March Releases

Hey all!

I hope y’all enjoyed my Sightwitch review earlier this week (last week? I don’t know. Depends on when you consider the week to start). I also recently finished People Like Us by Dana Mele and will hopefully have that review for you soon. I will say I recommend both books!

Of course, the reason I’m writing this post is not to remind you that I post book reviews (but hey here and here are the reviews I posted before Sightwitch if you want to maybe check them out)(side note I will be posting more writing content soon I swear). The reason I’m writing this is because it is time for . . .


Was that showing proper excitement? That’s about right for how I feel. I know I’m four days late (and I suck) but this is a good book month. I’m so serious. There are some killer books coming out this month you guys. I am so excited to tell you all about them!! Starting now.

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough A YA Historical novel in verse inspired by the life and trials of famous painter Artemisia Gentileschi. Set in Rome in 1610, the young woman faces a choice after she is raped: she can keep quiet or speak up, consequences be damned. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Children of Blood & Bone by Tomi Adeyemi A YA Fantasy debut about Orïsha, a land formerly filled with magic, and Zélie, the girl who is going to bring it all back. She is determined to overthrow the monarchy that ordered magi like her mother murdered. But she only has one shot and doesn’t need growing feelings getting in the way of taking it. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles A YA Contemporary about Marvin, a young boy whose brother Tyler went to a party and then promptly went missing. A video later surfaces that shows Tyler was killed by a police officer after they’d raided the party he was at. Now Marvin needs to learn how to cope with this loss while watching his brother turn into a symbol. Release Date: March 20th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan When Leigh’s mother committed suicide, she’s absolutely certain that she turned into a bird. This YA Contemporary follows her on her journey to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents and find her mother, the bird. Along the way she must learn how to cope with her loss and forge new relationships. Release Date: March 20th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

the witch doesn’t burn in this one by Amanda Lovelace This book of poetry is the second in the “women are some kind of magic series”. Lovelace explores what it means to be a powerful woman and how they are often demonized, but not here. She creates empowering and vividly bold poems that her readers can relate to in countless ways. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Nothing Left to Burn by Heather Ezell A YA Contemporary spanning the course of an action-packed 24 hours. Sixteen-year-old Audrey is forced to evacuate her home after the wildfires sweeping through California get too close. While trying to come to terms with potentially losing her family home, she also has to deal with Brooks, the volunteer firefighter who may have a darker past than he initially let on. Release Date: March 13th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter A YA Contemporary about Maddie, daughter to a secret service agent and formerly the president’s son’s best friend. But after six years in the Alaskan wilderness, she’s not too concerned about him anymore. Until he shows up, and brings trouble right to her door. She wants to kill him, but when he gets kidnapped, it looks like she’ll have to save him first. Release Date: March 27th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk A YA Contemporary that follows Autumn, Shay, and Logan as they each watch their lives unexpectedly crumble around them. Music is just not enough anymore, until they can come back together as a band and see that sometimes when the smoke clears there is beauty left behind. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo A YA Fantasy about Lira, a deadly siren princess who collects the hearts of princes. When she’s forced to kill one of her own, though, her mother the Sea Queen forces her to live as a human. The only way to return to her home is to bring her mother the heart of Prince Elain by the winter solstice. But Prince Elain is determined to wipe out the sirens, and with Lira’s promised help he can. Too bad he doesn’t trust her. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon This YA Historical retelling of Oliver Twist follows Olivia Brownlow, formerly raised among London’s street gangs but now a high society debutante who can’t seem to forget her past–or the people still living like she did. Enter Jack MacCarron, the “nephew” of a high society woman who is helping her rob people blind. He can’t seem to figure out why Olivia looks so familiar, but he wants to. And he’s willing to go pretty far to find out. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir A YA Sci-Fi about Leo and Naomi, two very different people who were both chosen to attend International Space Training Camp after climate change has ravaged the earth. Leo wants is to help save humankind after he lost his family to the floods in Rome. Naomi wants to find out what the ISTC is hiding. They form a friendship, but among the 24 teens present, only six can make it to the end. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw Every summer, the ghosts of three murdered sisters rise up and claim the bodies of weak-hearted girls in order to drown local boys for revenge for their deaths. Penny Talbot knows this, and accepts it, until Bo Carter arrives. Now she’s got a choice to make–save herself, or save him. YA Fantasy. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo In this YA novel in verse, Xiomara Batista pours everything she has into her poetry. But she can never let anyone know. When she’s invited to perform at her school’s slam poetry club, she can’t think about anything else. And maybe this time she’s done keeping her thoughts to herself. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Midnights by Sara Nicole Smetana A YA Contemporary about Susannah, who just wants to follow in her rock star father’s footsteps. But when he dies unexpectedly, it destroys her. In the aftermath, her mother moves them to a new city, where she reinvents herself and leaves the past in the past. But her secrets might catch up with her, and she’s not the only one keeping them. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Time Bomb by Joelle Charbonneau This YA Contemporary features an eclectic cast of characters who are thrown together by extreme circumstances–namely a bomb. Now they’re trapped in a school together trying to find out who the bomber is, and looking at each other for answers. Release Date: March 13th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Honor Code by Kiersi Burkhart This YA Contemporary follows Sam as she excitedly navigates Edwards Academy–only to learn there’s more than a little hazing involved with being a new student. And when she’s paired with an older student and something happens, she’s forced to figure out if the future she’s always dreamed of is worth keeping her mouth shut and losing the justice she deserves. Release Date: March 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

A Kiss in the Dark by Gina Ciocca When the lights go out at her high school’s football game, Macy finds herself on the receiving end of a kiss. When the lights come back on, though, the kisser is gone. Still, Macy thinks there’s something familiar about the kisser. Trying to figure out just who this guy is leads to the reopening of some old wounds. And all to find out that her mystery kisser might not be the same person she’s falling for in the light of day. YA Contemporary. Release Date: March 6th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner In this YA Contemporary Cameron just wants to perfect her costume portfolio and get into the CalTech costume department. Once her cosplay starts getting her attention, she’s forced to disguise herself as a boy to work in the local comic book shop. But it’s hard to keep up once she joins a D&D campaign, and it’s even harder when she starts to get feelings for one of the other players. Release Date: March 13th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Reflection: A Twisted Tale by Elizabeth Yim When Captain Shang is taken to the Underworld after being wounded in battle, Mulan travels down to find him. King Yama isn’t so quick to give him up, though. Now Mulan, disguised as Ping, must scour the Underworld in search of him. And when she finds him, she must decide if she should tell him the truth about her identity. If she finds him. A YA Fantasy retelling. Release Date: March 27th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

March 6th and March 20th are going to be busy days, just saying. Also, I did warn you guys that March was going to be a longer post. There are just a lot of good books coming out this month you guys. WARNING: A LOT OF THESE DEAL WITH SENSITIVE CONTENT AND I WOULD CHECK FOR TRIGGER WARNINGS BEFORE READING. I won’t be able to read any of them until later this week (thanks midterms) but if you read any of them comment your thoughts! Or come talk to me on twitter!

Alright, sadly I have to go. Studying waits for no one and my Greek midterm is not going to go well unless I actually, you know, look at the Greek. Bye!


3/21/18 UPDATE: I have removed Miles Away From You from this list due to harmful content as explained in my review. My deepest and most sincere apologies for its placement here in the first place.


Sightwitch – Review

Hi people. I hope everyone is doing well.

It’s been a somewhat busy month. At least, it’s been an annoying one for sure. I’m currently dealing with some personal stuff that has been stressing me out all month. Plus a bunch of writing for my creative writing seminar. Which is also stressing me out. But that’s a whole other situation that has unfortunately led to me not getting any real work done on my current WIP. (I’ve had to move my self-imposed deadline back . . . twice. Cue the self-disappointment and frustration).

HOWEVER I’ve made time for reading this month–a lot of it. It’s been my saving grace (not to mention my mental health). Aaaaaaaaaaand in my stolen reading time, I managed to finish Sightwitch!

I adored this book for many reasons (which, duh, I’ll list here)(well, the spoiler-free stuff anyway). But before I get into why everyone should read the amazing Susan Dennard’s latest work, let me tell you what the book is about.

From Amazon:

Before Safi and Iseult battled a Bloodwitch…

Before Merik returned from the dead…

Ryber Fortiza was a Sightwitch Sister at a secluded convent, waiting to be called by her goddess into the depths of the mountain. There she would receive the gift of foretelling. But when that call never comes, Ryber finds herself the only Sister without the Sight.

Years pass and Ryber’s misfit pain becomes a dull ache, until one day, Sisters who already possess the Sight are summoned into the mountain, never to return. Soon enough, Ryber is the only Sister left. Now, it is up to her to save her Sisters, though she does not have the Sight—and though she does not know what might await her inside the mountain.

On her journey underground, she encounters a young captain named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he got there. Together, the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, their road filled with horrors, and what they find at the end of that road will alter the fate of the Witchlands forever.


Are you excited yet? I’m going to pretend you’re nodding. I know I was excited. It was a good story and here’s why I think you should read it seventeen times.

The drawings create another layer to an already detailed story. For being a novella there’s a lot going on. I can’t really say much about specific artwork without getting a little spoiler-y (I mean mostly)(but this is also something that you really need to see for yourself). The drawings and diagrams add more depth to the different storylines. Plus they’re done very well.

In addition to the artwork, one of the main reasons I loved Sightwitch was the POVs. Where Ryber’s story is not as prominent in the other Witchlands novels, the whole point of this prequel is to learn about her, and what’s really going on in the Witchlands. Not only is it cool to hear from Ryber’s POV, but we hear a little from Kullen’s–whose introduction was hilarious, brilliant, and one of my favorite parts of the entire novella–and a few other characters who I can’t name (but who are definitely going to be important later on I think).

In line with those people I can’t tell you too much about (I know, I suck, but I have a bad habit of giving stuff away and I want you to read it too) I can tell you Ryber’s story is mirrored nicely to theirs. The parallels drawn to fill in the holes in the readers’ minds are beautifully done and one of my favorite structural parts of the novella.

While I will rave to anyone who will listen about Sightwitch and the other Witchlands books, I do have one bone to pick about it: IT WAS ONLY A NOVELLA.

Okay, that’s not a real bone to pick I guess. Truthfully it’s just me being selfish. I know Susan’s been working her butt off to get us this story, and next Bloodwitch, and to get them as perfect as she can. There were a few points I would’ve liked to know more, though. Some stuff was just a little ambiguous and (while it totally sucked me in deep) I wanted MORE! It’s the only real issue I had with the book, and it’s a pretty small and silly one considering we’re getting Bloodwitch next year where hopefully my questions will be answered. The length was probably perfect for the story itself, I just always want more when it comes to a Witchlands story. (I adore the Witchlands world you guys so much).



I’m very curious, knowing what I do now, about how these stories play out in the Witchlands series. I want to know if what we learn here has as far an impact as I think it will. I do think some of the questions left unanswered was a little frustrating, but not nearly enough to diminish my impressive love for Ryber’s story. Overall Sightwitch very much so stood up to the standard I hold Susan’s books to (and the drawings made it even better). I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

So finally, this isn’t a part of my review, but I’m going to leave you with a couple of my favorite quotes from the novella:

“‘But maybe the marked path isn’t the right one. Maybe . . . there isn’t one set path at all.'” (159)

“You’ll understand once you’re Summoned? Well, is Summoned myself, and now I did understand: paths do not come to you. You have to find them for yourself, and sometimes, you have to carve new ones entirely.” (230)

And with that I say goodbye. I’m off to give more notes on my classmates’ work. I hope you enjoyed my (kind of scattered sorry) review and found it helpful! If so, leave me a comment or talk to me on Twitter. Bye!!


Batman: Nightwalker – Review

Hello my beautiful people! I hope you’re all having a good January. Mine has been more organized than usual (I’ve started bullet journaling and let me tell you, this might have saved my life). As a result, I’ve been reading and writing a ton already. I’ve already finished three books this month! And I’m currently reading two (The Belles and Killer Instinct, in case y’all were wondering).

One of the awesome books I’ve been able to read is Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu. The day this came out I put a hold on it at my library, not really expecting to get it before I headed back to school, but hopeful that I might. A couple hours later I got an email from my library that my hold was ready for pickup. I all but ran there to grab it.

Look how cool it is!

(Yes, I own a Batman beanie. No I didn’t wear it while I read. Not the entire time at least.)

So, obviously this cover is not the only thing I’m going to talk about. I mean, I could. But I don’t think you guys would be too appreciative if I spent the whole review going “LOOK AT THE COVER! LOOK AT THE COVER!” (But, for real, look at the cover!)

Okay, cover love over. There’s actual content to discuss here. It took me a little while to get through this, both because I am actually sticking to a writing schedule for once (I’m on a self-imposed deadline) and because I was reading two other books at the same time. I didn’t mind reading this one slowly, though. It was nice to take breaks in between chapters, set the book down and come back to it. It’s not the kind of book where that’s entirely necessary, unlike several heavier books, but it is helpful to work through some of the different theories you might have. I had multiple theories about who did what and what was going on as I read, so I enjoyed waiting between every few chapters.

Before I get into my theories (as much as a no spoiler review will allow) let’s get the book description in here. From Amazon:

“Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.
The city’s elites are being taken out one by one as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is about to become eighteen and inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Industries and all the tech gadgetry that he loves. But on the way home from his birthday party, he makes an impulsive choice and is sentenced to community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most nefarious criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.
The most intriguing inmate in Arkham is Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. A girl who will only speak to Bruce. She is the mystery he must unravel, but is he convincing her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees?

In this second DC Icons book–following Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer–Bruce Wayne is proof that you don’t need superpowers to be a super hero, but can he survive this game of tense intrigue, pulse-pounding action, and masterful deception?”

First thing’s first: I loved the characterization of young Bruce Wayne. I felt that he was accurate to what a young Batman would be like. His behaviors, thought process, and actions all rang true as something teenage Bruce Wayne would do.

His friends were intriguing, though not really focused on too much. Without giving anything away, I will say that young Harvey Dent made want to cry and protect him. But both he and their friend Dianne Garcia were purely background characters in this story. I thought both characters could have had bigger roles, but it wasn’t a major point in the novel.

Madeleine Wallace kept me guessing until the very end. Even now, twelve hours after I finished the book, I still don’t know how I really felt about her. She’s incredibly complex, and a great character in play opposite to Bruce. I wouldn’t exactly call her a foil . . . it could be argued, for sure. But I don’t feel comfortable saying that, based on my reading. Maybe you’ll think differently (if you do, tell me in the comments).

I can’t say who the biggest villain ended up being, but I will tell you that I was genuinely surprised. I was looking elsewhere and ended up being blindsided by who The Big Bad Villain turned out to be. (Or maybe I’m just saying all this to throw you off)(I’m not). I think you’ll be surprised as well when you read this. Or maybe you won’t be. But I think it’s a testament to Lu’s writing that you can suspect anyone and no one and still end up being wrong about who Bruce can and can’t trust. (Is that spoiler-y? I don’t think so.)(If that’s spoiler-y I’m sorry.)


Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I definitely think it’s better than a lot of books I’ve read in the past. It’s better than one of the books I’ve read already this year. There were parts that kept me guessing, moments of true insight into the characters, and a story that left just enough wiggle room for more of the Bruce Wayne we know and love. The only thing that made this a 4 star review instead of 5 was a personal dislike for how Madeleine’s storyline ended. However, it was still a fantastic read and I would (and already have) recommend it to anyone looking for a good YA.

If you’ve read this, or want to read it, or just want to talk about books, tell me in the comments! Or talk to me on Twitter (I’m pretty much always on Twitter you guys). I’m leaving to get my hair cut and drop this back off at the library. Writing time when I get back. I hope this review was helpful!


January Releases

Hello! I know, it’s been so long since you’ve last seen me. A whole day. You all missed me so much I’m sure.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten all my sarcasm out of the way (ha good joke Kailey) it’s time to talk about why we’re really here. It’s time for me to let you know about some January book releases!


(I finally figured out I can put gifs in these posts. Go me for taking so long to do it.)

I know, you’re probably thinking “Kailey, you’ve never done a post like this before. What is this?” Well, I’m glad you asked. In my Most Anticipated Books of 2018 post I mentioned something about monthly release posts. This is the first of that type. What I’ll be doing is early in the month (I’ll try my best to get it up on the 1st but no promises) I’ll post a list of books coming out that month that I have heard about/want to read/think sound interesting. It will obviously not be a complete list, because I’m bound to miss some books (that’s where y’all come in. Remember, my comment section is always open). But, I’ll try to give you guys a good selection of books coming out for the month. Some months the list might be longer than others (heads up, March might be a looooooooong list) but I’ll do my best to give you guys a few different titles at least to look at.

So, here’s the books I’ve chosen for January.

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed – A YA Contemporary about a young Indian-American girl named Maya, who tries to find her way and where she belongs after a tragedy turns her normally kind neighborhood into a place full of suspicion and hate. Release Date: January 16th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu – A YA Fantasy about a young Bruce Wayne targeted by murderous nightwalkers. While doing community service at Arkham Asylum he comes across Madeleine Wallace, who might his best bet at stopping them. Too bad he doesn’t know whose side she’s on. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – A YA Fantasy about a young girl, Jude, who was brought to the High Court of Faerie seven years ago. Now, she’s trying to find a place to fit in–against the desires of the youngest prince. Of course, none of that matters if the Courts of Faerie erupt in civil war like they’re threatening to. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon – A YA Contemporary about twins Adina and Tovah, who are struggling with their fractured relationship. A diagnosis of Huntington’s disease can bring them back together or widen the gap–but only one of them tested positive. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – A YA Fantasy with fairy tale-esque writing. After Alice’s grandma dies, she’s got to work with Ellery, a superfan of her grandmother’s cult classic novel in order to find her missing mother. Release Date: January 30th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann – A YA Contemporary about Alice, an asexual college student whose last relationship ended because her ex couldn’t separate love and sex. She’s done with relationships–until she realizes she has feelings for her co-worker Takumi. Release Date: January 23rd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking – A YA Fantasy about Malin, a Valkyrie-in-training whose world is turned upside down when she finds out her mother let an immortal live who was destined for death. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet by Jennifer L. Armentrout – An anthology of short stories about first meetings between lovable characters by several popular YA authors, like Nicola Yoon, Emery Lord, and Dhonielle Clayton, among others. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Beneath the Haunting Sea by Joanna Ruth Meyer – A YA Fantasy about a banished soon-to-be empress named Talia who works to unravel family secrets and long-forgotten history of the gods. All the while the sea is calling to her–and it’s getting harder not to answer. Release Date: January 9th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen – A YA Fantasy about Shalia, a girl in a political marriage to prevent an attack on her desert home from her magic-hating husband. The only problem? She’s one of the magic users he despises. Release Date: January 30th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp – A YA Mystery about Corey, whose best friend Kyra has died while she was away. Now that Corey has returned, her community is pushing her away and she’s determined to find out why. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Busted by Gina Ciocca – A YA Contemporary Romance about a girl named Marissa, who became the queen of busting cheating boyfriends (accidentally). Now she’s been asked to spy on an ex-friend’s boyfriend. But the girl he’s falling for might just be Marissa. Release Date: January 2nd (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Whew. That’s a lot of books. I hope you find one or two on here that you’ll like at least. I wanted to give a lot of options for this first month. Twelve books–I’m not even sure if I could read twelve books in a month. If you can, that’s pretty awesome. I’m sort of jealous.

I have not read any of these books, but I thought the premises sounded interesting. If you have read/are reading any of these, let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter!

I’m trying to move this draft along so I’m off to go work on Project L. And then get some reading in tonight. I hope y’all are having a good start to the year!


Most Anticipated Books of 2018

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a good (and safe) holiday. I stayed home on New Year’s and wrote a couple thousand words. The draft of Project L is coming along oh-so-slowly, but nicely. I’m proud of it (for a first draft anyway).

So, a new year means new books coming out. I’ve seen quite a few posts of peoples’ most anticipated books for this year. I loved sorting through and picking out my most anticipated for 2017, and I loved doing it again for y’all this year. Like last year, this is far from an “official” list. It’s just ten books I’m looking forward to a lot. I definitely think everyone else should read these books, too, but I can’t force you. I can (and will) try to convince you of the awesomeness of these novels, though. So, without further ado, (and in no particular order) here are my most anticipated releases of 2018:

1. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton Okay y’all. I’m not sure if you’ve heard about this book or not, but you probably have. It’s topped quite a few lists like this one–and for good reason. This story has all of the elements I think make up a gorgeous YA novel: strong characters, detailed world-building, twisting plot-lines . . . I’m squealing in anticipation just thinking about it. I’m curious as to how a Belle’s ability to help people may extend beyond just making them beautiful, though I’m excited for that part of the story, as well. The dynamic between beauty and power sounds very real-world to me, so I am looking forward to seeing how that plays out throughout the story. l have been lucky enough to win an ARC of this, and I can’t wait to dive in. It’s the first of my TBR for 2018. Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: February 6th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

2. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland I’m not normally one for historical. If you’ve read my blog before, you know my preference for fantasy. But, that being said, a good historical is always one I will pick up. And this one looks like it’s going to be a very good historical. You’ve got a Civil War era setting, a kick-ass young black heroine, and zombies, among other things. But, come on, zombies. That alone is enough to make me interested right there. The rest is only pulling me further into my “can I read this yet?” mentality. Plus, that cover is one to fall in love with. This own voices YA is another one I’ve seen people talking about. It’ll be one you don’t want to miss. I’m already making room for it on my shelf. Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Horror. Release Date: April 3rd. Purchase: Amazon B&N

3. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi If that title isn’t enough to get you hooked, I don’t know what else I can do for you. Wait, I can tell you that this book is one I’m counting down the days until it’s released (it’s 64, in case you were wondering). I began hearing about this one around August, and it’s been on my list ever since. This lush fantasy world sounds absolutely magical and vivid. A main character I can’t wait to meet awaits. This little bit of description alone is enough to convince me this will be one of my favorites of the year. “They killed my mother. They took our magic. They tried to bury us. Now we rise.” Chills. I have chills. Is it March yet? Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: March 6th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

4. Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed Story time. Picture this: It’s Christmas morning, and my family and I are opening presents. I pick up a small box and tear off the Wonder Woman wrapping paper (listen to me: no one is too old for Wonder Woman wrapping paper, okay?). Inside the box is a folded piece of paper. Now picture me unfolding the paper and screaming. I have just opened a pre-order for this book. And yes, I really did scream when I opened it. Ask my mom if you don’t believe me. This own voices story promises to be real, heartbreaking, loving and taking the reader on a journey right alongside Maya, the main character. Add on top that it takes place in a Chicago suburb (aka my home) and I’ll probably read this one cover to cover. (Okay to be fair it’s probably not the same suburb i grew up in but still. Chicago. Gotta read a book set in my city) Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: January 16th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

5. Miles Away From You by A.B. Rutledge Okay. So. Here’s the deal with this one. Here’s why I’m looking forward to this one so much. First of all, it’s told in a series of messages to Miles’s comatose girlfriend, Vivian. Second, photography is a central element to the story. As someone who enjoys taking pictures, and has a best friend who might as well be a professional photographer, seeing this made my heart happy. Third, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna cry. Like, it’s pretty much guaranteed. Normally I wouldn’t be excited to cry at a book, but this isn’t a normal instance. Fourth, the setting is Iceland. I’ve never read a book set in Iceland. That’s going to be cool, seeing how the setting is a part of the story. It seems like there are going to be a lot of elements working together to make this novel come together in a cohesive way. This is another ARC I won, so I’ll be sure to let you all know how I’m feeling about this one soon. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: March 20th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

6. Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody Do y’all remember how I went a little nutso about Daughter of the Burning City last year? Guess what? Ace of Shades is by the same author!! And I’m just as excited for this one as I was for her debut! This is a completely separate world from Daughter, but just as interesting in my mind. You’ve got mafia-style casino families, a setting called the City of Sin (I mean really. How can you not love that?), and female lead who was raised to be a proper lady, thank you very much. Unfortunately for her (but fortunately for the reader) she’s forced to work with a male lead who would rather con her than help her. *claps hands together in absolute glee* Give me all the drama, and magic, pretty please? Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: April 10th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

7. Nothing Left To Burn by Heather Ezell I found this author back when I submitted to Pitch Wars in 2016. And I’ve been waiting for this book ever since. And now it’s finally the release year!! Yay! The tension in this book promises to be top notch. Taking place over the course of one day, the intensity of both the wildfires and the events of our main character’s life will keep me turning pages until I look up and realize it’s 3 a.m. and I’m supposed to get up in five hours but I’ve only got fifty more pages I’ll be fine right? (This will happen I’m predicting it now)(Page-turning intensity is going to be at the center of this novel I can feel it)(I’M REALLY EXCITED) Plus, there’s romance. With a volunteer firefighter. Like, just take my money already. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: March 13th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

8. From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon You’ll notice a lot of the books on this list are quite . . . intense. There’s not a lot of lighter novels on here. Part of that is just what I’m drawn to. Part of that is because there are a ton of amazing intense novels coming out. BUT, there are also quite a few lighter novels coming out as well. And this is one of them. (Don’t mistake ‘light’ for ‘less’, though. Just because a novel doesn’t have revolutions or magic or murder doesn’t make it any less amazing than the novels that do. That’s a separate rant, though.) Told in letters to female filmmakers, this story about love and friendship looks to have a cast of characters I will wish were my best friends. Or that I’ll fall in love with. Or both. And I am a total sucker for girls going after what they want in life–so a filmmaker directing a movie for a festival? Yep. I’m there. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: June 5th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

9. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli SO. In case y’all missed my fave books of 2017, I’ll remind you that The Upside of Unrequited was on that list. And maybe I should mention that I have a writing crush on Becky’s novels. Like, a hardcore writing crush. She has a gift for giving readers the stories we not only want, but the stories we need. And she does this without killing anyone (yet. She’s got a book with Adam Silvera coming out this year, too. So that whole “no one died” thing might change). Y’all know I love a good murder to activate my pain but she can bring the pain and the love. Happy endings are what I’ve seen so far, but that doesn’t mean it’s a happy story the whole way through. I relate strongly to her characters and their stories/what they go through. I have a very, very strong feeling I’m going to relate to Leah most of all. This is another one I’m going to cry over. I just know it. And I really cannot wait for it. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: April 24th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

10. Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles I saw someone talking about this book on Twitter one day, looked it up, and the rest is history. Okay, there’s a little more to it than just that. A few months ago, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I saw someone mention this book in reference to Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give. So, I looked it up. I was blown away by THUG and figured any book that was being compared to that must be phenomenal. From what I’ve seen in reviews, discussions on social media, and my own gathering of knowledge, it will be phenomenal indeed. And I can’t look at that cover and not want to pick it up immediately. The heavy topic of the book promises to be intense, but it’s story that’s important to be told. It’s going to join the ranks of novels that break my heart this year, I’m sure of it. I have a strong feeling this is going to be one of my top reads of 2018. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: March 20th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Okay, so I guess my descriptions got a little long towards the end . . . I’d say I’m sorry, but lying is wrong. Also, apparently all my most anticipated books of the year are coming out within the first six months. Oops. Don’t worry, there are fantastic books coming out in the second half of the year, too. I’m positive of that. I’ll tell you all about them on the first of each month.

I’m somewhat surprised (and impressed) with myself that I’ve got more contemporaries on this list than fantasies. Look who is expanding what they read! Sort of. I mean, it’s a start, okay?

All of the release dates came from Goodreads, so they might not be exactly correct. I know there were a couple that conflicted with the date on Amazon. I don’t know which dates are correct, so if you plan to pre-order, I’d say just do it now to be safe. Like right now. Go buy the books. GO!

Again, I hope everyone had/is having a good holiday. This year has a lot of books coming out that I think will be fantastic. I’m looking forward to reading them all. Including ones I didn’t put on this list. Narrowing it down to ten was difficult and there are several I didn’t mention in this post that I’m looking forward to, as well. But don’t worry. I’ll tell you all about them in my Monthly Releases post. January’s is coming this week!

I’m going to go and finish working on a scene I left last night. It’s being stubborn. While I’m gone, why don’t you tell me what books you’re looking forward to in the comments or on Twitter? Let’s be book friends!


One Dark Throne – Review

Hello all!

I hope everyone is having a good holiday season. I got some great new books (and a brand new Kindle!!) and I’m very excited to dive in.

Before I can dive into these, I’ve got to whittle down my TBR a little. I’ve started doing that, with the hope of finishing ten books by the end of the year. So far I’ve read four and am starting the fifth today. I am DETERMINED to do this. (I probably won’t but, you know, determination is good.)

The books I’ve read recently include Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, 27 Hours by Tristina Wright, Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, and One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake. Obviously, I’ve chosen to review One Dark Throne for this post (you know, because the title wasn’t a dead giveaway at all).

As always, the Amazon summary for you beautiful people:

“With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off.

Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.”


Okay, now that you have been properly warned I’m just going to dive right in.

I enjoyed the first book in this series, Three Dark Crowns, quite a bit. There was a lot of darkness to the characters, and some were very morally ambiguous. Naturally, I loved this. When I first opened TDC I thought I would choose a favorite character. By the end of One Dark Throne, I knew I had. And she was one of the most questionable in terms of . . . most anything really. Morals. Strength. Ability. Mental fitness. Queen Katharine was, and is, my favorite character of the series so far. She’s layered, sympathetic, painted as someone you should hate, but love because she is a child fighting for her life.

Of course, Blake does well for her sisters in this respect as well. Mirabella and Arsinoe are both well-written, complex characters. I would argue they’re less complicated than Katharine, but this doesn’t take away from their likability. Whereas Katharine is painted as unlikable in many ways because she is willing to kill for her crown, her sisters are brought together in avoidance of their fate. They are determined to love one another, and flee the island in the end, deliberately being shown as working together multiple times to escape their fates.

I liked that these sisters are given the opportunity to work together, but I personally didn’t care for the idea of Katharine as a villain for them to unite against. I don’t know if this is what Blake intended, or even if this is how most people see her, but it read a lot like Katharine was being set up as a villain to her sisters’ goodness to me. However, she’s highly layered, as I already said. You can see where she’s good and where she’s struggling and where she is a cruel and evil human. So, maybe this is my own bias shining through in my reading.

The majority of my feelings on this book centered around Katharine. She’s one of many strong female characters, and one of many strong characters in general. Blake clearly doesn’t lack in characterization in her novels. And I’m a massive fan of that.

One thing I didn’t love was the start of the novel. To me, the story took a while to get started. It was so slow. But, I will say, when the action started, it went and did not stop.

There was, sadly, a lot of ambiguity surrounding Katharine’s abilities. Is she a naturalist? She was switched with Arsinoe as a baby to be raised as a poisoner. This would then lead to the idea that she is a naturalist. However a naturalist would be able to tell that her snake is dead and this is a new one, were Sweetheart (the snake from book one that died) really her familiar. Maybe it wasn’t her familiar? I don’t know. Maybe Katharine isn’t a naturalist, but possesses the War gift? She’s certainly violent enough. Could she be ungifted? Who knows?

The ending did not resolve this at all, and I was raging over it. Everything other than that felt complete. We had a solid resolution to just about every plot line. Naturally, Blake left room for another book, and enough hooks to lay the foundation for it. But Katharine–Queen Crowned Katharine who is obviously going to stay a major character–has the reader still in the dark about this HUGE part of her life.

For this, I had to knock a star off my Goodreads review. It would’ve been a damn near perfect book, were it not for these two problems.

I gave One Dark Throne 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads. I still recommend reading the series, but keep in mind not everything is resolved. Book three is coming September of 2018 and hopefully we’ll get some answers then.

I hope this was helpful! And not too harsh. I really did enjoy both of the books in the series, and despite my issues with ODT, I would read it again. If my library ever gets another copy (it’s always gone you guys. I was super lucky to grab it one of the few times it’s on shelf there). I’ll probably reread as a refresher before book three comes out.

If you’ve read the series already please let me know your thoughts! I’m curious to see what other people thought of the book.

I’m off to read another book. And maybe write a couple thousand words before the night is over. It’s gonna be a good night y’all.

Happy holidays! And happy reading!