[ARC Review] Fireblood by Elly Blake

Hey everyone! We’re back today with a review of FIREBLOOD, book two in the Frostblood Saga by Elly Blake! 

*Disclaimer: We received this ARC from Hachette Book Group Canada. This has not biased my opinion. Thank you, HBG!* 

First off, take in this GORGEOUS cover below: 

I recently finished reading FROSTBLOOD, and I knew right after that I would dive into FIREBLOOD. What I liked most about this second installment was the elaboration on the world–in book 1, we are kept in Tempesia, with little knowledge of the kingdom below (Sudesia, home of the Firebloods). Like in FROSTBLOOD, Blake uses stories and legends to convey details about worldbuilding and the gods/goddesses, and though there are MANY details, I found it generally easy to follow. (Since I recently finished book 1, I remembered a lot of the details.) 
From the start, I knew I would like the Sudesian kingdom more than Tempesia; there was just something about it that was exciting. Maybe since Ruby is a Fireblood, it made me more excited to learn about her home land and heritage.

Next, the characters. From the synopsis, you can see a bit of a love triangle forming. Normally I’m not a huge fan of those. In this book, however, I really liked Kai, his constant sarcasm and wit, and the way he became a true companion to Ruby. Of course, I’m excited to see his character grow in the final book! (Still … Arcus + Ruby!)

Next–setting: I liked the palace vibe, which was similar to the Frost King’s palace yet so different. It reminded me a bit of RED QUEEN in a way. Likewise, in terms of structure, the “trials” in this book felt a lot like an echo of the “trials” in Book 1, which Ruby had to face in the Frost King’s arena. That portion of the book felt a bit sluggish, but then again, I was reading it a bit slowly; once I really sat down to read, I flew through it! Still, as the book went on, I realized these trials had a purpose, especially as it came down to the final 100 or so pages.

Most of the action takes place at the end (like in FROSTBLOOD). I loved the twists–in plot, in character, I was honestly gasping! I think the ending of this book really sets up the final installment, NIGHTBLOOD, and I am excited to see where it goes!

Rating: 4.5* 

“When you don’t know if there’s a tomorrow, you quickly realize what matters most.”

Here’s a fun photo I took of FIREBLOOD with my dinner 🙂 


ICYMI, here is the cover of Book 3, NIGHTBLOOD:


Have you read this series yet? Let me know below!

S&S

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August Wrap-Up [2017]

Hey all! It’s time for our August wrap-up. Here’s a look at what we read & what we did!

Sasha read 3 books:

-Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – 4*

-A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir – 5*

-Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman – 5* (review coming soon!)

Sarena read 3 books:

-One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus – 5*

-Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh – 4.5*

-The Reader by Traci Chee – 5* (seriously one of the BEST books I have ever read)

August was a bit busy since it was the end of summer school, but otherwise we did do a few fun things! Here is a look at the month via Instagram photos:

Happy #BookLoversDay! Here's a small shelfie 📚❤🎊 #booknerdigans #books #yalit #yalovin #shelfie #nationalbookloversday

A post shared by Sarena & Sasha Nanua (@sarenasashabooks) on

We also went to this awesome book signing–a YA Extravaganza panel at Chapters Brampton!

Shortly after, we attended the Indigo Preview Event in Toronto! You can read all about it here.

We hope you all had a great, restful month! Until next time,

Sarena & Sasha

#IndigoYAPreview Fall 2017 Recap

Hey everyone! Yesterday we were lucky enough to attend a YA preview event hosted by Indigo Books at their head office in Toronto. We’ve attended their previews twice before, and as always, we had lots of fun! Thank you to Indigo for inviting us and to the publishers for donating awesome books for us bloggers/readers to take home.

This post will mostly be photos, and of course, we’ll share the awesome books we took home!

We started by mingling and eating (photo below); we got there around 4:50, and it was due to start at 5pm. The preview covered YA books, but we also talked about everything from graphic novels/manga to romance reads and crossover adult titles! Continue reading

On Taking Time Off From Writing

This isn’t the blog post I thought I’d be writing, but here we are. I’m just going to go right out and say it–this week I haven’t done a ton of writing. Or reading. (Unless you count Monday, when I whizzed through more than half of Starfish, which you should all check out when it releases in September!) And I think a lot of writers see this as a guilty thing.
“I didn’t hit x number of words, so I shouldn’t be doing x, y, z,” for example. Or constantly thinking about writing, so much so that it pervades our dreams while we sleep. (We all have weird writing/publishing dreams, right? No? Just me…)

It’s not like I haven’t done much work for no reason. But sometimes, we writers just want to flop on our couches and call it a day. And I think, sometimes, it’s okay to give yourself permission to do that. So much of writing these days has turned into a battle between getting all the words written and writing slowly and methodically. I don’t mean to say that writing sprints aren’t good (because I love them) or that you should only be writing slowly, because every writer is different, and we all have our own pace and speed. But I think a lot of writers are associating writing quickly with getting the product out quickly, which isn’t always the case.

Take us, for example. We wrote a manuscript in 2 months, took a month off, and then revised it the next month before landing an agent. That is extremely fast and by no means what we expected. But that doesn’t mean that everything is go-go-go in the publishing industry, either. It’s summer, things are slowing down, and we’re really taking our time revising this manuscript. Why? Because it deserves time. It deserves slow, methodical thought, excruciatingly long world-building outlines (and lots of maps…). Which is all to say: we don’t want to rush things. It’s all right to take a little time off from writing once in a while. I barely wrote this week, and when I finally got back into things yesterday, it still wasn’t a ton. But I wrote (or rather, I edited…) and that was what mattered. Not that I did a lot of work, but that I did something after a long week of nothing, nothing, nothing. And after a long week of reading nothing, nothing, nothing, I recently picked up where I left off in Windwitch and I am fascinated by the world Susan Dennard has built. Each word, each line, is there for a reason. It’s a book that’s really making me think of my own manuscript’s world-building, and its writing.

Because it’s finally offering me some inspiration after a week of writers’-drought. (Is that a thing? I’m making it a thing.)

This is becoming a long, rambly post, so to sum things up–writers, don’t be afraid to take time off. To enjoy nature (yes, bugs and all…), to see things around you differently, to read voraciously and find inspiration in books and the world in general. It’s really eye-opening, once you take some time off your manuscript, to come back to it and see where things can be changed or cut, and where you’ve grown and strengthened as a writer since.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know everything about everything when it comes to the world-building in my own manuscript (yet!) but, in this revision, I’m working on it. I’m slowly, methodically, working my way through my own questions, so that someday, I can answer them for myself. (And so I can get this book revised.)

If you’re having a tough time with your manuscript, all I can say is let it be for a while. Sometimes inspiration strikes within the most unexpected places.

Thanks for reading and until next time,

S&S

July Wrap-Up [2017]

Hey all! July completely FLEW by, and we still can’t believe summer is almost over! Let’s take a look at what we read/what we posted on Instagram in July!

July was pretty eventful outside of school. We went to our cousin’s wedding, celebrated Canada Day and our bro’s bday, and visited Pennsylvania for a weekend (B&N book haul below!)

In July, Sarena read 1 book:

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon — 4.5*

Sasha read 6 books: 

Caraval by Stephanie Garber — 5*

The Child by Fiona Barton — 4.5* (ARC review here)

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus — 5*

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody — 4.5* (ARC review here)

The Disappearences by Emily Bain Murphy — 5*

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton — 4 – 4.5*

Here is our July book haul:

Let’s take a look at our other IG pics! Continue reading

[ARC Review] Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Have you ever read a book so immersive, you can feel the smoke, smell the kettle corn, taste the licorice cherries? Well, that’s exactly what Amanda Foody’s Daughter of the Burning City did for me–paint a vivid landscape in a unique circus setting, with a haunting mystery at its core. Take a look at the vibrant cover and synopsis, and then we’ll dive into my gush-filled review of this book! Continue reading