Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday (174)


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

This week I'm excited for Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan and Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan!

Tiger Queen is a retelling of the short story "The Lady, or the Tiger?". I remember reading it back in middle school, and it's a really compelling topic. The story is a metaphor for an unsolvable problem. Basically, this kingdom has a justice system where the accused can pick between two doors. One door has a lady behind it that the accused marries if chosen. The second door has a tiger that will eat the accused. The princess of the land has figured out what is behind each door, and indicates to her lover, the accused, which one to pick. The question is, does she point him at the door to the woman, who he will marry and thus she will lose him but he's alive, or does she point him at the tiger, so no other woman can have him. Tiger Queen takes both the actual aspect of the two doors, as well as the metaphorical aspect. For the main character Kateri, she has to choose between the door that leads to freedom and the one that leads to death.

Synopsis:

In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an old law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena against twelve suitors to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, losing is not an option because in order to fulfil her promise to her late mother, she must win to keep her crown and lead her people. The situation outside the palace is uneasy. The harsh desert is unforgiving, water is scarce, and Kateri’s people are thirsty. To make matters worse, the gang of thieving Desert Boys, the same group that killed Kateri’s mother and her new baby, frequently raids the city wells and steals water, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is the choice between two doors. Behind one door lies freedom and behind the other is a tiger.


The people of Achra are growing restless and distrustful of the monarchy, and when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In her desperation, Kateri turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. Her future now, too, is behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which will release the tiger.

Release: September 10, 2019

I am so freaking excited for Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan!!!! I feel that abortion isn't written about very often in YA compared to how often it occurs in real life. In Unpregnant, the main character Veronica gets pregnant after her boyfriend sabotages the condoms he's using. Her luck continues to go downhill with the fact that the closest place to get an abortion is over 900 miles away. Veronica is ashamed to ask friends or family for help and instead asks her ex-best friend. Their road trip is filled with surprises, and ultimately truths are revealed. This looks to be a great story that deals with a tough topic. It combines road trip adventures, best friend stories, and the realities of teenage pregnancy. The bright pink cover also hints that it might be a lightish take on the topic, which will be interesting to see. Basically, I can't wait to read this book and I hope everyone else is too!

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Veronica Clarke never thought she’d want to fail a test – until she finds herself holding a thick piece of plastic and staring at two solid pink lines. How her boyfriend managed to get her pregnant, even with the most consistent use of condoms, is a mystery–but with a college-bound future now disappearing before her eyes, Veronica considers a decision she never imagined she’d have to make: an abortion.

Except the closest place to legally get one is nine hundred miles away in New Mexico–and Veronica doesn’t have a car. Desperate, she turns to the only person who won’t judge her: Bailey Butler, Jefferson High’s own little black cloud of anger and snark–and Veronica’s ex-best friend.


The plan is straightforward: a thirty-hour drive to the clinic and back. What could go wrong? Not much, apart from stolen cars, a crazed ex-boyfriend, truck stop strippers with pro-life agendas, ferret kidnapping, and aliens. Plus, the pain of a broken friendship that can’t be outrun, even when speeding down a highway. Soon, Veronica must risk everything to repair the hurt she’s caused. Under the starlit skies of the Southwest, Veronica and Bailey discover the road to adulthood isn’t easy–but it’s better with a friend by your side.

Release: September 10, 2019

What books are you excited for this week?

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Top Ten Characters I Wish Were Still Alive (Spoilers) (Obviously)


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

Read below at your own risk of spoilers.

1. Matt from Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

2. Max from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

3. Caleb from the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

4. Jade from Abandon by Meg Cabot

5. Daniel from Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (still upset about this one)

6. Luka from Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

7. Anna's mom (Patty) and Marna from the Sweet series by Wendy Higgins

8. Sam from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - I know things couldn't have turned out how they did if he lived, but he was so sweet

9. Kat from the White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter

10. Noah from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday (173)


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

This week I am excited for The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett and There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool!


The Lady Rogue is a historical fantasy. Reading the description makes me think of Stalking Jack the Ripper, And I Darken, and The Infernal Devices. While some historical books simply take place in a previous time, I love it when books include actual historical figures or events. In this case, the book has references to Vlad the Impaler. I'm also intrigued by the cover. On first glance it's so-so, but close up the detail of the border and the metallic dragon are amazing. At first the description makes me think that the book's gonna be on the darker side (closer to And I Darken), but apparently the book does a good job mixing levity with dark gothic to make a really fun book. I can't wait to read it!

Synopsis:

The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this thrilling tale filled with magic and set in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains where a girl must hunt down Vlad the Impaler’s cursed ring in order to save her father.

Some legends never die…

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.

Release: September 3, 2019

At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to read There Will Come a Darkness or not. But I've seen a handful of glowing reviews online and in general people have been excited for the book, so I took a second look. The book looks similar to Wicked Saints, which I absolutely loved, so I'm definitely intrigued now. I love stories dealing with prophecies and 'chosen ones', so this is right up my alley. The cover also has a cool lighthouse that's on fire, which makes me wonder if/how it plays into the story.

Synopsis:

he Age of Darkness approaches.
Five lives stand in its way.
Who will stop it... or unleash it?

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity. Using their visions of the future, they ended wars and united nations―until the day, one hundred years ago, when the Prophets disappeared.

All they left behind was one final, secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world’s salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As chaos takes hold, five souls are set on a collision course:

A prince exiled from his kingdom.
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand.
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart.
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone.
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up.

One of them―or all of them―could break the world. Will they be savior or destroyer?

Release: September 3, 2019

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Top Ten Childhood Favorites


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and The Artsy Reader Girl. I read a lot of these books in elementary and middle school!

1. The Missing Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix

2. The 39 Clues by Various

3. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

4. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

5. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

6. The Royal Diaries by Various (Anastasia and Cleopatra were my favorite, but I read some others too)

7. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney

8. The Tale of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

9. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

10. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Monday, July 1, 2019

Blog Tour: Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart


I am super excited to take part in the Queen of Ruin blog tour! I absolutely love this series and I want to share my love with everyone!

Title: Queen of Ruin
Author: Tracy Banghart
Release: July 2, 2019
Series: Grace and Fury
Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Pages: 336
Review: 5 Stars

Synopsis:

A fierce sequel full of sisterhood, heart pounding action, betrayal, and intrigue in the royal court in a series that "breathes new life into the feminist story of oppression and resistance" (Publisher's Weekly).

Banished by Asa at the end of Grace and Fury, Nomi and Malachi find themselves powerless and headed towards their all-but-certain deaths. Now that Asa sits on the throne, he will stop at nothing to make sure Malachi never sets foot in the palace again. Their only hope is to find Nomi's sister, Serina, on the prison island of Mount Ruin. But when Nomi and Malachi arrive, it is not the island of conquered, broken women that they expected. It is an island in the grip of revolution, and Serina--polite, submissive Serina--is its leader.

Betrayal, grief, and violence have changed both sisters, and the women of Mount Ruin have their sights set on revenge beyond the confines of their island prison. They plan to sweep across the entire kingdom, issuing in a new age of freedom for all. But first they'll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.

Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, and build something better in its place.

The stakes are higher and the battles bolder in Tracy Banghart's unputdownable sequel to Grace and Fury.

You Can Find it At:
Goodreads
Amazon
Kindle
Audible
B&N
iBooks
Kobo
TBD

Review:

First Impressions

I absolutely adored Grace and Fury, so I was super excited when I got an ARC of Queen of Ruin! I actually got the chance to meet Tracy last August when she was on tour for Grace and Fury, which was super exciting. When I got the ARC back in December, I immediately devoured the book. I've actually been meaning to write a review since then, but life's been so crazy with college that I never got to it. But here I am now, reviewing an awesome book! Also, probably spoilers for Grace and Fury ahead.

Characters

I loved getting to see Nomi and Serina back together again. Of the two I prefer reading Nomi's parts, but I really like them both. In some ways it felt like Serina was disconnected from the action in book one, but once they're both back in Viridia it feels more equal. They're both leading parts of a rebellion. A cool part about it is that some aspects are disjointed since they don't know what the other's doing, but you as the reader do know. So one of them will be wondering about something, and it turns out the other just did it. It's fun to see multiple pieces of a puzzle like that.

Both Serina and Nomi have a romance, and while I liked both, Serina's felt a *little* more forced. Not so much that I had an issue with it, but it would have been cool to see her fall in love with another woman on the island instead. On the romance note, the side characters Helena and Maris make an adorable couple. I love Nomi and Malachi as a couple, and I really liked how Nomi had to learn to trust and Malachi was so willing to make amends.

World Building

In many ways, this series feels similar to Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian, except these books don't have magic. Obviously specific events and characters are different, but there's a similar tone to both books. Basically that angry women are awesome. With the action of Queen of Ruin, the world of Viridia is about to look a lot different. While this is the end of the duology, I would love to see more in this world. Serina and Nomi's stories are relatively wrapped up, but there are plenty of other side characters in this world. I'd love to see a side character, or even an as-yet-unknown character, get a spinoff story about the next stage of Viridia's history. Basically, Tracy and her books rock, and I really hope to see more of them!

Title: Grace and Fury
Author: Tracy Banghart
Release: July 31, 2018
Series: Grace and Fury
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 320
Review: 5 Stars

Synopsis:

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace--someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir's eye, it's Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.

Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.

You Can Find it At:
Goodreads
Amazon
Kindle
Audible
B&N
iBooks
Kobo
TBD

Author Bio:

Tracy Banghart grew up in rural Maryland and spent her summers on a remote island in northern Ontario. All of that isolation and lovely scenery gave her the time to read voraciously and the inspiration to write her own stories. Always a bit of a nomad, Tracy now travels the world Army-wife style with her husband, son, cat, and sweet pupper Scrabble. She wrote Grace and Fury while living in Hawaii.

You Can Find Her At:
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
Goodreads

Giveaway:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of QUEEN OF RUIN, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One
7/1/2019 - Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews - Review
7/2/2019 - PopTheButterfly Reads - Review
7/3/2019 - Jena Brown Writes - Review
7/4/2019 - What A Nerd Girl Says - Review
7/5/2019 - It Starts at Midnight - Review

Week Two
7/8/2019 - Do You Dog-ear? - Review
7/9/2019 - A Gingerly Review - Review
7/10/2019 - Smada's Book Smack - Review
7/11/2019 - Starlight-Reads - Review
7/12/2019 - Books Coffee and Repeat - Review
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