Friday, September 30, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (9/30/16)

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!

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative BattlesHanda-kun 1 (Handa-kun #1)Imprudence (The Custard Protocol, #2)

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (PBK)
Discovered this on a publisher survey of all things and it has proved a much-needed kick in the pants! Well into Part (Book) 2 but beginning to neglect it as it's already done its job too well and I've begun working on my writing again instead of reading it.

Handa-kun vol. 1 by Satsuki Yoshino (PBK)
I've been really enjoying the Barakamon series so I was excited to finally try this prequel series, but I'm a chapter in and so far not impressed. Will give it another chapter or two, but my expectations aren't high.

Imprudence by Gail Carriger (ARC)
All my manga holds came in at the library at once so it's been slow going on the novel front as I devour quite an impressive manga stack. However I'm over halfway through now and still thoroughly enjoying it!

Let's Dance a Waltz 1
Let's Dance the Waltz vol. 1 by Natsumi Ando (PBK)
4 StarsLight, cute and fun! There is a serious case of instalove, but it's understandable for Himé's character. I really enjoy manga that teaches me something in an entertaining and engaging way, and I look forward to learning more about dance with this series!

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (PBK)
Everyone is talking about Crooked Kingdom this week and with the author visiting my local indie next weekend I'm really feeling the itch to read this now!

So what are you reading this week?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

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

Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR List

GlitterCaraval (Untitled, #1)The Continent (The Continent, #1)Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2)Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)The DiabolicWitch's Pyre (Worldwalker, #3)Lies I Live ByThe Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)The Iron Trial (Magisterium, #1)Horimiya, Vol. 5 (Horimiya, #5)
  1. Glitter (Aprilynne Pike) - I had the pleasure of beta-reading this a while ago and am excited to see how it's changed and grown since that draft! I've heard nothing but great things so far. 
  2. Caraval (Stephanie Garber) - I've been seeing so much excitement for this that since I have an ARC I simply must find out what all the fuss is about as soon as possible. 
  3. The Continent (Keira Drake) - Another title with great social media excitement right now, although I must say I discovered it before the excitement and couldn't have been happier to acquire an early ARC! 
  4. Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Claudia Gray) - I loved the first book but never got around to reading this second last year, so now that the third is out it's time to finally continue and finish this amazing series!
  5. Illuminae (Kaufman & Kristoff) - I won an ARC of the second book and am constantly hearing how good the series is so I've finally moved this to the short pile.
  6. The Diabolic (S.J. Kincaid) - This one has really intrigued me since the epic cover was revealed! Currently working to acquire an ARC.
  7. Witch's Pyre (Josephine Angelini) - I loved the first two books so much I'll be acquiring the hardcover (yes, hardcover - that's how excited I am to read this ASAP!) from the library and cannot wait to see how it all ends!
  8. Lies I Live By (Lauren Sabel) - Despite mixed reviews this has consistently intrigued me, so now that I've finally acquired an ARC I'm eager to read it.
  9. The Young Elites (Marie Lu) - I keep hearing how amazing this series is, although some have said it may be a little too dark for me? Moved it to the short pile to determine just how dark my tastes actually run for future reference.
  10. The Iron Trial (Black & Clare) - Despite being on the fence about Black books (loved Curseworkers, disliked Tithe) and possessing a general disinterest of Clare books, this catches my eye on the shelf every time I pass it so I think I'll finally give it a try and see if it's been worth hanging on to.
  11. Horimiya vol. 5 (Hero & Hagiwara) - Being me I of course have to include a manga title! This is my favorite contemporary romance series, and I still praise my library for stocking it for me to discover! After a drastic haircut of a cliffhanger in vol. 4, I'm dying to find out what happens next! (Releases October 25th.)

So what books are on your fall TBR list? Have you read any on mine? If so, what did you think?

Friday, September 23, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (9/23/16)

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!

Imprudence (The Custard Protocol, #2)
Imprudence by Gail Carriger (ARC)
While Gail is my favorite author, I have to be in the right mood to read one of her books (I'm really like that with most books, actually). Thankfully the mood finally hit me to pick up this sequel, so of course I lunged for it! No surprise I am thoroughly enjoying the return to the eccentric characters, entertaining world, and witty writing that I know and love.

Shadow Run (Kaitan Chronicles, #1)
Shadow Run by Strickland & Miller (ARC)
4 StarsWhile the first 50 pages were sadly slow, a few unexpected twists led to some amazing action and thrills despite long bouts of inaction in between. Great characters, interesting sci-fi setting, eventually engaging writing. The end was a little soft for me, but I will definitely be trying the next book in the series. Review to come.

Glitter by Aprilynne Pike (ARC)
Soon my pretty, soon...

So what are you reading this week?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Release Spotlight: Witch's Pyre (Josephine Angelini) & A Shadow Bright & Burning (Jessica Cluess)

Today I spotlight the final book in an amazing trilogy, and a stunning debut!

The first is Witch's Pyre, the third and final book in the Worldwalker trilogy by Josephine Angelini! I rather thoroughly enjoyed the first two (you can check out my reviews via links below), and have been eagerly awaiting this thrilling conclusion for well over a year! If you enjoy mystery and magic with amazing characters, the Worldwalker series is not to be missed.

The second is a magical debut, A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess! I had the pleasure of reading an early copy and found it an engrossing and enchanting read with vivid characters and engaging prose. Highly recommend for alternate historical horror fantasy lovers looking for an exciting read.

So if you haven't yet done so, check out both below!


Witch's Pyre (Worldwalker, #3)
Title: Witch's Pyre
Series: Worldwalker #3
Author: Josephine Angelini
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: 9/20/16

Lily Proctor has come a long way from the weak, sickly girl she used to be. She has gained power as a witch and a leader, found her way home, chosen to face battle again, and (after losing her first love and being betrayed by her new love) she has learned more about loss and grief than she ever wanted to know.

Thrust once again into a society different from anything they have ever seen, Lily and her coven are determined to find answers―to find a new path to victory, a way to defeat the monstrous Woven without resorting to nuclear weapons or becoming a tyrannical mass murderer like her alternate self, Lillian. But sometimes winning requires sacrifices . . . and when the only clear path to victory lies at Lillian's side, what price will Lily be willing to pay?

Internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini takes us on another emotionally wrenching thrill ride in the stunning conclusion to her Worldwalker Trilogy.

Add to Goodreads

Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Book Depository

Check out the rest of the series!

Trial by Fire (The Worldwalker Trilogy, #1)Rowan (Worldwalker, #1.5)Firewalker (Worldwalker, #2)

Book 1: Trial By Fire

Book 1.5: Rowan
Goodreads Amazon | B&N | iTunes

Book 2: Firewalker


A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire, #1)
Title: A Shadow Bright & Burning
Series: Kingdom on Fire #1
Author: Jessica Cluess
Publisher: Random House BYR
Release Date: 9/20/16

I am Henrietta Howel.
The first female sorcerer in hundreds of years.
The prophesied one.
Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one. 
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces a powerful, unforgettably heroine, and a world filled with magic, romance, and betrayal. Hand to fans of Libba Bray, Sarah J. Maas, and Cassandra Clare.

Add to Goodreads

Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Book Depository

Monday, September 19, 2016

Review: P.S. I Like You (Kasie West)

P.S. I Like You
Title: P.S. I Like You
Series: standalone
Author: Kasie West (site)
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Told: First Person (Lily), Past Tense
Content Rating: Teen (some kissing)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

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Review copy provided by publisher for an honest review. Thank you, Scholastic!

In a Sentence: A quick and sweet albeit predictable teen romance about misperception in the vein of Pride & Prejudice.

If you know me you know I am a huge Kasie West fan, so it will come as no surprise that this was my most anticipated release of 2016. It took me a long while to get my hands on an ARC (those who know me also know that no matter the author I just can't bring myself to read a contemporary romance in hardcover *shudder*), but when I finally acquired one and soon found myself with a long sick day on the couch, I ignored every other book I was currently reading to devour the delightful story beneath that adorable cover.

Although a little clumsy to start, as expected Kasie's signature easy writing style, engaging characters, and witty banter made for an overall quick and highly enjoyable read. The plot and all its facets were completely predictable, but I looked forward to the letters as much as the main characters, and their awkwardness lead to some relatable misunderstandings and misconceptions in their interactions with others. Lily's crazy family was fun and rather fascinating for someone like myself who was raised as an only child, and with all the absent parents in books nowadays it was refreshing to have hers fully present along with a few adorable albeit occasionally vexing siblings. Her family also cast a somewhat heartbreaking contrast on another's familial situation, making them a very sympathetic character despite their initial relationship with Lily and creating an emotionally charged and eventually tender end to the story.

All that said, I didn't feel this book was quite as polished as Kasie's previous ones, and the personally familiar setting needed a bit more detail for me. Also, while I could relate to the main characters' misconstrued good intentions, I struggled to fully consider the romance a good match because of their animosity towards each other. Even though their eventual reconciliation and connection was really sweet, I don't know if I truly bought it after how they treated each other for most of the story. However once the book was finished, I realized it did somewhat remind of me Pride & Prejudice, and after some contemplation resolved that if the characters could let their previous antipathy slide and just enjoy their newfound affection, so could I. ❤

Conclusion: A witty and sweet teen contemporary romance that was just what the doctor ordered for a sick day on the couch. While not my favorite Kasie book because of the main characters' animosity, I really enjoyed the letters, Lily's crazy family, and fell hard for the love interest at the end. As always I highly recommend Kasie for anyone in need of a light contemporary romance, and cannot wait for Kasie's next novel!

Scribble Rating
4 of 5 Scribbles

Sunday, September 18, 2016

GAMESCAPE: OVERWORLD Blog Tour - Emma Trevayne Guest Post (+ Intl Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop on the GAMESCAPE: OVERWORLD Blog Tour! Today I welcome author Emma Trevayne for a guest post on her Top 3 favorite books read while writing Gamescape: Overworld! See below for more information on this thrilling YA sci-fi dystopian, and be sure to enter to win a signed hardcover at the end!

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I have to be pretty careful about what I read while I’m drafting. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s too easy for me to pick up on tone/style and veer away from my own voice. Because of that, I almost always steer clear of anything for the age group I’m writing for while I’m drafting, and anything in the same genre. Gamescape: Overworld is YA sci-fi, so I had to save up all the YAs and sci-fi I wanted to read and binge on them after I’d drafted the book! While I was actually writing, I read a lot of Middle Grade and adult fiction, mostly fantasy for both, and a lot of nonfiction. (When I’m drafting my other stuff, which is MG fantasy, that’s when I read all the YA sci-fi I can get my hands on.) It’s hard to pick just three great books from the ones I read during that period, but I have to, so here they are:

The Blind Giant: How to Survive in the Digital Age. Nick Harkaway

This could (and does) sort of count as research for Gamescape, but it’s the kind of book I’d read in joyful fascination even if I didn’t write cyberpunk. Harkaway, a fantastic fiction writer as well, turned to nonfiction for this exploration of the impact of technology on our humanity. Rather than being a dogmatic “this is what we should believe” type treatise, which books of this kind can sometimes can be, it’s more of an invitation to think about and discuss these issues, which makes it a more inviting and interesting book. Two years later, I’m still dipping in and out of it, still forming thoughts of my own on the questions it raises.

Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1)

No drafting process is complete for me without at least one Pratchett novel. In all honesty, I usually read about half a dozen of them while I’m writing any given book, because Pratchett’s unique and hilarious voice is one I am simply guaranteed never to accidentally pick up. There is no way, unfortunately, that I will ever be that funny. Guards! Guards! is almost always one of those six or so, because of all the Discworld novels, the Watch ones are my favorites, and this is the Watch and dragons. It begins the story of Sam Vimes and the other Watchmen, who are the laughing-stock night-duty policemen in the city of Ankh-Morpork. Someone has stolen a book from the magical library at Unseen University. Someone is using that book to summon a dragon to the city. It’s hilarious. Read it if you haven’t.

The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3)

I meant to read this the day it came out, and then life got in the way, and then I saved it another few months specifically so I could read it while I was drafting some science fiction. Scott Lynch’s Locke Lamora series is amazing—funny, fantastical, incredibly richly drawn and well thought out. I probably can’t talk too much about what happens in the third book in a series, but suffice it to say it is more of Locke and his crazy, ethically-questionable adventures. Humor and magic await you.

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YA sci-fi/cyberpunk writer. Fan of words and music and chocolate. She has published several novels for Young Adult and Middle Grade readers, including her first novel, CODA (May 2013), and its sequel, CHORUS (May 2014) from Running Press Kids, and FLIGHTS AND CHIMES AND MYSTERIOUS TIMES (May 2014) and THE ACCIDENTAL AFTERLIFE OF THOMAS MARSDEN (July 2015) from Simon & Schuster. She is represented by Brooks Sherman of FinePrint Literary Management. 


Gamescape: Overworld (Nova Project, #1)

Title: Gamescape: Overworld
Series: The Nova Project #1
Author: Emma Trevayne
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

The planet is dying. Centuries of abuse have damaged the earth beyond repair, and now all the authorities can do is polish the surface, make the landscape look pretty to hide the disease within. Two prominent yet mysterious businessmen couldn’t fix it, either, but they did something even better. Together, they invented Chimera, the most complex and immersive virtual reality video game the world has ever known. The Cubes in which Chimera is played quickly became a fixture of this landscape: part distraction, part hospital, and almost wholly responsible for holding up the failing world economy.

Miguel Anderson is also dying. He isn’t the only one who plays the game–everybody does–but Miguel has more reason than most: When players leave their Cubes for the day, the upgrades and enhancements they’ve earned for their virtual characters leave with them. New lungs to breathe poisoned air, skin that won’t burn under the sun are great and everything… but Miguel, born as broken as the earth, needs a new heart–and soon–if he wants any hope of surviving just a little longer.

Then the two Gamerunners announce a competition, with greater rewards and faster progression than ever before, and Miguel thinks his prayers have been answered. All he needs to do is get picked to lead a team, play the game he’s spent years getting good at, and ask for his prize when he wins. Simple, really.

At first, things seem to go according to plan. Mostly, anyway. Inside his Cube, with his new team–including his best friend–at his back, Miguel begins his quest. He plays recklessly, even dangerously, for someone whose most vital organ could give up at any moment, but his desperation makes him play better than ever. The eyes of the world are on him, watching through status updates and live feeds, betting on his chances. With greater rewards, though, come greater risks, and the Gamerunners seem to delight at surprising the competitors at every turn. As he ventures deeper into a world that blends the virtual and the real to an unsettling degree, Miguel begins to wonder just why the game was invented at all, and whether its stakes could be even higher than life and death.


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Check out the rest of the tour HERE!

Friday, September 16, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (9/16/16)

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!

Shadow Run (Kaitan Chronicles, #1)
Shadow Run by Strickland & Miller (ARC)
Needed a sci-fi fix so I stopped resisting the call of this beauty! While it can be prone to long bouts of occasionally tedious inaction and conversation, the action is amazing and there have been some great twists and thrills. Currently almost finished and as the authors do not pull punches for the characters in this book I have no idea how it will end and can't wait to find out!

QQ Sweeper, Vol. 3
QQ Sweeper vol. 3 by Kyosuke Motomi (PBK)
4 Stars. Re-read the first two before finishing off the trilogy with this latest and last volume and enjoyed the series even more the second time! The premise is unique and interesting, and I really loved the main characters and their relationship. Definitely looking forward to continuing the story with the sequel series next year, Queen's Quality!

Imprudence (The Custard Protocol, #2)
Imprudence by Gail Carriger (ARC)
I find myself craving some wit, intrigue, and travel involving familiar characters, so I think it is finally time to devour this impatiently waiting sequel!

So what are you reading this week?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Review: The Shattered Lens [Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians #4] (Brandon Sanderson)

The Shattered Lens (Alcatraz, #4)
Title: The Shattered Lens
Series: Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians, Book 4
Author: Brandon Sanderson (site)
Publisher: Starscape (Tor)
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy Adventure
Told: First Person (Alcatraz), Past Tense
Content Rating: Teen (fighting/violence/minor war, streaking)
Format Read: Hardcover (publisher)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository

Can Alcatraz save a city under siege?

If the island of Mokia falls, so could the rest of the Free Kingdoms--and then the entire world would fall under the sway of the Evil Librarians. Can Alcatraz save the day once more?

Armed only with a few pairs of glasses, a small supply of exploding teddy bears, and his incredible Talent for breaking things, Alcatraz is determined to try. All he has to do is defeat an army of giant Librarian robots, a force of regular-sized but extremely evil Librarians, and worst of all: his own mother!

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Review copy provided by publisher for an honest review. Thank you, Tor!

Series: This is Book 4 in the Alcatraz Series. For reviews of the previous books, see Book 1: Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians, and Book 3: The Knights of Crystallia. (Book 2: The Scrivener's Bones, pending.)

In a Sentence: An off-the-wall yet introspective sequel about responsibility and exploding teddy bears.

Determined to save Mokia from falling into Librarian hands, Alcatraz eludes Knight protection and heads for the island, hoping the protection will follow and aid in the fight. But after convincing the capital city of Tuki Tuki not to surrender, Alcatraz suddenly finds himself in charge and out of his depth as their failing defenses and dwindling numbers struggle to hold out for the coming cavalry. When Alcatraz's mother suddenly appears and reveals that all he's previously learned and assumed about the world may not all be as it seems, he must face some unsettling truths about his family and his Talent as it begins to take on a life of its own.

This was by far the most oddball installment in the series yet, raising the bar quite a few notches with its erratic chapter numbers and introductions, random tangents, and almost complete elimination of the fourth wall as characters constantly commented on being in a book and did things like quoting Hamlet for an entire chapter with almost complete indifference. Unlike previous books though, the off-the-wall antics here felt somewhat exaggerated, more of a gimmick to balance out all the serious elements of the story, and while I could understand and even embrace the serious elements given the series progression from comical ignorance to sober responsibility for both the plot and Alcatraz's character arc, this book sadly lacked the playfulness of the previous books for me.

Also sadly disappointing was the story. The first two-thirds lacked the brilliant spark of the previous books, and while the last third was quite thrilling with lots of excitement and a few interesting twists, as a whole the story was rather unremarkable. Likewise, compared to previous series settings I found Tuki Tuki a bit bland as Mokians are a less-is-more kind of people, although they did have some intriguing eccentricities and made a nice contrast to their the-more-the-better Librarian adversaries.

As expected with this series the writing was smooth and engaging, and although the wit did take a bit of a hit from all the seriousness, even at partial strength the wit was still strong and there was some unique and amusing action to compliment it. Bastille continued to be the capable warrior female that I've loved throughout the series, and even as the "romance" between her and Alcatraz finally began to be realized she remained true to her character about it (as did Alcatraz by being completely clueless about his and her feelings). Only one new Smedry was introduced this book but she was a delightful one, and her Talent, as with all Smedry Talents, really added something special to the story.

Conclusion: While sadly my least favorite of the series so far, The Shattered Lens was still a somewhat fun and adventurous read with eccentric characters and a few laugh out loud moments. If you enjoyed the previous books, this is definitely a must-read.

For Fans Of: Harry Potter

Scribble Rating
3.5 of 5 Scribbles