Monday, July 24, 2017

Opening Lines (28)


Opening Lines is a new feature here on Portrait of a Book that showcases the first lines of recent and/or upcoming releases. If you're looking for your next read, let these first lines help you decide!


SPELLBOOK OF THE LOST AND FOUND
By: Moira Fowley-Doyle
Published By: Kathy Dawson Books
Release Date: Aug. 8, 2017
Buy the Book: Amazon


IThe highly anticipated new book from the acclaimed author of The Accident Season is a gorgeous, twisty story about things gone missing, things returned from the past, and a group of teenagers, connected in ways they could never have imagined.

One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hairclips and jewelry, but soon it's clear that Rose has lost something much bigger, something she won't talk about, and Olive thinks her best friend is slipping away.

Then seductive diary pages written by a girl named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing estate. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they're holding tight to painful secrets.

When they discover the spellbook, it changes everything. Damp, tattered and ancient, it's full of hand-inked charms to conjure back things that have been lost. And it just might be their chance to find what they each need to set everything back to rights.

Unless it's leading them toward things that were never meant to be found...

"That night, everybody lost something.

Not everybody noticed."


Do any of these lines and covers grab your attention? What are your favorite opening lines?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Book Sketch: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo


RUIN AND RISING
By: Leigh Bardugo
Published By: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Series: The Grisha Trilogy #3
Pages: 422
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.



First Thought After Finishing: Dear Leigh Bardugo, I love you, but I hate you. But I love you.

Final books in trilogies are always bittersweet. I always want to know how everything ends, but it’s hard to say goodbye to characters that we’ve known and loved for so long. I wasn’t sure what to expect in this book—which was par for the course with this trilogy—but it was full of adventure and surprises.

Alina is once again recovering from a battle with the Darkling, and the Apparat wants her to finally embrace her identity as the Sun Saint. Only Alina has a different destiny in mind—hunt the third amplifier and stop the Darkling once and for all. In the midst of realizing her destiny, she barely has time for love, but that does not mean that her choices aren’t there. In this final installment, Alina has tough decisions to make, and every second counts in trying to restore light to the world.

"Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what's inside you? That's steel. IT's brave and unbreakable. And it doesn't need fixing."

If I haven’t said it before, I will say it now: Leigh Bardugo is brilliant. From the world to the characters, she has crafted a masterful story that will stick with you long after the final pages. It’s not easy to write characters you hate to love and love to hate, but she does. Alina went through some major changes in Siege and Storm, but here, we get to see some of her friends come into their own and start to shine. I loved getting to see all of them again, and it made me happy to know that their stories had resolutions as well. Bardugo also has tricks up her sleeve that keep changing the game with every chapter. Although there are some slower moments, the overall story is so gripping that it makes the 400+ page book fly by. I stayed up most of the night to finish it!

And about that ending. I won’t spoil it in case you haven’t read it, but I’ll just say that even two weeks later, I’m still trying to decide how I feel about it. You may not love it (there’s always that risk, right?) but I have to admit that it’s fitting for the characters. Regardless of which characters you ship, you are bound to have an emotional experience while reading this book—and you will have the full range of emotions throughout the story. I know I did!

Most Memorable Aspect: Yes. The characters, the story, the feelings—this is an epic fantasy trilogy that you won’t forget.




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Teaser Tuesday (110)



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!




"Blue light flashed in the corner of his eye; magic shivered down the side of his body. The Threadstone was now active."


Taken from pg. 133 of TRUTHWITCH
by Susan Dennard

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

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"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 LIBRARY OF FATES
By: Aditi Khorana
Published By: Razorbill
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Preorder the Book: Amazon


Goodreads Summary: A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore, perfect for fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn

No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn't enough.

The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?




Why it's Wanted:

First of all, how gorgeous is this cover? Add to that a fantasy story with Indian folklore, and it sounds like it has the potential to be a beautiful story. And there's a library too!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Teaser Tuesday (109)



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!




"My heart stops. Starts.
Stops again.

Warner is here."


Taken from pg. 124 of IGNITE ME
by Tahereh Mafi

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

Monday, July 3, 2017

Opening Lines (27)


Opening Lines is a new feature here on Portrait of a Book that showcases the first lines of recent and/or upcoming releases. If you're looking for your next read, let these first lines help you decide!


FRAGILE LIKE US
By: Sara Barnard
Published By: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Buy the Book: Amazon


In the tradition of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson comes a pitch perfect novel about friendship and what it takes to break the bonds between friends.

Caddy and Rosie have always been inseparable. But that was before Suzanne. Now the twosome has become a triangle with constantly shifting alliances.

Caddy’s ready to be more than just the quiet one. She wants something to happen. Suzanne is trying to escape her past and be someone different, someone free. But sometimes downward spirals have a momentum of their own. And no one can break your heart like a best friend.

"I thought it was the start to a love story. Finally."


Do any of these lines and covers grab your attention? What are your favorite opening lines?
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