Blog Tour: We Didn’t Ask For This by Adi Alsaid

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We Didn’t Ask for This by Adi Alsaid

Young Adult Contemporary 

Standalone

Excerpted from We Didn’t Ask for This by Adi Alsaid. © 2020 by Adi Alsaid, used with permission by Inkyard Press.

The lock-in was going fairly well until Marisa unleashed her cronies and chained herself to the main entrance.

 

No one really noticed right away, busy as they were taking part in a number of lock-in-related activities: laser tag in the parking garage, a sanctioned food fight in the cafeteria, a photo shoot tutorial with a renowned YouTube influencer.

 

Once a year, in April, the doors at Central International School’s K-12 campus closed—though they didn’t literally lock—to allow the high school students to roam free for the whole night. Having the next day off school was nowhere near the best part. Nor, strictly speaking, were the activities themselves, though they were extravagant and wonderful and distracted everyone from what Marisa was doing.

 

People fell in love on lock-in night. They stumbled upon new passions that would shape the rest of their lives, discovered friendships they could not imagine living without, before or after. Traumas were resolved on lock-in night, anxieties disappeared, never to return, not even after the buses arrived in the morning to take the students back home.

 

This was well known to the few students who had been lucky enough to have attended before, or who had siblings who had attended in years prior. At Central International School, the student body ebbed and flowed, changing drastically from year to year, and often even more frequently. It was common to have different classmates every semester, and sometimes students would find the person who sat next to them in class—the alluring redhead who scribbled song lyrics on the margins of their textbooks, who one time turned and asked to borrow a pen they never returned, though they had offered a smile that carried with it joy beyond a simple gesture; the redhead who might have one day soon become more than just a classmate—was simply gone from one day to the next.

 

Even by international school standards, the turnover rate of both students and faculty had always been high, though it had a great academic reputation, and the city in which it sat was a diverse and world-class cosmopolis. Yet people never seemed to stick around for long, as if families were carried in by the seaside breeze, and carried away by the same. Most students had multiple passports, and their parents were multinational, or transient because they were diplomats, or titans of industry, or missionaries, or digital nomads, or teachers within the international school world. They had roots in many places, thought of no one place as home—or rather, thought of everywhere they’d been as home.

 

So it was rare for a student to be around for several lock-in nights. Even the locals, who made up a mere fifteen percent of the school’s population, often temporarily relocated during their high school years—a boarding school exchange in Switzerland, a South American road trip in a van with their family, a missionary excursion in Central America.

 

Despite all this, the lore surrounding lock-in night was always momentous, starting as an excited murmur the first day of school and building to a frenzy by the night before the event itself a month or so before the end of the year. Students wondered how, exactly, their life would be improved by the evening. There was no question it would—they could feel it on their skin, their heartbeats thudded with the knowledge that things were about to change, they had absorbed the gossip, not just a rumor or two, but dozens and dozens of first-hand accounts or verifiable secondhand stories, so many of them that it did not feel like hearsay but like fact—it was the how that was exciting. Would the redheaded classmate return to slip a hand into theirs during the movie marathon on the roof garden? Would their fear of heights be cured by the trapeze the school had set up on the football field? Or would it simply be a night of such fun that the joy would sink into their bones and change them into happier people?

 

Lock-in night, simply put, was magic. Even all those who had never experienced it knew it to be true.

 

Which, of course, was why Marisa planned her protest for that well-loved night. To make people pay attention, disrupt what brings them joy.

 

The mad desire to act had existed long before her plan did. Marisa loved the water as a baby. Her parents told the stories to anyone who would listen. She always feigned embarrassment at their anecdotes about her hour-long baths and surprising performance in toddler swimming classes, her dark, curly hair unfurling in the water behind her like a mermaid, her brown eyes huge within the goggles she always carried around. But the truth was that she loved the stories. They confirmed this was not a passing fad, not a childhood obsession that would lose its significance over time, not a baby blanket carried around charmingly until age ten, when

 

it was shoved into a box and donated.

 

When she discovered snorkeling and, later, diving, that love blew wide open. This? This had been possible this whole time?

 

Though Marisa was only seventeen, her parents’ constant relocations for work meant she’d seen a hefty percentage of the world’s waters. She’d snorkeled in Mexico, Fiji, the Philippines, the Great Barrier Reef, Belize. And the more she did it, the more her heart broke. Human beings had found a way to kill water.

 

The places famed for their snorkeling were heart-­ wrenching. The destroyed beige reefs littered the oceans like ornate gravestones. They should have been resplendent with color. Books and scientists told her as much, and other divers did, too. Of course, though, they weren’t. Not anymore. The world had ruined that particular beauty before Marisa had ever had a chance to see it, killing the corals with spilled chemicals, suffocating the oceans with heat. Every time she surfaced, she would dive into the internet, trying to find a way to help. Changing her sunscreen to the reef-safe kind, cleaning up plastic on the beach, asking her parents to donate yet again; nothing felt big enough.

 

Then came the three-day weekend at the start of the school year that changed it all. She had convinced her parents to take the family to the beach, and the Cuevases, who knew their frequent moves could be hard on the children, relented de-spite the fact that neither of them felt settled in at work yet, and they would have really liked to stay in the city and run errands.

 

Marisa had heard amazing things about the snorkeling in the region surrounding the beach. She was always skeptical when she heard anything like that; she’d been disappointed enough. She was fine just swimming among whatever fish remained in the area and pretending this was what it had al-ways been like, this was the wondrous alien world other divers described. After their most recent move, she’d done her usual research and found on the most trustworthy sources that an untouched blip still existed, not too far from her new school.

 

She convinced her parents, who knew it was better to indulge Marisa than fight her, to take a boat to an island, then another, smaller boat to another, smaller island. Arriving at the clear, turquoise waters, which were peppered with butterflies from who knows where fluttering across the surface, whole waves of them outnumbering the tourists she had seen even on the mainland, Marisa allowed herself to hope. Well before her family was ready, Marisa was in her flippers and mask, and she sat on the edge of the boat and let herself fall backward into the warm waters. At first, her heart had soared: greens! Purples! Oranges! Bright colors in the reefs, finally. The schools of fish were more like armies, numbered not in dozens but in hundreds, maybe even thousands, various species all swimming in their separate schools, like great big flags unfurling mightily in the water.

 

Marisa followed them, kicking delightedly, her heart flooding with joy. Then she turned a corner around some rocks and her breath caught, as if someone had reached inside her chest and closed a massive fist around her lungs. Even here, she found murk and drudgery, the reef not on display so much as its dying was.

 

She emerged from the water and took off her mask, tears mixing with the waves. People and the trash with which they suffocated the world. She looked around, shading her eyes from the shimmering sunlight with her free hand. Maybe it was time to accept the world as it was.

 

As she turned to swim back to shore, she caught sight of something on the far end of the island. A construction site. Large, acres and acres of it, from what Marisa could tell, and a handful of bulldozers. She swam closer and saw the sign announcing the coming resort. Nearby, a trickle of brown-gray water weaved its way from below the makeshift wall around the site and dribbled onto the sand.

 

Yes, it was a travesty, an outrage that the world had been ruined before her arrival. But that trickle hadn’t reached all the way to the shore, not yet.

 

As soon as she and her family made it back to their eco-hotel that day, Marisa decided she had to stop that waste from reaching the ocean. Whatever she could do for the reefs, she was going to do it. If it was just shutting down that one construction site, or if it was something much bigger, she had to try. What else was there but to try?

 

Months of stewing later, of planning, of seeing the ruined remains of the ocean floors every time she closed her eyes, of thinking of a way to make everyone else see what she saw. It all led up to this moment, when Marisa hoisted a chain from the duffel bag she’d hidden on campus a few days ago. She weaved it through the handles on the double doors that led into the main school building, then she wrapped it three times around her own body, uncomfortably tight, so bolt cutters could not break through the metal without snagging on her skin. When she was satisfied, she grabbed three giant padlocks from the bag and locked herself in, meaning to stay.

 

She set the keys in the middle of her palm, rubbing them each in a pad of butter procured earlier from the cafeteria, and which had warmed nicely in her pocket throughout the afternoon. Then Marisa, rehearsing her speech in her mind one last time, looked up. She expected to see a sizable crowd already gathering. What she saw instead was a lanky blond sophomore leaving the bathroom across the open expanse of the building’s foyer. The boy was checking to see if he’d re-membered to zip up. He had not.

 

When his eyes met Marisa’s, he could tell she had seen him checking, and he stepped quickly away from her line of sight, failing to notice the heavy metal chain wrapped around her torso.

Go and grab your copy today.

Yours in Rebellion, The Reading Rebel

 

This Rebel Reviews: Interference by Kay Honeyman

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Interfence by Kay Honeyman

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary 

Standalone

Published on September 27th, 2016

Synopsis

I will not get involved…I will not get involved…I will not get involved…

As a congressman’s daughter in Washington, DC, Kate Hamilton always pushes to make things right. But when a scandal sends her family to Red Dirt, Texas, she decides to step back for a while. She’ll take pictures for her portfolio. She’ll volunteer at her aunt’s animal shelter. And most of all, she’ll stay out of politics (including her father’s latest election) and away from guys (especially after her ex’s betrayal).

But…

If Kate’s political skills can be useful in Red Dirt, should she really let them go to waste? After all, her friend Ana Gomez and quarterback Kyle Stone would be a perfect match. Her dad’s campaign could benefit from a teenage perspective. The irritatingly handsome Hunter Price should learn he doesn’t know everything…When Kate’s plans backfire, she must find the soul beneath her DC spin, and risk her heart—the biggest involvement of all.

My Review

I am a huge Jane Austen fan and when I heard this pitched as Emma meets Friday Night Lights I knew I had to read it. It didn’t disappoint. I loved Kate even if she always thought she was right she had good intentions and was so kind, caring, and strong. She is moved back to her father’s home town with her parents after causing a scandal that hurt his political career. At least that was their story for moving Kate there. Turns out it has just as much to do with her as her father wanting to run for Red Dirt congressional seat. I adored the romance between Kate and Hunter. They were so cute together and I loved their banter. Hunter is a swoon-worthy hero and the perfect Mr.Knightly. I loved that this book had a main character who is a photographer because I love photography. I also really liked how the book showed both the good and bad side of politics. I really love books in small towns because I am from one and it always brings back all the memories and the author wrote small-town life perfectly. The writing and plot were great. I really needed a fun contemporary novel and this book delivered. I highly recommend this book for football fans, Emma fans, and people who just love a good small-town story.

Rating: 5 stars

This Rebel Reviews: His Hideous Heart by Various Authors

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His Hideous Heart: Thirteen of Edgar Allan Poe’s Most Unsettling Tales Reimagined 

Genre: Young Adult Retelling

Standalone book of short stories

My Review

His Hideous Heart is a collection of 13 Edgar Allan Poe’s stories or poems retold by YA authors. This book also has a collection of the original 13 stories as well. I read the original story then the story that it inspired to be able to judge how well the author took the elements from the original story and either made them their own or failed to do so. I am not going to review the original stories as everything about their genius and greatness has already been said.

“She Rode a Horse of Fire” by Kendare Blake inspired by “Metzengerstein”- I love Kendare Blake’s writing and was so excited to hear she was going to be in this collection. I read the original story of “Metzengerstein” before I read this tale. It stays very true to the story while putting a fresh spin on it. I love how the story was told by Eliza a servent in the Baron’s manor and not the Baron himself. I loved the ending especially the last paragraph and think Poe would be proud that his story inspired this one. Rating: 5 stars

“It’s Carnival” by Tiffany D. Jackson inspired by “The Cask of Amontillado” – I loved how this story had a girl PoC main character. I love a great revenge story especially girls getting revenge. So I loved this. It stayed true to the original but made it more modern and easier to connect with the main character. Rating: 5 stars

“Night-Tide” by Tessa Gratton inspired by “Annabel Lee”- Annabel Lee is one of my favorite poems so I was really worried to read this retelling. I loved the twist the author put on it and she keeps the tone of the story true to the tragicness of the poem. Rating: 4 stars

“The Glittering Death” by Caleb Roehrig inspired by “The Pit and the Pendulum” – This one I was very curious about how it would be retold. What is going to be the pit, the pendulum, and who is going to be the stand-in for the Inquisition? I always thought this would be one of the harder Poe stories to retell. I loved it. The direction the author had it go was perfect. Who he picked to be the Inquisition was genius. Rating: 4 stars

“A Drop of Stolen Ink” by Emily Lloyd-Jones inspired by “The Purloined Letter”- I loved The Hearts We Sold by this author so much and I loved this science-fiction take on “The Purloined Letter” This is my favorite story in the book. The world, characters, and the writing drew me in. The author took Poe’s story and turned it into so much more. Rating: 5 stars

“Happy Days, Sweetheart” by Stephanie Kuehn inspired by “The Tell-Tale Heart”- The Tell-Tale Heart is one of my top favorite Poe stories. I love that the author added the current issues we face in society into the story. But one change I didn’t agree with. Rating: 3 stars

“The Raven (Remix) by Amanda Lovelace inspired by “The Raven”-  The Raven is a beautiful poem. Lovelace has taken the Raven and turned it into Blackout Poetry. For those who don’t know what it is it is blacking out words in a story or poem to make a new one using the words and letters from the original. Personally, I find this an insult to Poe. Also, this seemed like the author was too lazy to retell The Raven. Rating: 2 stars

“Changeling” by Marieke Nijkamp inspired by “Hop-Frog”- I loved how the author retold this story. She stayed true to the story while adding a really imaginative and neat twist. Rating: 5 stars

“The Oval Filter by Lamar Giles inspired by “The Oval Portrait”- I loved how the author bought social media into this story and made it so modern by setting it in a high school. He thought of the perfect way to bring this story into the present without losing the tone or truth of the original story. Rating: 4 stars

“Red” by Hillary Monahan inspired by “The Masque of the Red Death”-  I loved which character the author told this story from. I have always loved the original story of beauty and death and the author turned this into one with beauty and death and another message as well. Rating: 5 stars

“Lygia” by Dahlia Adler inspired by “Ligeia”- No one is better at death and madness than Poe. I thought this retelling was perfect. The author captured Poe’s story to perfection. The obsession and the madness of the main character perfectly matched Poe’s main from the original story. This is one of the best stories in this collection of retellings. Rating: 5 stars

“The Fall of the Bank of Usher” by Fran Wilde inspired by “The Fall of the House of Usher” – This story was so unique while keeping all the elements of the original story just mixing them up a bit. I loved all the characters in this story and found the world really interesting. Rating: 5 stars

“The Murders in the Rue Apartelle Boracay” by Rin Chupeco inspired by “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”- I really didn’t care for this story. It had nothing to do with the story itself which I thought was a great retelling but I didn’t connect with the character telling it. I loved the diversity of the story. Rating: 3.5 stars

If you are a fan of Poe’s work or discovering it for the first time I highly recommend this book. You can read the original stories and some amazing retellings by many talented authors.

My favorite stories are She Rode a Horse of Fire, A Drop of Stolen Ink, Lygia, and The Fall of the Bank of Usher.

My least favorites are The Raven(Remix), Happy Days, Sweetheart, and The Murders of Rue Apartelle Boracay.

*Thanks so much to Flatiron Books for the ARC through Netgalley. All opinions are my own*

I also bought my own copy as well.

Wednesday Books Blog Tour and Review: Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

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Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Retelling

Standalone

Release date: February 18, 2020

About:

Hannah Capin’s Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

Jade and her friends Jenny, Mads, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Jade’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Jade as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Jade transfers to St. Andrew’s Prep. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

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About the author: Hannah Capin is the author of Foul is Fair and The Dead Queens Club, a feminist retelling of the wives of Henry VIII. When she isn’t writing, she can be found singing, sailing, or pulling marathon gossip sessions with her girl squad. She lives in Tidewater, Virginia.

My Review

When Jade is raped at a party by the St. Andrew’s lacrosse team. Jade and her best friends aka her coven vow to get revenge. This a young adult retelling of Macbeth. Sadly I haven’t read Macbeth yet so I can’t vouch for how faithful this book is to the original story.

Jade the main character is strong, vicious, cruel when needed, and willing to go to any length to get what is hers. I have always loved characters like Jade and she worked her way into my dark heart within the first few chapters. I have always been drawn to characters that are loyal and the coven is loyal as you get. I love how every member of the group is so different but willing to do anything for each other.

My favorite relationship in the book is between Jade and Mads her best friend. There is so much understanding and love between them.  Jade’s revenge plan is brilliant and bloody. The book is written from Jade’s PoV and the scenes of her dealing with the trauma and flashbacks of the attack are heartbreaking. The writing is brutal, sharp, and powerful.  It was like I could feel Jade’s thirst for revenge bleeding off the pages. I am going to miss Jade and her coven but am very happy with how it ended. I can’t wait for Hannah Capin’s next book.

Trigger Warnings: Sexual assault(not depicted but there are some flashbacks), rape culture, violence, an abusive relationship, suicide, and a brief scene of transphobic bullying

*I was given this book for an honest review by Wednesday Books through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.*

Rating: 5 stars

Blurbs:
“Fierce, vicious, and electric. If books had teeth, Foul Is Fair would have fangs. Capin’s language glitters dark and her writing cuts deep. Revenge is a dish best served by this deliciously unapologetic coven.” – Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of Firsts and Last Girl Lied To

“Capin’s writing will seduce you with its beauty and then, when you least suspect it, slice you to the bone—just like Foul is Fair’s captivating, vicious, entirely unforgettable heroine, Jade.” – Layne Fargo, author of Temper and co-host of Unlikeable Female Characters Podcast

“Vicious and beautifully brutal, Foul is Fair gives a sword to every girl who has ever been a victim and makes them a warrior. This book is pulls no punches and will make anyone think twice before uttering the phrase ‘just a girl’. An unapologetic feminist battle-cry that leaves you breathless and thirsting for vengeance.” – Sonia Hartl, author of Have a Little Faith in Me

“Foul is Fair delivers the story of a girl who snatches control back from a world that stole it away, through whatever means necessary. Hannah Capin deftly combines stunningly lyrical prose with the raw power of engulfing fury, sending a message written in blood. In a world where too many are forced into silence, this book roars back.” – S. Gonzales, author of The Law of Inertia and Only Mostly Devastated

Be sure to preorder your own copy of Foul is Fair by clicking the link below:

Preorder links to Amazon and other sites

I would like to thank Wednesday Books for giving me the chance to be part of this tour and read this amazing book. I can’t wait for my finished copy to come in the mail. I already have a place picked out on my shelf.

This Rebel Reviews: One Night of Temptation by Darcy Burke

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One Night of Temptation by Darcy Burke

Book 6 in the Wicked Dukes Club

Genre: Adult Regency Romance

My Review

Lady Penelope is willing to anything to get out of marrying the horrible man her parents chose for her. Even fake a kidnapping. In the process of this, she meets Hugh the local clergyman and he agrees to help her hide for the night and then take her home the next morning, helping ruin her in the eyes of society and making her unmarriageable.

I loved Penelope from chapter one. Penelope is so strong and brave to do whatever she has to get out of a marriage with a man she hates. I love how kind and witty Penelope is. Hugh was such an amazing hero. His compassionate nature and desire to help everyone made me fall in love with him. Penelope and Hugh have such great chemistry. My favorite parts are what happened in the hotel room when he was hiding her and the first kiss scene. I was excited to finally see a clergyman as a hero in a regency romance novel that isn’t religious. I have always wanted more clergyman heroes in my regency books because it was a common profession of the time and it seems like it is such a neglected romance novel idea. I loved this book and if you love regency romance I highly recommend it.

Rating: 5 stars

Content Rating: Adult

*Thanks to Darcy Burke and Netgalley for a copy of this book to review. All opinions are my own.*

This Rebel Reviews: Sadie by Courtney Summers

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Sadie by Courtney Summers

Genre: Young Adult Mystery/Thriller

Standalone

My Review

I didn’t know anything about this book other than it was a thriller and the tag line on the cover which says “If she dies, she takes the truth with her”. I NEVER read a book without having some idea about what the book is about. I did with this one and I highly recommend that you read this book knowing only what I did. You will not regret it.

I know some people just hate going in blind and I can understand that. You don’t want to waste your time on something that you don’t know anything about. So I have left a full review below.

19-year-old Sadie has had a hard life. She is raising her sister Mattie single-handed. Even before her druggie and alcoholic mother took off and left them without a word. Mattie is the only bright spot in Sadie’s life and she is completely devoted to her. When Mattie is murdered, Sadie is determined to find the man who killed her sister. Sadie’s story is told in a very unique way. This book switches between the PoV of Sadie who is looking for the man who killed her sister and the podcast The Girls which is about the journalist looking into the case of Sadie’s disappearance. I fell in love with Sadie’s character. Sadie is not an easy character to get to know. She doesn’t give up her secrets or her thoughts easily and even then you feel like she hates revealing them. I didn’t want to put this book down. I was so invested in Sadie and her story. This book has so many great twists and turns. I loved the writing especially Sadie’s chapters. I didn’t see the ending coming. This book is young adult but I think many adult readers will love it as well. I listened to the audiobook and followed along in my hardback. The audiobook is amazing. It is a full cast and one of the best I have ever listened to. I can’t wait to get my hands on Cracked up to be an older book by Courtney Summers which is being re-released in February by Wednesday Books.

Rating: 5 stars

 

This Rebel Reviews: Someone to Remember by Mary Balogh

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Someone to Remember by Mary Balogh

Book 7 in the Westcott series 

Genre: Adult Regency Romance

My Review 

In this novella by Mary Balogh, Matilda Westcott gets a second chance at love with Charles Sawyer. They were in love as young adults but Matilda refused him because her parents didn’t approve. It has been 34 years and Matilda is now a spinster who takes care of her mother and Charles’s wife has passed and they are thrown together again. I loved this story so much. Second Chance romances are one of my favorite romance tropes. I loved both Matilda and Charles. They have both lived very different lives since they courted 34 years ago and I loved watching them reconnect and discover you are never too old to fall in love again. I wish this story was longer. That is my main complaint. I haven’t read the other books in the series before reading this one and it took me a while to get everyone straight as there are a lot of characters. I also fell in love with a few of the other characters even if they were not in the novel much. I am going to pick up the rest of the series as soon as I can. Mary Balogh is a genius at writing realistic regency romance. I highly recommend her books to all romance lovers. I prefer her later work but her early work is good as well.

Rating: 4 stars

*I was given this book for review by Berkley Publishing Group/Penguin Random House through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Content: Adult

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020

Dear Rebellious Readers,

1. Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare– the sequel series to one of my favorite series ever The Infernal Devices is finally almost here. I freak out on a daily basis about this book. More of my favorite characters and they have kids who are the main characters. March 3 can’t come fast enough.

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2. Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan– I am totally obsessed with this series. Wicked Saints is one of my favorite books. I get it out every so often to reread my favorite parts. I have 2 copies and dream of getting my hands on a Ruthless Gods ARC.

3. Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff– I love Aurora Rising so much and after that ending, I need this book now.

4. House of Earth and Bone by Sarah J Maas– an adult fantasy by SJM!? I am there. I love her ToG and ACOTAR series so much and am so excited to see what Maas writes next.

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5. Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa– I loved book one of this series Shadow of the Fox and can’t wait for this come out so I can reread book one and then read books 2 and 3. I am looking forward to binging this series. I love Julie Kagawa.

6. The Betrothed by Kiera Cass- I loved The Selection series and have been waiting for Cass to write a new series for a while and I am so excited to read this.

7. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins- I am so hyped to return to the world of the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games holds a very special place in my heart.

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8. TRUEL1F3 by Jay Kristoff- I love everything Jay Kristoff writes and loved book one in this series. I can’t wait to binge read books 2 and 3.

9.  Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin- I am reading an ARC of this book right now and it is amazing. I can’t wait to read more after I write this blog post. I am planning on buying myself a finished copy. If you love revenge, grey characters, and writing that is great, read this book.

10. The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar- I am so excited about the book. It looks so great and I love enemies to lovers and henna tattoos sound like my perfect book.

What are your most anticipated releases for the first half of 2020? Do we any of the same books that we are excited about? Please leave your thoughts in the comments

Yours in Rebellion,

Nicole the Reading Rebel

This Rebel Reviews: The Duke’s Desire by Erica Ridley

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The Duke’s Desire by Erica Ridley

Genre: Adult Regency Romance

Book 8 in the 12 Dukes of Christmas series

Synopsis

Meg Church adores two things: life in a village of perennial Yuletide, and the freedom of being a spinster with no reputation to protect. Oh, very well, three things: She’s harbored a secret tendre for Christmas curmudgeon Lucien le Duc since the moment she first glimpsed him. But the sexy blacksmith won’t give her the time of day, much less a night of torrid passion.

Ever since Lucien le Duc was forced to flee his beloved France during the revolution, his all-consuming goal has been to recover not only his lost land and fortune, but also his rightful place among the French aristocracy. He would never be distracted by an English dairy maid’s sultry glances… or her soul-consuming kisses… or the temptation to turn one night into forever…

My Review

I love both Meg and Lucien. Meg is so spunky, kind, and is always so herself and not ashamed of it that you can’t help but love her and want to be her friend. Lucien was forced to leave France when he was young and has taken care of his family for years. I love how much he loves his family and his home country. He will do anything for them.  He has dreamed of returning to France and reclaiming his family name and lands and in a few weeks, he is about to get his wish. But he is going to miss his family. He always thought they would return together but his brother and sister are both married and have put down roots in the town of Christmas. Lucien doesn’t speak English and is proud of it but he decides to learn so he can better communicate with his family and make them feel at home if they ever come to France. Meg offers to help him. Meg slowly teaching him and him relaxing around her and showing a different side of himself to her was so heart-melting and tender. I love how their relationship grows in this book and loved watching these two find they’re happily ever after. This is a very feel-good read with a bit of spice. It is the perfect Christmas read. I highly recommend it.

*I was given this copy for an honest review by Erica Ridley via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.*

Rating: 5 stars

Content: Adult

 

2020 Reading Goals

Hi Rebellious Readers,

The past few days I have been thinking about my reading, blogging, and bookstagram goals for next year. These past few years have been very sad and stressful for me. I was helping my mom take care of my grandmother who has dementia for over 4 years. We have finally found her a place in a memory care facility. Her dementia has gotten so bad that it is impossible for us to care for her. She needs to be watched and cared for 24-7 now because she had started trying to run away, turning on the stove and oven, and other things that make it unsafe for both herself and others if she is not under the care of professionals.

Sorry to ramble on like this and I know it has nothing to do with my reading goals for 2020. It is easier for me to write about this then talk to people in person about it. So back to the goals.

1. My Goodreads Goals- I am setting my Goodreads goal this year at 106 books. I set it last year for 100 and read 103. I am hoping to finish one or two more before 2020(btw I did finish 2 more bringing my total to 105). I am also setting a goal for total pages to read I want to get to 40,000 this year.

2. Read at least 10 classics- I love reading classics but many of them HUGE and while I have been dying to Middlemarch, Anna Karenina, and The Portrait of a Lady. The size of them has been intimidating me. It is time to pick them up and read them. If I can read War and Peace I can read these three books.

3. Read books on my shelves- I have a lot of books on my shelves I haven’t read yet. My goal is to read at least half of them. Which is no small task as I gave up on counting them a long time ago.

4. Write better reviews- I think my reviews are good but not great. I want them to be more organized and much better worded. I want to do a great job. Authors and Publishers count on reviews to sell books and I hate to think I am letting them down.

5. Post every day on Bookstagram and improve my pictures- I haven’t been posting as regularly as I want too. I now have a lot more time to take pictures and improve my amateur camera skills.

6. Do more unboxings, reading updates, and share more of my life on my bookstagram stories- I get so nervous making videos. I get tongue-tied and sometimes my sentences don’t make sense and I have to resay or rephrase what I just said. But the only way to get better is to practice so this year I am going to pluck up the courage and learn to talk on camera like a normal person.

7. Make more friends and interact with more people in the book community- I am a very shy person and always worry I am bugging someone or that they will not like me or that I will say something wrong. It is time to stop. I have made some great friends and meet some amazing people I never would have met without this amazing community and feel like I have found my tribe. I can’t tell you how many times I almost dmed someone to talk about a book but was too shy to do it.

What are your reading goals this year?

Yours in Rebellion,

Nicole the Reading Rebel