Valentine’s Day Reading Recommendations

It’s that time of the year when love is in the air (supposedly) and the greeting card companies, florists, and candy corporations are all excited about the money they’re making off of us. And if you were looking for some books to add to all of the love stuff floating around right now, I decided to help you out with some recommendations. Don’t worry, I’m gonna help you out with a bunch of different genres so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck with only contemporary (which we all know isn’t my favorite…). Enjoy!


Contemporary

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Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

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A Million Junes by Emily Henry

For as long as Jack “June” O’Donnell has been alive, her parents have had only one rule: stay away from the Angert family. But when June collides—quite literally—with Saul Angert, sparks fly, and everything June has known is thrown into chaos.

Who exactly is this gruff, sarcastic, but seemingly harmless boy who has returned to their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, after three mysterious years away? And why has June—an O’Donnell to her core—never questioned her late father’s deep hatred of the Angert family? After all, the O’Donnells and the Angerts may have mythic legacies, but for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them.

As Saul and June’s connection grows deeper, they find that the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers seem to be conspiring to reveal the truth about the harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations. Now June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored, and she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all the O’Donnells before her—to let go.

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Me Before You (Me Before You, #1) by Jojo Moyes

Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

Science Fiction

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Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1) by Claudia Gray

She’s a soldier – Noemi Vidal is willing to risk anything to protect her planet, Genesis, including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine – Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel’s advanced programming has begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

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Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1) by Beth Revis

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship —tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

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Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer

A forbidden romance.

A deadly plague.

Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.

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Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Fantasy

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The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1) by Samantha Shannon

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

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Caraval (Caraval, #1) by Stephanie Garber

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

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Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1) by Morgan Rhodes

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword….

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The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1) by Mary E. Pearson

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

Historical Fiction

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These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets. And they all seem to be buried in plain sight. Then she meets Eddie—a young, brash, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. Only now it might be too late to stop.

The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and the truth is the dirtiest part of all.

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Stars Over Clear Lake by Loretta Ellsworth

For the first time in decades, Lorraine Kindred has returned to the ballroom where she was swept away by the big bands during the 1940s – and by a star-crossed romance. As she takes in the magnificent energy and brassy sounds of her youth, the past comes to life, along with the fateful decision all those years ago that forced her to choose between personal conviction and social expectations, between the two men who had captured her heart. It had been a time of great music and love, but also of war and sacrifice, and now, trying to make peace with her memories, Lorraine must find the courage to face buried secrets. In the process, she will rediscover herself, her passion, and her capacity for resilience.

Set during the 1940s and the present and inspired by a real-life ballroom, Stars Over Clear Lake is a moving story of forbidden love, lost love, everlasting love – and self love.

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The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1) by Alison Goodman

London, April 1812.

On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

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Roses by Leila Meacham

Spanning the 20th century, the story of Roses takes place in a small East Texas town against the backdrop of the powerful timber and cotton industries, industries controlled by the scions of the town’s founding families. Cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick should have married but unwisely did not, and now must deal with the deceit, secrets, and tragedies of their choice and the loss of what might have been–not just for themselves but for their children, and children’s children. With expert, unabashed, big-canvas storytelling, Roses covers a hundred years, three generations of Texans and the explosive combination of passion for work and longing for love.


Do you like to books with romance around Valentine’s Day? Have you read any of the books on my list? What books would you recommend for Valentine’s Day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Release Covers That I Love

I will always admit that I’m a sucker for a gorgeous book cove. I have definitely bought many a book based mostly on its cover… and I am not ashamed. I love pretty covers and I think it’s been pretty rare where I ended up not enjoying that book, too. So you can probably guess that all of the amazing covers being unveiled lately for 2019 releases has got me really excited. I can’t wait to add these beauties to my bookshelves!


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Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1) by Elizabeth Lim

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

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Finale (Caraval, #3) by Stephanie Garber

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .

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Lovely War by Julie Berry

It’s 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She’s a shy and talented pianist; he’s a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it’s immediate and deep—and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields.

Aubrey Edwards is also headed toward the trenches. A gifted musician who’s played Carnegie Hall, he’s a member of the 15th New York Infantry, an all-African-American regiment being sent to Europe to help end the Great War. Love is the last thing on his mind. But that’s before he meets Colette Fournier, a Belgian chanteuse who’s already survived unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the Germans.

Thirty years after these four lovers’ fates collide, the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells their stories to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another? But her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music and reveals that War is no match for the power of Love.

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The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1) by Renee Ahdieh

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as Le Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sèbastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of Le Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sèbastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

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The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow, #1) by Margaret Owen

A future chieftain

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.

A too-cunning bodyguard

Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?

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The Devouring Gray (The Devouring Gray, #1) by Christine Lynn Herman

Branches and stones, daggers and bones,
They locked the Beast away.

After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn’t: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods.

Justin Hawthorne’s bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray—a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family’s powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can’t let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect.

Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny-to what extent, even she doesn’t yet know.

The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families’ abilities—before the Gray devours them all.

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction–but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

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Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

Every Friday night, best friends Delia and Josie become Rayne Ravenscroft and Delilah Darkwood, hosts of the campy creature feature show Midnite Matinee on the local cable station TV Six.

But with the end of senior year quickly approaching, the girls face tough decisions about their futures. Josie has been dreading graduation, as she tries to decide whether to leave for a big university and chase her dream career in mainstream TV. And Lawson, one of the show’s guest performers, a talented MMA fighter with weaknesses for pancakes, fantasy novels, and Josie, is making her tough decision even harder.

Scary movies are the last connection Delia has to her dad, who abandoned the family years ago. If Midnite Matinee becomes a hit, maybe he’ll see it and want to be a part of her life again. And maybe Josie will stay with the show instead of leaving her behind, too.

As the tug-of-war between growing up and growing apart tests the bonds of their friendship, Josie and Delia start to realize that an uncertain future can be both monstrous…and momentous.

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Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, #1) by Emily A. Duncan

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

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Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant and alluring investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.


What are some of your favorite covers for 2019 releases? Are you excited about any of the books that I shared?

 

 

Hype or Like Friday – Coming to a Close and Shining Stars

This meme and Goodreads group were created by myself, Jill @ Rant and Rave Books, and Britt @ Geronimo Reads. To join our group and find out more information about what it’s all about, please go to our Goodreads page HERE.

The November BOTM is Zodiac (Zodiac, #1) by Romina Russell.

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RULES:

  • Answer the weekly discussion topic.
  • Optional: Discuss your chosen hyped book of the week.
  • Optional: Talk about your progress on the BOTM.

TOPIC OF THE WEEK: I’m combining last week’s topic and this week’s because I missed it.. Oops!

Coming to a Close… What book(s) do you hope to read before the end of the year?

Shining Stars… What have been your favorite reads of 2017?


Coming to a Close

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
  • The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh
  • The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

These are all books that I’ve received from Book of the Month Club this past year. I’ve heard some amazing things about each one of them and am super excited to hopefully get to them before then end of the year. I’ve been trying to actually read some of the books I’ve received from that subscription service more, as I had really just been putting them off. I think 4 in a month seems like a good step in that direction, haha!

Shining Stars

  • Caraval (Caraval, #1) by Stephanie Garber
  • Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1) by Claudia Gray
  • Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
  • An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
  • This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) by Victoria Schwab
  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2) by Marissa Meyer
  • A Million Junes by Emily Henry
  • The Song Rising (The Bone Season, #3) by Samantha Shannon
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
  • The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen, #2) by Alison Goodman

Basically you all should just go read these books/series because they’re amazing. Seriously. Stop reading this post and go pick one up. RIGHT NOW.


What are some books that you hope to finish by the end of the year? What have been some of your favorite reads of 2017 so far? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Leave a link to your Hype or Like Friday post in the comments below!

February Wrap-Up: Reviews, Reading Challenges, etc.

Can I just say that for the shortest month of the year, I had a damn good reading month. Like I am starting 2017 on a roll, y’all!

Now watch me go into a huge reading slump because I just jinxed myself…Way to go, Larkin.


Books Read

  • Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto – 5/5 stars, REVIEW
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – 3/5 stars, REVIEW
  • Caraval (Caraval, #1) by Stephanie Garber – 5/5 stars, REVIEW
  • Blood for Blood (Wolf By Wolf, #2) by Ryan Graudin – 4/5 stars
  • Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard – 4/5 stars, REVIEW
  • Windwitch (The Witchlands, #2) by Susan Dennard – 3/5 stars
  • A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2) by Sabaa Tahir – 5/5 stars
  • We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun & Susan Mullen – 4/5 stars
  • Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey – 4/5 stars

I also read about 150 pages of RoseBlood by A.G. Howard, however I DNFed it because I was both extremely bored and confused. So I won’t be counting it towards my overall goal or total.

Total Books Read: 9

Overall in 2017: 16

Reading Challenge Updates

POPSUGAR

  • A Book of Letters – We Are Still Tornadoes
  • A Book by a Person of Color – A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)
  • A Bestseller from a Genre You Don’t Normally Read – Big Little Lies
  • A Book Published in 2017 – Caraval (Caraval, #1)
  • The First Book in a Series You Haven’t Read Before – Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

Previous Month

  • A book by or about a person who has a disability – The Architect of Song
  • A book that’s been on your TBR list for way too longRed Queen (Red Queen, #1)

Beat The Backlist

  • Revenge and the Wild
  • Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf, #2)
  • Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)
  • A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)
  • We are Still Tornadoes

Goodreads Reading Challenge

  • Total: 16/100
  • Previous total: 7/100

Blog Posts

Teaser Tuesdays

WWW Wednesdays

Hype or Like Fridays

Reviews

Discussions/Misc.

All in all, I think February turned out to be a pretty darn good reading month. I’m really looking forward to March as well. I’ve got quite a good mix of reads for this upcoming month, so things should get pretty interesting! 🙂


How did your February go? Did you get a lot of reading done? Which book was your favorite read? What about your least favorite read?

Book Review: Caraval (Caraval, #1)

I’m sure that by now, everyone has heard of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval (Caraval, #1). If you haven’t, well, that’s just crazy talk because everyone and I mean EVERYONE has been talking about it. And because everyone is talking about how amazing it is, and it is soooo amazing, I’m really going to focus on the not-so-amazing parts. Does that sound good to you? If it doesn’t…sorry?

Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Honestly, I could go on and on about how amazing the plot was and how completely engrossed I was by this novel. I mean, I did read it in 24 hours. But all I’m going to say is that this book completely pulls you in and doesn’t let you go until the very last page. The hype is real, y’all. However, I did have a few issues with this book even though I enjoyed it so much that they did not affect my overall rating of it.

First off, Scarlett…. Y’all, I hate to say this but I just didn’t like her at all as a character. It was admirable how much she loved her sister and would do anything for her. But I think that’s the only quality that I liked about her unfortunately. Throughout the whole book, all she does is whine and talk about how scared she is. She also kind of just makes some of the silliest choices earlier on that I did not agree with. Overall, she wasn’t really my type of heroine. I much preferred Tella (who I’m thinking will be the MC in the sequel! *squeals happily*). Also, I might be in love with the mysterious and mad Legend. Seriously, I need more of him IMMEDIATELY.

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I also had a bit of trouble with the world-building. The carnival part was fine, but it was the overall world within it was set that had me a little confused at times. I feel like stuff was mentioned but it never developed into an actual explanation. I think that Garber should really expand upon all of the politics and world within which the story is set. I think there was something interesting aspects to it that she mentioned but never fully fleshed out, especially in regards to the Scarlett and Tella’s father, and his political position.

However, even with the issues that I did have in regards to the story, it never affected just how much I was so thoroughly entrenched in this story. I couldn’t bring myself to put it down or try and take my time with it – I had to know what would happen next! There were so many twists and turns that I never saw coming and it all just added to the dark and manipulative atmosphere of the Carnival. This is one of those books where despite some of its flaws, I can’t give it anything lower than 5 stars. I know, I know.. I’m such a pushover.

Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars


Have you read Caraval? What are your thoughts on it? Did you have some issues with it as well? Did they affect your ability to enjoy the overall story?

WWW Wednesday – February 8th, 2017

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam!

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

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Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

As of this moment, I haven’t actually read one page from this book. I only put my bookmark in it last night before I went to bed, as I’d already stayed up too late finishing up Big Little Lies. But I can tell you that I’m so excited to pick this one up and that I hope it lives up to the hype! Fingers crossed, right?

Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

What did you recently finish reading?

  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – 3 stars, If you’re looking for an engrossing murder mystery amongst some suburbanite mothers, then this might be for you. I will admit that I was hooked trying to figure out who was murdered and who did it, but I reallyyyyy hated all of the characters. They were just so awful!

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

  • Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto – 5 stars, THIS BOOK WAS SOOOO GOOD! Easily my favorite book of the year so far. It’s got a kickass heroine, monsters, mayhem, and sass. What more could you want?! Everyone really needs to go read this 2016 debut!

The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.

Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.

But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.

This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • Blood for Blood (Wolf By Wolf, #2) by Ryan Graudin – I’m finally going to finish up this duology after really enjoying the first book, when I buddy read it with Britt @ Geronimo Reads back in November. I’ve heard great things about it but I also hear that I’m going to cry sooooo, yeah. Already got my tissues handy!
  • Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard – This is the February BOTM for Hype or Like Friday, if you would like to join us! I’ve heard mixed things about this series so far but I’m interested in seeing how I feel about it.
  • A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2) by Sabaa Tahir – I liked An Ember in the Ashes but I wasn’t blown away by it like some people were. I thought it was decent but nothing amazing or unique. However, I am interested in seeing how this story develops and I hope it gets better.

What are you currently reading? Have you read any good books this week? Have you read any of the books on my list? What did you think of them? Leave a link to your WWW Wednesday in the comments below!

Teaser Tuesday – February 7th, 2017

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme currently being hosted by Ambrosia @ The Purple Booker. All are welcome to participate!

Rules:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! You don’t want to give too much away so as to not ruin the book for others!
  • Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers.

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Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

“People don’t expect the truth here,” the girl went on, undeterred. “They don’t want it either. A lot of the people here don’t expect to win the wish; they come here for an adventure. You might as well give them one. I know it’s in you, otherwise you wouldn’t have been invited.”

-page 182

I’m only about 50 pages into this book but I’m really enjoying it. I love the premise and the characters are interesting. I do wish the author would take a break from all of the metaphors though, as she tends to overuse them. However, it’s not reached a point to really detract from my enjoyment. Hopefully it stays that way!

Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.


Have you read Caraval yet? What did you think of it? Leave a link to your own Teaser Tuesday in the comments below!