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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April 2019 Reading List

March was quite a successful reading month for me – thanks, in part, to March Break, which gave me 9 days of blissful, uninterrupted reading time! 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. This, and some other reading, brought me to a grand total of 10 books read in March 2019 (which means I have now read 27/50 books for my 2019 Reading Challenge)!

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That being said, I still have a handful of unread books already waiting in my “To Be Read Box”, and some other late-March and April releases that I am excited to add to my bookshelves! This means I definitely need to get reading if I want to free up some sapce in my TBR Box! for those of you who aren’t familiar with my “To Be Read Box” system, it’s actually quite simply – I have a box (which fits about 6-8 books) where I keep my unread novels. I only allow myself to purchase a new book if there is room for it in the TBR Box – if not, I need to do some more reading before my trip to the bookstore!

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So what am I planning on reading in April? Well, as you can see above, I already have a full TBR box, so I will be focusing on tackling several of those books (especially the ARCs I received from Raincoast Books and HCC Frenzy!), in addition to a couple exciting new releases. This is a shorter list than usual, but I am trying to keep my expectations realistic!

  1. All the Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett (Release Date: December 8, 2019)
  2. Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer (Release Date: January 15, 2019)
  3. Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Pena (Release Date: March 5, 2019)
  4. Deathcaster by Cinda Williams Chima (Release Date: March 5, 2019)
  5. The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala (Release Date: April 23, 2019)
  6. Nocturna by Maya Motayne (Release Date: May 7, 2019)
  7. Kingsbane by Claire Legrand (Release Date: May 21, 2019)

WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO READING IN APRIL?

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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Enchantée (ARC) by Gita Trelease

Enchantée is Gita Trelease’s debut fantasy about an orphaned girl who uses dark magic to save her sister and herself from ruin – no matter what the cost may be. Enchantée was released in North America on February 5, 2019, and it promised to be filled to the brim with treacherous magic, decadent romance, and revolutionary mayhem.

Paris is a labyrinth of twisted streets filled with beggars and thieves, revolutionaries and magicians. Camille Durbonne is one of them. She wishes she weren’t… When smallpox kills her parents, Camille must find a way to provide for her younger sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on magic, Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille pursues a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Using dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into a baroness and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for magic. As she struggles to reconcile her resentment of the rich with the allure of glamour and excess, Camille meets a handsome young inventor, and begins to believe that love and liberty may both be possible. But magic has its costs, and soon Camille loses control of her secrets. And when revolution erupts, Camille must choose-love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, reality of magic-before Paris burns.

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DISCLAIMER: Thank-you to Raincoast Books for providing me with an Advance Review Copy of Enchantée by Gita Trelease in exchange for an honest review. 

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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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