2018 Book Tag – Princess Book Tag

I love Disney princesses. So when I saw this on Mandy’s page and had to do it! This was done by Mandy and Zuky (Mandy’s link & Zuky’s link). This is JUST FOR 2018!!

This tag was super fun to make because picking new and unique subjects for each Princess was a challenge but exciting! Anyway, let’s get on with the tag!

snow white

SNOW WHITE

THIS BOOK (LIKE THE MOVIE) STARTED IT ALL
FAVOURITE DEBUT BOOK FROM AN AUTHOR in 2018

This is an author to keep an eye on. She has an amazing style that will only improve as she continues to write. I got to read book 2 as well and I can say this writing has you turning pages. Even though Lady of Justice wasn’t perfect it was engaging.

 

 

Cenicienta-4.jpg

CINDERELLA

A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH
JUST LIKE CINDERELLA, YOU EITHER DIDN’T EXPECT MUCH OUT OF THIS CHARACTER IN THE BEGINNING BUT THEY TURNED OUT TO BE A TOTAL GEM in 2018

The Wake Up

I didn’t expect much of Lexi when this started but she really grew on me. I missed her when the story was over. She had so many flaws and seemed like a doormat. The Wake Up ended up being the best book of the year and it was mostly due to Lexi. I missed her when she was gone.

 

aurora (1).jpg

AURORA

SLEEPING BEAUTY
A BOOK THAT MAKES YOU SLEEPY OR JUST COULD NOT HOLD YOUR ATTENTION in 2018

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)

It took me two months of slow reading to finish this book. If I hadn’t been recommended this book I probably would have quit in the beginning. It constantly over-detailed…everything. I’m glad I stuck to it but A Discovery of Witches was too long for what it was.

 

ariel2

ARIEL

UNDER THE SEA
A BOOK WITH A WATER/OCEAN SETTING in 2018

Ugly Things We Hide

Ugly Things We Hide was spent a lot of time on the ocean or by the ocean. As you can tell from the picture a lot of the major parts of the book were in Hawaii or always came back to the island.

 

belle

BELLE

BEAUTY AND THE BOOKS
NAME A BOOK WITH THE BEST BOOKWORM/BOOK LOVER in 2018

The Mosaic by Chris Keaton

They had a museum in the book with lots of cool stuff including books. Although not the same thing exactly they did enjoy books and mentioned it.

 

jasmine

JASMINE

THE THIEF AND THE PRINCESS
NAME BOOK WITH AN UNLIKELY LOVE STORY (EITHER IN TERMS OF ROMANCE OR A BOOK YOU DIDN’T EXPECT TO LOVE SO MUCH) in 2018

No Songs Are Sung (A Mercenary of Palladia Book 1)

This mans man adult book had a surprised…romance? I don’t know if I can call it that exactly. What was surprising was the aftermath. I didn’t expect the main character to be so affected by it. That is what made No Songs are Sung a better read then I thought it would be from the way it started!

 

 

mulan (2)

MULAN

THE PRINCESS THAT SAVED HER COUNTRY
NAME THE FIERCEST HEROINE YOU KNOW in 2018

Reader (Affinity Series, #2)

Gosh it was good to see Kim again in Reader. Unlike the first book where Kim is very fierce, Kim is scarred and struggling. She is still recovering and at first her powers aren’t working well. She is terrified by all the changes, which is only made worse when she reads. Despite that she is so reckless and headstrong.  Despite everything Kim is still a very strong female lead.

 

tiana

TIANA

THE PRINCESS WITH THE COOLEST AND MOST DIVERSE CREW
NAME A DIVERSE BOOK WHETHER IT IS A DIVERSE SET OF CHARACTERS (LIKE TIANA’S GROUP OF NAVEEN, LOUIS, RAY, AND MORE) OR JUST DIVERSE IN GENERAL in 2018

The Gnosis Machine

There were so many unique characters! Fair warning I did not like the Professor one wit. Thankfully he is one among many character, including the spontaneous and ambitious Douglas Morgan and budding scientist Jason. My favorite characters and interactions by far are those that involve Sunny (Douglas’s adoptive daughter) and the righteous Captain. I also very much liked Maribella. She had a backbone and a tragic story, but she had her head on right…can’t say that for all the other characters. And the spontaneous alien – I won’t say much there for fear I’ll give too much away on the shape shifting alien.

 

merida

MERIDA

I DETERMINE MY OWN FATE
A BOOK WHERE THERE IS NO LOVE STORY/INTEREST OR ISN’T NEEDED

Those Brave, Foolish Souls from the City of Swords (Yarnsworld #3)

Besides a love of swords there is no love story in this book. Just a general comradery. It was very refreshing.

 

moana

MOANA

HOW FAR I’LL GO
A CHARACTER THAT GOES ON A JOURNEY

Heir to a Prophecy

A historical fictional feel with paranormal overtone. This is basically a series of the MC going on journey after journey. For war. For family. For love. Traveling all over the ancient Shakespearean world.

There we have it! The New Disney Princess Book tag! I hope you all really enjoyed reading it!

I’ll tag: @devouringbooks2017 and @booklattes

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Petscapade (Mystery Book Club 1) by Nadishka Aloysius

Summary

Five friends join together to form the Mystery Book Club. However, what starts as a fun Saturday afternoon meet-up, soon develops into an investigation. Someone is stealing cats in the neighbourhood. Guided by the books they love, the friends search for the culprit. Will they be able to catch the thief before he strikes again?
A coming of age tale set in the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, the story takes the youngsters through an adult world of prejudice and social norms. As they attempt to solve the mystery, they also learn to navigate new waters.
This will also appeal to lovers of cozy mysteries and vintage settings like the well-loved Enid Blyton books, and bring in a new era of amateur sleuths.

Amazon

Overall

Cute read for kids who like mysteries involving multiple kiddos. I struggled with some of the situations being genuine but they were entertaining. The most genuine part of the story was the varied adult responses to the children’s shenanigans.  Some where very supportive while others were against their choices/involvement. That was a very good lesson. A secondary part of the story that was very heartening to read, were the cultural difference between Sri Lanka and the U.S. For those who don’t live in that region, they could benefit from seeing what other cultures are like (such as not being able to bring books home, servants, and the strict social interactions of children from bothering neighbors and the like). One drawback was the adult-like dialogue for such young children – I wasn’t sure if this was something common in Sri Lanka.

Rating

3.5 Stars (rounded up)

The case of the missing cat isn’t the most interesting part of this story but acts as a platform for multiple lessons. For sure a children’s book.

Where did I get it?

I received a copy from the author. This is a voluntary review.

2018 in Review – Best Reads

2018 Reading Stats

Goal for 2018: 50

Number of books read: 54

Number of books reviewed: 54

Best Books of 2018:

1st place goes to:

The Wake Up

Panayotopulos, Angela – The Wake Up (Dystopian) (Review)(Amazon)

Here is why: This book will rock your world. It is subtle in its complexities. Its characters are woah. Lexi is one of those characters you love, then hate, then love again and by the time it is all done…you’ll miss her. If you love Dystopian novels then you’ll love this vividly written novel with its curve balls and jump off the page feel. Those who loved novels like The Handmaidens Tale and Hunger Games, must read this book!

2nd place goes to:

Reader (Affinity Series, #2)

Lenore, J.S. – Reader (Affinity Series, #2) (Supernatural) (Review)(Amazon)

Here is why: Did I mention I love The Dresden series? Once more Dresden’s spunky love child came back with a slower burn. Reader wasn’t as much of a page turning, it really slowed down from book 1, but it packs a punch! This is a cold case and that sort of matches the quiet subdued force of this book. Picking book 2 up was like saying hello to an old friend as you get to hear the story of the fallout of book 1 and all sorts of new craziness. With more doors open, I look forward to the next book in the series!

3rd place goes to:

Lady of Justice (Justice #1)

Scriptora, Cyana – Lady of Justice (Book 1) (Young Adult) (Review) (Amazon)

Here is why: This is an author to keep an eye on. She has an amazing style that will only improve as she continues to write. Was this polished and perfect? No, but the fact that it wasn’t and left such a lasting impression to win out of 50+ books tells you that you should be reading this book. If you enjoy YA (romance/fantasy) then you should pick this book up…today!

 

Best Crime (Mystery/Suspense):

Whiskey Kills (A Top Shelf Mystery)

Powell, Lolli – Whiskey Kills (Mystery) (Review)(Amazon)

This novel will make you laugh and leave you gut wrenched. Although not the first book in the series it was penned in such a way you can just pick this one up. A complex mystery that felt like you were walking next the character as they lived through it.

Best Fantasy:

The Mosaic

Keaton, Chris & Taubold, Rick – Mosaic (Urban Fantasy) (Review)(Amazon)

This book is so vivid, I can still recall nearly the entire book almost a year later. Although it follows younger characters, they are mixed in with adult characters, for a nice rounded feeling.

Best Dystopian:

The Wake Up

Panayotopulos, Angela – The Wake Up (Dystopian) (Review)(Amazon)

This book deserves to be here because it is AMAZING! Demons and angels are within us all, we are made up of choices, so choose to read this book!

Best Romance:

Beautiful Potential

Saman, J. – Beautiful Potential (Romance) (Review) (Amazon)

My heart was bleeding in this book! It was very, very good! Plus it is a medical field romance, and I don’t get to read those much. Very refreshing!

Best Paranormal/Supernatural:

Reader (Affinity Series, #2)

Lenore, J.S. – Burner (Supernatural) (Review)(Amazon)

Loved all the twists and turns of the mystery but the supernatural aspects of this novels really made it one of the best!

Best Short Story:

Eating Crow

Buffington, J.D. – Eating Crow (Short Story Horror) (Review) (Amazon)

This is one of those books that when you get to the end you are like…’wait there isn’t more?’ Great horror read to make your hair stand on end, plus a great twist. Totally check this out!

Best Urban (anything):

Ugly Things We Hide

McIvor, M. Ocampo – Ugly Things We Hide (Fiction) (Review)(Amazon)

Woah! This memoir like story is deep. Sometimes the journey matters more than the destination. And sometimes it is the destination.

Best Young Adult:

Lady of Justice (Justice #1)

Scriptora, Cyana – Lady of Justice (Book 1) (Young Adult) (Review) (Amazon)

Book 1 is a page turner. If you like romance and fantasy YA novels, you better start reading!

 

If you loved these make sure you check the Best Books of 2016 and Best Books of 2017!

Unsung Hero of 2017:

These two book are dark, dark, dark!!

Loved By A Killer (A Sexy Paranormal Thriller, #1)Loved By The First (Book 2)

I have to put a huge disclaimer that these are not for the faint of heart. They are as bloody and violent as their series title suggests. If you like bloody, dark vampire romances, yeah, you’ll love these. Plus the author gets better by leaps and bounds between the two books.

No Songs are Sung (A Mercenary of Palladia #1) by Justin Bohardt

Summary

What Profit is There in Saving the World?

A professional hired soldier who bears the scars and cynicism of his trade, Geraghty Milliner has love for few things in the world: a bottle to numb the pain, a lady to make him feel alive, and the gold that can buy both.

After his most recent business venture lands him in prison, Geragthy sees potential profit in helping a lord’s wayward mistress named Chiara escape from her cell. Once sprung from jail by his partner-in-crime Vrodath, they escort Chiara to the sprawling city of Aethene to collect a reward large enough to keep them in riches for a lifetime.

However, when beasts from a forgotten realm, demonic creations of overthrown gods, are sent pouring forth from a tear in the fabric of reality, the length of a lifetime threatens to grow perilously short, and Geraghty plans to do the only sensible thing available: get the hell out of there. Not immune to making some gold even amidst an apocalypse, he agrees to escort Chiara, her noble lover, and Princess Emilia, seventh in line to the throne of Palladia and a powerful wielder of magic, out of the city even as they are hounded by every beast freed from perdition.

What Geraghty does not know is that an ancient enemy of the free peoples of Geoserra, one thought defeated millennia ago, has reawakened, and it is Princess Emilia alone who can assure its destruction. Geraghty will need to make the choice between saving himself and saving the world, and the right choice seems obvious. What profit is there in saving the world?

Amazon

Characters

Geraghty is nothing if not consistent. He has a noble…kinda noble…somewhat noble streak. He is in a word—bad*ss. A mercenary who loves money, loose but fiery women, and strong alcohol. He is a mans…man? Lots of races in the book—most of which reminded me more of animals. With supporting characters like Vrodoath his equally interesting partner and Chiara a kept woman that is more then meets the eye. Rounding out the secondary support is Emilia, a very strong princess and mage. A great cast of characters—it is one of the biggest strengths of the book. The biggest issues I have, besides the ‘strong’ women being objectified, is the constant head hopping. There is no rhyme or reason, it just jumps around from person to person, even in the middle of chapters, which causes a lot of confusion at time. Thankfully most of the book follows Geraghty, but when it does switch points of view, it is often jarring and confusing, so be warned.

Plot

The world is ending. A big baddie thought long dead has returned. A hero…mercenary…on a quest to stop it. Nothing new about this kind of story, but the author weaves together an interesting tale that causes the characters to sling shot around. The real piece that sets it apart is Geraghty. Mini missions and mischief abound. This has an excellent, vivid kingdom based world with a medieval/feudal feel to it. Downside, you have to survive the first few chapters of info dumping, while the author buries you under an avalanche of information. Yes, it gets better but it continues. Also yes, it is worth getting through to enjoy the rest of the story. There were a lot of interesting themes throughout as well that feed into a bigger plot.

Overall

Lots of action—almost non-stop—this book is gritty. There is also some humor, most of which hit its mark. It doesn’t play safe so don’t get too attached to any characters…you’ll never know which one will just up and die unexpectedly. Halfway through was a real turning point for me in the novel because after then it started to flow and I got into a groove. The second half of the book was much more of a page turner, so trust me the rocky start is worth sticking around for.

I don’t want to give anything away but the reason this book went from a 3 star review to a 4 star review was purely because of the ending. Instead of everything just wrapping up, Geraghty had to deal with the fallout. Emotional, physical, of what he’d survived. It brought another dimension to the book and character, which sealed by desire to pick up book two and see where Geraghty’s next adventure took him.

Rating

4 stars

A cast of interesting characters, in a rich fantasy world, with almost non-stop action and an ending that left me wanting to read the next book. It is a mans-man book for sure, so keep that in mind. If you like DnD or fantasy video games, this will be worth a try.

Where did I get a copy?

I was gifted a copy. This is a voluntary review.

The Nowhere Gate by K.T. Munson (The Gate Trilogy #2)

What an amazing review of The Nowhere Gate by the wonderful Darque Dreamer Reads (who has the most amazing hair—mermaid hair!) Be sure to check out her blog and her review of The Sixth Gate as well!

Mermaid Reading

The Nowhere Gate.png

The Book:

side+crop+of+paperback+image+TSTME (1)Book Title: The Nowhere Gate

Book Author:K.T. Munson

Genre: YA Dark Fantasy/ Paranormal

Publishing Date: July 7th, 2017

Publisher: Self Published

Date Read: August 8th, 2018

Synopsis:  Elisabeth and Ki return in the second novel in The Gate Trilogy.

The interplanetary gates originated from somewhere and nowhere.

Ki is lost on an unknown planet with no memories or body. Worse, an entity came through with him, something dark. It can’t hurt him, but no one else is safe. He doesn’t know how they arrived, but he knows one thing for certain—they don’t belong.

Elisabeth isn’t willing to leave a man behind, even if that man is lost among infinite possibilities. When Morhaven holds the answers to rescuing Ki, she takes Nanette with her to serve her term in the Netherworld. In turn Nanette must take a chance and trust a man she barely knows.

How far…

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Travel with number 10 by Ronit Tal Shaltiel

Summary

In this book, Number 10 went on a trip to travel the world with the rest of the numbers. When they came to New York, Number 10 liked the place and decided to stay there to explore the city.This book is the third in the series, “The Adventures of the Numbers”. This book makes math fun for kids. It is an educational book. It can also be read as a bedtime story.The book is for children from ages four to seven, who are beginning to learn about numbers and math.

Overall

What a cute book! The concept was very solid, and the idea behind it was as well. Especially considering that each stop has the reader work on their math. However there is a problem with execution. The wording was very awkward—almost bland—in a lot of places. The pictures are okay, with a lot of variety, but weren’t particularly eye catching.

Rating

3 stars

Cute concept that just needs a little more polishing.

 

The Wake Up by Angela Panayotopulos

Summary

For years, Lexi has repressed her secret gift: a rare ability to glimpse the angelic or demonic manifestations of people’s personalities in their mirror image. With her family’s glass-blowing studio as her playground and her mirror-making grandfather as her mentor, Lexi comes of age when the nation’s president—an undisclosed Seer who demonizes his gift as fiercely as Lexi treasures hers—bans man-made reflective surfaces, plunging the nation into a dystopia where government agencies annihilate families like Lexi’s.

As her family breaks apart, Lexi falls for a man who comes to stand for everything she despises. Betrayal and deceit ignite a domino effect of dangerous consequences in a world of blurring boundaries between the worldly and otherworldly. Caught up in a battle as old as time itself, the last mirror-maker must revamp a breakup into the greatest wake up of her life, embracing her forbidden capabilities in an attempt to rouse her world out of darkness.

Amazon Link

Characters

Lexi. Lexi. Lexi. Where do I start? You are going to love/hate her but by the end you’ll miss her. At least I did! Dominic, Gabriel, and Zach are all central to Lexi’s story. Yet it isn’t just about her. Her story feeds into other stories as well. Changing those she interacts with. There is some head hoping and I didn’t love some of the flash back stories, but they weren’t too distracting. More like “Get back to the main story, I want to know more!” kind of way.

Plot

This story had a deep dystopian feel, over something that seemed very odd to me at first. However, as the novel and story progresses the plot expands to take on broader meanings and deeper themes. It went in directions I hadn’t thought of. It lulls you into a state of expectation and then throws a horrible but wonderful curve ball. Be warned, this is not a lighthearted novel, the darkness has to have its moment before the light will matter.

Overall

Wow! This novel had a slow start, but after about 30% it really picks up and then I couldn’t put the book down. I had to force myself to plug in my phone and go to bed, then I woke up in the morning to finish it. A fantastic book! Very colorful and vivid language throughout the book. Almost lyrical. Each chapter starts with a quote that connects to the theme of the chapter.

Was this novel perfect? No. Did its imperfections distract from the amazing story? Not at all!

Rating

5 stars

If you love dytopian novels and vivid descriptive language, this is a must read!

Where did I get a copy?

The author send me one. This is a voluntary review.