Trial by Fire: guest post + giveaway

Trial by Fire: guest post + giveaway

I love paranormal romances, but it’s rare to find one that hits all the right spots in combining fantastic magic-wielding, fun action scenes, nuanced characters with agency, and swoony romance. Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini arrowed right into the bulls-eye, however, and Lily Proctor’s development from an allergy-ridden, insecure klutz into a young woman who embraces incredible power in an alternate universe is handled with just the right touch. Lily is so painfully awkward in the beginning–and so obviously in love with a guy who doesn’t appreciate her–that I was nervous about whether the transition would feel right, but I loved the way she comes into her own. This book also hit on two of my GoodReads shelves that don’t see nearly enough action: the hilarious books shelf and the crush-worthy boys shelf! That’s right, a guy you wanna make out with AND a story that keeps you laughing…. Read more »

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Classic YA Discussion: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Classic YA Discussion: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Greetings, dear readers! We had a long book this month, so I’m not sure how many participants got through it, but we thoroughly enjoyed this one! We also have a long discussion, so we’ll get right to it. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for next month’s book info, plus a teaser for the exciting prize we’ll be giving away to for one of our readers who completes our classics readalong challenge! Layla: So, this has been on my to-read list for a few years, and I’m really excited that it’s the focus of our discussion this month. Things that I really liked: the incredible amount of detail that went into building Francie’s Brooklyn (the pickles and the coffee and the sugar buns! her trips to the public library! all of the various descriptions of clothing and the way each house and building was laid out!). A Tree Grows… Read more »

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Heir of Fire: Review

Heir of Fire: Review

Send help. Once again, the inimitable Sarah J. Maas has destroyed me. Darker, more animalistic and complex, with a spate of awesome new characters, greater sense of magic, and ever expanding locations, this series has started to fully realize its potential as truly epic fantasy. At last, the world of Throne of Glass feels as though it’s living up to the promise of The Assassin’s Blade when it comes to the scale of the story. This volume has a very different feel from its predecessors. The majority of the novel takes place outside of Rifthold, has Celaena separated from Dorian and Chaol, and features plots and locations that make the story fresh, new, and unpredictable. In many ways I can’t help but admire Maas for having the guts to to be true to her story when it’s so different from what readers have come to expect from previous books. But… Read more »

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Sacrifice (Elemental #5) by Brigid Kemmerer: review

Sacrifice (Elemental #5) by Brigid Kemmerer: review

No spoilers if you haven’t read this series yet. Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer brings everything full circle in the final installment of the Elemental series.  I’ve always had a soft spot for Michael, the responsible oldest Merrick brother, and it’s great that we finally get his story after seeing him take care of his brothers for the past couple of years. As with the titular Secret, sacrifice is a big theme in this book as the boys suffer life-changing losses, both physical and emotional. Michael’s on his own for much of the story, as he’s literally isolated himself from his brothers and his girlfriend Hannah after an explosive opening chapter. I love Michael’s strength, I love his steadfast loyalty, and I love that he looks past what people aren’t saying to understand what they really mean. As always, I also love the scenes when the boys use their powers to… Read more »

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The Kiss of Deception: review

The Kiss of Deception: review

I first read Mary E. Pearson’s The Adoration of Jenna Fox and was blown away by the beautiful language. The Kiss of Deception did not disappoint. This is a fantasy story filled with lush writing, a good mystery, and a strong female lead. Lia, like many young princesses in fantasy stories, is betrothed to be married, but instead of going through with the marriage, she runs away to live a life of anonymity as a bar maid. From this first act to the last page Lia goes through a massive transformation, from the girl who runs away from her problems and responsibilities, to a woman who takes control of who she is. I really loved seeing how she grew over the course of the story. The fantasy world was also very immersive. Although there was a bit of clunky exposition in the beginning, as the story went on the details… Read more »

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The Body Electric: Beth Revis guest post + giveaway

The Body Electric: Beth Revis guest post + giveaway

When a series ends, sometimes we just aren’t ready to let go of the characters we’ve come to love. Beth Revis’ Across the Universe trilogy is a favorite of many YA scifi readers, so everyone was understandably excited when the author announced that she would be releasing a follow-up story this year entitled The Body Electric! I was intrigued to hear that the author is self-publishing this new novel, which to me speaks to the degree of her love for her characters and for her fans. The author told me that only 350 copies of a very special edition will be printed, which will be available exclusively at her local bookshop Malaprops and at booksignings until they sell out. You can learn more about this fascinating experiment and the various other formats available in yesterday’s Publishers Weekly article on out-of-the box promotions. In an increasingly crowded marketplace, I think it’s… Read more »

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A Little Something Different: Review + Giveaway

A Little Something Different: Review + Giveaway

This book had me grinning like a fool within the first several pages (Buffy references?? Yes, please!) and kept the good feels coming all the way through. This is a very sweet story about two really good people who deserve to be together. It should be simple, right? They like each other, they have mutual interests and classes, and many friends/others are rooting for them. And yet it’s not simple at all. We are often our own worst enemy and this story proves that more than most. At its best this book is a funny, sweet and heartwarming examination of how our own perceived troubles and insecurities can get in the way of actual happiness. And what we can do about it. There are fourteen POV characters, none of whom are the couple in question. Each brings their own personalities and perspectives to the relationship. Not all are cheerleaders but… Read more »

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