BookTube Rant: The Winner’s Trilogy Cover Change

This is the first rant video I’ve ever been inspired to film or post because I have very strong feelings about the cover change situation regarding The Winner’s trilogy.  There is only one book left in the series which is scheduled for release in a few short months from now and the publisher decided to change the gorgeous cover that was previously released to a new one that looks more like a Throne of Glass ripoff.  I am le sad.

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Tea & Book Chat: The Winner’s Crime By Marie Rutkoski (The Winner’s Trilogy #2)

**Warning! If you haven’t read The Winner’s Curse which is the first book in the Winner’s trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, there will be spoilers ahead.  You can read my review of the first book instead if you haven’t started the series yet!**

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski is the second book in the Winner’s trilogy.  It picks up right where the first book left off and it’s easier to feel immediately engaged in the story because of the past familiarity with the main characters Kestrel and Arin and the world in which the story takes place.  The Winner’s Crime is entirely heartbreaking in every way and I felt SO MUCH while I was reading this book.  Days later, I’m still crushed by the ending and I cannot wait for the third book because there is so much unrest with the second installment.

Kestrel spends her time in the Emperor’s home and advises him on wartime tactics for the Valorian people.  Kestrel is intelligent and her real life plotting and planning is the perfect equivalent to her love of strategizing and winning games.  Kestrel always tries to stay a few plays ahead of her opponents but with the Emperor, it often feels like she just can’t catch up no matter how hard she tries.  She’s still torn between her alliances for her people and her father, the general of the Valorian army, and Arin and the feeling that his people, the Herrani, deserve their freedom.  She’s faced with some really rough choices which usually amount to her needing to choose the lesser of two evils.  Arin has tried to reach out to Kestrel several times, putting his heart and his position on the line, but it’s to no avail and it’s slowly driving him insane.


There’s one particular scene which takes place in Kestrel’s practice room that caused me to audibly yell “No! No! No!”  I hurt my hand by involuntarily banging my fist on my desk because of how upset the scene made me.  It’s such a well written and stressful situation for the characters to be in so I almost can’t get upset with Marie Rutkoski for causing me to take some hits of physical damage.  There were so many lovely metaphors in this book, particularly involving the moths.  Rutkoski has crafted such an elaborate and layered story that it is impossible for readers not to be swept away by her tale.

Final Thoughts: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski is a heartbreaking continuation of the the first novel.  I’ve decided to begin referring to it as The Empire Strikes Back of the trilogy.  This book is ripe with metaphors and bursting with emotion.  You will not be able to tear yourself away from Kestrel and Arin’s POV’s and the ending will leave you feeling a combination of sad, angry and craving the final installment.


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. (via Goodreads)

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Life Lately: The Final Days Of Winter

A couple of weekends ago Andrew, Carolyn and I met in Union Square to watch Melissa’s Kung Fu demonstration and belatedly celebrate Chinese New Year.  It was so much fun watching Melissa and her classmates perform (especially when they used weapons)!  It almost made me want to start practicing again.  I was enrolled in Kung Fu from kindergarten (because of my love of the Power Rangers) until 10th grade and I was one stripe away from earning my black belt before I quit in favor of wanting to spend more time with my friends.  Before the performance we watched people dressed as the three dragons dance around and accept donations for the hope of good fortune in 2015.  I particularly love the candid photo Andrew captured of us girls laughing together.

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After the demonstration we headed to one of my favorite eateries called Grey Dog.  It’s mostly frequented by NYU students but the food is delicious!  I ordered my favorite meal from there which is a Breakfast Quesadilla and Andrew and I sprung for a cocktail each.  I got the Vanilla Almond Chai Toddy and he ordered (but oh-so-graciously traded with me) a Hot Buttered Cider which was similar to Butterbeer.


I never thought I would said this but winter is FINALLY winding down.  This past February was one of the coldest on record in NYC in YEARS and we were bombarded with snow more often than anyone who lives here was hoping for.  Granted, I guess it can be pretty or whatever, but enough is enough.  Also, Andrew looks dashing in his Sherlock-esque coat and scarf.  He ventured outside with me during one of the aforementioned storms so I could take a good photo of my book in the snow.


Lately I’ve been collaborating with my good friend Melissa Grey (who also happens to be the author of The Girl at Midnight) and Andrew to create nail art tutorials based on book covers for YouTube.  Melissa is very talented and patient in her planning and application and watching her process has actually made me feel capable of recreating her designs on my own.  I even ordered my own nail art kit!  You can watch our first video for A Darker Shade of Magic here.  There are plenty more to come and I’m so excited to share them!

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Because of the cold weather and snow, I’ve spent the majority of my free time indoors reading, watching movies and playing video games.  Andrew and I went to GameStop together on Valentine’s Day and he bought me Majora’s Mask for 3DS and I bought him the new Ducktales game for Wii U.  He’s beaten his but I have yet to have the time to begin mine!  We have been playing Super Smash Bros. together on Wii U and that’s been a blast.  My favorite character to play as is Rosalina.  Also, our Amiibo addiction is still in full force.



Since I’ve been inside so much, I haven’t been eating as healthy as I should.  Now that spring is on its way I’m ready to ditch some of the junk food (minus Ben & Jerry’s, Cadbury mini eggs, cupcakes and the occasional macaron because obviously) and start eating more fruits and veggies.



I’ve also decided to start taking advantage of more of the events that NYC has to offer!  It’s so easy to let work and extracurricular work (blog, YouTube, etc) get in the way of going out and experiencing things and I’m determined to participate more, especially since the weather is becoming more bearable.  Last week I attended The Winner’s Crime event at McNally Jackson where author Marie Rutkoski met with Sara Rees Brennan for a discussion about Kestrel and Arin’s next installment.  The Winner’s Crime book is gorgeous and there’s a map(!) inside.  I am so excited to have my copy personalized by Marie herself.  If you haven’t heard of The Winner’s Trilogy, you an read my review of the first book in the series, The Winner’s Curse.  I also attended The Orphan Queen launch party at Books of Wonder with Andrew and Melissa.  The authors at this event included Jodi Meadows, C.J. Redwine, Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Joy N. Hensley.  Unfortunately I forgot to bring my copy of Cynthia’s latest book but I believe she’ll be back for the mega signing during the New York City Teen Author Festival.  I also got to meet Alexa and Rachel for the first time IRL and they were so sweet!  I can’t wait to see them both at future events.

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