Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!



While my family doesn’t really do a lot for Thanksgiving besides having a nice meal with whoever can make it, this will be my first Thanksgiving away from home.

My roommate is planning on making dinner, though, so I won’t be neglected in terms of the food. I’m going to contribute by buying the pies. ;)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Reign of the Earth by A.C. Gaughen

 "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...

Reign of the Earth
(The Elementae #1)
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Hardcover, 448 pages, Bloomsbury
Genres: YA, Fantasy

Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarlet will hold readers spellbound.

My Thoughts

I’m curious about this one. I really enjoyed Gaughen’s Scarlet series about Robin Hood, so hopefully, this one is just as good, if not better. I’m a little curious to see how the husband/brother-in-law love triangle will be set up. While I tend to hate love triangles, this one is weird enough for a YA series to have me intrigued.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Monday, November 20, 2017

NYC's Books of Wonder Event Recap

Last week, I went to a signing event at NYC’s Books of Wonder.

Authors Libba Bray, Billy Merrell, Alex R. Kahler, Lisa Williamson, and David Levithan were there.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t read any of their books beforehand, but I was excited for this event because of Alex R. Kahler’s new release Runebinder. It’s a YA fantasy story with a gay main character. Do you know how rare it is to find published fantasy stories with gay protagonists?! So I was super excited to get my hands on this one.


Runebinder was actually the only book I bought at the signing. I was able to pick up Vanilla, Billy Merrell’s recent release, and All About Mia by Lisa Williamson for free at my temp job with Scholastic. They have a small pile of up-for-grabs books. Thus, I was able to get three books signed instead of just one.

I also had no idea David was going to be there. He actually moderated the event. I’d met him a while back in St. Louis. I would have loved to have purchase another one of his books and/or Libba’s, but I’m trying to save money, so…


Anywho, the event was pretty short since the authors took up most of the panel time by reading excerpts of their newest releases, or, in David’s case, his upcoming release (the third book in the Every Day series).

Here are some fun tidbits that I did manage to write down about the event:

Libba actually hired a researcher for her Diviners series. She said the researcher is awesome, but she didn’t remember how they actually first got in touch.

Alex said Kirkus called his book too graphic, but a female author friend of his said her hetero characters had way more raunchy scenes in her YA book, and the reviewer loved it. Apparently, the hetero characters were sexing it up in a cage. Does this book sound familiar to anyone because I kind of want to read it now…? Ha ha.

Billy didn’t set out to write a break-up story about finding sexuality, but that’s what Vanilla ended up being. It was originally supposed to be a cute romance story.

Lisa is British, so her accent was great. She also has a sister she forgot to put in the acknowledgements in her book about sisters. Lol

David’s new Every Day book is overdue by two months. He really needs to get it in to his editor.

***

As for the signing portion of the event, it went by super quickly. I was originally first in line, hence the yellow 001 piece of paper, but the hosts just let everyone come up and get in line for the author(s) they wanted signed books from.

I actually didn’t get any pictures with the authors because I had a brain fart. I ended up only taking one panel picture at the event. That’s it. *sigh* Oh well…

Below is Alex’s signature. I nabbed a cool button from him too. I love it when authors bring swag to events. They never have to do it, but it always makes me happy when they do.


Here’s Lisa’s signature. It was kind of loud in the signing room, so I couldn’t understand what she said to me. I also don’t remember if she even did say anything.


As for Billy, all I remember about him signing my book was how awkward I was. I think I mentioned something about how pretty the design of his book was (on its inside without the dustjacket), and he replied. Like with Lisa, I couldn’t hear his reply.


Well, that was the event. It was fun. I laughed quite a bit.

Have you been to any signings/bookish events lately? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

More 2018 Cover Reveals!

More cover reveals! Including the cover for my most anticipated release of 2018!

Ace of Shades
(The Shadow Game #1)
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Hardcover, 400 pages, Harlequin Teen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn't have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne's offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi's enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

My Thoughts

Ace of Shades is not my most anticipated release of 2018, but it sounds like it could be a pretty good read. I love criminals in books, especially when they’re the sexy bad-boy type. ;)

I am a little sad that this book has a red cover. (Red is my least favorite color.) I guess I can understand why, since gambling is always associated with the color red. But, it still looks nice.

***

Leah on the Offbeat
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Hardcover, 352 pages, Balzer + Bray
Genres: YA, Contemporary

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

My Thoughts

The cover for this one threw me off a little bit. I guess I wasn’t expecting it to look so similar to Simon in its overall design. I love the colors and the font. What I don’t love is that stupid sticker. And, it better be a sticker and not a permanent piece of the cover. I will riot if it is.

***

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

VICTORY COMES AT A PRICE.

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

LOOK AT IT! It’s an actual book! I’m finally going to get my hands on the last book in this godforsaken series! I feel like I’ve waited years!

In case you haven’t realized it yet, this is my most anticipated book of 2018.

I’m in love with this cover. I like the electricity and the blood with the dark purply-black background. The only thing that makes me sad about this cover is the title’s font. All of the other books in the series had black font, and this one doesn’t (obviously because it wouldn’t show up on the background). But this means the spines will look different. *sigh*

***

There you go. Those are some new covers. At least two of them were revealed this week. I’m not sure, though, when Ace of Shades’s cover was debuted.

Any favorite of the three? Mine’s War Storm, hands down.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: The Freebie and the Purchased 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 bought one book this week. But, in my defense, I’d been planning to buy it for a few months.

Runebinder by Alex R. Kahlher
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Okay, so I got two books this week. One of them was free, though. (Yay free books!) 

I picked Always and Forever, Lara Jean up at work, which, in case I haven’t shared yet, I was working at Scholastic as a temp (again). Stay tuned for updated job news. It’s pretty exciting, if I do say so myself.

I purchased Runebinder at Books of Wonder for a signing event with four other authors. I’ll have a short recap of that event up soon as well.

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, November 17, 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.


This is the poster for season 13. Season 13! This show has been on for so freakin’ long, and I love it and hate it at the same time.

I’m still behind on this season. I’ve watched only the first two episodes, but I’ll catch up eventually. *sigh*

Thursday, November 16, 2017

My Thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok

I thought I’d share my thoughts and feels about Thor: Ragnarok. In case you haven’t seen it and/or for some reason know nothing about it, I’ve posted the trailer below:


First off, I was wary going into this movie. The comedic aspect of it freaked me out a little. Honestly, I loved the serious aspect of the first two Thor movies, so having this third movie look so much like Guardians of the Galaxy was weird. I’ve got to admit, though, I liked the overall film. Yes, there were too many jokes, but I laughed at most of them.

Thor was different in this film. He was a little too joke-y. He also knew references that didn’t seem possible for him to know as a Norse god, like the whole “He’s a friend from work,” line. I also thought Hulk talking was too much. He seemed almost too smart. He went from can’t-talk-at-all to talking in almost complete sentences.

While the jokes were many, the CGI was really good. Hella’s outfits were on point, and Valkyrie was really kicka$$. I was super excited to see two strong female characters being awesome, even as not-so-good people.

The plot of the movie was also super fun. The scenes where Thor and Hulk fight were freakin’ awesome! I used to love Thor, but after watching Thor: Ragnarok, I LOVE Thor. His powers are amazing.

All in all, I’m super excited to see Thor in Avengers: Infinity War. Also, if you were wary like I was about seeing this movie, don’t be. It’s definitely a fun time that has a strong storyline, which I think should contribute greatly to Marvel’s overall world. Warning, though, there are some more adult phrases mentioned (i.e. the word orgies is thrown out there).

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

 "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...

Iron Gold
(Red Rising Saga #4)
Publication Date: January 16, 2018
Hardcover, 480 pages, Del Rey Books
Genres: Sci-Fi

Honor and betrayal fuel a caste-shattering revolution in the action-packed new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Rising Trilogy. Ten years after the events of Morning Star, Darrow and the Rising are battling the remaining Gold loyalist forces and are closer than ever to abolishing the color-coded caste system of Society for good. But new foes will emerge from the shadows to threaten the imperfect victory Darrow and his friends have earned. Pierce Brown expands the size and scope of his impressive Red Rising universe with new characters, enemies, and conflicts among the stars.

My Thoughts

I’m not sure how I feel about this new series that Pierce Brown is coming out with. I really don’t want Darrow and co. to be in any more stressful and potentially dangerous situations, especially considering it could mean their deaths. I also don’t like it that Darrow and co. aren’t going to be the main characters in this one. Apparently, another Red is going to be the protagonist? I’m not entirely sure. 

However, I do have to say that I’m glad we get to learn more about this world, and I am excited to see what happens between Morning Star and Iron Gold. I'm also glad I didn't have to wait a year or more between books like everyone else since I just finished book three a month ago.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Review: Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Devils & Thieves
(Devils & Thieves #1)
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Hardcover, 393 pages, Little Brown Books
Genres: YA, Paranormal

Power corrupts. Magic kills.

Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael is surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn't help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe—the dangerous and enigmatic leader of Hawthorne’s kindled motorcycle gang, the Devils’ League.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor spreads that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

My Review

This book is a tough one. I love the idea of a magical motorcycle gang. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s such a weird and unique concept. I also really enjoyed the complexity of the characters’ backgrounds. A teenage witch with drinking problems and a love interest who leads the motorcycle gang is an awesome romantic combo. I mean, I read the first two-thirds of this book in less than 24 hours; it was that addicting.

BUT, the ending was predictable. I knew who the bad guy was and what was happening in the main conflict halfway through the story. I also thought some of the dialogue, action scenes, and plot were rushed. The book needed 50+ more pages to flush things out.

All in all, this book made me keep reading, and it combined two things you wouldn’t think would go together: magic and motorcycle gangs. The entire thing had a Sons of Anarchy/Blood and Chocolate/Secret Circle kind of vibe.


*Note: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Monday, November 13, 2017

More 2018 Cover Reveals

So, I just wanted to share some more awesome cover reveals for 2018. Some of these have been released for a while, but I thought I’d share since they’re just so pretty.

***

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

Seventeen-year-old Eelyn’s world is war. Raised to fight alongside her Aska clansmen in a generations-old blood feud against the Riki, 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 if she wants to make it back to the fjord after the thaw. But when she begins to see herself in the people she's been taught to hate, the world Eelyn once knew begins to crumble. And after the village is raided by a ruthless clan many believe to be a myth, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend who has tried more than once to kill her. Together, they must end the blood feud between their clans or watch their people be slaughtered.

A lush, Viking-age inspired fantasy about loyalty, forgiveness, and the definition of family.

My Thoughts

This cover is just so beautiful. The gold with the girl in the background. I’m super excited to get my hands on a finished copy of this one. I don’t know a lot about it beyond the blurb, but I need a finished copy on my shelves.

***

Ash Princess
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Hardcover, 432 pages, Delacorte Books
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

Ok, so this one looks a lot like a grittier version of Red Queen, and I’m here for it. The colors are beautiful, and I really hope the title gets a raised font. I just want to creepily stroke my fingers over the finished dustjacket.

***

The Darkest Warrior
(Lords of the Underworld #14)
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Hardcover, 384 pages, Harlequin
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance

A searing Lords of the Underworld tale by New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter, featuring a beastly prince and the wife he will wage war to keep.

He is ice...

Puck the Undefeated, host of the demon of Indifference, cannot experience emotion without punishment, so he allows himself to feel nothing. Until her. According to ancient prophecy, she is the key to avenging his past, saving his realm, and ruling as king. All he must do? Steal her from the man she loves—and marry her.

She is fire...

Gillian Shaw has suffered many tragedies in her too-short life, but nothing could have prepared the fragile human for her transition into immortality. To survive, she must wed a horned monster who both intrigues and frightens her...and become the warrior queen she was born to be.

Together they burn.

As a rising sense of possession and obsession overtake Puck, so does insatiable lust. The more he learns about his clever, resourceful wife, the more he craves her. And the more time Gillian spends with her protective husband, the more she aches for him. But the prophecy also predicts an unhappily ever after. Can Puck defeat fate itself to keep the woman who brought his deadened heart back to life? Or will they succumb to destiny, losing each other…and everything they’ve been fighting for?

My Thoughts

The covers for this series are either hit or miss for me, but I actually like this one. The swirly green with the very muscly and attractive guy make me happy. ;)

***

City of Lies
(Poison Wars #1)
Publication Date: July 3, 2018
Hardcover, 512 pages, Tor
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

This amazing epic fantasy debut is perfect for fans of Robin Hobb and Naomi Novik.

I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me... Outwardly, Jovan is the lifelong friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible Heir. Quiet. Forgettable. In secret, he's a master of poisons and chemicals, trained to protect the Chancellor’s family from treachery. When the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army lays siege to the city, Jovan and his sister Kalina must protect the Heir and save their city-state.

But treachery lurks in every corner, and the ancient spirits of the land are rising...and angry.

My Thoughts

The blurb for this book does get me super excited, but the cover… Wow! I’m a sucker for weaponry on covers. I guess because it always make the protagonist look kicka$$.

***

Queen of Air and Darkness
(The Dark Artifices #3)
Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Hardcover, Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: YA, Paranormal

Los Angeles, 2012. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to the eradication of demons and being the best, fastest and deadliest Shadowhunter since Jace Lightwood. Raised in the Los Angeles Institute, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian. As Emma hunts those who caused the death of her parents, the trail they’re following leads back to those they’ve always been taught to trust. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with Julian — her closest friend and, because he is her parabatai, the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

My Thoughts

So, the covers for this trilogy haven’t been the greatest, but I’m feeling pretty good about this one. It’s not my favorite of the overall Shadowhunter world (that honor belongs to the new paperback versions of TMI and TID), but it’s pretty in its own way.

***

Heart of Thorns
(Heart of Thorns #1)
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Hardcover, 320 pages, Katherine Tegen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

In the ancient river kingdom, touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war. Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood.

Not women. Demons. The same demons who killed her mother without a single scratch.

But when Mia's father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Only after the wedding goes disastrously wrong does she discover she has dark, forbidden magic—the very magic she has sworn to destroy.

My Thoughts

Swirly gold designs on a white background? I’m digging it. Again, it’s not my favorite cover in the world, but it’s very pretty. It reminds me a bit of Marissa Meyer’s Heartless cover.

**

Alright, there you have it. These are some of the most recent cover reveals for 2018 titles. What do you think? Are there any other covers you’re excited to add to your shelves next year?