February Wrap-Up

Well, this month has been very sparse when it comes to books if I do say so myself. I have only managed to read 4 (ok, let’s be honest, 3 and a half) books in the month of February but that wasn’t my fault! I’ve been writing all my exams in the first 3 weeks of the month so I only really had time to read in the past week and a half. But I’ll do better in March and hopefully tackle my huge TBR list! I will have reviews for all of these up soon so keep an eye out!

Anyway, here’s my February Wrap-Up:

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

everything-everythingGoodreads: “My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.”

(A review of Everything Everything will be up soon!)

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads: “Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.shadow-and-bone-cover

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is the first installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.”

(A review of Shadow and Bone is up on my blog!)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

caravalGoodreads: Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . . 

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.”

(A review for Caraval will be up soon!)

Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads: Darkness never dies.siege-and-storm

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.“

(Technically, I’ve finished this book in March but I’d still like to mention it in my February Wrap-Up 😉 You can find my review for Siege and Storm here!)

Check out my goodreads page and my twitter!

Happy reading!

Jackie x

Review: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo | Spoiler Free



Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA Fantasy

Published: June 5th 2012 by Henry Holt and Company

Pages: 358

This review is spoiler-free!

Wow, I know I am super late to the party but I finally got around to starting the Grisha series! (Also, I’ve wanted to read the Six of Crows duology so badly and while I know it’s not required to read the Grisha trilogy to understand SoC, I wanted to read it to be familiar with the whole Grisha universe)

Shadow and Bone is a high fantasy novel and the first book in the Grisha Trilogy written by Leigh Bardugo. It takes place in Ravka, a fictional place which is inspired by Russia (and not actually Russia!). The nation is separated

Ravka and the Shadow Fold, Credit

by the so-called Shadow Fold, a place of darkness in the middle of Ravka filled with creatures hungry for humans. Our main protagonist Alina Starkov and her regiment are on a mission through the Fold but things go wrong and in a moment of panic Alina reveals a “magical” power she didn’t know she had that saves her troop. Word gets out to the Darkling, leader of the Grisha, who takes her to the king’s court to help her control her power and possibly change the fate of the whole kingdom.

I thoroughly enjoyed Leigh Bardugo’s writing style. It’s very simple and flows nicely which makes it very easy to get through the book. In fact, I finished the whole thing in a day. (I probably would have managed to be done in one sitting but I had to take pauses for lunch and dinner breaks with my family. #Priorities)

One thing I do have to say though is that the beginning of the book could use some more detailed descriptions of the Grisha world. I was unsure what some of the newly introduced terms meant and how I should imagine the world. As you read on and things get brought into context you can obviously make the connection and identify the meaning but I would have liked a little more world building in the first few chapters.

Though I do have to say the plot and storyline had me hooked from the start. It is very fast-paced and has a lot of action and suspense which just makes you want to know more and more! A lot of events that happen are unpredictable and unexpected and some people may not be who they seem to be. There are some exciting plot twists which made me want to laugh and cry and scream!

I also loved the characters a lot, they were all very round and complex. The main protagonist is Alina who goes through a major character development. An insecure damsel in distress turned into a strong kickass boss ass bitch! Very inspiring. Her best friend Mal has been there for her since they were little kids but for him there has never been more to it than friendship, in contrast to Alina who’s had a crush on him for quite a while. I am a sucker for the best friends turned lovers trope so I kind of like the idea of the two of them together!

We also have the Darkling who is the leader of the Grisha. He is very intriguing because he is so mysterious and you don’t find out a lot about him at first. He is very good at seducing Alina and making her feel all tingly and warm 😉 I can’t make my mind up about him yet. I might like him but I might also despise him, we’ll see!

I really liked Baghra, too, she is a bitter old lady who hides in her little hut, avoiding people as much as she can and I could really relate to her on a very personal level lmao. I’d hide in my room all day and not talk to anyone for a week or so if I could! And she doesn’t take crap from anyone which is always a good character trait.

Genya is the queen’s personal servant but she also acts as Alina’s tailor and makes her look all pretty and dressed up. She has been a good friend to Alina; gossiping with her, making her laugh and making her feel like she belonged among the other Grisha and the unfamiliar environment of it all.

I’m very excited to read on and hopefully learn a lot more about the characters!

I truly enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to continue with the Grisha series!

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars)

Goodreads / Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK) / Barnes & Noble