Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Favorite Reads of 2016



2016 was a complete wash of a year in so very many ways, but at least the books were great, and these in particular! Enjoy my highly biased and highly subjective list of my most loved reads of 2016.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Do You Review with Your Head or Your Heart?



The title of this post may sort of sound like the beginning of a cheesy country song, but this is actually a push and pull I struggle with a lot when it comes to rating and reviewing and MOST ESPECIALLY recommending.

Sometimes I read a book, and intellectually, I think it's stellar. Tidy writing, banging metaphors, deep and timely themes, impressive characters, award worthy whozits and whatsits galore. But I didn't get the FEELS. My brain went "oooh, yes" and my heart went "blerghhhhhhh."

Sometimes I read a book, and, intellectually, I see the flaws. The pacing flags. The worldbuilding is thin. I guessed the plot twists. BUT OH DEAR SWEET SHIPPIDY DOO DAH, DID I GET THE FEELS.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Deluge of DNFs




I'm woefully behind in reviews, so here are some DNFs from all the way back in September (oof, Gillian). SLOWLY BUT SURELY, I WILL CATCH UP. Ish. Kinda.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Shippy Awards 2016: The Winners!



THE SHIPS HAVE FOUGHT. The ships have battled. Some ships have sunk, others have risen victoriously, cresting waves and zooming along tides and doing other improbably nautical things, since I am not a sailor. But only the most seaworthy ships have survived the journey. DID YOU FAVORITES MAKE IT TO THE END?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Monthly Recap: November 2016



.....why, Gillian? Why are you making us relive November? I THOUGHT WE WEREN'T GOING TO TALK ABOUT NOVEMBER.

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.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Why I Love Hate to Love (And a Teensy Rant on InstaLove)



I am so predictable in my shipping predilections.

The moment a character decides they hate another character with every fiber of loathing they possess, I'm like "YEAH. They need to kiss. That's a thing." And the character is like BUT NO, I HATE THEM and I'm like "But no, you're not kissing, get on that." And lo, a ship is born, and I am on that ship, and we are sailing toward the sunset and bantering all the way.

I mean, the two characters don't need to want to blow up the object of their non-affection in a hail of Wildfire right off the bat. Like, there are degrees on love interest antagonizing, I realize. They can have a healthy but friendly banterthing, being adversarial opposites without being straight up adversaries like Luke and Lorelai, for example. But oh, OH my little shipper heart beats a million miles a minute when two characters lock eyes and decide they loathe each other beyond all sense and not even divine intervention can change their minds because HE IS THE LAST MAN IN THE WORLD WHOM I COULD EVER BE PREVAILED UPON TO MARRY. 


lol as if see you in 350 pages when you're legit married

Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess


A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: Yes, #1 in the Kingdom on Fire series
Release date: September 16th, 2016
Publisher: Random House
Length: 416 pages
Source: ARC from BEA16
Rating: I LOVE THESE PEOPLE SO MUCH. Hello, slump-buster.


Henrietta can burst into flames.

Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s named the first female sorcerer in hundreds of years and invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the prophesied one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta is not the chosen one.

As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves? 


HI THERE. Before I start reviewing and whatnot, a few quick questions. Do you like:

--banter

--magics

--reversing the Chosen One trope

--plot twists

--shipping

--shipping a lot

--continuing to ship

--still doing the ship thing

--yeah the answer is still ship

--I know what I am about

then I'm preeeeeetty sure you will love A Shadow Bright and Burning, one of the most fun fantasies I've read all year.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Reading Out of My Comfort Zone




I have a pretty well set comfort zone when it comes to books. Gillian books are super easy for me to recognize.

Non-Gillian books are basically anything without magic or kissing or explosions or dragons or princesses or warriors or banter. They're issue books, and adult novels, and books with  no kissing whatsover. Books where nobody even thinks about kissing. Like, not even for a teeny second.

Monday, September 19, 2016

What I've Read Lately (Ish): Fantasy Edition



Okay. So by lately, I mean...in the last four months. I have been hideously remiss at writing book reviews lately. Considering I'm, you know, a book review, I don't know why those are always the posts I have to dredge up the most focus/concentration/perseverence/five shots of liquor  to get done, but sometimes i just REALLY DON'T WANT TO WRITE REVIEWS PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME HOW MANY WAYS CAN I SAY THAT THE WORLDBUILDING WAS REALLY LUSH??

Zeus almighty, I'm lazy.

So today, I'm taking the lazy way out, with Zeus' gift to the lazy word-putting-into-sentence-doers of the world: the bullet point. Bless you, oh beautiful bullet point.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Empire of Storms #MaasThirteen Blog Tour + Giveaway!




Hello and welcome and how are you and HUZZAH! Today is a most special day: it is the my day on the Maas Thirteen Empire of Storms blog tour! *tosses confetti in the air* I've been so honored to be a part of the last two Throne of Glass tours, and I'm keeping up the tradition of doing something arty and way too time consuming in the name of one of my fave fantasy series by drawin' you some picture stuffs.

My Heir of Fire blog tour post | My Queen of Shadows blog tour post

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Classics


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Yay classics! I was a huuuuge reader of classics back in the day. When I was a teenager I was determined to conquer as many as possible. Some, obviously, were more enjoyable than others (I will never, ever love Catcher in the Rye or Hemingway or Thomas Hardy. I just won't. I have tried. I have come close. And I have failed.) (Okay I never came close with Hardy but that's because he's a depressing old bastard, really)

I'm only picking things published before I was born, since classics is a bit of a wibbly category and heck if I know what a classic is (besides what general convention says it is, something dense and boring written by an old white dude). But I love classics! Not all of them--some of them are REALLY WHITE DUDE-Y--but I've always been a huge lover of older literature. Obviously my tastes run toward the kinds with kissing and petticoats and brooding men with collar points, but there's stuff here for all the kids to enjoy.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Review: Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall


Been Here All Along by Sally Hall
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: No
Release date: August 30th, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads (Macmillan)
Length: 320 pages
Source: print ARC from the publisher (I am sorry, publisher)



Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. They do NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend and next door neighbor, Kyle. It’s a distraction. It’s pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn’t know what to do.

Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then, both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong…



Oh, man, I sooooo don't want to write this review, because I really--really--REALLY--wanted to love this. A book full of tropey T-Swift cuteness starring two nerd boys in love? This sounds like everything my little heart could ever want! And oh, it could have been. If it hadn't been for...well, everything besides the premise, alas.



WHY WEREN'T YOU GREAT? YOU COULDABIN A CONTENDER. YOU WERE EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING THAT I WANTED, WE WERE MEANT TO BE SUPPOSED TO BE BUT WE LOST IIIII-IIIIT

I apologize for that ear worm. Those of you too young to know that song, please don't tell me. All righty then.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake


Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: Yes, #1 in Three Dark Crowns series
Release date: September 20th, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 416 pages
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss/print ARC from BEA16


Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.


Oooo, that was very dark and intriguing and bewitching! It starts sort of slow and slinky, if that makes sense, and it does throw a lot of characters at you (arguably too many), but once I was lulled into this world I didn't want to leave it. Every time I put the book down, I found myself thinking about it and wanting to get back. The concept of the three dueling queens, heirs to three different magical bloodlines, raised to kill one another to be QUEEN OF THE QUEENS, is fantastic.


I loved the slow, sensory, almost vicious prose. I also loved what worldbuilding we got, though it's evident there is a LOT we don't know yet. And there were also a LOT of things I would have liked clarified, and to be honest a lot of the names drove me batty. But I know all the answers and what not are coming, and will probably fuck me up something real, because Kendare Blake apparently likes to blow my mind.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The YA Sorting Hat: #BacktoHogwarts Edition! (6)




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.

Last time on The YA Sorting Hat

It's September first! Which means all the witchy kiddos are on the train on the way to Hogwarts/already there because Scotland is in the future. So it's a perfect day to Sort some YA characters!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review: Rebel Magisters by Shanna Swendson


Rebel Magisters by Shanna Swendson
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: Yes, #2 in the Rebel Mechanics series
Release date: July 26th, 2016
Publisher: NLA Digital
Length: 304 pages
Source: purchased
Rating: OTP



Tea, Love ... and Revolution!

The Rebel Mechanics aren’t the only group plotting revolution against the magical British Empire. There are rebel magisters, as well, and Verity Newton and her magister employer, Lord Henry, know that the only way for the revolution to succeed is if both groups work together. A diplomatic mission seems like the perfect opportunity for them to meet with rebels in other colonies and gather support—right under the governor’s nose.

From drawing rooms, ballrooms, and the harbor in Boston to the streets of Charleston, Verity and Henry find themselves up against stubborn factions of both magisters and Mechanics and increasingly aware that they can only really count on each other as their relationship deepens. It may take a real crisis to unite the rebel movements and rally them to the cause—but could such a crisis also tear them apart?


My review of Rebel Mechanics

I looooved Rebel Mechanics, but let's be real: I was mostly there for the ship of dreams, much as I loved the world and the characters and most aspects of the plot. Continuing the realness, I was also mostly there in Rebel Magisters for the ship (SHIP SHIP SHIP SHIP SHIP) but RM also managed to amp up the REBEL-Y aspects and the world building and the plot. I inhaled this book, and once I was done, didn't want to quit, and kept rereading the ending over and over like a very not normal person.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Where I Went, What I Saw, and What I Ate



aka Where in the World is Gillian Sandiego

HELLO INTERWEBS! *clings* I have missed you so! I feel like I've been gone for centuries. I went there and back again, and while I didn't defeat any orc armies or befriend any dwarf kings or anything of the like, I DID take a very fabulous and fun and exhausting trip to Europe, where I ate lots of great food, hung out with friends and family, and read quite a few fantabulous books.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Literary Web Series: Episode One



I'm very much an all or nothing kind of person, so when I decide to do a thing--such as, say, try watching web adaptations of classic literature--my brain likes to take it up a notch. Like, it's not enough to watch a few and call it a day. No, I have to CATCH 'EM ALL. I'm nothing if not a completist. I like to conquer things.

So I've decided to watch as many of the web series (web serieseses? I hate plurals) listed on Shae's excellent compendium as I can and then tell you which ones you should also watch and which you should absolutely avoid. WOO. Because there are a miiiiillion-ish and nobody's got time for that. (Apparently I do? This is news to me.) Also quite a lot of them are probably no good, but then quite a lot of them are amazing and you need more amazing in your life, don't you? Nothing will compare to the life-changing awesomeness that was The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but just because you can't beat perfection doesn't mean you shouldn't try.

So without further ado, here are the literary web seriesi (totally a valid pluralization) I've watched so far:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want to Do

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I decided to stick to things I could actually do in the version of earth we're currently living in, so no "have magic powers", "be queen" "ride dragons" "travel back in time" "kill people" I meeeeeean what? Um. Keep moving. Nothing to see here.

I'm also leaving out things like "have a bosom friend" or "fall in love" and "be all that you can be" and "topple dictatorships" because...wait that last one has way too much relevance. Definitely that one.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Review: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West


P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: No
Release date: July 26th, 2016
Publisher: Point (Scholastic)
Length: 304 pages
Source: finished copy from publisher
Rating: IT'S SO FLUFFY I'M GONNA DIE


What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she's falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

From beloved author Kasie West (The Distance Between Us) comes an utterly charming story about mixed messages, missed connections, and the magic of good old-fashioned secret admirer notes.



THAT WAS SO RIDICULOUSLY ADORABLE I AM MELTING OMGGGGGGGGG just leave me here with my feeeeeeeelings I am a puddle of shippy goo

Kasie West's books almost always leave me feeling like that. But this one was easily my favorite of hers yet because it played on a lot of my favorite tropes and reminded me of two of my favorite movies, You've Got Mail and Shop Around the Corner.

I MEAN EVEN THE COVER IS DOING A YOU'VE GOT MAIL THING
Like YGM and SAtC, PS I Like You is about two people falling in love anonymously through the written word, only instead of email and letters respectively, Lily and Mystery Boy (whose identity is super not a mystery, really) fall in love through notes scribbled on and then left in a shared classroom desk. They have the same taste in music, and they're open and honest with each other in their notes, baring their souls and making me squee and giggle like a very calm adult person. This book proves the old adage that the way to seduce the modern woman is through her pop culture interests. It is known.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Top Ten Facts About Me


hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I can list all the Basic Facts about me that i've mentioned before (see here, for example), like that I have a twin and a rescue dog and I'm short and like coffee, but if you follow me on Twitter,  you may already know those (especially the coffee thing, it's basically my defining trait). But I don't want to do that, so let's go FULLY RANDOM. *shakes brain, sees what falls out* Dunno why you'd be interested, but if you are, let's bash on.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Top Ten Underrated Books

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

These are ny favorite books that have under 2000 ratings on Goodreads, which is a tragedy that must be rectified. Seriously, these books are amazing. PLEASE READ THEM. Before I start taking to street corners and to preach in their names/hurl them at passersby. Because I will do it.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Reasons to Read: Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn


Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: No
Release date: April 1st, 2001
Publisher: Ace
Length: 342 pages
Source: purchased
Rating: *dreamy, contented sigh*



As a child, Coriel Halsing spent many glorious summers at Castle Auburn with her half-sister--and fell in love with a handsome prince who could never be hers. But now that she is a young woman, she begins to see the dark side of this magical place...

Clearly, back in the day, the magical elves who wrote blurb-y synopsis type things were a lot more spare and didn't know to include all the delicious bits that will and should entice you to read the sumptuous, magical Summers at Castle Auburn.

Things like: a bright, sparkling, incorrigible heroine who spreads life wherever she goes (oh, and is a healer/herb witch). Things like: a fantastic, steadfast, and sweet sisterly relationship. Things like: princes and plots and courtly intrigue. Things like: a slow burn ship of adorableness and dreams. Things like: an engaging and full fantasy novel that's really, actually all about growing up, learning the truth, and becoming your own person. Things like: this book made me happy on a soul-deep level.

If you can't tell, I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE THIS BOOK.

Friday, June 17, 2016

How to be a Real (Awesome) Book Blogger



It seems like everyone these days has opinions about the right way to be a book blogger. Well, all those people are wrong. WRONG. Only I know what it takes to be a real book blogger. Step into my office, children. Follow old Rafiki, he know the way.

The DEFINITIVE (TM Buzzfeed) List of Things You MUST DO to Be a Book Blogger

(which clearly don't include being able to spell "blogger" because that is the third time I have typed "blooger")

(petition to rename it "blooger")

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of the Year


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Okay, so clearly I cheated just a little bit. Just a teeny tiny bit. Just by like...400%. BUT IT'S FINE. 2016 is a hell of a year. I've included the bits from the official book blurbs that peaked my interest or at least caused my eyes to pop out and my paws to go up and my tongue to wag like an eager puppy who's just been teased with the most delicious treat.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Good, the Bad, and the DNF




Mini review time, because I'm laaaazyyyyy and, well, I have barely been reading lately (slumps, they are the WORST), so let's catch up on some of the books this year I forgot to review.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Top Ten Reasons I Love High Fantasy

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

HELLO, my name is Blogger Gillian, and I would like to share with you the most amazing book genre



High faaaantasyyyyyyy! The genre of dreams, the best of the best, the queen of the bookstore (at least, in my opinion). Here's why, to me, fiction set in lands so faraway they don't actually exist will always be the best kind.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Review and Giveaway: The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble The Book Depository
Series: #2 in the The Fixer series
Release date: June 7th, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Length: 368 pages
Source: ARC from the publisher
Rating:  *sucker punch gasp* *PROLONGED SOBSCREAM*



Tess Kendrick, teen fixer extraordinaire, returns in a pulse-pounding thriller about a deadly conspiracy at the heart of Washington.

For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate's campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.

Meanwhile, Tess's guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can--and cannot--be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she's about to discover first-hand that power always comes with a price.

Perfect for fans of Harlan Coben and Ally Carter, the second book in this thrilling series will leave readers breathless.


Fun bonus: today's visual entertainment will be provided by screenshots of my reading liveblog to Lizzy and Shae, aka the evil people who told me to read this book and then laughed at me while I sobbed over it. Spoilers redacted.



Ho. Ly. Shit.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Top Ten Books I Plan to Read on the Beach


hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

HEY GUYS! Long time no blog! I took a nice hiatus so I could catch up on real life stuff (like omg I think I might have found a place to live??? STAY TUNED) and recharge, blogging-wise, and now I'm raring to go and bursting with words and all that jazz.

And since it's summer (AHHH SUMMER I LOVE SUMMER!) and I live in Los Angeles and the beach is like right there, I'm totally planning to go as often as I can. Here are the books on my summer TBR that I'm planning to take with me and that will be best enjoyed while sipping a cool beverage on a hot beach listening to the crash of the waves.