Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (15): Midnight Thief (Midnight Thief, #1) by Livia Blackburne

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Midnight Thief
Author: Livia Blackburne
Series: Midnight Thief, #1
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release: July 8th 2014
Pages: 368 (hardcover)
Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs. But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.

It was almost four month ago when I read the novella Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne for her upcoming Midnight Thief series. And since then, I have only wished for time to pass faster. Despite the short length, Poison Dance is a story all high fantasy fans will appreciate (you can find my review here). I was completely mesmerized by the world Blackburne created and her characters were nothing short of impressive. It lures you in and before you know it you are already determined to follow this story to the end.

(The kindle version of the novella is currently free on Amazon, be sure to check it out!)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Review: This Song Will Save Your Life

Author: Leila Sales
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release: Sep 17th 2013
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 279 (hardcover)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

This Song Will Save Your Life is an incredibly personal read in the sense that no other books or characters have ever reflected so much of myself in them like this one. It is a book about being an outcast who desperately tries to belong and the inexplicable process of finding one's true self. If you have ever struggled with these hurdles growing up, you will for sure see a hint of yourself in Leila Sales' breathtakingly realistic and relatable protagonist - Elise Dembowski.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (14) : The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: The Vanishing Season
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Series: Standalone
Publisher: HaperTeen
Release: July 1st 2014
Pages: 256 (hardcover)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig. I am looking for the things that are buried.

From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind.

Ever since Tiger Lily, I have been hopelessly in love with Jodi Lynn Anderson's beautiful and lyrical writing. I savored every single line in that book and I will never get tired of re-reading it. When I found out that she has another book coming out soon, "jubilant" can not even begin to describe my happiness. The Vanishing Season, full with mystery and intrigue, captured my interest almost instantly. I only wish July can come sooner, perhaps right after April ;)

What are you waiting on today?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Review: Splintered (Splintered, #1)

Author: A. G. Howard
Series: Splintered, #1
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release: Jan 1st 2013
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 371 (hardcover)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Technically speaking, A.G. Howard's rendition of Wonderland bears more resemblance to Tim Burton's wild if not wicked imagination than to the original Lewis Caroll's tale. Though regardless of the origin of Howard's inspirations, Splintered can sure hold its own place among YA literatures. Its rich and exquisite scenery, puzzling yet absorbing plot, along with those superbly-done characters, altogether combined into this elaborate visual feast in front of us.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (3)

Stacking the Shelves is a book-haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

YES!! THE WINNER'S CURSE!! ADSKFHSDKFHSAKF!!! Yep, that is pretty much all I can say about it. This book is probably the most hyped-up book of 2014. But despite the high expectations people sure have before reading it, so far I have only seen positive reviews, which speaks volumes. I'm so happy to finally bought my own copy of The Winner's Curse. I don't usually buy hardcovers but this time I simply couldn't wait :P I hope it won't disappoint me!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review: Queen of Hearts (Queen of Hearts Saga, #1)

Author: Colleen Oaks
Series: Queen of Hearts Saga, #1
Publisher: SparkPress
Release: Feb 12th 2014
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 222 (ebook)
( Amazon | Goodreads )
A Father’s Betrayal. A Kingdom with a Black Secret. A Princess Slowly Unraveling.

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah's days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts--and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she's ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It's up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinah's furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath. Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. But be warned...not every fairytale has a happy ending. This is the story of a princess who became a villain.

I have recently gotten myself into a Wonderland frenzy, all thanks to the fabulously written retelling Splintered by A.G. Howard, which left me desperately in need of more mystical adventures. I was so overwhelmed by the urge to return to Wonderland that I hunted high and low for something else to quench my thirst. Queen of Hearts came to me then, with promises of epicness and gloomy twists, and easily captured my attention.