Book Review: A Dragonbird in the Fern by Laura Rueckert

(BLOG TOUR: TBR AND BEYOND TOURS)

Today’s book review is on an e-book I received from Flux Books and TBR and Beyond Tours in exchange for an honest review!

I discovered this book on the tour signs ups for TBR and Beyond Tours, and was immediately intrigued by this book! Not only did it have a stunning cover, but it has one of my favorite tropes: arranged marriage!

Book Description: 

When an assassin kills Princess Jiara’solder sister Scilla, her vengeful ghost is doomed to walk theircity of glittering canals, tormenting loved ones until the murderer is brought to justice. While theentire kingdom mourns, Scilla’s betrothed arrives and requests that seventeen-year-old Jiara takeher sister’s place as his bride to confirm the alliance between their countries.

Marrying the young king intended for her sister and traveling to his distant home is distressing enough, but with dyslexia and years of scholarly struggles, Jiara abandoned any hope of learning other languages long ago. She’s terrified of life in a foreign land where she’ll be unable to communicate.

Then Jiara discovers evidence that her sister’s assassin comes from the king’s own country. If she marries the king, Jiara can hunt the murderer and release her family from Scilla’s ghost, whose thirst for blood mounts every day. To save her family, Jiara must find her sister’s killer . . . before he murders her too.

About the Author:

Laura Rueckert is a card-carrying bookworm who manages projects by day. At night, fueled by European chocolate, she transforms into a writer of young adult science fiction and fantasy novels. Laura grew up in Michigan, USA, but a whirlwind romance after college brought her to Europe. Today, she lives in Germany with her husband, two kids, and one fluffy dog.

Author Links:

Website: https://www.laurarueckert.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LauraRueckert
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laura_rueckert_writes/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19365618.Laura_Rueckert

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50674206-a-dragonbird-in-the-fern
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dragonbird-Fern-Laura-Rueckert/dp/1635830656/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=A+Dragonbird+in+the+Fern+by+Laura+Rueckert&qid=1623033868&sr=8-1
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-dragonbird-in-the-fern-laura-rueckert/1136068601
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Dragonbird-Fern-Laura-Rueckert/9781635830651
IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781635830651

Read: July 8 – July 20

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Those no longer here left so much behind. Expectations, reputations.”

A Dragonbird in the Fern follows Jiara, a seventeen-year-old princess from a beautiful oceanside kingdom who has just lost her older sister, Scilla. Jiara, who had her own quiet life carefully planned out for years, is now forced to live in the shadows of Scilla, taking on her roles and marrying the betrothed she left behind. This betrothed, Raffar, is a young king from a foreign land, with different weather, culture, and an entirely different language. As if this wasn’t enough of a challenge, Jiara must also try and solve the death of her sister, before her sister’s ghost murders their entire family out of spite. Can she handle her responsibility and avenge her sister before she runs out of time?

I am a sucker for the arranged marriage trope, so I signed up for this tour with no hesitation! Boy, was I in for a treat. The arranged marriage is one of my favorites I’ve read, and Jiara and Raffar are such sweethearts. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen dyslexia represented in a book other than the Percy Jackson series, so that was great to see as well.

The writing in A Dragonbird in the Fern is an atmospheric delight and learning about each kingdom and its customs, religions, culinary dishes, and geography was lovely. I also enjoyed that while this book is heavily about Jiara’s marriage and growing accustomed to a new country, the romance is not at all rushed, and actually not even the primary part of the story? This book touches on many different ways the word ‘family’ can be defined, on the pressures and responsibilities of trying to live up to familial expectations and reputations, and the challenges of learning a new language through immersion culture! As someone who learned American Sign Language through classes, social outings, and week-long immersion camps where we were not allowed to communicate in any other method than ASL, I found this incredibly relatable and realistic.

I am not the most avid reader of thrillers/mysteries, but the mystery aspect of the plot kept me on my toes throughout the entire plot, too! I kept making different guesses, and while I did at one point almost guess correctly, I quickly changed my suspicions to someone else.

I would absolutely try another book by Laura Rueckert as A Dragonbird in the Fern ended up being right up my alley!

Would recommend to lovers of: arranged marriages, slow burn romances, mysteries, and family bonds!

In addition to my review, here are some of my FAVORITE QUOTES from the book (I tried to exclude any spoiler-y faves)!

“Those no longer here left so much behind. Expectations, reputations. Scilla, with her intelligence and ambition, lived in my heart too.”

“I groaned. He was telling me my language skills were getting better, and yet, I’d barely understood the sentence he’d used to say it.

(I felt this so hard from experience HAHA!!)

“–how can I expect my people to follow the laws set by my family if I don’t have the strength myself?”

“A day away would be good. Fresh air, a soul bath in green.”

“But sometimes, a decision had to be made that wasn’t the way things had always been done. Sometimes the best decision wasn’t popular.”

“I’ve always liked coming here in the mornings. You’re all alone. No one needs anything from you and the world below is blanketed in clouds, safe and perfect.”

I’d love to hear what you thought of A Dragonbird in the Fern or what other books you’ve been loving lately!

Interesting in hearing more perspectives on Spark to Shadow? Check out the blog tour schedule here!

Book Review: Spark to Shadow by Atima Kim

(BLOG TOUR: TBR AND BEYOND TOURS)

Today’s book review is on an e-book I received from Atima Kim and TBR and Beyond Tours in exchange for an honest review!

I discovered this book on the tour signs ups for TBR and Beyond Tours, and was immediately intrigued by the premise of a Thailand-inspired coven matron heir on a political quest to choose a consort while fighting monsters. Special shoutout to Amanda from Bookish Brews whose Goodreads review really sold me on applying for this tour!

Book Description: 

Witch. Warrior. Dragon Rider.

Long ago, the covens of the east made a pact to bring peace to the continent. To unite the clans and create a new era of witches, starting with the next generation of matrons. Fang is the first witch of her generation to reach her debut, as the next matron of her coven she has the unique honor of being the first one to fulfill the pact. For the first time in centuries, a Miangese witch will take a foreign consort. Luckily, Fang already has someone in mind. Taken in by the Sun coven in the mountain kingdom of Anda, Fang is more than happy to entertain the alluring young lords of the ruby clan as they compete to win her affections, not knowing her choice has already been made. Or so she thought. Until a chance encounter brings to light the existence of something Fang previously thought to be quite rare, a male witch. The meeting of this young shadow witch— a boy who Fang now owes a debt— starts a chain of events that will make Fang question everything she thought she knew about her Andan allies. In an effort to help him escape his oppressors, Fang and the shadow witch discover a dark presence that is slowly poisoning the innocent citizens of mortal Anda, and a dangerous weapon that could threaten the very peace of the pact that Fang is bound to uphold. As she, her friends, and her new shadow witch companion work to fight against these looming forces, Fang’s feelings towards her own choices slowly start to shift. She must decide what is more important to her, who she wants by her side, and most of all- what she’s willing to give up in order to be the leader her people need.

About the Author:

Atima has been coming up with stories for as long as she can remember. As soon as she learned how to read and write she was putting pen to paper and dreaming up new worlds and adventure. Her life has always been on the page and as she grew up and her interests changed so did her writing. She loves creating places to escape, and more than anything she loves writing about love. She was born in the Midwestern US, to a Thai mother and American father. Her home has always been a mix of languages and cultures, and remains so today. She likes to draw on the places and people and culture that influence her life as inspiration in her writing and she hopes to join the ranks of other Asian American authors representing diverse cultures and voices in the writing community through her books.

Author Links:

Website: https://atimakim.wixsite.com/website
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ankimauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20959995.Atima_Kim
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/A-N-Kim-Author-103940181214313/?eid=ARAdfVAXhhD7kPGjrzh7r0JcrNoegHeFFTNah4DDhuRd616wjJuBasiAfnimEHPP3Cdfv_sdQ399P399

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56244810-spark-to-shadow
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Spark-Shadow-Atima-Kim/dp/1735796905/ref=sr_1_1?adid=082VK13VJJCZTQYGWWCZ&campaign=211041&creative=374001&dchild=1&keywords=Spark+to+Shadow&qid=1610043041&s=books&sr=1-1&tag=x_gr_w_bb_sin-20
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spark-to-shadow-atima-kim/1138473612?ean=9781735796901
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Spark-Shadow-Atima-Kim/9781735796901?ref=grid-view&qid=1610043266839&sr=1-1
IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781735796901

Read: May 4 – May 15

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Why is it so hard for you to believe that I might genuinely care what happens to you?”

Spark to Shadow follows Fang, the next matron of her coven, as she travels to the kingdom of Anda to meet her new foreign consort. The kicker? She gets to choose, and there are twelve handsome options! Easy enough, right? While debating whether to follow her heart or her head, Fang also has to deal with a dangerous series of events that occur along the way.

This book has the vibes of The Bachelorette meets a gorgeous Thailand inspired warrior witch coven meets slow burn soulmates meets dragons and monsters, which had me very hesitant that I would enjoy it (I hate any of those dating reality shows), but I am SO glad to have been proved wrong!!

The red string theory is a legend that you are connected to your soulmate by a red string that, no matter how tangled, will eventually lead you to them. This is one of my favorite myths, and I actually squealed in delight to discover it in this book.

Despite the main plot being for Fang to find her consort, the romance in this story is what I would consider a slow burn, and I wholeheartedly enjoyed it! I loved getting to see everyone’s friendships grow, and the strength of the bonds with Fang’s coven members, as well as her relationships with the other allied covens!

I would absolutely read more if this series continues, or anything else Atima Kim decides to gift us with!

Would recommend to lovers of: elemental powers, slow burn romances, dragons, strong female leads, and sister bonds!

In addition to my review, here are some of my FAVORITE QUOTES from the book (I tried to exclude my spoiler-y faves)!

“The fact that any of you are willing to come and try, that gives me hope that maybe we might find a way.”

“Am I asking too much? Is it selfish of me to just want to get it right and be happy with who I choose?”

“You feel sad sometimes so that you can also feel happy. You can feel anger so that you can also feel peace. You feel alone so that eventually you can feel loved.”

“Why is it so hard for you believe that I might genuinely care what happens to you?”

“You’re as good as family to us now.”

“I mean that you see me the way no one else does, like I’m someone that exists as something other than as the thing you see on the outside.”

“That’s my chicken.” I corrected, “And I’ve appointed Sanha temporary chicken keeper.”

“There is no wrong choice, only choices that have consequences.”



I’d love to hear what you thought of Spark to Shadow or what other books you’ve been loving lately!

Interesting in hearing more perspectives on Spark to Shadow? Check out the blog tour schedule here!

Book Review: Elements of Power by Kate Stoessel

(BLOG TOUR: TURN THE PAGE TOURS)

Today’s book review is on both a physical copy I received from Kate Stoessel and e-book I received from BookSirens and Rhodes & Co in exchange for an honest review!

I discovered this book on the tour sign ups for Turn the Page Tours, and was immediately interested in the premise of a witchy academy full of elementals!

Book Description: 

The Council of the Harvest Moon was established to maintain peace among the witches, fairies, vampires, and mermaids of the United States. However, old feuds die hard and as the powers of fairies wane with the destruction of natural environments, the witches rise with a rigid societal structure designed to assert their supremacy as the most powerful supernatural beings in the modern world.

As the descendant of two prominent New England witching families, Khlorie Lethestone’s life was destined to fit into the neat, color-coded boxes established by the American Continental Coven (ACC). When it is discovered that Khlorie has powers beyond that of a typical witch, she is sent to Spindlewick College, a secret institution designed to help witches develop non-conforming gifts into tools for the greater good of witching society. Once there, she meets the attractive, but distant Perry Prentice, who is assigned to help her understand her gifts. But becoming one of the most powerful witches in the world means that you are watched closely, and Khlorie learns that there are secrets she must keep hidden to survive.

Author Bio:

Kate Stoessel is a Middle Grades and Young Adult author specializing in Fantasy. She wrote her first novel, Erine Pershings and the Golden Lyre, because she could not find interesting and informative historical fiction that explored the daily lives of women and children in Ancient Athens. The Council of the Harvest moon series represents Kate’s first foray into Young Adult Fantasy, her favorite genre as a reader. She knows how transportive a fantasy story can be, and hopes to give her readers the same experience of wonder and escape. Whether Middle Grades or YA, Kate is committed to creating characters that feel as authentic and real as the students she works with everyday as a classroom teacher.

She has a B.A. degree in Classical Civilizations from Colby College and a M.S.Ed in Museum Education and Childhood Education from the Bank Street School of Education. Kate lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, Jack, son, Augie, and two dogs, Artemis and Apollo.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56797258-elements-of-power

Book Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08TV7VMSC/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Author Links:

https://katestoessel.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14622941.Kate_Stoessel
https://www.instagram.com/kate_e_stoessel/
https://twitter.com/edukatemuseums?lang=en
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCucCPTbCIEITjRnF10AsBtg

Read: Mar 15 – Apr 1

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

“The most dangerous people in this world are those who seem like they could never be dangerous.”

This book follows Khlorie Lethestone, a witch about to graduate at the top of her class, but who somehow has not managed to be categorized into a specialization. In this world, all witches are given their specialization by the time of graduation, where they will then go to a specific university and wear a matching color for the rest of their career. I found this incredibly interesting and was so appreciative of the specialization color chart included in the beginning of the book that I could go back to and reference when needed.

Once her famous mother steps in, Khlorie’s school informs her that she is simply too powerful for one specialty, and must instead be enrolled in the secret and exclusive Spindlewick Academy to train her skills. She also is informed that she is incredibly powerful in all four elements, even though she is completely unaware of it yet. At Spindlewick, she meets other powerful students, and begins to unravel dangerous secrets about her past!

I gave this book three stars, which for me means it was a good book! The premise, the world, and the species were all intriguing, especially in regards to a plot twist towards the end. I loved both Itzel and Morpheus as well!

There were, however, a few tropes in this book that are some of my least favorites. That does not make this is a bad book by any means, but perhaps not the perfect one for me personally. I strongly dislike the “chosen one” trope, or where a character is extremely powerful off the bat compared to all their practiced peers/enemies/mentors, so I found it difficult to connect to Khlorie. I also found the romance too rushed, but I am someone who thoroughly enjoys slow burns, so take that with a grain of salt. Despite this, I would still consider the series to find out what happens to the rest of the group!

Would recommend to lovers of: a magical world full of witches, mermaids, fairies, and vampires where everyone is hiding something and you don’t know who to trust!

I’d love to hear what you thought of Elements of Power or what other books you’ve loved in this beginning of springtime!

Interested in Elements of Power? Check out the giveaway hosted by Turn the Page Tours here for the chance to win a signed copy!

Details: The prize is a signed finished copy of Elements of Power. The giveaway will run Monday, April 5, 2021 – Monday, April 12, 2021. There will be 1 winner, and it is eligible to USA mailing addresses only. 

JANUARY WRAP-UP: AMONG US READATHON

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In January 2021, I participated in the Among Us Readathon, hosted by Hal at hdsreadinglife!

If you would like to watch the video of my Wrap Up, head on over here to see it on YouTube!

I started playing Among Us back in 2020 (yes, my friend group discovered it when it was trendy and I was convinced to join because I am weak for anything resembling that Mafia game we played as kids) and my signature character is always the pink crewmate with the lil’ matching pink flowers. My next door neighbor’s daughter even sewed me a plushie to match! So, of course, upon finding this readathon, I knew I had to be either the Pink Crewmate or Pink Impostor. Unfortunately, due to my love of taking on the most challenges possible at all times, I chose to be an Impostor and selected a book to eliminate each other colored crewmate? Did I accomplish said goal? Of course not, but we had a great time attempting it!

In the future, when I catch up on my monumentally large list of blog posts, I will split these into TBRs and Wrap-Ups, but for now, let’s dive in!

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Prompt #1 – Fake a Task – Read a Standalone or Sequel

For the first prompt, I chose a standalone: The Library Book by Susan Orlean! I knew nothing about this book going in, except that it was nonfiction and involved some sort of fire. In January, my friends and I did our own private readathon of sorts, where we picked our top 5 books (either of 2020 or all time!) and read one from each friend’s list. This was chosen off of Nikoleta’s list, and you can find her YouTube channel here!

The Library Book

Did I read it? ✔️

What did I think? ⭐⭐⭐

What did Nikoleta think? ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Prompt #2 – Vent! – Read a 5 star prediction/book you know nothing about/by favorite author/recommendation

For the second prompt, I chose a book I know nothing about that was also a recommendation: The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan! I knew nothing about this book going in either except that… I assume there is a duke… and that it is probably a historical fiction. This was also part of my Vlog Squad Readathon and was chosen off of Bailey’s list. You can find her YouTube channel here!

The Duke Who Didn't (Wedgeford Trials, #1)

Did I read it?

Will I read it? ✔️ Moved to February’s TBR.

Prompt #3 – Blame Someone Else – Read a book with a morally grey character

For the third prompt, I chose to read Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi. This is the third book in the Shatter Me series and this book really, in my opinion, showed that all the characters could be morally grey in the midst of a war. I borrowed the audiobook edition of this from my library.

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Did I read it? ✔️

What did I think? ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Why not 5 stars? I am a total sucker for the romance in this book, but the actual war plot? I was laughing at the choice of leader.

Prompt #4 – Eliminate Red – Read a science fiction

For the fourth prompt, I chose to read The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey. This is an ARC I received on NetGalley from Tor Books. I chose this book because I knew it involved a brilliant scientist who makes clones and was pretty sure that either she is a clone or that she makes a clone of herself. Spoiler alert (the synopsis clears this up but I go in blind): neither of these were exactly true.

The Echo Wife

Did I read it? ✔️

What did I think? ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Did I review it? ✔️ Check it out here!

Prompt #5 – Eliminate Brown – Read a book that’s been on my TBR a long time

For the fifth prompt, I chose Caraval by Stephanie Garber. This book had been on my TBR since 2013, and although I still know nothing about it eight years later, I heard the novel Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles was inspired by it. I’m so excited to read Where Dreams Descend, but I wanted to read Caraval first. This book was also selected as part of the Vlog Squad Readathon as one of Staijah’s favorites, and you can find her YouTube channel here!

Caraval (Caraval, #1)

Did I read it?

Will I read it? ✔️ Moved to February’s TBR.

Prompt #6 – Eliminate Lime – Read a book that represents you/is a comfort read

For the sixth prompt, I chose Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Although I have never read this book, I grew up on the movies, and found both Green Gables Fables (vlog series) and Anne With an E (tv series) to be comfort shows for me. I also wanted to read this because it is my mom’s mother’s favorite series (she even gave my mom the middle name Anne!) and because it was selected as part of the Vlog Squad Readathon from Martine’s list. You can find her YouTube channel here!

Anne of Green Gables

Did I read it? ✔️

What did I think? ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What was my favorite part? This is so silly, but I’ve gotten really into the Enneagram since the end of 2020, and Anne Shirley-Cuthbert is so clearly (to me, at least) a Type 4w3 (dreamy and emotional with a touch of ambition). I chose this book as a ‘comfort read’, but as a 3w2, I felt like it easily could have worked for the ‘represents you’ part as well. There were so many good quotes! Also, Diana Barry is my favorite. That is all.

What did Martine think? ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Prompt #7 – Eliminate Pink – Read a book with a plant on the cover

For the seventh prompt, I chose Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I chose this book because my librarian saw me reading Outlander and told me should read this next and because one of my best friends, Natasha, was reading it around this time and I decided to join in. I knew literally nothing about this book. Do crawdads sing in it? Where? Will I learn to be funny?

Where the Crawdads Sing

Did I read it?

Will I read it? ✔️ Moved to February’s TBR.

Prompt #8 – Eliminate White – Read a book with a beautiful cover

For the eighth prompt, I chose The Carnelian Fox by Kay MacLeod. I received this as an audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review. It is the first book in the Maiyamon series, and is essentially a young adult fantasy adventure novel based off of Pokémon.

The Carnelian Fox (Maiyamon, #1)

Did I read it? ✔️

What did I think? ⭐⭐⭐

Who would I recommend it to? Fans of Pokémon who don’t mind listening to/reading descriptive creature battles and stats

Prompt #9 – Eliminate Yellow – Read a book by an author of color

For the ninth prompt, I chose An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I bought a copy of this from a sale at the library in late 2019/early 2020 and it has been collecting dust on my bookshelf since then. Fortunately for me, this was on my friend Nessuh’s list for the Vlog Squad Readathon! You can find her YouTube channel here! I knew nothing about this book other than it being dystopian or fantasy…. or both?

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

Did I read it?

Will I read it? ✔️ Moved to February’s TBR.

Prompt #10 – Eliminate Cyan – Read a comic/graphic novel/manga

For the tenth prompt, I chose Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise: Part One by Gene Luen Yang! This is a graphic novel that is set directly after the television series ended. This is part of a series buddy read I am working on with one of my best friends, Amber, who you can find on Instagram here! I borrowed this from the RBDigital app. ( RIP RBDigital </3 )

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise, Part 1 (The Promise, #1)

Did I read it? ✔️

What did I think? ⭐⭐⭐

What did Amber think? ⭐⭐⭐

Prompt #11 – Eliminate Black – Read a romance

For the eleventh prompt, I chose Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin. This is the second book in the Serpent & Dove series that I pre-ordered in 2020! This series is about a witch (in secret) who is forced to marry a witch hunter (they have an actual title, but it’s been months and I can’t remember it) for the sake of his reputation. I adored the first one and couldn’t wait to find out what happens next.

Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, #2)

Did I read it?

Will I read it? 💤 Currently in the shortlist for being highly anticipated, owned, and a sequel

Prompt #12 – Eliminate Orange – Read a book low on my TBR list

For the twelfth prompt, I chose Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Although this is a book I am excited to read, I’d only discovered it a little over a year ago, purchased it on a whim as my most recent book of the month buy, and it won a poll of four options for this prompt. I knew nothing about this book at all and actually only purchased it because I had a dream where I did.

Vicious (Villains, #1)

Did I read it?

Will I read it? 💤 Currently in the the Failed TBR pick list = maybe in 2022

Prompt #13 – Eliminate Green – Read a book over 500 pages

For the thirteenth prompt, I chose Heart of Flames by Nicki Pau Preto because it is 640 pages. This book is the sequel to Crown of Feathers, which is about phoenix riders with an empire against them! I have had this book continuously on hold on Libby since the Phoenix Riders readathon back in 2020.

Heart of Flames (Crown of Feathers #2)

Did I read it?

Will I read it? 💤 Currently in the shortlist for a sequel and in my library queue

Prompt #14 – Eliminate Purple – Read a book by a new-to-you author

For the fourteenth prompt, I chose These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. This book is a Romeo and Juliet retelling based in Shanghai in the 1920s (I believe)! It was the first book chosen for the Moods & Pages book club run by Donna. You can find her Twitter here!

These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)

Did I read it?

Will I read it? ✔️ Moved to March’s TBR.

Prompt #15 – Eliminate Navy – Read a book with a person on the cover

For the fifteenth prompt, I chose Dark Fae Outcast by Autumn M. Birt, which is a novella in the Tainted Fae series. I received a book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All I knew about this book is that the main character, Riasg, is a drug addict, and a dark fae who is either trying to escape or return to a fae realm.

Dark Fae Outcast (Tainted Fae #1)

Did I read it? ✔️

What did I think? ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Did I review it? Yes, you can find my post here!


FINAL STATS

With an incredibly high aspiration of reading fifteen books, I ended up reading seven! This means I was able to fake a task, blame someone else, and then eliminate Red, Navy, Cyan, White, and Lime Crewmates! My monthly goal is five, so this was still great!

Anne of Green Gables was a clear favorite and The Library Book was my least.

My most anticipated book that I want to be sure to re-add to my next TBR is Blood & Honey.

This was such a fun readathon and Hal put so so so much work into the prompts, graphics, and fun prompts throughout the readathon!

Stay tuned for my February TBR and Wrap-up where I take part in Pixarathon!

Books read: 7

Audiobooks: 2

Physical books: 2

E-books: 3

Graphic novels: 1

ARCs: 1

Total pages: 285 + 317 + 76 + 408 + 253 + 189 + 262 = 1,790 pages




Note: the format numbers will sometimes not add up because I occasionally alternate formats during the month

Book Review: The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

Today’s book review is on an e-ARC I received from NetGalley and Tor Books in exchange for an honest review! I discovered The Echo Wife after reading an excerpt of it on BookishFirst and I felt so intrigued that I had to request a copy on NetGalley.

This book was chosen in January for the Among Us Readathon as the ‘Clear Asteroids’ prompt (i.e. to read a Sci-Fi!).

Read: Jan 23 – Feb 14

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Never apologize just because someone is mad at you,” he said. “Never let anyone make you say you’re sorry just to appease them.”

The Echo Wife follows Evelyn Caldwell, a brilliant scientist, who works in creating clones for temporary and functional purposes, i.e. body doubles, organ replacements, etc. Although she has recently reached amazing scientific breakthroughs, she finds it hard to celebrate after the other discovery that her once business partner and husband Nathan left her for another woman named Martine. The real kicker? Martine is a clone of Evelyn who Nathan made so he could marry a ‘better’ version of her.

This book is a wild ride that is full of an unnamable tension between all the main characters that left me always wondering whether they were about to make out or murder one another.

I am not usually a fan of science fiction, but I found myself so intrigued that I immediately wanted to continue to the next chapter. The plot didn’t go in any way how I expected, but I found the ending just as intriguing as the rest of the story.

I will certainly look to read more by Sarah Gailey in the future!

Would recommend to lovers of: light thrillers, clones, bad-ass women!

I’d love to hear what you thought of The Echo Wife or what other books you’ve loved in this beginning of the year!

Interested in The Echo Wife? Check it out here!

BREEZY HOLLOW READATHON PROMPTS

You can find information on this readathon here!

This readathon comes in two official editions: Easy (5 books) and Advanced (15 books)!

  • Easy: Complete the first prompt and then one prompt of your choice from each of the remaining 4 categories!
  • Advanced: Complete all the prompts below!
  • Busy Lifestyle/Slow Reader? If you typically read only a few books a month and still want to participate, try picking the 5 Easy Edition prompts of your choice and getting as many of the prompts possible to match just one or two books!

2021: Round 1 – Island Setup

STEP 1: Name your Island!

Welcome to your new home, a place to read completely undisturbed! To get you started on your own personal paradise, let’s give your place a name!

PROMPT: Read a book with a title that starts with the name of your island/town/village in the latest AC game you play/played! Don’t play AC? Substitute this with the first letter of your first name!

STEP 2: Get your first villager!

Okay, so, we said ‘completely undisturbed’…. About that…. Don’t you want a friend to rant about your last read to?! Well, you’re getting one! What kind of personality do they have?

PROMPT A: Cranky – Read a book with a MC that is rough around the edges!

PROMPT B: Jock – Read a book with a MC that loves sports/is on a sports team!

PROMPT C: Lazy – Read a book with a MC who is an anti-hero!

PROMPT D: Smug – Read a book with a MC who has a big ego!

STEP 3: Get your second villager!

Okay, look, we know we sprung the last one on you, but…. Maybe you’re an extrovert who loved chatting with your new villager and you need more to form a book club! Or you… hated the last one…. but ANOTHER neighbor will keep them busy surely so you can focus on reading more! Anyway, here they areeee:

PROMPT A: Normal – Read a book with a MC who is morally grey or a fantasy/supernatural book where the MC has no abilities/is human!

PROMPT B: Peppy – Read a book with a MC that is an extrovert!

PROMPT C: Snooty – Read a book with a MC who is obsessed with fashion/style!

PROMPT D: Sisterly – Read a book with a MC who has a younger sibling!

STEP 4: Pick a Hemisphere!

Before we load you all onto the plane (we, uh… gave you the middle seat…), do you want us to send you somewhere where it’s springtime or autumn?

PROMPT A: Northern Hemisphere – Read a book that’s set in the springtime!

PROMPT B: Southern Hemisphere – Read a book that’s set in autumn!

STEP 5: Pick a Fruit!

Welcome to your — Oh no! They forgot to plant the trees! Don’t worry, we’ll take care of this right away! We’ll just plant some…. Uh, what kind do you want?

PROMPT A: Pears – Read a book with a mostly green cover!

PROMPT B: Apples/Cherries – Read a book with a mostly red cover!

PROMPT C: Oranges – Read a book with a mostly orange cover!

PROMPT D: Peaches – Read a book with a mostly yellow or pink cover!

Need help picking between a book? Tag us in a poll at @breezy_hollow and we’ll vote/retweet it for you!

Need help thinking of a book? Check out the book recs video (coming soon) at Ashley’s Reads!

Introduction

Hello! My name is Ashley and I am the owner of Vivaciously Vintage and Of Fiction & Fantasy (my reading vlog)!

I am a college graduate, military wife, dog mom, and book reviewer! In this blog, I will be sharing the following:

• Book Reviews
• Cooking/Baking Adventures
• Make-up Reviews
• Lifestyle of a stay at home housewife (aspiring to be vintage)!

ABOUT ASHLEY

I was born in Indiana, grew up in Ohio and Utah, attended university in Kentucky, and currently reside in Kansas.

I have been married for three years, and am currently learning how to master that stay-at-home wife life while moving every few years thanks to the Army. We have a Labrador Retriever named Caroline who runs the house.

I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember! From scribbling pretend grocery lists to terribly incoherent stories I forced my siblings to read, putting words onto paper (or, in this case, a screen) is my calling. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Corporate and Organizational Communication with a minor and internship experience in Marketing! I’d love to one day get a book published, work at a library, and/or keep studying to become an Academic Advisor to help others make their own paths to doing what they love, too!

I adore reading and gaming almost just as much as writing, and have spent most of this last half of 2020 working on joining the BookTube community, participating in reading challenges, and reviewing ARCs (Advanced Reader Copy). This blog will contain a lot about my thoughts on books.

Favorite genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Self-Help, Mystery, Historical Biographies

Favorite authors: Sarah J. Maas, Erin A. Craig, Richelle Mead, Sarah Dessen, Leigh Bardugo

Personality traits: ENFJ, 3w2, Slytherpuff, Lawful Good

Inspirations/Faves: Cinderella, Leslie Knope, Amy Santiago, Evie Grimhilde, Caroline Forbes, Grace Kelly