Wednesday, June 26, 2019

ALA 2019 Recap & Haul


Hi, bookworms! You may have noticed that I have been extremely absent over the past several days and that was because I was at ALA Friday through Monday! I completely failed at commenting back and blog hopping because I didn't have my laptop with me, but I've come back! I had a great trip, although I did not take a single picture. Whoops!

I arrived in DC on Friday night where Erin (@asthebookends on Instagram) picked me up from the airport and managed to snag us a hotel room with two beds that was essentially a one bedroom apartment with a full kitchen and living room. It was two miles from the convention center, but at the incredible rate we got, it wasn't such a bad trek.

Saturday morning was a bit of a mess, but we managed to locate parking and make it into the convention center before the exhibit hall opened. We were both exhausted, but did manage to meet Renee Ahdieh and get copies of The Beautiful. I also wanted to meet Ruta Sepetys, but we ended up going back to our hotel pretty early to catch up on some rest. Once there, we went through our hauls for the day, which were AMAZING! That evening, I walked a mile and a half through the National Mall and Chinatown to meet Amber (Du Livre) for dinner while she had a spare moment! It was great to be able to catch up over good food!

Sunday was a full day of walking, books, and signings. I met Brigid Kemmerer (again), Kat Cho, and Erin Morgenstern. Yes, I DID snag a copy of The Starless Sea and I can't wait to read it! There was a lot of sitting and chatting with friends, new and old. I was able to grab many of the books I'd missed the previous day and also found quite a few new ones I'm really excited for! We headed back around 4 and I got some reading in before calling it a day.

Monday was the last day of ALA and there was a breakfast going on for librarians that Leigh Bardugo would be attending. I was dying to go, but hadn't purchased a ticket because of the "librarians only" stipulation, although several other bloggers had. Once the breakfast began, a friend told me there were many open chairs and asked if I would be able to attend. I got the confirmation and we RAN to get an Uber and make the 15 minute trip to the breakfast location. Leigh was gorgeous and hilarious as always and there were copies of Ninth House on every chair. It was a Bardugo fan's dream! After, we moseyed around, I met Tara Sim, and that was about it. I was home by 10 and I can't wait to do it all again!

You may have noticed that we didn't do a single touristy thing and that is for one reason: I found the perfect roommate who is almost as introverted as I am and was perfectly happy to sit in the room and read. XD I'm definitely planning on attending next year in Chicago and I really hope I'm able to meet some more of you there!


ALA 2019 HAUL


I am SO EXCITED to get to all of these amazing books! Some were finished copies and obviously most were upcoming ARCs. Wish me luck as I attempt to read every single one!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Weekly Recap: 6/16 - 6/22



HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi everyone! As you're reading this I'm in Washington, DC at ALA Annual! I'm so excited that I get to be here this year. I really didn't think it was going to happen until a friend offered to split a hotel with me and everything fell into place. I've been super busy this week getting ready to leave, so I have not been doing a great job at posting or blog hopping. I can't wait to visit with all of you when I get back home though! The only new book I'm sharing this week is one I got in a trade, but you can believe I'm currently loaded down with more books than I know what to do with! I'll be doing a post when I get home to share my ALA book haul! If you're here, I hope you find me!


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK



THIS WEEK I READ

 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The topic was anticipated releases for Top Ten Tuesday
On Wednesday I went back down the TBR hole
Friday book review of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe


UPCOMING REVIEWS




I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Friday, June 21, 2019

Book Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

Title: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
Author: Lauren James
Publication Date: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 290
Add to Goodreads


Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone...

I don't read a ton of sci-fi, but I am a sucker for stories about people isolated from reality and this one sucked me right in as soon as I saw it. The Loneliest Girl in the Universe is about a girl named Romy who has been stuck onboard a spaceship completely alone for most of her life and it is a wild ride.

First of all, Romy is an insanely strong but relatable character who is doing better than I ever could. I am an introvert of the highest order, sometimes going a few days without talking to anyone outside my house, but I truly don't know how I'd survive years alone on a spaceship. I loved that Romy was able to keep things resembling normal with routines she'd stuck to all her life, but I could also understand how desperate she was for outside contact.

There are a couple important characters aside from Romy in this book. The first is the only person from Earth that Romy has remained in contact with. The second is J, a boy she's received a message from and who also happens to be heading for her ship. This book is told as Romy counts down the days until J arrives and the tension slowly builds as the numbers diminish.

This book made me feel more suspense than any other book that I can remember reading recently. From the first page there was a feeling that something was a little off. Of course, a big part of this is picturing anyone in the void of space by themselves, but there was always something else nagging at me. The plot twists in The Loneliest Girl in the Universe had me going back and reevaluating what I knew and it was amazing! I even messaged the author (who was lovely, by the way) when I turned the last page.

There isn't much else to say without giving away major plot points, but if you're in the market for a sci-fi thriller, this is the one for you. This is a quick, unsettling read and I can't wait to see what Lauren James writes next!


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Down the TBR Hole #14


Hi everyone! It has been awhile since I've done one of these posts, but with yesterday's Top Ten and my ever growing TBR list, it seems like it's time to clear a few out. I hope.

The Down the TBR Hole meme was started by Lost In a Story and it is the most perfect tool for cleaning off shelves that I've come across. Here's how it works:
  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

THE BOOKS


EDGE OF END BY SUREN FANT

I don't remember how I found this book, but I know why I added it after reading the synopsis again. It sounds AMAZING. But it has less than great reviews and the people who liked it describe it as "insightful." This is now what I'm looking for in a horror book. I don't need lessons on what the meaning of life is in this kind of read. VERDICT: PASS



THE WITCH HUNTER BY VIRGINIA BOECKER

I'm sure I added this as a result of a Goodreads giveaway, but never got around to actually getting a copy. Witches really aren't my thing, to be honest, although it does sound interesting. Has anyone read this? Is it worth keeping? VERDICT: UNSURE



MAGONIA BY MARIA DAHVANA HEADLEY

This one DEFINITELY got me with the pretty cover. I remember a lot of hype for this book when it was published followed by a lot of lackluster reviews. There are just too many amazing YA fantasy books out there that I really want to read. I think I'm going to have to wait on this one. VERDICT: PASS



THE RULES BY NANCY HOLDER & DEBBIE VIGUIE

I feel pretty sure that Jessica from A Great Read loved this book and that's why it has survived on my list for so long. This book sounds right up my alley and I'm definitely going to get to it eventually. VERDICT: KEEP



DOLL BONES BY HOLLY BLACK

I picked up this book back before I knew who Holly Black even was. It sounds super creepy and I HATE dolls. But it's also middle grade which seems to be more miss than hit for me. VERDICT: PASS



Do you rely on reviews when you're picking your next read?
Do you prefer books with a deeper meaning to them?
Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday #243: Anticipated July - December Releases


Today's Topic: 
Most Anticipated Releases
of the Second Half of 2019

Happy Tuesday! This is my favorite kind of topic! It's the easiest and the one that seems the most helpful because I find out about tons of new books I hadn't heard of yet. I'll only be including books I haven't had the chance to read, although I highly recommend checking out House of Salt and Sorrows and Wilder Girls


A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth
The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco
Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys



Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon
The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White
The Institute by Stephen King
Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee



Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning
There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool
Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Weekly Recap: 6/9 - 6/15



HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi everyone! This has been a bit of a stressful week and honestly I'm just glad it's over. :/ I did get a little reading done and discovered some really wild graphic novels. I've also continued to do a ton of trades and clear out my shelves in anticipation of ALA... which is under a week away! I can't believe it's here and I can't wait! I finally saw Aladdin this week and I have a lot of conflicting feelings. I'll talk about it more this week on the blog, but I definitely still don't know if I actually liked it or not! If you've seen it, did you love it?


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

   


THIS WEEK I READ

  


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

On Monday I did the Do I Have That Book? tag
The topic was unpopular opinions for Top Ten Tuesday
Thursday ARC review of Sorcery of Thorns


UPCOMING REVIEWS

(I'm finally going to review it for real.)


I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Thursday, June 13, 2019

ARC Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Title: Sorcery of Thorns
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 456
Add to Goodreads


All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined. 

I've been curious about Margaret Rogerson's books since I saw the gorgeous cover of An Enchantment of Ravens. People told me how slow it was and that I'd probably have difficulty getting into it, so I never gave it a try. If Sorcery of Thorns is any indication, I am going to LOVE An Enchantment of Ravens (I've already acquired a copy). This book is everything!

Elisabeth has grown up in a Great Library, the only home she's ever known. This isn't just any library though - the books are alive and can even turn into monsters when provoked. After Elisabeth takes action against one of these monstrous tomes, she finds herself taken to the capital to stand trial for a crime she didn't commit and her only ally is a sorcerer she's been raised to distrust.

I loved everything about this book and the characters in it! Elisabeth is such a relatable protagonist and I really enjoyed following along as her prejudices against sorcerers and demons were challenged. Her entire world was turned upside down and I could definitely relate to Elisabeth trying to understand what to do next in a world she didn't understand anymore.

Nathaniel Thorn was also a wonderful character. The sorcerers in this book are recognizable but different enough from the norm to be really interesting. I loved learning more about him and the way his power worked. Speaking of his power, Silas was one of the best secondary characters I've ever read! He was a perfect blend of frightening and loveable and I would absolutely love another book all about him.

Of course, there's romance in this book and the relationship between Elisabeth and Nathaniel was ridiculously adorable and I couldn't get enough of it! It was a true slow burn romance and was full of humor and sass, but in the absolute right amount. If you've read many of my reviews, you'll know I despise characters who are non-stop snark, but Margaret Rogerson struck the perfect balance.

Apart from the characters, the world of Sorcery of Thorns is incredible! I was utterly mesmerized by this unique, magical world. The atmosphere pulled me in from page one and I have the worst book hangover from having to leave. It felt dark and magical and I can honestly say I've never read anything quite like it.

I've already touched on how much I loved this story, but I feel like I can't say much more without spoilers! It wasn't non-stop action, but I felt that the pacing was fine. I was honestly a bit worried that I wouldn't love this book for awhile there. It took me quite a bit longer to read than normal, but it may have just been the mood I was in. Still, I loved every single page, despite taking extra long to get through them.

Sorcery of Thorns is unique and the characters are some of the best I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. I cannot wait to dive into An Enchantment of Ravens and will definitely pick up whatever this author writes next!


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday #242: Unpopular opinions


Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Unpopular Bookish Opinions 

Happy Tuesday! I'm excited about this week's topic because I love sharing unpopular opinions! I'm not sure how unpopular most of these are, but here they are anyway!

  1. I don't really want to go to BEA. It sounds SO hectic and stressful!
  2. I know the ending of Allegiant sucked, but I still love the series. 
  3. Why do special editions of books in series that are still being published exist? 
  4. The Maze Runner movie was better than the book.
  5. The Grisha Trilogy is INFINITELY better than Six of Crows.
  6. Deckled edges are more annoying than cute. 
  7. Daughter of Smoke and bone was... boring. 
  8. I really don't care for fanart endpages. They feel cheap somehow?? 
  9. The Handmaid's Tale book was bad. The show is much better done. 
  10. Constantly snarky characters are the worst. No one talks like that. 


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Do I have that book? tag


Happy Monday, bookworms! Today I'm doing a tag that I found over at Erica Robyn Reads. This tag was originally created on Booktube by Keeping Tabs. I loved scavenger hunts as a teenager, but didn't get to participate in nearly enough of them. I'm super excited to do one in my own home library! I won't be tagging people at the end, so tag yourself if you want to play!


THE RULES

Time yourself trying to find each prompt on your shelf.
Try and beat the time of the person who challenged you.
Don’t forget to tag your challenger and the original creator.


THE HUNT

> Do you have a book with deckled edges?
To many to count! The first one that comes to mind is The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd.

> Do you have a book with 3 or more people on the cover?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of FIYAH.

> Do you have a book based on another fictional story?
Like a retelling? I have a ton of them! Some favorites are And I Darken, Splintered, and Cruel Beauty.

> Do you have a book with a title 10 letters long?
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

> Do you have a book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter?
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

> Do you have a Mass Market Paperback book?
The Crimson Peak novelization.

> Do you have a book written by an author using a pen name?
Locke & Key by Joe Hill (Joseph King).

> Do you have a book with a character’s name in the title?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

> Do you have a book with 2 maps in it?
Stain by A.G. Howard.

> Do you have a book that was turned into a TV show?
You by Caroline Kepnes.

> Do you have a book written by someone who is originally famous for something else? (celebrity/athlete/politician/tv personality…)
Nightmares! by Jason Segel (of How I Met Your Mother fame) and Kirsten Miller.

> Do you have a book with a clock on the cover?
Timekeeper by Tara Sim

> Do you have a poetry book?
Is there anyone who doesn't have a complete Edgar Allan Poe? That's the only poetry I own.

> Do you have a book with an award stamp on it?
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, which I have not read yet.

> Do you have a book written by an author with the same initials as you?
Not a single one.

> Do you have a book of short stories?
Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, Star-Touched Stories, and Language of Thorns to name a few.

> Do you have a book that is between 500-510 pages long?
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. 509 pages.

> Do you have a book that was turned into a movie?
Harry Potter, Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Lightning Thief, Wuthering Heights.

> Do you have a graphic novel?
Quite a few! Some of my favorites are the Buffy comics and Locke & Key.

> Do you have a book written by 2 or more authors?
The Starbound Trilogy by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner.


MY SCAVENGER HUNT RESULTS

I had books to fill every question except one. I feel like I did a pretty good job! This took me just over 20 minutes to complete, which isn't horrible but I didn't beat the time of the person I stole the tag from! Oh well, better luck next time. 

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Weekly Recap: 6/2 - 6/8



HAPPENINGS OFF THE BLOG

Hi everyone! I got a makeover! Well, my blog did anyway. I decided it had been too long and decided to embrace my fantasy obsession with the new header and graphics. I hope you guys love it as much as I do! I have finally had a bit more time around the blog lately, although I haven't posted nearly as much as I'd like. I'm really, REALLY hoping I'll be able to get back fully into the swing of things very soon. This week I've been having a bit of a book purge as I prepare for ALA and all the books I'll be bringing back to my shelves. I've traded a ton and gotten some I've really been wanting to read! Hopefully I'll be able to find time to read some of them soon. On Monday I went to Typhoon Lagoon for the first time in ten years and... I still am not a lover of water parks. Something about sitting on rafts that a million other butts have touched... I don't know, guys. Do you prefer water parks or theme parks?


NEW BOOKS THIS WEEK

   


THIS WEEK I READ



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

On Monday I asked if you review every book you read
The topic was favorite YA fantasy for Top Ten Tuesday
On Wednesday I posted a mystery ARC giveaway
Friday mini review of Crazy House


UPCOMING REVIEWS



I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Friday, June 7, 2019

Mini Book Review: Crazy House by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet

Title: Crazy House (Crazy House #1)
Author: James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet
Publication Date: May 22, 2017
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Pages: 354
Add to Goodreads


No one gets out alive.

Seventeen-year-old Becca Greenfield was snatched from her home and thrown without reason into a hellish prison known as the Crazy House. To avoid execution, she’s told to shut her mouth and keep her head down.

Becca was never really good at either.

Her only hope for survival is for her sister, Cassie, to find her—that the “good twin” will stop following the rules and start breaking them, before it’s too late. Because the jailers at Crazy House soon discover they made a mistake that could get both sisters killed… 

I'm not sure what I expected when I picked up Crazy House, but a super intense dystopian thriller was not it. It's safe to say that I was very pleasantly surprised with this book!

Becca and Cassie are twins living in an isolated town that's the only world they've ever known. When Becca is mistaken for her twin and kidnapped to death row, both sisters realize just how big the world actually is. Cassie learns that her sister is part of a group of rebels and begins to question everything as well.

This book is wild! I don't know why it's compared to The Hunger Games because there's nothing similar about them, but it is a really fun story in its own right. I really enjoyed the world and am eager to learn more about it in the next book. I do wish more had been answered in book one, though. In fact, that's my biggest issue with Crazy House - it desperately needed more backstory.

There isn't too much to say about this book without spoilers, but if you're looking for a fast paced dystopian YA, you should definitely give this a try! Just please be aware there are instances of physical and sexual abuse in this story.


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

June Mystery ARC Giveaway


Happy June, bookworms! It is officially HOT in Florida! I have been attempting not to melt and have been cleaning out my shelves in the middle of the heat. I'm so excited to have a chance to attend ALA later this month, so I'm trying to clear some room for the books I'll be bringing back. This month I'll be giving away a stack of five ARCs, three of which are a mystery, along with some samplers, bookmarks, and other swag!






GIVEAWAY
Must be 18 or have a parent's permission to enter. No giveaway accounts. Ends 6/30/19.
Winner will be contacted via the email within 1 day after the giveaway ends.
If winner does not respond within 3 days, a new winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Find more giveaways on the hop HERE!