September 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 5

sam-maggs-25-innovators-oct-181.Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors + Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs

ARC Review To Come 

Publisher: Quirk Books

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Pages: 240

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: An inspiring collection of stories that shares + celebrates the amazing  accomplishments of 25 women who, against all odds, changed the world! Highly recommend checking this book out ❤

Girl In Pieces August 302.Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Girl In Pieces Full Review

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Pages: 416

My Rating:★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: After using self-harm to free her of her pain, Charlie wants to start a new life for herself. Handling many tough topics + through a unique writing style, Glasgow’s debut delivers a powerful and inspiring read as Charlie undergoes a journey to put herself back together. Highly recommend!

Stalking Jack The Ripper Sept. 20, 20163.Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (SJTR#1)

*Debuted @ #1 on NYT Bestellers List*

Stalking Jack The Ripper ARC Review

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson

Release Date: September 20, 2016

Pages: 336

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: This is a dark/immersive mystery that will keep you  turning the page! Maniscalco’s 1st person POV brings the characters/world of Victorian England to life. Audrey is such a delightful + engaging main character that really makes you feel connected/part of this mystery trying find Jack The Ripper! Highly recommend!

Unscripted Joss Byrd August 234.Unscripted  Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor

Unscripted Joss Byrd Full Review

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Release Date: August 23, 2016

Pages: 224

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: A delightful coming-of-age story about a young actress who is trying to find herself in the bustles of Hollywood. So many topics are discussed in this novel + characters/character development are the heart of this moving contemporary.

Crooked Kingdom Sept. 27, 20165.Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (SOC #2)

Crooked Kingdom Spoiler-Free Review 

Publisher: Henry Holt &Co.

Release Date: September 27, 2016

Pages: 546

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Bardugo masterfully concludes her Six Of Crows duology! With Six of Crows, the world wasn’t as developed as I had hoped. However, the world of Ketterdam in Crooked Kingdom is greatly expanded + developed! Along with the world-building, character development is a huge part of this novel. This finale as with SOC, is filled with an exquisite writing style that really transports readers to this magical world + non-stop action and plot will keep you reading to the very end!

Additional Posts From This Month:

Book Bytes I #6

A Torch Against The Night Playlist + Kingdom Of Ash And Briars Playlist

September 2016 Book Releases

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

Supporting Diversity In YA {Book Blog Discussion}

Kingdom Of Ash & Briars by Hannah West ARC Review {August 2016 Wrap-Up}

Top 10 Tuesday: Podcasts

What Books Did You Read This Month? 🙂

 

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.

I 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!

 

Kingdom Of Ash And Briars by Hannah West 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! ❤ 

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!

 

September 2016 Book Releases I’m Looking Forward To!

September is an amazing month for YA! So today I will be sharing with you the books coming out this month, I can’t wait to read!

The Cat King Of Havana Sept. 6, 2016
Sept.6 KatherineTegen Books

1.The Cat King Of Havana by Tom Crosshill

Summary: Rick Gutierrez is . . . the Cat King of Havana! A cat-video tycoon turned salsa-dancer extraordinaire, he’ll take Cuba by storm, romance the girl of his dreams, and ignite a lolcat revolution!

At least that’s the plan.

It all starts when his girlfriend dumps Rick on his sixteenth birthday for uploading cat videos from his bedroom when he should be out experiencing the real world. Known as “That Cat Guy” at school, Rick isn’t cool and he knows it. He realizes it’s time for a change.

Rick decides joining a salsa class is the answer . . . because of a girl, of course. Ana Cabrera is smart, friendly, and smooth on the dance floor. Rick might be half-Cuban, but he dances like a drunk hippo. Desperate to impress Ana, he invites her to spend the summer in Havana. The official reason: learning to dance. The hidden agenda: romance under the palm trees.

Except Cuba isn’t all sun, salsa, and music. There’s a darker side to the island. As Rick and Ana meet his family and investigate the reason why his mother left Cuba decades ago, they learn that politics isn’t just something that happens to other people. And when they find romance, it’s got sharp edges.

Kingdom Of Ashes And Briars
Sept. 15 Holiday House Books

2.Kingdom Of Ash & Briars by Hannah West

ARC Review Coming Next Week!

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.

Kids Of Appetite Sept. 20, 2016
Sept. 20 Viking BYR

3.Kids Of Appetite by David Arnold

Summary: Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love. 

Three Dark Crowns
Sept. 20 HarperTeen

4.Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns #1)

Summary: Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

Stalking Jack The Ripper Sept. 20, 2016
Sept. 20 Jimmy Patterson

5.Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (SJTR #1)

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.

Frost Like Night Sept. 20, 2016
Sept. 20 Balzer+Bray

6.Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch (SLA #3)

Summary: 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.

Crooked Kingdom Sept. 27, 2016
Sept. 27 Henry Holt & Co. BYR

7.Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (Six Of Crows #2)

Summary: Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

What September Book Releases Are You Looking Forward To?  🙂

Book Bytes I #6

Book Bytes is a monthly feature I created to share news in the world of YA!

Each month posts can contain anything from title reveals, book to movie news, even the latest book deals!!

1.The Young Elites Finds A Screenwriter

On August 2 it was announced that Jessica Sharzer, screenwriter for American Horror Story and the latest YA Adaptation Nerve will be in charge of the script for The Young Elites, Marie Lu’s latest trilogy (which will have its final book released this Fall).

Full article from Tracking-Board can be found Here.

2.Unscripted Joss Byrd Finds A Director/Screenwriter

Lygia Day Peñaflor, author of Unscripted Joss Byrd which will be released August 23, announced on August 3 that Joseph Greco was attached to both direct and adapt her upcoming novel.

3.Daisy Ridley attached to Chaos Walking

Daisy Ridley is set to star in Patrick Ness’s 2008 Dystopian novel Chaos Walking, book 1 in the Chaos Walking Trilogy.

Announced August 4, this project is currently with Lionsgate.

Full article from Tracking Board can be found Here.

4.Wires & Nerves Cover Reveal

On sale January 31,2017 this is a graphic novel centering around Iko from the Lunar Chronicles Series.

Full cover, summary and excerpt can be found on The Lunar Chronicles website Here

As of August 5, Fierce Reads  shared this news on their twitter page:

5.Maggie Stiefvater’s New Trilogy

On August 7 author of The Raven Cycle announced she would be writing a “Ronan-Centered Trilogy.”

6.Renee Ahdieh’s New Dualogy

Bustle revealed on August 9 Renee Ahdieh, author of The Wrath And The Dawn dualogy, would be releasing a new dualogy titled:

Flame In The Mist

This novel is set to be released May 2017 and has been pitched as Mulan meets 47 Ronin following heroine Mariko, whom Ahdieh calls “an inventor and an innovator,” and it is set in feudal Japan, using legends, myths, and history to tell a unique story.

7.An Ember In The Ashes Gets 2 More Books

Tahir’s Roman-Inspired YA Fantasy, originally set to be a dualogy is now a quartet with 4 books total!

During a periscope live-stream from the author herself on August 16 stated, “I always had the idea in my head of four books.”

After the amount of hype and enthusiasm for Torch, Penguin picked up 3&4!

However fans may have to wait a while after Torch, with Book 3 not set to be released until 2018.

8.By Your Side by Kasie West Cover Reveal

As of August 24, EpicReads shared the cover for Kasie West’s new novel.

By Your Side, her upcoming 2017 YA Contemporary: When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?”

9.Gemina Illustrated by Marie Lu

Announced August 30, author-duo behind The Illuminae Files, a new sci-fi trilogy, revealed that Legend Trilogy/Young Elites author Marie Lu will have illustrations in Gemina, the sequel to Illuminae.

What Book News Have You Heard? 🙂

 

Mirror In The Sky by Aditi Khorana Review

Mirror In The Sky June 21Mirror In The Sky by Aditi Khorana

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: June 21, 2016

Pages: 352

Summary: For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on another planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices.

The world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, and Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts happen, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it.

As a new era of scientific history dawns and Tara’s life at Brierly continues its orbit, only one thing is clear: Nothing on Earth–or for Tara–will ever be the same again.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆ ½

My Thoughts: A wonderfully written debut that mixes Sci-Fi w/ Contemporary!

 

This felt very reminiscent of Tommy Wallach’s We Looked Up regardless, Khorana brings a very unique story with a variety of elements, like politics, race, even scientific theory!

When Terra Nova (a mirror planet to Earth) is first introduced I was definitely interested to learn more about its origins and how it would impact the lives of everyday people.

With news broadcasts, various theories + Tara’s POV this mirror planet brought up many fascinating questions of whether or not Terra Nova could possibly reflect an alternate timeline/universe which was fascinating!

However there were a few problems I had:

1.Pacing

If a plot drags for a big portion of the novel, I will most likely not give it a full 5 stars and overall I found the pace for Mirror to be extremely slow.

2.Tara Nova/Plot

Tara Nova was a very unique concept that I don’t think I’d ever read in another novel before. That said, I wish it was discussed more + given more of a central role in this novel.

Because in the beginning it is discussed, however the novel ended up focusing more on Tara’s new friends (popular kids) & the drama that goes on between them & Terra Nova was then left in the background.

It became more of a YA-Contemporary than the Contemporary/Sci-Fi I was expecting.

Leaving Tara all alone junior year, Meg leaves for the first semester to be in Argentina. Tara wishes things could be different. Soon she gets her wish.

After attempting to save Halle’s (most popular girl in school) dog, she soon becomes friends with the popular kids and her long-time crush Nick starts talking to her!

She believes it may be Terra Nova!
But soon things begin to take a different turn. Her mother becomes obsessed with Terra Nova & decides its best if she leave to not only find herself, but understand what exactly Terra Nova is!

Tara becomes tangled in friendship drama +comes to see the effects/reaction of Terra Nova brings to her school.

While the plot itself definitely introduced interesting elements + I really did enjoy reading from Tara’s POV (the politics of HS/some science here & there of TN + how she came to understand the popular kids + feel more connected with some of them) I felt the plot just mostly focused on the drama that went on w/ her new friends & I was expecting a more broad view of Terra Nova.

I will admit the ending was definitely unexpected (Halle’s disappearance) Did not see that coming!!
Now I really want to know what happened to her b/c that was such an open ending!!

While it wasn’t necessarily for me, it definitely delivers well developed/realistic characters + a variety of social/political elements with a unique concept!

Regardless of these issues, with a mix of genres, wonderful writing style and unique concept such as this, I am definitely interested to read more of Aditi’s work!

August 2016 Book Releases I’m Looking Forward To!

Here are the August Releases I’m Looking Forward To!

Nevernight Jay Kristoff August 9
August 9 Thomas Dunne Books

1.Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (The Nevernight Chronicles #1)

Summary: In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

Unscripted Joss Byrd August 23
August 23 Roaring Brook

2.Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor

Summary: Hollywood critics agree. Joss Byrd is “fiercely emotional,” a young actress with “complete conviction,” and a “powerhouse.”

Joss Byrd is America’s most celebrated young actress, but on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called The Locals, Joss’s life is far from glamorous. While struggling with her mother’s expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off a performance worthy of a star. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss must go off-script to stay true to herself.

Furthermore Tahereh Mafi August 30
August 30 Dutton BYR

3.Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Summary: There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.

But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver whose own magical ability is based in lies and deceit–and with a liar by her side in a land where nothing is as it seems, it will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself–and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

Girl In Pieces August 30
August 30 Delacorte Press

4.Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

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 thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain 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.
A deeply moving portrait of a teenage girl on the verge of losing herself and the journey she must take to survive in her own skin, Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

A Torch Against The Night
August 30 Razorbill

5.A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember In The Ashes #2)

Summary: A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.

What August 2016 Releases Are You Looking Forward To? 🙂

Waiting On Wednesday I #7

Unscripted Joss Byrd August 23Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly post originally created by the book bloggers over at

BreakingTheSpines to spotlight upcoming releases!

This week I will be spotlighting…

Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Release Date: August 23, 2016

Summary: Hollywood critics agree. Joss Byrd is “fiercely emotional,” a young actress with “complete conviction,” and a “powerhouse.”

Joss Byrd is America’s most celebrated young actress, but on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called The Locals, Joss’s life is far from glamorous. While struggling with her mother’s expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off a performance worthy of a star. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss must go off-script to stay true to herself.

Ever since I read Everything Leads To You by Nina Lacour & Something Real by Heather Demetrios I’ve loved YA books centering around Hollywood/movies/acting etc.

From the summary alone, this book sounds like its up my alley!

+ this sounds like a great summer contemporary!

I will definitely be reading this when August comes!

Will You Be Reading Unscripted Joss Byrd? 🙂

 

Never Ever by Sara Saedi Review

Never Ever June 21Never Ever by Sara Saedi (Never Ever #1)

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Release Date: June 21, 2016

Pages: 320

Summary: Wylie Dalton didn’t believe in fairy tales or love at first sight.

Then she met a real-life Peter Pan.

When Wylie encounters Phinn—confident, mature, and devastatingly handsome—at a party the night before her brother goes to juvie, she can’t believe how fast she falls for him. And that’s before he shows her how to fly.

Soon Wylie and her brothers find themselves whisked away to a mysterious tropical island off the coast of New York City where nobody ages beyond seventeen and life is a constant party. Wylie’s in heaven: now her brother won’t go to jail and she can escape her over-scheduled life with all its woes and responsibilities—permanently.

But the deeper Wylie falls for Phinn, the more she begins to discover has been kept from her and her brothers. Somebody on the island has been lying to her, but the truth can’t stay hidden forever.

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

My Thoughts:  I’ve been wanting to read more Peter Pan retellings ever since I read Unhooked!
And to be honest I think I loved this one a lot more!

Sara’s writing style really creates a whimsical/magical tone for this novel which I loved!

This retelling is quite dark not only on Minor Island (this versions Neverland) but also in the real world w/ one of Wylie’s brothers Josh heading to juvie + her parents marriage falling apart, which leads the Dalton’s escaping to M.I.

After meeting the mysterious Phinn at a rooftop party, he introduces himself to Wylie and she gets to know him for a short time and after eating flowers, her + her brothers are convinced that Phinn taking them to MI will make them so much happier!

After basically kidnapping them, he introduces them to the island.

There were so many modern/unique twists that made this book so much fun!
This version of Neverland was so cool!!

I loved the twist that Saedi was able to put on  this versions Neverland w/ MI becoming an island for kids who had a rough past and escape it!

The world building was fantastic. The island had a variety of customs, food, even their own unique slang!
I found that the politics/hierarchy that run MI were a very integral part of the story and were used perfectly to create an aura of mystery not only for Phinn and the others living on the island, but the island itself!

As for plot I really loved it!

Throughout the novel, Wylie is unsure whether or not she wants to stay there on the island, while getting sucked into the intrigue/mystery of the island itself and knowing that she is falling in love with Phinn!
With the 3rd person POV, it was wonderful to see the parents POV in this as well because as the plot progresses we come to know one of them has quite an important role in the story.

Now onto the spoilers!!
The Dalton’s father being an original member of MI was a plot twist I did not see coming! But it was great to see that by the end, he got all the info he needed to figure out where Wylie+Josh+Micah were.

I loved how Wylie’s father was what really tied this story together! Because throughout most of the novel I was trying to connect the dots but couldn’t really find an answer, especially behind Hopper (one of the original island members that everyone fears is dangerous)! As the plot progresses there is so much more to Phinn that really develops him more as a character.

So many plot twists you don’t see coming!!

However there were a few issues that kept me from giving this a full 5 stars.

I wanted Phinn+ Wylie’s relationship to be developed a little more. There were moments I felt they could have taken time to talk more + get to know each other better before they went into their relationship.

While I absolutely loved the island created, I wish there would have been more descriptions/backstories about the island just to give a little more depth to the world.

As for the ending, the second I read that last line all I could think was:

“WHAT?? It can’t end like this!!”

Luckily, there was an excerpt in the back for the SEQUEL which will be titled The Lost Kids!!! ❤ ❤

If you haven’t read this book I highly recommend you do!
Sara’s dark + magical twist on the classic Peter Pan will keep you reading till he very end! The secrets surrounding the mysterious Minor Island and its residents will definitely leave you wanting the sequel right away!

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch Review

Love & GelatoLove & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: May 3,2016

Pages: 390

Summary: Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

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

My Thoughts: A perfect summer contemporary with so much heart, adventure & mystery that keeps you turning the page

Going into this novel, essentially blind, w/ only a basic idea of the premise (Italy, Lina meets Ren, Summer) I was very happy I read this!

What surprised me was the relationship between Ren/Lina!

It may seem that Ren& Lina spend a lot of time together, but actually Lina spends more time w/ her own thoughts + her mothers journal for most of the story, which I loved!

Because not only did I come to love Lina’s narrative, but it was also fun being in her POV to uncover the mystery of who her mother was!

As for plot, I loved how it intertwined Lina’s mothers past w the present story through a journal!
Not only does Lina uncover more about her mother than she ever knew, but she comes to know more about who her biological father was & how her mother’s past led to Lina to where she is now!

I’ve never been to Italy & have ALWAYS wanted to go, but from the writing-style/ descriptions I truly felt I was there!

The characters all felt so real and I truly felt I was there w/ Lina on her adventure!!

I loved Ren& Lina’s friendship! + I loved the scene when they first met ❤ ❤ While it was obvious there would be a relationship, it progressed very slowly and really took time to develop!

As for setting, when she first gets to Italy I could picture everything in my mind! (The gelato, buildings, food, sights, etc.) The author does a wonderful job at capturing the atmosphere of Italy!

When I came to learn who Lina’s father was, I was surprised! But it was great to see Lina/Ren discover it & track him down! I was heartbroken for Lina when he was shown to be such an awful person!

But it was wonderful to see even though Howard, who is revealed to be the long-time crush of Lina’s Mother, he tried his best from when he is first introduced to make Lina feel at home/welcome!

By the end, Lina comes to learn all the secrets her mother kept, but comes to understand why & slowly but surely she can move on!

I loved how Ren/Lina came together in the end after their short falling out! (She mentions staying in Italy, so maybe there could be potential for a sequel?? If so I would love to read more from Lina’s POV about her adventures in Italy!!) ❤ ❤

Overall this book, while it had its heartbreaking moments, Lina as a narrator made this story such a treat!
Reading from her POV was not only hilarious at times but also heartwarming and it was wonderful to join her on her adventures in Italy!

A deep contemporary with wonderful characters & just enough mystery and romance to put a smile on your face!

If you’ve read Love&Gelato, let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂