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? 🙂

Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold Review

Kate Triumph by Shari ArnoldKate Triumph by Shari Arnold

Publisher: CreateSpace

Release Date: October 16, 2014

Pages: 288

Summary: Normal is so overrated.

At least that’s what seventeen-year-old Kate Triumph tells herself everyday. But the truth is she lives in constant fear that someone will discover how not normal she really is. With her startling speed and her unusual ability to heal, Kate believes she’s something of a freak.

Then Andrew Shore arrives.

He claims he’s her father, sticks around for a few days and leaves her a plane ticket. “Come to Mercer Island,” he says. “Give me a chance to get to know you.” Soon Kate is floundering in a world of new: new address, new car, new high school and, of course, new father. Not to mention Zack, her intriguing new neighbor, who makes her want to abandon her steadfast rule of never allowing anyone to get too close. But when she discovers someone is trying to kill her, life for Kate gets a bit more complicated. And a lot less normal.

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

My Thoughts: Perfect for fans of superhero stories+ Great mix of action, suspense/mystery + a little romance!

This book was spectacular, fantastic, perfection! (I can go on & on ❤ <3)

I don’t usually read superhero/origin stories but I had this one on my TBR for quite some time & felt it was the perfect time to read it!

As stated above, this novel has a superhero vibe & it kept me turning the page!

I loved reading from Kate’s POV! She is such a complex heroine & it was fun trying to better understand her abilities and overall just see her development/growth as she tries to accept/better understand her mother’s death!

Her abilities (super speed/ healing) were introduced very early on & it was interesting to see how her super speed was deep-rooted with her love of running/track.

And how her abilities really influenced her childhood! (Her mother being overly protective/cautioning her to not show her abilities)

The plot is unique and really keeps you guessing/connecting the dots!

When Kate+her mom get in a car accident, Kate’s life is changed forever!

With her mother’s passing, she comes to know her father Andrew and he convinces her its best she goes w/ him to Mercer Island in Seattle for a short time!

From there she grieves the loss of her mother, while adjusting to a new school!
She comes to meet her neighbors Zack+Brandon and comes to find out the secrets her father is hiding from her!

The intrigue/mystery is seamlessly weaved into the story and keeps the book at a rapid pace!

My only minor issue was there were moments here and there where I felt Kate’s ability origins connected w/ her mother’s past could have had a little more explanation!

The setting of Seattle really went well with the overall dark/mysterious tone of the story + the characters are all wonderfully developed and all have an important role in Kate’s life/overall plot!

There is romance weaved into the plot, but I felt it was done so well! It develops slowly and gives more development to Kate who usually had a protective/cautious parent. Also she slowly but surely took chances and opened up to more people such as her father, new neighbors, and friends at her new school!

Now some spoilers:

She comes to learn more about her mother + Andrew and their pasts:
(It was weaved into the story & made perfect sense w/ the overall tone of the story!)
Olivia’s treatments & how that led to Kate getting abilities
+ how Andrew’s life as a spy led to Olivia leaving + Andrew’s plans to keep Kate safe!

+ Throughout the story a character by the name of Jonah continues to find a way to reach Kate/Olivia (Kate’s mother)
There are hints here and there about his past & why he may be looking for them!
Around 3/4 way through I figured out why! (He is Kate’s brother!!!)

*End Of Spoilers*

I wish there would be a SEQUEL!! The ending is open ended where everything is revealed but I NEED MORE!! ❤ ❤

I definitely wouldn’t mind another Kate Triumph book!

Overall this is a fast-pace, action packed superhero tale in the making!
The intrigue/mystery definitely keeps your turning the page the dark/mysterious tone + the twists/turns will leave you wanting more!

Highly recommend this book!

 

March 2016 Book Releases I’m Looking Forward To!

In Order By Date, Here Are The Books I’m Looking Forward To This Month!

Burning Glass.jpg
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Release Date: March 1

1.Burning Glass By Kathryn Purdie (Burning Glass #1)

Summary: Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, and she can’t always decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the charming-yet-volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.

Dear Emma.JPG
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Release Date: March 1

2.Dear Emma By Katie Heaney 

Summary: Harriet, the author of her college newspaper’s pseudonymous student advice column “Dear Emma,” is great at telling others what to do, dispensing wisdom for the lovelorn and lonely on her Midwestern campus. Somehow, though, she can’t take her own advice, especially after Keith, the guy she’s dating, blows her off completely. When Harriet discovers that Keith has started seeing the beautiful and intimidating Remy, she wants to hate her. But she can’t help warming to Remy, who soon writes to “Dear Emma” asking for romantic advice.

Now Harriet has the perfect opportunity to take revenge on the person who broke her heart. But as she begins to doubt her own motivations and presumably faultless guidance, she’s forced to question how much she really knows about love, friendship and well-meaning advice.

 

A Study In Chrlotte.jpg
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Release Date: March 1

3. A Study In Charlotte By Brittany Cavallaro

(Charlotte Holmes #1)

Summary:  The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

9780451477538
Publisher: Viking Books For Young Readers                    Release Date: March 8

4.Rebel Of The Sands By Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel Of The Sands #1) 

Full Rebel Of The Sands ARC Review

Summary: She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him…or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

Iron To Iron.JPG
Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers      Release Date: March 8

5. Iron To Iron By Ryan Graudin (Wolf By Wolf #1.5)

Summary: Once upon a different time, there was a boy who raced through a kingdom of death.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Löwe has one goal in mind: Win the 1955 Axis Tour and become the first Double Cross victor. If he can accomplish that, maybe his father will finally see him as a worthy son. He’s completed the grueling trek from Germania to Tokyo before, but this time is different. Luka never expected to meet Adele Wolfe, another racer posing as her twin brother and with a singular dream—to live life on her own terms.

When Luka and Adele form an alliance, an unlikely bond forms, and even possibly love. But only one person can win the Axis Tour… Can everything Luka and Adele built together survive the race?

Hour Of The Bees.jpg
Publisher: Candlewick Press Release Date: March 8

6.Hour Of The Bees By Lindsay Eager

Summary: What does it mean to be fully alive? Magic blends with reality in a stunning coming-of-age novel about a girl, a grandfather, wanderlust, and reclaiming your roots.

Things are only impossible if you stop to think about them. . . .

While her friends are spending their summers having pool parties and sleepovers, twelve-year-old Carolina — Carol — is spending hers in the middle of the New Mexico desert, helping her parents move the grandfather she’s never met into a home for people with dementia. At first, Carol avoids prickly Grandpa Serge. But as the summer wears on and the heat bears down, Carol finds herself drawn to him, fascinated by the crazy stories he tells her about a healing tree, a green-glass lake, and the bees that will bring back the rain and end a hundred years of drought. As the thin line between magic and reality starts to blur, Carol must decide for herself what is possible — and what it means to be true to her roots.

The First Time She Drowned.jpg
Publisher: Philomel Books  Release Date: March 15

7. The First Time She Drowned By Kerry Kletter

Summary: The beautiful struggle of a girl desperate for the one relationship that has caused her the most pain

Cassie O’Malley has spent the past two and a half years in a mental institution—dumped there by her mother, against her will. Now, at 18, Cassie emancipates herself, determined to start over. She attends college, forms new friendships, and even attempts to start fresh with her mother. But before long, their unhealthy relationship threatens to pull Cassie under once again. As Cassie struggles to reclaim her life, childhood memories persist and confuse, and Cassie must consider whose version of history is real, and more important, whose life she must save.

 

Exit, Perused By  Bear.jpg
Publisher: Dutton Books For Y.R.  Release Date: March 15

8.Exit, Pursued By A Bear By E.K. Johnston

Summary:  Veronica Mars meets William Shakespeare in E.K. Johnston’s latest brave and unforgettable heroine.

Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.

In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.

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Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (BYR) Release Date: March 29

9. The Winners Kiss By Marie Rutkoski (The Winners Curse #3)

Summary: War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

The Great American Whatever.jpg
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Y.R. Release Date: March 29

10. The Great American Whatever By Tim Federle

Summary:  Quinn Roberts is a sixteen-year-old smart aleck and Hollywood hopeful whose only worry used to be writing convincing dialogue for the movies he made with his sister Annabeth. Of course, that was all before—before Quinn stopped going to school, before his mom started sleeping on the sofa…and before Annabeth was killed in a car accident.

Enter Geoff, Quinn’s best friend who insists it’s time that Quinn came out—at least from hibernation. One haircut later, Geoff drags Quinn to his first college party, where instead of nursing his pain, he meets a guy—a hot one—and falls hard. What follows is an upside-down week in which Quinn begins imagining his future as a screenplay that might actually have a happily-ever-after ending—if, that is, he can finally step back into the starring role of his own life story.

After The Woods by Kim Savage Trailer Review

 

Watch The Trailer Below: 

Trailer Originally From Hypable!

Trailer Thoughts:

This trailer really gives off a “creepy vibe” and really has me curious to know what will happen in this book!

It focused more on Liv & Julia in the woods and didn’t really give too much away.

 The trailer definitely executes elements of mystery and suspense wonderfully!

I do love a good mystery/thriller and can’t wait to read it!

What are your thoughts on this trailer? Let me know in the comments below! 

Want to know more? Read the summary below 🙂

 

ATW_forposterPublisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Release Date: Feb. 23, 2016

Summary: Would you risk your life to save your best friend?

Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.

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!

 

 

December 2015 YA Releases I’m Looking Forward To!

frozentides_cover1.Frozen Tides (Falling Kingdoms #4) by Morgan Rhodes

Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: December 15th, 2015

The Falling Kingdoms Series really got me into YA Fantasy and I cannot wait to read the 4th installment of this 6 book series!

 

 

 

232084172.This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: December 22, 2015

I am a big fan of YA Contemporary & the synopsis of this book has me interested!

 

 

 

 

9780545654845_094243.See How They Run (Embassy Row #2) by Ally Carter

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: December 22, 2015

I am a big fan of Ally Carter! Her books sparked my love of reading and I cannot wait to see where her new series is headed with book 2!

 

 

What December Releases are you looking forward to? 🙂

A Fierce And Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry ARC Review

***Received from author through a giveaway*** (read/reviewed originally in 2015)

Mabry_FierceandSubtle_jkt_rgb_2MB1A Fierce And Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers – Release Date: April 12, 2016

Pages: 278 (ARC), 288 (Hardcover)

Summary: In this stunning debut, legends collide with reality when a boy is swept into the magical, dangerous world of a girl filled with poison.
 
Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

A Fierce and Subtle Poison beautifully blends magical realism with a page-turning mystery and a dark,  starcrossed romance–all delivered in lush, urgent prose.

My Rating:Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

My Thoughts:

* It’s pretty difficult to sum up this book in one review, b/c there was so much to this story, but I will definitely try my best :D!

This book was incredible! Samantha’s elegant and captivating writing style kept me hooked from start to finish.

Going into this book, I was unsure what to expect. Considering Laura Ruby, author of one of my favorite books from 2015 Bone Gap blurbed it, I knew I would really enjoy it, but I didn’t just enjoy it, I loved it!

As stated before, Samantha’s writing style delivered a vivid and magical story that I loved.

The supporting characters are written with such depth and complexity that I truly felt I knew them.

Lucas is a very kind and heroic main character. When his girlfriend Marisol suddenly disappears, he does everything he he can to piece together this mystery.

With Lucas not being Puerto Rican himself, we see just how out of place he feels and how alone he is. Also considering he does not see eye-to-eye with his father, who is completely different from Lucas.

As the story progresses, Lucas and Isabel team up, much to Isabel’s dismay, and try to figure out what is going on.

What I loved about Lucas and Isabel, was that their friendship was written not only beautifully but realistically. While Lucas tries to help Isabel feel less alone by becoming her friend, she constantly warns him to stay away, for good reason. It takes most of the book for them to develop and build their close friendship, but by the end you see just how different they’ve become because of it.

Samantha also shows Isabel’s ability in a unique and interesting way.

When she builds up too much poison, she has to be near plants and release it into them or she gets really sick.

With Isabel possessing this ability, she is under constant watch from her father and is forced to stay inside. Because of that we see, Isabel feels very alone, similar to Lucas.

As stated above, Isabel’s father also plays a huge role in this story. His protectiveness over Isabel stems from the relationship with Isabel’s mom.

We come to learn that Isabel’s mother was cursed and with that, Isabel became cursed herself. Reading about her mom’s backstory and what lead to Isabel and her father’s current relationship was truly heartbreaking 😥

As the story progresses, Isabel goes with Lucas to solve this mystery, but at a price. She begins to build up so much poison and is unsure if she will make it.

As the story comes to an end, we come to learn through certain circumstances, that Isabel’s father is responsible for the disappearing girls. With Isabel reaching her limit, Lucas knows he won’t be able to save her.

Sadly, Isabel doesn’t make it. But, Lucas comes to accept what happened and knows he will never forget.

*The ending is rather open-ended! 

Overall, this was a captivating and magical debut! One I will never forget. If you are a fan of magical realism, looking for more diverse settings, or are just looking for a unique read I highly recommend this book!

If you have read this book/are planning to, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments  🙂