Sunday, February 25, 2024

Review: A Crown of Ivy and Glass by Claire Legrand

Reading this book a second time was a must. I loved it just as much reading it again. And I am now even more ready to read book two right away. It is going to be amazing. This book is all kinds of special to me. It is Claire Legrand. Whom I have loved for years and years now. And I still love every one of her books.

Which is the very best to me. I do not think she will ever write a book that I will not love. The writing in this one is stunning, as it is with all of her books. I loved that this was her first adult story. Yet it feels like all her other books, which I love. The main girl is twenty years old, and I loved that as well. Gemma was the best.

I am not going to write such a long review this time. At least I do not think so. It is hard to find all of the right words after a re-read. Since I have already shared all the ways I loved this story, haha. But I am still going to share my thoughts again. But less of them this time. Probably. There is just so much that I loved about this book. And many details I had forgotten about, despite it not yet being a year since I first read this book. How rude. Which makes me even more happy that I decided to read it again before starting my ARC of book two. This first book is the story of Gemma. The second book is the story of her eldest sister, Farrin. The third book is the story of the middle sister, Mara. And I'm beyond excited for their stories as well. All three of them are amazing.

But this one was all about Gemma. Though all three of them are a big part of this story, which I loved. I think they will all have a bigger role to play later on. And I am very excited about it. I think this trilogy will end up being every kind of epic. Which this first book already was, of course. We get to know Gemma a whole lot in this book. She can be hard to love. As she keeps most of herself hidden away, only showing people her beauty and letting them love that. But inside she is fully broken and fully beautiful. Loved her.

Gemma spends all her days in pain. She comes from a family filled with magical gifts. And she has none. All she has is the pain in her body, the panic in her mind. And no magic of her own. Instead magic hurts her. She can't stand to be near magic. But she must, because her family has magic inside them and their house has parts of magic as well. And so she is constantly in pain. She is distracting herself with hosting balls and spending time with men for pleasure. She is trying to ignore her pain and pretend to be happy.

And oh, how badly I loved this girl. Sure, she could be a little rude at times. And mostly just caring about herself. But she changed. And she does care about others, she is just a little bad about showing it. I loved how she opened up to those around her, after a while. I loved how she got stronger, both body and mind. Even though she is still broken at the end of the book, she is also still stronger. And I loved that about her. Gemma was truly precious to me. I can very much relate to all her pain, as I have it too, all the time. Ugh.

But this book is about Gemma and Talan. He shows up early in this story. And oh, how badly I loved this precious and sad and hurt man. They did fall for each other pretty fast. But they also waited weeks before they actually acted on their feelings. And I shipped them from the very first moment. They were the actual best together. So cute. Both so broken and sad. But perfect together. Healing each other. Of course, they also hurt each other a little in this book. But I did not mind too much, as it wasn't awful, or bad drama, ha.

There is just so much to say about this story. I am trying not to say too much, but I have already written way too many things. Ha. The story is about Gemma and Talan. About a demon making her family and the Basks family hurt each other. About her trying to find this demon to make it all stop. Which does not go as planned at all. There is truly so much happening. And I'm not going to share it, as I do not want to spoil. But there are scenes in the mountains, with the Vilia. Those scenes were pretty great. I loved them.

And of course, the romance between Gemma and Talan. They were a little slow to get started, despite them both very obviously wanting the other right away. But when they finally do get together. Sigh. It was perfection. I loved them so much. I loved the smut, which Claire writes so well. I loved how romantic they were with each other. How much they cared. How Gemma tried her best to save Talan. Those scenes at the end of the book. Sigh. It was all kinds of exciting and evil and so good. I also loved the ending of this.

This book was also filled with other great characters. Like Ryder and his sister Alastrina. Very excited for more of them in book two. They are sort of the villains to Gemma and her family in this book, ha. But they get better. And I liked them a whole lot, and their different ways of being. I also loved Gareth, Farrin's best friend. He was so adorable. And Illaria, Gemma's best friend. She was the best. Oh. And also. Gemma's father. He was the worst person alive, to be honest. I disliked him the very most. Hmph. Hope he dies, ha.

I would say that the biggest plot of this series would be the hidden villain. We know his name. We know what he does. But we still have not actually seen him. And I am excited for him to be a bigger part of the next books. Well, mainly excited about them ending up killing him, which I am positive will happen, haha. I'm also very curious to know more about the queen of this world. She is full of magic and was chosen by the gods before they died. I loved the parts we got to see of her in this first book. She seemed awesome.

There is so much I want to say about this book. But I'm trying not to share too much, ha. I might already be failing at that. Oops. But one of my favorite parts of this book was getting to know why Gemma has no magic. Why she is in constant pain. Why magic keeps hurting her. And it was such an excellent reason. It was so painful and rude and heartbreaking and I just loved it to pieces. Love all the broken and sad parts. This story was so evil. What I loved most was that there were no easy cure for her, at least not yet. It hurt.

A Crown of Ivy and Glass is such a precious book. It is full of hurts and pain. But it's also full of hope and love and romance and the best sisters. It has the best written smut. It's a little silly at times. And I loved it with all of my heart. The story of Gemma and Talan was every kind of precious to me. Getting to know of these three sisters, Gemma and Farrin and Mara, was the very best. I love them so much. And this world created was also incredible. And I can't wait to know more about it. This is a book that you must read too.

 

Saturday, February 24, 2024

In My Mailbox #642

Ohh. This week have been pretty epic, with more of the best mail, haha :) It so killed me that I got to read The Mirror of Beasts last week. <3 And then this week I got A Song of Ash and Moonlight :D Ahh! I could not be more excited. <3 And happy. And lucky. I'm currently re-reading A Crown of Ivy and Glass :) Which I should have been done with already, but I'm slow to read this week, as I'm not feeling the best. Sigh. But finishing it tomorrow. <3 And loving this re-read. But yeah. Health sucks. My surgery wound hasn't healed yet, and it's been over four weeks now. Ugh. I just want it to close. I miss my baths. But it is better. I think. Just so slooow to heal. I'm so tired of it. It was also medicine day this week, which sucked. But I survived, ha :) Now just trying to take it easy. And read amazing books when I'm able to. So excited to start A Song of Ash and Moonlight shortly. This week I'm waiting on Bye Forever, I Guess :) I hope you are all well. <3

A Song of Ash and Moonlight. OH MY GODS. Biggest thank you to Sophie at Sourcebooks International for sending me this one right after I sent her my email ARC request, eee. I am so lucky. <3 It's precious.
Instant Karma + With a Little Luck. UK paperbacks :D They are gorgeous. Excited for With a Little Luck.
Barbie. I know. I did not actually like this movie, ha :) But I do collect movies, and wanted to own this one.

Disney Store EU. Ahhh! Disney finally opened up shipping to Norway, after years without :D I have been waiting for ages, haha. And finally I can order again. <3 Though. Well. Bad luck for my money. Sigh. But I had to order some things, haha ;) So this was my first order. <3 And I love it all. Some Disney dolls I were missing :) All gorgeous. Love the plushes. Love the figures. Love the headband; was a free gift :) So cute.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Waiting on Wednesday #644

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

BYE FOREVER, I GUESS BY JODI MEADOWS

Goodreads Description:

Ingrid’s online persona is more popular than she is. IRL, she’s the quiet one—until a wrong-number text message offers her a chance at connection. Can this guarded gamer girl lower her shield for a new friend… or more-than-friend?

Thirteen-year-old Ingrid’s been living a double life. At school, she’s the Girl With Dead Parents, her popular friend Rachel’s charity case. In her online fandoms, she can be her own person: one who’s constantly talking to her long-distance BFF Lorren, crushing it at her favorite MMORPG, and geeking out over her favorite book series. But when Ingrid stands up to Rachel and “starts drama” at school, it suddenly feels like she has no life at all (and nowhere to sit at lunch).

Until she gets a wrong-number text from another gamer. . . and everything starts to go right.

Guarded, prickly Ingrid isn’t quick to trust, but spending time together playing Ancient Tomes Online as “Stitches” and “Traveler” makes Ingrid feel like she can lay down her sword of standoffishness. But when she starts to suspect that Traveler may be a student at her school, she faces a difficult choice. Can she open up when getting close to people has hurt her before? Or is making friends only fantasy after all?

A fresh, funny, and vibrant middle-grade debut from
NYT bestselling author Jodi Meadows, Bye Forever, I Guess
speaks to the complexity of middle-school friendships (and friend breakups) and the sense of belonging that comes from finding your people. Warm, witty, and endearingly messy, Ingrid’s quest to be herself is sure to resonate in this love letter to geek culture and the healing power of fantasy.

Format: 304 pages, Hardcover
Expected Publication: October 22, 2024 by Holiday House
Pre-Order: Blackwells and Amazon US and Amazon UK

This book looks adorable :D I have been a fan of Jodi for years. So of course I'm going to give her new middle grade book a try :) I'm not usually a fan of gaming books. But I'm still curious about this one. <3
What are you waiting for on this geeky Wednesday?

Saturday, February 17, 2024

In My Mailbox #641

Another week gone by. Ahh! I'm still healing from my surgery, now been over three weeks. Sigh. It's slow going. But I guess the wound is looking better. Hopefully. Still looking like it is ages until it is closed. How rude. I miss my baths. But I'm doing okay. It doesn't hurt, which is a plus :) I'm exhausted, as always, but doing good. I got my precious mail this week. Sobs. I am so so happy. And getting a most epic mail next week too. Sobs again. I cannot believe my luck lately. <3 I'm so very excited, eee. Did a bunch of reading this week :) And that is pretty much all that I have done, haha. Now going to take it easy for a few days, before I start another re-read. Oops :D Have all my next books planned. Love that. A few new blog posts. I shared my second review of Silver in the Bone :) This week I'm waiting on Damsel :D And I shared my very long review of The Mirror of Beasts, eee. <3 Hope you are all doing well :) Reading anything good?

The Mirror of Beasts Manuscript. Oh. My gods. AHH! My most precious mail arrived this week. Sobs. I'm actually dying. Thank you so, so much Alexandra. <3 You are the very best. Personalized manuscript :D Ahh! I'm still dying. And already read it. Loved it with my whole heart. Oh. Art cards! EEE! Love so much.
The Thirteenth Circle Swag. Eee! Thank you so much MarcyKate & Kathryn :D Love this pre-order swag.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong. Hoping that this game is going to be awesome :D Never played the original one.

More Instagram photos here. <3

Friday, February 16, 2024

Review: The Mirror of Beasts by Alexandra Bracken

It would be impossible to find a more perfect sequel than this. As this book was truly perfection. I couldn't have loved it more. Sigh. Silver in the Bone was such a huge favorite of mine. I have been dying to read The Mirror of Beasts since last summer. It's not out yet, but I was the very luckiest and was gifted an early copy of it.

My precious. It is gorgeous. There is not even a cover yet. But it is going to be stunning, I'm sure of it. I do not know how to write this review of mine. I loved this second book more than anything. It had everything I wished for and so much more. It made me so very happy. It also crushed me, of course. I loved every moment.

I'm starting with the obvious. Five stars for this book. I probably loved it even more than book one. Which makes me very thrilled, as I had been a tiny bit worried, ha. And sure, this book did hurt me and ruin me and make me cry. But it also made me smile so much. It gave me hope. Even when it crushed it afterward. Then made it better again. A little bittersweet at times. But truly so very perfect. And I can honestly say that there was nothing that I did not love about this book. Sigh. A few sad things that I wish had been different, but they needed to be there as well. But most important to me, this book did not make me angry or depressed. It did not make me want to murder these characters, haha. And that is the very best feeling. To fully love a book and all the main characters in it, like I did with this book. Also, perfect writing.

I'm not going to share spoilers about this second book. But I will share spoilers about what happened in book one, Silver in the Bone. Simply because I can now finally talk about some of it, haha. I'm not going to write too much about the plot of this second book, only sharing a little. For the most part this review of mine will be me sharing how much I loved it all. How much this book means to me. How badly I loved the romance between Tamsin and Emrys. Sigh. It was perfection. Even all of their bickering and arguing, ha.

This book takes place right after the first one ends. Tamsin and Neve and Cait and Olwen have just made it safely out of Avalon, back to Tamsin's apartment in Boston. Nash suddenly appeared, no longer dead. And this twist was all kinds of fun and evil and I loved it so. We get to know so much more about Nash in this sequel. And I loved it so. I did not like him much in book one, from just hearing about him. But in this one I think I grew to love him. He was complicated. And had so many secrets. I liked learning all of them.

But oh. These four girls were the only survivors of what happened in Avalon, before that world collided with ours. Not going to say much about what happened back then. But gods, I have to talk a little about it. All four of them are ruined. Heartbroken. All the others died. And in such a gruesome way. And I am still broken about it too. Little Flea. Sobs. And all the other lovely people too. They did not deserve to die like that. Shudders. But it did make for a most excellent story, of course. But yes. Those deaths hurt my soul.

And then knowing that Cabell knew about it and did nothing to stop it. He did not kill anyone, but he did not save them either. He knew they were going to die. And that hurt so badly. Tamsin is not happy with her brother. Yet she wonders if he can be saved, if he is controlled by Lord Death. We learn much more about all of this in this book. And I loved it so. I was so unsure about Cabell. If he could be forgiven or not. What he did was not right. But oh, I loved reading about him. We even get a few small chapters from him.

And then there was Emrys. And how he left Tamsin and the others, taking the Ring of Dispel for himself. He left without knowing what had happened to everyone else, how they all died. This ruined Tamsin. How he left her behind. It broke her heart. And mine too. Though my heart was way more forgiving, ha. I knew he had a reason for leaving, to save his mom. And I did not blame him for it. But Tamsin did. Aw. But I did understand her feelings. But yes. It hurt. They spend some of the book with Tamsin being angry at Emrys.

But they are still together. Okay, not as a couple. But sharing the adventure together. And that made me beyond happy. Because it gave Emrys the chance to explain himself more. To try to earn back their trust. And I loved that. Sigh. We learn so much more about this precious damaged boy in this sequel. And I just loved him more and more, ha. He was the best. And so very broken. And I loved that about him. We get to see how he got his scars. What happened to him. And that broke me even more. Shudders. So good.

I'm not going to say too much more about the romance. Tamsin is angry with Emrys. Yet she understand him too, somewhat. And I loved how they slowly tried to get past it. Well, him at least. It takes some time. But yeah. The romance in this book was the actual best and I loved it the very most. Sigh. There is also the small romance of Neve and Cait. How they both obviously likes the other one. I loved reading about them. Too cute. And the friendship of these four girls. It was truly the best, how they cared for each other.

There is just too much going on with this book. I could probably write about it forever. But not going to share too much about the plot. But yes. Lord Death is now freed from Avalon. And he's returned to our world to hunt down the sorceresses to get something back from them. He kills so many. Shudders. He was such a great villain, though. And I loved that. And I did like getting to know more about him as well. Though I despised him. We learn more about the sorceresses, which I liked. And the bonecutter. Loved.

This book is mostly about Lord Death hunting for something. And Tamsin and her friends hunting for a way to stop him, to kill him. They are looking for the Mirror of the Beasts. And I very much enjoyed that plot point. It was fun and exciting to read about. They do so much in this book. So many heartbreaking scenes. So much action and death and hurt. I loved every moment. I fully loved how Emrys kept saving Tamsin. But also how she saved herself, how she changed. She was so fierce and brave and amazing.

I just cannot thank Alexandra enough for sharing this early copy with me. Thank you lovely. I am beyond happy and thankful. And so very happy. Getting to read this book right now was much needed. It healed my heart, in a way. After that ending to book one, haha. I have spent ages wondering what would happen next. And to now have read it all. Sigh. It means the most to me. And I just truly loved this book to pieces. Thank you for writing this book. These characters. Creating this world and magic. For Tamsin and Emrys.

The Mirror of Beasts was the most perfect second book. I truly loved every moment of this and I could not stop reading. It was exciting and thrilling from beginning to end. I loved the all of the magic in this book. I loved how it is the history of Avalon and king Arthur with changes, all of them good. I very much enjoyed getting to read more about all of these stunning characters. The romance in this book murdered me. Both the main one and the side characters one. They were adorable. This dulogy could not have ended better.

Just because I cannot stop mentioning it, I have to write about it a little bit more, haha. I think I managed to write my review without that many spoilers. Despite wanting to share everything that happened. But I will not. As you need to read this book for yourself. It is so worth the pain. Because this book is filled with love. Family love, romantic love, sisterly love. All of them perfectly written. Sigh. I just can't get over how badly I loved these two books. They were perfect for me. I will be re-reading this series again and again.

I will be updating this review of mine with the actual cover for this book once that is out. But for now, the cover of my manuscript edition will do. It is so precious to me. Can't wait to own every single copy of this book as well, eee. And gods, I'm excited for the cover. I'm sure it will be beautiful and epic. This book was everything to me. And you are all going to love it too, when it comes out at the end of July. It is worth the wait. So glad that I re-read Silver in the Bone first, so I had every detail fresh. I loved them both so much.