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.

Six for Sunday (Devious Main Characters)

Hi everyone! This week I’m participating in Six for Sunday for the first time, a meme hosted by Steph at A Little But a Lot. This month, the focus is on book characters, and this week’s topic is:  Devious Main Characters.

1) I just finished The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant and Nina, the protagonist, is definitely devious. She’s always throwing a spanner in the works for the reader! You can find my review of this amazing debut novel here.

2) How can I make a post about devious characters without mentioning the notorious Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows? Kaz is a master schemer which means the plot of this duology is awesome.

3) Alessandra from The Shadows Between Us is full of ambition. She’s definitely the kind of girl that will stop at nothing to get what she wants, including killing The Shadow King by making him fall in love with her. Her task will definitely take all of her devious skills if she’s going to succeed!

3) Time for a contemporary devious character. Pip from A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is honestly a good bean – but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a devious streak! Interviewing people of interest in a murder case that everyone thinks is already solved definitely takes some nerves of steel. You can read my review here.

5) Oh Nehza, you broke my heart. The Poppy War trilogy has plenty of devious characters including the protagonist Rin. But Nehza is one of a kind in terms of being a character that you can’t trust and don’t know whether you’re supposed to love them or hate them. You can read my review of the eARC of The Burning God, the final instalment in the series, here.

6) Finally, back to the contemporary genre – Evelyn Hugo from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I actually named a cactus after Evelyn – I definitely put her in the devious character category, especially as she has kept some huge secrets!

In my choices, devious doesn’t exactly equal bad. I love characters that are full of surprises with more than a few tricks up their sleeves. What do you think of my choices? Have you read any? Let me know in the comments and link your Six for Sunday posts!

The folklore Book Tag

Hi everyone! I’ve been meaning to do a folklore book tag for so long, so here it finally is! This one is by Star is All Booked Up. TS8 is probably my favourite album of the lot – it’s cohesive, sad, happy and lyrical and really plays to her strengths. Here are my book recommendations based on the prompts.

the 1: a book you grew out of

For this one, I’m going with Harry Potter. Even before the author became unforgivable, I had lost interest in this series, partly because it’s not exactly the most feminist book series out there and I’ve read so much better now. As much as it made me happy as a kid, it just doesn’t do it for me anymore.

cardigan: a book you keep coming back to

Fire by Kriston Cashore is one of my favourite books of all time. It’s feminist, has the most amazing, gentle, brave protagonist and I love the romance in it. I think I will re-read it for the rest of my life, along with Graceling which is also up there with my faves. Did you know Kristin Cashore is writing a new book in this series? I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

the last great american dynasty: a book where everything goes wrong (in the best way)

The Poppy War series is such a great pick for this. There are so many moments in every book where stuff goes completely wrong and the characters are left to deal with the consequences. There are some really harrowing moments about what is left after war that are written so well that it makes great, emotional reading.

exile: ending you didn’t like (ship that sank)

The series with the worst last book that I have ever read is The Lightbringer Series by Brent Weeks. The last book, The Burning White, I did not finish. It’s so boring, drags a lot, and becomes weirdly Christianity focused. I was really disappointed because the first few books were really good.

my tears ricochet: broke your heart

I was in tears when reading Meat Market by Juno Dawson. It’s about a girl called Jana who is scouted by a modelling agency and becomes a famous supermodel practically overnight. She faces the challenges of her new found fame, and a corrupt industry. I have never routed for a character so much, who feels so young and innocent and makes mistakes that break your heart. I highly recommend it but it’s not an easy read.

mirrorball: a book that speaks to your soul

I hate to use a book that hasn’t been published yet but The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue wrecked me because I felt every word of it. The characters, Addie and Henry, are just so relatable and I have never felt so seen by a book. Just wow, I can’t wait for more people to read it. You can see my review here and we will be talking about it in The Book Coven October book club.

seven: character you want to take home and protect

Hello Lazlo Strange, I was wondering if I’d get to talk about you in this post. Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer is such a sweet cinnamon roll and I was drawn to his character immediately. I just wanted good things for him because he’s so adorable and smart and thoughtful and cute. This was the first book I read with such a gentle male protagonist. Another good one is Malik from A Song of Wraiths and Ruin.

august: summer love

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson was such a surprise for me, and I read all of her books over the month that followed. When Andie loses her place on a prestigious medical school summer program due to a scandal involving her politician Dad, she thinks her life is over. She finds another job as a dog walker, and meets Clark. Their summer romance is so adorable, and there is so much dog love I could scream.

this is me trying: mental illness rep

I recently read Take a Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert and really enjoyed it. It’s a romance about Dani Brown (Chloe Brown’s sister!) and Zafir Ansari. Zaf is an ex-rugby player who suffers from anxiety, and is doing lots for young kids playing rugby through his program, Tackle It, which helps boys with their emotions. It’s a really great read, an excellent follow up to Get a Life, Chloe Brown.

illicit affairs: forbidden romance

OK so this romance isn’t really forbidden, but it is a bit taboo. In The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa, Catalina Santos is a wedding planner that was left at the alter. Max Hartley is the brother of her ex-fiance. The two have to work together to compete for a job that would change Catalina’s life. Max is so off limits to her, but can she resist? This book is such a fun read and it even made me tear up in places. I highly recommend it!

invisible string: soulmates

Oh, I think I am going to go with Portia and Tavish in A Duke by Defualt by Alyssa Cole. These two are made for each other – they complement each other so well and bring out the best in each other! It also has ADHD representation, which is awesome. This is one of favourite romances of all time – it has exceptional charcter growth and I love the storyline.

mad woman: vengeful woman

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis is a stunning book that you just know is going to break your heart as soon as it begins. It is rare to have a protagonist with a dark nature that you care for a lot, and Alex Craft is just that. This book has a lot to say about sexism and rape culture and I highly recommend it, but make sure you read the trigger warnings.

epiphany: a loss you’re not over

OK, spoilers for The High Lord by Trudi Canavan in this section so skip ahead if you don’t want to know how it ends. This is the final book in the Black Magician Trilogy, a favourite from my teenage years. At the end of the last book, after slowly falling in love, Akkarin dies by giving his remaining magic and life to Sonea, and it messes me up so hard each time I read it. Heart broken. Devastating.

betty: love triangle, f/f romance

I am choosing an f/f romance – Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner. It’s about a showrunner, Jo, and her assistant, Emma, who fall in love over the course of the book. I love an office romance and this one is adorable. These women stand up for each other and I am here for it. Jo is an ice queen who is really a softie and I loved that so much.

peace:found family

The only choice I could put here is the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper and Wylan all have my heart a thousand times. The series is a masterclass in writing multiple points of view and has so much tension and action that it makes your heart race throughout. It is one of my favourite YA fantasy series of all time. I also really like The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

hoax: character that fooled you

Ettian in Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutsie. I will say no more about why, but the book is a fantastic science-fiction m/m read that really surprised me. Can’t wait for the next book to come out because of that ending.

And that’s all of them – I had such a great time finding books for these prompts. Of course the lakes hadn’t been heard at the point of creation, so here’s a bonus prompt.

the lakes: a book written in verse

I hadn’t ever come across books written in verse until Elizabeth Acevedo. Clap When You Land is an emotional book about two girls who find out they share a father after he dies in a plane crash. I loved the writing style and felt it really suited the story. Camino and Yahaira have such different lives and voices, it makes for a wonderful story.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Hope you check out some of the books I listed. Have you read any of them? What did you think?

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!