Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes Review

crystal-storm-by-morgan-rhodes-reviewCrystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #5)

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: December 13, 2016

Pages: 379

Summary: The ruthless Empress Amara of Kraeshia has taken the Mytican throne, and now uncertainty looms over the three kingdoms. Since Lucia unleashed the fire Kindred, wreaking havoc throughout the land, Myticans have been looking for someone—anyone—they can trust. They believe in Amara, not knowing her grand promises are built on lies.

In Paelsia, Magnus and Cleo reluctantly follow King Gaius to the home of his exiled mother, Selia. Selia is a powerful witch and claims she can help unlock the magic of the Kindred—if the visitors agree to her terms. When Jonas arrives from Kraeshia, he is shocked to find that his rebel army now includes his sworn enemies. Along with Nic, Felix, and the mysteriously resurrected Ashur, the contentious group agrees to cast aside old grudges—for now—and united against their common enemy: Amara.

Meanwhile, bearing the child of a Watcher and feared by all, Princess Lucia travels across Mytica to find her family. But time is running out. The impending storm signals the dark prophecy Timotheus warned her about. Her fate is written, and it includes none other than the rebel Jonas. When their paths collied, Jonas and Lucia must decide between blindly following their destiny or fighting for their own free will.

The battle for power culminates at the Paelsian palace, where Amara resides. Rain pours. Blood spills. And soon all will discover that the darkest magic comes at an even darker price.

My Rating:★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Rhodes delivers a character-driven continuation to her Falling Kingdoms Series!

It saddens me that this wasn’t a 5-star read, but it definitely sets up for an epic conclusion for the 6th and final book in the series!

This novel picks up right away following the events of Frozen Tides and Magnus + Cleo find themselves following King Gaius to unlock the Kindred’s magic!

As with the previous novels, Rhodes executes the multiple POV’s wonderfully and with each chapter I’m never left confused as to who’s POV I’m reading from.

Many of the main characters like Cleo, Magnus, Jonas, Nic and Ashur have now teamed up to find a way to take down Amara who has taken control of Palesia due to some convincing of Kyan.

Lucia is on a mission of her own to understand what her magic is destined to do her and what is to become of her and her child. She makes her way to the Sanctuary and meets Timotheus who tells her of her fate and what is happening to the magic of their world b/c of the Kindred.

Now Lucia wants to set things right and find her family.

Character development was a huge part of this novel. However there is significantly more depth given to Gaius, Amara, Jonas & Lucia!

With King Gaius and Prince Magnus, their father-son relationship is really given more development. Secrets are revealed and you come to learn more about the King Of Blood and his past. Overall it becomes quite a big element of this novel in terms of character motivations and plot direction!

We come to have a behind-the-scenes look at Amara’s plan as she takes over Palesia and what she’s willing to do to gain even more magic and power.

In terms of world-building, there is definitely more expansion on the Kindred and development on who is now, as I can gather, the main villain Kyan! As the story progressed, I felt there was more depth given to the magic system and world of Mytica as a whole.

There was obviously a lot of things that happened, but there were issues I had which makes me really unsure of how to rate this! (Though the pros do outweigh the cons).

I took off a star because, I personally felt that the stakes weren’t as high as with Frozen Tides for instance and I feel that has mostly to do with the pacing which was slow for me in parts.

There were events that occurred or POV’s we followed which really dragged the story in some parts (especially in the beginning), for example Lucia’s! Personally I’ve always found it difficult to enjoy/connect with her character, but as I neared the end I found myself enjoying her development at seeing her redeem herself in wanting to set things right.

However as I reached the end, the pacing was much faster which I loved! Secrets are revealed and I found myself turning the pages wanting to know what was going to happen. The characters come together nearing the conclusion and I loved their interactions/dynamics!

Regardless of those minor issues…

Rhodes continues to deliver an engaging, character-driven fantasy  with secrets, schemes and Crystal Storm definitely hints at an epic conclusion I will absolutely be reading!

I’m definitely marking my calendar for book 6 to see how it wraps up!

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

Today I’m happy to share with you a list of Diverse 2017 YA Books coming out during the Winter months that I’m not only looking forward to, but ones that you should definitely add to your TBR!

Going into 2017, its important we continue to support our diverse authors/books!

YA Books recommended in these seasonal posts will be ones that feature:

~POC Authors/Characters + ~LGBTQ+ Characters +~#OWNVoices ,etc.

I will categorize books both in alphabetical order + by genre (Note: Dates are subject to change)

What Diverse 2017 books are you looking forward to? Any I missed? Let’s Discuss In The Comments Below 🙂

Contemporary 

allegedly-by-tiffany-d-jackson1.Allegedly by Tiffanie D. Jackson

Release Date: January 24, 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Summary: Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

american-street-by-ibi-zoboi2.American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Release Date: February 14, 2017

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Summary: On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

because-of-the-sun-by-jenny-torres-sanchez2.Because Of The Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez 

Release Date: January 3, 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Summary: From the backyards of suburban Florida to the parched desert of New Mexico, Because of the Sun explores the complexity of family, the saving grace of friendship, and the healing that can begin when the truth is brought to light.

Dani Falls learned to tolerate her existence in suburban Florida with her brash and seemingly unloving mother by embracing the philosophy Why care? It will only hurt. So when her mother is killed in a sudden and violent manner, Dani goes into an even deeper protection mode, total numbness. It’s the only way she can go on.

But when Dani chooses The Stranger by Albert Camus as summer reading for school, it feels like fate. The main character’s alienation after his mother’s death mirrors her own.

Dani’s life is thrown into further turmoil when she is sent to New Mexico to live with an aunt she never knew she had. The awkwardness between them is palpable. To escape, Dani takes long walks in the merciless heat. One day, she meets Paulo, who understands how much Dani is hurting. Although she is hesitant at first, a mutual trust and affection develop between Dani and Paulo, and Dani begins to heal. And as she and her aunt begin to connect, Dani learns about her mother’s past. Forgiving isn’t easy, but maybe it’s the only way to move forward.

city-of-saints-thieves-by-natalie-c-anderson3.City Of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

Release Date: January 24, 2017

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Summary: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl in this enthralling YA murder mystery set in Kenya.

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

history-is-all-you-left-me-by-adam-silvera4. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

ARC Review To Come

Release Date: January 17, 2017

Publisher: Soho Teen

Summary: When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

the-hate-u-give-by-angie-thomas5.The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Release Date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star.

we-are-okay-by-nina-lacour6. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Release Date: February 24, 2017

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Summary: “You go through life thinking there’s so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.”

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

Retelling

ronit-and-jamil-by-pamela-l-laskin1.Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin

ARC Review To Come

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Summary: This beautiful and lyrical novel in verse delivers a fresh and captivating retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that transports the star-crossed lovers to the modern-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza.

Ronit, an Israeli girl, lives on one side of the barrier fence. Jamil, a Palestinian boy, lives on the other side. Only miles apart but separated by generations of conflict—much more than just the concrete blockade between them. Their fathers, however, work in a distrusting but mutually beneficial business arrangement, a relationship that brings Ronit and Jamil together. And lightning strikes. The kind of lightning that transcends barrier fences, war, and hatred. Ronit and Jamil fall desperately into the throes of forbidden love, one that would create an irreparable rift between their families if it were discovered. But a love this big can be kept secret for only so long. Soon, the teenage lovers must face the fateful choice to save their lives or their loves, as it may not be possible to save both.

wintersong-by-s-jae-jones2.Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Release Date: February 7, 2017

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Summary: Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

Science Fiction

Empress Of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza Cover Reveal 20171.Empress Of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Release Date: February 7, 2017

Publisher: Razorbill

Summary: Empress 

Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

The Ship Beyond Time2.The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (TGFE #2)

Release Date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Summary: The breathtaking sequel to the acclaimed The Girl from Everywhere. Nix has escaped her past, but when the person she loves most is at risk, even the daughter of a time traveler may not be able to outrun her fate—no matter where she goes. Fans of Rae Carson, Alexandra Bracken, and Outlander will fall hard for Heidi Heilig’s sweeping fantasy.

 

2017-diverse-ya-books-tbr-winter

A Torch Against The Night Playlist

A Torch Against The Night PlaylistI’m so happy to bring you another Reading Playlist!! ❤ ❤

Today’s, as you can tell from the title, is from Sabaa Tahir’s A Torch Against The Night!

If You’ve Read It, You Can Check Out My Full Book Review Here!

Featured in today’s playlist are songs from:

🔥 Final Fantasy XIII/XV 🔥 Kingdom Hearts 🔥 + Scavenger Hunt (One of my all-time favorite bands <3)🔥

Many of these songs were chosen because I felt they represented the main characters + the overall tone of the story! (Especially the 1st song featured!!)

Let me know your thoughts on the Reading Playlist in the comments below! 🙂

A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir Review

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

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Pages: 452

Summary: Elias and Laia are running for their lives.
After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf – the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison – to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene – Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own – one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape… and kill them both.

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½ 

*Spoilers Ahead*

My Thoughts: Tahir delivers a sequel with Laia and Elias on the run from the Empire, stakes are heightened, and danger is at every turn! 

“You are a torch against the night – if you dare to let yourself burn.”

A Torch Against The Night picks up right where Ember left off with Laia and Elias running for their lives.

Torch definitely has a different tone/feel than Ember but overall delivers an incredible story with expansion on the politics, magic and world of the Empire.

I.Plot

With the Commandant on their tails and managing to stay one step ahead, Laia and Elias are now traitors to the Empire, but nothing will stop them from helping Darin to escape Kauf Prison.

Similar to Ember, we are again in the minds of Laia and Elias. However, with Helene remaining in the Empire, she provides a 3rd POV that expands on the intricacy of the politics and hierarchy that weaves throughout.

Laia and Elias escape the city of Serra through underground catacombs with soldiers and the Commandant close by.

Early on, the Commandant finds her way to Elias. After a quick but intense battle, Elias emerges victorious with minor cuts and manages to escape his mother. However, he begins to question why he was able to escape so easily.

After suffering from episodes of seizures and blackouts Laia comes to understand why. The Commandant has poisoned him!

Trying to find an antidote at a local market in a nearby town does slow them down. However due to these seizures Elias finds himself drifting in and out of consciousness and drifting to a mysterious forest called the Waiting Place where the Soul Catcher tells him more about the fate he destined to with the limited time he may have left!

However things really pick up when Keenan and other familiar faces from Ember catch up with Laia and Elias on their journey to Kauf.

As for Helene, when her arc is introduced she is being brutally interrogated and must give up the info she can about Elias’s whereabouts. She doesn’t break so easily, but it backfires when she gets tasked with becoming Blood Shrike and hunting down Elias.

However, not everyone can be trusted! As Helene tracks him down, the Commandant we come to learn has a hidden agenda of her own and she won’t let anyone or anything get in her way.
Helene knows the risks involved if she doesn’t complete her task. Deep within her heart she cannot let Elias go. And she doesn’t plan to!

Darin’s life hangs in the balance with each and every obstacle Laia and Elias encounter.

II.World Building

With hints of magic in book 1, I knew it would play a bigger role in Torch and it was miraculously done!

The magic feels like much more of an integral part of this world and is explained in such a unique way that I cannot wait to see how it expanded on in future books!

Helene’s POV gives the reader additional world building/back story and the politics/hierarchy that governs the secrets and darkness that cloud the Empire.

Tahir expands the world beyond Blackcliff Academy with a number of settings explored throughout the novel:

-Kauf Prision
-Harsh deserts
-A forest known as the Waiting Place where souls have not yet passed on
-Tribal camps

With the 1st person POV I was immediately transported back into the brutal world of the Empire + could really picture each and every setting!

III.Characters

Character development is truly the backbone of this novel and it is masterfully done!

My favorite characters by far were Elias and Helene.

Battling the darkness within himself, Elias wants to show he can do good regardless of all the pain he’s caused. His capture/interrogation at Kauf further shows the light that shines within him to set things right.

Helene is stuck. She wants to abide by the Empire’s rules, but being his childhood friend she still loves Elias and doesn’t want to see him get hurt.

The glimpse of the Empire from Ember is seen in more depth in Torch from politics to the magic system, world-building and the secrets that lay hidden deep within. 

No surprise that Tahir’s sequel went above and beyond my expectations! Can’t wait to see what Book 3 has in store!

+ I also have A Torch Against The Night Playlist coming on Monday! (9/5)

Can’t wait to share it!! 

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!

Empress Of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza Cover Reveal

Rhoda Belleza’s 2017 YA Debut Novel

Empress Of A Thousand Skies  had its cover reveal as of August 3, 2016!

This Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy centers around Rhee, a Crown Princess, and Aly who finds himself accused of an assassination and becomes a fugitive.

The two characters find their fates intertwined as they “are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.”

Bustle revealed the cover + the author herself shared her thoughts on the cover, her love of sci-fi/fantasy, and the many themes/topics that are discussed in this novel!

Now For The Cover: 

Empress Of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza Cover Reveal 2017

I absolutely love everything about the cover! The colors, font, etc.!

+ I’ve been wanting to get into reading more Sci-Fi & this book sounds perfect! ❤

Empress Of A Thousand Skies will be released February 2017 by Razorbill!

Thoughts on this new 2017 Release + Cover? 💫🚀👑

Lets Discuss In The Comments Below! 🙂

 

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? 🙂

YA Books I’d Love As Graphic Novels

YA Books I'd love As Graphic NovelsOn my blog you may have noticed I’ve been reading+reviewing more comics/graphic novels which got me wondering… which of my favorite YA novels would I love to see as graphic novels?

I’ve put together a list below of books that I feel would make great graphic novels!

Thoughts On My List? + Any books you would love to see as graphic novels?

Lets discuss in the comments below 🙂

Eleanor And Park And Fangirl Rainbow Rowell1. Eleanor & Park/Fangirl 

With the 80’s background of Eleanor&Park it would give great visuals as a graphic novel! + ever since the announcement of it being optioned for film (back in 2014) I would just love to see some sort of adaptation!

As for Fangirl, Rowell’s writing-style creates such a relatable coming-of-age story surrounding socially-anxious  Cath, who finds solace in writing/reading everything Simon Snow (especially fan fiction) and what she experiences during her first year of college!

The delightful story and realistic characters would make Fangirl a truly incredible graphic novel!

It’d be a dream of mine to see both of these fantastic YA novels adapted into a graphic novel!

Heist-SOCIETY-final2.Heist Society

Ally Carter’s Heist Society Series centers around Katarina Bishop, a 15 yr. old who grew up in a family of thieves who wants out, but gets thrust back into the world she’s tried so hard to escape when her father needs her help!

Carter’s fun & fast-paced novel takes the reader to Italy, Las Vegas, even France as Kat gathers intel w/ her crew to steal back a mobster’s artwork!

The visuals would be absolutely stunning, the planning,theivery,cons & heists that ensue  would definitely keep the reader turning the page!

463. An Ember In The Ashes 

Just imagine the colorful visuals of the Empire , dark shadow creatures/monsters + the intricate details of the Masks, even Blackcliff !!

Laia & Elias undergo their own perilous journeys where they not only learn more about who they are and how their fates become intertwined, but the deep darkness and brutality that lurks within the Martial Empire!

Sabaa Tahir’s debut YA-Fantasy is packed with such dynamic characters and rich world-building and an engaging plot that would make a truly unforgettable graphic novel!

img_87694.Air Awakens Series

Elise Kova’s Air Awakens Series centers around Vhalla Yarl, a library apprentice turned sorcerer!

Through Kova’s writing-style she weaves together such a rich and vivid world/world-building with elemental magic, prince’s, libraries…everything that makes a YA Fantasy absolutely magnificent!! ❤ ❤

The cover alone, further proves this would make a magical, colorful and epic graphic novel series!

Don’t you agree?? 😀

725. 5 to 1

Holly Bodger’s feminist-dystopia takes place in 2054 where “India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity.”

Enter the main protagonists, Sudasa and Kiran who are desperate to escape!

Told in dual POV w/ prose and free-verse, Bodger’s novel could make a captivating and exquisitely  written/illustrated story!

six-crows-leigh-bardugo-cover6. Six Of Crows

Expanding on the world she created in her Grisha Trilogy, Bardugo’s Six Of Crows introduces a group of misfits a sharpshooter, thief, spy, Grisha, convict, and a runaway!

Together they takes their chances in a heist that could bring them riches beyond their wildest dreams! But the stakes are high! Can they pull it off?

Bardugo’s writing-style not only captures the complex characters and the bustling city of Ketterdam,the Ice Court+ other vividly described locations, but also is packed with humor, a little romance, and non-stop action!

From the numerous edits/fanart I’ve seen, I am absolutely certain this fast-paced, dark Ocean 11 fantasy would be phenomenal as a graphic novel!

graudin_wolfbywolf7.Wolf By Wolf

Ryan Graudin’s Wolf By Wolf, an alternate WW2 Sci-Fi centers around Yael, a former death camp prisoner who underwent experiments giving her the ability to shape-shift!

With the Axis Tour (motorcycle race) coming up, she is given a task to impersonate a motorcycle racer, with the winner getting a chance to meet Hitler!

But Yael and the resistance she joined have only 1 task: Kill Hitler!

Graudin’s writing-style not only immerses you in the era of WW2/the wonderful characters, but really shows whats at stake for Yael in this  cross-continent motorcycle-race!

The Diviners Cover8.The Diviners

Libba Bray’s YA Historical Fiction takes the main character Evie O’Neill  1920’s New York! Evie is forced to stay with her uncle in his occult museum and when her uncle is called to the scene of a murder, she wants to use her supernatural gift to catch the killer!

Speakeasies, Flappers, Jazz, murder-mysteries??+ The large/diverse cast of characters!

All of these make great elements for a graphic novel!

97804514775388.Rebel Of The Sands

Alwyn Hamilton’s Arabian-Nights/Western Mash-Up would be a spectacular graphic novel!

Because the novel is written in Amani’s POV, elements of Miraji from fouza (the currency) to the outfits, and locations are wonderfully described and from page one you are fully immersed in her world!  Alwyn’s descriptions/dialogue really bring Rebel to life!

 

Here are other YA Novels that I feel would make great graphic novels as well:

the raven boys63The Star-Touched Queen9780062380753

 

 

June 2016 Book Releases I’m Looking Forward To!

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

You Know Me Well June 7
Publisher: St. Martins Griffin June 7

1.You Know Me Well by David Levithan + Nina Lacour

ARC Review To Come (Currently Reading)

Summary: Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

American Girls June 7
Publisher: Flatiron Books June 7

2.American Girls by Alison Umminger

Summary: She was looking for a place to land.
Anna is a fifteen-year-old girl slouching toward adulthood, and she’s had it with her life at home. So Anna “borrows” her stepmom’s credit card an runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. But LA isn’t quite the glamorous escape Anna had imagined.

As Anna spends her days on TV and movie sets, she engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls—and although the violence in her own life isn’t the kind that leaves physical scars, she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present.

In Anna’s singular voice, we glimpse not only a picture of life on the B-list in LA, but also a clear-eyed reflection on being young, vulnerable, lost, and female in America—in short, on the B-list of life. Alison Umminger writes about girls, sex, violence, and which people society deems worthy of caring about, which ones it doesn’t, in a way not often seen in YA fiction.

 

 

How It Ends
Publisher: HMH BYR June 7

3.How It Ends by Catherine Lo

Summary: There are two sides to every story.

It’s friends-at-first-sight for Jessie and Annie, proving the old adage that opposites attract. Shy, anxious Jessie would give anything to have Annie’s beauty and confidence. And Annie thinks Jessie has the perfect life, with her close-knit family and killer grades. They’re BFFs…until suddenly they’re not.

Told through alternating points of view, How It Ends is a wildly fast but deeply moving read about a friendship in crisis. Set against a tumultuous sophomore year of bullying, boys and backstabbing, the novel shows what can happen when friends choose assumptions and fear over each other.

Never Ever June 21
Publisher: Viking BYR June 21

4.Never Ever by Sara Saedi

Summary: 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.

Mirror In The Sky June 21
Publisher: Razorbill June 21

5.Mirror In The Sky by Aditi Khorana

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.

LA Times Festival Of Books 2016 Recap! #Bookfest Day 2

I sadly didn’t take many pictures of the festival for day 2, but hopefully you still enjoy this recap!

*Photos of ARCs to come*

On my list for day 2 was to see authors:

Sabaa Tahir and Ally Carter!

I arrived around 10:50 and made my way to the line for Sabaa Tahir’s panel, YA Fantasy: Beyond This Realm!

Moderated by Tobie Easton, Sabaa was with Romina Russell, Michael Buckley & Mercedes Lackey!

They gave writing advice, discussed the inspiration for their stories, and went in depth into how they create the world in their novels!

After the panel I met Sabaa, got my book signed & got a cool An Ember In The Ashes Bookmark! + we fangirled together about Ruta Sepetys after she noticed my tote bag was signed by her ❤ !!

After perusing the booths I just happened to be next to a booth w/ Kara Thomas who was signing an ARC of her book The Darkest Corners which comes out April 19th! + glad I had a chance to chat w/ her! She was so nice!

I then headed to my last signing which was for Ally Carter!

I actually met her about 3 yrs. ago for her Perfect Scoundrels Tour & she is the author that got me into reading, so of course I was so so happy to see her again + fangirled a little when I asked her if she recognized me (Which she did!) + even telling just how much her books meant to me!!

+ I also got an ARC of Alyson Noel’s new book Unrivaled!

So overall it was a fantastic weekend & I’m so happy I was able to talk to so many great authors! I cant wait to see whats in store for 2017!! ❤

*ARC Reviews of the books I received will be coming so keep an eye on the blog*

Did you go to LATFOB? If not do you plan to? Let me know in the comments below 🙂