Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson

My TBR list is always growing and I thought it would be fun to share my anticipation for those books with all of you. This is not my own original meme; it belongs to Breaking the Spine. It specifically spotlights upcoming releases. As it implies in the title, I'll be posting this meme on Wednesdays. Please feel free to comment and let me know what books you guys are waiting on as well!

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Expected Pub. Date: May 30th, 2017
Pre-order it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.

But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn onto the throne much sooner than she expected.

In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.

I haven't read Sara B. Larson's other trilogy, but it has been on on my TBR for the longest time and maybe reading Dark Breaks the Dawn will push all of Sara's books to the top of my reading schedule!

Also, a shapeshifting female main character and an alluring Lord? 

I find the cover really striking, and it makes me think of my favorite fairy tale—The Six Swans. I'm curious if this will have any similarities to that, and I can't wait to find out! 

How about you guys? Have you heard of this one? Is it on your TBR? Let me know! :D

Sara B. Larson is the author of the acclaimed YA fantasy DEFY, and the sequels IGNITE and ENDURE. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband and their three children. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day (while mourning the demise of naptime) and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction.
Connect with Sara: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Dystopian You NEED In Your Life! My Flashfall Review!

Paperback ARC
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co./Macmillan
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository 
Orion is a Subpar, expected to mine the tunnels of Outpost Five, near the deadly flash curtain. For generations, her people have chased cirium—the only element that can shield humanity from the curtain’s radioactive particles. She and her caving partner, Dram work the most treacherous tunnel, fighting past flash bats and tunnel gulls, in hopes of mining enough cirium to earn their way into the protected city.

But when newcomers arrive at Outpost Five, Orion uncovers disturbing revelations that make her question everything she thought she knew about life on both sides of the cirium shield. As conditions at the outpost grow increasingly dangerous, it’s up to Orion to forge a way past the flashfall, beyond all boundaries, beyond the world as she knows it.

Flashfall absolutely BLEW ME AWAY. I went into this book with zero expectations, and it was so much more than I ever could have expected or imagined. Not only is Flashfall one of my favorite 2016 debuts, but it's now one of my favorite books of all time! If you're looking for a brilliant, swoony, heart-stopping dystopian, look no further—Flashfall is "the one" for you. Honestly, I could (and I have) re-read this book over and over again and never get sick of it—it's simply that wonderful. The stakes in this book are so incredibly high that it left me breathless and don't even get me started on how fantastic the main ship is because . . .

Even if you're not typically a fan of dystopian novels or you've been disappointed by many of them in the past, I highly urge you to give this one a try. If Flashfall doesn't change your mind, nothing will.

1) The main character, Orion, is far from a special snowflake. Everything that she excels at is from her own hard work, and my god, this girl is a BADASS. At the same time, she's vulnerable and passionate, and when she loves—she loves fiercely. Her story is literally an emotional roller coaster that's mostly a downward spiral, so how she was able to keep her head and stay focused, I have no idea. It boggles my mind, because if I was in Orion's position, I would just have curled up in the fetal position and waited for death. Basically, I love her so much and I'm dying to read more about her!

2) You guys know that I am all about the ships, and Flashfall has has a great one. They kind of remind me of Tris and Four from Divergent, but not dysfunctional and more adorable. Dram and Orion are definitely one of my new OTPs. They are so freaking cute—it honestly made my heart sing. My favorite thing about them is how they balance each other out. One is not specifically better, more-skilled, or more useful than the other—they are equal partners and their passion for one-another is undeniable. Just thinking about these two gives me ALL THE FEELS!

3) All of Flashfall is written from Orion's POV, but the plot itself is multi-layered with overlapping storylines for the other characters. Usually, I expect a single-POV story to be pretty limiting regarding how much of the rest of the world and other characters' storylines we get to see, but this is not the case in Flashfall. It's truly masterful how this is accomplished, so I'm incredibly impressed with Jenny Moyer's skill.

4) I have read so many dystopian novels, and too often, the stakes are . . . meh. However, there is nothing easy about this book. Time and time again, the characters struggle, are punished, and are literally put through hell—which in my opinion is the beauty of a great dystopian—and what people who enjoy dystopian novels want to read. In Flashfall, the ultimate goal of the main characters doesn't come without a cost—which they are forced to pay—and it totally crushed me. While reading, I had a constant adrenaline rush and my pulse felt like it was going rupture my veins; it was amazing!

(In a good way ;D)

1) The alternative curse words. In some cases it was okay, and in during other times, it wasn't. There is a term, glenting, that I'm still not entirely sure I know what it means. Overall, I would have just preferred regular cursing XD

Also, check out the amazing Official Full Length Trailer for Flashfall!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

My TBR list is always growing and I thought it would be fun to share my anticipation for those books with all of you. This is not my own original meme; it belongs to Breaking the Spine. It specifically spotlights upcoming releases. As it implies in the title, I'll be posting this meme on Wednesdays. Please feel free to comment and let me know what books you guys are waiting on as well!

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pub. Date: May 2nd, 2017
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
A Great Winged One will soon arise and cast his fearsome shadow upon the land. And just as Night slays Day, and Day slays Night, so also shall another Black Witch rise to meet him, her powers vast beyond imagining.

So foretells the greatest prophecy of the Gardnerian mages. Carnissa Gardner, the last prophesied Black Witch, drove back the enemy forces and saved her people during the Realm War. Now a new evil is on the horizon, and her granddaughter, Elloren, is believed to be Carnissa’s heir—but while she is the absolute image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above nearly all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren is eager to join her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University and finally embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the University, which admits all manner of peoples—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of her people—is an even more treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.
I can tell that The Black Witch is going to be filled with awesome female characters. A legendary Grandmother witch and a granddaughter who's looking to make her own destiny?

And it's a fantasy book filled with multiple creatures and powers! What more could I ask for? 

How about you guys? Have you heard of this one? Is it on your TBR? Let me know ^_^

Laurie Forest lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. The Black Witch (May 2017, HarlequinTEEN) is her first novel, and Wandfasted (The Black Witchprequel, Summer 2017, HarlequinTEEN) is her first e-book novella.
Connect with Laurie: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Poison's Kiss by Breeana Shields Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Author: Breeana Shields
Pub. Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook
Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Goodreads
A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves. This commercial YA fantasy is romantic and addictive like — a poison kiss — and will thrill fans of Sarah J. Maas and Victoria Aveyard.

Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It s a miserable life, but being a visha kanya a poison maiden is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she s really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.

This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Breeana Shields graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English.

Her debut young adult fantasy, POISON’S KISS, will be released from Random House in 2017 with a sequel to follow in 2018.

When she’s not writing about herself in the third person, Breeana loves reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband, her three children and an extremely spoiled miniature poodle.
Connect with Breeana: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

A few years ago, I was listening to a lecture series on espionage and covert operations when the instructor mentioned a legendary figure in Indian folklore—the poison damsel, a woman fed poisons from childhood so that she gradually becomes immune but is toxic to any man she lures as her lover.

It was just one sentence in an eighteen-hour course, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. What a terrible choice to make for a child—sentencing her to a life that she’s powerless to leave. Isolating her forever from true human connection. I wondered what would happen to a girl who was turned into an assassin, but wasn’t cut out to be a killer. How would that life affect her? How would it break her?

Once I realized that the story wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote it, I started researching the legends of the visha kanya, as well as mithridatism, which is the process of slowly becoming immune to a poison by ingesting it in ever increasing doses.

I knew I wanted to set Poison’s Kiss in a fantastical world, but it was important to me that it be a world that was based on the culture where the legend was born. India is extremely culturally diverse, so I pulled from different regions and languages as I built Sundari. I also read dozens of Indian folktales, and bits of those legends also made their way into the book, as well as many elements that were purely my own creation.

My goal in Poison’s Kiss was to create a unique world with its own history and culture, while still paying homage to the origins of the visha kanya myth. I hope readers enjoy it as much as I loved writing it.

Week One:
1/2/2017- Literary Meanderings - Interview
1/3/2017- Fiction Fare- Review
1/4/2017- It Starts at Midnight- Excerpt
1/5/2017- One Night Book StandReview
1/6/2017- Brooke- Reports- Interview

Week Two:
1/9/2017- Curling Up With A Good BookReview
1/10/2017- Brittany's Book RamblesGuest Post
1/11/2017- ParajunkeeReview
1/12/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Interview

1/13/2017- IceyBooksQuote Candy

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Monday, January 9, 2017

The Crown's Fate ARC Review & Giveaway!

Paperback ARC, 420
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Pub. Date: May 16th, 2017
Pre-Order it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Kepler's Books
Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

Note: If you're reading the ARC, there is a plot mistake on pg. 333 that the publisher and author are aware of. It will be fixed in the final version of The Crown's Fate

For those of you who would prefer, here is my video review of The Crown's Fate:

For everyone else, read on! :)

This book should come with a warning label that says: Don't start before bedtime. Because you won't be able to stop yourself from reading it all the way through. I have no regrets about staying up past 3AM just to finish it, and I'm so thrilled that my first book of 2017 was this one. It was truly everything I wanted it to be, and so much more.

Going into this book, I thought I was relatively prepared for what was to unfold. I was expecting beautiful displays of magic, some angst, more romance, and tons of feels. BUT what I wasn't at all prepared for was all the action, as well as how utterly dark this book gets. To all of those people who said they wanted more action from The Crown's Game, you get your wish in this sequel! Also, tears. You get lots of those too. Overall, just know that Evelyn has stepped up her game, so prepare to be wowed.

1) There is so much action in The Crown's Fate—I wasn't expecting it at all. I knew there would be fantastical displays of magic, but I wasn't prepared for an all out war. The way that these scenes were executed made me ever more impressed with Evelyn, if that is even possible. She is so incredibly talented—I am in awe. Her writing has grown and improved so much since the first book that she has simply outdone herself.

2) I love how many aspects of actual Russian history are tied so seamlessly into the story. It's done so well that it makes me want to brush up on my Russian history, which my mother will be absolutely thrilled about xD. I have never been a big fan of history in general, but it's books like these that make me want to turn on the History Channel and watch some documentaries.

3) Once again, I have to praise Evelyn on how well she depicts Russian culture, mindset, and language. Obviously, I can only speak for myself, but for me—it's perfect, and it makes me feel at home. Her knowledge on this subject never ceases to amaze me. Fair warning though . . . this book will make you so freaking hungry. I'm so happy that some of the food that was mentioned was already in my fridge or I really would have been suffering.

4) I am shameless in admitting that I squealed at the mention of Baba Yaga and Vodyanoy—two classic Russian mythological creatures. It instantly brought back memories of watching and listening to all of my favorite Russian cartoons. In fact, after reading The Crown's Fate, I rewatched one of my favorite Russian cartoons (called The Flying Ship) that feature both Vodyanoy and Baba Yaga.

5) Vika and Nikolai are fire! My god, they are just as swoony as they were in The Crown's Game! Even during the rough patches, I just wanted to squish both of them. One of my absolute favorite scenes in The Crown's Game is the ballroom scene. Thankfully, we get something very similar to that in this book! It's so beautiful, while also being heart-wrenchingly bittersweetI just loved it so much.

6) One could argue that this book is centered around Pasha and Nikolai's relationship, but in my opinion, it's just as focused (or even more so) on the females in this story. We get a closer look at Yuliana and Aizhana, two characters that I was sure were going to stay in the background, but I was totally wrong. I really enjoyed getting to know more about themespecially Yuliana. She's still a bitch in this book, but we get to see that everything she does is because of how much she adores both her brother and Russia, which I can't exactly fault her for.

7) I knew we were getting Nikolai back. I mean, it's right there in The Crown's Fate synopsis for all to see. However, I didn't know how we were getting him back, and holy shit, guys. I never in a million years would have guessed the direction that Evelyn was going to take this in, and it was brilliant. That's all I'm going to say on this because I want you all to go in blind (like I did) and to have your heart strings tied up in knots! *evil cackle*


"I am Nikolai's mother."

"Hm. Well, he certainly didn't get his looks from you, did he?"

Aizhana bristled, but she wouldn't take the bait. Galina was trying to distract her from her purpose. "When Nikolai came to you today, asking for a place to stay, you tossed him onto the street without remorse."

Galina set her hands on her hips. "And that, you believe, is an offense that merits my death?"

"He had nowhere else to go."

"Nikolai is resourceful."

"You are heartless."

Galina sneered and looked pointedly at Aizhana's chest. "I would wager you are, too. Quite literally."

That's all I'm sharing for now ;)

If you haven't already, check out my review of The Crown's Game!

Jan. 10th- Sarcasm & Lemons: Fancast
Jan. 11th- The YA Book Traveler: History of Russian Crowns
Jan. 12th- Picnic Reads: Character Based Book Tag
Jan. 13th- Book Nerd Addict: Inspired Tote Design

Jan.16th- Dazzled by Books: Top 5 Reasons I Love The Crown's Game
Jan. 17th- Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile: Characters Matched to Teas
Jan. 18th- The Book Buzz: New Enchanter
Jan. 19th- The Aus. Library: Famous Russian Fairytales
Jan. 20th-  My Thoughts Literally: Character Inspired Dessert

Jan. 23rd- Omg Books and More Books: Books that Characters of TCG would enjoy
Jan. 24th- It Starts at Midnight: Virtual Tour of Russia
Jan. 25th- Next Page Please!: Character Blog
Jan. 26th- The Book Nut: Playlist
Jan. 27th- Arctic Books: Makeup Looks

Jan. 30th- Two Chicks on Books: Pinterest Recipe Board
Jan. 31th- Lost in Ever After: Typical Date for Nikolai & Vika
Feb. 1st- Alexa Loves Books: Fashion Book Look
Feb. 2nd- Sophie Reads YA: Russian History In and Out of The Crown's Game
Feb. 3rd- 21st Century Once Upon A Times: Drink Your Way Through The Crown's Game

Feb. 6th- The Eater of Books: 10 Reason I'm Excited for TCF
Feb. 7th- A Thousand Words A Million Books: Top 5 Magical Moves in The Crown's Game
Feb. 8th- Seeing Double in Neverland: Fanmade Bookmarks & Swag
Feb. 9th- A Page With A View: YA Fantasy Books set in Russia
Feb. 10th- Dana Square: Recipe from The Crown's Game

Feb. 13th-YA Wednesdays: Favorite Quotes from The Crown's Game
Feb. 14th- Juniper Reads: Sorting Characters into Fandoms
Feb. 15th- Nicole's Novel Reads: Nail Polish Looks
Feb. 16th- The Queen Reads: What the Characters of TCG would take to a Deserted Island
Feb. 17th- A Perfection Called Books: Review

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