Extraordinary Book Titles

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is books with extraordinary book titles. I have chosen 10 books from this year with interesting book titles that played a factor in making me want to pick them up! These could be books I’ve never heard of before, super hyped books or random books that immediately intrigued me because of its name.

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

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Birthday by Meredith Russo

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Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

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The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

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Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

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Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

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Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

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September Wrap Up

The month started a little flat for me and I wasn’t all that motivated in picking up any of the books from my TBR so I once again got swept into a romance/smutty series that was just an easy, fun, entertaining read for me. However, the last few weeks of the month I actually really got stuck into my TBR and managed to finish a couple of series off! I was overall very happy with the amount I was able to get through!

Whiskey Chaser by Lucy Score & Claire Kingsley⭐️4/5 stars

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo⭐️5/5 stars

Sidecar Crush by Lucy Score & Claire Kingsley⭐️4/5 stars

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary⭐️4.5/5 stars

Moonshine Kiss by Lucy Score & Claire Kingsley⭐️4/5 stars

Bourbon Bliss by Lucy Score & Claire Kingsley⭐️4/5 stars

Gin Fling by Lucy Score & Claire Kingsley⭐️4/5 stars

Highball Rush by Lucy Score & Claire Kingsley⭐️4/5 stars

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman⭐️5/5 stars

Stardust by Neil Gaiman⭐️4/5 stars

Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan⭐️4/5 stars

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo⭐️4/5 stars

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden⭐️4/5 stars

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson⭐️4/5 stars

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden⭐️4/5 stars

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan⭐️4.5/5 stars

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan⭐️4/5 stars

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden⭐️4/5 stars

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The Girl in the Tower Review

51u35TlTZbL__SX327_BO1,204,203,200_The Girl in the Tower continues pretty much straight after The Bear and the Nightingale concluded. In this sequel we follow some different perspectives, Sasha and Olga who are both currently living in Moscow and we continue on with Vasya’s journey after she fled home on Solovey’s back.

I like that we get more insight into the court at Moscow and the power struggles that The Grand Prince has to deal with however, for me I am not the biggest fan of political fantasies so that element of the story kind of dragged for me.

The pace of the story started off really fast, which I enjoyed, it really sucked me right into the book. The whole mystery behind the bandits and who was behind the fires and the missing girls was intriguing and held me attention. I like that we followed Sasha’s perspective and followed his journey in finding the bandits and then when we finally got to Vasya’s perspective we had some context.

Sasha was a little up and down for me. I didn’t quite know what to feel about him. I thought he was integral to the story line but he didn’t really do anything remarkable that cemented his status for me. Sure he was a good strategist and the Grand Prince really held him in high regard but I didn’t like how he doubted Vasya at every turn. I thought since he was the closest to her at the start of the series and being a priest he would be a little less judgmental.

Olga I didn’t quite warm to in this book either. I thought she was really narrow-minded when it came to her sister and she was quite combative with her at the start. I don’t understand how she can’t just accept who Vasya is as a person, I realize she probably thought that her sister had grown out of her wild ways but upon realizing that she hasn’t I don’t get why she wouldn’t embrace her. I feel she has been molded into that one sided perspective of how a woman should behave hidden away in her tower. She is ultimately trying to protect her family but she could of used a little empathy for her younger sister.

The magical side of the story though is what really prevailed for me. We got a little further into the mystery of Vasya’s grandmother which I LOVED! That was one of my hopes that the books would delve more deeper into who Tamara is and what drove her to Moscow all those years ago. The twist with Kasyan completely blindsided me. I had a feeling he wasn’t who he made himself out to be, especially with the timing of meeting Vasya and then her being driven out of the town by bandits trying to capture her. I didn’t anticipate how much of an impact he was going to make and it was highly entertaining.

The budding romance with Vasya I didn’t like at first, however it is growing on me. I have a feeling the next book will the focus of that given the title and I’m hoping I’m not left feeling disappointed. I already have a few predictions in mind and it will be fascinating to see whether or not I’m right!

⭐️4/5 The magical/fantastical elements really saved the book for me!

The Bear and the Nightingale Review

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I’ve done it! I’ve been picking up and putting down this book for over half a year now and I have finally completed it!

The Bear and the Nightingale follows the tale of a girl called Vasilisa who lives in the Russian wilderness. She was a peculiar girl who was wild and untamed and liked to while away her hours in the forest talking to sprites and horses. Her family doesn’t understand her and the village folk whispered that she was a witch.

I actually ended up really enjoying the read. I didn’t quite know what I was getting into when I picked it up but I knew there were great reviews for it and I was intrigued. It really reminded me of the old Hans Christening Anderson fairy tales and it almost felt nostalgic in a way, like I’ve heard the story before but had forgotten it.

I absolutely loved Vasilisa’s character. I loved how stubborn and set she is in her ways, and how she rejects the traditional path of being a woman. She doesn’t want to be some man’s mare and get ridden out to pasture in some great house bequeathing children. She is wild and free and loved her family dearly. She will stop at absolutely nothing to ensure that they will survive the winter!

I thought the pacing was a little too slow for my personal tastes. The start especially when Pyotr goes to Russia I felt wasn’t really necessary for me to know. I was more interested in learning more about the Morovoi and what kind of magic Vasilisa inherited from her grandmother. I suppose there was a lot of context learnt that would probably spring up in the next two book but it kind of bored me a little to be honest.

I kind of liked how macabre it was. Katherine Arden didn’t shy away from actually killing people off and showing the consequences of a harsh winter/dry summer. There was a lot of death in this book and it made the stakes a lot higher knowing that there was the possibility that these characters would be susceptible to dying.

I just have so many questions coming away after finishing this book. Who was Vasilisa’s grandmother before she came to Russia?  Why does the Winter King help Vasilisa? What will happen to Father Konstantin, will he be held accountable? I’m sure all of my questions will hopefully be answered in the rest of the series and I am excited to continue on and see where the books will go next!

⭐️4/5 stars Whimsical, compelling and frosty!

Books I’ve Been Avoiding

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt aligns perfectly with my TBR for September. I am using this month to catch up on all of the books I physically own that have been sitting on my shelves for quite a while now. I guess I am about to out myself on why I have been procrastinating on these books, but I will be trying to push myself to get through at least 50% by the end of the month!

So this is 10 books on my TBR I have been avoiding and why:

The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This one is just purely the size of the book and the fact that the whole mystery/thriller genre is still relatively new to me. I am really highly anticipating this book but I know it’s going to be a bit of a commitment to finish so I have been putting it off!

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The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden

I have heard so much about this series over the last year and it’s been nothing but good reviews, though a lot of people have said it’s a little slower paced. I much prefer fast paced, high action fantasies so that has really deterred me from picking this series up!

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The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan

I think every single person who has read this book has loved it from what I gather. Again I’ve heard that it’s a bit of a slower paced book and that it’s quite sad as well, which really makes me pause. I can handle sad stories but I really need to be in the right mind frame to be able to cope and I just haven’t been there yet…

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The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks

Again the only reason I haven’t picked these books up yet is because of the size. Now I really don’t mind long books especially in fantasy series, I mean I marathoned The Stormlight Archives late last year and they are all over 1000 pages each, so usually length doesn’t cow me away from books. However it’s more so the premise/concept that isn’t really pulling me in and that along with the size has put me off a little!

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The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

This book at one stage this year was super hyped and I impulse bought it when I saw it at a bookstore and now it’s just been sitting on my shelves ever since. When I bought it I didn’t really know much about it and then after reading the blurb and seeing some not very good reviews it made me put it on the back-burner. I still do want to read it and see whether or not the hype was justified, I just haven’t felt the need to yet.

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