Birthday Book Haul

For my birthday this past weekend, I was lucky enough to get a bunch of awesome new books!

IMG_20170701_084011_560

I have heard so many great things about these books and I am really excited to read them!

  • The Court of Thorns and Roses Coloring Book: This is a gorgeous companion book to the ACOTAR series by Sarah J Maas. It features coloring pages depicting select scenes from all three novels. I can’t wait to bust out my colored pencils!
  • Strange the Dreamer: This is the first book in a new duology by Laini Taylor and it sounds epic! It is about a war between men and the gods, a lost city, heroes, warriors, a goddess and a young librarian who happens to get wrapped up in it all.
  • A Torch Against the Night: This is the sequel to Sabaa Tahir’s debut novel An Ember in the Ashes. I read the first one right after it came out and really liked it, but have not had the chance to pick up this second one yet. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what has happened to Elias, Laia, and Helene!
  • A Darker Shade of Magic: From V. E. Schwab, this is the story of Kell, one of the last, rare magicians of his kind. He can travel between the different Londons: Grey, Red, and White, but that does not mean he can always avoid trouble. This one has been on my TBR list for ages and I am so happy I finally have it in my hands!
  • The Crown’s Game: The last two Enchanters in Russia, Vika and Nikolai, must battle to the death, so that the victor can stand at the side of the Tsar in the coming war. Count me in!
  • The Star-Touched Queen: I have heard so many good things about this book, such as beautiful prose and imaginative story-telling. The protagonist, Maya, cursed with a bad fortune in her own kingdom is married off to another. There, she becomes a queen and a wife, she finds power and love. But, she also stumbles upon secrets and mysteries that could threaten her life and the lives of those she loves.

IMG_20170701_084011_554

Man, I am going to be busy for a while! Now, I just need to figure out which book I am going to start with.

Happy reading!

-Chelsi

Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee ★

Hi guys! So, just a little info on the blog in general and this review, first. I actually read this book a little while ago and wrote a brief blurb on Goodreads of what I thought. I plan to bring over those few reviews from Goodreads, as well, so that all of my thoughts/reviews are centered in one spot, on this blog. With each one that I do, I will go over the book again to update myself on it and add to the review, if need be. Kind of flesh them out a little. So, with that being said, here is what I thought of Angelfall (obviously, my general disclaimer applies here).

Warning: might contain spoilers and anger.

Continue reading

Book Review: The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon ★★★★

“When you dream of change, it shines bright, like fire, and burns away all the rot that came before it. It’s swift and inexorable. You cry for justice, and justice is done. The world stands with you in your fight. But if there was one thing I had learned in these last few weeks, it was that change had never been that simple. That kind of revolution existed only in daydreams.”

This book was so good!! I flew through it in like a day and a half, and now I am kicking myself right in the arse, because The Bone Season #4 will not be released until mid-2018. Urgh, whyy!!

In this third installment of the series, we follow Paige and her crew, as they take on the Senshield technology that is threatening all of the voyants. After winning the scrimmage at the end of the last book, Paige is now Underqueen of the entire Syndicate, but things are not running as smoothly as she hoped they would, after such a victory. She must prove to the Syndicate that she is the best choice to lead them, prove to the Ranthen that she is worth their support, and prove to Scion that she can act on her threats to take them down.

So, yeah, I’d say it’s pretty damn exciting!

Continue reading

Book Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins ★★★

“The water, the water, the water – no way to get away from it in this town.”

Into the Water was a chilling, and well-written thriller! I have never really sought out thrillers or mystery/crime novels as my go-to reads, but Paula Hawkins has definitely made me a fan. There is something very real and visceral about the way that she writes, that just draws me the heck in! This book follows the story of Jules, who finds out in the first couple pages that her sister, Nel, has died. Not only did she die, but Jules is told that she has committed suicide in the Drowning Pool, a significant place from their childhood that they have not been able to forget. Upon hearing this news, Jules is forced to return to her family’s vacation home in Beckford, take in Nel’s wayward daughter, and confront  memories from her past that she’d rather leave to rot at the bottom of the river. Spoilers below!

Continue reading

Book Review: The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon ★★★★

“Some revolutions change the world in a day. Others take decades or centuries or more, and others still never come to fruition. Mine began with a moment and a choice. Mine began with the blooming of a flower in a secret city on the border between worlds.
You’ll have to wait and see how it ends.
Welcome back to Scion.”

After a brief hiatus, I finally finished The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon! This is the second book in her Bone Season series, out of, I think, six books total. The third book was released recently and I will definitely be picking that one up soon. In this second novel, our protagonist Paige Mahoney has returned to the Seven Dials to once again work as the Mollisher of I-4. While she is again under Jaxon’s rule and trying to survive the increasingly dangerous Syndicate, she is also attempting to tell the world about the threat of the Rephaim. She knows that the people, both clairvoyant and amaurotic, need to know about the corruption in Scion and the Rephaim puppet-masters, but how can she get them to believe her? Some spoilers below.

Continue reading

ACOWAR Pre-order Map

Hey, everyone!

As I am sure many of you are aware, Sarah J. Maas and Bloomsbury publishing set up a promotion before the release of A Court of Wings and Ruin. If you pre-ordered the book and sent in proof of your purchase, then Bloomsbury promised to send a full-color map of Prythian to your house. It was really simple to enter, too. I took a screenshot of my order summary on Amazon, when I pre-orded the book, and just submitted it to the pre-order page on Maas’ website. Then, a couple days ago, my map arrived!

IMG_20170524_185342_610

I was definitely not disappointed! The map, by Kelly de Groot and Charlie Bowater, is really beautiful. I am not familiar with de Groot’s previous work, but I know Bowater’s art has inspired Maas before, is featured in the ACOTAR coloring book, was the source of Feyre’s awesome dress on the ACOWAR cover, and is absolutely stunning. Check them out! The details and the colors on the map are very nice, and the paper quality is great. It feels like thick photo paper. I love the Night Court symbol that is drawn in each corner!

IMG_20170524_185342_612

The map is a little smaller than I expected, about the size of regular computer paper, but that is not an issue for me. I will definitely frame it, though, to keep it safe and unwrinkled.

Have any of you received the map of Prythian? What do you think?

-Chelsi

Book Signing/Talk with Paula Hawkins and Edan Lepucki

20170516_222700

Hello, friends!

I wanted to share this with you guys, despite being a bit late. Thanks to my amazing mother, we got tickets to see Paula Hawkins and Edan Lepucki talk about their new releases. It was an amazing night at the Tampa Theatre! Paula Hawkins is the author of Girl on the Train, and Edan Lepucki is the author of California. These ladies were SO interesting, funny, and inspirational!

I really enjoyed hearing about their writing processes, the pressures put on bestselling authors releasing their second books, and how they are dealing with their success. Edan was hilarious! She was very down-to-earth, funny, and relatable. She discussed how she grew up in Las Angeles, California and how it has influenced her writing.  Her take on Hollywood Hills and the way of life there was very fascinating, and I look forward to reading more about it in her new book Woman No. 17. The book is about the mother of a mute son and her relationship with him, her family, and the young nanny that she hires to assist her. Edan jokingly said the character of the mother is like her, but “darker.” She also mentioned that it was challenging to get into the heads of both the mother in her 40’s, and the nanny in her early 20’s. She incorporated technology and social media into the book, which she said was different from California, where she did not bring that into the novel at all.

Paula was a bit more subdued, but definitely still brought some dry humor of her own to the discussion. The two women together were very entertaining! I found it very interesting how Paula, and Edan too, write their novels based on characters first. Both said that a character or an idea of a character will come to them long before their plot is laid out. Then, they begin to ask themselves questions about this character, to figure out where the story might take them. For me, someone who generally has grand ideas of a plot or specific images of a scene in mind, before I hone in on my characters, this was especially intriguing. For Paula, she had the characters from Into the Water, two sisters, in her head much earlier than the actual plotline. And, like the constant of the train in her first novel, this story features water as large presence/theme in the book. She talked about how many people have a significant body of water in their lives or childhood memories and how those lakes, rivers, or beaches can seem pleasant on the surface, but hide “something nasty” underneath. That idea is a metaphor of sorts for her new book and the little village it is centered around.

IMG_20170516_231720_015

Overall, Paula and Edan provided great insight into their new books and their habits as authors. I am happy I was able to catch a glimpse into their writing worlds. I was also lucky enough to get a signed copy of Into the Water and I cannot wait to read it! Check out their new books, Into the Water and Woman No. 17, and let me know what you think. They both sound awesome!

– Chelsi

Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas ★★★★★

20170509_190451May 3rd: So, I just finished this one and my initial reaction? Holy shit, oh my lord, I can’t handle the emotions! I finished this 699-page beauty in less than 24 hours (and it would have been faster, if I didn’t have to work around, you know, a job). This book was definitely worth the wait. So SO good. There were soaring high parts and maybe slightly middle parts, but no real low parts for me. I plan to read it again very soon. Full review to come!

May, 9th: Phew! I have finally been able to gather all of my thoughts about ACOWAR into a semi-coherent review. I will try to keep this organized and somewhat concise, but honestly I find it very difficult to contain myself with these books. So may feels! First, let me just say that I loved this book. I loved these characters, I loved the story – everything! I thought it was a very fitting and satisfying third book in the trilogy, keeping in mind that there are multiple novels/novellas planned to take place this world, as well. We were not meant to have everything tied up into a neat little bow here and that did not happen, which I am okay with. I love the idea of the spinoffs! In-depth stories from the point of view of different characters, exploring this grand world?? Sign me the eff up! I’m just sad that I now have to wait years for more stories about my loves (please let the first spinoff be about Nessian!!). But, before I start rambling and lose any sort of structure to this review along the way, let me discuss my thoughts on ACOWAR. Calmly. And rationally…hopefully. Spoilers under the cut!

Continue reading

Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber ★★

caraval“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality…”

Well, that is true. The reality definitely differs from everything I’ve heard about this book. And that reality is??measly stars. Ohhhh man, was I excited about this one! I mean, look at that cover; it’s flippin gorgeous. I was immediately intrigued by this one, both for the cover and the synopsis. I read the 3 chapter preview of Caraval right when that was released and then I waited very impatiently for the actual book to come out. Once it did and I got my hands on it? Well, sadly, I was pretty dang disappointed. I was so upset, because I wanted to LOVE this book, but….I don’t know. Something was definitely lacking for me.

Continue reading

Thoughts on blog structure

So, I have been debating on how I want to actually organize and structure this blog. I think I have decided that I will start off with some more recent reviews/book discussions and then maybe have some throwback posts, as well. There are so many books, both YA and not, that I have read over the past couple years that I would love to discuss. Hopefully, that works well and I mayyyy be trying out some video booktalks, as well, but no promises there. I am extremely unnatural in front of the camera :[ IF that happens, I will most likely link to a youtube channel for those. For now, stay tuned for some talk on some of my recent reads and let me know what you guys think!

~Chelsi