[Review] Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore


ABOUT

Title: Jane, Unlimited
Author: Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Release Date: September 19th 2017
Goodreads Page

Synopsis:
Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family's island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: "If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you'll go." With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn't know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

My #ARCAugust TBR

I'm sure you all know this by now, but I'm the worst at doing things on time if I don't have a specific, hard deadline set by someone else. I mean, I'm even late posting this TBR., so knowing that, I have a lot of unread ARCs, both physical and digital.

ARC August is run by my good friend Shelly and her cobloggers over at Read. Sleep. Repeat. It's a month long challenge to tackle the reading list of ARCs for both upcoming novels and novels already released. It's perfect for me because I have so many.

Here's my TBR for #ARCAugust!

Physical books:

  • The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts
  • Beserker by Emmy Laybourne
  • Devils and Thieves by Jennifer Rush
  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
  • Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge
  • Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor
  • Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
  • The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark
E-ARCs
  • Zero Repeat Forever by Gabriel Prendergast
  • The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee
  • Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh 
  • The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken. 
This list is ambitious and I by no means expect myself to complete it all. I am, however, halfway through both Rebel Seoul and Prosper Redding so I hope to make it through those and whatever ARCs I can with the time that I have with work and all. 

ANYWAYS. Good luck to everyone participating in ARC August and good luck to me! 


Happy Reading,
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The Backlog #4 : Lost Stars by Claudia Gray


The Backlog is where I review books that have been released for a little while, to bring attention to some older titles. 


ABOUT

Title: Lost Stars
Author: Claudia Gray
Series: Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens 
Release Date: September 4th 2015 

Synopsis:
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Eight years after the fall of the Old Republic, the Galactic Empire now reigns over the known galaxy. Resistance to the Empire has been all but silenced. Only a few courageous leaders such as Bail Organa of Alderaan still dare to openly oppose Emperor Palpatine.

After years of defiance, the many worlds at the edge of the Outer Rim have surrendered. With each planet’s conquest, the Empire’s might grows stronger.

The latest to fall under the Emperor’s control is the isolated mountain planet Jelucan, whose citizens hope for a more prosperous future even as the Imperial Starfleet gathers overhead…

Waiting on Wednesday: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo


ABOUT

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: DC Icons #1
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 29th 2017
Goodreads Page

Synopsis:
The highly anticipated coming-of-age story for the world’s greatest super hero: WONDER WOMAN by the # 1 New York Times bestselling author LEIGH BARDUGO.

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

I recently watched Wonder Woman last week so I still have a lot of feelings about the movie and the characters. I've been soothing my soul with fanfiction and listening to the soundtrack, but I would love to read this book and experience the characters more. I'm so excited to read about the young Diana, as much as I love the kickass adult Diana.

Also I'm super intrigued to read stories by Leigh Bardugo outside of the Grisha Universe. As much as I love the Six of Crows crew and the stories, I'm interested to see how Leigh's writing is outside of this universe. (Also off topic, but I'm highly interested in her next series after this one and The Language of Thorns.)


Happy Reading!
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It's a Review Roundup!

So hi peeps! I haven't been posting on the blog, but I have been reading! I didn't write reviews long enough to warrant an entire post so here are all the reviews I've written for the books I've read. I'm sort of out of practice with writing reviews so forgive me if they don't end up being very informative.



ABOUT

Title: The Long Game
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes 

Synopsis: 

The Kendricks help make the problems of the Washington elite disappear…but some secrets won’t stay buried.

For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington, D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate’s campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.

Meanwhile, Tess’s guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can—and cannot—be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she's about to discover firsthand that power always comes with a price.

I remember why I loved the first book, The Fixer, now that I've read the Long Game.

The Long Game is an expansion on the world built in The Fixer, with Tess as the center of the novel. She has become the resident fixer in her school, helping the other students fix their problems, reluctantly. Her school is filled with the who's who of Washington and if problems were huge in normal high school, they'd have a much bigger impact in her school.

This series is so very smart and is comparable to conspiracy thrillers or political thrillers like Scandal. It's a genre that I love and I am so enamoured with the way that the series takes place with a teenager, but gives her agency and power that has a real effect on the world. And despite it being a political thriller, it doesn't dumb anything down for the reader and it has strong female characters who quietly wield a lot of power.

This series is criminally underrated and Mith (@ BiscotttoBooks ) will proclaim our love for this series forever probably. I highly highly recommend this series.






ABOUT

Title: It Had to be You
Author: Lizzy Charles
Goodreads Page

Synopsis:
James Parson has a problem. His military dad is going to yank him out of his expensive boarding school if James doesn’t prove he’s no longer hooking up, pulling pranks, and charming his way out of consequences. What better way to show he’s now responsible than becoming the committed boyfriend of a U.S. diplomat’s daughter?

Level-headed, book-smart Edelweiss may have traveled the world thanks to her dad’s job, but when it comes to friends and boys, she knows exactly nothing. Newly enrolled in boarding school, Edel is now on a mission to learn it all. James says he’ll help her experience the ultimate high school life—if she’ll be his fake girlfriend. And fake is perfect, because he’s exactly the kind of player she’d never date.

If it's one trope I'm almost always down to read, it's the fake boyfriend/girlfriend trope.

It Had to Be You follows James Parson and Edelweiss Lee as they attend an exclusive boarding school. James is the captain of the football team and the popular guy at school. He pulls a lot of pranks at school and it had been the last straw for James and he must show his father, Colonel Parson, that he is serious about school before he pulls him out. Edelweiss is the daughter of a diplomat and has travelled the world and was homeschooled by her parents. She enrols in boarding school so that she can experience the things normal high schoolers do to prepare for the college life.

This was cute. James and Edelweiss had a lot of chemistry and they were super cute together. It was cheesy, but not in a way that was empty. There was substance and depth to the characters and the situations they were in.

This was however, one of those situations where one of the conflicts arises from not talking to each other. Which, if I think about it, is probably a running theme in the fake boyfriend/girlfriend trope. Had they communicated better, the whole climax of the book probably wouldn’t have happened.

Overall, it was a short and fun read. I enjoyed the characters and their chemistry and that was what kept me drawn into the novel.





ABOUT

Title: P.S. I Like You 
Author: Kasie West

Synopsis: 
Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

P.S. I Like You revolves around Lily, who enjoys music and writes bits and pieces of songs every chance she gets. She ends up exchanging notes with another student who uses the same desk. They share the same tastes in music and through the letters they learn about each other and slowly grow to like each other.

And throughout all of this, Lily is dealing with her own family problems, her crush and her enemy -- her best friend's ex.

I don't really have anything more to say than it was cute, predictable contemporary romance. It's fluffy and sweet and fun. I love Kasie West novels and I look forward to reading her other books.





Happy Reading!
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[Review] When Dimple met Rishi by Sandhya Menon


ABOUT

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse 
Release Date: May 30th 2017
Goodreads Page

Synopsis:
A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

[Blog tour] Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman





ABOUT

Title: Blacksouls
Author: Nicole Castroman
Series: Blackhearts #2 
Publisher: Simon Pulse 
Release Date: April 11, 2017 

Synopsis:
Nicole Castroman brings the dangerous pirate ports of the Caribbean to life in this vibrant sequel to Blackhearts—the reimagined origin story of history’s most infamous pirate, Blackbeard.

Edward “Teach” Drummond is setting sail to the Caribbean as first mate on the most celebrated merchant ship in the British fleet—until he rebels against his captain. Mutiny is a capital offense and Teach knows it could cost him his life, but he believes it worth the risk in order to save his crew from the attacking Spanish ships.

Sailing on the same blue waters, Anne barely avoids the Spanish attack, making it safely to Nassau. But lawless criminals, corrupt politics, and dangerous intentions fill the crowded streets of this Caribbean port. Soon, Anne discovers that the man entrusted to keep the peace is quite possibly the most treacherous of them all—and he just happens to hold Teach’s fate in his terrifying hands.

Life and death hang in the balance when Teach and Anne are given a dangerous mission. It’s a mission that will test their love, loyalty and devotion, forcing them down a path neither one could have ever imagined.

I Binge Read 4 Books: a Lump Review of Books 1 - 4 of the Rylee Adamson Series


I haven't read this fast in a long long time.

I was introduced to this series by Ambur of Burning Impossibly Bright and it sounded like a plot I would most definitely watch if it were a television show so of course I had to try this one out. Guys, I read all 4 of the books currently released in Canada in 4 days.

Here's some information on the first novel in the series:


ABOUT

Title: Priceless 
Author: Shannon Mayer
Series: Rylee Adamson #1
Publisher: Talos
Release Date: November 15th 2016
Goodreads Page

Synopsis:
“My name is Rylee and I am a Tracker.”

When children go missing, and the Humans have no leads, I'm the one they call. I am their last hope in bringing home the lost ones. I salvage what they cannot.

I'm on the FBI's wanted list.

I have a werewolf for a pet, a Witch of a best friend, and have no need for anyone else in my life.

But when a salvage starts to spin out of control, help comes from a most unexpected direction. One that is dangerously dark, brooding, and doesn't know a thing about the supernatural.

One whose kisses set me on fire.

Introducing the irresistible, ass-kicking heroine Rylee Adamson, Priceless is the first book in USA Today-bestselling author Shannon Mayer’s sexy, exciting, and laugh-out-loud series, a dangerously addictive paranormal romance.

I received a finished copy of the first two novels in the series from the distributor in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion whatsoever nor was I compensated in any way.

Priceless is the first in a series centring around Rylee -- a Tracker. She has the power to know where people are from simply their name and a picture of their face. She uses this power to track down missing children. However, she's on an FBI watchlist since her sister went missing ten years ago and Agent O'Shea thinks she did it.

The first four books details Rylee's missions in finding the missing children and dealing with the increasingly demanding problems in her life, including what seems to be a greater purpose and a quest she must follow through on for the sake of both her and her loved ones' lives.

This series started in a fully fledged world and it didn't slow itself down for the reader even in the very beginning. I loved that it didn't assume that the reader needed to be explained every little detail and that they needed an info dump in the beginning. The novels explained the fantasy portions when they came to fruition in the story, like when Rylee met her pet werewolf and then the story explained the way werewolves worked in this world.

This read like a television show to me and I can completely imagine it being one. If you don't know this about me, I love watching television shows and I watch a lot of them. I watch more tv than I read book, so the fact that I read these books in succession one right after the other and ignoring my responsibilities is definitely reminiscent of me binge watching Veronica Mars when I was in high school.

I definitely can't wait to read the next book which came out earlier in late March and reading more of the story and learning what the world has in store for Rylee next.






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[Review] A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi


ABOUT

Title: A Crown of Wishes
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Series: The Star-Touched Queen #2 
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: March 28th 2017 

Synopsis:
Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

The Many Sequels Ri has Bought But Has Yet to Read

I'm really bad.


Like really bad.

I have this thing where I'll have loved the first book. I then buy the sequel because I loved the book. But then I never read it.

Why? WHY??

I suppose I just get distracted by all the new and shiny things that are released. There are ARCs and there are new releases by authors I love. And I still want to read the sequels. . . . I just. . . get distracted. . . .  a lot.

So here is an indefinite list of all the sequels I have bought and have yet to read and perhaps someone will convince me to pick one of them up soon over the shiny new things on my Kindle or in my ARC pile.

By the way, this list is probably nothing compared to my unread books that I have bought pile or my bought ebooks pile. It's so bad.

Ri's Indefinite List of Unread Sequels That She Has Bought





I love the first book and it also ended in a cliffhanger. (Dang you, Jodi Meadows! *shakes fist*) So I absolutely needed the second book. I just. . . .  haven't quite gotten to it yet.





I loved The Fixer. I LOVED The Fixer. It was so much fun and I constantly compared it to Scandal but without the romance. And I have the ebook of this. I got it recently when it was on sale. I just. . . haven't read it yet. Cookie/Mith of BiscottoBooks keeps telling me to read it and I SWEAR I WILL. Eventually.




I have had this one for a long, long time. I think I started it when I had an e-ARC, but I never finished it, and I just haven't picked it up again. I will, eventually.







I KNOW. At least this isn't an actual sequel and is really book five. But I've had this book for several years now and I still haven't read it. . . .





This one is perhaps one of my worst offenders. This book came out in 2011. It's been six years, peeps. And I still haven't read it. I enjoyed the first book. I mean, it's about a magical mafia. But yeah. Still haven't read it.






Yeah. I haven't finished this series. Idk. *shrugs* Is this going to devastate me? Probably. That's partially why I'm putting it off and also because shiny new things are distracting.






Yeah. I've been thoroughly convinced by some friends to read this. So this will be the one that I'll realistically read the soonest of these books.




So there's probably more sequels I own and probably haven't read. I just can't think of them right now. (because there's so many. so. . . many. . . . )



Anyways, Happy Reading, y'all
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Toronto Book Tag


This book tag is created by Joey at Another Afterthought and Ambur of Burning Impossibly Bright.

"The Six"- A book with numbers in its name. 





I mean. Self explanatory. But also, if you haven't read this book, DO IT. It's a heist novel in the Grisha universe. Also the number matches up with Toronto's "The Six" thing. 






"Queen Street" - Favourite bookish merch



I don't actually have all that much bookish merchandise. What I do have is bookish swag, and my favourite of all kinds is notebooks. I'm a notebook fiend and I have too many blank ones and half filled ones to really warrant purchasing any more, but I want more. MORE. 




"CN Tower" - The tallest/biggest book on your shelf





This book is massive. Probably not the largest that I own but it's up there. This book is both the tall format of hardcover and also 600 ish pages. Also, read this series because Laini Taylor's writing and world building is gorgeous. 






"The DVP" - Most well read/worn out book you own



This is definitely my copy of The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Part of the cover is bent and a corner is missing. I've definitely probably written in it at some point as a child. There are dog ears. This copy is wrecked. 





"TTC" - A book that took too long to get to where it should





It just took too long to get to the actual fighting bits that I wanted to see. Most of the book is Fallon training to be in the ring and whatever gladiator fights there were, most of them were glossed over. Here's my review on this book, so you can read more in depth about my thoughts on this one. 




"Toronto Sports Teams" - A book you expected to like but felt let down by (or your choice of Leafs, Jays, Raps, etc.)






I am a fan of the whole "fake girlfriend/boyfriend" trope, but this one just didn't do it for me. It was sweet and fun, but I wanted more depth to it.





"Lake Ontario" - Favourite fictional map





The hardcover of Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore is one of the most gorgeous books I own. The maps and the illustrations throughout the novel are just so pretty. 




"Torono? Teronno? Tomato? Toronto!" - A character name you found difficult to pronounce




Okay. So not the characters, but the author, Siobhan Vivian's first name. I had no idea how to pronounce it until I watched Orphan Black (It's pronounced Shi-vonne). It's those Irish names, like Saoirse (pronounced Sersha) that are hard to figure out how to pronounce. 






Anyone who wants to do this tag is welcome to do so! I tag you all.

Happy Reading!
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Waiting on Wednesday: Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

ABOUT

Title: Flame in the Mist
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Series: Flame in the Mist #1
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 16th 2017
Goodreads Page

Synopsis:
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor's favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family's standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she's quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she's ever known.

This sounds awesome. It reminds me of one of the shinobi manga I've read way back when and I am into this whole concept. I loved reading manga that were set in this era and I've never read a novel in this sort of setting so I am anticipating this novel and hoping that it turns out really awesome.


Happy Reading,
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[Review] Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

ABOUT

Title: Labyrinth Lost
Author: Zoraida Córdova 
Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1 
Release Date: September 6th 2016 

Synopsis:
Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.
The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure.


[Review] Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

ABOUT

Title: Strange the Dreamer 
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Strange the Dreamer #1 
Release Date: March 28th 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young  Readers 

Synopsis:
A new epic fantasy by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around— and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

[Review] The Valiant by Lesley Livingston


ABOUT

Title: The Valiant
Author: Lesley Livingston
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
Release Date: February 17th 2017
Goodreads Page

Synopsis:
The youngest daughter of a proud Celtic king, Fallon has always lived in the shadow of her older sister Sorcha's legendary reputation as a warrior. But when Fallon was a young child, the armies of Julius Caesar invaded the island of Britain and her beloved older sister was killed in battle.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister's footsteps and earn her rightful place in her father's royal war band. But she never gets the chance. Instead, Fallon is captured by a band of ruthless brigands who sell her to an exclusive training school for female gladiators—and its most influential patron is none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, Fallon's worst enemy, the man who destroyed her family, might be her only hope of survival.

Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, chilling threats and the dangerous attention of Caesar himself to survive the deadly fights that take place both in and out of the arena—and claim her place in history among the Valiant.

[Blog Tour] Caraval by Stephanie Garber






ABOUT

Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Series: Caraval #1
Release Date: January 31st 2017

Synopsis:
Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

I received an ARC from the distributor as part of the blog tour and in exchange for an honest review.

While Caraval tells a tale of the sisterhood between Scarlett and Donatella Dragna, the novel mostly focuses on Scarlett. Scarlett grew up hearing stories of the magic and wonder of Caraval from her grandmother and wrote letters to the mysterious troupe leader, Legend. Scarlett is arranged to be married and she eagerly awaits it, since she dreams of escaping her father's abuse and bringing her beloved sister with her. However, a week before her marriage, she receives tickets to Caraval and she is whisked away by her sister and a sailor to attend. Tella, as Scarlett calls her sister, is kidnapped by Legend. Finding her sister is the key to winning the game.

Caraval creates a magical world to get lost in and just as Scarlett becomes more involved in the mystery of the game, so does the reader. I found myself wondering what would happen next and making guesses on the secrets of the characters and the games. While it surprised me that Scarlett came to the same conclusions as me, it was also proven wrong, which was nice for me.

Scarlett loves her sister more than anything in the world and would do anything for her. Finding her is what drives her to keep playing the game, even when it becomes darker and more sinister and the fear of her father still echoes within her. She also seems to have a type of synesthesia where colours are associated with feelings.

Julian is a mysterious and handsome sailor who helps Tella bring Scarlett to Caraval. He has many secrets and he seems to have played the game before, and is trying to win the game this time for the prize -- a wish. He is dashing and charming, but also seems to have a dark side. Who knows, you'll just have to read the book to find out his secrets. ;)

There's a warning given out by Julian, that not everything is as it seems in Caraval. Some things are real and some aren't. It's a point that's important to this novel and since we're reading through the eyes of Scarlett, we only know as much as she knows. There's a surreal magic to the Caraval we see through her eyes that is both fascinating and terrifying

I really enjoyed this gorgeous and darkly magical novel. The characters have depth and are interesting and I love the world created in this novel. There seems to be a sequel and I'm interested to see where Stephanie Garber will take this world next.






Click up there ^^^^ for an excerpt! 

Happy Reading!
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[Review] You Don't Know My Name by Kristen Orlando

ABOUT

Title: You Don't Know My Name 
Author: Kristen Orlando 
Series: The Black Angel Chronicles #1 
Release Date: January 10th 2017 

Synopsis:
Fighter, Faker, Student, Spy.

Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan.

Now Reagan has to decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she's always wanted? And does she even have a choice at all?

Find out if you are ready to join the Black Angels in the captivating and emotional page-turner, You Don't Know My Name, from debut novelist Kristen Orlando!


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