Book Review: Six of Crows

Hi everyone! It’s been a couple of weeks, I’m sorry! I have only read three books in March so far and two were disappointing and the other was Six of Crows. This is the third time I’ve read Six of Crows so I wasn’t sure about reviewing it, especially as it’s already so popular, but whatever. I love this book. It’s clever, thrilling and a great example of how to manage multiple points of view. It will always be on my favourites list for that reason (plus the special edition is really nice to read from).

Star rating: 5 stars

Six of Crows is the beginning of a follow on duology from Shadow and Bone, though you don’t have to have enjoyed or read that series to love this one. For me it shows Leigh’s growth as a writer, which has continued to grow right through to Ninth House. For a book with five points of view (missing Wylan in this first book), I think the plot moves magnificently, Each character really does bring a different personality and a new perspective on the events that occur within the book.

So what’s the plot about? Well, 6 teens take on the most secure location known to them to kidnap a scientist who can make a super scary drug that makes Grisha super powerful but also addicted leading to inevitable death. A drug like that could change their world and they would rather it didn’t leak into the world any more.

Kaz is their obvious leader, a teen who lost everything when he was a child (not unlike the other characters to be honest). Nina is a Grisha who has a particularly interesting backstory with Matthias, a guy from Fjerda that makes for a very interesting enemies to lovers pairing as they’re from two opposing nations. Inej is Kaz’s secret right hand – known as the Wraith she can climb anything and break in anywhere. Her backstory is also heartbreaking, and she seems to be the only person Kaz lets get remotely close. Jesper is a fascinating character – he’s a bit of a mess in all honestly. He has a lot of room to grow as a character given his gambling problem and tendency to accidentally reveal stuff he’s not supposed to. Finally there’s Wylan, a kid who knows his way around making explosives. He’s the only one of the six that doesn’t get a point of view in Six of Crows, but I feel like this would have revealed too much of the plot.

These characters and their dynamics make for an excellent story, especially one as high stakes as a heist that could get them all killed. There are so many powerful, iconic moments that I’m really excited to see on Netflix when Shadow and Bone comes out, likely to be in later seasons. It always takes me a good week to finish Six of Crows, and that’s because I savour every detail, right through to the explosive ending.

Overall, my third read was just as thrilling as the first, and I’m so exciting to re-read Crooked Kingdom and King of Scars before Rule of Wolves arrives later this month.

WWW Wednesday (28th October 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Every Heart a Doorway. I am so intrigued so far, it’s a book about kids and teens who go through doors to other worlds and get kicked out, return home and wish they could go back to the places they could be themselves. The world building is really unique, and I can’t believe it is a novella because so much has happened and I’m only a third of the way through!

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished From Blood and Ash. It was good, but I wasn’t blown away or anything. I felt it was a bit too predictable, and didn’t get too attached to any of the characters. It did have a cool spin on vampires though, which I enjoyed, and the romance was good. The overall plot just didn’t do it for me.

What do you think you’ll read next?

This is tricky! I have no idea to be honest. I think I’m going to read The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo (I’ve already read the beginning few stories but took a little break). This is such a gorgeous book and I like the art.

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

Let me know what you’ve been reading this week!

WWW Wednesday (14th October 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab….again! But this time, I have a gorgeous hardback instead of the eARC. I’m reading it really slowly, really noticing and absorbing all the messages. I have even put sticky tabs in for my favourite quotes! This book is heart-breaking and comforting all at the same time and I love it with everything I have.

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo for the second time. This time, I read it really slowly like I’m doing with Addie and honestly enjoyed it even more. Leigh’s show not tell world-building is exemplary. Galaxy Stern is one of my favourite characters and I really can’t wait to see where her story takes her in the next book. Do check out the trigger warnings – this one has a lot. You can check out my review if you want to.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think I’m going to read From Blood and Ash, but that may change. I also really want to read The Broken Earth Trilogy and do a Jade City re-read since I just purchased Jade War. We will see where my mood takes me!

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

In other news, I do not have COVID, so I’m back at work loving life. Hope everyone is doing well.

Book Review: Ninth House

A year ago, after reading Ninth House for the first time, I met Leigh Bardugo and asked her about the British weather. Today, I finish my re-read after a week of slow reading. Reading this book slowly, taking it all in, I enjoyed it even more than the first time. The magic is unique, elements are horrifying, and the characters draw you into this wild story completely. I recommend you read it slowly, absorb the detail, the atmosphere. This is a masterpiece. It should be noted that it is adult horror, and you should absolutely check out the long list of trigger warnings.

Star rating: 5 stars

Ninth House is and adult fantasy – horror that follows Galaxy ‘Alex’ Stern and Daniel ‘Darlington’ Arlington in a story that mixes present day and flashbacks. Alex is the central protagonist – she had a rough life growing up, partly due to the fact she can see Grays – also known as ghosts. When Lethe House of Yale University gets wind of this, she’s recruited to be Darlington’s successor. They have one year to train Alex, but things at Yale are not what they seem.

What makes this book is that the reader discovers the world-building just as Alex does. There are no info dumps, the reader is thrown in to pick up the details along the way. Alex is a protagonist you can really get on side with – she’s gritty, street smart and the way she still has hope, that she makes the reader hope for her, after all that she been through is just heart-breaking.

Darlington is the opposite of Alex – he grew up in a mansion, had access to the best education, and was always destined for success. But his back story reveals more, and he becomes another character I empathised with greatly. The flashback chapters with Alex and Darlington together are excellent.

At the centre of the plot is Alex unravelling a series of mysteries – a murder, several Yale societies involved, nobody she can trust. She does this with the help of Detective Turner who is one of my favourite side characters. Alex’s roommates Mercy and Lauren are also great – I really liked that despite Alex’s crazy life there are flashes of normality as she develops friendships with ordinary girls (I love how Alex defends them).

Overall this is one of my favourite books, Leigh Bardugo has grown so much as a writer since Shadow and Bone. I’m eagerly anticipating the sequel.

WWW Wednesday (7th October 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I absolutely love this book, and on this re-read I’m going slowly in order to take it all in. I’m a big fan of the protagonist, Alex Stern. She’s had such a rough life but is really doing the most. It is a. ADULT horror though, so don’t go into it without reading the trigger warnings as there’s plenty of graphic descriptions.

What did you recently finish reading?

Welcome to another of my favourite books of the year. It didn’t start too strongly for me but by the end it left me eagerly anticipating what happens next. The protagonist, El Higgins, is so easy to get behind. She’s got walls up for good reason, and she had really heart-warming character development during a tense, deadly plot. You can read my thoughts in my review, which has actually turned into one of my more popular reviews!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Okay, so I don’t often re-read books with this small of a gap in between, but I can’t help it with this one. Now I have a physical copy I am so excited to be absorbed in Addie and Henry’s world again. It’s also a Book Coven book club pick along with A Deadly Education so looking forward to discussing both of them with my friends.

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

In other news, I do not have COVID, so I’m back at work loving life. Hope everyone is doing well.

Adventures in Aesthetics

Hi everyone! My friends from The Book Coven all re-vamped their blogs recently. After seeing what a beautiful job they were doing, I thought I’d join them and create my first blog dedicated to books. So, welcome to our first group idea – adventures in aesthetics.

First, a little about my friends:

We have Sam who has created a beautiful witchy blog full of all kinds of magic. Sam is full of kindness and super perceptive. She absolutely brings the sunshine to my life every day. You can see her adventures in aesthetics post already for 5 witchy recommendations.

Jaye is honestly one of the wittiest people I’ve ever talked to – you definitely won’t want to miss her reviews. Her blog is space themed and has some super cute designs (almost as cute as she is)! You can see her out of this world adventures in aesthetics post here.

For a gorgeous flowery theme, Linaria is bringing it. I am in awe of Linaria’s computer skills (her bots for The Book Coven are something else). She is always so selfless and supportive, we’re so lucky to have her friendship. You can find her adventures in aesthetics post right here – it’s full of big book bois!

Janel has created a stunning pink pastel theme full of moons and stars. She has amazing design skills and is always giving us advice! I rarely meet people as caring as Janel, she’s always the first to help a friend in need. You can find her romance recs for adventures in aesthetics right here!

Finally, Meaghan has a beautiful starry blog with an amazing header. They are incredibly smart – their reviews are always written so well I’m so jealous of their writing skills! Meaghan is so understanding and sensitive – they are absolutely one of the sweetest people I know that definitely has your back! Meaghan’s awesome recommendations based on their favourite planets are here.

So what about me?

There wasn’t much thought into my blog aesthetics – I love bread and toast, what more is there to say? I also kinda like the way it sounds cosy. When I’m not reading, I love hiking, playing animal crossing and walking my favourite dogs. You can find a list of my fave books here, which I will continue to update.

That’s enough rambling from me – let’s get into the prompts for my toastie aesthetic.

A book about a heist

Heists are all about getting the bread, right? For this prompt it has to be Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. It’s one of my favourite found family books and features one of the best uses of multiple points of view ever. This rag-tag group of six kids are trying to pull off one wild heist, and it’s definitely a roller coaster ride. The sequel, Crooked Kingdom, is also absolutely fantastic. This duology is not one to miss.

An ambitious protagonist

For me, this has to be The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller. Alessandra is tired of being overlooked as the second daughter in her family – but she has a plan. Woo the Shadow King, Marry him, Kill him and take the kingdom for herself. Alessandra puts the A in ambition, but don’t let that put you off. The romance is super sexy, this book is not one to miss out on enjoying thoroughly.

A protagonist as sweet as honey

I love honey on toast, it’s amazing! I really like sweet characters that make me smile and warm my heart. One of my faves is Lazlo Strange from Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, but for this post I’m going with Malik from A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown. This debut is a stunning fantasy inspired by West African folklore. It follows Malik and Karina through a twisting plot full of intriguing magic. Malik is such a softie who cares so much for his sisters. The book also has a very real portrayal of what it’s like to have anxiety. I honestly can’t believe it’s a debut, it’s that good!

A book about food or cooking

One of my favourite books of 2019 had to be With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo. Emoni dreams of being a chef, and really wants to take her school’s new culinary arts class. She doesn’t know if she’ll have time for it though – Emoni has a young daughter to care for! This book is great – we follow Emoni as she tries to balance her dreams and caring for her little girl. The gorgeous descriptions of her spicy food definitely made me hungry – and hungry for more Elizabeth Acevedo books!

An office romance

Unexpected romance while you’re out getting your bread? Yes please. For this one I’ve decided on The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon. This romance has everything I love -a woman in STEM kicking butt and defying the odds, a mystery (financial crime, my inner nerd is screaming), and characters with unbelievable chemistry. Samiah and Daniel take us on the most thrilling ride, and treat us to a great love story. It also has positive female friendships and shows the dangers of burning out at work. Amazing stuff.

So that’s that, hope you enjoyed my choices for adventures in aesthetics. Have you read any of these books before? What books would you choose for these prompts? Let me know in the comments. Be sure to check out my friends’ blogs, and maybe even join The Book Coven!