Gemini Season: Books I’m excited for in May

It has been a while since I posted anything. But I would like to share some of the books that I am looking forward to reading this month. Hopefully I will get to most of these.ATPT-Divider

Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles, #1)Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles #1)
by L. Penelope 

A treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers.

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive–an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart. 

Jack’s mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it’s people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda’s Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

 

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FURYBORN by Claire Legrand 
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The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

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                                                    Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro 
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A story of resilience and loss, love and family, Mark Oshiro’s Anger is a Gift testifies to the vulnerability and strength of a community living within a system of oppression.

Six years ago, Moss Jefferies’ father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media’s vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks.

Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration.

When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.

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                                                       Legendary by Stephanie Garber 
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The sequel to the New York Times bestselling and #1 IndieNext Pick Caraval, following Scarlett’s younger sister, Tella, on a journey to the empire’s capital to fulfill a dangerous bargain.

Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to her New York Times bestselling debut novel Caraval.

This year’s Caraval has concluded. Tella is alive—and safe, to her older sister’s relief. But Tella has secrets she has been keeping from Scarlett. Secrets like what Tella promised in exchange for the sisters’ invitations to Caraval in the first place. Secrets about the person to whom these promises were made. And secrets about Julian, the Caraval player who won Scarlett’s heart.

Afraid of revealing the truth to the person who loves her most, Tella runs away to Valenda, the capital of the Empire, to find the mysterious correspondent whom Tella owes. But in the nights leading up to Elantine’s Day, a cross between a masquerade ball, a jubilee, and Caraval, no one is to be trusted . . .

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                                                      Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett 
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They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled ride for the Relay, and only the fastest survive, for when night falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, for being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan mysteriously massacred by drakes in broad daylight—the only survivor Corwin Tormaine, the son of the king. Her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart when he condemned her father to death.

With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin must put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom of Rime—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s crimes and will lead both Kate and Corwin into the middle of a brewing civil war.

Acclaimed author Mindee Arnett’s stunning new novel thrusts readers into a beautiful, expansive, and dangerous new world—one where trust is rare, magic is commonplace, and little is as it seems.

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Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell AllFatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All by  Candace Fleming
The tragic lives of Henry VIII and his six wives are reimagined by seven acclaimed and bestselling authors in this riveting novel, perfect for fans of Wolf Hall and Netflix’s The Crown

He was King Henry VIII, a charismatic and extravagant ruler obsessed with both his power as king and with siring a male heir.

They were his queens–six ill-fated women, each bound for divorce, or beheading, or death.

Watch spellbound as each of Henry’s wives attempts to survive their unpredictable king and his power-hungry court. See the sword flash as fiery Anne Boleyn is beheaded for adultery. Follow Jane Seymour as she rises from bullied court maiden to beloved queen, only to die after giving birth. Feel Catherine Howard’s terror as old lovers resurface and whisper vicious rumors to Henry’s influential advisors. Experience the heartache of mothers as they lose son after son, heir after heir.

Told in stirring first-person accounts, Fatal Throne is at once provocative and heartbreaking, an epic tale that is also an intimate look at the royalty of the most perilous times in English history.

 

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                                                       Bright Burns The Night by Sara B. Larson 
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Ten years ago, King Lorcan of the Dark Kingdom Dorjhalon defeated Queen Evelayn and cut her conduit stone from her. Since then, he has kept her trapped in her swan form. With the loss of balance between Dark and Light, winter has descended and the Draíolon of Éadrolan lose more power every day. But once a year, Lorcan transforms her back to her Draíolon form and offers a truce. And every year Evelayn refuses — for he requires her to Bind herself to him for life.
But now, with an Ancient power bearing down upon them, everything may change. Evelayn will learn that the truths she once believed have shattered, and that she may need her enemies even more than her allies. Lorcan and Evelayn become partners in a desperate quest to return the balance of power to Lachalonia. How far will this partnership go? Can friendship — perhaps even love — bloom where hatred has taken root?
Sara B. Larson delivers a thrillingly romantic and hauntingly satisfying end to this extraordinary duology.

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                                                       The Queen Underneath by Stacey Filak  
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The Above and the Under have a tenuous truce that is shattered after the death of both their respective rulers. Gemma, the new queen of Under, must throw history aside and team up with the Tollan, the heir to the Above throne, in order to take down a power that seeks to rule them all.

Their group of rebels is comprised of an assassin, a sex worker, and a palace servant from Above, and we follow their unique perspectives as they are forced to question previously held beliefs. But even with war looming, romance still grows. Challenging gender roles and the expectation that every prince must have a princess, Tollan discovers love with Elam—a young man, a sex worker, and one of Gemma’s closest friends.

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                                                       Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne 
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Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere—anywhere—else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind. 

But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet.

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                                                       The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green 34508382

A princess, a traitor, a hunter and a thief. Four teenagers with the fate of the world in their hands. Four nations destined for conflict.

In Brigant, Princess Catherine prepares for a loveless political marriage arranged by her brutal and ambitious father. In Calidor, downtrodden servant March seeks revenge on the prince who betrayed his people. In Pitoria, feckless Edyon steals cheap baubles for cheaper thrills as he drifts from town to town. And in the barren northern territories, thirteen-year-old Tash is running for her life as she plays bait for the gruff demon hunter Gravell.

As alliances shift and shatter, and old certainties are overturned, our four heroes find their past lives transformed and their futures inextricably linked by the unpredictable tides of magic and war. Who will rise and who will fall? And who will claim the ultimate prize?

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                                                       Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis 
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“I’ve got seven days to come clean to my new dad. Seven days to tell the truth…”

For sixteen-year-old Tiffany Sly, life hasn’t been safe or normal for a while. Losing her mom to cancer has her a little bit traumatized and now she has to leave her hometown of Chicago to live with the biological dad she’s never known.

Anthony Stone is a rich man with four other daughters—and rules for every second of the day. Tiffany tries to make the best of things, but she doesn’t fit into her new luxurious, but super-strict, home—or get along with her standoffish sister London. The only thing that makes her new life even remotely bearable is the strange boy across the street. Marcus McKinney has had his own experiences with death, and the unexpected friendship that blossoms between them is the only thing that makes her feel grounded.

But Tiffany has a secret. Another man claims he’s Tiffany’s real dad—and she only has seven days before he shows up to demand a paternity test and the truth comes out. With her life about to fall apart all over again, Tiffany finds herself discovering unexpected truths about her father, her mother and herself, and realizing that maybe family is in the bonds you make—and that life means sometimes taking risks.

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Unbreakable by Sara Ella  (Unblemished #3)
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Eliyana Ember is stranded in a foreign country in the Third Reflection with no passport, the inability to mirrorwalk, and zero clue where the nearest Thresholds back into the Fourth or Second might lie. Her mind is a haze, her memories vague. She knows a wormhole from the Fourth sent her here. She remembers her mom and baby brother Evan. Makai and Stormy and Joshua . . .
Deep down El realizes she must end the Void once and for all. Is there a way to trap the darkness within its current vessel, kill it off completely? To do so would mean sacrificing another soul—the soul of a man Joshua claims is a traitor. But he’s lied to her before, and even El senses Joshua can’t be fully trusted, but one thing is certain . . .
The Void must be annihilated. And only the Verity—the light which birthed the darkness—can put an end to that which seeks to kill and destroy.

 

What Should Be Wild
 What Should Be Wilby Julia Fine
“Delightful and darkly magical. Julia Fine has written a beautiful modern myth, a coming-of-age story of a girl with a worrisome power over life and death. I loved it.”  —Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry

In this darkly funny, striking debut, a highly unusual young woman must venture into the woods at the edge of her home to remove a curse that has plagued the women in her family for millennia—an utterly original novel with all the mesmerizing power of The Tiger’s Wife, The Snow Child, and Swamplandia!

Cursed. Maisie Cothay has never known the feel of human flesh: born with the power to kill or resurrect at her slightest touch, she has spent her childhood sequestered in her family’s manor at the edge of a mysterious forest. Maisie’s father, an anthropologist who sees her as more experiment than daughter, has warned Maisie not to venture into the wood. Locals talk of men disappearing within, emerging with addled minds and strange stories. What he does not tell Maisie is that for over a millennium her female ancestors have also vanished into the wood, never to emerge—for she is descended from a long line of cursed women.

But one day Maisie’s father disappears, and Maisie must venture beyond the walls of her carefully constructed life to find him. Away from her home and the wood for the very first time, she encounters a strange world filled with wonder and deception. Yet the farther she strays, the more the wood calls her home. For only there can Maisie finally reckon with her power and come to understand the wildest parts of herself.

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The Forest Queen: Arc Review

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The Forest Queen
 The Forest Queen (Mechanica 0.5)

ARC provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in exchange for an honest review

 

When sixteen-year-old Sylvie’s brother takes over management of their family’s vast estates, Sylvie feels powerless to stop his abuse of the local commoners. Her dearest friend asks her to run away to the woods with him, and soon a host of other villagers join them. Together, they form their own community and fight to right the wrongs perpetrated by the king and his noblemen.
Expected publication: August 7th 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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I love re-tellings or re-imagining of classic stories or fairytales and was immediately attracted to this book because of that. Putting women as the main act in any story is great, especially with a strong and beloved character like Robin Hood. So with that being said, and just like my other reviews, I will keep it short. Truth be told, I hate writing long reviews because I run out of things to say or don’t want to say too much since some books haven’t been published yet.

The Forest Queen for me was a fun read. It was fresh and original, in a long line of  re-tellings that are coming out this year. Betsy Cornwell has written a lovely take on the Robin Hood legend. The familiarity of the characters is perceived in an interesting way, without losing the appeal and the heart of the original. It really stood on its own and didn’t feel like I was reading a boring re-imagination  of Robin Hood. A highly entertaining book with great character development throughout. 

The Forest Queen is a book about going against the norms in society for the right reasons. It gives hope to those who have been pushed aside. And it gives readers the feeling that things will always get better with hope.  The main character, Silvie, has a good heart. She had flaws, like any other character would, but was complex and relatable. The plot was a little slow  at times, but it still was enjoyable and interesting.  What Cornwall does well is put women in the spotlight without making them manly like or pinning them to stereotypical gender norms during that time period. Overall, the book is well-written. Highly recommend If you are a fan of fantasy with a twist, then this is the book for you! Perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer, Once Upon A Time and Disney Twisted Tale Books.

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Betsy Cornwell


Betsy Cornwell is a New York Times bestselling author living in west Ireland. She is the story editor and a contributing writer at Parabola, and her short-form writing includes fiction, nonfiction, and literary translation and has appeared in Fairy Tale Review, Zahir Tales, The Violence Prevention Initiative Journal, and elsewhere. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. from Smith College.

Mechanica was published in 2015 and has featured on several best of the year lists, including Amazon.com’s Best Young Adult Books and USA Today‘s Must-Read Romances. In a starred review, Kirkus called this retelling of Cinderella “a smart, refreshing alternative to stale genre tropes.” Mechanica is a YALSA Teens’ Top Ten nominee for 2016.

Betsy’s debut novel, Tides, was published in 2013 to critical acclaim, including a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, a place in the Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year, and a Bisexual Book Awards nomination.

Betsy has two more novels forthcoming from Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in 2017 and 2018.

The Midnight Queen (Noctis Magicae #1 by Sylvia Izzo Hunter Review

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20821047The Midnight Queen (Noctis Magicae #1 by Sylvia Izzo Hunter 

Paperback, 417 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Ace
Physical Book: provided by Bloggingforbooks.com
In the hallowed halls of Oxford’s Merlin College, the most talented—and highest born—sons of the Kingdom of Britain are taught the intricacies of magickal theory. But what dazzles can also destroy, as Gray Marshall is about to discover…

Gray’s deep talent for magick has won him a place at Merlin College. But when he accompanies four fellow students on a mysterious midnight errand that ends in disaster and death, he is sent away in disgrace—and without a trace of his power. He must spend the summer under the watchful eye of his domineering professor, Appius Callender, working in the gardens of Callender’s country estate and hoping to recover his abilities. And it is there, toiling away on a summer afternoon, that he meets the professor’s daughter.

Even though she has no talent of her own, Sophie Callender longs to be educated in the lore of magick. Her father has kept her isolated at the estate and forbidden her interest; everyone knows that teaching arcane magickal theory to women is the height of impropriety. But against her father’s wishes, Sophie has studied his ancient volumes on the subject. And in the tall, stammering, yet oddly charming Gray, she finally finds someone who encourages her interest and awakens new ideas and feelings.

Sophie and Gray’s meeting touches off a series of events that begins to unravel secrets about each of them. And after the king’s closest advisor pays the professor a closed-door visit, they begin to wonder if what Gray witnessed in Oxford might be even more sinister than it seemed. They are determined to find out, no matter the cost.

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                                                             My Quick Review

Even though this book came out in 2014, I enjoy discovering new books to read no matter how old. I was lucky enough to receive a copy from Blogginforbooks in return for an honest review. I am glad I picked this book. From page one, I was drawn in by the writing. The Midnight Queen is the sort of book I feel people will love, but don’t nearly read enough about. It creates a world that you want to be a part of. It is a story of adventure, danger, betrayal, love, and murder.  This book had many different feels to it. It can often feel like a  historical novel and a fantasy book all in one, which is great if you are a fan of both genres. The world felt very realistic with an undercurrent of magic throughout. It is a setting that I really really love. anything that provides a magical place with wizards, spells and intrigue around every corner, is one that I want to read about.

  The Midnight Queen stands on its own exceptionally well. I’ve already read the second one, Lady of Magick (which is just as good) and I can’t wait to get the third book soon. If you like character-centred stories, magic, action, alternate histories, a love story and a story of someone learning that they can be who they want to be – read this.

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Arc Review: Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

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Wild Beauty

 
Hardcover, 320 pages
 
Expected publication: October 3rd 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
 

Love grows such strange things.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens. The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family. 

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                                                                  ♥My Thoughts♥

                                                               (sorry for my lateness)

Wild Beauty by Anna Marie McLemore deserved a special font (which wordpress wouldn’t allow me to use 😦 ). This is the first book that I have read from this author and it did not disappoint. Reviewing Arc’s is tricky because you don’t want to give anything away but at the same time you want to tell people how much you love this book. Wild Beauty took me on a wild ride with multiple ups and downs and that is a good thing. For me, this is the sort of book that you would have to read more then once to fully grasp the beauty within the pages. I truly loved the magical realism, the floral imagery, the family loyalty as well as the strong female characters. I enjoyed the freedom of love and the fear that came along with it. Wild Beauty is filled with magical intrigue, mystery, and the power of love and family. This book should be on your list of what to read this fall and I hope you all pick up a copy or pre-order.

Anna-Marie McLemore

ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and grew up in a Mexican-American family. She attended University of Southern California on a Trustee Scholarship. A Lambda Literary Fellow, she has had work featured by the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, CRATE Literary Magazine’s cratelitCamera Obscura‘s Bridge the Gap Series, and The Portland Review. She is the author of The Weight of Feathers, When the Moon Was Ours, and Wild Beauty. She lives in Sacramento, California.

 

                       Some Book Love

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photo by: Asma Iceybooks via Goodreads

 

                                     Other Books by Anna-Marie McLemore

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Arc Review: Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

           Black Bird of the Gallows

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Release date: September 5th 2017
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Pre-order: Barnes&Noble

Synopsis via Goodreads:
 
A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.
 

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town.

When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

 
What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of 
death.
 
 

                              Praise

💖💖💖💖  “One of the most successful elements of Kassel’s debut novel is its myth making. Rather than drawing on tired tropes such as vampire, werewolf, or fairy lore, she creates an original set of cursed beings with hints of a still-wider mythology…
—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Gorgeous writing, unique mythology, and epic sacrifice. Do not miss this one!”
— New York Times best selling author Pintip Dunn
 
“A dark, twisty thrill ride from beginning to end.”
— Mary Lindsey, author of Shattered Souls and Fragile Spirits
 
 

                                                       ¥♥♥♥♥♥My thoughts♥♥♥♥♥
                    Meg Kassel created a Book you thought you never needed.
 
 
 
 
I was lucky enough to have both gotten a copy and met the author, who was amazingly nice. I don’t want ti give too much away because I really want everyone to enjoy this book as much as I did (i don’t recommend reading while crossing the street). ‘Black bird of the Gallows’ follows Angie Dovage, our heroine and Reece Fernandez. Reece’s arrival brings about a variety of alarming incidents in Angie’s hometown– crows arrive in large numbers and begin behaving strangely( i don’t really know how normal crows behave), if that isn’t strange enough bee start stinging people and making them act crazy in the middle of winter. Between Reece’s familiarity with the crows and his warnings to keep away from the bees, Angie is certain there is something unusual about this boy. Nevertheless, she feels continuously drawn to him despite her better judgment, and despite his dodgy behavior. So you guys get the point and are thinking how is this story any different from books you have read in the past. well, its all about the story itself and the unique mythology around it. I love when authors stray away from whats common and safe and develop their own unique path that can compete with the rest of the book world (if that makes any sense). The story itself is unique. I haven’t read anything in the past or recently about crows or deranged bees. some of the elements in this book reminded me of the movie ‘The Birds’ directed by Alfred Hitchcock, instead the evil villains were the bees. Like all debut books, there are going to be little things you didn’t like or wish that were added. for me, i wanted an ultimate showdown between the beekeepers and the harbingers of death. Hopefully the story continues and I get my wish. From the cover to the story, i definitely enjoyed the originality of this book and the the drama escalated as the story came to an end. For a debut book, it ranks high on my list. Meg Kassel created a fascinating tale with crows and bees that will capture the attention of many readers. I truly wish this book great success when it comes out in September and hope everyone will pick up a copy and enjoy it.
I will never look at the birds that congregate outside of my window the same again.
 
 
 
 
Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, she’s always been creating stories, whether with visuals or words. She worked as a graphic designer before realizing the thing she did for pleasure (writing) was something she should do for real. Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter. A fan of ’80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, Meg has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. When she’s not writing, Meg is reading, hanging out with her family, hoarding peanut butter cups, or playing video games. She is a two-time finalist and the 2016 winner of the RWA Golden Heart© contest in YA.
 

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Books I’m excited for…to be continued

The Girl in the Tower

by Katherine Arden
Series: The Bear and the Nightingale #2
352 p.
Published: 1/9/18
Publisher: Del Rey

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

I enjoyed the first book so I’m curious about this one!

An Enchantment of Ravens: ARC Review

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From the gorgeous of gold to golden black-brown, I instantly loved the cover without even caring about what this book was about. But once  I read the description,  I knew that I had to read this book.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumn lands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, than love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

Movies& TV shows

*** THIS BOOK GOT ME OUT OF A READING SLUMP :)***

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My BookExpo/BookCon Experience

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Man…where do I begin?

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I was excited that BEA &BookCon were coming back to NYC. Since I am a  New York native, getting around was extremely easy and convenient.

Rule 1: never go alone

Rule 2: Never Ever buy food there. The Javits Center is disgustingly over priced.

Rule 3: be extra patient

This was my first time going to BookExpo and BookCon and the two left me totally exhausted, physically & mentally. Part of me is still tired from the 5 day event but I also wanted to share my experience as a first time attendee.

Over the years, I’ve watched BEA/Bookcon through the eyes of the industry — from publishers on twitter, book bloggers, pictures and videos. This year, I decided to spend my birthday going to my first BEA/Bookcon and share in the excitement with my fellow book nerds.

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My expectation for BEA/BookCon were the Lines. Galleys everywhere. Crowded. Grabby hands. Pushing. Fighting. Sore feet. Aching back. Confusing layout. Authors everywhere. Highly anticipated books. Everything I was expecting came true. For me, BEA was better organized than BookCon was and less hectic. The lines were sorter, the chaos was limited, time wasn’t rushed and you had the opportunity to converse with people who loved books. But on the show floor, I quickly realized my day would amount to…a lot of standing around in lines. Everywhere I went, no matter what time of day or where it was, a new line was forming. People jumped into lines without even knowing what they were for. Celebrities signing books, Getting to hear Hillary Clinton speak, standing a foot away from Chad Michael Murray, Seeing the enthusiasm for Lawrence O’Donnell and the excited chaos for Leigh Bardugo was what BEA/Bookcon were all about and I was glad to be a part of the chaotic fun.

 

  • First thing’s firstfood. It is a smart thing to buy food outside of the Javits Center. I went to a local Walgreens and Dunkin Donuts if i didn’t want to bring any food from home.

 

  • Shoes: As a Bookseller, being on my feet wasn’t a problem, so my feet knows what it’s like to work nearly 40 hours a week constantly moving and standing. But standing on lines for more than an hour was tragic. My feet were so sore, walking became a struggle when it was time to go home.

 

  • Galleys. To prevent a billion galleys shoved my way that wouldn’t be read, I made a list of books that I really really wanted to read and focused solely on that. Anything else that appeared interesting I gave to friends who could not attend BEA/Bookcon. there were a lot of  galleys being passed out on the floor or in panels— if I didn’t want it, I didn’t grab it. It’s perfectly fine to do that. Someone else is on the hunt for that copy. With all the excitement going around, it is easy to fall into the trap of grabbing every book you see and a lot of people did just that. As I walked around, I would see books lying around and think to myself (“how selfish that person was…someone else could have wanted that book”)

 

  • Books I really wanted: FireBlood by Elly Blake. WarCross by Marie Lu. Wonder Woman WarBringer by Leigh Bardugo. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. Dear Martin by Nic Stone. and An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson.

 

  • Be kind. I didn’t witness shoving and fighting during BEA, but BookCon was a different story. There were a lot of disorganization going on in different booths that created unnecessary chaos and confusion.

 

  • Network! Since I went alone this is, it was important for me to mingle with educators, librarians, publicists, editors on the floor and get a feel for what the book world is really all about. As a future writer, its important for me to know what i’m getting myself into and what to expect from the reading public.

 

  • Keep calm. and most importantly…HAVE FUN!!

BEA is not a competition over how many books you can grab. It’s a place to reunite or make new friends, discuss writing, books you’ve loved and can’t wait to read, and make connections with the industry you want to be a part of. Many of the books that I managed to get along with ones from my own personal library are going to be donated to different organizations that are in need of books to provide to kids. Being a writer and avid reader, its important to share that love with others who don’t have the financial means to always get new books. That’s what its all about for me.

Thank you for tuning in for my recap. Year One of BEA/Bookcon was a success.

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P.S. definitely only sticking to BEA next year 🙂 ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

May Book Recs

The 18 Most Anticipated YA Books To Read in May

IT’S GONNA BE MAY. We’re not entirely sure how our bookshelves are going to handle all the new hardcovers. You may have to get another bookshelf…or two or three. Can’t decide what to read next? Let this list decide for you! Browse through to see what the YA community is most excited to read in May!

The 18 Most Anticipated YA Books to Read in May 2017

 

1. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

This is the third book in this series! Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places. 

 

2. LORD OF SHADOWS by Cassandra Clare

This is the sequel to Lady Midnight! Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

 

3. FLAME IN THE MIST by Renée Ahdieh

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.

 

4. ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN by Jenny Han

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

 

5. WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married. 

 

6. THICK AS THIEVES by Megan Whalen Turner

Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path. Set in the world of the Queen’s Thief, an ordinary hero takes on an extraordinary mission. Includes two maps, a map of the world of the Queen’s Thief, and a map of Kamet’s journey.

THICK AS THIEVES by Megan Whalen Turner

 

7. THE CROWN’S FATE by Evelyn Skye

This is the sequel to The Crown’s Game! With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

 

8. THE NAMES THEY GAVE US by Emery Lord

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

 

9. WHEN IT’S REAL by Erin Watt

From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend. 

 

10. ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little LiarsOne of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide. 


 

11. DREAMFALL by Amy Plum

Cata Cordova suffers from such debilitating insomnia that she agreed to take part in an experimental new procedure. She thought things couldn’t get any worse…but she was terribly wrong. Soon after the experiment begins, there’s a malfunction with the lab equipment, and Cata and six other teen patients are plunged into a shared dreamworld with no memory of how they got there. Even worse, they come to the chilling realization that they are trapped in a place where their worst nightmares have come to life. 

 

12. AVENGED by Amy Tintera

This is the sequel to RuinedEmelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister Olivia from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory. But their fight has only begun. Olivia is determined to destroy everyone who acts against Ruina, but Em isn’t as sure. Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. And now that Cas has taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.

 

13. RAMONA BLUE by Julie Murphy

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever. Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

 

14. IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE by Christina June

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.

 

15. COLD SUMMER by Gwen Cole

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

 

16. HOUSE OF FURIES by Madeleine Roux

After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved. Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?

 

17. IT’S NOT LIKE IT’S A SECRET by Misa Sugiura

Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are big, like the fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend. When Sana and her family move to California, she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore.

 

18. ELIZA & HER MONSTERS by Francesca Zappia

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community, and has no desire to try. Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea‘s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart. 

 

Spring Book Recommendation

 

 

 


PREVIEW

The Girl from Rawblood

Love stinks. Yeah. Yeah.

As a Villarca, Iris, the protagonist of Catriona Ward’s The Girl from Rawblood, is marked with the knowledge that to love and wed means awakening the deadly curse which has marked her family for centuries. Though Iris vows to her father that she will remain cloistered in their mansion, she finds her promise impossible to uphold, when, at age 15, she finds love. With a nod to the Gothic novels of old, the narrative travels back in time and from England to Italy, in order to bring to life this haunting, mysterious tale.

On shelves: March 7


BUY

Witchy Eye

We are family

Appalachian magic, emperors, wizard-priests, and dragoons populate the world of D.J. Butler’s Witchy Eye, where 15-year-old Sarah Calhoun is on a quest that might just mean the end of her family. Even though she would prefer to be left alone and forgo her skill for hexing, after a thwarted kidnapping attempt, she learns of her heritage and seeks to claim it. This is a must-read, according to the starred review in Publisher’s Weekly: “Sarah is the epitome of the downtrodden hero who refuses to give up until she gets what she needs, and her story will appeal to fantasy readers of all stripes.”

On shelves: March 7

The Wanderers

Some people call me the space cowboy

Exploration is never easy. The explorer is out at the edges of the Earth, away from all that is loved and known, making it a lonely and sometimes terrifying pursuit. Even simulated exploration can stretch one beyond one’s limits. It is at those limits that you find Meg Howrey’s The Wanderers, within which three astronauts vie for a place on the first exploration to Mars. By engaging in a 17-month simulation, the astronauts are tested nearly beyond their personal breaking points. According to the Kirkus review, “Although the contours of a space drama may seem familiar to a 21st-century readership, Howrey, through the poetry of her writing and the richness of her characters, makes it all seem new.”

On shelves: March 14


BUY

The Collapsing Empire

Go with the Flow

Within the pages of The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi(author of the Old Man’s War series) civilizations are connected by an ever-shifting network called The Flow. During some shifts, entire worlds have been isolated from the rest of humanity. When The Flow begins to shift in an entirely new and terrifying way which threatens to separate all of the worlds from one another forever, a scientist, starship captain, and empress band together to find a way to change this dangerous course and save their empire, and ultimately, mankind itself.

On shelves: March 21


BUY

Luna: Wolf Moon

There’s a bad moon on the rise

Ian McDonald’s Luna: Wolf Moon, the sequel to Luna: New Moon, follows the surviving family members 18 months after the fall of Corta Helio, which was one of five family corporations that ruled the moon. At the center of the narrative are Lucas, who sets out on a journey in search of allies, Lucasinho who redeems himself through an act of bravery, as well as several other survivors. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly promises, “Fans of the first volume will love this one and eagerly look forward to the next.”

On shelves: March 28


BUY

Waking Gods

What’s a god to a nonbeliever?

In Waking Gods, book two of the Themis Files and sequel toSleeping GiantsSylvain Neuvel once again bends genres and examines the lines of human and alien contact. Physicist Rose Franklin and the Earth Defense Corps are dedicated to studying the unearthed colossal, humanesque robot. But for Rose the quest is personal: When she was a child, she found the enormous metallic hand that led to the discovery. Now, a second robot has entered the world, bringing with it destruction and fear. But this is only the beginning, as more machines rain down upon Earth, and Rose and her team race against time to save humanity.

On shelves: April 4


BUY

Borne

Born(e) to be wild

Borne, title character in Jeff Vandermeer’s latest, is difficult to discern. Professional scavenger Rachel finds Borne trapped in the fur of an enormous tyrannical bear which roamed through the Company, a biotech firm, until breaking free and causing fear in the nearby city. Rachel is troubled by Borne, but she is also clearly intrigued by Borne’s origins. Against her best judgment, Rachel feels drawn to Borne, which is something she heartily resents, as caring is a weakness. In fact, Borne reminds her of her island home, which was covered over by rising sea levels. In convincing her lover, Wick, not to render Borne into material for his salable drugs, Rachel opens herself up to the discovery that she might, indeed, be sleeping with the enemy.

On shelves: April 25


BUY

Walkaway

Do the walk of life

Hubert, Etc. is an everyman of the new world order in which the rich have gotten richer and everyone else has given up on aspirational thinking. In Cory Doctorow’s latest adult novel, Walkaway, the reality is that one need not live within a society at all because basic necessities are easily met by pressing “print” and creating what you need. On the surface, this world seems ideal, even to those who are not wealthy. But once Hubert and his ragtag crew find a way to preserve consciousness online, everything is set off kilter, suggesting that maybe knowledge truly is power.

On shelves: April 25


BUY

Within the Sanctuary of Wings

She sells sanctuary

Marie Brennan’s Within the Sanctuary of Wings is the fifth and final book in the Memoirs of Lady Trent series, which spans nearly five decades. Though much is now known of Lady Trent, there is clearly more to learn about this explorer and dragon expert. Here, Lady Trent’s legendary adventure in search of a new type of dragon is revealed, as she journeys through enemy territory where she discovers what appear to be the remains of a Draconean god. Only then does her final adventure to the Sanctuary of Wings begin.

On shelves: April 25


BUY

Radiate

Turn on your heart light

Radiate, the third book in C.A. Higgins’ Lightless series, is a genre-bending fusion of science fiction, drama, and suspense, following sentient AI, Ananke, on her quest to understand her creators and, in the process, maybe even find love. Accompanied by her mother-figure, Althea, Ananke is in search of the the programmer who brought her to life, Matthew. Unbeknownst to her, he is on a quest of his own. The three of them race toward a conclusion that promises to produce as big a bang as creation itself.

On shelves: May 23