Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval 
By: Stephanie Garber
Released: January 31, 2017
Source: ARC from NYCC
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . .  Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game. Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever. (Goodreads)


I loved Caraval and I wish could read this book for the first time again. It was such a twisted and magical story. 

Caraval is the story of sisters, Scarlett and Tella, who escape from their father to attend Caraval. It's an invitation only game that happens once a year and the audience is a part of the game. Scarlett has been told that it's only a game, but Tella is kidnapped as soon as they arrive and whoever finds her first wins. 

Scarlett was a well developed and complex protagonist. She's always dreamed of seeing the Caraval performers and she is so excited when she receives the invitation to attend. However, she is also very cautious. She is Tella's big sister and does whatever she can to try to protect her little sister after their mother left them. Scarlett tries to place all of the responsibility on her own shoulders. She even agrees to an arranged marriage in the hopes that it can better the life of her and her sister. I respected Scarlett for her determination and I understood why she felt the need to be so cautious. However, I also understood why Tella would push her so much to live her life as well. I even found myself agreeing with Tella and wanting Scarlett to take a chance

There were also so many interesting and well developed side characters throughout this book. From the sailor, who helps the sisters get off their island, to Legend, the master behind Caraval. However, one of my favorite aspects of Caraval was that at the heart, it's a story of two sisters and how far each would go to protect the other. The relationship between Scarlett and Tella was so real. They have their differences and don't always agree on what's best. Tella is much more impulsive where Scarlett is more careful. They love each so much though and that was strongly evident on the pages within this book. I loved that even though Scarlett was the older sister, Tella would still try to protect Scarlett in the same way. 

The plot was paced well and I found it so difficult to put this book down. I loved how mysterious and twisted the story was because I genuinely didn't know what to expect next. There was a new surprise every couple of chapters and just as soon as I thought I figured it all out, there was another twist waiting. This is definitely one of those books where the less you know before reading it, the better.

Garber truly created a fascinating and magical world that I quickly got swept up in. I loved how colorful and unique it all was. It's definitely become one of my new favorite fictional worlds. Garber's writing was also stunning and there were so many lines that I found myself writing down. I'm looking forward to reading what she writes next.      

Overall, I loved Caraval! It was a beautiful and surprising story that you won't be able to stop thinking about long after you finish reading. The characters were well developed and the world was built with so much detail. Caraval is definitely one of the must-read books of this year!


My Rating:






Saturday, December 31, 2016

Most Anticipated Books of 2017


 
10. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue 
By: Mackenzi Lee
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Goodreads  

 An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way. Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy. Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.


 9. The Last of August 
By: Brittany Cavallaro
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Goodreads 

In the second brilliant, action-packed book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, Jamie and Charlotte are in a chase across Europe to untangle a web of shocking truths about the Holmes and Moriarty families. Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers. So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.
 

8. Once and for All  
By: Sarah Dessen
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Goodreads 

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.



7. Blacksouls  
By: Nicole Castroman
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Goodreads 

Nicole Castroman brings the dangerous pirate ports of the Caribbean to life in this vibrant sequel to Blackhearts—the reimagined origin story of history’s most infamous pirate, Blackbeard. Edward “Teach” Drummond is setting sail to the Caribbean as first mate on the most celebrated merchant ship in the British fleet—until he rebels against his captain. Mutiny is a capital offense and Teach knows it could cost him his life, but he believes it worth the risk in order to save his crew from the attacking Spanish ships. Sailing on the same blue waters, Anne barely avoids the Spanish attack, making it safely to Nassau. But lawless criminals, corrupt politics, and dangerous intentions fill the crowded streets of this Caribbean port. Soon, Anne discovers that the man entrusted to keep the peace is quite possibly the most treacherous of them all—and he just happens to hold Teach’s fate in his terrifying hands. Life and death hang in the balance when Teach and Anne are given a dangerous mission. It’s a mission that will test their love, loyalty and devotion, forcing them down a path neither one could have ever imagined.
 

6. Bad Romance  
By: Heather Demetrios
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Goodreads 

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone. Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape. Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again. 


5. The Hate U Give 

By: Angie Thomas
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Goodreads 

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice.




 
4. Lucky in Love  
By: Kasie West
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Goodreads

Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment -- She wins! In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust. Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret? With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

3. Lord of Shadows  
By: Cassandra Clare
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Goodreads

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again? And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.

 
2. Throne of Glass #6 
By: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Goodreads 
 













1. A Court of Wings and Ruin 
By: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Goodreads

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.  In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

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What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?


Friday, December 30, 2016

Best Books of 2016

Best Books of 2016:


10.  A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro


“Truth be told, I liked that blurriness. That line where reality and fiction jutted up against each other.”
My Review
Goodreads
Amazon - B&N

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9. Heartless by Marissa Meyer



“But hoping," he said, "is how the impossible can be possible after all.”

 
My Review
Goodreads
Amazon - B&N

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8. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken


“It's our choices that matter in the end. Not wishes, not words, not promises.” 

My Review
Goodreads
Amazon - B&N

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7. Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman


 “You take far too many chances," she murmured.
"And you don't take nearly enough. I propose to change that.”


My Review
Goodreads
Amazon - B&N

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6. When We Collided by Emery Lord

“That's the thing they never tell you about love stories: just because one ends, that doesn't mean it failed. A cherry pie isn't a failure just because you eat it all. It's perfect for what it is, and then it's gone. And exchanging the truest parts of yourself--all the things you are--with someone? What a slice of life. One I'll carry with me into every single someday.” 

My Review
Goodreads
Amazon - B&N 

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5. What Light by Jay Asher


“I don't know how to fully enjoy any of these moments without wondering if it's the last.” 


My Review
Goodreads
Amazon - B&N

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4. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis



“But boys will be boys, our favorite phrase that excuses so many things, while the only thing we have for the opposite gender is women, said with disdain and punctuated with an eye roll.”

My Review
Goodreads
Amazon - B&N

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3. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare


“There was beauty in the idea of freedom, but it was an illusion. Every human heart was chained by love.”

My Review
Goodreads
Amazon - B&N

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2. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas


“The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers.” 

My Review
Goodreads
Amazon - B&N

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1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas 




"To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”

My Review
Goodreads
Amazon - B&N 


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What were some of your favorite books from 2016? 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #290: Grit


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


Grit
By: Gillian French
Release Date: May 16, 2017

His presence beside me is like heat, like weight, something I’ve carried around on my back too long. It’s summer in rural Maine; when seventeen-year-old Darcy Prentiss isn’t raking berries with her sister, Mags, and cousin, Nell, during the day, she’s drinking and swimming with the boys in the quarry by night. She knows how to have a good time, just like anyone else, but when you’ve been designated the town slut, every move you make seems to further solidify your “trashy girl” reputation. But the fun is what’s been keeping Darcy’s mind off the things she can’t forget: a disturbing secret she shares with Nell, the mysterious disappearance of her ex–best friend, and that hazy Fourth of July party that ended with Darcy drunk, on her back, wondering how she let it get this far. Then someone in town anonymously nominates Darcy to be in the running for Bay Festival Princess—a cruel, almost laughable gesture that can only be the work of someone with a score to settle. Everything Darcy has been trying to keep down comes bubbling to the surface in ways she wasn’t prepared to handle . . . and isn’t sure if she can. Gorgeously written and powerfully raw, this novel from debut author Gillian French will appeal to readers of Laurie Halse Anderson and Gayle Forman. (Goodreads)