Thursday, 29 October 2015

REVIEW: SUGAR by Deirdre Riordan Hall

I’m the fat Puerto Rican–Polish girl who doesn’t feel like she belongs in her skin, or anywhere else for that matter. I’ve always been too much and yet not enough.
Sugar Legowski-Gracia wasn’t always fat, but fat is what she is now at age seventeen. Not as fat as her mama, who is so big she hasn’t gotten out of bed in months. Not as heavy as her brother, Skunk, who has more meanness in him than fat, which is saying something. But she’s large enough to be the object of ridicule wherever she is: at the grocery store, walking down the street, at school. Sugar’s life is dictated by taking care of Mama in their run-down home—cooking, shopping, and, well, eating. A lot of eating, which Sugar hates as much as she loves.

When Sugar meets Even (not Evan—his nearly illiterate father misspelled his name on the birth certificate), she has the new experience of someone seeing her and not her body. As their unlikely friendship builds, Sugar allows herself to think about the future for the first time, a future not weighed down by her body or her mother.

Soon Sugar will have to decide whether to become the girl that Even helps her see within herself or to sink into the darkness of the skin-deep role her family and her life have created for her.

Title: SUGAR
Author: Deirdre Riordan Hall
Source: Audiobook via the Author as part of a giveaway
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: June 1, 2015
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this audiobook in a giveaway.

So this one was really intriguing to me. I'm a big girl, I'm overweight. I know that. I'm chill with it. But I also love myself. Now. There was a time I did not. And Sugar does not love herself in the beginning of this novel. So seeing her go from "I hate myself" to "I may be okay with myself" was really great.

Actually, everything about Sugar's character was great. I loved her as a character and I loved her story. Her familial relationship and the interactions she had with other kids at school were so real and raw. I felt like I WAS Sugar and going through all this with her. I think it was smart of have this book in first person because you felt like Sugar and could experience everything as if it was happening to you.

I did, however, have a problem with Even. He was literally too good to be true. I don't think he said one mean thing the entire novel. Which, like, come on. I get that we should look for more than physical beauty but you still NOTICE. And it was as if he was blind to it, which just didn't feel realistic to me.

As well, it felt like there was lots of filler between actual events. There seemed to be one huge important plot point then a couple trips to the mall or a school day in between that didn't really add much before we got to another plot point. It got a little boring at some points, but to be fair, that's life, right?

There was a lot of this that I thought could be taken out and the story would still make sense, but it was a good story and I really enjoyed seeing Sugar transform throughout this ovel. It was inspiring. It also made me eat a lot more McDonald's because it was ALL SHE TALKED ABOUT.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: FROZEN TIDES by Morgan Rhodes

This week's Waiting on Wednesday is one that I have been excited for for a while...

FROZEN TIDES by Morgan Rhodes
Rebels, royals, and monsters wage war over the Mytican throne in the shocking fourth book of the Falling Kingdoms series, from New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes.

CLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen.

MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.

LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.

JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.

KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.

Title: Frozen Tides
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms #4
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
This series is freaking amazing and I am so excited for the next installment! I was lucky enough to meet Morgan Rhodes at an event in September and I know just from hearing her speak that this book is going to blow our collective minds. Make sure you check this one out when it drops in December! (Right around Christmas time, I see you marketing peeps)

Saturday, 24 October 2015


In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed... and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It's the eve of war.... Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realise that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...

Author: Morgan Rhodes
Series: Falling Kingdoms #1
Source: Owned (Won a Signed Copy; Purchased a copy from Kobo)
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
Rating: 3.5/5
This is ASoIaF for YA and I loved it so much. It had so much intrigue and was clearly well thought out. I was loving every second of it...ish. I liked the pacing, I thought that enough time had passed between point of views that it made sense while still ensuring that the reader knew what was happening. I liked that time passage was done by switching povs because it didn't feel like it was dragging then.

I liked that this didn't feel like a "First Book" where characters get introduced -- and that's it. Things happened, events occurred. The characters started off one way and grew and changed into someone new throughout this book. It didn't take them too long to do so, but it also felt natural. This book is very heavily character driven (which I love) but it still had really good world building and plot development too. I also really loved that there was such high stakes! You get this huge cast of characters in the beginning and I was overwhelmed, but tbh people die. So you can cross those names off all the time.

So onto those lovely characters...

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

8 Anticipated Releases Coming Out November 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 October, that means all the books I want in November! 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! I tried to mix it up with a bit of every genre in here, but obviously since I limited it to 8 books I couldn't get *every* genre. Hope you guys check some of these out!

Author: Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens #2
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Publication Date: November 19, 2015
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?

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

TRUTHWITCH TUESDAY: It's coloring time!


Welcome to yet another #TruthwitchTuesday! Hard to believe that it's only 77 days until release day, isn't it? Holy sea foxes, time just keeps flying by! And talking of sea foxes... we have a special and really rather fun #TruthwitchTuesday for you this week. How are your coloring skills? Because it's competition time! 

In Truthwitch, a sea fox is a mythological creature. Now you can color your own in a bid to win the awesome grand prize of a signed TRUTHWITCH ARC. Even better, you get to choose which version of the ARC you'd like if you win! And yes, the competition is INTERNATIONAL, so everyone and anyone can join in on the fun!

How about a little snippet of the not-so-mythological sea fox first?

"When Ryber had described a sea fox, this was not what Safi had imagined.
     And she definitely didn't imagine that it would scream like the souls of the damned. A thousand layers screeched from the monster's mouth -- and then screeched from a second monster now towering over the Jana nearby."

Yikes. Sounds scary, right? Now, scroll down to see the special piece of art I've drawn especially for this week's #TruthwitchTuesday! (Ahh!!)






Behold! The mighty sea fox. All ready for you to print out and color.


  • One signed ARC of TRUTHWITCH. You can choose which version of the ARC you would like -- UK or US.


  • Contest is open internationally!
  • You can either color the picture in digitally or traditionally. Any media is completely fine. (I left the circle blank so you can put the Waterwitch symbol in yourselves! ;) )
  • To enter, you must post a link to where you have shared the colored picture in the comments section of this post along with your name and Twitter username. 
  • When uploading the image or photo, please use the tag #MySeaFox. And if possible, a link back to this post. (So others can join in on the fun as well!)
  • Give your sea fox a name! And if you want to, tell us all about him/her. Go nuts!
  • Entrants must be in by MONDAY NOVEMBER 2ND at 12PM EST. You have two weeks! Ready, set, color!

Fun fact: I originally drew the fox back in early May, just before I read Truthwitch. Here's a few snaps of the drawing before I tweaked it for digitalization . Is this the true color of a sea fox? That would be telling. ;)

Meet Bubblenugget, my sea fox. Name affectionately given by my four year-old cousin. Bubblenugget apparently lives on a diet of blue LEGO and bullies. (Cousin, what a dark mind you have already. I mean... LEGO?! What a monstrous creature!) 

Have fun, guys! We're INCREDIBLY excited to see the finished entries!!! 

ARC REVIEW: Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood

Three royal houses ruling three interplanetary systems are on the brink of collapse, and they must either ally together or tear each other apart in order for their people to survive.

Asa is the youngest daughter of the house of Fane, which has been fighting a devastating food and energy crisis for far too long. She thinks she can save her family’s livelihood by posing as her oldest sister in an arranged marriage with Eagle, the heir to the throne of the house of Westlet. The appearance of her mother, a traitor who defected to the house of Galton, adds fuel to the fire, while Asa also tries to save her sister Wren's life . . . possibly from the hands of their own father.

But as Asa and Eagle forge a genuine bond, will secrets from the past and the urgent needs of their people in the present keep them divided?

Title: Inherit The Stars
Series: Inherit The Stars #1
Author: Tessa Elwood
PublisherRunning Press Kids
Published: December 8, 2015
Rating: 4/5 stars
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This one is on top of my recommend to everyone pile. It has such a unique writing style that had me hooked from the first moment. I know a lot of people have difficulty with stream of consciousness but it keeps me enthralled for the entirety of the story because I feel like I intimately get to know the character.

I think that this writing choice also hindered the book, though because we didn't get to see the reasons behind the other characters motives that you can get when you use alternating point of views. However, I think Asa was the right character to have the point of view from and considering it was stream of consciousness, I don't think I would have wanted to switch between different characters and get inside their heads in the same way.

The story was good. I liked that Asa did anything and everything to save her family. I understand that her father was also doing the same thing, but him even contemplating his actions made me rooting for Asa. At the same time though, I felt as if I was one with Asa so maybe I had a very biased view of it.

I liked the world building because we were thrust into the world and given bits and pieces as the story went along. We had the definitely foundation of the world before we got into the plot itself. And I liked the idea that Asa was just as unaware as we were and as she learned new things, so did the reader. But this information was conveyed in a way that wasn't too much information all at once because we got little increments of it.

I loved the budding relationship between Eagle and Asa but I would have liked more reflection on Asa's part as to why she was falling for Eagle. I wasn't surprised that she did, I just think that there needed to be a bit more interaction between them for me to fully believe that they were that in love. Otherwise, I had no complaints. Other than I want more.

Overall: 4/5 stars. I highly recommend this one, especially to be read in one sitting so that you can fully immerse yourself in Asa's world and her thoughts.

Thursday, 15 October 2015


It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven't forgiven?

It's not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.

In a voice that's as lyrical and as true as a favorite song, Ava Dellaira writes about one girl's journey through life's challenges with a haunting and often heartbreaking beauty.

Author: Ava Dellaira
Source: Owned (Purchased from Kobo)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Rating: 4/5 stars
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I liked that each letter meant that Laurel would be talking about a different character or point in her life. I also liked that you could see Laurel's character development in the way that she addressed the people she was writing letters to. It started out with praise for their lives, work, etc. and then turned into "I get that you were awesome, but did you realize what you left behind?" especially with one of the Kurt Cobain letters at the end of the novel. That one really struck me.

I thought that the depiction of grief was SO GOOD. Like, so good. You could see Laurel going through all the different stages and what that meant. I thought that her character was just extremely well written. I liked her interactions with Sky and that they both realized their relationship was toxic at a certain point because it was not healthy.

The only thing I would have liked was a clear definition of whether or not May committed suicide. I felt as if the author skirted around that and I would have rather known whether or not it was a definite. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this one. And would recommend it for a good contemporary read.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: WHERE FUTURES END by Parker Peevyhouse

This week's Waiting on Wednesday is an #FAC16 book that I'm super excited about because it bends genres to create something entirely different and unique. I have heard so many good things about this one and I want to share it with all y'all today.

WHERE FUTURES END by Parker Peevyhouse 
A collection of five time-spanning, interconnected novellas that weave a subtle science-fictional web that stretches from the present into the future—in a kind of Cloud Atlas for teens—as our world collides with a mysterious alternate universe.

Each of these stories presents a teen trying to find his or her way in unusual circumstances. Five teens, five futures.

Dylan develops a sixth sense that allows him to glimpse another world.

Ten years from now, Brixney must get more hits on her social media feed or risk being stuck in a debtors’ colony.

Thirty years from now, Epony scrubs her entire online profile from the web and goes “High-Concept.”

Sixty years frm now, Reef struggles to survive in a city turned virtual game board.

And more than one hundred years from now, Quinn uncovers the alarming secret that links them all.

Going beyond the usual boundaries of YA fiction, this will appeal to fans of authors—like Marcus Sedgwick, Patrick Ness, Kelly Link, M. T. Anderson, and David Mitchell—who wonder about the future and what the future will bring.

Author: Parker Peevyhouse
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Publication Date: February 9, 2016
Doesn't this sound amazing?? I am just so excited to read this one! I think if you like science fiction or speculative fiction, this is going to be the one for you. Next week is my giant WoW for the books I'm waiting on that come out in November 2015, so be sure to watch for that!


Tuesday, 13 October 2015


Imagine a world where your destiny has already been your future self.

It's Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she's eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they're meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie's case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all—Callie, herself.

Author: Pintip Dunn
Series: Forget Tomorrow #1
Source: eARC via the Publisher
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Rating: 4-4.5/5
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This one left me speechless at the end. I was so sure I had it figured out and then WHAMO. I was left shocked and off guard and had to read the ending like 15 times to make sure I got it all down. It is definitely one to check out if you like science fiction and dystopian novels. It sort of has a Giver mixed with Divergent feel to it, but it has such a unique plot.

Friday, 9 October 2015

ARC REVIEW: FIRSTS by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes nrver had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Source: eARC via NetGalley
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Rating: 5/5 stars
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I went into this one knowing I was going to love it and I was not disappointed. This is the type of contemporary story I love: one that is gritty and raw and leaves you feeling something after you finish. If you are a fan of Sarah Dessen or Gayle Foreman, you're going to love this book.