Sequels I Haven’t Yet Read (3/3)

Happy Friday, readers! Today I end my unread sequel series with series that I have read multiple books from, but have more to read – aka, series I’m seriously behind on.

1. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Falling Kingdoms

Falling Kingdoms became an instant favourite of mine when I first read it years ago. I was able to keep up with the books for a while, but at the moment I am one book behind, with the final book in the series releasing sometime next year. Here’s hoping that I will be able to get to Crystal Storm before 2018!

2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

throne-of-glass

Like a lot of other people, I was hooked on this series for a long time. More recently, however, I have fallen 2 books behind: still have yet to read Queen of Shadows and Empire of Storms. While I gave each book at least 4 stars, lately I haven’t felt like continuing on with the series. I am still not sure when I will get to the rest of these books, or if I ever will. I guess it will all depend on what I feel like reading.

3. The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection

The Selection has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, and I managed to get to the end of America’s storyline before I stopped reading the series. It wasn’t intentional – I bought Eadlyn’s books, as well, but I just haven’t gotten around to reading them. They’re not necessarily a priority of mine right now, so when I will actually get around to reading them is questionable. I definitely do want to continue on, though.

4. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter 1

I know, blasphemy. For some reason while all of my friends were off reading Harry Potter, I was reading Captain Underpants, Dear Dumb Diary, and A Wrinkle In Time. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that my grandmother bought me the entire series, and just last year I read the second book. There are still 5 other books left to read, but if I’m being honest I don’t feel like I need to read them. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled too much by social media over the years – I basically already know all the important plot points.  I don’t know, I don’t have the same connection to them that everyone else seems to have.

5. House of Night by P. C. Cast and Kristen Cast

House of Night 1.jpg

I don’t even know where to begin with these books. My cousin introduced me to them in my mid teens, and while they were kind of enjoyable when I first read them, they lost their spark as I got older and read other, better books. I think I got up the fourth or fifth book before I decided to donate all of the copies I owned to a charity book sale. I think it’s safe to say that I do not intend on finishing this series.


That’s it for me today. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope that you all have a lovely weekend!

~Becca

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Sequels I Haven’t Yet Read (2/?)

Hello hello hello! Today’s unread sequel theme is “Series that I’m really far behind on”. By that, I mean I’ve only read the first book, and there are at least two others that I have yet to read.

1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

tatbilb

I’ve been meaning to get to the rest of this trilogy for a while, and I’ve even collected all of them, but I just have not gotten to them yet. I definitely want to finish this trilogy, and I’m hoping to do that by the end of this year! Lara Jean Song has a special place in my heart, mostly because, as I’ve said, I see a lot of myself in her.

2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen

I read Red Queen for a readathon a few years ago and I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I have not been able to read the next 2 books since then. I’m honestly a little scared to start reading it again because it has been so long, and I’ve probably forgotten everything. I may just have to reread Red Queen before taking on Glass Sword and King’s Cage.

3. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

snow-like-ashes

SLA is another book that I read a while ago, but I feel like I remember a bit more than I do of Red Queen. Just watch, though, when I finally pick up Ice Like Fire I’ll be staring at the page blankly, wondering what the heck is going on and who all these people are.

4. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

ATPOY

I haven’t even gotten around to buying the last book yet, let alone actually reading the rest of the series. This book was pretty good, though it had some flaws. I am not necessarily deterred from reading the rest, but if I’m being honest the rest of the Firebird trilogy is not at the top of my TBR pile right now.

5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

ACOTAR

What’s funny is that the sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury, arrived in my mail right around the same time that I finished this, so I really don’t have an excuse for having not read this second book. I’m going to be real for a second here: I don’t feel as attached to SJM’s books as I used to be, which is weird because I’ve given most, if not all, of them 4 stars and up. But that’s a tale for another time (another blog post?). And, no, I have not yet purchased A Court of Wings and Ruin.

6. Iron King by Julie Kagawa

irong-king

Okay there is a legitimate reason why I haven’t continued on with this series: I don’t like the main character. Meghan just drove me absolutely nuts, to the point where I had to stop reading the sequel, Iron Daughter, because I could not stand reading about her anymore. I had been buddy reading this book with someone, too, but I did not continue with it. I have the first 3 or 4 books (not quite sure how this series works) still, and I would still like to try reading it, but I may have just needed some time away from the character in order to continue on.


Have you experienced any of these feelings that I’ve described when reading or when in between books in a series? What series have you started but not finished?

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a great day!

~ Becca

Sequels I Haven’t (Yet) Read (1/?)

Hello readers, and happy Friday to you all!

I feel like I am the absolute worst when it comes to reading sequels. I may absolutely love the first book, but there are so many other books to read that I end up forgetting to read the follow-ups, even though I buy them. Sequels often sit on my shelf, staring me down in shame while I sleep. Honestly, the fact that this is part 1 of who knows how many posts should tell you just how bad I am at continuing series.

Anyway, today we’re going to start with 3 series I have yet to continue. Today’s theme is going to be “Books I gave 5 stars but whose sequels I haven’t gotten to”

1. Reboot by Amy Tintera

reboot-cover

My boyfriend gifted me the Reboot duology for our first Christmas together, and I read this first book very soon after. I clearly loved it, giving it 5 stars on Goodreads, and yet I still haven’t read its sequel, Rebel. I really cannot tell you why I haven’t picked it up yet – is it because I fell behind on my ARCs? Is it because I’m worried it will not be able to live up to the expectations set by the first book? Am I just way too worried about the characters? The honest answer is all of the above, probably.

2. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project

After I read this book I gave it to my grandmother to read. She ended up loving it so much that she bought me the sequel, The Rosie Effect. I started reading it, but I found myself getting really antsy when things started going wrong for the main character, and I grew so uncomfortable with the situation that I had to stop reading it. I get too emotionally invested, and sometimes that investment gets in the way of my reading. I’m not sure when I’ll pick up The Rosie Effect, but I’m sure my guilt will eventually force me to pick it back up.

3. The Gypsy King by Maureen Fergus

The Gypsy King

Clearly, I enjoyed this book enough to give it a 5-star rating when I read it in 2013. Once again I picked up the sequel, A Fool’s Errand, prepared to plough through it, but my emotions got the best of me and I had to stop reading it. I just got way too invested in the characters and became too concerned about how things were going to work out. It sounds really weird when I type it out, but I also wonder if it is now something I’ve outgrown. Maybe if I try reading it now I’ll actually be able to get through it!

4. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched Queen

The honest reason why I have not read A Crown of Wishes is that I got so overwhelmed by all the other ARCs I had to read that I fell into a slump. I had an ARC of ACOW, but ended up pre-ordering a finished copy so I could get the novella Night and Death and because I needed to have both of these pretty books on my shelf. I am hoping to be able to finally read it within the next month, but who knows at this point.

5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

crooked

I can’t even think of a reason for having not yet read Crooked Kingdom besides my endless TBR pile. I pre-ordered the SoC box set to get some pre-order swag, and I’ve taken plenty of photos of it on my bookstagram, but I never did when up reading it. I’ve managed to avoid most spoilers, thankfully, so hopefully it’ll still have the same force on me when I read it that Six of Crows had.


 

That’s about it for today, folks! Is anyone else as bad at reading sequels as I am, or am I alone in this?

Thank you so much for reading, and we’ll chat really soon!

~Becca

Anticipated Releases: July to September

Good morning everyone, and happy Monday to you all! Today I continue my Most Anticipated series by discussing five books that are being released during the next three months: July, August, and September! Once again, these are in order of release date, and not preference.

1. The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana – July 18th, 2017

TLOF

Description:

No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.

The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

I will admit that I fell really hard for this cover and title, but the story also kept me excited. It sounds like a wonderful, magical adventure, and I always need more of those in my life.

2. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo – August 29th, 2017

Warbringer

Description:

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Heck yES give this to me immediately – please? Hot on the heels of the widely-acclaimed Wonder Woman movie, this book sounds like it brings a story that I would also love to see on the big screen. A descendent of Helen of Troy? Lots of lady power? Sign me up!

3. Warcross by Marie Lu – September 12th, 2017

Warcross

Description

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

I’ve been meaning to get into more science fiction, and this book sounds right up my alley. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline was a wonderful introduction to videogame-based books, so naturally I’m stupidly excited to read another one. Maybe this will be another book I can share with my boyfriend, who also loved RPO!

4. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu – September 19th, 2017

Moxie

Description

MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with a school administration at her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!

I had seen this book here and there for a bit, but it was more recently that it made greater appearances on my timeline after a certain review site had some choice comments about it that many, many people did not agree with. Needless to say, I am now itching to get my hands on this book, and maybe pass it on to my younger cousin when I’m done so that we can bond over it.

5. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman – September 26th, 2017

Starfish

Description:

Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

From debut author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes a luminous, heartbreaking story of identity, family, and the beauty that emerges when we embrace our true selves.

It wasn’t until very recently that I heard about this book, but the cover and the description have me totally hooked. As a biracial person myself, any biracial rep makes me super excited, but I also feel like as soon as I read this book Kiko is going to become my little baby and I will want nothing but the best for her. I am ready for this book to pull my heartstrings.


 

What books are you excited for over the next 3 months? Which titles did I miss? Let me know in the comments!

As always, have a lovely day, and I’ll (hopefully) talk to you Wednesday! ❤

~ Becca

Ten Bookish Places I Want to Visit

It’s a big world that we live in, which means that there are a wide variety of shops and libraries to visit around the globe! Today I’ll be listing some of the places that I would love to visit, though this list is by no means exhaustive – I had to cut it down so I wouldn’t ramble on forever. As always, I welcome all suggestions for bookstores and libraries around the world that I should consider visiting – you may even introduce me to a new favourite!

Libraries

Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I remember seeing this Colosseum-like building when I went to Vancouver about seven years ago (yikes!), but had no idea what it actually was until now. The architecture is what makes this building really neat, although I’m sure it also holds many gems inside. You can find out more information on the Vancouver Public Library website, and see the building on their Flickr!

Biblioteca Vasconcelos in Mexico City, Mexico.

The images I’ve seen of this library make it seem like a floating city of books. It’s a very angular library, lots of straight edges and modern decor – well, except for the white whale skeleton, which looks tiny compared to the enormity of the library itself. According to Rebecca O’Connell at Mental Floss, in 2015 the library held about 470,000 books, but the shelves weren’t all that full back then, another testament to its grandeur. I bet it holds more tomes now than it did back then.

The Library of Admont Abbey in Austria

Admont Abbey
Inside the Library of Admont Abbey (photo from the Stift Admont website)

This library is the epitome of Baroque style, with ceiling frescoes, limewood carvings, gold accents, and white surfaces to optimize the light. According to their website, the library holds 70,000 books of the 200,000 owned by the abbey. There are no barriers, and apparently you can tour the space without a guide! If I ever get to go here, I might have a Belle a-la Beauty and the Beast moment.

Delft University of Technology Library in the Netherlands

 

What I really like about this building is that most of it is underground. Delft University of Technology’s library has a living roof (of grass), and a giant skylight that points into a cone above ground. The inside has a modern feel, which I’ve come to expect from the Netherlands, and lots of different rooms for students to study in. Find out more info on their website, and see pictures on their Flickr!

Biblioteca Joanina at the Universidade de Coimbra in Portugal

Biblioteca Joanina
Inside Biblioteca Joanina (photo from the Universidade de Coimbra website)

Built between 1717 and 1728, Biblioteca Joanina holds rare, old books that can only be accessed by researchers, though the library itself is open to visitation by the public. It’s quite opulent, to say the least, with teakwood doors, gold-guilded decorations, and oakwood shelves that they claim deter pests from ruining the collection. Plus, they’ve got bats to help further protect the collection! How cool is that? You can read more about this gorgeous library on the Universidade de Coimbra website!

 

Bookstores

The Strand Bookstore in Manhattan, New York, USA

The Strand is one of those bookstores that I hear a million and one people talk about. It’s one of those bookstores that I swear is on every American/Canadian bookworm’s bucket list. They buy and sell books in their huge facility, claiming to have “18 miles of books”. I think I heard about this store in Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, and ever since then I’ve wanted to visit it. Maybe next time I’m in New York, though I don’t know when that will be… Find out more about this shop from their website!

Owl’s Nest Bookstore in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

This cute used bookstore is nestled in Canada’s East Coast, and is a favourite of locals and visitors, alike. At first glance it doesn’t look like much, but they’ve managed to pack a lot of books in this small shop. I can definitely see myself spending a lot of time here, just browsing through all the shelves and finding some hidden gems. I really love exploring quaint bookstores. Check out their Facebook page for more info.

Ben McNally Books in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ben McNally
Inside Ben McNally Books (from the Ben McNally Books website)

The inside of this bookstore is full of wooden decor and cozy leather chairs to curl up in. The decor is gorgeous, extending to the elegant artwork on the ceilings. They say that their shelves are always changing, that the owner and workers are open to new suggestions and always ready to help readers find something new.

Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon

Powell’s is another one of those stores that I hear about on Twitter, and is in many of those “places you have to visit!” lists for bookworms. Settled in Portland, Oregon, it boasts the title of the largest new and used bookstore in the world – so, really, it’s no wonder that everyone seems to want to visit!

El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires, Argentina

This is another bookstore that ends up on many bookish bucket lists – and, obviously it’s on my list, so I can’t blame everyone for wanting to visit. Buzzfeed even wrote an article about it! This bookstore is a repurposed theatre, with seating and a cafe on the stage and stacks of books where the seating used to be. You can check out photographer Niels Micker’s photos of it on Flickr. Talk about Instagram-able!


 

Thank you for reading, and remember to leave your dream libraries and bookstores down below in the comments! Have a wonderful Monday ❤

~ Becca

March 2017 Wrap Up

Hello everyone! It is now officially April, and does anyone else think that March went by really quickly?

Today I am bringing you my very short March wrap up! As you may or may not have noticed, I accidentally went on a little unannounced hiatus because I lost a bit of control over my time management and homework, which is why this is going to be a baby of a post. Here’s hoping I stop doing that!

Books I Read:

Currently Reading:

  • Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton – I just started it, so there’s not much that I can say about it. I’m slowly working my way through the list of ARCs that I am immensely behind on.
  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – I’m also not very far into this one, and I haven’t read enough to form a great opinion.

Miscellaneous:

 


 

That’s it! Like I said, short and sweet. I apologize for disappearing, but I’m working on my time management skills right now, and hopefully that won’t happen again for a while. I guess it also helps that my term has ended! Ha!

I hope you all have a wonderful day, and expect another post from me on Wednesday. Thanks for sticking around!

~ Becca

 

 

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

Top 5 Favourite Reads of 2016

Good morning friends, and welcome to the middle of week 2 of 2017! How was the first week for you guys? I went back to school/work in the 2nd, which was pretty annoying, but c’est la guerre, I guess!

Today I’ve challenged myself to narrow my favourite reads of 2016 down to a top 5. I didn’t read too much last year, but there were a few books that really stood out to me. Breaking it down into a top 5 was pretty tricky, and even putting it in order of preference was difficult, so just take this as a loose list – except for the #1 spot, of course, because I feel very strongly about that choice.

(Note: Links to my reviews of each book will be attached to the headers!)

But first the honourable mentions!

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

lab-lost

Description:

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

With vivid descriptions, carefully crafted chapters, and the focus on family dynamics, Labyrinth Lost was a refreshing and fun read. The world building was strong and the magic was enthralling. If you’re looking for interesting stories with family and magical women, then you should definitely check this out!

 

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: a Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman

catches

Description:

Lia Lee was born in 1981 to a family of recent Hmong immigrants, and soon developed symptoms of epilepsy. By 1988 she was living at home but was brain dead after a tragic cycle of misunderstanding, over-medication, and culture clash: “What the doctors viewed as clinical efficiency the Hmong viewed as frosty arrogance.” 

This book seems pretty out of place here, and that’s because this isn’t a fictional book – this is an ethnography that I read for my sociocultural anthropology class, one that was a complete joy to read and write an essay on. Fadiman’s writing was humorous when it could be afforded, serious when it needed to be, but always engaging. It’s probably one of the best, most eye-opening class readings I’ve ever had.

 

And now onto the main attraction!

 

5. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched Queen

Description:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

This book contains gorgeous prose, expansive world building, and a ton of mystery that kept me reading to find out what was going on. Maya and Amar’s story had me swooning, although even Maya on her own was an absolute delight to read about. So yeah, please read this!

4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows

Description:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

This book was a thrill and a half, and I 100% understand the hype. In fact, I myself was so hyped when I finished it that I begged my cousin to read it. It’s adventurous and intense and you never really know what’s going to happen next or how they’re going to pull off this job. It’s definitely an edge-of-your-seat read!

3. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

radio-silence

Description:

What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.

But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.

Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.

It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.

I was thinking about this book long after I finished it. I could personally relate to a couple of the characters in Radio Silence, so it hit me pretty hard in that regard. This could totally be a book that high schools make their 12th graders read here, but at the very least I hope a lot of high school students get to read this and know that university is not the be-all and end-all – but, like the rest of the books in this list, all of my thoughts can be found in my reviews!

2. Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston

Exit Pursued

Description:

Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.

In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.

Let’s be real: Exit, Pursued by a Bear is a contemporary, but unfortunately it is not realistic to how life works. But, as E. K. Johnston has said before, it could be. It should be. This is a story of triumph when everyone expects the main character to fall down and fail. Hermione must take her destiny and reputation into her own hands after someone briefly rips that control from her grasp. This book wrenches your gut in all different directions and is the book that has brought me closest to tears. I didn’t expect to love it so much, but here I am, raving about it.

And now, the best book that I read in 2016 was…

Drumroll, please!

1. The Wrath and the Dawn / The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

Wrath Description:

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Okay, so I’m totally cheating by putting this duology in the place of just one book, but for those who have read it: can you really blame me? I don’t know if I can say enough good things about these books! The writing was gorgeous and vibrant, the love was swoon-worthy and heart-melting, the action was intense, the characters were wonderful. Honestly, I was screaming at the first book’s cliffhanger when I finished reading it and could not wait to get my hands on the sequel. I don’t think I’ve felt this many emotions, this strongly with any other books. If you haven’t read these books yet, I plead that you do – you (probably) won’t regret it.


There you have it, my favourite books of 2016! Did you enjoy any of these books? What were your favourites of the last year? Let me know in the comments!

As always, thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day, everyone! ❤

~Becca

 

Anticipated Releases: January to March 2017

Let me be real for a second here: I am absolutely horrible at keeping track of release dates for books. I mean, I’m not good at a lot of things, but I am exceptionally bad at remembering book birthdays. I’ll see people discussing books on Twitter and Instagram and think “oooh that one looks good!”, and then a couple of days later I’ll forget about it, even if I’ve added it on Goodreads.

With this in mind, in order to make posts like these I usually go through Indigo’s “Anticipated Releases” list, as well as a Goodreads list of this year’s 2017 YA releases, to remind myself of all the awesome books coming out. Because of this, I probably missed a couple of really good books – which I welcome you to mention in the comments below!

But anyway, enough about me, let’s get to the books! Note: I know the name of this post is “Top 5”, but these will actually be listed in order of release date, not by order of preference – you can’t make me choose a favourite, I’m excited for them all!!!

1. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard (February 7th)

kings-cage

Description:

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Admittedly, I still haven’t read Glass Sword yet, but I am hoping to get to it this year, and maybe King’s Cage on top of it, too. I’m pretty obsessed with this cover – I’m taking osteology classes, so the bones in this crown are right up my alley!

 

2. The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera (February 21st)

margot-sanchez

Description:

THINGS/PEOPLE MARGOT HATES:

Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
This supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot
Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts.

With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.

It was only recently that I saw this book pop up on my timeline, but I’ve heard some really good things about it from people who received ARCs. I’m also quite intrigued by the description, so hopefully my library gets this book in ASAP!

 

3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (February 28th)

hate

Description:

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.

I’ve been hearing great things about this book for months, and I know that the topics discussed within are super relevant and important, besides it being well-written. This is probably going to be one of those books that everyone should read, so I’m hoping to get to it later in the year, when I don’t have class and can really focus on it.

 

4. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (March 7th)

the-bone-witch

Description: 

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

I started reading a galley of this a couple of months ago, but because school got so busy I had to set it aside. Nonetheless, what I did read was interesting and I definitely want to read more of it. I’m hoping to finish reading the galley before the actual release date, but either way I am excited to see how it plays out!

 

5. A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (March 28th)

a-crown-of-wishes

Description:

Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

Roshani Chokshi has very quickly become one of my favourite authors – she was so sweet when I met her, and her writing is absolutely gorgeous! I’m definitely looking forward to reading Gauri’s story, and I seriously want a poster of that cover.

 


There you have it, my Top 5 most anticipated releases from January to March of 2017! What other books are coming out this year that you’re excited for? Which books do you think I should include in my next instalments of anticipated releases (April-June, July-September, October-December)?

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you all have a fantastic day! ❤

~Becca

5 Authors I Want to Read More From

Hello lovely readers! Yes, this post is super late, but in my defence I covered a shift for my coworker at the last minute and had a nail appointment. But now I’m home and I’m writing this blog post instead of studying for my 3 midterms, so be grateful 😛

Today I’ll be talking about the five authors who I have read either one book or one series of, and figure I should give some of their other works a try. In no particular order, they are:

  1. Maggie Stiefvater – I read The Wolves of Mercy Falls when I was in elementary school/beginning of high school, and I really liked them. I keep hearing really great things about The Raven Cycle, and it also sounds like something I would enjoy. They’ve been really high up on my TBR for a while, too, but for some reason I’ve just never picked them up. Always something else to read, I guess?
  2. Julie Kagawa – I read the first book in the Iron Fey series and honestly wasn’t all that impressed. That being said, I’m very intrigued by the Talon series and the dragon-y goodness that it has to offer. I own the first three books, so really I can start them whenever I feel like it. Hopefully I’ll like that story and main character a lot more than I liked that of her fey books
  3. Morgan Matson – I absolutely adored Since You’ve Been Gone, and The Unexpected Everything looks like so much fun! I know she has a bunch of other cute contemporaries, too, which I might look into after I’ve reduced my TBR pile a little.
  4. Jenny Han – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was cute and fun, though I still have yet to read the sequel. Like Morgan Matson, I am aware that Jenny Han has written other contemporaries that I may like, though I couldn’t name them off by heart.
  5. E.K. Johnston – This (Canadian!) author of Exit, Pursued by a Bear, a book that I gave 5 stars, also wrote A Thousand Nights and the upcoming novel Spindle, fantasy books that I think I would really enjoy, especially since they sound like they’re based on classic fairytales and folklore. Give me ALL THE RETELLINGS!

Have you read any books by these authors? Which are your favourites? Which authors do you want to read more from? Let’s talk in the comments!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone! ❤

~Becca