MID-YEAR FREAK OUT BOOK TAG

I’ve been meaning to write this for at least a week now! Oops! Life has only recently slowed down a little so I finally have some time to blog again… So, here we go:


What is the best book that you’ve read so far in 2019?
If I can only choose one, it has to be How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow. I have read a whole lot of really great books this year, though!


What has been your favourite sequel of the first half of the year?
The Wickerlight by Mary Watson (technically a companion, but close enough)! Magic, age old feuds, and finding courage in one’s self ❤


Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited to?
The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos. I’ve been meaning to read it for ages!


What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK WHICH ONLY ARRIVED TODAY.


What is your biggest disappointment so far?
Never-Contented Things hands down. I was utterly revolted by it and let down on the magical side of it.


What is your biggest surprise so far?
How to Make Friends with the Dark and How it Feels to Float. Also, The Truth About Keeping Secrets. They were all books from genres I don’t read much of, and I was surprised by how much each of them stuck with me after reading..


What is your favourite new to you or debut author?
Rory Power. Her writing style has made her one of my auto-buy authors from here on out.


What is your favourite fictional crush from this year?
Um….great question! I really loved Noah Gallagher from The Irish Lottery and Noah Becker from On the Rocks… Plus, Kunal from The Tiger at Midnight! Swoon..


What is your new favourite character?
Oh, no way I can choose one. I’m not sure. There are too many wonderful characters!!


A book that made you cry?
How to Make Friends with the Dark and Opposite of Always


A book that made you happy?
My Mother’s Daughter


Your favourite book to movie/tv show that you’ve seen so far?
I really loved Love, Simon. I never read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, but the movie was so touching! I could see myself watching it a few more times.


What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?
Ugh, what’s with the difficult questions!? I think it would have to be Aurora Rising (Illumicrate or Goldsboro)…


What is your favourite post that you have written so far this year?
It would have to be my discussion on books that helped me navigate grief, I think.

What are 6 books that you want to read by the end of the year?
I’m going to do this by month or I’ll never narrow it down to just six…

July – The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

August – All the Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle

September – The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

October – The Never-Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

November – Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

December – This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada


I’m going to tag:

Bookish Mom

Kat’s Books


Consider yourself tagged if you haven’t yet done this! It’s a lot of fun.

T10T: Ten Inspirational/Thought-Provoking Book Quotes

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

April 30: Inspirational/Thought-Provoking Book Quotes

I love quotes! I generally have loads in my screenshots from my ebooks, so here goes!

  1. Death is kind of turning out to be a mean, weird bitch. – How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow: Grief just sucks and doesn’t play by the rules.
  2. How could her brain conjure something that seemed so real, something laden with so much horrifying detail, and yet there be nothing at all? – Little Darlings by Melanie Golding: Holy jeez, this just brings to mind all the tricks our brains can play without our wanting it too. Sure, a few nights ago, I had a nightmare I was fired from a job I currently love (mostly).
  3. These books are filled with documents and accounts that expose that story for what it is: an appropriation of history by the East to hide its own sordid past. A twisted piece of propaganda to conceal its crimes. – Viper by Bex Hogan: So much of history and current events are like this. We really need to question things before we take them as truth.
  4. Are we able to separate what we were from what we are? Are are we what we are if we’re always hiding some of what we were? – All We Could Have Been by T.E. Carter: This was just a heavy novel start to finish… So much of it had me thinking and processing. I think the answer to this is yes, mostly. I guess it depends on what we’re hiding, but we should also be able to keep what we want from the world…not that we should have to do so, though..
  5. And I hate the moon. I hate the stars. I hate the darkening sky. And rain and fog. I hate hospitals. And beds with sheets. And every machine ever made. And nurses and doctors. Keep her alive, that was the one thing they had to do. That was the one thing I had to do. And I hate myself most of all. – Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds: I loved this scene for all the feeling involved.
  6. My point is we’re all monsters to someone or something by some definition. It’s the context of the situation that matters. – White Stag by Kara Barbieri: Someone will make you into a monster at least once in your life. Hopefully it’s no one important to you… But even if they make you out to be the bad guy, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are indeed bad..
  7. It all suddenly, and belatedly, felt too real, the things these girls had gone through, what can happen to missing girls. – Sadie by Courtney Summers: This entire book wrecked me, but this line in particular hasn’t left my heart. To think about what the forgotten girls, the missing girls, the outsider girls have gone through because they weren’t safe just ruins me. This is so close to home for me because I had a very unsafe childhood and the men Sadie’s mother brought home could have been the very same types of men I saw with my own mother. It’s a scary world.
  8. No. It just gets different, sometimes easier, sometimes worse. Grief’s a mixed bag of different kinds of shit. – Ruin of Stars by Lindsay Miller: Grief sucks… see quote 1. Everyone handles it differently.
  9. Your past doesn’t make calls on your future. It doesn’t matter who you were. Only who you are. – LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff: You are allowed to be human. We all go through changes. Just try to be better than your past self. That should be your only competition.
  10. Our heads are so fragile, but our hearts are even more delicate. – Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt: Isn’t it just so true?? We can rationalise a hell of a lot, but sometimes our hearts just will have none of it!

 

So, let me know if you’ve read any of these and your thoughts! Do you have a favourite quote this week? Thanks for stopping in!

 

T10T: (First Ten) Books I Ever Reviewed

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Topic – (First Ten) Books I Reviewed (These do not have to be formal reviews. A small sentence on a retailer site or Goodreads counts, too! Submitted by Rissi @ Finding Wonderland)

Girl of Myth and Legend (The Chosen Saga, Book One) – May 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review

Wow!!! So many emotions upon finishing this book…it’s a very strong piece and not straightforward at all, which made me want to read it all the more. Some parts of the story were a bit confusing, but seemed to be resolved by the end of the novel. Yes, there are stereotypical aspects to the story, but the originality to the majority of the story far outweighs the cliché. There always seem to be so many things happening beyond the immediate issue and the author always keeps you guessing. The strong female character is my favorite part of the novel. It’s nice to see a storyline in which the lead character is not only female, but independent, yet flawed. I love it and truly cannot wait to see what happens in the next novel.

Solace – May 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was easy to get into and interesting, but….

This was a very hard read….emotionally, I mean. As someone who knows multiple people who have been to war, I can totally identify with Corina, albeit not to the same extent as her actual experience. The plot is extremely well developed and satisfying, even if it doesn’t turn out to be the perfect ending. There’s conflict and danger and high emotions, and it all comes together in such a way as to leave you feeling as though there might be a silver lining in most outcomes given the right perspective.

Therin Knite is an amazing author and I really look forward to checking out other novels in the future. I would highly recommend Solace and hope to hear your take on it.

The Forgotten – June 2016 3/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

This book was truly a struggle to read for about the first half to three quarters of the story. I simply could not get into it. The writing was very strong (I do like Jennifer’s style), but the story itself was hard to finish due to the explanation and detail she put into it; and I actually read several other books to procrastinate finishing this. I feel that too many aspects were repeated throughout the novel that should have been obvious.

Of course, I’m bound to come across books now and then that I’m not complete enthralled by, but it could have been worse, I suppose. The last bit of the story, when it all starts to come together, was decently interesting and I would consider reading the next novel in the series to find out what happens to Emilie and Will, as well as Kell and Jakob. The characters were the main redeeming quality of the story. Especially the children themselves. Some of the characters were seriously terrible and I wished them ill, which ultimately happened.

The plot was really dark and sad, so I couldn’t get myself very interested in reading. There was quite a lot of fantasy aspects, which was great since fantasy is one of my favorite genres; however, a lot of the fantastical creatures were not well explained and so I could not clearly picture them as I read.

Sivec herself is a pretty good novelist, it seems, and I would definitely consider reading more of her work. This novel, however, was a trial and I cannot highly recommend it.

The Lost Soul – June 2016 4/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I enjoyed reading this book because it’s not what you would expect and each time you think you’ve gotten it figured out, something changes to throw you a bit. It turns out that, even in fantasy, not everyone is redeemable. Sometimes, there are simply factors that cause people to be lost from us. Yes, this title probably refers the THE ‘lost soul’ of Echena, but I wonder if the author meant it to apply to more than one character in her novel, as many of them are ‘lost’ in one way or another….

The development of the lead character throughout the novel was inspiring. She goes from a 16 year old, sheltered schoolgirl to this independent, strong, and capable lady of the land and leader of what the establishment considers a rebellion. However, it all becomes clearly a battle for human rights once you get into it. I won’t go into much more because that would spoil it! I will say, though, I love her companions and that they are very atypical.

I’m looking forward to reading book 2 in the series: The Oracle. The ending of The Lost Soul sets up a whole lot of action to occur in the next installment.

Marked – June 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I absolutely loved this book!! I got so stuck into it that I read it in just a few hours. And when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about what might happen next… Right up my alley with all the mystical creatures humanised and the lead character being so relatable. Not only is the author wonderful, but she is also hilarious and capable of writing the story of a strong female lead who may need the guidance of her companions in the new world she comes to, but is still more than able to take care of herself and kick some ass when needed.

I love when characters are multidimensional from the beginning and progress throughout their stories. Miss Tingey made all of that happen and more. I did realise within the first couple of chapters that Kayla is not all that she appears, but that really becomes obvious near the end of the novel. There’s always something that doesn’t add up throughout the course of the story; too many coincidences that are obviously not coincidental. Then, when one problem is solved, another arises. And, of course, as the story ends, she has the decision of a lifetime to make…

Will definitely be reading book 2 of the Soulseer series! As a matter of fact, I just downloaded it…

Bury the Living (Revolutionary #1) – July 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

I absolutely DEVOURED this book! It was an amazing read – so gripping I actually couldn’t put it down until I was basically falling asleep.. McIsaac made Nora and the rest of the characters in the story come alive for me – I was cheering her on like I would any real person. I felt like I was right alongside her at times. She really makes you love the characters she brings to life for the novel. I was especially into it because it’s one of my favorite topics – Irish history. I find the history so rich and interesting, the fairytale aspect is so enchanting, and for her to combine both the way she did was so appropriate for the time period in which it was set – like adding magic to the real world. Then to make one of the characters an actual person taken from a fairytale? Unreal..

It was in the same realm as Outlander and Exit Unicorns – being a historical fiction – and a good way to fill the gap between those. While I feel it should have been longer and more in depth, that’s probably me being selfish because it didn’t last nearly as long as I wanted it too. I wísh there had been more detail, though, because more of the history could have used explanation – especially for those who know nothing about the time period. I got really into it, but felt it moved along too fast in some instances. I truly cannot wait for the second installation of this series. I believe it could be as good as the other series I mentioned above. I truly hope the next one is longer and more detailed! She’s an amazing author and this is going to be a classic series some day.

Of Fear and Faith (Death and Destiny #1) – August 2016 5/5

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

Oh my steaming goodness!! This was such a great book… I enjoyed it from start to finish and wanted nothing more than to sit and read my book, damn the reality!

Anyway, a lot of the books I’ve been reading lately have some form of god/goddesses and mythology in them – this was no exception, but, damn, was it amazing! Such an original storyline and I loved the characters created by ND Jones. There was so much complexity to both lead characters and loads of secrets going on! Loved seeing the way they interacted with each other and gave a little while holding back a lot. It was interesting to try to figure out what was happening when the writing went really vague in order to not give it all away too early. I loved the mystery and romance and suspense! Would definitely recommend this to mature readers!

Obsidian (lux #1) – September 2016 5/5

To be completely honest, the moment I found out Obsidian was about aliens I nearly stopped reading. I am simply not a fan of alien novels. Not really my thing. However, since a really good friend recommended this to me, I decided to read at least the first book in the series. I am SO glad I did!! Daemon + Katy FOREVAH!

I am so in love with these two + Dee + a few other characters. This story is rife with love + betrayal + so many difficult stories. Also, I love that she’s a blogger! I totally connect with her character. ❤ She’s so real and complex, but all the characters are multi-dimensional through the story. How else would you be drawn so far into this world of aliens and alternate universes? I also believe that if the bad guys aren’t complex, they’re not realistic at all. So when I find myself truly wishing a character ill, I feel it’s an amazing story.

On of my favorite scenes in this first book is when Katy goes to the neighbor’s house since the kids living there are around her age. She’s simply going to ask directions, but the ulterior motive is to try to become friends with one or both teens. And man, there is some serious chemistry from the first interaction! I’m rooting for them from the beginning.

Armentrout has seriously made me an alien fan with this series, which is really saying something because any time I’ve experienced alien fantasy, I’m bored. This…well, I think aliens are pretty fantastic now! You’re gonna want to at least try the sample, but you’ll be sucked in within the first chapter if you’re anything like me!

Tied (owned #2.5) – November 2016 4/5

<strong>What if your hero was a bad, dark man?</strong>

That’s Charlie in a nutshell. He doesn’t think he’s good enough to be worthy of anything, but oh is he wrong… Vera + Charlie are perfection. My only complaint is this novella was too short!

ARC REVIEW | How to Make Friends with the Dark

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Title: HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE DARK

Author: KATHLEEN GLASGOW

Released: 11TH APRIL 2019 BY ROCK THE BOAT NEWS

Genre: TEENS + YA Contemporary

Rep: Foster Care, PoC, Disability. Mental Health, Found Family | TWs: Abuse, Grief, Loss of a Parent, Depression/Suicidal Thoughts, Substance Abuse,

this book 
is for the grievers 
this book 
is for the left behind
this book 
is for every broken heart
searching for a home

Kathleen Glasgow

This devastating masterpiece wrecked me entirely. I cried at least 3 times (probably more) and felt every bit of this deep in my soul. I’ve actually been dreading writing this review purely because I wasn’t sure that I would have the words to do it justice. I just…this is THE best book I’ve read this year –  hands down. I loved Tiger and her friends and family SO much! Tiger is in high school and it’s always been herself and her mom in their ‘good looking, good smelling, well-oiled machine,’ but when her mother dies Tiger’s world is completely upended. She feels a lot of guilt for several reasons regarding her mother’s death (read the book to find out why because I’m not telling), and then is thrust into a world she’s never experienced – the foster system.

This is where it got very familiar for me. I haven’t read many books that tackle the foster system, and definitely none that have done it so well! Kathleen approaches the topic with great care and respect, which I loved. She actually approaches all the heavy topics in this novel with the same care and respect, making it a beautifully written book. She wrote Tiger’s story as a way for herself to work through her grief, but in doing so has also given readers a book to do the same for them. For me, reading this novel was cathartic, especially after the loss of my fiance’s mother last year. I was very close to her and miss her like my own family – because she pretty much was. We miss her so much and I don’t think that ever stops. Grief is hard and it sucks, but I guess that’s the price we pay for that kind of love. That experience made me connect to Tiger even more.

death is kind of turning out to be a mean, weird bitch. – tiger tolliver

The characters in HTMFWTD are phenomenal! Tiger, the MC, struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide. She has her best friend, Cake (love all the unique names, by the way), who is like a sister to her and passes up other opportunities to be there for her several times, and Tiger also meets a few keepers along the way. I love her found family. The friends she makes in foster care and grief group specifically are perfect. And then there’s a twist I never saw coming! Again, go read the book to find out what happens! I hate spoilers!

There is so much more to say about this, but just go get the book and read it so you can feel all the feels like me! This was a TEN STAR read for me – but obviously all the rating systems only go to five, so I want to give it ALL THE STARS!! Now, go read this so you can love it as much as I do!


From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces comes a novel about love and loss and learning how to continue when it feels like you’re surrounded by darkness that Karen M. McManus, the New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, calls “rare and powerful.”

Here is what happens when your mother dies.

It’s the brightest day of summer and it’s dark outside. It’s dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart.

That’s how it feels for Tiger. It’s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tiger’s mother dies. And now it’s Tiger, alone.

Here is how you learn to make friends with the dark.

 

Thank you so much to Kathleen Glasgow and Rock the Boat News/Oneworld Publications for the ARC.

five stars

ARC REVIEW | The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

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Title: THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT

Author: SWATI TEERDHALA

Releases: 23RD APRIL 2019 by KATHERINE TEGEN BOOKS

Genre: TEENS + YA/FANTASY

🐯Never greet a tiger at midnight, for they are the manifestations of your past misdeeds🐯

GIVE ME MORE REBEL ASSASSIN LADIES, NOW, PLEASE!

To say I loved this is an understatement, this story took my breath away. It’s so unlike most of what I’ve been reading lately, and I’ve always been fascinated by Indian culture and history. I really enjoyed the connection between the two MC’s, Esha – the Viper – and Kunal – the soldier. They were so well written and relatable! Both have flaws, but are still such wonderful people. They’re actually a lot alike, yet still on separate sides of a conflict.

The story is told through alternating POV’s chapter to chapter, so you get a lot of information regarding each side. I really loved that sometimes you would read one chapter and go through an entire scene from one POV, but then the next chapter would backtrack a bit to the beginning of the same scene. So you would get the other character’s POV and oftentimes more information that explained motivations and actions you wouldn’t have gotten from just the one POV. It made for a more complete picture of what was happening.

Now, I don’t know if you know this about me, but I absolutely love multi-dimensional characters. Especially when their various sides seem mildly incompatible. For example, KUNAL – THE SOLDIER – LOVES TO PAINT! He’s an artist, not a killer, forced into the solider life because of events in his childhood. My heart is crying for this child and I want to cuddle him. Although, I think Esha is taking care of that quite nicely! And Esha, she is just one of my favourite characters ever! She’s so wily and slippery like a snake (see what I did there?) hehehehe

There’s also a huge connection between Esha and Kunal, which I loved. They wrecked my heart and I enjoyed every minute! The connection goes deeper than just romance and I really adored the way Swati Teerdhala approached their story. It wasn’t the focus, but added nicely to the rest of the story.

100% a FIVE STAR read for me, and I wish I could rate it higher!

There’s also a pre-order campaign at swatiteerdhala.com/preorder


Esha is a legend, but no one knows. It’s only in the shadows that she moonlights as the Viper, the rebels’ highly skilled assassin. She’s devoted her life to avenging what she lost in the royal coup, and now she’s been tasked with her most important mission to date: taking down the ruthless General Hotha.

Kunal has been a soldier since childhood, training morning and night to uphold the power of King Vardaan. His uncle, the general, has ensured that Kunal never strays from the path—even as a part of Kunal longs to join the outside world, which has been growing only more volatile.

Then Esha’s and Kunal’s paths cross—and an unimaginable chain of events unfolds. Both the Viper and the soldier think they’re calling the shots, but they’re not the only players moving the pieces. As the bonds that hold their land in order break down and the sins of the past meet the promise of a new future, both rebel and soldier must make unforgivable choices.

Drawing inspiration from ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology, the first book in Swati Teerdhala’s debut fantasy trilogy captivates with electric romance, stunning action, and the fierce bonds that hold people together—and that drive them apart.

Thank you so much to Swati Teerdhala and Katherine Tegen Books for the ARC.

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T10T: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I’m happy to say I’ll be participating in T10T once again, and I am so excited for some of the upcoming topics! This week is most anticipated releases of 2019 January to June! Here we go – in more or less chronological order

  • 1. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – this was a really great read!
  • 2. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – so compelling! Very good story.
  • 3. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – I’m in love with the Grishaverse, so very excited to get this story!
  • 4. Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte – ugh, she killed me with this story!
  • 5. The Priory Of The Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – I got to read the excerpt, which was good. I just love her style of writing.
  • 6. The Devouring Grey by Christine Lynn Herman – looks phenomenal, so of course!
  • 7. Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan – what can I say about this, except WOW! I just completely loved this book!
  • 8. The Wise and The Wicked by Rebecca Podos – Russian-inspired is EVERYTHING!
  • 9. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – definitely excited for an Arabian novel!
  • 10. The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala – GIRL ASSASSIN and Indian-inspired, so obviously!
  • We’re getting such wonderful stories in the genre this year and I am so excited!
  • Go preorder these ASAP! Totally worth it 😊 Have you read any of them yet? Tell me in the comments which is your most anticipated!

    Thank you & T10T – Most Anticipated

    My dearest Wayfarers,

     

    I am so very sorry for the unexpected hiatus these last few weeks. If you read my last post, you’ll know I was going through a rough time with the family… Well, his mom passed later that day and her funeral was last week. It’s been a struggle to say the very least and there are days it doesn’t feel real. It’s like a nightmare we all have to learn to live with, but we’re supporting each other and we WILL get there..eventually. So, thank you all for sending your positivity and kind thoughts our way. ❤

     

    Right! So, let’s get back to business with my top 10 most anticipated releases coming soon!

    1. Kingdom of Ash by SJM (because duh – if you’ve read ToG, you get me! coming at the end of October)
    2. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor (releases TODAY! I’m loving Strange the Dreamer)
    3. The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody (I got an ARC of this from my friend who went to YallWest just for me and it was SO GOOD!)
    4. The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke (because OMG it’s so freaking amazing! I loved the 4 girls and their journey..also, have you seen the UK cover? Absolutely stunning!)
    5. Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand (I read an ARC of Furyborn by Legrand and loved her writing style, so have been itching to get my hands on this for ages. It’s also on my spooky Halloween TBR – it’s out today so BRB:reading)
    6. Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (also releasing today – looks like it’ll be a great story)
    7. Damsel by Elana K. Arnold (Just got an ARC of this in Book Box Club September box – did you say dragons? Count me in!)
    8. The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth (Europe, siblings, witchery? Yup, *adds to list*)
    9. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan (I’ve heard loads of wonderfully amazing things, so can’t wait to get into this world)
    10. Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean (Slated as fairytales and folklore so I’m definitely reading this soon!)

     

    Thanks for reading! Is there anything you’re really looking forward to this season? Tell me in the comments