Book Review: Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova

BrujaBornBruja Born by Zoraida Córdova

Published by Sourcebooks Fire on June 5, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 336 Format: Hardcover Source: Trade

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.

Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula’s bruja healing powers can’t fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.

Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back…


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Mini Reviews: Save the Date & The Art of French Kissing

June was heavy contemporary month for me so I’m wrapping my reviews up with brief thoughts on Morgan Matson’s Save the Date and Brianna R. Shrum’s The Art of French Kissing.


SavetheDateSave the Date by Morgan Matson

Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on June 5, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary

Pages: 432 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

Morgan Matson’s books have become synonymous with summer for me and Save the Date is her latest fun/feelings filled story. Set over the course of a wedding weekend, this book has everything from humor to upheaval with a healthy dose compelling characters to make this narrative work. Honestly the highlight of this book has to be the focus on family. Charlie, Mike, J.J., Linnie, and Danny (with Rodney as an honorary member) are easily the most dynamic sibling unit since the Weasleys and I couldn’t get enough of them. I always love that Matson’s books are never all sunshine and rainbows and this one is no exception. There’s disaster after disaster as well as discussion on nostalgia and how everything isn’t always as perfect as it seems. I totally recommend picking this up!


TheArtofFrenchKissingThe Art of French Kissing by Brianna R. Shrum

Published by Sky Pony Press on June 5, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 256 Format: Paperback Source: Library

3.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Carter Lane has wanted to be a chef since she was old enough to ignore her mom’s warnings to stay away from the hot stove. And now she has the chance of a lifetime: a prestigious scholarship competition in Savannah, where students compete all summer in Chopped style challenges for a full-ride to one of the best culinary schools in the country. The only impossible challenge ingredient in her basket: Reid Yamada.

After Reid, her cute but unbearably cocky opponent, goes out of his way to screw her over on day one, Carter vows revenge, and soon they’re involved in a full-fledged culinary war. Just as the tension between them reaches its boiling point, Carter and Reid are forced to work together if they want to win, and Carter begins to wonder if Reid’s constant presence in her brain is about more than rivalry. And if maybe her desire to smack his mouth doesn’t necessarily cancel out her desire to kiss it.

Brianna R. Shrum reeled me in with kissing and cooking competitions and I couldn’t help but totally enjoy The Art of French Kissing. It’s a fast paced contemporary romance filled with plenty of tension and heat. Plus it’s got some incredibly delicious food descriptions that had my mouth watering. Carter is this talented chef in the making so her shot to score a scholarship is high stakes. Add a ton of anxiety to the mix and a fellow competitor that pushes all her buttons and sparks fly all over the place. In more ways than one. If you’re in need of a quick contemporary romance, I highly suggest giving this one a shot.


Have you read either of these titles? Do you read more contemporary in the summer?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

June Book Haul ~ 2018

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Another month gone, another stack of books to add to my shelves. Most of the titles I picked up in June were new releases and I’ve got an excellent mix of contemporary and fantasy to show off and shout about.

First up are books that came out at the beginning of the month and I got, Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova, Whisper of the Tide by Sarah Tolcser, Save the Date by Morgan Matson, Running with Lions by Julian Winters, and The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang.

I also picked up Part One and Part Two of The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars run and the UK edition of Madeleine Miller’s Circe (not pictured). I also received the Owlcrate exclusive edition of From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon in this month’s box.

Did you acquire any books in June? Read any from this stack?

Let me know in the comments below!

Waiting on Wednesday: Seafire

“Waiting on” Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.


SeafireSeafire by Natalie C. Parker

Publisher: Razorbill

Expected Date: August 28, 2018

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one misson: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?


The talk around Seafire by Natalie C. Parker has been nothing but praise and I cannot wait see what all the hype is about. Give me all female led pirate crews always!

Are you looking forward to Seafire?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Teaser Tuesday: Bruja Born

tuesteas

Hosted by A Daily Rhythm, Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme meant to highlight passages from books you are currently reading.

Here are the rules (as described by A Daily Rhythm):

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

             This week’s teasers come from Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova. The second installment in the Brooklyn Brujas series focuses on Lula and after devouring Labyrinth Lost I’m thrilled to dive headfirst into this one. Check out these snippets, then join the reading fun!

“We haven’t really been alone in a while,” I say.
“That’s not my fault.”
“It’s not my fault either. Look, I don’t want to fight.”

~

I watch the red light, the people at the crosswalk. We’re a few blocks away from school. I recognize a couple of girls from my team by their black-and-red uniforms. A woman dressed in all black trails behind them.

Have you read Zoraida Cordova’s work? A fan of the Brooklyn Brujas series?

Let me know in the comments below!

June in Review ~ 2018

monthinreview

Welcome to my Month in Review!

Books I Read

Top Pick

TheKissQuotient

Challenges

Goodreads: 98/120

Debut Author Challenge: 9/12

Read Harder Challenge: 7/24

Rock My TBR: 15

Life, Etc.

With June at it’s end, summer is off to a roaring start. And I do mean roaring in the ‘I’m constantly angry, want to scream all the time’ sense as well as the usual ‘things are moving quickly’ variety. Work has been insane and there are no signs of that stopping. Tons of changes, too much to do…it’s a lot! The anxiety, stress, and anger is boiling over and the state of the world isn’t helping.

I’ve been trying to hold tight to the things that relax me and reading has always been at the top. I picked up a lot of romances this month to compensate for the real world horror show and I’ve also taken comfort by watching a whole lot of soccer. It’s World Cup time and most days there’s at least a couple of games to keep my mind occupied. I’m once again behind on The 100 but only by a few episodes and I’ve watched Netlfix’s Lost in Space and Set It Up.

Was June crazy for anyone else? Any good self care tips?

Let me know in the comments below!

Series Review: The Rules of Scoundrels by Sarah MacLean

The Rules of Scoundrels
by Sarah MacLean

 

What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets…

So my love for series and now romance has combined into a wild binge read of Sarah MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels after Roshani Chokshi recommended the first installment for it’s Hades and Persephone vibes. Now, of course, I’m head over heels for these hot and heavy historical romances which follow the four owners of a gaming hell and their love interests.

Sarah MacLean captured my attention with her writing, well loved tropes, and incredible characters. The author certainly knows how to draw out the tension, throwing twists and turns in at all the right moments. Plus there’s even a little mystery. In terms of tropes this series has got everything! Heroine getting a sexual education, fighter with a soft side, redemption in the eyes of society.

It all works though because of the characters. Bourne, Cross, Temple, and Chase are the owners of The Fallen Angel, London’s finest gaming hell, and each book delves into how the scoundrels all find love. Their paramours are an eclectic bunch; whether it be a stubborn soon to be spinster or passionate scientist. I won’t got into more to avoid spoilers but these books are definite must reads for historical romance fans.

Have any of you read The Rules of Scoundrels series?

Let me know in the comments below!