Waiting on Wednesday: The Star-Touched Queen

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY:

The Star-Touched Queen

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week my most anticipated read is…The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

In all its glory, here is the book cover and a brief summary provided by Goodreads:

25203675

Goodreads’ Summary: 

Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk – it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

Inspired by Indian mythology.


Waiting on Wednesday’s Top 5 Rants and Raves on why I need this book in my life…

  1. ♥  THE COVER IS BEAUTIFUL AND VIBRANT…AND I WANT IT NOW. ♥
  2. ♥ I love that the book is inspired by Indian mythology. ♥
  3. ♥ I will read any book with “Queen” in the title. Also, I’m obsessed with stars and constellations, so this title is double winning for me. ♥
  4. ♥ OMG…there are elements of reincarnation, the Otherworld, and magic *faints* ♥ 
  5. ♥ The main character sounds like a badass female…so yeah, definitely a must read for me. ♥

Release Date: April 26, 2016 … GAH…why isn’t it out TOMORROW?! 

ARC Review: Dreaming of Antigone

Title: Dreaming of Antigone
By:  Robin Bridges
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Pages: 304 (Paperback)
Publisher: Kensington 
Format: e-galley/eARC
Source: Netgalley

GOODREADS’S SUMMARY

25852906Every star has its own path…

“I can’t ever be the blazing star that Iris was. I’m still just a cold, dark satellite orbiting a star that went super nova.”

Andria’s twin sister, Iris, had adoring friends, a cool boyfriend, a wicked car, and a shelf full of soccer trophies. She had everything, in fact—including a drug problem. Six months after Iris’s death, Andria is trying to keep her grades, her friends, and her family from falling apart. But stargazing and books aren’t enough to ward off her guilt that she—the freak with the scary illness and all-black wardrobe—is still here when Iris isn’t. And then there’s Alex Hammond. The boy Andria blames for Iris’s death. The boy she’s unwittingly started swapping lines of poetry and secrets with, even as she tries to keep hating him.

Heartwrenching, smart, and bold, Dreaming of Antigone is a story about the jagged pieces that lie beneath the surface of the most seemingly perfect life…and how they can fit together to make something wholly unexpected.


 

MY REVIEW

Dreaming of Antigone by Robin Bridges is a cluster of chaos that unfolds into a mending story of restoration. This story is dark and consuming. As a high school student, the main character, Andria, is not only dealing with failing grades and the fear of epileptic seizures, but she is still grieving for her twin sister, Iris, who died of an overdose six months ago.

I loved the aspect that this story is told in first-person narrative. Andria’s voice is raw, grief-stricken, and utterly straightforward and honest. She doesn’t hold the reader back from her internal thoughts or emotions when it comes to describing her connection with poets, a passion for astronomy, and a grudge against her late sister’s drug addict boyfriend, Alex. As Andria mourns, she also begins to contemplate and understand the sadness, the secrets, and the guilt that the people around her are also battling.

The development that Andria experiences throughout the novel is brilliantly written. Andria’s candid confessions of nightmares, fears, and emotional baggage come from the idea that she honestly believes, “My sister still blames me for her death” (chapter 1). But as she mourns, Andria also willingly adjusts to the unfortunate cards she’s been dealt.

Bridges makes a poignant move by writing a main character that doesn’t lose herself in her grief, but instead portrays Andria as someone that is compliant to accept change. Andria begins to hang out with her and her sister’s old friends again, earn extra credit with her “enemy,” and more importantly, she discovers her sister’s painful secret. Andria’s evolution and progress throughout the novel is not only heartbreaking, but it is wonderfully crafted. Bridges definitely has created a modern day tragedy, but in Andria’s story, the final message is as beautiful as a supernova.

I found Iris’s secret predictable, but only because her secret is a maddening reality that plagues our society daily. If you are a fan of Perk of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and Love Letter to the Dead by Ava Dellaira, definitely look into reading Dreaming of Antigone.  Dreaming of Antigone reflects the sadness, misfortunes, pain, and, more importantly, the healing message found in these two books where characters painfully suffer in silence. Additionally, similar to these two amazing novels, Dreaming of Antigone executes a message that sometimes nightmares become reality, but that reality doesn’t always have to be suffered alone.

RANTS and RAVES

RANTS: This story is dark, but Andria’s voice summons the reader to partake in her grief, hate, and understanding. Although the story is  first person narrative (strictly in Andria’s point of view), I would have loved to have heard from Alex Hammond’s, Iris’s boyfriend, point of view. He is dangerous, moody, brooding, but strong-willed. Alex and Andria’s story is quite predictable, but overall, I wish Alex’s perspective was brought to the surface more. His pain is often found in his dialogue and poems, but I would have loved to hear his side of the story.

RAVES: While reading this book, I felt like I was falling in love with a story similar to Love Letter to the Dead all over again. Dreaming of Antigone is a riveting page-turner. Andria’s voice is so direct and captivating. It is hard not to emotionally connect with her sorrow, internal thoughts, and her passion to seek and understand the truth involving her sister’s death. I am a sucker for any story that has characters obsessed with space, stars, and constellations, so I immediately connected to Andria every time she stargazed. Additionally, the novel definitely had some noteworthy quotes. 

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“Natalie leaves the remaining cupcakes. ‘Take one a day as needed. With Diet Coke. Repeat in six hours if no results.’ I roll my eyes. ‘What results?’ ‘Mom says cupcakes are the cure for unhappiness.’” (Chapter 29)

“This is Greek tragedy. And I’m as broken as he is.” (Antigone, Chapter 27)

“His kisses are gentle, like a prayer, seeking and forgiving.” (Chapter 30)

“Think about other things, Andria. Like baby pandas. Or cupcakes.” (Chapter 25)

4 star rating

4 out of 5 Stars

NOTE:         I received this e-galley/e-ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for an honest review. All statements and opinions are mine.

 

Dreaming of Antigone is out on March 29, 2016. 

Amazon        Barnes and Noble         Book Depository 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven’t Talked About Enough/In A While

TOP TEN TUESDAY

HOSTED by The Broke and the Bookish


This week’s topic is…

Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven’t Talked About Enough/In A While

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books On My Spring TBR

TOP TEN TUESDAY

HOSTED by The Broke and the Bookish


This week’s topic is…

Ten Books On My Spring TBR

HERE WE GO…

Book Review: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

Title: The Love That Split the World
By:  Emily Henry
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Pages: 390 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased a signed copy at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati

GOODREADS’S SUMMARY

25489567Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
 
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
 
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
 
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.


MY REVIEW

The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry is a web of intrigue, love, and sacrifice. The novel is beautifully written, and the Native American re-tellings and creation stories scattered throughout the chapters add a touch of preternaturalism, diversity, and nostalgia. Henry has created an intricate novel by intertwining folklore, time travel, contemporary elements, and psychological spiritualism. When all of these elements are molded together, Henry’s  characters come to life on the page and the plot fantastically transforms into a meshing of fantasy and reality. 

Natalie and Beau, the major characters, both deal with high school problems: competitive grades, getting into college, participating in sports/school functions, breakups, and self-discovery and self-identity. Their love is never forced, and overall it’s purely spellbinding and heart-pounding. They both hold secrets, and luckily they are able to share a common secret involving their hometown of Union, Kentucky. 

The whole book made me feel like I was cocooned in a glow of magic with intense, on-the-edge feelings. The Love That Split the World wraps you in a world of two extraordinary characters that have the ability to flip the world upside down and make the impossible work. When you go to read this book, prepare yourself for comforting stories told by  a character named Grandmother and plot twists that will make your head spin (in a good way).

This is a story that will definitely make a reader contemplate identity. More importantly, it makes you think about your own life choices and what paths those choices can lead to.

RANTS:     I hate this unsettling feeling, but my mind is still reeling and contemplating that ending. Who needs more Beau? I DO, I DO! 

RAVES:      The Love That Split the World is so well-paced and every plot twist is articulated so well that by the end of the novel, I felt like I was jerked awake from an obscure fairy tale dream. I still can’t shake this dazed, but poignant feeling that the book left me in. Also, I loved that the book took place in the Northern Kentucky/ Cincinnati tri-state area; it was fun to read a book based in my home state/area. 

NOTE:         All statements and opinions are mine.

4 star rating

4 out of 5 stars

Definitely get you hands on this book from your local retailer, AMAZON, or BARNES AND NOBLE