Most Anticipated Reads of March 2021

Morning, readers!

This new month will be hard on your wallet and bank accounts, people. So strap in for a great reading month!

I haven’t included all of the upcoming titles for the month, but these ones are my most anticipated books. I hope you enjoy the post!

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Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2021

Morning, everyone!

I think I can safely say February wasn’t the most horrible month of 2021. I got some books off my TBR list and added a few more. Even though I sprained my ankle, which is slowly healing, February wasn’t too bad.

I hope you enjoy the read!

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Most Anticipated March Reads

Morning, book lovers!

Honestly, I don’t believe this winter will end any time soon. So I need some positive vibes to keep me from the gloom and doom of the next few weeks. Do you feel the same?

Anyways, I want to try something new on my blog. I’ve seen a lot of similar posts. But I’ve never dabbled with this one though. So here is my first official “most anticipated reads” post.

Now, I’ve included only the upcoming titles that have either snagged a spot on my TBR list or captivated my attention. This list isn’t complete, and I don’t want to bore you with an entire one. What’s the point? So hopefully, you find some new additions to your TBR list. I sure have!

I hope you all enjoy.

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Review | Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: February 5, 2013

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 464

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase

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


Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison-even though she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.


“She did not know that the wolf was a wicked sort of animal, and she was not afraid of him.”

Did I have big expectations with this sequel? Yes. Has Marissa surpassed them? Hell yes. She gives her readers secrets, politics, alpha females, genetically modified beasties, and squeal-worthy love stories. And I can’t help myself with falling in love with this sequel.

I’ve been dreading reading Scarlet’s story. Some readers didn’t like her, while others loved her. Clearly, I’m the latter. So fight me if you think otherwise. Marissa ties together both Cinder’s storyline with Scarlet’s. I wasn’t too sure if I’d like duo arcs, but she effortlessly blends the two together, and I enjoyed how Cinder and Scarlet are connected.

Cinder escapes from jail and is on the run, yet she leaves her heart with Kai. With the help from Wolf, a mysterious street fighter, Scarlet discovers her grandmother is missing and must find her, but the woman she loves may have kept a hidden life. I was hoping for Cinder and Thorne to meet up with Scarlet and Wolf much earlier in the story. Their eventual connection seems to drag on, but the individual storylines make up for that.

Marissa creates multi-dimensional characters. Her characters are flawed yet believable. You can easily relate to their fear, pain, and determination. I did not anticipate liking Scarlet as much as Cinder. That cyborg has a small little piece of my heart, yet Scarlet slid right in there as well. These two female characters are what keep me loving YA series.

While the plot is phenomenal, I feel this sequel is more character driven. What Marissa exceeds in are her characters. You don’t get flat, uninspiring ones; you find ones who make you want to read more. Scarlet is an alpha female who, even when she’s scared, doesn’t stop fighting, and I admire that drive in her and Cinder. But they don’t let their potential love interest overshadow who they are.

One love interest I adore the most is the silence yet deadly type. And Wolf is the epitome of that. He’s dangerous, complex, yet somehow, in his own way, perfect for Scarlet. Yes, I wanted to punch him in a few scenes, but he deserves love as much as any other person. And now, I can officially swoon over Captain Carswell Thorne. I’ll always love the cocky, sarcastic male characters. I’m predictable, but I know what I love. I’ve been waiting for this book since I first heard about him, and he doesn’t disappoint. I also find Cinder and Thorne’s friendship refreshing. It’s what sealed this book for me. It had me laughing well into the night.

I don’t know how some readers rated this book lower. Scarlet offers just enough spunk, sarcasm, science fiction, and love to keep readers screaming for more. Then Marissa adds adrenaline, then heartbreaking yet thrilling scenes. I’m a Lunar fan through and through. This is one fandom I’m here to stay.

“But you’re the only one, Scarlet. You’ll always be the only one.”

Review | To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Retelling

Page Count: 342

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase

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


Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?


“He belongs to the ocean. He is made from it, as much as I am.”

Alexandra Christo’s To Kill a Kingdom makes my little black heart sing. When I picked this book, I wasn’t sure I was waiting for it. And I cannot imagine my life without it. Alexandra gives you a reason to love villains.

Only a few books have achieved this feat, but To Kill a Kingdom slays every expectation. And it instantly finds its rightful place on my favourites list. This loose reimagining is wicked, brutal, and tempting. If you’re looking for villainous main characters, this book is your next read.

I bought this book a whim. It snuck into my life when I needed just a taste of badassery. And let me tell you: I love it. Alexandra captures the true essence of sirens. You don’t get the PG version we 90s kids were force fed. You see their merciless side, and you’ll be wanting more once you’re done. These sirens will watch as you drown, then tear out your heart. So do not expect any singalongs. Even when life called me back, I didn’t want to put down the book.

The characters beautifully complement the storytelling. Lira, the Prince’s Bane, is a ruthless and royal siren who will get what she wants: the heart of Prince Elian. But the Prince-turned-pirate desires nothing more than to rid his world of sirens. Yet when he finds her adrift in the ocean and doesn’t know who she is, they must work together to find a way to kill the Sea Queen. I adore hate-to-love relationships. I don’t care what anyone says. This trope has value, and it creates a dynamic story. Now, I don’t always enjoy the secondary characters. But with Elian’s crew, I can’t help but do so.

Both Elian and Lira are savage in their own way. But you see glimpses of who they truly are. I enjoyed seeing a prince who doesn’t want a crown. Instead, he craves the sea, and no matter the cost, he’ll protect it and his crew. Lira’s past will give you a better understanding as to the reason why she’s cruel. Yet even with a vicious mother, she holds onto her humanity, and Elian knows how to tease it out of her.

I don’t also buy standalone books. I enjoy visiting a series and reliving my favourite scenes. So I’m a little disappointed we don’t get a sequel. However, if you’re looking for stunning world building and stellar characters with a wicked side, look no further. But if you’ve come for the Disney version of My Little Mermaid, turn back now. The savagery is what intrigued me, but I love the masterful storytelling.

Review | Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Published by: Feiwel and Friends

Publication Date: January 3, 2012

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Page Count: 400

Rating: 5/5

Source: Purchase

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


Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.


“I’m sure I’ll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.”

Cyborgs, the plague, moon people (I’m freaking out right now!), an adorable romance, and deadly politics perfectly entwine to create a memorable start to an equally unforgettable series. And I’m about to have a fangirl attack.

Give me a second to process my emotions, especially my regret for not reading this series sooner. But if I don’t let out my giddiness, I may explode. I’ve avoided science fiction series for years. Why? I had too many high expectations and didn’t want to be let down. But with this glorious book, I feel it has restored my love of science fiction. So if you have any recommendations, here is your moment to nerd out with me.

Cinder has awoken something my inner nerd has been craving lately. Yes, cheesy as it may seem, this book has. I understand I came to the fandom late, but I can’t help but become an instant fan. I don’t usually reread books, but I want to crack open that cover again. So get ready for a review with fangirling cranked to high.

Living in a new world where she has little to no rights, Cinder, a cyborg mechanic, somehow doesn’t let her miserable life prevent her from dreaming. And I respect that strength. She uses sarcasm as a way of coping with and living in this society. Not many people know that I come from poverty. So I instantly connected with her. And throughout this page-turner, I relished seeing her growth by standing up to her guardian. The budding relationship with Kai, the prince, had me turning the pages quicker than I could read it. I loved their brief interactions, and I need more in the sequels. Their banter had me snorting with laughter.

Marissa magically threads together different arcs in her story. Not every YA will perfect political intrigue. Some authors will dabble in it, but others don’t succeed. But she does. I enjoyed the politics. It is a growing threat in the background, and that effect creates suspense, which I loved. And in some way, she also merges an atmospheric future with a well-loved fairy tale. Her storytelling kept me enthralled for the entire time I read Cinder. I forget the last time I read a book in just twenty-four hours.

I feel like I missed out on waiting for the next installments. And I wish I were a part of that experience. But I don’t regret reading this beautifully crafted sci-fi. This futuristic story adds just enough sarcasm, intriguing storylines, and a new twist on retellings. So don’t be a fool like me. Read this book. Now.

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

Ensnared
Rita Stradling
Publication date: May 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction

A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

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EXCERPT:

December 2, 2026

Alainn woke knowing someone was in her room.

Whoever it was sat behind her. Quiet, even breaths rasped through the air. Alainn’s eyelids peeked open. Moonlight cast a grayish glow, cutting deep shadows into the space around her bed.

“Good morning, Alainn,” Rose said in a quiet voice. When Alainn didn’t respond, Rose said, “I can tell from the change in your breathing pattern that you are awake.”

“Rose?” she whispered, not quite ready to let out a sigh of relief. Alainn twisted to look at her. “What are you doing here? Did you break my lock?”

“I picked it,” she said. “It is now locked again.”

“Oh, uh—” Her heart pounded in her chest; she sat up and faced the robot. “Why—why would you do that?”

The moonlight lit half of Rose’s face as she watched Alainn, expressionless. “Do not be alarmed. You are obviously having a fear reaction, but I was simply waiting for you to wake up.”

“Don’t you need to sleep—recharge?”

Now that Alainn faced Rose, she smelled the faint odor of her exhaust. Rose continuously exhaled the lightest tang of something sweet and acidic. The air in the room felt used, like a plane cabin after a cross-country flight.

“I was not completely forthcoming with you today. While what I said was true, I have for a time now believed that having Father imprisoned would impede my potential. While I have far surpassed his skills in software, there are times when I need assistance. I am limited by my need to stay near my charging station. Your brother is often absent for days at a time—and you, months.”

“Okay, wait—you’re going to go tomorrow?” Alainn scooted forward on the bed. A dormant hope resurged through her. Alainn would do anything—she’d worship at the robot’s feet if Rose agreed to go.

“No, you are going to go tomorrow.”

Alainn froze, staring at Rose. “What?” she whispered.

“I have calculated one way in which all parties can achieve their desires.”

“I’m sorry—I’m not understanding.” Alainn shook her head. A hard knot formed in her stomach.

“I am not surprised.” Rose reached out to pat Alainn’s hand. “You are not as intelligent as the rest of your family.”

“Spell it out in really simple terms, then.” She just managed to not growl the words at Rose.

Slowly, Rose looked up to the ceiling, moonlight slashing up the curve of her neck, her chin, and the line of her nose. “Earlier tonight, I arranged for you to be picked up by Mr. Garbhan through e-mail, writing as if I was Father. In one hour, a car will arrive outside to take you to his building. I have designed and created hardware for your body. If you are scanned, a chip in the hardware will communicate to the scanners that you have an organic circuitry system rather than a human brain.”

Alainn shook her head, hoping to dislodge some of the grogginess there. “I’m still not following—you’re saying you want me to pretend to be you and turn myself over? That you already arranged it?”

“Yes, you are following. That is exactly what I am saying.”

“I—I—” Alainn shook her head again. The air thinned around her.

“I have a working plan for the transplanting. You can assimilate easily into a life of servitude as you are already accustomed to the labor you will be asked to perform.” Rose lifted a hand, ghostly gray in the low light, and ticked off the chores on her fingers. “Cooking, housekeeping, and bookkeeping. Unless . . . is your concern that he might use you for sexual gratification?”

“What? No.”

“I believe that this would be a particular concern of yours.”

“I never even considered that he would do that to you—I, of all people, would never have tried to push you into going if I thought you’d be used that way.” Alainn blinked furiously. “Rose, do you really think that I would have let myself be the model when my dad printed your face and body if I thought Mr. Garbhan was going to do that to you?”

“It is highly unlikely that I was designed for this function. I have also been assured that there were documents signed to that effect addressed to Father.”

Alainn held out her palms to Rose. “Rose, it’s not just that. I can’t take your place. There’s no way that would work . . . and I can’t live in that tower for the rest of my life. I’m a human. I know that probably sounds callous to you, but you were created to not need sunshine and fresh air. And you don’t need exercise. Humans need those things, me especially. Everything I am,” she touched her chest, “is centered on being in the outdoors.”

“The duration will be seven to fourteen days, no longer.” Her head swung down, causing shadows to swallow her eyes. Two black hollows focused on Alainn. “When Mr. Garbhan pays Father, he and I will make the Rosette model; this process should only take a week, unless there are complications. And then I will devise a way to switch you with the new model.”

 

Author Bio:

Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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