Book Review: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Snagged a signed copy from Mysterious Glaxy bookstore in San Diego!

Snagged a signed copy from Mysterious Glaxy bookstore in San Diego!

If you are active on bookish social media, you have undoubtedly seen or heard about The Cruel Prince by Holly Black in some capacity. This is the first book in the Folk of the Air series. It seems that most readers either love it or hate it. The premise was interesting enough - sisters stolen by their parents’ murderer to be raised in the land of Faerie. Get ready, because the Slytherin energy is turned up to 100 in this book.

The “youngest wickedest” son of the High King is, of course, arch-enemy number 1 to our main protagonist, Jude. The book starts with darkness and violence and never really lets up in that regard. The idea is unique and interesting enough but fell incredibly flat for me for the first half of the book. It wasn’t difficult for me to continue reading, and I attribute that to Black’s writing. The world-building wasn’t amazing, and I felt myself wanting more. I did not enjoy the way Black intertwined the human world with Faerie — all of the Target references had me loling, and not in a good way. I did find myself speed reading, hoping for something to happen. Thankfully around page 200 things begin to really pick up and unfold in a unique and intriguing way. The twin sister feud felt random and forced for me, and I still think that was one of the flattest and least interesting parts of the book. Twins, best friends….immediately turned enemies? I won’t say anything more as I want to keep this pretty spoiler free, but I would love your thoughts on the matter if you have read this.

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3 stars from me. It felt a bit boring for quite a while, but thankfully picked up towards the end. I’m interested enough at this point that I would read the second book. Jude and Cardan are annoying but intriguing in their own way, as with most of these characters. The plot left me a bit wanting, but we will see if the second book doesn’t find a better pace.

View all my reviews

I cannot put my finger on one singular reason that this wasn’t a great read for me, but here we are. This was my first Holly Black book. 3 stars overall, and I will be reading The Wicked King. I have hope that it will be better than the first, as the second half really did deliver in ways the first half just couldn’t seem to. Have you read The Cruel Prince - what did you think?

Book Review: Strange the Dreamer + Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Every edition of this book is beautiful

Every edition of this book is beautiful

This is a bit of a two-for-one review, of both Strange The Dreamer and Muse Of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. I read them one after the other and it felt fitting to review them in one place. No spoilers!

Strange the Dreamer sat on my shelf for months. I took photos of the beautiful cover but never made the time to start it. I had heard so many rave reviews that I was hesitant and didn’t want another disappointing read. There was no reason for the hesitation, from the first chapter I knew I was in for a treat. Taylor’s writing style is exquisite. The world-building is unique but thorough. The characters are relatable and realistic. The plot is intriguing, and fresh while still feeling familiar in a welcoming way. There is a magic system introduced, and Taylor builds it over time in an easy-to-understand way.

I love a subtle cleverness and banter to an author’s writing and oh, Laini Taylor, she is the queen. There are so many funny, witty, and clever nuggets tucked away in these pages. She also does a really beautiful job of using symbolism to tackle important and relevant issues, and for me, that’s what really sets a good story apart from a great one. There is forbidden love, tackling racism, and how can we resist a passionate love story with a deeper purpose? You find yourself rooting for certain characters, exasperated with others, and outright yelling at the pages at some points (Okay, just me?). Will there be a happy ending? Who knows.

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Share this on Pinterest to read later, and follow me on Instagram!

At the start of book two, Muse of Nightmares, we find ourselves in a different time and place. It felt a little confusing at first, but Taylor does an excellent job at making sure the reader has the information that they need to keep them up to speed. Is it weird if I say I loved every sentence? Well, I loved every sentence. I loaned this one from the library and had to stop myself from annotating every page. The emotion that Taylor is capable of evoking is a true gift. The personalities of these characters feel like they jump off the page, surround you, and become living and breathing people telling you their stories. Laini Taylor reminds us that people are usually more complicated than we wish they were, people are usually rude, mean, violent, or generally negative because of their struggles. She reminds us through her characters and these stories that we don’t always have a choice, but when we do, choose the light.

5 gleaming stars for both of these books! I can confidently say these will be re-reads for me in the future, and that is a huge deal because very, very few books make it onto that list. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. Have you read them? Connect with me on Instagram, and let’s discuss our thoughts!

19 Books I Want To Read in 2019

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Follow my bookstagram account!

I had quite the epiphany lately, and will be doing more bookish posts in this space. More on that in 2019. I thought a great place to start was the books that I am most looking forward to reading in the coming months.

Some of the following books have already been released, while others will be releasing in the coming year. I have included a link to a brief synopsis of each book. They have also all been added to my Goodreads account, if you want to follow along with my current reads and what I’m rating them.

Happy reading, bookworms. . .

19 Books I Want To Read in 2019:

  1. Renegades by Marissa Meyer

  2. People Like Us by Dana Mele

  3. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (Apparently the US version had to add the ‘1/2’ but it is the same book as The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle)

  4. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

  5. Shades of Magic series by VE Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and A Conjuring of Light)

  6. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

  7. Sadie by Courtney Summers

  8. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  9. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (February 2019)

  10. Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan

  11. The Diviners Libba Bray

  12. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  13. Us Against You (Beartown, #2)  by Fredrik Backman

  14. A Man Called Ove by  Fredrik Backman

  15. Again, But Better by Christine Riccio (May 2019)

  16. The Case for Jamie (Charlotte Holmes #3) by Brittany Cavallaro

  17. Era of Ignition: Coming of Age in a Time of Rage and Revolution by Amber Tamblyn (March 2019)

  18. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (June 2019)

  19. The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison

I hope you all enjoyed this post and found it helpful for planning your own reads for 2019. What are some books on your TBR pile?

Books That Changed My Life

Below you will find a list of some of my favorite books of all time. . .Consider this your summer reading list of 2018

Below you will find a list of some of my favorite books of all time. . .Consider this your summer reading list of 2018

I love to read. I always have. Many of you may even know me because of a digital book club I began many moons ago. I have read a great deal of literature, but I wanted to share with you some that have impacted me the most. These include all genres, so take what you enjoy, take what you need.

  • The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
  • Harry Potter - JK Rowling
  • How Not To Die - Dr. Michael Gregor
  • The Five Love Languages - Gary Chapman
  • The Art of Communication – Thicht Naht Hanh
  • The China Study - T. Collin Campbell
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain
  • Braving the Wilderness - Brene Brown
  • I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) – Brene Brown
  • Taking the Leap – Pema Chodron
  • Age of Anger - Pankaj Mishra
  • Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur
  • The Untethered Soul - Michael A. Singer
  • You Are A Badass - Jen Sincero
  • Scar Tissue - Anthony Keidis 

I am deeply committed to my growth. It's all an inside job. I encourage you to invest in your growth, in your expansion. Invest in you.

Always learning, always growing. Always reading. 

Please share with me, here in the comments or via Instagram, the books that have been the most influential in your life.