August 2017 | Book Haul

Green Rider by Kristen Britain

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Changless by Gail Carriger

Weregirl by C.D Bell

Chimera by C.D Bell

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Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel | Excerpt Reveal

I’m seriously questioning the wisdom of coming here. Who is this boy? Who are these people? I may not want these answers. Whatever illusion I had been weaving about this being a normal family can’t be true. This is a family, yes, but one putting on an elaborate show to appear to be something they are not. “Everyday life can’t be so bad,” I say lightly, eager to change the subject before I start luring myself down a hole. “You have a beautiful home, a nice family. You’re popular at school. Kiera Shaw certainly likes you.”

He turns his gaze to me, slowly. “Kiera Shaw? You think I like her?”

“I don’t know what you like.” I don’t blink. I don’t look away. “I know only what I’ve seen.”

Reece leans close, gently entering my personal space. Close enough to put me on edge, but not close enough to intimidate. His voice is silk on gravel. His narrowed eyes glitter down at me. “And what, exactly, have you seen, Angie?”

Shivers race up my skin. I want to defuse this so badly, but I feel like this is a challenge I can’t lose. “I’ve seen and heard things that don’t make sense. Things I can’t understand.” I shift my gaze to my crow sitting on a branch above my head. It watches me with an intensity that would scare me if I wasn’t accustomed to it. “Tell me about the crows.”

He shakes his head. “Sorry. Either you know about them, or you don’t.”

My jaw tightens, even as I step toward him. I can feel his body heat. His clean, guy scent fills my senses with a unique magnetism that draws me close. Closer still. “I will find out.”

His gaze sweeps my face, lingering on my lips. “I hope not.” His breath warms my temple, sending a shiver under my skin. “There are worse things out there than a few watchful birds.”

“Like what?” I’m breathless, damn him. My words are barely audible.

His lashes fan low over his eyes. The narrow space between us crackles with tension. “Oh Angie, you don’t want to know.”

Look for Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel 9/5!

New Beginnings | Quotes

I am about to make a move across the country for a new job and thought these quotes were fitting for where I am at in my life right now.

“make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

“And I realized that there’s a big difference between deciding to leave and knowing where to go.”
― Robyn Schneider, The Beginning of Everything

“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. Likewise, I never imagined that home might be something I would miss.”
― Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“But there’s no such thing as a completely fresh start. Everything new arrives on the heels of something old, and every beginning comes at the cost of an ending.”
― Jennifer E. Smith, The Geography of You and Me

“Hard is trying to rebuild yourself, piece by piece, with no instruction book, and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go.”
― Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down

“Men tell stories. Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow war. There were no parades for us when it was over, no medals or mentions in history books. We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over.”
― Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

“Love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element.”
― Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife

“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

“Some people, they can’t just move on, you know, mourn and cry and be done with it. Or at least seem to be. But for me… I don’t know. I didn’t want to fix it, to forget. It wasn’t something that was broken. It’s just…something that happened. And like that hole, I’m just finding ways, every day, of working around it. Respecting and remembering and getting on at the same time. ”
― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

“Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather learning to start over.”
― Nicole Sobon, Program 13

“You can’t look back – you just have to put the past behind you, and find something better in your future.”
― Jodi Picoult, Salem Falls

TV Watch List


I have been watching a lot of TV lately and I thought it would be fun to do some TV series reviews and thought discussions. I thought I would start with just listing all the TV shows I have completed and then when I get to the reviews and discussions I will link back to this post!
♦ 13 Reasons Why

♦ Orange Is The New Black

♦ The 100

♦ Younger

♦ Buffy The Vampire Slayer

♦ Pretty Little Liars

♦ The OC

♦ Grey’s Anatomy

♦ Riverdale

♦ Game of Thrones

♦ Big Little Lies

♦ #Girlboss

♦ The Handmaid’s Tale

♦ Harlots

♦ Famous In Love

♦ Broad City

♦ Gossip Girl

♦ The Client List

♦ Scandal

♦ The Fosters

♦ Finding Carter

♦ The Bold Type

Free Kindle Loaning Library

I saw some people talking about this on Twitter. How people can loan out certain books to others from their Kindles. I have so many books on my kindle that can be loaned out and I am not reading them right now so I figured I would put them up for others to read. Below are all the titles. A lot of them are more obscure and not well known, but there are a few popular ones within the list. If you are interested in loaning any of these kindle books from me just leave me a comment or send me a message in my contact.
Wicked Games Jessica Clare, Jill Myles
The Beautiful and Damned F. Scott  Fitzgerald
Realm Keepers Garrett Robinson, Z. C. Bolger
The Darkest Minds -Alexandra Bracken
Collide Shelly Crane
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë
Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
Little Women Louisa May Alcott
Scarred J. S. Cooper
Johnny Rachel Dunning
Alienated Melissa Landers
Minutes Before Sunset Shannon A. Thompson

Books I Would Like To Reread

I first created a post like this back in 2014- Top Ten Books I Want To Reread. I thought it would be fun to do it again. Also for the fact that I have recently acquired a lot of free time and have been really wanting to do some rereads. I really want to try to read at least one a month. Some of these I need to reread so I can continue with the series. It is always a struggle to decide whether or not to reread a book you love or to read and find new loves. But I think it is important to revisit the books that have impacted your life and left an impression on you or even just ones that you got lost in. There have been so many books that I would say have saved me when I was lost and recently I really believe I need to revisit some of those characters and stories to find myself again. 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Looking For Alaska by John Green

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson 

Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder 

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien 

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett 

The Raven Boys & The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Volition by Lily Paradis 

 

 

 

Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell | Author Interview

GARDEN OF THORNS BY AMBER MITCHELL 

Synopsis:

After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.

INTERVIEW WITH AMBER 

– Top 5 Things readers need to know about the book.

  1. Rose is a flawed protagonist. She doesn’t necessarily have fighting skills but she is smart.
  2. The land of Delmar is a brutal world and the action in the story illustrates that.
  3. Trust isn’t easily earned but it is easily broken.
  4. Rayce is a genuine good guy and they can most definitely be sexy too!
  5. Even in the most dire situations, you can find true love.

 

– Who/What was your inspiration for becoming a writer? How long have you been writing?

I’m not sure there is really a “who”. I’ve enjoyed writing stories ever since I was young. My first “real” story was a play I wrote for my third grade class. It was about 20-pages long which at the time seemed like a whole novel. I can definitely say that my high school teacher (I had him for 11th and 12th grade) helped me decide that I could get published one day if I put in enough work and he spent so many hours reviewing the first chapter of my first novel which I rewrote maybe ten times. He was definitely instrumental in my growth to start taking my writing seriously.

– Which of your characters would you say you are most like?

I fall somewhere between Rose and Marin. I like to joke around a lot like Marin and though I don’t always show it, I’m actually an optimist. I wish for the best but the realist in me braces for the worst. Unfortunately, I’m plagued with Rose’s anxiety so I relate to her a lot when I write her. Sometimes I let fear hold me captive so it was really therapeutic to write a character who must find a way past her fears.

– If your book was to be turned into a movie who would you cast as your leads?

This one is tough. I kind of just want to cast Chris Pratt as every part so I get to see more Chris Pratt but I don’t think he’d fit a single character!

For Rayce, I have a hard time seeing anyone else besides Godfrey Gao. He’s the perfect choice!

Rose has always been harder. I think it’s because I have a very specific picture in my head and no one quite fits it. Maybe someone like Chloe Grace Moretz? I’m not exactly happy with that choice but I’ve been thinking about this question forever and am never happy with it!

– Did you have to research anything for your book?

I did a lot of research into the ancient dynasties of China since Delmar is very loosely based off of them. Particularly the Song dynasty. I wanted to know about the crops they harvested, what they ate, what their daily lives looked like. For as much research as I did, only a tiny portion ended up making it into the book but it was important for me to understand the Delmar Empire and how it sustained itself.

– In 5 words how would you describe Garden of Thorns?

Exciting. Brutal. Romantic. Epic fantasy.

– What is your favorite book?

This question isn’t fair! I love so many books. A few of my favorite series are Harry Potter by JK Rowling (because, of course!), Poison Study series by Maria V Snyder and the Abhorsen trilogy by Nix Garth.

– What inspired the idea of the Garden?

It was actually a mixture of ideas. Whenever I would watch a movie and there would be a ballroom scene with girls in ball gowns, I would always think they looked like flowers when they twirled. That image stuck with me and I thought it would be really interesting to make a performance group of “dancing flowers”. I had this vision in my mind of a girl who was fierce, seething as she was dancing and desperate to escape that life and I wanted to know why. I didn’t actually start writing this book until a few years later and it must have been marinating in my head because the idea of the Garden sort of flowed onto the page logically from there.

– What’s on your playlist? Does the music go with your book?

I always write to music. Sometimes when a scene has a certain emotion, I can take the feeling of the music and inject it into the story. I switch back and forth between purely instrumental and songs with lyrics.

Though I have a lengthy playlist for Garden of Thorns, the two songs I listened to a lot through the editing process were “Mother Misery” by Letters from the Fire and “Outstretched Hands” by Starfield.

The first song captured Rose’s desperation at the ending of the book perfectly for me. The song describes a hopeless situation and yet, the singer still has so much hope.

The second song really captured all the questions Rose and Rayce have about each other. Their relationship to me has always been a question of whether they can rely on each other or if the world will get the best of them and this song represents that hesitance even though they want to be together.

 

Meet the Author: 

Website: ambermitchellbooks.com
Twitter : @amberinblunderl
Goodreads
Amazon

 

Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell | ARC Review

GARDEN OF THORNS BY AMBER MITCHELL

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Entangled Teen in return for an honest review

Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Synopsis:
After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.

Goodreads| Amazon

*I would like to thank Entangled Teen for the copy of this book in return for an honest review*

From the very beginning this book dives right in and takes off with thrilling intensity. The concept of the Garden and all that these captured girls go through in this traveling burlesque troupe was so captivating and made me want to continue from the very start. There are secrets, intrigue and kingdoms at war.

I thought Mitchell did a wonderful job with the opening of the book. I was so drawn in from the first page. She was able to maintain my attention and keep me on the edge of my seat until the end, although I did think it faltered a little in the middle. The character development of the main character Rose was so well executed. She had issues and unlike so many YA novels she actually had to work through her issues and face her own demons which was refreshing. I find that in so many novels the issues are presented and then quickly are dissolved. Rose was a strong female heroine and definitely makes the whole female independence a strong motto.

The other characters were really well developed and so well described that I could picture them perfectly. The thing with such great character development is I feel like Mitchell fell a little short on the world building. There was so much room for great world development being a fantasy novel and even more about the Garden. I was really intrigued by the concept of the Garden and wanted more from it.

I had just a few other issues with this book and without giving too much away, I thought the romance at times was too much. I really liked the way it ended but at the beginning it came on too strong and didn’t follow Roses beliefs but Mitchell managed to straighten it out and actually make me really happy that it was in the story and added a great component. The last problem I found was with how quickly they threw Rose out on missions and how she was trusted with little to no training.

Overall, I found this story to be very unique and nothing I have read before. It did not shy away from the gruesome details and wasn’t afraid to not let a strong female overcome obstacles and shine. Garden of Thorns was a fast read and kept me on the edge of my seat, never knowing what was going to happen the whole time. It made me experience a wide range of emotions and actually had an ending I cannot complain about. I really recommend YA fantasy readers who enjoy strong female leads and times of war and unrest to pick this book up!

You might also like:

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Alanna by Tamora Pierce

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins | Book Review

22557272THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN BY PAULA HAWKINS

Genre: Adult Mystery

“Hollowness: that I understand. I’m starting to believe that there isn’t anything you can do to fix it. That’s what I’ve taken from the therapy sessions: the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps”
― Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train

Synopsis:
EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Goodreads | Amazon

review

I am going to start with this first… I thought Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was better. I have heard a lot that this is a book you either love or you hate. I felt meh about it. I sometimes have a hard time reading mystery novels because the part that I love is the end. At the end of mysteries is when all the crazy gets figured out and there is always some sort of big twist and unexpected ending.

I read this book kind of fast, but I think it was due to the fact that I had a lot of free time and the nature of how short the sections were. The narrative jumps between mainly two different characters and adds a third about halfway through. In my opinion that was the best part because you get a different perspective from each character that is so bias and a bit unreliable. Besides this fact the story kind of dragged for me and I had a tough time getting through the dry monotonous that was the beginning of the book. I was driven by the motivation to figure out what had happened.

As with most mystery novels I was trying the whole time to figure out who had done it and what had happened. I have to say this book stumped me. I thought I had everything figured out but was completely wrong. I really enjoyed the ending. It was suspenseful and had me on the edge of my seat. 

Overall I thought the book was okay. The ending of the book saved it for me. I did enjoy the characters, it is great to read imperfect characters that are dealing with inner conflict and real struggles. I thought the nature of the characters being unreliable really added to the overall mystery feel of the story. If you enjoy mystery novels or even Gillian Flynn’s writing I think you should give this a try. I am also excited that this just came out as a movie and I cant wait to watch it and see what they did with it.

RATING-2

The Walrus and the Book Reader | Mini Reviews #1

mini-reviews-3

I have been really busy this past year and I haven’t had much time for writing reviews. I figured I would do a series or mini reviews. Some of the books I read I am going to do full out reviews, but most of them I did not have much to say or could not remember enough.

23093359The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust  Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie (Illustrations), Matt Wilson (Colorist), Clayton Cowles

Genre: Graphic Novel

Synopsis:Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

Goodreads| Amazon

review

This was the first graphic novel I have ever read. It was bought for me by a friend who is really into graphic novels and thought this might peak my interest. I have to say I did enjoy it, but it was a little hard for me to get into and follow the storyline. The illustrations were absolutely beautiful and I really enjoyed the graphics. So overall it was okay, but I am not totally sold on the graphic novels.

4oysters


18478083 Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

Genre: YA Contemporary

Synopsis:                                                                                            In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls “gorgeous, funny, and joyous,” readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all of its forms.

Goodreads| Amazon

review

I did not know much about this book when I got it. It was on sale for 1.99 and I figured why not. This is one of those books that did not leave much of an impact on me because I do not remember much about it. I know it was a quick and cute read. The road trip and friendship elements were a great component of the story and made the book enjoyable. What I did have an issue with was the romance, or the fact that everything Eva was doing was based on following a boy across the country. I like the realizations that both girls came to and how they developed throughout the story. Overall this was a cute book that works well if you want a fast and fluffy read.

3oysters

*ratings are done on the oyster scale*