February Reading Wrap-Up

I decided to try a fun new way to summarize my monthly reading: an infographic!February Reading Wrap-Up

Review Links:

If you’d like to, check out my review for The Iliad, my pick for the A Classic a Month Challenge.

Review: Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake23207027

Published: September 20, 2016 by HarperTeen

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads

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.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest … but she may be the darkest.

It’s been over a year since I first picked up this book, and after a LONG sitting half read on my shelf, I finally finished it as a part of the OwlCrate-a-thon challenge (you can read more about that in my post HERE)!

The dialogue throughout felt clunky because of the stiff way everyone talks. By this I mean the characters rarely ever abbreviate (It is good vs. it’s good) making the heavy dialogue scenes feel kind of robotic. It took me a bit to get into the book because of this, and I found it nearly impossible to be reading this book and others at the same time.

Overall I found the characters pretty likeable, and I’m still struggling to decide which queen to back! I personally like Katherine, the poisoner queen, but everyone else to seems to support either Mirabella or Arsinoe. My personal preference always seems to be for the “misunderstood” characters which may account for this decision.

The romance in this book left something to be desired. Yes, it’s nice to have less romance-heavy YA fantasy, but when it is included I like the men not to be pigs (illegal dark magic aside). Hopefully the next book expands upon the love interests already in place, I’d really like to know the motivations behind one of the scenes located almost at the end of the book (no spoilers!).

I’ll likely pick up the rest of the series because not knowing what happens to the queens would kill me. While the story was ultimately good and captured my interest, I just found the dialogue and some plot points a little too detracting for a four star rating.

OwlCrate-a-Thon

I’m so excited to be participating in the OwlCrate-a-Thon reading challenge this year! It’s a challenge run by the subscription box OwlCrate between February 10 and 23, with the goal of reading some books that have previously come in the box have been sitting on your TBR pile.

OwlCrate and HeartsThis years challenges (and my reading goals) are:

  • Finish the oldest OwlCrate book you received: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (UPDATE: you can see my review HERE)
  • Read books from two different genres: I’ll be reading Heartless by Marissa Meyer, which is an origin story for the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. Retellings are different enough from fantasy for me!
  • Finish two books in two weeks!

Even if you aren’t a subscriber, you can join in! The goal is to read any book that has previously come in the subscription box. If you want to check out the official announcement (with a full list of the books in the description), you can check out the Youtube Video HERE.

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

October Book Club Announcement

Hello everyone! Here is the official announcement for our October Book Club pick! Please feel free to read along and comment your thoughts on the book!

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So September is almost over which means our time reading This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith is also coming to an end. You can find links to all of our review here but otherwise it’s time to put that aside and pick a new book.

So for October, the Archeron Sisters Book Club will be reading Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake.

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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. Miracella 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…

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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

September Owl Crate

So I finally caved and subscribed to Owl Crate last month when I found out that there September theme was Darkness, and there would be a Throne of Glass inspired item inside! I was so excited when it showed up on my doorstep today, and wanted to share what I found inside! (be warned, don’t continue if you don’t want spoilers for this months box)

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This lovely picturesque letter summarizes what was in the box, but if you don’t feel like reading that fine print continue on for my picture-by-picture dissection.

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Let’s start off with the pick for this month’s book, Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake! I am super excited for this book, which doesn’t come out for another four days (September 20). I actually had to cancel my Amazon pre-order because it came in this lovely box! With this book came super cool swag: a signed paper form Kendare Blake, a copy of a handwritten letter from the author with a map on the other side (I love me some maps), and a foldable fortune teller featuring themes from the book! And can we all just appreciate how beautiful this book is naked?

There were also two little samplers included: one with an excerpt from P.C. Cast’s new novel Moon Chosen, and one with the first chapter from an upcoming serial Remade writteb by a ton of cool authors.

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Now onto the cool merch items! My personal favorite was the Celaena’s Cake candle from Melting Library! I absolutely love cake candles, and anything Throne of Glass, so the mixture was a wonderful surprise. There was also a beautiful bookmark with a Six of Crows quote on it, which will never leave my copy of the book so it doesn’t get ruined. I can’t wait to use the fizzy fortune teller bath bomb, which dissolves to give you a yes or no answer when you drop it in the tub (reminds me and the box curators of the Raven Cycle). And last but not least, the awesome Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children pouch (book not included).

I adored this month’s box, and I hope that I can scrape enough money together for next month’s. The theme for October is Once Upon a Time! If you like what you see here, you can click this link and sign up today: OwlCrate

Thanks for reading!

Emily