The Sequels are Always Better: Kingdom of Flesh and Fire Review

The Book:

Title: A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: Blood and Ash #2

Published September 1st 2020 by Blue Box Press

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult

Pages: 637

A Betrayal…

Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice…

Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…

But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.” -Goodreads

My Review:

*Spoilers for the first book most likely*

This book was everything!

I did not like From Blood and Ash. The writing was sloppy and I had way too many questions and it angered me.

But, in this book, it all came together. The writing became more concrete and defined. I understood more about the creatures in this world. We got a map in this novel. The worldbuilding was way more in-depth in this book.

The romance was amazing. It was kind of lovers to enemies to lovers and I loved it. Casteel and Poppy’s romance was unique. They were so frustrating, but the frustration is all a part of the fun.

The world became a four-dimensional world. I felt like it was paper-thin and not super defined in the last book. In this one, I felt like I understood the history and the layout of the world a lot better.

I will say that this critique of it is not very developed in the last book could be because Poppy does not know much about the world around her. We do not get some information because she is not supposed to know that information. I did think the way it was written was confusing though.

This book had a better structure. I hated how the last book had no time jumps unless someone fell asleep. In this book, we speed through unnecessary events a lot faster.

I also was in shock over the ending. I have the next book, but I have not started reading it because I want my genuine reaction to the book.

I love the turn this book has taken. I have gotten more invested and am ready to see where this goes.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Read This Book: Sorcery of Thorns

The Book:

Title: Sorcery of Thorns

Author: Margaret Rogerson

Published June 4th 2019 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Pages: 456

“All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.” –Goodreads

My Review:

This is my new favorite book.

I kid you not. I am obsessed. I just finished listening to the audiobook and I was appalled.

back when I swore that Harry Potter and Throne of Glass were forever going to be my favorite books. Yeah, apparently I lied and have demoted both of them to my favorite series of books.

This standalone was seriously the best.

I am at a loss for words. I am writing this right after finishing because wow I need to process.

I seriously am at a loss for words. No book could compare to this.

How do I review a book this good?

I have never read a book with such vivid details and such a stunning plot. The characters were lovable and attractive. The entire time I was at a loss for words.

Elisabeth is a kind and cunning young lady who lives in a library, which has been my dream ever since I was a little girl. She goes on this crazy adventure all to protect the most sacred thing to her heart, books.

She is the best character I have ever read. She cares about each person she meets but never forgets where she came from. She loves to read and feels at home wherever books exist.

Nathaniel, her dashing sorcerer companion, is my new favorite book boyfriend. The romance is a slow burn that had me aching for them to realize what they meant to each other.

Silas is a strikingly beautiful demon with a heart for his companions. He is my favorite character, not just in this book but of all of them. He surprised me so many times and made me fall in love with him.

The plot was so amazing. I have not read a book similar to it before. It was so refreshing. A lot of the fantasy books I have been reading lately have felt like endless copies of the same book. This one was so different it shocked me.

The book had twists and turns. My mind was changed many times. I was sitting there piecing clues along with Elisabeth.

UGH I CAN NOT GET ENOUGH

I love this book so much. I don’t think I have ever given a book five stars on here, or if so I have not given very many. This book deserves more than five stars, but my rating system doesn’t allow for any more.

Seriously, check this book out!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Sweet Story to Start off the New Year

The Book:

Title: Instructions for Dancing

Author: Nicola Yoon

Published June 3rd 2021 by Penguin

Genre: YA, Romance

Pages: 304

“Evie Thomas doesn’t believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.

As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance Studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything–including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he’s only just met.

Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?” -Goodreads

My Review:

Nicola Yoon has been on my list of top authors for years now, and this book doesn’t change that.

I got this book for Christmas and it is signed!

This book is sweet and playful, but it also touches on some dark subjects. It devastated me in the end, but in a way that gives you hope. I loved it.

Evie is a wonderful character. I used to feel like her, desperate for love but thinking it was pointless. Her experience as a character is so unique. It made me want to sign up for dancing lessons with my partner.

X is a romantic dream, but I liked how the story did not only focus on the romance between the characters. Also, he was not an asshole or a man who is so hurt by his past. He is honest about his feelings.

This love story was sweet, but semi-unadventurous because nothing super bad happens to them. That was super refreshing. Clearly, there is something that goes wrong, but to tell you would be to ruin the book.

The story is a quick read, thanks to Yoon’s writing style. I love how sometimes chapters are just lists and sometimes they are only a few lines. I have always enjoyed that about her writing.

I think it is such a sweet book. It is definitely not her best, that is reserved for The Sun is Also a Star. I still loved it and highly recommend it.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I Read Ugly Love, Here’s What I Think

The Book:

Title: Ugly Love

Author: Colleen Hoover

Published August 5th 2014 by Atria Books

Genre: Romance, New Adult

Pages: 324

“When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn’t think it’s love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.” -Goodreads

My Review:

Halfway through this book, I thought I would be giving it a so-so review. It did not have a hold of me. I thought it was a nice, quick read. The love story was interesting and had some spice to it, but I did not love it.

Until the end.

This book got me with a right hook and kick to the groin in the last half.

I did not expect what happened at all. It was thrilling and almost made up for its average beginnings…

Almost.

Yes, the end was thrilling and the premise of the story was interesting. The severe lack of depth in the female characters or action in the first half of the book brought it down a notch.

The main female character, Tate was kind of boring. All her struggles were about the love interest. Tate’s struggles with hooking up with someone emotionally unavailable is relatable, but not unique.

I thought the story could use a bit more development for her and maybe focus a couple of times on her work or her schooling.

The guy, Miles, had depth and development. His story was heartbreaking, albeit a little incestuous, (actually a lot incestuous.) What is with everyone writing about incest?

Rachel, the step-sister, was 2-D and only viewed from Miles perspective (until later). I do not like when a woman is not thoroughly defined through literature. Hoover usually does a good job, but this book was a bit lacking.

The last half of the book was gut-wrenching and I cried. It is a real tearjerker, so do not let the sexy scenes fool you, BUT the first half was dull. Yes, it held me captive with the flashback to Miles dating his step-sister. The flashbacks were the only interesting parts though.

Still, despite the lack of anything in the first half, this book was good. The ending was unexpected and heartbreaking. If you like Colleen Hoover this book would be great to check out.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Stare Rating: 3.5

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Legen-wait for it-dary: Book review of Legendary

Title: Legendary

Author: Stephanie Garber

Series: Caraval #2

Published May 29th 2018 by Flatiron Books

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance

Pages: 451

“A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever…

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun.

My Review:

When jumping into this book, I was a little nervous. I really wanted more about Scarlett and Julian.

But, this book is set in Tella’s POV.

From the first book, I was not really happy with her actions. Yes, she saved her and her sister but she had done it in a way that caused her sister so much pain.

This book I think she kind of redeemed herself. You actually see her side of the story. You see why she does the things she does. Sometimes I do not like her. Her relenting mission to hate love is really annoying, but you know, people change.

I think the two love interests in this book were…HOT. Dante and Jacks are great. (Yes, Jacks is a love interest dont at me). Dante is my ultimate choice for Tella but there are some factors that make him iffy. Same with Jacks though.

I really cannot talk much about the two boys because there are a lot of spoilers for each of them.

Pros:

  • DANTE
  • Tella’s character development
  • JACKS
  • Dante’s tattoos
  • More development of the government
  • World-building
  • Interesting new story about the Fates

Cons:

  • Weird addition of the Stars (you’ll know when you read it)
  • Complete abandonment of certain plot lines in the first book
  • No more Scarlett and Julian (sorta)
  • Very indecisive writing
  • Felt like more of a brainstorm than a complete set plot

I think the pros and cons weighed against each other well. I think it was a good book. I felt as though some elements of the plot were not fully developed. I feel like it was really good. I think the focus on only one place to have to world build helped us gain more knowledge about the world. The last book was a little difficult and was not as developed. This one is way better for that reason.

So, all in all, I think this book was really great. I liked it a lot. There were some down falls but they might be made up for in the last and final book, Finale.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

What If It’s Us Review

Author: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Series: What If It’s Us #1

Published October 9th 2018 by HarperTeen

Genre: YA, Romance

Pages: 437

“Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.”-Goodreads

Review:

Well…

I hate giving in to reading hyped up books. They always ket me down somewhat.

Now the book was good, the romance was cute, but it just seemed to stereotypical. The romance was too rushed and the endless talking about musicals was insane.

Now, I love a good musical. I do not think they are represented enough in books. I listen to the Hamilton soundtrack every time I make the 2 hour drive from college to my home.

But I felt like Hamilton refrences were being shoved down my throat the ENTIRE book.

And it is cute to have a thing. I like when books have a thing so you can remind yourself of these books. Sometimes I think books dont show the romance’s “thing” enough.

BUT GODD*MN I have never been more annoyed in my life.

That being said this book was good. Lots of people enjoy it and I also enjoyed it. It just was too much sometimes.

I loved that the romance was relatable. Like it modelled a modern day romance (in the middle). It showed how people are flawed. I liked that it showed both sides of the story, but the end and the beginning just seemed too much. Like okay, I am going to try and say this in a way that does not spoil anything. The beginning goes WAY too fast. Like the authors could have played around with this a bit more. Led the chase on a bit longer than it did. And the end, wasn’t unrealistic enough for me to like it. And it wasn’t realistic enough for me to like it. If you have read it and want to know what I mean, go o my contact page. But seriously, the end was like a moderate ending. I did not like it. Part of why we like books is because they are unrealistic. They are our fantasies. And this did not play out that fantasy, But, it did not play out how real-life would have taken the relationship (if they were any normal 16-year-old couple). So I did not like that aspect.

Saying that I did not like the romance of a romance novel pretty much means the book was bad. But it wasmt. I liked it a lot. But it just was inconsistent.

I loved the characters though. Arthur and Ben were amazing. I loved Dylan. Ethan and Jessie were too predictable but it was a cute trope that they had going on.

Anyways I do not want to talk about this book anymore. I am glad I finished one more book of my shelf.

As always, thanks for reading

A Bookie

Star Rating: 3.4

Beautiful Creatures 

beautifulcreaturesgarciastohlAuthor: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Series: Caster Chronicles

Published by Little Brown and Company

Genres: Young Adult

Pages:563

“Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.” –Goodread

Continue reading Beautiful Creatures 

September Wrap-Up and October TBR

Hey, guys!

It is the first of October so that means it is time for my monthly wrap-up and my new TBR. So let’s do this.

What I read in September:

I had 5 books in my TBR this month but I just started school again which was hard to balance my time with all my activities. I hope this month will be different and I will be able to finish all the books on my TBR list for October.

October TBR:

  • The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Magaret Stohl
  • Destined for Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon
  • Shadows of Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

That is all for this blog. I am excited to read these books and I hope that I finish all of them.

Thank you for reading!

Doon

511iszrvycl-_sx326_bo1204203200_Author: Carey Corp. Lorie Langdon

Series: Doon

Published by Blink

Genre:Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Pages:395

“Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes? When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months.

But the Scottish countryside holds other plans.

Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation. Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for…or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.” –Goodreads

Continue reading Doon