April 2016 Is Rocking My Book World!

Early Excitement

April seems to the the month when ALL THE BOOKS are coming out. I’ve already had the opportunity to read so many upcoming releases, and I’m very happy with most of the ones I’ve read so far. Plus, one of my most anticipated books of the year is coming out at the end of this month!! I’m sure you can probably guess which it is before I even show you my list…

Dreamology by Lucy Keating (4/12) | The Passion of Dolssa by Julia Berry (4/12) | The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas (4/19) | Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw (4/19) | The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (4/26) | Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun (4/26) | The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh (4/26)

These are just some (the ones I’m most excited for) of the books coming out this April. It’s a pretty killer lineup, if I do say so myself…

The hype surrounding Dreamology got to me, and I had to put it on my list. I’ve been hyping myself up for The Passion of Dolssa! I loved Julie’s All the Truth That’s in Me, and so I just know this will be good! The Darkest Corners is a mystery/thriller, and I’m a sucker for those. Plus, the publisher seems to be doing a lot to promote it, so if they’re excited, I will be too! Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here sounds AH-MAZING and laugh out loud funny. This is another hyped addition to the list. The Star-Touched Queen needs no explanation. Heir to the Sky sounds like an incredible concept, and THAT COVER: AH!

And last but certainly, certainly not least, possibly my MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF THE YEAR: THE ROSE AND THE DAGGER! I flipped when I found out the release date had been moved up a week. If you’re wondering why I’m so FREAKING excited, check out my review of The Wrath and the Dawn!

So, those are the April releases I can’t wait to get my *grabby hands* on! What titles are you looking forward to this April?

xo

Because I Don’t Want It to End: THE WINNER’S TRILOGY by Marie Rutkoski

I’ll just start by noting that this post won’t have any spoilers for any of the books in this series. This isn’t a series review or discussion. It’s just my way of setting my feelings straight before I read The Winner’s Kiss, and sharing with you all just how much I adore these books. I’m basically passive aggressively book-pushing these on you. Therefore if you were a LUCKY LUCKY duck and got to read the last book early, don’t comment spoilers or hint at events or anything pleeeeeaaaaseeeee.

The Winner's Trilogy Banner

A week from today (less than a week now — I CAN MAKE IT!), one of my favorite series will come to the end. I would almost feel perfectly okay with saying that this is my one and only favorite series, but I’m a serial reader, so I can’t. But I can say that Marie Rutkoski has taken me on a ride in just two, incredibly detailed, heartbreaking, smart, and intense books. I’m both madly looking forward to and dreading reading the final book. In preparation and anticipation for doing just that, I thought I would write this post. I guess it’ll be a little journey of sorts: The Winner’s Trilogy and I.

Waaaay back in March of 2014, I purchased a book called The Winner’s Curse. I was new on the blogging scene, but I could tell that this was a book that everyone was freaking out about. So I bought it. And read it. And cried a lot. Almost immediately after I finished reading the book, I attended an event to see Marie Rutkoski. I was a fangirling mess on the inside, which translated to me being unable to form coherent sentences, ask questions, or sometimes even get words out. But I knew, especially after meeting Marie and listening to her speak about the book, that this was a series that was going to hit me hard.

I successfully pushed this book into the hands on two of my good friends, who are now equally as obsessed with this series as I am. This was a very proud achievement for me — I’m now a successful book-pusher! The three of us discussed the book a lot, which helped the time pass until book two.

Flash forward a year to March 2015. I purchased and read The Winner’s Crime and cried even more. It left me in quite a state. I feel like a bad fan to admit it, but now in March of 2016, I barely remember what happened. But I’ve decided it’s because the events of the book were just too traumatic that my brain stored the knowledge away for safekeeping.

And now we’re back to present day. I’m reading recaps of the first two books (because I don’t like rereading for some reason), and mentally preparing myself to be emotionally destroyed after reading The Winner’s Kiss. All I can say is: NEITHER KESTREL NOR ARIN CAN DIE. THEY MUST LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER FOREVER AND EVER.

BRB, taking a trip to the big box store to buy tissue in bulk.


If you want, you can read my reviews of The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime while we wait to put ourselves through more pain. They’re both non-spoiler reviews. And look out for a review and spoiler discussion in the somewhat near future when I’m over my book hangover. See, I’m already anticipating one…

xo

Review: GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT by Monica Hesse

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Series: N/A
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Genre(s): Historical Fiction
Synopsis from Goodreads:

An unforgettable story of bravery, grief, and love in impossible times

The missing girl is Jewish. I need you to find her before the Nazis do.

Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion.

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person–a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.

Meticulously researched, intricately plotted, and beautifully written, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary, gripping novel from a bright new voice in historical fiction.

my rambles

Special thanks to The Novl for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

Girl in the Blue Coat is a truly unforgettable and utterly incredible story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it. It’s a heartbreaking look at not only the impact of the horrors of the Nazis on Jews, but also on those who joined the resistance, or resisted on their own. It shines a light on the little known stories of the fighters in the Netherlands, and the underground resistance groups that did as much as they could to help others survive the war.

The moment this book popped up on my radar, I knew I had to read it. I’ve always been fascinated by WWII, and this book seemed like it would share yet another perspective that I’d never read from before. I learned so much that I never knew. The workings of the resistance groups were amazing, and the ways in which people rebelled against the Nazis in any way they could was extremely touching. Reading the author’s note on historical accuracy at the end of the book was even more illuminating. Trust me when I say that this story was so well researched, accurate, and beautifully written.

It’s really a story about love, friendship, and bravery. There are passages where Hanneke reflects back on a past romance, and lost friendship that she is trying to cope with while the main story is going on. Because of those past memories, I got a good sense of what shaped Hanneke to be a wary fighter, and what she was like before the war affected her life. I found this book to be unique in it’s focus on how the war and cruelty affected everyone, not just Jews. The friendships that were created for Hanneke from being thrust into her quest to find Mirjam, the missing Jewish girl, showed–dare I say it– a positive side to the war. But it also showed how the war tore people apart.

The story was fast paced, but lacked no emotion for want of more excitement. The book left me in awe for many reasons, but the build up to the end had a lot to do with it. I could tell that the way the story unfolded was clearly intricately planned out, and hints at the truth were dropped throughout the story — we just didn’t know it yet. I was very surprised at the complexity of the revelation. I was definitely not expecting the story to play out the way it did. But as I said before, none of the serious and extremely important issues were sacrificed for the fictional story.

I won’t be forgetting any of these characters any time soon. Girl in the Blue Coat was a stunning and heart-wrenching story showing a unique perspective on WWII, and the way it affected the lives of everyone during the time period. If you are interested in WWII books, or historical fiction, Girl in the Blue Coat should be at the top of your TBR!

 9

Psst! I wrote a guest post on Ely’s blog as a part of a WWII blog event a little while ago sharing the 5 reasons why I was SO EXCITED to read this book. If my review hasn’t convinced you, go check that out! And be sure to check out the other posts from other amazing bloggers to find more WWII titles to add to your TBR!

xo

Review: THE GLITTERING COURT by Richelle Mead

Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Series: The Glittering Court, #1
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via First to Read
Genre(s): High Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

A dazzling new fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds that’s dripping with romance from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy.

Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies capable of arranging powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands. . . .

my rambles

Special thanks to Penguin First to Read for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

The Glittering Court is the first book that I’ve read by Richelle Mead. While her Vampire Academy series has been on my radar forever, I’ve never been quite sure if it’s something that I wanted to commit myself to. I’m not a big fan of vampires. So when I first heard about The Glittering Court, I was intrigued. I loved the idea of a high fantasy set during a time period similar to that of the colonial Americas. Unfortunately I can’t say that I loved this book. I really wanted to! There were some aspects of the story that I really enjoyed, but other parts were lacking, leading me to have “meh” and mediocre feelings toward it.

As I said before, I loved the premise and overall storyline. But when I get down to the nitty gritty, there were some things that I just couldn’t ignore. The book seemed like it was never-ending. Sure it’s on the longer side, but I felt like the pacing was pretty slow throughout. That being said, the book takes place over quite a long period of time. I guess what was frustrating to me was the way the the “boring” parts of the story that were supposed to last a few months, were brushed off in probably 10 pages. While on the other hand, the action and more “exciting” parts that took place in minutes or hours were given more pages. I understand the want to avoid endless description of boring details, but it threw me off with the book’s timeline.

My other main problem with the book was the amount of “things” going on. There were lots of characters, and lots of storylines intertwining. Some authors can pull that off, but I just felt like many of the storylines were rushed and underdeveloped. The book covers such a range of time, characters, and settings. I think the story would have been less confusing if there was more development.

Continue reading “Review: THE GLITTERING COURT by Richelle Mead”

Life is still crazy, but about to be crazier!

Week in ReviewI’m back for another Week in Review post! Two weeks in a row? Let’s keep this happening!

As you could probably guess by the title of this post, my life is continuing to be crazy. With what, I can’t quite pinpoint. School, art, errands, the normal day to day things I suppose. I had to do a reality check when I realized that I have just over 100 days until I graduate high school, and just over 150 until I move to college. The days are going by so fast!

Anyway, this past Tuesday was the Season 5 finale of Teen Wolf, and I cried, people. Any other Teen Wolf fans want to cry over the wait to Season 6 with me? The ending was just so happy, and it made my heart happy as a result. ❤

I didn’t get as much reading done as I did last week, but I did read 2 books (as of when I’m writing this post Saturday morning). I finished The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead and All the Feels by Danika Stone. I enjoyed both of them, but they weren’t anything special for me. My review for The Glittering Court will be up early next week, and my review for All the Feels will be on Andye’s blog closer to the release date in June!

I’m just starting Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse, which I’m SO excited for. This weekend I’m planning on getting lots of reading done, as I have…wait for it…NO HOMEWORK! I can’t believe I can say that, but it’s true and I’m taking advantage of it! Therefore I’m hoping to read a couple more April releases (I’ve got plenty to choose from): Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan, No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista, A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry, or Two Summers by Aimee Friedman. Let me know which one you think I should read after I’ve finished Girl in the Blue Coat! There’s a little bit of everything between those four books.

Continue reading “Life is still crazy, but about to be crazier!”