Thursday, June 30, 2016

Review: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

The Heart of Betrayal
(The Remnant Chronicles #2)
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Hardcover, 470 pages, Henry Holt and Co.
Genres: YA, Fantasy

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia's life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There's Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

My Review

It took me over a year and a half to read The Kiss of Deception after its release date. In fact, I don’t think I even bought a copy of it until almost a year after it came out. While I am happy about my procrastination, simply because I now get to read the entire trilogy in a year-span of time, I can’t believe I waited so long to read both the first book and The Heart of Betrayal. As you can see, though, I failed to wait just one short month until The Beauty of Darkness releases to finally read book two.

The Heart of Betrayal starts out right where KoD left off. There’s a huge amount of anticipation as to what’s going to come next for our main character, Lia, who, as a runaway and now kidnapped princess, is a hostage in a foreign country. Despite Lia’s situation, she was just as strong-willed and strong-hearted when it came to making decisions and staying alive in this book as she was in the first one. I love her compassion and how it’s shown in a way that doesn’t involve bloodshed for the opposing side. I think too many YA fantasy and dystopian book characters are too quick to solve problems with violence, and thankfully, Lia isn’t always one of them.

As for the rest of the characters, they’re still in the same boat we left them in as well. Kaden is being an ass and acting all me-tortured-alpha-male, while Rafe is, like Lia, a hostage for reasons I won’t get into for fear of spoilage. I’ve heard that a lot of people switch ships in HoB, though. That was not me. I’m still firmly a Rafe girl. He’s much more faithful and steadfast. As for new characters, there’s one in particular that is very integral to the storyline, but whose actions and demeanor were quite predictable. Again, no spoilage from me. ;)

 Because one character’s story arc was a wee bit expected, I can’t say that the entire plot of the book was amazingly fantastic. I can say that it was pretty amazing though. The parts that I didn’t know were going to happen were epic! It’s just the smaller parts that had me like, “Oh, this trope is kinda familiar.” That’s not to say that Pearson didn’t put her own spin on the trope, however. But, despite all of this, I’m very excited to read the third book because of the huge cliffhanger this one left off on.

All in all, The Heart of Betrayal is a great second book in an awesome fantasy trilogy. There’s a dedicated heroine, a broody assassin, a loyal prince, and a corrupt empire. What more could a reader ask for?

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Witch's Pyre by Josephine Angelini

"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...

Witch’s Pyre
(The Worldwalker Trilogy #3)
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Hardcover, 384 pages, Feiwel & Friends
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Lily Proctor has come a long way from the weak, sickly girl she used to be. She has gained power as a witch and a leader, found her way home, chosen to face battle again, and (after losing her first love and being betrayed by her new love) she has learned more about loss and grief than she ever wanted to know.

Thrust once again into a society different from anything they have ever seen, Lily and her coven are determined to find answers―to find a new path to victory, a way to defeat the monstrous Woven without resorting to nuclear weapons or becoming a tyrannical mass murderer like her alternate self, Lillian. But sometimes winning requires sacrifices . . . and when the only clear path to victory lies at Lillian's side, what price will Lily be willing to pay?

Internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini takes us on another emotionally wrenching thrill ride in the stunning conclusion to her Worldwalker Trilogy.

My Thoughts

I still haven’t read the second book, Fire Walker, yet, but I really enjoyed Trial by Fire. For some reason, it just took me a long time to buy the sequel. I think it had to do with the cover redesign. Let’s hope the same thing doesn’t happen with the third book so I can binge-read the series and even reread book one (because I don’t remember a lot about it other than my enjoyment factor).

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Monday, June 27, 2016

My Top 5 Favorite YA Contemporary Books

It’s summer time. Traditionally summer means reading contemporaries, and while that hasn’t exactly been the case for me so far this summer (it’s only been four a few days, though), I expect that in August, the contemporaries will all be read. Or at least some of them.

Because of this summery topics, I decided to list my top five favorite young adult contemporary reads. Now, not all of these are summery; they’re simply my overall faves.

Now, onto the Top 5!


Top 5 Favorite

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Okay, so I have to be honest; Elkeles’s books often have the cliché bad boy meets sweet girl-next-door storyline. However, I just don’t care. The Fuentes brothers are dangerous and fascinating, and I want one.

I still need to read Elkeles’s new releases, but I also enjoyed her Leaving Paradise duology as well.

Top 4 Favorite

Jenny Han has a track record of writing the most amazing and perfect first books in a duology and second books in the case of trilogies. I love the innocent and fluffy settings and the unique and quirky female narrators. Despite my love of her first books, her lasts books tend to leave me upset, but we’ll ignore those for now, shall we?

Top 3 Favorite

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

I had to put a Katie McGarry title on this list. McGarry is practically the queen of YA contemporary romance. I’ve enjoyed every McGarry book that I’ve read (which is actually all of them except one), and I can’t wait for the third Thunder Road book. Now, the reason I put this one on my list was because it was the first book of hers I read, and I cried so very much reading this book because of Noah. So. Very. Much.

Top 2 Favorite

I actually have a review up of this book here. I practically gushed over this standalone, and I’m ridiculously excited for Albertalli’s new contemporary release. As for this one, Simon is just such a fun character, and everything about it was adorkable in the most fantastic way.

Top 1 Favorite

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Here it is. This is the book that basically was written about my life, minus the adorable Levi and writing popular fanfiction. I was that awkward and scared college kid, so this book just spoke to me on so many levels.


Well, there you have it. Those are some of my favorite YA contemporaries. I’m sure I’ve forgotten about some, and I’m also 100% sure that I need to read more contemporary books in my life, but I think this is a good start.

What are some of your favorite contemporary reads? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Review: Ruined by Amy Tintera

(Ruined #1)
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Hardcover, 368 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: YA, Fantasy

A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.

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.

My Review

Epic Reads pitched this video as a mix of Red Queen and The Selection, and while I agree with that statement, I think there’s more to this book than just being similar to those titles. Honestly, this book was a love story, a revenge story, a family-love story, a magic story, a fantasy story, and a betrayal story all wrapped up into one beautiful package. (Seriously, that cover is gorgeous.)

Okay, so I have to admit that when I first started reading Ruined, I was skeptical about how awesome it was going to be. Why? Well, after watching the Epic Reads Explains video for it, I was so excited to get my hands on this book, that I had set my expectations very high. Unfortunately, the first fifty or so pages of the book were a little “eh,” but we’ll get to that later.

I want to talk about the characters first. Em is definitely a unique character. She’s not all-powerful as it seems like Calaena Sardothien is, nor is she as magically capable as Hermione Granger. And she most definitely is not as kind-hearted as Katniss (and that’s saying something ‘cause Katniss isn’t the most kind character on the planet). However, she is loyal to her people and her family, and even an unsuspected romance can’t really change that.

Speaking of unsuspecting romances, we have Prince Casimir. I love him. While I’m not a huge fan of dual POVs (I like my female main characters love interests to be mysterious), I thought Cas’s thoughts were necessary to the story. He was so oblivious and naïve, but that just brought out his overall charm. Also, the way his storyline played out was insane. I just wanted to kiss him better 95% of the time.

As for the plot of the story, as I mentioned earlier, the first fifty-ish pages were not the greatest. Mostly because it seemed like nothing was fully explored. I wanted Tintera to take her time exploring the characters and their actions, as well as the setting and stakes, but that didn’t happen at first. However, once I got used to this more light style (not saying the book’s plot is light because there is a lot of killing after all), I flew through this book. There was non-stop action and intrigue, and the romance kept me on the edge of my seat.

All in all, Ruined is a book any fan of the current popular YA fantasy books will not only love but obsess over. I can’t wait for book two, and I’m sure there are plenty of others who are in the same boat as me—anxiously waiting for yet another sequel.

*Note: I was gifted a copy of this book. This in no way affected my opinion/review.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Stacking the Shelves: The Traded, Gifted, and Subscribed Edition

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

Lots of books this week. Lots. I only bought one of them, but it was a very expensive book. You’ll see why in a bit.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

I went to my local used bookstore and used up some of my trade credit to get these two books. I’ve heard mixed things about both of them, but I thought I’d give them a try.

Firstlife by Gena Showalter
The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

These were part three of my graduation gift from my sister and her husband. Many thanks to them. (I’ve actually already read all of the books they bought me except two.)

My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows

I decided to test out the Owlcrate subscription box because I liked the Royalty theme. I also had a very strong feeling that MLJ was the book that would be in the box. I love Hand and Ashton’s other books, so I thought, “Why not give it a try?”

Unfortunately, I was unimpressed with some of the box’s contents for the price I paid. Some was good (the book, cute bookmarks, Disney figure), some was eh (Red Queen card, Lunar Chronicles bracelet). I was really excited about a particular item that was supposed to be based off a book I LOVE, but it didn’t live up to my expectations. For that reason, and because I know what next month’s Good vs. Evil book will be, I cancelled my subscription.

What books have you bought/received lately?

Friday, June 24, 2016

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.

Okay, so this is a weird one. Jensen and Jared decided to swap faces, and it looks ridiculous. Jensen’s body/Jared’s face combo doesn’t look too bad, but the Jared body/Jensen face combo just looks off.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Book Trailer: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

I was too busy watching C-SPAN to write a post, so I thought I'd share a book trailer today.

This is a book I still need to read (and buy). Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series was reaaallly good, and although I've heard iffy things, I still want to read The Glittering Court.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch

"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...

Frost Like Night
(Snow Like Ashes #3)
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Hardcover, 496 pages, Balzer + Bray
Genres: YA, Fantasy

Angra is alive, his Decay is spreading—and no one is safe.

Meira will do anything to save her world. With Angra trying to break through her mental defenses, she desperately needs to learn to control her own magic—so when the leader of a mysterious Order from Paisly offers to teach her, she jumps at the chance. But the true solution to stopping the Decay lies in a labyrinth deep beneath the Season Kingdoms. To defeat Angra, Meira will have to enter the labyrinth, destroy the very magic she’s learning to control—and make the biggest sacrifice of all.

Mather will do anything to save his queen. He needs to rally the Children of the Thaw, find Meira—and finally tell her how he really feels. But with a plan of attack that leaves no kingdom unscathed and a major betrayal within their ranks, winning the war—and protecting Meira—slips farther and farther out of reach.

Ceridwen will do anything to save her people. Angra had her brother killed, stole her kingdom, and made her a prisoner. But when she’s freed by an unexpected ally who reveals a shocking truth behind Summer’s slave trade, Ceridwen must take action to save her true love and her kingdom, even if it costs her what little she has left.

As Angra unleashes the Decay on the world, Meira, Mather, and Ceridwen must bring the kingdoms of Primoria together…or lose everything.

My Thoughts

This blurb seems very long and spoiler-y since I haven’t read any of the books in the series yet. I’m trying to avoid looking at it, but it’s difficult to do while posting.

Although I haven’t read the books, I do own the first one, and I’m suspecting I will love them all. I haven’t heard any bad things, and I love me some YA fantasy. Plus, these covers are gorgeous.

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Cover Reveal: Torn by Jennifer L. Armentrout

 The day has come! Jennifer L. Armentrout is releasing the cover for the second book in her new adult paranormal romance series!!! 

It’s so beautiful, and this is so exciting. I’ll stop blabbering and let you actually take a wonder-filled gaze at it.

(A Wicked Saga #2)
Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Genres: NA, Paranormal

Torn between duty and survival, nothing can be the same.

Everything Ivy Morgan thought she knew has been turned on its head. After being betrayed and then nearly killed by the Prince of the Fae, she’s left bruised and devastated—and with an earth-shattering secret that she must keep at all costs. And if the Order finds out her secret, they’ll kill her.

Then there’s Ren Owens, the sexy, tattooed Elite member of the Order who has been sharing Ivy’s bed and claiming her heart. Their chemistry is smoking hot, but Ivy knows that Ren has always valued his duty to the Order above all else—he could never touch her if he knew the truth. That is, if he let her live at all. Yet how can she live with herself if she lies to him?

But as the Fae Prince begins to close in on Ivy, intent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld, Ivy is running out of options. If she doesn’t figure out who she can trust—and fast—it’s not only her heart that will be torn apart, but civilization itself.

My Thoughts

OMG!!!! I was seriously hoping and crossing pretty much every finger and toe that I have that Torn’s cover would match Wicked’s. I LOVED Wicked, and I was planning on buying a paperback copy of it once its sequel came out. I just wanted them to look pretty together. And they do. They look beautiful.

See? See?! 

Wicked was one of my top books of 2015 last year. You can check out that post here, and you can also check out my full review here.

Wicked Cheap!

Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans…

Don’t miss the first title in the series, Wicked, now just $.99 for a limited time only!

That’s right, you read it right. A JLA book is less than $1!!! I know I picked Wicked up last year on a whim because it was only $.99, and I did not regret it.

The Author

#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories…. which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel Don’t Look Back was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Monday, June 20, 2016

TV Shows I'm Currently Watching

While I haven’t caught up on some very important TV shows (*cough* The Flash, Arrow, Gotham, The 100, The Vampire Diaries, Agents of Shield, and The Originals *cough*), I have managed to watch a few other shows.

I’ve made a list of the current television shows I am watching as of this very moment. I’ll list some of the ones I’ve completed or caught up on towards the end of the post. But first, let’s look at the four that I’m devouring now, shall we?

Okay, so who isn’t watching Orange is the New Black right now? Season 4 came out last Friday, and I’m already over halfway done with the episodes. I’m sure some people out there have already finished and now have to wait an entire year for Season 5. Yuck. Unfortunately, that’ll soon be me too.

I’m not sure how I feel about OitNB this season. It’s not as funny as I wanted it to be, but it’s still entertaining. We’ll see how things go…

This show has basically the same question as OitNB attached to it only multiplied by 1,000. Who in their right mind isn’t watching Game of Thrones?! Even my dad watched GoT! My DAD! He doesn’t like all that magic and fantasy stuff, but for some reason, he likes GoT. Whoulda thunk?

I’m so excited about a certain person’s return to the show. I mean, I was 99% sure he was coming back, but you sometimes never know with George R.R. Martin and those evil movie producers. I’m going to watch episode nine, and I hope “Battle of the Bastards” is as epic as the fight scene from last season with the White Walkers.

My third show that I’m currently watching is another popular one here in the world of book blogging—Outlander. I was obsessed with this show back when the first season was out, but I was too busy to start the second season until a few weeks ago. Needless to say, I’ve caught up fast, and I’ll probably be watching the last episode soon.

I haven’t read Diana Gabaldon’s books, but I think the show is following them pretty well. I’m kind of irked by that because I know a certain time jump happens, and I feel like that could have been avoided with a television show. Oh well… It’s not like I’ll stop watching once season 3 comes out.

My last show is one that I started a long time ago and got bored with—Dexter. It’s kind of ridiculous and epically wrong, in a moral way, but I needed something to watch on Netflix, and it was there. I don’t know if I’ll continue watching it for very much longer. I’m on season 5, and I’m really only watching it now for the baby drama. I’m hoping I find another show to immerse myself in pretty soon…


Okay, so those are the shows I’m watching right now. However, I have managed to recently—and by recently I mean within the last few days to last few months—complete or get caught up on some other shows. These include Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Bitten, Young Justice, How to Get Away with Murder, and Supernatural.

Of course, there are still shows I need to start, like Supergirl and The Legends of Tomorrow.

Are there any shows you still need to watch or that you’ve caught up on recently? Or are there any that you are watching now? Let me know in the comments.