Monday, February 29, 2016

February Wrap Up & Book Haul

February Book Haul

Riders by Veronica Rossi
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren
The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Books Read in February

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers
Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh
Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah by Erin Jade Lange
These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Firstlife by Gena Showalter
Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren
After the Woods by Kim Savage
Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den by Aimee Carter

February was another busy month for books!!
I managed to read 12 awesome books, and even managed to finish all the books on my Feb TBR.
Go me!
I'm actually looking forward to my March & April TBR's,
because I don't have too many review books to read, so I may be able to read
some of the books I've purchased lately!!

Also, I took my first trip ever to Ikea this weekend, and came home with 4 new bookshelves!
Aren't they lovely?? I can't stop staring at them. *blush*

Whoo Hoooo!
Bring on the MARCH BOOKS!! :)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: After the Woods by Kim Savage
After the Woods
by Kim Savage
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Publication Date: February 23rd 2016
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780374300555
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Mystery
Source: For Review

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Would you risk your life to save your best friend?

Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

The first thing that drew me to After the Woods by Kim Savage was the gorgeous cover. I'll admit it, I just can't resist a gorgeous cover. The book was a very mysterious read that kept me guessing throughout!

After the Woods is a story about a girl named Julia who risked her life to save her best friend Liv from a abductor in the woods one day. While Liv got away, Julia was caught, and spent a cold 48 hours alone in the woods with her abductor. One year later, she's starting to remember things that she had forgotten that happened during those miserable hours, and soon she realizes that things aren't exactly what they seem.

Julia was a really interesting main character. I totally appreciated her determination throughout the story to try to remember what had happened during her time in the woods, although there were a few times I worried about her safety with some of the choices she made. I love that she was so willing to do whatever it took to save her friend, even when her friend wasn't willing to do the same. Julia was definitely a good friend.

Her best friend Liv was not the same person that she was before the woods. I knew that something weird was going on with her, and figured she had to be keeping a pretty massive secret, but I never expected the secret to be what it was. I felt bad for Liz, for the life that she had.

The storyline for the book was very mysterious, and while I had an inkling of what had actually happened, it still kept me guessing throughout the story. It was also pretty fast paced, and I read this book in just a short amount of time.

Overall; I really enjoyed the mystery in After the Woods! I always enjoy a book that keeps me guessing, and this book definitely did that. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by Kim in the future!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #234 - A Million Worlds with You by Claudia Gray
A Million Worlds With You
(Firebird #3)
by Claudia Gray
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Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062279026

Available for Pre-Order:
Amazon | The Book Depository

A million universes. A million dangers. One destiny.

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

In the epic conclusion to Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy, fate and family will be questioned, loves will be won and lost, and the multiverse will be forever changed. It’s a battle of the Marguerites . . . and only one can win. (Goodreads)

So, the cover for this little beauty was just released last week,
and I may have went a little overboard with my fangirling.
I can't help it though.
This cover is SO gorgeous, I can't wait to add it to my collection.
And I'm excited to get back into this story as well!!
Is it November yet???
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Monday, February 22, 2016

Review: The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
The Shadow Queen
(Ravenspire #1)
by C.J. Redwine
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Publication Date: February 16th 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780062360243
Genre: Young Adult | FairyTale | Retelling
Source: Edelweiss / Own

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Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine is a completely captivating retelling of Snow White. I've read quite a few retellings lately that I've completely fallen in love with, and I'm totally adding The Shadow Queen to the list. I love when an author takes a story that I love, and puts their own twist on it, making the story completely unique, but still so familiar. The Shadow Queen is no exception. I LOVED THIS BOOK!

Lorelai Diederich, the crown princess of Ravenspire, has been in hiding after the evil queen killed her father and stole the throne to her country. She's been training for the past 9 years to finally get her kingdom back, and with the help of her magic, and a few unlikely sources, she's finally ready to do so.

I really don't have words to explain to you how much I love Lorelai. Pardon my French, but this girl was kind of a badass. Not only could she kick some serious butt, thanks to the training by her guardian, Gabril, but she's also trained to use the magic in a way that it's supposed to be used. And she's more powerful than she ever expected.  I love her determination and her passion about wanting her country back, and she was willing to do anything in her power to defeat the evil queen, who, by the way, was SO evil.

I love a lot of the secondary characters in the novel as well, especially Kol, who is a king from the neighboring kingdom. This guy also had some fierce determination throughout the story as well, more than should have been possible. I love that while he was a king himself, he was still so loyal to the cause and wanted to do what was right for everyone around him as well.

The storyline for the book was really fascinating. I love that it was the familiar story of Snow White that we all know and love, but with that magical twist that made it feel completely unique. There were lots of action and suspense throughout the story, as well as many sweet and swoon-worthy moments also. I really enjoyed the end of the book, it wrapped up in a way that left me completely satisfied. I'm wondering, however, if there is going to be a sequel or not. I have yet to find any information on if there is or not, but there are SO many possibilities if Redwine decides to do so, and I'd be excited to continue the story as well!!

Overall; I love a good retelling, and The Shadow Queen was a great read! I was completely captivated by the characters and the storyline, and I totally didn't want this book to end. I'm really excited to read more by Redwine as soon as possible, and I'm even more excited now to finish her Defiance series! Definitely check out The Shadow Queen if you're a fan of retellings, and Snow White in particular!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Review: Rebel Bully Geek Pariah by Erin Jade Lange
Rebel Bully Geek Pariah
by Erin Jade Lange
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Publication Date: February 16th 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781619634985
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: For Review

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"The Breakfast Club" gets a modern, high-stakes reboot in this story of four very different teens and a night that changes them forever.

The Rebel: Once popular, Andi is now a dreadlocked, tattooed wild child.
The Bully: York torments everyone who crosses his path, especially his younger brother.
The Geek: Tired of being bullied, Boston is obsessed with getting into an Ivy League college.
The Pariah: Choosing to be invisible has always worked for Sam . . . until tonight.

When Andi, York, Boston, and Sam find themselves hiding in the woods after a party gets busted by the cops, they hop into the nearest car they see and take off—the first decision of many in a night that will change their lives forever. By the light of day, these four would never be caught dead together, but when their getaway takes a dangerously unpredictable turn, sticking together could be the only way to survive.

With cinematic storytelling and compelling emotional depth, critically acclaimed author Erin Jade Lange takes readers on literary thrill ride. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah is a story about four kids who have absolutely nothing in common, and the one night that changes their worlds forever. It's described as a modern version of The Breakfast Club, a movie that I still haven't seen, but am dying to watch, so I knew I would have to read it!

There are four main characters in the story, and each of them were likeable for different reasons.  Andi is the rebel, the once popular girl who now sports dreadlocks and tattoos and lives for danger. York is the bully, who torments everyone, but has a kinder heart than what I expected. His brother, Boston, is the geek, the super smart kid whose only concern is what college he can get into. And Sam is the Pariah, the invisible girl who always wears the hats to hide her scars. These kids have nothing in common, other than that they go to the same school, and the one night that pushes them all together.

The storyline for the book was both interesting and very fast paced. I love that it included some tough topics that a lot of kids have to face today, including bullying and drugs. I think a lot of kids will be able to relate to some of the things that the characters go through in this book. I also loved watching the friendships form between the characters, even when they had absolutely nothing in common, and how they work together to figure out how to do the right thing for the situation that they got themselves into.

Overall; Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah was a really interesting read. I enjoyed the characters and the storyline, and the important messages in the book as well. I will definitely be picking up more books by Erin Jade Lange soon, and watching for more books by her in the near future!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #233 - Ruined by Amy Tintera
(Ruined #1)
by Amy Tintera
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Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062396600

Available for Pre-Order:
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Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake. (Goodreads)

I have not yet had the pleasure of reading a book by Amy Tintera,
but I've had her Reboot series on by TBR for quite a while now.
Ruined sounds awesome, and that cover is just gorgeous.
I'm so super excited to check it out!!
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Review: These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
These Vicious Masks
(These Vicious Masks #1)
by Tarun Shanker (Website | Twitter | Facebook)
& Kelly Zekas (Website | Twitter)

Publication Date: February 9th 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781250073891
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Historical Fiction
Source: For Review

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Jane Austen meets X-­Men in this gripping and adventure-­filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London.

England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

Described as Jane Austen meets X-Men, I knew These Vicious Masks would be a book that I absolutely HAD to read. I pretty much adore anything Jane Austen, especially the descriptions of the time period, and when you add in the supernatural abilities, you can bet I'm going to be curious. That is exactly what you get with These Vicious Masks, and I really enjoyed the story.

Evelyn is a pretty awesome heroine, willing to do just about anything to find her sister who mysteriously disappeared one night. With the help of the charming Mr. Kent, and the reserved Mr. Braddock, Evelyn does whatever she has to do to track down her sister, and finds out something shocking about herself in the process. I really love how headstrong Evelyn was, and I especially loved how she stood her own against Kent and Braddock, who were both charming as well as completely insufferable at times. They all made me laugh more than a few times throughout the novel, and I really enjoyed the many different sides of these characters.

I love all things Jane Austen, and because of that, I adored the setting for the book. It felt very much like the setting in an Austen novel, which I loved. However, it also left me a little frustrated, because there were SO many things that women weren't allowed to do during that time period. How can you be an awesome heroine when you're expected to be like a proper lady all the time?? LOL!! The storyline for the book was very fast paced, and I really enjoyed all of the action and suspense throughout the novel. I kept wondering what was going to happen next for Evelyn and her crew.

Overall; These Vicious Masks was a fun and interesting read. I'm really glad that it's going to be a series, as I'm super curious to see what's going to happen in the future for these characters, and I'll be anxiously waiting to get my hands on the next book(s)!! Definitely check it out!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Review: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
by Nicole Castroman
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Publication Date: February 9th 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781481432696
Genre: Young Adult | Retelling | Historical Fiction
Source: Edelweiss

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Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to CuraƧao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

When I first discovered Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman, I knew I would absolutely HAVE to read the book. I am completely fascinated by anything that has to do with pirates, and even though this was the story about before Blackbeard actually became a pirate, I enjoyed so much! It definitely left me wanting more.

The story is told from alternate points-of-view between the two main characters, Anne and Edward (Blackbeard).  I really liked both of these characters, and I especially enjoyed watching the relationship grow between the two. Anne was very much a strong young lady, and I loved her stubbornness. Edward was not at all what I expected, but the more the story went along, the more I loved him. And I could totally see him growing into Blackbeard as well.

Blackhearts is actually the first retelling that I've read about Blackbeard, and I have to admit, I was definitely intrigued by his story. I even had to visit Wikipedia a few times throughout the novel just to read up on him, and his history was really interesting! Now that we've read the story about before he became a pirate, I'd love to see a story about his pirating adventures.

I loved the setting for the novel. It's definitely one of my favorite time periods to read about. (Pirates!) The details were very well described, and I could see everything perfectly in my mind. I was happy with the ending of this book, but it also left me wanting more. As of the moment, this is a standalone novel, but the ending leaves off in a way where there could definitely be a sequel in the future. I'm hoping to the powers that be that there will be a sequel in the future, but if not, I'm content with the way this ended.

Overall; I really enjoyed Blackhearts! I will definitely be checking out more of Blackbeards retellings in the future! Also I will most definitely be checking out more books by Nicole Castroman in the future. This book was great, and not at all what I expected. Consider adding this to your TBR today!!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review: Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
by Lisa Maxwell
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Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 342
ISBN: 9781481432047
Genre: Young Adult | Retelling | Fantasy
Source: Edelweiss

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For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?

My Thoughts...

I know I've mentioned this before, but I absolutely love fairytale retellings!! I've read quite a few of them lately and I have loved each of them, and Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell is no exception!! This Peter Pan retelling had me hooked, and I loved every minute of it!

The main character in the story is Gwen. Gwen has never had much of a stable life. Her mom has moved her from place to place in attempt to avoid the 'monsters' that always seem to be chasing after them. After being kidnapped on the first night in her newest home, Gwen awakes to find herself in on a ship, right in the middle of Neverland. But this is not the Neverland that she knows from the stories. It's vicious and dangerous and nothing at all what it seems.

The characters in the book are great! A few we know from the original Peter Pan tale, but they are completely different than what you'd expect. The characters that I thought would be evil, weren't. And the ones that I thought would be the good guys, weren't. It was a total role reversal, and I loved it! (And I am completely in love with one of these characters now as well. I'm not saying who, just read the book and you'll know who!!) Gwen was a really great main character as well. I love that she was such a strong character, despite everything that she'd been through.

The storyline for the book felt familiar, but so very unique as well. I loved this, as it made me feel nostalgic in a way that only a few retellings have made me feel so far. This book is action packed and very fast paced. I was totally consumed once I started flying through the pages. I totally didn't want this book to end, but unfortunately it did, and that made me very sad. But I still loved it anyway!

Overall; If you're a fan of fairytale retellings, especially those about Peter Pan, you're definitely going to want to check out Unhooked!! I really enjoyed this book so much more than I expected to, and I really hope Lisa Maxwell decides to write more retellings in the future. Add the book to your TBR, and read it as soon as possible. I know you'll love it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Review: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Reign of Shadows
(Reign of Shadows #1)
by Sophie Jordan
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Publication Date: February 9th 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780062377647
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Edelweiss

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Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I never pass up the chance to read something new by one of my favorite authors, and I couldn't wait to finally read Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan!! I've really enjoyed all the books I've read by her so far, and I couldn't wait to see what she had come up with next. I wasn't disappointed!!

Luna has been hidden away, living in a tower every since the night an eclipse shrouded her kingdom in never-ending darkness seventeen years ago. Her family murdered by an evil chancellor, her world terrorized by  dwellers who live in the darkness; her only chance of survival is to stay inside the tower at all times. Then she meets Fowler, a mysterious young man who came out of nowhere, and her world is changed forever.

The main character in the story, Luna, was pretty awesome. Despite being raised in a tower and never seeing anyone other than her caretakers, she's more than capable of taking care of herself, which she proves over and over again as she descends on a journey with the mysterious Fowler. She's such a strong character, and she has such a big heart. I loved her instantly, and I'm curious to see what is going to happen next for her and Fowler on their journey.

The storyline for the book was definitely fascinating! I idea that these people had been  in utter darkness for the past seventeen years was definitely intriguing. There were lots of twists and turns throughout the story, so many that kept me on the edge of my seat, and one near the end that really caught me by surprise.  The book ends with a pretty massive cliffhanger, so I'll be pining away until I can get my hands on its sequel.

Overall; Reign of Shadows was definitely a unique read, and I can't wait for news on the sequel, which will be a must read for me. I'm super curious to see how this is all going to end for Luna and mysterious Fowler.

Waiting on Wednesday #232 - Nemesis by Anna Banks
by Anna Banks
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Publication Date: October 4th 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 9781250070173

Available for Pre-Order:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

The princess didn't expect to fall in love--with her nemesis.

Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king's servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora's gift could save Tarik's kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?

A thrilling futuristic fantasy in which the fate of the world's energy source is in the hands of a prince and princess who are rivals, by the New York Times-bestselling author of the Syrena Legacy. (Goodreads)

First, can I comment on how gorgeous this cover is??
Second, it's Anna Banks, y'all... So you know it's going to be good.
Also, the story sounds awesome. Like REALLY awesome.
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review: Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh

Burning Midnight
by Will McIntosh
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Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780553534108
Genre: Young Adult | Sci-Fi | Fantasy
Source: For Review

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Seventeen-year-old David Sullivan’s life is about to change—all because of one tiny, priceless item found in the murky bottom of a Brooklyn water tower.

Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn’t pay much—Alex Holliday’s stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make rent.

No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the more expensive—and the greater the improvement.

When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them.

There’s no question the Gold is worth millions, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they’re here.

My Thoughts...

When I was first approached to review Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh, I was curious. I had no idea what the book was about, but the storyline sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a read.

The main character in the story, Sully, is a dealer of spheres. He once found a rare sphere, one that was worth millions, but he was cheated from his prize by ruthless businessman. Now he sells spheres at a local flea market just to help his mom pay the rent. When he meets Hunter, a girl who has a special ability to find spheres, they come to an agreement to work together, and find a sphere so rare, it will change the world forever.

I thought this book was really unique; I can't really say that I've read much like it before. The idea of there being spheres that could give you abilities and make any changes you'd possibly want is intriguing, although, to be honest, I was suspicious of them to begin with, and for a good reason! I was curious enough to keep turning the pages, but  while it was interesting, it was also a little slow paced. The first half of the book is a lot of information to take in, while the last three-fourths of the book is where the action kicks in, and then it's super intense. The book ends in a good way as well, I was very satisfied with that.

The book has some interesting characters in the story, including the main character, although I never really formed a connection with any of them. Sully did work well with his group of friends for the most part, when they weren't arguing, which seemed to happen a lot, but when they did work together, they made a good team. That's always something.

Overall; Burning Midnight to be an intriguing read. The characters were interesting, and the storyline felt unique. While I didn't love the book, it was a refreshing read, and I'd consider reading more by this author in the future.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers
Assassin's Heart
by Sarah Ahiers
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Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780062363787
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Edelweiss

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In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.

My Thoughts...

When I first discovered Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers, I was immediately interested. The book was described as a mix between The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, so I have to admit, I was super curious. While the book was not at all what I expected, I did find it to be an interesting read.

The main character in the story, Lea Saldana, is a clipper, a legal assassin who can kill people for a price. She is a member of one of the nine rival families of assassin's that worship the goddess of death. When she wakes one night to find her family dead and her house engulfed in flames, she immediately knows who is responsible, and she will do anything that she can to get revenge.

Lea was an interesting character. Despite all that she had been through, she was still did what she had to do. Although, she did make quite a few questionable decisions throughout the story that ultimately lead to her getting into trouble, she always found a way out, especially with the help of a new friend she met along the way. I really appreciated her fierceness throughout the story.

There were also some really interesting secondary characters in the story as well. I'm not going to name any names, as I'd rather you read the book and meet them yourself!

The storyline for the book was very interesting, although a bit slow in some parts of the book. There are some parts that are filled with action that will keep you on the edge of your seat as well. The book ended in a way that left me satisfied, but also in a way to where there could totally be a sequel in the future. I'm curious to see if there will be one.

Overall; I thought Assassin's Heart was a very interesting read. It was definitely unique, and I'm curious to see if there will be more to Lea's story in the future.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den by Aimee Carter
Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den
(Simon Thorn #1)
by Aimee Carter
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Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781619637047
Genre: Middle Grade | Fantasy
Source: For Review

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A thrilling debut in the tradition of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull about a boy who discovers a secret race of animal shape shifters.

Twelve-year-old Simon Thorn’s life has never been easy or normal, but things like being bullied at school and living in a cramped Manhattan apartment with his Uncle Darrell are nothing compared to his biggest secret: He can talk to animals.

But when his mom is suddenly kidnapped by a herd of rats, Simon finds out that he, his mom, and his uncle are all Animalgams—people born with the ability to change into an animal at will.

In search of his mom, Simon discovers the Animalgam Academy based at the Central Park Zoo. There he learns about the fractured five kingdoms that make up this secret world . . . and realizes he may be the only one who can save it.

This action-packed page-turner is perfect for fans of the Spirit Animals and The School of Good and Evil series.

My Thoughts...

I am a huge fan of Aimee Carter's, and when I discovered Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den was coming out this year, I knew I would have to check it out. I was a big fan of her Goddess Test & Blackcoat Rebellion series, and I was curious to see what she could do with a middle grade novel. This book was a really fun read!

Simon Thorn was an interesting main character. I envied him for his almost fearlessness at times, wanting to save everyone, even when it drove me a little crazy that he was sometimes rushing into danger, putting himself and everyone around him at risk as well. Typical teenage boy! It was hard not to sympathize with him for all that he had been through in his short life, especially when the people he loved the most kept such huge secrets from him all his life. But he was an interesting character, and I'm looking forward to watching him grow more throughout the series.

The storyline for the book was creative and very fast paced. There was really never a dull moment in this book. Something was always happening with Simon, or he was always getting into something, and I was speeding through the pages to find out what was going to happen next. I liked that the book sent out a message about bullying, and I think a lot of kids will be able to relate to Simon because of this. I also loved that he could talk to animals. There's not enough books in the world with talk/shape-shifting animals!

Overall; Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den was a fun, action packed read that touched my heart in a lot of places. I'm really looking forward to continuing the series as it goes along, and I definitely plan to share the books with my son, who I think will really enjoy them as well.

Waiting on Wednesday #231 - Heartless by Marissa Meyer
by Marissa Meyer
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Publication Date: November 8th 2016
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
ISBN: 9781250044655

Available for Pre-Order:
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Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans. (Goodreads)

The Queen of Hearts is getting her own book!!
And I'm Super curious to know who she was before she became the Queen.
I seriously can't wait to read this!!!
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

STARFLIGHT Launch Blitz & Giveaway!!

Hey there, booklovers!

I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce the release of STARFLIGHT, the first in a brand new sci-fi series from Disney-Hyperion. I originally pitched this story to my editor as “Overboard” (one of my favorite romantic comedies) meets “Firefly” (an amazing show that was tragically cancelled after one season). STARFLIGHT follows the misadventures of Solara Brooks, a penniless felon who indentures herself to her high school nemesis, Doran Spaulding, in exchange for passage to a new world. But when Doran’s memory is temporarily erased, Solara convinces him their roles are reversed—that she’s the master and he’s the servant—and leads him onto a renegade spaceship, where intergalactic shenanigans ensue. STARFLIGHT is very different in tone from the Alienated trilogy, but the story is still filled with all the things I love: humor, heart, and adventure.

What do reviewers have to say?

“Get ready for blast-off! Action-packed and utterly addictive, nobody writes like Melissa Landers. A smart, satisfying romance set in a vividly detailed world, Starflight was just plain fun!” –New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman

“Teens will be bracing themselves during the swashbuckling action scenes. A great choice for fans of raw sci-fi action, reminiscent of the lawlessness presented in the television series Firefly.” –School Library Journal

“A lively tale of romance, space pirates, conspiracy, and made (as opposed to genetic) families.” –Booklist

If you like your sci-fi adventure served with a side of romance, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of STARFLIGHT today. It’s now available in stores and online.

Barnes & Noble:
Book Depository (free international shipping):
Indie Bound:

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a STARFLIGHT swag pack, complete with custom nail wraps, bookmarks, and a mini poster! The giveaway is open internationally. Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author...

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information or just to say hello, visit

Monday, February 1, 2016

Review: Starflight by Melissa Landers
(Starflight #1)
by Melissa Landers
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Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781484723241
Genre: Young Adult | Sci-Fi | Fantasy
Source: Netgalley

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Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe... (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I was really looking forward to reading Starflight by Melissa Landers, as I had read Alienated a while back and really enjoyed it! Also, because I'm really into any books that have to do with science fiction and space at the moment. This book definitely did not disappoint! I really enjoyed reading it.

One thing that really made this book super special for me were the characters. I loved them all, and I loved watching the relationships grow between them as well. It wasn't just one character, it was ALL of them. Solara and Doran did not have the best beginning,  as they pretty much hated each other at first, but watching that relationship grow was really interesting. The story is told from both of their points of view, and I really just loved them both. The secondary characters in the novel are great as well. I loved all of those on the crew of the Banshee.

Both the storyline for the book and the setting were completely captivating. As I mentioned above, I'm really into science fiction books at the moment, especially those that are space related, so this book was right up my alley. The book doesn't end with a cliffhanger ending, but definitely leaves you wanting to get your hands on the next book, and I'm super curious to see what is going to happen next for these characters.

Overall; I really love everything about Starflight. From the wonderful characters to the captivating storyline, I was absolutely hooked. I really can't wait to get my hands on the second book in the series, which is due to release early 2017!! I can't wait! Check this book out, friends, and I hope you like it!

Also, check back tomorrow for a special post from Melissa Landers herself!! You won't want to miss it!!