Waiting on Wednesday: The Star-Touched Queen


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:


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…

  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


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.



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: 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. 


“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


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


HOSTED by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s topic is…

Ten Books On My Spring TBR


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


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.


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


ARC Review: The Skylighter by Becky Wallace

 Title: The Skylighter
By: Becky Wallace
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing
Format: e-galley/e-arc
Source: Netgalley


Johanna and Rafi are in a race against time to save their country before a power-mad Keeper destroys everything they hold dear in the “enthralling magical world” (Cinda Williams Chima, author of The Heir Chronicles) introduced in The Storyspinner.

25732113As the last of the royal line, Johanna is the only person who can heal a magical breach in the wall that separates her kingdom of Santarem from the land of the Keepers, legendary men and women who wield elemental magic. The barrier protects Santarem from those Keepers who might try to take power over mere humans…Keepers who are determined to stop Johanna and seize the wall’s power for themselves.

And they’re not the only ones. As the duchys of Santarem descend into war over the throne, Johanna relies more than ever on the advice of her handsome companion, Lord Rafael DeSilva. But Rafi is a duke too, and his people come first. As their friendship progresses into the beginnings of a tender relationship, Johanna must wonder: is Rafi looking out for her happiness, or does he want the throne for himself?

With war on the horizon, Johanna and Rafi dodge treacherous dukes and Keeper assassins as they race to through the countryside, determined to strengthen the wall before it’s too late…even if it means sacrificing their happiness for the sake of their world.

My Review

The Skylighter by Becky Wallace is the sequel to The Storyspinner (check out my review HERE), a duology set in The Keepers’ Chronicles series.

If you love a strong heroine, a non-triangle romance, magic, and a well-developed plot, this book (and series) is for you.

At the end of The Storyspinner, the author left her readers in a dreaded awe state. I’m not going to spoil the first book, but I’m just going to tell you, there are some mouth-dropping moments and you will immediately want to read the second book.

The Skylighter picks up with the same routine of weaving between different character perspectives. I really liked that each chapter is a different character’s perspective, because it exceptionally drives the plot and smoothly carries the reader through moments of much awaited kissage scenes; ruthless, but carefully articulated war tactics; and more importantly spies, twists, and sacrifices that I didn’t even see coming. WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO TO ME, Becky?

As I read The Skylighter, I honestly saw each scene as a strategic puzzle piece that connects and interlocks Johanna’s, the main heroine, past to her present and future. I found the world building to be very reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, in that the characters are not only connected to their heritage, but also to the land and the treasured magic that surrounds them. More importantly,  the idea of choice is critically analyzed among each character, which definitely helped the story progress. For example, it gave the minor characters, like Dom, Jacaré, Pira, and Leão, an extra boost of importance and drive in a story that is mainly centered on Johanna and Rafi. I loved how Wallace took each minor character and threw them into dreadful challenges that tested their perseverance and willpower, which definitely brought them to life on the page. 

The scenes between Johanna and Rafi are gripping, fiery, and swoonworthy. Additionally, as I read The Skylighter, I was really happy how Dom, Rafi’s roguish, young brother, unfolded as a character. Throughout the novel, Dom takes initiative to help his family and Johanna’s cause by making dire, unselfish choices. Overall, all of the characters, even the minor ones, each deal with a conflict that is emotionally binding and/or physically demanding. In the end, their choices dynamically change them, which I think makes the story captivating and extraordinary.

Oh, and the ending! SO PERFECT! I think Wallace’s readers are going to enjoy the calculated decisions that each of the characters make and how the book ends. 


RAVES:      The world building in this story is excellently executed, and because the story was so captivating, I couldn’t put the book down. I read this book in ONE sitting, people! I’m a huge fantasy fan, and Becky Wallace definitely creates a magical world that ingrains the reader to be part of the characters’ challenges and life choices–emotionally involving us in an unforgettable world. 

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

star rating

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

The Skylighter is out on March 22, 2016. Purchase your copy from the following retailers:

Amazon        Barnes and Noble         Blue Willow (Request an autographed copy!)



W…W…W… Wednesday: 3/9/2016

Welcome to my first… 

W…W…W.. Wednesday

W…W…W.. Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words and includes Three Ws:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?



The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller



The Skylighter by Becky Wallace



First Kisses and Other Misfortunes by Kimberly Karalius

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Everyone Loves but I Just Don’t Get


HOSTED by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s topic is…

Ten Characters Everyone Loves But I Just Don’t Get

michael scott

Gale from The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Warner from Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Darkling from The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo

Four from the Divergent series by Veronica Roth

Bill from the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris

Audrey from Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Captain Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

Clare from Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

ALL the characters in We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

What characters have you noticed that everyone loves but you just don’t get?