ARC Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Series: N/A
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin on April 26, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Pages: 352 : e-ARC edition
Source: Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (via NetGalley)
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Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk – it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN is a lush, beautifully written and vividly imagined fantasy inspired by Indian mythology.

When I read this I felt like I was being transported to another world. Which honestly hasn’t happened too often, or even recently, so it was a refreshing read over all. Chokshi was able to weave together a story as enthralling as it was beautiful. Steeped in mythological references and deeply sated in Indian culture, I loved finally having a protagonist who was a really awesome woman of color and a story that felt true to its roots.

Maya, our main character seemed so real to me. She makes mistakes and see’s the error of h9781250085474_il_2_0c898er ways and isn’t this perfect cookie cutter type character where everything works out perfectly. She experiences joy, but there is also loss in her life and this helps her grows and defines her as a person and a ruler.

Amar *fans self* wow. Amar was interesting and intriguing, always being shown as this mysterious figure. By the end of the novel though I wish we could have gotten to know him a little better because I didn’t 100% connect with him (and the relationship felt underdeveloped).

I ultimately gave this 4 out of 5 stars because I think the writing needed a smidge of refinement since at times I wanted to be shown not told, but there are some really beautiful passages and imagery here that will make this one really memorable for me. I highly recommend pre-ordering this or picking it up once it comes out in a few weeks!

A Beautiful Fate by Cat Mann

A Beautiful FateSynopsis from Goodreads: Obsessive and driven by nightmares, Ava Baio is uprooted from her Chicago home after the untimely and tragic death of her loving mother. Taken across country by her antagonistic grandmother and placed as a boarding student at a school in Dana Point, California, Ava struggles with isolation and the loss of her mother and her grandfather. Faced with having left her beloved brownstone behind and attending a new school, surrounded by new faces and unfamiliar scenery, she finds herself sorting through unfamiliar and uncharted feelings with a strange and beautiful boy, Ari – a modern day Adonis. After an unconventional start to their relationship, Ava becomes intensely absorbed by her love for Ari, and with his help and the help of his family, she discovers who she really is – a Fate descended from Atropos. She learns that the Greek mythology she grew up reading is not comprised of myth after all.
Ava faces constant challenges both in her relationship with Ari and with the fact that she is being hunted by six threatening and ruthless men who want nothing more than for her to die so that they can live forever. She has no choice but to stand up for those she has come to love. In doing so, she becomes something she hates, a killer. 
A true page-turner, A Beautiful Fate is Part One of The Beautiful Fate Series. The novel is full of suspense, romance and the allure of ancient Greece. Ava and Ari will leave the reader hoping the story will never end.

Number of pages: 289
My review: Speaking of beautiful, just look at that cover! It’s simple, yet striking! I think it’s gorgeous.
Anyways, my first thoughts when I finished reading were, “What! But what about…!? Noooo!” Such a cliffhanger! (There better be a second one Ms. Cat Mann)
I finished this in about 3 days it was so good! I loved all the romance that dominated the book, but also loved how Greek mythology and action was peppered throughout the story as well.
Ava was such a bad ass! She had such a tender heart but also could kick the bad guy’s butts!
Her supporting characters were hilarious too. Rory (Ari’s cousin) was always making me laugh and I especially loved August (her tutor).
The descriptions of Ava being surrounded by Ari’s family were some of my favorite scenes. I don’t come from a huge family like Ari, but I still love being surrounded by laughing family members and good times with good food. The story made you want to be there; to experience everything right along with Ari and Ava. Not many novels can do that (you’re more of in a by-stander approach) but A Beautiful Fate sucked you in as if you were in one of Ava’s dreams yourself.
Like I said though I hope there will be a second one because A Beautiful Fate definitely left me hanging! What’s going to happen!? If you love romance then you need to pick this up this summer!
See you soon,

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)Synopsis from Goodreads: The heroic son of Poseidon makes an action-packed comeback in the second must-read installment of Rick Riordan’s amazing young readers series. Starring Percy Jackson, a “half blood” whose mother is human and whose father is the God of the Sea, Riordan’s series combines cliffhanger adventure and Greek mythology lessons that results in true page-turners that get better with each installment. In this episode, The Sea of Monsters, Percy sets out to retrieve the Golden Fleece before his summer camp is destroyed, surpassing the first book’s drama and setting the stage for more thrills to come.

Number of pages: 279
My review: PLEASE NOTE: This review does not contain any spoilers if you have not read the first book The Lightening Thief.
I am completely and 100% thrilled with the second installment of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. It got me out of my recent (and unfortunate) reading slump so that’s always a huge plus in my book!
There was so much adventure and action and of course, *insert angels singing* mythology! I couldn’t put the darn book down and I couldn’t pick it up fast enough later (I will admit I snuck in a little reading time here and there at work)!
Anyways back to the point! Action! Adventure! Mythology, oh my! Just like The Lightening Thief, Rick Riordan starts the adventure from the very first chapter. I know these books are really meant for middle schoolers but I don’t care. There’s a sort of fun innocence about them while still managing to teach valuable lessons about friendship and loyalty, not to mention teaching us about different myths, all while we follow Percy and his gang on their crazy adventures.
I might have like The Sea of Monsters better than The Lightening Thief because we had established who Percy was and what he was capable of, and all the conflicting emotions he was going through. Usually, sequels fall short behind their predecessor novel, but The Sea of Monsters definitely shines on its own. Plus, for some reason I just loved how Percy and Annabeth would hop from island to island and boat to boat. Something big is definitely coming for this pair and I can’t wait to see exactly what that is in the next novels!
These books are so perfect for summer, they just make you want to kick back on a beach and watch the ocean and wonder if Percy is out there somewhere fighting off monsters. I can’t wait to get my hands on the third book (which unfortunately is at my parents house). But I will get to it!
See you soon,