June 2018 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 5

Heavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin + Nina Vakueva1.Heavy Vinyl Volume 1 by Carly Usdin +Nina Vakueva (Heavy Vinyl #1)

Owned | Started/Finished June 1 |Rating: ★★★★★ | Heavy Vinyl Full Review

Overall Thoughts: A fun, diverse, graphic novel with so much girl power set in 90’s New Jersey! Heavy Vinyl follows Chris who works alongside her all-female co-workers at her local vinyl store. With anxiety, she wants to fit in with her new friends but hasn’t gotten the chance! That is until a case of missing singer introduces her to the world her co-workers have been hiding from her: their vigilante fight club! Now she’s tagging along with them to solve the mystery and maybe uncover more along the way! This is an incredible graphic novel that’s character-driven, diverse, and just a fun story! Friendship is at the heart of Heavy Vinyl and it really shows with each page. Additionally, there’s a lot of fantastic representation among the main cast/side characters: f/f & m/m relationships, lesbian rep., black & Puerto Rican rep., interracial relationships! I adored this graphic novel so much & highly recommend it!  I think there’s only 1 volume planned which is sad, because it ends on at place leaving you to want more from the story & characters, so definitely pick it up & support it, you won’t be disappointed!

Running With Lions by Julian Winters2.Running With Lions by Julian Winters

Owned| Started June 3 + Finished June 7 |Rating: ★★★★☆ ½| Running With Lions Full Review

Overall Thoughts: A coming-of-age YA sports contemporary, that really focuses on characters! Sebastian Hughes is ready for his last summer of soccer training camp with his teammates, before senior year. However things get a bit complicated when his former friend, Emir Shah, shows up. Though regardless of their past, Sebastian is eager to make Emir feel at home! Through a 3rd person POV, the characters, plot, summer setting/atmosphere come to life! A huge aspect of this novel is the way Winters explores sexuality, with characters identifying as gay and bisexual + through the teammate’s support + acceptance of each other throughout the entire book! The characters really grow as they spend their time at Camp Haven and I loved seeing their friendship dynamics with each turn of the page! The plot, characters, etc. are all wonderfully developed and the pacing is great! Highly recommend checking out Winter’s debut!

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl3. Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

ARC| Started June 9 + Finished June 12 |Rating:★★★☆☆ ¾| Neverworld Wake Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Neverworld Wake was an intriguing YA Contemporary that blends with science fiction! Beatrice Hartley gets the opportunity to reconnect with her friends from boarding school at an estate, since the year or so since her boyfriend Jim’s passing. But when a mysterious man arrives, he tells them they’ve been caught in the Neverworld Wake and only one person can make out alive by the end. The mystery that surrounded Neverworld and how the info was revealed was both delivered and explored at perfect moments throughout the story. While the plot and mystery remain such huge parts of the story, I did find myself not enjoying this book as much as I’d hoped. The writing (which is 1st person) never really made me find a connection to Bea as a character and with the simplicity to the writing, some elements of the story, like side characters were pretty forgettable. However, what definitely made Neverworld Wake an immersive read, was definitely the mystery, and exploration + complexities to the Neverworld!

Not The Girls Your Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi4.Not The Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi

ARC| Started June 13 + Finished June 18 |Rating:★★★★☆ ½| Not The Girls You’re Looking For Full Review

Overall Thoughts: Aminah Mae Safi’s debut explores the complexities of family and friendship (especially female friendships) in her debut! I connected with Lulu, the main character, from the very first page! She’s outgoing, not afraid to speak her mind and I just–loved her character so much.  This novel explores the messiness of friendship in an honest + complex way, and its such a huge theme of the story. Safi really allows for both friendship & family to be explored, and I was able to really see the many different sides to these dynamics. The unique plot, themes explored, character dynamics, etc. all came together so wonderfully in Not The Girls You’re Looking For to make for such a fantastic YA Contemporary!

A Reaper At The Gates by Sabaa Tahir5. A Reaper At The Gates by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember In The Ashes #3)

Library| Started June 19 + Finished June 25|Rating:★★★★☆| A Reaper At The Gates Full Review

Overall Thoughts: This is very much a darker continuation to the An Ember In The Ashes series! Character development and lore/mythology are such huge parts of this book and really take center stage. I loved seeing the development and growth to Laia, Helene, and Elias. They are such phenomenal characters and you really see where their fates lead them in this book! War and the dark aftermath of it are explored in this novel and its just heartbreaking. While this was such a great book, I found for me personally that the pacing in the first 1/2 or so made this book a bit difficult for me to really love it as with the previous ones. With the pacing, I felt that with the urgency of the stakes that are given + alongside the writing that made side characters, setting, etc. feel a bit under-developed and not as fully immersive for me in previous books. However regardless of that, as soon as I reached the end, I needed the next book right away. So, I am beyond excited to read the final book and see what Sabaa has in store for the world/story of Ember! 

Additional Posts From This Month:

Book Bytes #12

Audio Dime Museum Podcast Review {Literary Listens}

Currently Reading & YA Books On My June 2018 TBR!

Circle Of Shadows by Evelyn Skye Exclusive Cover Reveal

Dark Ages Podcast Review {Literary Listens}

Plans For July:

~READ MORE!! I feel like I just haven’t been reading much as I’d hoped (;´༎ຶД༎ຶ`) & before summer ends, really want to catch up on my TBR! If you have any tips to read more, definitely let me know!! 😭💕📚📚

~ Post more podcast reviews for Literary Listens! June was my first month posting audio drama podcast reviews & they were such fun posts to make!! I really hope to review/recommend more audio dramas next month too!! 🎙✨💖

~Continue working on my summer bullet journal 😍📒💕☀

What books did you read this month?? 😍📚

+ What are your bookish goals for July? Lets discuss in the comments!! ✨✨

A Reaper At The Gates by Sabaa Tahir Review

A Reaper At The Gates by Sabaa TahirA Reaper At The Gates by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember In The Ashes #3)

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: June 12, 2018

Pages: 464

Summary: Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.

*A Reaper At The Gates review has major spoilers*

My Rating: ★★★★☆

My Thoughts: A Reaper At The Gates is a dark, haunting, and character-driven continuation to An Ember In The Ashes series! Character development, expansion on lore and mythology take center stage as war looms on the horizon!

Wow, where to start with this book! The characters grow so much throughout Reaper:  Laia, Elias, and Helene are faced with supernatural forces as they come to terms with the path that destiny has laid out for them!

To start I loved the immense growth we see from each of the main characters! There is so much internal development that they undergo from acceptance to heartache.

What I found so heartbreaking, was reading about the separation between Laia & Elias! With both of them on their own journeys and learning how they must accept or navigate the destinies/prophecies that are leading them closer to their fates.

Laia is now fighting to save her people, Helene must make sacrifices as she leads the way for battle, and Elias must choose between the people he loves and his role as Soul Catcher if he’s to prevent ghosts from taking over the mortal world.

I loved the development to dynamics with Helene, Harper, and Dex! Seeing how they help Helene as she tries to make her way back to Antium to take down the Commandant.

Their dynamics between Helene, Harper, and Dex (at least from what I remember from book 2), feel so much more developed in this book and we really see the powerful bond they’ve forged with each other throughout this journey.

Laia is on a quest to take down the Nightbringer and won’t let anything get in her way. She meets a new friend and reconnects with familiar faces along the way.

One of the new characters introduced, who I really loved was was Musa! He was Laia and Darin’s new friend who helps them on their way to come up with a plan against the Nightbringer! His page time was definitely cut earlier than I would have hoped, but I am beyond excited to see where his journey is headed in book 4!

I also wish Darin had more page time!

Aside from new characters, secrets are revealed, and there’s so much character development as the plot expands and what is set for the finale, is clear!

While A Reaper At The Gates definitely has its heartbreaking moments, the ending and parts throughout definitely remind us there is hope for the beloved characters we’ve followed so far! There is one scene in particular at nearing the end that really surprised me & I can’t wait to see where it leads a couple of our main characters!

Elias’s story focuses so much around his fate as the Soul Catcher and how his journey is about him letting go of his humanity to accept the role he has been chosen for.

It was heartbreaking to read how the love he has for his friends and family slowly had to fade away in order for him to accept the magic he needed as Soul Catcher in The Waiting Place.

I will admit, what makes this book so difficult for me to rate a full 5 is the pacing for the first half! Because of it, the stakes didn’t feel as high as with the previous books and it wasn’t until the last half (or a bit after) that I finally found the story picking up!

Because of that, there was a lot of elements from supporting characters to plot pacing that felt a bit off for me.

The writing made elements such as setting, supporting characters, etc. feel very under-developed, for me personally. But as I made my way to about the 50% mark, I definitely found myself connecting better with the story.

What broke my heart, honestly was ch. 53 (;´༎ຶД༎ຶ`) (;´༎ຶД༎ຶ`) I’m still not over it!! As an avid RPG gamer, this chapter reminded me very much of a scene that’s similar in one of my favorite video games and it just–left me so emotional and devastated!!

The idea/themes of destiny and fate are explored so much in this book! I find that those themes always allow me to connect even more to a story because they are themes I just really love exploring and find they add so much to a story!

War and its lasting affects are also huge factors that are explored in the later 1/2 of Reaper and are so heart-breaking, but very much reflect the world today. Tahir explored these themes that leave you so impacted and shaken.

The mythology and lore of the world is also given center stage as they get woven in deeper not only into the story, but to the characters as well!

Tahir balanced mythology, character dynamics, plot, all so wonderfully that finally reaching the end, I am still unsure how I will be able to wait for Book 4!

A Reaper At The Gates is the epic continuation to Tahir’s, An Ember In The Ashes Series! The mythology, characters, themes and so much more all weave together to bring a tale that will leave you on the edge of your seat for the finale!

What I’m Currently Reading & YA Books On My June TBR!

Book Blog Discussion BannerThere’s been a lot of books I’ve made made plans to read over summer and now that I’m officially on summer break, I’m hoping to read as much of these as I can this month!

So, today I’ll be sharing with you what I’m currently reading and the other books I’m planning on getting to!

Currently Reading:

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl1.Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

I was able to get an ARC of Neverworld Wake from Yallwest and finally started reading it early last week, but sadly put it down to catch up on a graphic novel & Running With Lions (which I’m hoping to post my review of next week!). I’m still very interested in reading Neverworld and want to try and finish it within the coming week + post my review!

From what I know about it & have read so far, it follows Beatrice Hartley who lives in her small town working at her parents ice cream parlor.

She’s been disconnected from her 6 friends after graduation for a while, with the loss of her boyfriend Jim.

Then she returns with her friends to “Wincroft—the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world…”

Soon, they receive a mysterious knock at the door and I think, find themselves caught in a Neverworld Wake??

Overall I’d really been enjoying it so far and want to finish it! I don’t read much mystery, but Neverworld Wake has had me intrigued!

June TBR

Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova1.Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova (Labyrinth Lost #2)

I read and loved Labyrinth Lost when I read it back in 2016! It centered around Alex who is a bruja and an adventure that takes her on a quest to find her family after a spell she preforms, causes them to disappear!

From the Latinx rep. to themes of family (and sisterhood), all of which I could relate to so well, I fell in love with this book, from the story to the world–everything!

Now with Bruja Born finally out, I am beyond excited to get back into this amazing world & follow even more of Alex’s adventures!

Mariam Sharma Hits The Road by Sheba Karim2.Mariam Sharma Hits The Road by Sheba Karim

Similar to Neverworld Wake, I was also able to get an ARC of this from Yallwest! This book basically centers around a group of friends who go on a road trip after their freshman year at college!

As always, I’m always looking to read more #OwnVoices + diverse books and overall, Mariam Sharma just sounded like such an amazing read, perfect for summer, so I’m definitely going to be reading this one soon as well!

And being a college student myself, I’m also just looking forward to reading more college-centered & about college-aged YA characters!

A Reaper At The Gates by Sabaa Tahir3.A Reaper At The Gates by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember In The Ashes #3)

I’m such a big fan of An Ember In The Ashes quartet, so of course I would definitely have this on my TBR list! I can’t wait to read where Sabaa takes the story, characters, everything!!

I’ve had just– so many theories for where I think A Reaper At The Gates will be going, so I’m just counting down the days until this is out!

I’ve really been looking forward to reading more from Laia, Elias, etc. and am beyond excited to finally get my hands on A Reaper At The Gates!

Not The Girls Your Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi4.Not The Girls Your Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi

Similar to the other ARCs above, I was also able to get a copy of Not The Girls Your Looking For at Yallwest & even met Aminah, who was so nice! Getting the chance to talk to her about the importance of representation and books in general was just so great & I’m beyond excited to read her debut novel!

Definitely check out the summary for Not The Girls Your Looking For below & add it to your TBR if you haven’t already!

“Lulu Saad doesn’t need your advice, thank you very much. She’s got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It’s all under control. Ish.

Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can’t find her way out of this mess soon, she’ll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She’ll have to go looking for herself.” 

A Thousand Beginnings And Endings by Ellen Oh and Elise Chapman5. A Thousand Beginnings And Endings edited by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman

I don’t usually read many anthologies, but when I first read the summary (& saw the gorgeous cover) of A Thousand Beginnings And Endings, I knew I’d have to read it!

This book will contain 15 short stories from authors of East and South Asia background, writing re imagined folklore and mythology!

I love reading about mythology and the blend of fantasy + mythology in this anthology sounds like it’ll be right up my alley!

I also do want to try to get into reading more YA anthologies and in general, it just sounds like an overall great read!

The Game Of Hope by Sandra Gulland6.The Game Of Hope by Sandra Gulland

Additionally, this was also another ARC I was able to get from Yallwest @ PenguinTeen’s booth, out of I think 3 other choices, The Game Of Hope was my pick!

Set in 1798 Paris, France, this novel is a YA Historical Fiction that centers around Napoleon’s step-daughter, Hortense de Beauharnais.

Wanting to go into this book without much knowledge, I do know it essentially follows Hortense as she goes about her daily life in boarding school, studies, arts, etc., but is unsure of where her future lies when her mother marries Napoleon.

I don’t usually read much historical fiction, but this novel just intrigued me from the summary and I’m beyond excited to read it!

And that wraps up my June TBR! 📚✨😍

What are you planning to read this month? Any of the books on your TBR similar to mine? Let’s Discuss! 📚✨☀

Book Bytes I #12

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

Each month’s posts can contain anything from new cover/title reveals, book-to-movie news, even the latest book deals!!
I’ve now split up the news into categories, to make it easier to jump to whichever book news you’d like to read about!

If there’s any book news I missed or any you want to discuss, definitely leave a comment!

*With so many book deals in May, I decided to mention ones I’m personally really looking forward to/want to feature, but will link each release report for you to check out all the book deals!*

Adaptation News

1. Gentleman’s Guide To Vice & Virtue Optioned For TV

Announced May 4 by Variety, Greg Berlanti picked up the rights to Mackenzie Lee’s Gentleman’s Guide To Vice And Virtue, for Warner Bros. TV.

2.Looking For Alaska Picked Up As A Limited Series From Hulu

As of May 9, Deadline announced that John Green’s novel Looking For Alaska was picked up by Hulu and “is finalizing a deal for an eight-episode limited series from Paramount Television and Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire…

3.The Hate U Give Movie Release Date

Announced May 23 by Angie Thomas through her twitter, she shared that The Hate U Give movie will be releasing: October 19 of this year!

Epic Reads also has a blog post where they summarize all the movie info regarding The Hate U Give Movie Here!

4.The Sun Is Also A Star Cast Update + Release Date

As of May 31, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Charles Melton (known for his role Riverdale) will play the role of Daniel from Yoon’s novel, The Sun Is Also A Star.

The article also mentioned that there is a set release date for The Sun Is Also A Star film, which will be May 17, 2019!

Book Deals

1.Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore + Tehlor Kay Mejia

Set to be released in 2020, authors Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia announced they would be co-writing Meteor, published by HarperCollins. The novel follows “two friends, one made of stardust and one fighting to save her family’s diner, take on their small town’s 50th annual pageant and talent competition in the hopes that they can change their town’s destiny, and their own” (Announced May 1).

2.Descendants Series by Tracy Deonn Walker

With the first novel of this YA Contemporary Fantasy series set to be released in Summer 2020 by Simon Pulse, its “pitched as a modern-day King Arthur retelling with Southern Black Girl Magic, the book follows a teenage girl who infiltrates a secret society of powerful magic wielders to find out the truth behind her mother’s untimely death” (Announced May 1).

3.Deathless by Namina Forna

Set for a Spring 2020 release date with Delacorte, Deathless is the first book in a YA Fantasy trilogy that is “about a West African-inspired blood ceremony that reveals whether or not females are “pure” enough to be members of the village, and an army of ostracized girls with extraordinary gifts training to kill” (Announced May 1).

4.Today, Tonight, Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Set to be released in 2020 with Simon Pulse, author of You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, has an upcoming YA Contemporary Romance which follows “two rival overachievers who realize they may actually love each other over the course of 24 hours on the last day of senior year” (Announced May 1).

5. Alliance by Jennieke Cohen

Set to be released in Fall of 2019 with HarperCollins, Alliance is a YA Historical Fiction “set in Georgian London’s high society. The book’s heroine, a contemporary of Jane Austen, uses Austen’s novels as a guide to navigate a treacherous season in which she must find a husband or lose her family estate to her sister’s villainous husband” (Announced May 1).

More Book Deals from May 1

6. As We Go Forth by Austin Siegemund-Broka + Emily Wibberley

Set to be released through Puffin in Spring 2020, As We Go Forth is “a contemporary romance told in alternating perspectives; it features Juniper and Fitz, two high school seniors with vastly different views about the future, who meet unexpectedly on their respective college tours ” (Announced May 7).

7.Finale by Stephanie Garber

Through Garber’s twitter, she announced there would be a third book to her Caraval Series, titled Finale!

While there is no set release date, it scheduled for a 2019 release (Announced May 8).

8.Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud

Set to be released in 2019 with Scholastic, Truly Madly Royally is a YA Rom-Com in which “16-year-old Zora meets a boy named Owen, who turns out to be a prince and invites Zora to be his guest at his big brother’s royal wedding” (Announced May 14).

9.Untitled YA Fantasy Deals by Laura Brooke Robson

Set to be released in Spring of 2020 with Penguin/Dawson, Robson’s first standalone is “an apocalyptic fantasy told in alternating POVs about the leader of a band of female elite royal aerialists, whose plan for survival depends on marrying the prince—until she meets the alluring new recruit who secretly plans to kill him” With the second novel set to be released in 2021 (Announced May 14).

More Book Deals From May 14

10. Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Set to be released in 2020 with Wednesday Books, Angeles’s YA Fantasy debut is “Pitched as The Phantom Of The Opera meets Moulin Rouge…The story follows Hellfire House’s star showgirl who, haunted by a dark past, must enter a magician’s competition in order to secure her freedom from the handsome, enigmatic keeper of the club, even as mysterious accidents seem to plague her every move” (Announced May 17).

11.The Wire Crown by Sheena Boekweg

Set to be released in 2020 with Feiwel & Friends, The Wire Crown follows “The daughter of an executioner and the traitorous prince she can’t kill reluctantly join forces to dethrone a paranoid queen after discovering they are trapped in a fantasy video game where one wrong move means game over in that world—and death in the real one” (Announced May 17).

12. All Of Us With Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil

Set to be released in Summer 2019 with Soho Press, All Of Us With Wings is a “fantasy imbued with elements of Aztec mythology”; it follows “a teenage governess living with her young ward Pallas’s glamorous rockstar family in San Francisco ” (Announced May 21).

13.Goddess In The Machine by Lora Beth Johnson

Set to be released in Summer 2020 through Razorbill, Goddess In The Machine is about a girl and when she “wakes from a cryogenic sleep on a planet she doesn’t recognize, she must team up with the mysterious soldier who woke her to navigate a future world where technology is considered magic and its practitioners revered as Deities” (Announced May 30).

Cover Reveals + Title Reveals

1.King Of Fools by Amanda Foody

As of May 3 Amanda Foody announced on her twitter, the title to the sequel of her most recent novel, Ace Of Shades!

The sequel is titled: King Of Fools

According to Foody’s twitter post, King Of Fools will be released in Spring of 2019!

2.In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

On May 3, The Mary Sue revealed the cover to the 4th book in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children Series.

The cover reveal also included a sneak peek into some of the artwork.

In An Absent Dream is set to be released January 8, 2019!

3.The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

As of May 9, Bustle revealed the cover of Amy Rose Capetta’s Historical Fantasy debut novel The Brilliant Death!

There was also an excerpt alongside the cover reveal!

The Brilliant Death is pitched as a mafia, queer fantasy romance and is set to be released October 30, 2018!

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose CapettaFor Teodora DiSangro, a mafia don’s daughter, family is fate.

All her life, Teodora has hidden the fact that she secretly turns her family’s enemies into music boxes, mirrors, and other decorative objects. After all, everyone in Vinalia knows that stregas—wielders of magic—are figures out of fairytales. Nobody believes they’re real.

Then the Capo, the land’s new ruler, sends poisoned letters to the heads of the Five Families that have long controlled Vinalia. Four lie dead and Teo’s beloved father is gravely ill. To save him, Teo must travel to the capital as a DiSangro son—not merely disguised as a boy, but transformed into one. 

Enter Cielo, a strega who can switch back and forth between male and female as effortlessly as turning a page in a book. Teo and Cielo journey together to the capital, and Teo struggles to master her powers and to keep her growing feelings for Cielo locked in her heart. As she falls in love with witty, irascible Cielo, Teo realizes how much of life she’s missed by hiding her true nature. But she can’t forget her mission, and the closer they get to the palace, the more sinister secrets they uncover about what’s really going on in their beloved country—and the more determined Teo becomes to save her family at any cost.”

4.Upon A Burning Throne by Ashok K. Banker

On May 7, John Joseph Adams (editor) revealed the cover to Ashok K. Banker’s debut Fantasy novel Upon A Burning Throne.

Upon A Burning Throne is the first of a series, set to be released May 7, 2019!

Upon A Burning Throne by Ashok K. BankerThe Burning Throne of the Krushan Empire consumes and turns to ashes any who is found unworthy to rule, while endowing the rightful king with immense power.

Two princes are born in Hastinaga, capitol of the Krushan Empire. They pass the Burning Throne’s Test of Fire, but one is born blind, the other an albino, and the people fear they might not be up to the task of ruling the empire. The two princes—Shvate and Adri—are driven by their determination to quell the doubts of the people and prove that they are capable of reigning. They are put to the test when a powerful demonlord with designs on the Krushan Empire sows dissent among the empire’s allies, and Shvate and Adri must lead the Krushan forces into battle to protect Hastinaga… and to prove that they are worthy of sitting upon the Burning Throne.

5.The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Revealed on May 7 via Entertainment Weekly, was the cover (including an excerpt) for Roshani Chokshi’s upcoming fantasy novel, The Gilded Wolves!

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiAccording to EW, The Gilded Wolves “kicks off an alternately glamorous and dangerous adventure, set in Paris near the end of the 19th century, with the world on the cusp of industry and power, and ancient secrets starting to get dredged up. The book centers on treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie, who keeps tabs on secrets better than anyone. When an all-powerful society seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin enlists a band of experts to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris.”

The Gilded Wolves is set to be released January 15, 2019!

6.Children Of Blood And Bone #2 by Tomi Adeyemi Title Reveal

On May 11, the title for the sequel to Tomi Adeyemi’s debut novel, Children Of Blood And Bone was announced!

The sequel is titled:

Children Of Virtue And Vengeance

Children Of Virtue And Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi is set to be released March 5, 2019!

7.Wildcard by Marie Lu

On May 14, the sequel/finale to Marie Lu’s Warcross duology, Wildcard had its cover reveal + excerpt via Entertainment Weekly!

Wildcard by Marie Lu is set to be released September 18, 2018!

8. Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Entertainment Weekly as of May 18, revealed the cover + a Q&A with Marissa Meyer for the upcoming sequel to The Renegades, which is titled Archenemies!

Additionally, Meyer also revealed that Renegades will be a trilogy!

Archenemies by Marissa Meyer is set to be released November 6, 2018!

9.The Speaker by Traci Chee

On May 21, Bustle revealed the cover to Traci Chee’s finale to her Reader Trilogy, titled The Speaker!

The Speaker by Traci Chee is set to be released November 13, 2018!

10. To All The Boys Movie Tie-In Cover

With the Netflix release of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before movie coming August 17, 2018, Jenny Han revealed on twitter, the cover to the movie tie-in edition of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before!

11.The Tesla Legacy by K.K. Perez 

As of May 21, Hypable revealed the cover to K.K. Perez’s 2019 sci-fi novel, The Tesla Legacy!

The Tesla Legacy is set to be released March 12, 2019!

The Tesla Legacy by K.K. Perez“The Tesla Legacy follows a precocious young scientist named Lucy Phelps whose fateful encounter in the Tesla Suite of the New Yorker Hotel unlocks her dormant electrical powers. As Lucy struggles to understand her new abilities through scientific experimentation, she is thrust into a centuries old battle between rival alchemical societies.

One side wants her help and the other wants her dead, but both believe she is the next step in human evolution. Unfortunately, carriers of the genetic mutation—including Nikola Tesla—have a greatly reduced life expectancy. Even if Lucy can outrun her enemies, she can’t outrun herself.”

12.The Girl King by Mimi Yu

On May 23, the Happy Every After blog revealed the cover + excerpt to Mimi Yu’s Fantasy debut, The Girl King!

The Girl King is set to be released in January 8, 2019!

The Girl King by Mimi YuTwo sisters become unwitting rivals in a war to claim the title of Emperor in this richly imagined, Asian-inspired fantasy for fans of Renée Ahdieh and Sabaa Tahir.

Sisters Lu and Min have always known their places as the princesses of the Empire of the First Flame: the eldest, assertive Lu, will be named her father’s heir and become the dynasty’s first female ruler, while timid Min will lead a quiet life in Lu’s shadow. Then their father names their male cousin Set the heir instead, throwing both girls’ lives into chaos.

Determined to reclaim her birthright, Lu is forced to flee, leaving Min to face the volatile court alone. Lu crosses paths with Nokhai, the lone, unlikely survivor of the decimated Ashina, nomadic wolf shapeshifters. Nok never learned to shift–and he has no trust for the Empire that killed his family–but working with the princess might be the key to unlocking his true power.

As Lu and Nok form a tenuous alliance, Min’s own hidden power awakens–a forbidden, deadly magic that could secure Set’s reign . . . or allow her to claim the throne herself. But there can only be one Emperor, and the sisters’ greatest enemy could very well turn out to be each other.”

13.The Last 8 by Laura M. Pohl

As of May 28, Barnes & Noble Teen Blog revealed the cover + excerpt to Laura Pohl’s 2019 Sci-Fi debut The Last 8!

The Last 8 is set to be released March 5, 2019!

The Last 8 by Laura PohlA high-stakes survival story about eight teenagers who outlive an alien attack!
Clover Martinez has always been a survivor, which is the only reason she isn’t among the dead when aliens invade and destroy Earth as she knows it.

When Clover hears an inexplicable radio message, she’s shocked to learn there are other survivors—and that they’re all at the former Area 51. When she arrives, she’s greeted by a band of misfits who call themselves The Last Teenagers on Earth.

Only they aren’t the ragtag group of heroes Clover was expecting. The group seems more interested in hiding than fighting back, and Clover starts to wonder if she was better off alone. But then she finds a hidden spaceship, and she doesn’t know what to believe…or who to trust.

14.Crown Of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

On May 29, Paste Magazine revealed the cover to Crown Of Feathers a fantasy debut where, “warriors ride phoenixes”

Crown Of Feathers is set to be released in 2019!

Crown Of Feathers by Nicki Pau PretoI had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.”

15.Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

As of May 30, Hypable revealed the cover to Young’s upcoming novel, Girls With Sharp Sticks.

According to Hypable, “Innovations Academy is an all-girls boarding school that promises to create young women fit for the highest echelons of society. They are groomed to be graceful and obedient. They know no arrogance or defiance. Until Mena unlocks a dangerous secret.

When Mena and her friends uncover the truth about their existence, Innovations Academy will find out just how big of a problem they have on their hands. With plenty of drama, twists, and romance, Girls with Sharp Sticks promises to be a page-turner.”

Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young is set to be released April 2019!

16.Brief Chronicle Of Another Stupid Heartbreak by Adi Alsaid

On May 30, Pub Crawl revealed the cover to Alsaid’s upcoming contemporary, Brief Chronicle Of Another Stupid Heartbreak!

The cover reveal also included a giveaway pack of Alsaid’s previous books and a copy of Brief Chronicle!

Brief Chronicle Of Another Stupid Heartbreak by Adi Alsaid is set to be released April 30, 2019!

Has heartbreak broken her for good?

Dumped by her boyfriend the summer after senior year, teen love and relationship columnist Lu Charles has hit a wall with her writing. The words just won’t come to her like they used to and if she doesn’t come up with a topic for her column, she’ll lose her gig at hip online magazine Misnomer, and the college scholarship that goes along with it.

Her best friend Pete think she should write through her own pain, but when Lu overhears another couple planning a pre-college break up just like hers, she becomes convinced that they’re the answer to cracking her writer’s block. And when she meets them—super-practical Iris and cute, sweet Cal—and discovers they’re postponing their breakup until the end of the summer, she has to know more.

Have Cal and Iris prolonged their own misery by staying together, knowing the end is in sight? Or does the secret to figuring out all this love business—and getting over it—lie with them? One thing is certain—if Lu can’t make a breakthrough before summer is over, she can kiss her future goodbye.

From the acclaimed author of Let’s Get Lost and North of Happy comes a touching exploration of love, relationships, and the pain of breaking up.”

17.Dealing In Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

Teen Vogue, as of May 31, revealed the cover + excerpt to Lilliam Rivera’s 2019 novel Dealing In Dreams , set in the near future!

Dealing In Dreams by Lilliam Rivera is set to be released March 5, 2019!

Dealing In Dreams by Lilliam Rivera“We’re introduced to sixteen-year-old Nalah, who leads the fiercest crew in Mega City. But she envisions a life beyond brutal battles, partying in the metropolis’s hottest clubs, and maintaining curfew for the city-dwellers. Nalah dreams of getting off the streets and making a home in the elite Mega Towers, an exclusive residence that has top-tier resources including a school and health center. The teen receives the opportunity to prove her loyalty to Mega City’s founder: she must cross the border and find a mysterious group called the Ashé Ryders. But as she embarks on her journey, Nalah begins to question what she must do to get what she wants. And is a home just where you live? Or who you choose to protect?

Misc. Book News + Publisher News

1.King Of Scars by Leigh Bardugo Six Of Crows POV Reveal

As of May 5, Fierce Reads announced through twitter & 2018’s Yallwest Grisha Meet-Up that a Six Of Crows character would be returning w/ their POV in Bardugo’s upcoming 2019 novel:

King Of Scars

The POV will be: Nina Zenik

King Of Scars is set to be released January 29, 2018!

2. IReadYA Reveals Spring 2019 Cover Reveals

As of May 24, I Read YA revealed the covers for their upcoming spring 2019 YA Book Releases!

All the covers can be seen on their twitter!

Tours

1.Monday’s Not Coming Tour

Announced on Tiffany D. Jackson’s instagram May 9, she will be going on tour for her upcoming novel, Monday’s Not Coming!

Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. JacksonMonday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?

Monday’s Not Coming was released May 22, 2018!

The full tour schedule can be viewed on Jackson’s Instagram Here!

2. A Reaper At The Gates Tour

Announced May 17, Sabaa Tahir will be going on tour for the 3rd book in her Ember In The Ashes quartet, A Reaper At The Gates!

A Reaper At The Gates by Sabaa TahirBeyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.”

A Reaper At The Gates is set to be released June 12, 2018!

The full tour schedule can be viewed Here!

And that’s the YA Book News for May! 😄✨📚

Thoughts on May’s 2018 YA Book News? + Do you have a favorite piece of YA Book News from the month? 📚💻📰✨

LA Times Festival Of Books Wrap-Up {2018} + {Swag Giveaway!}

This past weekend I went to the L.A. Times Festival Of Books! Its a great festival hosted at USC every April where there are signings, celebration of art, music, and of course–tons of authors & books! 😍✨📚

If you’ve never gone, I highly recommend going if you have the chance! There’s always such great and interesting booths–and not just ones about books!

There’s entertainment, education, food, writing booths & so much more! (Especially great book swag!)

For Saturday April 21 it was a pretty easy schedule with only 4 authors on my list:

A Crown Of Wishes Cover RevealRoshani Chokshi author of The Star-Touched QueenA Crown Of Wishes, & her most recent, Aru Shah And The End Of Time (which I’m almost done with!!)

Sandhya Menon author of When Dimple Met Rishi

Sara Saedi author of Never Ever & Maurene Goo author of I Believe In A Thing Called Love 

I was able to meet all these authors & get my books signed! Throughout the festival I also checked out a lot of the booths, got some swag, and bought a book!

Shout-out to Maurene who recognized me b/c I also met her last year to get an ARC of I Believe In A Thing Called Love!😭✨❤💗

And Sara Saedi! I really loved her Peter Pan retelling Never Ever, so now that the sequel is out, it was great to be able to talk to her about it & what to  expect!

I also got to chat/see some lovely book blog friends again, such as Jordan from: The Heart Of A Book Blogger

Paige: The Paige Turner

& Allison: @AlliCrystal

On Sunday April 22, I had a few more authors on my list & was able to see almost all of them (sadly Nic Stone’s signing was too late for me & I couldn’t find my copy of American Panda in time to see Gloria Chao 😭):

The Belles by Dhonielle ClaytonFirst I met: Dhonielle Clayton, author of The Belles and co-author of The Tiny Pretty Things duology! {We talked about writing, then she asked me about tea-cup animals {which are in The Belles} & which one I would want–I said foxes or dragons!! 😆😍✨🦊🐉 & chatting w/ her was just so much fun!}

Before I met Dhonielle Clayton, I actually attended a panel that featured her, Sabaa Tahir, Marie Lu, & Tochi Onyebuchi for: Eat. Read Sleep: Fantastical Young Adult! This panel was moderated by Sarah Enni who runs the podcast: First Draft Pod.

They discussed the fantasy worlds they create, diversity and the importance of representation, how they go about world-building, etc.! It was a great panel & they were so funny!! 😂✨

I don’t usually attend panels when I go to book events, but this one was just fantastic & I’m so glad I attended!

Next I stayed around the YA Stage to meet:

Flight Season by Marie MarquardtMarie Marquardt author of Flight Season 

Emily X.R. Pan author of The Astonishing Color Of After (Which I still have yet to read!! But will very soon! 😭✨)

& Mary H.K. Choi author of Emergency Contact!

Getting the chance to chat w/ each author was just so great! Especially Marie & Mary, who I got to fangirl with over their amazing books!!

I also met some cool bookish people in line, such as Kalie who blogs about books at: A Bit Fairy Tale!

Afterwards I decided to make my last stop at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore booth to What You Left Me by Bridget Morrisseypick up an early copy of Bridget Morrissey’s upcoming YA Contemporary novel:

What You Left Me

I’d heard about it a while back and I definitely decided to keep it on my radar b/c it sounded like a great YA Contemporary & couldn’t miss the opportunity to get an early copy and meet the author!

Out on June 5, here is a summary: Martin and Petra meet for the first time at graduation, and though they’ve shared the halls of their high school for four years without crossing paths, there’s an instant connection the moment they’re seated next to each other at the commencement ceremony.

Then a car accident puts Martin into a coma, and Petra is somehow left picking up the pieces, using friends, family, and shared dreams to keep their surprise connection going.

Together they must unlock the truth of his situation, and with time running out, their bond becomes Martin’s best shot at waking back up to the life he’s left behind.

Overall talking with each author was amazing! They were all so kind! Getting the time to ask them questions about writing and their books was incredible!

And now for the giveaway!! I was at the Mysterious Galaxy booth & found some Furyborn swag (an exclusive sampler + bookmark!)

So not only is this my first swag giveaway, but its also my first international one!
All you have to do is RT the tweet below & follow my twitter!

& I can’t share it yet, but I’ll also be having another LATFOB giveaway soon! (Stay tuned on my twitter ^_^)

So overall it was another fantastic weekend at the LA Times Festival Of Books!! It just gets better & better w/ each year!! I can’t wait to return again next year in 2019!

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! 🙂

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? 🙂

 

August 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 10

The Kiss Of Deception1-3. The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (BYR)

The Kiss Of Deception Rating: ★★★☆

The Heart Of Betrayal Rating:★★★★☆ ½

The Beauty Of Darkness Rating:★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: I will admit I had a rough start with this Historical-Fantasy trilogy with the slow pacing + difficulty connecting to the main character in book 1, but the sequel is the best book of the 3! An enjoyable trilogy with the perfect mix of romance and betrayal!

PS I Like You4.PS I Like You by Kasie West

PS I Like You Full Review

Publisher: Point

Release Date: July 26, 2016

Pages: 304

My Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Thoughts: A delightful & cute YA Contemporary with humor + mystery! I loved Lily the main character reading from her POV made this book so fun to read! Highly recommend! ❤

Mirror In The Sky June 215.Mirror In The Sky by Aditi Khorana

Mirror In The Sky Full Review

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: June 21, 2016

Pages: 352

My Rating:★★★☆☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: The author melds 2 unlike genres and delivers it in a wonderful writing style. However I wish there was more discussed about Terra Nova (the mirror planet) which was left more in the background of the story. Regardless, the author created such a unique concept & I’m interested in reading more of her books!

Women In Science 50 Fearless Pioneers by Rachel Ignotofsky6.Women In Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed The World by Rachel Ignotofsky

Women In Science Full Review

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Release Date: July 26, 2016

Pages: 128

My Rating:★★★★★

Overall Thoughts: An inspiring read filled with stories + wonderful illustrations of women who throughout history, worked and studied hard to achieve their dreams and accomplish incredible feats in the fields of science and math!

Hidamari ga Kikoeru Cover7-8. Hidamari ga Kikoeru by Yuki Fumino (volume 1 &2)

Full Review To Come!! 

My Rating:★★★★★

Overall Thoughts: A heart-warming manga about 2 college students. One is quiet, introverted + hearing-impaired and the other is sociable+ outgoing! The two develop a friendship that hints at leading to something more! Great mental illness/health discussion! I flew through these volumes & loved each and every moment! ❤ ❤

Kingdom Of Ashes And Briars9.Kingdom Of Ash And Briars by Hannah West

ARC Review To Come Closer To Release Date

Publisher: Holiday House Books

Release Date: September 15, 2016

Pages: 352

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Loved this book! An immersive YA Fantasy that mixes fairy tales + fantasy perfectly! This novel surrounds Bristol, a kitchen maid, who discovers she is an elicromancer who is tasked with protecting the 3 kingdoms in the land of Nissera! Highly recommend adding this book to your TBR!

A Torch Against The Night10.A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember In The Ashes #2)

A Torch Against The Night Full Review

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Pages: 452

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: A fantastic sequel! The strengths of this book are definitely in the characters and their development! The tone of this book felt completely different from book 1, regardless its filled with twists and turns, non-stop action & I cannot wait to see where book 3 is headed.

Additional Posts From This Month:

August 2016 Book Releases

Empress Of A Thousand Skies Cover Reveal

Book Bytes I #5

Daughter Of The Pirate King Cover Reveal

What Books Did You Read This Month? 🙂

 

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!! 

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? 🙂