Blog Tour: Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare Moodboard

Hello everyone!

I’m excited to be featuring a moodboard for the historical fantasy, Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare – coming out February 20, 2018 (this week!!) from Imprint. It’s a fun adventure taking place in 19th century Italy and a bit reminiscent of the atmosphere of steampunk books. There are talented characters who are involved in alchemy, scriptology (ooh), and engineering, alternate-history inventions, and a grand mystery. You can check out my review for it over here at Happy Indulgence!

Ink, Iron, and Glass
Author: Gwendolyn Clare
Series: Ink, Iron, and Glass #1
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Publisher: Imprint
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
Can she write a world gone wrong?
A certain pen, a certain book, and a certain person can craft entirely new worlds through a branch of science called scriptology. Elsa comes from one such world that was written into creation, where her mother―a noted scriptologist―constantly alters and expands their reality.
But when her home is attacked and her mother kidnapped, Elsa is forced to cross into the real world and use her own scriptology gifts to find her. In an alternative Victorian Italy, Elsa finds a secret society of young scientists with a gift for mechanics, alchemy, or scriptology―and meets Leo, a gorgeous mechanist with a smart mouth and tragic past. She recruits the help of these fellow geniuses just as an assassin arrives on their doorstep.
In this thrilling debut, worlds collide as Elsa unveils a deep political conspiracy seeking to unlock the most dangerous weapon ever created―and only she can stop it.

Continue reading

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Spotlight: What the World Needs Now is Love Lyric Book

Hello everyone, and happy Valentine’s day!

Truth be told, Valentine’s day has always been an excuse for school fundraisers and splurging on chocolate for me. This Valentine’s day, however, I’ve decided to celebrate by spotlighting the lyric book for What the World Needs Now is Love by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The lovely illustrations are by Mary Kate McDevitt, and the combination of touching lyrics and vibrant colors of the art create a beautiful picture book that I can’t wait to share with the kids I volunteer with.

Picture Book Feature

Picture Book 3 Continue reading

ARC Review: #Prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid

29613867#Prettyboy Must Die
Author: Kimberly Reid
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Tor Teen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A CIA prodigy’s cover is blown when he accidentally becomes an internet sensation in #Prettyboy Must Die, inspired by the #Alexfromtarget story.When Peter Smith’s classmate snaps a picture of him during a late night run at the track, Peter thinks he might be in trouble. When she posts that photo–along with the caption, “See the Pretty Boy Run,”–Peter knows he’s in trouble. But when hostiles drop through the ceiling of his 6th period Chem Class, Peter’s pretty sure his trouble just became a national emergency.

Because he’s not really Peter Smith. He’s Jake Morrow, former foster-kid turned CIA operative. After a massive screw-up on his first mission, he’s on a pity assignment, a dozen hit lists and now, social media, apparently. As #Prettyboy, of all freaking things.

His cover’s blown, his school’s under siege, and if he screws up now, #Prettyboy will become #Deadboy faster than you can say, ‘fifteen minutes of fame.’ Trapped in a high school with rabid killers and rabid fans, he’ll need all his training and then some to save his job, his school and, oh yeah, his life.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Prettyboy Must Die brings a new dimension to the spy thrillers in contemporary YA! We follow the perspective of Jake, a black CIA operative who’s undercover at a private academy as a senior. When his position is compromised with a well-placed social media post, however, he becomes on the run as his enemies take over the academy. I really enjoyed this story as a light-hearted contemporary. Because the synopsis is a bit far-fetched, I came into the book looking forward to the unrealistic escapes and spy situations. Readers interested in this one should be aware of those pursuits and the overall light-hearted atmosphere of the story.

“Maybe now it’s time to panic.
#Prettyboy is trending in Denver.”

Continue reading

ARC Review: Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

30694168Shadowsong
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Series: Book 2 of 2
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.
When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Note: This book is the sequel to Wintersong, which you can find my review here! There will be minor spoilers in this review.

WHAT A SEQUEL. Seriously, Shadowsong is everything I wanted after that cliffhanger in Wintersong and more. The ending was absolutely fantastic, and I reread it multiple times just this past week before I could muster up the energy to write this review. That’s right – this book left me emotionally drained in the BEST of ways. We delve deeper into the darks of Liesl’s mind and her relationship between her and her brother, and her and the Goblin King. There is less of an emphasis of the romance like in the previous book, and more of an emphasis on Liesl’s growth and her love for her brother. Also, shout out to Jae-Jones for the content warnings at the beginning of the book.

“Sometimes, I fear there is a maelstrom swirling within me. Madness, mania, melancholy. Music, magic, memories. A vortex, spinning around a truth I do not want to admit.”

Continue reading

ARC Review: American Panda by Gloria Chao

35297380American Panda
Author: Gloria Chao
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

“‘Sometimes I’m so proud to be Chinese, and other times I resent it so much. The obligations. Duty to family. Xiàoshùn.’”

And with that line, American Panda understood me in a way no book has before.

I’m making all my Chinese-American friends (both who read and who don’t) to preorder this book because it is exceptional. Although we only see the experience of a Chinese-American through the lense of one teenage girl, I believe there is something – whether it is stinky tofu, matchmaking, or dreams of being a doctor – that a Chinese-American teen can relate to in Mei’s story. American Panda is superbly written, with hilarious dialogue and equally witty inner monologues of Mei, a seventeen-year old who is college-bound to MIT. She’s intelligent and checks off all the boxes for Obedient Taiwanese Teen™. She’s on the premed track and meets her parents once a week (if not more) at Chow Chow, a restaurant they frequently eat at. She’s shy. She’s the child that her parents are piling their dreams on after they disowned her brother. But at this turn of her life, Mei is experiencing an internal conflict that continues to grow as she meets new people and experiences new things in college. Continue reading

January Wrap-Up: I Read 21 Books This Month + Updates From A College Freshman

Hello everyone!

Wow, I can’t believe I’m doing a wrap-up. The last one I did… was October of 2016. It’s been more than a year! I’m glad to be back though, because I feel like wrap-ups are great ways to kind of organize where you’re at, especially reading-wise. I’m trying to get better on this aspect of my blogging/reading life.

wrapup1

I ended winter break around mid-January and started my second semester of my first year of university! Even though we had the first two days of classes off because of winter (thanks Atlanta weather), I’ve been feeling the stress accumulate since the moment I stepped back on campus. It’s been pretty tough balancing classes, extracurriculars, a new job, and reading/blogging now that I’m back, but hopefully my scheduled posts are enough for the next months! I read a LOT over the break (in case you couldn’t tell).

College is weird because the peer pressure is SO extreme. I recently applied to this club called Consult Your Community because my good sophomore friends were in it, even though the club is business-related and I’m a STEM major. (That interview was sooo nerve-wracking.) I also recently interviewed to become a Sophomore Advisor next year, which is basically like a Resident Advisor but they volunteer to do the work instead of having it as their job. I’m actually pretty excited about this, and helping future first-years! Continue reading

ARC Review: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

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33815781The Wedding Date
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I adored The Wedding Date and highly recommend it for contemporary readers who like a sweet and heartwarming story of two passionate people who meet each other in the oddest circumstance and find love through it. Alexa was a woman of my heart; she’s confident in her work environment and does her job well, but her love life wasn’t really going anywhere. Drew is the kind of guy to date a girl and break it off with her just when things were going well. They have instant chemistry and find themselves drawn towards the other, despite living across the state of California. Continue reading

SST: Blood and Sand by CV Wyk Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Hello everyone!

If you haven’t heard of Blood and Sand and you’re a fan of fantasies with fierce warriors and cunning women, where have you been? We’re traveling back to the Roman Republic, during an age of “to conquer or be conquered” and exploring the story of Spartacus, the famous gladiator… if they were a girl. There is ACTION, there is a super sweet and steamy ROMANCE, and there’s the HOPE of the people, ready to rebel against their captors.

30975382Blood and Sand
Author: C.V. Wyk
Series: Book 1
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Publisher: Tor Teen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Target

Synopsis:

The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic–and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus….

Roma Victor. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to build an empire–an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end–and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus….

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Blood and Sand just blew me away from start to finish. I loved following Attia’s journey as she headed towards revenge against the Roman Republic – quickly becoming an empire – for destroying her clan and leaving her princess of a nation swallowed by the growing Roman nation. This book loosely follows the story of Spartacus and focuses on the gladiators and fighters who are willing to challenge an empire that took them from their homeland. Following a historical bent like And I Darken by Kiersten White and female warriors that are ready to fight for justice like The Valiant by Lesley Livington, Blood and Sand blends fact and fiction to create an immersive, fast-paced adventure that will leave readers’ hearts pounding and blood rushing. Continue reading

ARC Review: They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

33385229They Both Die At The End
Author: Adam Silvera
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Despite the ominous connotations of the title, They Both Die at the End is ultimately a story about life and having had lived. Silvera’s writing is striking and cuts right into a reader’s heart as we navigate through the last day that Mateo and Rufus have to live. Despite the short time, they find both fun and friendship and love with the other as each of them grow. Silvera brings two vastly different boys together and offers a close insight on their doubts and vulnerabilities, as well as strengths and love, in this beautiful contemporary that will leave you with an aching but full heart. Continue reading

ARC Review: Down by Contact by Santino Hassell (The Barons #2)

33637825Down by Contact
Author: Santino Hassell
Series: The Barons #2
Release Date: January 16, 2018
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Two rival football players begin a game with higher stakes than the Super Bowl in this steamy romance from the author of Illegal Contact.

Simeon Boudreaux, the New York Barons’ golden-armed quarterback, is blessed with irresistible New Orleans charm and a face to melt your mama’s heart. He’s universally adored by fans and the media. Coming out as gay in solidarity with his teammate hasn’t harmed his reputation in the least—except for some social media taunting from rival linebacker Adrián Bravo.

Though they were once teammates, Adrián views Simeon as a traitor and the number-one name on the New Jersey Predators’ shit list. When animosity between the two NFL players reaches a boiling point on the field, culminating in a dirty fist fight, they’re both benched for six games and sentenced to joint community service teaching sullen, Brooklyn teens how to play ball.

At first, they can barely stand to be in the same room, but running the camp forces them to shape up. With no choice but to work together, Simeon realizes Adrián is more than his alpha-jerk persona, and Adrián begins to question why he’s always had such strong feelings for the gorgeous QB…

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Basically, I loved this book, and I’m mad I haven’t stumbled upon this author sooner. Down by Contact gripped me from its first page. It’s a hate-to-love romance between an out and proud gay football player for the Barons, Simeon, and a bisexual football player from a rival team, Adrián, who hides his sexuality behind veiled comments. The dialogue was on-point, the romance had a beautiful build-up, and – dare I say it – the conflict was even really good. I basically devoured this book and stayed up until 4 am in the morning to finish this glorious love story. I’m definitely going to go back and read the first book in this series, Illegal Contact, because Gavin and Noah’s story will probably be just as good. Continue reading