Sunday, February 18, 2018

Favorite Books I Read in 2017: Part Two

So I've finally finished this list of amazing books:

8. The Bean Trees
I read this book in class and loved it. Not only is it beautiful written, it is also incredibly relevant to issues we are having today. The characters were all very memorable; Turtle, Esperanza, and Estevan have all stuck with me.

9. Bad Romance
This was a powerful book about a very important subject: abusive relationships. It was heartbreaking but I couldn't look away. Demetrius is such an amazing author... I've loved all her contemporary works.

10. The Song of Achilles
This book deserves all the awards. The Song of Achilles wraps Greek mythology, beautiful romance, and the tragedy of the trojan war all into one book. I loved reading about Patroclus and Achilles' romance.

11. Roses and Rot
This is a book for artists. It's a love letter to novelists, painters, poets, and dancers. And it has magic and fae mixed in to make it extra exciting. I fell in love with this beautifully written story.

12. This Adventure Ends
Emma Mills is quickly becoming one of my favorite YA contemporary authors. I always have so much fun; This Adventure Ends was no exception. It's full of awesome, quirky friendships and adventure.

13. This Savage Song
This is my first Victoria Schwaub or VE Schwaub that I've rated 5 stars. This Savage Song was so beautiful, dark, and compelling. Expect violins and monsters. And it's definitely savage.

14. Three Dark Crowns
Okay. This was such a unique fantasy. I loved the matriarchy aspect, the sister rivalry, and the twist at the end. Like This Savage Song, Three Dark Crowns was a very dark fantasy. I can't wait to read the second book.

So, there we have it! I hope 2018 brings even more favorites. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Favorite Books I Read in 2017: Part One

Guess what guys?! I'm not dead! It just didn't feel right not posting my fave books of the year- even if it's a bit late to do so. Without further ado, here are the books I loved in 2017:

1. The Bear and the Nightingale
This was the first book I read in 2017 and boy was it a great way to start out the year! I read this luscious Russian fantasy while curled up in my warm bed with snowflakes floating down outside my window. Here's my review. 

2. Summers at Castle Auburn
I picked up a used copy of this on a whim. And I ADORED it. Summers at Castle Auburn was probably my number one favorite of the year. It's a cozy, creative read with a slow burn romance. I fell in love with the world Shinn created and I loved all the girl power and sisterly love. Here's my review.

3. Traitor's Blade
I had a blast reading Traitor's Blade while on vacation this year. It's hilarious, action-packed, and has a great twist at the end. Falcio, Kest, and Brasti are all my babies and no one is allowed to hurt them. Also, all the fantasy aspects are executed beautifully. I NEED to finish this series now.

4. Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom
This is my favorite duology ever. Leigh Bardugo is a genius. I cried. I laughed. I screamed. Can we talk about how cute all the couples are??? Or what about how savage Kaz is? Also, read this for awesome as heck heists. I wrote an in-depth post about my SoC obsession here.

5. Tower of Dawn
I thought Sarah J Maas couldn't do it. But she did. She made a freakin awesome book about Chaol (AKA my least favorite character). Now I am in love with Chaol and Yrene and Nesryn and Sartaq. Also, I love how diverse this book was; we see so many new characters and places. Tower of Dawn might be my new favorite SJM book. It's that good.

6. Because of Miss Bridgerton (and all of Julia Quinn's books)
I went on a Julia Quinn binge this year and basically read all her books. OOPS. Anyway, Because of Miss Bridgerton is hilarious and banter-y and full of JQ goodness. If you're ever in a reading slump, pick this historical romance series-starter up for a quick cure.

7. The Queen of the Tearling
I've had the ARC of this sitting unread for years. It's pretty shameful. But I finally read The Queen of the Tearling this year- and I loved it. It was amazing and thought-provoking. The heroine, Kelsea, is unique and the book truly focuses on her becoming an amazing ruler. I will warn you it's a pretty slow fantasy; but I loved how immersed I became. I really need to read the next book.

Stay tuned for part two- coming next week!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Blog Update: Fixed and Improved Reader Rising

Hi! I'm back. I'm not sure if y'all noticed but my blog has been dead and broken for the last few months. After I got back from a three week long intensive, I came back to a wonderful surprise: a blog covered in a gray image.

My background was this ugly photo. So was my blog button, my post signature, all my social media buttons, and all my post dividers. 

I was so shocked! Basically, photobucket decided to hold all my photos for ransom and tried to get me to pay for a subscription (which I didn't want to do.) 

So, I totally failed at fixing it on my own. It was so frustrating and I was fully prepared to have to have the blog totally redesigned.  Thankfully, I got some amazing help yesterday and my blog is up and running again!!!  I CANNOT wait to start posting about all the amazing books I've been reading. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Series Review: The Red Winter Trilogy

*I received this series for free from Xpresso Book Tours*
Oooh look a fun fantasy trilogy filled with mythology!!

Book One: Red Winter

Red Winter was a fantastic start to the series! First, I was surprised by the BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS included. Seriously, they were gorgeous. And I loved all the mythology and world building. I wasn't sure if I would like Emi at first, but I loved her character growth. The reader watches Emi start to become her own person instead of seeing herself only as a vessel for a kami.

Also, I loved Shiro!!! He was my favorite character throughout the series. I enjoyed watching his character growth and learning more about him. Romance was not at all front and center in this first book... which I like because I've always preferred slow burn.

Book Two: Dark Tempest

In this sequel the pace does not let up! While this book was my least favorite in the series, I still really enjoyed it. I, of course, continued to adore the illustrations and all the characters.

My favorite part was the blossoming, slow relationship between Emi and a certain fox spirit. Also, there were some surprising revelations about Shiro! And a lot more characters were introduced and the fictional world continued to expand. I loved the atmosphere... it was tense and exciting. The readers get to delve deeper into mythology and the past. Basically, we got to know all the characters more and really geared up for the amazing grand finale!

Book Three: Immortal Fire

Immortal Fire was my favorite book in the trilogy! It was all high stakes action and a panicked count down until the day Emi will end her mortal life and become Amaterasu. There were also some really cute and bittersweet sections. I was so touched by the scene at the beach.

The ending chapters killed me! It was so emotional and I was very distraught for a bit. However, *spoilers* I did get my happy ending and it was soooooo sweet *end spoilers* Immortal Fire was a powerful, well written conclusion to an excellent series. I was so sad to say goodbye to Emi, Shiro, Yumei and all the characters.


The Red Winter trilogy gets 4/5 stars from me. In the future, I will definitely pick up more of Anette Marie's books! I would not hesitate to recommend this series to fans of mythology, beautiful illustrations, and sweet romance.

Also, I didn't included all the book synopsis's (so that this post wouldn't be mammoth) so click here to access all the books and descriptions on Goodreads!

Monday, July 3, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: I Just Read The Six of Crows Duology

WHY HAS NO ONE TOLD ME HOW AMAZING SIX OF CROWS IS? *scrolls through goodreads* Oh wait all my friends have rated it 5 stars and have shouted its praises. Huh.

Well, anyway, I have just finished bawling my eyes out at the ending of Crooked Kingdom and I have been obsessively pinning fan art on Pinterest. It's safe to say I am obsessed.

So let's talk about some special things from The Dregs... six to be precise. (This list is pretty much spoiler free... There's nothing you won't get from the first few chapters of SoC)

OK I have feelings about this boy. He is the most anti-hero of all the characters and yet I still love him to pieces.... I love his viciousness and his cane and his cunning schemes. Bardugo make him worthy of some sympathy and even a bit of admiration.

Inez is wise, moral, and has amazing acrobatic skills. She's called the Wraith and is, of course, made of strong stuff. She's Suli and throughout all her traumatic ordeals still remains very close to her Suli heritage... often spouting out Suli proverbs to Kaz. To summarize, she is amazing.

Precious Wylan is dragged into the Dregs and it's the cutest thing ever. He's from a respected, although rather horrible, family... and this new criminal life takes a while to adjust to. He's also a whiz with chemicals.

Jesper!!! I love Jesper and his pistols and sarcasm... and how he flirts with Wylan! He also has a gambling problem, unfortunately. I wanted to shake him by the shoulders so many times. I LIVED for his chapters.

Ahhh, now we are at big grumpy Matthias.  My favorite Fjerdan! He's really just a giant teddy bear. (Okay, he's actually not but I can pretend.) He and Nina are perfect for each other... even though they are kinf-of not-really mortal enemies. Oops.

Okay! I'll admit it. Nina is my favorite character. I love her strength and her love for waffles and her ability to be bright and happy in her gang of dark criminals. And her grisha powers as a Heartrender are amazing.


So, basically, if you are like past me and haven't picked up Leigh Bardugo's masterful SIX OF CROWS duology let me say one thing: you are missing out on all the fun shenanigans in the Ice Court and Ketterdam. Come meet my flawed babies. The characters and world building and heists are freakin' spectacular. Also Bardugo's writing is dazzling and a lot more sophisticated than my review.

Now, excuse me, I'm going to go like all my favorite quotes on Goodreads. And cry over that scene in Crooked Kingdom.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Summers at Castle Auburn: A New All-Time Favorite

I am so excited to finally be reviewing this gem! Everyone should definitely consider adding Summers at Castle Auburn to the TBR list.

Summers at Castle Auburn 
by Sharon Shinn

Publication Date: April 1st, 2001
Amazon/Barnes and Noble 

As a child, Coriel Halsing spent many glorious summers at Castle Auburn with her half-sister-and fell in love with a handsome prince who could never be hers. But now that she is a young woman, she begins to see the dark side of this magical place...


A few months ago: I was walking through Powells and I discovered Summers At Castle Auburn sitting on the shelf. It was a used, cheap paperback and I'd heard great things about Sharon Shinn so I picked it up and brought it home.

Now I can say that was a very good decision. Good job past Emily!!! Unbeknownst to you, the book you just found is a new classic that you will treasure forever. The End.

Ha ha. My review style is going out the window. Anyway, if you couldn't tell already, I absolutely loved Summers at Castle Auburn. I would recommend it to ANY fellow book lovers but especially fans of Tamora Pierce, Shannon Hale, and other authors of those superb fantasies. It was such a cozy, yet intense read with so many shippy feels guys. SO MANY!

Oh! And I read this on the plane home from vacation and it made my 24 hour travel day almost bearable. MY HEART WAS HAPPY even though my brain and legs were dead. Okay I still need to start the actual coherent review part. Get it together Emily.

So... we start our story with fourteen year old Corie (Coriel) going on a hunting trip for the mythical aliora. It was such a fun adventure. Here we meet a lot of our main characters: Corie, Uncle Jaxon, Roderick, Kent, and the prince.  However, we are also introduced to the horrible and immoral hunting of aliora, sentient creatures who humans imprison. Corie slowly starts realizes this hunting is different than hunting for food. I loved watching Corie grow up and mature. She was vibrant, funny, and came alive in my mind. 

Also, from the beginning, Corie has an amazing relationship with her half sister Elisandra. Elisandra loves her little sister more than anything, and it shows. Also, Elisandra was such a strong character on her own. She's betrothed to an awful prince yet she remains both kind and strong. And I loved the twist with her in the end. Props to Shinn for making her such a real, admirable, and layered side character. Bravo.

The aliora were such a compelling element to the story. These fairy-like creatures were enslaved at the castle yet they remain kind and gentle. There were so many twists involving them but I was so glad when Corie realized she and her family were doing an unforgivable thing. The aliora were developed characters and I was so relieved with the ending they got.

The romance is slow burn. Like REALLY slow burn, like it's almost NOT there but it WAS. And I LOVED it so much. I was rooting for these two characters to get together from the beginning even though I thought there was no hope for my ship. Then it happened! I'm still deliriously happy with this development.

In conclusion, I suggest that all of you pick up Summers at Castle Auburn. You are in for a magical experience; some parts are light and fun while other parts are quite dark. Every element was perfect. I cannot wait to read more of Sharon Shinn. (I have her latest series already waiting on my bookshelves!)

 Post Signature

Monday, April 10, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Weird and Unique Books

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish 

We've all read them: the head scratchers, the books that seem like they are on drugs, and the stories that are so deliciously different. Here are my top ten unique book recommendations!

1. Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
This book is dark, confusing and brilliant. You are left wondering what is real and what isn't. And Quinn's creativity and vividness gives this thriller an unforgettable ending. 

2. The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid
Ooooh! Here's one of my 2016 faves! The whole concept of Diabolics, genetically engineered protectors and fighters, was so ingenious and creative. And the space world and hierarchy was also something new. 

3. My Lady Jane by Hand, Ashton, and Meadows 
We all know my love for this book knows no bounds. How could these brilliant authors take the relatively short, dull story of Lady Jane and turn it into a genre-bending historical fantasy with magic and humor? Pure brilliance and originality. 

4. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Magical Realism for the win! Bone Gap is a beautiful, weird story about a town with interesting inhabitants and a missing girl. Try it. 

5. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Sanderson is one of my top authors for highly original fantasy. In this wonderful book, Rithmatists use magic chalk and drawing to defend their world. Where does Sanderson get his crazy inspiration?

6. Vicious by VE Schwab 
The most unique tale you'll ever read from the viewpoint of a villain. V.E. Schwa delivers with her compulsively likable and unlikable character Victor. 

7. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
A dark, creepy, twisted ballerina tale. What more could I ask for? And, once again, this book is a big win for magical realism. My brain was spinning the entire time. 

8. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas 
I love twisted fairytales and this one focuses on AFTER Sleeping Beauty wakes up. It's quite ingenious and I love how the author totally flipped the original story on its head.

9.  The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 
This is such an underrated series! Politics! Families! A "Fixer" who fixes complicated political situations... the idea and execution is fabulous. 

10. The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon
Oooh. Another twisted fairy tale retelling! The premise is that Rapunzel and Snow White's Stepmother were the SAME PERSON. I love this book so much. 

11. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
I can't NOT mention Sanderson twice in this post. Another one of his creative masterpieces is Elantris. The story partly takes place in a city of fallen demigods who are living in the most depressing, dangerous, and vivid nightmare. Read it and you'll see what I mean. 

12. Kill The Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky 
Finally, we have the weirdest of them all: Kill The Boy Band. This book is an acquired taste and while I didn't love it, I respected it. I had to put this on this list. Moldavsky's gem is psychopathic, crazy, and disturbingly funny. Pick it up at your own risk. 

Oops, that was twelve... hopefully I introduced you to at least one new book!

Happy Reading Everyone!