Mixed Feelings — The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins {Book Review}

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne CollinsTitle: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games #0)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher:
Scholastic Press
Release Date: May 19th, 2020
Standalone/Series: Series (Prequel)
Genre: Young Adult – Dystopia

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My rating in stars: 3 stars
My rating in words: Mixed feelings

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Ambition will fuel him.
Competition will drive him.
But power has its price.

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes. 

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Galactic Intrigue & Questioning Loyalties In The Queer Space Opera The World Needs — Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie {Book Review}

Bonds of Brass by Emily SkrutskieTitle: Bonds of Brass (The Bloodright Trilogy #1)
Author: Emily Skrutskie
Publisher:
Del Rey Books
Release Date: April 7th, 2020
Standalone/Series: Series
Genre: Adult – Science Fiction

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My rating in stars: 4,5 stars
My rating in words: Loved it!

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

A young pilot risks everything to save his best friend–the man he trusts most and might even love–only to learn that he’s secretly the heir to a brutal galactic empire.

Ettian Nassun’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal Veres–his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the Academy feel like a new home.

But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised Academy unscathed, rattled both that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule. As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs?

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April 2020: The Month I’ve Been Even More Thankful For Books, Music & TV Than Ever Before {Monthly Wrap Up}

April wrap up

Hi everybody, and welcome to my April wrap up!

I hope you are all doing well in these weird times? I got through a month and a half of lockdown relatively well. I’m still healthy, as are my friends and family, so that’s obviously most important. And I honestly didn’t have too many issues with being stuck at home as I kept myself busy. I worked in the garden, organized my Spotify playlists, cleaned out my inbox, sorted my administration, cleaned out every cupboard in the house and went on a lot of nice walks. If you don’t count the constant anxiety and crippling worries over mine and everyone I know’s health and financial status, everything’s been fine… Here’s hoping things will slowly get back to normal next month!

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to in April:

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An Insightful, Witty & Emotional Take On The Fake Dating Trope — If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane {Book Review}

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlaneTitle: If I Never Met You
Author: Mhairi McFarlane
Publisher:
William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: March 24th, 2020
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Genre: Adult – Contemporary – Romance

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My rating in stars: 4,5 stars
My rating in words: Loved it!

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

If faking love is this easy… how do you know when it’s real?

When her partner of over a decade suddenly ends things, Laurie is left reeling—not only because they work at the same law firm and she has to see him every day. Her once perfect life is in shambles and the thought of dating again in the age of Tinder is nothing short of horrifying. When news of her ex’s pregnant girlfriend hits the office grapevine, taking the humiliation lying down is not an option. Then a chance encounter in a broken-down elevator with the office playboy opens up a new possibility.

Jamie Carter doesn’t believe in love, but he needs a respectable, steady girlfriend to impress their bosses. Laurie wants a hot new man to give the rumor mill something else to talk about. It’s the perfect proposition: a fauxmance played out on social media, with strategically staged photographs and a specific end date in mind. With the plan hatched, Laurie and Jamie begin to flaunt their new couple status, to the astonishment—and jealousy—of their friends and colleagues. But there’s a fine line between pretending to be in love and actually falling for your charming, handsome fake boyfriend…

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March 2020: The Month The World Became A Dystopian Novel Prologue & I Read Some Books {Monthly Wrap Up}

March wrap up

Hi everybody, and welcome to my March wrap up!

This feels like a weird wrap up to write, since it’s been such a weird time.  As you all are very well aware, the Corona Virus has become a full-blown pandemic that is taking over the world. Personally, I’ve been at home since mid March – I’ve been technically unemployed since my company organizes international courses and well it’s no surprise that there are no courses right now, so no work to be done from home either. But I’m home and doing my best to stay safe and healthy and follow the regulations, which are basically to stay at home, unless for crucial things like groceries. I hope every one of you is safe and healthy and so are your family and friends.

These are scary times, and hearing news reports is making me anxious as hell so I’m coping the best way I know how – by disappearing as much as possible into fictional worlds. Which is how I did get quite some reading done this month.

So without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to this month:

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Everything I Wanted And More — Hunting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped by Annette Marie {ARC Book Review}

Hunting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped by Annette MarieTitle: Hunting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped (The Guild Codex: Demonized #3)
Author: Annette Marie
Publisher:
Dark Owl Fantasy
Release Date: April 3rd, 2020
Standalone/Series: Series
Genre: New Adult – Urban Fantasy

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My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: NEW ALL-TIME FAVORITE

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

I thought I understood power.

My parents taught me that magic attracts equal danger, and everything I’ve seen since becoming a demon contractor confirms it. I’ve witnessed how power twists and corrupts–and I’ve tasted power no human should wield.

I thought I knew greed.

Ambition and avarice drove my family into hiding. My parents died for someone else’s greed. I’ve never hunted anything in my life, but now I’m hunting their killer–with my demon’s help.

I thought I’d seen evil.

But with each step closer to my parents’ murderer, I’m uncovering a different sort of evil, piece by hidden piece. I’ve stumbled into an insidious web that silently, secretly ensnares everything it touches. My demon and I came as the hunters…

…but I think we might be the prey.


Author’s Note: The Guild Codex includes two series, Demonized and Spellbound, which can be read and enjoyed all on their own; however, this book contains spoilers for Demon Magic and a Martini (Spellbound #4). If you were thinking about giving Spellbound a try, I recommend reading it first.


THE GUILD CODEX

Demonized Series:
Taming Demons for Beginners (#1)
Slaying Monsters for the Feeble (#2)
Hunting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped (#3)
Delivering Evil for Experts (#4)

Spellbound Series:
Three Mages and a Margarita (#1)
Dark Arts and a Daiquiri (#2)
Two Witches and a Whiskey (#3)
Demon Magic and a Martini (#4)
The Alchemist and an Amaretto (#5)
Druid Vices and a Vodka (#6)

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Edge-Of-Your-Seat, Scream-At-Your-Book, Nail-Biting Brilliance (& OMG THE FRIENDSHIP!) — House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas {Book Review}

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. MaasTitle: House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: March 3rd, 2020
Standalone/Series: Series
Genre: Adult – Fantasy

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My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: New all-time favorite

 

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.

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Seven Reasons Why You Should Try The Guild Codex Series by Annette Marie

7 reasons why you should try the guild codex

Look, I know you’ve all probably heard me rave about The Guild Codex series by Annette Marie at some point.  However, I’ve mostly been raving about each book individually and not yet about the series as a whole. So I fully understand it may still be a bit overwhelming for new readers to just pick up a series like this. You may be thinking, but what is this series even about? You may be thinking, but what if I’m not into urban fantasy? You may be thinking, but I have no idea where to even start with this?

Well, with the state of the world right now and all of us in dire need of some distraction AND with the next book in the series being released in April, I thought now would be a perfect time to put my raving to good use and tell you why you should pick up this series, right now!

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January 2020: The Month That Lasted A Year {Monthly Wrap Up}

January wrap up

Hi everybody, and welcome to my January wrap up!

I don’t want to add to the thousands of people and memes saying that January took forever, but really though… January took FOREVER! I do think that the months of January and February usually are the worst months of the year – it’s dark, it’s cold, the excitement about the holidays is over. But that just means we have to focus on all the good things some more, don’t we? And the good thing is that I actually got quite some reading done in January, which I’m happy about. And I got back into blogging, after 1-2 months of semi-hiatus. (I realize I never did a post announcing my return but oh well… HERE I AM!) So pretty good right?

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to in January:

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