2 Jun 2018

May Wrap-Up & June TBR

I just ordered twenty-four new books. And they should be here in a week. Pray the - I don't even know who anymore - that I have enough shelf space.

I read a manga this month. I haven't read any manga for years. It was a nice change, and even though I really enjoyed the change, I know that my heart belongs in the world of words only, not in the world of graphic novels. Although, illustrated editions are always welcomed.

Only reading five books in a month, without any of them being overwhelmingly long, was new to me. Next month I have to do better. As for this month, here are the books I read.

Good Morning Call #1
Yue Takasuka


166 pages

Protected (Ariya Adams Trilogy #1)
Anna Applegate


258 pages

Dragon's Heart (Dragon Lore #1)
Eden Ashe


198 pages

By the Light of the Moon (Rise of the Arkansas Werewolves #1)
Jodi Vaughn


272 pages

The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3)
Mary E. Pearson


679 pages

One thousand five hundred seventy-three pages I managed to plow through in the month of May. I should feel proud, right? It means almost 51 pages a day, on average. But I did not read consistently during the month. I read nothing in the beginning, then a lot during the second week. Suffered through the slight reading slump caused by The Beauty of Darkness and then began reading A Court of Wings and Ruin. Two massive, intimidating books followed by each other at the end of the month is a lot to ask. Both books were so emotionally wrecking, that only a true masochist would be able to read them without falling to pieces. There was still a hundred pages left when May turned into June. I finished ACOWAR today. And I feel empty, like a shell of what I used to be.

I've been thinking about it, should I set myself another near-impossible TBR? I know that if I don't set one, I'll be doing a lot of rereading and won't be shortening the ever piling TBR. If I will, I'll be too stressed out to actually read. So, I will be doing it half and half this time. My goal is to finish all the books from May's TBR, which are:

TwoSpells, Mark Morrison
My Lady Zane, Steven M. Sullivan
The Last Cleric, Layton Green
The Never Dawn, R. E. Palmer
Onions, Cy Young

And then everything on top of that is an added bonus. To meet my Goodreads Reading Challenge pledge of 120 this year I should read 11.3 books each month. It used to be ten books a month, but since I am eleven books behind schedule, the number has grown.

I am flying full hours the entire summer season. Which means less consecutive days off, but still plenty of hours to read. The summer season has brought old acquaintances back, mended deep gashes, and grown hope and stability for the future. I hope to keep it that way, even though sometimes staying still, present in the moment, is the hardest thing one must do.

26 May 2018

Review: The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3)

''  Find her. Don't come back without her. Alive or dead, I don't care. Kill them all. But bring her back. ''


From Goodreads:
Lia has survived Venda—but so has a great evil bent on the destruction of Morrighan. And only Lia can stop it.

With war on the horizon, Lia has no choice but to assume her role as First Daughter, as soldier—as leader. While she struggles to reach Morrighan and warn them, she finds herself at cross-purposes with Rafe and suspicious of Kaden, who has hunted her down.

In this conclusion to the Remnant Chronicles trilogy, traitors must be rooted out, sacrifices must be made, and impossible odds must be overcome as the future of every kingdom hangs in the balance.

'' My life had been patched together with lies from the day I was born.
How does it feel?
Old. I was tired of lies. ''

In case you didn't notice, this is the third and final book in The Remnant Chronicles. This piece of text with mindless gushing and fangirling and whatnot review will contain spoilers.

19 May 2018

Review: The Dragon's Heart (Dragon Lore #1)


From Goodreads:
The dragon-shifter king will do anything to keep his mate alive…even if it means war.
After millennia as king of the dragon-shifters, Daniel Ashborne wants a little peace and quiet, especially from the beautiful Hollywood starlet who haunts his memories. His escape tactics end abruptly when he is called to the ER to save the one woman he wants to forget, but who now bears his mark.
Shelby Kincade’s life and movie career were nearly destroyed when Daniel vanished a year ago. Now he’s back, claiming they have been accidentally mated. Getting over him once was hard enough, but she must choose either the life of her dreams or the man she can’t live without.
With peace finally on the horizon between the dragon-shifters and the Hunters, an assassination attempt on the dragon king and his mate shatters everything. Tensions rebuild as Daniel and his loyal team of shifters try to discover who put out the hit. Enemy and ally lines are crossed, but in the end–after the battle ash has settled–no one could have foreseen who has plotted for their own gain.

You cant trust anyone, not even your own feelings. Betrayal at every turn and nothing is what it seems.

15 May 2018

Review: Protected (Ariya Adams Trilogy #1)


From Goodreads:
She thinks she’s a normal college Senior. He knows she’s anything but.
Ariya Adams has no idea she’s descended from blood so powerful and rare that her life is infinitely more precious than any ordinary woman’s—especially to James Rymer.
James enters her life and stirs up feelings she can’t explain. He becomes a part of her world almost overnight, but Ariya senses he’s hiding something, and she’s determined to figure out what it is.
When “normal” becomes a thing of the past and fantasy enters Ariya’s reality, she’s soon faced with dangerous revelations, the least of which is that everyone she loves has been keeping secrets from her. With a paranormal evil she’s only beginning to comprehend threatening her and her friends, Ariya will have to choose between duty and love. Through it all, she’ll learn to never underestimate the power of blood.

It all begins with tall, dark, and handsome. Then comes the danger, and Ariya finds out she has been living a lie for her entire life.

10 May 2018

Mini-Review: Henderson (Hotel #1)

'' ''Do you love him, Holly?'' -- ''Better question. Do you think Benjamin Henderson loves you?'' ''


From Goodreads:
Holly Claire has been a faithful a committed employee. She's given herself to the job a hundred percent. Literally, body and heart. Her secret love affair with her sexy as hell boss, Benjamin Henderson, Hotel magnate, has never granted her any special privilege before, but she never expected it to be a handicap to her receiving promotion either.

Henderson is the first book in the Hotel Series, a three-part novella series following Holly from heartbreak to love.

She has worked hard to reach the place where she is in life. She worked hard to reach a new level, to gain more freedom in her life. Then, all she had worked for, all she wanted for a long time, was taken away from her. No wonder the woman is on a war-path.

Holly's character is someone any of us can relate to. We have all worked hard to gain something in life, and at least once, that something has been taken from under our eyes and there has been nothing that we could have done at the moment. Holly faces the same situation, she tries to get over it, in her way. She is strong, independent, maybe a little impulsive.

You can tell that this novella is just the beginning of Holly's story. There is so much more to know about her, I feel like the events of Henderson only scratched the surface. And the best part: It's available at the moment on Radish!

7 May 2018

Review: Rescuing the Prince


From Goodreads:
During the afternoon fantasy parade, a dragon swooped down and carried off my boyfriend. I am not making this up.

So begins Leah’s adventures that lead her to another world. At home in California, Leah’s boyfriend Gerry is her rock and motivation. Now, trapped in another world without him, she must find her own courage. During her quest, Leah impersonates a missing princess, learns magic, and meets new friends and allies, including the shy, handsome Tolliver. But in the end, does she have what it takes to defeat Gerry’s fearsome captor, the Dragon Rider?

Your boyfriend has just been kidnapped by a dragon. Even for an amusement park worker that is too much. Leah has been portraying Cinderella with her boyfriend being the prince charming for some time now. She has seen it all, from young dreamy-eyed children too tired parents looking to distract their children for just even a second. She worked in a fairytale. But as all fairy tales, this one has a twist, too. 

2 May 2018

Review: Aftan Whispers (Estalia #2)

'' ''Over there, they've got a saying. Those together last the longest.'' ''


From Goodreads:
He didn't know how savage the world was - until he met Deni.

As the days grow darker in the Estalian Empire, young Tyler stays positive by helping others. But when he meets a girl on the run with enemies in the highest places, Tyler's life gets complicated fast. Deni isn't afraid to kill, and she’s got a secret that could tear apart the sky.

In a mortal chase that takes them from a besieged city across the war-torn countryside, Tyler soon discovers that the Empire’s guardians are their most dangerous foe. Worse still, Deni is faced with a terrible choice: remain hidden and save herself - or expose herself to prevent the oncoming darkness.

If you're looking for a visceral ride packed with steampunk machines, stunning action sequences and ambiguous moral choices, you’ll love Phil Williams’ latest post-apocalyptic adventure.

This is the second book in a series called Estalia. You don't have to read the first book to read this one, they can be read independently. But I do recommend reading the first one, it could shed light on many questions the Aftan Whispers left unanswered.

30 Apr 2018

April Wrap-Up & May TBR

I remember writing in the last Wrap-Up & TBR -post about the beginning of spring and how it's a beautiful time of the year. Guess what. It started snowing the next day. And that day was the April Fool's day. You got me there, Finnish weather, you got me and everyone else in Finland who thought that we were finally getting rid of the winter.

For the month of April, I haven't been reading that much. I read at the beginning of the month and then nearing the end of the month. Somewhere in the middle, I just didn't have the feeling to pick up a book at all. Instead, I turned to the archnemesis of reading: Netflix. I binge-watched Gilmore Girls and The Crown. It's amazing how addicting it is. You know when you watch a series on Netflix and at the end of the episode, there's the 15-second countdown before the next episode begins automatically. Well, I have my laptop connected to the TV (for the larger screen) and when the countdown begins, and I am lying down on the sofa, it is impossible to get to the laptop to press stop before the next episode begins. I tried many times, and then, I just gave up, submitting to the fate of watching until I almost fell asleep.

But you probably came here for the books, not the tragic story of my Netflix addiction, so here they are: The books I managed to read through in the month of April:

29 Apr 2018

Review: The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2)

'' Betrayed by her own,
Beaten and scorned,
She will expose the wicked,
For the Dragon of many faces
Knows no boundaries. ''


From Goodreads:
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia's life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There's Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

Two years, four months. That is how long ago I read The Kiss of Deception. Two years and four months I have been in its grip. Two years and four months I have waited (I really don't know why) to read the second book in the series. And I am as shaken as I was the after the first book. I am supposed to begin reading the third book after I finish writing this review, but I don't know if I can. The Heart of Betrayal destroyed me and I am not sure if I am ready to be shattered into pieces again.

27 Apr 2018

Review: Looking for Dei


From Goodreads:
Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.

A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.

All the way through, the plot kept me interested. (And then there's the but.) But I didn't like any of the characters. I didn't like the way the narrative jumped from one person to the other. And what bothered me the most, is that there seemed to be separate smaller plots that had nothing to do with each other, and towards the end, they were mashed together.

24 Apr 2018

Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1)

'' ''You are stronger than you imagine. I see it. In time, you'll see it, too.'' ''


From Goodreads:
I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty's sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she's the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city--and the one she loves?

I have put off reading A Shadow Bright and Burning for too long. I have deprived myself from the reading experience, the excitement, the feelings. Or, should I say, The Feelings.

20 Apr 2018

Review: Pen & Xander

 '' ''What you've gotten yourself into...'' she smiles, nostalgic, ''is the most faithful and fucked-up family you will ever meet.'' ''


From Goodreads:
Pen Prado has a passion for cooking. Specifically, cooking her father's food in her father's restaurant. It's the heart of their immigrant neighborhood, a place where everyone belongs, and second chances are always on the menu. Except for Pen. Despite the fact that there's something almost magic about her food, her father can't imagine anything worse than her following in his footsteps. And when Pen confesses to keeping a secret from her family, he fires her, ensuring she never will.

Xander Amaro is undocumented but that doesn't stop Ignacio Prado from offering him a job at his restaurant. For Xander, it's a chance to make amends and to sever his toxic relationship with the druglord, El Cantil--a man whose been like a father to him since his own disappeared. Soon after, his mother abandoned him too, leaving behind a void that not even his abuelo can fill. Until he meets Pen.

Both seeking a place where they feel like they truly belong, they end up finding each other, and in the face of tremendous fear and self-doubt, they end up finding themselves.

This book is about finding where you belong and learning that feeling something, feeling everything is okay.

12 Apr 2018

Review: The Dead Kids Club

'' We grow up surrounded by people paid to lie to us until we become paid liars ourselves. ''


From Goodreads:
Her boring life is about to get a killer upgrade.

In her small town of Cold Meadow, Virginia, life seems to be going exactly the way Danielle Donovan wants. She’s captain of her cheerleading team, getting ready to head off to college on the sunny west coast, and she is the most adored girl in her school. Suddenly, Dani’s life is thrown off course when her friend, the resident trouble magnet Scotia, turns up missing after a party thrown at Dani’s house. With the police sniffing around and rumors spreading faster than they can be contained, Dani and her tight-knit group of friends soon find themselves as suspects in Scotia’s disappearance. Though Dani swears she is innocent, she starts to question the possibility of those closest to her being guilty. From her laid-back best friend Gage Mitchell to the human firecracker also known as Frankie Carson, Dani is forced to question everything she knows about her life and those she loves if she wants to ever see Scotia again, and more importantly, avoid being the latest missing person.

The Dead Kids Club is a roller coaster of twists with the intensity of Gone Girl and the comedic edge of Heathers that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.

I cannot even begin to express how much I loved this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page until the last one, and it still has me in its grip, a few weeks later.

11 Apr 2018

Review: Soul Catchers (How to Survive the Afterlife #2)

'' ''Well, you'll need some hastily painted signs, a few repetitive one-verse songs, and long, bushy beards.'' ''


From Goodreads:
As the demons gather to debate John's disappearance the scattered parts of his soul plan revenge on those responsible. All that stands in his way is his newly acquired Tourette's Syndrome and an increasing list of pursuers. Demons, Satan, and a gang of deceased dictators all want a piece of him. Fortunately there's plenty to go around.

Meanwhile the pigeon, Sandy Logan, contemplates his unfulfilled ambitions. What if he ruled Hell? All he needs is an army to spark revolution. While the demons are distracted, his dysfunctional army will attempt to pull off the greatest heist in the Universe.

On the Isles of Scilly a pale girl with bleached white hair sits on the grass studying a puzzle book. She isn't like her pirate obsessed brother. It's proving to be the hardest puzzle of all. Young fingers trace the letters on a black stone. They find a J, O, H, and finally, N. Yet the name is the second most interesting thing about it. Mysteriously chiseled on the headstone are the words, 'God Protects the King.'

The story just gets better and better with every page you turn. Tony Moyle keeps the reader laughing from page one until the very end. It's not all comedy, though. You'll be surprised. There are many riddles and puzzles mixed in the reader will have a field-trip with. You think you know the answer, but are you willing to bet on it?

Might contain mild SPOILERS as this is the second book in the How to Survive the Afterlife - series. The first book's, The Limpet Syndrome, Review and link to Goodreads.

4 Apr 2018

Review: First Crush, Last Love

'' He needed her to give them a chance-the chance he threw away ten years ago.  ''


From Goodreads:
Back in high school, Lee Archer had the power to make Jessie Baxter’s cheeks flush and her heart race. But the popular athlete never wanted to be more than just friends. Ten years later, after a failed marriage and with her journalism career on shaky ground, Jessie’s come home for her high school reunion—and Lee still has the power to make her knees weak and her pulse pound.
Lee's teenage years were filled with more trauma and drama than anyone guessed. Though his damaged past has helped make him a successful police detective, it's hurt every relationship he's tried. But seeing the grown-up, stunning Jessie might just change his commitment-phobic mind.
Jessie’s psycho ex-husband had her convinced no one would ever love her, but Lee is ready to step out of the friend zone and into her heart. Can she learn to trust again before she loses her chance to turn her first crush into her last love?
Elizabeth McKenna’s novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the joy of finding true love at last.

Sometimes it takes a little time to get to the point where everything is alright. Where the nightmares of the past have made way for the dreams of future. Oh god, how sappy does that sound? 😅