Spin the Dawn (The Blood of the Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim – #BookReview

Goodreads: Spin the Dawn (The Blood of the Stars #1)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Diverse Reads
Panda Rating:

A gifted tailor in disguise.
Three legendary dresses.
The competition if a lifetime.

On the fringes if the Great Spice Road, Maia Tamarin works as a seamstress in the shop of her father, once a tailor of renown. She dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for us to marry well.

When a royal messenger summons her ailing father to court, Maia poses as his son and travels to the Summer Palace in his place. She know she her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to save her family from ruin and achieve her dream of becoming the imperial tailor. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

The competition is cutthroat, and Maia’s job is further complicated by the unwelcome attention of the court enchanter, Edan, who seems to see straight through her disguise. But nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three gowns so dangerously beautiful, it will take a quest to the ends of the earth to complete them…

Tell me, why did I take so long to read this? Spin the Dawn is pitched as Mulan meets Project Runway and with such a unique premise, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this #OwnVoices Asian inspired fantasy. I was wary when I started reading it (because I was really let down by another Asian inspired fantasy last year) but I’m so glad this one didn’t disappoint! Not to sound cheesy or anything but it was so magical! It didn’t take long for me to fall head first into the story and to find myself caring deeply about its characters. 💞

Continue reading “Spin the Dawn (The Blood of the Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim – #BookReview”

Goodreads Monday – Renegades by Marissa Meyer

It’s the first Goodreads Monday of 2020, friends! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s book is Renegades (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyer. First of all, can we take a look at this awesome cover? I love it! This YA fantasy/sci-fi was added to my Goodreads TBR in 2017! It has a pretty good 4.16 average with 46k+ ratings and 8k+ reviews.

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Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

I’ve spent this Sunday in bed with the last few chapters of Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim! I’ve been wanting to read this one since it came out last year but of course I kept putting it off only to add more books to my growing physical collection. But that’s a story we all already know 🙃 I’m so glad that I’ve finally read this because although it’s not a perfect book, I’ve found myself really enjoying it! I find myself oddly invested in the love 😂 but also, the unique spin of magic and fashion! I’m a little gutted that I didn’t double check the release date of the sequel though and will now be tortured waiting until July…

A gifted tailor in disguise.
Three legendary dresses.
The competition if a lifetime.

On the fringes if the Great Spice Road, Maia Tamarin works as a seamstress in the shop of her father, once a tailor of renown. She dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for us to marry well.

When a royal messenger summons her ailing father to court, Maia poses as his son and travels to the Summer Palace in his place. She know she her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to save her family from ruin and achieve her dream of becoming the imperial tailor. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

The competition is cutthroat, and Maia’s job is further complicated by the unwelcome attention of the court enchanter, Edan, who seems to see straight through her disguise. But nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three gowns so dangerously beautiful, it will take a quest to the ends of the earth to complete them…

What are you currently reading?

Continue reading “Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp”

Top 5 Saturday: Unread Books by Favourite Authors

I’m back this week for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books. This week’s topic is: books by favourite authors, but as it’s a Top 5 Saturday and I usually focus on books that are on my TBR or books that I haven’t read yet, I’ve turned it into unread books by my favourite authors. Narrowing down this list was surprisingly tough because I really suck at picking favourites and there are just so many, how do I pick only five?! Even with my favourite authors there are still plenty of books that I need to read because really, will there ever be enough time? In no particular order…

I’ve admittedly only read The Shadow of the Wind but I was so blown away by it that Zafón was quickly added to my favourite authors list. If you haven’t read it, I’d highly recommend it! 🖤 The Angel’s Game is the second book in The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series and I’ve shamefully had it sitting unread on my shelf for TOO LONG!

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Bitter Falls (Stillhouse Lake #4) by Rachel Caine – #eARC #BookReview

Goodreads: Bitter Falls (Stillhouse Lake #4)
Publish date: 21 January 2020
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Crime, Suspense
Panda Rating:

She’s investigating a cold case no one else could—by going places no else would dare.

In spite of a harrowing past still haunting her, Gwen Proctor is trying to move forward. Until a new assignment gives her purpose: the cold-case disappearance of a young man in Tennessee. Three years missing, no clues. Just Ruth Landry, a tortured mother in limbo. Gwen understands what it’s like to worry about your children.

Gwen’s investigation unearths new suspects…and victims. As she follows each sinister lead, the implications of the mystery grow more disturbing. Because the closer Gwen gets, the closer she is to a threat that looms back home.

In a town that’s closed its ranks against Gwen; her partner, Sam; and her kids, there’s no bolder enemy than the Belldene family—paramilitary, criminal, powerful, and vengeful. As personal vendettas collide with Gwen’s investigation, she’s prepared to fight both battles. But is she prepared for the toll it could take on everyone she loves?

Bitter Falls is just as intense and action packed as the first three books in the Stillhouse Lake series. Once again we’re swept up in a high-stakes thrilling drama as Gwen and her family face harassment from a town that shuns them, harrowing messages from trolls that want to see them grievously harmed, and getting caught in the cross-fires of the latest case that Gwen has been assigned in her new job. I’ve been a big fan of this series ever since I read the first book and I’ve truly come to appreciate all the main characters (Gwen, Sam, Lanny and Connor), as well as the recurring side characters in the series (Javi, Kezia, Agent Lustig etc.)

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Friday Favourites: Fictional Families

Hello, hello and welcome back to another Friday Favourites, dear friends! This’ll be the first Friday Favourites of the year and there are some small changes to note. Last year this weekly meme was hosted by the wonderful Kibby @ Something of the Book! However, this year Kibby has passed the torch on to Lorraine @ Geeky Galaxy. This week’s topic is: favourite fictional families.

My thoughts immediately went to my favourite found families when I saw this prompt but I felt like I had focused a previous post on found families and I was right. In a previous Friday Favourites I shared my favourite character team ups and in that post I basically shared all my favourite found families 😂 So with that done, I decided to suck it up and focus on plain ol’ fictional families and let me tell ya, I struggled because my memory is so awful *why 😭* But after some scouring of my Goodreads shelves, I came up with this smol list of five that I came across last year and who I absolutely loved!

I adored the relationship between Ryn and her siblings. Their love and dedication for one another, even if they might not always agree with each other, was heartwarming. Their banter was also fun and totally relatable!

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First Lines Friday – 24 January

Yayaya, HAPPY FRIYAY, book lovers and friends 😍We’re back with another First Lines Friday! This is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are THE RULES:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

The two would-be jade thieves sweated in the kitchen of the Twice Lucky restaurant. The windows were open in the dining room, and the onset of evening brought a breeze off the waterfront to cool the diners, but in the kitchen, there were only the two ceiling fans that had been spinning all day to little effect. Summer had barely begun and already the city of Janloon was like a spent lover—sticky and fragrant.

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo by Stacy King, Crystal S. Chan – #eARC #GraphicNovelReview

Goodreads: Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo
Publish date: 11 April 2017
Publisher: UDON Entertainment
Genre: Graphic Novel, Classic Literature
Panda Rating:

A Conspiracy and a miscarriage of justice turn the gentle Edmond Dantès into an implacable agent of fate: The Count of Monte Cristo . Obsessed by vengeance and empowered by providence, the Count avenges himself on whose who have wronged him – but is this justice, or is this hubris? In the end, does even the Count know? Alexandre Dumas’ skillful narrative combines intrigue, betrayal, and triumphant revenge into a powerful conflict between good and evil. Now this exciting saga, rich and diverse, takes on an entirely new life in this Manga Classics adaptation!

The Count of Monte Cristo is a classic that I’ve been meaning to read but have always been too intimidated to actually pick up, so when I saw this manga I immediately jumped on it! Surprisingly I realised I knew very little of the story when I started reading it and since I haven’t read the novel I also can’t attest to how well the manga actually adopts the classic. I do however know that it’s a fairly chunky text and I have no doubt that it has some very complex plot lines and in-depth character studies. Based on that, I think that the adaptors did an amazing job in condensing everything into a more simplified text. It took me a couple of hours to read this 400 page manga while I’m sure it’d probably take me one month+ to finish the original!

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The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3) by Neal Shusterman – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Toll (Arc of a Scythe #3)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia
Panda Rating:

It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

You know when you’re so excited to read a book and then you finish it and you’re left feeling pretty… whelmed? Not over or under whelmed just… WHELMED? I think that’s kind of how I feel after finishing this series. I don’t know, I’m honestly kind of confused!

“You can whisper, and people will still hear thunder.”

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#WWWWednesday: 22 January

Welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

I’ve only finished ONE BOOK since last Wednesday! ONE BOOK! 🙈And it was a re-read too! To say that January is a slow reading month would be a gross understatement. I’m really hoping things pick up next month…

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2) by Neal Shusterman ★★★★☆
Now that I’m done with my re-read with Thunderhead I feel more than ready for The Toll. Thunderhead was (imo) a slow moving sequel but it was no less enjoyable. I loved learning more about The Thunderhead and the new important character we’re introduced to, Grayson Tolliver, really grew on me. We got to explore more areas of the world including Israebia, a neglected D.C., and Endura which is the heart of the Scythedom. Although the shock factor wasn’t as intense this second time, the plot twists still had me exclaiming my WTFs. Shusterman really knows how to throw you off! You can read my full review here.

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