Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: FIRE FALLING by Elise Kova

Welcome to this week's Waiting on Wednesday! I am featuring a Fantasy book that I am dying to get my hands on (or at least hoping my ARC shows up soon). This week I am waiting on...
FIRE FALLING by Elise Kova

Summary:

Soldier… Sorcerer… Savior… Who is Vhalla Yarl?

Vhalla Yarl marches to war as property of the Solaris Empire. The Emperor counts on her to bring victory, the Senate counts on her death, and the only thing Vhalla can count on is the fight of her life. As she grapples with the ghosts of her past, new challenges in the present threaten to shatter the remnants of her fragile sanity. Will she maintain her humanity? Or will she truly become the Empire’s monster?

Publication Date: November 19, 2015
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
I read an ARC of Air Awakens and absolutely fell in love with the series. I honestly think this is one of the best High Fantasy Young Adult series I have ever read -- and I've only been able to read the first book. And after the ending, I cannot wait to see what the next piece in Vhalla's journey is! If you liked The Grisha series or Throne of Glass, you'll like this one too, I promise.

What do you guys think? 
Have you heard of it before now? What are you expecting out of it?

See you guys next Wednesday for another round of WoW!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

REVIEW: SMOKE (Burned #2) by Ellen Hopkins


Summary:
Pattyn Von Stratten’s father is dead, and Pattyn is on the run. After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that night, but she is stuck at home with their mother, who clings to normalcy by allowing the truth to be covered up by their domineering community leaders. Her father might be finally gone, but without Pattyn, Jackie is desperately isolated. Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life, but is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you’ve known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth?

Title: Smoke
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Series: Burned #2
Source: Audiobook (Purchased at BookOutlet)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

8 of My Most Anticipated Releases in October 2015!

So this is a giant WoW but I am talking about all the books that I can't wait for next month. Since we are in September, that means all the books I want in October! These books are ones I've heard good things about and/or I just really want to read. I will include links for Goodreads and Preorder purposes!
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ILLUMINAE
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files #1

Expected Publication: October 20th 2015 
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Summary:
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

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Monday, 21 September 2015

Exclusive UK cover reveal: Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

Exclusive UK cover reveal: Underwater by Marisa Reichardt



Hello there bloggers and readers! A very special cover reveal for you all today. The lovely Marisa Reichardt reached out to me to reveal the gorgeous UK cover of her debut novel UNDERWATER. Of course, I completely flailed at the opportunity and took it at once. Also, not only is UNDERWATER an amazing sounding and looking book, it's a #FAC16 book! Which is doubly awesome.

So what is UNDERWATER about?



Summary

1. Breathe

2. You are OK

3. You are not dying
What happened that day can’t be changed; can’t be unseen. But Morgan survived, and now she needs to find a way to move on – and forgive the unforgivable.

But Morgan can't forgive, and she can’t move on. She can't even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and her little brother. She feels like she's underwater, unable to surface.

Just when it seems Morgan can't hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air, and what it feels like to be alive. But can he help her find the strength to face the future?...



US release date: January 12th 2016
UK release date: April 7th 2016 (have no fear! An eBook will be released around the same time as the US!)

Doesn't that sound so beautiful? Now crew, scroll down to see the awesome UK cover! 

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WOW. Isn't that so STUNNING?! The shimmering blues and bubbles gives off such a great effect!


Here's both the US and UK covers. Which is your favorite? I think I'll have to go with the UK cover. I'm very partial to the coloring. (Plus, BUBBLES!)



We also have a few words from Marisa herself about this breathtaking cover!

"I was so excited when I received this cover from my Macmillan Children's UK editor, Venetia Gosling. It's such a different concept from the US cover but I love both equally for different reasons. For the UK cover, it's the sparkles. The green. The blue. The hair being so perfectly Morgan Grant. The concept of the girl treading water, trying to keep her head above the surface, that is so completely perfect. So yes, this cover gave me all the feels and I hope readers love it as much as I do."


That's all for now! Until next time, folks!


Pre-order UNDERWATER:



About Marisa: Marisa Reichardt is a Southern California native and high school writing instructor. She has a Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California and dual undergraduate degrees in literature and creative writing from UC San Diego. She spent her college years shucking oysters, waiting tables, and peddling swimwear. She has spent her post-grad years writing, tutoring, and teaching. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her family, and can usually be found huddled over her laptop in coffeehouses or swimming in the ocean.












Thursday, 17 September 2015

REVIEW: WE ALL LOOKED UP by Tommy Wallach

Summary:
Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:
The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever. 

But then we all looked up and everything changed. 

They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we'd been, something that would last even after the end. 

Two months to really live.



Title: We All Looked Up
Author: Tommy Wallach
Source: Owned (Purhcased from Kobo)
Publisher
: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Rating: 3/5 stars
Purchase:
"Question: How could you look the end of the world in the face and not go crazy? Answer: You couldn't."

I thought this one had a good concept, but a "meh" execution. I thought it almost tried to hard to be the new version of The Breakfast Club and it just fell short. I think the problem was that they didn't really "break" any of the stereotypes because they weren't even written as a stereotype. 

My biggest problem with this was that there was two months for them to do things and it was still oddly paced. There was a week in a detention centre that seemed to come out of nowhere, and then the party is on -- no it's off -- no it's on again. It just seemed silly and trivial. And I think that is what the majority of my issues were: everything seemed trivial.

The end of the world is coming and all anyone can focus on is who is in love with whom and getting laid. I would have loved way more focus on the familial relationships than the newly formed relationships that the characters created. And the relationships between the characters felt forced and unnatural. Everyone, but Peter, was an asshole. Like they were not nice to one another, really. And they were using each other to get human contact before the end of the world, which was like k. The instalove between EVERYONE was too much for me as well. I didn't like it, didn't find it romantic, I just saw it as everyone being desperate and needing human contact without caring too much about who was giving it to them.

I did like the ending though. I liked the openness to it and allowing the reader to make their own conclusions based on what was said throughout. But I thought that some of the other ending decisions were kind of out of line with the rest of the story.

"People talked about their days being numbered, but really, everything was numbered."

It's a good read. It is easy and makes you question things. I feel like if I hadn't already started my quarter-life crisis, this book could have kick started it. But it was still kind of meh to me.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: CONSIDER by Kristy Acevedo

It's that time of week again -- WAITING ON WEDNESDAY! I have a super awesome one for you guys this week that I have been excited about for a while but that was renewed when I saw the cover reveal and chapter one excerpt (which I have linked below for you to check out!) My choice for this week is...

CONSIDER by Kristy Acevedo

Friday, 11 September 2015

REVIEW: NOBODY'S GODDESS by Amy McNuity

Summary:
In a village of masked men, magic compels each man to love only one woman and to follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.

Seventeen-year-old Noll isn't in the mood to celebrate. Her childhood friends have paired off and her closest companion, Jurij, found his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever chosen her.

Thus begins a dangerous game between the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither is willing to lose.
  
Title: Nobody's Goddess
Author: Amy McNuity
Series
: Never Veil #1
Source: Owned (Purhcased from Kobo)
Publisher
: Month9Books
Publication Date
: April 21, 2015
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Purchase:
"But that was fine. I could live without love. I'd accepted that by now. I wasn't sure I could live without freedom."

I really enjoyed this one. I am super glad that I joined in on the Waiting On 2016 Twitter Chat because without it I might not have heard about -- or read -- this book. It was something so unique and different that I found myself really enthralled with the story. To the point that I almost had to blink myself out of a daze when I finished. 
One thing that was huge and well done was the world building. There could have been a bit more throughout the novel, instead of the majority of it in the last couple of chapters, but I still really enjoyed it. I thought it was extremely well done and I was so intrigued with the story and the world. At first I was ehh about the fact that women had so much power over men because while it is great I wasn't happy about the fact they literally died if they saw a woman's face.

I understood why things happened the way they did at the end and I did enjoy how it all came full circle. I just thought a bit of the alternate/past world was a little rushed and not as thoroughly developed as I would have liked. I thought for the amount of time that Noll spent in this world she too much happened too quickly without a real explanation or warranting it to actually occur. 

That's my only real complaint, though. I thought the characters were all well developed and I liked that Noll really came to realize this, especially during her speech at the end. I thought it was a pretty perfect ending and I'm glad that it wasn't wrapped up with a neat little bow to make an actual "happy, perfect" ending, if you know what I mean. There are unresolved issues and tensions and I think it is exactly what this book needed. People need to realize that making a choice doesn't exempt you from the consequences.

I have some status updates on GR but they are spoiler filled so don't read them. I thought it was really well written but some parts of it were jarring. I did like the conclusion though and I am excited to see where this story is heading.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

#FACSATURDAY Recap #2: OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst

#FACSaturday Spotlight
OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst

Today's #FACSaturday chat, hosted by me! (it was nerve wracking), featured OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst! For those of you who want to know more about the book, check out this post to see a full summary and to enter the SIGNED ARC GIVEAWAY! Again, I'm doing a quick summary of the chat and the buzz around this book for those of you that missed it -- or for those of you that found it was difficult to keep up with the chat. Check out the questions and answers below!
Emily Skrutskie started us off with a doodle of OF FIRE AND STARS and it was magical and wonderful and a great way to get into the spirit of the story...
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First up was general impressions of the story: what are you curious to find out about while reading OF FIRE AND STARS? Some of my favourite answers were...



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We moved onto talking about horses since they are central to the story. I asked what everyone thought that role may be. There was a wide variety of answers...



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Spinning off of that, I asked people to send me pictures of their favourite horses! (Honestly, I got a lot and only included a few but there are more in the #FACSaturday hashtag)




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Since this is a dual point of view book, I just had to know who everyone was excited to read through. Most people agreed...


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We also see a lot of characters that all interact with one another, I asked what everyone thought the character's personalities would be like. Some of my favourite answers were...


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Then we moved onto the magic (because I don't think I can have a conversation without talking about magic). I asked why people thought Denna had to hide her magic and how they thought it would be revealed. Some answers were...


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And my final question for everyone was: What do you hope Dennaleia and Amaranthine's first interaction will be like? And some of my favourite meet-cute moments that people thought of were...



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And finally, Audrey revealed something extremely special and amazing. PINTEREST BOARDS for her characters!

It was a super fun chat and I enjoyed talking to all of y'all. A huge thank you to everyone who participated! If you missed this one, tell us in the comments how you think Denna and Mare will meet. I'm excited to see you theories :)

See y'all next week (September 12th, 2015 at 2pm EDT) when we talk about 
A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING by Jessica Cluess


Friday, 4 September 2015

#FACSATURDAY SPOTLIGHT #2: Of Fire and Stars + signed ARC giveaway

FAC SATURDAY #2 - Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

It's that time of the week again: #FACSaturday! This week is all about OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst. Audrey has been kind enough to donate an ARC, upon release, which is up for grabs starting on Saturday and ending during the #FAC16 chat in October. Stick around for the whole chat because at the end, Audrey is going to reveal something pretty nifty (which I am beyond excited for). 

Read on for a new teaser summary of the book (which had me bouncing in my seat as I read it):
Princess Dennaleia always puts royal duty first, even if it means hiding her forbidden magic and moving to a new kingdom to marry a prince she’s never met. But as soon as she arrives, it’s clear that a lifetime of studying etiquette, history, and politics didn’t prepare her for everything. She must become an expert horsewoman before her wedding, and the prince’s sister, Amaranthine, is assigned as her reluctant riding instructor. Amaranthine would rather spend her days trolling for information in dangerous parts of the city instead of doing anything she’s supposed to. She’s cocky, curvy, and about as friendly as the business end of a blade—but Dennaleia can’t stop thinking about her.

When a member of the royal family is killed with a magical arrow, Dennaleia’s hidden powers put her at risk of being discovered and condemned. The two princesses must work together to find out who is responsible before the kingdom goes to war. But as they fall in love and Dennaleia’s magic flares out of control, the two must decide whether to obey their duty to the kingdom or sacrifice everything to follow their hearts.
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There is no cover yet, but you know it's going to be great with a title like OF FIRE AND STARS! Until then, let's take a peak at one of the most important aspects of the novel: horses
Ain't she a beauty?! I'm really intrigued to see how and why horses are so pivotal to the story! But we can talk about that more on Saturday!
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OF FIRE AND STARS is a necessary read for me and I really want to get my hands on it right meow. I can't wait to chat with all y'all about it on Saturday at 2pm EST! Everyone is welcome and you can join in on the fun -- use hashtag #FACSaturday. Nicola will be back and hosting the chat for you guys so make sure you follow her @thewickedpowers on Twitter. If you have any questions before then, tweet me @booksandladders and I will do my best to answer.
Here's the giveaway! It starts on Saturday and runs until the next #FAC16 chat in October, so you have plenty of time to get your entries in -- but don't wait too long!




Audrey CoulthurstAbout the Author:  
Audrey Coulthurst writes YA books that tend to involve magic, horses, and kissing the wrong people. Her debut novel, Of Fire and Stars, will be published by Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins. When she’s not dreaming up new stories, she can usually be found painting, singing, or on the back of a horse.
Audrey has a Master’s in Writing from Portland State University, is a member of SCBWI, and studied with Malinda Lo as a 2013 Lambda Literary Foundation Fellow. She lives in Santa Monica, California.
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Connect with Audrey

Thursday, 3 September 2015

ARC REVIEW: SHATTERED BLUE by Lauren Bird Horowitz

Summary: For Noa and Callum, being together is dangerous, even deadly. From the start, sixteen-year-old Noa senses that the mysterious transfer student to her Monterey boarding school is different. Callum unnerves and intrigues her, and even as she struggles through family tragedy, she’s irresistibly drawn to him. Soon they are bound by his deepest secret: Callum is Fae, banished from another world after a loss hauntingly similar to her own.

But in Noa’s world, Callum needs a special human energy, Light, to survive; his body steals it through touch—or a kiss. And Callum’s not the only Fae on the hunt. When Callum is taken, Noa must decide: Will she sacrifice everything to save him? Even if it means learning their love may not be what she thought?


Title: Shattered Blue
Author: Lauren Bird Horowitz
Series: The Light Trilogy
Publisher: Skyscrape
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
Rating: 4/5 stars
Purchase:
DisclaimerI received a free copy of this via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Okay I'm not going to lie, I was a little skeptical when I first starting reading this one. It didn't really mesh with me for the first 47% and I almost DNFed it at that point, but I am so glad I didn't. This one is slow to start and to build up but once you get past the halfway point it is so good. I couldn't put it down. I was enthralled in the story and couldn't stand that I was reading it "slow". (It took me 2.5 hours to read the whole thing, including my nap of 45 minutes)

So this one would be 5/5 stars if I was chill with the first half of the book, but alas I was not. I wasn't a fan of the whole "I'm not good for you" speech by Callum. It was too Twilight-y for me. And I didn't like that Noa knew something was off and was like "whatevs I still want to be with you. Tell me your secrets!!!" I didn't click with that. I think that is part of what I didn't like of some other paranormal romance series I've read.

It was definitely instalove between Noa and Callum and I found myself not really caring for their romance. I also didn't like that there was a love triangle. But Juddah is where it's at. I really liked him as a character because he felt like he was more real and complex than Callum. I thought Callum was kind of flat and dull and I do not care about him. I also totally knew why something didn't happen even though Noa was thinking about it. I hope that was vague enough and doesn't spoil anything. 

The mythology around the Fae was immaculately written. It was honestly the best part of the entire story. There was so much depth and explanation and while there was one big info dump, we got a lot of it from the different interactions with the Fae and the actual story progression. It was just wonderful. If you are a fan of Faes (like my co-blogger Nicola is) you should definitely check this one out!  

I think that's all I want to say. I really liked this one and recommend it. Make sure you check it out when it's published in a couple weeks! (Two days before my bday!)


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY: IN REAL LIFE by Jessica Love

I'm sorry this is so late in the day guys I totally blew it. But this one is worth the wait (ha I'm so funny)

IN REAL LIFE by Jessica Love