Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday - Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine,  that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile.  This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is

Summary (by Goodreads)

I Needed to Win.
They Needed to Die.
Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand—the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears—Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.
I thought that this title and summary sounded interesting.  In the interest of assassins (Throne of Glass), I just had to make mention of it!  Not sure if any of you feel the same way but I do find that more and more of the YA novels I read involve lesbian, gay and now gender fluid characters.  As long as it is introduced as an integral part of the character, I think this is great.  It shows acceptance of identity.   I think I'm going to add this title to my TBR list.  Sounds like something I might like.  You?

Waiting on Wednesday - Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J Maas

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine,  that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile.  This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is

Summary (By Goodreads)

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

I am really looking forward to the continuation of Throne of Glass.  Although, there seems to be some discussion about the cover of this book.  Yes, it does not match the previous covers but this is all about Chaol's story.  Maybe it would have been better to have a drawing of Chaol and Aelin on the cover and then to have this cover on the next installment.  Or have it as a different series? I guess it depends on how Chaol's healer adventure intertwines with Aelin's.  I wonder if there will also be a novella series coming out to develop Chaol's backstory?  So many questions....
- Christianbean

Friday, August 4, 2017

Girl About Town by Adam Shankman and Laura L Sullivan

Published: May 2016
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pages: 321
Copy Provided by: Riveted
Summary: Goodreads


Not too long ago, Lucille O’Malley was living in a tenement in New York. Now she’s Lulu Kelly, Hollywood’s newest It Girl. She may be a star, but she worries that her past will catch up with her. Back in New York she witnessed a Mafia murder, and this glamorous new life in Tinseltown is payment for her silence.

Dashing Freddie van der Waals, the only son of a New York tycoon, was a playboy with the world at his feet. But when he discovered how his corrupt father really made the family fortune, Freddie abandoned his billions and became a vagabond. He travels the country in search of redemption and a new identity, but his father will stop at nothing to bring him home.

When fate brings Lulu and Freddie together, sparks fly—and gunshots follow. Suddenly Lulu finds herself framed for attempted murder. Together, she and Freddie set out to clear her name. But can they escape their pasts and finally find the Hollywood ending they long for?


I am part of Riveted, a Simon & Schuster website that allows you to read full or partial titles young adult titles from the publisher.  You usually only have about a week to access a few books but it gives you a good idea about what is upcoming or what you may have missed in the past.  The selection varies from fantasy to contemporary and it is a good chance to sample some new authors.  You can find your way to it here. A word of warning though...extended excerpts are dangerous.  Once you start reading, you may get hooked and end up buying heaps of books later on... :)

This title was a departure from what I normally read and a nice refreshing escape.  The reader is thrust back in time to the early 30s when the Depression is well underway. Many people are struggling to make a living.  Unemployment is rampant and much of America is starving.  Two people from opposite incomes experience huge life changes and somehow end up coming together.  

I enjoyed this read and I'm glad that it is only a stand-alone and not a series.  It had a rather dramatic flare and if you enjoy old movies (think Humphrey Bogart) then I think this would be a good book for you.  It was not filled with high action but the story was interesting and entertaining.  A nice change of pace from the titles I am normally drawn to.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday - First we were IV by Alexandra Sirowy

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine,  that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile.  This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is

Summary (by Goodreads)

It started for pranks, fun, and forever memories.
A secret society – for the four of us. 
The rules: Never lie. Never tell. Love each other.
We made the pledge and danced under the blood moon on the meteorite in the orchard. In the spot we found the dead girl five years earlier. And discovered the ancient drawings way before that. 
Nothing could break the four of us apart – I thought.
But then, others wanted in. Our seaside town had secrets. History.
We wanted revenge.
We broke the rules. We lied. We told. We loved each other too much, not enough, and in ways we weren’t supposed to. 
Our invention ratcheted out of control.
What started as a secret society, ended as justice. Revenge. Death. Rebellion

I meant to post this last week and forgot so it is actually available in bookstores now if you are interested in checking it out.  It reminded me of a few others that I have read before like the Don't Get Mad series by Gretchen McNeil and the Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney.  Any thoughts? 

- Christinabean

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

Published: May 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 352
Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Summary: Goodreads


Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . . 


I had not heard much about this title until after I had read it.  And now that I've scanned the reviews, I'm shocked to see that most people either LOVED it or HATED it.  How can there be so much disparity? Well, I'm in the category of.... LOVED IT!!  Yes. Andrew Shvarts, I think you did a great job.  For me, it was a fresh take by following the family underdogs on an adventure.  

Personally, I felt that Mr. Shvarts did a great job with character development and had a very promising storyline.  It flowed fairly well and there were only a few situations where I wished to have more information. For instance, at the beginning of the novel I would have liked to learn more about the rings.  We learn more towards the end of the novel but I did not understand much of Lyriana's people and their connect to magic until much later in the story. Tilla, her status in the family and her relationship with her father was interesting.  I think at one time or another, many of us feel like outsiders in our own clan so it was very identifiable.

I would also like to see more on the history of how Tilla's people were conquered by the Mages.  How did the war come about? What have Lyriana's people done to improve or change the lives of the people? Are all ill feelings toward the Mages from the war or from other things as well? So many questions.  Perhaps some good jumping points for a prequel or short-stories? I do hear that Royal Bastards is book 1 of a trilogy so I will definitely be adding it to my list of titles to continue.   It is not quite as complicated and intricate as A Kiss of Deception but it has the potential to skyrocket to complete awesomeness.  There are so many humorous moments that I thoroughly enjoyed as well. The characters are slightly awkward but very likeable.  And somehow, they all work well together.

It's hard for me to comment too much on details in the story without giving things away.  There was enough action and romance to keep me interested and continually reading.  As some of you know, I don't have much time to read (mostly in the evening at during my commute to work) but I did read this title quite quickly.  It was highly enjoyable.

On a sidenote, I didn't realize how invested I was in this novel until one HUGE tragedy struck and I became very emotional by the results. I love books like that. Where the characters slowly evolve in your head, enough to be important to you.  Well done Andrew. I look forward to seeing how book #2 goes (we know how difficult that one is....I would be a horrible author....I don't know how authors do it....)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday - Because you Love to Hate Me

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine,  that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile.  This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is

Summary (by Goodreads)

Leave it to the heroes to save the world--villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains' points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like "Medusa," Sherlock Holmes, and "Jack and the Beanstalk" provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains' acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage--and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from . . .

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel).

I don't know the BookTubers but I do recognize some of the authors!  What a great idea! It is like a biographical account of "how I became the bad guy" by villians!  Love it!

- Christinabean

Waiting on Wednesday - I See London, I See France - by Sarah Mlynowski

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine,  that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile.  This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is

Summary (by Goodreads)

I see London, I see France
I see Sydney’s underpants.

Nineteen-year-old Sydney has the perfect summer mapped out. She’s spending the next four and half weeks traveling through Europe with her childhood best friend, Leela. Their plans include Eiffel-Tower selfies, eating cocco gelato, and making out with très hot strangers. Her plans do not include Leela’s cheating ex-boyfriend showing up on the flight to London, falling for the cheating ex-boyfriend’s très hot friend, monitoring her mother’s spiraling mental health via texts, or feeling like the rope in a friendship tug-of-war.

In this hilarious and unforgettable adventure, New York Times bestselling author Sarah Mlynowski tells the story of a girl learning to navigate secret romances, thorny relationships, and the London Tube. As Sydney zigzags through Amsterdam, Switzerland, Italy, and France, she must learn when to hold on, when to keep moving, and when to jump into the Riviera… wearing only her polka dot underpants.

What I love about this is that I haven't read a Sarah Mylnowski book in AGES plus, she is Canadian!  Doesn't this sound like a fun read? I'm just going to take a guess but if you like Sophie Kinsella and Katie Finn, you will probably like this title as well.  I know I'll be picking it up for the summer!
- Christinabean

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