archive: 2018

Review: Legendary (Caraval, #2) by Stephanie Garber

11:00 AM

Legendary by Stephanie Garber | Rating: ★★★★★

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

Do you hear that? Me, singing the praises of Stephanie Garber's magical world once more? Last year, the first installment of this spellbinding series Caraval blew me away--and made my best-of-2017 list. It was beyond brilliant and it froze me up for a good month because I had that delicious book-hangover sensation.

This year, Legendary is going do much of the same for very different reasons. I already expected great things from Garber based on Caraval, but Legendary not only continued the story--feeding on the dark, romantic, whimsical feeling we came to know previous--it carved out stories of its own. Many of the characters we met in Caraval appear in Legendary, but we also have the good fortune of knowing many more. And this time, we see a story told through Tella's eyes.

And, oh my God, it is vivid

alex & eliza

Everything You Love About Melissa de la Cruz's Writing is Forever Present (Review: Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz)

2:01 PM

Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz | Rating: ★★★☆☆

As you all know, one of my favourite YA releases last year was Melissa de la Cruz's Alex & Eliza. For a hot minute, I hadn't realized that it was set up to be a series of novels vs. a standalone. Melissa de la Cruz is perhaps one of my most-purchased authors, so there was really no question that I'd be picking up a copy of Love & War. While I do feel as though its predecessor was far better than this installment, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable read that I breezed through in one afternoon.

Something I love about Melissa de la Cruz's writing is that she is very... light, but still thoughtful and warm. I think that's one of the things new readers will note in the Alex & Eliza series; there's this quality to it that just brings on the warm and fuzzies and I am totally here for it!

As for the least desirable qualities to Love & War: the historical inaccuracies. I did read de la Cruz's note at the end of the novel, however, I'm not altogether keen on altering history to that degree (Alex and Eliza not having children in the way that their real-life counterparts had)--and had similar issues with the Hamilton musical (though it is one of my all-time favourite musicals) taking such liberties. This is a bit of a mundane thing to note though, as Love & War is a fictional spin on their relationship. For some readers, this may make or break the novel.

archive: 2018

Cover Reveal: Someone Else's Soul

8:30 AM

The cover reveal for Meradeth Houston's highly anticipated mystery Someone Else's Soul is finally here. If you, like me, are missing the television series Orphan Black right about now--you're in luck: Someone Else's face promises to fill the gap that our beloved show left behind in terms of suspense and mystery. It's the waiting that will get you--its publication on May 7th, 2019. 

But while we wait, we've got the official cover art to hold us tightly until then and it is stunning. Get ready for your exclusive look at it under the cut! 

archive: 2018

Review: Passion by Lauren Kate

10:35 PM

Passion by Lauren Kate | Rating: ★★★☆☆

"Fear has envy in it somewhere. You may not believe it, but there are many who wish to wield the power that I wield." 

Finally, the Fallen series has picked up a little more and actually developed itself. Passion captures many of the elements that made Fallen and Torment fail in my eyes, but for the most part--I felt like I walked away knowing something more in this installment. One of the things that made me less than keen on the previous two books in Lauren Kate's bestselling series was that we know very little of Lucinda's past lives, the curse, the angels and demons, or her relationship with Daniel.

We know virtually nothing besides the present and every time we get a little closer to learning something, we get tossed into this back-and-forth of love and angst that gets a little tiring. Fallen's lack of development and the trope of instant-love just didn't mix well with its premise and, frankly, kept tripping over itself. In Passion, we see Lucinda's past lives as she travels through them with a new-and-mysterious companion who may or may not have the best intentions for the series' heroes. To say it straight, Passion (though flawed) lives up to the groundwork that Kate has been setting up since book one and puts the other two installments in the dust.


Review: Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by Various Authors

10:14 PM

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by Various Authors | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 nearly 4)

 “Not all monsters are filled with darkness.' She wanted him to understand this so badly that her voice trembled.

He didn't even hesitate. 'This one is.'

She allowed herself a moment to admire Tommy, the way he stood so resolute, like a knight charging after the monster. He just didn't get that this fight wasn't his to wage.

'Exactly so,' she finally said.

Good anthologies can be hard to stumble upon for me. I just don't seem to enjoy them well enough. Especially those of the horror/thriller variety. Fortunately, Slasher Girls and Monsters Boys is one of the better releases in recent memory despite any weak points it had throughout its impressive collection of short stories. Admittedly, I only initially picked up the collection for the stories by A.G. Howard, Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo and Jonathan Maberry, but I'm glad I did regardless! Because there were quite a few gems in it that made the lesser stories less disappointing to me. Slasher Girls and Monster Boys is more good than bad. And by good, I mean bad--in the terrifyingly explosive and delicious way.

amie kaufman

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

9:35 PM

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | Rating: ★★★★☆

Am I not merciful?

What a suspenseful, chilling read! I had been hearing the hype surrounding Illuminae since its initial publication but because of the way it is written, I had been hesitant to try it out. I feared I'd burned myself out of this style of writing when I was a teenager immersed in T.T.Y.L. and those other IM based books, so it did take me a bit longer to get to it than I'd planned. But, I'm glad I read it when I did! Because it was thoroughly enjoyable.

Illuminae is split into various points of view (although it is mainly focused on two characters, Kady and Ezra) and dips its toes into many forms of story telling: transcripts of interviews, instant messaging, letters, documents and more. This was my first experience with writing by both authors, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, but it certainly won't be my last. Not many authors can pull off story-telling in the way that they managed to with this one and that should be applauded first and foremost.

The action and stakes are high in Illuminae and the way the story unfolds is delectable in the sense that you feel like you are a part of it. Would you feel the same intimacy from a standard novel with this plot? Mostly--it just so happens that Illuminae's strength comes from its format and how readers are swept into the thick of it straight away. Although I have read similar novels not only in format but in science-fiction plotlines, Illuminae stands out on its own as something unique and not quite like anything I'd read before.

archive: 2018

Review: She Felt Like Feeling Nothing by R.H. Sin

10:38 PM

She Felt Like Feeling Nothing by R.H. Sin | Rating: ★★★☆☆

my whole life has been about waiting always waiting, always hanging on
to the tomorrows of today
or trying to figure out how
to survive the aches of 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.

Oh-my-god, did I really just give a collection of poetry by R.H. Sin a 3.5 star rating? Sigh. I'm disappointed in me too, don't worry. But, I have to be honest with you guys: She Felt Like Feeling Nothing is, perhaps, Sin's weakest piece of work to date. It's not that it isn't a good collection (it's quite good) but it's not up to Sin's typical standards and falls short in comparison to his many brilliant previously published collections of the last few years. She Felt Like Feeling Nothing had that honest, complex prose that fans have grown accustomed to yet it felt all-too familiar (align it up with some of his other collections and it feels too much like them) and maybe a little more short than desired.

archive: 2018

Review: You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

10:16 PM

You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld | Rating: ★★★★★

“I had no idea, of course, that of all the feelings of my youth that would pass, it was this one, of an abundance of time so great as to routinely be unfillable, that would vanish with the least ceremony.” 

Curtis Sittenfeld was the first author I read outside of YA literature all the way back in middle school. This was, of course, when Prep had only just recently been published. I remember not fully comprehending certain parts of Prep, due to my age, but I remember noticing something full of sparks in her prose--you know good writing when you feel it. And, boy, did I feel Prep even if it wasn't what I had gone into it expecting.

You Think It, I'll Say It was one of my most anticipated reads of the year for that reason alone. I've never really disliked any book penned by her. When I say Sittenfeld is one of the best writers of our time, I mean it--and this collection of short stories proves this. If you were in doubt about her abilities after Eligible (which, I think, wasn't given much of a fair chance amongst readers) then You Think It, I'll Say It will clear it up for you. Although short stories aren't always works I am keen on, Sittenfeld blows each and every one of them out of the park with her thoughtful writing and realistic characters.

archive: 2018

Cover Reveal: The Revolution of Jack Frost by K.M. Robinson

11:00 AM

ATTENTION YA FANS! K.M. Robinson's dystopian, fairy-tale retelling novel The Revolution of Jack Frost isn't out until November 6th, 2018, but it's a definite must-add to your TBR pile when November does swing around. Until then, I'm excited to share with you the official cover art reveal with you today. And it's striking! 

Follow the cut for your exclusive first look--and remember to add it to your Goodreads shelf! 

archive: 2018

Book Blitz, Excerpt + Giveaway: The Trouble With Unicorns by D.T. Dyllin

8:30 AM

If you think I'm applying a swipe of Too Faced's lipstick Unicorn Tears in honor of The Trouble With Unicorns release, you're absolutely right. D.T. Dyllin's novel promises to be a breath of fresh air in the literature world--and you'd be foolish not to look into it. In honor of its publication (April 30th, 2018) we've got a delightful giveaway under the cut for you and your exclusive first look. 

What are you waiting for? Follow the cut. 

archive: 2018

Review: The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

10:25 PM

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott | 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.

Just a quick question before I start reviewing the book it-self: Is anyone else flinching at the complaints of the title? Oh-My-God, it has the word "Girl" in it! Gone Girl! Girl on the Train! The Good Girl! The French Girl! It's almost like it's a mystery novel about a--gasp--young woman. However will we survive the use of a word that is entirely relevant to the plot!? Are we going to lift our noses at the use of the word The, next? No? Double gasp. I didn't think so.

All in good fun, kids! My sarcasm is all in good fun! I do wish they had used the original/working title of The French Girl--The Mademoiselle Next Door, it was very catchy. For the most part, I just cannot wrap my head around people just latching negative attention on the use of one word in the title. That's just me. The book in question would have been phenomenal with any title. It was bleak. It was a dreary mystery. There's this charge to the book that will electrify thriller lovers because of its dishy-but-subtle prose. I adored the entire premise and the manner in which the main mystery unfolded.

I love an old fashioned whodunnit. I love a story of friendships and secrets and one massive event that lingers in the background. I love conflict and most of all, I love how the past doesn't always stay buried.

all the feels

Review: All the Feels by Danika Stone

11:11 PM

All the Feels by Danika Stone | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

"She stared, wide eyed as glass-walled elevators shot up fifty-two floors like pods in a launch tube. Everything - from the glaringly bright carpet swirling with psychedelic lines; to the hotel's open ceiling ringed by storey after storey of balconies, the distant roof so high it made her head spin; to the people decked out in cosplay - was torn from a science fiction novel. It seemed Liv had spent the last eighteen years in search of her people, and in one sudden explosion of fate, they'd all been brought together in this place in time. Her eyes filled with tears as a sudden awareness filled her."

Oh, All the Feels gave me all the expectations before I even cracked it open. I wanted to feel that the main character, Liv, and I were something like kindred spirits. More than that, I wanted to feel that nostalgia that came with the parallels. After-all, when I was both a preteen and teenager, I was engrossed in various fandom groups. Although, to be perfectly blunt with you, times were a bit different back then. Between the use of The-N's message board, Yahoo Groups/MSN pages, not to mention the entirely delightful messes that were Geocities and Angelfire, my experiences in fandom were less in real-time and more in downtime.