March Madness: Battle #1 + Week 2 Pick // ft. mini reviews and an exciting first game

Welcome ladies and gentlemen, to the very first round of March Madness – The Bookish Version! Today we have two equally worthy competitors – Team Down Comes The Night and Team When You Get The Chance and my qualified self will be judging them both and declaring a winner! Grab some popcorn and hold on to your seats AND LET THE GAME BEGIN!

— Down Comes The Night by Allison Saft —


Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness, she seizes her chance to redeem herself.
The mansion is crumbling, icy winds haunt the caved-in halls, and her eccentric host forbids her from leaving her room after dark. Worse, Wren’s patient isn’t a servant at all but Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria and her kingdom’s sworn enemy. Hal also came to Colwick Hall for redemption, but the secrets in the estate may lead to both of their deaths.
With sinister forces at work, Wren and Hal realize they’ll have to join together if they have any hope of saving their kingdoms. But as Wren circles closer to the nefarious truth behind Hal’s illness, they realize they have no escape from the monsters within the mansion. All they have is each other, and a startling desire that could be their downfall.

Mini Review

If I had to describe Down Comes The Night in one word, it would be atmospheric. With most of the story taking place in a crumbling, isolated mansion in a icy kingdom during winter, it gives all the wintry feels that the cover promises (i was almost shivering while reading this. and it was a hot afternoon). The writing is extremely immersive, and the romance was enemies to lovers coupled with slow burn, which might just be my favourite combination. I couldn’t relate a lot to Wren since i’m myself quite the opposite—more practical than emotional—yet I appreciated her personality all the same. However, Hal’s character definitely could have been explored more, he felt more like a blurry outline than an actual person to me. And there were a couple of plot points that felt a tad too convenient (like Wren having the return address after the entire letter was burnt etc). Overall though, it was a solid fantasy worth a read for the brilliant writing. (some authors do know how to make me jealous)

— When You Get The Chance by Emma Lord —


Nothing will get in the way of Millie Price’s dream to become a Broadway star. Not her lovable but super-introverted dad, who after raising Millie alone, doesn’t want to watch her leave home to pursue her dream. Not her pesky and ongoing drama club rival, Oliver, who is the very definition of Simmering Romantic Tension. And not the “Millie Moods,” the feelings of intense emotion that threaten to overwhelm, always at maddeningly inconvenient times. Millie needs an ally. And when a left-open browser brings Millie to her dad’s embarrassingly moody LiveJournal from 2003, Millie knows just what to do. She’s going to find her mom.
There’s Steph, a still-aspiring stage actress and receptionist at a talent agency. There’s Farrah, ethereal dance teacher who clearly doesn’t have the two left feet Millie has. And Beth, the chipper and sweet stage enthusiast with an equally exuberant fifteen-year-old daughter (A possible sister?! This is getting out of hand). But how can you find a new part of your life and expect it to fit into your old one, without leaving any marks? And why is it that when you go looking for the past, it somehow keeps bringing you back to what you’ve had all along?

Mini Review

When You Get The Chance was my first book by Emma Lord (the hype is intimidating indeed), and it definitely did not disappoint. Millie was like a living breathing person to me and I felt like i’d known her my entire life (and hers too since we’re only a couple years apart? but you get the point). The same goes for Oliver, Teddy, Chloe and literally every other character in the story. THAT is the extent of Lord’s talent. It would be the understatement of the century to say that I fell in love with Millie’s personality (if i knew her in real life, i would have made her my bff and never let go) and this might just have been the BEST first person POV I’ve ever read. With the hilarious narration in the beginning and the entire “finding my true self” towards the end, this book has a wide range of moods and tones, but i’d call it cheerful for the most part. The happily ever after was the happiest in the history of happily ever afters – call it predictable, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. And gosh was the story overall addictive.

Aand would you look at that, WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE HAS DEFIED ALL ODDS AND HAS EMERGED VICTORIOUS! An unexpected result, since most of you had placed your bets on Down Comes The Night in the previous post. Better luck next time fellas, but don’t forget to cheer for our winner! (the best way to cheer is to go read this masterpiece. obviously.)

— Week 2 Pick —

Our next competitor is Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz, which will be competing with When You Get The Chance next week!


What did you think of the result? Would you have chosen differently? Which book do you think will win the next round?? Let me know in the comments!

~ Rachel


14 thoughts on “March Madness: Battle #1 + Week 2 Pick // ft. mini reviews and an exciting first game

  1. Oooh, Rachel, while I definitely thought Down Comes the Night sounded more intriguing to begin with, you’ve now made me very curious with all that gushing about When You Get the Chance!! 🤩 Is this the cutesy contemporary I always need to get me through those stressful, exam-filled summer months that have now been replaced with stressful teaching-evaluation-filled summer months? 🤔 The book is definitely on my radar now, and I’m gonna wager it will win the next round, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH YES IT IS EXACTLY THAT SORT OF BOOK, its a true stressbuster and summer = contemporary. by that wonderful logic, it is proved that you NEED this book in your life.
      ooh a double win?? lets see

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay now I must HIDE because my amazing reputation has been destroyed (I was SO SURE down comes the night would win??!) IF I HAD NOT KNOWN ANY BETTER, I’D SAY YOU BETRAYED ALL OF US ON PURPOSE. But since I can’t go around accusing people without proof *glares*, I must settle for grudgingly acknowledging the fact THAT A CONTEMPORARY PROVED TO BE SUPERIOR TO A FANTASY???!!! *gasp* and then continue on to read said contemporary because tbh, I’M EXTRMELY CURIOUS NOW! My bet for the winner of the next round is on When you get the chance (mostly because I know NOTHING about Blazewrath Games but shhh i’ll look up the synopsis)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CANT HIDE (sorry couldn’t resist)
      ohmygod *whisper yells* HOW DID YOU COME TO KNOW ABOUT MY MASTER PLAN??
      HA thats right you have no proof, i’ll walk away free.
      Indeed, a contemporary did win over a fantasy 😌


  3. Okay as cool as down comes the night sounded YES WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE WON I’M SO HAPPY HAHAHAHA!! ( it is wonderful sense of satisfaction for us competitive Aries *evil laugh*)It’s seems so good and now that it won this round, I have no choice but to go and devour it IMMEDIATELY!!
    ALSO ALSO the blazewrath games has the most breathtaking cover ever?? WHY HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF THIS BEFORE? I am very very tempted to pick it as my choice for the next round BUT I CANNOT BETRAY WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE 😭 so my bet once again is one when you get the chance hahahah😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

      yep we aries sure do like to win.
      i knoww, its quite underhyped which is why we don’t see it around often BUT THAT COVER IS SO GORGEOUS AND THERE ARE DRAGONS!!
      oooh lots of faith in when you get the chance huh?? lets see 👀👀

      Liked by 1 person

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