Monday, September 29, 2014

Looking Forward: October

Sometimes it's really hard for me to keep track of what comes out what month, especially while juggling early reviews and publisher catalogues and all the other confusing bookish things bloggers deal with. It's just a LOT OF BOOKS ALL THE TIME. How do you ever keep them straight?! So on the last day of the month, I post a guide to what books I'm most looking forward to in the following month and that you should keep an eye on. So, since it's the (second to) last day in September, here are the October releases most tempting me:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Review + Giveaway: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

Review: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry
Release date: September 23rd, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook (Macmillan)
Series: NO, ALAS
Length: 368 pages
Source: Print ARC from the publisher
Rating: A delicious and delightful comedy of manners and murder


There's a murderer on the loose—but that doesn't stop the girls of St. Etheldreda's from attempting to hide the death of their headmistress in this rollicking farce.

The students of St. Etheldreda's School for Girls face a bothersome dilemma. Their irascible headmistress, Mrs. Plackett, and her surly brother, Mr. Godding, have been most inconveniently poisoned at Sunday dinner. Now the school will almost certainly be closed and the girls sent home—unless these seven very proper young ladies can hide the murders and convince their neighbors that nothing is wrong.

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is a smart, hilarious Victorian romp, full of outrageous plot twists, mistaken identities, and mysterious happenings.

I simply adored this book. I giggled, squealed, and swooned throughout the entire madcap adventure. It is Victorian farce at its finest, full of dastardly deeds, sisterhood, pluck, sass, and cyanide. In other words, it is utterly, enchantingly delicious.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

That Time I Moderated a Sarah J Maas, Robin Benway, and Nina Berry Event + Giveaway!

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Sarah J Maas, Nina Berry, MEEEEE!, and Robin Benway. Photo courtesy of Lizzy Mason
On Saturday, September 13th, I checked something major off my life bucket list: moderating an author even. Not just any author event, either, but a signing for one of my favorite authors that just happened to include two other authors whose books I admire enormously. That's right. On Saturday, September 13th (henceforth known as the holiest of days), I had the chance to meet, hang out with, and chat with Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author of the Trhone of Glass series and bearer of supernaturally beautiful hair; Nina Berry, enviably tall author of Otherkin and the upcoming The Notorious Pagan Jones; and Robin Benway, super cool author of Audrey, Wait!, Also Known As, and Going Rogue.

At least, I think I did. Honestly, if it weren't for the above photo evidence, I might think I hallucinated the whole thing in some sort of wish fulfillment fugue state. But I didn't! And here's the recap to prove it:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas
Release date: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper)
Series: Yes, #2 in the Elemental Trilogy
Length: 414 pages
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss

After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny--especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies--and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.

THIS BOOK. THIS BOOOOOK. The Perilous Sea has earned a spot among fabulous fantasy follow-ups Crown of Midnight, Siege and Storm, and The Crown of Embers as sequels that are SO DAMN GOOD that they throw an entire series into a whole new light. I really loved the Burning Sky and shipped the ship like... well, burning. But The Perilous Sea is a MASTERPIECE. It is an agonizing, heart-exploding roller coaster ride of loops and twists and ratcheting tension, and when it all builds to a crescendo at the very end, the results are breathtaking.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Book Haul, or the One with All the FLAILING

OOPS. It's been quite a long time since I posted a haul because lazy/forgetful/LOTS OF BOOKS HAPPENED. Because I recently reorganized my huge book stacks, I can't remember which books are new and which aren't, so it's all a big mess. Whatever. Here are some of the books I've gotten lately!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: Jackaby by William Ritter

Review: Jackaby by William Ritter
Release date: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Algonquin
Series: Yes? I think? Pretty sure there will be a sequel
Source: print ARC from BEA14
Length: 368 pages
Rating: I somewhat enjoyed this, but it cleaved a bit too closely to stories I've experienced before.


Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion--and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

Jackaby was one my most anticipated reads of the fall because it's pitched as a mashup between two of my favorite shows: Doctor Who and Sherlock. Unfortunately, though Jackaby has a delightful sense of humor and sparkling prose, it almost feels too much like the aforementioned shows, like highbrow fanfiction. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: Made for You by Melissa Marr

Review: Made for You by Melissa Marr
Release date: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: No
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss/print ARC from BEA14
Length: 368 pages
Rating: An enjoyable, quite creepy thriller that could have been more impactful.

Made for You - Melissa Marr

Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.

I'm not sure what to make of this one. Overall, I definitely liked it. Is it a Gothic, racy thriller? No. Is it creepy as all hell and a pretty engrossing read? Yep. In the end, I definitely liked Made for You, but it had a few hiccups that kept it from being as truly wow-worthy as it could have been.