Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 End of Year Book Survey






Number Of Books You Read: 43 (novels & non-fic), 242 (plus manga)
Number of Re-Reads: 3
Genre You Read The Most From: I read a bit of everything this year!




1. Best Book You Read In 2015?


The Fill-In BoyfriendTrial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy, #1)Tuesdays at the CastlePrudence (The Custard Protocol, #1)Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your LifeThe Ancient Magus' Bride Vol. 3

YA CONTEMPORARY: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
YA NON-CONTEMPORARY: Trial By Fire by Josephine Angelini (review)
MIDDLE GRADE: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George (review)
ADULT: Prudence by Gail Carriger
NON-FICTION: Roadmap by Roadtrip Nation
MANGA: The Ancient Magus' Bride vol. 3 by Kore Yamazaki

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. SO disappointing.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

GOOD: The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten (review)

BAD: Court of Fives by Kate Elliott (review)
5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

STARTED: 
Trial By Fire by Josephine Angelini (review)
SEQUEL: Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
SERIES ENDER: Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carriger

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Josephine Angelini

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?


The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten (YA Contemp) (review)

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Nobody's Goddess by Amy McNulty. I read it whenever and wherever I could and stayed up late to finish it (a very rare occurrence). (review)

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Prudence by Gail Carriger

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. No contest.

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Sophronia Temminnick (Finishing School series by Gail Carriger)

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?


A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life by Roadtrip Nation

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?

The Girl of Fire & Thorns by Rae Carson

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?


The poor young Pickleman. He'd had no chance from the moment he entered the room. If there were a book on befuddlement with evil intent, Sophronia had just thrown it at him.  
At which point she hauled off and hit him with it.        
                                                             --Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

SHORTEST: The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna

LONGEST: Court of Fives by Kate Elliott (review)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Firewalker by Josephine Angelini. ROWAN HOW COULD YOU. (review)

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Lily + Rowan (The Worldwalker Trilogy by Josephine Angelini)

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Ray + Ada from Made to Kill by Adam Christopher (
review)

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:


Assassination Classroom vol. 1 by Yusei Matsui

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

The Leveller by Julia Durango (review)

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

All the worlds in A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Assassination Classroom vol. 1 by Yusei Matsui

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten (
review)

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

School for Sidekicks by Kelly McCullough (review)

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul Sanity?

I can't recall that my soul was ever crushed, but The Cage by Megan Shepherd seriously messed with my sanity. 
(review)

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?


The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle (review)

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?


The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. It sounded like exactly my kind of read but turned out to be one of the worst and most frustrating books I've ever read.





1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West


3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?


The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

SEQUEL: Raging Sea by Michael Buckley
SERIES END: Traitor's Pyre by Josephine Angelini

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

I haven't been able to read the illustrated reissue yet, but Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson! It is pure brilliance and absolutely hilarious with flawless writing, zany characters, and a completely original story. Releases 2/2/16 from Starscape (Tor).


*          *          *


And that's it! Did you read any of these? What did you think of them? And if you filled out the survey as well, leave a link to your post in the Comments!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday: THIEF OF LIES (Brenda Drake)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blogging event hosted by Breaking the Spine, in which one spotlights an upcoming release they are eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers, #1)
Title: Thief of Lies
Author: Brenda Drake
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Summary:
Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels-magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books-rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren't busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed.

Why I'm Looking Forward To It: Magical books that transport you to libraries all over the world? For that alone, be still my heart. 


So what book are you waiting on?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2016


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!


Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2016

Raging Sea (Undertow, #2)The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1)Tell the Wind and FireDark EnergyA Criminal Magic
Night SpeedThe Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1)Starflight (Starflight, #1)The Geek's Guide to Unrequited LoveThief of Lies (Library Jumpers, #1)
  1. Raging Sea (Michael Buckley) 
  2. The Girl From Everywhere (Heidi Heilig) 
  3. Tell the Wind & Fire (Sarah Rees Brennan) 
  4. Dark Energy (Robison Wells)
  5. A Criminal Magic (Lee Kelly)
  6. Night Speed (Chris Howard)
  7. The Crown's Game (Evelyn Skye)
  8. Starflight (Melissa Landers)
  9. The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love (Sarvenaz Tash)
  10. Thief of Lies (Brenda Drake)


So what are your most anticipated 2016 releases?

Monday, December 21, 2015

Review Hiatus


Due to a serious reviewing slump beyond my control (I've been struggling against it but to no avail T-T), after a month of no posted reviews I'm officially calling a hiatus until the new year. I will use the rest of December to try and get a few drafts polished enough for publication and in doing so hopefully rediscover my reviewing mojo! In the meantime, my other regular blog features should continue as scheduled. My ardent appreciation to everyone who continues to stick with me. <3  Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Book Blitz: ASCENDANCY (Karri Thompson) Excerpt + Giveaway!


Welcome to my stop on the YAReads ASCENDANCY Book Blitz! ASCENDANCY is the second book in The Van Winkle Project trilogy by Karri Thompson, which released November 30, 2015 from Entangled Teen! Check out the excerpt below and then enter to win a signed copy! (Haven't heard of the series? Check out the first book, MIRROR X, along with an excerpt here!)


THE BOOK

Ascendancy (The Van Winkle Project, #2)

Title: ASCENDANCY
Author: Karri Thompson
Series: The Van Winkle Project #2
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub. Date: November 30, 2015

I’ve been lied to, deceived, and manipulated—again. You’d think I’d be treated with dignity and respect. I’m the one who’s supposed to save humanity, right? I’m the one with the power to re-populate this dying world. But the clones want to control me, force me to give birth over and over again. And my daughters will face the same fate—unless I change it.

My awakening into this future should have been a chance for a new life, but it just promises a living death. With Michael on my side, though, maybe I can save us. He’s the only person I can trust.

I hear rumors of others… A secret society is growing. Tension is building.

A rebellion is imminent.


THE EXCERPT

Michael was the only good thing to come out of my awakening. I didn’t know how long we’d have together, but I realized I wanted to make every second with him count. Twisting to face him, I brought my right leg to the other side of his body and kissed him gently at first, and then a little harder as he brought his hands to my back, massaging his fingers against my shoulder blades.
His lips moved to my neck, and he slid his hand through the hair at the base of my head. I lay against him, savoring his warm breath at my throat as his chest pressed against mine.
“Duck!” Cradling my body, he scrambled to the floor, bringing me down with him.
“What?” I whispered.
“I saw something outside. A shadow. It looked like a person.”
“Victoria! I need to get her.” Crawling on my hands and knees, I entered the living room and picked up my sleeping baby.
“Behind the couch. Let’s go.”
“Watch her,” I said, and rested her on the floor next to Michael.
Drawing the laser pistol from my waist, I scooted to the edge of the couch where I could see the back door.
“I locked it,” he whispered, “but any Security guard or SEC can open it.”
The door slid open. I aimed my pistol, my arms and hands trembling.

THE AUTHOR

Karri Thompson, a native of San Diego, California, grew up hanging out at the beach, playing sports, and eventually attending San Diego State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in education.  When she’s not nerding out at San Diego Comic-Con or watching Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings movies for the umpteenth time, she can be seen doing normal people stuff like teaching high-school English, cooking delicious meals for her family (she attributes all of her culinary skills to the Food Network), and attending her son’s football games.  In her spare time, she writes young adult and new adult fiction, her biggest passion, and loves listening to hard rock music and going to concerts.  She hopes to live long and prosper, and that you will, too. Her debut YA novel, AMATEUR ANGEL, was released May 1, 2012, with the sequel, HOLLYWOOD ANGELS, September 1, 2013. MIRROR X, the first book in her YA dystopian trilogy The Van Winkle Project, released June 30, 2014.



THE GIVEAWAY

1 signed copy of ASCENDANCY (US only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 18, 2015

The #FridayReads Review (12/18/15)



Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
Insidious (The Twixt, #3)Black Butler, Vol. 21 (Black Butler, #21)

Insidious by Dawn Metcalf (PBK)
I've been in a serious novel reading slump so I decided a new book in a favorite series was in order! No surprise I was immediately sucked in with the first sentence and am quite enjoying it.

Black Butler vol. 21 by Yana Toboso (PBK)
I really enjoy this series, but I'm hoping this volume finally finishes the current arc - it definitely hasn't been my favorite, although it was certainly revealing.


>> ON HOLD <<
Radiant (Towers Trilogy #1)
Radiant by Karina Sumner-Smith (PBK)
While I am really enjoying this, it's not quite what I've felt like reading so I'm putting it on hold for now.


>> JUST FINISHED <<
Supervillains AnonymousThe Ancient Magus' Bride Vol. 2The Secret Sakura Shares

Supervillains Anonymous by Lexie Dunne (PBK)
2.5 Stars. FINALLY finished it. It started okay but I eventually had to force myself to read it and then couldn't bring myself to finish the last two chapters for over a month. Since it took me two months to read I can't recall exactly what my problems with it were, although I remember a lot of too-long chunks of either action or downtime that I had trouble pushing through. I partly blame my struggle on a wonky reading mood though, so I'll probably give it another try one day.

The Ancient Magus' Bride vol. 2 by Kore Yamazaki (PBK)
4.5 Stars. This is proving just my kind of story, with this volume even better than the first! After another serious cliffhanger, I can't wait to get my hands on the third!

The Secret Sakura Shares by Akira Hagio (PBK)
4 Stars. Sounded right up my alley so I took a chance and pre-ordered it one half-off B&N Manga Monday. Turned out to be sweet and funny and just what I was hoping for, although I wish the ending had wrapped up more. 


>> READING NEXT <<
Of the Red, the Light, and the Ayakashi, Vol. 1
Of the Red, the Light, and the Ayakashi vol. 1 by nanao & HaccaWorks* (PBK)
Another half-off B&N Manga Monday title. I adore stories relating to Japanese spirits, especially foxes, so when this popped up I couldn't resist!


So what are you reading this week?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Excerpt Blitz: THIEF OF LIES (Brenda Drake)


Today I am excited to be part of the Excerpt Tour for THIEF OF LIES, by Brenda Drake, Book 1 of the Library Jumpers series from Entangled Teen! I will read anything about a library, and this book will be no exception. Check out the book and excerpt below, add it to Goodreads, and pre-order a copy to earn yourself some awesome swag and be entered to win a prize pack!


THE BOOK
Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers, #1)

Title: Thief of Lies
Series: Library Jumpers #1
Author: Brenda Drake
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Teen  (book page)

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels-magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books-rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren't busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed.


PURCHASE LINKS:



THE EXCERPT

I pressed the screen, and it went dark. “How do we know he’s not being forced to say this?”
“The password, May Agnes guide you,” Lei replied. “She’s the patron saint of Asile.”
Agnes? That was the silver woman’s name that formed from my globe. Did the saints have something to do with the Chiavi?
I faced Ricardo. “How did you know I was here?”
“The werehounds tracked your scent from a shirt Katy…excuse me, your nana…gave us.”
“Can your pack help us save Couve?” Arik asked him.
“They will, but Gia must go with me.” He noticed the protest forming on my lips. “Merlin said no exceptions. I’m to get you to the shelter.”
From the corridor came yells, scuffles, and the continual wail of the warning siren.
“I can’t go with you,” I said. “I have to fight with them.”
“She can’t fight with us,” Lei said, glancing at the door. “She almost killed Kale.”
I turned to Sinead. “You know what I can do.”
Sinead gave me a pity smile. “Yes, but you have no control over it. Let Ricardo take you to your father and friends.”
I thought of Kale lying motionless, near death, and I hated that she was right. As much as I wanted to stay, I might be more hindrance than help. I caved. “Okay,” I said, defeated. Lei flew out of the room with the Laniars on her heels.
Sinead hugged me, then rushed after them. Arik moved over to me and cupped my face gently in his hands. His eyes held the intensity that always drew me to him.
I swallowed my breath in anticipation. All the sounds around us went silent.
He bent and lightly brushed my lips with a kiss. His lips were soft and oh, so tender. Butterflies swooped and curled inside me, and it felt like the ground disappeared from beneath my feet. He pulled back a little and said, “Regardless of the fact that you’re a royal pain in the arse, I fancy you. Listen to Ricardo and don’t do anything rash.”
He gave me another kiss and rushed out the door. My heart twisted in my chest as he disappeared. I touched my mouth and exhaled. He liked me. It was against the laws, but he told me he fancied me. Maybe we had no future, but we had now.
“What a sweet display,” Ricardo said, dragging me out of my haze. “I’m not one for rules or laws, but I’d be careful there. The punishment would be much worse for him than you.”
“Why?” I stared at the door as if I’d see Arik there.
“He’s a leader. He knows better.” Ricardo headed to the window. “Are you ready to fly?”
“Did you say fly?”


THE AUTHOR
Brenda Drake, the youngest of three children, grew up an Air Force brat and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When Brenda’s not writing or doing the social media thing, she’s haunting libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops or reading someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).


Cover Reveal: GOING GEEK (Charlotte Huang) + ARC Giveaway!

Today I'm excited to be a part of the Me, My Shelf & I cover reveal for Charlotte Huang's 2016 contemporary YA, GOING GEEK, which releases next fall from Delacorte/Random House! Check it out, add it to Goodreads, and then be sure to enter to win a signed ARC at the bottom! Now, the reveal!


THE COVER


Title: Going Geek
Author: Charlotte Huang
Publisher: Delacorte/Random House
Pub. Date: Fall 2016

In GOING GEEK, a girl is forced to stand up for who she really is - if she even knows - when her friends dump her and she is forced to hang out with the fringe crowd at school.



THE AUTHOR


Charlotte Huang is a graduate of Smith College and received an MBA from Columbia Business School, which is clearly something every aspiring writer should do. When not glued to her computer, she cheers her two sons on at sporting events and sometimes manages to stay up late enough to check out bands with her music agent husband. Charlotte lives in Los Angeles and is the author of For the Record (11/2015, Delacorte).



THE GIVEAWAY

1 Winner will get the very first ARC of GOING GEEK!
(Prize will ship when item becomes available.)

US only | Must be 13+ to Enter
Sweeps/Giveaway accounts are not eligible to participate. See Terms & Conditions for more info.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Top Ten (Twelve) Best Books I Read In 2015


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week's topic: 

Top Ten (Twelve) Best Books I Read in 2015
(in no particular order)

Prudence (The Custard Protocol, #1)Manners and Mutiny (Finishing School, #4)The Fill-In BoyfriendTuesdays at the CastleThe Leveller (The Leveller, #1)Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy, #1)Firewalker (Worldwalker, #2)The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)Rebel Mechanics (Rebel Mechanics, #1)Undertow (Undertow #1)A Bride's Story, Vol. 5Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life
  1. Prudence by Gail Carriger (review to come)
  2. Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger (review to come)
  3. The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West (review to come)
  4. Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George (review)
  5. The Leveller by Julia Durango (review)
  6. Trial By Fire by Josephine Angelini (review)
  7. Firewalker by Josephine Angelini (review)
  8. The Girl of Fire & Thorns by Rae Carson (review to come)
  9. Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson (review)
  10. Undertow by Michael Buckley (review to come)
  11. A Bride's Story vol. 5 by Kaoru Mori
  12. Roadmap by Roadtrip Nation

What were your best books this year?