Saturday, December 24, 2016

An Ember in the Ashes By Sabaa Tahir

Title: An Ember in the Ashes (Book 1)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Genera: YA, Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Razorbill

My Rating: 5 STARS

          So I was at my local library the other day browsing through the books in the young adult section when I came across An Ember in the Ashes. I remember hearing about it a while back and how everyone was super excited to read it. I thought "what they hey" and grabbed it and proceeded with my checkout. I finished the book within 2 days and its been weeks but OH MY GANDALF was it amazing. I wasn't expecting this book to be that good but it was, it truly was. You see, what I look for in a book are: a interesting but not overwhelming plot line, characters I don't end up hating, suspense and/or romance but not too much that it clouds the main idea, a believable setting and story and last but most important (to me) depth. 
          Lately, I've been reading books that has a good story and good characters and the right amount of suspense/romance but there was no depth, no bigger meaning. Reading is suppose to teach you something, even fictional novels. Sure, we might overlook the whole idea/lesson but there is a point the author is trying to get across, just a lot of us choose to overlook/ignore it. In An Ember in the Ashes, the main idea is expressed through many things. The masks for example are to represent the masks that people put on everyday. If we don't show who we truly are and hide behind the masks, one day the mask will become apart of you (just like in the book). There are other examples but I don't wish to spoil the book for any of you that are interested in reading it. 
         All in all, An Ember in the Ashes exceeded my expectations and truly lived up to the hype that it was given. I highly recommend this book to all who wish for a fun and exciting YA read that also has some deeper meaning behind it. 

Happy readings to you all,

~Natasha Morriston~

Friday, December 23, 2016


Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas is a time for being with your friends and family and reflecting on all your blessing that year. Since you guys are my family, I wanted to let you all know how blessed I have been to have you guys, my fellow Royal bookworms. I started my blog over a year ago, thinking it wasn't going anywhere. No one would view my content, no one would care but that wasn't the case! You guys have been so supportive of me since the beginning, I can't thank you enough. You all have shown me that hard work and passion can take you anywhere. I have always loved reading, ever since I was little; however, I never expected to start a blog and have people support me, but here I am. So as a small thank you, I will be hosting a giveaway in the New Year, so stay tuned! Also, due to the growth of this blog, I am planning a new 2017 update for The Royal Review.

2017 Royal Review Update:
Because of the amount of support I have been getting from my viewers and from authors/publishers, I have decided to be more dedicated to this blog. So there are going to be some changes. I will still continue to write reviews and post them on here but instead of having it be a Book of the Month type of review (where I only review one book a month that I really enjoyed and all the other books I read will be reviewed elsewhere), I have decided to post ALL of my reviews on here (I will still post on my other review sites too). A lot of people have told me that they wanted me to review a certain book but sometimes, I already have! A lot of people don't realize that I also post my reviews on other sites which lead to a lot of confusion (and DMs) and basically, it made it hard for a lot of my viewers. I want my blog to be an easy and fun environment for fellow book lovers so starting from January, I will start posting all of my reviews here.

Another (small) update:
Because I want my blog to be a fun and interactive place, I have decided to start posting Quizzes, Q&A and Giveaways so that we can interact with one another. I've seen a lot of other bloggers so these and they seem like a lot of fun! I hope you guys will like them too :)

I hope you guys will like the new update and I hope it makes it easier on everyone. If there is anything you would like me to change, feel free to contact me! I am always willing to answer questions and listen to your advice!

I wish you all a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Happy Reading,

PS: December's Book of the Month book will be posted tomorrow, so please look forward to it :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (book 3)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genera: Fantasy, Children Fiction, YA Fiction
Publisher: Scholastic

My Ratings: 5 STARS

*This review contains spoilers*

      When I first read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I was about 10 years old. So I can honestly say that it has been a while since I touched this book. I decided to re-read this series because this is my all-time favorite series. I wanted to re-experience the excitement from when I first read this series. The great thing about the Harry Potter series is that no matter how many times you read it, it never gets old! I have already read Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone (book 1) about 4 times and each time something new stands out to me. I also love how ageless this series is. People both young and old can enjoy it. Now, enough said about this series, it's time for my review of this book.

     I don't know why Harry Potter and the Prisoners of Azkaban was not memorable to me. Maybe it was because I waited so long to re-read it that I forgot all the details. I mean yes, I remember the main stuff: Sirius being Harry's godfather and that he escaped from Azkaban; Herminone's time turner thingy; Professor Lupin being a werewolf. This stuff is hard to forget. But everything else left my mind. That's why I decided that it was time for me to re-enter this world of Harry Potter.

     What I loved about this book was that it was really well-thought out. Now, don't get me wrong. All of the Harry Potter books are well-thought out but I guess my 10 year old self never appreciated the details and effort Rowling put into her books. I love how Rowling (like many authors) have a plan and purpose for each thing she places in her books. For example: the Weasly's photo in the newspaper and the small detail about Sirius getting a newspaper from the Prime Minister when he was in prision should have given us a red flag but it was such a minor detail and so well crafted into the story that we just overlooked it! I understand that is how people usually write a story; however, I truly believe that Rowling is the best at it. She uses our expectations against us in a way that we don't even see it coming. This book was truly a great example of how great of a writer Rowling is.

     I would highly recommend this series to fantasy lovers. This series is a classic in the fantasy world; it literally change the whole YA fantasy game. I believe that everyone should at least give this series a chance. rust me, you won't regret it.

Happy Reading!

~Natasha Morriston~

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Title: Sarah's Key
Author: Tatiana de Rosnay
Genera: Historical Fiction, WWII
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

My Rating: 4.9 STARS

     This is for someone who loves history and the WWII era. This book was amazing. I loved the story, the plot, the conclusion, the connection between the past and present etc. It was just so well written! I wish there was a book 2!

    Okay so one really cool thing about this book that I want to share is that it is written in 2 people pov. The first character is a child from the time of the war while the second character is an adult from the present. It was really interesting to see how the author connected both people from different time periods and still was able to make a heart-wrenching book.

     This was truly a powerful book that changed and touched my heart. I'm not the biggest fan of historical fiction but this changed all that, now I love them. I highly recommend this to all historical fiction lovers and those interested in WWII. Even if you don't like history, still give this book a chance. 

     I'm not going to mention anything else from the book because I want you to go into this book without knowing too much about it. I want you to experience the feels that I felt when I read this book. 

    This book changed me. It made me cry and feel emotions I didn't expect to feel from reading. It was truly a page turner and I highly recommend this book to everyone. 

Happy Reading!

~Natasha Morriston~

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Title: The Glass Arrow
Author: Kristen Simmons
Genera: YA, Fiction, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Tor Teen

My Rating: 4.5 STARS
          I have read The Glass Arrow about a month ago and wasn't planning on writing a review on it, however, I have noticed that I couldn't quite get the book out of my head so I was hoping that writing a review might help.
So, here we are. First off The Glass Arrow is a standalone novel (according to the author but that can change) so if I manage to convince you to read this book, just keep in mind that its a standalone book and the fact that the ending could have made it a trilogy kills you, I warned you.
So my thoughts on this book. To be honest, I actually liked this book more because of the idea not the depth. I usually like my books with a lot of depth and a meaning and sure this one had it, but it wasn't what made me like it. To start, I didn't hate the main character! YAY! Most of times, the main characters usually gets on my nerves with just how silly they are and how ignorant they are of some really obvious things. Sure its not the characters fault, its the authors for making them that way but still, its really annoying.
Another reason I liked the book was the depth (even though it was the best part). The main point of this story is freedom and how we have no idea how lucky we are that we have it until it's taken away. I really liked how the whole story revolves around the main character keeps trying to regain her freedom, going to certain lengths to get it.
All in all, the story was a great and easy read with a meaning behind it all that I think YA fans would enjoy.

Happy reading!

~Natasha Morriston~

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Title: Three Dark Crowns (Book 1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Genera: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen

My Rating: 4.7 STARS

          An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Its not easy being Queen

This was amazing. I don't even know how to put it into words, but i'll try.

Three Dark Crown is about these three triplet queens who each have different powers. One is a naturalist, one is a elemental, and the other is a poisoner. When these queens reach the age of 16, they each must use their powers to kill the other queens and the last one standing will become the queen of the whole land. 

Okay, if that didn't draw you right in then IDK what will because that just sounds awesome. Three queens with powers fight to the death? SIGN ME UP!

Throughout this book, we get to meet each queen and to see each of their personalities. We get to see their secrets, fears, and hopes. What I liked was that I wasn't rooting for just 1 queen, but I was rooting for them all. They all are so different and unique, it made it hard to have a favorite queen.

I think the cool thing about this book is that it isn't written in just the 3 queens' POV, but also in the POV of their friends (secondary characters). Its nice to be able to get inside the the heads of other characters besides the main ones and see what they think about ___(fill in the blank)__.

The book was a bit slow in the beginning but its that good kind of slow. The kind that is placed there for the purpose of building the world and the characters. I think if an author makes the beginning slow, then they need to know how not to lose the readers interests. Mrs. Blake did that. She wrote this book in a way that I didn't mind the slow parts, because I knew what they were leading to something big. It think it takes a lot of skills to write like this. So way to go Mrs. Blake!

All in all, I think people who enjoy books that takes place in a magical kingdom, with fight-to-the-death plots will enjoy this book. It was a really fun read for me and I can't wait for yall to give it a try! 

Happy Reading!

~Natasha Morriston~

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Title: Dumplin' (Book 1)
Author: Julie Murphy
Genera: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Blazer + Bray

My Rating: 4 STARS

         An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

     Originally, I wasn't really planning on reading this book. It wasn't even on my TBR list. I had no idea what it was about or really cared. BUT after going on a vacation, I came back home with a GIANT box on my door step. Seeing that its from one of my favorite publishing companies, I dropped everything and ran to the kitchen and ripped the box right open. Okay, maybe not ripped, more like using-a-knife-super-fast-to-murder/open-the box. Anyways, inside the box was oh so many goodies. And right at the bottom was Dumplin' by Julie Murphy. To be honest, I wasn't really freaking out over the book, I was more "oh okay cool". But since Harper sent it to me, I wanted to read it and review it because that's what you do when people send you books, you read and review  them. And wow was I surprised by how much I liked it. I read this book from 2 AM to 8 AM and didn't want to stop until I finished. However, my stomach is a prick and so after eating, I ran back to my room and finished this book.

     I think what I enjoyed most about this book was that I was able to relate to a lot of the stuff going on inside the book. I understand having a huge crush on a hot jock, growing apart from friends and being insecure about myself and my weight. There really wasn't any plot twists or OMG moments but the story and the writing made up for that. 

     All in all, I think it was a really fun, enjoyable light read that I'm glad I got to read. So thank you again Harper/Epic Reads for your great gift!

Happy Reading!

~Natasha Morriston~

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ruined by Amy Tintera

Title: Ruined
Author: Amy Tintera
Genera: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Harper Teen

My Rating: 4.5 STARS

     To be honest, I have been in a reading slump since my 1 month vacation in February. I started some books but never finished any of them, I almost gave up on reading for a while. But then one day, I was on Goodreads, looking at yall completing your 2016 Challenge and feeling bad for myself when this book caught my eye. I don't even know why it did. The cover isn't THAT fab or anything but I was drawn to it. And here I am, finally read a book from beginning to finish. 

To be able to get me out of a reading slump is quite impressive. I even turned down 2 of my most anticipated new releases because I wasn't "feeling" it. So to me, I have to be thankful for this book. The bad thing is that this book just came out not so long ago and now I have to wait A WHOLE YEAR for book 2. I hate that because I forget what the fudge I read in book 1 and I am one of those people who can't re-read books. I just can't, I always skim over them but never really READ them again. But I hope I don't forget much from this book because I want to know what happens next. 

The author left the story at a climax. Not a resolution, haha no. How common is a resolution? Why don't we just leave the readers hanging at the effing CLIMAX?! <--- Cruel. Just Cruel. But the good thing about that is this makes the readers anticipate book 2. We want to know what happens after _(blah blah blah)_ did _(blah blah blah)__. 

All in all, I enjoyed this book. Yes, this is the typical "a girl who is 'different' goes out to seek revenge but then meets and falls in love with her enemy" type of book (that's not a spoiler, its literally in the book description) but if you look past that, since all books of this genera are basically the same, it was still a fun read. Because even though you know that the girl will fall in love with her enemy, you still want to see HOW and WHY, etc. Also, I though the Ruined powers in this book were cool and the story was interesting. I mean it did get me out of a slump so....

Well, I hope you like this book, if and when you read it! Maybe it can get you out of a reading slump too. 

Happy Reading!

~Natasha Morriston~

Friday, May 13, 2016

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone (Book 1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genera: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

My Rating: 4.8 STARS
** spoiler alert ** This is more of a rant than a review, sorry in advance*

     Oh my gosh, I LOVED this book! I read the whole thing in less than a day! And for once in my life there was a book where my shipping actually came true! Team Mal all the way! I was rooting for him and then the Darkling kissed her and I'm like "dang it!" But then he turned all evil and I'm like yesss! But not yes cause ya know evil...bad... Anyways I am so glad she ended up with Mal cause I loved him from the beginning and it makes me happy that an author pick the best friend and not the hot new mysterious guy that ALL other love triangle books pick. Because it's just so common like for example the hunger games, and the selection, the girl picks the new guy and not the best friend which just KILLS me! I'm like "he KNEW you longer and UNDERSTANDS you and you pick another guy?! Ugh!!" 

Oh I'm soooo happy that she ended up with Mal and not The Darkling! 
    I loved the plot and the characters and the storyline, basically the whole book. What a plot twist when we found out the bad guy was the Darkling! Like Omg! I did not see it coming (and I usually do)! Can't wait to get my hand on the second one! Yeeeeeeep! A MUST READ!

~Natasha Morriston~

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Title: Infinite Sea (book 2)
Author: Rick Yancey
Genera: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopia, Alien/Apocalyptic
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Book for Young Readers

My Rating: 4.5 STARS

Okay, I'll be honest, this book wasn't as good as the first one BUT it was still REALLY REALLY GOOD. 

First off, I just have to say that Rick's writing style is pure gold. I love the way he puts such thoughtful and mind blowing quote/sayings into his books. I think it give the book depth and it just makes the character so much more wise when they say things that blows your mind.

Not a lot of things happened in the Infinite Sea (compared to the 5th Wave) but there was still the aspect of action and fighting and survival. But I think this book was more about explaining to us what the eff is going on. We don't learn everything but we learn about the 12 Systems and all that nice stuff (not gonna say due to spoilers) which helped explain some questions I had in book 1. 

Ringer: She has her own POV in this book! (and her POV is like basically 1/2 the book so if she was your fav. character in the 5th Wave, then YAY YOU!) For me, I don't really know if I LOVE Ringer but I don't dislike her, I just don't think she is my fav. character. She just isn't the most open and engaging character but I still liked that I got to learn a bit more about her and her past.

Poundcake: He has a POV too! Wow, his POV was just really really sad. I really liked that Rick give us info about his past, I feel like sometimes the side characters are neglected. So its good I got to understand why Poundcake is always silent and I got to see his life before the Waves. 

Basically all the characters are the same from the 5th Wave EXCEPT 2 people who I am not going to name. I really liked one of them and I hated the other so there's that little note for ya, haha. 

All in all, I really liked this book and I highly recommend this trilogy to fans of aliens and end-of-the-world books. Can't wait to read the last book! 

Happy Reading!

~Natasha Morriston~

Friday, March 11, 2016

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass

Title: Thron of Glass (Book 1)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genera: Fantasy, YA, Adventure, Assassin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children

My Rating: 4.3 STARS

       *Some spoilers are included (I don't think they are really "spoilers" but this is just a heads up. If you haven't read the book, you can still read this review)*


After joining goodreads in 2015, a lot of people told me to read ToG because it was amazing but I just...IDK...I didn't feeeel like it. So of course I put it in my TBR thinking that one day, when I am 50, I might just get to it. Then ACOTAR happened. I was told by my fellow goodreaders that ACOTAR is "SOOOO Goooood!", "THE BEST BOOK EVER!", "A MUST READ" so I added it to my TBR thinking the same thoughts I had for ToG. 
One day as I was going to my local library to return a few books, there on the YA Shelf sat, oh you wont guess it...OMG WOW your right...ACOTAR! So I was like "well, I just read all my books...why not?" and there began my journey to being a hard core fan. So of course I had to read SJ Maas' other books, because like hello, I have to wait how long for ACOMAF?!
Well it turns out that Christmas 2015, I received this whole ToG series as a Christmas present and so here I am :)


TBH ToG was not what I had expected. When I heard about it, I had thought that maybe it was like the Hunger Games except with criminals and the royals host the competition not the capitol. I thought it would be like was this big survival show type thing where criminals from all over the land come to the palace and join the competition to win money. And the last one alive or standing wins the big bag of cash. Also, for the tests, I expected jumping from roofs, battles to the death or fighting against a army of guards or something... but I guess archery is cool too. 

What I GOT:

Even though ToG was not what I thought it would be, it was still really, really, good. I loved the idea of having a competition where the best criminals get to fight to the death take tests to see who will win and become the King's Champion. Even though the tests were not as cool as I thought they might be, they were still fun to read about.

Celaena: The Assassin 

I like Celaena, okay? First off, she likes to READ! That is a major plus right there. Second, she is just so...BOSS! Yes, she likes balls and dresses but that doesn't change the fact that she will kill you in a blink of an eye. So no, she is not a girly princess, she is bad-ass killer. However, one flaw I noticed about Celaena was that she gets snuck up on a lot... shouldn't assassins be all sensing/seeing and can tell if someone is near?? But besides that, Celaena is a pretty cool assassin. 

The Crown Prince and The Captain of the Guard

Is it okay that I like them both? Because I have no idea who I like more or who I ship with Celaena. Maybe in book 2 I will make up my mind but for now, I will stick with both. :P

All in all, Maas is a great storyteller and I have become a huge fan of hers. Even though this book didn't make my "favorites shelf" like ACOTAR, it still was an amazing story. So I highly recommend that you check out Sarah's books and give this series (and ACOTAR) a try. 

Happy Reading!

~Natasha Morriston~

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Title: Snow Like Ashes (book 1)
Author: Sara Raasch
Genera: YA, Fiction, Fantasy, Action and Adventure
Publisher: Blazer + Bray (Harper Publishers)

My Rating; 4.5 STARS

             Recently I have seen a lot of hype on the second book of Snow Like Ashes trilogy called Ice Like Fire. I saw the cover for the first book and I loved it! *see the cover above* So I read the blurp and was totally intrigued by it. So when my friend who had read SLA, sent me a link to win a ARC copy of book 2, I entered.
*ARC are Advance Readers Copies (for more info, read my other blog post called ARCS!)
And so, after entering and knowing how impossible that if was for me to win with 1000+ other people entering, I for got all about this contest. And so about a week or so after the contest ended, I got in my mail a package... from Harper Publishers... That's when I remembered entering the contest for ILF and I freaked out. So I hurriedly ripped open the package and there it was, the second book to the Snow Like Ashes trilogy. Lets just say that I was super excited.
*It should be noted that I have not read the first book yet*
And so, since I had an ARC of book 2, I know I had to read book one so that I can review book two.   *Because that's what you do when you get ARCS, you review the book*
So I an up to my room, grabbed the first book
*I had borrowed Snow Like Ashes from the library two weeks before I got the Ice Like Fire ARC* and began to read. And boy was it good.
               This book is about this land where 8 kingdoms reign. There are the Seasons and the Rhythm kingdoms. The main character Meira is from the kingdom of Winter which was taken over by the Spring kingdom. So her and 7 other survivors try to reunite this magical locket to restore the power that can be used to get their kingdom and their people back from the Spring's King. Basically, this is a book about trying to save a lost kingdom from the hands of another kingdom + magic + a love triangle (yes, because apparently a book cant be YA if there is no love triangle) + PLOT TWISTS (ohhhhh i should have see it coming, I felt SOOO Stupid when it happened cause the author hinted at it like a THOUSAND times! UGH!).
               What I liked: So what I really liked about this book is that though there is a love triangle, it is NOT the main point of the story. It is just.... there.... which was nice since I was tired of reading books where the girl was always saying  "how beautiful his face is" or "the way his lips danced on my skin" or "he makes my heart flutter, a feeling I have never felt before" BLAH BLAH BLAH. I mean seriously, if I wanted to read all that, I'd read Romeo and Juliet! No, this girl was BAD ASS! I mean she was trained as a solider since she was young so she knows how to kick butt! She has this weapons that she throws that can cut of people's heads or limbs. Seriously, is no girly girl or love sick puppy, she is freaking BOSS!
                What I didn't like: NOTHING! I don't think there was anything that I didn't like except maybe it too short! So I am so glad that I got the ARC for the second book cause I would have hated to have read book 1 when it came out and wait a whole year for book 2, like that would have sucked!
                All in all, this was a really great YA fantasy book and I am super excited to read the second book in this trilogy!
               *Comment below if you have read this book and what you thought of it/ what you liked/disliked!*

Happy Reading,
Natasha Morriston

Monday, January 18, 2016

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey 

Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Genera: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Aliens, Apocalyptic, 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Book for Young Readers

My Rating: 4.9 STARS

              I have been in a pretty bad reading slump lately, that's why I haven't read much books and why I haven't updated anything (SORRY!). But I'm back now aannnnnnndddd...
........I have defeated the READING SLUMP! BOOO YAAA!

So after putting so many books on hold, I have finally found a book that I read from page 1 to the Acknowledgments. I heard about this book from a friends a long time ago but never gave it much thought UNTIL one day I was on Goodreads and this ad popped up saying something like "join the 5th Wave to try and win an IPad" or something and so I was like "sure, why not" and so I joined. I watched the trailer for the movie (cause I think that was one of the requirements for entering) and I was intrigued, I wanted to see the movie when it comes out...BUT... being a book nerd, I have this policy of reading the book before the movie. But I didn't WANT to read anything, I was in a very deep readers slump. But lucky for me, my friend (from above) motivated me to read this book and so I got it and boy am I glad that for once in my life, I actually listened to my friend (Thanks Flora!)

So here's my thoughts: 
      The 5th Wave was such a powerful book, full of suspense and twist and romance and the true meaning of humanity. I loved the way the story was written, the style of writing was on point! The quotes and the way the author "spoke" in the book, ugh it was powerful and just so wise, so smart! His words really made me think and I think that's what make this book all the better, the wisdom in the writing.

     Cassie was a very likable character and Rick did a great job at making her feel real, feel human. The different POV were great and I liked how each POV wasn't just one chapter but a section so I got the read more from a person's POV. I also loved how there was times when the POV mashed together, that was great!

All in all, I can't wait to start book 2, I actually just went to the library and got a copy so I'm gonna start it right after I write this review.

I highly recommend this for YA fans and fans of Sci-Fi and aliens. 

Hope you guys like it also! :)

Happy Reading! :)
~Natasha Morriston