Book Review: One Dark Throne

9780062385468_c043eThe battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?
With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.
In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

Why can’t everyone just be happy LIKE WHYYYY
REALLY. TELL ME.
even though it was our idiocy on my part, I spent THREE DARK CROWNS and ONE DARK THRONE just wanting EVERYONE TO BE FREAKING HAPPY. LIKE OMG. obviously that’s stupid because you can tell from the beginning that not everyone’s going to be happy, and even in other books not everyone gets to be happy but sheeesh I just wanted all my preciouses to be happy.
So somehow through sheer and utter genius, Kendare has made it absolutely impossible to hate anyone in this story, I LOVE EVERYONE OKAY.
Ike I tried to hate Katherine but THEY’RE ALL SO COMPLEX THAT ITS LIKE I CAN’T HATE YOU ITS NOT YOUR FAULT THAT YOU’RE THAT WAY OMG. (If you can’t tell yet, I’m going to be spending a ton of time exercising my right to a caps lock button)
Also the ships? I AM HERE FOR IT YASS. so many ships. I love them so much I can’t even right now.
So THREE DARK CROWNS was a little dark but this book just jumped in and was so dark and I AM HERE FOR IT YASSSS. It was deliciously dark. But like complex too. You never knew what was going to happen next and it was AHMAZINGG.
ever heard of second book blues? Hahahaha this book had none of that. It grabbed THREE DARK CROWNS by the throats and smashed it up and TOOK THAT FREAKING CROWN. I probably need several more days to properly process what the freak just happened but I THINK I LOVE THIS BOOK MORE THAN THREE DARK CROWNS IDK IDK.
I feel like THREE DARK CROWNS spent a lot of time setting up the characters and the story and the world, whereas ONE DARK THRONE was able to dive in and murder me with feels and amazingness. It didn’t have to take time to set things up.
I feel like THREE DARK CROWNS was setting up a maze of dominoes, and ONE DARK THRONE was all the dominoes falling.
Have I mentioned how FREAKING GOOD this book is yet? Like how. TEACH ME YOUR SECRETS I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO WRITE THIS GOOD. everything in this book was just amazing, the plot, the world, the characters…. A freaking +. I NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW
I just. I can’t even word all my feels. This book was a masterpiece of darkness, love, and heart-pounding twists. I’m going to go cry now bye.

five stars

What sequel have you read lately that was better than the first book?

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5 Mental Health Book Recommendations!

So the other day I was talking about my anxiety with several friends and they mentioned that they had never read a book that featured anxiety and depression rep! I was sufficiently surprised, and I set myself a goal to write a post with recommendations, both for them, and the people who also haven’t read a book with mental health rep.

This Song Will Save Your Life

this-song-will-save-your-life

 

This book was the first mental health novel I read, and I read it previously to getting anxiety. While I didn’t find myself in the story, it opened my eyes up to a whole world that(at the time) was pretty much silenced and pushed down.

mental health featured: depression, tw: suicide attempt

 

 

 

How it Feels to Fly

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This book was another one that really brought around my understanding of mental illness, and helped me realize my own. It was so important to my mental health journey.

mental health featured: (it’s been awhile since I read it so maybe it features this?) anxiety, depression

 

 

 

Saving Red

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This book is so, so important to me, because it was the first mental health book I read after realizing that I had anxiety and depression. It was thrilling to see myself represented.

mental health featured: panic attacks, and several other reps

 

 

 

How to Disappear

Roat_how_to_disappear_cover

 

I’ve reached a point in my journey, where I know I have anxiety and depression, and that it’s not something about me that’s going to be gone when I wake up every day. I have good days, and bad. This book was so inspirational to me, and just, so, so beautiful.

mental health featured: severe social anxiety, depression

 

 

Before She Ignites

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This book is important to both me, and the reading world, because it brings something like anxiety, which a lot of people suffer from, to a fantasy world and it’s a book that will help bring awareness, plus the rep is A++

mental health featured: anxiety, panic attacks

 

 

 

These books are just a few of what’s out there. I personally feel like the rep is getting better and better, and I’m so excited to see what’s next. If I left out any mental health on each “featured” list, let me know so I can add it.

What’s your favourite story that features good mental health rep?

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Before She Ignites

Before

Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.

After

Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse. 

Wow. Just… wow. This book was so intense, so wonderful. I just can’t even express how much I love it.
Let’s start with the world building WHICH IS FREAKING AMAZING. The world of BEFORE SHE IGNITES is heavily reminiscent of earth, but full of fantastical dragons and legends enough to fuel a million stories. We don’t explore much of it in this book, but sheesh I would but a book that does. It’s so complex and there’s so much left to explore.
On it’s own, this is a WONDERFUL fantasy novel. But what really pushed it to 5-star, hall of fame, favorites shelf level was the featuring of mental illness. The main character, Mira, suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. (Note: as someone with anxiety, nothing in this book was triggering to me, but everyone’s triggers are different, so just be careful because it does get very intense!) This novel also features a coping mechanism, which is something I haven’t seen before, even in contemporaries. I can’t personally speak on Mira’s use of counting to cope, as it isn’t a method that I use, but I feel like Jodi Meadows really thought through all of the different things featured in this book(main character is a WOC, plus there’s mental illness.) featuring anxiety in a fantasy novel wasn’t something I have read before, and I feel like it was such a great addition, as it heightens the relatability of the characters and story world. It’s something a lot of people suffer from, and it was so great to see that representation.
Most of the book takes place in the Pit, which is like the worst place in the universe. The scenes there are so intense and the whole place felt so real.
Something I want to talk about is how this book is absolutely wonderful and inspirational. The plot is amazing, but the character development is just… stunning. Mira was conditioned to a certain way of action, of thinking, and it was so inspirational to see her break through… and ignite! (A few of my fave quotes below(taken from my uncorrected proof and therefore it is possible they will change before the final copy is released))

“There is strength,” he said slowly, “in knowing when to speak, and when to listen.” His hands stayed on his chest, motionless. “And when to say nothing at all.”

🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉

::Strength through silence.::

🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉

“Love does no harm.”

I just.. I love this book so freaking much. LIKE Y’ALL
THERE’S THIS GUY AND HE’S WONDERFUL AND DELIGHTFUL AND I LOVE HIM AND HE’S MINE BTW oh who am I talking about? OBVIOUSLY I’M TALKING ABOUT AARU. he’s just so precious and wonderful and I NEED HIM IN MY LIFE HELLO.
I can’t even review anymore these feels are just TOO MUCH
So to recap! This book is a deliciously written fantasy set in a gorgeous story world that feels utterly real, with a main character whose arc is absolutely stunning. aka: READ IT

What books have you read lately that are just mindblowingly good?

Book Aesthetics Tag!

THE RULES

Thank whoever nominated you (maybe you’re bitter that you have ANOTHER tag to do on top of the billions you already need to do (#relatable), still though. Someone thought of you. Be thankful. At least pretend to be)

Credit the creator of this tag 

There’s no limit of how many aesthetics you can make for a question, but think of your poor readers.

Make your OWN aesthetics, please don’t steal them from someone else. Also what’s the fun in that?

thank you so much for tagging me, Fernanda! And thank you, Michelle, for creating the tag!

Favourite book of the year

the color project by sierra abrams

The year isn’t done yet, and obviously I have one more favorites than just one(I even have a whole page dedicated to my faves of 2017!), but this book means a lot to me. I love it okayyyy???

Character you relate to a lot

bee from the color project by sierra abrams

Bee is someone who I found myself violently relating to, and she’s like a better version of me, the me I want to be. I love her bunches and she is so, so precious and dear to me.

A character you look up to

ellie from the girl with the red balloon

Ellie is such a courageous and strong character. She’s smart, witty, and comfortable enough with herself that she accepts that it’s okay to be vulnerable sometimes. I admire her decision making skills, and really her as a whole.

An underrated gem

how to disappear by sharon huss roat

Before reading this book, I heard absolutely nothing about it. After reading it, I still heard almost nothing. This book is insanely good. It’s beautifully written, and the story portrayed is full of hope and will definitely make you cry.

A character that deserves more love

mira from before she ignites

Now, this book isn’t actually out yet so there’s not like tons and tons of hate on Mira, but I’ve seen some things said about her that are full of ignorance and I’m just going to interject here about how much I love her thanks bye.

An underrated OTP

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cammie and josh from I’d tell you I love you but then I’d have to kill you

You see, when I first read this book I was a stubborn tween who always shipped the first ship of a story. And of course, this led to me developing a fierce love for Josh and Cammie as a couple, and of course that fused with my soul and now I slightly resent Zach and this is my no. 1 Main ship of that series. #oops

Share with me! Your choice of question: underrated gem or underrated OTP!

Muse Monday #15

This week I found myself wondering about my bookstagram. I had begun to feel uninspired by my current them but after awhile of searching my house I couldn’t find a good place to take new photos(that includes good lighting and space). After I little while, I began to think about getting a tapestry and fairy lights to switch things up. Money is tight, so I wasn’t sure if I could even afford it. A quick Amazon search compnfirmed that I needed to save my current fund for something that I truly need.

However, I still really wanted the tapestry and lights, so I posted on a twitter, seeing if anyone wanted something designed. Within the hour I got a response, and it was such a blessing! With that, and I design I did Sunday, I was able to afford the things I wanted for my bookstagram! 😱😱 I legit cried. It was such a blessing, and it helped me through what was a very hard weekend.

You can expect my new bookstagram theme in the next month! I already have a bunch of pre-taken photos for my current theme, but once I get my new stuff I’m gonna start pre-taking photos!! ❤️❤️

What has inspired you this week?

BOOK REVIEW: The Girl with the Red Balloon

gwtrb_postcard-front_no-bleed-page-001When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process.

 

I went into this book expecting something light, romantic, and fun.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
noooope. This book is dark. It’s romantic. And it’s one of those books that leaves you thinking about the deeper thing in life, about how cavalier we can be with our lives, and the chances we get.
I liked Ellie right away, but she is such a badass. She’s strong, and kickass, and she has such a great vulnerability to her. No one is strong all the time, and she isn’t. She’s strong when she needs to be, but she breaks down sometimes and there’s no shame of backlash for it.
I’ve been very blessed in life, and I acknowledge my own privilege, but as someone who has never had to truly think about the horrors of the Holocaust or the Berlin Wall, this book was so eye-opening. As a human being, I have (of course!) wondered sometimes about the “why” of things.
Why someone has died. Why so many horrible and awful things have happened to the world. And this quote… y’all, this quote had me tearing up.
“I want to believe that we’re all here for a reason, and what we have now, and all that history behind us, is important and meaningful even when it’s terrible. Even when it’s sad.” (quoted from my ARC, and therefor subject to change before the release of the book)
I just. This book is so sad, in so many ways, but it’s also hopeful. Ellie, being from the future, knew that in just a few months, the horror would end. The Wall would fall. But it was such a dark time, for everybody, and I think it’s actually said that they don’t think it would end. As a reader, I felt that speaking to my soul. Whatever’s going on, no matter how dark, how horrible, how awful it is, there is hope. It may feel like it’ll never end, but it will. Just stay strong.
Okay, whew! That was all super deep. So let’s talk romaaaaance.
Kai. Kai. KAI. he was. amazing. like… seriously. He was respectful and kind, and wonderful and the relationship was just a++++ and I LOVE IT.
also: kai, ellie, and mitzi: SQUAD. GOALS. I am not kidding. Squad. Goals. S Q U A D   G O A L S ! I can’t even review anymore. I’m legit just flailing.
Overall, this book packs a powerful punch with colorful characters, healthy romance, a world that maybe isn’t as black and white as we think.

five stars

What book have you read lately(or ever!) that has really made you think?