The Week's Entrée #173

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

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! May all your spooky wishes not come true except for candy and fun times trick-or-treating :D


I'm planning to watch Corpse Bride, Harry Potter, Hocus Pocus and other cute halloween-y movies in the next few days plus eating the mandatory candy plus cake.

My sister & I won't be dressing up except for bookstagram purposes like this shelfie below LOL. All for the sake of fun bookish photos! :D




Have a great week! ♥

.......
New books!
{For review}
From publishers, authors, Netgalley/Edelweiss, etc.



Huge thanks to Penguin for sending me the audiobook of Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi. This will be my first book by her so I'm quite excited! Also LOVE the cover. ♥

{Kindle Freebie}


Paranormalcy by Kiersten White was a kindle freebie a few days ago so I had to snatch a copy before the deal was gone. Hope to read it one day!!! 
.......
To Read This Week:


I'm barely picking up You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon today instead of last week since a few things came up but this week it'll be the week I buddy read it, yay! And I'm I finally starting on Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake as well and I hope to enjoy it. Been waiting such a long time to read it so I'm super happy it is finally happening! ♥
.......

And that's it for this edition of The Week's Entrée! What are you all reading? :)

ARC Review: Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Title: Defy the Stars
Series: Constellation #1
Author: Claudia Gray
Genre: YA SCi-Fi
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published:  April 4th, 2017
Page Count:  503 pages
Format: eARC
Source: From publisher 


Summary:
She’s a soldier.

Noemi Vidal is seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She’s willing to risk anything—including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine.

Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that’s begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 5/5 stars


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


I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. Easily one of my favorite reads of 2017! Science Fiction is not usually my go-to genre, but I decided to pick this one up since author Claudia Gray is one of the first YA authors I read as a teen so I obviously had to give it a try. I'm glad to say it did not disappoint. Defy the Stars is electrifying and one epic space adventure!

What I Liked:

Claudia Gray is hands down one of the best at world-building (or is it space-exploring?) and storytelling. It's almost unbelievable how quickly I was drawn towards the different worlds and their fights for survival against the domineering, dying Earth. I could almost touch the stars, meteors, black holes, and gates to enter different galaxies. The book became my own spaceship and it was a joy to ride alongside the main characters, Noemi and Abel.

The characters are indeed my favorite aspect of Defy the Stars and you are completely missing out if you haven't met Noemi and Abel yet. This unlikely enemy duo made me laugh so hard and overall feel extremely happy while in their company. Noemi is a soldier set on protecting her planet from Earth while Abel is a mech with developing human emotions. They begin on different sides, but slowly begin to lean on each other in order to survive and protect what they love. In the end, their friendship and interactions are so pure and lovely that it hurt to say goodbye to them for the moment while I wait for the sequel to come out.

Oh, but I just have to fangirl over Abel for a second longer because who would have thought a robot could be so terribly cute and swoony? Definitely did not think it possible and I'm super curious to learn how Abel continues to develop as a mech with a human soul and how he continues to battle with his inner conflicts and the danger he represents to the rest of humanity. I just cannot imagine him staying safe for long and this hurts me so much!


Final Verdict:

Defy the Stars is exciting and heart-warming and I cannot wait to read more! There is a whole lot of universe to explore and my heart quickens at the thought of learning what Noemi and Abel will have to face next. One can only hope they come out of it unscathed! In other words, Defy the Stars is an unputdownable must read!

Waiting on Wednesday #42: Defy the Worlds by Claudia Gray


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

This week I am waiting on:


Defy the Worlds by Claudia Gray
April 3rd 2018, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
YA Sci-Fi
This is the thrilling and romantic sequel to Defy the Stars from the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Lost Stars and Bloodline.

Noemi Vidal has returned to her planet, Genesis, as an outsider. Ostracized for refusing to sacrifice Abel, the galaxy's most advanced mechanical man, she dreams of traveling through the stars one more time. And when a deadly plague arrives on Genesis, Noemi gets her chance. As the only soldier to have ever left the planet, it will be up to her to save its people...if only she wasn't flying right into a trap.

Abel, now fully aware of his soul and captaining his own ship, never thought he'd get to see Noemi again, not when the entire universe stands between them. But when his creator, Burton Mansfield, delivers news of Noemi's capture, Abel must go to her, no matter the cost.

In a race against time, Abel and Noemi band together to stop Mansfield once and for all. The depraved scientist has engineered a way to achieve immortality, but that technology comes with perils of its own. Abel and Noemi are about to discover a secret that could save Genesis and Earth...or destroy them all. 
.........
I AM DYING TO GET THIS BOOK. Defy the Stars is hands down one of my favorite reads of 2017 and I need this sequel ASAP. It's so freaking good, you guys!!! I am IN LOVE with Abel and I ship him so hard with Noemi. You must read Defy the Stars if you haven't already!!!
.........

What are you waiting on this week? :)

The Week's Entrée #172

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

I CANNOT BELIEVE HALLOWEEN IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. Are you packing up with lots of candies?!!? We already have a huge tote full of chocolates & Halloween treats! The best thing?! There's no trick-or-treating in our neighborhood so they are ALL MINE.



In other news, I will spend the rest of the day waiting for the mailman to come since I have several packages coming today or tomorrow and I just want to see what they are! Hope it's bookmail!

Now I shall leave you with this awesome Fall Unicorn Cake my sister made for our bookstagram ♥ Have a great week!


.......
New books!
{For review}
From publishers, authors, Netgalley/Edelweiss, etc.



Huge thanks to Harper for the access to eARCs Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston & Everless by Sara Holland through Edelweiss! So so excited to read these two. ♥


Also thanks to Penguin Random House for the eARC of Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi and the audiobook! Will definitely read/listen both at the same time! They also gave me access to the audiobook of The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman AND NOW I NEED TO READ HIS DARK MATERIALS. I know I know, I have committed a terrible crime for not reading this trilogy sooner.

 

Thanks to Disney Books for inviting me to view Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton. I had not heard about this book before but it sounds interesting! And thanks to Simon Pulse for You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon. I AM EXCITED TO START READING IT THIS WEEK!!!
.......
To Read This Week:


I AM FINALLY READING MY LADY JANE!!! I'm barely on chapter 5 but I have SUCH HIGH HOPES. All my bookish friends insisted I should read it and I cannot let them down! Hope to love it as much as they did ♥♥♥. I will also be buddy reading You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone with Helena & Becky from The Life of a Booknerd Addict! :D
.......

And that's it for this edition of The Week's Entrée! What are you all reading? :)

Waiting on Wednesday #41: Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller


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

This week I am waiting on:


Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller
February 27th 2018, Feiwel & Friends
YA Fantasy
The capable, confident, and occasionally ruthless heroine of Daughter of the Pirate King is back in this action-packed sequel that promises rousing high seas adventures and the perfect dash of magic.

Alosa's mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he's under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father's justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

In Daughter of the Siren Queen, Tricia Levenseller brings together the perfect mix of thrilling action, tense battle scenes, and a heart-pounding romance.
.........
I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEED. Okay, I absolutely LOVED Daughter of the Pirate King. Alosa is such a great main character and I loved her banter with Riden. These two together ♥♥♥♥♥ Plus sea adventures! Sirens! Ack, yes, I am very much waiting on this book.
.........


What are you waiting on this week? :)

Brooding YA Hero Playlist!


Hi everyone! I'm super excited to share with you all today a very awesome and utterly magnificent playlist by none other than everyone's favorite book boyfriend, Brooding YA Hero! Broody's upcoming book, Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, releases TOMORROW and I cannot wait for everyone to read it! Super swoony. 100% broody. Even informative. Why, it is perfection! Read below more about this book from the Hit Twitter account @BroodingYAHero (by Carrie DiRisio & Illustrated by Linnea Gear) and listen to the most awesome playlist ever (NOT KIDDING, I love it so much!) and make sure to order a copy because you want this book in your life! Enjoy ♥
..........

Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me by Carrie DiRisio and Illustrated by Linnea Gear
October 17th, 2017 from Sky Pony Press
YA Writing Fiction
Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?

Or maybe you're just really confused about what "opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs" actually are?

Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a "self-help" guide (with activities--you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love. 

As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat.

Broody McHottiepants is a master of all trades (Of course. Why would he be anything less than that? His current hobbies include making bad life choices, shedding manly tears, rescuing clumsy protagonists, and, of course, gazing into everyone's eyes. This is his first book, although he'd like to remind you he's starred in many novels and movies, including your favorite one. He'd also like to remind you to let out that breath you didn't know you were holding. When he's not saving the world from a bleak dystopia, getting crowned Prom King, or falling in a love triangle, he can be found sulking in a corner. You can follow him @BroodingYAHero.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 



...Brooding YA Hero Playlist...
Listen on Spotify!


Love all these songs so much! Very broody & swoony! ♥
..........
About Carrie DiRisio

Carrie DiRisio YA writer and creator of @BroodingYAHero. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with one large fluffy cat, and is currently pursuing her masters in Digital Marketing, although her true dream is to become a Disney Villainess, complete with a really snazzy gown. In addition to writing and plans for world domination, she also enjoys running, coffee, Krav Maga, and knitting. You can follow her @writer_carrie or check out her website at creativelycarrie.com.
Website | Twitter | Brooding YA Hero's Twitter Instagram 

About Linnea Gear
Linnea Gear was born and raised in Cave Creek, Arizona, a small town known for its Wild West feel. She has been drawing professionally since 2013. Linnea currently lives in Flagstaff, AZ, earning a BS in Chemistry and currently splits her time between drawing concept art and drawing chemical equations. She is the writer and illustrator of Dissent, a fantasy webcomic. You can follow her @linneadoodle and check out her art at linneart.tumblr.com.

 Twitter | Tumblr Instagram 

ARC Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Title: Genuine Fraud
Author: E. Lockhart
Genre: YA Mystery
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published:  September 5th, 2017
Page Count:  264 pages
Format: ARC
Source: From publisher 


Summary:
The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. 
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. 
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. 
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 3/5 stars


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


This is my first book by E. Lockhart and boy did it stress me out! Told in reverse, I flipped through pages to discover the mystery behind the characters that I wish to never cross.

What I Liked:

I can't remember the last time (if ever) that I read a book in a backwards timeline. It's so unusual, but I liked it! I wanted to reach the end of the book to know how everything happens and what made the main character land in a run-down motel in Baja California, Mexico (so close to me!). And whoa, quite a disturbing ride! 

Without spoiling much, what I can say is that one of the main characters is the kind of person I never want to cross paths with. The kind of character who gives me the chills and why I stray far away from thrillers/mysteries. She is a social chameleon alright, who must always get what she wants from you and be LOVED by you if you want to stay safe. Super creepy yet interesting to read about. Sort of.


What Left Me Wanting More: 

I tried really hard to care for the characters in this book, but I couldn't. Sometimes, there wasn't even enough time for me to start liking them when the main characters would take them out of their lives. Often cold heartedly. And the main characters weren't likeable enough for some obvious reasons so at the end, I was left without a character to hold on to.

The end of Genuine Fraud left me a bit frustrated as well since there really wasn't any big reveal/plot twist to surprise me. It turned out to be predictable and the character doesn't seem to act any differently throughout the novel. It's not that I was expecting a redeeming arc, but I was expecting something more.

Final Verdict:

Genuine Fraud is certain to appeal to fans of mysteries with its backwards timeline and creepy characters. This is the type of read I kind of wish to erase from my mind, but I cannot deny it had me reading non-stop to get to the bottom of it all!

The Week's Entrée #171

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

How are your reading challenges coming up? I just reached 50 books out of the 120 goal I pledged in my Goodreads challenge and, while I am terribly behind, I'm just kinda glad I reached 50! It's a good number and it has me motivated to read faster. I hope. I certainly have lots of great reads to catch up with!

Some good news tho, I am now a rep for Whimsify Box! This is a super cool montly YA Fantasy subscription box that I've had my eye on for months now (blue box!!!) and I am simply honored to have been chosen as one of the new reps for Instagram. If you ever want to subscribe, you can now use my code READERCHEF10 to get 10% off! The November theme will be revealed later today, so be on the lookout for it!


.......
New books!
{For review}
From publishers, authors, Netgalley/Edelweiss, etc.


Huge thanks to Random House Children's for the access to Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman on Netgalley! LOVE this cover and I'm excited to see what this book is about! :D

.......
To Read This Week:


I am barely a few pages in The West Woods by Suzy Vadori and I am hoping to finish it this week! This is a prequel novel to The Fountain and I am kinda struggling to remember a few details but I'm sure I'll remember eventually lol. And I've been reading on and off Brooding YA Hero for the last few weeks since it's part fictional, part info-type read but I am enjoying it a lot so far. IT IS BROODY AFTER ALL. ♥
.......

And that's it for this edition of The Week's Entrée! What are you all reading? :)

ARC Review: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published:  September 26th, 2017
Page Count:  300 pages
Format: eARC
Source: From publisher via Edelweiss


Summary:
Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There's only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 4/5 stars
.This review can also be found on YA Books Central.


An Enchantment of Ravens is such a charming read! Took me quite a few days to finish it despite not being that long, but it's because I wanted to make it last. Every page is a wonder to go through and fans of fair folk tales will enjoy this refreshing take!


What I Loved: 

I love reading YA books with fae characters, I've been a fan since I was a child, so reading An Enchantment of Ravens felt like coming home by visiting Whimsy and trailing through the spring, summer, and autumn courts! Everything is surreal and beautiful on the surface, but with many dangers lurking underneath all the glamour. I was deeply entranced by every place the characters set foot, silently mourning my inability to visit. The fae world is always intriguing to explore and Margaret Rogerson did it justice! 

My most favorite thing about this book is the portrayal of the fae. There's a certain ring of truth behind the idea of the fair folk looking aged and rotten underneath the glamour that makes them look like otherworldly beautiful beings. When they die, they cease to exist as living creatures and instead go back to being part of the earth, so why shouldn't they look like it when alive without their magic to hide their true selves? Loved this aspect so much! 

It's also super interesting how humans are not THAT disadvantaged when it comes to the fae. Some humans, like Isobel, have a special skill called Craft that can be for any artistic thing like cooking, painting, or writing. Fairies cannot do human craft, it is deadly to them, so they have to rely heavily on humans to acquire these goods and in exchange, they grant enchantments. However, these enchantments can go wrong and humans still have to be careful around the fae when not pleased, or else they find themselves on the end of a bad bargain. In Isobel's case, when she mistakenly paints sorrow into the autumn prince's eyes -- showing a weakness in front of those who already question his rule -- she is forced to follow the autumn prince straight into fae territory. 

My goodness, I dare you to not to fall for the autumn prince. It's impossible and I need one just like Rook! A fae prince who has human emotions (when they shouldn't) and is not afraid to fight for love? All. The. Swoons. Such a fun, sassy character to meet! And he has the ability to shape-shift, with a preference for raven form. His company is precious and the banter he has with our heroine is simply gold. 

Isobel is of course a great character to be around with. So talented and quick-witted when facing dire situations. What I liked most about her was her fight to control her human emotions and to think things through, but also not being afraid to be human. Her love for her aunt and goat-sisters (yup, it's true) comes first and it shows in her actions. 

What Left Me Wanting More: 

This is a GREAT read, but I must admit that I was expecting a far more complicated journey through the fairy courts and a lot more emotional punch/sacrifice. Half-way through the book I came to realize that the book had abandoned its original course of action and the characters set off to another course which was unsettling and left me a bit disappointed. I wanted to explore more! However, this is a standalone fantasy so I understand why it didn't go deeper story-wise. I so wish it did though!

Final Verdict:

Not only does An Enchantment of Ravens have a beautiful cover, but it's also lovely inside. With bright writing and a different take on fair folk lore, readers will end up wanting more of this world!

Waiting on Wednesday #40: American Panda by Gloria Chao


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

This week I am waiting on:


American Panda by Gloria Chao
February 6th 2018, Simon Pulse
YA Contemporary
An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her germophobia and crush on a Japanese classmate.

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents' master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can't bring herself to tell them the truth--that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?
.........
Okay, I technically already have an eARC of American Panda but  I still cannot contain my excitement and feature it here. I haven't read it yet but it sounds so freaking amazing and I'm just waiting for the right moment, perhaps during the holidays, to read it. I hope it is the cutest thing ever. ♥♥♥♥♥
.........

What are you waiting on this week? :)