Tips For A Reading Slump? | Book Confessions

Book confession time: I bought these books (The Daevebad Trilogy) in hopes to finally read and complete this series after constant recommendations and empty promises to myself. And guess what? I end up marvelling at these books and picking up a different book. 

I’m discovering that perhaps I love purchasing books more than reading them right now and I need an intervention! Why am I like this? 

So, I took my plights to Bookstagram and some booksta friends recommended me their tips:

 

Reading Slump Tips:

  • Reading is for pleasure. Read what you want when you want. Don’t force yourself
  • Try varying different lengths of books (graphic novels, light novels, novella, etc.)
  • Find a book that holds your interest, even if you flip through 10 books to find 1
  • Carry an e-book reader or Kindle app to read anywhere
  • Try an audiobook
  • Re-read favourites
  • Keep a page tracker

What are reading slump tips that work for you?

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How to Declutter Books

Books often hold sentimental value to a person. Whilst everyone is different and holds different priorities and motivations, there is often an emotional connection between reader and book. Sometimes people feel anxious at the thought of decluttering their book collection and that is totally understandable and valid. Purging books is a personal choice and journey. Before purging it is important to identify your intentions.

Why am I decluttering my books?

Why do I need to keep my books?

If you are a book collector and possessing multiple copies and/or special editions brings you joy—then that is important aspect to acknowledge. For example, “I keep books because I read and collect them. I love reading and owning books give me joy I love seeing my shelves full.”

If you are not too concerned with owning special editions and drowning in the number of books perhaps consider why you need to keep all the books. 

Before you begin the process, consider yourself and your collection.

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Decluttering books: The Process

Step 1: Give yourself a time frame

Remember, be realistic with yourself. Give yourself a reasonable time frame to do this process. Some people need to do declutter in one go, some need to achieve this over increments of time.

As much as I’d like to think I can achieve this in one hit, I know I won’t. 

Step 2: Look at your book collection and categorise your books to

Keep
Donate 
Sell

That’s it! These are the steps! Haha. But if you struggle with decluttering (like me) or unsure how to categorise your books, ask yourself the following questions:

Questions for categorising books

Is this a duplicate?

    • Unless you’re an avid book collector, most often you don’t need multiple copies of a book. Check for duplicates and decide which copy you want. For optimal results be ruthless with yourself.

Is this book still relevant to me?

    • How do you determine what’s relevant for you? You get to decide the parameters. However, an example of books that have lost relevance for me include magazines, textbooks, and travel materials that have lost its relevance due to being outdated, unneeded, or unnecessary. If the book does not serve a purpose, if it holds no value to you, perhaps you no longer need it.

Have I read this and/or will I read this again?

    • Books you haven’t read:
      • Set realistic expectations on yourself: will I truly read this?
        • If the answer is no, consider why you won’t read the book and decide whether there is a need or reason to keep the book. 
  •  
  • Books you have read—will you re-read it?
    • First and foremost: books are meant to be read. Consider why you want to keep the book. A book’s initial purpose is to be consumed. If you have read the book then the book has served its primary purpose. If you want to re-read/share/happily gaze at the book then perhaps you can and should keep the book.
  • The “Just in case” books:
    • Consider if you were to lose this book—would this bother you? If not, then perhaps the book no longer serves a purpose for you.
    • Am I able to replace this book should I need it again? (For example, library copy, digital format, is this an out of print book?)

What do to with the books:

Donate or sell

  • Donate to:
    • The public library
    • Schools
    • Thrift stores
    • People you know who would appreciate the book

If it is difficult to let go of books remember this:

  • Do I have access to a library and if so, am I able to borrow this book?
  • Can I consume this book via digital format? Audiobooks and/or e-readers?
  • Why do I own this particular book?

If you do declutter books that gives potential shelf space for more books!

Additional tips:

define a specific a home to keep the books

get rid of books you don’t usually re-read

keep books you would want to re-buy again 

be deliberate and intentional with books you want to own

I write this blog mainly to myself as I don’t want to hold onto books that I don’t love nor hold any value to me. If you have any tips or pointers on decluttering I’d love it if you’d share them!

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2021 Reading Goals | Thoughts and Rambles

My 2021 Reading Goals

  1. Be more intentional with reading

What does being intentional mean for me? It means to purposely take action that is important to me. Being intentional is a personal experience. For me, rather than focus on x number of books read per year, I want to consume more books that bring me joy, inform, and challenge me.

What does that mean? I want to be more conscious of the books I choose to read and spend time and money on.

Books that bring me joy: books that make me think and feel (both positive and negative)

Books that inform me: where I learn something new and/or build upon existing knowledge

Books that challenge me: books that confront me, or is from a perspective I’m not familiar with, or aspects I’m ignorant of.

  • I want to read more backlist books (books that aren’t new releases)
  • I want to finish series I liked
  • I want to read more books I own

I don’t want to read or purchase books due to the hype if it doesn’t genuinely interest me.  Life is too short to fill my time and energy on books I’m not keen on. Which leads me to my next point.

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  1. Develop a regular reading routine

My next point stems from being intentional, but it still stands on its own. Everyone is busy. Reading time is limited. Reading often takes our leisure time. And with today’s society, time is our most precious currency. I’m too broke to spend my time on things that don’t serve a purpose or be wasteful with it. Therefore, developing a regular reading routine may be extremely beneficial.

  • I aim to read at least 10 minutes a day. Ten minutes. In the greater scheme of things, it’s not something too big but it’s a realistic goal with my schedule. I can easily read in my break/time off/commuting. Plus, ten minutes doesn’t put a big pressure on me to achieve such things.

Shouting to the void that I want to have a regular reading routine is all fine and dandy but I need to have tools or an approach to ensure I achieve such goals. SooOooo…

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  1. Keep a consistent reading journal

Reading journals don’t need to be aesthetic. There, I said it! And I must continuously remind myself of this: READING GOALS DON’T NEED TO BE PERFECT AND PRETTY, DAMN IT. I’ve constantly struggled with keeping a reading journal due to me wanting to make it aesthetic rather than useful. And ugh I hate being a perfectionist, but I’m working on it.

What does a Reading Journal consist of? Anything you want. Reading journals are a testament of what you want in regards to reading and books.

What I will include in my reading journal:

    • Book Log (Information such as: Title, author, publisher, etc.)
    • Bookish thoughts
    • Book review or reading response
    • Reading Challenges
    • Book lists (bucket lists, books I love, TBR, etc.)

I want to incorporate a consistent reading journal because of the many benefits. Benefits of a reading journal include (but are not limited to):

  • Greater focus on reading and being intentional with my time and reading goals
  • More meaningful and better reflection on what I read and learned

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  1. Read owned books

Of the 115 books I own (not including duplicates), I have read 26 books. 26 out of 115. Meaning, if this was a test I would fail. My reading rate is 22% of the books I currently own. I have unread almost 80% of my owned books. I need to do better.

Last year, I fell down the rabbit hole of purchasing new releases and hyped books and bought the books before having a change to read them. Whilst I love supporting authors, it was unsustainable for both my shelf space and wallet.

I want to bring my reading rate of up to at least 50% of book I own. Meaning, whatever number of books I own I will aim to read at least half of that. I want to be intentional with what I purchase and own. A books true purpose is to be read and damn it, I will fulfil my books dream!

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  1. Declutter the books

I know there’s a saying “you can never have too many books”. And that’s true. However, for myself, I don’t like the idea of owning books I don’t plan to read. Therefore, I’d like to keep that shelf space free for a book I would like rather than owning a book just for the sake of owning it. I want to consciously curate my shelf space with books I love and am genuinely interested in.

It’s already past the middle of January and I’ve already purged 7 books I don’t plan to read or have already read and didn’t love. Yay! Progress, not perfection.

I know I can’t speak for everyone, and different people enjoy books differently. That’s okay. I just need to set realistic boundaries for myself and shelf space.

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Do you have any reading goals? If so, what are they? Let me know!

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People of Abandoned Character | Review


Title: People of Abandoned Character
Author: Clare Whitfield
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery and Thriller, Historical Fiction
Rating: ★★★★☆
Where can I get this? Goodreads | Booktopia | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble
Recommended for: fans of historical fiction centring on Jack the Ripper or set in the Victorian era, fans of mystery and thrillers
CW: domestic abuse, violence, death, anti-Semitism*

*I did feel uncomfortable with the casual anti-Semitism (Jewish characters facing prejudice from other characters). Whilst I can understand the sentiments do not necessarily reflect the author or the protagonist, rather the common prejudices held at that time, I’d like to inform readers it’s there. Also, this does not occur often and the protagonist questions the notions.

An absolute ripper of a book. What would you do if you suspected the man you loved and married was a serial killer?

People of Abandoned Character is a grim and brutal atmospheric thriller convoluted with abrupt twists and dark turns. Some twists I anticipated whilst others were unexpected. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the tumultuous ride and devoured this book in one sitting.

Set in 1880’s Victorian England, this novel follows a young woman named Susannah, as she navigates her life from ward nurse to a newly wedded wife. Charmed by the enigmatic surgeon Thomas, Susannah is swept off her feet into a sudden advantageous marriage. The promise of a life of stability with a loving husband is new and exciting to Susannah. However, upon returning from their honeymoon their once sweet kisses turn sour as Thomas’ endearing demeanour changes. Thomas who was once attentive, devoted, and charming becomes cold, surly, and volatile. With the rising coincidental spikes in crime and her husband’s erratic behaviour, Susannah grows suspicious. What if Thomas is the fearsome murderer?

First, I must mention the two major factors that made me thoroughly enjoy this book: the narration and the protagonist. Upon reading the first few pages, I instantly fell in love with the narration. Written in first-person, the voice is distinct and gripping yet humorous at times. The story is well-paced with an engaging protagonist. Susannah is an intriguing character who is both determined yet naïve and unconventional and I enjoyed witnessing the story unfurl from her perspective.

Originally from a lower social class and having little to no prospects, Susannah is no stranger to the poor, unfortunate circumstances and sometimes violent ends women face in that era. Despite that, we witness Susannah grapple society’s expectation using her quick wit and determination. Throughout the novel, you can’t help but cheer for Susannah. Often berated by her grandmother of being a person of abandoned character, Susannah examines herself, questioning her morality and decisions. However, as the audience, we can’t help but empathise with Susannah and her actions despite her flaws.

Also, this book explores aspects such as class and gender, presenting fascinating insight whilst drawing attention to the disparity between the rich and poor and the inequality between men and women. A sad tune that still rings true till this day.

Overall, this was a compelling read with great pacing and intriguing twists. I enjoyed this thoroughly (and was satisfied with the ending!) and would recommend this book. Now I cannot wait for my Goldsboro copy to arrive.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher (Head of Zeus) for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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OwlCrate October 2020 | Unboxing

OwlCrate October 2020: Legends and Lore

𝗙𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝗸: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

𝗠𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵𝗹𝘆 𝗘𝗻𝗮𝗺𝗲𝗹 𝗣𝗶𝗻: designed by @HeyAtlasCreative

𝗪𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝗠𝗼𝗼𝗻𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗪𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗺𝗲𝘀: from Team @OwlCrate

𝗦𝗽𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗗𝗮𝘄𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗕𝗼𝘄𝗹 𝗖𝗼𝘇𝘆: designed by Janine Lecour

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿-𝗧𝗼𝘂𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗱 𝗤𝘂𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗕𝗮𝗺𝗯𝗼𝗼 𝗣𝗵𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱: designed by @LadyChubbLetters

𝗚𝗶𝗿𝗹𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗣𝗮𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗙𝗶𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗚𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘀 𝗡𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗙𝗶𝗹𝗲: by Team OwlCrate

𝗔 𝗦𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗳 𝗪𝗿𝗮𝗶𝘁𝗵𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗥𝘂𝗶𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗦𝗼𝗮𝗽 𝗕𝗮𝗿: created by @MotherlandEssentials

𝗥𝗮𝘆𝗯𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗿 𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸: complimentary from Libro.FM

𝗢𝘄𝗹𝗖𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘀𝗻𝗲𝗮𝗸 𝗽𝗲𝗲𝗸 𝗼𝗳 𝗪𝗲 𝗙𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘀

 

My thoughts:

With the limited sneak peaks for that month I was so excited for this box. Not only due to the theme and the book in question, but also how it exclusively features BIPOC sellers and inspired books. However, upon opening the box, I couldn’t help but feel… disappointed. I feel like this theme could have been explored further and be more creative in terms of design and items. I’ll be honest, I feel cheated with this box. I am a POC myself, so naturally, I want to support BIPOC sellers but I feel like this box doesn’t showcase the theme well. Plus, with the lack of BIPOC sellers… I just… SIGH

In terms of the theme, designs, and items, I felt like there was no cohesiveness. I don’t know how the items and design relate to the the inspired books and overall theme. The items feel so randomly shoved together and I suppose this may be due to the fact that I haven’t read some of the books. However, for the books listed that I have read, I don’t understand the choice of items.  For example, I mean, one could do so much with Spin the Dawn. I feel like only the design relates the the book. And not to criticise the design or item–I do appreciate the item and design. The bowl cozy design is gorgeous and wonderfully made. However, I question how it relates to Spin the Dawn other than the cover of the book?  I don’t know.  Like, I do appreciate how useful the items are, but I don’t understand how they relate to each other and the theme?

Cost: I really do not feel like this box was worth my money. However, I am an international buyer so I understand that our currency is weaker than the USD plus shipping expenses, however, I feel like other than the soap, the items could be purchased on cheap websites like WISH and ALIEXPRESS for a fraction of the price. Friends, with the change of shipping, I pay approximately $77+ AUD for this box.  I just feel like slapping quotes on items and claiming it’s exclusive… I don’t think I can justify paying over $77 for that… Also, other than the soap, I would not purchase any of this items for myself. I wouldn’t go as far as say that I’m a minimalist, but I don’t really like to purchase items I don’t use nor need. It’s a shame because since discovering OwlCrate last year I’ve always loved them. I enjoy their monthly picks and loved their items. Perhaps this particular month wasn’t for me.

Conclusion: I’m not too fond of the items but I do love this month’s book. I accidentally slipped up my dates and purchased the November box, so, I will see how that box goes and will determine whether I would like to continue OwlCrate or not. Which is a huge bummer because I usually love OwlCrate book picks and their items.

What are your thoughts on this box?

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FairyLoot September 2020 | Unboxing

FairyLoot September 2020: Under the Sea

𝗙𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝗸: Fable by Adrienne Young

Not the best picture, but the edges are sprayed a gorgeous glittery aquamarine colour
Author’s signature

𝗠𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵𝗹𝘆 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘀: Nevernight inspired characters illustrated by Katherine Britt

𝗧𝗼 𝗞𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗮 𝗞𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗱𝗼𝗺 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗠𝘂𝗴: designed by @gabrielleragusi

Quote: “It’s like holding a story rather than a poison she feels wild and infinite in my arms.”

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝗲𝗮 𝗪𝗶𝘁𝗰𝗵 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗣𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗹 𝗖𝗮𝘀𝗲: designed by Ink and Wonder

𝗛𝗮𝗶𝗿 𝗕𝗿𝘂𝘀𝗵: with a nautical design

𝗢𝗺𝗯𝗿é 𝗠𝗲𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘄𝘀: with quotes ‘’make waves” and “beach please”

𝗨𝗿𝘀𝘂𝗹𝗮 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗘𝗻𝗮𝗺𝗲𝗹 𝗞𝗲𝘆𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗻: designed by Ink and Wonder

Quote: “Poor Unfortunate Souls”

𝗣𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗔𝘁𝗹𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗶𝘀: illustrated by @taratjah

What are your thoughts on this box?

My thoughts: I absolutely love nautical themes and aesthetic, however, this didn’t have the same oomph factor as last months for both items and design. For me, I believe it’s due to the fact that there are so many avenues one can go with a nautical theme. It feels like this month has focused on the ‘Little Mermaid’ rather than an overall sea setting or books with a sea setting. I guess this is reflective on the name of the theme. 🙈😅

In terms of items, I like how useful the mug, hairbrush, and reuseable straws are, but I usually prefer buy my own type of hairbrush. Also, this hairbrush may not be useful for all types of hair. However, I thought the resuseable straws were a great idea.

In terms of design, I love how cohesive this theme is for colour. I love the use of blue and aquamarine. However, the pencil case is not my favourite item nor do I feel like I have much use for the enamel keychain. Nevertheless, the items are gorgeous.

𝐐𝐨𝐭𝐃: Have you read Fabled? What are your thoughts on it? Otherwise, what did you think of this box?

𝐀𝐨𝐭𝐃: I’m so excited to read Fable! I’ve heard so many great things about 😄 plus I absolutely love books with a sea setting 🌊

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The Thursday Murder Club | Currently Reading

This year I decided to venture off to genres I don’t often read—thrillers, mystery, and sci-fi. And guess what? I love them. 🥰

The Thursday Murder Club is a Goldsboro Premier book pick and I’m really enjoying it so far. Here, we follow a group of retirees as they use their knowledge, skills, past connections, and perhaps dubious methods to solve cold cases. One day, there’s a murder close to home and who better to pick up the case than the Thursday Murder Club?

𝐐𝐨𝐭𝐃: If you had to solve a murder with the protagonist of your last/current read, who is it and would you crack the case?

𝐀𝐨𝐭𝐃: I’d be working with the unorthodox members of the Thursday Murder Club (Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, and Ron) and I’m sure we’d crack the case 😁

I wanted to showcase the gorgeous details of the stencilled edges.
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Library Haul | Book Haul

Growing up, my family always utilised the library. There’s something special about the library and I love them so much. The other day, I decided to ignore my unread books on my shelves and acquire more books without my wallet cursing and crying at me. As a result, I went to my local library.

One thing I love about my library is how it allows you to borrow ten books at a time. I tried to be realistic and borrow the maximum books I think I can read within two weeks, so I managed to pick five books. Here are my pics:

• 𝗢𝗽𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗔𝗹𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 by Justin A Reynolds

• 𝗪𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗙𝗶𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗛𝗶𝗴𝗵 by Elizabeth Acevedo

• 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗣𝗼𝗲𝘁 𝗫 by Elizabeth Acevedo

• 𝗗𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 by Justina Ireland

• 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗦𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻 by Samantha Shannon

A few of these books have book on my tbr for a while and now I can devour them to my hearts content 😁 I’ve already started Dread Nation and omgggg I stayed up so late and now I’m hating/loving myself right now 😅😭😂

(Ps please ignore how I forgot to showcase The Bone Season 🙈)

𝐐𝐨𝐭𝐃: Have you read any of these books? Do you use the library? What’s the last book you borrowed? Otherwise, what’s the last book you bought?

𝐀𝐨𝐭𝐃: Finally!!! There was some free Elizabeth Acevedo books at my library and you bet I swiped the books and ran out 😂🏃🏻‍♀️💨💨💨

I originally made this as a reel for Bookstagram, however, I can’t play the music I added with this so let’s just pretend I’m singing in the background *Cue off-pitch singing and cats crying*

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FairyLoot August 2020 | Unboxing

FairyLoot August 2020: Let the Games Begin

Featured Book: Star Daughter by Shveta Thakar

Monthly Character Cards: Nevernight inspired characters illustrated by Katherine Britt

An Ember in the Ashes inspired Book Sleeve (Laia & Elias): designed by @monolimeart

Hunting Prince Dracula inspired Hardcover Notebook: by @noverantale with artwork by @taratjah

Aurora Rising Enamel Pin: designed by @ironandinkdesigns

Nevernight (Mia & Mr Kindly) Metal Bookmark: designed by @taratjah

Golden Egg Bath Bomb: created by @littleheartgifts

Scythe inspired Magnet: by @tararjah

Upon opening my box I actually gasped. This box left me speechless. I’m so in love with everything 😭🤩 FairyLoot definitely spoiled us with this book. One could say everything here was out of this world 😁✨

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The Midnight Bargain | Book Review

Title: The Midnight Bargain
Standalone
Author: C. L. Polk
Publisher: Erewhon Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Where can I get this? GoodReads | Book Depository | Booktopia | Barnes and Noble
Recommended for: fans of historical fiction set in Regency era, themes of politically arranged marriages, and feminism
CW: themes of misogyny (women wearing collars after marriage to subdue their magic and protect potential children)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Check out the synopsis below!

Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling.

In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss . . . with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan.

The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?

“You will dance. You will eat cake. You will see starlight. You will have a kiss by midnight, and then our bargain is done.”

I liked how this book explores and woven the themes of gender equality, women’s freedom, and independence into the novel. However, I felt like this novel lacked nuance in some areas. I appreciated the rhetoric regarding equality, however, at times it felt too heavy-handed and on the nose, thereby affecting my reading experience towards the 80% mark of the story. In saying that, I do agree that the discussion regarding equality and independence is crucial, and whilst I may find it a bit on the nose at times others may not find it so.

Also, I liked how driven and determined the protagonist (Beatrice) was throughout the story. My two favourite characters were Beatrice, Nadi, and Ysbeta. I particularly liked Beatrice and Nadi’s dynamic. And I liked how Beatrice and Ysbeta grew together, fostering a great friendship.

However, unfortunately, I could not come to love the love interest (Ianthe). I felt like the romantic interest was too perfect in the sense that he was consistently understanding, open-minded despite living in and taking part in a world that constantly benefited him. It felt unrealistic. From the top of my head, I can’t think of any flaws. I mean, the love interest is even good looking and rich.

Despite the constant focus on the romance, the romance felt underdeveloped and rushed. I didn’t feel emotionally invested nor understood the romantic connection between the characters. I feel that there was no romantic build-up for me to really cheer for the two characters.

In terms of the world-building and magic system, I liked how intriguing the magic system was. However, this could be due to my lack of understanding, but I found the magic system vague. Despite that, I did find the magic system fascinating and enjoyed it.

Without getting spoiler-y, I both liked and not-so-liked the ending. I found it unrewarding in the sense of how it opposes certain themes presented throughout the novel regarding marriage, children, and Beatrice pursuing her passion. I felt the ending felt too convenient to be believable. Despite that, I did like how Beatrice chose and paved her own path for both career and family (I’m trying to be as vague as possible here).

GUSH:

  •  Gripping, I devoured this book in one sitting –
  • Interesting world and magic 
  • Determined protagonist wanting to pursue their passion and a strong sense of women empowerment

GRIPE:

  • I didn’t feel too invested in the romance
  • Not enough information regarding the world-building and magic –
  • The ending felt too convenient

 

𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘦: 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘲𝘶𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘊𝘰𝘱𝘺 (𝘈𝘙𝘊) 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘺 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘶𝘱𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher (Erewhon Books) for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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