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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Teaser Tuesday - Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.

Three Dark Crowns
by Kendare Blake
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 416 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
*This quote is from the ARC and finished copies may differ*
Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose...it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.
My Teaser
A young queen stands barefoot on a wooden block with her arms outstretched. She has only her scant underclothes and the long, black hair that hangs down her back to fend off the drafts. Every ounce of strength in her slight frame is needed to keep her chin high and her shoulders square. - Kindle E-ARC location 78 of 4724
Page one and I'm already hooked! I can't wait to get into this one :) Plus, that cover is AMAZE! 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review: Glitter by Aprilynne Pike


Glitter 
by Aprilynne Pike
Expected Publication Date: October 25th, 2016
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 384 pages
Format: E-ARC
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Genre: Science fiction, dystopian, romance, political intrigue
Ages: 14+
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike comes a truly original new novel—Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it’s the eighteenth century and an almost-queen turns to drug dealing to save her own life.

Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

Just, wow. This book. I have no words. I think I've been telling everyone I can find that they absolutely NEED to read Glitter as soon as it comes out. Honestly, if I had to wait for October to read it for the first time, know what I already know, I'd be pissed. Because this is not a book you want to wait for. I'm sorry for all of you.

Look, if you're not already hooked by my very convincing first paragraph, I get it. I'll have to do better. This book is set in the Palace of freakin Versaille. Yes, where Marie Antoinette lived. And because this is a futuristic, dystopian story, everyone has lenses and future tech that help them live in their historic castle. It's just such a weird and creative concept, I absolutely fell in love.

Danica is an interesting character. She didn't grow up with nobility, and only recently found a place in the palace. Because of this, she isn't as familiar with court ways as others and ends up finding herself in a very dangerous predicament. After witnessing the king murder a young girl, Danica's mother blackmails the king into agreeing to a marriage neither of them want, purely to propel her family further in the court. Danica is absolutely scarred from this experience and wears a corset which she tightens regularly to remind her that she is still alive. I found this whole concept fascinating and after tweeting Aprilynne Pike, she informed me that even to this day, some use corset training to deal with their anxiety - safely.

The king is an absolutely piece of garbage, which I'm sure you've already realized purely based on the fact that he KILLED A GIRL. Straight up MURDERED HER. Yeah, that guy sucks. Occasionally he would remind me of Henry VIII, but I'm not sure if that's because of the whole murder thing, or because he was power-hungry and a man whore. Probably all of the above.

Gossip Girl meets Cinder in this futuristic thriller. They throw the Breaking Bad reference in there, but I didn't see it. This is a phenomenal story and one that really stuck with me. Highly recommended!!



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine! It showcases books that we can't wait on to come out!

Scythe
by Neal Shusterman
Expected Publication Date: November 22nd, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 448 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional reapers (“scythes”). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and—despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation—they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do.

Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives.
Why I Can't Wait: Hi, new Neal Shusterman, kthnxbye.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Teaser Tuesday - And I Darken by Kiersten White

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.

And I Darken
by Kiersten White
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Page Count: 496 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
*This quote is from the ARC and finished copies may differ*
NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL.

And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.
My Teaser
Vlad Dracul's heavy brow descended like a storm when the doctor informed him that his wife had given birth to a girl. His other children - one from his first wife, now full grown, and even a bastard child from his mistress, born last year - had been boys. He had not though his seed weak enough to produce a girl. - Kindle E-ARC location 79 of 5428
Page one and I'm already hooked! I can't wait to get into this one :) Plus, that cover is AMAZE! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine! It showcases books that we can't wait on to come out!

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
Expected Publication Date: September 27th, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Page Count: 560 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.
Why I Can't Wait: LOL! Same reason everyone can't wait, I need to know what's going to happen next!!! Obviously Six of Crows was amazing and when they asked me to blurb the ARC I had NO problem saying YES GIVE ME NOW! I can't wait to get my hands on this one, it's going to be fantastic!!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Teaser Tuesday - Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat.

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley
Expected Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 320 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
*This quote is from the ARC and finished copies may differ*
Where is home when you were born in the stars?

Aza Ray is back on earth. Her boyfriend Jason is overjoyed. Her family is healed. She’s living a normal life, or as normal as it can be if you’ve spent the past year dying, waking up on a sky ship, and discovering that your song can change the world.

As in, not normal. Part of Aza still yearns for the clouds, no matter how much she loves the people on the ground.

When Jason’s paranoia over Aza’s safety causes him to make a terrible mistake, Aza finds herself a fugitive in Magonia, tasked with opposing her radical, bloodthirsty, recently-escaped mother, Zal Quel, and her singing partner Dai. She must travel to the edge of the world in search of a legendary weapon, The Flock, in a journey through fire and identity that will transform her forever.

In this stunning sequel to the critically acclaimed Magonia, one girl must make an impossible choice between two families, two homes—and two versions of herself.
My Teaser
My voice is like an instrument meant to play in an orchestra, but instead it's playing solo, a repertoire of songs no one's written yet. - Kindle E-ARC location 54 of 4092
Okay, so we all know I LOVED Magonia and when I saw Aerie I pretty much FLIPPED. I cannot WAIT to dive into this one and I'm almost excited for my upcoming flight so I can just binge read it :) 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Review: Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee


Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
Publication Date: May 24th, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 400 pages
Format: E-Arc
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Historical fiction
Ages: 12+
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, a historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the army to bring help—she still has the “bossy” cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenage girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

Let me start by saying I LOVED Stacey’s first book. Under a Painted Sky was easily top 5 for me last year. It was the year of YA Westerns and Under a Painted Sky was easily the best. The prose is beautiful, the characters are real, and the story is utterly adventurous and fantastical. When I found out Stacey was coming out with another book I immediately jumped at the chance to get my hands on it. I managed to score a copy off of Edelweiss and let it sit for a bit. I know, I’m the worst. BUT, when I finally picked it up I knew Outrun the Moon would easily be one of my Top 10 if not Top 5 books of 2016. And it absolutely is.

Outrun the Moon stole my heart and ran away with it; to be punny, I couldn't outrun it's brilliance. Stacey took every bit of emotion I have and used it. I laughed, I cried, I felt pride for Mercy, and anger toward basically everyone who was insensitive to or prejudiced against her. I won’t lie, I enjoyed Under a Painted Sky more, but I feel that’s only because it was a YA Western and I have a serious obsession with those. However, Stacey did not disappoint with another historical book, with a Chinese-American main character who's one kickass girl. How can you say no to that???

Set in San Francisco, I recognized many of the landmarks and details that were mentioned. Living in the Bay Area, Chinatown - one of the main settings - is somewhere I’ve visited plenty of times, but it was wonderful hearing about the historical intricacies of a place I’ve always felt was more of a tourist location. I know, my ignorance is absolutely showing, but that’s what I’m saying. Stacey doesn’t just write to entertain; she writes to teach. She wants you to feel so connected to the story and the characters that as soon as you finish a page you’re on Google looking up the dates and locations and people and events she’s talking about. She wants you to experience the world she creates as if it were your own. And I absolutely love that.

I can sit here and tell you all the reasons why you should read Outrun the Moon; it's heartwarming, it's heart-wrenching, it's about friendship and family and connecting with the least likely of frenemies. But I really believe you need to experience this beautiful novel for yourself. Read it one hundred times over, it will bring such marvelous feelings to your life.

And don't forget I'm hosting a fabulous giveaway for a SIGNED COPY of Outrun the Moon by the amazingly talented Stacey Lee. Go enter here!


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Review: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins


The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 416 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed from BookaliciousPam
Genre: Fantasy, fairy-tale retellings, romance
Ages: 14+
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

“Aerity…” Her father paused as if the words he was forming pained him. “I must ask you to sacrifice the promise of love for the sake of our kingdom.”

She could only stare back, frozen.

When a strange beast terrorizes the kingdom of Lochlanach, fear stirs revolt. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity knows her duty to the kingdom but cannot bear the idea of marrying a stranger…until a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention. There’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not the marrying type. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast—but the princess continues to surprise him, and the perilous secrets he’s buried begin to surface.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, and a princess willing to risk all to save her kingdom. 

Wendy Higgins’ The Great Hunt is loosely based on the Grimm Brothers’ “The Singing Bone” a tale of two brothers who set off to kill a wild boar terrorizing the kingdom in hopes of winning the hand of the princess. There are some additional similarities, but this is where the main connection ends. 

The Great Hunt focuses on Princess Aerity, the eldest daughter of King Charles, King of Lochlanach. In an attempt to free his kingdom from this enigmatic creature’s violent attacks, King Charles promises Aeirty’s hand in marriage to any man who can kill the beast. Now, you may think this isn’t that big of a deal, especially for a story based off a Grimm tale, but in Lochlanach, they strongly believe in marrying for love. Aerity is not thrilled about the idea of marrying a complete stranger, but she understands that this is what is best for her kingdom.

I absolutely loved Aerity. Wendy Higgins has this way of writing female characters that are complete badasses while still maintaining their femininity. Aerity is a princess, she’s not a fighter. She can definitely handle a bow and arrow, and she is fit and strong, but this isn’t the focus of her abilities. She’s smart and kind and seeks the good in people. I absolutely loved her. The witty banter she and Paxton share is hilarious and quick.

And Paxton. Gird your loins, ladies. He’s an absolute ass, but not an asshole. He’s somehow broken and he holds people at arm’s length. He wants to kill the beast for his family, not the princess. However, he’s also willing to look at people in different lights and he’s willing to accept when he may be wrong about someone.

The story itself is fabulous. Everything about Higgins’ world is magical and well-built. The magic that the Lashed Ones use can both help and harm and this plays a huge role in the character development. I think I’ve told everyone to read this book; whether you’re a fan of the Sweet Evil series or you’ve never heard of it before, this is a great place to jump into Wendy Higgins’ writing. The Great Hunt has a drastically different premise and one I think any fan of fantasy or fairy-tale retellings will enjoy. The characters and writing style still have the same feel of Sweet Evil making this story accessible to those who are already fans of Wendy Higgins. Overall, The Great Hunt was a delightful read from beginning to end and I had a hard time putting it down!      


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday - Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine! It showcases books that we can't wait on to come out!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Expected Publication Date: January 10th, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Page Count: 416 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound
Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.
Why I Can't Wait: So Stephanie is one of our amazing local authors in the Bay Area and she's also Stacey Lee's critique partner and she's also just adorable and sweet so OBVIOUSLY her book is going to rock :) Also, mysterious carnival books are always awesome.

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Disclaimer

According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from Goodreads.com unless otherwise stated.
 
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