REVIEW #60 | RUIN OF STARS by Linsey Miller (Mask of Shadows #2)

Title: Ruin of Stars

Author: Linsey Miller

Series or Standalone?: Mask of Shadows #2

Publishing Date: 28 August 2018

Synopsis (Goodreads):

“The thrilling conclusion to the Mask of Shadows duology that weaves a tale of magic, shadows, and most importantly, revenge.

“As one of the Queen’s elite assassins, Sal finally has the power, prestige, and permission to hunt down the lords who killed their family. But Sal still has to figure out who the culprits are. They must enlist the help of some old friends and enemies while ignoring a growing distaste for the queen and that the charming Elise is being held prisoner by her father.

“But there’s something terribly wrong in the north. Talk of the return of shadows, missing children, and magic abounds. As Sal takes out the people responsible for their ruined homeland, Sal learns secrets and truths that can’t be forgotten.”

Trigger/Content warnings:

  • blood and gore
  • violence
  • misgendering
  • character death

Representation:

  • genderfluid main character
  • bisexual love interest
  • aromantic side character
  • trans man side character
  • non-binary side character
  • sapphic character(s)
  • multiple characters of color, including mixed race characters

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

I thought that Ruin of Stars was a wonderful sequel and finale of the duology. Compared to Mask of Shadows, this book hits fast and hard, pulling no punches. I think I like it just a tad bit better than the first book!

After the events of Mask of Shadows, Sal is tasked with hunting down the nobles that were responsible for killing their family. Along with that, the tension also begins to rise at the Queen’s court as insiders are looking shadier every day.

I’m going to be honest, I finished this book about a month ago, and I kinda forgot what exactly happens outside of the fact that I really liked it, lol. But!! I do remember that I absolutely loved these characters, forever and ever. The reader learns more about Amethyst and Emerald and sees them interact more with Sal as an equal. You also learn more about Ruby, which is probably one of the best parts. Also! Multiple non-binary characters!! I literally did a little happy dance when I found this out as I was reading. There is also a trans side character as well.

I will say that I thought Sal and Elise’s conflict was pretty “meh”. I nearly hit my head against the wall because how thick did Elise have to be to not believe what Sal was saying until it was nearly too late? She didn’t have issues with anything else, but this one thing had to be insurmountable for her. She wasn’t my favorite character in Mask of Shadows, so I knew she wasn’t going to be my fav in this book either, but still. Thinking about it more, I understand what the author was trying to get at, but I thought it fell a bit short.

The writing itself is pretty good, though! It is very fast-paced, and I thought it was easy to fly through. The action never seems to stop, which took a bit getting used to compared to the the first book of the series (which I thought was a bit slower in terms of action). On top of that, there is so much talk about marginalized people and simply living in a society that doesn’t even want you to exist, let alone be visible and thriving. I really appreciate that aspect of the novel, and I wish I could have more of it.

But yeah, while I wasn’t a huge fan of Elise in this book, I thought that Ruin of Stars was a good book overall, and I would still definitely recommend this book (and the duology in general)!

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LIST #8: Top 5 Bookish Memories

Hi, everyone! I’ve been thinking about my childhood a lot (for some reason?), and it’s been making me think about different bookish memories I have from growing up. So, I figured I would share a few of them with you all.

5. Borders closing

So in the United States (or, at least in Michigan), there was a bookstore called Borders. It was really nice, really cute; there was one in the mall that I went to. From what I remember, it was the only other big brick-and-morter bookstore in the United States outside of Barnes and Noble. It used to be a bit cheaper than Barnes and Noble, which is why my mom and I always went there. However, it ended up closing due to financial issues; I want to say they went bankrupt, but I’m not sure. Anyways, 8-year-old me was absolutely devastated. My mom and I never really went to Barnes and Noble much until recent, a few years ago. Instead, we mostly went to the library. I mean, we still do, but now we also go to Barnes and Noble from time to time as well. Sometimes, I just wished Borders was still open, ya know? Nostalgia and all that.

Continue reading “LIST #8: Top 5 Bookish Memories”

MONTHLY WRAP-UP #8 | October 2018

October 2018 Wrap-Up.png

Hi, folks! So another month has come and gone (somehow??), and here we are again: another monthly wrap-up. I read a lot more than I thought I was going to, and that’s saying something. So, let’s get into it!


1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay

⭐ .5
1.5/5 stars

Review

Such a great duology does not deserve the conclusion that is Mockinjay. Seriously. I’m angry. Check the review out for full anger.

Continue reading “MONTHLY WRAP-UP #8 | October 2018”

BLOGOWEEN POST #6 & REVIEW #28 | “The Diviners” by Libba Bray (The Diviners #1) (Audiobook)

 

The Diviners

The Diviners

Title: “The Diviners”

Author: “Libba Bray”

Length of Audiobook: 18 hours 14 minutes (15 CDs)

Narrator: January LaVoy

Synopsis (from back of CD case):

“SOMETHING DARK AND EVIL HAS AWAKENED. . . .

“Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

“Evie worries her uncle will discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

“As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho is hiding a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened. . . .”

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • non-consensual kissing
  • blood
  • gore
  • ableism
  • description of dead animals and human bodies
  • racism/racial slur
  • anti-Semitism
  • white nationalism
  • character death
  • Indigenous/Native slur
  • domestic abuse
  • eugenics

Representation in the novel:

  • black character
  • gay side character

⭐⭐⭐⭐
4/5 stars

Continue reading “BLOGOWEEN POST #6 & REVIEW #28 | “The Diviners” by Libba Bray (The Diviners #1) (Audiobook)”

REVIEW #27 | “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games #3) (Audiobook) (INCLUDES SPOILERS)

Mockingjay Review.png

Mockingjay.jpg

Title: “Mockingjay”

Author: Suzanne Collins

Length of Audiobook: 11 hours 40 minutes

Narrator: Carolyn McCormick

Synopsis (from back of CD case):

“The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

“Who do they think should pay for the unrest?

“Katniss Everdeen.

“The final book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins will have hearts racing, pages turning, and everyone talking about one of the biggest and most talked-about books and authors in recent publishing history!”

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • violence
  • blood
  • character death
  • torture
  • PTSD symptoms

Representation in the novel:

  • mental illness (PTSD)
  • disability (prosthetic limb)
  • black characters
  • non-black characters of color

⭐ .5
1.5/5 stars

Continue reading “REVIEW #27 | “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games #3) (Audiobook) (INCLUDES SPOILERS)”

TOP TEN TUESDAY #2 | Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems.png

Hi, folx! I know I’m super late for Top Ten Tuesday (which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl), but…better late than never, right? Anyway, this week’s topic is Hidden Gems: “books that haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly that you think deserve some recognition.”

So, in good ol’ me fashion, I only have five books because ten is a lot… But I hope you all like them!

1. Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

Not Your Sidekick

I haven’t actually read this yet (it’s on my TBR for September, so I’m hoping to get to it eventually…), but I’ve heard so many good things about it by the bookish people I follow for book recommendations (amongst other things, of course). However, although I’ve seen people in my little circle talk about it, and its sequel, a lot, I haven’t seen much from people outside of the group I follow. It could be because it’s been a few years since it was published, but it’s been twenty years since Harry Potter was released, and that’s still going on…and on…and on…

Continue reading “TOP TEN TUESDAY #2 | Hidden Gems”

BOOK TAG #9 | Hamilton Book Tag

Hamilton Book Tag.png

Hello, folks, and welcome back to another book tag! Today’s tag is called the Hamilton Book Tag, taking prompts from everyone’s (some people’s?) favorite musical. The original creator is Maureen Keevy, and you can see her video in the prior link.

Also, there’s a spoiler warning for the 14th prompt (Stay Alive: a character you wish was still alive); it pertains to characters in Harry Potter, particularly in Order of the Phoenix and The Deathly Hallows. Please skip over it if you don’t want to be spoiled.

Alright, without further ado, let’s get into it!


1. The Room Where It Happens: a book world you would put yourself in

I would most likely die within the first hour I plop in, but the GrishaVerse world??? Yes, please. I wanna dick around with Kaz and the crew. Granted, like I said before, I would probably die, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Continue reading “BOOK TAG #9 | Hamilton Book Tag”

REVIEW #25 | “Catching Fire” (The Hunger Games #2) (Audiobook)

Catching Fire.png

Catching Fire

Title: “Catching Fire”

Author: Suzanne Collins

Length of Audiobook: 11 hours 41 minutes (9 CDs)

Narrator: Carolyn McCormick

Synopsis (from back of CD case):

“Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.”

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • violence
  • blood
  • character death
  • execution
  • PTSD symptoms
  • vomiting/emetophobia
  • disordered eating
  • alcoholism

Representation in the novel:

  • mental illness (PTSD)
  • disability (prosthetic limb)
  • black characters
  • non-black characters of color

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

Continue reading “REVIEW #25 | “Catching Fire” (The Hunger Games #2) (Audiobook)”

BOOK TAG #8 | Fall Book Tag

The Fall Book Tag

Hi, everyone! I know it’s been a hot minute since I’ve last posted (getting ready to go back to college was a struggle, haha). So, I wanted to start out nice and easy with a book tag! I understand that it isn’t quite fall yet, but I always made fall synonymous with September, so here we are.

Here are the rules for this tag:

  • Link back to Bionic Book Worm, as the creator of this tag!!
  • Use the graphics – if you want 🙂
  • Have fun!

Without further ado, let’s begin!


1. Crisp Fall Air: a book that felt fresh and new

The Diviners

I’m going to have to pick The Diviners by Libba Bray! Even though I’m only five or six hours into the audiobook, I’ve been loving it. I suppose the aspect of kids having magical powers isn’t entirely new, but the setting (1920s New York) has a great feel to it, and I think the narration is phenomenal. Definitely something that’s new. Continue reading “BOOK TAG #8 | Fall Book Tag”

MONTHLY WRAP-UP #6 | August 2018

August Wrap-UP.png

Hello, everyone! I hope August was a great month for you, both for reading, blogging, and in life in general! This post is going to be really short because, well…I only finished one book this month. And it wasn’t even a new book! So let’s dive into the one and only book that I finished in August 2018.

1. “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows

Are any of you surprised that the only book I read was my favorite book (and also the inspiration for the name of this blog)? You probably shouldn’t be, but if you are, that’s okay, too. For those of you who don’t know what Six of Crows is about, it follows six teenagers that band together to try and get somebody out of the place that is supposedly impenetrable. I really enjoy the writing, the sass between the group, and how the book delves into four of the group’s backstories.

Continue reading “MONTHLY WRAP-UP #6 | August 2018”