Happy Release Day to Summerlost by Allie Condie!

Summerlost cover

Happy release day to Ally Condie’s new book Summerlost! A big thanks to Penguin and WordSpelunker for organizing this release day blitz and letting me be a part of it! All the links to buy this book are down below along with a cool giveaway!


 

Buy: Penguin Random House: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/534589/summerlost-by-ally-condie/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399187197/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399187197&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/summerlost-ally-condie/1122291979
Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780399187193?aff=penguinrandom

Rafflecopter giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6973b88d396/?

Excerpt-http://issuu.com/penguinteen/docs/summerlost_p1-19?e=0/34476640

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17731927-summerlost?from_new_nav=true&ac=1&from_search=true


 

Praise:

A Spring 2016 Kids’ Indie Next List Top 10 Pick!

 

Named one of Publishers Weekly’s Most Anticipated Children’s and YA Books of Spring 2016

 

« “Condie (Matched) strikes a deep emotional chord with this coming-of-age story.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

« “Multiple, seemingly random details, including a family of turkey vultures that now roost outside Cedar’s window, an absurd soap opera narrative of a woman buried alive, and Leo’s quest for a trip with his father, coalesce into metaphors that help Cedar make sense of her grief and the life she now has to look forward to. Thoughtful, poetic chapter endings guide readers new to psychological depth toward meaningful connections between plot events and thematic reflections.” – BCCB

 

“A moving tale of friendship and loss. I loved these characters—I wish we could have been friends when I was a kid.” –Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven and Five Kingdoms series

 

“Ally Condie’s first middle grade book might also be my favorite out of ALL her books to date. Summerlost is a story packed with nostalgia, heart, and gorgeous prose.” – The Novel Novice

 

“A nuanced portrait of grief deeply grounded in the middle-school mind-set.” – Booklist

 

“Honest, lovely, and sad.” – Kirkus Reviews

 

“A sweet, heartfelt story.” – School Library Journal

 

“Achingly good.” – Summer Laurie, Books Inc.


 

Happy reading! And thanks again to Penguin for organizing this!

-Ashley (:

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Crystal Storm Cover!

I love the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes! The cover for the fifth installment, Crystal Storm, was released today and it is really pretty!

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It also has an official release date: December 13th!!! So excited!

Stars Above Review!

StarsAbove

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE LUNAR CHRONICLES!

Just a short little review of each story because I loved this so much! I’m going to miss this world but I am excited to see what’s in store from Marissa next!

The Keeper (5/5)

It was really interesting to see just how big a role Scarlet’s grandmother actually played in the overall storyline! It was also nice to see more of Scarlet’s father and how much of an absolute jerk he is and reaffirm that we hate him even more now. I felt Scarlet and her grandma’s relationship so much more deeply here and it was amazing. It was also interesting to see how Cinder was cared for after the events of Fairest.

Glitches (5/5)

It broke my heart to see Peony again…just all of the feelings. It was interesting to see Cinder’s stepfather in present time only because he was already dead in Cinder. He added this whole other level to Adri’s character and gave her, like Levana in Fairest, the smallest level of validation. Still not okay though. Peony and Cinder playing was so cute and all the Cinderella references really shined through.

The Queen’s Army (5/5)

This was actually a re-read for me. I’m one of the people that absolutely love Wolf’s character, I felt super bad for him in the main series, and even more so here. To read about how Levana has manipulated these people into feeling just made me sick. I liked seeing the little scene with Wolf’s mother that gets expanded on in Winter, it was really cute! Just reading in detail about what happened to Wolf and how he was feeling just made me sick. I’m glad he’s found happiness with Scarlet know…but we’ll get to that later.

Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky (4.75/5)

I always meant to read this one but just never got around to it. I’m glad I read it now though because it just made me love Thorne so much more. Seeing his family life as one of privilege was very jarring and to see someone so resourceful failing math class was interesting. I love how we got to see his compassionate side start to come out with Kate and now even more so with Cress. His ambition to become a captain really made me smile.

After Sunshine Passes By (4.5/5)

It was interesting to see how Cress ended up on the satellite in the first place. Sybil is still a raging bitch. And again, to hear how the Lunars treat people who don’t meet their standards just made me cringe. Cress was so sweet when she was singing and that tugged at my heart.

The Princess and the Guard (10/5)

My favorite in this book. Reading about Winter in Winter, she was kind of a burden most of the time because she was going crazy from not using her gift, but learning the reason why she doesn’t use it just made me love her character even more. Winter was so strong in this story and she impressed me so much with her willingness to stand up to Levana. Also, her relationship with Jacin was really nice.

The Little Android (4/5)

Another re-read, not much to say here actually, not my favorite in the book, but good none the less because Marissa wrote it. This was heartbreaking and amazing all in one. I THOUGHT IT WAS IKO! Well anyway, I am excited to see another android and where she will fit into the story. I loved that Cinder was in this and had like the only snarky comment.

The Mechanic (5/5)

To hear in Kai’s point of view why he was in the market that day was wonderful. The times we got to be in Kai’s POV in the series were few and far between and I’m so glad we go this.  Seeing him and Cinder and their dynamic in Cinder was wonderful and they might be my favorite pairing in this series. Also, Kai’s determination was wonderful!

Something Old, Something New (5/5)

Aw, Scarlet and Wolf got married! The impromptu wedding was adorable. I was kind of confused as to what was happening at first and then I caught on. It was nice to see the Scarlet/Winter friendship again along with a little jab at aggressive media who invade privacy. It was also really interesting to read about Cinder abolishing the monarchy in favor of a parliament. And Cinder and Kai are getting married! I want to read about their wedding too, and everyones, come on Marissa!!!

 

Lady Midnight Review!

lady midnight

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE INFERNAL DEVICES, THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, LADY MIDNIGHT, A LONG CONVERSATION AND TALES FROM THE SHADOWHUNTER ACADEMY STORIES!

Okay, so the only other Shadowhunter review I’ve done is for the TFSHA stories, so I feel the need to reiterate. I am a HUGE Shadowhunters fan, books AND show. SO obviously I made a special trip down to Barnes and Noble with my parabatai (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNI1Fi3uyo-xDwV7cTo2GwA) on March 8th and we got the book! I started reading it right away and I finished it in the span of about three days. This is not my favorite book Cassie has come out with to date, but its definitely in the top five (: The humor is wonderful, the romances are so great and the plotting and characters are even more so.

THIS WILL BE SPLIT INTO TWO SECTIONS: LADY MIDNIGHT AND A LONG CONVERSATION (THE TMI SHORT STORY)

PART ONE: LADY MIDNIGHT

So, normally Cassie’s first books in series end up being my least favorite in their respective series. However, this first book in The Dark Artifices is my favorite intro to a series that Cassie has ever done so I think the next books will have to be really amazing to beat it, which they most likely will be, come on, its Cassie. So I’m going to take this character by character because it would be to long any other way.

Emma: Our new heroine. I adore how she blends sarcasm and also really weird tendencies together, its absolutely hilarious. My favorite example of this, she’s going to create a race of cannibal fish. One of the best exchanges in the book tbh. Emma, much like Jace from TMI is very good at detaching her feelings and doesn’t let herself feel too much of anything, except an attachment to Jules and the other Blackthorn children. I really enjoyed watching Emma realize how she is in love with Jules and seeing her let herself feel emotions for others, even if it is very sad. I love the connection and the friendship that Emma and Cristina have and I really hope that they continue to grow closer, regardless of this facade that Emma is probably going to put on with Mark to keep her and Jules safe. They are really fun friends and I hope to see SO much more of them!

Julian: HONEY LET ME HOLD YOU. This poor boy needs a vacation. For like two lifetimes. We already felt super bad for him in COHF-you know, having to kill his warped father, but he is so heartbreaking in this book. He legit handles EVERYTHING. He low-key runs the institute because Uncle Arthur can’t, He looks after EVERYONE to make sure everything is okay, and he lies to everyone saying that he is okay when he is clearly exhausted and in love with Emma! I’m sorry, I needed to get that out. I really love how even though Helen and Mark are older, Julian still feels the need to take care of them. And it is lovely. The only thing that lets Julian be truly free is when he is painting and I really loved the imagery of his paintings and how he expressed himself through them. I feel horrible for him at the end, but Emma is trying to save them both. However, this might have hardened Julian’s heart and done more bad than good…

Cristina and Diego: I adore Cristina. I love the way she speaks so poetically and is so supportive of Emma even though she might not relate to what she is going through. I was wondering what had happened to her throughout the first chunk of the book and when we found out about Diego and Jamie’s betrayal, I could not believe that anyone would want to hurt someone as wonderful as Cristina. I also love how she is so passionate about being a Shadowhunter and training. I also love how you can see her distrust of her own family, but immediately latches on to others for a connection, like Mark and Emma. Diego wasn’t in the book much, but I believe that he is really sorry for what had went down in Mexico that made Cristina leave in the first place but I wonder whose side he will take if Jamie shows up.

Mark: This boy is a treasure. Everything he said made me cry sad tears,cry happy tears or just burst out in uncontrollable laughter. I loved seeing him in the Hunt trying to hold onto his memories of being a Shadowhunter and his family. It was heart wrenching,but so well done on Cassie’s part. Him chanting “I am a Shadowhunter” in that flashback nearly sent me in to an inconsolable state. Mark has some of my favorite funny lines/scenes in the book, the two t-shirts scene, him ordering a plate of strawberries, explaining jokes is like dissecting a frog, and so many more. I love that we passed through the awkwardness of him not recognizing his family now so he can be a part of our Blackthorn crew until the Fae come in again. I also love how he has decided that he is going to be a Shadowhunter because of Kieran’s betrayal and not go back to the hunt. I mean, I’m glad Mark had Kieran to help him in the hunt but I don’t like that Kieran told on him and would get him hurt. I also ship him with Cristina…SO MUCH.

Ty and Livvy: I love how they are the institute’s resident computer experts and that they have this computer that they use together to try and find things out. They really made a great team in this book and I’m hoping to see more of them working together. In my “Lady Midnight Predictions” post a few weeks ago, I talked about how excited I was for Ty because Cassie has never written a character with a behavioral disability, Ty has autism here. I love how it is never said that he has autism, its like he doesn’t have even have that disability and all that matters to Jules is that he can reach out to Ty and connect with him. One scene that broke me was the scene in which Diana is testing them for the Clave and she knows how Ty is and she lets him wear his headphones while executing his shot with his weapon, then Arthur comes in and orders Ty to take them off, causing him to loose focus and ultimatley leading to Ty getting hurt. I started to cry so hard when Mark then deliberately hurt his hand to comfort Ty afterwards. I could just picture that so vividly and it really hit me in the heart. I love how Ty wants to be a detective like Sherlock Holmes and even though he has a hard time connecting with people, he loves his family, like in the scene near the end when he protects Livvy from an attack. (I’m sorry that I don’t remember the exact situation, at a certain point I got really excited and my notes became a mess of scribbles)

Dru and Tavvy: The two youngest Blackthorn kids didn’t have a lot of really big parts but they were still really wonderful as characters and I can’t wait to see more of them. I love seeing Dru’s relationship with Emma and her siblings and watching her grow as a person from the beginning. Tavvy is the cutest thing in the world and I loved the scene when he gave his siblings and Emma the picture book with Lady Midnight and he is being carried out because he is so sleepy and that he’s so happy that he helped! So cute! I was honestly so scared when Malcolm had him, but I’m glad he’s okay.

Diana and Malcolm: Diana is still bit elusive to me, she seems like she is hiding something and I don’t know if its going to be just bad or really bad. Because of the wonderfulness that is Magnus Bane, all Shadowhunter fans have this trust of any warlock we meet unless we are told they are bad. And to be fair, Malcolm is not 100% bad. He did go crazy, he did commit these terrible murders and cause a lot of strife, but you can understand where he is coming from. Its like the whole Magnus/Camille relationship on steroids, they were really in love and wanted to be together but that didn’t happen and all Malcolm wants is to wake her up and is willing to do whatever it takes. I don’t think that he is dead so perhaps we will be seeing him again.

Kit/Christopher and Johnny Rook: Cassie had said that we would meet two high warlocks in this book so my immediate thought was that Johnny was that other warlock besides Malcolm but I don’t think that was the case. I also don’t fully believe that Kit was his actual son, that maybe he is a mundane with the sight hired by someone to look after the only other Herondale in the world besides Jace. I don’t know, I hope we find out what and who Johnny Rook was in the coming books. I wasn’t really surprised that the lost Herondale was Kit, but I was just surprised that this was a thing that mattered here, are the Herondales going to be needed to help the Blackthorns because they’ve been close since Lucie Herondale marries Jesse Blackthorn? We shall see. I am excited to see another Herondale though. I also hope someone tells Catarina so she can come see him!

The only other thing to really talk about is what we are going to do with this parabatai curse. There is going to be a lot of Blackstairs heartbreak due to them trying to escape this but I have faith that Emma and Jules can find a way out of this and be together.

PART TWO: A LONG CONVERSATION

This was a really cute story! I loved checking in with our crew after TFSHA and seeing where everyone is! This is by the couple:

Clace: Her and Jace run the institute! That is so great for them and I’m happy they can finally settle down and live her life with no wars over their heads! Although I’m nervous for Clary dreading to answer Jace’s proposal…

Sizzy: AH! They’re getting married! I wish we could have seen the proposal instead of just hearing about it but I’m so happy with getting to be at their engagement party! Sizzy was wonderful in TFSHA and is even greater here!

Malec: My babies. They are so happy together! Im so happy to see them with the children and to see Alec get so protective over Rafael worrying that the Clave would find him and seeing Magnus with the kids (: I want to see more of them together, especially some family stories!

But I have a feeling that everyone is going to be dragged to L.A. for the next Dark War.We shall see.

RATING FOR BOTH AMAZING PARTS OF THIS BOOK:

five-stars

Until Lord of Shadows everyone! Are we going to survive this trilogy? Its so heartbreaking already! I’m hopeful for the future books though! If I know Cassie, there is more amazingness to come.

-Ashley (:

Lady Midnight Review to Come!

I finished the book! I am a mess of emotions but it was so good! I have eleven pages of notes-including my notes for the TMI short story-that i will do my best in compiling it into a full review.

Unfortunately, it is midterms time at school. I am going to do my best in getting up ASAP but I also want it to be fully focused on writing this review because I have a lot to say. I don’t know for sure when it is going up, but it will be up as soon as I can!

 

Ruined Review!

ruined

Early copy provided by HarperTeen through Edelweiss. All opinions are my own. Thank you Harper! 

SPOILER ALERT! 

I have been loving Amy Tintera’s books since I read Reboot and Rebel last year, but this book takes my appreciation for her writing to a whole new level. While her previous duology was a lot of fun and really action packed, I personally believe that Amy Tintera’s true talent lies in fantasy writing. She is just so wonderful at weaving all these characters together with their various plotlines, making this setting so vivid and larger than life, while still giving these characters their own personalities and making me care so much what happens to every single one of them.

This is the story of Emelina Flores, a princess of a country called Ruina where people posses magical abilities (called the Ruined) that was conquered by the nation of Lera. Em poses as an upper class girl, who she kills to impersonate but that’s beside the point, and becomes the wife of Lera’s prince, Casmir. She is hoping to find her older sister Olivia and regain her kingdom, but as she gets to know Cas, its not that simple.

I absolutely adore Em as the main character, she is the perfect mix of a heroine that knows how powerful she is already and knows what needs to be done along with being someone who is constantly questioning her plans as she learns new things about those she is supposed to hate. I really enjoyed being in her head and her narrative was really fun to read from. I found it really interesting that she is a Ruined without magic, she also refers to herself as “useless” on some occasions, but she is powerful in other ways. Usually in fantasy books like this, the main character discovers some unknown power about themselves, I’m really happy Amy Tintera chose to go down this road instead. I also love that Em is already so well trained in combat and what she needs to do and that we do not have to have that predictable montage-like scene of any book or movie where the main character is training to be the best, she already is.

Okay so now onto Cas. I love Cas so much in this book, but I found him to be a bit weak near the middle of the story and really strong in basically every other scene. We meet Cas when him and Mary (Em in disguise)  are getting married and he is what you would imagine, pissed as hell at an arranged marriage but he eventually grows to care about Mary (Em) and her in return. We see him be so strong standing up to his father about Ruined policy and fighting in the end with Galo, but when he is going after Em after she escapes and he is having this tumultuous internal battle with himself of what he is feeling, it felt like, just for that part, that he was letting his feelings for Em trump his logical reasoning and even survival. At least for me. For the other 99.99% of the story though, Cas is wonderful and the model of what every leader should be, calm and rational and for the good of ALL people.

I would have liked to see a bit more of Em’s Ruined friends, like Damian and Aren-especially Aren- and a bit more of Cas’ captain of the guard, Galo. I really loved the side characters almost as much as the main two and i am so excited to see where this story goes from here with them being more prevalent now that the world is built. I was so sad when Damian was executed and almost broke out into tears when he and Em had their final conversation.

I also loved how vividly I could picture this setting and how well it was described and gradually grown, it’s not often that I can picture a fantasy setting this clearly and I am happy I could do that here. I also found the castle’s policy regarding the Ruined extremely interesting and I am excited to see how Cas and his mother deal with that in the next installment, and who will be in charge?!?!

Writing reviews, I try to address both the positives and negatives and I have to say, it was hard to find any negatives in Ruined. I need the next book like a week ago. Amy. That ending. Ugh it was so good.

Definitely pick up Ruined when it goes on sale May 3rd, 2016. I will be freaking out over the ending, waiting for book 2.