June 8, 2013

It Takes Two || June 2013 & Companion Novels Challenge || June-July

It Takes Two is a feature inspired by our (Cass and I) desire to push our genre/subject matter boundaries and try something different every month! We'll be picking a genre for the month, and then choosing two books to read from that genre - one well-known title, and one not-so-well-known/older title - and review on our blogs.

Cassie and I took an unprecedented two month hiatus from this feature, mostly because we were both playing catch-up on the other books. I managed to read and review Out of the Easy and Revolution, as well as reading but not yet reviewing The Girl of Fire and Thorns, and I'm currently reading Poison Study. But since it's a brand new month and that's always a clean slate, we decided to start over.

It was Cassie's turn to pick this month and she picked something I've been meaning to read more of - adult fiction. We're taking a step back from our young adult loves and trying to read something a bit more grown up! The books chosen for this month are:

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

As always, expect to see our reviews up after we're done reading the books. And if you're so inclined, please feel free to join in and read with us!

(For more info about this challenge, please check out this post.)

Welcome back! Vi hosted last month's round of this challenge, and we featured the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles. I did a joint review of the entire series, but all you really need to know is that I thought it was addicting, swoon-worthy and fun to read!

For June through July, we will be reading the Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore! I'm actually super excited about this particular set of books. I've read the first two (Graceling and Fire) but that was back in the day before I started blogging. It'll be fun to read them again -- and to finish out the series with Bitterblue!


Graceling - Kristin Cashore
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Goodreads)
Publisher: Harcourt
Publication Date: October 1, 2008
In a world where people born with an extreme skill—called a Grace—are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of the skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to execute his dirty work, punishing and torturing anyone who displeases him.

When she first meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po's friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. (from Goodreads)

Fire - Kristin Cashore
Fire by Kristin Cashore (Goodreads)
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date:  October 5, 2009
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was. (from Goodreads)

Bitterblue - Kristin Cashore
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (Goodreads)
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date:  May 1, 2012
Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck's reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle--disguised and alone--to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.

Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart. (from Goodreads)

If you're taking part in the Companion Novels Challenge, please remember that you don't necessarily have to read the same series as us - you can choose any companion novels (and here's a list for reference!). If you've got any questions, please leave a comment below or shoot me an email and I'll get back to you! Let me know in the comments if you'll be joining us.


  1. I love all three of these books, hope you enjoy Bitterblue as much as I did. It's certainly dark and got my emotions churning.

  2. Ohh I can't wait to read the Graceling series!! I think I am going to read all three this summer. I am also getting more into adult books, yay!

  3. This is such a good idea for stepping out of your reading comfort zone! It's so cool that you're doing this. I highly recommend the Graceling Audiobook. It's a full cast recording and it is AMAZING

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  4. I am so into companion novels lately! I think it's because of the different narrator we get while still returning to the world and author's writing that we love.


Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)