Thursday, December 31, 2015

Most Anticipated Books of 2016

Most Anticipated Books of 2016 

The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John Watson–wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else.
Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other. 

It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.
Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim.
The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. 
Amazon - B&N 

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.

Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.
Vivi and Jonah couldn't be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard - January 5, 2016

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.
In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.
Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.
Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.
Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.

Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.
HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.
HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.
HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

Andie had it all planned out.
When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.
Important internship? Check.
Amazing friends? Check.
Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.
Because here’s the thing - if everything's planned out, you can never find the unexpected.
And where’s the fun in that?

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't.
As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

What books are you most looking forward to in 2016? 

Check out my favorite books from 2015

December Wrap Up

December Wrap Up

 Books I Reviewed: 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #238: Kill the Boy Band

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

Kill the Boy Band
By: Goldy Moldavsky
Release Date: February 23, 2016

 From debut author Goldy Moldavsky, the story of four superfan friends whose devotion to their favorite boy band has darkly comical and murderous results. Okay, so just know from the start that it wasn't supposed to go like this. All we wanted was to get near The Ruperts, our favorite boy band. We didn't mean to kidnap one of the guys. It kind of, sort of happened that way. But now he's tied up in our hotel room. And the worst part of all, it's Rupert P. All four members of The Ruperts might have the same first name, but they couldn't be more different. And Rupert P. is the biggest flop out of the whole group. We didn't mean to hold hostage a member of The Ruperts, I swear. At least, I didn't. We are fans. Okay, superfans who spend all of our free time tweeting about the boys and updating our fan tumblrs. But so what, that's what you do when you love a group so much it hurts. How did it get this far? Who knows. I mean midterms are coming up. I really do not have time to go to hell. (Goodreads)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Favorites from 2015

My Favorite Books from 2015:
2015 was a year filled with so many great books. It wasn't easy narrowing it down, but here are my top favorite books from this year.  

  -Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
“Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything.”  

-A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

 “Don't feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.” 

-Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

 “But perhaps the monsters needed to look out for each other every now and then.”  
-Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

"Bad things happen, and you can't let 'em harden you."
-I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

"And maybe people were like collages-no matter how broken or useless we felt, we were an essential part of the whole. We mattered."

-The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

“Time passes. That's the rule. No matter what happens, no matter how much it might feel like everything in your life has been frozen around one particular moment, time marches on.”  
My Review
Amazon - Barnes & Noble  

-The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West 

"Depth is found in what we can learn from the people and things around us. Everyone, everything, has a story, Gia. When you learn those stories, you learn experiences that fill you up, that expand your understanding. You add layers to your soul.” 
My Review
Amazon - Barnes & Noble  

-The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

"I knew very well how pain could last, and fester, and shape a person in unnameable ways."
My Review
Amazon - Barnes & Noble

My Favorite Book Cover from 2015:

-Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

My Review
Barnes and Noble

What are your favorite books and covers from 2015? 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Most Likely to Succeed by Jennifer Echols

Most Likely to Succeed 
By: Jennifer Echols
Released: August 4, 2015
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

As vice president of Student Council, Kaye knows the importance of keeping order. Not only in school, but in her personal life. Which is why she and her boyfriend, Aidan, already have their lives mapped out: attend Columbia University together, pursue banking careers, and eventually get married. Everything Kaye has accomplished in high school—student government, cheerleading, stellar grades—has been in preparation for that future. To his entire class, Sawyer is an irreverent bad boy. His antics on the field as school mascot and his love of partying have earned him total slacker status. But while he and Kaye appear to be opposites on every level, fate—and their friends—keep conspiring to throw them together. Perhaps the seniors see the simmering attraction Kaye and Sawyer are unwilling to acknowledge to themselves… As the year unfolds, Kaye begins to realize her ideal life is not what she thought. And Sawyer decides it’s finally time to let down the facade and show everyone who he really is. Is a relationship between them most likely to succeed—or will it be their favorite mistake? (Goodreads)

I liked Most Likely to Succeed a lot and that is mainly because of the characters. Kaye and Sawyer were both really interesting characters that learn a lot from each other.

Most Likely to Succeed is the story of Kaye who has her whole future planned out. She is on her way to becoming valedictorian and plans to attend college with her boyfriend. Then there is Sawyer who is the team mascot and known for not taking things seriously. However, there is a connection between Kaye and Sawyer that Kaye is finding more and more difficult to ignore. 

Kaye was a great protagonist and developed fairly well. Kaye is a perfectionist and never feels like she is worthy of her accomplishments. She is under a lot of pressure at home, but she also puts a lot of pressure on herself as well. Her boyfriend, Aidan, doesn't help the situation either because he makes things into a competition with her. Then there is Sawyer who was also a fairly well developed character. I liked Sawyer from the other books in the series, but this book made me really love him and look at him with a whole new perspective. The image he lets other people see isn't who he really is at all. I really loved learning that there was this whole other side to him. The relationship between Sawyer and Kaye was really sweet, however it felt rushed.

The plot moved quickly and I read this book all in one sitting. I would have liked the pacing to slow down a bit at times, especially at the end. The ending just felt really unresolved and abrupt to me. I wanted there to be more said between the characters. Other than that though, I thought the plot had a good balance of drama and romance. It was also really fun to see the characters from the previous books again.

Overall I liked Most Likely to Succeed. It was a cute and quick read.  

My Rating:

Thursday, December 24, 2015

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

None of the Above
By: I.W. Gregorio
Released: April 7, 2015
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant? When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him. But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts." Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self? (Goodreads)

I really enjoyed None of the Above a lot. This book was so well done and informative.

None of the Above is the story of Kristin who goes to the doctor after her first time with her boyfriend goes all wrong and learns that she is intersex. Kristin hasn't even had the chance to come to terms with it herself when the entire school finds out.

Kristin was a well developed protagonist who learns so much about herself over the course of the book. I liked how the story began before her diagnosis because it provided this interesting contrast between before she knew and after. After her diagnosis though, her whole life is flipped upside down. Kristin is questioning her identity and learning all about what being intersex means. She doesn't know what to label herself as anymore. Then when the whole school finds out, things get even more difficult for Kristin. Her anxiety about who she really is just worsens.

There were plenty of interesting side characters, including Faith, Vee, and Darren. One of my favorite aspects of this story though was the relationship that Kristin shared with her father. Kristin's mother died from cancer a few years ago and her dad is so worried for Kristin. It was clear how much he loved his daughter.

The plot was captivating and I read this book all in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. I was really invested in Kristin's story. Some of my favorite moments were from when she was volunteering at the clinic. I did feel like the pacing was moving a bit too fast though and wanted things to slow down, especially at certain moments. I also felt like at times the dialogue between Kristin and her friends didn't sound like teenagers. Other than that though, I really enjoyed this book.

Gregorio did a fantastic job with presenting gender, sex, and intersex in this book. She presents the difference between each in a very clear and informative way. I minored in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in college, so this is all something that I'm very passionate about. I think this a great book for teens that teaches a lot without becoming preachy. It forces you to put yourself in the shoes of someone who is labelled as "different" just because they don't fit into society's standards of the "norm".

Overall I really enjoyed None of the Above. It was a well written story about acceptance and not letting a label define who you are. I strongly recommend picking this one up!

My Rating:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #237: The Leaving

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

The Leaving
By: Tara Altebrando
Release Date: June 7, 2016

Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back--with no idea of where they've been. A riveting mystery for fans of We Were Liars. Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to. Until today. Today five of those kids return. They're sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn't really recognize the person she's supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they're entirely unable to recall where they've been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn't come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max's sister Avery, who needs to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss story. This unforgettable novel brims with rich characters, tense storytelling, and high stakes. (Goodreads)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern

A Step Toward Falling
By: Cammie McGovern
Released: October 6, 2015
Source: Publisher
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing—until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all. Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they're starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most? (Goodreads)

I really wanted to like A Step Toward Falling, but unfortunately this book was not what I expected it to be.   

A Step Toward Falling is the story of Emily and Lucas who see one of their classmates, Belinda, being attacked and do nothing to help her. After the school learns that they both did nothing, they are required to volunteer at a community center for the disabled. 

My biggest issue with the characters was that they were flat, especially Emily and Lucas. They were both characters who grow and learn over the course of the book. However, I just felt like the emotion from them was lacking for so much of it. I wanted to know more about what Emily was feeling and thinking in moments. I wanted more of her reactions to the events that took place. Lucas came across as even more one dimensional and I just wanted to know more about him. 

The chapters were divided between Emily and Belinda's point of views. I did think that Belinda's chapters were interesting and gave a deeper insight into how she sees the world. Most of the time I enjoyed reading Belinda's chapters more than Emily's. Belinda is coping with the attack in her own way and trying to go back to school. However, the transitioning between Belinda and Emily's point of views was really choppy for the majority of the book.

The pacing of the plot was really slow and at times I considered not finishing this book. I struggled to keep reading because I just felt like there really wasn't much going on. At first I thought this book would be more about the attack on Belinda, instead it focused more on Emily and Lucas volunteering at the center. There were also a lot of subplots going on that were difficult to keep track of because they would be rushed through so quickly. I did finish reading this book though and I did like the last quarter of it the most.   

I really did want to like this book more because I think that the whole concept is really important. This is the type of book that can teach the reader a lot, however the delivery wasn't solid. There were too many important lessons about doing the right thing, acceptance, and patience crammed into this book and they weren't given the proper time to develop.

Overall A Step Toward Falling just wasn't for me. I've heard great things about McGovern's other books though and I definitely plan on giving those a chance.

My Rating:

Monday, December 21, 2015

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Ten Thousand Skies Above You
By: Claudia Gray
Released: November 3, 2015
Source: Publisher
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents' invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions. Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared. (Goodreads)

Ten Thousand Skies Above You was so good! I enjoyed this sequel even more than the first book. This one kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page to the last. 

Ten Thousand Skies Above You takes place shortly after A Thousand Pieces of You left off. When Paul's soul is splintered across multiple dimensions, Marguerite goes on a search to find each piece.

Marguerite continues to grow and develop more in this sequel. I like how loyal Marguerite continues to be and how she continues to do anything for the people that she loves. I especially liked though how in this book she is starting to learn the consequences of her actions in these different dimensions. In the previous book I felt like Marguerite made decisions without always thinking them through, so to see those consequences catching up to her now was interesting.  I loved seeing many of the characters from the previous book again as well. It was also fun to see again how the characters are different, but still somewhat similar in the different dimensions that Marguerite travels to. 

I could not put this book down once I started it. The plot jumps into the action immediately and doesn't slow down until the very last page. I liked how there were a lot of flashbacks to the past within the first half of the book and then it lessened as the story progressed. It helped keep the pacing moving right along. There were also so many twists throughout the book and most of them made me gasp out loud. I really had no idea where the plot would go next and I loved that. I needed a few days to just sit back and process this book once I did finish it because so much happened. 

Once again I absolutely loved this world that Gray has created. It's so fascinating and complex. It was fun traveling to each new dimension with Marguerite and seeing the type of life that each dimensions Marguerite was living. It's hard to choose a favorite dimension from this one because the San Francisco, New York City, and Paris ones were all so amazing in their own different ways. Gray also continued to expand upon the world and the Firebird technology as well. I actually found it a little more difficult to grasp some of it in this book though. I think that things were explained much more clearly in the first book.

Overall I really enjoyed Ten Thousand Skies Above You and I am highly anticipating the next installment in this series. It was a really exciting sequel that brought you to even more incredible dimensions. If you haven't already, I definitely recommend picking up this series!

My Rating: