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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Fire and Heist (ARC) by Sarah Beth Durst

Released in North America on December 4, 2018, Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst introduces fans of the genre to a whole new world where humans and magic mingle. Fans of Cassandra Clare and Julie Kagawa will undoubtedly devour this contemporary fantasy about a teen were-dragon who must steal her first treasure – though this tale may not be fore everyone.

DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Indigo Books & Music Inc. for providing me with an Advance Review Copy of Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst in exchange for an honest review. 

In Sky Hawkins’s family, leading your first heist is a major milestone–even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you’re a wyvern–a human capable of turning into a dragon. Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family’s wealth and rank in their community. With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society–a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.

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Courting Darkness (ARC) by Robin LaFevers

Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers is the first in a new duology, set to release in North America on February 5, 2019. This darkly thrilling page-turner is set in the world of the best-selling His Fair Assassin series (also written by LaFevers), and is written with the same prowess and intrigue that LaFevers has brought to her previous novels.

DISCLAIMER: I received an Advance Review Copy of this book from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them. Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent. As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about? 

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The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Released in North America on January 8, 2019, The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe is a hilarious contemporary realistic YA debut novel about a rather cynical Black French Canadian teen who moves to Austin, Texas, and experiences the clichés and joys of the American high school experience—including falling in love.

What’s more? The Field Guide to the North American Teenager is so awesome that it was selected as the Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month for January 2019! You can check out the The Field Guide to the North American Teenager and other Indigo Teen SPOTM’s on Indigo‘s website.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of he Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 

Norris Kaplan is clever, cynical, and quite possibly too smart for his own good. A black French Canadian, he knows from watching American sitcoms that those three things don’t bode well when you are moving to Austin, Texas. Plunked into a new high school and sweating a ridiculous amount from the oppressive Texas heat, Norris finds himself cataloging everyone he meets: the Cheerleaders, the Jocks, the Loners, and even the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Making a ton of friends has never been a priority for him, and this way he can at least amuse himself until it’s time to go back to Canada, where he belongs. Yet, against all odds, those labels soon become actual people to Norris. Be it loner Liam, who makes it his mission to befriend Norris, or Madison the beta cheerleader, who is so nice that it has to be a trap. Not to mention Aarti the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who might, in fact, be a real love interest in the making. He even starts playing actual hockey with these Texans. But the night of the prom, Norris screws everything up royally. As he tries to pick up the pieces, he realizes it might be time to stop hiding behind his snarky opinions and start living his life—along with the people who have found their way into his heart.

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Once a King by Erin Summerhill

In Once a King by Erin Summerhill (released on December 4, 2018), a young king searches for a way to save his kingdom. This is undoubtedly a swoon-worthy spin-off of Summerhill’s Ever the Hunted and Ever the Brave that puts Aodren and Lirra on center-stage – amidst political intrigue and growing strife.

Aodren is a lonely, young king, searching for a way to dismantle his father’s dark legacy. Lirra is a girl with the power to control the wind, torn between duty and following her dreams. For twenty years, Channelers—women with a magical ability—have been persecuted in Malam by those without magic. Now King Aodren wants to end the bloody divide and unite his kingdom. But decades of hatred can’t be overcome by issuing decrees, and rumors of a deadly Channeler-made substance are only fueling people’s fears. Lirra has every reason to distrust Aodren. Yet when he asks for help to discover the truth behind the rumors, she can’t say no. With Lirra by his side, Aodren sees a way forward for his people. But can he rewrite the mistakes of the past before his enemies destroy the world he’s working so hard to rebuild?

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Ever the Brave by Erin Summerhill

Released on December 4, 2018, Ever the Brave by Erin Summerhill is the riveting sequel to the romantic fantasy adventure Ever the Hunted. It promises to appeal audiences who enjoy fantasy, themes of good versus evil, and romantic conflicts.

After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta dreams of a peaceful life in her childhood home with Cohen. But her powers created an accidental tether between Britta and Aodren, a bond she cannot sever that is pulling her away from the man she loves. Cohen’s only desire is to protect Britta from harm. But how can he do that when his hunt for the Channeler responsible for controlling the king prevents him from staying by Britta’s side? Aodren has spent a year in the thrall of a manipulative Channeler and must now focus on leading Malam out of the darkness, even though he can’t stop thinking about Britta and the bond that draws them together. As Britta, Cohen, and Aodren face the sinister forces that threaten Malam from within and without, Britta learns that there are those who would use her power for evil designs. If she cannot find a way to harness her magical ability, her life-as well as her country-may be lost. The stakes are higher than ever as Britta fights to protect her kingdom and her heart in this thrilling fantasy adventure.

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