May Releases

Hello my wonderful people! How are you all today?

It’s finally here. May. The month of freedom (for me anyway). I know I didn’t post really at all in April, and part of that is because I literally had no time to. I spent most of April applying for jobs and putting together final papers, projects, portfolios . . . you get the idea. All of this in preparation for the terrifying thing known as my college graduation. Yep. Your local book nerd is graduating college this month. In about a week and a half, to be exact. So, last month I had an actual excuse for why there were no reviews or writing content. NO MORE THOUGH! I am about to be a real-life adult. I have to do real-life adult things. Like try to keep a regular posting schedule. Hopefully. I actually have a review about ready to post and another one that’ll be ready soon. Also, I swear I’ll get back to talking about writing soon. I have an entire post planned about my creative writing capstone experience. So, keep an eye out for those!

ANYWAY my monthly excuses over with, let’s get down to the fun part of this post. It’s time for . . .

MAY BOOK RELEASES!!

*pretend there’s a gif here because it won’t let me insert one for some reason*

ALL THE BOOKS THIS MONTH! This post is going to be full of excitement releases because I’m just so in love with so many of these releases. It’s going to be a super exciting time for me. My TBR is already ridiculously long so this month is going to not only break the bank but also add to the ever-growing list.

But enough of my rambling (though you’re probably used to it by now tbh) LET’S GET TO THE BOOKS!

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas It’s Feyre’s first Winter Solstice as a High Lady, and she’s got to navigate all of that comes with it. While rebuilding the Night Court after the events of A Court of Wings and Ruin, it’s nice to have a break, even when it comes with High Lady duties. But that break gets interrupted when she realizes some of her friends’ traumas aren’t as far gone as she once thought. And the scars they leave behind might affect more than just their circle. A YA Fantasy bridging the ACOTAR trilogy and the coming novels. Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon A YA contemporary following Twinkle, an aspiring filmmaker who has the chance to showcase her work at the Summer Festival. The twist? She’s working with Sahil, aka her long-time crush Neil’s twin brother. While working with Sahil on their film, Twinkle begins to get messages from a mysterious “N” who she is sure is Neil. The problem is, working with Sahil has her questioning her feelings for him now as well. Twinkle doesn’t know what to do. This certainly isn’t the romance she planned out. But does that mean it’s not worth it? Release Date: May 22nd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Furyborn by Claire Legrand A YA fantasy following two girls a thousand years apart. When her best friend, the crown prince, is attacked by assassins, Rielle must reveal that she is one of the prophesied queens: one who will bring light to her kingdom and another who will bring destruction. She now must go through seven trials to prove she’s the Sun Queen. A thousand years later, Eliana has dismissed the story of Queen Rielle as a legend. She’s more concerned about her bounty-hunting duties. That is, until her mother goes missing. Now she must join a war a thousand years in the making in order to find her. Release Date: May 22nd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Royals by Rachel Hawkins Daisy Winters is pretty normal. She has a part-time job at a sort-of Wal-Mart, bright red hair that stands out in the Florida sunshine, and an older sister who’s kind of perfect. But when that sister gets engaged to the crown prince of Scotland, Daisy’s forced to learn all about what it means to be famous. Luckily, she has a great teacher to help her become a proper lady: Miles, the prince’s younger brother. Too bad scandal follows Miles like a puppy and becoming a lady is the last thing Daisy wants. YA contemporary. Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde After a major scandal lands rockstar drummer Emmy King on the front page of the tabloids, and her girlfriend in jail, it’s decided she needs to scale back on the drama a bit. Good thing she has a great support system in her bandmates–especially the gorgeous Alfie. Emmy knows that hooking up with Alfie is the last thing she needs right now, but they just can’t seem to stay away from one another. This could be another trending scandal waiting to happen. Or, it could be just the thing that lets her stand on her own. YA Contemporary. Release Date: May 22nd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson This YA fantasy(/mystery) follows Mila and her best friend Riley as they engage in one of the few activities available in the small town of Cross Creek: amateur witchcraft. But when Riley dies along with two students from Fairmont Academy under suspicious circumstances, Mila wants to get to the bottom of it. So, she brings the girls back to life to prove they were murdered. She has seven days to get them to point out the killer. The problem? They don’t remember anything, and they’ve all got their own agendas. Now Mila has to try and keep them in line while getting them to remember, before the killer can strike again. Release Date: May 8th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma Winnie knows that she’s going to fall in love before her 18th birthday. It was predicted for her, and her boyfriend Raj checks all the boxes. So when she comes home from film camp to find him cheating on her and he takes the coveted spot as chair of the student film festival, Winnie is not happy. Enter Dev. Dev shares her love of Bollywood films and makes her question if she should look past the life set out for her. But being with Dev might mean giving up the love her horoscope promised she was destined to have. Is it worth it? YA Contemporary. Release Date: May 15th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Ship It by Britta Lundin A whirlwind YA contemporary about fandom and love. Claire is a fanfic writer obsessed with the show Demon Heart. Forest is an actor on Demon Heart. When the two meet in a Comic Con panel, disaster ensues after Claire suggests that Forest’s character might be gay. He shuts that idea down way too fast, and when the Q&A goes viral, the Demon Heart producers are facing a PR nightmare. To solve it, they hire Claire to help for the rest of the publicity tour. What follows is a series of events that lead Forest to question what he knows about sexuality, a lot of fan clashes, and a budding romance between Claire and Tess, the cute fanartist she keeps seeing around. Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Girl Made of Stars by Ashely Herring Blake When Mara’s best friend Hannah accuses her twin brother Owen of rape, all of their worlds turn upside down. Mara and Owen are as close as siblings can get, and she’s having a hard time believing this. But, at the same time, she knows Hannah wouldn’t lie about something this serious. Now Mara is caught between two people she loves, and forced to face her own past demons with her ex-boyfriend Charlie. Shaken to the core and struggling with this new knowledge, Mara, Hannah, and Charlie must figure out how to move on in this new world. YA contemporary. Release Date: May 15th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne Stella wants out. She’s sick of the spaceship she’s lived in her whole life, but with Earth encased in ice for the past two hundred years, there aren’t many other places to go. Then she gets offered a job as a governess on a private ship, the Rochester. There she meets Hugo, the moody captain of the ship. He’s known for being a reclusive drunk, but he’s nice to Stella. But the Rochester isn’t all that it seems. Stella is sure someone is plotting against Hugo, and if she can’t figure out who soon the entire fleet might be in danger. Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green A YA fantasy following four teens as their fates collide. Princess Catherine of Brigant is preparing for her arranged marriage. March from Calidor seeks revenge against the prince who betrayed his country. Edyon in Piroria travels from town to town, stealing what he can. And in the northern territories Tash runs for her life from demon hunter Gravell. When war comes and magic rises, the four of them find themselves linked to save their world from destruction. Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

 

It Ends With Her by Brianna Labuskes FBI Agent Clarke Sinclair has been tracking serial-killer Simon Cross for years. He always takes redheads. He always waits until she’s found the previous victim to snatch a new one. It’s frustrating, to say the least, but she knows the pattern. Until he breaks it. Now, a second girl has gone missing before she’s found the first. And worse? This one is blonde. The pattern is broken and Clarke doesn’t know how to find these women before it’s too late. One thing has become clear though: this new game Cross is playing? It ends with Clarke. Mystery/Thriller (please note this is not a YA. It is an adult mystery/thriller novel). Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar Two girls, eight hundred years apart, both seeking understanding and meaning of home. In 2011, Nour lost her father to cancer. Her mother then moved their family back to Syria to be closer to their family. But when their house gets shelled and Nour almost dies, they have to make a choice: flee across several countries as refugees or stay in a potentially volatile and dangerous place. Meanwhile, eight hundred years before Rawiya sets off to find herself. Disguised as a boy named Rami and in the employ of cartographer al-Idrisi she travels across the Middle East and North Africa, exploring the world and discovering the meaning of home along the way. Historical Fiction. Release Date: May 1st (already out!). About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro Moss’s father was killed six years ago by an Oakland police officer, and the media did nothing but attack him. Now a high school sophomore with frequent panic attacks, Moss and his friends are being treated more and more like criminals in their own school. When they decide to push back and do something about it, disaster strikes. This leaves Moss with a decision to make: give in to the fear and hatred or accept that maybe his anger was the gift he’s been looking for. YA contemporary. Release Date: May 22nd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson It’s weird enough when Claudia’s best friend Monday doesn’t show up for their first day of school. When she’s still not there by the time the second week rolls around, Claudia starts to dig for answers. But Monday’s mother is being strangely cryptic about her daughter’s disappearance, not giving her any answers. Her sister April is even less helpful. And the deeper Claudia digs, the more disturbing the clues are. No one can seem to remember the last time they saw Monday. It’s like she’s disappeared without a trace. Will Claudia be able to find out what happened? YA mystery/thriller. Release Date: May 22nd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff Sari and Zev’s Florida vacation is ruined when when she finds him cheating on her. Now, all she wants to do is get back home to New York. Unfortunately for her there are major storms all over the Northeast. So her flight? Good and cancelled. Thankfully a hot NYU student is there to save the day. When he offers her a seat on a connecting fight through Boston, she jumps at the chance. But her mom is not keen on the idea of her travelling alone, so Zev has to take the flight, too. Trapped on a plane with a hot guy and the one who broke her heart. What could go wrong? YA contemporary romance. Release Date: May 15th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West A YA contemporary romance following Kate, who would really rather spend her summer chilling alone on the lake than talking to other people. So, when she’s convinced to join the school’s podcast by her best friend, it comes as a surprise to everyone that she’s chosen to be the host. Even more so when she proves to be good at it. And when an anonymous caller she’s pretty sure is her best friend’s crush Diego asks how to talk to a girl, she’s more than happy to play matchmaker. That is, until she starts getting feelings for Diego herself. Release Date: May 29th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Academy by Katie Sise Frankie is primed and ready to become the next greatest fashion editor. She’s already got the famous fashion blog, so that’s half the battle, right? All she needs to go is get into the famed American Fashion Academy. But when her schoolwork gets put on the back burner her parents decide it’s time for a new plan. Military school here she comes. Now she’s dealing with even harder classes, War Games she has no idea how to participate in, and people she has no idea how to relate to. Can fashion-lover Frankie survive in the elite–and terrifying–Academy? YA contemporary. Release Date: May 22nd. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard BOOK FOUR IN THE RED QUEEN SERIES. In order to avoid potential spoilers for previous books I will not be putting a description here. HOWEVER I do recommend reading these books and War Storm is the conclusion to a fabulous series. Description found in Goodreads link. YA Fantasy. Release Date: May 15th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo Clara loves all thinks pranks and mischief. But when she takes a joke too far her dad thinks it’s time for her to get serious. How? She’s going to spend her summer working in his food KoBra alongside her annoying classmate Rose. But maybe it won’t be so bad. Rose is actually kind of cool, and the boy Hamlet who’s crushing on Clara is pretty cute. Maybe things won’t be so bad. But what if getting serious means leaving her former self behind? Release Date: May 8th. About: Goodreads. Purchase: Amazon B&N

TWENTY. BOOKS. Twenty books on this list. I know it’s a lot, but aren’t you so excited to see all these awesome books coming out this month? It’s gonna be such a good month for the TBR. Terrible for the bank account, but still.

I get that I don’t usually recommend anything but YA, but as you can see, there are some awesome adult novels coming out (or already out) this month as well. So definitely check those out if you’ve got a chance. Did I list any books you’re excited for? What about books I missed? Tell me all about the books you’re excited to read on Twitter or in the comments!

Alright, I’m out of here. I’ve finally got ten seconds to read and I have a stack of books that’s been piling up since January. Expect to hear me gush about them very soon.

Bye!!

Kailey

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Top 10 Books of 2017 (So Far)

Hello all!

Now that the year is winding down and NaNoWriMo is complete (for me at least), I thought I’d post an update to my reading life.

Update: it’s been pretty quiet. I didn’t get to read too much this year, but what I have read I’ve enjoyed for the most part. So for everyone who is looking for a good book since November is ending or something to grab during the holidays (books make great gifts y’all!) I thought I’d provide a few of my favorites for the year so far.

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas If you haven’t read this book yet, do yourself a favor and go do it right this very second. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in my life. It cracked the top five, which is not actually easy to do. But there is a reason Angie Thomas is the Queen of YA. Do yourself a favor and read her book.

2. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody Okay I dedicated multiple posts to my obsessive love of this book. If you didn’t expect to see it on this list you haven’t been paying attention very well.

3. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli This book has all the good things. I made me smile, laugh, and want to hug everyone SO MANY TIMES! I cannot express my love for this novel enough. If you loved Simon you’ll more than love Molly. (Which, if you didn’t love Simon, I’m not sure we can be friends)(Okay, we can be friends, but you have to re-read Simon VS and gush about it with me.)

4. Geekerella by Ashley Poston I actually didn’t really know about this book until recently. I’ve been hearing a lot about it lately, and saw it when I was shopping in B&N. I read the description and my inner fangirl went *squeeeeeeee* (no I really made that noise in the middle of Barnes & Noble). I didn’t buy it though until Thanksgiving night. I sat with my Kindle This was my surgery recovery read, and it did not disappoint. Cute and smart writing left me ready for more from these characters. No idea if there’s a sequel coming or not (the ending was wrapped up nicely) but I know I’ll be reaching for this one again in the future.

5. the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace Something most people don’t realize about me is that, in addition to YA & NA, I also write poetry. This is . . . fairly recent. I started working in the world of poetry my sophomore year of college (I graduate in May) and I’ve had the same professor voluntarily ever since. She made me go from hating poetry (and talking very loudly about it) to loving it and writing it. I owe this find to one of my best friends. She’d been looking for this for a while and picked this book up in a Target in Columbus, Ohio (we are not from Columbus just so you know)(we’re not even from Ohio we just spend a lot of time there for some reason). She opened Princess to a random page and the poem printed there hit home. I did the same to the only other copy on the shelf and BOOM same thing happened to me. Naturally we both bought it.

6. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas I know there’s quite a bit out there about how the queer rep in SJM’s books is not the best. I agree. I love her books, and her writing, but this is something that needs to be addressed. However, aside from that point, I loved ACOWAR. I never really got around to posting a review for it, but I thought it was a great ending to the trilogy, and was more than happy to spend the extra time in the world SJM has created. If you haven’t read ACOTAR or ACOMAF yet, you need to read them first for sure. But if you have the time and you love a good YA fantasy, this is a great novel.

7. Windwitch by Susan Dennard WHO HERE REMEMBERS MY FANGIRLING OVER THIS BOOK AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR? I think I scared away any readers after that. My opinions about this book are positive and happy even though there is so much angst (in the best way). It’s been a while since I’ve talked about it, but it’s one of my favorites of the year for sure. Would recommend 110%.

8. Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron Listen to me. LISTEN TO ME! This book. Is so good. Bisexual rep. Asexual rep. Intersex rep. Different settings. Vivid characters. Flowing plot lines. Familial ties. The importance of consent. A group of people who shouldn’t be able to survive in this harsh environment is going to do their damn best to do it. This book is one of the best I’ve read this year for sure. (Also the sequel comes out soon so if you’re looking for multiple holiday gifts here you go!)

9. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee Okay it counts if you’re currently reading it right? I’m saying yes. I’m in the middle of it right now, and I wish I currently had more time to devour this book (*shakes fist at final papers* curse you!). So far though it’s fantastic. I’m hoping I’ll get to finish it by the end of the year and reiterate that, times a thousand.

10. One Blood Ruby by Melissa Marr Y’all know I have a problem when it comes to fantasy. I guess it’s not really a problem exactly, but more of an all-encompassing love. And I really have a thing for fae. This sequel hit all the marks with me. I adored the first novel, and pretty much the same can be said of the second. Great book, by a great author. If you’re looking for something good this coming holiday season, I would recommend some Melissa Marr.

Now, keep in mind these are my favorites of the books I read this year. I have so many books that have been sitting on my shelf all year, and that stack just keeps piling up. Some books that I bought this year that I did not get to get to, but have, heard are fabulous, and am mad at myself for not getting to them sooner are:

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

27 Hours by Tristina Wright

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

There are probably so many more amazing books I’m missing. Please feel free to add your favorites of the year so far in the comments! It was not as heavy of a reading year as I had hoped, and a lot of these books are ones I intended to read right away, but just never got the chance to. This has been such a busy semester for me, and I wish I’d had more time to read, but sadly I did not. I’m aiming to remedy that after finals and over winter break.

I hope you like some (or all) of these titles! Again, feel free to comment some of your faves so far this year. I’d love to hear them.

Alright, I’m off for now. Sadly, not to read. Final papers & presentations abound in my apartment, and I must work on mine. Byeeeeeee!

Kailey

PS – the links I included are all to Amazon, but if see if your local indie bookstore has these books!

Most Anticipated Books of 2017

Happy new year!! A couple of days late, but the thought is still there. I hope everyone had a safe and happy new year. Since it’s only been two days, I don’t have much to say as far updates. I’ve gotten a little farther in outlining one of my stories? That’s about it. So, let’s get down to talking about books!

Alright so the title is a little bit misleading. Maybe these aren’t the “most” anticpated books of 2017. And I guess this isn’t an “official” list. But for my first post of the new year, I thought I’d share a few books that I’m looking forward to being released this year. So, without further ado, here’s my top ten books as of today that I’m looking forward to coming out this year:

  1. Windwitch by Susan Dennard. The sequel to Truthwitch, one of my top five favorite books of all time (I’m not exaggerating)(when I read this I devoured it)(I told the author and she gave me a hug). I’m looking forward to the continued adventures of Safi and Iseult, plus all of the other beloved characters that sucked me into their world last summer. I know how hard the author worked on this (all authors work hard but if you follow her you’ll know she worked herself into creative exhaustion for this novel). I can’t wait to see how that pays off. Take me back to the world of the Witchlands! Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: January 10th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  2. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. Carnivals, and illusions, and murder, oh my! This debut author caught my eye back when I was applying to Pitch Wars. She has woven a tale of murder and romance all set in a travelling circus that has me drooling in anticipation. And her novel aesthetics? Swoon. Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: July 25th. Putchase: Amazon B&N
  3. Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta. Yet another author I found through Pitch Wars. While working on revising I got to talk to Demitria a bit and she was kind enough to critique my query letter. The description of this particular book grabbed my attention when I was researching her and I’m excited and intrigued to see if it lives up to my expectations (here’s a hint: it will). A bit of mystery? That takes place in Scotland? Sign me up! Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: March 14th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  4. 27 Hours by Tristina Wright. LGBTQIA+ main characters? Deaf main character? Themes of friendship and romance and a story that is positively bursting with conflict? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes PLEASE!! This is a story I stumbled upon accidentally but that I quickly became excited to read. One of my goals for the year was to read more diverse books, and with these characters, this book may just top that list. Genre: YA Sci-Fi. Release Date: October 3rd. Purchase: Amazon
  5. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. If you’re like me, you love love love all things Shadowhunters (well, maybe not the tv show as much)(I’ve only seen a few episodes though. Still going to give it a chance). The Shadowhunters world is one of my favorites. Cassandra Clare is my favorite author. This next installment in the Dark Artifices series is highly anticipated, not just by me, but by all of those who love the characters and the stories, new and old. The continued conflict with the faeries and forbidden romance will make for another late night reading adventure that I cannot wait for. Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal Fantasy. Release Date: May 23rd. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  6. Once and for All by Sarah Dessen. So, Sarah Dessen is the reason I learned to love reading. She’s the reason I decided I want to be a writer. I’ve read everything she’s ever written, and I actually screamed aloud when she announced this book. The classic romance and lessons in learning to love and grow as people call to me with her books. I may or may not have a countdown set for it. If you like teenage romance and lessons in growing up, pick this up. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: June 6th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  7. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas. If you know me at all, you know that SJM is one of my biggest writing influences. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I want to be her when I grow up (no 21 is not grown up shhhh). Her work ethic and writing style leaves me in awe. The worlds she creates and the characters she imagines are close to my heart. I have a particular (very deep) love for Feyre and her sisters (both blood and not blood)(Amren and Mor are killer don’t you dare fight me on this), and I have been waiting on the edge of my seat for ACOWAR since last year when A Court of Mist and Fury came out. (I’m serious. I bought ACOMAF the day it came out and finished it that night. Then I turned to my mom and said I want the next book). I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this comes out the day finals finish at my school (okay maybe it is but shh don’t ruin this for me). Reward for studying maybe? Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: May 2nd. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  8. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. Remember that book from earlier with the queer characters? Remember my excitement? You don’t? WELL GUESS WHAT THIS BOOK HAS LGBTQIA+ REPRESENTATION TOO! I AM VERY EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK TOO! (How about now? Remember that energy yet? Thought so.) But, in addition to this beautiful thing called representation, it deals with very serious issues such as tragic death and mental illness. Mental illness especially is something I think needs more visibility in YA. It’s an issue close to my own heart and I want to see how it’s laid out here. Plus, I am a sucker for a love story gone wrong. I found this book, once again, by accident. Accidents might just be getting me some great new books this year. Genre: YA Contemporary. Release Date: January 17th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  9. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. I have a minor (*cough* major *cough*) love for superhero movies (let me be clear here: I have never read a comic book. And I don’t care if I ever do. To me it’s all about the movies and novels). And I have a really major love for female superheros. You’ve gotta love women in positions of power being unashamedly badass. Plus, this novel holds basis in greek mythology which makes me go heart eyes (yes I know I’m a geek. Sue me). *Grabby hands* Can I buy it yet? Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: August 29th. Purchase: Amazon B&N
  10. One Blood Ruby by Melissa Marr. Let me just say something about this author. She knows how to write faeries. Her Wicked Lovely series was a favorite of mine a while back, and I still pick up the first book sometimes. If you want a faerie book go buy hers. I’m serious. Go buy her books, read her books, and fall in love with her books. It’s that simple. Seven Black Diamonds roped me into her world of faeries and spellbinding love stories. I am more than a little excited to attack the sequel and get back into the adventures of these complex and addicting characters. Genre: YA Fantasy. Release Date: February 28th. Purchase: Amazon B&N

Wow, those descriptions got long. I hope they tempted you to read some of these books though!

Keep in mind, these books were in no particular order (except for Windwitch)(because, I mean, come on. Truthwitch is in my overall top five)(Windwitch is clearly my number one anticipated). Also, all release dates are according to Goodreads, so I’m sorry if they are off. And, yes, there is a pattern of genres I like. Hint: it rhymes with Rung Madult Schmantasy. So there isn’t too much of a range of genres here, and I will be the first one to admit I need to broaden my reading horizons a bit. I’m working on it.

The reason I made sure to put that this is a list at the moment is because I’m always looking for new books. And there is always a good chance I might find a book I want to read more than one of these that comes out this year. There are numerous books being released this year and I can’t be aware of all of them right this moment. I’m looking forward to discovering them. Let me know some of your most anticipated releases below! Or talk to me on twitter! I’m always down to talk books.

Okay, I must get back to writing. I haven’t hit today’s word count yet, and I don’t want to develop bad habits so soon. Go read a book! Or buy one! Or write one! Just, go do something with books, okay?

Kailey

Empire of Storms

Hey all! So I know it’s been a while but school and life have been mega crazy lately.

So recently I finished the new Sarah J Maas novel Empire of Storms and I’m. In. Love. 

A bit of background on this for me: I’ve been reading Sarah’s books for about a year now but I read everything that she had published in a little over a month. Her writing is fabulous and her world building makes me swoon. So do her characters.

EOS was no different. This isn’t a review per say but I do want to talk a little bit about it (no spoilers don’t worry!). 

First of all I want to talk about the perfection of details that SJM puts in her books. She brought back things that I hadn’t thought about in a very long time. Her reintroduction of these small (but significant) bits of information was done near flawlessly. Something minor we dismissed in say Queen of Shadows turned out to be instrumental to EOS. I’d love to go into a gushing tangent about her skill in this regard (reminded me a lot of Cassandra Clare’s talent with it to tell you the truth) but if I did that it would be a very, very long post and I don’t think I want to do that to anyone who might be awesome enough to read this. So I’ll leave it at that and move on.

Next I want to discuss the storyline. Holy plot twists Batman. Did I see that coming? Nope, never, not at all. But that’s the mark of a talented writer. The mark of an even better one is when they pull it off seamlessly. Without spoilers it’s hard to talk about the plot in more than vague terms but I’ll give it a shot. 

Essentially the story picked up a short time after Queen of Shadows left off. Not much time had passed but enough that we weren’t in the exact same moment. Days to weeks at most between times. I thought this was well done because books that pick up at the exact moment the previous one ended for me always feel rushed. Giving the characters time to react and digest the previous ending always makes for a more interesting beginning. But that’s just my opinion.

We do pick up the story in Terrasen but one thing I will tell you all is we don’t get to see much of this beloved country. The story follows Aelin and her court closest obviously but we see quite a bit on Manon Elide as well. Their stories are just as essential as our court’s even if they are all in different places (or are they . . .).

So I guess that’s a good segue into characters! We saw a lot of semi-familiar faces throughout the book and they all served their purpose to further the story. I don’t think there was a single person in this story who I felt could’ve been left out. Each person’s story was intertwined well with the overall plot. We got a little bit of Lysandra’s POV but that’s one thing I wish we could’ve seen more of. We got some great Aedion moments and I won’t spoil anything but Aedion is now a character with a very special place in my heart.

So now that I’ve given a bunch of vague teasers and gushed my way through the basics, let’s get down to the fun parts.

Things I loved about EOS:

  • The language! I am a super picky reader. Not to say I don’t have about 7 billion books I love but there’s a difference between loving a book for the plot and loving a book because it grips your soul. For me all soul-gripping books have fabulous language. And EOS did not disappoint in that regard. SJM is one author who knows how to wield words like the weapons they are. I could feel how each and every word was chosen carefully in order to reach the novel’s full potential. Now there were a few points where I thought the phrasing could have been done better but they were few and far between and overall didn’t detract from the beauty of the story in any way. 10/10 on the language she used.
  • The settings! Okay so I told you before we don’t get to see a lot of Terrasen BUT we do get a few fabulous new places to see. I loved the introduction of new settings into this story. She built these places strongly and vividly. One thing I was disappointed on here though was that at one point we see ruins, and these ruins are supposed to be this creepy, chilling place. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that when I read about them. I felt a little too much distance. But I know other people HAVE felt that creeped out feeling when they were reading that part, so I’m going to chalk this one up to personal issues and leave it be. Plus she makes up for that (in my opinion at least) when she writes about other places Aelin and her court visit. It felt like I was there with them nearly every step of the way. That was how good the settings were done. I give it a 9/10 on this aspect of the novel.
  • The plot twists! I said it earlier and I’ll say it again–HOLY PLOT TWISTS BATMAN! Now these weren’t as shocking as say a “you’re brother and sister” kind of thing (any Cassie Clare fans out there? Any at all? Please?) but they were substantial enough that they warrant talking about. For example, Aelin will always be Aelin. We can see how she’s growing and learning but she will always have something up her sleeve that we did not see coming. That’s part of the fun I think. Knowing that she’s got to have some trick up her sleeve and wondering what it is or when she’s going to reveal it. But she’s not the only one. Lets just say we didn’t see the last of Maeve in Wendlyn. Which is really just too bad. We get more than a few confirmations of things we’ve all been waiting for as well. Plus a few bombs dropped we probably would have rather not found out. So many twists and turns to this novel. Gods and monsters and plots, oh my! 10/10 on this (but really more like 50000/10 because wow). 

Things I didn’t like as much:

  • The sex scenes. Yes, there are sex scenes in EOS. I was little surprised when I came across the first one (I hadn’t read any spoilers or hints at all about this book before diving in). I don’t think they detract from the book in any way. In fact they show significant moments and give us a lot of insight to what’s really happening in the characters’ heads. They were done very well and not at all overly long or cringe worthy. This is just a personal preference I have that I don’t much like sex scenes. That, coupled with the fact that I wasn’t expecting them, made me not as much a fan of seeing them there. But looking at it from SJM’s point of view I can understand why she added them in there. 
  • The way some characters were introduced. So I haven’t read The Assassin’s Blade yet. I discovered that I probably should have while reading EOS. A lot of characters who come into play throughout the story aren’t fully introduced because they had their own short stories with Aelin in The Assassin’s Blade. Well, if you haven’t read it yet (or you’re like me and didn’t know to read it beforehand) that can be a little annoying. I was able to fill in the gaps by clues and context, but I would have preferred to know full back stories. Moral here: read The Assassin’s Blade before EOS if you can.
  • The distribution of POVs. GIVE ME MORE LYSANDRA! I WANT MORE LYSANDRA! It was all fairly even distribution between characters except for her. So that was sort of disappointing. Personally I’d rather have had less Lorcan and more Lysandra. And more Aedion too if possible.

I know a lot of people took issue with the fact that Chaol wasn’t in this book but I think it makes perfect sense not to include him. Let him heal in the south and bring him back in the final novel. Overall not many things in this book that were problems. The issues I did have aren’t all big things and they didn’t take away at all from how much I loved this book. I would have devoured it in a day if I could have but I’ve been so busy with school and other things that I’ve barely had time to read. 

I highly recommend this or any Sarah J Maas book to anyone and everyone. She’s a fantastic writer and one of my favorites. It’s no secret that I want to be her when I grow up (no I’m not a grown up I’m just a college student shhh that doesn’t make me a grown up). One thing I will warn you about: you will cry. There is no way around it. Accept your fate. Tears will be shed because holy hell this book is emotionally stacked. That’s all the warnings I’m going to give though.

So I hope this made sense and wasn’t too bad of a review/reaction. Now I’m going to go crank out another 2k words on my WIP (almost halfway done!) so I’ll talk to you soon! 

GO READ EMPIRE OF STORMS!

Kailey