April Wrap Up

April is over. I have to so say that I am glad. April is all fickle weather when I am ready for SUMMER. I had 4 books on my April TBR list and read all and then some. I wanted to just go over everything I read and just quickly give it a either a “YES. READ THIS BOOK” or a “READ SOMETHING ELSE”  recommendation. Just remember that what I really like may not be what you prefer. Which is totally fine. We all have our own brand of weird and I feel like mine can be uniquely mine. Honestly tho, I think most of my friends and I like the same kind of books. Also remember that unless I REALLY loved it and would read it again AND recommend it to ANYONE, I won’t give it 5 stars.

MY APRIL TBR:

Cress is book 3 in the Lunar Chronicles. I would recommend this series to anyone. Honestly. It is a sci-fi fairytale retelling. At first I was skeptical and didn’t understand all the hype but I have really loved it. The next book is Winter and it is on my MAY TBR. I give this one a YES. READ THIS BOOK.

My Lady Jane is a book I picked up months ago because I loved the cover. I put it off for awhile but when I finally found time to read it I was kicking myself because I loved it so much. If you love historical romances you will love this one. It comes with a magical twist and is narrated by the three coauthors. I thought they were hilarious and as soon as I finished this one I felt like I should read it again. YES. READ THIS BOOK.

Three Dark Crowns was very slow at first for me. I actually bought it on vacation and couldn’t get into it. I came home and set it on my shelf and didn’t really think about it again. I decided I needed to read it. I have this rule of not buying books I’m not going to read. (ha ha.. funny I know. I do it anyway) I trudged through it and was very unexpectedly surprised to find that I really liked it. I want to reread it and figure out why it was so slow in the beginning. It ended with a real cliff-hanger and now book 2 is on my list. This one I feel like is a middle recommend for me. YES. READ IT… if you don’t have anything else pressing or are looking for something different.

True North was a ARC I received from Netgalley. It is the sequel to True Born. I read both and was not impressed. I couldn’t seem to get into this world. It was so depressing and I felt the characters weren’t very deep. It was all a little weird, even of me. I gave it 3 stars in my review because it was interesting and I liked the love story. I hate not knowing the ending. I believe book 3 comes out next year. READ SOMETHING ELSE.

 

MY EXTRA READS:

Paris Time Capsule and The House by the Lake I grabbed a long time ago because Amazon was doing a kindle deal. They are stand alone novels but they are based off of some of the same characters. I was glad I read both of them. I would read The House by the Lake first. It is a dual narrative about a girl now  and her grandfather when he young in 1930’s Germany.  Paris Time Capsule is mystery story about a girl who inherited a Paris apartment that has not been touched since the Nazi’s invaded Paris. Both were quick weekend reads. YES. READ THESE BOOKS.

Imitation is book one of a trilogy. I have the other two on my kindle and didn’t get to them this month. A good friends of mine recommended them and I would also. Ven is a clone. Like I said, I like weird. The whole book is about money being above the law and who really is making the law. Ven is trying to find her place and earn her freedom. Not for only herself but for all the others. I hopefully will finish her story in May. This book is also middle ground. I did enjoy it. I want to finish the trilogy, but I can’t say I LOVED it.

The Valiant I listened to on Audibles. The narrator was INCREDIBLE. Honestly. I haven’t written my review for this one yet because I don’t know how to spell anything! I started writing and I don’t know how to spell their names or the towns. Ha ha. It is a female gladiator story. Fallon is a warrior princess taken as a slave and has to earn her freedom competing as a Gladiatrix. This one I can say I LOVED. YES. READ THIS BOOK.

Melody’s Key I received a copy from author Dallas Coryell to review. I really enjoyed this book. It is about love and family and most of all music. I felt that the characters were deep. I really liked the story. It is a reminder of the pressures teens go through trying to figure out their place. It was a good young adult read but again as much as I liked it, I’m not sure I would recommend it to everyone. It was good. Read my review and then you decide.

Overall

I did pretty good this month. There wasn’t anything I read that was a complete waste of time. There also wasn’t one I started and didn’t finish. I don’t know if I could pick one favorite but I know my least favorite was the True Born series. I hope you all had a great April but lets move on to May. I mean.. A Court of Wings and Ruin comes out in 2 days and I’m freaking out.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

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Title: Three Dark Crowns

Author: Kendare Blake

Published: September 20, 2016 by Harper Teen

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Stars: 4           Content Rating: 4

Synopsis: In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

******

“I want revenge and then I want my crown.”

I started this book a few months ago and was bored. I could not seem to get into it. It started out really slow for me. I am also someone that has to be in the “mood” for a certain story and I just was not ready to read it. I decided to put it on my April TBR list and I am so glad I did. Yes it was slow at first but only because these characters run deep and are more intertwined than you realize at first.

On the Island of Fennbirn 3 triplets are born. Once their gifts start to show they are given to the foster families to be taught their gift. Their Mother is no longer Queen since the new queens have arrived. She names them and they go into the care of others. Brought up to hate their sisters so that they can kill them and take the crown for themselves. Pretty gory right? The gifts are from the Island. The Goddess they all  pray to. Katharine has the gift of poisons and even though she is amazing at combining and brewing the concoctions she can not handle them herself like the other poisoners can. Arsinoe is a naturalist who can not seem to find her gift. Naturalist can ripen fruit and bloom flowers. Make fields full of wheat and they also come with an animal companion. It takes time sometimes for their gifts to come, but time is not something Arsinoe has. Mirabella is an Elemental. She can control all but her favorite is the storms. The fire. She is strong and everyone knows it. Including the Priestesses of the Temple. They have disobeyed some very big rules in showing her favor. Mirabella is strong with elements but also strong of heart. Can she truly kill the sisters that she loves? So many politics and others trying to rule these young girls and I have a feeling they have other ideas. Within the year they are to try and kill the other two sisters and decide on a King Consort. These boys come from the mainland where there is no magic and have to swear loyalty to his Queen. I feel like maybe if I were one of these boys I would stay on the mainland!

This is only book one and it ended with quite the cliff-hanger. I’m glad I don’t have to wait for the next one to come out. I will be adding One Dark Crown to my list.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

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Title: The Lady Jane

Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

Published: June 7th, 2016 by Harper Teen

Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Stars: 4         Content Rating: 2

Synopsis: The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.

******

My Review, but a first, a few confessions.

Confession #1: I am a cover slut. I bought this book and didn’t even read what it was about. It had been popping up on some accounts I follow and I just had to have it.

Confession #2: I bought this book months ago with every intention of reading it but because I didn’t really know what it was about (other than I loved the cover) it sat on my nightstand. Forever.

Confession #3: I glanced over the synopsis but I did not register what it said about being narrated like Princess Bride. When I first starting reading it I thought, “oh wow! This reminds me of The Princess Bride.” Which really bothered me at first because I didn’t like how The Princess Bride was written. I wasn’t prepared for it. I fell for everything the narrator said! When I found out that it was just a story inside a story, (very genius) I felt betrayed. I know, I know. I’m silly. That being said, I love The Princess Bride… now. After I got over the betrayal. Back to The Lady Jane, I did not feel at all betrayed here. The narrators were very honest from the beginning. I also love the Tudor England era so I felt more confident in the “real” history.

Okay. Now on to my review. I really enjoyed this read! The Lady Jane Grey isn’t a very well known Queen since her reign was only 9 days and then was later beheaded. The authors explained how and why and decided to giver her a different ending. They wrote  a fun story that goes along with history but then at the same time doesn’t at all.  The characters in the book are mostly taken from real people. Their names and relation to the crown are accurate. They decided to add a magical twist which makes everything more interesting. I feel like they did a really good job. I looked up Lady Jane Grey on Wikipedia just to get the initial scoop and was quite surprise at how accurately this story actually is. That is if you believe in Wikipedia. Accurate but with the magic. I know. It sounds weird but I promise once you start to read it you will totally understand.

It was fast paced. I read it in 2 days and it was perfect. Those of you who are looking for a funny narrative will love it. There is a little bit of everything. Magic. Danger. Romance. Friendship. Humor. I fell in love with Jane. She is a girl after my own heart. She is smart, funny, courageous and such a little Lady with sass and spirit. I am definitely happy that I bought this beautiful book. I might just go read it again. Happy reading!

Cress by Marissa Meyer

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Title: Cress (Book 3 in The Lunar Chronicles)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Published: February 4, 2014 by Feiwel & Friends

Genre: Sci-fi, Young Adult, Fairytale Retelling

Star: 5             Content Rating: 2

 

Synopsis: In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

******

 So far this one has been my favorite retelling. Scarlet ended with Cinder and Captain Thorne escaping prison with his ship and Scarlet, Wolf and of course Iko. Iko is my favorite. Those of you who have not read the first two books, Cinder is a Cinderella retelling. Scarlet is Little Red Riding Hood and Cinder is Repunzel. This series is set in a futuristic world where cyborgs and androids are common. Net screens and technology is super advanced and Aliens called “Lunars” exist. Lunar’s live on the moon. They are ruled by Queen Levana who is trying to become empress by marrying Emperor Kai. She wants to control the moon, the world and the galaxy.

As the crew hides up in space and tries to come up with a plan to stop the royal wedding they find the girl that warned them in the first place. Cress is a Lunar shell who because of her exceptional skills of hacking and reprogramming, was put in a satellite all alone. Her job was to spy on the royal family and to keep all the Lunar ships hidden. She also hated her job. She loved Earth. She helped keep Cinder and the crew hidden from all those that were looking for them. When they finally contact her, they decide she is an ally and go to to rescue her. Their rescue attempt goes not as planned and Scarlet gets taken to Luna. Cinder ends up with a Lunar guard and Captain Thorn and Cress get left on the satellite as it falls to Earth. I really loved these two. I couldn’t help but to picture Captain Thorn as Flynn Ryder. The charismatic personality. The arrogance. The handsomeness. His whole personality. He really made this book fun. Cress was perfect as well. She loves to sing and because she has been trapped in that satellite she is very naive and sweet. Everything is new and she gobbles it up with enthusiasm. This story brings everyone together in an attempt to find more answers and stop the royal wedding. A dangerous mission since they are all recognizable criminals.

What I love most about this series is how true they are to their fairytales with the story being so completely new. The main characteristics are the same. For example: Cinder is a servant in her step mothers home with two step sisters. She ends up at the palace and falls in love with the prince. Scarlet’s grandmother was taken by wolves and she has to figure out how to save her but fails. Cress has been locked up in her “tower” aka satellite waiting for her love to save her. Caption Thorn is a selfish thief that has a change of heart. Everyone has a place with their own story but with the series as a whole as well. The way Marissa Meyer has intertwined all the characters is this little world is so fun. She did a really good job. I love the connections. The layering of the stories. I love the futuristic retellings of these fairytales. I can’t wait to read the next one.

The House by the Lake by Ella Carey

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Title: The House by the Lake

Author: Ella Carey

Published: March 29, 2016 by Lake Union Publishing

Genre: Historical Romance, Mystery

Stars: 5          Content Rating: Clean

Synopsis: Anna is content with her well-ordered life in San Francisco. But her world is turned upside down when her beloved grandfather, Max, reveals a startling secret: Anna is part of an aristocratic family who lost everything during World War II. What’s more, Max was forced to leave behind a precious item over seventy years ago in their estate in old Prussia. It’s now his ardent wish that Anna retrieve it.

Anna burns with questions as she heads for Germany: What memento could be so important to her grandfather? And why did he keep their history hidden? As she searches for answers, she finds herself drawn to Wil, a man who may hold the key to unlock the mystery. Together they discover that her family’s secrets are linked with an abandoned apartment in Paris, and these secrets go deeper than she ever imagined.

Alternating between 1930s Europe and the present, The House by the Lake illuminates the destiny of a family caught in the tumult of history.

******

I don’t really want to tell you all about the book. Ha. Some book blogger I turned out to be! I feel like the synopsis does the telling well enough. The mystery of the past and Anna’s journey into finding it, along with her future is the fun of this book. I don’t want to spoil it. I really enjoyed the way the author wrote two stories in one. It pretty much alternates each chapter. I would finish one and it would leave me wanting more of the present story and as I was finishing the next chapter I wanted more of the past. It was fun uncovering the past and getting some historical fiction from Nazi Germany. The author did a good job helping us readers understand what a difficult time that was. For my readers that want a good love story then give this one a try. As far as content goes it was a clean read. I really enjoyed it! Happy Reading!