Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thursday Thoughts: Re-reading The Winner's Curse Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski!!!

Hiya there guys!

Trying to stay on top of the blog juggling extra shifts at work, trying to have some family & social life as well as everything else can be a bit of a job, but I think I'm hanging there alright, even if I might not post every day!

For this week's Thursday Thoughts I'm continuing with the re-reading reviews of a series I've done this year. I must say I'm pretty proud of the amount of re-reading I'm allowed myself to do, enjoying books I've loved and preparing for the next or final book in said series!

And this week it's all about The Winner's Curse trilogy and ALL THE FEELS!!



The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

I adored this one the first time I read it, and I adored it this second time. I love the writing, I love how although I knew the plot and what was beneath and unknown and untold until the revolution happens and I could see the hints and bits scattered throughout the narrative much more clearly.

I loved Krestel a lil bit more this time, even, and I'm alway been rooting for her. She's a wonderful female character that wants to be true to herself and what she wants, and even if she has to play by the rules of the society she lives in, she finds a way to try and bend those rules in her own way.

As far as Arin goes, I feel like I could understand him a lil bit better, his doubts, his anger, his plotting... all the times he snapped at Kestrel, and how he keeps on being torn between personal feelings and his fight for his freedom and his country.

The world building I adored as I did the first time. I call this series historical fantasy, because it kept reminding me of the Roman Empire culture (with a bit of Greek and even Minoan too) but it had its own flavour too. I loved how we got lil details like stories about the gods, cultural differences, traditions... all of it woven into the story.

And the relationship between Kestrel and Arin gave me ALL THE FEELS again! I also felt like Kestrel is loved by her friends and father but it's already seen as not entirely unconditionally, she's loved as the Kestrel she allows to be seen, and not entirely her whole real self.



The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

The first time I read this book it was an insane rollercoaster for my feelings and it wasn't any different on this re-read. To be completely honest the amount of emotional distress this book caused me was kind of insane! Damn these two, I already knew what was going to happen but the anxiety and distress and the tears kept on coming! *shakes fist at book*

After Kestrel's bold (and heartbreaking) move at the end of Curse, we see how she has to deal with the consequences, and how she might have bitten a bit more than she can chew. We see her using all her (considerable) strategist ability to navigate the Imperial court life, and if things seemed complicated at first, once she decides to do what is right and NOT what is expected of her as a Valorian.

The mistrust and secrets are hard to keep and even harder when it comes to having Arin in front of her, breaking her heart and risking her life.

The stakes are higher, the world building expands because we see more of the Empire and Arin journeys away to find support and allies for the Herrani cause, and we meet another country and another culture (this time I was reminded of both the Egyptians and the Persians) and nagivates another complicated set of intrigue and politics. We meet some new and complex character that add some more diversity to the game.

The ending is absolute torture and so full of emotional anguish that I was so very relieved to at least this time have the next and final book on hand to dive into right away!


The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3)The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Feelings overload and a wonderful feeling of contentment, even when dreading working the morning shift on 3 hours of sleep because I couldn't put down this most wonderful book... And now I'm suffering a massive book hangover and needing a nap (badly!).

After the horrible ending of Winner's Crime and suffering through it all over again on my re-read, I dived into this one straight away. Seeing Kestrel desperate but never really giving up on her fight might have been tough, but when she loses the will to continue fighting? That broken my heart like nobody's business!

I'm afraid to spoil something by talking about all that happened in the book, so just in case, consider yourself forewarned!

Seeing Arin work as a leader and navigating the seas of political intrigue and alliances and getting ready to fight a war that can be considered lost before it even begun with a stronger foe? He might not have Kestrel's brain for strategy, but he's quite the clever man himself! When caught between a rock and hard place he keeps fighting to find the way to escape with as few scrapes as possible.

I was so very worried about these two and their relationship for half the book and then I was even more worried on the second half, because whatever progress that was made could be wiped away if the fight and the war went awry, as it might very well could!

Kestrel demonstrates a strenght on her mind and on who she is and what she thinks it's right that makes her a character to love even more, and she comes to terms with finding some peace about those who couldn't love her as she is.

Arin grows so very much in this book, working hard to become the leader he needs to be and learning to trust again and to let that trust strenghten love. He also works hard to make sure the bargains he needs to make don't come back to bite him in the arse.

I simply adored this one and I feel like it was the perfect conclusion to this trilogy! Very much deserved 5 (and then some) stars!!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

100 Hours by Rachel Vincent Cover Reveal!!





Hello there guys!

 Today I am so excited to take part on the cover reveal for the awesome cover for 100 HOURS, the first book in a new trilogy by New York Times best-selling author Rachel Vincent, which releases on March 28, 2017 from Katherine Tegen Books, along with a note from the author about her upcoming novel and an amazing giveaway.


Scroll down to take check out the gorgeous cover, read what Rachel Vincent has to say about 100 HOURS, and enter for a chance to win. And be sure to share your thoughts about the cover in the comments!




The Cover Revealed





 100 HOURS  by Rachel Vincent
Release date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 368
Formats available to pre-order: Hardcover

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30653906-100-hours?ac=1&from_search=true


 AMAZON



Description:

Maddie is beyond done with her cousin Genesis’s entitled and shallow entourage. Genesis is so over Miami’s predictable social scene with its velvet ropes, petty power plays, and backstabbing boyfriends.

While Maddie craves family time for spring break, Genesis seeks novelty—like a last-minute getaway to an untouched beach in Colombia. And when Genesis wants something, it happens.

But paradise has its price. Dragged from their tents under the cover of dark, Genesis, Maddie, and their friends are kidnapped and held for ransom deep inside the jungle—with no diva left behind. It all feels so random to everyone except Genesis. She knows they were targeted for a reason. And that reason is her.

Now, as the hours count down, only one thing’s for certain: If the Miami hostages can’t set aside their personal problems, no one will make it out alive.



A Note from Rachel Vincent


In my upcoming YA suspense 100 HOURS, Genesis and her cousin Maddie come from opposite ends of the privilege spectrum, but when they wind up kidnapped for ransom during spring break in Colombia and have no one else to count on, they discover they have more in common than either of them thought.

If you’ve read any of my previous releases, 100 HOURS probably seems like a departure for a Rachel Vincent book. And that’s what I thought, back when it was just me and an idea. But as I wrote the story and got to know the characters, I realized that even though this book is set in the Colombian jungle and these characters have no supernatural abilities, 100 HOURS is very much a book about the themes that draw me in over and over. Survival. Family friction and loyalty. High-stakes pulse-racing action. Twists, turns, secrets, and revelations. Girls who can fend for themselves—and for anyone else who needs help.








About the author:


Rachel Vincent is a former English teacher and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who’s been her # 1 fan from the start. Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, and she remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy—but social media is a close second.

Photo credit: Kim Haynes Photography






Giveaway

Courtesy of the author, there is a blitz-wide giveaway for…


  • ONE (1) winner will receive a SIGNED SET of a paperback copy of THE STARS NEVER RISE + an ARC of THE FLAME NEVER DIES


  • Giveaway is US only. Must be 13 or older to enter. Giveaway ends on July 11th at 11:59 PM Pacific. 

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below...


     
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Monday, June 27, 2016

    Get HOOKED on BOOKS! 2016 Virtual Adult Summer Reading Program!! #VASRP

    Hey guys!

    Today I'm having a sign up post for yet another reading challenge! But this one is a very fun one hosted by my friends Octavia from Read Sleep Repeat & Valerie from He Said Books Or Me!!

    It's based on those library summer programs we had as kids and will work as a challenge with rewards and mini challenges and Twitter Chats!! Read more about it and sign up HERE or HERE!




    I'm planning to work on this challenge and continue to make progress on my other challenges, and to add a bit more to it, I've decided to plan it as a double challenge! On one side I plan to finish a lot of series (mostly trilogies and duologies) that I've been meaning to finish for at least a year if not way more, and everytime I finish one, I plan to reward myself by reading one of my BEA ARCs! I'll be choosing only from the September books pile, but it'll be making progress on my ARC pile and rewarding myself for finally tackling those series!

    So here is the intended pile for my 2016 Virtual Adult Summer Reading Program! #VASRP



    Series that need to be finished on one side, non-series books that I really want to read, or I've been meaning to read for a long time in the other, and in the middle, my reward ARCs!

    Looking at that pile, I think I'm clearly aiming for the Spin Bait Read level (17-24 books). Wish me luck guys!

    Friday, June 24, 2016

    Friday Reads: Mini reviews for The Star Touched Queen & The Forbidden Wish!!!

    Hiya there guys!

    While I'm sleeping the day away after working a double shift yesterday and working night shift again tonight, I'm gonna leave you with a pair of mini reviews for this week's Friday Reads!

    Both books are 2016 releases, both highly awaited for me, and one of them even more because it was one of my top 3 MOST awaited debuts of the year! I'll be counting it towards my 2016 Debut Author Challenge!




    The Star-Touched QueenThe Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars


    With a most wondrous & gorgeous prose and a wonderful story full of Hindu mythology and with a few winks to both Hades & Persephone (and maybe it's just me, but also a lil bit of Eros & Pysche myth), this one is the perfect debut to leave us wanting more! The story does end like a standalone, even if it also makes you want a lil bit more.

    I could go on and on about the amazing writing and how it reminded me of the traditional myths and how they resonate very much in this story, but without the dryness that sometimes the more traditional storytelling they might have. You simply cannot stop turning pages to see what else will be coming, what else we'll find out about the past and the previous history of the characters.

    The world was both wondrous and utterly dangerous and the secondary characters really added so much to the story, particularly a certain non-vegetarian horse! I couldn't get enough of her thoughts stream and her sense of humour!

    I was quite surprised about the progression of the book, because I wasn't sure where the story was going or what turns it'd take, given the various myths that I feel woven into the story! Which made it even more fun to read, meeting new characters, seeing Maya discover who she was and who she is and who she wants to be, and what she wants her future to be!

    Now, I will read whatever Roshani will write next, grocery list and all! Very much deserved 5 stars to this most highly awaited debut that didn't disappoint!



     The Forbidden WishThe Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

    My rating: 4 of 5 stars


    Oh how I loved this retelling of the Aladdin story!! Aladdin has always been one of my fave Disney movies and I've always been a big fan of the tales from the 1001 Arabian Nights, so when I heard about a retelling with a gender swapped genie, I was all over it!

    This was my first Jessica Khoury book and I'm very much in love with her writing and storytelling style! The story is told in first person POV and we are in Zahra's mind, which makes it easier to understand her doubts, her torn feelings and loyalties and made me really root for her!

    Aladdin both the lovely rogue we know and also so much more! We are given some background about his family and the rebellion he is avoiding and we understand him so much better, even if we're never inside his head. I feel like multiple POV chapters between Zahra and Aladdin would have been a lot of fun to read too!

    Between the personal relationships between characters, human politics and power plays and the threat and power plays between the Jinn too, the book was never boring! There's so much scheming and plotting and finding alliances! Zahra finds herself having to make some very tough choices! And to make everything even more interesting, we get Zahra's remembrances about the past and her human friend and sister like, her guilt about what happened and the fact that time has changed the history and the story of Zahra and her friend.

    Wrapped so well but I feel like I still want more!! I'm not keen on saying goodbye to Zahra and Aladdin or Cas and her Watchmaidens...

    Very much deserved 4 to 4.5 stars! I'm very much hoping Jessica Khoury will feel like writing a companion novel or two, because I so loved the world and the characters!


    Thursday, June 23, 2016

    The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins: Cover Reveal!!!

    Hiya there guys!!

    Today I am so super stocked to help revealing yet another utterly gorgeous cover!! This really seems to be the week of ALL THE COVERS!! And they're all prettier than the one that came before! I feel like I'll have a gorgeousness overload!!

    It's no secret that I adore Wendy Higgins and her books so when she asked for bloggers to reveal the cover of her latest book, I signed up!!

    Today we're revealing the cover of The Great Pursuit, the sequel to The Great Hunt and the final book in the Eurona Duology!!


    Are you guys ready to see the cover??


    >>>>


    >>>>



    >>>>>>


    >>>>>>





    Lochlanach has traded the great beast for something far more terrible, a Lashed enemy veiled in beauty, deception, and a vengeance passed down through generations: Rozaria Rocato. And she’s offering the hunter Paxton Seabolt power and acceptance he could never receive in his homeland. Pax must decide how far he’s willing to go under her tutelage, knowing she is the opponent of Princess Aerity Lochson.

    In a land where traditionalists dread change, the Lochlan throne must contend with mysterious foes and traitors, while attempting to keep revolt at bay. As dire circumstances strike the royal family, matters of the castle are left in Aerity’s hands. It's time to put aside her fears and grasp the reign, taking actions that have the potential to save or destroy her people.

    One hunt has ended, but the pursuit for love and justice continue. In this sequel to The Great Hunt from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, political intrigue and romance intensify in another thrilling fantasy. Princess Aerity embraces a quest for identity and passion before making the ultimate sacrifice for her kingdom.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28370779-the-great-pursuit

     
     
    I adored The Great Hunt and since I read it early, the wait for The Great Pursuit is long and full of terrors (sorry, had to!) and I just cannot wait till March 7th!!

    If you guys haven't read The Great Hunt yet, you guys are lucky because it is on sale for $3.99 as an ebook on both Kindle and Nook!!

    Fall of Thrones And Thorns by Jennifer Ellision Cover Reveal!!





    Hey there guys!!

    It seems like this is the week of cover reveals, and oh my goodness, how so very gorgeous they all are!!

    I'm so very happy to take part of the reveal of the utterly gorgeous cover of the third book in the Threats of Sky & Sea series by Jennifer Ellision, organized by Xpresso Book Tours!




    Fall of Thrones and Thorns by Jennifer Ellision
    (Threats of Sky and Sea #3)
    Publication date: September 27th 2016
    Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
    War hurtles in, a typhoon over the sea.

    After Bree’s life was torn apart, Nereidium had represented a haven to her. A place that—if she could save it—was beyond the King’s reach.

    And, at last, she’s arrived upon its shores. But things in Nereidium are not what they should be.

    The land is plagued by a rash of mysterious earthquakes, the likes of which it’s never known. The governors are distracted by old traditions, while Bree and her friends grapple with changing identities and the sense that the longer they wait to take action… the greater the danger from Egria grows.

    Bree is tired of living under the shadow of King Langdon’s power. And she’s tired of waiting for him to be the first to act.

    In this final chapter of the Threats of Sky and Sea series, it all comes down to Nereidium or Egria. To Bree or the King. It’s kill… or be killed.

    And not everyone will escape the battle unscathed.


    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25450479-fall-of-thrones-and-thorns



    Previous books in the series:
    20498423
    Beautiful woman with katana isolated on the white background




    About the author:

    Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn't find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She resides in South Florida with her family, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit

     Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter




    XBTBanner1

    Wednesday, June 22, 2016

    You'll Want To Read This Book Wednesday: Vicarious by Paula Stokes!!


    You'll Want To Read This Book Wednesday was inspired by Save the Date from The Perpetual Page Turner and Pre-Squee from Bewitched Bookworms, when I decided to do my own feature/meme to showcase those books that I get to read pretty ahead of time (mainly from BEA) and it'd replace Waiting on Wednesday on my blog. It might be weekly, bi-weekly or once a month, depending on when I indulge on reading one of the far off ARCs!

    This week I'm showcasing an ARC that I got sent quite a while back and that I read as a beta reader and simply ADOREEED!! It's coming out this August and if you guys haven't got it on your list of books to read... YOU NEED TO!!



    Vicarious by Paula Stokes

    Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together, the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States.

    Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you, for a price.

    When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the neural recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.


    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26114131-vicarious


    It's no secret that Paula is one of my fave authors, and one of the many things that I love about her is how capable she is to write very different books very well! She can write fluffy contemporaries with relevant themes (Girl Against The Universe) and she can write murder mysteries that keep you guessing (Liars INC), and now Vicarious, that is a genre defying book! It's a thriller, a mystery, science fiction and it's got quite a few tough themes that are important to be brought to attention.

    Vicarious is one of those books that have you saying "just one more chapter" because you just cannot stop reading! It'll keep you guessing, will make you feel the tension and the uncertainty and also has a few lighter moments to keep the balance. There's a swoony possible love interest, an adorable cat, family relationships and a twist that you WON'T see coming!! As soon as I read it I had to text Paula all my "WTF?!? HOW DID YOU!?! THAT WAS BRILLIANT!?!" and yes, all caps are required!!

    You have been warned! You need this book like NOW, and you'll need someone to talk about spoilers once you read it!! So go preorder Vicarious so you can start reading it ASAP!!

    Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    Blood of the Prophet by Kat Ross Cover Reveal!!!





    Hello guys!!

    Today I'm so super excited to take part of the cover reveal for the sequel for The Midnight Sea (that I loved, both the book and the cover!!) organized by Xpresso Book Tours and I just cannot stop looking at it because it's OH SO GORGEOUS!!





    Blood of the Prophet by Kat Ross
    (The Fourth Element, #2)
    Publication date: September 12th 2016
    Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
    Visionary. Alchemist. Savior. Saint.

    The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That’s what happens when you’ve been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again…

    It’s only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King’s dungeons with her da─ôva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius’s mother with it. But they’re not the only ones looking.

    The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn in to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay…


    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30228183-blood-of-the-prophet




    Sequel to:
    29670787




    About the author:

    Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats.

    Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.








    GIVEAWAY!
    a Rafflecopter giveaway



    XBTBanner1