Review: Kingsbane – Claire Legrand

Review: Kingsbane – Claire LegrandKingsbane by Claire Legrand
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: May 21, 2019
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In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller Furyborn, two queens, separated by a thousand years, connected by secrets and lies, must continue their fight amid deadly plots and unthinkable betrayals that will test their strength―and their hearts.

Rielle Dardenne has been anointed Sun Queen, but her trials are far from over. The Gate keeping the angels at bay is falling. To repair it, Rielle must collect the seven hidden castings of the saints. Meanwhile, to help her prince and love Audric protect Celdaria, Rielle must spy on the angel Corien―but his promises of freedom and power may prove too tempting to resist.

Centuries later, Eliana Ferracora grapples with her new reality: She is the Sun Queen, humanity's long-awaited savior. But fear of corruption―fear of becoming another Rielle―keeps Eliana's power dangerous and unpredictable. Hunted by all, racing against time to save her dying friend Navi, Eliana must decide how to wear a crown she never wanted―by embracing her mother's power, or rejecting it forever.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Finding a way to review Kingsbane is basically impossible. First and foremost this book almost killed me. Not because it is almost 600 pages (those big books can be dangerous!!!) but because it took all my emotions and threw them in a blender and then tried to make me choke on them. I know, I know, it sounds dramatic, but trust me, it’s not. I was terrified to finish Kingsbane. So much so that it took me a solid month to read it. I was scared where Claire would leave off and when all is said and done, I was right to be afraid. This book took me on an emotional roller coaster and the ride still is not done.

I honestly have no idea what to say about this book. I’m still kind of broken by the whole ordeal. Kingsbane picks up right where Furyborn left off and it doesn’t slow down. Eliana and Rielle are both fighting a war centuries apart and the decisions they make will in some way affect the other.  Both women are on their own journeys and trying to find a way. Rielle thinks she knows what she is supposed to do and what side she is on, but she has forces working against her. Eliana on the other hand just learned her role in this sordid story and is grappling what that means to her and for her family and friends around her. Every decision these women make has repercussions and consequences and you can feel that with every turn of the page.

The truth for me with Kingsbane is I was more invested in Eliana’s story. Don’t get me wrong, Rielle has a great story and I really think it is going to hit its stride in book 3, but for me, Kingsbane was about Eliana. Her world was the one that changed the most. She had the rug pulled out from under her and was left to pick up the pieces and figure it all out which relying on people she was just learning to trust. Plus I really love all of her supporting characters more than Rielle’s (minus Audric). But the thing about Eliana’s story is I have no idea where it is going. Rielle you know because it is in the past so you have a road map, but Eliana you have no idea what is coming and how it will all go down.

Without saying too much, this book was amazing. There was a twist that took place that I am still reeling from. Did I love it as much as Furyborn? No. That book was super special to me. But I did think it was awesome. It set up everything that will go down in book 3 to perfection and I personally cannot wait to see how it all ends…if the wait doesn’t kill me first that is. Definitely, a series that needs to be read.

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New to Me – June Voting

In 2018 I had the idea to have readers and friends read my favorite books from years past. I had 20+ amazing people sign up and read some of my all-time favorite books. They took the time out of their busy lives and reading schedules and read books I love and shared what they thought on my blog. It was a lot of fun and I got to see some new takes on old favorites. It actually was a fun experience. If you are interested in the reviews HERE.

This year I decided to give back in a way and asked everyone that signed up to tell me their favorite book (that I have not read) because in 2019 it is time to do NEW TO ME.


Last month I had you all vote on what I should read. The most ever, 34 of you, voted. Three books were in a very tight race. For a while, I thought one was going to win but at the last minute, a darkhorse crossed the finish line first. My May New to Me book:


Now it is your time to vote again and pick the book I will read in June. You have until 5/24/19 to get your vote in and tell me what book I should read next!

Create your own user feedback survey

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Review: Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

Review: Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuistonRed, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Published: May 14, 2019
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A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

When a book has a lot of hype I tend to stay away from it until the hype has died down. It is a method that has worked for me in the past and I usually stick with it. But after the 5th person told me I needed to read Red, White and Royal Blue immediately, I went against my norm and went with the crowd. And as much I hate saying it, the hype was real for this one and it was 100% warranted. This book was beyond amazing and fantastic and all those perfect adjectives you can think of. It was perfection in a book.

Red, White and Royal Blue is the story of Alex, the first son of the United States, and Henry, the Prince of Wales. Alex has hated everything about Henry for a long time and when that hate comes to blows at a Royal Wedding damage control needs to take place. The plan is perfect. Henry and Alex will save face by doing one simple thing, pretend to be best friends. But for these two nothing is ever simple, especially when feelings get added to the mix.

First and foremost, Red, White and Royal Blue is so much more than a love story and I think that is why I loved it. It is a story of finding out who you are and a story of acceptance, of yourself and by others. It’s a story of putting aside what is expected of you and just being you. Alex and Henry do not have easy lives and this unexpected romance complicates them even more. But through it all, they managed. And they managed to make me laugh and cry and swoon right along with them.

It is so hard to review a book you loved as much as I loved Red, White and Royal Blue. Finding words feel impossible. I want to tell you everything that I loved but I want to leave the mystery for you too. I want you to be able to feel what I felt when I read it the first time. The one thing I can leave you with though… I want to live in the world that Casey McQuiston has created.

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Review: Finale-Stephanie Garber

Review: Finale-Stephanie GarberFinale by Stephanie Garber
Published by Flatiron Books
Published: May 7, 2019
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Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

Welcome, welcome to Caraval...all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win...and those who will lose everything. . .

The final book in a series always, always worries me. I get so invested in the characters and the story and have an idea in my head how I want it to end. Sometimes I am let down because my idea doesn’t happen and sometimes I am blown away because it doesn’t end how I expected at all and it is utterly perfect. It never fails though, final books make me anxious but they also make me extremely excited because I get to see how it all wraps up.

Since I read Caravel in 2016 I was sucked into the world Stephanie Garber created. Between the setting and the characters, I was enthralled. Garber gave us something that felt magical and enchanting. It felt new and fresh and I was so excited to see what kind of journey we were in for. And then I read Legendary and I was blown away by it even more. Book two in the series took everything I loved in book 1 and made it amazing. This left me dying for Finale. I couldn’t wait to see how it all ends and what the fate of my favorite charters would be. And although it wasn’t my favorite of the series, it was a satisfying ending for a trilogy that captivated me from the start.

I think my issue was that I love Tella so much more than I love Scarlett so I found myself not really caring what was going on in Scarlett’s world. I wanted to see what would be Tella’s story, especially after the events of Legendary. I wanted to know where her story was going. And believe me I understand that Scarlett is a part of Tella’s story, but there was just something about her that I didn’t love. All in all, though I loved how everything played out and how each girl’s story ended. It seemed fitting and it seemed right.

I don’t want to give too much away, but definitely a series I would recommend and a world I will miss.

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Review: The Bride Test – Helen Hoang

Review: The Bride Test – Helen HoangThe Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Published by Berkley
Published: May 7, 2019
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Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Since finishing The Kiss Quotient I was dying for Helen Hoang to release a new book. I had loved her writing style so much and I wanted more from her. When I heard about The Bride Test and that it would be Khai’s book I was pretty excited. We only got a small snippet of him in the first book. I was curious about him and wanted to know more, especially after hearing load about his mother from Quan. I was pleasantly surprised not by how much I enjoyed it, but by the humor I found in it and the journey of the characters.

As I mentioned, The Bride Test is the story of Khai, the brother of Quan (from The Kiss Quotient) that has autism. Khai tends to keep to himself believing he can’t feel anything so there is no point in trying. His mother, on the other hand, knows there is a girl out there for him so she takes matters into her own hands and finds Esme in Vietnam and brings her to Khai. Soon Khai and Esme are living together and both completely out of their comfort zones and trying to navigate what is going on between. While one is falling, the other is uncertain. If he feels anything. But with a little push and some guidance they may actually be a perfect match.

Truly this book was a joy to read. I loved the interactions with Khai and Esme. They were so awkward and charming at the same time. They made you want to root for them because they were so uncertain of each other and of their feelings for one another. Every one of their interactions made me either cringe from the awkwardness of the two of them or laugh from their awkwardness. There was never a dull moment with these two seemingly opposites that were really a great fit for one another.

To be honest, I knew going into The Bride Test that there was no way for it to top The Kiss Quotient (there was something magically perfect about that book) and that was okay with me. What I did get though was a fantastic follow-up that left me craving more from the mind of Helen Hoang and all of these fantastic characters I have grown to love. Now bring on Quan’s book!

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