Welcome All Book Lovers

Welcome All Book Lovers

Thursday, March 21, 2019

To Best The Boys by Mary Weber

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

Partial quote from the author:

For the girl who’s been told to quiet down, calm down, sit down, or just leave it to the men-this is for you. And to those who told you such things? Watch. Us. Rise.

I feel like this will be an inspiration to young girls. The book will show them they don't need a man to make it in life and to think for themselves.

Rhen wants to be a scientist and she creeps around the town collecting "things" to try to find a cure for a disease that is killing people. Some of her loved ones have the disease. Rhen and her father both want to find a cure.

Meanwhile, Rhen and her cousin Seleni enter a maze that is supposedly for only boys. It doesn't specifically say that in the invitation so there is that. The two girls and boys go up against each other in the maze and there are some deaths.

But in the end will get to see Rhen make life choices that include a boy but not primarily a boy. She's going to do HER thing.

I liked the book well enough, I just felt there was bit lacking in the maze department and a few other things that kept me from giving this more than 3 starts.

Thank you to BookLookBloggers for a print copy of this book for review!





Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang

The searing follow-up to 2018’s most celebrated fantasy debut – THE POPPY WAR.

In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.

But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.

The sequel to R.F. Kuang’s acclaimed debut THE POPPY WAR, THE DRAGON REPUBLIC combines the history of 20th-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating effect.

Omg!!!!! I have this pre-ordered and was going to read with my group and reread first one. I will just reread them ALL later! Netgalley came through!! I almost fell over!! So it’s on baby!



This will be a short review. I'm not going to spoil anything but you can skim over some of the quotes as you might consider them as a spoiler.

The Dragon Republic starts out with a bang; right out of the gates as I like to say. Rin is messed the hell up! She's fighting Opium addiction and trying to control her power. I had so many moments that I felt for her, so many moments I wanted to strangle her for being so stupid and childish. But most of all, I loved watching her grow in this book. Rin went through some sh•t people. Not just Rin but her whole crew; whom I adored.

Trying to seek revenge on your enemies while fighting an opium addiction seemed damn near impossible and you could feel every moment with Rin. (at least I did) And trying to fight losing control of your powers.

This is what the balance of power looked like now. People like her waved a hand and millions were crushed within the confines of some elemental disaster, flung off the chessboard of the world like irrelevant pieces. People like her-shamans, all of them-were like children stomping around over entire cities as if they were mud castles, glass houses, fungible entities that could be targeted and demolished.


Once upon a time at Sinegard, back when Master Jiang had been trying to help her shut her mind to the Phoenix, he'd taught her techniques to clear her thoughts and disappear into a void that imitated nonexistence. He'd taught her how to think like she was dead.


Suni rubbed circles on her back while she spat blood-speckled phlem on the planks. When she was done, he smoothed her vomit-covered hair out of her eyes as she sucked in air in great, racking sobs.

"You're so strong," he said. "Whatever you're seeing, whatever you're feeling, it's not as strong as you are."

Rin has some wonderful friends but a world that is trying to tear her apart from the inside out.

Rin and her crew are trying to take down the evil Empress but they are getting swindled left and right. They end up with the Dragon Warlord trying to fight against others. People are killed, used, abused. Rin is lied to and watches innocent people die; watches people that she knows die. It seems like nothing is ever going to get better. BUT. There just might be a spark of hope in people she didn't even consider. There are things brewing. Will Rin and her people be able to bring the world down around the evilness. Wait and see.

Finally, spoke the Phoenix. The god's voice was dimmed by the Seal, but Rin could hear clearly every ring of its laughter. My darling little Speerly. At last we agree.


"They're are not the strongest force in the world," Rin said. She felt the god's presence in the back of her mind-eager, delighted, and at last perfectly aligned with her intentions.

Together, spoke the Phoenix, we will burn down this world.

She slammed down her fist against the table. "I am."

I think these books are wonderful and the author nailed it in both books so far. For me, there was no second book syndrome. No holds barred, an incredible tale of hate, war and friendship. 

***This is an uncorrected proof of the book and any quotes will be changed if they are not correct in the finished copy. I would like to thank Netgalley and the Publisher for a digital copy of this wonderful book for review.***

Mel ♥


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Owlcrate March 2019 Unboxing

Here we are with the monthly Owlcrate Unboxing! The items are lovely but I have one that is a bookmark. I'm sure those that know me will understand why =) 

I hope you guys enjoy!

Below we have a drawstring backpack that is awesome! This was designed by Michelle Gray.

Next we have a candle (green apple) that smells so good! This candle is from The Wick Of Time and is inspired by This Savage Song. 

Next we have a glass travel mug inspired by Nevernight! Yassss! And designed by Catarina Book Designs. 

Next we have a pencil inspired by Four Dead Queens and a sticker inspired by Three Dark Crowns 

Next we have a wooden bookmark (my favorite) with a wolf quote inspired by the Stark family from Game of Thrones! Yassss! Designed by Ink and Wonder Designs. And we have the Owlcrate pin of the month that is a compass and the dial does rotate. It is of course inspired by the book of the month "Four Dead Queens" Designed by Iron and Ink Designs. 

And last but not least, we have the book "Four Dead Queens" there is also the letter from the author, signed inside and there is a beautiful art print as well. I really love it! 

 Happy Reading Everyone! 

Mel ♥

Friday, March 15, 2019

A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Fairyloot Book Of The Month! 

I read this with some wonderful friends in my Fantasy Buddy Reads Group!


Harper comes from modern day DC. She has cerebral palsy and she’s bad ass! Harper gets sucked into another world when she attacks Commander Grey when she sees him carrying a woman away. She thinks he is going to kill the lady. Suddenly Harper gets transported into another world through Grey.

It take Harper some time to trust Grey and Prince Rhen. They have a time with her too.

Harper wants to get back to her mom who is dying of cancer and her brother who is doing unsavory things to keep them afloat. But Rhen won’t let her go - at first. When the trust slowly is accepted, Harper helps try to save the people and Rhen and Grey.

I’m not going to say any more or I will spoil! I just want to leave it with kudos to the author for having a heroine like Harper!!!

That ending though!!!!

Happy Reading!




All Systems Red by Martha Wells

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

Omg! I love MurderBot!! She’s awesome and she’s a she to me. <— that was all kinds weird and rhyming!

Anyway, I love MB’s personality! I don’t feel like rambling on so I’m just going to add a few quotes! They will contain some SPOILERS so be warned!


I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It had been well over 35,000 hours or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don’t know, a little under 35,000 hours of movies, serials, books, plays, and music consumed. As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.


Mensah came to do her own check of the hopper, and told me to pack some extra emergency supplies for the DeltFall staff. I did it, and I hoped for humans’ sake we would need them. I thought it was likely that the only supplies we would need for DeltFall was the postmortem kind, but you may have noticed that when I do manage to care, I’m a pessimist.


This is why I didn’t want to come. I’ve got four perfectly good humans here and I didn’t want them to get killed by whatever took out DeltFall. It’s not like I cared about them personally, but it would look bad on my record, and my record was already pretty terrible.


Everyone stood there, quiet. I could tell from their expressions they were all thinking hard. The HubSystem that controlled their habitat, that they were dependent on for food, shelter, filtered air, and water, was trying to kill them. And in their corner all they had was Murderbot, who just wanted everyone to shut up and leave it alone so it could watch the entertainment feed all day.


The problem I was going to have is that the way murderbots fight is we throw ourselves at the target and try to kill the shit out of it, knowing that 90 percent of our bodies can be regrown in a cubicle. So, finesse is not required.


What was I supposed to do, kill all humans because the ones in charge of constructs in the company were callus? Granted, I liked the imaginary people on the entertainment feed way more than I liked the real ones, but you can’t have one without the other.

Happy Reading!



Saturday, March 9, 2019

The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

OMG!! I finally read this book because of a book challenge and Omg!! This book is fiction but it is based on a real "IVAN". One of the sad things besides Ivan’s life is that I probably already knew all about this but forget things too easy now.

One of the OMG moments is that Ivan was at Zoo Atlanta when I went there years ago!! I need to see if I can find my old pictures of him! I can’t believe I met the Ivan from the book!!

Here is a link telling about Ivan and his life and his death at 50 years old =(


This book was wonderful and sad. I love you Ivan!

Sometimes I press my nose against the glass. My noseprint, like your fingerprint, is the first and last and only. The man wipes the glass and I am gone.


Not so long ago, a little boy stood before my glass, tears streaming down his smooth red cheeks. "He must be the loneliest gorilla in the world," he said, clutching his mother’s hand

At times like that, I wished humans could understand me the way I can understand them.

It’s not so bad, I wanted to tell the little boy. With enough time, you can get used to almost anything.

I feel you Ivan!


Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…


I love this book soooo much!! I already have the hardback preordered!

Trinity is something very special and she’s living with the gargoyles so they can keep her safe and hidden. Misha is bonded to her as her guardian/protector.

Some bad things start happening and another clan comes for a visit to ask for help. There is something out there killing the Wardens/Gargoyles and demons.

Zayne is with the group that comes to visit and try to figure things out. Zayne, swoon! Anyhoo!

As we know always happens, the person you’re hiding gets found out and is in trouble. But no one knows what kind of hell Trinity is going to bring down on everyone when they capture Misha.

I’m not going into spoilers, I just want to say this book was freaking awesome with some bad ass characters. And even though Trinity is the ultimate, she has a disability so kudos for that being incorporated into the book.

Trinity also has a funny sidekick type friend named Peanut that if you don’t love, there is something wrong with you!!

I can’t freaking wait for the next book!! 

**Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for giving me a digital copy to review with my own opinion.**

Happy Reading!