Monday, June 18, 2018

Double Review: Ōkami and Yumi by Renée Ahdieh

Ōkami by Renée Ahdieh
Book 1.25 of the Flame in the Mist series
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Purchased Kindle copy

Summary (from Goodreads):

At the close of Flame in the Mist, to end a bloodbath between the Black Clan and imperial soldiers, Ōkami allows himself to be taken prisoner by Prince Raiden, Mariko’s betrothed. For someone who doesn’t believe in heroes, it’s a surprising choice: to trade his life for the lives of his friends and the one he loves. For he will surely be killed when he arrives in the Imperial City. But he decides if his life is the cost of love, it may not be too high a price after all.

What I Liked:

This is going to be super short because this short story was super short! Like maybe a chapter's worth of content or less. But I can't complain because (1) it was $0.00 and (2) it's all about Ōkami. This short story takes place immediately after the ending of Flame in the Mist, with Ōkami being captured by Prince Raiden and Kenshin, and Mariko also sacrificing herself and going with them. It's basically one scene that is shared Ōkami's POV, and he reflects on many different things. As you can imagine, Ōkami is not a happy camper, not with being captured, not with his friends dead, not with Mariko agreeing to marry her fiance, Prince Raiden. This short story sets up things nicely (well, "nicely") for Smoke in the Sun. I can't wait to start reading the conclusion!

What I Did Not Like:

Nothing specific!

Would I Recommend It:

Well, this short story is free, and it was quite insightful, so I'd definitely recommend it. I love getting into Ōkami's head and it was really fun to read. The tension and rage is boiling within Ōkami, so you know some sort of showdown is coming, in Smoke in the Sun


4 stars. Thank you, Renée Ahdieh and Penguin, for making this short story happen! I really hope that the author writes more short stories (besides Yumi's which I'm about to review next), and there is some sort of novella bindup. Everyone, please "buy" these free short stories!

Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Yumi by Renée Ahdieh
Book 1.75 of the Flame in the Mist series
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Purchased Kindle copy

Summary (from Goodreads):

When Yumi receives word of the battle led against her brother and the Black Clan by Prince Raiden and the Dragon of Kai, and of Ōkami’s sacrifice, she resents the bars of her gilded cage all the more. She’s tired of being a sheltered bird, protected in the Hanami. What Yumi really wants is to strike a blow against all the forces that control her life. The time has come.

What I Liked:

Honestly this short story got me even more about Smoke in the Sun than Ōkami’s short story did. This is about Yumi, who is his sister, who he guards fiercely and makes sure that she is well taken care of and out of harms way. But this short story takes place immediately after Flame in the Mist, and Yumi receives a message which details Ōkami’s situation. Yumi has always protected and shuffled around, but now she is going to take matters into her own hands, and write her own fate. Yumi wasn't really a major player in Flame in the Mist, but I have a feeling she will be very important in Smoke in the Sun. This short story hinted at a lot of girl power to come, from Yumi and likely from other female characters. I can't wait!

What I Did Not Like:

Nothing specific!

Would I Recommend It:

Like Ōkami’s short story, this short story is free, and it's also very engaging and worth the read. It may be short - like 8 pages or less - but the scene is worth it. To get into Yumi's head is absolutely worth it. And to get such strong foreshadowing of Smoke in the Sun is also worth it.


4 stars. One more short story that would have been neat is Kenshin's! But I'm excited for book two nonetheless. I do hope these short stories (and any others that the author decides to write) will be put into a print bindup edition. Fam, please go and "buy" these short stories from Amazon!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day! 

I'm thankful to all the great dads out there, who love and support their children. My dad is the best dad in the world. A good dad can (and should) change a child's life, as much as a terrible father can. I'm grateful to have a good one. Thank you, Dad!

On this Father's Day, I'd like to share a list of some fabulous YA that feature an amazing dad. You'll find that in YA novels, dads aren't really around. In fact, parents in general are few and far between, and when you do have a story with parents in the picture, they're rarely around, or perhaps it's only a working single mother, or it's grandparents or an aunt or something. Even in YA contemporary. So this list was actually somewhat difficult for me to come up with. BUT. All of these books feature wonderful dads. I'm so excited to share this list!

All of these dads are present in their child's life (or children's lives, depending on the number of children). I especially love the dad in Sky in the Deep, and Love, Lies and Spies, and Rush, and To All the Boys I've Loved Before, because the dad in each of those stories is a single dad. And that is very special. It was hard enough to think of good dads in YA books, and the fact that some of those good dads are single parents is really cool. I salute all single parents - it can't be easy - but single dads are an specific kind of awesome. Thank you, dads!

Got any additional YA recs for me that include great fathers? Tell me in the comments!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (#286)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!

So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, June 10th to Saturday, June 16th?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

The Life and Death Parade  What to Read and Why

Both unsolicited. Thank you, Disney and HarperCollins!

From NetGalley:

Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1)

I love this cover. I'm hoping I'll like this new series more than the previous series!

Review from this week:

(Click on the cover to go to my review!)

Favorite Instagram post from this week:

A post shared by Alyssa (@theeaterofbooks) on

This week was a tough one! I'm glad it's over. Happy Father's Day, especially to all the dads how read my blog!

Friday, June 15, 2018

My Favorite Adult Romance Standalone Novels

Happy Friday, bibliovores! Today is another day in which I didn't feel like writing/posting a review, but did feel like posting something... so I'm doing another favorites post! You can check out my other favorites posts in a previous posts (for example). 

Here are some of my favorite adult romance standalone novels! It's actually amazing how few true standalones there are, in adult romance. Check it out!

Vampire, Vampire  Degrees of Wrong
            Dark Inheritance: Fallen Empire (Fallen Empire #1)  Spinning GoldThe Game

This list was really hard to make, because most adult romance novels are part of a series, somehow! Whether a continuous series (like the Kingmaker Chronicles) or a companion series (like the O'Malleys series). This list is exclusively standalones (no sequels or companions). I personally love standalones and wish they were more frequent in adult romance!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Swoon Thursday (#281): Slumber by Samantha Young

- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting

This week, my swoon is from Slumber by Samantha Young!

His breathing grew laboured as he leaned in towards me. I trembled terribly as his lips reached for mine again and I felt his arms flex around me. This time his kiss began a little gentler as I opened my mouth tentatively. When his tongue touched mine I followed it with my own. Wolfe groaned against me and I felt it reverberate through me in delicious waves. I gasped at the feeling taking over me. This must be what Haydyn was always talking about. The kiss grew more frantic and I freed my arms so I could wrap them around him, my breasts flat to his chest, every inch of my body as close as I could get to the heat of his.

- Kindle copy, page 187

I was in the mood to reread this one, and so I had many lovely swoons to choose from! This is one of my favorite books of all time and I reread it often. =)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (#285): Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm featuring:

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: November 13, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads):

A nobleman's daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Tasha Suri's captivating debut is perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath & the Dawn.

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited. Unbeknownst to her, she can manipulate the dreams of the gods to alter the face of the world.

When Mehr's power comes to the attention of the Emperor's most feared mystics, she is coerced into their service, as they are determined to harness her magic for the glory of the Empire. She must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist the mystics' cruel agenda -- and should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance...

This sounds super cool! It's an adult fantasy novel with YA crossover. Plus it seems to have Desi influence which is awesome. I am here for this! (Thank you, Aila!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday (15)

Happy Tuesday! Today I've decided to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, formerly hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today's topic is: 

Books That Awaken the Travel Bug In Me

Another planet:

Feudal Japan:


Regency London:


Somewhere at sea:

South Asia:


The Sahara (or some desert - it's not specified in this book):


Oh, the places you could go!