Book Review: The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Curse #2) by Marie Rutkoski

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25332062Title: The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Curse #2)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: March 29th, 2016

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Following your heart can be a crime

A royal wedding is what most girls dream about. It means one celebration after another: balls, fireworks, and revelry until dawn. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement: that she agreed to marry the crown prince in exchange for Arin’s freedom. But can Kestrel trust Arin? Can she even trust herself? For Kestrel is becoming very good at deception. She’s working as a spy in the court. If caught, she’ll be exposed as a traitor to her country. Yet she can’t help searching for a way to change her ruthless world . . . and she is close to uncovering a shocking secret. This dazzling follow-up to The Winner’s Curse reveals the high price of dangerous lies and untrustworthy alliances. The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn just how much their crimes will cost them.” (Goodreads)

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What a crazy turn of events this was!

Although I didn’t like it as much as the first, I still really enjoyed it and there are some times I questioned why authors must torture our poor emotions.

Kestrel has definitely met her match when it comes to trying to best the emperor. She is doing everything she can to help those she cares about but she is risking a lot and many of consequences are quite cruel. I didn’t like how her friends abandoned her and never tried to understand her position. They are a bunch of dillweeds and she is better off without them.

I think that is one of the differences between this one and the first book. This one takes on a whole new life as being darker and honestly, it made for some intense reading. There are still sweet moments or even just ones to brighten the mood but it will have you feeling so many things.

Arin is still around and we also continue to get his point-of-view. I feel for him and everything he is going through. You can tell he really cares for Kestrel and it’s so hard to not see them together. I loved that tension/banter in the first book and I was really missing it in this one.

Since we were introduced to the emperor at the end of the last book, he gets a major role in this one. I definitely dislike the guy. There is nothing good about him and I can’t wait until someone takes him out. I’m glad his son is nothing like him.

There are other new characters, some have better endings than others. There is no holding back!

From my review, you basically understand that there is also going on when it comes to the plot. Political intrigue is at the top of the last and although that can be hit or miss for me, I thoroughly enjoyed it in this book. The ending was a killer and I just have no words. Luckily I already own the third book and I won’t have to wait to dive in.

Overall, this was a whirlwind of a book. I tried to keep this as spoiler-free as possible which is really hard! If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend it. It’s one that I can see myself coming back to.

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

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WWW Wednesday (4/22/20)

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Hello, My Lovely Bookworms!

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and is now hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

It consists of answering these three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading:

I am going to be starting West by Edith Pattou today for my audiobook. I finished East a couple months ago so its time to finish up the series! It’ll also complete one shelf of books I own that will be all read, so yay!

I am going to start reading The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski. I just finished the first book last night for the second time and never finished the series so here we are.

Recently Finished:

I finished Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer and enjoyed it! It is a Beauty and the Beast and East of the Sun, West of the Moon retelling.

I also finished The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. Gosh, such an emotional rollercoaster.

Reading Next:

I am actually not sure what I will be listening to. It could possibly be Rogue Princess by B. R. Meyers since I just picked up the audiobook for a cheap price and the book is sitting on my shelf.

I will be reading The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski because I need to finish up that series!

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What is your current read? Are you loving it? Have you read or want to read any that I have listed? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Book Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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29414614._SY475_Title: The Winner’s Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: March 4th, 2014

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Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. Set in a richly imagined new world,

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.” (Goodreads)

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Edit: I have now finished this for a second time!

I read it for the first time last January and honestly, it felt like a new reading experience because I had forgotten a lot. I never finished the series so I’m glad I decided to reread this one and then continue with the series.

I am seriously terrible at finishing series…

Anyways, I felt the same and honestly, the heartbreak at the end is just so, ugh! 😢 I’m very excited to start the next one and since I own it, it will be right away.

Old Review:

The Winner’s Curse follows seventeen-year-old Kestrel who as the daughter of a general must decide between joining the military or getting married. When a slave catches her eye at an auction, she quickly falls into uncharted territory as she tries to grasp her feelings. The stakes are high but they only get higher and she must decide how to play game and what she is willing to risk.

Kestrel has a lot to live up to since she is the daughter of a general. She has also grown up surrounded by aristocrats. It is a completely different view from Arin, the slave she has picked up. Throughout the book, Arin’s past comes to light and there is more than meets the eye when it comes to his past and his future. I love that there isn’t an instant romance and there is banter between them and it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There is backstabbing, hating, wanting, and everything that comes with a dysfunctional romance. They were characters that I connected with easily from the start and the ending was devastating and I may have shed a tear or two.

The plot is one I have seen before but her writing draws you in and makes it feel unique in its own way. There is action, betrayal, and scandals of sorts. It is hard to put down and I found myself reading through it quickly and thinking about it constantly.

I went into this book expecting to not be impressed and figuring it would be a 3 star read at best, but boy was I wrong! Set in a richly captivating world where scandals thrive and the characters tug at your emotions. This quickly rose to 5 stars and I can’t wait to continue the series!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Bought/Borrowed Because Of Bookstagram

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Hello, Lovely Bookworms!

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.

Today’s prompt is Books I Bought/Borrowed Of Bookstagram and here goes my list!

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Books I Liked

1.) The Bridge Kingdom

2.) The Winner’s Curse

3.) Caraval

4.) Skyward

5.) Ember in the Ashes

6.) The Bear and the Nightingale

Books I Didn’t Like

7.) The Cruel Prince

8.) Shadow and Bone

9.) Six of Crows

10.) Sea Witch

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And there we have the list! I tried to add both because you know, let’s make it interesting.

Have you read any of these because of bookstagram?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Friday Favorites: Favorite Unfinished Series

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Hello, fellow bookworms!

Today’s post is a tag that was created by Something of the Book and she has a whole list of Friday Favorites to follow. They are awesome and it is a fun way to find new books with a twist and see how others have answered it!

The topic today really fits with the Top Ten Tuesday from this week. I have put off finishing a lot of series that I have enjoyed and there are also series that aren’t finished but I need more of! (Hurry up next book!) So, let’s just dive right in.

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1.) Ember in the Ashes
2.) A Court of Thorns and Roses
3.) Truthwitch

These three all are uncompleted series that I need the next book for but who knows when that will be!

4.) Truly Devious
5.) Dark of the West
6.) Spectacle

Here are a few more that are unfinished series but will have another book coming out early next year. I will be in the same predicament as now if it isn’t the last book though…

7.) The Winner’s Trilogy
8.) The Traitor’s Circle
9.) Harry Potter

These are completed series that I am still working on. Yes, I know. I am late to the party. The other books on my tbr keep distracting me! I will hopefully finish them next year but I for sure know that they all won’t get completed this year, haha.

10-Infinity.) Every series I have started and not finished

If you are curious as to what other series I have not finished then you check out a post I wrote about it here.

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Clearly, I am the worst. I really need to get it together but there are just so many books and I am only one person! Hopefully one day I will get caught up.

What’s a series you still need to finish or hope that it gets finished soon so you can get to the next book? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Redesigns I loved

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Hello, Lovely Bookworms!

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.

This is going to be a short list today! I wasn’t able to think of many and maybe its just because I haven’t read a lot of books that have changed covers. I was able to come up with three series that changed covers so that should be good enough!

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The Winner’s Trilogy:

I actually haven’t finished this series and am hoping to this year but its going by so fast! I did enjoy the first one a lot so I am hoping I like the last two books. I like the paperback covers more because they have such pretty covers!

The Mortal Engines Quartet:

I read this series because of the movies. I bought the older paperback cover but when my sister found the whole set with new covers at Costco I knew I needed them!

An Ember in the Ashes Series:

This I read as a recommendation and absolutely fell in love with the characters. I do prefer the newer covers to the older ones and am so glad they are reprinting them as hardbacks.

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I guess if you don’t count them as series then I have 10 so let’s go with that, haha. What are a few of your favorite cover redesigns? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

Friday Favorites: Books About Rebellion/Freedom

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Hello, fellow bookworms!

Today’s post is a tag that was created by Something of the Book and she has a whole list of Friday Favorites to follow. They are awesome and it is a fun way to find new books with a twist and see how others have answered it!

I love a good book with rebellion. I love to see the characters fight back and believe in something so strongly. It’s always hard to think back on what I have read for these prompts sometimes. I did manage to think of five so here they are!

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1.) An Ember in the Ashes

2.) Dark of the West

3.) The Winner’s Curse

4.) Crown of Feathers

5.) Beware the Night

Have you read of any of these? What are ones about rebellion that you love?

WWW Wednesday (1/30/19)

Hello, fellow book lovers!

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and is now hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

It consists of answering these three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Current Read:

I am currently reading A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. It is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and I am not sure how to feel about it yet but I have a review up for it in the future.

Recently Finished: 

I recently finished Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber. It is a series I loved and decided to reread even though it is cheesy.

Reading Next:

I will be reading The Winner’s Curse next. I have heard a few things about it and decided why not!