Thursday, July 2, 2015

Looking Forward: July



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 now JULY OH MY GOD, here are the July releases most tempting me.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Review + Giveaway: Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler


Review: Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: #2 in the Daylight Falls duology
Release date: June 30th, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill
Length: 321 pages
Source: won ARC and finished copy from BEA15
Rating: HOTCHACHA


Josh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, coasting on his good looks, his parties, his parents' wealth, and the occasional modeling gig. But his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls...opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms. (Not that he's trying to charm her, of course.) Meanwhile, his drama-queen mother blackmails him into a new family reality TV show, with Josh in the starring role. Now that he's in the spotlight—on everyone's terms but his own—Josh has to decide whether a life as a superstar is the one he really wants.

Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents' disapproval. But with all her relationships currently in upheaval, she's painfully uncertain about everything else. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on, now that her BFF, Ally, is at college across the country. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van's life reaches a whole new level of confusing. And she'll have to choose between the one thing she's always loved...and the person she never imagined she could.

Double disclosure: Firstly, I haven't read the first book slash companion book in the Daylight Falls duology, Behind the Scenes. Secondly, I've had diner margaritas with Dahlia and we talk on twitter on the reg, usually about dirty things or macarons or...wait, I think that might be the bulk of what Dahlia talks about, actually. Wether or not you think this has altered my opinion, well, i don't know, because I loved this book with all the dirty macarons on top.

NSFW

Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: Valiant by Sarah McGuire


Review: Valiant by Sarah McGuire
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: I wish
Release date: April 28th, 2015
Publisher: Egmont
Length: 364 pages
Source: ARC/purchased finished copy
Rating: That was SOOO CUUUUUUTE. Lovely fairy tale retelling!


Saville despises the bolts of velvet and silk that her father loves- he's always prized them more than he's ever loved her. Yet when he's struck ill, she'll do anything to survive, even donning boys' clothes and begging a commission to sew for the king.

Piecing together a fine coat is far simpler than unknotting court gossip about an army of giants led by a man who cannot be defeated. And they're marching toward Reggen to seize the throne. But Saville knows giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.


Then she meets them, two scouts as tall as trees. She tricks them into leaving, but tales of the daring tailor's triumph quickly spin into impossible feats of giant-slaying. And mere stories won't deter the Duke and his larger-than-life army.


Now only a courageous and clever tailor girl can see beyond the rumors to save the kingdom again.


I think what I love best about Valiant--you know, besides the incredibly resilient main characters, the PRECIOUS ship, and the rollicking plot--is how classic it feels. This book doesn't feel anything like the majority of the fantasy YA I read nowadays. It feels like a moreold-shool fairy tale retelling like Ella Enchanted or Shannon Hale (very accurate, blurby people, very accurate indeed). So what you get is an entirely charming twist on a not-often-retold tale, The Valiant Little Tailor, with a lady saving the day instead.

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik


Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: No, ALAS
Release date: May 19th, 2015
Publisher: Del Rey (Random House)
Length: 438 pages
Source: purchased with zero regret
Rating: PER. FECTION.


Naomi Novik, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Dear world,

I'm obsessed with Uprooted. Consider this my declaration of love. I'm standing atop the school coffee cart, I'm singing and dancing with the school band across the bleachers, I'm just a girl, standing in front of a book, asking it to love her.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Double Review: Kalahari and The Hidden Prince


I AM SO BEHIND ON REVIEWS OKAY HERE WE GO

Kalahari by Jessica Khoury
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Release date: February 24th, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Length: 368 pages
Source: ARC from the publisher
Rating: Pretty entertaining adventure thriller-ma-bob


Deep in the Kalahari Desert, a Corpus lab protects a dangerous secret…
But what happens when that secret takes on a life of its own?

When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide. It’s up to Sarah, the daughter of zoologists, to keep them alive and lead them to safety, calling on survival know-how from years of growing up in remote and exotic locales. Battling dehydration, starvation and the pangs of first love, she does her best to hold it together, even as their circumstances grow increasingly desperate.


But soon a terrifying encounter makes Sarah question everything she’s ever known about the natural world. A silver lion, as though made of mercury, makes a vicious, unprovoked attack on the group. After a narrow escape, they uncover the chilling truth behind the lion’s silver sheen: a highly contagious and deadly virus that threatens to ravage the entire area—and eliminate life as they know it.


In this breathtaking new novel by the acclaimed author of Origin and Vitro, Sarah and the others must not only outrun the virus, but its creators, who will stop at nothing to wipe every trace of it.


So part of why I was really excited to read this book is twofold. One, I was actually IN Botswana last summer, so I was anxious to read about a part of the world I'm visually familiar with (Khoury def didn't disappoint in that regard). Two, I have DEEP, DEEP LOVE for stories in which people are stranded in nature and must BATTLE THE ELEMENTS and PERSEVERE against SUPREME ODDS. I've seen practically every episode of the truly gruesome I Shouldn't Be Alive, God knows why, but this shiz is my jam.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The YA Sorting Hat: Part III




Last time on The YA Sorting Hat: Book Boyfriends Edition

One day, I asked myself the not at all ridiculous question, "Which houses would I sort my favorite literary characters into?" So got Ye Olde Sorty out of the Headmaster's office and put him on the job of sorting some of my favorite non-Harry Potter characters into Hogwarts Houses. 

Yay, the YA Sorting Hat is back! It's been a while since I last plopped Old Sorty on a crop of fictional characters. But it's a whole new year, and we've got a whole new crop of first years crossing the lake. AND THEY NEED HOUSES.

Obviously, you could TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH ME, but if I were the Sorting Hat, this is where I'd put these guys:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Top Forty Most Anticipated Releases for the Rest of 2015



I just really, really didn't want to shaft any of the good books. So really I'm including pretty much all of the books that come out AFTER JUNE (since I covered all my anticipated June releases here) that I want to get my greedy little blogger hands on.