Sunday, March 29, 2015

Which Team Are You? : The Mortal Instruments Edition

I basically just post a book series every week and have people vote on what team they are. I know the YA Sisterhood does the YA Crush Tournament, but I just want to find out how much you guys like one love interest over another, in one series.

Last week's poll was over Team Niklaus, Elijah, Finn, or Kol from The Originals TV show. Team Elijah won! 

So for this edition of “Which Team Are You?” I’m going to ask you who your pick of hunky man-flesh is from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. 

You can choose from:

1) Jace

or 2) Simon

I’m Team Jace. Although, I’ve never been as obsessed with him as some people are (Plus, I'm more of an Alec + Magnus fan). Maybe I’m missing something… If you had to choose one, who would it be, and why? If you haven’t read the books that are out right now (How is that even possible!?), who do you think sounds more appealing from The City of Bones summary below:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Which Team Are You?

Team Jace
Team Simon
online quiz maker

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stacking the Shelves: The Lonely Hoover Edition

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

Only one, lonely book this week…

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

This baby came from the library, can you tell?

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, March 27, 2015

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 picture.

NO! Poor Dean… I think he needs a cuddle.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Short Review: The Essence by Kimberly Derting

The Essence
(The Pledge #2)
Publication Date: January 2013
Hardcover, 352 pages, Margaret K. McElderly
Genres: YA, Fantasy/Dystopian

At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.

My Review

Is this dystopian? Or is this just fantasy…?

Because this review is of a second book in a trilogy, I won’t be going into too much detail. I’m just going to say what I think and get out of here so I can go stare at my bookshelves for thirty minutes and then decide what to read next. You’re welcome for this—the short review, not the staring. Or not welcome, depending on how you feel about short reviews.

This book started off a little ways down the road from where the first one left off, and since I haven’t read The Pledge in a looong time, I wish this hadn’t been the case. I had forgotten everything besides the main plotline. This especially includes the side and minor characters. I really had to wrack my brain to figure out who they were (it didn’t work).

I also thought it was weird that everyone who was in power was young. That annoys me. Even with books like Throne of Glass I sometimes get annoyed that the captain of the guard is only like 19 years old. It just doesn’t make sense.

The beginning of the story was slightly boring. I did not want to push myself through, but I did, and I enjoyed the last half. It had more action and conflict than the first half.

All in all, if you haven’t read the sequel to The Pledge yet and you wish to, I would encourage you to do it now, before it’s too late and you forget everything, because it’s easy to forget this fantasty/dystopian/I-don’t-know-what-to-call-it world.

*Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

"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...

Ash & Bramble
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
Hardcover, 464 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Fairytale-Retelling

When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit…

The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.

Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.

Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.

Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight.

My Thoughts

This cover is gorgeous, and this is another fantasy, fairytale-retelling. I’m super excited!

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Golden Release Day Blitz + Giveaway

Today’s the day. It’s Golden’s release day!

Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Paperback, REUTS Publications, LLC
Genres: YA, Fantasy

High school senior Hanna Loch just suffered a blackout in front of her entire homeroom class. She hasn’t had one in over ten years, and she’s terrified—the last time she blacked out, she woke up with no memory of her life before. To make matters worse, no one can explain why it happens. For Hanna, bad things tend to come in threes.

And that doesn’t even begin to cover it . . .

When she learns she could be a descendant of someone who lived once upon a time, Hanna must put her trust in William Vann, a descendant of one of the most hated villains ever known. Their histories are intertwined in more ways than she expected, and he has answers about her past, answers even her family won’t share.

But is it safe to put her trust in someone who appears to be danger reincarnate, while trying to escape the darkness that tried to kill her ten years ago?

A loose fairytale retelling, GOLDEN is a story that’s just right, weaving together lost secrets, vengeful enemies, and what happens when fiction becomes reality.

Check Out the Trailer!

About Melinda Michaels

Melinda Michaels is the author of Golden and currently lives in Milford, Pennsylvania. A self-proclaimed historian with a rare sense of humor, Melinda finds an immense amount of joy in knowing useless facts, exploring historical places and drinking copious amounts of coffee. When she’s not writing she can be found researching obscured time periods for her own amusement or refurbishing old furniture.

Melinda loves Philadelphia and visits often to enjoy the city with her husband Andrew. Together they have three rambunctious pets. Archie the Beagle, Winston the Boston Terrier and Beatrice the cat. Golden is the first in a Young Adult magic realism series. Find more now on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.


Cover Reveal: Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios

I love this time of year. Why? Because new book covers are being revealed and it makes me happy.
(It’s the little things in life.)

The most recent cover reveal (aka #7,895 in a long list of cover reveals, that’s sarcasm in case you didn’t catch my inflection there.) is of a book I am definitely looking forward to.

Blood Passage
Dark Caravan Cycle #2
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Hardcover, Balzer + Bray
Genres: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy

A jinni who's lost everything.

A master with nothing to lose.

A revolutionary with everything to gain.

When Nalia arrives in Morocco to fulfil Malek's third and final wish she's not expecting it to be easy. Though Nalia is free from the shackles that once bound her to Malek as his slave, she's in more danger than ever before.

Meanwhile, Malek's past returns with a vengeance as he confronts the darkness within himself, and Raif must decide what's more important: his love for Nalia, or his devotion to the cause of Arjinnan freedom.

Set upon by powerful forces that threaten to break her, Nalia encounters unexpected allies and discovers that her survival depends on the very things she thought made her weak. From the souks of Marrakech to the dunes of the Sahara, The Arabian Nights come to life in this dazzling second instalment of the Dark Passage Cycle.

My Thoughts

I like that it matches the other cover and it’s very pretty. I’m just concerned with the hand. I’m 99% sure that the hand isn’t hers, since it’s large, but I honestly can’t tell. The ring is gorgeous though.

So, what do you think?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen
(Red Queen #1)
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Hardcover, 383 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Fantasy/Dystopian

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

My Review

I shouldn’t have read this. Oops. Let me be a little clearer. I shouldn’t have read this book so early. I now have approximately 331 days, 7 hours, and 49 minutes until I can read the sequel, IF it comes out around the same time as book #1. (This review will go up on my blog after I finished reading it, so it’ll be a little less time by then.) I don’t think I can wait that long…

I really wasn’t sure about Red Queen at first. I knew there was A LOT of hype, but some bloggers/reviewers I trust said the book didn’t live up to its hype. I think that really helped me enjoy the crap out of this book! I wasn’t expecting a fantastic, bloody (See what I did there?), action story, but I got it!

Mare, the main character, has a really weird name. It’s the word for a female horse. That annoyed me. I still really liked her character though. She wasn’t the perfect assassin type, or the greatest warrior, or even the best daughter, and that really made me empathize with her character. Now, I’m not saying I wouldn’t have screamed at her for some of the choices she made, but that’s only because I spoiled myself by peeking at the back of the book. I wasn’t looking for spoilers! I just wanted to know how many pages there were! 

The most fantastic part of this story though, is Cal. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing I found him. He’s a warrior, a prince, and sometimes, he’s even a douche, but I love him. Mare and his relationship is just so complicated and so messed up that I have no idea how Aveyard’s going to patch it up in future books. (And she had better patch it up!)

Despite my complete adoration of Cal, there were other love interests throughout the book. Kilorn, Mare’s friend from home, is also a sweet and protective guy that I wouldn’t mind having as more than a friend, if Cal wasn’t there. And Maven, Cal’s little brother, was another love interest. One aspect of this book that I didn’t really like, was that I had a hard time finding how the love interest relationships actually got started. Maven and Mare’s and Kilorn’s and Mare’s I could kind of understand, but Cal and Mare’s was a little bit of a mystery. I couldn’t see why they liked each other so much, but boy did I love it that they did!

The plot of the book had me worried at first, mostly because I heard that it wasn’t original. I could see a little bit of that being true, but I found that a lot of it was not only original, but crazy astounding! The powers! The red and silver blood! The royalty! I was all over that. I do wish that the book, instead of associating with a dystopian world, had just focused on being a fantasy. It could have been like Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, where they still had technology, but it was its own world. The reason for this is simply because I found myself trying to picture where they were in the real world, whereas if it had been a fantasy, I wouldn’t have worried about it so much. This also could have been helped by having a map.

All in all, this review probably doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt while reading this book. This is my first 5-star book of 2015, and I just need a freakin’ sequel! And if my crazy ranting doesn’t convince you to go buy this book, then I don’t think anything will…

*Note: I borrowed a copy of this book from my library.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Which Team Are You? : The Originals Edition

 I basically just post a book series every week and have people vote on what team they are. I know the YA Sisterhood does the YA Crush Tournament, but I just want to find out how much you guys like one love interest over another, in one series.

Last week's poll was over Team Etienne, Team Cricket, or Team Josh from Stephanie Perkins’ Anna, Lola, Isla series. It was a tie between Cricket and Josh! 

So for this edition of “Which Team Are You?” I’m going to ask you who your pick of hunky man-flesh is from The Originals TV show, specifically the Mikaelson brothers. 

You can choose from:

1)      Niklaus

or 2) Elijah

OR) Kol

OR) Finn

I’m Team Elijah, mostly. He’s usually always right, and he’s just a good guy—err…vampire. I also like Niklaus. He’s just a little to rough around the edges for my tastes. If you had to choose one, who would it be, and why? If you haven’t watched the show (ACK!), who do you think sounds more appealing from The Originals summary below.

The Originals centers on Niklaus Mikaelson and the Original Family of vampires, as he makes his returns to the supernatural crucible that is the French Quarter of New Orleans, a town he helped build centuries ago, and is reunited with his diabolical former apprentice Marcel. The show will happen to feature two new characters who are witches, as well as a human female named Camille who is a psychology student fascinated by the study of Human Behavior. Cami is allured to the aberration of the French Quarter, resolute on answering the unanswerable question - what makes someone evil?

Which Team Are You?

Team Niklaus
Team Elijah
Team Kol
Team Finn
Poll Maker

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Stacking the Shelves: The Two-Book Edition

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

I didn’t buy anything this week! Woot! Woot!

Sanguine Mountain by Jennifer Foxcroft
The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen came from my local library, while Sanguine Mountain came from Jennifer. Thanks Jennifer! And I’ll have a review up for it as soon as possible, so be on the lookout. ;)

(Oh, and sorry for the crappy picture quality. Stupid phone.)

What books have you bought/received lately?