A story about a face-changing thief and risk-taking prince | ARC Review: Nocturna by Maya Motayne


LINKS

Looking for a thriller recommendation? | ARC Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
cover(Goodreads)

  BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS WORDERY


SYNOPSIS

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

Should You read Nocturna by Maya Motayne ?

The magic poured life into the images, showing his people swathed in bright colors, prospering and using magic freely.

This is the first Latinx fantasy I’ve ever read and to put it mildly, I was blown away by Nocturna. This is a story about a prince and a thief who become allies to save a kingdom that brought both of them nothing but misery. This is the story of a kingdom too; a kingdom that-with the help of its people- rescued itself from the clutches of colonialism and rose stronger than ever. 

Set in a place called San Cristobal, the story starts with Prince Alfehr as he returns to his homeland reluctantly. We follow the Prince or Alfie as he meets his family and is lamenting the death of his older brother. Then, we come to view the face-changing thief known as Finn Voy, who has escaped a hell of her own and is trying to survive on the streets of San Cristobal.

When Finn and Alfie first meet at a clandestine meeting it’s for completely different purposes. They never would’ve thought they would work together in the upcoming days to fight a dangerous magic that could drown the world in darkness. 

The story is not entirely character driven and I liked that. Since that meeting where Finn and Alfie meet, there’s no stopping of action as Finn is kidnapped by a deadly “gang” who want something in exchange for Finn’s freedom. To collect that item, Finn has to go to the palace where she meets Alfie for the second time and this is also the place where a dangerous magic is released from its confines.

I loved Maya Motayne’s writing and the way she brought magic alive in the pages of Nocturna. The author also wrote in a “To the Reader” letter that she meant this book for a young girl who thought magic didn’t belong to people who looked like her. I’ll say she wrote this book for every young girl or boy because I identified with the history of colonialism, and I identified with the story when I saw that the people still followed some customs of their colonizers.

Apart from that, I loved the worldbuilding, and the description of the magical system was sublime. There is affection between Alfie and Finn and for many of us who don’t like romance being central to the story, will want to shout and scream at their slow-burn romance. 

Overall, I recommend this book if  you love fantasy and looking for diversity. Although the ending didn’t feel like a cliffhanger to me, I saw that Maya Motayne a trilogy planned for Nocturna. I will definitely be interested to read more of Alfie and Finn’s adventures.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT:

Author: Connect with Author Maya Motayne here.

  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
  • Publication Date: 2nd May , 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 300 Pages
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2mr6y5x.jpg

Will you read Nocturna ? Have you heard of this book before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Bold or Brilliant or both? | ARC Review: Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Bold or Brilliant or both? | ARC Review: Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

LINKS

Looking for a thriller recommendation? | ARC Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
cover(Goodreads)

  BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS WORDERY


SYNOPSIS

For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas from coast to coast, their sound defined an era. And then, on 12 July 1979, they split.

Nobody ever knew why. Until now.


They were lovers and friends and brothers and rivals. They couldn’t believe their luck, until it ran out. This is their story of the early days and the wild nights, but everyone remembers the truth differently. The only thing they all know for sure is that from the moment Daisy Jones walked barefoot onstage at the Whisky, their lives were irrevocably changed. Making music is never just about the music.
And sometimes it can be hard to tell where the sound stops and the feelings begin.

Should You read Daisy Jones & the Six ?

CW: lots of drug usage

We love broken, beautiful people. And it doesn’t get much more obviously broken and more clasically beautiful than Daisy Jones.

I think the title of this review post is pretty fitting after all I just finished Daisy Jones and after googling, I found out that there is no “Daisy Jones & the Six”. The band isn’t real. Well, that’s alright, I guess? Let me tell you my thoughts on Daisy Jones and you can decide if you want to read it or not.

No, I didn’t pick up Daisy Jones because of the hype and it was way too much hype…the similarity of the hype of the book mirrorred the hype of the fictitious band in the book. I was gifted a copy by PRH and was happy to read because I adored Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

The entire book is written in dialogue. There is an author who is the interviewer and the “band”, their loved ones, photographers, journalists, their managers, etc were the interviwees. At first, it was kind of off-putting but slowly I got sucked in because I wanted to know what is so god-damn special about this book. As the story progressed, I realized I hated every single character.

Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself

The story starts with the Daisy- who is a gorgeous, rich white girl-and everyone’s like Daisy’s so cool because goes without shoes(Me: umm..what?) and wear tops without bras, is thin like celery( such a bad comparison, my bad), and takes any drugs that she can get her hands on. Her parents are ignorant of her so she goes out and does whatever the heck she wants. By now, Daisy has had bad first-time sex and her boyfriend steals her song lyrics which later becomes a hit. Daisy is pissed, and says that this is how it was back then. A woman is conidered as an inspiration not the heroine of the story.

I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse. I am not a muse. I am the somebody. End of fucking story.

Disclaimer: I'd love to see this quote printed on a T-shirt. 

Next, we see the rise of The Six. The Six was a separate band before Daisy Jones and it was started by the Dunne brothers- Billy and Graham. Then, came on the other bandmates namely Warren, Karen, Eddie and Pete. Billy is the lead singer and basically the – narcissistic- face of the band. Their band goes on to performing and goes on many tours but their real fame starts with Daisy Jones. With Daisy jones, the Six start to embody the world of rock and roll. Their songs are chart-toppers but there’s also complications like drugs, more drugs, having sex with people you DEFINITELY shouldn’t…There’s also this amazing show of feminism. It was the 70’s and the women in Daisy Jones were the examples of feminists. I won’t spoil much but there’s two women who had every reason to hate each other, ended up talking peacefully which ultimately ended up to both of their salvations.

“I am not going to sit around sweating my ass off just so men can feel more comfortable. It’s not my responsibility to not turn them on. It’s their responsibility to not be an asshole.” 

Well, I can’t really say any more for fear of spoiling you. Taylor Jenkins Reid wrote a Bold and Beautiful book, not a book that’ll have me joining the hype train and shouting ..but it was good. Will I re-read it ? No, I am done reading it. The ending was exactly what I wanted.

Overall, I recommend this book if you’re a Taylor Jenkins Reid fan and love to read stories about the rise and fall of a band written like an interviews . Many of you won’t like it and may of you will. Daisy Jones & the Six would definitely make a good movie or a mini-series.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT:

Author: Connect with Author Taylor Jenkins Reid here.

  • Publisher: Hutchinson
  • Publication Date: 7th March , 2019
  • Paperback: 368 Pages
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2mr6y5x.jpg

Have you read Daisy Jones & the Six? Will you read it? Have you read Taylor Jenkins Reid’s previous books? Did you like them ? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer ’19 TBR

Hi everyone! I’m back with my sixth Top Ten Tuesday post and this week’s prompt is to list the (First Ten) Books I Reviewed. I am not doing this prompt ’cause I don’t really remember what my thoughts were and instead, I’m doing this => Ten Books On My Summer 2019 TBR 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I saw a blog post listing Books on my Spring TBR but the season here is that of Summer so I’m gonna post about my Summer TBR. So, brace yourselves for there are a bunch of book recommendations coming your way.

Throwing books giphy

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala: Indian author + Indian Young Adult Fantasy. I love reading fantasy but I hardly ever saw a Indian girl as a protagonist in those fantasies I read. The last fantasy I read that had Indian protagonists was Roshani Chokshi’s The Star-Touched Queen.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune by Roselle Lim: “Lush and visual, chock-full of delicious recipes, Roselle Lim’s magical debut novel is about food, heritage, and finding family in the most unexpected places.” Is anyone craving dumplings? *runs off to order one*

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim: Described as a mashup of Project runway + Mulan. I’m so here for this!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

The Beholder by Anna Bright: *Stares at cover for 10 mins* Whaaat? Look at that cover, looking like the Choco Lave cake of all holy book covers. Okay, besides the cover..lemme tell you that it’s The Odyssey + Cinderella retelling.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

Finale by Stephanie Garber: I’m highly anticipating this third and final instalment of the Caraval series. I didn’t like Caraval much but I loved Legendary so I’m eager to see how Stephanie Garber will wrap up this trilogy!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang: Like how many times have you heard me screaming about The Bride Test? If you’re new to my blog, probably never so let me tell you…after reading Helen’s debut The Kiss Quotient, I immediately snatched my phone to look up her upcoming books and there it was…in all its yellow glory..THE BRIDE TEST!!!! I hope you understand my excitement now..

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

My Lullaby of You by Alia Rose: I’m on the bookstagram tour for this book so watch out for a giveaway(maybe).

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding: I’m on the blog tour for this thriller and I love thrillers even if they creep me out.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali: Another book with Asian representation that I’m really looking forward to!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren: Christina Lauren are on the list of my favourite authors so I’m excited to read this rom-com. Expecting loads of smut scenes, lovely banter, and swoonworthy romance.


That’s a wrap on today’s Top Ten Tuesday post featuring Ten Books On My Summer 2019 TBR

Thank you for reading Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

What about you? Do you have any of these books in your TBR? Let loose with your recommendations, if you have any..

A story where the dead live and have unique names | ARC Review: Smoke And Key by Kelsey Sutton

A story where the dead live and have unique names | ARC Review: Smoke & Key by Kelsey Sutton

LINKS

Looking for a thriller recommendation? | ARC Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
cover(Goodreads)

  BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS WORDERY


SYNOPSIS

A sound awakens her. There’s darkness all around. And then she’s falling…

She has no idea who or where she is. Or why she’s dead. The only clue to her identity hangs around her neck: a single rusted key. This is how she and the others receive their names—from whatever belongings they had when they fell out of their graves. Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it.

She needs help, but who can she trust? Ribbon seems content in Under, uninterested in finding answers. Doll’s silence hints at deep sorrow, which could be why she doesn’t utter a word. There’s Smoke, the boy with a fierceness that rivals even the living. And Journal, who stays apart from everyone else. Key’s instincts tell her there is something remarkable about each of them, even if she can’t remember why.

Then the murders start; bodies that are burnt to a crisp. After being burned, the dead stay dead. Key is running out of time to discover who she was—and what secret someone is willing to kill to keep hidden—before she becomes the next victim…

Should You read Smoke & Key by Kelsey Sutton?

I gather an unnecessary breath several times, about to put voice to my confusion, but it feels as though talking isn’t allowed.


I was supposed to write a review post for a blog tour but since I didn’t like it, I’m reviewing it now..like, super late. I was about to DNF this book but I kept saying let’s read on, maybe I’ll like it … maybe …maybe.. maybe not.

First impressions, I loved the cover and the synopsis so much. I was fascinated the idea of naming people by the object they were found with. However, as the story progressed, I was confused about everything and my situation mirrored with that of the protagonist’s.

The protagonist of Smoke and Key is Key and this is her name because she was buried with one. Key wakes up from the dead, disoriented and can’t recall anything about her identity, the cause of her death or why she can speak even when she is dead. Then, some of her questions are answered by a mysterious boy called Smoke. Smoke tells her that this place she sees around her is called Under and no, it isn’t “hell”. Key is soon attacked and she just wants some answers (and so do I) but all she gets are more questions.

Just remember. you can’t kill what’s already dead.”

Then someone gets killed in UNDER, and I’m like whaaaaat?! How can you get killed when you’re ..you know.. DEAD. Then I remembered the freakin’ White Walkers but then realised oh, I’m not reading or watching GOT.. you get my point(I hope). Anyway, so everyone is panicking now and some suspect Key because theses “killings” didn’t happen until after she arrived.

Then, a lot of things happen which lead Key to discovering the reason for everyone’s deaths. Question is, ” Will Key succeed in rescuing everyone from Under before she and her loved ones die in the hands of a killer?”

I was confused throughout most of the book. It was like wandering through a maze and failing to find a way out. I reread some pages because I wondered if I my brain was fried and maybe that’s why I was so confused. When I neared the ending, I finally found my way of the maze and understood everything that was going on.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book if you’re thinking of picking this up as your first fantasy read or just in general.. I didn’t like it and I’m sorry because this book is an author’s years of hard work. I loved the unique concept of the undead, their naming, and the backstory of how they came to be undead.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT:

Author: Connect with Author Kelsey Sutton here or here

  • Publisher: Entangled Teen
  • Publication Date: 2nd April , 2019
  • Paperback: 304 Pages

GIVEAWAY(US): SIGNED FINISHED COPY 

You can check out the rest of the tour here .

A story where the dead live and have unique names | ARC Review: Smoke & Key by Kelsey Sutton

A Book (not-)so Dark and Lovely | ARC Review: A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Looking for a thriller recommendation? | ARC Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

LINKS

Looking for a thriller recommendation? | ARC Review: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
cover(Goodreads)

BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS WORDERY


SYNOPSIS

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Should You read A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer?

I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.

― Brigid Kemmerer, A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Retellings are such a popular genre in the bookish industry right now that if you love reading them, you will be spoilt for choice. I love retellings because I see badass, unsure but still fierce(badass) heroines as the protagonists, even better if they’re a person of color and/or a neurodiverse rep or an LGBTQ+ rep..In A Curse so dark and Lonely, I saw a badass heroine named Harper Lacy, who has cerebral palsy and she OWNS the show..well, the story.

This book is described as a modern Beauty and Beast retelling minus the awesome library. WHY ? *cries* I wanted another fantasy library to dream about. Anyway…Harper and Prince Rhen are the protagonists and the story is told from both of their POVs. This is my first Brigid Kemmerer novel and I was amazed by the way she took “a tale as old as time” that portrays an abusive relationship and turned it into something beautiful..something I’d like everyone to read and re-read.

The story starts in Emberfall. Prince Rhen is wiping blood from his hands and there’s his Guard Commander Grey who is apparently Commander only by name as there’re no men to command anymore. Rhen also asks his Grey of the whereabouts of a girl and he replies that she’s gone. Gone where? Apparently it doesn’t matter to either of them as Grey sets off to find another girl for Rhen..This is not the only thing that creepy here in Emberfall. Rhen remarks that he doesn’t care about what kind of girl begins or how much blood is shed as this season will repeat itself again and thus, he will be eighteen for the three hundred twenty-seventh time.

Then, we’ll move on to Washington DC where we see Harper acting as the look out while her brother’s out on a dangerous job. Harper catches Grey carrying a girl and Harper attacks him which ultimately leads her(and Grey) to Emberfall.

In Emberfall, Harper is horrified to discover that she isn’t in DC anymore and Rhen expresses his “regrets” and tells her that he can’t let her until after the season is over. When Harper manages to escape from the castle, she discovers the plight of Emberfall. A kingdom where a curse has managed to wreak havoc on the people and Harper is Rhen’s and Emberfall’s only hope to save it. 

“This early in the season, the other girls would sit by the hearth and gaze at me over crystal goblets, while I’d pour wine and tell stories with just enough devilishness to make them blush. If I put a crystal goblet in this one’s hand, she’d likely smash it and use the shards to cut me.” 

You’d think that since it’s a Beast retelling, you’ll only see the Beast as the villain but you’d be so wrong. As I’ve said before, Harper is almost everything I love to see in a female protagonist. She has cerebral palsy but she doesn’t let anyone see her as uncapable and weak, instead she educates the people and Rhen on celebral palsy. However she isn’t a character without flaws and neither is Rhen or Grey.

Rhen was a spoiled prince before the curse but for hundred years, he suffered abuse for the sake of his people. I loved that he didn’t make a big deal out of Harper’s physical restrictions and acknowledged his mistake in underestimating her strengths. Grey is loyal to Rhen and even it breaks him, he will continue to stand by Rhen because he has vowed to do so.

I loved the pacing of the book and the flawed characters. It was incredible to see such relatable mental health representation. I loved the friendship between Harper and Grey and Rhen. I loved the slow-burn romance between Rhen and Harper. It was not the focus of the story and there were other stakes like saving Emberfall and Rhen from the curse and foreign invaders, protecting the people from the Beast, and saving Harper’s family. The ending was perfect which leads me to confess that I’m now addicted to Brigid Kemmerer’s writing and eagerly waiting for the sequel to this fantasy and her upcoming titles.

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you’re a Brigid Kemmerer fan, love retellings, strong but flawed characters, neurodiverse rep, beautiful friendship, and slow-burn romance.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

VERDICT:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2mr6y5x.jpg

Do you think you’ll read A Curse so Dark and Lonely? Have you already read it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!