Monday, June 26, 2017

[ARC Review] Mask of Shadows by Lindsey Miller ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Summary:

Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen's personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.
 



Review:

I'm not sure how to start this review. I was left underwhelmed by the end of the book. I think hyping this book as a mix of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo left me feeling disappointed.

Besides this, I found the first 15% great. It was very unique and I loved the main character. But after, it didn't match the first 15%. I felt like I've read this story before in Throne of Glass and Hunger Games. 

I wished to see more world building because I thought it would have made this book better. I'm still on the fence if I'm going to read the sequel.


Overall I would give Mask of Shadows 3 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

For more information about this book please visit goodreads

Saturday, June 24, 2017

[Guest Post] Imogen's Typewriter Review of Wonder Boy!

Hey everyone! 

Today on the blog I have a guest post by Imogen Imogen's Typewriter !! Thank you, Imogen, for guest posting. Check out the full guest post below!

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Now, I loved Nicole Burstein’s first book; Othergirl and gave it a glowing review on my blog so I, of course, picked up her second book when I went to YALC. Then didn't read it for a year. Mood readers, eh? But I knew I would love it, and I knew it would (hopefully) make a good review for Sabrina’s wonderful blog! So here we go...


Joseph ‘Wilco’ Wilkes is one of life’s loser’s – he’s picked on, pushed around, and bullied by the rugby boys at the posh private school he attends on a scholarship. But his life is about to change: Wilco learns he can move things with his mind. Will this be his chance to play the hero, get the girl and finally stand up for himself? Or are things just going to come crashing down around his head? Becoming a proper hero will be quite the leap of faith...

This book is, for me, one of the few perfect middle grade/ early teen books. It puts kids problems in an understandable, but different environment of a contemporary world plus superheroes. The overarching storyline was clever and superheroes are always fun to read about, but this origin story is so much more while still written in a beautifully simple way. I finished it in a day and while I'm a grown-up, I can't imagine anybody getting stuck in this one. Guaranteed slump-buster.

Even with superheroes though, I rarely thought about that part of the book while collecting my thoughts after finishing. Much like the first book, Wonderboy deals a lot with friendship but also with bullies, the value of education and working hard, the pressure of private schools, first relationships... And although this book doesn't have any LGBT+ representation, there is a lovely part where Joseph's friend is reassuring him that it wouldn't affect their friendship if he were gay.

And this was also amazing because boys talking about their feelings. I read a lot of 'boy books' as a kid, having an older brother, and it's genuinely refreshing to read a book where boys talk to each other about feelings without bluster or banter. The main character and his best friend are honest and trusting with each other, and I love it.

Wonderboy is the second book in a duology but they're companion novels, rather than a series.  Nicole Burstein has done a great job adding throwbacks to Othergirl which are great, but don't in anyway effect the reading of this book.


Start with Othergirl, start with Wonderboy, just start this series. Both of the books are fantastic. Exactly the kinds of books that everyone will enjoy, but should definitely be put into the hands of young teenagers. The morals are on-point without being obvious and they're just fun to read!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Would you look at that cover. Enough said

If you haven't read The Lunar Chronicles, I highly recommend that you do. The writing and the craft of the story was so well done. I won't be disappointed with Renegades. 

Summary:
From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer, comes a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.


The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.






For more information about the book please visit goodreads.

Monday, June 19, 2017

[ARC Review] Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Summary:
At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story



Review:


The first half was slow but important. It builds up the background of Lynet and Mina. These two characters are dynamic. Each complement the other for a greater good. The approach of the retelling is quite unique. 

I love how the story first starts of with Lynet's present and Mina's past. And as the novel progresses, Mena's POV builds to the present. This is important as it shows the history of the characters.  I don't normally read retelling but I believe this retelling of Snow White was beautifully done.  The imagery and descriptions of Winterspring were breathtaking. 

This books definitely highlights feminism such that it stresses the importance of females helping females and they can coexist peacefully. The reader will understand why as they read. This is a wonderful female empowerment fantasy novel. 


Overall I would give Girls Made of Snow and Glass 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

For more information about this book please visit goodreads

Friday, June 16, 2017

[Guest Post] Lizzi @ Bedazzled Booklover!


Hey guys! I'm Lizzi, from bedazzledbooklover.wordpress.com. I'm here to give you my top 3 summer contemporary recommendations! 

I live in Michigan, and as soon as the weather hits 60 degrees, we pull out our flip flops and tank tops, and begin driving with the windows rolled down. We head to the park for picnics, and the beach to read in the sun. I do those things, but most importantly, when I start feeling warm weather, I set out on a journey to my bookshelves (it's not a long journey. They line almost every wall in my bedroom) and I pick out the books I want to read for the summer. I normally have an obscene amount of books on my seasonal TBR, so then I go through and choose about 10 or so to list in my TBR post. The others just sit on my desk, awaiting their turn to be read. 

So today, I am providing you with 3 of my favorite summer contemporary reads. Each of these books is on my master TBR for the summer. 

So in no particular order, here we go! 


The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson is my new favorite summer contemporary. I read it in July last year, and immediately fell in love. One of the best things about it, is that it's over 500 pages. It's a really long book! 

It follows a girl named Andie, who is a politicians daughter, and has basically her entire life planned out. Until a scandal changes her life, and her plans. Then she meets Clark, a nerdy guy (Clark Kent anybody??) and a totally spontaneous addition to Andie's summer. She has to learn to live with the unexpected events in life, and with Clark, she attempts to do just that. 

It's an adorable coming of age novel, with just the right balance of cute, romance, cheese (I love the cheese) and feels. I definitely recommend picking this up over the summer. 



Next I have Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. Open Road Summer is the perfect road trip book. You can probably read it in one sitting if you're taking a long drive or are going to be on a plane for a while. If I remember correctly, the first time I read this book, it was like 1am and I needed something to read me to sleep, and I ended up staying awake until about 3:45am to finish it.

Open Road Summer follows a sassy and rebellious girl named Reagan, who just happens to be the best friend of a sweet, and totally famous country singer Lilah Montgomery. Reagan has just broken up with her boyfriend and is really torn up about it, and vows to be drama (and boy) free while she accompanies Lilah on a cross country music tour for the summer. Unfortunately for Reagan, fate has other plans. 

If you like romance, sassy main characters who could totally beat up a guy, and lots of drama, this is the book for you! 


Lastly, I have another book featuring a politician's daughter, which is My Life Next Door by Emery Lord. This is absolutely in my top 10 contemporaries of all time. 

We follow a girl named Samantha Reed, who is the daughter of the senator. She's got the perfect life in most people's eyes, but she longs for something more. Something that just happens to reside right next door. Samantha finds herself going against her mothers wishes and hanging out with her next door neighbors, and basically creating a life for herself there. But when a tragedy strikes both families, she has to make big decisions about herself and where her duty lays. 

This book will make you laugh hysterically, ugly cry, laugh some more, and ugly cry again. If you need an emotional roller coaster contemporary, My Life Next Door is perfect for you. 


That's all I have for you! Thank you so much Sabrina for letting me guest post on your blog! I hope you're enjoying your time off! 

-Lizzi
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Well you had me at necromancer and that cover, wow that cover. My Waiting on Wednesday is Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh!

Summary:

An LGBT fantasy series that follows a talented necromancer who must face down a deadly nemesis who has learned how to turn her magic into a weapon.

Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised--the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa's necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead--and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer's magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

A lavish fantasy with a surprising and breathtaking LGBT romance at its core, Reign of the Fallen is a gutsy, unpredictable read that will grab readers by the throat and never let go....


For more information about the book please visit goodreads

Monday, June 12, 2017

[ARC Review] Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

Summary
Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape. 

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.


Review


I read Bad Romance in one day. I haven't read a book that was so real and raw in a loooong time. I'm still finding trouble finding the right words to describe how moving this story was. This was a tough read because it dealt with so many real things such as abuse, pregnancy, cheating, and more. I haven't read a book that dealt with all these topics in a single book and to have it described so raw and real as this one. 


It's unapologetically real and eye opening. I believe YA contemporaries have the chance to teach readers something and Bad Romance has done just that. The fact that this book embodies a song and it's meaning is worthwhile. 

I was moved by this story and I believe everyone, if you're in a relationship or not, can learn something from this novel.


Overall I would give Bad Romance 4 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


For more information about this book please visit goodreads.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Hummingbird Heart by A.G. Howard

The Hummingbird Heart is the second book in the Haunted Hearts 4 book series. I cried my eyes in the first book. The writing was beautiful and haunting. I highly recommend reading book 1, The Architect of Song.

Summary:


Set 19 years after The Architect of Song.

Shortly after escaping a circus tragedy, young Italian orphan, Willow Antoniette, seeks refuge at The Manor of Diversions—a holiday resort in England born of a ghost story. For eleven years, she’s raised alongside the children of the resort’s owners: Julian, his twin brother, Nick, and their younger sister Emilia. Now that Willow is of marriable age, she's determined to escape finishing school along with everyone's efforts to make her a proper lady. The only man she wants to spend her life with is Julian, after all. Yet how can she tell him, when he thinks of her as nothing but a friend? 

As a machinist and engineer, Julian Thornton prefers a governable life. He can't allow his ever-deepening attraction for Willow to distract from his amusement park plans to lure a younger, wealthier clientele to their family's resort. In hopes to escape Willow and find investors, Julian sets off on a transatlantic ocean liner headed for the St. Louis World’s Fair, unaware Willow has secretly stowed away on the same ship. 

A tiny, mute orphan named Newton and a pair of haunted Italian shoes bring Willow and Julian face to face on deck. Forced to work together to solve the mystery of Newton and his vindictive, ghostly companion, Julian and Willow can no longer fight their untapped passions. However, time to admit their true feelings is running out, for the ghost and her murderer have enlisted them as unsuspecting pawns in a karmic game of cat-and-mouse that could cost all of them their lives.




For more information about this book please visit goodreads

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

[ARC Review] Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill

Summary
A young, street-savvy runaway looking for a place to call home realized he might have conned his way into the wrong family in this fast-paced and thrilling novel from award-winning author Cristin Terrill.

When ten-year-old Daniel Tate went missing from one of California's most elite communities, he left no trace. He simply vanished.

Six years later, when he resurfaces on a snowy street in Vancouver, he's no longer the same boy. His sandy hair is darker, the freckles are gone, and he's initially too traumatized to speak, but he's alive. His overjoyed family brings him home to a world of luxury and comfort he can barely remember. In time, they assure him, he'll recover his memories; all that matters now is they're together again. 

It's perfect. A miracle. Except for one thing.

He isn't Daniel Tate.

He's a petty con artist who accidentally stumbled into the scam of a lifetime, and he soon learns he's not the only one in the Tate household with something to hide. The family has as many secrets as they have millions in the bank, and one of them might be ready to kill to keep the worst one buried.



Review:

You definitely need this book. This is an incredible story about love and loss and trying to find one's place. It is full of twists and turns. You think "Daniel Tate" has all the secrets, guess again. This book will keep you on your toes and make you doubt what you think is the truth. 

We never really know who is the male behind Daniel Tate. We get bits and pieces of his life but as this male continues the identity of Daniel Tate, this male's life and Daniel Tate's life becomes blurred. He has conned people for years now. But he is out of tricks and must figure out how to continue the identity of Daniel Tate before someone figures him out, or has someone already figured him out?

I'll leave that question for the reader but I can't recommend this book enough. This YA contemporary deals with unique elements that hasn't been explored much in YA. 

The ending left me in chills and in shock. It's one of those ohmyfreakinggoodness moments that you won't forget.

By the way, I received an ARC from the author and I'm still thrilled and thankful.

For more information about the book please visit goodreads.
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Monday, June 5, 2017

[Book Tour] Roar by Cora Carmack



From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Releasing June 13, 2017, ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Order your copy today!




New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack's young adult debut: Roar.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora's been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2rvA6ag

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2qxlFoi

iBooks: http://apple.co/2rvx3im

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2q0MP2U

Book Depository: http://bit.ly/2qWjb3Q

 Add to your Goodreads





Review:

What a magical and electrifying (did you see what I did there??) world!  I loved how one could wield storms as a form of power. The stormlings can stop storms and if they are powerful enough, they can take the storm's heart. This aspect is very important for certain realizations later in the book.

I liked the main character. I didn't love her but I enjoyed the fact that she was head strong but also vulnerable. The ending was not a cliff hanger but a certain character comes to a realization and their world may just fall apart.

I need book 2 like yesterday. 

Overall I would give Roar 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Excerpt:

You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind. You are Stormling, Aurora Pavan. Believe it. 
Believe it, and others will too.
It was a vow that her mother, Queen Aphra, made her swear on the day she reached twelve years. She had gripped her daughter’s shoulders tight, and Rora could still remember the pinch of pain, the furious beat of her heart as she saw how afraid her mother was and learned to be afraid too. 
Today that fear had led Aurora Pavan to sign her life away before she ever had the chance to really live it. 
As she was primped and prettied like some kind of sacrificial offering, her mind remained stuck on her morning spent in the throne room. She recalled the rasping sounds as the treaty was unrolled and the way her fingers suddenly felt too weak to hold a quill. Many days of her sheltered life had been spent writing out ideas and facts and figures for her tutors, yet in that moment, she had struggled to remember the letters of her name. Then she had met her mother’s eyes, and those familiar words came to her again. 
Colder than falling snow. 
That was what Rora had to become as her shaking hand sealed her fate with a scratchy, bleeding line of ink. And now hours later a stranger peered back at her from the looking glass, powdered white so that none of her flaws would show. 
Rora’s white-blonde hair had been curled and bound up in an elaborate ceremonial headdress that was crowded with jewels, flowers, and four jagged crystals cut like bolts of lightning to mimic her mother’s skyfire crown. Headdresses honoring a family’s ancestors were an important part of Pavanian tradition for the upper echelons of nobility to the poor and working class. They were donned for birth and death and every major life event in between, including betrothals. But this headdress was larger than Rora had ever seen. It had to be anchored to the thick metal necklace she wore about her collar with embellished fastenings, and it weighed on her nearly as much as the events of the night still to come. 
Her already pale skin had been covered in a shimmering white powder, which made her look like she’d just emerged from a blizzard. Her ribs were tightly bound in a corset that squeezed and squeezed until it felt like all her organs were in the wrong place. Over that was a heavy, beaded gown whose neckline dipped low, revealing far more cleavage than she had ever shown. The fabric clung to her frame until it fanned out at her knees into a long train, and the color of the dress changed from white to ash gray to glittering black. 
Rora looked exactly as her mother had always told her to be—lightning made flesh: blinding white and bright against a dark sky, and the train that pooled around her was the ground, charred black by her impact. 
It was stunning. Exquisite, really. Even, Rora, who hated dresses of all kinds, could tell that. It was also a lie. Every jewel, every bead painted a picture of someone that wasn’t her. But that was the goal for tonight’s betrothal celebration…to be someone else, to be the perfect Stormling princess. Because if she failed, everything could fall apart. 



Cora Carmack’s ROAR – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:
June 5th
As The Book Ends – Review & Excerpt
BookWorm221 – Review & Excerpt
Milky Way of Books – Review & Excerpt
Omg Books and More Books – Review & Excerpt
Reads All the Books – Review & Excerpt
Taylor Fenner's Bookish World – Review & Excerpt
June 6th
Letshaveakya – Review
Smart & Savvy with Stephanie – Review & Excerpt
June 7th
Ali's Reviews and More – Review & Excerpt
Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt
Books, Dreams, Life – Excerpt
Dazzled by Books – Review & Excerpt
Quite the Novel Idea – Review & Excerpt
June 8th
BookCrushin – Review
Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
NovelKnight – Review
June 9th
Books Books Books – Review & Excerpt
Feeling Fictional – Review & Excerpt
Grownup Fangirl – Review
June 10th
Ceres Books World – Review & Excerpt
My Fangirl Chronicles – Review & Excerpt
Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt
Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Review & Excerpt
Zili in the Sky – Review & Excerpt
June 11th
Book Briefs – Review
PBC – Excerpt
Vi3tbabe – Review & Excerpt
June 12th
Feed Your Fiction Addiction – Review & Excerpt
Reads & Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Swoony Boys Podcast – Review & Excerpt
Take Me Away To A Great Read – Review & Excerpt
June 13th
Beneath The Covers Blog – Review & Excerpt
Chapter Break – Review & Excerpt
I'm A Book Shark – Excerpt
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review & Excerpt
Two Chicks on Books – Review & Excerpt
June 14th
Kindle and Me – Review & Excerpt
My Book Filled Life – Review & Excerpt
Stuck In Books – Excerpt
The Cover Contessa – Review & Excerpt
Bibliobibuli YA – Review & Excerpt
June 15th
A Hopeless Romantic's Booklandia – Review & Excerpt
Books Need TLC – Review & Excerpt
Lit This & That – Review & Excerpt
The Book Hookup – Review & Excerpt
This Jabberwocky Eats Books – Review & Excerpt
Shelf Life-Review
June 16th
Closet Geeks and Slow Mo – Review & Excerpt
Fishing for Books – Review
Library of a Book Witch – Review & Excerpt
The Book Maven – Review & Excerpt
Under the Covers Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
June 17th
Book Lovers Hangout – Review & Excerpt
Smokin' Hot Reads Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
The Ordinary Housewife Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
YA Insider – Review



About Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Since she was a teenager, her favorite genre to read has been fantasy, and now she’s thrilled to bring her usual compelling characters and swoon-worthy romance into worlds of magic and intrigue with her debut YA fantasy, Roar. Her previous adult romance titles include the Losing It, Rusk University, and Muse series. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. Cora splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City, and on any given day you might find her typing away at her computer, flying to various cities around the world, or just watching Netflix with her kitty Katniss. But she can always be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her website www.coracarmack.com.