Book Review: The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden ★★★★

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“He spoke of Russia. Not Muscovy, or Tver, or Vladimir, the principalities of the sons of Kiev, but of Russia itself, of its skies and its soil, its people and its pride.

She listened in rapt stillness, eyes vast and filled like cups with shadow. “That is what we are fighting for,” said Sasha. “Not for Moscow, or even Dmitrii; not for the sake of any of her squabbling princes. But for the land that bore us; man and devil alike.””

Another fantastic finale! I was really pleased with how this series came to a close and I think this final installment might be the strongest book yet. It was very well done!

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Book Review: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black ★★★★

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“And if the serpent grows in monstrousness and corruption, if it poisons the land of Elfhame itself, then let me be the queen of monsters. Let me rule over that blackened land with my redcap father as a puppet by my side. Let me be feared and never again afraid.”

I finally read it! I have been highly anticipating this book for months and holy crap did it live up to my high expectations. I adored it. It was amazing. 4.5 stars!!

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Book Review: An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard ★★

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“Magic, at its heart, starts with sacrifice. You have to give up something to get something, and because magic is big, with all that it allows you access to, what you give up has to be big. It has to be meaningful.”

So ultimately, I am really disappointed in this book. I requested this one from my library and I have heard a lot of good things about it, so I was really excited when it finally came in and I could get my hands on it. I had heard people call this one “adult Harry Potter” and it was (originally) a stand-alone. All things I was very interested in! However, it just fell very flat for me in the end😕😕

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Book Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson ★★

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“Life is like the oil within a lamp. It can be measured, but the pace at which it burns depends on how the dial is turned day by day, how bright and fierce the flame. And there is no predicting whether the lamp might be knocked to the ground and shatter, when it could have blazed on a great while longer. Such is the unpredictability of life.”

Well if this wasn’t the most BORING dang thing I’ve ever read! Holy crap. It was such a chore to get through. I could not have cared less about the plot, the characters, the world – literally anything in this book. I was tempted to give this 1.5 stars, I swear to god haha. It was really bad 😅.

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Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan ★★

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“That’s what I want for my kids. I want them to love their family, but to feel a deeper sense of pride in who they are as individuals, not in how much money they have, what their last name is, or how many generations they go back to whatever dynasty. I’m sorry, but I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of being around all these crazy rich Asians, all these people whose lives revolve around making money, spending money, flaunting money, comparing money, hiding money, controlling others with money, and ruining their lives over money.”

I really went into this with an open mind. I was excited to read it and I wanted something different from what I normally read, a light, fun, contemporary about a culture I am not overly familiar with. I gave it my best effort, but I just didn’t care for it 🤷‍♀️. Glad I only spent a dollar on it!

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Book Review: The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova ★★

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“I was filled with angst in college, that I struggled with the question of my future, the meaning of my life – spoiled sheltered rich girl collides with great books and is devastated by her own banality.”

What a disappointment! I read Kostova’s other novel, The Historian, ages ago and I really enjoyed it. I found a beautiful hardcover copy of The Swan Thieves at Goodwill for $3. I was still riding my “art-thriller” high thanks to The Goldfinch. Everything was lined up perfectly for me to LOVE this book!!

But did I? Sadly, no. No I did not.

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Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller ★★★★

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“Every moment mortals died, by shipwreck and sword, by wild beasts and wild men, by illness, neglect, and age. It was their fate, Prometheus had told me, the story they all shared. No matter how vivid they were in life, no matter how brilliant, no matter the wonders they made, they came to dust and smoke. Meanwhile every petty and useless god would go on sucking down the bright air until the stars went dark.”

This book was so much more than I expected! It was so good. Really lived up to the hype and I now see why everyone loves it. I went in with decently high expectations, based on how many and how often people rave about it, but I wasn’t expecting to be blown away or anything. Spoiler alert: I was! It was such a beautiful book. Definitely a 4 star read for me. Madeline Miller is also a new author that I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on.

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Book Review: Verity by Colleen Hoover ★★★

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“A writer should never have the audacity to write about themselves unless they’re willing to separate every layer of protection between the author’s soul and their book. The words should come directly from the center of the gut, tearing through flesh and bone as they break free. Ugly and honest and bloody and a little bit terrifying, but completely exposed.”

I had a VERY hard time deciding how to rate this book. On one level it was so engrossing and compulsively readable, creepy, and twisted – really good! But on the other, there were parts of the book that were actively turning me off from it and ruining my enjoyment, namely the characters and their behavior/choices. I was warring between 3.5 or 4 stars and I think in the end, I am going to settle on 3.5 stars.

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Book Review: Crown of Feathers by Nicki PauPreto ★★★

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“In Pyra, death was celebrated as much as life. Only through endings could there be beginnings. That was the lesson of the phoenix, and it was the lesson of my life as well.”

Oof this book was slow going. It was actually a 2/2.5 read for me up until the ending brought it to a 3. It was strange really, because it had an interesting concept and the author could write. She clearly put a lot of time, effort, and research into this book. But my god, it was a slog for the first 300 pages.

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Book Review: In the Sea There are Crocodiles: Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari by Fabio Geda ★★★

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“Everyone (including me) is interested in staying alive, and in order to stay alive we’re willing to do things we don’t like.”

This was a very moving story, packed into a unique, powerful little book. I was fully invested in Enaiatollah Akbari’s account of his youth in Afghanistan, and how his life changed forever when he was forced to leave. The story is very engrossing, however it is a little short and I felt that some more time could have been spent on certain subjects. However, who am I to say how his story should be told? As far as the book itself, I give it 3.5 stars.

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