Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday (187)


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

This week I am excited for The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller and The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett!

The Shadows Between Us looks like my kind of book! From the description, it makes me think of a combination of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black and The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh! It features a cunning and ambitious heroine named Alessandra. She sets out to kill the mysterious Shadow King, but I bet there'll be some romance in the air. My question is, will the Shadow King also be slightly villainous, or will he be a soft boy with special powers?

Synopsis:

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

Release: February 25, 2020

The Winter Duke is the second novel from Claire Eliza Bartlett. I'm actually reading an ARC of it right now! It's a super queer YA fantasy! There's a kingdom above a lake and a kingdom below. They have a tenuous relationship, when tragedy strikes main character Ekata's family, who happen to rule the kingdom above. Ekata is a science nerd like me, so I find her super relatable, and can't wait to see where the story goes!

Synopsis:

An enchanted tale of intrigue where a duke's daughter is the only survivor of a magical curse.

When Ekata's brother is finally named heir, there will be nothing to keep her at home in Kylma Above with her murderous family. Not her books or science experiments, not her family's icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the tantalizingly close Kylma Below, a mesmerizing underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness.

In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother's warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her own ministry. Nothing has prepared Ekata for diplomacy, for war, for love...or for a crown she has never wanted. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family's power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield it.

Part Sleeping Beauty, part Anastasia, with a thrilling political mystery, The Winter Duke is a spellbinding story about choosing what's right in the face of danger.

Release: March 3, 2020

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Top Ten YA Books With the Best Romances


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and The Artsy Reader Girl. This week is a love freebie, so I'm talking about some of my favorite YA romances!

1. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins - Anna and Kai are all the swoon when they're together


2. Crier's War by Nina Varela - Sometimes I just want to put Ayla and Crier in a room together and say "now kiss!"


3. Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi - This romance crept up on me, but I love me some Juliette/Ella and Warner content! I can't wait to see how the series ends in a month!


4. Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan - There's not much romance in book one, but just wait until you read Ruthless Gods!


5. The Mara Dyer/Shaw Confessions series by Michelle Hodkin - Mara and Noah are a mess. A beautiful mess, but a mess nonetheless. The last book in this series comes out this fall, and I honestly don't know how I'm gonna deal with it when it does.


6. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas - It takes multiple books for this series to settle on the final love interest, but when it does, there are sparks!


7. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton - I wasn't sure about Gifford at first, but Jane and her sometimes-horse-husband are great together!


8. Geekerella by Ashley Poston - I'm pretty much always down for a Cinderella retelling, and this one is great! Elle and Darien are such a sweet, geeky couple, and I loved watching them fall in love.


9. Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter - I read these books back in elementary and middle school, so Cammie and Zach are one of my original favorite couples!


10. Ash Princess trilogy by Laura Sebastian - Theodosia may begin the series seeing Soren as an enemy - which to be fair, he is - but they finish as much more, as seen in the recently released finale, Ember Queen!


Honorable Mention: Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston - This book isn't YA, so it doesn't fit the parameters of my topic, but I wanted to mention it anyways, as Alex and Henry are one of my favorite couples in recent book history!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday (186)


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

It's been a little while, but Waiting on Wednesday is back! We've got a contemporary party going on, as this week, I'm excited for Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli and The Upside of Falling by Alex Light.


Break the Fall features one of my favorite things, Olympic-level women's gymnastics! Along with having gymnastics at the highest level, the book also tackles a fictionalized version of the sexual abuse scandal that US Gymnastics has been dealing with for the past few years. I don't know if I've seen many, if any, YA gymnastics books before, so this is extra special. I've been super excited for this book since I first heard of it, and I really can't wait to get my hands on it!!!!

Synopsis:

Audrey Lee is going to the Olympics.

A year ago, she could barely do a push up as she recovered from a spine surgery, one that could have paralyzed her. And now? She's made the United States' gymnastics team with her best friend, Emma, just like they both dreamed about since they were kids. She's on top of the world.

The pressure for perfection is higher than ever when horrifying news rips the team apart. Audrey is desperate to advocate for her teammate who has been hurt by the one person they trusted most--but not all the gymnasts are as supportive.

With the team on the verge of collapse, the one bright spot in training is Leo, her new coach's ridiculously cute son. And while Audrey probably (okay, definitely) shouldn't date him until after the games, would it really be the end of the world?

Balancing the tenuous relationship between her teammates with unparalleled expectations, Audrey doesn't need any more distractions. No matter what it takes, she's not going to let anyone bring them down. But with painful revelations, incredible odds, and the very real possibility of falling at every turn, will Audrey's determination be enough?

Release: February 18, 2020

The Upside of Falling features on of my favorite contemporary tropes, fake dating. Main characters Becca and Brett start 'dating' to get friends and classmates to stop asking if they're dating anyone. And of course, what starts as fake dating becomes real attraction. From the looks of it, The Upside of Falling will be a light and funny read, which is something that can be a nice distraction from all the crazy outside. Also, along with fake dating, the book has the football player and the nerd trope, which is so much fun!

Synopsis:

It’s been years since seventeen-year-old Becca Hart believed in true love. But when her former best friend teases her for not having a boyfriend, Becca impulsively pretends she’s been secretly seeing someone.

Brett Wells has it all. Being captain of the football team and one of the most popular guys in school, he should have no problem finding someone to date, but he’s always been more focused on his future than who to bring to prom. When he overhears Becca’s lie, Brett decides to step in and be her mystery guy. It’s the perfect solution: he gets people off his back for not dating and she can keep up the ruse.

Acting like the perfect couple isn’t easy though, especially when you barely know the other person. But with Becca still picking up the pieces from when her world was blown apart years ago and Brett just barely holding his together now, they begin to realize they have more in common than they ever could have imagined. When the line between real and pretend begins to blur, they are forced to answer the question: is this fake romance the realest thing in either of their lives?

Release: February 18, 2020

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Top Ten Books on My TBR I Predict Will Be Five Star Reads


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and The Artsy Reader Girl. I've got a small bookshelf of books I want to read next that I have at school, so I'll pick from those books.

1. Of Ice and Shadows by Audrey Coulthurst


2. Rebel by Marie Lu


3. Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater


4. Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard


5. Throw Like a Girl by Sarah Henning


6. Cinderella is Dead by Kaylnn Bayron


7. Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust


8. These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling


9. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer


10. Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton

Book Blitz: Malice by Pintip Dunn


Today we have a release blitz for Pintip Dunn’s new YA fantasy thriller Malice! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today!

Title: Malice 
Author: Pintip Dunn
Genre: YA Thriller with Fantasy elements
Publisher:
 Entangled Teen
Release: February 4, 2020
Pages: 400

Synopsis:

What I know: a boy at my school will one day wipe out two-thirds of the population with a virus.

What I don’t know: who he is.

In a race against the clock, I not only have to figure out his identity, but I'll have to outwit a voice from the future telling me to kill him. Because I'm starting to realize no one is telling the truth. But how can I play chess with someone who already knows the outcome of my every move? Someone so filled with malice she’s lost all hope in humanity? Well, I'll just have to find a way―because now she’s drawn a target on the only boy I've ever loved...

You Can Find it At:
Goodreads


Excerpt: 

Before I know it, I’m a foot away from the basketball court. The players are taking a break, and Bandit stands at the edge of the concrete, taking long pulls from a water bottle. Up close, his brilliant hair looks almost purple, and his T-shirt sticks to his back in sweaty patches, hinting at his solid muscles.

Now what? Do I clear my throat? Tap his shoulder? Going for broke, I do both at the same time.

He turns and lifts his eyebrows, as though wondering how a mere mortal such as myself dares to approach him. He’s tall—really tall. Almost a head above my five feet five. His jaw is chiseled, his shoulders broad. I’m so close that I can feel the heat rising off his body.

My brain scrambles. I forgot to check if I had any food in my teeth! Did I brush my hair this morning? Put on clothes?

Okay, so clearly I’m not naked, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what I’m wearing. Please don’t let it be the navy T-shirt with the faded splotches on the shoulder, from when I accidentally added bleach instead of detergent to the laundry.

I glance down. Jeans and a white tank top—my favorite shirt because it has Lin-Manuel Miranda’s autograph. More than passable.

“I, uh…” My entire vocabulary chooses that moment to flee.

His lids lower, and he looks at me, decidedly bored. “Yes? Can I help you?”

Three, four, five of his basketball friends angle their towering bodies toward us, probably wondering what the interruption is about.

Sweat gathers at the nape of my neck, and electricity hums along my skin. The Voice is about to zap me again. I just know it.

“Running out of time,” the Voice pipes up, as if on cue. “Tell him.”

Say the words and be done with it. Say the words. Say. The. Words.

“I love you,” I blurt. “That is all. Goodbye.”

I wheel around, ready to sprint, when a hand snags my arm. His hand.

“Wait a minute,” Bandit says, his eyes 2 percent less bored. “Are we in third grade? Do you want to give me a note asking if I love you back, so I can circle yes or no?”

My cheeks burn hotter than the sun assaulting my skin. Hotter, even, than the flames that got me into this mess.

I could really use that alien abduction right about now.

The object of my supposed affection smirks. “We can skip the note. Can’t say I blame you for falling for me. I mean, I’m a lovable guy. But have we actually met?” He lowers his voice. “Outside of your wildest dreams, that is.”


What Kirkus Review is saying about Malice:

"Well-drawn characters and playful twists keep this thriller fully charged."

Author Bio:
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School.

Pintip’s novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. In addition, her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the Tome Society It list; the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award; and a Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Book of the Year. Her other novels include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, STAR-CROSSED, and MALICE.

You Can Find Her At:
Website
Facebook
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