The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi ARC Review

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani ChokshiThe Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi (The Gilded Wolves #2)

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: September 15, 2020

Pages: 416

Available Through The Book Depository & Bookshop

Cover Design: Kerri Resnick

Summary: They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost ― one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumoured to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.

As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.

*Minor spoilers, but overall a spoiler-free review*

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: The Silvered Serpents is an enthralling follow-up to The Gilded Wolves! An enchanting alchemy of mythology, clever puzzles, history, and gripping storytelling deliver new dimensions to the phenomenal cast! The stakes are more heightened than before to preserve the group’s friendship and intense love for one another. This sequel is darker, more mysterious, dazzling, leaving you wanting the next book right away! 

The Silvered Serpents is set months following the travesty that left the crew haunted. While each member is attempting to lay down their own roots, persisting despite the trauma of Tristan’s death, the Order pulls the team together again for one more job.

Brought to the heart of a long-secluded palace in the depths of Russian winter, The Sleeping Palace and search for a legendary tome called ‘The Divine Lyrics’ promises a radiant future for each of them, especially for the crew’s enigmatic leader Séverin Montagnet-Alarie.

“He was doing this for them.For his friends…so he endeavored to feel nothing at all…” (21, The Silvered Serpents, Roshani Chokshi).

My lovable crew of 19th-century puzzle solvers were just suffering so much in this book, but it was all in the name of love okay? The relationships, both romantic and platonic, allow us to see the inner desires each of them seek and the fears they must face to get there. Its great to see how the group dynamics evolved as each of them were undergoing their own change too (+ the banter of course continues)!

During the crew’s time spent apart, Zofia was back in Poland looking after her ill sister Hela, Enrique continued to build his reputation to meet with the Illustrados, and Laila, burying the truth of the limited time she has left, continued her job as L’Engime. While Séverin is rooted with a deep fear that he will be left behind as the crew carries on.

What made this sequel so captivating was how Chokshi masterfully fleshes out the characters vulnerable, intimate sides, even the depths to their souls in ways we now realize, we’d just barley scratched the surface of in TGW. I’m not entirely sure how much I want to talk about in this review (because spoilers), but my hope is that I get across just how brilliant Chokshi is at the navigating the character development in this sequel!

Séverin quickly learns there’s a price to pay for the inclination of power, even in his pursuit to become a god. Laila is coming to terms with her existence and mortality as the race to find ‘The Divine Lyrics’ can change everything for her, even confronting the love she has for Séverin. Zofia, doesn’t want to be seen as a burden, but she’s coming to better understand the energy, emotions, and banter of the group. Enrique is trying to continue proving himself as a historian along the way and is reminiscing on what motivates him to stay with the group, even navigating his feelings for Hypnos and Zofia. And then poor Hypnos, just wants to find his place in the group and stumbles a bit along the way.

As the crew reaches the palace, via a well-hidden pair of spectacles, you see that each acquisition along the way allows for the crew to evaluate their own skills and test the relationships they have with each other. Zofia and Enrique as we know, didn’t always get along in book 1, but let me just say that changes a lot throughout Silvered Serpents (every moment they had together warmed my heart 💖).

What fans of the first can appreciate is how Chokshi really dives deep into each of the characters heads to examine more of their past, their desires, and how their handling grief, among other feelings. Their seclusion in the palace makes for lots of intrigue and forces the cast to confront different layers of themselves.

If you loved the lore and mythology of The Gilded Wolves, this sequel builds on that in a very interesting way, as always with lots of fascinating puzzles and history!

Chokshi’s writing as always is descriptive, poetic, lush, giving this sequel almost a fairytale-like quality. You feel like your right there alongside them and everything from the wintry setting, atmosphere, and our cast just comes to life. The tension, intrigue, mystery, and captivating aura of the story make the pages just fly by. I also loved how metaphorical the description and storytelling was for each member of the group’s story arc, it was brilliantly done!

Also a very minor spoiler here, but its just something I really wanted to talk about, the more I realized how it was such a big part of Séverin’s journey and its the idea of forgiveness. Without spoiling, he continuously reflects on what happened to Tristan, but what always lingers is the knowledge that what he’s doing will be for the good of the crew. Similarly when someone from Séverin’s past tags along, they have to come to terms with the significance of their past decisions and what it takes to make amends.

My only minor critique is that there are a couple new characters introduced and they add lots of dimensions to the story, our cast, etc. but I just wanted more background to them nearing the end.

As with Gilded Wolves, I smiled, laughed, even cried during this book! I fell in love with this crew even more and have a newfound appreciation for each of these books as a standalone in the series, because they each bring new dimensions to the crew we just adore so much! While each chapter is a page-turner, as the pieces slowly start coming together, you just cannot put this book down!

Now as for the ending all I will say is, it will possibly leave you screaming, at a lost for words (maybe both)? Also wanting the third book ASAP!! This sequel really blew me away and I’m psyched to see where the series is leading.

The Silvered Serpents is a fantastic sequel to The Gilded Wolves filled with heists, history, mythology, and much more! Chokshi dives deep into the crew’s heads adding lots of new layers to their characters! Love, friendship, intrigue, and grief weave their way throughout this book that takes the crew to the heart of a Russian palace! Chokshi has delivered an enchanting, captivating follow-up that will leave readers wishing for the 3rd book! The Silvered Serpents is not a sequel to miss!

Also want to give my biggest thanks to the wonderful Alicia  @AKernelOfNonsense for letting me borrow an ARC! You are the best Alicia! 😍💗

Author Interview With June Hur {The Silence Of Bones}

Hey everyone today’s guest on the blog is debut author June Hur talking about her upcoming debut which releases next week: The Silence Of Bones!

We’ll be chatting about writing inspirations, mystery, and lots more! Her YA Historical Fiction debut is set to be released next week: April 21, 2020!

Here’s June to introduce what The Silence Of Bones is all about:

June Hur Profile with photo credit by Julie Anna Tang

Set 1800 Joseon (Korea), a sixteen-year-old indentured servant named Seol has been tasked with assisting an inspector with the investigation into the politically-charged murder of noblewoman. As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder. But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

When talking about the inspiration behind TSOB, Hur mentioned that for most of her life she knew very little about Korean history:

“Even though my parents are “very” Korean and I lived in Korean when I was a teen. Then in 2015, out of sheer curiosity, I read further into Korean history – and fell madly in love with it. I was fascinated by everything and was gripped by a terrifying desperation to write a Korean historical mystery. I hesitated for a while, wondering if I, a Korean-Canadian ‘diasporan’, even had the right to write about Korea, and afraid that no one would be interested in a mystery set in a non-western country. It was the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement that finally gave me the courage to write.

At the very heart of this book is a more personal story inspired by my family, a family dispersed. I spent nearly half my life living with my siblings in Canada, far away from my parents, far away from my relatives. And so, while I was writing this book, I found myself wrestling with two questions that always haunted me: What will it cost to keep family together when things are falling apart? And where is home when you live far away from those who have loved you for all of your life?”

The Silence Of Bones by June Hur

There’s a particular detail about her novel, specifically the Damos (female police officers) that intrigued me and I was curious to know if that was the starting point for Hur’s research into the novel, so she mentioned:

“The inspiration for the novel first began with my interest in the Confucian-based moralistic naewoebŏp (a law that prohibited free contact between men and women) that dominated Joseon Korea. It resulted in intense gender segregation, and while researching further into this, I came across the group of women called ‘damo.’ I’d heard of these female police officers before, thanks to a K-Drama called ‘Damo,’ but I’d had no idea they were actual historical figures. These women were servants who worked for the police bureau, and they were in charge of female victims, culprits and corpses.

Damos were apparently the first female police force to ever have actual arresting power in all of world history. But this damo position wasn’t formed because women were respected. The reason for a damos existence was rooted in gender segregation. Damos were needed in the police bureau because of the strict Confucian rule that forbid contact between men with women. So basically, male officers had limited access with women in general, which made investigating nearly impossible for them. That’s why they needed these damo women to do the work they couldn’t do. But despite the deeply patriarchal reason for the existence of ‘damo’, these women were able to subvert their role and prove how capable they were. I was so intrigued by damos that it inspired the bulk of my novel, and that’s why I made the heroine of THE SILENCE OF BONES a 16 year-old damo.”

Since Seol herself is a Damo, Hur then discussed what the research process was like and whether the information was easier or more challenging for her to discover. She stated it was “intense and laborious”:

While there are academic English resources on Joseon Korea, when it came to very niche information (like details about damos, the female police officers my book revolves around), I had to look into Korean resources to provide my imagination with enough facts to get it rolling! But even among Korean articles, there weren’t too many detailed accounts of damos, since they were only briefly mentioned in primary sources. I therefore had to make some educated guesses. Damos were, at the end of the day, lowly servants. And so I studied the role of servants in Joseon Korea, and used this information to fill in the gaps where gaps existed in my research.”

I personally don’t have much knowledge on this historical period, so then I asked her about any specific resources she used to conduct her research and she shared a wonderful list of references:

“For about a year I just read up on Joseon Korea to familiarize myself with the world, and not just what I knew from K-dramas. After that, I continued my research while drafting and polishing my manuscript over the span of two years.

The resources I relied heavily on are the following:

Jahyun Kim Haboush’s Epistolary Korea: Letters in the Communicative Space of the Chosŏn, 1392–1910.

Jahyun Kim Haboush’s The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong: The Autobiographical Writings of a Crown Princess of Eighteenth-Century Korea.

Sun Joo Kim and Jungwon Kim’s Wrongful Deaths: Selected Inquest Records from Nineteenth-Century Korea.

Yungchung Kim’s Women of Korea: A History from Ancient Times to 1945.

Peter H. Lee’s Sources of Korean Tradition, Vol. 2.

Moo-Sook Hanh’s Encounter: A Novel of Nineteenth-Century Korea.”

With TSOB being a historical fiction/mystery novel, I then asked Hur if she had any favorite TV shows/books/etc. in a similar vein:

“Oh, I love this question!

For Historical: The Seven Husband’s of Evelyn Hugo, Pillars of the Earth, The Song of Archilles, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

For Contemporary Mystery: Sadie, and Tana French’s books.

TV Shows: Broadchurch, Mentalist, Signal (a K-drama).”

Seol becomes part of an investigation into the nobelwoman’s politically-charged murder. I then asked what inspired Hur when creating the case and if the mystery was easy to develop:

“The inspiration came from the historical event of a Chinese Catholic priest who smuggled himself into Joseon Korea, which was a dangerous idea, as Catholicism was considered to be ‘Western teaching’ and all things from the West was prohibited by execution. The entire Korean kingdom ended up going on a manhunt for this priest. At the same time, the number of Korean Catholics was also growing exponentially fast. To make things more complicated, the Queen Regent’s rivalling faction tried to use Catholicism to regain power in the government, and so the Regent used Catholicism as a scapegoat to massacre her Catholic rivals. Innocent believers were also swept into this mass persecution.

I wanted to base my book on this event, so I used the murder of the noblewoman as a vehicle to introduce readers to this world of religious and political tension. It wasn’t easy developing the mystery element of my book! The hardest part was figuring out who the killer was. I began writing this book with no idea, so I was always suspicious of every character. And that’s the way I wanted it to be: I wanted to create a killer who wasn’t obvious even to me.”

I can’t wait to meet Seol and follow her journey, so I had to know what Hur enjoyed the most about developing her character:

“I enjoyed writing about her kindness. But nice means to be pleasant and smiling, while kindness means to consider the good of others. And sometimes doing what is best for others is the hardest thing, harder than, for example, wielding a sword against one’s enemy. So I really enjoyed writing about this type of kindness—a loving and gritty, difficult and sacrificial kindness that drove Seol to commit an incredibly difficult act of kindness.”

Alongside that, I asked Hur what inspired TSOB to be set during the Joseon Dynasty:

“The fact that I couldn’t find the book I wanted to read! I grew up watching historical K-dramas set in Joseon and I wanted something as epic and poignant in book form, but I ended up frustrated by my lack of options. I’d never been in this situation before. I read tons of historicals set in England, and whenever I wanted to be swept away in a BBC period drama-like book, I could easily search one up and borrow a copy. But this time my options were super limited. So, for the first time (and I’ve been writing for a while), I decided to write the book I wanted to read.”

There’s a lot of YA Mystery novels set in places like the U.S. and Europe. I had to ask Hur what made this special to her, not only being a Korean author but also having TSOB being set during an era rarely explored in YA Historical Fiction:

“As you mentioned, historical Korea is rarely explored in YA literature, so I grew up knowing almost nothing about Korea’s past. I thought Korean history was irrelevant to me. Then, when I began researching about Korea out of curiosity, I ended up being deeply surprised, shaken to the core, to find that so much of who I am is rooted in Korea’s past. By studying the past, I learned more about myself and realized that I’m not as disconnected from Korea a I imagined myself to be. And so, in the end, the act of writing a Korean historical fiction became my way of reclaiming my roots.”

To conclude this interview, I wanted know if there were any specific quotes from The Silence Of Bones that Hur enjoyed writing and why:

“The opening paragraph of my debut! It opens with a description of Joseon Korea, and that’s one of the few paragraphs that survived several rounds of intense revisions.”

We then finished up the interview with some fun lightning round questions:

1. Recent YA reads? Elizabeth Lim’s Spin the Dawn, and I loved it!

2. If Seol could meet any other YA character who would it be & why? Jo Kuan from The Downstairs Girl. She’s witty and fun and intelligent. I think they’d enjoy solving mysteries together.

3. Pitch TSOB in three words: Rain. Mountain. Revenge.

4. Favorite YA Book (or Books) of 2020 so far? Liz Lawson’s The Lucky Ones.

5.When you were writing TSOB how did you picture it (TV show, movie, etc.)? A Korean Drama!

Thanks so much to June for joining me on the blog today! Are you looking forward to The Silence Of Bones? 🔎📚🦴

If you’re able to support indie bookstores during this time, you can pre-order Here or Here in paperback! It’s also available to add on Goodreads

Dark Of The West by Joanna Hathaway Review

Dark Of The West by Joanna HathawayDark Of The West by Joanna Hathaway (Glass Alliance #1)

Publisher: Tor Teen

Release Date: February 5, 2019

Pages: 480

Available Through The Book Depository: Dark Of The West

Summary: Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.

Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: Dark Of The West is a historical fantasy-esque tale, weaved together with WW-infused elements! This novel is filled with geopolitics, intrigue, and an incredibly complex cast of characters! Hathaway’s debut is a slow-building, but wholly immersive novel that will keep you thinking with each and every page!

You know those books that just have such a layered and complex world, that you can picture yourself hopping on a plane & heading to that fictional setting?

Dark Of The West was one of those books! The way Hathaway built the history, evolving politics, atmosphere, and beliefs of differing countries such as Etania, Savient, and the South, made the setting come to life on the page, all while allowing me to truly immerse myself in the complex world!

The 20th-Century style setting with planes, castles, electricity, emerging technology, we’re just some of the fascinating elements that also lent itself to this wholly unique setting.

Princess Aurelia and pilot/general’s son Athan are both eager to carve their own paths for themselves! But family feuds going back generations force them to try and uphold their parent’s values that they aren’t entirely sure they understand.

According to her bio & author interviews I’ve read, Hathaway adores history! Throughout Dark Of The West you can see where her inspiration builds and heightens the complex elements to her world.

Dark Of The West was a book I was waiting months for because the summary just hooked me and it sounded like my kind of book–star-crossed love, pilots, politics, etc.! I was bummed when this book was pushed from 2018 to 2019, but now that I’ve finally read this gem of a novel, I was left emotionally devastated and I’m not even sure how I can wait for book 2!

What I love about Dark Of The West so much was the characters–wow these characters! Athan, Aurelia, Cyar, Reni, Violet, even cunning and deceptive characters like the General, Arrin, & Havis–I found myself understanding all of the different layers to them and they truly came to life throughout this entire book!

Athan is eager to follow his own destiny away from the Academy, his ruthless father the General, and all the expectations he’s been born into! At the start of the novel, we see that he is continuously hiding his brilliance in order to trick his father and avoid getting tangled even further into the schemes and brewing war!

You can sense the tension and anxiety that Athan feels because he knows he’ll never be like his cold, older brothers Arrin & Kalt and doesn’t want to take part in his father’s plans to rule over more of their world. The cunning dynamic between Arrin & Athan was probably one of my favorite sibling dynamics throughout this book!

What Hathaway did so brilliantly is portraying these opposing mirrors to Athan and Aurelia as characters! They have a foil or mirror that in our minds–if led on some other path, could have easily become, but through Hathaway’s complex politics and layered sides to Athan + Aurelia, we see that there’s many different sides to the entire cast that we can only uncover through the each distinct POV as the novel develops.

First person lends itself to not only seeing all the characters from a different angle, but also the multi-layered world and politics that build throughout Dark Of The West! The writing is beautiful and poetic! Writing itself, in my opinion, is also an important element to world-building, especially through 1st person & Hathaway’s vivid and elegant writing style not only captured that heart, but also played a huge role in how I viewed the story!

Aurelia finds comfort in journeys through the forest, but also loves to paint! We learn that with the loss of her father, she continues to carry on the beauty of painting with her. I loved how this also contrasted with Athan’s love of sketching!

I loved Aurelia, she was such a brave and brilliant heroine who inspired me, while also reminded me of my own strength that often goes unseen & I adored that so much!

Aurelia and Athan find themselves crossing paths when the General hatches a plan to go to Etania & visit the queen, Aurelia’s mother, with a political meeting in mind alongside revenge against his long-time rival. However, in reality he knows politics are tough for the queen and wants to find a way to seize her throne, all while using his son Athan to keep him close and uncover more through the princess.

What surprised me was how Aurelia never really found out who he was, even when things get intense near the last 1/4 of the book! I’m scared for what’ll happen when she does find out who he really is & what it’ll mean for their dynamic going forward in future Glass Alliance books!

Family and friendship, alongside trust and loyalty were big themes present throughout Dark Of The West which I found were developed so incredibly well! There’s Athan & Cyar’s friendship–their dynamic was so beautiful to read about because there’s not that many books I can recall that have such a strong guy friendship or having it done in such an in-depth way like in this book!

We also can’t forget Violet & Aurelia’s friendship–which is cemented with the support they have for one another.

Family of course is also a very integral part to this story that you sense with every page! From Athan & Aurelia’s expectations, their older siblings, parents, and all the political scheming + underlying intrigue that goes on with them throughout the book hidden to both Athan & Aurelia!

There’s many secrets that are hidden between both families and I loved how Hathaway weaved them into the story and exploring why family and history play such huge roles in the main conflict of this novel! It was brilliantly cemented into the story.

The romance that develops between Aurelia and Athan is so beautiful, subtle, and yet heart-breaking all at the same time!! We know going in that their both on opposite sides of this war, but I couldn’t help but continue to root for them so much! (& constantly remembering about that prologue *both beautiful + haunting* didn’t help either 😅😭💔)

Another underlying element to this book that I found fascinating was how it explored this internal war between the Dakar’s & Isendare’s without there having actually been a war throughout the book-through the scheming & politics sparked by the death of Athan’s mother.

The politics are multi-layered and full expanded on throughout the novel, that builds its way into many different pieces of the story.

I wish I could put into words all the love I have for this book & my beloved crew of Aurelia, Cyar & Athan! They captured my heart from their first introductions ❤ I just–love each of them with all my heart and want them to be protected at all costs in book 2 😭💖

I suppose my only minor critique which did not take away from my complete adoration for this book, is that the pacing is a bit slow at times. This is very much a politically-driven novel with intrigue and court politics, so its very much a story to be experienced that you really absorb through Aurelia & Athan, which is why it is at 4.5!

However, above all I absolutely loved this book and I cannot wait to see where Hathaway continues The Glass Alliance! Though, I’m not sure I’ll be entirely prepared! 😅🎉🎉

Dark Of The West is haunting, but beautifully crafted novel that will leave you captivated! The fascinating characters, immersive setting, brilliantly explored politics, and layered storytelling make Hathaway’s novel a must read! This debut is a historical-inspired fantasy that has so much depth and heart, leaving you eager for the sequel right away!

January 2019 Wrap-Up

During the month of January I read 5 books! I’m really happy with this number & the books I read, because a lot of them were part of a TBR list I created for myself in my bullet journal!

Fierce Fairytales Poems And Stories To Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill1. Fierce Fairytales: Poems And Stories To Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill

LibraryStarted January 1 + Finished January 2My Rating:★★★★☆ Fierce Fairytales Full Review

Overall Thoughts: I’d never read any of Gill’s poetry before, but after reading this book I definitely want to check out more of her collections in the future! I loved the modern twists and inspiring messages she wove into Fierce Fairytales! Gill transforms fairy-tales/classic fairy tale elements within each piece of the collection to turn it into something wholly unique and I loved that! However, there were definitely some elements that made me take off a star: You can clearly see the message and emotion she’s trying to evoke, but with the plainness in writing, it comes off as very direct and abrupt. The pacing did drag a bit too. However, there we’re definitely some poems & stories that I adored, which I found both showed the strongest writing and imagery: Badroulbadour, Shoemaker’s Son, Rapunzel Rapunzel & Moon Dragon! 

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi2. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (The Gilded Wolves #1)

ARC Started January 3 + Finished January 8My Rating: ★★★★★ The Gilded Wolves ARC Review

Overall Thoughts: Though 2019 has just started, I know for a fact that The Gilded Wolves is one of my all-time favorite books of the year! The dazzling setting & world-building, phenomenal characters (banter especially), plot, dialogue–I could go on & on–were fantastic!  This book was just too high quality and I’m not sure if I’ll ever recover. I adored this crew so much: Séverin, Hypnos, Enrique, Tristan, Zofia & Laila–I loved each of them so much!! Chokshi really builds their backstories, motvation, growth + vulnerability where you are left truly understanding these wonderful characters! There’s multiple heists, puzzles, a mysterious society, intrigue, and non-stop adventure! The Gilded Wolves is a masterfully crafted historical fantasy & not a book to miss! 

*Another one of my reviews for The Gilded Wolves was also featured on Bookish if you want to check it out! 

i hear the sunspot limit 1 by yuki fumino3. I Hear The Sunspot: Limit 1 by Yuki Fumino ( Sunspot #3)

OwnedStarted January 10 + Finished January 11My Rating: ★★★★☆ I Hear The Sunspot: Limit 1 Full Review

Overall Thoughts: It was great to return to the world of I Hear The Sunspot again! This is the series that got me back into manga again and I fell in love with the story and characters! Suspot centers around college students Kouhei & Taichi who become friends and fall for each other! Kouhei is hard of hearing and this series also goes into great length to discuss and explore hearing disabilities! The introduction to new side characters make the story even more interesting. Though I did find that Kouhei and Taichi’s relationship in terms of development does take a step backwards. But, I am so interested to see where Kouhei & Taichi are headed in this series! I highly recommend this manga because the story is impactful, the two main characters Taichi & Kouhei go through so much development, and there’s a lot of discussion about hearing/ hearing disability! Highly recommend this manga series, its SO underrated!

The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera4. The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera (Their Bright Ascendancy #2)

OwnedStarted December 22 + Finished January 25My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½ The Phoenix Empress Full Review

Overall Thoughts: The Phoenix Empress is a phenomenal continuation to this epic fantasy series! The Tiger’s Daughter chronicled Shizuka and Shefali’s lives starting when they were born to their unfortunate separation later in life! However, in the end they are reunited, but not for long as we see in The Phoenix Empress–Shizuka is still haunted by events in her past as a soldier during Shefali’s absence and Shefali is attempting to understand the darkness that now runs through her! The detail, insight into the characters, and further development of the world are just some of the many things I loved about this sequel! There’s a cast of dynamic and incredible female characters, expansive lore, politics, and immersive plot made The Phoenix Empress such a fantastic sequel! I can’t wait to read book 3, The Warrior Moon!

planting stories--the life of librarian and storyteller pura belpré5. Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise + Paola Escoba

LibraryStarted January 29 + Started January 29My Rating: ★★★★★  Planting Stories Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Planting Stories is a must-read picture book that chronicles the life and legacy of storyteller, librarian, and author Pura Belpré! She uses her power of storytelling to not only spark a love of stories, but also to get more Latinx (& especially Puerto Rican folktales) in the library! The art, with its use of warm colors evokes a sense of magic in this heartwarming story! She moves to New York from Puerto Rico and becomes the 1st Puerto Rican librarian in the city. Both the writing and illustrations bring Belpré’s story to life. From the impact of Belpré’s legacy to the importance of having diversity/representation among stories, this picture book is must-read!

Additional Posts From This Month:

2018 Wrap-Up & 2019 Book Blog Goals {Bookish Goals}

January 2019 YA Books I’m Looking Forward To!

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi {Reading Diary}

Upcoming 2019 YA Book Recommendations From Book Bloggers
feat. Adriana, Jordan, Marie, & Sil

The Gilded Wolves {Reading Playlist}

YA Book-To-Movie Adaptations Releasing In 2019!

Empire Of Sand by Tasha Suri Optioned For TV! {Book Blog Discussion}

King Of Scars by Leigh Bardugo {Bookish Theories}

Flyest Fables Podcast Review {Literary Listens}

~ It wasn’t until I was writing this wrap-up that I realized how many additional posts I created! If you have time, I’d love if you could give one of them a read–it would mean a lot! ❤❤ I had so much fun creating all my non-review posts this month & January left me inspired to create more! 😭✨📚

~ I also created a new banner for my wrap-ups & I really like how it turned out!

Plans For February:

~ More podcasts reviews! I listened to my first podcast of the year this month and really want to bring back my fiction podcast reviews! 🎙✨❤

~ Stay on track with my monthly bullet journal TBRs!

~ Create more non-book review posts! 😍📚✨

So that was my January TBR! Thoughts on what I read? What books did you read in January? 😍📚🎉🎉

YA Book To Movie Adaptations Releasing In 2019!

Book Blog Discussion BannerIts time for a bookish chat! Hey, 24hr.YABookBlog here (~˘▾˘)~💞✨📚 Today I wanted to talk about the upcoming Young Adult Book-To-Movie Adaptations releasing this year!

I mean who doesn’t love seeing their favorite YA Book adapted for the screen? I know it can be kind of nerve-wracking, but seeing a book brought to life & seeing the bookish community come together makes it all the more fun!

Now as we roll into 2019, there’s many more adaptations to come and I couldn’t be more excited!!

These adaptations are in order by release date (however, dates may be subject to change)! If there’s any adaptations your looking forward to, lets discuss in the comments below! 😍📽📚✨🎞

Ashes In The Snow1.Ashes In The Snow
Based On: Between Shades Of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Release Date: January 11, 2019
Production Company: Sorrento Productions, Tauras Films, and Twilight Merengue Studios

Starring: Bel Powley as Lina

Ashes In The Snow Movie Tie-In Paperback

Summary: In 1941, 16 year-old aspiring artist Lina and her family are deported from Lithuania to Siberia amidst Stalin’s brutal dismantling of the Baltic region. One girl’s passion for art and her never-ending hope will break the silence of history.

Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like her, by documenting the experience in her art and notes. She risks everything, hoping that her messages in art will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know his family is still alive.

*Now available through iTunes & Amazon

the knife of never letting go by patrick ness2.Chaos Walking
Based On: The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking #1)
Release Date:
March 1, 2019 (rumored)
Production Company: Lionsgate Entertainment

Starring: Tom Holland as Todd Hewitt & Daisy Ridley as Viola Eade

The Knife Of Never Letting Go paperback (UK Edition)

Summary: Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Yoon_9780553496680_jkt_all_r1.indd3.The Sun Is Also A Star
Based On: The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
Release Date:
May 17, 2019
Production Company:
Warner Bros., Alloy Entertainment, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Starring: Yara Shahidi as Natasha & Charles Melton as Daniel

The Sun Is Also A Star Movie Tie-In Edition (Pre-Order; Available April 2019)

Summary: Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott4. Five Feet Apart
Based On: Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott
Release Date:
March 22, 2019
Production Company:
CBS Films

Starring: Haley Lu Richardson as Stella & Cole Sprouse as Will

Five Feet Apart Movie Tie-In Edition (Pre-Order; Available February 2019)

Summary: Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.

The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.

Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

95.All The Bright Places
Based On: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Release Date:
Rumored 2019
Production Company:
Echo Lake Entertainment 
Film to be distributed by Netflix!

Starring: Elle Fanning as Violet & Justice Smith as Theodore

All The Bright Places paperback (UK Edition)

Summary: Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

*+ Though there’s no release date yet, the sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before– P.S. I Still Love You, has been confirmed💌💞💖

And those are the upcoming YA Book To Movie Adaptations of 2019! Any YA Adaptations your looking forward to? ✨🎬📽📚

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi {Reading Playlist}

Hey, 24hr.YABookBlog here (~˘▾˘)~💞✨📚 To celebrate the release of Roshani Chokshi’s newest book, The Gilded Wolves, I have a reading playlist to share today!

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiIt’s been so long since I’ve done a Reading Playlist and I found that these songs really fit well with the atmosphere, magic, and theme of friendship throughout the book!

The Gilded Wolves is dazzling, incredibly atmospheric, and such an immersive read that I quickly found myself listening to these songs on repeat as I was reading it!

If you have yet to read The Gilded Wolves, I’d definitely recommend reading it alongside these awesome songs!

Tracks featured in today’s playlist are from: Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts 3D, & a track from the film Atonement 🎧📚

Songs:

• Briony (Atonement) • • Working Together (Kingdom Hearts II) •

•La Cloche (Kingdom Hearts 3D) • • Le Sanctuaire (Kingdom Hearts 3D) •

• Black Garden (Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep) •

• Extreme Encounters (Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep) •  • Friends In My Heart (Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days) •

Honestly I’m such a huge Kingdom Hearts fan so creating this playlist was not only lots of fun, but also super nostalgic because the 3rd installment is finally being released this month! 😭💖❤

Hope you enjoyed this playlist & I’d love to know your thoughts! 😍🎧✨📚

If you’ve read or are currently reading The Gilded Wolves what are your thoughts on this playlist? ✨🎧💞

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi ARC Review

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiThe Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (The Gilded Wolves #1)

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: January 15, 2019

Pages: 464

Available For Pre-Order Through The Book Depository: The Gilded Wolves

Summary: Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

*Received ARC through Bookish*

My Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts: The Gilded Wolves is a masterfully crafted historical fantasy with heists and puzzles to solve at every turn! This dazzling novel pulls you in from the very beginning with a diverse cast of characters, brilliant heists + schemes, alongside an intricate and immersive plot that’s as epic as it is unique! A must read for 2019!

Honestly I’m not entirely sure where to start with this review because I’m still trying to process all the brilliance that is The Gilded Wolves!

Before going into all the details of this incredible book, I don’t know if I mention it often, but I am obsessed with historical fantasy! It all started ever since I’d heard about & eventually read this stunning book: The Golem And The Jinni!

Since then as I wait for the sequel (that keeps getting pushed back😭✨) I’ve been filling the void with even more historical fantasy,The Gilded Wolves included, and it went above & beyond my expectations!

Those expectations were pretty high considering its a Roshani Chokshi book & I love a good heist (or should I says heists! But more on that later😉). Now that I’ve finished this gem of a book, not only has it already taken the top spot as my favorite book of the year, but I’m not entirely sure how I can wait an entire year for the next one 😭✨

The Gilded Wolves is Chokshi’s newest series which is a historical fantasy set in 1880’s Paris, at the peak of the Exposition Universelle! Right away your sucked into this secret society that is hidden within the shadows of not only Paris, but other parts of the world too and it was so cool to see how Chokshi weaved in different countries and mythology into this story!

It was elements like that which gave a vast look at how the secret society, The Order, Houses, Babel Fragments, and this unique ability known as Forging came to be!

Your introduced to 4-5 different POV’s as you follow this tight-knit crew of thieves who are brought into their latest assignment after a heist uncovers a lead to puzzles & treasure hunts that could bring back the Fallen House!

The crew is made up Séverin, Enrique, Tristan, Zofia & Laila! I can’t put into words just how much I love this clever crew, I love them with all my heart! ❤❤

Séverin Montagnet-Alarie, is the leader and is on a quest to claim heir to his House (House Vanth) again after he was denied and his line was declared dead. Now he works on his own with his crew to take back objects the Order takes in auction or steals (He’s also a hotel owner)! All in hopes that one day, he can have a reputation to get the attention of the Order and have his House back!

There’s Enrique, the witty and hilarious historian! Tristan, a gardener who owns a giant spider and never lets anyone forget it! Laila, a dancer who loves baking & harbors a mysterious secret.

There’s also Zofia, who is a genius with numbers, may be obsessed with fires, & loves a good sugar cookie! And finally there is Hypnos, Séverin’s former childhood friend, who is the Patriarch to House Nyx and while he can be a bit much for the crew to handle–he also just wants a place to belong!

Through the characters your introduced to this ability known as Forging which can take on two different forms: Affinity of Mind or Matter. This can allow a person to have more visible powers like the ability to control elements of the outside world or internal ones such as the ability to read objects and in-turn their connection to person.

I honestly loved every single thing about this book, from the complex story & characters, world-building, the dazzling writing, & non-stop adventure! The way Chokshi weaves so many elements together is just brilliant!

If your a fan of intricate puzzles, treasure hunts, heists and a bit of math–this book is sure to be such a fun read!

Now back to the plot–so after the heist, it leads the group to discovering the Horus Eye and possible location of a Babel Fragment (which is said to be source of Forging power). When it calls to the attention of Hypnos, he tells Séverin if he can do one more “acquisition” which involves stealing those items from the Order, he can give him his title back and Séverin’s future is starting to look clear!

What I love about the multiple POVs so much and is one of the many strengths of this novel is how it allows us to see these characters from their flaws to their moments of triumph. We’re able to look into their talents and moments of growth throughout the story when they are faced with some obstacles along the way!

You learn so much about these characters, their pasts, and hopes for the future and they came to life with each and every page! I can honestly say that its been a while since I’ve been really connected to an ensemble cast such as this one!

Throughout The Gilded Wolves you also see how each of the members has their own goal or objective that will lead them on other paths. My heart broke because you can see how much each of them care for each other and I distinctly remember a line where in Séverin’s POV it mentions that even after the heist he still wants the crew to find reasons to stay! 😭❤✨

I have so much love for this adorable found family Chokshi has created and I’m of course super interested to see where their group dynamic is headed in the sequel ❤❤

Another element I loved about The Gilded Wolves so much was the banter!! THE BANTER– Just-WOW, this is some of the best & funniest banter I’ve read in such a long time! There were also many times I was laughing because this crew was just–hilarious (I love my comedic found family) 😂

Here’s one of my many favorite moments (from Ch. 4):

From Zofia’s POV the crew meet up in the star-gazing room & are waiting for Séverin:

“Tristan followed her gaze and nearly jumped up when he saw Séverin.
‘Must you creep on us like that? I didn’t even hear you come into the room!’
‘It’s part of my aesthetic,’ said Séverin…”

When it comes to the characters as well, this leads me to compare it a little to Six Of Crows! While there are definitely differences between both these books for sure, I have to admit I love Gilded Wolves a lot more than SOC!

Its mainly due to the fact that in The Gilded Wolves, you see so much vulnerability to these characters, but you also see the light that’s still shining within them. I also found that just the way Chokshi develops the Gilded Wolves crew was just done in a way I really loved!

My biggest example of this is when it comes to Séverin! There’s so much emotion & vulnerability to him and we see his struggles as we progress throughout the story, that I loved following his journey! When comparing it to Six Of Crows, Kaz for me seemed to be a very ruthless kind of character and there weren’t many different moments of vulnerability to his character!

There’s moments throughout his chapters where we learn since his parents died, he was moved throughout the different Houses and had 7 fathers (correlating each one to a deadly sin) and with the 2nd one he meets Tristan, so we see how far back these 2 characters go, but also how Séverin grew up impacts his personality and relationships (especially with Laila).

Each of the crew truly came to life and there were definitely moments that had me very emotional when getting into their backstories! 😭✨

Although some can see the comparisons with Six Of Crows, Chokshi’s novel is wholly unique and magical in every way! I found The Gilded Wolves took all the things I love about heists from the lovable crew, elaborate & thought-out plans, the page-turning suspense of an impossible job, and weaved in rich history, puzzles, and phenomenal world-building that all become such important elements to the heist!

Though even with all the complex backstories, sad moments, etc., The Gilded Wolves just left me with this feeling of happiness and empowerment seeing these characters stick through it all, no matter what happens!

Now onto other elements that I adored about this book! So–there are many iconic dynamics & duos and IDK if I’ll ever recover! Of course I was all here for the powerful friendship between Laila & Zofia, the Séverin & Enrique duo, etc. What I also loved was the relationships/romance Chokshi weaved into this book that really sets up for even more interesting dynamics in book 2!

Séverin & Laila are hinted at being together in the past and you see how they carry it with them still, even if they refuse to talk about it–it still impacts how they interact with each other! But overall, I loved how Chokshi made this a different dynamic than just a “first-love.” They were already together, so it was super interesting seeing this after-math to their past relationship and how it develops!

One of my favorite recurring moments in the book was when Laila would call Séverin majnun 😭✨💕

Okay and the dynamic between Enrique & Zofia was the cutest!! (~˘▾˘)~💕💕 I shipped both of these duos so much!!

This is also such a diverse, inclusive & feminist story! From the empowering friendship between Zofia & Laila, and Zofia being an engineer! There’s also diversity to the cast which has Jewish-Polish rep. (Zofia) and explores the autism spectrum, Indian rep. (Laila), Enrique (Spanish-Filipino & Bi-), & Hypnos (dark-skinned), & Séverin (1/2 French & North African)!

I also began annotating Gilded Wolves about 1/2 way through reading it & have used so many sticky tabs–I’m basically tabbing up the entire book at this point! 😂✨ There’s so many funny lines, amazing character moments, and incredible quotes!

I’m so incredibly happy that The Gilded Wolves was my first YA of 2019 because I truly loved it with all my heart!!

Now I want to be vague about how it ends, so I’ll just say those last few chapters really leave you turning the page! Now I have no idea how I’ll wait for the sequel, my heart is just so full after reading this epic book! 😭❤❤✨

I also did a Reading Diary for The Gilded Wolves if your interested in checking that out, where I go into my daily reading progress and go into more depth on spoilers 😍💕✨📚

The Gilded Wolves is a historical fantasy adventure, filled with clever puzzles & even more intriguing heists! There’s a fantastic crew you’ll fall in love with, incredible character development, stunning world-building, all weaved into a brilliant and clever tale! Intrigue, non-stop adventure, heists, puzzles, and mysterious societies, all take center stage as Chokshi delivers a stunning tale set in 1889 Paris! The Gilded Wolves is not a book to miss, highly recommend it!

I also made it a goal in 2019 to promote other book bloggers with my book reviews, so I recommend checking out 😍✨🎉:

The Gilded Wolves ARC Review from Annie over at Blossoms And Bullet Journals 

She divided this book review into sections to discuss the main elements of the story and how they contributed to her love of the book!

And similar to my thoughts she explains that even though its pitched for fans of Six Of Crows she says why its unique in its own way!

The unique style to her format and writing really gives you everything you need to know without revealing too much! I definitely recommend this review if you need anymore convincing to read this book! 🎉✨

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi {Reading Diary}

From January 3-8 I read The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi and while I was reading it, I found myself writing down favorite quotes & moments from the story!

This quickly led to me thinking that maybe I could also track my daily reading progress for Gilded Wolves (sort of like a reading vlog) and that’s exactly what I did!

So today’s post is sharing all my thoughts and reactions as I read this wonderful book! 😄❤📚📝

**There will be some plot-specific spoilers so be aware & my full ARC Review of Gilded Wolves should be up by next week! 😍✨💕

Hope you enjoy my Reading Diary/Journal & this is a new kind of post for the blog, so I’d love to hear your thoughts! 💕✨

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiJanuary 3
Reading Progress ✨📚: Prologue to Ch.7

–I received an ARC of this through a Goodreads Giveaway back in August and even though I was SO excited to read it, I thought it’d be best to wait & read it now during release month!

I love Roshani’s books so much! I also adore historical fantasy & have heard many amazing things, so its safe to say my expectations are really high for The Gilded Wolves!

–The Prologue is filled with mystery, I love it! It also wonderfully sets up/introduces the Houses and Rings! I can’t wait to learn more about them.

–Only 2 pages into Séverin’s chapter and I sense a heist coming!!

–Okay I was right! There’s a HEIST within the first 5 pages of this book!!

—As we go a little more into  Séverin’s back-story, I’m getting even Heist Society vibes from this: Apparently now that his status as heir to his House was taken away years ago, he’s now hired to take back objects & return them (which the Order originally stole)

–He used to belong to House Vanth but after his family line was declared dead, his possessions were taken by the Order.

–I’ve just been introduced to Séverin and Enrique & I love them both already (´▽`ʃƪ)💕

–The Séverin and Enrique banter is the best banter!!

I’ve always been a fan of heist/detective shows and knowing there would be a heist or two, I already knew before going into Gilded Wolves I would absolutely adore it! But so far book really is going above & beyond my expectations

–I’ve just been introduced to Laila & Zofia and their friendship is just so lovely

–Séverin’s heist has gone a bit wrong, but this banter is TOO good 😂😂✨

I made this update on my Goodreads and stand by it: I would protect Séverin, Enrique, Laila, Tristan, & Zofia w/ my life (I love this crew❤❤)

–Séverin and Enrique are back from the heist, so the rest of the crew is gathered to see what their “acquisition” (as Sev. calls it) led to! It turns out this compass has some unique symbols  → Horus Eye

–Now this is connecting to the beginning of the book which talked about Babel Fragments and Forging (very interesting ✨)

–This has led them to Hypnos, Séverin’s childhood friend (but now they aren’t anymore)! Hypnos wants Horus’s Eye which can be found in a House Kore vault!

–Made it all the way to Ch.7 on Day 1 which is a success because I was starting to get in a bit of a reading slump before starting this book! The last full-length fiction book I read was Realm Of Ruins back around mid-December!

*While reading I was also listening to some music, so now I’m definitely going to draft a Gilded Wolves Playlist (Hoping to post it shortly after release) 🎧✨😍

January 4
Reading Progress ✨📚: Ch.7 to Ch.11

This section of chapters is where Chokshi’s clever writing, schemes, heists, etc. shine even more!

–I love how Chokshi has developed each character separately so far because each POV is just so real and they truly come to life off the page!

–I honestly love each member of the crew and can’t pick a favorite! The banter between Zofia & Enrique, Lailia & Sev’s chemistry, Tristian & Sev’s brotherly-bond, I adore each of these different duos! (I also love how diverse/inclusive this book is *more about that in my review)

–Even in chapters where certain crew members aren’t together, you still understand their relationship and you can see how much each of them care for each other!

Especially seeing Severin’s fear of being alone after the success of their mission–my heart was broken!! But I’m rooting for him & that the crew will all be okay in the end!

*Minor spoiler but there’s this scene in pg. 80 of my ARC which I won’t explain in detail, but Severin is thinking if they pull off this heist it can benefit them all & not just himself, but from his POV he’s thinking:

“He could give them more than just something to tide them over until the next acquisition…He could give them enough to stay…”

Honestly my heart broke & I was a mess bc I was not expecting Roshani to come at Séverin this way😭💔–it was scenes like that which I loved even though they broke me because you see so much vulnerability to these characters, yet on the next page you see them joking and having witty banter! ❤❤

I don’t know what else to say other than I love the crew with all my heart–The Gilded Wolves I would say is my Six Of Crows!

–Going on a bit of tangent, while reading this book so far, I’m thinking back to SOC and while I did enjoy it when I read it b/c it was fun & shown to be a fantasy heist book…its actually not? It had maybe 1, while Gilded Wolves literally has multiple heists & that’s just one of the many reasons I love it so much😂✨❤

–There’s a magic to Chokshi’s writing and how she develops her characters that has honestly made The Gilded Wolves one of my favorite books of the year & of all-time & I’m not even ½ way done!

Overall super happy with my reading progress today! But my goal tomorrow is to get through Ch.20 & make t to the 50% mark–we’ll see what happens

January 5
Reading Progress✨📚: Ch.11 to Ch.15

–Today I read from about 7a.m. through 11 p.m. w/ some breaks throughout the day

The chapters I read through today focused a lot on the different duos as they solve a couple remaining mysteries before the next heists & schemes begin!

We got more backstory to the characters & I’m just in awe at how Chokshi is unfolding all the secrets and pasts of these characters!

–My 2 favorite characters from today’s sections (if I had to pick, even though its impossible😂) would have to be Zofia & Séverin! There’s so much more revealed about them, not only in regards to their personalities, but also their dynamics with other team members!

–For example in Ch.11 Zofia & Enrique are solving a puzzle and I just loved their banter and how they work together. I won’t spoil why their dynamic is complex, but I just loved seeing them work things out & solve some puzzles!

–What makes me so happy is seeing more of Zofia & Laila’s beautiful friendship & IDK where Séverin & Laila’s dynamic is headed but I can’t wait to see! But also–I utterly adore seeing how much Séverin cares for Zofia is always looking out for her & ensuring she’s okay!

–And also as I’ve been reading this book of course what I’m questioning for the most part is: Would it be accurate to say Séverin is Kaz Brekker w/ good morals & being a “good” morally grey character?

–I love myself a good heist & that’s what today’s chapters were all about (alongside Hypnos–who I have so many conflicted feelings about–in a good way) setting up a plan to get into a House Kore party!

–As they go through with their plan I loved seeing all the different tools/gadgets that are a part of this world! They were all really cool, like:

*Mirror Powder which allows someone to camouflage w/ what ever they touch with the powder for a short amount of time

–And as with the previous chapters, there’s even more witty banter between the crew & I am here for it! 😂😂❤

–Can’t wait to see how my progress goes for Sunday! Hopefully I can make it past Ch.20 into well over the 50% mark! Regardless, I’m truly loving everything about The Gilded Wolves from the brilliant characters, immersive setting, fun & complex team dynamics, and the genius heists & plans!

January 6:
Reading Progress✨📚: Ch.15 to Ch.19

The crew makes their way to Kore’s mansion and they go through with their own separate plans to later meet in the Greenhouse!

–One of my favorite parts about these chapters was seeing each member’s individual assignment & even though there are some unexpected moments that don’t go according to plan I loved seeing how they overcame these obstacles and kept on going!

–Zofia and Laila’s were my favorite chapters to read about in this section because we see them do what they do best & rock their assignment, but also learn more about them (& their past) when they tackle a few hurdles along the way!

–There’s a lot of puzzles (& math 😂) that have to be solved in the last couple chapters & they were all incredibly clever and the way the unfold was so fascinating to read!

Séverin isn’t majorly involved in the last couple chapters, so it was so cool reading about the other crew members & how they worked together!

–I’m loving the dynamic continuing to build between Zofia & Enrique 😍💕❤

–Around the afternoon when I reached Ch.18 I took a break to go buy supplies for annotating b/c there have been just so many memorable lines, moments of dialogue, & just the story itself that I couldn’t not highlight/tab all my favorite parts!

My goal for tomorrow is to get past ch.20 & maybe (possibly?) finish up Gilded Wolves tomorrow!

January 7:
Reading Progress 📚✨: Ch.19 to the beginning of Ch.23

The story is getting super interesting & stakes are getting high! As always, the banter & team dynamics continue to be A+

I’m excited to see where the plot is going now that all the pieces are coming into place regarding the Babel Fragments, the Fallen House & some mysterious figures that have appeared!

–My goal is to finish up The Gilded Wolves tomorrow (we shall see 😂✨) because I have quite a few posts planned as part of The Gilded Wolves Street Team

January 8:
Reading Progress 📚✨: Ch.23 through Ch.40 (The final chapter)

— I didn’t really take a lot of notes while reading these last 20 or so chapters, because I was hooked until the very end! My reading progress wasn’t as big in previous days as much as it was for this last day of reading because I just had to keep on reading to the know where the story was headed!

Okay in these last remaining chapters the story really comes together and the scheming, plans, & banter does not stop for a moment!

–There’s just so much that happens in these last few chapters, I’m still processing it all 😂✨ I’m hoping my crew makes it out okay 😭✨

–Title spot in these last remaining chapters 😂

–I don’t want to spoil what happens, but it was such a great ending that really leaves you wanting the next book! (I know I do!! 😂❤❤)

–Although Chokshi’s Star-Touched Queen books will be books I forever cherish, The Gilded Wolves really captured my heart with the dazzling setting, fantastic crew of misfits, the BEST banter, & an intricate, immersive story that had me hooked from start to finish!

This concludes my Reading Diary for The Gilded Wolves and hope you liked all my commentary! ^_^

Have you gotten a chance to read The Gilded Wolves yet? If not, are you looking forward to it? 🐺✨🌿

Thoughts on this Reading Diary? I’m thinking I’ll probably do more posts like this in the future because it was a lot of fun looking back at all my thoughts in real-time & having something to read through again in the future! 📚💖

January 2019 YA Books I’m Looking Forward To!

Its been so long since I’ve made monthly book release posts! In 2019, I really want to talk more about the upcoming books I’m excited to read!! 😍💕📚✨So, here’s my list of January releases that are on my TBR! 

January 2019

Contemporary

I Moved To Los Angeles To Work In Animation by Natalie Nourigat1.I Moved To Los Angeles To Work In Animation by Natalie Nourigat
Publisher: BOOM! Box (Boom! Studios)
Release Date:
January 1, 2019
Summary: The story of one woman’s quest to move to Los Angeles and got a job in animation…and how you can too.

When artist Tally Nourigat left her life in Portland to move to Los Angeles and pursue a job in animation, she realized that despite her research, nothing truly prepared her for the wild world that awaited in the studios of Southern California. From grinding on storyboard test after storyboard test to getting a job at a major studio to searching for an apartment in…the Valley…this autobiographical how-to graphic novel explores the highest highs and lowest lows of pursuing a dream in animation. Brushed with a dose of humor and illustrated advice about salaries, studio culture, and everything in between, I Moved to Los Angeles to Work in Animation is the unique insider experience you won’t find anywhere else.

Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi2.Black Enough: Stories  Of Being Young & Black In America edited by Ibi Zoboi; Including Tracey Baptiste, Coe Booth, Dhonielle Clayton, Brandy Colbert, Jay Coles, Lamar Giles, Leah Henderson, Justina Ireland, Varian Johnson, Kekla Magoon, Tochi Onyebuchi, Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, Liara Tamani, Renée Watson, & Rita Williams-Garcia
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (EpicReads)
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Summary: Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today—Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America.

Black is…sisters navigating their relationship at summer camp in Portland, Oregon, as written by Renée Watson.

Black is…three friends walking back from the community pool talking about nothing and everything, in a story by Jason Reynolds.

Black is…Nic Stone’s high-class beauty dating a boy her momma would never approve of.

Black is…two girls kissing in Justina Ireland’s story set in Maryland.

Black is urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—because there are countless ways to be Black enough. 

The Love And Lies Of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan3. The Love & Lies Of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
ARC Review To Come
Publisher:
Scholastic Press
Release Date:
January 29, 2019
Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.

But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective.

Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?

Contemporary Mystery

Spin by Lamar Giles1.Spin by Lamar Giles
Publisher:
Scholastic Press
Release Date:
January 29, 2019
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Paris Secord’s (aka DJ ParSec) career–and life–has come to an untimely end, and the local music scene is reeling. No one is feeling the pain more than her shunned pre-fame best friend, Kya, and Paris’s chief groupie, Fuse. But suspicion trumps grief, and since each suspects the other of Paris’s murder, they’re locked in a high-stakes game of public accusations and sabotage.

Everyone in the ParSec Nation (DJ ParSec’s local media base)–including the killer–is content to watch it play out, until Kya and Fuse discover a secret: Paris was on the verge of major deal that would’ve catapulted her to superstar status on a national level, leaving her old life (and old friends) behind. With the new info comes new motives. New suspects. And a fandom that shows its deadly side. As Kya and Fuse come closer to the twisted truth, the killer’s no longer amused. But murdering Paris was simple enough, so getting rid of her nobody-friends shouldn’t be an issue…

Fantasy

The Girl King by Mimi Yu1.The Girl King by Mimi Yu
Publisher:
Bloomsbury YA
Release Date:
January 8, 2019
Summary: Two sisters become unwitting rivals in a war to claim the title of Emperor in this richly imagined, Asian-inspired fantasy!

Sisters Lu and Min have always known their places as the princesses of the Empire of the First Flame: the eldest, assertive Lu, will be named her father’s heir and become the dynasty’s first female ruler, while timid Min will lead a quiet life in Lu’s shadow. Then their father names their male cousin Set the heir instead, throwing both girls’ lives into chaos.

Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu is forced to flee, leaving Min to face the volatile court alone. Lu crosses paths with Nokhai, the lone, unlikely survivor of the decimated Ashina, nomadic wolf shapeshifters. Nok never learned to shift–and he has no trust for the Empire that killed his family–but working with the princess might be the key to unlocking his true power.

As Lu and Nok form a tenuous alliance, Min’s own hidden power awakens–a forbidden, deadly magic that could secure Set’s reign . . . or allow her to claim the throne herself. But there can only be one Emperor, and the sisters’ greatest enemy could very well turn out to be each other.

Told in three distinct points-of-view, this first book in a sweeping fantasy series weaves a story of ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.

Circle Of Shadows by Evelyn Skye2.Circle Of Shadows by Evelyn Skye (Circle Of Shadows #1)
Publisher:
Balzer + Bray
Release Date:
January 22, 2019
Summary: Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.

So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

King Of Scars by Leigh Bardugo3.King Of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher:
Imprint
Release Date:
January 29, 2019
Summary: Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

*Because I have so many theories about King Of Scars, keep an eye out for Bookish Theories a new feature where I share all my thoughts & theories for upcoming books!

Historical Fiction

Inventing Victoria by Tonya Bolden1. Inventing Victoria by Tonya Bolden
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Summary: As a young black woman in 1880s Savannah, Essie’s dreams are very much at odds with her reality. Ashamed of her beginnings, but unwilling to accept the path currently available to her, Essie is trapped between the life she has and the life she wants.

Until she meets a lady named Dorcas Vashon, the richest and most cultured black woman she’s ever encountered. When Dorcas makes Essie an offer she can’t refuse, she becomes Victoria. Transformed by a fine wardrobe, a classic education, and the rules of etiquette, Victoria is soon welcomed in the upper echelons of black society in Washington, D. C. But when the life she desires is finally within her grasp, Victoria must decide how much of herself she is truly willing to surrender.

Historical Fantasy

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi1. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
ARC Review To Come
Publisher:
Wednesday Books
Release Date:
January 15, 2019
Summary: Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

Mythology

Oh My Gods by Alexandra Sheppard1. Oh My Gods by Alexandra Sheppard
Publisher: Scholastic UK
Release Date: January 3, 2019
Summary: Life as a half-mortal teenager should be epic.
But, for Helen Thomas, it’s tragic.

She’s just moved in with her dorky dad and self-absorbed older siblings – who happen to be the ancient Greek gods, living incognito in London!

Between keeping her family’s true identities secret, trying to impress her new friends, and meeting an actually cute boy, Helen’s stress levels are higher than Mount Olympus.

She needs to rein in her chaotic family before they blow their cover AND her chances at a half-normal social life.

Or is Helen fated for an embarrassment of mythical proportions?

Retellings

The Cold Is In Her Bones by Peternelle Van Arsdale1.The Cold Is In Her Bones by Peternelle Van Arsdale
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date:
January 22, 2019
Summary: Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

What January 2019 Books Are You Looking Forward To? 😍📚✨🎉🎉

 

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta {Literary Travels}

Literary TravelsToday I’m introducing a new feature on the blog! Literary Travels is the working title and this idea came about as I was thinking of all the upcoming fantasy books on my TBR + how fantasy books usually come with maps!

Then from there I began to think of all the different locations traveled in fantasy books & if I were traveling to these fantasy worlds, where would I go what would I see, etc.

There are often so many different elements explored throughout fantasy books, that I also created this as a diary/log for series when future books are released (or stand-alones) and I find myself forgetting details about the world!

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose CapettaSo to start off today’s Literary Travels feature, I’m spotlighting The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta, a Queer YA Fantasy inspired by 19th Century Italy!

If you follow me on Twitter, you also may have seen me gushing about it, so its great I’m introducing this feature with The Brilliant Death, because as I was reading I could really picture the setting and get an understanding of the history, culture, you name it!

**Literary Travels will feature specifics about the setting of each book, so be wary of detailed locations/world-building if you don’t want to be spoiled!**

This feature will probably vary from post to post, but I hope it’ll serve as a guide of sorts if you find yourself reading these fantasy books and highlight the amazing settings, culture, etc. explored!

Hope you enjoy and let me know your thoughts on this new feature in the comments below! 😍📚🗺

Welcome to:

Vinalia

A country rich with history & breathtaking architecture, you’ll be enamored by all it has to offer!

From the shores of the Violetta Coast to the northern edge of the Neviane mountain range, there’s plenty to explore within Vinalia!

With this Literary Travels Guide, you’ll learn about the best cities, clothing, food and maybe some lesser known secrets about this country, to make the most out of your visit!

Within Vinalia you must know that there are 5 ruling families across the region, with the Capo being the current main ruler of the country!

The 5 Families include (From East to West): di Sangro, Moschella, Rao, Otto, & Altimari

Here are some major cities and locations you’d want to keep in mind when visiting:

Chieza: Found within the mountain ranges of The Uccelli, this city is known for its markets containing anything from beautiful linens to dried foods.

Reader’s of this guide, don’t forget to check out Storyteller’s Grave! Its said to be a ravine located to the west of Chieza. However, legend says it received that name because men from Chieza would drink and shout stories near its edge, with those least fortunate falling in.

Villages surrounding Chieza are also known for having vibrant-colored tile roofs.

The Uccelli: A mountain range that crosses across the east of Vinalia.

Ruling family: di Sangro

Violetta Coast: Located towards the southeast of Vinalia, this vibrant coastal area is known for its vineyards.

Aside from its vineyards, Violetta Coast is also known for its trades in spices and metals, considering its close to the shore.

Ruling family: Rao

Moving on towards the west we have the cities of:

Prai: Known for its gambling tables

Gravina: Famously known for its universities

Ruling family: Otto

Salvi: One of the largest islands off the coast of Vinalia.

Ruling Family: Altimari

Amalia: If your arriving through Estatta Valley, you’ll immediately he brightly-tiled roofs ranging from red, to pink and orange.

Tile adorns the bridges, there’s also rustic statues, bronze decor, & marble buildings.

There are a variety of shops ranging from cheese, breads, to even sweets.

  –Don’t forget to check out the Amalia Opera House

Weather

Generally a warm climate, the sun is particularly strong in Vinalia, with nights getting rather cold. However, the mountain ranges bring about strong wind.

History

The last era of magic was said to have ended close to 500 years ago. During that time Streghe began getting wiped out, being labeled heretics. From that, the Order of Prai was born.

They later tried to bury the beliefs & old faith of the past, but gods & goddesses are still remembered.

Gods and goddesses are still widely cherished:

  • Melae: Goddess of Death
  • Cecci: God of Wine
  • Elia: Goddess of Food & Beauty
  • Erras: God of Judgement
  • Veria: Goddess of Truth

Magic System:

Within Vinalia, rumors have floated around that there are Strega, or those with magical abilities. Though they live in secret considering magic isn’t as common as it once was, many say Strega are just fairy tales.

Interesting Facts:

-Within Uccelli there’s a mountain known as:  The Weeping Mountain

-Touching iron keeps away hardship

-The neighboring country of Eterra is known for its universities

-Tales of Vinalia include: The Pearl Girl & The Castle Without A Soul

That brings us to the end of the guide! As you can see, Vinalia is a vast country with a variety of immersive locations & a rich history!

Thanks for checking out this first issue of Literary Travels, hope it was a helpful resource you’ll keep these in mind when visiting Vinalia!  ✈📚✨

This feature was so much fun to create and I hope it inspired you to pick up The Brilliant Death! Can’t wait to share my next Literary Travels guide!

Thoughts on this literary guide? 📚😍

Are you planning to read The Brilliant Death? If you have, I’d love your thoughts on this guide! ✨⚔📚