Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Wrap Up and Top Books!

I can't actually believe that 2015 is over already. How on earth did we end up here again? Didn't we just start 2015? I feel like the year zoomed by! 

Taking a look back on the past year, I've read some pretty amazing books. And like many other people, I have decided to compile a list because a) lists are fun b) thinking about all the great books I've read in the year is enough to put a large smile on my face c) it's a great way to prep myself for all the great books/sequels that are coming out next year. So in no particular order, here are my top 10 books of 2015:

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ensnared by A.G. Howard
Crash by Eve Silver
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
The Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Gray

Narrowing down the long list of books I read to just 10 had to be one of the hardest things I've done this year. Especially since all the books I read way back in January feels like lifetimes ago. Or, I suppose, about 150 books ago. (Yes, I completed my Goodreads goal of 150! I'm so happy!)

I've met some absolutely fantastic people this year, and I'm thankful for every single one of you. I'd never have dreamt that I would grow to have such fun with you guys here, things like blogging events with other people or being able to shamelessly have wonderfully long discussions and fangirling moments over books and book characters with some of you. I value your comments, our conversations, and your existence in general. You guys are amazing, and I truly mean it from the bottom of my bookish heart. Thank you guys so much for an unforgettable year!

I hope you all have a fantastic remainder of the year, and I'll be seeing you all next year for another great year of bookish fun! :D

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy Review: Jack

Book: The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy
Author: Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles
Standing: Book 2.5
Setting: London, 1897
POV: 3rd person by Jack, past tense
Genre: YA steampunk, paranormal

Source: ebook
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 44
Release: July 1st, 2013


Before he makes his appearance in The Girl with the Iron Touch, Jack Dandy had an adventure of his very own. Learn how his actions set the plot in motion in The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy, a short teaser story from author Kady Cross’s Steampunk Chronicles. 

Jack Dandy didn’t become prince of the London underworld at barely twenty-one by being softhearted, even if a certain girl in a steel corset has wormed her way into his affections of late. He knows how to manipulate, charm and rob people blind.

And if his criminal activities embarrass his aristocratic father, so much the better. So when a friend of Jack’s father hires him for an underhanded job, Jack is happy to oblige—for an outrageous fee, of course. Delivering a mysterious crate seems like an easy task—until Jack realizes just what is inside...

Monday, December 28, 2015

Title Change!

Hi guys!

As I have mentioned before, I am currently revamping my blog for the upcoming new year. The first step to this was changing my blog's name. Hopefully it's not too big of a shock to everyone (it's actually not that different). I've been mulling over it for a while, and I've finally decided to get it over with. My old blog title, Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything in Between was quite a mouthful. It also was a little cliche, which I'm sure many of you noticed. So it was definitely time to change it to something shorter and easier to say.

In essence, I think the new title is similar enough to the old title, and still retains the idea of books being stars, just with a more emphasized sense of reading with the "pages" part.

My next step will be a header! I'm currently using Pixlr to create it, so hopefully I'll have one up soon. Fingers crossed it comes out nice!

Hope you guys all had a great Christmas, and are having a great week :)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Wild Adventure of Jasper Renn Review: Jasper

Book: The Wild Adventure of Jasper Renn
Author: Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles
Standing: Book 3.5
Setting: London 1897
POV: 3rd person by Jasper and Cat
Genre: YA paranormal, steampunk

Source: enovella
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 51
Release: November 1st, 2013


In this companion novella to The Girl with the Iron Touch, American cowboy Jasper Renn finds himself in a situation his lightning-fast skills cannot rescue him from…

After surviving a triumph-turned-tragedy in New York City, Jasper is determined to secure a happier future with his gifted band of friends. So when the group's mechanical genius Emily is abducted, he'll plunge into England's darkest places to rescue her….

But his old flame Wildcat is turning London town upside down to find her missing sister, and Jasper finds the attraction between himself and the fierce beauty as tempting and dangerous as ever. Their trail leads deep into the city's most unusual circus. Soon, Jasper will find his loyalties—and future—tested more than he could ever imagine….

And don't miss Jasper's continuing exploits in The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross, available now from Harlequin TEEN.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne Review: Finley

Book: The Strange Case of Finley Jayne
Author: Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles
Standing: Book 0.5
Setting: London, 1897
POV: 3rd person by Finley
Genre: YA paranormal, steampunk

Source: ebook
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 83
Release: May 1st, 2011


Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Holidays!

I just want to wish you all a terrific holiday, whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, or simply the festive climate of the year (yes, I know some have already past/haven't happened yet).

I hope you're all having a fantastic week, and will continue to have a great remainder of the year! May it be filled with tons of books and happiness!

Cheers! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Thousand Skies Above You Review: Marguerite

Book: A Thousand Skies Above You
Author: Claudia Gray
Series: Firebird
Standing: Book 2 (ongoing)
POV: 1st person by Marguerite, present tense
Setting: San Fransisco, New York City, Paris, Cambridge (alternate realities)
Genre: YA sci-fi

Source: Physical Copy
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 424
Release: November 3rd, 2015


Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents' invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions. 

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared. 

The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You features Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Darker Shade of Magic Review

Book: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Series: A Darker Shade of Magic
Standing: Book 1 (ongoing)
POV: 3rd person by Kell and Lila
Setting: London(s)
Genre: Fantasy

Source: Physical Copy
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 398
Release: February 24th, 2015


Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit. 

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

End of Days Review: Penryn

Book: End of Days
Author: Susan Ee
Series: Penryn and the End of Days
Standing: Book 3 (final)
POV: 1st person by Penryn, present tense
Genre: YA post-apocaplytic, paranormal

Source: Physical Copy
Publisher: Skyscrape
Pages: 344
Release: May 12th, 2015


End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Firewalker Review: Lily

Book: Firewalker

Author: Josephine Angelini

Series: Worldwalker

Standing: Book 1 (ongoing)

POV: 3rd person by Lily, past tense

Setting: Salem, Massachusetts

Genre: YA fantasy, paranormal

Source: Physical Copy

Publisher: Feiwei & Friends

Pages: 352

Release: September 1st, 2015

Worlds divide, magic slays, and love lies in the second book of Josephine Angelini’s The Worldwalker Trilogy.

"You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified."

Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good.

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.

Picking up right where Trial By Fire left off, Firewalker is another sexy, fast-paced, heartbreaking thrill ride from internationally bestselling author Josephine Angelini!


Friday, December 11, 2015

Rivulet Review: Indie

Book: Rivulet

Author: Jamie Magee

Series: Rivulet / A Web of Hearts and Souls

Standing: Rivulet Book 1 / A Web of Hearts and Souls Book 11

POV: 1st person by Indie, past tense 

Genre: NA paranormal, mystery

Source: ebook, Netgallery

Publisher: Mark My Words Book Publicity

Pages: 212

Release: October 3rd, 2013

Unfathomable forces have always contested Genevieve Indiana Falcon, known as Indie. The curse of her cold touch entraps her just as the grief ignited in her past torments her. Yet, her mysterious ability to dream while awake saturates her in the belief that she was not always anguished. There is hope that one day a true peace in her soul can be found.

Foolishly, Indie assumes she has contained her life in an odd balance, and she cherishes the visions she sees of the enigmatic boy that held her in a lost time, but can never reach. She grieves for a life she fears she'll never possess, and that grief is a weapon she uses against her aunt who stands between her and her inheritance.

Weeks away from her twenty-first birthday, the date where she would assume control over her family legacy, a night terror robs Indie of the balance she was clinging to. Like the dream she had before she lost her family, it predicts a fatal catastrophe on the horizon. The fight between life and death, good and evil, began the moment her thundering heart awoke her.

Everything changed after that dream. The one thing that keeps her curse at bay is stolen, and then the enigmatic boy arrives in the flesh. Face to face with her fiery born-again lover Indie realizes that the only way she can prevent the tragedy before her is to surrender everything she was, is, and could be.

Can she bend the laws of nature and fight the improbability that fire and ice could ever be one? As far as Indie is concerned, there is not a myth, spoken fate, or curse that is stronger than her stubborn desire to have it all ... including him.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Rose Society Review: Adelina

Book: The Rose Society

Author: Marie Lu

Series: The Young Elites

Standing: Book 2 (ongoing)

POV: first person by Adelina and third person by Raffaele

Setting: Kenettra

Genre: YA fantasy

Source: Physical Copy

Pages: 395

Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons

Release: October 13th, 2015

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?


Monday, December 7, 2015

Crown of Midnight Review: Celaena

Book: Crown of Midnight

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass

Standing: Book 2 (ongoing)

POV: third person by Celaena and Chaol and Dorian

Setting: Erilea

Genre: YA fantasy

Source: Physical Copy

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Pages: 418

Release: August 27th, 2013

"A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend."

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie... and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Faceless Review: Mackenzie

Book: Faceless

Author: Monica Millard

Series: Mortal Monsters

Standing: Book 1

POV: 1st person by Mackenzie, present tense

Setting: Wasilla, Alaska

Genre: YA paranormal

Source: ebook, author (thank you, Monica!)

Pages: 163

Release: September 1st, 2015

There isn’t a lot of excitement or drama to be had for a teenager in Wasilla, Alaska. This is especially true for students of the charter high school, Lakes Charter. That is until a jock is killed in a brutal attack on school property.

The victim is the instigator of the school’s bullying ring and his biggest target, both literally at six and a half feet tall and in frequency, is Eli Markham, the lead suspect. The only problem with that story is at the time the murder took place, he was in the school parking lot installing a new battery with Mackenzie Carver. Me.

I didn’t really know Eli before I gave him a ride. I don’t think anyone does know him. He’s kind of a loner, but we’ve been thrown together and the more time I spend with him, the more I want to learn. All of that will have to wait though, because something is after us, something that isn’t human, something that keeps trying to frame Eli for crimes he didn’t commit. 

The scheme might be more successful if I didn’t keep getting in the way of someone’s plans.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Rebel Spring Review

Book: Rebel Spring

Author: Morgan Rhodes

Series: Falling Kingdoms

Status: Book 2 (ongoing)

POV: 3rd person by Cleo, Jonas, Magnus and Lucia, past tense

Setting: Mytica

Genre: YA fantasy

Source: Physical Copy

Publisher: RazorBill

Pages: 401

Release: December 3rd, 2013

The road to power... is paved with blood and magic.

 is now a prisoner in her own palace, forced to be an ambassador for Mytica as the evil King Gaius lies to her people.
Magnus stands to eventually inherit the new kingdom but is still obsessed with his feelings for his adopted sister, Lucia.
Lucia is haunted by the outcome of the breathtaking display of magic that allowed her father to capture the kingdoms.
Jonas watched at the palace gates a troop of rebels behind him, waiting for him to tell them how he plans to overtake King Gaius.

After a bloody siege, Auranos has been defeated, its young queen orphaned and dethroned. The three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But the allure of ancient, dangerous magic beckons still, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the whole world over...

At the heart of the fray are four brave young people grappling for that magic and the power it promises. For Cleo, the magic would enable her to reclaim her royal seat. In Jonas's hands, it frees his nation, and in Lucia's, it fulfills the ancient prophecy of her destiny. And if the magic were Magnus's, he would finally prove his worth in the eyes of his cruel and scheming father, King Gaius, who rules Mytica with a punishing hand.

When Gaius begins to build a road into the Forbidden Mountains to physically link all of Mytica, he sparks a long-smoking fire in the hearts of the people that will forever change the face of this land. For Gaius's road is paved with blood, and its construction will have cosmic consequences.