Week in Review: August 31st (The Birthday Edition!)

Week in Review


What I Did:

I have a question: What happened to summer?!?! I know I’ve been saying this for weeks but it has gone by so, so fast. I am excited to be returning to school, although I’m a bit nervous about taking three APs. I hope I know what I’ve gotten myself into…

All that being said, I have two days left of summer and I am making the most of what I have left! Today is my birthday, and I’m not quite sure what I’m going to be doing yet (I’m writing this the day before), but whatever I do I know it’s going to be fun!

As some of you have learned from my replies to comments my kitten has been delayed a couple weeks, unfortunately. But this gives me something to look forward to after school is back in session! We got a picture of her and I can’t stop staring at her adorableness!

 Links I Loved:

  • Nereyda @ Mostly YA Book Obsessed created a mood board for an anticipated release of mine, My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. Her boards are so cool and fun!
  • Kayla @ The Thousand Lives discusses the colors and emotions that she associates with Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss series in her “Saturated Reads” feature.
  • Jen @ Books and Other Happy Ever Afters talks about her want to start vlogging and shares some of her favorite BookTubers! (P.S. – Isn’t her blog name just the most adorable and wonderful thing ever?!) Recently I’ve been thinking about writing a similar post and explaining why I haven’t ventured into BookTube just yet…
  • Annie @ The Runaway Reader has been blogging for TWO YEARS!! Stop over and celebrate with her! She’s awesome, such a wonderful blogger, and such fun to talk to. 😀 (She also mentioned me in her post and I was smiling like I was in the bookstore for a good 10 minutes. I’m so happy you consider me a friend! ❤
  • Aimee @ Deadly Darlings discusses being a fangirl. I’m sure we can all relate, am I right?!
  • Miranda @ Tempest Books featured me in her “Must Haves” for this week! Thanks so much to her, and be sure to check out her post for other blogs, music, foods, clothes, etc. that she’s been loving this week!
  • Ashley @ For the Love of the Page reached a bunch of blogging milestones this week! Congrats, Ashley!
  • Rachel @ Confessions of a Book Geek talks about “the dreaded book-buying ban.” I’ve tried so hard to go on one but books just keep coming out and I can’t stop buying them! My next purchase needs to be a new bookshelf, not more books for goodness sake!

Books I Added to My Shelves:

Bought from BookOutlet:

LEFT: The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna | Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon | Arclight by Josin L. McQuein | Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown | Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian | CENTER: The Luxe  by Anna Godberson | Beautiful Days by Anna Godberson | The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart | The Prey by Andrew Fukuda | The Heiresses by Allison Rushby | Fever by Lauren DeStefano | RIGHT (most anticipated): The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney | Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

 

For Review:

Wildlife by Fiona Wood (via NetGalley) – This was a Read Now and I seriously just couldn’t resist. I’ve had my eye on it for the longest time and I just…I had to…

Recently Finished and Currently Reading:

Yesterday I finished The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter and I really really enjoyed it! It was such a well-crafted and magical story that I fell in love with. My review will be up tomorrow for those who need more convincing about picking it up!

Yesterday I also started IGNITE by Lily Paradis, which I am already really enjoying! I can tell this is going to be a sexy romance, but with a touching sidestory that I won’t be able to put down!

On My Blog:

How was your week? I’d love to hear all about it!

xo

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Review: The Empress Chronicles by Suzy Vitello

Publisher: Diversion Books
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Pages: 254
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Series: ???
Genre(s): Coming of Age, Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Synopsis from Goodreads:

In this dazzling novel from the author of THE MOMENT BEFORE, one courageous girl seeks keys to the past to unlock the future…

When city girl Liz is banished to a rural goat farm on the outskirts of Portland, the 15-year-old feels her life spiraling out of control. She can’t connect to her father or his young girlfriend, and past trauma adds to her sense of upheaval. The only person who seems to keep her sane is a troubled boy who is fighting his own demons. But all of this changes in one historical instant.

One-hundred fifty years earlier, Elisabeth of Bavaria has troubles of her own. Her childhood is coming to a crashing end, and her destiny is written in the form of a soothsaying locket that has the ability to predict true love. But evil is afoot in the form of a wicked enchantress who connives to wield the power of the locket for her own destructive ends.

When Liz finds a time-worn diary, and within it a locket, she discovers the secrets and desires of the young Bavarian princess who will one day grow up to be the legendary Empress of Austria.

It is in the pages of the diary that these two heroines will meet, and it is through their interwoven story that Liz will discover she has the power to rewrite history—including her own…

Readers of books like Rachel Harris’s MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY will love THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES.

my rambles

Special thanks to Diversion Books and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of this book for review!

I went into The Empress Chronicles without much prior knowledge as to what exactly it was about. When I saw the title up on NetGalley I was intrigued, skimmed the synopsis, and knew immediately that I had to read this book! Then the cover was revealed and my jaw pretty much dropped. I mean it’s beautiful! And it fits the story perfectly, another bonus! But on to the actual contents…

The Empress Chronicles is written in alternating POVs: one from Liz, who lives in the present day, and has a combination of an eating disorder and OCD; the other is Sisi, a dutchess from Bavaria (who was a real historical figure, I might add) who is dealing with the struggles of being a teenaged girl and royal at the same time. I really enjoyed that the author chose to write the story this way. The book is almost like two separate stories alternating back and forth, but, toward the end of the book their stories start to be intertwined together. The only problem I had with this aspect of the book was that the chapters always seemed to end abruptly. The alternating chapters didn’t flow together nicely until the end when both main character’s paths start to cross.

I also felt that the book was a bit underdeveloped when it came to relationships, particularly in Sisi’s chapters. I know that the characters are relatively young (15), but I still felt like she came off as extremely young and naïeve in that with her first love interest she’d never even spoken to him in person! Yet because he sent her romantic letters and gifts she was “in love” with him. Thank goodness that romance didn’t last long… But even in Sisi’s relationship with Count S., I found that it was pretty underdeveloped. I think this was in part due to the choppiness of the chapter endings, spanning large amounts of time in between. That being said, Liz’s relationship with Cory was taken much slower and was definitely the more developed of the two.

One this I particularly enjoyed was how Liz’s OCD and eating disorder were written. I really got to understand the mind of people that have these diseases and disorders, and from what I can tell they were written to be very realistic. To those of you that are wary of books with eating disorders, this is not your typical eating disorder book. Liz doesn’t throw up or anything in the book, but her lack of want to eat is caused by her OCD and repulsion to the textures and look of food. So don’t check this book off of your list quite yet!

And I can’t forget to mention the amazing fantasy elements that we begin to see in The Empress Chronicles! The characters begin to communicate through time periods by using an old journal of Sisi’s. I wish that we got to see more of the main character’s interactions through the journal, but I’m hoping that if there is a second book to this series, the author will delve into the magical aspects of the story further! I absolutely loved the ending, because Sisi and Liz seemed to start being comfortable in their own skin and with their decisions, and I hope that the story will continue on in another book, because that ending didn’t have any closure at all!

Overall, The Empress Chronicles was a great beginning to what I hope will be a wonderful fantasy series! The coming of age and fantasy elements were really the stars of this book, and I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for these characters, and see how their paths will cross even further!

xo

How Book Blogging + High School Has Prepared Me for the “Real World”

In case you didn’t know, I’m a high school student.

I’m not particularly a fan of high school (I’d much rather be home reading), but I feel like the combination of high school and book blogging has been very beneficial to me. Blogging has helped me in school, and school has helped me with blogging. And both together have helped to prepare me with the skills I need for the “real world” aka college, jobs, etc.

Without blogging, I wouldn’t be as challenged.

Sure, I take AP courses. Yes, that challenges my brain. And yes, it’s all somewhat time consuming. BUT, after recently stopping tennis for this school year to focus on grades and college stuff, I do have some more time on my hands. Blogging is another commitment that I have to myself. No one knows that I blog except for you and I. Shh.. don’t tell anyone, okay?! But the point is, I technically have no one to keep me in check about whether I put time into blogging or not. It’s all on me.

Also, blogging adds another little challenge to my daily life. I try my hardest to post reviews on certain dates for publishers and authors, but I also have to have time to read them. Therefore, the combination of blogging and school has taught me even better time management. Sure, I still procrastinate – it’s inevitable for me, but I know that I have deadlines to make for both school AND blogging, and I work hard to get schoolwork done so I can have time to read books and blog for fun, too.

I know how to be professional.

Before blogging I got nervous about emailing teachers about a grade or homework assignment. Did I format this correctly? Is this professional enough? But now with blogging (and the help of some awesome experienced bloggers), I know how to contact “important people.” Emailing publishers, authors, and other bloggers has become something I do frequently now, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to do so, but also for the lessons that it’s taught me. I know how to be professional now whether it’s about requesting an ARC, asking a high school teacher about missed work, or even talking to people at colleges.

It’s brought my out of my comfort zone and made me more confident.

I used to be SO shy. You could barely hear me when I spoke in a classroom setting. I didn’t branch out and meet new people. Blogging has totally transformed me. I’m louder, more outgoing. Blogging has helped because it took me being behind a computer screen to realize that meeting new people isn’t hard or meant to be nerveracking. Once I realized this through blogging and interacting with people on Twitter and blog comments, I saw that it’s not so different in person, either.

All of these things translate into the “real world.”

Soon I’ll be in college, most likely working a part time job and I really want to still be blogging too! Adding this little extra bit of “work” I’ll call it, although it’s really a fun, enjoyable hobby, is something that I think will gradually help me for when that time comes, and even after college when I’m all by myself at a job doing all the “adult” things that have to be done. Also just the social aspects of it has already helped me so much!

So thanks, blogging. You’ve really helped a girl out.

xo

Waiting on…Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!


Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: January 6th, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes. Set apart by her heritage and her past, Brynn is a tracker who’s determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royalty. She’s not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden. But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero who she once loved – appears to be up to something dangerous, kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?

why i can't wait

Way before I even knew book bloggers existed, I read Amanda Hocking’s Trylle Trilogy and became a huge fan of her fun writing and stories. Since then I’ve also read three out of the four books in her Watersong series and have really enjoyed those books as well. But when I found out that she was writing a companion series to her Trylle books I got so excited! And look at that beautiful cover! I can’t wait to explore this part of the Trylle world in her new series, The Kanin Chronicles!

Have you read any of Amanda Hocking’s books? Are you excited about this one, too? And of course, what are you waiting on this Wednesday?

xo

Release Day Blitz + Excerpt: IGNITE by Lily Paradis!

ignite fb release date 2

I normally don’t participate in book blitz’s, but this is a book that I am very excited for, and will be reviewing on the blog soon so I am very happy to share with you TWO excerpts from IGNITE by Lily Paradis!


About the Book:

Publisher: Empire Books
Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:

After her father’s untimely demise in a mining accident and her mother’s abandonment, Lauren Lindsay is no stranger to loss. She’s used to living life for one person: herself. That is, until another family tragedy thrusts three children into her care and uproots her life in ways she could never imagine.

Lauren’s first instinct is to run, until she meets their striking, mysterious neighbor Dean Powell. Their immediate chemistry and his connection with her late father just might be enough to keep her in town long enough to uncover pieces of her past that she never had answers to. Dean’s shady past and her reluctance to trust him could cost her the life she’s always been searching for, but will she run back to her old life?

Or will she choose to stay and live the life her father always imagined for her?

Doesn’t that sound awesome?! Yeah, I thought so too! I am SO excited to read this one. Look forward to a review on the blog in the coming weeks!


Keep reading for the excerpts, Goodreads giveaway, and information on where and how to purchase the book!  Continue reading “Release Day Blitz + Excerpt: IGNITE by Lily Paradis!”