Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April Releases

Three books are out this month that you'll definitely want to get your hands on!

April 7th: Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle #2) by Rachel Hawkins
Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.
Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or connect her to David for life.

April 14th: Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier

Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yep, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially this one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys perform dark magic rituals. 
The really weird thing is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where’s she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But they seem to know things about her in real life that they couldn’t possibly know, which is mystifying. Then again, Liv could never resist a good mystery. . . .

April 28th: Broken Juliet (Starcrossed #2) by Leisa Rayven

How do you fix a love that’s been broken beyond repair?
For years, Cassie Taylor tried to forget about Ethan Holt. He was the one great love of her life, and when he failed to return her love, a part of her died forever. Or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he’s determined to win her back. Claiming to be a changed man, he’s finally able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago, but can she believe him? What makes this time different from all his other broken promises?
Ethan knows he can’t change their tumultuous past, but if he’s going to have any chance of being with the woman he loves, he’ll need to convince Cassie that her future belongs with him. 
Don’t miss this stunning conclusion to the unforgettable love story that captivated over two million fans online.

And, if you're willing to delve into non-fiction, J. K. Rowling's book that centres around her Harvard speech a few years back (which, by the way, is beautiful, so if you haven't seen it - it's on YouTube - then you should definitely buy this book!) is out on the 14th and is called Very Good Lives. It's tomorrow's Waiting on Wednesday, so if you want to know more about it, it's all gonna be here :)

Friday, March 27, 2015

PSA & An Apology

Hello my lovelies!

First of all, I want to apologies for the lack of posts lately - I've been going crazy with deadlines at uni, but now I'm officially on Easter holidays, so I hope to get back to doing more reviews. Admittedly, I have re discovered the joys of fanfiction (my eyes hate me right now), and that's partly to blame too, but it's under control.
I have some fun stuff lined up for the blog in April, including an awesome guest post, so I hope you all stick around for that!

As for the PSA, it's also sort of a sounding board. I'm going to be in Orlando for my birthday next week (*happy dance*), and I'd be happy to write up a post with pictures, etc about the WWoHP, if you guys would be interested in seeing that? I'm assuming yes, because it's Harry Potter, but I thought I'd check, since it's so different from what I usually post.

I hope you guys have had a great month so far, and that you get drowned in chocolate for Easter! ;)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesdays #6: Broken Juliet

Waiting on Wednesdays is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Title: Broken Juliet (Starcrossed #2)
Author: Leisa Rayven
Genre: NA
Release Date: April 28th

"How do you fix a love that’s been broken beyond repair?
For years, Cassie Taylor tried to forget about Ethan Holt. He was the one great love of her life, and when he failed to return her love, a part of her died forever. Or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he’s determined to win her back. Claiming to be a changed man, he’s finally able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago, but can she believe him? What makes this time different from all his other broken promises?
Ethan knows he can’t change their tumultuous past, but if he’s going to have any chance of being with the woman he loves, he’ll need to convince Cassie that her future belongs with him. 
Don’t miss this stunning conclusion to the unforgettable love story that captivated over two million fans online."

I loved, loved Broken Romeo, so I can't wait for this one! And look at the gorgeousness that is that cover!

What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesdays #5: Royal Wedding

Waiting on Wednesdays is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Title: Royal Wedding (The Princess Diaries #11)
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Release Date: June 2nd

"From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first adult installment, which follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding--but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.
For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia's gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn't need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui.
But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother's leaked "fake" wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia's father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone--especially herself--that she's not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?"

I don't know about you guys, but I spent my tweens with my head stuck firmly between Meg's books, and Mia's story was a personal favourite that could always make me laugh, no matter what drama was going on; so I'm actually really excited about reading about her all grown up and getting married.

Are you looking forward to read another chapter of Mia's story?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spotlight Wednesdays: Age of X


Title: Age of X series
Title of First Book: Gameboard of the Gods
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Adult Dystopian
Rating: 4.5/5

Why you should read it

Actually, there are so many reasons, so I decided to make a list. People like lists, right? Lists are cool.

1. Awesome protagonists.
If you read Mead's Vampire Academy series and loved Rose and Adrian, you're going to adore Mae and Justin. They're like the adult versions of them, and *drumroll* yes, there are strings of romance between, and no Dimitri-like character to interfere.

2. Multiple POVs, so you get to be in all of those awesome heads. It is third person, but still.

3. Amazing world construction that has very strong links to our world.
Mead shows her hand as a feminist very clearly in these books (which is cool in and of itself), and there is nothing more glorious than seeing Mae cut down the patriarchy for assuming she's no threat just because she's female. Seriously, it is beautiful to read.

4. The tongue-in-cheek humour that only Mead can deliver so seamlessly.
The books sometimes get quite dark and touch on heavy subjects, but she never lets that go on for too long, always making sure there's just enough humour in there to make the book fun, without subtracting from the issues she's addressing.

Not convinced yet?

5. It's got Gods.
And by Gods, I mean that, at some point in the first two books (not saying when because... spoilers), you will meet Loki. And I don't know, I mean this might just be me, but you give me a god called Loki, and I instantly have an image of Tom Hiddleston - and that's not something I will ever complain about.

Unfortunately, unlike most of her series so far (recently completed with Bloodlines last month!), this one isn't finished, and the next one up (due out this year at some point) is book 3 - notorious for cliffhangers. But it's my humble opinion that if you haven't experienced a Mead Book 3 Cliffy for longer than it takes you to get to the bookstore to buy #4, your book experience isn't complete. Besides, not much can top Shadow Kiss, so you should be safe-ish.

Covers are from first and second books, respectively.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cover Love: Queen of Shadows

It's here! It's here!

How badass does Aelin look?! She looks so ready to kill... well, anyone really. I would not want to be Arobynn right around now.
First one up is the UK/Aus version, with the awesome tagline "Her destiny awaits. But first, vengeance..." *shivers excitedly* this is going to be awesome, I can feel it.

And here's the US version, sans tagline, but still equally as badass. Even though I prefer the cool effects of the UK cover with the blue swirls, the red is so striking!

What do you think? Did you like the covers?

The Orphan Queen

Title: The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1)
Author: Jodi Meadows
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.
She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.
She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.
She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others
Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

I can almost hear you all give a sigh of relief. Yes, this does mean I can finally stop harping on about this book. But not before I give it one last go, in a last attempt to get you to read it. Fair warning, the first paragraph will be technical and serious. I can't promise what the rest of the review will be like, other than that it will have no spoilers.

Meadows' story is compelling, and I literally could not put it down. Four hours after the file download on to my kindle, I was crying over the ending. The characters are interesting and, for the most part, beautifully layered. I would have liked to have seen more of the Ospreys, other than the introduction and fleeting glimpses throughout the novel, but also understand that, given the nature of the plot, it wasn't possible - hopefully in the sequel, it will be. The plot itself needs a fair amount of attention to follow, but if you do, is pretty darn solid. I can't think of any gaping plot holes off the top of my head, just the endless list of questions about and for Black Knife.

Now on to the fun (and slightly less coherent? I had four hours of sleep, and am still emotionally compromised over that ending, so bear with me on this) part. Wil was a delight of narrator, and personally I would be honoured to call her my queen. Watching her grow and develop was beautiful, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it happen.
Patrick was a douchebag, as advertised. No surprise there, though his dead-set, stubborn need to go against everything that Wil said really pissed me off. This woman is supposed to be his queen, and here he is, basically ordering her around like she's his slave. I hope he gets his comeuppance.
A review of OQ wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention Black Knife. Don't worry, dear skittish readers, I won't divulge his true identity - half of the fun is trying to figure it out for yourself and (I'm very proud to say), I guessed rightly after her first encounter with him. I don't care what happens, or what anyone says, if they don't get married, I give up on life. Yes, I am aware that there are numerous things in the way of that, but what good love story doesn't have a little adversity in it? (admittedly, the ending does pose the possibility of more than just a "little" adversity, but still).
Melanie really bothered me, and I'm not entirely sure I trust her quite so readily as Wil does. She's too emotionally attached to the cause. I really hope we find out more about that side of things.

Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. Hold on to your hats, grab your defibrillators (you'll need it, that ending is just cruel!) and dive in!

Got to the end and refuse to leave Wil's world, or just need something to cheer you up a little? I did a GIF review that you can find here.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Bone Dry

Title: Bone Dry (Soul Shamans #1)
Author: Cady Vance
Genre: YA
Rating: 4/5
Cover: 7/10

I was given a copy of this book by the author. This in no way influences my views and opinions on the book.
Sometimes it isn’t as easy as choosing right or wrong.
Sixteen-year-old Holly Bennett is a comic book nerd, a con artist, and a shaman. Most days Holly wishes she could trade in her power of spirit communication for something more useful--like fireballs or Wolverine claws. She knows spirits aren't exactly Casper the Friendly Ghosts. They're dangerous beings from Lower World who snack on human life, and messing with the magic from their world is an express ticket to big trouble. But when a shaman sticks her mom's mind between their world and ours, Holly becomes the unexpected breadwinner in the family. She uses her burgeoning shaman powers to set up fake hauntings and "banish" the so-called ghosts from her wealthy classmates' bedrooms. For a fee, of course.
When actual spirits start manifesting, Holly discovers that other shamans have come to town, summoning life-sucking spirits for their own ends. And the newcomers may just hold the clue Holly's been looking for--the one that can release her mom's mind from its Lower World prison. With the help of both a cute web comic artist and her partner-in-con, Holly plots to take them down, throwing her into a whirlwind of speedboat getaways, breaking and entering, and astral projections into the spirit world. And as her mom's mind slips further away, Holly has to fight to save her, and the rest of the town, before they get sucked into Lower World permanently.

Holly's story was one that interested me from the get-go. Vance tells the story beautifully, and - dare I say it? - with heaps of originality and humour. Here is a girl who, yes, is attracted to a hot guy (and who can blame her? Nathan is hot and nerdy; what's not to love?), and who -literally - fainted after one of her first encounters with him. But the romance isn't central to the plot, there isn't even the hint of a love triangle, and Nathan's hotness doesn't distract Holly from doing what needs to be done.
Oh, for more heroines like Holly Bennett.

Plus, the plot is good, fast-paced and interesting. The baddies are seriously creep-tastic (both the human ones and the supernatural ones), and there's the underlying arc of Holly's mother that sort of wraps the whole novel together, running beneath every other, smaller arc, and keeping things neat.

The one issue I had with Bone Dry, was that some characters (mostly the secondary characters, ie Laura and the other people from school) all sort of blurred together for me after a while, and I would have liked to get to know them a little better. Laura got a little more of fleshing out, but she was a fab character, and I hope to see more of her in the future!

Friday, March 06, 2015

TBR Pile Challenge

As some of you may have noticed by the button on the sidebar, I'm taking part of a challenge for the month, to clean up my TBR pile by reading up on books published before March 2015.

No need to fret though, I will still be reading and reviewing books as they come out, and will do so with the ARCs I already have; I will just severely decrease my ARC intake this month, in deference of the TBR pile books.

So, without further ado, here's what I hope to get through:

1. The Winner's Curse, Marie Rutkoski
2. Scarlet, Marissa Meyer
3. Cress, Marissa Meyer
4. Incarnate, Jodi Meadows
5. Poison Study, Maria V. Snyder
6. The Dream Thieves, Maggie Stiefvater
7. In the Afterlight, Alexandra Bracken
8. Queen of Someday, Sherry D. Ficklin

Whenever I review one on the list, I'll signify that it's part of the challenge. I'm seriously excited about this, some of these books have been on my TBR for years, so here's to finally getting around to them!

Cover Love: Firewalker + Soundless

Hello, lovelies!

Josephine Angelini just revealed today the cover of the second novel in her Worldwalker series, Firewalker.
I like it, but I have to say, the original cover for Trial by Fire was absolutely gorgeous, and I don't think it needed revamping, so I'm not too sure about this.
I'm holding out for the UK cover, because we had a stunning one for #1.

Worlds divide, magic slays, and love lies in the second book of Josephine Angelini’s The Worldwalker Trilogy.
"You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified."
Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good.
Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.
Picking up right where Trial By Fire left off, Firewalker is another sexy, fast-paced, heartbreaking thrill ride from internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini!

In other news, this week Richelle Mead revealed the cover to her upcoming standalone YA fantasy novel, Soundless. It's a stunner, and seems to reflect the story - that follows a Chinese girl in a completely soundless town in the mountains - pretty accurately.

From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore. 
For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. 
When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.
But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.
Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...

Soundless is scheduled for a November 17th release, and Firewalker for a September 1st release.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

UKYA Book Blogger Awards Results!

Hello All!
Today I am here to announce the winners of the UKYA Book Blogger Awards!
Before I do so, however, I just want to send out a quick thank you to every single person who nominated and voted.
I also want to take another minute to thank all of the wonderful bloggers who helped out.

Amber @ The Mile Long Bookshelf

George @ George Lester Writes
Luna @ Luna's Little Library
Michelle @ Tales of Yesterday
Jessica @ Jessica's Rainbow Inspiration
Priya @ Priya Piggle
Sarah @ Book Babblers
Mandy @ BookWorm
Sofia @ The Reading Fangirl
Sam @ The Little Munchkin Reader

But now onto what you’re all really here for…

But, before we leave it at that, I also want to highlight the runner ups! Some of the categories were so close so I thought it would be nice for everyone to see who came second and third (but unfortunately, I don't have any graphics for the runners up).

Best Feature
2nd Place - British Books Challenge - Fluttering Butterflies
3rd Place - Showcase Sunday - Books, Biscuits and Tea

Prettiest Blog
2nd Place - Stacey - Pretty Books
3rd Place - Jess - Jess Hearts Books

Best Blog Design
Joint 2nd Place - Carly - Writing from the Tub
Joint 2nd Place - Michelle - Fluttering Butterflies
3rd Place - Ruby - Feed Me Books Now

Best Team / Co-op Blog
2nd Place - Big Book Little Book
3rd Place - Serendipity Reviews

Best on Instagram
2nd Place - Stacey - Pretty Books
3rd Place - Lucy - Lucy The Reader

Best on Twitter
2nd Place - Jim - Ya Yeah Yeah
3rd Place - Cait - The Cait Files

Best Booktuber
2nd Place - Sarah - Sarah Churchill
3rd Place - Bookish Brits

Sweetest Blogger
2nd Place - Luna - Luna's Little Library
3rd Place - Jess - Jess Hearts Books

Most-Fun Blogger
2nd Place - Hawwa - It was Lovely Reading You
3rd Place - George - George Lester Writes

Best Overseas Blogger
2nd Place - Jamie - Perpetual Pageturner
3rd Place - Kat - Cuddlebuggery

Welcoming Committee
2nd Place - Jim - Ya Yeah Yeah
Joint 3rd Place - Debbie - Snuggling on the Sofa
Joint 3rd Place - Faye - A Daydreamer's Thoughts

Friendliest Blogger
2nd Place - Luna - Luna's Little Library
3rd Place - Jim - Ya Yeah Yeah

Most Enthusiastic
2nd Place - Jim - Ya Yeah Yeah
3rd Place - Jesse - Books 4 Teens

Most Passionate
2nd Place - Jim - Ya Yeah Yeah
3rd Place - Michelle - Fluttering Butterflies

Best Oldtimer
2nd Place - Amber - The Mile Long Bookshelf
3rd Place - Sophie - So Many Books, So Little Time

Best Growing Blogger
2nd Place - Charli - To Another World
3rd Place - Laura - Bookish Treasures

Best Newcomer
2nd Place - Sofia - The Reading Fangirl
3rd Place - Paige - The Book Carousel

Best Male Blogger
2nd Place - Jesse - Books 4 Teens
3rd Place - George - George Lester Writes

Best Female Blogger
2nd Place - Debbie - Snuggling on the Sofa
3rd Place - Carly - Writing from the Tub

Best Adult Blogger
2nd Place - Carly - Writing From the Tub
3rd Place - Viv - Serendipity Reviews

Best Teen Blogger
2nd Place - Amber - The Mile Long Bookshelf
3rd Place - Georgia - The Bibliomaniac


If any of the winners would like their graphics, just let Faye know and she'll send you an individual image of the award! (Or if you'd like the image on the graphic changed, let her know). AND if you're a runner up and would like a graphic, let her know and she can make one for you!

The Winner's Crime

Title: The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: 10/10
Publication Date: March 3rd (US), March 12th (UK).

I was given an egalley of this novel from the publisher vie netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

"Lady Kestrel's engagement to Valoria's crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust ...

While Arin fights to keep his country's freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner's trilogy."


The marvellous thing about Rutkoski is she can make me care about a character even as I want to strangle him for his stupidity.
I had to put my kindle down at least three times and go for a walk and take a deep breath, Arin was aggravating me so much. I mean, I can see why some doubt would be in his mind, but his lack of faith in Kestrel made me want to slap him a good one on his head. He should seriously know better.

The hard part here is reviewing this without spoiling anything, because if I say one thing, it unravels another, and it's just a vicious cycle.

But what I can say, was that I really liked Verex's character. He grew on me, and his worry over Kestrel was really cute. I hope things turn out okay for him in the next book, because there was some hint that they might not be entirely peachy, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
Risha really interested me. Knowing more of her backstory was great, and I'm very interested to see where Rutkoski takes it from there; logically, there are two open options for her character, and it'll be fun to see which one she takes.

What I did not appreciate, like I said before, was Arin's thickheadedness. He drove me to distraction, that silly man! I love him, don't get me wrong, but oh my god, someone needs to give him a good, hard shake to see if some reality sinks in. The same goes for Tensen. I'm a horrible person, because I was actually grimly accepting of the end; in a way, he brought it on himself, breaking his damn word and keeping the letter. If he hadn't been found with that, everything would've been fine. Now look what happened... brilliant job at screwing everything up, Tensen. Really brilliant *scowls*.

Now for Kestrel herself. I liked her development, and that she was still trying to save the whole world. It's impossible, of course, but she does her very best, and I loved that. Her daydreams about Arin were so cute, I nearly cried, especially when she started having mental conversations with it, like he was actually there - too sweet! And the idiot has no clue... hmpf.