Sunday, April 28, 2019

Blinding Beauty by Brittany Fichter

Blinding Beauty by Brittany Fichter is the second book in the "Becoming Beauty Trilogy" and is a retelling of the Fairy Tale The Princess and the Glass Hill. Ever and Isa are going to the betrothal ceremony for the daughter of one of their allies but although they broke the curse on Ever their relationship is far from perfect. Ever doesn't confide in Isa and Isa has issues with being able to conceive and use her powers. She isn't used to the world of royalty and has a hard time being confident in her station as wicked tongues of other royals make snide remarks. Launce, Isa's younger brother, join them and it's a good thing because there are mysterious circumstances all about. There are many contestants who have to fight for the hand of the princess and Ever asks Launce to be one of them. Not to mention there's a dangerous magical power about causing strange things to happen and Ever, instead of trying to work with his wife, tries to cocoon her in safety. What happens instead is that Isa feels pushed away from him and is placed in even greater danger. Can they end up working together to not only save each other but the whole country?

Oh gosh this was such a lovely tale. It was incredibly intricate and SO relatable! I can definitely see both sides of the story and sympathize with both Ever and Isa. Ever doesn't know how to show Isa that what he's doing is loving her and Isa doesn't know how to get him to confide in her as his queen and partner. They are just such a good couple! And I liked the story with Launce as well, that was very cute. The Christian element is still going strong, which I love, but it's not like whacking you over the head with a Bible. And the lesson that Isa has to learn is SO true and I really appreciated that, it rang very true with me because it's something I am a firm believer in.

I kind of wish Launce had been proactive in his sword lessons. I mean honestly if I had been in his shoes I would've been training in secret to try and best Ever, but maybe that's just me. I also felt the relationship with Launce and Olivia was a bit fast. I know they were kind of thrust together, but I feel like love shouldn't necessarily have entered the conversation so quickly.

I give this book a 9 out of 10 and recommend it for readers of YA Fantasy, Retellings of Fairy Tales, and Christian Fantasy.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Fierce Like a Firestorm by Lana Popovic

**This review will provide spoilers for the previous book, Wicked Like a Wildfire. If you don't wish for that book to be spoiled then I recommend not reading this review yet**

Fierce Like a Firestorm by Lana Popovic is a wonderful sequel that wraps up the previous book quite well. Iris and Malina have defeated their centuries-old ancestress but Iris was taken into Death's realm to be his wife. Instead of just her soul going, as all previous women have gone, her whole body was transported to his realm. What Iris and Malina don't realize is that by breaking the curse they have allowed a great evil to awaken and return to the world. Now they must find a way to rectify that wrong, Malina from the world of life and Iris from the world of death. Can the girls figure out how to stop the man who steals the light from everyone around them? Who else will they lose in this battle?

This book was an excellent conclusion to the story. I enjoyed seeing the different parts between Malina and Iris in their different worlds and how they had to figure things out for themselves apart from their sisters. They both had to find their own inner strength and I think that was good. I also liked the ending, how Luka and Iris acknowledged their feelings but knew they weren't ready to act on them yet.

I thought how the man was defeated was okay but I also felt it was kind of a way to remove that character from the story a little. I mean it was probably necessary because I don't know how else he could have been defeated, but it just didn't satisfy me. I also wish this book was a little longer, it was a bit short compared to the first one.

I give this book an 8 out of 10 and recommend it for readers of YA Fantasy and Folklore.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic is the first in a duology about two sisters who are caught up in a familial curse their mother had tried to protect them from. Iris and Malina were born, as every other woman in their family, with what they call a gleam. This is a magic that allowed them to see beauty in special ways and then manipulate it. However, their mother is attacked and in a coma and even though she has been rather cruel to Iris the older she gets the girls set out to figure how their mother ended up in that state. They look for a white-haired woman who mysteriously showed up right before their mother was attacked and as they search for answers they find out more about themselves and their family history. As they go to the place their mother is from and become embroiled in the very thing their mother was trying to protect them from they have to figure out who to trust and who must sacrifice everything to let the other live. And although an unexpected ally changes things will a sacrifice still need to be made?

Oh my goodness this book was incredible. The imagery was vivid and beautiful and the story went in an unexpected direction. I loved how their lives were woven into older tales, fairy tales of their world. The magic was very interesting as well, I loved how they were able to do different things in completely different areas.

I didn't like how Jasmina treated Iris. I know she was scared of what would happen to her girls but honestly, I didn't feel she needed to act like that.

I give this book an 8 out of 10 and recommend it for readers of YA Fantasy and Folklore.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Before Beauty by Brittany Fichter

Before Beauty by Brittany Fichter is the first book in the Becoming Beauty Trilogy. In this book a young prince is raised to be too hard for the ancient magic that protects the land to accept him, so he is cursed to be weak and without strength until he can break the curse that has been laid upon him. Isa is a young woman who was crippled when she was younger. She has a pure heart that has been broken and is forced to live with the prince. He tries to figure out how to get her to love him and therefore save both him and his kingdom all while fighting off an evil princess who wants to claim the Fortress for her own.

I absolutely loved this retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The intricate magic that is the Fortress was fascinating to read and I honestly enjoyed how it was implemented with the magic of the castle from the original story. Isa and Prince Ever were both excellent characters and I liked how they both grew and changed through their experience with each other and the Fortress. And I love Garin. He is the voice of reason and is more a father to Prince Ever than the king ever was. I hope we see more of him later on in the series.

I do feel like the title was maybe a little bit misleading. I thought this series would be a buildup with the Beauty and the Beast story either being played out a little slower or in the last book, but I am excited to see what the other two books hold as well as reading the other fairy tale retellings by this author.

I give this book a 9 out of 10 and recommend it to readers of YA Fantasy, and Retellings of Fairy Tales, and Christian Fantasy.

Updates and Questions

Hello, everyone, I hope you're doing well!

I'm just wondering if there's anything you would rather I do differently. I don't have very many viewers, which I understand since I took a long break. But I wanted to know if you had any requests of a book you wanted me to review or if there was a better day/time for me to post. Right now I schedule my posts for 10am PST every Sunday.

Would you prefer multiple posts a week? I did a few posts where I posted, series especially, multiple days a week. I also did the one series with an introduction post on Monday, mostly because there were some abuse triggers, but if that's a format you'd like I'd be happy to switch it up, just let me know! I'd love to hear feedback from you guys :)

I also wanted to know if some people might also be interested in maybe me making video reviews of books on Youtube. I've been watching some book youtubers recently and it looks like a lot of fun but I don't know that I have the equipment for it. Still, I've kind of been playing with the idea so if you guys are interested let me know and maybe I'll set something up!

I'll be posting a review at the normal time, thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you soon!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell

Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell is a magic realism novel that follows Willa as she tries to piece her life back together after the death of her brother. Willa had her life planned out but after her brother dies everything seems to be unraveling. Willa's father won't let her go fishing, which is where she longs to be, and her friend and boyfriend have their own issues to deal with. Then Willa meets the Grey Man, a man who lives in the lighthouse on an island not far from the town she lives in. Willa is the only one who sees him, and whenever she tries to press the subject the people around her they can't seem to stay on topic. The Grey Man is the most recent victim to receive the task of keeping the lighthouse. The main way to be freed is to collect the souls of people who die in the ocean. When he sees Willa he recognizes her as his hope of finally leaving the place. He was once seduced to take on the damning role he now plays, can he do the same to Willa?

Oh my gosh! This book was so amazing! It was so well written and I'll be honest I wasn't expecting the ending. I was sobbing at parts, especially when Willa's brother Levi was being talked about, because it was just so real. The way the legend was woven in was excellently done, and it felt like it would be an actual legend somewhere along the East Coast. Willa fights her conscious and her feelings after her brother dies and the Grey Man is fighting with himself about damning someone to the life he has that he hates. Gosh I can't rave about spoilers but this is just such a good book.

I wanted a bit more about the Grey Man in the end, we got a little bit but something more would have been kind of nice. At the same time it's not too bad that we didn't.

I give this book a 9 out of 10 and recommend it for readers of YA Magic Realism.