My Most Anticipated Reads of 2017

most-anticipated-reads

There are so many wonderfully diverse, epic, and beautiful stories being released this year and I can hardly contain my excitement! I want to be BLOWN away by everything that my hands can get a hand on. I want to fall in love with characters and uniquely explored worlds. I want to be utterly shocked by stunning revelations. I want it all! I’m hoping that these lovely reads will do just that 😉

January

The Bear and the Nightingale: Russian fairytales? Yes, please! Now!

By Your Side: #autobuy I’m a sucker for a Kasie West contemporary. They are swoon-worthy!

February

Empress of a Thousand Skies: A beautiful sci-fi space adventure. I haven’t read one in so long. Bring it on!

We Are Okay: A story of loss and heartbreak. I loved Nina’s Everything Leads to You so I’m positive I’ll love this one, too!

The Hate U Give: An #ownvoices insight to the #BLM movement. THIS book will change the world, I know it.

The Education of Margot Sanchez: A coming of age story written by a Latinx writer. YAS!

March

The Bone Witch: Necromancy, magic, and witches – all elements that I LOVE.

Strange the Dreamer: Laini Taylor is a goddess and this world is riveting, dangerous, and magical. #autobuy

April

Defy the Stars: Another #autobuy author and a sci-fic novel set in space! Also, look at that gorgeous cover!!

Alex & Eliza: I am utterly obsessed with Hamilton so this is so perfect ❤

May

The Seafarer’s Kiss: A modern retelling featuring f/f romance! Gimmeeee 😛

When Dimple Met Rishi: Diversity reigns again when two Indian-American teens have been arranged to be married. RomCom material = a very happy Emma 😉

Always and Forever, Lara Jean: #autobuy I just love these characters so much and need to know that Lara Jean x Peter stay together!

Eliza and her Monsters: A deeply relatable story about life online and writing fanfiction.

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Are any of these lovely reads on your list? What are you most excited to read this year?

Emma

 

My Dream Bookish Panel

One of my favorite things to do as a lover of books is going to book signings. I love the opportunity of meeting some of my favorite authors and being part of the Q/A that often follows at the end of the introductory and moderator questions. If you’re like me, you often shy away from asking questions that a) are filled with spoilers or b) advice for aspiring writers.

Today, I am here to share with you my dream panel of authors/characters and the questions I’d ask them without the anxiousness that comes from speaking in a crowded room.

Jasmine de los Santos from Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz

img_0254I just finished this lovely read last night and if you’ve read it, you’d know how Jasmine is a strong authentic character who fights in the face of adversity. Jasmine gives us a realistic insight on what it means to be an undocumented teen immigrant in America. She deals with the stereotypes of what it means to be undocumented, college dreams crumbling, and dating. Jasmine handles all of these obstacles with grace. Above all, Jasmine is an excellent student and I want to know how she does it!

Question: What are some of your favorite study tips for success?

Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

Oh, Will. My lovely, tormented, sweet boy. Even as the years have passed, you are my all-time fictional boyfriend.fullsizerender If you haven’t read any of Cassandra Clare’s books, I highly recommend them. Will is the epitome of brooding, sarcasm, loyalty, and selflessly. He spent years pushing everyone he loves away because he believed it was the only way to keep them out of harms way. My heart still hurts with all that he had to go through. The two people who offered light in his life were Jem and Tessa, which leads me to…

Question: Do you remember the exact moment you fell in love with Tessa?

Aria and Perry from the Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi

This series is one of my favorite dystopians to-date! The main conflict is man vs. nature rather than rebelling against a society. Aria and Perry challenge one another and realize that what they believe of their world (dwellers vs. savages) isn’t always true. The romance between the pair is definitely swoon-worthy, too! Lastly, the friendship they have with Roar, respectively, is #squadgoals

Question: In one word, describe what it meant finding the Still Blue.

Rachel Caine, Claudia Gray, and Richelle Mead: Vampire Talk!

All these ladies wrote some series ass-kicking female heroines who are vampires and/or fought against them. Some of my questions would delve into their vampire world, respectively, and if they had a female pop culture icon as a model for their heroine. Most of all, I want to know…

Question: Which is your favorite vampire novel and did it inspire your 
own vampire story?

Libba Bray: Strong Heroines

The Gemma Doyle trilogy is severely underrated in YA, but it is one of my favorite urban fantasies in existence. It rivals my love for Cassandra Clare’s writing. Bray writes a multitude of strong heroines in coming-of-age novels. Her female characters flourish and find out who they are and what they can do to change their fate. Love isn’t a central plot device in this series, which makes it that much more empowering.

Question: Who was your favorite character to write?

J.K Rowling: Unforgettable Characters

Image result for the golden trio fan artMy dream author/character panel would not be complete without the mention of J.K. Rowling. The Golden Trio is the kind of friendship I admire; through thick and thin. If you are like me, you’ve probably grown up with Harry and company, wished you’d have received a Hogwarts letter, and secretly desire to be a witch/wizard. Even if you didn’t grow up with Harry, Hermoine, and Ron – their story is widely known all around the world and it is one that fills you with childhood nostalgia.

Question: If you could rewrite one character’s story cough Snape’s cough
who would you choose? 

Thank you all so much for joining me on this adventure! One day I would love to be a moderator if I can get over my fear of public speaking! I would like to give special thanks to Eventbrite for inspiring this post idea. Eventbrite is one of the largest self-service ticketing platform in the world that helps people find and plan events. If you ever need to plan your own bookish conference or find one near you – it is definitely worth checking out!

Who is in your dream bookish panel?

I choose you! Yes, really! If you decide to write your own dream bookish panel post, make sure to leave me a link in the comments below! I’d love to check it out!

With love always,

Emma

Goodbye October, Hello November 2016 Edition

Hello lovely people of the interwebs! It’s been awhile – like two months too long! A lot of wonderful things have happened between August and now. It’s been challenging, but in the same regard, positively rewarding. The semester is nearly over and I’m managing A’s in all of my classes; a feat I am really proud of  🙂

As far as reading and writing, I’ve done a lot of the former. I’m only five books away from completing my Goodreads challenge! I’ve been writing poems here and there, mostly about love and wonder – that moment where everything changes and the world looks new.

Before I get a little ahead of myself, below are my favorite things for the past couple of months.

Favorite Book

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. In a coming of age story, Noah and Jude navigate the treacherous waters of life. The story is told in two alternating timelines. Noah’s chapters are of the past, while Jude’s is of the present. I love the beautiful lyrical writing style that Nelson uses to capture what it means to grow. I was instantly captivated by Noah and Jude, and while I read I forgot about my surroundings. To me, that is what makes a book positively mesmerizing and unforgettable. I laughed. I cried. I had my heart broken and put back together. This book is everything I expected and more. I highly recommend I’ll Give You the Sun to be at the top of your TBR pile.

Favorite Music

I may be a little late onto the band wagon, but I’ve fallen in love with the 1975. One of my favorite songs from their self-titled album is Heart Out.

Favorite Show

Reign

Season 3 on Netflix was just updated recently and I quickly immersed myself back into Mary’s world. A lot of people have conflicting feelings about this season because well…death. It comes back around with a vengeance.

The overwhelming emotion that plagues Mary is heartbreaking. The inevitable death that hangs over Francis comes true, but with twists that are sure to leave the viewers satisfied. Mary surrounds herself with a frenemy as her rival across the sea, Elizabeth, seeks ways to destroy her.

What I liked most about this season was the growth of Mary. There is one specific scene towards the end where she commands power and strength.

I honestly can’t wait to see what the next season brings! There are rumors about it being the last season and if it is…well, if you didn’t know – Mary dies at the hands of her cousin, Elizabeth. To see how the network unfolds the last few years of Mary’s life will be interesting.

If you’ve seen the latest season of Reign, what do you think of the season and of what is ahead?

Favorite App

PvZ Heroes

This is a new app in the Plants vs Zombie world using playing cards to attack the opponent. Users can play both the Plant or Zombie and whichever one you play is the hero of the story.

I think this is a unique way to view the “there’s always two sides of the story” concept. The more you play, the more you uncover new playing cards and heroes. There’s also comic strips before each match! There is an incredible amount of detail in this game and if you like PvZ then you’ll definitely like this spin-off game!

Favorite Drink

With the weather getting cooler, and the days growing shorter, a pumpkin spice frappuchino is what I like. I also can’t survive without water lately 😉

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I hope your November is cozy, warm, and filled with happiness!

Stay groovy,

Emma

 

Walk on Earth a Stranger Release Day Celebration!

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Hello all! I am super excited that Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson released today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful new series by Rae Carson, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a set of the Girl of Fire and Thorns 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!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Displaying WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER.jpgTitle: Walk on Earth a Stranger

Release date: September 22, 2015

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Purchase from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

SYNOPSIS

The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush – era America.

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home – until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces – as only Rae Carson can – a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow – burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.

Reach chapter 1 of Walk on Earth a Stranger annotated by Rae Carson HERE!

ABOUT RAE

Displaying raecarson.jpgRae Carson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. Her next book, Walk on Earth a Stranger, will be available September 22, 2015. She lives in Arizona with her husband.

Connect with Rae

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY

1 winner will receive a set of the 3 Girl of Fire and Thornes series (in paperback format). US ONLY.

Ends on September 30th at Midnight EST!

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win! May the odds be ever in your favor.

Emma

Cover Reveal: Sugar Skull by Glenn Dallas & Lisa Mantchev

Hello all you wonderful human beings! Today I bring you the cover reveal for Sugar Skull by Glenn Dallas and Lisa Mantchev, which releases November 10, 2015. Be sure to check it out and add it to your TBR list if you like it!

So, here goes…

TADA!

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SYNOPSIS

Welcome to Cyrene, a city where energy is currency and music is the lifeblood of its young citizens. Everyone lives on the grid, and the residents of the world’s largest playground are encouraged to pursue every physical and emotional pleasure imaginable.

Vee is the lead singer of the Sugar Skulls, an all-girl band that is Corporate’s newest pet project. Micah haunts the city like a ghost after an overdose of a deadly illegal street drug knocks him off the grid. When Micah and Vee forge an immediate, undeniable connection, their troubled worlds collide.

Trading concert stages for Cyrene’s rooftops and back alleys, they have to evade vicious thugs and Vee’s possessive manager as they unravel the mysteries connected to their dark pasts. And before the curtain falls, Micah and Vee will bring the city to its knees in their desperate bid for love, home, and a future together.

Purchase from Amazon and add it to Goodreads!

SNEAK PEEK OF SUGAR SKULL

If strings ran up my spine, she just plucked the high E, a fierce vibration that shakes me to my core.

She looks away, and quakes subside into mere tremors. Propping myself up against the bar, I abandon my drink to process the last few seconds.

All these months, there’s been nothing. But just now? I felt it. I feel it. I pulse with life, lightning dancing across my skin as she batters the crowd with furious verses.

But I’m stuck on that first gasp.

One note. One word. She laid me low and resurrected me in one fell swoop.

Who is this girl?

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Displaying Glenn.jpgWhen not working on puzzles for Penny Press or writing about them for PuzzleNation, Glenn Dallas is an author of short stories and at least half of one novel. After appearing in the acknowledgments of several outstanding novels, he looks forward to returning the favor in the future.

Connect with Glenn

Website | Twitter

Displaying Lisa.jpgLisa Mantchev is the acclaimed author of Ticker and the Théâtre Illuminata series, which includes Eyes Like Stars, nominated for a Mythopoeic Award and the Andre Norton Award. She has also published numerous short stories in magazines, including Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, and Fantasy. She lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State with her husband, children, and horde of furry animals. Visit her online at www.lisamantchev.com.

Connect with Lisa

Facebook | Twitter

This cover reveal is brought to you from Giselle over at Xpresso Book Tours.

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Queen of Shadows Release Day Blitz

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Hello lovely people of the interwebs! I am so excited that Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas released this week 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 the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Displaying Queen of Shadows.jpgTitle: Queen of Shadows

Release date: September 1, 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Purchase from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

SYNOPSIS

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

Everyone Calaena 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!

ABOUT SARAH

Displaying Sarah1.jpgSarah J. Maas is the author of the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling Throne of Glass series – Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire, and the series’ prequel, The Assassin’s Blade – as well as the New York Times and USA Today bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses. She wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in twenty-three languages. Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, will release worldwide on September 1st, 2015.

A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies.

Connect With Sarah

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

1 winnter will receive the first 3 books (in paperback) in the Throne of Glass series. US only.

Ends on September 11th at Midnight EST.

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win! May the odds be ever in your favor.

 Emma

LGBTQ Books I Want To Read

With the overturn of Proposition 8 has come a multitude of beautifully captured newlywed moments. I woke up this morning to the news that filled me with pure happiness! I loved seeing the overwhelming positive response from my friends and strangers on various social media outlets.

I’ve been meaning to read more LGBTQ books because I am vastly interested in the awareness of the LGBTQ community. If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know!

1. Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire

A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

2. Two Boys Kissing by David Leviathin

New York Times  bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other

3. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island’s other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.Written by Libba Bray, the hilarious, sensational, Printz Award-winning author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Going Bovine. The result is a novel that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you never see beauty the same way again.

 

4. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother’s pushiness and her father’s lack of interest tell her they’re the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn’t know the passengers inside, but they’re the only people who won’t judge her when she asks them her most personal questions–like what it means that she’s falling in love with a girl.

As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can’t share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don’t even know she’s there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers’ lives–and her own–for the better.

In this truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society’s definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything–and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking real love.

5. Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

The award-winning novel about being out, being proud, and being ready for something else . . . now in paperback.

Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.

And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.

So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret — not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn’t even know that love is possible.

This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate feeling different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.

6. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

7. Lies My Girlfriend Told Me by Julie Anne Peters

When Alix’s charismatic girlfriend, Swanee, dies from sudden cardiac arrest, Alix is overcome with despair. As she searches Swanee’s room for mementos of their relationship, she finds Swanee’s cell phone, pinging with dozens of texts sent from a mysterious contact, L.T. The most recent text reads: “Please tell me what I did. Please, Swan. Te amo. I love you.”

Shocked and betrayed, Alix learns that Swanee has been leading a double life–secretly dating a girl named Liana the entire time she’s been with Alix. Alix texts Liana from Swanee’s phone, pretending to be Swanee in order to gather information before finally meeting face-to-face to break the news.

Brought together by Swanee’s lies, Alix and Liana become closer than they’d thought possible. But Alix is still hiding the truth from Liana. Alix knows what it feels like to be lied to–but will coming clean to Liana mean losing her, too?

8. Simon Vs the Homo Sapians Agenda by Becky Albertalli

9. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

10. None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex… and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

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If you like the synopsis of any of these novels, be sure to add them to your TBR on  Goodreads. Links have been provided in the titles so click away! 🙂

Emma

An Ember In The Ashes Release Day Blitz

Hello lovely people of the interwebs! I am so excited to be part of this blitz, celebrating An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir out in the world TODAY. I also get to share a special introduction from Sabaa herself!

Stay tuned for the giveaway at the end!

Letter from Sabaa Tahir:

Dear Readers,

Today, my “baby” An Ember In The Ashes is finally out in the world! From inception to pub date, this journey took eight years. And what a journey it was: writing, rewriting, revising, editing, querying, submitting; Meeting other debuts, bloggers, booksellers and librarians, and hearing their thoughts on Ember. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the radness.

And now, the book is here! I am so excited to see it in the hands of readers. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. To celebrate release day, I’m giving away two signed, first-edition hardcovers of the book. Details below!

All my best,

Sabaa

ABOUT THE BOOK

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Release date: April 28, 2015

Publisher: Razorbill

Purchase from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

SYNOPSIS

I WILL TELL YOU THE SAME THING I TELL EVERY SLAVE.

THE RESISTANCE HAS TRIED TO PENETRATE THIS SCHOOL COUNTLESS TIMES. I HAVE DISCOVERED IT EVERY TIME.

IF YOU ARE WORKING WITH THE RESISTANCE, IF YOU CONTACT THEM, IF YOU THINK OF CONTACTING THEM, I WILL KNOW

AND I WILL DESTROY YOU.

Laia is a slave.
Elias is a soldier.
Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself. — Goodreads

Sabaa-Tahir-200x300ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks, and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

WEBSITE| TWITTER | PINTEREST | GOODREADS | TUMBLR  |INSTAGRAM

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

  • 2 winners will receive a signed hardcover of An Ember in the Ashes. US ONLY.
  • 3 winners will receive a hardcover of An Ember in the Ashes and a Sword Letter Opener! US ONLY.

Giveaway ends May 9th at Midnight EST!

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win! May the odds be ever in your favor!

This blitz was wonderfully put together by the girls at Rockstar Book Tours.

anemberintheashes

Book Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Release date: February 26, 2013

Purchase from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

SYNOPSIS

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

SPOILERS MAY LIE AHEAD. TREAD CAREFULLY MY LOVELIES.

When I picked this book up, I was sure I would find a lovely story about first love and the obstacles that come along with it. But boy, was I wrong. I was so so wrong.

The synopsis leads you a stray. Sure, it’s about two teenage sixteen-year-olds who navigate the waters of what it means to truly love someone. But the story also highlights Eleanor’s dysfunctional home. Her mother is submissive, while her step-father is cruel, manipulative, and abusive. It was a topic that I never would have thought coursed through the pages of this book. It was surprising, but it didn’t mean that i liked it any less.

Eleanor and Park’s love story is set in the 80’s, which is a rad decade. I loved Eleanor’s spontaneous and rather odd pieces of clothing. I also loved Park’s taste in the “hard emo” music. Most of all, I loved the variety of characters. For example, Eleanor is a red head and Park is Korean (I think…I don’t exactly remember). I loved reading the dialogue from Park’s mom as it was broken English as she herself is full blooded Korean. This part in particular was authentic. I could picture my own mother this way as she was an immigrant and while she tries, her English is still a bit shaky. But it doesn’t mean that people dislike her. People loved Park’s mom and I really liked how the community treated her in a respectful light.

I got off on a bit of a tangent there. Sorry, loves!

I adored the progression of Park and Eleanor’s relationship. At first, it was unknown territory. They each were mindful of each other as if the other was a ticking bomb ready to explode. Slowly. Very slowly, did they finally begin to open up to each other. Eleanor kept her life at home a secret from Park for the most part. She didn’t want to expose him to what she dealt with and for me, it was heartbreaking. I wish she would have told him sooner, maybe the story would have ended in a different way. A happy way rather than ripping my heart open and shattering the pieces all over my bedroom floor.

I cried. A lot. It was kind of sad as I was finishing the book over at Kevin’s and he…bless his soul…did not know what to do with me. I wanted to just stop reading all together and sit in a corner, unleashing the onslaught of tears.

I haven’t cried in a long time over a book and I loved that the story was compelling enough to draw emotion from me. Those are good books. This was an amazing read that encompassed real life situations and struggles. I sympathized with Eleanor the most, being angry, sad, and heartbroken on her behalf.

Rainbow Rowell’s writing captivated me from the beginning, drawing me deeper and deeper into Eleanor and Park’s world. The prose, the points of views, the description – it was all beautifully written and visually aesthetic.

I’m glad that this wasn’t what I expected. It was even better than I could have ever imagined.

addy5star

 

Cover Reveal: Flirting With Love (Lovelly #1.5) by Clara Stone + Excerpt!

Hello lovely people of the interwebs! I am here to bring you the cover reveal of Clara Stone’s new novel, Flirting With Love, the follow up to Forever Kinda Love – which I reviewed last year right here! Flirting With Love hits shelves on March 6, 2015. You bet my little tush will be pre-ordering this baby.

So….ready for cover reveal?

TADA!

SYNOPSIS

Hudson Lovelly leads a charmed life-successful career, loving family, beautiful wife. And on the eve of his daughter’s birth, he’s counting his blessings. Life wasn’t always so generous . . .

Seventeen-year-old Blake never expected to fall for the pretentious, golden-haired boy on the opposing debate team. But she soon learns that looks can be deceiving, and not all men exist to disappoint. When a harmless prank starts to turn into something more, she discovers that sometimes, all it takes is a little Hope for love to find it’s way.

The day she walks into his life, exploding on the scene like a firecracker, is the day eighteen-year-old Hudson knows everything is about to change. Quick-witted, Blake is a prankster with a heart of gold, ensnaring him more than any girl ever has. He’ll do anything to be with her, even if it means pretending.

But when danger threatens Blake, he can’t conceal his growing affection. Pretending is no longer an option. They never planned for their friendship to grow into a love story. But it did. This powerful companion to Forever Kinda Love tells the history of Hudson and Blake’s love. Laced with haunting emotion and beautiful sentiment, this is a tale about overcoming even the darkest moments, reminding us all to love more. Give more.

Without regrets.

EXCERPT

I nod and study each of them, until my glance lands on Golden Boy. I narrow my eyes, glaring at him in the scariest way I can muster. At least, I hope so anyway.

He stares back, the earlier smile completely vanished. He jumps to his feet and saunters forward. I gulp, feeling uncertainty stirring in the pit of my stomach, and my palms sweat from nerves. I don’t know if it’s because of his godly good looks, the fact he’s towering well over six feet on my five foot seven inches height, or because I can’t read his all too calming features, but suddenly, I feel like coming over here wasn’t my best idea.

I watch him as he approaches, slow and confident, like a lion unconcerned by the presence of a cheetah. His pressed, white button-up shirt stretches across his chest, and the loose tie around his neck hangs over his unbuttoned collar. His expression is stoic, but there’s something in his hazel eyes that makes me feel awkward and on display. He doesn’t exactly scream “bad boy,” but I know there’s something in him that sizzles just under the surface, a wildness.

He runs his fingers over his perfectly-combed, golden locks and extends his hand for a handshake, the tendons on his forearm popping below his rolled up sleeve. I stare at his arm and blink.

“Pleasure to meet you,” he says. His voice is incredibly warm, amused.

When I look up at him, his lips stretch wide in a wicked grin that shines right to his eyes. I feel light on my feet, like I’m on cloud nine or something.

“Hudson, Blake. Blake, Hudson,” Hope introduces us, reminding me that we aren’t alone.

“Blake,” Hudson says, like he’s tasting my name on his tongue. “That’s an odd name for a girl. Don’t you think, Hope?”

That brings me back to earth and lands me on my butt—figuratively speaking, of course.

“Hudson!” Hope squeals disapprovingly, backhanding him across his chest.

I glare sharply at him, thinning my lips. “Remember this moment, Golden Boy. Because karma is mighty pissed, and she pays back with interest.”

I don’t give either of them a chance to respond before I pivot and head back toward my teammates.

Wesley meets me halfway and leans down, asking, “What did you say to them? He looks like he got hit by lightning.”

I throw a glance over my shoulder and smile at the stunned expression on Hudson’s face. Good. When I turn back to Wesley, the rest of the team has caught up to us. “It’s time to bring out the big guns. You guys up for it?”

Murmurs fill the air, almost all in agreement, until Wesley speaks.

“We can’t risk getting caught, Blake.”

I grin. “Oh, trust me, there’s no way we’re getting caught.”

Excitement fizzles around us as the team starts to throw out ideas. Golden Boy and the other stuck-up douche-nuts won’t know what hit them.

||

I am so ready to have a finished copy in my hands! I love love LOVE the cover! It is positively lovelly 😉

xx

Emma