Monday, November 30, 2020

New YA Releases : Week of November 30th

Here are some upcoming releases this week. Release dates sources: 
Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc.


Are any of these on your Bookish Wishlist or Pre-Order cart? Which do you look most forward to?

Happy Reading!
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Wishlist Wednesday


*Wishlist Wednesday is where you show a book that has been on your wishlist/TBR list for a while*

NAMELESS QUEEN by Rebecca McLaughlin

Publisher
Crown Books for Young Readers 
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Pages: 352

THE STORY:

One girl must make a name for herself--or die trying--in this royal fantasy where an unknown peasant becomes the ultimate ruler. But how long can she keep the crown if everyone wants her dead? Perfect for fans of Furyborn, Red Queen, and Everless.
Everyone expected the king's daughter would inherit the throne. No one expected me.
It shouldn't be possible. I'm Nameless, a class of citizens so disrespected, we don't even get names. Dozens of us have been going missing for months and no one seems to care.
But there's no denying the tattoo emblazoned on my arm. I am queen. In a palace where the corridors are more dangerous than the streets, though, how could I possibly rule? And what will become of the Nameless if I don't?
BUY LINK: Amazon


MEET THE AUTHOR

Rebecca McLaughlin is a Michigan nerd who appreciates sweet coffee, kindness, and the scientific method. She got her degree in chemistry and creative writing in 2014. Since that time, she's worked as a technical writer in Michigan. When not working or crafting stories, Rebecca can be found practicing her knife-throwing skills or seeking out the perfect cup of coffee. She wrote Nameless Queen because she grew up lower-middle class (which was not ideal), went to a private college (which was weird), and made good friends along the way (which was wonderful). She realized that exploring the social and economic divide is difficult, but magic makes that exploration easier—or at least more entertaining.


Want to see my entire Wishlist? Check it out on Amazon: Books I Dream About

Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Review: Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. 

PublisherPage Street Kids
Release Date: June 23, 2020 
Pages: 400
Source: Audiobook 

THE STORY:

Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.

Danger lurks within the roots of Forest of Souls, an epic, unrelenting tale of destiny and sisterhood, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Susan Dennard.
BUY LINKS: The Lit. Bar    |    Amazon


RATING

ONE-WORD REVIEWCLANDESTINE

TAG LINE: 
Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something.

OPENING LINE: The earth is black with the night's rain--a perfect morning for shadows.


REVIEW:

"Focus on the problems we have now. Not the ones you're adding in your head."

This is a DNF'd review so it is rather short. Maybe in the future, I will go into further depth, but I make no promises.

I want to start off by stating: I almost NEVER DNF books no matter how much it may be a good fit for me. But I was listening to FOREST OF SOULS on audiobook and . . .

I made it to around chapter 21 and could go on no longer. Nothing was happening. Or, rather, there was no real progression or connection of the plot and the character arc.

*spoilers ahead*


Sirscha is a soldier entrusted to keep the magical people of the kingdom but she's an outsider who is bullied by other soldiers and is also training to be an assassin then she discovers she has said special powers that make her an enemy of the very kingdom she swore to protect then she goes to a sentient forest that eats people *confusion* then ...? What is even the point of all of this? Like I don't see the connection, the way. It felt very episodic -- as if a whole bunch of interesting plot factors was thrown in the pot and the character was jumping from one to the next. There are too many things going on that just doesn't allow for connection to the character, their journey, or the premise of the story.

I really wanted to like it, I really did. Hopefully, you will have a better reading experience than I did if you decide to go ahead with FOREST OF SOULS.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Lori M. Lee is the author of SF/F novels and short stories. She's a unicorn admirer, part-time gamer, full-time dreamer, and loves writing about magic, manipulation, and family.

***Check out Lori M. Lee's website for more information about her and FOREST OF SOULSHERE

Happy Reading!

 
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Wishlist Wednesday

*Wishlist Wednesday is where you show a book that has been on your wishlist/TBR list for a while*

STORYBOUND by Emily McKay

Publisher
Entangled: Teen 
Release Date: May 5, 2020
Pages: 320

THE STORY:

Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
BUY LINK: Amazon


MEET THE AUTHOR

Nationally bestselling author and winner of the prestigious Rita award, Emily McKay got her start writing romance novels. After ten years of writing books with babies and billionaires, Emily decided to try her hand at something different--Young Adult horror. Hey, she just really missed reading about scary vampires.

Her Rita winning book, The Farm, launches a trilogy set in a terrifying post-appocolyptic world where teens are farmed as food and genetically mutated monsters roam the country.

"A brewing romance in a dystopian land steals the show. Teen girls will delight in this fresh sci-fi fantasy that works the formula and throws in new surprises," says School Library Journal. Booklist describes the books as, "Fast-paced, brutal, and bloody, this novel’s alternating points of view keep the action moving and the suspense ratcheting up to an unbearable pitch."

When she's not devising new ways to kill vampires, Emily lives in the hill country with her husband, The Geek, her two great kids, two cats and two dogs. In her spare time, she raises organic vegies and chickens and tries to hide the fact that she's secretly prepping for the apocalypse.

You can find out more info about her upcoming books at:
www.EscapeTheFarm.com
and
www.EmilyMcKay.com


Want to see my entire Wishlist? Check it out on Amazon: Books I Dream About

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Wishlist Wednesday


*Wishlist Wednesday is where you show a book that has been on your wishlist/TBR list for a while*

MERMAID MOON by Susann Cokal

Publisher
Candlewick 
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Pages: 497

THE STORY:

A mermaid leaves the sea to find her mother in this gorgeously told tale of belonging, sacrifice, fear, hope, and mortality from a national-award-winning author. 
Blood calls to blood; charm calls to charm.
It is the way of the world.
Come close and tell us your dreams.
Sanna has been living as a mermaid -- but she is only half seavish. The night of her birth, a witch cast a spell that made Sanna's people, including her landish mother, forget how and where she was born. 
Now Sanna is sixteen and an outsider in the seavish flok, where women rule and mothers mean everything. She is determined to go to land and learn who she is. So she apprentices herself to the ancient witch, Sj√¶ldent, to learn the magic of making and unmaking. With a new pair of legs and a mysterious quest to complete for her teacher, she follows a clue that leads her ashore on the Thirty-Seven Dark Islands. 
Her fellow mermaids wait floating on the seaskin as Sanna stumbles into a wall of white roses thirsty for blood, a hardscrabble people hungry for miracles, and a baroness of fading beauty who will do anything to live forever, even at the expense of her own children.
BUY LINK: Amazon


MEET THE AUTHOR



Susann Cokal (susanncokal.net) is the author of four hefty books of literary historical fiction: Mermaid Moon, Mirabilis, Breath and Bones, and the multiple award-winning Kingdom of Little Wounds. She lives physically in Virginia and on the web at susanncokal.net.





Want to see my entire Wishlist? Check it out on Amazon: Books I Dream About

Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Review: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco



*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher
 Jimmy Patterson
Release Date
October 27, 2020
Pages448
Source: Hardcover

THE STORY:

Two sisters.
One brutal murder.
A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself...
And an intoxicating romance.
Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe - witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family's renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin...desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister's killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that's been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia's side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women's murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is at is seems...
BUY LINKS: The Lit. Bar    |    Amazon


RATING:

ONE-WORD REVIEW: SEDUCTIVE

TAG LINE:


Whatever you do, you must never speak to the Wicked.

OPENING LINE:

Nonna Maria buzzed around the kitchen like she’d guzzled every drop of espresso in the restaurant.



REVIEW:

This book. This bookkk y'all. I LOVED it! KINGDOM OF THE WICKED is dark, seductive, and everything that first made me fall in love with Young Adult fiction. For the last couple of years, so many YA books have had intriguing premises I was excited to read but lack the right execution. The stories fell short because they didn't have that spark KINGDOM OF THE WICKED has that je ne se quoi
“Whatever you do, you must never speak to the Wicked. If you see them, hide. Once you’ve caught a demon prince’s attention, he’ll stop at nothing to claim you.”
This was my first book by Kerri and I was not let down. The pacing of KINGDOM OF THE WICKED was perfect for the plot. Not once did I feel the story drag--never needed to force myself to continue on or rush to the "good part."

“A woman with a little power was terrifying to some.”

Speaking of the plot, Emilia is a young witch left devastated when she discovers her reckless, funloving twin sister's mutilated body in the creepy catacombs of a monastery. Grief-stricken and filled with rage, she goes on the hunt for vengeance that leads her to the demon Prince of Wrath. Binding the demon prince of Hell to her, the enemies must work together to discover who murdered Emilia's sister and other young witches in their city. 

A twig was just a bit of broken wood until it had been sharpened into a spear.”

The emotional and sexual tension between Emilia and Wrath was intense. The witty banter, the chemistry--Chef's Kiss. And whenever they came together it was tantalizing! 

“I understood why some thought kissing one of the Wicked was addictive. Each time his tongue touched mine, it felt as if the ground beneath me quaked. Like we were a cataclysmic event that shouldn’t be.” 

Ordinarily, I hate cliffhangers but WOW. KINGDOM OF THE WICKED's cliffhanger was so good I'm not even mad. This story destroyed me in the most delicious way and I would sell my soul to get my grubby paws on the sequel ASAP.
“Man had a funny way of blaming the devil for things he didn’t like.”

Kerri's writing flowed well and her turn of phrases were right up my alley. All in all, I loved KINGDOM OF THE WICKED and highly recommend it to anyone willing.


CHARACTERS:

EMILIA MARIA DI CARLO: I really connected with Emilia. She's the quieter, calmer, safe sister. She lived by the rules and preferred fictional worlds over the dangerous real one. Until those she loved most were threatened.

“Emilia Maria di Carlo didn't do danger. My sister was the adventurous one - I was satisfied with safe, clean fun. Give me a steamy romance novel with forbidden love and impossible odds.

THAT was the kind of adventure I could get behind.”

PRINCE OF WRATH: Mysterious and intriguing, Wrath was also surprisingly "human" compared to his brothers. I wanted to trust him so badly. To believe this coaxing, seductive demon Prince of Hell was capable of genuine feelings. Powerful, handsome, and more than a touch wicked, he's the sinfully perfect love interest I love reading.

“He was death and rage and fire and anyone stupid enough to forget that would be consumed by his inferno.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside New York City, where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time, she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life's finer points with her cats. She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper quartet.

***Check out Kerri Maniscalco's website for more information about her and KINGDOM OF THE WICKEDHERE

Happy Reading!

 
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