The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

BLOG“Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.”

As the daughter of a revered general, Kestrel has two options in life: join the military or get married. Neither appeals to her as she does not posses a natural skill for combat, and any marriage at this point in her life would be purely out of obligation. Durning an outing to the market she stumbles across a slave auction and on impulse and instinct she places a winning bid on a young man she feels an unexpected connection to. Over time, the bond between Kestrel and Arin grows, but there is much left unsaid. Arin has a secret and once events are set in motion, there will be no turning back.

I have to admit that I love a good YA fantasy novel. Especially during cold winter days, when a cozy blanket, a hot drink, and an escape into a fantastical world is a recipe for a wonderfully relaxing evening. The Winner’s Curse has been popping up on my Goodreads page quite consistently, so when I was looking for a new fantasy read I decided to finally give it a go. It is an easy read, and one you can absolutely breeze through, however, it is not one that is particularly memorable for me. I enjoyed the writing in this novel, and it is obvious that the author is very skilled at what she does. Overall, the story just fell flat for me. Not a whole lot happens in the first half of the story, which I wouldn’t mind if the connection between Kestrel and Arin was better developed. I found myself not connecting to either and didn’t really buy their connection. So, once the story really takes off, I was not at all invested in the events that were unfolding. Which is a shame because the latter part of the novel does have a level of intrigue and entertainment that I would have loved had I at all felt invested or interested in the characters. Ultimately, I am glad I gave this book a read, but I will not continue on with the series.

Puddin’ by Julie Murphy

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“For the longest time, I thought the power of positive thinking would get me by. And it helps, that’s for dang sure. But it takes more than thinking and hoping and wishing and praying. You need a whole lot of doing.”

After being completely charmed by the movie version of Dumplin‘ I couldn’t help but pick up Puddin‘, the companion novel that follows two supporting characters from the first novel. In Puddin‘ we follow Millie Michalchuk and Callie Reyes. Mille has decided that this is the year she pursues her secret dream and what she wants to do rather than following her mom’s expectations. Also, to kiss her crush. Callie is a popular girl in school, and is aiming for the dance team captain spot next year. While the two girls live separate lives at school, an incident brings them together, and over time they find common ground and an unexpected friendship develops. Continue reading “Puddin’ by Julie Murphy”

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Book/Movie Adaptation)

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“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s the part of the risk. I don’t want to be scared anymore.”

When sixteen-year-old Lara Jean has a crush so in intense and consuming, she writes a letter to let out her emotions and put it to rest. In her life she has loved five boys and written five letters that she keeps in a hatbox given to her by her late mother. Her letters are her most prized possessions. They are personal and honest and not meant to be seen by anyone, least of all her former crushes. But one day the letters get out and Lara Jean’s love life is no longer just imaginary.  Continue reading “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Book/Movie Adaptation)”

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

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“Sometimes I think people take reality for granted.”

Alex is trying to get through her last year of high school and move on to college. Her senior year also means a new school, which brings along many challenges. However the biggest challenge for Alex is her battle with schizophrenia, and the daily struggle of figuring out what is real and what is a delusion. This includes Miles, a boy at school she may have met years earlier but over time began to believe that he was imagined. As Alex tackles the school year and everything that comes along with it, she can’t help but question what is real and what isn’t. Continue reading “Made You Up by Francesca Zappia”

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

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“We are the books we read and the things we love.”

Rachel and Henry were best friends, however everything changed when Rachel moved away to a new home by the sea. Three years later she is back and working at Henry’s family’s bookstore, Howling Books, a comforting place filled with secondhand books where visitors leave notes and letters to strangers and loved ones. Rachel is grieving a terrible loss and Henry is struggling with his plans and desires for the future. It is against the backdrop of Howling Books that they embark on figuring out themselves and what they mean to each other. Continue reading “Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley”