The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh | Book Review

(The Wrath and the Dawn #1)

Published: May 12th 2015

Synopsis:

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.


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My Rating: 5 stars 5/5 (Outstanding)

Book Information

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance, Retelling, Young Adult

Page Count: 388

Format: Hardcover


Hello! It’s been forever since I’ve really done a worthwhile post—this past week has just been memes really, and I feel terrible for that! It’s been over a week since I last posted a review, and that really isn’t good. Not to mention I have yet to go around to a lot of your blogs and reply to your comments. I’m sorry, guys! I’ve really been trying to, but I just don’t seem to have the time, and I have no idea how things just got so out of hand. Anyway, please hold your sticks and stones for now, I really am super sorry. 😦

Anyway, gloom and doom aside, today I finally have a review, on, as you may have guessed, The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. This A Thousand and One Nights retelling has been super hyped up before and since its release, so I was super excited to see that this was the chosen book for the August read-along hosted by Bibliophile Gathering. Now, I’m going to be completely honest here and say that going into this book, I hardly had any idea what A Thousand and One Nights was about. I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to know this fairytale before reading this book, but I didn’t. Either way, it didn’t affect the reading experience. This book was amazing and I really loved it. I totally understand the hype and it met my expectations in a completely unexpected way (if that makes any sense)!

Quick Summary

The eighteen year-old Caliph of Khoresan, Khalid is a killer. Every night Khalid chooses a new bride, only to have her killed as sunrise. It all comes as a surprise when brave Shahrzad volunteers to be his bride. But Shahrzad is more than what she seems, as her clever mind is set on getting revenge on the man who killed her best friend and so many others. Problem is, she might just be falling in love with him… But how could she, when he’s proven, time and time again, to be a killer?Read More »

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Friday Finds #18+19 (August 7 & 14)

Hello my fellow virtual bookish friends! I missed last week’s Friday Finds, so today I have a combined Friday Finds post of both the books I found last week and this week. Here they are:

Some Girls Are_bookcover  The Looking Glass Wars_bookcover  The Book of Lost Things_bookcover

Some Girls Are                           The Looking Glass Wars          The Book of Lost Things
by Courtney Summers              by Frank Beddor                        by John Connolly

Sunset Rising_bookcover  The Night Sister_bookcover  Psycho_bookcover

Sunset Rising                           The Night Sister                         Psycho
by S.M. Mceachern                  by Jennifer McMahon              by Robert Bloch

Darkhouse_bookcover  Captivate_bookcover  Waterfell_bookcover

Darkhouse                                 Captivate                                   Waterfell
by Karina Halle                        by Vanessa Garden                  by Amalie Howard

The Great Hunt_bookcover  Underwater_bookcover  Beyond the Red_bookcover

The Great Hunt                          Underwater                                 Beyond the Red
by Wendy Higgins                     by Marisa Reichardt                  by Ava Jae


These all look like great reads! What do you think of these finds? What books have you recently added to your TBR? Let me know in the comments below or link your post!

Analee 10

Nature of Grace Series Book Blast/Blitz & Giveaway

 

nature of grace
Nature of Grace Boxed Set by S.R. Johannes

The NATURE OF GRACE books have hit many of the top young adult/teen and thriller best seller lists including: Best Debut, Movers and Shakers, Top 100 in Thrillers, and the Top 100 in Teen Action Adventure books.

This new “Nature of Grace” Exclusive Box set is for readers who love wilderness thrillers. 16 year old Grace grew up in the woods determined to make a difference in the North Carolina wilderness. When she comes across conservation threats, she uses her survival and wilderness skills to stop them, no matter what the cost. In addition to being a thriller/mystery – other book themes include conservation, nature, animals, survival, wilderness, endangered animals.

The box set includes all 3 boxes in the Nature of Grace (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable). It also includes an exclusive short story, Unspeakable from Mo’s perspective) as well as the original Untraceable before it was changed.

The box set also includes a large section of Special Extras that include interviews with the author, characters, and additional information on the nature and animal conservation the books support.

Untraceable (Book 1) – When Grace’s forest ranger dad disappears on patrol, she fights town authorities, tribal officials, & nature to prove he’s alive. Torn between a hot boy and cute ex, she heads into the wilderness to find her dad. Soon, she is caught in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder.

Uncontrollable (Book 2) – When Grace enters the Red Wolf Reintroduction Program. When wolves start showing up dead, Grace must work through her fears and hunt down clues to find out who is sabotaging the wolf program and why. Little does she know, she is being hunting too.

Unstoppable (Book 3) – When Grace moves to the Everglades to live with her grandmother, Birdie, she makes new friends with Dylan and his girlfriend, fellow animal activist, Sadie. After finding an injured Florida Panther, she stumbles upon a large roadside zoo illegally filled with a variety of endangered and exotic animals. There, she and her friends are kidnapped by the ruthless owner and dragged deep into the Everglades for a hunting challenge. Only this time, Grace is the prey.

Unspeakable (Short Story from Mo’s perspective) – When Mo sees a strange girl in the woods, he follows her. He soon realizes they are both in a dangerous position and may not get out alive.
Untraceable’s Original Ending – Never released before!

Exclusive Extras – including author interviews, character interviews, insider scoop on the series, and additional animal and nature conservation information on the issues covered in the series.

Sale!! From now until August 16 the complete box set is only $0.99.

Amazon

Praise for the books:

“A Modern Day Katniss” -Reel Life with Jane

“A suspense-filled mystery with surprises that keep you guessing all the way to the end.”- IndieReader

Kirkus Reviews called this teen series “a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance”!

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SR JohannesAuthor S. R. Johannes

S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling Nature of Grace thriller series (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable). She is a winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award in YA, an IPPY a Silver Medalist for YA Fiction, a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Young Adult Fiction, and a Finalist in US Book News Best YA Book.
Since leaving Corporate America, she has followed her passion for writing and conservation by working with The Dolphin Project, the Atlanta Zoo, other animal rescue organizations, and by weaving conservation themes into her books.

Currently, she lives in Atlanta, GA with her two Doodles, English-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Newsletter


Book Blast Giveaway – $100 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash, Ends 8/31/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com eGift Card or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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WWW Wednesday #19 (August 12)

Hello and welcome back to another lovely Wednesday! And you all know what Wednesday means, I’m sure; it’s time for WWW Wednesday, a meme formerly hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading; now hosted by Sam @Taking on a World of Words. Feel free to join in by answering these questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

I’m currently reading 3 books, although I’ll be finishing Cross My Heart and Hope to Die pretty soon, as I’m near the end of it. The Sister Pact is also a very nice read, I’m around 30% into it and interested in seeing what will happen next! I’m not too far into Until We Meet Again yet, but it seems to be promising.

Recently Finished

I have actually been quite tired and busy this past week, and am quite relieved that I didn’t fall into a reading slump! I enjoyed reading all of these books, especially The Summer of Chasing Mermaids and The Wrath and the Dawn. I was worried that since the other books I was reading at the time were contemporary-ish, I might not enjoy the latter, but boy, did I enjoy it! It was an awesome read. Dash and Lily was also a very fun read. Pepped Up was an unplanned read, a review copy that had me pleasantly surprised.

Read Next

I can’t pinpoint the exact inspiration for these next reads, except for True Lies, Seven Minutes in Heaven (to finish the Lying Game series), and The Night Circus (was on my read-next last week). Joyride, Confess and City of Fae are complete instinct picks. Joyride seems like a cute contemporary and I’ve been meaning to read more of Colleen Hoover’s standalone books, and Confess seemed like a good one to pick. City of Fae had been pretty hyped up a couple of months ago (or is that just me?) and I’m looking forward to trying it out as it seems like something I’d enjoy.


So that’s it for this week’s WWW Wednesday! What have you been reading now, then and next? What do you think of my selection of books? Let me know in the comments below or link your post!

Happy Wednesday!

Analee 10

Top Ten Tuesday #18 (August 11): Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

Hello! It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is, as you can guess, ten authors I’ve read the most from! This was kind of an eye-opener for some authors I’ve read from. 🙂 And for the first time in my days of doing TTT, I actually made the list in a specific order, instead of random. Lol! Also, just a little note; author names link to their Goodreads page. Anyway, let’s get to it!

Author Meg Cabot

1. Meg Cabot (31 books + 7 novellas read)

Looking back on it, I did kind of go on a Meg Cabot marathon kind of thing back in the old days! XD The books/series I’ve read of Meg Cabot: Princess Diaries series (10 books + 7 novellas), Mediator series (6 books), 1-800-Where-R-You? series (5 books), Heather Wells series (5 books), All-American Girl Duology (2 books), Airhead trilogy (3 books), Abandon trilogy (3 books), Teen Idol (Standalone), Pants on Fire (Standalone), Jinx (Standalone), and Avalon High (Standalone)

Wow, I can’t believe I’m only now noticing the number of Meg Cabot books I’ve read! 🙂 She is a great author though, so I’m not regretting these reads.

2. Rick Riordan (14 books)Rick Riordan pic

Ah, Rick Riordan. This list wouldn’t be complete without him. I’ve read his Percy Jackson & Heroes of Olympus series, as well as the Kane Chronicles and the Greek Gods book. They were all great reads, of course! 🙂 Can’t wait to read his upcoming novel, The Sword of Summer. (That’s what it’s called, right?)

Author Jennifer Armentrout

3. Jennifer L. Armentrout (16 books + 4 novellas)

Most of the books I’ve read from her are series; Covenant series (5 books +2 novellas), Lux series (5 books + 1 novella), and The Dark Elements series (3 books + 1 novella). I’ve also read her YA stand-alones; Cursed, Don’t Look Back and The Dead List. I have been meaning to read her NA With You saga and spin-off of the Covenant, The Return, but I haven’t gotten around to them yet.

4. Lemony Snicket (13 books)Lemony Snicket

The Series of Unfortunate Events is one of the series I’ve read in my childhood, boy, is it a long series! I remember enjoying them when I read them, although now I can’t say I’d feel the same. Who knows, I don’t plan on re-reading them anytime soon–I have too many books on my TBR for that! XD

Richelle Mead pic5. Richelle Mead (12 books)

I’ve read her Vampire Academy series (6 books) a bit back and earlier this year I also finished her VA spin-off series, Bloodlines (also 6 books). They’re great series, and I definitely can’t wait for Soundless, Richelle Mead’s upcoming novel!

6. P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast (12 books)P.C Cast and Kristin Cast

I’ve only read the House of Night series from these two authors (a long but interesting vampire-themed series) but I do plan on reading more from them!

Author Cassandra Clare

7. Cassandra Clare (10 books)

The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices are both awesome series, although I have to say I liked the latter more. I also really enjoyed The Bane Chronicles, stories told from the one and only Magnus Bane, of course. I have yet to read The Iron Trial, but I have a copy of it and I can’t wait to read it!

8. Sara Shepard (9 books read + 1 novella)Sara Shepard

I’ve only read the first five books of the PLL series and the first 4 books in The Lying Game series, as well as a Lying Game novella. I’ve been meaning to finish the PLL series, but to be honest I don’t see myself doing that anytime soon.

Sarah Dessen9. Sarah Dessen (8 books)

I own basically all of her YA books, but I do still have to read I think around 4 of them. One of my favorites so far is The Truth About Forever; it’s simply awesome! I can’t wait to read Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything.

10. J.K. Rowling (7 books + 2 novellas)J.K Rowling

I’m talking about the Harry Potter series, of course, including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages. I’ve been meaning to read her other books, like The Casual Vacancy, but I haven’t really gotten around to it yet.

And now, I have a lot of honourable mentions: Melissa de la Cruz (7 books + 2 novellas), Julie Kagawa (6 books + 3 novellas), Michael Grant (6 books), Maggie Stiefvater (6 books), Lauren Oliver (5 books + 3 novellas), Sarah J. Maas (5 books), Nicholas Sparks (5 books), Lauren Kate (5 books + 1 novella), Stephenie Meyer (5 books), Marissa Meyer (3 books + 4 novellas), Patrick Ness (3 books + 3 novellas), Tahereh Mafi (3 books + 2 novellas) …and a bunch of other others I can’t remember at the moment. 🙂


So that’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! What authors have you read the most from? Do we have any in common? Let me know in the comments below, or link your post!

Happy Tuesday! ❤

Analee 10

Before Vengeance by Louisa Lo | Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Title: Before Vengeance

Author: Louisa Lo

Series Status: Cosmic Balance #0.5

Publication date: TBA 2015

Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy


Synopsis (from Goodreads):

What if everything you’ve ever known, down to what you are, was a lie?

Growing up in the enchanted kingdom of Dualsing, seventeen-year-old Lady Serafina has always known she’s different. Her fae power never manifested itself during puberty, and her parents treated her like a tolerated houseguest rather than family. Even her childhood sweetheart, Crown Prince Eldon, distanced himself the moment he was old enough to know the secret about Serafina that everyone in their world seems to know—except her.

Now her upcoming birthday is being treated as a national holiday by the very people who’d neglected her, Eldon is in for a political battle of his life that she’s somehow being dragged into, and Serafina is developing abilities that feel terrifyingly right, but aren’t fae power at all.

As she starts to investigate her origin, Serafina has no idea she would be setting in motion events that would have far-reaching consequences not just for herself, but for all the planes.

Note: BEFORE VENGEANCE is a prequel of VENGEANCE BE MINE.

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Purchase: Will be found here come release day


Excerpt

Under the fading sun, I hurried past the palace square, keeping my shoulders slumped and my eyes downcast. To the conversing noble in the vicinity, all they saw was a misfit. Someone looking to avoid trouble and attention.

The truth was, I was trying to avoid bringing attention to the trouble I might cause.

“Lady Serafina,” Alston, the royal butler, called from behind me.

I whirled around on the smooth, white marble floor. Alston balanced a jug of honey in each hand. The lower grade honey was intended as payments to the brownies for their housekeeping service.

I tried to concentrate on Alston’s words, and not the fact that the honey had been skimmed off the top by the butler.

Damn my keen sense of right and wrong, so utterly opposed to what everyone else on this plane considered normal.

“M’lady,” the imposing butler seemed disgusted with himself for having to address me. He didn’t even bother with a bow. “I’m to inform you that on the day of the Crossover, you’re to come to the South Tower before dawn.”

I nodded and started walking, hoping that would be all.

“One more thing,” Alston blocked my path, his eyes dropped to my neck with deep disapproval. “May I remind you to wear the Eye of Sebille at all times. I cannot stress enough the importance of it.”

A couple of noble ladies close by snickered at me, their laughter rang across the square like bells. Their pixies, taking cue from their mistresses, zoomed right by my braid rather than keeping a respectable distance.

I swallowed, my fingers brushed against my bare neck of their own accord. The Eye of Sebille was a long necklace with a bejeweled, egg-sized pendant. I hated wearing it. Not just because of its dead weight and sharp surface, but because of the mystery it represented.

In all my seventeen summers, I had never laid eyes on the Sebille family heirloom. Now, I was suddenly expected to wear it all the time. Why? Did it have something to do with my birthday?

When Alston passed by me, one of the honey jugs brushed against my arm. As the glass made contact with my exposed skin, sensations exploded though my system. It was as though in that moment, I could feel the hardship of the brownies, thankless servants little better than slaves. I felt their every yawn, every sore muscle, and every blister.

A brownie would have to work all year long just to get a single jug of cheap honey. To have over a third of it taken away by someone in a position of power…

It wasn’t right.

The injustices they suffered crashed through me like a tidal wave, stealing my breath and making my fists clench. But when the torrent of indignation passed, what was left in its place was a dead calm.

As I watched Alston’s retreating back, a song rose in me like a long-forgotten nursery rhyme:

Honey, they say you never go bad.

Make an exception,

For he who made the brownies sad.

Before Alston reached the corner of the palace square, he doubled over with pain. He dropped the jugs and collapsed on the floor, curling into a fetal position. He groaned, his arrogant and formidable demeanor gone.

The jugs bounced off the marble floor and landed on a small wooden patio table nearby, without a crack to the glass or a single drop of honey spilling.

Somehow, I knew Alston was in for a long night of food poisoning, just like I knew the brownies, to whom the jugs belonged, would find the honey tasted twice as sweet as it normally would. I had no idea how I knew. I just did.


AUTHOR BIO:

“Louisa Lo has an exciting new voice to bring to urban fantasy and a fun and breezy writing style that kept the pages quickly turning well into the night! I need more!” –Michelle Rowen, National Bestselling Author

LouisaLouisa Lo lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, an aristocratic cat, and more cardboard boxes than she cares to unpack. She decided to write about vigilantes, because it seems like a better life choice than trying to become one and landing herself in jail. She just has that kind of luck. Visit www.louisalo.com to learn more about Louisa and her books.

Author links:

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I’m back! (Did you miss me? XD)

Hello my lovely bookish blogging buddies! After a wonderful time spent in Mont Tremblant and Quebec (and even an unplanned trip to Montreal), I finally came back home yesterday and it’s definitely refreshing! I’ve had a great time with my family and visiting places around Quebec, but coming home is always a welcome feeling. 🙂 And I know I have lots of blogs to visit; it may take me a while to check out your posts, but I won’t neglect them forever! XD I know you guys have all posted great things and I really want to check them out soon.

I will be posting about my trip (with pictures!) sometimes soon hopefully, so stay tuned for that! That’s all for now, so happy reading and I shall see (not literally) you all next time! ❤

Stay bookish!

Analee 10

Like Candy by Debra Doxer | ARC Book Review (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

(Candy #1)

Published: July 28th 2015

Synopsis:

Revenge is sweet, just like candy.

Candy Seaborne knows she’s badass. She takes after her father, an assassin and possibly a spy, although he won’t admit to either. She idolizes him. Her dream is to follow in his footsteps. But first, she has to finish high school.

Biding her time, waiting for real life to begin, Candy craves drama and isn’t above manufacturing some. If you’re a classmate who wronged her or a boyfriend who cheated, watch your back. She’s no pushover, and revenge may be her favorite pastime.

Jonah Bryson is the senior class heartthrob who breaks all the stereotypes. He’s a jock, but he isn’t the typical player. He’s moody and antisocial. No girl has gotten anywhere with him since his last girlfriend broke his heart.

Candy sees Jonah as a challenge and the perfect distraction. But she may be in over her head because unlike everyone else, Jonah isn’t buying her tough act. He sees the lost, lonely girl inside. He sees too much. When he looks at her that way, she wants to let her guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s the last thing she should do because her father’s world is spilling over into hers, and life is about to get real much sooner than Candy expected.


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My Rating: 3.5 stars 3.5/5 (Liked it)

Book Information

Genre(s): Romance, Mystery, Young Adult

Page Count: 258

Format: ebook

Purchase: Amazon


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Welcome to my review tour stop of Like Candy by Debra Doxer, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.

Note: I received a free digital eARC of this book thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for review purposes. This does not affect my review.

Like Candy was an entertaining romance and mystery (mostly romance)! I know the genres include ‘mystery’ but really the majority of the book was romance, or that’s how it felt like. It wasn’t ’till I reached near the end of the book where my heart was really beating because of the mystery, my toes curled in anticipation to see what will happen next. Although this was misleading and kind of threw me off, I really enjoyed this book nonetheless.

Plot

The plot was kind of a surprise to me, mostly because from the blurb, I was expecting some kick-butt action from the main character, Candy, but instead got a girl with no skills other than to be able to manipulate and pull pranks on people who’ve wronged her. I also think it could’ve been better executed, it had the potential to be both a contemporary romance as well as a mystery and spy novel, and sometimes that clashed. That being said, the plot was still very entertaining. Despite what I just said about the two genres clashing, I really enjoyed the fact that while we were led to believe the book was all romance by the first part, there were little twists and turns here and there that made the storyline more engaging and unexpected. A lot of the book did focus on the romance between Candy and Jonah, though, so beware of that. Although the plot wasn’t exactly what I expected, I liked the way things turned out, even though the expected cliffhanger at the end has me cursing that I can’t yet read the next book. 🙂

Characters

Candy herself was an interesting character, one for which I have conflicted feelings toward. On one hand, her manipulative attitude, and actions, instead of coming off as badass, as she says herself, at times felt plain mean and petty,and rude for no reasonNot to mention throughout the book she hardly showed any assassin or badass skills at all, which was kind of disappointing. On the other hand, I did understand why she acted the way she did, and found it intriguing, as twisted that may sound. All she really wanted was her father’s approval, the one thing she never seems to be able to get. Her father is often cold and distant, which frustrated me because Candy deserved more, from her father, at least. She was, no matter how much of a strong, assassin kind of character she claimed to be, still really innocent and with no mother and a pretty bad childhood, she wanted, no, needed her father to be proud of her. I understood that, it really made her character, although sometimes hard to like, easier to sympathize with, because a parent’s approval is something we’ve all wanted some time or another, am I right?

As for the other characters, they shined less brightly than Candy, obviously, except for Jonah and Candy’s father. But starting with Jonah, the love interest. I can’t exactly say what I liked most about him, but I did like his character.

“I wish I was the first guy you fell for. Then maybe the shadows in your eyes wouldn’t be there, and when I told you how beautiful you are, you’d believe me. You make me want to erase those shadows and chase away the memories that put them there, because every day that you don’t realize how amazing you are is a tragedy in my book.”

He was definitely swoon-worthy! And hidden inside him there are a bunch of mysteries and secrets which added both depth to his character and more uncertainty that kept me engaged in the story.

As for Candy’s father, I was quite frustrated with him in the way he treated Candy, both hot and cold moods (generally cold) but his character really intrigued me. By the end of the novel we hardly knew anything more about him than when we started (which was kind of irksome, to be honest) and he was in a cloud of mystery. He has a lot of potential to be a crucial part in the story, and I’m really interested in seeing how he will turn out to be.

Writing Style

The writing style was great! I couldn’t stop reading, everything flowed seamlessly, and there were often parts of the book where it was like reading poetry without actually reading poetry, if that makes any sense.

“As I watched my mother fade and my father grieve, my inability to do anythings sat like a weight on my chest, growing heavier each day until something as simple as breathing hurt. All I could do was stand by while everything fell apart, and no matter how much I wished for things to get better, they never did.”

Although novels written in first person is sometimes a hit or miss kind of thing, in this book, I really felt Candy’s emotions, her feelings, really clearly and the writing was executed very well for the story. It was steamy in some places, mysterious in others, cute in several places. All arranged nicely to really show Candy’s feelings.

Overall…

This book felt more like a ‘hit or miss’ to me. You either like it or you don’t. The plot was an interesting combination of both mystery and romance, while most of the book focuses on the romance, there is more to it that keeps you engaged in the story. I’ll be looking forward to the second book, especially after the cliffhanger in this book! I’m also interested in seeing more of Candy’s development. She was fine in this book, however there are several things about her that I think I was supposed to enjoy, but instead I found came off as shallow and unmoral, and which might be delved into more in the sequel. I did really sympathize with her and understood her though, which is a plus in the reading experience. The secondary characters weren’t the greatest, but both Jonah and Candy’s father had a lot of depth to them and have the potential to be great characters in the sequel. The writing was easy to read, seamlessly flowing and really helping to get the readers acquainted with the way Candy thought. All in all, this book was quite enjoyable and I liked it!

This book will have you gobbling it up like candy! Eat it quickly!

Analee 10


Debra

AUTHOR BIO:
Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”
Connect with Debra. She loves hearing from readers.
Author links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


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What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi | Blog Tour + Giveaway

What You Left Behind_bookcoverWhat You Left Behind
By Jessica Verdi

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: August 4th 2015

Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction

Hardcover ISBN: 9781492614401
$16.99 Hardcover

Trade Paperback ISBN: 9781492608745
$9.99 Trade Paperback


Synopsis

Jessica Verdi, the author of My Life After Now and The Summer I Wasn’t Me, returns with a heartbreaking and poignant novel of grief and guilt that reads like Nicholas Sparks for teens.

It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions. Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?

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Praise for What You Left Behind

 “A powerful indictment of reparative therapy–a sweet love story–and an unforgettable main character!” –Nancy Garden, author of Annie on My Mind

 “Ryden’s story is a moving illustration of how sometimes you have to let go of the life you planned to embrace the life you’ve been given. A strong, character-driven story that teen readers will love.”

–Carrie Arcos, National Book Award Finalist for Out of Reach

“His [Ryden’s] candid voice is endearing, and although his present-tense narration at first seems like every other teen novel on the shelf, the granulated iteration of baby details helps to illuminate the crushing burden he feels. Other characters are also well-drawn, and the plot moves along tidily to a satisfying conclusion. Verdi balances her plot elements deftly.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Verdi holds nothing back, shedding a realistic light on Ryden’s situation, his decisions, and their very real consequences. His voice is spot-on and doesn’t sugarcoat the harsh realities that he faces. It isn’t often that a book nails the male teen voice as well as Verdi does in this work. An excellent addition to YA collections.” — School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“Teens will be hooked by the premise but will stick with Ryden and his friends in this all-too-real portrait of a modern family.” — Booklist

You can find my review here!


Excerpt from What You Left Behind

Chapter 1

If there’s a more brain-piercing sound than a teething baby crying, I can’t tell you what it is.

I fall back on my bed, drop Meg’s journal, and rake my hands through my hair. It’s kinda funny—in an ironic way, not an LOL way—that I even notice how greasy my hair is with the wailing filling my room and ringing in my head. But I do. It’s gross. When was the last time I washed it? Three days ago? Four? I haven’t had time for anything more than a quick soap and rinse in days.

And here I used to purposely go a day or two without washing it. Girls have always liked my chin-length hair that falls in my face when I’m hunched over a test in school and that I have to pull back with a rubber band during soccer practice. But now it’s gone past sexy-straggly and straight into flat-out dirty.

God, I would kill for a long, hot, silent shower. I would lather, rinse, repeat like it was my fucking job.

Tears squeeze between Hope’s closed eyelids and her little chubby feet wiggle every which way. Her pink, gummy mouth is open wide, and you can just begin to see specks of white where her teeth are coming in.

Her crib is littered with evidence of my attempts to get her to please stop crying—a discarded teething ring, a mostly-full bottle, and this freakish, neon green, stuffed monster with huge eyes that my mom swore Hope liked when she first gave it to her, though I have no idea how she could tell that.

I pick up Hope and try massaging her gums with a damp washcloth like they say to do on all the baby websites. I bounce her on my hip and walk her around my room, trying to murmur soothing, shhhh-ing sounds. I even rub her head, as gently as my clunky, goal-blocking hands can manage. But nothing works. The screams work their way inside me, rattling my blood cells.

Yes, I changed her diaper. I even brought her to the doctor last week to make sure nothing’s actually wrong with her, some leftover sickness from Meg or something. There’s not.

Ever since Hope was born six months ago, I’ve been learning on the fly, getting used to the diapers and bottles and sleeping when she sleeps. I spend all of my free time reading mommy-ing websites, finding out which stores have the right kind of wipes, and shopping at the secondhand store for baby clothes, because they’re basically just as good as new and Hope grows out of everything so fast anyway.

Hope’s never fully warmed to me. She always cries more when I hold her than when my mom does—but it’s never been this bad. This teething stuff is no joke. According to the Internet, anyway. It’s not like Hope’s giving me a dissertation on what she’s feeling. Whenever I get anywhere near her, she screams her head off. Which means no matter how hard I try or how many books I read or websites I scour, I’m still doing something wrong. But what else is new?

Lately I’ve had this idea that I can’t seem to shake.

What if I’m missing some crucial dad-gene because I never had one of my own? What if I’m literally incapable of being a father to this baby because I have zero concept of what a father really is? Like beyond a definition or what you see of your friends’ families and on TV.

I have no idea what that relationship’s supposed to be like. I’ve never lived it.

And inevitably that thought leads to this one:

Maybe finding my dad, Michael, is the key to all of this making some sense. Maybe if I tracked him down, I’d finally be clued in to what I’ve been missing. The real stuff. How you’re supposed to talk to each other. What the, I don’t know, energy is like between a father and a son. Not that I’m into cosmic energy bullshit or anything.

If I could be the son in that interaction, even once, for a single conversation, that could jumpstart my being a father. Right? At least I’d have some frame of reference, some experience.

But that would require getting more info about Michael from my mom. And I’ve already thrown enough curveballs her way to last a lifetime.

The music blasting from Mom’s home office shuts off. Five o’clock exactly, like always nowadays. She loves her job making custom, handmade wedding invitations for rich people. Before Hope, Mom would work all hours of the day and night. But it turns out babies costa shitload of money, and despite how well Mom’s business is doing, it’s not enough. So the new arrangement is that during the day Mom gets to turn her music on and her grandma duties off while I take care of Hope. Then Mom takes over when I leave for work at 5:30.

In a few days that schedule’s going to change, and I don’t know what the hell we’re going to do. That’s another topic I haven’t brought up with Mom. She keeps saying we need to talk about our plan for “when school starts up again,” like she’s forgotten that soccer practice starts sooner than that. Like it doesn’t matter anymore or something.

But I can’t not play. Soccer is the one thing I kick ass at. It’s the whole reason I’m going back to school this fall instead of sticking with homeschooling, which I did for the last few months of last year after Hope was born. Fall is soccer season. I need to go to school in order to play on the team. And I need to play on the team because I’m going to UCLA on an athletic scholarship next year. It’s pretty much a done deal. I’ve even spoken to their head coach a few times this summer. He called me on July first, the first day he was allowed to contact me according to NCAA rules. He’s seen my game film, tracked my stats, and is sending a recruiter to watch one of my games in person. He wants me on his team. This is what I’ve been working toward my whole life. So Mom’s delusional if she thinks I’m giving it up.

I wipe the tears from Hope’s face and the drool from around her mouth. Her soft, unruly, dark hair tickles my hand as I set her down in her crib. She’s still crying. She grasps onto my finger, holding on extra tight, like she’s saying, “Do something, man. This shit is painful!”

“I’m trying,” I mumble.

I meet Mom in her office, where she’s sitting on the floor, attempting to organize her materials. Stacks of paper and calligraphy pens are scattered among plastic bags filled with real leaves from the trees in our yard. Three hot glue guns are plugged into the wall, and photos of the Happy Couple glide across Mom’s laptop screen.

“Hippie wedding in California?” I guess, nodding at the leaves. The people who hire Mom to make one-of-a-kind invitations always want a design that relates who they are. Mom and I started this game years ago. She tells me what materials she’s using, and I try to guess what kind of people the Happy Couple are. I’m usually pretty good.

Mom shakes her head. “Hikers in Boulder.”

Or I was pretty good. Now everything is so turned around that I can barely think.

“That was my next guess,” I say.

Mom smiles. She’s been so great about everything. She’s not even pissed about me making her a thirty-five-year-old grandmother. She says that she, better than anyone, gets how these things happen. But this is not your typical “oops, got pregnant in high school, what do we do now?” scenario, like what happened to her. This is the much more rare “oops, I killed the love of my life by getting her pregnant in high school, and ruined my life and the lives of all her family and friends in the process” situation.

And deep down, I know Mom knows that. Mom’s green eyes used to sparkle. They don’t anymore. It’s not because of the baby—she loves that kid to an almost ridiculous level. It’s because of me. She’s sad for me. Even though the name “Meg” is strictly off-limits in our house, I can almost see the M and E and G floating around in my mom’s eyes like alphabet soup, like she’s been bottling up everything she’s wanted to say for the past six months and it is about to overflow. I need to get out of here.

“So, I’m out,” I say quickly, clipping my Whole Foods nametag to my hoodie. “Be home at ten-fifteen.”

Mom sighs. “Okay, Ry. Have fun. Love you.”

“Love you too,” I call back as I head to the front door.

She always says that when I leave to go somewhere. Have fun. She’s been saying it for years. Doesn’t matter if I’m going to school or work or soccer practice or a freaking pediatrician’s appointment with Hope. Have fun. Like having fun is the most important thing you can do. Like you can possibly have fun when you’re such a fucking mess.


About the Author

Jessica VerdiJessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. Her favorite pastimes include singing show tunes at the top of her lungs (much to her husband’s chagrin), watching cheesy TV, and scoring awesome non-leather shoes in a size 5. She’s still trying to figure out a way to put her uncanny ability to remember both song lyrics and the intricacies of vampire lore to good use. Follow Jess on Twitter @jessverdi.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Giveaway (3 signed copies of What You Left Behind & 3 signed bookmarks, Open 08/04 – 08/18)
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Sourcebooks

Twisted by Holly Hook | Book Review (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

(Deathwind Trilogy #1)

Published: December 15th 2013

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Allie’s going on the vacation of her life: tornado chasing. What can possibly go wrong with that?

But a terrifying, magical experience leaves Allie shocked and confused, and she learns that she now bears an awful curse.

Every time there’s a storm, she turns into a tornado. Literally.

Allie has no choice but to flee her hometown–if she stays, her new powers could harm or even kill everyone she loves.

She must return to the plains and find those who made her this way. But this journey is only the beginning of her adventure.

Twisted is the first book of the Deathwind Trilogy, a new young adult and teen paranormal romance series. The second book, Torn, is also available. Book Three of the Deathwind Trilogy, Unleashed, will be released in Summer of 2015.


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My Rating: 3 stars 3/5 (Decent)

Book Information

Genre(s): Paranormal, Young-Adult

Page Count: 202

Format: ebook

Purchase: Amazon


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Check out the rest of the tour schedule!

Hello! Welcome to my review blog tour stop of Twisted by Holly Hook, a YA paranormal novel.

Note: I received a free digital copy of this book thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for review purposes. This does not affect my review.

Twisted is an interesting YA paranormal story that is full of twists and turns! I really enjoyed the fresh fantasy and paranormal aspect introduced in this book—people who turn into tornadoes? Totally a cool idea. The characters were not as likeable as I wish they were, but they were still alright, which made this book interesting to read. The writing was fun to read and was simultaneously mysterious and somehow had a very ‘light’ feel to it. Overall, I really liked the book, although I think this book would’ve been even more enjoyable for a bit younger age. But all in all, a good start to an interesting new YA fantasy/paranormal series!

Plot

I really enjoyed the concept of Twisted, I’d say it’s one of the brightest points of the story. It was fresh and unique, something I haven’t ever seen before in the YA genres. I do think there were several parts that could’ve been explained better, but as it is, the story was very intriguing and explained enough to keep me from being too confused as to become bored and uninterested. There was almost constant action, which was a bit disarming at first, but as I got used to the fast-paced storyline, I really liked it. Although I have to admit that this caused some of the supposed climax scenes to be a bit anti-climactic and basically ‘normal’ since the rest of the book went by so fast. The plot had me interested to know more and was wrapped up very well.

 

Characters

This is the part where things get a bit more icky and hard to explain. I liked the characters, but not as much as I could’ve. I found Allie to be an average protagonist, one that I feel like I’ve seen before, one that didn’t shine that bright for me, unfortunately. I didn’t really have any major problems with her, I even sympathized with her at times, but I guess I just didn’t find her to be that interesting to me. Her role in the story did come off as a bit stereotypical, as the girl who is in the spot to be the saviour or destroyer, inhuman and rebellious, etc etc. but that didn’t bother me that much, to be honest. I kind of just let that fly over my head. Bottom line is, I didn’t particularly connect with Allie as a protagonist, but I didn’t dislike her.

I did like some of other characters in this book as well. I didn’t particularly care for the two love interests (yes, there is the dreaded love triangle. Although I think the choice is pretty obvious.) Tommy and Dorian. I felt like the romance between Allie and Tommy progressed way to fast for me to get into it, and the supposed sparks between Allie and Dorian seemed to fake and didn’t hold my attention—or my heart. So I guess I didn’t care for these two males that much. But I did like how Holly Hook constructed the other characters, like Allie’s uncle, and the villain(s) in the story, I feel like there’s a lot to them that we have yet to see and I like that aura of mystery and uncertainty.

Writing Style 

“Wind blasts. I’m breaking apart. Flying. The field tilts under me and disappears into the rain.
The rain clears. Fields stretch out below. The earth’s a brown and green checkerboard. It’s lined with trees. It’s amazing. The view makes my transformation almost worth it.
Then the roar explodes. I twist and turn, plowing forward. The crops bow down. The fields wave in terror.
I am destruction.
And this time I’m not alone.”

The writing style was great, it was mysterious and interesting to read about. It really suited the story, and occasionally had a very light and airy feel to it while still being suspenseful. It was really fast-paced but didn’t make me lose sense of the story. Instead it was intriguing and kept me flipping the pages to know more. The story was described really well, I could picture the scenes I was reading very clearly, which was great.

Overall…

This is an interesting book that I liked reading! The plot is very unique and quite the new idea, and it was fun to read about. The characters weren’t the best part for me, as they fell short of my hopes, but they were still enjoyable. The writing, was really good, it was mysterious but still had a very airy feel to it which was nice. Being the first book in the Deathwind trilogy, I’m curious but not too compelled to read the second book, Torn, which is already released, and the third book, Unleashed, releasing in summer 2015. The world Holly Hook created, this idea with storms and tornadoes is hooking and I’d enjoy reading more about it. All in all, I recommend this book if you’re looking for a new kind of paranormal story, one with a refreshing & fast-paced plot and a pleasant writing style.

Tasty? Not tasty? Find out for yourself by eating it up!

Analee 10


Holly

AUTHOR BIO:
Holly Hook is the author of the Destroyers Series, which consists of five young adult books about teens who are walking disasters…literally. She is also the author of the Rita Morse series, a young adult fantasy series still in progress, and After These Messages, a short ya comedy. Currently she is writing Twisted, a spin-off of the Destroyers Series due out in December. When not writing, she enjoys reading books for teens, especially ya fantasy and paranormal series with a unique twist.

Author links: 
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway – Signed copy of Twisted by Holly Hook, ends August 13
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What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi | ARC Book Review

(Stand-Alone)

Published: August 4th 2015

Synopsis:

It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?


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My Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5/5 (Amazing)

Book Information

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Genre(s): Contemporary, Young-Adult

Page Count [hardcover]: 320

Format: ebook


Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for sending me an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

Hello! Today I have a review on What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi, a stunningly touching and unique YA contemporary novel. If I had to sum up this word using two words, I’d use ‘unique‘ and ‘addictive‘ because that’s exactly what it is. It’s so rare to me, in YA contemporaries, that we have the perspective of a male in a teenage pregnancy situation. Time and time again I come across books with a teenage mother, but hardly ever have I encountered a book from the viewpoint of a teenage father. And it is so often we see books about cancer making the rounds, hardly ever do we see books with a fresh take on it. But this book, provided me with exactly that. What You Left Behind was an honest, hooking and unique story from the perspective of a teenage widowed father, and put a different twist on a cancer story that I really enjoyed.

Quick Summary

Everything fell apart when Meg died from cancer and left behind a baby girl. Hope. And Meg’s death seemed to be all Ryden’s fault. After all, he got her pregnant, which caused her to stop her chemo treatment, her one chance to overcome her cancer and survive. Meg’s parents seem to agree, and offers no help in providing support for Hope. Now Ryden has financial issues as he tries to deal with taking care of Hope and getting to soccer practice as he’s aiming to earn an athletic scholarship. The only bright spot in everything is Joni. But with Ryden being unable to let go of Meg, how will he ever be able to move on?

Plot

The plot is honest, un-sugarcoated and emotional. It’s a touching story and I really loved it! What I loved most about it was the unique perspective. Kudos to Jessica Verdi for tackling a different side of a common book trope in an interesting and engaging way! I really enjoyed reading from the point of view of a male teenager who has to take care of a baby; that is quite rare I find, and Jessica Verdi pulled it off! I was completely immersed in the plot, and I never wanted to stop reading. It was a cute romance while still being an emotional story portraying the struggles in life, both happy and sad, which was great to read.

Characters

I really loved Ryden as a narrator. He wasn’t perfect, and often there were times where I wanted to slap him across the face so that he would wake up and make things right. One of the times being how he completely neglects his daughter, I really wished he treated her better and that there were more love between the two. That did bug me, but really, in the end I simply couldn’t dislike him. I understood his struggles. I felt bad for him. I mean, what 17 year-old teenage boy wants to be stuck taking care of a baby almost single-handedly when he could be playing soccer for a scholarship?
Ryden’s definitely not going to be coming first in any selflessness contests anytime soon; his tendency of putting what he wanted above the needs of others was frustrating, but by the end he goes through a lot of development and became a better person. Also, there was the fact that his pain over losing Meg was simply so strong, so real, I couldn’t just not sympathize with him. Jessica Verdi did a great job at creating a character that is a realistic portrayal of a teenage father, a character who, while made a lot of mistakes, and was sometimes annoying, still was able to earn my compassion, understanding and sympathy.

Joni, the main female character in the novel, was great too. She was feisty and a strong, independant woman who was perfect for Ryden. I liked the relationship between her and Ryden, they had great chemistry, but more than that, her personality was simply a lot of fun. I really liked how Joni was portrayed; not a stereotypical girl you encounter in contemporaries, but a lively and real person who is unafraid in standing up for herself.

The other characters were very well-done. I especially loved Ryden’s mother and her role in the story. Even though she didn’t have a particularly large role, her constant support of Ryden and his baby Hope was simply so heart-warming and had a pretty big impact in Ryden’s character development. I loved how she wasn’t MIA in the story; she was present and really did the best she could to help out and show her son that he could still be a great father despite lacking a maternal presence by his side.

Writing Style

“Finding someone you can really connect with is like winning the lottery—It happens basically never, but if it does, you really shouldn’t blow it.”

The writing style was great; it was light but thoughtful, fun and well-suited for the story. The writing really reflected Ryden’s thoughts effectively, his emotions were strong and clear, and I really enjoyed reading it.

“I still don’t quite get how each one of those stars is actually a sun, burning up its own part of the universe. It seems incomprehensible that something that big, that complex, that infinite, is out there, while we’re here on this stupid planet, watching reality shows and waiting in line for the new iPhone and buying all the chia seeds in the Whole Foods because some article told us it was trendy, thinking we’re tough shit, like any of it means anything.”

There was also an undertone of dry humour throughout the book that I really enjoyed reading. That’s to be expected, as the story is told from the perspective of a 17 year-old teenager, and I’m glad it didn’t disappoint! The writing was really fun to read.

Overall…

I recommend this book to readers of contemporary and romance, and for readers who are looking for a fresh page in YA contemporary. This book provides you with a twist on two popular and overused storylines; teenage pregnancy and cancer. While you have to face a main character who sometimes makes extremely selfish and bad decisions, in the end it’s worth it. The main character, Ryden, does make bad decisions, but you can’t help but feel sorry for him, and understand his situation. Not only that, there is a great mother-son relationship in the book, and a great female main character as well. The writing is a lot of fun to read, and has an interesting and humorous tone to the it. All in all, this book was great and I’d definitely recommend it!


Oh, look what you left behind! Your tasty meal awaits, come and pick it up!

Analee 10

Top 10 Tuesday #17 (August 4): Ten Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read & Want To Read

Hello! It’s not Tuesday, but I’ll consider it the time for another Top Ten Tuesday,(a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)! This is an edited version of the post I had originally scheduled; for some reason this didn’t post as it was supposed to and now I’m 2 days late on this one. Oh well! I’m loving the topic and I’m definitely not going to be passing it up! XD
This week’s topic, as you can tell by the title of this post, is Ten Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read and Want To Read! I’ll be dividing it into half; 5 retelling books I’ve read, and 5 that I want to read. So, let’s get to it! As usual, in no particular order:

Books I’ve Read

Lunar Chronicles 21. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: Cinder (Cinderella), Scarlet (Red Riding Hood), Cress (Rapunzel). This series is amazing!! If you haven’t read any of the books in this series yet, then you must start it now, I promise if you like fairytale retellings and fantasy, you won’t regret it.

2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Thorns & Roses_bookcover
Based on Beauty and the Beast. This book was amazing! I absolutely loved it!! Sarah J. Maas turned a classic fairytale into a whole new world of fae and magic. You can check out my review on it here if you’re interested!

THrone of Glass series3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Loosely based on/Inspired by Cinderella. This isn’t exactly a direct retelling of Cinderella, but the series is a [very] loose retelling of the story, and a great one at that!

4. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah OcklerThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids_bookcover
Loosely based on The Little Mermaid. I just finished this one today, and boy, was it quite the story! I absolutely loved it. It was a beautifully written contemporary with fairytale elements mixed in, and it was a very unique retelling of The Little Mermaid.

The Ugly Stepsister_bookcover5. The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling
Based on Cinderella. This one is quite the unique retelling! Instead of being told from the perspective of Cinderella as you would expect, it was told instead from the POV of Cinderella’s stepsister instead. Cool, right? It was an amazing story!

Honourable mentions: Fairy Tales series by Melanie Dickerson (Including retellings of Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White & Cinderella), Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (Cinderella)Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hudge (Beauty and the Beast)

Books I Want to Read

6. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee AhdiehThe Wrath and the Dawn_bookcover
Based on A Thousand and One Nights. I just started reading this one recently. I’m not that far into it yet, but I’m really liking it! I’ve heard great things and the story seems really interesting.

Uprooted_bookcover7. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Based on Rapunzel. This book has been getting lots of hype and I really want to know what the hype is all about! It seems like a very interesting retelling of Rapunzel.

8. Splintered by A.G HowardSplintered_bookcover
Based on Alice in Wonderland. This one, I feel, has also been getting lots of hype! I can’t wait to read this, I haven’t read many Alice in Wonderland retellings and this one seems great.

Crimson Bound_bookcover9. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Based on Little Red Riding Hood. I haven’t read many Red Riding Hood retellings, now that I think of it, and I really want to try this one out, especially after reading Cruel Beauty, also by this author. I have a feeling I’d really enjoy this book and I can’t wait to read it!

10. A Whole New World by Liz BraswellA Whole New World_bookcover
Based on Aladdin. This book sounds amazing! What if Jafar was the first one to summon the Genie? What would happen then? Well, I guess this book delves into that! There aren’t enough Aladdin retellings, and this one seems great! Can’t wait to read it.

Honourable mentions: The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz, Entwined by Heather Dixon, Spelled by Betsy Schow, Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell, Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige, The Child Thief by Brom


That’s it for this week’s belated Top Ten Tuesday! Do we have any books in common? Have some retelling recommendations? Let me know in the comments below! ❤

Analee 10

WWW Wednesday #18 (August 5)

Hello! How are you all on this fine Wednesday? I am taking a little break from my sighting around Quebec to take the time to update you guys on my reading! Let’s get to it—It’s time for WWW Wednesday, a meme formerly hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading and now hosted by Sam @Taking on a World of Words. To play along, answer the three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

I’m currently reading 3 books (kind of a relief after these past weeks of reading 4-5 each week, lol). I’m really enjoying both of them, and I’m constantly finding an excuse to read them! Even though technically I’m supposed to be spending time with my family and visiting places around Quebec, hehe. 🙂 The writing in The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is so beautiful, I’m loving it! And Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares and The Wrath and the Dawn is a really interesting read.

Recently Finished

I read 5 books this week, as you can see. They were all great, I’m happy to say! Me Before You was a touching and wonderfully written story (it managed to get me to shed a tear, actually! And if you know me you know how rare that is for me). Hide and Seek was thrilling and suspenseful, just like its predecessors. Your Voice is All I Hear is another great book, but my emotions are still a bit all over the place. And I was so excited to read Every Last Breath, I’m so glad I received it before I left for Mont Tremblant, because I got the chance to read it on my trip. It was really good! I would say I’m pretty happy with it.

Read Next

I can’t wait to start The Wrath and the Dawn! I wanted to start it during this past week, but I never got the chance, and plus, I wanted a bit more summery reads. I didn’t want to start The Wrath and the Dawn when I was in the mood for a different genre, it would ruin the experience. But I’m definitely going to be starting this book this coming week, I can’t wait! And Until We Meet Again and The Sister Pact are both looking great too. And as for The Night Circus, I think it’s high time I start this one! I’ve heard generally positive reviews on this, but there are some mixed opinions, so I’m curious.


So that’s it for this week’s WWW Wednesday! What do you think of this week’s selection of books? And what have you been reading now, then and next? I’m running a bit late now, so that’s it for now! I gotta go and visit some more places in Quebec but feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts and your WWW Wednesday!

Happy reading!

Analee 10

Teaser Tuesday #17 (August 4): The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Hello! It’s time for another Teaser Tuesday, a meme hosted by A Daily Rhythm. All you have to do to join in is:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) (I’m doing one) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


The Summer of Chasing Mermaids_bookcoverThis week I have a teaser from the book I literally just started reading today, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler. Even though I’m not that far into it (only around 10-15%), I’m really liking it, especially because of the writing!

“My throat tightened, a feeling like tears rising, but they didn’t spill. They never spilled anymore; I always stopped them. Crying never brought anything back from the dead. It only felt like the ocean trying to drown you from the inside out.”

Have you read this book? What do you think of this teaser? What book are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below! I might not be able to check it out right away, but I’ll definitely get to it.

That’s it for now, bookworms! Happy Tuesday!

Analee 10

Timekeeper Rising by Allyssa Painter | Book Blitz & Giveaway

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Timekeeper Rising_bookcoverBook Details

Title: Timekeeper Rising

Author: Allyssa Painter

Series Status: The Timekeeper Duo #1

Publication Date: August 1st 2015

Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Young Adult


Synopsis:

Fifty years ago, the sky cried acid and the earth vomited poison, all due to human destruction. Desperate for a savior, the people called out to the Shunned, a group of Fallen angels on Earth, and allowed them to take over. Now the Shunned rule with unspeakable cruelty, manipulating and torturing the humans in every possible way. Marked for death, Iris Ankea will do anything to end their tyranny and rescue her brother and best friend from their clutches. When she learns that she is God’s chosen Timekeeper and has the power to defeat the Shunned, she sets out with the only man who can help her, the one she thinks just might kill her. With a prophecy about her drawing ever near, Iris must race against time to discover her powers before the world, and her life, end. Can Iris force herself to embrace her role and sacrifice herself to save everyone she loves, or will she lose it all?

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Excerpt

“Can I help you?” she asked in a polite voice, staring the man down, pretending that she had not already embedded her dagger deep into his thigh and did not currently work through ways to gain the advantage. She took mental inventory as she stared the man down, watching for any move he may choose to make. She carried no weapons, while he carried many. He seemed built for sheer strength, while Iris possessed a thin, wiry body, though she had strengthened it. He possessed at least some sort of power since he could deflect her dagger somewhat. Iris had powers too, but they were undeveloped and mostly still a complete mystery to her. So, what could she do to protect herself? How could she win this battle?

The man sneered at her, looking down at her both literally and figuratively. “Yes, you can. If you’d like to just, oh, I don’t know, die at my feet, that’d be awesome. Thanks.” The man smiled scathingly, revealing two rows of decaying teeth.

Iris did not even wince, though inwardly she cringed at his disgusting mouth. “No, sorry, I just don’t think that’s going to happen today. Maybe try again tomorrow. Or you know, don’t.” She smiled sweetly as she suddenly spun, bringing a roundhouse kick to the man’s stomach. He stumbled backward a few steps and snarled. He stayed on his feet but he bent over for a long moment to catch his breath. Iris laughed. “What? You didn’t expect a little thing like me to pack a punch? Or rather, a kick? Oh, sorry. I do so hate to disappoint.”

The man once again stood tall and began to step toward Iris. She stepped away. He stepped to the side. She countered. Iris contradicted every move he made, the two circling each other. He yanked her dagger out of his thigh and allowed the blood to seep. “Apparently I will have the pleasure to kill you with your own dagger.”

In one movement, he stepped to the left, forcing Iris to counter even as he shoved the dagger toward her heart. She moved more quickly than he and thus earned a slice across her upper right ribcage. She grunted in pain but did not soften her blow. Instead, she shot forward, shoving her right palm to his nose and up. She tried not to wince at the crunching sound his nose made. She did not care for hurting others but she would defend herself and her family until her dying breath. No one would touch them. As the man recovered from the blow to his nose, Iris stepped forward once more and reached for her dagger. He waved his hand and sent her flying.

With a thump, Iris landed against a nearby tree. She fought to catch her breath as he grinned, those rotten teeth gleaming out at her. He stalked toward her, a glinting pistol in hand. She pushed herself into a standing position as she tentatively reached out with her mind. She caught snippets, just pieces about her position as the Timekeeper and her lack of weapons. She silently cursed herself for leaving the cabin without them. She knew better. Zander had taught her better.

As the stranger loomed toward her, she forced herself to forget about the pain in her body. She focused on the matter at hand and how she could fix it. But that was the problem. How could she fix it? Few options presented themselves and the few that did were unseemly. Iris gritted her teeth and faced the man attempting to murder her, a virtual stranger. She wondered what could possess someone to track down a stranger and murder them in cold blood without the stranger ever harming them or anyone, for that matter. She should ask Sage. On her own, she could not comprehend it. She could understand if she had killed someone the man loved or something. But she hadn’t. And he did not care.

The man once again began the dance of stepping ever closer, each step just a bit to the side. Iris mirrored his movements, once again circling. Her mind raced, trying to win this fight before it fully began. Stall, stall, stall, her mind told her. Give up, you’ll never win, her body replied. There is no victory without a battle, her heart countered. The words steadied her. “Tell me, why did you come? What have I, a teenager, done to someone like you, a man of your stature, to warrant this, this attempted murder? Why do you bother with me?”

The man laughed, a cruel, evil laugh. “Little Timekeeper, you know as well as I why I intend to murder you. And believe me, dear, this is no attempt. I shall succeed. I always do.”

Iris smiled. “I must disagree with you there, sir. Fate has already woven a far different tale. I shall not die this day. I do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.” She grinned again, a scathing grin meant to match his own. He lunged at her, but she had been prepared for that. As he stepped forward she dropped to the ground, delivering her own low swinging kick, knocking his feet out from under him.

Iris watched the man topple with a satisfied sigh as she stood and moved to ready herself for another attack. She knew she mostly bought time. If she could keep him from pulling that trigger, eventually she could knock the weapon away from him or snag her own. Or, hopefully, Sage or Sara would come looking for her and bring a weapon. She could not really see Cassian coming to her aid, but hopefully one of the others would. She desperately needed help and she knew it.

As Iris backed away from the man, he rose to his feet. “You insolent girl, do you really hope to defeat me? You would need an army and I see no army. How do you intend to beat me?”

Iris wondered the same question as the man lumbered toward her once more. How did she intend to escape this situation?



Allyssa

AUTHOR BIO:
Allyssa Painter is the author of Timekeeper Rising, the first in the Timekeeper Duo. She graduated from Sissonville High School and attends Concord University for elementary and special education. She dreams of becoming an elementary teacher and continuing to touch the world around her through the novels she writes. In her free time, she enjoys reading fantastical adventures, spending time with her family, and capturing the world around her in photography and writing.Author Links:
Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter

INT GIVEAWAY – 1 signed copy of Timekeeper Rising & 2 ebook copies of Timekeeper Rising, ends August 13th

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