Book Review: Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin ★★★★

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“I-I’ve never seen anyone savor anything the way you do everything. You make me feel alive. Just being in your presence – it’s addictive. You’re addictive . . . The way you see the world . . . I want to see it that way too.”

I had an inkling I would like this book, but I wasn’t 100% sure, based on all of the mixed reviews I kept seeing. Granted, most of the negative reviews were talking about problematic elements and I, being someone that doesn’t give a hoot if a book is “problematic,” was still very much interested in reading it. And guess what guys?? I freaking loveddddddddd ittttttt. This was the first book in SO LONG that kept me up until almost 3 AM on a work night, just so I could keep reading. It was fabulous and I have already purchased myself a permanent copy 😏. So begone haters!

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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: 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: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik ★★★★

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“Of course I was afraid. But I had learned to fear other things more: being despised, whittled down one small piece of myself at a time, smirked at and taken advantage of. I put my chin up and said, as cold as I could be in answer, “And what will you give me in return?”

Oh I lovedddd this one! It was brilliantly written, atmospheric, lush, dark, whimsical, and full of wonderful characters. It was not quite up there with Novik’s other book, Uprooted, which I adored, but it was very very good! Some spoilers below!

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Book Review: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden ★★★★

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“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet.”

This was a fantastic second installment of the Winternight Trilogy! I really liked the new story and characters we were introduced to, and the new details we were given about familiar characters. The scope of the novel got quite a bit bigger, too, which was really enjoyable to read. I was a big fan!

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Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden ★★★★

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“All my life,” she said, “I have been told ‘go’ and ‘come.’ I am told how I will live, and I am told how I must die. I must be a man’s servant and a mare for his pleasure, or I must hide myself behind walls and surrender my flesh to a cold, silent god. I would walk into the jaws of hell itself, if it were a path of my own choosing. I would rather die tomorrow in the forest than live a hundred years of the life appointed me.”

Ayyy another 4 star book!! I am loving this streak!

This book has been on my radar for a long time now, since it came out just about, and I was so excited to finally get around to reading it. And for a bargain price of $5, no less! It is a beautiful hardcover copy with deckled edges, so I was very very happy about that. And, to top it all off, the book was freaking awesome! I loved the writing here, the story, the mythology. It was very well done and definitely a 4 star read for me.

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Book Review: The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows ★★★★

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“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.”

Whew! Well if that ain’t the longest title of all time 😆. Keeping that straight is going to be the most difficult part of the review!

So, I really liked this book! It was not quite what I was expecting to read (in a good way) and I enjoyed the unusual format, as well. Overall, it was very enjoyable, informative, and I loved the tone (parts of it were surprisingly hilarious!).

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Book Review: The Lost Sisters by Holly Black ★★★★

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“I never thought it would come to anything bad for anyone but me.”

This was such a pleasant surprise!!!! I had no idea that this novella even existed and then I just stumbled across it on accident. Of course, I downloaded and read it right away (it’s only about 50 pages, after all). Anything to fill the void left by The Cruel Prince! And it was good! I loved this little story, which is crafted as a letter from Taryn to Jude, because it offers so much more insight into Taryn’s character and gives the reader a new perspective to consider during the events of The Cruel Prince.

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Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern ★★★★

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“You think, as you walk away from Le Cirque des Rêves and into the creeping dawn, that you felt more awake within the confines of the circus.
You are no longer quite certain which side of the fence is the dream.”

Oooo guys. I loved this book! It was honestly gorgeous in every way. I know, I know. I’m pretty late to the game here, but I gotta be straight with ya; I did not expect this book to be so good! It has been sitting on my shelf for years and I just never got around to reading it. I kept putting it off do to my rather lackluster attitude toward circus books (I blame Water for Elephants for that 👎). But, I quickly discovered that the circus here is more of a magic show, complete with real magicians and illusionists. Did you ever see the movies The Prestige or The Illusionist? It’s more like that, which is so much cooler!! I cannot stress enough that, if like me, you foolishly neglected to read this book, you need to do so right now!

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Book Review: The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon ★★★★

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“Perhaps her mind would go on flexing psychic muscles that no longer existed; would be betrayed and mocked by a phantom self as the amputee is by a phantom limb. Someday she might replace whatever of her had gone away by some prosthetic device, a dress of a certain color, a phrase in a letter, another lover.” 

I finally got around to reading this book and I am so glad I did! Don’t you just love the feeling of finally being able to move a book from your TBR pile to your read shelf? Mmm it’s a good one. That being said, this was a bit of a difficult book to review. While only being about 150 pages, this little novel was chock full of dense language, insane conspiracies, crazy characters, and nonsensical dialogue. So, basically, it had all of the characteristics that I love about a satirical, postmodern, meta social commentary, parody fest. Woo!

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