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NicoleCeBallos

NicoleCeBallos

Joined October 2016

Librarian. Reader. Lover of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, dinos, and space.
review
NicoleCeBallos
Fourth Wing | Rebecca Yarros
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Panpan

This is the absolute worst book I've ever read. I hated every single thing about it. The writing, the straight up copying of popular series. Nothing in this world made any sense. Of course, we have the amazing BADASS girl who has no idea what she's doing, but somehow manages to be the most special person ever. And the guy she's lusting over is a tall, dark, brooding bad boy with shadow powers, who hates her, but wants to make her his. Eyeroll.

dabbe #fanofthepan! 🤩🤩🤩 1w
RamsFan1963 Other than myself, this is the first pan review I've seen for this book. I'm glad I'm finally not the only person not enamoured with it. 1w
NicoleCeBallos @RamsFan1963 you're definitely not! I have no clue why people lost their minds for it. 1w
julesG @RamsFan1963 All hail to you. I bailed. I couldn't make it past the third chapter. 1w
25 likes4 comments
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NicoleCeBallos
This Delicious Death | Kayla Cottingham
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This was campy and fun! A couple of years ago, a green mist covered the world and turned a portion of the people into ghouls. This book follows 4 ghouls, who packed their cooler of synthetic flesh, and went to a festival in the desert. Something keeps infecting ghouls at the festival and turning them feral. So it's up to our ghoul gang to figure out/stop the virus from infecting other ghouls.

19 likes1 stack add
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NicoleCeBallos
So Let Them Burn | Kamilah Cole
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Mehso-so

A lot was happening in the book, and it felt kinda disjointed. I wish it had focused on the characters and their relationships more. Both sets of couples went from enemies to madly in love without any real explanations. The ending was the best part of the book and made me want to read the second book. It wasn't a bad read, and the cover is gorgeous!

28 likes1 stack add
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NicoleCeBallos
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This was amazing!!! I get why it's been everywhere. Oraya is a human who is the adopted daughter of the vampire king. She joins a competition where the winner gets a wish granted to them by the goddess of death. Raihn is one of her competitors, but they decide to work together to get further in the competition and of course, they fall in love.

23 likes2 stack adds
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NicoleCeBallos
Butcher and Blackbird | Brynne Weaver
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Panpan

I hated this. I found it to be poorly written, and it just dragged on and on and on. I hated the characters, and the banter, and the flirting. The plot jumped over months, and we missed huge chunks of their relationship evolving. Plus, Sloan and Rowan sounded exactly alike, and I had to constantly check whose POV each chapter was supposed to be. I seem to be in the minority on hating this book, though, so if you're a fan of dark romance, try it

dabbe #hailthebail! 🤩🤩🤩 4mo
21 likes1 comment
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NicoleCeBallos
The Paleontologist | Luke Dumas
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You had me at dinosaur ghosts. Simon is hired as the head of the Paleontology department at his hometown's museum. He takes it to try to find out what happened to his sister, who went missing from the museum when he was a kid. While working late one night, he realizes that the exhibits might not be dead.

Soscha I have a copy; moving it up the TBR! 🦖👻 5mo
25 likes1 stack add1 comment
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NicoleCeBallos
The Deep Sky: A Novel | Yume Kitasei
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This was a fun Sci-Fi mystery set in space. Earth is dying, so a single spaceship sets off to Planet X. When a bomb is detonated, three crew members are killed and the ship is knocked off course. Asuka is asked by the captain to find out who made the bomb. It was a fun book.

23 likes1 stack add
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NicoleCeBallos
Vampires of El Norte | Isabel Caas
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I'm not a fan of westerns, but apparently, all they've been missing is vampires. It's not true horror, more historical romance with a dash of supernatural. But I really liked it!

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NicoleCeBallos
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I've heard about this book for years - "one of the best sci-fi books of all time", "the inspiration for apocalyptic and zombie books", etc. So I went in with pretty high hopes for it and was completely engrossed by it.

It was written in 1951, so there's a bit of misogyny from the main character, but the things he predicted and just how many books/movies it inspired is enough for it to be a must read.

Plus, who doesn't love killer plants?

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NicoleCeBallos
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Panpan

Yikes, this was bad. I should've known when I saw the CoHo quote on the front that it was going to be a poorly written book, but the cover lured me in. The writing was so cringe, the characters made no sense, and the ending was stupid. If I had to read about her "blue blue eyes" one more time, my eyes were going to roll out of my head. I can't say enough about how bad the writing is. This is easily the worst book I've read all year.

LiteraryinLawrence Yikes!! Thanks for taking one for the team so the rest of us know we can skip it. 😋 9mo
NicoleCeBallos @LiteraryinLawrence 😂😂 definitely skip it. 9mo
5feet.of.fury 🤣🤣 9mo
21 likes3 comments
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NicoleCeBallos
The Bodyguard: A Novel | Katherine Center
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This was a pleasant surprise! Hannah is the bodyguard, who is protecting the celebrity, Jack. It has my favorite romance trope...fake dating, the characters are all likable, and it made me laugh. It was a quick and sweet read.

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NicoleCeBallos
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Pickpick

I finally got this from the library!! I always enjoy his books, and this was no exception. I wouldn't say it was my favorite of his, but I liked it. That little puppet was super creepy.

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NicoleCeBallos
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This was a fun read. Geeta's husband disappeared 5 years ago, and her village believes she killed him. Other women in the village start going to her to have her get rid of their husbands too.

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NicoleCeBallos
From Here to Eternity | Caitlin Doughty
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This was a very interesting read. Caitlin travels the world and tells about different cultures' death rituals plus 3 unconventional rituals in the US. I really enjoyed it. It just reinforced my desire to not be buried in a tomb in the ground.

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NicoleCeBallos
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I'm so glad I happened to pick this up at the library! This is a magical, martial arts fantasy. What happens when the prophecy breaks before it's fulfilled? The book follows 4 main characters who have to figure out what to do now. One of the characters is an elderly, disabled woman who is a grandmaster and she can still kick everyone‘s ass. Big fan!

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NicoleCeBallos
The Spite House: A Novel | Johnny Compton
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I absolutely loved this and was very surprised it was his debut novel. I loved the characters and the backstory of the house/land. It was giving off serious The Haunting Of Hill House vibes. #horror

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NicoleCeBallos
Rule of Wolves | Leigh Bardugo
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I finished re-reading the Grishaverse. I'm still holding out hope that there will be another book set in this universe because I love it so much.

20 likes2 stack adds
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NicoleCeBallos
Stone Blind: A Novel | Natalie Haynes
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For a book that claims to be a retelling of Medusa, there was very little of Medusa in it. The book's chapters were all different POVs (some had nothing to do with Medusa or Perseus), and yet every chapter read exactly the same. Somehow, Natalie Haynes managed to make the Medusa and Perseus myth so incredibly dull.

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NicoleCeBallos
Belladonna | Adalyn Grace
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I loved this Gothic Romance. Signa can see spirits and can talk to Death. When she moves in with her remaining relatives, she must solve the mystery of who killed her aunt before they kill the rest of her family.

24 likes2 stack adds
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NicoleCeBallos
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This was a 3.5 star read for me. The first half of the book dragged and could have benefited from better editing. The second half of the book was great! I'm a big fan of The Thing and love books with similar themes. Once the monster actually gets involved, this book hooked me.

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NicoleCeBallos
Daughter of the Deep | Rick Riordan
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How did Rick Riordan make a retelling of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea interesting? I have no idea, but I really enjoyed reading it.

25 likes1 stack add
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NicoleCeBallos
Drowning Practice | Mike Meginnis
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Mehso-so

Everyone has the same dream that the world will end on November 1st. The book follows Lyd and Mott as they navigate the world in the aftermath of the dream while trying to avoid Lyd's ex husband. It was a pretty depressing book, but I did really enjoy the ending.

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NicoleCeBallos
Elatsoe | Darcie Little Badger
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Elatsoe can raise the ghosts of animals, which she learned from her Lipan Apache ancestors. When her cousin was murdered, she must use her talents to stop her cousin's killer before he murders someone else. In this America, magic and monsters are real and have consequences for the Earth.

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NicoleCeBallos
Love on the Brain | Ali Hazelwood
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I loved The Love Hypothesis, but this was horrible. The characters were so annoying and the plot was absolutely ridiculous. Bee is supposedly the best neurosciencist in her field, but somehow no one wants to work with her and her university is threatening to fire/replace her? And Levi is working on innovative projects at NASA, but can't be in the same room as a girl he thinks is cute? Don't even get me started on the sabotage at NASA. Ridiculous!

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NicoleCeBallos
The Dead Romantics | Ashley Poston
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Florence Day is a ghost writer who can see/talk to ghosts. The book starts off with Florence having a really bad day. Her new editor denied her an extension for her deadline, she ran into her ex at a bar, and she got a call that her dad died. She goes back home for the funeral and runs into a familiar ghost, her editor. There was so much to love about this book.

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NicoleCeBallos
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Panpan

Another disappointment. I really liked his earlier books, but the past couple have been absolutely ridiculous. This was a mess from the start to the very unrealistic epilouge. I don't know if I'll be reading anymore of his books.

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NicoleCeBallos
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Panpan

This was a major disappointment. It read like bad fan fiction. The author had no clear plot, so she just repeated the same things over and over. I lost track of how many times a variation of "Sally was a rag doll" was used. The ending was wrapped up in a convenient bow in like 10 pages and they lived happily ever after.

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NicoleCeBallos
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau | Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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Mehso-so

This was a very very slow book. I had high hopes for it, but it was just bland (besides the amazing cover). She hasn't been able to recapture the magic of Mexican Gothic or Gods of Jade and Shadow.

Asthecroweflies 😩 Aw man! I was looking forward to this as well. 2y
NicoleCeBallos @Asthecroweflies This was one of the top books I was looking forward to this year and I'm so bummed. 😔 2y
24 likes1 stack add2 comments
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NicoleCeBallos
Little Thieves | Margaret Owen
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I had been putting off this book because of all the hype surrounding it. I finally read it, and it was perfection. The hype was well deserved.

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NicoleCeBallos
Hide | Kiersten White
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Big fan of this! A group of 14 contestants come to play hide and seek at an abandoned amusement park to win $50,000 as part of a reality show. The contestants who are found, just disappear and soon the remaining players think it might not be a game after all.

22 likes1 stack add
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NicoleCeBallos
So This Is Ever After | F.T. Lukens
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Mehso-so

This is what happens after the Chosen One defeats the villain. It was a sweet story, but nothing new or unique.

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NicoleCeBallos
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This was a fun Sci-Fi romp through space. Nilah is a race car driver, who accidentally gets involved in a plot to destroy the universe by a secret society. She is kidnapped/joins up with a treasure hunter, Boots, and her ex-crew to find a lost treasure. Everyone on this crew, except Boots, has some sort of magical talent that are pretty cool.

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NicoleCeBallos
The Midnight Club | Christopher Pike
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I wanted to reread this book before the Netflix show. I read it in high school and I don't remember it being sad, but man, it was a bummer! I liked it, but the blurb had nothing to do with the actual story, so I was surprised by the plot.

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NicoleCeBallos
Dead Silence | S.A. Barnes
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Was this scary, no. Was I frantically turning the page to find out what happened? Yes! A salvage crew stumbles across a luxury space liner that went missing 20 years ago. Once they're on board, they find the passengers and crew all all died in violent ways, but don't know what happened to them. It's a haunted house story, but in space!

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NicoleCeBallos
Lotera | Karla Arenas Valenti
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Wow. I picked up this because of the cover and was blown away. Typically, junior fiction isn't that dark, but this was super dark. Life and Death are playing Lotería and Clara is the child chosen as their pawn.

16 likes1 stack add
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NicoleCeBallos
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This was about the HL Hunley, which was a Civil War submarine that is considered to be the first successful combat sub. It sunk the ship and then it immediately sunk too, so I'm not sure how successful it actually was. For 131 years, it was missing until it was found in 1995 with the bodies of the crew still at their stations. It became a mystery as to what caused it to sink and what killed the crew. Rachel writes about her process of solving it.

NicoleCeBallos The Friends of the Hunley still refuses to accept Rachel's explanation for why it sunk and makes no reference to her or the book on their website. 2y
24 likes1 comment
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NicoleCeBallos
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Panpan

This was pretty forgettable. Jane marries Augustine on the condition that she can never set foot in his family home. Of course she does and strange things start to happen. The book tried to be way too many things (gothic, horror, magical realism, cosmic horror) and never managed to get it together on any of them.

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NicoleCeBallos
The Bone Maker: A Novel | Sarah Beth Durst
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I loved this stand alone fantasy! Five bone makers defeated the evil bone maker and were hailed as heroes. Twenty-five years later, they find out that Eklor wasn't defeated and now they have to save the world again.

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NicoleCeBallos
These Silent Woods: A Novel | Kimi Cunningham Grant
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Not a fan of this at all. If I wanted to be preached at, I would have picked up a Christian book. Instead, I was blindsided by what I thought was a thriller. The author actually has a character who cheated on his wife and was "very poisonous" because he was an "outspoken atheist." Barf. The story itself was super boring, unbelievable, and unoriginal. I wish I could get back my hours that I wasted on this drivel.

britt_brooke YES. Thank you. Did not care for this one at all. 2y
21 likes1 comment
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NicoleCeBallos
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This is a fictional account of Bella Gunness, who was a female serial killer in the late 1800s in Chicago. She had herself a murder farm where she lured men to either be her husband or farm help and then killed them. This book was a tad bit too long and dragged in places, but overall a fun read.

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NicoleCeBallos
Chasing the Boogeyman | Richard Chizmar
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I really enjoyed this! It's a fake true crime book that's full of staged pictures and "facts" but is also full of real things from the author's life. There's a serial killer terrorizing Richard's hometown and the cops can't catch the killer. Richard writes a book about the Boogeyman's victims and their families.

32 likes1 stack add
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NicoleCeBallos
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This book made me so livid. I had to put it down multiple times because of how angry it made me. The loss to the scientific community is huge and you have this smug little white boy named Edwin Rist who still thinks he did nothing wrong.

LiteraryinLawrence That sounds infuriating. 2y
NicoleCeBallos @LiteraryinLawrence so infuriating. He stole 299 bird skins because the museum didn't need that many. He needed the feathers to sell to other fly tyers so he could buy a new flute. 2y
36 likes2 comments
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NicoleCeBallos
Orfeia | Joanne M Harris
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This was a beautiful retelling of the Orpheus myth, complete with pretty illustrations. The story itself was kinda slow because the big payoff happens at the very end of the book, but I was a fan!

readordierachel What a pretty cover 2y
NicoleCeBallos @readordierachel it is! The illustrations in the book are pretty too 2y
13 likes1 stack add2 comments
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NicoleCeBallos
Scary Stories for Young Foxes | Christian McKay Heidicker
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This was great!! The Storyteller is telling scary stories to a group of fox kits. Mia and Uly are the 2 main foxes in the stories and each chapter they encounter a new danger. There's a cameo from a well known author that was very cleverly done.

18 likes2 stack adds
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NicoleCeBallos
Hang the Moon: A Novel | Alexandria Bellefleur
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Panpan

This is the sequel to Written in the Stars and all the characters appear in it. This came off as manipulative instead of sweet. Brendon and Annie reconnect after 8 years when Annie came to Seattle to tell her bff, Darcy, she was moving to London for a promotion. The rest of the book was 4 people peer pressuring Annie into moving to Seattle, a city she's never lived in, because Brendon and her were meant for each other...after 2 weeks of dating.

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NicoleCeBallos
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This book started off really really slow. Once you get through the first 1/4, it picks up and becomes a whimsical and sweet book. The last 1/4 had me bawling hysterically. It's about grief, loss, love, life, found family, and acceptance. It's not my fave book by him, but I enjoyed it.

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NicoleCeBallos
The Love Hypothesis | Ali Hazelwood
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I'm a sucker for the fake dating trope. This not only had that trope, but also scientists. The two main characters, Adam and Olive, were actually likable and had chemistry. It lived up to the hype surrounding it.

AkashaVampie I have seen people compare the main characters to Rey and Kylo Ren 3y
28 likes1 comment
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NicoleCeBallos
The Twisted Ones | T. Kingfisher
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Mouse is cleaning out her grandma's house (with her dog) and every night there is a tap, tap, tap on the windows. She stumbles upon her step grandpa's journal and must decide if it's just the writings of an old man who is losing his mind or something more sinister. It's definitely the second one.

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NicoleCeBallos
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Another amazing fantasy read. I get so excited when I read back to back 5 star books! This is being described as Song of Achilles meet Mulan, but it's so much more. Zhu and Ouyang are the two main characters and they're on opposite sides of the Mongols vs Rebels conflict in China. Zhu took her brother's fate as her own and is rising through the Rebel's army. Ouyang is the Mongol's general and he is full of rage. Also, there's ghosts. I loved it!

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NicoleCeBallos
Black Sun | Rebecca Roanhorse
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All Hail the Crows. This is hands down one of the best fantasy books I've read in years. Epic fantasy full of gods, magic, political intrigue, betrayals, well developed characters, and Crows. I loved everything about it and can't wait for book 2!!