June 2017: TBR

Like May, June will also be a bit busy. However, this time it’s not really due to new releases. This time it’s due to the several birthdays and anniversaries my family and friends have to celebrate, and therefore probably trips and less reading time. I also hope to get a job, so there’s that…

Anyway, there are a total of ten books I hope to get to (realistically maybe only eight), so here they are in no particular order:

June Releases

Five new releases coming out this month! I actually only had the first two books on this list, but then remembered the other three were coming out as well. So glad I double-checked!

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)

 

1. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Why I’m Interested: FAVORITE AUTHOR + COMPLEX, LOVABLE CHARACTERS + THE WORLDBUILDING. I’m sad that this is the last time we will see these characters (maybe one day Victoria will have more stories to tell?), but I also can’t wait to see how it all ends for August and Kate. I have definitely missed the two of them after reading This Savage Song last year. Will definitely be reading this one as soon as it comes out!

Now I Rise (The Conqueror's Saga, #2)

 

2. Now I Rise by Kiersten White

Why I’m Interested: I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this one, but I definitely will be purchasing the UK edition to match the first one that I own! I’ve only been able to read the first few chapters so far, but I can’t wait to see what’s in everyone is up to in this And I Darken sequel. I hope we get to see more war and political disputes in this one, but I also hope there’s a reunion in store for Lada and Radu–one in which the two finally understand each other.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

 

3. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Why I’m Interested: SETTING + (DIVERSE) CHARACTERS + PLOT + HYPE. I don’t know too many of the specifics on this one, as I generally try to keep it that way with hyped up books, so I don’t end up being letdown. Nevertheless, I have high hopes for this one! It does come out pretty late in the month (on the day after my birthday), so I may not get to it until July, but I can’t wait to start it!

Thief's Cunning (Assassin's Heart #2)

 

4. Thief’s Cunning by Sarah Ahiers

Why I’m Interested: Again, I was super lucky to get an ARC of this companion novel/sequel to Assassin’s Heart through a giveaway Sarah hosted on Twitter–thank you again so much, Sarah! I actually just finished this one today! It’s amazing to be revisiting AH‘s characters and the world they belong to. Review to come!

Want (Want, #1)

 

5. Want by Cindy Pon

Why I’m Interested: PREMISE + SETTING + DIVERSE CHARACTERS. Like Gentleman’s Guide, this book is also surrounded by so much hype, so again I don’t know too much about it and plan on keeping it that way. This one comes out on my dad’s birthday, so I may not get to it immediately, but will start it as soon as possible! (It also depends on if I’ll be able to pre-order it or not… ODD is the only book I have pre-ordered so far, as I’m a bit low on cash and still have plenty to read.)


Other Books (Already Released)

Most of these are books I already own or have started and can’t wait to get back to, so here they are, again, in no particular order:

The Darkest Part of the Forest

 

6. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Why I’m Interested: I actually started listening to the audiobook in May, but had to put it on hold for newer releases. I think I’m about halfway through and so far I’m liking it! It’s my first Holly Black read and though I expected it to be weird, it still surprised me just how weird it is. I love weird though, so I’m not complaining!

 

The Serpent King7. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Why I’m Interested: After Katie (@bkstrblogger on twitter) recommended this to me I actually put it on hold on the Overdrive app. After a while, the audiobook finally became available (yay!), and although I’m enjoying the narrator and the story (I love these characters so much, Katie!), I’m worried I’ll miss something. Plus, I can usually read a book like TSK in a few hours as opposed to listening to the 9-hour long audiobook. SO, I finally traded for a physical copy on #booksfortrade, and it should be here within a week! I can’t wait to pick up when it finally gets here! Thanks again, Katie!Radio Silence

 

8. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Why I’m Interested: THE CHARACTERS + THE PLOT + JUST EVERYTHING. I actually already started this one as well, but I had to put it on hold, as a friend wanted my ARC. I will definitely be picking this back up as soon as I get the finished copy she’s sending me. The characters are so lovable and I can just tell this story will have a huge impact on me. I’ll be counting the days until it gets here!

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

9. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Why I’m Interested: After Six of Crows, who wouldn’t want–daresay I, need–to read this sequel?! The Grisha trilogy may not have been my thing (although I’m 100% going to give them another go after loving SoC, plus the new covers that are being released are GORGEOUS) but SoC is an all-time favorite of mine. The multi-layered characters, the promising world-building, the suspense, action-packed plot–nothing compares.

Eliza and Her Monsters

 

10. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Why I’m Interested: I pre-ordered this one on a whim after loving Zappia’s debut Made You Up (although I did have some issues with it…) and haven’t had the chance to start it yet since it arrived on Tuesday. Of course, like the other hyped-up new releases, I don’t know too much about it, but I hope to start it soon!

 


Realistically, I know I probably won’t get to all of these. Last month was awful with all of the migraines I’ve been having as of late, and this month probably won’t be any different, but a girl can dream! I’m actually trying some new methods to prevent them, so fingers crossed that they work!

– Taylor

Unpopular Opinion: An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir

So, shortly after I wrote my review for A Torch against the Night, I uploaded it to Amazon. After a few days of it being up, someone marked it as “unhelpful,” which is totally fine, as everyone is allowed to have their own opinions! (Who knows–maybe I wasn’t thorough enough for them. *shrugs*) It especially didn’t bother me, because they probably only down-voted it since I didn’t enjoy their favorite book.

This did, however remind me of the many unpopular opinions I have, and I decided I should more fully explain my feelings on this series (through lists of pros and cons like last time):

**potential small spoilers from here on out**

Continue reading “Unpopular Opinion: An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir”

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir: Book Review

A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)

Title: A Torch against the Night

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Series: An Ember in the Ashes

Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin Books)

My Rating: 2/5 stars

This review may be shorter than my others, but by my rating, you can probably tell how I felt about this one, and I hate to go on and on about books I disliked when everyone else loved them–for that, you can choose to check out my Unpopular Opinion post coming soon. 😉

“So long as you fight the darkness, you stand in the light.”

So I should start this off by saying that those who were enthralled with An Ember in the Ashes will probably enjoy this sequel. I never quite loved Ember as much as everyone else seemed to, but I did really like it and bought my own copy after borrowing it from the library. (As someone with limited shelf space, this says a lot.) I also really liked the idea of a duology. Maybe it’s just because this is now part of a four-book series, but Torch suffered some serious second-book syndrome; it definitely felt like a filler book. I was highly disappointed.

A Torch Against the Night picks up pretty much immediately after its predecessor, with Elias and Laia escaping Blackcliff with the objective of reaching Kauf prison. There they plan to free Darin, Laia’s brother, whose knowledge might be key in leading a successful rebellion against the Empire.

Helene is now Blood Shrike and must obey newly-crowned Marcus, who tasks her with capturing Elias, whereupon his return he will be executed. As if choosing between serving the Empire–which she has planned and trained for all her life–and saving her best friend’s life wasn’t already hard enough, Helene must also consider her family whom Marcus is using as leverage to ensure her loyalty.

Continue reading “A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir: Book Review”

GEMINA by Amie Kaufman + Jay Kristoff: Book Review

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)

Title: GEMINA

Authors: Amie Kaufman + Jay Kristoff

Series: THE ILLUMINAE FILES

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House Kids)

“Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”

GEMINA picks up briefly after ILLUMINAE--like as in about five minutes after–but this time our setting is Jump Station Heimdall. Which also just so happens to be where the surviving characters of the previous book are currently headed. *wink wink*

But before they arrive, we get an entirely new story starring some of the characters currently living on Heimdall, and featuring, yet again, another invasion both of the human variety and of the… not-so-human variety. (Haha, you’ll see what I mean when you start reading.)

First and foremost, we are again lead by both a male and female protagonist.

There’s Hanna, daughter of the station’s commander, Charles Donnelly. Upon first impression, she’s your basic privileged white girl, but once you see her in action, she puts all “dumb blonde” stereotypes to rest. She is a strong, intelligent, and resourceful heroine, just like Kady from ILL.

And then there’s Nik, a juvenile delinquent and also… Hanna’s drug dealer. His family, the Malikovs, are members of the infamous gang they call House of Knives, of which Nik begrudgingly is a part of. They’re pretty hardcore. And though she may have a boyfriend, that doesn’t stop Nik from trying to charm his way into Hanna’s life.

Other than Hanna’s boyfriend, Jackson, there are a lot of side characters. There’s another genius hacker–Ella, Nik’s fifteen-year-old cousin, and there is also a large number of “bad guys” that the protagonists and us readers unfortunately get to know. Also, if you remember from ILLUMINAE, a certain someone’s dad lives on Heimdall. 😬

Continue reading “GEMINA by Amie Kaufman + Jay Kristoff: Book Review”

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer: Book Review

Spindle Fire (Spindle Fire #1)

Title: Spindle Fire

Author: Lexa Hillyer

Series: Book 1 out of 2 in the Spindle Fire duology

Publisher: HarperCollins

Format/Source: DISCLAIMER–This is a review of an ARC I received through #booksfortrade on Twitter, so there may be differences from its finished copy.

My Rating: No rating (DNF)

Spindle Fire is a brand new, inventive retelling of Sleeping Beauty that also borrows elements from Alice in Wonderland. (Sounds perfect so far, right?)

It focuses on Princess Aurora of the kingdom of Deluce and her half sister, Isabelle. Though extremely close, the two are, of course, polar opposites–both physically and characteristically.

Aurora is petite and girly, where Isbe is tall and awkward. Aurora is devastatingly gorgeous with sun-kissed hair and skin, while Isbe is pale with dark, contrasting features. Aurora is reserved and perfect as a princess should be, and though Isbe is brave and headstrong, she has always been cast-aside and overlooked; unloved and under-appreciated. After all, she is only kept around out of common courtesy, as she is the illegitimate daughter of Deluce’s late king.

Oh, and there’s another thing: both of the girls are missing key senses after being tithed of them at a young age. Aurora was tithed of her sense of touch as well as her ability to speak, while Isbe was tithed of her sight.

All of their differences aside, the two have always been inseparable. The strong bond between them is all they have left in the world, so when Aurora and the rest of her kingdom falls victim to a strange, ominous sleeping curse, of course Isbe is willing to do whatever it takes to save her beloved sister.

Continue reading “Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer: Book Review”

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones: Book Review

24763621

Title: Wintersong

Author: S. Jae-Jones

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (Macmillan)

My Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Format/Source: US hardcover from my local library

Coming from a family as musically-inclined as hers, it’s only natural that eighteen-year-old Elisabeth, more affectionately called Liesl, dreams of becoming a composer. A female musician, however, is definitely not natural. Society would most certainly look down on her.

In addition to that hindrance, Liesl already suffers from a severe lack of confidence in her music. She was never encouraged and educated with the same care as her brother, Josef, so instead she hides her dreams away in a locked box that lives under her bed.

“The wishes we make in the dark have consequences, and the Lord of Mischief will call their reckoning.”

All her life, Liesl has always put herself last. As the oldest child in her family, it’s always been her job to look out for her younger siblings–her beautiful, golden-haired sister and foil, Käthe; and Josef, her brother with whom she shares an intense, almost unearthly, bond.

This bond is actually where Liesl’s troubles begin. By favoring one sibling, she has neglected the other and put her in danger. 

“Once there was a little girl who played her music for a little boy in the wood. She was small and dark, he was tall and fair, and the two of them made a fancy pair as they danced together, dancing to the music the little girl heard in her head.”

When Käthe goes missing, Liesl immediately knows just who is responsible for her sister’s disappearance. The boy that she used to play with in the Goblin Grove near her house. The boy who was not actually a boy at all, but Der Erlkönig. The Goblin King of legend. The cruel Lord of Mischief.

“I could not tell what color his eyes were from where I stood, but they were likewise pale, and icy. The Goblin King tilted his head in a duelist’s nod and gave me a small smile, the tips of his teeth sharp and pointed. I clenched my fists. I knew that smile. I recognized it, and understood it as a challenge.

Come rescue her, my dear, the smile said. Come and rescue her…if you can.”

Continue reading “Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones: Book Review”

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: Book Review

The Upside of Unrequited

Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

Publisher: Penguin Randomhouse UK

Format/Source: UK paperback from Book Depository

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Molly Peskin-Suso is the queen of crushes. She’s had almost thirty crushes throughout her life, and she’s only seventeen.

Unlike her twin sister who has been with countless other girls, Molly has only ever been on the unrequited side of love. Cassie, being the extrovert that she is, says this is because Molly has never taken chances–that she’s just never gone for it.

“There’s just something terrifying about admitting you like someone. In a way, it’s actually easier when there’s no chance of anything happening. But there’s this threshold where things suddenly become possible. And then your cards are on the table. And there you are, wanting, right out in the open.”

And she’s right. Molly has never actually been rejected; she’s always been too scared to actually confess her feelings to any of the twenty-something people she’s crushed on. She’s always been too “careful.” But when you’re always comparing yourself to your thinner, blonder, and charming sister who naturally wins everyone over, it’s hard not to let it damage your confidence.

However, everything changes this summer for Molly. She’s starting a new job, and there she befriends her co-worker, the charming, down-to-earth Reid. Him, she can actually talk to without flipping out the way she normally does around most boys.

Though he may be the first boy Molly can talk to with ease, he is an incredibly geeky one who wears this atrocious pair of white sneakers and goes to renaissance festivals. Definitely not the boy Molly has always pictured as her first boyfriend.

Especially not when there’s cute hipster Will who might be into her and just so also happens to be the best friend of Cassie’s new crush. Which is also important, because after Cassie meets Mina, everything starts to change.

The closeness the twins used to share suddenly goes missing, and it feels like Cassie is slowly, but surely, leaving Molly behind.

Continue reading “The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli: Book Review”

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour: Book Review

We Are Okay

Title: We Are Okay

Author: Nina LaCour

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (Penguin)

My Rating: 4.25/5 stars

“I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.”

As the only student who opts to stay on campus during dreary winter break, college freshman, Marin, finds herself stranded in her empty dorm. She is alone both physically and mentally, but not for long–Mabel is coming.

Marin’s life has been full of hardship. Nothing has been easy for her. Her father was never in the picture, and her mom passed away when she was young. To make matters worse, it seems like everyone in Marin’s town knew and loved her mom. They’re drawn to her, always randomly walking up to Marin and talking about her as if she remembers her. Ever since her death, she has lived with her strange yet loving–in his own way–grandfather.

A few months before we join her story, tragedy struck and eighteen-year-old Marin could not have gotten out of California any quicker. Thankfully, she had college waiting for her in New York as an excuse, and upon her abrupt departure, she cut all ties with everyone she knew, saying goodbye to no one.

But you can’t outrun tragedy forever. After months of silence and the countless calls and texts–laced with the gentle concern of a best friend–going unanswered, Mabel takes a different approach. She decides to visit Marin in person, where she knows she will be incapable of ignoring her. Now, Marin must begin to face all that she has tried, and failed, to put behind her.

Told in alternating chapters between the past and present, we slowly piece together an idea of what Marin’s life was like before she left, and what happened to make her leave the way she did.

Continue reading “We Are Okay by Nina LaCour: Book Review”

Unpopular Opinion: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Welcome to my first entry in my “Unpopular Opinion” series, wherein I discuss, well… my unpopular opinions.

Since the ACOTAR trilogy is coming to an end in early May–well, at least it’s only the end of this arc, thank goodness–I think it’s only fitting that I start with this series.

So, my Unpopular Opinion: I did not like A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Hear me out before you go grabbing those pitchforks though! I loved, loved, loved its sequel A Court of Mist and Fury.

I knew this was something I’d eventually want to discuss, so while reading both I wrote these fun, silly lists that basically summed up my thoughts at the time of what I liked and what I disliked about each book:

Continue reading “Unpopular Opinion: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas”