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:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This list applies only to places I haven't been. I'm a lucky girl, and I've done a ton of traveling in my life. I've been to over 35 countries and 5 continents (I'm coming for you one day, Australia), so that definitely narrowed my list a bit, but the world (especially the fictional) is OVERRUN with beeyootiful places I'd like to see one day.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Release date: October 21st, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
Series: Yes, #3 in The Raven Cycle
Length: 460 pages
Source: eARC via Netgalley
Rating:  One does not simply try to apply a rating to a Raven Cycle book


There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

This is a spoiler-free review for the series and will mostly just be me flailing all over the place about how much I BLOODY FREAKING LOVE The Raven Cycle.

I'm a girl with a lot of fictional obsessions. There is no shortage of worlds and characters who drive me to all-caps distraction. It's easy to get me riled up about ships and boys and character dynamics and plot twists that rip out my heart. But The Raven Cycle--Maggie Stiefvater's glorious, dreamy, magical, heart-exploding creation--a scintillating, slow-paced, supernatural series of soul-crushing splendor--makes me go legitimately and fully rabid.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Review: Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Review: Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
Release date: November 13th, 2008
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Series: Yes, #3 in the Vampire Academy series
Length: 460 pages
Source: Purchased
Rating: Can't talk too busy binge-reading the world around me has vanished


It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She's having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all... might be seeing ghosts.

As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose's forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line - and choose between the two people she loves most.

My review of Frostbite

*peers back through the fog of time* I loved Frostbite so much that I binge read the entire Vampire Academy series in the space of a few days, which means they all sort of blur in my head in much the same way the events that occur while you're being fed on by a Strigoi or a Moroi do. I legit had to go to the Shadow Kiss Wikipedia page and glance at the summary so I could be like, "OH, RIGHT, THIS IS THE BOOK WHERE *SPOILER* HAPPENS!" So while this might not be the most detailed review, because ummmm I've already begun binge-reading the Bloodlines series so my head is basically a stew of Richelle Mead books right now. BUT THE FEELS WILL BE THERE.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Weasley Twin Syndrome: How Making Me Laugh = Making Me Love

I'm not a very serious person. That's not to say I don't have my moments, but I'm definitely the girl who makes awkward jokes in bad situations and starts to pun when she's nervous (I'm a smooth date, let me tell you). This is why I always seem to love the books and characters that make me laugh the most.
Dontcha know everyone wants to lauuuugh

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Double Review: Stitching Snow Like Ashes

There's no real logic in putting these two half-reviews together, other than the fact that I read them back to back and the titles link together ever so nicely!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Review: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Review: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
Release date: October 21st, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: No
Length: 336 pages
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss
Rating: A Southern Gothic fairytale with gorgeous writing and a creepy, atmospheric setting. LOVE.

It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp -- the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance -- and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.

 The thing about me and Harper books lately is that you never really know which book in the crop is going to be one of the magic books. For me, they tend to be the less-hyped, more experimental, refreshingly off-center ones. And Beware the Wild is magic, plain and simple.

We have an uncanny ability to keep secrets where anyone else can see them in Sticks, Louisiana.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Book Haul, or the One Where I Give in to Temptation

I accidentally took a wee blogging break this week, mostly Because I was super busy and had fallen BADLY behind on my reading. I'm on vacation right now, which means the books are getting read and the blog is getting back to business.

Harper dumped a bunch of e-galleys on Edelweiss this week. Most of them were sequels to series I hadn't started yet, but two of them... well, they were sequels to series I really ought to quit, morally, ethically, and intellectually. Let's call them Gillian snark bait, shall we? Because I am a truly terrible human, I couldn't resist one of the snark bait series enders, but because I am perhaps making a smidgen of life progress, I did (sort of*) resist the other. HUZZAH!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Two Year Blogoversary: My Blog's a Toddler!

YOU READ THAT RIGHT. It's my second blogoversary! I have been book blogging, all-caps shipping, and unapologetically giffing for two whole years!

Technically, my two year blogoversary was in September, but September was a whirlwind of BOOKS and PUMPKIN SPICE and LIFE STUFFS, and before I knew it, September had evaporated and we were suddenly spinning into October.