Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved More [@epicreads @scholastic @randomhousekids @frnkiebrwn @mikaela_everett]

This week's Ten:
Ten Eleven* Books I Loved More Than I Thought I Would
(or than everyone else)

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett

A List of Cages by Robin Roe

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Daughter of the Pirate King is out today, the 28th, so go get yourself a copy!!

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

The Forgetting by Nicole Maggi
review + info

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Where You'll Find Me by Natasha Friend
review + info

Tomorrow Girls: Behind the Gates (#1) by Eva Gray
review + info

The Orphan Queen (#1) by Jodi Meadows
review + info

Until We End by Frankie Brown
review + info

*It is eleven books, not ten, this week because I really couldn't decide which one to cut!

Please leave a comment and let me know what books you loved more than you thought you would - or than everyone else did! (Or which ones you loved less so.)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Daughter of the Pirate King ~ Tricia Levenseller (earc) review [@tricialevensell @FierceReads @FeiwelFriends]

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King #1)
Feiwel & Friends
February 28, 2017
320 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.

"Do you have any idea how hard it was to find a girl my size to steal those from?”
-pg 22, Alosa (regarding her dresses)

Despite being a fantasy, set in the fictitious Maneria in an unspecified (but seemingly not present day) time, Tricia Levenseller's Daughter of the Pirate King has one of the most modern and real portrayals of a female character I've had the pleasure of reading. Alosa is a fierce, sometimes even ruthless pirate. Alosa is also a girl, who likes her dresses, appreciates makeup and wants to keep her hair as it is. These two things (being a pirate, being feminine) need to be mutually exclusive and I really enjoyed the fact that Levenseller didn't make one preclude the other.

The different elements of Alosa's personality and how well the inclusion of each is executed was really something and one of my favorite parts of the book. This is a book I have a lot of favorite things about, though.

I really, really love this book and all of the feelings that came with it. Alosa is both mentally and physically strong, she's stubborn, she's smart, but can also second guess herself and be unsure. Her being held (intentionally) prisoner on another's ship gives us ample opportunity to see what she's capable of and to learn more about her past.

It is also a great way for readers to learn about Riden. We see how he treats her based on her (assumed) captive status, see some of his relationship with the Night Fever's captain, and who he is. Having them start out on such uneven footing (in relationship to her 'prisoner' status and all that entailed) was smart. It allowed a lot more interaction and of a different sort than their positions would have otherwise allowed.

While it was clearly not appropriate, there were so many times I wanted to give one or both of them a hug. (I say not appropriate because they're fearsome pirates, have swords, readily use them, etc.) All of the secrets they were keeping, the roles they were playing and how they thought they needed to be was somehow sweet, heartbreaking, endearing all at the same time. While also leaving me very hopeful!

Starting Daughter of the Pirate King, I didn't realize it was the first book in a series; now I don't know how I'll wait a full year to read more! What we learned not only about Alosa's upbringing as the Pirate King's Daughter, but also how she viewed or relayed those events has me especially curious about what's to come.

And we can't forget that there's a pirate who might like rum as much as Captain Jack Sparrow . . .

digital review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

Friday, February 24, 2017

Zayn: The Official Autobiography ~ Zayn review

Zayn: The Official Autobiography
November -1, 2016
288 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

The first and only official book from ZAYN. Global superstar ZAYN shares a photographic journey of his life since leaving One Direction.

ZAYN opens up with this collection of thoughts, inspiration, and never-before-seen personal photographs. After five years of massive success with One Direction, ZAYN launched his career as a solo artist with Mind of Mine, becoming one of the most successful artists in the world. Now, for the first time ever, ZAYN is going to tell and show all in this intimate and raw scrapbook of his life. Never-before-released photos give readers insight to ZAYN, no-holds-barred. Gorgeously designed with hundreds of full-color photographs and Zayn's notes, drawings, song lyrics, and personal stories, the book captures Zayn's most private moments and his candid feelings on fame, success, music, and life. The next chapter of ZAYN'S evolution into global superstar, told by the artist who is living it.

The title of this book is very misleading; this is really not an autobiography since it covers only a few years and not his whole life. It does feel more than a bit like a PR move: here's why I left, here's what I'm doing, here's why it's good (for him, in general) and what I'm doing now.

I should admit that I don't really have any feelings one way or the other about One Direction or any of its current or former members, so I'm really not the target audience for this book but I wanted to give it a shot, anyway. (And I was not a little bit curious about it being by 'ZAYN' and if he was really doing the Madonna/Prince/Cher/Adele mononymous name thing.)

The book did do a good job laying out why he left One Direction, why he felt he needed to, what happened afterward, how he started working on his solo music, how the album came together and what's next. He does a nice job touching on his anxiety, how it's affected him and why he didn't want to keep it a secret.

The photographs were also different than I was expecting. Part of why I did read the book was because I was curious about the 'photographic journey of his life' aspect. I thought that would be more candid photos or those taken by him, but the vast majority are from photoshoots (with three or four photos from several of them). That element was less personal than I would have liked. (There were some polaroids or images of his graffiti, too but not to the extent I wanted.)

I don't know if it was to make it sound more 'written by Zayn' but there seemed to be a lot of swearing in the book. (Like 'shit' and 'fuck' each used at least 25 times in not a whole lot of writing.)

I know I'm not who they were trying to get to read this book, but I was disappointed that it wasn't the 'intimate and raw scrapbook of his life' it ascribed itself to be. If you are a fan of Zayn Malik and/or One Direction and want to know more about why he left the group, what his album's songs mean, how he worked with a specific producer, or the shed he's turned into a bar then this probably is worth a read. If you're not, then, probably not?

(And a link because I kept hoping the wonky capitalization in song titles would addressed in the book, but it wasn't.)

Book Trailer Friday [@heidiheilig @epicreads @harperteen]

The Ship Beyond Time, the sequel to The Girl from Everywhere will be out on Tuesday, the 28th but you can see the trailer right now:

The Girl from Everywhere
(the paperback's currently $6.13 so if you've been waiting to buy it, now's the time!)

The Ship Beyond Time

and check out Bustle for an interview with author Heidi Heilig!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@harperteen @AdamSilvera}

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:


In the tradition of Before I Fall and If I Stay, this tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut the New York Times called “profound,” reminds us that there’s no life without death, no love without loss—and that it’s possible to change your whole world in a day.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: they’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news is: there’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—an unforgettable day that will change both their lives forever.

published September 5th by HarperTeen

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


It is a bit like:

. . . only it's not the end of 'the' world, but their world, well their lives. I am very intrigued by the concept of the Death-Cast and of everyone (maybe everyone, maybe not?) knowing the day they're going to die. I'm curious to find out what that means for Mateo and Rufus.

Then you add in that there's an app for finding a friend for before you die? I want o see what this world is like and what these characters' last day is like.

(Plus, I enjoyed both If I Stay and Before I Fall.)

That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Beautiful Broken Girls ~ Kim Savage (earc) review [@khsavage @fsgbooks @fiercereads]

Beautiful Broken Girls
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
February 21, 2017
336 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Mira and Francesca Cillo—beautiful, overprotected, odd—seemed untouchable. But Ben touched seven parts of Mira: her palm, hair, chest, cheek, lips, throat, and heart. After the sisters drown themselves in the quarry lake, a post-mortem letter from Mira sends Ben on a quest to find notes in the seven places where they touched. Note by note, Ben discovers the mystical secret at the heart of Mira and Francesca's world, and that some things are better left untouched.

That is me when it comes to how to write this review . . . and to (or because of) the book's ending. There was a lot I did really like about Beautiful Broken Girls. I thought author Kim Savage created some really intriguing, complicated and unique characters. Ben's past and how it plays into the decisions he makes and the way others view him made him an interesting main character and different than I first thought he was.

I liked how the 'mystical secret' of the Cillo girls was introduced and what it was. Seeing things both from Ben's point-of-view and more directly from Mira's let you see not only some of the truth, but also how appearances and assumptions can affect how something's perceived.

This author does a nice job giving us characters that are flawed or 'damaged' in some way and putting them into a story that transpires rather differently than you first expect. It was true with After the Woods and here, as well. What was going on in Francesca and Mira's lives, the secrets they were keeping could be a bit strange, but thanks to the parts narrated by Mira, you can understand it. (Or some of it.)

The ending just did not make sense to me. I knew what they were doing, but why exactly they were doing it and how it really fit within the rest of the story just wasn't there (for me, at least). There was not the resolution, for either the characters or some of the questions posed in the novel, that was needed. It was not the ending I wanted for the book and still has me scratching my head.

I do like the ideas Kim Savage has, her writing, the characters she creates and the different pieces of their pasts and presents. Beautiful Broken Girls didn't become a truly finished puzzle once those pieces were assembled but I will read more from this author.

See my review of Kim Savage's After the Woods 

review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

Meme News

The Top Ten Tuesday meme is on a min-hiatus until March 7th and I have decided to bump my post for today to the 28th,

Please do still leave me links to your post, though!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Trailer Friday [@epicreads]

Jessica Shirvington (author of The Violet Eden Chapters series that began with Embrace) has a new series Disruption. The first book Disruption came out in October and if you are wondering what it's about, here's the trailer that explains everything!

Disruption on Goodreads & Amazon

What if a microchip could identify your perfect match? What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?

Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation’s M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loved most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it.

Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer—heir to the M-Corp empire—has become key to Maggie’s plan. But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin’s involvement destroy everything she’s fought for?

In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Gilded Cage ~ Vic James (earc) review [@DelReyBooks @DrVictoriaJames]

Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1)
Del Rey Books
February 14, 2017
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England's grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England's most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family's secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi's brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?
Gilded Cage is the first book in the Dark Gifts series and when you finish it, you're going to hate that you don't already have Book 2! (Luckily, Tarnished City will be out in September!) Don't worry, though, that Gilded Cage has some giant cliffhanger ending, it does not. After everything that happens, especially in the immediate run-up to the ending, you're going to need to know what happens next.

It also was not just the ending that I liked about this book. I love that it Vic James didn't just put the Equals, with their Skills or the slavetowns in an England what was otherwise unchanged from the actual England. Rather, there's an alternate history she created (and not just for England) that makes for a fuller, richer world. It helps in understanding how and why things are how they are -- and how the characters feel about it. You understand better, thanks to the context and history, why they can't just not serve their decade.

There are several narrators for the book, more than half of a dozen, actually, and I thought it was going to be confusing or make it hard to connect to the characters. I was surprised by how well it did work. The three or four main narrators allow readers to see into the different parts of society, the different lives characters are leading and the mindset of someone in that position. The other narrators (that we hear from less) also give some pretty crucial insight and allow us to see things at all or in ways that we wouldn't have relying on other characters.

Gilded Cage was a more complex, intricate fantasy than I was expecting but was still close enough to the world we live in to make the differences that much more stark while aiding in readers relating to the characters. Now that I know more of both the world and the characters, I am really, really looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book, Tarnished City (and if things will have to get worse before they get better).

digital review copy received, thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley

Top Ten Tuesday: Valentine's Edition

This week's Ten:
All About Romance Tropes/Types
Specifically, ten books where I loved the
Chemistry Between Characters and/or Romance

These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Article 5 (Article 5 #1) by Kristen Simmons
review // Goodreads

Love, Lucy by April Lindner
review // Goodreads

The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows
review // Goodreads

Blackhearts (Blackhearts #1) by Nicole Castroman
review // Goodreads

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
 review // Goodreads

The Program (The Program #1) by Suzanne Young
review // Goodreads 

Forgotten by Cat Patrick
review // Goodreads

Time After Time by Sue Haasler

Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry #1) by Simone Elkeles

Please leave a comment and let me know what book/characters are your favorite when it comes to chemistry! (Or your favorite - or least favorite - romances overall.)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Jonah ~ Nikki Kelly (earc) review [@Styclar @FierceReads @FeiwelFriends]

Jonah (Styclar Saga #3)
Feiwel & Friends
February 07, 2017
352 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

** Reviews of Lailah (Styclar Saga #1) and Gabriel (Styclar Saga #2) **

The conclusion of the Styclar Saga trilogy focuses on Jonah, the vampire badboy with a hunger for Lailah and a rivalry with the angel Gabriel.

Jonah is the vampire who saved Lailah from the appetites of even darker evil: the vampire Purebloods. Now he must decide whether he will give up his existence so that Lailah will survive—even if it means that she will spend eternity with his friend and rival, the angel Gabriel.

This stunning conclusion to the Styclar Saga will have fans deciding once and for all: Team Jonah or Team Gabriel?

I think I may have liked both Jonah and Gabriel a bit less in Jonah than I did in Lailah and Gabriel. Yet, at the same time, I really liked all that we learned about the characters, the different dimensions, and what they would all need to - and/or want to - do to keep others safe.

The things Jonah did or said, particularly in the beginning, that I found off-putting, were also things that I knew needed to happen. (I do feel the need to note that a lot of people will probably love how he was. I just did not.) So, while I may not have loved all of the characters as much (some of how Jonah acted, that we saw less of Gabriel), were also really central to the advancement of the plot. (Which leaves me all kinds of jumbled up about how I feel.)

The beginning and where it took the characters and the action was really smartly done. It was unexpected, yet still fit in with what we've learned about the world in the Styclar Saga and how things work. It got everyone to exactly when and where was needed.

There was one element of the ending that I figured out pretty early on but I liked it (more and more the closer it came to the ending) because it really amped up the tension and the suspense. I thought I had it figured out and what it would mean but didn't know if I was right or if the characters would figure it out, too. It really kept me turning those pages.

The world building in this series was fantastic right up until the very end. I love how the author took some known things (arch angels, vampires, etc) but spun them in a new direction. How the angels, demons, humans, vampires, even the Sealgaire all interact, the 'rules' for each of them and how they're all a part of the larger whole was brilliant.

I am sorry to see the Styclar Saga come to an end, but it was a very satisfying end. The journey all of the characters undertook from the first page of Lailah to (literally) the last page of Jonah, all that readers learned about the different dimensions, the characters and their histories made for some great reading* and I look forward to what's next from Nikki Kelly!

*Not to mention, each of the three books had a killer ending!

digital review copy received, thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley

Book Trailer Friday [@isaacinspace @EmilyBestler]

Earlier this week I reviewed The Burning World by Isaac Marion, the sequel to Warm Bodies.

Now, here's the book trailer for The Burning World:

...and if you have not yet read Warm Bodies or you just want a bit of a refresher, here's my review and the Warm Bodies book trailer:

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Book Blitz: Obsidian Sky ~ Amy Braun (@amybraunauthor @XpressoTours]

Obsidian Sky (Dark Sky #3)
Amy Braun
February 07, 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks / Smashwords

The final struggle against the Hellions has arrived. A trapped engineer and a desperate marauder scramble to fight an enemy with unspeakable power on its side. Time is running out, and one world will be destroyed…

After sacrificing herself to save the lives of her friends and family, Claire Abernathy struggles to outwit her Hellion captors. They torment and terrify her into working on a weapon with the sole purpose of obliterating the world, friends, and love she has struggled to save. If Claire has any chance of saving those she loves, she must delve deeper into the Hellion world, and witness nightmares she could never imagine.

In Westraven, Sawyer Kendric is desperate to find the woman he loves. To do so, he must finally embrace his family’s atrocious past and heal the wounds it has caused. He will be forced to make new allies, uncover secrets that change all he knows, and find the courage to lead a ragtag crew into the darkest, deadliest battle of their lives.

Claire and Sawyer fight to save their broken world in the final installment of the epic DARK SKY trilogy.

Previous books in the series:

28260225 29963541

Author Bio:

Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She is the recipient of April Moon Books Editor Award for "author voice, world-building and general bad-assery," and the One Book Two Standout Award in 2015 for her Cursed trilogy. She has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, and is an active member of the Writing GIAM and Weekend Writing Warrior communities. When she isn't writing, she's reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.

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