Sharp Objects: Dull Book, Sharp Television


ABOUT

Title: Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Broadway Paperbacks

Synopsis:
Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

[Review] Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier


ABOUT

Title: Isle of Blood and Stone
Author: Makiia Lucier
Series: Tower of Winds #1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: April 10th 2018
Goodreads Page

Synopsis:
Ulises asked, "How can I look at these maps, see this riddle, and do nothing? They are my brothers."

Elias reached across the table and flicked aside two shells with a fingertip. The map curled into itself. "It's bound to be a goose chase. You know that?"

"Or a treasure hunt," Ulises countered, "and you've always been good at those."

Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar's oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way...until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.

The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias's father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king's beautiful cousin by his side—whether he wants her there or not—Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried...and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn.

Waiting on Wednesday -- Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


ABOUT

Title: Little White Lies
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Freeform
Release Date: November 6th 2018 

Synopsis:
"I'm not saying this is Sawyer's fault," the prim and proper one said delicately. "But."

Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother's "society" might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father's identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn't expect to find is friendship, but as she's drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn't the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother's glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer's search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.

Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off.

Jennifer Lynn Barnes always writes such fantastic YA crime thrillers. They're always so interesting and fall into a niche genre that I enjoy like her Naturals series that followed a YA Criminal Minds-esque team and The Fixer series (so underrated) that follows a teenage fixer for political people. I'm so interested to see where this new book of hers takes us and the mysteries that we'll get to unravel in this new book of hers.

And hello! debutante balls? Fish out of water story? mystery???? HELL YES!!


Happy Reading!
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[Review] Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry


ABOUT

Title: Heretics Anonymous
Author: Katie Henry
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: August 7th 2018 

Synopsis:
Michael is an atheist. So as he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow nonbeliever at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.

But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom, or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.


[Review] Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody


ABOUT

Title: Ace of Shades 
Author: Amanda Foody
Series: The Shadow Game #1 
Release Date: April 10th 2018 

Synopsis:
Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…

and secrets hide in every shadow.
Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn't have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne's offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi's enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…
And she’ll need to play.

Waiting on Wednesday -- Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



ABOUT

Title: Empire of Sand
Author: Tasha Suri
Publisher: Orbit Books
Release Date: November 13th 2018 

Synopsis:
A nobleman's daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Tasha Suri's captivating debut is perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath & the Dawn.

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited. Unbeknownst to her, she can manipulate the dreams of the gods to alter the face of the world.

When Mehr's power comes to the attention of the Emperor's most feared mystics, she is coerced into their service, as they are determined to harness her magic for the glory of the Empire. She must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist the mystics' cruel agenda -- and should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance...


How amazing does this book sound???? I'm so shook. "An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods" um. HELLOOOOO. If you haven't realized by now, I'm trash for stories and books about gods in fantasy and the way they factor into the worlds that are created in fantasy novels. Will there be a post in the future of me gushing about history and religion in fantasy?? Maybe.

Anyways, this book sounds so fantastic and I can't wait to read this book! The synopsis calls to my fantasy loving soul so much omg.



Happy Reading!
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[Review] The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee


ABOUT

Title: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
Author: F.C. Yee
Series: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo #1 
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: August 8th 2017 

Synopsis:
She annihilates standardized tests and the bad guys.

Genie Lo is one among droves of Ivy-hopeful overachievers in her sleepy Bay Area suburb. You know, the type who wins. When she’s not crushing it at volleyball or hitting the books, Genie is typically working on how to crack the elusive Harvard entry code.

But when her hometown comes under siege from hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are dramatically rearranged. Enter Quentin Sun, a mysterious new kid in class who becomes Genie’s self-appointed guide to battling demons. While Genie knows Quentin only as an attractive transfer student with an oddly formal command of the English language, in another reality he is Sun Wukong, the mythological Monkey King incarnate—right down to the furry tale and penchant for peaches.

Suddenly, acing the SATs is the least of Genie’s worries. The fates of her friends, family, and the entire Bay Area all depend on her summoning an inner power that Quentin assures her is strong enough to level the very gates of Heaven. But every second Genie spends tapping into the secret of her true nature is a second in which the lives of her loved ones hang in the balance.

[Bite Sized Review] To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo



ABOUT

Title: To Kill a Kingdom
Author: Alexandra Christo
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: March 6th 2018 

Synopsis:
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

I received an advanced copy from Indigo Teen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion whatsoever.

I totally picked this book up to read because of Mith's recommendation as I do with a lot of the books I'm reading lately. She and I just have a very similar taste in books and I've even started a shelf on my goodreads that will be populated with the books she recommends.

This book was such a fun read. There's definitely a lot of angst in this book with Lira's situation of having been plucked from her life by her Sea Queen mother and given legs so that she can steal a prince's heart. Though not just any prince of course, but a prince who prides himself in killing sirens like Lira. Elian is also in turmoil as he struggles with his role as crown prince and his heart longing for the freedom of the sea. He's also hell-bent on killing sirens, protecting the humans from the "monsters" that rule the sea. And of course because they're natural enemies, their banter is so so good and they have a natural chemistry.

I really breezed through this book since the pacing was so well done. It reads really well and has a well-developed world that we're introduced to throughout the novel without it ever feeling as if we're being info dumped. The point of views in the book also switch between both Elian and Lira. The chapters aren't labelled with whose point of view it is which mildly irritated me. Even though I would eventually figure it out, it was a little annoying having to figure it out especially when they were doing a rehashing of the same event in different points of view.

The end part was a little weird and hard for me, mainly because of my whole thing with reading action scenes and not being able to visualize them properly. Alexandra Christo mentioned in a Twitter chat that she is writing short stories of Lira and Elian and I absolutely can't wait. I love the two characters a lot and their bantering.

Overall, I would definitely recommend a read of it, especially as it spins The Little Mermaid on its head. I look forward to the short stories and whatever her next project may be! I hope there are more banter-y characters please.




Happy Reading!
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[Review] Whisper of the Tide by Sarah Tolcser


ABOUT

Title: Whisper of the Tide
Author: Sarah Tolcser 
Series: Song of the Current #2
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: June 5 2018 

Synopsis:
Caro Oresteia spent her life waiting to be called by the river god, as those in her family had been for generations. But when she’s swept away on an adventure to save the Akhaian royal prince, Markos, her destiny is sealed by the sea god instead.

For now, Caro is landlocked, helping Markos reclaim his throne after nearly his entire family was assassinated in a political coup. Without any financial or military support, Markos is desperate for allies, and Caro has fought off more than one attempt on his life. When a powerful Archon offers his army in exchange for Markos’s marriage to his daughter, Caro must choose: Her love for Markos, or the fate of Akhaia? And more importantly: How much is she willing to risk to defy the sea god’s wishes and chart her own course?

With shipwrecks, lost treasure, old and new enemies, dark magic, and breathtaking romance, Sarah Tolcser weaves another epic story about chasing your fate.

[Review] Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton


ABOUT

Title: Heart of Thorns
Author: Bree Barton
Series: Heart of Thorns #1 
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: July 31st 2018 

Synopsis:
In the ancient river kingdom, touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war. Seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood.

Not women. Demons. The same demons who killed her mother without a single scratch.

But when Mia's father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Only after the wedding goes disastrously wrong does she discover she has dark, forbidden magic—the very magic she has sworn to destroy.

An Interview with author of Heart of Mist, Helen Scheuerer

Hello my lovelies!! I recently had the opportunity to chat with the author of a small press book, Heart of Mist's Helen Scheuerer!

Here's some information on the book if you haven't heard of it!



ABOUT

Title: Heart of Mist
Author: Helen Scheuerer 
Series: The Oremere Chronicles 
Publisher: Talem Press
Release Date: August 31st 2017
Goodreads Page
Purchase: Amazon 

Synopsis:
In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.

Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.

But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.

The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.

Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions.

Doesn't this book sound interesting? The goodreads rating is pretty high for this book at a 4.12! I asked Helen a couple questions and here are her answers:


Ri: Describe Heart of Mist in 6 words.

Helen: Magical. Intriguing. Dangerous. Action-packed. Adventurous.

Ri: What inspired Heart of Mist

Helen: Heart of Mist was born as a form of escape from another book I was working on. I just wanted to get away and creating a fantasy realm offered the opportunity to be creative and have fun with my writing.

There wasn’t a big ‘light bulb’ moment where the plot or the characters came to me, they simply developed as I wrote, rewrote and edited.

Ri: Bleak is an unusual name for a character. Is there a story behind her name and for choosing that name for your character? 

Helen: Bleak is the name of the main protagonist in Heart of Mist, and it’s a name she chose for herself, a shortened version of her guardian’s name (Jeramyah Bleaker or as he becomes known, Bleaker Senior).

Ri: Was there anything strange or unusual you learned in the process of researching for this novel? 

Helen: Heart of Mist was the first book I’ve written that’s been part of a series, so it was a very different process to writing a standalone novel. It’s a challenge trying to decide what to include and what to leave for future books.

I did a fair bit of research on writing a series, and how to weave plot points throughout multiple books. I suppose you could say it’s a strange thing to learn about because you don’t really know how things are going to wrap up until two books later. It was a weird thing to get my head around.

Ri: What are some of your favourite fantasy novels?

Helen: So many! Harry Potter of course, and then there are some more recent titles: Throne of Glass, Emily R King’s The Hundredth Queen series, A Kingdom of Exiles, and Outlander.

Ri: What are you currently reading?

Helen: I’ve just finished reading A Court of Frost and Starlight, which didn’t totally blow me out of the water. But I really loved Emily R. King’s The Hundredth Queen series, the fourth and final book is out later this year and I can’t wait!

Ri: Do you have any advice for other fantasy writers?

Helen: I write a lot of advice over on my website Writer’s Edit, and just recently wrote a whole article on the benefits of writing a fantasy series. That’s a great place to start if you’re looking for some insight into writing novels, particularly fantasy.

However, I would also just say this: write what you love. It’s a long slog from idea to finished product, so you need to be passionate about your story and your characters.



Thank you so much to Helen for spending the time in answering my questions! You can find Heart of Mist on Amazon and the sequel, REIGN OF MIST releases on September 13th, 2018!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. Heart of Mist is the first book in her high fantasy trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles. Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit, an online literary magazine and learning platform for emerging writers. It’s now one of the largest writers’ platforms in the world.

Helen’s love of writing and books led her to pursue a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong and a Masters of Publishing at the University of Sydney.

Helen is now a full-time author living by the beach.




Happy Reading!
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[Review] The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw


ABOUT

Title: The Wicked Deep
Author: Shea Earnshaw 
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 6th 2018
Goodreads Page

Synopsis:
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

Waiting on Wednesday -- Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


ABOUT

Title: Muse of Nightmares
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Strange the Dreamer #2 
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
Release Date: October 2nd 2018 

Synopsis:
In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.

Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice--save the woman he loves, or everyone else?--while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she's capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel's near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Timesbestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

If you don't know, Strange the Dreamer is one of my favourite reads from last year and also one of my favourite books of all time. Thus, I am unbelIEVABLY excited for the sequel! The picture that Laini Taylor paints of the world Lazlo inhabits and Weep is picturesque, magical and terrible and I can't wait to read more of it. Especially with the end of the last book, I can't wait to also see what happens to Lazlo and the other godspawn that inhabit Weep.

If you haven't read my review of Strange the Dreamer, you can find it here. There's kind of a lot of gushing and also mystery surrounding my review because I didn't want to give away too much about it and have magic be lessened. But I do suppose if you're reading the synopsis of the second book you're spoiled anyway lol. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Happy Reading!
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[Review] One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus


ABOUT

Title: One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: May 30th 2017 

Synopsis:
The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he'd planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who's still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them."

Waiting on Wednesday -- The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



ABOUT

Title: The Gilded Wolves
Author: Roshani Chokshi 
Series: The Gilded Wolves #1 
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: January 15th 2019 

Synopsis:
Set in a darkly glamorous world The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts:

An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can't yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they'll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

I heard about this a while ago when the book was first announced and I was so so hype. An alternative french fantasy-ish world which involves ancient treasures and a crew to help steal it??? Hell yeah. This has all the hallmarks for book I would love.

The original book deal has The Gilded Wolves described as such:



Like I said, all the hallmarks of a book I would love -- "darkly glamorous Paris", "cursed heir of a massive fortune", "plots to steal", "ancient and powerful artifacts", "elite gatherings of secret occult societies". I'm so freaking entranced by this book. I truly absolutely can't wait for January 2019 omfg. You can find an excerpt from the book and a larger version of the cover from the EW article from earlier this week here!



Happy Reading!
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[The BackLog] Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott





ABOUT

Title: Gray Wolf Island
Author: Tracey Neithercott
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 10th 2017 

Synopsis:
Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.

With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.

As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.

From debut author Tracey Neithercott comes a darkly compelling tale of profound friendship, adventure, and finding the strength to tell the truth.

[Blog Tour] A Guest Post from Lexa HIllyer

Hello my lovelies!!

Today I have the wonderful opportunity to share with you a great guest post from Lexa Hillyer, the author of Spindle Fire and its sequel, Winter Glass!!

First, some info about the books if you haven't heard of them.


ABOUT

Title: Spindle Fire
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Series: Spindle Fire #1
Release Date: April 11 2017
Goodreads 
Synopsis:
A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.

No.

It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.


ABOUT

Title: Winter Glass
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Series: Spindle Fire #2 
Release Date: April 10th 2018 
Synopsis:
Aurora, torn from the dream world and Heath, plots to assassinate the faerie queen Malfleur, only to confront temptations she never expected. Isabelle, meanwhile, opens her heart to Prince William as they attempt to unite their kingdoms and wage a winning war against Malfleur’s army of Vultures.

But when the appearance of an unbreakable glass slipper prompts Isabelle to discover more about her lineage, her true identity begins to take shape and her legacy becomes as clear as ice. Devoted half sisters Isabelle and Aurora will grapple with their understanding of love and loyalty as they face a threat even greater than that of the evil queen—the threat of losing each other forever.


I asked Lexa, "There are so many fairytale retellings out there. Why were you drawn to writing a retelling and why do you think audiences are so enchanted by fairy tale retellings?


Lexa says, 

            I think there’s something thrilling about seeing the familiar made completely strange and different; of tracing the threads of the fairytale you know and love through a whole new fantasy world. And fairytales in particular are held in our cultural minds as these moral objects; they contain simple portraits of innocence and evil, of a series of trials that ultimately lead to triumph. We often associate them very strongly with our early childhood, so they are very formative in our understanding of storytelling. (Of course, Disney may have had something to do with that! :) ) For all these reasons, they make great fodder for re-exploration in the YA space, where those simple notions can be questioned and challenged, and the symbols can be rebranded to mean something altogether new.

            For me personally, I have always loved to take something I already know and reinterpret it through a new lens. There’s a quote in Spindle Fire: “Men have warred and died for centuries over the interpretation of a few words.” I find it exciting and somewhat terrifying the way a text can be made fungible, can be twisted to serve different purposes. It makes you think that maybe there is really no single “right” version of a story, only echoes of shared images and themes making their way into everyone’s personal reading of it.

            As for Sleeping Beauty in particular, it always struck me as one of the most sexist of all the familiar fairytales, with its main character completely passive for the entire tale—literally the object around which men and politics orbit, rather than an actual actor in her own story. I wanted to change that, and I was intrigued by the idea of putting Aurora in a Miss Havisham-like dream realm, which allowed me to build one fantasy world within another. I loved this idea: we all know the story of Sleeping Beauty but what we don’t know is what she was dreaming while she slept. That was the germ of the concept, and it grew from there, wild and uncontrollable, like the thorny vines that spring up all over the kingdom of Deluce when the faerie curse takes hold!



Thank you so much to Lexa for taking the time to write this awesome guest post!!

You can find the rest of the tour at the blogs below as well as more information about Lexa Hillyer!



SaturdayBook-Swoon
Sunday: Me! (Hi!) 
Monday: Arctic Books
WednesdayThe Story Sanctuary
ThursdayCornerfolds
SaturdayTeacher of YA



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lexa Hillyer is the author of the young adult novels Spindle Fire, Winter Glass, and Proof of Forever, as well as the poetry collection, Acquainted with the Cold (Bona Fide Books), the 2012 gold prize winner of the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Poetry, and a recipient of the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured in Best New Poets 2012, and she has received various other prizes and honors for poetry. Lexa earned her BA in English from Vassar College and her MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. She worked as an editor at both Harper Collins and Penguin, before founding the production company Glasstown Entertainment along with bestselling author Lauren Oliver. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, their daughter, and a very skinny orange tree.




Happy Reading!
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[Review] The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross


ABOUT

Title: The Queen's Rising
Author: Rebecca Ross
Series: Untitled Trilogy #1 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 6th 2018 

Synopsis:
When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

[Review] The Cruel Prince by Holly Black


ABOUT

Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 2nd 2018 

Synopsis:
Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

[Blog Tour] Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi + giveaway!




Hello my lovelies!!

I have the great pleasure to be a part of the blog tour for Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi! It's a really buzzed about book right now, and I'm sure you're wondering if it lives up to the hype. Stay tuned for my review and a giveaway!

But first, some information about the book


ABOUT

Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi 
Series: Legacy of Orïsha 
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers 
Release Date: March 6 2018
Goodreads Page

Synopsis:
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

I received an advanced copy from the distributor as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.





HOWWWWW DAREEEE YOUUUU. Like How dare you end the book like that???? I am a curious person. I need to know things. AND I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

If you can't tell, the book ends with a cliffhanger. Not in a bad way. I am just impatient and curious af.

Children of Blood and Bone is a novel that follows Zélie, a girl who is visibly a maji due to her white hair. Her people were stripped of their power though, when the king of Orïsha wiped magic from the land and had maji slaughtered, including Zélie's mother. Her people are oppressed and treated like dirt. One day Zélie happens on a way to bring magic back to the land. She teams up with her brother and the rogue princess to do so, all while escaping the pursuit of the crown prince who seeks to prevent magic from ever returning again.

This book is a tome. It's a brick. It's massive. My advance copy is 600 pages long and while it's a massive book, I managed to devour half of it in a single night, staying up until the wee hours of the morning. Children of Blood and Bone is a page turner that has you hooked on the rich world and the complex characters.

And what a rich world Adeyemi has created! It's inspired by west African history and mythology as the author has stated. I have 0 knowledge about this, though I will later probably look it up on wikipedia and at the library simply because mythology is fascinating. There is a crash course video pertaining to an African pantheon of gods which coincides with the inspiration that permeates the world that the author has created. The world that Adeyemi has created has a clear and complex history with its brutal conflicts and its own lore. I've stated before that religions in fantasy novels is one of my favourite things ever and its no different here.

The novel is told in differing points of view, switching back and forth between the views of Zélie, Amari (the rogue princess) and Inan (the crown prince). Through these different points of view we are able to empathize with these characters. They are complex and distinct, with their reasons on why they do the things that they do and really allow you to care about them. While I end up reading multi POV books often even though I'm not a fan of them, in this one it really worked well to see all sides of the story in a more intimate way than the omniscient POV.

If you didn't know, this book was already optioned for film when Adeyemi signed her book deal and I can see why. There's a cinematic feeling to this book that I could really see while reading it. I'm a very visual person and I often visualize things in my head as if I'm watching a movie when I read. There are definitely scenes in this book I would love love love to see on film, especially the bits when Zélie sees the painted images of the gods. I really hope that the studio does the book justice, because this could really be magnificent.

While this book was a page turner and a great read, I wasn't blown away by the book as some were and I didn't understand the screaming about it. That is, until I hit the last 30 pages. HOooooLLYyyyy. Yeah the beginning of this review is brought to you by my own screaming. It ends on the perfect note of wrapping up the book, but also leaving you wanting to know more. I empathize with all those who read this book early and have to wait longer than I do for the sequel.

Children of Blood and Bone is a West African cinematic fantasy novel with rich characters and world that you'll stay up all night to read. I had a great time getting to know these characters and this world and I can now join the others who await the sequel with great need.




If you made it through that whole review, congratulations!!

AND NOW WHAT YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR . . . . . THE GIVEAWAY!!

It's simple really. Retweet the tweet below and follow me on twitter to enter the giveaway for a finished copy of this novel (courtesy of Raincoast Books). This is a CANADA ONLY giveaway!


You can find the other tour stops below!





Happy Reading!
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[Review] Everless by Sara Holland


ABOUT

Title: Everless
Author: Sara Holland
Series: Untitled #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: January 2nd 2018
Goodreads Page
Purchase: Indigo

Synopsis:
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

[Blog Tour] S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett


ABOUT

Title: S.T.A.G.S.
Author: M.A. Bennett 
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Release Date: January 30th 2018 

Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Greer, a scholarship girl at a prestigious private school, St Aidan the Great School (known as STAGS), soon realizes that the school is full of snobs and spoilt rich brats, many of whom come from aristocratic families who have attended the institute throughout the centuries. She's immediately ignored by her classmates. All the teachers are referred to as Friars (even the female ones), but the real driving force behind the school is a group of prefects known as the Medievals, whose leader, Henry de Warlencourt, Greer finds both strangely intriguing as well as attractive. The Medievals are all good-looking, clever and everyone wants to be among their circle of friends. Greer is therefore surprised when she receives an invitation from Henry to spend a long weekend with him and his friends at his family house in the Lake District, especially when she learns that two other "outsiders" have also been invited: Shafeen and Chanel. As the weekend unfolds, Greer comes to the chilling realization that she and two other "losers" were invited only because they were chosen to become prey in a mad game of manhunt.


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