Jessica’s December TBR

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Children of Blood and Bone

Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Series: Legacy of Orïsha
Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

A Darker Shade of Magic

Author: V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic
Publication Date: February 24, 2015

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Blood Will Out

Author: Jo Treggeriari
Series: n/a
Publication Date: June 5, 2018

Ari Sullivan is alive—for now.

She wakes at the bottom of a cistern, confused, injured and alone, with only the shadowy recollection of a low-pitched voice and a gloved hand. No one can hear her screams. And the person who put her there is coming back. The killer is planning a gruesome masterpiece, a fairytale tableau of innocence and blood, meticulously designed.

Until now, Ari was happy to spend her days pining for handsome, recent-arrival Stroud Bellows, fantasizing about their two-point-four-kids-future together. Safe in her small hometown of Dempsey Hollow. But now her community has turned very dangerous—and Ari may not be the only intended victim.

Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded

Author: Sage Blackwood
Series: n/a
Publication Date: March 21, 2017

Chantel would much rather focus on her magic than on curtsying, which is why she often finds herself in trouble at Miss Ellicott’s School for Magical Maidens. But when Miss Ellicott mysteriously disappears along with all the other sorceresses in the city, Chantel’s behavior becomes the least of her problems.

Without any magic protecting the city, it is up to Chantel and her friends to save the Kingdom. On a dangerous mission, Chantel will discover a crossbow-wielding boy, a dragon, and a new, fiery magic that burns inside her—but can she find the sorceresses and transform Lightning Pass into the city it was meant to be?

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No Episode This Week!

Jessica's Blog Features (2)

Just a reminder that Jessica is getting married tomorrow! And since Maggie is also in the wedding, there will be no episode this week. We’ll be back next week with all sort of bookish fun though!

Make sure to enter your favorite titles for a Night Owl! We will (hopefully) be adding winning titles into our end of the year giveaway so make sure to get your favorites in every day!

Entries close midnight EST Halloween. Voting opens November 24th, 2017 and will close December 25th, 2017. Tune into the New Year’s Eve podcast to find out which titles won the Night Owl!

Get Your Nominations In Now

Jessica's Blog Features

It’s time to start voting in your favorite books of the year for the coveted Night Owl. We will be taking nominees in a variety of categories for the duration of October. Polls will close on Halloween while we tabulate the entries and voting will re-open in December for final voting. Tune into the Booked All Night Podcast on New Year’s Eve to find out who won the Night Owl!

Entries close midnight EST Halloween. Voting opens November 24th, 2017 and will close December 25th, 2017. Tune into the New Year’s Eve podcast to find out which titles won the Night Owl!

Waiting on Wednesday #12

Shadowhouse Fall

Publication Date: September 12th, 2017

34051373.jpgThe extraordinary sequel to the New York Times bestseller Shadowshaper is daring, dazzling, defiant.

Sierra and her friends love their new lives as shadowshapers, making art and creating change with the spirits of Brooklyn. Then Sierra receives a strange card depicting a beast called the Hound of Light — an image from the enigmatic, influential Deck of Worlds. The shadowshapers know their next battle has arrived.

Thrust into an ancient struggle with enemies old and new, Sierra and Shadowhouse are determined to win. Revolution is brewing in the real world as well, as the shadowshapers lead the fight against systems that oppress their community. To protect her family and friends in every sphere, Sierra must take down the Hound and master the Deck of Worlds… or risk losing them all.

Shadowshaper was one of my fave urban fantasies of last year. I’ve devoured every novella that DJ Older sent out over the past year since Shadowshaper hit shelves and I’m severely disappointed in myself that I ALMOST forgot that Shadowhouse Fall came out yesterday!

Good thing I went straight to B&N and bought a copy straight off the shelves!

 

Waiting on Wednesday #11

Starfish

Publication Date: September 26th, 2017

Pre-order it here!

29456598.jpgKiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

From debut author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes a luminous, heartbreaking story of identity, family, and the beauty that emerges when we embrace our true selves.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a big fan of contemporary books, but I’ve heard so much about this on Twitter and I really want to see for myself just how great this book is! Plus, look at that pretty cover!

Maggie’s September TBR

September TBR

I’m still reading a lot of the same ARCs; but I’ve been approved for Adam Silvera’s They Both Die At The End so expect that review up soon! I’m also finally starting Six of Crows and finishing up my all time fave The Savage Dawn, book 3 of Melissa Grey’s The Girl at Midnight series.

I won’t include the back copy for all top row, since you can see that in my August TBR post, but here’s all the new stuff:

Continue reading

Jessica’s September TBR

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Going to be a slow September apparently. I’m super excited that I was approved for the second Mice of the Round Table by Julie Leung. I’ve had This Darkness Mine for a little bit now and I really need to get it off my review list since it comes out this October. The Stolen Child is an old one but my teacher recommended it to me. Here’s all the back copy: Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday #10

One Dark Throne

Publication Date: September 19th, 2017

Pre-order it here!

29923707The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

The first book, Three Dark Crowns, was super intriguing, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Waiting on Wednesday #9

Warcross

Publication Date: September 12th, 2017

Pre-order it here!

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.

I love love love love Marie Lu.

Have I mentioned that I love her? I love her writing so much so I’m extremely pumped for this video game inspired spy book from her?

I think I’ve smashed the pre-order button like twenty times.

Waiting on Wednesday #8

A Reaper at the Gates

Publication Date: April 10th, 2018

Pre-order it here!

30809786Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion—even at the cost of his humanity.

I’m gonna say it too: I’m not a fan of changing covers halfway through a series. I like my set to match. (Ignore the fact that my HP set doesn’t match. I was young and abroad when 4 and 7 were published, so I have UK covers)

But that is the only issue I have, my own perfectionism. That being said. I LOVE THE COVERS. I love that Laia and Elias and Helene are front and center, I love that these characters of color are presented on the covers now, especially because we need to keep pushing for diversity and representation.

Also if Ember and Torch tortured me, I can’t wait for Reaper at the Gates to flat out murder me.

Waiting on Wednesday #7

Mask of Shadows

Publication Date: August 29th, 2017

Pre-order it here!

29960675I Needed to Win.
They Needed to Die.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand—the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears—Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

Genderfluid assassin in a fight to the death to become a royal assassin? HECK YEAH. I got to review this book thanks to NetGalley, but I just can’t wait to hold this book in my hands!

Waiting on Wednesday #6

The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Publication Date: June 27th, 2017

Buy it here!

29283884An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

Historical fiction about a bi boy and his crush gallivanting across Europe? Sign me up! I’ve been hearing non-stop great things about this on Twitter, so I just can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

The Podcast Starts This Week!

http://feeds.feedburner.com/bookedallnight/jOjUStarting this Thursday at 11pm, Booked All Night will be posting podcasts talking about YA (specifically the reading and writing there of). We will be talking about YA books at large, specific titles, our own work, and we’ll be doing it all with a healthy dose of adult language.

We will be adding the podcast to both iTunes and GooglePlay, but you can use these feeds to add the podcast to any player:

Our direct RSS: https://bookedallnight.blog/category/podcast/feed

Feedburner: http://feeds.feedburner.com/bookedallnight/jOjU

Waiting on Wednesday #5

Want

Publication Date: June 13th, 2017

Buy it here!

71CkxWRUEbL.jpgFrom critically acclaimed author Cindy Pon comes an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller, set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, about a group of teens who risk everything to save their city.

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?

I’ve been dipping my toes into sci-fi a bit more recently, and Want has everything I seem to like: dystopian, futuristic setting, teens struggling to make a difference, and set in a non-Western location? Heck yeah! Also, look how shiny that cover is!

BookCon 2017

Maggie and I went to BookCon this weekend. It was a lot of fun and, as always, a lot of strife. ARCs were really hard to come by this year. I didn’t see any that weren’t attached to a LONG autograph line-and on the note of autograph lines-can we talk about how PRH seemed grossly under-prepared to handled all of their in booth signings?

A line for tickets that security kept moving, a line after tickets that security kept moving, no idea where to wrap it–every time I passed their booth the inside was just a gaggle of people. It’s not their first rodeo so it’s very disconcerting to see things like that.

I made it to all of my autographing sessions but not the panels. Panels were another let down this year. The booktuber panel especially was just watching them do what they do on their channels. It was boring. And they didn’t know how to talk into a microphone or moderate themselves.

The Holly Black and Leigh Bardugo panel though-hands down-best panel I have seen at BookCon period. They were just fabulous. Fun fact: Leigh jumped out of a tree to meet Holly at SDCC.

One year, I really need ReedPop to step up their game and get organized. This year was such a pinnacle of no one knew where things were supposed to be. They turned lines around-like-completely around-made the front the back and the back the front, cut them in weird sections, told us we couldn’t go one way, then that we could only go that way. It’s unacceptable beyond the first year. These are lessons they should have learned from by now.

Bring Your Own Book #3

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Happy Weekend Booknerds!

It’s time to play Bring Your Own Book! Here are the rules!

  • I post a target: Famous Last Words, Currency in a Dystopia, Wedding Toasts, etc
  • You post an answer that you find in the pages of your nearest or dearest book in the comment
  • You cite your answer so that everyone can get the book!
  • I re-post my favorite answers!

Today’s goal is…

Continue reading

Jessica’s June TBR

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I have taken soooo long to get through A Court of Wings and Ruin that I barely made any progress on this list. I’m willing to bet it’s just my usual Summer slump, when I read slower because nothing is due and everything is done on my time.

Buy Them Here (Affiliate Links)

  • Dividing Eden
  • The Hate U Give
  • Hunted
  • Spindle Fire
  • A thousand Pieces of You
  • Ten Thousand Skies Above You
  • The Wood

Dividing Eden

32051572.jpgTwins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

I actually have this one for review and I totally requested it for its cover. I mean look at that cover. That chair is sexy. I said it. That is a sexy chair.

The Hate U Give

32075671.jpgSixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Hunted

Spindle Fire

A Thousand Pieces of You

Ten Thousand Skies Above You

The Wood

Waiting on Wednesday #4

Dividing Eden

Publication Date: June 6th 2017
Buy it here!

diving eden.jpgTwins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

Honestly, I really want it for the cover. I’m currently reviewing it, but I want this cover on my shelf.

B.Y.O.B. #2

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Happy Weekend Booknerds!

It’s time to play Bring Your Own Book! Here are the rules!

  • I post a target: Famous Last Words, Currency in a Dystopia, Wedding Toasts, etc
  • You post an answer that you find in the pages of your nearest or dearest book in the comment
  • You cite your answer so that everyone can get the book!
  • I re-post my favorite answers!

Today’s goal is…

Continue reading

WoW: House of Furies

Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Get it here!

houseoffuriesAfter escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.

Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?

Featuring stunning interior illustrations from artist Iris Compiet, plus photo-collages that bring Coldthistle House to chilling life, House of Furies invites readers to a world where the line between monsters and men is ghostly thin.

Bring Your Own Book #1

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Happy Weekend Booknerds!

It’s time to play Bring Your Own Book! Here are the rules!

  • I post a target: Famous Last Words, Currency in a Dystopia, Wedding Toasts, etc
  • You post an answer that you find in the pages of your nearest or dearest book in the comment
  • You cite your answer so that everyone can get the book!
  • I re-post my favorite answers!

Today’s goal is…

Continue reading

Social Badges for BookCon

Not every bookworm is a social butterfly. As of yet, BookCon does not have social badges for their event. So I made some. Feel free to download these badges, print them, fold them in half, laminate them, and hang them from your lanyard to help make your con a little easier.

3Green: I like making friends! Come talk to me!

2Yellow: I’m a little shy. Please let me start the conversation.

1Red: Do not talk to me unless I know you.

WoW: The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

That’s mah teachah!!

I’m not going to lie, I’m mainly excited for The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora because Pablo Cartaya was my mentor last fall at Sierra Nevada College and he was the #Best. Pablo is ridiculously talented and I’m 100% psyched for everything he does. And since, technically, Epic Fail is already out, I’m just waiting for it to be delivered to my house!

Save the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora do it all or is he in for a BIG, EPIC FAIL?
For Arturo, summetime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees. And maybe a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela’s restaurant. Maybe. But this summer also includes Carmen, a cute poetry enthusiast who moves into Arturo’s apartment complex and turns his stomach into a deep fryer. He almost doesn’t notice the smarmy land developer who rolls into town and threatens to change it. Arturo refuses to let his family and community go down without a fight, and as he schemes with Carmen, Arturo discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of Jose Marti.
Funny and poignant, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora is the vibrant story of a family, a striking portrait of a town, and one boy’s quest to save both, perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia.

BookCon Newbie Guide

Hi there Booknerds!

BookCon season is upon us! Badges are in the mail! Badges are in hands! And the official I-Really-Can’t Waiting Game has begun! If you’re on the BookCon App (and I highly recommend that you are) then you’ve probably seen all sort of questions about how things work at BookCon and questions about big important things-like autographing lines.

Social Cards

Some cons include social cards with your badges. Green for “I’m social! Please feel free to talk to me!” Yellow for “I’m a little shy. Please don’t talk to me unless I’ve instigated the conversation.” Red for “Do not talk to me.” This helps people who don’t do well with crowds (like myself). BookCon does not include these types of badges but I’ve made up a few that you can keep with you to put with your badges in case you need them.

Continue reading

WoW: Cold Summer

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So admittedly, I was drawn to this one 100% by its cover.

Just from the description, I was like-meh-time travel. But I want to see how the PTSD is approached and I’m even more curious about Kale stopping his own death in the future…past…

Plus I love the cover.

25092254.jpgToday, he’s a high school dropout with no future.

Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.

The Wolf in the Attic ★☆☆☆☆

23492495.jpgThe Wolf in the Attic by Paul Kearney is the long winded tale of Anna, a Greek refugee living in London with her father in the early 20th century. There was exactly one exciting, plot driven scene in the first quarter of the book and everything else is countless pages of details, descriptions and character reflections on repeat. I had to mark Wolf in the Attic as a DNF, which I hate to do.

1920s Oxford: home to C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien… and Anna Francis, a young Greek refugee looking to escape the grim reality of her new life. The night they cross paths, none suspect the fantastic world at work around them.

Anna Francis lives in a tall old house with her father and her doll Penelope. She is a refugee, a piece of flotsam washed up in England by the tides of the Great War and the chaos that trailed in its wake. Once upon a time, she had a mother and a brother, and they all lived together in the most beau
tiful city in the world, by the shores of Homer’s wine-dark sea.

But that is all gone now, and only to her doll does she ever speak of it, because her father cannot bear to hear. She sits in the shadows of the tall house and watches the rain on the windows, creating worlds for herself to fill out the loneliness. The house becomes her own little kingdom, an island full of dreams and half-forgotten memories. And then one winter day, she finds an interloper in the topmost, dustiest attic of the house. A boy named Luca with yellow eyes, who is as alone in the world as she is.

That day, she’ll lose everything in her life, and find the only real friend she may ever know.

-Goodreads

Anna’s journey is meant to be a magical one, full of mystery, strange creatures and the voices of some classic authors. But I found it dull and ended up forcing myself to get through the first quarter of it.

Anna has come to London with her father after Turks burn their hometown to the ground, and have since become refugees. She desperately wants to find a place of her own, but she is kept away from local children and her only source of companionship is Pie, a doll she’s had since she was very young, with whom she shares many conversations.

And for a long while, that’s the only person she speaks with. Most of the book is full of Anna’s reflections on what’s around her and pages of descriptions and details that never end. The only scene that actively held my interest was about fifteen percent of the way through the book; when Anna is in the meadow, watching a boy kill a man and then that boy following her all the way back to the city. After that, nothing of interest happens.

I really liked Anna’s character. She’s young, spunky and adventurous. I knew almost immediately that she not only had to be dealing with some form of PTSD, having lived through the trauma of her home being attack and losing her mother, but also some form of mental illness. As an eleven year-old still closely attached to her doll, not to mention her incredibly limited view of the world despite being at an age where she should be viewing things around her in a much more multi-dimensional fashion, she reads as someone on the autistic spectrum or as someone with a learning disability.

Since I began reviewing books, I’ve started to learn that sometimes, I won’t be able to finish every book. I’ve long since determined that I also won’t like every book I come across. I used to try and finish every book I get from NetGally, but it’s not always possible, especially if the book I’ve chosen to read that week isn’t a very good one or does not meet my expectations. Finishing books I don’t like just leads to headache, heartache and a long time spent moaning and groaning about how I couldn’t wait to be done.

I don’t particularly like marking books down as DNF; I used to find it unfair to the author, who put so much work and heart into the crafting of their story. But reading is meant to be a pleasure, something I do because I enjoy it and want to do. Reading bad books or books I don’t feel invested in for any reason is not pleasurable.

Finishing books is great, but sometimes, not finishing them is even better.

The Lie Tree – ★★★★☆

I’m always enamored by girls in stories that seem innocent and invisible but use that to their advantage to carve their own path — which is exactly what Faith Sunderly does in The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge. It’s impossible to put down this historical mystery, set just after the advent of Darwin’s On The Origin of Species, where young Faith takes the matter of her father’s murder into her own hands.

Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy—a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. Lie Tree.jpgBut inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.

In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father’s possessions and discovers a strange tree. The tree only bears fruit when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder—or it may lure the murderer directly to Faith herself.

-Goodreads

Historical fiction has always been that tiny love of mine, the flame of a candle burning in the back of my mind while I busied myself with fantasy. It’s always forgotten while I adventure with dragons and goblins, but I’m reminded how brightly that candle burns when I read something like The Lie Tree.

When I opened Lie Tree up, I couldn’t close it until I was almost halfway through, and the only reason I did was because it was 3 in the morning and I had work in a few hours. Faith is an incredibly strong female character–and not in the ways most people expect when they hear those three words. She’s immensely flawed, selfish and brash, but she’s kind and brave and willfull too. She seeks the truth when everyone else is blind to it, and she puts herself in danger to get to the bottom of it.

Every detail comes full circle in every aspect; Hardinge is a talented writer who wastes no word.

My only gripe, if I really could call it that, is the huge cast of characters. Some are only mentioned in passing and others we physically see on the page, but they end up flowing into one another and often I find myself asking, “Wait, who is that?”

It’s not a good thing to have happen, especially in a murder mystery where everyone you meet is a potential suspect. You forget who wronged whom or when they were last seen, and it gets confusing.

But regardless of your favorite genre, whether it’s fantasy or historical fiction, you ought to pick up The Lie Tree as soon as you can.

Goodreads . Amazon . B&N . Indie . Author Page

The Lie Tree publishes on April 19th, 2016.

Mean Margaret ★★☆☆☆

mean-margaret-9781481410144_hrQuestion: What do a pair of newlywed woodchucks, a squirrel, a testy snake, a skunk, and a couple of bats have in common with a family of pudgy human beings named Hubble?Answer: Their lives are all turned topsy-turvey by a tyrannical toddler named Margaret.

Question: Will Margaret ever realize that there’s more to life than being mean? Answer: Read this touching comedy and find out.

-Goodreads

Fred, a neat, tidy, and prejudiced woodchuck, vehemently doesn’t want anything to mess up his life. But then he dreams about being married and begins to crave socialization. Continue reading

Shadowhunters Episode 12 ★☆☆☆☆

HARRY SHUM JR., DOMINIC SHERWOODI think this is the last episode of Shadowhunters that I’m forcing myself through.

Once again, we fly through story arcs and subplots. We are introduced to Magnus Bane’s old friend Ragnar Fell on the off-chance he might know how to awaken Clary’s mom from the weird potion induced coma that she is currently floating in. I think his total screen time takes up 5 minutes. His total arc follows Shadowhunters trademark, go find, finish formula: Clary and Co. find his home, make their ways through his wards, he drops “Book of the White” as a plot point and then gets killed.

Why even introduce him? The same information could have been given to us in a note. There was nothing special except to say there are other warlocks. Continue reading

Every Day ★★★★★

13262783I, admittedly, judged Every Day by its cover-which I’m not overly thrilled about-sorry. I was also turned off by “Every day in love with the same girl.”

Do I want to pick up another teen romance? I asked myself. Do I want to sit through another love at first site?

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

-Back Copy

Continue reading

Shadowhunters Episode 10 ★★★☆☆

Cb5ZET0W8AEY6o2Here we are. Episode 10 of FreeForm’s Shadowhunters, a show I can’t believe got a renewal for season 2. Not only because of its general terribleness but also because of the copyright suit against Cassandra Clare.

But let’s dive right in here because we’ve got three stories to follow:

  • Clary goes to an alternate dimension
  • Isabelle gets arrested for treason
  • Simon visits the wolves and tries to eat a guy

Continue reading

Glass Sword ★★★★★

If I could sum up my entire experience of Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard in a single gif, it would be this one:

Glass Sword? More like Glass Case of Emotions!

If you’ve spent any amount of time on this site, or listening to our Podcasts, you know how much of a fan Jess and I are of Victoria Aveyard. We fell in love with Red Queen last year, and Glass Sword delivered as many emotions as its predecessor. Maybe even more.

Continue reading

Shadowhunters Ep 9 ★★☆☆☆

64bd74a1-9948-4c24-9838-35bdfd87b1ceLet’s use all the words like we’ve been using them all along and this isn’t still a new experience. I feel nothing for Clary, she’s just one of the unfortunate stereotypes of today’s literature attempting to make a strong female character. Overly confident and incapable of thinking ahead she gets on my nerves something fierce. A pale imitation of a “natural born leader,” Clary finds herself in charge of a Seelie/Werewolf/Vampire alliance. And that happens in minutes. Continue reading

Lydia’s Enchanted Toffee ★☆☆☆☆

cover72812-mediumPlanet Plenti is a most extraordinary place, a world of incredible edible delights; of confectionery minerals, fizzy pop springs, forests and jungles full of delectable plantlife …

And yet, for children in the land of Likrishka, life is less than ordinary, and mostly very grim – as the Likrish population lives under the watchful rule of Stannic, a tin-skinned tyrant, a Master Chef who commands an army of robot waiters.

Thus nine-year-old Lydia faces a future slaving away in a factory camp – but the girl was born with a mysterious power over metal (when she eats a special type of toffee) …

One eventful day, she meets a gang of other girls with strange sweetie powers: the deadly Bull’s-Eye, razor-toothed Jawbreaker, fire-breathing Peppermint, super-fast Hazel Whirl; there’s Marshmallow, Ice Lolly, Sugar Cube, Dolly Mixture, Cocoa and Marzipan … and together, they must travel across the robot-controlled Candi-Lands, on a treasure hunt for magic sweets that will help to defeat the villainous Chef … and return their world to its sweetest, once more.

-Goodreads

Perhaps I was hungry for more with Lydia’s Enchanted Toffee. The synopsis sounded so cute and, if I’m being honest, I love a good pun so the fact that the prologue is called the Appetizer made crack up.

But then it just stopped working. It felt almost juvenile. The dialogue didn’t seem real and after a few pages the amount of food descriptions was just too over the top.

Bakery became Baykari, which I ended up pronouncing Bay-CAR-ree because of its spelling. The Winelands are France and Italy is Nooga

And the whimsical language is incredibly difficult to stay with. Every sound–I mean EVERY sound–has onomatopoeia, like the craa-craa cries of the gulls and the shug-a-shug-a-shug of the snakes (and I’m not even sure that’s the right sound for snakes to be making).

There are also illustrations but… well they aren’t that amazing… and since the world is made of candy, don’t you think I know what candy looks like?

Ultimately, I didn’t finish Lydia’s Enchanted Toffee. I couldn’t put myself through it. And I hate doing that, but it would take me too long to push myself through this book.

If you see it out in the world, leave it where it is.

 

Shadowhunters Ep 8 ★★☆☆☆

This week on Shadowhunters, Clary Fray doesn’t check her phone messages. Evident with in the first few minutes of the episode.

“Oh Simon, I’ve got so much to tell you, so sorry I don’t seem to have the ability to listen to voicemail.”

I may have embellished the quote a little.

Oh but she does eventually actually listen to the voicemails, the many voicemails, that Simon left on her phone. And it’s what–days–weeks–later? Continue reading

Shadowhunters Ep 1 ★★★☆☆

shadowhunters-series-premiereOkay, so FreeForm’s Shadowhunters started a few weeks ago, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. It feels like a well-budgeted b-film and–not surprisingly–I kind of like that charm about it. But that’s not why you’re reading this review.

So I didn’t read the books, that’s an important lead out here. I have only Tumblr based fandom knowledge. I know going in that there are angels, demons, vampires, etc. and that humans are called mundanes. Continue reading

Citadel of the Sky ★★☆☆☆

Citadel of the SkyI was intrigued right away by The Citadel of the Sky by Chrysoula Tzavelas.

A fierce warrior princess setting out to defeat a great evil with a flaming sword. Sounds awesome, right? I thought so too. But things never turn out how we hope they will, do they?

I got more than halfway through this book before the plot started. I’d like to stress: 50% of this book went by before the first plot point occured. Continue reading

The Lost Girl ★★✰☆☆

cover69767-mediumI’m not really sure how to feel about R.L. Stine’s The Lost Girl. I grew up on Goosebumps books, my favorites being the choose your own adventure stories (like Return to Terror Tower).

I liked the plot:

Lizzy Palmer, the new girl, is the hot topic at Shadyside High. Michael and his girlfriend Pepper make friends with her, but as they get closer the stranger she is… and more attractive–at least for Michael.

After a snowmobile accident Michael’s friends start getting murdered. Pepper is convinced that Lizzy is the murderer but Michael doesn’t believe her.

Tragic Story.

Unthinkable betrayal.

Over 60 years ago.

Or 70 years ago. Because that’s kind of up in the air.
Continue reading

The Gracekeepers ★★★★☆

51JwuE6mTPL._SX355_BO1,204,203,200_I just finished reading Kirsty Logan’s The Gracekeepers, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. A beautiful fantasy setting surrounding a system of once joined islands and archipelagos.

The world presented to us is one divided by those inhabiting the mainland, landlockers, and those who float on the sea, damplings.  The vast loneliness of the sea creeps into everyone’s lives whether they are embraced by the ocean’s waves or separated by them. Continue reading

A Whole New World ★☆☆☆☆

cover63942-medium

I was admittedly intrigued by a dark Disney tale. A Whole New World is the reimagined story of Aladdin from Liz Braswell, as part of Disney’s new Twisted Tales. Each book answers a big question: What is one key moment from the story was changed? In this edition of Aladdin, Jafar gets the lamp as soon as Aladdin exits the Cave of Wonders, leaving Aladdin in the cave without a magical way out.

Jafar still has the same wishes: become sultan, be all powerful sorcerer. At first, Jafar seems like a great alternative, the Street Rats are well fed, gold rains from the sky, but then Jafar’s insantiy comes out and Agrabah lives in fear.

My opinion? Great idea–poor execution. Continue reading

Serafina and the Black Cloak ★★★★☆

cover61596-mediumSerafina’s father always told her to never go into the deep parts of the forest, “for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul.” She never had a reason to disobey her father’s wishes for her to remain on the grounds of the Biltmore estate, exploring its many rooms, taking care to never, ever be seen by anyone (especially since the Vanderbilt’s don’t know she exists or that she and her pa have been living in their basement).

When children start to go missing, however, Serafina hunts down the culprit. Even though it means disobeying her father and going into the woods.  Continue reading

Crystal Kingdom ★★★☆☆

cover61946-mediumA bit difficult to review since I didn’t read the first two in the series but I think I’ve read enough summaries and book reviews to get me up to speed.

Crystal Kingdom is the third book in the Kanin Chronicles, following Frostfire and Ice Kissed.

Bryn Aven, having been charged with murder and treason, is on the run. Konstantin Black is the only one who can help her, but he’s also her greatest enemy (since he tried to kill her father).

Bryn discovers the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets as she tries to clear her name. Now the entire troll kingdom is on the precipice of war and it might tear her away from Ridley Dresden, the only man she’s ever loved.

Picking up where Ice Kissed leaves off, we find Brynn running from Doldastam and the bounty on her head, only to watch her get caught by Konstantin. She and Konstantin wind up working together to rally support for her in the other kingdoms, but it proves to be incredibly difficult.

From other reviews, I’ve gathered that the previous books had very sudden and fulfilling endings. Not the case here: this was built up cleanly to a colorful explosion of action.

Bryn doesn’t stand out as a female character for me. Probably the only real problem I had with the book. She is strong and thoughtful, just what I’d expect in a YA female lead, but I just don’t find her unique.

I was never really bored with this book–confused at times, but not bored. And my confusion was remedied by a quick internet search of the previous books–so no harm done.

I was very, VERY pleased with the LACK of triangular romance. Konstantin is never a romantic lead, which leaves Bryn and Ridley to their feelings.

If fantasy is your genre-drug of choice, I’d recommend the whole series to you. The first two books sound wonderful and I assure you that last book is worth it.

Secret of the Sevens ★★☆☆☆

cover58754-mediumThe Society of Seven isn’t a big secret at Singer, a boarding school for underprivileged children. Everyone knows, decades ago, the members of the secret society murdered the school’s founder and then perished in the sire they lit to cover the evidence.

Enter Talan Michaels, who doesn’t care about Singer’s past, or much else for that matter. He’s too focused on the fact that he’ll be homeless once he graduates since he never had the grades to go to college or do much else around town. Then he’s invited to join the resurrected Society of Seven to help the school and now he’s all tangled up in a mystery that someone will kill to keep hidden.

And yet, I just don’t care. About halfway through, the characters felt like undeveloped flat cardboard props just used the story of the Society of Sevens out into the world. I kept reading, hoping that it would get better. Continue reading

If I Stay ★★★☆☆

BN-DD882_ifista_DV_20140609182109If I Stay by Gale Forman: kind of Young Adult, kind of New Adult, kind of lost my interest half way through.

Let’s talk about how awful that makes me feel by the way. Brief synopsis: Mia and her family get into a car accident, her parents are killed instantly her brother might have a chance, she is rushed to the ICU and has restricted visitation. She’s not dead yet but she is battling the only choice before her: move on and die, or stay.

Spoilers Below

Now, I think that’s beautiful. Really, truly I do. Because, honestly, I wouldn’t have batted an eye lash if Mia chose to die. A lot happened to her in the course of a day: she loses both of her parents instantly, she loses her little brother, chances are that she will never play the cello again. The only thing still good and present in her life are her friends, remaining family, and her boyfriend.

All of whom, I didn’t connect to.

First, Mia sticks out from her family. They don’t seem to care but she certainly does. She prefers classical music to their rock and jazz. In fact, she seems put off by music that isn’t classical or in some way orchestral. And her ability on the cello, while obviously she has to be some sort of musical genius, I wonder, truly–does she need to be so humble about it? In an effort to be humble she actually sounded full of herself. “Oh, no, I couldn’t do that,” and “I’m just not good enough” are constants in Mia’s mind, but I never really got a sense that she was confident in her musicianship, something she would definitely need if she were going to Julliard.

Second, there’s Adam, Mia’s rock-and-roll guitar playing boyfriend. He is upset by what happened to Mia, but not enough for me. He invites a rock star to her ICU, he makes a big scene just to sneak into her room, and I have to wonder why. Why not just talk to her family? Whom you know? Or continue talking to Kim, her best friend, who also knows the family? Why try to create a huge mob of people ultimately endangering the safety of your girlfriend and the other ICU patients? If I were a member of the family I would have made sure he couldn’t see her after that.

Then there’s Kim, her best friend, who doesn’t cry.

In fact, everyone puts on a brave face. That’s probably the biggest problem I have with these characters. They are obviously in shock and should be balling their eyes out every chance they get, but the only character openly displaying her distraught-ness was Kim’s mother and she was scolded by Kim for it.

I’m glad Mia chooses to live (I warned you about spoilers, don’t even try to get mad at me) and I think the ending is perfect. It happens where it needs to happen and ends where it needs to end.

But I would have enjoyed this so much more if I had just seen some realistic characters.

Batgirl Vol 1: Batgirl of Burnside ★★★★★

coverBarbara Gordon (daughter of police commissioner Gordon) is a typical modern girl. She’s moving into an apartment with friends, working on her college thesis, and fighting crime. Ok, maybe she’s not entirely typical.

First let’s get a little confession out of the way: I’m not a comic book nerd. That being said–I TOTALLY LOVED THIS! Presently, there is a huge push for believable, strong female characters and I think this Batgirl really hit it. Continue reading

The Mothman’s Curse ★☆☆☆☆

mothmans-curse-final-cover

Josie, Fox, and Mason live in the most haunted town in America, but the only strange things Josie ever saw were the few weird customers that came to her family’s auction house. When they get their hands on a haunted camera that prints pictures of a ghost of the recently deceased local hermit, they are drawn into a one hundred year old mystery.

It sounds exciting from the back copy, but my interest waned before I even made it half way through.

I was barely a quarter of the way through Mothman’s Curse before I was overwhelmed with things to keep track of. The haunted camera, Fox’s auction house, the Goodrich estate and its history, the Mothman and his history, and all the characters: Josie, Fox, and Mason, who are heavily invested in what’s going on; Mitch, an ex-college student who is helping out the family who conveniently used to work on the Goodrich estate; Uncle Bill and Aunt Barb, who help out because the main characters’ mother is dead; and Dad, who runs the auction house. Plus, technically, Mr. Goodrich, who is haunting the camera, and Eva, the hairdresser who used to work at the Goodrich estate.

That’s nine character within ten chapters in a middle grade novel. I can’t imagine my pre-teen aged self bothering to read much further than I made it.

Compare this to other middle grade pieces: in Harry Potter we had Harry, the Dursleys (who operate as a single unit really), and Hagrid; in Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go we had Milton, Marlo, Virgil, Damon, and Principal Bubb.

The secondary characters are almost omnipresent which means Josie, Fox, and Mason aren’t really autonomous. When I pick up a middle grade book I expect to see little adults, kids who make their own decisions, find their own information, and get their own transportation. Not children who give their father puppy dog eyes so they can go to an old house.

Another issue I had was with Eva, the hairdresser, one of two characters I encountered who just poured information out of her mouth. At one point, Josie and Fox visit Eva because they learned that she used to work at the Goodrich estate (shocking, really). I think Eva must have been a religious leader in a past draft, either that or Christine Hayes has never been to get her hair cut. What hair dresser do you know who would say:

“Yes, child?”

“Mr. Goodrich was forever changed.”

“Stories tell of a man who dealt in dark magic to preserve his life, and to punish a lost love.”

As someone with hair that grows faster than a hydra sprouts a new head I can assure you that I have had many hair cuts in my lifetime and not a single one of my hairdressers ever talked like this.

And Eva tried to steer Josie and Fox away from the Goodrich estate in a very “don’t go to the old cemetery and bury your pet” sort of way.

I tried to make it at least halfway through this but if I were its target audience’s age I’d have put it down before that. In the end, I made it 40% of the way in, long past the point that my interest should have been piqued.

The Elite ★★★★★

88da34d7109267fe2a399c9e3bc2f996I finished The Elite by Kiera Cass–like–yesterday. And I had meant to do a BookTube video about it but I was just so enthralled that I couldn’t be bothered to make myself stop every ten chapters to do the reactions.

Where do I even begin with this?

We’re further along in the selection and America is among six girls who were invited to stay. Celeste is still a… word I won’t say since I mostly write for children… and Marlee is adorable.

I think the thing I loved most about it is that we saw a darker yet more responsible side of Maxson. He clearly has responsibilities in this book that we didn’t really get to see before. We sort of heard about them when he started complaining about it all, but the action in this book, the constant rebel attacks and the treasonous selection contestant (I’m not saying who just go pick it up and read it to find out), obviously weigh on him, as does America’s indecision.  Continue reading

Return to Augie Hobble ★★☆☆☆

cover57567-mediumAugie Hobble lives in a fairy tale world… well… more like the run down amusement park, Fairy Tale Place, that his father manages. His life is horrible: he failed creative arts and has to take summer school, the girl he likes doesn’t bother with him, and the school bullies won’t leave him alone.

To top it off he might be turning into a werewolf! Well, at least he has his notebook and Britt, his best friend, to confide in. That is until the unthinkable happens and Augie’s life gets even worse and every event in his life takes on a new meaning. Continue reading

The Girl At Midnight ★★★★☆

The Girl at Midnight CoverThe Girl At Midnight by Melissa Grey had everything I could have hoped for: danger, magic, romance. I’m not usually one who actively searches for romance in novels (as I’m more interested in the plot than most relationships; but who doesn’t enjoy a little extra icing on their cupcake?) and I found myself rooting for all of the relationships blooming in the story.

The Girl At Midnight revolves around a young human thief, Echo, who lives with creatures called the Avicen—bird-like people—in this YA urban fantasy. Echo is tasked to find a mythical thing of legend called the firebird, which is rumored to be able to end any war in favor of the one who controls it. And the Avicen want to end their war with the Drakharin—dragon-like people—as soon as possible. But when Echo and her best friend Ivy, a dove Avicen and apprentice healer, are captured by the Drakharin Dragon Prince, things go awry and it’s a race against time to find the firebird before the world and its inhabitants burn.

Continue reading

The Guild of the Wizards of Waterfire ★☆☆☆☆

I know I’ve said in a previous book review that I dislike giving reviews unless I’ve read the whole book, for better or for worse. And I tried. I really really tried, y’all.

The Guild of the Wizards of Waterfire by Iain Reading is about a guild of wizards called Elementals, humans who can control the four basic elements of nature (fire, water, earth and air), called the Waterfire guild. Originality aside, I was mostly intrigued by the promise of mystery and magic. But I had to stop 1/4 of the way through—there were just too many little things that irked me and no mystery or magic could help save it now.

Continue reading

Haunted ★★✰☆☆

Haunted-Lynn CarthageThe Arnaud Manor is creepy, unwelcoming, and perfect for Phoebe, who did something so horrible her family was forced to leave the country and move into her step-father’s old family home. Problem is, she doesn’t remember what she did. She’d ask her parents if they didn’t ignore her.

A big house might have made her feel empty, or lonely, but Phoebe gets the feeling that it isn’t entirely vacated. In fact, she’s pretty sure whoever–or whatever–is still around wants to hurt her family–especially her little sister Tabby. Continue reading

REVIEW: Wind Catcher Review ★★☆☆☆

I read Wind Catcher by Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef for free in exchange for an honest review at netgalley.com Spoilers below the cut!

I was very excited to start this book; the main character, Juliet Stone, is Native American and is caught up in a strange series of ievents and learns she has special powers. Pretty much everything I look forward to in a character. But Wind Catcher was a disappointment from the first chapter.

Continue reading

Hinges Book One: Clockwork City ★★★★☆

tumblr_niwh2bjVFL1qj97xmo1_500Hinges is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel by Meredith McClaren, featuring work from her webcomic. Hinges is the story of Orio, a new doll who just came to Cobble. Every doll is partnered with an Odd, a type of pet and companion. When Orio is sent to the basement to pick out her Odd, she is chosen by Bauble, a sort of imp who looks dirty and thrown back.

Orio must be placed in a job but it doesn’t seem like she’s good at anything, except mending.  Continue reading

Silverwood ★★★★☆

cover59131-mediumBetsy Streeter‘s Silverwood comes out tomorrow (March 11th, 2015) and believe me, you’re going to want it on your shelf!

At age 14, Helen Silverwood, and her 9 year old brother Henry, are tired of the constant and inexplicable moving. Helen doesn’t understand her recurring dreams about the Tromindox, which, as Henry will explain, are “time traveling predators that feed exclusively on humans… they kill people and eat them.”

Got your attention now, don’t I? Continue reading

Chameleon Moon Review ★★★★★

Before I get into my (hugely delayed) review of Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver I have to talk about how I found this book first.

I’m a big fan of tumblr, specifically, I enjoy wasting time on tumblr. It’s a great source of procrastination. Sometime in early 2014 or late 2013, I saw a post go around with a picture of our friend and author RoAnna Sylver literally on the floor, unable to get up because they just received word of their manuscript, Chameleon Moon, being accepted by their publisher. And I was knee-deep in revisions on my own book, and what Sylver just experienced was exactly what I wanted and probably how I would respond (except probably with plenty of screaming too). So, excitedly, I followed Sylver’s blog and waited until October 2014, when it would be published.

I didn’t just follow Sylver’s blog because they had what I wanted. I was incredibly excited by this book’s release because of how they described it: a book where there was so diverse a cast that there was not a single straight, while cissexual character, which is so prevalent in all books. (Of course, there’s nothing wrong with straight white cissexual characters in fiction. But when that’s the only flavor of character you can have, you get pretty tired of it pretty quickly.) The book doesn’t shy away from mental illness or disabilities, especially when a core point of the plot centers around a “miracle” drug that supposedly can cure anything, nor does it shy away from gender and sexual identities of the wide cast of colorful characters.

And Chameleon Moon delivered.

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Phobic ★★★★☆

cover58686-mediumFifteen-year-old Piper Crenshaw knows her house is strange. It’s never needed repairs since it was built in the 1800s, and the lights flicker in response to things she says. As if those things aren’t creepy enough, it’s also the place where her mother committed murder.

To prove she’s not afraid of where she lives, Piper opens a forbidden door, which hides a staircase that leads to the ceiling. That’s when the flashbacks of the original residents from 1875 start, including a love affair between two young servants. Each vision pulls Piper deeper into not only their story, but also her house. Piper confides in her best friend, Todd, whom she’s gradually falling for, but even he doesn’t believe her…

Piper realizes her house isn’t haunted—it’s alive. To sever her link to it, she must unravel the clues in the flashbacks and uncover the truth about her mother’s crime, before she becomes part of her house for good.

-Back Copy

I haven’t been this afraid of a house since Rose Red. Cortney Pearson did a great, suspenseful job of keeping me on my toes throughout the novel.

The book opens by immersing us in Piper Crenshaw’s life as a teenage outcast. Her house is weird, she has one friend, the popular girls at school bully her relentlessly–on top of which both of her parents are gone: her father is recently deceased and her mother is in jail for murder. Oh yeah, and her house is haunted and overprotective.

I wasn’t afraid of the house until Piper gave me reasons to be. The flicking lights and TV set are nothing in comparison to an axe in the side, literally.

I could not put this book down! Once I started reading I was absolutely hooked into the story! You can purchase your copy on Amazon.com.

I received my copy free through NetGalley.com in exchange for this review.
You can connect with Cortney Pearson on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog.

Eon ★★★★★

There are few books that I hold in high enough regard to give them a five star rating. The only othereoncover book I’ve ever done that for is Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I had a lot of trepidation going into this book, but I came out of it feeling like a kid again; like I had been a part of that story and that I could do anything. But there’s so much more to Eon than just making me feel like a hopeful reader that can’t get to the bookstore fast enough for the sequel.

Spoilers below.

 

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The Execution of Noa P. Singleton ★★★★☆

I recently finished Elizabeth L Silver‘s The Execution of Noa P. Singleton, and I have to admit that I hate every single character–but–in a good way.

Before I get to that let me provide you with a brief synopsis: Noa P. Singleton is on death row. She barely stood up for herself at her trial and didn’t lift a finger to help with her appeals. Enter Marlene Dixon, mother of the now deceased Sarah Dixon, who suddenly wants to plead for clemency on Noa’s behalf. Marlene wants to know what really happened, or so she says, and you’ll soon find out–she’s not the only one with secrets. Continue reading

Divergent Movie ★★★☆☆

If you haven’t read the Divergent series by Veronica Roth yet, do so promptly. It is a very well written dystopian young adult piece set in futuristic Chicago. As is usually the case, the book is much better than the movie. It is definitely so in this case since the audience gets much more information in the book than it could possibly get in the movie.

From here on out there are spoilers. Continue reading