Every story starts somewhere..

My name is Krystina and I am a married mother of two. I’m obviously a literary aficionado and spend much of my downtime reading.  Last year was a not so easy year for me and I feel like the more time I devote to reading, the happier I am. So this year I am going full speed with my good reads tbr list and am hopeful I will find some amazing books to get lost in.

This is my attempt at a book review blog and I hope it is a success. We are going to have a fun time. I just know it. I will be posting a review about the first book I completed this year soon aso well as my tbr list for this year.

Happy Reading 🙂

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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So. I. Did. A. Thing.

I finally read ACOTAR! Omg. I liked it so much more than ToG! What do you guys think?

So fantasy, romance, craziness, wow. This was a very fun read! It follows Feyre who lives with her father and sisters. They are poor and struggle to get by. One day, while hunting, Feyre kills a wolf. Only…it isn’t a wolf. It’s a fae. Tamlin is a fae lord who lives beyond the wall where the humans reside. His land is Prythian. Prythian is a forbidden area to humans and is riddled with danger to any who cross. Tamlin comes knocking on Feyre’s door demanding payment for the loss of the wolf. He claims the wolf was a friend of his. A fae. Feyre is given the options to die or to go with Tamlin and live out her days in Prythian and atone for the wolf’s death. The meat of the story takes place in these strange lands among the fae. Feyre lives with Tamlin at his home in the Spring Court. He is the master of this land. Feyre discovers things aren’t always as they seem and as she learns more about the mysterious far and gets closer to the kind but damaged Tamlin, she must decide if love is enough to save a world that is in danger of destruction.

I give this book a 4/5 stars! I enjoyed the storyline more so than book 1 of Throne of Glass. I like Feyre way more than Celaena. I am going to eventually read both of these series to see what all the hype is. I hope its worth it!

Happy Reading!

 

Got the job!

Well I got the job so now I can fully discuss it with no issue. I work with a company called Vipkid and I teaching Chinese children how to speak English. The children range in their English speaking abilities from zero English to a good basic understanding of it. How do we teach with the barrier? Do I speak Chinese? You may be wondering this. I teach using hand gestures, props, PowerPoint slides and lots of repetition. I don’t speak Chinese at all and the student must speak only English in class. We have great fun and at times it is difficult but I love it. The best part? I work from home on my own schedule! I’m a stay at home mom so it’s great to be able to continue with my current routine for my children. Anywho, if anyone is interested, let me know. I can walk you through the process. The requirements are a Bachelors degree in any field and some experience with children. You don’t have to have taught them so if you babysat or tutored. Anything. We leave tomorrow for the beach and I’m hoping to get some reading done…we will see. I hope to add more book reviews soon. Don’t give up on me yet. Just trying to get used to the schedule now. Since we are 12 hours time difference from where I live to Beijing, my work schedule tales place during night or early morning hours. Anywho, I’m off to rest before early classes and hopefully beautiful ocean waves!

Thrift store find and recently readings!

I received an ARC of “The Map That Leads to You” from St. Martin’s Press and cannot wait to start it. I am going in blindly and not even looking up what it’s about. From what I can see, it looks like a romance. It is set to release on 6-13-17.

And then the Game of Thrones graphic novel was a Goodwill find for $10! It’s at BN for $25. I’m excited about it as I’m a huge GoT can and the artwork is stellar from what I saw when I skimmed it. I am not currently reading as much and I hate that but I have a job prospect that I am hoping pans out and I’ve been devoting so much time to the process that there hasn’t been much time left for reading. Hoping that changes soon though because we will be heading to the beach on the 19th and I will be reading to my heart’s content. 😗

I’m also currently reading Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull(sequel series to Fablehaven which is bae❤) and ACOTAR by Sarah J. Mass which I like better than Throne of Glass so far.

Thats all I got for this post. 🤗Any suggestions for good beach reads?

Death Jars of Broams Eld by Jennifer Cano

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Death Jars of Broams Eld by Jennifer Cano is such a fantastic story. This is a sequel to Hinges of Broams Eld. I adored this book and found it to have a memorable cast. It’s full of magic and fun. The story takes place the following year after Livy’s first year at Broams Eld. Basically, the story is about humans and elves going to school in a magical realm. It is similar to the Harry Potter books in that there is a special school with magical training available to school tu dents so they can honestly their skills and become stronger in their fieldaily of study. I don’t want to give much away considering it is book 2, but trust me if you love fantasy, it’s worth it!

Livy is returning for her second year at Broams Eld, a school where students go to learn about magic. Some of the students are Terran or human like her and some are Elven and already live there. This year, Livy’s twin, Hugh joins her. They take classes that involve cool subjects like Shimmersinging and even study ancient runes. I can’t give away much more without spoiling it but it’s such a fun read.

I was gratefully given a copy of this book by the author herself and while I greatly appreciated this, I want to make it known that my opinions are not influenced because of this. I give it a 4/5 and eagerly await a book 3!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

 

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Yup. Finally. FINALLY. I really read it. I have had this book since release date and just got around to it.

Caraval is such an interesting book. The story is about two sisters, Scarlett and Donatella, who live with their cruel father and dream of leaving their home and finally escaping from his clutches. Scarlett writes letters to a mysterious man named Legend asking him to visit. Legend is the head of a performance group who perform once a year. The audience is a part of the show and there is to be a winner who will receive a prize. Upon escaping with the help of a mysterious guy, the sisters become separated and it turns out one of them has been kidnapped by none other than Legend. The book repeatedly mentions that Caraval is a game and everything that happens is simply part of the show. However, the tale cautions that it is possible to become caught up in what’s real and what isn’t.

Garber weaves a fun, mysterious, and dark tale about romance, illusion, and magic. It is a captivating tale and I felt on the edge of my seat the entire time. I could not out this book down and felt totally enmeshed in the lives of the characters. I was dying to see how it ended and I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say I hope there is a sequel!

I loved this story and the only thing I was sort of hung up on was the romance bits..Maybe I was not in the mood for it and just wanted the mystery and magic. Or maybe I’m tired of YA books having so much romance in them. I give the book a 4/5 and will be rereading it later this year because it was so good.

Happy reading guys!

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova

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The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova is my most recent read. I really am not sure that I can save I loved it or even liked it but there is something in this story that I found very intriguing. It took me a few days to read it and St times I felt like I was having to force myself to read it but I really wanted to see how it ended up so I continued on.

Basically, the story is about a young woman named Alexandra who has traveled to Bulgaria in the hopes of healing after her brother’s death. She soon meets a family that is getting into a taxi and she accidentally keeps one of their belongings. It turns out that the belonging is actually an urn..full of someone’s ashes. She is upset to learn this and she meets a taxi driver who joins her on a journey to return the urn to the family. The only information the two have is the name of the deceased man in the urn, Stefan Lazarov. It is an intriguing tale woven in two time periods that delves into the pain of loss and the hope of tomorrow. I enjoyed it but I still feel kind of weird about it. Like something was missing. Because I actually felt the pull to stick it out and finish, I will give it a 3/5.

This book was sent to me from NetGalley as an ARC and while I’m always grateful to receive books, I always want to point out that my opinions are still my own and are in no way influenced. This book was released on April 11th so give it a try!

The Enemy Within by Scott Burn

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I just finished this book and all I can say is whoa! The Enemy Within by Scott Burn is an awesome sci-fi story that is sure to leave the reader wanting more. I love a good sci-fi story and I knew I would like this one but I’m really surprised with how it surpassed my expectations. At less than 200 pages, it’s a quick read full of action and suspense with each page turn. Now that I have given so much praise, I should probably mention what the book is about. It is a story about a kid named Max who has had a rough life. On top of that, he also has terrible visions of a burning city and doesnt know why or how to drop them. Meanwhile a trio of teens are looking to team up with Max against a group that is after them. The 4 teens have something in common. They all have special abilities. Page turner and a fun ride from start to finish!

I loved this book and thoroughly hope that there will be a sequel. I’m grateful that the author, Scott Burn, sent me a copy to read and review however my thoughts and opinions are still my own. 4.5/5!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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So this is one of my recently read books and let me just say…it was so raw and real. I went in not knowing what I would face but I love what I found in this story. The basic premise is that the main character Starr, is a black teen who lives in a rough neighborhood BUT she attends a private school that is primarily white. She is sort of stuck in between worlds and doesn’t quite fit into one world neatly. On one side, she is black in a predominantly black town but she differs from the kids there because she doesn’t attend the same school. On the other hand, she goes to the private school but the kids there are mainly rich causing a disconnect with her life because her family isn’t wealthy. A big event takes place in the story that deals with racial profiling which is a huge issue in society that many people face. Thomas delves into the mind of a black teen directly affected by racism and stereotyping. The reader walks in Starr’s shoes through her book and gets a glimpse of what it feels like to be judged. I thought it was a great story and it even has light hearted moments and a touch of comical relief to it. I give the story a 4.5/5!

March Wrap-Up and April TBR

So I didn’t get many books read this month but the ones I did read were excellent! I finished 4 this month. I reviewed all but The Handmaid’s Tale. I am waiting until I can actually do it justice because it was one of the best books I’ve ever read. Anywho, in March I read:

Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love (amazing!)

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti (good!)

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood(fantastic!)

Heir of Illaria by Dyan Chick (great!)

So that’s what I got to in March. For April, I have begun :

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Enemy Within by Scott Burn

I plan to also read:

Caraval by Stephanie Garber(I know..what is taking me so long to get to this one lol?)

Death Jars of Broams Eld by Jennifer Cano

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

This may change but for now this is what I’m going to read. I feel the need to point out that I don’t tend to stick to my tbr list 100%..if I find a book that gets my attention that I want to read at that moment and it’s not on my tbr, I am going to read it just because I feel like it so we shall see what happens in April.

Thanks for reading!

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

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These things we do that others may live.

This book was such a nice read. I really enjoyed the characters of Samuel and Loo. Samuel Hawley is the main characater and has lived a life of crime, danger, and adventure. He has many bullet wounds and we learn the story behind each one as we continue reading. Loo is his daughter and in the present day she is a teenager and living with Samuel. The story goes back and forth between Samuel’s past and Loo’s present. Their stories even overlap at some points. I don’t want to give much away but the book starts off with lots of excitement and it never let’s up. It’s so thrilling and there is something crazy happening in just about each chapter. I loved how it all unfolded and am so glad I decided to pick this up. I will say it’s a real Heartbreakers but one heck of a story.

It was released yesterday and is available for purchase now! Go get it! I give it a 4/5 stars. I graciously received an ARC of this book from NetGalley but my opinions are still my own.