The Valiant ★★★★☆

4.5 stars 

I read this book in about 4 total hours and it was amazing. Every time I opened the book I couldn’t stop reading. I loved reading about female gladiators and how Ceaser realized that women could fight just as good as the men. I’ve only seen a few negative reviews and I can see why! It’s just such a good book!

Goodreads Summary:

Princess. Captive. Gladiator.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.

When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.

Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.

Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.

My review: 

The main character in this novel, Fallon, was such a cool character who just wanted to make a name for herself. She trained every chance that she got and was trying her hardest to become a warrior like her older sister. I love the fact that she follows the goddess of war/death, the Morrigan because I’m such a nerd when it comes to anything Celtic.
They jump straight into a romance with this book and I wasn’t ready at all. It was a shock but I can see why the author did it. It definitely led to a quickly moving plot. Even though us, as readers, are thrown into a romance that we’ve never seen before, it’s one that has been solid for a while. I haven’t read a ton of books where the main character was actually with someone in the first chapter of the book.
I didn’t really see the plot twist coming in this book until I was five pages away from it actually happening. It was such a cool twist and I feel like the characters really handled it well. Everything in this book was about sisterhood and I haven’t really read a book that focuses so much on how much sisters need each other (that’s including the sisters she makes later on in the book). It was something I really loved and want to see in more books that are coming out. I’m sick of reading books where they pit girls against each other because it is just a cheap way to make the plot “interesting.”
I feel like this book could and should have been longer. I feel like this book was just setting up the next book and to be honest, I don’t really mind it because this book was actually really good. I just got to the end of this book and was like “oh this it?” and it wasn’t like every other time that I’ve said that because it just felt like it should have had more. I’m not mad at where this book ended though because it was a natural ending that left a good starting point for the next book to happen. I think this is quickly going to become one of my favorite series.
I loved the setting in this book and I’m really excited to continue reading about the people living in it. I think that the author painted a really clear picture in my mind and I could see the entire book happening like a movie in my head. That’s something that I love. There’s nothing like letting your mind run off with the images that the words in the book create.
I’d highly recommend this book, obviously. This is one that I think lots of people would enjoy and I will definitely be telling my friends to read it while I’m waiting for the second book to come out. Only about 2 months till I can finally get back into the story!!

 

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November Wrap Up and December TBR

I didn’t actually read too much this month because of how busy I was but at least I got a few read! I enjoyed every book that I read (even though two were for school) and I’m really happy about that fact. I don’t think I’m going to reach my goal of 100 books this year though…which is kind of sad but I’ve just been so busy that I couldn’t read a ton.

The Assassins Heart by Sarah Ahiers, The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini, The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry, The Valiant by Lesley Livingston, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

December TBR!

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake, American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee, Wicked like Wildfire Lana Popovic and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

 

Holiday Gift Guide! Bookworm Edition

It’s basically Christmas now right? So I like giving people ideas about what they should give people for Christmas so I thought, why not write about it but make it all bookish. So, um, that’s what I’m doing. This is also another way for me to write a post without making it a review or book tag! I’m being creative! Kind of!

Laptop case from Society6! 

Now, this is for the techy person in your life that loves to carry their laptop around with them. So I actually have a MacBook case from Society6 and it is a quote from A Court of Mist and Fury! It is so high quality and sososo beautiful. I couldn’t be happier that I ordered a case from them because it gives me the opportunity to read my favorite quote every day. This specific case was designed by Evie Seo and I absolutely love her work!

Tote bags!

I really love carrying around books because I’m always reading. I’ve bought bags from Barnes & Noble, Society6, and just little shops that I’ve seen while I’m in oldtown. I really love Barnes and Noble ones because they have inexpensive ones that are both cute and great quality. I think tote bags are a great gift because they can be used for so many different things. And they’re just really cute.

Bookmarks from Barnes and Noble or a small business! 

I love buying bookmarks and I know a lot of readers love to collect them. Barnes and Noble has a ton of great bookmarks and they come in a decent amount of styles. There are also a ton of small businesses that sell bookmarks. They’re all over websites like Etsy and Instagram and they have some absolutely beautiful handmade bookmarks. Some of my favorites are @/heyatlascreative on Instagram and @/behindthepagesstore which is also on Instagram.

Illustrated Harry Potter books!

Now, this is something that I’m actually asking for this year and I think it’s something worth investing in. As an avid Harry Potter fan, I love the idea of illustrated versions and I think that anyone who loves Harry Potter would love receiving a copy of any of the books.

Throw Pillows! 

Now I don’t personally have any throw pillows with book-related things on them but I’ve given them as gifts. They’ve always been a hit and everyone I’ve given them to has had it out for everyone to see. Most pillows don’t even look like they’re about a book and it’s a great way for a book nerd to have a nerdy thing around the house.

Socks!

Okay, this one might be a little weird but as an avid sock lover, I love getting socks. I’m not talking about plain and boring white socks. No, I’m talking about those taco socks that are out there. I got a year long sock subscription last year and it has been one of the best things because you always get a surprise pair of socks in the mail.

Where to get free review books for new bloggers!

So when I started blogging, I was really interested in getting books before they came out. I’d heard that it was the best way to get people to start reading your reviews and build a decent following. I found some websites that sent out books for review on my own and others I found because someone mentioned them in a blog post. I’m someone who doesn’t have a massive amount of followers and because of that, I’m not working with big-time publishers or anything like that. That being said, I’m still able to get books sent to me for review.

Also, my internet cut out on Thanksgiving so my phone kept posting an unfinished version of my post. That post will be up on Tuesday and I hope it didn’t confuse people too much!

1. Blogging for Books

This is a site where anyone with a blog can sign up. They have a decent amount of books that you can choose from and they continue to supply you with books in exchange for reviews. I really like this site because they have young adult books as well as historical novels. You can choose between an E-book or a physical book and this is something I really like because not everyone likes to horde books.

2. Library Thing

This website is more for giveaways but once you start reviewing books, you have a better chance of getting books. I like this site because they have both E-books and print books, much like Blogging for Books. This site is a hit or miss, to be honest, but I do like some of the books that they put up!

3. Netgalley

This is a site where you can get an ample amount of free E-books. This site is always being updated and there are always really popular books on the site. The only thing is that you need to keep your rating up in order to get new books! That’s not the hardest thing if you only request books that you actually want to read. I’ll admit that I got a little excited when I first started and that meant that I requested books that I wasn’t entirely interested in.

The Fifth Petal ★★★★☆

4.5 stars 

I’ve read another book! This book is actually one that I’ve wanted to read since I got it and I’m happy I got the opportunity to! I really love the cover of this book and it really fits in well with the story! It shows the girls and their last moments which is something I didn’t really get until I finished the book.

*I received this book from the website Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected this review and all opinions are my own.*

Goodreads Summary:

When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, a triple homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. He finds unexpected help in Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims newly returned to town. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian, is guilty of murder or witchcraft.

But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?

My Review: 

I wish I had picked this book up as soon as I got it because the story was so interesting. This book is all about a crazy aunt and while I can’t relate directly to that, everyone has at least one crazy person in their family. I can understand someone trying to run from their past and Callie isn’t an exception. I mean she doesn’t know that Rose is alive because of the lies that she was told but she still pushes all the memories of her mother out of her head.

I really liked Callie and everything about her character was interesting to read about. She wasn’t 2 dimensional and she actually had some substance to her. She has a really cool job working as a music therapist and I’ve never read a book where the character has a job like that. I just really liked hearing about how she used music and vibrations in order to help heal people.

I think the only character that I didn’t really like was Rafferty, the main cop that is taking care of everything related to the Goddess murders. He adds another element to the book but I really wish that we didn’t have to deal with him as much as we did. He was also just a little off and I didn’t really like the way he treated his wife sometimes.

This book is one that gets better and better as you continue to read. I really like books that are this way but sometimes the beginning will be wayyyyyyy to boring. That wasn’t the case for this book, thank god. It started off a little slow but it was enough that it made me want to keep reading to find out about Callie.

I’m still not sure if this is a continuation of some series because there is another book, The Lace Reader, and it has some of the same characters. I didn’t have any trouble reading this book if that is the case but maybe I did miss some nods to the other book.

I would really recommend this book to anyone who likes the Salem Witch Trials because there is a good amount of history in the book. There is also a very good storyline and I think it’s worth reading. I don’t think there’s any reason to mention how old someone should be before reading this book because nothing really terrible or graphic happens in this book. All in all, I’d highly highly suggest picking this book up!

My Name in TBR Books!

I have so many books on my TBR that this tag was something I’ve always thought about doing. It’s getting to the time where I’m getting busy again with school and this was one of the tags that I’ve had in my drafts for a while so this was a no-brainer. I hope you guys like the tag and if any of you decide to do it, feel free to tag me so I can check it out!

C – Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

A – Alice by Cristina Henry

R – Rebel Magisters by Shanna Swedson

O – One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

L – Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Y – I couldn’t think a book that started with a Y 😦

N – Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins

E – Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Assassin’s Heart ★★★★☆

3.5 stars

I’ve had this book for a pretty long time but once I finally decided to pick it up, I couldn’t put it down. I say a pretty long time but it only came out in May. Whoops. I did kind of forget that I had bought it though and I guess November is the month for wonderful books about murder.

Before I get into the review though I thought I would share some good news with you all because I really appreciate each of you and thought you’d be interested to know. So, I recently applied to CSU and it turns out that I got in! It’s my dream school and I’m so excited to start studying science in University! Now, let’s get back to the review you are all here for!

Goodreads Summary:

In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.

My review: 

This book was such an interesting read and it was one that I couldn’t stop reading. I actually finished this book in one night while I was sick in bed. I couldn’t fall asleep and by the time I noticed that I was halfway through the book, I decided that I might as well just finish it.

I really liked the main character most of the time. Lea is a young girl who just wants to be loved and I think that the danger of being with the son of her enemy was just an added bonus. She is the around my age and that meant that I ended up relating to her a lot more than someone who was younger than me. I will say that she isn’t the best assassin out there. She messes up multiple times and makes really stupid mistakes for someone who thinks so highly of herself. I mean, yeah she’s young but there’s always room for improvement.

There is a love story in this book and I love it so much. Like I love it to the point where I am debating on reading the next book just because I get to hear more about them. There also isn’t a love triangle in this book which is amazing because there are two guys that she is interested in. Bless authors who don’t use love triangles to rip my heart to pieces.

I didn’t really care for the writing in this book. It came off as a little dull and it lacked emotion. I really hate saying that about a book I actually enjoyed but that’s just how it seemed to me. This ties in with how the middle of the book ended up being slow and it just consisted of Lea talking about how she was going to get revenge. I know she was getting her strength back and all of that, but it was a little too slow for my liking so I might have skim read a little bit. Oops.

This book also has strong religious aspects and I really wasn’t expecting that. It wasn’t terrible but I generally don’t like books with such a present religious aspect. That being said, it wasn’t something that deterred me from reading this book. I actually understood how an area could be so religious because of how they were living their lives.

I’d highly recommend this book and because it ends on a good note, there is no reason to read the additional book. This book does have like one sex scene but it isn’t graphic or anything so I think you’re fine. This book is one that I think people should read, especially if they like books about strong women who do what they need to do.