TBT Book Review!🎊

This week’s TBT book review is on…

…The Hourglass Door by Lisa Magnum⏳. This was the book I mentioned a few posts ago! I absolutely adore THD.

Abby’s life is going as planned and her senior year is right on track, but then Dante enters into her life and things turn upside down. Dante Alexander, a foreign-exchange student from Italy, is very mysterious and intriguing. Abby has never met anyone quite like him. He’s different, unusual. Abby cannot deny her attraction to him, nor can she deny the weird things that happen whenever he’s around. It’s almost as if time itself slows down when he’s near… Dante has secrets and the more she finds out about Dante, the more danger she is in. Soon Abby finds herself in Italy, where the dangerous truths are revealed, putting her life and the lives of her friends, in jeopardy.

This story is so unique; it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before (and I’ve read a lot of stories). I read this book a few years ago and I remember finishing it… And just hoping that there was a second book. Turns out, there was! And a third! I have read the book and its companion installments quite a few times since then. That’s how good these books are – how good this story is.

Abby has a very planned life and she soon realizes she wants something more out of it. Everything has been planned for her… down to her boyfriend! I really related with her in this way (not the planned part of life and the boyfriend part), but the fact that she wanted something more out of her life – something unplanned for once. Abby is very strong-willed, a quality I really admire, and very likable… and very real.

Okay. Dante is goals, ladies! He may set the bar high, but it’s not a bad thing to have standards!😜 Just as long as they aren’t too outlandish!

Sorry… Totally off topic there! Anyway… Dante Alexander is my favorite character. And no, it’s not just because he’s this gorgeous Italian guy who writes/recites poetry. That may be a little bit of a contributing factor, but that’s not only reason why I love him. He’s so caring and sweet! And genuine. That’s why I love him. Oh! I love how… old-fashioned he can be, too. I’d explain exactly what I’d mean, but I don’t want to spoil any sweet moments for y’all! You readers will be shocked when his past is revealed…Things take an interesting turn, that’s for sure.

Lisa Magnum’s style of writing is so beautiful and effortless; you’re inescapably drawn into the story – into the world that Ms. Magnum created! I mean that in the best way possible!

For those looking for a riveting plot and a love story that is so sweet your sugar tastes bitter (but not cheesy!), The Hourglass Door is for you! Please do yourself the favor of reading The Hourglass Door by Lisa Magnum – you certainly won’t regret it. I cannot express how much I love this story – it’s so near and dear to my heart and I hope y’all will feel the same once you’ve read it.

That’s all for today! I will be posting my July TBR tomorrow!📚 Happy last day of June everyone!

-Maya

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Ignite (Defy Trilogy) by Sara B. Larson

Ignite

WARNING: Content may contain spoilers for the previous book, Defy in the Defy trilogy.

Happy Thursday, everyone! It is almost Friday so hang in there. The weekend reprieve is coming… and fast.

Since today is Thursday, I also will be doing a “Throwback Thursday” review along with a review of Ignite by Sara B. Larson! The TBT review should be posted later this afternoon so be sure to check it out.

First things first…I love this cover! Like Servant of the Crown, it’s purple, and a gorgeous shade at that! I love the gold bow and arrow, too. The colors work together so well to create a stunning work of art.

Can I just say that I loved the ending of Defy? Wasn’t it so sweet how Prince – I mean King – Damien recognized Alexa as the one who stopped the war? I just thought it was so sweet.

Now that Damian is king, Alexa no longer has to hide that she’s a woman, but now she’s hiding the fact that she is in love with Damian from everyone – including Damian himself. But Alexa and Damian have bigger problems. There’s an assignation attempt on Damian, villages have been attacked, and… more! Someone is behind it all and it looks like Belvon is to blame, yet again. Alexa knows something is off and must find the truth before it’s too late.

This book had a lot of action, like Defy, and I love action! Ignite certainly had me on edge; it was quite suspenseful! I actually finished Ignite in one day… I literally couldn’t stop reading it! I thought the whole plot was very neat and clever – I didn’t expect the book to go where it went, but I loved it.

Let me just say, I hated Lady Vera. 🙄 Not because the author did a bad job with her character, but Lady Vera’s… character was so infuriating. Especially around Damian! Poor Alexa, the only girl on the guard, was immune to Vera’s beauty and charm while the other men were not so immune. But that’s really all the dislike I had for this book and it wasn’t really the book itself, if you know what I mean!

I am so excited to read the final installment of the Defy trilogy, Endure! That will be on my July TBR📚 which I will post tomorrow!

-Maya

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Servant of the Crown by Melissa McShane

Servant of the Crown

Hello lovelies! So today I am reviewing a book that I think every book-lover will absolutely love reading: Servant of the Crown by Melissa McShane. Why? Because the main character, Alison, loves books and there’s a Royal Library in the story!

But before we do anything… Can we just take a moment to admire the cover?! The colors are so pretty, aren’t they? 😍 (If you’ve read my other reviews, you can probably tell by now that “😍” is my favorite emoji!)

Okay… Now for the review!

Synopsis: Alison Quinn is the Countess of Waxwold and she’s perfectly content with her bookish life, but then she’s summoned to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen’s mother for six months. Alison doesn’t want to go and not even the potential access to the Royal Library seems to make up sacrificing six months of her life, but she’s ready to be of service to the Crown. Alison, however, is not prepared for Prince Anthony who is used to getting what he wants. And his latest desire? The Coutness of Waxwold. After an unfavorable skirmish at a public engagement occurs, the Prince and Countess are forced to spend time together to mend reputations. Alison has no interest in being Prince Anthony’s latest catch, but, as time passes, Alison and Anthony’s dislike becomes friendship, and then something beyond friendship. But then disaster strikes, driving Alison away. The Queen summons Alison again and this time to she is to serve as the Royal Librarian. There’s a threat to Tremontane’s government and, with the Library is in jeopardy, Alison returns to serve the Crown, bringing her into communication with Anthony… Can Alison and Anthony work together to save Tremontane and the Royal Library? And will she open her heart to love once more?

Now doesn’t that sound like a really good read?!

loved Servant of the Crown for many reasons. The author did a great job of showcasing Alison’s love for books (and the Royal Library) through her writing! Alison was very relatable in that way and that just made the book even better.

I disliked Prince Anthony just as much as Alison did in the beginning! The author did a great job showing bits and pieces of the real Anthony beneath the playboy façade, just enough to draw the reader in – and keep the reader guessing who Anthony really is. As time went on, more and more the reader (and Alison) witnessed the prince’s true self. I found myself falling for him along with Alison! With that being said, I think Anthony, as well as the other characters, were really well developed.

I adored Queen Zara! She is fierce, that’s for sure. She definitely knows how to rule Tremontane and keep others in line (My kind of girl😜). You certainly don’t want to cross her! But Zara is also very sweet and caring. And very clever!

loved when Alison came back to be Royal Librarian because that was the part of the book that focused on the the Royal Library. After reading this book, I want to be a Royal Librarian! Gosh, it would be so much work to keep track of all the historical books and documents, but how amazing would that be?!

This book reminded me of a movie that would be playing on the Hallmark channel! I mean that in a good way, too. Goodness, I love the Hallmark channel – especially around Christmas. ❤️ Anyway! Servant of the Crown was really, really good and I’d definitely recommend y’all read it. I give Servant of the Crown 5/5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Hope y’all are doing well!

-Maya

Book Review: The Treachery of Beautiful Things

Treachery of Beautiful Things

Happy Tuesday, book lovers! So today I am reviewing The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Long. Isn’t the cover just so pretty? 😍

Synopsis: The trees swallowed Jenny’s brother right in front of her. Several years later, she   visits the woods again to say goodbye at last. But then she’s lured into the woods – into a world that is both beautiful and dangerous, where the strange creatures that reside there are afraid…of her. Jack, captivating and capricious, is among them and he seems very keen to get rid of her, although he finds himself drawn to her (and her to him) against his better judgement. With or without Jack’s help, Jenny is determined to find her brother, but she struggles to find her way in a faerie world where beauty deceives. What’s more, both King Oberon and Queen Titania wants Jenny for their own agendas and will do everything in their power to get to her. Will Jenny be able to find her brother in a world where nothing is as it seems? Or will King Oberon or Queen Titania get to her first?

I really, really, enjoyed this book and I loved the ending – I think it was my favorite part of the book, honestly. Ms. Long really knows how to tell a good story. This was a very different read from the other faery books I’ve read and I really appreciated that aspect. I was really drawn into the world the author created. This book contained elements from A Midsummer Night’s Dream–that’s where Puck, Oberon, and Titania come from, which I thought was pretty cool.

The only thing I felt was lacking was the development of the love story. I feel like, although I really enjoyed the romance element, it could have been taken to another level – it could’ve been developed a little more. I also felt like the author could’ve taken the story a step further–another dimension, but I still really enjoyed The Treachery of Beautiful Things. You guys might feel differently, though. Let me know what you thought of The Treachery of Beautiful Things in the comment box!

Oh… and I love Jack’s character. I love how he calls Jenny “Jenny Wren.” I think it’s so cute when he calls her that (it has a special meaning behind it, but I still think it’s sweet). There were some parts of the book that were pretty… scary/nightmarish (heheh!) and they were really well-written and original. All in all, I’d give this book 4/5 stars.

-Maya

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Books You MUST Read Before Graduating

In honor of graduating high school today, I decided to put together a list of books that y’all must read before graduating. If you’ve already graduated… Still read these! You definitely won’t regret it. I promise. Check it out:

1. Tiger’s Curse (Series: 4) by Colleen Houck

2. The Forbidden Game: The Hunt/The Chase/The Kill by L.J. Smith

3. Doon (Series: 4) by Carie Corp and Lorie Langdon

4. The Iron King (Series: 4) by Julie Kagawa

5. Hush, Hush (Series: 4) by Becca Fitzpatrick

6. Need (Series: 4) by Carrie Jones

7. Everneath (Trilogy) by Brodi Ashton

8. The Hourglass Door (Trilogy) by Lisa Magnum

9. Shatter Me (Trilogy) by Tahereh Mafi

10. The Selection (Trilogy) by Kiera Cass

These books were ahhhmazing, unique reads! I actually read The Forbidden Game: The Hunt/The Chase/The Kill eight times. 😂 #TotallyMaya! Hey, as Oscar Wilde said, “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” I am totally with him on that!

You might be thinking that The Forbidden Game was my favorite since I read it so many times, but my favorite book listed above is The Hourglass Door by Lisa Magnum. The Selection and Hush, Hush are tied for my second favorite. But, really, it’s impossible to choose a true favorite book because, like I said above, they are all so amazing… And unique. I do, however, find myself going back to read The Hourglass Door a lot. This book holds a special place in my heart. The romance… Is so beautiful. I am a big softy… And I’m a sucker for a sweet, sweet, love story. I can’t explain just how much I love the love story in The Hourglass Door. Dante and Abby are goals (😍)! Ooo! I think I will do a book review on  THD when I get a chance! We shall see…!

Anyway! You should really do yourself a favor and add these to your July TBR (or just drop everything right this second and buy these books (especially THD) and read, read, READ). You won’t regret it.

I hope you all had a blessed Monday! ❤️ Check back here soon for more reviews! 📖📚

-Maya

 

Book Review: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

Great Hunt

Hey guys! Hope y’all are enjoying your summer and readin’ it up! I know I am.

When I bought this book, I hadn’t intended to get this particular book; I was looking for another book and then I stumbled across this beauty. I decided to read the synopsis and as soon as I started reading, I knew I needed to read it. Like, yesterday.

The Great Hunt is inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale, “The Singing Bone,” so, naturally, it’s right up my alley! Basically, there is a great beast terrorizing the kingdom of Lochlanach and the king has no choice but to host a contest: Whomever kills the nightmarish beast wins the hand of the King’s eldest daughter, Aerity. Aerity knows her duty and will do anything to save her kingdom, but finds it hard to be content with marrying a stranger. That is, until Paxton Seabolt, a brooding, handsome local hunter catches her eye. Paxton doesn’t much care for rich, spoiled royals or their obscure laws; he just wants to rid his town of the ferocious beast. Yet, the princess constantly surprises him (he doesn’t really care for surprises) and soon the secrets that he’s been harboring for years begin to emerge.

Who will kill the beast and win the princess’s hand in marriage?

The Great Hunt, I felt, is very unique. I wasn’t expecting there to be any magic in the book, as the synopsis didn’t allude to anything magical so it was a nice little surprise when I found out, through reading the book, that it contained magical elements. What I think is unique to this book is the fact that those who wield magic get purple lines across their fingernails, called Lashes. Magic-wielding people are called the Lashed! It’s how one identifies who is normal and who wields magic, depending on whether or not the Lashed individual has used magic. Clever. I’ve never read anything quite like it.

I love Paxton and his brother Tiern. While Paxton is serious and likes to keep to himself, Tiern is obnoxious, but in a charming way. I liked how it took a long time for Paxton to warm up to Aerity, while Tiern was pretty much head over heels for her right away. I just think it’s funny!

I love how much the king cares for his daughters… It was very touching. There are a few books nowadays (not all) where the king is usually shown as a harsh, mean and stern ruler and father, but in this book, the king is a warm, compassionate man who loves his kingdom and his daughters even more.

The book didn’t end on a huge cliffhanger – not like, “I. MUST. BUY. THE. NEXT BOOK. NOW.” sort of thing. But the cliffhanger definitely leaves you wondering what will happen next.

I can’t wait for the second book, which also happens to be the final book. It’s a duology! It’s funny because prior to reading this book, I never really thought about what a two-book … series?… would be called! Now I know. 😂 And if you didn’t know that, now you know… Because it’s a very important piece of knowledge that you must have as a bookworm.

Eh, not really.

-Maya

 

 

Book Review: The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

The Shadow Queen 1

Good afternoon, y’all and happy Sunday!

So…The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine. I’ve always loved reading modern retellings/ different versions of myths and fairy tales so when I saw The Shadow Queen, I pounced! If you’re into this sort of thing as well, I will leave a list of books below so you can check them out!

Here’s a synopsis of The Shadow Queen:

Lorelai, crown princess and fugitive, wants one thing and one thing only – to kill the evil queen Irina who killed Lorelai’s father and seized the throne of Ravenspire. Lorelai must rely on her magic, something she and the evil queen have in common, in order to liberate Ravenspire from Irina’s wicked reign. Meanwhile, in Elder, Prince Kol’s life is turned upside down when his father and older brother are killed by an ogre army wielding magic. In order to save his kingdom, Kol needs magic and makes a deal with the wicked queen: Cut out Lorelai’s heart for the safety of his kingdom.

What I liked:

The characters, of course! I loved the protagonist, Lorelai… Very much like Snow White in terms of being kind and compassionate. I think my favorite character in the book is Leo!  He’s very funny and super cute. The book contained some sibling banter and  I found myself laughing and relating because I have a twin sister and bickering/bantering is something we excel at! Oh! Lorelai’s bird, who can be a little frightening, was another character I liked. It was a unique part of the book that I really appreciated.

I liked the uniqueness of the magic in this book. I haven’t read any books that use incantors so it was a neat aspect that I really enjoyed! It really set this book apart from other novels containing magical elements.

What I didn’t like:

A little thing that bothered me was the alternating point of view – only because sometimes it was hard to tell whose POV it was. It didn’t always start out with, “Lorelai…” or “Kol…” so I did find myself confused at times!

Overall, though, The Shadow Queen was a great read and I’d definitely recommend you read it. I’d rate The Shadow Queen 4/5 stars.

Okay! The list of modern retellings/different versions of myths and fairy tales, as promised:

  • Everneath (Trilogy) by Brodi Ashton – Hades and Persephone
  • The Goddess test (Trilogy) by Aimée Carter – Greek Gods and Goddesses {Main focus is Hades and Persephone}
  • Abandon (Trilogy) by Meg Cabot – Hades and Persephone
  • Cinder (Series: 4) by Marissa Meyer – Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White
  • Entwined by Heather Dixon (Stand alone) – The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Let me know if you’ve read The Shadow Queen and how you liked it!

Be sure to check back her later for my next review!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

-Maya

 

 

Book Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson

Defy

Good morning and happy Saturday, everyone!

So today I will be reviewing Defy by Sara B. Larson! I have to say, I really liked this book. I instantly fell in love with Defy’s characters and its action-packed, suspenseful (and, of course, romantic) storyline!

Here’s a little synopsis!

To avoid awful breeding houses, Alexa Hollen disguised herself as a boy and, due to Alex’s quick thinking and ferocious sword-fighting abilities, she earns a place on the prince’s guard. When a powerful sorcerer breaks into the palace, not even Alex, the best fighter on the guard, can stop him from kidnapping her, her comrade Rylan, and Prince Damian. Being held captive is not ideal for a woman disguised as a man and when Alex’s secret is revealed, both the prince and Rylan contend for her heart. However, Alex soon finds that she isn’t the only one keeping secrets. In a world full of secrets and unseen enemies, Alex must find a way to not only save herself, but her kingdom as well.

Now does THAT sound like a great book or does that sound like a great book?!

As previously mentioned, I loved the characters! The characters were unique and distinct from one another. Alex is a strong, determined, witty and very resourceful protagonist; she knows how to survive. She is a very likable character and the author makes her feel very real. My favorite part of Alexa is her wittiness and her sword fighting skills! It isn’t just “parry, lunge and repeat,” or whatever order it goes in, which is nice. The fights draw you in – in a way that it feels like you’re watching a movie because you’re so absorbed in the book! LOVE when that happens.

I can’t recall reading any books heavily involving sword fights, but if I have read books with sword fights, I’d say that Defy is hands down the best one… because if the other books were as amazing as Defy (in terms of sword fighting), then I would remember!

That, or I’ve just forgotten. But really, I love the sword fights!

I loved the romance in Defy for several reasons. One, it didn’t overwhelm the story; it complemented it. Two, the romance felt real. It’s never a great read when the romance is simple and straightforward (and every problem has an easy solution), but that isn’t a problem here; everything is effortless and seamlessly interwoven into the story.

There were quite a few surprises in Defy, which I love because there are many stories that can be predictable! I always find this disappointing, but in Defy, there’s no reason to be disappointed!

All in all, Defy was a GREAT read. I’d definitely recommend y’all read it.

Did you read Defy? How did you like it? Let me know if the comment box below!

 

*Defy is the first book in the Defy Trilogy, followed by Ignite and Endure.

-Maya

June TBR & Upcoming Reviews

Hello lovelies! Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a wonderful week!

So! Normally, I just read whatever book I feel like reading, but I decided to change things up this month! At the beginning of the month, I created a list of books to read throughout June–a TBR list! The list included the following: The Winner’s Curse (Marie Rutkoski), The Shadow Queen (C.J. Redwine), The Great Hunt (Wendy Higgins), Defy (Sara B. Larson), Ignite (Defy Trilogy: Sara B. Larson), Servant of the Crown (Melissa McShane), The Treachery of Beautiful Things (Ruth Long) and Cress* (The Lunar Chronicles: Marissa Meyer). Y’all should totally check these books out; they were all so amazing and unique. I will be posting as many book reviews on my June TBR throughout the weekend and this upcoming week!

Have you read any of these books? Let me know what your thoughts are on these delightful reads in the comment box!

*Cress* If any of you were wondering, Cress is the third book in The Lunar Chronicles; the first book in the series is Cinder!

Check back here soon to read my reviews!

-Maya

First Blog Post

Hello! Welcome to HerBookishDesires! As indicated by the name, my blog will be about books, books, and… more books! Here, you will find book reviews, my latest book hauls, and more.

Oh, let me introduce myself! I am Maya and I am soon to be a freshman in college (scaryyyy!). I have a huge passion for reading and writing, as well as figure skating, which I have been doing for 13 years. I have three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Gatsby, Itty Bitty, and Cookie–all of whom are so spoiled. I also have a twin sister, Lauren, and she’s older by thirty seconds (honestly, it doesn’t count in my book, but if roles were reversed, then it would!). Fun fact: I have a freckle just above my lips and that’s how my friends tell me apart from my twin! Well, that’s really all there is to know about me!

I hope you enjoy HerBookishDesires!