Review: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Hey all, Dani here.

Today’s review is for the wonderful new book by Adam Silvera, and I’ll start this by saying that I received an ARC of this book back in June while at Barnes & Noble’s Teen Book Fest. Adam Silvera and Jasmine Warga were both present for a signing and writer workshop. Receiving a signed ARC did not influence my rating or opinion of this book in any way.

The release date for this book is January 17, 2017.

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Summary

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

My Thoughts

I gave this book a rating of 5 stars, and I simply could not put it down. It was so exciting to get this ARC, because honestly History is All You Left Me sounded more interesting than Adam Silvera’s first book (More Happy Than Not–which I also read and really enjoyed). My plan had been to just read the first chapter and then put the ARC away until like October or something. Instead I ended up carrying the book with me to work and reading it in every free moment I got.

Guess what? This is probably not a book to read in public. There are some emotional moments that will get you right in the feels.

So yeah, what influenced my rating for this story is Adam’s incredibly realistic character portrayals and relationships within the story. They were so complex and diverse, and even when the characters made decisions that I wouldn’t, I understood why they did it. Griffin’s struggles with his OCD, and the choices he makes because of them, and also because of how he’s acting due to Theo’s death, were something I was compelled to follow.

The handling of these emotions and the downward spiral of these boys dealing with grief and love and lust was just breathtaking, honestly.

There’s a lot more I could probably say about this book, but I’m trying to avoid saying anything spoilery because I don’t want to ruin this book. I just know that I am definitely buying a hardcover copy when it’s released.

Where to Buy

You can pick this book up at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Books-A-Million, or anywhere books are sold. Again, this book will be released on January 17, 2017.

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Most Anticipated Releases of Fall 2016

Hey all, Dani here.

Hopefully you’ll think this is a fun little post. I read a lot of books; in fact, I’m already up to 103 books read in 2016 and we’re only 2/3 of the way through the year. Because of this I have to keep track of book news, particularly when it comes to publication dates. This is helpful for planning my book hauls, though I do try to leave myself space for browsing and impulse buys.

Mostly I keep a list of titles I’m interested in as well as their publication dates. Then I tend to highlight the titles based on which month they’ll be out. That makes it easier for me to do a quick scan of my list, which evolves and grows as the year progresses and I hear about more new books.

So today I would like to share 13 of the books I’m really excited about that will be released in the months of September, October, and November.

Let’s start with September.

  1. Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas. This is the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series and I can’t wait to have this behemoth sized continuation of an epic fantasy series that I greatly enjoy reading. Also, I simply devour Sarah J Maas’s writing, so this will also be a relatively quick read for me. Empire of Storms will be released September 6th.
  2. The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman. This is the sequel to The Invisible Library, which honestly reminded me a bit of the TV show “The Librarians,” but was also a bit like “Doctor Who.” I love books that center on either libraries or librarians with fun magical twists and this series definitely has those elements. The Masked City will also be released September 6th.
  3. A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess. The cover is gorgeous and the premise seems really interesting. I have had this fantasy YA book on my B&N wishlist for a couple months now and the publication date is drawing near. This book will be released September 20th.
  4. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. Three sisters who must all fight over the same crown, which is interesting in and of itself, but then throw in the fact that each sister is supposed to have control of a different magic and it becomes even more interesting. I don’t exactly know what to expect with this one but I am really looking forward to it. This lovely book will also be released September 20th.
  5. Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch. This is the third book in the Ice Like Fire series and I just love the covers for these books. The world is interesting and I don’t really know what else to say except that clearly I want to read a lot of fantasy books this fall. September 20th is going to be a good day for little bibliophile me.
  6. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. This is the conclusion to the Six of Crows duology and I wish I had this book in my hands already. I loved Six of Crows so much more than the Grisha trilogy, and I need more of the world and the characters. I’m curious to see how the story will wrap up, and I want to know what will happen to the group. This amazing book–the hardcover will have red edged pages–will be released September 27th
  7. Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson. This is the second book in the Gold Seer trilogy, and once again I am in love with a book cover. I really liked the cover for Walk on Earth a Stranger, but LaRG is even more stunning. Plus I enjoy this historical YA that has just the smallest dash of magic in it. It is definitely worth a read. This little beauty will also be released on September 27th.

Now onto October:

  1. The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan. This is the second book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, which is basically a spin-off of the Percy Jackson series. It follows Annabeth’s cousin Magnus, who is affiliated with Norse Gods, whereas Annabeth is clearly a demigod from the Greek pantheon. I love the sarcasm of Magnus, and the rest of the Norse demigods are pretty interesting too. I think this book will go a little deeper into the mythology and what exactly is going on. Magnus Chase kicks off the month of October with an October 4th release date.
  2. Replica by Lauren Oliver. This will be my first Lauren Oliver book, but it sounds really cool and I like that it can be read a few different ways. You can start the book from Gemma’s perspective and read all the way through before flipping it over to read Lyra’s perspective, or you can start with Lyra and then read Gemma, OR you can read a chapter of Gemma followed by a chapter of Lyra and so on and so forth. It’s an incredibly cool concept. Replica will be released October 4th. (However, I received a copy of an ARC from Barnes & Noble’s Teen Book Fest so I’ll be reading it soon.
  3. The Librarians and The Lost Lamp by Greg Cox. This is the first book in what will hopefully be a lengthy series of media tie-in novels that give us bonus adventures for the show “The Librarians.” It is one of my favorite shows on television right now so I’m excited to get more information about the characters and see some of their quests that don’t make it onto the show. This book will be released October 11th.
  4. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This is the second of the Illuminae Files series, and I am really excited about it, despite the fact that Illuminae is still sitting on my TBR. I will read it, guys. I promise. And probably before this sequel is officially out, which will be on October 18th.

Finally we have November, and I’m kinda glad that I don’t have a lot of new books on my radar for November. The month is already crazy enough thanks to NaNoWriMo.

  1. Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter. This is the second book in the Soulwood series that follows Nell Ingram. It is a spin-off of the Jane Yellowrock series, and gives us a new perspective on the world and some characters we may have encountered before. Plus, I really like the covers for these books, so I can’t wait to add it to my collection. This book will be out November 1st.
  2. Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I’m a bad bookworm, you guys. The Lunar Chronicles are still on my TBR list, but this still sounds like an awesome Alice in Wonderland retelling, so I’m really looking forward to its release, which will be on November 8th.

So, there you have it…the books I am most eagerly anticipating in Fall 2016. If there are any books you are really looking forward to, let me know in the comments.

August Book Haul/Wrap Up and September TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Where did the month of August go? I feel like it just started a couple days ago and yet here we are on the final day of the month. It’s almost fall, which means snuggling up indoors with a warm beverage and a nice stack of books…well, if you’re a big reader like me anyway. In fact, I’m probably going to post a Most Anticipated Book Releases of Fall 2016 post very soon.

But today I’m here to go over my bookish accomplishments for the month of August. I guess I should start off by saying that in the month of August I had to increase my Goodreads Reading Challenge, again. Originally my goal was 75 books but I changed it to 100. I passed the 100 book mark in August so I have increased my goal to 130 books.

First though, I should get through my August Book Haul.

Okay, the image on the left is my Wizard World Chicago Book Haul, which I shared in my wrap up for the convention, but I picked up 10 books and 10 graphic novels there, and I’ve read most of the graphic novels already so yay!

The middle image shows books I purchased from Booksamillion and Barnes & Noble, though I did pick up Nerve at my local grocery store. And finally the picture on the right is a haul I got from Book Outlet during their recent sale. There was a coupon code for $5 off an order of $35 or more, and the code also gave you a free Book Outlet Bear, which is just so cute.

So, basically this month I purchased 10 graphic novels, and 27 books. I think at this point, if I had the space to add another bookcase to my room, it would be full as soon as I set it up because I have so many unshelved books right now.

Moving on to my monthly wrap-up. This month I managed to read 12 books, though honestly, most of those are graphic novels so they are super quick reads for me. I’m just going to do a quick overview of the books and the rating I gave them.

Book I read in August:

Splinter by Sarah Fine, 5 stars

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares, 5 stars (reread)

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Illustrated by Jamie McKelvie, Colorist Matt Wilson, and Letterer Clayton Cowles, 4 stars

Ms Marvel, Vol 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson, Art by Adrian Alphona and Jacob Wyatt, 5 stars

Ms Marvel, Vol 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson and Mark Waid, Illustrated by Humberto Ramos, Art by Takeshi Miyazawa and Elmo Bondoc, 5 stars

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 2: Fandemonium by Kieron Gillen, Illustrated by Jamie McKelvie, Colorist Matt Wilson, and Letterer Clayton Cowles, 5 stars

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 3: Commercial Suicide by Kieron Gillen, Illustrated by Jamie McKelvie, Colorist Matt Wilson, and Letterer Clayton Cowles, 5 stars

Ms Marvel, Vol 4: Last Days by G. Willow Wilson, Illustrated by Adrian Alphona

Ms Marvel, Vol 5: Super Famous by G. Willow Wilson, Art by Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona, and Nico Leon

Black Spark by Al K. Line, 4 stars

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff, 4 stars

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne (technically a new play by Jack Thorne, 2 stars

Now let’s talk about my September TBR. I have a few books I just really want to read in September, but then I also have the books I’m planning on reading and reviewing because I felt like doing a month dedicated to self-published authors.

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If I can read the rest of the Dark Magic Enforcer series by Al K. Line (Evil Spark, New Spark, Guilty Spark, and new release Neon Spark) then that will be awesome, and I have The Silver Portal by David J Normoyle arriving in the mail soon.

As for the other books I’d ideally like to read: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir, The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee, and then maybe start on one of my recent epic fantasy purchases. I honestly have to see what happens in September.

Well, that’s it for today. I’ll see you guys soon with another post.

 

Review: Shadoworld by Rachel E Kelly

Hey all, Dani here once again.

Today I bring to you my review for the fourth book in the brilliant Colorworld series by Rachel E Kelly. Now, I’ll go ahead and toss a little disclaimer on here: yes, I was asked to be a copy editor/beta reader for this book. However, that does not alter how I review books. I will say that I am thrilled to have been asked to be a CE/beta for the upcoming fifth book, Dreamworld, because reading book four dragged me all over the emotional spectrum and left me desperate for more (especially more Mike).

ahem.

I should also probably state right now that the summary for this book actually has spoilers for the earlier books in the series, so if you haven’t read the rest of the series you’ll probably want to stop right now and come back to this later (or jump past the summary section to my review section, which I will keep as spoiler free as possible). Of course, you could also say oh well and just read on, allowing yourself to be spoiled. The choice is yours.

Anyway, let’s jump into this review, shall we?

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Summary

After facing the dangers of a death-touch, marital separation, and even terminal cancer, Wendy thought she could handle anything. But losing her supernatural abilities has turned out to be much harder to adapt to than she thought. Now Wendy is pregnant, and the prospect of being a mother has Wendy fearing she’ll never find “normal”.

With Robbie’s birth, Wendy finds renewed determination to love life the way she once did.

Her new found faith is shaken, when she learns that Robbie’s life will be cut short by a genetic disease.

In the midst of mourning for the life her son won’t have, Wendy finds that Mike, Gabriel’s brother, has been incommunicado for many months. Immediately following the news of Mike, Wendy receives cryptic instructions from Robert, her Uncle, that just might be the key to saving her son.

The answer to both Mike and Robbie take Wendy to Los Angeles. But within an hour of her plan landing Wendy is taken, and Robbie isn’t the only one whose life is on the line.

My Thoughts

Oh my goodness, you guys! This book ripped out my heart…metaphorically speaking anyway. There was a lot of emotional meat to this story and it kept me reading into the wee hours of the morning. Plus there was also some action, because the “bad guys” are getting serious.

Actually I read this book about a week before the publication date, and it was while I was working with Rachel at Wizard World Ohio Comic Con in September 2015. We talked about the book on Saturday and then I went home that night and finished the book. When I made it to the convention center Sunday morning, I told Rachel that I had ended up crying in my bed for an hour thanks to an event concerning one of my favorite characters. I understood why it had to happen, and in hindsight, there are clues that it is coming, but it dragged me through the emotional ringer. I was devastated.

One of the main focuses of this book is Wendy going out to Los Angeles to try and find out why Gabe’s brother Mike hasn’t contacted anyone in several months. The other reason Wendy goes to Los Angeles concerns a health issue for a family member, but I won’t say any more than that because it is a bit spoilery if you haven’t read the rest of the series. –and if that’s the case, please go pick up copies of the whole series. You can find my reviews for the other three books here: 1, 2, 3.

Rachel has described the series as the first three books being Wendy in training and learning about who she is and what she can do. In Shadoworld the training wheels are off and everything gets more serious and complex.

That is an understatement.

In the first three books we follow Wendy as she learns about her abilities and harnesses them, but in this book she is “normal” and it is fascinating to see her try to navigate the world now that she has actually grown used to connecting to the colorworld and using her abilities in day-to-day life. It’s like watching somebody who had perfect sight have a serious accident that renders them nearly blind. She has to relearn how to interact with others and how to act in certain situations since she had begun to rely on her particular super-skills.

A lot of the book pairs Wendy with Mike, and I think they make a pretty cool team when they have to work together. And man, we finally find out why Mike acts the way he has for the past three books…and that revelation is what made me fall in love with him.

This is absolutely, without question, the best book in the series to date, and I’m not sure how Rachel Kelly is going to top this amazing page-turner, but I don’t doubt that she will. Especially since she has said that book five will have more Mike. Oh, and apparently book five also clocks in at nearly double the length of the first book. It’s going to be massive and amazing, and I cannot wait to read it.

I also can’t wait to get my hands on the Illustrated Edition, which should be coming soon. I will definitely announce when both Shadoworld Illustrated and Dreamworld are available.

Obviously this book was a 5 star read for me.

Where to Buy

As with the rest of the series, you can find the books on Barnes & Noble or Amazon, or you can buy your copy straight from Rachel Kelly via the Colorworld store and have a signed copy sent to you.

Wizard World Chicago Recap

Hey all, Dani here.

I love being a geek, and a huge bit of of my geek life is going to Comic Conventions. As I expand and grow as a writer, some of these Cons are work weekends for me, but Wizard World Chicago is my fun Con. It is where I can run around and meet celebrities, get photo ops and autographs, and enjoy panels, plus all of yhe great books and artwork I can pick up in Artists’ Alley.

Wizard World Chicago this year was held August 18th-21st and I had a blast. I don’t want to load this post up with dozens of pictures but I’ll just share a few with all of you.

First up: my book haul. No Con is complete without me buying a bunch of wonderful things to read. This year that meant 10 books and 10 graphic novels. 


And of course if I’m going to buy a lot of books then I need bookmarks to use while reading. Luckily my friends at Colorworld Books make these awesome metal bookmarks, so I picked up the Sandman set as well as a Gambit bookmark and a Winter Soldier one.


Oh and I should mentiom that I actually picked up some jewelry too. I’m not typically someone who buys necklaces or rings or bracelets but I absolutely could not resist this awesome charm bracelet.


Isn’t that awesome?

I only made it to a few panels this year: Christian Kane, Rose McIver, and a concert by the Library Bards. Still, I enjoyed them and the concert was pretty fun.

I won’t share my autographs with you since they are signed to me personally (my birth name, not my pen name of Danielle) but I will share a few of the photo ops.




Oh…and I actually got my picture taken with a replica of Baby from Supernatural, which was so freakin’ cool. I ended up doing the VIP photo package which included 3 photos and a Samulet but I’ll just share one of the images.


Anyway, it was such a fun weekend and I’m already looking forward to going next year. I met some new friends and we have all planned to meet up there and go out for drinks. Wizard World Chicago 2017 will be held August 24th-27th.

Review: Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N Holmberg

Hey all, Dani here.

Today I’m happy to share another review of a new book. I received a galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. As always I will also state that receiving this book for free in no way altered my thoughts, opinions, or my rating.

Charlie N Holmberg first popped up on my radar several months ago when having an hour long book conversation with a friend of mine. She had read The Paper Magician trilogy and enjoyed them and it sounded like something I would enjoy. (Yeah, I’ve read The Paper Magician so far and I like it…I need to read the other two soon).

So when Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet popped up on NetGalley I read the summary and thought it sounded interesting. This book is published by 47North, and they also publish books like Reliquary by Sarah Fine. I guess when you read and review enough books by a publisher they can list you as being auto-approved for future books, which is what I’m on for 47North. I am happy about that because I have yet to be disappointed by any book published by them.

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Summary

Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.

When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.

During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.

From the author of The Paper Magician series comes a haunting and otherworldly tale of folly and consequence, forgiveness and redemption.

 

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book but it wasn’t blow-me-out-of-the-water-amazing. It was interesting and I liked how there were glimpses of classic fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel, and the gingerbread boy. Of course the book does take place in some fantasy world that we get glimpses of but it is only a surface treatment of world-building. It mostly works since our narrator, Maire, doesn’t remember anything of her life before she arrived in her village just over four years earlier. But I’m at the point right now where I’m craving fantasy worlds with world-building on an epic scale so this did not satisfy that need.

The descriptions of things, particularly Maire’s thoughts and emotional memories as she creates her baked goods, are rather well done. And it didn’t take long before the peaceful village was raided by marauders and the story really started with Maire being captured and sold as a slave. I can say that I enjoyed that she didn’t passively go into captivity. Instead she tries to hide, and then after captured she doesn’t give up and fights back, hoping that even if she doesn’t escape, some of the others will.

But most of this story felt a little slow to me. It took so long to really unravel the mystery of who and what Maire was. So we spend most of the story following her as she makes a massive gingerbread house with biscotti for the chimney, and then she makes a large gingerbread boy. Oh, and I guess she does get random visits from a spectral figure named Fyel, who knows all about her past but only gives her vague non-answers, because apparently if she denies any of the truth then she’ll cease to exist. I admit that was an intriguing consequence. Maire doesn’t fully remember until the last few chapters of the story so it takes quite a while to reach that point.

And Maire’s ability to infuse emotions or ideals into her baking was interesting but I found myself wishing for a bit more reasoning behind it. I mean, after learning the truth of Maire’s identity I understood why she had the ability she did but I still found myself wanting more details. Again, we fall into the category of a thin layer of world-building ideas.

Still, I was able to read this book rather quickly and it held my attention enough that I didn’t stray too much. I do recommend this book, though not on an empty stomach. It will have you craving cookies, cakes, etc.

Where to Buy

You can find Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, and Book Depository, or most anywhere books are sold.

There is also currently a giveaway for this book on Goodreads, but hurry because the giveaway ends today (June 28th)

Guest Post: Check it Out: Suz Korb’s Newest Cover Reveal and Live Novel Writing

Hello, I’m Suz Korb and my new book project is titled: Flutterby Girl. Welcome to this cover reveal blog post, with a twist. And here’s the cover…

The twist is that this book hasn’t been written yet. I’m going to write it live on Patreon. I’ve written a novel live before, chapter by chapter, on my blog. And now I’m doing it again with Flutterby Girl!
I got the idea for Flutterby Girl, then I thought up a title, then I got the cover, and now I’m writing the story. It will go up on Patreon chapter by chapter, daily. You can read each chapter if you become my patron. I’m new at Patreon, so if problems arise I hope I can deal with them quick! It should be easy enough though.
I’ve decided to write my two most recent books live because it pushes me, and it makes my imagination flow more deeply.
Chapter 1 of Flutterby Girl is up on Patreon now and I hope you will join me in this young adult journey.

Author Suz Korb
Suz Korb Patreon
suzkorb.com
Twitter @SuzKorb
Facebook Author Page

Welcome to Mousai Books

Hey everyone, this is Danielle Thamasa. I’ve been looking for ways to increase my online presence for my writing and books for the past several months, and this is what I came up with.

I can honestly say that I was inspired by the amazing duo of Rachel and Brad Kelly from Colorworld Books. I met Rachel in 2014 at Ohio Comic Con, where I bought her first three books, and I’ve become a huge fan of Colorworld Books ever since. In 2015 I got to attend Ohio Comic Con as a part of Team Colorworld, and it was an amazing experience.

One of the big draws to Colorworld Books is that not only do they sell Rachel’s books (now available in e-book, paperback, illustrated, and–coming soon–comic), but they also team up with a number of amazing artists to sell paper and metal prints and bookmarks as well.

I like the idea of creative types helping other creative types, and that was where the idea for Mousai Books was formed. In college, my friend Signy Cullen and I tried to start up a new sorority on campus, Mu Psi, but delays with the Greek Council kept that from being a reality. Still, we kept Mu Psi alive in our hearts, and consider ourselves part of a sorority, even if it is unofficial.

Mu Psi–or Mousai–means Muse, and in Greek mythology, the Muses were goddesses of the arts. That idea now comes full circle with the creation of Mousai Books, which will be about far more than books. Signy Cullen and I are starting this group, but I hope to have artists and musicians and all sorts of other creative people to join on.

Mousai Books is a creative support group. We strive to help spread the word about the work of creators, whether that is just online, or at book signings and conventions. We will help each other out as we draft and edit and proof our works, and then help signal boost the final projects.

I’ll have a lot more to say about Mousai Books and the writing process in general soon, but until then, Welcome. I hope you all enjoy the site. If there is anything about the members of Mousai Books or the creative process you’d like to know more about, feel free to let me know.

You can find me (Danielle Thamasa) on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Goodreads, or e-mail me at danielle.thamasa@yahoo.com.

You can find Signy Cullen on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.