Review: The Dark Days Deceit

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The Dark Days Deceit by: Alison Goodmen

My Rating: 4 Stars

The thrilling, genre-bending conclusion to Lady Helen’s demon-hunting adventures, set in the glittering Regency world.

Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete. She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. But the heinous death-soaked Ligatus Helen has absorbed is tearing a rift in her mind. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy.

In the final book of the trilogy that began with THE DARK DAYS CLUB and continued with THE DARK DAYS PACT, the intrepid Lady Helen’s story hurtles to a shocking conclusion full of action, heartbreak, and betrayal.

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger warning: Death, physical violence, drugging someone, manipulation, cheating, sexism, misogynistic society, graphic fight scenes, and abuse of power/authority.

The Dark Days Deceit was read for the theme Reborn Tales. For a book group called The Theme Thieves.

Lady Helen is preparing for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn. She receives a letter from her aunt Lenore saying that she will be visiting soon. This scares Helen as her aunt isn’t aware that she is a Reclaimer. And any of her recent activities.

Lord Carlston meanwhile is looking for Lady Elise. Thus far there have been no findings. Lord Carlston and Lady Helen get into a fight. Lady Helen fears that her marriage to the Duke of Selburn will be put to the test. As her aunt and many other friends start joining the party Lady Helen is having a hard time completing her Reclaimer duties. With Deceivers more prominent Lady Helen and Carlston soon find themselves backed in a corner. Can the two defeat the Grand Deceiver and make it out alive?

I have been a longtime fan of this series! So I was really looking forward to this installment. I am happy to say that I enjoyed it! As per usual this is book is written in third person limited following Helen. There are chapter numbers and letters. There are dates and the year. Plus there is a lace like pattern on the tips of the pages. 

The Dark Days Deceit was so tense! The beginning from the end was tense. With maybe a few nice and peaceful moments. And a hilarious scene. There was even tension between Helen and Carlston. At first it was just that they were mad at each other. But then it shifted to romantic tension. Which I think was done very well.

Some new characters are introduced. Lord Henry and Lady Georgina who are going to be Helen’s in-laws soon. Aunt Lenore and Andrew come back in this book. A few new Reclaimers come in as well.

There was some more world building present. Particularly with the Grand Deceiver. The Ligatus also comes into play. And how it’s effecting Lord Carlston, Lady Helen, and Darby. I really enjoyed all the information and how it fit in with the plot. The plot twists and reveals were so good!

As always I loved reading about the relationship Lady Helen has with those around her! I was surprised at the friendship with Lady Georgina. I assumed that we weren’t supposed to like her. The author instead chose to add more layers. Which I really appreciated. Her mentoring with Sprat was also sweet to read about! I really like Sprat. And was so happy that she played a huge role in the story.

It was nice to read about Helen’s aunt and brother. I was happy when they came back in. They provide a good support for her. Really great family dynamics. The author also surprised me by adding some layers to Helen’s uncle. While he is awful and sexist, he cared about them. In his own way. He set up Helen’s bank account as he did with his wife.

The romance was pretty good to! I enjoyed reading about the love triangle. And the back and forth that Helen went through. I wasn’t happy with how the love triangle ended. But I commend Helen’s strength.

I did have a few problems. I’m kind of upset about Selburn being the Grand Deceiver. I think that there was a better way to end the love triangle. Also about Lady Margret and Delia’s deaths. It felt like all Helen wasn’t left with too many female friends.

Overall I enjoyed this installment! I highly recommend this series.          

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Review: A Dash of Trouble

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A Dash of Trouble by: Anna Meriano

My Rating: 5 Stars

Leonora Logroño’s family owns the most beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, spending their days conjuring delicious cookies and cakes for any occasion. And no occasion is more important than the annual Dia de los Muertos festival.

Leo hopes that this might be the year that she gets to help prepare for the big celebration—but, once again, she is told she’s too young. Sneaking out of school and down to the bakery, she discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters have in fact been keeping a big secret: they’re brujas—witches of Mexican ancestry—who pour a little bit of sweet magic into everything that they bake.

Leo knows that she has magical ability as well and is more determined than ever to join the family business—even if she can’t let her mama and hermanas know about it yet.

And when her best friend, Caroline, has a problem that needs solving, Leo has the perfect opportunity to try out her craft. It’s just one little spell, after all…what could possibly go wrong?

Beware spoilers ahead!

Trigger warning: Death mentioned, mention of cancer, bullying, physical violence, and abuse of magic powers.

A Dash of Trouble was read for the theme January Jam Jar. For a book group called Devour Your TBR on GR.

Leo’s family runs a bakery. As she is too young Leo isn’t allowed to partake in the bakery activities. Leo soon realizes that there might in fact be another reason to it. With the help of her best friend Caroline, Leo discovers that her family are practicing magic!

Behind her families back Leo begins to practice magic on her own. Leo decides to use her first spell to help Caroline. Rather than doing any good Leo instead creates a big mess. Can Leo right her mistakes with the help of her family and Caroline?

I heard about A Dash of Trouble through Twitter. The cover and the synopsis was cute so I decided to purchase myself a copy. I am happy to say that I loved it! The book is written in third person limited following Leo. There are chapter titles, and chapter numbers along with an illustration. There are poems. The spells were mostly in Spanish. At the end of the book there’s a section labeled Leo’s Lucky Recipes. And lastly baking similes.

This was such a cute book! While also being unique. I loved the magic system and how the baking was involved. All the baking terminology and process was accurate. I also liked how present the culture was even in the spells!

I loved the family aspect! Leo is very close with her family. I liked how unique all the sisters’ were. Isabel the kind oldest and calm one. Marisol the second oldest while a bit rude still caring in her own way. Alma and Belen the twins who are the closest in age to Leo. Thus are a bit closer. I also liked Leo’s parents and aunt Paloma.

Leo and Caroline’s friendship was also well done! Caroline’s mother passed away due to cancer prior to the book. Sometime after that Caroline and her father moved. The family returns back home. And it’s like no time has passed at all between the girl’s. There’s also Brent whom I took some time to warm up to. Regardless he grew on me.

I absolutely loved the diversity! Leo’s family are Spanish. There culture is present in their magic, as the women are Bruja’s. Caroline is half Colombian. She helps Leo translate some spells. The book actually begins with The Day of the Dead festival.

I felt that the author wrote realistic middle graders. All the social problems even felt so. Especially with Brent and the peer pressure he felt in leaving Caroline. Which also ties in to the magic mishaps. Leo decides to put a love spell on Brent so he would go back to being friends with Caroline. Of course this doesn’t end well. And it effects the social hierarchy system.

I really liked Leo’s growth! Throughout the book Leo believes she can solve the problem on her own. In doing so she lies to her family and Caroline. Even to herself. All under the assumption that if her family found out rather than helping her they would stop her from using magic. Leo sees the error in her ways and confesses to everyone. While also owning up to her mistakes.

Overall I loved A Dash of Trouble! I highly recommend this series.           

Bookish Goals for 2019

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Hello everyone! Today I am going to be sharing my book related goals for 2019. I am hoping to accomplish most of these goals. As some of these are one’s I tried to accomplish in 2018. I’m not going to force myself or stress about any of this. I will try my best and go with the flow. Let me know in the comments what are your goals for 2019!

My Goals:

  1. Interact with bloggers: Earlier in the year I start to talk to bloggers. Then I ended up getting busy and some health problems came up. After all of that I simply lost the motivation to interact online. I want to try and make this a habit. I really do enjoy talking to other bloggers!
  2. Use my other social media accounts: I’m not sure how many of you know but I do have a Twitter and Bloglovin’ account. I really don’t do much with them. I would actually like to make use of them. On twitter I want to take part in discussions. On Bloglovin’ I want see other bloggers’ posts and interact with them.
  3. Make a Bookstagram: I have an Instagram which I barely use. I really want to make it into a bookstagram! Also to be able to use it to put myself out there and of course make conversation.
  4. Make more content: I would like to create different types of posts. I usually just stick to book hauls, monthly wrap-ups, guest posts and reviews. I want to be able to create more than just that. 
  5. Sign up for blog tours: In the past I’ve done blog tours and enjoyed them! I would like to look for more blog tour opportunities rather than just stick to Sunday Street Team. 
  6. Request ARCs: Since I’ve started this blog I’ve never actually emailed a publisher requesting an ARC. I truly believe that I’m ready to do so. 
  7. Focus on what I’m interested in: I have this habit of reading everything. Regardless of whether or not I think I’ll like said book. You never really know until you try right? Expect most of the times I do. And it just ends in a DNF. I would like to just stick to what I’m interested in. Not just what everyone else is reading. And what’s hyped up.  
  8. Prioritize my reading: I spend so much time focusing on new releases, ARCs, and library holds. This has resulted in many unread books on my shelves for years. I want to actually get to those unread books. I have made a priority reading list to really narrow down what I want. Based on how long I’ve had it for and upcoming sequels. 

Best Books of 2018

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Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be sharing my list of the best books I read in 2018. The books on this list are between 3-5 Stars. Click on the title to see my reviews. Either from WordPress or GR mini reviews. I’ll mention which of the two. If I haven’t reviewed a book I will include the book GR link. Author links not included. Let me know in the comments what were your best books in 2018!

Middle Grade:

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  1. The Stone Girl’s Story by: Sarah Beth Durst-Wordpress review
  2. Front Desk by: Kelly Yang-Mini review
  3. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by: C. S. Lewis-Mini review

Young Adult:

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  1. Always and Forever Lara Jean by: Jenny Han-Wordpress review
  2. American Panda by: Gloria Chao
  3. Traitor to the Throne by: Alwyn Hamilton-Wordpress
  4. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun Vol. 1-4 by: Izumi Tsubaki-GR series link
  5. Stay Sweet by: Siobhan Vivian
  6. Drink, Slay, Love by: Sarah Beth Durst-Wordpress review
  7. Finding Felicity by: Stacey Kade-Wordpress review
  8. Piecing Me Together by: Renée Watson-Wordpress review
  9. Defy the Stars by: Claudia Gray-Wordpress review
  10. Ms. Marvel Vol. 1-9 by: G. Willow Wilson-GR series link
  11. Children of Blood and Bone by: Tomi Adeyemi-Wordpress review
  12. Edens Zero Chapter’s 1-25 by: Hiro Mashima-GR series link
  13. Banished by: Betsy Schow-Mini review
  14. Sincerely Harriet by: Sarah W. Searle-Mini review
  15. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by: Tahereh Mafi-Wordpress review
  16. Fire and Heist by: Sarah Beth Durst-Wordpress review
  17. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by: Alison Goodman-Wordpress review

Adult:

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  1. The Case Study of Vanitas Chapter’s 23-33 by: Jun Mochizuki-GR series link
  2. Can You Keep a Secret? by: Sophie Kinsella-Wordpress review
  3. Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku Vol. 1-2 by: Fujita-GR series link
  4. Innkeeper Chronicles 1-3 by: Ilona Andrews-Wordpress for book 1
  5. Crazy Rich Asians 1-3 by: Kevin Kwan-Mini review for book 1
  6. Monstress Vol. 3: Haven by: Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda (Artist)   

Worst Books of 2018

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Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be sharing my list of the worst books I read in 2018. The books on this list are between 0-2 Stars. Click on the title to see my reviews. Either from WordPress or GR mini reviews. I’ll mention which of the two. If I haven’t reviewed a book I will include the book GR link. Author links not included. Let me know in the comments what were your worst books in 2018!

Middle Grade:

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  1. Ella Enchanted by: Gail Carson Levine-Mini review

Young Adult:

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  1. Our Dark Stars by: Audrey Gray and Krystal Wade-Mini review
  2. Busted by: Gina Ciocca-Wordpress review
  3. The Cruel Prince by: Holly Black-Mini review
  4. Furyborn by: Claire Legrand-Mini review
  5. Interlude by: Chantel Sedgwick-Mini review
  6. Love Songs and Other Lies by: Jessica Pennington-Mini review
  7. Starry Eyes by: Jenn Bennette and Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)-Mini review
  8. Not the Girls You’re Looking For
  9. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
  10. Crown of Feathers
  11. The Supervillain and Me

Adult:

 

  1. The Ones Who Got Away by: Roni Loren-Mini review
  2. Snotgirl Vol. 1: Green Hair Don’t Care by: Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung, and Mickey Quinn (Artist)
  3. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by: Hank Green-Mini review
  4. The Fifth Season by: N. K. Jemisin-Mini review
  5. Daisies and Devotion by: Josi S. Kilpack   

Monthly Wrap-Up: December 2018

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Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be doing my monthly wrap-up for December. I read 25 books. Click on the title to see my reviews. Either from WordPress or GR mini reviews. I’ll mention which of the two. If I haven’t reviewed a book I will include the book GR link. Author links not included. Let me know in the comments what you read in December!

Book(s) that I DNFed (0-2 stars):

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  1. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by: Kelly Barnhill
  2. Fake Blood by: Whitney Gardner
  3. The Forgotten Book by: Mechthild Gläser
  4. Give the Dark My Love by: Beth Revis
  5. North of Beautiful by: Justina Chen
  6. The Light Between the Worlds by: Laura E. Weymouth
  7. Blended by: Sharon M. Draper-Mini review
  8. Slayer by: Kiersten White-Mini review
  9.  The Supervillain and Me by: Danielle Banas-Mini review
  10. A Winter’s Promise by: Christelle Dabos and Hildegarde Serle (Translator)
  11. Beasts Made of Night by: Tochi Onyebuchi
  12. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by: Jessica Townsend
  13. Snotgirl Vol. 1: Green Hair Don’t Care by: Bryan Lee O’ Malley, Leslie Hung, and Mickey Quinn (Artist)
  14. The Gilded Wolves by: Roshani Chokshi-Mini review
  15. The Bird King by: G. Willow Wilson-Mini review
  16. The One You Fight For For by: Roni Loren-Mini review
  17. Love Looks Pretty on You by: Lang Leav-Mini review     

Book(s) that I Enjoyed (3-4 stars):

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  1. Tinkering Tink by: Elle D. Risco, Denise Shimabukuro (Artist), Dee Farnsworth, and Laura Driscoll 
  2. Blackbird Chapter 3 by: Sam Humphries, Jen Bartel (Artist), Loish (Artist), and Manda Schank (Artist)
  3. Fire and Heist by: Sarah Beth Durst-Wordpress review
  4. The Case Study of Vanitas Chapter 33 by: Jun Mochizuki
  5. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by: Alison Goodman-Wordpress review  

Favourite Book(s) of the Month (4-5 stars):

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  1. Eden’s Zero Chapter’s 23-25 by: Hiro Mashima-GR series link 

Book Haul: December 2018

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Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be doing my book haul for December. Book Haul is when you share books that you bought from the bookstore, ebooks/kindle, borrowed from the library or a friend, books you won through giveaways, and books for review purposes. GR links for (only) the book titles. Let me know in the comments what books you hauled in December!

Library:

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  1. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by: Kelly Barnhill
  2. Fake Blood by: Whitney Gardner 

Ebook/Kubo/Kindle/Audible:

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  1. Fire and Heist by: Sarah Beth Durst
  2. The Case Study of Vanitas Chapter 33 by: Jun Mochizuki 

Netgalley:

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  1. A People’s History of Heaven by: Mathangi Subramanian 
  2. The Bird King by: G. Willow Wilson
  3. The Gilded Wolves by: Roshani Chokshi
  4. Wicked Saints by: Emily A. Duncan
  5. Love Looks Pretty on You by: Lang Leav  

Bookstore:

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  1. Queen of Air and Darkness by: Cassandra Clare