it’s good to be back ~ ft. the house in the cerulean sea

I’ve been thinking this a lot lately since flying home over a month ago. Even now, we’re all finding peace and joy and anything else we need to keep going wherever we can. And I realized that is exactly why it’s time to return to this blog – to this small home I created online years ago.

To start off, I’m sharing my thoughts on a book that made my heart ache…

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book review: lady midnight by cassandra clare ~ an wildly compelling story

25494343.jpgPublisher: McElderry Books
Release Date
: March 8 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Blurb: 

In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

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book review: when the moon was ours by anna-marie mclemore

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Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release date: October 4, 2016
Genres: YA, Magical Realism, Fantasy

Pages: 288
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads Blurb:

When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

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book review: the star-touched queen

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Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

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Lips Touch: Three Times || 3 Stories That Left Me Yearning For More

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Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Release Date: October 1st 2009

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA

Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers’ souls:

Goblin Fruit
In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today’s savvy girls?

Spicy Little Curses
A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.

Hatchling
Six days before Esme’s fourteenth birthday, her left eye turns from brown to blue. She little suspects what the change heralds, but her small safe life begins to unravel at once. What does the beautiful, fanged man want with her, and how is her fate connected to a mysterious race of demons?

My Review

This is not my first Laini Taylor book. In fact, the reason I picked it up is because I love her writing so much and holy cow you guys, I am so glad I read this book! It features three different short-stories, each of them beautiful, otherworldly and terrifying.

Goblin Fruit: This is long and drawn out – so suspenseful it had be on the edge of my seat, terrified for the main character. I honestly couldn’t guess if there would be a happy ending or not until I read the ending. Reading this story gave me this feeling of satisfaction, like sinking my teeth into chocolate cake. The fact that I could relate to Kizzy’s yearning to be beautiful, also made feel more invested in her fate.

Spicy Little Curses: This story is told from different perspectives and takes place in India. The ambassador to Hell has to bargain with a demon in order to save the souls of children. But even the widow (ambassador) can’t save every life and eventually she makes a deal that she might eventually regret. This time, I had a vague idea of what would happen and the twists at the end didn’t really surprise me. But the story was made more interesting because it was told through the eyes of more than one character.

Hatchling: This is the longest story and it’s set in both the modern world and the realm of the Druj (soulless creatures/demons). You might not want to read this at night, if you’re like me and cringe every time there is a description of anything remotely scary. Other than that, I’m not going to reveal any more because I think it’s better to go into this not knowing what to expect.

I know this book might seem outdated (I’m still catching up on new releases!) because it was published six years ago. But if you love fantasy, you must read this. (And then hopefully comment below telling me what you think!)

Book Haul! (5)

Book Haul

I feel like I had a pretty decent haul this month and I even won an e-book (!!) in a Twitter giveaway. I also received quite a few e-ARCs and ended up borrowing some library books.

Won…

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I only recently started following the author on twitter/wordpress but ever since, I’ve been really psyched to read her books because she just seems really awesome. Under The Lights also appears to be an original book in one of my favorite genres (YA CONTEMPORARY!).

ARCs…

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Thank you to Full Fathom Five, Peachtree Publishers, Alloy Entertainment, and Amulet Books for the review copies of Dead Ringer, Believarexic, The Space Between Heartbeats, and Worlds of Ink and Shadow. I am most excited to read Dead Ringer because it’s a thriller and I haven’t read a book in that genre in a while. (There are also no negative ratings/reviews on Goodreads right now.. but hopefully I won’t be the first!).

Borrowed…

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It’s been a while since I borrowed books (and had to endure the added weight to my heavy backpack) but I really wanted to read these books so I decided it was worth it! Both of these books are incredible. SO INCREDIBLE. (And Through the Woods is especially beautiful) The only reason I didn’t write a review is because I don’t have time to.