18 Mar 2019

#Review: PHOENIX UNBOUND by Grace Draven

18 March 0 Comments

PHOENIX UNBOUND

Author: Grace Draven
Series: Fallen Empire #1
Source: Finished Copy via Publisher
Publisher: Ace Books
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


Summary:
A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village's tithe has been the same woman. Gilene's sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses. 

But this year is different. 

Azarion, the Empire's most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion--and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. And unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will risk everything to return to the Empire--and burn once more.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

Please note: There is heavy and graphic content in this one, depictions of violence and rape, and multiple characters discuss rape. Please take caution before, during, and after reading this one if any of that triggers you.

There was a lot that I loved about this one but some parts that I didn't really enjoy at all, but overall I think it was a really good start to this series! I'll definitely be continuing on with it so I can see what happens next.

16 Mar 2019

Stacking the Shelves (9): March 16, 2019

16 March 2 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
I got a bunch of books this week because I finally went to pick up my books in the US. The problem I have right now is I don't know where to put them! I hope I can get to all of them soon though.

How has everyone's 2019 been going so far?

15 Mar 2019

ARC #Review: THE TRUE QUEEN by Zen Cho

15 March 1 Comments

THE TRUE QUEEN

Author: Zen Cho
Series: Sorcerer Royal #2
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Ace Books
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


Summary:
In the follow-up to the "delightful" Regency fantasy novel (NPR.org) Sorcerer to the Crown, a young woman with no memories of her past finds herself embroiled in dangerous politics in England and the land of the fae. 

When sisters Muna and Sakti wake up on the peaceful beach of the island of Janda Baik, they can't remember anything, except that they are bound as only sisters can be. They have been cursed by an unknown enchanter, and slowly Sakti starts to fade away. The only hope of saving her is to go to distant Britain, where the Sorceress Royal has established an academy to train women in magic.

If Muna is to save her sister, she must learn to navigate high society, and trick the English magicians into believing she is a magical prodigy. As she's drawn into their intrigues, she must uncover the secrets of her past, and journey into a world with more magic than she had ever dreamed.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.


See my review of SORCERER TO THE CROWN!

The sequel to the ah-mazing SORCERER TO THE CROWN, THE TRUE QUEEN has magic, mayhem, and strong female characters that you root for the whole way through. I loved seeing the old characters, meeting new ones, and being introduced to more magic in this than we previously saw.

13 Mar 2019

Subscription Box #Review: #IndigoBookBox (January and February 2019)

13 March 2 Comments

I am reviewing TWO of the Indigo Book Boxes for you today because they came out around the same time and I unboxed them at the same time. While Indigo DOES send me their Staff Picks of the Month for review and promotion, they DO NOT send me these Teen Book Boxes for the same purpose. I purchase these myself.

They are a little difficult to find on the Indigo website because Indigo is (much) more than just a subscription box website as they are the only Canadian big box store for books, home goods, etc.

Past boxes (that are still available):
Today, I am reviewing the January box (Leigh Bardugo, KING OF SCARS) and February box (Angie Thomas, ON THE COME UP) for you! I'll start with January and move into February and give you a full wrap-up of worth, value, etc. at the bottom for both.

January 2019: Leigh Bardugo


Price: $29.99 (with free shipping)
Shipping Time: 3 days
Included inside...

  • A copy of King of Scars (regular edition) signed by the author
  • A letter from Leigh Bardugo
  • An exclusive King of Stars travel mug – perfect for that fortifying hot or cold beverage to help you battle through your day
  • A tube of FOLKLORE Sweet Honey Hand Cream to soothe your hands after turning each of those awesome pages
  • Grishaverse pin that looks amazing on my pinboard
  • Bookmark for CROWN OF FEATHERS by Nicki Pau Preto

11 Mar 2019

#Review: MEM by Bethany C. Morrow

11 March 1 Comments

MEM

Author: Bethany C. Morrow
Series: N/A
Source: Purchased from Audible
Publisher: The Unnamed Press
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


Summary:
Set in the glittering art deco world of a century ago, MEM makes one slight alteration to history: a scientist in Montreal discovers a method allowing people to have their memories extracted from their minds, whole and complete. The Mems exist as mirror-images of their source ― zombie-like creatures destined to experience that singular memory over and over, until they expire in the cavernous Vault where they are kept. 

And then there is Dolores Extract #1, the first Mem capable of creating her own memories. An ageless beauty shrouded in mystery, she is allowed to live on her own, and create her own existence, until one day she is summoned back to the Vault.
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
I really enjoyed this one and thought there was so much good conversation about "true" selves and what constitutes "yourself." I loved the alternative history aspect to this, but found it was really hard to be anchored in the year/time because it was never quite clear if it was the past, present, or some variation of the future.

9 Mar 2019

Stacking the Shelves (8): March 9, 2019

09 March 2 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
I have been so much more productive in the first week of March than in all of February for my blog. I hope I can ride this wave for as long as possible! But I was behind schedule for reading and am now about 15 books AHEAD of schedule! I am hoping to catch up on some eARCs this week and get on track for that type of reviewing schedule.

But I don't want to put too much pressure on myself either. I think that's what happened in February! I had such a good January and thought I could keep it up, but work pressures got to me and made it that much harder to do anything for blogging because I felt like nothing was enough. So I am doing little things every day to try and prep myself for the next day so I don't get too overwhelmed but still have an active blog.

What are your goals for March?

8 Mar 2019

#Discussion: Top 5 Books by Women for International Women's Day

08 March 1 Comments
Happy International Women's Day! I am going to a gala tonight to celebrate and have spent the day at work promoting works by women (we watched Scandal, so that's how much fun I had!). What better way to celebrate a day for women than by showcasing books by women! See my list below and add any more that you love in the comments!

Top 5 Books by Women for International Women's Day

1. LET'S TALK ABOUT LOVE

Author: Claire Kann
Series: N/A
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: January 23, 2018

Summary:
Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting--working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she's asexual). Alice is done with dating--no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
Purchase:

2. WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS

Author: Anna-Marie McLemore
Series: N/A
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: October 4, 2016

Summary:
To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.
Purchase:

3. THE NOWHERE GIRLS

Author: Amy Reed
Series: N/A
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 10, 2017

Summary:
Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.
Purchase:

6 Mar 2019

#Review: THE LIBRARY OF FATES by Aditi Khorana

06 March 4 Comments

THE LIBRARY OF FATES

Author: Aditi Khorana
Series: N/A
Source: Purchased from Kobo
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


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

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

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Oh boy. Oh. Boy. I really wanted to like this one but I should have known it wasn't going to be the one for me when I saw the reviews on Goodreads coming back as middle of the road. That's probably why it took me almost half a year to read it (I preordered it and then it sat on my Kobo for six months). But I had high hopes! It was compared to THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN (which I loved) and THE WRATH AND THE DAWN (which I tried to read three times and couldn't finish), so I expected a solid 3-4 star read. Wow was I wrong.

4 Mar 2019

#Review: SORCERER TO THE CROWN by Zen Cho

04 March 1 Comments

SORCERER TO THE CROWN

Author: Zen Cho
Series: Sorcerer Royal #1
Source: Purchased from Amazon
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:


Summary:
Magic and mayhem collide with the British elite in this whimsical and sparkling debut.

At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, freed slave, eminently proficient magician, and Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers—one of the most respected organizations throughout all of Britain—ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up.

But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain—and the world at large…
Purchase:
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
I really enjoyed this book! I was surprised, actually, with how much I grew to love this one as I read because it is written in a way that I don't typically love. But the characters are SO strong and the magic SO interesting that it made up for the prose (that some people will love and some will hate - I'm somewhere in the middle). If you like Regency era novels with hints of magic, this is the book for you! Watch next week for a feature on the sequel, THE TRUE QUEEN!

2 Mar 2019

Stacking the Shelves (7): March 2, 2019

02 March 3 Comments
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!
I am so glad we are in March. I really fell behind in reading and blogging in February, so I am hoping to be able to create a reading and blogging schedule that accommodates my work schedule.

I have a pile of books to read and that I received in the mail, so watch the IGTV video!

How has everyone's 2019 been going so far?