Diverse Books, YA Books

Fire With Fire by Destiny Soria – ARC Review

Thank you to hodderscape and netgalley for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this book so much! The sibling relationship and the growth of both sisters was so wonderful to see in a book.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Dani and Eden Rivera were both born to kill dragons, but the sisters couldn’t be more different. For Dani, dragon slaying takes a back seat to normal high school life, while Eden prioritizes training above everything else. Yet they both agree on one thing: it’s kill or be killed where dragons are concerned.

Until Dani comes face-to-face with one and forges a rare and magical bond with him. As she gets to know Nox, she realizes that everything she thought she knew about dragons is wrong. With Dani lost to the dragons, Eden turns to the mysterious and alluring sorcerers to help save her sister. Now on opposite sides of the conflict, the sisters will do whatever it takes to save the other. But the two are playing with magic that is more dangerous than they know, and there is another, more powerful enemy waiting for them both in the shadows.

I loved this book so much! I love seeing sibling relationships in books and this one had such a complicated nuanced relationship. I loved both sisters and their individual arcs as well as how they were together. I related to each of them in different ways and it was so great to see a story where sisters are the main relationship we see.

Dani is  the younger sister and always feels like she can’t live up to her “perfect” older sister. She also doesn’t want to take on the family  legacy which I related to a lot. It’s like when your parents have their own dreams for you but what you want is different but you don’t want to hurt them either but hers is way more intense! Her character growth throughout the book was also so great to read, how she learned to balance her family and what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to also call out the parts that she knew were wrong and shouldn’t just continue the same way just because that’s how it’s always been done.

Edan, the older sister, yet feels like she will never be truly seen as she always feels overshadowed by Dani and this makes her strive for perfection. In trying to impress her parents she neglects all other parts of her life to her detriment. She also has anxiety and had panic attacks which I felt were showed really well. I really appreciated how they were shown in the story and especially her journey to coming to terms with this part of herself. She thinks this is a weakness and makes her less and just wants it to go away but she learns to see it as a strength and that she is more than capable even with her anxiety. She doesn’t need “fixing” and I thought that is such a important thing for young people to read in books. I just really loved seeing it in the story.

Their relationship with each other was also so great to see. They were close but there was also walls up because they both thought they can’t live up to the other. I loved that Dani did everything she could to help Edan and how they finally started to accept each other for who they are.

There was also some wonderful side characters that I am really looking forward to seeing in the sequel especially that potential love interest for Dani. Tomas was adorable and a wonderful best friend to Dani like seriously this is the type of friendship I love to see in books. I also loved seeing Dani intereact with Tomas’ family and how his mum would force her to take food home. It reminded me of the Asian aunties who insist on doing this too and I think it’s such a wonderful part of the culture we got to see.

I also loved Nox who is the dragon that Dani meets and how sassy and sarcastic he is. His relationship with Dani was so great to see too and how they both learned to accept and trust each other. I am really looking forward to learning more about the dragons.

The story was so much fun to read even though it was dark at times especially in the second half of the book. It’s also fast paced and I couldn’t stop reading once I started, often reading late into the night. And after the ending of the story I am absolutely dying to read the sequel!

Unboxings

Fairyloot Unboxing – December Dragons Box

Hey booknerds! I’ve got an unboxing for you today! This is the December fairyloot box and it was dragon themed! When I heard the theme I just had to buy it! I absolutely love dragons so I seriously needed this box and it did not disappoint. I really loved what was included.

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This month they included a pin flag which I loved because I hoard enamel pins and I needed a flag to put them on.

They included a mother of dragons magnetic bookmark set too. Unfortunately mine was missing but they did email everyone and say that they would be sending it out separately if it was missing.

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They also included a reading journal which is all dragon themed! I loved using the previous one they included so I love that they included another one. It was designed by FictionTea Designs and the artwork was by Blanca Montiel.

There was also a Harry Potter inspired book sleeve designed by Sweet Sequels and inspired by the scene where the trio escape Gringotts on a dragon. The artwork on the sleeve is stunning!

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They included a double sided art print. The artwork of Toothless on one side and Abraxos on the other. My two favourite dragons! I squealed when I saw the print! The beautiful artwork is by Diana Worak.

They also included a glow in the dark dragon necklace! I love it so much! I especially love that it glows in the dark.

This month they also included an ARC. They included an advance copy of the Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson. It sounds really good and I’m looking forward to reading it.

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This months book is Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst which is a standalone fantasy story. This edition is also signed by the author and includes an author letter and character artwork by Taratjah. I’m really looking forward to reading the book!

So that’s everything included in the box and they also included the first of the tarot cards. This month was Cassian and Amren.

I really loved this box and everything that was included and I’m really looking forward to getting the January Unbreakable Bonds box.

Did you get this box? What did you think? What was your favourite item?

Unboxings

Fairyloot Unboxing – September Starcrossed Swoons Box

Hey booknerds! It’s time for another unboxing! This is the Fairyloot Starcrossed Lovers September box. I was so excited for this box as I had a pretty good idea about what book would be included and it’s a book I had read and fallen completely in love with. Plus the other items were from some of y favourite fandoms!

So lets get to the unboxing!

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The first thing that was included in this box is a Bella and Edward candle by Nerd Poured Candles. It has lovely scent of apples, pine and cedarwood.

They also included a really unique item that is also really useful! This is a Strange the Dreamer inspired apron! It was designed by Literary Life Co. It’s so pretty I almost don’t want to use it!

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The next thing they included was another unique item which was ACOTAR inspired shoelaces! It was designed by Fictiontea Designs and has all the courts on them.

They included a beautiful constellation notebook with a quote from The Star Touched Queen. This was designed by Read At Midnight.

They also included a set of postcards each featuring starcrossed lovers from different fandoms! There was Julian and Emma from The Dark Artifices, Rhysand and Feyre from ACOTAR and Cassian and Nesta also from ACOTAR. They also included Amar and Maya from The Star Touched Queen and Lazlo and Saarai from Strange the Dreamer. The amazing artwork is by Taratjah.

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The last thing included was a love rune enamel pin and an angelic fire runes candle matches both designed by Fictiontea Designs. I love them both!

The book that was included this month was Mirage by Somaiya Daud. I read an arc of this book and loved it so I’m so happy to have this edition with an exclusive cover with purple sprayed pages. They also included an author letter and artwork of the main characters by Gabriella Bujdoso.

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The extras included this month was a sampler of Queen of Air and Darkness, Tempests and Slaughter bookmark and a Muse of Nightmares postcard.

I adored everything in this box and I’m really looking forward to getting the October box!

Unboxings

Fairyloot Unboxing -Mutinous Pirates August Box

Hey booknerds! I have an unboxing for you today! This is the August Fairyloot box and the theme was Mutinous Pirates! I was so excited for this box not only because I love the theme but also because they said they were going to include a sampler of King of Scars! It’s safe to say that I absolutely loved it! One of my favourite boxes this year!

So lets get to the unboxing! So here is what was included in this months box:

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The first item in this box is the Nikolai quote banner (grisha trilogy). He is one of my favourite characters and I’m so happy to have an item inspired by him! Designed by @Reverieandink

The next item was the To Kill A Kingdom inspired candle. It’s inspired by Prince Elian, it has gold glitter on top and smells amazing! Made by @nerdpouredcandles

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Also included was a Pirates of the Caribbean water bottle. I love it so much! It’s so practical and I love using it! It’s designed by @kdpletters

There was also a magnet inspired by The Daughter of the Pirate King. I love the quote that they included. Designed by @blanca.design

We also got an amazing pirate wax seal complete with glittery gold wax! This was brought to us by Fairyloot themselves!

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The last item was a sweet peat bath scrub soap which smells of cherry blossom. Made by @geekyclean

The book that was included in this months box was These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch. This was a special edition book with green sprayed pages and signed by the author. Also included was an author letter and character artwork.

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The extra this month was a King of Scars sampler that also opens up into a poster. I loved that this was included as I am so excited for King of Scars!

I absolutely loved this box and every single item in it!

Septembers box is called Starcrossed lovers and I cannot wait to get it! It sounds amazing!

Fiction Books, YA Books

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart ARC Book Review

I picked this book up at the Northern YA Lit Festival a couple months ago and I am so glad I did!

I picked it up because the cover of the ARC said: “In a world where women have no rights one wrong move could cost them their lives.” Reading that I just knew I had to pick this book up! It sounded like exactly my type of book.

And I was not disappointed! I absolutely adored this book! It’s definitely up there as one of my favourite reads of the year!

This book was also the book in the June Fairyloot box! It was an exclusive hardcover which has an absolutely stunning naked cover!

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So if you don’t know what this book is about you can read the synopsis here (taken from Goodreads):

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.
Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace–someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.
Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

But before I even start with the book I just need to share the dedication first because well, wow! I love the dedication so much

For every woman who has been told to sit down and be quiet…and who stood up anyway.

I knew I would love this book when I read this dedication!

Rating:5/5

So as you can tell from the dedication this book is all about female empowerment and doing what is right and just. It is full of political intrigue and testing family bonds. I loved the Italian inspired world and had a historical component which made it quite realistic. It also brings in themes that women still experience worldwide today.

This book follows two sisters, Nomi and Serina who have very different views on how to survive living in a world where they have no rights. Serina believes that if she can become a Grace (similar to a concubine) then she will be able to have a good life but Nomi is the opposite, she wants more, she wants to have the ability to choose what she does in her life, to be able to read and write and not be owned by a man.

This book started in what I thought would be an obvious storyline but a plot twist that happens early on completely threw me off! I was not expecting that to happen and it made me even more intrigued as to how the story will play out. As the story progressed it made me more and more anxious for the sisters and I was wary of all the secondary characters and who to trust. There was lots of revelations at the end and betrayal and I was left an emotional wreck!

As we progress through the story we see that Nomi and Serina have both been thrown in the deep end and are having to deal with things that they know the other would be much better at dealing with. Nomi must learn to be more political and think before she speaks and Serina must learn to be more assertive and stand up for herself.

The second half of the book had me on the edge of my seat and afraid for the lives of all my favourite characters. The ending was left on a cliffhanger and I seriously need the next book right now! This book was fast paced and being able to see from both sisters points of view gave us a wider view of the world. It was interesting to see how they had to battle it out in different ways and I was really rooting for them.

I loved both Nomi and Serina they had great character development throughout the book. Serina has been told her whole life she must be obedient and polite and she has to learn to be assertive and she has to learn to say no. Nomi who has always been someone who speaks her mind and does what she thinks is right has to learn to be more controlled and think before she speaks. They both realise that the other is more suited to the position they themselves are in and so think about how the other would deal with the situation. It was really nice seeing siblings who love and care for each other. They had a real relationship where even though they get angry with each other they are still loyal and protect each other.

I also loved many of the secondary characters and I can’t wait to see how the story develops and how their stories develop in the next book. I am definitely looking forward to seeing more of Malachi, Maris and Val and I feel like they will have a bigger role to play in the next book.

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So as you can tell I am in love with this book and I am very much looking forward to seeing where the story will go next! It is releasing soon so there’s still time to preorder it!

If you read this book let me know what you thought!

And I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the book.

It isn’t a choice when you don’t have the freedom to say no. A yes doesn’t mean the same thing when it’s the only answer you’re allowed