Waiting on Wednesday #12: Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott


Hi everyone! Welcome to another "Waiting on Wednesday" post (meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!). 

This week I am waiting on:



Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott
October 10th 2017, Knopf Books for Young Readers
YA Mystery
Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.

With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.

As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.

From debut author Tracey Neithercott comes a darkly compelling tale of profound friendship, adventure, and finding the strength to tell the truth.
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This book sounds incredible! A treasure hunt with mysterious teens touched by magic? Count me in! I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy and to proudly display it on my shelf ♥ You must add this book to you TBR!
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What are you waiting on this week? :)

Release Day Review: The Union by S. Usher Evans

Title: The Union
Series: Madion War Trilogy #3
Author: S. Usher Evans
Genre: NA Fantasy/Dystopian
Publisher: Sun's Golden Day Publishing
Publication Date:  February 14th, 2017
Page Count:  277 pages
Format:  ARC
Source: From author in exchange of an honest review


Summary:
Fifty years of war have led to this. 

Prince Galian spends his days ministering to the sick in Kylae, but his nights strategizing how to change hearts and minds of his people. With the death camp closed, the country is becoming more volatile, and even King Grieg may not be able to maintain control over the warring factions.

Across the Great Madion Sea, Theo Kallistrate seeks an audience with the Raven rebels, rumored to be brewing insurrection against President Bayard. But they don't trust her, and progress has been achingly slow. When the war takes a major turn, Theo and Galian find themselves front and center in a political firestorm that could end with their union…or their funeral.

The Union is the final book in the Madion War Trilogy, which readers have called, "fast-paced," "compelling," and "not to be missed."
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 5/5 stars

First of all, HAPPY RELEASE DAY TO THE UNION! I read this wonderful book a few months ago and even after all this time, I cannot stop thinking how amazing and heart-stopping this book is. I smiled, I laughed, I cried, and basically felt all the feels in this epic conclusion to the Madion War Trilogy. My heart still hurts that this trilogy is over, but I am a happy to have gone on such a fantastic journey with Theo and my princeling, Galian. ♥

These two amazing main characters suffer so much throughout the series, battling with their beliefs, their expectations as citizens of warring countries, and their love for each other that only seems to be their downfall. Theo and Galian grow so much throughout the series, especially Galian, that by the time I reached the end of The Union (and recovered from a mini heart-attack) I felt so darn proud of both of them. 

The Union also made me fall more in love with the secondary characters. I didn't think Rhys, Kader, or even the Queen would manage to make me like them so much, but I did. I ended up looking forward to their scenes a lot (such smart people!). But my full appreciation goes to Rhys for being incredibly funny as well. I want one like him!!! (And I hope Galian doesn't see this).

However, if I had to point out one thing that really stood out to me in The Union, is how realistic Theo & Galian manage their relationship and how they deal with their problems. Being apart and having things on their minds takes a toll on them so their reactions were something I found interesting and that really added to the story.

OH BUT THE ENDING. Remember that mini panic-attack I mentioned earlier? Yeah, well, it's because S. Usher Evans is evil and plays with our feelings. I cannot say what happens for obvious reasons but I will say that it'll shatter your heart into a hundred pieces. Or, you know, poke you until you bleed dry from so many holes.

So yes, I highly recommend you read the Madion War Trilogy. It is full of feels, bad-ass characters, one charming Princeling, and an epic ending you definitely do not want to miss!

The Week's Entrée #137

Hi everyone! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

Guys, I remember yesterday that I had something to tell you all about but now I CANNOT REMEMBER. I feel that it was somehow important... OH WELL. But what I can tell you right now is that OHMYGOSH I am SUFFERING reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. SO MUCH. I am buddy reading this book and it has been excellent to have someone to discuss and all, and yet we both don't want to finish it because we have a feeling our ship will never sail or will drown or shot down *cries all the tears*. Will tell you all next week how it goes if we do end up finishing it. IF I can bear to write a post... or a review.



Have you guys been reading any good books lately? Books that have taken over your mind 24/7? Please do let me know which so I can check them out. I have a feeling I'm heading straight into the worst book hangover EVER.
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New books!
{For review}
From publishers, authors, Netgalley/Edelweiss, etc.


Thanks to the pubs for granting me access to these two titles. Cannot wait to read them!

{Purchased}


This book was $0.99 so I had to snatch a kindle copy! 

{Won}


I won a HB copy of Caraval by Stephanie Garber from the lovelies Helena & Becky from Book Nerd Addict! So so excited to read this book with them too ♥
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To Read This Week:


Still reading Long May She Reign! Have to finish this one (I'm barely in chapter 2 LOL). I'm not sure which book I'll be reading next... maybe Caraval.
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And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are you all reading? :)

Lessons In Falling Blog Tour: Lessons Learned + Giveaway


Hi everyone! Today I'm happy to share with you a lesson I learned back when I was in High School as part of the Lessons in Falling by Diana Gallagher blog tour and the Lessons Learned event pulled together by Spencer Hill Press. Below you can also read a bit about this amazing book that just came out on February 7th and don't forget to watch the wonderful book trailer! Thanks for stopping by. :)
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Lessons in Falling
by Diana Gallagher
YA Contemporary
February 7th, 2017 from Spencer Hill Press
When Savannah Gregory blows out her knee –and her shot at a gymnastics scholarship – she decides she’s done with the sport forever. Without gymnastics, she has more time for her best friend, Cassie. She’s content to let her fun, impulsive best friend plan a memorable senior year.

That is, until Cassie tries to kill herself.

Savannah wants to understand what happened, but Cassie refuses to talk about it and for the first time, Savannah has to find her own way. The only person she can turn to is Marcos, the boy who saved Cassie’s life. Being with him makes her see who she could be and what she really wants: gymnastics.

But Cassie doesn’t approve of Marcos or of Savannah going back to gymnastics, and the tighter she tries to hold onto Savannah, the farther it pulls them apart. Without Cassie to call the shots, Savannah discovers how capable she is on her own—and that maybe her best friend’s been holding her back all along.
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Lessons Learned Event!

Spencer Hill Press is having an amazing promotional event in celebration of Diana Gallagher sharing her own "Lessons Learned" with her readers. Now, they're asking readers to share their own! Below is a description of the event:
"Want to share your own Lessons Learned?? It's easy! Tell us about a time in your life when you persevered, despite a bad situation, and what lessons you learned from that situation. Share it however you like - on your blog, your social media, wherever! Submit your link to the Rafflecopter below and share the giveaway with your friends to win an annotated ARC!"
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Isn't that awesome? So I thought to share my own lesson learned (sorry if it's a bit too long and not that cheerful):


When I was in middle school, I had a classmate in a specialty class who suddenly started losing a lot of weight and there were rumors going around that she was often found in the bathroom throwing up her lunch. I wasn't close to her so I couldn't know for certain if the rumors were true, and I often found myself wanting to approach her and ask if she was okay but I was terrified of offending her. As it turns out, I later found out that the rumors were complete lies which was a relief in itself, but they did a lot of damage during the time they were floating around. This classmate suffered a lot of "concerned" bullying and full-blown bullying from teachers, friends and classmates, people always talking behind her back but no one being brave enough to ask. Including me. She transferred to another school and I didn't see her for a while until we met by chance and talked about everything, including everything that happened in Middle School. (She is doing great, by the way!)

I was a chubby teenager throughout Middle School and my first year of High School, but during my second semester, I decided to finally lose some weight. I asked my mom to help me out and together we worked hard to plan my meals. I cut back from desserts and upped my veggies. I started working out 1-2 hours per day, even waking up at 5 am every day  to walk/run for half an hour before going to school. I did this for 3 months straight and people were starting to notice my results. And the rumors started to spread too. That I was bulimic, that I was starving myself, and other harsh stuff were being said about me. Complete lies, I worked my butt off to lose weight!

The thing is, in a way, I appreciate the concern, but I would have appreciated more for people to talk to me, to ask me, and to believe me when I said I was working out and eating healthily (not starving myself!). I 'suffered' the same thing my MS classmate suffered and it was then that I understood what she went through, what the lack of support this huge accomplishment to changing your habits and doing something for yourself, could cause to one's self esteem. It made me sad for this classmate, for she was around 13 years old when this happened to her, while I was close to 16 and, I guess, could take on more of this "concerned" bullying. Like I mentioned, she's fine now, but I can somehow imagine how hurt she must have felt when everyone spoke about her, to the point of having to switch schools and start over. It was not fair. I wish I could have been there for her and give her the right kind of support.

To be clear, I call it "concerned" bullying because people sometimes believe that they know better about certain situations and decide to have a say in the matter, to hear but not listen and understand. A light example:

Aunt to mom: "Melissa will have such flabby skin after all that weight she suddenly lost." Mom: "She works out every day, reason why she lost weight, that's how it works. You know that."
Aunt: Right *eye roll*.
And repeat. 

Nothing happened suddenly. It may have seemed like that to people but not for me. I worked out hard and did things right and I was never prouder of myself. But that's how some things work when others try to express their "concern", and the best thing to do is to ignore and keep doing what you are set on doing because only you know how much you work for it.

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Whew, there you have it! I had never talked about that in social media but it feels right to share my experience. And now I have the feeling that Lessons in Falling by Diana Gallagher is already teaching me lessons when I have yet to read it (how cool is that?!), but I will surely do it soon right after my current read because I cannot wait to know more about Savannah's story. I hope you all decide to join this wonderful event so we can read about your own lessons learned and of course, read this book! 

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About Diana Gallagher

Though Diana Gallagher be but little, she is fierce. She’s also a gymnastics coach and judge, former collegiate gymnast, and writing professor. Her work has appeared in The Southampton Review, International Gymnast, The Couch Gymnast, The Gymternet, and on a candy cigarette box for SmokeLong Quarterly. She holds an MFA from Stony Brook University and is represented by Tina Wexler of ICM Partners. To learn more, visit dianagallagher.blogspot.com.

Book Review: Beheld by Alex Flinn

Title: Beheld
Series: Kendra Chronicles #4
Author: Alex Flinn
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published:  January 10th, 2017
Page Count: 368 pages
Format: eARC
Source: From publisher via Edelweiss


Summary:
#1 New York Times bestselling YA author Alex Flinn is back with magical twists on four fairy-tale favorites, each featuring a little help from Kendra, the witch from Beastly, as she searches through cities and centuries for her lost love.

Being a powerful witch, Kendra has survived it all. Since she first beheld James over three hundred years ago, Kendra has tangled with witch hunters and wolves, helped a miller’s daughter spin straw into gold, cowered in London as German bombs fell, and lived through who knows how many shipwrecks. But her powers have limits, and immortality can be lonely. Kendra isn’t ready to stop searching for the warlock she had met centuries ago.

With the help of her magic mirror, Kendra will travel the world to reconnect with her lost love—and, of course, she can’t help but play a hand in a few more stories along the way.

Featuring retellings of favorite fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and The Ugly Duckling, Alex Flinn’s latest young adult novel, Beheld, is fresh fairy-tale fun from beginning to end.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 4/5 stars


.This review can also be found on YA Books Central.

Fans of Beastly, rejoice! In this new installment of the Kendra Chronicles, we get to follow Kendra--the powerful, immortal witch who cursed a popular,  arrogant High School boy and turned him into a beast--in her journey following love and helping those to find their own.

What I liked:

It was a pleasant surprise to find out that this book retells a few of my favorite childhood fairy tales (having missed reading about it before picking up this book) with meddling from Kendra. Beheld starts off with Little Red Riding Hood, but then moves on to Rumpelstiltskin, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and The Ugly Duckling. Each story features a different point of view from each starring role of the fairy tales and they take place during different time periods of Kendra's long life up until our present day. 

My favorite retelling turned out to be Rumpelstiltskin's, for the main character by the name of Cornelia is an avid reader and much of the story revolves around her appreciation of the written word and how this influences her love life. I particularly enjoyed the spin to this fairy tale's ending-- incredibly sweet and perfect for the characters. It certainly left me wanting more! However, the rest of the retellings are equally enjoyable and extremely hard not to fall in love with.

Having read Beastly (the first book in the Kendra Chronicles) such a long time ago had made me forget how quickly the author, Alex Flinn, manages to suck readers into her stories. Her writing is fantastic and imaginative, smooth and easy to follow with no chance of ever getting bored. And the good part is that most of her works can be read as standalones, including Beheld!

What didn't do it for me:

While I loved falling in love with the fairy tales characters and their relationships, I wish to have done the same with Kendra's and Jame's relationship. Somehow their romance felt a bit bland in comparison with the other fairy tales and that's not what I was hoping for. It needed more.

Final Verdict:

Beheld by Alex Flinn is the book to go if you are a fan of retellings and stories within a story. From Little Red Riding Hood to The Ugly Duckling, every reader is bound to fall in love with these fairy tales (and Kendra's antics) all over again!

Waiting on Wednesday #11: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas


Hi everyone! Welcome to another "Waiting on Wednesday" post (meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!). 

This week I am waiting on:


A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
 May 2nd 2017, Bloomsbury USA Childrens
NA Fantasy
Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places. 

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.
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I'm not much of a fan of the cover but I am pretty excited to see what happens next with Feyre and Rhysand, especially Rhysand. Unlike the Throne of Glass series, I have been able to keep up with this series since I find it to be more interesting and has an amazing cast of characters. Hopefully this book surpasses ACOMAF in greatness!
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What are you waiting on this week? :)

The Week's Entrée #136

Hi everyone! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

Last week we reached 3K followers on Instagram!!!! ♥♥♥
It's been such an amazing ride growing in this social media platform and we cannot thank are followers enough for actually liking our pictures. Still, thank you for the millionth time! ♥ We are not hosting a special giveaway but we do have our monthly giveaway going on for either a copy of Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh OR a UK copy of Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (hey, two Sarahs!). It's open International! ♥


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New book!
{For review}

From publishers, authors, Netgalley/Edelweiss, etc.


I got approved to read The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue!!!! So so excited to read this amazing book, I've heard nothing but great things about it so I'm quite hopeful for an excellent read! Also quite thrilled that YABC staff was granted access to Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray. She is one of the first authors I read (and loved!) when I was 17 so it feels right to read her new series. ♥
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To Read This Week:


I'm still buddy reading Crooked Kingdom and loving it so far (KAZ askaskkasddajgjsg!!), but  I will also be reading Long May She Reign this week. I love the cover and I seriously hope that I love the story as well. 
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And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are you all reading? :)