May 2017 Wrap Up

Remember all those books I said I wanted to read in my May 2017 TBR? Yeah…I only read four of them.

I tell myself it’s OK. All the books were the finales of series I wanted to finish and none of them received lower than four stars. Still, there is that lingering feeling I could have read more than I did, because I had the time in my commute to do so.

Oh well…shoulda, woulda, coulda.

In May, I read:

 

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

4 stars

lastsacrifice

Last Sacrifice is the sixth and final book in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. Like all the other five books before it, the story was filled with action and the plot was fast-paced. The writing was not the worst, not the best, but it made the book fly by despite its size. Rose and Lissa’s bond grew stronger as the girls came into their own as individuals. The second half of the book was more romance-heavy than I would have liked, and I found the love triangle in this book to be unnecessary. Overall, I enjoyed Last Sacrifice, as well as the Vampire Academy series, as a whole.

If you want to know my full thoughts, I have a series review of Vampire Academy up on my blog.

 

Boundless by Cynthia Hand

4 stars

boundless

The third book in the Unearthly trilogy, Boundless was an ultimately satisfying conclusion. The plot was wrapped up nicely, answering questions either presented during the book or in previous books. The whole trilogy does a great job at challenging fate and whether or not the angels’ destiny is already decided. There was little character development, now that I think about it, yet they were likeable and flawed. Clara, the protagonist, is one of my favorites from young adult literature; she was smart and levelheaded, using her brain rather than her angel powers to solve problems.

Like all other young adult novels written within the last ten years, there is a love triangle. Both Tucker Avery and Christian Prescott had their qualities, though it was obvious to anyone who Clara was going to choose in the end. The boy she did not pick I think is worthy of his own spin-off trilogy. There is more to his story that I think Cynthia Hand can build on in future books.

 

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

4 stars

wayfarer

People either love or hate the Passenger duology by Alexandra Bracken. I fall into the former category.

The plot of Wayfarer picks right up where Passenger ended. While there is a lot of info-dumping regarding the time-travel aspect, I appreciated the explanations offered by characters. The way it was written made sense to me—maybe because I have watched Back to the Future so many times. I liked the characters and I liked how Nicholas and Etta were kept apart in Wayfarer, even though I love them together. (Serious question: why is no one else as obsessed with Nicholas Carter like they are with Rhysand?) I also liked how there was not really a distinct villain in this novel, too.

I know this duology are polarizing books, but I found Wayfarer to be a worthwhile sequel as well as a satisfying conclusion to the story.

 

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

4 stars

cityofheavenlyfire

I have to be honest: I was not as blown away by City of Heavenly Fire, the sixth and final book in The Mortal Instruments series, like everyone else.

I liked it don’t get me wrong. Clary, Jace, Alec, Isabelle, Simon, and Magnus are my squad goals. I fell in love with Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn, making me desperately want to read Lady Midnight (once all my other priority TBR books are read). Sebastian Morgenstern is a fascinating villain. I especially loved the appearances made by my favorite characters from The Infernal Devices trilogy.

But if you ask me, City of Heavenly Fire could have been at least 200 pages shorter and there could have been more noteworthy character deaths that made me feel more than I did. Yes, I said it…not enough people died. I mean, it’s supposed to be an epic Shadowhunter war right?

I’m not disappointed. I’m just glad I finally finished The Mortal Instruments series so I can finally get on with Tales from Shadowhunter Academy and The Dark Artifices trilogy.

 

What was your favorite book that you read in May?

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The TBR Book Tag

I don’t do enough book tags on my blog as I would like. I saw this one floating around on BookTube and Books Amino a few weeks ago. This TBR tag looked like fun. Instead of just talking about the books on my TBR, like the Intimidating TBR Tag, this goes over more basic questions.

Although, I am thinking of doing the Intimidating TBR Tag, too. I like talking about my TBR pile.

Now onto the tag.

 

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Two ways I keep track of my TBR pile: Goodreads and reading lists. Goodreads is used for books I don’t own yet. Reading lists I use for the TBR books I own. As of right now, I have my “to be read” pile divided into three lists on my computer. They are organized by how much I want to read the books, but of course, are subject to change as my interest fades or increases.

 

Is your TBR pile mostly print or e-book?

All print—hardcovers, paperbacks, and mass market paperbacks. I don’t read e-books, unless I am approached by an author to review their book. Since that hasn’t happened in a while, all the books currently on my TBR are print.

tbrtagpile

 

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?

Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong, the final book in the Women of the Otherworld series. I got this book for Christmas five years ago. When I got it, I wanted to read it, but I hadn’t read all the books in the series yet by that point. I still want to read it, even after all this time.

thirteen

Kelley Armstrong and her Women of the Otherworld books were such an influence on me as a writer as well as a reader. Besides, I never read all the books in order of publication. They are companion novels as a whole, so they can be read out of order, but I wanted to see if there was a difference. And it has been so, so long since I read these books, I have forgotten a lot. Which means, it will be a while before I actually get around to read Thirteen.

 

 

 

A book you recently added to your TBR pile?

The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion. I noticed this book on display in the library I work at and stopped dead in my tracks when saw it was written by Graeme Simsion. I loved his first book The Rosie Project (though I have yet to read The Rosie Effect LOL). I had no idea he had written another book.

adamsharp

The Best of Adam Sharp follows piano player turned IT consultant, fifty-year-old Adam Sharp who is living a quiet life filled with nostalgia. As he takes care of his ailing mother and plays music trivia, he wonders how his life would have turned out had he not ended his relationship with actress Angeline Brown. Then, out of the blue, Angeline calls him. Is this a second chance at happily ever after for Adam?

The reviews on Goodreads for The Best of Adam Sharp are pretty good, but I already have high expectations of this book because I loved The Rosie Project.

 

A book in your TBR pile strictly because of its beautiful cover?

thesilverwitch

The first book that comes to mind for this question is The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston. I found this book in Target a year and a half ago, drawn in by the beautiful, muted colors and the mystical vibe it gave. I try to avoid buying books simply for the covers, yet this one I couldn’t resist.

Aside from that, The Silver Witch seems like a story I would enjoy anyway. It is about a young woman named Tilda who moves into a cottage in Wales to recover from a tragedy. While there, she experiences déjà vu, and starts to have visions of an ancient Celtic witch named Seren. As her story starts to intertwine with Seren’s, Tilda must solve the mystery before deadly magic destroys her second chance at happiness.

 

A book on your TBR pile that you plan on never reading?

While I find this question to be odd given the nature of the tag, I do have an answer for this one. Well, more like two.

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem is the first answer. I received this book at a luncheon I attended last year for the seniors graduating from the Women and Gender Studies minor at my college.

mylifeontheroad

While I admire Gloria Steinem for all she has done in the movement for women’s rights, I have not been a fan of her since she insulted the girls of my generation. In an interview, Gloria said something along the lines that Millennial women were only supporting Bernie Sanders in the election because “it’s where all the boys are.” That got really, really under my skin.

boss

Becoming the Boss by Lindsey Pollak is another book I received for free at a career fair. I picked it up shortly after I graduated, read a few pages, and put it back down. I felt like I was reading a textbook. And I was done with textbooks. I don’t know if I’m interested in reading this book ever.

If anyone has read these books and think I should read them, feel free to convince me otherwise.

 

An unpublished book on your TBR you’re excited for?

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas. Yes, I know—nobody likes Chaol Westfall from the Throne of Glass series. But I do. I think Tower of Dawn will be the perfect chance to build on his character, as well as the world of Throne of Glass as a whole. We will get to see the southern continent and the healers, too.

Seriously, why is no one else as excited for this book as they were for A Court of Wings and Ruin?

towerofdawn

 

A book on your TBR pile that everyone’s read but you?

Matched by Ally Condie, a book that was published around the time dystopians were a thing. I bought this book two years ago with every intention of reading it, to finally catch up on one of the more popular dystopian young adult trilogies after Divergent. Then, I heard the mixed reviews around the Matched trilogy, moving the first book lower on my TBR pile. But I’m probably one of two people on the planet that hasn’t read it yet.

matched

 

A book on your TBR everyone recommends to you?

cinder

Cinder by Marissa Meyer, the first book in her Lunar Chronicles series. These books are insanely popular. I own Cinder, bought it over a year ago, and I intend to read it. I love fairy tale retellings and I want to branch out into science fiction realm. Whenever anyone talks about the Lunar Chronicles, it is always filled with praise. I definitely want to read Cinder before the year is over.

 

A book on your TBR you’re dying to read?

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare is the first book I can think of how badly I want to read it. I finally read City of Heavenly Fire this month, and I fell in love with Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn. Of course, I’m going to read Tales of Shadowhunter Academy first, per everyone’s recommendation, but I am expecting Lady Midnight to be the best Cassandra Clare has written, as everyone else has also said.

I am also dying to read: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, The Valiant by Lesley Livingston, and Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller, to name a few.

midnighttales

 

How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

2, 794…..

Will I read every book on that list? Probably not. I’ve been trying to cut down by reading the TBR books I own and deleting ones I have lost interest in. Regarding the TBR books I own, it is over 200.

But the day this TBR is shrunk down to a “reasonable” size is the day I stop reading.

 

 

How many books are on your TBR pile?

bookshelf1

 

 

The Would You Rather Book Tag

I just saw Bionic Bookworm do this tag on her blog and, though she didn’t tag me, I wanted to do another book tag. This seemed to be like a fun tag—the questions are definitely a doozy to think about.

 

WOULD YOU RATHER….?

 

Have unlimited money for e-books or a $5,000 Barnes & Noble Gift Card?

Easy: $5,000 Barnes & Noble gift card. Obviously, I wouldn’t spend it all in one sitting; I would spread it throughout a given timeframe. That way, I have money for the physical books I want during the year, at a favorite store I don’t get to shop in nearly as much as I want to. Plus, a budget would certainly keep my book-buying habits in line.

I don’t read e-books, so unlimited money for them doesn’t appeal to me much.

 

Meet any deceased poet or J.K. Rowling?

I would meet J.K. Rowling, naturally. Mainly, I would want to ask her why she has been neglecting her Cormoran Strike series and if she can please stop writing Harry Potter stories to focus on that. Don’t get me wrong—I grew up with Harry Potter and Hogwarts. But after I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in February, I have realized that Harry Potter needs to retire.

If I met J.K. Rowling—after promptly peeing my pants—I would ask her about the Cormoran Strike books and where she plans on going with the series.

 

Write the world’s most famous book or visit the world of your favorite book for a day?

I have too many favorite books to pick which one I would want to live in. For me, I would say write the world’s most famous book. There is nothing that I want more than to be a published author. I want to share my work with the world. The idea that I could write a book that could impact so many lives, like Harry Potter, is astounding to me.

 

Choose [blank] or [blank]? Insert characters from your favorite fictional love triangle.

There are so many love triangles that I like as well as hate. For this question, I am going to go for one in a book I recently read: the love triangle in the Unearthly trilogy by Cynthia Hand. Both boys, Tucker Avery and Christian Prescott, had their flaws and qualities. But between the two of them, I preferred Tucker.

He was not the typical brooding, wounded bad boy you see so much in young adult novels. He was overprotective, but not crazily so. He was a perfect gentleman and he was a loving boyfriend to Clara, the protagonist. Tucker was just a good guy…something that authors often neglect in their books.

 

Experience Hogwarts in a very realistic and accurate virtual reality or travel around the world for a year at no cost?

TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD FOR FREE! I do not even have to think about this. Hogwarts in real life likely would never live up to the one of my imagination or in the movies. If I could travel the world for free for a year, I would get to go to England, Ireland, Scotland, my family’s roots in Portugal and the Azores Islands. Plus, there are places in North America I have not yet seen: California, Washington D.C., Canada, etc.

 

Is it just me or were these questions easier than I thought they would be?

Top 5 Stand Alone Novels

It’s been a while since I did a favorites list…mostly because I wasn’t sure where to go next with these. Then, after reading a few books, I realized where I wanted to go: stand alone novels.

I read as many stand alone novels as I do series, I think, if not more. Lately, while I still do love series, I have found no greater satisfaction than a story that wraps up in one. Particularly since the stand-alones I read are deeply underappreciated. Of course, these are the current list, but are subject to change as I read more books.

Here are my top five favorite stand-alone novels:

 

All We Have Left by Wendy Mills

allwehaveleft

I read All We Have Left only two months ago, and already it is one of my all-time favorites.

The novel is told in dual perspective. The first is Jessie, a teenaged girl in 2016, who has lived in the shadow of her older brother Travis, who died in the Twin Towers on 9/11. And no one knows why he was there to begin with. After she is caught spray-painting hateful graffiti on the Peace Center, Jessie is forced to do community service and decides it is finally time to uncover the truth behind Travis’s death.

The second POV is Alia, a Muslim girl in 2001. After getting caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, she goes to see her dad, who works in the Twin Towers, to talk him out of grounding her. Then, the planes crash into the buildings and Alia finds herself trapped with a boy she just met. They must rely on each other to make it out alive.

The writing in All We Have Left was beautiful, with so many hard-hitting quotes about hate, ignorance, family, friendship, etc. Jessie and Alia both have great character development. I love this book so much. I want everyone to read it.

 

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

minnow

A severely underrated young adult contemporary novel, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is about a seventeen-year-old girl, Minnow, who is locked up in juvenile detention. When she was a child, her parents joined the fanatic Kevinian cult. For twelve years, she lived under the cult leader’s thumb and when she finally rebelled, the cult took Minnow’s hands.

But there is more about the cult, and their leader’s murder, than she is letting on. And with a psychiatrist determined to help her, Minnow finally has a chance to reveal the secrets she has kept hidden for too long.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a loose retelling of The Girl without Hands, a lesser-known fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers, as well as one of my favorite stories by them. Minnow is a phenomenal protagonist; she’s strong-willed and independent, with a mind of her own. She’s flawed, but she does not hide who she is, even from the cult that tried so hard to ruin her. The story was incredible, except Minnow Bly is what made this book for me.

 

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

loveanddeath

Yet another book on this list I am surprised no one else is obsessed with, The Game of Love and Death has elements most people are looking for in young adult novels these days. It has diverse characters, and centers on an interracial relationship between an African-American girl, Flora, with a white boy, Henry. Like The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, the novel focuses on a competition between Love and Death personified. While Love does everything he can to bring a happily ever after to these humans, Death always wins. And she is hell-bent on winning again with Henry and Flora.

The novel is set in 1930s Seattle, Washington. Flora is smart, sassy, and independent, not making it easy for sweet, shy Henry to woo her. Their chemistry is unbelievable. As for Love and Death personified, you grow to love them both, even Death, though you really, really don’t want to. The writing is also beautiful and the world, both fantasy and historical, is well built.

 

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

janesteele

Another recent read, Jane Steele is a retelling of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This is the book I can easily name that gave me a book hangover. Jane Steele is a morally gray but ultimately good-natured serial killer. As weird as it is to say, she struggles with the moral consequences of what she’s done, even though all the people she’s killed were horrible. She’s also not afraid of expressing her sexuality, which was unheard of in the time period the novel takes place in: Victorian London. It is something I admire and sometimes envy in other women, something I wish I was more comfortable doing myself.

Aside from Jane Steele herself, Lyndsay Faye’s writing style flowed well and she created a vivid portrait of another side of Victorian London you don’t always see in literature. Charles Thornfield, the “Mr. Rochester” of the novel, is absolutely sexy and as morally gray but as good-natured as Jane Steele. They, along with the side characters, were all amazing.

 

All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry

truth

All the Truth That’s in Me is a historical fiction/mystery young adult novel that follows Judith Finch, a girl who went missing along with her best friend, Charlotte, four years ago. Charlotte was found dead in the river; Judith came back two years later, her tongue cut out and unwilling to explain what happened in her years of captivity.

The novel is told in second person; Judith is indirectly telling her story to Lucas, her childhood friend and the boy she’s loved for years. As events unravel, she realizes that the past can no longer stay buried and she must find a way to reveal all that she knows, even if it means shaking her Puritan village to its core.

All the Truth That’s in Me is the first novel I ever read told in second person. Julie Berry’s way of writing hooked me from the first page. Judith’s character development is phenomenal. Watching her get her voice back and standing up for herself against small-minded Puritans was amazing. She rises out of the role society put her in; not an innocent victim, but as tainted as the person who abducted her. But Judith finds her voice again, and it is wonderful.

 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Series Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (May Contain Spoilers)

It’s been a long time coming, but I finally finished the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.

This vampire fantasy young adult series was most popular in the post-Twilight era. It follows Rosemarie “Rose” Hathaway, a dhampir—a half-vampire human—training to be a guardian at St. Vladimir’s, a boarding school for teenaged vampires. Her best friend is Vasilisa “Lissa” Dragomir, the last in the line of a Moroi royal family, a breed of mortal vampires that practice elemental magic. Lissa is a user of spirit, a rare element, which comes with a variety of problems in addition to powerful magic.

Like all other dhampir guardians, Rose has dedicated her life to protecting Lissa and the rest of the Moroi from the Strigioi, the immortal, bloodthirsty race of vampires that target the Moroi. However, even with all the responsibility and high school drama on top of her, Rose still manages to find more trouble, such as falling for her instructor, guardian Dimitri Belikov.

Richelle Mead’s writing style is not juvenile, but falls on the side of mediocre. What I like about it, though, is that it is not overly flowery like some high fantasy novels I have been reading as of late. The later books in the series were over 400 to 500 pages; only the way Richelle Mead wrote made the reading experience fly by. It had an addictive quality that made me want to keep reading.

As for the world building, it wasn’t overly complicated either. The magic system was fascinating, especially once Rose and Lissa started delving deeper into the studies behind the spirit element. I also liked the Russian and Romanian cultures that influenced the American Moroi society, something we don’t see a lot of in young adult literature anymore. Vampires practicing magic never seemed to mash up in my head, yet for the Vampire Academy series, it worked for me.

Regarding the series as a whole, it could have been four books instead of six. There were some books, mainly Blood Promise, I felt were “filler” books and I could have done without them. The plot with Dimitri turning Strigioi, which happened at the end of Shadow Kiss, dragged on longer than it needed to, in my opinion. It could have easily been resolved in one book.

While the first three books seemed to focus primarily on Rose learning about spirit, helping Lissa, and stopping a deadly attack by Strigioi against St. Vladimir’s, the last three books were centered on her relationship problems with Dimitri, as well as the love triangle she gets tangled in when she catches the eye of Adrian Ivashkov, another Moroi spirit user.

On that note, the love triangle: an essential part to any young adult series in the past 10 years. Though Rose insisted she had feelings for both Dimitri and Adrian, she was kidding herself where the latter was concerned. She liked him, I’m sure; Adrian was a party boy and a little clingy, but he was a decent person who just needed to get his head together. Adrian, to me, was the rebound boy, Rose trying to fall out of love with Dimitri, who was forbidden to her from the start. There was also Mason, Rose’s friend and a fellow guardian-in-training that had a crush on her. But Mason was killed by Strigioi in Frostbite while protecting Rose and the others being held captive. I liked him, but, like Adrian, he was a rebound boy.

As far as love interests go, Dimitri was easily the more swoon-worthy of the two boys. He was overly protective and moral to a fault. He loved Rose, and he cared for the other characters, like Lissa and Christian Ozera. The typical “Edward Cullen” model hero of that era…although, I definitely prefer Dimitri.

My most favorite aspect of the whole Vampire Academy series was the strong friendship between Rose and Lissa. Their personalities complimented each other; Rose was fiery and headstrong, while Lissa was quiet and used her head. They brought each other up, never tearing the other down. Their loyalty was something I don’t see often in female friendships within young adult novels these days. They were bonded telepathically after Lissa accidentally brought Rose back to life—making her “shadow-kissed”—after the car accident that killed the rest of Lissa’s family. So, you got both girls’ perspective throughout the series as Rose went in and out of Lissa’s head.

I loved both these girls. If I had known people like Rose and Lissa when I was in high school, I would have wanted to be friends with them.

After I read Spirit Bound, I watched the film adaption of the first book in the series, Vampire Academy. My feelings towards the movie are the same as the book: did not love it, did not hate it. It was fun and campy, the kind of thing you watch when you need a laugh. Unfortunately, though, I ultimately was not impressed.

I’ve been reading this series since I think my freshman year of college. Because of this, how I felt about these books changed as my reading tastes did and the amount of time between reading each book in the series. Overall, I would say I enjoyed this series, really liked it, but I don’t absolutely love it. If anything, it is definitely more of a guilty pleasure. The series as a whole is just fun, not too deep or too complex.

May 2017 TBR

When 2017 started, one of my reading resolutions was to not set TBR piles every month. However, last month proved to me I’m not reading nearly as much as I can or as much as I want to. Last year, I was knocking at least nine books a month. This year, so far, I have been lacking. I decided to set a TBR for May, in hopes that I will actually make the time to read after work, as well as the weekends, rather than binge-watch TV shows on Netflix or videos on YouTube.

In May, I hope to read:

 

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

cityofheavenlyfire

I desperately want to finish The Mortal Instruments series before I pick up Lady Midnight, which people say is Cassandra Clare’s greatest Shadowhunter work so far. All is left for me to do now (aside from reading Tales from Shadowhunter Academy) is read City of Heavenly Fire. Also, I am told that the main characters from The Infernal Devices trilogy make appearances in this book and I loved those characters.

 

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

lastsacrifice

Vampire Academy is another series I want to finish and Last Sacrifice promises to be a fun finale. Spirit Bound left on a cliffhanger that made me want to immediately pick up the last book, but there was another I had to finish before I could even think about starting a new one.

It’s time to wrap-up a series I have been reading since my freshman year of college, if not before.

 

Boundless by Cynthia Hand

boundless

Boundless is the third and final book in the severely underrated Unearthly trilogy by Cynthia Hand. While these books have some of the tropes present in young adult literature from the early 2010s, it does poke fun at the concepts of destiny and love triangles. The main character, Clara Gardner, is part-angel but not wishy-washy or reckless, like some other protagonists of the genre. She has a good head on her shoulders and she is determined to make her own destiny, even defying the angels to do so. The side characters are also great as well. The whole story is fast-paced and addictive.

In fact, I’m more excited to finish the Unearthly trilogy more than I am to finish Vampire Academy or The Mortal Instruments.

 

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

wayfarer

I read the first book, Passenger, a few months ago and, unlike most people, loved it. While, yes, there is info-dumping and insta-love, those did not bother me. Time travel confuses me, so the explanations the characters provided were helpful. The relationship between Etta and Nicholas should have bothered me because of the insta-love, yet I found I enjoyed their dynamic once I got used to it.

As soon as I finished Passenger, I wanted to pick up Wayfarer and I’m looking forward to the conclusion of this duology.

 

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

theforbiddenwish

I bought this book when it came out last year—pre-ordered it actually—and still I have not read it. I don’t know why; it’s a retelling of Aladdin, one of my favorite stories, and the genie is a girl, Zahra, who falls in love with the street rat. Sam from the YouTube channel Thoughts on Tomes mentioned there are lady assassins in The Forbidden Wish, too. I’m so here for that.

Along with the finale books I hope to finish in May, The Forbidden Wish is priority read. Plus, to me, it’s the perfect summer book and a way to kick off a promising new reading season.

 

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

myladyjane

My Lady Jane also promises to be another fun summer read. It is a comedic retelling of Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for nine days before she was beheaded by Queen Mary I, also known as “Queen Bloody Mary” (if you know the Tudor family history, you know why). Those who have read the book say it’s hilarious and turns history on its head. I personally tend to enjoy those kinds of books. Aside from that, Jane Grey is not a historical figure often recognized. It is nice to see her getting a better story with a happier ending than what she got.

 

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

heartless

I received Heartless in an Owlcrate box—which is how I got this absolutely gorgeous limited edition cover. I haven’t read Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series yet, though I own the first book, Cinder. But between Heartless and the Lunar Chronicles, I’m more interested in the former, primarily because it is a retelling/origin story of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. I read that book years ago, as well as watched the Disney animated film growing up. I know how messed up the Queen of Hearts is. And everyone who has read this book says Catherine, aka the Queen of Hearts, is so nice.

Definitely looking forward to reading this character’s descent into madness.

 

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

truthwitch

I can’t remember the last time I read a book about witches; it’s been so long. Truthwitch is about two best friends, witches with special powers, who are on the run from evil witches trying to control the powers of one of them. It’s high fantasy, with strong female friendships and badass ladies more badass than Sarah J. Maas’s characters, or so I’ve heard. Given how I currently feel about Aelin from the Throne of Glass series and Feyre from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, I hope this much is true.

 

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

thestartouchedqueen

Maya is a princess born with a horoscope of a marriage that promises death and destruction. So, when her father arranges a political marriage for her, she gets more than what she expected. She’s now queen of a magical kingdom and wife of a man she comes to love. But with war brewing, whom can she trust?

A Hades and Persephone retelling with Indian mythology? Sign me up! Like Truthwitch, I have heard mostly good things about The Star-Touched Queen. Still, I don’t want to jinx myself and set too high of expectations of this book before I read it.

 

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

offireandstars

Of Fire and Stars is a diverse book I really want to read this year, mainly because I don’t read as much LGBTQ+ literature as I would like. It is a fantasy novel, where two princesses fall in love during the midst of an impending war and one is betrothed to the other’s brother, as well as has an affinity for fire in a kingdom where magic is forbidden. The reviews surrounding Of Fire and Stars have been nothing but positive. Since I bought this book myself—along with some others on this TBR—I am hoping this book lives up to the hype and I did not waste any money.

 

What books are you planning on reading in May?