Book Review: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Words in Deep Blue
Author: Cath Crowley
Release Date: August 30, 2016 (comes out June 6, 2017 in USA)
Publisher: Pan Australia
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

This is a love story. It’s the story of a second-hand bookshop called Howling Books where people leave letters to strangers, or those they love, or want to love, between the pages of books in the Letter Library.

Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie are best friends. Or they were. Before Rachel moved away to the sea. Now, she’s back, grieving for her brother Cal who drowned in the sea that he loved.

Rachel loves Henry. Henry loves Amy. Amy loves Amy but is happy for Henry to love her too.

This is a book about books. About the power of literature to cradle our past, present and future selves. It’s about how we leave ourselves behind when we die. How we leave our histories in the things we love – like books.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Thank you Jenna from Reading with Jenna for the copy! 

Aw man, feels out for this book. On the cover it says “a love story” but quite honestly I never really got into that because of one main problem. What I did get into was the amazing exploration of grief and the hope that comes with it. I teared at some points because Crowley’s gorgeous writing just touched my heart, and never before have I been so conscious about the importance of words. This contemporary book will definitely pull on readers’ heartstrings as we navigate the friendships and romances of different characters.

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Book Review: Like A River Glorious by Rae Carson

Like A River Glorious
Author: Rae Carson
Series: The Gold Seer Trilogy #2
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

After a harrowing journey across the country, Leah Westfall and her friends have finally arrived in California and are ready to make their fortunes in the Gold Rush. Lee has a special advantage over the other new arrivals in California—she has the ability to sense gold, a secret known only by her handsome best friend Jefferson and her murdering uncle Hiram.

Lee and her friends have the chance to be the most prosperous settlers in California, but Hiram hasn’t given up trying to control Lee and her power. Sabotage and kidnapping are the least of what he’ll do to make sure Lee is his own. His mine is the deepest and darkest in the territory, and there Lee learns the full extent of her magical gift, the worst of her uncle, and the true strength of her friendships. To save everyone, she vows to destroy her uncle and the empire he is building—even at the cost of her own freedom.

The second epic historical fantasy in the Gold Seer trilogy by Rae Carson, the acclaimed author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Continuing on from the previous book, Like A River Glorious still has a sedate pace with characters coming and going and throughout it all, a spunky main character with a mysterious gift. This was definitely a solid sequel of Walk On Earth A Stranger with a developing romance and exploration of Lee’s powers. Although I highly enjoyed it while reading, it didn’t really get my adrenaline pumping or surprised me too much. The antagonist is the same from the previous book and clearly an evil guy, if a bit one-dimensional. Nevertheless, I’m still looking forward to the last book in this trilogy!

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Book Review: The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

The Bird and the Sword
Author: Amy Harmon
Release Date: May 6, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, Daughter. Stay alive.

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Wowow, when I first read a review of this book by Nick from Nick and Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist, I knew that I had to get it, and I’d probably enjoy it as well.. But truth is, I actually fell head over heels in love with it. The Bird and the Sword has a perfect blend of fantasy and romance that just leaves my heart shattered in the best of ways. The lyrical writing just pulls you in from the first pages, and I couldn’t tear myself away from the pages, even if I had tried. This story really shows how important something as seemingly inconsequential as words can be.

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Book Review: The Flame Never Dies by Rachel Vincent

The Flame Never Dies
Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: The Stars Never Rise #2
Release Date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

One spark will rise.

Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth—that the war against demons is far from over—seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant younger sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn’t about to let that happen…even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

The Anathema crew is back in business in this fun, action-packed sequel to The Stars Never Rise (review here)! Although this sequel didn’t offer the new outlook that the first book held when introducing the dangerous and dark world, we also learn interesting things about the characters we already know about, as well as meet new ones (while saying goodbye to old ones). Vincent is never afraid to drag the story to darker depths, yet still carry the light of hope that the characters must have to survive such a morbid atmosphere. While the first half of the book was a bit mundane for me, I got really into the story by the second half after all the pieces of the plot was laid out. The second half definitely had more action as well, which was a plus.

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ARC Review: Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley

Fate of Flames
Author: Sarah Raughley
Series: Effigies #1
Release Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Four girls with the power to control the elements and save the world from a terrible evil must come together in the first epic novel in a brand-new series.When Phantoms—massive beasts made from nightmares and darkness—suddenly appeared and began terrorizing the world, four girls, the Effigies, each gained a unique power to control one of the classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Since then, four girls across the world have continually fought against the Phantoms, fulfilling their cosmic duty. And when one Effigy dies, another girl gains her power as a replacement.But now, with technologies in place to protect the world’s major cities from Phantom attacks, the Effigies have stopped defending humanity and, instead, have become international celebrities, with their heroic feats ranked, televised, and talked about in online fandoms.

Until the day that New York City’s protection against the Phantoms fails, a man seems to be able to control them by sheer force of will, and Maia, a high school student, unexpectedly becomes the Fire Effigy.

Now Maia has been thrown into battle with three girls who want nothing to do with one another. But with the first human villain that the girls have ever faced, and an army of Phantoms preparing for attack, there isn’t much time for the Effigies to learn how to work together.

Can the girls take control of their destinies before the world is destroyed forever?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Imagine an ordinary girl, placed in an extraordinary situation…

Sounds like the perfect event for character growth, new revelations, and exploration of friendships, right? Not so true with this book.

In Fate of Flames, I felt like the author tried to make this book too “cool.” We have a pretty rad premise of girls with elemental powers called Effigies going around saving the world from evil entities called Phantoms. I’ve heard many things referenced to this book, including Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon these girls were not. The combination of a whiny and complacent character who felt like cardboard, a cliche and boring plot, and a lack of world-building made this an extremely frustrating read for me. By page 200, I was pretty much rage-reading the book.

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Monthly Wrap-Up: It Was An O-KAY October

october-wrap-up

Hey guys! Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done a monthly wrap-up. I feel so bad because I had this drafted in the beginning of the month but then I blinked and suddenly we’re in the middle of the month already. The last one I did was in May (whoa), but I’m glad to be back! Summer was just really chaotic and starting school was basically death. Now that I have a normal routine starting again, it’s been easier to get back in my blogging schedule.

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ARC Review: The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

The Forgetting
Author: Sharon Cameron
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes.

Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

This book may be titled The Forgetting but it was a really memorable read for me. Sharon Cameron writes the most delightful, refreshing and underrated stories, and I cannot recommend this book enough for people looking for an adventure that’ll broaden their outlook and is full of twists and turns. Nadia is an amazing character who is curious, loyal, thoughtful, and reflective – she’s always listening and observing. What she finds out about Canaan, the place she lives in, will change the world forever.

“Your books are your memories, who you are.”

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Book Review: Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix

Newt’s Emerald
Author: Garth Nix
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
On her eighteenth birthday, Lady Truthful, nicknamed “Newt,” will inherit her family’s treasure: the Newington Emerald. A dazzling heart-shaped gem, the Emerald also bestows its wearer with magical powers.

When the Emerald disappears one stormy night, Newt sets off to recover it. Her plan entails dressing up as a man, mustache included, as no well-bred young lady should be seen out and about on her own. While in disguise, Newt encounters the handsome but shrewd Major Harnett, who volunteers to help find the missing Emerald under the assumption that she is a man. Once she and her unsuspecting ally are caught up in a dangerous adventure that includes an evil sorceress, Newt realizes that something else is afoot: the beating of her heart.

In Newt’s Emerald, the bestselling author of Sabriel, Garth Nix, takes a waggish approach to the forever popular Regency romance and presents a charmed world where everyone has something to hide.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

This book was light, fluffy, and thrilling – just what I needed to get out of my reading slump. Newt’s Emerald follows the adventure of Lady Truthful, who has just recently turned eighteen. However, just when her father the Admiral brings out a family heirloom, the Newington Emerald, to pass it onto her, strange weather creeps in, taking the emerald along with its departure. Thus begins an exciting journey to find the emerald in a regency setting with touches of magic scattered about. Even more exhilarating is the fact that Truthful will be dressing up as a man to aid in her search for the emerald!

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Music in YA: Book Recommendations Across All Genres!

music-in-ya-post

I adore music so much. I listen to music while doing everything – including writing this post. That’s why I’ve decided to make a book recommendation post with some stories that have music featured in them! I’ve added a “Music Index” for each book to let you guys know how much music is exactly mentioned.

I think music is one of those attributes of books that readers don’t really think about. When I started this list, I didn’t realize how many books I wanted to add until going back and looking through it. And yet, I would still love seeing more books that have a central focus on music!

I’ve created this book list with music that adds in characterization to music that fuels plot development and character growth. It also ranges through all genres, from fantasy to contemporary to scifi to paranormal.🙂 Some are out, and some will be publishing soon. I try to keep an eclectic list so these books will range from all scopes!

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