Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes | Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday bannerWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Stats:

Title: Frozen Tides
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult- Fantasy
Release Date: December 15, 2015

synopsis (from Goodreads):

WARNING! SPOILERS FOR EARLIER BOOKS IN SERIES!

Rebels, royals, and monsters wage war over the Mytican throne in the shocking fourth book of the Falling Kingdoms series, from New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes.

CLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen.

MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.

LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.

JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.

KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.

my thoughts:

Everyone probably knows my obsession with the series by now. It’s been far too long since I’ve seen my Falling Kingdoms babies and I cannot wait to get back to them.

Samantha Signature

Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler | Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday bannerWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Stats:

Title: Just Visiting
Author: Dahlia Adler
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Genre: Young Adult- Contemporary
Release Date: November 17, 2015

synopsis (from Goodreads):

Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas.

Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn’t go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won’t stand out for being Mexican.

One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective… only to learn she’s set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants… only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they’ve sworn to leave.

As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don’t know about each other’s pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they’ll have to decide whether their friendship has a future.

my thoughts:

I follow Dahlia on twitter and absolutely adore her. She is so outspoken about diversity in books, and is sure to include diverse characters in her books. I also love books that focus on female friendships, and this looks like it will fit the bill!

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Wishes I’d Ask the Book Genie to Grant Me | Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 tuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is wishes we’d want the book genie to grant us.

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10. a new book from kristin cashore

Kristin Cashore wrote The Graceling Realm Trilogy, one of my favorite young adult fantasy series of all time. But I haven’t heard of any new books coming out by her and I NEED MORE!

9. a passport to book worlds

I want to be able to vacation in my favorite fictional worlds. I don’t really want to live there but I want to come and go as I please. I want to visit Hogwarts. I want to hang out in Ravka. I want to go to a day spa in Rivendell. These are my dreams.

8. The power to tell if I will enjoy a book before i read it

We as readers become pretty good at predicting this, and goodreads helps, but sometimes I just want to know if I’m wasting my time and my money BEFORE I pick up a book. With certainty. Because sometimes I only have a limited amount of free time and I want to spend that free time reading good books.

7. “fix” the endings of some books, just for me

I want to change some things about some books. But I don’t want to ruin an ending for anyone else if that’s something they loved. So I want the power for certain things to become canon, just for me.

6. the willpower to DNF

I have made a video about how I rarely can bring myself to DNF books. BUT I WANT THIS ELLUSIVE MAGIC!

5. the power to cover swap some of the ugly covers on books, or to veto cover changes mid series

We all know it sucks. We all want to change it.

4. A new book from erin morgenstern

Ok, I know I already used a similar wish but I was never told no repeats and this one is really worth it. I LOVE The Night Circus, but Erin has been working on her second book for a long time (which I know in the back of my mind is a good thing) BUT I WANT IT NOW! *grabby hands*

3. veto abilities on movie adaptations

I know nothing about film making, so I don’t want to take over, but I want the ability to say “nope, that’s stupid. Keep that the way it was YOU HEATHENS.”

2. E-book downloads when i purchase physical copies of books

Honestly, why isn’t this a thing already?

1. outlawing instalove

I will gladly give up the rest of my wishes to only have this one fulfilled. Seriously.

What would you ask the book genie for?

Samantha Signature

Entwined by Heather Dixon | Review

Stats:

Title: Entwined
Author: Heather Dixon
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, 2011
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy of Manners
Page Count: 472
My Rating: 3 stars
Where to Purchase: Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes and Noble

Synopsis (from goodreads):

Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it’s taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

my thoughts:

This book had been sitting on my shelf for years, so I decided to listen to it on audiobook since I couldn’t motivate myself to pick up the physical copy.

As far as the audiobook, I felt that the narrator was perfect for this book. She managed to create different voices for each of the sisters so I could kind of keep track of their ages, which was helpful as we have a lot of sisters to keep track of. Even with the engaging narrator, I still struggled to connect to this book. I felt that it was too long, and dragged on. The first half of the book was especially slow, and left me thinking “so what?” The characters were especially irritating and immature in the first half. Seriously, all they cared about was dancing. I have noticed that Dixon tends to write YA that leans younger (as she did with Illusionarium), and that was true for this book as well.

I felt that the last part of the book picked up some. We finally got to see the big conflict of the book happen, which had been building up all through the first half. We also got to see some maturity from our characters, and more of a focus on the familial relationships, which I enjoyed.

Overall, I’m glad I listened to this on audiobook, because I do not think I ever would have devoted the time to the physical copy. While I ended up enjoying some elements, I thought the book was overall too long, and I wasn’t very attached to the story or characters.

Do you have any fantasy of manners that you enjoy?

Samantha Signature

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi | Review

Stats:

Title: Old Man’s War
Author: John Scalzi
Publisher: Tor, 2007
Genre: Adult – Science Fiction
Page Count: 362
My Rating: 4 stars
Where to Purchase: Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes and Noble

Synopsis (from goodreads):

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce– and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity’s resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you’ll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.

John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine–and what he will become is far stranger.

my thoughts:

Old Man’s War starts off with an interesting premise: a military that is so mysterious that even it’s enlistees have no idea what they are truly signing up for, even though they are all at retirement age. From it’s start, this book had me intrigued.

I enjoyed the world that Scalzi set up. He creates a science fiction future that seems plausible. The “science” speak doesn’t drone on for too long, and allows readers new to the genre to get a feel for those elements. As this is a multiple book series, there is obviously a lot to still be discovered in this universe, but he provided the groundwork for that in book one and I didn’t feel the universe was lacking. A word of warning to the squeamish, Scalzi does not hold back in his descriptions of gross aliens or death in war. Although I’m not particularly bothered by gore, I did find myself skimming those parts because I just didn’t want to know.

The characters were what really made this story for me. John Perry and the friends he makes once he enlists are all likable, yet flawed. Their camaraderie has the reader feeling for them, even when we don’t know a ton about them. I felt for them; their struggles, their successes, and their losses.

The plot was engaging as well. I did find that I preferred the first half of the book to the second half, pacing wise, as the second half took off and didn’t stop until the end. With that being said, it did set up the future of the series nicely. I plan on continuing with this series.

Have you read any Scalzi? Which of his books is your favorite?

Samantha Signature

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray | Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday bannerWaiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Stats:

Title: Ten Thousand Skies Above You
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult- SciFi
Release Date: November 3, 2015

synopsis (From goodreads):

WARNING: SPOILERS! This is the second book in the series.

Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

my thoughts:

I highly enjoyed the first book in the series, A Thousand Pieces of You, when it was released last year. The science fiction was easy enough to follow, it involved parallel worlds, and the romance was full of angst. I really can’t ask for anything more. And this synopsis promises more of the same.

Samantha Signature