The Dragon Republic

The war is over…or so Rin thinks. But she still has yet to avenge the betrayal of her homeland. However, in order to do so, she must join forces with the Dragon Warlord whose only plan is to unseat the Empress and create a new republic. But the more time Rin spends with the Dragon Warlord and the Empress, the more she realizes they’re not all they seem.

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 9.41.56 AMI have to be honest, this is not a book I would have picked up had I been browsing the shelves at my local bookstore. Harper Collins sent me a copy of this book (Thank you!!!) and I’m so glad they did. The Dragon Republic is the second book in The Poppy War series. And I haven’t read the first one! So I was a bit lost to the storyline when I first started reading it but it didn’t take me long to fill in the blanks. While I’m sure I missed out on some pretty important details by not reading the first one, jumping in and reading The Dragon Republic was not difficult to do and I soon forgot that it was a sequel.

R.F. Kuang fills this book with laughable banter (probably my favorite part of the book). But for the most part, I felt that the story was quite dry. Enjoyable at times, but it seemed as if there wasn’t a clear flow for the story at all. I’d find myself zoning out during the particularly dense areas and jumping back in when the action came back. Overall, it was a decent book. Not my personal cup of tea but well worth the read.

Review: The Book Jumper

Imagine being able to jump into your favorite novel, being able to interact with the characters you love, and basically live the story! For Amy Lennox, that’s reality…or at least it becomes her reality.

ABEC5B42-1117-4ACA-B5BE-181C6F964474For as long as Amy can remember, it’s always been her and Alexis, her mom. Life hasn’t always been easy but it sure has been an adventure for the two of them. Until one summer. School had been hard on Amy. The friends she thought she had weren’t actually her friends and her mom was dealing with a hard breakup. So the two of them decide to spend a few weeks at Alexis’s childhood home, a little island called Stormsay.

While there, Amy’s grandmother, Lady Mairead insists that Amy read while she resides at Lennox House. Which isn’t much of a problem for Amy since she loves to read anyway. But Amy soon learns that her family holds a special power as book jumpers, able to interact with a story and protect the plots to keep the literary world in check. It seems like a wonderful ability, until someone starts stealing ideas from the classics. Dorothy’s cyclone disappears, the white rabbit can no longer lead Alice to Wonderland, and it’s suddenly snowing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But who is destroying the stories and why?

I was super excited to read this one. But it was a little slow going in the beginning. It wasn’t until I was about seven chapters in that the story started to pick up. While an easy read and an intriguing story, I felt that bits of it were thrown together haphazardly. However, part of that could just be the translation. Nevertheless, Mechthild Glaser has created a unique tale for all bookworms. I mean, who hasn’t dreamed about being able to talk with their favorite heroines or watch the classic stories being lived right in front of them?

There’s a lot going on in the book and it can get a bit confusing. I felt like there were too many underlying stories to the main one that at times it distracted from the awesomeness of the main storyline. Still, The Book Jumper was a good read with a surprise ending and I can’t wait to read more from this author!

Review: The Afterlife of Holly Chase

We’ve all heard A Christmas Carol. It’s a classic. There are a hundred different remakes of the story. But what happens when you get to live it? What happens when you’re the Scrooge?

34322944Holly lives a charmed life. Her dad is a well-known director in California. Her stepmom is a designer to the stars. Holly wants for nothing. Until Christmas Eve night when she is visited by three spirits: the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmases Yet to Come. But Holly doesn’t believe. All of it’s fake, right? Which is why Christmas morning, she finds herself hit by a car and her afterlife has begun…as Ghost of Christmas Past at Project Scrooge. She takes her sentence like a champ and six years later, she’s actually good at her job. That is, until this year’s Scrooge is announced and Holly finds herself breaking the rules just to see the Scrooge outside of work.

In a brilliant re-telling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Cynthia Hand perfectly portrays the classic characters in a new and unique light. When I first picked this up, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to fall into the story and get caught up in the lives of the characters. I enjoyed the fact that I could never tell quite how the story would end. Would Holly succeed in saving this Scrooge? Would her choices screw it all up and Project Scrooge would fail? Hand dazzles with her story-telling abilities and her imaginative plot. I want to read this book again and again!

This book was simply amazing. One that could be read anytime of year and still have the same impact: what are we doing with what little time we’ve been given?

The Snow Gypsy

One of my absolute favorite genres to read is historical fiction. I usually enjoy anything written in the Victorian era and set in England. Although recently, I’ve enjoyed reading a good American Revolution era novel. So when I found a free copy of The Snow Gypsy, I did what you’re not supposed to do. I judged a book by its cover. And as I began to read it, I realized this was not a book I would have chosen for myself.

img_0799The Snow Gypsy follows the intertwining stories of two women, Rose Daniel and Lola Aragon. Rose is living in London as a veterinarian during the aftermath of World War 2. In the years of the war, her brother Nathan joined the fight. But the last letter Rose received from him was eight years ago. Now she is determined to find her brother and get the answers to the question that’s been nagging her for years: what happened?

Lola is a young flamenco dancer who also lost her family in the war. As a gypsy living in Spain, she meets Rose in a stroke of fate. Between the two of them, they form a bond stronger than any could fathom and help each other to heal the wounds the war has left behind.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I found the plot to be unique and held my interest almost to the end. The characters were well developed, however, I didn’t find myself getting attached to either of them. While I appreciated the history side of things, and loved that this book put me outside of my comfort zone (I don’t usually gravitate towards books set in Spain), I was disappointed with the last few chapters. I felt that the author was unsure how to end the story and therefore the ending fell flat. Also, there is a touch of romance in this book that I felt was unnecessary. It didn’t really add anything to the characters or the plot and felt more like filler.

If you’re looking for a good historical fiction, pick up The Snow Gypsy and let me know what you think. I’d love to get someone else’s take on this story.

**I received this book through Amazon’s First Reads program.**

The Immortalists

Hey book lovers! So summer is coming to an end and I’m so looking forward to the cool days of fall. Those who know me know how much I love Halloween and all the spooky coziness of autumn. I tend to enjoy reading much more in the fall; all cozied up under a blanket with some fuzzy socks on and a cup of cider. What are you looking forward to this autumn? Any new books coming out that are on your “To Read” list?

IMG_3532I’d seen post after post about The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. I did what we’ve always been told not to do, I judged the book by its cover (which is beautiful by the way). But then I read the blurb and thought I wouldn’t enjoy this novel as much as I first believed. Still, I went ahead and added it to my ever-growing stack of books I plan to read. I wasn’t quite in the mood for the genre but it was on the top of my stack so I picked it up and I’m so glad I did!

I’m usually the type of reader that enjoys fantasy, sci-fi, romance novels. You know, the kind that don’t necessarily fixate on tragedy and familial relations. But The Immortalists had me hooked from page one.

The Golds family consists of four children; Varya, Daniel, Klara, and Simon. When they are young, they go to see a fortune teller who has been rumored to be able to tell you the date of your death. What follows is a story of choice, the power of thought, and the connection of family. In the thirty-six chapters, we follow each child as they grow with the weight of their impending doom sitting on their shoulders. Beautifully written with an underlying discovery of how much our choices dictate our lives, The Immortalists is a book you don’t want to pass up!