Flame in the Mist is the first book in a new series by Renee Ahdieh. We follow Mariko, who is set to be engaged to the Japanese emperor’s son, all arranged by her father who wants to gain importance himself. However, on her way to visit her betrothed, her convoy is attacked and she was supposed to be killed, but seems to be the only survivor of the attack. After spending time in the woods, she disguises herself as a boy and sets off to find the Black Clan, who she believed was responsible for killing her. She wants to know who hired them and their motives behind the action. At the camp, she finds herself being confronted with truths she never thought she’d uncover.
4.5/5 stars! This book was very good! I recieved an ARC in a giveaway and began reading this about two days before it came out in the US, and I’m honestly really disappointed that I didn’t pick it up sooner! This was said to be a Mulan retelling, but it’s set in Japan. So far, all of Renee’s books have been set in a diverse culture with unique characters, and I must say that I LOVE the fact that her books take place in different countries. I also believe that Renee’s writing style is absolutely beautiful! The words she chooses just fit so well with what she writes, and I am never disappointed with a book she puts out. I also must mention that I loved the romance in this story. It wasn’t the main point in this story, which I appreciated. I feel like too many books put the romance first and all other problems on the back burner, which I must say sometimes gets annoying. This book did have romance, but it wasn’t the main theme and I really found that refreshing. Overall, this book was amazing and I can’t wait for the next installment in the series.
Here’s my first bookish item review!! Yay!
Item: 8 oz. “Coffee at Luke’s” candle by Wick & Fable (Website)
Price: 16.00 + shipping (excluding coupon codes and discounts)
Thoughts: This candle is wonderful! I got it for my mom as a birthday/Mother’s Day gift and I was very satisfied! The candle smells like coffee and brown sugar. I am usually not a fan of darker scents like coffee, but this candle smells absolutely wonderful and I’m now obsessed. Too bad it’s not mine… Anyway, the candle smells just as good when it’s being burned. Sometimes, I know candles don’t smell as good burning as they do when you just get a whiff of them, but this candle smells strong either way. As for shipping, the box was originally in a bag, and then in the box was the candle wrapped in tissue paper and “buffered” by bubble wrap. I had no doubts that the candle was in the best shape it could be in upon shipment. My only complaint was the shipping time. I DO understand that this is a small business and that it can’t be Amazon Prime shipping, but I was still worried because of the amount of time. But, once I got my shipping notification the package was at my house in 3 work days and we were free to enjoy. Overall, I’m really satisfied by my purchase (and my mom’s satisfied with her gift) and I likely will be purchasing from the company again.
In UPSIDE, we follow a girl named Molly, who has had a total of 26 crushes–but she hasn’t pursued them. Then, her sister Cassie gets a serious girlfriend for the first time–and with her, comes Will, who is totally crushworthy. But, at work, Molly meets Reid, who is a nerd with bright white shoes and an odd personality. And Molly may be catching feelings for him. But she’s also losing her sister. And she doesn’t know what to do about either.
This book was very enjoyable and cute! I related a lot to the main character, and she the things she went through make me want to be stronger! There was so much representation, with a lesbian sister and parents. I really enjoyed that the teenagers went through struggles that regular teenagers do. The struggled with siblings, body image, work, parents, and lots of other regular issues that don’t get talked about enough. I also really appreciated the fact that Molly had hobbies that were constant throughout the book. She was crafty and always on DIY blogs or Pinterest, and that was unique and I really enjoyed it. Reid was also a MAJOR plus. He’s so adorable!! Overall, I gave this book 4/5 stars!