It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.


Last Week I Read:

Campfire by Shawn Sarles (ARC)--Review to come at a later date
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Thair (4.5 stars)


Review that was Posted:

Stray Magic by Kelly Meding (ARC) (4 stars)


About to Start Reading:

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead


What I Hope to Start this Week:

Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black (ARC)


Other Posts of Interest:







Review--A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister's life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she'd have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias's devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.


After what was almost a two year wait I finally, finally read Sabaa Tahir's A Reaper at the Gates that continues the story of Laia, Helene, and Elias that left us pretty much hanging at the end of A Torch Against the Night! The wait was well worth it indeed, though sadly, even with recaps and my own notes, I still couldn't quite remember everything. But that's a problem I've become use to, lol!

Helene is intent on helping Markus kill Keris, for she wants to protect her sister, Livia more than anything. From both Keris and Livia's own husband, Markus. But it doesn't simply due to murder Keris, she has to get the people who support her to see her for what she truly is. Her first step in doing that is to find Elias, who everyone believes dead but Helene knows he's not. If she can prove he's alive that's one step in showing how incompetent Keri is.

Elias is struggling to adapt to his new Soul Catcher status, Shaeva is trying to teach him what she can, but he's wanting to be back with Laia more than anything else. Meanwhile we have Laia trying to do what she can to help the Scholars and also stop the Nightbringer from freeing the jinn. Laia is still reeling from the betrayal that was Keenan, but she moves past her old feelings remarkably well. Though the anger of said betrayal is still there.

I'll admit that things were pretty intense and slightly chaotic in this one. It took me a good couple of days to read it and throughout I was doing what I could to remember the past book which honestly, I need to work on not doing. There's no time for re-reading anymore, especially books of this length and quality. But as I was reading I was still able to follow the story along well enough, it's just trying to remember people other than our three narrators that made things slightly difficult.

I think the one thing that upset me about this book was the fact that our main characters had very little interaction with each other this time around. There were moments here and there when two of them were together in some way. But I miss that togetherness that Elias and Laia had in the previous two. Yes, they weren't always together back then but there were still enough moments of them being there together that helped keep me engage. This time it almost felt like we were reading three different stories going on with each of the characters because of that lack of interaction. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy the book, because I did! I really, really liked this one, I just wish the characters could've been together more. I have a feeling though that might happen in the next and final book, so I am eager for that one to release! Hopefully the wait for that one won't be as long.

Since the characters weren't together all that much, there wasn't much time for romance. Happily though, I will say there are a few stolen kisses in a place or two in the novel. I've become a sap now. I need to have just a little, tiny bit of romance in my novels now. I can't help it. It's become a sickness! Lol! It was sad that there weren't more, but there were some, so that's better than none I suppose. My heart aches for Laia and Elias' situation though.

I feel like in this one, our three favorites all undergo a transformation of sorts. They all change, whether it will be for the better or not will remain to be seen in the next book. I feel like we're at a good place for 2/3 the characters, the third remains unclear and heart-wrenching because of it.

The pacing was spot on in this one! There's a great deal of buildup and delivery to the events that are happening. It's hard to really get into detail about it because I don't want to lean towards spoiler territory, but I can say that the characters moved forward quite a bit. Of course there were the obstacles that were constantly tossing them back, but it made for great storytelling. 

There were some surprises along the way with this one as well. There was one that I can't say if I saw coming or not. It's possible. I think it was even thought upon at one point but it's been so long I can't remember if it's true! Lol! I'm eager to see what will happen in this final book to come! There was a great deal of action happening at the end of the novel that had me in a tailspin wondering what this will mean for the next step in the journey.

I wouldn't really say it ended with a massive cliffhanger. I've been seeing people agonizing over it and wanting the final book asap. I'm thinking it was more just for the love of the story than anything detrimental. Yes, things were happening quickly and we get a startling revelation at the end, but it's not a cliffhanger that had me screaming in agony. So that tells you while the wait for the final book will be long and painful, I won't be slowly dying and feeling as if my soul were being crushed day by day, piece by piece. Just your average agonizing wait for the next installment in a series! Lol!

A Reaper at the Gates was a read well worth the wait! It was as exciting and splendid as expected! The rich culture and exotic environment Sabaa has created is only the start of the appeal to this magnificent series! It's been quite the trip and I cannot wait to see how it will all come to an end! I can only hope that Sabaa won't crush my soul in the end! 


Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars





Stacking the Shelves--The Legendary Pt 2 Edition!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.


Whoa. This week was just whoa!! Real life wise nothing exciting happened or changed. Just the same old blahness, but book wise? WHOA!! 

Here's what I bought:


Legendary by Stephanie Garber--US edition SIGNED!!
Legendary by Stephanie Garber--Goldsboro edition!! Check out those shiny silver edged pages!! GORGEOUS!

Tell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger
Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh
The Little Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen & Ill. by MinaLima
The Merciless IV by Danielle Vega
Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir


Then I participated in two trades and my books came in this week! I was super excited to get these too!

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas--SIGNED and it's the Target edition! I initially gifted mine after I got it and when wanting to help someone get an ARC from their wishlist I decided to obtain this copy back! It's signed to a Melissa which is pretty close to Jessica when you think about it! Lol!!


THANK YOU Nikole!!


The Beast's Heart by Leife Shallcross--the UK ARC! I still need to read this one but I really liked this ARC cover and when I saw it up in the #booksfortrade I decided to put my offer in! 
THANK YOU Bridie!! 


Then the biggest surprise of the week was this little beauty...


My first ever ARC box!!! I was soooooooooooooo excited to receive this! For years I've longed to earn one of these! And I am so excited to read Grim Lovelies too! I love a good twisted read that has fairy tales woven in somehow! Can't wait to read this one!!



Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd (ARC)


THANK YOU HMH Teen!!


And then my Esty addiction came about again this week and I bought a few things! To be fair I bought most of these awhile back but one was a preorder and the other was bought over a holiday weekend...so they took awhile to process and ship! They just all happened to arrive this week!!


 I got this fabulous Mermaid Scales book sleeve from Story Time Sleeve--yes another book sleeve, but I didn't have a mermaid themed one yet and I was on the hunt for one! Of course I was sent in a tail spin this week when I watched my item ship from my own state and was sent ALL THE WAY TO NORTH CAROLINA for reasons unknown! I had to wait extra days for it to be sent back to me! It was scary because the print was so exclusive and I was panicking by it being sent elsewhere! Whew!!

Then I got two candles--finally picked some--from Cornerfolds Candles, who's also my good friend Tracy from Cornerfolds! I picked out Caraval which smells really good! A good mix of vanilla sweetness and strawberries! And then I got Warbringer which was Wonder Woman inspired and also vanilla based. It has a coconut smell to it too which makes me think of beach-y things! Can't wait to burn them...but might have to wait for fall weather when my ceiling fan gets turned off for the season! Lol!

And then I finally was able to buy the Night Court pin from Dust and Pages! It sold out the first time before I could decide to buy it, so when it came back in stock I impulse bought it! Lol! Now I just need to buy a banner for all these bookish pins! And here's a closeup of the gorgeous pin:




And that my friends was my amazing haul this week!! I was pretty surprised of how much I got in this week alone! Though 4 books were preorders, 3 were ordered last week, so those were preplanned buys while the last one was an impulse buy in anticipation of the Richelle Mead signing I plan to attend later this month! Then you know, trades, review books, and Etsy goodies! So yeah...this was a wild week, but I loved it--book wise!

Still working on finding my last 2 UK Legendarys which I am in a blind panic over since the second print run has begun! Wish me luck!!! I WILL NEED IT!


What did you all get this week?










Let's Discuss: 20 Questions Book Tag

I saw this tag over at Nicola Reads YA, who in turn saw it over at Jenny in Neverland! I thought it looked like fun! I get into these book tags every now and then, as long as they are questions I can feel like I can answer. None of those dreadful "what's your favorite X" ones!


HOW MANY BOOKS IS TOO MANY BOOKS IN A SERIES?

Hmm...this one is hard. It really, really depends on how the author is writing them. There were times I felt like some books just dragged and I saw no point to them. Like how did this help the main character get to her final end point. Other times I felt like series weren't long enough, such as Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. I mean 13 was a good number, but that's a series I felt like could go on forever since the novels were standalones in a way, with a few things carrying over with the characters' histories and fate. I can't really put a number to this because as I said, quality matters. Trilogies are always fun though! ;)


HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLIFFHANGERS?

I have a love/hate relationship with them. Seriously. There are times I am just like OMG! I didn't see that coming! Or I did and KUDOS! Lol! The real killer is the wait for the next book. So if I was smart and decided to wait to binge read the series I have no problem with them, if I was crazy and read the books as they released I kick myself for my need to rush! Lol!


HARDCOVER OR PAPERBACK?

In the long run, I like my hardcovers. They are so pretty and look great on the shelves and it's easier to have the author sign them if you can use the cover jacket to mark the proper page--though extensive travel has caused me to leave the dust jackets behind to prevent damage. Mass market paperbacks were always fun because I can fit them into my purse and pretty much read anywhere should the occasion call for it! Both have their positives, so again, can't really claim one as ultimate victor!


FAVORITE BOOK?

Oh come on!! Lol! I will go with one of my old and true and classic favorites, Old Magic by Marianne Curley! *bet you thought I was going to say Demon in My View! Lol! That's still a fave too though. I am feeling magical like today so I went with my magic themed book that was a beloved favorite that I re-read endlessly when the YA shelves were sparse with the magic and paranormal reads.


LOVE TRIANGLES, YES OR NO?

Another complicated answer. I can't say that I love love triangles, but I will admit I like them. Sometimes. They have to be written right though. Too many times I felt like love triangles were just thrown in to have the heroine fret about "her choice" that had to be made. I have read a few books where I really couldn't decide which guy I liked best, or I did lean towards one more but still liked the other. Those are the love triangles that I love to obsess over!


THE MOST RECENT BOOK YOU COULDN'T FINISH?

Hmm...I want to say it was Furyborn by Claire Legrand. There had just been SO much hype about it that when I got it for review I was immediately expecting to be swept away. But try as I might I couldn't get into it and quickly found myself daydreaming about other things and books so I just set it aside pretty much right away.


A BOOK YOU'RE CURRENTLY READING

Currently I am reading Sabba Tahir's A Reaper at the Gates after a looooooooong loooooooong wait since I was ever so lucky to read the second book as an ARC. The wait has been a long time coming! I am liking it and hoping to get it done within a few days.


OLDEST BOOK YOU READ?

That would likely be The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales as it looks like those were published in 1812--if Goodreads is to be believed. Fairy tales are where my paranormal obsession started! Magic, witchcraft, curses, fairies...it's no wonder why I love the genre so much! Lol!


THE NEWEST BOOK YOU'VE READ?

Well, that's still my current read A Reaper at the Gates since that just released this week! Or I guess you could say Campfire by Shawn Sarles because that doesn't release until next month! Lol.


FAVORITE AUTHOR?

Again with the favorite questions!! Lol! Favorites that come to mind Jennifer L. Armentrout, Kelley Armstrong, Jeaniene Frost, Stephanie Garber, Kerri Maniscalco...the list goes on and on!!


BUYING BOOKS OR BORROWING BOOKS?

Well, I guess it's pretty obvious that I am book buyer. Could be worse. I could be obsessed with designer purses like my sister was before she had her daughter! Lol!


A BOOK YOU DISLIKE THAT EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO LIKE?

Throne of Glass. Try as I might I just didn't get swept away with that one like everyone else it seems.


BOOKMARKS OR DOGEARS?

You have to ask? Bookmarks for the win!!!


A BOOK YOU CAN ALWAYS RE-READ?

Re-read? What is this? I never have time for re-reading anymore what with all the books I have waiting to be read for the first time. But if I HAD to pick, I'd say Old Magic by Marianne Curley or Demon in My View by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes!


CAN YOU READ WHILE LISTENING TO MUSIC?

Not really. I prefer near silence when I read. Music would distract me, but I did use to read while listening to music while in school because it was better than hearing a hundred different conversations. So I guess it depends. If I have to listen to music to drown out even more noise I will, but if I have the choice I'd take silence any day!


ONE POV OR MULTIPLE POVS?

I've read so many over the course of my life. I find I don't really have a preference. One point of view is what I was used to back in the day but I have found that multiple points of view can be fun...as long as there's not like a dozen of them! Too many makes it too complicated to keep up! Lol!


DO YOU READ A BOOK IN ONE SITTING OR OVER MULTIPLE DAYS?

Generally it's over multiple days. Though there are times when I can manage to read one book in one day. It really just depends on how long the book is and how busy I am in that day.


ONE BOOK YOU READ BECAUSE OF THE COVER?

Oh, I'm sure most of you already know, but I'll share again for any newcomers. I saw this cover once at RT 2010 and it was just love at first sight! I had to have it! I had to read it! And I did...eventually...when it was released because sadly there were no ARCs there at that time! Naturally, that cover was 13 to Life by Shannon Delany!

I'm still obsessed with this cover to be honest! I need it as a poster in my room...though I am severely lacking in wall space. Sigh...



Well that's the end of the tag! For any of you who have been reading and think it looks like fun, consider yourself tagged!!

And because this was sort of like a discussion, let's count it as one!


 



Let's Discuss: The Return

A long, long, looooong time ago there was a world where Paranormal YA books were extremely hard to find. There were some, but not many. I tried reading Contemporary YA but it just wasn't working, so I decided to leave the YA genre and venture over to the adult side of the store. I wanted Paranormal reads and little drama. A lot of the contemps I was picking up were rife with drama and it just wasn't for me. I needed my monsters. But then one day, I was told to give this particular YA book a try. It involved vampires and it was YA and my friends in a discussion group were really pushing me to read it. So I did. And I found I LOOOOVED it! It was pretty much like my "adult" reads I was reading, only the characters were teenagers and soon I found myself slowly returning to the YA world!

My Return to YA


The book that brought me back was Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead! I positively LOVED it! It was so exciting and snarky and Rose was just a character I really enjoyed! It was after I binge read the first three books and was agonizingly waiting the fourth one to release that I started seeing other titles that were of interest to me! YA books that were paranormal in nature and were calling my name! And it was then I was noticing my "adult" authors were also writing YA, such as Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison! I was in love! 

I call the years without any Paranormal YA books the dark days. The years in my teen life were pretty dark as there were few and far between books for me to read in those days. Reading was and still is my escape from reality, so I needed a book to help keep myself sane from the insanity of life that surrounded me! The fact that I had to wait another odd amount of years for these books to come out both saddened me, just a little, but I am still grateful that these books came out in my time! That I am still kicking it around to be able to read them!

Or else, you know, I'd be haunting the bookstores trying to pull a Patrick Swayze to read the books once they are on the shelves! Lol!!

Is there a book that brought you back to a genre you thought you left behind for good? Do you still read that genre? 






Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
 
 
This week's question is: You have just won a $100.00 Visa gift card. Will you spend the entire amount on a rare collector's edition you have always wanted, or buy several newly-published books? Explain your choice. (submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)
 
 
 
MY ANSWER: I think I would be doing a round of preordering books! I can't say what titles exactly, because the timing is everything! Lol! Although, I will say if there was some super special edition of a beloved book that was out around the time of receiving the gift card, I can honestly say I would use it on that too! But since I don't have a specific special edition in mind, I'll go with the multiple new release preorders on the condition that no super special edition of a must have book exists! 
 
Never simple with me when it comes to books! Everything else and I am easily simple! Lol!!
 
 
 
 
 

Random Thursday

Let's try for round two of The Little Book of Answers by Doug Lennox! So far I am really liking this book! The first round of questions answered were quite intriguing! Let's see what we'll learn today!


(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
In the 10th Century, England gave the Scottish king land in London with the stipulation that he build a castle there and live in it for a few months every year in order to help stop the hostilities between their countries. In the 17th Century the two nations were united under one king and the land returned to English ownership. It was in 1829 when the London police took up residence on the land, which was then known as Scotland Yard. 


That's pretty interesting I think!


(image borrowed from the New York Post)
Wall Street's origins date back to September of 1653 when the settlers living in today's NYC felt threatened by Natives and the possibility of an invasion by Oliver Cromwell's army. To protect themselves, they built a large wall that stretched a half-mile across Manhattan Island. The wall was basically in the same place that would soon become the financial center of the world, Wall Street.



(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
Tin Pan Alley became the center of the song publishing industry in the late 1800s in NYC. Tin Pan Alley was actually a real place in the city and was the name of one of the side streets off Times Square. This was where music publishers auditioned for new songs. It was in the late 1800s when the sound of tinny pianos coming through open windows of the publishers reminded people of a beating against tin pans.


(image borrowed from The Lost Ogle)
The people of Oklahoma gained the nickname "Sooners" in the 1800s when the American West was first opened. Free land east to the Rockies was being offered to early pioneers but to keep everything fair, they were only allowed to take forty acres after a race to the region on a specific date and time. Those headed to Oklahoma basically cheated and left early before the official start of the race. They gained the name "Sooners" for they arrived "sooner" than the law abiding pioneers.


That's interesting! But wow, what a way to get a nickname, by cheating!


(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
The phrase, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" comes from St. Augustine who had sent St. Ambrose on a mission to Rome. Ambrose was concerned about being in a different place with different customs and whatnot, especially when it came to the holy day observation since Romans fasted on a different day than was his custom. St. Augustine basically told him to do as the Romans do.


I feel like this is sage advice. Just like when you go somewhere where the meal times may differ from your usual, you just go with the flow and eat at the later times--I guess this is more in line with being in a group of people from said "place". Lol! Traveling solo a lot, I still eat my meals whenever I am hungry!


(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
The word "hooker" was originally thought to come from the camp followers of Union General Joseph Hooker. Names used for his camp followers were ones such as "Hooker's division" or "Hooker's reserves" but that's a myth. The word actually predates the American Civil War, as does the profession. In 1845, the name first appeared when referring to an area of New York known as "the Hook" where the ladies of the night could be found in abundance.


I guess I never thought about the origins of "hooker."


(image borrowed from National Geographic Kids)
The origin of "male chauvinist pig" has quite the history. Chauvinism originally meant excessive patriotism and came from the name Nicolas Chauvin, a French general who was known for his utter devotion to Napoleon Bonaparte. "Male chauvinism" was a description of a man preoccupied with manly things during the 1950s and the word pig, was borrowed from the slur used on policemen, was added by the women's movement in the 1970s.


Quite a lot of borrowing all around, wouldn't you say? Lol! And look how cute this piggy is!!



 



Let's Discuss: Let's Make a Movie!

This next prompt which I am borrowing from my little list, is a doozie! One that both readers always have a love/hate relationship with. What we all desire and fear the most! You know what I am talking about...


A Favorite Book/Series that I Would Love to See Adapted to Film


There is nothing worse than seeing a beloved book being turned into a movie and having that movie suck major ass. One of my most beloved books, which I have already discussed, was turned into a movie and it SUCKED! As I mentioned the ONLY 2 things that were the same were the character NAMES and the fact that werewolf girl falls in love with human boy. And of course I am talking about Blood & Chocolate.

As to a book or series that I would love to see be made into film...and be made RIGHT! ie: DON'T DO what the Blood & Chocolate crew did...would be The Mediator series for sure! I LOOOOOVED Meg Cabot's Mediator series! I think that this would make a good movie or TV show. It might work better as a show since there are so many books and yet not enough books. It definitely has a Veronica Mars feel to it, even though the first book (in its first print run! I know a lot of people have the one where the covers all match, that one was printed in 05, so after/during Veronica) predated good ol' Veronica. There's mystery, sarcasm, sass, GHOSTS and of course, bits of romance thrown about here and there!

Another book I'd LOVE to see made into an epically amazing movie would be Marianne Curley's Old Magic! My first magical read involving time travel! This would make an oohhh so delightful movie! But again, it has to be done right and true to the novel. None of this branching out and making beloved characters annoying...sadly, I am thinking of Vampire Academy with that one! Not sure what happened in filming there (and of course this is just my own opinion! I totally love movies that people have LOATHED! So if you truly loved the Vampire Academy movie, kudos!).

Those two are definitely ones that come to mind! I was just daydreaming about Old Magic the other day too! Lol!