City of B

The Traitor’s Kiss (The Traitor’s Circle #1) by Erin Beaty

The Traitor’s Kiss (The Traitor’s Circle #1) by Erin BeatyThe Traitor's Kiss (The Traitor's Circle, #1) by Erin Beaty
Published by Imprint on May 9th 2017
Genres: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Source: Self Purchase

An obstinate girl who will not be married. A soldier desperate to prove himself. A kingdom on the brink of war.

With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.

As the girls' military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.

About 3/4 of the way through The Traitor’s Kiss, I was sure that it was definitely going to be a 4 star read, then all the sudden this amazing twist occurred, a new, exciting, and daring revelation that blew me away. I truly didn’t see it coming! It catapulted my love for this book to 5 stars. The rest of the book was just as awesome, with more twists, and a lot of action, so of course the 5 stars stuck.

Sage starts out as an easy girl to like, and then she quickly becomes someone you love. She’s incredibly smart, book and street-wise. She’s very stubborn, and has a bit of a temper, but when shit hits the fan, I definitely want her on my team. Sage thinks she’s plain and unremarkable, but that’s so far from the truth. She’s charming and perceptive, and easily blends into different crowds, something that the matchmaker instantly notices and respects. The soldiers who were chosen to escort the matchmaker’s group of brides-to-be across the country, are also wowed by Sage, because she’s magnetizing, quick-thinking, and overall, a kick ass spy for both the matchmaker, and the soldiers.

I love how Sage and Mulan, from Disney’s Mulan, are kindred spirits. They’re both the girl that everyone takes for granted. Society thinks that Sage/Mulan are impossible to tame, because they don’t want to spend their lives running a household, gushing about dresses, and other typical things that “proper” ladies do. They want to throw on britches, and get their hands dirty. They’re both highly capable, out-of-the-box thinkers, who get the job done in ways that baffles and amazes others. Sage and Mulan would totally be best friends.

Sage’s foil ends up being a particularly attractive soldier, who is charged with monitoring her for suspicious activities. These suspicious activities are basically just Sage collecting intel on attractive bachelors, for her job as an apprentice matchmaker. Sage also suspects that this handsome soldier is hiding secrets, and it’s so funny watching the two of them spying on each other, while also trying not to fall for each other.

Seriously, read this book! If not just for Sage, then also for a hot, slow brewing romance that you don’t want to miss.

City of B

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3) by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3) by Tahereh MafiIgnite Me (Shatter Me, #3) by Tahereh Mafi
Published by HarperCollins on February 4, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Supernatural, Dystopian
Pages: 421
Source: Self Purchase

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all.

Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.



 This review doesn’t take into account book #4 in the Shatter Me series, which surprisingly came out four years after Ignite Me was released.

Ignite Me is my favorite book in the Shatter Me series. Juliette’s character ARC came full circle. She finally learned how to love herself and her abilities. She’s not scared anymore. She’s not alone and she’s not weak. What an incredible journey Juliette has had!

Warner… swoon! He’s always made this series for me, with his many sad, sweet, and sexy scenes. I love a lot of things about him, but especially the fact that he’s been Juliette’s number one fan since day one. He believes that she’s powerful, and can overcome any obstacle. He’s so incredibly supportive. Swoon!!

Adam… ugh! In his novella, we started seeing a very unappealing side of him, one that continues to grow in Ignite Me. Juliette originally thought that Adam was perfect, and that he could do no wrong. Adam finally becomes a realistic person, when his big flaws start to show and grow in Ignite Me. He’s pissed off, and immature, throughout this book, which irritated me and the characters, because there’s so much stuff going on in Ignite Me, like, I don’t know – a WAR. He was such a drama-lama.

Ignite Me was great! I felt like Juliette blossomed. She finally started listening and acting on her heart. Looking back, I think as a whole, this series was solid. It never rushed through creating the setting, the romances, and the characters. Everything felt well-developed.

City of B

Shadow and Bone (The Grishaverse #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grishaverse #1) by Leigh BardugoShadow and Bone (Grisha Verse, #1) by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt and Company on June 5, 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 358
Source: Self Purchase

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

I dragged my feet with starting The Grishaverse series, because there’s such a huge, intense fandom that loves it, and I was afraid I’d be that odd duck who didn’t. I’m glad I finally read Shadow and Bone, because it was a good read, but like I feared, I didn’t think it was amazing. I ended up feeling like it was  just an average YA high fantasy. You can see some of my likes and dislikes below –

I liked:

Alina, because her character was well-conceived. She doesn’t suddenly become a formidable bad-ass because she discovers she has powers. Alina has very little physical and emotional strength to begin with, so when it’s revealed that she has the potential to be great, and make a difference in the world, she spends the rest of the book strengthening her body, mind, and magical abilities.

The mystery surrounding The Darkling was really intriguing and exciting. He’s that dark, brooding, mysterious and attractive male character who always draws my interest in books. His motivations and agenda was so hard to grasp, and it made me want to understand him desperately. He seemed to toe the line between light and dark, but maybe he didn’t? Maybe he already had chosen a side but he wouldn’t or couldn’t reveal it? He’s a really deep character, and it drove me nuts not knowing who or what he really was.

There are some magic-wielding Grishas who can control fire and wind – been there done that – and then there’s some who have the really cool ability to manipulate and mold materials like metal and bone. That was so cool! So unique!

What I didn’t like:

The pace was very slow. A good chunk of this book takes place at the Grisha palace, where Alina is strengthening her body and her powers. This section bored me. The Darkling is off doing mysterious things, and I constantly wished that he’d return. The story felt dull when he wasn’t apart of it.

Alina and Mal… ugh. I liked their friendship, their shared childhood history, and interactions, because it’s super heartwarming, but the idea of them romantically involved just rubbed me the wrong way. There’s comfort and sweetness there, but no passion. Their relationship was familiar and steady, but lacked sizzle. I much preferred the idea of Alina and The Darkling getting together, because they’re both the most powerful magic users in the world, and therefore relate to each other in a way they can’t relate with anyone else.  Plus: The Darkling bursts with sex appeal and allure  – yum!

The ending of Shadow and Bone was really surprising, and a tiny bit epic, so I really hope book two builds on that and ends up being smashing.

City of B

Fracture Me (Shatter Me #2.5) by Tahereh Mafi

Fracture Me (Shatter Me #2.5) by Tahereh MafiFracture Me (Shatter Me, #2.5) by Tahereh Mafi
Published by HarperCollins on December 17, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Supernatural, Dystopian
Pages: 62
Source: Self Purchase

In this electrifying sixty-page companion novella to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, discover the fate of the Omega Point rebels as they go up against The Reestablishment. Set during and soon after the final moments of Unravel Me, Fracture Me is told from Adam's perspective.

As Omega Point prepares to launch an all-out assault on The Reestablishment soldiers stationed in Sector 45, Adam's focus couldn't be further from the upcoming battle. He's reeling from his breakup with Juliette, scared for his best friend's life, and as concerned as ever for his brother James's safety. And just as Adam begins to wonder if this life is really for him, the alarms sound. It's time for war.

On the battlefield, it seems like the odds are in their favor—but taking down Warner, Adam's newly discovered half brother, won't be that easy. The Reestablishment can't tolerate a rebellion, and they'll do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam has ever cared about.

I wasn’t thrilled to find out that Fracture Me was from Adam’s POV. Even before Warner came along, I was getting bored with the Adam/Juliette relationship.

Even though I didn’t like what Adam thought or had to say in Fracture Me, I’m glad I read it. I never doubted that Adam loved Juliette, but I was surprised and a bit upset when it was revealed that his love has been based mostly on a commitment. He feels responsible for her, that he needs to protect her, that she’s a type of mission he needs to complete.

Adam doesn’t believe that Juliette can be strong. He wants to lock her up and not let her get involved with the battles against the reestablishment, because he’s afraid she’s too fragile and would just be hindrance to the rest of the crew. I lost a lot of respect for Adam in this novella. He reminded me of Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses which wasn’t a good thing. They both want to be that super macho guy who has a delicate, wispy girl waiting at home for them. Gah! I hate those guys.

The one good thing I can say about Adam in this novella is that he started to get his priorities straight. He’s forced to make an incredibly important decision, and I was pleased with his choice. It made me believe that he can grow and change in the future and that maybe one day I won’t dislike him so much.