Nov 29, 2021

ARC Review--The Righteous by Renee Ahdieh

 

Following the explosive events of The Damned, Odette is facing the final death. The Court of the Lions have done everything they can to save her but have failed. A healer from the Sylvan Vale could help her, but the boundary between realms is one that only a half-fey like Arjun Desai can cross. The Sylvan Vale is a world Arjun despises, but knowing it could save Odette, he returns there with all haste, inadvertently leaving the mirrored tare between the two worlds open.

It's mere days until Pippa Montrose is to wed Phoebus Devereux and become a member of his well-heeled family, offering salvation to her own. But Celine is missing. Pippa has no idea where her best friend has gone, but she's certain it's in the company of Sebastien Saint Germain and that Arjun knows where they are. Pippa enjoins the help of Eloise, the daughter of a powerful sorceress. Together they discover Arjun's gateway to the fey realm, and Pippa marches right through in search of her friend. But what she finds on the other side is a dangerous, duplicitous world full of mischief and magic she doesn't understand, and most unexpectedly, she finds love.


I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


The Righteous is the thrilling and game-changing third installment of Renee Ahdieh's The Beautiful quartet! While we previously followed Celine's story for the first half of this series, with segues from other characters, this time we are to follow mainly Pippa and Arjun, but again, we get the occasional chapter from Bastien, Celine, and a few others.

In order to save his vampire friend, Odette, from dying, Arjun is to return home to the Sylvan Vale and find a fey healer who might be able to save her. What he doesn't expect is for Pippa to come stumbling on through shortly after him. The Sylvan Vale is not a place mortals wish to be. It's dangerous and frightening, and just about everything there wants to torture then kill you. But Pippa is determined to find her best friend and ensure she is safe and happy.

Pippa is somewhat new to this world of vampires and fey, she knew about vampires previously, but the fey are a while new bag. After convincing Eloise, a sorceress in the making, to help her with her quest, Pippa realizes just how unprepared she was for her journey. She is swarmed by creatures nearly upon entering and it's with the quick thinking of Arjun that she is able to escape safely. The only problem was, in order to save her, Arjun claims she is his fiancee.

Pippa and Arjun have been playing a tangled flirting dance the last two books you could say, they are almost friendly with one another. But Pippa isn't willing to marry him, especially when she is suppose to marry another in a matter of days. But in order to stay alive, they must continue their farce. Arjun's mother, is highly regarded general of the queen--Celine's mother--and she calls Arjun's bluff you could say and soon Pippa and Arjun find themselves staying in the Sylvan Vale longer to have their wedding ceremony there!

But all is not well in the Sylvan Vale. There's something dark and seedy happening in the shadows, for where else would they happen? We learn that certain persons have their own secret agendas but we're not privy to many details. Only that something big is going down and will likely take center stage in the grand finale next year.

This book was amazing!! I loved seeing Pippa in action. I remember her being Celine's saucy best friend. While Pippa does act very proper and ladylike in society, she's truly a force to be reckoned with. She's got an edge to her that I just loved. Having watched her and Arjun interact before was always a delight. I loved watching them have quite a few different interactions in this book.

We of course still get points of view from other characters, Celine and Bastien--though, not as often, Emilie, and Michael too. We also meet a new character, named Ali, who is a guest at Lady Sill's palace, whom Bastien believes has his eyes set on Celine. One thing I've learned in all my readings, never trust the fey, they always have a scheme or two in the works where you can't see. Ali's character hasn't been fully realized yet and whatever his game will be is likely to come about in the next book as well.

There are so many things I wish to say about this ending because OMG! Where did THAT come from? But as you know, I will remain mum. Let's just say that this ending was jaw-dropping! There will be cliffhangers, I will tell you that! Many events are left hanging in the air and we won't know where they fall until next year. The reader's wait is never over.

Needless to say that The Righteous was an amazing read! In true Ahdieh fashion, we have another toe-curling romance that will leave you needing more from Arjun and Pippa! They are the couple we've been waiting for all this time! I'll be curious to see how the final book plays out, if we return to more Celine/Bastien points of view or if it will be back to Arjun/Pippa or something more balanced. There are a lot of characters we've met who get a chapter or two so we can see what they are up to and if you pay close attention you can see how dots are being connected to the bigger picture. That picture is still unclear, but we know the end is nigh now!

The Righteous continues the vampire saga to end all other vampire sagas! This is a series filled with beautiful characters who will hold you riveted with their tales. Ahdieh has always been a master at storytelling since her debut novel and this book continues to hold her fame and title. This book was the ultimate game changer and now I am very much looking forward to 2022 to see how this amazing and thrilling series will end! 


Overall Rating 5/5 stars


The Righteous releases December 7, 2021






It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.

 

Last Week I Read:

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (2.5 stars)



About to Start Reading:

Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet



What I Plan to Read Next (for now):

Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet



Other Posts of Interest:

Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag
Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays
Can't Wait Wednesday
Random Thursday
Happy Thanksgiving!!
Let's Discuss: Authors I'm Thankful For
Book Blogger Hop
Thanksgiving Book Tag--a bit delayed
Stacking the Shelves







Nov 28, 2021

Stacking the Shelves

 

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Reading Reality.

 

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! I enjoyed a lot of family quality time. Did a wee bit of shopping. Sadly didn't get out to my indie stores yesterday, but I might try today...but I've got a few other errands that I've put off all weekend, plus I need to try to take a few new pictures for the week ahead. So we'll see what happens. Work-wise things are going pretty good. Still training virtually, so that's still something of an experience! Lol. Since it was a short week my training was a bit more sporadic since my trainers were out a few days ahead of the holiday days. This week should be more normal and productive so that ought to be exciting!


I didn't do too bad this week with books either! Honestly, I just added collectors' editions and the Fairy Loot one, which I'm still on the fence about. So no biggie!

Here's what I got:



A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout--SIGNED paperback!
Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber--GOLDSBORO edition! My picture does not do the stenciling justice! It's the most gorgeous coral color ever! I ended up with the vial once more, ironically it was the first cover I received too during all my ordering! Lol.
Finale by Stephanie Garber--GREEK edition! A dear friend helped me get this one and now I'm trying to track down a way to get the first two!


Then I got my November Fairy Loot box and felt a little lackluster about it all. After the rush of the October box, I'm not surprised really. Haven't decided if I wanted to read the book or not yet, I'll hold onto for awhile as I debate on it. Lol.


 

 

Then I had backordered A Touch of Magic Designs' cupcake banner and first two pins and they finally arrived yesterday! So I was able to assemble what I had to date! Cannot wait for the Caraval pin next!!

 


 

Then naturally, one of the 30th Anniversary of Beauty and the Beast items I bought was the Disney key! I swear I'm weaning myself off of this collection! Lol.




And that was it for me this week! What all did you get?






Nov 27, 2021

Thanksgiving Book Tag--a bit delayed

So I saw this tag on Thursday at Cornerfolds and though it looked like fun! Naturally Thursday was consumed with food and family and I just didn't have time to create my own post after seeing it. Then yesterday I did a bit of Black Friday shopping and hung out with family again that turned into a late night, so I again didn't get around to doing the post! Since today is moving slower, I thought I'd take the time to do it now! Lol.

Tracy found this tag at Amanda's Book Nook and I borrowed Tracy's above image because I liked it for the tag!


 

FRIENDS AND FAMILY
A Book With Characters That Feel Like Family

You all know my love for the Caraval series! I definitely say that this cast of characters is one of my favorites. Not only are Tella and Scarlett sisters, but Julian and Legend are close too. Though they have more hard time than good, I love their dynamic together.



FALLEN LEAVES
A Book That Fell Flat (Didn't Meet Your Expectations)

One that probably has me blacklisted by a few other bloggers, lol. But sadly, I just couldn't get into Throne of Glass. The book could not hold my attention and despite what I heard about the second one being better, I just couldn't bring myself to read it. I have loved Sarah's other books, so it's only 1 series so far that has been a total loss for me.

 

 

THANKSGIVING DINNER
A Book You Want to Read Every Year During This Season

This is harder for me as I'm not really a re-reader these days. Too many new books I need to read for the first time to go back and re-read something again. I'm also not really a "seasonal" reader. I won't choose books with any sort of season/holiday theme. If it happens, it happens, but I don't actually have my books match the time of year I'm in. But I chose Caraval just because I could re-read that trilogy pending time anytime of year!



TURKEY
A Book With A Bird In It

I honestly could not think of a single book where there was a prominent bird in it. If one popped up, it wasn't a bird of importance or during a key moment. So I chose Hunt because he's a fallen angel with wings, and you know, wings-bird. Close enough, right? Lol.



HAM
A Book That Made Your Eyes Glaze Over (Boring)

I technically should have loved this one since it was a The Beauty and the Beast retelling. But sadly it did not hold my attention. In fact, my eyes might have actually glazed over in boredom with this one. I ended up skimming pages just to get the gist of what happened in the end.




DINNER ROLLS
A Book That Melted Your Heart And Made You Feel Warm

I know! Right? Lol. But just returning to this world again, seeing familiar faces and of course, Jacks, just made me feel all warm and happy! I could not get enough of this book!




MASHED POTATOES
A Book With A White Cover

Since I didn't want to choose Crush as well, I went with the standard edition of How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories.



GRAVY
A Book You're Not Totally Sure Why You Love, But You Do

Generally, I know why I love a book I've read, but for whatever reason I'm still baffled by how much I enjoyed The Count of Monte Cristo!



PUMPKIN PIE
A Dessert Book You Love

I too, don't really know what a "dessert" book is, so I took Tracy's cue and went with a sweet and fluffy book! The Best Kind of Magic was a cutesy sweet story filled with love, magic, and a bit of mystery!










Nov 26, 2021

Book Blogger Hop

 

 

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!

 

This week's question is: What is your favorite memory surrounding books? (submitted by Julie @ JadeSky)

 

MY ANSWER: I guess despite the challenge, it would be in the pre-blogging days. Back when I would spend an afternoon at Borders, going up and down the YA aisle, pulling out the books that seemed interesting enough and tried to find myself a new read. I mean, I literally would scan titles and whichever one caught my eye, I'd pull out and read the back. Occasionally there'd be covers facing out, mostly endcaps or top shelves that had books displayed. Those were the first ones I'd look at.

It seems weird, but there was a special kind of magic shopping for books this way. I'd discover reads all on my own, without recommendations or really any knowledge on how things went. At that time, I pretty much enjoyed every book I picked out. Dare I say, even the contemporary ones I found myself reading when a paranormal one couldn't be found! Lol.

 

 

 


 

Nov 25, 2021

Let's Discuss: Authors I'm Thankful For

 

So I thought of a short little post today just to talk about authors I'm extremely grateful/thankful to have in my reading life! True, I'm grateful/thankful for ALL authors everywhere, the ones I've read a thousand times, the ones I've read once, and the ones I haven't read for whatever reasons. Books are my favorite and without authors, there wouldn't be any books!


Authors I'm Thankful For


Today, I decided to just stick to my top 3 authors that I'm extremely thankful for! Which honestly, even me cutting myself off at 3 is hard because there are still sooooooooo many authors I want to include, but then I'd literally have to write down every single author I have books for in my collection and this post would be a mile long! Lol.


Amelia Atwater-Rhodes


Of course, I need to go with the author I read when I was younger and discovered the magical world of vampires! Omg, I am forever thankful for this woman! The fact that she was a teenage author in the beginning days was another amazing feat and was kind of what led me to want to write my own stories...which have been sorely missed these last few years. I need to find my niche again!


Maria V. Snyder


I read Maria's books when I was starting college, I can remember it still. Amazon recommended Magic Study to me, I started to read what it was about--since this was before blogging and I had no other way of getting opinions or ideas on books to read--and immediately learned it was a SEQUEL! So yeah, Amazon has been not so bright for many years now! Anyway, that led me to pick up Poison Study and I immediately became addicted! Maria was one of the first authors I reached out to with "fan mail." And I even asked her a few "interview" questions I had to do for a paper from someone in my "field." We've been penpals ever since and have met in person a handful of times as well!


Stephanie Garber


Naturally! I don't know what it was about Caraval that held me so riveted! I was just entranced and was in love with the story! I even re-read the series prior to Finale, which you know me, I don't do anymore! But I did it for Stephanie's books! I've become quite the collector of her books too since her covers are just amazing worldwide! For those curious, I currently have 82 copies in my collection! A few are duplicates of UK or US copies when it came to the alternative covers I kept finding, so those had to go on new copies of course! Lol. Stephanie is yet another positively sweet author and I just adore her and her books!




Which authors are you thankful for?







HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

 


Hey all! I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving today! However you choose to celebrate or not, or just hangout with friends and family, I hope you enjoy the day!

I'm truly, truly thankful to all my blogger friends and followers who continue to stop by my blog everyday! Every comment notification I get sends me into a tizzy, so thank you all!!






Random Thursday

 

Time to learn more sports facts from Shane Carley's True Facts That Sound Like Bull$#*t! So far it seems like the facts are mixed up as were previous categories, so there'll be a mix of sports in these facts today!


(image borrowed from Wiktionary)

Did you know that the Olympics were hosted by countries that now no longer exist? Some of these were West Germany, Yugoslavia, and the USSR.



(image borrowed from Wikipedia)

Did you know that Martin Brodeur is the all-time leading scorer among NHL goalies? He scored a total of 3 goals. His first goal was scored in 1997 and his last was in 2013. There's only one other goalie, Ron Hextall, who has scored more than one goal.



(image borrowed from Wikipedia)

Did you know that former NBA star Grant Hill's mother was Hillary Clinton's roommate at Wellesley?



(image borrowed from National Women's History Museum)

Did you know that Jackie Mitchell was one of the first and only female baseball players in the major league system who struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in consecutive at-bats? There was speculation that strikeouts were a publicity stunt, but some report that Babe Ruth's anger at being struck out was legitimate.



(image borrowed from Wikipedia)

Before Babe Ruth took to bat, the MLB career home run record was 138. When Babe retired the new record of his was 714!






Nov 24, 2021

Review--Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

 

When Rachelle was fifteen, she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless—straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her hunt for the legendary sword that might save their world. Together, they navigate the opulent world of the courtly elite, where beauty and power reign and no one can be trusted. And as they become unexpected allies, they discover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

 

I finally, finally picked up an old TBR book and decided on Rosamund Hodge's Crimson Bound! I loved her first book, Cruel Beauty, and was excited for her Little Red Riding Hood inspired tale as there are not too many of these. I think I've read only 2 books that had a Little Red vibe going on. Sadly, this story did not seem very versed in the fairy tale. I mean, there was girl with a red cloak and she lived on the edge of the forest and never went in there for the dangers that lurked within...but that was about it in similarities. 

I struggle with my terminology with this one too. It took me over a week to read this one, what with starting a new job and all, my reading time was sparse as I tried to find my groove. So things were read sporadically and not always in the best environments where I could absorb what I was reading.

Rachelle was transformed into a bloodbound, a "servant" like being of the evil power lurking in the forest. There's a legend that one day the great evil thing will one day rule the world and darkness will reign over the land. Rachelle being a "servant" of this evil would likely be in a decent role of power, but Rachelle doesn't want power. After having to kill the one she loved most in order to save her own life, Rachelle is itching to get revenge against the beings that "rule" the forest and stop the big bad evil thing from ever rising.

Yet, her position also puts her at the whims of the king and when the king commands that she protects one of his offspring, she has no choice but to obey. Armand is hailed as a saint of sorts, as he too was once called by the evil power. But instead of killing someone, he refused and lost his hands in the process, yet he didn't die. Basically surviving the impossible curse. There are people trying to kill Armand for his sainthood, you could say. This was another thing I didn't quite grasp, the need for Rachelle to be a bodyguard. Yes there were people trying to kill him, but I can't quite recall why. This is what happens to me when I'm reading a book for a very long time.

Another issue I had with the story was the pacing. The pacing just seemed off to me. I never quite found my niche with the storyline. I guess because the lack of Little Red Riding Hood storyline just made me wonder what I was walking into. Yes, I was expecting there to be a huntsman to save the day for Red and dear sweet grandmama, but I guess I was just hoping more for that kind of atmosphere. There was no wolf to be slayed or loved, I was just a bit disappointed with that.

There were plenty of secrets and plot twists thrown about that were perfectly executed! Though I couldn't quite get into the story the way I wanted to, the shocking reveals were quite...shocking. Lol. There was of course a sweet budding romance between Rachelle and Armand, yet I feel like I missed the cues that were pointing to their romance happening. I mean, outside of the description and tagline telling us that they were going to fall in love.

While sadly this book just didn't hold up to my fairy tale retelling standards, it was still a pretty decent read. I guess just with life distractions and all, I just couldn't get into this story the way I had hoped to. It was still a decent fantasy read, I was just disappointed by the lack of fairy tale vibes.

 

Overall Rating 2.5/5 stars

 

 

 

 


 

Can't Wait Wednesday

 

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

 

The first in an all-new series by New York Times best-selling author Kendare Blake continues the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer featuring the next generation of Scoobies and Slayers who must defeat a powerful new evil.

A new Slayer for a new generation...

Frankie Rosenberg is passionate about the environment, a sophomore at New Sunnydale High School, and the daughter of the most powerful witch in Sunnydale history. Her mom, Willow, is slowly teaching her magic on the condition that she use it to better the world. But Frankie’s happily quiet life is upended when new girl Hailey shows up with news that the annual Slayer convention has been the target of an attack, and all the Slayers—including Buffy, Faith, and Hailey’s older sister Vi—might be dead. That means it’s time for this generation’s Slayer to be born.

But being the first ever Slayer-Witch means learning how to wield a stake while trying to control her budding powers. With the help of Hailey, a werewolf named Jake, and a hot but nerdy sage demon, Frankie must become the Slayer, prevent the Hellmouth from opening again, and find out what happened to her Aunt Buffy, before she’s next.

Get ready for a whole new story within the world of Buffy!

 

It's Buffy! It's Kendare Blake! What's not to love?!

 

TITLE: In Every Generation
AUTHOR: Kendare Blake

PUBLISHER: Disney-Hyperion
GENRE: YA Paranormal
RELEASE DATE: January 4, 2022