The Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

I was tagged by Vivian @ Inked In Pages and Monique @ That Wild Soul. Be sure to check out their posts! I added a few books to my TBR thanks to their answers heh.

This tag was created by Chami @ ReadLikeWildFire and Ely @ Ely Jayne on YouTube. It’s where we look back at (and freak out over) the books we’ve read during the past six months.


 

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2016

six of crowsSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows is probably my favorite book so far this year. My review probably didn’t do enough justice as to how much I loved this book, but I loved the setting, the writing, and most of all the characters. I’m rooting for a happy ending for everyone, although I have a feeling it won’t be that way…

Honestly I’m just happy that the hype was real and well-deserved. This, along with Uprooted by Naomi Novik, is a book I’d enthusiastically recommend to anyone.

Read More »

June Wrap Up + Upcoming Stuff (◡‿◡✿)

It’s July you guys! But before I fully jump into a new month, here’s my June Wrap Up. Also I got Sorted into my Ilvermorny house earlier this week – I’m pretty happy with the house I got!

DSC_0427

Reviews

I think I can clearly divide my books into two clear categories this month.
There are ones that did not quite hit the mark…
  • Ruined by Amy Tintera – I was promised a girl hellbent on revenge for her people, but unfortunately I got something different. Everything is kind of vague, and basically, you’ve read this book before. Would I read the sequel? Probably? Maybe? Let’s see, haha.
  • The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse – A Peter Pan retelling with should’ve, would’ve, and could’ve! A lot of loose ends, unanswered questions, and an abrupt ending had me scratching my head once I finished this. It was such a great premise too!
  • Unseen Messages by Pepper Winters – Contemporary romance with a pretty big twist. If you’re into love at first sight taken to the next level, give this a shot. I found this to have a lot of filler though, and I didn’t quite connect with the hero and heroine.
And some that have definitely hit the bulls eye!
  • Front Lines by Michael Grant – If you want something different from your usual YA, maybe give Front Lines by Michael Grant a spin! 5 different girls with each of their own stories, and their paths cross on the front lines of World War II. I’m already so excited for the sequel that’s coming out in 2017 ;_____;
  • The Bird and The Sword by Amy Harmon – Mature but still definitely fits within YA boundaries. A great fantasy standalone, so this is good if you want something that ties up everything neatly in one book.
  • These Broken Stars by Amy Kaufman and Meagan Spooner – The Titanic in space! I don’t know why they decided to name the ship Icarus, since the father is apparently proficient in Greek mythology, but they did, so… Lilac and Tarver have a decidedly happier ending than Jack and Rose though.

Front Lines by Michael Grant

front linesFront Lines by Michael Grant (Soldier Girl #1)
Published January 26, 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books, 574 pp.
Summary:

1942. World War II. The most terrible war in human history. Millions are dead; millions more are still to die. The Nazis rampage across Europe and eye far-off America.

The green, untested American army is going up against the greatest fighting force ever assembled—the armed forces of Nazi Germany.

But something has changed. A court decision makes females subject to the draft and eligible for service. So in this World War II, women and girls fight, too.

As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, three girls sign up to fight. Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schulterman are average girls, girls with dreams and aspirations, at the start of their lives, at the start of their loves. Each has her own reasons for volunteering. Not one expects to see actual combat. Not one expects to be on the front lines.

Rio, Frangie, and Rainy will play their parts in the war to defeat evil and save the human race. They will fear and they will rage; they will suffer and they will inflict suffering; they will hate and they will love. They will fight the greatest war the world has ever known.

New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant has created a masterful alternate history of World War II in Front Lines, the first volume in a groundbreaking series.

How goes it?

Oh my god this book. I love when I pick up books that completely overshoot anything I expect and I end up loving it, or even better, when I don’t know what I’m getting myself into. Front Lines is one of those books. Set in an alternate historical version of WWII, Front Lines drags you through every emotion: sweet and fluffy, dark and gritty, and even, somehow, hopeful. Mostly, I love the characters in this: they all come alive and you come to root for them by the end.
Read More »

June TBR

It’s halfway through the year, I can’t believe it! At least we’re closer to the release of some of the books I’ve been looking forward to this year. For the meantime, this month’s TBR features books that have been in my TBR pile a few months too long, a series y’all convinced me I should give a fair chance to, and a book that apparently is quite good but under the radar!
the bird and the sword
  • The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, Daughter. Stay alive.

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?

I found out about The Bird and the Sword through Mariana Zapata’s readers’ group. I can’t remember the thread, but it got mentioned repeatedly, and I got intrigued! Also, it looks like another book that has a focus on language as a form of power (literally, and figuratively) – hopefully I’ll like this one much, much more than the other one I read earlier this year.

Read More »

May Wrap-Up

Hello everyone! May has ended and here where I am, the rainy season has set in. It’s still kind of hot, but at least I have rainy days to look forward to.

As usual, I set my TBR at a comfortable 7 books (including my requisite classic and uncharted genre ones, the latter of which I have yet to post, hah) – for the first time since January I somehow managed to complete the TBR!

avZf09U

 

Reviews

DSC_0383

For May I managed to review 9 books, which is a pretty healthy mix of the start to a new series….

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – finally, a book where I can get behind the hype! Multiple POVs work so well with this one, and you get to know the characters and their motivations through it, not just view other relationships through another lens. Much wow, highly recommend.
  • The Falconer by Elizabeth May – if there is one word to describe this book, it would be mash-up. So many genres in one book, but at least it’s interesting! The fae lore could be explored a bit more, but I think that’ll be tackled in the next book.
  • The Midnight Sea by Kat Ross – part-historical fiction, part-fantasy, this is one of my pleasant surprises for the month. This is based on Western Asian history, definitely not a setting you see often! Or at least, I don’t see often.

standalones…

  • The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine – a Snow White retelling; this was just okay, but I find the universe it’s set in interesting, so I’d probably read the next one. This is the first of a series of standalone books set in the same universe.
  • The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi – an anticipated 2016 read! But it didn’t quite meet my expectations, just somehow touched them? Beautiful writing and awesome world-building, but plot was a bit lacking for me. This is another standalone in a series of books set in the same universe, and because the world-building is A+ I’m looking forward to the next one.
  • Dreamology by Lucy Keating – another sort-of foray into contemporary YA, but still with a mix of fantasy. Not my favorite, because the actions of some of the characters don’t sit well with me, but if you’re looking for a light, fluffy, dreams-come-true kind of read, and can look past what the characters did so they can be together, this one will do it, I think!

and a sequel!

  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – well, Rowan certainly doesn’t make a good first impression, but at least he got his act together when Aelin really needed it. Finally almost caught up with this series, just the Queen of Shadows to go!

I also read We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, whose Merricat is one of my favorite narrators ever, and a DRC, A Thousand Salt Kisses by Josie Demuth.

Digital Review Copies

 

I trawled through NetGalley for books I could add to my TBR (and maybe request too), and I ended up getting approved for The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse (A+ cover), and Unseen Messages by Pepper Winters. The former is a Peter Pan retelling, and the latter is a survival-type of contemporary romance. Excited to start reading these!

Upcoming

I have a book tag to fulfill (the Alphabet Book Tag), and I’ve yet to post my Uncharted Genre for May, so I’ll get right to that! I was actually a bit thrown off my mojo during May, because for one, our internet and landline conked out at the end of April and only got fixed around the 3rd week of May. At least it’s fixed now!

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

the falconerThe Falconer by Elizabeth May (The Falconer #1)
Published May 6, 2014 by Chronicle Books, 378 pp.
Summary:

One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale

She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.

How goes it?

The Falconer is part historical fiction, part fantasy, and part steampunk, and if you feel like that’s a barrage of information – it actually is. The setting is certainly unique, and the action is definitely one of my favourite things about this. I’m not sure how I feel about Aileana apart from her Falconer persona, but the girl as a Falconer does manage to kick fae butt pretty well.

Read More »

The Midnight Sea by Kat Ross

the midnight seaThe Midnight Sea by Kat Ross (The Fourth Element #1)
Published May 10, 2016 by Acorn Publishing, 261 pp.
Summary:

They are the light against the darkness.

The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.

And they use demons to hunt demons….

Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King’s elite Water Dogs is that they bind wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she’s willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he’s possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other’s emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius’s past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…

How goes it?

The Midnight Sea may have started out a bit hazy for me, but damn was the last half so great. The elements of this are familiar – girl suddenly becomes a central figure in a conflict she had no idea existed, a demon pair, warring kingdoms – but I think Kat Ross does a good job of putting her own spin on these that this makes for an interesting read! Also is not the cover gorgeous!

Read More »

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers + Series Wrap Up!

mortal heartMortal Heart by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassin, #3)
Published November 4, 2014 by HMH Books for Young Readers, 444 pp.
Summary:

Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn’t mean she has…

How goes it?

Oh my god! I’ve finished a series you guys! This is an accomplishment, I can’t believe it. So, seeing as this is the end of the road for this series, this will be part-review, part-series wrap-up!

Read More »

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

into the dimInto the Dim by Janet B. Taylor (Into the Dim #1)
Published March 1 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers, 425 pp.
Summary:

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing

How goes it?

While Into the Dim didn’t exactly meet my expectations, it’s still interesting enough if you have an intense love for Scotland (where it’s set, although the description of the Scottish countryside is minimal), and time travel (which everyone does in this book). That being said, if you don’t, I don’t think you’d feel the same way I do. Though really, give the book a chance.

Read More »