Monday, February 29, 2016

What's on My Radar ~ March '16 Releases

What's on My Radar highlights the releases for that month that I'm excited for and gives the opportunity to discuss what everyone is looking forward to.

March 1
Burning Glass (Burning Glass, #1)


Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.

But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.

BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.
 
Into the Dim (Into The Dim, #1)

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.      Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.

 
Seven Black Diamonds (Untitled, #1)


This riveting fantasy marks Melissa Marr’s return to the world of faery courts that made her Wicked Lovely series an international phenomenon.

Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal—she’s half human, half fae, and since the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humans and faeries. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of the fae courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir due to the actions of reckless humans.

Lily’s father has always shielded her, but when she’s sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, she’s delivered straight into the arms of a fae sleeper cell—the Black Diamonds. The Diamonds are planted in the human world as the sons and daughters of the most influential families and tasked with destroying it from within. Against her will, Lilywhite’s been chosen to join them...and even the romantic attention of the fae rock singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the familiar world she knows.

Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there. The combination of ethereal fae powers, tumultuous romance, and a bloodthirsty faery queen will have longtime fans and new readers at the edge of their seats.
  The Girl Who Fell


His obsession.
Her fall.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and … terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.
 
March 8
Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, #1)

She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.
  The Great Hunt (The Great Hunt, #1)

Kill the beast. Win the girl.

A strange beast stirs fear in the kingdom of Lochlanach, terrorizing towns with its brutality and hunger. In an act of desperation, a proclamation is sent to all of Eurona—kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of King Lochson’s hand in marriage.

Princess Aerity understands her duty to the kingdom though it pains her to imagine marrying a stranger. It would be foolish to set her sights on any particular man in the great hunt, but when a brooding local hunter, Paxton Seabolt, catches her attention, there’s no denying the unspoken lure between them…or his mysterious resentment.

Paxton is not keen on marriage. Nor does he care much for spoiled royals and their arcane laws. He’s determined to keep his focus on the task at hand—ridding the kingdom of the beast and protecting his family—yet Princess Aerity continues to challenge his notions with her unpredictability and charm. But as past secrets collide with present desires, dire choices threaten everything Paxton holds dear.

Inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ tale, “The Singing Bone,” New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins delivers a dark fantasy filled with rugged hunters, romantic tension, outlawed magic, and a princess willing to risk all to save her people.
 
March 22
Broken Crowns (The Internment Chronicles, #3) 

War rages everywhere and Morgan is caught in the middle in the haunting conclusion of The Internment Chronicles, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy.

The city is falling out of the sky…

Morgan always thought it was just a saying. A metaphor. The words of the dying. But as they look up at the floating island that was their home, Pen and Morgan make a horrible discovery—Internment is sinking.

And it’s all Morgan’s fault.

Corrupted from the inside by one terrible king and assailed from the outside for precious resources by another, Internment could be destroyed because Morgan couldn’t keep a secret. As two wars become one, Morgan must find a way to bring her two worlds together to stop the kings that wage them…

Or face the furthest fall yet.
 
March 29
The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3)
 
War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?
 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Stacking the Shelves #18

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. 
 
Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks.

I haven't done one of these posts since October, and that's because of a mixture of business of school, lack of desire to blog, and not having as much time to read as I would like. But I've gotten back into blogging, a little bit, and have bought some books, so I might as well write this. Sadly, I do not have any pictures of the books I bought.

Books I Got from the Library:
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken
Frozen by Erin Bowman
Forged by Erin Bowman

Books I Bought:
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
Riders by Veronica Rossi

Recent Reviews:
The Possibility of Now   The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy, #1)   Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)   The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)

I went to Susan Dennard's Truthwitch event in Michigan last month, and never got around to writing a post about that.

I got my copy of Truthwitch and A Darker Shade of Magic signed. I have a bunch of reviews that I'll be posting soon, and I'm happy to slowly be getting back into reviewing and blogging.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Cover Reveal ~ "Water's Wrath" by Elise Kova

Cover Reveal & Giveaway | Water’s Wrath by Elise Kova 

Water's Wrath (Air Awakens #4) by Elise Kova 
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
 
Summary

Librarian turned sorcerer. Sorcerer turned hero. Hero turned puppet.

The Solaris Empire found victory in the North and, at the cost of her heart and her innocence, Vhalla Yarl has earned her freedom. But the true fight is only beginning as the secret forces that have been lurking in the shadows, tugging at the strings of Vhalla’s fate, finally come to light. Nowhere is safe, and Vhalla must tread carefully or else she’ll fall into the waiting arms of her greatest foe. Or former lover.
 
Add to Goodreads
 
Air Awakens on Goodreads
 
Fire Falling (Air Awakens #2) on Goodreads
 
Earth’s End (Air Awakens #3) on Goodreads
 
Pre-Order Links
AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesAmazon UK
 
Cover Reveal Exclusive: My Thoughts on the Covers’ Symbolism So Far
Six months ago, almost to the day, Air Awakens came out. It was my debut novel as an independent author, no publisher and no agent behind me, and I had no idea what would come of it. Now, six months later, I can’t believe I’m revealing the cover on the fourth book of the Air Awakens series.
 
I say every cover is my favorite, because it gets harder and harder to pick. Each of the covers, in their own way, has been perfect for the book they belong with. My cover artist, Merilliza Chan, is amazing at taking direction and incorporating my suggestions.
 
Part of why each cover is perfect is because there are little hints, teasers, and call-outs to the story within. Without giving too many spoilers, here’s a couple notes on each of the Air Awakens covers so far!
 
Air Awakens
 

First off, notice how Vhalla’s sash is black. In the book, the sash that goes with her apprentice robes is cerulean. This, combined with her robes slowly turning black around the back of the cover is indicative of sorcery making a mark on her. But she hasn’t yet committed, she has yet to don all-black robes. The wind in her hair and sense of movement is a call-out to her affinity. The book in her hands, is representative of three things: her work in the library, the book she exchanges notes in, and the book she brings to the garden. Which, speaking of, the roses around her… well, if you’ve read the book you know what, or who, those are meant to symbolize. But I told Meril I wanted something ominous, something wicked about them. And the thorns going through them were perfect!
 
Fire Falling
 

Here is the first cover we see our dark prince on. Fire Falling is named after three incidents in the book… When Aldrik falls to his knees before Vhalla in the Crossroads, the Rites of the FALLen in the Crossroads for another, and the end of the book. Since two of the three aspects of the title of the book related to Aldrik it was only natural that he had to be on the cover. In Fire Falling, Aldrik is beginning to function as a guiding force for Vhalla and, on the cover, he’s looking over his shoulder at her. He can’t openly admit to their association. Vhalla’s eyes are glowing orange and she’s alight, immersed in flame. This was done to symbolize their Bond and Joining. That not only can his flames not harm her, but that he is connected on a mental and magical level. She is also wearing the armor Aldrik crafted for her.
 
Earth’s End
 

Now, the symbolism is beginning to get heavy. Vhalla is alone again on the cover, venturing into the wilderness. She’s almost facing the camera, symbolizing how she is growing into her own and becoming a more realized person. In the sky above her is a fire bird. We literally see this formed in the book, but it also is symbolic of a phoenix, rising from its own ashes. I think this works for Vhalla and Aldrik in their own ways through Earth’s End. The cloak she’s wearing is the one she receives from Tim with slash marks. The watch in her hand was gifted to her. And, in her other hand, we see a special sort of magic… Finally, one other note… Carved into a tree that’s on the back of printed books is a symbol – that is actually the symbol of Shaldan!
 
About the Author

Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she's honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye. 
Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she's currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of "geekdom." She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook (/AuthorEliseKova). Visit her website, EliseKova.com/, for news and extras about her books!
 
Author Links
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook
 
GIVEAWAY
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Cover Reveal Organized by
 
YA Bound Book Tours

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Review ~ "The Darkest Minds" by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)Title: "The Darkest Minds"
Series: The Darkest Minds, #1
Author: Alexandra Bracken 

Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Tumblr ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest

Published: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Pages: 499
Format: ebook
Source: Overdrive
 

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #28: "Burning Glass" by Kathryn Purdie

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


Burning Glass (Burning Glass, #1)


Title: "Burning Glass"
Author: Kathyrn Purdie
Publication Date: March 1, 2016

Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.

But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.

BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.
 
I've heard so many great things about this debut that I'm even more excited to read it. Plus it involves magic and Russia, so it can't go wrong with me!

Preorder

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #49: Books I Enjoyed Recently That Weren't My Typical Genre/Type of Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Week's Topic: 
Top Ten Books I Enjoyed Recently That Weren't My Typical Genre/Type of Book
1.
The Possibility of Now by Kim Culbertson review
2.
Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman review
3.
Wait for You by J. Lynn review
4.
Be With Me by J. Lynn review
5.
Trust in Me by J. Lynn
6.
Stay With Me by J. Lynn
7.
Fall With Me by J. Lynn
I only have 7 books where I went out of my comfort zone, and 5 of them are from the same series. I'm hoping to get out of my comfort zone a little bit more this year, so we'll see how things go!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Random Ramblings ~ I Failed NaNoWriMo and I'm Fine With That

As many bloggers are also writers, NaNoWriMo is nothing new to most people. But for those who don't know, it's a month-long event during November where the goal is to write 50,000 words and finish your novel.

In 2014, I decided to try it out after seeing so many authors and bloggers talk about how that helped them write. I organized my ideas and made an outline and then set out on my journey to finally start the novel that I had been thinking about for years. I wrote around 18K words and it felt amazing. I continued to write for a couple months afterwards an reached 33K. However, college sadly got in the way and I didn't have too much time to write anymore.

Flash forward to November 2015. NaNo crept up quickly on me, and I was unprepared. After almost a year of being away from my WIP, I didn't know where to start. I tried to force myself into my writing, but I just couldn't get into the groove. I might have written 400 words, but it was a struggle to write one word. I had no clue where my inspiration and drive had gone. I'd lost it. I felt terrible the entire month and for most of December.

But then I realized that my sadness, while hard to deal with, was unreasonable.

Yes, of course I was doing to feel disappointed in myself. But the thing is: WRITING IS NOT MY JOB.

My income is not dependent on whether I write or not. I'm a full-time college student. A college student who isn't even studying Creative Writing or anything English-related, so of course it's natural for writing to not take precedence. It would be incredibly challenging for me to write 50K words in just 30 days. I needed to change my mentality when came to writing.

Writing is a great thing for me to do, but not for me to pressure myself to do. While I don't have time to write as much as I'd like right now, I will one day. A day where I don't have work and school. I'm still in college, and that comes first. I can write whenever I have time. I'm not on a deadline.

My goal is to write 50K this year, but it is not just in November. I hope to finish my first draft of my WIP, and East of the Sun, West of the Moon retelling, this year. I'm not going to force myself to write; I'm going to let it happen when it happens. Writing should be enjoyable, not stressful. And I need to remind myself whenever I feel stressed.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Book Tour ~ "Symptoms of Being Human" by Jeff Garvin

sst


 

Symptoms of Being Human 


Title: "Symptoms of Being Human
Author: Jeff Garvin 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: February 2, 2016


The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is…Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

I was lucky enough to interview the author for my SST post!

What do you think of the current representation of gender fluid individuals in books, media, and society?
Right now, there isn’t much representation of gender fluid people in the media--but if you browse YouTube or Tumblr, you can watch and read thoughts and personal stories by gender non-binary people, unfiltered by media bias or commercial concerns. If you want to learn more, that’s where I’d start. I hope we’re at the beginning of the next social revolution, in which people come to accept that gender identity is distinct from birth-assigned sex, and that it isn’t binary.
 
What do you think of the current books that are about LGBTQIA teens, and what to do you see in the future for these books?
I think there are many YA authors, among them Robin Talley, Adam Silvera, Becky Albertalli, Dahlia Adler, and many more, who do a great job of telling good stories that include LGBTQIA teens. I hope characters who happen to be LGBTQIA continue to populate the fictional world as richly as they populate the real one.
 
Since your book is about Riley, a gender fluid teen, do you have any advice for other teens like Riley?
When I was teenager, I struggled to sort out which parts of my identity were really me and which parts I had constructed to survive the social environment of high school. I guess my advice would be: give yourself space to discover who you are. Listen more to your inner guiding voice than to the shouts and jeers from outside.
 
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
I can’t stress this enough: make writing a daily habit. Get addicted to it. (I recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.) Being able to write consistently and finish what you start will put you ahead of the pack. Worry about all the business stuff later.
 
You were in a rock band before becoming an author, at that time did you see becoming an author in your future?
When my band broke up five years ago, I dug out my childhood “What I Want to be When I Grow Up” list. There were four items: Actor (did that), Singer (did that), Astronaut (turns out there’s a lot of math) and Novelist. I’d written a dozen or so short stories in Junior High and high school, and had dreamed of one day writing a novel, but I’d never done it. So I convinced my friend, Dan, to do NaNoWriMo with me, and I never looked back.
 
Has your experience with being a musician influenced your writing?
Writing lyrics requires discipline; that’s certainly helped me write (and actually finish) novels. Performing live helped me develop the ability connect with my audience; I hope that translates into my writing. But most importantly, writing songs gave me practice at turning my own emotions and experiences into something to be enjoyed by another. I think that’s true of any art.
 
Do you have any other books that you're working on right now?

I am currently revising my next novel--it’s not directly related to Symptoms of Being Human, but it is Contemporary YA. I can’t say much more about it just yet. It will be published by HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, probably in 2017.

Giveaway
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About the Author
Before becoming a novelist, Jeff Garvin acted on TV and toured as the lead singer of a rock band. He has a BFA in Film from Chapman University and lives in Southern California, surrounded by adorable, shedding beasts.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Review ~ "Truthwitch" by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)Title: "Truthwitch"
Series: The Witchlands, #1
Author: Susan Dennard

Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Tumblr ~ YouTube

Published: January 5, 2015
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover 

Source: Bought 
On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Monthly TBR: February '16



Yes, this is a bit late to post a monthly TBR, but I haven't had a whole lot of time to read this month so far, so I haven't been able to think about what I want to read. But I have a midwinter break next week so I'll have a lot of time to read!

TBR:
~Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
(I haven't started it yet, but I did rip this book from its package the moment I got home to read the wedding scene. No shame.)

~Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken
(I actually finished this over the weekend, and I loved it, but my hurts so much.)

~Riders by Veronica Rossi
(I'm so excited to read this, I'm just bummed that I can't make it to her signing with Susan Dennard.)

~Frozen by Erin Bowman
(I started this a couple days ago and I'm about 35 pages in.)

~The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
(I started this one a couple weeks ago and couldn't get into it. I'm about halfway through and hope it gets better.)

~Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
(I meant to start this one last month, but I ended up not having any time to.)

~In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken
(It's currently staring at me begging me to read it, but I'm not sure if I'm emotionally ready.)

There are a few other books I'd like to get to, but it depends on how much time I have. I'm planning on just reading the entire break next week. Good-bye, social life!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #48: Songs That I Wish Were Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
 
This Week's Topic: 

Top Ten Songs That I Wish Were Books
 
This topic was kind of hard for me, especially when coming up with a reason as to why I wanted it to be a book. So I pretty much just chose songs that I really like or that have provided inspiration while writing. 

1.
"Born to Die" by Lana Del Rey
It's so beautiful and tragic, and I can imagine a story about two young people in love having an unhappy ending (just like in the video).
 
2.
"Figure 8" by Ellie Goulding
When I hear this song I imagine a relationship where things have fallen apart, but one of the people doesn't want to give up and keeps running in circles trying to make the other happy, and it makes me wonder what happened for the relationship to get to this point.

3.
"Control" by Halsey
I love how creepy this song is, and it just makes me think of someone who's dealing with a lot of inner turmoil and is trying to figure out if they really have control over themselves.

4.
"Mad Hatter" by Melanie Martinez 
Because of the name I obviously think of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. It's so creepy and twisted and I love it.
 
5.
"Teen Idle" by Marina and the Diamonds
I love literally every song by her, but this one is surprisingly dark when compared to some of her other stuff. It just is about how things aren't always as great as they seem.  

 6.
"Cool for the Summer" by Demi Lovato
The first time I heard this song, I immediately thought of a story idea. I haven't started it yet, but I'm obsessed with this song.  

7.
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Lorde
I know this song was used for one of The Hunger Games movies, but I just love it so much. All I can think about is a really creepy dystopian world.  

8.
"Runaway" by Ryn Weaver
I don't like the first minute or so of this song, as I feel like it doesn't connect to the rest, but this song gives an animalistic, predatory vibe during the rest of it and I can think of some creepy villain or antihero that would go well with this song.  

 9.
"White Coats" by Foxes
I love this song, but it's hard for me to explain. I get the feeling of betrayal, like someone trusted a person close to them, but that person turned on them while they were trying to create the life they wanted. I don't know how to describe it, but her voice is beautiful.  

10.
"Kill My Boyfriend" by Natalia Kills
This song is so cheery for being about killing a boyfriend. Why is she so cheery? Why does she want to kill him? What is the story? Hmmm...  

 Like I said, this topic was kind of challenging, but I just tried to make it work!

 

Friday, February 12, 2016

What's on My Radar ~ February '16 Releases


This is likely more for helping me remember all of the releases that I'm looking forward to each month. With so many great books being released, it's hard to keep track. That's why I decided to make this little post full of upcoming releases that I know I am, and I know many others are, looking forward to.

I'm super late with posting this. I've been so busy and haven't had time to get my act together. Can life slow down please?

February 2
Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5, 0.6, 1.5, 3.1, 3.6) 

The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

Starflight (Starflight, #1)


Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...

Assassin's Heart (Assassin's Heart, #1)


In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.

Revenge and the Wild


The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.

Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.

But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.

This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.

Symptoms of Being Human


The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?

Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is . . . Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.

On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender-fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.

February 9
Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows, #1) 

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.
 
Blackhearts 

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to CuraƧao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

February 11
Earth's End (Air Awakens, #3) 

A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.

Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.


February 16
The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1) 

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1)


It was the kind of August day that hinted at monsoons, and the year was 1774, though not for very much longer.

Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveller. She, her father and their crew of time refugees travel the world aboard The Temptation, a glorious pirate ship stuffed with treasures both typical and mythical. Old maps allow Nix and her father to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times - although a map will only take you somewhere once. And Nix's father is only interested in one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix's existence rather dangerously in question...

Nix has grown used to her father's obsession, but only because she's convinced it can't work. But then a map falls into her father's lap that changes everything. And when Nix refuses to help, her father threatens to maroon Kashmir, her only friend (and perhaps, only love) in a time where Nix will never be able to find him. And if Nix has learned one thing, it's that losing the person you love is a torment that no one can withstand. Nix must work out what she wants, who she is, and where she really belongs before time runs out on her forever.

Riders (Riders, #1)


For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can't remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen--Conquest, Famine, and Death--are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now--bound, bloodied, and drugged--Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he's fallen for--not to mention all of humankind--he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?

February 23
The Forbidden Wish 

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years -- a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

The Power (Titan, #2) 

With any great change, there is always strife, and the Covenant University has become the frontline between pure-bloods who want the Breed Order reinstated and the half-bloods who want the right to control their own destinies.
Fate has other plans.

The violence is escalating and war between the races seems inevitable, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. Hyperion may be out of commission, but Josie and Seth know they have only earned a reprieve. Seth must get Josie fully prepared, which means controlling her newfound abilities, and they need to find the other demigods before the Titans do.
But the gods are sensing a greater threat.

Only one thing is more dangerous than a bunch of starved Titans, and that’s an out-of-control Apollyon. The aether in Josie is drawing Seth in deeper, and when lust mixes with love and gives way to power, he knows being close to her is not only dangerous to her, but to everyone around them, but letting her go requires a level of selflessness that just isn’t Seth’s style.

The paths taken in the past are becoming the roads of the future.

Just as chaos breaks out, familiar faces from the past return, complicating the already strained bond between Josie and Seth, and when the danger from the Titans erupts with devastating consequences, the dark allure of power calls to Seth again, but this time Josie might not be able to pull him back.

And when the struggle between power and love becomes the deadliest battleground, there may be no salvation.

I've preordered a few of these, but I'm on the fence for some others. Let me know what books you think I should definitely get!