TL; DR | May Speed Reviews

Check out Read By Dev’s mini reviews of her May 2019 reads!

Hey, look – I actually remembered to post my monthly wrap up! 10 points for Gryffindor! I spent a lot of May reading NetGalley Arcs to bump up my review score and then the rest of the month binging my highly anticipated releases. It was definitely a good few weeks of books. (Yet, how I’m still 2 books behind on my 2019 reading goal, I cannot figure out.)

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By: Margaret Rogerson

Overall Rating: ★★★★

The Verdict

If you enjoyed Margaret Rogerson’s first novel, An Enchantment of Ravens, you will LOVE Sorcery of Thorns. There are magical books, evil (and not-so-evil) demons, sassy sorcerers, and a strong-willed heroine. The feminist themes, slow burn romances, and unlikely friendships will leave you bewitched and wanting more.

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By: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Overall Rating: ★★★★★ (ALL THE GOLD STARS)

The Verdict

When it comes to modern sci-fi stories, I didn’t think I would find anything that I loved as much as The Illuminae Files, but guess what? Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman knocked my socks off with Aurora Rising, and it’s my favorite read of the year so far. It’s sassy, humorous, fast-paced, full of amazing characters, and just 100% SPACE-TASTIC. If you love any of the following, you’re sure to love Aurora: The Breakfast Club, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Dramas/Soap Operas (BUT IN SPACE). Do yourself a favor and read this book as soon as humanly possible. And then recommend it to everyone you know!

The First Girl Child 43078423

By: Amy Harmon

Overall Rating: ★★★★

The Verdict

If you enjoy epics, Norse mythology, magic, and rich world building, you’ll definitely want to pick up The First Girl Child! Spanning 30ish years, the novel is centered around Dagmar & his nephew Bayr. Bayr’s mother is a woman scorned, and places a curse upon the land of Saylok. There won’t be any baby girls born to the men of Saylok and Bayr will be the land’s savior. There’s an evil king, a precious princess, and strong supporting characters you’ll love.

Finale (Caraval #3) IMG_4676

By: Stephanie Garber

Overall Rating: ★★★★

The Verdict

Ooookay, so Finale wasn’t the best series ending that I’ve ever read, but it was definitely a solid book. There were twists, turns, high-stakes gambles, love, hate, magic, gods, and even a Legend POV! While I’m still salty about that Legend reveal, I can say that I 110% love Jacks and he needs his own story ASAP. The world of Caraval is mystical, fun and you won’t ever want to leave. If you decide to start the series be sure you have all the book in hand, because you won’t want to stop reading!

Broken Throne (Red Queen #4.5) FullSizeR-4

By: Victoria Aveyar

Overall Rating: ★★★

The Verdict

In all honesty, I pretty much only read this for the Cal/Mare and Maven stories. The Barnes & Noble special edition has a family tree in the back and information on Cal and Maven, too, which I love. Did I find out that Cal’s favorite song is come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners? Yes. Does that make me love him even more and realize he is the f*ckboy of my dreams? 100% YES. Was this entire book worth the read? No, which is why I skipped through and read the bits and pieces I wanted. If you’re looking for some Red Queen in your life after finishing up War Storm, definitely pick this up. It’s fun, light, and you don’t have to read in order!

Furyborn Furyborn

By: Claire Legrand

Overall Rating: ★★★★★

The Verdict

Excuse me while I go cry in a corner over this book. This feminist fantasy is filled with magic, time travel, multiple POVs, and some of the most intriguing characters I’ve ever met. It starts of with a bang and only gets more intense as it progresses. If you aren’t a fan of switching between character chapters or having multiple storylines happening at once, you may want to put this aside. But, I promise you if you give it a try you will fall in love. The main characters are broken, vulnerable and you won’t be able to stop yourself from rooting for their redemption. The second book in the series, Kingsbane, is out now. So, if you do decide to pick this up, know that you can keep continue the story as soon as you want!

Talk To Me

What did you think of my reads this month? Will you be adding any to your TBR? Have you read any of these already?

Book Tag | It’s Only A Game

FINALE IS HERE. So, obvi we need to hype it up as much as possible and play book tags to  keep the games going.

This tag was created by Jessica over at Booked J and Loretta @ Laughing Listener tagged me, so yes. I had to add this to my weekly content ASAP.

Rules:

  1. Tag anyone you think would enjoy this tag.
  2. Link back to Booked J. Or tag me in your post on Twitter (@bookedj). I want to see everyone’s answers!
  3. If you are tagged by someone else, link back to their blog as well!
  4. Remember, it’s only a game…

1. Performer, participant, or watcher?

I’m totally stealing Loretta’s logic here and comparing my Hogwarts house with what I’d do. I’m a Gryffindor, so that means I’d want all the honor and glory of participating and winning. I also have Ravenclaw tendencies and I would need to gather all the clues. I’d probably end up selling a week worth of my life to someone and sleeping the entire game though.

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2. Which one of the fates would you rather not cross paths with? Which would you want to cross paths with? Why?

*Spoilers if you haven’t read Legendary yet – you’ve ben warned. (For a list of all the fates click here)

I LOVE JACKS. With that being said, I would definitely want to cross paths with The Prince of Hearts, even if his kiss is deadly. I. Don’t. Care. He is the best. I don’t think I’d want to cross paths with The Undead Queen, because, you know, she tries to kill people and all.

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Me: Getting ready to meet The Prince of Hearts

3. The Luckless Coin—Do you believe in bad omens?

I TOTALLY BELIEVE IN SIGNS FROM THE UNIVERSE. This comes from my love of the movie Can’t Hardly Wait and the scene where Preston hears the song Mandy and says “Mandy…Amanda. It’s a sign.” And continues to attempt to talk to her the entire night. Also, I’m just a typical LA girl who is super into horoscopes.

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4. The Sisters—Which one do you see yourself in the most? Do you find it difficult knowing when to walk away from something? AND/OR: Do you have a sister or friend who you’d love or protect like they do each other?

I have 3 sisters and I’m the second oldest, so I grew up taking care of and protecting my sisters. It’s just second nature at this point. I’m pretty sure I’m a Scarlett. I’m skeptic, responsible, and I don’t make rash decisions.

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5. The closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world… What is the closest thing to magic in our world, for you? 

DISNEYLAND. It’s such a magical place and I love spending all my free time there. Also, nature. Spend some time in a national park where everything’s been created by a force of nature and tell me you don’t feel some special connection with the earth.

6. No longer dull shades of bland, the dress was now a rich cerise… If you were to put on an enchanted item of clothing, what color would it become?

LOL. Definitely black. #EmoNiteIsEveryNite

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7. Wishes were things of wonder that took a certain amount of faith and Julian seemed the type to trust only what he saw… Do you believe in the impossible? Or are you a skeptic?

I mean, I believe in ghosts and some mystical things, but I’m not sure I can give into “anything” being possible. Can I randomly wake up one day and be taller than the measly 5 feet I currently am? Probs not.

8. Impractical dreams and untethered imagination… What was something you fiercely believed in as a child?

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9. The Characters—Who’s your favorite in the Caraval series?

DID I ALREADY MENTION JACKS IS THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO CARAVAL? I love him so much, I don’t even care if he might be a villain. But at this point, what is “evil”?

10. Truth or adventure? How would you play the game? Are you a seeker of truth or breathless adrenaline? 

Definitely a seeker of truther. I don’t mind the feeling of breathless adrenaline BUT I would try to be the “smart” player and pull a Scarlett in book one and not a Tella is book 2.

11. Give away a day of your life, or sleep? Which would you rather give up? Or are you unwilling to sacrifice either?

This is tough, because I love to sleep. But I also don’t want to give up any days of my life. If I absolutely had to choose one or the other, I’d probably give away sleep. If the prize wasn’t worth it, I’d keep both.

12. Hopeful and magical… Scarlett loves the color gold because it feels hopeful and magical. What gives you hope?

Random Acts of Kindness!

13. The Words—What is your favorite quote from Caraval?

“Do you always focus on what you’re giving up, rather than what you’ll be gaining? Some things are worth pursuit regardless of the cost.”

14. Safe and guarded… What is your happy place? Is it a person? A place? Something nestled away in fiction?

My happy place is definitely Yosemite. I love escaping to a place with fresh air, campfires, trees, and no connection to electronics or humans.

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15. Two halves of the same heart… Do you ship anything in Caraval? If so, who? If not, pick any relationship from any fandom.

I love Julian and Scarlett. I did like Tella and Dante until the big twist at the end of Legendary, then I was kind of over them. SO, Julian and Scarlett better work our their differences AND MAKE IT WORK.

16. The bad and the morally gray… What is your favorite archetype when it comes to the characters of Caraval? Who do you think fits the title of “villain” best of all? Is there one?

This is one of those series that doesn’t have a true “villain” because everyone has their own motives and does some pretty messed up stuff to get what they want. (But since we’re on the topic…Jacks, you’re still my fave villain.)

17. Would the game bring out the most selfish of selfless parts of you? Whether you’re a performer or participant or watcher.

I want to say I would be selfless, but I think my desire to win would make me do some pretty crazy and selfish things.

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18. Spells cast aren’t easily shaken off… What books have been nearly impossible for you to shake off or forget through the years?

Lord of Shadows, A Court of Mist and Fury and Gemina are a few that I just cannot get over after all this time. THEY GIVE ME ALL THE FEELS.

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19. What do you wish to see in Finale?

Okay – so two things.

  1. I NEED Tella and Scarlett to not act DUMB AF and actually work together and communicate.
  2. The person who is revealed as Legend CANNOT BE LEGEND. I’m just not feeling that reveal. If there isn’t some type of twist involving the “real” legend, I’m going to be salty AF.

Talk To Me

What did you think of my answers? Are you going to play along?