Fiction Friday: Queens of Fennbirn by Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns #0.5)

The Queens of Fennbirn (Three Dark Crowns #0.5)The Queens of Fennbirn by Kendare Blake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
“Three Dark Crowns”is one of my favourite books but also one that I have mixed feelings about. I felt like the book took too long to actually build a history around the sisters and their world. However there was no such issue with “Queens of Fennbirn”. The stories are fast-paced and impossible to put down. I waited a week before delving into this book and once I started I really regretted that. I wished that I had started this as soon as I got it. Yes, it was THAT good.
“Queens of Fennbirn” tells the story of the three queens as they grew up and were separated. From the very beginning, this has been something that interested me so it was great to see how the girls went from sisters to enemies. It was certainly not an easy journey.
The second story follows a former Queen of Fennbirn who allegedly went crazy and ordered the deaths of three innocent families.
This book was dark, compelling and a perfect way for me to return to this world. I cannot wait to go back and read “One Dark Throne”.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- Play Dead by Harlan Coben

Play DeadPlay Dead by Harlan Coben
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Laura and David are very happily married. But disaster strikes on their honeymoon when Laura leaves for a business meeting and comes back to find her husband missing. Laura is miserable but even through her grief it is clear that something is not right about David’s death. He was a strong swimmer and never would have taken the chance of swimming in rough waters. Could he have been killed and if so, why? Things get even more complicated when Laura finds money missing from David’s account and someone has been in their home while they were away on their honeymoon.
This was a mind-blowing book that kept me on my toes the entire time. I was left guessing and none of my theories even came close to the explosive ending. If you are a fan of thrillers, this is the book for you. Excellent writing, interesting characters and unpredictable plot twists. Get yourself a copy ASAP.

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How to Choose Your Classes for College

Ah, college. The one place you can study everything from Marketing and Mythology to Cooking and Creative Writing. But how do you choose your classes? There’s just so many!

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1) Consult your handbook- The college handbook is an excellent guide for when it comes to choosing classes. It details the classes necessary for your degree as well as information about the method of assessment. Knowing more about possible modules can help you decide whether they’re worth choosing.

2) Choose the purpose of your electives- Do you want something fun? Do you want something that complements your degree? For me, I chose a mixture of both.  After all when else would you have the opportunity to study the kind of subjects offered at college? My modules consisted of Media and English (my majors at that time) as well as Criminology and Human Resources (simply for fun).

4) Have a plan B (and maybe a plan C-just to be safe)- Sometimes you may not be able to register for the class you want. In this case it’s a good idea to have a list of back-up classes. And then a back-up of your back-up just in case those don’t work out either.

How do you choose your classes for college?

July TBR

I am so very excited for this month’s TBR since it has so many books that I have wanted to read for such a long while. I have no doubt that this is going to be a really great month for my reading.

  1. Because You Love to Hate Me anthology: An anthology of villain stories from popular authors as well as popular YouTubers. I have been eyeing this book for a while so I am so glad to finally have it.
  2. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: Almost everyone who has read this book has raved about how amazing it is. I want to see what the fuss is about.
  3. Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart: I don’t remember what this is about but I know I wanted this book since it’s release.
  4. The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher- I got this on sale from Audible and so far it seems really good. I loved F##k Love and I’m hoping this will be something along those emotional, dramatic lines.

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of the above titles? I’d love to know below.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (Cruel Beauty #1)

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1)Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nyx was raised to marry (and destroy) the demonic leader of her land. The Prince of Demons gives people bargains that give them what they want while destroying them in the process. Nyx and her twin sisters were the result on one such bargain. Nyx is resentful of her family for choosing her and not her weak-willed sister to marry the Prince. However she soon acccepts her fate and decides that instead of passively waiting for her new husband to kill her, she will destroy him and his strange castle first.
I devoured this book in one sitting and was left with a huge book hangover afterwards. Ignifex is oddly compelling from his very first appearance in this book to the last. I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy.
(NOTE: The ending is a bit flat but I was just so glad to have my HEA that I was totally okay with looking the other way)

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman (Playful Brides #8)

The Right Kind of Rogue (Playful Brides, #8)The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Meg has been in love with her best friends brother, Hart for years. She knows Hart is a rogue and she knows he will never return her feelings but when she hears that he has decided to take a bride, Meg and her friends concoct a plan to get Hart to propose to her.
I love the “Playful Brides” series but Hart just irritated me. I felt like the chemistry between him and Meg was pretty obvious and I kinda wanted to scream at him for not seeing that. SHE IS THE ONE FOR YOU, YOU IDIOTIC TWIT! MARRY HER!!!
Honestly I cannot remember the last time I felt so strongly about a pairing in a historical romance. This was a wonderfully fun read however at the end, Hart just pissed me off (refer to above statement in all caps to see what I mean). Nonetheless I will be eagerly picking up the next book in this series because I am committed for life to these characters (much like Hart ought to be to Meg).

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College Tips for English Majors

Ah, English. We speak it everyday and chances are you’re passionate about it if you’ve decided to major in it. Or in some cases you had nothing else to choose (that’s hurtful but hey it’s true).
For me I chose English because I loved it in school and thought it would be a breeze. It’s not. It’s actually pretty difficult. Here’s a few tips for coping as an English major.

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1) Get Your Reading List Early- I’ve heard other English majors tell me how they love reading but personally I’ve always struggled through my assigned readings. It’s a good idea to get the list of readings early so you know what to expect when it comes to your workload. Email your lecture or the administration to ask for a list. Worse case scenario you get a refusal. Best case scenario you know the books you’re expected to read and can start looking for them early.

2) Compare Book Prices- My campus bookstore is always ridiculously expensive. It works out easier to either buy the books secondhand, online (Takealot and Readers Warehouse usually have reasonable prices for their college books) or even to borrow a copy from your campus library.

3) Read the Book- I’ve seen so many people simply ignore the book they’re studying and it just irritates me. Those people chose English as an elective but their lack of interest was disappointing. How do you expect to write a test or exam when you know nothing about the material being tested? No matter how boring the book is, reading it on your own allows you to form your own opinions that you can include and support in your assignments.

4) Practice Your Writing- Start a blog, keep a diary, write extensive notes. Do something to help improve your writing. Practicing your writing in even a small way allows you to express yourself better and makes for better essays.

5) Proofread Essays- Always check your work before you hand them in. If there’s an option for a lecturer or tutor to read over your work, take it! They’ve been around longer than you have and who knows what is expected of you better than someone in the department?

6) Use Sparknotes- Most of my lecturers take their slides and notes from Sparknotes. I don’t know if they’re taking it directly from the site or if the site simply has the same work but reading Sparknotes makes understanding work so much easier.

7) Take Advantage of Office Hours- If there’s anything you don’t understand, make an appointment to visit your lecturer or tutor privately. I’ve seen students make silly errors simply because of a misunderstanding of the text that could have been cleared.

Are you an English major? What are your tips for a successful semester?

How to Never Miss a Date Again

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Few things irritate me more than having a deadline or appointment jump out at me from nowhere. It makes me feel like my whole world is upside-down and I need to take back control of my life. Here are a few tips to help you never miss an important event or date.

1) Buy a planner- I love Typo planners but they’re a bit too expensive for me. Instead I use an ordinary dated diary as well as my cellphone to keep track of dates.

2) Write down everything- First start with concrete events that you know won’t change such as birthdays or your weekly night out. Then enter in important dates such as deadlines for a project.

3) Plan a week in advance- I like to think of myself as pretty organised. Those dates that I miss are usually family events that for some reason my mother doesn’t tell me about (am I not family? Maybe not). To compensate for her serious error, I ask her well in advance if she/me/we has any plans for the week ahead. If she gives me an event we need to attend, I list it down. If not I simply plan my week around that.

4) Use your planner on a regular basis- You could have the most gorgeous (Typo) planner but it doesn’t matter if you’re not using it. Be sure to check your planner often to keep on track with dates and to add in new ones.

How do you keep track of everything? Have you ever forgotten an important date? (I forgot my parents’ anniversary once). Let me know below.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands #3)

Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands, #3)Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. With most of the Rebels either imprisoned or dead, Amani needs to figure how to stop the king and she needs to do it fast. But she’s just a girl from the corner of the desert who knows nothing about war and strategy. Amani’s constant self-doubt both annoyed and surprised me (have you ever seen a main character doubt themselves? Because this book made me realize how I just automatically assume main characters know everything). It also didn’t help matters that all of Amani’s decisions kept leading the team into danger. It eventually becomes obvious that Amani really does know nothing about being a rebel. This book concluded the series brilliantly and I’m especially glad that when I read this for the first time I didn’t have a book slump (as opposed to book one and two which I had to re-read in order to enjoy it). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Binge-read this series. You won’t regret it.

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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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