Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Release Date: March 1, 2016

An intoxicating debut fantasy about a girl who's forced to sense other people's feelings to guard the emperor against assassins. Can she protect the empire and her heart? 

In Riaznin, it's considered an honor for Auraseers like Sonya to serve as the emperor's personal protector—constantly using her gift to scan for feelings of malice and bloodlust in the court. But Sonya would rather be free.

After the queen's murder and a tragic accident, Sonya is hauled off to the palace to guard a charming yet volatile new ruler. But Sonya's power is reckless and unwieldy. She's often carried away by the intense passion of others. And when a growing rebellion forces Sonya to side with either the emperor who trusts her or his mysterious brother, the crown prince, Sonya realizes she may be the key to saving the empire—or its greatest threat.

Steeped in intrigue and betrayal, this sweeping new fantasy trilogy captivates with heartrending romance, dangerous magic, and one girl's quest for redemption. 

A Fantasy? About a girl who guards an emperor against assassins?! I am IN! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

10 Wishes The Book Genie Should Grant Me

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

1.) Please go through my shelves and clean them out for me. 

I wish I had a book genie that could go through all of the stacks and stacks that I have and clean them up for me. Seriously, I need someone to decide what I'm going to let lay there forever and what I'll actually read. Who better to do that than a book genie who can see my future? (Because they so would see into the future, too) 

2.) Give me the power of speed reading! 

Or at least, allow me to read more than a few pages without dozing off. It isn't the book's fault. It's my exhausting life's fault. If I had the power of speed reading I would be able to read everything I needed to in those few minutes. 

Life would be grand. 

3.) I want a sequel to Gone With the Wind. 

I wish Margaret Mitchell wasn't hit by that carriage/car, as I am sure she would have written something else. Anything else. It doesn't even have to be a sequel. I just want some more Mitchell. 

4.) I wish I could visit the worlds that I love. 

The book genie would definitely be able to transport me into bookish worlds that I love. Each book I have would also have a portal for boring nights and endless adventures. 

5.) I want all the beautiful leather books. 

I want them to line my shelves and make me look super sophisticated. 

6.) I want books that are water proof. 

I want to read in the shower. And in the ocean. And in the pool. And the rain. I also want the paper pages not to puff out if they get a wee bit damp. 

7.) I want endless and rotating book shelves. 

I want neverending book shelves that rotate to allow me what I want, when I want it. Think the Clueless closet but with BOOKS! 

8.) I want to be able to write something great. 

The book genie can help me create books, right? 

9.) I want the Book genie to give me endless wishes. 

This is probably obvious, but I want to keep the book genie forever. 

10.) Paper cuts are a thing of the past. 

I love my Kindle, but even paper books should be free of danger filled finger slice action. 

What would your genie grant you? 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard [Book Review]

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Release Date: February 15, 2015
Buy it on Amazon here

This is a world divided by blood - red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart... 

I finally read this one, ya'll! I was expecting it to be good, and I was very pleased to discover that i was not wrong in my assumption. This one got a lot of hype back in the spring, and I do think it was well deserved.

Ultimately, this book had all of the classic elements that lead to a best seller. There is royalty, uprising, romance, twists, and a cliff hanger ending. What more can you want? the plot was easy to follow and you are rooting for Mare, our heroine the whole way.

Mare is introduced to us as a "peasant" girl. One of the lower class Reds who lives her life under the thumb of the Silver upper class. Mare has faced hardships and heartache - so when she runs into a stranger she feels overcome and tells him of her troubles. Only to have her life change as a consequence.

This book was so good, but there is a quite a bit of suspension of disbelief that occurs for some of the main plot points. Mare's identity is easily questionable, and her very "status" in society can be found by what color she bleeds. This is something that is very easily discoverable and I found myself questioning the likelihood of her story playing out as it is depicted. When your whole life can be destroyed by getting a paper cut, there are questions that need to be asked.

I loved Cal, but who wouldn't love Cal? I wish there had been more development with their friendship. I wanted more scenes with them together! I felt that Maven was a more difficult character to feel for, so I was always rooting for Cal to be in her life as Maven scenes just felt a little bit awkward.

I wanted more royal backstory as well, just what exactly really happened with Cal's mom? What's the Queen's backstory? We get glimpses of these things but I really would like to know more and have them more fleshed out.

Overall: Red Queen is great. The hype is mostly worth it and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I will be eagerly awaiting Glass Sword!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Stacking the Shelves!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews! 

I am officially on Fall break, ya'll! Let's here it for sleeping in and the possibility of some catching up. I'm going to attempt to ignore all of my pending school work this week so I can give books and the blog some much needed love. :) 

Here's what I got this week! 

For Review: 

Release Date: February 10, 2016
An intoxicating debut fantasy about a girl who's forced to sense other people's feelings to guard the emperor against assassins. Can she protect the empire and her heart? 
 In Riaznin, it's considered an honor for Auraseers like Sonya to serve as the emperor's personal protector—constantly using her gift to scan for feelings of malice and bloodlust in the court. But Sonya would rather be free.

After the queen's murder and a tragic accident, Sonya is hauled off to the palace to guard a charming yet volatile new ruler. But Sonya's power is reckless and unwieldy. She's often carried away by the intense passion of others. And when a growing rebellion forces Sonya to side with either the emperor who trusts her or his mysterious brother, the crown prince, Sonya realizes she may be the key to saving the empire—or its greatest threat.

Steeped in intrigue and betrayal, this sweeping new fantasy trilogy captivates with heartrending romance, dangerous magic, and one girl's quest for redemption.  
An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.

Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom's haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.

Long ago, Kelsea's forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea's nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen's Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.

Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen's vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen's Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as "the Fetch."

Kelsea's quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea's journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.
You guys should know by now I can't resist Kindle deals...  

With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out. 

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love... 

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

All of these bought were Kindle deals. Proof I have a horrible, horrible problem as two of them I already owned in physical copies. 

Kindle reading is just so much easier, you know? 

What did you guys get this week? 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Let's Talk: Commitments and Failures

So, I'm really good at making commitments. 

I also totally suck. 

On the one hand, I officially finish my BA in English and minor in Comm in TWO MONTHS. 

On the other hand, I can't even finish the Hunger Games trilogy. 

I'm so bad about finishing series even when I love them, and I'm not sure if that's just because I have so many books and so little time, or maybe I just don't like finishing things...?

As a typical college student who works and what not, I struggle to maintain everything. I attempt to do a little bit of all the things, and I've lived my life this way for years. 

In between studying, homework, and life I'll write a blog post. I'll try to read for five minutes before I inevitably fall asleep. 

I write so much for school that I attempt to still keep some creative writing in my life, though admittedly this one is the hardest. 

My life for the past five years has been doing things in pieces.

I know that at times I'm not the most consistent blogger. I'm excited for a life where I can post more than just meme posts and reviews every week, and with school ending that life seems to be quickly approaching. 

What do you all think of commitments and inevitable failures? 

Are there any things that you're bad at finishing?

I'm often amazed by how other bloggers are able to maintain their reading lists, posts, etc... 

Hopefully when school is over, I will be granted to more reading time than I can imagine. :) 

Now back to midterms. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas [Book Review]

Title: Ash & Bramble
Author: Sarah Prineas
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 15, 2015
ISBN: 0062337947

A prince.
A ball.
A glass slipper left behind at the stroke of midnight.
The tale is told and retold, twisted and tweaked, snipped and stretched, as it leads to happily ever after.
But it is not the true Story.
A dark fortress.
A past forgotten.
A life of servitude.
No one has ever broken free of the Godmother’s terrible stone prison until a girl named Pin attempts a breathless, daring escape. But she discovers that what seems to be freedom is a prison of another kind, one that entangles her in a story that leads to a prince, a kiss, and a clock striking midnight. To unravel herself from this new life, Pin must choose between a prince and another—the one who helped her before and who would give his life for her. Torn, the only thing for her to do is trade in the glass slipper for a sword and find her own destiny.
This one was a whirl wind, and I'm still not entirely certain of exactly what it was that I just read. It was definitely not what I was expecting and I think a lot of the highlights were lost to me in my own confusion.

I didn't dislike it... but I found myself struggling to make a connection and become indebted.

Pin/Pen is our heroine and she really doesn't know much of anything. Truly, her past is a secret and she struggles with her identity in pretty much every sense of the word. She wakes up and finds herself a seamstress stuck inside of a fortress, and bad things go down.

Then she makes a friend with the shoemaker (aptly named Shoe) and things go down.

A lot happens in this book, and I almost feel like it should have been multiple books to ease the reader in rather than having one 400 + book where so many things happen.

There are really multiple starts, and multiple ends... and I honestly struggled to keep going at times because I was so bogged down and confused. I felt as if while a lot was happening, nothing was also happening... which doesn't quite make sense.

There were pages and pages of information but I felt at times like I wasn't getting anywhere, and keeping myself motivated to keep it up was hard.

However, the times when the story was going, and was moving I felt it was good. There were moments when I found myself glued to the page... it was just getting there that was the problem.

I didn't really like Shoe, I felt he was way too mopey, and Cor was kind of pointless - I felt like he was just around to add his character into the mix.

In the beginning I really liked the idea of an evil God Mother, but then once again this seemed to fizzle out the farther into the story we got.

This is one of the few times that I think the focus on being a fairy tale retelling really hurt rather than help. This book was so focused on being similar to a fairy tale that x, y, and z had to happen -- and all of that stuff just wasn't that entertaining.

All in all, if you want a darker fairy tale then this one may be for you. I think my opinion is abnormal with this one and most people enjoyed it. -- Maybe I'm just growing inpatient with old age?

What did you guys think of this one?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Release Date: February 19, 2016

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.

What are you guys waiting for this week?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Top Ten Bookish Things I NEED To Quit

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

1.) DNF. 
"Did Not Finish" tends to be my most dreaded term. It makes me feel like a failure. However, my refusal to DNF books means I get behind and force myself to spend weeks on books I'm just not that into. I hope to come to a happy medium somewhere between forcing myself to finish and deciding that enough is enough. 

2.) Keeping Up. 
Most likely due to my refusal to DNF and power through, I end up horribly behind. Last month I had to add eight books to this month's list of books to read because I failed so much last month. 

It's like falling into a hole that just keeps getting bigger... 

3.) Know When Enough is Enough... 
I have a hard time wanting to request every awesome book that comes around. I buy so many awesome books, and then I request awesome books... and then more awesome books... 
I only request books I think I will love, but once I have requested them I feel indebted. My TBR list just keeps growing and growing and growing... 
It is easy to feel overwhelmed. 

4.) Enough Blogger Envy. 
I don't have bad Blogger envy, but it isn't hard to notice how wonderful everyone else seems to be at this. I see all of these great bloggers with awesome designs who can post daily and read five books a week... but that isn't me. I wish it was, but unfortunately I work and go to school full time. It has been confirmed that I don't have super powers, and osmosis of books does not work via pillow to brain transmission. 

This is something I don't always talk about, but I need to remember that I'm just me and that is okay. 

5.) Being Unsocial. 
As mentioned above, I do a lot of IRL stuff, so I'm often not on Twitter and talking to the community. But here's the thing... I REALLY want to be. I want to be a part of the Twitter-verse and talk to cool blog people, but it seems like I'm from the outside looking in. 

This is something that I would really love to change. I would love to have a blog distraction and conversations throughout my day. It would make me work/school life so much better! 

So... if you have a Twitter, talk to me! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

What to Watch: October 2015

Here are the releases for October 2015 that I'm most excited for! 

These are the titles you should be watching. 

October 6

October 13

October 20

P.S. If you guys have yet to read The Jewel or Snow Like Ashes yet... that is your homework assignment! Be ready for theses next installments. 

What October titles are you guys excited for? 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tyngas Reviews!

So, this week is my midterms and life just feels crazy! 
Sometimes life is just hard, you know? 
It is my last semester of my SENIOR year of college, so at the very least it should look up soon! 

This week I received... 
For Review: 

The Leaving Season
Release Date: 3/1/2016

Nicholas Sparks fans will devour this heartfelt romance by an exciting debut author.

Middie Daniels calls it the Leaving Season: the time of year when everyone graduates high school, packs up their brand-new suitcases, and leaves home for the first time.

This year Middie’s boyfriend, Nate, is the one leaving. Nate, who’s so perfect that she can barely believe it. Nate, who makes her better than she is on her own. Nate, who’s promised to come back once he’s finished his gap year volunteering in Central America. And when he does, it’ll be time for Middie to leave, too. With him.

But when tragedy strikes, Middie’s whole world is set spinning. No one seems to understand just how lost she is…except for Nate’s slacker best friend, Lee. Middie and Lee have never gotten along. But with the ground ripped out from under her, Middie is finding that up is down—and that Lee Ryan might be just what she needs to help her find her footing once more.

Cat Jordan’s heartbreaking story proves that no matter the season, no matter the obstacles, love can help you find yourself in the most unexpected of places.

Balance Keepers: The Pillars of Ponderay
Release Date: September 22, 2015 

The second book in Lindsay Cummings’s epic middle grade fantasy adventure trilogy, reminiscent of Journey to the Center of the Earth

Albert Flynn is psyched to return to the Core, the magical world at the center of the earth where Balance Keepers fix problems in three underground Realms. Last term, Albert and his Balance Keeper teammates Birdie and Leroy saved New York by fixing the Calderon Realm and were crowned First Unit, aka the Coolest Kids in the Core.

Now Albert and his teammates have been called to the Core for an emergency training session…along with their archenemy, Hoyt. There’s a horrible Imbalance in the Ponderay Realm and they have only seven days before California will be swallowed by hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Worse yet, it’s rumored there’s a traitor among them who is causing all this chaos. 

Will Albert, Leroy, and Birdie discover who’s been putting the Core—and the world above—in danger? Can they save Ponderay before California becomes an underwater wasteland forever?
This second book in Lindsay Cummings’s epic fantasy adventure series is packed with fantastical creatures, perilous journeys, and the magic of choosing to do what’s right.
Perfect for fans of Percy Jackson or Lisa McMann’s the Unwanteds series.

Thanks so much to HarperCollins and Edelweiss! I haven't read the first Balance Keepers book - but I do like Lindsay Cummings! I was wondering if this one would arrive at my doorstep, I may just have to check it out!  

What did you guys get this week? 
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