Reading Update

Hey everyone! It’s been awhile since my last post so I thought I would just check in now that things are starting to die down again in my personal life.  We moved out of our townhouse and officially listed it for sale a week ago today.  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks but I finally started having time to read again this week.  I was so happy to receive an ARC of Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor in the mail last week from The Novl! I jumped up and down with joy.  So I’m currently reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone to prepare to read it.  After I finish DoSaB, I will move on to Days of Blood and Starlight.  When that is finished I will pick up the ARC.  I’ve flipped through it and the illustrations that made it into the ARC are fantastic!  I’ve already preordered my finished copy so I can’t wait to see the rest of the illustrations.

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I am also still continuing my re-read of the Outlander series.  I had to put it down for a couple weeks but started reading it again last night.  I’ve missed these characters and story so much.  It’s been almost three years since I first fell in love with this series.  Going back and reading it again reminds me of all of the differences between the book and the tv adaptation.  Not bad differences though… I love the adaptation as well.

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I am also currently listening to an audiobook of a non-fiction history book that I read years ago.  It is called The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir.  I love Tudor history, especially about Henry VIII and his wives.  Alison Weir is probably my favorite non-fiction author who writes about Tudor history.  The narrator has a very soothing voice similar to Jim Dale who is one of my favorite narrators.

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What have you been reading lately?

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

23264671Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff (Nevernight Chronicles #2)

Expected Publication: September 5, 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books

448 Pages

Goodreads Summary: A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere.

Review: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  

For those who have not yet read Nevernight, my review for this sequel is simply…. This book was absolutely incredible and completely blew Nevernight out of the water!  You need to pick up Nevernight and start this epic journey now to prepare yourself for the release of this kickass sequel due in September.

For those who have read Nevernight, proceed to my full review below.

Without a doubt, this book was my #1 most anticipated read of 2017 and it did not disappoint at all!  This book took the epicness of Nevernight and multiplied it by a thousand.  There were so many intense moments to the point where I was almost constantly sitting on the literal edge of my chair tapping my feet in nervousness.  The book starts out going back and forth between Mia’s present day and the past few months after saving the Red Church from total destruction.  As a history major, I continue to enjoy the footnotes with little tidbits of background information on certain people, places, or historical events.  The past few months sees Mia continuing her role as a blade for the Red Church and on one of her missions, she runs into a couple old friends.  In the present, Mia is once again working on her quest to avenger her familia by murdering Consul Julius Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo.  All along the way, Mia begins to learn things that will alter her course.  There were so many twists and turns!  A few of them literally had my mouth gaping open because WHOA, MIND BLOWN!  Some new characters were introduced and it didn’t take long for me to feel attached to them.  Kristoff broke my heart a few times and I am still reeling.  Omg and the cliffhanger ending!!! WHAT!  I’m going to need the next book ASAP!  There was laughter, anger, sadness, swoons, etc…. full spectrum of emotions while reading this book.  I haven’t been in the mood to read anything else after finishing Godsgrave because it was so intense and just grabbed me by the feels!

5 Bloody Stars

All US preorders come signed no matter where you buy it from.  Barnes & Noble does have an exclusive edition that includes full color endpapers and an exclusive chapter.  Read more about that edition in Jay Kristoff’s blog post here.

Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition  |  Amazon

Also… let’s drool together over the UK cover.  (Click on the image below to purchase the UK edition from Book Depository.)32055872

 

 

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

25062038Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Expected publication: August 8th 2017 by Little, Brown

336 Pages

Goodreads Summary: When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.

Review: In a time when diversity is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, Little & Lion brings you a community of characters bursting with diversity in many forms – LGBTQ, religion, POC, and mental illness.  The main character, Suzette aka Little, has just returned home for the summer from boarding school unsure if she wants to return in the fall.  There is an incident involving her roommate Iris that is mentioned quite a bit in the beginning but isn’t really explained until later on in the book. As Suzette tries to settle back into her home, there are some flashbacks to show how her family unit came to be and how strong her relationship was with her stepbrother Lionel aka Lion.  In the present, it is clear that something has affected their relationship so they’re not as close as they used to be even though Suzette desperately wants their relationship back to where it was.  Something caused a strain and as the story continues, and some pretty big events transpire, you find out what that was.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book even though I didn’t quite fully connect with the characters.  I loved Suzette and Lionel’s family!  They seem to have such a cool dynamic.  With the exception of Emil, I didn’t really care for too many of the secondary characters.  A few of the scenarios felt a little exaggerated but they didn’t really have a negative affect on my overall opinion of the book.  One of the main things I was disappointed in was the ending.  It felt rushed and was not satisfying for me.  I would’ve really liked to see the ending expanded to go more into detail about what happens with the decisions that Suzette decided to make regarding school.  I don’t want to say too much more so I don’t spoil anything.  I’ve been torn on where to rate this one and have decided that while I liked the book I don’t think I will ever read it again so I’ve set it at a 3.  It’s definitely worth a read, especially if you are looking for some great diversity.  There is some sexual content so be aware of that if you are looking at this book for a younger YA reader.

3 Stars

I received a copy of this book from The Novl in exchange for an honest review.

Month(s) In Review: June, July 2017

monthinreviewIt’s finally August and that means we are one step closer to my favorite season!  I’m so excited for fall.  It’s been an especially hot and humid summer up here in Minnesota so I am beyond ready for a cool and crisp fall.  As I was preparing my July recap, I realized I never posted one for June so today you get a combo.  We have been really busy lately with packing and preparing our townhouse to put up for sale.  We are finally to the point where we’ll be meeting with a realtor next week to go over pricing and officially moving out.  I’m excited but also really stressed out.  So I haven’t had as much free time to read lately but I still am pretty happy with what I was able to read.

In June I read and LOVED Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff.  My review will be releasing early next week so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that!  It was absolutely amazing.  Dark Matter by Blake Crouch was another 5 star read for me.  I’ve been wanting to read it for a long time so I’m glad I was finally able to. And the hype did not disappoint at all!

# Books Read in June:  7

# Pages Read in June: 2,022

Books Read in June:

  • The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
  • Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher
  • Here and Gone by Haylen Beck
  • Everland by Wendy Spinale
  • No Ordinary Star by MC Frank
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

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In July I ended up reading a lot of ARCs and review copies.  I ended up adding another book to my DNF list but that’s okay.  Little Monsters by Kara Thomas was such a great psychological thriller!  I also loved Tarryn Fisher’s latest release, Atheists Who Kneel And Pray.  I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Invictus by Ryan Graudin and completely loved it.  Time travel and diverse group of characters including a red panda… Yes!

# Books Read in July:  8 (including 1 DNF)

# Pages Read in July: 2,674

# Books Read in 2017: 62 (including 4 DNF)

# Pages Read in 2017: 24,948 (including audiobooks)

Books Read in July:

  • Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
  • Into The Water by Paula Hawkins
  • The Heirs by Susan Riegler (DNF)
  • Atheists Who Kneel And Pray by Tarry Fisher
  • The Whole Way Home by Sarah Creech
  • Sleep Like A Baby by Charlaine Harris
  • Invictus by Ryan Graudin
  • Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

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As far as book hauls go, I got a ridiculous amount of books over the last couple of months.  I’m sure there are even some that I’ve forgotten about.

  • A Million Junes by Emily Henry (BOTM box)
  • Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann (BOTM box)
  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (BOTM box)
  • All The Crooked Saints (ARC) by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen
  • Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
  • Homecoming (The 100 #3) by Kass Morgan
  • Like A River Glorious by Rae Carson
  • The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
  • The Heirs by Susan Riegler (review copy)
  • The Archived by Victoria Schwab (signed)
  • The Unbound by Victoria Schwab (signed)
  • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (signed)
  • The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
  • Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
  • The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley
  • Strange the Dreamer (US ARC) by Laini Taylor
  • Queen of Swords by Sara Donati
  • Seveneves by Neal Stephensen
  • Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis
  • The Whole Way Home by Sarah Creech (review copy)
  • Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon
  • In A Handful Of Dust by Mindy McGinnis
  • Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn
  • Midnight In Austenland by Shannon Hale
  • Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes
  • The Furies by Mark Alpert
  • The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
  • The Shore by Sara Taylor
  • The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
  • My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
  • Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
  • Now I Rise by Kiersten White (signed)
  • Little Monsters (ARC) by Kara Thomas
  • American Fire by Monica Hesse (BOTM box)
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (BOTM box)
  • Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (signed)
  • A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes
  • Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • Dangerous Deception by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • Devil’s Advocate (The X-Files Origins #2) by Jonathan Maberry
  • Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
  • Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes
  • Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
  • Unmarked by Kami Garcia
  • Kingsman: Secret Service (graphic novel)
  • Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen (graphic novel)
  • Tomb Raider: Secrets and Lies (graphic novel)
  • Tomb Raider: Season of the Witch (graphic novel)
  • The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
  • The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell (LitJoy Crate)
  • Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)
  • The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy (The Bookish Box)

What have you been reading lately?

The Other Girl by Erica Spindler

31450532The Other Girl by Erica Spindler

Expected publication: August 22nd 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

352 Pages

Goodreads Summary: From the NYT bestselling author comes a chilling new thriller about a ritualistic murder of a college professor that sends a small town cop back into the trauma she thought she’d put behind her.

Officer Miranda Rader of the Hammond PD in Louisiana is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda comes from Jasper, just south of Hammond, a place about the size of a good spit on a hot day, and her side of the tracks was the wrong one. She’s worked hard to leave the girl she used to be behind and earn respect in her position as an officer.

However, when Miranda and her partner are called to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most beloved college professors, they’re unprepared for the gruesomeness of the scene. This murder is unlike any they’ve ever investigated, and just when Miranda thinks she’s seen the worst of it, she finds a piece of evidence that chills her to the core: a faded newspaper clipping about a terrible night from her long-buried past. Then another man turns up dead, this one a retired cop, and not just any cop—Clint Wheeler, the cop who took her statement that night. Two murders, two very different men, two killings that on the surface had nothing in common—except Miranda. 15 years ago.

And when her fingerprints turn up at the scene of the first murder, Miranda once again finds herself under the microscope, her honesty and integrity doubted, her motivations questioned. Alone again, the trust of her colleagues shattered, Miranda must try to trust the instincts she’s pushed down for so long, and decide what’s right—before it’s too late.

Review: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I love a good thriller so I was excited to get a chance to read and review this one. Right off the bat, I was hooked. Randi seemed like a girl who was mad at life and wanted any escape from it by way of drinking and drugs. But at only 15 years old, her life quickly went south when something absolutely horrible happened to her and yet nobody believed her because of her past issues. The story goes back and forth between the present where Randi has grown up to be Miranda, a detective on the local police force, and that night where everything went wrong. In the present she is called to the scene of a murder where one small thing alerts her to that night long ago. I was so enthralled by the story that I read the entire book in one sitting. The only issue I had was that I came up with a prediction pretty early on in the book and I turned out to be right. However, a twist showed that there were other factors involved that I had no idea so when those were revealed I was both shocked and appalled which I believe is the mark of a good thriller. After reading and enjoying this book I will definitely be checking out the author’s other books.

4 Stars