2 Year Blogiversary!

2year

Thank you everyone!!

I really cannot thank you all enough! I know I just switched to WordPress from Blogger, but on Blogger I had over 3,500 views and that makes me so incredibly happy that so many people have come back to read my posts! I’ve also just hit 850 followers on my bookish twitter account! As of today, there are also 25 followers of my blog on here and it’s only been a couple days!

You guys are absolutely amazing! I wish I could meet everyone in person, but getting to talk to everyone about books and life online is just as cool! I’ve earned so many new friends through the bookish community and learned so many new things. I was so scared to start this blog two years ago as a sophomore in high school, but now I’m going to be a college freshman in just over a month and I’m so glad I just did it!

Please comment down below your blog links so I can follow you if you’re reading this!

Thank you all so so much! This has been the greatest experience!

Thanks for reading!

-Taylor

Liebster Award #2

Liebster Award     Hello everybody!

As you can see, I was nominated for another Liebster award! The first one was two years ago (that’s so crazy) and you can check it out here.

I would like to thank IcthusBookCorner for nominating and you can check out her Liebster award by clicking on her name. Her blog is really nice and I follow her, so make sure you check out her blog! Also, thank you for choosing me IcthusBookCorner!

The rules:

-Thank the person who nominated you.
-Answer the 11 questions they gave you.
-Nominate 11 blogs.
-Give them 11 questions to answer.

Here are the eleven questions that IcthusBookCorner gave to me:

  1. What is your favourite place on Earth?

My favorite place on Earth is wherever my family is, to be honest, but as a physical destination probably England or Ireland. I’ve never been to either, but I’ve always loved those two countries. I have a book that highlights places all around those two countries and a map of them up on my wall over my book stacks.

2. What is your favouritre fictional character?

Hermione Granger. That’s so stereotypical of me because everyone knows Hermione is my ideal form of myself. Like if I could be anyone besides myself, I would be her in a heartbeat.
3. What is your favourite genre to read?

100% YA fantasy and fiction. I love all of the creativity and world building; those books always inspire me to write and get me all hyped about books.
4. Why book blogging?

When I started writing my latest novel and the first I started for publication, I started a twitter account as a writer, and from there I just kind of fell into book blogging since I loved reading. I had other blogs before this one when I was young that were laughably unsuccessful (I didn’t understand that Blogger tracked my own page views unless I turned it off and I had accounted for pretty much all the views) so I had already had experience with setting up blogs and all that.
5. Do you have any pets?

YES. My furbabies. I have a 16, soon-to-be 17-year old cat that I got when I was 2-years old. We don’t know what breed she is or her birthday or anything, as we bought her from a barn, but I love her to pieces and she’s still crazy. I also have a 9-year old Jack Russell named Cookie that is literally my little sister. She is so incredibly spoiled and even has one of those doggie strollers.


6. If you could have dinner with anyone on earth you would you choose and why?

I’d choose J.K. Rowling. I’ve said this so many times, but it’d be amazing to just pick her brain about all things Harry Potter and writing.
7. What is your favourite book?

Besides the Harry Potter series, it would be Throne of Glass, book one specifically because that one will always be my favorite, then A Court of Thornes and Roses, An Ember in the Ashes, and the Percy Jackson series.
8. What is your Hogwarts’s House?

I am an extremely proud Ravenclaw! Comment down below if you’re a Ravenclaw. At first, not going to lie, I was disappointed that my house wasn’t Gryffindor, although I got that answer the first time I took it while in middle school. However, as I learned more about Ravenclaw, it definitely became my favorite house.
9. Is there a book you know you will never want to read?

I will never want to read Fifty Shades of Grey. I saw the movie and it was so boring and the sex room was terrifying. I hated how aggressive and brutal he was. I understand he had a bad past and all he wanted was sex, but the girl was still a human who did not deserve to whipped like a tortured animal.
10. Do you prefer the country or the city?

I lived in the more countryside of Michigan until I was five, then moved to the suburbs of Pennsylvania near Philadelphia where I spent a lot of time in the city, and now I am in the extreme suburbs of Florida, so I guess I’ve seen all walks of life. There are perks to all three ways of life and although the cities are so amazing and always alive, the country is so quiet and peaceful and sometimes incredibly beautiful with woods or rolling greenspaces.
11. Who do you consider to be your heroe?

I have three, technically four, but they are my parents, J.K. Rowling, and Hermione. Yeah, she’s fictional, but I always looked up to her as a kid.

The blogs I nominate are:

The 11 questions I have for you all to answer are:

  1. How long have you been blogging?
  2. Where is your favorite place to read?
  3. Do you prefer to buy books or use library books?
  4. What is your favorite book series ever?
  5. Favorite stand alone?
  6. Do you also write? Do you plan to go into, or are already in the book industry in some way besides blogging?
  7. What is your least favorite book?
  8. What was your first blog post about?
  9. Who is your favorite author, and why?
  10. What got you into blogging?
  11. Was there ever a time you didn’t like reading?

Thank you all so much for reading and happy blogging nominees!

-Taylor

 

The Looking Glass Wars || Review

Pages: 358
Book type: Paperback
Author: Frank Beddor
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: September 26, 2006
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

~ Goodreads Synopsis ~
 

When Alyss Heart, newly orphaned heir to the Wonderland throne, flees through the Pool of Tears to escape her murderous Aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carrol, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly!

Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss’ story – and he’s searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland, to battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.

The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions of mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.

 
~ ~ ~ ~
 

     To be honest, I really only bought this book because I like Alice in Wonderland and it was only ten US dollars.*By no means do you have to read the original stories first, although it is a great story.* The premise sounded interesting, but I didn’t have very high expectations and I put off reading it for sooo long.
This book, on all occasions, exceeded any of the slightest expectations I might have had. I sped through it in two days and couldn’t put it down.
The story started really strong and with action in the first couple chapters, which are, in general, very short, which also speeds along the story. Somewhere in the middle, though, it got pretty slow, but the late middle and end really picked up. In the beginning, Alyss is a child, which is really sweet in a way, but it also gets a little dull after so long since she is only seven, but a little after halfway she becomes an adult. At that point things get really interesting.
As the first book of the trilogy, there is still plenty of room for the characters to develop, and I really hope Alyss comes into herself a little more if I continue on with the series. Although she inevitably finished her task at hand and ended strong, she still felt a little dry as an adult. I honestly kind of preferred her more as a child for some parts since she lacks a little meaningful spirit at twenty-one. I understand why her time on Earth changed her in the ways that it did, but I really wish she would’ve fell back into herself upon her return to Wonderland a little better.
Hatter Madigan, although I loved his character in the story, bugged me a little just because I was thinking he’d be a little more whimsical than a cut and dry military man. His relation to Alyss as her kind of “guard” is cute at times, but I really wish there was more of a fathery or uncle kind of presence in him. BUT he’s totally badass. Apparently he has his whole own side series of his travels trying to find Alyss and they sound pretty intriguing as I want to dig deeper into his personal life.
As for romance, there really isn’t much, which was kind of disappointing due to the budding childish romance she has as a child that I LOVED. I feel like it will definitely grow back in the next two books once the two reconnect a little more upon her return.
As for the retelling side of the story, it was really different, but in a good way. I liked the different take on the world and it really felt like its own. I didn’t like how Lewis Carroll was blatantly bashed because Alice in Wonderland is such a beautiful classic, although it’s understandable in the story as to why he is bashed by Alyss. I do wish some things were more like the original so that it was a better connection, but it was just so good as it was. Besides, Rick Riordan liked it, so it has to be good.

The story has a few shortcomings that I hope are resolved throughout the other two books, but in all, I feel like the story was pretty satisfying and could even kind of be a stand alone. I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a darker whimsical tale, or just like Alice in Wonderland. If you’ve read it, tell me what you think of it!
Thanks for reading!
-Taylor

July TBR

     It’s already July!! 2017 is going by so quickly! All the school supplies is already out in all the stores, which of course isn’t a problem because cute discounted stationary is always a good thing. With this being my last full month of summer before I go off to my freshman year of college in August, I hope to get a LOT of reading and writing done. With that, here’s my June TBR:

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

     This book I have already started, and probably finished by the time this post goes up since I’m on page 239 out of 358 and it’s Friday th 7th lol. I’ve had this book for soo long and I’m so glad I’m finally getting to it. After reading Mark of Athena, I was in the mood for some really whimsical stuff so I thought this book would be perfect, and it really is. It’s written beautifully, with a voice much like the original Alice In Wonderland, but I love the twists to the story that you’ll have to read to see. Honestly, I love the violence in it too, it makes a lot more realistic in a sense and also adds a lot of intensity.








King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard
     I started this book sometime last month before I picked up Mark of Athena, but it put me in such a reading slump to be honest. There just wasn’t enough meaningful action in the beginning to keep my interest, so I picked up a different book to come out of the slump and now I think I can get back into it since I hopefully got through the more quiet parts.
     The other two books in the series I absolutely loved, so I have really high expectations for this book, especially with the ending of the Glass Sword, oh my goodness. Also, without having any spoilers, I really hated the new evil person at first because I just couldn’t see him as evil, but… I still hate him as evil. Like he’s too much of a baby, why is he the position that he is? What?







The Novice by Taran Matharu
     Another book I’ve had on my shelf for quite a while that I’ve been silently dying to read. It’s about more olden, fictional times (which I love) and I believe demon hunting of some sort (which I also love) and I think the main character is going to be pretty hot and if he’s not, I’m still going to picture him as this hot blacksmith apprentice with dark shaggy hair. From the cover, I have no idea why, but he kind of reminds me of Chaol, like does anyone else get that vibe? Chaol is my favorite so this is ok.
     ALSO, LOOK AT THIS COVER.











Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
     Ah! The series everyone has raged about and I really want to get in the hype before it’s completely gone! I really didn’t get into the first book, Shadow and Bone, until the middle-ish but really more toward the end, but when I got into it, I. got. into. it.
     I really hope this sequel starts off with some action because where the story left of… we need some action. I read a couple lines a few pages in (oops) and it sounds like it’s going to be crazy exciting, so I’m crazy excited.













Cress by Marissa Meyer
     I don’t know if I’ll be able to get this book by th end of July, but I really hope so. If not, it’ll probably be the first book I read in August.
     Scarlet, to me, was even better than Cinder. It was so action-packed and had so many twists to the story, and I really hope this third installment lives up to the hype I’ve built up for it. Plus, I LOVE Rapunzel, so that just makes this book a winner by default.

      So that is my July TBR! It looks like a pretty busy, but awesome, reading month, and I’m so ready for it! Comment down below any books you’re really looking forward to in July!
     Thanks for reading!
                       -Taylor

Mark of Athena || Review

Pages: 574
Book Type: Paperback
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: October 2, 2012
~ Goodreads Synopsis ~
In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Half-blood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six—who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?

The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land—Greece itself—to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophecy remains a mystery…

With old friends and new friends joining forces, a marvelous ship, fearsome foes, and an exotic setting, The Mark of Athena promises to be another unforgettable adventure by master storyteller Rick Riordan.


~       ~      ~

     I didn’t realize how badly I missed this series until I started reading it. I had finished the initial Percy Jackson series in sixth grade and read The Lost Hero when it came out, then finally picked up The Son of Neptune sometime in freshman or sophomore year. Now, as a high school graduate, I’m finally continuing the series.
     After so much time between books, it was a little hard to remember everything from the previous novels, but as soon as I started reading it all just came rushing back to me- especially the book from the first series that had the all the dam jokes when they went to the Hoover Dam, I don’t know why. This is probably the easiest series to get sucked into just because it feels so real and magical, and even now I still wish that all of this existed, or at least that I was part of it.
     Even at eighteen, I still really appreciate Riordan’s writing because he makes so many comments that in any other book (The Young World) would sound like an adult trying to relate to a young audience, but he does it so flawlessly and in a way brings the story to life. Like in this novel he talks about how Leo redesigns a trireme to be flown by using a Wii controller. If I read that in any other book I’d be holding down vomit, to be honest, but I love it in this series. Because of all the modern references, it feels like all of this could actually be happening around the world today (seriously, I wish it was).
     SPEAKING OF LEO. I love him, I really do. *heart eyes*
     He developed so well in this book. In the past two, I remember not really liking him as much as the others, which now I feel bad for, but in this book I feel like he really comes into himself. At first he started out with his usual goofy yet lovable personality and causes a little mayhem like always, but he comes to realize his part in the prophecy and the group of seven. Honestly, I think he played the biggest part in the quest, behind Annabeth of course.
     Behind Percy and Annabeth who will always be my otp, I think Leo is actually my next favorite character in here now.
     Other than Leo, all the characters developed really well, except Coach Hedge who even eventually started to grow on me. I really like how the characters are noticeably growing and becoming more mature while staying youthful, like the scenes of Piper and Jason discussing her jealousy and figuring out how to grow through it. Percy and Annabeth have grown into each other so well, by the end of the novel, when Annabeth comes out of the hole and Percy goes to her and tells her “it’s ok, we’re together,” I was ready to burst.

     Also, in this book, I truly realized Riordan’s knowledge of Greek mythology. He connected each god to one another and included so many tales and myths, it’s like getting a Greek lesson in the most entertaining way possible because you do really learn so much. How he keeps all theses facts straight and adds his own twist to each god is amazing! He adds so much depth to the series with all the history he includes. I’ve grown a love for Greek mythology because of this series.

     I didn’t want this book to end. I really wish I had gotten the fourth and fifth books when I got this one because I’m so sad to be coming back out of this series to read a different book. I would HIGHLY recommend this series to anyone who hasn’t read it, and let me know down below what you’ve thought of it if you have read it.
     The next book I will be reading, and probably reviewing, is The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor, so stay tuned!
     Thanks for reading!
                       -Taylor

My Short Story Writing Technique

     Hello everyone!
     In the past I’ve done a couple posts abot how I write for novels, but I decided since I’ve been writing a lot of short stories for scholarship and magazine submissions that I’d share with you all how I write all my short stories. To let you know, it is an extremely different process.

Here are the posts I’ve done so far about my novel-writing adventure:
     Re-Reading My Work
     Making Your Writing Worth Reading
     The First Ten Chapters
     How I Character Plot
     Things I’ve Learned So Far

     So, I haven’t been published in anything yet for a short story, but this last school year, my senior year, I won a scholarship for a short story I wrote to my region’s branch of the National League of American Pen Women. That was amazing for me, but I had to read the story at a brunch so that was a little nerve wrecking, although it was a great experience.
     A little bit of advice on this subject: please don’t be afraid to submit work to any scholarship, contest, or what not. Yeah, it’s completely embarrassing for a lot of people to share their personal work, including me, like my parents and grandma were the only ones that have read some of my work until then. However, it is totally worth it in the end, so if you’re waiting for the right time to submit something, take this as your push to do it, whether it’s a scholarship or a magazine submission or even a whole manuscript to a publisher. Just do it. The possibility out weighs any rejection.
     Also, the only other thing I’ve submitted was a short story to a literary magazine for teens earlier this month and I’m still waiting for a reply. *fingers crossed*
    
     Without boring you with any more personal information, here’s how I write my short stories:

     Just write.

     Bye.

     Ok, so that’s not entirely all there is to it, but that’s the gist. Really all it is picking up a pencil or putting your hands on a keyboard.
     I do not outline short stories. This really different to how I do novels because for those I have the entire story mapped out, like I’ll literally draw a map. For short stories, I’ll just start writing, find the flow of the story, and give myself a rough estimate as to how I would like the story to end, but nothing more.
     For my work in progress, a piece I plan to submit to this huge, nation-wide writing contest for sci-fi and fantasy (I’m a little terrified, even if I win because I may have to give a speech in front of a HUGE audience) I know nothing. This story is one I completely pulled out of nowhere, and I have two different directions I would want to take the story in, so I’m not sure exactly what’s going to happen.
     Why? Because It’s so much fun. I love being surprised where my characters are going to take me and what is going to happen every time I sit down to write. I feel like it adds a little more to the story because it’s so action packed and something different is always happened, though in a logical pattern. I find this best for short stories as you only have so many words to tell the story in and it needs to be concise, but still have depth and dimension.
     I also think that this path for writing keeps me far more interested and invested in the story, especially while writing because there’s so much anticipation as to what’s coming next. It’s almost like reading a book for the first time that you knew nothing about, but it’s yours. I love it.
     The story I am writing right now cannot be any longer than 17,000 words and has to be sci-fi or fantasy. I went down the sci-fi route this time to shake things up as I rely more on fantasy. It involves war and aliens and made up planets and I’m really loving it. For the contest, the authors retain all publication rights, so I may fix it up even more, lengthen it, and attempt to find a publisher… I’m not entirely sure. There were two different characters with different backgrounds in completely different tellings of the main story that I wanted to write, so I might just combine them both in the future now that I think about it.
     So my main piece of advice, just sit down, write the dang story, and send it off somewhere, anywhere. Why not, right?
    
     Let me know down below any techniques you have, or just anything about anything, I love to hear from you guys! Thanks for reading!
                         -Taylor

How I Come Out of Reading Slumps Fast

     Reading slumps are terrible, terrible times and they take f o r e v e r to come out of. I’ve been in so many it’s a little shameful, and especially this year I had a lot because I had five AP classes and senior stuff so reading just always felt like more work.
     So, if you’re like me and you frequently struggle with reading slumps, or even if a book just bored you a little and it’s taking forever, here is how I come out of the slump:

     Put down the book. Put it down and leave it.
          Right now I am coming out of a reading slump because of King’s Cage and it’s hitting me hard. The book is just soo slow right now in the beginning, like there’s some action but it’s written really slowly, and it’s a little tiring reading it. I’ll read for like thirty minutes, count the pages, and I only read like 10. So I’m putting down that book for now and will pick it back up after I finish another. I’m thinking Mark of Athena, the third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will be a great book to take me out of the reading slump.
         Also, when you put it down, make sure if you read another one that it’s an easy read and it’s packed with action so you don’t get bored and lose interest because it could be a really great book if in the right mindset.

     Do something else.
          The past few days I’ve been going out a lot with boyfriend, like to the beach and Downtown Disney, and it’s definitely helped. I really feel like reading now, especially Mark of Athena since it was published by Disney Hyperion. (Is it just me, or would it be really fun to write or work for Hyperion Publishing?)
          Maybe your brain is just requesting some vacation time. So take a breather from reading, even if it means falling a little behind a reading goal, because it’ll be worth it when you’re ready to read again.

     Maybe you just don’t like the book.
          It’s a little hard to just stop reading a book knowing you’ll never pick it up again, or at least not for a long time, but sometimes what’s causing the reading slump for you is just a book you really don’t like. It’s especially hard when it’s a popular book and you want to join the hype, but it’s just not doing it for you.
          It is ok.
          You don’t have to finish it.
          This was me when I was reading The Young World, I got like 20 pages in and it just was not the book for me… It was written in “relatable teen” language by an adult probably trying to be cool with middle school readers, and it was pretty sexist, and I’m not easily offended.

    Watch some booktube videos.
          Watching book hauls by my favorite booktubers always gets me hyped for reading. It always just reminds me how beautiful books are; it’s a person’s soul and hard work just splayed across hundreds of pages. (And the book covers are pretty too).
          Also, think of a series you REALLY love and try to remember stuff you loved when you read it, like a song maybe. Play that song on repeat until you get super excited to read again. That always helps me, especially when I need to get back into writing.

     Or if all else fails, push through it.
          But don’t push yourself. If you don’t feel like reading, don’t read, or else it’ll start to feel like a chore. So just every day when you’re bored read 10 or 20 pages until you get back into the groove. This usually helps with life is really busy, like during school, but you want to keep yourself reading.

     So there are a few of my tips for coming out of a reading slump, and I hope you found them helpful or inspirational for reading again.
     Thanks for reading!
                    -Taylor

The Goodreads Tag!

Hey everyone! How are you all today?
     Today I have for you the Goodreads book tag! Yaaay!! It’s pretty much just a series of questions involving Goodreads and books. I’ve seen a lot of booktubers do this in the past, so I decided to give it a try.

What was the last book you marked as read?

     The last book I marked as read happens to be Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas and it was such an amazing read! I was not disappointed at all, even though I was kind of worried after hearing a booktuber say it wasn’t their favorite. I do really miss Celaena and her time in the castle, but she’s still such a kickass character and I love it.

What are you currently reading?
     Currently, I am reading King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard. At the time I’m writing this (6 days in advance) I’m on page 96 and it’s pretty good so far. Nothing has really caught my attention yet so I’ve been reading it really slowly and I hate it! I loved the other two books, like Red Queen had me hooked for life, I just hope the action starts soon!
What was the last book you marked at to be read?
     The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell is the last book I marked as part of my TBR. The book comes out on July 18th (my dog’s birthday) and I’m really excited for it! It involves time travel and magic and New York City.

What book do you plan on reading next?
     I should probably read The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor since it has been on my TBR for a long time now, but I kind of want to get into The Novice by Taran Matharu or Cress by Marissa Meyer.

Do you use the star rating system?
     Yes, I do, when I finish a book, I just don’t really do reviews on there so much.

Are you doing a 2017 reading challenge?
     Yes! That exclamation point marks my excitement and also my disgust at myself because I had it set at 50 books, but I had to lower it to 40 because I was so behind.

Do you have a wishlist?
     Kind of, but more of like a mental wishlist that I make each time I visit the bookstore.

What book do you plan on buying next?
     I’ve been on the hunt for a paperback Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, but I cannot find it. I REALLY want to continue the series, though!.

What is your favorite quote?
     I have quite a few, I kind of collect them, but here’s my top three
     “You could rattle the stars. You could do anything, if you only dared. And deep down, you know it too. That’s what scares you most.” –Throne of Glass
     “The sun persists in rising, so I make myself stand.” –Hunger Games, Catching Fire
     “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.” –Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Who are your favorite authors?
     J.K. ROWLING, Sarah J. Maas, and Rick Riordan, but most importantly, J.K. Rowling. She is my hero and I aspire to be her exactly.

Have you joined any groups on Goodreads?
     I have joined a few writing groups in the passed, but I’ve never interacted with them or participated in any discussions.
     If you participate in this tag let me know so I can check it out!
     Thanks for reading!
                      -Taylor

May & June Book Haul!

Book Haul
     Books-A-Million trips make me happy, but they will also be what causes me to be homeless in the future, but at least I’ll have books, right?

Recently I’ve acquired a fair enough amount of books for a book haul, so here it is! I think this is also my first book haul, so that’s pretty cool!

The Novice by Taran Matharu

     Ok, I’m crazy excited for this novel. It follows a blacksmith apprentice that learns he can summon demons. I love it already. I feel like it’s going to have an old timey vibe since he’s a blacksmith, and I love made up histories with supernatural twists mixed into it. I feel like this book might be similar to the Throne of Glass series in that way, also.

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

The Red Queen series has been so amazing! I was planning to do a Red Queen Series Completion Review, but I recently learned that there is going to be a fourth book coming out in May 2018! I am currently 70 pages into this book, but I’ve been reading less as I’ve been getting a lot more into writing recently. It’s still pretty slow, but if it’s like the rest of the series, I know it’ll be amazing.

 
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

I haven’t heard about this one in the book community, so I hope it’s good, lol. The premise sounds interesting as it follows a girl named Alyss, in Wonderland. It is said on the back that the original story we know is incorrect, and was a misinterpretation of an author that Alyss told the story to. I’ll probably put a review up of this novel when I finish it.

 
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

 

     I recently finished and posted a review of this book, so I’ll link it here. But to sum it up, it was a really great read. Honestly, at first I was a little iffy as to if I was going to like it or not because I never really liked having documents in stories, and that’s how this story is told entirely with no normal storytelling. I actually really liked the format, though, because it helped speed up the reading since it is a big book.
I would also like to make everyone aware of the bargain books section of Books-A-Million, even online, because I got this beautiful hard cover book for $6, and I think it’s usually like $16 to $20 (US).


Cress by Marissa Meyer
 

 

     So far, I have completed Cinder and Scarlet, but I think Cress will probably be my favorite because Rapunzel is awesome. I loved Scarlet though; at first I wasn’t that impressed, but in the middle, when it really picked up… oh my. I was NOT expecting all of that crazy stuff to happen, but it was such a good twist. I would HIGHLY recommend this series.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

When buying this book, I was trying to decide between this and Rebel of the Sands. I wanted the other one because I feel like it has An Ember in the Ashes vibe and I’m really missing that series while I wait for the second book to come out in paperback on August 29th. However, having read the first book of this series, and being aware of my irresponsibility with finishing series lately, I decided on Siege and the Storm. I wasn’t too into the first book, Shadow and Bone, until the end, but I skimmed through the first few pages of this one and it looks like it’s going to be really good! Also, I’ve only heard good things about the Grisha series so it should be great.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Just recently I heard about this book on Twitter and after some research, I knew I had to get it. Like not even three days later, I got it. The plot just sounds really good, and maybe like it’ll make up for not getting Rebel of the Sands. It’s about a young king that takes a new wife every day, and kills that wife at night. When one day he takes the life of her best friend, Shahrzad decides to take vengeance on the king and volunteers to be his next wife.
Also, look that cover *heart eyes*

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

So I don’t really know much about this book, and I haven’t heard much about. I just know there’s a “diabolic” named Nemesis that was created to protect a senator’s daughter, and when the evil emperor summons the daughter to the galactic court as a hostage, Nemesis becomes her and goes to court. It sounds really cool, but I don’t really like the name Nemesis, it just sounds too… I don’t know. But otherwise, the book sounds really intriguing.
Again, make sure you check out the bargain books section at BAM because this beauty was only $3.

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

It has been years since I read the Son of Neptune and I can’t wait to get back into Riordan’s land of mythology. I don’t remember too much about the other two books in the Heroes of Olympus series, so this will be interesting. I need to buy the other two and the original Percy Jackson series because I only have Sea of Monsters, but there’s so many other books I want that I haven’t read. I’m so conflicted.

Let me know any books that you bought recently down below or if you’ve read any of the ones I listed.
Thanks for reading!
-Taylor

Upcoming June and July 2017 Releases

     Hey everyone!
     It feels like this spring and summer, well honestly this whole year thus far, has been a great year for book releases. We had A Court of Wings and Ruin in May and in September we have Tower of Dawn. By the way, has everyone seen the cover reveal? Tell me your opinions down below! I definitely prefer the US version because it matches the rest of ToG better, but I wish Chaol had been on the cover posing like Aelin.
     Anyway, the rest of summer has some great releases coming out that I’m really excited for! Earlier this year I made a Most Anticipated Books of 2017 post that you can check out here. However, I’ve stumbled across a few pretty awesome-sounding books that are coming out in June and July that I didn’t know about before, so I decided I would put them all here for you guys just in case.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab – June 13


     Our Dark Duet is the sequel to Victoria Schwab’s other book,  This Savage Song, neither of which have I read yet, but they both sound really cool and I’ve heard a lot of really great things about it. As you can see, this sequel is already out, and is the conclusion of the two-part series, so tell me below if you’ve read either of them because I’m really interested in it.
     This series follows a boy and a girl, both heirs to a divided city. Both have different mind sets as to how it should be run: Kate believes that the monsters that have taken over the town should be allowed to roam free, but August believes in protecting the people, although he’s a monster.
     I really like that, in this series, it’s the girl that is the more unruly, unforgiving character, while the boy is more gentle (at least that’s what I’ve gotten from the description).





The Waking Land by Callie Bates – June 29


     I feel like this book as really flown under the radar, or maybe it’s just me and I’m really out the loop, as always, but I think this book deserves a lot more attention.
     The Waking Land tells the story of a girl who was raised by a king that has recently been murdered, and she is framed for it. Because of this, she flees back to her homeland that she has tried to separate herself from due to its magical legends and of which she has been as a traitor to. Once there, she starts to feel connected to the nature of the world and begins to feel some of the powers in her. However, a threat starts to build as something is out there looking for vengeance.
     I’m eager to read this, but I hope the execution of the story is as good as the concept.








Because You Love to Hate Me – July 11



     When am I not wishing I was a booktuber?
     This collection of thirteen stories was created by a collaboration of thirteen authors and thirteen booktubers, partnered to bring about super cool tales of villains. That sounds awesome. There are authors like Victoria Schwab, who I mentioned above, and Marissa Meyer, author of the Lunar Chronicles. It also features some of my favorite booktubers, Sasha Alsberg, Zoe Herdt, and Jesse George. The stories that are being discussed include Medusa, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Sherlock Holmes.
     I cannot wait for this release!










The Last Magician by LisaMaxwell – July 18


     This book comes out on my dog’s birthday!
     Also, I think out of these five, this book wins best cover; I’m kind of addicted to it, even though I hate snakes. It just makes the story seem really dark, and kind of Harry Potter-eske, and I love dark, fantastical books like that.
     The story starts in modern New York, but magic is nearly wiped out, with the few who are left with it trapped in hiding. And Manhattan, called the Brink, marks a point where if crossed, those with magic lose their powers and remained trapped on the island. And then there’s Esta, who has the power to time travel, and uses it to aid in her thievery. Her real mission, however, is to travel back and retrieve an ancient book before it is destroyed by the magician.
     This is my most anticipated read out of these five just because of all the magic and history, and of course the cover.





Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody – July 25

     This book has kind of been a hidden gem, also as I haven’t heard much about it either. I even think this is the runner-up for best cover of this five.
     The story follows Sorina, an illusion-worker, who works for the Gamorrah Festival. There, she creates the illusion of her family that acts as the freak show of the carnival. But then, one of family members are killed, even though it had just been an illusion. So she decides to try and protect the rest of her family by hunting down the murderer, and try to figure out how one could kill her illusion.
     This story kind of has a Last Magician feel to it in a way, at least from what I’ve read, but nonetheless, it still sounds like a good story.



     So, these are a few of the June and July releases that I’m really looking forward to. Comment down below if I missed any!
     Thanks for reading!
                   -Taylor