The Star-Touched Queen Review!

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Maya is a princess in her fathers kingdom with a knack for spying and an interest in her fathers politics but this isn’t why everyone hates her. Maya was born with a horoscope of death and destruction that follows her everywhere she goes, therefore people avoid her at all costs and treat her like street trash. All Maya has is her little sister and the stories Maya weaves for her at bedtime, and this seems to be a well enough life for Maya. This all changes the day that Maya’s father demands that she be married, no matter her cursed horoscope and her life is turned upside down. 

I think the most brilliant thing about this book is the writing style. Chokshi has an incredible literary voice and the way she brings her world to life is truly a gift. I loved the scenery, the dialog, the internal thoughts, the make believe Otherworld. Every single sentence was music to my ears. Sometimes authors have a whimsical approach to writing and it doesn’t go over well because it feels forced, this writing just felt flat out beautiful and I will continue to read anything Choksi writes. I thought the plot twists in this book were copious but not executed well. My one complaint about the writing style is that sometimes Choksi got so engrossed in the gorgeous writing that she didn’t explain things very well….at all. I finished this book still being utterly confused about some things and as this is a stand alone (with a companion novel following a different character) I felt like that was unacceptable.

As for the story line, if you’ve been following my blog you know I’m ALWAYS here for court politics and magic. Those are two of my very favorite things about books so of course The Star-Touched Queen was meant to be in my life. I don’t know if this was supposed to be a retelling of the Hades and Persephone mythology but it certainly felt like it. I loved every single character in this novel and I loved the fact that I was kept on my toes throughout the entire process. I had no clue who the true villain was until it was spelled out for me in the last few chapters. With this book, the villain could have been the main character herself (it wasn’t obviously). Now I know some of you might be put off by this but at first there seemed to be a severe case of insta-love that I wanted to SCREAM about but that became cleared up. I don’t want to go into too much detail because I feel like the less you know the better the book is but I had to give an honorable mention to Kamala the demon horse. I finished the last 100 pages or so at one in the morning and found myself shipping Kamala and BlackJack from the Percy Jackson series. That’s right, I was so completely exhausted that I shipped two fictional horses. That’s when I thought, you’ve really lost it this time amigo.

Overall I gave this book a 3.5/5 stars and I plan on picking up the companion novel as soon as I get my hands on it.


Reign of Shadows Review!

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This is a young adult book that centers around a young girl named Luna. Luna is a princess with a stolen kingdom, hiding away in a tower for her time to take back her crown and start her reign. The night Luna was born an eclipse happened, resulting in an eternal night for over seventeen years and the release of monsters that have been hiding underground for centuries. Luna’s mother and father were murdered in cold blood almost immediately after she came out of the womb. Luckily a maid named Perla and a Kings guard named named Sivo saved her and managed to get her to safety in a tower located in the middle of a forest that was always rumored to be haunted, therefore the forest was normally vacant. This is where Luna has been her entire night, never even leaving the tower by herself, and this is where our story begins.

I loved Luna as a character and I thought her name was very fitting for someone born on the eclipse of an eternal night. Luna is everything a future Queen should be. Luna is kind, brave, fearless, compassionate, and a skilled fighter in combat. Although she was born with the disability of being blind, she doesn’t let that hold her back. Luna acts as though she’s capable of anything anyone else can do, and she is capable. Her personality really shined through the pages and I loved following her throughout her journey into the world of darkness and monsters.

I thought this book was written very well and the most intriguing parts were the fight scenes. The fight scenes were written very effectively and these type of scenes usually lose me in other books. Sophie Jordan paints a vivid pictures of the monsters that dwell in the dark and sends chills up the readers spines. Another aspect of the story that I loved was the plot twists. Though there were very few of these I can admit that I didn’t see them coming which is always a huge plus to a reader. The author gives you enough clues to figure out the plot twists ahead of time yet keeps you distracted to the point where you don’t put it together until its directly in front of your face. This is a trait in a book that I appreciate deeply. One thing that I wasn’t thrilled about in this story was the instant love. Luna falls in love with a boy named Fowler who she saves in the forest in the beginning of the novel. I was okay with the instant love in this book at first because it was understandable. Of course Luna would develop feelings for this boy, he was the first boy she had ever met in all over her seventeen years of life. As the story progressed though, their relationship progressed rapidly and I found that to be a little unrealistic. Luna is a trusting soul so naturally I excused her character but Fowler is no stranger to heartbreak in the most extreme form so I was shocked to see how quickly his personality went from standoffish to head over heels in love. I think something that would have helped this issue is if we would have gotten more story out of their travels together and their budding friendship. It’s easier to accept a relationship when you see them start to grow on each other and unfortunately we didn’t get much of that here.  With all that being said, I did ship Luna and Fowler together. I thought they made a good duo and I’m rooting for their relationship in future books.

Going back to the supporting characters of Sivo and Perla I wanted to point out that though they only had small parts in this book, I absolutely adored them. The author really brought their personalities to life and I would have loved to spend more time with them or hear a little bit about their past lives. Fingers crossed that we get more of them in book two. When Luna and Fowler set out on their journey there is a big skip in the timeline (about a week) and I thought we really could have benefited from a heartfelt goodbye scene between Luna and Perla and Sivo. Afterall, these two people raised her since the day she was born and she was the only two people she had ever been with. I thought it was kind of incredible that the author skipped over such an important scene that could have brought the reader to tears or at the very least a scene like this could have really hooked the reader into the characters a little more. Nothing makes me attached to a character like tragedy or a cry worthy goodbye scene.

Another thing that threw me off was the fact that the dialog in the book went back and forth between eras. In the beginning of the book the dialog was modern, then towards the middle the dialog went into an older style of speaking, and in the end of the book it went back to modern. I have no idea how this happened but it was something I picked up on and it confused me. I also thought Fowler and Luna’s romantic kissing scenes could have been cut shorter. I would have liked more story line rather than reading about these two being passionately in love. One scene was more than enough.

To wrap this up I want to say that Digger the tree wolf was my saving grace and I hope he stays in the storyline. Yes, I have a soft spot for animals. Another thing I’d like to see continued in the story is Fowlers past, which sounds incredibly interesting. I cannot wait to get my hands on book two! Overall I gave this book a four out of five stars. Bring on the next installment because I am here for it!

True Blue Review

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This is a middle grade book set in 1972 Alabama. The book centers around a group of children named Jeana, Billy Joe, and Wade. These three have been best friends their entire lives but everything starts to change this summer. I found the setting to be pleasing. The setting struck me as a more modern day To Kill a Mockingbird. I use the word “modern” very loosely. The premise of the books is whether or not the three kids can remain friends after the boys start developing feelings for the same friend.

There was no real plot to this for me. It was all very boring and I loathe saying that about a book. I just really don’t enjoy a book when there is no crisis or twists. There was nothing really interesting about this that sparked my attention and the entire time reading it I was just counting down the pages until it was over. Unfortunately I have this book one star and I won’t be continuing on with the rest of the books. I do appreciate being sent this novel from netgalley and the publisher but this novel just wasn’t for my taste. This book would be good for someone who is interesting in reading a coming of age story but the pacing was extremely slow and there was very little, if any, action to speak of. If this book were a stand alone I wouldn’t judge it so harshly but as the plot went nowhere fast, I can’t imagine where the next books in the series are going to go.