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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Kingsbane (ARC) by Claire Legrand

Set to release on May 21, 2019, Kingsbane by Claire Legrand is the second of a planned three books in the Empirium Trilogy. Kingsbane continues the story of two strong, powerful young women who find themselves drawn into an age-old magical prophecy neither of them can escape – even hundreds of years apart.

DISCLAIMER: I received an Advance Review Copy of this book from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien—but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist. Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity’s long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption—fear of becoming another Rielle—keeps Eliana’s power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted—by embracing her mother’s power, or rejecting it forever.

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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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Opposite of Always (ARC) by Justin A Reynolds

Released on March 5, 2019, Opposite of Always by Justin A Reynolds promised to be a hilarious and heartfelt novel about the choices we make, the people we choose, and the moments that make a life worth reliving.

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. But then Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.

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Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

Released on February 26, 2019, Warrior of the Wild is Tricia Levenseller’s most recent fantasy novel, and it is sure to satisfy fans of her previous works – not to mention fans of the YA Fantasy genre in general.

How do you kill a god? As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: To win back her honor, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.

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Mirage by Somaiya Daud

The fifth and final book I read during my March Break Read-a-Thon was Mirage by Somaiya Daud, which was released in North America on August 28, 2018. Mirage promises to be a refreshing and unique coming-of-age story that fans of The Wrath and the Dawn and Children of Blood and Bone will love.

In a world dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated home. But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place. As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty-and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

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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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April 2019 Reading List

March was quite a successful reading month for me – thanks, in part, to March Break, which gave me 9 days of blissful, uninterrupted reading time! I sat down and set a goal to read five (5) books during March Break (March 9 – March 17, 2019). Early on, this seemed a bit optimistic – even if I did have the week off work – but not entirely impossible. And as I quickly worked my way through book, after book, after book, it was rapidly evident that this was definitely a goal I could achieve. And I did! I finished my fifth book (Mirage by Somaiya Daud) on Saturday March 16, fulfilling my goal over 24 hours before the deadline I had set myself. This, and some other reading, brought me to a grand total of 10 books read in March 2019 (which means I have now read 27/50 books for my 2019 Reading Challenge)!

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That being said, I still have a handful of unread books already waiting in my “To Be Read Box”, and some other late-March and April releases that I am excited to add to my bookshelves! This means I definitely need to get reading if I want to free up some sapce in my TBR Box! for those of you who aren’t familiar with my “To Be Read Box” system, it’s actually quite simply – I have a box (which fits about 6-8 books) where I keep my unread novels. I only allow myself to purchase a new book if there is room for it in the TBR Box – if not, I need to do some more reading before my trip to the bookstore!

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So what am I planning on reading in April? Well, as you can see above, I already have a full TBR box, so I will be focusing on tackling several of those books (especially the ARCs I received from Raincoast Books and HCC Frenzy!), in addition to a couple exciting new releases. This is a shorter list than usual, but I am trying to keep my expectations realistic!

  1. All the Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett (Release Date: December 8, 2019)
  2. Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer (Release Date: January 15, 2019)
  3. Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Pena (Release Date: March 5, 2019)
  4. Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima (Release Date: March 5, 2019)
  5. The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala (Release Date: April 23, 2019)
  6. Nocturna by Maya Motayne (Release Date: May 7, 2019)
  7. Kingsbane by Claire Legrand (Release Date: May 21, 2019)

WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO READING IN APRIL?

Tin Heart (ARC) by Shivaun Plozza

My third read during my March Break Read-a-Thon was Tin Heart by Shivaun Plozza, which was released in North America on March 12, 2019. Fans of Young Adult Contemporary novels and Romantic Comedies will love this one.

P.S. A big thank-you goes out to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Reading Copy of Tin Heart by Shivaun Plozza in exchange for an honest review.

When Marlowe gets a heart transplant and a second chance at life, all she wants to do is to thank her donor’s family. Maybe then she can move on. Maybe then she’ll discover who she is if she’s no longer The Dying Girl. But with a little brother who dresses like every day is Halloween, a vegan warrior for a mother, and an all-out war with the hot butcher’s apprentice next door, Marlowe’s life is already pretty complicated. And her second chance is about to take an unexpected turn…

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