Saturday, August 19, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: The Brought With Me 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.

Okay, so these books aren’t technically new. I haven’t bought or borrowed anything this week, so I thought I’d share the books I brought with me from Missouri. I didn’t take a whole lot.

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada
Mistborn and Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
Luck, Love & Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert
Avenged by Amy Tintera
Starflight by Melissa Landers
Talon by Julie Kagawa
Golden Son by Pierce Brown

As you can see, some of them are naked. That’s because I didn’t want the jackets to get damaged during the move. Although, I have no idea what I’ll do if I end up living in New York long-term and end up needing to move all of my books here. It’ll be awkward trying to pack random book-less dustjackets…

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the pic.
https://twitter.com/clarissa373/status/888610051161595904

I want a giant Dean Funko. I have no idea where I’d put it or what I would do with it, though. Maybe I’d hang clothes off of its arms? Maybe I should just stick with my mini Dean Funko… 

Note: No DWF pics are mine. Click on the pic to be taken to where I found this week's.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Fireblood by Emmy Blake

 "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...

Fireblood
(Frostblood Saga #2)
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Hardcover, 416 pages, Little Brown Books
Genres: YA, Fantasy

In this action-packed sequel to Frostblood, the future of Ruby's world and a court ruled by the love of her life depends on the uncovered secrets of her past..

Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby's powers and past....

Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fireblood queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax--which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, how can Ruby decide whom to trust? The fate of both kingdoms is now in her hands.

My Thoughts

I read Frostblood earlier this year, and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t my favorite YA fantasy book, but it was an entertaining read. It was a bit like Game of Thrones fire and ice meets Avatar: The Last Airbender and Red Queen. I hope book two will keep that same vibe.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Top 3 Covers of 2018 So Far

Can you believe it’s almost 2018?! The year is more than halfway over! Yikes.

Because 2018 is almost here, and because some of the year’s covers have been revealed, I thought I’d share my top three covers of 2018 so far.

Everless
(Untitled #1)
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Hardcover, 336 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.

My Thoughts

Everless might be my favorite cover of 2018 (so far), and what’s sad is that I don’t even know a lot about it. I actually had no idea this book was a thing until Epic Reads did their cover release post a couple months back.

I just love the hourglass image on this cover, though. Mixed with the orange and silver colors, it’s amazing. I love the inside of the hourglass that much, but I don’t dislike it, either. I’m neutral on that front.

***

The Defiant
(The Valiant #2)
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Hardcover, 336 pages, Razorbill
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction

The darling of the Roman Empire is in for the fight of her life.

Be brave, gladiatrix… And be wary. Once you win Caesar’s love, you’ll earn his enemies’ hate.

Fallon was warned.

Now she is about to pay the price for winning the love of the Roman people as Caesar’s victorious gladiatrix.

In this highly anticipated sequel to THE VALIANT, Fallon and her warrior sisters find themselves thrust into a vicious conflict with a rival gladiator academy, one that will threaten not only Fallon’s heart – and her love for Roman soldier Cai – but the very heart of the ancient Roman Empire.

When dark treachery and vicious power struggles threaten her hard-won freedom, the only thing that might help the girl known as Victrix save herself and her sisters is a tribe of long-forgotten mythic Amazon warriors.

The only trouble is, they might just kill her themselves first.

My Thoughts

I haven’t read The Valiant yet, nor have I read any other books by Lesley Livingston, but this one looks good. Someone on Twitter said that this cover was giving them Wonder Woman vibes. I can see that. It definitely reminds me of the Amazons.

I think my favorite part of this cover is just how bada$$ it looks. Plus, purple is my favorite color. ;)

***

Shadow Call
(Kaitan Chronicles #2)
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
Hardcover, 432 pages, Delacorte Press
Genres: YA, Sci-Fi

His throne. Her rebellion. Their war.

Qole is the youngest starship captain in living memory on her homeworld of Alaxak and has spent her life hunting a dangerous energy source called Shadow. Alaxans distrust and evade the galaxy’s royalty as a rule, but Qole is now harboring the exiled Prince Nevarian Dracorte, along with some very conflicting feelings about it—and him.

Nev’s feelings are just as complicated, but not towards her. When it comes to Qole, he knows one thing: he’d do anything to stay with her. But when Alaxak is attacked and Nev finds himself framed for murder, he realizes the only way to help Qole and her people is to fight for the throne that should be his. To become the royal she might hate.

As for Qole, she would never have imagined herself as the leader of a rebellion. Despite that, she soon realizes that hiding from her power is no longer an option. It’s time to answer the call, even if it kills her.

My Thoughts

Again, I haven’t read the first book in this series, but the cover speaks to me. I’ve been in weird sci-fi/fantasy phase this year, and this cover really reminds me of The Expanse and Dark Matter television shows.

I love the colors mixed with the inside of the ship and outer space. I think it’s a beautiful view. I need to pick up book one before I can get my hands on this bad boy, though. *sigh*

***

Well, there you have it. Those are my Top 3 Covers of 2018 So Far. Maybe these will move down the list as more covers get revealed, but for now, these are the winners.

What are some of your favorite covers of 2018?

Monday, August 14, 2017

My Very Crazy and New Brooklyn Life

As I mentioned in some of my previous posts, I moved to Brooklyn this month!

In case you don’t realize how monumental that is, I’ve lived in Missouri my entire life. I also drove cross-country with my roommate when I’ve never driven outside of Missouri before. My dad drove me and my stuff to Illinois to meet up with my roomie, and we drove a Uhaul from Illinois to Brooklyn, NY. It was a very eventful trip. There was laughter, tears, and Disney songs.

Now, I moved to New York so I could work in book publishing. I don’t have a job yet and my money is slowly dwindling, but I think I’m going to get some work soon. It may just be a slower process than I would have hoped for.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some pictures of the new apartment with you. Obviously, I didn’t share any pics of the bathrooms or my roommates’ bedrooms because that would be awkward.


This is my bedroom. As you can see, I used the same bedspread and sheet set that I’ve had since my freshman year of college. I’m also using plastic bins as bookshelves and nightstands. It’s a truly nightmarish experience. Hopefully, I can get a job, simply so I can buy myself a decent bookshelf.


I contributed very little to the living room. My Supernatural blanket and Hogwarts pillows are the only things I added to the overall d├ęcor here. The couch was gifted to us by a neighbor though, so that was cool. #freestuffftw


The last room really is the living room too since they’re both connected. This is the messy kitchen. There’s very little counter space.

So, yes, my life has been crazily upheaved in the past few months. If you’ve been trying to get ahold of me about blog-related things, or if you’ve commented and I haven’t responded (I think I’m caught up, but I’m not 100% sure), then please just message me again.

What crazy antics have you gotten up to over the summer? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Review: Avenged by Amy Tintera

Avenged
(Ruined #2)
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Hardcover, 416 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

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.

My Review

I’m not sure what to say about this book. I loved Ruined. Em was headstrong and the plot of the book was a fast-paced revenge story. The sequel just didn’t seem to have that same dedicated narrative.

Avenged starts off soon after the first book ends. Em and Olivia are taking the Ruined back home, while Cas is dealing with his home being taken away from him. However, there just wasn’t a solid arc to keep everything rolling like there was in book one. There were some minor squabbles and some new characters introduced, but otherwise, there’s not much going on.

The characters also fell a little short for me. Em, as I mentioned, was a pretty strong female lead in book one, but in book two, she becomes wishy-washy. It’s like she lost her own personality. It didn’t help that Cas managed to become an unlikable and weak character between books as well. Their individual downward spirals made their romantic relationship seem anticlimactic. By the time I’d read the first third of the book, I realized I wasn’t even invested in their relationship anymore.

The same can be said of the main characters’ relationships with the side characters. Olivia was too intense, so her relationship with Em was very one-sided. While all of Cas’s friends and followers seemed very one-dimensional. The only side character storyline I was interested in was Aren’s, simply because he had character growth.

One last thing that I have to talk about is the dialogue. It was so awkward. Everyone talked as if they lived in the modern age but were transported to a fantasy world. It kept throwing me out of the moment.

All in all, I was hoping for more with this sequel. The dueling-royal-families trope always makes me happy, but this one just had no solid direction. I might still read the third book, but I just don’t know for sure at this point…


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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: The Brooklyn Library 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.

I haven’t been reading a lot lately because I’ve had too much to do. I did however, take some time to visit my NEW local library in Brooklyn. That’s right, I moved to Brooklyn!!! I’ll share some pics soon, but for now, please enjoy my library haul.

The Upside of Unrequired by Becky Albertalli
Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers
Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton

I’m kind of broke right now, so I’ll probably be borrowing all of my books from the library until I get a job. *Cross my fingers that I get one soon.*

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Dean Winchester Friday

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


Dean Winchester holding a cute, fuzzy bunny rabbit? Yes, please. I want more. He should be surrounded by puppies, kittens, and all other warm and fuzzy creatures. Basically, I want the Winchesters to get a dog.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

"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...

Renegades
(Renegades #1)
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Hardcover, 416 pages, Feiwel & Friends
Genres: YA, Sci-Fi

From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer, comes a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

My Thoughts

I’ve been craving a super-powered-human storyline lately. Plus, I enjoyed Marissa’s other series, so I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on this book. It has a pretty vague description, but I think knowing as little as possible works in this book’s favor.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sendhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Hardcover, 380 pages, Simon Pulse
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

My Review

One coder girl, one suppressed artist boy, and one arranged marriage equals a very cute, bubbly summer contemporary.

Dimple is a girl with simple dreams: she wants to win her coding camp’s app competition, go to college, and focus on her work. None of these goals involve the Ideal Indian Husband. However, her parents have another idea. They want Dimple to marry Rishi, and Rishi is all for that.

Honestly, Rishi and Dimple were crafted very well. Each character had a unique personality that readers will relate to on various levels. Dimple is the awkward, work-focused girl, and Rishi is the obedient, lovable boy. Their journeys would have been fun to read about even without Dimple having met Rishi and vice versa. Them being together in their hilarious meet-cute, though, makes the story even more engaging.

The plot of the book revolves entirely around the arranged marriage their families set up as well as the summer coder camp Rishi and Dimple go to. Because of the two-month timeline, the story is short and sweet. Dimple is super invested in creating a winning app, while Rishi just wants to win Dimple’s affections. And boy does he ever. ;)

While this story was super cute and sweet on a major level, I was hoping for a little more depth in some areas. For example, the coding aspect of the camp wasn’t highlighted as much as I was hoping it would be. I would have loved to have seen Dimple’s actual app-making process come to life in this book. Another nitpick I had with the book was the development of the side characters. There were some obvious tropes and stereotypes in their relationships that had me rolling my eyes a bit.

Despite its minor flaws, When Dimple Met Rishi does exactly what it’s intended to do: it provides a fun, adorable story with two unique characters.

All in all, if you’re looking for a book that puts a twist on the arranged-marriage plot, Rishi and Dimple’s story might just be for you.


*Note: I was gifted this book from a representative at Simon Pulse. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Friday, August 4, 2017

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.


He finally got to use the grenade launcher! It’s been in the Impala for 12 seasons, and he finally got to use it. Now, let’s hope other things from season one return. *cough* Jeffrey Dean Morgan *cough*