TTT: Favorite Books of 2019

Top ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader. The prompt this week is perfect for the last day of the year: Favorite Books I Read In 2019. So without further ado, here are my top 10 reads of 2019 (in no particular order):

  1. Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  2. Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
  3. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
  4. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
  5. Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
  6. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
  7. The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  8. Him by Sabrina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
  9. Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
  10. Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Vicious by V. E. Schwab13638125

Published September 23, 2013

Series Villains #1

Rating   5 / 5

Goodreads

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

I am a sucker for morally ambiguous characters, and this book introduces many poster children for the term. Victor Vale is a horrendous excuse for a human being. In fact, almost all characters in this book are.

Previously, all my favorite characters have been thieves with an agenda or assassins with a purpose, but one thing they all had in common was they faced an obvious foe with a somewhat malicious agenda. I love this story because there is no obvious line in the sand. EVERYONE is horrible and…VISCOUS, trying to advance their own agenda at whatever cost. The question of allegiance lies with the reader’s decision on who is the most “justified” (if anything these characters do is truly justifiable).

As a bit of a science nerd, the veneer of scientific reasoning surrounding the ExtraOrdinary’s “origin story” provided a major bonus. In the word’s of Victor Vale:

“Science, even completely fiction, [holds] sway.”

The time-skipping in this book was also flawlessly executed. Rather than laying all the characters’ beef out in chronological order, the quick flips to the past and the present made Vicious a true page turner. I was up until about 1 AM yesterday because I HAD TO KNOW why Eli and Victor hated each other so much (and what would happen to Sydney and Dol, two of my favorites).

All that being said, this novel is not for the faint of heart. Murders and blood and gore galore grace these glorious pages as Victor Vale searches for revenge on his once-friend. Despite his utter awfulness, Victor Vale is definitely one of my favorite characters for-EVER. I’m super excited that Schwab recently announced this previously stand-alone novel will now be a trilogy!!! Even though Vengeful (Villains #2) isn’t fully written yet, it’s definitely on my to-read list. I can’t wait to read more about these ExtraOrdinary individuals and whatever troubles they get up to.

Thanks for reading!

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October Recommendations

With October upon us and all things Halloween bombarding us in every store, I have decided to try something new. Towards the beginning of each month, I will be posting three books that I am either excited about coming out, or have attracted my interest.

Poison Princess20759393 by Kresley Cole

During the month of October with all of the dreary weather and Halloween right around the corner, everyone could use a little escape into the world of the apocalypse. Not only does the main character have super plant powers, most of the cast of characters is based off of the cards in a tarot deck. Please check it out I need someone to theorize with about certain characters! This book will keep you guessing, and this mildly-horror dystopian world full of zombie-like badman is perfect for the month of scares.

Enclave 7137327by Ann Aguirre

What would the month of Halloween be without ZOMBIES? Enclave is set after the end of the world, in a camp of Under-20’s living in the sewers of a city. ZOMBIES (or zombie-like creatures) have taken over and Deuce must fight as a huntress to survive. This series is by far one of my favorite representations of the YA zombie-apocalypse. The world was well built, and the series wholly enjoyable. While I was a bit younger when I first read it, I will say that these creatures kept me up at night! I also did not at all see the end of the series coming, and absolutely loved the twist.

Three Dark Crowns41nhwSZQA7L._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg by Kendare Blake

Have not read this book yet! But it is the monthly pick for the Archeron Sisters Bookclub and it looks awesome! Triplet queens battling it out for their chance at the crown sounds like the perfect entertainment on that dreary fall afternoon. If you wanna learn more about this book, stay tuned! The curators Maggie, Jess and I will be posting reviews later in the month when we all finish!

If you follow my blog, you know I have mentioned these three books before. I think they fit perfectly with the spooky month of October. Do you guys have any favorite spooky books, or just books that you think fit this month?

Thanks for reading!

Emily

Stationary Book Tag

A big thank you to Maggie @ MassachusettsNovel for tagging me to do this tag! Am super busy with life right now so am using this as an excuse to blog ;D

  • Thank the creator – Sam @ RiverMooseReads
  • Answer the questions
  • Add pictures, if you want
  • Tag 5 people

Pencils: Favorite Middle Grade or Children’s Book | The Chronicles of Narnia11127
The Chronicles of Narnia is probably one of the first full series that I read through. As a young horse lover, I originally read The Horse and his Boy because horse was in the name. Narnia is a series and a world that remains in every young persons soul, and is a timeless story that I still enjoy today.

33Pens: A Basic Staple for any Reader | Lord of the Rings

I don’t believe that someone can call themselves a fantasy reader unless they have at least tried to ready either The Hobbit or The Fellowship of the Ring at least once. Whether you suffer through, or enjoy it immensely, this series is a must for all fans of fantasy and you can’t tell me otherwise.

Notebooks: What do you Own Multiple Copies Of | Empire of Storms

How could I not purchase multiple editions of Empire of Storms? I actually ended up with three (if you count digital). I purchased both the Barnes and Noble and Target exclusive editions because the fan art was incredible in both! While Heir of Fire still remains my favorite book in the Throne of Glass series, this one is tied for second (along with all the others in the series lol). Below is a picture of one of the four images inside the Barnes and Noble edition, along with one of the bracelets I sell on my ETSY shop.

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Markers: A Book With a Beautiful Cover | Three Dark Crowns

While I still have not picked the book up yet (it’s my bookclub’s October pick of the month!) I absolutely love the outside cover with the three gorgeous crowns as well as what can be found under the dust jacket! The pictures below are from when I got it in my September Owl Crate!

 

Glue: Two Characters That Work Really Well Together (friends or couple)| Matthias and Nina from Six of Crows

700d452e3630ef633035d91d1c682910Even though they started out hating each other, indeed Matthias was taking her to be killed when they first met, when I read Six of Crows these guys became an instant favorite couple. I adore relationships where the characters have to overcome all odds form a love that will last.  I can’t wait to see where their story goes in Crooked Kingdom (which released today!).

To the left is some gorgeous fan art by PhantomRin.

 

Scissors: A Book You Would Like to Destroy | Allegiant

I absolutely loved the first two books in this series, but this book did not do it for me. Other than the completely stupid ending, the story line just wasn’t as solid as the other two. Would have rather had a cut off ending at the end of Insurgent then have to deal with this book.

Art Kit: What Complete Series Do You Own | The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds is one of my favorite series outside of any Maas books and I am fortunate enough to have ordered them signed from the amazing Books of Wonder (not trying to brag, just let a reader know where you can order signed books in the future!). And I feel super excited flaunting my love for this series today, because yesterday they announced the casting for Ruby in the movie adaptation! Amandla Stenberg (you probably know her as Rue from the Hunger Games movies) is going to be Ruby! Amandla is an amazing person and actress and I know she will do justice to the character on the screen.

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Amandla Stenberg is going to be Ruby!

And now for the tags! Basically everyone I would normally tag on here has already been tagged, so I’m reaching out to some new people!

Cristian @ The Bookish God

Dee @ The Bookish Khaleesi

Deborah @ The Page Dreamer

Rachel @ Life of a Female Bibliophile

M @ A Blog of One’s Own

Thanks for reading!

Emily

Six of Crows Review

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Series: Six of Crows Duology #1

Published: September 29, 2015

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5/5

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

I read the first book in the Grisha Trilogy a while ago, and while I did enjoy it I never felt the pressing need to finish this series. Because of this, while Six of Crows sounded interesting and has been n my to be read list since it came out, I did not feel a pressing need to read it. Boy was I wrong.

Six of Crows is one of my new favorite books. Kaz Brekker is the perfect, vicious, anti-hero who you root for and love more than some of your favorite heroes. He is perfectly vicious and ruthless in his quest for riches. He always keeps you guessing with his plans, and I found myself thinking everything had gone awry multiple times, just to find out it was all going the way he wanted it to.

I love the story between Nina and Matthias, especially because it connects in many ways to the more specific world of the original Grisha trilogy. Perhaps I’m a bit sadistic, but I love couples who start out hating each other and grow into love (aka Rhys and Feyre).

I really like Wylan and Jesper’s interactions as well. It’s always refreshing for metal illness and disabilities to be shown in books, with the people being portrayed as ACTUAL HUMANS. There mini-romance is also adorable and I really hope that it continues to develop in the sequel Crooked Kingdom (which comes out on Tuesday!).

Inej is an awesome acrobatic “wraith” who was able to scrape her way up from forced slavery. Everything about her is awesome, from her clinging to her beliefs, to her ability to kill four men in under two minutes.

Now I can’t really tell about the plot without spoiling some major points, but it leaves you on the edge of your seat, never sure what will happen next.

The ending absolutely killed me, and is another reason that I’m glad that I put reading this book off because now I only have to wait 4 days instead of the year that other people had to wait! Definitely strongly recommend this book, for the engaging and perfectly horrible characters you will fall in love with.

P.S If you love this book as much as I do (or books in general), check out my Etsy shop where I have tons of awesome bookish bracelets for your literary soul.

Thanks for reading!

Emily

Book Tag: The Book Blogger Test

I was tagged to do this by the lovely Maggie @ MassachusettsNovel and Jess @ StarsWhoListen.

What are your top 3 pet peeves for books and reading? | 

1. When an awesome Sci-fi/Dystopian or any book with a wonderful driving plot turns into a love story. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love stories and a good love triangle. But, I HATE it when this wonderful world, which has been built up by the author with a great external enemy fighting against the main character and then oh my goodness she/he can’t focus on any of it because of her love life. Um girl, the world is about to go to hell and you are trying to choose between guys. Let’s save it first.

2. When you’re reading a book and get sand in it…or have to kill a bug. I love having a physical copy of a book, however I really only keep them with me at home, one of the reasons being I hate messing up books. I’m fine with spine breaks or rippled pages, but I hate when foreign matter gets in between the pages. This is one of the main reasons I bring my kindle on travel. Also it’s a lot lighter.

3. When you’re totally engrossed in a book and then life happens. You know those books where you just want to sit and read for hours…but then you have to go to class or an appointment etc. Yea, that’s actually my number 1 pet peeve.

Describe your perfect reading spot | My bed, or a reading nook

I love to be able to cuttle or curl up and read. Natural light is always better than lightbulbs. I don’t like to read in public because I get distracted by everything going around me, and I find it hard to get engrossed in the book.

Tell us 3 book confessions |

1. I never finished the Mortal Instruments Series. One of my favorite series, I originally read them as they were releasing. However, when the fourth one came out I was super excited that it wasn’t a trilogy like I originally thought and then I did not finish it. I’m in the process of rereading the first three, and then will hopefully finish the series.

2. I read too many books at a time. I am currently reading three books at once, which is probably a new low for me. I constantly switch between books based on my mood. I find it very hard to only have one book option at a given time.

3. I look up spoilers on Tumblr. I hate myself for this, but I will look up spoilers on tumblr when I’m waiting for a really great book to come out (aka like Empire of Storms).

When was the last time you cried during a book | Empire of Storms

I sobbed during Empire of Storms. The ending killed me. All together a wonderful book that I recommend to everyone. If you want to read more about it, go HERE.

How many books are on your bedside table | Nine

I have an ever growing pile of books next to me. Most of them are from the library and will probably be returned before they will be read, an problem I have had since I had a library card.

What is your favorite snack to eat while you’re reading | Pretzels

I absolutely love the crunch of pretzels, and how they can stave off hunger so that you can continue reading uninterrupted. I will say that when I am deep in a book, I could care less about food and only the deepest hunger will make me rise to find a snack.

Name 3 books you would recommend to everyone | 

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

3.  Enclave by Ann Agguire

There are also so many other books that everyone should read that I have not put on this list, but these are the ones I’ve been loving the most recently.

Show us a picture of your favorite shelf on your bookcase | I’ll raise you an entire bookcase.

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Write how much books mean to you in three words| My entire life.

What is your biggest reading secret |

I constantly stop in the middle of books and put them aside. Even if I love the book, I often set it aside and start reading or continuing another one. The most recent book I have done this with is Winter. Absolutely love the book and series, but I put it down and have yet to pick it back up.

Who do you tag | because all my blogger friends have already done it, I’m going to try and make new ones! I tag you…

Ann @ AnntheBookmaster

Anna @ MyBookishDream

TBR Tuesday

Behold! Here is a brief look at two of the top books in my To-Be-Read pile.

I will be the first to admit that I am a hoppy reader. I will jump between four books at any given time. Currently, I am reading Winter, The Star-Touched Queen,  The Grisha Trilogy, and re-reading City of Bones. One of the books that I am highlighting today, which I have been wanting to read for over a year now is:

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The Wrath and the Dawn by Rennee Ahdieh

I absolutely love retellings, and was so happy when I heard there would be one about A Thousand and One Nights! I was anxiously anticipating this book even before it came out, however, for some reason I just have not sat down and read it! With the release of Empire of Storms out of the way, hopefully I will be able to crank this read out.

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The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

I am always on the look out for new assassins stories. The Night Angel Trilogy was recommended to me by a friend. Hopefully I will get to read this one soon! I started reading the first few chapters, and I love scrappy little Azoth. Can’t wait to see this little street urchin transform into the assassin he was meant to be.

What books have you guys been waiting to read?

Happy reading!

Emily

Empire of Storms Review

28260587Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass Series #5

Genre: Fantasy

Published: September 6, 2017

Rating: 5/5

Amazon               Goodreads

 

Non-Spoiler Section:

I absolutely loved this book. While Heir of Fire remains my favorite book in the Throne of Glass series, Empire of Storms very easily overtook Queen of Shadows for the number two spot. This book is looongggg in an absolutely wonderful way. Maas always has excellent character development, and this book does not disappoint in that aspect. She also is the master of introducing new people and power couples.

The end absolutely destroyed me, and I cannot wait for the next one in the series. It is a bit of a cliff hanger, however it is well worth it on the tear-jerker scale. I am not lying when I tell you I have been unable to really focus on any other book for the past week because of how thoroughly Empire of Storms destroyed me. This series is my all-time favorite, and I would definitely recommend to anyone considering reading it.

I was also fortunate enough to be able to get both the Barnes and Noble, and Target edition which both had wonderful fan art by the awesome artist PhantomRin!

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Spoiler Section:

I apologize in advance if this section is more of a rant of feelings than actual coherent speech. I will attempt to make this brief

Elide and Lorcan as a couple are one of my new favorites in the series. I just absolutely love how they fight and challenge each other, and Elide’s healing process as well as Lorcan’s softening literally gave me life, as they both developed and evolved so much throughout the book.

I totally did not see the Lysandra twist at the end coming! Perhaps that makes me a little dense because they did mention like twice that the shifters are feared because of their abilities to imitate important people. I was SOBBING when Maeve came and took Aelin. Legitimately was incoherent for a good two hours. And oh my goodness, Rowan being so heartbroken and destroyed! My poor little baby hawk. I don’t know how I am supposed to wait a year for the next book D: I suppose that is what ACOTAR 3 is for!

 

If you enjoy the Throne of Glass series as much as I do , you might like some of my bookish bracelets. Here are a few that I have made inspired by Throne of Glass! 

If you wanna see more bracelets like this, check out my ETSY shop.

Thanks for reading!

-Emily

Book Tag: Creatures of the Night

Hello everyone! It’s been a hectic first week of Junior Year at college, with the classes seeming to increase exponentially in difficulty. I unfortunately have not had time to really read anything lately (although I am love The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi right now) although that will change on Tuesday with Empire of Storms release.

Because of the start of school season, and the inevitable late nights I will be spending studying, I have decided to the a Creatures of the Night Book Tag, which I found on  Dreamland Book Blog. Without further ado, here are my choices for favorite creatures of the night.

Zombie

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When the creatures in this horroresque dystopian novel may not be officially classified as zombies, they are pretty darn close. This is meant to be a series, and you learn as the books go along more about this strange world that Deuce inhabits. I love the world building, and the way these mutants interact and affect the world. Maybe it’s just me, but I can totally see some kind of zombie mutation coming in the future.

Vampire

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I absolutely love this book, and have probably mentioned it in a previous post. This book is everything gory and horrific about vampires wrapped up in a (love?) story. I will be the first to admit that this style of writing is not for everyone, with the meandering analogies, but something about the storytelling and the various creatures in this TRUE vampire dystopian story resonated with me, and has lead me to read the book through multiple times.

Alien

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I love, love, love the Lux Series. The aliens are awesome, the love is awesome, and it was one of my first forays into the wonderful worlds of Armentrout. I absolutely love the YA take on somewhat benevolent aliens who have been living among us. And who doesn’t swoon for the dark, misunderstood, sarcastic type?

Honorable mention: The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey-if you enjoy a darker, more horror type of alien apocalypse invasion story

Angel

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The first book in the series was perfect. Penryn was a lovable and tough lead, out to save her sister is this post-apocalyptic hellscape. While I absolutely loved the beginning of the series, the last book seemed to wrap up a little too neatly (and crazily) for my tastes. Still, this is one of my favorite series dealing with angels, especially with the dystopian, evil angel aspect which is unique to so many of the angel-love YA novels that are out today.

Demon

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The romance in this book drove me wild, but who wouldn’t fall for the sexy hot demon (Roth) who tries to help you find yourself and accept yourself for who you are. Roth was the original Demon of my heart, doing anything, even going against Hell to keep Layla safe, as the child of both Warden and Demon. I greatly enjoyed this series and definitely recommend it.

Honorable mention: A Demon Made Me Do It by Penelope King-a slightly more intricate world, as well as a more confusing plot may drive this book away form the more YA proud, but I enjoyed this series all the same.

Werewolf

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Over the course of one week this past winter, I managed to read all available books in this shifter series. While Mercy is not a werewolf herself, she interacts with plenty. This series is my favorite werewolf-featuring series of all time. I cannot see where else it will go as the series continues and the cast of characters grows. What is there not to love about a shifter-Coyote mechanic who is always getting into trouble?

Honorable mention: Bitten (Women of the Underworld Book 1) by Kelley Armstrong. This book/character(s) have actually been made into a lovely B Canadian tv-show which I absolutely love. The original plot of these books is awesome, but the tv show brings these characters and plot to the next level.

Fae/Faerie

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This post would not be complete without the lovely and entrancing Fae of the Sarah J Maas series. Pictured is A Court of Thorns a Roses, a beautiful Beauty and the Beast/East of the Sun West of the Moon/Tamlin retelling which features enthralling fae. I highly recommend this series to anyone. Even if the first book isn’t for you, please read the second one because (for me at least) it was life-changing.

Honorable mention: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas-the only reason this did not get this spot is because the Fae do not play a large a role in this series until later on.

Thank you guys for reading! And to all my night owls, don’t forget to read these picks with the lights on! ;D

Emily

Favorite Literary Pooches

It’s National Dog Day! And in honor of Man’s Best Friend, I’ve compiled a list of three of my favorite literary pooches.

The first spot on this list can only go to the one, the only, the OG puppy bada**

  1. FLUFFY from Harry Potter

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Be honest with yourself, even when this giant dog was trying to kill Harry and his friends, you imagined him as your own personal guard dog and pet. Leave it to Hagrid to have a three-headed dog as his pet. Fluffy, you will always hold a special place in our hearts, even if you no longer guard the Philosopher’s Stone.

2. LADVARIAN from Heir to the Shadows (Black Jewels Trilogy #2) by Anne Bishophigh_drama_074
I absolutely love this series (if you haven’t heard about it, check out my review HERE). One of the most lovable characters in it is the Sceltie pup known as Ladvarian. Loyal to a fault and best friends with an Arcerian cat Kaelas, Ladvarian captured hearts the moment he bounded onto the page.

While no pictures of Scelties exist, here is an adorable Sheltie who reminds me of the little Warlord Ladvarian.

 

3. FLEETFOOT from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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While she doesn’t get enough page time, especially in the later books, Fleetfoot is one of the enduring lovable creatures in the Throne of Glass series (review HERE). Fleetfoot loves Celaena and makes friends wherever she goes. She loves to play fetch, and run around in open spaces. She is loved by the entire fandom, and Maas herself has said she is the only character guaranteed to survive.

And in a roundabout way, that brings me to what I want to get across in this post, and what the entire purpose of National Dog Day is. While Fleetfoot found her forever home with Celaena, not all dogs get such a happy ending. Fleetfoot herself was almost killed because she didn’t act like the other dogs.

“Kill it? Kill it? For what reason? What did it do to you?”

“It won’t make a suitable pet, which is what all of these dogs will become.”

“So you’d kill it because of its temperament? It can’t help being that way!”

Maas, Sarah J. (2012-08-07). Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass series Book 1) (p. 244). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Every dog deserves a forever home. Please help them find it. If not by adopting, then by donating your time or money to shelters in the area. No puppy should be killed because of temperament or because of lack of space and resources. Finding out about your local shelter is only a google search away. Here’s the link to the ASPCA’s website to help you find your local branch: ASPCA .

If you’d like some doggy merch which also benefits pooches in need, check out IHEARTDOGS.COM. Just for signing up for their emails they donate one meal to a shelter dog in need! (I found out about this company from my lovely big Maggie, at massachussetsnovel)

While National Dog Day is meant to bring awareness to the pups that need a human, it is also an opportunity to celebrate your own special best friend. So grab your treats and your party hat and snuggle extra hard today (or read about your favorite fictional snuggle buddy)!

As always, thank you for reading!

Emily