LIVE LOVE HISTORICAL FICTION: Within These Lines Review, Quotes & Giveaway

Summary:

Evalina Cassano’s life in an Italian-American family in 1941 is everything it “should be” until she falls in love with Taichi Hamasaki, the son of Japanese immigrants. Despite the scandal it would cause and that inter-racial marriage is illegal in California, Evalina and Taichi vow they will find a way to be together. But anti-Japanese feelings erupt across the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Taichi and his family are forced to give up their farm and move to an internment camp.

Degrading treatment make life at Manzanar Relocation Center difficult. Taichi’s only connection to the outside world are treasured letters from Evalina. Feeling that the only action she can take to help Taichi is to speak out on behalf of all Japanese Americans, Evalina becomes increasingly vocal at school and at home. Meanwhile, inside Manzanar, fighting between different Japanese-American factions arises. Taichi begins to doubt he will ever leave the camp alive.

With tensions running high and their freedom on the line, Evalina and Taichi must hold true to their values and believe in their love to make a way back to each other against unbelievable odds.

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Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill 

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FEMALE FANTASY LOVE: Truthwitch & Windwitch Review

Truthwitch Summary:

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

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With the latest installment in Susan Dennard’s Witchlands series, Bloodwitch, gracing our bookshelves in February, it was time to redive into the first two books, Truthwitch and Windwitch.

I first read Susan Dennard’s Truthwitch upon its release in 2016. Maybe it was because I hadn’t read as much fantasy as I do now back then, but I had some trouble with the world building. However, I did love the focus on friendship and how well Susan Dennard executed the politics and romance. Looking back on my Goodreads review from 2016, I really don’t understand why I didn’t continue with this series then!

I am completely blaming myself for being a fantasy newbie back then, because the world and world-building in Truthwitch is just that good. I loved learning about the different types of witches and the characters’ backstories, from monasteries to Threadwitch tribes. The female friendship is insanely strong and well-executed. I love how much time Isuelt and Safi do spend together taking on the Witchlands. My favorite duo though? Safi and Merick! I couldn’t get over their quick remarks to one another and loved seeing their relationship bloom.

“When at last Iseult popped out beside her Threadsister, it was just in time to see Safi grab a fistful of the young man’s unbuttoned shirt

“Is this how all Nubrevnans dress?” Safi snatched the other side of his shirt. “These go inside these.” ” (57)

My Rating: 5/5

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Windwitch by Susan Dennard

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Windwitch picks up approximately two weeks after the events of Truthwitch. While I somewhat appreciated the fast-paced atmosphere, I wish we were able to experience what happened in those two weeks instead of just referring to it. This world definitely gets a lot more complicated with the Twenty Year Truce over and our four main leads scattered in the southern Witchlands. I liked being able to explore different characters’ perspectives in each chapters. While there were page breaks, I wish hey would have had their own chapters.

Once again, the world-building as absolutely phenomenal in Windwitch. With the addition of a few new characters, there’s also a ton of character development for our four main leads, Merick, Iseult, Safi and Aeduan. I found myself much more invested in Aeduan’s story in this book, which makes me even more excited to jump into Bloodwitch. While I still have much love for Safi, I’m especially excited to see where Iseult and Merick’s journeys take them.

My Rating: 4/5

Thank you to Tor Teen and Big Hocho Media for providing me with Truthwitch and Windwitch. By no means does this affect my thoughts or opinions.

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Have you read Truthwitch or Windwitch? Share your thoughts and feels in the comments!

BRING ON THE BOOKS & TV: February 2019 Wrap-Up

February, you left this fangirl craving more reading and binge-watching TV shows. Fine, maybe it wasn’t so much February’s fault, but more so midterms season! Compared to January, I wish I read more in February but it was a super busy month for me academically and socially. However, aside from my one DNF, I really enjoyed the books I read (especially since I found my favorite 2019 read thus far). I also especially loved my February content and the TV/movies I indulged in this month. I’m currently on spring break, so here’s to hoping to being able to catch up on reading and TV (and the two papers I need to write for next week!).

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The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden | 4/5 Stars

Much like the first two books in the Winternight trilogy, The Winter of the Witch is filled with luscious and atmospheric writing. I loved Vasya’s relationship with Morozko and as always, Olga, Marya, and Sasha were the perfect family compliments. However, I found myself feeling some disconnect with the story. It took me some to figure out what Vasya was doing for what cause, and I was really expecting to love this conclusion a bit more.

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SPRING SHELVES: Spring 2019 Anticipated Releases

Seasonal anticipated book releases posts are among my favorite blog posts to read and write. I’m especially excited about all the amazing books coming out this March through May 2019. While I have some historical fiction and fantasy mixed among my anticipated reads, there are seriously some MANY contemporary releases I cannot wait to get my hands on.

Since I’ve covered most of the books below in my most anticipated 2019 releases posts (ALL THE BOOKS PLEASE: Most Anticipated 2019 Non-Contemporary Releases & CONTEMPORARY ME: 19 Most Anticipated 2019 Contemporary Releases), I’ll be shortly covering why I’m excited for said book. I’ve also dedicated a section to spring releases I will be reviewing here soon.

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A 2019 FAVORITE READ: Lovely War Review

91mtMzHwLOLSummary: At the height of World War II, immortals Ares and Aphrodite are caught by the latter’s husband in a Manhattan hotel room. When Hephaestus puts his wife on trial, Aphrodite spins a tale that transports the gods twenty-five years earlier: the story of four morals whose lives are intertwined in the final year of World War I. They are: Hazel, a British pianist; James, a dreaming architect turned soldier; Aubrey, a jazz musician in the US Army and Colette, a Belgian orphan with a beautiful voice and tragic past. Filled with hope and heartbreak, their stories reveal that love can be a powerful force that rivals that of war.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

Julie Berry’s Lovely War was one of my most anticipated books of 2019. I love almost all kinds of historical fiction, but books about the World Wars always have resonated with this bookish soul. I’m very excited to say that Lovely War now has a new home on a different 2019 reading list: my 2019 favorite books! This emotional and romantic story following four mortals (did I mention yet that this book is narrated by Greek gods and goddesses??) caught up in World War I captured my heart and more.

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Book Sleeve Wishlist & Collection

If there’s one bookish trend that has taken over my reader soul, it’s book sleeves. I didn’t start purchasing book sleeves until last year, but I can 100% say that they are worth the investment.In my experience, they have definitely prevented my books from being damaged in my bags. My book sleeves have becen the most useful when I bring books back and forth between home and college and on trips basically anywhere (the beach, the city, class, etc.)

Right now I have three book sleeves: 2 XLs (the Alice Print from Amazon and this fun summer pattern) from Book Beau and one from Amazon:

 

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I think it’s about time to buy my first sleeve of 2019, so today I’ll be walking you through my book sleeve Wishlist.

Book Beau: Library Card

 

This book sleeve takes me back to my elementary school trips to the school library. As much as I love my library card, I would love for books to still have these logs.

For Book Beau, my favorite size is the XL (perfect for hardbacks and even two paperbacks), but I’ve been wanting to try the Jumbeau (it has a zipper!).

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