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Guest Reviewer: Katelyn from Writing is Hard with Rebel of Sands

Screen Shot of a @writing_is_hard insta pic 
Hello sunnies 🌞
Our Guest Blogger this week is the lovely Katelyn! I met her a few months ago via bookstagram and quickly grew obsessed with her feed, her blog, her personality... Seriously, her Insta feed is goals! 
Aaaaaand she is a writer too! How fabulous is that?

Her Favorite read in 2017 was Rebel of the Sands and she has kindly agreed to share her review of it here in Glimpses of my Books. 

Before we get to her review, here is a little Q&A with her and the many ways in which you can go follow her after we are done!

Hi Katelyn!

- Tell us a little bit about you 🙂

Hey Anne! Thank you so much for allowing me to guest on your blog! I live in a tiny western suburb of Chicago IL (Brrrr) I’ve lived in the Chicago area for about six years. I’m 29 (yikes!) and while my primary hobby is reading, I am also an aspiring writer and bookstagrammer.

- When/What got you into reading? 
I’ve enjoyed books since I was little but I had an eighth grade English teacher that handed me Harry Potter and her love for it fueled my own. I read that series four or five times in a row the summer going into my freshman year of high school (no regrets) and have been hooked on reading ever since.
As you sunnies know, I have not read HP, so I shall go hide in a corner now....

- We know what your favorite read in 2017 was now, but what were your top 3 2017 book releases?
Top three would obviously include Traitor to the Throne (Rebel 2), Flame in the Mist, and Song of the Current.
ALL books I have not managed to read yet 😢

- Do you have a favorite genre?
YA or NA Fantasy 
One of the many reasons I love her! Can you guys think of anyone else that likes NA?😉

- Is there a book you really did not enjoy reading this past year? Which one? Why?
I was SO disappointed in Diving Eden by Joelle Charbonneau! The cover of that book is absolutely stunning and the synopsis sounded amazing but bleh. I hated it. I think the real issue was that I was expecting something along the lines of ‘The Testing’ which was her previous series and it was nothing like that. Dividing Eden was more court intrigue instead of fast paced action fantasy and was seriously lacking in character and world development.

- Do you have an all time favorite book or book series?
Harry Potter all the way. It will always hold a special place.

- How about a favorite author?
If you judge by my book shelf I suppose I would have to say Rick Riordan. He is an auto buy for me. Percy Jackson is one of my all time favorite characters.

- The bookstagram world has exploded with bookish merch this past year, are you into any of it? If so, share us some of your favorite companies. --Our head blogger might hold it against you if you answer yes and forget the best bookish shop on etsy. Just saying (emoticon)--
YES! I love love love the beautiful bookish letters that are hand painted by this wonderful artist I know (Etsy link). I also am obsessed with bookish candles, especially from Alchemy and Ink (alchemyandink). Bookish mugs are next and you can find some fantastic designs by Evie Seo’s Society6 page (evieseo). 
Ohh… I love love love Evie Seo myself! You guys should check it out!

- Last but not least, where else in this big wide web world can we find you?
I am mostly on Instagram and you can find me @writing_is_hard but I also have a writing/book review website that you can find at www.writingishardblog.com




The review:

My favorite, favorite, favorite, read of the year was Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton. This book has an awesome protagonist, a fast paced story, and an intense romance, frankly everything you need. Now, the story is about Amani, who’s a sixteen year old sharp shooter, looking to find a way to escape her little one horse town of Deadshot by entering in a shooting contest. Her hope is to win enough money for a one way ticket out of town and away from an undesirable arranged marriage. Unfortunately, she encounters a foreigner who is just as desperate to win that prize money and once chaos ensues, Amani and her attractive foreign companion end up on the run from the Sultans army.

I absolutely love this story, the writing is impeccable and Amani’s character arc throughout her journey is beautifully done. Also, Jin. JIIIIINNNNN!!! I freaking love him and all of his Jin-ness. So snarky, so clever, so mysterious, he definitely became a top book boyfriend for me. Not only do I love the dynamic relationship that is developed between Jin and Amani but I also love the fact that Amani develops friendships with other characters. It’s not all about Jin and that creates a great balance with the storytelling.

This book keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time as you travel through the beautifully crafted world of Miraji that Hamilton’s created. The mythology that she ties into this book is incredible and most of it I rarely see in YA books. You’ll find hints of 1,001 Arabian Nights, Hindu lore, and Navajo myth. Not only that, but Alwyn Hamilton grew up in France and so she has also hinted that her story was strongly influenced by the French revolution. Amani goes from being just a small dessert town girl to a full blown rebel and it’s awesome. She will lie, cheat, and steal to achieve the new life she’s been dreaming of but on her way there she realizes there are bigger and better things worth fighting for. Such great character growth! Ah! I can’t gush enough about this book.

As you may or may not know, Rebel of the Sands is book one of the series, Traitor to the Throne came out earlier this year. While a much different type of pacing, it was still a thrilling second installment that moved the story along while also allowing us to spend time with our antagonist. I am DYING for book three, Hero of the Fall, that is coming out this spring. If you haven’t yet, go run out and buy this book series then move it to the top of your tbr. It is a fun and unique adventure full of magic, myth, and mayhem.
















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