Monday, September 29, 2014

Looking Forward: October

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 (second to) last day in September, here are the October releases most tempting me:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Review + Giveaway: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

Review: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry
Release date: September 23rd, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook (Macmillan)
Series: NO, ALAS
Length: 368 pages
Source: Print ARC from the publisher
Rating: A delicious and delightful comedy of manners and murder


There's a murderer on the loose—but that doesn't stop the girls of St. Etheldreda's from attempting to hide the death of their headmistress in this rollicking farce.

The students of St. Etheldreda's School for Girls face a bothersome dilemma. Their irascible headmistress, Mrs. Plackett, and her surly brother, Mr. Godding, have been most inconveniently poisoned at Sunday dinner. Now the school will almost certainly be closed and the girls sent home—unless these seven very proper young ladies can hide the murders and convince their neighbors that nothing is wrong.

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is a smart, hilarious Victorian romp, full of outrageous plot twists, mistaken identities, and mysterious happenings.

I simply adored this book. I giggled, squealed, and swooned throughout the entire madcap adventure. It is Victorian farce at its finest, full of dastardly deeds, sisterhood, pluck, sass, and cyanide. In other words, it is utterly, enchantingly delicious.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

That Time I Moderated a Sarah J Maas, Robin Benway, and Nina Berry Event + Giveaway!

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Sarah J Maas, Nina Berry, MEEEEE!, and Robin Benway. Photo courtesy of Lizzy Mason
On Saturday, September 13th, I checked something major off my life bucket list: moderating an author even. Not just any author event, either, but a signing for one of my favorite authors that just happened to include two other authors whose books I admire enormously. That's right. On Saturday, September 13th (henceforth known as the holiest of days), I had the chance to meet, hang out with, and chat with Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author of the Trhone of Glass series and bearer of supernaturally beautiful hair; Nina Berry, enviably tall author of Otherkin and the upcoming The Notorious Pagan Jones; and Robin Benway, super cool author of Audrey, Wait!, Also Known As, and Going Rogue.

At least, I think I did. Honestly, if it weren't for the above photo evidence, I might think I hallucinated the whole thing in some sort of wish fulfillment fugue state. But I didn't! And here's the recap to prove it:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas
Release date: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper)
Series: Yes, #2 in the Elemental Trilogy
Length: 414 pages
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss

After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny--especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies--and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.

THIS BOOK. THIS BOOOOOK. The Perilous Sea has earned a spot among fabulous fantasy follow-ups Crown of Midnight, Siege and Storm, and The Crown of Embers as sequels that are SO DAMN GOOD that they throw an entire series into a whole new light. I really loved the Burning Sky and shipped the ship like... well, burning. But The Perilous Sea is a MASTERPIECE. It is an agonizing, heart-exploding roller coaster ride of loops and twists and ratcheting tension, and when it all builds to a crescendo at the very end, the results are breathtaking.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Book Haul, or the One with All the FLAILING

OOPS. It's been quite a long time since I posted a haul because lazy/forgetful/LOTS OF BOOKS HAPPENED. Because I recently reorganized my huge book stacks, I can't remember which books are new and which aren't, so it's all a big mess. Whatever. Here are some of the books I've gotten lately!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: Jackaby by William Ritter

Review: Jackaby by William Ritter
Release date: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Algonquin
Series: Yes? I think? Pretty sure there will be a sequel
Source: print ARC from BEA14
Length: 368 pages
Rating: I somewhat enjoyed this, but it cleaved a bit too closely to stories I've experienced before.


Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion--and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

Jackaby was one my most anticipated reads of the fall because it's pitched as a mashup between two of my favorite shows: Doctor Who and Sherlock. Unfortunately, though Jackaby has a delightful sense of humor and sparkling prose, it almost feels too much like the aforementioned shows, like highbrow fanfiction. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: Made for You by Melissa Marr

Review: Made for You by Melissa Marr
Release date: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: No
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss/print ARC from BEA14
Length: 368 pages
Rating: An enjoyable, quite creepy thriller that could have been more impactful.

Made for You - Melissa Marr

Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.

I'm not sure what to make of this one. Overall, I definitely liked it. Is it a Gothic, racy thriller? No. Is it creepy as all hell and a pretty engrossing read? Yep. In the end, I definitely liked Made for You, but it had a few hiccups that kept it from being as truly wow-worthy as it could have been.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The YA Sorting Hat: Book Boyfriends Edition

Last time on The Sorting Hat: YA Heroines Edition 

It's been nearly a year since I put on my YA Sorting Hat, but since today is Ravenclaw Pride day--and I, of course, am a proud Ravenclaw--I thought I'd dust the old hat off and get it to sort some book boyfriends for us! I was very tempted to call this post "male heroines", for gender-equality reasons, so... you know what, let's pretend I did that. Step right up, bookish boyfriends, and try the hat on. Don't be shy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Authors I've Only Read One Book from but Need to Read More of

It's been a long time since I've done a TTT! My criteria for this one was that every author had to have at least two books released, so no debuts, because then we'd be here all day.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Things have been suuuuuper busy (which is code for, um... I've read eight Richelle Mead books in the past week and a half? Sorry not sorry? VAMPIRE ACADEMY TOOK OVER MY LIFE OKAY) so not much blogging has occured. I've been too distracted by the Adrian fictional. Plus I moderated my first author event on Saturday! It was Sarah J Maas' last stop on her tour, and I got to chat and hang out with her, Robin Benway, and Nina Berry. It was all different kinds of awesome, and I'll do a post about it hopefully tomorrow.

In the meantime... let's talk about the unfortunate books that fell victim to my VA and Bloodlines binge read/mania/blind addiction! Poor unfortunate books. Perhaps in another point in my life, I could have finished you.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Review: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Review: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Release date: September 9th, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
Series: Yes, #1 in the Magisterium series
Source: ARC from BEA14
Rating: A fun middle grade with a great twist and characters, though a sagging middle and derivative aspects try to ruin the party.


From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic.

From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will -- is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It's a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil.

I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I did enjoy this. It's not without its flaws (pacing and deriviate aspects, mostly), but overall, reading The Iron Trial was a positive reading experience, and the whopper of a twist at the end makes me excited for the books to come.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When Everyone Loves a Book but You

This may be weird, but I struggle with being the NEGATIVE black sheep more than I do being the positive one. Don't get me wrong; when people hate on books I love, I want to crawl under my blanket and weep off my eyeliner and shriek, "LEAVE BOOK-EY ALONE!" because obviously those meanies are not worthy of the precious and wouldn't know genius if I bashed them in the face with it. Or... something less unhinged.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorn Stories by Rae Carson

Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories by Rae Carson
Release date: August 26th, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow (Harper)
Series: Yes, #0.5-0.7 in the Fire and Thorns series
Source: Purchased
Length: 288 pages
Rating: HECTORRRR!!! And some other people.

A paperback edition of three novellas set within the world of the New York Times bestselling Girl of Fire and Thorns series, previously available only digitally: The Shadow Cats, The Shattered Mountain, and The King’s Guard. 

The Shadow Cats is told from the perspective of Elisa’s older sister. Discover how their sibling rivalry looks from Alodia’s viewpoint, and find out why Alodia agrees to marry her sister off to King Alejandro of Joya de Arena.

The Shattered Mountain revolves around Elisa’s best friend and handmaiden, Mara. Before she meets Elisa at the rebel camp in The Girl of Fire and Thorns, she suffers her own tragedy. Her village is destroyed and she must lead the few young survivors to safety.

The King’s Guard centers on Hector, Commander of the Royal Guard and Elisa’s true love. Set years before The Girl of Fire and Thorns, it shows us fifteen-year-old Hector as a new recruit. He must prove himself—and he discovers a secret he must keep forever.

My reviews of The Girl of Fire and Thorns | The Crown of Embers | The Bitter Kingdom

This little bind-up of three novellas set in the same world as Rae Carson's The Girl of Fire and Thorns is short and sweet, so that's how this is going to be. I love this fantasy series so much, and although these novellas didn't quite satisfy the hole left behind by that series closure (seriously why can't we have a novella of Hector and Elis TOGETHER PLEASE), there's no doubt that Carson is a total fantasy master. Oh, and I do think these novellas are best read AFTER reading the rest of the series. I think they'll mean more, and if you read these first, you'll be confused about the worldbuilding, since I think Carson is operating under the assumption that the reader has as least read The Girl of Fire and Thorns first.

Let's break it down by novella:

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review: Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Review: Frostbite by Richelle Mead
Release date: April 10th, 2008
Publisher: Razorbill
Series: Yes, #2 in the Vampire Academy series
Source: Purchased
Length: 327 pages
Rating: Man, I'm loving this book so much! Rose is so bad ass, and Dimitri is hot, and oooh hello Adrian, and I'm laugh---!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PAAAAAAAAIN!!!!!


Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose...

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks... This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price...

My review of book one, Vampire Academy


27 GIFs Of Taylor Swift Dancing Awkwardly In Her New Music Video
I admit that I have a terrible personality flaw, and it's that sometimes, I can be the worst hipster. It's been a long journey for me from the classic-reading snobby teenager I was to the adult who shrieks about ships on the internet and proudly draws fan art. Vampire Academy was an unfortunate casualty of my hipster snob years where I wasn't so into vampires or love triangles or things that were suuuper popular. (The Hunger Games OBVIOUSLY super did not count for reasons Hipster Snobby Gillian probably could not explain with logic.)

Basically? I'm an idiot, and this series rocks.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fall into Belzhar

I don't do tons of blog tours at Writer of Wrongs. Don't get me wrong; I love blog tours and have loved all the ones I've done in the past, especially the ones for books I am SUPER DUPER obsessed with. So you know that if I'm taking part on the incredible interactive online campaign for Belzhar, it's for a good reason. And that's because this campaign is all about being creative, and I cannot resist an opportunity to get creative. (Seriously, I miss the days when homework was to draw pictures instead of do math problems.)

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!