Review: My Dear Ellie by Aisha Urooj

Hi Everyone! I have been MIA recently due to a big life change and no access to my laptop/internet. I’m so happy to be able to be back and posting again! Today, I will be sharing a review for My Dear Ellie by Aisha Urooj!

Rating: 3.5/5🌟

Synopsis:
What would you do for your Best friend?Cassandra Grace will live through heartbreaks over a thousand lifetimes.
Ellie (Eleanor James) wants to be a superstar. She has natural beauty and talent but is super impatient in achieving her goals. She drops out of High School to pursue acting. She achieves greater success but it comes at a cost. She dwells deeper into darkness as fame becomes a dangerous drug to her.
Cassie (Cassandra Grace) is sweet and loving. She is terribly indecisive about what she wants to do in life but will follow Ellie anywhere, including dropping out of High School. After a few years, she decides to go back to University and discovers her love for English literature. As her life gains purpose, she doesn’t realize how much her friend Ellie is drifting into despair. Can she save her? She vows to be there for Ellie and to get her the life she deserves to have, even if it means challenging Fate…and losing everything she loves to save her.
‘My Dear Ellie’ is Aisha Urooj’s debut novel and is the first in the Love & Friendship trilogy series. She is currently working on her second novel ‘Eleanor’s Travels’ which will chronicle Ellie’s once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world, a extraordinary present given by her parents on her twenty-first birthday.
Read ‘My Dear Ellie’ to learn about the two best friends and the two extraordinary girls, Ellie and Cassie. Join them in their triumphs, their struggles, their adventures and misadventures, and most of all join them for the love and friendship shared between them growing up from little girls to young ladies.

What I liked:
Length: Every now and then we all need that quick read – this is the perfect novel for that! Being a shorter read it makes it much more likely for anyone to complete sucessfully without issue and is a great filler read if you’re in between other books at the moment. This length allows you to fall in love with the characters without becoming bored of them.
The friendship between Ellie and Cassie: Perfect representation of what a lot of female friendships actually look like and that they can tend to lean a little on the unhealthy side. This is representation that you is not normally seen across your typical YA novel.
A lesson to be learned: The overwhelming lesson I took from this book was never to take someone/something for granted, it’s represented in different ways throughout the novel and just executed so well that I had to mention it.
Tone: Things got much darker than I expected them to, I was thrilled to find a YA novel about friendship that isn’t all sunshine and unicorns.
Struggles: Financial struggles are represented in a realistic way throughout this book especially for people in their position. Aisha properly portrayed financial irresponsibility and managed to make it believable for young people their age.

What I didn’t like:
Pacing: Hi! Hello! Have you been here before? If so then you know I am a stickler for pacing in a novel. I severely dislike when a novels pacing seems off to the point the plot feels unbalanced. This is only a little bit a problem in this novel thankfully, but I generally had a hard time finding things I dislike about this novel.
Cassie: Something happens in the book that I expected to have a much larger impact on Cassie than it actually did, which was somewhat of a letdown for me. This is something I hope to see more of/further effects of in future novels if the author chooses to continue writing Cassie’s story.

Overall, I found My Dear Ellie to be a charming and unique coming of age story, with a dark twist that I definitely recommend to other readers!

I also want to send a huge congratulations to Aisha for the publication of this novel, which is also her debut! That’s a huge accomplishment and I can’t wait to see what other great things Aisha publishes in the future! Huge thank you to Aisha for my copy of My Dear Ellie, which I received in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: More Than Marmalade by Rosanne Tolin

Happy Tuesday everyone! Today I am THRILLED to participate in the creative blog tour for More Than Marmalade: Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear by Rosanne Tolin! This blog tour was organized by MTMC Tours. More Than Marmalade is the incredible true story and the first biography about the creator behind the beloved Paddington Bear!

Michael Bond never intended to be a children’s writer. Though an avid reader, he was by no means a model student and quit school at 14. He repaired rooftop radio transmitters during the bombing of Britain in World War II and later joined the army. He wrote about the war and more, selling stories here and there. One day, while searching for inspiration at his typewriter, hoping for a big story that would allow him to write full time, a stuffed bear on top of the shelf—a Christmas present for his wife—suddenly caught his eye. Bond poured his personal feelings about the events of his era—the refugee children his family had hosted in the countryside, a war-torn country in recovery, the bustling immigrant neighborhood where he lived—into the story of a little bear from Peru who tries very, very hard to do things right. The result was A Bear Called Paddington. An incredible true tale, More than Marmalade: Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear is the first biography about the writer behind the beloved series. Author Rosanne Tolin reveals how world history, Bond’s life, and 1950s immigrant culture were embedded into Paddington’s creation, bringing middle-grade readers a delightful, informative, and engaging book with a timely message of acceptance.

More Than Marmalade is available for purchase from the following retailers:
Chicago Review Press | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble

Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, Rosanne Tolin is a wife, mother of four, avid runner and author. While studying law abroad in London, she subsisted mainly on a diet of tea and toast, and frequented Paddington Station. An experienced and well-respected journalist, she has focused her work primarily on children’s publications. She was the former creator and editor of an ALA notable children’s website, managing editor of Guideposts for Kids magazine, and a Hoosier State Press Award-winning features writer. When not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs in the Indiana Dunes.
MORE THAN MARMALADE: MICHAEL BOND AND THE STORY OF PADDINGTON BEAR is her book debut.

Connect with Rosanne Tolin Online:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram |

More than Marmalade is the story of Paddington Bear – yup,THE Paddington bear that so many of us, myself included, grew up with. For me, Paddington was always the comfort in my life and I never considered learning more about the little bear and his creation. Filled with delightful humor and captivating writing More than Marmalade is the story of the life of Michael Bond and creation of Paddington Bear. Rosanne Tolin does a wonderful job of writing about the struggles that Michael Bond went through during his lifetime. Bond grew up never believing he would one day become a writer, and now is a household name, proving that through his determination and the difficult events he experienced, his struggles didn’t keep him down. This is such an inspiring story that will leave you with renewed inspiration and hope for your own life and journey that you’re on. This is perfectly written for anyone and feels like a good fit for middle graders!

More than Marmalade is not a story I would have typically picked up on my own, not being a regular nonfiction reader, but I have found that this particular book came into my life during a time when I needed it most. I feel incredibly lucky to have been included on this tour and been given the opportunity to read it myself and feel as if I have been given a bonus little gift. Thank you to MTMC tour and Rosanne Tolin for the opportunity.

Be sure to enter the raffle below for a chance to win one of two hardcover copies of More than Marmalade: Michael Bond and the Story of Paddington Bear by Rosanne Tolin!

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Stop by the other creative tour stops!
April 27: Paperfury
April 28: Kirstyn Reviews
April 29: Bookish Connoisseur
April 30: Shannon A. Jade Books
May 1: A Beauty and Her Books
May 2: Adventurous Bookworm
May 3: The Caffeinated Reader
May 4: Indie Asian Reader
May 5: Descendant of Poseidon Reads
May 6: The Paperback Voyager
May 7: The Reader and The Chef

Blog Tour Hosted by:



Review: Gotham High – Melissa de la Cruz

Rating; 3/5🌟

Gotham High by Melissa de la Cruz takes the iconic characters we love from the Batman franchise and puts them in the middle of a high school setting. Fun fact, this idea was pitched as a series before (told differently) but was turned down, so it was nice to see a passed on idea come to light in a new way.

Taking the characters in Batman puts us right in the middle of a ton of high school drama but mixes it with a bit of mystery similar to shows and stories like Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale. The graphic novel is fast paced and has a lot going on.

In this universe Bruce Wayne is half Chinese and is cared for by his Uncle Alfred who manages and oversees the multi-billion dollar company of Wayne Enterprises. Throughout the story we meet several familiar faces. but with a twist – Selina Kyle is part Latina, Ivy is Korean, and we even come across the infamous Jack Napier, who can be pretty important to the batman storyline, not going to ruin who he is if you’re unsure.

This storyline was fun, but it definitely wasn’t mind blowing by any means, I would even call it predictable and easy to follow (not typical for a batman story). I also didn’t love that the ending is so abrupt and sudden with very little to no character development. There’s lots of tropes within this story as well, which made it a little less enjoyable – I expected some but not this many, it honestly made pushing through to the end a little exhausting.

However, the real star of this graphic novel are the illustrations done by Thomas Pitilli! The artwork was stunning and really popped against the atmosphere of the story while contributing to the young adult vibe of this graphic novel.

Review – The Eye of Zeus by Alane Adams

Rating: 4.5/5🌟

I received The Eye of Zeus as part of a Pop Up Book Tour with @booksparks – Huge thank you to @alaneadamsbooks and @booksparks for sending me a copy of Eye of Zeus!

The Eye of Zeus is the first in the new Legends of Olympus Middle grade series centering around new protagonist Phoebe Katz and dealing heavily with Greek mythology.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Meet Phoebe Katz, a twelve-year-old foster kid from New York City who’s been bounced around the system her entire life. Things happen around Phoebe, but it’s not like they’re her fault! But when a statue of Athena comes to life, Phoebe gets the stunning news she’s the daughter of Zeus, has a twin brother named Perseus―and was sent away from ancient Greece as a baby to stop a terrible prophecy that predicted she would one day destroy Olympus. Athena warns Phoebe to stay in hiding, but when the vengeful god Ares kidnaps her beloved social worker, Phoebe has no choice―she has to travel back to ancient Greece and rescue him! There, Phoebe and her friends Angie and Damian discover a new prophecy, one that may fix everything. The catch: Phoebe has to collect talismans from six Greek monsters, including the fang from a nine-headed hydra, a talon from the Nemean lion, and a feather from the sphinx. No problem for a girl with the power to call up lightning bolts and change the weather! But can Phoebe collect them all and stop the prophecy before she destroys Olympus?

General thoughts:
I honestly think middle grade readers would love this as they are fully immersed into the world of Greek mythology. I’ve seen a lot of people claim this feels like a Percy Jackson knock off, and while I agree I also want to mention that some parts gave me Harry Potter vibes as well. There’s a lacking presence of mythology available for young readers, so this is definitely refreshing.

What I liked:
Mythology: Not only is mythology represented, but it’s represented correctly here (obviously our heroine throws a wrench in the process of some things).
Damian: I LOVE how much he knows. He is a knowledge base, and he is not ashamed of it. It’s refreshing to see an intelligent character in a middle grade book that isn’t screaming “I’m a know-it-all” at the same time.
Humor: Even as an adult there were several places in this book that made me laugh and feel like a kid again. This humor is appropriate for young children, but it could also be appreciated by a parent reading with their child.
Illustrations: Throughout the novel there are gorgeous illustrations of the various characters and monsters the children come across on their journey – this is vital to helping children envision these characters fully and to get a clear picture of what they’re seeing (you can’t tell me if someone had described a manticore to you as a child you would 100% get it).

Didn’t love:
The dialogue between characters: This is the only thing that I didn’t really like of this story, but I’m willing to bet that’s because I’m not middle grade age. I have a feeling if I was a kid reading this today I would feel differently about it!

Overall, I would recommend this to most children and even to adult fans of mythology as it can be a fun light read.

The Eye of Zeus is out now, so be sure to grab your copy!

Bookish Recipe: Lara Jean’s Snickerdoodles

Hello all! I wanted to share another recipe with you that was featured in a past Beacon Book Box and is inspired by/themed after the book To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Lara Jean loves to bake so what a better way to share our love for the series than to bake some snickerdoodles!

Amount: 36 Servings
Prep. Time: 1 Hour, 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 11 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour, 31 Minutes

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Margarine
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions:
Preheat over to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
In a bowl, beat margarine or butter with an electric mixer on medium to high for about 30 seconds or until softened
Add about half of the flour, the 1 cup of sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda, and cream of tartar to the margarine. Beat until thoroughly combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally, then beat or stir in remaining flour
Cover and chill for one hour
In a shallow dish combine the 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place two inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet
Bake for 10 to 11 minutes or until edges are golden
Remove cookies and enjoy on a wire rack


Happy baking, I hope you’re all still safe and healthy – and that you enjoy making these snickerdoodles!

March 2020 Wrap Up!

I feel like March was equally the longest month ever and the least productive month ever… I was so stressed most of the month and distracted so I was surprised to see how many books I managed to read during the month of March!

Books Read in March

  1. Nineteen – Makenzie Campbell
  2. Unravel Me – Tahereh Mafi
  3. 5 Minute stress relief – Elena Welsh
  4. Lady Smoke – Laura Sebastian
  5. Chose – P.C. and Kristen Cast
  6. Geekerella – Ashley Poston
  7. Remembrance – Rita Woods
  8. A Heart so Fierce and Broken – Brigid Kemmerer
  9. Harley in the Sky – Akemi Dawn Bowman
  10. Ignite Me – Tahereh Mafi
  11. Unite Me – Tahereh Mafi
  12. The Cruel Prince – Holly Black
  13. Sky Without Stars – Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell
  14. The Girl the Sea Gave Back – Adrienne Young
  15. Between Burning Worlds – Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell
  16. The Alchemyst – Michael Scott
  17. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling
  18. Quest for Eternal Sunshine – Mendek Rubin and Myra Goodman
  19. Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson

Reading Stats

Number of Books Read: 19
Best Book: Quest for Eternal Sunshine
Number of Pages: 7,295

Format:

Number of Print: 8
Number of Ebooks: 4
Number of Audio: 7

Favorite Quote:

If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.

Holly Black, The Cruel Prince

Review: The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

I originally read The Alchemyst many years ago, but happened to come across it recently and couldn’t remember much from it, so of course, I had to reread it! The Alchemyst is the first installment of a six-part overarching series known as The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. Written by Michael Scott, The Alchemyst was originally published in 2007. When revisiting The Alchemyst this time around, I read the print version and followed up by listening to the audiobook.

Goodreads Summary:
Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on 28 September 1330. Nearly seven hundred years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty, and Nicholas Flamel lives. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects – the Book of Abraham the Mage. It’s the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world, and that’s exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it. Sometimes legends are true. And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

General Thoughts:
Okay, I did some looking on Goodreads when I pulled the summary, and WOW, you people do NOT like this book! It seems I’m in a very small group of people who loved it. I went into this book without any expectations other than a story to help me escape the current world – thanks COVID-19. I genuinely felt the characters relatable with their actions, especially twins Sophie and Josh (they’re 15 guys, remember that) – for once in a fantasy novel I didn’t feel like the protagonists were acting out of their wheelhouse for what’s typical. This book features a mixture of Greek, Norse, and Egyptian mythology while also including real historical figures, bringing magic to our modern world – which is why I love it. It does something that I’ve yet to see done successfully in fantasy novels, let alone a young adult one. With all that in mind, if you go into this with no background love for mythology, it will probably fall flat.

What I liked:
Sophie and Josh – they’re 15 years old and act like it. The author did an excellent job of making them realistic, which is sometimes hard to do. Often in fantasy, when you come across teenagers they seem to always have the “wise beyond their years” trope. 
World building – If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you’ll know that this is a critical point for me. If I can’t understand the world, I can’t love the story. Not only do I understand this world, but I feel myself being immersed in it. Quite possibly, this is one of the most unique worlds I’ve encountered in storytelling.
Villains – I can’t delve into why I love the bad guys so much here without giving away a plot point, but just know these are probably some of my favorite villains that I’ve ever encountered.

What I didn’t like:
The abrupt ending – Fair warning, this one ends very suddenly (at least to me), I didn’t feel like I was ready for the end to come and then BAM, it’s over. It left it pretty open-ended as well – which is kind of forgivable to me given that it’s a series, and I knew that going in.
Josh is wronged – I really, really want to like Josh, but I feel like the author kept him there as a space filler and wasn’t entirely sure what to do with him during the majority of the story. That being said, my feelings over the treatment of Josh may change before the end of the series, but for now… disappointed.
THE TITLE – this is so minor, but it keeps driving me crazy, especially when I’m going to look stuff up about this series or review it and keep forgetting that the author used a “Y” in the title. It’s fine; I’ll get over it, I’m just annoyed by it.
Pop culture references – This is always dangerous, and this always bothers me. I don’t like it when a book timestamps itself by trying to include relevant things at the time, from references to the “new Spiderman” to mentions of Shrek; it can make it harder for younger kids now to relate to the timeline. I would have preferred for this to be left out.

I would consider this a must-read for anyone who loves both fantasy and mythology. I did some research and found out that Michael Scott is actually a renowned mythology scholar, which is kind of cool – and explains why a lot of the story is so deeply rooted in mythology. Overall, I found The Alchemyst to be very original with an interesting concept. If you’re looking for a somewhat light read with some depth to it, look no further – I would also highly recorded the audiobook as it really can help immerse you into this story!

“At the heart of every legend there is a grain of truth”

Michael Scott, The Alchemyst

Review: The Beckoning Shadow by Katharyn Blair

The Beckoning Shadow by Katharyn Blair is a young adult fantasy with a dash of romance and a splash of Fight Club. When looking at the cover you’re immediately given the indignation that this has SOMETHING to do with fighting (or maybe not if the wrapped fists didn’t give it away for you). First thing I absolutely loved though is that the book gives off the tough fight club vibe while still being pretty and intriguing at the same time. I got this book in a book box last year and waiting a few months to read it because the title just didn’t do it for me – it didn’t draw me in… but one day I was bored, gave it a shot, fell and love and now I’m still curious why nobody is talking about this book?!

Goodreads Summary:
Vesper Montgomery can summon your worst fear and turn it into a reality—but she’s learned the hard way tha it’s an addicting and dangerous power. One wrong move and you could hurt someone you love.
But when she earns a spot in the Tournament of the Unraveling, where competitors battle it out for a chance to rewrite the past, Vesper finally has a shot to reverse the mistakes that have changed her forever. She turns to Sam Hardy, a former MMA fighter who’s also carrying a tragedy he desperately wants to undo. However, helping heal Sam’s heart will mean breaking her own, and the competition forces her to master her powers—powers she has been terrified of since they destroyed her life.

General Thoughts:
This book gave me SERIOUS X-Men vibes – at first I was hesitant about the idea of a fight club with super powers, but I’m not really sure why? This is essentially everything I love about X-men! The story is a little bit slow, but it does give you time to get to know Vesper and who she is, but once the Tournament of the Unraveling starts getting mentioned the whole thing changes. This is a definitely a book that got better and better until I finished it. There wasn’t really a point I didn’t like it – I just started loving it more and more as the story progressed.

What I liked:
Fight Club (don’t talk about it!) – the battles were some of the most interesting things I have read about and definitely a high point for this book.
Vesper’s Power – She can summon someone’s worst fear and wield it against them!
The Friendships – Through these friendships Vesper learns to accept the love and support of others as well as to accept her past.

What I didn’t like:
Sam – I don’t love his character’s history and the way he handles things/don’t love the trope the author chose to use with his past (no spoilers here, sorry – it’s a plot point!).
World building – It fell a little flat. There wasn’t a lot of information given on the overall world, but that didn’t seem to really ruin the overall story for me, I was just hoping for more. That being said, it felt like some of it was being held back for the potential sequel.

Overall, The Beckoning Shadow transports us to a world that is the same as our own, but entirely different at the same time. There are important lessons regarding accepting your past and learning to live with it as you move forward in life -something we could all use. I genuinely loved this story and don’t understand why it’s not been more popular than it is – you should definitely check it out!

Re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: What I Noticed

As I shared earlier this year, and on my readings challenge page I am rereading all of the Harry Potter books this year to revisit the magical world that made me fall in love with reading initially.

I recently finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and wanted to take a minute to look back on all of the things that I didn’t notice when I originally read the books and how the other little things I’ve caught on to.

Before I jump into it, I just want to share why Harry Potter is so important to me. Most people in my age range love it, but I’ve got a different kind of love for it. When I was younger I really struggled with reading, and was later diagnosed with dyslexia. Growing up I lived with my Grandma, and she essentially raised me. One day she came home with two copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and we read them together. It was slow and tiring, but we made it through. It’s because of this that I have the love for reading today. Moving on, let’s jump into it.

The first thing I noticed was just how much the Dursleys are in the book. Somehow I completely forgot that they were so relevant and actually dominate the first chapter completely with the initial world building and strange goings on.

Harry goes through a lot more unexplained magical experiences in his childhood with the Dursleys from ending up on the roof of his school to his hair suddenly growing back. This of course, all leads to more abuse and mistreatment from the Dursleys that does well at establishing exactly how horrible Harry’s home life is.

I love the mention of “young Sirius Black” which obviously means something later in the series, but I for sure didn’t even connect the mention of him earlier in the series when I originally made it to The Prisoner of Azkaban.

After you meet Hagrid and make it to Diagon Alley you actually meet a couple important characters – Draco Malfoy, and Griphook. Yep, in case you forgot (because I did) Harry’s initial meeting with Malfoy actually takes place in Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions when the boys are getting fitted for their robes. We also meet Griphook at Gringotts who plays a vital role in the seventh installment in the series, The Deathly Hallows.

During our time at Hogwarts with Harry and his friends we also get A LOT more Neville – he’s actually there for a lot of the big moments in the book, which makes it a little more believable when he becomes so important in the series later. This is the one thing from the book I wished would have carried on throughput the movies.

On the first day of potions class Snape mentions bezoar, which is foreshadowing/a hint for us to catch on later in the series that Snape is the Half Blood Prince. The last thing that really stuck out was the line that was used by the centaurs in The Forbidden Forest: “Mars is Bright Tonight.” It’s said so often and seemed important, so I did a little research. This was the centaurs foretelling the war to come in the future! It’s such a small and subtle hint, but is such a nice touch to the overall storytelling!

So, obviously I missed a lot when I initially read through the series – so now I’m excited to pick up Chamber of Secrets next on my read through! Have you reread them and noticed anything else that I missed?

P.S. I just want to say the Hogwarts school song totally should have made it into the movie and I’m sad it didn’t.

Review | Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin

Overall Rating: 4/5

I received a signed copy of the nameless queen in my January Chaos in the Court Beacon Book Box. It’s a debut novel from author Rebecca McLaughlin. I would classify it as a fantasy and recommend it for fans of series like Red Queen and Three Dark Crowns. It’s currently a standalone novel. With all that in mind, please keep in mind my thoughts and views are that of mine and mine alone. So here we go –

Initially, I had a hard time initially getting into this book – but I also has a hard time getting into Red Queen as well, and they’re fairly similar so I decided to stick to it. Unlike others I had heard NOTHING about this book before the initial release (or even at release) because I only knew about it from receiving it in my January Beacon Book Box.

Nameless Queen centers around the land of Seridan and the population is divided into three different categories. You have your upper class – Royals. Middle class – Legals. And the lower class – the nameless. The King of Seridan passes away and the next ruler is chosen by the King whenever he speaks a name of his choice. The chosen person ends up with a magic black crown tattoo on their arm, this stops the crown from being based on inheritance and ideally keeps rulers from becoming corrupt. In this instance when the king dies a nameless by the name of coin ends up with the tattoo. This obviously requires a mystery to unfold because the nameless don’t have names, obviously, so nobody knows how Coin ended up with the tattoo.

What I liked about The Nameless Queen:
Generally liked the idea of the caste systems and the dynamic of seridan being on three different levels of status. I love the idea of an unknown being crowned because of what it can do positively for the country that the ruler takes control of.
Coin’s dynamic with Hat is wonderful, and it’s a strong dynamic. Coin is willing to put herself on the line to protect Hat and take care of her and it humanizes the nameless in a way that you wouldn’t really expect.
The odd “names” for the nameless, this is an odd one because what I’m finding is people DO NOT love this part of it. I see lots of reviews calling them stupid and how they don’t care for it. Generally, I love it. The nameless are considered “less than” and aren’t really educated, so their names reflecting that make a lot of sense for me.
Esther. I loved Esther, so much. I would have actually rather had more Esther.

What I didn’t like about The Nameless Queen:
World building, or lack there of. You are instantly thrown into the world of Seridan and it’s almost as if there’s no explanation as to why things are the way they are. Seridan used to have magic but now it’s exclusive to the royals. This isn’t really explained and actually makes it a lot more confusing and honestly pretty hard to get into the story from the jump.
Coin wasn’t very unique. She feels like every other female heroine in young adult fantasy, I would have loved a little bit more of a unique aspect to her character and development.
Marcher, one of the Nameless. We get no real build or development on him and he was one of the characters that I was intrigued about the most, but I can’t tell if he was actually interesting or if we just didn’t know enough about him.
Esther. Not enough Esther honestly.

Overall, The Nameless Queen is a good young adult fantasy that you can enjoy, but it’s just a little bit hard to get into from the jump.