Review: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

I put off reading this book for months. I loved the first book so much and I couldn’t dream how Arden could pull off a second book that was anywhere near as good as the first. At some point, I finally knew I could put it off no longer, so I pulled out the first book again and did a reread. Oh. My. Gosh. I loved it even more the the 2nd time, so my anxiety (yes I sometimes have anxiety over books….don’t judge me for that I won’t judge you because you don’t! #justsaying). I forced myself to start this book.

At 20% I was just…well….heck….what can I say…I was surprised….I was honestly loving it even more. I knew there was no way the 2nd book could be even has as wonderful as the first…yet somehow it was turning out EVEN BETTER!!!! I was terrified to ask my friends who loved the first book to read it…to see if they would feel the same way….I spent page after page wanting to rush and ask them to read this and the need to keep silent so I didn’t jinx it…At about 30% the need to share my love won out…I let the world know I was in love! I was crushed with myself…I KNEW I had ruined it and jinxed the novel…that it would all go downhill quickly…At 70% I couldn’t believe all of the emotions I was feeling…at 75% I had to stop reading and take a half day off from reading…I couldn’t slow down enough to make sure I didn’t miss anything…I was just loving it so much that I wanted to race heedlessly to the end…so I forced myself to set it aside for most of the day to calm myself…

What can I say? There’s no way I can express all the wonder in this book. No way to explain why this is so much better than the first book. I don’t even know why….well…sure…I mean, there’s the part of spending more time with Vasya…and the Winter King…But seriously…I just can’t do a review to put all of my feelings into words…So different from the first book…but also so much the same…less of a made-up fairytale feel and more of a real-life fairytale….yes perhaps that’s it…instead of just wanting a warm cozy fire nearby reading the first book, this book I found myself snuggling deep within the covers…of both the book and my bed…Every time that Morozko spoke I felt the kiss of the cool fresh air of first light on cold winter’s morn…

See, I am rambling…I am like some over stimulated child that has had too many sweets and too much excitement all in one day…

I loved this book so very much that I am ALREADY having anxiety through the roof about the third book…I just want to keep these characters near…I woke up with morning (after staying up past midnight to finish this novel!) knowing I had dreamt of horses and domovoi…

I just want to be one of those crazed fans and run out and meet Katherine Arden and thank her for the beauty she has brought into my world. For making me believe…well…in all the wonderful things this book brings to me…that magic does exist….that love is the greatest gift…that there are those that will sacrifice anything for the right cause….that loyalty can’t be bought…nor sold…that kindness matters…the list goes on and on….and honey oat cakes…I want to bake her honey oat cakes over an open flame…and FFS I don’t even know what those are!!!

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now The Girl in the Tower

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Quick Review: Heat by Donna Grant


Yes!! The pieces are falling into place. Things are going in the direction I want them going into, while my mind is spinning in all directions. All is well in this world. But I sense much heartbreak coming up and that is not well. But it must happen. It’s darkest before the dawn, and all that. I love these Dragon Kings stories. Excitement and romance galore.

So many discoveries. So many answers. BUT there’s still a few questions I have. So I’ll be waiting patiently.

I’m quite excited to see that Esther play a bigger roll than I ever thought she would. It should be interesting how she grows into that roll. I won’t say anything else. SPOILERS. *said in River Song’s voice*

Seeing Ulrick’s pov is rather exciting. There is definitely more to him than he was letting on. I can’t WAIT to read his book.

If you like Dragons and romance, then you should totally dive into this epic world that Donna has created. So many books and series that intertwine, it’s just plain fabulous.

~Melpomene

Grab the recent one, HEAT http://amzn.to/2Fsm5QY
DIve into this series with Darkest Flame, for only $1.99!! http://amzn.to/2GvyK79
In fact, the first three books are $1.99, while books 4&5 are $2.99. Perfect chance to try this series out.

Review: This Is Not a Love Letter by Kim Purcell

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Teenage love is hard, no doubt.  Surely this is the person you’ll be with for the rest of your life, right?  And there’s no possible way you can live without them, is there?

For young Jessie, it all becomes a bit overwhelming.  Sure, she loves Chris with all her heart.  And she can’t imagine her life without him.  But when things start moving a bit too fast, getting a bit too permanent, she decides to slow it down a bit.  Just a break, she tells, him.  Just one week.  A chance to take a step back and breath for a minute.

And then Chris disappears. And she wants him back.  But it’s too late.  She makes all kinds of promises to herself and everyone else.  If only he’ll come home, things will be different.  She didn’t really want a break.  She’s sorry, she misses him, things will be better than ever.  If only it were that simple.

This story is all kinds of things at once.  It’s a love story, sure.  But it’s also a mystery. Exactly what did happen to Chris?  It’s also an excellent take on teenage issues.  A great read!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  This Is Not a Love Letter

Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

10,000 stars!!!! I am speechless. Wow. What a wonderful magical fantastic novel!

How does one review a book that you absolutely love and manage to do it the justice it deserves? One where you get to 40% and can’t put it down. One where you have 20 pages left and tell your husband to shut up and leave you alone when he reminds you that it’s bedtime. One that after reading you’re so hyped up you can’t possibly sleep, even thought it’s past 11 pm and you have a full day of work to do the next day.

If I had to complain about anything, it’s that at the start it is a bit confusing with the children’s names. They have their given name, but also the names their family calls them and they go by. I also struggled with some of the Russian vocabulary, but soon discovered that there was a glossary in the back. I soon got over these bits and had no issues at all following along.

There is so much here to review. So I will just tell you again, that I loved this book. Every single bit of it. The family. The fairytale. The spirits that Vasilisa cares for. Even the Winter Demon. I love these old folklore stories and they all came to life in this book. Please, give this novel a chance. It will go down as an all time favourite of mine. Seriously. Top 5 lifetime reads.

What I find very interesting is that the step mother and Vasilisa are from the same bloodline and although they are much alike, their attitude it what separates and divides them. One refuses to accept what is before their very eyes, the other one does. This attitude makes all the difference to themselves, but also to everyone in the village.

Man, this is truly a Midlevel Russian Fairytale. Go satisfy that child within your heart, the heart that longs for a good old-fashioned story…where good and bad clash….where you’re too scared to breathe and too afraid to not go on…where you have to pause to build your courage and you close your eyes at the truly scary parts and cheer for the really happy parts….go curl up to a warm fire on a snowy night, make yourself a hot drink and some fresh cookies, find a warm and fluffy blanket and curl up with this book. I can’t imagine a better way to spend any night…Seriously….the best…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Review: Searching for Billy Shakespeare by Crista McHugh

What fun! Grad student Kate moves in to a unbeknownst-to-her-til-she-got-there posh apartment with a new, silly, girly-girl roommate, and boom, things start happening in her life.

The phone rings, and a gorgeous voice on the other end starts talking, looking for his sister (the roommate) but spending an awful lot of conversation on Kate. Roommate girl’s blondie friends give Kate a makeover (gasp) and help her find her inner fun self. Between the roommate and Gabe nudging Kate to know more of herself than just the Shakespeare-dissertation-writer, Kate develops newfound passion for her grad work and her social life.

This tale of silliness absolutely brightened my week. I didn’t care that there was actually no good plot reason for the roommate to ask Kate to live there, nor that Kate seemed uncharacteristically good natured about a bunch of strangers taking her out for 12 hours. I didn’t care that a few plot points were underdeveloped, or that the roommate did something a little unexpected and possibly contrived. Know why? Because this book made me smile. It’s a good bit of fun in a roller coaster world, and I’m totally glad I read it.

-calliope

Buy SEARCHING FOR BILLY SHAKESPEARE

Quick Review: Seek by Mia Sheridan


Holy cannoli!! This book was a wild ride. I’m not even kidding. My stomach was in my toes the entire time. I was downright stressed. The suspense was killing me. The twists and turns had me feeling like I was on a roller coaster. I read non stop for three hours. I couldn’t put this down. From the very first page, I was hooked.

Olivia hired Thomas to take her to Columbia so that she could search for her missing fiancé. The country has suffered from a deadly tsunami and earthquake. So many roads are impassable. Danger is everywhere. But Thomas knows how to get her there and will do anything to do so. But traveling proves more difficult, and deadly, than she ever imagined.

They started out as strangers but stressful situations has a way of pushing people together. Between the life and death situations, something was brewing underneath. But can she trust this stranger? Will she find what she seeks?

She was sunshine. Warm and bright, too sweet for this cruel, dirty world.

Secrets. Lies. Heartache. This book had it all. I won’t say anymore, except that this will get your heart pumping and keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time. THE ENTIRE TIME. Gah! Mia sure changed things up with this book. This isn’t your sweet angsty romance. Not even close. I hope we get more books like this.

~Melpomene

Buy Seek http://amzn.to/2BkmQZM

Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmererk

Just a few days ago I was talking with some bookish friends about genres I love, genres I don’t love so much. And as it always does, romance found its way to the top of my “least favorite genre” list. And then here I find myself giving a five star review to, you guessed it, a romance. Not a psychological thriller with some romance thrown in. Not historical fiction with an underlying romantic tone. Nope, just a romance. Go figure.

Juliet and Declan are both suffering the recent loss of a parent although in very different ways. Still, this common thread is what brings them together. The only way Juliet has been able to cope with her mom’s death is by spending hours at the cemetery, writing letters that her mother will never be able to read.

But somebody does read them. Declan finds himself at the mercy of the court after a big screw up. Community service, mowing lawns at the cemetery it is. When he comes across Juliet’s letters curiosity gets the best of him. And then he writes back. And she answers. Thus begins an unconventional relationship. Their letters fill a hole in each one of them, though. They find comfort in words. But when real life begins to interfere, is it better or worse to keep their true identities hidden from each other?

Romance aside, this is a good story. It pulled on my heartstrings, imagining the pain that each one of these young people must be going through. A few little twists thrown in towards the end keep it interesting up until the last page. A great, safe read for young adults as well!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Letters to the Lost