Four Dead Queens

“Be patient, child. Be calm. Be selfless. Wait for the right moment. Wait for your time. Rule with a steady hand. A steady heart.” 

“Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but in fact, she’s one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. Varin runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead.

With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation’s four dead queens.”

Four Dead Queens was possibly the biggest surprise for me this year. I wasn’t expecting very much! I have to admit, I thought it would be like a lot of the other popular YA fantasy releases that have come out recently. In some ways it was, but in others it was definitely different, and those threads of originality really made this book fun and special to read.

My favorite thing about this book was the author’s use of time and separate timelines. Every other chapter (give or take) takes place in the present day, with our badass MC Keralie, and then in an unknown space of time with the four Queens of Quedara. I was so drawn in by this! At first I couldn’t tell which timeline had happened first, or if they were happened simultaneously, and then…it was neither! I was completely surprised, and very happily so! This was such a unique format in which to tell the story and I think it served Four Dead Queens so well.

Another thing I didn’t see coming was the twist at the end! Ah, and this is such a pleasure for me! I hesitate to say too much about it, in fear of ruining it for anyone else, but safe to say that I never correctly guessed “whodunnit!” And it was awesome when the big reveal came, it blew me out of the water. I had so much fun trying to guess and even more fun being wrong.

Four Dead Queens had so many interesting things going for it. Its use of technology, while still being a fantasy book, was such an interesting facet to add into the world of Quedara. Its women-forward and well-built political system is interesting without being dry, built into the country’s history without being long-winded. The characters were relatable while also being wildly different from me, and each other! I loved the diversity of person and personality in this book.

Four Dead Queens is a dark, unapologetic, and wild ride of a YA fantasy book, and I whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who enjoys that genre. This is Astrid Scholte’s debut novel and I’m impressed! I was surprised and entertained, felt real emotions and never wanted to put the book down until I flipped that last page.

“Let love guide your, heart and everything else will fall into place.”

Book Tag

Mid-Year Freak Out!

For those of you who don’t know, which included me too until this week, there is a popular book tag out there that’s a bit of a tradition in the bookish community, The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag! This year, I’m participating, and to be honest I cannot believe half the year is already over! So many books, so little time…

I stole my questions this year from The Literary Phoenix. I loved reading her post and love her blog! Check her out.

And check out these questions! Let’s goooooo:

What is the best book that you’ve read so far in 2019?

Ohh boy. This was a tough one. I chose three.

  1. Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  3. The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon

What has been your favorite sequel of the first half of the year?

Gemina & Obsidio by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff. I can’t believe it took me this long to discover The Illuminae Files! WOW this series was amazing. It’s YA Sci-Fi, but I would honestly recommend it to anyone who likes Sci-Fi, or anyone who likes fast-paced novels that read like you’re actually in the book. I could rave about this series for a long time.

Is there a new release out that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited for?

Yes! Aurora Rising by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff.

Haha on the note of my last answer, the same authors came out with a fourth book this year and I cannot wait to read it. It’s already been optioned for a movie and has stellar reviews. So excited.

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

See last week’s Top 10 Tuesday! There are so many!

What is your biggest disappointment so far?

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare — I’m sorry! I wanted to like this so badly because the series is so beloved in the YA world. I might check out one of her other series or try the sequel, everyone swears it gets better, but I wanted to love this immediately! Sigh. It happens. I tried.

What is your biggest surprise so far?

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte.

I loved this!! I expected it to be relatively similar to a lot of other YA fantasies out right now, but Four Dead Queens surpassed my expectations. It was original, it was fun to read, it had like a hundred twists at the end and I didn’t see most of them coming, I was so pleased. Would definitely recommend. Look for a review of this title soon.

Who is your favorite new or “new” author?

Robin Benway, who is new to me, has blown me away this year. I read both of her books in the same month and blew through them both. Far From the Tree is one of my favorites of the year.

Who is your favorite fictional crush from this year?

I don’t really have one I feel crazy strong about, so I decided to answer a slightly different question: Who is your favorite fictional SHIP from this year?

And that, my friends, would be Wylan van Eck and Jesper Fahey from Crooked Kingdom. I squealed through that entire scene!! So cute.

Which book has made you cry?

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. This book made me feel…pretty much every human emotion, haha. I loved it so so much and it was so tragic and beautiful. I recommend this book to anyone, all the time, with all my heart. Just have tissues nearby. And maybe your therapist on call.

A book that made you happy?

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. I enjoyed her debut novel, Simon and the Homosapiens Agenda, but I LOVED Leah on the Offbeat. This book felt like parts of my teen years, the feel and the spirirt of it, and I loved Leah’s surly, insecure, whole-hearted self. She and Abby are one of my favorite couples of the year!!! OTP

Your favorite book to movie/tv adaptation that you’ve seen so far?

Can I choose anything other than Good Omens by Neil Gaiman??

I reread the book this year and since the adaptation came out this year I’m going to count it. This show might be the best adaptation I’ve ever seen, when it comes to accurately capturing the spirit of a wonderful book. I loved every bit of it! Can’t wait for more.

What is your favorite post that you’ve written this year?

I really enjoyed writing both the reviews for Baby Teeth and The Unhoneymooners! I also love Top Ten Tuesdays.

Show us the most beautiful book that you’ve bought this year!

I have spent a lot of energy and patience this year trying to buy fewer books and borrow more, so I don’t have a book for this! A lot of them have been gorgeous but then I return them to the library and they go brighten someone else’s day for a while.

What are six books that you want to read by the end of the year?

There are WAY more than six, but here are a few.

  1. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
  2. Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
  3. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  4. Snow Falling by Jane G. Villanueva (haha any more Jane the Virgin fans out there?? I have to read this)
  5. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
  6. Educated by Tara Westover

Whew, that was in depth! That’s it for this year, and what a seriously fun year its been. And it’s been a month here at Story-eyed! I’m a little overwhelmed with how much I have to read right now, but more than anything I am so grateful for all of it.

Tag, you’re it next, @Jenniefromthebook! Have fun! ❤

Did you freak out this year? Send me your mid-year posts in the comments!


Its “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

The Three Ws are:

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

What I’m currently reading:

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

I am almost finished with this one and I have enjoyed it SO much! The way this story is told is brilliant. This YA fantasy follows a world where each of the four countries on this continent is run by a queen…until all four of them are killed. The chaos, mystery, intrigue, and creativity in this book abounds. I love the way the author plays with technology and the use of timelines. I really could go on and on about this book right now. Definitely a fan.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Unlike Four Dead Queens, I only just started this one! This is one of the Books of the Month in my book club so I am trying to get it done before July! So far, I’m really liking it. This is my first foray into Schwab’s work but I know how beloved she is, so I’m excited. I’m ready for the rest of this spooky story!

What I’ve recently finished:

Roomies by Christina Lauren

I’ve been on such a Christina Lauren kick lately. This is book three in my unofficial marathon and I enjoyed it a lot. It’s probably my least favorite of the three I’ve read (this, Autoboyography, and The Unhoneymooners) but maybe only because I LOVED the other two more than I can describe. This was still so much fun! Definitely recommend for anyone who likes romance and contemporary.

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

I’d been reading a lot of romance and fantasy lately, I needed a good thriller. Whew! This was fun AND it was my first Karin Slaughter novel, an author who’s been recommended to me hundreds of times by people I know. I enjoyed it a lot! Pretty Girls was chilling, well-paced, and fascinating. I’ll definitely be looking into more of Slaughter’s work.

What I think I’ll read next:

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

I’ve been waiting to read this all month! I’m so excited haha. I couldn’t fit this one into my bingo/challenge/review schedule for June and I kept giving it the eye as it sat neglected on my bookshelf. It’s finally time! Muaahahaha

Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford

This is an ARC I received from Netgalley and I’m also participating in the blog tour for this title, which is great! Because I wanted to read it so badly! This was on my list of intriguing new releases, so I’m grateful and excited that I get to read this one early! Keep an eye out for my review and a GIVEAWAY of this title next month!

What are you reading? Tell me in the comments!


Its “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

The Three Ws are:

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

What I’m reading now:

David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

I’m still reading this one! I’d only started it just before last week’s WWW and to be honest, I’m still enjoying it. It’s a somewhat slower read than I expected, lots of exposition and a style of language that’s new to me, but that’s not a complaint. Though it’s taking me a little longer, I’m loving the tone, humor, and wit of this book, as well as the fresh take on what can easily turn into predictable tropes in urban fantasy. Will definitely be reviewing this more fully when I finish. Fans of The Dresden Files looking for something new and interesting should look forward to this one!

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

I only read my first Christina Lauren book last month, when I reviewed The Unhoneymooners, but apparently she is a romance phenomenon that I have been missing out on for a while now. This book is already so adorable, sweet, authentic, and utterly readable. I can’t seem to put it down and I don’t mind at all. I’m about halfway through this one and am reading it for pure enjoyment and nothing else. Well, except that it’s also Pride Month, that too!

The Swallows by Lisa Lutz

I literally only started this one this morning so I don’t know too much, but I love what I’ve read so far. The synopsis alone has me intrigued: a new teacher at a school gets a disturbing response to a creative writing assignment handed back in without a name and must try and discover what’s really going on in the school, and why she was brought there. It reminds me a little of Big Little Lies so far, but that could also be because it’s on the brain with the new season of the TV adaptation dropping recently. Either way, this book is setting up to be eerie! Look for this one on shelves in August.

What I’ve recently finished:

The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins

I really enjoyed this. This ARC came to me through Netgalley and its also the author’s first foray into psychological thriller. I’ll be reviewing this more fully within the week, but suffice to say that for a first thriller it was pretty good! I didn’t see the twist coming, and the book had a somewhat methodical pace for so long that it did a good job of lulling the reader into forgetting the suspense and just enjoying the book. Can’t wait to share more about it with you all.

What I think I’ll read next:

A lot of fantasy this coming week! Love it.

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

I haven’t started this YA fantasy yet, but for exciting reasons! I won this book in a giveaway through my book club, The Book Democracy, and it JUST came in the mail yesterday! Not only that but I’m going to buddy read it with a friend (sup, Haley!) and I always love doing that. I’ve had this one on my TBR since its eagerly anticipated release so I’m expecting great things!

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This is a Book of the Month pick from my book club and I’m excited about it! I haven’t read any of Victoria Schwab’s other successful books, though they’re almost all on my TBR list, so I’m eager to see what the excitement is all about. This series in particular has so much positive buzz around it that I’m really looking forward to experiencing it myself, and I’m also a sucker for a paranormal story. Bring on the spooky!

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

This is another exciting pick for Pride Month! I can’t wait to read this. Not only is this YA fantasy wonderfully LGBT+ but it’s also one of the featured books in my book club this month! And aside from all of that, it just looks great too and so many of my friends can’t stop talking about it. Very optimistic about this one.

What are you reading this week?? Tell me below in the comments!


Its “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

The Three Ws are:

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

What I’m reading now:

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

It’s time! I read and reviewed the first book in this series, Truly Devious, last month and enjoyed it a lot. I’m buddy-reading this one with a friend (hey, girl!) and I’m really looking forward to diving back into this mystery. Fingers crossed that we get to find out a little more about who might be comitting these murders! Look for my review soon.

The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins

This is an ARC sent to me through Netgalley and so far it is really riveting. Told through a couple’s meetings with their marriage counselor, it’s been fascinating to read their story from only an “hour” of conflict every week. This book has been all about reading between the lines so far and I expect it to get crazy, it feels like there’s a twist coming. Look for my review of this book in a week or two, and check it out on shelves on July 4th!

David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

I’ve only just started, but I am so excited to read this. This is an ARC sent to me through Netgalley and I’ve heard it described more than once as Harry Dresden meets Nigerian mythology. I’m sold! Look for my review of this book in the next few weeks, and check it out on shelves on July 9th!

What I’ve recently finished:

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

This book was a trip! I loved Head Full of Ghosts, another horror novel by Paul Tremblay, and this one did not disappoint. Set in a secluded cabin in the woods, as scary stories usually are, the terror and confusion that descends upon this home is as eerie as it is bizarre. The Cabin at the End of the World took some crazy turns. I was left wondering “what??” at so many points during my reading and I had a lot of fun.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Wow. This YA historical fiction novel follows a multitude of characters who board the ship Wilhelm Gustloff, headed to sea with more than 10,000 refugees, and how she tragically sank. I was floored by this story. I can’t believe that I had never heard of this happening! The author uses various POVs to tell this story, all youth, and the voices she chose were powerful and heartbreaking.

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgraff and Georgia Hardstark

This book was SO much fun. I loved all of it, the funny and heartbreaking parts. If you don’t follow their extraordinarily popular podcast “My Favorite Murder,” you should check it out. This is the story of how these authors met, how their podcast got started, and some of the key philosophies and important stories behind those events. It was great, and I hope to review it soon.

What I think I’ll read next:

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

This YA Fantasy has been on my TBR list since it was released! I’m so excited to read it and even more excited because I just won this in a giveaway in my book club! (If you haven’t heard me talk about how amazing my book club is, check out my book bingo page for more info about The Book Democracy!) This book looks dark, full of intrigue, and hopefully some fantasy and romance. I’m in.

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

I’m really looking forward to this one. This is an ARC sent to me by Penguin Random House through BookishFirst, and I am so lucky to have snagged a copy! I enjoyed Ahdieh’s other series, The Wrath and the Dawn, and this one looks completely different and just as good. Set in New Orleans in 1872, The Beautiful looks like it will be filled with magic, intrigue, and the darkest creatures of the night.

What are you reading this week?? Drop me a line in the comments!