The Week's Entrée #143

Hi everyone! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

Guys! While I was hanging around Twitter yesterday, I came across a tweet from a fellow blogger who came up with the idea to lend her kindle books to other book lovers. Isn't that idea amazing? Amazon allows us to lend a few of our kindle books ONCE for 14 days, free of charge. I decided to join in on her idea and pulled up a list of all the books that you can borrow from me. You can find it on this tweet:
So far, I've lent:
The Alchemists off Loom by Elise Kova
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Only A Kiss by Ines Bautista-Yao
Never Never Part 1 by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Alienated by Melissa Landers
Starflight by Melissa Landers
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken


If you are interested in any of the remaining titles don't hesitate to leave me a comment or DM me on Twitter, I'd be happy to send it your way! My kindle books are gathering virtual dust on the cloud and are demanding to be read! ;)
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New book!
{Kindle Freebie}


Look at the cute book I got for FREE on Amazon! Only A Kiss by Ines Bautista-Yao is a contemporary romance with a best friends-to-lovers trope and  it looks so sweet (THE COVER IS GORGEOUS, RIGHT???), and I cannot wait to read it!  But not right now because someone borrowed it from me and that is cool. ;) ♥
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To Read This Week:


I'm still reading Literally by Lucy Keating because I'm the slowest ever but I am finding it cute! I really cannot wait to finish it, it's just that I've had other urgent things to take care of (boo, I know). And another read I have to finish ASAP is Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves. I completely forgot this book is releasing tomorrow, gah! So now my mantra is: SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK!!!! (just kidding mom!) Or am I? *smirks*
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And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are you all reading? :)

Book Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Series: The Star-Touched Queen #1
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Published:  April 26th, 2016
Page Count: 342 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Giveaway


Summary:
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. 
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 4/5 stars


I finally, FINALLY, read The Star-Touched Queen I've been meaning to read this gorgeous book ever since it was announced but I somehow kept on pushing it down my TBR list. But now with the companion novel being released next week, A Crown of Wishes, I couldn't keep on putting it off, and whoa, color me impressed!

What I liked:

This book is hands-down a beautiful treat. The writing is incredibly gorgeous and vivid. It's hard not to get lost inside Roshani Chokshi's ability to weave a tale right from the stars, but honestly, who would want to resist? I could live inside her prose endlessly!

The Star-Touched Queen does not have a wide cast of characters, but it makes up with strong (but flawed) personalities. I love how they are far from perfect yet seem to try to be better, to learn from their mistakes. This mostly from the main character, Maya, who not always makes the best of choices, but she  constantly strives to make up for all her errors. Really loved her character!

Oh, but one of my favorite aspects of this book was coming across with riddles! I LOVE riddles. I suck at answering them correctly, but I love finding them in books anyway. I tried to guess each one as I read them, but I do have to say that I've now found the reason why I' won't ever come close to being a "Star-Touched Queen" *sniff*. Good thing I wish to be more like Gauri. ;)

Gauri is Maya's half-sister and the main character in the next companion novel. We meet her in this book when she's around 8 years old, but we soon learn that time passes and she grows into a force to be reckoned with. I just know that she'll be EPIC in A Crown of Wishes!

What left me wanting more:

I loved Maya and I liked Amar (her love interest), but sadly, I wasn't that into their relationship. This might be just a personal reading preference, since this always seems to happen when I'm reading about a couple who already had some form of history. I don't know, I struggle more falling in love when this is the case. 

I was also expecting more from the grand finale. It had a nice build-up and I was expecting huge chaos, but it kind of flops right at the end. It was too smooth. Oh, but it did leave me intrigued about Gauri!

Final Verdict:

The Star-Touched Queen is a gorgeously written book full of magic, intrigue, and a tale as compelling as the starlit sky. Highly recommend!


Book Review: The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras

Title: The Best Possible Answer
Author: E. Katherine Kottaras
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Published:  November 1st, 2016
Page Count: 272 pages
Format: eARC
Source: From publisher via Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review


Summary:
A contemporary YA novel about growing up and learning that loving yourself is more important than trying to be perfect.

AP Exams – check
SAT test – check
College Application – check
Date the wrong guy and ruin everything you’ve spent your whole life working for– check

Ultra-high-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe has always had a plan—and no room to be anything less than perfect. But her quest for perfection comes to a screeching halt when her boyfriend leaks racy pictures of her to the entire school. Making matters worse, her parents are getting divorced and now her perfect family is falling apart. For the first time, Viv feels like a complete and utter failure.

Then she gets a job working at the community pool, where she meets a new group of friends who know nothing about her past. That includes Evan, a gorgeous guy who makes her want to do something she never thought she’d do again: trust. For the first time in her life, Viv realizes she can finally be whoever she wants. But who is that? While she tries to figure it out, she learns something they never covered in her AP courses: that it’s okay to be less than perfect, because it’s our imperfections that make us who we are. 
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 4/5 stars

.This review can also be found on YA Books Central.


The Best Possible Answer is a book that's been on my radar for several months and now that I've had the chance to read it, I am pleased to say that it lived up to my expectations. I've been searching for a book that would give me insight to what happens when a person works herself (or himself) too hard trying to please everyone's expectations but her own while facing other earth-shattering problems, and this book gave me just that. It's down-to-earth, extremely relatable, and inspiring!

What I liked:

First of all, I loved the chapter headers. They're about College application and essay tips, even a few sample questions about Vivianna (the main character) for the SAT's. They were funny, light, informative, and oddly the perfect way to describe Vivi's situation (including how her mind works!).

I had high expectations for Vivi's character, yet I was still surprised at how strong she ends up being. She has her lows in the story, like any other person in the world, but she eventually surpasses them. However, if I had to name one specific thing about her, it's how she deals with her panic attacks. I have never experienced one, but I have reached high levels of stress to the point of getting sick due to overwork, and it's not pretty. And yet, Vivi lives through this over and over again as her world is shattered by secrets too close to home. That takes a lot of strength and I admire her for it.

Another great thing is her friendship with Sammie. Having grown up together, these two girls are inseparable and always there for each other. They might face a few struggles along the way, but I love how they eventually work it out. It's seriously the kind of friendship we all wish to have in our lives!

Vivi also spends a lot of time working at her building's pool along with Sammie, and it worked as the perfect setting to give this book a great summer vibe. It allows to meet so many more awesome characters--like Professor Cox--and a chance to escape the turmoil of being at Vivi's house. 

What left me wanting more:

The romance. Even though I did like Evan and Vivi as a couple, I wish to have seen more of them together. The cover alone suggests this book has a cute romance in it, but there wasn't that much. I wanted more Evan, more feels, and why not? more kisses (or near-kisses, I'm not picky). I understand that there were more important things to handle than a summer romance, but since it is brought up, it's hard not to want more.

I also feel that there's more to Professor Cox's story. He's such an interesting character and it would have been great to learn more about him, though I did love every scene he appears in!

Final Verdict:

The Best Possible Answer is a noteworthy read that deals with serious themes like cheating, anxiety, and family issues but also one that is light enough to have readers smiling throughout its pages as the main character pushes through each of her problems. It's heartfelt, inspiring, and definitely one I would recommend to readers of all ages.

Waiting on Wednesday #17: Now I Rise by Kiersten White


Hi everyone! Welcome to another "Waiting on Wednesday" post (meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!). 

This week I am waiting on:




Now I Rise (The Conqueror's Saga #2) by Kiersten White
June 27th 2017, Delacorte Press
YA Fantasy
Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.
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I loved And I Darken and I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on Now I Rise! I fell for Lada and Radu, how they are both equally awesome but so different from each other despite being siblings. I'm not even invested on the romance (or lack thereof) but  on Lada and Radu's difficult relationship and where they are both headed. Seriously, June cannot come soon enough! 
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What are you waiting on this week? :)

The Week's Entrée #142

Hi everyone! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

So yesterday I started watching The Vampire Diaries from season 1 and it's giving me such teenage feels. I remember how I used to watch it back in High School and how I HATED Damon. Now I'm just thrilled to see him every time *grins*. I think I stopped watching it after season 3 and then I lost track of it, but with all the hype over the series finally ending (please no spoilers!!!), I think it's time to watch it completely. Have you seen it???

Oh, but one I have not seen is the new Beauty and the Beast movie *cries*. My sister & I were supposed to watch it yesterday but we had some car problems so we had to cut our trip to the movies. But I think, I THINK, today will be the day. Cannot wait! Also, POPCORN, Y'ALL. ♥♥♥

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New books!
{For review}
From publishers, authors, Netgalley/Edelweiss, etc.


I downloaded these two pretty books from Netgalley last week: Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant and Cashmere by Temple West! Both sound awesome (though I have yet to read my copy of Velvet!) but I'm particularly excited to read Zenn Diagram because it's contemporary and reviewers say it's cutesy! :D


Also received an eARC of First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy for an upcoming blog tour. Sister & I are excited for our post, be on the lookout for it next month!
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To Read This Week:


This week I'll be reading A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi! I just finished The Star-Touched Queen and it was such a captivating read ♥. I'll also be buddy reading Literally by Lucy Keating with my bestie Becky from Book Nerd Addict! I'm excited! :D
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And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are you all reading? :)

Book Review: Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glann Marsh

Title: Fear the Drowning Deep
Authors: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date:  October 11th, 2016
Page Count:  304 pages
Format:  eARC
Source: Edelweiss


Summary:
Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 4/5 stars
.This review can also be found on YA Books Central.

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh is a captivating tale that plunges its readers into some of the dark secrets found in the deep blue sea. Mixed with mythology, romance, and a peculiar kind of magic, readers will surely find themselves flipping pagesand dreading the end.

What I Liked:

One of my favorite things about this book is the setting. I wasn't entirely familiar with the Isle of Man and now I am absolutely in love with it. Sarah Glenn Marsh gives us a view of how it was around the 1900s and the experience felt so realalmost as if I stepped inside its pages! The mystery, the witchcraft, its inhabitants, and everything else are well written and I wish this book would have been a bit longer just to explore more of this luscious landscape.

This book also has a great cast of characters, but my favorite, hands down, is Morag, the "witch" of the Isle. This character is mysterious and on first sight, the type you would want to stay far away from. However, Morag is a person who has dealt and seen a lot in all her years, and deep down, the kind of grandma anyone would want to have in their lives (though I'm pretty sure she would not be fond to be classified as such). I love this character so much and I hope to read more from her one day! 

The main character, Bridey, is also a favorite, along with Fynn (the mysterious boy who washes up to shore), and Bridey's family. I write about them together (as one) since they all have a great relationship with each other, something that is at times hard to come by. 

Last but not least, the whole myth/folklore mixed with witchcraft and history. It's an unusual combination and one that works magnificently in this novel. Nothing short of bewitching!

What left me wanting more:

While I love Bridey and Fynn together, I feel that their romantic moments aren't as magical and wondrous as I wanted them to be. Usually, the build-up to a relationship is what gets the magic going, but things between Bridey and Fynn happen quite fast, there isn't truly enough time to start wishing for thingslike their first kiss—before it's already happening. Since I'm a huge fan of build-ups, this saddened me a bit.

Final Verdict:

Fear the Drowning Deep is the debut novel of Sarah Glenn Marsh and one you definitely want to have on your TBR! It's dark, hypnotizing, and one that will have you wondering about the mysteries of the deep.

Waiting on Wednesday #16: The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski


Hi everyone! Welcome to another "Waiting on Wednesday" post (meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!). 

This week I am waiting on:

The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski
August 1st 2017, Feiwel & Friends
YA Fantasy
After her father goes missing in the woods that they protect, Winter tries to seek the truth in what happened, why the wood is changing, and what it all has to do with the arrival of a mysterious stranger in this thrilling YA debut.

When Winter’s dad goes missing during his nightly patrol of the wood, it falls to her to patrol the time portals and protect the travelers who slip through them. Winter can't help but think there's more to her dad's disappearance than she's being told.

She soon finds a young man traveling in the wood named Henry who knows more than he should. He believes if they can work together to find his missing parents, they could discover the truth about Winter’s dad. 

The wood is poisoned, changing into something sinister—torturing travelers lost it. Winter must put her trust in Henry in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost. 

Bobulski’s eerie debut is filled with friendship, family, and the responsibilities we choose and those we do not. 
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This book's cover is what first caught my attention but reading the blurb is what made my need to read it grow more. I looooove books set in woods. They always hold some kind of mystery and I enjoy how, more than a setting, it turns into a character itself. And by the sound of it, this book is that kind of book. Yay! Cannot wait to see how it all turns out. :D
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What are you waiting on this week? :)