book review: wicked saints by emily a. duncan

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
Wednesday Books, 400 pp.
Published April 2, 2019

DISCLAIMER: I received a free eARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley for review purposes. This did not inform or influence my opinion in any way.

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

book review: empress of all seasons by emiko jean

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean
HMH Books for Young Readers, 384 pp.
Published November 6, 2018

Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace’s enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete—all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy.

Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren't hiding a dangerous secret. Mari is a yōkai with the ability to transform into a terrifying monster. If discovered, her life will be forfeit. As she struggles to keep her true identity hidden, Mari’s fate collides with that of Taro, the prince who has no desire to inherit the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human, half-yōkai outcast.

Torn between duty and love, loyalty and betrayal, vengeance and forgiveness, the choices of Mari, Taro, and Akira will decide the fate of Honoku in this beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat YA fantasy.

book review: the waking forest by alyssa wees

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees
Delacorte, 304 pp.
Published March 12, 2019

DISCLAIMER: I received a free physical ARC of this title from the publisher for review purposes. This did not inform or influence my opinion in any way.

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

book review: four dead queens by astrid scholte

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 432 pp.
Published February 26, 2019

DISCLAIMER: I received a free physical ARC of this title from the publisher via BookishFirst for review purposes. This did not inform or influence my opinion in any way.

Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but she's, in fact, one of Quadara's most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara's most enlightened region, Eonia. He runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie both find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara's queens dead.

With no other choices and on the run from Keralie's former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation's four dead queens.

book review: enchantée by gita trelease

Enchantée by Gita Trelease
Flatiron Books, 464 pp.
Published February 5, 2019

DISCLAIMER: I received a free manuscript of this title from the publisher for review purposes. This did not inform or influence my opinion in any way.


When smallpox kills her parents, seventeen-year-old Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic--la magie ordinaire--Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won't hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family's savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With the dark magic she learned from her mother, Camille transforms herself into 'the Baroness de la Fontaine' and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. Her resentment of the rich at odds with the allure of glamour and excess, Camille is astonished to find that her would-be suitor Lazare, a handsome young inventor whom she thought shared her dreams of liberty, is also living a double life.

As the Baroness de la Fontaine, Camille gambles at cards and flirts, desperate to maintain her place at court and keep herself and her sister off the streets. But la magie has its costs. When a scheming courtier blackmails her and Lazare's affections shift, Camille loses control of her secrets. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose--love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, reality or la magie--before Paris burns.

sunday post #41

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer. It's a chance to recap posts from the past week and tease upcoming content, as well as share new books, reading challenge progress, and anything else you've come across in the last seven days.

This week marks my last five days at my soon-to-be-former job — yay! My supervisor actually "forgot" that the 11th was my last day...despite getting almost a month's notice. He tried to talk me into staying on until the end of the month, apparently not fully understanding the concept of taking a full-time, salaried position somewhere else. The whole conversation just makes me so much more grateful to be moving on to a company and a position that are much better suited to where I am professionally and personally.

My New Year's Eve was spent quietly at home, watching masterclass episodes of the Great British Baking Show. I'm slowly getting back into the swing of my hobbies, specifically reading and watching movies in my spare time, rather than aimlessly watching the same YouTube channels again and again. It feels good to have the motivation and presence of mind to want to spend my free time in a more structured way (although I'll never knock vegging out from time to time!). This is also the third year I'm participating in Yoga With Adriene's 30 Days of Yoga challenge; after several weeks away from the mat some muscles are definitely in protest, but I love the feeling of practicing again. I don't have any specific goals for the monthly challenge, or my yoga practice going forward, but I am hoping to rebuild a little bit of strength and introduce a little more calm into my days :)