Friday Favourites

Friday Favourites – Fictional Families

This was hosted by Something of the Book who created this tag out of a love for lists. Now Geeky Galaxy is taking over the tag. There are different topics for us all to be able to take part and you can find the prompts here. There isn’t a specific number of favourites so it’s entirely up to you how many you share.

This weeks topic is about fictional families and I love seeing fictional families. I especially love this trope as my friends are basically my family too and my sisters are my best friends too so I think it’s so important to show that family can be so different for each person and not just the traditional parent child etc.

So here are my favourite fictional families:

Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan – This series shows such a wonderful found family and how complex it can be and it was just amazing to see.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – I love the Rampion crew so much and how they become a family!

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – I love how they look out for and support each other and how they are understanding of each others differences.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I adore the Dregs so much and their banter is the best!

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart – I have a really close relationshipwith my sisters too so it was so great to see how the sisters were together in this book and how they looked out for each other but also argued like sisters do.

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – I love the Qahtani siblings! They have such interesting dynamics and it’s such a complex relationship between them especially the brothers because of them being a ruling family.

So here are some of my favourite fictional families. What books have some of your favourites?

Fiction Books, YA Books

Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart – ARC Review

Thank you to Hachette Children’s Group and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Grace and Fury was one of my top reads last year so I have been eagerly awaiting the sequel and it did not disappoint! Queen of Ruin is just as amazing as Grace and Fury! Tracy Banghart has now become an auto-buy author for me!

If you haven’t read Grace and Fury I highly recommend it! You can read my review of Grace and Fury here.

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Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Banished by Asa at the end of Grace and Fury, Nomi and Malachi find themselves powerless and headed towards their all-but-certain deaths. Now that Asa sits on the throne, he will stop at nothing to make sure Malachi never sets foot in the palace again. Their only hope is to find Nomi’s sister, Serina, on the prison island of Mount Ruin. But when Nomi and Malachi arrive, it is not the island of conquered, broken women that they expected. It is an island in the grip of revolution, and Serina–polite, submissive Serina–is its leader.
Betrayal, grief, and violence have changed both sisters, and the women of Mount Ruin have their sights set on revenge beyond the confines of their island prison. They plan to sweep across the entire kingdom, issuing in a new age of freedom for all. But first they’ll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.
Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, and build something better in its place.

Guys! This book had me up reading ALL NIGHT! As in I started it at 11pm thinking oh I will read for a little while and suddenly it’s 6am and I’ve finished the entire book! If that doesn’t tell you how much I adored it then I don’t know what will.

Serina and Nomi are so amazing though I do love Serina a little more. They both went through such a huge change in their lives and an unexpected one at that. Yet they handle it so well, they have such great character development and their relationship is tested again and again yet they come out stronger each time. The story is very much driven by the choices the sisters make and it really focuses on them two, rather than following lots of others around.

It’s safe to say that I loved the female empowerment in this book and in the duology, I loved how different ways to be empowered are shown, how different women were empowered in different ways and the things they did differed yet still was an act of rebellion which they were punished for. I loved seeing the women supporting each other, being their for each other and being able to rely on each other. It’s so nice to see rather than women being pitted against each other we see a lot in YA books.

I really like how it ended too, it wasn’t a perfect happily ever after, there was lives lost and compromises made to ensure that things will change for the better. It was a new beginning rather than a happy ending. Though I would have liked to see a bit more in how the changes that were spoken about at the end would be implemented especially dealing with the hostility that they will no doubt face from men and especially other men in power.

I also really liked seeing how men can be ally’s and actually support women without it diminishing them in the least bit. We see them actually supporting Nomi, Serina and the other women and not just being all talk. They also didn’t expect to be praised or put on a pedestal just because they supported the women. They just did what needed to be done.

I think one the things I would have liked to see more of is more development of Malachi and Asa, we barely see Asa in this book and although Malachi does want things to change for women I wished we could have seen more of him and his character development. I also would love to see more of the world, other places are mentioned in the book but we only g et glimpses so I would love to see what it is like for women living in these places and whether it’s much different for them.

I think what I’m getting at is that I want another book! A duology just isn’t long enough for me and I just want to spend more time in this world and with Nomi and Serina and see them be the badasses they are and change things for the better!

So if I haven’t said it enough, I really loved this book and the duology as a whole and I highly recommend you read it!

Booksish Discussions

My most anticipated releases of 2019

Hey booknerds! 2018 is almost over! I can’t believe that this year is already over! I have had a really great reading year and I’ve found some new favourite books! Which of course has meant that I have been waiting for many sequels or books by my favourite authors!

So I wanted to share some of the books I cannot wait to release next year!

1 The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty – The City of Brass has fast become one of my absolute favourite books ever! I have already read it three times and I’m pretty sure I will read it again before this book is released. I just need to know that the cinnamon roll that is AliZayd is okay!

2 Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin – technically I have already read this book but it’s not released in the UK until March 2019 so I wanted to include it because I absolutely loved this book! Modern Pride and Prejudice retelling with Muslim characters. I fangirled so much over this book!

3 On The Come Up by Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give is amazing so I’m really looking forward to reading this book!

4 King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – I cannot wait to be back in the grishaverse! I love Nikolai so I cannot wait to read his story!

5 It’s Not About the Burqa by Mariam – ever since I heard about this book I have been so interested in reading it. It’s something that affects me in my daily life so I can’t wait to see what they include.

6 Dark Age by Pierce Brown – this is the series that will destroy me and I love it!

7 Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus – I loved One of us is Lying so I’m really looking forward to this! I’ve already heard such great things!

8 Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart – after that cliffhanger ending of Grace and Fury I have been dying for the sequel! I seriously cannot wait for this book to be released even though it won’t be out until the summer.

9 The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh – I have loved everything that Renee has written so I cannot wait to read this! I’m expecting to meet a new book boyfriend too.

10 Kick the Moon by Muhammad Khan – I read I am Thunder at the beginning of the year and I really enjoyed it so I’m looking forward to his next book too.

11 Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – I mean who isn’t excited about this book? I love The Bone Season series so I am hoping I love this just as much. I have heard nothing but amazing things about it.

12 The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare – we finally get a Malec story! They are my faves so I’m really looking forward to reading this!

13 We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – Probably most anticipated book for next year! I am so excited to see a Muslim woman in niqab be published and everything I’ve read and seen so far tells me I am going to love this book!

So these are the book I absolutely cannot wait to be released next year! Let me know some of yours! I mean my TBR is clearly not big enough (spoiler: it is!) so I can add more books that I should look out for!

Monthly Wrap Up

July Monthly Wrap Up

This month has been crazy busy for me but it still felt like it dragged forever! But the end of July has finally come so it’s time for another wrap up. This month I read 10 books including two rereads via audiobook. I’ve come to really love doing rereads via audiobook!

fave books in july

So the books I read this month are:

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart – I absolutely loved this book! It’s definitely one of my top reads this year! I have full spoiler free review you can read here

Rating: 5/5

Frostblood by Elle Blake – I’ve had this book for a long time and finally got round to reading it and I really enjoyed it! Looking forward to continuing this series.

Rating: 4/5

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza – This book was such a heartwarming and heartbreaking read. I loved it and I was a crying mess by the end. Keep tissues handy for this read!

Rating: 4.5/5

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin – A modern Pride and Prejudice retelling with Muslim characters? This book has fast become an all time favourite! To say I loved it is an understatement! You can read my full spoiler free review here

Rating: 5/5

The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill – So I liked this book but didn’t love it. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting I guess.

Rating: 3/5

Floored – This is written by seven different UKYA authors! And I really loved it! It’s not what I was expecting but still a great read! You can read my full spoiler free review here

Rating: 4/5

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling – a reread via audiobook and I just loved being back in this world!

Rating: 5/5

Arcacia by T.A. Barua – This was a debut book I read as part of a blog tour and it’s a nice magical story about family and friends and coming of age. You can read my review here

Rating:3/5

The Ducktrinors by Papatia Feauxzar – This is a great Islamic sci-fi book. It has a great cast of muslim characters and I really enjoyed it.

Rating:4/5

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – Another reread via audiobook and I enjoyed it even more the second time! I love being back in this world!

Rating: 5/5

So it had a really great reading month despite being so busy and it causing me to end up in a reading slump. My top two reads were Grace and Fury and Ayesha at Last! Honestly guys they’re such amazing books! Go read them!

I also attend some book events this month. The first one was the Northern YA Lit Festival which I loved and got to meet some amazing authors and bloggers!

I also attended book event at Waterstones where Christina Henry and Sarah Maria Griffin came to talk about their books The Mermaid and Spare and Found Parts.

I also wrote a review for The City of Brass which I read last month and absolutely loved! And you can read my spoiler free review here

So that’s all from me for this month! How was your reading month? What was your favourite book you read?

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!

grace and fury

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