Writing Reviews: My Rating System (caitsbooks.com)

Writing Reviews – My Rating System

The longer I’ve been writing book reviews, the more confused I get with my own rating system.

Rating are hard. I really struggle with them. Since I use Goodreads a lot (shameless plug- add me as a friend), I wanted to keep things consistent and rate every book out of 5 stars. However, with so many people rating books from 1-5 stars, everyone now has their own meaning behind what a 5 star/3 star/1 star book is. Even my own meaning has changed.

So, for the sake of clarification, I want to explain what my ratings mean, and give some examples for each!

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If You Like… Then You’ll Like – 2019 Releases Edition!

Wow, I haven’t done this type of book recommendation in a while. Which means I have so many books to talk about!!

Today, I want to focus on some early 2019 releases. Now, if you don’t know how this works, I’ll list 3 fairly hyped books, and pair them with 3 other books that are somewhat similar in tone, theme, or genre. If you like one of the books, you’ll probably like the one it’s paired with!

Alright, enough talking, onto the book recommendations!

Read More for my recommendation matches, and why I paired them together!

[ Related: 12 Summer Romances (6 YA + 6 Adult) ]

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We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. Caitsbooks Review: 5 Stars

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal – I’ll Never Recover (Review)

[ We Hunt the Flame cover (girl with arrows standing on a cliff overlooking a desert ]

Overall: 5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 4.5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: We Hunt the Flame is a stunning debut. This book is absolutely gorgeous, inside and out. You do not want to miss out on this one of a kind read.

“We hunt the flame, the light in the darkness, the good this world deserves.”

(I know this is the quote everyone is using in their reviews but HOW COULD YOU NOT?? It’s so perfect)

[ Related: Currently Reading – We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal (Thoughts & Predictions) ]

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// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Assault, Torture, Suicide Mention, Child Abuse, Animal Death, War Themes, Murder, Misogyny //

“A life without purpose may be no life, but a life without love is nothing but an existence.”

Release Date: 5/14/2019
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Page Count: 472
Premise:
We Hunt the Flame takes place in Arawiya, a kingdom divided into five caliphates, inspired by ancient Arabia. Zafira is one of the only people able to venture into the Arz, a magical forest, and come back unaffected. Disguised as The Hunter, she uses this ability to feed her village. But when she is told of a way she might be able to get rid of the Arz forever, she travels to the mysterious island of Sharr. Nasir is an assassin, son of the Sultan and Prince of Death. When his father sends him after The Hunter with orders to find what The Hunter is after then kill him, Nasir does not hesitate. But Sharr is full of ancient magic and forgotten powers, and with old threats rising, their quests, and their lives, are in jeopardy.

Read more for all of my thoughts on this amazing book!!

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Wrap Ups & My August TBR (caitsbooks.com)

July Favorites, Reading Rush Wrap Up, + My August TBR!

I think I finally did it. I think I beat my reading slump.

It only took me… five months. But I did it!!!

July was a surprisingly good month for me. At this point, I had given up all hope and thought that I would never regain the motivation to read like I had, but then came The Reading Rush.

Readathons scare me. A lot. So I had never done one before. I never liked the idea of pushing myself to read as much as possible, because I thought it would inevitably cause me to burn myself out.

Looks like I was wrong.

Read more to see how I did in The Reading Rush, plus a list of my favorite July reads, and my August TBR!

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June Favorites & July 2019 TBR – Summer Reading!

So… June wasn’t great for me. I thought I was defeating my reading slump, but oh boy was I wrong. June definitely beat me. I did not win this month. That said, I have hope for July. Not much hope, but still.

But enough about slumps and how I failed. Let’s keep it positive and talk about what I loved in June, and my July TBR!

Read on to find out what I’ve read and loved, and what I hope to read next!

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A Super Late April Favorites + May TBR

The month may almost be over but I can’t not talk about my favorite reads in April, or not set a goal for myself for May. Admittedly, I don’t have much time to complete that goal, but lets be honest, I never actually read everything on my TBR.

Read more to see the best things I read last month, and the books I’m hoping to adore this month!

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What’s New in May? (Top 10 May 2019 Book Releases)

Yes, I know this is super late. I usually try to post these the week before the month actually starts, so I’m a little off. Just blame finals and theater. Now that all of that is over, I’m getting back to my normal schedule and ready to talk about all of the new releases from this month (in no particular order)!

Note: While I usually talk about YA, not all of these on this list are. I’ll label the couple of adult books that are listed here to make it clear!

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Currently Reading: We Hunt The Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizel

I am officially in the longest reading slump ever. It’s been months. I’m dying.

Because of this awful reading slump, I wasn’t able to finish reading my ARC of We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizel by it’s release day. That said, I still want to talk about it, so now I will.

I’m about 100 pages in, and I want to go over some of my initial thoughts, first impressions, and predictions.

(Don’t worry, I’ll keep it spoiler free!)

Okay, onto the… well I can’t say review… impression? thoughts? Let’s just get started.

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2019 in 12 Book Covers

Let’s be honest. We all judge books by their covers.

There is nothing better than a beautiful book with a beautiful cover to match, so I wanted to highlight some books that are coming out in 2019 (or already have) that have absolutely stunning covers. Admittedly, this is just an excuse for me to fangirl over some beautiful art, but maybe you’ll see something you love as well!

Now for some quick disclaimers. Naturally, this is all my opinion. Maybe there’s a cover I love that you hate, but I just want to shine a light on some of the gorgeous works of art that I know I’ll be wanting on my shelf.

Also, I’ll only be covering covers of books released from January 2019 – July 2019. A lot of later 2019 releases haven’t released covers yet, and I don’t want to miss some potentially gorgeous covers. So we’ll be doing the first half of the year in the post, and hopefully, later I’ll make a part 2 with the July – December releases!

I tried to find the cover artists for all of these amazing books, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find them all. If you know any of the artists I missed, please let me know so I can correct it!

Okay, let’s get started fangirling over books.

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The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Release Date:
1/15/2019
Genre(s): Historical Fantasy (Paris, 1889)
Cover Artist:

I love the entire color scheme. I can’t think of many green books, and this one is absolutely stunning!

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King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Release Date:
1/29/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Billelis

This is a cover that gets better the longer you stare at it. There are so many details, and they become even more significant after you read the book.

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Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Release Date
: 1/15/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling (East of the Sun, West of the Moon)
Cover Artist: Sara Pollard

I’m absolute trash for illustrated covers, and I loved how intricate this design is. There is so much detail, and all of it relates to the story itself.

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An Affair of Poisons by Addie Thorley
Release Date
: 2/26/2019
Genre(s): Historical Fantasy (France, the reign of King Louis XIV)
Cover Artist:

Another beautifully illustrated cover. It was the colors and the elegance of this one that really stood out to me.

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Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
Release Date
: 4/2/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist:

I just really love this cover, and this book in general. The cover really matches the atmosphere of the book and is overall gorgeous.

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Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
Release Date
: 4/2/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Feifei Ruan

Soooo this is absolutely stunning and I can’t stop staring at it. From the art style to the color scheme, it’s perfect and beautiful and I’m in love.

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Nocturna by Maya Motayne
Release Date
: 5/7/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Mark van Leeuwen
Design: Aurora Parlagreco and Jenna Stempel-Lobell

I just saw this book while getting all the covers saved to make this post and was blown away by the details in this design. I love the mosaic style used in the title, and the details in the design behind it.

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We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
Release Date
: 5/14/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Simon Prades (Typography: Erin Fitzsimmons)

Okay this post is just turning into me going on about color schemes and illustrations, BUT LOOK AT IT! That typography? Zafira’s cloak and hair caught in the wind? Gorgeous.

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The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
Release Date
: 5/14/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist:

Usually, I’m not a fan of people on covers, but just look at how beautiful this is! This cover is breathtaking, and I can’t wait for it to be published so I can actually hold it in my hands.

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Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Release Date
: 6/4/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Charlie Bowater

Charlie Bowater can do no wrong. Any time I see a cover drawn by her, I immediately add the book to my TBR. It was Charlie’s cover on Margaret Rogerson’s An Enchantment of Ravens that got me to pick it up and fall in love with her Margaret Rogerson’s writing, so I was so happy to see her work on Sorcery of Thorns!

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Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
Release Date
: 7/9/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Tran Nguyen

This cover is just so pretty. I love the way the skirt of Maia’s dress fades into the background towards the bottom, I love the details in the fabric, and the beautiful color scheme!

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The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson
Release Date
: 7/9/2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Cover Artist: Tran Nguyen

I don’t really know what it is in particular with this cover that I love, but it is so stunning. Anthia’s expression just seems so intense, the amount of crows and the details on their wings is amazing, and I especially love the little crow sticking his beak into the “O” in the title. He’s adorable and he’s my favorite.

And that’s my list! Twelve 2019 releases with covers that I adore, and that I can’t wait to see on my shelf.

What’s your favorite book cover?