Tag Archives: 5 stars

Book Title:
Spindle Fire
Book Author:
Lexa Hillyer
Book Series:
Spindle Fire, #1
Page Count:
368
Publishing Date:
April 11th, 2017
Publisher:
HarperTeen
Date Read:
November 21st, 2017
Source:
ARC from Author

Synopsis

A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.

No.

It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.

My Review

Spindle Fire was one of those books that drew me in right off the bat with its enchanted cover and a story that promises a new retelling of Sleeping Beauty – one of my all time favorite fairy tales. Look … Continue reading

5 stars
10 Comments
Book Title:
Wonder Woman: Warbringer
Book Author:
Leigh Bardugo
Book Series:
DC Icons, #1
Page Count:
376
Publishing Date:
August 29th, 2017
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Date Read:
November 2nd, 2017
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together.

Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

My Review

I’m somehow getting incredibly lucky with all of the great books that I’ve been reading lately.  To be honest, I hadn’t expected this one to become one of my favorite books, mostly because I really didn’t know much about Wonder … Continue reading

5 stars
16 Comments
Book Title:
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
Book Author:
Julie C. Dao
Book Series:
Rise of the Empress, #1
Page Count:
363
Publishing Date:
October 10th, 2017
Publisher:
Philomel Books
Date Read:
October 30th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress--and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

My Review

Another 5 star review – I’m so excited to be coming across so many amazing books these past few weeks! Forest of a Thousand Lanterns was nothing like I was expecting, and I’m not even entirely sure what that was.  … Continue reading

5 stars
12 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Dear Martin
Book Author:
Nic Stone
Page Count:
224
Publishing Date:
October 17th, 2017
Publisher:
Crown Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
September 29th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.

Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.

My Review

It’s so very rare that I give a book a 5 star rating.  It really has to shake me to my core, make me question things, and be something that I believe everyone needs to read for me to rate … Continue reading

8 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Pashmina
Book Author:
Nidhi Chanani
Book Illustrator:
Nidhi Chanani
Page Count:
176
Publishing Date:
October 3rd, 2017
Publisher:
First Second
Date Read:
September 21st, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri's mom avoids these questions--the topic of India is permanently closed.

For Pri, her mother's homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she's ever dared and find the family she never knew.

In this heartwarming graphic novel debut, Nidhi Chanani weaves a tale about the hardship and self-discovery that is born from juggling two cultures and two worlds.

My Review

Pashmina was one of my most anticipated releases for this year – I heard about it months ago and haven been counting day the days until it releases.  I was so excited when I had the chance to participate on … Continue reading

6 Comments
Book Title:
Shimmer and Burn
Book Author:
Mary Taranta
Book Series:
Shimmer and Burn, #1
Page Count:
352
Publishing Date:
August 8th, 2017
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Date Read:
September 5th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

To save her sister’s life, Faris must smuggle magic into a plague-ridden neighboring kingdom in this exciting and dangerous start to a brand-new fantasy duology.

Faris grew up fighting to survive in the slums of Brindaigel while caring for her sister, Cadence. But when Cadence is caught trying to flee the kingdom and is sold into slavery, Faris reluctantly agrees to a lucrative scheme to buy her back, inadvertently binding herself to the power-hungry Princess Bryn, who wants to steal her father’s throne.

Now Faris must smuggle stolen magic into neighboring Avinea to incite its prince to alliance—magic that addicts in the war-torn country can sense in her blood and can steal with a touch. She and Bryn turn to a handsome traveling magician, North, who offers protection from Avinea’s many dangers, but he cannot save Faris from Bryn’s cruelty as she leverages Cadence’s freedom to force Faris to do anything—or kill anyone—she asks. Yet Faris is as fierce as Bryn, and even as she finds herself falling for North, she develops schemes of her own.

With the fate of kingdoms at stake, Faris, Bryn, and North maneuver through a dangerous game of magical and political machinations, where lives can be destroyed—or saved—with only a touch.

My Review

When I first realized that this gorgeous book was something I absolutely had to read, I had no idea that it was a duology.  I guess I missed that part, but for whatever reason, I thought it was a standalone.  … Continue reading

5 stars
12 Comments
Book Title:
Aftercare Instructions
Book Author:
Bonnie Pipkin
Page Count:
368
Publishing Date:
June 27th, 2017
Publisher:
Flatiron Books
Date Read:
July 12th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

It’s what we do after the hurt that matters.

“Troubled.” That’s seventeen-year-old Genesis Johnson, according to her small New Jersey town. She finds refuge and stability in her relationship with her boyfriend, Peter—until he abandons her at a Planned Parenthood clinic during their appointment to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The betrayal causes Gen to question everything.

As Gen pushes herself forward to find her new identity without Peter, she must also confront her most painful memories. Through the lens of an ongoing four act play within the novel, the fantasy of their undying love unravels line by line, scene by scene. Digging deeper into her past while exploring the underground theater world of New York City, she rediscovers a long-forgotten dream. But it’s when Gen lets go of her history, the one she thinks she knows, that she’s finally able to embrace the complicated, chaotic true story of her life, and take center stage.

My Review

“The Thing I Wish I’d Known:      -I love you doesn’t come with any guarantees.” Aftercare Instructions was one of those books that I went into expecting to like, but not love as much as I did.  It was probably … Continue reading

5 stars
8 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Lucky in Love
Book Author:
Kasie West
Page Count:
333
Publishing Date:
July 25th, 2017
Publisher:
Scholastic
Date Read:
July 20th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

My Review

Earlier this year I read my very first Kasie West book, By Your Side.  I fell in love with that book from the very first page, and I instantly knew that I would read anything Kasie West wrote from that … Continue reading

9 Comments
Book Title:
Marigold Bakes a Cake
Book Author:
Mike Malbrough
Book Illustrator:
Mike Malbrough
Page Count:
40
Publishing Date:
July 18th, 2017
Publisher:
Philomel Books
Date Read:
July 10th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

Synopsis

For fans of Mo Willems' Don't Let the Pigeon... series. Baking the perfect cake is how Marigold spends Mondays. Being messy, noisy, and disruptive in Marigold's kitchen are how one finch, two pigeons, and three loons spend their Mondays!

Marigold the cat loves Mondays, for that is when he bakes cakes! With his favorite recipe in front of him, he rolls up his sleeves and gets down to it. He whips up egg whites . . . Easy. He adds a cup of milk . . . Peasy. The he sprinkles in just a pinch of . . . of finch?! That's not right at all! Neither are the smidgeons of pigeons or the spoonsfull of loons. Clearly a chase is in order! Yet all that leads to is a spectacularly messy kitchen. And no cake.

With a recipe comprised of equal parts humor and charm, author-illustrator Mike Malbrough has cooked up a scrumptious laugh-out-loud addition to the great tradition of interruption books. Perfect for fans of Mo Willems' Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and David Ezra Stein's Interrupting Chicken.

My Review

As someone who reads a ton of picture books every year, for a book to really stand out and become an instant favorite, it has to have a wonderful story and illustrations that I can’t get enough of.  Plus, you … Continue reading

4 Comments
Book Title:
The One Memory of Flora Banks
Book Author:
Emily Barr
Page Count:
304
Publishing Date:
May 2nd, 2017
Publisher:
Philomel Books
Date Read:
May 4th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora's brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend's boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora's fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

With little more than the words "be brave" inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must "be brave" if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.

My Review

The One Memory of Flora Banks is probably one of the best books that I’ve read to date – it was deep and told such an incredible story that was both heartwarming and heartwrenching at the same time. The One … Continue reading

3 Comments