Top 5 Wednesday!

My Top 5 Favorite “Unlikeable” Protagonist’s

  • I think everyone can agree that both Catherine and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights are extremely unlikeable. Both of them are horrible human beings yet you root for them. You want them to be together and love each other from beginning to end. As much as I hated them both as characters, I loved their love. I respected their love. I related to their tactics and hatred and all of their unlikeable qualities because I believed in them as a couple. But lets face it, they were a terrible couple as well.
  • America Singer from The Selection is absolutely atrocious to me. The entire series is trash, yet I’m trash for it because it is one of my biggest guilty pleasures. I don’t know what it is about the authors writing but I will read anything she puts out into the world and hate/love it the entire time. America was SO unlikeable in my opinion but I was so with her on her journey through the selection. I hated everything about her personality but God forbid she doesn’t win the hand of Prince Maxon or I would die.
  • Beatrice Prior from Divergent also infuriated me. Was she supposed to? Did she get under anyone else’s skin? I don’t honestly know. But by the end of the trilogy I had still hated her, yet I was so on her team. No spoilers but once I finished the trilogy I was so angry I wanted to throw them all in a dumpster and set them on fire. If you have read the series then you know what the big ending plot twist was. Why the hell was I so angry when I absolutely hated her character? Probably because deep down inside I secretly loved her.
  • The Lannisters from The Game of Thrones series are also extremely unlikeable. Incest, betrayal, flat out terrible people. This is exactly why I love them so much. Do I want them to eventually turn out to win the throne? No. Would I be mad if they did? Also no. I was even sad to see Joffery go (after I was screaming in delight when it did happen). Hate or love the Lannisters but they are some hard ass characters and that house will either go down in some beautiful flames, or rule the entire world. Not even the fictional world, my world too.
  • Lestat from Interview with a Vampire was really one awful son of a bitch I’ll admit that. The entire time I was reading that book I was reading to reach into the pages and punch him in the mouth. But that’s the beauty of it, as you continue Anne Rice’s series you want to reach through the book and hug him instead. A back story can change everything, and in this case it really did the trick for me. I’ll always be completely in love with Lestat.

 

The Lady of the Rivers Review!

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Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of 19, she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her household for love, and then carved out a new life for herself.

 

This is a prequel to the Cousins War series by Philippa Gregory but I visited Gregory’s Facebook page and she suggest reading them not in the order they were published, but in chronological order, so that is what I did. This book follows Jacquetta, the mother who will eventually give birth to Elizabeth, the Queen of England.

This is the second novel I have read by Gregory and again I was not disappointed in the slightest. I’m a sucker for a good historical fiction, especially when it comes to history and the English crown. King Henry the VIII is one of my favorite things to talk about so when I found out Gregory had a series about the rulers prior to King Henry I was intrigued. I’m always itching to learn more about history and historical fiction (with usual visit to Wikipedia while I’m reading it) is my favorite way to learn. The fact that Gregory solely focuses on the women of the dynasty as the main character is just a huge added bonus. Feminism for the win!

This story follows Jacquettas entire life, up to the very moment her daughter Elizabeth meets the future King of England. There were elements of magic in this story that I deeply appreciated. I think some people might be irked by the presence of magic in a historical fiction novel but I thought it was an added bonus. It really brought the characters to life in a way that they probably wouldn’t have if there was no magic.

I think it’s important to read this book before started the other books in The Cousins War series because if I hadn’t known the back story of King Henry the VI and his Queen and their issues, I wouldn’t have been able to get into the next book. Jacquetta was very close to the Queen of England during this novel therefore we get to see the court politics, some dirty laundry, forbidden romances, and the overall decline in a Kings mental health. There is something for everyone in this novel to appreciate and I think that’s the beauty of it. Not only are you learning something, you are fully invested in these people’s lives. Overall I loved this book as well as the beautiful writing. This is a solid 5 stars from me and I’m so excited to continue onwards! After reading this book I’m obviously rooting for the Lancaster line but who knows who I will be rooting for once I finish the series. It’s almost like a real life Game of Thrones, minus some dope dragons.

 

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Stealing Snow Review!

 

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Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.

 

So I’ve taken a solid amount of time before writing this review to try and give myself some thinking space from the book. I was hoping after a break I would change my opinion and give it a higher rating but alas, even space couldn’t change my mind. Snow spends her entire life in a mental institution because as a young child she tried to walk through a mirror, bringing her best friend with her and causing them both harm. This was already a problem for me. Did snow run through the mirror with gloves of steel? How did two young children hurt themselves so badly by something that seems pretty easily fixable with a few stitches. Also, how does walking into a mirror at a young age constitute Snow being insane enough to live in solitude in a hospital her entire life? I like my fantasy to be a little bit believable, especially if some of it is taking place in the real world. I’ll tell you right now, no insurance on earth is going to provide for someone to stay locked up their entire life over something so petty. That’s just where the problems started for me.

This is an ice queen retelling and once Snow traveled to her own land things began to pick up the pace from there (albeit slowly). Snow is searching for her best friend Bale who is kind of her boyfriend and she certainly thinks he’s the love of her life. We don’t see much of Bale to confirm this but honestly from even Snow’s point of view I highly disliked his character. Once Snow finds out she’s able to produce snow and ice magic I started getting annoyed once more. Snow is told that the evil King ruling the kingdom has been basically ruining everybodies lives for many years now and she’s the only person strong enough to stop him. *Insert prophecy here* Snow flat out refuses to fight him, all she is concerned with is finding her boyfriend and getting out of dodge. But to go back to what? The hospital? For someone who was practically imprisoned her entire life unwillingly you’d think she’d be a little bit more keen to protect the people around her who are also theoretically being imprisoned. She knows what it feels like to be locked in a cage.

Then we all of a sudden have a love square? Snow has not one, not two, but THREE love interests. (Team Jagger). UGH. I’m not one to cry about the love triangle trope but good God, three is a little excessive.

Now with all that being sad I didn’t HATE this book. It took a long time for me to read, was certainly boring for a good chunk of it, but did have some fantastic plot twists towards the end. Overall the book just felt like something that I’ve seen over and over again in YA. There was nothing that stuck out to me or that I could carry with me over the years. I rated it 2.5 stars for sheer effort and those twisty plots at the end but I don’t recommend this book honestly. It’s really difficult for me to say that because I love to support authors with all my heart. This just wasn’t worth the time for me and I will not be continuing on at this point. The only thing worth mentioning was that Jagger was the best and only character that stood out to me. If I do end up picking up the second installment to this series it will be so I can see that little angel do good in life. (Also low key have some major skepticism about his character and wanting to confirm my theory).

 

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Top 5 Wednesday!

This Wednesday theme is to recommend five books that represent your Hogwarts house. My Hogwarts house is a firm Slytherin. I’ve taken every sorting quiz imaginable, including the Pottermore quiz multiple times, and I’ve always been sorted into Slytherin. I take GREAT pride in my house so I am excited to give you all a few recommendations based on what I think a fellow Slytherin would enjoy. The key words I’m focusing on today are cunning, ambitious, determined, and leadership.

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  1. The first book I’d like to recommend is the true crime novel Helter Skelter, which focuses on the Manson murders and cult that occurred during the late 1960’s in the United States. This book is the only novel to ever truly scare me and I love how well the facts were put together without a largely bias opinion. I think a lot of people see Slytherin’s as truly evil (which isn’t true) but I wanted to give a recommendation of a story that I did in fact find wholeheartedly evil. Manson himself meets all the criteria for the key words I wanted to focus on, the most accurate word being cunning. I think anyone who has a shred of interest in the Manson cult or the murders should check this book out as it was written by the detective who worked the case for many years.
  2. The second book I’d like the recommend is The Bone Witch. I have a full review for this book here on my blog but I think this is an interesting take on witches. Tea is the main character and she is a necromancer in a world where people fear her power. We follow Tea as she goes on her journey to learn how to control her powers and become an Asha. Tea is absolutely determined in everything she does and I think the ending truly represents the path a Slytherin would take in her position.
  3. Book number three is Heartless and it is a retelling of the Queen of Hearts. I also have a review for this here on my blog if you are interested in seeing more of my thoughts on this. Heartless follows the main character Catherine who only wants one thing in life and that is to own and run her own bakery with her best friend but circumstances throw her life off course when she is made to become Queen, but falls in love with someone who isn’t the King. I think Catherine is very ambitious and there is a lot of adventure in this novel. Catherine’s story also leads her down a rough path and towards the end we all know how the Queen of Hearts turns out (a villain). While I don’t think Slytherins are all villains, I do think that they can identify with the road Catherine took and why she became the way she is.
  4. The next book I’d like to recommend is not a book at all but rather a series and I’m sure you are all familiar with it, or at least the TV show. I’m speaking of the Game of Thrones books. There are so many different perspectives touched on during the length of these books but I think all Slytherins will love the premise, which is a political fight for the throne. There are so many twists and turns in these books and I think the most interesting part is the way these people play the game to win the power, which is something all Slytherins can find fascinating.
  5. The final book on our Top 5 Wednesday journey is The Six of Crows duology. These two books follow a group of criminals who embark on a wild and thoroughly impossible heist. We get to see so many points of view, why all these people are considered criminals (most of these characters I would mentally sort into the house Slytherin) and why these characters came to be the way they are. The theme in this story is dark and the adventure is incredible. Anyone can appreciate this story but I think a Slytherin especially will fall in love with the characters and their pasts.

 

That’s all for today folks! See you next week with another Top 5 Wednesday!

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.

Fred & Rose Review.

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A BIG THANK YOU TO NETGALLEY AND OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA FOR SENDING ME THIS BOOK FOR REVIEW, HOWEVER ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN. 

Genre: True Crime

The true crime bestseller about Fred and Rose West a couple virtually unique in British criminal history who loved and killed together as husband and wife.

During their long relationship the Wests murdered a series of young women, burying the remains of nine victims under their home at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, including those of their teenage daughter, Heather. What was left of Fred West’s eight-year-old stepdaughter was dug up from under the Wests’ previous Gloucester home; his first wife and nanny were buried in open country outside the city. Several victims had been decapitated and dismembered, their remains showing signs of sexual torture. These twelve are just the ones the police found when the Wests were arrested in 1994. There may be more whose bones have not been located.

My Opinion: I think it’s important to start out by pointing out the triggers. This book contains abuse in every way possible and described in great detail.

Fred & Rose will haunt me for the rest of my life. Last year I gave a 5 star rating to the book Helter Skelter and decided that I was very interested in the true crime genre. After reading this book however I am shaken. I had never heard of the husband and wife serial killers prior to reading this book and every single page I was more and more disturbed. We are introduced to Fred and Rose in the beginning of this novel, starting with their childhoods. While reading about their childhoods was extremely hard to go through, they had been through tremendous amounts of abuse, the rest of the book gets even worse. Once Fred and Rose meet, it became the perfect human recipe for disaster. Both of these individuals were not intelligent, had been through traumatic childhoods, and had a taste for destruction. The things these two did to other people, including their own children, will never escape my mind. A few times I actually had to book this book aside and decide whether or not I could continue. About halfway through I thought I wasn’t going to be able to read any longer I was so disgusted and saddened. I have never in my life heard of a more terrible serial killer, not to mention this was just not one person. This was two people who loved each other very much and worked together to sexually abuse children and young adults and eventually murder many of them. The author paints a vivid picture of Fred and Rose, it is clear that he had done extensive research to write this book. I don’t think this story could have been told any better. It was not bias, it was only the facts of the case and the facts of Fred and Rose’s lives. I cannot imagine being the author of this book and not adding into the story the level of disgust I had for these human beings. This book is perfect for anyone who is a lover of true crime novels, or anyone who is interested in the minds of these two extremely demented and disturbed human beings. While reading this I wanted to cry, I felt physically sick, and completely shocked that two people like that existed. I recommend this book in the highest regard for people who think they can stomach the torture of these girls. The author does not shy away from any given detail no matter how terrible. If you have a weak disposition, I recommend giving this book a pass.

4.5 stars

Gardenia Review!

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THANK YOU TO NETGALLEY AND DIVERSION BOOKS FOR SENDING ME A COPY OF GARDENIA FOR REVIEW, ALTHOUGH ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.

Genre: Teens & YA

Seventeen-year-old Ivy Erickson has one month, twenty-seven days, four hours, fifty-nine minutes, and two seconds to live.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been able to see countdown clocks over everyone’s heads indicating how long before they will die. She can’t do anything about anyone else’s, nor can she do anything about her own, which will hit the zero hour before she even graduates high school.

A life cut short is tragic, but Ivy does her best to make the most of it. She struggles emotionally with her deep love for on-again, off-again boyfriend Myers Patripski. She struggles financially, working outside of school to help her mom and her sister. And she struggles to cope with the murder of her best friend, another life she couldn’t save. Vanessa Donovan was killed in the woods, and everyone in town believes Ivy had something to do with it.

Then more girls start disappearing. Ivy tries to put her own life in order as she pieces together the truth of who ended Vanessa’s. To save lives and for her own sanity.

The clock is always ticking. And Ivy’s only hope is to expose the truth before it runs out completely.

MY OPINION: 

I’m sure you can guess that my favorite aspect of this book was the fact that Ivy can see countdown clocks over peoples heads, ticking down the seconds until their deaths. Ivy has always been able to see these clocks but didn’t fully understand her condition until as a young child she saw her grandmother have a heart attack and die in front of her. This was Ivy’s first experience with the clocks, and with death.

Ivy as a character really irked me sometimes. She volunteers at a nursing home, presumably so she can spend time with people who are almost at their last moments of life. She obviously wants to give them a good send off and a better death. Yet, she’s seen her best friend Vanessa’s clock counting down their entire lives and doesn’t try to intervene. She knows exactly when Vanessa will die, only a few short months before Ivy’s own death, and yet doesn’t even attempt to change fate. I find this particularly unbelievable but I understand it was necessary to the story line. If any of you out there has lost a best friend or family member, you know you’d do absolutely anything to prevent their deaths. As far as I’m concerned Ivy never truly knew if someones destiny was set in stone. I’d give my own life for the people I love and this part of the story really drove me nuts. You can’t be thoughtful and caring as a character and stand back while your best friend is obviously going to die.

I noticed about halfway through the story I was extremely confused about which character was which. I think all the characters or suspects should have been fleshed out more in the beginning of the novel rather than later. It makes it a lot more entertaining while reading a mystery to really get to know the people and their motives early on in the book. With that being said, the ending and ultimately when we find out who the killer is fell flat. Through the process of elimination there was really only one person it could be. I would have been okay with that if the killer had an actual motive. For me the story really centered around the clocks and Ivy closing her chapters with everyone she loves before she dies. I think the theme of this part of the book was beautiful and the way Ivy talks about time you really have to think to yourself how much time you are wasting. You never know what could happen and I’d never want to pass away without the people I loved knowing I cared for them and I was happy. The part of the book I didn’t like was the mystery. It really was very bland and not thought out.

Did I like this book? Absolutely. This was a quick one day read for me and pulled me out of a massive reading slump. I stayed up until 3 A.M reading because I had to know if my predictions about who the killer was correct. While there is definite problems with the story, I do recommend it to anyone who seems remotely interested. I did enjoy reading this I just wish it had been a little bit more developed in the mystery area. I give this book huge credit for getting me out of that dreadful reading slump. I really needed something fast paced and intriguing. This did the trick for me.

One last honorable mention to the character Miranda Raspberry for being a complete doll.

P.S – trigger warning for anyone who deals with or has dealt with self harm or suicidal thoughts. While I appreciate this book not shying away from mental illness, I just want to warn other readers before they dive in.

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The Bone Witch Review!

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THANK YOU TO SOURCEBOOKS FIRE AND NETGALLEY FOR SENDING ME A COPY OF THIS FOR REVIEW, HOWEVER ALL OPINIONS ARE ENTIRELY MY OWN.

GENRE: Teens & YA, Sci Fi & Fantasy

Goodreads synopsis: 

Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

MY THOUGHTS:

I had a strong feeling going into this book that I was going to fall completely in love with it, I was not wrong. Typically my favorite books to read are YA Fantasy so The Bone Witch immediately grabbed my attention (not to mention the beautiful cover). My favorite aspects of this book was the hierarchies, the politics, and the customs of the world that Chupeco built. A great deal of this novel focused on fashion and the steps on becoming a full fledged asha. The fashion theme was very strong and greatly reminded me of Memoirs of a Geisha in that sense. Although I could appreciate the strong fashion theme, it did become a bit overdone shortly into the story. I can only care about what someone is wearing for so long.  The story is woven perfectly on two different timelines. We get to see a grown Tea (our MC) who has ultimately been exiled and has possibly turned her allegiances to the dark side. We also follow Tea from the moment she realized she had magic at the age of 12 when she accidentally resurrects her dead brother from the grave. I thought the way the story was told on these separate timelines was genius and really kept my reading pace motivated and thirsty for more. I have become sincerely attached to a great deal of the characters and some others fell flat for me. With that being said, I believe the sequel will give me everything I want in regards to some characters who weren’t as fleshed out as others. I’m not so patiently waiting for book two to be released, as this may be my new favorite YA series. (&& please dear god keep my baby Fox safe!)

For all fantasy lovers out there, this book is absolutely worth the read. I even started to feel sympathy and love for the monsters we were supposed to hate by the end of my reading experience. This novel was brilliantly put together and I JUST WANT MORE!

4.5 stars