Blog Tour: The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

Hi there, bookworms and dragons! It’s been quite a while since I was able to participate in a blog tour, but when this one was sent out as an option I knew I had to make the time for it. Keep on reading for my full review, a bookish soundtrack, information on where you can go to get your hands on a copy of The Falling in Love Montage, and a tour-wide giveaway! But first, let’s have a look at the Goodreads synopsis…

Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a case home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.

But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.

Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.

How could I possibly pass up the opportunity to read what is so obviously the book I need to read while in quarantine? Exactly. I could not.

My Review

I went into The Falling in Love Montage without really having any expectations. I thought it might be a light and fluffy flf story and… I was wrong. It’s not light and fluffy at all, but it manages to remain hopeful through all its anxiety and teen angst. While I’m sure I noted a content warning while reading, I can’t seem to find my notes so if you’ve read it and noticed one, please let me know in the comments or anonymously via this page.

It’s obvious from the cover and description that this book is a flf contemporary story and I was so excited for that. The characters are all very complex and well developed. I could easily have had a full conversation with each of them or all of them together as a group. I really like how every person was developed through the lens of how Saoirse experiences them so, while I was able to form my own opinion of them based on their actions, I also got to see very vividly how Saoirse thinks and feels about them.

Also, Saoirse’s level of sass and wit? Admirable. But don’t go into this expecting to see some perfect high school girl character. She is extremely flawed, just like any real teenager (or adult for that matter) is. The book being written in first person definitely allows you to see her flaws and process them as someone on the outside while also acknowledging that she might not see them as flaws or even see them at all. She is definitely a realistic character.

Before we move on to talk about the rest of the aspects of the book, I also have to mention how awesome it was to see a plus size girl be both unapologetic and described as gorgeous? There are books out there about fat girls or with characters who are fat, but they rarely portray them as beautiful or attractive. This book does that and it was so wonderful to read.

The book is set entirely in a modern day seaside town in Ireland. The world is maybe a little less immersive than I usually like for it to be, but it was easy to visualize the places where the story takes us. The space inhabited by the characters is almost secondary, but the characters inhabiting them always seem to fill the space with their personalities and interact with the world as the story carries on. There are some aspects that someone who has never been to Ireland might have trouble understanding (I could imagine some Americans not understanding why people would insist on hanging out outside instead of inside when it’s hot) but overall, the world is developed just enough to be functional.

The story itself is lovely. It reads a lot like a romantic comedy movie, which I think is probably exactly what Ciara Smyth was going for given the theme of the book. It flows just as well from beginning to end with a plethora of drama, romance, and humor. Both Saoirse and Ruby have family members who are dealing with serious problems and the stress of this weighs on them throughout the story, moving it in perhaps different directions than it otherwise might have. It is definitely character driven and it works very well.

I really enjoyed reading The Falling in Love Montage from beginning to end. It dealt with some heavy issues while also being funny and romantic. The story wraps up very nicely at the end, leaving no loose threads hanging but making it obvious that their lives do not end at the end of the book. I’d love to see a sequel at some point but as a novel this stands well on its own.

Overall, I rate The Falling in Love Montage 4½ out of 5 bookworms. But don’t take my word for it! You can add it on Goodreads and order a copy to enjoy it for yourself from:

Bookish Soundtrack

Given that The Falling in Love Montage is thoroughly packed with movie references, it was really impossible to narrow down the number of great songs that should go into the bookish sound track. I somehow managed to do it and the following is the result. Enjoy! 🙂

About the Author

Ciara Smyth is a social work student by day, writer by night and cat enthusiast 24/7.

Her first YA novel – about memory, rom-coms and girls who like girls – will be published in Summer 2020 by Andersen Press in the UK and HarperCollins in the US.

She previously worked as a teacher and mental health trainer. She enjoys jigging (verb: to complete a jigsaw) and claims to enjoy yoga in order to cultivate a zen persona that is shattered approximately ten minutes after you meet her.

She is from the south of Ireland but has lived in Belfast for so long that her parents make fun of her Northern accent.

Giveaway

You made it to the giveaway! Woo hoo!! Not one but TWO lucky readers (US only, sorry International bookworms and dragons!) will win a finished copy of The Falling in Love Montage! *Please be aware that delays due to COVID-19 may occur in the shipping of prizes.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

Do you want to see more awesome content and have more chances to win? Of course you do and why wouldn’t you?! All you have to do is follow the tour by following this link! 💖


Thank you so much to Ciara Smyth for writing The Falling in Love Montage! Without you, this book would not exist and I would be a very sad panda. You are a rockstar!

Thank you to HarperTeen for allowing me the privilege of reading a digital galley of The Falling in Love Montage before its 9 June release (which has not affected my review in the slightest)!

Finally, thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour for The Falling in Love Montage! You always make hosting tours such a blast! (If you’re interested in being an FFBC hostwhich you totally should!just click on their logo below! 😀

Blog Tour: The Chosen by Taran Matharu

Hello there, bookworms and dragons! I’m so super excited to be posting today as part of the blog tour for The Chosen by Taran Matharu. I loved what I read of his Summoner series, so when I got the chance to read an early copy of the first book in his all new Contender series, I jumped at the chance. Keep reading for my full review! But first, what’s this book about? Well, I’m so happy you asked! Let’s have a look at the synopsis.

Introducing an epic new trilogy from Taran Matharu, author of the New York Times–bestselling Summoner series.

Throughout history, people have vanished with no explanation. A group of teenagers are about to discover why.

Cade is settling into a new boarding school, contemplating his future, when he finds himself transported to another realm. He soon discovers their new world is populated with lost remnants from the past: prehistoric creatures, ancient relics, and stranger still — people. Overwhelmed by his new surroundings, Cade has little time to adjust, for soon he and his fellow classmates are forced to become contenders in a brutal game, controlled by mysterious overlords.

But who are these beings and why did they choose these teens? Cade must prepare for battle . . . because hiding is not an option.

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My Review

As I said above, I was already really excited for The Chosen based on my enjoyment of Taran Matharu’s previous writing. But then I saw the cover and there are actual dinosaurs on it? Like, how many YA novels have dinosaurs? I can’t think of any. So I was doubly excited to dive into reading it, which I did in two sittings that would have been one if not for my own monsters. TW/CWs will be the the end of the post, so let’s dive right into my review!

The diverse cast characters are all fairly well developed. I especially loved getting to see an ownvoices Indian/mixed race rep that’s a bit different than what I’ve seen in other novels. It focuses less on the culture Cade’s family came from and more on his experience of the culture surrounding him outside of his parents’ influence. I really liked that, regardless of all of the things that happen to him, Cade still believes that people are innately good. We also get Yoshi, a Japanese American boy who does not appreciate your Mario Kart references, and Spex, a Brazilian American who could probably win Jeopardy. Sadly, there is also Finch. I have never so strongly wanted to slap someone in my entire life. To all the Finches out there: stop talking and keep your hands to yourself.

The world building is so incredibly lush and immersive. The story starts off at a “therapeutic” school (AKA military school), where Cade and the others have been sent for various reasons right up to and including murder. I could easily drop myself into the unknown location and walk around there. Though, honestly, I’d have to run because the world is hazardous to say the least. The rules of the world were intentionally held back through the story, little bits being shared as Cade stumbled upon them. I do love that mysteriously missing bits of history from Earth cropped up all over the world of the story, giving us fun little tidbits of information about them as Cade learned about them.

The Chosen is probably a good example of a plot-driven novel, I think. The story moves so fluidly that it’s hard to put down. As I said earlier, I would have finished it in a single sitting if left to my own devices. There’s so much action and that builds up to the epic action scene near the end… and, unfortunately, the huge cliffhanger. The story moves so well that I have to consider the novel unputdownable.

I enjoyed The Chosen so very much from beginning to (cliffhanger) end. The best way I can think of to describe it to those considering reading it is to say The Chosen is Jurassic Park meets The Hunger Games. I’m already hyped up for the next book of the Contender series, but I’ll have to read more of Taran Matharu’s other writing to tide me over for it.

Overall, I rate The Chosen 3.5 out of 5 bookworms. Don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can order your copy from are:

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About the Author

Taran Matharu is the New York Times bestselling author of the Summoner series, which has been translated into 15 languages and has sold over a million copies. He was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for writing during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old.

Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013.

Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’ and sharing his work on Wattpad.com. The shared sample of the story went viral, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months. Taran went on to launch his professional writing career, and has never looked back.

His SUMMONER series is published by Hodder Children’s (Hachette) in the UK, Australia and Commonwealth, Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan) in the US and Canada, Hachette Jeunesse in France, Heyne in Germany, Planeta in Spain, Crown in Taiwan, Record in Brazil, EKSMO in Russia, Jaguar in Poland, Ecliptic in Bulgaria, Alpress in the Czech Republic, Ithaki in Turkey, Forlaget Forar in Denmark and Unieboek in the Netherlands.

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Want to see more awesome The Chosen content? Of course you do! How, you ask? Simply follow the tour via the schedule in this link.


Thank you to Taran Matharu for writing this incredible novel! Without you, we definitely wouldn’t be here.

Another thank you to Feiwel and Friends for allowing me the privilege of reading an early copy of The Chosen.

And, last but certainly not least, a huge thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing this blog tour and allowing me to be part of it! If you’re interested in how to become a tour host with the FFBC (and why wouldn’t you be??), click on their logo below!

TW/CWs:

  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Grief
  • Blood
  • Mentions of slavery

As always, if you read The Contender and noticed TW/CWs that are not listed here, please let me know in the comments or anonymously via this form.

Blog Tour: Nexus by Sasha Alsburg and Lindsay Cummings

I really enjoyed Zenith by Sasha Alsburg and Lindsay Cummings, so when the opportunity came for me to be part of this blog tour for the second book in The Androma Saga I jumped at the chance! Keep on reading this post for my full review and bookish soundtrack, and a giveaway! But first, let’s have a look what this gorgeous book is about!

#1 New York Times bestselling authors Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings deliver the dazzling finale to the acclaimed Androma Saga, where stunning betrayals and devastating secrets send an embattled galaxy spiraling into the ultimate nightmare.

Her ship is gone, her crew is captured and notorious mercenary Androma Racella is no longer the powerful Bloody Baroness, but a fugitive ruthlessly hunted across the Mirabel Galaxy. The bloodthirsty Queen Nor now rules most of the galaxy through a mind-control toxin and she’ll stop at nothing to destroy her most hated adversary.

Andi will risk anything, even her precious freedom, to find a cure. Stranded with her unlikely ally, Dex, on the unforgiving ice planet of Solera, their plan to infiltrate a black-market city proves dangerously irresistible.

Back in Arcardius, Nor’s actions have opened Mirabel to invasion. As Andi’s crew fights to regain their freedom, Andi and Dex discover a threat far greater than anything they’ve faced before.

Only by saving their mortal enemy can the crew of the Marauder make one last desperate strike to save the galaxy—unaware that a shattering, centuries-old secret may demand the most wrenching sacrifice of all.

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My Review:

First of all, stare at this cover with me for a moment. 🤩 It’s so gorgeous, isn’t it?! Like I said before, I really enjoyed Zenith so I went into Nexus with some expectations on how it would be. I think I marked a TW/CW or two in Goodreads but, naturally, I’m not able to access them from the app. If you’ve read the book and noticed any TW/CWs that should be added, please let me know in the comments or via this form.

I was pretty excited to get back to my favourite space pirate girl gang! The characters didn’t get much development in this one, but I have to think that’s because this is the second book in a duology and definitely not a standalone. Gilly is still my fave with her red hair and fiery soul. Keep destroying things, girl!

Since most of the world was built up so well in Zenith, I wasn’t sure what to expect world building wise from Nexus. There are three world locations that are built up a bit more in this one and they’re all done in a way that’s incredibly immersive. I found myself having trouble pulling my mind out of them, which was both awesome and a little scary sometimes. Either way, the world building is definitely A++!

Nexus started a bit slowly and it was a little tough for me to get into at first. It did pick up around 1/4 of the way in, but I had to really make myself keep going until I got there. After that quarter, however, the story flowed relatively nicely straight through to the end, which wrapped up all the loose bits of story beautifully. There was one thing I was super disappointed about though: how little time on the page Androma, Lira, Breck, and Gilly got to spend together. The thing I liked most about Zenith was the amazing dynamic between Androma and her crew and that just wasn’t there for like 98% of this book.

I did really enjoy Nexus and I’m happy with where it left off, I just wish there was more page time for my space girl gang to be together in all their glory. I do enjoy Sasha Alsburg’s and Lindsay Cummings’s writing styles so I’ll definitely be on the lookout for their other work!

Overall, I rate Nexus 3.5 out of 5 bookworms. But don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads or preorder it to enjoy when it’s released on 7 May 2019! A few places you can reserve your copy from are…

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Bookish Soundtrack:

There were so many great songs that came to mind while I was reading Nexus. Some of them weren’t on Spotify which… was disappointing. However, I’m still really happy with the end result. So, without further ado, here is the bookish soundtrack for Nexus for your listening pleasure! 🎧😊🎉

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About the Authors:

Sasha Alsburg is the #1 NYT Bestselling Co-Author of ZENITH: The Androma Saga.

When Sasha is not writing or obsessing over Scotland she is making YouTube videos on her channel Abookutopia. She lives in Massachusetts with her dogs, Fraser and Fiona.

For her writing, she is represented by Joanna Volpe at New Leaf Literary.

You can find Sasha on…

Website | Goodreads | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Lindsay Cummings is the #1 NYT Bestselling Co-Author of ZENITH, along with her duology, THE MURDER COMPLEX from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, and the MG trilogy THE BALANCE KEEPERS, from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. She is represented by Pete Knapp at Park Literary in NYC.

Lindsay deals with chronic fatigue, writes full time from her home in the deep woods in North Texas, and loves to chat with fellow book nerds. Lindsay created the #booknerdigans hashtag.

She’s still waiting on her letter from Hogwarts–it was probably just lost in the mail. You can follow Lindsay on Twitter @authorlindsayc or on Instagram @authorlindsaycummings

You can find Lindsay on…

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

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Giveaway

Yay you made it to the giveaway! On this tour, you have the chance to win a finished copy of Nexus by Sasha Alsburg and Lindsay Cummings! This giveaway is for bookworms in the US. (Sorry, international friends!) The giveaway will run from 1st May through 15th May 2019.

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CLICK HERE TO ENTER

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Want to see more awesome content and have more chances to win? Of course you do! All you have to do is follow the tour. How? Simply follow this link! 😁


Thank you so much to Sasha Alsburg and Lindsay Cummings for creating this series and with it my favorite space pirate girl gang! 💖

Thank you to Inkyard Press for allowing me to have an early copy of Nexus to review and create a bookish soundtrack around!

And, last but not least, thank you so much to the FFBC for allowing me to be a host on this tour! If you’re interested in being an FFBC host (and why wouldn’t you??) click on their logo below! 😁

Blog Tour: Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

Hey there, bookworms and dragons! It seems like Wicked Saints is high up on everyone’s TBR right now. Also, the premise is right up my alley. So, when I got an email inviting me to apply for this blog tour, I jumped at the chance! Keep on reading for my full review, and an excerpt from the book itself! But first, let’s have a look at what the book’s about.

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devistatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

 

My Review

Given that Wicked Saints is at the top of everyone’s TBR and was being spoken highly of by those with ARCs they had already read, I definitely went into reading it with high hopes. Before we dive into the review, I did note a few TW/CWs so let’s get them out of the way.

  • Blood
  • Torture
  • Death
  • Attempted rape
  • Psychological abuse
  • Self harm (recurring, but not linked to MI)

The characters, especially the point-of-view characters, were developed so-so. I feel like this book is partially about secrets and that spilled over into the character development just a little, but I feel like I could have a conversation with most of them even if I couldn’t occupy their headspace. I especially loved Nadya because she is flawed and she knows it and she’s just trying to do her best. She’s so incredibly HUMAN it’s perfect. I need more characters who are like that.

The world the characters and story inhabit is built up rather nicely. It was a bit confusing at first because it’s based around a magic system I haven’t seen before but it made better sense as the story progressed and developed the rules of the world naturally. I will say that I probably might have avoided the book had I realized self harm would be so central to the world building, but I can also understand why it works well in this particular setting.

The story itself is complex and beautifully told. It is slow-going a bit at the beginning but by about 1/3 in, I had trouble putting the novel down. There’s one problem after another that keeps you on the edge of your seat and biting your fingernails, needing to know what comes next. And how was I rewarded for all my sleepless nights and work break chapter stealing? The plot twist to end all plot twists. Wow, I did not see that one coming! I should have because COME ON but… sigh. I did not and it was glorious and I may have screeched when I read it, scaring several coworkers.

The ending (post plot twist recovery, of course) was great. It gave me some of the closure I needed from this story while also lining up a few loose ends (some much larger than others) to be covered in the next two books of the trilogy. Surprisingly, it didn’t feel like a cliffhanger at all, likely because the biggest threads were tied off by the end. Emily A. Duncan has definitely got my attention.

Overall, I rate Wicked Saints 4 out of 5 bookworms. Don’t take my word for it! Add it on Goodreads and enjoy it for yourself. A few places you can order your copy from are…

About the Author

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EMILY A. DUNCAN works as a youth services librarian. She received a Master’s degree in library science from Kent State University, which mostly taught her how to find obscure Slavic folklore texts through interlibrary loan systems. When not reading or writing, she enjoys playing copious amounts of video games and dungeons and dragons. Wicked Saints is her first book. She lives in Ohio.

Excerpt

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N A D E Z H D A

L A P T E V A

 

Horz stole the stars and the heavens out from underneath Myesta’s control, and for that she has never forgiven him. For where can the moons rest if not the heavens?

—Codex of the Divine, 5:26

It’s certainly not my fault you chose a child who sleeps so deeply. If she dies it will very much be your fault, not mine.”

Startled by bickering gods was not Nadya’s preferred method of being woken up. She rolled to her feet in the dark, moving automatically. It took her eyes a few seconds to catch up with the rest of her body.

Shut up!

It wasn’t wise to tell the gods to shut up, but it was too late now. A feeling of amused disdain flowed through her, but neither of the gods spoke again. She realized it was Horz, the god of the heavens and the stars, who had woken her. He had a tendency to be obnoxious but generally left Nadya alone, as a rule.

Usually only a single god communed with their chosen cleric. There once had been a cleric named Kseniya Mirokhina who was gifted with unnatural marksmanship by Devonya, the goddess of the hunt. And Veceslav had chosen a cleric of his own, long ago, but their name was lost to history, and he refused to talk about them. The recorded histories never spoke of clerics who could hear more than one god. That Nadya communed with the entire pantheon was a rarity the priests who trained her could not explain.

There was a chance older, more primordial gods existed, ones that had long since given up watch of the world and left it in the care of the others. But no one knew for sure. Of the twenty known gods, however, carvings and paintings depicted their human forms, though no one knew what they actually looked like. No cleric throughout history had ever looked upon the faces of the gods. No saint, nor priest.

Each had their own power and magic they could bestow upon Nadya, and while some were forthcoming, others were not. She had never spoken to the goddess of the moons, Myesta. She wasn’t even sure what manner of power the goddess would give, if she so chose.

And though she could commune with many gods, it was impossible to forget just who had chosen her for this fate: Marzenya, the goddess of death and magic, who expected complete dedication.

Indistinct voices murmured in the dark. She and Anna had found a secluded place within a copse of thick pine trees to set up their tent, but it no longer felt safe. Nadya slid a voryen from underneath her bedroll and nudged Anna awake.

She moved to the mouth of the tent, grasping at her beads, a prayer already forming on her lips, smoky symbols trailing from her mouth. She could see the blurry impressions of figures in the darkness, far off in the distance. It was hard to judge the number, two? Five? Ten? Her heart sped at the possibility that a company of Tranavians were already on her trail.

Anna drew up beside her. Nadya’s grip on her voryen tightened, but she kept still. If they hadn’t seen their tent yet, she could keep them from noticing it entirely.

But Anna’s hand clasped her forearm.

“Wait,” she whispered, her breath frosting out before her in the cold. She pointed to a dark spot just off to the side of the group.

Nadya pressed her thumb against Bozidarka’s bead and her eyesight sharpened until she could see as clearly as if it were day. It took effort to shove aside the immediate, paralyzing fear as her suspicions were confirmed and Tranavian uniforms became clear. It wasn’t a full company. In fact, they looked rather ragged. Perhaps they had split off and lost their way.

More interesting, though, was the boy with a crossbow silently aiming into the heart of the group.

“We can get away before they notice,” Anna said.

Nadya almost agreed, almost slipped her voryen back into its sheath, but just then, the boy fired and the trees erupted into chaos. Nadya wasn’t willing to use an innocent’s life as a distraction for her own cowardice. Not again.

Even as Anna protested, Nadya let a prayer form fully in her mind, hand clutching at Horz’s bead on her necklace and its constellation of stars. Symbols fell from her lips like glowing glimmers of smoke and every star in the sky winked out.

Well, that was more extreme than I intended, Nadya thought with a wince. I should’ve known better than to ask Horz for anything.

She could hear cursing as the world plunged into darkness. Anna sighed in exasperation beside her.

“Just stay back,” she hissed as she moved confidently through the dark.

“Nadya . . .” Anna’s groan was soft.

It took more focus to send a third prayer to Bozetjeh. It was hard to catch Bozetjeh on a good day; the god of speed was notoriously slow to answer prayers. But she managed to snag his attention and received a spell allowing her to move as fast as the vicious Kalyazin wind.

Her initial count had been wrong; there were six Tranavians now scattering into the forest. The boy dropped his crossbow with a bewildered look up into the sky, startling when Nadya touched his shoulder.

There was no way he could see in this darkness, but she could. When he whirled, a curved sword in his hand, Nadya sidestepped. His swing went wide and she shoved him in the direction of a fleeing Tranavian, anticipating their collision.

Find the rest,” Marzenya hissed. “Kill them all.” Complete and total dedication.

She caught up to one of the figures, stabbing her voryen into his skull just underneath his ear.

Not so difficult this time, she thought. But the knowledge was a distant thing.

Blood sprayed, splattering a second Tranavian, who cried out in alarm. Before the second man could figure out what had happened to his companion, she lashed out her heel, catching him squarely on the jaw and knocking him off his feet. She slit his throat.

Three more. They couldn’t have moved far. Nadya took up Bozidarka’s bead again. The goddess of vision revealed where the last Tranavians were located. The boy with the sword had managed to kill two in the dark. Nadya couldn’t actually see the last one, just felt him nearby, very much alive.

Something slammed into Nadya’s back and suddenly the chilling bite of a blade was pressed against her throat. The boy appeared in front of her, his crossbow back in his hands, thank- fully not pointed at Nadya. It was clear he could only barely see her. He wasn’t Kalyazi, but Akolan.

A fair number of Akolans had taken advantage of the war between their neighbors, hiring out their swords for profit on both sides. They were known for favoring Tranavia simply because of the warmer climate. It was rare to find a creature of the desert willingly stumbling through Kalyazin’s snow.

He spoke a fluid string of words she didn’t understand. His posture was languid, as if he hadn’t nearly been torn to pieces by blood mages. The blade against Nadya’s throat pressed harder. A colder voice responded to him, the foreign language scratched uncomfortably at her ears.

Nadya only knew the three primary languages of Kalyazin and passing Tranavian. If she wasn’t going to be able to communicate with them…

The boy said something else and Nadya heard the girl sigh before she felt the blade slip away. “What’s a little Kalyazi assassin doing out in the middle of the mountains?” he asked, switching to perfect Kalyazi.

Nadya was very aware of the boy’s friend at her back. “I could ask the same of you.”

She shifted Bozidarka’s spell, sharpening her vision further. The boy had skin like molten bronze and long hair with gold chains threaded through his loose curls.

He grinned.

Blog Tour: You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman

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Hello, bookworms and dragons, and happy Thursday! I loved Girl Out Of Water by Laura Silverman, so as soon as I heard she was writing an #ownvoices Jewish rep novel that also has queer rep in it, I knew I had to get my hands on it ASAP. Then, as luck would have it, after the publisher was kind enough to send me the digital galley via NetGalley and while I was actually reading the book, I received an email about a blog tour for it. You KNOW I had to sign up. And so here we are! Keep on reading this post for my full review and a bookish soundtrack followed by an awesome giveaway! 🙂 But first, let’s have a look at the synopsis for You Asked For Perfect.

Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray.

Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options

Ariel might not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.

 

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My Review:

As I said before, I went into You Asked For Perfect already knowing I like Laura Silverman’s writing style. Also, that synopsis… how could I not read this? I was super excited to be allowed the privilege of reading it before it’s release so it’s only fair that I write a fully honest review. I did not note any TW/CWs while reading this so if you’ve read You Asked For Perfect and noticed any, please let me know in the comments or via this form, which you can do anonymously.

The characters were built up enough to be three-dimensional. I especially loved reading Ariel’s point of view because he is basically me when I was in high school except he has a clearer understanding of his sexuality than I did at that point. I’ve seen people say that his stress level and drive to be perfect in school is unrealistic but to that I say HA wouldn’t that be nice. The reason behind my “obsessive studying” (as I liked to call it) was different so I skipped the volunteering, though I did have a part-time job so it kind of evens out. Long story short, it is realistic and anyone who says otherwise can suck an egg.

You Asked For Perfect is a contemporary novel set in Georgia, which is relatively close to me so it was easy enough to imagine the general feel of the world. What wasn’t easily imaginable based on what I know of Georgia was filled in nicely by the author. The world was pretty immersive, which is something I’ve found lacking in many contemporary novels. I’ve speculated that this is probably because the author assumes everyone knows what the real world is like, but one can never be sure. This novel brought in a few locations and built them up enough that any reader could easily put themself into the places Ariel and Amir were in through the story.

The story itself had a couple of minor issues, but as this is an ARC and these issues can all easily be fixed by an editor, I’m going to assume they’ll be corrected in the finished edition. It flows really well from beginning to end. In some places, the story speeds up and the novel is REALLY hard to put down. In other places, the story slows down a bit but instead of feeling boring it’s almost like savoring the characters and their journey. I don’t know how Laura Silverman made this magic happen, but I’m definitely into it.

You Asked For Perfect is a bit of a spin on the coming-of-age tale where the many facets that make up the characters are all somehow ever-present throughout the story. I love that we get to see how much each thing is a part of Ariel’s identity and how none of it is dropped after being addressed. His whole character carries through the entire story from beginning to end and I loved it. I can not wait to dig into whatever Laura Silverman writes next!

Overall, I rate You Asked For Perfect 4 out of 5 bookworms. Don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads and get your hands on a copy to enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can preorder from so you can read this awesome novel when it’s released on 5 March 2019 are:

 

Bookish Soundtrack

This one was fairly easy to put together a soundtrack for, partly because there’s so much music referenced in the book itself and partly because there are so many songs that make me think of either the story or one of the characters. Anywho, here is the finished result! 🙂

 

About the Author

Laura Silverman.jpegMy debut novel, GIRL OUT OF WATER, is a summery coming-of-age story about a California surfer girl sent to landlocked Nebraska for the entire summer. It debuted in May 2017. You can order it from most book retailers and of course request it at your local library! My second novel, YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT, is about the effects of intense academic pressure on a teenage Valedictorian-to-be. It comes out March 2019, and you can add it on Goodreads here.

I have degrees in English and Advertising from the University of Georgia, and I have an MFA in Writing for Children from the New School. While I lived in NYC, I interned at Penguin and two different literary agencies. In addition to writing, I also freelance edit manuscripts and query letters. Please check out my services if you’re interested! I particularly love helping with those query letters!

 

GIVEAWAY

You made it to the giveaway portion of this post! One lucky reader will win a finished copy of You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman. As if the news couldn’t get better, this giveaway is International so long as Book Depository ships to you!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

 

Follow The Tour

Want more chances to win? Want to see some more amazing content? Well follow the rest of the You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman Blog Tour! How, you ask? Simply click on THIS LINK!

 

A really big thank you to Laura Silverman, without whom we wouldn’t be here talking about this AMAZING book you’ve written.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for allowing me the privilege of reading this amazing book before it hits the shelves.

And, last but not least, thank you so much to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me to participate in this blog tour. (If you’d like to sign up to be a tour host with this lovely group — and why wouldn’t you?? — CLICK HERE.)

 

That’s it for this post, bookworms and dragons. Happy reading!

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Blog Tour: This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada

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Hey there, bookworms and dragons! I was so excited to be able to have the opportunity to participate in the blog tour for This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada, which is the second book in her Mortal Coil series! The series’ entire premise is so intriguing and I was curious to see how Emily Suvada played it out. You can check out my recent review of the first book, This Mortal Coil, by clicking HERE. Keep reading this post for my full review, a Bookish Soundtrack, and a giveaway! 🙂 First, let’s have a quick look at the synopsis.

Cat thought the Hydra epidemic was over, but when new cases pop up, Cat must team up with an enemy to fix the vaccine before the virus spirals out of control in this thrilling sequel to This Mortal Coil, which New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman says “redefines ‘unputdownable.’”

The nightmare of the outbreak is finally over, but Cat’s fight has only just begun.

Exhausted, wounded, and reeling from revelations that have shaken her to her core, Cat is at a breaking point. Camped in the woods with Cole and Leoben, she’s working day and night, desperate to find a way to stop Lachlan’s plan to reprogram humanity. But she’s failing—Cat can’t even control her newly regrown panel, and try as she might to ignore them, she keeps seeing glitching visions from her past everywhere she turns.

When news arrives that the Hydra virus might not be as dead as they’d thought, the group is pushed into an uneasy alliance with Cartaxus to hunt down Lachlan and fix the vaccine. Their search takes them to Entropia, a city of genehackers hidden deep in the desert that could also hold the answers about Cat’s past that she’s been searching for.

But when confronted with lies and betrayals, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts. And while Lachlan is always two steps ahead, the biggest threat to Cat may be the secrets buried in her own mind.

I’m sure you can understand from the description why I was keen to read this one ASAP!

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My Review

Having recently finished This Mortal Coil, I was really excited to jump right into reading this one! The premise is interesting and played out relatively well, I think. It reminds me a bit of Resident Evil but for teenagers? Idk. I did remember to note one TW/CW so let’s list that and then I’ll dive into the full review. As always, if you’ve read this novel and you know of other TW/CWs that need to be added, please let me know and I’ll update the list! 🙂

  • glorification of self harm (talking about hurting self is better than hurting others)

The characters got a bit more character development in this one and there were quite a few new characters as well. However, I don’t think the protagonist got enough development in This Cruel Design to have the novel be able to stand alone in any way. I did enjoy that Emily Suvada kept with her pattern of using the character development in her plot twists. It’s not something I get to see very often and I really enjoyed it. Especially the ones involving Cat.

In This Mortal Coil, we got a good bit of general “this is how things work” world building as well as a bit of development on Cartaxus labs and bunkers. It was really great to get a bit more of the surface world built up in This Cruel Design, especially with the genehacker city, Entropia. The general way the world is developed might be enough to support it by itself, but its definitely not a standalone. It does add nicely onto the world building we got earlier in the series.

Because this series is so fast paced, there’s so much that could be lost by skipping ahead even a little between novels so I’m really glad that the story picks up right where it left off. The story is really fast paced pretty much from beginning to end, making it hard to put down and easy to finish in a single sitting. The one thing that holds me back from rating this any higher is the slightly confusing cliffhanger ending. I can’t explain why it’s a little confusing without spoiling something from both of the existing novels in this series so I’ll just 🤐

I do want to go ahead and say that, while this book definitely does give a bit of a bridge between the first and third books of this series, it’s not what I would consider a bridge novel. It’s not a story that exists simply to get us from point a (This Mortal Coil) to point b (Untitled Book 3), but is definitely its own story. Since it’s not something that I see often with YA series, so I feel like it’s important that I point this out. 🙂 I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Overall, I rate This Cruel Design 3 out of 5 bookworms. Don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads and enjoy it for yourself! You can also preorder a copy to have in your hands when it’s released on 30 October! A few places you can preorder from are

Bookish Soundtrack

I just love doing these so when they asked for a creative option to go along with my review, I knew this is what I wanted to do with it! Without further adieu (and hopefully without the embedding troubles), here’s my Bookish Soundtrack for This Cruel Design!

About The Author

Emily Suvada

Emily Suvada was born and raised in Australia, where she went on to study mathematics and astrophysics. She previously worked as a data scientist, and still spends hours writing algorithms to perform tasks which would only take minutes to complete on her own. When not writing, she can be found hiking, cycling, and conducting chemistry experiments in her kitchen. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband.

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Website

Giveaway

You’ve made it! This is the part of the post where I tell you what is being given away on this blog tour! 😀 Not one but TWO lucky winners will take home a finished copy of This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada! (US ONLY, sorry International bookworms and dragons!!) Best of luck to you all!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

Want more chances to win? Want to see more awesome and creative content? Of course you do! Just click on the image below to follow the tour!

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Thank you so much to Emily Suvada for writing this novel and allowing me to read it early. It’s been such a pleasure!

Another thank you, as always, to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me the privilege of participating in this tour!

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Blog Tour: Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

I loved Roshani Chokshi’s writing SO MUCH in The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes that when the opportunity to be part of the blog tour for Star-Touched Stories presented itself, I knew I absolutely HAD to be part of it! Keep reading for my full review of this collection of short stories! But first, the synopsis!

Three lush and adventurous stories in the Star-Touched world.

Death and Night

He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.

Poison and Gold

Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gabri and King Vikram’s new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.

Rose and Sword

There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?

My Review

I was really excited to be getting to see the world and characters I fell in love with while reading The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes, while also getting to know a few different characters and seeing a little bit more of the magical world I fell in love with. I hadn’t read any of Roshani Chokshi’s shorter writings, so I was excited to see what she would do with the different writing style required for shorter work.

The characters in all three of the stories were all developed enough to allow me to imagine them, but the smaller details are not there. Someone who hasn’t read the novels these stories are set in the world of might not be able to fully grasp the characters personalities or appearances, but as an accompanying novella collection, I think it works really well. I especially loved the second story, Poison and Gold, for the view of Aasha it offers that we didn’t fully get to see in A Crown of Wishes. I loved seeing the ‘after’ for her. In the last story, Rose and Sword, getting to know Gauri’s granddaughter a little made me both proud and sad, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

The stories are set in both Bharat-Jain and the Otherworld. The stories are also all set in different periods of time in these worlds that aren’t seen in either of the attached novels, which I especially enjoyed. Death and Light is set in the Otherworld long before the beginning of The Star-Touched Queen, Poison and Gold is set in Bharat-Jain just after the end of A Crown of Wishes, and Rose and Sword is set some decades after the end of A Crown of Wishes in both Bharat-Jain and what I can only assume is Death’s domain. They’re all developed nicely for the story lengths, but I don’t think someone who hasn’t read the two accompanying novels will be able to appreciate the worlds quite so much as someone who has.

The stories themselves flow very well. Roshani’s poetic prose jumps off the page and pushes the story along at a nearly perfect pace from beginning to end. I went into the collection hoping her writing would shine as much in short story format as it does in novel format and she did not disappoint me at all! Everything flows perfectly and makes sense, though I’m not sure if that’s because I read both of the attached novels already and have a good understanding of the characters and the world they exist in or if it’s because of how clear the story is written here.

Either way, I truly loved reading this collection of stories and I’m so glad to have been given the opportunity to read them before their release date, though there is already a spot on my shelf waiting for them when I can get my hands on a physical copy. This is definitely one I will recommend to anyone who loved Roshani Chokshi’s other work or anyone who simply loves short stories with lyrical prose.

Overall, I rate Star-Touched Stories 4 out of 5 bookworms. Don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads and get your hands on a copy to enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can order your copy from are:

About the Author

Roshani Chokshi CREDIT Aman Sharma.jpg

 

ROSHANI CHOKSHI is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes, and Art Shah and the End of Time. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.

 

 

 

Thank you so much to Roshani Chokshi for writing these amazing short stories and for allowing me the privilege of reading a digital galley of them before their release!

Another thank you to St. Martin’s press for allowing me the privilege of participating in this blog tour!

Blog Tour: So Glad To Meet You by Lisa Super

I’m really happy to be able to be part of the blog tour for So Glad To Meet You by Lisa Super! Stay tuned for a few of my favourite excerpts, my full review, and a giveaway! 😀 But first, let’s have a look at what made me need to read this book, the synopsis!

Seventeen-year-old Daphne Bowman, a bookish drama nerd in public school, might never have crossed paths with Oliver, the popular, outgoing mascot for his private school’s football team, but one event has bound them inextricably. Daphne’s older sister, Emily, and Oliver’s older brother, Jason, who were high school sweethearts, committed suicide together seven years earlier.

When Daphne uncovers Emily and Jason’s bucket list—a list comprised of their “Top Ten” places to visit before they die—she knows she has to tell someone. The one person who might actually get what she’s going through and who might not think it’s silly that she wants to complete the list, is also someone she’s never spoken to—Oliver Pagano. Throwing caution to the wind, Daphne sends Oliver a Facebook message that will come to change the course of both of their senior years—and maybe their entire lives.

Tackling grief with a wry voice and an unflinching eye, So Glad to Meet You tells the story of two people who, in searching for what they’ve lost, end up finding what they never knew they needed—each other.

I’ll talk more about why this caught my eye specifically in my review, so let’s move into my favourite excerpts! This book is highly quotable, so it was more difficult for me to narrow it down to a few favourites than it was to find a few to add to my post. That being said, these excerpts are taken from an unedited digital galley and may change in the finished novel.

 

Favourite Excerpts

1%

From the back, the girl could be Emily. Except that, of course, she couldn’t. The blonde hair swishing at the girl’s shoulders couldn’t be her sister’s. Neither could the slopes and valleys where her ribs and hips became her waist. But Daphne grabbed these seconds, the ticks of time when she reclaimed her sister, when history was rewritten.

 

36%

“My mom makes dinner every night,” Oliver responded. “But she hates cooking. You know how if food is made with love you can taste it? Well, my mom’s food tastes like outdated gender roles.”

 

61%

“There are a lot of girls who write songs about how wonderful and awesome and life-affirming it is when guys tell them they look better without any makeup on.”

“Yeah?”

“I’m not one of those girls.”

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My Review

When I first read the synopsis for So Glad To Meet You, I got it into my head that seeing the characters of Daphne and Oliver process their grief through their siblings’ incomplete bucket list would be something worth reading. This isn’t a topic that is touched on often that I’ve seen, so I thought reading it would be a great opportunity to see that. Before we dive into my review, I do have a couple TW/CWs to list for it, though some of them are obvious just from the synopsis.

  • Suicide (described on the page via flashback)
  • Grief
  • Addiction
  • Slut shaming
  • Unclear consent

The characters were developed well enough that I feel like I could have a conversation with them, but I mostly had trouble putting myself in their shoes. I really liked Daphne’s character and how she’s nice but she’s also a sarcastic and sassy girl who knows what she wants and goes after it. I definitely was rooting for her from beginning to end. I wasn’t as big a fan of Oliver, but about halfway it became clear that many of his mannerisms are his way of coping with grief. I do feel like many of the characters could have used an extra layer of depth, but it wasn’t the worst character building I’ve seen.

I did notice that NetGalley filed this one under its LGBTQIA category so I feel the need to add here that there are a couple LGBTQIAP+ characters in the novel but the main characters are not specifically labeled as part of the queer community and the relationship between the two of them is m/f. One or both of them very well might be LGBTQIAP+, but it’s not canon on the page.

I’m fairly certain that the majority of So Glad To Meet You takes place in present day Los Angeles? This wasn’t made clear enough for me to be certain and there was a little bit of conflicting information. This might be corrected in the finished version, but from the digital galley I read, the world building was minimal at best.

The story flowed a bit choppy and didn’t seem to be going anywhere for a long while. I’m going to chalk that up to Lisa Super being a debut author, because reading the novel was still entertaining. Also, SLOW BURN ROMANCE!! 💖🔥💖🔥 I was a little disappointed that the list didn’t play a bigger role in the story, but I did like to see how it integrated with the other aspects of Daphne and Oliver’s lives. I do really like how the different examples of familial processing of grief are really well displayed throughout the novel. There was so much going on there and I really enjoyed seeing it and how it affected each of the characters individually.

All of this being said, I really enjoyed reading this one. In fact, I finished it in a single sitting, which is saying a lot for me lately. It dealt with a lot of rough topics, though it didn’t dig as hard into them as I was expecting, while still giving a nice view of relationships, both plutonic and romantic. I definitely look forward to reading more of Lisa Super’s work in the future!

Overall, I rate So Glad To Meet You 3 out of 5 bookworms. Don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads and preorder your copy so you can enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can order your copy from are:

 

About the Author

Lisa Super

Lisa Super is a brunch enthusiast based in Los Angeles. She’s worked on a number of TV shows ranging from pop culture phenomenons (Flavor of Love) to traumedy gold (One Mississippi). While every day in LA is an adventure, traveling with her husband across the globe is her favorite hobby. SO GLAD TO MEET YOU is her first novel.

 

 

Giveaway

So, I know usually there’s an epic giveaway attached to blog tours and this one is certainly no exception. One lucky bookworm or dragon will win a finished copy of So Glad To Meet You by Lisa Super along with the awesome swag pictured below!

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This giveaway is open to bookworms and dragons in the US only. Sorry, international bookworms! You can enter to win it right here:

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

Want more chances to win? Of course you do! Follow the tour! You’ll get more chances to win this awesome giveaway AND you’ll get to see more great content from amazing bloggers! You can find the full tour schedule here.

 

Thank you so much to Lisa Super for writing this novel and allowing me to read a digital galley of it! You’re such a rockstar and I definitely look forward to reading more from you.

Finally, thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me the privilege of participating in this blog tour! If you’d like to find out how to become a host with Fantastic Flying Book Club, click on their logo below!

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Blog Tour: Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga

Hey there, bookworms and dragons! I’m super excited to be able to participate in the blog tour for Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga. Keep reading for a few of my favourite quotes, my full review, and a giveaway! The premise of this one is what really made me want to read it, so let’s have a look at what this book is about.

In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that.

Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that.

With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that.

 

Yeah how could I not want to read that? Exactly. It was a bit difficult to select my favourite excerpts for this one, but I managed to narrow it down. Keeping in mind, of course, that these are all from the digital galley so they might change in the finished edition.

 

Favourite Excerpts

7%

For I am a powerful weapon in the Royal Arsenal.

 

83%

“I dont know how Love… happens.”

Her shoulders relaxed a little, and she stared off into the distance, as if lost in a memory. “That’s the thing. It just does. No reason at all. Or maybe it’s all the reasons.”

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My Review

While it did take me a couple days to read through this one (*shakes fist at adulting in general*), I was constantly wondering about it even when I wasn’t able to be reading it. I don’t remember any specific TW/CWs so we’ll just dive right in. If you’ve read Kiss of the Royal and noted TW/CWs please let me know in the comments and I’ll update this post. 🙂

The characters were all pretty interesting and unique. I did find myself really disliking Ivy for the first half of the book, but I’m going out on a limb and saying it was probably meant to be that way. Her entire world is practically flipped onto its head so clinging to the core beliefs she’s grown up with is to be expected. I did like Zach right from the beginning, though. He’s sincere and sweet and so sarcastic and I need for him to be protected.

The world took a little getting used to. The locations were described well enough to be visualized, though I did have some trouble fully immersing myself. I could, at least, see the characters in their surroundings. The thing that took the most getting used to was the belief and hierarchy system. At the beginning, it seemed almost like I was expected to already understand the way things work hierarchy-wise. There is a bit of explanation of this a few chapters in, but until then I was a bit confused. After that explanation, though, everything comes a bit more smoothly in terms of world building.

As I said before, the premise of the story is what made me really want to read it. It felt a bit forced in the beginning, but once the flow of the story started going (around chapter 2 or 3) it really flowed well. There were a couple of twists and turns in the story, though I think they were mostly the type of plot twists that are meant for the characters and not the reader. I did have some trouble putting this down in places, leading to one too many “one more chapter” nights with work the next day. Also, some of my favourite words to be able to say together in a review: slow burn romance.

I do feel a bit confused by one very specific aspect of the ending, though it could possibly just be Lindsey Duga leading a possible sequel? I’ll keep an eye out for anyone else with similar questions, but I can’t specify anything here without ruining like 80% of the book. I did really enjoy this novel and I look forward to seeing what Lindsey Duga comes out with next!

Overall, I rate Kiss of the Royal 4 out of 5 bookworms. Don’t just take my word for it! Get your hands on a copy when it’s released on 3 July 2018 and enjoy it for yourself. Don’t forget to add it on Goodreads too! A few places you can preorder your copy from are:

About the Author

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Lindsey Duga is a middle grade and young adult writer with a passion for fantasy, science fiction, and basically any genre that takes you away from the real world. She wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University.

Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show and practicing yoga.

 

Giveaway

You made it! The end of the post!! Just kidding. Obviously a blog tour this awesome has to have an equally awesome giveaway attached, right? Right! The winner of this giveaway will win one (1) finished copy of Kiss Of The Royal by Lindsey Duga! 😀 This giveaway is US ONLY. Sorry, international bookworms and dragons!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

Want more chances to win? Follow the tour! You can find the full tour schedule here.

 

Thank you so much to Lindsey Duga for writing such a creative and unique story. You are a rockstar!

Thank you also to Entangled Teen for allowing me to read a digital galley of this novel before its release date.

Finally, a big thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me the privilege of participating in this tour!

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Blog Tour: The Outcast by Taran Matharu

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Hey, bookworms! I am so excited to be able to participate in the blog tour for The Outcast by Taran Matharu, the prequel to his best selling Summoner Series! Keep reading for my full review and a giveaway! But first, let’s see what this book is about.

Enter an immersive world where the chosen few have the ability to summon demons…

Arcturus is just an orphaned stable boy when he discovers he has the ability to summon demons from another world. He is sent to Vocans Academy where the lost arts of summoning, spell craft and demonology are taught to the noble children of the Empire. As the first commoner gifted with this ability, his discovery challenges the nobility and the powers that be and Arcturus soon makes enemies. With no one but his demon Sacharissa by his side, Arcturus must prove himself as a worthy Summoner…

Set before the events of SUMMONER: The Novice this is the perfect introduction to the New York Times bestselling SUMMONER series.

 

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My Review

I’ve been curious about this series for a while, so when the chance came up to read an arc of the prequel novel for this tour I had to take it. I tried not to have expectations going in because I hadn’t heard much about the series. I don’t recall any specific TW/CWs needed so let’s just jump right into the review, shall we?

The characters were all really well-developed. I really felt like I could have had a conversation with any of them, though I would have avoided talking with quite a few. I really enjoyed reading from Arcturus’s point of view of the whole thing. It made a few of the plot twists harder to spot coming. I also really like Sacha and she is the best demon companion ever. However, she also has her moments where I need her to just sit still and not endanger Arcturus.

The. World. Building. Is. Gorgeous. From the very first sentence, I was able to drop myself into the world Taran Matharu has created. There are still a couple questions I have about it, but I kinda feel like they’ll likely be answered by the other novels? I feel like this is a common thing that happens when a prequel is written after the series, but I’m so here for this world that I’m willing to overlook the holes and judge after I’ve read the other three books.

The story itself flows really well. It doesn’t ever sit still or grow stagnant even a little, but goes back and forth nicely between “I wonder what happens next” and “I can’t put this down!” I also like how Arcturus’s perspective changes the story from what it would have been if it was just the nobles involved in the adventure. His perspective as someone who was raised as a commoner really shifted the story for the better.

If this novel is an example of what I should expect from Taran Matharu’s writing, I definitely need to read more of his books! Thankfully, there’s a trilogy all set up and ready for me to pick up. 😉 I really enjoyed this one and I hope I’ll be able to dig into the rest of the series soon.

Overall, I rate The Outcast 4 out of 5 bookworms. Don’t just take my word for it! Get your hands on a copy and enjoy it for yourself. A few places you can order your copy from are:

 

About the Author

7979840_preview.jpegTaran Matharu is a New York Times bestselling author. He was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for reading at a very early age. His love for stories developed into a desire to create his own during early adolescence, beginning his first book at 9 years old.

Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013.

Thereafter, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write ‘Summoner’ in November 2013 at the age of 22, taking part in ‘Nanowrimo 2013’.

Thanks to Wattpad.com and updating daily, its popularity dramatically increased, reaching over 3 million reads in less than six months.

After being featured by NBC News, Taran decided to launch his professional writing career and has never looked back.

His SUMMONER series is published by Hodder Children’s (Hachette) in the UK, Australia and Commonwealth, Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan) in the US and Canada, Hachette Jeunesse in France, Heyne in Germany, Planeta in Spain, Crown in Taiwan, Record in Brazil, EKSMO in Russia, Jaguar in Poland, Ecliptic in Bulgaria, Alpress in the Czech Republic, Ithaki in Turkey and Unieboek in the Netherlands.

 

The Giveaway

So, I’ve seen some good giveaways on blog tours, but WOW this one is great! This giveaway is for US and Canada residing bookworms only. Sorry, international bookworms! One lucky winner will receive one set of the entire The Summoner series by Taran Matharu!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

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Good luck! Want more chances to win and more awesome The Outcast related posts? Follow the tour! You can find the whole tour schedule here.

 

That’s it for this one, bookworms. Thank you so much to Taran Matharu for writing such a wonderfully addicting novel and allowing me the chance to read it before it’s officially published. Another thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me to participate in this lovely tour.

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