Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid Review

Maybe in Another Life
by Taylor Jenkins Ried

Publisher: Washington Square Press
Date: 2015
Pages: 342
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Contemporary
Days to Read: 2
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

Maybe in Another Life is another book I picked up for the N.E.W.T.S. It fulfilled the prompt ‘a paperback’ for an Outstanding in Charms.

in ‘Maybe in Another Life’ we follow Hannah as she moves home after living in New York. Once home she decides to head out with her friend, who is is staying with, while out for a drink they run into Hannah’s ex boyfriend. From there the story takes two paths, what if Hannah stayed out with Ethan – her Ex – and what if she went home with Gabby?

Following the two story lines we see what could of happened in another life.

Hannah is a character that I don’t really have an opinion on. As much as I love Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing I just didn’t really care what happened to Hannah mostly because it didn’t feel like we knew that much about her that was really important as a main character. We learn that she’s curvy, loves cinnamon rolls and always has her hair in a bun an thats it. I found it hard to really feel how she would feel and really want to see what decisions she was going to make

I did enjoy many of the side characters. Gabby for one, is a feminist and a woman of colour and had real depth, she really would have made the story if her character had been given more time within the plot.

The two different perspectives was something different. I have not yet picked up a book that uses this literary tool. Ultimately I wanted to see where each story line was going which is exactly what kept me reading.

If you like a contemporary I think you would enjoy ‘Maybe in Another Life’ however if you are looking for a literary masterpiece you may not enjoy it as much.

Plot: 8/10
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 5.5/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing:6/10
Stars: 3.5/5

What is your favourite Taylor Jenkins Reid book?

Review: ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ By Taylor Jenkins Reid

‘Daisy Jones & The Six’

Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publisher: Hutchinson
Date: 2019
Pages: 368
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Contemporary
Days to Read: 14
Purchase Locations: Amazon & Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas from coast to coast, their sound defined an era. And then, on 12 July 1979, they split. Nobody ever knew why. Until now. They were lovers and friends and brothers and rivals. They couldn’t believe their luck, until it ran out. This is their story of the early days and the wild nights, but everyone remembers the truth differently. The only thing they all know for sure is that from the moment Daisy Jones walked barefoot onstage at the Whisky, their lives were irrevocably changed. Making music is never just about the music. And sometimes it can be hard to tell where the sound stops and the feelings begin. 

Of all the books that I could of picked up to listen to I cannot for the life of me tell you why I chose ‘Daisy Jones and The Six’ By Taylor Jenkins Reid. Contemporaries aren’t usually my thing, I mostly read fantasy and science fiction, but boy am I glad that some little part of my brain thought Daisy Jones was a good idea because it was in fact an EXCELLENT idea!

“We love beautiful broken people”

If you don’t know already ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’ is written as an interview with the reader reading from the interviewers point of view. We follow the interviewer as they discover how Daisy Jones joined The Six and how and why the group broke up.

The depth of these characters feel like something from a series that is in its seventh book. There is so much to each character not one of them is a throw away opinion from a two dimensional character they all add so much to the story. Daisy by far was the one I was most eager to read about. She seemed to embody the 70’s and everything about it. I honestly couldn’t get enough.

If I could ask for anything from this book it would be for MORE! I loved that we got to experience what the band experienced. From touring to recording and what all that might of been like. It definitely have me CBGB vibes.

‘Dream big little bird’

‘Daisy Jones and The Six’ is an absolute experience, listening to the audiobook was utterly immersive. I cannot wait to listen again!

Plot: 9.5/10
Ease of reading: 10/10
Character Development: 9/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 9/10
Stars: 5/5

Any other Taylor Jenkins Reid recommendations would be appreciated

Avengers Book Tag

In true Kate fashion, I wasn’t tagged in this book tag but I’m having a go anyway. I saw this tag floating around the interwebs and here we are.

This one is a no brainer. Written by two very funny people, I genuinely could not stop laughing while I was reading ‘The Greatest Love Story Ever Told’ By Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman.

I feel like most middle grade books and series give a good message but I especially this series. We follow Sophie as she learns she is in fact an elf. ‘The Keeper of Lost Cities’ by Shannon Messenger really looks at self confidence and perseverance.

Celaena from the ‘Throne of Glass’ series by Sarah J. Maas is honestly one of the most resilient, bad ass characters I’ve ever read about. She keeps on getting up when shes knocked down and truly fights the battles that need to be fought.

hello, Spider-Gwen? she literally kicks ass!

Don’t get me wrong, I loved this book,it was probably the fastest I’ve read a Throne of Glass book but I was so angry as I was reading ‘Queen of Shadows’ By Sarah J. Maas, mostly because there were characters being the worst and doing the worst things and still surviving.

I haven’t really seen this one around BookTube much, but if you like a Fae book then you will definitely enjoy this one. in ‘A Kingdom of Exile’ By S.B. Nova the Fae are intense and there is a romance that I personally really enjoyed.

I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t super surprised with the way the story went however I definitely didn’t guess it. ‘In An Absent Dream’ by Seanan McGuire, was such a good read though!

2019 Reading Challenge

I was scrolling through Pinterest, as one does, and came across this reading challenge. Now, I know what you are thinking, “umm… Isn’t this one reading challenge to many?” and you might be right. But as I’ve discovered this year, I love a challenge.

This particular challenge was actually created by Noura at theperksofbeingnourablog and I thank her so much for the time and effort she put into creating it!

So I am starting this challenge late (but whats new), I can however cross off a few things that I have already completed this year. I have already completed 16 of the prompts.

‘The Wicked King’ By Holly Black fulfils prompt 2, ‘Read a book published in 2019’. It was published on January 8th of this year.

‘Exile’ By Shannon Messenger fulfils prompt 4, ‘read a book my a female author’. This ones obvious, this book is written by Shannon Messenger, a female author.

‘The Outcast’ By Taran Matharu fulfils prompt 5, ‘a book by a male author’. Same with this one.

‘The Similars’ By Rebecca Hanover fulfils prompt 7, ‘mental health’. This book has trigger warnings for suicide.

‘Fence’ By C.S. Pacat fulfils prompt 8, ‘book recommended by a friend’ (this one was recommended by Books with Chloe on YouTube)

‘The Greatest Love Story Ever Told’ By Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally fulfils prompt 11, ‘a book recommended by a celebrity’. I only heard about this book from celebrities talking about it.

‘Red Queen’ By Victoria Aveyard fulfils prompt 15, ‘an audiobook’, I listened to ‘Red Queen’ during the O.W.L.S readathon.

‘Queen of Shadows’ By Sarah J. Maas fulfils prompt 18, ‘a young adult book’. This was my favourite book so far in the ‘Throne of Glass’ series.

‘Keeper of Lost Cities’ By Shannon Messenger fulfils prompt 19, ‘a middle grade book’. I am so glad that I started this series,

‘Bloom’ By Kevin Panetta fulfils prompt 20, ‘a book with a one work title’. This was a great graphic novel read!

‘Estranged’ By Ethan M. Aldridge fulfils prompt 23, ‘a graphic novel’. This is a fae graphic novel that I really enjoyed.

‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ By J.K. Rowling fulfils prompt 27, ‘a book your parents love’. My parents love the Harry Potter series, especially my mum.

‘Girl, Wash Your Face’ By Rachel Hollis fulfils prompt 34, ‘a self help book’. I am really glad that I picked up this book and am so glad that she has a second one.

‘Fake Blood’ By Whitney Gardner fulfils prompt 46, ‘a standalone book’. This standalone graphic novel has some great indirect references to Twilight and I love it.

‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ By J.K. Rowling fulfils prompt 47, ‘a magical book’. This one is obvious.

‘In An Absent Dream’ By Seanan McGuire fulfils prompt 49, ‘A short book’. The Wayward Children Series is a series of short books and they are so enjoyable to read.

Altogether I have already completed 16 prompts! I feel like this gives me a good chance to finish the majority of prompts.

There are some prompts that I probably won’t complete mostly because they aren’t the types of books that I like to read.

I am currently reading ‘Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer’ by Rick Riordan which conveniently fits into prompt 32, ‘a story within a story’ with our protagonist Magnus Chase narrating the adventure.

I have paused but plan to continue with ‘The Fever King’ By Victoria Lee. The book is set in a future America which fulfils prompt 29, ‘a book set in the future’.

I don’t know what the rest of my reading plans are for the month, but I am hoping to fulfil a few more prompts.

So why did I decide to join in on this reading challenge after completing the O.W.L.S readathon, attempting the #Avengersreadathon2019 and planning on partaking in the N.E.W.T.S readathon in August?

I absolutely love the vibe that Noura has about this challenge. Readers don’t need to complete every prompt to be successful. If there are 10 prompts that someone wants to read and they read those 10 prompts twice they can still achieve level 2! It is such an adaptable challenge and can act as a guide for readers. Its stress free and fun!

Let me know if you are already or are going to participate in this 2019 reading challenge!

Review: ‘Girl, Wash Your Face’ By Rachel Hollis

‘Girl, Wash Your Face’

By Rachel Hollis

Publisher:Thomas Nelson
Date: 2018
Pages: 240
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Non Fiction
Genre:  Self Help
Days to Read: 14
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

With wry wit and hard-earned wisdom, popular online personality and founder of TheChicSite.com founder Rachel Hollis helps readers break free from the lies keeping them from the joy-filled and exuberant life they are meant to have.

Founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Chic Media, Rachel Hollis has created an online fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans by sharing tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own. Now comes her highly anticipated first book featuring her signature combination of honesty, humor, and direct, no-nonsense advice.

Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a specific lie Hollis once believed that left her feeling overwhelmed, unworthy, or ready to give up. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward.

From her temporary obsession with marrying Matt Damon to a daydream involving hypnotic iguanas to her son’s request that she buy a necklace to “be like the other moms,” Hollis holds nothing back. With unflinching faith and tenacity, Hollis spurs other women to live with passion and hustle and too awaken their slumbering goals.

Before I got back into reading all the fiction, I was obsessed with self help books. My early 20s were really a time when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. So I’m not really sure why I decided, kind of out of nowhere to pick up ‘Girl, Wash Your Face’ By Rachel Hollis.

I am so glad I did! This is honestly a great book for anyone who sometimes feels like they don’t have their life together. It addresses how people compare themselves to what others post online and the difference between that and reality.

I really appreciate how real and authentic Rachel is through her book and how honest she is with everything. Knowing what she has accomplished I love seeing the real person behind all the success.

Honestly if you are someone in your teens, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s etc. There will be something in this book that you can appreciate and hopefully something that makes you remember you are you and no one else can be you.

Plot: 8/10
Ease of reading: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Stars:  5/5

Would love any book recommendations of similar books!

Book Haul: March 2019

March has made way for a book buying ban for this bibliophile. To combat the sadness of no book buying this month I ordered some books in late February so that I would at lease get a little bit of bookish mail this month.

First of all I ordered myself a book sleeve. I’ve been wanting one for a while to protect my books on the train.

I got this constellation one from Fabric Bound on Etsy.

‘Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes’

By Edith Hamilton

Hardcover

Edith Hamilton’s Mythology succeeds like no other book in bringing to life for the modern reader the Greek, Roman, and Norse myths that are the keystone of Western culture–the stories of gods and heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiquity to the present. We meet the Greek gods on Olympus and Norse gods in Valhalla. We follow the drama of the Trojan War and the wanderings of Odysseus. We hear the tales of Jason and the Golden Fleece, Cupid and Psyche, and mighty King Midas. We discover the origins of the names of the constellations. And we recognise reference points for countless works of art, literature, and cultural inquiry–from Freud’s Oedipus complex to Wagner’s Ring Cycle of operas to Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra. Praised throughout the world for its authority and lucidity, Mythology is Edith Hamilton’s masterpiece–the standard by which all other books on mythology are measured.

‘Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom’

By Gigi D.G.

Book #1 in the Cucumber Quest Series

Paperback

What happens when an evil queen gets her hands on an ancient force of destruction?

World domination, obviously.

The seven kingdoms of Dreamside need a legendary hero. Instead, they’ll have to settle for Cucumber, a nerdy magician who just wants to go to school. As destiny would have it, he and his way more heroic sister, Almond, must now seek the Dream Sword, the only weapon powerful enough to defeat Queen Cordelia’s Nightmare Knight.

Can these bunny siblings really save the world in its darkest hour?

Sure, why not?

‘Cucumber Quest: The Ripple Kingdom’

By Gigi D.G.

Book #2 in the Cucumber Quest Series

Paperback

The quest to save Dreamside continues! After a surprise attack at sea, Cucumber finds himself in the Ripple Kingdom, home to white sand, blue waves . . . oh yeah, and the giant, terrible squid monster holding Almond and Sir Carrot captive. Can our so-called “legendary hero” rescue his companions from the nefarious Splashmaster?

Nah, probably not.

Good thing Princess Nautilus is here! With her wit, charm, and positive attitude, there’s no way they can lose. But saving the day won’t be as simple as it seems once a 500,000-year-old secret comes to light . . .

Adapted from Gigi D.G.’s popular webcomic series of the same name, Cucumber Quest: The Ripple Kingdom is the second book of a clever, adorable, and hilarious four-volume heroic adventure that is sure to make you hungry for sweets and action. 

‘Skyward’

By Joe Henderson, Lee Garbett and Antonio Fabela

Volume 1

Paperback

One day, gravity on Earth suddenly became a fraction of what it is now. Twenty years later, humanity has adapted to its new low-gravity reality. And to Willa Fowler, a woman born just after G-day, it’s…well, it’s pretty awesome, actually. You can fly through the air! I mean, sure, you can also die if you jump too high. So you just don’t jump too high. And maybe don’t get mixed up in your Dad’s secret plan to bring gravity back that could get you killed…

SKYWARD, VOL. 1 collects issues #1-5 of the ongoing series from writer Joe Henderson (showrunner of Fox’s Lucifer) and artist Lee Garbett (Lucifer, Loki: Agent of Asgard).

‘Moonstruck’

By Grace Ellis, Shae Beagel
Illustrated By Caitlin Quirk and Clayton Cawles

Moonstruck Volume 1

Paperback

Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it’s up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it’s too late.

‘Fake Blood’

By Whitney Gardner

Paperback

It’s the beginning of the new school year and AJ feels like everyone is changing but him. He hasn’t grown or had any exciting summer adventures like his best friends have. He even has the same crush he’s harboured for years. So AJ decides to take matters into his own hands. But how could a girl like Nia Winters ever like plain vanilla AJ when she only has eyes for vampires?

When AJ and Nia are paired up for a group project on Transylvania, it may be AJ’s chance to win over Nia’s affection by dressing up like the vamp of her dreams. And soon enough he’s got more of Nia’s attention than he bargained for when he learns she’s a slayer.

Now AJ has to worry about self-preservation while also trying to save everyone he cares about from a real-life threat lurking in the shadows of Spoons Middle School.

‘The Hidden Witch’

By Molly Knox Ostertag

The Witch Boy Volume 2

Paperback

Aster and his family are adjusting to his unconventional talent for witchery; unlike the other boys in his family, he isn’t a shapeshifter. He’s taking classes with his grandmother and helping to keep an eye on his great-uncle whose corrupted magic wreaked havoc on the family.

Meanwhile, Aster’s friend from the non-magical part of town, Charlie, is having problems of her own — a curse has tried to attach itself to her. She runs to Aster and escapes it, but now the friends must find the source of the curse before more people — normal and magical alike — get hurt.

‘Half-Blood’

By Jennifer L. Armentrout

Book #1 in the Covenant Series

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals–well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is.

If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

‘Pure’

By Jennifer L. Armentrout

Book #2 in the Covenant Series

There is need. And then there is Fate… Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome—especially when Alexandria’s “other half” is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom—so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do—and sacrifice—for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies—lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon… and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude… or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone

‘Deity’

By Jennifer L. Armentrout

Book #3 in the Covenant Series

Alexandria isn’t sure she’s going to make it to her eighteenth birthday–to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she’s a goner… and so is Aiden.

If that’s not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time “training”–which really is just Seth’s code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time–she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome. 

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she’s caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed… and destroyed.

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate.

‘Apollyon’

By Jennifer L. Armentrout

Book #4 in the Covenant Series

Fate isn’t something to mess with and now, neither is Alex. 

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back. 

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole an Apollyon can’t be killed theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries. 

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer or she might become the God Killer herself.

‘Sentinel’

By Jennifer L. Armentrout

Book #5 in the Covenant Series

It’s a beautiful day for a war.

As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.

And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.

In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself.

‘Lodestar’

By Shannon Messenger

Book #5 in the Keeper of Lost Cities Series

Dark schemes unfold–and Sophie’s loyalty is pushed to the limit–in this thrilling fifth book in the best-selling KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES SERIES. 

Sophie Foster is back in the Lost Cities–but the Lost Cities have changed. The threat of war hangs heavy over her glittering world, and the Neverseen are wreaking havoc. 

The lines between friend and enemy have blurred, and Sophie is unsure whom to trust. But when she’s warned that the people she loves most will be the next victims, she knows she has to act. 

A mysterious symbol could be the key–if only she knew how to translate it. Every new clue seems to lead deeper into her world’s underbelly and the Black Swan aren’t the only ones who have plans. The Neverseen have their own Initiative, and if Sophie doesn’t stop it, they might finally have the ultimate means to control her.

‘Neverseen’

By Shannon Messenger

Book #4 in the Keeper of Lost Cities Series

Sophie Foster is on the run—but at least she’s not alone.

Her closest friends from the Lost Cities have gone with her to join the Black Swan. They still have doubts about the shadowy organization, but the only way to find answers is to start working with them. And as they settle into their new lives, they uncover secrets far bigger than anything they’d imagined.

But their enemies are far from done, and unleash a terrifying plague that threatens the safety of an entire species. Sophie and her friends fight with everything they have—with new allies joining them—but every choice has consequences. And trusting the wrong person could prove deadly.

In this game-changing fourth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must question everything to find a truth that will either save her world—or shatter it. 

‘Exile’

By Shannon Messenger

Book #2 in the Keeper of Lost Cities Series

Sophie Foster thought she was safe. Settled into her home at Havenfield, surrounded by friends, and using her unique telepathic abilities to train Silveny–the first female alicorn ever seen in the Lost Cities–her life finally seems to be coming together. 

But Sophie’s kidnappers are still out there. And when Sophie discovers new messages and clues from the mysterious Black Swan group, she’s forced to take a terrifying risk—one that puts everyone in incredible danger. 

As long buried secrets rise to the surface, it’s once again up to Sophie to uncover hidden memories—before someone close to her is lost forever. 

In this second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must journey to the darkest corners of her luminous world in a sequel that will leave you breathless for more. 

‘Everblaze’

By Shannon Messenger

Book #3 in the Keeper of Lost Cities Series

Sophie Foster is ready to fight back.

Her talents are getting stronger, and with the elusive Black Swan group ignoring her calls for help, she’s determined to find her kidnappers—before they come after her again. 

But a daring mistake leaves her world teetering on the edge of war, and causes many to fear that she has finally gone too far. And the deeper Sophie searches, the farther the conspiracy stretches, proving that her most dangerous enemy might be closer than she realizes. 

In this nail-biting third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must fight the flames of rebellion, before they destroy everyone and everything she loves. 

‘Crown of Feathers’

By Nicki Pau Preto

Book #1 in the Crown of Feathers Series

I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

‘The Year of Less’

By Cait Flanders

In her late twenties, Cait Flanders found herself stuck in the consumerism cycle that grips so many of us: earn more, buy more, want more, rinse, repeat. Even after she worked her way out of nearly $30,000 of consumer debt, her old habits took hold again. When she realised that nothing she was doing or buying was making her happy—only keeping her from meeting her goals—she decided to set herself a challenge: she would not shop for an entire year.

The Year of Less documents Cait’s life for twelve months during which she bought only consumables: groceries, toiletries, gas for her car. Along the way, she challenged herself to consume less of many other things besides shopping. She decluttered her apartment and got rid of 70 percent of her belongings; learned how to fix things rather than throw them away; researched the zero waste movement; and completed a television ban. At every stage, she learned that the less she consumed, the more fulfilled she felt.

The challenge became a lifeline when, in the course of the year, Cait found herself in situations that turned her life upside down. In the face of hardship, she realized why she had always turned to shopping, alcohol, and food—and what it had cost her. Unable to reach for any of her usual vices, she changed habits she’d spent years perfecting and discovered what truly mattered to her.

Blending Cait’s compelling story with inspiring insight and practical guidance, The Year of Less will leave you questioning what you’re holding on to in your own life—and, quite possibly, lead you to find your own path of less. 

‘Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel’

By Mariah Marsden, Brenna Thummler, L.M. Montgomery

Schoolyard rivalries. Baking disasters. Puffed sleeves. Explore the violet vales and glorious green of Avonlea in this spirited adaptation.

The magic of L.M. Montgomery’s treasured classic is reimagined in a whimsically-illustrated graphic novel adaptation perfect for newcomers and kindred spirits alike. When Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert decide to adopt an orphan who can help manage their family farm, they have no idea what delightful trouble awaits them. With flame-red hair and an unstoppable imagination, 11-year-old Anne Shirley takes Green Gables by storm.

Anne’s misadventures bring a little romance to the lives of everyone she meets: her bosom friend, Diana Barry; the town gossip, Mrs. Lynde; and that infuriating tease, Gilbert Blythe. From triumphs and thrills to the depths of despair, Anne turns each everyday moment into something extraordinary.

‘Wings of Olympus’

By Kallie George

Take flight with Pippa and her winged horse in this heartfelt two-book series about a young girl who must win the hardest race in ancient Greece in order to stay with her closest friend.

High on the slopes of mighty Mount Olympus, among the sun-splashed meadows and sparkling waters, glide the winged horses of the ancient gods. Here up high is normally no place for a lost, parentless girl like Pippa. But once every hundred years, the gods and goddesses descend to the mortal realm to choose jockeys for their winged horse race—and Pippa is one of the lucky children chosen to ride.

With her undersized, impetuous winged steed, Zephyr, by her side, Pippa has to confront the greatest challenge of her life: achieving victory in a race across the sky.

No one expects Pippa and Zephyr to win, or even finish, this death-defying race. A poor orphan who’s spent her life working in stables, Pippa doesn’t seem to belong in the world of the gods. And while she loves Zephyr with all her heart, he’s smaller than the other winged horses racing. But if Pippa and Zephyr don’t find a way to win, the gods will separate them—forever.

To stay with Zephyr, Pippa will have to work harder, train longer, and dare more bravely than her competition. In a race filled with petty, jealous gods and goddesses and a host of ruthless riders, Pippa must prove that love is greater than might.

‘Game of Stars’

By Sayantani DaGupta

Book #2 in the Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond

When the Demon Queen shows up in her bedroom, smelling of acid and surrounded by evil-looking bees, twelve-year-old Kiranmala is uninterested. After all, it’s been four months since she last heard from her friends in the Kingdom Beyond, the alternate dimension where she was born as an Indian princess. But after a call to action over an inter dimensional television station and a visit with some all-seeing birds, Kiran decides that she has to once again return to her homeland, where society is fraying, a reality show is taking over, and her friends are in danger.

However, things are a lot less clear than the last time she was in the Kingdom Beyond. Kiran must once again battle witches, solve riddles, and avoid her evil Serpent King father – all while figuring out who are her true friends, and what it really means to be a demon.

‘Fever King’

By Victoria Lee

Book #1 in the Feverwake Series

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

‘Keeper of Lost Cities’

By Shannon Messenger

Book #1 in the Keeper of Lost Cities Series

Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” 
There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first.

Weekly Update: 9.4.19

Over the last couple of weeks I have completed 5 books!

I finished ‘Keeper of Lost Cities’ By Shannon Messenger, which I was 200 pages into. I then read ‘The Doughnut Kingdom’ By Gigi D.G. which is the first volume in the Cucumber Quest series of graphic novels. I also finished my audiobook, ‘Girl, Wash Your Face’ By Rachel Hollis.

I then finished ‘Exile’ By Shannon Messenger, the second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities’ and just yesterday I completed ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ By Cressida Cowell.

I have just started reading ‘Outcast’ By Taran Matharu.

This is the prequel to The Summoner series.

So far I am really enjoying it and I am hoping that I can finish it this week!

I am also half way through ‘The Greatest Love Story Ever Told’ By Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman.

I am absolutely loving it!

I decided to listen to this on Audible and I am definitely loving that decision!

Now for an update on the O.W.L.S read-a-thon.

So far I’ve completed:

  • Potions: by reading ‘Exile’ By Shannon Messenger
  • History of Magic: by reading ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ By Cressida Cowell

I am currently working on:

  • Charms: Currently reading ‘The Greatest Love Story Ever Told’ By Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman
  • Care of Magical Creatures: ‘Outcast’ By Taran Matharu

The last 2 weeks have been pretty crazy! We ended a busy first term, we finished our move out of our apartment. It is holidays which is amazing and I am so happy for! I am hoping that in this time I can get a ton of reading done and finish out the O.W.L.S with a bang!

O.W.L.S Read-a-thon

Here we are again. Staring down the beginning of another Harry Potter themed read-a-thon hosted by Gee at Book Roast.

This month I will be partaking in the O.W.L.S exam read-a-thon where each subject is a different reading prompt and by reading a book that fits the prompt you pass the exam and then partake in that subject in the August N.E.W.T read-a-thon, but if you don’t read the book for the subject then come August you can’t take that subject in your N.E.W.T’s… Make sense?

Gee has really put an incredible amount of time and effort into this read-a-thon, even creating a Wizarding Career’s guide to help you decide what subjects you would need to complete to achieve the wizarding goal of your dreams and I absolutely love it.

This year I have decided to go all out and I am aiming to become a Hogwarts Care of Magical Creatures Professor.

So (as you can see) to become a Hogwarts Professor I need to complete 7 O.W.L.S which must include the subject I want to teach, so for me it will be Care of Magical Creatures as well as Defence Against the Dark Arts. With that I have decided to complete the following:

  • Care of Magical Creatures
  • Defence Against the Dark Arts
  • Potions
  • Herbology
  • Arithmancy
  • History of Magic
  • Muggle Studies

For Potions the prompt is to read a sequel. For this one I chose to read ‘Exile’ By Shannon Messenger. This is the second book in the Keeper of Lost Cities series.

I chose potions as a topic, because as a Care of Magical Creatures professor I feel as though being able to brew healing potions and antidotes would be important.

For Defence Against the Dark Arts the prompt was to choose a book beginning with ‘R’. For this I’ve chosen ‘Red Queen’ By Victoria Aveyard.

Defence Against the Dark Arts is a required subject for a professor at Hogwarts, which again I think is very important for any witch or wizard to learn.

For Care of Magical Creatures we are required to read a book with a land animal on the cover. For this one I have chosen ‘Outcast’ by Taran Matharu. This is the prequel to ‘Novice’ the first book in the Summoner Series.

Obviously If I want to be a Care of Magical Creatures then I would need to complete the Care of Magical Creatures O.W.L

Herbology is the next of the seven subjects I hope to complete during the O.W.L.S for Herbology the prompt was to read a book with a plant on the cover. For this I chose the graphic novel ‘Estranged’ by Ethan M. Aldridge.

I think Herbology is another important subject to study when planning to be a Care of Magical Creatures professor it is important to be around magical plants as well.

For Arithmancy the prompt for the exam is to read a book with more than two authors. For this I ended up choosing ‘Skyward: My Low G Life.’ By Joe Henderson, Lee Garbett & Antonio Faela.

I chose Arithmancy for more of a fun topic. It was one that I always liked the sound of so I figured, why not!

I also chose History of Magic as another elective. For this we needed to read a book that was published 10 or more years ago. I chose ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ By Cressida Cowell, which was published in 2003.

History of Magic feels like an important subject for everyone, especially when working with magical creatures. It is important to know the history behind the discovery of magical creatures as well as the laws that have been put in place around them and their protection.

For the Muggle Studies O.W.L the prompt is to read a contemporary. I have chosen to read ‘The Geography of Lost Things’ By Jessica Brody.

Muggle Studies is usually an easy exam, however my reason for choosing it is more to understand muggles, especially when I might be teaching muggle born witches and wizards and may need to interact with muggles when it comes to caring for or protecting a magical creature.

So obviously I’ve chosen books for all of the subjects in case – by some miracle – I can read all the books I need too (which is more than I normally read in a single month). Why wouldn’t I choose a book for the entire syllabus to read?

For Ancient Runes the prompt is to read a retelling. For this I have chosen to read ‘Ash’ By Melinda Lo. This is a retelling of Cinderella.

For Charms the prompt is to read an adult work. I have chosen ‘The Greatest Love Story Ever Told’ By Megan Mallully and Nick Offerman. This is one I’ve been wanting to read for the longest time.

The two above subjects are ones that work into my back up career’s in case I am unable to complete all of the seven books for the Care of Magical Creatures Professor career. I will be evaluating my progress half way through the month and decide whether I need to change my career path.

If I manage to read all seven books for my Care of Magical Creatures Professor position as well at the two other back up subjects I have chosen books for the two remaining subjects that are offered in O.W.L.S.

For Astronomy the prompt was to choose a book with ‘Star’ in the title, so for Astronomy I have chosen to read ‘Game of Stars’ By Sayantani DasGupta.

The last subject available to study in the O.W.L.S is Divination. For this subject the prompt is to read a book that is set in the future. I had to look for a while before I found a book that would be appropriate and that book is ‘Nyxia’ by Scott Reintgen.

I have officially started the HUGE undertaking and am ready for the challenge. Let the reading begin…

Are you participating in the O.W.L.S Read-a-thon?