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📚Emily’s Top 10 Books Read In 2020📚

2020 may have been a sucky year but it was actually my best reading year. I read 250 books in 2020 but these 10 stood above the rest. This was also the year I discovered my love of middle grade as I’m sure you will notice in this post. I hope 2021 will bring even more wonderful books into my life and I can’t wait to see what it holds. Let me know if you have read any of these books!

10. Keeper of the Lost Cities: Legacy

(Keeper of the Lost Cities #8)

By Shannon Messenger

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

Synopsis For KOTLC Book 1: Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” 
There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first. 

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12842828-keeper-of-the-lost-cities?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=L07IQaG0y5&rank=1

9. Unbirthday

(Twisted Tales #10)

By Liz Braswell

Young Adult

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: What if Wonderland was in peril and Alice was very, very late?
Alice is different than other eighteen-year-old ladies in Kexford, which is perfectly fine with her. She’d rather spend golden afternoons with her trusty camera or in her aunt Vivian’s lively salon, ignoring her sister’s wishes that she stop all that “nonsense” and become a “respectable” member of society. Alice is happy to meander to Miss. Yao’s teashop or to visit the children playing in the Square. She’s also interested in learning more about the young lawyer she met there, but just because she’s curious, of course, not because he was sweet and charming.

But when Alice develops photographs she has recently taken about town, familiar faces of old suddenly appear in the place of her actual subjects-the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar. There’s something eerily off about them, even for Wonderland creatures. And as Alice develops a self-portrait, she finds the most disturbing image of all-a badly-injured dark-haired girl asking for Alice’s help. Mary Ann.

Returning to the place of nonsense from her childhood, Alice finds herself on a mission to stop the Queen of Hearts’ tyrannical rule and to find her place in both worlds. But will she able to do so . . . before the End of Time?

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50358479-unbirthday?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=zeLBw6cqOb&rank=1

8. The Tyrant’s Tomb

(The Trials of Apollo #4)

By Rick Riordan

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis For The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1):

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26252859-the-hidden-oracle?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=PeW3USjS0E&rank=1

7. The Ship of the Dead

(Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3)

By Rick Riordan

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis For The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase #1):

Magnus Chase has seen his share of trouble. Ever since that terrible night two years ago when his mother told him to run, he has lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, staying one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, Magnus learns that someone else is trying to track him down—his uncle Randolph, a man his mother had always warned him about. When Magnus tries to outmaneuver his uncle, he falls right into his clutches. Randolph starts rambling about Norse history and Magnus’s birthright: a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

The more Randolph talks, the more puzzle pieces fall into place. Stories about the gods of Asgard, wolves, and Doomsday bubble up from Magnus’s memory. But he doesn’t have time to consider it all before a fire giant attacks the city, forcing him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents. . . .

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15724396-the-sword-of-summer?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=wvUOnOK9vI&rank=1

6. Keeper of the Lost Cities: Nightfall

(Keeper of the Lost Cities #6)

By Shannon Messenger

Middle Grade

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5. Night of the Dragon

(Shadow of the Fox #3)

By Julie Kagawa

Young Adult

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis For Shadow of the Fox (#1): One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself. 

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44900350-night-of-the-dragon

4. Keeper of the Lost Cities: Neverseen

(Keeper of the Lost Cities #4)

By Shannon Messenger

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

3. Keeper of the Lost Cities: Lodestar

(Keeper of the Lost Cities #5)

By Shannon Messenger

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

2. Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen

Classic Literature

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Since its immediate success in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen called this brilliant work “her own darling child” and its vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, “as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print.” The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. And Jane Austen’s radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35261321-pride-and-prejudice

1 Kingdom of the Wicked

(Kingdom of the Wicked #1)

By Kerri Maniscalco

Young Adult

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems… 

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52735921-kingdom-of-the-wicked?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=w3yHBnSFXJ&rank=1

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

Follow me on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/neverlandsreads  

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📚Emily’s Top 10 Books Read in 2019📚

I ended up reading 106 books in 2019 but there were some favorites that stood above the rest. Here are the top 10 reads of my 2019 reading year!

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10. Tiger Queen

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By Annie Sulivan

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”

In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.

But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42281646-tiger-queen?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=5cOdoVgrHj&rank=1 

 

9. Peter Pan

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By J.M. Barrie

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Neverland is home to Peter Pan, a young boy who has never grown up. On one of his visits to London, Peter makes the acquaintance of young Wendy Darling, whom he invites to travel with him to Neverland and become the mother of his gang of Lost Boys. Flying through the night sky to Neverland, Wendy and her brothers John and Michael soon become caught up in marvelous adventures with the Indian Princess Tiger Lily, the loyal fairy Tinker Bell, and Peter’s nemesis, the sinister hook-handed pirate known as Captain Hook.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22784968-peter-pan 

 

8. Spin the Dawn

(The Blood of Stars #1)

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By Elizabeth Lim

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42815556-spin-the-dawn?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=4O8e8o8OSf&rank=1

 

7. The House of Hades

(The Heroes of Olympus #4)

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By Rick Riordan

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Hazel stands at a crossroads. She and the remaining crew of the Argo II could return home with the Athena Parthenos statue and try to stop Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter from going to war. Or they could continue their quest to find the House of Hades, where they might be able to open the Doors of Death, rescue their friends Percy and Annabeth from Tartarus, and prevent monsters from being reincarnated in the mortal world. Whichever road they decide to take, they have to hurry, because time is running out. Gaea, the bloodthirsty Earth Mother, has set the date of August 1 for her rise to power.

Annabeth and Percy are overwhelmed. How will the two of them make it through Tartarus? Starving, thirsty, and in pain, they are barely able to stumble on in the dark and poisonous landscape that holds new horrors at every turn. They have no way of locating the Doors of Death. Even if they did, a legion of Gaea’s strongest monsters guards the Doors on the Tartarus side. Annabeth and Percy can’t exactly launch a frontal assault.

Despite the terrible odds, Hazel, Annabeth, Percy, and the other demigods of the prophecy know that there is only one choice: to attempt the impossible. Not just for themselves, but for everyone they love. Even though love can be the riskiest choice of all.

Join the demigods as they face their biggest challenges yet in The House of Hades, the hair-raising penultimate book in the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12127810-the-house-of-hades?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=CJeM9gdAmT&rank=1 

 

6. The Blood of Olympus 

(The Heroes of Olympus #5)

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By Rick Riordan

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Nico had warned them. Going through the House of Hades would stir the demigods’ worst memories. Their ghosts would become restless. Nico may actually become a ghost if he has to shadow-travel with Reyna and Coach Hedge one more time. But that might be better than the alternative: allowing someone else to die, as Hades foretold.

Jason’s ghost is his mother, who abandoned him when he was little. He may not know how he is going to prove himself as a leader, but he does know that he will not break promises like she did. He will complete his line of the prophecy: To storm or fire the world must fall.

Reyna fears the ghosts of her ancestors, who radiate anger. But she can’t allow them to distract her from getting the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood before war breaks out between the Romans and Greeks. Will she have enough strength to succeed, especially with a deadly hunter on her trail?

Leo fears that his plan won’t work, that his friends might interfere. But there is no other way. All of them know that one of the Seven has to die in order to defeat Gaea, the Earth Mother.

Piper must learn to give herself over to fear. Only then will she be able to do her part at the end: utter a single word.

Heroes, gods, and monsters all have a role to play in the climactic fulfillment of the prophecy in The Blood of Olympus, the electrifying finale of the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18705209-the-blood-of-olympus 

 

5. Aurora Rising

(The Aurora Cycle #1)

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By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30075662-aurora-rising?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=nNA93hOwfT&rank=1 

 

4. The Unhoneymooners

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By Christina Lauren

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42201431-the-unhoneymooners?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=DqOMNGyK1V&rank=1 

 

3. The Wicked King

(The Folk of the Air #2)

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By Holly Black

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26032887-the-wicked-king?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=n261zeFcPi&rank=1 

 

2. The Beautiful

(The Beautiful #1)

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By Renee Ahdieh

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful. 

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42265183-the-beautiful?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=lSCmvr6nzC&rank=1 

 

1. The Queen of Nothing

(The Folk of the Air #3)

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By Holly Black

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26032912-the-queen-of-nothing 

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📝REVIEW📝 ~ 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 ~ Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2) ~ Author: Julie Kagawa ~ Genre: #YA #Fantasy ~ Available June 18th, 2019!

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Soul of the Sword

(Shadow of the Fox #2)

By

Julie Kagawa

Genre: #YA #Fantasy

My Rating: 4.5

Cover: 4

Publication: June 18th, 2019

Read: June 9th, 2019

POV: First-person dual perspective

Hardcover: 432

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41861646-soul-of-the-sword

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Sword-Shadow-Julie-Kagawa/dp/1335184996/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2LBN4D9HRYN11&keywords=soul+of+the+sword&qid=1560132054&s=gateway&sprefix=soul+of+the%2Caps%2C134&sr=8-2

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/226819-shadow-of-the-fox

Synopsis:

One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

📝My Review📝:

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

4.5 Stars

In this exciting sequel to Soul of the Sword we see Yumeko and the squad continue their journey to the Steel Feather Temple but on top of trying to keep the scroll safe there is the added challenge of Tatsumi now being possessed by the demon Hakaimono. While Hakaimono is off causing lots of chaos Yumeko has made it her goal to save Tatsumi from the demon possessing him on top of getting the scroll to the Steel Feather Temple. But this journey is not easy and the squad (Okame, Reika, Master Jiro, and Daisuke) hit many roadblocks along the way. It is an exciting and thrilling story that is nothing short of enjoyable. If you loved the first book then you will love this one as well.

Now why is this not a 5 star read if I enjoyed it so much? Here are my critiques. This was a similar issue with the first book but the story is very slow moving. There is one goal in mind and it takes the entire book to get there. Now this is not a huge issue but I just wish there was more. I want more from this story. Secondly there was many predictable moments. While some things did come as a shock to me there was a lot that did not as well. Predictability is not bad but it makes the story a little less enjoyable. Lastly Tatsumi was not in this book that much and I missed him…that is a personal thing but these are my reasons why this book is a 4.5.

Let’s talk about character development. There was a lot and I am thrilled about it. Yumeko grew so much! One of my complaints about the first book was that she was too innocent. Well not anymore my friends Yumeko really explores her kitsune side in this book and uses her powers a lot more. She also grows as a person. She was very oblivious to the world in the first book but she becomes a lot more aware in this one. She starts to understand feelings as well (not just romantic feelings) and I think that was so important to her character development. Reika really took charge in this book, I really saw her as the leader of our little squad and not a force to be trifled with. Daisuke and Okame! My precious boys I love them. They also develop a lot in this book but I won’t say how. I think it is better left unknown before going into the book. What I will say is that Okame is not the only humorous character anymore. Lastly Tatsumi/Hakaimono, well Hakaimono is a demon so he does pretty shady things. Like I mentioned we don’t see Tatsumi much since he is possessed but the dynamic and development of these two characters is very important. You’ll see what I mean when you read it.

I was dying to read this book and I was not disappointed. This series is really one of my favorites and I am so excited to see how it is going to end. It is so unique and different from much of what is out there nowadays and I want more! Everytime I finish one of these books I miss the story and characters and want to reread it immediately. Not many books can do that.

 

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📚Emily’s Top 10 Books Read in 2018📚

There were so many great books that I read in 2018…but there were some favorites that stood out above all the rest. Here are my top 10 books that I read in 2018!

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10. Even The Darkest Stars

(Even The Darkest Stars #1)

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By Heather Fawcett

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer who is determined to best River, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.

The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and even worse at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth of their mission and of her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26958226-even-the-darkest-stars?ac=1&from_search=true

 

9. Shadow of The Fox

(Shadow of The Fox #1)

36672988

By Julie Kagawa

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36672988-shadow-of-the-fox?ac=1&from_search=true

 

8. Isla and the Happily Ever After

(Anna and the French Kiss #3)

9627755

By Stephanie Perkins

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9627755-isla-and-the-happily-ever-after?ac=1&from_search=true

 

7. Roomies

34466910

By Christina Lauren

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: From subway to Broadway to happily ever after. Modern love in all its thrill, hilarity, and uncertainty has never been so compulsively readable as in New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren’s romantic novel.

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin Mcloughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.

Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.

Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34466910-roomies?ac=1&from_search=true

 

6. Kingdom of Ash

(Throne of Glass #7)

33590260

By Sarah J. Maas

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s #1 New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an epic, unforgettable conclusion. Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to king’s assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world. . .

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33590260-kingdom-of-ash?ac=1&from_search=true

 

5. Royals

35997816

By Rachel Hawkins

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35997816-royals

 

4. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban

(Harry Potter #3)

5

By J.K. Rowling

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts is full of new dangers. A convicted murderer, Sirius Black, has broken out of Azkaban prison, and it seems he’s after Harry. Now Hogwarts is being patrolled by the dementors, the Azkaban guards who are hunting Sirius. But Harry can’t imagine that Sirius or, for that matter, the evil Lord Voldemort could be more frightening than the dementors themselves, who have the terrible power to fill anyone they come across with aching loneliness and despair. Meanwhile, life continues as usual at Hogwarts. A top-of-the-line broom takes Harry’s success at Quidditch, the sport of the Wizarding world, to new heights. A cute fourth-year student catches his eye. And he becomes close with the new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher, who was a childhood friend of his father. Yet despite the relative safety of life at Hogwarts and the best efforts of the dementors, the threat of Sirius Black grows ever closer. But if Harry has learned anything from his education in wizardry, it is that things are often not what they seem. Tragic revelations, heartwarming surprises, and high-stakes magical adventures await the boy wizard in this funny and poignant third installment of the beloved series.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5.Harry_Potter_and_the_Prisoner_of_Azkaban?ac=1&from_search=true

 

3. All The Wandering Light

(Even The Darkest Stars #2)

36099148

By Heather Fawcett

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: After the terrifying events on Mount Raksha, the witches have returned, and River has betrayed Kamzin to regain his dark powers. The witches’ next step: march on the Three Cities and take over the Empire—led by River’s brother, Esha.

If Kamzin is to save Azmiri and prevent the fall of the Empire, she must find a star that fell in the Ash Mountains to the north. Fallen stars have immense power, and if Kamzin and Lusha can find the star, they can use its magic to protect the Empire. To get there, Kamzin has allied with Azar-at, the dangerous and deceptive fire demon, who can grant her great power—in exchange for pieces of her soul. But River wants the star too, and as their paths collide in dangerous and unexpected ways, Kamzin must wrestle with both her guilt and her conflicted feelings for the person who betrayed her.

Facing dark magic, a perilous journey, and a standoff against the witches, can Kamzin, Lusha, and Tem find the star and save their Empire?

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36099148-all-the-wandering-light?ac=1&from_search=true

 

2. The Cruel Prince

(The Folk of the Air #1)

26032825

By Holly Black

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26032825-the-cruel-prince?ac=1&from_search=true

 

1. A Court of Mist and Fury

(A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)

17927395

By Sarah J. Maas

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17927395-a-court-of-mist-and-fury?ac=1&from_search=true

 

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📝 REVIEW 📝 ~🌟🌟🌟🌟 🌟 ~ All The Wandering Light (Even The Darkest Stars #2) ~ Author: Heather Fawcett ~ Genre: #YA #Fantasy #Adventure ~ Available Now!

36099148

All The Wandering Light

(Even The Darkest Stars #2)

By

Heather Fawcett

Genre: #YA #Fantasy #Adventure

My Rating: 5

Cover: 5

Publication: December 4th 2018

Read: December 6th 2018

POV: First-person & third-person dual perspective

Hardcover: 448

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36099148-all-the-wandering-light

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Wandering-Light-Even-Darkest-Stars/dp/0062463411/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1545251091&sr=8-1&keywords=all+the+wandering+light

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/204064-even-the-darkest-stars

Synopsis:

After the terrifying events on Mount Raksha, the witches have returned, and River has betrayed Kamzin to regain his dark powers. The witches’ next step: march on the Three Cities and take over the Empire—led by River’s brother, Esha.

If Kamzin is to save Azmiri and prevent the fall of the Empire, she must find a star that fell in the Ash Mountains to the north. Fallen stars have immense power, and if Kamzin and Lusha can find the star, they can use its magic to protect the Empire. To get there, Kamzin has allied with Azar-at, the dangerous and deceptive fire demon, who can grant her great power—in exchange for pieces of her soul. But River wants the star too, and as their paths collide in dangerous and unexpected ways, Kamzin must wrestle with both her guilt and her conflicted feelings for the person who betrayed her.

Facing dark magic, a perilous journey, and a standoff against the witches, can Kamzin, Lusha, and Tem find the star and save their Empire?

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📝My Review📝:

LOVED LOVED LOVED!!!

God this book was so amazing and better than the first one! All the flaws I found with the first book were corrected in this sequel and I love seeing the growth Heather Fawcett had as an author. The writing was great, the characters were all flushed out, and I have no unanswered questions. River and Kamzin are two of my favorite literary characters and I am so sad to see their journey come to an end…but I do believe that there is room for more if Heather Fawcett should wish it (please). The story in this sequel was so interesting as well, the prospect of hunting down a fallen star in a race against the witches was so thrilling. I really could not put this book down, I flew through it. Devoured it actually.

Kamzin was so determined in this book. After all that happened in the previous one she was not going to lose again no matter who was standing in her way. Her anger and perseverance where strong tools that she used in this novel to keep her going. River was as always wonderful. Not as much of his sarcasm and humor were present in this one (understandably) but he was still River. Despite everything that happened in the last book I could not hate hime and I don’t think I ever will because I understand why he did what he did even if it was a stupid decision. Tem and Lusha were so flushed out in this book, I really came to like them both. Lusha is so headstrong and reminds me a lot of myself. Tem is such a good friend and everything he went through in this novel solidifies that. I have come to love these characters a lot and I really do hope to see more of them in the future someday.

Not many people talk about this duology and that saddens me a lot. It is one of the best stories in YA literature that I have read and it is so unique. I recommend this duology to everyone because it is a fun tale of action, romance, adventure, and fantasy. I have never had much interest in leaving my house but these books made me want to leave and explore the world.

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📝REVIEW📝 ~🌟🌟🌟🌟~ Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox #1) ~ Author: Julie Kagawa ~ Genre: #YA #Fantasy #Adventure ~ Available Now!

36672988

Shadow of The Fox

(Shadow of the Fox #1)

By

Julie Kagawa

Genre: #YA #Fantasy #Adventure

My Rating: 4

Cover: 5

Publication: October 2nd 2018

Read: December 18th 2018

POV: First-person dual perspective

Hardcover: 409

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36672988-shadow-of-the-fox

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Fox-Julie-Kagawa/dp/1335145168/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1545249498&sr=8-1&keywords=shadow+of+the+fox

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/226819-shadow-of-the-fox

Synopsis:

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

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📝My Review📝:

This book was so cool! Very interesting plot and something we haven’t really seen in YA books before.

Shadow of the Fox was such a fun ride. This book really was like an anime and I loved that. Yumeko was such an interesting character, being half yokai she had two sides to herself: the yokai and the human. I loved that she was half kitsune of all yokai. Being an avid watcher of anime many of the terms and myths in this book were familiar to me, but I think someone who has no knowledge of Japanese mythology will have a really hard time getting through this unless they have the patience for it. The plot is also very slow. The journey they take as well as the romance is very slow burn. If you are not a fan of slower paced books than this probably is not the book for you. I loved how more characters were brought to the forefront of the story as the book went on (just like an anime). Yumeko, Tatsumi, Okame, Daisuke, and Reika are great characters and I cannot wait to see more of them. This book reminded me of Even The Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett. The whole adventure/traveling and magic aspects of the books were very familiar. Even The Darkest Stars was one of my favorite reads of this year so I am happy to read another book like it.

Yumeko is very innocent for someone who’s nature it is supposed to be quite mischievous. We saw most of her mischievous side at the beginning of the book but once Tatsumi came along her kitsune nature practically disappeared. She just appeared to be a naive human and was fairly tame and righteous the entire book. It was Tatsumi who really struggled with the dueling nature thing. Being the carrier of the demon sword he was always battling the demon for control and was pretty much forced to be emotionless which I didn’t mind. I rather liked him and it was fun to see Yumeko slowly chip away at his walls.

Okame is the typical comic relief character but he was a light to the darkness that was Tatsumi. I love how he kind of took on this big brother role to Yumeko and was always looking out for her. I also really like that he wasn’t just a useless character, he was actually a decent fighter/archer and came in handy a lot. Daisuke was an interesting character. Ever since he appeared in the first chapter I wondered when he would pop up again in the book. He is very kind and honorable, not to mention an incredibly skilled swordsmen. We did not get too much of him in this book so I am excited to see what he will be like in the next one. Reika is literally Rei from Sailor Moon nobody can fight me on this. She is bad ass, strong willed, and takes nothing from anyone. She is the coolest shrine maiden you will ever meet. I love that a female was added to the group.

This book was not a romance, it was about a girl carrying out the last will of her master and journeying across the empire to try and save the world. Yes there are romantic elements but it is very very VERY slow burn so if you were looking for something faster you won’t find it here. I am personally a fan of slow burn romances so I really had no issues.

The reason this book is not a 5 star rating is because while I really enjoyed this book it did not feel like a 5 star to me. The story moved very slowly. While there was plenty of action throughout the book there would be some parts where it felt like the book was dragging. Also I wished Yumeko’s kitsune nature came out more than it did. Nonetheless I cannot wait for the next book in the trilogy. How I am supposed to wait six months, I do not know.

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