Review: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Oh man, it’s been a while since I wrote a review- something I’ve noticed as I’ve been writing reviews is that if I don’t sit down and force myself to write a review (and withhold other things, like reading time, until I write the blog), it’s not going to happen. So now, I’m going to try and knock out and pre-write at least a few reviews to come out in the next few days/weeks—— BUT before that, y’all are going to be inundated with YALLFest posts! That’s right friends, I’m headed to YALLFest again this year! I’m definitely going to be writing at least one wrap up post, but I might end up doing a Friday wrap up and a Saturday wrap-up and of course, I’m definitely going to have a haul post!

Now, on to what you’re really here for, my review!

The Girl in the Tower 4.5/5 Stars 4.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

I loved the Girl in the Tower so much! It was an amazing follow up to the Bear and the Nightingale. Like book 1, the story was a little slow, but it never felt as though I wasn’t engaged. So much happened and I learned so much more about Russia in the 14th century and how shitty it was to be a woman at that time. Vasya is an amazing main character and god I cannot wait to read book 3!!!!

 

 

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Review: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

I love weddings (real ones and fictional ones). There’s so much going on and everything is so crazy, but then somehow, by the time the actual wedding comes around, everything has ended up working itself out and you always have such a great time! I’ve been a part of planning and really implementing one wedding (my brother’s) but I helped out at my cousin’s, my sister-in-law’s cousin’s, my other cousin’s, and all four of my neighbor’s daughters’ weddings, so you could say I have a lot of experience with weddings. That’s why I was so excited to read Save the Date! All I knew about it at the beginning was that it was about a girl during her sister’s wedding, and being the kind of person I am, I just had to read it.

Save the Date 4/5 Stars

Summary from GoodreadsCharlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.
The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.
There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.
There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.
Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.
Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.
 

I loved so much about this book! The Grant siblings were so funny and they had such a great dynamic amongst each other. Reading about them almost made it seem as though they were your friends who you had known for years. And the problems that they had within each other and with the wedding were so real and I could see that happening to any family (I mean, not in the exact same way that the problems happened within the book, but like the general premise of the problems). I was a little annoyed with the way that everything seemed to wrap up nicely, but I know that if it didn’t, I would have been pissed off, so you know, kind of an un-winnable situation there.

Did y’all read Save the Date? How did y’all feel about the Grant family and Linnie’s wedding?

September TBR Update

Hi friends! Can you believe that it’s already October?! This year is just zooming by! September was a rather successful reading month- in that I read 12 books! My goal was to read 15, so I definitely read less than I wanted to, but it’s more than I read in August, so progress!

Here are the books I was going to read in September: Dawn of Legends, The Queen’s Rising, Two Dark Reigns, The Traitor’s Ruin, Of PoseidonOf Triton, Batman Nightwalker, Seafire, Save the Date, The Raging Ones, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, The Girl in the Tower, and Not if I Save you First. 

Here are the books I actually finished in September: Ruin and Rising, Dawn of Legends, The Queen’s Rising, The Traitor’s Ruin, Not if I Save you First, Two Dark Reigns, Seafire, Save the Date, Imposters, The Girl in the Tower, Rule, and Wayfarer. 

I really need to get to my Throne of Glass reread before October 23, but we’ll see what actually ends up happening…

How did you do book wise in September?

Review: Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

OMG I’m obsessed with the Three Dark Crowns books. I love Katharine, Mirabella, and Arsinoe, Jules and Camden are great, Billy is super annoying, and I hate Peter. The concept of triplets battling it out for the crown after being separated for years is something I love, so I’ve been really, really into those books every since I read Three Dark Crowns the first time. One Dark Throne was just as amazing, and Two Dark Reigns didn’t disappoint either!

Two Dark Reigns 5/5 Stars

Summary from GoodreadsKatharine sits on the throne, Mirabella and Arsinoe are in hiding, and an unexpected renegade is about to wage a war of her own. The crown has been won, but these queens are far from done

So the Goodreads summary for this book is SUPER SHORT, but it gives a pretty good, very high level overview of what’s going on. Mirabella and Arsinoe are on the mainland with Billy, and Mirabella is really trying to fit in with the mainlanders, but Arsinoe just wants to be the Arsinoe from Fennbirn. Katharine is on the throne and all she wants is to be the best queen for Fennbirn. She’s doing everything she can to bring the island together, but the dead queens within her have other things planned. Jules and Camden are in Bastian City and Emilia is pushing for Jules to overthrow Katharine as queen and bring a new line of queens to Fennbirn.

I think this was my favorite book in the series so far. There was so much going on and it seemed like the characters had changed/grown so much from their Three Dark Crowns days. The ending set up the next book so well and I can’t wait to see where Kendare Blake takes our three queens from here!

Have y’all read Two Dark Reigns? Did you like it? Tell me all your thoughts!

Review: Dance of Thieves by Mary E Pearson

I read the Remnant chronicles back in 2016, and oh my god, they were so good! I loved Lia and Rafe and this world so much, so I was so excited to revisit it in Dance of Thieves!

Dance of Theives 4 star 4/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads: A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.
When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.
At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.

Overall, I loved Dance of Thieves! It was a reallllyyyy long book though, so the first 50 pages went a little slowly, but as soon as I got past the set up at the beginning, I was so hooked! Kazi and Jase are such great main characters and the Ballenger Empire had such a rich history. I feel like the world building within an already build world was so much better than I’ve seen in most spin off series. I would definitely recommend this book!

Have you read Dance of Thieves yet? Did you like it?

Hurricane Florence Reading Updates

Hurricane Florence was a very… interesting storm. She moved super slowly and thankfully, she didn’t impact us in Chapel Hill nearly as much as she could. We got a few inches of rain and a little bit of wind. The coast and other parts of NC look really bad, so I’m definitely thinking of them and all of the damage that has been done to some of my favorite parts of the state.

Updates on reading- since the storm didn’t hit us as hard as we were expecting, we didn’t lose power at all, so I had to do real work all day Thursday and Friday, which meant no real reading time then. With that, I was only able to finish 3 books this weekend: Two Dark Reigns, Seafire, and Save the Date.

I loved Two Dark Reigns and Save the Date, so definitely be on the lookout for those reviews coming soon. Seafire was good too, don’t get me wrong, but that review might take a little longer than the other two haha

Hurricane Florence Reading List

Within Hurricane Florence on her way to hit the NC and SC coast, there’s a pretty decent chance of power outages and high winds here inland where I am, so when the power goes out and I can’t work anymore, I have a whole list of books that I’m planning on reading!

It’s an ambitious list but let’s get started!

Seafire

Two Dark Reigns

Save the Date

Batman Nightwalker

The Raging Ones

The Girl in the Tower

Imposters

Rule

The Forest Queen

Let’s see if I can get through these books by Monday!