Tag: reading

Book Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (Grishaverse #3)

Ruin and Rising (Grisha Verse, #3)Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I feel like everyone and their mother knows how underwhelmed I was with the first two books in this series. All Alina did was be weak or run after Mal (please can we turn this series into a drinking game? Take a shot every time Alina calls out for Mal).
However this book was a work of art. This book showed me why I love Leigh Bardugo’s writing and you get to see the kind of incredible plot twists that are visible in the Six of Crows trilogy.
Following her (failed) attempt at battle with the Darkling, Alina is incredibly weakened and more or less trapped with her Sun Summoning cult.
It isn’t long before Alina breaks free in a desperate attempt to save Rafka. A part of me just wanted to bang my head against something because OMG, have we not done this before??? Like in the last book. And the book before that. Please go marry Mal and hide in a corner of the forest because there is no way you can beat the Darkling.
But I told my snarky side to shut up and I gave this book a chance and I am so glad I did. This book was mind-blowing. I feel like the series as a whole was pretty meh but this book was an explosive finale would just made everything okay. Read this book. Even if you have to skip books 1 and 2, its okay. This book is amazing and I 110% recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy (especially since King of Scars will be out soon!)

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Fiction Friday: Blog Tour- An Excerpt from “Breathless” by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley

SUMMARY:
In Breathless, bestselling authors Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan will sweep you away—across continents and centuries, combining the best of all worlds in one unforgettable romantic saga.

She was “the Swan.” London’s premiere courtesan. Men want to be with her. Women loathe her success and yet admire her beauty, her riches, her independence. But when the jealous wife of her lover moves to have the Swan banished from her home on the high seas, she winds up crashed against Spain’s rocky coast with no shoes, no clothes—and no name. Taken in by a tortured, sensuous man known as The Artist, the Swan comes to know the woman she wants to be—her artist’s siren.

When Art Professor Brenna Anderson is in danger of losing her post at Harvard, the rule-following, prim professor is at a loss of how to salvage the shreds of her life. But when a new painting in the mysterious Siren collection is discovered in a dusty old house in France, Brenna does the unthinkable—hops on a plane to uncover the identity of the beautiful, enigmatic woman who is the subject of the paintings.

There’s just one hitch—the frustrating, irritating, bold and beautiful art hunter Fitch Wilder is also looking for the Siren. He’s been a thorn in Brenna’s professional side for years, but when their individual quests lead them to team up despite being enemies, a whole new sumptuous world of art and culture opens up for the two of them. And with it, they enter a realm of passion and love…

Chapter One

 

Paris

Door hinges groaned with age and disuse as Fitch Wilder got his first peek of history.

“Un capsule temporal…” his employer had whispered those words only moments before, as they’d climbed the narrow stairs of the vintage Paris apartment building and waited for the flat’s door to be unlocked. Yet even as Fitch’s eyes adjusted to the murky light, he could tell these rooms were more than a time capsule—he was about to step into a fine art wormhole.

Oh, monDieu!” Jean-Louis Rasmussen gestured madly, pointing as if Fitch couldn’t see the eerie sight for himself—a richly appointed tomb, still as death, undisturbed for seventy-five years.

Until right at that instant.

The indirect light of the hallway began to illuminate the details. Fitch saw heavy velvet drapes and Persian carpets, a gilt bronze writing desk, ornately carved tables covered in figurines, clocks, and blown glass. Paintings in gilded frames were stacked six-deep against Louis XV chairs. Sculptures hid in shadowy corners. Vases lined the fireplace mantel like soldiers from mismatched armies. It looked as if someone had planned a seriously badass rummage sale and then decided against it.

Perhaps not so far from the truth.

As he had recently learned, a young woman inherited this apartment from her grandmother on June 11, 1940. Talk about rotten timing. The very next day, Paris braced itself for the Nazi invasion, and the young mademoiselle locked down her grandmother’s residence in the 9th arrondissement and fled to the south of France, never to return. Through the following decades, the woman’s solicitor paid the taxes and insurance on the apartment until his client passed away just weeks ago at the age of ninety-three. In her will, the never-married woman carried out the wishes of her long-gone grandmother and bequeathed the apartment’s contents to a variety of foundations, universities, and museums.

That was where Fitch came in. One of his occasional employers, the private Musee de Michel-Blanc, was among the beneficiaries, and he’d been hired to advise them during acquisition. In addition to tracing the provenance and rightful ownership of each work, Fitch would also oversee laboratory testing to verify age and authorship. He was the museum’s insurance policy against the worst offense within the world of art: display of a forgery or a stolen work.

Allez! What are you waiting for?” Jean-Louis jabbed his bony fingers into Fitch’s side, nudging him onward.

Pressing a firm hand on the curator’s shoulder, Fitch turned his attention to the attorney who had unlocked the door. “May we proceed, monsieur?”

The lawyer gestured listlessly, as if opening a crypt was just another day at the office. “Apresvous.”

Jean-Louis shoved past Fitch and into the apartment. “We are the first!”

Fitch stepped inside, resting the heel of his cowboy boot on the decades-dusted parquet floor. He wanted to savor the moment, since this was the kind of once-in-a-lifetime treasure hunt every art investigator dreamed of. More than that, he wanted to honor it. Fitch knew he was about to take a breath of history itself.

And he wondered … whose lungs last pulled oxygen from the air of these rooms? Whose fingertips had last brushed across these chairs or drew closed the draperies? He’d been told that the solicitors had never entered the apartment, as requested in the will, and it was unknown whether the granddaughter ever had a chance to examine her inheritance before she escaped the city. All things considered, Fitch knew it was possible that the grandmother—a woman born during Napoleon III’s reign—had been the last human being to walk these floors.

Astounding.

Fitch drew in the stale air, and blew it out.

With an excited outburst of French, Jean-Louis flung open the drapes. And just like that, a beam of morning light split the dim room, illuminating every corner. Millions of dust particles twirled in the sudden air current.

In his agitated state, the curator stumbled, then gasped in horror. Fitch tried not to laugh, but the sight of Jean-Louis cowering under a seven-foot-tall taxidermied ostrich wasn’t an everyday occurrence.

Fitch tossed his employer a pair of white cotton gloves, then shoved his own hands into an identical set. “Let’s keep moving. We don’t have much time.”

A random lottery had given the Michel-Blanc first access to the apartment. Like each of the sixteen beneficiaries, they were allotted four hours to locate the items bequeathed to them, conclusively match each item to the inventory within the grandmother’s original 1940 will, crate the works, and exit the premises.

Fitch knew why Jean-Louis was so twitchy. Among the items earmarked for the little museum was a signed Rembrandt in black and red chalk, dated 1631, and given the decidedly generic title of “Mother and Child.” From the moment Fitch arrived at baggage claim at de Gaulle yesterday, Jean-Louis had spoken of little else, going on about how the drawing would be a major coup for the small museum. He was right, of course, but only if he found it to be authentic, and Fitch knew signed-and-dated Rembrandts from that period were exceedingly rare. He told his employer to keep the celebratory champagne corked until he’d finished with the X-rays.

Though Fitch was looking forward to examining the Rembrandt, he was more intrigued by the less conspicuous items on the list, and, though he’d kept the thought to himself, he had a hunch one of the institutions might walk away from this Paris flat with an explosive find. Fate had smiled on this private collection. The closed-up apartment had served as a kind of a safe house during the Third Reich’s invasion of Paris, allowing the artworks to slip beneath the notice of Nazi raiders determined to plunder the city’s cultural treasures.

Only God knew what could be in this place.

Fitch set up his camera and reminded Jean-Louis not to move anything until he had documented its location.

Oui, Oui!” Jean-Louis headed into the dining room. He threw open those drapes as well, flooding the area with sunlight and exposing an even larger jumble of tapestries, oil paintings, figurines, and what looked like a carved frieze from the Middle Ages.

Jean-Louis sent his hands fluttering over his head. “Do you have your copy of the list?”

Fitch nodded, snatching it from his jacket pocket and holding it up for his employer’s reassurance.

Within the first hour, Fitch found three of their items: a Faberge egg dated 1902, a still life of lilacs in crystal signed with Manet’s telltale scrawl, and a Guangzhou period vase much like one he’d seen auctioned off for a quarter-million dollars the year prior. As Fitch was matching the vase to the solicitor’s inventory, his employer began screaming in French that he’d found the Rembrandt. He could barely compose himself enough to hand the drawing to the solicitor for verification.

“It is the real thing, oui?” Jean-Louis looked up at Fitch with a pleading expression. Since the poor man was overwrought, Fitch didn’t mention that he’d already asked that question six times in as many minutes.

“Like I said, no red flags are jumping out at me. Everything looks right—the correct chalk pigment for the date, the appropriate type of laid paper, and an authentic-looking mark—but I won’t be sure until I’ve done research and run some tests. If I could’ve phoned in this job from Santa Fe, I would have. You know that, right?”

The curator nodded, wiping tears from his eyes. He patted Fitch on the arm. “Bien sur. You are the best and I will be patient.”

Once the crating process had begun and Jean-Louis was overseeing a team of museum workers, Fitch wandered off to continue his search. According to the list, four items had yet to be located—a series of original French political cartoons from 1899 through 1901, a female nude oil on canvas of unknown age and origin, a Japanese kimono that allegedly belonged to an 18th Century geisha, and a 1929 signed and inscribed first edition of Hemingway’s Farewell To Arms.

Ole Granny was probably one hell of an interesting dinner guest.

Fitch wandered into a breakfast nook off the vintage kitchen and winced at what he saw—a jumble of unframed canvases leaned against a window seat, a particularly unkind way to store paintings. Luckily, the apartment had been nearly airtight all these years, and the drapes had been drawn, which cut down on light damage, moisture, and dust accumulation, though Fitch knew unframed canvases were vulnerable to warp in the best of environments. He lowered himself to one knee for a closer look.

Carefully, Fitch slipped a gloved finger between two canvases, separating them. He began to divide each canvas from its neighbor, one after the next, making quick mental evaluations of each work. There were watery French country fields, seascapes, and studies of Paris street life through various decades. Though they were important and worth further study, Fitch was on the clock, and so far there had been no sign of any cartoons, kimonos, or mysterious female nudes.

The very last canvas was larger than all the others, perhaps forty-by-forty inches. It was draped with an old embroidered bed sheet, and when he gently pulled at the linen he found the painting was faced away. Its back was covered by a layer of coarse muslin, frayed and tearing along the tacked-down edges. Fitch leaned closer, frowning, his brain suddenly humming with alarm. One touch of the muslin and his heart skipped a beat.

Okay—this was nuts. He had only seen the back. He had to be fucking crazy to be thinking what he was thinking.

He set all the other canvases off to the side, stood to open the window’s shutters, and returned to the floor, where he balanced on both knees. With the benefit of better light, Fitch confirmed that his sanity was intact—there were, in fact, similarities. Was it unlikely? Hell, yes. Was it impossible? Not in his line of work.

First, he took a few photos to document exactly where the canvas had been found and in what position. Then, with a gloved finger, he pushed back a corner of the ragged muslin and turned on the flashlight app from his phone. Peering underneath, he saw how the canvas was supported by strainers of ancient olivewood and held together mortise and tenon joints—an exact match to the others.

“Holy God,” he whispered to no one. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

His hands trembled slightly as he turned the canvas to face him. It was upside down. He set it upright. The shock of what he saw sent him back on his heels, his breath coming fast. In the bottom right corner was the familiar mark of an “L” and “A” done in a bold cursive hand.

Fitch grabbed the list and double-checked the wording … “female nude oil on canvas of unknown age and origin.” Of course it had been unknown back in 1940! The Siren Series hadn’t been assembled as a collection of five paintings until after the war and even then … well, hell, that was all that had ever been “known” about anything. Even today, the artist, muse, setting, and date were a mystery.

He shoved the printed list back into his pocket and tried to get his brain and his breath to slow down.

Fitch heard himself laugh out loud.

He couldn’t deny it. Everything was there. This painting had the lively brushstroke, familiar play of light and shadow and the golden touch of sunshine on the model’s warm skin. Fitch recognized the boudoir, too, with its wide windowsill framing the sea, the rugged stone walls and the unvarnished oak of the simple bureau.

But it was the subject he knew best of all—her tumble of sun-streaked blond hair, her smoldering, powder-blue eyes, the sleek curve of her shoulder. And there was the fantail birthmark on the side of her right breast, exactly where it should be. That mermaid-shaped mark had inspired the only name by which this outrageously sensual muse had ever been known.

The Siren.

But Fitch had never seen her like this. No one had.

She was pregnant. The Siren leaned back on her hands at the edge of an unmade bed, as if the painter had caught her in the process of pushing herself to stand after a long and luxurious rest. Her full breasts and slightly rounded belly were gilded by the sun. Her lean legs stretched out before her as she gazed directly into the soul of the artist.

Any shred of doubt Fitch might have been harboring was gone. The Siren’s bold eye contact with the painter—and the intense sexual connection it revealed—was what set these paintings apart from nearly everything else in the art world. That heated connection was the trademark of this unknown painter’s work. And of his muse.

Fitch didn’t call for Jean-Louis right away, and instead allowed himself a few moments of quiet study. This painting was as technically brilliant as the other five, to be sure. The colors were as luminous and rich. The wash of light and hint of movement were the same. And yet … this painting was more than the others. The sum of all its elements had created something tangibly alive. It was as if the woman’s gaze had burned through the artist himself, onto the canvas, and through time to reach Fitch.

The Siren wasn’t daring him, exactly. It was more of an invitation.

I have a story to tell. Are you prepared to listen?

The sound of approaching footsteps jolted Fitch from his trance.

“Where are you? We need to—” The curator stopped behind him. “Qu’este-ce? No! It cannot be! Is this—?”

“Without question, my friend.”

“But…” He leaned over Fitch’s shoulder and pointed at the canvas. “She is with child here. This is … this has never been seen before!”

Fitch nodded.

His instincts had always told him there were more than just the five paintings—and he’d been right. So if this canvas had been hiding for seventy years in an abandoned Paris apartment, how many more were hidden away and forgotten? And where on earth could they be?

“We’ve just found the sixth in the Siren Series.” Fitch turned and smiled up at his employer. “And it is now the property of the Michel-Blanc. That is, unless or until…”

“Mon Dieu!” Jean-Louis slapped a hand over his mouth. His eyes flashed in comprehension as he did the math in his head. Like everyone else in the art world, he knew this single oil painting could be worth more than several small Rembrandts, simply because of one man’s obsession. Billionaire London art collector H. Winston Guilford was unabashedly fixated with the Siren, and had spent the last twenty years acquiring all five paintings in the series. He would surely offer an obscene amount of money to get his hands on the sixth.

From the twinkle in his employer’s eye, Fitch suspected the Michel-Blanc would be only too happy to enable Guilford’s addiction.

Fitch popped to his feet, the thrill of the chase already rushing through his veins, a plan already forming in his mind. He would run tests on this painting while it was still the property of the Michel-Blanc. And if he got extremely lucky, he would find something he could use as leverage with Guilford, something that might convince that crusty old bastard to let him take the rest of the series into the lab—and perhaps even to public display.

And after that…? As always, he would wait and see where the hunt took him.

Fitch carried the painting to the solicitor, making a mental note to cancel his return flight to the States. It could be a while before his boots once again roamed the blue-skied streets of Santa Fe.

AUTHOR BIO:

  CELESTE BRADLEY is the New York Times bestselling author of the Runaway Brides, Heiress Brides, Liar’s Club, and Royal Four series. Her novel Fallen was nominated for a RITA in 2002. “When you are overendowed with imagination and underendowed with punctuality, become a writer.” Years of dreaming on the job paid off when Celeste Bradley quit the mainstream in 1999 and started writing historical romance. “Handsome heroes beat out cranky customers every time!” Bradley lives in New Mexico with her family, her desert garden and so many pets the house sometimes feels like an ark.

Social Links:

Celeste Bradley:

Author Website

Twitter: @CelesteBradley_

 

  SUSAN DONOVAN’s novels have won accolades for being witty, sexy, and entertaining. A former newspaper reporter with journalism degrees from Northwestern University, Susan is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller whose novels have been translated into dozens of languages. Susan is a two-time RITA Award finalist, and her novel Take a Chance on Me was named Best Contemporary Romance of 2003 by RT Book Reviews Magazine. She lives in New Mexico with her family and assorted dogs.

Susan Donovan:

Author Website

Twitter: @SDonovanAuthor

Facebook: @SusanDonovanFanPage

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-a-Million

IndieBound

Powells

 

The 2018 Book-Buying Ban

 

Is anyone surprised that I have to resort to a book ban? (I don’t think so). Does anyone think I’ll succeed? No, neither do I.

So what is it?
A book buying ban is exactly that- a ban on buying books. The idea is to get you to read the books you own before you purchase any new ones.

So far my efforts have been going pretty well (do books from publishers count? I don’t think so since there is no money exchanged and obviously these books need promotion. I volunteer. It’s cool. I’m sure my TBR understands.)

Why is it?
I have more unread books than read books and since my bookshelf is primarily arranged by unread books and read books, this is causing space issues in my house. There’s books on the lounge shelf, book son the spare room shelf, books in the lounge, books in boxes, books in my room, books on the floor. BOOKS EVERYWHERE (It sounds nice but really my house looks a book special edition of Hoarders).

How is it going to work?
My typical reading schedule/TBR consists of 4 books a month so that I am able to write a review a week for the blog. So every month I am going to set aside atleast 4 books to read. Review copies take priority but since I usually request less than 4 books a month, I will be reading review books first followed by books I own. So far this method has been working out pretty while. Since I am reading review copies followed by books I own and listening to Audible, I’ve been able to get a large amount of reading done.
The goal is that when atleast one bookshelf of mine is cleared, I can start buying new books again. Books bargains are great but I have also found a kind of joy in browsing all my stacks of books and finding a book that is JUST RIGHT for whatever mood I am in.

Have you ever tried a book-buying ban? Did you succeed? I’d love to know below.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands #2)

Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2)Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Traitor to the Throne follows Amani’s new (and very exciting) life as a rebel. However it isn’t long before Amani is captured and sent to live with the Sultan’s harem (which is hilarious considering that she is involved with one of his sons and working for the other). What follows is a wonderfully intricate plot of deceit, betrayal and secrets. I LOVED IT ALL.
I’ve tried reading this book thrice. The first time I was just confused as it had been so long since I read “Rebel of the Sands” and I couldn’t remember most of the plot, the second time I was in a book slump and found this book painfully slow to read. I ended up reading 50 pages and then the ending (which I forgot shortly afterwards).
I finally got around to finishing it and while it did take me a few days, it was difficult for me to put it down. This was a gripping, emotional read that left me in tears.
There were so many surprises at the end that I think I’m going to need a while to process everything before I move on to Hero at the Fall. (Now that the series is complete, if you haven’t read it already DO IT!!!)

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June TBR

We’re halfway through the year (and a month away from my birthday. I am so excited to spoil myself with books…again!) Here are the books I plan on reading for this month:

  1. Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas- This was one of my most-anticipated 2018 reads and I just got it a few days ago. I’m finding it difficult to get through historical romance nowadays so I’m hoping this will be an exception.
  2. Breathless by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley- This book seems to involve two different stories set in two different timelines and I am very intrigued.
  3. Two of a Kind: Mary Kate and Ashley- I bought a collection of 90s books a while back and I’m pretty excited to read the Mary-Kate and Ashley ones.
  4. Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo- I am close to finish Ruin and Rising so this book is the next obvious choice for my June Audible pick.
  5. Matilda by Roald Dahl- I am slowly but surely making my way through Matilda because I love that she is a reader. I don’t even care about the rest of the plot. Matilda is the child I never knew I wanted.

What do you plan on reading for June? Let me know below.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Legendary by Stephanie Garber (Caraval #2)

Legendary (Caraval, #2)Legendary by Stephanie Garber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Picking up shortly after Caraval, Tella needs to make payment for freeing Scarlett from their awful father. The price of her freedom requires her to find Legend’s real name- something no one knows. However Tella isn’t giving up so easily and in order to get Legend’s true name, she joins the new Caraval game. Once again, everything is not as it seems and no one can be trusted. Caraval is supposed to be just a game but when everything is so real how can you tell what is reality and what is part of the game?
It was interesting getting a look at Caraval from the perspective of Tella since she’s been part of the last Caraval performance. I also enjoyed getting to know her more as a character. However Legendary seems like a retelling of Caraval just with a few minor changes. Girl looking to save family? Check. Dodgy love interest that you don’t know if you can trust? Also check. Confusing Caraval clues and games? Check. However they say if it’s not broke, don’t fix it and this formula still works for book two. This was a wonderfully compelling read which I devoured in a single reading. My only regret is that I was left with a huge book hangover and I cannot wait a year to read the third book. This book was magical and I loved it.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1) by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1)A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Picking up a few months after the events of “A Court of Wing and Ruin”, this is more of a “Where Are They Now” kinda novel (why so much shopping, Feyre? Are you shopping for the entire Night Court? Are you bored coz you have so much money you don’t know what to do???). This book takes a look at everything and everyone post-war and while life at the Night Court is pretty good, not everyone is happy. Nesta is going through some odd angry phase (as always), faeries are mourning the lost of loved ones in the war and the future of Prythian is uncertain. While this is a pretty sweet book there is the air of this being the calm before the storm.
I used to think that Sarah J Maas couldn’t write anything that was not incredibly depressing, heart-breaking or involves multiple people being killed. This book was a pleasant change of pace.
Originally I found this book pretty slow and boring but eventually I grew to enjoy it. It was the happy ending we all deserved after all the horrors of ACOMAF and ACOWAR. This was a great read and my only regret was that it was not published during Christmas. This was a wonderful, feel-good read which I devoured in hours!

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (Grisha Verse #2)

Siege and Storm (Grisha Verse, #2)Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Picking up shortly after the first book, Alina and Mal try to live a regular life away from Grisha magic and the problems that come along with it. However it isn’t long before they are discovered by the Darkling and his new team of monsters (Seriously that guy is like a damn roach. CAN HE NOT DIE?)
The Darkling still has plans for Alina and her magic. But Alina is not the girl she once was and will not go quietly. I loved how Alina’s character has developed. She is stronger and more sure of herself.
However, the more she tries to fight against the Darkling and his power to save Ravka, the more issues she seems to create between herself and Mal.
This book would make an excellent drinking game if you took a shot everytime Alina called “Mal”or everytime they had issues. I understand that they are still teens and angst is part of the YA world but COME ON! Can’t they be like Kaz and Inej and put their issues aside for a while? There is an entire world at stake.
I feel like at this point I am just tolerating them just so I can find out what happens to the Grisha. I ship Grisha. Mal and Alina can go be fed to the Darkling’s monsters.
That being said, the ending of this book blew me away and I had to get the next one immediately. Mal and Alina have one more book to stop getting on my nerves with their teenage relationship issues.

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May Book Haul

May has been a pretty good month for books. I’ve found so many great deals and I cannot wait to read them. Here are the books I have so far:

The Book Case Box:

I ordered a book box and I was absolutely thrilled with everything that came with it.My book was “To Kill a Kingdom”by Alexandra Christo which is a retelling of The Little Mermaid. I also got a gorgeous sparkly book pouch, a vinyl sticker, some still water, socks and an art print. I started reading ‘To Kill a Kingdom” already and it is SO good.

Bargain Books Trip:

I visited Bargain Books and while it was a struggle for me to find books (I seem to own them all), I did managed to get a few that seemed really interesting. I also don’t think that I’ll be going back since I have been seeing the same books for about 3 months now.

SPCA Booksale

For the first time in a while, I was not working on the day of the booksale so I managed to get in early and found some great reads.

Throwback to that time in my life when all I wanted was to be a teen magazine journalist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “I am upset and need to indulge myself” book haul:

I had a pretty crappy day so I went to the bookstore after work. More specifically, two bookstores. I went to Exclusive Books AND Bargain Books (#treatYOself). I came home with a really exciting stack as well as two bookmarks. YAY!

I’m also currently waiting for the delivery of a special “A Court of Frost and Starlight” book box.

What was your last book haul? Did you read any of the books above? Leave a comment and let me know!

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Picking up shortly after “Six of Crows”, “Crooked Kingdom” follows Kaz and his gang as they plan their revenge after being double-crossed. Kaz wants his money and he wants his Wraith back. This is both personal and business. But while Kaz and the team are trying to stay alive, avoid the police and save Inej, Ketterdam is overrun with foreigners hoping to cash in on jurda parem in some way. There is also a new threat to Grishas (because when it rains, it pours) everywhere- a new type of being hunting the Grisha.
I felt like this book had a slower pace than “Six of Crows” but I enjoyed how this book showed that even the great Kaz Brekker makes mistakes and can be caught in his own traps. After finishing this book, I was left heart-broken and desperately needed more. After binge-reading this series it was impossible to think that I would no longer wake up and go to work while listening to this story. I needed to know more about these characters and their lives. What were their childhoods like? When would I see them again? What were they doing at this exact moment? Are they okay? I developed a very unhealthy attachment to this world and I love it. This was a compelling read and I loved the many plot twists and turns. I can’t wait to read the other books set in the Grishaverse.

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