Round-up 2020 – Books with a lasting impact!

Hey guys!

As you might have observed, I have been doing round-up posts with a focus on genres read this year.

However, in this post, I wanted to focus on books that left an impact on me that lasted well after finishing the book. This year, I discovered a lot of new books spread across various genres, but a few were just amazing! These books gave me something to think about, brought out a lot of emotions or just sent me on a wonderful adventure filled with fun and learning!

Click on the book image to read my review of the book

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Historical Fiction

The Violinist of Auschwitz The Lost Village

Fantasy Fiction

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (The Cursebreaker Series) Finale (Caraval, #3) A ​Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4)

Middle Grade Fiction

 Sol Invictus (The Eye of Ra, #2)

General/Contemporary Fiction

337

 

Do share your thoughts in case you have read the above books. If you have recommendations for such reads, please leave a comment so that I can add the book to my ever growing TBR pile!

Top 5 – 2021 Releases I’m Excited to Read!

This is a weekly meme hosted by Devouring Books that I came across recently!

The theme for this week is 2021 Releases.

Here is a list of books to be released in 2021 that I am excited about. A lot of them are ARCs and a few are upcoming that I am waiting to buy.

The below list doesn’t completely reflect my top 5, but the ones I am super excited about right now! I have tried to pick books from different genres and share them.

The Last Queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

A Vow So Bold and Deadly (Cursebreakers #3) by Brigid Kemmerer

A Vow So Bold and Deadly (The Cursebreaker Series)

Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Seven Perfect Things

The Watchmaker of Dachau by Carly Schabowski

The Watchmaker of Dachau

His Hidden Wife by Wendy Clarke

His Hidden Wife

 

Feel free to share your thoughts and recommendations! If interested please do participate!

Round-up 2020 – YA Fantasy Fiction series!

Hey guys!

As you might have observed, I have been doing round-up posts with a focus on genres read this year.

However, in this post, I wanted to focus on fantasy fiction book series that I have read in their entirety and enjoyed. I will focus not only on series that are completed, but even ones which have an upcoming sequel or final book.

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The Ember Quartet by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes, #3)A ​Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4)

This is the most talked about series and I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the books. I started the series at the beginning of this year and worked my way through the first three books! I fell in love with Laia, learnt to hate and then love Elias and create various relationships with the various characters we meet through the journey!

A wonderfully fast-paced and explosive series, the plot has all the elements of fantasy, romance, action, war, friendship, family and so on! You name it, it will be there!

The series came to a conclusion this December with the release of the final book, A Sky Beyond the Storm. I am glad that I read this series and was able to follow through until the end.

Caraval series by Stephanie Garber

Caraval (Caraval, #1)Legendary (Caraval, #2)Finale (Caraval, #3)

Another series that I thoroughly enjoyed this year was the Caraval series! Having read book 1 last year, I followed up with Books 2 and 3 this year. I know that I was a little late to the party, but better late than never right?

I would have regretted not taking the journey with the characters and playing the game! A wonderful concept, the author brought to us a whole new world and a new concept with characters to love, hate and wonder at. In the end, we cannot help but fall in love with the characters, the concept and the world! A complete roller-coaster of a ride, this series is definitely worth it’s popularity!

Read my reviews of Legendary here and Finale here.

Cursebreakers series by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)  A Heart So Fierce and Broken (The Cursebreaker Series)

Yet again we have another critically acclaimed and famous series that is currently doing the rounds thanks to the anticipation of the upcoming final novel: A Vow So Bold and Deadly.

This is a story of love and loss, of friendship and relationships, bonds between siblings and people. The author has crafted a lovely plot that will have the readers hooked from beginning to end.

I also love the way the author has played with words in the titles of the books and the meaning they have with respect to the sections of the plot covered in each book. The series has been worth reading so far and I cannot wait for the last book.

Check out my reviews of A Curse So Dark and Lonely and A Heart So Fierce and Broken.

Ash Princess trilogy by Laura Sebastian

Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1) Lady Smoke (The Ash Princess Trilogy, #2) Ember Queen (The Ash Princess Trilogy)

This is a gripping series that follows Theo as she navigates the palace that once belonged to her mother and finally finds a way to fight for what is hers. The journey is split among three books and the series is definitely worth reading!

I absolutely enjoyed reading about Theo and the various characters in the book. I have somehow missed to review the books on my blog, but I hope to get to it soon.

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These are just a few of the wonderful book series that I have read this year! I look forward to discovering and reading more in 2021!

Do share your thoughts and recommendations for new series!

#R3COMM3ND3D2020 with #BookBlogger Namrata Ganti (@redpillows91) #redpillows #damppebbles #BookRecommendations #publishedin2020

Thank you damppebbles for the feature!

damppebbles.com

Welcome bookish friends to damppebbles. Happy Wednesday. The weekend is almost in sight! Today I am delighted to welcome another brilliant book blogger (I have to ask, where are all the authors this year? Bloggers are smashing it!). It’s the lovely Namrata of redpillows. Namrata’s blog is fantastic so if you don’t already subscribe, head on over there in a tick and correct that.

So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2020? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors, book bloggers and bookstagrammers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2020. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have…

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Book Review: A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

About the Book:

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (The Cursebreaker Series)

Find the heir, win the crown.
Win the crown, save the kingdom.

Harper has freed Prince Rhen from the curse that almost destroyed his kingdom. But all is not well; rumours are rife that there is a rival heir with a stronger claim to the throne and that ‘Princess’ Harper of Disi is nothing but a fraud.

Grey has fled the castle carrying a terrible secret. When he is discovered by soldiers and returned to Ironrose by force, Grey’s allegiances begin to shift. And as he grows closer to an enemy princess, he is forced to decide whether he will stand against Rhen for the crown he never wanted …

My Thoughts:

Brigid Kemmerer brings to us a well-written, action-packed sequel that follows Grey’s journey as he deals with the truth about who he is. All secrets come to light at some point, and it is the same in this story. When the truth about Grey comes to light, he is seen as a threat to the kingdom. Rhen, now freed from the curse is not ready to see reason or understand. All he sees is betrayal.

The author weaves together a rather complicated set of emotions spread among all the chaaracters, all layered one on top of the other. To get to them, we have to peel back each layer and deal with what is revealed. With so many rumours about Harper and the rival heir about, Rhen is at his wits end to keep everything together. This story mainly focuses on Grey’s journey, his actions and decisions and his interaction with the enemy princess and kingdom. We see how he grows, how he learns to become a prince in his own right and how he interacts with the people around him. There is a stark contrast to Grey’s personality and Rhen’s which is beautifully brought out in this book.

This story is a wonderful sequel to the first, showing us a different aspect of the plot and story and culminating in a cliff hanger, leaving the reader wanting for more! I am sure that every cursebreaker is impatiently waiting for the next book to know what happens!

Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

About the Book:

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

 New York Times bestseller!

Has everything you’d want in a retelling of a classic fairy tale.” – Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things

“Absolutely spellbinding.” – Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval and Legendary

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

My thoughts:

It is very easy to tell someone that the only way to break a curse is to fall in love. However, what people do not tell and this is the main catch, is that it is not so easy to fall in love.

This is the problem that Prince Rhen of Emberfall is facing. Having made one mistake in his youth, he is cursed to relive the eighteenth year of his life again and again and again. What was his mistake you may wonder? He courted an enchantress and cast her away. Spurned due to this and seeking revenge, she curses him. The curse can only be lifted when he finds true love.

Doesn’t this sound like a typical fairy tale but with the roles reversed? The prince has to find his princess. However, nothing is as easy as this explanation and this is not just any fairytale. In this new age re-telling of the Beauty and the Beast, the author brings to us a new age spin on things. Once the curse begins, the prince has the duration of the autumn season to find his true love. If that doesn’t happen, he turns into a monster and becomes quite dangerous.

The author brings to us a tale of sorrow and grief that is hidden behind the walls of the castle and unknown to the people of the kingdom. The only story that the people know is that their king seems to have abandoned them. The Prince’s guard is the only other person around and the only one granted with the ability to move from this time/place to the present day Earth and bring back girls for the Prince to court.

During one such situation, we are introduced to Harper. Harper witnesses a kind of kidnapping and tried to stop it. It is in this situation that she is brought back to Rhen’s world. The author then brings to us a wonderful tale of friendship, loyalty and eventually love. The characters are well developed and you cannot help but fall in love with them and their story. If I continue to write more, I will only gush about the story and reveal all the plot twists. To avoid that I will stop here and conclude.

A very well thought out book, this is a must read for all! I cannot wait for Book 2 and I am sure most of you will feel the same.