To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (Book Review)

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Page Count: 368

Before starting this review, I want to give a huge shout out to Ari @The Romance Corner Blog because To Kill a Kingdom was one of the books I won in her giveaway. I rarely win those, so when she messaged me I was over the moon (and looking at the two books that came my way and that I absolutely love, I still am over the moon now) and she deserves all the thanks for making this happen. And second, I also want to thank Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books for being my buddy reader for this adventure. Don’t forget to check out those lovely ladies’ blogs and to keep a lookout for Marie’s own review of the book.

Sooo, that was a lot of unrelated preface for my review. I am trying my best not to simply scream at you that I loved the book. However, from the get go, it had everything I liked in a story. Sirens, pirates and the cold ruthlessness and beauty of the ocean. I know that to Kill a Kingdom is a sort of retelling of the Little Mermaid, but I really didn’t have a hard time separating those two stories. First of all, Lira is a siren and there is a vast difference between sirens and mermaids in the book (SO appreciated that!! You know how fuzzy I get about those two getting mixed up together). And then I feel like the story just had a completely different vibe.

The descriptions were whimsical and dark. There was so much murder and ripping out of hearts in the beginning, I reveled in it and knowing what was about to come. We tried to pace ourselves, but at some point I just couldn’t stop reading anymore. I needed to know how long Lira could keep up her ruse, who’s hearts would be broken and who would survive the wrath of the evil Sea Queen. I wouldn’t claim that the book was entirely unpredictable, but it still kept you on your toes, with some cruel chapter-cliffhangers but an amazing conclusion in the end.

While I loved reading both Lira and Elian’s POVs, I think I can consider Lira being one of my new idols now. Her change was gradual and comprehensible, I loved how she discovered humanity and grappled to come to terms with siren-hood at the same time. Her hate-to-love-story with Elian never really seemed forced or suddenly uncharacteristically mushy, but rather involved daggers, fights and bickering that seemed true to their nature and was a lot of fun to read. The only thing I quarrel with a bit is the fact that Elian calls himself a pirate. He is a prince, a diplomat wherever he goes, and I don’t think he has ever plundered a ship? How can he be a pirate? I guess he may have taken the bounty of other pirate ships, but that’s just like him executing the law? To me he was a sailor and not so much a pirate …

I didn’t just love the main characters, but I also really fell for some of the side characters (mainly people from the crew, but not only). There was something about the style of writing that just made it really easy to picture everyone and every place. I would want nothing more than to travel through those kingdoms during a time of peace, as it sounds absolutely beautiful.

I hope that some of my rambles actually made sense, but most of all that my excitement and love for this story swept over to you. At some point during our buddy read, I was reminded of a picture of an actress I really adore and it just screamed Lira at me. I know that everyone pictures characters differently, but I couldn’t end this post without sharing it with you!

Doesn’t she just look like someone who could rip out your heart? And she definitely has pirate vibes too!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Whenever anyone will ask me for a Fantasy recommendation in the near future, this will inevitably come up!

Did you read To Kill a Kingdom? Do you want to? Let’s talk about it!

 

Romance Fails in Fiction Tag

So, last week I talked about some of my favourite ships (you can check out that post here), but peoples, sometimes ships also gloriously fail. That’s why I am here today to do the Romance Fails in Fiction Tag, which the Orang-utan Librarian tagged me for. It’s going to be fun! (Hopefully …)

THE RULES

  • Please PINGBACK to Kate @ Melting Pots and Other Calamities.
  • You can choose ten romance fails from ANY media you like: books, movies, anime, manga, T.V shows, or Webtoons. You can even mix them up if you want.
  • You can choose funny fails or serious ones; for the serious ones, phrase it humorously. Remember, this is a fun tag! It’s not meant to be serious.
  • Mention who’s who in the fails. (I.E, who fails and who is the recipient of the failure). If there isn’t  recipient, per se, just state the couple (or non-couple).
  • Optional: Rank the failures from least extreme to most extreme.
  • 5 failures at LEAST.
  • Tag as many people as you want, but at least one person.

THE SHIPWRECKS

Mindy/Ben (The Mindy Project)

I don’t know who finished the Mindy Project, but the whole Mindy-Ben-marriage was a vast disappointment for me. What was the point of the whole thing? Thinking about it, they managed to butcher every good option for Mindy out there, when in reality Mindy needs no man. Anyway, they turned Casey into a douche, they really messed up Danny and then they just handed Ben to her. Ben is the uber-nice guy – Mr. Perfect … just not for Mindy? There was no chemistry there and I know Mindy needed to get over the notion of marriage being her end goal, but still … ugh …

Katniss/Gale (The Hunger Games)

We’ve gone through this like a 13823948 times. They were flirty friends, but they were never supposed to be a thing. Heck, at this point I am not even sure Katniss is supposed to be with Peeta. Can someone let that girl just have platonic love?

Lizzie/Thomas Shelby (Peaky Blinders)

Okay … sooo … I love Lizzie. In her own way, she is family but sometimes the show really missed crucial parts of her history? I still don’t know when she went from sleeping with Tommy, to loving John and then back to really loving Tommy and basically being the unofficial Ms. Thomas Shelby without probably ever being it for real. I am afraid this will only make sense to people who watched the show.

Liam/Kathryn (The Royals)

It was like a car crash happening right in front of my eyes. I know The Royals thrives on drama, but that whole storyline (plus the fight for the throne) really ruined Liam for me?

Klaus/Camille (The Originals)

The moment Cami appeared on screen, I thought she looked and felt like a carbon copy of Caroline and I stand by that opinion to this day (they don’t just look alike, they also have similar names). That made it impossible for me to ever truly see her as a real option for Klaus. Also, everyone treated her like a saint when she really wasn’t one. I am not heartless, her exiting the show was sad, but not because I cared for her character, but because of what that meant to Klaus.

Clara/Danny Pink (Doctor Who)

Look, I thought they were cute in the beginning, but that was when I still believed he could be the new Rory. However, Danny Pink was never going to be a longterm installment of Clara’s life. He didn’t accept her for who she was and all he left her with was a lot of plot holes (*cough* Orson Pink *cough*).

I TAG THEE

So, I couldn’t come up with 10 picks, but what do you think? What are some romances that have failed hard?

Soul Ripping Romance Tag

Love is in the air! May it be the slow building romance or a whirlwind affair, many ships can evoke all kinds of feelings in us. So, I want to thank Sophie @Blame Chocolate for tagging me in this wonderful Soul Ripping Romance Tag! I always enjoy talking about my ships and I really hope I could make it a good mix for you all.

THE RULES

  • Thank the person who tagged you and create a pingback to the original author – Nel at Reactionary Tales.
  • Share at least 5 (but more are welcome) romances that tugged your heart strings. They can be from books, movies, TV shows, manga; anything you can think of! They can be examples of sad tears, angry tears, happy tears or a combination of all three.
  • Nominate 5 (or more) people to share their emotional traumas
  • (Note: Try not to spoil the story for your readers in case they would like to check out these romances on their own)

MY SHIPS

Kaz & Inej (Six of Crows)

(Source)

For a couple that barely touches in the entire duology, they are just so precious and gave me all the feels. There’s background, history and development there and I just love them so much.

Waverly & Nicole Haught (Wynonna Earp)

No one is as precious as WayHaught! Their awkward getting-to-know-each-other phase was everything and they are one of the most lovable couples out there. Definitely always happy tears with them!

Karen & Frank (The Punisher)

Karen and Frank are some of the most frustrating people out there. They CLEARLY have feelings for one another, they protect each other and now they just need to act on those feelings. Pretty please!

Kasia & Dyson (Arcadia)

No one said I couldn’t use my own couple, right? Kasia and Dyson are my babies and they have made me laugh and cry and scream in frustration. I just really want to get their story right. (You can read all about Arcadia here!)

Abbie & Sam (Irreplaceable You)

If you know anything about the premise of this movie, you will understand that I ugly cried through at least half of it.

Elio & Oliver (Call Me By Your Name)

I still haven’t watched the movie, but the book was beyond beautiful and sad and tragic and raw and real. I just have to reread certain paragraphs and it will immediately open the floodgates. “I remember everything.”

I TAG THEE

I hope you enjoyed this little tag! What are your thoughts? What are some ships and fictional couples you can get behind?

 

Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (eARC Review)

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Page Count
: 288
Publishing Date: June 6, 2017

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

This beautiful tale, told in the alternating POVs of former friends Rachel and Henry, was simply EVERYTHING I could have hoped for. I wept through the majority of it and by the end, I  was simply in love with the book.

Words in Deep Blue is a love story, but it’s also about loss and grief. It’s about family and time. It’s about all the things we might not appreciate enough while we have them. And it’s a story that will have you falling in love with books all over again. There are countless references to classics as well as contemporary fiction. I am a person who always keeps her books in meticulous condition, but this made me want to write in the margins, underline quotes I saw myself in and write letters to strangers. The fact that it’s written not only in prose, but that we also get to see some of the letters and notes that are exchanged and where they are left is something I simply adored.

It was so easy to connect to the characters, even the secondary ones. They are not perfect, sometimes even flawed to a point where I would call them immature, but they are incredibly real. Their feelings were all out there and you were with them each step of the way. I just wanted to hug them, comfort them, cry with them or point them in the right direction.

In addition to everything I’ve already mentioned, the secondhand-bookstore setting is the perfect place for every bookworm out there. It almost felt like a character in itself, because it had so much life in itself. So much history. I would gladly pick up any future book Cath Crowley will write and for the record, I really want a Letter Library in my most frequented bookstores.

Fazit: 5/5 stars! I just want to buy this book a dozen times, write letters and leave them for strangers to be found.

Are you interested in reading Words In Deep Blue? Have you heard of it before?

Cover Reveal: Player by M.L. Sparrow

Some of you may remember my review of Ghetto by M.L. Sparrow from not too long ago. I really enjoyed that book and was happen when she contacted me about her new book Player, a New Adult Contemporary Romance in her upcoming series What Happens on Campus series. Now, I am not known for reading NA a lot, but I do want to get into it a little more and I completely love it when authors aren’t afraid to venture out into different genres. I haven’t read the book yet, because I want to review it closer to its release date on September 1st, but I am definitely intrigued by what I know so far!

You may wonder what Player is actually about, but don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here’s the blurb:

Let the game begin…

After a tragic accident which leaves her tormented by guilt, Chloe Newman accepts a scholarship to study a St. Joseph’s University. Traveling from England to Texas, the last thing she expects is to meet the schools charming quarterback on her first night. However, Parker Mitchell is a player both on and off the field.

Parker is immediately fascinated by Chloe and, after a rocky start, they manage to find a way to make their relationship work despite interference from others on campus, including Parker’s jealous ex, and the ghosts that haunt Chloe’s conscience. But, the real test comes when they visit Parker’s family over Christmas break and he finds himself being pulled back into their lifestyle…

Now, without further ado – the cover:

(for Amazon upload) ebook cover - Player

Amazon | Goodreads

I think it looks edgy and definitely has the Football vibe down. Obviously … because there is an actual Football on it. But I have to say that was part of the reason I wanted to pick up Player. It seems like I enjoy myself some athletic guys in my NA.

If you want to know more about the author and her books, you can visit M.L. Sparrow‘s website by clicking here.

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Tell me, what do you think? Are you interested in picking up this book?

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Book Review)

mby

Publisher: Penguin
Page Count
: 448

There is so much hype around this book and there has been for a while, but I feel it has intensified ever since the Trailer for the movie came out. It’s as if that had been the final nudge for all the people out there who hadn’t read the book yet, including me, Cátia and Cristina as we once again attempted a buddy read together.

I was prepared with some tissues by my side and quite honestly a little surprised when it turned out to be a really easy and fast paced read. Lou’s voice is relatable and the few chapters that were thrown in from different POVs were a nice change as well, even if they weren’t always strictly necessary. I enjoyed it right from the beginning, the only thing that kept nagging me were basically all the side characters except for Nathan. I was able to get and even like some of them more by the end, but overall they were a selfish and nonsupporting lot.

The book gets more difficult as you get from page to page, asking some tough questions you will probably be glad not to have to answer for real. When I finished Me Before You, I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest, however, I did NOT cry all that much and here’s why:

Lou’s and Will’s story is heartbreaking. There is no denying that. You get to see their relationship develop over time and you want them to be happy. But the thing is, their life will never be sunshine and rainbows and glitter bombs, that’s just not how it is. And even though you might wish for it to turn out differently in the end, a part of you always knew what this whole story would lead to. So, I shed that single tear when it was over, but I also recognised what the story was about – being granted the right to make your own choices. Something that, in my opinion, many people take for granted these days. It also encourages one to live boldly, a message that I always appreciate and try to embrace as much as possible.

Finally, I am glad I picked up the book before going to watch the movie. It looks great from the Trailer and as if they stuck really close to the original story, but I am still struggling with some of the casting (not Lou and Will – they look awesomepants!). I bet it will be fun either way and not only because of the bumblebee tights moment!

4stars

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A story that will target your heart viciously with main characters that are compelling until the final page.

Have you read Me Before You? Are you excited for the movie? How many packs of tissues did you need?

Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers (Book Review)

tonedeafHis world is music. Her world is silent.
Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retired cop fighting his own demons, and the bruises are getting harder to hide.
When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she’s swept back into the world of music. Jace Beckett, the nineteen-year-old lead singer of the band, has a reputation. He’s a jerk and a player, and Ali wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to Jace than the tabloids let on. When Jace notices Ali’s bruises and offers to help her escape to New York, Ali can’t turn down the chance at freedom and a fresh start. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nationwide tour. With the help of Jace, Ali sets out to reboot her life and rediscover the music she once loved.

Publishing Date: May 3, 2016
Page Count:
 310

**I was provided with a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review!**

When I find out about a book, I read the blurb, but to be honest I mostly only skim over it. That often leads to me being way more surprised about what happens than I would have been if I had read the summary in detail – this is basically what happened with Tone Deaf! I only knew it was about a former musical prodigy turned deaf and a boy from a band and that I wanted to read it. So, I don’t even want to talk about the content all that much, I want you to find out what it is about yourself. I can only say that it was funny, more intense than I thought and really heartfelt.

The thing I was most intrigued about was how language would work. Dialogue is such an important part of the books I read and I didn’t quite know how it would be executed here. I can only say that Olivia Rivers did it perfectly! ASL is a language of it’s own, comprised of a different kind of vocabulary, but it was incorporated in a way that made sense to me.

Also, Ali, the main character, was great at reading lips but it was also made clear that she couldn’t just follow any conversation, especially not if people talked quickly or turned their face away from her. Tone Deaf also worked with texts and even Twitter, so I thought that was such a clever way to incorporate modern day technology into the story.

I tore through the book within two days and I think I would have made it in one if it hadn’t been for work. The thing that made the book so enjoyable were the characters – they simply felt real! And I am not even talking about the main characters only. Arrow, Killer and Jon (the bandmates) are some of my new favourite people, even though I wish Jon had gotten some more page time. And I would definitely love a dog like Cuddles!
Also, the romance between Ali and Jace was lovely. Yes, they were physically attracted to each other even when they didn’t like one another, but their connection was something way deeper. And I honestly think that they could never find that with anyone else.

If I had to complain about something in this book, there really isn’t much I can find. However, I did not like that Jace didn’t appreciate his fans or how the storyline fit together a bit too conveniently sometimes, but those were minor details. Jace definitely struggled with a lot of things and I just have a feeling that he couldn’t fully glory in the love of his fans, because deep down he still felt broken and not like he deserved it. I am going to keep telling myself that in order to not see him as a jerk so much.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! A super sweet read about taking your life into your own hands, while realising that there is no shame in accepting help. Also, definite plus for the Doctor Who references!

5stars

Are you interested in reading this book? Have you heard of it before? Have you ever read a book about a deaf MC?