Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (11): QUEEN OF SHADOWS

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: Queen of Shadows 
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #4

Thoughts: AHHHHH. This title was seriously JUST announced last week, and I couldn't be more excited. We still don't have a cover, but that's definitely something I'm looking forward to in the coming months. We DO, however, have a short synopsis, so click on the title link above if you want to read it, but BEWARE SPOILERS if you have NOT read the rest of the series, yet! This is my favorite fantasy series, and this installment is one of my most anticipated books of 2015, so definitely check out the series if you have not yet started it! 

Tell me: what are YOU waiting on this Wednesday? Let me know in the comments down below! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Birthdays! -- January 27, 2015

*Note: when celebrating birthdays for books in a series other than Book 1, I will not list the summary, in the interest of avoiding spoilers. If you've read the first books in the series, or are just insanely curious, follow the book title link to the Goodreads page to read the summary there!


Title: I Was Here 
Author: Gayle Forman

Summary: Cody and Meg were inseparable. 
Two peas in a pod. 
Until...they weren't anymore. 

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shock and devastated. She and Meg shared everything--so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg's college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there's a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg's heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can't open--until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend's death gets thrown into question.  

Author: Michelle Falkoff

Summary: Here's what Sam knows: There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, his best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs, and a suicide note: For Sam--listen and you'll understand. 

As he listens to song after song, Sam tries to face up to what happened the night Hayden killed himself. But it's only by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he will finally be able to piece together his best friend's story. And maybe have a chance to change his own. 

Series Prequels

Title: Fairest
Author: Marissa Meyer 
Series: Lunar Chronicles #0.1

Summary: Mirror, mirror on the wall, 
Who is the fairest of them all? 

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her "glamour" to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story--a story that has never been told...until now. 

Series Enders

Title: A Cold Legacy
Author: Megan Shepherd 
Series: The Madman's Daughter #3

Tell me: what new releases are YOU excited for this week? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (10): AN EMBER IN THE ASHES

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!

Author: Sabaa Tahir
Release date: April 28, 2015

Summary: Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire's greatest militry academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution. 

Elias is the academy's finest soldier--and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he's ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. 

When Laia and Elias's paths cross at the academy, the find that their destinies are more intertwined that either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself. 

Thoughts: I've been seeing ARCs of this one going around on booktube a lot. I actually discovered this book because I started following Sabaa Tahir on Twitter. I think there was a giveaway involved, maybe? But this just sounds so intriguing, and it's been getting some great reviews. Even Tahereh Mafi just praised it on Twitter, so it's definitely something I'm interested in checking out! 

Tell me: what are YOU waiting on this Wednesday? Let me know in the comments down below! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Broken Skies Blog Tour Relaunch!

BROKEN SKIES by Theresa Kay has been RELAUNCHED!

BROKEN SKIES is the first novel in a young adult science-fiction trilogy by Theresa Kay. Perfect for fans of Angelfall by Susan Ee and the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, it tells the story of seventeen-year-old Jasmine "Jax" Mitchell, an impulsive and traumatized girl whose fierce loyalty to her kidnapped twin brother drives her to rescue him at any cost, even if it means employing the help of a teenaged alien boy with questionable motives. 


"This book had me ALL OVER THE PLACE. Happy, sad, angry, tummy fluttery, giddy, outraged, betrayed...just...all over the place." -- Caylie M., Amazon Reviewer

"This is for those who enjoy exciting, intriguing YA level Sci-Fi and Dystopian with a sweet romance." -- Sophia Rose, Delighted Reader Blog

"The kind of novel that makes you anxiously excited about the series to come!" -- Jocey, Amazon Reviewer

"All I want to keep talking about is how awesome Broken Skies was, how much I loved it and that you must read it, so we can gush about it together!" -- Total Book Geek

Want to know about what happened when BROKEN SKIES got picked up by a publisher? Check out Theresa's reaction here

Follow the tour and you could win a Kindle Paperwhite with an exclusive BROKEN SKIES cover and a $50 Amazon gift card! Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!


In seventeen-year-old Jax Mitchell's world, humans are nearly extinct and alien settlers have arrived. 

Until recently, the E'rikon have remained segregated in their city and ignored the few humans who have tried to engage them...but now they have taken Jax's brother. To rescue him, she forms an uneasy alliance with a teenage E'rikon left stranded in the woods. She agrees to guide him to the city if he sneaks her past the human-proof barrier. Too bad it's not that simple. 

Jax, who cannot stand to be touched, finds that she's drawn to the alien boy with bright green hair and jewel-like scales down his back. And he's equally affected by her, the courageous redhead with haunted eyes. But she doesn't know the alien's true motives and he has no idea that she is much more than she seems. 

In this world, where alien and human are at odds, the connection forming between the two has consequences. What started off as a rescue mission sets a chain of events in motion which threatens not only the remaining humans and the growing alien society, but Earth itself. 

On sale in print: NOW

Also available NOW on your Kindle! 

Add BROKEN SKIES to your TBR pile on Goodreads!

About Theresa Kay: The only person she knows who had a subscription to Writer's Digest at eleven and was always excited to write research papers. Theresa has been putting words to paper since a young age. Living in the mountains of central Virginia with her husband and two kids, she works as a paralegal by day, binges on Netflix at night, and finds bits of time in between reading almost everything she can get her hands on and laundry to craft stories that tend to feature broken characters in sci-fi or paranormal worlds, with a touch of romance thrown in for good measure. She's constantly lost in one fictional universe or another and is a self-proclaimed "fangirl" who loves being sucked into new books or TV shows. Theresa originally wanted to write horror novels as an ode to her childhood passion for Stephen King, but between her internal Muse's ramblings and the constant praise for her sci-fi pieces from her writer's group -- The Rebel Writers -- she knew she should stick with what was working. 

Subscribe to Theresa Kay's mailing list for exclusive content, ARCs, giveaways and more!
Thoughts: In exchange for being a part of this blog tour, I received this book for free from the Book Tour Provided eBook. Unfortunately, due to some complications in the blog schedule, I received this spot very last minute, so I have not read the book yet. BUT, Ben at BenjaminofTomes have been raving about this book, so color me intrigued! This has been pushed to the top of my TBR pile for February, so expect a review within the month!
Tell me: does BROKEN SKIES sound like it's right up your alley? Let me know in the comments below and if the answer is yes, be sure to pick up your own copy using the links above!

Book Birthdays! -- January 20, 2015

*Note: when celebrating birthdays for books in a series other than Book 1, I will not list the summary, in the interest of avoiding spoilers. If you've read the first books in the series, or are just insanely curious, follow the book title link to the Goodreads page to read the summary there! 

**When linking to purchase sites, the bolded link is the cheapest option. If two or more are bolded, they are both the same, cheapest price!

Series Starters

Title: All Fall Down
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Embassy Row #1

Summary: Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things. 

1. She is not crazy. 
2. Her mother was murdered. 
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay. 

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her--so there's no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands. 

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. .But they can't control Grace--no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her...and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down. 

Sequels (Duologies)

Title: Polaris
Author: Mindee Arnett
Series: Avalon #2

Buy here: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million

Author: Courtney Summers
Series: This is Not a Test #2

*NOTE: This is ONLY available as an ebook!

Buy here: Amazon | Barnes and Noble 

Tell me: will YOU be buying any of these books on release day? What will YOU be buying this week? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: CRESS by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #3

Why I read it: Duh. 

Thoughts: This is the best book yet in the series. 

Once again, we get a new main character and perspective, based on another fairy tale with a sci-fi twist. Cress is the Lunar Chronicles counterpart to Rapunzel, and boy is she adorable. 

Cress is a sweet, shy girl who has lived on a satellite nearly all her life. Since both Cinder and Scarlet are more hard-headed and cynical about the world, it's refreshing to see the world from Cress's eyes, since she is rather naive about certain things in life. She also has a HUGE crush on Captain Thorne, which is just precious, especially considering what a sarcastic, yet lovable scallywag he is. 

We also meet Jacin Clay, one of the Lunar guards. I won't talk about him a lot, but I think it's safe to say we'll get to learn much more about him in the last book. 

Every interaction that Cress has with another character is golden, but especially her scenes with Thorne. It's adorable how much she adores him, and it's wonderful seeing their relationship progress. 

Again, I have to commend Meyer's skill at crafting believable relationships. There is no insta-love between Thorne and Cress (well, except on Cress's part), and the relationships from the first two books are still building and evolving. It's one reason that Winter, the fourth book, is my most anticipated book of 2015. Because I can't wait to see how all these relationships turn  out. 

Can I take a moment to praise the character naming skills of Meyer, as well? Cress, shortened for watercress, is a type of lettuce. As is Rapunzel. Meyer actually spoke about how she named Cress in a guest blog post, where she admitted that she initially called the character "Arugula" before realizing exactly how ridiculous that was. And Carswell Thorne? That name also has great connections to the original fairy tale. 

The original fairy tale is also masterfully weaved into the plot, and it's fun to pick out all of those parts and how they're reworked for the sci-fi setting. 

I have to admit: I cried while reading this book, which I did not expect. But if you get as attached to characters as I do, you may well cry over their plights, too. 

This may be Cress's book, but Cinder and Scarlet's stories certainly aren't over yet. They have a long way to go still, and I can't wait to find out how it all ends in Winter!

Rating: 5/5 stars 

Cinder review         and          Scarlet review

Tell me: have YOU read Cress yet? If so, what were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Review: SCARLET by Marissa Meyer

Title: Scarlet
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #2

Why I read it: Obviously, because I loved the first book, Cinder, which you can read my review of by clicking here! I had planned on reading something else after Cinder, but I just couldn't wait to continue the series, so I immediately picked up Scarlet!

Thoughts: I adored this second installment in the series.

With all the events from the end of the first books, the overarching plot for the whole series really starts to rev into gear in Scarlet. Without going into too much detail (for fear of SPOILING you), I really enjoyed where the series is going. While Cinder was stuck within the Eastern Commonwealth, we get to see more of the world in Scarlet. 

We're introduced to a few new main characters, and all of them are wonderful. We have Scarlet, the Lunar Chronicles counterpart to Red Riding Hood, and this book's main character. Marissa Meyer has a knack for writing fantastic female protagonists, as both Cinder and Scarlet show. While Cinder is sweet and misunderstood and hesitant to draw attention to herself, Scarlet is bold and brave and often stubborn to a fault. Meyer's characters are always well-developed, with both strengths and flaws in everyone.

Our next new character is Wolf. And as I'm sure you already guessed, he is Scarlet's love interest. And he is my kind of man. He's the strong, silent type. A bad boy with a heart of gold. Oh yes, he is just delightful. And I will leave it at that.

And last, but CERTAINLY not least is the illustrious Captain Carswell Thorne, Cinder's newest companion. Carswell is handsome (and knows it), overly confident and extremely irreverent. He is certainly the comic relief in the story, as even in the face of danger, he most often still has a witty one-liner to deliver. I have to say that Thorne had to grow on me, but by the end of the book, he had me.

I appreciate the fact that even though this is Scarlet's story, we still get Cinder's perspective, and it doesn't feel contrived. It still feels like Cinder has a major story arc to live through, so she deserves some of the screen time. We also get some Prince Kai time, which I absolutely enjoyed. Though Prince Kai is now Emperor Kai, and trying to keep the Lunars at bay takes up much of his time, he still spares a thought for Cinder now and then. The tension between how they feel about each other, and their inability to admit it to even themselves is fabulous. Once again, I love Meyer's ability to let that romantic tension build and build, even when the two characters don't even interact.

Once I started this book, I didn't want to put it down again. I read it in just a few days, and IMMEDIATELY picked up Cress, which I will be reviewing next! If you haven't picked up this series yet, what are you waiting for?

Rating: 5/5 stars

Cinder review          and          Cress review

Tell me: if you have read Scarlet, what were YOUR thoughts on this second book? Let me know in the comments below! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: CINDER by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1

Summary: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one know that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future. 

Why I read it: This is another one of those series that I had heard of when the first book came out a couple years ago, and wanted to read it, but for some reason didn't make it a priority. Now that I've become involved with the bookish community, this series is HUGE now. So I ordered the first two books from BookOutlet (yay, cheap books!) and bought the third from a local bookstore (yay, indies!) So I picked it up at the beginning of December because I just had to know if it deserved all the hype!

Thoughts: It does. It SO deserves the hype.

Each book in this series is a sci-fi retelling of a classic fairy tale, and obviously, this book follows the Cinderella storyline. But in this series, Cinderella is a cyborg mechanic. Isn't that fabulous?

The characters in this book are so wonderful. Cinder is a talented mechanic, but she is shy and uncomfortable in social situations. She only has two friends. First is Iko, an android with a faulty personality chip that makes her much more human-like. Oh, how I adore Iko and her massive crush on the prince. (An android with a crush? How precious!) And second, in a twist on the original tale, her stepsister Peony, who is just darling. Also, I love Dr. Erland. He's grumpy but wonderful, and I always picture him as John Noble. Anybody else?

Queen Levana is a fantastic villain. We don't get an opportunity to see inside her head much, and we barely have an idea of what she really looks like. But she is terrifying. She is Queen of the Lunars, the race of beings that live on the moon, and the main antagonist for the entire series. And sidenote: the Lunars are SO COOL. Everything we learn about them and their world (moon) is interesting.

And Prince Kai. He is so swoonworthy. (Spoiler alert: ALL the love interests in this series are swoonworthy.) He has the weight of the world on his shoulders, but he still manages to be charming and vulnerable.

One of my favorites things about this series is the development of relationships between our heroines and their love interests. Marissa Meyer certainly knows how to craft a slow burn romance. You will not spot insta-love in any of these books, nor are the relationships set in stone by the end of each book. They're always changing and developing in wonderful ways.

Marissa Meyer's world-building is perfection. These books are set in the future of our world, so while there are hovercars and robots and space travel, everything still seems a little familiar, which keeps this sci-fi tale a little more grounded. This makes it a perfect introduction into sci-fi for readers who aren't well versed in the genre!

The writing is great. It's fast-paced and keeps you entertained the whole way through, and you'll never want to put it down. I read the second half of the book in one sitting because I just had to get to the end! Once I got to the end, I had planned to read another book, but I couldn't put this series to the side yet, so I had to pick up Scarlet and continue the story!

Overall, I absolutely loved it. Easily one of my top five series I've ever read. And it's not over! Fairest, which comes out later this month, is Queen Levana's prequel story. Winter, the fourth and final novel, will be released in November. So if you haven't picked up this series yet, I highly recommend you do it soon, so you can get in on the hype and join the rest of us eagerly awaiting the last book!

If you have read these books already, come back and read my reviews for Scarlet and Cress in the next week or so! When those reviews are live, I will link them below as well.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Scarlet review         and          Cress review

Tell me: have YOU read Cinder yet? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below! 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Books I HAVE to Read in 2015

I hope everyone had a great New Year's Eve! Now that we've had New Year's Day to recuperate and get used to the new year, I'm back to share some of the books that I absolutely MUST read in 2015! So let's get started!


Insurgent and Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Like I said in my 2015 Resolutions post, I have not yet finished the Divergent series, and it's ridiculous. So I'm going to read these both before the film adaptation of Insurgent gets released! Hold me to it, blog readers!


City of Ashes and City of Glass by Cassandra Clare 

I read City of Bones last year in 2013 in preparation of seeing the movie. It wasn't a favorite read, but it was good enough that I want to read the whole series. But it's just such a daunting task! Six books is crazy to marathon. But I really want to read the Infernal Devices trilogy (even more than the Mortal Instruments), and I've been instructed to read the original TMI trilogy first, then TID, and then the last TMI trilogy. So I'm telling myself that before I even get to purchase TID, I have to read these two books first! More incentive, here. 


Lark Ascending by Meagan Spooner
Echoes of Us by Kat Zhang 
Forged by Erin Bowman

These are all third books in trilogies that I love, so I'm looking to read these and cross a few more series off my list! Which helps out my 2015 Resolutions, too. ;) I already own the first two, but as I mentioned in my Most Anticipated of 2015 post, Forged doesn't release until April.


Now that this entire trilogy is out in the wild, I'd like to marathon the whole thing. I've heard great things about it, so I want in on the action! I may even buy the e-novellas, In Time and Sparks Rise as well, now that I have a tablet to read them on!

The Body Electric by Beth Revis 

I adored the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis, and this is set in the same world, just on Earth instead of space. Plus, she self-published this title and I ordered a signed copy from Malaprop's, so I definitely need to read this sooner rather than later!

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld is an auto-buy author for me. I have read (and loved) ALL of his young adult novels, but even though I own this one, I haven't read it yet. I definitely must rectify this soon!

Reached by Ally Condie

I really enjoyed Matched, the first book in the trilogy. But the second book Crossed definitely dragged A LOT for me, and I didn't really like reading. So I've been putting off reading Reached for a long time. But I really need to just buckle down and read it in order to cross another series off my list! 

So those are just a few of the books I hope to read in 2015. What about you? Do YOU have any books that you HAVE to read in 2015? Or: Have YOU read any of these books yet? Should I move any of them to the very top of the list? Click this link to see my "owned-to-be-read" shelf on Goodreads and let me know if any of those books should be on this list, too! 
Let me know in the comments below!