29.12.16

Top 10 Fantasy Novels I Read in 2016!

I know I just did a whole series of books I'm excited for in 2017, but what about the books I read in 2016? Well today kicks off a series of my top ten reads from (only three) different genres that I read this year! You can see a schedule below for what to expect. Hope you find some great books here.

Overall (December 8) | Contemporary (December 15) | Science Fiction (Last Week) | Fantasy (This Week)

THREE DARK CROWNS

Author: Kendare Blake
Series: Three Dark Crowns #1
Source: ARC won in a giveaway
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars
Review!

Summary:
When kingdom come, there will be one.

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.
Purchase:

ECHOES OF THE FORGOTTEN

Author: Kevin Looney
Series: The Winds of Eternity Trilogy #1
Source: Copy via the Author
Publisher: Sarah Book Publishing
Publication Date: April 20, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars
Review!

Summary:
Book One in The Winds of Eternity Trilogy

In the kingdom of Uratha, the spirits are charged with an important task. They speed across great distances to deliver words whispered to them by the living. Like all Overseers, Ruhla must impart the messages the spirits bring her.

Twelve years prior, Ruhla was to marry Kaimen — until he started seeing the dead. Ruhla was forced to exile Kaimen because of this curse, and now years have passed since Ruhla last received any communication from him. Then one morning, the spirit of Kaimen’s dead father visits her with a communication from Kaimen. An immortal man named War’ach is coming for his blood. War’ach needs it to complete a ritual that will allow him to assassinate the Overseers.

Ruhla journeys to Kaimen’s secluded cabin, but when she arrives, his home is empty. Is she too late? Will War’ach destroy the kingdom’s entire communication system, along with the Spirit World?


Ruhla is only certain of one thing: if she fails, her people will suffer.
Purchase:

THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN

Author: Roshani Chokshi
Series: The Star-Touched Queen #1
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Review!

Summary:
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…


But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.
Purchase:

27.12.16

#BlogTour: FREEKS by Amanda Hocking // #Review + #Giveaway!

Hello and welcome to my blog tour post for

FREEKS by Amanda Hocking!

Today I let you see my review of the novel and give one lucky US reader a chance to win a copy of the book below, so make sure you keep scrolling. But first, let's learn more about the book!

FREEKS

Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: N/A
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:
Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodes are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.
Purchase:

Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this novel and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

I quite enjoyed this one, but I will disclaim that I have loved all of Hocking's previous novels and am probably not as objective as someone else would be. But this was similar and different from what she has previously written and I really enjoyed every second of it. I did have some minor issues but I would love more books set in this same world -- maybe in the present day -- to explore more of the supernatural elements of it.

24.12.16

2017: A Year Of Changes

Hey everyone. I know you're probably thinking "WHAT" from the title (or you just don't care and like to read my words, but then you'd be my mom. Hi mom!) but let me explain. When I started blogging, I was fresh, new, a little naive, and just excited to get all my thoughts and ideas down in my corner of the internet. But blogging has evolved into so much more than I ever thought possible, and I have changed a bit too. In real life terms, I made a big life decision to go back to school and I'm currently 1/3 of my way into my MA in Political Science. But in blogging and reading terms, I have also changed. 

22.12.16

Top 10 Science Fiction Novels I Read in 2016!

I know I just did a whole series of books I'm excited for in 2017, but what about the books I read in 2016? Well today kicks off a series of my top ten reads from (only three) different genres that I read this year! You can see a schedule below for what to expect. Hope you find some great books here.

Overall (December 8) | Contemporary (Last Week) | Science Fiction (This Week) | Fantasy (Next Week)

LEVIATHAN WAKES

Author: James S.A. Corey
Series: Expanse #1
Source: Audio from Audible
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: June 2, 2011
Review!

Summary:
Humanity has colonized the solar system - Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond - but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for - and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to the Scopuli and rebel sympathizer Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.


Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations - and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.
Purchase:

THE LAST STAR

Author: Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave #3
Source: Purchased from Chapters
Publisher: Putnam
Publication Date: May 24, 2016
Review!

Summary:
The enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.


In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human.
Purchase:

CONSIDER

Author: Kristy Acevedo
Series: Holo Series #1
Source: ARC via Publisher
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Review!

Summary:
As if Alexandra Lucas’ anxiety disorder isn’t enough, mysterious holograms suddenly appear from the sky, heralding the end of the world. They bring an ultimatum: heed the warning and step through a portal-like vertex to safety, or stay and be destroyed by a comet they say is on a collision course with earth. How’s that for senior year stress?

The holograms, claiming to be humans from the future, bring the promise of safety. But without the ability to verify their story, Alex is forced to consider what is best for her friends, her family, and herself.

To stay or to go. A decision must be made.


With the deadline of the holograms’ prophecy fast approaching, Alex feels as though she is living on a ticking time bomb, until she discovers it is much, much worse.
Purchase:

21.12.16

#Review: NOT A DROP TO DRINK by Mindy McGinnis

NOT A DROP TO DRINK

Author: Mindy McGinnis
Series: Not A Drop To Drink #1
Source: Purchased from BookOutlet
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:
Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own. 

Purchase:
I picked NOT A DROP TO DRINK up because the cover is cool and then read that that MC is named Lynn (which is my mom's name!) so I bought it. #impulsebuy But I am REALLY glad that I did because I really enjoyed it! I liked that even though this is a dystopian, it isn't about FIGHTING THE POWER! It is more about survival vs living and what that means in a time when you really only have the option to do one.

20.12.16

Subscription Box #Review: J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World

I love Harry Potter. I have a Harry Potter tattoo and so much Harry Potter merchandise that my room is practically the Ravenclaw Tower. So when LootCrate announced their specific Harry Potter themed bimonthly subscription box, I hit subscribe so fast I broke a nail (no seriously). I got the first box and thought I'd let you know whether or not it is worth buying and subscribing to or if it is a pass. This will spoil the contents of the box, but since they came almost a month ago, I'm not actually that sorry about it.


Just so everyone knows, I live in Canada, so the prices and such that I am going to talk about are in Canadian Dollars and shipping times are international from the US to Canada as well. 


J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World

Where To Buy? 

LootCrate Website


How Often Does It Come? 

Every Two Months

I do wish it was more frequent but I feel like I do not need a monthly box of Harry Potter things. That would be Too Much. My mom would kick me out.


Price?

Each Crate: $66.95
Three Crates Over Six Months: $196.83

Six Crates Over A Year: $385.63

I subscribed for the whole year, which dropped the price per crate by about $3. Not a huge savings but I knew I wanted to get all of them so it did not matter to me about the cost per crate. However, if you are cost saving or budgeting, this might not be the box for you. It is almost $20 a crate more than the regular LootCrate and you get the LootCrate every month. The trade off is this is ALL Harry Potter things instead of a medley of fandoms.


Shipping Time?

They say usually about 10-20 days for international boxes once they ship them out. They ship on the 15th of the month that you get the box, so you should have it by the end of the month provided your post office is doing it's thing properly.

This first box took 10 days to get to me from the time they shipped it to when it arrived on my front porch. However, you can only track international shipping from when it leaves the US to when it reaches the destination country.


Ordering Process?

The really cool thing about this crate is that when you order, it asks you not only your shirt size, which can be Men's or Women's and goes to 3XL, but also asks you your Hogwarts house. While this box did not have anything specific for Houses, I assume that in the future there will be something house themed and you can get your house instead of just the popular ones (aka Gryffindor and Slytherin). For a Ravenclaw, that was really fantastic for me and I'm sure Hufflepuffs will agree as well.

It's also a really simple process. LootCrate is a huge company and knows what they are doing in terms of making it easy for their customers to pay and proceed through the checkout. I'm 99% sure you can pay via PayPal which is nice if you're concerned about secure checkout.


What's Inside?

This is the section y'all care about so I'll get to it.

First, the box is super cool. It is a fairly large box, considering the regular LootCrate boxes, and it has a really cool outside design + seal which made me really excited to open it. 

19.12.16

#Review: (DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME by Kate Karyus Quinn

(DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME

Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Source: Purchased from BookOutlet
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 10, 2014
Rating: 2/5 stars

Summary:
Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

Except...

There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.
Purchase:
My status updates for this one are literally all positive. Because until like ~85% of the book, I LOVED this. Like the mystery, the intrigue, the weird supernatural aspect to it: it had me roped in. BUT THEN THE ENDING RUINED IT. Like this book went from 5 stars to zero stars real quick imo. The ending was SO STUPID. I don't understand how people can like it at all. But let me tell you the good things first.

16.12.16

Blog Tour: EMBERS IN THE SEA by Jennifer M. Eaton // #CoverReveal + #Excerpt + #Giveaway


Today Jennifer M. Eaton and Month9Books are revealing the cover and first chapter for EMBERS IN THE SEA, the third book in the FIRE IN THE WOODS series which releases January 31, 2017! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive a eGalley!!

A quick note from the author:

Fire in the Woods has been an incredible journey for me. In book one, Jess and David raced through the woods of New Jersey. In book two, they raced through space, and spent some time on an alien planet. For book three, I needed a brand new frontier, and Earth’s vast oceans seemed the perfect setting for a new alien adventure. I really hope everyone enjoys Jess and David’s race through the sea, because the ocean has secrets, and some secrets don’t want to be found.

On to the reveal!
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15.12.16

Top 10 Contemporary Novels I Read in 2016!

I know I just did a whole series of books I'm excited for in 2017, but what about the books I read in 2016? Well last week kicked off a series of my top ten reads from (only three) different genres that I read this year! You can see a schedule below for what to expect. Hope you find some great books here.

Overall (Last Week) | Contemporary (This Week) | Science Fiction (Next Week) | Fantasy (December 29)

THIS ADVENTURE ENDS

Author: Emma Mills
Series: N/A
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Review!

Summary:
Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
Purchase:

EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR

Author: E.K. Johnston
Series: N/A
Source: Purchased from Chapters
Publisher: Dutton Books For Young Readers
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Review!

Summary:
Veronica Mars meets William Shakespeare in E.K. Johnston’s latest brave and unforgettable heroine. 

Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don't cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team's summer training camp is Hermione's last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.


In every class, there's a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They're never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she's always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn't the beginning of Hermione Winter's story and she's not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale. 
Purchase:

14.12.16

#Review: IN THE AFTER by Demitria Lunetta

IN THE AFTER

Author: Demitria Lunetta
Series: In The After #1
Source: Purchased from BookOutlet
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:
They hear the most silent of footsteps.
They are faster than anything you've ever seen.
And They won't stop chasing you...until you are dead.

Amy is watching TV when it happens, when the world is attacked by Them. These vile creatures are rapidly devouring mankind. Most of the population is overtaken, but Amy manages to escape—and even rescue “Baby,” a toddler left behind in the chaos. Marooned in Amy’s house, the girls do everything they can to survive—and avoid Them at all costs.

After years of hiding, they are miraculously rescued and taken to New Hope, a colony of survivors living in a former government research compound. While at first the colony seems like a dream with plenty of food, safety, and shelter, New Hope slowly reveals that it is far from ideal. And Amy soon realizes that unless things change, she’ll lose Baby—and much more.

Rebellious, courageous, and tender, this unforgettable duo will have you on the edge of your seat as you tear through the pulse-pounding narrow escapes and horrifying twists of fate in this thrilling debut from author Demitria Lunetta.

Purchase:
I really liked this one. I thought it was a little bit predictable but I was also okay with that. I liked the set up and how things came to pass. But I definitely liked the writing style in the first section better than in the next two. However, this novel really stands out in my mind of YA post-apocalpytic narrative and I would recommend it if you are looking for another dystopian novel.

12.12.16

#Review: FREAKBOY by Kristin Elizabeth Clark

FREAKBOY


Author: Kristin Elizabeth Clark

Source: Purchased from Kobo
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: October 22nd 2013
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Summary:
From the outside, Brendan Chase seems to have it pretty easy. He’s a star wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly perfect match, Vanessa. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why his body feels so wrong—why he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft skin, and gentle curves. Is there even a name for guys like him? Guys who sometimes want to be girls? Or is Brendan just a freak?

In Freakboy's razor-sharp verse, Kristin Clark folds three narratives into one powerful story: Brendan trying to understand his sexual identity, Vanessa fighting to keep her and Brendan’s relationship alive, and Angel struggling to confront her demons.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
I really liked this one. It took the "issue" and transformed it into something other than that. It let readers look at someone who was coming to terms with what they were feeling and also see someone who was already there, already confident, already themselves. And I think it was great to do so. I would have liked a bit more exposition at the end about how having this knowledge and identity affected Brendan. But otherwise I really enjoyed it.