First Lines Friday | 1-7-22

Hello Lovely Readers!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!
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“I watched as two guards pulled a thin boy into the arena. His feet left trails in the sand as though two yellow-spotted sand snakes followed his path.”

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The book is….

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This was a great standalone YA Fantasy! It’s very underrated and definitely my favorite by this author.

Have you read this book? Do you want to read it?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)
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Book Review: Dreams Lie Beneath by Rebecca Ross

Title: Dreams Lie Beneath
Author: Rebecca Ross
Genre: YA Fantasy / Romance
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2021
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“A curse plagues the realm of Azenor—during each new moon, magic flows from the nearby mountain and brings nightmares to life. Only magicians, who serve as territory wardens, stand between people and their worst dreams.

Clementine Madigan is ready to take over as the warden of her small town, but when two magicians challenge her, she is unwittingly drawn into a century-old conflict. She seeks revenge, but as she secretly gets closer to Phelan, one of the handsome young magicians, secrets begin to rise. Clementine must unite with her rival to fight the realm’s curse, which seems to be haunting her every turn.” (Goodreads)

I recently read another book by this author that was an arc and really enjoyed it. Her covers are always great and the blurbs always make me curious for the story within. This book did exactly that as well. How can you say no to this cover? Magicians dueling and nightmares? Sign me up! I’m glad I was finally able to dive into this book and the unique plot it had to offer.

The book is told from one perspective and it comes from Clementine. She is an apprentice/partner to her father who is the warden of a small town. A warden’s job is to ensure that all nightmares are written down and every new moon they face one of those nightmares. I have never read any other book with this type of job and I enjoyed learning what the job entailed through Clementine and her father, as well as those they would consider their enemies.

Besides her job, Clementine is a wonderful artist. Although this talent wasn’t a large part of the book, it does play into her choices. I liked seeing Clementine be very human with her feelings, especially when it came to revenge. I think we can all relate to her because of that. We all want the final word and she comes up with a wonderful plan to do so. One that had me intrigued from the beginning and all the way until the end. It made the book very hard to put down.

The plot is not just filled with magicians dueling, nightmares, and revenge. There is romance (enemies-to-lovers if I might add!) and a mystery to solve which will hopefully break the curse that plagues them. Even though there is a lot going on, the plot is still easy to follow and it all comes together nicely. I will say that the romance lacked just a tad bit for me but not in a way that made me dislike or anything. I just wasn’t fully enamored by it. If that makes sense.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read! I liked learning about Clementine and what she would do for revenge. The other characters were fascinating, especially towards the end. The plot is unique and had me reading way past my bedtime. If you haven’t tried this one yet, I’d definitely recommend doing so. It’s also a standalone so you don’t have to commit!

Book Review: Tiger Unbound by Evangeline Rain

Title: Tiger Unbound
Author: Evangeline Rain
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction / Romance
Publication Date: June 13th, 2020
Publisher: Indie Published
Rating: 2 stars

(Found on Kindle Unlimited)

“An action-packed romance set in ancient China.

The Zhao Kingdom was about to be invaded by the approaching army of the Wei Kingdom.

Rather than suffer the insult of a defeat, the King of Zhao chose to hang himself. Princess Zhao Xuan woke up to find that she was the only one left out of her family’s suicide plans. Refusing to abandon her people, the headstrong princess decided to pick up the mantle and meet Prince Wei Xing in the battlefield.

A duel for the fate of her kingdom.

An unexpected proposal.

A strained marriage to the prince of the enemy kingdom.

Could love help the unconventional princess survive the oppressive social structures which she had rebelled against her whole life?

Warning: This book depicts scenes of suicide and violence.” (Goodreads)

I saw the cover on Kindle Unlimited and immediately added it to my tbr. The blurb also had my attention too.

When I started reading it, it reminded me of Mulan and how she became a soldier. Xuan does it for different reasons but still resembles Mulan in the way she carries herself and what she likes to do.

Even though this had the makings for a great story, it fell short for a couple reasons.

The first reason it fell short was that the romance and start of the relationship happens very quickly. There is not enough time to get to know Xuan or the prince. He also seems too good to be true and I just didn’t like him that much.

The second reason is that the plot moves so quickly because it is a short book. I wish the author would have made the book longer so that there would have been more from the characters, romance, and world-building.

Overall, it was okay. I just needed more from it.

Top Ten Tuesday: Standalone Books That Need Sequels

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Hello, fellow book lovers!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

Have you ever read a standalone that needed a sequel because you wanted to head back into that world? I know I have! Today’s prompt is perfect and I am excited to share my picks.

1.) Uprooted

2.) Four Dead Queens

I know this list only has two but most books I read are not standalones so it’s hard, haha.

What is a standalone you would like to see another book for?