February 2017 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 8

traitor-to-the-throne-by-alwyn-hamilton1.Traitor To The Throne by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel Of The Sands #2)

Traitor To The Throne Full Review

Publisher: Faber&Faber

Release Date: February 2, 2017

Pages: 512

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: A fantastic sequel that truly surprised me! Hamilton focuses more on the politics and world of Miraji, while expanding on the magic/mythology. Her writing style as with Rebel keeps the story moving and really immerses you into the story! I am beyond excited for what’s to happen in Rebel Of The Sands #3!

kings-cage2.King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen #3)

King’s Cage Full Review

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: February 7, 2017

Pages: 528

My Rating:★★★★☆ 

Overall Thoughts: The world and characters really develop over the course of this novel compared to the previous installments. There is much needed expansion beyond Norta & many aspects of the world and politics surprised me + really added more depth to the world. However with the addition to multiple POV’s, there was 1 POV in particular really dragged the story  & did more of *showing instead of *telling.  Additionally, there are certain characters who I wish were present more. Regardless, Aveyard’s 3rd installment was entertaining and kept me turning the page! Interested to see how the Red Queen Series ends in Book 4!

welcome-to-the-ballroom-volume-13.Welcome To The Ballroom Vol. 1 by Tomo Takeuchi

Welcome To The Ballroom Full Review To Come

Publisher: Kodansha Comics

Pages: 192

My Rating:★★★★☆ 

Overall Thoughts: A great introduction to a new manga series about Tatara, a high school student who gets involved with ballroom dancing! I wish there was more development with the characters b/c they were all introduced wonderfully! Overall there’s comedic moments, dynamic characters and a unique plot that has me eager to read the next volumes!

the-valiant-by-lesley-livingston-book-review4.The Valiant by Lesley Livingston (The Valiant #1)

The Valiant Full Review

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: February 14, 2017

Pages: 384

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: A character-driven tale about a Celtic princess turned gladiator! The engaging and well-rounded characters made this novel so much fun to read. I do wish the story’s pacing was a little faster + had more action! Regardless, this was an immersive tale about sisterhood, family, & honor! Cannot wait to read where Fallon’s journey is headed in the sequel!

because-of-the-sun-by-jenny-torres-sanchez5.Because Of The Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Because Of The Sun Full Review

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: January 3, 2017

Pages: 272

My Rating:★★★★☆

Overall Thoughts: The writing style is very “dream-like” and makes this YA Contemporary so unique! Dani has lost her mother and must adjust to a new life with her aunt in New Mexico. She forges a friendship w/ Paulo and he is very supportive during her time of grieving. There is an additional POV in this story, which added tons of background but did slow the story a little for me. Overall, themes of grief, family, love and loss are weaved perfectly into this novel that truly focuses on Dani’s journey as she comes to terms with her mother’s death.

ronit-and-jamil-by-pamela-l-laskin6.Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin

Ronit & Jamil Full Review

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Pages: 192

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Written in verse, Laskin’s modern take on Romeo & Juliet is lyrical and fast-paced! Ronit & Jamil can’t help but fall in love. However a wall across their lands keeps them separated, but they know deep down their love won’t be fractured. Conflicts arise and their family wants what’s best for them. While there are some moments it does feel rather rushed, overall this tale delivers a message of hope!

A Conjuring Of Light7.A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab (Shades Of Magic #3)

A Conjuring Of Light Full Review

Publisher: Tor Books

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Pages: 624

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Phenomenal character development + world-building weave throughout the masterfully crafted plot! A truly phenomenal conclusion to the Shades Of Magic Series!

monthly-girls-nozaki-kun-volume-28.Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun  by Izumi Tsubaki (Vol. 2)

Monthly Girls Full Review To Come (Vol. 1-3)

Publisher: Yen Press

Release Date: February 23, 2016

Pages: 144

My Rating:★★★★☆ ½

Overall Thoughts: Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun is easily becoming one of my favorite Manga series!
As always, romance/high-school tropes are given unique+comedic spins & that’s what makes it so fun to read! There is tons of character development and the plot continues to be fun, unique, & engaging! Cannot wait to read volume 3!

Additional Posts From This Month:

~None This Month~

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard Review

kings-cageKing’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen #3)

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: February 7, 2017

Pages: 528

Summary: Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

My Rating:★★★★☆ (maybe 4.5? Still deciding on rating!)

My Thoughts: King’s Cage expands the Red Queen world and Aveyard delivers incredible character development + will leave readers ready for Book 4!

Looking back while Glass Sword wasn’t the strongest addition to the series, King’s Cage definitely delivered!

I’m never let down by Aveyard’s writing and as always I find myself surprised at how fast I finish reading her books!

~Major Spoilers Ahead~

The story starts off with Mare as both Maven’s prisoner and pawn. She is being tortured and due to the Silent Stone, can’t use her ability!

Maven forces Mare to use her identity as the “Lightning Girl” to bring Newbloods and Reds to his side and expand his power as king.

An aspect which took me by surprise was seeing the inner workings of Maven’s rule! Mare states during her time in the palace, he looks weaker and more tired. Due to all the stress he is put under, he knows he can easily loose his grip on power, so he will do anything to keep the throne!

The Scarlet Guard doesn’t give up hope to get Maven off the throne & it was definitely a surprising twist to see them get stronger as the months passed, becoming an unexpected obstacle for him.

Mare comes to terms with how she treated people back in Glass Sword + over the course of the novel she really changes and reflects on her behavior to become a better person.

The last act mostly revolves around getting Mare comfortable with the guard/her friends & family now that she’s escaped + prepping her for to join the expanded guard ready to fight Maven!

The aftermath of the battle was definitely fast-paced and had me unsure what was going to happen next!

*No spoilers, but while I didn’t absolutely love it, I really enjoyed the ending to King’s Cage and I definitely feel the final installment will end the series off on a good note!

One of the best parts of this series is Maven! Aveyard really knows how to handle his character and we really come to know more about him and his past! While I do enjoy reading about him, I definitely applaud Aveyard for not excusing or showing redemption for his behavior!

Over the course of this story I really felt more connected to Mare than I did in GS and through her narrative it was clear that Maven’s equally expanding rule would bring trouble for the Scarlet Guard as well!

I adored getting more from the world! We know there is more beyond the Kingdom of Norta and while we get a bigger scope of RQ’s history we also get introduced to the surrounding kingdoms and their rulers.

Another interesting addition was Multiple POV! I’ll be honest, my rating is low because while I enjoyed the new perspectives and adored the characters themselves, *Which I won’t spoil* and while I enjoyed both pretty equally I felt one of the POV’s both dragged the story and just directly told us of events going on behind the scenes, instead of letting us figure it out ourselves.

As for other aspects I really loved about King’s Cage:

~What truly took me by surprise was the inner turmoil and rebelling of the other Houses! How it was developed was something I really enjoyed. I loved how Aveyard showed the costs for Maven taking the throne! I was not expecting Maven to show stress/fear from his position!

~We get more development from characters like Evangeline, Maven of course, Kilorn and it was great to see different facets to their character. (Kilorn + Cal development was also done very well!)

~I loved the Cal + Mare development! 

~Mare bonds more with the other women in this series which was awesome and I loved how they helped/relied on each other along the way!

Aside from some minor issues with the POV, I also took off a star b/c:

~I wish there more  page time with Cal + Maven! I felt this novel showed how big of a role they have in the series overall+ once Book 4 comes and overall it would have been great to get more scenes with them!

+ I tried my hardest to, but personally I just couldn’t avoid similarities between this novel and another I previously read before getting into King’s Cage! 😥

Regardless of those issues, King’s Cage is filled with fun twists and turns, expansion beyond Norta and overall this novel truly shines because of its characters! Aveyard as usual will leave you wanting the next book right away!

Book Bytes I #7

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

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

1.Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda Finds A Director!

Becky Allbertali’s debut novel Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, was optioned to be a movie back in 2015! As of September 6, Greg Berlanti, best known for producing/writing for popular DC shows on The CW/CBS such as Legends Of Tommorow, Supergirl, The Flash & Arrow is now set to direct Simon Vs.

Additional info can be found on The Hollywood Reporter article Here!

2.Everything,Everything Officially Filming

The month of September has been filled with behind the scenes pictures from Everything Everything’s movie set!

No release date has been announced yet, so for those of you who haven’t read Nicola’s novel, what are you waiting for? Now’s the perfect time to read it!!

3.Throne Of Glass Headed To Hulu

As of September 7, Sarah J. Maas, author of the NYT Bestselling Throne Of Glass + ACOTAR Series announced her novel Throne Of Glass is in the works to become a TV show for Hulu!

A writer/company/producer are attached to the project, Queen Of Shadows (the show’s title according to news sources) 

Additional info can be found on Deadline’s article Here

4.Red Queen Coloring Book

The NYT Bestseller Red Queen have a coloring book!

Announced September 21, this coloring book will contain scenes and quotes from the series depicted within the pages

Its set to be released December 20, 2016!

 5. Heist Society Movie Updates

Ally Carter author of the Gallagher Girls, Heist Society + Embassy Row Series, recently announced that her novel Heist Society, currently under option with Elizabeth Banks & Mark Handleman at Lionsgate to be adapted as a film, will undergo script rewrites.

As of September 22  The Hollywood Reporter  stated screenwriter Dylan Meyer will “take a second pass at the script.”

Dylan Meyer is best known for her work as a screenwriter on the Netflix film XOXO.

6.Seeker By Veronica Rossi Cover Reveal

Hypable revealed the cover of Seeker, the sequel to Riders. Announced September 30, the article from Hypable contains not only the cover, but also an official summary+excerpt!

Seekers is set to be released May 16, 2017.

What Book News Have You Heard?  🙂

 

 

Book Bytes I #4

Book Bytes is a feature I created to give quick updates in the book community such as cover

reveals,  book adaptation & so much more!

1.Everything,Everything Director

June 1st, it was announced that Stella Meghie would be attached to direct Nicola Yoon’s 2015 YA-Contemporary Debut Everything,Everything!

More info can be found on The Hollywood Reporter article Here

2.The Song Rising Cover Reveal (Bone Season #3)

On June 2 Samantha Shannon revealed the cover for the third book in her Bone Season series!

This book has a cover change from the previous books, but Samantha assured the spines would still match!

The Song Rising is set to be released March 2017!

 

3.The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life Excerpt+Cover Reveal

On June 8 EW released an article which revealed the cover+an excerpt of The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life which is from the same author who wrote Aristotle&Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe! You can read the excerpt on the EW article Here!

It is set to be released March 7,2017!

4.Red Queen 3 Release Date+Cover

On June 8 Victoria Aveyard, author of the NYT Bestselling series Red Queen announced the third book in her series will be released February 7,2017 + a cover reveal would be coming soon!

5. A Torch Against The Night Tour

June 16, Sabaa Tahir announced the tour dates for her book A Torch Against The Night the sequel to An Ember In The Ashes.

She will be on tour from the end of August to mid-September

Full list of tour dates can be found Here!

6.The Selection Director

June 18, Kiera Cass author of The Selection Series announced a director was found for The Selection movie!

More can be found on the Variety article Here!

The Selection is currently under option at Warner Bros.

7.A Crown Of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi Cover/Excerpt

June 21, on EW revealed the first chapter + the cover to the companion novel of the NYT bestseller The Star-Touched Queen 

Ch. 1 can be read Here! + Here is the cover:

It is set to be released March 2017!

A Crown Of Wishes Cover Reveal

8.The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig Cover Reveal

On June 22, YABC revealed the cover for the sequel/finale to The Girl From Everywhere!

Here is the cover:

It is set to be released March 28,2017!

The Ship Beyond Time

9. Bloodrose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves Cover Reveal

Also on June 22, Rosalyn Eves revealed the cover for her 2017 YA-Fantasy debut!

Book 1 in a new trilogy set in an alternate Victorian England!

It is set to be released March 28, 2017

 

10.Epic Reads 2017 Winter Cover Reveals

On June 27 Epic Reads revealed a number of covers for the books they are releasing from January to April!

There are a number of continuations, finales, debuts+ standalones!

You can check out the full list Here 

11. King’s Cage Cover Reveal

On June 28, Epic Reads revealed the cover for the 3rd book in Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen Series

It is set to be released February 7, 2017!

12.Our Chemical Hearts Optioned for Film

On June 29, The Hollywood Reporter announced Krystal Sutheraland’s 2016 YA-Contemporary debut Our Chemical Hearts film rights were picked up by Awesomeness Films!

It is set to be released October 4 2016!

What book news have you heard this month? 🙂

 

February 2016 Wrap-Up

# Of Books Read: 6

Between-shades-of-gray1.Between Shades Of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades Of Gray Full Review

Publisher: Philomel Books

Release Date: March 22, 2011

Pages: 344

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: This was my first Ruta Sepetys novel and it was amazing! While heartbreaking, this story focused on another side to WW2 not usually explored. I really felt for each character and their struggles during the war. The pacing was a little slow at times, so that’s why I took away a star.

9781481432696_3be562. Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackhearts Full Review

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: February 9, 2016

Pages: 384

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: By the end, I felt I really knew each and every character. Anne and Teach slowly develop a relationship and through the writing, I really felt I was transported to that time period. With each chapter, I really saw their relationship develop and grow! Definitely a wonderful debut novel!

51791fac06ad83b1f20c93afe76b15dbe0df3b813.Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen #2)

Glass Sword Full Review

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: February 9, 2016

Pages: 448

My Rating: Full StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

(Still in between 4/4.5)

Overall Thoughts: Glass Sword definitely had a different tone to it than RQ. Maven’s transition to a villain really made this book a blast to read! He is now my fave. character in the series! My issues were mostly with plot direction and world building! But this was definitely a solid sequel! I do plan to continue the series!

2 Salt To The Sea4. Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt To The Sea Full Review

Publisher: Philomel Books

Release Date: February 2, 2016

Pages: 400

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: Told through multiple, short, POV’s we follow 4 people as they plan to board the Wilhelm Gustloff! The writing style truly creates such emotion and depth within each character! Similar to Between Shades Of Gray, this novel focuses on war from a different angle. This novel was absolutely brilliant! Highly recommend ❤

1 Unhooked5.Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Unhooked Full Review

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: February 2, 2016

Pages: 342

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

Overall Thoughts: This was a dark and immersive retelling of Peter Pan. The tone/atmosphere was definitely present all through out the story. The characters and plot were wonderfully developed. However, I did feel the ending was quite rushed!

Earths-End-Cover-Only6.Earth’s End by Elise Kova (Air Awakens #3)

Earth’s End Full Review

Publisher: Silver Wing Press

Release Date: February 11, 2016

Pages: 350

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

Overall Thoughts: A great continuation to an amazing series! Character development is huge in this story. The end will definitely leave you wanting to get your hands on Book 4 right away!

What Books Did You Read This Month? 🙂

Let Me Know In The Comments Below!

February 2016 Book Releases I’m Looking Forward To!

In order by date, here are the books I’m excited to get to this month!

1 Unhooked
Publisher: Simon Pulse Release Date: Feb. 2

1.Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Summary: For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?

2 Salt To The Sea
Publisher: Philomel Books Release Date: Feb. 2

2.Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Salt To The Sea Full Review

Summary: In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are  Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

 

 

3 Revenge And The Wild
Publisher: Balzer+Bray Release Date: Feb. 2

3.Revenge And The Wild by Michelle Modesto

Summary: The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.

Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.

But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.

51791fac06ad83b1f20c93afe76b15dbe0df3b81
Publisher: HarperTeen Release Date: Feb. 9

4.Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen #2)

Glass Sword Full Review

Summary: Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

blackhearts-9781481432696_hr
Publisher: Simon Pulse Release Date: Feb. 9

5.Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackhearts Full Review

Summary: Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

9780062380753
Publisher: Greenwillow Books Release Date: Feb. 16

6.The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (TGFE #1)

Summary: It was the kind of August day that hinted at monsoons, and the year was 1774, though not for very much longer.

Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveller. She, her father and their crew of time refugees travel the world aboard The Temptation, a glorious pirate ship stuffed with treasures both typical and mythical. Old maps allow Nix and her father to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times – although a map will only take you somewhere once. And Nix’s father is only interested in one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix’s existence rather dangerously in question…

Nix has grown used to her father’s obsession, but only because she’s convinced it can’t work. But then a map falls into her father’s lap that changes everything. And when Nix refuses to help, her father threatens to maroon Kashmir, her only friend (and perhaps, only love) in a time where Nix will never be able to find him. And if Nix has learned one thing, it’s that losing the person you love is a torment that no one can withstand. Nix must work out what she wants, who she is, and where she really belongs before time runs out on her forever.

What Feb. Book Releases are you looking forward to?

Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard Review

51791fac06ad83b1f20c93afe76b15dbe0df3b81

Glass Sword (Red Queen #2)

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: February 9, 2016

Pages: 448

Summary: Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

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

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

My Thoughts:

Even while writing this review, I’m still unsure about the rating (debating between 4/4.5)! I still really did enjoy Glass Sword though!

As with her previous works, Victoria’s writing style continues to keep the story fast-paced. However, we also see character insight with just a few lines, which is what I love about Victoria’s writing style so much.

“When he turns his head, his crown slips, too big for his skull. Even the metal knows it does not belong to him” (21).

We see growth and development from the original cast of characters, but also get introduced to some new ones (mostly New Bloods).

Where this book definitely shines is in its characters. After I finished Red Queen last year, I liked Maven but didn’t love him as much as everyone else did. After Glass Sword however, he is now my FAVORITE!! ❤

He was always one step ahead and was such a meticulous planner! Because he wasn’t in many scenes, each moment w/ him was impactful and really showed his true colors as a villain!

Both Mare & Cal are different too! After RQ, they find it very difficult to trust others and question everything b/c of it.

There were also many moments that really shocked/surprised me!

1. Shade’s Death!- In RQ we are led to believe he died, but when that really does happen, I was heartbroken!

2.Maven- He is very smart and really has his plans thought out! As stated above, he really knew what he was doing and does some pretty horrible things to get to Mare!

3.The Ending- Mare gives herself up to save Kilorn, Farley & Cal! In doing so she becomes Maven’s prisoner and goes through testing/experiments!

Now to what disappointed me!

Again this was not a bad book, but there were some aspects I expected more from!

1. World Building-Yes we do visit other territories in this book, but the world still feels underdeveloped! We get mentions of various places, but there really isn’t much explanation.

2.Maven- While Victoria wrote him wonderfully in this book, I’m only disappointed b/c I really wanted him to be in more scenes. He was such a well developed character and his transition to a villain is really what made this book for me! I just wish he was more present in the plot, not just through a couple scenes & letters.

3. Tone- While this book is a great addition to the series, it didn’t have the same feel to it as RQ did! However I believe that is B/c of Mare as a character! Coming to terms with what happened, we are given many lines of how her trust has changed/reminiscing on RQ, and how she feels about Maven’s betrayal. At some points it felt quite redundant, many lines were her mentioning the same thing just in different ways.

4.Plot- While it went in a lot of directions I wasn’t expecting, I just expected more to happen.

Overall this was a wonderful addition to the RQ world. As with RQ, the ending has me eager to read the next installment and see what happens next!

If you’ve read Glass Sword let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard Review

9780062435347Publisher: HarperTeen

Released: January 5, 2016

Pages: 208

Summary: Two women on either side of the Silver-Red divide tell the stories no one else knows.

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.

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

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this novella bind-up!

I actually already read Queen Song, back in September, so I was just focused on reading Steel Scars.

Separately I would give Steel Scars 4 Stars!

It was definitely a fun read and a great story to give you more back story on Farley and Shade before/leading up to Red Queen.

Farley is working for the Scarlet Guard and in this novella we know more about her, like her name, her past/family, and how events here lead to her meeting Mare in RQ.

Similar to RQ, Victoria’s writing style definitely kept the story immersive and action-packed, and in these novellas she continues to do just that!

I did take away a star b/c while Steel Scars was an interesting novella, the pacing of this one was quite slow especially towards the middle. I also wish there was more expansion on the RQ world in this novella. With Farley as the narrator I felt there was potential for her to give us even more background/history to better develop this wonderful world Victoria created!

However, what really made this novella a blast to read was definitely Falrey and Shade! Separately they were wonderfully developed characters, but once they were working together the novella was even more fun!

Learning more about Shade and his powers, especially from Farley’s perspective was great.  By the end in RQ, we just have tidbits of info about Shade that we gather throughout the story, but hearing Shade tell Farley about his powers/history really added more to this novella.

Overall this was an entertaining read! If you haven’t read the RQ novellas yet, or just want to get more from the RQ world, I highly recommend buying this novella-bind up! + you get 3 GS chapters! 🙂

If you’ve read any of the RQ novellas/Cruel Crown, let me know your thoughts in the comments 🙂

 

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.

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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? 🙂

Top 10 Books of 2015

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly post originally from The Broke & The Bookish!

Here are my top 10 books of 2015! (In no particular order)

These books ,no matter how long ago I read them in the year, have still stayed w/ me! (all of these got 5 Full Star)

  1. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  2. Mosquitoland by David Arnold
  3. Air Awakens by Elise Kova (Full Review Here)
  4. An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  5. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  6. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  7. Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin (Full Review Here)
  8. Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman (Full Review Here)
  9. Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
  10. Sacred Lies Of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

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