I received a copy of this book in exchange for a free review. While this was not a title I requested, I was instantly intrigued by the synopsis and started reading (and then purchased the Kindle copy so I could read on the go). ‘A Throne of Swans” begins with Aderyn whose dad passes away, leaving her as the Protector of Atratys. In this world, nobles are able to transform into a bird that represents their family house. Aderyn’s bird is supposed to be a white swan. But she has been unable to transform since the night of her mother’s death where she was ripped apart by hawks. Aderyn survived the attack but has been hunting for answers ever since. Hawks were supposed to be extinct. So who would have attacked her and her mother? Aderyn’s quest for answers leads her to the heart of the Citadel where her cruel uncle reigns as King. Despite her father’s warnings that she remain in their land, Aderyn knows that she cannot rest or rule without learning the truth about her mother’s death. Accompanied with a surly advisor (who for some reason I happened to fall in love with at the very first moment he appeared), Aderyn has to navigate court politics and drama all the while hiding that she is flightless- something that could cost her her position as Protector. From the very first moment I was hooked by this novel. The world-building is incredible, the plot is filled with suspense and the writing is captivating. If you haven’t already picked this up, do it now. This is a beautiful novel for fans of high fantasy.
In 2010, I started writing Twilight fanfiction. I was obsessed with the books and movies and desperately needed an outlet for my feelings. So I chose fanfiction. I created an account on Fanfiction.net and made friends with someone to asked me if I had read The Vampire Diaries. I admitted that I hadn’t though I always wanted to. The books were expensive so I never got the opportunity. She offered to send me PDF copies of the books and I agreed.
I loved the idea of pdf books. Ebooks! That you could read on your phone. What I didn’t know at the time was that an eBook was not a PDF file. No, PDF files were illegal and we were committing book piracy. I sent the files to all of my friends.
Once I was done with all the books, I started looking for others. House of Night. Vampire Academy. Blood Bloods. This continued for years. I would read the books and if I liked them, I would save up money for a print copy.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might know that I didn’t have the opportunity to go to the library as a kid as my dad was always busy. So these “ebooks” were great for me.
Sometime in 2012 I stopped reading as I wanted to focus on school. I started college in 2014 and discovered Netgalley. I had a lifestyle blog at the time so I requested books on Netgalley and reviewed them on my blog. It was the same thing as high school. Or so I thought.
I had been reviewing books for a few months when I came across a warning on one of my review copies. “This book is for your eyes and your eyes only. Sharing a copy with anyone else constitutes as ebook piracy.” My first reaction was to laugh. Piracy was for music and movies. Not eBooks. Or was it?
I started Googling and was appalled. I had been committing ebook piracy and I had no clue. I especially had no idea how it affected authors or the book community as a whole. I felt awful.
Fast forward a few years later and I still haven’t purchased print copies of all the books I pirated. Though not for lack of trying. It’s not the same and the damage has already been done but I thought purchasing the books would be some sort of atonement.
I know what I did was wrong and I feel really bad (especially considering how often I review books) but at the same time I feel like there should have been more education on the subject.
Nowadays you cannot mention “free pdf copy” without having someone jump down your throat for it but at the same time there are more avenues to get a book than just the library or the bookstore. Amazon, Scribd and Bookbub to name a few.
For me, there are days where I wonder if I would still be pirating if I hadn’t stopped to read that warning on that one book. I am truly grateful that I did.
Alright, so I’m kicking off this new series with my all-time favorite YA series. I don’t know if you can tell but I am SO VERY EXCITED to share this with you!
Feyre and her family were once wealthy but have now fallen on difficult times. But while Feyre’s father has laments his lack of fortune, Feyre goes out hunting to provide food for him and her two sisters, Nesta and Elain.
Elain is a sweet, gentle soul with Nesta is always angry and argumentative. Nonetheless Feyre goes out of her way to provide for her sisters as her family is unable to do so. During one of her hunting trips, Feyre comes across a wolf and kills it.
A wolf fae barges into Feyre’s house and demands payment for the life she has taken. According to some ancient treaty, Feyre owes a life for a life and has to leave the human world to go to the Fae world of Prythian. Always the protector, Feyre goes with the wolf who she discovers is Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court.
Feyre gets to live with Tamlin and his friend, Lucien in the Spring Court. While the house is grand and luxurious, everyone in the court suffers from a curse that has them wearing masks that are magically attached to their faces. Tamlin and Lucien are trying to find a way to fix the curse to ensure that it doesn’t spread to the human world.
Feyre eventually realises that something about Tamlin’s story is not adding up so she decides to capture a Suriel, a type of fae that cannot lie. Suriel gives Feyre a quick history lesson explaining that the king of the fae kingdom is against the treaty with the humans and sent his soldiers to spy on the other courts. This history class is cut short when Feyre is almost attacked and Tamlin comes to her rescue (Flashbacks to the wolf scene from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”, anyone? I loved that scene). Tamlin and Feyre begin a sort of friendship after this. Much like Belle and the Beast. Now where’s that huge ass library? Oh wait, Feyre still can’t read.
Feyre starts to overhear conversations about a “her” but no one wants to tell her who this person is. It is the evil Amarantha who has declared herself queen of Prythian.
There is a solstice celebration and Feyre is warned not to leave her room. She does anyway and runs into two fae who are very excited to see her for some reason. What do fae do with humans? Eat them? Torture them? I don’t know. Feyre is saved from the two fae by a gorgeous male with dark hair and blue eyes who pretends he knows her and has been looking for her.
Feyre sneaks back to the house and she and Tamlin shares a passionate kiss. The next day, Feyre’s breakfast with Tamlin and Lucien is interrupted when the male fae from the night before barges in. He is Rhysand and he works for Amarantha. This scene broke my heart because how can you be bad when the book makes you look so good? Also, this question can be applied to many YA villians.
Rhysand demands to know who Feyre is and she gives him the name Clare Beddor, the name of her neighbour back home in the human realm. Tamlin decides to send Feyre back home after they spend one last night together.
When Feyre returns home she sees that her family have a better life. They have a huge house, servants and money. Her father and younger sister, Elain think Feyre has been with a rich aunt while Nesta is the only one who remembers Tamlin in wolf form, breaking into the house.
After a while, Feyre learns that Clare’s home has been burned down and Clare is missing. Feyre decides to go back to the Spring Court, worried that something might be wrong.
Sure enough when she gets to the Spring Court, everything is in shambles and there is only a single servant, Alis remaining. Alis explains to Feyre that Amarantha was an emissary that came from Hybern with her sister, Clythia. Clythia and Amarantha fought in the mortal war together until Clythia fell in love with a human warrior named Jurian. Jurian eventually betrayed Clythia causing Amarantha to hate all humans ever since. Amarantha has been keeping the fae as her slaves. Alis also tells Feyre that she could have ended it all. After Tamlin refused to become Amarantha’s lover, she put a curse on him. He needed to find a human girl who killed a fae and make her fall in love with him (oddly specific but okay then). As part of the curse, no one in the Spring Court could tell Feyre this.
Alis leads Feyre to Amarantha’s mountains where she is found by the Queen’s lackeys and taken to see the Queen. Tamlin pretends not to know Feyre (because he is now a spineless ass) but Feyre sees the burned body of Clare Beddor. Amarantha and Feyre make a deal. Feyre has to complete a task a month for three months and if she does, the fae are all free. Alternatively Amarantha provides Feyre with a riddle which, if she solves at any time, they will all be free immediately.
Feyre’s first task is to defeat a giant worm monster. She manages to complete it but injures her arm in the process. Rhysand visits her with his own bargain. He can heal her but she needs to spend a week with him every month for the rest of her life. Left with no other solution, Feyre accepts his offer. Rhysand marks Feyre with a tattoo as proof of their deal. He also decides to take her out to parties as his date, flaunting her in front of Tamlin who isn’t even allowed to visit her.
Feyre’s second task is to solve a riddle but she struggles with this as she still cannot read (this would have been resolved had Tamlin given her the library like the Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”. Honestly at this point, I find Tamlin a waste of a creature). Rhysand helps Feyre to find the correct answer through the tattoo on her hand linking the two of them. He admits that he does want Feyre to win.
Feyre’s third task is to kill three innocent fae. She decides to do it as it is three fae vs the entire world. But when she takes the covering off the third fae, she sees that it is Tamlin. Feyre cannot think of a way out until she remembers overhearing people constantly referring to Tamlin’s heart as being made of stone. Feyre shoves the dagger into his chest. As Tamlin is recovering from the wound, Amarantha flies into a rage and tells Feyre that she never specified when she would free everyone. She starts to break Feyre’s bones. In the middle of her pain, Feyre solves the riddle and instantly everyone is freed. Tamlin attacks and kills Amarantha but she has already broken Feyre’s neck. Feyre is dying but feels herself watching everyone from above.
The High Fae offer up a piece of their magic and Feyre eventually becomes an immortal High Fae. Feyre and Tamlin can finally be together but Feyre feels like a part of her is lost after killing the Fae. Feyre and Rhysand have one last conversation where he confirms their deal before bowing to her and vanishing.
“He’s Just Not That Into You” should be required reading for every female. We all grow up having friends and family assuring us that we are amazing and of course that guy likes us. He just doesn’t know how to show it/just got out of a relationship/is intimidated by you. Female society is conditioned by these excuses. This book helps to break that cycle. I read it once at seventeen (wish it was sooner coz I NEEDED it a year before that) and every so often I like to revisit it. “He’s Just Not That Into You” paints the revolutionary idea that maybe he isn’t that into you. Maybe he just isn’t the one. A shocking idea at first but once you get used to it, it’s pretty liberating. No more wasting time and effort on the wrong guy. No more hanging around and waiting for him to call. If he is into you, he will show you. You will have no doubts. Period. If you haven’t already read this book and you’re a female. Do it. NOW!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. After the death of his (awful) father, Boone is assigned to investigate a series of murders with Butch, a former homicide cop. Their investigation leads them to Helaine, the female who called in the latest murder and who has lost her sister to the vicious killer. Helaine is determined to catch her sister’s murderer however there are no leads. It isn’t long before Helaine and Boone start a relationship amidst their shared grief over their lost family members. This was the first time I could remember being more excited about a mystery than the romance in the book. From the very first page, the murder mystery drew me in and I almost didn’t care about Helaine and Boone (luckily their relationship was cute so I was eventually invested in it). This was a great read that I did not enjoy as much as I could have because about 100 pages in, I was exhausted (it was 11PM), I had work the next day and so decided to skip to the end. That spoiled the experience for me. HUGE MISTAKE! DO NOT DO THIS! But do read this book.
I received an ebook copy of this in exchange for an honest review. “Squad Goals” follows three best friends, Addy, Lucy and Nora as they tackle what they have deemed ‘squad goals'(basically goals that they complete as a group of friends) during their final year of high school. Each girl gets a season and they determine a goal. Addy has always met her goals. Lucy sometimes meets her goals and Nora never does. All three girls are determined to finish their goals in time for graduation.
1) Hot by Halloween: Addy’s goal is to get hotter and make her scum bag ex-boyfriend jealous. To do this, she joins the school swim team. Addy is a horrible swimmer but she teams up with the hot new guy at school to practice and it isn’t long before sparks start flying between the two of them. This was my favorite story and I couldn’t read it fast enough.
2) Nerdy by New Year: Popular girl, Lucy decides that she wants to reinvent her image. Instead of being just a pretty face, she is going to show everyone that she is a nice person. Part of her goal is to apologize everyone she has hurt. Like her childhood best friend, Simon. Simon and Lucy were close until she embarrassed him in front of the entire school. To try and win him back, Lucy joins his club and the two of them start volunteering together. Lucy and Simon were an adorable couple from the get-go and I couldn’t stop rooting for them.
3) Promised by Prom: Oddball Nora has no plans after high school. But with her two best friends leaving to go to college, Nora is desperate to find someone to be with. So she makes the goal to find a serious boyfriend by Prom. Her friends assure her that it’s possible as long as she keeps her weirdness hidden at the beginning of her boyfriend hunt but Addy’s brother, Max disagrees. He thinks Nora should find someone who likes her for her. Someone like him. Nora would never risk her friendship with Addy for Max no matter how well they get along. As the only two single people in the group, they are almost always paired off together and it sometimes seems like they’re dating but they are just good friends. Or are they? This was my least favourite story possibly because Nora reminded me so much of myself. However I loved the chemistry between the two of them.
I enjoyed this book immensely. It was great seeing the amazing friendship these girls had as well as the squad goals which were all so relatable. I kinda wanted the ending to be a big cliche “and they all lived happily ever after” which I don’t feel like I got. Nonetheless, definitely read this if you are looking for a fun and light romance.
YouTube beauty vlogger, Lily has the most perfect life. Perfect home, perfect boyfriend, countless sponsorships and a book deal. Atleast that is the way it looks on the outside. Lily is constantly under pressure to look perfect and is stressed and anxious all the time. Her perfect home doesn’t belong to her and her boyfriend might be cheating on her. Sixteen-year-old lifestyle blogger, Melissa is Lily’s biggest fan and has a less perfect life. No perfect London apartment, no perfect boyfriend and just one best friend. Melissa would do anything to have a life just like Lily’s and when that proves to be tough, she decides to just make things up on her blog. It isn’t long before Melissa has a life that looks to be as good as Lily’s. But on a trip to see Lily at an event, Melissa stumbles across the truth about her perfect life. It isn’t long until both girls learn that being internet famous isn’t everything it is cracked up to be. I started reading this book as soon as I bought it and I did not regret it one bit. “My Secret Youtube Life” was an entertaining read that I could not put down.
I ordered this after seeing fanart of Feyre from “A Court of Thorns and Roses” reading it. This book certainly did not disappoint. Lucy Hutton is everyone’s favourite good girl. Everyone except for her co-worker and office nemesis, Joshua Templeman. From the very second that he walked into the office, Joshua has hated Lucy and so she has responded in kind. When a promotion opportunity is announced, their competition kicks up a few notches. Lucy knows she cannot work under Josh and has to score that promotion at any cost. But then Josh kisses her and IT IS A HELL OF A KISS. Was it really hate between them or was it something more? And how will the promotion affect whatever it is that they have building between them? I loved this book so very much! I devoured it and was really disappointed when it ended. Lucy and Josh have a very clear chemistry and lots of witty banter. “The Hating Game” is well-written, funny and entertaining. This was everything! I NEED SOMETHING SIMILAR AND IF YOU HAVE RECOMMENDATIONS, HIT ME UP!!!
When career-orientated Serena MacGregor refuses to find herself a husband, her father, Daniel MacGregor steps in and sends gambler, Justin Blade to the cruise ship where she is working. Daniel is confused that Justin and Serena will suit and he is right. Sparks fly as soon as the two of them meet. However when his scheme is discovered, Serena is reluctant to go along with his plans. I had mixed feelings about this book as Justin is originally a forceful ass to Serena. He is unable to take no for an answer which made me put the book down the first time I read it. However I loved the description of life on a cruise ship and exotic travel locations so I picked it up again, prepared to ignore Justin’s stubborn ways but he eventually won me over. I thought this was a good read and I can’t wait to read more about the colourful MacGregor family.
Daniel and Six once met in a closet and impulsively had sex which resulted in a pregnancy. Since it was dark and neither of them knew each other, Six gave the baby up for adoption only to unknowningly fall in love with Daniel a while later. In “Finding Perfect”, Daniel and Six are going through a rough patch. She’s distant and he knows that their baby is part of the reason. Desperate to reunite the woman he lives with their child, Daniel embarks on a journey to track down their baby. I thought “Finding Cinderella” ended rather abruptly so this was the perfect ending for me. I loved returning to this world and seeing so many familiar characters especially from “All Your Perfects.” I actually didn’t read all of “All Your Perfects” because I fell in love with Quinn and Graham from the very first page and couldn’t bear to see the sadness of their marriage in the first few pages but this book has more than made up for it. If you’re looking for a short but emotionally charged read, this is your book.