Thursday, October 19, 2017

News...

Bad news, likely. It's official: I'm taking the rest of the term off from blogging and that, to put it plainly, sucks. Sucks for you and sucks for me. I expect to be back mid-to-late November and I hope to have a bunch of reviews written in advance so I can start posting them. What it comes down to is that school has kept me too busy to really keep posting decent content. I do recommend that you follow me on Instagram (where I'll be pretty active still) and Twitter (where I'm less active but always reachable). See you all on the other side!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: Sightwitch

I'm switching over from Waiting on Wednesday's to Can't Wait Wednesday, a meme hosted by Wishful Endings. The idea is basically the same, but it looks like the official hosts of Breaking the Spine have shut down the meme so it's time to move on. Description and cover image taken from Goodreads.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Windwitch, an illustrated prequel novella set in the Witchlands setting up the forthcoming hotly anticipated Bloodwitch.
Set a year before Truthwitch, Sightwitch follows Ryber Fortiza, the last Sightwitch Sister as she treks deep underground to rescue her missing best friend. While there, she encounters a young Nubrevnan named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he wound up inside the mountain. As the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, and as they brave one close call after another, a tentative friendship forms between them—one that might one day grow into something more.
Sightwitch is told through Ryber’s journal entries and her sketches, as well as through supplementary materials (such as other journals, pieces of songs, clippings from history books, flashbacks, etc.). Though meant as a companion novella, this story serves as a set up to Bloodwitch as well as an expansion of the world.
Why I'm Waiting
Look another WOC on the cover! I'm so excited by all the new covers coming out with such great representation. On the book itself: I love Ryber. She's definitely one of the most enigmatic characters in the series and I can't wait to learn more about her and also how she met Kullen. This is definitely one of those series where I never expect what will happen next or how the story will unfold but I enjoy it the whole time.

Sightwitch releases January 23rd, 2018

Saturday, October 7, 2017

October Wrap Up #1

Wait... is this real? Am I actually posting? And a wrap up? Yep, if you've been along for a while you know what this means: it means an apology.

Where have I been? School has 100% taken over my life. I haven't finished any books in like two weeks (and not for lack of trying!) and the one hour of free time I had recently (besides this) I used to catch up on my sleep. One of the reasons school has been keeping me so busy is because I've been trying to get a head start on this weekend and next weekend and also the weekend after that. In order: this weekend I celebrated (and am celebrating) my birthday and several of my friend's birthdays (go Libras!). And, yep, you heard that right, tomorrow is my 21st birthday! It probably won't be that unlike any other birthday (except that I have my fingers crossed for a new phone... we'll see if the fates align) since I don't really plan on drinking at all. I will admit I have been feeling older lately, probably because I've been spending time with freshman and as awesome as they are there's definitely a difference. Next weekend I'm heading home to work, which'll be great (slight sarcasm), and I'll be taking as much free time as I can get while I'm there and just enjoying being in a familiar place. And the weekend after that I'm heading to House on the Rock (AKA one of my favorite places ever) for a school project (I'm not mad at all it's gonna be awesome AF).

So, the rest of this wrap up may be a bit sad seeing as I haven't really been reading...

Finished

Currently Reading
So I was reading Outlander but it's dragging (or maybe that's just my feet...) so I picked up The Language of Thorns. After this I think I'll get to an ARC (possibly Frankie? We'll see) and after that who knows! I threw out my TBR list because I'm trying to read more spontaneously.

Reviews

Can't Wait Wednesday

Upcoming Posts
I actually don't know. I don't know at all. Expect to see a review sooner than later but honestly this month I have nearly nothing scheduled and even those few posts aren't even finished yet so it could be a while. I'm really sorry that this month is gonna be so rough but in November things should start to peek up sharply. Thanks for sticking around!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: Batman Nightwalker

I'm switching over from Waiting on Wednesday's to Can't Wait Wednesday, a meme hosted by Wishful Endings. The idea is basically the same, but it looks like the official hosts of Breaking the Spine have shut down the meme so it's time to move on. Description and cover image taken from Goodreads.
Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.
The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.
One by one, the city's elites are being executed as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family's fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he's forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city's most brutal criminals.
Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce's only hope.
In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.
 Why I'm Waiting
I wasn't super excited for this one, at least not as excited as I was for Wonder Woman and Catwoman, but it sounds like a really good book and I'm always up for superhero's.

Batman Nightwalker releases January 2, 2018

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

13 Minutes

13 Minutes
Sarah Pinborough
American Release Date: October 3rd, 2017

I received this as an Advanced Reader Copy from Flatiron in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

I don't know where to start when describing this book because it's not like anything I've ever read. Now, granted, it's not exactly in the genre I read, and that certainly has something to do with how much I enjoyed it, but it still really defies a description. It's a dark and moody British high school drama that features a cast of rather despicable characters doing mean things. The whole time it keeps you second guessing who to trust and also wondering what actually happened the night Tasha died for 13 minutes.

There are some characters in literature (*cough cough* looking at you ASOIAF) that are so evil and so awful but so well written that you can't help but absolutely love them as characters if not people. Basically every single person in this book is that way for me. It's not on the scale of some epic fantasy, but perhaps because it's based so much in the real world did it feel creepier and more awful when they did things. Basically, these are the mean girls- they ditch friends when they get bored, they create and spread rumors when they dislike someone, they steal boyfriends when they hate someone- that high school dramas warn you about. Except, from my own experience, these felt very real and very much like some of the people I went to school with. Even working with what could be very stereotypical character traits these are all well-defined and three-dimensional characters. The three barbies- Natasha, Hayley, and Jenny- balance well against each other and felt like they had not just a history with each other but also that there is a tension between the three of them. Becca, the narrator for the majority of the book, is also incredibly believable... all the way until the end. I liked Becca a lot, and I felt incredibly sad for how insecure she was, but at the end it's like a switch is flipped and she becomes some sort of uber-sleuth, which I couldn't believe. A caveat for the reader: even though she's out protagonist you're not going to be rooting for her the way you normally might.

Because this is a mystery/thriller there's not much I want to say about the plot lest I give it away, but I can tell you all about the writing which is just so absolutely beautiful. It was delicate and evocative all at once, capturing the lines of a character and then taking it a tad further to make it real. Even as awful things were happening I couldn't help but love what I was reading because of the spell the words seemed to be casting. I don't think there are specific quotes I find beautiful, since it's not, in a way, a beautiful book, but it's the mastery of the language and text itself that are so engaging. I turned every page eagerly and stayed up late into the night just to read it for the sake of reading, alongside reading it because I wanted to know what happened next.
TL;DR? Rather dark and moody but definitely a great YA thriller to pick up if you're in the mood. You're not going to walk away with a favorite character but you'll be able to appreciate everything, particularly the beautiful and engaging writing.
"Mean Girls for the Instagram age." --The Times (London)
The New York Times bestselling author known for her thrilling twists is back:
They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you're a teenage girl, it's hard to tell them apart.
Natasha doesn't remember how she ended up in the icy water that night, but she does know this--it wasn't an accident, and she wasn't suicidal. Her two closest friends are acting strangely, and Natasha turns to Becca, the best friend she dumped years before when she got popular, to help her figure out what happened.
Natasha's sure that her friends love her. But does that mean they didn't try to kill her?


13 Minutes is a psychological thriller with a killer twist from the #1 internationally bestselling author Sarah Pinborough.
Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed adult and YA author based in London.

Sarah was the 2009 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story and also the 2010 and 2014 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, and she has four times been short-listed for Best Novel. She is also a screenwriter who has written for the BBC and has several original television projects in development.
Her next novel, Behind Her Eyes, coming for HarperFiction in the UK and Flatiron in the US (January 2017) has sold in nearly 20 territories worldwide and is a dark thriller about relationships with a kicker of a twist.


You can follow her on Twitter @sarahpinborough
Cover linked to Goodreads; cover, description, and author bio taken from Goodreads.
I am an affiliate of Book Depository; using my link helps support the blog, particularly the giveaways run here.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Broken Kingdoms

The Broken Kingdoms
NK Jemisin

I will do my best to avoid SPOILERS for book one, but there will be some small hints as to how book one ended, so read at your own risk. Because they're more companion novels than direct sequels it is easier to review this book without referencing the first one as much as might be necessary with other series.

I loved book one in this series, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. LOVED it. And while I liked this one very much I did not love it. Now, I will say the writing is still beautiful and gorgeous as in the first one, but it did lack some of that lyrical, non-traditionally linear, storytelling that THTK had. I suppose that's a reflection on the narrator as a character, and on the necessity of the plot, but I missed that aspect, which made it so unique. The world, too, was not as original as I had felt it was in book one, though I do think this may be do to the fact that I have spent quite a bit of time reading in that world and have become somewhat used to it.

Speaking of world building, though, immediately this world (it's the same place as book one except ten years later and from a completely different perspective) felt real. Shadow, the city featured in this book, reminded me instantly of all the cities I've ever been to, and while I've never lived in any of those cities, I've certainly dreamed of it, as had Oree, our protagonist. In that regard I really connected with her, and Shadow as a place. I also really appreciated all the new godlings, though I wish we could have spent more time with them. They were all so interesting that I wouldn't mind reading a novel dedicated to each of them individually, and also learning more about the cults and religions that formed around all these new gods that seemed to suddenly appear for these people. After finishing book one I hadn't put much thought into how this new development would play out, but I thought it was incredibly well done. There are a lot of smaller strands of plot carried over from the previous novel, but they're all done wonderfully and I think readers will be pleasantly surprised by more than a few things.

What I waxed on about for book one, though, were the characters. While I appreciated and liked and even connected with the protagonist, Oree Shoth, of this book, I couldn't love her as much as I loved Yeine. First of all, Oree is blind, BUT she's not really 100% blind because she can see magic. It's cool but I found that this distanced me from her character. It was a book without much visual element because of this, though, and that also worked to distance me from her narration. As for Shiny, well, I have thoughts about him and his character, but I certainly don't like him as much as I liked Nahadoth in THTK. Not to say that Oree and Shiny are romantically involved (I mean, read and find out if they are but I will tell you there isn't nearly as much kinky sex in this book as the first one had and I think that's a shame because those were good and tasteful scenes), but I would consider them the two protagonists. ALSO props to Jemisin for writing a book that, in part, tackles slut-shaming in such a subtle but profound way.

To touch on plot quickly- it's definitely not the plot I expected. I liked it, certainly, but I did feel like it had a tendency to wander more than the previous book did. However, I read this book in large chunks with larger breaks in between reading than I did the first one and I've found that when this happens I tend to have a harder time enjoying plot. Really, I had no problems with it, except that it was just a little lackluster. And that's it, that's really why this book didn't live up to the predecessor- coming of the high of THTK this one was a shade or two more colorless and I, as the reader, suffered for it.
TL;DR? Not as good as book one partly due to the characters and partly due to the plot but still an incredible, and unique from the rest of the market, epic fantasy. Not only does it feature another WOC in power but it tackles many social issues quietly and beautifully while introducing the reader to a magnificent world populated by even more magnificent gods, which were easily the highlight for me. 
In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a homeless man who glows like a living sun to her strange sight. This act of kindness engulfs Oree in a nightmarish conspiracy. Someone, somehow, is murdering godlings, leaving their desecrated bodies all over the city.

Oree's peculiar guest is at the heart of it, his presence putting her in mortal danger -- but is it him the killers want, or Oree? And is the earthly power of the Arameri king their ultimate goal, or have they set their sights on the Lord of Night himself?
N. K. Jemisin lives and works in New York City.
Cover, description, and author bio taken from Goodreads.
I am an affiliate of Book Depository; using my link helps support the blog, particularly the giveaways run here.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

September Wrap Up #2

Hello lovelies! How are you all? I, personally, have kinda been floating between being very happy and very lonely. Overall things are good, though, and I don't want to take that for granted and dwell on the bad. I actually just moved back to school last Saturday, so it's officially been one week here! So far I've been enjoying all my classes immensely and even though they've packed my schedule with homework it's all homework I'm capable of doing and not stressing me out unduly. This homework has, though, kept me from Instagram. Yes, you read that right, I'm back on Instagram! Link here. I'm trying to post every other day or so but I got out of the habit recently. Tonight I'll be posting something, though, so stay tuned. On a similar note I'm so excited to make a HUGE announcement...

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I'm officially studying abroad starting in January! That's right, in less than four months I'll be living in London. It's just shy of six months that I'll be there but I couldn't be more excited for the experience. I've talked about how I've been hoping for this to work out for a while but now it's real and let me tell you a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I'll be talking more about the school, and the process for applying to study abroad and what I'm doing to prepare, in a post coming out later this month. These are going to be a monthly posts chronicling my journey towards London, and then once I'm there, I'll have a special monthly wrap up going over my time there. If you've been reading this blog for a while you probably remember College Journey posts (yes... sorry that those kinda disappeared...) and you can consider these study abroad posts a sort of companion posts to those.

Okay, enough about me, onto the regular programming:

Finished
13 Minutes (review coming September 26th)

Currently Reading
I'm in the midst of The Broken Kingdoms, book two in the Inheritance Trilogy by NK Jemisin. It's really, really good, I just haven't had the time to read that I'm used to. I plan to snuggle in tonight and devour as much as I can. After this I actually have a bit of a deviation before I pick up another novel: I'll be reading a writing magazine that I received and then catching up on some comics I've put off for too long. Then, hopefully before the next wrap up, I'll be reading Outlander. Yes, this seems like it came out of nowhere, but the past few days I've just been hit with a bug that is telling me I MUST read this book and watch the TV series.

Reviews

Can't Wait Wednesday

Discussions & Other Posts

Upcoming Posts
Music Monday
13 Minutes Review
Can't Wait Wednesday
Preparing to Study Abroad

So, yeah, it's been a bit of a light posting schedule but I have to balance my sanity. What have you been reading lately? Let me know in the comments!