Archives for June 2016

June 22, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #1: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

Waiting on W“Waiting On” Wednesday is a feature started by the lovely lady over at Breaking the Spine as a way of showcasing the books that are coming out (pre-published) that we are most excited about. I haven’t participated in one yet but one of my most anticipated books JUST got the cover released and it is BRILLIANT. May I introduce you to….

 

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Publishing Date: March 28th 2017

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In an alternate Victorian England where social prestige stems from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, sixteen-year old Anna Arden is barred from the society she yearns for by a defect of blood. She believes herself Barren, unable to perform the most rudimentary spells. Anna would do anything to belong, but after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spells, Anna finds herself exiled with her aging grandmother to her grandmother’s native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

But in Hungary, Anna finds that nothing about her world or her own lack of magic is quite as it seems. Fissures in the Binding that holds her world’s magic are expanding, and the ancient creatures bound by that spell beg Anna to release them. As rebellion sweeps across Hungary, Anna’s unique ability to break spells becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Roma, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted—or embrace her ability, destroy the Binding, spark a revolution, and change the face of magic itself.

This book will appeal to fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy and Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED.

I mean come on, look at this cover! Read the synopsis! I love books that involve history and I love even more alternate history books that weave together magic in them. No matter how many books I read this girl is 100% a fantasy girl and I can’t help but be attracted to books that have all of these elements in them.
Ahhhhhhh!!!!!! This book has me pumped!! Doesn’t it sound so awesome!

 

June 21, 2016

Gushing and Adoration For Some Awesome Ass Books of 2016

Top Ten Tuesdays1

 

I’m picky as fuck when it comes to the book that I read and because of that this list might be a bit iddy biddy less than 10 books that usually is the recommended amount for Top Ten Tuesday. If you don’t know what Top Ten Tuesday is and would love to join in the fun check out their website by clicking the banner above.  With that being said, the books that I have read and love I REALLY loved. So without further ado here is my list of gushing raving adoration for books that I’ve read so far in 2016…

 

Top Ten

 

 

1|The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson: I have had this book on my TBR for SO long. I have loved each and every one of Sanderson’s work before but was so intimidated by this one because EVERYONE that read it seemed to love it. Well, I can officially say I’ve hitched my giddy up to that bandwagon and ABSOLUTLY love this story. WOW. Now I’m terrified of continuing on because then it will be over!!

2| 738 Days by Stacey Kade: This was one of the only contemporaries at this time that I’ve read today and I absolutely loved it! I couldn’t put it down! You can read my review here but despite the little things about this book it deserves a part in my favorites list.

3|A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab: This is another one like The Final Empire that I waited a long time to read it. What mainly spurred me on was the release of A Gathering of Shadows (a book I still have to read)

4| The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi: This book is pure magic and I just flew though this book so fast! Oh wow. I can’t wait for the companion novel that is coming out. Ahhh!!! There isn’t enough words to describe this. I’m not going to lie, at first I was afraid it was going to drag but boy didn’t it!

 

 

BONUS ROUND

I have been privileged and received ARC’s of certain books and some of them have just blew me away. I want to include them on the list as well. But I wanted to give this book own special category so if you are looking for other books that are coming out in the next few months look out for this title because WOW!

 

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5| Iron Cast by Destiny Soria: This book was just awesome. Kick ass heroines that are friends and I mean the live or die by friends that we all want to have. That combination added to the magic system that involves music and illusion I am just BLOWN away by this book. It comes out in October and you should DEFINITLY pick this book up. Iron Cast comes out in October and you’d be silly to miss out on such a great read!

 

And I Darken by Kiersten White: Oh my gosh (I feel like I’m saying that a lot) this book was such a surprise for me. When I first started reading it I just couldn’t get passed the start which I feel like dragged a little but once I did I couldn’t put it down! I even think that I went overboard with the gushing of this book in my review, but alas I loved it so much. You should definitely pick this one up and you’re in luck, it comes out really soon! Pick it up in stores June 28th 2016!

 

 

I know that’s only 6 books. But hey, at least it was a even number!

What were some of your favorite reads of the first half of 2016?

 

 

June 18, 2016

Expectation Blindness and One Reason it Exists

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You want to know something that annoys the ever-loving piss out of me? Now normally I will sit down and just shake my head but this certain topic has popped up more and more and the frequency of it has just boggled my mind.  It has become as annoying as a hungry cat in the morning using your warm blanketed feet as target practice. Anyone with cats knows how absolutely aggregating that is! For dogs, it’s as annoying as finding that your dog has eaten your favorite pair of shoes. Yes, yes, that annoying! You’re probably thinking to your self that no topic could be THAT bad, but I assure you that there is.

What topic is it you might ask skeptically?

Books being targeted as the next “X” book. Or the “YA version of….” or “X book meets X Book”

 

Argg, I can just feel my blood pressure rising at this and here are three ranty reasons why I cannot stand this marketing practice, even though from a purely marketing standpoint it is ingenious and probably won’t change because it SELLS books. But I will be mentioning this point in pretty much everyone of my points and how just because it makes money doesn’t mean it’s the smartest idea for marketing a book.I’m not talking about books that “recommend” for readers who love other books. I love that marketing because I love seeing books that I love being recommended.  But here we go anyway.

It’s lazy as fuck.

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This is one of my main prickly points about this topic. Now, like I said above, this tactic of comparing something and labeling it the next “x” is ingenious, but that doesn’t stop it from being lazy as fuck. It is taking the success and fan base that another book has amassed and/or author and is hoping with enough luck that these same fanbase will buy this book on purely the recommendation that it is REMOTELY like this “X” book.  Where is the work in that? I don’t need to know that this book is going to be the next Game of Thrones or the YA version and other nonsense which leads me to my next point.

Show, don’t tell me.

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We expect as readers for authors to show us their story. They’re supposed to work for our attention.  Describe settings, events, and even characters emotions instead of just telling us what is happening. By addressing a book as the next “X” its taking the comparison and the enjoyment out of the reader’s hands. It’s telling the readers what to expect and how they should see this book. I hate when authors do it and I hate it in this situation because both are calling the readers stupid.  I’m too stupid to actually understand what they want us to know if they just market a book as “high fantasy” or a “riveting and heart wrenching contemporary novel”. But what bothers me most is that by doing this they are not just calling readers stupid but they are not trusting us to make our own decisions about a book. They don’t trust us to love a book for the books sake. Which leads me to my last, but definitely not the least comparison.

Expectation Blindness. It’s a Thing and it Terrifying
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I get it, I stated above, I really do understand the principle of this marketing technique. But honestly I feel the possible risk outweighs the gain. Say you have a fanbase for Harry Potter (because lets face it we’re insanely devoted) and you market a book that is the “next Harry Potter”. It’s hyped and everyone loves it and all these people love it. But when they read it they are disappointed. This isn’t anything like Harry Potter. The only thing that’s similar is that there are three friends and they have magic. They spent that entire time trying to figure out why this book was being hailed as the next Harry Potter that they failed to see the exceptional story that this book was. These readers were expecting something and because they didn’t get what they were getting they get angry. They don’t like the book because it fails to meet their expectations and whom do they blame? The publisher? The editor? No, they blame the author for creating what they believe is a weak imitation and thus turn their backs on that author. This creates a bitter feeling in the reader and the less likely they are to believe later on anything that is said about this book. They might not buy it. I’ve gotten burned in the past and this sort of marketing creates an This is an extreme example, but I’m sure as readers we’ve all read books that we have expected to be something that it didn’t turn out to be.

Also, I don’t know about you but if I was an author and I saw that my book was hailed as the next “Game of Thrones” or other such lofty novels I would shit my pants in terror. I mean I have a bit of understanding enough to think that it’s nerve inducing enough to have your BABY out in the open for people to read and hopefully they love it but can’t help but think about the possibility of everyone hating it. I wouldn’t know if I could handle having my novel compared to and expected to be the next book that I grew up loving.

Side note: Let me reiterate, I’m not talking about books that are genuinely recommended for readers who love a certain book. I love those recommendations. It doesn’t scream “This book is AWESOME” quite as loud and there is a sense of vagueness that allows the reader to form their own opinions, good or bad. I don’t want the next “X” book. I want a book that can either sink or swim on its own. If a book’s synopsis doesn’t draw me in than comparing it to a a novel (even one that I love) won’t get me to read it. But I guarentee that I’ve passed on a few books due to them being the next “X” book. Was this the wrong thing to do? Maybe.

I like to think of reading a book as a relationship and I don’t like to feel stupid in relationships.
You don’t have to tell me that you’re the next Brad Pitt. If you are, I’ll figure it out.

 

Let me know what you think? Do you think that this sort of way of marketing books hinders or helps the sales of books? Do you like it?

 

June 16, 2016

Book Tour| Review of Marked Girl + Giveaway

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Book Tour| Review of Marked Girl + GiveawayThe Marked Girl (Marked Girl, #1) by Lindsey Klingele
Published by Harper Collins on June 7th 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Amazon
Goodreads

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (Los Angeles)…
When Cedric, crowned prince of Caelum, and his fellow royal friends (including his betrothed, Kat) find themselves stranded in modern-day L.A. via a magical portal and an evil traitor named Malquin, all they want to do is get home to Caelum—soon. Then they meet Liv, a filmmaker foster girl who just wants to get out of the system and on with her life. As she and Cedric bond, they’ll discover that she’s more connected to his world than they ever could’ve imagined…and that finding home is no easy task…

 

When I sat down to read The Marked Girl I was ecstatic! The description sounded just up my alley with magic, mayhem, and other shenanigans. Overall, The Marked Girl was an interesting read and I am glad that I got the opportunity to read it. I am a sucker for the types of books that involve time travel and magic and The Marked Girl definitely delivered on these categories.

The story follows Liv, who meets three mysterious strangers while filming one night on a river. These strangers are Cedric, his fiancée Kat, and his best friend Merek who have been transported from their world of Caelum into our world L.A by some magical mayhem. The interaction between the two – especially when Liv had to describe things that we personally take for granted was hilarious and I found myself laughing out loud and wondering how I would describe these things!

I loved the fact that it was a fantasy light novel based in our world instead of having the main protagonist get transported to another world and the story played off in this new world. Not to say that I don’t like those types of books, because I do, but I feel like there have been a lot of books that have that and I’m happy that this one was set in familiar territory. Once upon a time I went through a serious urban fantasy kick and this book definitely gives nods to that genre of story which I couldn’t help but love purely for that fact!

With that being said there were some things that brought down the book for me and ultimately gave it its 3 star rating in my mind. I was not a fan of the romance between Cedric and Liv. While I was reading I didn’t feel convinced that there was any reason that Cedric should abandon his fiancée for this new love interest. I didn’t necessarily like Kat but I feel like that was more to do with the fact that she was MADE to not like and to make people root for Liv and Cedric. This tactic of making one love interest unlikeable/do something unlikable throughout the majority of the story to help along the romance of the other part of the triangle is one of the sloppiest ways of writing a love triangle. I have absolutely no problem with love triangles, in my opinion they are realistic in some aspects, but there has to be a REASON behind them. I love the tension between loving both characters and not knowing which one to root for and unfortunately The Marked Girl failed in this aspect which was very disappointing.

 

Would I recommend and to whom:

I would say for those of you who love urban fantasy and want something light  and doesn’t take itself too seriously! It is a quick read (even for me who is a meritoriously slow reader). This is a excellent books for those who might prefer contemporary and want a book as a bridge between contemporary and fantasy. Overall, this book was entertaining and I enjoyed it, just don’t do what I did and leave all expectations out the door and just allow the story to be what it is and you’ll definitely enjoy it!

three-half-stars


About the Author

index3ABOUT LINDSEY KLINGELE:

Lindsey Klingele grew up in Western Michigan, where she read every book she could get her hands on. She eventually moved to Los Angeles (the real land of make believe) and worked as a writers’ assistant for TV shows such as THE LYING GAME and TWISTED. She still loves living in LA, especially since it’s home to great television shows, truly excellent cheeseburgers, and her pitbull, Bighead.

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway!
3 Finished Copies of THE MARKED GIRL (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to visit the other stops on the tour!
Week 1:
 
Week 2:

June 5, 2016

The Baddest Anti-Heroine Ever|And I Darken Review

 

The Baddest Anti-Heroine Ever|And I Darken ReviewAnd I Darken by Kiersten White
Published by Delacorte Press on June 28th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Amazon
Goodreads

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL.
And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.
Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.
But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.
From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.

And I Darken

four-half-stars

Wow, I just finished And I Darken and I am still at a shock for words. Believe me, I am not usually one to be lost for words but this book did something that not many books have done – it surprised me in how much I loved it! When I began reading, I was interested but not invested but boy did that change. From the end of Chapter One to the end of the book I was hooked. I was devoted. I was completely floored by this story.  So, I’m going to attempt to form a coherent review and hopefully it comes out a least a bit understood! There are three reasons that stuck out to me and why I absolutely adored this book.

Characters

This story at its core is a historical fiction story that asks the question what if Vlad the Impaler was a woman and how that would have changed the events of history. White weaves such an unbelievable fantastic ensemble of characters that you can’t but fall in love with each and every one of them. The story begins with the birth of Lada, an unwanted daughter of Vlad Dracul, a warlord that has no use for a daughter. In her society, the only use Lada had to her father was the eventual power he would bring her with marriage and instead of embracing that future Lada did the opposite. She kicked, punched, and sometimes bit her way attempting to get her fathers approval. But like all children she came to a harsh reality about her father and it comes at a price.

 

She reviled everything that it meant to be a woman and set out to prove to her father that she could be as great as a son. Radu, her younger brother is the complete opposite in every way. He is small, scared, and empathetic where Lada is fierce, dangerous, and brutal. The only thing that these two share is their need to be loved and accepted for who they are. This need was a big part of this story and influenced both of these characters and every one of the relationships that these two met; especially with Mehmed, the third son of the Ottoman Empires Saltan. The relationship between these characters are top notch which leads me to my second point…

The Relationships

As complete opposites, Lada and Radu do not have what most would consider a loving relationship. But honestly those with siblings can attest to the fact that no sibling relationship isn’t rife with turmoil and hurt feelings. Lada and Radu take this to a whole new level! The only thing that these two characters share is their almost feral need to be wanted by others. It is absolutely heartbreaking to read. Despite this similarity their differences keep them from seeing each other and their similarities and that creates far one of the craziest sibling rivalries that I have ever seen. There is so much love and hate going on that it could suffocate a room full of people with the tension in some of the books and I absolutely loved it. These relationships, especially that between Lada and Mehmed and Mehmed and Radu change these characters throughout the story and I absolutely love seeing characters grow REALISTICALLY. The relationships and how they grew and changed was realistic and I cannot begin to explain how happy that makes me! Oh gosh I’m starting to ramble! Another thing that this book does a fantastic job at is not allowing the romance to spoil the story or like I said above the characters realistic growth through young children to adults living in a war torn country.

This magical skill White has to write realistic and complicated relationships does not just fall on the three main characters and their relationships with each other but there is also a magic between these main characters, mainly Lada and Radu, with separate lesser seen (but never-the-less important) characters. Each sibling has characters that they meet that shape and mold not only themselves but these characters into better people and I love witnessing that!

The only thing I have to say about the relationships (and a character) is that of Mehmed. I hate saying I won’t say why I have a small problem with him but it is kind of a spoiler and I want to keep this as clean as possible. Let’s just say the guy is 100% oblivious to other people. There is something in each and every one of the relationships this boy/man has that completely take him by surprise and it makes me want to smack him in the head. But even this does not make me hate him. I just pity him a little bit for his complete lack of being able to see what’s in front of his eyes.

The readability

Now, this is kind of odd for me to be putting as a point but I loved how easy this book was to read. Most people when they think of historical fiction they are intimidated. There are two types of histocial novel; the one that spends the entire time trying to paint the scenes for you and the other that allows you to paint them for yourself. And I Darken falls into the latter category and I LOVE historical novels that do this and they are the reasons why I love the genre so much! White creates scenes and gives you just enough information that you can fill in the blanks yourself and that creates not only a awesome novel and plot but it allows for a reader (like myself) that finds that they read a little slower than most to just FLY through this book. I’m serious, I finished this book in 2 days and that is something!

Final thoughts

If you are looking for a gender bending historical novel with a kick ass and blood-thirsty anti-heroine And I Darken is the book for you! White creates such characters that will make you feel like you’re being soccer punched in the emotions and left to drown in your own heartache.  I can and cannot wait for the sequel. I’m not sure my emotions can take any more of this heartbreaking and kick ass series!