Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

So, unpopular opinion here, but I didn’t really like the Cruel Prince. I read it, and it was fine, but I didn’t think it was the world changing book that so many people said it was… and honestly that made me think that maybe there was something wrong with me or maybe I read the book too fast and didn’t catch everything I should have (spoiler alert- neither of those things were the case, I was just really meh about the Cruel Prince). I decided that I had to read the Wicked King though, if only to make sure that I wasn’t crazy and these books were just being overhyped. WELL, the Wicked King completely blew all of my expectations out of the water- it was AMAZING!

The Wicked King 5/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

The first 30/40 pages of the Wicked King were… hard. I was really close to calling it a fail and stopping, but after feeling that way about the Cruel Prince and still being able to finish the book, I had to finish the second one! I am so glad I actually continued with the book and finished it, because it ended up being so much better than I expected. Jude seemed so much more human than she was in the Cruel Prince. Cardan was much more of an anti-hero and someone who I loved and I hated so much. Taryn and Locke were terrible and I hate them and Madoc was always scheming (as usual). There was so much more intrigue in this book and I loved that. The twist at the end seemed to come completely out of left field (in the best way possible) and it made me so much more excited about the next book!

Have y’all read the Wicked King yet? What were your thoughts???¬†

March Wrap-Up and My April TBR

Can y’all believe that it’s already April??? My allergies can for sure! For those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, I got tested for my allergies last week and I’m super allergic to all kinds of dust/dust mites and cats and I’m pretty allergic to lots of trees, weeds, and molds, so, you know, allergies all year round! My tree allergies are really bad in the spring, so that’s what’s going on for me outside the book world.

Let’s talk about the books I read this month! Overall. March was a little slow for me reading wise- there were a lot of other things going on in my life this month (Harry Potter world! Getting Sick! Getting an updated role at work! College Basketball), so reading was not always as prioritized as it normally is. I was able to finish 7 books this month:Read More »

5 Lessons learned from Yallfest 2018

Hey friends! Instead of doing an actual recap from each day of Yallfest, I decided to highlight the 5 big lessons B and I learned this year. So sit back, relax, and let me know if y’all have any other lessons learned from Yallfest this year!

Never stay at the Embassy Suites on Meeting Street

B and I stayed at the Homewood Suites last year, and it was such a great hotel with wonderful rooms and good coffee, but since it was about $60 more per night than the Embassy Suites, and since the ES was closer, we decided that it would probably be a better bet. Every other ES I’ve ever stayed in has been amazing (and let’s be real, I’ve stayed in quite a few), but this one was definitely sub-par. The lobby and the courtyard on the ground floor were really pretty, and the building apparently has some really cool history, but the room itself was gross. The living area had a gross green carpet and couches that looked like they were from the 80s.

Neither of us even wanted to take our shoes off or walk barefoot around at all and we never even sat on those couches. The bedroom was small and we could hear all of the noise from outside and there were weird pinkish stains on the walls. Overall, definitely one of the worst rooms either of us had ever stayed in… but the location was good, so maybe next year, we’ll try and stay in one of the other hotels close to the ES.

 

Make sure to sign up for Friday events ASAP

In 2017, we didn’t realize how quickly the Friday events were going to fill up, so we didn’t try to sign up for them until the week of Yallfest, which was a huge mistake, so this year, I was scouring the website every day to see when they were going to put up the Friday events. As soon as they were up, I pretty much signed up for the one I knew we were going to want to go to. Then, closer to the event NOVL sent me an invite for an exclusive event, so we definitely had to sign up and go to that one too!

So on Friday, we went to S’mores and Pours with Novl and Foodie Fun-attics. S’mores and Pours was such a cute, intimate event- there were only about 20 or so of us there and Monica Hesse was there, talking about her book¬† The War Outside. It was so cool to be able to talk books with a small group of other bookstagrammers and book bloggers, and Natali, Valerie, and Katharine were so much fun! I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for these kind of events again next year! Foodie Fun-attics was definitely fun too, but it was a lot bigger and it was definitely harder to interact with the authors. We walked out with some delicious ice cream though, so that was definitely a win.

Create a plan and send out calendar invites (plus walking time) to everyone in your party

B and I are big planners (for some things anyway). We work events sometimes for our real jobs, and having a set schedule with times, locations, priorities, and transit time are key to not getting lost, overwhelmed, or missing something important. While B was driving on Friday, I consulted the Yallfest site for panel timings and locations and the individual publishing houses on Twitter for their ARC drop schedules to make us a comprehensive you need to be here at this time, lining up in this location schedule. I like using the calendar that’s built into my phone since my phone is always on me and it connects to my watch for easy access, but honestly, even if you create hard copies of your schedule, it’s going to be really helpful.

Here’s what our schedule looked like:

Check #yallfest often on Twitter

One of the biggest (and most exciting) ARCs that we picked up this year was Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard. We didn’t even know that it was going to be at Yallfest this year, but because I was checking the hashtag every 5 or 10 minutes, I saw when someone had gotten one and her followup tweet detailing how she got it, so B and I 100% followed those steps while waiting in line for a different ARC drop.

Know that you’re 90% not going to get the ARC that you’re most excited for

Our most wanted ARC last year was Cruel Prince, and we ended up being 2 people too late to get it. Our most wanted ARC this year was Gilded Wolves, and again, somehow we were just 2 people behind where they ran out. So moral of the story is that while you’re going to get a lot of amazing ARCs, you probably won’t get that one that you’ve been dying for and that’s ok. (This one is definitely more for myself- I still need to remind myself that even though I’ve been trying to get an ARC of Gilded Wolves since Roshani got them in June, it’s ok that I haven’t been able to yet (even though I’ve tried like 8 times) and since I’ve already pre-ordered it, I can just wait until it comes out)

Let me know how Yallfest was for you guys (if you were able to go)!