Posted in Fantasy

Sorcery of Thorns

Goodreads Synopsis:

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

This is the perfect book for those looking for a followup to Harry Potter.

Elisabeth is an orphan raised in a library full of enchanted grimoires that each have their own needs and personalities. (Think Harry’s Monsters Book of Monsters).

Growing up around the grimoires has imbued her with magic and allow her to heal quickly and form bonds with the books as though they are people, but of course, this talent is also her downfall.

Elisabeth is the perfect example of headstrong female presence. She refuses to back down from a situation just because of lack of experience or fear.

I find myself personally connecting with her in 1 special way. We both HATE to brush our hair. The tangles are just too torturous.

Now to her love interest, Nathaniel Thorn. Hence the title, Sorcery of Thorns. the Thorn family is famous for necromancy, and Nathaniel is particularly famous in his own right for being the last of the Thorn family lineage. Each famous sorcerer family is tied to a powerful upper level demon, in Nathaniel’s case, this is Silas, a demon prince with alabaster skin that can take the form of a common house cat. But be careful with demons, they are always looking for methods in which to bargain more power from their masters.

I personally like Nathaniel even though his trope is a bit obvious. He meets wild girl, he falls in love despite his best efforts. He’s flawed and afraid to love her. But in the end, none of this matters and they fall in love and live almost happily ever after.

Though, if you want to discover what the “almost” is about, you’ll have to go read it;).

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Posted in Humor

Again, but Better

Goodreads Synopsis:

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

Christine Riccio wrote a fabulous debut novel, and I would kind of like to know how she captured my personality so well because the character of Shane was more than relatable.

I remember what it was like to enter college with no friends and feeling stuck in that rut of study, work, and endlessly binge watching Netflix. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

When I finally made friends in the journalism program my junior year, there was the need for acceptance and fear of rejection very similar to what drove Shane to study abroad. The desperation for new friends and feeling like it was okay to be myself again felt liberating.

When I finally decided to study abroad, I had trials and tribulations on my trip just like her. I reached the point of total homesickness, and I remember those moments when self-doubt would creep in. I pushed through on my journey, and I came out a stronger person because of it. We don’t all get the luxury of a rewrite like Shane, but we do get the choice of how to remember or handle our experiences.

With a love for a good sitcom and Harry Potter, Shane is my soul sister. Her journals (horcruxes, as she calls them) housed her greatest story ideas and her innermost thoughts.

Christine Riccio spoke to me with her vivid imagery of awkwardness (seriously, there were some all too relatable cringe-worthy moments). Yes, the overall story was a little corny, but that’s what made it relatable. Everyone wishes they could rewrite chapters in their past like Jenna Rink in “13 Going on 30,” but the corny parts were few and far between because the were overshadowed by humor and excellent character development.

I demand a sequel.

Posted in Fantasy

Crown of Coral and Pearl

Goodreads Synopsis:

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

Nor and Zadie are identical twins with only one “flaw” separating them, a scar. Nor saved Zadie from drowning as a child, and almost died from poison of the blood coral that left her cheek permanently scarred.

In Varenia, beauty matters more than any other thing. Girls compete to be chosen to be sent as the next princess of a rival kingdom, which only few in the village realize is total BS.

Varenia is starving, and without enough pearls to harvest, they become poorer by the day, and the support of the kingdom is desparately needed to sustain their existence, but when Zadie is chosen as the next princess, then injured, Nor must go in her place, which is both deadly and a dream come true to see the world outside of Varenia.

This tale of a love between two sisters and a hatred between two brothers unravels a captivating story to save Varenia and preserve the love between sisters and princes,

Posted in Humor, Romance

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill (but it’s actually me)

Goodreads Synopsis:

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options.

1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)

2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).

3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

This. Book. Is. So. Cute!!!!

Nina Hill is introverted, perpetually awkward, a super nerd, and essentially me (except for being a whiz at trivia, I suck at trivia)

Nina works at Knight’s, the local bookstore withing walking distance from her home. She doesn’t own a car, religiously plans each day, and lives a very structured and stable life. Anything spontaneous ruins her entire day. I wonder if she may be on the spectrum a tad, but if she is, that makes this book even BETTER.

Nina helps bring awareness to the daily struggles brought on by anxiety as well as how families tend to be absolutely bonkers.

Per NetGalley, I do not want to spoil any of this story, BUT, when it releases, just read it. SO CUTE.