Saturday, March 17

Dinosaurs, Humans and an Overcrowded Planet - The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson (The Extinction Trials #1)

Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival.
Welcome to the Extinction Trials.

In Stormchaser and Lincoln's ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win.

But in a land full of monsters - human and reptilian - they can't afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other...

Thursday, March 15

Yet Another Milestone at The Regal Critiques

It's been four years already! Four years since this little blog was born. Four years of talking about all things bookish, ranting, venting- you name it. On this occasion, we decided to have a look at how exactly we came to be The Regal Critiques, and so, let's have a look at our timeline, shall we?

15th of March, 2014

The birth of this blog, by the name of Reading is Dreaming With Open Eyes. The proud mom? Veronika.

18th of June, 2015

Addition of a co-blogger when Vera made the truly momentous decision of sharing her baby with another human. Enter Ruzaika.

19th of June, 2015

Blog revamp-  a design change, as well as name change to The Regal Critiques. 

Since today is a special day and all, we'll let you have a look at the brilliant list of names we came up with first when trying to decide on a name for the blog! Excuse the typo and the general silliness, but you'll see Royal Rantings, the title we now use for our discussion posts was actually considered as a name for the blog itself! 

Aaaand now we're here today  celebrating yet another milestone here on the blog and we have mighty exciting news for you! Drumroll please! *cue drumroll*  As of this day, 

Saturday, March 10

Unique Characters and An Unflinching Look at Expat Life in Saudi Arabia in A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved. 

Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school.  You don't want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that. 

This beautifully written debut novel from Tanaz Bhathena reveals a rich and wonderful new world to readers. It tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion, and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal.

Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley

Thursday, March 8

A Series To Binge #1: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides—especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

The plot gets better and darker with each book. I am so very impressed with the way the author built-up the series. See, I fairly enjoyed The Naturals, I really liked Killer Instinct, I loved All In, but I was absolutely blown away by Bad Blood. SO MANY THINGS CONNECTED, and like, yes, THIS is how you write a great, psychological thriller series. I need more like this, and I need it NOW.

Saturday, March 3

All the #GirlLove You Can Imagine in Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

“Weak or strong - she didn’t know what they meant anymore. Maybe they didn’t mean the same thing for everyone.”

At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

Thursday, March 1

Release Calendar - March 2018

Bonjour, mes amis! Here we are, yet again, at the start of another brand new month with the most exciting of new YA releases! We've tried to limit our choices to only the ones we are absolutely dying for- like every other month, really- but you can see the attempt has been very much futile since we have more new releases than we could possibly get around to this month as well. Anyhoo. Have a look at our pick of the most promising of YA books coming out this month!

Tuesday, February 27

Books That Are SO GOOD I Could Re-Read Them Over and Over Again

Hello, friends. I'm not sure about you, but I adore rereading books. Besides the practical reasons for it (e.g. so you won't be totes lost in a sequel), there's something truly magical in revisiting your favorite novels, and falling in love with them all over again. Oh, and how amazing it is when you discover things you didn't see before!! I could go on and on about why rereading is fantastic, BUT today I'd rather show you some of the books that are so incredibly I could reread them over and over and over again.

/Props to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Girl for the topic./

Saturday, February 24

Heartwarming, Heartbreaking and Uplifting: The Unpredictability of Being Human by Linni Ingemundsen

Meet Malin, a fifteen-year-old who sees the world differently. Malin knows she couldn’t change much about her life, even if she got to play God. Her dad would still yell all the time – especially as Malin is still friends with Hanna, the girl she met shoplifting. Her mum would still say a glass of wine is good for her heart – and Mum needs it, with Malin’s brother, Sigve, getting into trouble all the time. And Malin would still be Malin. Because she can’t be anybody else. 

In a voice bursting with immediacy and truth, Malin shares the absurdities of growing up and fitting in as her family struggles with the buried pain of mistakes made and secrets kept.

Profound, compassionate and as funny as it is dark, Malin’s story is an offbeat examination and celebration of the brutal, bizarre and beautiful unpredictability of being human.

If you love the freshness and honesty of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the emotional depth of John Green, and the irreverent wit of Little Miss Sunshine, push this to the top of your TBR pile.

Thursday, February 22

Talk About Disappointment: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet.”

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

Tuesday, February 20

10 Books I've Recently Deleted From My TBR & Here's Why

If you're a bookish person you very likely struggle with keeping your TBR in check, and boy, do I relate to that! After joining the book blogging community my Goodreads to-read shelf became unbelievably hectic, filled with hundreds of books that I didn't even remember adding in the first place. Pulling up my to-read list became something to dread, because it was painful to find the books I was actually interested in between all the titles I added on a whim. 

It probably won't surprise you that cleaning up that mess took me hours and hours of painful work, and woah, it made me never want to go back there again. (Also, this is no "shade"!! If you have that many books on your to-read shelf, and it's fine by you then that's great! It was just something that bothered me.) In the past two years or so, I've "challenged" myself to have no more than 300 books on my Goodreads to-read list, which is... harder than it sounds! 

As of today, on the 4th of February, 2018, I have 291 books on my shelf, which means that it is time to get rid of some of them. Here's how it went.