) by Adriana Mather
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller/Contemporary

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Killing November is not high on my list of favorite books…at all, but it IS stuffed full and exploding with various characters who are all passionate about one thing:

Killing. ❤

Academy Absconditi is a school for assassins and spies in training. Classes range from poisons, knife throwing and plain old manipulation. So in this case, there is a whole host of badass females who will kill you in your sleepliterally.

(See my review here)

 

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Stay Witchy

 

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Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books

Binding of Bindings #18: 14 Summer Reads

It’s that time of year again, darlings.
Beach trips, sunscreen, bonfires and bathing suits.
I know you’ve been waiting for this

So grab those parasols and beach towels,
those water bottles and snack bags!
Summer is coming.

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~* 14 Summer Reads *~

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Yes, 14.
Because 15 would make too much sense.

 

1. The 1-800-Where-R-You series by Meg Cabot

The 1-800-Where-R-You series is one of my FAVORITES! I have been reading these books once a year for YEARS. I don’t think I will ever tire of them.

The series follows Jess Mastriani, a teenage girl who has a pension for hitting arrogant guys in the face and landing in detention.

A true hero, if you ask me.

On her way home from school one day, she is struck by lightning. The next day she discovers that she has an ability to find missing children, all she needs to do is see a picture of the child, go to sleep, and the next day she will know where they are.

This series is dark, adventurous, HILARIOUS and is even dripping in a nicely drawn-out romance with a bad-boy biker stud!

Commence the swooning.

 

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I mean…do I even need to explain this series?!?

The Hunger Games is a PERFECT read for Summer! Survival skills, hunting, murder, elegant gowns and death Death DEATH!

It’s a Dystopian series where each year one boy and girl from each of the 12 districts is offered up as tribute in the Hunger Games. It’s a fight to the death, and only one may come out as victor. Katniss is thrown into the games with little chance of surviving, but her time in the game will change the nation of Panem forever.

If you’ve never read these books and seen the movies, read these.

If you’ve never read the books OR seen the movies, read these.

You know what, just read these again.

You know you want to.

 

3. The Purification Era series by Angie Grigaliunas

If you guys still haven’t taken my glorious advice and read this series, then…

Just kidding

It follows two sisters who live in a place where Hulcondans rule over the people as their protectors, but also use their power as a means to get what they want. For Rabreah, the Hulcondans are corrupt and need to be taken down. But for Ariliah, they are who she trusts without a doubt.

This series switches back and forth between the girls as their lives are thrust into chaos. Rabreah joins the rebel group to take the Hulcondans down, while Ariliah puts all of her trust and faith into them. These books are ADDICTING, will make you cry, and make you fall madly in love.

(The series DOES center on threats of rape and in a world where men take advantage of women, but there are no graphic scenes)

 

4. One Moment by Kristina McBride

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After a traumatic accident that leaves her boyfriend Joey dead, Maggie finds herself unable to remember the final moments that lead up to his death. Maggie remembers spending the day at the gorge with her childhood friends and boyfriend, and she even remembers climbing up the trail with him to jump off the cliff together. But for some reason, everything else is a blank.

The typical summer read.

Friends hanging out together, young love, death.

This one is mildly depressing, so hold on to those teenage hearts!

 

5.  Holes by Louis Sachar

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An AMAZING movie, and an even better read!

I just included this in my “YA Reads for the Young YA” a few weeks ago, which made me watch the movie again. And honestly…

It NEVER gets old!

Stanley Yelnats believes the men in his family are cursed, why else would he have been sent to Camp Green Lake? There isn’t even a lake! After Stanley is unjustly caught stealing, he is sentenced to the camp in order to “build character“, by way of digging holes. But soon Stanley realizes that the boys at Camp Green Lake aren’t just digging holes to “build character“, and that the truth behind the curse on his family may be at the bottom of a hole.

 

6. The Shadow Falls series by C.C. Hunter

This series is just DRIPPING in all those dreamy summer camp vibes!

But these teens aren’t your typical camp goers. Werewolves, vampires, witches, faeries and shapeshifters are here to train and harness their powers. So why is Kylie sent there? A young girl learns that she is more than what she seems, all the while stuck in a love triangle with a half-fae named Derek and a werewolf named Lucas.

I’d suggest just buying the entire series at once. Don’t do what I did and only buy book 1 first.

Trust me, regret will follow.

 

7. With Malice by Eileen Cook

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When Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room she doesn’t remember being in; or even coming to for that matter, she quickly becomes panicked. Not only does she learn that she had been involved in a terrible car accident, but she soon realizes that she cannot remember the past six weeks of her life. But when Jill learns that she was the driver of the car accident that killed someone else, she rushes to find out what really happened.

This has the Amanda Knox trial ALL over it!

It’s a great story to get lost in this Summer that centers on a trip to Italy, and two best friends. It is sinister and honestly pretty messed up, but it is SO good!

 

8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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So I haven’t yet read The Help, but I am BEYOND obsessed with the movie and have watched it dozens of times!

It is set in Mississippi in 1962 where black women work as maids in white households, earning very little and being treated horribly by most. The story is told by three women – Skeeter a young white woman with dreams of becoming a writer, and Aibileen and Minney who work as maids in white homes.

The three women come together to tell their tale of life from the maids perspective. To shed light on how they are treated at work, and in their personal lives.

The movie is BEYOND powerful, and I can only assume the book will be even more so!

 

9. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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We Were Liars is the epitome of a YA Mystery doused in wealth and privilege. It is the coming-of-age story with a little bit of everything – innocence, love, family, tragedy, greed, heartbreak and of course…lies.

Coming from a family of old-money and pride, the “Four Liars” and their families spend every summer on Harris Sinclair’s privately-owned retreat. However, during Summer Fifteen (summer + current age of the Liars) Cadence was found alone on the beach, half-naked, and nearly underwater with a serious head injury that resulted in her losing her memory of what happened. For the next few years Cadence spends her time suffering from terrible migraines, taking painkillers, and no memory of most of Summer Fifteen. Now two years later, she is finally returning to Beechwood after her accident to be reunited with her liars and to find out what really happened to her that summer.

It is SO hard to not get lost in this creative and secretive story, and the writing is superb:

Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound, then from my ears, my mouth.
It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of our house, the bricks of the path, the steps of the porch. My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout.
Mummy snapped. She said to get hold of myself.
Be normal, now, she said. Right now, she said.”

 

10. The Walking Shadows series by Talis Jones

Alarum

Alarum is the PERFECT Dystopian Western to tear your heart out over the Summer! It’s Mad Max meets Wild Wild West, and it is EVERYTHING!

The U.S. has fallen, and in its wake is a lawless country. Children have been ripped from their families, pushed into Corrals, trained to be soldiers and slaves, and then sold to the highest bidder. This story follows a girl with many names, as she traverses this new world and tries to make sense of it.

 

11. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting

This story was required reading in fourth grade, and it was one of the few books my entire class actually enjoyed being forced to read. It’s sweet and innocent, but also gives the reader insight into how important this one life is!

This is a story of a family who will live forever due to drinking from a magical spring, and a young girl who happens upon the youngest son of the family while he drank from it. It is a tale of romance, but most importantly, a story of choice: to live forever or to simply live.

It is a great story for all ages, and one with a fantastic and beautiful message.

 

12. Along the Indigo by Elsie Chapman

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I am a serious obsession with this book, and I think it’s mostly due to how incredibly weird it is. 

It’s a about a sixteen-year-old girl named Mars who seeks to leave her small town with her sister. Down by their home, which is a boarding house that serves Johns (yes, you know what I mean) there is the covert where townspeople go to commit suicide, and where Mars skims bodies for money in hopes of escaping.

It’s different, it’s dark, but it’s lined with a sunshiny innocence that makes it feel almost normal. It sounds strange I know, but it feels like an “old-timey” read that will instantly hook you.

It will forever be one of my favorite YA books.

 

13. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

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This was another required reading in school, but one with a VERY powerful message.

In is set in South Carolina in 1964, and is about a young white girl named Lily Owens who is distraught by the death of her mother. She is raised by her abusive father T. Ray and her stand in mother and maid, Rosaleen. When Rosaleen gets put into jail for “disrupting” three white men, Lily helps break her out and they run away. They eventually come to stay with three black bee-keeping sisters, where she is taught valuable lessons and the truth about her mother. 

It is a necessity for every mother and daughter to read, but should be required reading for EVERYONE! It’s a feel-good story, and a GEM of a book!

 

14. The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black

I saved this series for last, because you all already know that you need to read it!

I know a lot of you are waiting to start the series once the release date for book 3 gets closer, and might I just say…you’re a bunch of smart cookies!

Because this series is devastation.

My heart was torn out, and I’m still sitting here hyperventilating while I try to stuff it back into my chest and sew it up.

It follows a human named Jude who lives in Faerie with her sister and the murderer of their parents. She is ridiculed and tortured by the Fae, especially by the youngest Prince of the High Court and his minions. Usually choosing to be meek and keep her head down, Jude decides to fights to win a place at court. But she realizes that the politics and deceptions in the inner circle might just be more than she bargained for.

This is a DARK, DEPRESSING, GRITTY, and CRUEL Fae tale, so guard your loins.

Enjoy the series this summer if you do plan on reading, and I’ll keep you in my thoughts as you suffer through these books and then wait for book 3, like me.

Until then

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What books are you guys planning on reading this summer? Any from this list?!
Let me know!
As always, stay witchy! ❤

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

Binding of Bindings #7: Top 10 Anticipated March Book Releases

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It’s that time of month again, you little book stalkers!
And I’m NOT talking about the time of month for all you ladies out there!!!!
HAH!
…………..

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*cough*….anyways…
It’s nearing the end of February, we’re just about to enter MARCH, and I have some AMAZING new releases to share with you!
There’s a little Fantasy, some Romance and Historical Fiction, a couple murders and bad guys. Maybe a witch or two.
You know. The usual.

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~* My Top Ten Anticipated March Book Releases *~

 

1. Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

Release Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: YA/Sci-Fi/Dystopian

Dealing in Dreams

Sixteen-year-old Nalah runs a vicious all-girl crew in Mega City, and has worked her crew to the top of the most feared and elite. But Nalah wants to get off the streets and make a life for herself in an exclusive and luxurious place called Mega Towers. This story follows Nalah as she tries to make her dreams a reality, while also trying to protect those she cares about in the process.

It looks like it has a dystopian vibe to it – so maybe a Mad Max/Mortal Engines/Six of Crows type of feeling? Can’t wait!

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2. Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith

Release Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Retelling

Bloodleaf

I feel like there are so many AMAZING retellings coming out this year!

Bloodleaf is a retelling of “The Goose Girl” and tracks Princess Aurelia as she travels to her kingdoms rival territory in order to be married to it’s Prince, Valentin. With so much hanging on the impending nuptials between these courts, much danger is presented to Aurelia during her journey as assassination attempts are made on her, and she is eventually forced to swap places with her devious lady-in-waiting. 

This story sounds like a book filled with manipulative royals, which I LOVE, so I cannot wait to read it. It’s described as a mystery/fantasy, and tells the story of how Aurelia survives after being stranded and how she fulfills what is expected of her.

 

3. Lovely War by Julie Berry

Release Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction/Fantasy/Romance

Lovely War

So THIS is an interesting combination of history, romance, and some Greek mythology.

It starts in 1917 and follows four characters as they try to fight for love during a pivotal time for the world as it gears towards the first World War. It also intertwines World War II and the Greek goddess of Love/Beauty/Passion, Aphrodite, as she tells the stories of these four lovers to her husband and her lover, Hephaestus and Ares.

This story begs the question of why Love and War are always so easily intertwined, and which one wins in the end.

It feels like Atonement for the Greek Mythology obsessed.

Show of hands, please.

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4. You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook

Release Date: March 5, 2019
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller

You Owe Me a Murder

MUUUUURRRRR-DERRRRRRRRRRR!!!

This story is just like it sounds.

It’s about a girl, who owes another girl, a murder!

Kim and Nicki meet on a plane trip to London, where Kim confesses her contempt for her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend. Eventually her ex-boyfriend ends up dead, and YOU GUESSED IT, Nicki begins to blackmail her for not holding up her end of the murdering bargain.

It sounds like it’s going to be THRILLING and mildly f***ed-up, so I am MORE than ready!

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5. The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

Release Date: March 12, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

The Waking Forest

This one is shrouded in a vague description and with a sprinkle of mystery, so let’s jump in to it confused together, shall we?

The Waking Forest tells the story of a Witch and a girl named Rhea as their paths cross. Rhea lives on the edge of the forest, but finds that she is drawn to the dark and mysterious place. The Witch lives in the forest on her throne carved of bone (dope) and waits to grant the wishes of children.

I’m assuming for evil purposes.

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6. Beware The Night by Jessika Fleck

Release Date: March 12, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

Beware the Night

Beware the Night is a fantastical story of rebellion, sacrificial offerings, and worshiping the Sun so that you don’t get taken at Night to never be seen or heard from again.

Strange? You bet!

In Bellona the citizens pray to the Sun for protected from the Night, when innocents are snatched from their beds without reason or cause. It sounds like a story where the character begins to realize that what she was taught isn’t what it seems, and they there may be more to fear than just the people of the Night.

 

7. The True Queen (Sorcerer Royal, Book 2) by Zen Cho

Release Date: March 12, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Historical Fiction

The True Queen

This is book 2 in the Sorcerer Royal series, and is a series I have been DYING to read!

Book 1 is Sorcerer to the Crown and follows Zacharis Wythe, a gifted magician and Sorcerer Royal of a highly respected and elite organization. The story takes Zacharis to Fairyland (YES!) in search of a “cure” for the magic that is beginning to fade in England.

Sounds like Harry Potter meets the Fae world.

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8. Never-Contented Things by Sara Porter

Release Date: March 19, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy/LGBT

Never-contented things

Another story with little information, but one that sounds soooooo intriguing!

It is about two foster-siblings who possess an indestructible love for one another, who are seduced and ensnared by Prince and his cruel fairy courtiers.

Is it a “Cruel Prince” type of vibe? I’m really not sure. But it sounds like it is going to be EXACTLY the OPPOSITE of what you expect, and I am totally okay with that.

Can we also take a moment for this cover?

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9. Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

Release Date: March 19, 2019
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Mystery

Girls with Sharp Sticks

I have been waiting SO LONG to read this!!!!

Innovations Academy is an all-girl boarding school where math and science courses are non-existent, and growing beautiful gardens and being obedient is at the top of everyone’s to-do list. The girls of Innovation Academy are sweet, docile and humble creatures. Or…are they?

I honestly have no idea what this story is going to turn into, AND I DON’T CARE!

Is it a Stepford wife tale for the Young Adults?! Is it a tale of murder and backstabbing?! ARE THEY WITCHES?!

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I HAVE NO IDEA.

But when I find out, I’ll let you know.

(I’m kidding, I’m not going to let you know)

10. Winter War Awakening (Blood Rose Rebellion, Book 3) by Rosalyn Eves

Release Date: March 19, 2019
Genre: YA/Fantasy

Winter War Awakening

Book 3 in the Blood Rose Rebellion series!

If you haven’t read the AMAZING that is book one, allow me to indulge you.

Anna’s family is part of the Luminate, magic users, but she is barren. Or so they all thought. She makes a COMPLETE mess of her sister’s debutante spell, and is shipped off to Hungary to be exiled. There Anna finds that the Luminate are not what they seem, and so ensues a tale of rebellion and even a little romance.

It is a really interesting and different sort of tale, so read it!

 

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There it is!

My Top Ten Anticipated Reads for March, and I am SO stoked to get this month rolling! I’d love to hear what you guys think of these books, as well as any other books that you are excited to release in the coming month.

As always, stay halfway classy but full-on witchy!

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Book Promo · Books · New Releases · Reviews

WITH MALICE by Eileen Cook

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This book will be available for purchase on Amazon.com on June 7, 2016

Click here to Pre-Order your copy!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group, via NetGalley for an honest review.

Genre: Fiction/Young Adult

Plot: For fans of We Were Liars and The Girl on the Train comes a chilling, addictive psychological thriller about a teenage girl who cannot remember the last six weeks of her life.

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron’s senior trip to Italy was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime. And then the accident happened. Waking up in a hospital room, her leg in a cast, stitches in her face, and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be, Jill comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident in her travels abroad. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

 

Opinion:

…hmmmm…

Readers: If you are wondering why this plot description sounds a bit familiar, then your wondering is for good reason! Remember that very publicized and insane trial in Italy a few years back? You know the one. American girl goes off to Italy, starts a romance with an Italian boy, and then out of nowhere….WHAM…her roommate turns up dead. Well, consider this story as being a variation of the very famous Amanda Knox trial; only in this book, we follow the “Amanda Knox character” as she tries to figure out what happened.

When Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room she doesn’t remember being in; or even coming to for that matter, she quickly becomes panicked. Not only does she learn that she had been involved in a terrible car accident, but she soon realizes that she cannot remember the past six weeks of her life. As Jill goes through physical therapy, she starts to search on the internet for clues as to what happened. But things only become worse when Jill realizes that someone had died in the car accident that she was involved in, and that Jill was the one driving. Now, all signs are pointing to the fact that this accident might have been purposeful and that Jill is the one to blame.

This was definitely a read that pulled me in and kept me reading until it was finished. As I was getting to know the main character, Jill, I was also going through the story with her as she starts to learn what happened on her trip to Italy.  I think we can all agree that waking up to find that you are missing a month and a half of your life, would be pretty scary. Especially when you start to realize that your parents are hiding facts about your accident from you. As Jill starts to learn what has happened through checking online websites, she also gets transferred to a rehabilitation center so that she can heal. Jill is soon introduced to her roommate, Anna, who is a fiery and spunky character. I think their relationship was very important to this story because Anna stood by Jill’s side throughout the investigation and tried to help her. As Anna ended up being the only person that didn’t completely assume that Jill was guilty, it showed a softer and more likeable side to Jill.

The dynamic between Jill and her best friend Simone, who also went to Italy, was one I think we have all seen before. Jill is the quieter friend, more concerned in academics than boys, and was very shy. Simone is the complete opposite; boy-crazy, exuberant, and more on the “popular” side. Their friendship was described as a “package deal”, meaning that if Simone was there then Jill would be in tow. I think the trip to Italy was a real change for both of these characters. Through the story we see that Jill was the outgoing one and the one really shining in Italy, while Simone was now the friend “tagging along”.  After finishing the story, I think the events that happened really make sense after you look back on their friendship. The ending, however, absolutely irked me. It felt rushed, and honestly a bit blasé. I can appreciate how the author lead up to the final unveiling of what really happened, but I think the final delivery in the courtroom was just lacking. It left me completely confused as to who this character actually is. As soon as I was starting to really get to know her and the situation, a shift in the character came to light and I was just left confused.

Overall, this was a pretty decent YA story. I think it resembled true events much too closely, so the spark of creativity didn’t really shine through with me on this one. I would have also liked the ending to have had a better delivery, but the overall story came together quite nicely. If you guys enjoyed We Were Liars or found some interest in the Amanda Knox trial, I think this could be an enjoyable read for you.

3 Stars

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