Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

“They said that love was terrifying and tender, wild and sweet, and none of it made any sense. 

But now I knew that every mad word was true.”

After the release of the live action Beauty and the Beast film staring Emma Watson about a month ago, I’ve been searching for other retellings to satisfy my renewed interest in the classic. I’ve seen this book various times on social media— often being compared to one of those “if you liked this popular YA book, then you might enjoy this one” types of commentaries. So a year later, I decided to give Rosamund Hodge a try.

Cruel Beauty is set against a Greco-Roman background but instead of deriving from the eighth century BC, it is geared more towards the eighteenth century. Nyx, our narrator, has forever been engaged to marry the demon lord who rules over her village. A bargain had been struck from before she was even conceived, allotting that one daughter of the bargainer’s offspring must be given to the demon to be his betrothed when she is of age. And even though Nyx is a twin to a beautiful and charismatic sister, it had always been her that was chained to this dark destiny. We follow our heroine throughout this story as she navigates into her husband’s palace, searching for clues to unbind him from his curse and free her people from demonic enslavement.

I’ve heard many people rave about this book and even compare it to one of my favorite tales, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas, but unfortunately I didn’t experience the same thrill. I’m actually a bit disappointed, because while I enjoyed certain aspects there was plenty that I felt could have been further explained or revisited to make the plot seem stronger and the characters less vague.

For starters, we have our main protagonist Nyx. I love her name and thought it was fitting because Nyx in Greek mythology is the daughter of Chaos and the personification of night. She was interesting to read during the first section of the story before going to the palace. In that part, I found her inner conflict very relatable: is it right to hate someone for something they have no control over? Especially a family member? Nyx seemed like a character with grey morals and appropriate inquires for someone her age/ in her position… which is amazing considering I’ve read books on the contrary that drove me mad! But once she is finally placed in a different setting outside of her village, her character seemed to…deflate? (I can think of no better word, honestly.) Sure, she is more sarcastic and witty. But then again, so was Ignifex— her main love interest and the adaption of the “Beast.” I felt as though half of what I wound up reading was mindless banter between the two of them with no real plot or revelations. And not for nothing, but when I say that the characters started to blur with one another, I quite literally mean that. There is a character who may or may not be another character just wearing different flesh. So overall, the narrative was making me aggravated after a while.

The writing was nice, however it did lag on a bit during certain scenes. I realize that inner monologue is wonderful to have when faced with a complex character, but if I feel as though the questions being brought up by the protagonist were becoming overly frequent or obvious. Most of the acton throughout the book was spent searching for four elemental “keys” of a sort, but naturally we don’t get anywhere until the very last pages of the book. And even then I still had so many questions that were left completely unanswered. The magic system confused me, the love interests felt forced, and the plot twists didn’t entirely seem to make sense? I wondered if it was just me being too obtuse, but after going back to re-read some chapters I still find these problems unattended to.

While supposedly being a Beauty and the Beast retelling, we honestly could have gone without the romance and the book might have even been more pleasant to read. Yes, there is a love triangle of sorts. I won’t spoil much, but this particular triangle is later explained to be something else, but for three-fourths of the story you are led to believe that two men are in love with the same women who doesn’t know who to meld her soul with. I also didn’t find either relationship compatible, but that’s likely because I didn’t necessarily enjoy any of these characters enough to want to see them together.
The more I write this review, the more issues I seem to realize I had with the book. So I will just leave it at this. I did enjoy the Greek mythology portions, and I found the sibling relationship to be relatable, but other than that I’m too confused about so much that I can’t say else about the pros of the story. Hopefully if you decide to give this one a shot you’ll have a better time with it than I did.

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars.

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

“I’ve never been angry to have been born a woman. There have been times I’ve been angry at how the world treats us, but I see being a woman as a challenge I must fight. Like being born under a stormy sky. Some people are lucky enough to be born on a bright summer’s day. Maybe we were born under clouds. No wind. No rain. Just a mountain of clouds we must climb each morning so that we may see the sun.”

There hasn’t been a book in a long while that has enraptured me as strongly as Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh. I’ve been in a bit of slump for some time now, only reading sections of a book and then losing all interest in it. When I first heard about this particular story, I knew I would at least enjoy it because it encompassed plenty of elements from my favorite movies and folklore. That I wound up loving it makes me incredibly happy because I can safely say that this book is my current favorite read of 2017! It was pitched as a mix between 47 Ronin and Mulan, so of course I was interested before the title and cover were even revealed. (However, unlike Mulan, this story takes place in feudal Japan and focuses on samurai and the seven tenets of Bushidō .)

This story is told through a third person narration, with perspectives shifting between our main character Mariko and occasionally her twin brother Kenshin. It begins as Hattori Mariko is carted within a norimono on her way to her betrothed— the emperor’s second son. Along the path she and her legion are forced to wander through the dark forest or risk being a day late for their arrival at the palace. But then they are attacked in the middle of the night, and Mariko scarcely escapes with her life after setting a farce display for her murderer’s to make certain they believe she is dead. Knowing that to wander the woods nearly naked and alone—and as a woman—Mariko harks on every ounce of self preservation to stay alive, but is sought out by a vagabond whom had been stalking her. In the end, she leaves the forest after chopping off lengths of her hair and donning the guise of a boy who’d run away from home.

She sets off to find her attackers with the hope of discovering their secrets and finding out why she was targeted in the first place. Yet things don’t go as planned, and soon she finds herself admits the ranks of the Black Clan, her supposed killers and a group of renegade warriors, and she must keep up her disguise if she wants to see the light of day while also gaining their trust and learning their ways. But as the story goes on, Mariko comes to the revelation that perhaps she was miscalculating everything from before she was even sent to the emperor’s home. And with this knowledge comes darker questions with answers she will have to face and suffer the consequences of.

The heroine has quite an aversion to men because she believes them to be only what she has seen— dominant in her society: conquerors, masters, and slavers. She has been so thoroughly shielded from the true world that her political union doesn’t phase her in the beginning of the book as much as it does at the end. Mariko is often being called “odd” and “curious” throughout the novel, both of which she initially describes as being frowned upon but comes to realize only makes her who she is. She begins to own those titles. Especially considering her knack for creativity, which is her passion for inventing things such as weapons and makeshift lanterns. Mariko is an inventor and a warrior, but her femininity is never washed away, even as she pretends to be a boy, because she is always mulling through an inner struggle with her identity in that she ponders the strength of being a woman. This invokes the very focal point of her character development— which is handled carefully and crafted with beautiful scenes. A particular section of this book that exemplifies this character arc is when Mariko and her group of warriors visit a Teahouse. It is during their visit where Mariko first sees a Geiko, and this is what transpires:

Geiko were referred to as living, floating works of art. The very idea had ruffled her sensibilities. That a beautiful woman could be nothing more than a form of entertainment, left to the vices and pleasures of men.

But as Mariko watched—transfixed—while a geiko clad in layers of tatsumura silk drifted across the spotless tatami mats, she realized her first mistake. This young woman did not stand or move from a place of subservience. Nor did she convey any sense that her existence was based solely on the whim of men. Not once did the geiko’s gaze register the newest arrivals. Her head was high, her gait proud. The poise with which she moved—the grace with which she took each of her steps—was a clear testament to years of training and tradition.

The young woman was not a plaything. Not at all.

And although Mariko is without a doubt my favorite character, the members of the Black Clan slowly stole my heart as well. They were equals parts Robin Hood and the Lost Boys, not at all what I had been expecting and definitely a good surprise. Without giving away too much, because to talk about these characters would mean I have to spoil something inevitably, I can tell you that Ōkami is the love of my life and I really hope to read more about his past in the second book (because yes, there WILL be a second novel)!

Which in turn brings me to another thing I adored— the romance. It’s not heavily packed into the tale, which I very much appreciated considering the pillars behind Flame in the Mist are based upon a woman discovering the strength of being herself and following her hearts desires. However, when it is mentioned… let’s just say I wasn’t prepared for how deeply I’d invest myself in the pairing that came about. It was the type of slow burning, enemies-to-lovers trope that I fall for every time, and yet it was unlike any of the others I have read. Partially due to the characters, and partially because of the pretty writing in this novel.

Ahdieh has such wonderful prose and whimsical imagery. You could sell me a story about two rocks sitting atop a bigger rock and I would give it a five-star rating if the setting and imagery deserved it. And with the setting being feudal Japan, it was something rare and breathtaking for me to journey through. I can’t speak for everyone when I say that I believe this story was well researched in terms of the historical accuracy, because I’m not Japanese and did find myself struggling with some terms, (there is a glossary in the back) but to someone who rarely encounters this type of setting, it felt thoroughly edited and authentic. Here’s a little piece of what to expect:

The outskirts of Inako now pressed beyond the fields and forests that had ringed its borders in the past. Snaking through the city’s center was a gentle flowing river littered with dying blossoms. Its petal pink waters were a painted stroke separating the tiled roofs on either shoreline—a swell of blue-grey clay, rising like the sea, bandied about by a storm.

There were many plot-twists and action scenes in this book, some of which I had suspected since the beginning but wound up second guessing the more I read. It was well thought-out and leaves plenty of room for a sequel… considering the ending wasn’t really an ending, more or less one path on a bridge overlooking the far side (aka Book II). I was dreading how much was left to be answered by the time I reached the final chapters, but upon realizing that there will be more books to come I felt much better and happier with the placement of where this tale left off. However, I can tell you there are many cliffhanger and Ahdieh really must love to keep her readers on their toes.

The only compliant I had, if any, was the magic system. We don’t really hear much of it until the commencing parts of the story, which probably means we will see a great deal of it in the second book. But there were a few things I still don’t understand, even though I’ve reread them twice to check if I missed something. I’ll probably reread the whole book another hundred times before 2018.

I hope you all enjoy this one as much as I did! Book two is too long away. I’m not sure how I can cope for another year!

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Feyre Archeron: Cosplay

Ever since the title for A Court of Wings and Ruin released I’ve been itching to cosplay at least one character from the ACOTAR series by Sarah J Maas. It only took two people to say that I looked like Feyre for me to fully accept that “challenge” (haha, but really, as a first time cosplay-er this was a lot more fun that I had expected it to be). Finding all of the gear and accessories was the fun part… walking through a public hiking trail and an arboretum wearing elf ears and a ball gown was a bit awkward to say the least.

So without any further delay, here are all of the photos we shot over the week! I definitely plan on cosplaying my favorite character this coming fall– LUCIEN. I’m already teaching myself how to properly use prosthetic makeup and apply colored eye contacts. And with a possible Lucien novella lurking just around the corner, I really can’t wait!

Ears: Geekling Creations on Etsy
Headpiece: NebulaXCrafts on Etsy
Dress: DHGate
Bow & Arrow: Bounty Bunker on Etsy
Book: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BookDepo
Arm Jewelry: Heartichoke (Huntington, NY)

 

A Court of Wings and Ruin | Review (SPOILERS.)

“You do not fear. You do not falter. You do not yield.
Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged.”

Rating: 3.5 stars.

After swearing that I would drag this book out as long as I possibly could, I have finished it within the course of three days. So much for patience. But at the very least, in my defense I have to say, I couldn’t find it in me to put it down. As the last “official” book in the series (but not the final installment, for we will probably see novellas in the future) it was almost everything I had hoped for. I say almost because although it is also the lengthiest of the trilogy, there are cliffhangers and questions left unattended at the end. However, I have a feeling that will be where the novellas come into play. Without spoiling anything, I’d wager we definitely will be getting a Lucien novel! You can imagine how hard I cried over that revelation.

In A Court of Wings and Ruin, we follow as our heroine, Feyre, infiltrates her enemy court to gather information on the upcoming war. The High Lord of Spring doesn’t suspect anything amiss, blaming her absence on mind control and believing her to have been a prisoner, yet his emissary— (also, let’s be honest, the best character in the whole series…nope, I’m not biased at all)— Lucien begins to notice things not quite settling with her return. Those initial chapters of Feyre’s time in Spring were both painful and exhilarating to read because you are compelled to sympathize with her by also cheering her on through her devious work and spying. It isn’t until certain scenarios break apart the foundation of the court where Feyre, along with her wary friend Lucien, find themselves north of Prythian in the Night Court. From there, the story becomes full of battle strategies, ancient creatures, reunion scenes, and of course—confrontations and revelations. (No joke, the final war scene took about one-hundred pages. And it was intense throughout the whole ordeal.)

I finished reading A Court of Wings and Ruin a few days ago and at first I thought I loved it. But after the dreaded honeymoon phase… I’ve started to realize that I really didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had thought I would. As much as I had hoped I would.
For some reason it just didn’t feel like a Sarah J Maas book, especially not one from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I know Throne of Glass has its ups and downs, but with ACOTAR I was expecting a phenomenal finale due to how incredible A Court of Mist and Fury was. I’m still sickened and shocked by how much this book failed me. I’ve invested my heart into theses characters—not a day went by for almost two years where I didn’t think of the series at least once— and to read the last book, thinking it was going to be the mother of all fantasy novels, and to realize that I didn’t connect with any of the characters I was in love with…. it hurt. A lot.

I have seen many people speculate that she might have not written to the best of her ability due to the pressure put on Maas to finish the series on time, but with the amount of books she has written and the length of them all, I would have at least expected a bit more than what we got. We all joked that we didn’t know how she could end a series, thinking it might result in the deaths of our favorite character, but I didn’t think their death would literally come at the hand of the author for not writing them the way they’ve always been portrayed, even by the fans.

For starters, there’s Mor. I’m not so much bothered by the way in which her sexuality came out than I am by her treatment for… well, for the entire book. Mor is supposed to be this strong and compassionate woman who doesn’t let shit bother her and uplifts others! In ACOWAR, Mor not only is repeatedly overshadowed by other events and characters, but she acts aggesvijy in a way that doesn’t line up right with her original aesthetic. She is terse with Amren, almost platonic with Feyre, and outright brazen towards Nesta. In fact, the only people she seems to care about in the book are Azriel and Cassian, even though she’s partially using them as a cover because she’s afraid to come out about being bisexual. I’m sure that wasn’t intended on the authors part, to make it seem like Mor suddenly didn’t have that compassionate side to her anymore, but tragically that’s what this story conveyed to me. And to be fair? She had all the right to not be kind to them, especially after Rhysand and Azriel put her in the position where she had to negotiate with her rapists and abusers in order to further their alliance in the war. I couldn’t believe what I was reading when I saw that. I know Rhys can screw up at times, as is known from his character in the prior two books, but this was just outright OOC and made me feel really uncomfortable for the rest of the novel. Not to mention that Keir doesn’t even face a bad end? In fact, I don’t think it’s even mentioned what happens to him other than the promise Rhysand made to allow all the vile people from the Hewn City into Velars (I cried so much reading that. I was actually praying Feyre would use her High Lady card to ensure that didn’t happen).

The only character who I thought to be perfectly in character was Cassian, but even his parts felt clipped or forced. I think that’s in part due to the book being seven-hundred pages long wherein all the loose ends had to get tied up before the final chapter, but also it was in part due to the writing. It just felt rushed, as though the focal point of the book shift from being about character development and relationships to being about plot and battle tactics. Even the setting felt like a grey area— definitely not like the atmosphere from the Spring Court or Velaris. I wasn’t even sure where we were in certain parts of the book because the usual lengthy descriptors that I adored weren’t written into the book at all save for all the battlefield scenes.

Feyre and Rhysand’s relationship felt (while not necessarily dull) incomplete? I was rooting for them since book one, and after book two I had really thought that this was going to be the finale to make all other YA finale books want to be like it. I had high expectations and they were practically all trampled on. Every Feysand scene was either a smutty sex scene or just the two of them being in the same room discussing politics. There wasn’t any cuteness or snark from the prior books, and it almost felt like Rhysand lost his sarcastic/ fun nature that made us all fall for him and Feyre lost her tactical nature that made her such a good huntress. Kind of backwards for what we had anticipated from these two, isn’t it? It felt like they were present, but not actually there. I cried during Rhysand’s death scene, but in the back of my mind I knew what was coming. Why? Because we already saw it happen in the first book. While I think it was intended to be some sort of homage to the original story, it fell flat for me and I truly believe it was only added for shock value. As were much of the scenarios in this story.

Lucien…. I wrote a 2k+ meta about his arc in ACOWAR on tumblr, and you can read all about what I felt regarding it right HERE. But to surmise: I love that he escaped Spring and is now going to pursue a life in Velaris, but I hate that it seems as though he still wants forgiveness from Tamlin when it should be the other way around. I know we’re most likely going to get a novella for him, which would explain why the Helion/ High Lady of Autumn drama went unanswered in this book, but I don’t think it’s smart to bank off of a novella to answer questions that should be laid at peace in the official series.

I was thrilled with the arc given to Lucien, however I don’t think he had the proper character development that I had been hoping for. For starters, he finally realizes that Tamlin is a toxic friend and that he needs to separate himself from Spring, so Lucien goes with Feyre to the Night Court where he is then treated as you might imagine— the Inner Circle is wary of him, but they give him the chance to prove he is not like the Court he had just escaped from. Feyre helps them understand him a bit more, and we even get a scene where Lucien is wearing Illyrian leathers and wielding blades gifted to him by Cassian and Azriel! I loved that he was so prominent in the first half of the book, but towards the end he nearly vanished. And then we only saw pieces of him in the aftermath of the war. Unsurprisingly, I was bitter about that. Way to dangle a treat in front of a dog, Maas. However, Lucien does say to Feyre in the end “I have quite the story to tell you.” about his time missing in the book, and we are also told that his father isn’t Beron, but Helion—High Lord of Day. It all makes sense to me now that we have this information, and I was put out that we never got to see the two of them talk. I don’t even know if either of them are aware of what they mean to one another! Hence: a Lucien novella. It’s bound to happen.

It didn’t feel like I was reading a finale, especially not one to my favorite series. This is definitely my least favorite of the trilogy, and I’m so hurt (betrayed?) by the concept of that. I wish this book hadn’t come out and that we were all still in the excited month-before-publication phase where we thought we were going to get a million times more of the content than we actually did.

There were parts I really loved, like Azriel teaching Feyre to fly, Feyre and the Suriel having a heart to heart, the Archeron sisters sleeping in the same bed together like they once did when they were mortal etc… but the parts I didn’t like weigh too heavily on my heart to be overlooked.

Maas really stepped up the diversity in this book, and I couldn’t be happier about that. She’s finally learning! We find out that most of the courts are created of people of color, even the Winter Court (which a lot of fans had casted to be all white). I’m not just talking about the cop-out “tanned skin” or “warm tone” semantics often used in prior books. On the matter of LGBTQ+ representation, we see plenty of non-hetero romances, even within the main character group. I know for a fact that these characters could have been handled better: Helion being bisexual and written as a person who loves to sleep around? That’s just a classic stereotype and I wish it had been left out. Mor…. while I might be in the smaller portion of the fandom who was happy with her coming out, and found her story to be understandable and even relatable, I just wish it didn’t have to happen in the last chapter of the last book. Obviously it was a second thought type of decision, but it I’m glad she is canon bisexual. I just wish it wasn’t kept a secret at the end of the book.

I’m such a fan of Maas. What happened to this book destroyed me. I just can’t wrap my head around how she and the publishers let this happen?

Overall I just can’t believe this series is “over.” I know there will be novellas to come, but it’s the feeling you get when you finish a book that leaves you stunned for weeks on end… that’s going to be tough to deal with. I already miss these characters. It actually makes me sick thinking about how much I miss them because I feel like the last I saw them was actually in A Court of Mist and Fury. But all I can say now is: can’t wait for the fanfiction. I already have a million and one ideas! Hopefully these novellas come out soon.

Strange the Dreamer GIVEAWAY!

“….The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.” 

When I heard that Laini Taylor, author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, was writing another fantasy novel, I immediately preordered it and scavenged for every scrap of information about the story that I could find. Taylor has such a way with words, and her prose make it seem as though you’re truly in a dream universe full of goblins and faeries and blue creature with magical quests. She’s one of my “automatic-purchases” type of authors. And if you haven’t yet experienced her sleepy realms and witty heroines, here’s your chance!

I partnered with Little, Brown to share this giveaway with you guys. All you have to do is follow the link to my Rafflecopter below and do as follows in the instructions! Make sure to also leave a comment on my Instagram post with Strange the Dreamer. (That doesn’t count as an entry, but I’d love to hear what you think!) The giveaway will last until next Friday May 5.

Note: Giveaway open to U.S. addresses only. 

The prizes are as follows:

  • One copy of the book Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  • Golden earbuds, eyeshadow, and a writing pen set

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Processed with VSCO with j5 presetstdd

Review: Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

hak 3“And Yarvi realized that Death does not bow to each person who passes her, does not sweep out her arm respectfully to show the way, speaks no profound words, unlocks no bolts. The key upon her chest is never needed, for the Last Door stands always open. She herds the dead through impatiently, needles of rank or fame or quality. She has an ever-lengthening queue to get through. A blind procession, inexhaustible.”

Prince Yarvi of the Gettlands is thrust into the role of King upon his father’s sudden death, but even after a lifetime of preparations the young boy is still not ready to take on his throne. He doesn’t believe himself capable of such power, and neither do the other royals and soldiers around him. It is due to this distrust that Yarvi finds himself awash on a new shore in a strange new land that he’d only heard of through stories of his kingdom’s enemies. So who finds him first as he crawls from the cold waves? His enemy king, of course. Pretending to be a mere baker’s son, Yarvi is then brought into slavery to be sold in one of the high markets of Grom-gil-Gorm’s territory. As he ventures from a throne, to a cell, to a ship where he is charged with the job of an oarsmen, Yarvi begins to plot his vengeance for those who betrayed him and cast him out of his home, and he’ll have to rely upon his enemies if he wants to survive first in order to get back his crown.

Processed with VSCO with p5 presetOur hero of the story is roughly around the age of sixteen if I recall correctly, and he definitely acts like it. Although I’m infatuated with tales of warriors and knights and vikigns etcetera, I was always a bit skeptical about how quick to take on a challenge some of those figures were. In Yarvi’s case, he truly wants to be king but he knows he’s not ready yet— spiritually or physically. For starters, Yarvi was born with half a hand, hence the title. This setback is only a setback if he allows it, and unsurprisingly he does. He was always frowned upon for being a cripple, and he is self-conscious of the fact. Even when he was being displayed in a line up of slaves to be bought, he hid his hand so that his buyer wouldn’t think twice.

To make matters worse, he had to help row a ship with only seven fingers, and he was described as being scrawny and lanky in the prior chapters. There were times when I became frustrated with his inner monologue and the depressing thoughts that accompanied it, but then I remembered that unlike other stereotypical hero’s, Yarvi acts just how I imagine anyone else in his position in real life would. He is hesitant about everything, passionate about the things he desires, and switches moods constantly.

Along his journey as a slave, Yarvi befriends his fellow oarsmen and the other captives aboard the ship. I was pleased to read that there are many mentions of women captains and warrior queens, but I felt that all the secondary characters lacked any true depth. Taking into consideration that this is meant to be a story about one boys development into a man, I found it troubling how little was spent on the progression of characteristics and rather most of the plot centered around battle tactics and the main protagonists constantly on the run.

Processed with VSCO with p5 presetYet even the battles felt short, as did most of the book, which I wouldn’t mind if it didn’t take me so long to force myself to read. Abercrombie has a fluid style of writing, and I really enjoyed his prose and context of language, but it was still a challenge to finish this story if only for the lack of connection I felt towards any of the characters, including the main one.

Would I classify this as a story about vikings? I’m sure under certain dictions it would qualify as such because of the mention of Vasterland and the enemy kings, but personally I read this just as I would have read any other story set in medieval fantasy realms. It didn’t stand out at all, and it felt dull nearly every other chapter. Perhaps you’ll have a better time with this one than I did if you decide to read it, but I can’t say I loved this story without coming up with explanations as to why I also found issues with it. I’m told the second book in this series is even better, but I’m still uncertain whether or not I will be reading that one.

Overall, I found this book to be enjoyable. It was a fun read, but it dragged a bit at the end and I still don’t feel as connected to these characters as I would have preferred. There was so much potential, but the delivery was weak. Oh well. On to more books!

My Rating: 3/5 stars.

Read this review on GoodReads.

Garden Party: a spring playlist.

cozy readsThis beautiful cover design is from artist Júlia Sardà.
You can check out her other pieces here

Garden Party is a combination of songs that make me want to stroll through meadows, find the sunniest patch of grass, plant flowers, eat pretty pastries like lemon bread or French food I cannot pronounce. It also makes me want to read, but honestly what doesn’t? In other words, you might have heard these songs if you’ve ever shopped in Anthropologie. Enjoy!

 

tracklist.

i. what’s a girl to do / Bat for Lashes
ii. paper bag / Fiona Apple
iii. queen of peace / Florence & the Machine
iv. wild fire / Laura Marling
v. wild horses (acoustic) / Bishop Briggs
vi. pierre / Ryn Weaver
vii. all my tears / Ane Burn
viii. all I want / Sarah Blasko
ix. metal heart / Cat Power
x. wish you were here / Florence Welch
xi. aventine / Agnes Obel
xii. 1234 / Feist

Listen on 8tracks here.