Mini Reviews: True North & Death and Night

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

29939097True North by L.E. Sterling
Release date: April 4th, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young adult, science fiction
Format: eBook

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Goodreads | Amazon

Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning?

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

True North is the second book in a series based in an apocalyptic world where much of the earth’s population has been killed off by a devastating plague. Society is divided into three distinct groups: the Lasters, the Splicers and the True Born. You definitely don’t want to be a Laster since you will for sure die of the plague, the Splicers have tons of money and use it to replace diseased DNA and the True Borns are immune to the plague and have evolved into what I can best describe as mutants.

The story picks up where the first book, True Born, left off. The main character Lucy is abandoned by her family and taken in by Nolan Storm and his group of militant True Borns. Storm has promised to help Lucy find her twin sister Margot, who she shares a special connection with. However, he isn’t as forthcoming as she would like and this sets her off on a dangerous journey to Russia.

I was a huge fan of the first book. It was non-stop and totally engrossing. I honestly hadn’t read anything like it! So, as you can imagine, I was very much looking forward to reading True North. I had so many questions that needed to be answered! The book was good but it lacked the special something that its predecessor had. I wasn’t as eager to turn the pages or engaged with Lucy’s struggle. Truth be told, the first quarter of the book featured very little action. There was a lot of time spent explaining key events from the first novel. I understand why authors need to do it but it was all a bit too much for my liking. I was starting to feel kind of put-off but thank goodness I held on because at around the 40% mark things really began to pick up!

As much as I loved Lucy is the first book, I have to say she was different in this one. Her character wasn’t as consistent, almost as if the author wasn’t sure what to do with her. She’s shallow and flighty one moment, then confident and empathetic the next. The characters that really shone were the True Borns. I’m glad we got to learn more about Jared and Storm, two characters who were prominent in True Born, but not really explored. I actually really wish we could have had chapters from their POVs. Now that would have really added some action!

So, while I did enjoy True North, it was ultimately unable to recapture what made its predecessor so amazing. The plot and storylines were drawn out and the characters uneven. This trilogy could perhaps have been made into a duology? I don’t know, but this book has left me with enough questions to want to read the series final.



33965619Death and Night by Roshani Chokshi 

Release date: May 2nd, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, novella
Format: eBook

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Goodreads | Amazon

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.

Death and Night is a prequel to the gorgeous novel The Star-Touched Queen. If you haven’t read it yet then get on it! Seriously, the descriptions are beyond beautiful!

Anyway, this novella explores the relationship between Maya and Amar. One of my issues with them in The Star-Touched Queen was just how quickly they fell in love. It’s explained why in the novel but I won’t go into detail about it here. I don’t want to give anything away and spoil the book. It was just too insta-lovey-dovey for me, so thank goodness for this short story because it was PERFECT! I LOVED EVERY BIT OF IT!!! Maya and Amar are just so…so…I don’t even have the words to say how romantic and beautiful their love for each was. Oh, and their banter was spot on. I smiled and sighed A LOT. And it’s all in a novella! *jaw drop* I know right?!  It’s really a credit to just how talented Roshani Chokshi is.

I highly recommend this novella to those who have already read and enjoyed The Star-Touched Queen. It’s a wonderful prequel and has definitely made me move the companion novel, A Crown of Wishes, further up my TBR list.

 

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Down the TBR Hole

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It’s time for another edition of Down the TBR Hole, which is hosted by Lia @ Lost in a Story! This meme is dedicated to uncluttering your TBR pile, going through each book and choosing which one should stay or go.


The Books:

1. The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

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This book has been on my TBR since it came out. I recently purchased a copy of it (yay for book sales) and I’m hoping to read it sometime this summer. So, it definitely stays!

The Verdict: Keep

2. A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson

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This is the second book in a duology (not sure to be honest) but I really want to read it. It sounds amazing and I love the cover!

The Verdict: Keep

3. Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn

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This is from a period a few years ago when I only read historical fiction books based in ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece. I really, really hated the first book from this series so why is the sequel still on my TBR?!?! Goodbye!

The Verdict: Remove

4. Blood of Wonderland by Colleen Oakes

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I haven’t read the first book so this one needs to go!

The Verdict: Remove

5. Lantern by Chess Desalls

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I honestly don’t remember ever adding this book to my TBR. The cover is interesting but that’s all it has going for it. Ghosts and pranks? Nope. It just doesn’t sound like something that I would enjoy reading.

The Verdict: Remove


YESSSSS for managing to remove 3 more books from my TBR! Have you read any of these books before? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them. 🙂

The Beauty and The Beast Book Tag!

Mini Reviews-2.pngThanks to Demi at Books Traveller for tagging me! She tagged me ages ago (waaayyy back in January) and I’m just doing it now. I’m so sorry it took me so long. I’ve really been struggling with posting and comments. But better late than never! Wooooo! Let’s do this…


Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Mention the creator → Kirsty @Kirsty and the Cat Read (check her original post here)
  • Match a book to each of the songs/characters below
  • Tag as many people as you like

“Tale As Old As Time” – A popular theme, trope or setting you will never get bored with reading

I love the hate to love tropes in books. I think it’s because this trope usually leads to witty and at times comical banter between the main characters. Plus, it adds the will they or won’t they factor which I also adore. This was really well done in STJR ❤

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Belle – A book you bought for its beautiful cover that’s just as beautiful inside too

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When the Moon Was Ours is one of the most beautiful books that I have ever read. If you haven’t read it yet, you really, really need to! It’s lyrical and magical and will make your heart burst into a million pieces.

Beast – A book you didn’t expect much from but pleasantly surprised you

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I honestly though Ruined would be like so many other YA books that I’ve read. The synopsis didn’t do it any favours but this book was AWESOME! I loved it so much. The romance, the fighting, the magic…I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL!!!!

Gaston – A book everyone loves that you don’t

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Unpopular opinion time…I can’t stand Sarah J. Maas books anymore. I loved TOG at the beginning but now it’s all the same and oh so white. I did read the first book in this series but was bored out of my mind. And the abusive relationships? How is that even attractive? Please….someone explain it to me. Yuck!

LeFou – A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counter part

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I really didn’t like the main character, Fallon. She was just…annoying. However, Elka, her best friend, was kickass! Can I just have a book featuring her? Please?

Mrs Potts, Chip, Lumiere & Cogsworth – A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught you something valuable

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This book really hit home in so many ways. It’s beautiful and inspiring. Another must read, even if you don’t like poetry. This one will definitely change your mind about the genre.

“Something There” – A book or a series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end

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The Witch Who Came In From The Cold was a series that I liked at the beginning but only got really into about 5 or 6 stories in. Now I’m absolutely hooked and can’t get enough of it!

“Be Our Guest” – A fictional character you’d love to have over for dinner

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Luna Lovegood is my favourite Harry Potter character! She’s different and weird and totally alright with it. She doesn’t change because other people think she doesn’t fit in. It’s one of the things I really love about her. Plus, she’d be so much fun to hang out with! 🙂


Tags:

I’m not going to tag anyone because this particular tag has be featured on tons of blogs earlier this year. I’m just late to the party. But of course, if you haven’t done it yet consider yourself tagged. I’d love to see your answers. ❤

Waiting on Wednesday

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

33784362This week I’m looking forward to Invictus by Ryan Graudin. I down for anything written by Graudin! The Wolf by Wolf duology was one of my favourites and it seriously messed with my heart. I don’t think I’ve recovered from Blood for Blood (hence the bookish slump that I’m in). There’s just something about the way that she writes that makes me want more and more. And this book looks AMAZING! It has time travel, gladiators, Titanic, pirates….how could I not want to read it? *grabby hands* It sounds absolutely perfect! It’s set to be released on September 26th by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

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Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

Down the TBR Hole

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Trying something new this week! I decided to starting participating in Down the TBR Hole, which is hosted by Lia @ Lost in a Story! This meme is dedicated to uncluttering your TBR pile, going through each book and choosing which one should stay or go. My TBR pile is never ending so I feel like I really need a meme like this in my life. Let’s do this…


The Books:

1. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli 

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I recently read Albertalli’s second novel The Upside of Unrequited and absolutely loved it! I honestly can’t believe that I haven’t read Simon Vs. yet. Albertalli’s writing is just so real and honest. Also, I’ve heard tons and tons of good things about this book and that makes me want to read it even more.

The Verdict: Keep!!!!!!

2. A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

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Why is this book even on my TBR? It’s a sequel. I haven’t even read the first book!

The Verdict: Remove

3. Wait for Me by Caroline Leech

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This book contains a bunch of things that I love: WWII history, forbidden romance, Scotland…I really, really need to read it.

The Verdict: Keep

4. Spirit of the Highway by Deborah Swift

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Ummm….why is this on my TBR? It doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy and it’s the second book in a series. WHAT?!?!

The Verdict: Remove

5. Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

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I’ve loved everything Hodge has released so far! So…I don’t see this book being any different. Plus, the cover is perfect! Mysterious and intriguing. *sigh* This book is going to be amazing!

The Verdict: Keep


Well, that’s it for this week. I think keeping 3 books out 5 isn’t too bad. Have you read any of these books before? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them. 🙂

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Mini Reviews-2Thanks so much to Breanna at Pages Bound Together for nominating me to complete the Sunshine Blogger Award! Please be sure to visit her lovely blog ❤ I haven’t done many awards lately. Things have just been so crazy with work that the blog really hasn’t gotten the love and attention that it deserves. So, with a few days off I’m taking full advantage of not having any school related work to complete. Yay for awards! 🙂


Rules:

1. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator.
2. Nominate 11 blogs.
3. Ask them 11 questions.


Questions:

1. What’s the book that got you into reading?

The Harry Potter series is what got me excited about reading. Before discovering the first book reading was boring or something I had to do for school. They really changed everything for me!

2. Do you have any pets?

Yes, I have a beagle named Toto. He’s a tiny little monster but I love him so much. With him there’s never a dull moment and I’ve been so happy since he’s come into my life.

3. What is your favourite hobby (besides reading)?

I enjoy running, making music playlists and traveling.

4. If you could explore one country, what would it be?

Ahhh…there are so many countries I still need to visit. I’d say Egypt. I’ve been fascinated with its history since I was really young. I actually wanted to become an Egyptologist when I first entered university. It didn’t end up being for me so I switched my major to history, but my love for all things Egypt hasn’t changed at all.

5. What’s the best thing about blogging?

I’ve met some fantastic people and have learned about a lot of books I probably wouldn’t have known about otherwise. The fact that I can interact with authors has been a huge bonus.

6. What book are you reading right now?

I’ve finally picked up a history book! It’s felt like ages since I’ve read one for fun. Right now, I’m reading The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Dan Jones. Jones is a fantastic TV presenter and historian. I really loved his shows and his enthusiasm has really translated well onto the page.

7. Do you prefer reading the book or watching the movie adaptation first?

I always prefer reading the book first although it often ruins how much I enjoy the movie. The book is always better!! 😛

8. What’s your favourite genre of books?

Fantasy for sure! I also enjoy science fiction and graphic novels.

9. Which fictional world would you choose to live in?

It’s kind of dangerous but I would love to live in Ravka. Leigh Bardugo just created such an interesting and beautiful world.

10. How many languages do you speak?

I speak English, Arabic and I’m currently learning Spanish.

11. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Milk chocolate!


My Questions:

1. How often do you update your blog?

2. What’s the last book that you bought because of its amazing cover artwork?

3. Favourite historical time period?

4. Most disappointing read so far in 2017?

5. What did you do during your last vacation?

6. Pirates or assassins?

7. A series that you used to love but don’t anymore?

8. What’s the longest book that you own?

9. Which book do you plan on reading next?

10. Unicorns or mermaids?

11. Least favourite genre? Why?


Nominations:

Waiting on Wednesday

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

31123249This week I’m looking forward to Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali. The title is what first caught my eye and then I saw the cover and knew I needed this book! Everything about this book sounds amazing! It features a beautiful woman wearing the hijab on the cover, it’s about a Muslim woman who doesn’t fit into the stereotypes and talks about some very serious issues. The reviews I’ve seen have been really positive and I can’t wait to pick it up. YA needs more books like this! It will be released on June 13th by Salaam Reads.

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How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?