Spoiler Free Review: Ruined by Amy Tintera



Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

I’ve been meaning to pick this book up for so long, and thanks to Harper Collins who kindly sent us a copy, I have been able to do so! And yes I am very late to the party on this one but so, so happy I finally picked this up!

As the synopsis above states, this story follows Em who has taken the place of Prince Casimir’s betrothed, tricking the family and marrying the heir to the Lera throne so that she can take them down and avenge her parents. As this storyline alone will suggest, stakes are pretty high and the story has you on the edge of your seat wondering if Em will be discovered, and if so, what will happen to her. I’ll be honest here and say that if you have read a lot of YA set in warring, magical kingdoms then this plot will not be the most unique and refreshing, however it is very entertaining and if you are a fan of feuds, magic, tragedy and romance you will really enjoy this.

One of the main things I liked about this book is the world building. The kingdoms all have their own personality and relationships to each other and to magic and I found this really intriguing. It was done in a really clear and concise way so that you knew the traits and beliefs of each kingdom but weren’t left confused and overwhelmed by the details. Also I love the Ruined and can’t wait to read the sequel to get more information on their magic and (hopefully) meet more characters from there- more Ruined please!

I was pleasantly surprised by the characters in this book and so happy to report that none of them got on my nerves! A very rare occurrence indeed! Em did have the potential to annoy as she does fit into the typical YA ‘tough girl’ trope, but she didn’t! I liked her loyalty and her baddassery (that’s a word right?), but also liked to see her human side, yes people, sometimes badass female characters are human and can’t help be attracted to nice, good-looking men! And let’s face it Cas was a nice guy, and I like nice guys- so yay for Cas. My favourite character, though, had to be Aren. Just read it if you haven’t guys, so we can talk about Aren, he’s a cool guy.

The one part I did not like was around the 300 page mark which was pretty much a chapter devoted to the romance. I did not like that chapter. If you love romance though, you will probably like this and it does give you a little respite from the politics and violence, but honestly I just didn’t like how the romance was executed here, it felt rushed and a little unrealistic, but maybe that’s just my sceptical self. Also the below quote:

And he’d taken his shirt off and slung it over his shoulder. Em found herself staring at one particular drop of water making a journey from the base of his throat down the center of his chest. She watched as it rolled down, sliding across his skin and disappearing into the ridges of his abdominals. She had never wanted to be a drop of water so badly.

Yeah, no. This is not for me.

All in all I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to pick up the next one. If you guys haven’t read this yet but have thought about it, I recommend you do! It’s a quick, entertaining read and I’m pretty sure the third book comes out this year, so good timing!

A minor caution to younger readers that this book does include a fair amount of graphic violence.

Until next time book friends,

Star x


Spoiler Free Review: Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie



Rating 3/5 Stars


Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer. Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, and she can’t always decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself. As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the charming-yet-volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.


If you love fantasy, kingdoms, political intrigue, love triangles and angsty romance, let me say this again for emphasis ANGSTY ROMANCE, then this is the book for you!

I went into this book fairly blind and I didn’t have many expectations, so when I started reading and the story began as it did, I was both pleased and surprised. There was so much action and tragedy for the beginning of a story – if any of you reading this have read it- guys what was that fire?! Didn’t see that coming at all. I really enjoyed the first 30% and the magic aspect was really unique and interesting… but honestly my main criticism is that this book took close to 500 pages to do what it could have done (in my opinion) in 300. I felt like the same scenario was being played out over and over, which brings me to the two brothers.

If you do not like love triangles be warned 90% of this book pretty much revolves around a love triangle between Sonya and the emperor Valko and his brother Anton. I’ll admit that at first it is intriguing and there are a few twists and turns in there, but it doesn’t take long before you get tired of the same ‘will she/ wont she’ and the same scenario plays out over and over. Let’s just say it is fairly obvious how Sonya’s relationships with the two royals were going to end.

There were some side characters that I enjoyed throughout however they were just sprinkled into the plot. Also I was waiting for a huge crescendo at the end of the book, the ‘ooo its all kicked off!’ moment… but it was a little bit of a damp squip. Again I think it focused too much on the be all and end all love triangle when in reality there were far bigger issues at play. I just wish we had a bigger focus on the world building, politics and plot.

All in all it was a decent fantasy read with some great moments and some roll eye moments. Although it may seem that I’m being a little negative in this review I am glad I read this book and I know there will be people out there who love it. Like I’ve already mentioned, if you like romance and love triangles then you need this book.

Huge thanks to Harper Teen UK for sending us a copy!

Until next time book friends,

Star x

Our Most Anticipated Reads of 2018

Star’s Picks (careful of very mild spoilers- most of these are sequels!):


  • Reaper at the Gates By Sabaa Tahir (Expected release date 12 June)

Because ELIAS…my sweet cinnamon roll

  • Legendary by Stephanie Garber (Expected release date 29 May)

I loved Caraval, it was such a fun quick read and I can’t wait to see what the sequel holds- Tella and Legend perspective? YES PLEASE

  • My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brody Ashton (Expected release date 26 June)

My Lady Jane was such a funny book that I couldn’t wait to see what this trio came up with next, and when they announced it would be about Jane Eyre, one of my favourite classics of all time, let’s just say I was excited- GIMME NOW.

  • To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Cristo (Expected release date 6 March)

I know what your thinking- finally a book that isn’t a companion or sequel! Honestly this sounds so intriguing to me. A retelling of The Little Mermaid which is a standalone- yes yes yes.

  • Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer (Expected release date 10 April)

Sorry guys… back to the sequels again. Although I enjoyed Spindle Fire last year, it didn’t quite fulfil my expectations, but I have high hopes it will pick up with this one! This series is a Sleeping Beauty retelling about two sisters, and with how Spindle Fire ended I am so excited to find out what happens next. I feel like I’ve been waiting years for this!


Fleur’s picks (careful of very mild spoilers- most of these are sequels!):


Sightwitch by Susan Dennard (Expected release date 23 January)

I cannot wait to see the (kind of) prequel to Truthwitch! And from Ryber’s POV! Weve heard that there are some major plot twists and easter eggs for Bloodwitch – I am so excited!

  • Wires and Nerve Vol 2: Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer (Expected release date 30 January)

We can’t get enough of the Lunar Chronicles universe and we are so sad this will be the last one (that we know of). What I love most about this mini spinoff is the fact we get closure after the series, and we can see our favourite characters being domestic and living ordinary lives. I also adore the Graphic novel format of this story and can’t wait to see how Iko saves the day!

  • Reign the Earth by A C Gaughen (Expected release date 30 January)

I don’t know a lot about this book but when reading the synopsis I am super excited to try it! I love all YA books about people with the ability to manipulate elements, and this take on it sounds very intriguing! If any of you are interested I’ll put a link below for the synopsis.


  • Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody (Expected release date 10 April)

Again don’t know too much about this book but it sounds so intriguing and unique. I’ve heard it being described as ‘House of the rising sun meets Six of Crows’ – I must read it now! Ill put a link below again, if you want to check it out!


  • Throne of Glass Book 7 by Sarah J Maas (Expected release date Fall 2018)

The highly anticipated conclusion to the series, and I NEED to know what happens!! I don’t think anything else needs to be said but if you haven’t read this series yet – what are you doing? Read it know!! (It is the last one of the series right? If I’m wrong let me know in the comments below!)

Spoiler Free Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo


So I want to keep these reviews pretty vague and minimal in case you haven’t already read these because its best going into these stories with as little detail as possible. All I’ll say here is that I LOVED this collection and  the way Leigh Bardugo uses traditional fairy-tales but throws those plot twists at you is so SO GOOD you guys! So if you want to hear my thoughts on each story, read on below…

1- Ayama and the Thorn Wood
5/5 Stars

I LOVED this story! It managed to capture the perfect fairy-tale ending in an unconventional way, breaking the typical tropes and promoting diversity and feminism, instilling moral codes in a unique but fascinating way- you must read this! If you like Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella inspired stories, you’ll love this- honestly it’s probably my favourite…

PS it also has three mini stories within it which is a WIN.

2- The Too-Clever Fox
4.5/5 Stars

Such a great little story!
At first I wasn’t sure I’d like the story as much as some of the others as it seemed a bit duller and little more predictable in places. At the last minute however, Leigh Bardugo pulls it out of the bag and leaves you satisfied with an ending you weren’t sure you were going to love. This one reminded me quite a lot of the classic Grimm’s fairy tales (with some violence and darker aspects to it) which made me love it all the more.

Oh and I think this story is totally reminiscent of Kaz and Inej!

3- The Witch of Duva
5/5 Stars

So this story definitely had those Hans and Gretel vibes and was one of the creepiest stories in the collection. While reading the story you knew something was going to happen and it would be turned on its head, but you just can’t quite figure out how… and yep, I did not predict the end at all! It makes you regret your first impressions and leaves you redirecting all your feels…this is also one of my favourites from the bunch. If you haven’t already – READ THIS!!

4- The Little Knife
3/5 Stars

Ok this rating may seem a little mean compared to my other ratings, and I can appreciate this is a well written story, it just wasn’t for me. I do think one of the main reasons I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the previous ones is because I was spoiled about the ending, so warning- you will enjoy this story more if you go into it completely blind!!

5- The Soldier Prince
3.5/5 Stars

This was a charming story but wasn’t my favourite, maybe it’s because I don’t like the Kerch ‘style’ as much as the others, I’m not sure… but its seemed a bit slow, confusing and unproductive compared to the other stories. I still enjoyed it though and if you like the Nutcracker/ Pinocchio type story you’re sure to love this one!

6- When Water Sang Fire
5/5 Stars

Ok.. So maybe I would have given this four stars opposed to five if it weren’t for a certain character appearing in this. I was SO happy when they appeared and I savoured every moment *wicked grin* but honestly this read more like a story than a fairytale, unlike the others. Let’s just say if you like Ursula in the Little Mermaid you’ll probably like this story. Leigh Bardugo sure likes to grab those tropes, rip them up and throw them back at you with plot twists you didn’t see coming!

All in all, this collection of short stories is magical and is one of the prized possessions on my bookshelf (We both own two copies each). It makes me want to have children just so I can read these stories to them… or would that be cruel and give them nightmares.. on second thoughts…

Also let’s just take a moment to appreciate the physical beauty of this book. The art is so stunning that it’s worth picking up the book purely for this. Needless to say.. webookingloved it! and the book gets an overall 5/5. If you have a favourite let us know in the comments!!

Until next time book friends,

Star x

Below are some illustrations from the book to oogle…


Our Top Five Cosy Books to Read this Winter!


Five Cosiest Winter Reads...

We don’t know about you guys, but we love to feel cosy and warm in the winter season, especially when it’s cold and snowy outside. In these times we find reading a good book enhances the cosy atmosphere and makes for a perfect evening.  So put the kettle on and snuggle up, here are our top five cosiest reads for winter:


  1. Hunted by Megan Spooner.

“She moves like beauty, she whispers to us of wind and forest—and she tells us stories, such stories that we wake in the night, dreaming dreams of a lifelong past. She reminds us of what we used to be. She reminds us of what we could be.” ― Meagan Spooner, Hunted

This Novel by Meagan Spooner is a charming retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and one of our favourite renditions! Its set in Russia and follows the original fairy-tale more than the modern retellings. If you love atmospheric folklore and wintery Russian landscapes then this is a must!


  1. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

“She was the sun and he was the earth waking from a thaw.” ― S. Jae-Jones, WintersongWintersong

Anyone a fan of the David Bowie movie ‘Labyrinth’? Because this is a retelling of the Goblin King, and boy do I love that storyline!! This story has a beautiful blend of music, magic and dark romance. This is a world where you will lose yourself and not want to leave! Don’t forget to pick this up, it’s a must read this winter!


3. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

“And the prince who had once been a bear pulled close the girl who had once had no name, and kissed her.”Jessica Day George, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

Guys… this book was such a surprise- I absolutely loved it! If you like Scandinavian folklore then this is the book for you! Although the language is simple and the plot line nothing to rave about, I couldn’t help but fall in love with this story. It was so magical and read like an old fashioned fairy-tale. five out five- GO READ THIS NOW.


2.  Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

“Books are more real when you read them outside.” ― Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver

Is this possibly the best series I have ever read? Yes. This trilogy has the perfect balance of sweet romance and magical folk lore. If you enjoy YA supernatural romance – more specifically werewolves, you are going to love this! Whilst this Stiefvater story is slower and more wordy than her other works, it fits with the atmosphere and world building and most importantly the character development. It’s a perfect cosy read for winter! Five Stars!!


 1. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

“And there’s nothing wrong with being a lizard either. Unless you were born to be a hawk.” ― Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and BoneGrisha Trilogy

Words can’t even begin to describe how amazing this book is! The world building, the wintery Russian vibes… absolute perfection! Leigh Bardugo has a real talent for writing in depth characters and mysterious villains. The beauty of this book blew me away and I never wanted it to end, thank goodness there are two more in the series! Definitely recommend guys! Five stars!!!!!


So there you have it guys! We hope it’s been helpful and you’ve enjoyed our five recommendations for winter. It was hard to limit ourselves to just five books, as there are so many we wanted to choose, but we felt these books definitely stood out. If you have any  recommendations please comment below and let us know! Thanks for reading! Stay Cosy!

Spoiler Free Review: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Rating 3.75/5 Stars

glass spare.jpg

Wilhelmina Heidle, the fourth child and only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.
Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, though, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.
But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with Wil’s power.
With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

The Glass Spare is a fun, quick read which helped me (Star) get out of my reading slump (yay!) The story is a take on the Myth of King Midas, a reference which comes up a fair amount throughout the book and an aspect I loved! We’re always sucker for a good fairy-tale/ legend reference in our YA 😉.
I really enjoyed the dynamic of the royal siblings, how they interacted, their stories, their relationships and their unique talents (or lack thereof). Owen and Gerdie were particular favourites, as their personality shone a little brighter than Wil’s and the somewhat forgotten sibling Baren.
Owen is the heir to the throne and thus the mature, capable and exemplary of the royal children. He’s wanderlust filled and selfless, just an all around good guy, really. Gerdie is the sickly younger sibling who almost died from plague at a young age and is now crippled and paranoid about his health. He is, however, an amazing alchemist that can make just about anything in his lab – this aspect of the story was so good! As for poor Baren, I would have liked to get more insight into his character and why he is the way he is. Why is he the undesirable and ‘evil’ one of the four siblings? Surely there has to be more to his character than being ignored by all the other siblings because he’s jealous of Wil- no?
Now Wil….the more I read on, the more indifferent I became to Wil as a character. Wil could, in my opinion, fall into the vast sea of average YA heroines. She is forgettable in pretty much every way except for the power she possesses (but does nothing with- but I suppose that’s where the next book comes in?!). As for Loom, I enjoyed him as a character in himself, but did not enjoy his interaction and strange draw to Wil.. it came across as the typical YA trope and I was frustrated how quickly he trusted and confided in her considering his apparent suspicion and motivations when he first met her. Thankfully the end of the book sheds a little light on this…yes- you will have to read the book to find out!
This relationship between Loom and Wil unfortunately meant that the middle part of the book did drag and very little actually happened. The book did improve again towards the end, however much of this was down to the characters Zay and Espel, which I hope to see more of in the next book.
The world building is difficult to describe, as it both drew me in while simultaneously confused me to no end! I loved the different kingdoms and their traits and flaws, how the royal children were used as political advantages- there is so much potential! Alas there wasn’t enough detail about the kingdoms for me to really get invested and to understand how the world worked. In the same vein, I LOVED how DeStefano used alchemy in this world, I thought the use of alchemy in a medieval setting with castles, royalty and swords was fantastic… until the steampunk element came in. The inclusion of telephones, trains and guns in a medieval world sounds so interesting, but the lack of details and explanation left me struggling to put the world together in my head, I couldn’t quite meld the alchemy/ magic, medieval and steampunk elements together into one coherent world.
Overall I enjoyed The Glass Spare, the side characters were great and the beginning/ ending were very entertaining. I think The Glass Spare does more to set up the next book, and with that in mind, I cant wait to see what happens next!


Thank you to Harper Collins for sending us a finished copy of this book.







November Book Haul!

November was a pretty full month of book buying for us, there seems to be so many good books coming out at the moment. In the end we acquired a grand total of 15 books! So we thought we’d break it down into what Star got and what Fleur got.


Fleur’s November Haul:

·    Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
·    Renegades by Marissa Meyer
·    Snow and Rose by Emily Winfield 
·    The Shiver Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater
·    Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
·    The Memory of Trees by Kali Wallace (from Book Box Club November’s ‘Haunted Minds’ box)
·    Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
·    Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
·    Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne 

Fleur has already read The Shiver Trilogy, Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn, and is keen to get started on Renegades!

Call of the Wild


Star’s November Haul:

·    The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli
·    Call of the Wild by Jack London (Barnes and Noble Leather bound Edition)
·    The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell 
·    Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne 


Star hasn’t read any of these yet, but cannot WAIT to start them! She is going to start with Rosemarked. Have you spotted any that you have read? Or that you want to read?


Hello Friends- Our Blog is now Live!

We are so excited to start our new venture into the bookish community via our new blog. We can’t wait to discuss all our thoughts and our love of books with you all! So this post is just to let you know what to expect on this blog.

We will mainly feature book reviews based on our honest opinions, whether they are books sent to us for review or books we picked up for ourselves. We will aim to update the blog twice a week, one post from Fleur and one from Star – so stay tuned!

We will likely post random lifestyle posts too, which may include content about our lives, holidays or just general bookish cosiness – as we love to be cosy!

We are going through a reading slump recently due to our busy lives, but we hope to remedy this soon!

If there are any topics or questions you would like us to cover in these blog posts, please contact us on Instagram or on the ‘contact us’ page, we’d love to tailor our posts to what YOU want.