Friday Reads | Finding My Way Back

downthebookhole

I am currently in the middle of 5 different books. Ever since I went on vacation I have been in a bit of a reading slump, but also just super busy with other things, especially work. A few of them I am more than halfway through so I just need to sit down and complete them.I just got some ARCs in the mail and really want to be able to start and review those books. I have been binging so much tv that I havent read much either. Staring at my bookcases just make me want to read all of the books. The books I am reading are:

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
  • The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
  • Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  • Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

What are you reading this weekend?

 

Advertisements

Phoenix Fire by SD Grimm | ARC Review

PHOENIX FIRE BY SD GRIMM

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publication Date: March 5th 2018

Synopsis: 
After spending her life in foster care, Ava has finally found home. But all it takes is a chance encounter with hot nerd Wyatt Wilcox for it to unravel.

Now, things are starting to change. First, the flashes of memories slowly creeping in. Memories of other lives, lives that Wyatt is somehow in. Then, the healing. Any cut? Gone.

But when Cade and Nick show up, claiming to be her brothers, things get even weirder. They tell her she’s a Phoenix, sent to protect the world from monsters—monsters she never knew existed. It’s a little hard to accept. Especially when they tell her she has to end the life of a Phoenix turned rogue, or Cade will die.

With Wyatt’s increasingly suspicious behavior, Ava’s determined to figure out what he’s hiding. Unless she can discover Wyatt’s secret in time and complete her Phoenix training, she’ll lose the life, love, and family she never thought she could have.

Goodreads | Amazon

 *I would like to thank Entangled Teen for the chance to read and review this book in return for my honest opinion!*

I am not even sure where to start with this review. Let me start by saying PHOENIX !!!! This is the first book I have ever read that focused on the phoenix and I thought S.D Grimm did a good job developing a story off of the phoenix and creating this whole world and backstory for the Phoenix and their purpose in our world. Now let me also say that the phoenix was not the only mythical creature that made an appearance.

I don’t want to say much about the phoenix incorporation or backstory because you learn more throughout the whole story alongside the characters, but the whole idea of rebirth and past lives has always intrigued me. Grimm was able to slowly reveal the story and have the characters put in together piece by piece with such great detail and thought. The story was complex and had a lot of moving pieces for awhile that I was pulled even deeper in trying to figure out what had happened, what was happening and what was going to be the result.

I am not usually a huge fan of multiple POV but thought it worked so well for how this story was being told and in putting together all the pieces. Each of the characters had their strengths and weaknesses. There were quite a few times I found myself screaming at Ava and the choices she made. All the different interactions and relationships really added to the story.

Overall I enjoyed this story and the way it was written. It had me on the edge of my seat at times and had me yelling at characters at other times. I loved the fact that it revolved around the idea of this Phoenix community and would love to see more books incorporate the idea of phoenix. The world building and background development were well though out and I didn’t feel like I had a lot of questions that went unanswered which is always a plus. Grimm balanced the characters and multiple POVs so well and really drove the story forward at a nice pace. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys paranormal reads or wants to experience an interesting novel containing phoenix!

Dio Candle Co. Adorable Monthly | February Box

So in search of all things bookish for different people and gift boxes and stumbled upon this adorable candle shop on Etsy. In my gushing over their page I discovered their website! I love subscription boxes and saw that they did a monthly box that included 4 different candles that fit a theme. The price is really reasonable so I thought I would give it a try. I am now hooked and I am sure to become their biggest supporter.Check out their instagram @diocandleco ! 

February’s Theme: The Greatest Michaels of All Time 

*  My Michael

* #23

* World’s Best Boss

* King of Pop

They also do this really fun instagram challenge that is associated with each candle! If you complete all the challenges you could get a gift! I will update this as I take the pictures!

 

* My Michael Challenge*

*#23 Challenge*

* World’s Best Boss Challenge*

* King of Pop Challenge*

 

March’s Theme: Mall Madness

Use the code: DownTheBookHole for 10% off your purchase! 

diocandlecompany.com

#OTSPSecretSister| February Package

In case you aren’t aware of what #otspsecretsister is:
The Secret Sister project is essentially a cheer club. Think Secret Santa but all year round (in 6 month intervals) with less emphasis on big presents, and more thoughtful notes, cards, small somethings sent just to let your secret sister know that you are thinking about her!

This is my third round participating in the #otspsecretsister project. The first time I did the pen pal tier and really enjoyed it! There is nothing better than receiving mail! This round I am participating in the top tier. New round, new sister!

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

♣ Cheshire Cat Funko Pop!

♣ Barnes & Noble Gift Card

♣ Teal Nail Polish

♣ Mini Reese’s

♣ Magnetic Bookmarks

♣ Pecan Pie Coffee

♣ Heart Snoopy Notepad

Is anyone else participating in the new round of #otspsecretsister ! 

2018 Beat The Backlist Challenge | February Update

 

I have some really big goals for myself with this new year, both personally and with regards to books. This will be the first year that I will be in one place (hopefully) not juggling school or the constant traveling I have experience that past few years. I am really trying to focus on myself and trying to limit distractions and drama. One of my biggest book goals next year is to read the books I own and definitely catch up on series I am so far behind on or that I need to read. (Shoutout to Alex @ Booksy Daisy for posting her tbr and convincing me to do this!) Beat the Backlist hosted by Novel knight is the perfect challenge. (I do better when I am able to mark off a list so challenges work so well for me) Now I cannot make promises that the books I list are going to be the ones I actually read, but it is the goal to get these ones specifically. I am setting myself the goal of 50 books! I haven’t decided what I want my year goal to be, but with the hopes of tackling the books on my shelf I definitely want to focus more on the backlist and older books!


THE CHALLENGE

  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.
  • Books must be released prior to 2018 to count for this challenge.

My (Tentative) TBR List 

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
The Looking Glass Wars
Seeing Redd
ArchEnemy

Shattered Sea Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
Half A King
Half the World
Half a War

♣ Lunar Chronicle Series by Marissa Meyer
Cress
Fairest
Winter

♣ Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Immortal Series by Tamora Pierce
Wild Magic
Wolf-Speaker
Emperor Mage
The Realm of the Gods

♣ Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black
Valiant
Ironside

♣ Sweet Trilogy by Wendy Higgins
Sweet Evil
Sweet Peril
Sweet Reckoning

♣ Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
Legend
Prodigy
Champion

♣ Misborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

♣ Avalon Duology by Mindee Arnett
Avalon
Polaris

♣ Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson
The Crown of Embers
The Bitter Kingdom

♣ Wait For You Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Wait For You
Trust In Me
Be With Me
Stay With Me
Fall With Me
Forever With You

♣ Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan 
The Lightening Thief
The Sea of Monsters
The Titan’s Curse
The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Last Olympian

♣ Rome by Jay Crownover 

♣ Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell 

♣ A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini 

♣ Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer

♣ Notorious RBG: The Life and Time of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon

♣ Americanah by Chimanada Ngozi Adichie

♣ Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 

♣ Lock in by John Scalzi 

♣ Kings of Broken Things by Theodore Wheeler 

Original List [3/50]

♠ The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

♠ The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

♠ Final Girls by Riley Sager

♠ Dear Martin by Nic Stone

♠ The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

♠ Wicked by Jennifer L Armentrout

♣ Torn by Jennifer L Armentrout

♠ The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

Total {11/50}

 

Let me know if you are participating and what team you are on! Happy Reading and Tackle that TBR! 

Series Serial Reader| February 2018 Update

ABOUT


The past couple of years my life has taken me all over the country doing a variety of different things, but it has kept me from reading. Especially reading all the books that have been coming out and catching up on series I have started. I decided that I wanted to make this a year revolving mainly around series. I made the decision that it would be fun to create a challenge for myself and that is how Series Serial Reader came about. This will be my second year attempting this challenge. I did not do so well at it last year, but I know 2018 is going to be the year of series!

OBJECTIVE


The point of this challenge is:
♠ To get me to read series that have been completed and that I haven’t even started yet and are embarrassed to say I haven’t read yet.
♠ Finish series that have been completed in publication, but that I have not gotten to finished *cough Harry Potter cough*
♠ Finally catch up and understand what everyone in the book community has been talking about
♠ Have fun and get lost in new books

THE CHALLENGE


I am going to be following a tracking system that I have been using for the past couple years and that can be found in my 2018 Series Challenge. I will also be doing monthly updates on my blog and possibly update on my twitter @downthebookhole and on my Instagram @downthebookhole. I have been thinking that once I finish a series I might do some post including series wrap-ups and other little themes that might go along with the books (possibly even throughout the series). I would love to do buddy reads for any of the series I want to read this year. I also plan on binge reading a lot of these!

THE SERIES


The series I want to read fall under a few different categories:

Completed Series I Need To Finish
◊ Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
◊ Marked Men by Jay Crownover
◊ Misborn by Brandon Sanderson
◊ Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
◊ Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
◊ Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
◊ Asylum by Madeleine Roux
◊ Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
◊ The Sparrow and The Wolf by Tim Stead
◊ Shattered Sea by Joe Abercrombie
◊ Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black
◊ Mortal Instuments by Cassandra Clark
◊ Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
◊ Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
◊ The Divine Cities by Robert Jackson Bennett

Completed Series I Want To Start/Read

♦ Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima
♦ Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan {started 1/5}
♦ Immortals by Tamora Pierce {started 2/4}
♦ Protector of the Small by Tamora Pierce
♦ Legend by Marie Lu
♦ The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
♦ The First Law by Joe Abercrombie
♦ White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter
♦ The Sweet Trilogy by Wendy Higgins
♦ The Grisha by Leigh Bardugo
♦ Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout
♦ Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
♦ Georgia Kincaid by Richelle Mead
♦ The Magicians by Lev Grossman
♦ All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
♦ The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence
♦ The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
♦ A Wicked Trilogy by Jennifer L. Armentrout {started 2/3}
♦ The Wingman INC Duology by Rachel Van Dyken {started 1/2}

Series I Need To Catch Up On

♣ Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R Ward
♣ A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
♣ Saints of Denver by Jay Crownover
♣ Gentlemen Bastard by Scott Lynch
♣  Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs

Uncompleted Series I Want To Start

♠ Age of X by Richelle Mead
♠ Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
♠ A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R Martin
♠ Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
♠ The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee {started 2/3}

GOALS


I know there is no way possible I can get all of these read this year but I really want to make it my mission to try and get through as many as possible. I want to complete at least 6 series this year but hoping for so many more!

JOIN


I would love for others to join in the fun of binge reading series this year. What series should I put at the top of my priority list? Are there any you have been meaning to read and want to do a buddy read with me? Are there any I should add to this list? I would love any input or interactions regarding this challenge. Make sure if you want to participate you link it back to this post so I can follow along with your progress!

Happy Reading!

2018 Bookish Bucket List | February Update

Here goes year 4 doing this! And I think this is going to be the year I actually complete my bookish bucket list! I really want to throw myself back into the book community and blogging world, the past few years have been a little tough to get the reading done and last year I set high goals, but came up short. 

♠ Read at least 75 books.
[I hit a bit of a slip up this past month and didnt do as well as I wanted but I have finished 11 so far!]

♠ Read and Complete 10 Series.
[ I have not completed any yet but have made some serious progress on some!]

♠ Read at least 6 BIG books. This is a repeat from last year.I feel like I am always so intrigued and interested in the huge books, but never get around to reading them because they are intimidating. (I am counting this as over 500 pages.)
[This has not happened yet, but it will]

♠ Read 50 books from my TBR (#beatthebacklist)
[ So this is like a double because not all the books I read for #beatthebacklist are from my TBR. ]

TBR: 5    #Beatthebacklist: 11

♠ Read at least 5 Non-Fiction Books.
[This has also not happened yet, but I have so many I want to get to this year]

♠ Post 3 Reviews a Month.
[ I was able to accomplish this in January, but this month things were so crazy and I was unable to keep up. I am hoping this next month I can do better. 

♠ Create or Join A Book Club.
[ I am joining Crone Blogger Book Club online!]

♠ Create my Own Read-A-Thon.  I want to create something that will become a yearly thing and go along with my blogiversary!
[ That happened in Feb! Check out the announcement post for my Down The Read-A-Thon Hole Challenge| Alice in Wonderland themed Read-A-Thon]

 

What are some of your 2018 goals/resolutions? How are you doing on them?

February 2018 Reads | First Lines

 

I decided that it would be fun to start a new feature to add the the wrap up of books I read every month. For me most of the time I pick up and look at books in the store it is the first lines that capture my attention and draw me in. It has always been intriguing to me the amount of thought that must go into those first words the author decides to but as the introduction to their work. The first lines are your first impression of the book.

Torn by Jennifer L. Armentrout
“My blood, red as a freshly picked rose, bubbled up from the center of my palm like my hand was some kind of volcano of freaking doom.”

The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken
” The tea? Cinnamon. The coffee shop? Secluded. Dark. Inviting. The girl? Late.”

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
“Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood”

Friday Reads | Catching Up After Vacation Hiatus

downthebookhole

I have so much to do after being on vacation for a week and a half. I did not read as much as I was hoping to in Feb. so I really want to take control and go head first into the month of March. I am currently in the middle of like 3 books and have a few I need to start for review and book clubs! I am almost done with Brave by Jennifer L Armentrout which I have been listening to as an audiobook. I am interested to see how this trilogy is going to end. I am also a third of the way through The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor and Phoenix Fire by S.D Grimm. I am hoping to make some dents in these books this weekend as well as catch up on all of last months wrap ups and posts I have forgotten. Look out for many blog posts coming your way in the next few days!

 

 

What are you reading this weekend?

 

Tempest and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce Excerpt | Blog Tour

Title: TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER

Author: Tamora Pierce

Pub. Date: February 6, 2018

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Pages: 480

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBD

 

Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.

Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

Act fast! The first printing of the hardcover includes a collector’s edition poster!

Excerpt:

Two days later Arram stood at one of the many docks in Thak’s Gate, watching his father and grandfather board the small shipping vessel that would take them across the Inland Sea to Tyra. He barely remembered the place: Carthak was his home now. He never said so, of course. His family would be hurt. But the truth was, they hardly seemed like family. The things they liked to talk or write to him about held little interest: shipping, cloth, cloth markets. The only thing about their way of life that fascinated Arram was the magic that could be worked with weaving and thread. His family scorned it—there was no status in such spells. Thread magic was the work of hedgewitches and goodywives, not worth their attention. If Arram became a mage, then all the money they’d put into his education would be worth something, but only in terms of battle or healing magic. Those would bring the family status and fortune.

Arram sighed. They loved him. He knew that, from the gifts they sent—sweets, warm blankets and coats, coin for shoes—and their letters. He loved them, for their kindness, their letters, and their visits. But he didn’t understand them, or they him. The games were just the most recent example.

He saw them waving and waved back. The ship was easing back from the dock as sailors rushed up the masts and around the deck. A crowd gathered around Arram, waving and shouting to those who were sailing away.

Someone shoved him. Arram scowled at her, but she didn’t even look down. He was insignificant. His temper roiled inside him. He was always too small, too young, always being put aside. His mood was strange today, prickly and restless. He was itchy inside his skin.

“Safe journey!” people shouted, and “Swift journey!”

The thought sprouted up like it had been waiting. There was a way he could do something significant. They wouldn’t know it, but he would. It wasn’t much, but he’d feel better for it. He looked hurriedly at the inside of the hem of his tunic, searching for a loose thread. Only a couple of months ago, he had begun reading about weather magic. He had memorized a few spells from it to try when he had some time alone, out in the fields beyond the university, but surely this spell was safe enough. It was for hedgewitches, after all, a blessing for ships and voyages. It was a small thing.

He found a loose thread and tugged it free. It was red, even better! Red was for luck, hope, and strength. Holding it down in front of his belly so the people around him wouldn’t see, he wove the two scarlet ends of the thread in and out of one another, murmuring the words of the old spell. His fingers and the back of his neck were tingling. Small breezes played with his heavy black curls. Sweat trickled down his temples as he finished with the traditional blessing for his relatives and the ship. The breeze tugged at the thread. The nervous energy that had plagued his insides all morning surged and tore the thread from his fingers. He could swear it was strange, strong power from inside him that did it, and not the gusting air. Whichever it was, his spell-thread yanked from his fingers to fly high over the harbor.

Right in front of everyone, the vessel that bore Arram’s father and grandfather leaped into the air like an exuberant zebra, dropped lightly into the water, and zipped between the two lighthouses that guarded the opening to the Inland Sea.

For a moment there was only the slap of waves on the pilings. Then, nearby, someone who sounded very official yelled, “Who cast that spell? I want him caught and held for breaking harbor law! Find him right now!”

Correctly guessing that no one would be looking for a ten-year-old boy, or even an eleven-year-old one, Arram squirmed his way out of the crowd. Once clear, Arram trotted to the spot where a cart regularly waited to take passengers along the eastern side of the city wall, paid his fare, and took a seat. He had a great deal to think about.

About Tamora:

Tamora Pierce is a bestselling author of young adult fantasy books that break past the traditions of the fantasy genre to feature teenage girls as knights, wizards, and above all: heroes. A #1 New York Times bestseller and the recipient of the 2013 Margaret A. Edwards award, Tamora has written over 30 books, including the upcoming TORTALL: A SPY’S GUIDE (Oct. 31, 2017) and TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER (Feb. 6, 2018).

Tamora was drawn to books from a young age. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, the child of a “long, proud line of hillbillies,” her family never had much. “We were poor, but I didn’t know it then. We had a garden where my folks grew fruit and vegetables and our water came from a well,” she explains. But one thing they did have was plenty of books. So Tamora read.

A self-proclaimed “geek,” she devoured fantasy and science fiction novels, and by the age of 12 was mimicking her literary idols and writing her own action-packed stories. It was thanks to her father that Tamora began writing. “He heard me telling myself stories as I did dishes, and he suggested that I try to write some of them down,” Pierce says.

But Tamora’s novels had one major difference: unlike the books she was reading, her stories featured teenaged girl warriors. “I couldn’t understand this lapse of attention on the part of the writers I loved, so until I could talk them into correcting this small problem, I wrote about those girls, the fearless, bold, athletic creatures that I was not, but wanted so badly to be.”

Seventeen years later, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, a brief career in teen social work and some time spent writing for radio, Tamora Pierce held true to her childhood crusade, and published ALANNA: THE FIST ADVENTURE, the first in a quartet about a valiant, young, female warrior. Pierce’s heroine struck a chord with readers across the country and quickly earned her a loyal following.

Now, with over 30 critically-acclaimed books to her name, Pierce lives in upstate New York with her husband Tim and their menagerie of nine cats, two birds, a flock of pigeons, various raccoons and squirrels, and one opossum. “It’s a pretty good life, if I do say so myself. Struggling along as a kid and even through my twenties, it’s the kind of life I dreamed of but never believed I would get. Yet here I am, after a lot of work, a lot of worry, a lot of care for details, and a massive chunk of luck, the kind that brought me such strong friends and readers. Pretty good for a hillbilly, yes? And I never take it for granted.”

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Details: International

3 winners will receive a finished copy of TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER, US Only.

Ends on March 2nd at Midnight EST!

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2688/?

Tour Schedule (full schedule):

Week Five:

2/26/2018- A Backwards Story– Review

2/27/2018- The Book Shire– Review

2/28/2018- Falling Down The Book Hole– Excerpt