Spring Break TBR!

It’s FINALLY here!

I’d be lying if I said that the schedule isn’t a perk of my job as a school librarian.

Like…it’d be  BIG lie.

That said, Spring Break is finally here next week!

I originally planned to go to Universal in Orlando and experience the World of Harry Potter, but I kind of kept dragging around on planning and never booked that trip.

Sometime early last week my favorite band, The Avett Brothers, sent out an email to fan club members announcing an opportunity for the first 250 members to respond to an email and join the world premiere screening and a Q&A for their upcoming documentary (directed by Judd Apatow!!) at South by Southwest. This also includes a performance at the Moody theatre later that evening. I was about an hour after it went out replying, but figured I’d give it a shot knowing this would occur and then the next day I found out…I’m headed to AUSTIN!


So.

Where I live to Austin is about an 8 hour drive, so I should have plenty of time for reading.

That said, here’s three books that I hope to read over Spring Break!


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Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

I’ve been meaning to read Heartless FOREVER and I got my friends to pick it for our book club selection this month so that I’d finally stop and read it. I’m a big Marissa Meyer and Alice in Wonderland fan and anticipate that I’ll like this one.


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Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

Okay, so I’ve never read a Morgan Matson book even with as much as I like cute contemporaries. I was recently gifted this from my sister sister in the #otspsecretsister program and am looking forward to reading it. What better time to read a roadtrip book than on a roadtrip, right?


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I started it the day it was released in October and hit a reading rut and I think I’m ready to tackle it again. Enough said? I know that I’ll love it. I’ve heard it’s even better than Illuminae was, so I’m looking foward to it.


I obviously hope that I can read more than just these 3, but these are where I plan to start!

What’s on your TBR right now or have you read any of these 3 books?

ALSO! I’m open to any suggestions for when I’m in Austin for food or cool things to see!

-M

Series Spotlight: The Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon

For Bloggers

Welcome!

Today I want to spotlight the Chronicles of Nick series!

The seventh book, Invision, releases on May 3rd and I’m here with an excerpt from it below. BUT first! If you had over to the GriffinTeen website in the above graphic then you can be entered to win copies of the entire series! So be sure to go check that out!

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Now for Invision…

He’d just gotten comfortable again when the door opened to admit a new student. Something that didn’t happen often in their small private, parochial school. And it wasn’t just because St. Richard’s was hard to get into due to its high academic standing. But rather from the fact that the school had been set up as a place for preters to learn how to mingle with humans and not let the stress throw them into their animal states.
While there were a handful of baretos, or “normal” humans who had no idea that they were attending school with shapeshifters, the majority of the student body here was either shapeshifters or the children of Squire families. Squires who had been in service to Dark-Hunter like Kyrian and Acheron for generations.
As such, the Squires usually sent their kids to private school together so that they could be watched by older Squires to ensure that no one messed with them. Especially since their enemies might want to take their kids hostage, or kill them to get back at their parents or the Dark-Hunters in retaliation for the centuries of protecting humans from their supernatural predators.
It also allowed the shapeshifter families a controlled environment for their children so that they could have playtime with humans where if they had an accident and shifted into their animal bodies, the humans wouldn’t flip out and call the authorities. As Squires or their children, they all knew about Were-Hunters, and they could help cover for them with the humans here who didn’t know about them.
It gave the Were-Hunters a way to practice being in the normal world so that they could acclimate.
Nick had been one of those baretos students at St. Richard’s until two and half years ago when his best friends had turned on him, and Kyrian had saved his life. For some reason that still eluded Nick, the ancient Greek had taken a liking to him and decided to give him a hand up and bring him into this amazing world.
Now he was a Squire at an age that was unheard of since Squires were supposed to be eighteen before they could be sworn in to their oaths. But Kyrian had pulled strings and so here Nick was. The youngest Squire in Council history.
And this new guy they were introducing . . .
He didn’t appear to be a Squire.
Nick glanced to Caleb. What do you think?
Caleb shrugged nonchalantly.
Ms. Pantall cleared her throat as she read his card. “Everyone? This is Nathan St. Cyr. Nathan’s a new student who just moved to New Orleans from New York. I know everyone will be on your best behavior and welcome him in. Mr. St. Cyr, if you’ll take an empty seat, we’ll get started.”
An odd sensation went through Nick as Nathan neared him. Like a wire had been touched to his spine and sent a jolt through his entire central nervous system. Not that anyone had ever done that to him, but that was what he imagined such a thing would feel like.
As Nathan neared his desk, he inclined his head to him, then sat down on the other side of Kody.
Yeah, that didn’t endear him any. You better not be eye-balling my girl, punk . . .
Nick would snatch those blue eyes out of that boy’s head and use them for marbles. The Malachai in him was rising up and breathing fire down Nick’s neck. It was hard to leash the beast when he came calling like this. Every part of Nick wanted a piece of Nathan for daring to trespass on Kody’s personal space.
Especially when he leaned over a second later and, with a charming grin, brushed his hand against Kody’s arm. “Do you have a pencil I can borrow? Mine must have fallen out of my backpack.”
“Sure.” Kody handed him the one she was holding.
His grin turned even more debonnaire as he ran it under his nose and smelled the stylus as if he could still detect her light perfume on the wood. “Mmm, I’ll treasure it always. Thank you for your kindness, my noble lady.”
When Nick started to rise, Caleb caught his arm. Down, boy. Don’t make me smack your nose with a rolled up newspaper.
Nick cut a glare at his best friend to let Caleb know he could be a worthy substitution as a whipping boy if he didn’t let go.
Kody turned toward Nick. Is it me or was that gross?
And that right there saved Nathan’s life. Leave it to his girl to be oblivious.
He was relieved, until Nathan turned back toward her.
Suddenly, Kody’s desk slid four inches closer to Nick’s, and farther from Nathan’s. She turned an indignant glare at him for his audacity.
At the sharp, scraping that made most people cringe, everyone in the room shot around to look for the source of the sudden sound. Nick forced himself not to cringe at the involuntary use of his Malachai powers.
Clearing his throat, he glanced to his teacher. “Sorry. My foot got caught under Kody’s desk.”
“Why was your foot under her desk?”
Nick shrugged. “I’m too tall for the desk and my feet have a mind of their own. You’ve seen me walking down the hall, Ms. Pantall. I never know where my arms or legs are located, hence all the bruises I keep.”
She rolled her eyes. “Keep your feet under your own desk, Nick. Stop disrupting class or I’ll send you to the office.”
Something stabbed him in the leg. Hard. Nick let out a sharp curse and though it wasn’t in English, Ms. Pantall had enough Cajun in her to unfortunately know exactly what the word meant.
“That’s it! Get to the office! Now!”
“But—”
“No buts! Go!”


My Thoughts:

This series is always so fun! I’m definitely looking forward to the latest addition with this book.

With that in mind, just another reminder to go check out http://www.griffinteen.com to check out how to win the series!

-Melanie

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Throne of Glass

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Summary:

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.


My Thoughts:

Seriously- it took me about 3 weeks to finish Throne of Glass, which is a long time for me.

I’d bought it on my kindle months ago, but hadn’t read it. However, I got the 4 books in the series at work in November and haven’t been able to keep them checked in because my kids have been LOVING them (as I knew they would.)

So I knew I had to read it to know what the hype was about.

I  even told some of my kids at work that I was reading it so that I could be held accountable for it.

First of all, I was wondering what the hype was. I’d tried to start it awhile back and couldn’t get further than maybe the 4th chapter or so. Upon finishing it, I’ll go ahead and say that the first half of the book DRAGGED for me. I was into it, but I wasn’t to the point where I could put it down. It was about to the point where I knew something was going to happen, so I kept trudging on, and…

Man. THAT. SECOND. HALF.

The action was great and the characters were taking care of business. There were still a few things that bothered me, but over all, I was hooked.

(Really though…is it necessary to say “makeshift knife” over and over in the same passage? Just say it once and then refer to it as a knife the rest of the time. That’s just the English major in me though.)

All in all, I can’t wait to find the time to read the next book! I thought that I already had it on my kindle, but I don’t. That doesn’t mean I won’t be getting it soon though.

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^Me waiting in anticipation thanks to the awesome ending.

 

Review: Rebel of the Sands

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Summary:

She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him…or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

My Thoughts:

Full disclosure: This isn’t the type of book that I’d normally read and enjoy. It just isn’t.

With that said…I absolutely LOVED it!

I’m not sure what it was really. Maybe it was just the right book at the right time, but I was hooked. I struggled to put it down and had to know what was going to happen next.

I was engrossed in the world building and could perfectly picture the desert sands and all of the creatures that were described.

Overall, this was a great story and I cannot wait for the next installment. As much as I could not put Rebel of the Sands down, I was still taken by surprise when the book ended because I didn’t WANT it to end.

This was such a surprise enjoyment for me and I can’t recommend it enough! It releases NEXT TUESDAY, so please be sure and pick it up. You won’t regret it!

-Melanie

 

Release Day: Queen of Shadows!

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I am so excited that QUEEN OF SHADOWS by Sarah J. Maas releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful series by Sarah J. Maas, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a set of the first 3 books in the series (in paperback format). US only. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Book Info:

Title: QUEEN OF SHADOWS

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Pub. Date: September 1, 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Pages: 656

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksGoodreads

Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.


Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Read Chapters 1-5 of QUEEN OF SHADOWS HERE!

Giveaway!




1 winner will receive the first 3 books (in paperback) in the THRONE OF GLASS Series. US Only.

Ends on September 11th at Midnight EST!

Go HERE

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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Book Summary and Info:

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Pages: 388

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: May 12, 2015

My Thoughts:

I rarely do a star rating on books. I tried before and either I felt too forgiving or too harsh. However, if I were to do stars then I’d easily give this one a 5 out of 5 without even a second thought.

I’m a huge fan of retelling stories. My obsession with the Lunar Chronicles and Alex Flynn books? That’s why I love those. That said, that is also why I loved The Wrath and the Dawn. I initially received an ARC of the book DAYS before it was released and was beyond excited because of how much I’d heard about it. But then the end of the school year ate up my time and I didn’t get to read it. Fast forward a month and I got a finished copy and decided to go ahead and read it.

I first thought the obvious- WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS GIRL DOING? I understand trying to avenge her friend’s death, but volunteering to marry a murderous  king seems a bit crazy regardless. Then we slowly get to further into the characters and I actually felt bad for the king like she did.

The novel is long at 388 pages, but it is also fast paced because of the desire to learn more about the situations in the story. I’m ready to find out more about certain things that were introduced (I can’t delve into that without spoilers, but the fact that it’s based on A Thousand and One Nights might be a hint at some things.) and to see where the story goes with the ideas that were already set into place. I already want to see what Khalid will do next based on what happens in the end.

I would highly recommend Wrath and the Dawn to anyone who is into fantasy, but specifically people who may watch Game of Thrones. I don’t actually watch GoT, but it seems like it might  reach a similar fan base based on the set up of the setting, kingdom, and magic.

Look into this book ASAP because I’m already wishing for book 2 thanks to how it ended and due to the sneak peak into the next book. This was an amazing debut, so I can’t wait to see what Ahdieh does next!

-Melanie

Feather by Laurie Lyons

I began this book because I signed up to review the second book in the series in a group on GoodReads, so I was provided copies of both books. The summary was very short and I did not know what to expect going into Feather. I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN! But…before I get ahead of myself….

Amazon summary:

PARANORMAL ROMANCE. Lucy is a bright eyed, fiery redhead with a quick wit and a photographic     memory. On the night of the spring equinox, Lucy meets Nathaniel, a dark and mysterious man who at first appears to have amnesia. Lucy feels inexplicably drawn to Nathaniel and is amazed to discover that he is invisible to everyone but herself. Fearing she is going insane–or worse, losing her photographic memory–Lucy goes on a hunt for answers. What she learns turns her world upside down.
FEATHER is a tale of love, the power of memories, and the struggle between right and wrong.
How far would you go to save your true love’s soul?

My review:

Once again, I could NOT put this book down. I was interested in the fact that Lucy has a photographic memory and assumed that would form the basis of the story. It is important, but not quite for the reasons that I was guessing. Soon, we were introduced to Nathanial. For the longest time we didn’t know anything about him. When we  learn about him, and where he comes from, the book launches off at full speed! Lucy isn’t like some YA characters that sit back and complain and whine the entire time. She takes things into her own hands when possible. She and Nathanial have many obstacles to overcome and she learns how to sacrifice her feelings for what she believes is right. Another highlight is the use of the fantasy elements in the book. Many fantasy novels abandon reality altogether, but Feather provides a strong balance between “magic” and real life.  I’m glad that I already have the next book waiting for me on my kindle because I CANNOT wait to find out what happens next to Lucy and Nathanial. They had a happy ending, but I don’t doubt that more trouble is heading their way. I may have been provided an e-copy, but I am definitely considering buying a paperback version to share with others. I have already been recommending it to people that I think might be interested.

If you want to read Feather then you can find it on Amazon in paperback or kindle versions. The kindle version is only $3.99, so I highly suggest checking it out since it is so cheap. This book is WELL worth 4 bucks!

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