Anticipated Releases: April to June 2017

Hello friends! My school term is finally over, except for exams, which means that I should (hopefully) be coming off of my hiatus now! Huzzah!

Today’s post is all about my most anticipated released coming out over the next three months. I did one on books released in January to March, as well, if you’d like to check that out! Once again, this post is in order of release, not in order of my favourites, just for more ease of writing (and because I can’t make up my mind…)

1. Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (May 2nd, 2017)

Noteworthy

Description:

It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which—in the musical theatre world—is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight.

Then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped … revered … all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

Riley Redgate is one of those people I wish I could be best friends with – seriously, on Twitter she’s absolutely hilarious and relatable. She wrote one of my favourite contemporaries, Seven Ways We Lie, so of course when I heard that she had a second book coming out, I added it on Goodreads right away. The premise just sounds so fun, and I’ve seen great reviews from other people with ARCs, so saying “I’m ecstatic” is probably an understatement.

 

2. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (May 2nd, 2017)

Always and Forever.jpg

Description:

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

I’ll admit, I haven’t read P.S. I Still Love You yet. But that’s not going to stop me from being excited for this final instalment of the TATBILB series. The covers are g o r g e o u s, and I definitely see a lot of myself in Lara Jean, so of course I want to keep up with her!

 

3. Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh (May 16th, 2017)

Flame in the Mist

Description:

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

This is another instance of me wanting to auto-buy a book because of the author. If you read my post about my favourite reads of 2016, you’ll know that Ahdieh’s The Wrath & the Dawn duology made it to the very top. I’m in love with Ahdieh’s vibrant writing, and I cannot wait to read a new adventure from her!

 

4. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (May 30th, 2017)

Dimple

Description:

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book for months – I had wanted to add it to my last Anticipated list, except I was bummed to find out that it wasn’t coming out until May! But the release date is drawing closer, and I can’t wait to get my dusty library hands on this book.

 

5. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo (May 30th, 2017)

I Believe

Description: 

Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends.

So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study.

Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

Okay, this just sounds really adorable, and I like a good, adorable love story. The cover is eye-catching with the colour contrast, and I hear the father-daughter relationship is good n’ strong which makes my heart swell. So ready for this.

 


 

So, it turns out that all of my anticipated released for the next three months are all coming out in one month… oh boy…

Did I miss any of your faves? Leave them in a comment down below and remind me of all the other awesome books that are coming out in April, May, and June!

Have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and thank you for reading ❤

~ Becca

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Book Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands

Publisher: Viking Books

Date of Publication: March 8th, 2016

Dates Read: January 19th – March 16, 2017

Description:

She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him… or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

Buy It From: Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Edit: I have since learned that this book uses negative stereotypes and has hurt people. I encourage you to check out Fadwa of Word Wonders’s review, which discusses the problems with this book.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. First of all, I must say that I kinda like this whole Western-meets-fantasy vibe that the book’s got going on. It was pretty unique to me, and it made for an interesting, wide world.

So yeah, the world building was pretty neat.

I also really liked our main characters, Amani and Jin. Amani is snarky, independent, but wholly human. She is not perfect, though her shooting is, and when she messes up she acknowledges it, even if only to herself. Jin is swoon-worthy but he’s also got his own personalities and characteristics, his own story, so he’s much more than just the love interest. Together they make a great duo, between their banter, planning, and cooperation.

I did find that I was a bit confused by what was happening in the beginning, but soon enough I was on board for the ride. There were some small but effective twists and turns to keep the story interesting and not easy for the main characters, but there was always enough hope in the story to keep me reading. Of course, the sexism in some cities was infuriating, but Amani and all the other kick-butt ladies in this book surely proved all those men wrong. I’m excited to read and learn more about these wonderful ladies in the next book!

With all of these great aspects, though, it did lose one star. There did seem to be an awful lot of characters, and while they were all really interesting, it was hard to keep track of them. In addition, there was a point where 2 months passed between two paragraphs. I wish those 2 months had been expanded upon, had more detail written about them. I would have liked to have seen Jin & Amani get closer, to see their relationship develop instead of it just happening between the lines. It could also be hard to imagine the layout of the world, and I think a map would be nice, especially for people like me who are geographically challenged.

And I will wholly admit that this is another book where the girl is secretly special but doesn’t know it, even though she’s so strange compared to the people in her town. Where she meets a boy and eventually because of him finds out what makes her special. If you’re tired of those stories, this book might not be for you. In this case, I think Hamilton’s writing won me over enough for me to overlook some of the clichés. Seriously, her writing was lovely and really vibrant and descriptive.

Overall: A fun read with beautiful descriptions and interesting world. 

 

Book Review: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

ever-the-hunted

Publisher: HMH Books

Date of Publication: December 27th, 2016

Dates Read: January 27th to March 8th, 2017

Description:

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

Buy It From: Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Note: I received an ebook copy of this book from HMH Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: ★★★☆☆

Real rating: 2.5 stars.

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for so long, so when I got accepted to read it on NetGalley I was ecstatic! Unfortunately, school and work and life in general got busy, so I was only able to finish it 3 months after its release – sorry. Better late than never, though, right?

Anyway, back to the review!

I want to start by saying that the description of this book is kind of misleading. A lot of the issues described are tackled early on, leaving the reader in uncharted territory for a good portion of the book. It’s not a good thing or a bad thing, per se, but I think it’s something readers should keep in mind.

One of the things I liked about Ever the Hunted was the descriptions – they were vibrant and vivid, making me feel like I was actually in Britta’s body, seeing the world through her eyes. I also really liked the magical elements of this book! How it was obtained (trying not to be spoiler-y here) was kind of neat and different, at least to me. I almost wish we had seen each type of magic being practiced, just to see them all used to their full extent.

I don’t know how to describe it without spoiling it, but I like what Summerill did between the “big reveal” and the actual ending. Having that happen was a good choice, even if it meant that something bad had to happen to one of my faves…

Look, the writing was generally great, and I was excited by the idea of this story. It was entertaining enough, but unfortunately I found quite a few problems with the execution.

First of all, I’m sorry to say that I did not find myself liking Britta very much. She was super whiney and annoying. I also feel like her priorities were kind of skewed – for a girl who was supposed to be finding her father’s murderer, she spent an awful long time groaning about her childhood best friend not being in love with her. Oh, and she’s supposed to be this ~amazing~ tracker and hunter, but she tends to miss a lot of details pertaining to tracking. I just never warmed up to her throughout the entire book. I also feel like there wasn’t any character development besides the… well, you know, and that’s not the kind of character development I’m talking about.

Another character I never warmed up to: Cohen. I didn’t like him the moment we were introduced to him, and I didn’t like him at the end. He just seemed like a cardboard cutout, a replica of the average love interest – muscular, hot, snarky, overprotective of the main character. Normally these characteristics wouldn’t bother me if they weren’t the only words I could think of using to describe him – and if they didn’t describe so many other love interests. He also says something near the end that kind of irks me, but anyway. Again, little development of his character throughout the story.

Basically, I liked Enat and Leif more than I liked the main characters.

Next, and the biggest problem I had: way too much focus on the romance. Listen, if you know me, you know I love a good love story. And most of the time I enjoy adventure books with romantic subplots. But the romantic aspect was overpowering in this story; it was supposed to be about Britta avenging her father’s death and finding his murderer, yet most of the pages were spent on Britta’s attraction to (obsession with?) Cohen. His ~wonderful~ scent (don’t get me started on how bad he’d actually smell after days without a bath) and bulging muscles were mentioned waaaaaay too often for my liking. And THE ANGST… the angst was probably the worst bit of this, to be honest. Does he like her? Does he not? Is he going to kiss her? It seemed endless when it was pretty clear how he felt about her, and it really got on my nerves. I wanted to move on from the angst in the beginning, but, to my displeasure, it continued.

I’m also kind of confused about why Malam and Shaerdan hated each other, and I just wish there had been more time spent on the history of these kingdoms, and clear explanations for why they were going to war.

OH, and I 100% knew who the murderer was about 15% of the way through. I was not surprised at all by the big reveal at the end. On top of that, I really don’t understand the cliffhanger.

Overall: While I enjoyed some aspects of this story, too much time was spent on cliches and romance, not enough on developing characters and setting.