Jan 23, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you're continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.


Fan favorite character Kenji Kishimoto narrates this gripping companion novella to Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, set during the explosive events in Restore Me!

Juliette is still reeling from Warner's betrayal, and Kenji is trying to balance his friendship with her with his responsibilities as a leader of the resistance against the Reestablishment. Things get even more interesting when an unexpected person from Omega Point’s past surfaces.

The ending of Restore Me left readers gasping, and this novella full of Kenji’s signature sass and big heart is the perfect story to tide fans over until Defy Me, the shocking fifth book in the Shatter Me series, hits shelves in April 2019.
  



I still need to read Restore Me but you can bet I'm going to want this novella! It was the novellas that helped to truly win me over with the first trilogy installment so I am totally game for reading these new installments too!


TITLE: Shadow Me
AUTHOR: Tahereh Mafi
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
GENRE: YA Dystopian
RELEASE DATE: March 5, 2019 






 

Jan 22, 2019

Let's Discuss: Would You Rather...? Round 2

I suddenly had another idea for a "Would You Rather" post as it started out as me just talking about the kind of weather I prefer but then I thought I'd spin it into this type of post again! LOL!


Would You Rather Live with Hot Weather or Cold Weather?


It's cold right now. Really cold. I see some people are not too happy about it and yeah, snow isn't fun. Ice isn't fun either. But I honestly like the colder weather and would be totally happy with it lasting longer than hot weather.

In St. Louis we have two seasons Summer and Winter. Summer starts probably around mid-late April and doesn't let up until October. So yeah, it's friggin hot a loooong time here and I HATE it!!

It's always been my philosophy that with colder weather you can bundle up against the cold and keep yourself warm and comfortable. When it's hot and boiling and humid you can't do anything to keep cool. Nothing. There's nothing you can to do keep cool when you have to go out. It's miserable and unbearable. I HATE the heat! I've lived in St. Louis all my life and I am in no way whatsoever used to our summers and the ungodly humidity. I hate it. 

So yes, I am definitely someone who prefers the colder weather than hot weather. There are no in-betweens sadly. We literally get just a handful of days where the weather is actually nice and somewhere in-between, so basically Spring and Fall.


Though I feel like I'll know your answers, but what do you prefer? Cold or hot weather? Nothing in between! Lol.






ARC Review--Moonlight Scandals by Jennifer L. Armentrout

It takes a fearless woman to love the most scandalous man alive in New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s breathtaking novel

Even a ghost hunter like Rosie Herpin couldn’t have foreseen the fateful meeting between two mourners that has brought her so intimately close to the notorious and seductive Devlin de Vincent. Everyone in New Orleans knows he’s heir to a dark family curse that both frightens and enthralls. To the locals, Devlin is the devil. To Rosie, he’s a man who’s stoking her wildest fantasies. When a brutal attack on her friend is linked to the de Vincents, he becomes a mystery she may be risking her life to solve.

Devlin knows what he wants from this sexy and adventurous woman. But what does Rosie want from him? It’s a question that becomes more pressing—and more dangerous—when he suspects her of prying into the shadows of his past.

Now, the legends surrounding the de Vincents may not be myths at all. But if she’s to discover the truth, she must follow them straight into the arms of the man she can’t resist—the handsome devil himself.




I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Let it be said that there is never a dull moment in a Jennifer L. Armentrout book! I picked up her de Vincent series because one, I love a good mystery, two, eluded to paranormal elements, and three, it’s a JLA novel! It wasn’t long before I was completely addicted to this new series about three brothers and all the bizarre chaos that makes up their lives. And now, it’s the eldest brother, Devlin’s turn to tell a story and to find love in Moonlight Scandals!

Rosie is our heroine who was good friends with Nikki in the previous book. I had a riot of a time with the sneak peek that shows her and Dev’s first conversation in her house. I knew that this book was going to be amazing from the get go and Jennifer did not disappoint! Rosie is a force not to be reckoned with! She’s fierce and brave and follows her heart in nearly all matters, so when Nikki was hurt and needed a friend, she was there. Then in walks Dev (with Gabe in tow of course) and she’s already none too pleased with him since he clearly forgot about their first meeting just a few days ago. The two have an instant reaction to one another and I just love it.

Everyone seems to tiptoe around Dev, he does have the nickname of The Devil after all, but Rosie barely blinks an eye at his “fierceness” and tells him what’s what. And god I love this girl! I would sooo be best friends with this woman!

The story sort of takes off when Rosie has her annual séance to try to contact her deceased husband but instead she gets in touch with a different spirit, one who has an eerie message that ties to the de Vincents.  Rosie has the suspicious feeling that the spirit is Lawrence, the de Vincent brother’ father, who claims he was murdered. Though trying to get a sensitive message like that to one of the de Vincent brothers is easier said than done.

That mystery that seems to have been simmering behind the scenes of the past two books finally comes to fore in this final installment of the story! The odd moments and secrets that you only ever had an inkling of are finally addressed and answered! And to make things even more fun, more secrets and twists are added into the story. I can honestly say I didn’t really see things coming in the way that they did. One thing I always sort of wondered more than suspected does turn out to be true in a roundabout sort of way! It’s fun when your theories end up proven correct in the end! Lol.

I have to say that the romance here was probably one of my favorites! Although I probably said that about every de Vincent novel. Dev has come off as the cold and distant brother. The one who is aloof and you have to wonder if he even has any feelings. Well, you’re about to be very surprised by this one! Dev wasn’t a character I thought I would truly fall in love with, but oh the wow. Yes, oh the wow! And this is largely due to Rosie’s character because she absolutely challenged him! She defied him at every turn it seems like and was never afraid to tell it to him straight. She completely confounded Dev and I could practically see the moments where his eyes bugged out! Lol.

Their relationship wasn’t an easy one. There was a lot of dislike, distrust, and the like happening. But come on, this is a romance novel, so we all know how it’s going to turn out! And Jennifer writes it out so beautifully! I never really thought of myself as a romance reader until I started reading Jennifer’s books! I will stipulate that they are more paranormal/suspense romance reads though! Lol.

The ending to this one was spectacular! The way the mystery turns out was shocking! I was floored by the reveals and other eventual outcomes! The epilogue was the icing on the cake though. I am only sad that this series is over, but I absolutely cannot wait to see what Jennifer will write next!

If you like romance, suspense, mystery, and just a dash of the paranormal, the de Vincent trilogy is for you! Though I do recommend reading them in order, while each book is a story surrounding one brother in particular, plot lines do carry over and there’s no need to be spoiled by trying to read one brother’s story first over another! Speaking as the youngest sibling, it’s always best to start with the youngest! Lol!


Overall rating 5/5 stars


Moonlight Scandals releases January 29, 2019





 

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker.



Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page

3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.



"How was she supposed to talk to a man if she wasn't trying to con him? She realized she had no idea." Kindle loc. 5%*



*Quote comes from the eARC therefore it and its location are not final. 










TITLE: Stolen Time
AUTHOR: Danielle Rollins
PUBLISHER: HarperTeen
GENRE: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: February 5, 2019






Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. 


This week's topic is: Books I Meant to Read In 2018 but Didn’t Get To


*in no particular order


10. SHADES OF WICKED by Jeaniene Frost--been dying for this book to exist for ages and do I read it right away? No. I was tied up and still am in other book commitments!
9. 99 LIES by Rachel Vincent--I love me a Rachel Vincent book and I had really hoped to read this one right away since I read the first as an ARC and you know how my memory is! Lol.
8. NEVERWORLD WAKE by Marisha Pessl--this one just sounded so awesome after I read a few reviews. I thought I would squeeze it in around Halloween-ish time, but no dice.


7. THE EXTINCTION TRIALS by S.M. Wilson--this one sounded amazing! The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park?! I didn't read or see the former but know of its concept and I loved Jurassic Park (the movie)!
6. BREATH OF FIRE by Amanda Bouchet--I reallllly wanted to get back to this series but did I? Nope.
5. THE SWEETEST BURN by Jeaniene Frost--I'm in trouble with this series! I read the ARC of book 1 over 4 years ago and have very little memory of it and naturally it was long before my notekeeping days. I might just have to break my no rereading rule for this one!


4. THE NAMED by Marianne Curley--ironically I was (and am) planning to break my no rereading rule--which the rule exists because of time constraints--to start this series over again so I could better read the fourth installment which was added just last year!
3. NIGHTBLOOD by Elly Blake--I really wanted to just dive into this one right away. But again, other book commitments came up that prevented that!
2. BY A CHARM AND A CURSE by Jaime Questell--I had heard good things about this one and really thought I would read it within a few weeks of getting it, but as you can see that didn't happen!


1. THE RETURN by Jennifer L. Armentrout--every year I say I'm going to start this series and every year I seem to get caught up with other books. Will this be the year I finally read it? God I hope so! Lol!




 

Jan 21, 2019

ARC Review--A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.
 


I received this ARC in a fair trade on the booksfortrade hashtag. My review is completely honest and voluntary, I was in no way compensated for this review. 


A Curse So Dark and Lonely is my first book by Brigid Kemmerer and it was a positively beautiful and amazing read. I pretty much love any kind of Beauty and the Beast retelling and Brigid's is bound to be a favorite for a long time! It uniquely combines fantasy world with our modern real world and I just love that kind of combination.

Rhen is cursed. Every winter he turned into a beast, so every fall he sends his guard, Grey, out to bring a girl from our world back with him so he can try to have her fall in love with him and break the curse. He's failed every time the last 300+ years. The enchantress who cursed him, aptly named Lilith, tells him that this will be the last time for the curse. He must either succeed to break the curse or he will remain a beast for all time. ;)

Harper is from our modern world and has had a rough go of things lately. Her mother has cancer and is dying, her dad is MIA, which leaves her and her brother, Jake, to try to get to by. Jake has to work for "bad people" in order to pay their father's debts to them. It's when Harper is on lookout for Jake on such job that she witnesses what she thinks is a kidnapping. While trying to stop it she inadvertently brings herself to the fantasy world when Grey decides to take her instead. And so begins our tale as old time.

Harper is not too pleased to be in this other world and Rhen isn't too pleased as Harper isn't what he expected. Things are just complicated. But as you can expect, things slowly change over time. Harper shakes up Rhen's life. Her escape attempts end up leading to helping people. Rhen has been slacking in that area for years because of the curse. While it's been 300+ years for him, for his people it's been more like five. Time moves different within the curse. It gets explained rather well early on, so don't worry about any confusion. I had none of that while reading.

Soon Harper is helping Rhen to better his kingdom, in trying to do more for the people he's forgotten. In doing so they uncover quite the nefarious plot as a neighboring ruler has their own plans for Rhen's kingdom. But that's not their only problem, Lilith visits frequently. She, as well, clearly has her own plans for Rhen, ones that were centuries in the making.

All the while Rhen was subtly trying to get Harper to fall in love with in and break his curse. Though she clearly was having none of it. At first, naturally. Though we all know Beauty and the Beast to be a great love story, this one didn't put such emphasis on romance. It was still there, but I liked seeing it evolve over time. Much like our favorite Disney movie, though obviously it's a longer draw out then the 90 minute movie!

I liked that Harper wasn't your perfect heroine either. It's not often that you have a fantasy heroine with any sort of medical issues. I don't know much about cerebral palsy, but I could relate to some of Harper's struggles, as I have an entirely different condition that prevented me from some of the things that she struggled with too. 

I liked how this one did well to follow the original fairy tale and yet still shine on its own. It was more like Brigid chose to use similar aspects to the story rather than make it a slightly twisted retelling. Like using two different worlds that are parallel. At one point Harper is allowed to return home to see her family, though, unlike Beauty, she longs to return to Rhen, for she is perhaps falling in love with him and wants to help him break his curse.

The pacing to this was very ideal. It's a story that isn't really fast paced to begin with, but I felt like Brigid did exceedingly well to keep the story moving. I never felt like things were dragging. although I will admit to getting a little confused with some of the history of Lilith. She had a bit of backstory, but I'll admit I couldn't quite follow it. Though, I was traveling at the time and can easily blame that as the cause.

The ending was pretty perfect. Coupled with an epic battle with shocking conclusions, it ended in a way that was just right. I do believe this is a series of some sort. That's all I really know at this point. While we aren't left with any dire cliffhangers, thank goodness, we are left with a pretty revealing revelation. And of course the ever present, what will our characters do next? Because there simply must be a next of some kind.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely was my first Brigid Kemmerer book but it certainly won't be my last. It was a magical story that I whole-heartedly loved, even if Harper wasn't a bookworm, tragically. It had all the right elements of a Beauty and the Beast tale and of course the twist and turns of a retelling with an added bit of magic truly made this book a unique and enjoyable pleasure!


Overall Rating 5/5 stars


A Curse So Dark and Lonely releases January 29, 2019







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:

Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen (ARC) (3 stars)
Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok (ARC)--Review to come at a later date


Review That Was Posted:

The Cold is Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale (ARC) (3 stars)


Currently Reading:

Stolen Time by Danielle Rollins (ARC)


What I Hope to Start This Week:

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller (ARC)


Other Posts of Interest:

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays
New Year's Resolutions Book Tag
Waiting on Wednesday
Let's Discuss: Would You Rather...?
Random Thursday
Book Blogger Hop
Stacking the Shelves





Jan 20, 2019

Stacking the Shelves

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.


Well this week wasn't anything too special. Not bad. Not great. Just meh. Next Sunday I FINALLY have my first book signing for the year! Feels like ages since I been to one instead of just this past November! LOL!


Here's what I got this week:

Stain by A.G. Howard
Summoned to Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones--SIGNED!!


Other goodies that I got this week:

A bookmark from Summoned to Thirteenth Grave AND a cute little Skull Key charm! It mimics the one on the cover and I'm totally getting a chain for it!



My preorder swag from The Wicked King!!


My preorder gift for The Darkest Star! Green nail polish!!! :D


And then I bought myself yet another cute coin from LitJoy Crate in their A La Carte section! As I mentioned before I am a TOTAL DORK when it comes to fancy coins! Lol! So I had to get me my charmed Galleon to show my DA Membership!




And that's it for me for this week! So not a bad week since I really only just added the one book to my TBR pile as I've read Darynda's already! What did you all get?





 

 

 

Jan 18, 2019

Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
 
 
This week's question is: Is there anything that drives you bonkers when you're reading a book and makes you want tell the author a thing or two? (submitted by C. Lee @ cleemckenziebooks)
 
 
MY ANSWER: Sometimes it's the overuse of slang. There was one book I was reading that had a character who literally sounded like a teen from a bad 90s teen movie. It was just awful!
 
Another thing that tends to drive me nuts is repetitive use of a particular word or action. There was one book that I swear had the heroine saying "Mmm" like three times on one page! Naturally, the "Mmm" wasn't always in regards to food. Maybe two of the three were. I don't know, but too much repetition drives me nuts! I get it when it's like a trademark of the character to do or say something on a regular basis, but sometimes I wish some authors could dial it back a bit!






Jan 17, 2019

Random Thursday

All righty! Time to see what mistakes were made in the Disney Desk Calendar of 2018! Some were even repeated ones, which just shocked me! Clearly they didn't get my memos! Lol!


While there is no mistake here, it was a picture and factoid that was totally repeated! It was last seen in 2016!



Here was another repeated MISTAKE! It was saying Mushu and Cri-Kee are scaring away the bad guys when really they were just scaring away the guys working the fireworks!
 

I'm sad to see that Disney did not catch this mistake from 2013 and instead they reused it! While in some way the fact of the matter is correct, but the part where Pascal "draws a picture of a monster" is clearly wrong as it was Mother Gothel who drew it to scare Rapunzel!


Another mistake from 2013 that goes unchecked and gets reused! "With the help of a bit of fairy dust, anyone can fly." But they were wrong! It was pixie dust!! I mean come on! Peter even says "you need a little bit of pixie dust!" Though it is odd since Tinkerbell is a fairy...why does she have pixie dust? Whatever. The calendar is still wrong to call it "fairy dust."


I believe this is a new mistake from 2018! I checked through all my blog posts and I couldn't find it anywhere, so it must be new! Lol! It basically implies that Cinderella is looking out the window in the morning, for she "greets each morning with a smile." Though this is the point where she is looking longingly at the castle wishing she could go to the ball and when she turns back around she sees the dress her little animal friends helped fix up!



All in all, not a bad year! Not too many mistakes from Disney, but I am ashamed they reused pages that had mistakes in them! I wonder what 2019 will bring...:D






Jan 16, 2019

ARC Review--Imprison the Sky by A.C. Gaughen

Stolen from her family as a child, Aspasia has clawed her way up the ranks of Cyrus's black market empire to captain her own trading vessel--and she risks it all every time she uses her powerful magic to free as many women, children, and Elementae from slavery as she can.

But Cyrus is close to uncovering her secrets--not only that Aspasia is an air Elementa with the ability to sail her ship through the sky, but that she is also searching for her lost family. And if Aspasia can’t find her younger siblings before Cyrus does, she will never be able to break free.

Armed with her loyal crew full of Elementae and a new recruit who controls an intriguing power, Aspasia finds herself in the center of a brewing war that spans every inch of the ocean, and her power alone may not be enough to save her friends, family, and freedom.




I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

 

It feels like ages since I read the first The Elementae book by A.C. Gaughen, Reign the Earth and diving into the second installment, Imprison the Sky, was a little more difficult than I thought it would be. Mostly because we center around new characters, although, Aspasia did make an appearance in the first book, I just don’t remember it all that well, so to me it felt like dealing with a new character outside Shalia’s circle. While I do enjoy having new characters tell their story to some extent, I just felt a little lost with this one. Probably because I didn’t realize that this series would likely move in other directions with other characters and I was just focused on our main one.

Aspasia’s story was an interesting one to say the least. She’s basically a pirate and part slave as she’s forced by her owner to go around the seas and countries and acquire more slaves for her to sell. Though Asp has her own set of rules when it comes to all that, she’ll free everyone but only turn in the men and let the women and children free. All the while, she secretly looks for her younger brother and sister who were lost to her when they were children. They were all sold separately that fateful day and she’s never seen them since, but keeps a look out for them. She’s also a wind Elementae which helps with the sailing around the ocean if she can control the breeze.

When she acquires a new batch of slaves that she intended to free, one happens to be Kairos, who is Shalia’s brother. Though I can’t recall if he was in the first book, memory problems I tell you, kill! But anyway she’s a pest she can’t seem to get rid of. He’s not accustomed to her way of pirate life and doesn’t really approve of some of her methods, yet he stays. Naturally, a love connection starts to grow between these two. It was slow building, but the attraction was always there.

Asp is given one final mission and if she completes it correctly and successfully, she will have earned her freedom. She has to bring in one large batch of slaves to her owner, including women and children this time, but Asp isn’t sure she can do that. Risks will be taken. Deals will be made. There will be betrayals, heartbreak, and deception. There’s a lot that’s about to happen to Asp and her crew.

Once again I found myself caught reading a book that I found was a bit slower paced than I would have liked. The story was still engaging for the most part, yet I felt like things dragged a bit. I kept waiting for the high point of action to come and it would, eventually. I’m just starting to wonder if this series is cut out for me. I enjoyed Shalia’s story in the beginning, though I recall that too being a tad on the slow side.

Pacing is kind of a big thing for me, though I will admit I’ve read slower paced books that have kept me engaged with the world-building and characters. And while I do like this world and the characters aren’t bad either, I just don’t feel that spark or connection with this series like I had hoped. It’s not a bad read, not at all. I just don’t think this series is cutting out to be one for me, sad as it may be.

If you’re looking for a series that’s rich with culture and mythology and heavy dose of magic, this one might just be for you. Two books so far have had a slower pacing to them. Things are happening, they’re just happening at slower rate with a lot of buildup to the highlights. The characters are still deep and engaging and likeable, but sadly I’m not feeling it like I had wanted to. Still a series to check out if you feel so inclined. I would recommend starting at the beginning despite this looking like it might be a series with a new cast of characters each time, they are all connected and details will carry over, which means spoilers will carry over too.



Overall Rating 3/5 stars



Imprison the Sky releases January 22, 2019