Mirage by Somaiya Daud

The fifth and final book I read during my March Break Read-a-Thon was Mirage by Somaiya Daud, which was released in North America on August 28, 2018. Mirage promises to be a refreshing and unique coming-of-age story that fans of The Wrath and the Dawn and Children of Blood and Bone will love.

In a world dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated home. But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place. As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty-and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

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Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

The fourth book I read during my March Break Read-a-Thon was Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte, which was released in North America on February 26, 2019. Four Dead Queens promises to be an enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences.

Four dead queens. Three days to catch a killer. Two forbidden romances. One shocking twist you won’t see coming. Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but she’s, in fact, one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. He runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie both find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead. With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation’s four dead queens. 

P.S. A big thank-you goes out to Indigo Books & Music Inc., who kindly provided me with a physical copy of Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte in exchange for an honest review.

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Tin Heart (ARC) by Shivaun Plozza

My third read during my March Break Read-a-Thon was Tin Heart by Shivaun Plozza, which was released in North America on March 12, 2019. Fans of Young Adult Contemporary novels and Romantic Comedies will love this one.

P.S. A big thank-you goes out to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Reading Copy of Tin Heart by Shivaun Plozza in exchange for an honest review.

When Marlowe gets a heart transplant and a second chance at life, all she wants to do is to thank her donor’s family. Maybe then she can move on. Maybe then she’ll discover who she is if she’s no longer The Dying Girl. But with a little brother who dresses like every day is Halloween, a vegan warrior for a mother, and an all-out war with the hot butcher’s apprentice next door, Marlowe’s life is already pretty complicated. And her second chance is about to take an unexpected turn…

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Wicked Saints (ARC) by Emily A. Duncan

Next up in my reviews of the books I read during my March Break Read-a-Thon is Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan, which is set to release in North America on April 2, 2019. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

P.S. A big thank-you goes out to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Reader’s Edition of Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan in exchange for an honest review.

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself. A prince in danger must decide who to trust. A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war. In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light.

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The Meaning of Birds (ARC) by Jaye Robin Brown

First up is The Meaning of Birds by Jaye Robin Brown, which is set to be released in North America on April 16, 2019. Told in alternating timelines, this story is a poignant portrait of love in the past, grief in the now, and the healing power of art. A beautiful exploration of first love and first loss, this novel effortlessly weaves together past and present to tell a profound story about how you can become whole again when it seems like you’ve lost the most important part of yourself.

P.S. A big thank-you goes out to HCC Frenzy for providing me with an Advance Reader’s Edition of The Meaning of Birds in exchange for an honest review.

Before: Jess has always struggled with the fire inside her. But when she meets Vivi, everything changes. As they fall for each other, Vivi helps Jess deal with her anger and pain and encourages her to embrace her artistic talent. And suddenly Jess’s future is a blank canvas, filled with possibilities. After: When Vivi unexpectedly dies, Jess’s perfect world is erased. As she spirals out of control, Jess pushes away everyone around her and throws out her plans for art school. Because art is Vivi and Vivi is gone forever. Right when Jess feels at her lowest, she makes a surprising friend who just might be able to show her a new way to channel her rage, passion, and creativity. But will Jess ever be able to forge a new path for herself without Vivi?

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March Break Read-a-Thon

Last week, I sat down and set a goal to read five (5) books during March Break (March 9 – March 17, 2019). Early on, this seemed a bit optimistic – even if I did have the week off work – but not entirely impossible. And as I quickly worked my way through book, after book, after book, it was rapidly evident that this was definitely a goal I could achieve. And I did! I finished my fifth book (Mirage by Somaiya Daud) on Saturday March 16, fulfilling my goal over 24 hours before the deadline I had set myself.

Therefore, throughout this week and next, I will be sharing my reviews for the five (5) books I read, in order of reading! So stay tuned, because there are lots of new and exciting book reviews on their way!

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Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Despite it being released in North America on November 6, 2018, I didn’t get my hands on a copy of Skyward by Brandon Sanderson until I unwrapped it on Christmas morning (you can check out my entire Christmas Book Haul here – I think it’s safe to say that my family knows I love books!). I am not normally a Brandon Sanderson fan, but with all the hype that Skyward has been getting, I simply couldn’t resist – and I am glad that I did end up reading it, because I simply loved it!

Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s–a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa’s chances of attending flight school at slim to none. No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.

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The Wicked King by Holly Black

Released in North America on January 8th, 2019, The Wicked King by Holly Black is the sequel to her massively popular The Cruel Prince, which was released last year.

“You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring. The first lesson is to make yourself strong” – The Wicked King, Holly Black

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished. When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

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Bloodwitch (ARC) by Susan Dennard

Today is Bloodwitch‘s “book birthday”, so it seemed quite fitting to share my review of Susan Dennard’s newest book today! Bloodwitch is the third full-length novel in Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling, young adult epic fantasy Witchlands series. Bloodwitch continues with the story of the Bloodwitch Aeduan, though all readers’ favourite characters are back in action – including Safiya, Iseult, Ryber, Merik, Vivia, and more.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets. The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

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