Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking Forward: January

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 December (AND THE LAST. DAY. IN. 2014. TOMORROW IS THE FUTURE. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE), here are the January releases most tempting me:

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Best of 2014: Contemporary Classics and Historical Highlights

It's the last of my Best of 2014 round ups! We're closing it out with my fave real world books of 2014, aka historicals and contemporaries, aka "things that could have happened but sadly did not but LET'S PRETEND OTHERWISE"!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Best of 2014: Paranormal Perfection and Sci Fi Superlatives

HOW ARE WE SO CLOSE TO 2015? Je refuse. Je demande a redo. Fetch me my Time Turner and TWIST. But then, there were a lot of great reads in 2014, and I would hate to go back in time and un-read them.

My favorite paranormal reads of 2014:

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Book Haul, or the One with the Happy Haul-idays!

WOO pun titles ftw! Happy holidays, everybody! Happy winter, Christmas, Chanukah, Festivus, Chrismukkah, Kwanzaa, and any and all holidays or non-holidays you celebrate! Happy Saturday, aka the high holiest of days!

I originally filmed a vlog because this is a particularly EPIC haul that deserves documentation in video form, but my camera decided to be a major Grinch and film without sound (or maybe it was tired of hearing me shriek over the AWESOME BOOKS and just gave up living). So we're going with regular old pictures today for my first book haul in about a month.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Review: My True Love Gave to Me ed. Stephanie Perkins

Review: My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins
Release date: October 14th, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Series: No
Source: Purchased
Length: 320 pages
Rating: While not all the stories in this holiday anthology are a hit, the ones that are REALLY ARE.

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell
SO FREAKING ADORABLE. This is about two best friends who met on New Year's Eve, but have never shared that fateful New Year's Kiss... even though Mags very much wants to. I don't know how Rainbow managed to pack so much shippery into so few pages, but... well, yes I do. She's Rainbow.

 The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link
I don't think this story did itself any favors by coming right after the effortlessly adorable Midnights, but sadly this story never really gelled for me. It has a lot of elements I like: magic and family curses and England gentry and great estates and parties, but it was a bit all over the place, and sometimes the writing struck me as odd. I think Kelly Link can write, but this one just didn't hit home for me.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Best of 2014: Fantasy Favorites Giveaway

The love fest for 2014 reads continues! I read SO MANY GREAT BOOKS this year. Fantasy is my favorite genre, so obviously I read lots and lots of fantasy, and I'm thriled to say that I loved lots and lots of those reads! So behold, a giveaway of my favorite fantasies of 2014. The winner will get their choice of ONE of the following fantasies. The winner must live in a country to which The Book Depository ships, which means yes, this is INTERNATIONAL with only a very few exceptions. YAY!

This list is not limited to books that 2014 and includes all books I read in 2014, including 2014 debuts, which means it has some overlap with my Debut Darlings giveaway (which is happened over here)!

My favorite fantasies of 2014:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Best of 2014: Debut Darlings Giveaway

One of my favorite benefits of being a book blogger--and therefore being pretty well tuned into what books are coming out when/why/how/who/huh--is getting to read and promote debut authors. Debuting is hard, y'all. A debut author (who shall remain nameless) once told me that debuting in YA felt a lot like showing up in a packed auditorium packed to the rafters with loud chattering people with microphones and megaphones or just really carrying voices and shouting "I AM HERE!!"

Well, the cool thing about being a blogger is that I get to hear them shouting, and then I read their awesome books and then I get to yell at other people to read their awesome books, and maybe I'll drown out a few megaphones, and I will stop now before this metaphor goes haywire, but you follow me. (I hope.)

Anyway. Enough rambling. You're probably not even reading this because you saw the word G!VEAWAY!!!!!!!!!1! in the title and scrolled straight down to the Rafflecopter, but in case you are reading this, I just want to say that I love reading debut authors. Love. There's always a certain wonderful freshness to this brand new voice in, yes, a crowded auditorium, but that auditorium wouldn't be the same without that new voice, would it? (Metaphor, I don't know how to quit you.)

So I'm doing a giveaway of my favorite debuts of 2014. I loved way more debuts than this, but I had to narrow it down. The winner will get their choice of TWO of the following debuts. The winner must live in a country to which The Book Depository ships, which means yes, this is INTERNATIONAL with only a very few exceptions. YAY!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ship Shape: Banter, Bicker, Bang

Last time on Ship Shape: Best Kiss Scenes and What Makes Them Great

I love, love, love when my ships fight.

When characters fight over fundamental character differences in philosophy or temperament, it is glorious. it is sexual tension. Romance in literature is, to me, a character finding another character the either balances or helps them overcome their fatal flaw. Their flaws and strengths complement each other like inverse puzzle pieces. It's negative space and positive space. Which means the two characters are going to be fundamentally different. Which means they're going to fight.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review: Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas

Review: Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas
Release date: December 9th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: No
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss
Length: 304 pages
Rating: Funny, bantery, Breakfast Club-y fluff


Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day:

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

Whenever you super love a debut, there's always that teeeny pessimistic voice in the back of your head that wonders if maybe this was a fluke. Afer adoring Liz Czukas' Ask Again Later positively to pieces, I was scared that her follow-up, Top Ten Clues You're Clueless, wouldn't wow me as much. But after two Czukas books, I can now declare that she is the kind of writer I know I can rely on to instantly up my mood. Her books are consistently voicey and bright. They have wonderful humor and zany escapades. They're those awesome feel-good teen movies where everything goes so hilariously wrong--and then it all goes so hilariously right.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Looking Forward: December

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 November oops, here are the December releases most tempting me:

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sisterhood of the World Blogging Tag

Oh, man, is it the season of blogger tags, or something? It's like a tagapalooza all up in here. I mean, I've been tagged, like... twice. That's... a lot? I don't know. YAY FOR TAGS! I was tagged by Shae at Shae Has Left the Room for the Sisterhood of the Traveling... no, the Sisterhood of the Ya Ya... Sisterhood of the World Book Bloggers Tag? Book Blogging Award? Book... think... Look, I DON'T SPEAK TAG. It's a cool thing, whatever it's called. Someone (in this case, Shae) posts a bunch of fun questions about reading, and you answer them, then tag more people and ask them questions. It's like passing notes across the classroom, or those chain emails or AIM memes-before-memes-were-a-thing. Remember those? ...No? God, I'm ancient.

1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their website.
2. Post the award’s logo on your blog.
3. Answer the ten questions you have been asked.
4. Nominate ten other bloggers and ask them ten other questions.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: Jane Austen Cover to Cover by Margaret C. Sullian

Review: Jane Austen Cover to Cover: 200 Years of Classic Book Covers by Margaret C. Sullivan
Release date: November 11th, 2014
Publisher: Quirk Books
Series: No
Source: Finished copy from the publisher
Length: 224 pages
Rating: Gorgeous, Jane Austen-y, hilarious, and comprehensive. Perfect holiday gift for Janeites!

Jane Austen’s six novels are true classics, still immensely popular some 200 years after their first publication. But although the celebrated stories never change, the covers are always different. Jane Austen Cover to Cover compiles two centuries of design, from elegant Victorian hardcovers and the famed 1894 “Peacock” edition to 1950s pulp, movie tie-in editions, graphic novels, foreign-language translations, and many, many others. Filled with beautiful artwork and insightful commentary, this fascinating and visually intriguing collection is a must for Janeites, design geeks, and book lovers of every stripe.

You guys, this book is my catnip. It combines several of my favorite things: Jane Austen, cover design, history, and humor. It's got a gorgeous cover and full-color pages and hilarious commentary.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir
Release date: December 9th, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte (Random House)
Series: No
Source: ARC
Length: 368 pages
Rating: No. I'm sorry, book, but... no


Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.

"There's something hidden in the Maze." Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family's English country manor.

Haunted by her parents' deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin's untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion's aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself--and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

Combining a fresh twist on the classic REBECCA with a spine-tingling mystery and powerful romance, SUSPICION is an action-packed thrill ride.

This book has all the set-up ingredients to be a gothic, creepy, vaguely Rebecca-esque mystery with a paranormal twist. And yet Suspicion is just plain lame.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Scary Place: The Art of Binging and Total Fictional Obsession

Guys. I have officially gone to the scary place.

So a couple of days ago, I was trying to find something to watch on Netflix while I baked a pie, because that's the kind of action-packed lifestyle I lead. Netflix told me that the TV show The 100, based on the book by Kass Morgan which I read and was exceptionally "meh" on, was very popular. And because I am very open to persuasion, I decided to stream a few episodes while I pied.

Fast forward to 4 am the next morning, when I'm still watching.
Why yes Bellamy thank you for asking you wonderful thing you

Friday, November 14, 2014

Review: The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

Review: The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason
Release date: September 17th, 2013
Publisher: Chronicle
Series: Yes, #1 in the Stoker & Holmes series
Source: Purchased
Length: 356 pages
Rating: Steampunkian, girl-powery, mysterious fun.


Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood. And when two society girls go missing, there’s no one more qualified to investigate.

Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high. If Stoker and Holmes don’t unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they’ll become the next victims.

I've been meaning to read The Clockwork Scarab for ages. When its sequel, The Spiritglass Charade, showed up in the mail, it was the kick in the pants to finally get me do it, and boy, am I glad I did. This book is fun. It's steampunk, feminist, funny, breezy fun, and while it definitely could dig deeper in some parts, the quick pace and twisty mystery make for a super entertaining read.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The TBR Tag

image from Dana Square

I was tagged by the lovely Shae from Shae Has Left The Room and Gaby and Lisa from Bookish Broads to partake in the TBR tag. This tag is originally hosted/created by Dana Square and A Perfection Called Books. Read on to learn how I organize my reads (I don't), what sort of logic I use to choose my next book (I don't), and if there's a chance I will ever catch up with my TBR (I won't).

Monday, November 10, 2014

Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Review: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
Release date: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper)
Series: Yes, #1 in the Dark Caravan cycle
Source: eARC via Edelweiss/ print ARC from BEA14
Length: 480 pages
Rating: A positive meh-to-middling.


Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.

This is not a bad book. It is well-written, thoroughly researched, and full of mythology. It has a kick-ass premise and is thoughtfully created. There is a gorgeous map, diversity, and genies. But Exquisite Captive may be Exquisitely Crafted, but it is not Exquisitely Captivating.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Haul, or the One in Which I Ardently Admire and Love You

YAY THIS WEEK IS OVER. THANK THE BOOKISH GODS. (It's really been one of those weeks, hasn't it? AT LEAST THERE'S BOOKS!)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle
Release date: October 21st, 2014
Publisher: Poppy (Little, Brown)
Series: Yes, #1 in the Famous in Love trilogy
Length: ARC from BEA14
Rating: I don't really understand the point of this book.


The romantic story of a girl who gets plucked from obscurity to star in the next major feature film franchise based on a book and the ensuing love triangles she gets entangled in on—-and off screen.

Meet Paige Townsen, Rainer Devon, and Jordan Wilder…

When Paige Townsen, a young unknown, gets cast in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a crowded movie set on the shores of Maui, and is spending quality time with her co-star Rainer Devon, one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie’s famous love triangle, Paige’s crazy new life gets even crazier.

In this coming-of-age romance inspired by the kind of celeb hookups that get clever nicknames and a million page views, Paige must figure out who she is – and who she wants – while the whole world watches.

I am a sucker for books about Hollywood. 99 out of 100 times, they get it factually wrong, but I don't even care. I love Stars: They're Just Like Us! books and those cheesy Disney Channel movies where Jerstin Weeber/Rick Ronas/Whatever McTeenybopper falls in love with and unassuming nobody who cares naught for fame and is "so real" and "doesn't know she's beautiful". That shit is my catnip, okay? But the problem with Famous in Love is it's all those things... but it's not fun. It's not original, it's extremely serious, and it's extremely boring.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Shop Around: YA Characters with Romantic Pasts

Recently, I've been binge-reading the amazing Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. These books have everything I like: layered characters, shippity ships, complex world building, magicks, betrayal, and royalty. It also has two main characters who have had very busy and very complicated and very heartbreaking love lives. Their life situations have gone through multiple stages, and as they aged, they found themselves responding to different people at different times. They acted like most people do outside of books, and I realized, as I was reading, how much I love it when characters in YA books don't end up with the first person they liked/kissed/sexed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Top Ten Books I Want to Reread

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
 I'm a huge rereader. I don't have as much time to do it now that I'm a blogger with a schedule and whatnot, but I still do it. My uber faves have been reread to the point of memorization, so for most of the book son this list, it's more like re-rereading than just re-reading.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Reasons to Read: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

Review: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Release date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Random House
Series: Yes, #3 in The Lynburn Legacy
Length: 384 pages
Source: Purchased
Rating: lovecryscreamloveouch


A modern, magical twist on the Gothic romance and girl detective genres, the Lynburn Legacy books will appeal to fans of both Beautiful Creatures and the Mortal Instruments series.

Powerful love comes with a price. Who will be the sacrifice?

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility—and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

As coauthor with Cassandra Clare of the bestselling Bane Chronicles, Sarah Rees Brennan has mastered the art of the page-turner. This final book in the Lynburn Legacy is a wild, entertaining ride from beginning to shocking end.

Sometimes when I read and LOVE a series ender, I like to do a Reasons to Read instead of a full review so as to remain as unspoilery as possible and lure new readers into a series. My goal, of course, is to force you all to know and love and suffer the pain of The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan, because it is all of the things. What are the things? Humor and heartbreak, pain and hope, kissing and killing, light and dark. It's gothic mystery laced with twenty-first century pluck and banter. It's supernatural romance with absolutely gorgeous friendships and parent-kid relationships that wring every ounce of feelswater from those eyeballs. You'll laugh so hard you'll cry, and then you'll cry so hard you'll laugh, and then you'll throw the book because you love it but it hurts you and why.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Book Haul, or the One Where IT'S NOVEMBER (HOW?)

Happy November 1/All Saints' Day/NaNoWriMo kickoff! If you're a NaNoer like me (aka one of the thousands of poor souls participating in the masochistic blood sport that is National Novel Writing Month), you are probably working on digesting the twelve pounds of Reese's peanut butter cups in your stomach, pouring out a biiiig cup of coffee, and setting up shop at the computer to crank out those first (dreadful) 1,667 words. If not, you're lucky! You'll probably sleep this November! Except then you'll remember that it's already November, which means that October is over, which means that it's almost December, which means it is almost 2015, which means we are living in the god damn FUTURE and soon cars will fly and aliens will come and it's all one step closer to DEATH, my friends.

Happy Saturday?

Ahem. So. Books happened, and these were them:

Friday, October 31, 2014

Looking Forward: November

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 October (HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEN), here are the November releases most tempting me:

"My ungodly book speaks to you."

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blogger Trick or Treat: Spooky Reads

It's that time of year again! The time for candy and ghosts and me looking warily behind me and sleeping with the lights on because I'm a big ole scaredy cat. Like I said in my bookish costumes post, my idea of a Halloween movie is Hocus Pocus or Halloweentown. I have a bit more tolerance for spooky books, however, so this Halloween, I'm totally going to myself to get a bit more creeptastic in my reads.

(This is also the time of year for Great Imaginations Blogger Trick or Treat! I love those girls and was so pleased when they asked me to be a part of the hop. For more information, check out their intro post here, and keep your eye out for their giveaway!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Top Ten Characters I Want to Be for Halloween

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I looooove dressing up for Halloween... in theory. Truth be told, I'm more of a "Let's stay in and watch Hocus Pocus and all four Halloweentowns while binging on candy and wine while wearing pajamas!" kind of girl on Halloween night, but if was forced to leave my hermit hole and dress up, I'd definitely choose to channel the following bookish heroines:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Atlantia by Ally Condie

Review: Atlantia by Ally Condie
Release date: October 28th, 2014
Publisher: Dutton (Penguin)
Series: No
Length: 368 pages
Source: ARC from the publisher


Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

Upfront: this book isn't about mermaids. It's about an underwater city called Atlantia, a city of humans who live beneath domes far below the sea, away from the polluted surface. It's a blend of sci-fi and fantasy, with a focus on sister relationships and hiding one's true nature.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Review: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
Release date: October 6th, 2009
Publisher: Hyperion
Series: Yes, #1 in the Seven Realms series
Length: 506 pages
Source: Purchased
Rating: Demon King? More like DeMAZING King! (Demonazing? Demonzing?)


Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can't sell—the thick silver cuffs he's worn since birth. They're clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her—including marriage to a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for.

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.

You know what's a really fun thing to do if you have bookish friends? Read one of their favorite series in total secrecy and then surprise them by delivering a rave review! Bonus points if they've been yelling at you to read that book for months! The Demon King, first in Cinda Williams Chima's classic Seven Realms quartet, is everything I love in fantasy (minus shippy, but I KNOW that's coming in later books). If you're a high fantasy fan but haven't yet started this series, GET THEE TO A LIBRARY OR BOOKSTORE, because this is gooood stuffs, yo.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Book Haul, or the One Where the Slump is Straightened

I finished a book for the first time in a week! I hope it means I'm out of my reading slump and that my blogging will no longer be affected by various less than stellar world happenings. But lovely books in my mailbox always help :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

When Your Mood Interferes with Your Reading (and How to Fix It)

Hiiii, it's me, grumpy guts again. I'm still very much in need of coffee and comfort reads, as outlined in my last post, and without delving into too many details about why (I mean, you know why), I'll just come out and say: I'm in a reading rut and a blogging slum. I've fallen and I can't get up. And that happens! Blogging is the kind of hobby that draws so much from you, relying on that endless well of fangirlishness energy deeeep insiiide your fangirl sooooul. Like any form of writing, it comes from your brain and heart, and--surprise!--your brain and heart are part of you. So when YOU are affected by something, your writing gets affected.

I haven't been able to muster the energy to write any posts this week (besides this one. Um. Obviously). I noodled a bit with some reviews, but they were do depressingly limp that I just couldn't bring myself to hit "post". So I thought, fine. A blogging break may be just what the doctor ordered. It'll five me a chance to catch up on my reading.

TROLOLOLOL. Yeah... no.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Coffee and Comfort Reads

This weekend, a tremendously craptastic, downright terrifying thing happen thing to a friend of mine that affected the entire blogging community. I debated writing my own post about and the author who instigiated it and my friend who was harassed and intimidated and stalked, but I didn't for several reasons. One, other blogs and bloggers wrote really excellent write-ups about the facts (here, and here, here, and here) and the feels (here and here) of the case. Two, I'm just tired and heart-sad, to be honest. I'm filled with righteous anger, and I'll be tweeting righteously and angrily for weeks and months to come, but I hit a point on Sunday where I just got tired and needed solace.

So I turned to coffee and comfort reads.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Disappointments, DNFs and Try-Again-Laters

October has, so far, been a month of really excellent reads for me, but of course it can't always be smooth reading. Here are some of the books that didn't live up to my expectations, that I had to give up on, and that I had to put defer to a rainy day.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Reasons to Read: Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Review: Every Breath by Ellie Marney
Release date: October 14th, 2014
Publisher: Tundra
Length: 352 pages
Source: Purchased and ever so worth it
Rating: Sobbing because I want to marry this book and have its book babies


When James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects to find is the mutilated body of Homeless Dave, one of Mycroft's numerous eccentric friends. But Mycroft's passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn't right--and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.

While Watts battles her attraction to bad-boy Mycroft, he's busy getting himself expelled and clashing with the police, becoming murder suspect number one. When Watts and Mycroft unknowingly reveal too much to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den--literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning to Rachel Watts again...

Ten Important Reasons Why You--Yes, You, Right There--Should Read Every Breath by Ellie Marney: