Saturday, March 24, 2018

Stacking the Shelves: The No More Snow Edition

 "Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

Oh, man. This week sucked. Between family drama and it snowing for the umpteenth time, I’m just ready for this month to be over. I mean, it snowed on the first day of spring! Granted, I’ve seen snow in the middle of April before, but I haven’t had to walk in it in a dirty city before. Blugh.

Just a heads up, I may or may be taking a blogging break in April. Between the family issues and trying to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m just kind of feeling a little meh about the blog. I’ve got some things scheduled, so maybe I can muster up enough umph to keep posting throughout the month. We shall see.

Fireblood by Elly Blake
Stranded by Bracken Macleod

It was a pretty low-key book week this week. I took another ARC home from work, and last Friday during my lunch hour, I bought a copy of Fireblood from Barnes & Noble. I was going to get a copy of Frostblood too, but I couldn’t justify dropping $40 on two books. I think I’ll just order that one and the upcoming sequel online.

Oh, and my B&N purchase has me at $40.50 for my book-buying budget. I have $34.50 left to spend, and I don't really think I'm going to be spending that much, if any of it, next week.

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, March 23, 2018

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when watch the gif.

Be prepared. I think the next three or four Dean Winchester Fridays are all about food. And Dean. Because where would Dean be without food?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

My Thoughts on The 100 Season Five Trailer

I thought I’d share my thoughts and feels about The 100 season five trailer. In case you haven’t seen it, I’ve posted it below. Please don’t watch it if you haven’t seen the previous seasons. There are lots of spoilers in the video.

First off, I’m wary about the time jump. I don’t like it when TV shows jump five or six years into the future. It just throws off the timeline of the story. There’s also a loss of some of the tension that was carried over from previous seasons. And, on the note of the time jump, I don’t think I like how Clarke has an adopted daughter in this season. It just feels off to me.

Now, moving past the time jump, I’m also a little sad that we’re seeing the dynamics of previous seasons being reversed here. The Skaikru have been merged with Trikru, but now a new set of space outsiders have come to take over, exactly like Skaikru originally set out to do. I just feel that this plotline is too similar to what’s already been done. Thus, it makes the storyline for the season seem dull.

However, I don’t want to pass too many judgments. There have been seasons the of The 100 that I’ve thought would mega suck, but they didn’t. Season two and three’s arcs had me very disappointed at first, but once I was watching, I was hooked. I’m hoping that’s how this season plays out as well.

As for the characters, I’m glad we get to see some new faces. It increases the pressure. I’m also super happy to see Octavia still kicking butt. Whoop! Whoop! I seriously hope she and Bellamy work out their squabbling. I just want them to be a family again, gosh darnit!

All in all, this was a super long trailer, and it showed some exciting scenes. However, I’m conserving any verdicts until I’ve watched the first episode of the season.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

 "Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Hardcover, 480 pages, Simon Pulse
Genres: YA, Sci-Fi

Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this thrilling debut novel about prison-guard-in-training, Kenzie, who is taken hostage by the superpowered criminal teens of the Sanctuary space station—only to have to band together with them when the station is attacked by mysterious creatures.

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

My Thoughts

This one has a mix of Prison Break vibes meets a little bit of Illuminae. I’m excited to get my hands on this one, especially since it’ll be coming out close to when season three of The Expanse, a sci-fi television show, ends. I’ll need a good YA sff book to get me out of my funk. I’m just hoping my roommate can nab me a free copy. ;)

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR

It’s Top Ten Tuesday time!

If you’re unaware, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly original feature created by The Broke and the Bookish, and it’s now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week there’s a new Top Ten theme that the blogger responds to with their own list of answers.

This week’s theme is… *drumroll please*…

Books On My Spring TBR

Some of these are spring releases, while others are just ones I own and need to get to.

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meghan Spooner

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Everlife by Gena Showalter

Blood Vow by J.R. Ward

City of Lies by Sam Hawke

Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald

Exquisite Captive series by Heather Demetrios

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard


Alright, there you have it. My spring TBR. What did you put on your list? Let me know in the comments section.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Review: Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

Traitor to the Throne
(Rebel of the Sands #2)
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Hardcover, 516 pages, Viking
Genres: YA, Fantasy

Rebel by chance. Traitor by choice.

Gunslinger Amani al'Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.

When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan’s palace—she’s determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan’s secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she’s a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she’s been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.

Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about Djinn and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.

My Review

The Blue-Eyed Bandit is back, and she’s causing just as much chaos as she did in the first book. I love it!

So, this sequel starts off in kind of a weird place. It’s been six months since the events of the first book, which made for a very confusing start. At first, I thought something was wrong and that the publisher accidentally printed the text for the third book in the paperback copy of Traitor. That’s how confused I was. But nope. It was just a jump in time. So be prepared for that. I know it took me a few chapters to really comprehend what was going on.

As for the characters in this book, Amani is still a fierce fighter and friend. She’s dedicated and angry and everything you’d expect a young woman who’s been undermined for so long to be. Also, I really love Amani’s dynamic with the other ladies in the rebellion. It was like a ragtag group of girl friends in high school, only they’ve been transported to a desert fantasy land. They’re written so well that they seem very real.

However, the female character greatness brings me to something I found a little lacking in this one: the male characters. Two complaints here: One, I wanted waaaaaay more Jin than I got. The scenes he was in were good, don’t get me wrong, but there just weren’t enough of them. And two, the villains are a little cliché in this one. Not terribly so, but the Sultan was doing a little bit of that whole villain spiel thing that I never understand. I guess in a roundabout kind of way, it makes some sense as to why the Sultan would want to talk with Amani, but still…Also, his son and heir was a typical douche bag.

Now, the plot of the book was one I expected to thoroughly hate as I realized about fifty or so pages in what was going to happen. I normally don’t like plotlines in fantasy books that rip the main character away from her ragtag group of rebels a la Empire of Storms or King’s Cage style, but for this one, I was thoroughly impressed with how I could not stop reading, despite Amani being in a whole new setting with new characters to interact with. I kept flipping pages and flipping pages.

All in all, if you’re looking for a fantasy series that’s out of the ordinary, Rebel of the Sands is one you should definitely pick up. There are genies, exiled princes, swordswomen, guns, and even kisses.

*Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

My Thoughts on The Crimes of Grindelwald Trailer

I thought I’d share my thoughts and feels about the newly released Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald trailer. In case you haven’t seen it, I’ve posted it below:

Oh gosh. I waited four days to watch this trailer, just because I thought I’d be disappointed. And, while there are some disappointing elements, I’m still super pumped about this film.

I guess I’ll start this off with the negative stuff. One, as most people have pointed out already, you can't apparate onto Hogwarts’ grounds, so that’s really weird. Two, Johnny Depp is undeserving of the Harry Potter franchise and should have been replaced immediately. And three, there will be no mention of Dumbledore’s sexuality or relationship with Grindelwald in this movie, and that’s just sad.

Okay. So, other than those three things, this trailer was everything I didn’t know I wanted in the Fantastic Beasts sequel. To be honest, I thought FB was just okay. It didn’t particularly wow me or have that nostalgic quality that the original HP films do. However, this trailer did manage to give me some of that nostalgia. Maybe it’s because Hogwarts and Dumbledore are actually in this one? And they used the original HP music?

Speaking of Dumbledore, it’s weird seeing him in regular-people clothes. Shouldn’t he be in robes? I’m a little confused about the costume design in this one. Why would Dumbledore be wearing a suit when in every headmaster picture in Hogwarts the witch or wizard has robes on? It’s not a super huge thing, but it’s a little baffling to me.

Anywho, I don’t know where the plot for this particular film is going, so it’ll be exciting to see what adventures Newt and co. get into this time around. I’m also interested in seeing Newt and his brother’s family drama play out.

All in all, this film is going to have its rough patches, but I’m definitely going to be watching it. It actually releases two weeks after I’ll be seeing Cursed Child on Broadway. So, yay for a month of awesome Harry Potter times!

Oh, and just a warning, be prepared for a lot of trailer thoughts over the next week. There have been some big ones that have just been revealed, and I want to talk about them all!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Stacking the Shelves: The Underbudget Edition

 "Stacking the Shelves" is a weekly haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality. It allows book buyers to share their accumulation of books with the online book-loving community.

Man, this week has just gotten away from me. I just caught up on blog comments, and I haven’t been to the gym as much as I should have. I think it has something to do with losing an hour. But, I am glad that when I step outside before and after work, it’s still light out. It boosts my spirits and energy. So yay for sunlight and books!

Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson (ARC)
The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land (ARC)
Blood Vow by J.R. Ward

Okay, so this week featured another unexpectedly large book haul. Hello Stranger is a book I won over at Carole’s Random Life blog in a giveaway she hosted for Avon. Last Year and The Rising are more of those ARCs I didn’t want to recycle at work; thus, I took them home. I still have a few left that I need to bring back, though, so be prepared for next week’s haul containing some more ARCs. I borrowed Blood Vow from the library.

Lifeblood & Everlife by Gena Showalter

I also randomly decided to buy Lifeblood and Everlife when I saw how cheap Lifeblood was on Amazon. It was $7.75 for the hardcover! So yes, I ordered both books. Because I’m weak. However, they’re the only books I’ve bought so far this month, which means I’m at $20.50 out of $75 for my book-buying budget. Whoop! Whoop!

The Raging Ones by Krista and Becca Ritchie

This one is a NetGalley ARC that I already finished. I’ll have a review up closer to its release date.

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you watch the gif.

I feel like Dean is confused like 90% of the show. He’s just so adorable when he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. Right?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

My Most Anticipated Spring 2018 Releases

It’s almost spring 2018! Can you believe we’re a fourth of the way through the year already? I’m so excited for winter to be over. NYC is miserable when it’s cold.

Since the season is getting ready to change, I thought I’d share my most anticipated spring releases. And just FYI, spring for me is the traditional March 21–June 21.

Sky in the Deep
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Hardcover, 352 pages, Wednesday Books
Genres: YA, Fantasy


Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

My Thoughts

I love this cover. I also really want to read a YA Viking-esque fantasy story. There are actually quite a few coming out in the next year or so, but this one has me super intrigued.


Ash Princess
(Ash Princess Trilogy #1)
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Hardcover, 432 pages, Delacorte
Genres: YA, Fantasy

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she's not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who's been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart's sister, Cress.

Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice to become queen.

My Thoughts

Okay, so I’ve actually already read this book, and I didn’t love it. It was kind of a like/hate relationship. Think the Selection series mixed with The Winner’s Curse with a lot of unnecessary violence thrown in. However, I’m really excited to get my hands on a finished copy because that cover is gorgeous.

Full review to come.


(Ruined #3)
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Hardcover, 416 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

In the final book in the New York Times bestselling Ruined series, the romance of The Selection and the epic stakes of Red Queen come together in a story of revenge, adventure, and unexpected love.

Emelina Flores and her sister, Olivia, were determined to bring peace to the people of Ruina. But as the war for liberation raged on, what triumph and freedom meant to Em and Olivia slowly changed. As Olivia’s violence and thirst for vengeance became her only ambition, Em was left to pick up the pieces.

But it’s not only Em who is upset by Olivia’s increased violence. Other members of the Ruined army are beginning to see the cracks, and soon a small group of them defects from Olivia’s army and joins Em instead. The two sisters are soon pitted against each other in an epic battle for the kingdom and the future, and only one will win.

My Thoughts

Gosh. What to say about this one. The cover is gorgeous. Unfortunately, I wasn’t super impressed with Avenged, the second book in this series, even though I LOVED Ruined, the first book. I don’t know what happened. Things just went bad. I’m hoping this one fixes the mess the previous book left off on.


War Storm
(Red Queen #4)
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Hardcover, 400 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Fantasy


Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

My Thoughts

My most anticipated release of 2018 is almost in my hands. Just a couple more months, and I will know the fate of Cal and Mare. Mwahahaa.

But in all seriousness, I want this book so badly.


Onyx and Ivory
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Hardcover, Balzer + Bray
Genres: YA, Fantasy

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.

The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.

My Thoughts

That is such a long synopsis. And, to be honest, I haven’t read all of it. All I know is it’s by Mindee Arnett and I loved her Avalon sci-fi duology. I’m sure a fantasy book by her will be just as good.


(Ashen Torment #1)
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Hardcover, 464 pages, Harper Voyager UK
Genres: YA, Fantasy

From celebrated fantasy author Den Patrick comes WITCHSIGN, the first novel in a fresh and exciting new fantasy trilogy

It has been seventy-five years since the dragons’ rule of fire and magic was ended. Out of the ashes, the Solmindre Empire was born.

Since then, the tyrannical Synod has worked hard to banish all manifestations of the arcane from existence. However, children are still born bearing the taint of the arcane, known to all as witchsign. Vigilants are sent out across the continent of Vinterkveld to find and capture all those bearing the mark.

No one knows when the Vigilants of the Synod will appear and enforce the Empire’s laws.

But today they’re coming.

And gods help those who bear the sign of the witch.

My Thoughts

This book is a weird one in that it’s not releasing in the US, or at least, it’s not releasing in the US anytime soon. I’m probably going to have to order it via Book Depository because I’m very curious about this one. It sounds pretty good.


(Frostblood Saga #3)
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Hardcover, 400 pages, Little Brown Books
Genres: YA, Fantasy

Ruby's world has changed more than she ever could have imagined. She's in love with a powerful Frost King. She's the heir to the Fire Throne. And she may be a Nightblood--the spawn of a vengeful deity hellbent on releasing his wraithlike Minax from their prison. Once freed, these beasts will roam the earth, devouring every last person until he or she is nothing but an empty husk. But Ruby is able to control the Minax to a degree, and now she, her beloved Arcus, and her friend Kai must find a way to bring Frostbloods and Firebloods--sworn enemies--together to make a stand against a foe more deadly than any they've faced.

In this heart-pounding finale of Elly Blake's gorgeously written and action-packed Frostblood Saga, the fate of Frostbloods, Firebloods, and all of humanity is at stake.

My Thoughts

I’m actually very much looking forward to this one, despite not being caught up in the trilogy. I read the first book a year or so ago, but I haven’t read the second yet. I’m excited to reread the first book and binge read the entire trilogy. I remember very much enjoying Frostblood, so I’m sure it’ll be a fun time.


Those are my most anticipated releases of spring 2018. What are yours? Are any of these on your list?