Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Review: Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst


Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: No, but there will totally be a sneaky sequel
Release date: November 24th, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Length: 400 pages
Source: print ARC from BEA16/e-ARC via Edelweiss
Rating: Of Fire and 2/5 Stars


Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.


Oh god, I finally finished.

First off: it absolutely kills me that I didn't love this. I wanted to love this soooooo badlyyyyy, and I could have. The elements were there, the writing was solid, and with a bit more depth, I could have cared about the characters. The concept was everything. QUEER FANTASY. F/F FANTASY. PRINCESSES IN LOVE.

These princesses in love deserved a way better plot.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Shippy Awards 2016: Voting Round!




YAY! Thank you to everyone who nominated their favorite 2016 ships in the last round. Some races were amazingly close (like, one vote difference close) and some weren't even a little bit close (fear the power of Pynch and Feysand, y'all). But none of that matters now! Now we are onto the round of death, and here int the arena we send up to ten ships to battle it out for domination. In the end, who will be left standing? YOU DECIDE.

Let's vote!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

What I've Been Reading Lately


I've been absolutely woeful about not only chronicling my recent reads but actually READING. I'm giving myself a bit of slack, because between moving (OOF), the election (I cannot word about this), Twitter trolls (on lockdown for a wee bit, but IT'S BEEN SO FUN WOO BOY), and very high anxiety, my brain just hasn't really had room for reading. But I'm trying to get back into the swing of things as we approach the holidays. And I did manage to read a few things this fall! Here are two of them:

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Triumphant Return of...The Shippy Awards!




It's that time of year again! When we, the bookish community, vote in various places for the Best Science Fiction and Best Young Adult Romance and Best Cover and all other types of best bookish things as the year winds down and we all scramble to remember the what the actual hell we read this year.

If you've hung around my corner of the blogosphere for longer than, I don't know, the last paragraph, you know that I'm not the kind of blogger who's going to try to add any seriousosity to the Best in Show-ness that sweeps the interwebs every November through January. So here at Casa Gillian, we're not voting on Best Plot or Best Postmodern Deconstruction of Things and Stuff.

Nah, we're voting on kissing, and who does it best. (Seriously, it'll be nice to vote on something that doesn't end with the world falling apart. So here are some ships, to make us all a bit happier)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Monthly Recap: October 2016



WELL, it sure has been a while since I've done one of these! But a lot has changed in the last...i don't even know, few centuries, so I thought it would be fun to update the interwebs.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Top Ten Literary Names I'd Rename My Dog


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This is Ginger, my horridly spoiled puppy. She is the biggest baby, a huge dork, immensely loveable, friendly to a fault and just about the least aggressive pit bull ever born. I love her infinitely. And yes, she really does sit like that.


I adopted Ginger when she was two years old, and she was already named Ginger. I had all these grand plans before I got a dog of all the wondrous literary names I'd bestow upon her, but when I met her, she was just such a Ginger that I couldn't imagine her named anything else. But for the sake of this TTT, let's pretend that I am going to change her name to something literary.  If I were, these would be the names I'd pick.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

When You Fall Out of Love with a Series



The title of this post might be a touch misleading (or at least over dramatic), since I wouldn't say I've fallen entirely out of love with the series that inspired this post, but it's definitely a feeling I have experienced in full. Eeven if it's something we in the bookish blogosphere don't talk about much, since we tend to be of the obsessive OMG <3 4EVA bent (which is the happy neighborhood I usually reside in these days).

But it's pretty natural for your feelings to shift over time, as we grow older/wiser/crankier/pick one. Like I hated ketchup when I was little and now I recognize it as one of the Holy Condiments of Our Era. Or I used to think Edward Cullen was the single most romantic figure ever created by literature, and now, well, I get that maybe breaking into a girl's room to watch her sleep is slightly creepy, no matter how much he sparkles.

So why do I always feel such GUILT when I fall out of love with a series? Why is it so terribly sad? I feel like I've lost something, somehow. I MOURN FOR THE LOVEY DAYS OF YORE.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review: This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: No, ALAS
Release date: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt (Macmillan)
Length: 320 pages
Source: print ARC from the publisher
Rating: SQUAD GOALS


Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.



I NEVER WANTED THIS ADVENTURE TO END. I fell in love with this group of friends so freaking hard I can't find the words. (Psych, I totally found them).

This book hit me in every single feel I have (which, if you didn't know, is a LOT--I am a very emotional little bean) and I was so not expecting it. I adored Emma Mills' first novel, First & Then, but somehow I adored this one even more. I knew it would have her trademark quick, funny dialogue, banter, and liveliness, plus the searing insights and romantic tension I love. But what I was NOT expecting was to be completely obliterated by how much I recognized myself in this book. OUCH, MY HEART. MY HAPPY-SOBBING, SAD-SOBBING, OH-WOW-I-AM-NOT-ALONE-sobbing heart.