book review

Book Review: Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin

sdBook: Serpent & Dove
Series: Serpent & Dove book 1
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Genre: Fantasy

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

As a huntsman of the Church, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. But when Lou pulls a wicked stunt, the two are forced into an impossible situation—marriage.

Lou, unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, must make a choice. And love makes fools of us all.

My Rating:

My Review:
Serpent & Dove has got a lot of hype recently and the hype was how I first heard about it and became interested in it. It sounded like something I’d love so I picked it up and I did like the beginning of the book but at around a third of the way through the book I began to enjoy it less.

The thing I liked about this book was the writing. It was so easy and enjoyable to read, I fell straight into the story with the way things were described. I think the writing is what made the first part of the book so entertaining to read.

Serpent & Dove is told from a dual pov. I liked the protagonist Lou, I enjoyed her povs a lot and thought she was a very funny and stand out character. As for the other point of view and love interest, Reid, I didn’t like him. In the beginning I was intrigued by him but only for a little while before I actually got to know his character. I thought he was a boring character and I kept hoping there was going to be a twist in the story where he wasn’t the love interest but he was. I know his character was supposed to act in certain ways because he was brought up in a prejudiced way but I expected his character to develop more as the book went on but he just came across as more immature instead.

I was also disappointed in the romance. When it became clear to me that Reid was (obviously) the love interest I thought maybe it wouldn’t be too bad since I did enjoy how Lou had this funny banter with him but then the marriage happened and the romance escalated a bit too quick. They went from hating each other to wanting to die for each other fairly quickly and I couldn’t understand that especially since they both knew nearly nothing of the history and background of the other. I also felt the romance brought down Lou’s character because in the second half of the book she became focused on Reid and a lot less interesting.

I did like the friendship between Lou and Coco and I really wished there had been more of a focus on that instead of the romance. I liked the witch parts of the book and thought the magic was interestingly described.

Overall I did like the first third of Serpent & Dove, I thought Lou was a great character and I was interested in what was happening but I didn’t really like Reid and thought the romance happened too quick so I ended up feeling disappointed by Serpent & Dove.

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday- Autumnal Book Covers

ttt-autumnal book covers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is: Books That Give Off Autumn Vibes so I decided to pick some books covers that suit the autumn season.

ttt-autumnal book covers1

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
The Iron King (The Iron Fey book 1) by Julie Kagawa
Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children book 1) by Seanan McGuire
Song of Sorrow (Sorrow book 2) by Melinda Salisbury

ttt-autumnal book covers2

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air book 1) by Holly Black
Wither (The Chemical Garden book 1) by Lauren DeStefano
The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

What book covers feel autumnal to you?

wrap up

October Wrap Up 2019

What I Read in October:

oct 19 wrap up 1
Her Dark Legion (Messenger Chronicles book 5) by Pippa DaCosta
This is the final book in this series and I liked it but I was also a little disappointed in it. I felt the plot and pacing was better in previous books than in this one and because of the pacing, I felt that there wasn’t enough time for the characters to talk about their connections and feelings with each other. Even though I was slightly disappointed by these things I still liked the book.

Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan – 2 STARS
I was hoping for this to be a nice spooky read but unfortunately I disliked it. I didn’t like the characters in this book especially the main character and her twin sister, and I didn’t like their relationship with each other. I also disliked how the main plot of this book was the twin sister being in a messed up relationship with an older man. I did like the atmospheric feeling it had and I liked the way the castle was described. You can find my full review of it here.

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove book 1) by Shelby Mahurin – 3 STARS
This book has been very hyped recently and I’ve heard great things about it so I was expecting to enjoy it, and I did for a while but at around a third of the way through it started to go downhill for me. I liked the writing of this book, the story felt like such an easy read because of it and I liked Lou and her jokes but I really disliked Reid. He felt like such an immature character that I held out hope that maybe he wouldn’t be the love interest but unfortunately he was. I didn’t like the romance, I felt that it went very quickly from hate to love and that made it feel unbelievable.

oct 19 wrap up 2
Prisoner of Night (Black Dagger Brotherhood book 16.5)
by J.R. Ward – 4 STARS
I really enjoyed this novella set in the BDB world which surprised me because I really disliked the last novella (Dearest Ivie) so I was expecting to feel the same with the one. I liked the characters and thought they were very strong and well developed and I enjoyed the story.

Archangel’s War (Guild Hunter book 12) by Nalini Singh – 4 STARS
I was debating on whether I should give this book a 3 or 4 star, I’ve went with 4 because I did enjoy the book. At the same time, I felt disappointed in this book. If you’re a fan of this series you will know that there’s a war that’s been built up for a while and the ending of the previous book made me highly anticipate Archangel’s War but I felt like nothing happened for most of this book. Everything just started happening around halfway through it and so I felt it was very slow in the beginning but I still love reading about all these characters, they’re so interesting and the last half of the book felt so intense and I loved that.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks – 4 STARS
This was such a cute and perfect read for this season. I loved the artwork and liked the fun characters and thought it was a great graphic novel.

Blog Posts I Did in October:

Stranger Things Book Tag
Witchy Reads
Eerie Places in Books
Intriguing Book Titles
My Spooky October TBR 2019
Book Titles With Numbers In Them
Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan Book Review

My October Bookstagram pictures (xo_reader_kyla):

oct19 insta pic1
The first half of October wasn’t the best, reading wise, but I enjoyed the books I read in the last half of the month. In October I also watched a lot of the tv show Black Sails. I’m nearly done with season 3 and I’m really liking it and find the characters so interesting and complex. I also posted a lot on my bookstagram which I’m happy about and hopefully I can keep up the pace in November.

What did you read in October?

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday- Eerie Places in Books

ttt- eerie places pic
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is a Halloween freebie so the topic I’ve chosen is: Eerie Places in Books. There are definitely some places in books that give you chills when the main character goes there so I thought I’d list some of the places that stand out to me.

cobCity of Bones/The Silent City (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare) – When Clary first goes to the City of Bones I thought it was very eerily described.

dasab.jpgThe Moors (Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire) – This was definitely a creepy place and when I was reading it I kept picturing the Halloween town from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

mp.jpgMiss Peregrine’s Time Loop (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs) – Miss Peregrine’s Time Loop is not really a place but the time loop paired with the home itself makes the books feel like they are set in very eerie places.

unwindUnwind Harvest Camps (Unwind by Neal Shusterman) – The Harvest Camps in the Unwind series are not just eerie but very frightening especially when reading from a character’s perspective who’s in the camp.

hpForbidden Forest (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling) – In both the books and movies of Harry Potter the Forbidden Forest seemed like an eerie spooky place.

What are some places in books that felt eerie and creepy to you?


Stranger Things Book Tag

stranger things book tag2
I love Stranger Things so when I first saw this tag (on LauReads) I knew I had to do it. If you haven’t watched Stranger Things yet I’d highly recommend you do, it’s a great show. There will be no spoilers in this post and the original tag video can be found here. So let’s get onto the questions.


1. EPIC INTRO: Name a book that grabbed your attention from the first page.

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg – I loved how this book just instantly intrigues you with the intro being a murder scene and then a police interview before going back to tell you what happened. It instantly grabbed my attention and I loved the book.

2. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: Name a fantasy world you would like to experience yourself.

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis – I decided not to go with the obvious choice of Harry Potter for this question but I also feel that Narnia is quite an obvious choice as well, who wouldn’t want to experience Narnia.

3. SQUAD GOALS: Name your favourite bookish group of friends.

Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh – I love the friendships that have developed over the course of the Guild Hunter series. The relationships between all the characters are so interesting and I love how deep the friendships they have made are.

4. ABC’s & CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: Name your favourite unhinged character.

The Savior (Black Dagger Brotherhood book 17) by J.R. Ward – For years the author of this series has teased Murhder, who is a character that has been described as being very unhinged in previous books. I didn’t find Murhder as unhinged as I expected him to be but I did like his character.

5. THE UPSIDE DOWN: Name a book that was the opposite of what you expected.

Vengeful (The Villains book 2) by V.E. Schwab – I really liked the first book in this series and thought the plot and characters were interesting but I disliked Vengeful, the characters in Vengeful didn’t seem like the same characters in Vicious.

6. MAD SCIENTISTS: Name the freakiest dystopian government you can think of.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman – This series felt like it could really happen and it’s so chilling to think about. In this world parents can sign a form to have their child ‘unwound’ which means their body is harvested for parts and the whole book is so creepy and scary to think about.

7. DEMOGORGON: Name a scary bookish creature that you would not want to come through your walls.

The Passage by Justin Cronin – The Virals from this trilogy are scary, they’re like fast zombies and the way they’re described in this book is very frightening.

8. CLIFFHANGER ENDING: Name a book that left you wanting more.

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman – This is a standalone book and the story does wrap up so it doesn’t have a cliffhanger ending but I really liked the characters and wanted to read more about them so that’s why I chose it for this question.

Do you like Stranger Things? What are some answers you’d choose for these questions?



Book Review: Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan

ppdBook: Perfectly Preventable Deaths
Author: Deirdre Sullivan
Genre: YA paranormal fantasy

Everyone in Ballyfran has a secret, and that is what binds them together…

Fifteen-year-old twins Madeline and Catlin move to a new life in Ballyfran, a strange isolated town, a place where, for the last sixty years, teenage girls have gone missing in the surrounding mountains.

As distance grows between the twins – as Catlin falls in love, and Madeline begins to understand her own nascent witchcraft – Madeline discovers that Ballyfrann is a place full of predators. Not only foxes, owls and crows, but also supernatural beings who for many generations have congregated here to escape persecution. When Catlin falls into the gravest danger of all, Madeline must ask herself who she really is, and who she wants to be – or rather, who she might have to become to save her sister.

My Rating:

My Review:
I didn’t know what to expect from this book but the cover and blurb of it had me excited and hoping for a great spooky read. I liked the overall premise of this book, the protagonist and her family moving to a new place that has many secrets. The book did have a creepy atmosphere to it especially since the family move into a castle that has hidden rooms and I liked the witchcraft aspect of the book.

What I didn’t like was the characters especially the protagonist Maddy. I found her to be very unlikable and in the beginning I thought maybe her personality would grow more but it didn’t. Maddy compares herself to her twin sister Catlin all the time and she’s always internally berating herself for not being as good as her and it annoyed me how often she did this, in almost every second paragraph she does this. One time Catlin paints her nails a bright colour and Maddy compares them to her dull grey nail polish, then the next day Maddy points out how her sisters nails are still perfect and hers are all chipped. I don’t really understand why those many comparisons were made.

Catlin, Maddy’s twin, was another character I disliked. I didn’t dislike her because she annoyed me, I disliked her because she had no personality traits other than obsessing over a boy. Her character is introduced by making a comment on there being ‘hot boys’ at their new town and the rest of the book is her being in a messed up relationship and having no other thoughts and feelings if it wasn’t on her relationship.

And that is another thing I disliked about the book. The relationship between Catlin and an older boy is essentially the main plot of this book. The people in the town of this book are very big on being cryptic and having secrets and I found it strange that all the adults in this town were so secretive that they couldn’t even talk to Catlin, who is a child, about what was really going on. I can’t go into much details about that because of spoilers. I thought the ending was just kind of thrown together and nothing was really explained.

Overall I liked the setting and creepy atmosphere of in Perfectly Preventable Deaths but I really disliked the characters and the ending. I will also say that there are some scenes that detailed animal mutilation that I felt were just there to make things seem more dark and intense. Ultimately I was very disappointed in this book.