Thursday, June 25, 2015

Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard ARC Review


2.5/5 Stars
Details of the Book
paperback ARC, 412 pages
Published by Tor Teen
Expected Publication Date: January 5, 2016

Synposis: On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.
In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

It took me a while to get into this book, I think my expectations of it were unfairly high. The beginning really confused me because the reader is thrust into this chaotic world as if we should already understand how it all works. Truthwitch reads more like a sequel than it does a first book in a trilogy in this way. It is told from four POVs and three of them sound very similar which contributed a lot to my confusion. I found it difficult to figure out whose head I was in. In addition, the big reveal could be spotted in the beginning of the book so I didn't feel any suspense leading up to it.

That being said, I did end up liking it. It had unique fantastical concepts and creatures, the plot consists of a lot action and adventure, and the dialogue was witty. It has made me curious about Dennard's other books that are popular among YA readers. I can't say I'm in love with Truthwitch but I am intrigued. If you liked the The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows, I would definitely recommend this book to you. Not because the plots are similar but because they have similar plot devices and relationships. 

Strengths/Likes:

1) I really like Aeduan. I think he is the most complex character in this book and I want to learn more about him. 

2) As I said, there is some nice dialogue. I wish there was more of it. It's not secret that I like biting wit. 

3) There is a whole lot of action happening in this book. The characters are never just wandering around trying to figure things out. It was clear that their situation was dire and I felt their adrenaline. 


Weaknesses/Dislikes:

1) Iseult and Safi's voice and minds sound pretty similar. I think this was the main reason I was so confused in the beginning. Especially when they are in a scene together. I had to reread some passages to try to make sense over who was talking/thinking. 

2) I didn't feel the romance. I could tell right away who the couples were going to be but there wasn't enough magic for me. 

3) As I said before this book reads more like a sequel. The explanations and descriptions behind the foundations of the world and the relationships that are there at the start of the book is pretty scarce. It gives you a bunch of terms, classes of witches, but with little explanation. While reading you feel as if you should know and understand these aspects but you're not given enough information. It was only after I read the entire book that I could properly explain the different classes of witchery. 

4) I found the big climatic reveal was pretty easy to figure out. It was given away pretty early on in the book. 

Favorite Quotes/Moments:

1) Merik ignored her, and with a free hand, he yanked a cloth from his coat and wiped down his engraved scabbard. "On this ship, my word is law, Domna. Do you understand? Your title means nothing here."

Safi nodded and fought the overwhelming urge to roll her eyes. 

"But I am willing to offer you a deal. I won't lock you in chains if you promise to stop behaving like a feral dog and instead behave like the domna you're supposed to be."

"But Prince"--she lowered her eyelids in an indolent blink--"my title means nothing here."

2) "Do you know how many men onboard would kill for the use of a spoon?"

"And do you," she retorted, "know how many men I can kill with a spoon?"

3) "Merik, will you see that she's taken care of?" She glanced at her nephew--who was already aiming for the doorway.

"It's Admiral Nihar," the prince corrected. "At least while we're at sea, Aunt Evrane."

"Is that so?" The monk asked calmly. "In that case, it is Monk Evrane. At least while we are at sea."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith


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!

Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Published by Roaring Brook Press
Preorder: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Synopsis: A high-concept, fantastical espionage novel set in a world where dreams are the ultimate form of political intelligence.

Livia is a dreamstrider. She can inhabit a subject's body while they are sleeping and, for a short time, move around in their skin. She uses her talent to work as a spy for the Barstadt Empire. But her partner, Brandt, has lately become distant, and when Marez comes to join their team from a neighborhing kingdom, he offers Livia the option of a life she had never dared to imagine. Livia knows of no other dreamstriders who have survived the pull of Nightmare. So only she understands the stakes when a plot against the Empire emerges that threatens to consume both the dreaming world and the waking one with misery and rage.

A richly conceived world full of political intrigue and fantastical dream sequences, at its heart Dreamstrider is about a girl who is struggling to live up to the potential before her.


This cover grabbed my attention instantly. It's absolutely gorgeous. As soon as I saw the cover I had to check out what kind of book it was. This sounds like something I've never read before. I'm all for the otheworldy. I haven't been hearing a whole lot about that but I'm sure that'll change. A fantasy with high stakes? That has my name all over it every time. I also received Sekret and Skandal for my birthday so I have three books to be excited about.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

ARC Giveaway: Six of Crows & Truthwitch



This one is a big one, guys! I've got two major ARCs here for an INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY that I know that many of you are dying to have. One lucky winner will receive physical copies of BOTH Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

*IMPORTANT* Everyone, please remember that if you want to enter the giveaway YOU MUST BE A FOLLOWER ON MY BLOG AND LEAVE A COMMENT. All who enter the giveaway without being a follower (I will be checking) will be disqualified. All you have to do is click "JOIN THIS SITE" on the right sidebar and follow the instructions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 19, 2015

Forgotten Friday: The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

This meme is about books that have been pushed aside while others have gone viral and made into movies. It can be old books, new books, any book that never got its (or enough) time in the spot light.

Publication Date: March 20, 2012
Published by Anchor
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Synopsis: A gorgeous novel by the celebrated author of When the Emperor Was Divine that tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century ago. In eight unforgettable sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the extraordinary lives of these women, from their arduous journeys by boat, to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; from their experiences raising children who would later reject their culture and language, to the deracinating arrival of war. Once again, Julie Otsuka has written a spellbinding novel about identity and loyalty, and what it means to be an American in uncertain times.

This book needs to be more widely talked about. It's an important story that everyone needs to read. It's an historical fiction that's written so beautifully. The story itself is heartbreaking and moving. The language is lyrical and written from a unique frame of mind. This book is so short that there's no reason you to not give it a chance. It won't take much of your time but it will pull on your heart strings.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Hunter by Mercedes Lackey


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!


Published by Disney-Hyperion
Expected Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Pre-order it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Synopsis: Centuries ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were slashed open allowing hideous fantastical monsters to wreak havoc; destroying entire cities in their wake. Now, people must live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the evil creatures constantly trying to break in. Only the corps of teen Hunters with lightning reflexes and magical abilities can protect the populace from the daily attacks.

Joyeaux Charmand is a mountain girl from a close knit village who comes to the big city to join the Hunters. Joy thinks she is only there to perform her civic duty and protect the capitol Cits, or civilians, but as cameras follow her every move, she soon learns that the more successful she is in her hunts, the more famous she becomes.

With millions of fans watching her on reality TV, Joy begins to realize that Apex is not all it seems. She is forced to question everything she grew up believing about the legendary Hunters and the very world she lives in. Soon she finds that her fame may be part of a deep conspiracy that threatens to upend the protective structure built to keep dark magic out. The monsters are getting in and it is up to Joy to find out why.

Mercedes Lackey, you had me at dragons. I love any story that involves dragons. On top of that, how can anyone not be mesmerized by that cover? The blurb reminds me of The Hunger Games..and if we're talking The Hunger Games plus dragons. I'm all over this one. I've been hearing nothing but great things about this book and I'm so excited for it. I haven't read a dragon book in a long time. Unless you count Game of Thrones but I could do with more dragons in that too. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Book Bucket List: Persuasion by Jane Austen

There are books in your life that you come across and you know you have to read them. They can be old, they can be new but before your time runs out you have to find time to read them. Welcome to my Book Bucket List everyone!


Synopsis: Set in Somersetshire and Bath, the novel revolves around the lives and love affair of Sir Walter Elliot, his daughters Elizabeth, Anne, and Mary, and various in-laws, friends, suitors, and other characters, In Anne Elliot, the author created perhaps her sweetest, most appealing heroine.

At the center of the novel is Anne's thwarted romance with Captain Frederick Wentworth, a navy man Anne met and fell in love with when she was 19. At the time, Wentworth was deemed an unsuitable match and Anne was forced to break off the relationship. Eight years later, however, they meet again. By this time Captain Wentworth has made his fortune in the navy and is an attractive "catch." However, Anne is now uncertain about his feelings for her. But after various twists and turns of fortune, the novel ends on a happy note.

I'm ashamed to say that the only book I've read of Jane Austen's is Pride and Prejudice (one of my favorite books). Basically, all of Austen's work is on my bucket list but this is the one that has been recommended to me fairly recently. This source has declared that this is better than Pride and Prejudice although I'm not sure if I can believe it but I'll have to read it to find out. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty ARC Review


4/5 Stars
Details of the Book
eARC, 304 pages
Published by Disney Hyperion 
Publication Date: July 14, 2015

Synopsis: "Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul."

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate.There's plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is:a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of the Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.

This was a fun and cute little read. It has the charm of Anne and the Green Gables with the spark of Matilda. Plot-wise though this book steps ahead those. There is a lot of magic and mystery. It brings warmth to my heart knowing that there are books like this still coming out. It made me feel nostalgic. I did find it a tad predictable but I think that's because I'm seeing this through an adult's eyes when this is a children's book. A great family read and something kids will definitely enjoy. 

Strengths/Likes: 

1) I love Serafina. She's feisty, loving, and crafty. She really shines as a heroine and I think she can be a great inspiration. 

2) All of the family elements were really heart-warming. There were no evil parents, just happy and loving families. It was a breath of fresh air. 

3) Serafina and the Black Cloak has an interesting fantastical being that I have never heard of before. 

4) Finally a book that using Russian properly. I've read many books and seen a lot of books where Russian (and I'm sure other languages) wasn't used correctly. Some of the worlds are out of date but considering that the book is set in 1899, it's fitting. 

Weaknesses/Dislikes:

1) I wish that there was more dialogue. Serafina is a very interesting character but I would have liked to learn more about the other characters in the book through more interaction. 

2) I wanted more development and description of the fantastical elements. There are hints of it throughout the novel but it's not as present as I think it should be. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Forgotten Friday: The Under the Never Sky trilogy by Veronica Rossi

This meme is about books that have been pushed aside while others have gone viral and made into movies. It can be old books, new books, any book that never got its (or enough) time in the spot light.





A lot fans of YA know of Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky trilogy. But the question is has it really gotten the attention that it deserves? Not in my opinion. When I picked up these books, I had zero expectations. I didn't read the synopsis or ever even heard of them. My sister just gave them to me and said, "Read these." That was it. 

However, the books spoke from themselves. There's action, adventure, fantasy and sci-fi elements, with two really hot guys. The romance is so sweet too. In a good way, I promise. The romance is snarky and passionate. Some of you may have seen my Book Boyfriends post for both Perry and Roar (don't worry, I'm willing to share ;P). Rossi seamlessly writes these books in the dual POVs of our hero and heroine. The world building is great and not overbearing. Her character development is entrancing and her dialogue is hilarious. It's been a while since I've read these books but my favorite passages still tumble around in my head and it's on my top recommend list of YA trilogies. 

Check out my reviews to all three of these books below. They are a bit on the spoilers side, so better to go read the books first *wink wink*



Thursday, June 11, 2015

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel Review *Spoiler Alert*

1.5/5 Stars
Details of the Book
eARC, 272 pages
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 2, 2015

Synopsis: In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own. 
No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.

Disorientated. That's how I feel after reading this book and I'm pretty sure that's how Heltzel wanted me to feel. The start of this book was so interesting. I was hooked into the plot in the first couple of pages. I mean, two girls who find out that their boyfriend was cheating on them with each other after he's presumed dead? And now they are piecing together their memories of their relationship to figure out who Charlie really was? That's already interesting. I didn't need anything else. If this was a book just centered around Aubrey and Lena comparing their relationship with Charlie to each other, I would have been happy. Instead the plot takes a really weird turn and the girls go on this implausible trip around the world looking for clues about Charlie's death. As soon as the girls embark on this trip, Heltzel lost me. The mysterious force that is pulling Lena and Aubrey along on this journey isn't mysterious at all and doesn't seem to have an actual purpose. The book ends on a cliffhanger but it didn't make me want to know what happens next. To say that I'm disappointed is an understatement. 

Strengths/Likes:

1) I really liked the development of Lena and Aubrey's relationship. They go through a lot together and Heltzel did a great job of writing their ups and downs. I found their bond very interesting and I wished the book focused more on that without the extra elements. 

Weaknesses/Dislikes (SPOILER ALERT): 

1) So, Charlie isn't dead and he's pulling all the strings to send Lena and Aubrey on this crazy journey. It's not clear why though. Is he crazy? Most likely but still. His motives are completely unclear, which makes it really difficult to understand exactly why he's created such an elaborate plan. Charlie as a character didn't make much sense to me either. How does he charm all these girls? How is he able to control people into doing what he wants? It's unclear and the reader is given no insight to his abilities which makes everything he accomplishes seem implausible. 

2) Why does Charlie want to kill Lena? If he wanted to kill Aubrey he would at least have a motive. But Lena? The girl that really loved him and stayed loyal to him, he wants to kill her? This makes absolutely no sense to me. 

3) Aubrey's huge secret that she's afraid of Charlie releasing. Well, it seems to me that her little adventure got her into deeper trouble than actually just coming out admitting herself what she did. I think that the book could have lived without this detail completely. In my opinion it didn't add anything to the plot except for extra drama.

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

1) "Charlie is gone. His hands, weaving through mine. The way he whispered in my ear just before moving to kiss my neck. The muscles of his back under my fingers. His arms wrapped around me on a cold day, the scruff of his facial hair against my cheek, tickling. Making me laugh. Wrapping me into his coat with him in the park, and pulling me down into the snow. His lips on mine as he hovers above me. His nickname for me. All of it, gone. Ripped away. And I didn't even know he'd been ripping it away slowly all this time. All the times he said he'd meet me and he didn't, all the phone calls I waited for that never came, the distance: physical and emotional and always brutal."

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Soundless by Richelle Mead


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!


Published by Razorbill
Expected Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Pre-order it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Synopsis: From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore. 

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...

I've never read the Bloodlines or Vampire Academy books (even though they are on my TBR list). This book was recommended to me through Goodreads based on my "to-read" list and the cover just called to me. There is just something so entrancing about it that I just end up staring at it for long periods of time. I haven't read anything based on Chinese folklore in a long time so I'm deeply curious. Since Richelle Mead is so popular for her fantasy writing, I'm confident that I won't be disappointed. 

I received an ARC of this at BEA so my waiting won't be for long!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller Review *Spoiler Alert*

3.5/5 Stars
Details of the Book
eARC, 256 pages
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions. 

A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Man, this book was hot. I mean, jeez, it was smokin'. One of my favorite reviewers Wendy Darling said in her review of it, "You'll wanna grab somebody and make out with them while you're reading this, except you'd have to put down the book." And she was so, so right. I did have a problem with the love interest giving Cadie a hard time for saying no to sex. He does respect her wishes but his reaction still didn't sit with me right. This made it hard for me to fully buy into their relationship initially but in the end I did. As for the thriller parts of the book, it was pretty intense. It seems like it's easy to figure out the culprit from the beginning but I was caught by surprise. Thrillers are not really my type but this was a good one. If I had to sum up this book in a three words I'd say: sexy, intense, and chilling

Strengths/Likes: 

1) As I said, this book was hot. This is definitely not a book for kids. Although the sexy moments had bits of sweetness, it wasn't first-time fairy-tale sweet. It's not romance-novel smut either. It's just hot, plain and simple. 

2) I really liked Cadie's backstory with her family and friends. Not only were the characters great, I felt that the reader wasn't overwhelmed with details. They were sewn seamlessly into the plot and into Cadie's character. 

3) The writing itself was great. I felt that Doller really captured the voice of Cadie and executed her plot fantastically. The writing isn't overly-complicated or whimsical. It leads you right into Cadie's head and makes it easy to fill her shoes. 

Weaknesses/Dislikes:

*WARNING* THERE WILL BE A LOT OF SPOILERS FROM HEREON. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. 

1) There were times where I had trouble liking Noah. This is because when he tries to get Cadie into bed I felt that he was pretty forceful and didn't like getting the answer no. Who likes hearing no when you're into it? No one, I know but it still seemed that Noah was pushing the boundaries more than I'd like. Don't get me wrong, he did respect Cadie's wishes but it still rubbed me the wrong way. 

2) I don't quite understand how everything is wrapped up in the end. Noah apparently lives in Montana while Cadie is in Florida but they are going to somehow work out being together? And why did they not speak for a year? They just went through a traumatic adventure together, something the only two of them could understand but they didn't speak? After all of their spark, I needed more than that. I also wish that there were more details about Cadie and Noah dealing with the authorities. 

3) I said that this book was hot, but did the sex scene have to take place in a graveyard? That was a bit too much for me. 

Favorite Quotes/Moments:

1) "I do not miss him. Not at all. But I miss having someone to lie with on the big moss-covered log beside the river just talking about nothing. Or not talking. I miss the feel of his warm hands on my bare skin under the tree-speckled sunshine. I miss his mouth on mine until our lips are swollen and raw. His dark-blue eyes meet mine over the top of his new girlfriend's head, and I'm lying. I miss all of that so much it hurts."

2) "I tie on the owlprint apron Mom and I made together when she first taught me how to sew. She wore it whenever she cooked, even if she was doing something as simple as tearing open a packet of macaroni and cheese-powder. Mom was special that way and, well...it sounds a little silly, but whenever I wear the apron I feel as if her arms are around me. Holding me together."

3) "Where are you?" he asks. 

"About to climb out my bedroom window."

He laughs. "I'll be right over."

4) "I lift my chin and take on the bravest, most arrogant tone I can manage. And, really, I don't have to dig too deep into my own emotional well to find anger. If I'm going to die, I'd rather be pissed off about it."

Monday, June 8, 2015

Book Boyfriend: Kaz Brekker aka Dirtyhands (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

So I've seen this meme floating around many book blogs, but initially I got the idea from Reading Lark and they got this meme from The Unread Reader. I've enjoyed the meme so much that I will also be joining in on the fun but now on Mondays. Welcome to Book Boyfriends everyone!

Appearance:
  • Seventeen
  • Dark hair
  • Eyes almost as dark as bitter-black coffee
  • Sharp jaw
  • Lean build
  • Corded muscle
  • Two tattoos on his arm, one for the Dregs and the letter "R"
  • Pronounced limp due to an old injury
Why He's My Book Boyfriend:

It seems like the men of the Grisha world are meant to belong to this meme. Kaz is a bit of a darker choice for a boyfriend than I usually pick but OH. MY. GOD. I can't help myself. He's cynical, cunning, sly, and a bit of a sarcastic ass. Alright, more than a bit but he's self-aware at least! He's definitely not someone you want to cross and someone you definitely want in your corner. I'd love to explore more of his dark side *wink wink*

Actor to play Kaz:

Instantly, this is who I pictured as Kaz. 

But seeing as this is is a unrealistic choice, my next choice is Nick Bateman. I haven't seen him act but he's hot and roughly could fit Kaz's description. 



Quotes from and about Kaz:

1) "Why do you wear the gloves, Mister Brekker?"

Kaz raised a brow. "I'm sure you've heard the stories."

"Each more grotesque than the last."

Kaz had heard them, too. Brekker's hands were stained with blood. Brekker's hands were covered in scars. Brekker had claws and not fingers because he was part demon. Brekker's touch burned like brimstone--a single brush of his bare skin caused your flesh to wither and die.

"Pick one," Kaz said as he vanished into the night, thoughts already turning to thirty million kruge and the crew he'd need to help him get it. "They're all true enough."

2) "When everyone knows you're a monster, you needn't waste time doing every monstrous thing."

3) "Doesn't matter much now, does it?" replied Geels. "This gets ugly, I'm shooting from close range. Maybe your guards get me or my guys, but no way you're going to dodge this bullet."  

Kaz stepped into the barrel of the gun so that it was pressed directly against his chest. "No way at all, Geels." 

"You think I won't do it?" 

"Oh, I think you'd do it gladly, with a song in your black heart. But you won't. Not tonight."

Geels' finger twitched on the trigger.

"Kaz," Jesper said. "This whole 'shoot me' thing is starting to concern me." 

4) "He was afraid for you." 

"Kaz isn't afraid of anything."

"You should have seen his face when he brought you to me."

"I'm a very valuable investment."

Nina's jaw dropped. "Tell me he didn't say that."

"Of course he did. Well, not the valuable part."

"Idiot."

5) The shadow of something dark moved across Kaz's face. "If it were a trick, I'd promise you safety. I'd offer you happiness. I don't know if that exists in the Barrel, but you'll find none of it with me."


Just like with my review of this amazing book, I can't put any more quotes or I will spoil it for all of you. I definitely don't want to do that. Maybe after it's publication date I'll add more quotes. Until then you can check out my review of this book here where you'll find a few more quotes from Six of Crows as well as my shameless worshipping of it. 


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Q&A with the Author of The Leveller, Julia Durango!

Julia Durango is the author of picture books, novels, and poetry for kids of all ages, including her most recent titles, The Second Guard (Disney-Hyperion) and The Leveller (HarperTeen). Her books have received numerous awards and honors, including the Golden Kite Fiction Award, Sydney Taylor Notable Book, the Parent's Choice Award Silver Medal, and the Prairie State Award for Excellence in Writing for Children. A former school librarian, Julia received degrees in Latin American Studies and Political Science from the University of Illinois. She lives with her sons in Ottawa, Illinois.

Links: Website | Twitter | Goodreads |


Q: Your bio listed on the back of The Leveller talks about you playing video games with your two sons. If I’m not mistaken, your story of how your son Kyle used to beg you to beat the bosses in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (one of my personal favorite games of all time, by the way) is in The Leveller as a memory of Nixy’s playing video games with her dad. Would you say that memories of playing video games with your kids played a huge part of your inspiration of The Leveller?

A: Good observation about the Zelda reference! Yes, playing video games with my sons certainly informed the story, as did their ongoing interest in gaming as teens. Though reading will always be my first love, I enjoy good storytelling of any kind: movies, television, and video game narratives included.

Q: If you could create your own world in the MEEP like Wyn, what would you create and why?

A: Actually, I would create the same world Wyn did: Havana, Cuba in the 1950s. I’ve always been interested in Latin American history, and I would love to step back in time to experience Havana when it was the playground of the rich and famous. All the glamour! All the great music! Not to mention the architecture, the arts, the food…I could go on and on. Researching that part of the book was a true pleasure.

Q: What are some of your favorite video games? What type of video games do you like?

A: I don’t play as many video games now as I did when my boys were younger, so my choices are pretty old school: Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Kingdom Hearts would probably be my top three franchises. Fantasy-based RPGs are my favorites, and the last fun game I played was Telltale's Game of Thrones.

Q: Are any of your characters based on people that you know?

A: Yes, probably more than any other book I’ve written so far. Nixy, Chang, Moose, and Wyn, as well as Nixy’s parents, are all composites of people I know and love. And Nixy’s small Illinois town is very much based on the town where I live.

Q: Do you personally identify with Nixy?

A: It’s funny, I identify more with Jill Bauer, Nixy’s mom, but when my own mother read The Leveller in manuscript, she said: “Nixy reminds me a lot of the teenage Julia.” I don’t see it, but maybe she was referring to Nixy’s mouthiness? Ha. Or maybe her impatience? But Nixy is a lot gutsier than I ever was, and a bit more goal-driven.

Q: What was your favorite and least favorite scene to write?

A: I loved writing the Tropicana dance floor scene; it was nice to let Nixy and Wyn kick back (literally!) for a little while in between all the fight scenes. I don't want to get too spoilery here, but let me just say I have a terrible shark phobia, so writing a certain scene was a real test for me.

Q: What is your writing process like?

A: I spend the majority of my time staring into space, which from the outside looks a lot like loafing around...but I promise, that's when all my best work happens! I create little movies in my head, rewind and revise them again and again, until I'm satisfied with the final product. Then comes the hard part: translating the movies into words on the page. Maybe someday there will be a MEEP device like the one in the book that will allow readers to directly download the movie from my head and save me the trouble?

Q: What’s next for you? Can we expect a sequel to The Leveller? Or any other projects?

A: Yes, I'm working on a sequel to The Leveller right now, as well as finishing the sequel to The Second Guard, an alternate world fantasy novel I co-wrote with Tracie Vaughn under the pen name J.D. Vaughn. Both novels should be out next year, so stay tuned!

Thank you, Julia for visiting my blog! I hope all of you enjoyed this interview. Be sure to check out my review of The Leveller here

Friday, June 5, 2015

Daisy and The Front Man (Backstage Pass #3) by Rebekah L. Purdy ARC Review


2.5/5 Stars
Details of the Book
ebook, 232 pages
Published by Entangled Teen Crush
Publication Date: June 16, 2015

Synopsis: Hell hath no fury like a fangirl scorned…

When Daisy Morris finds out she’s spending the summer with her dad, bodyguard for Seconds to Juliet—the hottest boy band around—she knows it couldn't be more perfect. But not because she’s a fan. Oh, no. Because ever since front man Trevin Jacobs completely humiliated her by standing her up for homecoming, Daisy is out for a little revenge. Yup, Trevin Jacobs is goin' down...

When one of his bandmates bets Trevin he can't make Daisy—the gorgeous but surprisingly ice-cold daughter of their bodyguard—fall in love with him, it’s a bet he can’t resist. Sure, Daisy won’t give him the time of day for reasons he can't understand, and her dad’s hell-bent against his little girl spending time with a superstar. But the terms are set, and Trevin is determined to make Daisy fall…hard.

But every front man should know never to trust a girl with a pretty face…

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, sexual situations, and seriously hot boys. It may cause swoony daydreams involving a certain super-cute front man.

Although this book is a part of a series, you do not need to have read the others. I think that my thirteen year old self would love this book. This book reminded me a lot of How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days. You have the main guy who has entered into a bet to make the girl fall for him, and the girl who's determined to make the main guy look like a fool. It's not a bad read, it's just not for me anymore. It's cute and has all the classic trappings of a preteen/teen romcom. It's just filled with the usual cliches that come with these types of books and films that I'm not a fan of anymore. 

Strengths/Likes:

1) It's a quick and easy read. If you're looking for a feel-good book this book has what you're looking for. 

2) I'm a huge sucker for love. Even though I thought that the story could be better developed, I did believe that the couple had a legitimate connection and spark. 

Weaknesses/Dislikes:

1) There is a lot of telling instead of showing in the writing style. I would have preferred if the book was longer and the author took more time to develop all of the characters and the plot instead of filling in the gaps instead of directly telling me. 

2) Why doesn't anyone ever just come out and say what's bothering them? Why do people bottle everything up and let their assumptions get the better of them? There were several times in this book where I wanted to yell at Daisy, "JUST TELL HIM WHY YOU HATE HIM!" Can someone explain to me why people instead of communicating jump to conclusions and make stupid decisions? This is a common plot device I've seen in so many books and it just drives me crazy!

3) As I said, there are a lot of cliche moments that when I wouldn't have minded when I was twelve or thirteen years old. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone but basically if you break down the classic romcom you'll find all of the typical aspects that are in all of them. 

Favorite Quotes/Moments: 

1) He fell to his knees in front of her and grabbed her hands. "What must I do to win you over?" He gave her a dramatic sigh. 

"Hmm... I'll have to get back to you on that. But I think a lot of groveling is in order." Her lips turned up into a beautiful smile that nearly stopped his heart. "You do know what groveling is, right?" 

"Yes."


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo ARC Review Worshipping + Soundclip of the Audiobook

5/5 Stars
Details of the Book
paperback ARC, 465 pages
Published by Henry Holt and Company
Publication Date: September 29, 2015

Synopsis: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. 

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first. 

It may come as no surprise that I have given another one of Leigh Bardugo's books my highest rating. That is because she is AMAZING. If you don't think so, then I'm sorry but you're wrong.  If you haven't read any of her books, seriously, do yourself a favor and go read them now! One of the great things about Six of Crows is that you don't have to have read The Grisha trilogy to understand what's going on (although it's so much better if you did!). Although, those of you who have read it will love the mentions of some of our beloved characters. I audibly squealed at every mention of King Nikolai *drools.*

Bardugo's writing is so otherworldly that I want to study it. The way she develops her characters, her world, feelings, are just so breathtaking. While reading, I kept saying to myself, "WHOA! How did she do that?!" Her writing makes it difficult to read this book all in one sitting (at least for me) because I wanted to take my time to absorb, cherish, and savor all of the nuances that just bring her stories to life. I can confidently say that she is one of the best authors out there right now.

Although Six of Crows is set in the same world (but not country) as The Grisha trilogy, it is a different type of adventure. The story is told through six different POVs (this is brand new information, right?) and each character has their own distinct voice and backstory that seamlessly ties into the plot. The main cast is very complex and each character has an intense backstory. My personal favorites would have to be Kaz and Nina. I love all of the characters but those are the ones that I fangirled over the most.

Just like everything else in this book, the world-building is fantastic. Each culture is well-developed and has a specific identity. I can't even imagine coming up with all of these details, though Bardugo has pretty much thought of everything. Including details about the landscape, language, local legends, government, hierarchy, etc. Not to mention all of the details of the types of people that live in these areas. At the same time, I didn't feel overwhelmed with all of the information. In fact, the details were written in such a way that I felt like I already knew all of the details of the world and I was just remembering these places through the character's perspectives.

My one and only complaint: I have to wait a year and a half to find out what's going to happen next.

Favorite Quotes/Moments:

*I'm trying to keep this review spoiler free, so the quotes here are the few that won't spoil much.* 

1) "When everyone knows you're a monster, you needn't waste your time doing every monstrous thing."

2) Kaz leaned back. "What's the easiest way to steal a man's wallet?"

"Knife to the throat?" asked Inej.

"Gun to the back?" said Jesper.

"Poison in his cup?" suggested Nina.

"You're all horrible." said Matthias.

3) "We enter from the north as planned," Kaz said.

Jesper knocked his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. "Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I'm going to get Wylan's ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost."

Brekker's lips quirked. "I'll just hire Matthias' ghost to kick your ghost's ass."

"My ghost won't associate with your ghost." Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.

4) "Why don't Fjerdans let girls fight?" she asked him one night as they'd lain curled beneath a lean-to, the cold palpable through the skins they'd laid on the ground.

"They don't want to fight."

"How do you know? Have you ever asked one?"

"Fjerdan women are to be venerated, protected."

"That's probably a wise policy."

He'd known her well enough by then to be surprised. "It is?"

"Think how embarrassing it would be for you when you got trounced by a Fjerdan girl."

He snorted.

"I'd love to see you get beaten by a girl," she said happily.

"Not in this lifetime."

"Well, I guess I won't get to see it. I'll just get to live the moment when I knock you on your ass."

5) "Better terrible truths than kind lies."

Seriously guys, I'd add more quotes but I'm so afraid of spoiling something for you guys. 

Audible has provided a soundclip of the Six of Crows audiobooks for me to share with all of you so be sure to check that out!

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Legacy of Kings (Bloods of Gods and Royals #1) by Eleanor Herman


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!

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Expected Publication Date: August 25, 2015
Pre-order it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Synopsis: Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancĂ©e, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.


I love fiction novels based on real events in our history. Perhaps one of the things that kept me awake in all of my history courses is taking the information I was given and changing them into movies in my head. Therefore, I love books and movies that have done just that. Legacy of Kings seems like it's going to fit in that category. It has been described to me as Game of Thrones but with some extremely hot guys. Who can say no to that? Not me, that's for sure.

I was lucky enough to be able to get my hands on a physical ARC of this at BEA, so I'm not actually having to wait on this one for long. Eleanor was gracious enough to let me take this picture of her at BEA for this post.



Don't you guys just love her outfit? Be sure to check out the links below for more information about this author and Legacy of Kings.