BLOGMAS Reading Challenge

Blogmas Reading Challenge -- The Riverside Library

I went to the library the other day in search of a book to read before bed. I find nothing puts me to sleep like reading (in a good way, of course) but I seem to be out of reading material lately. I went in looking for one book, and I came out with eight. That night, I got a slew of emails from the library letting me know that my eBook reservations were now available and I’ve found myself with twelve books to read in the next two weeks or so before I head back to Australia. Though it may seem silly, and I know I’ll never get through this many books in such a short time, I have decided to set myself a Blogmas Reading Challenge for the next two weeks or so, to see how many books I can actually get through. The goal: hit 80 books on my Goodreads goal. The Challenge: read at least eight of the twelve books listed below.

Cat Poems

Cat Poems Cover -- The Riverside Library

by The World’s Greatest Poets

I love poems, and I love cats, so I could hardly turn this down when I found it at the library, even when I already had seven other books in my hands. It’s a super slim volume – a great way to start off this challenge and take one step closer to my goal of reading eight books. I haven’t had a look through the contents to see what poets are included yet, but I’m hoping to find some favourites.

Blurb:

Across the ages, cats have provided their adopted humans with companionship, affection, mystery, and innumerable metaphors.
Cats raise a mirror up to their beholders; cats endlessly captivate and hypnotise, frustrate and delight. To poets, in particular, these enigmatic creatures are the most delightful and beguiling of muses, as they purr, prowl, hunt, play, meow, and nap, often oblivious to their so-called masters. Cat Poems offers a litter of odes to our beloved felines by some of the greatest poets of all time.

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Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)

Scarlet Cover -- The Riverside Library

Marissa Meyer

I read Cinder some time ago and I enjoyed it, though I didn’t love it. I didn’t have any immediate plans to continue the series, but the other day, I just felt like it. I actually went to the library specifically for this one (and walked out with an armful more), so this will be at the very top of my TBR for this reading challenge. I’ve seen a lot of really good reviews for this one, especially people saying that they enjoyed it a lot more than Cinder, so I’m quietly hopeful that I’ll really enjoy it.

Blurb:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. 
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

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To Kill a Kingdom

To Kill a Kingdom Cover -- The Riverside Library

Alexandra Christo

I’ve seen this book around Bokstagram quite a lot, though I’ve not heard much about it. I, uh, haven’t even read the blurb, which isn’t an uncommon occurrence, and always leads to a fun reading experience. From what I can tell, it’s got something to do with the ocean, and if you know me, you’ll know I love the ocean, but I don’t often read books set at sea, because I’m not the worlds biggest fan of pirates (this is totally a pirate book, isn’t it?) It’s one of the shortest books in my pile, so I think I’ll read it after I finish Scarlet, that way I’ll feel like I’m making some real progress in my list.

Blurb:

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy

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The Star Touched Queen

The Star Touched Queen Cover -- The Riverside Library

Roshani Chokshi

Like To Kill a Kingdom, I’ve seen The Star Touched Queen on Bookstagram from time to time, but I’ve never really heard a great deal about it, so I’ve little idea what I’m in for. The cover is very beautiful though, and everyone knows I’m a lover of fantasy, so as long as this isn’t filled with trope I don’t care for, I think I’ll enjoy this just fine. 

Blurb:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As
Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself. 

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The Bells

The Belles Cover -- The Riverside Library

Dhonielle Clayton

I remember when The Belles was first released, I wasn’t keeping up with new releases, but I was vaguely aware of the premise of The Belles, and definitely intrigued by it, but like most new releases in 2018 it was placed on the back burner of my brain’s book radar, and I didn’t think much about it until I found a brand new hardcover in my library’s collection. (Side note: is it just my copy, or is the cover image quality quite low? Because this copy looks minority pixelated). The Belles sounds like such an interesting premise, I hope I love it. 

Blurb:

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.
But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 
With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

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Lady Midnight

Lady Midnight Cover -- The Riverside Library

Cassandra Clare

Queen of Air and Darkness was just released so I am seeing The Dark Artifices everywhere online, and I’ve only ever read The Mortal Instruments (granted, I read a handful of pages of Clockwork Prince, but got distracted), and so many people say that The Dark Artifices are Clare’s best works, so I feel obliged, as a YA book blogger, to read these. Lucky for me, my local library had a copy smiling up at me on the shelves, so in my book bag it went. 

Blurb:

In a kingdom by the sea…
In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, 
parabatai is a sacred word.
parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.
Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her 
parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.
Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

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This Mortal Coil

This Mortal Coil -- The Riverside Library

Emily Suvada

I don’t dislike dystopians, they’re just something I grab for first. Fantasy is. Then, non-fiction. Dystopians are probably quite high on the list of things that I grab for, but then, lets be honest, I’ll almost read anything you give me (I draw the line at horror, and it is a very distinct line, I’ll have you know). It was probably for this reason that, although on my radar, This Mortal Coil wasn’t high up on my TBR list. However, recently I discovered that the author, Emily Suvada, actually has a degree in STEM, so I’m vehemently hoping that everything I dislike about sci-fi dystopians is going to be absent from this book (because I really dislike dodgy science). (Side note: yay for women in STEM!)

Blurb:

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.
That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.
When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.
Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself? 

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The Queen of the Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling -- The Riverside Library

Erika Johannsen

I have tried to read The Queen of the Tearling so many times, but I’ve just never been in the mood for it. This time, I am determined to finish it. I will, I tell you, I will, I will, I will. I’ll do it. It sounds like such a perfect fantasy for me, everything I look for and love in a novel, so I can’t quite understand why I’ve never been able to fully get into it. I hope I love it. 

Blurb:

Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.
Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of
neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.
But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Two Towers Cover -- The Riverside Library

J.R.R. Tolkien

This is low-key cheating on the reading challenge front because I’m already half way through it, but I do want to finish it before I have to return it to the library. Plus, I love Middle Earth. 

Blurb:

The Fellowship was scattered. Some were bracing hopelessly for war against the ancient evil of Sauron. Some were contending with the treachery of the wizard Saruman. Only Frodo and Sam were left to take the accursed Ring of Power to be destroyed in Mordor–the dark Kingdom where Sauron was supreme. Their guide was Gollum, deceitful and lust-filled, slave to the corruption of the Ring. Thus continues the magnificent, bestselling tale of adventure begun in The Fellowship of the Ring, which reaches its soul-stirring climax in The Return of the King.

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The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn Cover -- The Riverside Library

Renee Ahdieh

I spontaneously bought the sequel to The Wrath and the Dawn when I saw it for $2.95, so I feel like I should probably read the first in the series before I plunge into my bargain by. Plus, it sounds like a super interesting book! Though I’ve never read One Thousand and One Nights, the premise really piqued my interest. Plus, I love the cover.

Blurb:

One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

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Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #3)

Winter Cover -- The Riverside Library

Marissa Meyer

I got this one out on a hunch that I’ll probably want to read it immediately after finishing Scarlet. Okay, maybe less of a hunch and more of a hope.

Blurb:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her
stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

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The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)

The Rose and the Dagger Cover -- The Riverside Library

Renee Ahdieh

As noted earlier, I spontaneously bought this for $2.95, so I figure I should porbably read it.

Blurb:

The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.
In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.
Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is
act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.
The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

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Do you see any favourites on this list? Let me know in the comments below! And take your bet on how many you think I can get finished in the next two or so weeks! I bet, like, one. Mikaela | The Riverside Library

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