January 2017 Wrap-Up

24hryabookblog Monthly Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 6

uncaged-wallflower-by-jennae-cecelia-review1.Uncaged Wallflower by Jennae Cecelia

Uncaged Wallflower Full Review

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Release Date: October 6, 2016

Pages: 70

My Rating:★★★★★

Overall Thoughts: An inspiring collection of poetry! Filled with such positivity, Uncaged Wallflower had me hopeful and inspired! It was a spectacular read to start off the new year! Highly recommend!

a-list-of-cages-by-robin-roe2.A List Of Cages by Robin Roe

A List Of Cages Full Review

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: January 10, 2017

Pages: 320

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Roe’s debut is not one to miss! Adam and Julian (Adam’s foster-brother) find themselves meeting again after some time apart! A List Of Cages tells the story of the power of friendship and kindness, even when facing the most difficult situations. This novel is heart-breaking *discusses abuse & neglect* but you will feel so attached to these characters, even the minor ones through Roe’s spectacularly written dual POV.

frostblood-by-elly-blake3.Frostblood by Elly Blake (Frostblood Saga #1)

Frostblood Full ARC Review

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Release Date: January 10, 2017

Pages: 384

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: A fantastic start to a new fantasy series! Blake delivers great character dynamics which is clearly seen between Ruby and Arcus! History and politics play a huge role in the world. The division/hierarchy between the Firebloods and Frostbloods was wonderfully done and its clear its not all black and white which was one of my favorite aspects! The plot while slow at times, definitely keeps you hooked as you learn more about Ruby and the world she’s in! 

crystal-storm-by-morgan-rhodes-review4.Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #5)

Crystal Storm Full Review

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: December 13, 2016

Pages: 379

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: Not the strongest novel in the series in my opinion, however it is very character driven and expands even more on the world/magic Rhodes has built thus far! The slow pacing/plotting and introduction to certain characters/motives really made the tone of this novel feel rather off than previous novels! However, the ending definitely will leave you eager for Book 6!

Take The Key And Lock Her Up5.Take The Key And Lock Her Up by Ally Carter (Embassy Row #3)

Take The Key And Lock Her Up Full Review

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: December 27, 2016

Pages: 336

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: Carter delivers such originality to her stories, there are twists and turns you don’t see coming. There are new characters introduced just in this final novel that Carter manages to create so memorably! Grace’s repetitive narrative, lack of side-characters prevalent in previous novels and overly cryptic characters made this novel rather confusing at times due to lack of info which made this a little disappointing! However, Carter ties up the story delivering a satisfying conclusion to Grace’s adventures on Embassy Row!

history-is-all-you-left-me-by-adam-silvera6.History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

History Is All You Left Me Full Review

Publisher: Soho Teen

Release Date: January 17, 2017

Pages: 294

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Told in Griffin’s POV’s  (History & Today) we come to understand how his best-friend  +first boyfriend Theo, died. Through out this novel are themes of love friendship, love/loss + acceptance. Through the writing the characters truly come to life. This is a gem of a story you don’t want to miss!

Additional Posts From This Month:

2017 Book Blog Goals {Bookish Goals}

Diverse 2017 YA Books To Add To Your TBR {Winter}

The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera Cover Reveal

Top 5 Wednesday {#2} Underrated Books

What Books Did You Read In January?  🙂

Frostblood by Elly Blake ARC Review

frostblood-by-elly-blakeFrostblood by Elly Blake (Frostblood Saga #1)

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Release Date: January 10, 2017

Pages: 384

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable, and she’s not sure she’s willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.

All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king’s tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love.

*Received ARC through a trade*

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: Frostblood has all the elements I love about YA Fantasy! Blake delivers a fascinating world filled with magic, intrigue, and the perfect amount of romance! I could not put it down!

This novel was definitely high up on the list of most anticipated books of 2017! From early reviews and buzz surrounding Frostblood, I was worried the hype would get to me, but I’m glad I was able to push it aside and ended up absolutely loving this book!

Blake crafted a fascinating world where frost and fire are enemies and Ruby finds herself tangled up in the politics of this world!

In terms of world-building, legends and myths slowly get weaved into the story as does the history between Fire/Frostbloods.

While elements of the world are introduced rather quickly at times, overall its built in a way where your able to really picture this world and a solid foundation of the setting, politics and history!

Blake develops the divisions between Fire/Frostbloods, light/dark, good vs. evil, but also really shows the shades of gray that come with it and that really helped to set the tone for the entirety of the novel. And overall this was one of my favorite aspects of the world.

In terms of characters I loved their dynamics and considering this novel is in Ruby’s POV, through her voice the characters are all well developed/established, engaging, and I felt her dynamic and banter with the mysterious Arcus was done very well and through her POV his character really comes to life!

At the start of the novel, Ruby’s mother tells Ruby to never practice using her powers, however she soon finds herself caught by Frostbloods. Then when her mother is killed during the incident she is soon caught and is sent to a prision. However, she is soon rescued and finds herself at a monastarey. Once there Arcus helps her to strengthen her powers but he along with Brother Thistle soon convince her that she must destroy the Frostking. Along the way she comes to accept what has happened and while dark forces are always lurking she stays on the right path and continues to fight for what she believes in. She does find herself in trouble throughout, but along the way is willing to grow and learn (especially when it comes to the Frostbloods). I loved reading from her POV!

The plot itself is rather slow paced and there were times I wanted more from the plot itself (hence the 4.5), but truly with each page I got more and more invested in the story! There are hints of romance throughout the novel, but it never felt like it took a central role in the story which was a plus! Additionally there are some fun plot twists that definitely surprised me and had me even more invested as the story continued!
Overall this is a delightful debut with intrigue, adventure, and magic woven throughout that has me eager for the sequel!

Literary Listens: Podcast Recommendations Based On YA Books

literary-listens-24hryabookblog-feature-banner

literary-listens-podcast-recommendations-based-on-ya-booksSo happy to bring you today’s blog post, I had so much fun making it!

Literary Listens is the working title for this new series I’m planning on doing which will feature podcasts + books!

To start off, I’ll mostly be recommending books/podcasts based on different topics, but I’m hoping to expand this series beyond just that and integrate discussions on storytelling between the two and so much more!

I’m excited for where this feature will be going and would love to hear your feedback! 

Now on to today’s post 😄✨🎙📚

I’ve been wanting to talk more about podcasts on the blog and was unsure of what kind of post to make, then I got the idea of recommending/pairing some ~AMAZING~ podcasts with Young Adult Books!

✨🎙 *Podcasts featured are On-Going Audio Dramas*

the diviners1.If you’ve read: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Or are planning to read: Caraval by Stephanie Garber (Coming Jan. 2017)

Listen To: Audio Dime Museum 

Why: History comes alive! Both The Diviners + Audio Dime Museum are magical/captivating and have the perfect amount of mystery and suspense! 

From the excerpt I’ve read, both  Caraval + Audio Dime Museum have gorgeous writing that transports you and makes the magic, mysteries, and oddities of their worlds come alive!

audio-dime-museumSummary: 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.

the-raven-boys2. If you’ve read: The Raven Boys (Or The Raven Cycle) by Maggie Stiefvater

Listen To: Return Home (created by Jeff Heimbuch)

Why: Both have central themes of mystery + the supernatural with peculiar happenings in their respective towns.

return-home-podcastSummary: Return Home is the story of Jonathan Barker, who returns to his home of Melancholy Falls, NJ, after five years away. An unknown entity beckons him back East, in order to unravel the mystery of what his home town has become…or has always been. Reunited with his best friend, Buddy, Jonathan must discover the secrets of Melancholy Falls, and why he was told to return home.

vicious-ve-schwab3.If You’ve Read: Vicious by V.E. Schwab (Categorized as Adult but does have YA/Crossover Appeal)

Listen To: The Bright Sessions (created by Lauren Shippen)

Why: Both not only heavily feature people with superpowers/abilities, but show the shades of gray that come with it + the lines between good and evil!

the-bright-sessionsSummary: Dr. Bright provides therapy for the strange and unusual; their sessions have been recorded for research purposes. The show documents these patients’ struggles and discoveries as well as the motivations of their mysterious therapist, Dr. Bright. 

From characters with anxiety to different sexualities, The Bright Sessions has a lot of great+diverse representation! Highly recommend it!

If you’ve listened to any of the podcasts mentioned or have recommendations definitely leave a comment! 🙂

November 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 6

Yoon_9780553496680_jkt_all_r1.indd1.The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon 

The Sun Is Also A Star ARC Review

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Pages: 384

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: In another incredible contemporary from Nicola Yoon, she explores themes of destiny and love. Main characters Daniel and Natasha are complete opposites, but learn more about themselves, confront tough obstacles and come to bring out the best in each other.

The Midnight Star Cover Reveal2.The Midnight Star by Marie Lu (TYE #3)

The Midnight Star Full Review

Publisher: G.P.  Putnam’s Son’s Books For Young Readers

Release Date: October 11, 2016

Pages: 316

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Adelina’s dark story comes to an end in this fast-paced conclusion. The world does continue to expand in some aspects and the plot definitely keeps you surprised.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 11.24.46 AM3.Blood For Blood (Wolf By Wolf #2)

Blood For Blood Full Review

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Pages: 481

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: The stakes are raised in this conclusion to Wolf By Wolf. The world continues to develop and world/character development play a huge part in this novel. Tone and pacing are quite different than book 1, but Graudin delivers a fantastic plot that will keep you turning the page!

the-grift-of-the-magi-by-ally-carter-book-review4.The Grift Of The Magi by Ally Carter (Heist Society #3.5)

The Grift Of The Magi

Publisher: NLA Digital LLC

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Pages: 105

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Readers return to the world of Heist Society in this holiday novella! Kat and her crew come together to save a charity when one of its valuable auction pieces has been stolen! The plot is fast-paced and entertaining! Characters are given great development and the plot, while wrapping up quite quickly in the end, is filled with mystery and surprise!

labyrinth-lost-by-zoraida-cordova-book-review5.Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova (Brooklyn Brujas #1)

Labyrinth Lost Full Review

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: September 6, 2016

Pages: 336

My Rating:★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: Weaving together Latinx Culture + Urban Fantasy, we follow Alex, a bruja who is unsure if she wants to keep her powers. When a spell makes her family disappear to Los Lagos (a mythical land) she must find a way to bring them back. The world/plot could have used more development, but regardless its a magical story of self-identity and family!

bound-by-blood-and-sand6.Bound By Blood And Sand by Becky Allen (Bound By Blood And Sand #1)

Bound By Blood And Sand Full Review

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: October 11, 2016

Pages: 320

My Rating:★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: In a magical desert world water is running out and Jae may be the only one who can bring it back. This novel is filled with remarkably written/developed characters that truly come to life on the page. While the world could use a little more development, both world/plot are fascinating and unique. The little-to-no romance leaves so much room for character/plot development.

Additional Posts From This Month:

Book Bytes I #8

What Did You Read This Month? 🙂

Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin Review

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 11.24.46 AMBlood For Blood (Wolf By Wolf #2)

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Pages: 481

Summary: There would be blood.
Blood for blood.
Blood to pay.
An entire world of it.

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: A heart-pounding conclusion to the dark and thrilling Wolf By Wolf duology!

It was everything I hoped for and more! Blood For Blood was phenomenal and concludes wonderfully!!💖

This novel opens up with glimpses into the pasts of Yael, Luka, Felix, and Adele. I thought that was a brilliant start because, it sets up the tone for the rest of the story!

By the end of Wolf By Wolf, we learn Yael didn’t kill Hitler as she had planned, but a doppelganger. Now with the SS not far behind, she is racing against the clock to return to the resistance HQ and put an end to him once and for all.

I will admit the pacing in this novel was slower for me than with Wolf By Wolf, but the plot was filled with mystery, action and suspense and it kept on surprising me!

Now with multiple perspectives from Luka, Felix and Adele, we’re shown more in-depth layers to these characters and get more from the politics/world introduced in WBW.

We are introduced to a character from Yael’s past and come to get a bigger picture of what happened all those years ago when she escaped.

However issues arise when Yael, Luka, and Felix find themselves on he run from the SS, back to Germania and must stay out of sight to avoid capture.

The tone of this book is definitely darker than WBW, with interrogations,violence, it was difficult to read at some points. However, Graudin really shows the darkness and severity of this world and the dangers that Yael + others could face.

As for characters, they were all spectacularly written! While I love each main character equally, Yael was definitely my favorite. I was rooting for her every step of the way! She has been through so much, yet no matter what stays strong when all seems lost. In this novel you definitely get to see more of her emotional/vulnerable side as she no longer needs to disguise herself as Adele, with Felix and Luka understanding who she truly is.

Luka has been taught to never show weakness and because of it is unsure of who he wants to be, but knows that, similar to Yael he wants to change things. He doesn’t want to be the “poster child” he’s grown up to be and along the journey learns what it means to be a hero.

Felix will stop at nothing to find his sister and reunite with his family,even if it means siding with the enemy. He struggles with his oath to the SS to get information on the resistance while determination to be with his family and ensure their safety puts Yael and Luka in danger.

Graudin’s writing kept a similar tone to WBW, however in this novel she definitely showed more emotional/vulnerable sides to her characters which not only was heart-breaking to read at times, but definitely gave them more depth and added more to the overall world.

It was incredible being a part of Yael’s journey to change her world for the better! The Wolf By Wolf Duology is a tale I will never forget!

Tears shed, but overall Blood For Blood raises the stakes! There’s intrigue, blood and betrayal but it all comes together to an epic and unforgettable finale!

 

 

July 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 6

Crystal Crowned Cover1.Crystal Crowned by Elise Kova (Air Awakens #5)

Crystal Crowned Full Review

Publisher: Silver Wing Press

Release Date: July 12, 2016

Pages: 432

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: World-building and character development is still apparent in this final story. The plot keeps you turning the page, yet at points the plot does drag. Overall, a satisfying conclusion to a delightful fantasy series!

Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold2.Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold

Kate Triumph Full Review

Publisher: CreateSpace

Release Date: October 16, 2014

Pages: 288

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: This book was spectacular! Is a fast-paced superhero”origin-story” with mystery/intrigue that keep you guessing till the very end! The characters/setting/plot are wonderfully written! The ending will definitely leave you begging for a sequel!

Highly recommend this gem of a book! ❤

Never Ever June 213.Never Ever by Sara Saedi (Never Ever #1)

Never Ever Full Review

Publisher: Viking Books For Young Readers

Release Date: June 21, 2016

Pages: 320

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: An immersive Peter Pan retelling with a writing style which creates a magical/whimsical tone for the story! The mystery surrounding the island + its inhabitants will definitely keep you turning the page!

27 Magic Words4. 27 Magic Words by Sharelle Byars Moranville 

27 Magic Words ARC Review

Publisher: Holiday House Books

Release Date: July 30, 2016

Pages: 228

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A middle grade with novel with so much heart & the perfect touch of magic! This novel follows Kobi who had grown up learning words are magic and uses these words during a difficult time in her life. It discusses loss, the importance of family & ups and downs of growing up!

A must read if you are looking for a new MG novel or are looking for a novel w/ complex characters and a wonderful plot + elements of magical realism ❤

Iron To Iron5.Iron to Iron by Ryan Gruadin (Wolf By Wolf #1.5)

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Release Date: March 8, 2016

Pages: 120

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

Overall Thoughts: An action-packed prequel novella filled with incredible character development + mystery/intrigue that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Fans of Wolf By Wolf will definitely want to give this a read before the sequel comes out!

9780062379962_31a316. Girl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes

Girl Against The Universe Full Review

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: May 17, 2016

Pages: 382

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: The characters are well developed and the romance is never rushed! There is discussion of mental illness and is touched upon wonderfully!

The perfect YA Contemporary with a wonderfully written plot/characters!

A must read for YA Contemporary fans!! ❤

Additional Posts From This Month:

Book Bytes I #4

YA Books I’d Love As Graphic Novels

Top 5 Wednesday

This Savage Song Playlist

Waiting On Wednesday I #7

What books did you read this month? 🙂

Iron To Iron by Ryan Graudin Book Review

Iron To IronIron To Iron (Wolf By Wolf #1.5)

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Release Date: March 8, 2016

Pages: 120

Summary:  Once upon a different time, there was a boy who raced through a kingdom of death.
Sixteen-year-old Luka Lowe has one goal in mind: Win the 1955 Axis Tour and become the first Double Cross victor. If he can accomplish that, maybe his father will finally see him as a worthy son. He’s completed the grueling trek from Germania to Tokyo before, but this time is different. Luka never expected to meet Adele Wolfe, another racer posing as her twin brother and with a singular dream–to live life on her own terms.
When Luka and Adele form an alliance, an unlikely bond forms, and even possibly love. But only one person can win the Axis Tour….Can everything Luka and Adele built together survive the race?

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Starhalf star--Book Blog

My Thoughts:

 Iron Calls To Iron.

This novella takes place 1-year prior to the events of Wolf By Wolf centering around the relationship that develops between Adele Wolfe & Luka Lowe! (so while the title may be 1.5 this is definitely a prequel to WBW)

I loved getting more backstory on Adele+Luka, considering it was hinted they had history prior to WBW!

Overall I loved Luka! I really felt I understood him so much more than in WBW (though I did love him in that book too!!)

I better understood his motives for winning the race + why he has a mysterious aura about him in WBW when Yael enters!

Before I get into the plot, the only minor issue I had, was with the pacing. The plot, characters, descriptive setting, tone etc. are all perfect ❤ There were just a few moments here and there where the pacing could have picked up a little.

In WBW Luka is a very secretive but intriguing character & it was great to get more back story on him.
He competes in the Axis Tour (1955) with his one and only goal: To win!
If he does he will receive a Double-Cross and hopefully, respect from his father.

He has created an armor around himself both on/off the track.
We get more backstory on what led him to become not only the person he is in this story, but who we see in Wolf By Wolf!

When he was younger his mother taught him to draw & it created a special bond between them, but his father never approved.

Now he is a lone-wolf looking only after himself. Until he meets Felix (Adele) Wolfe!

They form an alliance in order to take out the toughest racer in the competition Tsuda Katsuo with the promise to break their alliance once they get him out of the way!

But that all changes when they begin to form a relationship.
While both characters connect w/ eachother throughout this novella, Luka can’t help but begin to realize he’s falling for Adele.

When all looks well, Luka realizes that his trust/faith in Adele to get rid of his armor cost him more than he thought!

While resting in Tokyo before the last leg of the race, Adele betrays him and takes the victory for herself and Luka vows he will reclaim his title & get his revenge!

Graudin’s writing style delivers an action packed and wonderfully developed characters in quite a # of pages and will definitely leave readers who haven’t read WBW curious as to what will happen with Luka + leave fans who have read Wolf By Wolf, eager to what’s to come in Blood For Blood and see how it wraps up!