I have seen this book everywhere since it came out this year and there has been a lot of hype surrounding it so I thought why not give it a try. For some reason I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to like it and I was a little hesitant going into it. I think I’m like that with all super hyped books but once I actually started reading I was pleasantly surprised!
Elisabeth was orphaned and has grown up in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries. Her dream is become a warden of the library who protects the magical grimoires that are housed there and stops them from transforming into grotesque monsters of ink and leather.
I loved Elisabeth’s character. I thought she was very driven, inquisitive and unable to accept the narrative she has been given after the incident that drove her out of the library. She is absolutely loyal to the libraries and her relationship she has with the books was really respectful and loving. She is a true daughter of the library and I like that ultimately that relationship was a integral in saving the day.
Nathaniel I wasn’t sure about at the start. I didn’t know where his loyalties lie and sometime the things he said were a little cringey to be honest. But he really grew on me over the course of the story. Once we really got into his family history and the relationship between him and Silas and how they are connected was really unique and interesting and I started to develop a connection to him.
I actually think I liked Silas the most of all the characters. He has always reinforced the fact that he isn’t a good person and if he was released he won’t help/save them and the only reason he sacrificed himself was to negotiate a better contract. The fact that he remained constant throughout the story and exhibited moments of good even though me maintains he’s not was intriguing to me. I knew based on how much we learn about him and his connection to the Thorn family that he would play an integral role in the plot and I was correct.
The whole premise and concept of the book was really refreshing and original to me. I liked the build up of mystery and the many twists and turns the plot goes through. I world was rich with culture and I just loved that it’s based around these great libraries. The magical element I thought was nicely defined and there were limitations to what certain families were capable of because of the demons that they were tied to.
All in all I thought this was a solid, interesting, fantastical tale based around magical books and sorcery. The pacing was pretty good, there a section in the middle that I found a little slow and then I felt the last 100 or so pages were a little rushed but overall I highly enjoyed my read.
⭐️4/5 stars fantastical, adventurous, demonic!
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!
*A COUPLE OF SPOILERS*
I really enjoyed this book!
With the Fire on High follows the story of Emoni who absolutely loves to cook and ever since she got pregnant in freshman year it has become a way to escape the harsh realities of her life. Having to make so many tough decisions and being on the verge of so many changes has started to take a toll on her and she uses the kitchen to let all of that go.
I really loved Emoni’s character. She truly felt like a 17 year old who has had to grow up at such a young age but still hasn’t fully matured. I thought her character was very realistic and the challenges and obstacles that she has to overcome throughout the book I thought was a great representation of what teen mothers have to endure in the real world. I could only imagine how tough that sort of situation would be and I really thought she handled it as best she could. I like that she made mistakes and spread herself too thin and wasn’t a perfect model character. She doubted herself constantly but overall it was the health and well-being of Emma that took precedent over everything.
I loved Abuela’s character as well. It was nice that Emoni touched on many times throughout the book how much she appreciated and loved her grandmother and the sacrifice she has had to make in order to raise Emoni and Emma. I liked that she took a stand and she gave herself that time at ‘the doctors’ to have to herself even though she had to deceive Emoni. And I appreciated that Emoni respected her enough to not dig into her grandmothers business and just accepted that she needed space from them.
Overall I thought this was a very well balanced book. There was definitely times when Emoni was at her absolute lowest point and then we see her at bounce back and make it to graduation and decide how she is going to live her life. I thought the book was very diverse and had a variety of characters that were all very multicultural and multifaceted. The addition of the recipes I thought was a fantastic touch. It really showed how little Emoni actually stuck with a traditional recipe and just went with her gut.
This was a highly anticipated read for me and I didn’t look too much into it before I started reading and I was very surprised with the direction the book went with
⭐️4/5 stars fresh, fast paced, realistic and touching!
They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.
This was amazing!
Tyler is the best cadet at the Aurora Academy and he is about to recruit the best squad the academy has ever seen. That is until an incident occurs that forces him to miss the draft and he ends up with the dregs that nobody wanted.
I liked that the story was told in multiple perspectives; it really gave me the chance to get to know each of these highly distinctive characters individually. Granted at times I was a little confused as to whose perspective I was reading from but as I got a feel for each of the characters that went away pretty quickly.
I really enjoyed the whole premise and concept of the story, it felt really unique and original. I had qualms before reading this that it would remind me a lot of the Illuminae Files but I really didn’t get that at all. This is a completely fresh and creative plot that had me highly engaged throughout.
Aurora felt a little soft spoken and passive at the start of the book, but granted she had just woken out of being in cryo for 200 years in the fold so I wasn’t expecting her to come out guns blazing. I could really feel how lost and lonely she was, and how she was trying to come to terms with the fact that everyone she has ever known is dead basically. I like how she almost subtly evolves over the course of the story and she starts to get a feel for who she truly is.
Also the fact that even though Tyler is the one that saves Aurora they aren’t going to end up together. I thought for sure that these two are going to fall in love as they are the main male and female protagonists, but I don’t think that is going to happen, which was a nice twist I didn’t see coming. I like that the history between Tyler and Cat is valued and isn’t immediately dismissed because Aurora came into the picture.
I liked learning about the different species of Aliens and how they each have their own look and customs. I really took a shine to Kal; his broodiness and angst really captured my attention. I am a sucker for a bad boy! Finding out about his history and the different clans of the Syldrathi and how their whole species was nearly eradicated and how he bonded with Aurora was touching!
I for some reason didn’t think I was going to like this book. I thought maybe since Illuminae was so good they wouldn’t be able to top it, but I love me a ragtag group of misfits who somehow fit together and have to save the world. The whole dynamic between Tyler and Scarlett and how everyone else seems to fit in so well despite being so different really pulls me in and has me wanting to see them succeed!
⭐️5/5 stars blew me away!!!
Tiffany has just recently been dumped by her boyfriend and is in dire need for a place to stay. Funds are short and in a moment of desperation she decided to accept a flatshare with a man she has never met before. From the times of 9am – 6pm Leon has the flat and the rest of the time it’s all hers.
I thought this was such a unique concept! Sharing your life and bed with someone you have never met at different times of the day. I enjoyed all the rules that Tiffany had to comply with and the fact that Leon’s girlfriend was adamant that he was not to meet Tiffany. Gradually coexisting quite well together and getting to know each other through the notes was incredibly cute and highly engaging for me.
I originally thought it was going to this fluffy little contemporary romance that would be a nice palate cleanser for me but the book actually went in an explored some deeper tones that I was not expecting. Case in point was the whole evolution of Tiffy realizing that her ex-boyfriend wasn’t who she thought he was and the way he was manipulating and gas-lighting her throughout the course of their relationship. There was times when I would get so frustrated with how much she would be swayed by him but then just thinking of how for two years she has been second guessing herself and being manipulated by this sociopath who wants to own her basically. I thought she clawed her way out of his clutches so well and I was so glad that she decided to get help and figure out what was happening.
I like the way Leon’s perspective was formatted throughout the book. It really went a ways in demonstrating how little he actually talks and the weight of his thoughts and how he expressed himself. We really see him come out of his shell in the book and get a look into his mind and how he manages to process everything that is changing around him. Leaving his girlfriend after realizing he wasn’t in love with her and developing feelings for Tiffy before he even really met her and dealing with all of the drama with his brother and understanding how much it means to him that people think he’s innocent.
I love that Tiffy and Leon are such contrasting characters that somehow mesh so well together. It was a little insta-lovey I will admit but there was so much back and forth between them that it seemed inevitable really.
It was never easy for Tiffy and Leon at any stage of the book which made me appreciate the ending so much more. It did tie together a little conveniently but at that point I was beyond caring and just was so invested in these characters and the story that I loved every minute of it!
⭐️4.5/5 stars almost perfect!