The Beholder | Review // It was good but also (maybe) comes with a side of cringe???

Greetings readers!

I hope you have all been having a wonderful month so far! I’m coming at you with a post that is long long overdue! Today I’m reviewing the first book I completed in June and I’m very excited to share my thoughts about it since I am sure EVERYONE is salivating over this cover!

I mean…BEHOLD THE BEHOLDER!

The Beholder by Anna Bright

The Beholder
via Goodreads

Pub Date: June 4th, 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen
Price: $21.99 CAD
Goodreads

Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.


BUY IT!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon


*I read an ARC of this book handed over to me by a friend!*

The Likes

The Characters

The Author’s letter did not lie when she mentioned that there were going to be a lot of male characters because oh boy there were many. But let’s start with the star of this whole thing.

Miss Selah. Wow. She is me and I am her. I’m not even joking. Except for the fact that she has a very troubling family situation and a very green thumb, neither of which pertain to me. Still, personality wise, I was in a way reading about myself. The shy and reserved kind of a pushover, yet 10/10 ready to fight when enough courage is mustered. I really enjoyed reading from Selah’s perspective and going through the works of juggling political machinations and her own feelings. Those are some tricky waters to deal with. That is to say, I didn’t agree with all her decisions and I think she is a little more put together than me…because I most certainly would have thrown a bigger tantrum in this book than she did at a certain point and that’s all I’ll say.

Okay so the boyzzz. I don’t know how to go about this because it could get spoilery….

So maybe I’ll just be vague and say that they were more interesting as you spend some more time with them. At first glance they all seem a little similar but give them some time and you can see the different colours. I for one think she’ll end up with a *someone* but um I don’t wanna say who or think to much about it in case I’m wrong.

The Plot and Pace

Like I said before this really is a book about treading in the waters of international courts. This is Selah’s story of finding a way to be political and be true to herself but also about her really finding out that politics is never a fair game and people will use you to their advantage. It was a lot less Pirate-y than I was hoping. We spend some time on the sea, but not enough to say this is a Pirate title. But the cover still 100% matches the book.

As for the pace, it was fairly even. It was not fast-paced, but not incredibly slow either. There are definitely some intriguing twisty things that happen and you have to give it time to do so.

I Loved That She Brought in the Classics

Bright’s book is advertised as a Cinderella x Odyssey kind of read.  10/10 you will get that. But what they don’t tell you is that if you have a degree in English studies or you fancy yourself knowledgeable of Old English lit then you will definitely find much more to enjoy in this book! Beowulf was here. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was most definitely here. And a few more European fairy tales and legends you might not have been expecting! I thought it was GREAT. Like it’s not that obvious, but I could totally pick out the connections.

The Romance

Talking about this counts as spoilers. I’m keeping my lips locked, but the romance aspect of the book is very important to how things roll.

The Questionable

Just two things. But two major things that kinda had me at a crossroads of whether I really liked it.

The World

What? When? Where? Why? How?  So it takes place on our Earth. I know this because England, Mexico, the US and other real countries were mentioned. I was kind of uneasy with the way she explained the origins of the Asian characters because she just kept using “Asia” …unless they were from another made-up country.

Other than that, the point of the story is that we have this made up country who is basically unknown to the world. Okay fine. But then Bright brings in this made up empire that is out colonizing and terrorizing other countries. And there is a really complex story there to understand it all, but I feel like I didn’t quite get it.

Then can we talk about the time period because I don’t get it. Given the info I got from the book, this story could either be taking place right after the big movements  in colonization or a few decades after. I was very unclear about it all. Like it didn’t seem modern, but the characters dress wasn’t a good indicator either since she talked about cardigans and leggings and dresses….

I am confusion.

The Language

She calls her dad “Daddy” and I just can’t.

And I say this as a hypocrite because I, Rendz, call my father “Daddy” too.

BUT I AM 21ST CENTURY WOMAN and Selah is an honestly Idek what century woman!

She also calls her step-mother “smother” many, many times. And ummmm nope.

I know authors can choose whatever language and style they want for the voice of their characters and not every fantasy book I read has to have that distant, rich, guttural voice. But I couldn’t help but cringe at times, sorry.


Overall, this was a fun read no doubt despite my qualms with it. It is not a high fantastical, fast-paced adventure, but it is the story of a girl, forced to do lots of things against her will and tread the murky waters of political courts. It’s a romantic and mystical tale I’m sure many story and fairy tale lovers will appreciate!

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Recommend: Yes! It is a story to behold! (Bad joke I know)

Let me know what you think! Have you read this yet? Did you enjoy it? How stunning do you think that cover is? What fairy tales or legends would you love to read about?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

Early June Wrap Up and July TBR | I’m off to the Motherland!

Greetings readers!

Well here I am wrapping up the month rather early because I am leaving for vacation! I am headed to El Salvador for the next two weeks and I couldn’t be more excited! I haven’t been back in a very long time, so this is a very important trip! I promise to share some nature-y pictures when I get back and if you follow me on Instagram (@readingwithrendz) you will probably see some story updates!

I am pretty sure I don’t have that much to wrap-up this month, June flew by. But I do have some exciting things to share!

What Rendz Read (officially)

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
I absolutely loved this book! I buddy read it with Mandy and it was our first mutually enjoyed book! My Full Review

Spin the Dawn

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson
I LOVED this book! It has a great magic system and the characters are amazing! My Full Review

The Storm Crow Blog Evite

Stripped by Zoey Castille
This was a surprising read and so out of my comfort zone. I have a whole post planned for this, so stay tuned!

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette
This was a very spontaneous reread but I still loved them all!!

The Haul

Purchased:
Jade City by Fonda Lee

Q: What is your take on used books? Yesterday I picked up this gorgeous copy of Jade City by Fonda Lee at used book store! It's in mint condition and I'm so glad to have it now. I've been eyeing this series for a while and since Orbit has such amazing new Adult Fantasy coming out this year I want to catch up on some of the ones I might have missed! #JadeCity #FondaLee #TheGreenBoneSaga #orbit #books #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #adultfantasy #bookstagram #igbooks #bookstagramer #bmvbooks #newbooks #usedbooks #fiction #reading #igreads

Raincoast Books:
The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen
The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson
Heart, Strings, and other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins
The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
The Grace Year by Kim Ligget
Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

Q: Would you fly atop a giant magical crow if you could? The answer is YES. But since that isn't possible at the moment you can read all about what it would feel like in The Storm Crow by @kalynmjosephson! A new review for this book is up on my blog today so definitely go check it out! I absolutely loved it and I cannot wait for the sequel! I even made a little fanart to go along with it 😉 that is also up on the blog. I have big plans for the sketch I made! #TheStormCrow #KalynJosephson #bookstagram #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #newbooks #firereads #sourcebooksfire #igbooks #bookstagramer #yafantasy #igreads

Hachette:
The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

Penguin Teen CA:
Bid My Soul Farewell by Beth Revis
Grave Maidens by Kelly Coon

Posts from Last Month

Disney Princess Hair Book Tag

Only one post, but it was super fun to write!

Reviews You Might’ve Missed

The Grief Keeper 
The Grief Keeper

The Girl Who Sailed the Stars

The Girl Who Sailed The Stars

Other Going-Ons

I Attended the Raincoast Books Preview Event

It was short, sweet, to the point and while I didn’t love the books I got in my goodie bag, I did get some Marissa Meyer swag which was a plus!!!! Plus the books they have coming out sound incredible!! I cannot wait to read them!

I Went to the Raptors Victory Parade

Being the huge bandwagoner that I was the entirety of the post-season of the NBA. I stayed up to watch the Toronto Raptors win and then went to their parade on Monday. I stood in the same spot for 4 hours to see them pass by within three minutes. My feet hurt, but I really enjoyed the atmosphere. There was an accident later on in the day, but I got home safely thankfully.

lets go basketball GIF by NBA
via giphy.com

I reread my first ever vampire series

I don’t want to get into too much because I am planning a special post for when I get back from vacay! This was really out of the blue, but it was such an interesting experience, I can’t wait to tell you all about it in about two weeks!

My Spontaneous Penderwick Reread

I had no plans on reading them, but Sam Devotta from Penguin Teen CA emailed me to discuss the books since she recently binged the series. I couldn’t help but get all giddy and nostalgic and I picked up the books instead of one of my ARCs! I only had time to get to the first 3 before my vacay, but those are my favourites so it’s all gooood!

76f5b-31326374_154832225363988_1624137128453603328_n


TBR

The Vacay TBR

I am taking Vikings to El Salvador! Yup! I am finally going to pick up Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young! And to go along with it, I will also be taking The Girl the Sea Gave Back, it’s companion novel!

ba6fa-33817152_816280881910893_3143826167006494720_n

The Rest of July TBR

I have quite a few ARCs to get to like Queen of Ruin and The Witching Hours. But I hope to also get to Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer duology or possible King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo like I had BEEN wanting to read since it came out! Who knows what the rest of July will have in store, we shall see!


Let me know what you think! What stood out for you this month? What books did you get? Do you have any vacation plans for the summer?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

Spin the Dawn |Review // This book. This. Book. Ahhhhhh

Greetings readers!

One of the many, many flaws I possess, according to my mother, is that I cannot sew. Correction: I cannot sew properly. I can do a sloppy job of it, but actually doing a clean seam is beyond my abilities.

Alas, I still read this book which was all about sewing. And it was quite something. Quite something.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: July 9, 2019
Publisher: Knopf
Price: $24.99 CAD
Goodreads

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.


Buy It!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon


*My thanks goes out to Penguin Teen CA for providing me with an ARC*

I had the lovely opportunity to buddy read this with my fabulous friend, Mandy @ BookPrincessReviews. Considering our last two buddy reads went less than spectacular, we were pretty stoked knowing that this book came with such good buzz! And we are both so happy that we both actually enjoyed the book this time!

The Likes

The Characters

Maia: Ohhhh I loved her. I loved her. She was truly a fantastic MC to follow. She grew up in a house full of brothers who loved and doted on her. She had a mother, who was taken too early, but adored her so much as well. And her father who taught her almost everything she knows about being a seamstress. I loved the way she treasured and practically carried her family in the toughest of times, especially as a woman in a trade meant for men. I loved that she literally risked it all for her family, even if on the inside she knew that she really wanted to risk everything for her own aspirations. I loved her honesty because she literally couldn’t lie to save her life.

Edan: I pitched it to Mandy that he was a Tragic Magic boy and honestly I still stand by it. He was all charm and you guys all know how much of a sucker I am for the charming, borderline annoying ones. He was mysterious and harbored lots of secrets, some of which we get into. He was an interesting character to have around as more than just simple a love interest. His role was pivotal to the politics of the book too, which are quite tricky to maneuver.

Others…There aren’t many. The other tailors in the competition are not at all what they seem at first glance. Trust me, keep yer eyes on them. Then there are the emperor and Lady Sarnai, who were quite, quite not at all who they seemed to be!!!

The World

It was so, so rich. And we go everywhere–well most everywhere. It was incredibly fascinating to explore the different landscapes that the characters live in and journey. You get a sense of the difference in lifestyle between the royal characters and the civilians. The politics of the world are communicated very well. The society is suffering after a war and the court machinations in the palace may not be helping at all. It is a seducing setting no doubt.

The Plot

I loveeeeeeeeee competition books. And I also adore quest books. And this story was literally the best of both worlds.

The first part was all about Maia making it as a tailor and passing all the tests in order to serve Lady Sarnai as her official tailor. It was soooooo crazy and cool at the same time. It was a cutthroat killer competition about sewing!!! Sewing! I loved the challenges that they got, with materials so unconventional that I applaud Lim’s imagination for creating pretty pieces (even if they are just being described in words 😉 )

Then came the journey which takes up a chunk of the novel. it comes with three pivotal challenges that Maia has to pass in order to A) survive and B) become the Imperial tailor. It was full of danger and intrigue and risk. I know they have a lot of down time during this part of the book, but I didn’t mind. I lived for every moment between Maia and Edan.

It lived up to its selling points

Mulan x Project Runway. Let me tell you. This book is most definitely Mulan x Project Runway in every way that you can think and beyond. Maia had such a moment when she cuts her hair, I actually screeched a little bit to myself. It might not have had dramatic music in the background, but it was no less intense and magical.

I’ve already talked about the tailoring competition, but I cannot stress how Project Runway it truly is! So much talent, trash talking and crazy amazing dresses. The tailor competition is a little (a lot) more umm bloody, but still. Amazing. And the PR vibes run beyond just the competition. Maia’s skill is so wonderfully explored, I would LOVE to wear any of her creations!

ALL THOSE COVER SECRETS

This stunning cover gives a lot more away than you might think. I’m screaming.

The Romance

I didn’t think we’d get that far with them in this book, but neither Maia nor I could resist Edan’s charm! I loved them together. I truly did. Mandy is right when she says that they goes back and forth a little too much, but I was swooning the whole way there. AND OF COURSE THINGS GET ROUGH TOWARDS THE END. But I still truly love them together!!!

The Questionable

Just one tiny thing. The antagonist(s) were a little lack luster. Um I wanted a little more sleeziness and creepiness and well villain power. They were a little too mellow for me, even though they caused plenty of trouble for our dear characters. So I lacked that drama. However, I think we are gonna get a lot more from them in the sequel!!!


Overall, I loved this book. I loved the ending because it is not at all what I expected and it has been a while since I have been surprised by a book! I also LOVED that Lim put in this little excerpt before chapter one that when I read it again after having read the whole book…it just transformed the whole experience for me.

Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars

Recommend: YESSSSSSSSSSSSS

Let me know what you think! Are you excited for this book? How easily do you trust comps/selling points? How stunning do you think this cover is? Can you sew, are you any skilled in tailoring?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

Disney Princess Hair Book Tag

Greetings readers!

I feel like I haven’t done a tag in ages, so here I am with one that is long, long overdue. Two of the most wonderful bloggers I know, Mandy and Kyera created this very special tag that combines two wonders of the world: Books and Disney Princess Hair. That’s right: HAIR.

The Rules:

  • Link back to Kyera’s original post on Kyera‘s Library and Mandy’s post on Book Princess Reviews so we can see all your answers! (Be sure to do this via pingback, we don’t get notified if you just tag our URLs)
  • Thank the person(s) who tagged you… show the community some love!
  • Obviously, come up with your own wonderful answers!
  • Don’t forget to tag others to keep the tag going!

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Accessory

never give up disney GIF fff35-28434076_1964091970287639_2163699211126702080_n

Princess: I’ve always been enchanted by Jasmine’s jeweled headband. I can just imagine the sparkle it might have.

Book: Hound in the Penderwicks series. If I could ever have a dog, I hope it would be one like Hound.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Change

mulan GIF Raging Star (Dust Lands, #3)

Princess: I mean. I mean. I MEAN.

Book: THE TWIST in Raging Star by Moira Young. OMG When I went through that twist I…I was left speechless. Like I did not expect that to happen at all. It was amazing!

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Bun.png

disney princess love GIF by Disney 28e3a-25036006_1550425498373396_968708308582006784_n

Princess: I need you all to take a good look at how the mechanics of this bun exactly work. It is difficult to do, trust me, I HAVE TRIED TO DO IT ON MYSELF AND IT IS NOT THAT EASY. Plus the way they draw Cinderella in modern images is just wrong wrong wrong.

Book: Roshani Chokshi hands down.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Bounce 2.png

sleeping beauty disney GIF Obsidian Mirror (Chronoptika, #1)

Princess: Look at that volume at the bottom there!

Book: The Chronoptika quartet by Catherine Fisher. This is a series on time travel after all, so there is quite a bit of jumping.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Braid

rapunzel GIF cf7e0-15802572_634502993425026_9053865302772678656_n

Princess: Those three little girls did a great job with Rapunzel’s hair.

Book: TLC obviously!!! Marissa Meyer did an amazing job weaving together all these fairy tales.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Short.png

princess charlotte disney GIF Clara Voyant

Princess: I know it’s only a small scene where she has this do, but Tiana’s bob is just so cute!!! And in that dress, hat and boa…perfection.

Book: Clara Voyant by Rachelle Delaney. This is such a cute read and I loved that I was able to fly through this!

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Half

beauty and the beast belle GIF Even the Darkest Stars (Even the Darkest Stars, #1)

Princess: I believe she is the only princess who actually has a half-up/-down do!

Book: Kazmin from Even the Darkest Stars. Both Sha and I had so much trouble with this girl. AHHH but River from the same book was just a lot of down hill work.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Medium.png

happy disney GIF Dealing in Dreams

Princess: Two simple braids, always an easy fix for medium hair.

Book: Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera. I liked it, but at the same time, I struggled with some of the characters. A review is coming for this one soon. Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Bangs.png

the little mermaid flirting GIF 00849-50566596_386679215230049_5216725288824995611_n

Princess: Even messy, these bands are still on point.

Book: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim. I am so in love with it. UH.

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Long.png

colors wind GIF disney princess GIF

Princess: There were so many good gifs to use for this one, I had trouble choosing.

Book: Kingsbane by Claire Legrand. It took a while to feel like I made a dent in this book but it was sure was quite something.

9f99b-52117845_878310445894053_7467177354077967435_n

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Pony.png

megara GIF 4bfd3-58772399_298608821093006_6634839248085952733_n

Princess: I know she’s not a princess, but I mean look at that pony!

Book: The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner! This had the most interesting POV switching ever!!!!!!!!!!! It is very distinct so you always know who is talking!!

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Straight.png

father's day disney quote GIF by Disney 62e50-34351894_181816585850909_3851195035705933824_n

Princess: I mean for her to have been able to slice it off so nicely it has to be silky!!!!!

Book: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir! THIS SERIES IS SO INCREDIBLE AHH. AND EACH BOOK IS BETTER THAN THE LAST!

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Curls.png

brave GIF 830f5-43816455_280836159206431_1668509385116210316_n

Princess: Just look at that wild red hair!

Book: A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna is so underrated and that should be fixed!! It is action packed and there are lots of twists!

Disney Hair Tag Prompts - Close

disney how far i'll go GIF by Moana disney curly girl problem GIF

Princess: I’m definitely a cross between Moana and Merida. All curls, all day.

Book: The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena. I related to the MC a lot in this novel even though we come from different ethnic backgrounds.

THE BEAUTY OF THE MOMENT by @bhathenatanaz 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 What is your favourite contemporary novel? I'd have to say that as of last week, The Beauty of the Moment really has taken top spot for me in contemporaries. I know I don't read them often, but this one is definitely worthwhile!  Today is my Blog Tour stop for this amazing book so please check out my full review! (Link in bio) And don't forget to follow along the rest of the tour! @penguinteenca  #TheBeautyoftheMoment #tanazbhathena #bookstagram #reader #books #ya #contemporarybooks #CanLit #yabooks #youngadultbooks #blogtour

 I Tag…

Blogger Books

JoBeth @ Blue Binding

*If you’ve already done this no need to repeat!*


Let me know what you think! Which Disney princess do you think has the best hair? Have a favourite princess? What kind of hair do you have?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

May Wrap Up & June TBR | I said that May was the month of ME and oh boy was it!

Greetings readers!

Boy oh boy. May was THE month for me. It was the month of MAY. *Read that like how Justin Timberlake sings Me.*

Not gonna lie there was a week where I fell into a slump, but I jumped back from it! Not every read this month was omgomgomgoooood, but I had quite a few good ones and am quite happy with what I got done. To add to this, I read faster than I wrote reviews so I am severallll books behind schedule in terms of reviewing. They will be up…eventually though.

Let’s get started shall we!

wrap-up-3

What Rendz Read

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett
This was such a great read! I was so surprised by how much I liked it! If you want feminist, fighter pilots then check it out. My Full Review.

we rule the night

The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner
HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH. This book was PHENOMENAL!!!!! READ IT! My Full Review.

The Sisters of the Winter Wood

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
This was the Sisters Reads of May! My sisters, Maz and Kez, and I buddy read this together and we shared our ~thoughts~. Read Our Tell All.

SISTER READS TELL ALL

Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George
SECOND HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH! You all  have now idea how much I adored this book. My Full Review.

Speak Easy, Speak Love

Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera
Despite not being exactly what I expected, I enjoyed this Latinx read a lot! More to come in a mini review!

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao
I have been meaning to read this one for a while now because I loved Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. It was a great follow up for sure! More to come in a mini review!

The Girl Who Sailed The Stars by Matilda Woods
This short, magical MG read is sure to capture the hearts of many! Review to come.

The Snow Witch by Rosie Boyes
I got some great winter and White Witch vibes from this MG read! Review to come!

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante
This was quite an emotional read and it is the perfect Pride Month pick! Review to come!

The Haul

As usual I went overboard with everything.

My purchases
Nocturna by Maya Motayne (Finished copy)

Penguin Teen CA
The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh (I KNOW AHHHH)
A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy
Eve of Man by Giovanna & Tom Fletcher
The Triumphant by Lesley Livingston
Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

Hatchette
Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart
The Witching Hours: The Troll Heart by Jack Henseleit

Library:
Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera
Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

Posts From Last Month

THEME THURSDAY | PIRATES

Shiver me timbers…I haven’t read a lot of Pirate YA books!

theme-thursday-pirates

Even the Darkest Stars | Canadian Dragon Tales Buddy Read Review // We Have Questions!!!

Sha and I tackled another Canadian “dragon” Tales Buddy Read. This one was less successful than the first, but still fun!

etds

My Mismatched Series | A Discussion

Let’s get chatty! Be honest, how many mismatched books do you have?

My Mismatched Series

HCC Frenzy Presents Fantasy Panel! | Meeting Tahereh Mafi, Maya Motayne & Victoria Aveyard // Turns out I am not as cool as I try to be…

Read this if you want to know about how I made a complete and utter fool of myself as I was trying to keep my cool. Spoiler: I did not keep my cool.

HCC Frenzy Presents Fantasy Panel!

THEME THURSDAY |TWINS

Turns out, I have read more twin books than I initially thought!

theme-thursday-twins

Other Going-Ons

I Wrote Another Article!

I dug deep into a google search to collect a list of my top 10 most anticipated Latinx Books of 2019! You can read the article here!

rendz-article-2.png

I Art-ed!

If you guys don’t follow me on Instagram, you totally should! (@readingwithrendz). I often put updates on my little art adventures. Not all of them are cool, but I like to share my progress. My latest project was a Pinterest Girl that I did in soft pastel!

The following picture is the finished copy (but the lighting is so horrible)!

Aladdin 2019 was not trash. I repeat it was not trash!

Let me tell youuuuuu. I 100% thought this movie was not going to be any good from what I saw in the trailers, but I was so so wrong. it was actually quite fun and I liked how they retold the story. Even Will Smiths top-knot genie was okay with me. I mean it doesn’t beat out the original cartoon, but still! It was quite good!

I was hoodwinked, bamboozeled and betrayed by a Wattpad story!!!

So I was clearing out my iPod because I want to take it on my vacation and I was deleting all unnecessary apps. I stumbled upon my Wattpad app, which I made with the intention of writing but I never did, lol. So I was going to delete it, but then I saw this story cover which I was fairly intrigued by. I read the synopsis and knew that it wasn’t really my style, but I was curious. So I read this contemporary, arranged-marriage romance novel. And I gotta be honest…I was kinda loving it. Like it had its trashier bits and the grammar was off sometimes, but I really did like the characters and the plot direction. And I got to the end and thought wow this was great, until I read the epilogue. The epilogue ruined everything for me. It turned this happily ever after into a bittersweet end. And before you think what you might think, no. No one died. No one broke up. It was just how the author decided to craft their future in order to write a sequel that made me go: NO NO  NOOOOOOOO.

So I was mad. But I haven’t been able to find another arranged-marriage romance novel that works for me. So I continue to suffer.

I Went to the Penguin Teen Social!

Book worms of all kinds gathered at the PRHC HQ a couple of weeks ago to talk all things books. It was more of a mix and mingle than a sit-down thing. (There were not many places to sit at all actually) But I had a lot of fun being anti-social with my best bookish friend, Rezanne! I even got to meet Tanaz Bhathena and she singed my copy of The Beauty of the Moment!!!! I got to meet more authors, but I’m still thinking of writing an event recap for it so stay tuned!

THE BEAUTY OF THE MOMENT by @bhathenatanaz 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 What is your favourite contemporary novel? I'd have to say that as of last week, The Beauty of the Moment really has taken top spot for me in contemporaries. I know I don't read them often, but this one is definitely worthwhile!  Today is my Blog Tour stop for this amazing book so please check out my full review! (Link in bio) And don't forget to follow along the rest of the tour! @penguinteenca  #TheBeautyoftheMoment #tanazbhathena #bookstagram #reader #books #ya #contemporarybooks #CanLit #yabooks #youngadultbooks #blogtour

TBR

I’m thinking of taking another mood month. I’m just going to pick up whatever I feel like I want to try.

I’ve already read The Beholder by Anna Bright and it was quite the read! I’ll talk more about it in my review!

Q: Do you judge book covers? Because I do. And I have no shame in admitting it. 🙃 In other news... HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO @brightlyanna and her debut novel, THE BEHOLDER! I just finished reading this book on Sunday and I must say it was quite fun! There is a lot of drama and romance and tension to explore. Not to mention the drop dead gorgeous cover that comes along with it! I would love to hear what you guys thought about this book or its cover! #TheBeholder #AnnaBright #bookstagram #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #historicalfiction #newbooks #debutnovels #epicreads #igbooks #bookstagramer

I will be reading Spin The Dawn this month with Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews! We are hoping this will be our first read that we both actually love!

Recent book mail from @penguinteenca!! I got this is in the mail a couple of weeks ago and finally found the time to take a picture.  Just look at the cover. STUNNING. The book is said to be a cross between Project Runway and Mulan. AND I AM HERE FOR IT.  I am so excited to dive into it soon! What's been in your bookish mail box recently? #SpintheDawn #ElizabethLim #bookstagram #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #yafantasy

I will also for sure get to The Storm Crow by Kayln Josephson because I will be part of the blog tour!!!

Oh and I have one special read that’s going to be happening this month. Let’s just say I am really going to step out of my comfort zone.

As for the rest of the month….hmmmmmm…we shall see what I am in the mood for!


Let me know what you think! What was your favourite May read? What books are you looking forward to this June? What books did you haul?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

Speak Easy, Speak Love | Review // One of the most under the radar books that needs to be on your radar NOW

Greetings readers!

I can’t promise you that the following review will make any sense. I am honestly planning on gushing my whole way down. I would like to send a special shout out to Mandy @ BookPrincessReviews who hyped me up for this book long ago.

Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

Speak Easy, Speak Love

Pub Date: Sept 19th, 2017
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Price: $21.99 CAD
Goodreads

Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.

Hilariously clever and utterly charming, McKelle George’s debut novel is full of intrigue and 1920s charm. For fans of Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Anna Godbersen.


Buy It!

Chapters Indigo | Amazon 


Okay okay breathe Rendz, breeaaattthhheee. *inhale* *exhale* OKAY LET ME TELL YOU HOW ABSOLUTELY AMAZING THIS BOOK IS AND HOW YOU NEED TO PUT THIS ON YOUR TBR IMMEDIATELY. I AM OFFICIALLY NAMING THIS REQUIRED READING MATERIAL.

What I Liked

These Glorious Characters

There are a lot of them, so I have to be brief, but just know that George crafted such incredibly dynamic, complex and rich characters for her novel. This gang of guys and gals had a lot of magic–not literally XD–but they were incredibly charming and enchanting and I would love to spend more time with them.

Beatrice: My girl genius. She was literally all brains and all snark and I adored her. Her brilliance was one thing, but her awkwardness in social situations was just so relatable XD. But don’t for one second think she didn’t have guts because she had them and more.

Benedict: Oh my charming, tragic writer-in-training. I loved him too. I loved his persistence with his writing, his adoration for his newfound family and his self-sacrificing-ness, (Can’t seem to find the write word there) But he was just so great! A Book boyfriend for sure!

Maggie: Magical. Seriously. She had this charm to her and this willpower within her that I admire so much. Her life wasn’t easy and as a black girl in the 20s she had to put up with so much crap, but she didn’t let any of that hold her back. She had dreams and she worked hard to make them come true.

Hero: Was another charmer (I swear everyone in this book is a charmer). But she was definition of “life of the party.” I absolutely loved her dedication to her family and her speakeasy. Her heart was huge even though she could be a little (a lot) selfish, but if you really look at it it’s all part of her charm.

Prince: My baby. Literally a soft boi who has the biggest heart. He was a quieter more background character, but he had such a pivotal role in this book. His devotion was so admirable, liked I wanted to sob for him because he was so loyal to the end. My heart.

John: Mandy put it exactly right. He was the Kaz of this bunch. Shady but with a soft(ish) heart. He was literally a semi-leader of an Italian mafia—which was dangerous—but also really, really hot. Tell me I’m lying!?! It’s hot and I think his broodiness was perfect addition to this novel.

This Setting

It is a known fact that the Roaring 20s is probably the coolest decade to set a book in. There was a lot of political and cultural movement. Clothes changed. Music changed. Laws were obviously more strict. The whole speakeasy aspect of this novel was perfect. We spent a good amount of time in it and the plot directed a lot of drama with it which I found fascinating. You can tell George did her research (especially if you read the Author’s Note). She used actual events and people in her story albeit a little bit altered. When I found out that the Italian Mafia family that was involved in the book was actually real…well I’ll be darned that is pretty cool. Scary, but cool.

But anyways, yes. This setting was amazing. It was a perfect blend of fun and danger which is exactly what the twenties is all about.

I Know Nothing about Much Ado About Nothing But I Still Love It!

Yes it’s true, I’ve never read Shakespeare’s play, but I sure do want to know. Of course I didn’t want to go in completely blind when I went into this book so I googled a quick summary of the play and ending up watching a 6 min summary video on YouTube. And you know what! It really helped me hehehe. I found some of the connections and I do believe that the chapter titles are lines from the play which I thought was genius. So while I cannot give you the best comparison of the two, I think fans of the play will like this book! Oh and I just noticed that the names of the characters are from the play too.

The Romance

Because let’s be honest this was a love story. And I had three ships to ship. And all three were epic. And I want more more more MORE. I mean the amount of banter in this book was so so great. The TENSION it created was perfect. I wanted so badly to yell “just kiss already!!!” And boy did we have to wait for those kisses, but it was so so worth it! The chemistry was perfect. The epic emotions. The drama. The ~scandal~. It was all so great.

The Questionable

Not applicable. I enjoyed myself too much while reading this.


Overall, this book was great. Seriously. If you’re looking to pick up a historical fiction with the perfect blend of romance and risky speakeasy business and Shakespeare then this is the book for you. I am positive you will find yourself in love with each of these characters.

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars 

Recommend?: Ay! In troth, thou needest to readeth this booketh!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? What Roaring 20s book did you love? Which of Shakespeare’s play would you love to see a YA retelling of? Have any recs for me?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

THEME THURSDAY |TWINS

Greetings readers!

Welcome back to our regular biweekly Thursday post! I missed the last prompt, but I am back stronger than ever. This was an interesting prompt to think about…I don’t think I’ve read many books with Twins in them. I’ll have to think hard about it and do my fair share of googling.

Theme Thursday is a new weekly feature created by Sophie @ Blame Chocolate where bloggers can share recs and newly found books featuring that week’s theme.

  • There will be a different theme (genre, trope, etc) every Thursday. You can check the theme calendar and official rules here.

*All images via Goodreads*

🍫 Books I’ve Read/I’m Reading:

Fangirl A Spark of White Fire (The Celestial Trilogy, #1) Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1)

~~~

🍫 Books I Want to Read:

The Rule of One (The Rule of One, #1) The Diminished One

~~~

🍫 Other Books That Fit The Theme:

Gemini The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends, #1)


Well that was quite an interesting search! It turns out I’ve read more twin books than I first thought! I definitely added a few more to my shelf. Oh geez this tag just serves to make my TBR bigger and bigger. (I’m not really complaining)

Let me know what you think! Do you have a favourite twin book? Are you interested in any of these twin books? Are you a twin? 

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng