Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke Review | Another YA Fantasy Rebellion?!

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Of Silver and Shadow
Author: Jennifer Gruenke
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Publisher: Flux
Get it Here: AmazonBook Depository

Synopsis:

Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.

Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.

But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.
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Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

It’s tough to write a book about overthrowing an already-established rule. That’s why so many fantasies, YA or otherwise, are released in trilogies or a series. For Of Silver and Shadow to successfully write a well-planned rebellion, with multiple parties involved and fleshed-out characterizations, in one book? That’s really impressive to me, and one of the reasons why this book and I just clicked. I don’t think the premise is anything special: random thief girl is a silver wielder in a kingdom where only royals can wield silver. Rich rebel leader persuades her to help their cause for money, and she goes begrudgingly because she needs that money for a hidden altruistic reason. On the other side, we have the POV’s of a trained soldier battling against her heart (with another female soldier) and her loyalty (to the crown), and a young prince that doesn’t know where he wants to go/what he wants to do in life. The background is tried and true, but the narratives that Gruenke writes are just plain GOOD. Honestly, the story could have been longer to flesh things out, but my love for stand-alones (assuming this is) made this the perfect length for me.

We start with the rebels.

Continue reading “Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke Review | Another YA Fantasy Rebellion?!”

3 A-MAY-zing YA Contemporary Books | Spotlight + Giveaways

Hello! I’ve decided to spotlight some of my favorite YA contemporary releases of the year, which all come out next month in May. I never used to like contemporary books: they would always bore me, and I never really connected to the characters. Recently though, I’ve seen an influx of phenomenal Young Adult contemporary stories with easy-to-relate to characters, extraordinary growth (while frustrating at times), and situations that deal with current issues. With that in mind, here are three that I’m exceedingly excited to see get published soon!

Fun facts:

  • These books have extremely relatable characters that just tug at your heartstrings.
  • These books all release May 2, 2017.
  • These books have been some of my favorite contemporary reads of this year.
  • These books feature superb growth both within a character and with external forces of their lives.
  • I highly recommend all of them, and I can’t wait for their release into the world.
  • So, I have giveaways for each one of them! 1 INTL, 2 US only.

Continue reading “3 A-MAY-zing YA Contemporary Books | Spotlight + Giveaways”

Monthly Wrap-Up: A Bit of A Mundane March

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*looks sadly at my blog calendar for March*

I planned for so many more posts, but ended up not having the energy to write them… 😥 This month was mainly a review month, with an interview and no discussions or quirky posts. I’m hoping this changes for next month, but my spirits were just “meh” in general.

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Upcoming ACT on April 9 (it’s a standardized test in US) that’ll decide whether or not colleges want me. Or something like that. So I’ve been hardcore studying and getting nagged at my parents.

Speaking of nagging, my mom also hid a couple of my book packages (the ones from UPS that get delivered to the door while I’m at school). WOE IS ME. :’) Apparently I have to get at least a 34 on ACT (out of 36) to get them back. MY BOOKS ARE BEING HELD HOSTAGE, so you can see why I need to study to get them back lol.

Spring break was pretty mellow. I studied a bit and mostly slept haha. While kids were going out and having fun, I was just cruising at home.

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  • Air Awakens by Elise Kova – This hyped-up fantasy is riddled with cliches and hackneyed plot elements that had me laughing the whole time while reading.
    2 stars
  • Once Upon a Dream by Liz Braswell – A retelling of Sleeping Beauty where the prince falls asleep after kissing Aurora. Interesting characterizations that I didn’t particularly like, and a plot-twisty plot. Seems more like fairy tale fanfiction than anything.
    3 stars
  • Dearest Series by Lex Martin – If every NA book were like this one, my life would be a happier place.
    4 stars
  • Captive Prince by CS Pacat – Although this features a grotesque world that exemplifies rape culture, the oddly endearing characters make it worth the read. The slow as turtle plot did not.
    4 stars
  • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – A not-so-solid sequel for the famed Red Queen series, with more banal plot elements and an explosive ending that may inflame readers.
    2 stars

I also reviewed these books on Happy Indulgence:

  • The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins – Increase the drama, decrease the action and it’s the perfect book for readers! For me, the silly romantic entanglements and banal world and hysterical characters made it a pretty sucky read.
    1 star
  • Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan – This A Tale of Two Cities retelling was supposed to enchant me but ended up boring me. Hello, 20% info dump!
    DNF
  • Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs – Follows a group of teens with special abilities as they go forward 30 years in time to find the cure for cancer.
    4 stars
  • Dreamology by Lucy Keating – An innovative, refreshing contemporary that explores the the main character Alice as she finds out her dream boyfriend Max was actually real.
    4.5 stars

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INTERVIEW


I’m so sorry for the lack of posts during March! It was just a lackluster time for me in regards to life in general. Rest assured that I have a bunch more posts planned for you guys in April. 😀 Happy reading!
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SBPT Tour #1: Books That Go “BOOM!”

WELCOME, to the first post of the Summer Blogger Promo Tour, and let me just tell you – I’m starting with a BANG here. If you want more info on this awesome tour check it out here! Basically every Sunday for the summer I’ll be spotlighting a blogger because there are too many cool people out there that YOU need to know about.

Today we have Dawn from Bang Bang Books discussing her top 10 books of 2015, and how much of an EXPLOSION they had. (No, I will never tire of these puns)
Can I also say that Dawn rates books with bombs? Hardcore man. Get on her level.

Without further ado, let the countdown begin!


10.  Devils Unto Daughters by Amy Lukavic
Although winter gets a bad rap because of Game of Thrones, this winter is coming tale was well written, engaging, incredibly creepy,
and an engrossing quick read. 4.25 Bombs

9.  A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Maas holds nothing back. This book is sexy and dirty. 4 Bombs.

8.  A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially Kell’s coat. The writing was beautiful and Schwab’s world was interesting. 4 Bombs

7.  Simon vs. the Homo Sapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli
This was a quick witty read with relatable teens and their relatable teen problems. Simon is in the closet but it’s really not about his coming out which made this book different than a lot of other coming out books. It was more about Simon’s relationships with this friends and family. 4.25 Bombs

6. Alex Crow by Andrew Smith
This book is all about the writing. Once again Smith mixes science fiction with some harsh realities and throws in a dash of relatable teen boys. 4 Bombs

5.  The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Ness takes a different approach to the traditional dystopian-chosen one-who-must-save-the-world novels.  What about those other teens who have to live their lives while Katniss is fighting the Capitol? Find out in this book. Underneath the weirdness, this book deals with a common mental illness in a way that teens may not be familiar with.
5 Bombs

4.  Heart of Betrayal (Book #2 of the Remnant Chronicles) by Mary E. Pearson
The Remnant Chronicles is not black and white but filled with several shades of gray. You really have to pay attention and go back to book one to make connections. A book that makes you think and recall information makes for an enjoyable read. Lia is also a wonderful heroine and the world building is fantastic.  I didn’t like it better than book one (which was my favorite book of 2014) but if you are a high fantasy fan, I HIGHLY recommend this series. 5 Bombs

3.  An Ember in The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Non-stop action, never predictable, and one of the best villains ever. 5 Bombs

2.  Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
I wasn’t expecting much from this book but Ruby’s writing hooks you immediately. All the character are beautiful-from the grandmother who only appears on a couple of pages to Finn, the main character.  5 Bombs

After the initial read, it seems to be lesson on beauty- how the world treats people based on the way they look. But beneath the surface, there are mythical and mysterious characters. Everything Ruby writes has a purpose-the bees, the horse, the corn, the ghost.

It’s a weird book especially if you are expecting a mystery or a straight up fantasy. If you can wrap your head around the fact that it’s contemporary with a hint of fantasy, you will enjoy it.

#1.  Winner’s Crime (Book 2 from Winner’s Trilogy) by Marie Rutkoski
Winner’s Crime was suspenseful, exciting, romantic, and every other adjective you can think of. The writing isn’t dumbed down and Kestrel is one of the best heroine’s I’ve read in the past three years.  She’s not a fighter of fists but a fighter of the brain. She’s constantly thinking and is almost always one step ahead of everyone yet she shows a vulnerable side.  5 Bombs


Guys, that is a pretty COMBUSTIBLE list of books that go that’s really BOOMing. I’ve linked each book’s title to its Goodreads page, so you can check them out if they sound interesting! I know a couple of them ended up on my to-read list…

Thanks so much for being on my blog, Dawn! Check her out at her EXPLOSIVE blog, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Next week we’ll be featuring Dana the Square in an exciting post about geometric shapes. And books, of course.