Recent Reads #6

Hello fellow book lovers! I bring to you today another recent reads post. In this post I will finally be hitting December and getting one step closer to being caught up! As always if you don’t want to see the synopsis skip over the italic portions. Let’s jump right in!

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto
5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Date Read: November 25th, 2019

An Ember in the Ashes meets Three Dark Crowns in this lush debut fantasy novel about a girl who disguises herself as a boy to join a secret group of warriors that ride phoenixes into battle.

I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

Crown of Feathers is an epic fantasy about love’s incredible power to save—or to destroy. Interspersed throughout is the story of Avalkyra Ashfire, the last Rider queen, who would rather see her empire burn than fall into her sister’s hands.

This was one of my favorite reads of 2019! I love anything with mythical creatures, and phoenix’s are one of my favorites. I enjoyed the character development and the many plot twists. It was a very quick read even though it’s a pretty big book and it was just so much fun. I can not wait to read the second book. Plus that cover is so gorgeous! Highly recommend.

To Best The Boys by Mary Weber
3 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Date Read: November 27th, 2019

The task is simple: don a disguise. Survive the Labyrinth. Best the boys.

In a thrilling new fantasy from the bestselling author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, one girl makes a stand against society and enters a world made exclusively for boys.

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port have received a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. The poorer residents look to see if 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 train in wifely duties and men pursue 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 is ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the deadly maze.

Welcome to the Labyrinth.

I wanted to read this for SO long. When I finally got my hands on it… I was kind of let down. It wasn’t a bad book by any means, but I had some pretty high expectations after loving Weber’s first trilogy. I love maze/labyrinth related reads, so I was very excited for this. Something about some of the interactions seemed kind of strange and it had a very open ending which I don’t usually like. The overall magic concept and the way things are either explained strangely or not at all really confused/annoyed me. I would have liked a bit more detail, but then again it is just s short stand-alone. I think I probably just expected way to much and was a bit let down when it didn’t meet expectations. Still a very interesting book and brought up some great concepts like gender inequality and the fact that college is being aimed toward people with money. Overall I enjoyed this, I just didn’t love it.

The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
4 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Date Read: November 30th, 2019

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

This is the second book in the Sky In The Deep world, following different characters years after the ending of book one. I loved the first book and was super excited for this one! I really enjoyed this, although not as much as the first one. I love this world and the brutality. It really is gut wrenching at times, but it’s also a really great story. I love the ideas of family and unity. I highly recommend this duology.

American Royals by Katherine McGee
5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Date Read: December 2nd, 2019

What if America had a royal family?

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling.

Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her.

And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

I LOVED THIS BOOK. The idea of this one immediately drew me in, but the execution was amazing and had me enthralled the entire time. While I didn’t always agree with the characters decisions, I saw a lot of growth in them and am very excited to see where things go in the next book. Especially after such a shocking ending. If you haven’t picked this up yet, you definitely should!

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
4 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Date Read: December 12th, 2019

On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn’t.

And then she died.

Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge–as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .

This was such a fun Christmas read! It’s basically a retelling of A Christmas Story, and it has an amazing character redemption arc for multiple people. There are a lot of unexpected twists (although I did figure a few of them out,) and even a bit of romance, friendship, and family all thrown in there. If you enjoy Christmasy reads, or books with lots of character growth, this would be a great read for you! I recommend reading it during the Christmas season!

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith
4.5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Date Read: December 18th, 2019

Having just been dumped by his girlfriend, British-born Hugo is still determined to take his last-hurrah-before-college train trip across the United States. One snag: the companion ticket is already booked under the name of his ex, Margaret Campbell. Nontransferable, no exceptions.

Enter the new Margaret C. (Mae for short), an aspiring filmmaker with big dreams. After finding Hugo’s spare ticket offer online, she’s convinced it’s the perfect opportunity to expand her horizons.

When the two meet, the attraction is undeniable, and both find more than they bargained for. As Mae pushes Hugo to explore his dreams for his future, he’ll encourage her to channel a new, vulnerable side of her art. But when life off the train threatens the bubble they’ve created for themselves, will they manage to keep their love on track?

I listened to the audiobook for this one and enjoyed it immensely. It was a really fun young adult romance, which admittedly I’m not really into anymore, but I had heard good things and the synopsis was intriguing, so I gave it a whirl… I was not disappointed. I had never read anything that was predominately set on a train before, and I loved it. The main characters really find themselves on that train and I just thought it was a beautiful story and beautifully written.

Thanks for checking out another recent reads post! Hope you’re enjoying these and maybe getting some new book rec’s! Let me know if you’ve read any of these and how you liked them!
Happy Reading 🖤


  1. Crown of Feathers sadly got lost in the shuffle of my tbr pile, but I am thrilled to see you loved it so much. I think phoenix’s are underrepresented in literature so I can get behind this book.

    I like the sound of American Royals. I can get behind a book that has good character growth.

    Liked by 1 person

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