Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday (171)


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I am excited for Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford and All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle!


Crown of Coral and Pearl looks to be political fantasy, similar to many other books on the market. That said, this plot set-up is my catnip, and I cannot get enough of it. The setting also looks pretty unique, with the main character coming from an island village. In this world, the princes choose maidens from the various island villages to wed. The main character Nor never thought she'd be chosen as she was scarred as a child, but when her sister gets injured, she has to go in her place. The book seems to be full of political machinations, which I love to see. I also need to give a shout-out to the gorgeous cover, which is what initially drew me to the book! I can't wait to see how this turns out, and how it's similar vs different to other books in the genre.

Synopsis:

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

Release: August 27, 2019

I heard about All the Bad Apples a while back, but sorta put is off to the side. A review I saw on Twitter the other day got me reinterested in it, and when I learned it had a lesbian narrator, I was all in! Also, the cover is absolutely gorgeous! The hair! The eyes! The tagline! I've seen multiple reviews say that the book is really angry, and I am all in for that. More angry girls 2019! I've also heard it's pretty emotional, so I'm gonna need to make sure that I read it at the right time. That said, I can't wait to get my hands on it! I'm pretty sure this is the tweet I saw that sealed the deal for me.

Synopsis:

The day after the funeral all our mourning clothes hung out on the line like sleeping bats. 'This will be really embarrassing,' I kept saying to my family, 'when she shows up at the door in a week or two.'

When Deena's wild and mysterious sister Mandy disappears - presumed dead - her family are heartbroken. But Mandy has always been troubled. It's just another bad thing to happen to Deena's family. Only Deena refuses to believe it's true.

And then the letters start arriving. Letters from Mandy, claiming that their family's blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions - but a curse, handed down through the generations. Mandy has gone in search of the curse's roots, and now Deena must find her. What they find will heal their family's rotten past - or rip it apart forever.

Release: August 27, 2019

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Top Ten (Oops) Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and The Artsy Reader Girl.

1. Wilder Girls by Rory Power - July 9, 2019

2. The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson - July 9, 2019

3. The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen - July 30, 2019

4. Of Ice and Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst - August 13, 2019

5. These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch - August 27, 2019

6. All the Bad Apples by Moïra Fowley-Doyle - August 27, 2019

7. American Royals by Katharine McGee - September 3, 2019

8. Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan - September 10, 2019

9. His Hideous Heart by Dahlia Adler - September 10, 2019

10. The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring - September 24, 2019

11. Bid My Soul Farewell by Beth Revis - September 24, 2019

12. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo - October 1, 2019

13. Rebel by Marie Lu - October 1, 2019

14. Crier's War by Nina Varela - October 1, 2019

15. The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L. Armentrout - October 8, 2019

16. The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh - October 8, 2019

17. Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor - October 15

18. The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco - October 15, 2019

19. Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater - November 5, 2019

20. The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White - November 5, 2019

21. Crown of Oblivion by Julie Eshbaugh - November 12, 2019

22. Cold Falling White by G.S. Prendergast - November 19, 2019

23. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black - November 19, 2019

This ended up being a *bit* more than ten. What books are you excited for in the second half of the year?

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Blog Tour: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry



I'm super excited to be participating in the Blog Tour for Only a Breath Apart! I actually participated in the Blog Tour back in January when it released, and I'll be sharing my review again now! And make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post!

Title: Only a Breath Apart
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release: January 22, 2019
Pages: 368
Review: 4.5 Stars

Synopsis:

Bestselling author Katie McGarry’s trademark wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance is given a new twist in the gritty YA contemporary novel, Only a Breath Apart.

Jesse Lachlin is cursed.

So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland.

Scarlett Copeland is psychic.

Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…

You Can Find it At:

Review:

First Impressions

First off, I will read anything that Katie McGarry writes. No matter the premise, I will read it. There are a couple novellas I haven't read yet, but otherwise I've read all of her stuff. I was excited about Only a Breath Apart as soon as I discovered it. A new Katie McGarry release is always a gift. I was super excited when I got approved for the blog tour and got an advanced copy to read. As soon as I had some time, I dug in!

Characters

As far as characters go, Jesse and Scarlet weren't my favorite Katie McGarry creations, but I still liked them. Just so you know, my favorite couples are Echo & Noah and Rachel & Isaiah. Relationship goals right there. But I digress.

I really liked Scarlett. I sympathized with her, and just wanted her to get the best the world had to offer. I also felt that she and Echo would get along well. Scarlett has created the persona of 'Ice Queen' in order to handle life with a controlling/abusive father. She never knows when he might go off, so she and her family cater to his every need and whim. This makes real relationships hard. Scarlett acknowledges that, and that she is often the backup friend. She states that she's okay with that, but the reader can tell that it weighs on her. For a lot of the book, I just wanted to give Scarlett a hug. No one knew what she was going through, and so she often had to deal with issues on her own.

I wasn't a big fan of Jesse for a good bit of the book. While he was raised poor compared to Scarlett, he had a loving family behind him. That's not to say his life was easy, but by the time we meet him and Scarlett in present day, he's had a support system for a while. The only reason he doesn't have a stronger one is because he pushes people away. Jesse also has some friends, and while I find them interesting, I also found the quite rude. They routinely make fun of other kids at school, including Scarlett.

The romance between Jesse and Scarlett took some time to grow on me. I told a friend while reading that I was ready to ship it, but Jesse needed to make up a heck of a lot of stuff to Scarlett. Personally, I don't think I would have been able to forgive Jesse for everything, but Scarlett's a better person than I am. That said, the characters did grow over the course of the book, and by the end I was 100% behind their relationship.

World Building

One thing that was a big part of the world was religion/faith. It was vague, but present. I'm not a big fan of religion in books, but it stayed mostly on the supportive side and I know some teens really value that in books. So while it didn't land well with me, it wasn't necessarily a detracting factor.

Only a Breath Apart is a standalone novel. Some of Katie McGarry's books feature characters from previous ones. While there aren't any characters we already know, it seems to take place in the same general world. It would be fun to see Scarlett and Jesse run into some of our previous main characters in a side novella/extra.

Praise:

“Katie McGarry knows what YA is, how it works, and what it can do better than anyone, but she always takes it one step further.” ―Hypable

"Fair warning: Picture-perfect Scarlett and misunderstood Jesse will have you in your feels." ―Girls' Life Magazine

“Beyond a haunted teen romance is a beautiful, moving exploration of domestic violence, forgiveness, and self-love. ...Simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming.” ―Kirkus, starred review

“McGarry ably captures the feeling of desperately wanting to come home to a friendship that has radically changed. The novel manages to tackle domestic violence in a way that never feels clichéd, and the romance is sure to win over even the most cynical reader. This is a story you’ll want to read slowly, just to be able to stay with the characters for a moment longer.” ―Booklist

“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love.” ―Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

“Powerful, emotional, and ultimately hopeful. An unforgettable story that will leave its mark on your heart.” ―C.J. Redwine, New York Times bestselling author

“Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.” ―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series

“Meticulously weaves a fragile love story through a minefield of loss, broken trust, and familial curses both real and imagined. Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful.” ―Tammara Webber, New York Times bestselling author

“A painful, beautiful, and utterly magical story about the family you’re born into versus the family you choose.” ―Trish Doller, author of In a Perfect World

“A touching tale of love and fate straight from the heartland.” ―Mindy McGinnis, author of The Female of the Species

“Scarlett and Jesse’s story will stay in your heart long after you finish the book.” ―Simone Elkeles, New York Times bestselling author

“Southern Gothic at its finest, this is Katie McGarry’s best book to date!” ―Miranda Kenneally, author of Catching Jordan and Breathe, Annie, Breathe

Author Bio:

Katie is the author of the PUSHING THE LIMITS series, THUNDER ROAD series, SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, and the upcoming YA novel, ONLY A BREATH APART. Her novels have received starred reviews, critical acclaim and have won multiple awards including being a multiple Goodreads Choice Award Finalist for YA Fiction, multiple RT Magazine's Reviewer's Choice Award Finalist for Best YA Fiction, including a win in the category, and she was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick.  

You Can Find Her At:
Website
Instagram

Giveaway:


*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour:

Week One
June 13th Thursday JeanBookNerd Interview
June 14th Friday A Court of Coffee and Books Review
June 14th Friday A Bella Fairy Tale Review
June 15th Saturday Movies, Shows, & Books Excerpt
June 15th Saturday Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews Review
June 16th Sunday Lauren's Bookshelf Review
June 16th Sunday TTC Books and More Excerpt
June 17th Monday Bookish Kali Review
June 17th Monday Postcards for Ariel Excerpt
Week Two
JUNE 20th Thursday BookHounds YA Review and Excerpt
JUNE 20th Thursday Booklovers For Life Review
JUNE 21st Friday Wishful Endings Interview
JUNE 22nd Saturday A Dream Within A Dream Review
JUNE 22nd Saturday Sabrina's Paranormal Palace Review
JUNE 23rd Sunday A Bookish Dream Review
JUNE 23rd Sunday Crossroad Reviews Review
JUNE 24th Monday Nay's Pink Bookshelf Review
JUNE 24th Monday Sophie Reads YA Review

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday (170)


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I am excited for two August releases! First is Of Ice and Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst and second is These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch! Both books are sequels, which is also exciting.


I read Of Fire and Stars as an ARC back in 2016. And I absolutely LOVED it! So when I heard that a sequel was finally coming out, I was thrilled. I also recently got my hands on an ARC of Of Ice and Shadows, and that will probably be the next book I read. Book one ended in such a way that it could be a standalone or the start of a series. I'm not positive, but I believe it was initially set to be just one book, but it did so well that the publisher okayed a sequel (and a prequel). Whatever happened, I'm excited that I finally get to hold the book in my hands. I can't wait to read Mare and Denna's next adventure and to cheer them on the entire way!

Synopsis:

Princesses Denna and Mare are in love and together at last—only to face a new set of dangers.

Mare just wants to settle down with the girl she loves, which would be easier if Denna weren’t gifted with forbidden and volatile fire magic. Denna must learn to control her powers, which means traveling in secret to the kingdom of Zumorda, where she can seek training without fear of persecution. Determined to help, Mare has agreed to serve as an ambassador as a cover for their journey.

But just after Mare and Denna arrive in Zumorda, an attack on a border town changes everything. Mare’s diplomatic mission is now urgent: She must quickly broker an alliance with the Zumordan queen to protect her homeland. However, the queen has no interest in allying with other kingdoms—it’s Denna’s untamed but powerful magic that catches her eye. The queen offers to teach Denna herself, and both girls know it would be dangerous to refuse.

As Denna’s powers grow stronger, Mare does her best to be the ambassador her kingdom needs. Her knowledge of Zumorda and its people grows, and so too do her suspicions about the queen’s intentions. With rising tensions and unexpected betrayals putting Mare and Denna in jeopardy and dangerous enemies emerging on all sides, can they protect their love and save their kingdoms?

Release: August 13, 2019

These Divided Shores is the sequel of These Rebel Waves. I absolutely loved book one, and reviewed it for Teenreads. The series also does a cool job of mixing technology (steam boats, etc) with fantasy. I ship Lu and Vex, and I hope they are able to get together in this book. It'll also be cool to see Lu and Ben interact. Ben was largely separate from the other characters in book one, some I'm excited to see him more in the story. Basically, I can't wait to find out what happens next and I hope all my preciouses are okay!

Synopsis:

As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success. Escape is impossible—unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again.

Vex failed to save Lu and Ben—and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates—and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago.

Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God?

As armies clash and magic rises, Lu, Vex, and Ben will confront their pasts . . . or lose their futures forever.

Release: August 27, 2019

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Top Ten Unpopular Bookish Opinions


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and The Artsy Reader Girl.

1. Book Boxes Aren't Great - They're expensive and many readers can't actually afford them

2. Harry Potter Isn't That Great Either - The books have a ton unnecessary details and Harry is pretty annoying

3. The Harry Potter Movies Are Better Than the Books - I said what I said

4. The Ending of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy Was Bad - Alina should NOT have ended up with Mal

5. Conferences With a YA Focus Should Have Teen Passes - Cons are often too expensive for teens to attend at the regular price, thus eliminating the target audience

6. Authors and Publishers Need to Treat Bloggers (Especially Teens) With More Respect - The blogging community can help make or break a book, and some of us are aspiring authors and potential future coworkers

7. The Fact That Publishers Have Stopped Releasing YA Paranormal Romance is a Travesty

I think I've run out of opinions, so I'll leave it at that. Do you have any unpopular opinions?
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