Thursday, December 31, 2015

Book Review: Untamed by A.G. Howard


Title: Untamed (Splintered #3.5)
Author: A.G. Howard
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Pages: 288
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Reviews for book 1, book 2, and book 3

A post-Ensnared collection of three stories—available in both print and e-versions.

Alyssa Gardner went down the rabbit hole and took control of her destiny. She survived the battle for Wonderland and the battle for her heart. In this collection of three novellas, join Alyssa and her family as they look back at their memories of Wonderland.

In Six Impossible Things, Alyssa recalls the most precious moments of her life after Ensnared, and the role magic plays in preserving the happiness of those she loves. Alyssa’s mother reminisces about her own time in Wonderland and rescuing the man who would become her husband in The Boy in the Web. And Morpheus delves into Jeb’s memories of the events of Splintered in The Moth in the Mirror, available in print for the first time.

This collection expands upon Ensnared's epilogue, and includes some deleted scenes to provide a “director’s cut” glimpse into the past and futures of our favorite Splintered characters. 

The Splintered series has been one of my absolute FAVORITE series since I picked up book one way back in the day... Okay, so it wasn't that long ago. Still, if you ask me what my favorite series is, chances are I'll probably say "SPLINTERED AND OHMYGOD YOU NEED TO READ IT!"

When I saw that A.G. Howard was releasing a companion to the series, I didn't think I could possibly contain my excitement. The day the book was released I checked the mail no less than three times and ran home to open the box when it finally came! I blew through it in near-record time and was... underwhelmed.

Untamed is a collection of three novellas, two of which have been previously published. The Boy in the Web is essentially the story of Alyssa's parents. While it was entertaining, it wasn't my favorite. Let's be honest, you're either reading this for Jeb or Morpheus. Still, it was a nice look into the family of the fairy queen we've come to know and love.

The second story, The Moth in the Mirror, told Jeb's side of the story through some key Splintered events. Although Jeb is not my favorite person for a few reasons, I actually really enjoyed this story a lot. I felt like I was able to get to know Jeb a little better and could even sympathize with him a little bit more.

Six Impossible Things was the part of this collection I was most looking forward to! It begins with Alyssa as a very old woman getting ready to make her journey back to Wonderland and it was just a little bit odd for me. For one, Alyssa did not seem very much different from her much (much) younger self. I did get a little of the sense that she'd matured, but it felt like I was hearing from a 16 year old telling me about how old she was. It felt a little strange for her to suddenly be back in her "pure" 16 year old body again.

The memories that Alyssa recounted were nice, but they just weren't exactly what I'd hoped for. So much of Six Impossible Things was focused on the delivery of their child that I felt like the memories were almost overwhelmed by it. The memory I most enjoyed, surprisingly, was reading about Alyssa and Jeb's wedding. I thought it was cute and made me like Jeb even more! This book had a really strange effect on my #TeamMorpheus status...

Overall I thought this was a fun companion to the Splintered series! The cover is absolutely the MOST gorgeous of the entire series, which is saying a lot because have you even seen Unhinged??Untamed did have some issues that I didn't expect to encounter, a little too much focus (for me, personally) on the children/grandchildren/etc. when I really just wanted to read about Alyssa and Jeb/Morpheus as couples. Still, this was an enjoyable collection of stories that I'd recommend to any fan of the Splintered series!

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #82: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead


Happy Wednesday, fellow book lovers! This week's "can't wait to read" is:

The Glittering Court
by Richelle Mead
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
A dazzling new fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds that’s dripping with romance from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy.

Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies capable of arranging powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands. . . .
I've actually never read anything by Richelle Mead, but I cannot wait to get my hands on this one! The Glittering Court sounds pretty unique!


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine.
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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #76: anticipated early-2016 releases


Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases 
For The First Half of 2016


2015 was an AMAZING new release year, but there are definitely a lot of books that I'm looking forward to in 2016 as well! A Court of Mist and Fury is my most anticipated release of 2016, but all the others look really great too! 


        

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins
Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan


        

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
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Monday, December 28, 2015

Wrapping up my 2015 reading challenges

This year was my first full year of reading challenge participation! I took on quite an ambitious number of challenges, but I actually did a pretty decent job of completing them! I'm calling it quits for the year because the challenges I will complete are already complete and the ones that I didn't quite finish are quite out of luck!

For 2015 I hosted the Horror Reading Challenge and the Dystopia Reading Challenge. Because I took over the Dystopia Reading Challenge halfway through the year, I wasn't able to do everything I'd hoped with it. Still, both were great experiences!


2015 Breakdown

Challenge: Horror Reading Challenge
Hosted by: Me
Commitment: Fearless (11-15 books)
Progress: 18/15 (120%) 
Favorites: Welcome to the Dark House, Insylum
Status: Complete


Challenge: Dystopia Reading Challenge
Hosted by: Me
Commitment: Leader (19+  books)
Progress: 26/19 (137%)
Favorites: These Broken Stars, Angelfall, Illuminae
Status: Complete


Challenge: Audiobook Reading Challenge
Hosted by: The Book Nympho/Hot Listens
Commitment: Weekend Warrior (5-10 books)
Progress: 26/10 (260%)
Favorites: Alive, Crane, Crown of Midnight
Status: Complete


Challenge: Fairytale Reading Challenge
Hosted by: The Daily Prophecy
Commitment: Big Bad Wolf (10-15 books) 
Progress: 20/15 (133%)
Favorites: Cruel Beauty, ACOTAR, Never Never
Status: Complete


Challenge: Around the World Reading Challenge
Hosted by: All About Books
Commitment: 50 books
Progress: 32/50 (64%)
Favorites: Her Dark Curiosity (London), The Raft (Midway Islands) 
Status: Incomplete


Challenge: Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge
Hosted by: Escape With Dollycas
Commitment: Full alphabet (26 books)
Progress: 20/26 (77%)
Favorites: Ensnared, Serafina and the Black Cloak 
Status: Incomplete


Challenge: TBR Reduction Extreme Reading Challenge
Hosted by: All About Books 
Commitment: 10 books 
Progress: 12/10 (120%)
Favorites: Lord of Chaos, Throne of Glass
Status: Complete


Challenge: Banned Books Reading Challenge
Hosted by: Buckling Bookshelves
Commitment: Trouble Maker (3-5 books)
Progress: 4/5 (80%)
Favorites: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Status: Incomplete




These challenges were all a blast! You can see my full reading list for each challenge by clicking here! I quickly discovered that both the alphabet soup challenge and the around the world challenge were both going to be extremely, well, challenging. Not every book has a location (on earth) and some letters are impossible to find!! I can't wait to start the challenges I've chosen for 2016! Check those out here

What challenges did you participate in this year? Have you signed up for any in 2016? I'm co-hosting both the Dystopia and Horror challenges again this year, so don't miss them! 

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Weekly Recap: 12/20 - 12/26


My Super Exciting Life 

First of all, I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday! I'll tell you a little bit more about mine in a minute, but first I have some other things to discuss. This week I'm going to possibly overshare, not that I've ever done that before... As you may have noticed, there was no review posted during the past week. Since my blog was founded I've always posted at least one review per week (oftentimes more), but I think things might have to slow down a bit as far as book reviews are concerned.

A couple months ago I shared that I had been diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Not long after that I also shared that I'd been successfully treated. Last week I found out it was never treated correctly and was back with a vengeance. Because of this I have had a very hard time working, reading, and blogging. I have a very difficult time trying to focus on anything, so I haven't done much reading recently. I have begun a different course of treatment at this time and have already started to feel better, so I don't see this having any kind of long-term impact on the blog.

I will try to maintain one review per week, but it wouldn't surprise me if I have to skip a week here or there until my treatment is complete. I've decided to keep doing meme and discussion posts simply because I love the blogging community so much! I don't want to leave you all, even for a week! Please, please stay with me while I recover!

Now that that's out of the way... Christmas! This week my husband and I saw The Force Awakens! I liked it overall, but I definitely had some issues with the film. Now I'm starting my re-watch of the first six films so I can go watch the seventh again.

We also made the trek to my family's house for the holidays. We went to my aunt's house for Christmas Eve and spent Christmas day with my parents and brother. My book haul included older books, but I'm really excited about what I got! I've really been wanting a readable copy of Wuthering Heights since all of mine are antiques, and my dad got me that! The Eye of the World is a very difficult book to find in hardcover, but my brother surprised me with a copy! And a family friend got me Who's Afraid of the Song of the South, a book about the classic film that hasn't been re-released for decades. I'm also planning on ordering some books at the Book Outlet Boxing Day sale! Did you have an awesome Christmas book haul?



New Books

        



In Case You Missed It

The topic was my Christmas wishlist for Top Ten Tuesday
I featured Wax for Waiting on Wednesday
On Thursday I posted the wrap up and giveaway for the Horror Challenge
On Friday I posted the wrap up and giveaway for the Dystopia Challenge


I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dystopia Reading Challenge: Wrap Up & Giveaway



Welcome to the 2015 Dystopia Reading Challenge wrap up! Congratulations on (hopefully) completing your goals!! I've read some AMAZING dystopia this year and I hope you have too! I surpassed my 2015 goal by reading a whopping 26 dystopian books. If you've enjoyed this year's challenge, I hope you'll check out the 2016 challenge, which is going to be all-new and amazing! In the meantime, check out the books I read this year (click for reviews):


4.5 - 5 Star Books

      
      
    


3.5 - 4 Star Books

        


2.5 - 3 Star Books

      
      


1.5 - 2 Star Books

    


Giveaway

Giveaway ends January 9, 2016 at 12:00 AM EST. Open to challenge participants only. Open to residents of the US only (18 years of age or older; under 18 must have parent's permission). Giveaway is for my personal used set of The Hunger Games trilogy. Winner will be selected by rafflecopter.com and be notified by email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note that Cornerfolds is not responsible for post office errors. I will make every effort to assist you in obtaining your prize. Void where prohibited by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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