Sunday Sum~Up

 

Sunday Sum_Up (1)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer that I am linking my Sunday Sum-Ups with. Stop by and say hello!

I am currently semi-drafting this as I find myself engrossed in the 1982 animated film, The Last Unicorn. I am a sucker for the animation and musical score. I will never outgrow it. Aside from that, it has been quiet. My x-ray results were not “A” okay, so they have kept on me on restrictions and are sending me for MRIs. Although, I am sure it will be worked out soon. It is just difficult spending so much downtime. On the plus side, I have read some great books! But my hair has seen better days and I am beginning to think it is time to further expand my pajama collection 😉

pajamas-bobby

 


Recent Reviews

36315374Jar of Hearts

to_kill_a_kingdomTo Kill a Kingdom

bring me backBring Me Back


What I am Currently Reading

fawkesFawkes
By Nadine Brandes

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Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

My Current Audio

becoming nicoleBecoming Nicole: The Transformation of An American Family
By Amy Ellis Nutt

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The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the right to be different—from the Pulitzer Prize–winning science reporter for The Washington Post.


Other Happenings

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” 
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

What are you reading this weekend? Drop me a line with your current reads or recent favorites!

Let’s Chat,

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Better Late Than Never: Pride Month Reading List

Okay, so we are officially halfway through 🌈Pride Month and I am incredibly late with this post, but that does not mean I have not been celebrating! This includes cramming as many LGBTQIAP+ books into this month’s TBR as I possibly can. And loving every minute of it!

Pride MonthReading

What I Have Read

Reign of the Fallen

Reign of the Fallen (Reign of the Fallen #1)
By Sarah Glenn Marsh

Synopsis:
Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

Representation: So much! ❤ With a bi protagonist and diverse and often queer cast, this book easily holds my heart in terms of characters ❤

9780803739260_NearlyGone_JKT.indd

A Line in the Dark
By Malinda Lo

Synopsis:

The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.

Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. While nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more curse than gift.

As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.

When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.

Representation: Lesbian Chinese-American female protagonist who is in love with her best friend ❤

Ash by Malinda Lo

Ash
By Malinda Lo

Synopsis:

Cinderella retold

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

Representation: Lesbian female protagonist portrayed in the most natural way, and I love this story for that if nothing else! ❤

What I am Currently Reading

daughter of the burning city

Daughter of the Burning City
By Amanda Foody

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

Representation: I am still reading this, but it seems Sorina is bi, and a couple of the illusions are queer as well as a possible demisexual supporting character ❤

rubyfruit_jungle

Rubyfruit Jungle
By Rita Mae Brown

Synopsis: Bawdy and moving, the ultimate word-of-mouth bestseller, Rubyfruit Jungle is about growing up a lesbian in America–and living happily ever after.

Representation: Well, it is as the blurb says about a lesbian protagonist in what is proving to be a beautiful coming of age story ❤

Planning to Read Next

becoming nicole

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family
By Amy Ellis Nutt

Synopsis:

The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the right to be different—from the Pulitzer Prize–winning science reporter for The Washington Post.

Representation: Transgender female (have yet to read) ❤

 

the art of being normal

The Art of Being Normal
By Lisa Williamson

Synopsis:

Two boys. Two secrets.

David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl.

On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan.

When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…

Representation: I believe queer and transgender (will find out) ❤

❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

What are you reading this month? Have you read any of the above or do you have any recommendations?

Chat with me,

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To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

to_kill_a_kingdomTo Kill a Kingdom
By Alexandra Christo
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Kindle ASIN: B074T2H1SH
Pages: 346
Genre: YA Fantasy/ Retelling

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Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most–a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen and or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby–it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good–But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?


My Thoughts

Can I be frank for a moment? I loved this book with all of my bookish heart. I am going to sing its praise like the song of the sirens and encourage all of you to pick it up if you are a fan of retellings.  I devoured it! Holding the strongest affection for fairy tales and deep-sea settings with plots that revolve around mermaids and sirens, I felt as if To Kill a Kingdom were written for me. Of course, it wasn’t, but we paired beautifully.

The skinny..

Princess Lira is a fierce and revered siren. She also happens to be the daughter of the Sea Witch Queen and heir to the throne. Known as the Prince’s Bane for collecting the hearts of princes (17, one for every year she has lived) she is the deadliest. But when she breaks that tradition by bringing back her 18th heart early, she is punished by the Queen and transformed into the very creature they abhor, a human. Now she has until the Winter Solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart or remain a human and lost to her home forever.

Prince Elian, also heir to the throne of his kingdom Midas, knows no other true home than his ship and crew. He sails the seas in search of sirens, seeking to destroy each and every last one in an effort to put an end to the Prince’s Bane and many deaths that occur at their hands. When he rescues a strange woman from the sea who happens to speak the language of the sirens and promises to help him in his quest, he is unsure to as whether he can trust her. But can he risk missing the opportunity to end the mankind’s greatest threat in the sea?

“I’ve spent my life trying to be just what my mother wanted—the worst of us all—in an effort to show that I’m worthy of the trident. I became the Princes’ Bane, a title that defines me throughout the world. For the kingdom—for my mother—I am ruthless.”

What I appreciated..

  • I feel like I could just keep this simple and say EVERYTHING!
  • Lira is a cruel and fierce and completely unapologetic. She goes against the YA grain in terms of protagonist offering something new and refreshing that borders antagonist but never quite reaches that point. I savored every moment of her opposition and cunningness.
  • Prince Elian is admirable, exhibiting an ardent loyalty to his crew and life at the sea while maintaining great respect and love for his own family and the life he does not feel he belongs with. But he is not the perfect gentleman always, as he is a pirate at heart which is often exhibited through a tough exterior and often hard-edged attitude.
  • The world building is established through rich exploration of history and lore that provides a vivid portrayal of life both on land and off. Sirens and mermaids are clearly defined as two separate and hauntingly mesmerizing species that I could not get enough of.
  • Told through alternating perspectives, the writing is seamless and captivating, offering an original take on the familiar while avoiding the typical insta-love trope (thank you for this Alexandra Christo!)

“In the pits of our souls – if I amuse myself with the notion that I have a soul – Elian and I aren’t so different. Two kingdoms that come with responsibilities we each have trouble bearing. Him, the shackles of being pinned to one land and one life. Me, trapped in the confines of my mother’s murderous legacy. And the ocean, calling out to us both. A song of freedom and longing.” 

Challenges some may encounter..

  • There are times the pacing slows down briefly, but chapters are succinct and it recovers easily.
  • There is some violence and graphic content.

To Kill a Kingdom is a stunning reimagination of a classic tale that rewards readers with something original. It’s quick, clever and brimming with enchantment and action! It will find an appreciated home among the shelves of YA Fantasy fans who enjoy a dark and savory retelling and leave them craving more.

tea cup

Serves well with a dark, spiced plum tea.

Grab a Copy: Amazon.com  Book Depository

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission for purchases made through them. Click here for details.

Happy Reading,
Danielle ❤

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