fun, Lila

Obsession Confession | Blood for Blood Is Just Water Under The Bridge

Hello, friends! How are ya? It’s that time of week again! Time for Obsession Confession, my weekly segment in which I “confess” all of my latest obsessions! This week there’s plenty to get through, so let’s get going!

Books

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Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin was one of my last reads of 2015 and ended up coming #1 on my list of to books I read in 2015. So when Blood for Blood,the sequel and finale to the duology, was released, I snapped it up…Aaaaaand didn’t get to it…until this past week. I think I never got to Blood for Blood because I was waiting for the perfect moment. Anyhow, I decided to bite the bullet and get to it a few days back and…wow. I forgot how much I love this series and Graudin’s writing. Everything about Blood for Blood is perfection, pure and simple. If you haven’t yet checked out this duology, definitely give it a try!

Music

I listened to Adele’s latest pop  ballad,”Water Under The Bridge,” and, predictably, I loved it! There are so many things to love about Adele and her music. I love how she’s managed to evolve as an artist while still staying true to the spirit she began with. I also love that no matter how pop-y her music gets, she maintains that deep thread of emotion in her voice. “Water Under The Bridge” is no different in these respects and also happens to be incredibly singable, a ballad you’d belt out in the car on your way to work. I’m sure it’ll be another great hit under Adele’s belt.

Movies/TV/Trailers

Netflix released a new featurette for their upcoming adaptation of 13 Reasons Why. This short video definitely got me even more interested in the show!

Netflix dropped a trailer for their upcoming adaptation of the beloved manga, Deathnote. I’m not a manga/anime fan, but I do know that Deathnote is incredibly popular, so I figured at least one of y’all would be interested plus the show does look interesting. The only thing that kinda concerns me is the potential whitewashing as I think (And I want to stress that I don’t know and that I may be wrong on this count) the characters are Japanese and the series takes place in Japan? If you do know if the show is whitewashed, please let me know in the comments. Other than that, this looks like your standard A++ Netflix show and I can’t wait to check it out! Who knows, maybe watching the show will encourage me to read the manga series!

News

This is slightly old news now but I can’t believe I forgot to mention that the cover for Marie Lu’s new novel, Warcross, which releases in November, was released! I have kind of mixed feelings on the cover. Many people think it’s beautiful, while others think it looks too basic and simple. I’m pretty in between, but regardless of how the cover looks, I’m super excited for the book! What do you think of the cover? Did you enjoy the sneak peak of the book? Are you excited for Warcross?

In other, more “recent” news, the cover and synopsis for Maggie Stiefvater’s newest novel, All The Crooked Saints, which releases later this year, was released. The book sounds both magical and mysterious, as per usual Stiefvater, and I’m interested in seeing how it pans out.

LOLing

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book fashion, Lila

Friday Fashion | Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Hello, m’dears! Tis I, Lila! I know it’s been a while since I’ve done some good creative posts so I’m bringin’ some back from the past! One of which is a new and improved Fashion Friday! If you haven’t followed me from the beginning, Fashion Friday is a recurring segment which takes place on Fridays in which I create a fashion set based on a book cover. It’s pretty simple! So let’s get to this week’s featured look which is for…DRUMROLL, PLEASE!…Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones!

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About Wintersong

24763621The Instant New York Times Bestseller!

Bustle – 2017 YA Must Reads
Paste Magazine – Most Anticipated YA Books of 2017

Dark, romantic, and unforgettable, Wintersong is an enchanting coming-of-age story for fans of Labyrinth and The Beauty and the Beast.

The last night of the year. Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride…

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.

But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds—and the mysterious man who rules it—she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Rich with music and magic, S. Jae-Jones’s Wintersong will sweep you away into a world you won’t soon forget.

“Wintersong is a maze of beauty and darkness, of music and magic and glittering things, all tied together with exquisite writing. This is a world you will want to stay lost in.” —Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“This was Labyrinth by way of Angela Carter. Deliciously romantic, with a nuanced Goblin King and a strong heroine, this story was rife with fairy tales, music, and enchantment.” —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen” (Goodreads)

Lila, reviews

Melodic And Monstrous Musings | Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones Audiobook Review

24763621Title: Wintersong

Author: S. Jae-Jones

Narrator: Eva Kaminsky

Publisher: Recorded Books

Running Time: 14 hours, 17 minutes

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Synopsis: The Instant New York Times Bestseller!

Bustle – 2017 YA Must Reads
Paste Magazine – Most Anticipated YA Books of 2017

Dark, romantic, and unforgettable, Wintersong is an enchanting coming-of-age story for fans of Labyrinth and The Beauty and the Beast.

The last night of the year. Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride…

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.

But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds—and the mysterious man who rules it—she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Rich with music and magic, S. Jae-Jones’s Wintersong will sweep you away into a world you won’t soon forget.

“Wintersong is a maze of beauty and darkness, of music and magic and glittering things, all tied together with exquisite writing. This is a world you will want to stay lost in.” —Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“This was Labyrinth by way of Angela Carter. Deliciously romantic, with a nuanced Goblin King and a strong heroine, this story was rife with fairy tales, music, and enchantment.” —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

Buckle up, y’all, cause this is gonna be a long one!

Ah, conflicting emotions, how you torture me! This book was so, so, soooooo good but also so, so, soooooo problematic….

Let’s start with the good. The good thing is that I loved Wintersong so much that it’s a new all-time fave of mine! Rich, dark, and seductively magical, Wintersong dazzles. Everything about the book pulls the reader in and immerses them in a darkly enchanting tale. Wintersong reads like a modern fairytale.

First off, Jae-Jones’s writing is absolutely luscious. She manages to write in a style that is beautiful and enchanting, yet succinct. In this way, she allows readers to experience the magic of her world without swallowing them in description and losing the storyline. And, my gosh, is this world immersive. Jae-Jones’s writing and world just completely surrounds you, flowing from the page to make you feel as if you’re right there with the characters!

Jae-Jones’s gorgeous writing works hand in hand with the world building to create a full experience for the reader. Wintersong takes place in Bavaria in about the 18th century. But this is not quite the Bavaria you might know. Jae-Jones’s Bavaria is ripe with magic and enchantment. Magical creatures mingle with humans, playing tricks and capriciously “granting” wishes. And beneath the human world lies the dark goblin underworld, where nothing is quite as it seems. I loved how Jae-Jones wove in whispers of folklore to create the feeling that this world was ancient. She slowly, succinctly sets up the history via Liesl’s superstitious grandmother and then weaves in new elements of the world through Liesl, who is experiencing magic for the first…er, well, actually the second time. Everything about the world leaps from the page, painting pictures before your eyes and wrapping you in its arms.

The story isn’t just immersive in its world alone but in its plot as well, which is absolutely enthralling. Wintersong almost hummed with the vibrations of the story, whirling in a slow, yet enchanting waltz. I lost myself in the viscous melody of Liesl’s story. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next, what new secret Liesl was going to discover. I found myself looking for clues even in the ordinary moments and frantically turning the pages to find out more!

So now that I’ve gushed enough, I’m gonna move on to the elements of Wintersong that I disliked. I’m gonna start with a relatively tiny issue that I’ve heard about from other readers/reviewers that I didn’t experience too much myself. So, as I mentioned, music plays an integral role in Wnitersong. Unfortunately, in weaving music into the story, Jae-Jones used a lot of complex musical terminology. I generally was able to follow along because I’ve studied music all of my life, but I’ve heard from others who aren’t musicians that it was very confusing because they couldn’t understand the jargon. So that’s just something to be aware of.

Okay, so let’s get to what I think is a more pressing problem which is: Liesl. I couldn’t relate to Liesl at all. She was so gosh dang selfish. Everything–everything–she did was purely out of self interest. Not only that, but she was also so judgmental and envious and self-pitying and, honestly, whinyAll the freaking time! She can’t go a chapter without somehow mentioning how every other woman is so beautiful, but (in her opinion) their beauty makes them shallow and how she’s so plain, but has depth that beautiful women don’t, so people should pity her because no one will ever be interested in her because she’s plain and on and on and on and on…That narrative got tiring real fast and left me feeling like, “Girl, the reason no one likes you isn’t because you’re plain, it’s because you’re bitter af.”

Which brings me to to the downright problematic elements of Wintersong. Liesl’s bad attitude plays straight into the first problematic element of Wintersong, which was the demonization of beautiful women. I’m not about girl hate. And I don’t think anyone else should be about it either. I get that the author wanted to hammer in that Liesl is plain and insecure, but she could’ve easily done so without tearing down other women.

But the “girl hate” isn’t where the problematic content ended. Oh no. That was only the beginning, my friends. Liesl goes on to have a troubling romance with The Goblin King. My issue with the romance lies in that Liesl enters it almost entirely out of her deep desire to be desired. Not because she’s falling in love. Because she is desperate to feel wanted and she feels The Goblin King can satisfy that desire. Now, I’m not a psychologist or a relationship counselor or anything, but that to me seems like a really unhealthy reason to enter into a relationship. In America, we have a saying that goes something like, “you gotta love yourself before you can love someone else.” I wish Liesl could have learned that lesson.

And if you thought the issues would stop there, you’d be wrong. The romance becomes even more problematic due to the fact that Liesl wants to have sex because she wants to “find herself” and in this narrative, her wish comes true–only after Liesl and The Goblin King have sex does Liesl “find” herself and her music and begin to love herself. Ummm??? I’m sorry, but what kind of message do you think that sends young women??? Because it seems to say to me something like, “your value and worth comes only from having sex with a man,” as well as “you need a man to help you discover your value.”

To top it all off, the anti-feminism doesn’t limit itself to females, but also extends itself into the realm of perpetuating masculinity stereotypes. After Liesl and The Goblin King have sex for the first time, The Goblin King cries and the next morning Liesl’s all “I felt shame at having seen him during this embarrassing moment of vulnerability and emotional nakedness.” She gives off the vibe that it’s shameful and embarrassing for men to cry or be vulnerable.

So, I know I’ve listed a lot of things that I found problematic, but I really did love Wintersong. If you’re willing to look past the…less positive…elements of the book, I think you’ll find a darkly magical and intriguing read. Bottom line for me, personally, is that I really loved it and I’m desperate to get my hands on the sequel–especially after that dreadfully heartrending end! I’m so happy to hear that the sequel is a direct sequel and not a companion and I honestly can’t wait to get my greedy little hands on it!

Giveaway, Guest Posts & Interviews, Lila, Tours & Blitzes

Timekeeper Audiobook Blog Tour | Tara Sim Interview + GIVEAWAYS!

Hey, y’all! Lila here and today I’m here to bring you a super exciting treat: and interview with Tara Sim, some sneak peaks of her debut novel, Timekeeper, and not one, but two (!) giveaways! This is all for the tour which the lovely Jess, at The Audiobookworm, has set up, so many thanks to her, the author, and the audiobook narrator, Gary Furlong, for their work! So I won’t keep you log, I know y’all probably want to get straight to it, so let’s jump right in!

Interview With The Author, Tara Sim

Hello and welcome to The Bookkeepers’ Secrets, Ms. Sim! My name is Lila and I’m so, so, soooo excited to have you here today! Your novel, Timekeeper, was one of my most anticipated releases of 2016 and I know many of my readers have been looking forward to it as well! So without any further ado, let’s jump right into the questions!

1. First off, can you tell us what Timekeeper is about in your own words?

Timekeeper takes place in an alternate Victorian world where clock towers control time. If anything happens to the towers, time malfunctions as a result. Enter Danny, a clock mechanic prodigy who’s desperate to free his father from a town trapped in time.

2. What were some of the influences and inspirations for Timekeeper and what was it about those things that made them special or interesting to you?

I was lucky enough to study abroad in London while in college. I often went to the Embankment area, which has a pretty nice view of Big Ben. I was always really fascinated by the tower, and it kind of helped with the homesickness. So a few years later, when I got the initial idea for Timekeeper, I knew that clock towers were going to be in the center of it–including Big Ben.

3. I like to think that everyone has a unique and special story of how they got where they are and became who they are. Can you tell us the story of how you became the writer you are?

I think this story breaks down into several segments, so the tl;dr version is this: when I was younger I really loved making up stories, to the point where I forced my dad to write them down while I dictated (since I couldn’t type then). When I hit high school, though, I started to understand that this was something serious, and it was what I wanted to do more than anything. Of course there were stages of learning how to write–English classes, reading as much as I could, using fanfiction as a learning tool–so when I wrote my first full length novel at 15, I was hooked on that format and knew I had to be an author.

4. What keeps you going on days when you’re discouraged or unmotivated as a writer?

I think the most important thing you can do in this situation is return to stories you love. For me, I like to rewatch certain movies or shows or anime, or reread certain books, or replay certain video games. They remind me what story elements I love and what I want to write about.

5. What is the most magical thing about being an author?

The interaction with readers. The fact that people go out of their way to create fanart or quote graphics blows my mind! But mostly, I love hearing about what the story means to them, and if they’ve found something important in it–whether it’s escapism or reassurance or finding a character they can relate to.

6. What songs would you choose as your characters’ theme songs and why?

Danny – Disloyal Order of Water Buffalos by Fall Out Boy, because he’s a bit of an emo kid

Colton – Maybe YOUTH by Troye Sivan, or Rooftops by lostprophets; they seem the right blend of optimistic and vulnerable

7. How would you describe Timekeeper’s aesthetic?

Gears and cogs, gold, Roman numerals, machine oil, pocket watches, the sound of cars, ticking clocks.

8. Is there any one scene that you particularly enjoyed that ended up being cut from the final product and if you can, can you share the gist of it with us?

Actually, all of my favorite scenes ended up in the final version, although I did have to alter some of them here and there as I revised. One scene I went over quite a lot was towards the end, when they’re inside Big Ben. I loved writing it, hated revising it.

9. What do you hope readers take away from Timekeeper?
I hope that they get a good story, first and foremost. I also that hope it might help them feel a little less alone.

And Now, A Sneak Peak At Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Audiobook Excerpt

About Timekeeper

Timekeeper3D.pngAuthor: Tara Sim

Narrator: Gary Furlong

Length: 8h 50m

Publisher: Forever Young Audiobooks

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release date: Feb. 14, 2017

Synopsis: Two o’clock was missing.
In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.
It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.
And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.
But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

Goodreads | Audible | Amazon

About The Author, Tara Sim

Author Photo_Tara SimTara Sim is the author of Timekeeper (Sky Pony Press) and can typically be found wandering the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not chasing cats or lurking in bookstores, she writes books about magic, clocks, and explosives. Follow her on Twitter at @EachStarAWorld, and check out her website at tarasim.com.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookPinterestGoodreadsInstagram

About The Narrator, Gary Furlong

Timekeeper Narrator PhotoGary Furlong grew up in Wexford, Ireland. Throughout his life he has worn many a hat: He has worked as a teacher in Niigata, Japan; a puppeteer in Prague; an improv artist in Memphis, Tennessee; and as a singer and actor all over Ireland. He started narrating audiobooks in late 2015 and hasn’t looked back.

Gary made his acting debut in the musical Godspell as a student. Since then he has pursued acting both on the amateur and professional circuits. Notable roles include Tom Collins in Bare Cheek’s production of Rent in 2010.

Over the course of his five years in Japan, he was an actor, director, and audio producer. It was during this time that he discovered his interest in audiobooks and voice-over.

He now works full-time as an audiobook narrator and voice actor from his home in Ireland.

WebsiteTwitter

And Now For The Giveaways!

Giveaway #1!

Timekeeper Giveaway #1 

Giveaway #2!

Timekeeper Giveaway #2

Check Out The Other Tour Stops

Mar. 19: The Book Keeper’s Secrets (Review, Spotlight, Audio Excerpt & Interview)

Tales of the Ravenous Reader (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Guest Post & Giveaway)

Mar. 20: Reading for the Stars and Moon (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, & Giveaway)

Next Page Please (Review & Giveaway)

Mar. 21: Candid Ceillie (Review & Interview)

Gota Love Books (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 22: BookstacksAmber (Review)

Mar. 23: Book Crushin (Review, Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, & Giveaway)

Lilly’s Book World (Review)

Mar. 24: The Desert Bibliophile (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

BookstacksAmber (Interview)

Mar. 25: Chapter Break (Review, Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway)

Mar. 26: Dab of Darkness (Review)

Blogger Nicole (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 27: The Madhouse (Review & Giveaway)

Mar. 28: Rolo Polo Book Blog (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 29: Mama Reads (Review & Guest Post)

Mar. 30: Novel Ink (Review)

Mar. 31: Glorious Panic (Review & Giveaway)

Apr. 1: The Broke Book Bank (Review)

A New Look On Books (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Guest Post & Giveaway)

Apr. 2: Jories Loves A Story (Review & Interview)

Apr. 3: The Hermit Librarian (Review)

Up Til Dawn (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Apr. 4: Here’s to Happy Endings (Review)

My World In Words and Pages (Review & Giveaway)

Apr. 5: Hall Ways (Review & Giveaway)

terriluvsbooks (Review & Interview)

Apr. 6: A Book and A Latte (Review)

Apr. 7: Desert Rose Reviews (Review & Giveaway)

Bound 4 Escape (Review & Giveaway)

Holed Up In A Book (Review & Giveaway)

Apr. 8: Zach’s YA Reviews (Review)

The Autumn Bookshelf (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt & Guest Post)

The Queen Reads (Review)

fun, Lila

Obsession Confession | The Hunted Hustler Is The White Princess

 

Heya! Welcome back! It’s good to see you again! This week has been hectic, what with the snowstorm that hit the east coast of the US! But still, I managed to find some great obsessions to share with you! So let’s get into it!

Books

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Hunted by Meagan Spooner was released last week and I completely speed through it because ohmygoditwassogood!!! I fell absolutely in love with this book, with Yeva and the beast and the magic and the world! Yeva is such a kick*ss heroine and I love that Spooner actually shows that to us, rather than just telling us! It’s such a magical book and you should go read it now!

Music

I’m a sucker for gritty pop songs and “Hustler” by Zayde Wolf is a great one that I discovered last week.

Movies/TV/Trailers

I just saw the trailer for the new STARZ show The White Princess and I must say it looks amazing! I don’t have STARZ, so I doubt I’ll be watching this one anytime soon, but I’ll b keeping an eye out to see if it ever comes on Netflix or Amazon.

News

Jennifer Aniston joined the cast of the adaptation of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’. Aniston is signed on to play th mai character’s mother. I actually didn’t know that Dumpin’ was being adapted or that it was so far along in the process. Nevertheless, I’m excited to hear the news as I enjoyed the book.

Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere

Maha over at Younicorn Reads had a great post on the cure for problematic books. In it, Maha talks about what to do when you discover  that a book is problematic. I found her post very thoughtful, insightful, and helpful! You should go read it!

Rolling On The Floor Laughing

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Lila, reviews

The Kinda Good Retelling I’ve Been Hunting For | Hunted by Meagan Spooner Audiobook Review

24485589Title: Hunted

Author: Meagan Spooner

Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld, Will Damron

Publisher: HarperAudio

Running Time: 9 hours, 19 minutes

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

Goodreads Summary: Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Ah, love. The feeling you experience when you read a good book. A good book such as Meagan Spooner’s Hunted! (*wink wink, nudge nudge*) I certainly found many things to love in Hunted, the latest Beauty and the Beast  YA retelling on the market. And that’s saying a lot because, in all honesty, a) Beauty and the Beast isn’t my favorite fairytale and b) the market is kinda saturated with YA Beauty and the Beast retellings, in my opinion. Nevertheless, I really, really enjoyed Hunted and sped through it in 2.5 to 3 days!

First off, I loved the characters. They were each unique and distinguishable. Even the secondary characters, like Galina, Solomir, and Yeva’s sisters had depth! I loved that Spooner didn’t just name attributes to the characters, but actually showed those attributes in action. We saw Yeva’s bravery and skill as a huntress and Beast’s dual nature, and Asenka’s compassion and so on.

I’ve gotta talk about my fave, Yeva, the main character! I adored Yeva. She’s a skilled huntress who’s always felt a deep longing for more. It was Yeva’s desire to experience more that I really identified with, because that’s something that I’ve always felt. Yeva was strong and brave, but she was also kind and loving. I was really happy to see that Spooner didn’t fall into the trap of making Yeva the typical Strong Female Lead™–ya know, the one’s who’s sassy and good at everything and beautiful and brave and blah, blah, blah. Yeva was strong, yet also soft. And she was deeply flawed, as we learned in the end. She was human and that made her easy to connect with.

The relationships portrayed were also amazing! I particularly loved Yeva’s relationship with her sisters. The girls were incredibly close and never once did their loyalty to and love for each other waver, even when they could have easily fallen into jealousy and competition. It was so nice to see a positive and close portrayal of family!

And the romance! SwoonHunted is the prime example of a slow burn romance done right! I appreciated how it was only after coming to really know each other that Yeva and her love interest really begin to fall for each other. You can see their progression from enemies to wary acquaintances to friends to good friends to feeling something more for each other. The unfolding of the pair’s love was really beautiful and touching to witness.

Another element I enjoyed was the world. Spooner’s world building is clear, yet lyrical and gracefully executed, without getting info dump-y. Hunted is set in an ancient, mythical version of Russia, where fairytales mingle with real life. The magic was just enough, but not overpowering and in this way, Spooner made the magic seem all the more real as it intertwined with the plausible. The snowy, harsh landscape was also a nice setting for the story because it added an extra obstacle to the tale. Everything about the world was so easy to lose yourself in and it really added an extra dimension to the story.

Okay, so while I loved 95% of Hunted, there was that teensy-weensy 5% that I thought could’ve been done better. In particular: the story dragged slightly in the middle and I also felt the story could’ve been a tad more original.

Let’s address the first of my complaints: the middle. There is this section where the story kinda gets stuck in a rut, with Yeva hunting, returning to the castle, rinse, wash, repeat. It gets repetitive and that starts to slow the story a bit. I just wish we’d spent that time doing something more, perhaps exploring Beast’s past or learning more about th world. Spooner resolves the issue eventually, but just barely after I started fading.

Now onto my second issue. While Hunted was quite honestly compulsively readable, it didn’t stray much from the original tale. In fact, it’s almost an exact retelling. It differed in the world and setting, yes, but the plot stuck pretty darn close to the original Beauty and the Beast tale. I just feel like, in this new and magical world, and with the writing talent that Spooner clearly displays, there definitely was room to elaborate and embellish. It just seems to me like Spooner played it safe when it came to plot and I think that she’s talented enough that taking a risk would’ve really paid off.

So all in all, I really enjoyed Hunted. I’d recommend it to fans of Beauty and the Beast and Russian-inspired fantasy such as The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo or The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye. Definitely a great read!

 

fun, Lila

Obsession Confession | Empress of A Thousand Graveclothes

Hey y’all! How are ya? It was a pretty uneventful week for me until the weekend, which I spent running around! Not much happened in terms of me gaining new obsessions, so this week’s segment of Obsession Confession will be pretty brief. But the stuff that I do have for you is pretty awesome, so let’s get to it!

Books

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I’m currently reading Empress of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza and I love it! It’s full of adventure and action and it’s a diverse YA sci fi that actually talks about poc issues! I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a diverse read or just for a fun science fiction read!

Music

This past week, I discovered “Graveclothes” by Birdtalker thanks to  Monica (whose booktube channel is shemightbemonica) and I fell completely in love with the song! It’s so uplifting and happy and I just love it!

Movies/TV/Trailers

I checked out ABC’s Time After Time and I have to admit that it’s pretty cute! I’m still halfway through the first episode, but so far I’m really enjoying it! It’s kinda a complicated story involving Jack The Ripper, H.G. Wells, and time travel, but trust me, it’s good!

News

Exciting news fro the The Darkest Minds fandom came this past week! Mandy Moore is joined the cast of the movie adaptation of The Darkest Minds. I wasn’t a fan of the book, but I’m interested in seeing what Hollywood does with the movie so more likely than not I’ll go see the film.