Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Teaser Tuesday (97)



I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Books and a Beat. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


"I can feel the secrets pushing against my veins, and in turn, I push right back--hiding them deep inside, where I hope one day even I won't be able to find them."


Taken from p. 16 of LABYRINTH LOST
by Zoraida Cordova

Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Book Sketch: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas


CROWN OF MIDNIGht
By: Sarah J. Maas
Published By: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Release Date: Aug. 27, 2013
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Pages: 418
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: ALA
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: May contain spoilers if you have not read Throne of Glass.

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.




First Thought After Finishing: Holy game changer, Batman! This fantastic story just got a lot more interesting.

Celaena is back with all of the favorite characters from throne of Glass. After overcoming all of her trials, she's hoping life can settle down. Instead, she's being used more than she would like as an assassin, she has otherwordly orders to discover a secret about her king, and she has to work out her feelings about Chaol. As it turns out, there is no rest for Adarlan's Assassin, and only more fighting to come if she is to have any hope of peace.

I started this book having not read Throne of Glass for years. A few of the details were fuzzy, but for the most part, I remembered the story--a tribute to the brilliant writing of Sarah J. Maas. Everything I loved about the first story was here again. Celaena is still a fierce warrior, only now her battle is focused on those close to her--and on protecting her secrets. In a world full of secrets and long-hidden magic, nobody can be completely honest with others, let alone with themselves. The fighting and the intrigue kept me turning page after page.

Then there was Chaol. We get to learn more about him in this book and see much more of his interaction with Celaena, which I loved. Chaol appears to be the strong (very strong) silent type, but there is even more to love. Nehemia is her usual wise, sweet self, and Dorian has to make important decisions about who he wants to be. Several new characters also play an important role. I especially enjoyed the cheekiness of Mort, whose interactions with Celaena were entertaining.

This book really began to show the grand scope of this series. I have always loved epic fantasy, and I'm happy that this will be such a complex story. I would hate to say goodbye to these characters or this world anytime soon.

Most Memorable Aspect: Chaol. I loved him from the first book, and he remains one of my favorite male YA leads.




Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"Waiting on" Wednesday


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



This week's selection is:


THE READER
By: Traci Chee
Published By: Putnam
Release Date: Sept. 13, 2016
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.



Why it's Wanted:

This sounds like a mystery, survival story, and a touch of fantasy all rolled into one. From the description, it promises to be an exciting story!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Book Sketch: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson


THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING
By: Morgan Matson
Published By: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Series: None
Pages: 517
Genre: Contemporary
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?




First Thought After Finishing: Only Morgan Matson could write a 500-page book about a summer with no plans and have such an engrossing story.

Andie has always had her future planned out. She want to be a doctor, and even in high school she has her summer program lined up. As the daughter of a US Congressman who is never home, and as a daughter still mourning the loss of her mother, she has kept everyone but her three best friends at arm’s length. However, one mistake by an employee in her dad’s office derails all of her plans. For once, Andie has to go with the flow, piece together something she never would have imagined doing, and figure out a new plan along the way.

"Now, being in this moment, on the cusp of something happening, made me wonder why I'd been rushing through it all these years. Or maybe I hadn't. Maybe I'd just been waiting for this moment, right now."


Andie’s story reminded me a lot of my own. I always had a plan for what I wanted to do, and I like having all of my ducks in a row. However, when I moved to Salt Lake, I had no definitive plan other than being with my friends. Even though I never would have guessed that my life would go in the direction it has, it has turned out to be really good. That was Andie’s summer—several unexpected, even unwanted, choices that led to a summer she could never have planned if she’d tried.

With Andie came a great group of friends, and the friend group expands over the summer. Companions both human and canine had their role to play. While walking dogs, Andie meets Clark, who is exactly the opposite of guys that she would pick for herself but also exactly what the summer calls for. She is around for the ups and downs of her friends’ lives, and she can reconnect with her father. This book wasn’t full of twists and turns, but it was a sweet, real story full of the things that are important in life. Andie had a summer that I would want, with a guy you can’t help but love, and adventures with friends that would make for perfect summer nights.

Most Memorable Aspect: The friendships between the characters reminded me of my group of friends. I liked that the group was an actual close-knit group and enjoyed knowing all of the characters.




Wednesday, August 17, 2016

"Waiting on" Wednesday


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



This week's selection is:


HEARTLESS
By: Marissa Meyer
Published By: Feiwell and Friends
Release Date: Nov. 8, 2016
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.




Why it's Wanted:

I loved Marissa Meyer's Cinder books, and I love Alice in Wonderland. Putting them together is bound to be a great story!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

"Waiting on" Wednesday


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



This week's selection is:


AS I DESCENDED
By: Robin Talley
Published By: HarperTeen
Release Date: Sept. 6, 2016
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.

From acclaimed author Robin Talley comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair.




Why it's Wanted:

I was sold on this story with the mention of Shakespeare. I'm curious to see how black magic or ghosts are woven into a story of revenge!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Teaser Tuesday (96)



I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Books and a Beat. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


"But he couldn't help imagining it--the glimmer of the future and how it'd be to forge a life together, to call her his wife, to hear her call him husband, to raise a brood of children, who would probably be far too clever and talented for their own good (and for Chaol's own sanity). He was still envisioning that impossibly beautiful future when someone grabbed him from behind and pressed something cold and reeking against his nose and mouth, and hte world went black."


Taken from p. 210 of CROWN OF MIDNIGHT
by Sarah J. Maas

Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Book Sketch: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard


GLASS SWORD
By: Victoria Aveyard
Published By: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Series: Red Queen (Book 2)
Pages: 444
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Borrowed
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: May contain spoilers for Red Queen.

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.




First Thought After Finishing: That can't be the last page!

Glass Sword picks up right where Red Queen leaves off, continuing the story in a politically unstable world of Reds and Silvers. Mare has tasked herself with finding all of the other newbloods to keep them safe and help them understand their new abilities. In the midst of her search and her mission to stay one step ahead of a political uprising, she has to try and come to terms with her feelings about two vastly different boys.

“I cling to Cal, Kilorn, Shade, to saving all of the newbloods I can, because I am afraid of waking up to emptiness, to a place where my friends and family are gone and I am nothing but a simple bolt of lightning in the blackness of a lonely storm. If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.”


Once again, I loved the scope and creativity in this series. Just like Red Queen, this book is quite a thrill ride and a guessing game. Even though it isn’t always her intention, Mare lives on the edge of danger, and the adrenaline from flying just under the radar is almost as exciting as the well-crafted fight scenes. The abilities of characters continue to surprise me, and they are used in inventive ways. The romantic side of the story does take a backseat to the action, it doesn’t disappear by any means. So much happens in this book, and it definitely makes me excited to see what will come in the next one.

As much as I enjoyed being back in this world, a couple of things stood out to me. Mare was always concerned with reading people, determining if they were lying, and interpreting their thoughts. Sometimes the message of “Anyone can betray everyone” felt a little heavy-handed. Even though the book is filled with secrets and questions needing answers, sometimes it would be nice to figure things out without Mare’s guidance. My only other complaint is the ending—how am I supposed to wait for months until the next book comes out? That’s more torture than Silent Stone to Silvers.

Most Memorable Aspect: Cal is the kind of character that you can’t get out of your head. I wish there were chapters from his perspective, because I’d love to know more about him.




Wednesday, August 3, 2016

"Waiting on" Wednesday


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



This week's selection is:


DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY
By: Brodi Ashton
Published By: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: Sept. 6, 2016
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: Aspiring reporter Piper Baird decides to write a scathing exposé on the overprivileged students at an elite Washington, DC, school, only for her life to change when she begins to fall for the story's main subject, in this new realistic contemporary romance from Brodi Ashton, the author of the Everneath trilogy.

Raucous parties, privileged attitudes, underage drinking, and diplomatic immunity...it’s all part of student life on Embassy Row.

Piper Baird has always dreamed of becoming a journalist. So when she scores a scholarship to exclusive Chiswick Academy in Washington, DC, she knows it’s her big opportunity. Chiswick offers the country’s most competitive prize for teen journalists—the Bennington scholarship—and winning will ensure her acceptance to one of the best schools in the country.

Piper isn’t at Chiswick for two days before she witnesses the intense competition in the journalism program—and the extreme privilege of the young and wealthy elite who attend her school. And Piper knows access to these untouchable students just might give her the edge she’ll need to blow the lid off life at the school in a scathing and unforgettable exposé worthy of the Bennington.

The key to the whole story lies with Rafael Amador, the son of the Spanish ambassador—and the boy at the center of the most explosive secrets and scandals on Embassy Row. Rafael is big trouble—and when he drops into her bedroom window one night, asking for help, it’s Piper’s chance to get the full scoop. But as they spend time together, Piper discovers that despite his dark streak, Rafael is smart, kind, funny, and gorgeous—and she might have real feelings for him. How can she break the story of a lifetime if it could destroy the boy she just might love?




Why it's Wanted:

Romance, political intrigue, and an international love interest? Yes, please! I loved Brodi Ashton's writing before, so I'm eager to see how she does with a new genre!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Months in Review: May, June, and July


This summer has flown by! I had all kinds of plans before the summer started, but I had to change some plans when I spent the first half of the summer with a cast on my arm. Still, I finally finished my Master's in Education, which freed up a lot of my time. I got to work at my summer choir camp, and I took a class to learn a new method of reading tutoring for my students. I spent a lot of time with my friends--yes, Pokemon hunting was involved--and I binge-watched Orange is the New Black and Grey's Anatomy. I've gotten to read some good books and am now looking forward to a weekend getaway before going back to work. I'm excited for the new school year to start and to try out all of my new ideas in my math class! I still have some things to prepare in the next few weeks, but even though the summer has been short, it's been pretty good. And ere's what happened on the blog!

Books Reviewed:

The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
How to Disappear by Ann Redisch Stampler
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
A Season for Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel
Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally


Snapshot Musings

This post series features discussions on a variety of topics - namely whatever bookish things are on my mind. One of my blogging goals for 2013 was to have more discussion posts, and this feature is how I'm holding myself accountable.

A New Start for Portrait of a Book
Dusting Off the Shelves


Go Indie:

This feature isn't back yet, but I hope it will be soon!


Blog Tours:

Release Week Blitz: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver


Fast Five:

Currently Reading: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Favorite Summer Reads: The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, and The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Most Anticipated August Release: A Torch Against Night by Sabaa Tahir
Total Books Read This Year: 41
Reading Next: Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood


What did your summer look like? What books are you most excited about for August?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...