Kingdom Of Ash And Briars Playlist

kingdom-of-ash-and-briars-playlistHappy Monday!

Today’s reading playlist is inspired by A Kingdom Of Ash And Briars by Hannah West!

If you’ve read it, check out my ARC Review Here!

If you haven’t read KOAAB, this debut novel centers around Bristal a girl who realizes she has elicromancer abilities and is tasked with protecting the 3 kingdoms of her world when an army/war is brewing! It incorporates many classic fairy tales and puts unique twists on them (Cinderella, Mulan,Sleeping Beauty)

While reading, I listened to many Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep OST’s & I felt they really matched with the overall plot/tone of the story + I’ve also included a few tracks from Final Fantasy!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!🙂

 

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco ARC Review

Stalking Jack The Ripper Sept. 20, 2016Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (SJTR #1)

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Pages: 336

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world. 

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts:*Picked up an early copy during BN Buzz Fest*

A dark/immersive murder mystery with twists/turns that will keep you turning the page!

I loved this book so much!❤

In terms of characters, they are all wonderfully written/developed. With this novel being written in first person, through Audrey’s eyes you really feel connected with them and the relationships Audrey has with her family/friends.

There is also great character development between Audrey and many characters! One of those is between Audrey and her father. He is seen as a cold and rather distant person and doesn’t approve of her love for science/forensics.

WI absolutely loved reading from Audrey’s POV! She was smart, witty + overall an incredible main character. I loved the elements of feminism in this story!❤ It was inspiring to read how passionate she was + continued to do what she loved regardless of what others thought! She isn’t what her aunt/father expect a young lady to be, with societal expectations, etc., but she doesn’t let it stop her.

Aside from Audrey I also loved Thomas Cresswell! The banter between them was so much fun to read + their relationship is wonderfully written!

Written in an almost diary format, the author does a fantastic job at creating the atmosphere of Victorian England and really makes you feel as though you are there with Audrey finding Jack.

I will admit there are moments of slow pacing + for me I felt it was in the beginning mostly and towards the middle, however once you get through those the plot really picks up and the espionage/intrigue keeps you turning the page.

The author took this murder mystery in unique directions & really keeps you guessing on who the killer is! I had so many theories & the author overall does a great job on keeping the mystery suspenseful + unexpected!

Overall the author creates such vivid characters & delivers a fun/mysterious plot that will keep you guessing!

The ending wraps up quite nicely and hints towards a great sequel!❤

Highly recommend if you are a fan of Ally Carter, The Diviners or are just looking for an immersive murder mystery to dive into!

 

Top 10 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To!

top-10-tuesday-podcastsSo pumped for today’s Top 10 Tuesday!!

Today’s topic is all about audio freebies! (audiobooks, podcasts etc.)

If you’ve been following me on twitter, you’ve probably seen me talking about a couple of podcasts that I’ve caught up with & am obsessed with!

I only recently started getting back into podcasts, but am having so much fun discovering more of them and getting immersed in this unique way of story telling!

If you’ve heard any of these podcasts please let me know b/c I’d love to find more people to talk about them with!

While only 2 are listed, please feel free to tell me any podcasts you recommend + any that are similar to the one’s listed below!❤

audio-dime-museum1.Audio Dime Museum (All Caught Up)

Summary: From the Just A Story team, comes a weekly, serialized experimental storytelling podcast which explores historical legends through the artifacts on display in the Audio Dime Museum. Part guided tour, part radio drama; each episode presents the curious story of one object from the collection. Meet your guide on this journey, The Curator, and learn her secrets as you delve into the world of possibility, magic and the unknown. Merging the suspenseful style of mystery with the conventions of ghost stories and the peculiarity that only historical fact can provide, this podcast is not for the faint of heart.

Why I Love It: The Writing!! The Writing!! 

From the beginning you are transported into this magical and mysterious world and learn more about it and the mysterious Curator with each and every line + the story’s are brilliantly told! 

The separate stories + overall plot effortlessly weave themselves together to deliver a fascinating/unique podcast!❤

the-bright-sessions2. The Bright Sessions (All Caught Up)

Summary: Dr. Bright provides therapy for the strange and unusual; their sessions have been recorded for research purposes.

Why I Love It: The unique format of audio recordings in the form of therapy sessions + the voice actors bring to life many incredible and unique characters!

With each episode you discover more about the many patients + the mysterious Dr. Bright!

Similar to Audio Dime Museum, each episode uncovers more about the overall plot underneath!

Each voice actor/actress delivers so much to their character, I could really picture the story in my mind as if it were a movie!

I highly recommend checking out both of these podcasts, if you love stories/story telling they are absolutely incredible! 

What Podcasts Have You Heard?

Lets Discuss In The Comments Below!🙂

 

Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow Review

Girl In Pieces August 30Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Pages: 416

Summary: Charlotte Davis is in pieces.

At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

My Rating:★★★★☆ 

My Thoughts:4/4.5!! Still deciding on a rating!

A raw & powerful read about a girl who undergoes a journey to put herself back together.

Charlotte “Charlie” Davis has been through a lot. She’s lost her father, her best friend and suffered from a difficult home life with her mother.

She finds that the only way she can be free of her pain is to self-harm.

Glasgow delivers a raw and powerful debut novel that taught me more about what people who self-harm go through and the struggles/obstacles they can face mentally, etc. when trying to recover.

She doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects/topics and in turn, it really evokes emotion and delivers such a realistic story.

The story starts off with Charlie in a psychiatric clinic where she, along with other women, are being treated due to self-harm. After spending quite some time there, she is able to leave and hopes to heal and begin a new chapter in her life.

This novel shows Charlie’s road to recovery and the obstacles she must face to get there.

The novel is told in a unique first person POV. I will admit the writing took me a while to get used to. It took around 50+ pages or so to get into the writing style and really immerse myself into the story and there were small moments here and there where I felt the plot could have moved a little faster. (Hence the 4/4.5).

Regardless the writing style flows well with the story being told and as the the novel progressed I found myself rereading sentences/passages b/c they beautifully written & evoked such emotion!

There were moments where I felt the topics were too much for me to read personally and had to take breaks while reading the book. But overall it showed me just how powerful Glasgow’s writing was!

The characters themselves are all very well written and have such depth that I could really see these characters through Charlie’s eyes.

The relationship Charlie develops with Riley one of the main characters was done well. I will admit over the course of the story I struggled to connect with Riley’s character and found moments when they faced issues/struggles in their relationship was difficult to read at times.

This novel was Charlie’s journey to find herself and create a new and better life. While I don’t usually read novels with subjects such as this one, I found many underlying messages that people could relate to who not only self-harm, but also may feel alone or unsure of who they are in the world.

2 important message I found throughout this novel were: You are not alone and can always find people who understand & help you. + No matter what difficulties/obstacles you face you can find the strength to keep moving forward.

I also found elements of feminism which was very inspiring! There are moments when Charlie struggles to find her voice + feels powerless but finds a way to speak her mind!

Overall this was a powerful read that deals with a number of tough topics and handles them in a realistic way. It also provides deep and moving messages about hope and putting yourself back together when all seems lost.

Have you read Girl In Pieces or are planning to?

Lets Discuss In The Comments Below!🙂

 

Kingdom Of Ash And Briars by Hannah West ARC Review

Kingdom Of Ash And Briars ARC Review

kingdom-of-ash-and-briars-24hryabookblogKingdom Of Ash & Briars by Hannah West

Publisher: Holiday House Books

Release Date: September 15, 2016

Pages: 352

Summary: Bristal, an orphaned kitchen maid, lands in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she is an elicromancer with a knack for shape-shifting.

An ancient breed of immortal magic beings, elicromancers have been winnowed down to merely two – now three – after centuries of bloody conflict in the realm. Their gifts are fraught with responsibility, and sixteen-year-old Bristal is torn between two paths. Should she vow to seek the good of the world, to protect and serve mortals? Or should she follow the strength of her power, even if it leads to unknown terrors? She draws on her ability to disguise herself as a man to infiltrate a prince’s band of soldiers, and masquerades as a fairy godmother to shield a cursed princess, but time is running out. As an army of dark creatures grows closer, Bristal faces a supernatural war. To save the kingdoms, Bristal must find the courage to show her true form.

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: *Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy! This in no way influences my thoughts!*

An immersive YA Fantasy that draws inspiration from classic fairy tales and weaves together a wonderfully crafted story that is both magical and filled with adventure!

This book was all kinds of amazing! I need more!!❤❤

Just as a warning, there may be some fangirling ahead!!

This book doesn’t come out for a couple days, but PLEASE do yourself a favor and add it to your TBR if you haven’t already + read it on release day/pre-order it if you can!!

Now I’ll try to explain in the best way I can, why I adored this book and why you should read it too! <3 

Fairy tales collide in this magical debut surrounding Bristol, a kitchen maid, who finds herself becoming an elicromancer!

From page one I was immediately transported to the world of Nissera and through Bristol’s 1st Person POV, I really felt both the worlds and the characters come to life!

Plot:

The author introduces us to Bristol who realizes she has magical abilities (shapeshifting) after being brought against her will to a magical lake that awakens Elicromancers called The Water!

With her power resonating in an “Elicrin Stone,” she finds herself meeting Brack and Tamarice who have elicromancer abilities as well and they find it best to train her and fulfill their purpose of keeping peace across the 3 kingdoms:

Volarre, Calgoran, & Yorth.

But things aren’t as they seem, when someone threatens to upset the balance and bring Elicromancers to their former glory. But will do anything (even use dark elicromancy) to achieve it!

She then finds herself tasked with protecting all three kingdoms as best she can to prevent the evil from taking over!

With her power as a Clandestine she takes on a variety of appearances to find a way to unite the kingdoms!

The plot itself is very unique and while it introduces elements seen before, through the author’s writing and her wonderfully developed characters/world + the mix of classic fairy tales she creates a wholly original and immersive story!

I won’t get into tons of spoilers, because I found it fun to make my own connections along the way with Bristol coming to understand the world of Nissera.

I will admit at some moments the pacing is a little slow, but overall the story kept me turning the page!

+  There is a time jump in this novel (explained early on) and I will admit I was unsure how I felt about it in the beginning, but along the way with the characters and intricacy of the plot I grew to not only understand it, but felt it was perfect for the story!

2.Characters/World-Building:
Both of these aspects went hand in hand! The world of Nissera is both magical and fantastical!
You get that right away from the authors descriptions!

The fairy tale elements are seamlessly weave their way into the plot from Cinderella to Sleeping Beauty, even elements of Mulan.

I loved how each fairy tale connected to tell an epic tale! It was incredibly done!

She wrote her characters wonderfully!
Each and every character is written with such depth and you truly feel connected to each one through Britsol’s eyes!

With the task of taking on a variety of appearance’s Bristol finds herself struggling to understand who she is, while creating such deep connections with the friends she encounters along the way.

There is a war brewing and it was written so well! The build up is the best part! With Bristol traveling across the land to form alliances and prepare for the battle, it also gives background into Bristol’s past + the deeper/intricate plot that unfolds!

+ There are so many swoon-worthy princes in this story!! (Prince Anthony was my favorite BTW)❤❤

I’ve seen so many fantasy series that have multiple books, however according to the author Kingdom Of Ash & Briars is a STANDALONE!
I don’t usually see that in YA Fantasy and it was definitely refreshing to see once I saw how the story wrapped up! However it just brings me to tears because that means:  I WON’T  have another book with these amazing characters and world.
I really felt this story was its own magical fairy tale come to life and loved it with each and every page!!❤❤
Overall a magical debut that pays an homage to classic fairy tales, while weaving them together to deliver a tale magical and original all on its own!! 
If you’ve read this KOAAB or are planning to, let me know in the comments below!🙂
+ I’ll have a Reading Playlist For KOAAB Coming Sometime This Month!

 

Supporting Diversity In YA {Book Blog Discussion}

Supporting Diversity In YAI support diverse books.

We live in such a diverse world with people of different skin colors, variety of cultures, ethnicities, customs, etc. & we should embrace it!

Young Adult is a genre with thousands of readers and has massive influence in publishing+mainstream media  (Book-To-Movie Adaptations, Book Conventions, Book Blogs/Booktube, etc. ). With thousands of books being published every year, it is important to acknowledge diversity and continue to support it in this genre because:

Everyone Deserves To Find And See Themselves In A Story.

With that said here are some ways you can support diversity in YA:

1.Talk About Diverse Books

Whether its through social media, talking to your local librarians, friends, family the number of ways are endless!

You can give recommendations of diverse reads for your local librarians to put on the shelves, share your favorite diverse reads with your friends + family & encourage them to seek out these books as well!

+ Remember there’s a good number of diverse books out there already! So its important to continue to discuss/share those as well!

Coming up, I will share with you multiple links where you can check out a list of already published diverse reads + upcoming ones!! (While this post mostly focuses around YA, these tips can also apply to other genres like MG/KidsLit & I will also provide as many links as I can for those genres as well!)

There are also many hashtags that you can scroll through on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr even Instagram to find recommendations OR recommend books yourself and join the discussion <3:

#WeNeedDiverseBooks+  #DiversityInYA (on instagram)

+ #OwnVoices is filled with tons of author’s WIP’s/upcoming novels. (on Twitter)

Starting today from Sept. 12-Sept. 19 a number of Booktubers/Bloggers are participating in a Read-A Thon where people will be reading diverse books all week called:

Diverse-A-Thon

If you look under the hashtag #DiverseAThon on twitter, you can not only join in twitter chats, but also see the diverse books that people are planning to read + get more recommendations!

2.Share Diverse Books

Make book reviews/recommendation posts, purchase these books, recommend them to fellow readers, post pictures of these books on social media!

Spreading the word/discussing diverse books as much as you can, not only supports these authors but also continues to encourage & push diversity in publishing as a whole.

+ If publishers see that diverse books are being purchased/discussed, they will continue to seek out/publish more diversely which is great!!

There are many accounts and websites you can peruse to find diverse books not just in YA but for kids as well!

These websites are advocating the importance of diversity and above all that people should be represented in what they read❤

WeNeedDiverseBooks+ (We Need Diverse Books also has additional sources if you are looking to get into specifics about what diverse book your searching for!)

DiversityInYA

DisabilityInKidLit

Rich In Color

Gay YA (LGBTQIA+)

MulticulturalChildrensBookDay  

Here are some Goodreads Links for backlist + upcoming books you can take a look at.

You can check out their summaries + find additional recommendations:

2014 YA Books W/ LGBT Themes

Diverse YA & MG Debuts In 2015

2016 YA/MG Books With POC Leads

+ Feel Free To Check Out These Great Articles w/ Diverse Recommendations (YA + Childrens):

9 Books By Latinx Authors I Wish I Had As A Teen (Source: Bustle)

23 LGBTQ Books With POC Protagonists (Source: Bustle)

8 Diverse Children’s Books (Source: Bustle)

+10 Childrens Books That Feat. Diverse Characters (Source: PBS.org)

Do You Have Any Diverse Book Recommendations or Links To Find More Diverse Reads?

If So, Leave A Comment So Others Can Get Recommendations As Well!

Lets Discuss🙂

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo Cover Reveal

Maurene Goo, author of Since You Asked, had a cover reveal for her upcoming YA Contemporary as of September 7,

I Believe In A Thing Called Love

Releasing May 30, 2017  from Farrar Straus Giroux (BYR) this novel centers around Desi Lee who “believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.”

Now For The Cover:

i-believe-in-a-thing-called-love-cover-reveal-24hryabookblog-wordpress-comSuch a wonderful cover❤❤

It screams “YA Contemporary.”

 Its beautiful from the cover model to fonts + contrasting colors! (Its always great to see POC’s/Diversity on book covers) 👏🎉🎉👏

You can read more about Maurene’s thoughts on the cover + take a fun “Which K Drama Are You” Quiz Here!

Can’t wait to read this YA Contemporary! It sounds like it’ll be a great read 📚💖💕

What Are Your Thoughts On The Cover?🙂