YA Fantasy Books You Need on Your TBR

2019 is SLAYING with all the amazing new releases – both ones that have just come out and those that are upcoming! I mean, can y’all SLOW DOWN FOR A SEC? Let my bank account and I catch up, and while you’re at it, please add 15 hour to each day so I have time to devour all of these exciting fantasy books.

SO TODAY, I’m going to be sharing just five 2019 fantasy releases you need on your TBR! I’ve only read a couple of them, and the others are on my TBR, so I hope I get to read them ASAP and just avoid allllll my other responsibilities. You know how it is. Oh, and I got to chat to the lovely Gita Trelease about her YA fantasy novel, Enchantée. Check it out!

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Enchantée

IS THIS NOT THE MOST GORGEOUS BOOK YOU’VE EVER SEEN IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE?! Seriously. My eyes are in love. And just when I thought I couldn’t love this book even more, then I read it. And wow — I instantly knew this would be one I’d just devour. I mean, it’s set in 1789 Paris, which is an instant star just for setting alone. The writing was flawless. The world was intriguing. The characters were fun and the banter was solid gold and it was just such an enjoyable reading experience.

Okay, I’m going to be perfectly honest with you… my favourite character in this book maaaay have been the dress that feasted on blood? And was magical? WHO CAN BLAME ME, I WANT A VAGUELY MURDEROUS DRESS THAT LOVES BLOOD. What could be better? Okay, well maybe Camille came pretty close to being my favourite as well. She can do petty magic to transform scrap metal into money, but when her magic stops working properly, she has to venture into the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette for something a little more lucrative.Read More »

#NowWeRise Book Tag

I can’t believe that one of my most anticipated fantasy books of 2018 is finally here! AND IT’S EVEN BETTER THAN WHAT I HAD HOPED IT WOULD BE. I’m always a little cautious going into fantasy books because 80% of what I read is contemporary, but I couldn’t help but fall in love with Children of Blood and Bone from the very first page.

So I thought I’d do the #NowWeRise Book Tag to celebrate! I saw this tag on Bec’s Books and I couldn’t not participate. If you’ve read Children of Blood and Bone and would like to do the book tag, I’m officially tagging YOU! You’re also welcome to use the graphics I’ve created.

#NowWeRise Book Tag

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What’s a trope you’d love to see die, and one you’d love to see live, or flourish more often?

LOVE CURING MENTAL ILLNESS CAN GO DIE IN A PIT, THANK YOU. Honestly, it’s 2018 — we don’t want stories that show how falling in love will cure all your problems. We need novels that have mentally ill characters who have good support systems, or go to therapy, or take medication. There’s nothing that angers me more than one character thinking they can ‘fix’ another’s mental illness by their love. Most of the time, this is just done in a completely unrealistic way, not to mention how harmful it can be for some readers.

A trope I’d love to see more often is the ‘friends to lovers’ trope. Ever since I read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, I’ve been desperate to get my hands on romances as adorable as this. MONTY… PERCY… THEY’RE JUST SO ADORABLE. There’s something so sweet about two people who go from being friends to being in a relationship, and it never fails to melt my heart. If you have any recommendations for more books with this trope, I’d love to know!Read More »

Just Some SF/F Reviews

Over the past month, I read three hyped SF/F books… which is a lot for me, considering the majority of the books I read are contemporary, followed by straight fantasy. However, I do enjoy reading a good science-fiction/fantasy book from time to time.

But today, I’ll be reviewing four of them for you! These books are everywhere at the moment – they’ve been hyped to the max – and so I’m going to debunk that hype and tell you if these books are really worthwhile.

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Why THE BONE SEASON should be on your TBR

Wow. THIS SERIES. It just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it? I read The Bone Season mid last year and I absolutely adored it, making me desperate to get my hands on the The Mime Order as soon as I’d finished it. I have to admit — I WAS a little cautious going into this series. I knew it was adult fantasy and I’d never really delved into that realm before, so I was hesitant about this one. But WOW. I was so impressed by the fantastic world-building and the way the story enthralled me, pulling me into this new and dangerous world. If you’re a fan of fantasy, The Bone Season is a series not to be missed. I’ve just finished reading The Song Rising and I’m already looking forward to the next instalment!

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Magic, Shadows, and Light

Question: How do you write a review for your favourite series? Answer: SHRIEK AND RUN AWAY BECAUSE IT’S TOO HARD. Ever since finishing A Conjuring of Light, I’ve wanted to write a post about my love for A Darker Shade of Magic and just V.E. Schwab in general (and how I kind of daydream about us marrying but MEETING HER would be a start), but like… WHERE TO START? What can I say except that this series enveloped me and I fell utterly in love with the characters and I was left a sobbing mess by the end? HUH? Is it even possible?

If you don’t know what A Darker Shade of Magic is… WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? THIS IS ABSURD. THIS IS MADNESS. But just because I’m kind, I’ll shed some light on it for you. This series is full of magic and different Londons and awesome coats and thieving pirates — and that’s basically all you need to know! Seriously, this is a one-of-a-kind adventure and V.E. Schwab has a special place in my heart. She’s the only author that’s made me lie on the couch for three days straight reading and rereading this series, and then three more trying to recover from the ending. THESE BOOKS WILL RUIN YOU. But, you know, in a good way. I promise.

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Aurora – book review

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A ruthless Master. A magical society. One last chance for love and redemption.

Imagine a world where you can become the richest man or woman on Earth by literally trading rags for riches. Imagine a world where anyone — sick, old, lame or poor — can live forever. Now imagine that same world but with one catch…

You must kill one of your fellow human beings to maintain your immortality. It can be anyone—your father, your sister or even your next door neighbour. Not so sweet now, is it?

This is the life that Aurora Hawthorne has always known. No friends, no family — just an oppressive man who calls himself her Master and beats her constantly. Although her life is filled with Alchemy — a dark, seductive magic — and she literally holds the power of a thousand thunderstorms in her hands, life isn’t so great. You see, in this society, there are three groups of humans: regular humans, Master Alchemists and Alchemic slaves, also known as Breakers. Regular humans are just that — regular, but their supernatural counterparts are much more complex… and far darker.

Is there any hope in a world so corrupt? Can the young girl find love when people have done nothing but mistreat her?Read More »

Moon Chosen – book review + GIVEAWAY

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Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan, but she has been forced to turn from her duties, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save herself and her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival, dominating Tribe, strays across her path that Mari experiences something she has never felt before…

Now evil is coming, and with it, a force more terrible and destructive than the world has ever seen, leaving Mari to cast the shadows from the earth. By breaking Clan Law and forming an alliance with Nik, she must make herself ready. Ready to save her people. Ready to save herself and Nik. Ready to embrace her true destiny…and battle the forces that threaten to destroy them all.Read More »

Ruined – book review

Ruined

Ruined is a thrilling and fast-paced fantasy novel, written by Amy Tintera.

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a Ruined – completely lacking any magic – she is determined to get revenge.

Her plan is simple: She will infiltrate the enemy’s kingdom, posing as the crown prince’s bride-to-be. She will lead an ambush. She will kill the king and everyone he loves, including his son.

But the closer Em gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Her hear of steel begins to soften. But with her life – and her family – on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.Read More »

Troll Mountain – book review

Troll Mountain

Troll Mountain is the new and intriguing YA novel, written by Matthew Reilly.

In a remote valley, a tribe of humans are being killed off by a terrible and seemingly unstoppable disease. The only hope for a cure relies on the rumour that the trolls of Troll Mountain have a miraculous elixir.

When Raf’s sister gets sick and his tribal leaders refuse to help him, Raf makes the courageous and possibly foolish decision to set out on his own for Troll Mountain and to steal the elixir. With trolls around every corner, will Raf be able to steal the potion to save his sister? And more importantly, does such a cure even exist?

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I’m really sad to say that this book just didn’t do it for me. I’d heard of Matthew Reilly before and I had heard that he was really popular, so when I heard that he had written a new YA novel, I was eager to read it. Little did I know what I was in for. Trolls, uninteresting plot and uninteresting characters were just a few of the things this book had in stall for me. I didn’t hate it, it’s just that I didn’t really feel anything for it at all. There’s a part of me that loves it when I hate a book, because it means I feel passionately about it and will likely remember it in the future, for better or for worse. So it makes me a little disappointed to find that this book didn’t make me fall in love with it or hate its guts. If books had guts. With this book, I couldn’t care less.

Okay, let me discuss one very important detail right now. Trolls. Trolls. I don’t like to think that I’m racist, or troll-ist, but there’s something about trolls that makes me cringe. I think it was my experience with Switched by Amanda Hocking. For those of you who haven’t read this book, or this series, I will explain it really badly in one sentence – boy troll meets girl troll who previously thought she was human and then takes her to a troll palace. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what happens. I was a little distracted by the fact that… trolls. Okay, I’m getting sidetracked now, but you get the idea. I have kind of a bad relationship with trolls. And please, if any of you have read the Trylle series by Amanda Hocking and loved it, let me know! I’m willing to try and mend this relationship. It’s not beyond hope yet! At least, I hope it isn’t.

So obviously, this book has trolls in it. Duh. If you can’t tell that from the title of this novel, you’re a little bit slow. Sorry to break that to you. So I was willing to try and think positively, that I was most definitely in love with trolls. But there’s only so much you can fool yourself into believing. There was another aspect of the trolls that I didn’t like, besides me just not liking the general idea of trolls. I didn’t like their disjointed and childish way of speaking. I understand that trolls might speak like that, but it really frustrated me. It was clichéd and overdone and I just felt as though there was nothing original about this book, particularly in that area. Maybe I’m just not a troll person. I should have known better though before committing myself to reading this book.

Let’s get to discussing the human characters now, shall we? Raf, the protagonist, felt like a very bland character and like he had no real substance. I didn’t really see different sides to him and he seemed to get out of every single situation or problem he faced too easily. There was never any question as to whether he would survive. I was never on the edge of my seat, praying that Raf would live to see another day. Even if I thought he was going to die, I wouldn’t have cared much anyway because I felt like I didn’t have any sort of close bond to him. I didn’t hate him, but I didn’t like him either. He wasn’t particularly special or complicated and that annoyed me. I love characters with depth and intrigue, and I felt like Raf was lacking that.

I also felt like a lot of the other characters weren’t developed. Because of that, I found that I didn’t connect to them and I didn’t have any feelings for them. Another thing I didn’t particularly like about this book was the plot. I briefly mentioned it before when I said that Raf overcame obstacles too easily, but the whole general plot line was lacking. In particular, it was lacking in detail. When I started reading this book, I immediately realised that Matthew Reilly writes differently to any other author’s novels I’ve read. There were no beautiful and poetic descriptions. There wasn’t excessive detail. Sometimes I really love that. Sometimes I think that it’s good to just be straight-forward and to no lot lose what you’re trying to say in the way that you’re trying to say it. But with this book I just felt like a little more detail could have done it some good. Things happened in the blink of an eye and I felt like it needed some padding out to make these moments more memorable, or so that important events happened in more than the space of just half a page. It suppose it’s all down to personal preference, but isn’t everything? Reading is subjective and no two people read and interpret a book in the same way. And I think that’s a beautiful thing. Though sadly, this book was not beautiful to me.

I guess my main issue with this book was that it felt a bit young. I understand that YA has a wide audience, from kids as young as ten to adults, I really don’t feel as though there’s an age limit with these books, though some issues may fall short with an older adult audience. However, these books are most commonly read in the age group of 12 – 24, would I be right in assuming that? Perhaps this book would have appealed to me more if I was 12, but I just felt as though this book was trying to reach younger readers. I think the fact that I don’t read a heap of fantasy meant that I didn’t get into this book as much as I would have liked. I read a lot of contemporary and dystopian but hardly any fantasy. Perhaps I need to try some more fantasy. If any of you have any ideas of fantasy books that I might like, I’d love to know!

So ultimately, I didn’t really enjoy this book. I felt like there were some crucial things missing in both the plot and the characters and I felt like this book was a little young in comparison to all of the other YA novels I read. I’d give Troll Mountain by Matthew Reilly a score of 3 out of 10. If any of you have read this book, I’d love to know what you thought!

Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!