The Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo

Title: The Six of Crows Duology: Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 5/5 paws

**Spoiler Free**

Synopsis: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone… A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Here are my reviews for both installments in the Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo, a classic in the YA fantasy world!

Six of Crows

I loved this so much!! The characters are great, the setting is great, the action and moments of suspense are great *cue Everything is Awesome* from the LEGO movie.

This was a super quick and fast-paced read for me and I just loved everything about it so much. The whole group of criminals banding together for a common goal was an awesome premise and it really made me want to read more books involving the the band of misfits concept. The world-building in this book was also incredible, Ketterdam is a made up city but it was described so well that it feels completely real.

I absolutely love Kaz Brekker and totally understand everyone’s obsession with him. He can get himself out of literally any situation and he may just be the smartest, most intuitive and manipulative character I’ve ever come across in a book. But I also really love Jesper!! He’s so snarky and funny and he really brought some great comic relief to the story line. I think that every single one of the six members in the group shined in their own ways and Leigh Bardugo just wrote them all so perfectly.

The romance aspect is really interesting, it’s like super slow burn for the main characters so it’s actually the supporting characters the supply the romance which was a nice change. There was a perfect amount of action with the romance sprinkled in and I definitely appreciated that aspect.

This was easily one of my favorite reads of the year and I can’t wait to read Crooked Kingdom!!

Crooked Kingdom

As if you haven’t read enough rave reviews of this book, here’s another one for you!

I have to start off by saying that I absolutely adored this novel, this duology and the world of the Grishaverse. I think it’s amazing how Leigh Bardugo can create such an atmospheric books while still including an intricate plot with so many little twists and turns that keep you on your feet. I found myself so immersed in the city of Ketterdam. I’m so impressed with the setting and the world building is honestly just spectacular. I felt that aspect come through more so in this second book especially as so much more of the story actually takes place there.

I loved the multiple points of view and getting inside everyone’s heads. Seeing how each of them thinks and processes differently was so interesting to me. Leigh Bardugo did a great job of picking what situations should be from each point of view. Each character brings so much to the novel and I love that their all so beautifully broken in their own way. Leigh writes the morally grey character in such a perfect way that you can’t help but root for each of them despite their decisions. Each of the six anti-heroes have been wronged in the past and those wrongs have brought them all together to fight for their lives in the only way possible. They do some awful things but, as the reader, you really question if they are justified because people have also done awful things to them. I loved getting to know the characters more in this book, especially Wylan. I felt much more of a connection to him and more empathetic as his past was revealed.

I simply cannot conclude this review without mentioning that the Kaz and Nikolai interaction was just everything I could ever want. I felt nothing but pride reading about my two boys plotting along together.

The end of this book hit me so hard, I had all the feels, and I miss reading this already.

Let me know in the comments below whether you’ve read either of these books and which one was your favorite!

2020 June Wrap-Up

So I actually made a plan for myself this month…and it weirdly worked out?

During this period of isolation, I’ve actually been reading pretty much the same amount as before. I’ve had way more time but a little less motivation to read, possibly because of all the time I have. It’s a vicious cycle. But June has been my best reading month of the year so far and I finished 14 books!

The Books

First & Then by Emma Mills: This was a super cute contemporary! I read it all in one day and really enjoyed it!! 4/5 paws

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas: Easily my favorite book in the Throne of Glass series so far! I loved getting more back story and meeting all the new characters. 4/5 paws

Anna K by Jenny Lee: I loved the idea of this one and that it was marketed as a retelling with a nod to Gossip Girl, but the execution just fell short for me and the pacing was pretty slow. 3/5 paws

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire: I really liked the plot and characters in this story but it was so short I just feel like I didn’t get to connect to it much. 3/5 paws

The Siren by Kiera Cass: I enjoyed the siren/sisterhood aspect of this and I wish that Cass had just stuck with exploring that more because the romance fell so flat for me. 3/5 paws

One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London: This filled the Bachelor-sized hole in my heart that’s existed since the Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise have been postponed. I loved this book and all of the important topics it brought up! 4.5/5 paws

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson: This memoir-manifesto was so impactful and eye-opening. I learned so much and I highly recommend listening to the audiobook that’s read by the author! 5/5 paws

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo: I’ve never been a big fan of poetry but I loved this one. Again, I recommend listening to the audiobook so you can really get a feel for the free-verse format. 5/5 paws

Heir of Fire, Empire of Storms and Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas: These were all solid reads, the action has been building throughout the series and I’m coming up on the end so I can’t wait to see what happens! 3.5/5 paws across the board

Beach Read by Emily Henry: This one was definitely worth the hype! It was much deeper than the surface-level romance book I was expecting. 4/5 paws

Rebel Spy by Veronica Rossi: This book promised me espionage and action and I just didn’t feel like I got enough of either. I wish there was wayyyy more spying than the reader actually got to see. 3/5 paws

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan: A new PJO adaptation was announced so I of course had to get back into this world with Rick Riordan’s spin-off series! 4/5 paws

The Stats

  • Format Breakdown:
    • Digital: 5 books
    • Physical: 4 books
    • Audiobooks: 5 books
  • Total Pages: 5902
  • Average Rating: 3.86/5 paws

I can’t believe it’s July already!! This year has flown by while also feeling like it’s lasted 10 years…just me?

Personal Update: I Got a New Puppy!!

My family added a new pup to the family and I’m so excited! Everyone is working from home due to quarantine so we figured the timing would never be better. So without further ado….meet Oakley!

She’s an adorable husky, and she’s almost four months old now! She’s a total sweetheart, but a bit of a troublemaker. She’s finally learning that chewing on all of her fun toys might be a better idea than chewing on the furniture. She loves going to walks, but also loves chasing after squirrels and birds. Our other two dogs are coming around to her, and she’s found a play friend in our lab mix, Josie. It’s been so fun (and so tiring) having a new puppy around and I can’t wait to share more with you all as she grows up!!

When I can get her to sit still, I can even get some good pictures for bookstagram!

Let me know if you want more Oakley updates because I love sharing about her! She’s just so adorable 😍

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy By Leigh Bardugo

Title: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

**Spoiler Free**

Synopsis: The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka. Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free? The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, is the leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her danger. But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Here are my reviews for each installment in the Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, a classic in the YA fantasy world!

Shadow and Bone

Rating: 5/5 Paws

I LOVED THIS BOOK!
This is the fastest I’ve read a book in a very long time and there’s just so much satisfaction in getting through a book in one day, not because you can’t wait for it to be over but because you just couldn’t put it down.
This book was super fast-paced and full of action. Even though romance was a pretty significant part of the book, I didn’t feel like it took over the plot at all.
The characters were so well written and really multi-dimensional! There were a lot of morally gray characters. Even now, after finishing the book, I don’t know where a few of them stand and if how they portrayed themselves was real or not.
I’m rooting for Alina and Mal and I can’t wait to see what happens next!!

Siege and Storm

Rating: 4/5 Paws

This was so good!! Nikolai is one of my new favorite characters and that makes me so excited for King of Scars! The reader is exposed to many more dynamics of the Grishaverse in this second installment and I found myself loving the world that Leigh Bardugo has built even more. I normally don’t like the villains in novels but I still kinda have a thing for the Darkling??
This book was a bit slower and less action-packed than the first of the trilogy so that was a bit disappointing. I felt like the problems the characters encountered just kept going around in a circle and left me questioning if anything really changed from the end of book 1 to the end of this book. I typically find that the second book of almost every trilogy I’ve read is my least favorite so I’m hoping the third one is just as amazing as the first!!

Ruin and Rising

Rating: 4.5/5 Paws

This was a great conclusion to a fantastic trilogy! The first book was still probably my favorite of the three but I liked this one more than the second. The plot was fast-moving and interesting. There were a few twists that definitely kept things interesting!
This book has some good banter and moments of humor that kept things light as well. I loved the rag tag team that was formed in the book and getting to watch them all evolve as characters and in their relationships with each other.
Three books done and I still don’t know how I feel about the Darkling at the end of this trilogy. It’s so easy to write up a villain that everyone hates but it takes true talent to create a villain whose intentions you can understand even if you don’t agree with them.

I really enjoyed this trilogy! It’s an easy fantasy to follow along with and it was really entertaining!

Let me know in the comments below whether you’ve read any books in this series and which one was your favorite!

Blog Tour: By the Book By Amanda Sellet

Title: By the Book

Author: Amanda Sellet

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 4/5 paws

Goodreads Summary: As a devotee of classic novels, Mary Porter-Malcolm knows all about Mistakes That Have Been Made, especially by impressionable young women. So when a girl at her new high school nearly succumbs to the wiles of a notorious cad, Mary starts compiling the Scoundrel Survival Guide, a rundown of literary types to be avoided at all costs.

Unfortunately, Mary is better at dishing out advice than taking it—and the number one bad boy on her list is terribly debonair. As her best intentions go up in flames, Mary discovers life doesn’t follow the same rules as fiction. If she wants a happy ending IRL, she’ll have to write it herself.

“Be true to yourself and other people will see your worth.” 

By the Book is one of my favorite kind of books; a book about books! (How many times will I say book in this blog? Stay tuned to find out!) In my opinion, there’s nothing better than a book about books. I love reading about other readers like me who share the same passion and feelings towards books! Mary, the main character, is definitely a kindred spirit in that regard. Her love for books is so relatable, from being annoyed by interruptions in the middle of a crucial scene to staying in bed to read all day and only getting up for food. There are so many classic book references in this story that any read is sure to enjoy!

When I first read the description of this book, I was expecting a romance-heavy book but what I actually read went so far beyond that. The romance itself is really cute, it’s definitely predictable but I still enjoyed it. While this book centers around romantic relationships and trying to find a good respectable guy, it’s also so much of a friendship and family story which I wasn’t expecting. Mary really finds herself when she falls into a group of friends who accept her for who she is. They welcome her so openly to her new school and they represent a truly wholesome and supportive girl group. I discovered in the acknowledgements that the author grew up in a big family and this completely makes sense as she writes family dynamics so well. Mary has three sisters and a brother and it’s so interesting to see how they all interact with one another and the way family roles impact each character. 

By the Book is a tribute to readers and finding comfort in books. This was a really cute and fun read that reminded me of what exactly I love about books so much.

Thank you to Amanda Sellet, HMH Books and FFBC Tours for providing me with a copy of By the Book in exchange for an honest review!

To see other blog posts from this tour, click HERE!

Book Covers as Dogs!

Hey everyone! I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy through these uncertain and difficult times. I know things have been challenging for everyone so I wanted to do a fun post that will hopefully brighten your day a bit!

There’s been a trend going around over on book twitter where people are creating outfits to match the cover of books which is a super cute idea! You can see my best attempt at getting out of my isolation uniform of leggings and a sweatshirt HERE. I thought I’d do my own take on this trend and match up YA book covers with dogs, because let’s be honest, what could be cuter?? So here they are, book covers as dogs!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo as a Border Collie

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han as a Wheaten Terrier (shoutout Jamie Fox Pickle, if you know, you know)

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson as a Nova Scotia Retriever

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater as a Boston Terrier

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo as a Labrador Retriever

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black as a Bernese Mountain Dog

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare as a Labradoodle

Vicious by V.E. Schwab as a Husky

Sadie by Courtney Summers as an Irish Setter

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo as a Golden Retriever

I hope you all enjoyed this!! I had so much fun making it and I hope it brings you a little happiness!

Book Tour: Malice by Pintip Dunn

Title: Malice

Author: Pintip Dunn

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 paws

Goodreads Description:

What I know: a boy in my school will one day wipe out two-thirds of the population with a virus.

What I don’t know: who he is.

In a race against the clock, I not only have to figure out his identity, but I’ll have to outwit a voice from the future telling me to kill him. Because I’m starting to realize no one is telling the truth. But how can I play chess with someone who already knows the outcome of my every move? Someone so filled with malice they’ve lost all hope in humanity? Well, I’ll just have to find a way—because now they’ve drawn a target on the only boy I’ve ever loved…

“One step, one kindness, one moment at a time.”

Malice by Pintip Dunn follows Alice, our narrator, who attends a STEM school for geniuses like her older brother Archie and his best friend, Zeke. The reader soon discovers that Alice, who would rather be a photographer than any sort of science genius, is the key to saving the future of the human race. It all starts when she’s forced to tell a popular-yet-nerdy jock, Bandit, that she loves him.

This book has everything: mystery, time travel, action, science, romance, deceit and a brooding, arrogant boy with blue hair. I mean honestly, what more could you ask for? This book has a fast-moving, yet well-developed plot that sucked me in from the very beginning. I love the way that time travel was handled in the story! It wasn’t something I was expecting from the synopsis alone but I thought it was really well done. I don’t want to give away too much about this as it’s an important plot point throughout the timeline of the novel but I truly appreciated Dunn’s inclusion of time travel.

Each character is very dynamic and I loved that the true villain of the story remained a mystery for so much of the book as these morally gray characters kept me guessing as to who was the culprit. The mystery aspect was such an interesting layer to the book and the characterization played such an important role in that. We really get to see the characters shift and change as they react to the world and future changing with them. In addition to the characters I really enjoyed the writing style with it’s amazing descriptions as well as the world building. It was clear that a lot of forethought was put into making this book and creating the idea behind the future tragedy that would rock the world. My one wish is that the end was a bit more flushed-out. It felt rushed to me and like we didn’t reach an exact conclusion as a reader. This is a story that I feel could have used an epilogue to make it fully complete. Otherwise, this was an amazing read to start off on for February!

Thank you to Pintip Dunn, Entangled Publishing and FFBC Tours for sending me a copy of Malice in exchange for an honest review!

To see other reviews from this book tour, click HERE

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