September 10, 2017

Sunday Street Team Tour | Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller ARC Review + Giveaway

Sunday Street Team Tour | Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller ARC Review + Giveaway

Mask of Shadows (Untitled #1) by Linsey Miller
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on August 29th 2017
Pages: 352
AmazonBarnes & NobleTBD
Goodreads

I Needed to Win.They Needed to Die.
Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the nobles who destroyed their home.
When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand—the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears—Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.
But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

YAHH!
  • Descriptions: I genuinely loved how Miller described the surroundings and the land that Sal lived in. It was that perfect place of not to prose-y in which can set people back with boredom and not to simple as to lead the same thing to happen to people who prefer prose (gosh, I hope that made any sense whatsoever). I absolutely loved how the description of how each of the Queens Assassins Guild, The Left Hand, were represented by different color rings on the Queen’s left hand. 
  • Sal’s genderfluid representation: I am a cisgendered female and so my understanding of genderfluidity is nil and I am not the one that should be speaking about this. For a specifically #ownvoices reviewer please see Wren over at For The Love of Books for their review. With that being said I have seen a lot of people talk about the fact that Sal’s gender does not play a part an intrical part of story and I find that refreshing. Fuck yes, a book that doesn’t need to teach anyone anything about why they should feel like this character is a human being and deserving of love, respect, and care and how real people like them in our own society do TO!  Sometimes, it’s just good to have a book center around a character of a different sexuality/gender/race/religion without it having to be the whole book.
  • Competition: This is just my taste, but I love books about competition. I also really love that said competition has challenges that actually seem to fit with how they’re training and what position they’re competing to win. I’ve read so many books that seem to be competitions to just seem competition-y.
Meh
  • Info-dumpy beginning: Now this is just somewhat a picky thing on my part but I have a hard time connecting to a story that just dumps information on my lap and says “here you go now you know”. This could be chalked up to the fact that I believe this is Miller’s debut novel and so it gets a slight pass from me.
  • Romance: Meh, I get the romance, but then again, it could have probably been left out and I would have been completely fine with just having Sal do their assassin thing.
Nope
  • Number Aliases: Ahhh, I get having code or pet names for people but I could not find myself connecting to characters as I should be with the way that the aliases were set up.  It just did not work for me and kept throwing me off the flow of the story. Most of the issues with the writing style I can get over but this made it so difficult to read this book that it became frustrating at times.
  • No sense of struggle: While I commend Miller on her ability to not fall back on her characters genderfluidity as a way of creating tension (thank you!) I think that there still needed to be something. You’d really think a book about an assassin competition would feel…more. I guess maybe off my other assassin/competition books I was expecting too much out of this book and it was more of a “me and not you” sort of situation but it still was disappointing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join the other stops on the tour:

9/3 Tour Stops

Interview – Emily Reads Everything

Unique Post  – Roecker Reviews

Review – Bayy In Wonderland

Review – Bookishly Thinking

9/10  Tour Stops

Interview – Tween 2 Teen Books

Review –Charmingly Simple

Review – Pondering The Prose

Interview  – When Curiosity Killed The Cat

9/17  Tour Stops

Interview – YA and Wine

Style Boards – Here’s To Happy Endings

Review – Areli Reads

Review – The Hermit Librarian

Interview – Sarcasm and Lemons

9/24 Tour Stops

Interview – Flyleaf Chronicles

Review –  Books N Calm

Review – A Thousand Words A Million Books

Guest Post – Written Infinities

 

August 10, 2017

If I’d Have to Pick a Fav… | Top 5 Wednesday

 

Today is another installment of Top 5 Wednesday! This meme was created by Lainey over at Ginger Reads Lainey and now is being hosted by Samantha from Thoughts and Tomes. This weeks topic is a very interesting one. There is a Goodreads group that you can find here to find all of the questions for the month of August if you want to join.

Top 5 Sequels Better than the First

 

Usually, we talk about how sequels can sometimes fall short of expectations placed on the first. Well, this week we’re talking about the opposite when a book outshines its predecessor. Now, most of my list is going to be books that their first books weren’t BAD but the second one’s just went above and beyond my expectations.

 

  1. The Obelisk Gate by N.K Jemisin (The Fifth Season trilogy)

This is a prime example of a series that first book wasn’t bad, it actually was completely amazing, but the second book was phenomenal. It not only expanded on the things that happened in the first book it added such an element of depth to the characters that we followed during the first book and those who were introduced in the second book. God, this series is such an awesome experience.

 

  1. The Shadowed Sun by N.K Jemisin (The Dreamblood duology)

This is the last book but also the sequel and so it counts okay! Again, I absolutely loved the first one but I adored the second one. I loved the characters that crossed over into this book set 10 yrs after the first and the new ones. N.K Jemisin can just write and all her books are awesome.

 

  1. Knights Shadow by Sebastien De Castell (The Greatcoats series)

While this series on a whole is great, I thought the first one was the weakest of the series. I haven’t read the fourth and final book yet but I have heard great things from people that I trust and so this more than likely still stands.

 

  1. The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley

See #1 & #2. Loved the first one but this second one expanded on so much that I couldn’t help but love it more. Plus the siblings had learned and grew into their respective parts to play in the story. Brilliant.

 

  1. Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Again, a product of the first one not being horrible but this book just went to an entirely different level of awesome.

 

 

So that is my list! I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know down below of any of your favorite second books in series/or if any of these you have read and enjoyed!

August 8, 2017

Release Day Blitz | The Epic Crush of Genie Lo + Giveaway

I am so excited that THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO by F.C. Yee is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author F.C. Yee, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for 5 finished copies of the book and a bookmark courtesy of Pique and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Release Day Blitz | The Epic Crush of Genie Lo + GiveawayThe Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee
Published by Amulet Books on August 8th 2017
Pages: 336
AmazonBarnes & NobleiBookTBD
Goodreads

The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie Lo's every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged.
Her only guide to the demonic chaos breaking out around her is Quentin Sun, a beguiling, maddening new transfer student from overseas. Quentin assures Genie she is strong enough to fight these monsters, for she unknowingly harbors an inner power that can level the very gates of Heaven.
Genie will have to dig deep within herself to summon the otherworldly strength that Quentin keeps talking about. But as she does, she finds the secret of her true nature is entwined with his, in a way she could never have imagined…

Excerpt:

“GREETINGS,” HE SAID, HIS ACCENT THICK BUT HIS VOICE LOUD and clear. “I have arrived.”
Now, I’d done my best to describe this guy to the police. They pressed me hard for details, as apparently, this wasn’t the first group mugging in recent weeks.

But I’d let Officers Davis and Rodriguez down. Nice eyes and a winning smile weren’t much to go by. I was too frazzled to notice anything before, which meant this was my first decent look at the boy without the influence of adrenaline.

So a couple of things.

One: He was short. Like, really short for a guy. I felt bad that my brain went there first, but he wasn’t even as tall as Mrs. Nanda.

Two: He was totally okay, physically. I didn’t see how anyone could be up and about after that beating, but here he was, unbruised and unblemished. I felt relieved and disturbed at the same time to see there wasn’t a scratch on him.

And his mint condition just made Point Three even more obvious.

He was . . . yeesh.

Nothing good could come of our new classmate being that handsome. It was destructive. Twisted. Weaponized. He had the cheekbones and sharp jawline of a pop star, but his thick eyebrows and wild, unkempt hair lent him an air of natural ruggedness that some pampered singer could never achieve in a million years of makeup.

“Argh, my ovaries,” Yunie mumbled. She wasn’t alone, judging by the soft intakes of breath coming from around the room.

“Arrived from where?” said Mrs. Nanda.

Quentin looked at her in amusement. “China?”

“Yes, but where in, though?” said Mrs. Nanda, trying her best to convey that she was sensitive to the
regional differences. Fujianese, Taishanese, Beijingren—she’d taught them all.

He just shrugged. “The stones,” he said.

“You mean the mountains, sweetie?” said Rachel Li, batting her eyelashes at him from the front row.

“No! I don’t misspeak.”

The class giggled at his English. But none of it was incorrect, technically speaking.

“Tell us a little about yourself,” Mrs. Nanda said.

Quentin puffed out his chest. The white button-down shirt and black pants of our school’s uniform for boys made most of them look like limo drivers. But on him, the cheap stitching just made it clearer that he was extremely well-muscled underneath.

“I am the greatest of my kind,” he said. “In this world I have no equal. I am known to thousands in faraway lands, and everyone I meet can’t help but declare me king!”

There was a moment of silence and sputtering before guffaws broke out.

“Well . . . um . . . we are all high achievers here at SF Prep,” said

Mrs. Nanda as politely as she could. “I’m sure you’ll fit right in?”

Quentin surveyed the cramped beige classroom with a cool squint. To him, the other twenty-two laughing students were merely peons on whom his important message had been lost.

“Enough wasting of time,” he snapped. “I came to these petty halls only to reclaim what is mine.”
Before anyone could stop him, he hopped onto Rachel’s desk and stepped over her to the next one, like she wasn’t even there.

“Hey! Quentin!” Mrs. Nanda said, frantically waving her hands. “Get down now!”

The new student ignored her, stalking down the column of desks. Toward mine.

Everyone in his way leaned to the side to avoid getting kicked. They were all too flabbergasted to do anything but serve as his counterweights.

He stopped on my desk and crouched down, looking me in the eye. His gaze pinned me to my seat.
I couldn’t turn away. He was so close our noses were almost touching. He smelled like wine and peaches.

“You!” he said.

“What?” I squeaked.

Quentin gave me a grin that was utterly feral. He tilted his head as if to whisper, but spoke loud enough for everyone to hear.

“You belong to me”

 

 
About F.C: 

F. C. Yee grew up in New Jersey and went to school in New England, but has called the San Francisco Bay Area home ever since he beat a friend at a board game and shouted “That’s how we do it in NorCal, baby!” Outside of writing, he practices capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial arts, and has a day job mostly involving spreadsheets.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

 

 

 

Rafflecopter link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2613/?

August 4, 2017

Holy MOTHER WHAT HAVE I DONE TO MYSELF | ARC AUGUST + TOME TOPPLE + READING QUEST TBR

 

I think that I might being a bit optimistic about my August reading. I am preparing to participate in not one but THREE challenges and/or read-a-thons this month. As I am also starting my graduate classes again on the 14th, all the good vibes will be necessary to pull me through. But with that being said, let’s get into the explanations and then the TBRs.

I will be participating in ARC August created by Shelly and Octavia at Read.Sleep.Repeat all August long, Tome Topple from midnight on 4th of August to the 17th, and The Reading Quest by Aentee at Read at Midnight that starts 13 August to 10th of September.

Since Tome Topple starts first I am going to start with those books that I plan on reading when Tome Toppler starts and some might correlate between the two if I’m reading particularly slowly.

Tome Topple TBR

  1. The King of the Wyld by Nicholas Earnes (502 pgs)
  2. The Shadow That Was Lost by James Islington (602 pgs)
  3. The Red Knight by Miles Cameron (650 pgs)

 

The Reading Quest TBR

One of the most interesting and truly unique thing about this challenge is at its core you have to pick either a knight, bard, rogue, and mage. Depending on what character you choose determines your path across the challenge.

For this challenge, I will be a MAGE.

As wielders of spells and witchcraft, these players will conjure and summon their way through the First Down path on the quest. Their tomes contain magic and whispers of alternate lands.”

 

 

MAGE QUEST CHALLENGES

A book with a one-word title: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman   (AA) (MA)
A book that contains magic: Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson (AA)
A book based on mythology: Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor (MA)  (AA)
A book set in a different world: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K Jemisin (MA) 

(if I have time I will also be doing the Rogue challenge) TBR for that to be added once closer to the start of the challenge!

 

SIDE CHALLENGES:
Potions (a book concocted by 2+ authors): TBD
Time warp (a book set in the past or future): TBD
Expansion (read a companion novel or short story):
Multiplayer (buddy read a book): TBD
Open world (read any book): TBD
Mini-game (read a graphic novel, novella, or poem collection): TBD
Grind (read a 500+ page book): TBD
Respawn (read a book recently DNF): TBD
Animal companion (book referencing an animal in the title): TBD

 

 

June 4, 2017

Cuteness Aplenty | The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue Review| SST TOUR

 

 

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on June 27th 2017
Pages: 528
Amazon
Goodreads

An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

Ah, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I have been excited about this book for a long time and I was so happy that I was privileged enough to be able to read an early copy and review for you today for one of the first stops for the Sunday Street Team. I recently saw a specific way of reviewing that I absolutely love on Hardback Horders on Youtube. She gives words that came to her when she read the book and I think that is just the perfect way to start reviewing in a way that I hope is enjoyable for you to read. So, without further ado here are the words I thought of when reading Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue:

 

Cute: One of the first words that came to mind when I was reading this book was how cute it was. I felt my heart melting like a warm piece of chocolate at every word. I loved the relationships between Monty, Percy, and Monty’s younger sister Felicity. The banter between Felicity and Monty at times made me laugh out loud many times.

Frustrating: One of the things that I found frustrating about this book is that Monty was a difficult character to like. I completely understand that I am not supposed to like every character but I guess I find this most frustrating because his perspective was the only one we were privy too. He was funny and endearing at first but then as the story went on I could not help but want to take him by the shoulders and shake the little cinnamon roll.  I wanted him to grow up and learn at the end of the story but it felt like that might not have been the case. It was all….very frustrating!

A Hidden Depth: When I first was attracted to this book I knew that it was going to be a fun romp around Europe. What I was not expecting how Lee intertwines such depth to the story that it sneaks up on you and you can’t help but love it. She covers so many diverse topics in the 18th century; bisexual representation, a character dealing with the difficulties of being biracial, disabilities, abuse, PTSD, and sexism. Oh, wow.

I recommend this book for those who want a fun and fast read that has such a hidden depth that you can’t help but love. There are frustrating parts and I wish that the ending was more solid but I think that everyone should give this one a chance!

 

About the Author:

Mackenzi Lee is a bookseller, history nerd, and the author of THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, THIS MONSTROUS THING (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins), and the forthcoming SEMPER AUGUSTUS (Flatiron Books, 2018). She holds an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently calls Boston home.

6/4 Tour Blogs Stops

Character Profiles – Blame It On The Books

Review –  Bookishly Thinking

Review –  Charmingly Simple

Interview – The Hermit Librarian

6/11 Tour Blogs Stops

Review – Tween to Teen Book Reviews

Interview – Sarcasm and Lemons

Unique Post (Ships to Travel With) – Roecker Reviews

Interview –  Books Buying Beauty

Review – The Ultimate Fangirl

6/18 Tour Blogs Stops

Review – Books and Ladders

Interview –  Book Stack Amber

Review –  YA and Wine

Review – A Thousand Words A Million Books

Unique Post (Characters in Social Media) – Live Love Read YA

6/25 Tour Blog Stops

Interview – Hopeful Reads

Review – Olivia’s Catastrophe

Review – Bayy in Wonderland

Review – Curly Hair Bibliophile

Unique Post (Mood Board) – A Book and A Cup of Coffee