This gave me Serendipity vibes!
This book follows the story of Arthur and Ben who ran into each other at the Post Office. Arthur is in New York for the summer and has an internship at his mother’s law office and Ben just broke up with his boyfriend and was trying to post a box with all of his ex’s things. They have a conversation and immediately feel a connection but loose each other in a crowd.
First of all this was hella cute! I was pretty much immediately enraptured by the storyline and was highly engaged throughout. I loved seeing them going about their lives after this pretty small interaction but unable to forget each other because of the connection that they felt for that brief period of time.
I found Arthur terribly endearing and adorable. He felt very genuine and real in his awkwardness. He hasn’t had a lot of experience with other boys and he has lived a very sheltered life in comparison to Ben. I like how honest Arthur is with everyone and isn’t afraid to share his feelings. I liked that he finally spoke up and shared his feelings with his friends and they eventually explained what was happening and why. Ben I liked but didn’t really love. He has his own insecurities and idiosyncrasies and also isn’t afraid to speak up for himself. I loved the relationship he shares with Dylan and how comfortable they are with each other.
I like that both characters are flawed and regularly make mistakes and say the wrong thing but the other will definitely call them out on it and they both grow together. Their whole relationship was quite charming and their dates were hilariously disastrous.
The premise as a whole I thought was interesting and had me intrigued. The overall plot was a little bit predictable though and the ending was a little underwhelming for me but it was also pretty realistic so I can’t really complain. Happy endings don’t always happen in real life and summer flings sometimes don’t last.
⭐️4/5 A super cute, diverse, contemporary summer romance!
The Poppy War follows the story of a young girl Rin, who is a war orphan. She grew up with a very abusive foster family who used her for free labour in their shop and also as a drug mule. Wanting to be free from that life Rin decides to study for the Keju an Empire wide test that if she passes could see her out of her home town and off to the capital to the revered Sinegard the most elite military academy in Rikan.
The world is super expansive and well developed and is one of the things I loved about this book the most. You are really able to get lost in this world and delve into the histories surrounding the Empire and how it came to be. I think R.F. Kuang really took her time developing the back story and the origin of Rikan and that is something I always appreciate from an author.
Rin is basically the reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars. I love me a strong female protagonists and seeing her arc over the course of the storyline was definitely inspiring, but some of the decisions she made kind of grated me. She was definitely right when she said that the Gods have no sway over her, she made all of the decisions that led her to that ultimate conclusion and most of those decisions didn’t sit well with me. When she chose to side with Altan over Master Jiang that’s really when I knew I wasn’t feeling her anymore. She wouldn’t heed the advice of those who have had years and even decades more experience than her. Even though she only found out she was a Speer a few months ago she already knew everything and could handle the Phoenix god just because she’s Rin. That arrogance and overconfidence was a bit of an overkill for me.
The first half of the book when Rin was in Sinegard I absolutely loved! Magical/military style school settings I just love to read and this was no different. Seeing Rin struggle to fit in, being at the bottom of her class and then clawing her way to the top was wonderful to read. All of the characters were distinct and interesting and the feud with Nezha was so entertaining! The second half however, kind of dragged a little. The siege was just a little boring for me personally; it was just a lot of Altan locked away in his office and Rin wandering around or on guard duty. I like a lot of action and intrigue and this was just waiting around for the action to happen.
The overall premise I found highly original and engaging and the magic system was unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Definitely enjoyed the majority of my reading experience however, I’m a little bummed I wasn’t as in love with the story as much everyone else seems to be.
⭐️3/5 stars Really enjoyed, didn’t love!
This was great!
Eelyn has been raised to be a warrior alongside her clansmen the Aska from the time she could walk. In the midst of an ancient feud with the Riki clan her life has been a brutal one. Fighting for survival, losing her mother and brother over the years all she has left is her father and her fighting mate Myra. That is until one day on the battlefield she sees the impossible, her brother she watched die 5 years ago.
The plot of the book was quite simple but I was so engaged and entertained that it was easily overlooked! It was fast paced, rich with lore and culture and I loved the Viking aspect I thought it was fresh and original, unlike anything I’ve read in a very long time.
I loved Eelyn’s arc over the course of the storyline. Unable to shed her warrior nature even when she is captured she is still trying to look for any and every opportunity to escape and return home. Seeing her struggle with her beliefs and preconceived notions about the Riki whilst she lives amongst them was a joy to read. Living with that deep rooted hatred all of her life and to see her brother accepted and one of them has shaken her to the core and thrown everything that she has ever known up in the air. I like that she adjusts her views slowly throughout the course of the book, rejecting everything at first because she is so hurt and angry and then slowly coming around and seeing how pointless all of the fighting is, especially when they have an even bigger enemy coming for them all.
The romance aspect felt right to me as well. It wasn’t pushed upon us too quickly and kind of happened organically. Some of the scenes between Eelyn and Fiske were so charged and almost electric and I thought it was perfect honestly. Again it’s that hate to love trope that gets me every time!!!
There were so many moving scenes in this book and I was super invested from the start. The hard-core fighting and tense impasse to the eventual peace in the end and how it all came together I really loved! I was so impressed that this is a debut novel and I will definitely be reading anything else that Adrienne Young comes out with!
⭐️5/5 stars 100% pure Viking awesomeness!
This was good!
This book follows the story of Charlie Grant a 17 year old girl in the middle of a transitional period of her life. Her 4 siblings have all grown up and moved away and she is about to graduate and go off to college, she doesn’t know which one yet. For the first time in what feels like forever all of family are back in their home for their sister Linnie’s wedding.
This was a cute, fun very quick easy read for me and it was very engaging. I like the fact that the storyline happens over the course of just three days. It goes into the minute details of everyday life that sometimes gets overlooked in regular novels, but I actually really enjoyed it!
The book started off pretty simple in concept but as the plot progressed it started to get more convoluted and complicated. There was a lot happening behind the scenes in this family that from just face value you would never know.
I thought Charlie was very naïve and kind of refused to see the bad side of any of her family. I like that we see her kind of grow and come to accept that change is definitely going to be inevitable and she realized that maybe her family aren’t all that they are perceived from Grant Central Station. I’m definitely glad that Charlie could see how badly her family treated Brooke as well. She mentions it various times throughout the story that it was fine that they were leaving her out and not including her or disregarding her feelings. I also thought she was a little too judgmental about the whole situation with Mark. She really didn’t take his feelings into consideration at all and I thought she was pretty dismissive overall about him which when we found out about the actual situation I thought his actions were quite justified, just maybe not to the extent that he took it.
I definitely enjoyed my reading experience and as the book progressed it delved a lot deeper into a lot of familial drama but overall it was a little too predictable and didn’t really blow me away at the end of the book.
⭐️3/5 Entertaining, family drama!
Perfection, I absolutely LOVED this book!!!!
Nona was saved by the High Priestess Glass just as she was about to be hanged. Falsely accused of murder Nona is sought after by some powerful enemies. The Priestess sweeps her away to the Convent of Sweet Mercy where all their novices are raised to become lethal killers.
The premise of this book is everything that I love about fantasy to be honest. The school setting was wonderful, all of the different classes that Nona has to attend surrounded by the other novices. Even the different bells and their meaning were interesting and utilised throughout the course of the book.
I really liked Nona; she is such an interesting character. Super loyal to all of her friends and isn’t afraid to speak up in their defense or even sacrifice herself to save them from any harm. She has a lot of secrets and I like that we aren’t made aware of some of the more significant ones til the end of the book. I like that her ignorance was kind of used as a way to be able to explain everything in a lot more detail letting the reader absorb all the knowledge slowly. Being that a majority of the characters are very young only 9-11 they are really discovering themselves as the plot progresses.
The story is incredibly rich with magical lore and also political machinations. The whole trial that the High Priestess Glass and Nona had to endure and the eventual reasoning’s behind it really took me by surprise. I was stunned that Glass put everything in place and saved Nona just on the off chance that this would occur, putting herself and Nona in danger. Her cunning and intellect really engaged me and I was deeply invested in the plot after that!
The way that the story shifts and the revelations really start to come out was so well done, multiple layers of plot lines with different characters with different intentions. Convoluted fantasy books with a multitude of characters and magical elements are my favourite books of all time and this really blew me away!
⭐️5/5 High stakes, magical, bad ass fighting nuns, I am IN!