Tuesday, September 3, 2019

My Thoughts: The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins

The Great Pursuit
(Eurona Duology #2)
by Wendy Higgins
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Publication Date: March 7th 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 496
ISBN: 9780062381361
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Edelweiss Review Copy | Library Book

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Lochlanach has traded the great beast for something far more terrible, a Lashed enemy veiled in beauty, deception, and a vengeance passed down through generations: Rozaria Rocato. And she’s offering the hunter Paxton Seabolt power and acceptance he could never receive in his homeland. Pax must decide how far he’s willing to go under her tutelage, knowing she is the opponent of Princess Aerity Lochson.

In a land where traditionalists dread change, the Lochlan throne must contend with mysterious foes and traitors, while attempting to keep revolt at bay. As dire circumstances strike the royal family, matters of the castle are left in Aerity’s hands. It's time to put aside her fears and grasp the reign, taking actions that have the potential to save or destroy her people.

One hunt has ended, but the pursuit for love and justice continue. In this sequel to The Great Hunt from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, political intrigue and romance intensify in another thrilling fantasy. Princess Aerity embraces a quest for identity and passion before making the ultimate sacrifice for her kingdom. (Goodreads)

The Great Pursuit is the second book in the Eurona duology by Wendy Higgins, and is also a series that I was determined to read this year. I actually read The Great Hunt back when it was first released in 2016, but somehow forgot to follow up with The Great Pursuit when it came out in 2019. I am thrilled to have finally finished this series!

Last month I re-read The Great Hunt to refresh the story in my brain before starting this, and I’m glad I did, because not only was there a lot to the story that I had forgotten, but it also reminded me about everything I enjoyed when I read the book the first time. This book not only has an interesting storyline, but also has a great group of characters as well!

The Great Pursuit picks up right where The Great Hunt leaves off, and the adventure starts the moment you open the book. (I don’t want to give too much away and spoil anything in the story, so please excuse the vagueness in this review. Ha!) I very much enjoyed reading the story from the two main characters, Paxton and Aerity, viewpoints, and I really loved them both. The story is very fast paced, and full of action and adventure, and a few twists and turns as well! It all wraps up very nicely at the end, and made for a very enjoyable read.

Overall, if you’re looking for a quick fantasy series to check out, you should definitely look into the Eurona duology! The story was interesting, and with only 2 books in the series, it makes for a really quick read. I am now looking forward to reading more books by Wendy, and I’m thinking that I need to start her Sweet series soon! (The books have been sitting on my shelf for too long!)

Monday, September 2, 2019

My Thoughts: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

House of Salt and Sorrows
by Erin A. Craig
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Publication Date: August 6th 2019
Publisher: Delacorte
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781984831927
Genre: Young Adult | Retelling | Fantasy
Source: Netgalley Review Copy / Finished Copy from Publisher

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In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next. (Goodreads)

The first thing that drew me to House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig was the absolutely gorgeous book cover, (I cannot resist a pretty cover!). I was also completely intrigued by the summary for the book, and I knew I would have to check it out. I am SO glad I did! This story was deliciously creepy, while also being just a little familiar, and I loved every minute of it.

So, if you haven’t yet read the summary for the book, (you should), then I will tell you that this book is a retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses story! I have read a few retellings of this story, and this one is definitely one of my favorites. However, I cannot say that any of the books that I have read so far have had the creepy twist to it that this one had. I’m not usually a fan of creepy, but this book had me hooked, and once I started the story, I couldn’t stop!

I don’t like comparing books to other books, but the feeling that I got while reading this book reminded me very much of Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, (which is another really awesome, creepy read), and though these stories are not similar AT ALL, they still gave me the same vibe, and I loved it. AND I also really loved that the story felt familiar as well, with the 12 Dancing Princesses theme. I definitely need more books like these in my life.

Overall; If you’re looking for a creepy read to add to your Halloween TBR, or just to read ANYTIME, definitely check out House of Salt and Sorrows! This book had me flying through the pages, and I loved it. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more books by Erin in the future!


Sunday, September 1, 2019

My September '19 TBR!

Happy First Day of September, Bookworms!!

September has finally arrived, and I'm SO excited because the start of Fall is right around the corner! I am soooo looking forward to breaking out my hoodies and curling up under a blanket with a good book and a warm drink. SOON!

But first, we still have to get through September, and it's still bloody hot here in the South for a little while longer, so I'm planning to spend the next few weeks reading as much as I can to pass the time!

My September TBR is full of a lot of new reads, new-to-me reads, and re-reads! I think if I were heading back to Hogwarts this month, Hermione would like my TBR. :)

This month I am officially starting my re-read of the Harry Potter series, and I'm hoping to tackle the first two books this month. I'm also hoping to wrap up a few of the series I've been binge-reading over the past few months, and start a few new series as well. I'm also SUPER excited for a few new releases this month, including The Tyrant's Tomb by Rick Riordan, Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake, and Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab!

Here's a full list of what I'm hoping to read this month!
Books I'm Reading:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling *
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling *
The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black *
The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
American Royals by Katharine McGee
City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Verify by Joelle Charbonneau
Renegades by Marissa Meyer *
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

e-Books & e-Arcs I'm Reading:

The Lady Rogue
by Jenn Bennett
She's the Worst by Lauren Spieller
The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
Love on Lexington Ave by Lauren Layne
Slay by Brittney Morris

And various library books and audiobooks!

•   •   •

So, I did not realize how long this list was. I hope I can read all of these!
*fingers crossed*

That's my TBR for September! What are YOU looking forward to reading this month??

September Bookstagram Challenge!! #AlltheBooksSept19

Happy September, Bookworms!!

Are you looking for a fun Bookstagram Challenge for September??
Lori (loriimagination) and I are hosting another fun Bookstagram Challenge,
#AlltheBooksSept19, and we would absolutely love for you to join us!

Why should you join along?

1. It's a lot of fun!

2. You get to see awesome book photos ALL DAY LONG!!

3. It's great way to discover new books, and meet new people!

4. Did I mention that you get to see photos of books all day?
(It's seriously the best!)

Sound like fun? It is! Head over to Instagram and check it out!!


Saturday, August 31, 2019

August '19 Wrap Up & Book Haul

Happy Saturday, Bookworms!!

Yet another month has flown by, and here we are at the end of August already. Where did this month go?? I'm definitely ready to say goodbye to August, and hopefully September will go by quickly as well so I can officially say goodbye to summer! I love fall, and I'm looking forward to all the fall things that are soon to come. :)

But August was a pretty great month for books! I knocked quite a few books of my TBR, and added a few awesome books to my collection as well! Keep scrolling to check out my August Wrap Up!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson (Paperback)
The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
The Shining by Stephen King
You, Me, and the Sea by Meg Donahue
The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord
The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes
The Rose Society by Marie Lu
The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
Verify by Joelle Charbonneau
A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig
Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
The Rose Society by Marie Lu
The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins
Meet Cute by Helena Hunting
The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan
DEV1AT3 by Jay Kristoff
Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
Escaping Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

*books read but not pictured*

The Huntress by Kate Quinn
Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

•   •   •

So yeah, August was a great month for reading!
I am hoping that I can keep it up in September as well!

How was your month??

Thursday, August 15, 2019

My Thoughts: The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guilllory

The Wedding Party
(The Wedding Date #3)
by Jasmine Guillory
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Publication Date: July 16th 2019
Publisher: Berkley Books
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781984802194
Genre: Adult Fiction | Contemporary | Romance
Source: Netgalley Review Copy | Own

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Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Maddie and Theo have two things in common:

1. Alexa is their best friend

2. They hate each other

After an “Oops, we made a mistake” kiss, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking.

But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love. (Goodreads)

Over the past few months I have been working my way through The Wedding Date series by Jasmine Guillory, and I have officially made it to The Wedding Party, which just released this July. Cute contemporaries are my thing at the moment, and I’ve really enjoyed working my way through this series. I was super curious for this last book in the series, and I’m thrilled to have finally read it as well!

As I mentioned above, I am all about cute contemporary reads at the moment. They are some of the only things that get me through all the bad things going on right now, and I appreciate that escape so much, even if it is only for a little while. This series is definitely a lot of fun, even though it does have some serious moments, and they are just the read that I needed at the moment.

I have to say that Theo and Maddie were super cute together. I really enjoy the enemies-to-lovers trope, though it didn’t really feel like they were much of enemies at all as the story went along. Regardless, I enjoyed reading their story, just as much as I enjoyed the previous books in this series. I also really enjoyed the storyline for the book as well, and I enjoyed seeing the characters from the previous books as well! This all made for a very cute read, which was just what I needed at the moment.

I also want to add that while I own print versions of all the books in the series, I opted to listen to them on audiobook instead, and it was really a great decision. Janina Edwards did a great job narrating the stories, and I really enjoyed having her read them to me!

Overall; The Wedding Party was a super cute ending to The Wedding Date series! I really enjoyed following Maddie and Theo over the course of the book, and I think it was a nice conclusion to this really fun series. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more books by Jasmine Guillory in the future, and I’m so glad that I checked this series out as well!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday: Tunnel of Bones & The Girl the Sea Gave Back

Tunnel of Bones
(Cassidy Blake #2)
by Victoria Schwab
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Publication Date: September 3rd 2019
Publisher: Scholastic Press
ISBN: 9781338111040

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Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass's parents are filming their TV show about the world's most haunted cities. Sure, it's fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there's true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter -- and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she's unleashed could haunt the city forever. (Goodreads)

Have you checked out this middle grade series by Victoria Schwab?? I read the first book, City of Ghosts, last year, and really enjoyed it! I am very much looking forward to reading the sequel when it is released!

The Girl the Sea Gave Back
by Adrienne Young
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Publication Date: September 3rd 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
ISBN: 9781250168481

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Available for Pre-Order:
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The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home. (Goodreads)

Does this story sound awesome, or what?? I have had Adrienne's Sky in the Deep on my TBR for the LONGEST, and now I'm adding this to my list to read ASAP as well! I am really looking forward to checking it out!

That's all for me this week... What about you??
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

My Thoughts: Avenged by Amy Tintera

(Ruined #2)
by Amy Tintera
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 412
ISBN: 9780062396631
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Edelweiss Review Copy / Own

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Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

A war that will fuel her. A bond that will destroy her.

Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister, Olivia, from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory.

But just because Em and Olivia are out of Lera doesn’t mean they are safe. Their actions over the past year have had consequences, and they are now targets of retaliation. Olivia will destroy everyone who acts against Ruina. Em isn’t as sure.

Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. Lera may have destroyed the Ruined for decades, but Em knows that Cas is different. And now that he’s taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.

Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, she faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty. (Goodreads)

Avenged is the second book in the Ruined series by Amy Tintera, and was also high on my list of books to catch up on this summer. I recently re-read Ruined to refresh my brain before starting this sequel, and I’m thrilled to finally move ahead in the story. I was super curious to see what was going to happen next in the story, and now that I’ve finished the book, I’m even more excited to start the third book, Allied, soon!

Avenged picks up right where Ruined leaves off, and after that massive cliffhanger in Ruined, I was dying to know what was going to happen next. Without giving much away, I will say that this story kept me on my toes, and definitely kept me turning the pages. The storyline was super interesting, and I enjoyed the world-building as well.

Along with a great story, we also get some really awesome characters in this book as well! Not only do we get to see a lot of the characters from the first book in this sequel, but we also get to meet a few new interesting characters as well. (Olivia, for one, was definitely interesting, and a bit terrifying as well.) I am very much enjoying watching these characters grow over the course of the book, but Emelina is the one I am enjoying the most. She’s such a great character, and I hope great things happen for her in the future.

Overall; Avenged was an interesting follow up to Ruined, and now I can’t wait to get my hands on Allied! I am so glad that I decided to read this series this summer, as I am very much enjoying it, and I can’t wait to see how the series is going to end with the last book. I hope to start it soon!

Monday, August 12, 2019

My Thoughts: Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

Vow of Thieves
(Dance of Thieves #2)
by Mary E. Pearson
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Publication Date: August 6th 2019
Publisher: Henry Holt
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9781250162656
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Review Copy from Publisher | Own

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Available for Purchase:
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Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor's Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor's Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.

Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits. (Goodreads)

Vow of Thieves, the second and final book in the Dance of Thieves duology by Mary E. Pearson, was my most anticipated read for 2019, and I absolutely could not wait to devour it. This book was everything I didn’t know that I needed, and was an excellent way to wrap up this wonderful series. It is also my first 5 star read for this year! And while I’m thrilled to tell you how much I loved the book, I’m also going to tell you how much I will miss it. I hate to say goodbye!

If you don’t already know, I’m a huge fan of Mary’s The Remnant Chronicles series, and since the Dance of Thieves series is a spin-off of that, of course it is a favorite as well. I have loved everything about this whole series, from the wonderful characters, to the amazing world-building. I didn’t know what to expect from this finally book in the series, but was definitely on board for the adventure it provided.

I have to tell you, (not for the first time), that one of my most favorite things about this spin-off series are the characters. The book is filled with SO many characters that you will absolutely love, (and more than a few you will down-right hate), and there’s even a few that you thought you hated, but end up loving instead, and they are all so great. I am so going to miss these characters, especially Kazi, (and her fantastically close little family), who I love just as much as I did Lia from the original series, as well as Jace, (and his wonderful, huge family). Together they are awesome, and I love them both. But seriously, so many great characters in this series.

I also love the world-building for this book, it is so beautifully described that I can picture everything perfectly in my mind. The storyline for this spin-off series is highly addictive and completely fascinating. I wanted to fly through the pages of this book as quickly as I could, but unfortunately life got in the way and I had to read it slowly, but that actually worked out ok because instead of devouring the book, I had the chance to savor it, which is awesome as well. I totally did not want the book to end, and I’m so sad that I have to say goodbye to these characters and stories. Thank goodness I have each book in multiple formats, as I definitely think I will be starting a new tradition of re-reading the books from start to finish every year from now on, just so I can hang with these characters again!

Overall; Vow of Thieves was a wonderful conclusion to the Dance of Thieves series! And while I loved how everything wrapped up in the end, I absolutely hate saying goodbye to these wonderful characters and their fantastic world. If you’ve not yet picked up any of the books in this series, I highly recommend that you check out The Kiss of Deception, which is the first book in the main series. I hope that if you do check out the books, you love them as much as I do! As for me, I am very much looking forward to reading these again soon, and I am super excited to be starting Mary’s Jenna Fox Chronicles soon as well!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

My August '19 TBR!

Happy First Day of August, Bookworms!!

I seriously can't believe that it's August already. For us in the South, August means even hotter temperatures and back to school, and while I'm not very excited for either of those, I AM excited about being one month closer to Fall, which happens to be my most favorite time of year.

I have BIG reading plans for this month, and since the kiddos are heading back to school, and my review pile is super short, I'm hoping to get in a massive amount of reading, and hopefully put a dent in my TBR.

Here's just a few of the books I'm hoping to tackle this month!
Books I'm Reading:

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalo
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins
Allied by Amy Tintera
DEV1AT3 by Jay Kristoff
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan
Where'd You Go Burnadette by Maria Semple

* not pictured *

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
Most Anticipated for August:

Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

I'm almost finished with this book, and it's definitely my favorite of the year so far.
SO worth the wait!
(Though I totally don't want to see this duology end.)

•   •   •That's my TBR for August!
(Or most of it, anyways.)

What are you planning to read in August??
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