I’ve seen things like this on Youtube where readers guess which unread books they’ll end up giving 5 stars. I really like watching them, especially the follow-up videos discussing what they ended up rating them. So I thought, why not try the same thing here on my blog? I’m sure it’s been done before but all the same, I’m excited to see how it turns out. Here are the 5 books I hope are 5 star reads for me and a little about why.
- The Emperors Blades by Brian Staveley – this is purely a gut feeling.
- We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal – the cover on its own deserves 5 stars, but it also has a female robin hood-like character, lost artifacts, magic to be restored and a stone prince with a soft heart.
- LifeLik3 by Jay Kristoff – Words like “robot gladiator” and a character named Lemon Fresh can’t be anything but 5 stars, right?
- Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman – BECAUSE THEY ARE THE DREAM TEAM! Seriously though, I have loved everything they’ve written, together and solo.
- The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – Dragons, enough said.
It has been ages since I did a book haul post, mostly because I didn’t buy many books last year and also because I wasn’t sure how many people read these sorts of posts. Tell me in the comments if hauls are something you enjoy. Every year I take advantage of Bookoutlets Black Friday sale and sometimes their Boxing Bay one as well. These are the books I chose, I would love to know if you’ve read any of these.
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Keeper of the Lost Cities
Nice Try, Jane SInner by Lianne Oelke
The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody
Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
The Season of You and Me by Robin Constantine
Letters to the Lost by Bridgid Kemmerer
Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst
Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
The Emperors Blades by Brian Staveley
Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Publication Date: November 6th 2018
Page Count: 384
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: eARC from Netgalley
Link To The Author
Empress of All Seasons was a wonderful new fantasy that I couldn’t put down. I’m always hesitant to liken a book to others in case it doesn’t live up to them or they are books you didn’t enjoy. I’m taking a risk here but this book reminded me of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Hunger Games with a Leigh Bardugo atmosphere. The story and characters are clever, vivid and unique amoung the fantasy I’ve read lately. It was perhaps my favorite fantasy read of 2018 and definitely made my top ten across all genres.
Mari is a Yokai, a super natural monster, who is going to compete in the trials that choose the next empress. She isn’t looking for love or a throne, she only wants the respect of her people and will do anything to get it. She has a decent chance of achieving that goal if it wasn’t for the fact that yokai are feared, and enslaved if discovered. I loved Mari and her complex friendship with Akira (a half yokai), both of their stories collide with prince Taro in unexpected ways and the result is truly explosive.
The only disappointment is that this is a standalone! I wasn’t expecting that so the ending felt like it came all too soon. I very much look forward to what ever Emiko writes next and I hope her next book is a part of a series.
Thank you for reading my review of Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean. I hope you enjoyed my insights and look forward to more reviews from me in the future.
Little Do We Know by Tamora Ireland Stone
Rating: 5 Stars
Publication Date: June 5th 2018
Page Count: 416
Source: eARC from Netgalley
Link To The Author
Full disclosure, this book made me cry, and that doesn’t happen often. It’s rare that I find a contemporary that makes me feel this intensity of feels and has characters I become so invested in. I really didn’t know what to expect from Little Do We Know, I chose it because the main focus was friendship. I was hesitant that because they’re in high school their falling out would be full of drama and pettiness but that wasn’t the case at all. You could tell they had cared deeply for one another their whole lives and while they couldn’t bring themselves to reconcile they also missed each other. I want to say there is no love triangle (synopsis made me think there might be) Luke is Emory’s boyfriend and also a fantastic character that really glued the story together and surprised me in so many ways.
I was hooked from the first few pages, I became so attached to these characters that I would happily read a sequel if the author ever wrote one. I found both points of views engaging, and the event that twists around them both and slowly pulls them back together was so unexpected. I feel like every time I expected a trope or stereotype the author worked her magic and surprised me. It was really refreshing. I feel like I’m doing such a poor job of describing this book but I don’t want to give anything away. I do want to mention that Hannah is religious and I’ve read in some reviews that it put people off the story. I would encourage you not to let that keep you from reading this gem, it is in no way preachy and the religion does not take away from the story.
Do yourself a favor and don’t let this one fly under your radar. This is now one of my all-time favorite books and that’s saying a lot for a contemporary as someone who primarily reads fantasy.
Thank you for reading my review of Little Do We Know by Tamora Ireland Stone, and also to Disney-Hyperion for this review opportunity. I hope you enjoyed my insights and look forward to more reviews from me in the future.
2019 Reading Goals
- Read one classic
- Read one mystery
- Buy new bookshelves
- Read a total of 52 Books
- Finish at least three series
- Read my Top Ten Must-Read Books
- Participate in the O.W.L.S. Readathon hosted by Bookroast
- I’d like 60% of the books I read this year to be ones I already own
- Consistently use my Always Fully Booked planner by LittleInklings
These are my nine goals for 2019. Goals like one classic, finish three series and reading 52 books may seem simple enough but I wanted to take the pressure off this year. My main focus is reading books I own and buying less. I bought a lot less last year and as a result, I ended up using the library a lot. I think using the library is great and a good way to decide if it’s a book you like enough to own but it meant my physical TBR didn’t change much. Rather than pick an exact number I decided to go with a percentage so that it didn’t matter if I read 10 books or 100 I could still achieve 60%. I’m still in school this year and I’ll be working this summer so I have no idea how much reading time I’ll have. I think I’ll do a mid-year update as well as one at the end of the year so look for that at the end of June. Until then, I would love to hear all about your goals for the year, book-related or otherwise. Happy Reading!