ARC Review: Kingsbane (Empirium #2), by Claire Legrand

kingsbane claire legrand

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

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In Kingsbane, Rielle has now been named Sun Queen, but not everyone agrees with that. As protests against her become more riotous and the Gate shows signs of starting to fall, Rielle must do what she can to collect the castings from the Saints to save humanity, and not be seduced by Corien in the process. A thousand years later, Eliana is too afraid of becoming corrupted to use her powers, making it even more dangerous. She must learn how to yield her power without letting it destroy her before it’s too late. Continue reading

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Review: The Muse, by Jessie Burton

The Muse Jessie Burton

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery

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If it wasn’t for the blogging community, I would not have read this gem! If you saw my review of The Miniaturist, you know by now that I didn’t enjoy it at all. So I would not have picked up The Muse without reading such positive things about it.

The story starts in 1967, following Odelle as she received a unique offer to work as a typist, the first job offer since she came to London five years before that is anywhere close to her studies and abilities. When she comes across a peculiar painting, she has no idea of the mystery, hope, dreams and heartbreak that come with its history – but Odelle is now involved in its secrets, too.

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Review: The Secret History, by Donna Tartt

the secret history donna tartt

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery

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The Secret History is the story of Richard Papen, a student who finds himself charmed by the small group of professor Julian Morrow studying classics  at University. Slowly, Richard is consumed by their intensity and slips into their obsessions and betrayal.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, and I’ve read so many mixed reviews I was terribly curious. I read If We Were Villains, which was compared a lot to this, so and which I enjoyed, but thought I’d enjoy it more if it had been an adult novel instead. After reading The Secret History, I definitely see the similarities and I’m quite glad I picked it up! Continue reading

Review: The Unhoneymooners, by Christina Lauren

the unhoneymooners christina lauren

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Romance

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The Unhoneymooners is the story of Olive, probably the unluckiest girl in the world. While her twin sister Amy wins prizes and giveaways and is planning her wedding basically for free, Olive has never had any luck in her career, love life or anything. To add to that, she is okay with her soon-to-be brother-in-law, but absolutely cannot stand his brother Ethan. When the buffet in the wedding Amy won for free gives everyone but Olive and Ethan really, really sick, Amy begs her to do this one thing for her: please take her free vacation in Maui, or the whole thing goes to waste. There is only one problem: Ethan is going, too, in place of his brother, and will pretend to be married to Olive. Could this be Olive’s change in luck or is it just another series of unfortunate events waiting to happen? Continue reading

Mini-Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

the strange and beautiful sorrows of ava lavender

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Magical Realism, Literary Fiction, Young Adult

Goodreads 

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is well-known among book bloggers and booktubers, a gorgeous magical realism story about Ava Lavender and her family, who has generations of pain and magic in their history. Her family seems to be cursed to fall in love foolishly. Ava is born different, and is mistaken for an angel by a pious man.

This book is written beautifully, and I specially liked the descriptions of the baked goods in the family’s bakery. Made me hungry! This short book packs the story of four generations of this family very well, it never felt too short at all. There is so much beauty, pain, prejudice, love and betrayal, it’s very emotional and I was addicted to this.

The magical realism part, however, bothered me a little. Perhaps because I’m Latin-American, I expected the magical realism to be executed differently. I wondered if it was perhaps fantasy instead, but it isn’t quite. That made me frown a bit, but it’s a pretty good book in any case! I was very impressed by this debut!

eARC Review: The Fever King, by Victoria Lee

the fever king victoria lee

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult, LGBT+

Goodreads

I have received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Fever King is the story of Noam, the son of two refugees who’s trying to keep what is left of his family together. When he’s struck with magic virus, a sickness that has wiped out most of the previously-US population, he’s the only survivor and wakes up in a mass of dead bodies. But now that Noam has survived magic, he has a power of his own – a rare, powerful magic that the government wants to use. Continue reading

Review: The Devil’s Queen, by Jeanne Kalogridis

the devils queen jeanne kalogridisRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Historical Fiction, Magical Realism

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The Devil’s Queen tells the story of Catherine de Medici, a controversial figure whose reign marked her as a bloody and heartless queen. From her early orphan years to the fateful St. Bartholomew’s Massacre, this book is a fascinating fictionalized telling of a most fascinating queen who loved astrology.

I saw this book in a museum bookstore, right after having my brain hammered with Renaissance paintings and thought – this is great?! I love a good historical drama, and so far I’d mostly read Tudor and World War II stories – and I’m always on the lookout for other interesting times in history. So I simply had to have this. Continue reading

eARC Review: Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim

miracle creek angie kimRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Mystery

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This was one of the books published in 2019 that I was looking most forward to reading! It’s a mystery novel with a thriller-like pacing, so gripping I almost fell on my face reading it while going home. I just needed to know what happened next.

In the small town of Miracle Creek, the Yoos run the Miracle Submarine, an alternative medical treatment to promote healing of the body by breathing pure oxygen. When the submarine one day explodes and two people died, secrets threaten to come to surface during the trial. Did Elizabeth plan to murder her own child?

This court mystery is absolutely enthralling. There was a surprising depth of humanity in the book, which talks a lot about immigration and fitting in, about autism, about the difficulties of being a parent to a disabled child and the joys of it, too. Even infertility is discussed honestly. I was absorbed by the story and read this in one day. I loved the multiple POV, which gave each character such depth. A really, really great book that I highly recommend!

 

Review: Ghost Wall, by Sarah Moss

ghost wall sarah moss

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Literary Fiction

Goodreads

Ghost Wall is the story of a group of students, a professor and a local family who want to re-enact the life in the Iron Age in Northumberland. As they become more and more involved in the re-enactment, tension builds and threatens to explode into violence.

Ghost Wall is one of the most impacting books I’ve read all year and I am sure this will stay with me for a long time. First of all, the writing is absolutely beautiful, and it’s all I want from literary fiction – nothing pretentious, but gorgeous nonetheless and with so much nuance to it that I surely missed a lot of details on this first read. Continue reading

Review: Freshwater, by Akwaeke Emezi

freshwater akwaeke emezi

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Fantasy

Goodreads

Ada’s father wanted a girl child so much he prayed – and his prayers were answered. By another god altogether than the one he prayed for – and thus the children of the snake goddess Ala, bloodthirsty and merciless, were born in the body of Ada, driving her insane little by little.

This is a dark, gritty and delicious fantasy. I was hooked from the beginning! There are several fantasies out there with gods, but a lot of times the stories are rather tame. Freshwater is not tame at all – it makes you feel like you are going through all the dark thoughts Ada is going through, like you could understand the limitation a god feels in human flesh. It was so, so interesting a read. Continue reading