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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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 Break Read-a-Thon

Last week, 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.

Therefore, throughout this week and next, I will be sharing my reviews for the five (5) books I read, in order of reading! So stay tuned, because there are lots of new and exciting book reviews on their way!

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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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The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Released in North America on January 8, 2019, The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe is a hilarious contemporary realistic YA debut novel about a rather cynical Black French Canadian teen who moves to Austin, Texas, and experiences the clichés and joys of the American high school experience—including falling in love.

What’s more? The Field Guide to the North American Teenager is so awesome that it was selected as the Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month for January 2019! You can check out the The Field Guide to the North American Teenager and other Indigo Teen SPOTM’s on Indigo‘s website.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of he Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 

Norris Kaplan is clever, cynical, and quite possibly too smart for his own good. A black French Canadian, he knows from watching American sitcoms that those three things don’t bode well when you are moving to Austin, Texas. Plunked into a new high school and sweating a ridiculous amount from the oppressive Texas heat, Norris finds himself cataloging everyone he meets: the Cheerleaders, the Jocks, the Loners, and even the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Making a ton of friends has never been a priority for him, and this way he can at least amuse himself until it’s time to go back to Canada, where he belongs. Yet, against all odds, those labels soon become actual people to Norris. Be it loner Liam, who makes it his mission to befriend Norris, or Madison the beta cheerleader, who is so nice that it has to be a trap. Not to mention Aarti the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who might, in fact, be a real love interest in the making. He even starts playing actual hockey with these Texans. But the night of the prom, Norris screws everything up royally. As he tries to pick up the pieces, he realizes it might be time to stop hiding behind his snarky opinions and start living his life—along with the people who have found their way into his heart.

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Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Released on November 20, 2018 in North America, Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott is a story that fans on the YA Contemporary genre – and fans of YA in general – won’t want to miss. In this moving story that’s perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within five feet of each other without risking their lives. And what’s more? Five Feet Apart is soon to be a major motion picture starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson in March 2019 (Movie trailer: https://youtu.be/5cJ7MT1RTqs)!

Disclaimer: I received a finished copy of Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review.

Can you love someone you can never touch? Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions. The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals. Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment. What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

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