Harry Potter Tag!

HarryPotterTag

Hey everyone!

I know I just did a different Harry Potter Tag, this one, but I am back with another one because 1) it is the most Harry Potter time of year, and 2) I love Harry Potter so get off my case. I love you guys.

I was tagged by Bound to Writing for this post, and you can click on the link to visit her Tag page. I hope you guys will all give her a look, and hopefully a follow, because she’s a great book blogger.

Without further ado, here is the Harry Potter Tag:

What house are you in?

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I am a very proud Ravenclaw! I took the test in middle school and got Slytherin, but that’s because I wanted to be a Slytherin because it was during my whole huge Draco crush… don’t ask lol. And then in my sophomore year of high school, I believe I took it, and then I got Gryffindor, but I had then wanted Gryffindor as well because of my Fred obsession that still has yet to wear off. Finally, I took it for real last year and got Ravenclaw, and I am very happy with it as I feel it sums me up pretty well. You can check out my house sorting reaction here.

What is your patronus?

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My patronus is a dolphin. I was surprised for this, but I’m not sure why. She’s pretty cute, but I was expecting something small like a bunny or something. I really like her though. (Her name is Celia)

What is your wand?

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My wand is ebony, 10 inches in length with a phoenix feather core and surprisingly swishy flexibility. Ebony is said to be fore those “with the courage to be themselves.” The phoenix core is also the rarest, and those who wield it “show the most initiative, sometimes acting of their own accord.”

What would be your boggart?

I’m with Ron on the spiders. I also think a werewolf would definitely appear because I avoided watching the ending of the Prisoner of Azkaban so many times because the werewolves of the wizarding world scare the crap out of me even to this day.

What position would you play in Quidditch?

I feel like I’d be a beater because in lacrosse I always tried to hit people and you can’t do that in the girls’ game. Also, that is Fred and George’s positon.

Would you be pure-blood, half-blood, or muggle-born?

I feel like I’d be a muggle-born as neither of my parents are super into Harry potter, or maybe a half-blood… I don’t know.

What job would you want after graduation at Hogwarts?

I’d probably want to own a book shop to be completely honest, and be an author of fantasy stories taking place in the wizarding world – that is my dream career.

Which of the Deathly Hallows would you choose?

100% the invisibility cloak. I am not trying to get killed or bring back the dead for them to die again. I would probably use it to avoid people I know while grocery shopping to be honest.

2016-06-10 02_cropFavorite and least favorite books?

My favorite book is either the first or fourth ones. In the first one, we get to know Hogwarts and meet everyone, but the fourth is the one I am always attracted to. I don’t think I have a least favorite because I have always really enjoyed all of them.

Favorite and least favorite film?

My favorite film has always been the Goblet of Fire because it’s not too dark so I could watch it before I went to bed  (like every night so it skips over the Yule Ball scene, sadly) and it also has so much cool action and new wizards. My least favorite… I can’t really say I have one. I have always though of the Prisoner of Azkaban as my least favorite because the werewolf scene terrified me, but I actually really like the rest of the movie.

Favorite character?

Hermione Granger, of course. She is my idol and everything I aspire to be in life… including a wizard.

Least/Most hated character?

Umbridge. She is everything I despise. She is cruel, tries to be so sweet and innocent when she’s just awful, and has no real explanation to her behavior because I am sure she came from a wealthy family and a happy life. I just have such a fiery hatred for her. I hate her more than Voldemort, and that is really just sad on her part.

Favorite Hogwarts teacher?

I have no idea, honestly. I think maybe Hagrid because his class was so cool. I would love to meet all the fantastic beasts of the wizarding world. He’s also super lovable and sweet, so definitely him.

Least favorite teacher at Hogwarts?

Umbridge, for the above explanation.

Do you have an unpopular opinion about the series?

Besides my unhealthy obsession for it… probably not. I do like Hermione and Ron together, because I know a lot of people wanted it to be her and Harry. I feel like Hermione and Ron fits so well, and their personalities contrast perfectly.

 

Thank you for reading!

Taylor

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Books I Want for Christmas

BooksIWant

Hello everyone and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

This post is my second installment in my blogmas! If you didn’t read the last post, it was the Christmas Song Book Tag, that you can read here. I am getting more and more into the Christmas mood, and it has come to the point where Christmas music is pretty much all I listen to. I hope you guys are becoming just as merry as I am, and feel free to do the posts I do to bring some cheer to your blog. Let me know if you do, so I can read it!

Today I will bringing you some of the books I want most for Christmas! I want to read so many books, and I am really happy with anything at all, but if I had to choose, then these would be the books I would probably get for myself. Let me know the books you want, whether you celebrate Christmas or not 🙂

I love paperback books, so these are all paperback copies of the books. I really wanted to include A Court of Wings and Ruin, but that doesn’t come out on paperback until May *sad face.*

empire of stormsEmpire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

     It has been so long since I have been able to read a TOG book, and I miss it so much. I miss Celaena , and omg I miss Chaol.

RavenBoysThe Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

I have been looking to start this series for forever, so I hope I can finally get a chance to get into this series.

 

 

 

Flamecaster by Cinda WIlliams ChinaFlamecaster

The first time I ever heard of this book was when I spotted it in Barnes and Noble – I would have gotten it, too, but I chose Cruel Beauty, and loved it so I’m not even sorry.

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan RhodesFallingKingdoms

Yet another series I have been meaning to start, but chose a different series to buy instead of this one. I bought The Novice even though I had this one in my hand.

 

 

 

mistbornThe Final Empire (Mistborn book 1) by Brandon Sanderson

This book dominates booktube and I really want to know what all the hype is about. Also, this cover is gorgeous – it’s white and blue, which is everything I love in a cover.

UprootedUprooted by Naomi Novik

This is also another gorgeous cover. I first heard of this book, I believe, by A Clockwork Reader, or maybe PeruseProject, and since then I have been dying to read it.

 

 

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade final for Irene

I think I’m the last person in the world to read this book.

The Rose and the Dagger by  Renne AhdiehRoseandtheDagger

The Wrath and the Dawn now owns part of my soul, so I need this one. It’s like books are my horcruxes.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret RogersonEnchantment_of_Ravens

This book was the PeruseATopia book club book of the month a couple months ago, and they both loved it, so I cannot wait to see why!

 

 

 

ruin and risingRuin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone is a series loved by sooo many people, and I really want to get into it, but this is the last book… hopefully this one makes me full-blown Grisha.

Six of CrowsSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Yet another series I have been dying to read. I have little to no idea what this is about because every description I have heard is escaping me, but that’s one reason why I’m so intrigued.

 

 

Thank you for reading, and Merry Blogmas!

Taylor

Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane Spotlight

Upside_of_Falling_DownHey everyone!

If you have been following me for a while, you know very well that I don’t read much contemporary YA. However, this book seemed very different from most of the contemporary novels out there. It tells the story of a plane-crash survivor that loses her memory, and to me, that sounds excitedly different and so intriguing. I love the authors, like Rebekah Crane, that put a twist on your usual romances and add different aspects to the story. Crane also mentions snarky, flirty banter, which I adore. ❤

Rebekah Crane’s Twitter: @RebekahCrane

Her Website: rebekahcrane.com

There isn’t much there for the Goodreads synopsis, and you can get a better description in Crane’s interview, but I will still put it below:

~ Goodreads Synopsis ~

Set in Southwest Ireland and features a girl who is the lone survivor of a plane crash. She wakes up with amnesia in Ireland with no memory of her life. It’s cute and heartfelt and, of course, funny. 

~ ~ ~ ~

     Because this book caught my interest, I had to ask Crane some questions to get to know the book a little more and to show you guys. Her responses are so endearing, and she was so nice to answer me:

How would you sum up the story?

For Clementine Haas, finding herself is more than a nice idea. Ever since she woke up in an Irish hospital only to discover she’s the lone survivor of a plane crash and suffering from complete amnesia, self-discovery has become her mission.
With the Irish press bearing down on her, and a father she may not even recognize on his way from America to take her home, Clementine assumes a new identity and enlists an Irish stranger, Kieran O’Connell, to help her escape her forgotten life…and start a new one.
In the sleepy town of Waterville, Ireland, Clementine discovers there’s an upside to a life that’s fallen apart. But as her lies grow, so does her affection for Kieran, and the truth about her identity becomes harder to reveal, forcing Clementine to decide: Can she leave her past behind for a new love she’ll never forget?

What inspired you to write The Upside of Falling Down?

Interestingly enough, the general story line was brainstormed during an author visit I did a few years ago at a local high school in Denver. I always ask the students to throw out book ideas and someone said, “Why not a book about the lone survivor of a plane crash?” We took the idea and ran with it.

Also, setting a novel in Ireland was a goal of mine. In my early twenties, I lived in County Kerry, Ireland (the novel’s setting). It’s such a beautiful and lush backdrop for a romance. I couldn’t resist writing Kieran and Clementine’s love story in one of the most romanticized countries on Earth.

Which character was your favorite to write and why?

This is such a hard question! I truly enjoyed writing them all. The flirty banter between Kieran and Clementine and their chemistry was fun to create. That said, I’ve always enjoyed writing snarky characters and Siobhan and Clive fit that bill. Their friendship is laced with loving sarcasm, a combination I adore writing.

     This is exactly what I have been looking for in a contemporary YA novel – something unique! I love the amnesia concept and her running from her old life to start fresh. The story is one that I have never read before, or anything close, and I am super excited to see how this plays out. I am also in love with the idea of Kiernan and Clementine because it has been so long since I read something cute and this sounds like exactly what I have needed and didn’t know I needed. Also, the name Kiernan is beautiful and Clementine is so different. The fact that this story is taking place in Ireland as well is a turn on because I have never read anything set in Ireland and it is one of my favorite countries (though I have never left the Untied States).

Let me know what you think of The Upside of Falling Down, and whether or not you plan to read it.

Thank you for reading!

Taylor

 

Cruel Beauty Review

Review

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Title: Cruel Beauty

Author: Rosamund Hodge

Publisher: Balzer and Bray

Format: paperback

Release Date: January 28th, 2014

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

~ Goodreads Synopsis ~

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

~ ~ ~ ~

     This book took me entirely by surprise – I almost didn’t even get it. I haven’t really heard anyone talk about it and on Goodreads it has a 3.7 rating. At first I was even a little iffy while reading it, but somewhere after chapter like eight, I reached the point of no return and I feel whole-heartedly in love with this novel.

Cruel Beauty is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, which is very done very loosely. Nyx is taken into Ignifex’s home, and the whole Stockholm syndrome thing is there, but Ignifex is a demon trapped in his way of life because of the “people” that control him. I LOVE Beauty and the Beast, so naturally that is why I decided to read this. The theme is done very well, and I appreciate the avoidance on insta-love although it is hard for me to see why Nyx all of a sudden is head over heels for Ignifex. Yeah, he’s described as being gorgeous and charming, but he’s a demon that she has spent her entire life training to kill. Other than what I just explained, Nyx and Ignifex’s relationship is the most beautiful thing. They remind me a lot of Rhysand and Ferye if that is any indication. I love them so much, and they may be one of my favorite book couples ever.

As for character development, it may be some of the best I have seen in a while, which may be because I am reading a lot of series lately so they develop more slowly. I thought Nyx was a great character because she starts out so distanced and callous, but you can see when she gets to the castle, she begins to settle into herself and forget more of her problems which makes her less cold and stony. For Ignifex, I loved his character from beginning to end. He was crafted so well – every aspect of him was so great for a lovable demon man. I loved his snarky flirting; that was probably my favorite part of the book.

I don’t want to include any spoilers, so I am only going to briefly talk about Shade. I just really thought about his character a lot while reading this – probably because I was trying to imagine a shadow on a wall coming to life and interacting with Nyx, but he was super complex and there was a lot of meaning to him. And if you read the book and remember the ending, I love how his character and Ignifex’s are relative to each other, it was such an interesting concept.

The plot, from beginning to end, was crazy interesting. it was such an emotional rollercoaster from witnessing Nyx’s life and her constant heartbreak in the beginning, to the ending that rips your soul to shreds. I wish there was a sequel so I could see more of the world because there is a lot of strange facets to it that I would like to learn more about like the paper sky and floating garden.

Also, I just want to say that the ending of this book may or may not make you cry until you can’t breathe – take that as a warning. I cry a lot, but I don’t think I cried so hard reading a book in a long time until I read this. I thought it was very well done, and though I believe it’s a standalone, it made me want so much more of Ignifex and Nyx – I was so not ready to give them up.

I would highly recommend this book to any reader – it has a lot for anyone. There’s a lot of action and adventure, there’s even some suspense, and it’s a little spooky, plus there’s obviously a great romance.

The Christmas Song Book Tag

Christmas Song Book Tag

Hello everybody, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

For my version of blogmas (as decided like two minutes before making this post on the 4th), I am planning to put out a new Christmassy blog post every Wednesday of December. I am so excited! Christmas is my favorite holiday of all because everything about it is just cozy and happy – fireplaces, soft lights, tree smells, and sweaters.

I hope everyone has had a great December so far, and is getting into the Christmas spirit! If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you are having a great winter and whatever winter holiday you celebrate!

snowflakesSo, without further ado, let’s get started with my first blogmas post as seen on A Grand Adventure:

1. “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”: Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

The Darkling from Shadow and Bone. I am so sorry, but in the first book he stole my heart and I can’t get over him. He is an awful person in every single way and the plot twist at the end of the first book really broke my heart… like shattered it.

2. “All I Want for Christmas is You”: Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?

I have a whole lot of series I need to be finishing, but I’m actually hoping the most for two books that are first books of different series (RIP my TBR). I am mostly looking forward to Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and Mistborn book 1 by Brandon Sanderson. I have heard about these two books so much on booktube, and I am hoping to start them soon.

3. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”: Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

I feel like this is pretty much all YA characters, so this is hard. I feel like Mare does this in Red Queen maybe the best because she turns from being super innocent-tiny-little-girl to a baddie who isn’t afraid of anything and tries to save everyone she loves, and she works for what she believes in. I also apologize for my sudden use of the word baddie – it’s my way of saying they’re awesome without saying awesome or cursing.

4. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”: a) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list?
b) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?snowflakes1

On the top of the naughty list, we definitely have Umbridge because she’s the foulest form of human being. On the top of the nice list is most definitely Percy Jackson because have you ever met such a pure demigod?

5. “Frosty the Snowman”: Which book just melts your heart.

Cruel Beauty melted my heart for days and days, and I have read a whole other book and started another one since reading it and it still makes my chest get all melty.

6. “Feliz Navidad”: Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

Most books I read are definitely not in my country because I read a lot of fantasy, so I’ll choose the coolest land, which has to be Prythian. The Night Court sounds so cool, and I really wish more happened in the town and the world than in castles, but Feyre was practically under house arrest most of the time she’s been in Prythian so I can’t blame her.

7. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?

Harry Potter x 1000. Ok, it isn’t holiday-themed at all, but it’s the only book I have read that has Christmas in it, I believe, and I love it, so I have to fit in somewhere.

8. “Sleigh Ride”: Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)

I almost put down a character from my WIP before I realized it’s not a real book, yet. I would have to choose Chaol because he’s so sweet, and he’s my favorite character from TOG.

9. “Baby it’s Cold Outside”: Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

Firebolt by Adrienne Woods. I have a review of the book going up soon so you can see why, but my hatred for the tropes in this book burns o well that it could keep me warm.

10. “Do you hear what I hear”: Which book do you think everyone should read?

I feel like the Novice isn’t talked about as much as it should be, so I choose that book. It has a lot of Harry Potter-eske feelings without being a rip off of the series. There’s demon summoning and a boarding school setting – perfect, right?

 

For this post, I tag:

rosiefrecklereads

The Calico Books

City of Books (Booktube)

Books In Character

In Case of Bookishness

Reading with Jessica

Msnowflakes2ake sure you check out their blogs, and youtube channel, and watch for their tags!

Thank you for reading!

Taylor

Rip It or Ship It Book Tag!

RipIt_or_ShipIt Tag

Hey everyone!

I saw this tag done by ABookUtopia and PeruseProject on booktube and thought it was super interesting! Some of these characters are recommended by you guys when I asked for characters on my twitter (@taylorisreading – shameless self-promo). What I did was I cut up pieces of paper with character names on them and then randomly picked out two characters at a time. Let me know if you guys do it because it was really fun and I’d love to read your posts. Hope you all enjoy these ripped or shipped bookish couples!

1.  Chaol (Throne of Glass) and the Darkling (Shadow and Bone)

If it were the Darkling in the first book and the Chaol of Queen of Shadows, I could possibly see this. Like the Darkling was good, but still a little evil, and Chaol was so frustrating in that time. I feel like the Darkling would have been annoyed by Chaol, so I rip it.

2.  Cinder (Lunar Chronicles) and Kady (Illuminae)

Ok, have you heard of a better duo? Like they’re both super baddies and are independent and aren’t afraid of a little violence. I love this. I totally ship it. Their skills would work so well together, especially in bringing down the AI in Illuminae.

3.  Shahrzad (The Wrath and the Dawn) and Ignifex (Cruel Beauty)

This could be so beautiful. I love them both with the people they’re paired with in their respective novels, so of course I cannot support the splitting of two amazing couples. If they happened to find each other, and were single, I would totally ship it. I feel like their personalities would mesh so well, like Shahrzad’s cunningness and Ignifex’s Ignifexness would work well together. Especially because Shahrzad is a lot like Nyx.

4.  Tamlin (A Court of Thorns and Roses) and Maven Calore (Red Queen)

These two people are just so awful they’re almost perfect for each other, as in friends or a relationship. I actually ship this because I just hate them both so much and they both push me to the extent of my anger without self-destructing that they would make for great partners. I definitely ship it.

5.  Jackaby (Jackaby lol) and Scarlet (Scarlet lol)

Eh. I think I rip this. They don’t really stand out as two people I would think must meet each other. They are just so different in what they do and their missions, I can’t see it ever happening.

6.  Rowan (Throne of Glass) and Mal (Shadow and Bone)

This, however, would be great. They are so similar. They are both super protective, tough Rowan is obviously far more protective, and they would be so understanding of each other. I feel this time that Rowan would be a little annoyed by Mal because he’s a little human boy, but I think it would work.

7.  Sirius (Harry Potter) and Nyx (Cruel Beauty)

Can anyone not see this couple?? They would look so good together. The age difference would be a little concerning, but they would be the most attractive couple. Maybe if Sirius were a few years younger. I also feel like Nyx is a little too dark in her heart for Sirius because he is so pure, but if the relationship is anything like Nyx and Ignifex’s, which I think it would be, it would be beautiful. I entirely ship this anyway.

8.  Percy (Percy Jackson) and Alina (Shadow and Bone)

Not really. Maybe in friendship, but still not really. Alina is way too serious for Percy; Percy is so funny and cute and just way too good for Alina. I found Alina a little dull too, so it just wouldn’t work. I rip it.

9.  UMBRIDGE AND VOLDEMORT

Ok, yes. Again, I hate them so much that they work. I hate Umbridge even more though because she’s just… Umbridge. Maybe Voldemort would find her insufferable, but I could see it. Though Bellatrix and Voldemort is still a thing to me.

10.  AI (Illuminae) and Tris (Divergent)

I have no idea why I put the AI in here because it’s just something strange to rip or ship with another character, but the personalities of the AI and Tris work. They are both stony, but grow to be compassionate, especially for one person. I could ship it.

11.  Ron (Harry Potter) and Fletcher (The Novice)

I see this as a friendship, entirely. Their personalities would mix so well, kind of like a Harry and Ron situation, but Fletcher is so much more like Ron than is Harry. I would adore this friendship. I feel like Ron’s amazement with Feltcher’s demon summoning would be so cute and great. Ship.

12.  Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass) and Four (Divergent)

Halfway yes, and halfway no. Like, they’re both baddies and are so trained, but I also think Celaena is too intense for Four because he is so chill. I don’t know about this one…

13.  Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games) and Chaol (Throne of Glass)

No. I like Chaol way too much to do this to him. Katniss is like a more tame version of Celaena, and Chaol is so freaking sweet in most of the books. I couldn’t put him through more heartbreak. And the way Katniss handled her love life in the series was so frustrating to me, like she never showed any kind of affection, so it never felt like she actually cared for either of them.

14.  Rhysand (A Court of Thorns and Roses) and Hermione (Harry Potter)

I WOULD LOVE THIS. Two of my most favorite characters ever. Yes, 1000%. Because Hermione liked Krum, I feel like she’s into a bad-boy type (except for Ron) and would love Rhysand. Only if she isn’t kidnapped like he does to Feyre, she would never love him if he did that.

15.  Voldemort (Harry Potter) and Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit)

Lol, aw poor Bilbo. I feel like he would be terrified out of his mind. He would probably cry. Unless it turned out to be one of those weird fanfiction things where they fall in love, I could actually see that. But, I think I’m going to rip it.

 

Thank you for reading!

Taylor

Out of the Cell pt. 3

Out of the cell part 3

“Jane.” Eli was tight-lipped, his gaze on the woman.

She was draped in green robes marked in places with gold intricacies. Her black hair swirled down her shoulders like the veil of a widow. Her dark eyes widened. “Is this the Jane? The murderer,” she drawled.

My eyebrows curved in at her. “Oh, and she has no idea.” The woman’s reddened lips, the color of the rotten berries in th forest, spread into a knowing smile. “You’re well-known, precious.”

I swallowed through the burn in my throat. Eli looked down at me, curious. “Oh, and neither does he,” the woman said, flittering her fingers under her sharp chin. “Well, you have been locked away for lord knows how long. It was terribly stupid of her to venture back here, and for you to be with her. Your maiden here killed the only heir to the king.”

“You?” Eli yelled. “That was you? How could you – after I – how?” It was the first I heard him at loss for words, and that scared me more than most things.

“Eli, Eli, I am so sorry I didn’t tell-”

“Shh, darling, the poor girl didn’t understand the magnitude of her actions.” She turned to me. “The king will have your heard in an instant if he sees you out of your rotting hole, sweetheart,” continued the wicked woman. I cringed at the seduction of her voice, at the words it spoke, at the fate I had played over in my mind for two years. “Looks like I have some work on my hands.”

A cauldron bubbled in the corner of the room glowing green and reeking of what I could only assume was boiling flesh. A single lantern flickered the room with light.

“I hate to lose such a pretty face,” said the woman, her cold-as-ice hand dripping down my cheek, “but I’m sure you would rather lose your face than your head.”

My breath hitched in my lungs. “I-I’m sorry, but – lose my face?”

“You’ll be stuck with this one, so I hope you can recall the prettiest face you’ve seen – and mine is not for sale.” The woman smirked. “I can’t create faces, but I can use one from your memory, so think hard, sweetheart.”

Pretty faces. Two years locked in a cell left me blank of pretty faces. The woman began to hum. I couldn’t take my sister’s face, and there was only one face I could think of. Her humming picked up, her eyes rolled back, and her arms outstretched to the ceiling. One that I couldn’t shake from my mind – the most beautiful, comforting face I could recall.

My mother.

As my legs began to weaken and my skin burned, I tried to recall a different face, any face. I couldn’t see her face every day. I couldn’t live with the face of my dead mother. We looked similar enough as it were – as my father never failed to remind me, and that was hard enough. My father would crumble at the sight of me.

It felt as if the skin of my face in places was being stretched and scrunched to morph into her. My nose wrinkled against the pain of it stretching into a gentle slope. My lips swelled from the thin line they grew to be. My cheeks filled in the hollow spaces that had deepened in my time in the cell.

Please no.

It stopped. I couldn’t bare the thought of how I must look.

“You don’t look that different,” said Eli.

A crack ran in my heart at the words. Maybe I was promised safety from imprisonment, but I would never be safe from my own reflection – from the glances in ponds, from the face staring back in glass, from the stare of my father and sister.

“Exactly how she had looked, though,” the woman whispered over my shoulder. “You almost made me feel guilty I couldn’t do something for a sister.”

I choked. “A sister?”

“A good one at that. My, my, the girl knows so little of her own self. I can feel it in you. The moment my power touched you I could feel it in you. Though Giona had never spoke of you, only the young one draining the poor life out of her.” She twirled around me in a dream, my vision swirling. “I often questioned the young one, often thought of paying a – visit, to see what kind of powerful demon-child could possibly drain a witch like your mother.”

As my body fell to the ground, the last I heard was the woman. “Weak girl.”

I shook awake into strong arms on the cold floor. “Good morning, beautiful.”

Pounding erupted in my head. “Eli?” I squinted through the pain. “Where is she?”

“Desmina had a house call,” said Eli. “She doesn’t go to many, so it must have been important – to her at least.”

I groaned. “How do you know that madwoman so well?”

Eli chuckled. “That madwoman has helped my sister and I through many things. My mother was a sister as well, only she didn’t do so well with her powers. She had killed my father by accident one night, then resolved to take her own life.”

“I’m so sorry, I had no idea,” I said, sitting up, my head spinning.

Eli pulled me down against himself. “No, I know. You couldn’t have known. Just rest.”

“So, witches really do exist? My mother had told me stories when I was little and the weather grew cold, but her being a witch must have escaped her.” A tear dribbled down my cheek, then another. “She hadn’t shown me anything, she hadn’t told me even that I may be one. Desmina, that woman, she can’t be – your mother can’t – my mother would have never lied to me about this.”

“Perhaps she wasn’t lying, had she ever told you she wasn’t a witch?” I drew a hand over my eyes. “She may have been protecting you. I have seen what untrained powers can result in. They are far more dangerous than they are good, Jane. Desmina is the only witch I have known that has trained powers enough to brave working on people.”

“But I have never even felt the powers in me.”

“If you’ve had them all your life, how would you know what it feels like without them?”
I sighed, turning myself to sit up next to him. “Do you have any-?” I couldn’t force the words out of me.

“No, and neither does my sister, but my mother had been a fairly weak witch. She found out from Desmina when she was your age and had spent the rest of her life trying to train powers that simply weren’t strong enough.” He looked at me, into my eyes that I knew blatantly showed how fearful I was. “And I don’t think you’re a witch either. You would know I by now, right?”

“Right,” I agreed, though I still felt a clench in my chest. “I’m sorry about your mother, too. About both of your parents.”

He sighed into a shrug. “It’s alright, it was a long time ago. I wouldn’t want to see how things turned out for my sister and I anyway,” he said as my hand somehow fell into his. It was warm, almost hot, against my cold skin. He gave it a gentle squeeze. “And I don’t think you look that much like her. Desmina isn’t always as good of a witch as she makes herself out to be.”

Relief washed over me, but not enough to make the tightness in my muscles relax.

“Thank you,” I whispered.

“How do you feel?”

“I feel like it’s time we go find our sisters and figure out what we’re going to do with our lives.”

He smirked. “That’s what I wanted to hear.”

~ ~ ~

Home.

It was lopsided with age, the wood was faded and broken in places, and the roof was half off of its boards, but it was home. I felt the energy in my body as I approached. I couldn’t move fast enough without running.

They were inside. I told them I would come back for them, that I would I have to come back for them.

The sun was dropping behind the house, leaving the sky a rustic pink, and the temperature already began to drop steadily. No smoke came out of the chimney, and no candles were lit in the windows. I nearly doubled over at the idea of them waiting for me every night in the cold and the dark with no reason to bring in the light. Or the thought that they wouldn’t afford candles and neither could chop down wood for the fire. I started to run.

The wooden door scratched against my fingers as I threw it open. “Analia?” I called. I was met with silence. “Father?”

I tore through the room. They had to be sleeping. I slammed the door of mine and Analia’s bedroom open to find the blankets strewn about the room and a broken tea cup shattered over the floor. She ran out in a rush, and father was still asleep. Every ounce of hope drained out of me like a broken dam as I found my father’s empty bed. I clutched at my stomach as I heaved in heavy breaths.

“Jane.” I jumped, not having heard Eli’s footsteps. His hands rested on my shoulders when I turned to face him. “Jane, they’re gone.”

“No,” I breathed out. “No, they’re…”

He held up a letter marked with the seal of the king.

The Wrath and the Dawn Review

Review

Hello everyone!

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Title: The Wrath and the Dawn

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Publisher: Speak

Format: paperback

Release Date: May 12th 2015

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 

~ Goodreads Synopsis ~

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

~ ~ ~ ~

     The Wrath and the Dawn took me completely by surprise. I figured I would like the book, but like on the usual 4 – 4.5 star level. This is a full-blown 5 out of 5 star book. I believe this book may now be one of my favorites, even up there with ACOTAR (but ToG and Harry Potter will always be my number- ones). If you have not read this book, I highly recommend you pick it up and read it instantly.

So, this book is strongly based off the classic One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, which tells the story of a king who kills a new wife every night due to the fear that she will stop loving him – his latest wife tells him stories every night to save herself from the same fate. In the Wrath and the Dawn, we still have a king that kills a new bride every night, but for a different, unknown reason. When Shahrzad becomes his newest wife, she tells him stories to save herself as well, and maybe begins to develop some feelings for him that stray from her hatred. From there, the entire story is a mystery until you continue to read it because there are so many secrets and twists and wonderful side plots that really make this a deep, meaningful tale.

Shahrzad is a character I really loved reading about. She is such a strong woman whose weakness is not her self-esteem like a lot of YA characters. I enjoyed seeing her plot against the king in the beginning with the creation of the stories, and then her growth as she begins to understand what is happening in the castle. I was kind of weary about reading this because I was thinking it would be about this weak girl with really bad Stockholm syndrome, but it is not like that at all, so if that is your perception of the book, please give it a chance!

Despina is another character I love – I appreciate the presence of such strong women in a place that is so controlled by men. They are so unlike the strongness of, say, Celaena Sardothien, because Shahrzad and Despina both face realistic struggles and are relatable women. They aren’t physically strong and they are relatively untrained (Shahrzad is trained with a bow and arrow, but it’s mostly just skill), but they represent emotionally strong women. Despina, in what becomes of her toward the end, is empowering in that she is willing to face it on her own and is so sassy. Shahrzad also holds herself very well when thrown into the royal world – she is snappy and powerful and does not lose the image she has of herself.

The king, who I had assumed I would hate entirely, was another character I enjoyed reading about. He was very complex and the history that he is cursed with is also so intricate and unexpected (it is very different from One Thousand and One Arabian Nights). The people who work for him were also very interesting as the story grew and progressed.

The plot in itself is amazing. It is beautiful and unique, and it is definitely one story that I am not going to forget any time soon. The language of the book is actually gorgeous and one of the best pieces of writing that I have ever read. Her word choice is perfect and it flows so well, making it an easy book to read with no abrupt stops in the sentences.

Let me know down below what you guys thought of the book!

Thanks for reading,

Taylor

 

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Marsh Spotlight

Reign of the fallenHello Everyone!

Today’s post is something I have never done before: it’s a book and author spotlight! I am so excited to have worked with the author, Sarah Glenn Marsh, to bring you this post. I hope you guys enjoy!

Sarah Marsh’s Twitter: @SG_Marsh

Her Website: sarahglennmarsh.com

(Info. for pre-order on her website)

So, Reign of the Fallen is set to release on January 23, 2018 (exactly 2 months from yesterday!!) and I am crazy hyped for it because it sounds incredibly unique and unlike most things I have read. It also, as I have read, has some LGBT representation although I am not entirely sure what kind of representation it is exactly. I am just going to put the Goodreads synopsis so I don’t butcher the plot of the story:

          ~ Goodreads Synopsis ~e5e15-pinkbluegreen

Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

~ ~ ~ ~

     I was sold upon reading the synopsis for this book on Goodreads in some January 2018 release list. After my initial infatuation, I contacted Sarah Marsh to see if she would like to answer some questions I had to get a little insight into the story and the thoughts behind its creation. She was super sweet and kind in answering, so here they are:

How would you sum up the story?

Reign of the Fallen follows Odessa, a talented teen necromancer who raises the dead in order to keep the current ruling family of her country in power. King Wylding has been in charge of Karthia for over 200 years, and he keeps coming back from the dead because he loves his people– however, since the Dead fear change, his rules forbidding all science and progress are hurting them more than helping. When Odessa’s fellow necromancers (her only family) start being picked off one by one, she’s devastated, but she’ll have to work through her grief in order to find the murderer and decide whether her crumbling society is worth saving…or if it’s time to help Karthia change, for better or worse.

What inspired you to write Reign of the Fallen?

The idea for Reign of the Fallen was inspired by my grandmother’s stay in the hospital. Thankfully, she’s fine now, but the dire situation got me thinking—how far would someone be willing to go to bring a loved one back from the dead? What sort of sacrifices would someone make in order to bring an important person back into their lives, and what consequences might that decision have? Those questions led her to the Greek mythological hero Orpheus who attempts to rescue his wife from the underworld and is told by Hades that he can take her back to Earth as long as he doesn’t look at her until they’re both out of his realm. Spoiler alert: He does and loses her forever. That story, combined with thinking about how death is such a stagnant, permanent state, lead me to start building the world of Reign of the Fallen, where the Dead must wear shrouds in the living world or else become monsters; where change of even the smallest sort is outlawed because the Dead fear it; where entering the spirit world demands a painful sacrifice of any living person who dares to go there.

Which character was your favorite to write, and why?

I loved writing every character in Reign of the Fallen’s large cast, but to answer this question, I’ll focus on Evander Crowther, Odessa’s boyfriend and her partner in raising the dead. Evander has big dreams- he longs to explore the world, to finish a map of it that his father barely started, but that dream is stifled by King Wylding’s ban on anyone traveling to or from the country of Karthia. He also longs to marry Odessa, but his mother forbids him from having a relationship with a necromancer (despite him being one, too), making him feel torn between his parents’ expectations and his own desires. I think everyone can relate to Evander on some level- many people have unfulfilled dreams, and many people at some point feel torn between what they want and what others expect of them. Being a dreamer myself, I can relate to Evander, and admire his adventurous spirit; as a result, he felt real to me from page one.

 

green1.pngBy the time I finished reading her answer’s, I knew Reign of the Fallen was most definitely going to be on my January TBR. I cannot wait to see how things play out for Odessa in this completely unique story of life and death.  The cover is absolutely gorgeous, I can’t wait to see how it looks in person. Also, I’m really interested in the necromancy of this book and the stakes it will raise and how the undead will be used in this book as every author has their own take on the presence of the undead. I have super high expectations for this book, and based off what I’ve read of it on Goodreads, I 100% believe this book will exceed them.

It comes out January 23rd, so I’m not going to say it’ll be my first book purchase because I have a book-buying problem, but it will be on my shelf by the end of January.

Let me know if you plan on reading Reign of the Fallen, too, and what your thoughts are!

Thank you for reading!

Taylor

Blogger Recognition Award

blogger recognition award     Hello everyone!

I would like to thank Kati at Kati’s Bookaholic Rambling Reviews for tagging me in this Blogger Recognition Award! I am so honored to have been chosen by her, and it would be really awesome if all of you could go check her blog out.

     The Rules:

– Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
– Write a post to show your award.
– Give a brief story of how your blog started.
– Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
– Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
-Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them & provide the link to the post you created.
So, let’s get started!
 
How I Started
 
     So, my blog was really out of the blue. I had had a couple failure blogs before starting this one that I created back in middle school (both deleted), but when I saw my first booktube video by Katytastic it was like a whole new world was opened up for me. If you have been following me for a while, you already know this, but I originally started on Blogger and recently moved to WordPress. From there, my blog grew and I am so proud ❤
 
 
 
My Advice:
 
1.  Comment, comment, comment. Go to other blogs and like and comment on their posts. Not only will you be making someone else happy, but you will also 1) maybe gain some new followers and friends, and 2) see how others run their blogs and you can see how to improve yours.
 
 
2. Read what you want to read, and write with your own voice. Let your personality show through in your blog design and your writing style. There are so many book blogs out there, so by being yourself, you can add something new to the mix.
I Nominate These Amazing Bloggers: