Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

August 2017 Wrap Up

Me to the mess that was August:

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So can I debrief y’all on this month?? I totally expected to have hardly any time to breathe in the midst of SATs, summer homework assignments, dance, and getting ready for school, but I did expect to read between that mess. I tend to read more when I’m stressed and busy (and this month had me both, trust me), but right when I least expected it, BOOM. Reading slump. Blogging slump. Which, is why I only read a sad total of 5 books this month. Normally, I would be pretty happy, considering how much I used to read a year ago, but I was doing so well this summer, I thought I would hit at least 7 this month. Screw you, August. Damnit.

Anyway, let’s get into it. 🙂

18667779Everything Leads To You, by Nina LaCour (3.5 stars) – This contemporary novel didn’t blow me away in its romance (clearly the main focus), but I loved nearly every other aspect of it! The writing was casual, the atmosphere was well-defined, and the messages it carried were great. You can find my review here.

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25752041Royal Bastards, by Andrew Shvarts (2.75 stars) – I expected a shitton from Royal Bastards (a grave mistake on my part), and unsurprisingly it did not deliver. Stronger characters, more diverse world-building, and a more fitting narration would have done this book some serious good, but it decided to go a whole other route and there’s nothing I can do about it. I wouldn’t encourage reading this one if you want more than something mildly engaging. My full review can be found here.

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30971706Things I Should Have Known, by Claire LaZebnik (3.75 stars) – This novel was so, so sweet! The themes of family and friendship were expressed so subtly and the character development was equally strong. The topic of autism was also realistically talked about and was nicely tied in with the rest of the book. Would definitely recommend. You can find my review here.

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764347Unwind, by Neal Shusterman (4.5 stars) – I’ve decided to reread this beloved series, starting with one of my favorite books ever, Unwind. It was just as amazing and I can’t help but think of all the heartache I’m going to suffer while reading the rest of the books. It’s worth it, though. 🙂

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23447923The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (3.25 stars) – I don’t need to reread Aristotle And Dante to conclude that this book paled in comparison to it. There are many elements of this book that were done wonderfully, but others I simply couldn’t ignore or push myself to enjoy. Look out for my full review coming soon!

Thanks for reading, guys! Let me know what you thought in the comments below. Meanwhile, I’ll be praying September turns out to be better. 😀

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Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

Waiting On Wednesday #3 | Leigh Bardugo’s ‘The Language Of Thorns’

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme created by Breaking the Spine where each week we discuss upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Hey guys! This week’s ‘Waiting On Wednesday’ book is The Language Of Thorns: Midnight Tales And Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo! (YEEEEEEEEEE)

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Release Date: September 29, 2017

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

I’m so hyped for this, y’all don’t even know. The Grishaverse is probably my favorite fictional universe ever and I was not prepared to let it go when the Shadow And Bone trilogy and the Six Of Crows duology ended. So ready for the slayage.

What are your guys’ anticipated releases? Let me know in the comments 🙂

-Haven

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

June 2017 Wrap-Up

One month of summer vacation is over. YAYYYYYYYYYY.

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I actually thought I’d read so much more this month, but I practically had no free time. Adding to all the classes and places I had to go to, there was barely a sense of organization in which I could manage my reading time, but I did what I could. 8 books, guys!

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Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer (4.25 stars): I think I read this on the very day I finished school and it was absolutely great. I liked it so much more the second time around. Scarlet and Wolf are EVERYTHING.

 

 

 

 

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Siege and Storm, by Leigh Bardugo (4 stars): This has to be my favorite of the series. The Darkling is still amazing, Alina’s sass in unreal, and Nikolai is my actual husband (among others).

 

 

 

 

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Lola And The Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins (4 stars): This was a cute little contemporary that managed to successfully blend relatable teenage themes with high doses of adorableness. You can read my full review here.

 

 

 

 

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The Year We Fell Apart, by Emily Martin (2.25 stars): I was really looking forward to this contemporary, but after reading it, I can clearly say that it bit off more than it could chew. My full review can be read here.

 

 

 

 

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Mortal Heart, by Robin LaFevers (4.25 stars): The His Dark Assassin series continues to surprise me with its twists and turns in a number of aspects, from political discussion to romance. Mortal Heart will forever be a fantasy favorite. You can read my review here.

 

 

 

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Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo (4 stars): This conclusion absolutely ripped me apart but I loved the pain. That ending had me in my feelings so bad, and if this series’ epilogue affects me so much, just imagine my reaction to Crooked Kingdom?! I’d probably go into cardiac arrest.

 

 

 

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13206828Cress, by Marissa Meyer (4.5 stars): Cress has always been my favorite of the series and it still is. I’m so ready for Winter.

 

 

 

 

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Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins (3.25 stars): While I moderately enjoyed this fast and cute contemporary, I was disappointed in lack of balance between deeper themes and fluffiness, the balance that made the other two books so enjoyable. Check out my review coming soon!

 

 

 

Thanks for reading, guys! Leave a comment below 🙂

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

Best books I’ve read in 2017 so far

Half the year is over, y’all. WHAAAAT.

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It’s already summer and I feel as though I’ve accomplished barely any of my goals besides my 2017 Reading Challenge on Goodreads. I’ve read about 40 books as of June and not many of them had been strictly 2017 releases, but I had decided after a month or two from January that I would be especially focusing on books that have been on my TBR since … years. This has caused me to miss out on the immense amount of fantasy novels getting the praise (and hate) this first half, and if I were to name all those books, I’m sure I’d lose my voice by the end of it. However, I have read some great stories so far even if they all weren’t released in 2017.

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Dark Triumph + Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

When you’ve lost faith in well-written assassins, proper political discussion, and realistic romances, the His Dark Assassin series is right there, waiting for you. I read Grave Mercy last year and found it pretty enjoyable, but these two are so good, Grave Mercy is no longer as memorable. The leading ladies, Sybella and Annith, are perfectly flawed and realistic. And did I mention it was badass? It’s totally badass.

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A Darker Shade Of Magic + A Gathering of Shadows by V.E Schwab

I don’t know if A Darker Shade Of Magic counts as something I’d read in 2017 (since I had initially read it in 2015, whew) but I loved re-reading it. A Gathering Of Shadows was even more entertaining, and while I do agree it is somewhat filler, I love it too much to give it a 4 star-rating. I’m a quarter through A Conjuring Of Light so far but haven’t been reading it for a while, because I want to experience a paper version of it rather than an ebook. Still ready for it to emotionally destroy me, though.

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The Raven Boys + The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

THESE BOOKS. UGHH. I haven’t even gotten to the third book yet and I’m already drowning in FEEELS.

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Radio Silence by Alice Oseman and Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Ah, the standalones. Absolutely love these two, regardless of the emotional turmoil they’ve caused me. I’m still not over that shit Marissa Meyer pulled at the end of Heartless.

Thanks for reading, guys. What are the best books you’ve read so far this year? Leave a comment below 🙂

-Haven

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

Waiting On Wednesday #1 (6/21/17)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme created by Breaking the Spine where each week we discuss upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Hey guys! This is my first time participating in this meme and I’m currently scolding myself for picking a terrible time to start. Most of my anticipated upcoming releases have, er, already been released but thankfully there are still more (there’s always more…). This week’s anticipated release is Wild Beauty, by Anna-Marie McLemore! 

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Release Date: October 3rd, 2017

Love grows such strange things.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

I haven’t read too many magical realism novels but this one sounds quite interesting. The already-great reviews are only hyping me up more. October, where you at?

Thanks for viewing this post, guys. What upcoming releases are y’all excited for? Leave a comment below! 🙂

-Haven

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

What’s up, guys? So, this week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday is ‘Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t’, and wow, there are quite a few for me. The series listed below are and have been quite popular among YA audiences, which simultaneously excites me and pushes me away from them. I will definitely check these out soon though, it seems as though everyone and everything I know is pressuring me, haha.

Mara Dyer – I’d been meaning to begin this series a long time ago (those covers are so pretty) but was slightly turned off by the negative reviews. However, it does seem like a very entertaining series and I’ll definitely jump on it soon enough.

A Court Of Thorns And Roses – I swear, I hear way too much about this series on Goodreads, from my friends, random people I meet, everyone. I can’t go to school without seeing someone talk about this series or actually carry one of the books. It’s become a serious problem and I better hop on A Court Of Thorns and Roses (and SJM in general) before I’m outcasted from the reading community.

Falling Kingdoms – While this series doesn’t seem to be such a staple fantasy collection in YA, it’s still continuing and is actually one of the earlier YA fantasies before Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo took over the genre. I love action-oriented novels with several POVs, so I’ll definitely be visiting this series soon.

The Dark Artifices – Only after seeing all the updates of Lord Of Shadows on Goodreads did I realize I’m so behind on The Dark Artifices and Cassandra Clare in general. There was a time I considered Clare to be my favorite author, and I’m clearly not being loyal by missing out on this and not re-reading her past series at least once. I’ll obviously have to re-read The Mortal Instruments And The Infernal Devices before this one, but I’m totally looking forward to it.

The Darkest Minds – I didn’t have the best experience with Passenger but I’ve heard great things (and terrible things) about this series, and I can’t wait to see what it’s all about.

Daughter Of Smoke And Bone – Laini Taylor has been constantly raved about in the YA community and is recently popping up on my Goodreads feed once again with the publication of Strange The Dreamer. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Daughter Of Smoke And Bone series, which makes me nervous but undeniably excited. Will certainly see what it’s about soon.

Red Queen – I actually checked out Red Queen a while back from school but never ended up reading it, and I know exactly why. I wasn’t interested and heard way too many things about it, which seemed to drive me away. It’s hard to repress your expectations when there’s already so much being said, but I’ll have to read this series eventually, or at least the first book. Got to see what the hype (and hate) is about.

The Remnant Chronicles – The Kiss Of Deception has been on my TBR list ever since Liz reviewed, and I hate that I haven’t touched on it since. It sounds like a guilty pleasure series and I always have time for those. Plus, those covers are absolutely gorgeous.

The Young Elites – I can’t tell y’all how many times I’ve started this book and had to put it down due to the library and it just being constantly overdue. I’ve also heard a number of things on it, specifically on Adelina’s anti-hero character and the overall darkness present in the story. Hopefully, the next time I check it out I’ll be able to finish the damn thing.

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children – I actually have the Miss Peregrine’s Home Peculiar Children at home, but I haven’t ever picked it up. My sister has actually read the book before me, which is a rarity and something that I don’t want happening again. It seems as practically everyone has read this series, so I’m definitely looking forward ti checking it out soon.

Thanks for reading, everyone. What are some series that you’ve been meaning start but haven’t? Leave a comment below!

-Haven

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

May 2017 Wrap-Up – Haven

Hey guys! This is my first wrap-up post and I’ve actually been meaning to do this since April, but due to testing it was pushed back. Anyway, I read 9 books this month, which is pretty amazing considering all the projects I’ve had to do (why do teachers insist on overloading us with work when the school year is coming to an end?).

Books I’ve read this month

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History Is All You Left Me, by Adam Silvera (3.75-4 stars): I quite liked this very emotional and honest LGBTQ contemporary. There have been so many positive comments on Silvera’s More Happy Than Not, making him out to be a very hyped author. I was not disappointed with History Is All You Left Me, if you are looking for a diverse and raw read on love and loss, this is the one for you. You can find my full review here.

The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Stiefvater (4 stars): This was a great sequel, and while it take a bit of time for me to truly get into it, it did not disappoint at all. I loved the introduction of new themes and characters, and the writing was totally upgraded. This series is already becoming one of my favorites and hopefully the next two live up to expectations I have. You can find my full review here.

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas (4 stars): I remember being extremely excited yet anxious when picking up this book, but it definitely lived up to the hype. This book reaches out to a range of messages on courage and hope, while detailing some necessary truths of the society we live in. Everyone should read it. My review can be found here.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, by Morgan Matson (2.25 stars): Unfortunately, I wasn’t huge fan of this much-loved contemporary. While I appreciated the attempt to combine deeper themes and a lighthearted road trip, I couldn’t find the balance between the two and the execution was simply not for me. I’m disappointed in my disappointment, but I’m still looking forward to reading Matson’s other contemporaries. You can find my in-depth review right here.

A Gathering Of Shadows, by V.E Schwab (5 stars): This was easily the best book I’ve read this month and probably one of the best I’ve read this year so far. After re-experiencing the glory of A Darker Shade Of Magic, I started this one and had the time of my freaking life. I adore these characters, this plot, this writing, everything. While it can be classified as a ‘filler’ book, I loved it nonetheless. I’m going to start A Conjuring Of Light soon and am totally not ready for the emotional destruction I’m about to face.

All The Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven (1 star): I strongly disliked this book, and most of my dislike stemmed from plain disinterest in the pretentious themes that are forever running through YA contemporary. The book’s view and depiction of mental illness was also quite off-putting, and while this aspect is praised and put down among readers, it simply made me uncomfortable for a number of reasons. Not for me guys, nope. You can find my in-depth review here.

Cinder, by Marissa Meyer (3.5 stars): So, I decided to re-visit this classic this month. Interestingly, I had never read Winter, so catching up on the rest of the series was necessary. Cinder didn’t really capture me the same way it did in the past, but it definitely brought up a wave of nostalgia. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series though.

Shadow And Bone, by Leigh Bardugo (3.5 stars): I read this book way back in 2014 when the hype was just picking up, and remember being very ‘meh’ on it. I decided to give it another try this month and found myself enjoying much more this time around. Yes, it’s an older book so many of the events that took place are reminiscent of the tropes found in YA fantasy today, but I don’t regret picking it up again.

Radio Silence, by Alice Oseman (5 stars): This book totally took me by surprise and is actually one of the easiest 5-star reads ever. The messages it means to convey are told so subtly and earnestly, and the whole book simply exudes charm through its characters, themes, and writing. Look out for my review coming soon. 🙂

May was an incredibly scattered month, but interestingly, I’ve read the most books this month in the year so far. Hopefully the summer helps me prioritize so I can read and blog a whole lot more than I am doing now. Thanks for reading, guys!

-Haven