Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday: Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

A weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: Vengeful
Series: Villains #2
Written by: V.E. Schwab
Published: September 25, 2018 by Tor Books

Synopsis: The sequel to VICIOUS, V.E. Schwab's first adult novel.

Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there's Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn't know about his most recent act of vengeance. 

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.
Why I'm Waiting:

Victoria Schwab is one of my auto-buy authors. I will read and probably love every book of hers that comes out. But this book is even more special because Vicious was the first Victoria Schwab book that I read and I really loved it. It had fantastic characters and a cool world. At the time there was no plans for a sequel as far as I know so when they announced that there was going to be one I was super excited. I can't wait to follow up and find out how Sydney and Victor are doing. Plus I'm super curious about Eli.

I am definitely going to be picking up a copy of this book. I listened to the audio for Vicious so I will maybe do that again for this book. I thought the narrator did a great job and lately I feel like the only way I can get through a book is if I listen to the audio. I may start by rereading Vicious. I kind of want a refresher. But either way I am planning to get my hands on this book.

What about you? What are you waiting for this Wednesday? Are you waiting on Vengeful along with me? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'll Read on the Beach

A weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I am so excited to be back in Rhode Island this summer because that means I can spend my weekends on the beach. I have missed my New England beaches so I am pumped to be able to visit them again any time I want. So here are the books I plan to read on the beach.

1.) Providence by Caroline Kepnes - Add to Goodreads
My favorite books to read at the beach are mysteries and thrillers. There is something so satisfying about that. And I love Kepnes' books so I can't wait to read this one very soon.

2.) Tell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin - Add to Goodreads
I have been wanting to read this book for awhile. I mean it's a book set in the 80's and my friend Michelle loves Adele Griffin and says her books have a fun twist to them.

3.) Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie - Add to Goodreads
I loved Skrutskie's previous series and I am so excited for another one of her books. Especially because this one is more of a hard science fiction world and has more kickass female characters.

4.) The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas - Add to Goodreads
As previously stated, I love a mystery on the beach. And Kara Thomas books are some that I have read every summer for the past few years. This one sounds fantastic and I can't wait to read.

5.) The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken - Add to Goodreads
I am super pumped to check back in with Zu and the other characters from the previous series. Plus I mean, I love me some Alexandra Bracken books so really I would read anything she writes.

6.) Bright We Burn by Kiersten White - Add to Goodreads
I just read the second book in this series and loved it. I can't wait for the final book in the series. I think it's going to be a really intense and amazing read!

7.) Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black - Add to Goodreads
I have a copy of this from Netgalley and it sounds totally up my alley. I mean, once again, it is a mystery and I love there is kind of a true crime vibe with a family angle. I'm excited.

8.) Seafire by Nathalie C. Parker - Add to Goodreads
I have plans to pick up a copy of this book at ALA because it sounds totally amazing. I love me a YA fantasy and this one also has lady pirates.

9.) Mirage by Somaiya Daud - Add to Goodreads
This sounds like a totally cool YA science fiction series and  I have really been loving genre fiction inspired by Middle Eastern culture. I am also hoping to pick up a copy of this one at ALA.

10.) A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma - Add to Goodreads
I have only read one Nova Ren Suma but it completely blew my mind and I want to read many more of her books. She is going to ALA and I am planning to meet her and get a copy of this book so I can add it to my beach bag.

There you have it, all the books I plan to read on the beach this summer. Obviously that is subject to change because who know how often I'll get to go to the beach, but still. What books are you planning to read at the pool/beach this summer. Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Book review: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Title: The Belles
Series:The Belles #1
Written by: Dhonielle Clayton
Published: February 6, 2018 by Freeform (Disney Book Group)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

Wow! This book was seriously amazing. I am completely kicking myself for waiting this long to read it. I mean, I had heard good things about it and it sounds like a total me book so I picked up a copy but I wanted to wait a little for the hype to die down. But now I wish I hadn't because this book was everything I was hoping it would be and more.

First off, the world of this book was completely brilliant. I read a lot of YA fantasy and I am always looking for unique magical systems. This one I definitely feel like fit that bill. The idea of The Belles is such an interesting concept. These are young women who have an innate ability to change the appearance of others. What I loved about the system is that it's not just that they need the ability. There are also different tools and tricks that go into it. I also really liked that fact that the power has its limits. It takes it's toll on The Belles and it takes its toll on the people who partake. I love that it's one of those magical systems where magic doesn't solve all the problems, it creates them as well. However I do think the world-building could have used a little more information. There's a really history to it as well that we have only begun to scratch the surface on it.

But my favorite thing about this world is the political intrigue. I love a fantasy with a lot of politics and court intrigue and this book that that in spades. Seriously! This book had an amazing and devious antagonist who was up to all kinds of nonsense and I loved every second of it. They were such a brilliant villain with vicious scheme after vicious scheme. I was even surprised by a few, although to be fair some of them were more obvious. But either way, it made for a really fantastic facet of a really engaging world.

I also really liked the plot development, but there were some elements that I didn't love. There was a lot more to this plot then I was expecting. I mean first we have the political intrigue which added a lot of drama and plenty of twists to the book. I would say probably for the most part the main focus of this plot was on the political stuff, but there was a lot more to it then that. I do however think that it suffered a little bit from first book syndrome. There were many plot points that were introduced here without much of a resolution. It sometimes felt like it was just dropping clues for something that wouldn't matter until future books, which is totally fine, but I wanted to know more and after awhile it got a little annoying because I knew I wasn't going to get anything from this book. But it did really build to a very exciting conclusion that had me totally on the edge of my seat and in the need on the next book.

Finally, this book had some seriously brilliant characters. I already mention that amazing antagonist and seriously, they were so good, but this also had some really great protagonists. I adored Camelia. She very easily could have been this cliche Mary Sue type but she was super nuance. She had amazing power, power that she doesn't even really understand, and she wants to experiment. She wants to be the best and sometimes that gets her into trouble and she decides how to use her powers for good instead of evil. Plus I really liked that she's very caring and about acceptance even though beauty is a commodity and she earns her living by making people beautiful. Basically she was great and I loved her. But there were other really great characters. There were some interesting portrayals of family and friendship here which I also really enjoyed. The characters were a big part of what I loved about this book.

And boy did I love this book. I loved it a lot. It is probably one of my favorite books of the year. It has a unique and fascinating world, tons of political intrigue and surprises, and amazing characters. I really wish I had read it sooner but better late then never, right?

I give The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton 9.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: BUY! If you have been waiting to read this book, stop waiting! Read it now. It's really amazing a must read for fans of YA fantasy.

Have you read The Belles? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Blog Tour: Save the Date by Morgan Matson Review and Favorite Quotes

Title: Save the Date
Written by: Morgan Matson
Published: June 6, 2018 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect. 

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster. 

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge. 

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo. 

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute. 

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.


*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

I love Morgan Matson books, Since You've Been Gone is the book that made me realize that I don't hate YA contemporaries, I just needed to find the right ones. Since then I have read all Morgan's new books and loved them all. So I jumped at the chance to be a part of the blog tour for this book. And it was a really good read.

What I liked about this book, and all Morgan Matson books, is that it is a really great balance between serious and fun. Like the previous books I have read there is a lot of humor to this book. I was definitely laughing and smiling numerous times while I was reading. It's a sweet and fun book with a lot of silly moments. Many of them were so outlandish that you could see it in a TV comedy or a movie. But there were also some heart-warming moments and some sad moments.  It struck the right balance and made for an emotional and engaging read.

The heart of this book and what made it more sentimental was that it is essentially a story of family. What I loved about the Grant family that Morgan created here was that it was so realistic. It was a family that was inherently flawed. They didn't always get along but they still really loved one another. I loved that they had so much history and in-jokes. It reminded me of my family which was obviously relateable and enjoyable. I loved the way their story developed throughout the book as they came together.

But the plot on the whole wasn't as tight as it could be. For the most part I would say that this book just felt like a series of moments strung together over the course of a few days. I mean that's how life is, so it was realistic in that way, but it doesn't necessarily make the most cohesive and engaging book. And yes, the wedding and the hijinx that went along with it was a good basis for a story, and it built to an interesting conclusion, I just wish that there was more of a specific plot. 

But this isn't really a plot-driven read. It's a character-driven book and it worked in that capacity. The main character of Charlie had to carry a lot of this book and that was fine with me. Charlie was a likable character if a little bland. She had some good development though and I like watching her try to go with the flow despite all the crazy things that were happening. But the secondary characters is where this book really shined. I loved all Charlie's siblings, especially JJ, her best friend Siobban , and even Bill. Usually I love Morgan's love interests and romances but in this book the romance was super basic and that I loved even more. Morgan knows how to write some great characters and this book was no exception.

All in all this was a really good read and I enjoyed it so much. It had a great balance between serious and fun, a fantastic family dynamic, and fun and likable characters. 

I give Save the Day by Morgan Matson 9 out of 10 stars


"She loves that dog more than me,"... said to... shaking his head. 
"Were you waiting for me to disagree with that?" p. 142

"I leaned against him, resting my head against his arm as I looked at everything that was there--everything our mother had done, for good and bad, this whole world she'd brought into existence with some paper and ink." p. 158

"It was a moment better than all the ones I'd been picturing, and I found myself wishing it had to end." p. 303

"How was it that you only fully realized what you had when it was gone? And I knew there would be new friends, new experiences, maybe even amazing adventures ahead of me. But I felt like I needed, for just a moment, to appreciate what I was-- what we all were--leaving behind." p. 416-7


Goodreads :  Amazon : Barnes & Noble : Book DepositoryKobo : IndieBound : iBooks



Morgan Matson was born in New York City and grew up there and in Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College inLos Angeles, but halfway through a theater degree, she started working in the children’s department of Vroman’s Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature. 

Following college graduation (and the proud bearer ofan incredibly useful thea-ter/English degree) she received her M.F.A. in Writing for Children from The New school and worked asan editor for YA novels. She received a second M.F.A. (for reasons that made sense at the time) in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.

Her novels have been translated into dozens of languages, and published all over the world.

Morgan’s first novel, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, was inspired byher love of road trips, snacks, and the quest for the perfect playlist. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a Publisher’s Weekly Flying Start book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize.

Her second novel, Second Chance Summer, was inspired by her experiences spending summers in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. It was the winner of the California Book Award (YA category) and was named to the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults List, selected for the Oklahoma Sequoya List, and selected as a School Library Journal Best Book.

 Her third novel, Since You’ve Been Gone, was published in2014,and was a Pub-lisher’s Weekly and international bestseller. It was named to the YALSA Teens Top Ten list, and the Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award List.

Morgan’s fourth novel, The Unexpected Everything, was published May 3rd, 2016.

She currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Murphy.


  • Prize:3 copies of SAVE THE DATE by Morgan Matson 
  • US Only 
  • Starts: 6/4 
  • Ends: 6/21

Have you read Save the Date? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

ARC Review: LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff

Title: LIFEL1K3
Series:Lifelike #1
Written by: Jay Kristoff
Published: May 29, 2018 by Delacorte (Random House)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap. 

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it. 

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past. 

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

I have loved every Jay Kristoff book I have read. Whether he is writing fantasy or science fiction, the man knows how to writing a thrilling read full of surprises. I was super excited to read his first solo YA and I was not disappointed. This book was amazing and everything I was hoping for.

The best thing about this book was definitely the plot. It was a totally amazing book and from the very beginning I was enthralled by this book. It has tons of action, daring escapes, thrilling fights, and surprises. Basically it has everything I love. But the best part is the twists. What I love about Jay Kristoff books is that you never know what to expect and every time you think you have it all figured out, he proves me wrong. This book seriously was nothing but unexpected twists and turns that had me reeling. More than once I had my mouth agape looking like a total idiot. It really built to a thrilling and exciting conclusion and for someone like me who is a plot driven reader, I ate it up.

I also completely loved the world of this book. It's one of those hard sci-fi dystopian novels and I love those kind of worlds. This one definitely has a Mad Max: Fury Road sort of feel. It's a post-apocalyptic world where the planet is destroyed and only the strong survive. They do this with all kinds of cool technology. It's a gritty and bleak landscape that lends itself well to any kind of plot really, but definitely one full of surprises and action.

The other thing that this book really showed me is how well Jay Kristoff writes characters. He's really good at creating complex and dubious characters, which naturally are my favorites. This book had three main perspectives and I loved most of them. The main character is Eve, who is this badass girl who fights robots to help her sick grandfather. She's tough and carrying at the same time. She has some great development throughout the book as you learn more about her. The other amazing main character is her best friend Lemon Fresh. Lemon is a streetwise pickpocket who loves pretty things and has a heart of gold. She's more than just a sidekick though and I loved having some of the book from Lem's perspective. The only perspective I could have done without is Preacher. I mean it was fine seeing things from an antogonist's perspective but I think on the whole it didn't add a lot to the book.

But all in all this was a great read. It was full of action and surprises, the world was thrilling and engaging, and the characters were complex and likeable. I was really looking forward to reading this book and I was not disappointed.

I give LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff 9.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. This book is amazing and you should definitely read it. It's a great science fiction read whether you like hard sci-fi or dystopia. I would recommend this book to anyone whether you want to try more YA sci-fi or you are a huge fan.

Have you read LIFEL1K3? What did you think. Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Gave Me the Travel Bug

A weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This list was surprsingly difficult to put together. Maybe because most of the books I read are genre fiction with fictional worlds or in dramatic historical time periods. So here is a list of ones I was able to put together.

1.) The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Obviously this book is on like every one of my lists. But to be honest, one of my favorite things about this book is the fact that it takes you to amazing places throughout Eastern Europe that I want to visit.

2.) The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
I distinctly remember reading this book as a teenager and wanting desperately to visit Santorini. I still want to visit there to be honest.

3.) The Custard Protocol by Gail Carriger
I wasn't sure which Gail Carriger series to put on this list because her books make me want to visit their locations. But this series definitely because it takes you to India, Egypt, and a lot of places along the way.

4.) The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
This is another one of those travel books that have plenty of places I want to visit. I think most notably Venice. I was only in Venice for only one day when I was in Europe in college and I want to go back.

5.) Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab
It might seem a little weird to include this book on the list because most of it takes place in a fantasy world. But a fantasy London and London is pretty much a character and it made me want to visit.

6/) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
In this book, in case you didn't know, takes place in Paris and it absolutely made me want to go to Paris again for a visit. You can never have enough time in Paris.

7.) Now I Rise by Kiersten White
I just finished this book and it definitely made me want to visit Istanbul and Eastern Europe. It was of course reminiscent of The Historian which may be why I liked it want to visit.

8.) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I would guess that everyone who reads this book wants to visit Scotland. It's makes Scotland sound beautiful and amazing. Plus maybe I'll go through some stones and marry a super hot Highlander.

9.) The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
Another favorite book that had an amazing and beautiful setting. I wasn't exactly sure where Andalusia is but I'd like to go there, or to the Sahara Desert that the book takes you to. Why do deserts sounds so appealing in books?

10.) Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
I mean this may surprise you considering that this book is a crazy mystery but it also takes place in Aruba. I love the beach and so any book that takes place on the beach makes me want to go there.

There you have it, all the books that made my list. What books gave you the travel bug? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Audiobook Review: Now I Rise by Kiersten White

Title: Now I Rise
Series: And I Darken #2
Written by: Kiersten White
Published: June 27, 2017 by Delacorte (Random House)
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: She has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself.

After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada Dracul is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won…and souls will be lost.

I had wanted to read this book last year when it first came out but I didn't get around to it for some reason. I had liked And I Darken and was intrigued to see where to series would be going so when I saw that the audiobook was available to borrow from the library I thought this would be the perfect Pride Month read.

And I really liked this book. One of the things that I didn't love about And I Darken was the plot development. But the plot in this book was seriously on point. There was a ton of action and adventure, which you know I love, and it really built to a thrilling and exciting conclusion that had me excited and engaged. But what I think I liked most about it is that even though there were two characters with two distinct storylines, they felt connected. There was a lot of symmetry to the stories which I really appreciated. It felt like a cohesive story in that way. Plus I really like that it didn't drag things out longer than it needed to be. There was a clear ending in this book and I am still super excited to read what happens next.

I also really like the characters in this book. Both Lada and Radu are more of adults now so they are more secure in themselves and what they want which was really nice to see, but they both also have these great vulnerabilities. Kiersten White does a great job in creating characters that walk a fine line in being strong and resilient while also being vulnerable. It makes them really likable and complex. This is a good read for Pride Month because in this book we really see Radu struggle with his sexuality and his love for Mehmed who he's pretty sure doesn't love him back. Anyone who has ever felt unrequited love has to feel for Radu and the not always great decisions he makes here. I will say, I was particularly happy with Lada's characterizations in this book. When comparing her to Vlad the Impaler I thought she could be a lot more brutal and vicious in the first book, but her she was definitely more tough. I am psyched to see where her story goes because I have a feeling we are going to see a super badass Lada in the final book.

The other thing that impressed me with White's writing is the historical aspect. You can tell that she did her research into these historical figures. Obviously, this is a work of fiction as she changed the gender of one of the main characters, but so many of the other elements of the story are there. It made me completely fascinated with the real figures of Vlad Tepes, Sultan Mehmed, and Radu cel Frumos. Throughout the book I was googling them to find out what actually happened now I really want to learn more. She also really let the city of Constantinople (present day Istanbul) come to life. I've read a few books that took place there and it always seems like an amazing a vibrant place, especially during this historical time period.

This was a really fantastic historical read with great characters and a thrilling plot. And I am really glad that I listened to the audiobook. Fiona Hardingham did a great job with it and brought the characters to life. I think when I read the next book I think I will listen to the audio.

I give Now I Rise by Kierten White 9.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy/Borrow. I definitely recommend picking up a copy of this book. If you liked the first book in the series I recommend the continuation and for those who haven't read it, it's a great dark historical fiction series.

Have you read Now I Rise? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!