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!

July 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 6

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

Crystal Crowned Full Review

Publisher: Silver Wing Press

Release Date: July 12, 2016

Pages: 432

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

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

Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold2.Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold

Kate Triumph Full Review

Publisher: CreateSpace

Release Date: October 16, 2014

Pages: 288

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

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

Highly recommend this gem of a book! ❤

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

Never Ever Full Review

Publisher: Viking Books For Young Readers

Release Date: June 21, 2016

Pages: 320

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

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

27 Magic Words4. 27 Magic Words by Sharelle Byars Moranville 

27 Magic Words ARC Review

Publisher: Holiday House Books

Release Date: July 30, 2016

Pages: 228

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

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

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

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

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers

Release Date: March 8, 2016

Pages: 120

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

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

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

9780062379962_31a316. Girl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes

Girl Against The Universe Full Review

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: May 17, 2016

Pages: 382

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

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

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

A must read for YA Contemporary fans!! ❤

Additional Posts From This Month:

Book Bytes I #4

YA Books I’d Love As Graphic Novels

Top 5 Wednesday

This Savage Song Playlist

Waiting On Wednesday I #7

What books did you read this month? 🙂

Never Ever by Sara Saedi Review

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

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Release Date: June 21, 2016

Pages: 320

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

Then she met a real-life Peter Pan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As for plot I really loved it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“WHAT?? It can’t end like this!!”

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

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

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.