Because I Don’t Want It to End: THE WINNER’S TRILOGY by Marie Rutkoski

I’ll just start by noting that this post won’t have any spoilers for any of the books in this series. This isn’t a series review or discussion. It’s just my way of setting my feelings straight before I read The Winner’s Kiss, and sharing with you all just how much I adore these books. I’m basically passive aggressively book-pushing these on you. Therefore if you were a LUCKY LUCKY duck and got to read the last book early, don’t comment spoilers or hint at events or anything pleeeeeaaaaseeeee.

The Winner's Trilogy Banner

A week from today (less than a week now — I CAN MAKE IT!), one of my favorite series will come to the end. I would almost feel perfectly okay with saying that this is my one and only favorite series, but I’m a serial reader, so I can’t. But I can say that Marie Rutkoski has taken me on a ride in just two, incredibly detailed, heartbreaking, smart, and intense books. I’m both madly looking forward to and dreading reading the final book. In preparation and anticipation for doing just that, I thought I would write this post. I guess it’ll be a little journey of sorts: The Winner’s Trilogy and I.

Waaaay back in March of 2014, I purchased a book called The Winner’s Curse. I was new on the blogging scene, but I could tell that this was a book that everyone was freaking out about. So I bought it. And read it. And cried a lot. Almost immediately after I finished reading the book, I attended an event to see Marie Rutkoski. I was a fangirling mess on the inside, which translated to me being unable to form coherent sentences, ask questions, or sometimes even get words out. But I knew, especially after meeting Marie and listening to her speak about the book, that this was a series that was going to hit me hard.

I successfully pushed this book into the hands on two of my good friends, who are now equally as obsessed with this series as I am. This was a very proud achievement for me — I’m now a successful book-pusher! The three of us discussed the book a lot, which helped the time pass until book two.

Flash forward a year to March 2015. I purchased and read The Winner’s Crime and cried even more. It left me in quite a state. I feel like a bad fan to admit it, but now in March of 2016, I barely remember what happened. But I’ve decided it’s because the events of the book were just too traumatic that my brain stored the knowledge away for safekeeping.

And now we’re back to present day. I’m reading recaps of the first two books (because I don’t like rereading for some reason), and mentally preparing myself to be emotionally destroyed after reading The Winner’s Kiss. All I can say is: NEITHER KESTREL NOR ARIN CAN DIE. THEY MUST LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER FOREVER AND EVER.

BRB, taking a trip to the big box store to buy tissue in bulk.

If you want, you can read my reviews of The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime while we wait to put ourselves through more pain. They’re both non-spoiler reviews. And look out for a review and spoiler discussion in the somewhat near future when I’m over my book hangover. See, I’m already anticipating one…


Top 10 of 2015 | Best Book Boyfriends


It’s Christmas Eve! What better way to celebrate the holidays than with a list of hot, fictional boys? I know what (or should I say who) I’m wishing for under the tree tomorrow…


All of my boyfriends on this list came into my life in 2015 when their books were released. They’ve endured through to the end of this year, beating out many possible competitors, for the very special place in my fangirl heart. Oh, and I can’t seem to find words to express my love for these men, therefore I’ve resorted to gifs. 

Best Book Boyfriends of 2015

Arin from The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski


Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh


Continue reading “Top 10 of 2015 | Best Book Boyfriends”

Top 10 of 2015 | Best Books I’ve Read in 2015


I found out about this week-long event in late November, and I knew I just had to participate. It seemed to me like the perfect way to wrap up my year in books, and highlight my favorites. It’s hosted by a group of book bloggers and you can find out all about on Rachel’s blog here.

Day 1’s topic is “The Best Books I’ve Read in 2015.” It just so happened that I read 10 books this year that I rated a full 5 out of 5 stars. So, here are the lucky books that won my love in 2015!

  1. Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott
  2. Volition by Lily Paradis
  3. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
  4. Girl Underwater by Claire Kells
  5. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  6. Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
  7. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
  8. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
  9. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  10. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

All of the titles link to my reviews, so you can read why I thought these books were the best of the best!

What are your favorite books you read in 2015?


Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: March 3rd, 2015
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy, #2 | The Winner’s Curse
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Genre(s): High Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

my rambles

I don’t know if I’ll be able to write a coherent review for this beautiful, heartbreaking, book, because even after reading this book a few days ago from when I’m writing this review, I still feel like this:

*Yes this book requires gifs in my review. I cannot convey my feelings properly.*

 If you have been following me (whether it be on this blog or on Twitter), you will have probably seen me mention my obsession and love for this series at least once. I most likely made it well known how much I’ve needed this book for months, and I will 100% live up to the fact that I went to MAJOR blogger jealousy when it came to The Winner’s Crime ARCs. My review for the first book somehow didn’t showcase my emotions properly. I actually seemed composed, which was the exact opposite of how I felt after reading not only book two, but book one as well!

The Winner’s Crime surpassed my greatest expectations. Marie Rutkoski has crafted a world, characters, relationships, and story that will keep you entranced.

Everything about the world is so clever and sharp, from the game of Bite and Sting to the political intrigue. In this book we get to explore the world a bit more, travel to other lands, and the world building deepens.

There is also the addition of new characters, along with my beloved Kestrel and Arin. The development of the characters is also amazing. You get to see a new side of Kestrel and Arin, as well as people like Jess, Ronan, and Kestrel’s father.

And THE RELATIONSHIPS. Oh. My. Gosh. I think Marie Rutkoski is trying to break our hearts one thousand times over! The angst! I couldn’t handle it. Kestrel and Arin are my current OTP, and they are well deserved because their storyline in The Winner’s Crime is heightened to a whole new level. I seriously couldn’t contain my emotions or stop reading thanks to the happenings in the book, particularly involving the pair.

Just when you thought things were going to take a turn for the better, Marie Rutkoski throws us a cruel, evil, awful, sad, curveball that brings on the feels once more. And that ending will leave you with your mouth hanging open and then soon you find that you’re crying…

All in all, The Winner’s Crime was everything I hoped it would be. The wait was well worth it, and if you enjoyed The Winner’s Curse, then this book is a must read that will make you fall in love with the story all over again!


Early Excitement: March 2015

Early Excitement

I feel like I say this each month but: some of my most-anticipated reads of the year are coming out this month and OHMYGOSH I can’t contain my excitement!!! Okay, so there are only four books that I have on my list, but as I said, the excitement!


The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski — March 3rd, 2015
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows — March 10th, 2015
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver — March 10th, 2015
Little Peach by Peggy Kern — March 10th, 2015

Both The Winner’s Crime and The Orphan Queen I’ve talked about before on the blog in old WoW posts, but Vanishing Girls and Little Peach I don’t think I’ve mentioned. These two have been quiet excitements for me. I’m particularly excited for Little Peach in that it sounds like Stolen, which tore my heart in a billion pieces, so DUH, I need another book to do the same thing!

What upcoming March releases are you excited about?