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

Holes

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

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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

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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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Book Reviews · Books · New Releases · Reviews

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

the wicked king

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Plot: You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Opinion:

So there I was.

Curled up on the couch upstairs.

Enjoying my lunch break in silence. Reveling in the comfort and bliss of a book of fantasy and Fae, magical creatures and humans.

Devouring the pages and words with the eyes of a stalker, with the death grip of a blubbering woman not at all keen on letting go of a lover.

With the enthusiasm of a book junkie getting their long-awaited fix.

There I was.

Just…minding my own business.

And then

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Dear Holly Black,

Please accept this as my death letter. For 2019 is ruined, and I cannot go on.

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All of Jude’s scheming has finally paid off, or has it? With Oak safely in the mortal world with Vivi and Cardan successfully bound to Jude, things should be going smoothly. But Cardans constant antics and games have left Jude to be the one ruling faerie from the shadows, with Cardan fighting her every step of the way. But with new power comes something worse, the craving for more and a target on your back. There are whispers of an attempt to overthrow the High King, but when? Jude is told that she has been betrayed by someone she trusts, but who? With her feelings for Cardan in a constant state of confusion, and the fate of an entire world on her shoulders, Jude fights to keep her carefully constructed pieces from scattering in the wind.

I feel nauseous.

You’d think I would catch on to these blind-sides and surprises by now. If not from the mass number of books that I murder, then from reading The Cruel Prince and knowing that Holly Black likes to TORTURE her dear and devoted readers.

My day had STARTED out pleasant.

Now, it’s a swirling pit of misery and disgrace. I am DISGUSTED, yet slightly charmed. Wholly DEVASTATED and…a bit impassioned. My stomach feels like its attempting to crawl up my throat, dragging my heart from the depths of bleak outlooks and deprivation. As if my insides have decided “to hell with it”, and will begin seeping out and dissipating into the cruel air and harsh lighting that is my life as of now. First came the disbelief. The shock and the audible gasps. Then came the incessant repeating of No, NO, NOOOOO! The Anger! THE AGGONNNNYYY!

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Dramatics aside. This book is f*****g amazing. I flew down the stairs in a panic as soon as I finished; I immediately began furiously pounding my feelings away through my fingertips, onto this keyboard, and into this theatrical review. But now that I have finished throwing my feelings up all over these pages (because we ARE at two pages already), what do I say without spoiling everything?!

I say this.

Taryn is still a tripe. Madoc is still a devious strategist. Jude is still cold and cunning. And Cardan is still cruel, while also quite wicked. As I was reading through The Wicked King I wondered if Holly Black could really have any more tricks up her sleeve. I assumed everything that had come after The Cruel Prince would be on a milder scale. Sure, there would still be malicious games, callous moves and bloodthirsty characters. BUT, I thought the worst had passed.

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I am SO gullible.

The backstabbing has reached a new level here, along with the “blood is thicker than water” sayings. It’s almost laughable how righteously f****d these characters are to each other, especially when you stop to imagine yourself in this world. The constant looking over your shoulder and anxiety of being plotted against. The riddles and lies that are spewed in elegance. The stab wounds and death threats that skate alongside the small smiles and kisses. IT’S ALL TOO MUCH!

But as wicked as the king is to be said, Jude is truly the most wicked of them all. There’s just SOMETHING about a girl that can stab a man in the neck that just makes me do a little dance on my tippy toes. Whether it’s her Oscar worthy acting skills or her sarcastic taunts and digs, I can’t help but adore the girl to pieces. There is truly something to be said for a woman that can make her heart as cold as ice. Something of brilliance, I imagine. But next to Jude, we have Cardan. The sweet and infuriatingly dreamy Cardan. *SIGH*…what couldn’t one say of his character?! He is suave, he is arrogant and clever. He is still a jackass. Though I didn’t think much of Cardan before, I sure as hell do now! *Slow and sarcastic clapping* Well done Cardan. Well done.

Though now, I have even less I can say without being the Viscount of Vague! There are conversations in towers, a crown of foul-smelling mushrooms, plotted assassinations, betrayals by the trusted, time spent in the waters, poisonous poisons, duels ‘till the death, ruby rings and moves and counter moves! There is just so little I can say, but I CAN say this: waiting a year for book three is definitely and undoubtedly the bane of my existence.

Until then, I leave you with this.

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

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

the cruel prince

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Plot: Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Opinion:

This tale may have faeries that harness such beauty that your throat will constrict on sight, a court of royalty both fierce and alluring, and a human girl thrust upon its center.

But this isn’t your typical Fae tale, and it isn’t for the fainthearted.

There are tricksters and murderers, kin slayers and cruel rulers.

There are romances with slit eyes and truths entwined in riddles.

There are faeries as flinty as a fox, ones who love tyrannical tricks and depraved deadly deeds.

But sometimes the most cold-blooded becomes the compassionate, and the most sympathetic becomes the sadistic.

Buckle up boys and girls. Your sweet faeries are dripping in poison.

At the age of seven Jude and her sisters were swept away to a land called faerie by the murderer of their parents, the general of the High King at the High Court of Faerie. After being forced to adapt to her new surroundings and way of life, Jude grows to love faerie even though humans are looked down upon. Ten years later, Jude can finally call the land of Faerie home with the goals of becoming a Knight to the High King. But Jude’s life in Faerie is far from easy. 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 show a different hand. As she fights to win a place at court, she realizes that the politics and deceptions in the inner circle might just be more than she bargained for.

Call me naïve, and maybe even innocent as a stretch, but here I thought I was going to be reading a nice Fae tale with a grumpy prince, a whirlwind romance and the potential of a swift rebellion.

Dear oh me. Was I f*****g wrong.

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Where do I even start?! This book just went to the TOP of my favorites list, and THANKFULLY book two, The Wicked King, is coming out in four days or I might just have to fall over in some sort of dramatic goth-like fashion!

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The tale goes as such: long, long ago, in the far away land called Faerie that isn’t’ all that far away, Jude’s human mother marries a Fae general named Madoc and they sire a half-Fae daughter. Soon the human wife falls in love with a human swordsmith in Faerie, and they both escape to the mortal lands with the half-Fae daughter. Some odd years later AFTER the mortals sire their twin human daughters, said Fae General named Madoc finds the mortal couple and attempts to convince his wife and daughter to return to Faerie. After refusals and threats, the impatient Fae general murders the mortal couple in front of their children. But EVER the gentlemen that this Fae male is, he takes his half-Fae daughter AND her human sisters back to Faerie whilst bringing honor to the wife that he just killed.

Isn’t that just dreamy?

I knew you’d love it.

Let’s start with our lovable, though debatable, female lead: Jude. Jude is the epitome of an underdog. Nobody in Faerie expects much from her and Taryn due to their humanly status, and as such they are ridiculed and taunted mercilessly by Prince Cardan and his loathsome entourage. At first Jude strikes the reader as a meek and dutiful girl, trying to stay in line and invisible to the Fae. But quiet quickly a drastic change in her is thrust upon the reader, and we are given this formidable and fierce female. Plainly put, Jude becomes a Grade-A BADASS with a pension for s**t disturbing. I don’t know about you guys, but I want this girl on my team. Ruthless.

But what is the cause of this sudden change in demeanor for our female lead? Why, it’s the cruel prince himself, Cardan! Naturally it was easy to assume that the romance of this story would be between Cardan and Jude. That Cardan would be a sulky little prince at first meeting and then transform into a valiant and respectable man fit for a fairytale! Well…not so much.

Ladies, Cardan is a hulking jackass.

He is vicious, constantly in a state of inebriation, and does everything in his power to torment Jude. But this isn’t just a case of name-calling and shoving. He tears off other Faeries wings and tries relentlessly to persuade Jude to kill herself. BRUTAL. Truthfully though, I find Cardan to be sinfully delicious and intriguing. The author goes out of her way to confuse the reader about this character, and I am left with a vague and mysterious idea of him that makes me crave more.

The sisters of Jude are also interesting characters that bring an ENTIRELY different level of innocence and cruelty to this book. Taryn embodies the roll of a submissive female. She seems willing to do just about ANYTHING to stay out the path of ruthlessness provided by Cardan and his friends. The girl has a floppy spine, the heart of a rock and I would be GLAD to be rid of her. But Vivi is a completely different case. She is Fae but loathes living in Faerie, and wants nothing more than to return to the mortal world. She is a fiery and outspoken woman, especially when it comes to her EXTREME distaste for Madoc. I wish she had a bigger role in this story, but in the end, I suppose it make no difference.

The Cruel Prince has proved to be an extremely imaginative and completely different story than what I was expecting. These faeries are brutish and downright wild when it comes to getting what they want. I feel completely constricted in what I can say, but look out for those blindsides, because you will NOT see them coming! This book is packed with vague answers, manipulation, mind games, murder and brutality. However, I am slightly disappointed that there wasn’t more descriptions and world building for the land of Faerie. I felt that the author had a HUGE chance to make this world a whimsical and dauntingly beautiful place, but instead it comes across as “okay” due to the lack of description. I also would have preferred a little more insight into Jude’s physical training and to see her grow in that way as well. This was all mentioned, but moved over rather quickly.

With that said, I honestly can’t say anything more or I will give everything away to those of you who haven’t had the chance at reading this FANTASTIC book. I am counting down the days for The Wicked King to be released! Hopefully it will be just as addicting as the first.

4-stars

 

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