The Witching Hours: The Troll Heart | Review // Just in time for Spooky Season!

Greetings readers!

It’s September, so you know what that means? We are approaching Spooky Season! I know some of y’all have been celebrating spooky season since August, but I don’t officially start until the weather has chilled! And basically that’s today!

Last year, I read the first book in this MG series and honestly had the best time with it. So I am very glad to be bringing you my review for the sequel today!

The Witching Hours: The Troll Heart by Jack Henseleit

The Witching Hours: The Troll Heart
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Aug 13, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Goodreads

The second book in a spooky new series for only the bravest of readers–perfect for fans of The Spiderwick Chronicles!
After their adventures in Transylvania, Anna and Max just want to stay out of trouble. But trouble has other plans…
The Professor takes them to the foggy fields of England, where a new mystery is already afoot: a small boy has vanished near a strange and mysterious river, lost without a trace. Armed with her magical white knife, Anna is convinced that another monster is behind the boy’s disappearance. But when the sinister secret of the river is finally revealed, will she and Max be able to save the missing boy–and themselves?
A deliciously scary modern Brothers Grimm tale, The Troll Heart will keep readers turning pages long after things start to go bump in the night.


*I was provided an ARC by HBG Canada!*

The Likes:

The characters were phenomenal, just like in the first book! We have the lovely, spunky and curious Anna and the ever-so-loyal, mischievous Max! They make such a wonderful pair because they act like real siblings! One minute they’re annoyed with each other, the next minute they are joined at the hip ready to conquer the shadows that lurk in the corners.

There were other quirky characters to be had in this book, like their Professor/father, the hotel owners, farm animals, the creepy and horrifying creatures and others who make this story a lot more interesting. I wish we could get more time exploring who they are, but these are adventures all about Anna and Max!

I thought the setting in a cold, isolated foggy English town was perfect for the story. Much like the first, the atmosphere was perfectly chilling and smoggy. There were so many shadowy corners and very creepy corners. I was so invested in the town and characters that I felt transported!

The plot was very interesting. I liked that despite the fact that it was a new setting, a new fairy tale that the repercussions of the previous novel were still very much pertinent! Anna and Max are still reeling from their previous adventure and have to garner up enough courage and cunning and wits to face a new foe. They’re adventure is a spooky one no doubt, but also full of little funnies, suspense and is fast-paced. The troll was absolutely remarkable! I loved the way he was depicted and the fear he instilled in the characters.

The illustrations, while sparse, were perfect for the book. I loved the scenes that were depicted and obviously wish for more!

The Questionable

It’s a minor one. I think this book was less horror and more mystery. It was scary in some parts, but I felt like throughout the whole story revolved around a riddle to solve that required more wits and brains. I still liked it, I just didn’t get those intense horror-vibes.


Overall, I enjoyed the book very much. It was the perfect follow-up to The Vampire knife and I think lots of middle grade readers will love the series. It’s fun, fast-paced and perfect for the oncoming spooky season!

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Recommend: Yes!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? What spooky books are you looking forward to this fall season? Would you be brave enough to face a troll?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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6 Series That I’ve BEEN Meaning to Read (and very much feel the need to do so…like…NOW) | The Power of Fan Art

Greetings readers!

I am in a limbo right now. I want to read, but not what I have to read. Actually that’s a lie. I do want to read what I need to read, but I also want to read books I don’t even own yet.

I am having reading-urges. Moments where I just want to drop whatever I’m doing (usually school work) and just pick up a series I’m thinking of at the moment. I have 6 series in particular right now that are fighting for attention.

The #1 instigator for why I have the desperate need to read all these series right here, right now?

Fan Art.

Every time I open twitter or Instagram, I’m faced with a gorgeous illustration of a character/scene from a book I haven’t read and I immediately lament the fact that I haven’t experienced it yet! Which then leads to these reading-urges.

So I figured I would show you exactly what I mean and list the series that are begging for my attention right now when I have absolutely no time to read them.

1. The Folk of Air Trilogy by Holly Black

I actually already read The Cruel Prince so we can mark one of three of these books done. Hooray! I can’t say I loved it, I can’t say I hated it either. I am actually really intrigued. I’ve been thoroughly spoiled for it, by fan art among other things. But it is the art that really wants me to finish the series, when the last book is released. (Not to mention Holly will be in Toronto in December!) People are dedicated to this series and they are also TALENTED! Holy! I have seen some things y’all. And I really want to read those things now too. But I also question my morals…I mean look at this stunning piece. Feast yer eyes!!!!

2. The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff

Okay…maybe this one is not THAT urgent of a need right now, but I get the feeling to read them every now and then, especially since the last book just came out. And again. People in this fandom are talented and it looks like a complicated, dark read that I am totally up for. I hesitate though because I feel like it is so over-hyped, but at the same time I know it’s my kind of read. Then I recall this piece of art and I just AHHHHH. Does she not look so epic? Everything about this screams YES, YOU NEED TO READ THIS NOW.

3. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor

Some years ago I read the first book of this series, but I’ll be honest I don’t remember much about it other than that it was a cool kind of weird. WELL I recently started reading Laini’s other series, Strange the Dreamer AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. I already finished the first book so I started the second one and OMG there is so much goodness to be had. But back to talking about DOSAB…I have seen so many amazing illustrations for this series, a lot of them depicting Karou and I LOVE IT. I MEAN LOOK AT THE IMAGE BELOW. My jaw dropped when I saw it! I had actual hearts in my eyes. It seriously inspired me to try this series again and I cannot wait for the moment I get to pick them up again!

4. The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty

Besides the fact that I have heard so many amazing things about these books, the little snippets that I’ve sneaked at and the works people have done (see below) are really feeding my need to pick up this book like yesterday and already have the privilege of having experienced this book! I love how magical it all looks!!!!! And I really wanna meet this guy. Yup. Tattoos and green eyes and magical…*wags eyebrows*

5. The Poppy War trilogy By R.F. Kuang

People are always yelling about this book on my Twitter timeline and I cannot help but be so intrigued. Then the other day this masterpiece dropped and another work that had my jaw on the floor and I JUST NEED TO READ IT NOW. I NEED IT. (Also, I wish I could draw like this!) I have this feeling that this series will crush my soul and completely sweep me off my feet! PLUS read the caption under the photo…I JUST—I….

View this post on Instagram

"He really was pretty, impossibly so, with large , almond-shaped eyes and a sculpted mouth that looked good even twisted into a sneer." …untill he opens his lovely mouth and starts speaking. Yin Nezha from "The Poppy War" by R.F. Kuang, this book is one of very very few books that got a 5 stars from me, and if you're not new here you know I don't give 5 stars easily, you can check my thoughts on goodreads, follow my twitter nanfe178 for more random stuffs I post. So, with that ratings, no need to ask if I should recommend you or not, but a fair warning, the book is pretty brutal and graphic, especially the massacre of Golyn Niis city. I'm currently waiting for "The Dragon Republic" (that just released 2 days ago) to come home, my tits cannot calm down man. #nanfeart #books #bookcharacters #characterdesign #bookseries #thepoppywar #thedragonrepublic #booksofinstagram #bookstagram #readers #readersofinstagram #booklovers #beauty #beautifulboy

A post shared by Nan Fe (@nanfe1789) on

6. Stalking Jack the Ripper Series by Kerri Maniscalco

This series is the whole reason why I wrote this post today. The final book released today and I just I WISH I HAD BEEN A PART OF THIS ENTIRE JOURNEY! On top of the fact that the plot seems so intriguing (murder mystery-ness), the fan art for this series is TOP NOTCH. One example is below, but there are so many examples I could have put here. And to add to that the Love Interest’s last name is Cresswell. CRESSWELL. How have I not read the books with the character that shares the name of my favourite ship EVER??



Let me know what you think! Do you get sudden urges to just read a certain series? What series are you hoping to read sometime soon? Do you love to look at fan art? Do you dabble in fan art? Would anyone like to purchase any one of these series for me? 🙂 Thanks.

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

*A Note on the fan art: I used the direct IG URL to feature each piece of art. I hope this still properly credits the artist and that you all go check them out. If there is a problem, I have no problem taking down the photo and just installing a link!*

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MINI REVIEWS! | Library Reading Round Up! // Dealing in Dreams & Kingdom of a Blazing Pheonix (These are long overdue)

Greetings readers!

It’s time to do some wrap-up on my first (of only two) library haul. I was hoping to get my hands on these two books and I was so glad that they were both available at the library the day I went! I wish I had gotten these reviews out a lot sooner, but better late than never right?!

So Imma cut the intro short and just get to it…

Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

Dealing in Dreams

Pub Date: March 5th, 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Goodreads

At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets.

Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That roles brings with it violent throw downs and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but the sixteen-year-old grows weary of the life. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in a search for a mysterious gang the Ashé Ryders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles other crews and her own doubts, but the closer she gets to her goal, the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone— she cares about.

Nalah must do the unspeakable to get what she wants—a place to call home. But is a home just where you live? Or who you choose to protect?

***

  • So the world building is great. It’s totally clear, I get the history and geography of it (even though there is no map). It’s a matriarchal futuristic society with girl gangs running the streets, yes it sounds as cool and scary as it seems. I would not, 100%, I would not survive in this world. It doesn’t allow girl to be soft and I am softtttt
  • The characters…I enjoyed reading from Nalah’s POV. I thought she had such a rich voice and her determination to keep her family safe is admirable, although she does not always make great decisions
  • Reading about characters who have to challenge the thinking they have been always told to do is always eye-opening because it is not easy, it is uncomfortable, but ultimately important
  • The dreaming aspect of the book was really cool. I loved how it acted as a currency and literally embodied the idea of money as a drug because it is a drug.
  • The tension, action and twists were great. I pretty much expected most of them, but they were still quite enjoyable
  • I was not the biggest fan of the writing style…I know it was styled to fit how these teenagers would talk with their slang and colloquialisms but I just wasn’t a fan. It’s not that I wanted them to talk in giant complex sentences, but I felt like it was all super choppy and cut. I missed the flow. it just wasn’t for me…
  • The ending isn’t conclusive and I get why it’s not, but I maybe would have liked a little more closure
  • I just felt mellow the whole time, like I never truly, fully felt immersed into the story. There was a lot of down time where the characters were just travelling. I was invested but still absent in a way.

Overall, I think my expectations were too high and my hype too much for this book. It was good but just not that jaw-dropping story I was hoping for.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Recommend: Yes! I still think it is a very relevant and timely read!


Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix (Rise of the Empress #2)

Pub Date: Nov 6th, 2018
Publisher: Philomel Books
Goodreads

This fairy tale retelling lives in a mystical world inspired by the Far East, where the Dragon Lord and the Serpent God battle for control of the earthly realm; it is here that the flawed heroine of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns finally meets her match. An epic fantasy finale to the Rise of the Empress novels.

Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as Empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the Empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?

Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with breathtaking pain and beauty, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is filled with dazzling magic, powerful prose, and characters readers won’t soon forget.

Fans of Stealing Snow, Red Queen, and The Wrath and the Dawn will hungrily devour this page-turning read.

***

  • It is about time I get to this read! I loved Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, an Evil Queen origin story, which was great!!! And I am so glad that this book is the Snow White retelling!
  • Jade was awesome! I really enjoyed her shyness, her courage (which she worked hard to find) and her will! I know lots of reviewers complained about her, but I thought she was amazing!
  • In the last book, I complained about not knowing a lot about the mythology of the world, but this book brought all the magic and myth and legend to life! It was truly epic!
  • DRAGONZ
  • The romance was maybe still a bit out of no where but the LI was so sweet!
  • The fact that I loved Xifeng in book one and then in this one…girl…she uh she uh she is definitely an evil queen.
  • This book made me sympathize for the Emperor after I called him a bitch who knows how many times throughout book one!
  • That scene with Xifeng and a certain someone…AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
  • This was a fabulous quest book!! It held a lot of suspense and action and lots of things went wrong!!!
  • The ending was a little too rushed, I wished we could have had a little more time to develop it.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book! I loved Jade and reading her story unfold in contrast to Xifeng’s was quite fun! I cannot wait to read Dao’s next book which is set in the same world but new, original characters!

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Yes! This is honestly a great series to diversify your retelling lists!



Let me know what you think! Have you read either of these? Are you more of a dystopia fan or fantasy fan? How about a mix of both?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Caged Queen | A Canadian Dragon Tales Buddy Read Review

Greetings readers!

It’s time again for another round of Canadian Dragon Tales, A Buddy Read Review starring me and the wonderful, Sha @ Book Princess Reviews.

Sha and I have had a fabulous time buddy reading different books together, although not all of them feature dragons! And we are so happy to bring you the review for this book today! A few months ago we read The Last Namsara by Kristen Cicarelli (an actual Canadian Dragon tale!) which we both adored and this past month we had the chance to read it’s companion novel!

So without further ado, we present…

The Caged Queen (Iskari, #2)
via Goodreads

Title: The Caged Queen (Iskari #2)
Author: Kristen Ciccarelli
Pages: 400

Release Date: September 25 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Paperback

Genre: Fantasy
Goodreads Rating: 4.11 (of 1,983 ratings)

XXXXXX

Once there were two sisters born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. Roa and Essie called it the hum. It was a magic they cherished—until the day a terrible accident took Essie’s life and trapped her soul in this world.

Dax—the heir to Firgaard’s throne—was responsible for the accident. Roa swore to hate him forever. But eight years later he returned, begging for her help. He was determined to dethrone his cruel father, under whose oppressive reign Roa’s people had suffered.

Roa made him a deal: she’d give him the army he needed if he made her queen. Only as queen could she save her people from Firgaard’s rule.

Then a chance arises to right every wrong—an opportunity for Roa to rid herself of this enemy king and rescue her beloved sister. During the Relinquishing, when the spirits of the dead are said to return, Roa discovers she can reclaim her sister for good.

All she has to do is kill the king.

XXXXXX

The Likes

Sha: We finally got context on the deep hatred between the Scrublanders and the Firgaardians. The enmity was explained in detail, drawing on decades of unfair taxing and regulations. I appreciated this strength of Ciccarelli’s in Book 1 (focused on slavery) and I continue to love it in The Caged Queen: she weaves in these topical issues, giving an otherwise fantasy novel real-world weight. 

Rendz: Having the expanded knowledge of the world was definitely a plus in this book. Not only did we get a better understanding of who these new people were but we get more history and more tales of myth! I loved the lore of the story and even though this book is not really a Divine Intervention plot, the stories of divine figures are very important! There was also boatloads of intensity and action! I was stresssesssed!!!! Every single time I opened this book my blood pressure soared! It was a great feeling because it meant I was super into the book!

Sha: Another love I had in this book was the return of beloved characters from The Last Namsara. We got to see newly-appointed commandant, Safire. (I would have liked to see a bit more on her struggles fitting in to her job, but it was still touched on and I *know* it’s not her book). The cuteness and fire himself, Torwin, barely had a page worth of time but his lines make me want to reread The Last Namsara immediately.

Rendz: Ugh every time Torwin stepped onto the page, I got heart eyes in my eyes! I wish we had gotten to see more of him and Asha, but what we got was truly magical! As for the other characters…hmm let’s see. I enjoyed reading from Roa’s POV. She was brash, angry and vengeful but also full of heart. I got frustrated with her at times (many times) because this girl needed some major perspective!!!! However, I still enjoyed her ferocity! As for Dax. He turned out to be more questionable than I imagined. On the Rendz Love Interest hierarchy scale…he is definitely a Boy Toy.  As for Theo…….ugh. Just ugh.

Sha: I know, like, 100% am positive that Rendz will agree with me that the shining star (heh heh if you read the book you get that little pun) in this book is not the romance. Not the dragons (I know!!). It’s the absolutely beautiful and I mean BEAUTIFUL relationship between Roa and her sister. Correct me if I’m wrong, we didn’t know the entire story behind Roa’s hawk in Book 1. It was just, “Yeah, this girl likes her hawk a lot.” In The Caged Queen, that is expanded and the bond between the two is absolute heart eyes. 

Rendz: Hehe *gets pun* I do, I do 100% agree. I had such a hard yet not-so-hard time between the relationships with the story. On one hand I absolutely adored the sister relationship! It was exactly what a sister-relationship is. It’s long lasting, it’s rocky, it’s magical! Having two sisters myself made me sympathize a lot with Roa and Essie! On the other hand the romantic tension was killing me. And on top of that there is Love Triangle nonsense—that honestly we didn’t really need to worry about, but still. I found it unnecessary! 

XXXXXX

The Questionable

Sha: This is a very unique and personal “negative” experience I’m about to share. But a few times I forgot I was reading The Caged Queen and thought I was actually reading The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. There were some character resemblances, a similar love triangle, and the journey our MC Roa goes on mimics Shazi’s. I’m NOT saying this book is a copy. Please don’t think that. The ending is completely Ciccarelli’s own. But in my head I found myself comparing the two books or flat-out mixing them together. 

Rendz: I need to reread The Wrath and the Dawn to see the similarities because I am slacking! As for me, I think my biggest pet-peeve was that the politics and romance clashed for me. I felt like the politics were so intriguing to read about, but Roa’s thoughts always went back to romance. I know Sha feels differently about this, but I feel like it was a major distraction for me. Then again it could just be my own brain distracting me. Ugh, Rendz. 

Sha: The ending was a bit rushed for my taste. We spent a lot of time building up the story (which I didn’t even realize was a build up) and when the real climax hit, I was three-quarters through the book. Does anyone else get a bit stressed seeing the “left to read” pages dwindle but the stack of problems facing our MC are only going up? That was me. 

Rendz: Yes, I agree! The ending needed more meat. I was stressed the whole way through reading. Literally I was tearing my hair out and swearing at the characters (which in this case was a very good thing–because I was always in it to win it with this story). However, the final scenes were just not enough to fully satisfy me. I was hoping for I don’t even know what. Just more. I mean, it was sweet, but I want moreeeeeeeeeee. 


Ratings:

Sha: 4.5 / 5 Stars

Rendz: 4 / 5 stars 

Overall rating: 4.25 / 5 stars

Do we recommend?: Um YES. OBVIOUSLY YOU NEED TO READ THE LAST NAMSARA FIRST BECAUSE IT IS SUPERIOR. But this one is lots of fun and intense too!



Let us know what you think! Have you read this? Are you interested in reading it? Do you have any recommendations for us to buddy read together? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

August Wrap-Up & September TBR | Where nothing went as planned!

Greetings readers!

Well, well, well. Here we are. Another month, another bunch of hauled books, another unfinished TBR. But what’s actually new?

I actually think that this month was hugely successful for me in terms of reading. I might have said “F**k it” to my planned TBR but what I did read was so much fun and I don’t have (m)any regrets.

As for next month…..hooooweeee do I have *planz*

wrap-up-3

What Rendz Read

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
I absolutely loved this book. AMAZING! My Full Review

Gods of Jade and Shadow

The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
While it did not live up to the standards of Sky in the Deep in my opinion, it was still okay. My Full Review

The Girl the Sea Gave Back

The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli
Buddy read with Sha @ Book Princess Reviews! This was such a fun companion novel but Sha and I have THOUGHTS. Review to come.

Q: Who are you favourite warrior characters?

It's #WarriorWednesday on #bookishcanadiansaug19 and so I've decided to feature some fierce female fighters on the gram today!

@kristenciccarelli's Iskari series is such a delight and it is full of warrior characters to love and enjoy (and some to love to hate 😉)! Asha and Roa are two characters who you will definitely LOVE. They are so stubborn and passionate and fierce and kickasss!!! I cannot wait until we get to read Safire's book who could literally kick my butt in a millisecond. Then again, they all could!

My fellow Canadian buddy reader, @shaniasquires and I are so looking forward to seeing where the story goes next and we hope you pick up these books soon!

#thelastnamsara #thecagedqueen #kristenciccarelli #bookstagram #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #iskariseries #warriorladies #ya #igbooks #signedbooks #yafantasy #dragons #epicreads #canlit

Below by Alexandria Warwick
This was a great read for people who are character-oriented! My Full Review

BELOW

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth (Audiobook)
I already loved the story, but the audiobook just made the whole experience so much MORE. 5 stars.

Q: Do you listen to audiobooks?

I don't usually. I have a very short attention span so my mind tends to wander when I'm listening to anything. You name it: lectures, music, stories from friends... I miss lots of things.

But I recently decide to give audiobooks another try since I felt like it! I found the audio for THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS on the Overdrive app, downloaded it and started listening to it at 1 a.m. one night.

It was probably the best decision I ever made. I had already read TLBW last year so I knew the story, but listening to it was a totally different experience! It was truly magical and I cried. I sobbbeeddddd.

I was literally lying in my bed at 1 or 2 in the morning having my heart torn out, tears running down my eyes and onto my pillows. And I mean it when I say this is one of the best decisions I ever made. I already loved the story but the audio was definitely a great listen!

5 🌟s for the story!
5 🌟s for the narration!

#TheLightBetweenWorlds #lauraeweymouth #bookstagram #audiobooks #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #historicalfiction #underratedbooks #canadianauthors #canlit #bookstagrammer #ya #yafantasy

The Clock Work Scarab by Colleen Gleason
The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason
The Chess Queen Enigma by Colleen Gleason
The Carnelian Crow by Colleen Gleason

Q: What's the oddest/greatest book pitch that has ever grabbed your full attention?

For me it was Sherlock Holmes meets Vampire Hunters.

Let that sink in.

The Stoker & Holmes series by Colleen Gleason follows the niece of Sherlock Holmes, Mina and Bram Stoker's (author of Dracula!) sister, Evaline through a steampunk 1889 London.

I know it may sound odd but it's a very fun series. There are lots of mysteries to be solved, the characters are incredible and there's romance to be had. In fact this series holds the only love triangle-kind of thing that I fully accept!

But the stars of the show are definitely Mina and Evaline who are so different and yet grow a friendship--even if they're reluctant to be friends at first!

It's a 5-book series and the last one came out last week! I'm currently reading the fourth and cannot wait to read the final book! (Hopefully my library will grant my request soon!!) They are quick and easy to read through and I promise you'll have some fun!

#StokerandHolmes #ColleenGleason #TheClockworkScarab #TheSpiritglassCharade #TheChessQueenEnigma #TheCarnelianCrow #TheZeppelinDeception #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #historicalfiction #steampunk #librarybooks #tpl

The Witching Hours: The Troll Heart by Jack Henseleit
The sequel to The Vampire Knife from last year, this one was just as fun and spooky! Review to come.

The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel
Now this is a middle grade book that was so much fun and heart-warming. Seriously, It’s required reading! Review to come.

11 whole books read this month!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT!!!! And the best part?! Only 3 of these books were from my actual TBR for the month XD

The Haul

Hachette
The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel
Queen of the Conquered
by Kacen Callender

Penguin Teen CA
The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne-Jones
The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyester
by Cary Fagan
Song of the Crimson Flower
by Julie C. Dao
Fireborne
by Rosaria Munda

HCC Frenzy
The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy
A Treason of Thorns
by Laura E. Weymouth

Manda Group CA
Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faisal (A gift)

WELL WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT, I DIDN’T ACTUALLY BUY A BOOK THIS MONTH.  

Q: What 2020 books are on your radar?

I CANNOT EXPRESS TO YOU GUYS HOW EXCITED I WAS WHEN THIS POPPED UP IN MY MAIL ON MONDAY!

I mean... LOOK AT THE COVER!

WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT by @isabelwriter09 is a a YA Bolivian fantasy about magic, romance and revolución!!! While the announcement for this book came out ages ago and the pub date was pushed we are slowly inching towards its release! I am very grateful for having received an advanced copy and I hope to dive into this #HispanicHeritageMonth! (Because of course!) Many thanks to @mandagroup for the ARC!

#bookishcanadiansaug19
Day 30 | Book Haul

#WoveninMoonlight #IsabelIbañez #bookstagram #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #latinxbooks #newbooks #2020debuts #diversebooks #ownvoices #books #latinxreads

Posts of the Month

Flashback Fangirling | Narnia Edition // It’s a long one!

FLASHBACK FANGIRLING

Re-reading My First Ever Vampire Series | The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey

Rereading My First Ever Vampire Series

How do you audiobook? | A Discussion

A Discussion

Other Going Ons

I Re-Watched Violet Evergarden

Still one of the best and most emotional animes I have ever watched! It is on Netflix so there is no excuse for you to not watch it (unless you don’t have Netflix of course!). Seriously. I SOBBED. SOBBED. AND I ALREADY KNEW THE STORYLINE.

I Entered Marissa Meyer’s Fan Art Contest!

I took a gander at entering since it was open to Canada and I had free time on my hands! I can’t say it came out exactly how I had hoped, but I still am super proud of some of its elements.

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I Attended Another Frenzy Event

As usual I was my anti-social self, although this time I did talk to a few people!! So maybe not my usual self, but still!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had a lot of fun at the event and I got my hands on my most anticipated book of September!!!!

It’s Back to School

September marks the beginning of the school year so it’s time I gear up and be ready to study. I’ll still be reading, though perhaps not as much as this past month.


TBR

Holy cow. I have so many things I need to read. I seriously don’t know how I’m going to get to this all. I mean I know I am not going to get to it all, but I at least thought I’d try.

I technically will have two TBRs this month because #HispanicHeritageMonth runs from Sept 15-Oct 15 so I need to get ready!

The Regular TBR!

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
The Zeppelin Deception by Colleen Gleason
The Brilliant Dark by S. M. Beiko
There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Hispanic Heritage Month TBR!

The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes
Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal
Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez
Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

It should be fun to see myself fail at all of this.


Let me know what you think! How was your August? What were your favourite reads? What do you have planned for September?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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The Girl the Sea Gave Back | Review // It was…alright?

Greetings readers!

Coming at you today is another ARC review! One that is actually being published before its release date! Ahhh *feels accomplished*

I had an adventure with viking books this summer and I have to say I’ve been having quite a lot of fun with them! Adrienne Young’s YA debut, Sky in the Deep blew me out of the water! I absolutely adored it and if you want to know more of my thoughts you can read my review! Today I’m reviewing the companion novel which is set in the same world but follows a new set of characters and features new clans!

The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

The Girl the Sea Gave Back
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Sept 3rd, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Price: $25.99 CAD
Goodreads

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

*Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an ARC*

The Likes

The World was still as wonderful as ever! I really enjoyed getting to know about the other clans that had passing mentions in Sky. The frigidness of the winter and the brutality of the people was all so fascinating to read about.

The writing was just as lyrical! Young has a way with words that make the story seem like a fairy tale. It is a beautiful prose that really captures those moments of wonder and fantasy! I think this is what really kept me in this story.

The plot of the story was interesting. Getting to see how the politics of the clans have changed now that there is a new-born clan (You’ll have to read Sky to get it  *winks*) I loved reading about the decisions of the war councils and deceptions of different clan leaders. The new clans mean that there are new traditions and gods and practices. The Svell were quite an interesting bunch and I wish we had got to see more of the Kyrr, but I guess that is why they are so mysterious.

The epic battle scene was an epic battle scene, no doubt.

The Questionable

The characters were okay at best. Tova had a rough life, I totally get that. I really felt for her, especially since her childhood was spent lonely and constantly being exploited for her powers and her life threatened. But she spent a lot of the book wallowing and sulking and I got bored real fast! *Is that too harsh* Halvard was……………………………………… he needed to stay 7 years old. He was just not as interesting as an adult! I’m sorry, but it’s true! I know he was having a very hard time trying to be the best of both worlds in his new-born clan, but I was often bored with his side of the story.

To be honest, I didn’t connect to any of the characters. Both Tova and Halvard fell extremely flat to me. I tried my best, but there was nothing that grabbed at me. I thought that Tova’s Truthtongue prophecies would real me in, but they didn’t. There weren’t many side characters to get into either and the few glimpses we got at Eelyn were NOT enough!

To be even more honest, I was very disconnected from the whole story. Even if the politics were interesting, the characters really brought me down. I was just feeling meh a lot of times and it didn’t help that I had to read about characters that I frankly didn’t care much about!

Young tried to sell me a romance that did not work for me at all. They don’t even know each other!!!!!!!–literally–and they already be thinking that they’re ready to move clans for one another? Uh-uh. No.


Overall, I really don’t know how to feel about this book exactly. I liked it while I read but after having it simmer for a bit, I find it very lackluster. It just does not compare to Sky in the Deep in my opinion! I didn’t really connect to those characters which was the biggest upset. I had hoped the plot and action would be enough, but they really kept this book just above average!

Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Mmmm sure. But read Sky in the Deep first!

Let me know what you think! Have you read any of these? Are you excited for it? Did you read Sky in the Deep?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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How do you audiobook? | A Discussion

Greetings readers!

It’s a spontaneous post today! I’ve recently been thinking about different ways in which books are available to us. Whether it be in a physical book form, digitally or in audio, there are so many methods in which one can read!

But today we are going to focus on audiobooks. More importantly–I am going to discuss what a total noob I am with audiobooks.

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via giphy.com

My History with Listening to Books

It is not extensive lol. I have officially only listened to 3 audiobooks. Two that I did not finish and one that I recently did get through in its entirety. I used to not be the biggest fan of audiobooks because well I neither had the patience nor the attention span to get through one. Every time I would try to get into it, I would miss so much as I stopped paying attention. You see, my mind tends to wander a lot. A lot. The perks of having a very good imagination in my opinion. And I would get so lost and lose out on a lot of info as I was reading.

However….recently I listened to the audio of The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth and I ABSOLUTELY adored everything about it. It was the first time that I didn’t get bored and quit halfway. I even listened to it mostly at normal speed! I picked it up on a whim because I felt like jumping back into the story and it was honestly one of the best decisions I made. I absolutely loved the narrators. I loved listening to the emotion that they put in their voices of Ev and Phil. I thought it was so incredibly wonderful!

(The only con is that it was hard to tell when the characters were speaking out loud vs in their heads…)

So naturally I’m very curious about audiobooks now since the last one was such a success with me.

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via giphy.com

So…How DO you audiobook?

I’m very curious about it because I am not 100% sure if there is a certain way to do it…

Like, for example, do you have the book in front of you and follow along with the narrator in your ear?

When I listened to TLBW I didn’t have the the book in front of me. I listened to it at night, in my room, in the dark, with my eyes closed (most of the time). It was the perfect setting for no distractions, but still my mind wandered every now and then. I don’t know if I would like following along with the book as I listen because I tend to read quicker than the narrator (even when I bump up the speed).

Thinking of speed…Do you bump up the speed as you read?

I do. Not dramatically. Usually just 0.2x/0.4x faster. I don’t like the sound of people speaking so quickly because I feel like I lose some of the enchantment and emotion in the story. However reading at normal speed can get tedious because they take such long, dramatic pauses!

Where/when do you listen?

I’ve already said that I listened to TLBW in a dark, quiet room with barely any distractions so that I could focus…but I know lots of people listen to them while doing other things! I know people listen to them as they drive, work or do homework AND I WISH I COULD DO THAT. But my brain is just not that great at multitasking I guess!


Those are the top questions I have about audiobooks! I am really looking forward to picking up a new read sometime soon, I shall browse Overdrive and see what’s available. I like the idea of using them for rereads because I can get through them quickly and my commutes could be a perfect setting for listening to them too!

However, I do have one final question:

WHAT ARE YOUR AUDIOBOOK RECOMMENDATIONS?!

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via giphy.com

I would love to know how you guys feel about audiobooks and the methods in which you read them!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

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