Monday, September 1, 2014

Thirteen Days of Ash and Fire: An Heir of Fire Blog Tour + Giveaway

HEIR OF FIRE IS ALMOST HERE!!! No, this blog isn't turning into a Sarah J. Maas fan blog, though it might seem that way because of how vocal I've been lately about my unhealthy obsession with totally reasonable love for her Throne of Glass series. When Alexa, Judith, Jaz, Rachel, and Katie invited me to be a part of the Maas Thirteen and host a spot on the Heir of Fire blog tour, I spazzed and shrieked and tossed confetti in the air expressed my utmost joy in a way that would certainly not frighten children.

The rest of the tour schedule:

August 25 – Jaz @ Fiction In Fiction In Fiction
August 26 – Katie @ Polished Page-Turners
August 27 – Kelly @ Belle of the Literati
August 28 – Elena @ Novel Sounds
August 29 – Nicole @ The Quiet Concert
September 1 – Gillian @ Writer of Wrongs 
September 2 – Judith @ Paperiot
September 3 – Melanie @ The Daily Prophecy
September 4 – Magan @ Rather Be Reading
September 5 – Andi @ Andi’s ABCs
September 8 – Gina @ Behind the Pages
September 9 – Rachel @ Hello Chelly 
September 10 – Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books

Since I reviewed (read: LOST MY DAMN MIND OVER) the epicness that was Heir of Fire (out tomorrow!), I thought I'd do something different on my stop today. What I love most about this series are the characters and how strong and real they are. I know there are a ton of characters and it can be hard to keep track, so here's my visual guide to the main characters in Heir of Fire, from the dearly familiar to the fresh and new!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Looking Forward: September

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 last day in August, here are the September releases most tempting me:


Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Release date: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Series: Yes, #3 in the Throne of Glass series
Source: BEA14
Length: 565 beautiful, beautiful pages
Rating: I'm sorry, Gillian can't come to the internet now because she is deceased. There is no Gillian. Gillian is nothing but ash and motherfucking flame.


Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?


This is one of those series that ruins your life.

I get it. I've finally figured it out. Sarah J. Maas is a life ruiner, and we should all mount our bloody wyverns and burn the whole bloody world, because MY LIFE IS RUINED. She has placed one of those demon mind control wyrd collars over my neck, and my will is hers. My heart is hers. She has bred obsession into my very soul, and I will never be okay again if the characters in this series aren't okay too. Because how else do you explain the fact that my soul exploded--for real, I swear it did--while I read this book? How do you explain the fact that I care so much for these characters and the fate of this world that all I want to do--mere minutes after finishing Heir of Fire--is read the whole damn thing again?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

Review: Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
Release date: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Series: No
Source: eARC via Edelweiss
Length: 304 pages
Rating: This book is nearly everything I want, but I didn't love it the way I wanted, though it's certainly not bad.


High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual. Struggling to sort out her growing feelings and Saskia's confusing signals, Leila confides in her old friend, Lisa, and grows closer to her fellow drama tech-crew members, especially Tomas, whose comments about his own sexuality are frank, funny, wise, and sometimes painful. Gradually, Leila begins to see that almost all her classmates are more complicated than they first appear to be, and many are keeping fascinating secrets of their own.

Nooooooooooooo. You guys, I wanted to love this book SO HARD. MY BODY WAS READY. And maybe my body was too ready, because as good as some parts of Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel is, it failed to live up to the enormous promise of its premise.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
Release date: September 9th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: No
Source: eARC via Edelweiss
Length: 288 pages
Rating: Fun, bantery, fantasy fluff


Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.

I've never read anything by Kiersten White and have heard many accounts of her books as to puzzle me exceedingly, but this book called to me. That cover! That synopsis! British history is my jam, and this sideways take on historical fantasy is the kind of thing I love. This is NOT historical fantasy, mind you, but it's set in a madeup world that is clearly, closely drawn from the late Victorian/early Edwardian English Empire... but with MAGICS. Magics and banter. Sign me up.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Reader's Choice Review: Fire by Kristin Cashore

Review: Fire by Kristin Cashore
Release date: October 5th, 2009
Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin)
Series: Yes-ish, #2 in the Graceling Realm series of companions
Source: Purchased
Length: 461 pages
Rating: ASDHFJSDFKAJSD SQUEEEE *flips table* *runs in circles* *collapses*


It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.

When I read Graceling for the first time last year, it instantly became one of my favorites. To say I had high hopes for Fire, which Ellis had been flailing about for a good long while, would be an understatement. But Kristin Cashore more than delivered with this follow-up companion prequel sequel whatever thing. I know I might be in the minority with this, but I think I connected to and loved Fire even more.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Review: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Review: Falling into Place by Amy Zhange
Release date: September 9th, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow (Harper)
Series: No
Source: eARC via Edelweiss/ARC from BEA14
Length: 304 pages
Rating: Objectively good, but I got zero feels.


On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

This is the sort of book lots of people are going to love. It's the sort of book you are probably going to love, but for whatever reason, it's a book I can only sort of vaguely appreciate.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Faultless in Spite of All of Her Faults: The Unlikable Heroine

When I first started to get serious about writing stories, I was really bad at it. I was a teenager filled with hard-edged feelings that needed to be let out, and writing was how I did that. I composed epics about heroines who personified what I thought I wanted to be. I wasn't just writing fantasy stories but fantasy characters that don't exist in any genre. I wrote about girls without flaws, because I wanted to be without flaws. I wrote contemporary characters whom I thought could live in this contemporary world better than I seemed to be doing. Why did I think that? Because they were likable. They were pleasant, they were pretty, they were selfless to a martyr-like degree, and they always got the guy.