Realm Of Ruins by Hannah West ARC Review

Realm Of Ruins by Hannah WestRealm Of Ruins by Hannah West (The Nissera Chronicles #2)

Publisher: Holiday House Books

Release Date: December 4, 2018

Pages: 464

Available Through The Book Depository: Realm Of Ruins

Summary: Valory’s power is different . . . it’s dangerous, unruly, and destructive. But can she channel it to crush a cunning enemy and save the realm from chaos? 

Welcome to Nissera, land of three kingdoms and home to spectacular magic.

A century after her legendary ancestors overcame a bloodthirsty tyrant, seventeen-year-old Valory Braiosa attends a training academy for elicromancers, immortal beings with magical gifts. Yet Valory’s immense power seems impossible to tame, and she faces imprisonment by the Nisseran authorities. Then a forbidden resurrection spell awakens a long-dormant evil, and Valory may be the only one who can vanquish this terrifying villain. Together with a band of allies—including an old friend; a haughty princess; and a mysterious, handsome stranger—Valory must learn to harness her power and fight back.

*Requested an ARC from the publisher*

My Rating: ★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Readers are back in land of Nissera in Realm Of Ruins, the spin-off/companion to West’s 2016 debut, Kingdom Of Ash And Briars!  Valory Braiosa is sent on a quest to not only clear her name, but take down a darkness that threatens to ruin her world! This YA Fantasy melds so much from action, magic, fairy tales, quests, dark powers, royalty, & so much more! If your also looking for wholly unique twists on the classic fairy tales, West’s books are the ones to check out!

*Before I get into my review–just want to say I’m so happy to be back posting on the blog! 😍💞✨📚🎉 Finals are coming up and that’s why this book took me a bit longer to finish than expected! But happy to be posting my first review (finally) in December!

Back in the early days of my blog, I fell in love with West’s debut, Kingdom Of Ash And Briars! So, of course I just had to get an ARC of it!

Realm Of Ruins takes place generations after KOAAB! To start, I loved that the story was plotted that way because throughout the novel we explore this idea of those who came before us, legacies, how history plays a role into our future, & so on!

Now the plot itself has a lot of different elements to it and weaves in a lot throughout this single book–so sorry if my review is all over the place!

Valory Braiosa, descendant of Bristal & Anthony from KOAAB is a royal, but not exactly an Elicromancer–unlike her other cousins and family members.

As a student of a magical academy, she’s joined by her best friend Knox, and cousins such as Melkior (who isn’t exactly nice to her) and Ander!

There’s a scene in which Val is in classes and we learn about the school, history and how its shaped the ways of magic in her time now and the way West makes it such a seamless, but integral part of the story was one of my favorite elements when it comes to the world building!

On a quick side-note, often times in YA fantasy books (when it comes to future books in series or spin-offs) there isn’t always much explanation or exploration from previous installments and how they really shape numerous aspects of a world from its politics, magic system, beliefs–and I felt West really made it clear how important that was to the world!

Especially reading about the academy in general, because in KOAAB Elicromancers are somewhat on their own and guide each other. But, seeing how the world has grown to meld elicromancy into the everyday and train new generations was so fascinating to read about!

But of all her family members, her cousin Ivria is practically her best friend and they are always honest with each other–or so, Valory thinks!

During Val’s birthday dinner, she finds Ivria having run off and head towards the Water through a magical portal.

The Water is what allows an Elicromancer to get their fully harness their abilities. It chooses them and with that, they get an Elicrin Stone which also symbolizes their power.

Ivria has the ability to sense danger and fears she will never fully grasp her powers. So, she heads to The Water alone to see for herself.

However, Ivria is set on getting to the Water & as Val jumps into save her, she realizes Ivria didn’t make it & the Water has disappeared!!

Now being seen as a murderer and forced to go to trial by the Conclave to the Realm Alliance. This requires a journey away from her kingdom and with those she though were on her side, now against her. Also, a neutralizer (by the name of Brandar) to keep her powers in check, doesn’t help either!

When Valory’s grandmother joins and mentions something about people in white cloaks & masks, they also learn of a mysterious (possibly looming threat) known as the Summoners!

As stops along the way allow Valory to visit her cousins (Gliselle, Perrenia, & Ambrosine) they convince her to talk to their brother Deovrian–there we learn of a mysterious tablet & how the Summoners may be involved?

When the tablet unleashes a dark force, Valory learns more about what the Water left behind (that now resides within her–some dark & dangerous power) and the journey she will have to undergo to clear her name.

I love how this story really takes on an anti-hero vibe through Val as we see the extent of her powers near the end!

Val goes through so much in this book where it looks like the world is stacked against her, but with her cousin Glisette, fellow princess friend Kadri, & mysterious Mercer who we learn time-traveled from generations in the past!

Now they team up to help Val on her journey to learn more about the mysterious force known as The Summoners which are spreading illness and death wherever they go!

We soon learn that Mercer may have the answers as he has the ability to see visions! This leads to even more being uncovered about the Summoners, Mercer’s past (like his brother Tilmorn) & how this all ties to a mysterious elicromancer known as the Moth King!

Similar to West’s debut, fairy tales are twisted in such unique ways that really bring even more magic to the world of Nissera! From The Little Mermaid (seen through Kadri’s boyfriend who’s a prince who loves sailing & becomes interested in finding a mermaid who saved him), even Beauty & Beast (when Devorian’s cost of unlocking the tablet turns him into a beast).

The fairy tales are uniquely woven, but also into the story and have such distinct details mentioned that really make them their own. For ex. there’s mention of Devorian keeping mirrors closed to not be in contact w/ his sisters, even a sea witch & mermaid who are reminiscent of The Little Mermaid)

The characters all have their own flaws and secrets that make them feel real and I love how their imperfections or fears really allowed me to see their growth by the end!

I love how this journey isn’t exactly linear! While it seems that way in the beginning, the way West plots her stories allows for the story to go in so many directions, yet all tie together as it progresses. From numerous royal families, fairy tale homages, dark magic, quests–West packs so much into this standalone tale!

Also what made the magic so interesting was seeing how Val, a person who wasn’t born with magic, inherits this magical ability from the Water which we learn has the power to destroy, but also create! The Water itself becomes a pretty major part in the magic system as the story progresses and I love how it was explored! This also allows for her to explore, throughout the book both before and after she touches the Water, the legacy her ancestors left behind and how she questions whether she’s even capable of such things that family members who came before her managed!

Also there was one particular thing that really surprised me and that just brought back all the memories from KOAAB! We meet a very interesting Elicromancer who has ties to Bristal and I loved how that story line tied into the major plot! The references and ties to West’s first book was just something I did not see coming in the way that it did-but I loved how it was explored!

Time-travel was explored so well in this novel and I loved how it tied into the main story.

The world itself is incredibly vast and you sense that through the journey Val takes and just the way West describes the little details of the kingdoms. However, there were a few moments where a lot of the locations did get a bit confusing & could have had differing explanations when it comes to their depth. But overall, you can tell West has built such a vast world!

Now on to some of things that did lower my rating! Personally, I found the pacing to be rather slow for me and it dragged quite a bit from the middle on-wards. There were also some plot points explored when some time passes & Val returns home, which I wish had a little more explanation (b/c while it does make sense with the story) I found for me personally it came a little out of nowhere and I was a little lost as to how all that happened in that amount of time!

There were also some side characters, one’s that take on a villain role & at times the villain himself, that I wish had some more development b/c they become so important later on–that I found there character at times just needed a little more!

Returning to the plot, as the story continues I loved how it becomes clear what the goal is (to destroy the Moth King), but the uncertainty as to if Val & her friends could do it, made it all the more interesting to figure out!

Another element which made this fantasy book so unique too, was how it concludes after the battle (which I won’t spoil). Just seeing how characters naturally go their separate ways and explaining all the work left to do after all that’s happened really left it on a note where your satisfied with the ending, but still know there’s much more to explore! ( Valory’s ending was really epic & kind of ambiguous, but I loved that).

Realm Of Ruins is a YA Fantasy that weaves in classic fairy tales, while also delivering a wholly unique story all its own! From journeys across magical lands, dark magic, royalty, & the importance of self and how you can shape your own destiny! West’s spin-off continues to build on her magical world of Nissera and leaves opportunity for future installments!

Fields Of Fire by Hannah West Review

Fields Of Fire by Hannah WestFields Of Fire by Hannah West (The Nissera Chronicles #1.5)

Publisher: Holiday House Books

Release Date: September 18, 2018

Pages: 32

Summary: In the war to save the magical realm of Nissera, every battle counts—including those fought on the smallest fronts.

Across the land, the powerful sorceresses Bristal and Tamarice are marshalling their armies, readying for a climactic battle to decide the fate of their world. But in a hay-filled barn far off in the countryside, a small group of spies led by a courageous young warrior named Drell is about to launch an offensive in order to root out the identity of a shadowy alchemist. If Drell’s team is successful, one of Tamarice’s most dangerous accomplices will be destroyed. If they fail, the sorceress will come into possession of a weapon that could turn the tide of the war against them. Drell knows everything must play out perfectly for their mission to be successful, but even she cannot fathom the depths of the alchemist’s cruelty—or the sacrifices her own spies are willing to make to stop him…

My Rating: ★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Readers return to the land of Nissera in West’s novella that runs parallel to the events in Kingdom Of Ash And Briars! Following a group of spies, they attempt to uncover the identity of alchemist and his plan for a dangerous weapon, which could turn the tide of war in their favor! This short, but character-driven novella easily immerses readers looking forward to more from The Nissera Chronicles!

I was really looking forward to this short story because its been practically 2 years since I read West’s debut, Kingdom Of Ash And Briars! So, I was really looking forward to diving back into the magical world of Nissera before starting my ARC of the companion/sequel: Realm Of Ruins!

This short story follows Drell, who is a spy helping the main character from KOAAB, Bristal, to turn the tides of a looming war in which the villain is attempting to take over the country (who I won’t spoil if you haven’t read Kingdom yet!).

There’s Drell, Reed, Gannan, & Skye! These 4 are close friends and are working together as spies to find as much intel as they can to shift the tide of an upcoming war!

It turns out there’s an alchemist whose used dark magic from in far island kingdom of Galgeth’s Caverns to retrieve black granules which he’s been experimenting with to create what’s called: Shadowfire.

This novella essentially follows the team scoping out a local inn where Skye has been doing recon. for a while & they are convinced they’ll be to find all the information they can on the Alchemist, Cecil and his work, to destroy it and prevent this dark force from potentially wiping out cities!

This short story is so immersive and even if you aren’t familiar with the world, West makes it so incredibly easy to follow and allow you to feel like your a part of this mission with Drell & her crew!

For an incredibly short novella, the characters are all really well-developed and you really understand them through such few pages!

One of my favorite dynamics was Drell & Gannan as they go undercover as a couple at the inn to keep an eye on Skye as she tries to get more intel! Though its very brief, I liked that there was backstories on each of these characters!

I loved the friendship between Drell & Skye! Its also hinted that Gannan & Skye may like each other, so it was interesting seeing their dynamic become somewhat of a conflict as Drell tries to keep Gannan focused on the mission.

There’s also a few plot twists I really didn’t see coming and because this novel focuses on an upcoming war, there is a good amount of tension and stakes throughout the story!

There’s intrigue, mystery, & a lot of action! 

I also really loved the quick references to Kingdom Of Ash And Briars, Bristal and what she’s up to which runs parallel to this novella!

My only issue that had me drop a star, was that I honestly forgot a lot about the world of KOAAB than I thought, so it did take me a bit to really connect with the characters mostly.

And from what I read up before getting into this novella, is that Drell is originally from KOAAB, but again its just been so long that I forgot.

There was also a couple of really minor/side characters that I wish had a little more development.

However, West’s writing style and use of 1st person POV really brings you into the story right away which I really loved!

Similar to West’s debut, she builds such an immersive atmosphere which pulls you right into the story!

This novella brought me back into a fun and fascinating fantasy world I’ve missed a lot & has me so excited to start Realm Of Ruins!

Fields Of Fire is a short story filled with intrigue and builds a little more into the fascinating world of Kingdom Of Ash And Briars! The Nissera Chronicles continue in this tale that highlights another side of a looming battle that was introduced in Kingdom Of Ash And Briars!

Top 5 Wednesday {#2} Underrated Books

top-5-wednesday-booktube-bannerTop 5 Wednesday is a weekly book/booktube meme hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes

originally from Lainey over @ Gingerreadslainey

To learn more about T5W here is the goodreads group: http://bit.ly/1kmldQ6

This weeks T5W I will be listing the Top 5 Books:

Favorite Underrated Books

Listed below are books I absolutely loved that I feel need to be talked about/read more & overall just need more bookish love! 💕

Do you know of any books you feel are underrated? Let’s discuss in the comments below! 🙂

Truest1.Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers

I read this book last year and I can honestly say this book has truly stayed with me since then and tops my all-time favorite books list! There’s so much depth and heart to this novel with topics of family, love, loss + it really takes time to discuss topics such as religion and mental illness in a very honest way. The characters, which are wonderfully written/developed will capture your heart + the writing is so beautiful and really creates atmosphere and depth to West’s (the main character) World. I know I was skeptical based on how the summary was written, but if you’ve had this book on your TBR or have been wanting to read it, DO IT!! You won’t be disappointed!

when-the-moon-was-ours-anna-marie-mclemore2.When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

This is a marvelous & magical tale more people NEED to read! McLemore delivers a magical-realism story with lush and wondrous writing, phenomenal characters and storytelling! There are so many important messages of culture, identity and family. But overall its the story of Miel and Sam and the strength of their beautiful friendship. The magical-realism elements blend beautifully with the captivating writing and while reading you can feel the magic with each page. This is a very character-driven story and one that is truly unforgettable! Highly recommend!

The Forbidden Wish3.The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

This is a book that I feel more people need to read, especially if you’re a fan of retellings! If you’ve enjoyed reading The Wrath And The Dawn, this book would be perfect for you! Khoury delivers a retelling of Aladdin w/ Zahara a jinni, who wants to be free from her lamp and a deal with the King of the Jinn may be her only way to freedom. Through her writing and wonderfully developed characters it delivers a spark that really makes this retelling her own. There is so much girl power + the romance is written beautifully!

kingdom-of-ash-and-briars-24hryabookblog4.Kingdom Of Ash And Briars by Hannah West

In this standalone YA Fantasy, West weaves together classic fairy tales. In this novel, Bristol discovers she’s an elicromancer and must use her magic to unite the three kingdoms before an evil force takes over!

The writing pulls you in from the start and West’s fantasy world of Nissera comes to life on the page! If you are looking for a unique YA Fantasy that will keep you turning the page, I highly recommend Kingdom Of Ash And Briars!

the-queen-of-blood-review5.The Queen Of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

Its books like this that remind me why I love to read YA Fantasy!💕 Durst creates a fantasy world heavily based around spirits and nature and through her writing it comes to life on the page! The characters and world are so memorable and unlike any YA Fantasy I’ve read before.

The story centers around Daleina and her journey (along with other women just like her) to becoming a queen in the magical world of Aratay. And then there’s Ven, a disgraced Champion who finds himself teaming up with Dalenia when they both realize the spirits of their world are becoming restless.

If your looking for an immersive YA Fantasy that has atmospheric writing and an engaging plot and characters, then definitely add The Queen Of Blood to your TBR!

Kingdom Of Ash And Briars Playlist

kingdom-of-ash-and-briars-playlistHappy Monday!

Today’s reading playlist is inspired by A Kingdom Of Ash And Briars by Hannah West!

If you’ve read it, check out my ARC Review Here!

If you haven’t read KOAAB, this debut novel centers around Bristal a girl who realizes she has elicromancer abilities and is tasked with protecting the 3 kingdoms of her world when an army/war is brewing! It incorporates many classic fairy tales and puts unique twists on them (Cinderella, Mulan,Sleeping Beauty)

While reading, I listened to many Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep OST’s & I felt they really matched with the overall plot/tone of the story + I’ve also included a few tracks from Final Fantasy!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂

 

Kingdom Of Ash And Briars by Hannah West ARC Review

kingdom-of-ash-and-briars-24hryabookblogKingdom Of Ash & Briars by Hannah West

Publisher: Holiday House Books

Release Date: September 15, 2016

Pages: 352

Summary: Bristal, an orphaned kitchen maid, lands in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she is an elicromancer with a knack for shape-shifting.

An ancient breed of immortal magic beings, elicromancers have been winnowed down to merely two – now three – after centuries of bloody conflict in the realm. Their gifts are fraught with responsibility, and sixteen-year-old Bristal is torn between two paths. Should she vow to seek the good of the world, to protect and serve mortals? Or should she follow the strength of her power, even if it leads to unknown terrors? She draws on her ability to disguise herself as a man to infiltrate a prince’s band of soldiers, and masquerades as a fairy godmother to shield a cursed princess, but time is running out. As an army of dark creatures grows closer, Bristal faces a supernatural war. To save the kingdoms, Bristal must find the courage to show her true form.

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: *Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy! This in no way influences my thoughts!*

An immersive YA Fantasy that draws inspiration from classic fairy tales and weaves together a wonderfully crafted story that is both magical and filled with adventure!

This book was all kinds of amazing! I need more!! ❤ ❤

Just as a warning, there may be some fangirling ahead!!

This book doesn’t come out for a couple days, but PLEASE do yourself a favor and add it to your TBR if you haven’t already + read it on release day/pre-order it if you can!!

Now I’ll try to explain in the best way I can, why I adored this book and why you should read it too! ❤ 

Fairy tales collide in this magical debut surrounding Bristol, a kitchen maid, who finds herself becoming an elicromancer!

From page one I was immediately transported to the world of Nissera and through Bristol’s 1st Person POV, I really felt both the worlds and the characters come to life!

Plot:

The author introduces us to Bristol who realizes she has magical abilities (shapeshifting) after being brought against her will to a magical lake that awakens Elicromancers called The Water!

With her power resonating in an “Elicrin Stone,” she finds herself meeting Brack and Tamarice who have elicromancer abilities as well and they find it best to train her and fulfill their purpose of keeping peace across the 3 kingdoms:

Volarre, Calgoran, & Yorth.

But things aren’t as they seem, when someone threatens to upset the balance and bring Elicromancers to their former glory. But will do anything (even use dark elicromancy) to achieve it!

She then finds herself tasked with protecting all three kingdoms as best she can to prevent the evil from taking over!

With her power as a Clandestine she takes on a variety of appearances to find a way to unite the kingdoms!

The plot itself is very unique and while it introduces elements seen before, through the author’s writing and her wonderfully developed characters/world + the mix of classic fairy tales she creates a wholly original and immersive story!

I won’t get into tons of spoilers, because I found it fun to make my own connections along the way with Bristol coming to understand the world of Nissera.

I will admit at some moments the pacing is a little slow, but overall the story kept me turning the page!

+  There is a time jump in this novel (explained early on) and I will admit I was unsure how I felt about it in the beginning, but along the way with the characters and intricacy of the plot I grew to not only understand it, but felt it was perfect for the story!

2.Characters/World-Building:
Both of these aspects went hand in hand! The world of Nissera is both magical and fantastical!
You get that right away from the authors descriptions!

The fairy tale elements are seamlessly weave their way into the plot from Cinderella to Sleeping Beauty, even elements of Mulan.

I loved how each fairy tale connected to tell an epic tale! It was incredibly done!

She wrote her characters wonderfully!
Each and every character is written with such depth and you truly feel connected to each one through Britsol’s eyes!

With the task of taking on a variety of appearance’s Bristol finds herself struggling to understand who she is, while creating such deep connections with the friends she encounters along the way.

There is a war brewing and it was written so well! The build up is the best part! With Bristol traveling across the land to form alliances and prepare for the battle, it also gives background into Bristol’s past + the deeper/intricate plot that unfolds!

+ There are so many swoon-worthy princes in this story!! (Prince Anthony was my favorite BTW) ❤ ❤

I’ve seen so many fantasy series that have multiple books, however according to the author Kingdom Of Ash & Briars is a STANDALONE!
I don’t usually see that in YA Fantasy and it was definitely refreshing to see once I saw how the story wrapped up! However it just brings me to tears because that means:  I WON’T  have another book with these amazing characters and world.
I really felt this story was its own magical fairy tale come to life and loved it with each and every page!! ❤ ❤
Overall a magical debut that pays an homage to classic fairy tales, while weaving them together to deliver a tale magical and original all on its own!! 
If you’ve read this KOAAB or are planning to, let me know in the comments below! 🙂
+ I’ll have a Reading Playlist For KOAAB Coming Sometime This Month!

 

August 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 10

The Kiss Of Deception1-3. The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (BYR)

The Kiss Of Deception Rating: ★★★☆

The Heart Of Betrayal Rating:★★★★☆ ½

The Beauty Of Darkness Rating:★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: I will admit I had a rough start with this Historical-Fantasy trilogy with the slow pacing + difficulty connecting to the main character in book 1, but the sequel is the best book of the 3! An enjoyable trilogy with the perfect mix of romance and betrayal!

PS I Like You4.PS I Like You by Kasie West

PS I Like You Full Review

Publisher: Point

Release Date: July 26, 2016

Pages: 304

My Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Thoughts: A delightful & cute YA Contemporary with humor + mystery! I loved Lily the main character reading from her POV made this book so fun to read! Highly recommend! ❤

Mirror In The Sky June 215.Mirror In The Sky by Aditi Khorana

Mirror In The Sky Full Review

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: June 21, 2016

Pages: 352

My Rating:★★★☆☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: The author melds 2 unlike genres and delivers it in a wonderful writing style. However I wish there was more discussed about Terra Nova (the mirror planet) which was left more in the background of the story. Regardless, the author created such a unique concept & I’m interested in reading more of her books!

Women In Science 50 Fearless Pioneers by Rachel Ignotofsky6.Women In Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed The World by Rachel Ignotofsky

Women In Science Full Review

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Release Date: July 26, 2016

Pages: 128

My Rating:★★★★★

Overall Thoughts: An inspiring read filled with stories + wonderful illustrations of women who throughout history, worked and studied hard to achieve their dreams and accomplish incredible feats in the fields of science and math!

Hidamari ga Kikoeru Cover7-8. Hidamari ga Kikoeru by Yuki Fumino (volume 1 &2)

Full Review To Come!! 

My Rating:★★★★★

Overall Thoughts: A heart-warming manga about 2 college students. One is quiet, introverted + hearing-impaired and the other is sociable+ outgoing! The two develop a friendship that hints at leading to something more! Great mental illness/health discussion! I flew through these volumes & loved each and every moment! ❤ ❤

Kingdom Of Ashes And Briars9.Kingdom Of Ash And Briars by Hannah West

ARC Review To Come Closer To Release Date

Publisher: Holiday House Books

Release Date: September 15, 2016

Pages: 352

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Loved this book! An immersive YA Fantasy that mixes fairy tales + fantasy perfectly! This novel surrounds Bristol, a kitchen maid, who discovers she is an elicromancer who is tasked with protecting the 3 kingdoms in the land of Nissera! Highly recommend adding this book to your TBR!

A Torch Against The Night10.A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember In The Ashes #2)

A Torch Against The Night Full Review

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Pages: 452

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: A fantastic sequel! The strengths of this book are definitely in the characters and their development! The tone of this book felt completely different from book 1, regardless its filled with twists and turns, non-stop action & I cannot wait to see where book 3 is headed.

Additional Posts From This Month:

August 2016 Book Releases

Empress Of A Thousand Skies Cover Reveal

Book Bytes I #5

Daughter Of The Pirate King Cover Reveal

What Books Did You Read This Month? 🙂

 

July 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 6

Crystal Crowned Cover1.Crystal Crowned by Elise Kova (Air Awakens #5)

Crystal Crowned Full Review

Publisher: Silver Wing Press

Release Date: July 12, 2016

Pages: 432

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: World-building and character development is still apparent in this final story. The plot keeps you turning the page, yet at points the plot does drag. Overall, a satisfying conclusion to a delightful fantasy series!

Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold2.Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold

Kate Triumph Full Review

Publisher: CreateSpace

Release Date: October 16, 2014

Pages: 288

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: This book was spectacular! Is a fast-paced superhero”origin-story” with mystery/intrigue that keep you guessing till the very end! The characters/setting/plot are wonderfully written! The ending will definitely leave you begging for a sequel!

Highly recommend this gem of a book! ❤

Never Ever June 213.Never Ever by Sara Saedi (Never Ever #1)

Never Ever Full Review

Publisher: Viking Books For Young Readers

Release Date: June 21, 2016

Pages: 320

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: An immersive Peter Pan retelling with a writing style which creates a magical/whimsical tone for the story! The mystery surrounding the island + its inhabitants will definitely keep you turning the page!

27 Magic Words4. 27 Magic Words by Sharelle Byars Moranville 

27 Magic Words ARC Review

Publisher: Holiday House Books

Release Date: July 30, 2016

Pages: 228

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A middle grade with novel with so much heart & the perfect touch of magic! This novel follows Kobi who had grown up learning words are magic and uses these words during a difficult time in her life. It discusses loss, the importance of family & ups and downs of growing up!

A must read if you are looking for a new MG novel or are looking for a novel w/ complex characters and a wonderful plot + elements of magical realism ❤

Iron To Iron5.Iron to Iron by Ryan Gruadin (Wolf By Wolf #1.5)

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Release Date: March 8, 2016

Pages: 120

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: An action-packed prequel novella filled with incredible character development + mystery/intrigue that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Fans of Wolf By Wolf will definitely want to give this a read before the sequel comes out!

9780062379962_31a316. Girl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes

Girl Against The Universe Full Review

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: May 17, 2016

Pages: 382

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: The characters are well developed and the romance is never rushed! There is discussion of mental illness and is touched upon wonderfully!

The perfect YA Contemporary with a wonderfully written plot/characters!

A must read for YA Contemporary fans!! ❤

Additional Posts From This Month:

Book Bytes I #4

YA Books I’d Love As Graphic Novels

Top 5 Wednesday

This Savage Song Playlist

Waiting On Wednesday I #7

What books did you read this month? 🙂

27 Magic Words by Sharelle Byars Moranville ARC Review

27 Magic Words27 Magic words by Sharelle Byars Moranville 

Publisher: Holiday House Books

Release Date: July 30, 2016

Pages: 228

Summary: An irrepressibleten-year-oldwith a vibrant imagination must reconcile her fantasies with reality in this beautifully written novel about facing the future.

Although Kobi s parents sailed into a storm at sea five years ago, she knows they are alive. If she says Avanti! she can see them. Now that her life is being turned upside down again, she will need the magic words her mother left behind more than ever. Instead of living with wealthy Grandmamma in Paris, Kobi and her sister will temporarily stay in Des Moines, Iowa. There, the girls will, as Uncle Wim puts it, live like normal kids for a change. To fit in at her new school Kobi tells lies that soon catch up with her. In a heart-wrenching climax, she must confront not only the untruths she has told others but the stories she has made herself believe. Only then will she be able to grieve for her parents and move on with her life.

***I requested this ARC from the publisher, this in no way influences my thoughts***

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

I would give this book a million stars if I could!! It was spectacular! ❤

 

Because of her parents (one a writer, the other a magician) Kobi has grown up learning that words are magic!

But a few years later, they go on a boating trip and never return!

Kobi and Brooke adjust to their life in Paris. But gets turned upside down when her grandmother tells her and her sister Brooke they will be living with their Uncle Wim in Des Moines, Iowa.

Staying there until Christmas, both Brooke + Kobi must adjust to their new life.

Brook suffers as well from not only the loss of her parents, but from constant worry over her sister Kobi by making herself feel safe through obsessive compulsive behaviors!

So she turns to the 27 Magic Words her mother wrote to her on post its some years ago to comfort her in difficult situations from learning about her grandmother’s illness, adjusting to her new school &  older sister becoming more independent + facing the truth of the whereabouts of her parents.

But one special word “Avanit!” gives her the opportunity to see her parents on a small island, where she believes they are stranded and finding a way to come home!

The writing style is whimsical and delivers a certain magic but never takes the reader out of the story. The plot keeps the reader connected not only to Kobi’s journey from beginning to end, but also all the main/supporting characters that are written with such depth.

The true magic of this novel is not only through the rich characters and the beautiful writing style, but also the captivating plot that discusses grief, family, and the trials and tribulations of growing up!

Kingdom Of Ashes And Briars by Hannah West Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal Kingdom Of Ash And BriarsHere is the 2nd Cover Reveal of the day 😀 !

Ever since I read the summary of Kingdom Of Ashes And Briars, I was immediately hooked & knew I would be adding it to my 2016 TBR! ❤

This YA-Fantasy is Hannah West’s debut novel!

 

 

 

 

I am glad to share with you the cover:

Kingdom Of Ashes And Briars

Cover Originally From: YABC’s Cover Reveal Post

The overall style of this cover is absolutely beautiful!

I also love the contrasting colors! It really makes the cover stand out!

Let me know your thoughts on the cover in the comments below! 

Here is the summary if you want to know more:

Bristal, a sixteen-year-old kitchen maid, lands in a fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she has elicromancer magic in her blood. Elicromancers are an ancient breed of immortal people, but only two remain in Nissera after a bloody civil war. Bristal joins the ranks of Brack and Tamarice without knowing that one of them has a dark secret . . . Tamarice is plotting a quest to overthrow the realm’s nobility and take charge herself. Together, Bristal and Brack must guard the three kingdoms of Nissera against Tamarice’s black elicromancy. There are cursed princesses to protect, royal alliances to forge and fierce monsters to battle—all with the hope of preserving peace.

Published by Holiday House, this book will be in stores Sept. 1, 2016