Midnight Tease

Midnight Tease - Giphy

You know what they say: you can sleep when you’re dead. LOL. If you’re up at this midnight hour like me then you agree.

This is the Midnight Tease where I share what I’ll be reading and reviewing this month. Maybe you’ll see a couple of books that pique your interest, or that you’ve read already and want to get your chattiness on about it.

I can’t believe we’re in June already. Halfway through 2019. Wow. Summer is my favorite season. All the warmth and sunshine and green. I can’t get enough. I also get to see one of my best friends who visits once a year and I’m so excited.

I know there are also some recent releases I’m excited about like Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard and Finale by Stephanie Garber. Both of these authors are phenomenal. I’ve really loved their books and can’t wait to read these!

Anyway, before I get too carried away, here’s what going on here on The Scarlet Reader this month!

 

Coming Soon…       

Midnight Tease

 

All Souls Trilogy: A Discovery of Witches, The Shadow of Light, and The Book of Life
Author: Deborah Harkness
Scarlet Reader

Pretty Sassy Cool

I have heard so many amazing things about this spellbinding trilogy and the show was beautiful and breathtaking. I don’t think I can’t fully put into words just how excited I am about finally getting to read this trilogy.

 

The First Men in the Moon
H. G. Wells
Scarlet Reader

Penguin Random House

Such a great author. I really enjoyed The Time Machine.

 

Wolves of Calla
Author: Stephen King

Wolves of Calla - Barnes and Noble

On my own journey to The Dark Tower.

 

Zom-B
Author: Darren Shan

Scarlet Reader

A long while ago, I was going to start this series. Finally doing it.

 

Dreamfall
Author: Amy Plum
Scarlet Reader
Amazon

 

Currently…

HQ

 

Good Omens
Author: Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
Scarlet Reader

Penguin

 

Lothaire
Author: Kresley Cole
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

 

The Host
Author: Stephanie Meyer
Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

 

Wizard in the Glass
Author: Stephen King

Wizard and Glass - Amazon

 

Up for Review…

Midnight tease II - giphy

 

Brave
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Scarlet Reader
Goodreads

 

Little Monsters
Author: Kara Thomas
Scarlet  Reader - little monsters

Goodreads

 

The Last Magician & The Devil’s Thief
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Scarlet Reader

 

Loading it up this month and with some epic reads if I do say so myself! Have a happy June!

 

More to come soon…

  -K

 

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below.

 

Sundown Rundown – April 2019

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Hey, Book Addicts!

Hope you are doing well. April is coming to a close and with that, I have the Sundown Rundown where you can catch up on any reviews you might’ve missed this month.

This month has been filled with a lot of anxious anticipation with the final season of Game of Thrones to Avengers: Endgame. Both have turned me into emotional wrecks. I’m not giving away any spoilers, but they’re so good! However, if you want to talk about them then let’s do it!

For now…

Grab a glass of wine, or a glass of whatever isn’t alcoholic, and relax. Here’s what’s happened this month.

 

 

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die #2)

Author: Danielle Paige

The first plan to assassinate Dorothy Gale, cruel dictator of Oz didn’t work out, so it’s time to find a new strategy. First, regroup and figure out who’s on your side.

 

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

Gwendy’s Button Box

Author: Stephen King

If given the gift of a mysterious box that contains both gifts and danger, what would you do?

 

Scarlet Reader

Harper Collins

Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die #3)

Author: Danielle Paige

We’re in Kansas again. But, nothing is the same as it was. Amy Gumm discovers the life she left behind isn’t the one she was thrown back in to. First things first though. Dorothy still needs to die.

 

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

Riverdale: The Day Before

Author: Micol Ostow

What happened during that final day of summer right before the tragic death of Jason Blossom.

 

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Goodreads

The End of Oz (Dorothy Must Die #4)

Author: Danielle Paige

It’s finally the end of the road for Dorothy and everyone. The war for Oz ends now. Who will be standing when it’s over?

 

Scarlet Reader

Harper Collins

The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol. 1 – Phantom

Author: L. J. Smith

Fell’s Church is finally back to the way it was before evil came to town with nothing but destruction. Elena Gilbert and her friends plan to take the summer before college and have fun. A jealousy demon has other plans for them though.

 

Scarlet Reader

Scarlet Reader

The Wood

Author: Chelsea Bobulski

The wood is a dangerous place. The rules are simple. Never stray from the path. Never linger after dark. Don’t break the rules. It could mean your life. It was for Winter’s father. Now she takes his place as guardian of the wood.

 

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

King’s Cage (Red Queen #3)

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Mare Barrow is still reeling from the loss of a loved one and now she’s a prisoner of King Maven. Turned into a traitor as the war finally begins, she refuses to break.

 

Scarlet Reader

Harper Collins

The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters Vol. 2 – Moonsong

Author: L. J. Smith

Elena Gilbert and her friends are finally in college, but that normal life they thought they’d finally get is scratched when students go missing and then turn up gruesomely murdered. With two vampires, a hunter, and a witch, they can handle this, right?

 

Favorite book this month: King’s Cage is the big winner this month. So many feels and intense moments! Mare Barrow is still a mother-freaking boss. Powerful writing as well.

 

Least favorite book this month: The Wood fell flat for me. It just wasn’t my jam. I’m not super big into history. I value it, look back on it, and enjoy its study, but it takes a lot to get me interested in a story that uses time travel with it to capture my attention. This one just didn’t do it for me.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Dorothy Must Die, The Series – A Review

Dorothy Must Die Series

Author: Danielle Paige

 

New Year’s Resolution: 2019

This year I’m taking on the challenge to read five book series I haven’t read yet but are on my TBR list. The first one to be completed is the Dorothy Must Die series. It consists of four main novels and several novellas. I stuck to the main story with the four books. I’m thinking about reading the novellas. I’m not certain I want to, but if I feel froggy enough so I’ll be reading them much later.

Scarlet Reader

The Scarlet Reader

Summary:

Amy Gumm Lands in Oz after a tornado wipes out her trailer park. Suddenly, she’s given the mission to assassinate Dorothy. Oz has become a twisted place since Dorothy has come to Oz. Can Amy fix it? With the help of the Order of the Wicked and other unexpected allies, she hopes so.

 

 

The Scarlet Reader

Amazon

Dorothy Must Die

Review: here

I wasn’t sure what I was expecting with this series. Twisted tales are my typical jam. An acquaintance of mine told me, “Dorothy’s the bad guy and she dresses like a hooker.”. LOL. So, Dorothy being the big bad of the story and Oz being turned upside down really garnered my attention.

 

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

The Wicked Will Rise

Review: here

So, the plan to assassinate Dorothy failed and I wanted to see what would happen next. It’s in this book that there’s more of Oz revealed. It’s quite a spacious land. Wingless monkeys, a rainbow cathedral, and an island of lost things. The journey to eliminate Dorothy just got a little longer.

 

Scarlet Reader

Harper Collins

Yellow Brick War

Review: here

After the cliffhanger of The Wicked Will Rise, I couldn’t not read the next installment. Emotions were running sky-high. I needed more Amy and Nox. The chemistry between is so nice. But they’re also super stuck! Nothing worse and more enticing than forbidden love. That and Dorothy was really taking this war to new heights.

 

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Goodreads

The End of Oz

Review: here

I found this addition and conclusion to the series to show another side of the land of Oz in an even more interesting and horrifying light quite intriguing. The story could’ve ended with the last book, The Yellow Brick War, in a way, but this allowed for something fresh to happen.

 

My favorite book of the series is the third one because it was a major game changer to the series. That being said, my least favorite book was the second one. It fell short of what I was expecting and drawn out a bit too.

Overall, I’m glad I read this series. It’s not one that got my emotions in a wrenching knot or struck me with the desperate need to finish them because they’re so good. They were enjoyable and fun and, in some moments, a riot. They certainly weren’t a waste of time. Not at all. They just didn’t hit that peak for me. I do recommend the series if you love a good twist on tales and the complicated romance scene. The action was pretty great too! I was plenty surprised! Just a really decent story. I guess the reason it doesn’t hit the favorite shelf is that it just didn’t suck me in. It happens.

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Sundown Rundown – March 2019

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Hello, Booklovers,

The end of March is nigh.

The sun is setting and might I say (and probably for the millionth time) that I’m so GLAD that the sun is out longer. I’ve missed it.

March was such a great month for reading. I got a lot done. See for yourself, and maybe even catch up on any reviews you might’ve missed.

 

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

Sever

Author: Lauren DeStefano

Family reunions are all they’re cracked up to be and they may leave you dazed, confused, and feeling slightly betrayed, especially if you went through hell to get them back.

 

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

Undertow

Author: Michael Buckley

A warrior race comes out of the ocean, but what chased them to the Coney Island shores is more dangerous. Getting yourself tangled up in with the prince of said warrior race does not help anybody, especially yourself, but why not? The passive aggressive, moody-broody your type? This one is for you.

 

Scarlet Reader

Amazon

The Drawing of Three

Author: Stephen King

Roland, the gunslinger, continues his journey toward the Tower, but now he finds two more companions to tag along. This rag-tag adventure grows darker by the page, but you just can’t look away.

 

Scarlet Reader

The Hollywood Reporter

Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Born with deadly abilities that’ll get Mare Barrow killed, but very well keep her alive too. With nobody to trust, she’ll have to be careful with every step because it could be her last.

 

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

Glass Sword

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Surviving execution, Mare Barrow is on the run in the midst of a revolution that’ll threaten to take everything she has from her, including herself.

 

Scarlet Reader

Goodreads

Five Feet Apart

Author: Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis

Stella has always had a set path to getting a brand new set of lungs. Will could care less. When he’s eighteen he’s free. When they meet it all goes out the window and that six feet is hard to keep. So she’ll take one foot back and make it five.

 

The Scarlet Reader

Amazon

Dorothy Must Die

Author: Danielle Paige

Amy Gumm didn’t ask to come to OZ. Didn’t ask to be the unconventional hero and possible villain. Yet, here she is. Now she’s tasked with destroying the one responsible for so much pain, torture, and destruction to Oz. She’s tasked with killing Dorothy. Yes, that Dorothy. Nope, not a lie. That Dorothy.

 

Feeling pretty accomplished. Got some good ones in! Keep on the lookout for the Midnight Tease. It’ll be coming your way soon.

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Find Me:

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Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Backpacking Across Worlds (The Ragwitch – A Book Review)

The Ragwitch
Author: Garth Nix
Published: 1991

On Goodreads

Ragwitch - The Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Paul is easygoing while his sister Julia is adventurous. While playing along the beach one grey afternoon, they happen across a strange spot on the shore and Julia finds a peculiar doll. Suddenly, the siblings are thrust into a world they never imagined.

Paul never imagined being a savior, but that’s the role everyone puts him into. All he wants to do is save Julia. She suffers, possessed by the Ragwitch, an evil that brings ruin. She is not alone though. With allies of her own, she fights for her being as Paul fights the Ragwitch’s army to save her and the Kingdom of Yendre.

Garth Nix, author of the Abhorsen trilogy and Shade’s Children, brings forth The Ragwitch. Nix jumps right into the story without any dawdling. Once moment these kiddos are playing around and the next they’re stepping into a whole different world. I really liked how he just jumps right in. It grabbed my interest instantly.

The story follows both siblings, detailing their journey through both of their eyes. I found this to be unique. Both POVs were incredible, expanding such amazing storytelling from a battle for the Kingdom of Yendre to the battle for one’s soul. The detail was fantastical and reminded of so many other great journeys’ like J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and C.S Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia that leave you breathless and wishing the journey didn’t end. It’s that element that makes you sad when a story ends.

Scarlet Readers - Endings

While this was adventurous and enchanting with magic, it was also silly and cute. This was a splendid balance and Nix did it well. What has surprised me the most is that each person and magical being that Paul happened across during this great pilgrimage has helped him out without a question or expectation. Not once was he treated as an outsider, though it was very obvious that he wasn’t from around Yendre. Lives were given and nobody batted an eye, like he was the savior they’ve been waiting for even though no prophecy was mentioned whatsoever.

Paul and Julia were just mere kids, but that meant nothing with the great responsibilities that they shouldered. These siblings are complete opposites but so close. There were many moments I just wanted to snatch them up and shield them. Paul broke free of his shy shell, though his fainting spells didn’t dim a bit and he fell asleep for most of the journey, he became a warrior and leader alongside Qwerty, A Friend of Beasts, Tanboule, the wise, and even the great elementals. Julia had the hardest battle between the two of them. Rather than hide in a dark crevice of herself and let the Ragwitch win, she rose up to battle for control and to free herself of the evil hag. She risked losing everything. Both of them had their weaknesses though. Paul has a habit of fainting A LOT while Julia wanted to just give up at times. This made me like them even more because this only showed how human they were and humans have limits they have to battle everyday.

Nix’s imagination blew me away. He can build a world that can compete with Tolkien in my opinion. He’s always had strong originality that is pure and untouched. It’s utterly striking how he can create a world like Yendre off the coast of Australia in a far away land. It was beautiful and vast. I can’t talk about it enough.

Overall

Fantasy beyond my wildest imaginings. Creatures unheard of and phenomenal storytelling. Garth Nix has always impressed me. I loved the Abhorsen trilogy and had no doubt that I’d love this one as well. He follows no traditional path and creates such amazing worlds.

Quotables:

“The stars don’t lie—but they can be mischievous. There’s nothing they like more than a joke, particularly if it’s a long one, played on someone who deserves it.” (Tanboule to Paul, p. 79)

“The stars see everything, and look deep into everyone below them.” (Tanboule, p. 306)

“Questions, questions, questions. No one ever just comes for a spell. They always want conversation as well.” (Patchwork King, p. 360)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Punching in a Dream by The Naked and Famous.

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The Jungle Will Consume You (Heart of Darkness – A Book Review)

Heart of Darkness
Author: Joseph Conrad
Published: 1899

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader - Heart of Darkness

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

 

There is a taint of death, a flavor of morality in lies-which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world—what I want to forget.

Up the Congo River, follow Marlow on his journey. He meets Mr. Kurtz, an ivory trader who has a mysterious, godlike presence over the region and its inhabitants. During his journey, Marlow is obsessed with the man. Both intrigued and disgusted by him, Marlow is shown the darkness and despair that dwells within man in this jungle.


This review is going to be shorter than my usual ones and that because I didn’t really enjoy this one. There was nothing wrong with it, we just didn’t mesh. Sometimes the bookworm and the book just don’t work. This is one of those cases. I did finish it. I just can’t say that I enjoyed it.


The theme of the darkness that dwells inside humanity was really strong in this one. In the depth of the wild which draws out the beast even in men—a side that we often don’t like to think about or imagine that we have. You never see it until you’ve been pushed to limits you never knew existed. I mean, this is more than just button pushing. This is mind-breaking.

The style of the short story was poetic and dark and bridged on horror. Horror that lives in people that nobody knows about, not even that very person sometimes.  It was chilling and deep and read much like a journal. Though the story was short, it took me some time to get through it, like crawling through molasses, which I don’t like. It was detailed not so much visually, but philosophically, I felt. In some places, I was left in awe by Conrad’s words and in others I was falling asleep. It was a real push and pull.

Scarlet Reader - Gifer

The characters, Marlow and Kurtz, came across maniacal in their own way. Marlow was obsessive to a very scary level that made goosebumps crawl all over me. Right up until the end he was unable to even think about anything else unless it had to do with him. Kurtz came across as a very unstable individual. Narcissism became very dangerous in the form of this character. Everything circulated around him. Each felt incredibly drawn out which was another part of the reason I wasn’t fond of the story.

 

Overall

I enjoy diving into classics. There’s a wisdom in them that can and should be taken away from each of them. The lessons they teach or emphasize upon is so important. However, I didn’t enjoy this very much. I seriously struggled to get to the ending. The is one of those that is either eye-opening or it is just blah. I fell to the blah side.

 

Quotables:

“The fascination of the abomination—you know, imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate.” (p. 4)

 “The earth seemed unearthly. We are accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there—there you could look at a thing monstrous and free.” (p. 32)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Absence of Fear by Jewel

 

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Buzz Buzz Little Crow (Black Bird of the Gallows – A Book Review)

Black Bird of the Gallows (Black Birds of the Gallows #1)
Author: Meg Kassel
Published: 2017

On Goodreads

black bird of the gallows - The Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

A simple but forgotten truth:

Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues of soon be full.

Angie Dovage knows there’s more to Reece Fernandez than the tall, athletic boy of mystery that the whole school is swooning over, just like he can tell there’s more to her than the spazzy band-geek. When he tells her that him being here, in her town, means a great tragedy will strike, she knows he must be full of it, right? But then why is there a murder of crows always around him? Why is he sneaking off and to who know where?

When something dark and supernatural attacks Angie, she’s lucky that Reece is there to help her. Then fellow students and people around town have been going crazy. She’s left with more questions than answers. There’s a battle between good and evil, chaos and death, she never saw coming. In the middle of it all, and which is a bad idea, she may or may not be falling in love with a harbinger of death

 

The cover of this book is utterly gorgeous and breathtaking!!!!! If that didn’t make me curious enough, then the mysterious back cover did. All around, this book drew my interest and I enjoyed it! It was quirky and funny mixed with the drama of teenage love mixed with the chaos of an intriguing mythos around the harbinger of death and creator of chaos.

Scarlet Reader - Excited

the approach to magic was genius and unique. Major disasters became so much more. So did animal mythos. Evil bees? I love bumble bees so I surprised when they were used as a force of evil. The logic behind was awesome though. Same with crow. It was like the dark met the light and the light met the dark in this book and was sprinkled with love and a hint of tragedy from the main characters. Everybody has a little tragedy though, right?

Scarlet Reader - Black Bird of the Gallows

The magic was incredibly enchanting, yet dark, reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty in that way. It wasn’t overbearing, but perfectly fitting into everyday life, perfectly hidden. This design was beautiful.

Angie was both interesting and not. There were times I wasn’t into her. She’s a teenager, so she’s going to have those dramatic moments, but her tone came off goofy. She rambled off from time to time and it seemed pointless. But I loved her relationships with her dad and her friends and how mixed up she felt for Reece. I admired her passion. It was louder than a bass dropping at a rave.

I love Love LOVED the style and unique vocabulary that Kassel used to sweep this book away. It was brilliant and refreshing and kept my attention with such enthusiasm. I giggled. I felt my heart break. I was swelling with emotion and engulfed in the words.

 

Overall

I’ve never read anything like this before. Something that was both enchanting and chaotic and tragic and yet, filled with love. My big problem? The ending felt hugely rushed and vague and confusing. I was as clueless as Angie and Reece were, but more so because there was no real hint as to how everything happened. And the special possibility about magic in Angie’s family? It didn’t feel very solid. I was more fascinated than anything so it was easy to let those bits slide. I feel like they’ll possibly come into play in later books, which I hope to read someday.

 

Quotables:

“Crack your bones and eat the marrow, snap your spines like broken arrows.” (p. 104)

“…I don’t kiss guys who don’t tell me what planet they’re from.” (Angie, p. 119)

“Death doesn’t require a prediction. It’s an inevitability.” (Reece, p. 128)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles

 

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