Archives

My June 2017 Top Picks

With the summer months arriving on our doorsteps, it’s the best time for all sorts of entertainment to release their beloved books. And I’m not just talking about movies. There are some lovely books out there that have hit or are about to hit your bookstores, right in time for summer vacation (if you have one, that is).

So without further ado, here is my top picks of newly released books to read this month (and which I would read myself too if I wasn’t stuck in a cubicle for 40 hours a week…).

  1. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab our dark duet -victoria schwab

If you’ve read the first book in this series, or my review of This Savage Song here, then you’d be absolutely raving about this sequel. I was so hoping to be able to get an ARC for it like I did for its predecessor, but alas the publishers must know that this book would do well even without the additional publicity of prereleased reviews.

This book continues the adventures of Kate Harker, a girl who sometimes can be as ruthless as the monsters she hunts in her world, and August Flynn, a monster who wishes he could be more like a normal boy.

2. Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead midnight jewel -richelle mead

Not everyone enjoyed the historical fantasy novel that seemed to mirror more of the great Gold Rush era in America than a fantastical story the synopsis may have portrayed. But nonetheless, I enjoyed the first novel, The Glittering Court, through the eyes of one girl. You can check out my review for that book here.

Now, in this companion/sequel, it would be interesting to see how the same timeline of events unfolded through another girl’s eyes. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea exactly, but you’ll definitely see this book pop up on this blog sooner rather than later. Already on hold for it!

3. Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneaudividing eden -joelle charbonneau

Although her Testing trilogy has been on my TBR for so very long, I promise you, this novel in her latest series is quite intriguing. With twins Carys and Andreus pitted against each other in a war for the throne amidst secrets in the court, it’s a game of who-can-you-trust. Honestly, this was an interesting start to a new series, and I’m half disappointed that I read it early ’cause now the wait is longer for the sequel!

You can read my review of Dividing Eden here (if I haven’t convinced you yet from this extremely short blurb above…).

4. Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Andersonmidnight at the electric -jodi lynn anderson

Across 3 time periods. With 3 girls. This was a hidden masterpiece. 3 girls’ stories intersect and connect in ways you wouldn’t be able to imagine. With one overarching story connecting all the little components of the other 2 stories in the form of a journal or letters, this novel may not be an epic fantasy but it stands on its own as something profound and unforgettable in today’s YA world.

You can read my review for this novel here. Trust me, it’s amazing! The feels~

5. The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth Maythe fallen kingdom -elizabeth may

It seems June isn’t just a time for new series and sequels, but also long awaited conclusions to epic fantasies. The Falconer followed by The Vanishing Throne was an interesting series set in Edinburgh, Scotland where the fae walk amongst the humans there. Due to a tragedy (of course), our heroine Aileana was pushed into a world hidden from ordinary eyes and became a fighter against all that was evil.

This 3rd and last book continues her journey against the fae that have taken over the world she has known, and ultimately took back the guy she had fallen for without meaning to. If that doesn’t draw you in, I don’t know what will. Action and romance go hand in hand!


So those were my top 5 picks. No, Andge, you may say. They’re not very typical “summer” reads. Why yes, I do notice that. But I will write up a YA contemporary top picks either this month or later so don’t you worry about that.

What you can look forward to in the meantime that will pop up a lot sooner on this blog?

Reviews of:
-Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
-All Things New by Lauren Miller
-Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
-Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry
-Long Way Home by Katie McGarry

And of course, a June 2017 book haul! 🙂 ‘Cause I’ve definitely been buying books.

If I get enough likes for this, I might even put up a Edelweiss/Netgalley haul as well. Been wallowing in some interesting books lately that I sneakily read at work *shhh no one tell my boss – they don’t know I’m a book addict*.

Well, that is all for now. Peace out (y)

Meeting Jenny Han

The other night, I was delighted to have had the chance to meet an author I greatly admire. She’s someone who creates characters that are real and relatable. Poignant and visceral. It’s not just because she’s Asian like I am that she gets me better. Fans from all over flocked to see her, and her ethnicity hadn’t a thing to do with it.

This amazing lady? Well, this was Jenny Han.

img_7218
I haven’t gone to many author signings in my life, but even still, this was a great night. From hearing where her initial inspirations grew for her latest series to feeling the passion she evokes when standing up for young readers whom she hopes can relate to the cast of characters that were born of her imagination, I don’t think anyone left that room without feeling even remotely satisfied with how we spent the hours waiting up for her arrival.

I don’t know how many of you know her stories yet, but I encourage you to check out the series she most recently finished. Even when the characters make me ecstatic with joy or trembling with frustration, it’s all the mark of a good writer.

To be honest? This blog wouldn’t be here without her. To All the Boys I’vimg_7242e Loved Before was my very first reviewed book and it propelled me to leave my comfort zone to embark on something I’ve always loved to do: to read and to share good stories. Her book was the final push that shoved me in this direction and I’m more than grateful for where I’m at right now ’cause of it.

So please, check out Lara Jean’s story. I promise you. You won’t regret it. Her conclusion to the series, Always and Forever, Lara Jean, just came out May 2, 2017 ❤
I know this won’t be the last I’ll see of Jenny Han. She’s pretty much on my auto-buy list (which is only a select few authors these days). I hope there’ll be another chance to see her again as her story in becoming an author and what she stands for encourages me to also shoot for my dreams and push myself to become someone whom the world hasn’t necessarily seen much of before.

Thank you, Jenny Han. This blog post is for you.

May 2017 Book Haul

So this is my very first book haul that I’m actually sharing on this blog. Honestly, these days I barely go out to buy books, but nothing beats retail (book) therapy to get this girl’s heart beating again with joy. Seriously. The excitement level is like a child inside a candy store (if you’re into that kinda thing – otherwise picture a child running free at some amusement park). And so the great sales I got on these books over the weekend just had to be worth sharing here. Granted, I haven’t read most of these books yet, so your opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Here goes.

  • Defy by Sara B. Larson

Indefy -sara b larson hindsight, I really enjoyed this book more than my initial review and rating might’ve let on, so a paperback version of this novel was worth the money in my opinion (although even paperbacks are unfairly expensive these days too…does anyone remember a time when you can buy a paperback for less than $10? This girl does!! Where can I find a way to save money even on these books??)

Defy, in case you haven’t read it yet, had a storyline centred on a girl pretending she had to be a guy. I got a very She’s the Man kinda vibe going on when I read it – if it wasn’t a comedy, that is. Basically, a girl who fights as the prince’s guard gets sucked into some nefarious plan to overthrow the kingdom while trying to keep her identity a secret from both the prince and her closest friend. That’s right. You sniffed a love triangle out! But I promise you, it didn’t suck as much as I thought it would. So maybe it’s totally worth a read for any one of you who loves a lighthearted fantasy from a debut author.

 

  • Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Does this even warrant much of an explanation? I came across this series, which as I always and forever lara jean -jenny hanunderstood it at the time was supposed to be a standalone novel that you know, STOPPED, at To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (totally not complaining…). But I don’t totally regret the fact that it continued on…much. Though I was very much excited to see how my favourite ship was going on there. Crossing my fingers! Anyway, if you want a contemporary that’s both fun and deliciously sweet, with a beautiful mix of diversity thrown into it with Lara Jean’s half-Korean ancestry, Jenny Han does a beautiful job with this series (so far).

Honestly, I went into the bookstore for the sole reason of hoping to purchase this book. It better be good. hope I’m not gonna eat my words. At least it was on sale (this is me trying to console myself).

 

  • Landry Park by Bethany Hagen

landry park -bethany hagenThis dystopian has been on my distant radar for a long while now. I kept telling myself to get it at some point, but with it being a hardcover for only $6 and in decent condition, I found myself asking, Why not, huh? The kind of tropes that the synopsis gives me (a girl living in the more privileged society finds out more about the unfortunate group in her world who survives off of what’s left for them – oh no, what’s she gonna do about it?) brings to mind so many different stories that’ve popped up in recent years. I don’t believe the series (I didn’t even know it was more than a standalone novel earlier) really got too much attention but I’m excited to see if it’s as good as similar plots. And hopefully won’t regret my $6.

 

  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Yep, this book is on a lot of my lists. Including my list of the-unexpected-everything-morgan-matsonI-wish-I-read-this-in-2016. Yet I found myself always hesitant in reading this one. I adored Since You’ve Been Gone, and maybe I’m just nervous that nothing else by Matson would ever compare to the adventure whirlwind that was for me.

I’m actually not 100% sure what this book is about beyond what the cover (and the very vague synopsis description) portrays. Sounds like a great summer read about a girl who has her life turned around due to some scandal and now walks dogs (which sounds pretty awesome to me…compared to sitting in a cubicle all day long for work). But hey, no matter how it turns out for me, opinion-wise, I’m pretty sure getting this hardcover for $6 was unheard of, and in fairly amazing condition too! A total score on this book haul amidst all the usual less popular books that the bookstore wanted to get rid of (’cause honestly, why else would they be willing to sell them for so much less? You can probably tell I’m pretty jaded when it comes to businesses)

 

  • Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

lair of dreams -libba brayQuick admission. I honestly bought this one for the value as I’m pretty sure I never picked up its 1st book (yes, I bought book 2 without reading book 1, so sue me) ’cause it seemed a little scary. Didn’t help that most reviewers I read said it’s best not to read at night – which you know, is my favourite time of day (or night) to be picking up a book. Gonna be problematic. But anyway, I’m a total sucker for beautiful world building, particularly those set in a certain historical time period. With supernatural happenings mixed in to create a historical fantasy, it got me comparing more recently to Alison Goodman’s The Dark Days Club series that I raved and raved about. So maybe I will summon up the courage to read this and book 1…but first, let’s just admire the VALUE I got this book at. Trust me, you never see such a good sale for a book I actually know of and would read.

 

  • The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine

Last but not least, another contemporary also the secrets of attraction -robin constantineworth a beautiful price. Such a steal. I first got exposed to Robin Constantine last year when I *almost* got to review her arc for The Season of You & Me. Unfortunately, due to some weird technical error on my Kindle, it the eARC never got sent to my device (no matter how many times I pressed the darn button to send to it). So I’ve been curious about her work ever since then. This one sounds like a typical boy-meets-girl-omgwhat’sgonnahappennext? kinda story, which I find myself more inclined to read in the warm depths of summer (when I’m wishing I wasn’t at work and could just be relaxing like these kids are doing).

 

Here’s a quick snapshot of my little haul. Honestly, I’m quite happy staring at this. A little poorer (oh well), but these days a hardcover can cost $25 so who am I to complain anyway? Gotta support those authors. Let me know if you’ve read any of these books before and what you think/thought of them! I’d love to hear your opinions before diving into them over the course of the next few weeks (please tell me they’re good I’d settle for decent quality)

File 2017-05-08, 8 48 57 PM

P.S. you can look forward to seeing reviews up in the next few days on Evelyn Skye’s The Crown’s Game and its almost-released sequel The Crown’s Fate as it hits stores next week.