JOINING #GALLEYATHON + Prompts and My TBR

Hi, friends! I’m so excited to be writing this because I think this readathon is just brilliant for my current predicament. But if you know me, you know that I am a catastrophic disaster when it comes to readathons. I seem to lack the focus and commitment to finish even one full readathon, whether it be a short week or a whole month. With that, I became really skeptical about participating.

However, my NetGalley problem far overpowers my skepticism so here I am now, perusing my NetGalley shelves for my TBR in this readathon.

The Galleyathon is a readathon hosted by Connor and Brooke which focuses on the galleys we requested (and have been approved for) on NetGalley, but never got around to reading yet. This is a week-long readathon, which runs from June 15th up until June 21st. Through this, hopefully I can revive my feedback ratio closer to a hundred percent.

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Book Review: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

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Book Title: Descendant of the Crane
Author: Joan He
Publisher: Albert Whitman Company
Publication Date: April 9th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, dreaming of an unremarkable life. But when her beloved father is found dead, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of a surprisingly unstable kingdom. What’s more, Hesina believes that her father was murdered—and that the killer is someone close to her.

Hesina’s court is packed full of dissemblers and deceivers eager to use the king’s death for political gain, each as plausibly guilty as the next. Her advisers would like her to blame the neighboring kingdom of Kendi’a, whose ruler has been mustering for war. Determined to find her father’s actual killer, Hesina does something desperate: she enlists the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by
death, since magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of Yan at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?


I received an eARC of this book from the author (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review.

MY THOUGHTS

I have no idea where and how to start because I’ve tried writing a review four times already. And none of them seem to give the book justice. So here I am, for the fifth time, attempting to concoct a [somewhat] coherent book review, uncaring if I fail miserably once more because I just need to let everything out, else I might explode.

My bookish friends have been constantly raving about this prior to its release and due to overbearing academic pressure, I wasn’t able to keep up with them. But fast forward a few weeks later, I finally had the chance to read and witness for myself how utterly excellent this really was.

Descendant of the Crane was a never-ending rollercoaster in the form of a beautiful, well-thought out book. Influenced by Chinese culture, I adored the intricacy in this one. Some may think that the slow pacing would put me off, (and normally it would!) but in this case, it just added to a great reading experience. The premise was intriguing enough but the plot twists in this book made the whole plot all the more breathtaking. The mystery was so well-done that I was doubting everybody at one point and I could not put the book down! Like the little mystery fan that I am, I always try to solve the mystery on my own so I take short breaks from reading every now and then to let the story so far sink in and come up with a hypothesis about the case. But just when I thought I knew what was bound to happen in this book, a plot twist would smack me right in the face, upending my theories!

The courtroom spectacle and murder mystery was astounding in itself, but what really tied everything for me is the depth of the main characters’ story. The book didn’t just account the tale of how the death of their king affected The Kingdom of Yan, but it also explores how it stirred each of the main characters’ life. Through this, I really connected with each of them. Hesina, for one, constantly amazes me for she remains headstrong however fragile she is inside. She’s got a heart of gold that would probably be her downfall one day. Akira, on the other hand, is such a cunning and mysterious character; full of depth and I just can’t get enough of him. And, OH MY WORD, don’t even get me started on Lillian and Caiyan. I swear on my life, they will be the end of me. I’m speechless and I just want to go back to the very first page, snatch them and then lock them up in a vault. Now, Sanjing is probably an underrated character here but however hostile he can get, I can still see his lovable, precious side from time to time.

Oh oh OH! Let’s have a moment of appreciation for the fact that the romance in this book wasn’t overpowering, which I appreciate a lot!! I’m glad it wasn’t too fixated on and that it didn’t take the focus away from the main plot.

I’ve grown to love both the world and the people in Descendant of the Crane which made parting with the book that much harder. I was left emotionally unstable for quite a while when I finished this one and I couldn’t even think straight! I haven’t cried in public because of a book for a while now, and this made me bawl like a baby.

If you haven’t read this book yet, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? Please do yourself a favor and go to the nearest bookstore, or better yet, order online (links provided above) for less hassle. This will not disappoint you and every penny you spend will be absolutely worth it. And if you’re one of the lucky people who got swag from the preorder campaign, then swoon with me once more!! THE CHARACTER CARDS AND THE ROSE GOLD BOOKMARK ARE SO GORGEOUS.

Of course, this wouldn’t be possible for me if not for Emily at Literary Edits. I won her 500 followers book giveaway on Twitter! Thank you once again, Emily. 🧡


Have you read Descendant of the Crane? Let’s chat!

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Blog Tour: Rune’s Folly by Garen Glazier [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY]

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Rune_s Folly.jpgBook Title: Rune’s Folly
Author: Garen Glazier
Publication Date: February 5th 2019
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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By day, Tansy McCoy is a florist making charmed bouquets for the citizens of Junonia, capital of the Kingdom of Terranmar. By night, she’s an assassin and the keeper of the Dangerous Garden where deadly blooms grow. Together with the town tailor, butcher, baker, and metalsmith (just don’t call her a candlestick maker), she is part of the Guild, a secret group of spell-wielding thieves and mercenaries. Their task: consolidate all that remains of the realm’s fading magic under the ruthless King Zeno’s control.

Impetuous loner Tansy chafes under her Guild demands. She longs to quit her town and trade and head for the hills. Unfortunately, King Zeno has other plans. He wants to marry off his daughter to Terranmar’s famously reclusive wizard, Rune Hallows, and he’s willing to have the Guild kidnap him to make it happen. Fail to deliver the wizard and the consequences will be swift and deadly.

Reluctant but determined, Tansy sets out on the long journey to faraway Wentletrap and Rune’s desolate tower by the sea. To get there she must cross a swamp full of sinister surprises, battle a werewolf, and outrace a bloodthirsty band of revenants, while she wrestles with her own magical powers that seem to be expanding in unpredictable ways.

But reaching Rune’s tower is only the beginning. When Tansy learns the real reason behind the king’s contest, she’ll need to decide whether to give in to the growing forces of magic ready to reclaim Terranmar or embrace her newfound powers to save the kingdom.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.

MY THOUGHTS

Oh, wow! This book took me by surprise because I didn’t expect to love this one as much as I did. Frankly, I didn’t know I was in the mood for an adventure/fantasy until I picked this one up.

I was reading this nonstop, flipping page by page, that it all suddenly ended right under my nose. And I wasn’t ready for it to end. The history and background of the world is just so interesting that it really pulls the readers in the story. I got so lost in Tansy and Rune’s adventures that it felt like I was there with them.

Aside from the lush world-building though, the characters were one more aspect in the book that I absolutely adored. Tansy, for one, is a great main character. She’s strong-willed, sarcastic (which I always appreciate) and maintains a bravado despite her constant self-doubt and fears. Rune is another character worth mentioning. He’s a powerful wizard who has an air of mystery to him and also has a sense of humor. But as much as I loved the two of them, I would love to get to know more about their ragtag group as well. Although I am a bit skeptical about the strength of their alliance, I think they do make a great team.

The concept of powers in this book was unique. The magic of the people aren’t like the typical ones I usually read about so Rune’s Folly was like a breath of fresh air. The ending wasn’t groundbreaking per se, but it did answer the few questions I had. Although I wish this first book was a little longer, I’m definitely looking forward to what the series has in store for me.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Garen.jpgI have always called Seattle home and find the perpetual gloom to be a wonderful writing ally. I like coffee shops, bookstores, dancing in my living room and singing in my car. The opening scene of Up makes me cry. Three Amigos makes me laugh. Fashion magazines, croissants, and long, long baths are my guilty pleasures. They might occur separately or together. I prefer boxing classes to yoga, and I get some of my best ideas when I’m running. I loved school and spent more time than one really should getting a business degree in marketing and a master’s in art history. In an ideal world I’d go to bed at 2am and wake up at 10am. I’ve never been an early bird, and I feel strongly that alarm clocks kill dreams.

Learn more at garenglazier.com.

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GIVEAWAY

2x signed copies of Rune’s Folly (US/CAN)

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Blog Tour: Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY]

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SmokeAndKey_1600x2400.jpgBook Title: Smoke and Key
Author: Kelsey Sutton
Published by: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: April 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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A sound awakens her. There’s darkness all around. And then she’s falling…

She has no idea who or where she is. Or why she’s dead. The only clue to her identity hangs around her neck: a single rusted key. This is how she and the others receive their names–from whatever belongings they had when they fell out of their graves. Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it.

She need help, but who can she trust? Ribbon seems content in Under, uninterested in finding answers. Doll’s silence hints at deep sorrow, which could be why she doesn’t utter a word. There’s Smoke, the boy with a fierceness that rivals even the living. And Journal, who stay apart from everyone else. Key’s instincts tell her there is something remarkable about each of them, even if she can’t remember why.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.

MY THOUGHTS

Holy cow, this was fantastic! I know I say that often about books, but this really was a spectacular read. I even doubt I’ll be able to give the book justice by this review, but here’s to trying anyway…

Set in the mysterious place called Under, Key tries to uncover the truth about why she’s fallen out of her grave and, more importantly, who she really is. Because all her memories are gone, and so are those of the other undead there. I love the mystery itself in this one. It was so mind-boggling since readers’ knowledge are limited to what Key witnesses. Also, considering the fact that everyone in Under doesn’t have memories as well just adds to the thrill!

The main character wasn’t that interesting but the whole concept of the book absolutely won me over. I wouldn’t normally enjoy books that have boring MCs but I was surprised to have loved this. It was so engaging to find out more about the past, the place and how everyone got to be in Under. The backstory wasn’t what I expected, but it certainly was fantastic nonetheless!

Unique and exhilarating, Smoke and Key really deserves 5-star ratings. I could not put this book down!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

kelsey sutton.jpgKelsey Sutton is a young adult and middle grade author. She lives in Minnesota, where she received a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Bemidji State University. She will soon have a master’s degree from Hamline University. Her work has received an Independent Publisher Book Award, an IndieFab Award, and was selected as a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013. When not writing, Kelsey can be found watching too much Netflix, ordering a mocha at the nearest coffee shop, or browsing a bookstore. You can visit her online at http://www.kelseysuttonbooks.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


GIVEAWAY

Win a prize pack (signed copy of Smoke and Key and a key necklace–a $20 gift card will be substituted if the winner is international)

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: The Pretender by Katie Ward [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY]

Book Title: The Pretender
Author: Katie Ward
Series: None (Standalone)
Publication Date: September 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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In rural France, two babies are born just two hours apart but to two very different lives. Isabella is born as a Princess into a life of opulence and love while Sophia is born into a life of poverty and abuse at the hands of her father. ‘The Pretender’ follows the journey of Isabella and Sophia as their paths cross and after discovering how alike they look, they decide to switch places with each other. Sophia is seeking sanctuary from her abusive home while Isabella is seeking freedom from the tightening burden of her Royal title.‘The Pretender’ is a story of friendship, love and the strange power of destiny.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.

MY THOUGHTS

*Just to let you know, this book touched up on themes of abuse.*

This is such a heartwarming read that it got me turning the pages constantly! With a more young adult twist on the classic The Prince and the Pauper, this book is absolutely charming.

The story started off interestingly with the horrific childhood of Sophia. I sympathize for her deeply as the abuse she put up with was entirely too much, especially for a child at such a young age. Yet, despite that, she shouldered on and continued to be the kind person that she is, so I admire her for that.

On the other hand, there’s Princess Isabella, privileged with a royal title yet shackled by the restraints that it holds, all she wants is to experience life unfettered. Her strong personality is what I love most about her. She is willing to take huge risks just to pursue the direction she set her heart into.

I really enjoyed reading The Pretender as I have a soft spot for royalty. This one also gives profound life realizations that may or may not have dawned on you before. I love that reading this book doesn’t just entail leisure but it provides an essential takeaway to its readers as well.

Overall, I recommend you try this one out, especially if you’re a fan of retellings!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katie Ward always knew that she wanted to write for a living. After completing a degree in Journalism at theUniversity for the Creative Arts in Farnham, she moved to Dublin. While there, she had a short story publishedin an anthology titled Do the WriteThing which was part of a competition being run by Irish TV show Seoigeand O’Shea. This story was originally written when Katie was 14 after she was inspired by an article in herfavourite teen magazine. The anthology reached the Irish Bestsellers List. Katie was also shortlisted for acompetition judged by Man Booker Prize-winning author Roddy Doyle a few months later.The Pretender is her first Young Adult novel.

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GIVEAWAY

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 a Rafflecopter giveaway