First Line Fridays: “The Poppy War” by R.F. Kuang

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First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hoarding Books.


Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend. This coming Monday is a holiday here where I am and I get to have a rare long weekend for myself. Already, I’m planning my reading list.

I’ll be sharing the first few lines of a book I finished a couple of days ago – The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang.

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“Take your clothes off.”

Rin blinked. “What?”

The proctor glanced up from his booklet. “Cheating prevention protocol.” He gestured across the room to a female proctor. “Go with her, if you must.”

 

 

 

 

I know there isn’t much context in the first few lines of the book, but The Poppy War was an incredibly plotted story set in an equally well-crafted world. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was hoping to get my hands on its sequel The Dragon Republic. Alas, I’m fourth in line for it, which means roughly 8 weeks waiting time. Sigh. Anyway, I’ll have The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty and the ARC of Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Pérez (which is coming out this 27th August) to tide me over.

💗💗💗

Rachel

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Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers have to share.

 

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First Line Fridays: “The Female of the Species” by Mindy McGinnis

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First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hoarding Books.


Oh, hello there! We made it to Friday!

I’ve been going through my backlist TBR lately, wanting to prevent an impending reading slump. This Friday’s FLF feature is a book I’ve long been intrigued by. A handful of people recommended it when I finished reading Courtney Summers’ Sadie last year, telling me that I’ll love it as well. And they were right, I loved this book – loved it and hurt for the main character.
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This is how I kill someone.
I learn his habits, I know his schedule. It is not difficult. His life consists of quick stops to the dollar store for the bare minimum of things required to keep this ragged cycle going, his hat pulled down over his eys so as not to be recognized.

But he is. It’s a small town.

I watch these little exchanges. They evolve in seconds, from I get paid to smile at you to the facial muscles going lax when recognition hits, the price scanner making a feeble attempt to break the silence making a beep-beep when his food goes past.

I know this pattern but watch it anyway. The bread, the cheese, the wine, and the crackers that sometimes he will crumble and put out for the birds – a tiny crack of kindness that makes him all the more hateful. Because if there’s a version of him that feeds birds as winter descends, then there is a decency that he chose to overlook when he did other things. Other things that also fed the birds. And the hawks. And the raccoons. And the coyotes. All the animals that took mouthfuls of my sister, destroying any chance of proving he killed her.

But I’m not a court, and I don’t need proof.

 

The Female of the Species was a like punch in the gut. It made me angry and sad, and all other complicated emotions. I loved how it tackled and handled rape culture within its pages. This is one important book I think all must read.

I’m not sure when I’ll get to it, but I’m going to review this in the future. I just need a longer weekend, and loads of coffee. Seriously though, you guys need to read this book! Now!

💗💗💗

Rachel

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Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers have to share.

First Line Fridays: “The Candle and the Flame” by Nafiza Azad

First Line Fridays (feature photo)First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hoarding Books.


Happy Friday!

I’ve been on a reading blitz the last couple of weeks – listening to audiobooks on my commutes to and from work, reading books from my TBR during lulls at work, then putting my focus on ARCs during the weekend. I managed to finish 6 books so far, which, for someone who has to be creative with her reading time, felt so good.

Writing, however, did not work for me.

I haven’t written much in two weeks, only managing to finish a couple of new paragraphs for a 5-year old fanfic I unearthed from my almost-forgotten Yahoo e-mail account’s drafts (that I tried cleaning up, but then saw the fanfic…and you know, plotbunnies started jumping around my head…so…) I still don’t know what I’ll do with whatever I finish. I haven’t updated that fic in 3, almost 4 years. By now, I might have already lost my audience, but we’ll see.

Anyway, I’ll be sharing the first few lines from one of those 6 books I finished for today’s FLF.

The Candle and the Flame

The desert sings of loss, always loss, and if you stand quiet with your eyes closed, it will grieve you too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nafiza Azad’s The Candle and the Flame is a wonderful diverse read set featuring Middle Eastern mythology and a setting inspired by the historic trade routes of The Silk Road. This was different from my usual as the story was pretty much character-driven, but I absolutely adored this book and was so glad to have finally gotten to it after loads of recommendations from other bloggers. I agree with them, this is a must read!

I’m set to write a review for this, just not sure when. I’m currently working on my review for another book I loved The Merciful Crow, which is coming out this July 30. Crossed fingers, I’ll be able to chip a bit of my review work this weekend.

Til next week!

💗💗💗

Rachel

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Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers have to share.

First Line Fridays: “Broken Throne” by Victoria Aveyard

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First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hoarding Books.


Happy Friday!

June has been a busy month for me at work, leaving me little time to read. But a booknerd will always be a booknerd, and as is, I found other ways to get my daily those of stories. Audiobooks have been great for me recently. I have finished listening to a handful of books in the last month, and I’m going to be sharing the first few lines of the story I’m currently listening to.

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MARE

I had my pick of days, but in the end, the snow made the decision for me.

All the better. The choice was out of my hands. How long to stay, when to return to the Montfort capital – those questions disappeared when the weather turned. It was only six inches, barely a dusting for a place like the Paradise Valley, but more would follow. I’d been told the winters here were much harsher than those I was used to, worse even than the one weathered at the Notch. Here the snowdrifts pile up ten feet deep; rivers freeze solid; blizzards last for days on end. Too perilous for transports or dropjets. Of course, we could stay for the season if we wanted. Davidson made it clear in his last communication that the cabin outpost was at our disposal as long as we needed, but I didn’t even broach the subject with the rest of my family. None of us, myself included, have any desire to spend the winter buried in snow with only the geysers and the bison for company.

These lines are from Fire Light, the story featuring Cal and Mare. I didn’t know just how much I missed this series (and Mare’s sass) until this collection of short stories. To think that this might be the last I read about them from Victoria Aveyard makes me nostalgic. I’ll certainly miss these characters and this world and would definitely come back to it in the future. Meanwhile, if you know any good Red Queen fanfic, throw them at me. I need them to fill the gap.

💗💗💗

Rachel

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Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers have to share.

First Line Fridays: “Shelter in Place” by Nora Roberts

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First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hoarding Books.


Well, hello there Friday! For a while I thought you wouldn’t ever come. It’s been a tiring week at work and what’s left of my already frayed nerves are getting even more hits. I expect this to continue until the first week of July, or maybe until this work-related thing gets cleared up.

Anyway, to get me out of the real world a bit, I’ll just go read book after book. I’m breaking out of my usual plate of sci-fi and fantasy and reading something by the great Nora Roberts.

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On Friday, July 22, 2005, Simone Knox ordered a large Fanta – orange – to go with her popcorn and Swedish Fish. The choice, her standard night-at-the-movies fare, changed her life, and very likely saved it, Still, she’d never drink Fanta again.

 

 

 

 

I’m only 25% into this book, but the first part – the mall shooting part – chilled me to the bone. I had to stop to breathe and direct my attention somewhere else because imagining that kind of thing happening in real life – and sadly, it had numerous times – scares the life out of me. I don’t know and I’ll never understand how some people could just think to do such: kill, take lives and end stories.

I’m hoping to finish this book this coming weekend as I have 2 days off work (yay!) Then, on Sunday, I’m going to Randy Ribay’s book launch for Patron Saints of Nothing. Plans, plans – I will keep up to them.

Well, that’s it for me today. I wish you all a happy weekend full of reading and fun.

💗💗💗

Rachel

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Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers have to share.

 

First Line Fridays: “The Storm Crow” by Kalyn Josephson

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First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hoarding Books.


Happy Friday!

I’ve been a fantasy binge lately. I recently finished Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also started listening to the audiobook of Julie Kagawa’s Shadow of the Fox and, tell you what, the narration and production are just amazing. I’m truly having the best time with my books right now.

I’m going to be sharing the first few lines from my other current read. In keeping with my recent reading craving, it’s also a fantasy and features magic, crows and warring kingdoms.

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I was a storm. Adrenaline ripped through my veins like lightning as I leaned close to the body of my crow, preparing to execute a dive. Iyla’s warm, steady heat kept me grounded, even hundreds of feet in the air. Cold wind whipped tendrils of hair free from my braid, nipping at the skin around my goggle and stealing my breath.

 

 

 

I’m only 57% through this book so I can’t give you much about it yet, but the worldbuilding is luscious. And the villain? I just want to clock her, so that says something.

The Storm Crow releases July 9. Meanwhile, my review of Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon is scheduled to be published tomorrow, so stay tuned for that.

Alright, that’s it for me today. Hope you all have a great weekend! Happy reading!

💗💗💗

Rachel

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Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers have to share.

First Line Fridays: “Stronger than a Bronze Dragon” by Mary Fan

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First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hoarding Books.


Happy Friday!

Today I’m going to be featuring the first few lines of my current read.
Stronger than a Bronze Dragon

 

Moonbeams frost the dark water of Dailaniang, and I imagine the great River Dragon passing beneath its skittering ripples. It’s said that he visited our village generations ago and granted out ancestors an enchanted pearl as a sign of his favor. If I hadn’t seen that pearl with my own eyes, glowing like the moon upon its jade pedestal, I would have thought the story false. He certainly hasn’t visited again since. And no one seems to be favoring Dailan lately.

 

I’m currently halfway through Stronger than a Bronze Dragon and I’m enjoying it. It’s such an adventurous read filled with magic and action. I can’t wait to find out how Anlei and Tai’s quest go as they travel to the legendary Heihuoshan to battle with the demon king Mowang. I definitely recommend you get this one it comes out.

I’m keeping it short today as I want to go back to reading, but I have a few reviews coming up for the blog, the one for this book included. Also, I’m excited to be included in another blog tour organized by the wonderful ladies at the Fantastic Flying Book Club. The tour starts next week on June 11 and I’d love it if you could show my fellow participating bloggers some love and follow the tour. The schedule is below.

Follow the Tour

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June 11th

June 12th

NovelKnight – Interview
The Reading Corner for All – Review +  Favourite Quotes
Crowing About Books – Review +  Favourite Quotes
Caitlin Althea – Review

June 13th

Uwadis – Character Interview
Lost in Storyland – Review

June 14th

The Layaway Dragon – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Inked In Book Blog – Review + Favourite Quotes

June 15th

The Bibliophile District – Guest Post
In Between Book Pages – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Court of Coffee and Books – Review + Favourite Quotes

June 16th

Kait Plus Books – Interview
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Port Jericho – Review

June 17th

Twilight Reader – Top 10
Utopia State of Mind – Guest Post
Betwixt the Pages – Review
Alright, that’s it for me today. I gotta go back to Tai and Anlei.

💗💗💗

Rachel

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Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers have to share.

 

First Line Fridays: “You’d Be Mine” by Erin Hahn

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First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hoarding Books.


Happy Friday!

My featured book for FLF this week is a title I recently finished.

You'd Be Mine (Erin Hahn)

 

Clay

April

Nashville, Tennessee

If I die, it’s Trina Hamilton’s fault. She’s hard to miss; statuesque blonde with angry eyes and tiny nostrils wearing top-of-the-line Tony Lamas so she can kick my ass at a moment’s notice. When the early-morning sun finally burns through my irises and kills me dead, she’s the one you want.

 

I finished You’d Be Mine earlier this week and let me tell you, I ain’t over it yet. I fell in love with Annie and Clay’s story. I mean, who wouldn’t when you combine country music, a summer tour, and two teen-aged superstars?!? Erin Hahn is definitely a new auto-buy author for me.

You’d Be Mine is already out. I highly recommend this book and urge you to grab a copy and please fangirl with me. I’m still not over this story!

💗💗💗

Rachel

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Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers has to share.

 

First Line Fridays: “Sky Without Stars” by Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell

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First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hording Books.


Happy Friday!

Look who’s back from an unplanned blogging hiatus. Me! Well, truthfully I’m still in the middle of a week-long vacation with my family. We’re visiting my mom’s family in her home province in the far north.

I love it here! It’s so peaceful and quiet, a far cry from life in the city. I took the liberty to use my time here (or at least the time I’m not going from one uncle/aunt’s home pigging out on fresh fruit and sticky rice cakes) to catch up on my ARCs. I’ll be featuring the one I am currently reading for this week’s FLF.

Sky Without Stars (Jessica Brody  & Joanne Rendell)

 

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The rain was falling sideways in the Marsh. It was never a straight downpour. It was always crooked. Just like the people here. Con artists and hustlers and crocs, the lot of them.

Anyone can be saint until they’re hungry.

 

 

I’m only 20% into Sky Without Stars and, right now, I feel like I’m just starting to get to know the main characters. I don’t know what to make of it yet, though this one is being marketed as a Les Misarables re-telling. I guess we’ll see, right?

Sky Without Stars is set to be released next Tuesday, March 26.

💗💗💗

Rachel

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Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers has to share.

First Line Fridays: “The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls” by Anissa Gray

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First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hording Books.


Happy Friday!

Today I’m going to be sharing to you the first couple of lines from my most recent read The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls.

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Althea
You do a lot of thinking in jail. Especially when you’re locked in the box that’s your cell. Mine is about as big as the walk-in closet I had back at home, but in place of leather bags and slingbacks and racks of clothes, I’ve got bunk beds, a stainless-steel sink-and-toilet combo, and a compact, padlocked cabinet. The cabinet’s where you keep your valuables, like family pictures, commissary and letters, including the one from your daughter that’s not addressed to you. The letter that, truth be told, you just can’t bring yourself to read, so you’ve got it tucked inside the Bible that belonged to your dead mother.

I just finished this book a day ago and I’m still thinking about it. The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls was an emotional read, and a great debut at that. But, having read this right after I finished Tara Conklin’s The Last Romantics, it kind of fell a bit flat to me. Don’t get me wrong, it was an exceptionally written novel, the problem’s on my end. I’d talk about this more in my review, which I’m hoping to get posted within next week.

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls releases next week, February 26.

Have a happy weekend!

💗💗💗

Rachel

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Come and join in the fun. Visit Hoarding Books to see what other FLF bloggers has to share.