Tuesday, December 29, 2015

aty Addicted to You (Addicted #1) by Krista and Becca Ritchie | Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)

“The deeper we sink, the harder it is to crawl out. I fear the moment where neither of us can breathe again–when someone discovers our secrets. At any moment, everything can crumble beneath us. The dangerous game both excites and terrifies me.”

In all honesty, New Adult is not my typical genre. Not because it’s filled with bad selections but because I often feel as though I am reading the same book, the same plot, the same relationships every time. Addicted to You is not one of those books–there’s something far more interesting and authentic to it than the rest of its genre.

Krista and Becca Ritchie provide us with so much heart in one tiny story. This isn’t your typical love story and I don’t mean that in the cliche sort of way. For a lot of people, it won’t be the same way but the vast majority agree that there’s just something about this novel that is so captivating.

Addicted to You is a great introduction to a series because we see the flaws and addictions right away in Lily and Lo. Both have been best friends for years. As far as family knows, the two are in a relationship with each other and have been for three years; they live with one another.

They have an arrangement two so they can keep up appearances and seem like good, upstanding people. Lily and Lo are the picture perfect couple on the exterior and behind closed doors, they struggle.


twiutb The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith | Rating: ★★★★★

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via Edelweiss by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

There is a substantial amount of hype over The Way I Used to Be and the comparisons the reading community is making between it and Speak. But I feel as though that isn’t fair to compare either story to one another because while it tackles similar plots, they are both two entirely different stories with two entirely different girls and many different coping mechanisms between the two.

The Way I Used to Be is incredibly nerve wracking and painful and beautiful all at once. It is, by far, one of the most moving novels headed our way as 2016 approaches and I hope it gets the recognition it deserves in time. I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical, finished copy–it is still lingering in the back of my mind, nearly twenty-four hours after reading it.

That being said, I need only remind you guys that this book is quite triggering due to its subject matter and you should not put yourself in the position of reading it if you have doubts on whether or not it will trigger something in you.

Let’s talk about our leading lady–our narrator–shall we?

Eden is sincerely one of the most available characters I’ve ever read in many ways. I mean on that personal level; she is so real--the way Amber Smith paints this girl's story is all too real and a voice that was desperately needed in young adult fiction.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

lastland Lastland (TWP #4) by A.R. Ivanovich | Rating: ★★★★★

"It's not what comes easiest that makes us valuable, Katelyn. The wealth of our character is determined by what we push ourselves to become."

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Based on the previous three releases in the series, The War of Princes, we know what is set to come about in this fourth book. Action, war, loss, love, adventure, heartbreak and twists at every corner. If there’s one thing that longtime readers will have learned by now, it is that A.R. Ivanovich has many tricks up her sleeve to delight and shock her loyal fanbase.

Lastland is perhaps the best of the series and showcases Ivanovich’s knack for world building. Following her familiar formula of excellence, A.R. is at her finest when weaving together plots, toying with your heart and allowing her characters to grow even further.

After the startling revelation that Prince Varion had died and placed himself elsewhere to recover, Carmine’s betrayal and Rune having been possessed/taken by one of Prince Raserion’s shadow creations, the war is brewing at an all time high. And Lastland is set to shock us once more as Katelyn and Dylan search for Rune and Varion’s memories begin to come back to him fully.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

monarch Monarch (TWP #3) by A.R. Ivanovich | Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)

"If circumstances in life were always changing, shouldn't that mean people could change, too? Every moment should be a platform for positive growth and new possibilities."

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

This review contains spoilers. Following the startling events of Paperglass, our series The War of Princes continues with a third book, Monarch–nothing can prepare us for the plot twists and revelations revealed in this third installment and I must admit: it is the best boo yet. If you have been following this series, you’ll find that the stakes are higher in Monarch and the adventures keep on coming.

A.R. Ivanovich takes her uniquely fun and dangerous world to a whole new level in Monarch. Katelyn Kestrel and her friends, Dylan, Kyle, Ruby and Rune, and their pilot Carmine and former teacher in Haven Professor Block, are faced with all kinds of new adventures and risks. While the group recovers from the loss of Sterling (I’m still heartbroken!) a new sense of urgency is portrayed within this circle.

In every meaning of the previous events, things could have been torn apart for this group. And yet, in some ways, they are now closer and more determined than ever.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

underwater Underwater by Marisa Reichardt | Rating: ★★★★★

"I do online school now. Going to my other school got to be too hard. I can't control things out in the real world. Cars turn corners too fast. Doors slam. People appear out of nowhere. It's unpredictable."

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Marisa Reichardt’s debut YA novel, Underwater, is breathtaking and heartfelt. More importantly, it is one of the most needed and beautiful releases slated for 2016. Underwater is the sort of book one must read to fully understand (or disagree) with any hype. On the subject of hype, I’m going to be sorely disappointed if there isn’t a ton surrounding this novel.

It’s that good.

In many ways, Underwater echoes the story that Jennifer Brown told in her novel “Hate List”; one survivor left behind with guilt after a school shooting, only ultimately the two stories are simply just similar in its structure. If you loved Hate List, you will likely love Underwater.

Both stories are incredibly emotional and raw experiences when reading. I feel haunted by Underwater even now after only so many pages. And honestly, Underwater feels far more important of a story to tell. It's not something that is all that common in YA books, too have this much heart and honesty. Reichardt tackles so much in so few pages that something about it rings so true and touches your heart in ways other novels fail.


pg Paperglass (TWP #2) by A.R. Ivanovich | Rating: ★★★★☆

“Love can transform the most sensible person into a blindly brave fool.”

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.  

One year after the events of Haven, A.R. Ivanovich’s The War of Princes series continues with its second installment, Paperglass. It’s time to say hello to familiar faces and expand our knowledge of this world. Buckle up, kiddos, it’s going to be a long and bumpy ride in the best possible way.

With new plots and dangers, Katelyn (who has only just now graduated high school) is forced on a mission to the outside world to use her gift to find a group of missing people from her home. Initially, she doesn’t accept this position, but when she is told her mother is one of the missing–her mother who abandoned her all those years ago–she allows the pull to move her search.

There are a few things that fuel this mission. Her knowledge that she would be the only one able to find them and find their way around the outside world, as she had been there previously, the fact that Sterling betrayed her abilities to his father (his ability being he can sense others powers) and a small fight with one of her best friend’s, Ruby.

And maybe a little bit of desire to see her love, Rune, again.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

haven Haven (TWP #1) by A.R. Ivanovich | Rating: ★★★☆☆

“Forget the crumbled ruins of a broken yesterday.”

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

I have a lot of conflicting emotions about Haven. I enjoyed it and read it quite quickly, though it did have flaws in it, I will say that first. Its flaws aren’t always definite, though, and I do intend on reading the remaining sequels because it’s quite captivating in spite of its weaker point.

Haven is the sort of novel that readers can devour in one or two sittings and it is quite addicting. In a more descriptive way, I have to admit that Haven is dark and luckily it has a cast of characters that are pretty great. When I think of what I’d read in Haven, I think of a mysterious world and darkness and a group of likable characters.

I think that A.R. Ivanovich’s writing is excellent and the world she’s built for readers is unique and very fascinating. A.R.’s genres mix up in the book which keeps things fresh and often interesting; readers staying on their toes for the duration of it.

Plus, her writing is so descriptive that it’s easy to see our settings. It has a lot of potential to continue with the world building and will give readers a taste of what is to come in future installments. I found it to be very easy to envision parts of Katelyn’s home and the world outside of it.


Monday, December 21, 2015

cols City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare | Rating: ★★★★★

“I know about parabatai,” said Magnus, an angry, dark undercurrent to his voice. “I’ve known parabatai so close they were almost the same person; do you know what happens, when one of them dies, to the one that’s left —?”

I can’t believe I’m almost done with my reread of the entire TMI series but here we are! Cassandra Clare still has me hooked all these years later and rereading the novels feels like I’ve been greeted by an old from. Onto one of my favorite novels in the entire series: this little guy is by far one of the funnest and darkest of the entire run; Cassandra as usual does the best with her plots.

Teenage angst, action, romance and mystery follow us–and in this installment we see even more descriptive locations that will leave us with hearts in our eyes just as much as our bones will chill by the events scattered about. In terms of suspense and comparison to the installments that came before it, City of Lost Souls rivals City of Glass.

In the aftermath of events in the previous book, our second to last installment picks up right where we left off. Mostly City of Lost Souls begins with one question: where is Jace? which follows into who is Jace, now? The answer is not simple, but what ever is?

Due to the attempts of Lilith in resurrecting him, Sebastian has been brought back from the dead and is now tied to Jace.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

lis Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle | Rating: ★★★★☆

I always had this idea that you should never give up a happy middle in the hopes of a happy ending, because there is no such thing as a happy ending. Do you know what I mean? There is so much to lose.

Some of the best, and definitely the funnest, young adult authors back in 2008 (who are, still, amongst their best) were brought together with Let It Snow, a holiday anthology filled with three short stories from each. They’re romantic, they’re sweet and they’re definitely out of a cute little holiday film. Or, well, should be–that’s how pleasant they are to read!

Maureen Jonson, John Green and Lauren Myracle each tied up a personal tone, a voice for three separate narrators, wove it all together and created a story that was sure to delight fans. It’s impossible not to smile at any of the stories within and the romance that follows.

Years later, I still find myself completely enamored with this snow storm and these characters. Rereading it feels like a nod to seasons greetings and old friends. In other words… it’s warm and fuzzy.

‘Tis the season to be… Jubilee?


iwaly I Will Always Love You (GG #12) created by Cecily von Ziegesar | Rating: ★★★★★

They chose each other.

Just then, the dark sky lit up with fireworks. A cab sailing the street honked in celebration . In the night air, Nate thought he could hear Serena and Blair's laughter, though he knew that was impossible; they were too far away by now.


But as we know, in this city anything is possible.


Flashback to 2008 or 2009: in a surprising move due to the popularity of the then-hit television series, Gossip Girl came back for one final look into our beloved teenagers lives as they explore adulthood and come home for the holidays during breaks in university. Much like the final books and spin-offs of the original series, it is penned a ghost writer and not Cecily herself.

I Will Always Love You, or as I like to call it: the pitiful (but still fun) attempt at drawing in fans of the television series and unnecessarily destroying the characteristics of the books, takes place over the course of four years and is told in the usual rotating narration and blog entries. We’re split up to focus ONLY on the four years of holidays our kids have as breaks from classes.

(I’m being a bit dramatic: the installment wasn’t horrible it just wasn’t Gossip Girl in the way longtime readers wanted it to be. There were some redeeming qualities to it, though, like the endgames. Which is why I've still given it a high review like the rest of the series.)


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Gossip Girl (Book Series) by Cecily von Ziegesar: A Blerena Picspam

The other day, I was thinking back to the Gossip Girl books. Which is something I often do, seeing as it remains one of my favorites. Oh, I know. Blah, blah, blah, Jessica likes trashy and nostalgic young adult lit from her preteen/teenage years. Blah, blah, blah, she's going to complain about how it didn't get a good adaptation or how much she enjoyed the books more than the show. Snooze, I'm bored already by myself and I'm sure you lot are as well. 

Thinking about it all, I made a minor edit that I felt reflected an aesthetic portrayed in all of the novels and the friendship of Blair/Serena. And then my favorite quote or narration from both girls. 

Because of fucking course I did, guys.

Which you can reblog here or simply view it in this post. Follow the cut for some brief thoughts.
They chose each other.

cof City of Fallen Angels (TMI #4) by Cassandra Clare | Rating: ★★★☆☆

“Hearts are breakable," Isabelle said. "And I think even when you heal, you're never what you were before".”

My reread of The Mortal Instruments, in preparation for the new television adaptation Shadowhunters, continues with City of Fallen Angels. Serving as the fourth book in the expanded series, we see our favorite Shadowhunters and Downworlders return in a new mystery set a brief time after the events of City of Glass. It is also the weakest book of the series but does a decent job at setting up for this second arch therefore it doesn't dampen my love for this incredible series.

Now that The Mortal War is over, Sebastian (or Jonathan) and Valentine are dead, and the truth has all been revealed, our favorite kids think that they can finally sleep safely at night. Now, they can head back down the path of whatever normal is meant to be–for some that means hunting, for some that means love, some that means acceptance, for the Lightwoods it means mourning the loss of Max and others it means training.

And then there’s avoidance. But we’ll get to that later. I’m going to start with characters.


The Lying Game (Series) by Sara Shepard: A Picspam

Earlier this year, I found myself drowning in Sara Shepard's awesome and thrilling (and stylish!) The Lying Game books. Even months after finishing up the series, I still find myself with a bit of a book hangover--oh, how I miss Sutton Mercer and Emma Paxton and all the horrible things that occurred throughout the series. The Lying Game is spooky, luxurious and incredibly heartbreaking, it's impossible to not love/miss it! Long live the queen of fluffy and suspenseful young adult fiction, Sara Shepard!  

Reading (and in some books cases: rereading) the series lead to one of my funnest edits via Tumblr, a picspam of what I envisioned the books to look like, had they had a proper adaptation. This isn't to say ABC Family's take on the books all those years ago wasn't good, it was just--you know--absolutely nothing like the books. 

(I do miss it, as well, for obvious reasons. It was one of ABCF's better shows and was cancelled far too soon. R.I.P.!)

But here we go! You can reblog from my original post here, if you have a Tumblr account. Or you can simply view it, here, on my blog.
I understood then. We were a constellation.
We would always be together.
ebr Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford | Rating: ★★★★☆

As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

What a stellar debut! I’m still swooning a bit from its prose and how everything just was.

Which leads to me screaming from my roof: Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford is a delight. I loved the vibe of it and while it may not be for absolutely everyone, you really do need a specific taste to enjoy this, it caters incredibly to my taste of literature.

And then some. Truly.

Plus–how bright and gorgeous is that cover? It’s so eye catching and a rare one that actually suits the book. If you are to judge one book on its cover this year, and buy it because HELLO gorgeous, make it Everybody Rise.

I enjoyed this little guy so much–in spite of its flaws and the lack of inclusion on my best of 2015 list, it only JUST missed the cut by one inch–I devoured it in one sitting. I am not exaggerating, I read it so quickly I’m pretty sure I left some sort of road marks on it from going so fast. I wouldn’t be surprised if I accidentally tore some pages.


ehg Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave | Rating: ★★★☆☆

Maybe that was just childhood? You hurry up, pick the opposite path, try to make childhood end. Then, as an adult, you have no idea why you were running away. What, exactly, you needed so desperately to get away from.

As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Beyond its gorgeous cover art, Eight Hundred Grapes has many things going for it in terms of intriguing readers. One look at its gripping summary and the promise of fiery emotions/the outcome of secrets will make this obvious.

Its premise alone promises us a trip of secrets and the explosive reactions it leaves in its wake when shocking secrets are revealed. Who can resist, right? Secrets, secrets are SO fun. Readers will instantly be drawn in with this standout in this years chick lit releases. There are many moments you will want to grab your highlighter or tabs to mark various quotes/passages.

Because of this, and its prose which leads to a light way of reading, it’s sure to find a generous fanbase. Eight Hundred Grapes reads in a way that leaves us with a vivid picture without all that much work on our part.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Cover Art Makeover: The Winner's Trilogy


You may have already heard: just a few days ago Fierce Reads announced a massive surprise to fans of Marie Rutkoski's underrated The Winner's Trilogy. An unexpected new series of cover art for the entire series. While it is no surprise to see publishers changing a books look--for marketing purposes; packaging is important--it does come as a shock to fans who fell in love with series' original art and poses the question: if it's not broken, why fix it?

(To say we, as fans, are pissed would be an understatement. I will say it now: this is one of the worst changes they could have done to the cover art of a series that is still unfinished.) 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

the knockoff The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Plazza | Rating: ★★★☆☆

As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Oh, I was so looking forward to The Knockoff but felt let off short at the end of the day. Lucy Sykes and Jo Plazza’s novel was good–it really was, and HILARIOUS about 98% of the time but the truth is I wanted to love it more than I actually did. I don’t want to say it was forgettable but it wasn’t as high on my list as I thought it’d be.

It was a solid 3.5 on my scale which is a pretty damn good rating. I just wanted more from it, I guess. The Knockoff simply wasn’t my favorite read of the year nor was it my least.

Where do I begin? Lucy and Jo write stylishly. Oh, this is SO undeniable: quick wit and descriptive and indulgent and fashionable. I’d like to see more fiction penned by them because I have a feeling it will just keep getting my better.

Standouts! There so much humor in it that it’s going to appeal to a lot of women (and men) who may not typically read beyond magazines. The Knockoff has a lot of things going for and against it (sometimes it felt like it was going in circles) but its humor and style is the biggest standout of it all.

Did I mention it’s hilarious?


The Best of 2015

GOODBYE, 2015!
Thank you for all the phenomenal releases.

Okay, so the year isn’t over yet but I felt pretty confident in posting this now, nearly a month ahead of schedule. Mainly because I don’t have any more books with a 2015 release date to add from my to-read pile (that would actually get finished by New Years) and all that jazz. Also because I don’t trust myself to post it on time unless it’s early.

*As a note: I'm not including the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone or the retelling of Twilight, Life & Death mainly because those options would be glaringly obvious when it comes down to my favorites. I wanted to give the others more space on my blog because there was so much to be discovered this year. I'm also not including books that I've read this year from previous published dates--that will be an entirely different list, if I should have the time.

Sh. Just roll with it. Pretend my logic is really there, guys.

As for the rest...

Let's be real: picking your favorites in a sea of really great releases isn't all that fun. It's like picking a favorite child. You just can't do it. So fellow readers will nod along when I say: it isn’t easy to pick just a few when you’re a massive bookworm but I did manage to narrow it down a bit. A little bit. Is 30 books considered little? Whatever. Who cares! Here are my top 30 releases of 2015, in no [real] order. I'm serious though on the lack of order, guys--I cannot bring myself to put them in order, it's nearly impossible so the list is going to be in whatever order Goodreads has it.

You can view my shelf of 2015 favorites here on Goodreads. Or, if you can’t view it there you can follow me down the rabbit hole...

ttwk The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth | Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.7)

As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

The first thing you should know about The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth is that it’s heartbreaking and full of raw honesty that it will touch something in your soul. Shockingly, it is so much more than that. It’s warm. It’s uplifting. It’s got such heart. I mean that–you’re going to feel so much while reading this that I cannot even capture all these thoughts into one review.

Yes, it’s that good. It’s impossibly good.

And at times it is very, very difficult to read it due to the turmoil which comes with subject matters. There’s a balance to it that makes it work, though. The Things We Keep is not going to be for everyone but its honesty and sheer magic in the way its written. It has already earned a lot of buzz for its touchy subject, all sorts of human emotion and has also garnered a comparison to Still Alice.

As I’ve only read about a quarter of the way through in Still Alice (not because it isn’t good), I can’t say that the two should be compared. I will say that Sally Hepworth knows what she is doing in crafting this story.

Smiley facePretty Little Secrets (PLL #4.5) by Sara Shepard | Rating: ★★★☆☆

Next up on my Christmas friendly list of recommendations and reviews is a collection of holiday stories set in the Pretty Little Liars universe, planted between the first A arch and the second. It’s Christmas time in Rosewood and our girls are up to a lot. Sara Shepard brings us four short stories, one for each of our liars, and shows us just what the girls were up to between gaps in time.

“But what’s the point of it?” it serves no real substance to any plots in the future of the series. Here’s the thing, kids: it’s just a collection of holiday stories. Short stories set in the winter, in between the darkness that they face. It is meant to give us a glimpse of what they are like when A is only in the shadows and Sara succeeds at that. It’s cute. You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to, you won’t get lost if you choose not to.

But it’s still fun for the holidays!

That’s all you need to know, really. Think about that time you wrote a fluffy fanfiction about your OTP, or a subplot to a story you were working on or something that just was for fun and enjoyable. That’s essentially what that is. A little treat in between timelines to lighten the load. It does its job and is just a treat for longtime readers.

When I heard about this little guy–I was surprisingly oblivious towards it for at least a year and I only found out about it because it was only $3 at BAM in the bargain bin–I did a little embarrassing happy dance in the bookstore. No, don’t look at me like that, I’m not embellishing. I really did do a little jig.


mtlgtm My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins | Rating: ★★★★☆

Spinning back around to my original focus of the month–damn health got in the way, didn’t it?–Christmas. Or rather, holiday themed stories. It would seem that the most obvious pick of recent releases would be My True Love Gave to Me, a collection of some of the most delightful holiday stories told by the best of today’s young adult authors, but the truth was I didn’t actually finish it until…

FIVE MINUTES AGO? Okay hear me out, I have a good reason!

I bought myself a copy of the book last year and read the first three or four stories only to find that one of my best friends couldn’t afford to get himself something that year (he spent his money on family and friends and of course his bills and such) so I asked him, “Is there anything else you would want?”

(I, of course, already had a present for him and gave it to him earlier that week with strict orders not to open it until at least Christmas Eve. I played it off that I wasn’t about to buy him more so it wouldn’t make him feel bad. He probably didn’t buy it all that much but is a good sport… sometimes.)

The list was pretty short considering his varied taste but it did include this little guy (he is a massive fan of Gayle Forman and David Levithan) and given the bad news that there is only one book store in my area (and no way was I driving to Chicago a week before Christmas–imagine the traffic!), all leading up to there not being any copies left in stock, I decided to wrap up my copy with the rest from his list as opposed to giving up on completing his want list.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

untamed Untamed (Splintered Companion) by A.G. Howard | Rating: ★★★★★

As a note, a finished copy of this novel was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Nearly a year since readers said their farewells to A.G. Howard’s vivid, beautiful and grotesque take on Wonderland and all the delightful (and yes, at times frightening) characters found in between two realms, Splintered is back. Or at least, to some capacity it’s back–regardless, we as fans and readers are given the chance at one last trip down the rabbit hole through our newest addition to the family: Untamed.

Untamed, if you were wondering, serves as a beautiful tie-in to our already loved world and the characters we grew to admire in the span of a few years. It fills in some blanks on some plots and will leave readers dazed.

That’s right, our favorite character’s back and showcased in three different novellas as a companion to the main series. I have to admit this was my number one most anticipated read for 2015 and I feel so incredibly honored to have the chance to review it for you.

(In truth, readers, my review may not be up to standard. I’m going to–of course–leave my review spoiler free but I should also warn you that I may stray a bit in a slightly incoherent cold manner. So bare with me!)


Sunday, December 6, 2015

mistletoe Mistletoe: Four Holiday Stories by Various Authors | Rating: ★★★☆☆

Starting off my celebration and talks of stories that fit in with the holidays wonderfully, the first collection of holiday themed stories that comes to my mind is Mistletoe. In fact, it was the very first collection of four holiday stories that I’d ever picked up, due to my love of Melissa de la Cruz and Aimee Friedman.

While Mistletoe: Four Holiday Stories has the promise of a lot of fluffy goodness, it isn’t the best release out there. I loved all the stories in it once upon a time, but upon my reread of it last week, I’d discovered that only two of these stories still warmed me up. This isn’t to say that the short stories aren’t good, because that’s completely untrue, it’s just that they seemed to have… well, not aged well.

I’ll start with the first story from the collection. If I were you I wouldn’t expect me to go in story order, though.

At the time of its original release, I didn’t know much about Hailey Abbot’s work. My [then] best friend was once obsessed with her Boys series, and I just couldn’t get into it at the time. Which surprised me when I found that I loved her story in this one.


between Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates | Rating: ★★★★★

“You must resist the common urge toward the comforting narrative of divine law, toward fairy tales that imply some irrepressible justice. The enslaved were not bricks in your road, and their lives were not chapters in your redemptive history. They were people turned to fuel for the American machine. Enslavement was not destined to end, and it is wrong to claim our present circumstance—no matter how improved—as the redemption for the lives of people who never asked for the posthumous, untouchable glory of dying for their children. Our triumphs can never compensate for this.”

As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Ta-Nehisi Coates has been on my radar for a long time and Between the World and Me was easily one of my most anticipated books of 2015. But who wasn’t waiting for this one? I was so beyond thrilled to see a galley reach my mailbox of it and I was so hyped to start it.

And between you and me, readers, it was all worth it.

If there’s one book you want to buy this year, only one based on reviews and praise, make it Between the World and Me. There are a lot of reasons why this book is so  important in the talk on status of race and the racism which still exists today. Coates puts all of this into words that are full of raw emotion and truths. It's not a simple assessment, but describing it is simply put by saying "this book, this--this is necessary."


warren Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye written by Tania del Rio, illustrations by Will Staehle | Rating: ★★★★☆

As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Looking for a gift for your favorite young reader? Have no fear, Warren the 13th is here!

Written by Tania del Rio and illustrations provided by Will Staehle, Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye provides audiences of all ages with an engaging read and vivid images that will surely captivate readers. Not only is the story magical and easy to process, which is a good thing, the art inside is just as good. Warren is the perfect addition to any youngsters library and is fast on the track to becoming one of the best middle grade books of 2015.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

‘Tis the season to be jolly.
And walk down memory lane.
Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

[Update: I've been sick so this idea is pretty much in the bin now but I will still try to do a few holiday reviews!] Leading up to the days before the holidays I will be revisiting, reposting and revising reviews from some of my favorite (or non favorite) holiday stories. If you do not celebrate any holiday during this time, I’m going to apologize to you right here and now for clogging up your senses with my festive gibberish and ask you to stay patient, the season will be gone before you know it.

And of course if you do not celebrate Christmas but instead one of many beautiful holidays, you are more than welcome to share your favorite tidbits and stories and traditions with me.

(I wish you a very, very happy holiday season.)

This time of the year is my favorite. In my postings from now until Christmas is over, I will explore some holiday gems through the genres and review them all to celebrate the season. My first thought is to also include past reviews that have been made recently in the genre: One Wish in Manhattan by the wonderful Mandy Baggot in particular. Which, if you haven't checked it out yet, this is the part where I shake you and say to snag a copy for yourself this holiday season. Fluffy and overall a delight to read, One Wish in Manhattan is one of those books you should curl up next to a fire with. It's really cozy.

As for me...