Sunday, April 16, 2017

Summers at Castle Auburn: A New All-Time Favorite

I am so excited to finally be reviewing this gem! Everyone should definitely consider adding Summers at Castle Auburn to the TBR list.

Summers at Castle Auburn 
by Sharon Shinn

Publication Date: April 1st, 2001
Amazon/Barnes and Noble 

As a child, Coriel Halsing spent many glorious summers at Castle Auburn with her half-sister-and fell in love with a handsome prince who could never be hers. But now that she is a young woman, she begins to see the dark side of this magical place...

MY RAMBLINGS: 

A few months ago: I was walking through Powells and I discovered Summers At Castle Auburn sitting on the shelf. It was a used, cheap paperback and I'd heard great things about Sharon Shinn so I picked it up and brought it home.

Now I can say that was a very good decision. Good job past Emily!!! Unbeknownst to you, the book you just found is a new classic that you will treasure forever. The End.

Ha ha. My review style is going out the window. Anyway, if you couldn't tell already, I absolutely loved Summers at Castle Auburn. I would recommend it to ANY fellow book lovers but especially fans of Tamora Pierce, Shannon Hale, and other authors of those superb fantasies. It was such a cozy, yet intense read with so many shippy feels guys. SO MANY!

Oh! And I read this on the plane home from vacation and it made my 24 hour travel day almost bearable. MY HEART WAS HAPPY even though my brain and legs were dead. Okay I still need to start the actual coherent review part. Get it together Emily.

So... we start our story with fourteen year old Corie (Coriel) going on a hunting trip for the mythical aliora. It was such a fun adventure. Here we meet a lot of our main characters: Corie, Uncle Jaxon, Roderick, Kent, and the prince.  However, we are also introduced to the horrible and immoral hunting of aliora, sentient creatures who humans imprison. Corie slowly starts realizes this hunting is different than hunting for food. I loved watching Corie grow up and mature. She was vibrant, funny, and came alive in my mind. 

Also, from the beginning, Corie has an amazing relationship with her half sister Elisandra. Elisandra loves her little sister more than anything, and it shows. Also, Elisandra was such a strong character on her own. She's betrothed to an awful prince yet she remains both kind and strong. And I loved the twist with her in the end. Props to Shinn for making her such a real, admirable, and layered side character. Bravo.

The aliora were such a compelling element to the story. These fairy-like creatures were enslaved at the castle yet they remain kind and gentle. There were so many twists involving them but I was so glad when Corie realized she and her family were doing an unforgivable thing. The aliora were developed characters and I was so relieved with the ending they got.

The romance is slow burn. Like REALLY slow burn, like it's almost NOT there but it WAS. And I LOVED it so much. I was rooting for these two characters to get together from the beginning even though I thought there was no hope for my ship. Then it happened! I'm still deliriously happy with this development.

In conclusion, I suggest that all of you pick up Summers at Castle Auburn. You are in for a magical experience; some parts are light and fun while other parts are quite dark. Every element was perfect. I cannot wait to read more of Sharon Shinn. (I have her latest series already waiting on my bookshelves!)




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Monday, April 10, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Weird and Unique Books


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish 

We've all read them: the head scratchers, the books that seem like they are on drugs, and the stories that are so deliciously different. Here are my top ten unique book recommendations!


1. Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
This book is dark, confusing and brilliant. You are left wondering what is real and what isn't. And Quinn's creativity and vividness gives this thriller an unforgettable ending. 

2. The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid
Ooooh! Here's one of my 2016 faves! The whole concept of Diabolics, genetically engineered protectors and fighters, was so ingenious and creative. And the space world and hierarchy was also something new. 

3. My Lady Jane by Hand, Ashton, and Meadows 
We all know my love for this book knows no bounds. How could these brilliant authors take the relatively short, dull story of Lady Jane and turn it into a genre-bending historical fantasy with magic and humor? Pure brilliance and originality. 


4. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Magical Realism for the win! Bone Gap is a beautiful, weird story about a town with interesting inhabitants and a missing girl. Try it. 

5. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Sanderson is one of my top authors for highly original fantasy. In this wonderful book, Rithmatists use magic chalk and drawing to defend their world. Where does Sanderson get his crazy inspiration?

6. Vicious by VE Schwab 
The most unique tale you'll ever read from the viewpoint of a villain. V.E. Schwa delivers with her compulsively likable and unlikable character Victor. 


7. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
A dark, creepy, twisted ballerina tale. What more could I ask for? And, once again, this book is a big win for magical realism. My brain was spinning the entire time. 

8. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas 
I love twisted fairytales and this one focuses on AFTER Sleeping Beauty wakes up. It's quite ingenious and I love how the author totally flipped the original story on its head.

9.  The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 
This is such an underrated series! Politics! Families! A "Fixer" who fixes complicated political situations... the idea and execution is fabulous. 



10. The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon
Oooh. Another twisted fairy tale retelling! The premise is that Rapunzel and Snow White's Stepmother were the SAME PERSON. I love this book so much. 

11. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
I can't NOT mention Sanderson twice in this post. Another one of his creative masterpieces is Elantris. The story partly takes place in a city of fallen demigods who are living in the most depressing, dangerous, and vivid nightmare. Read it and you'll see what I mean. 

12. Kill The Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky 
Finally, we have the weirdest of them all: Kill The Boy Band. This book is an acquired taste and while I didn't love it, I respected it. I had to put this on this list. Moldavsky's gem is psychopathic, crazy, and disturbingly funny. Pick it up at your own risk. 


Oops, that was twelve... hopefully I introduced you to at least one new book!

Happy Reading Everyone! 

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Review: Geekerella


Geekerella by Ashley Poston 
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Amazon/Barnes and Noble

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

*Received for free from Quirk Books*

Yay! Today Geekerella was released into the world! I've already ordered a copy for my cousin for her birthday. I know she'll love it! Geekerella was an absolutely genius book. Ashley Poston perfectly mashed together the classic Cinderella story with modern day media and fandoms. Once I started, I could not stop reading... 

Every character was colorful and vibrant. Elle was a charismatic character you couldn't help but love. You feel bad about her crazy step-mother and sisters. (Although one ends up being not horrible after all.) And I loved her obsession - passed on from her parents - for Starfield. Darien, our other character, was also a fun perspective to read from. He's a movie star trying to take his new Starfield role seriously... but serious fans - like Elle - doubt his ability to play the beloved prince on screen. However, one surprising character that stole the show for me was Sage, Elle's co-worker at a vegan food trunk. She's the quirky godmother figure.... but she's also sweet, funny, and gets her own romance (lgbt!). 

The romance was really cute, even though most of it happened via text. The conversations between Elle and Darien made me laugh numerous times. Also, Elle has no idea it's Darien the movie she's been texting. When they finally meet at ExcelsiCon it's so worth it! I loved the cos-playing and fan fun there. Also Elle's costume and the dance. 

The ending was perfect and I had a ball reading about Elle and Darien's adventure. I can't recommend this sparkling contemporary more, especially for fangirls, fanboys, and anyone who knows what it's like to love a franchise. 


5/5 stars

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Update: News, A Book Trailer, and More!


Hello everyone! I hope your week have been less stressful than mine. And that you have read lots of good books! I have an assortment of topics to cover today:

#1) I'm taking a week long hiatus over spring break as I am going to the Caribbean! So I'll be even more absent than normal from the blog and social media.


#2) When I come back I'll be back to blogging and I have some awesome reviews scheduled to go up next month! Yay! 

I am also trying to keep up with my Goodreads goal and I've been reading a lot lately! I've just finished Hunted. It was okay but not as amazing as I'd hoped. 


#3) Earlier this week I got an exciting email from Quirk Books! The Geekerella official book trailer is here! Check is out on hypable. Also, a very well known you-tuber makes a cameo in it! I really, really loved this book and my review will be up soon. 


I hope y'all are doing well. Read any amazing books lately? (Maybe recommend me some good beach/vacation reads!)  

See you in a week!

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR


Spring is here!!! Here are the books I am looking forward to reading soon: 


1. Always and Forever Lara Jean
I am so excited for this conclusion!!! Han's books are always so much fun!

2. Alex, Approximately
I've heard a lot of good things plus this contemporary sounds perfect for spring. 

3. The Upside of Unrequited
It's written by Albertalli. Enough said.


4. ACOWAR 
I am so excited for Maas to knock me off my feet. 

5. Strange the Dreamer
Laini Taylor's writing is always so beautiful, lush, and fantastical.

6. Daughter of the Pirate King
This came out last month and I am so pumped for all the piratey fun!


7. You're Welcome, Universe
I have been eagerly anticipating this since I heard it was for fans of Albertalli!

8. When Dimple met Rishi
So many bloggers have raved about the cuteness.

9. Flame in the Mist
I am so looking forward to what Ahdieh has in store for us next. 
(Plus I've been craving an amazing fantasy.) 

What books are you excited to read this spring???
Happy reading!
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Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Sunday Post #1

Hi everyone!

I wanted to join in on The Sunday Post fun after realizing I needed a way to wrap up my weeks (or perhaps months). So here I am! 

Thanks to Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer for hosting this. Also, sorry if this week's wrap up isn't very interesting! I only posted one review this week *winces*.





THIS WEEK'S POST:
A Blog Tour for #Famous! (click here

BLOG POSTS I ENJOYED:
Let's Talk Candles- Uncreatively Zoe 


WHAT I READ THESE PAST TWO WEEKS :
Geekerella (4.5 Stars)
Blackhearts (2 Stars)
The Hating Game (4 Stars)
Three Dark Crowns (4.5 Stars) 

WHAT I PLAN TO READ THIS WEEK:
The Education of Margot Sanchez
A Promise of Fire 

MY BOOK HAUL: 
For Review (Thank you Simon & Schuster, Quirk Books, and Mira!):

I already read Geekerella and LOVED it! I'm also looking forward to starting The Education of Margot Sanchez this week. (I wasn't a fan of The Night Mark.) 

Bought/Gifted:

I was so picky with the edition of A Promise of Fire I wanted and it finally came! (I didn't like the US cover at all.) Also I got an exciting edition of By Your Side and I got The Night Circus at a cute used book shop near my town. 

I hope you all have had a good week! What books did you read? Any amazing ones? 
As always, thanks so much for stopping by! 


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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Blog Tour: #Famous

Hi everybody! Today I have a lovely review and giveaway of #famous to share with you! I hope you enjoy it :)



#famous
by Jilly Gagnon
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: February 14th 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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Synopsis:

In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?

Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.

Emily's Review: 

#Famous by Jilly Gargon was a very cute, clever, and quick read. I read it in one sitting and overall enjoyed it! It’s the perfect beach read or book to curl up with when you’re sick. 

This story was a twist on the Alex from Target internet sensation from a while ago. Only this time we see from the eyes of the girl who took the viral picture. And, you see, Rachel meant ONLY for her best friend to see her tweet (flit) with a funny hashtag/picture of an attractive boy working at a burger stand at the mall. However, soon the picture has gone majorly viral. And the boy she took a picture of goes to school with her and they are in the same creative writing class. Awkward. 

Our other main character, Kyle, was just minding his own business when all of the sudden BOOM he’s famous. He has to leave his shift at the burger place early because he literally sold out all the food to his new, young fans. Hundreds of thousands of girls have followed him on twitter (it was actually the book's version of twitter- Flit). Even though his flits were all pretty lame (I, Emily, can attest to that). 

Through the fallout of all this, out two bumbling main characters grow closer. They go on tv shows. They go bowling. It's all very cute! They also have to face the opinions and wrath of their schoolmates. That said, I was kind of disappointed by a lot of the girl hate.

I feel like Jesse Andrew’s blurb on the cover of the book is a perfect summary of my feelings. Go read that blurb! Yes, it did feel a bit young to me, but this was well-written little book that I think many will enjoy. It has humor, romance, and drama. It’s also a great testament to the impact of social media platforms today. A book like #Famous wouldn’t have existed ten years ago. Isn’t that crazy? 

*Received for free from the publisher*

Jilly Gagnon is currently based in Chicago, but is originally from Minnesota, a fact she'll likely inform you of within minutes of meeting you. Her humor writing, personal essays, and op-eds have appeared in Newsweek, Elle, Vanity Fair, Boston Magazine, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Toast, and The Hairpin, among others.

She writes both humor and young adult fiction. She's represented by Dawn Frederick of Red Sofa Literary (for humor) and Taylor Haggerty of Waxman Leavell (for young adult writing).

Find her on twitter, facebook, or instagram. She's an especially good conversation partner if you love amazing cocktails, terrible television, or talking to your cats.




Reader Rising - Review 
YA Obsessed - Review 


Brittany's Book Rambles - Guest Post 


Wishful Endings - Interview
GenieReads - Review 
Reading to Unwind - Review 


Here's to Happy Endings - Guest Post 




GIVEAWAY!
Win 1 Signed Hardback of #Famous by Jilly Gagnon
(US/CAN only) 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by! And good luck on the giveaway :)

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