Twisted: Belle’s Story Review (Destined #3)

Twisted: Belle's Story (Destined, #3)

Belle was in Ella’s story as one of the privileged students at the Royal Academy. She was also hurt in the attacks, but her family had the money to actually fully heal her. At least, that is the story told in Fated, Ella’s story.

The truth is that Belle was only pretending to act like a stuck-up privileged student to try to bring down her abusive father. She hates her father and was looking into his finances at the bank to see why her family stayed rich during the plague when all the other families took a financial hit. She thinks that she is onto something when the attack happens, and, and the brain damage she gets from the blast causes her to lose part of her memory. Her father refuses to let a healer heal her fully, and chooses to threaten her into submission. Without complete memory of what she was trying to achieve and who she was close to, Belle also has to deal with the prince trying to hit on her. He seems rather close to her, but she can’t even remember why.

I didn’t like Belle in Fated very much, but she only showed up for a brief moment. I wasn’t sure what to expect in a book that would be completely about her, but I knew that I wanted to finish the series. This book was a pleasant surprise.

Belle wasn’t as stuck up as I originally thought she was. She was only acting rude to Ella in order to make her father believe that she was on his side. Everything she did was an act to keep her father on her side, even though she was working against him. I was so sad when she lost her memories, she had been doing so well and was so close to her goal and then everything disappeared before her eyes because of the memory loss. She was one of the strongest “rich girl” characters that I have ever read in a story before, so I hope to see more of her in the books to come.

The only small complaint I had about this story was how much time Belle spent confused. It was kind of annoying after a while as a reader from Belle’s POV to know what she was supposed to be doing, and still see her wandering around, confused and in pain from her unhealed injury. I was only frustrated for a small amount of the book, but it was worth mentioning.

Another thing worth mentioning was that I couldn’t see much of the chemistry between the prince and Belle. They were an okay couple, but I didn’t love them as much as the couples in the previous two books. Overall, I think that this book would rank at the bottom of the books in this series, but because the series is so good, I think it is still a 4 star read.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new Beauty and the Beast retelling.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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Hidden: Rapunzel’s Story Review (Destined #2)

Hidden: Rapunzel's Story (Destined, #2)

Zel is a mage with the Touch. If she touches someone, she can drain the life out of them. She has been under the control of an evil witch for years, and she can’t leave because the witch holds her True Name. Anything her mistress tells her to do, she has to do it. Every time she tries to escape she is caught and punished for it. When she isn’t trapped in her Tower, she is forced to murder people at her mistress’ demands.

When a man randomly climbs up to her tower, Zel knows she will be punished when he is found. But she just can’t force him to go away when he is willing to help her. No one has shown her kindness in years, but he wants to help her escape.

I have to be honest, I never felt much towards the Rapunzel story as a child. It was one of my least favorite tales, some girl up in a castle all her life and then BAM prince to take her away. I didn’t even like Tangled when it came out! But I definitely gained a fondness for the story after reading this retelling of the book.

Zel can take care of herself, and she would leave the castle if her mistress ever gave the chance. She has tried to escape multiple times, but she just can’t break free of her true name being used. The man who comes into her castle can help her create a plan to escape, but she still has to be the one to do it herself. She has to be able to build up the strength to fight back. She has to think of herself as worthy of being saved before she can save herself. Eventually, the man isn’t even helping her to escape much, but instead he is more like the princess in the castle, waiting for Zel to return from another one of her expeditions.

This book also explains a lot of the things that made Zel act the way she did in Fated. I never really understood why Zel was so scared of being caught at the bakery, but once you see her body count in Hidden, you know the danger. There are entire clans after Zel who would want to do to her family what she did to theirs, they do not care that Zel wasn’t even in control of her body as she killed people.

This book moved smoothly, and I was excited to keep reading as I was in the thick of it. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen to Zel next, and I finished both books 2 and 3 in the same day while commuting to work! This Destined series will draw you in and will not let you go until you hear the stories of all these girls.

I would recommend this series to anyone looking for a new fairytale retelling series.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books

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Fated: Cinderella’s Story Review (Destined #1)

Fated: Cinderella's Story (Destined, #1)

Ella is the only non-mage in her household. Her stepmother Zel has to stay hidden because she is a powerful mage. She was under the control of someone who held her True Name and was forced to kill many with her powers in the past, so she has many enemies. Now that Zel has two twin daughters who are also mages, she has to make sure that she and her girls stay hidden. If Zel is arrested, the family will be torn apart. So Ella does all in her power to keep the bakery running to support her family. She is also studying at the Royal Academy to try to get a better job to move her family out of the small apartment at the bakery. A mage named Weslan shows up at the bakery looking for protection, and his staying at the bakery threatens Ella’s family’s safety. When a bomb goes off during her final exam and she is hurt, her chance for graduation goes out the window. Ella has to pick up the pieces of her life and find a new way to protect her family.

I have run this blog for 3 years now, and I have read countless fairytales and fairytale retellings throughout my entire life. Something just always draws me to these stories of love and fantasy. I can say, hands down, that this is the best fairy tale retelling series I have ever read. At first I was thinking it would be second only to Court of Thorns and Roses, but the other books in this series continued the fairy tale retelling theme, and it quickly bumped its way up to first place for that category.

Ella isn’t your typical Cinderalla. Zel isn’t cruel to her. She isn’t forced to work for her stepsisters. She does all the work that she does simply because she loves her family and would do anything for them. She wants to get a job by graduating from the Royal Academy so that they can live more comfortably. She would work every day that she lived if it meant that they were safe, and she wouldn’t let anyone get in between her and her family. This is what made her so admirable to me. Family came first, in everything, and she was willing to work hard to keep them safe, even if it stressed her out.

I would also say that this fairy tale retelling deviates some from the original story, which I enjoyed a lot. There is an entire story about Mages versus those with no powers. Those who hold the True names of mages can force them to do their bidding, which means that the Mage population is greatly oppressed in this world. This story is woven delicately in and out of the original Cinderella tale, to make a unique and powerful one of its own. This is what made it my favorite fairytale retelling of all time, and that’s how this book dragged me out of my reading slump.

This story flows perfectly from scene to scene. I don’t believe that the POV ever shifted from Ella, but if it did, it wasn’t confusing in any way and fit right into the rest of the story. There were no dead points in the story or characters that I found to be irritating, so everything made for a very pleasant read.

I won’t spoil anything else as this book was a quick read for me and I don’t want to give any major plot points away. I would recommend this series to anyone who loves fantasy novels or who wants to read a fairytale retelling. This entire series is free through Kindle Unlimited, and book 6 is coming out this year, so I am extra excited to see what Kaylin Lee has in store!

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books

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The Sparrow Review

The Sparrow (Emaji Nation #1)

The Sparrow by Denna M. Davis is a novel about a 16-year-old girl named Amanda whose grandparents send her through a magic portal to the Emaji Kingdom for the summer. She is told by a boy named Solomon that she is the fated Sparrow, the hero that will save them from their evil king Zorn. Solomon also claims that he is her soulmate as well, and she meets many people along her journey.

I wanted to enjoy this book, but the storyline was so confusing that I couldn’t keep track of or differentiate between the characters. No one was unique enough for me to remember why they were important to the story. The only thing I enjoyed about this book were the addictive action scenes, the rest I could do without.

I won’t recommend this book but I won’t totally write off this author. I think that she could probably write well for different types of books, or maybe books with a smaller host of characters to keep track of. This was simply not the book for me.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books

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Kill or Cure #2: Bloodlust Review

Kill or Cure: Bloodlust

Kill or Cure #2: Bloodlust by Pixie Britton continues the adventures of Alyx, Will, Winter, Tommy, and Colt. Tommy has been suffering as he becomes less and less in control of when the infection takes over. Winter has been dragged along on this adventure but is becoming a valuable member of the team. And Alyx, Will, and Colt are stuck in a love triangle.

Why didn’t I mention any actual story aspects about those three characters? Well, because I don’t think they have any story aspects besides the love triangle. Literally all Alyx is thinking about is how much she loves Colt and how much she doesn’t want to admit that she knows that Will likes her. Will is just pining after her and trying to ignore Colt. And Colt, the greatest disappointment of all, is just pining after Alyx. He literally just met her less than a month or two ago and all he did was save her and kiss her and now he acts like a lovesick dog. Even Will wasn’t that bad, and he has been waiting for years to get his chance to be with Alyx. The whole book was ruined for me with this love triangle. Every time that the action would start up and I would be excited to figure out what would happen next, one of the characters would do something dumb for the sake of love and start acting like a lovesick dog again.


The two characters I liked the most were Tommy and Winter. Both have their own setbacks as Winter is deaf and Tommy has to deal with the infection. But, they don’t really have to deal with romance as much, and they both grow a lot in this novel. I won’t spoil anything, but I definitely liked them best.

Overall, I won’t be finishing this series. I also wouldn’t recommend it. But I do think that it could have been a really great series if it wasn’t for the annoying love triangle.


I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books.

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The Smoke Thieves #1 Blog Tour Plus Review

The Smoke Thieves (The Smoke Thieves, #1)

Smoke Thieves

A shrewd princess whose father is plotting against her. A loyal servant on a quest to avenge his family. A streetwise demon smoke hunter in desperate need of money. A charming thief whom everyone is hunting. They are four teenagers whose lives would never intersect, until a war between kingdoms bubbles up, and the dangerous truth aboutdemon smoke intertwines all their fates. It’s a tangled web of political intrigue, shifting alliances, and forbidden love, in a world where sometimes no amount of magic can keep you safe.

Pre-order Here:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/551385/the-smoke-thieves-by-sally-green/

In The Smoke Thieves, you learn the stories of three different pairs of people. First, you have Catherine and Ambrose. Catherine is a princess who is about to be forced into a marriage that she doesn’t want to be in, but she is in love with her best friend and personal guard Ambrose. Her brother Boris is a spy for her father and wants to make sure she stays in line until she is married off to a foreign prince. Then you have Tash and Gravell, a young girl and an old man who hunt for demon smoke to sell. Lastly, you have March and Elyon, the servent of a prince and the charming thief. These stories will overlap for one another, but they will mostly take place in these pairs for the majority of the story.

My favorite character in the story was probably either March or Catherine. March was one of the last of the Abasks, and he found out what had really happened on the day that his family was massacred. He didn’t know much about his culture and was the odd one out in the prince’s court, so he has a lot to learn. Catherine was in love with Ambrose, but she didn’t act foolishly about it. Her country came first, and she was determined to do her best to keep her kingdom safe. Even if it meant that she would have to go against her father.

The only reason why I rate this book 4 instead of 5 stars was because things really started to slow down in the middle of the book. I read the first 200 pages in around 2-3 hours, but the next 150 pages took me over 5 hours of intermittent reading to get through. If it wasn’t for the drag in the middle, I would have loved every minute of this novel.

Everything else in this book was great. The characters were all unique and everything connected well. I never got confused as to whose POV it was as I read through the book. There was romance but it didn’t take over the novel until I didn’t want to read it anymore. And the action scenes were addictive and yet realistic.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new upper YA/NA novel to read.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books.

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Demon World

A princess. A soldier. A servant. A demon hunter. A thief. When we last saw them, this unlikely group was heading into the Northern Territory of the kingdom of Pitoria, on the run from the sadistic and power-hungry King Aloysius of Brigant. The Smoke Thieves have discovered that demon smoke is not only an illegal drug used for pleasure, but in fact, when taken by children, demon smoke briefly gives its users super-human strength. Aloysius’ plan is simple and brutal: kill the demons for their smoke, and use that smoke to build an unstoppable army of children to take over Pitoria, Calidor, and then the rest of the world. The Smoke Thieves are the only ones who understand this plan–but can they stop it? Catherine, Aloysius’ daughter, is seen as a traitor from all sides; Tash is heartbroken after the loss of her one friend and sees nothing left for her in the human world; Edyon is wanted for murder; March is carrying the secret of his betrayal of his new love; Ambrose is out for revenge–and all the while, the demons have plans of their own…

Pre-order Here:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/551386/the-demon-world-by-sally-green/9780425290248/

AUTHOR BIO

Sally Green lives in Cheshire, England. She has had various jobs from her first paper-round to a career as an accountant, but in 2010 she started writing a novel and that changed her life. She still runs most days despite several attempts to give it up.

The Hunger Games #1 Review

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

I read the Hunger Games Trilogy once many years ago, but I don’t really remember any of it. In fact, I don’t remember what happened in Mockingjay at all, just bits and pieces of what I read online, even though I know for a fact that I finished the novel. So, I decided to start from the beginning and reread the entire trilogy, and I noticed quite a few things that I didn’t notice before.

For starters, wow, I don’t like Katniss’ mom. I didn’t think she was that bad from the little I remember of her in the movie, but she made me want to scream in this one. Katniss barely ever spoke back to her mother, even though her mother went into a depressive episode and left an eleven-year-old to take care of an adult and a seven-year-old for almost an entire winter. It wasn’t her mom’s fault, but Katniss suffered for those months trying to feed her family until her mother would come back mentally. Katniss finally breaks down and yells at her when she is about to leave for the Hunger Games, begging her not to leave mentally again. Instead of apologizing for not being there all those years ago, she makes an excuse like “well I have my medicine now and if I had had my medicine back then I wouldn’t have left.” Your daughter was hurting because she had to become a mother at only 11, and your only comeback to her asking you not to do that again is “well if I had my pills.” This may be realistic, parents who have depressive episodes never really apologizing or understanding how much strain they put on their children, but boy it was so frustrating to read. The mother clearly prefers Prim, even though that daughter hasn’t been doing much (besides her goat milk business) to support the family, and just treats Katniss like she is the breadwinner for the family because she can hunt. Nevertheless, I felt that this truly gave Katniss more character than she would have had otherwise. It was interesting to see that she didn’t come from a perfect family with a perfect life. Therefore, it actually improved the story for me, in a way.

I really liked how the Capitol’s greediness was compared with the poverty of some of the districts. One of my favorite parts of the book was when Katniss got upset FOR the kids who Effie shamed in the previous year for eating like “animals.” Katniss remembers that these children had come from some of the poorest families in the District, so of course they would have eaten as if they were never going to see food again with such a rich meal being placed in front of them. District 12 is one of the poorest if not the poorest districts in the nation, so Katniss and Peeta have never seen such opulence before they got to the games. The scenes with the stylists were also very well written, and I was happy that they weren’t disrespected like other tributes.

I have to say that I hate love triangles, so I just didn’t appreciate the romance in this book. I understand that they did it because of a plan, but it just didn’t sit well with me. This book would have been perfect without the romance for me, but I am going to take a star off for that. Like what if they had teamed up to be partners, killed everyone, then decide to kill each other so that no one would win the games? I think that could have made for a more powerful book than this one was.

Overall, this book was better than I remember it being, but I still didn’t like the romance. For someone who is interesting in the worldbuilding and the fighting action of the game, this is the perfect book! If you are here for the romance…I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it completely. Onto the rest of the trilogy!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books.

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The Mage-Born Anthology Review

The Mage-Born Anthology

The Mage-born Anthology is full of short stories discussing the lives of Reshi’s siblings before and after they received their powers. Some of his siblings lived together while others lived on their own, not knowing that they had any siblings. They were all raised in different locations across the country, they all have different personalities, and they all develop very different powers. I’m not going to be able to review all the stories without including major spoilers, so I am just going to focus on my favorite story and the story that surprised me the most.

My favorite story was Velyn’s backstory. He was also raised in an orphanage like Reshi, but when he aged out of the orphanage, he was placed in a halfway house with his best friend Tawni. They both want to be fishermen and Velyn as a wind-mage would guarantee that they would be successful. All they have to do is save enough from the money they make off the catch of rented boats to buy their own and start their own business. Even though Velyn is pretty evil in the main series, he seemed genuinely sweet to his friend and an honest worker in this book. Now I need to know what happened between this short story and the beginning of the Mage-born Chronicles to make him into the man he was!

The story that surprised me the most was Eagan’s backstory. I knew that one person would have had to be just genuinely bad, and I guess Eagan was that person. I almost cried while reading the end of this story, and then that was it! I don’t need to read more of his character, but it would be interesting to see how he reacted to meeting the rest of his siblings.

Overall, one or two of the short stories were a bit disappointing, but they were all good for the most part. I just hope that there is more to come from this universe, as I love this lore and these characters so much! The novellas were also written in chronological order, from the time the oldest child got her powers to the point that the mage hunters started hunting the 7 siblings. Through these stories you are able to see to see how the world slowly became more and more hostile towards mages over time, and how the younger siblings were raised in worse conditions than their older siblings. I would not recommend reading this before the other two books in the Mage-born Chronicles, but I would recommend reading it after for a bit more backstory.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for the novellas to the Mage-born Chronicles, a fantasy series with LGBT+ characters.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 books

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The Mage-Born Chronicles #2: Mistress Mage Review

Mistress Mage  (The Mage-Born Chronicles #2)

After the battle, Reshi realized that he loved Kestral, and he left. Loving someone was too much like being owned by that person for him to accept, and so he ran. Six months have passed and Reshi has started to woo some royals in order to live in the castle and get close to his step-brother, the king’s “legitimate” child Niko. He is also in contact with his exiled mother, and is avidly trying to avoid his murderous brother Velyn. Kestral stayed with Kila and has been hunting for Reshi for the past six months as well. He is desperately in love with him and would do literally anything to have him back, but Reshi keeps avoiding him. Whenever he manages to get close to Reshi, he shapeshifts into a creature that he can’t keep track of and runs away again. Kestral has to find some way to get Reshi to trust him so that they can finish off Velyn and finally be safe, but Kestral has to get Reshi to stay in one place long enough to explain himself first.

I have to say that even though the chase may get annoying for some readers, I truly enjoyed Kestral chasing after Reshi in this book. All Reshi does is usually run away from a situation when it becomes to difficult or too dangerous for him to face, and it has worked for him in his life so far. Now, there is finally a person begging Reshi to stay in one place. Their personalities are complete opposites, but now they are becoming more one alike one another. Kestral used to be the quiet one who avoided Reshi’s advances, now Reshi is forced to be quiet to stay in hiding away from Kestral.  They are also struggling with being apart from one another, even though Reshi would never admit it. I loved this couple from the beginning of the first book to the end of this book. They had their hiccups, but no couple is perfect. I still believed that they were a perfect match by the time I finished this novel.

My favorite part of this book was watching Reshi bond with his brother Niko. I wasn’t expecting them to get along as well as they did, given that Reshi lived a stressful and impoverished life while Niko got to live a privileged life, but Reshi was able to see through Niko that life as a royal was not amazing either. Niko had been sick all his life and had barely been allowed out of the castle many days. He struggled with being alone and having no friends because of this, and he never got to experience many of the luxuries of being the prince because of his sicknesses. Reshi originally was jealous of his brother, but then he began to befriend and even pity him to some extent. Only thing I was worried about was that Niko was accidentally going to develop a serious crush on his brother before they were properly introduced, but that was avoided completely. I would love more stories of just the two of them learning how to be true brothers to one another!

The action of this story was intense as a lot of “final battles” occur. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that I was happy with the ending. All the twists and turns leading up to that ending went perfectly, and I was happy with how all the characters ended up. If things had been any different, I don’t think I would have been as satisfied. I’m especially glad that Kila didn’t get any sort of random lovers. She loved the military, and that shone through her character entirely. She did not have time for extra dalliances, and I respected her for that.

Overall, this was one of my favorite fantasy duologies, and I can’t wait to read more by this author. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a new fantasy novel to enjoy, or a new romance novel with LGBT+ characters.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books

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Kill or Cure #1 Review

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Kill or Cure

Alyx lives in a town of survivors with her brother Tommy, her guardian Joe, and her best friend Will. The Infected come from time to time, but they know how to protect themselves. When Tommy is infected, they know that they will have to leave. Without the protection of their walls, they are in danger when any traveler or Infected comes near to them. They have to protect Tommy, find new shelter, and avoid the Infected while they are at it.

I started off this novel truly invested in the story. I liked the characters, loved the setting, and I was looking forward to seeing how they would grow as the novel went on. By the time I reached the end of this book, my dreams were dashed. I still enjoyed the action scenes and I enjoyed most of the plot, but the romance ruined it for me.

I knew that Will and Alyx were going to be a couple from the start of the novel. I had hoped it would just be the two of them, but of course, no YA novel can go without a gold old-fashioned love triangle. I truly hated when Colt came into the picture, there was really no need for him to be there. Alyx fell for him because he “protected” her, but Will had literally been protecting her for years before that. They grew up together. Her lame excuse for wanting Colt over Will just didn’t add up, but she continued to ignore everyone that told her Will had a crush on her. This love triangle was painful to read as both boys started pining after Alyx, and the rest of the storyline seemed to die along with it.

Everything picked up again at the end of the story when the more important characters were added back in, like the deaf girl Winter that they found on their journey and a few other people they picked up. It is these characters who are making me really want to read book 2. Now that everyone is back into the story, I think the love triangle will be put to the side for more exciting story and action.

I wouldn’t recommend or discredit this book, as I think things might change in the next novel, so read it if you enjoy dystopian novels but don’t mind extremely annoying teenaged love triangles.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books.

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