Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter Review

Not If I Save You First by Ally CarterNot If I Save You First by Ally Carter

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: March 27, 2018

Pages: 297

Summary: Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president’s son, sometimes life has other plans. Before she knows it, Maddie’s dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.

No phone.
No Internet.
And not a single word from Logan.

Maddie tells herself it’s okay. After all, she’s the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction. (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.) She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle. Her life is full.
Until Logan shows up six years later . . .
And Maddie wants to kill him.

But before that can happen, an assailant appears out of nowhere, knocking Maddie off a cliff and dragging Logan to some unknown fate. Maddie knows she could turn back- and get help. But the weather is turning and the terrain will only get more treacherous, the animals more deadly.

Maddie still really wants to kill Logan.
But she has to save him first.

My Rating:★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Carter’s latest novel, Not If I Save You First, is filled with intrigue, politics, and mystery! This page turner is mystery, thriller, and character-driven story all in one!

As a long time fan of Ally Carter’s books, I always look forward to reading what she comes up with next!

She integrates politics and mystery so seamlessly into everyone of her novels and that’s just one of the many reasons I really love her books!

Not If I Save You First follows Madeleine“Maddie” Rose Manchester, daughter of a Secret Service Agent and Logan, the president’s son.

An attack within the White House when they were 10, leads Maddie + her father to stay off the grid for 6 years in Alaska.

In that time, Maddie has been writing letters to Logan, but we quickly learn she hasn’t gotten responses. This leads her to believe, that maybe she’s lost her only friend.

Then when there’s news that Logan will be staying with them, the story takes off from there!

Now, when Maddie’s tasked with watching over him, it turns out they aren’t completely off the grid as they thought.

When its revealed someone is after Logan (and is later kidnapped), its up to Maddie to save him and when she does, they have to find answers.

Over the course of the story, they work together and unravel the mystery all while trying to stay alive in the Alaskan wilderness.

As they uncover more about what caused their friendship to end so abruptly, they also team up, help each other and maybe attempt to revive, what they felt was a long-gone connection!

I loved seeing the unique dynamic between Logan + Maddie. It was interesting to see their friendship during their younger years in the beginning + seeing how it drastically shifts in the present.

The characters and their development, especially Logan and Maddie is another aspect of the novel that I really enjoyed!

Carter does such an amazing job at keeping her characters and their development consistent throughout her books and it shows throughout the entirety of Logan and Maddie’s interactions.

The mystery as to who was after Logan and why, kept me turning the page! There’s so much mystery and things left unsaid that made it fun figuring out who was behind all this!

As for the plot and considering its a standalone, the story easily wraps up and any loose strings are pretty much resolved.

*I also loved the Gallagher Girls reference to the Blackthorne Institute!! ❤ ❤ Being a long-time fan of Carter’s books, it was fun seeing that little easter egg!!

However I will admit, the story itself was pretty slow towards the middle (when Logan + Maddie spend a lot of time trying to lose their tracks of Stefan, who’s chasing them). It did lead to a bit of repetitiveness of the setting and with that, not much happening plot wise when Logan+Maddie are trying to escape Stefan.

Additionally, the big reveal as to who was behind it did feel pretty rushed, as did the ending itself.

I will admit, the build-up itself was so incredibly done and kept raising the stakes with each moment.

When we finally reach the end, there was just a lot happening at once and overall felt a bit too fast-paced when it was revealed.

Overall though, I’m interested to read what Ally releases next! I always look forward to reading her novels and always have so much fun reading them!

Character development and mystery are at the heart of this story! Not If I Save You First is a uniquely plotted YA mystery/thriller and page-turning read! Though the pacing and ending suffer a bit, its an entertaining read perfect if your looking for a YA Contemporary/Thriller-Mystery standalone!

Take The Key And Lock Her Up by Ally Carter Review

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

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: December 27, 2016

Pages: 336

Summary: The princess is dead. Long live the princess.

Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed…or so everyone thought.

Now Grace Blakely knows the truth: There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution—which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.

There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.

If she wins, she will inherit a throne.

And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.

My Rating:★★★★☆

My Thoughts: Carter delivers a satisfying conclusion to her Embassy Row Series filled with intrigue and twists you don’t see coming!

With every novel, Carter always delivers a plot with such originality and I love that! There isn’t so much politics/intrigue and mystery to where it seems like too much and Carter knows how to balance them very well.

This novel concludes Grace’s adventures on Embassy Row as she learns more about her fate as a future princess, the mysterious Society and her mother’s secret ties to the Society + what she had uncovered all those years ago.

Carter continues to build upon the fictional country of Adria, introducing prince Thomas and the king, while also revealing more about the Society and how it plays a major role in Adria’s long and complicated history.

People want to get rid of Grace and her family, but she knows she’s not going down without a fight. Essentially this whole novel is Grace finding out more about what her mother discovered and how she can put an end to it.

As for overall plot, Princess Ann (now who I can gather was the overall antagonist) develops a plan for Grace to assume her role as princess and marry her son Thomas so Amelia’s lineage can continue. And Grace knows there is more to this than what she is led to believe.

Alexi’s mother is finally introduced! Overall she was a wonderfully written character and it was interesting to see how she was weaved into the plot and her history with Grace’s mother.

There’s introductions to the king and Prince Thomas of Adria who was definitely one of my favorite characters in this final novel (possibly even the whole series! Even though he was just in 1 book<3)

While he wasn’t in the book too much, Thomas was definitely one of the most memorable characters as was Alexi’s mother! Both were wonderfully written and developed.

While its obvious this series focuses on Grace, I felt the side-characters (Alexi, Rosie, Noah & Megan; even Grace’s brother Jamie who was quite an important character in See How They Run) weren’t given much page time for a majority of the novel and only showed up when it was convenient for the plot. That was a real bummer considering in book 1 All Fall Down, they were with Grace most of the time. They were wonderful additions to the story and it would have made this book much better if they were all together.

Regardless, it was definitely great to see Alexi and Grace together! There were more moments between them which was nice. Everytime they interacted it was clear that Grace really cared for him and vice-versa.

What I love about not only this series but Ally Carter’s books in general, is that regardless of what is going on in the story she always keeps her plot focused and doesn’t take the story in unnecessary directions. 

I did take off a star because while I adore the originality of Carter’s stories, I found myself annoyed with Grace’s voice/character. She was very repetitive about her craziness and in general repeated multiple lines over and over regarding it, among other things which really didn’t add much to the story itself a majority of the time.

Additionally, I felt certain characters (like Ann) were too cryptic and secretive about things, to the point where reading from Grace’s POV felt a little confusing at times, because no one would tell her anything!

Also as stated above, it would have been better if the side characters were included more in this final novel.

Aside from my cons about her, honestly I’ve never read about a character like Grace before, so it was great getting a unique 1st person POV and additionally what I do enjoy about her character is her independence and strength to fix problems on her own.

Overall Take The Key And Lock Her Up is a mysterious and engaging finale which ties together the mysteries that Grace has been trying to solve on Embassy Row!

Literary Listens: Podcast Recommendations Based On YA Books

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

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

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

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

Now on to today’s post 😄✨🎙📚

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

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

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

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

Listen To: Audio Dime Museum 

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

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

audio-dime-museumSummary: From the Just A Story team, comes a weekly, serialized experimental storytelling podcast which explores historical legends through the artifacts on display in the Audio Dime Museum. Part guided tour, part radio drama; each episode presents the curious story of one object from the collection. Meet your guide on this journey, The Curator, and learn her secrets as you delve into the world of possibility, magic and the unknown. Merging the suspenseful style of mystery with the conventions of ghost stories and the peculiarity that only historical fact can provide, this podcast is not for the faint of heart.

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

Listen To: Return Home (created by Jeff Heimbuch)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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? 🙂

 

PS I Like You by Kasie West Review

PS I Like YouP.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Publisher: Point

Release Date: July 26, 2016

Pages: 304

Summary: Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds thatsomeone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

My Thoughts: A perfect YA Contemporary for fans of the 90’s classic You’ve Got Mail!

I absolutely loved my first Kasie West book!

This novel centers around Lily, an aspiring singer/songwriter, who begins writing on her desk in chem. class & begins getting responses from a mysterious pen pal. Soon, the two begin exchanging letters back and forth.

I loved reading the letters/messages exchanged back and forth + how they instantly connected over their love of music.

It was interesting to see how Lily was with words in her letters vs. how shy/witty she could be in person. Overall I really related to Lily b/c similar to her love of music yet being nervous/scared to share her songs, I love writing & reading + can find it quite nerve-wracking sharing my stories/ideas!

Every character is written so well. Lily was quirky/awkward (in the best way possible!!)+ her wit/sarcasm seriously had me laughing throughout this whole book (+ I related to her so much b/c we have a similar sense of humor :’))

I loved all the side/supporting characters like David, Lucas, Isabels boyfriend Gabriel + Isabel ❤ ❤

It was fun trying to solve the mystery  with her of who the pen pal was! With each guy she would casually mention I would try to figure out if it was him! But when its revealed who it really is I was so surprised! Didn’t see that coming!!

Then it becomes a mystery for Lily figuring out whether he knows or not.
Lily then begins to know her pen pal in real life & realizes she may be falling for him!

+ I loved how Lily’s family was such a big part of this story. Similar to Lily, my family can be pretty crazy but it was great reading about just how connected they are + the traditions that make them such a unique/quirky, but overall supportive & loving family!!

The way the plot unfolds is very realistic & the elements of mystery keep the story fun & interesting!
The ending left me wanting more from these characters!!

Overall a YA Contemporary with humor, song lyrics galore + the perfect amount of mystery to keep you wondering who Lily’s mysterious pen pal is.

 

 

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

 

 

May 2016 Wrap-Up

#Of Books Read: 8

When We Collided1.When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided Full Review

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Release Date: April 5, 2016

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A lovely YA-Contemporary which brings up discussion on mental health & makes family a major part of the story. Jonah & Vivi’s relationship as it progresses, helps them both when they reach difficulties and come to grow because of it! My only issue was that at points I found it difficult to connect w/ Vivi!

tumblr_nw7oktjhbp1qdlytco1_r1_5402.The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (The Crowns Game #1)

The Crowns Game Full ARC Review

Publisher: Balzer+Bray

Release Date: May 17,2016

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

Overall Thoughts: A magical debut!! Through the writing style you really come to understand the world! The characters were all developed wonderfully & the ending definitely left me wanting the sequel!

Giant Days Vol.13.Giant Days Volume 1 by John Allison Review

Giant Days Vol. 1 Full Review

Publisher: Boom! Box

Release Date: December 1, 2015

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: Loved this comic so much! ❤ It tells the story of 3 girls who become quick friends in their first few weeks of college & all the crazy adventures they go on!

9781608868049_084824.Giant Days Volume 2 by John Allison Review

Giant Days Vol. 2 Full Review

Publisher: Boom! Box

Release Date: April 12, 2016

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

Overall Thoughts: This volume definitely focused more on the girl’s academics and relationships! While I did enjoy the more serious route, I still felt I needed to see more of the adventures these girls went on + the differing art-style 1/2 way through didn’t make this feel the same as Volume 1!

The Unexpected Everything5.The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

The Unexpected Everything Full Review

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Release Date: May 3,2016

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: This YA-Contemporary centers around Andie & what happens when her summer doesn’t go as planned! If your looking for a summer read w/ friendship/family I highly recommend this! My only issue was the length & at points the story’s pacing was quite slow!

Princless Vol. 16/7. Princless Volumes 1 & 2 by Jeremy Whitley

Princless Volume 1 & 2 Full Review

Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment INC.

Release Date: Vol.1-April 1,2014 (Encore Edition)

Vol.2-June 26,2013

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

Overall Thoughts: A great comic series centering around princess Adrienne who decides not only to save herself but her other sisters while  making friends along the way! There’s girl power, friendship & adventure! Highly recommend it!

CS0BSVEXIAAAwDn8.The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #4)

Full Review To Come

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: April 26,2016

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: Still debating between 4/4.5, but after thinking about I may leave it 4! A wonderful conclusion to a unique and captivating series! There was so much character development & the plot kept me turning the page! There were a few questions I still wanted answered by the end, but overall it was a satisfying conclusion!

Additional Post From This Month:

May 2016 Releases

What Books Did You Read This Month? 🙂

January 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 8

180033001.Love&Misadventure by Lang Leav

Love&Misadventure Full Review

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Release Date: September 17, 2013

Pages: 176

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: This book of poetry was wonderful! Each poem was written beautifully & was definitely a memorable read to start off the year!

frozentides_cover2.Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #4)

Frozen Tides Full Review

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: December 15, 2015

Pages: 400

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: Morgan continues to develop her world & characters in this amazing series! Can’t wait for book 5!

97801475098883.Once Upon A Kiss by Robin Palmer

Once Upon A Kiss Full Review

Publisher: Speak

Released: January 5, 2016

Pages: 304 

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts:  The aspect of time travel/alternate universes made this a fun read! The plot is quick/easy to follow and overall just a fun adventure! Update (late Jan. 2016)-Since writing my review, I’ve changed my rating! It really was a fun read, but I lowered it after really thinking/realizing that this was a fun book for sure, but seems more like a 4-star read!

97800624353474.Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard  (Red Queen #0.1-#0.2)

Cruel Crown Full Review

Publisher: HarperTeen

Released: January 5, 2016

Pages: 208

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

Overall Thoughts: A great addition to the Red Queen Series! Out of both of the novellas featured in this novel, my favorite is by far Queen Song. Steel Scars was good, but I felt it was lacking. However, from Steel Scars I really loved the friendship Farley & Shade developed! This definitely has me excited for Glass Sword.

252231155.Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

Just Visiting Full Review

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Release Date: November 17, 2015

Pages: 348

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

Overall Thoughts: This was a great coming of age story! The theme of friendship is the heart of this story and seen clearly through the journey both Victoria & Reagan take as they prep for college.

9780545654845_094246. See How They Run by Ally Carter (Embassy Row #2) 

See How They Run Full Review

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: December 22, 2015

Pages: 336

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

Overall Thoughts: A wonderful sequel! Ally continues to keep readers guessing till the very end! The plot further develops in this book and the ending has me excited for book 3!(**Additional note to review**) However, I do wish in further books, the characters would be more developed! They are interesting to read about, but I feel that the characters are only known on the surface level and should be further developed as the series continues!

97804514775387. Rebel Of The Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel Of The Sands #1)

Publisher: Penguin/Viking Books For Young Readers

Release Date: March 8, 2016

Pages: 320

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

Overall Thoughts: A great start to an amazing trilogy! The world and characters are very developed! More to be discussed in my full review coming soon!

9780374302160_a198d8. Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

Paper Wishes Full Review

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Release Date: January 5, 2016

Pages: 192

Rating:  Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A thoughtful and lyrical novel which explores many themes of family, loss, and friendship!

What books did you read this month?

Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

See How They Run by Ally Carter Review

9780545654845_09424See How They Run by Ally Carter (Embassy Row #2)

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: December 22, 2015

Pages: 336

Summary: Inside every secret, there’s a world of trouble. Get ready for the second book in this new series of global proportions–from master of intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace’s past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

The twists get twistier and the turns get even more shocking in the second thrilling installment of Embassy Row.

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

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

My Thoughts:

Ally Carter crafts a non-stop, action-packed story that keeps you guessing till the very end!

This was a wonderful sequel!

In terms of characters, the main one’s such as Alexei & Jamie, are given a more central role in this story and through Grace’s eyes we see much more development and growth to them.

In terms of plot,  Book 2 picks up right where Book 1 leaves off.

Grace continues to unravel the mystery of the secret society her mother was a part of and find the answers she is searching for.

Ally does a wonderful job at keeping facts hidden and revealing them at the perfect time, but also giving the reader hints to unravel the mystery themselves.

When Grace’s brother and friend Spence come to visit, they are completely unaware of what secrets Embassy Row has in store for them.

Because this story is from Grace’s POV, we piece together the mystery little by little, but also come to understand Grace much more!

What made this sequel so great, was the expansion of the world. In All Fall Down we are introduced to  the fictional country of Adria and in this book Ally introduces more politics and history which makes this story even more interesting.

Throughout most of this story, I was making-up theories and trying to piece this mystery together. While reading, I didn’t know who to trust!

Now to end!

As more is revealed about this secret society, Grace fears her brother is in danger!

When he gets hurt during an Adrian celebration, it is revealed that Grace is a lost princess!

I did not see that coming!

Overall everything about this book was fantastic!

Ally is a master at crafting an action-packed mystery!

I will definitely be marking my calendar for book 3!

 

 

January 2016 Book Releases I’m Looking Forward To!

2016 has finally begun!

2016 is filled with tons of new books I’m eager to read!

With that said, here are the new releases of January I’m looking forward to!

For 2016 I plan to make a monthly releases list to keep you updated on new releases /books I plan to read that month  🙂

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Publisher: Disney              Hyperion                             Release Date: Jan. 5,2016

1.Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (Passenger #1)

Summary: In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

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Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (BYR)       Release Date: Jan. 5, 2016

2. Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban 

SummaryTen-year-old Manami did not realize how peaceful her family’s life on Bainbridge Island was until the day it all changed. It’s 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Manami and her family are Japanese American, which means that the government says they must leave their home by the sea and join other Japanese Americans at a prison camp in the desert. Manami is sad to go, but even worse is that they are going to have to give her dog, Yujiin, to a neighbor to take care of. Manami decides to sneak Yujiin under her coat, but she is caught and forced to abandon him. She is devastated but clings to the hope that somehow Yujiin will find his way to the camp and make her family whole again. It isn’t until she finds a way to let go of her guilt that Manami can accept all that has happened to her family.

 

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Publisher: Speak    Release Date: Jan. 5, 2016

3.Once Upon A Kiss by Robin Palmer

Once Upon A Kiss Full Review 🙂

Summary: So much has happened since 1986, and Zoe Brenner is about to find out just how much.

It’s 1986 and sixteen-year-old Zoe Brenner’s world revolves around Depeche Mode, Judd Nelson, exercise-obsessed parents, and her best friend Jonah. Then one day, in a freak Fun-Dip choking accident, Zoe falls unconscious, and awakes in the year 2016. So much has changed, and Zoe needs Jonah to help her make sense of it all. But in this life, Zoe is the most popular girl in school, and she soon realizes this Zoe doesn’t associate with nerds like Jonah. As Zoe juggles new technology, attempts to hide her enthusiasm for poet blouses, and manages to keep her super jock boyfriend at bay, she tries to rekindle her friendship with Jonah and use her popularity for a good cause. Will she ever get back to 1986? And more importantly, does she want to?

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Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin                            Release Date:  Jan. 5, 2016

4. Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Here is my Full ARC Review 🙂

Summary:  Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process.

RQ Bind up
Publisher: HarperTeen Release Date: Jan. 6, 2016

5. Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen #0.1-0.2)

Summary: Discover the truth of Norta’s bloody past in these two revealing prequels to #1 New York Times bestseller Red Queen.

Also includes an exclusive excerpt of the hotly anticipated second book in the Red Queen series! Glass Sword transports readers to the world of Silver tyranny, a Red dawn rising, and one girl’s resolve to break down the system that will hold her back no longer.

Queen Song
Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.

Steel Scars
Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.

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Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary        Release Date: Jan. 12, 2016

6. Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Banderia (Ever After #1)

Summary: In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

 

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Publisher: HarperTeen Release Date: Jan. 19, 2016

7. Sword & Verse by Kathy Macmillan

Summary: Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.

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Publisher: Scholastic Press Release Date: Jan. 26, 2016

8. Its All Your Fault by Paul Rudnick

Summary: One last chance. One wild weekend. Flat out the funniest book of the year.

My name is Caitlin and up until forty-eight hours ago I had never:

Tasted alcohol, kissed a boy, sang in public at the top of my lungs, kidnapped anyone or–WHAT? STOLEN A CONVERTIBLE?

Now I’m in jail and I have no idea what I’m going to tell:

The police, my parents, the mayor, all of those camera crews and everyone on Twitter.

I have just noticed that:

My nose is pierced and I have-WAIT? IS THAT A TATTOO?

I blame one person for this entire insane weekend:

My famous cousin.

Who is also my former best friend.

Who I have HATED for the past four years.

Who I miss like crazy. NO I DON’T!!!!

IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT, HELLER HARRIGAN!!!!

9781595148506
Publisher: Razorbill Release Date: Jan. 26, 2016

9. The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry

Summary: Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

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Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books           Release Date: Jan. 26, 2016

10. Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

Summary: When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, she doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past. In life, Breezy was always drawn to the elegance of the universe and the mystery of the stars. Now she must set out to find answers and discover what is to become of her in the gritty, dangerous world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she finds is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

Which January 2016 Book Releases are you looking forward to? 🙂