A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Released in North America on January 29, 2019, A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer has everything you’d want in a retelling of a classic fairy tale. A Curse So Dark And Lonely is a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sarah J Maas.

Not only that, but A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer is also the Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month for January 2020!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 

Fall in love, break the curse. It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope. Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world. Break the curse, save the kingdom. A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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Indigo Teen Staff Picks of the Month 2019

If this happens to be the first time you are hearing about the Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month for the first time, you may be curious as to just what it is – as you should be! In short, Indigo Staff Picks of the Month is an initiative run by Chapters/Indigo Books & Music Inc., with the goal of featuring new and exciting book releases for various demographics and/or genres. The Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month focuses specifically on the Teen/Young Adult demographic, with books from various genres, including Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Contemporary.

Each month, 100 staff members read a number of teen and YA books, and then vote for their pick of the month! Each monthly pick is announced by Chapters/Indigo at the beginning of each month, and each of the picks are kept secret until then!

If you’re shopping in store, you can easily identify current, and past, Indigo Staff Picks of the Month by spotting the black, circular sticker on their cover (see below). If you’re shopping online, you can check out current and past Indigo Staff Picks of the Month here. If you happen to pick up your own copy of an Indigo Staff Picks of the Month book, please be sure to show it off on social media by using the hashtag #IndigoStaffPicks!

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Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin is a brilliant debut, full of everything readers of the genre love: a sparkling and fully realized heroine, an intricate and deadly system of magic, and a searing romance that will keep readers reading long into the night. Released on September 3rd, 2019, Mahurin’s debut novel is the Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month – and also featured in their most recent Indigo Book Box!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin  from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned. As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage. Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.

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Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

If you’ve been itching to get your hands on Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, now is the perfect time! Released on July 9th, 2019, Spin the Dawn is not only the Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month for August, but it is also a stunning read!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job. Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise. And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

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July 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

At the beginning of July, I set myself quite the ambitious reading goal – my Reading List for July 2019 included 10 books. And while the beginning of July means the beginning of “summer vacation” for myself and countless other teachers, my summer certainly has not been all relaxation! Like many of my fellow teachers, a large portion of my summer has been dedicated to my part-time job, and another large portion to an online course I was taking (and have thankfully completed).

Despite all that, I clearly found enough time to read, because I managed to read eight books during the month of July! This bring my reading total for the year up to 46/50 books, which puts me 17 books ahead of schedule – and only 4 books away from achieving my reading goal for 2019!

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June 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

Wait… a Reading Wrap Up?

I’ll be honest, I’ve never done one of these before, but the craziness of June (see below) resulted in my planned Reading List never seeing the light of your device screen – so here we are.

Well Bookworms, let me tell you about my June thus far (I’ll keep it short, I promise). As you may (or may not) know, when I am not reading, I am also a teacher (a first year teacher, to be exact). Which means that for the past month (yes, MONTH), all my free time has been consumed with marking, planning, and writing year-end reports for my students. On top of that, I also started a part-time job in the evenings, and was still dredging through the ungodly task of unpacking after moving house.

Despite all this, I have been slowly working my way through my June Reading List, and laying out plans to return to a more regular blogging schedule come July (AKA the end of the school year).

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Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He was released in North America on April 9, 2019, and promised to be full of twists and treachery. Descendant of the Crane by Joan He is also the Teen Staff Pick of the Month for Indigo Books and Music Inc., so I was certainly quite excited to pick it up – I’ve never been disappointed by an Indigo SPOTM before!

Thank-you to Indigo Book and Music Inc. for providing me with a finished copy of Descendant of the Crane by Joan He in exchange for an honest review. 

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own. Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago. Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high? In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

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Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

The fourth book I read during my March Break Read-a-Thon was Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte, which was released in North America on February 26, 2019. Four Dead Queens promises to be an enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences.

Four dead queens. Three days to catch a killer. Two forbidden romances. One shocking twist you won’t see coming. Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but she’s, in fact, one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. He runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie both find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead. With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation’s four dead queens. 

P.S. A big thank-you goes out to Indigo Books & Music Inc., who kindly provided me with a physical copy of Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte in exchange for an honest review.

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March 2019 Reading List

With my TBR Box nearly overflowing, I think that it is safe to say that I have an exciting (and jam-packed) month of reading ahead of me! Good thing March Break is just around the corner – right? And I certainly need a break to catch up on all this reading! After a successful month of reading in January (I managed to read 12 books – I am not even sure how I managed that one!), I had a less productive reading month in February – finishing a grand total of 6 books.

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This brings me up to a total of 18 books in 2019, which has me well on my way to my goal of reading 50 books this year! While it may seem like I set me goal a bit low, I have found that I often plateau (in terms of reading) in the Spring and Fall, so I wanted to keep my reading goal reasonable. Why? Because reading is meant to be fun and relaxing, not stressful!

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