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

7 Books I Started but Have Not Finished.

Listen, I don’t particularly enjoy DNF-ing books. When I read a book, I want to push through with it so I can get the whole experience, and base my rating on that. Unfortunately, there have been times where I’ve needed to DNF a book – it may have just not been holding my attention, or my schedule may have started getting busy in the middle of it and I decided to put it down until things calmed down (never to pick it up again, of course).

Most of them I do hope to try again, though, because I have this weird kind of optimism (although if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll likely have heard that I’ve only read 45% of the books I own… hehe…). This is why my DNF shelf on Goodreads is actually called “To Finish Later”.

A Fool’s Errand by Maureen Fergus

This is the sequel to The Gypsy King, a book that I gave five stars and absolutely loved. I started AFE a while after, and though I was really enjoying it I found that I was getting really anxious about the situation the characters were in – a sure sign of how attached to them I was. (Honestly, now that I think about it I was being a total wimp, but I digress.) I decided to put the book down temporarily, to give myself a breather from all the drama unfolding within. Little did I know that, 3 years later, I still wouldn’t have finished it. Woops.

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

It’s funny, I’d completely forgotten about this book until I checked this list again. This is the sequel to The Rosie Project, and another case of “I loved the first book but the second one made me too anxious to continue on”. Man, I get way too invested in characters.

More Than This by Patrick Ness

My friend let me borrow his copy of this book about two years ago, but for some reason I was just not feeling it. I returned it without finishing it, and then a year later I won a surprise giveaway where, after listening to a song by my favourite band, the host sent me a copy of MTT. Hah. Maybe it’s a sign that I should give it another try. (btw, the song was Hello by Hedley, in case you wanted to see if it reminds you of the book)

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Listen, I really like the Throne of Glass series, but as you all know I’m super impatient and have a hard time getting through really long books. I started reading QoS when it first came out, but I was busy with school at the time, so I put it down to pick up in the summer – which I never did, of course. I’ll eventually get to the rest of the ToG books, but it’ll probably take a while. Avoiding spoilers is really, really hard.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

My aunt lent me this book because she thought I would really like it. I mean, she was right, but I started reading it when life started to get really busy, so – like QoS – I put it down with the hope of picking it up later. It’s currently later, and I still haven’t continued on. Woopsie. Stuff happens, yo.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

I’m really sad about this one, because there was just SO much hype surrounding this book and I was really excited for it. When I started reading it, however, it just wasn’t grabbing me like I expected it to. I got 100 pages in before I decided that it wasn’t working out. I still own the book, though I am debating donating it to my library’s book sale – that gorgeous cover is really the only thing stopping me.

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

This one was really good when I started reading it for a readalong, but unfortunately I stopped being in the mood for a contemporary partway through. There were other books shouting at me to read them, too, so I re-shelved this one temporarily until a better time. Will there ever be a better time? Let’s hope so.


What about you guys? What are some books that you had to put down?

Thank you for reading!

OH by the way, how do you feel about a readathon Dec. 11-18th or longer? Let me know either on Twitter  or in the comments here!

Have a wonderful Monday ❤

~Becca

Most Anticipated Releases for the Rest of 2016

So up here in Canada we just celebrated Thanksgiving. On the Filipino side of my family (fun fact: I’m half Filipino) we mark the occasion with lots – and lots and lots and lots – of food, and by drawing names for our Secret Santa. That’s right, people, I just referenced Christmas before Halloween has even happened. We’re in the home stretch now, folks – the end of 2016 is nigh! Soon we’ll be able to leave this horrid, horrid year behind and hopefully start 2017 off on a good note. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Before that can happen, however, a few books need to be released and clutched in my hands:

What Light by Jay Asher – October 18th

what-light

Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. 

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

This looks like the kind of book I’ll want to curl up under a blanket with at Christmas. I look forward to this cute love story – someone get me some hot chocolate!

 

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon – November 1st

sun

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book, and honestly how can you not fall in love with that cover? At the Indigo Teen event I went to one of the ARCs they were giving away was for this book, but unfortunately I didn’t get it (a girl who already had the ARC did, though, so I’m a little salty about it). Now I have to wait for it to come out to read it!

A Million Worlds with You – November 1st

amwwy

The fate of the multiverse rests in Marguerite Caine’s hands. Marguerite has been at the center of a cross-dimensional feud since she first traveled to another universe using her parents’ invention, the Firebird. Only now has she learned the true plans of the evil Triad Corporation—and that those plans could spell doom for dozens or hundreds of universes, each facing total annihilation.

Paul Markov has always been at Marguerite’s side, but Triad’s last attack has left him a changed man—angry and shadowed by tragedy. He struggles to overcome the damage done to him, but despite Marguerite’s efforts to help, Paul may never be the same again.

So it’s up to Marguerite alone to stop the destruction of the multiverse. Billions of lives are at stake. The risks have never been higher. And Triad has unleashed its ultimate weapon: another dimension’s Marguerite—wicked, psychologically twisted, and always one step ahead.

I still haven’t read the second book in the Firebird Trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You, but you can bet that I want to get this book anyway. It’ll be nice to have the conclusion in my collected so I can just marathon them!

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes – December 13th

crystal-storm

MAGNUS and CLEO are forced to test the strength of their love when Gaius returns to Mytica claiming he’s no longer the King of Blood but a changed man seeking redemption.

LUCIA, pregnant with the child of a Watcher, has escaped the clutches of the unhinged fire god. Her powers are dwindling as she goes forth to fulfill a prophecy that will keep her baby safe . . . but could mean her demise.

JONAS treks back to Mytica with a plan to overtake Amara, but fate takes hold when he runs into the beautiful Princess Lucia and joins her on her perilous journey.

AMARA has taken the Mytican throne, but with no way to unleash the water magic trapped within her stolen crystal, she’ll never be able to seize glory and get sweet revenge.

And what kind of darkness will descend–and who will be safe–after Prince Ashur reveals the dangerous price he paid to cheat death?

Crystal Storm is the 5th book in one of my favourite series Falling Kingdoms. I’m really looking forward to this book just because of how the last one left off. I need to know what happens next!!! My babies!!!

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill – December 27th

Ever The Hunted.jpg

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.

I feel like I heard about this book soooooo long ago, and it’s still not even being released until December! The premise sounds interesting, and I love how intricate the cover is.


So, what are your most anticipated releases for the rest of the year?

Ciao for now!

~Becca

10 Favourite Book Covers

Hello everyone. I just got back from my G2 test, and I passed – huzzah!

Today I wanted to show you guys my favourite book covers. You’re totally not supposed to judge books by their covers, but who honestly follows that rule? I know I don’t. Covers are the first things we see when we look at a book, and should hook readers in, make them curious enough to read the description. Then the words take over from there.

Now, I know for a fact that a lot of you will disagree with some of my choices, which is totally cool! But these are the covers that I, personally, find really nice and aesthetically pleasing. We can discuss others in the comments, if you’d like! I’m sure I’m forgetting some really nice ones.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find some of the names of the cover artists. I thought they’d be listed on Goodreads, but they aren’t there! If any of you know where I can find out the names of the cover artists (besides the actual books), please let me know so I can properly credit them all!

Anyway, enough talking, onto the list!

10. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (September 15 2015; Balzer + Bray)

dumplin
Art: Daniel Stolle | Design: Aurora Parlagreco

I really love the simplicity of this cover, with the POP of red from the dress. It says a lot about this book in very few words/images.

9. The Humans by Matt Haig (July 2 2013; HarperCollins Canada)

The Humans
Design: A. Smith

Isn’t it just so gorgeous? The colours are so nice, and the starry sky adds some elegance and simple beauty. Plus, there’s a puppy!!!

8. Risuko: a Kunoichi Tale by David Kudler (June 15 2016; Stillpoint Digital Press)

Risuko

I’m a sucker for watercolours. I love the movement in this cover, the flow of the font and the strokes that make the different parts.

7. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (May 3 2016; Simon & Schuster Books)

the-unexpected-everything
Design: Lucy Ruth Cummins | Photography: Meredith Jenks

Honestly, if given the choice this cover would be my aesthetic. It’s so bright and colourful and happy. It totally gives off a summery feeling. Yay more puppies!!!!

6. We Awaken by Calista Lynne (July 14 2016; Harmony Ink Press)

we-awaken

Mixing gorgeous flowers with shining stars makes for a cover that looks like it’s exploding from the side, full of life and wonder and magic.

5. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (March 7 2017; Sourcefire Books)

the-bone-witch

I dig the symmetry and elegance of the golden lines. Coupled with the drama of the rocky hill and the cranium, it makes for a cover that I cannot stop staring at.

4. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (September 1 2015; Delacorte Books)

everything
Illustrations: “Good Wives and Warriors” | Design: Natalie C. Sousa

I feel like we all know why I love this cover. It’s bright, colourful, and fun, making the most of both the positive and negative space as few covers do.

3. The Star-Touched Queen/A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (April 26 2016/March 28 2017; St. Martin’s Griffin)

(TSTQ Design: Danielle Christopher | TSTQ Photographs: woman by John Herbert Harrison, Castle by Mark Own, Stars by Shutterstock)

Clearly I love bold colours and starry skies, so it’s not wonder that I’m obsessed with these book covers. The brightness of the dress adds some nice contrast, and the golden border is elegant. Love love love!

2. A Thousand Pieces of You/Ten Thousand Skies Above You/A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray (November 4 2014/November 3 2015/November 1 2016 by Harper Teen)

(ATPoY & TTSAY Art: Craig Shields | ATPoY Design: Elizabeth Clark | TTSAY Design: Sarah Creech)

There’s something I find so powerful about the imagery here. It’s like these worlds are colliding, but living in a kind of harmony at the same time. Bright colours, gorgeous skylines, and watercolour? Of course I love it.

So, what are my absolute favourite covers?

Drumroll please…

1. These Broken Stars/This Shattered World/Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (December 10 2013/December 23 2014/December 1 2015; Disney-Hyperion)

Stars + pretty dresses + bright colours + unconventional symmetry = my favourite covers. I honestly cannot think of anything I dislike about them. I even love the font used, because it doesn’t take away from the images yet is big enough to tell you that that’s the title. Too bad I don’t own these books – they’d definitely be on display all the time!

Honourable Mentions:

State of Grace by Hilary Badger (August 1 2015; Switch Press)

State of Grace

Passenger/Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken (January 5 2016/January 3 2017; Disney-Hyperion)

And I Darken by Kiersten White (June 28, 2016; Delacorte Press)

and-i-darken


Now what about you? What are your favourite book covers? Let’s discuss them below, or on Twitter!

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

~Becca

Books I Would ReRead

Good morning everyone, and happy Wednesday!

For a lot of people out there, rereading is a pretty normal thing. There are certain books that are easy to fall into over and over again, whether to get you out of a reading slump or as a bit of comfort after a rough week.

Funny enough, for a long time I haven’t been one of these people; I’ve always thought that I have way too many books to read to bother re-reading old ones. I made a post a while back about the few books I have reread, the last time being four years ago.

Every once in a while, though, I do get a small urge to reread certain books. So maybe I’m /not/ so abnormal – ha! Anyway, for today’s post I’m going to talk about the books that I consider rereading, and why those specific books have sparked this tiny new fire.

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

This was one of my favourite books that I read in 2015, though it didn’t come out until March 2016 (hooray for ARCs!). My parents just recently bought the hardcover for me while on vacation, and now that I own a physical copy I am very tempted to reread it. And, I will admit, the other day I saw the author discussing one of the characters, and I cannot seem to remember that character a t  a l l. So if I do reread a book anytime soon, it’ll probably be this one.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Everyone and their mother seems to love this book, but when I read it I had such a hard time getting through the first half that I gave it 3/5 stars. I like to think that if I reread it, it’ll go smoother because I’ve read other books and will be in a different mindset from the first time I read it. Plus, I pretty much already know what happens; if I reread, I’ll be able to focus more on the writing and story itself. Maybe? Is that how rereading works?

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

This was one of my favourite books in elementary school, and it makes me sad that I can’t remember any of it. I also recently learned that it’s a Banned Book, so I’d like to reread it to try to see what’s so taboo about it, but also to try to understand why I loved it so much as a kid. No long winded explanation here, just a straightforward want to understand it better.

The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong

This was also in my Books I’ve ReRead post, and it’s for that reason that I’d like to reread it once more! I love-love-loved this trilogy when I was a young teenager, especially all the romantic bits 😛 I haven’t read it in a long time, though, and I think it would be fun to see if I react to it the same way I did when I was a teenager.

The Matched Trilogy by Allie Condie

This trilogy has some very mixed reactions. I remember everyone used to love it, but over time more and more people have not liked it at all. I read it when I was a teenager, and at the time I gave all the books 5 stars, but seeing all the recent dislike of it is making me seriously question my judgement. Now, I’ve read a lot of really good books since then, so maybe my standards are just higher now than they were back then. I am a little hesitant to reread these, though, because I remember them so fondly, and a reread may make me hate them…


What are your go-to re-read books? Let’s talk about them in the comments!

Have an awesome day, everyone! Thanks for reading!

~Becca