Monthly Wrap-Up: June 2019

Where has the time gone? The months are flying by too fast, I feel. Even though my long weekend plans shriveled up, I knew I wanted to set aside some free time for my posts and my books.

I’m excited and proud to say that Mom has just two more rounds of chemo left! She started back in March, and we never thought we’d reach this far. She’s gone through so much. Even though our lives are still hell, I cannot be prouder of what she’s done.

So let’s start off a new month with a wrap-up post! Have fun.

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Most Anticipated Reads of June 2019

Morning, bloggers!

I cannot believe that we’re halfway through the year. June has finally arrived, and I am loving the new summer books. Now, I’m not sure what to pick up first.

My list isn’t complete, but it does contain novels I’m eagerly waiting to read and thought you might like them as well.

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Review | Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Published by: Harlequin Teen

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Genre: High Fantasy

Page Count: 409

Rating: 3/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


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.


“It is very hard to be human, little fox. Even the humans themselves don’t do a great job of it.”

I’ve been eagerly waiting to get back into another high fantasy. So when I saw several bloggers talk about Shadow of the Fox and also read the blurb for it, I bought myself a copy. Even though I loved the Japanese mythology, I couldn’t fall in love with it.

Every thousand years, an ancient scroll awakens a dragon who grants a wish of either great power or great destruction. Yumeko, a half-kitsune girl, is tasked with protecting a piece of that scroll when a demon slaughters her adoptive family. But many foes look to claim it, like Kage Tatsumi. But they make a pact built on hidden truths and lies, which may tear them apart.

How can I complain about that description? Julie delivers all the elements I’m looking for in a YA fantasy: a touch of romance, mythology, Japanese culture, dragons, and a great backstory. I’m not sure if the journey the characters take dulls the story or if I simply couldn’t connect with the storyline itself. What I was expecting was a well-executed Japanese-inspired fantasy, but what I got is anything but that. However, I love how Julie engrosses you in magical folklore. But I think that was one of the few things that kept me reading.

I wanted something more than formulaic writing. Too many tropes and over-used elements suck the life out of this book. By the end, I struggled with finishing it. One character who prevented me from DNFing it is Tatsumi. The demon slayer of the Shadow Clan must wipe his mind of all emotions, or the demon who possesses the sword of Kamigoroshi will take control of his body. He battles his own mind when he pairs himself with Yumeko. His growth is complex and compelling. I wanted to see more of his past and watch how he fights internally.

Unfortunately, the other main character, Yumeko, couldn’t keep my attention. I don’t mind when a character is naive. But even though the monks isolated her from the world because she’s half-kitsune, her character development is barely non-existent. She falls for the same tricks. In the first one hundred pages, I loved her. But she falls flat by the end.

Julie relies too heavily on the mythology, and she doesn’t see the flaws in her writing. If she focused more on her characters, then perhaps I would have enjoyed the book more. However, she has created a unique platform to build off a solid series though. If she fixes these issues, then her sequels may fare better.

Top Ten Tuesday | Books on My Fall 2018 TBR

Hey, everyone!

So guess who got an extension on her internship? Clearly me. And I forgot to tell everyone. Typical, I don’t say anything until weeks later. I’m thrilled, and I can’t believe I’ve been working at a small press for the last six months. I can’t. Someone slap me, please.

As you all know, Top Ten Tuesday, originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is a weekly meme. For this week’s topic, we get to show off our potential TBR list for Fall 2018. And I don’t know if I should be dreading this post or if I should be happy. My physical pile is getting out of control, but let’s throw in some new titles and just ignore the problem, shall we?

So I hope you enjoy! Here are my top picks:

 

Sadie

I’ve heard a lot of buzz with this new YA mystery. And I knew I had to read it when I found about the podcasts you can listen to while reading the book. I love unique ways of telling a story, and I think this book deserves a place on my TBR list.

 

Two Dark Reigns

I probably haven’t given the series proper credit. Kendare has created an eerie yet spellbinding world, and I love it. Unfortunately, some tropes kept me from reading the sequels sooner. But I need to stop letting my moods get in the way of some great storytelling. And frankly, I need to know which queen kills Mirabella.

 

Broken Things

I wasn’t sure if I should put this title on my list. However, I like to explore different genres. And I’ve seen some promising reviews for this YA suspense. I don’t always read this kind of book, which is why I’m so drawn to it. And I think it’s a perfect read for the Fall and Halloween.

 

Archenemies

Please be good. Please be good. You don’t know how much I want this book to be good. 😂 I adore Marissa’s writing. I truly do. But the cliffhanger at the end of Renegades has kept me on my toes ever since I read it. I love dark little heart Nova, and I can’t wait to see the internal battle she’ll more than likely have in this sequel. Bring it, Marissa!

 

Shadow of the Fox

I first fell in love with the cover. You can’t go wrong with cover love. But at the time, I was a little hesitant about putting it on my list. I’ve never heard about the author before. But I adore Japanese culture, and I keep seeing rave reviews. So I’m taking a chance on this book.

 

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Yes, this book has been on another one of my TTT posts. But I’m not passing up on this series. Nope. Not going to happen. I love historical fiction, and the author incorporates some of the most prolific characters and real-life people into her writing.