ADULT, ARC, BOOK REVIEW, Book Reviews, CONTEMPORARY, Fantasy, HISTORICAL FICTION, New Adult, RETELLING, Sci-fi, Wrap Up, Young Adult

June Wrap Up | 2019

Hello bookworms! I’m Nia and today I’m going to be talking about the books I read in June.

I know, I know… it’s super late to be doing this wrap up, but listen, these types of posts take me forever to do, and sometimes I don’t have time to write them, so here we are now. Better late than never, right?

Now I remember I participated in Smutathon in June, so the first books that I read that month were part of said wrap up, but I just rather do an entire post dedicated to all the books I read in June than two different ones, so hence why I’m adding those in here.

Without any further ado, let’s begin with my June wrap up!

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The Simple Wild | K.A. Tucker

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Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

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Wild and Crooked | Leah Thomas

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I was so excited to read Wild and Crooked because I’ve been hearing such amazing things about it, and the premise sounded like something I would totally enjoy. Unfortunately, this was one of those cases where the book just wasn’t for me, because I can see why people have liked it, but I found the reading experience a bit underwhelming.

One of the main issues that I had with the story was that I didn’t particularly like the writing style. There was something about it that made me disconnect from the story and not want to keep reading it like I was expecting to. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the slang used, and I think that because of that along with other things, I couldn’t care less about the characters nor the story.

Since the book is told in two POVs, we got to see a bit about each character’s lives and inner monologues, and basically got to know them a bit better. However, something that I noticed was that there wasn’t any difference between the two characters’ inner monologues, and there were times where I didn’t know the perspective I was reading from.

When it comes to the characters, I have to say I had a love/hate relationship with them. I didn’t like our female protagonist. At all. I found her so annoying and couldn’t really understand her arc throughout the story. The male protagonist was much more real and easy to like.

On the other hand, something that I totally adored seeing was the friendship. I think it was pretty well done and in a quite realistic way, and I enjoyed the dynamics between these two characters.

I really appreciated the author adding some diversity in the cast, and a huge plus of the story was that there was no romantic relationship between the two main characters, which was amazing and so refreshing in a YA book. Now, I don’t know if the representation was good or not (I can’t really speak on that), but there were certain moments where some things were happening that didn’t sit really well with me.

When it comes to the plot, I found it a bit underwhelming. I didn’t like the way it was done. I find that mysteries (of some sort) that tend to start in the middle of a book less engaging, so since Wild and Crooked happened to have one of those, I was pretty bored and disconnected with the plot the entire time.

Overall, I was pretty let down with Wild and Crooked. I had such high expectations, but unfortunately they weren’t reach since I had so many issues with the writing and some of the characters.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.

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In Samsboro, Kentucky, Kalyn Spence’s name is inseparable from the brutal murder her father committed when he was a teenager. Forced to return to town, Kalyn must attend school under a pseudonym . . . or face the lingering anger of Samsboro’s citizens, who refuse to forget the crime.

Gus Peake has never had the luxury of redefining himself. A Samsboro native, he’s either known as the “disabled kid” because of his cerebral palsy, or as the kid whose dad was murdered. Gus just wants to be known as himself.

When Gus meets Kalyn, her frankness is refreshing, and they form a deep friendship. Until their families’ pasts emerge. And when the accepted version of the truth is questioned, Kalyn and Gus are caught in the center of a national uproar. Can they break free from a legacy of inherited lies and chart their own paths forward?

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Her Royal Highness | Rachel Hawkins

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★★★★

Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can’t believe her luck when she’s accepted into one of the world’s most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille’s roommate Flora is a total princess.

She’s also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other–Flora is both high-class and high-key–but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn’t a fairy tale . . . or is it?

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Pretty Reckless | L. J. Shen

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★★★

PennThey say revenge is a dish best served cold.
I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart was completely iced.
I took her first kiss.
She took the only thing I loved.
I was poor.
She was rich.
The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.
Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.
Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.
Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.
There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.
Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.

DariaEveryone loves a good old unapologetic punk.
But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.
The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.
In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day.
Four years ago, he asked me to save all my firsts for him.
Now he lives across the hall, and I want nothing more than to be his last everything.
His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.
Now? Now he is making me pay.

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The Beckoning Shadow | Katharin Blair

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★★.5

I have already published a full review with all my thoughts about this book, so click here in case you want to check it out.

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Vesper Montgomery can summon your worst fear and turn it into a reality—but she’s learned the hard way that it’s an addicting and dangerous power. One wrong move and you could hurt someone you love.

But when she earns a spot in the Tournament of the Unraveling, where competitors battle it out for a chance to rewrite the past, Vesper finally has a shot to reverse the mistakes that have changed her forever. She turns to Sam Hardy, a former MMA fighter who’s also carrying a tragedy he desperately wants to undo. However, helping heal Sam’s heart will mean breaking her own, and the competition forces her to master her powers—powers she has been terrified of since they destroyed her life.

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Rewrite the Stars | Charleigh Rose

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★★

Evangeline Thorne is privileged.
Beautiful and popular, if not a little jaded.
A chance encounter with a green-eyed stuntman sets off a chain of events that turns her perfect, little world upside down.
Short on options and desperate for adventure, she joins the traveling carnival for the summer.
Thrust into a world full of drama, deception, and secrecy, Evangeline tries to find herself and protect her heart in the process.

Sebastian McAllister is cursed.
He knows better than to think otherwise.
He’s content to live out the rest of his life traveling the country as one of the four Sons of Eastlake, seeking thrills the only way he knows how.
The one thing he doesn’t see coming is the spoiled blond with stars in her eyes.
The only problem is, the more time he spends with her, the more hope starts to stir in his dormant heart.
Too bad hope is a dangerous thing when you’re a McAllister.

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Filthy Gods | R. Scarlett

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★★★★

Young. Wealthy. Elite. Attractive. The gentlemen’s secret society at Yale was filled with them.

And Nathaniel Radcliffe, the bane of my existence, was one of them.

As the right hand of the American Gods, he was conceited and arrogant. A dangerously handsome man in a tailored custom suit and shiny black oxford loafers.

The classroom was our battlefield. We made a sport out of arguing and debating, ready to do anything in order to win over the other.

Deadly opponents, deadlier minds.

I’d sworn I’d never give him the upper hand, until…

The secret I’ve been hiding for the last three years?

He just discovered it… and now he has all the power.

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A Lesson in Thorns | Sierra Simone

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★★★★.25

When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel’s tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother twelve years ago. It should be easy enough—keep her head down while she works in the house’s crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her…

As Poe begins uncovering the house’s secrets, both new and old, she’s also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends—and drawn to Auden’s worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden and St. Sebastian start unravelling into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes…

From the author of the USA Today bestselling New Camelot series comes an original fairy tale full of ancient mysteries, lantern-lit rituals, jealousy, money, murder, sacred torment, and obsessions that last for lifetimes… 

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Twice in a Blue Moon | Christina Lauren

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★★★★.25

I have already published a full review with all my thoughts about this book, so click here in case you want to check it out.

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As an adventurous send-off to her childhood, eighteen-year-old Tate Jones travels with her grandmother from their small town in Northern California to London. But the vacation of a lifetime is wonderfully derailed by the appearance of two charming Vermont farmers: grandfather Luther and his handsome grandson Sam.

Sam and Tate fall hard and fast. For two glorious weeks, the couple share their hopes, dreams, and secrets. Sam admits he suspects his grandfather is dying and that this could be the last trip they take together, and Tate reveals that she is the hidden daughter of one of the biggest film stars in the world—a secret she’s never told anyone before.

But when Tate is exposed by a crush of cameras and reporters, she knows she’s been betrayed by the one person she thought she could trust. She is forced to decide whether she will return to her quiet life or embrace being in the public eye. So when Sam reappears in her world more than a decade later, can Tate forgive the past and rekindle the passion they shared on their magical trip abroad? And does she even want to?

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The Wedding Party | Jasmine Guillory

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★★

I admit I was pretty curious about this book. This was the first time I read anything by Jasmine Guillory, but since I’ve been hearing pretty great things about her other books I went into it with quite high expectations, and unfortunately for me I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book.

I think part of the reason why I didn’t enjoy it that much was because I couldn’t focus on the story for the life of me. I kept constantly distracting myself while reading it and couldn’t focus on the story. There was something about her writing style that made me not feel as engaged as I tend to be in a romance book, and that made the whole reading experience flop.

I think that overall it was a nice story, but I’m quite picky with my romance and I feel that the romantic relationship in The Wedding Party wasn’t as good as I expected. I enjoyed the two different characters and their different POVs, but there was something about their dynamics and interactions that didn’t spark anything. The arc was pretty weird, and the romance was also quite odd. I tend to like slow burn romances, and I think that in this particular book those transitions between enemies to friends with benefits to lovers were done super fast and didn’t make sense at all.

I think my favorite part of the book and what redeemed the story a bit for me was our main character Maddie. She was such a badass female lead with a very strong opinion who didn’t let anyone bring her down, and that was something that I adore seeing in a contemporary. She brought some very important topics to the table regarding race and jobs that I think are quite important things, and I appreciated seeing it in this book.

Overall, I found The Wedding Party a bit underwhelming. I don’t know if I set my expectations too high and it didn’t meet them or what happened, but I guess I was expecting to fall in love with the romance, the writing and the characters and I didn’t.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.

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Maddie and Theo have two things in common:

1. Alexa is their best friend

2. They hate each other

After an “Oops, we made a mistake” kiss, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking.

But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love.

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Voyeur | Fiona Cole

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★.5

I didn’t know she was my student the first time I paid to watch her at Voyeur.

Once she walked into my classroom, another smiling college freshman, I knew I should stop going. Stop watching.

But I couldn’t do it. Everything about her makes me want more, and once I realize she wants me too, the temptation becomes irresistible.

The worst part is that she has no idea her professor is the one watching behind the glass.

I just have to hope that once she finds out the truth, she wants the same thing I do. Because now that I’ve seen all of her, I can’t look away.

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Between Frost and Fury | Chani Lynn Feener (Re-Read)

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★★★★

Delaney has been kidnapped by aliens. Again. After only a month back on Earth with her hotnew alien boyfriend Ruckus, the deadly and devastatingly handsome prince Trystan has dragged her right back to his planet.

While some girls may dream of winning a prince’s heart, Delaney just wishes this one would leave her alone. Instead, she finds herself at the center of both a tense political battle between two alien kingdoms and Trystan’s romantic attentions, both of which are absolutely ruining the life she’s built on Earth. Not to mention the fact that she’s about to be crowned queen of a planet she’s barely even visited. Just another day in life of an ordinary human girl.

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Within Ash and Stardust | Chani Lynn Feener

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★★★★

I was so anticipating this sequel after the ending of the second book, and I went with pretty high expectations into it, and overall I have to say that I was so pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed Within Ash and Stardust and how satisfied I was with that ending.

I would say though, that despite me finding these books so addictive, I still had a couple of issues with some elements of the story. Even though we got to see more about the world and the society, there were things about those aspects that were a bit lacking, and for a third book in a series I expected to have a fair view of the world building and a bit more in depth descriptions, and there weren’t much. I still loved everything that I learnt from when they went to Varasow, and I really enjoyed those scenes.

When it comes to the characters, I’d say I was pretty happy with everything. Though it’s true that the first third of the novel was more focused on the love triangle and the gives and takes between Rukus and Trystan, as soon as the plot started almost all of it stoped, but at the very beginning it was a bit repetitive those little fights and jealously between them.

I loved the character growth of Delaney. In the first two installments she was a bit annoying and didn’t make the best decisions, but in this particular one she had such a nice evolution and acted a bit more rationally, which was something I deeply appreciated. I also enjoyed a lot her dynamics with Trystan, and her relationship with him in general, and was so pleased to see that my ship didn’t sink into the ocean.

Again, I find these books so fast paced and easy to get into. I had no issue with the pacing of the story, and Within Ash and Stardust was so addicting I was constantly at the edge of my seat wanting to know how it was going to end.

Overall, I’m so pleased with how these series ended, and though I feel this book focused a bit more on tying things up and letting us know more about the villain and less about the romance, I really liked the ending.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.

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On Earth, Delaney is a normal teenager who recently graduated high school with a fantastic best friend and a loving boyfriend.

But Delaney isn’t on Earth. She’s on Xenith, a war-torn planet half a galaxy away. Originally mistaken for an alien princess, Delaney has gone from kidnapped imposter to the recognized heir to an alien throne. Oh, and she’s engaged to the prince of an enemy nation whose ruthless father is on the warpath.

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Wilder Girls | Rory Power

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★★★★

I have already published a full review with all my thoughts about this book, so click here in case you want to check it out.

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It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

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Spin the Dawn | Elizabeth Lim

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★★★★★

I have already published a full review with all my thoughts about this book, so click here in case you want to check it out.

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Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

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Shatter the Sky | Rebecca Kim Wells

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★★★

I have already published a full review with all my thoughts about this book, so click here in case you want to check it out.

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Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.

If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…

With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?

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Soul of the Sword | Julie Kagawa

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★★★.75

I have already published a full review with all my thoughts about this book, so click here in case you want to check it out.

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Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

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House of Salt and Sorrows | Eric A. Craig

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★★★★.5

I have already published a full review with all my thoughts about this book, so click here in case you want to check it out.

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In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

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The Storm Crow | Kalyn Josephson

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★★★★.25

I have already published a full review with all my thoughts about this book, so click here in case you want to check it out.

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In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

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What books have you read lately and which one has been your most and least favorite? Have you read any of the ones I’ve mentioned above? Let me know in the comments!

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