As You Turn Away (The Walker Boys #1) by Molli Moran

Beautifully written and full of emotion, As You Turn Away, have you getting wrapped up in such a gorgeous love story brimming with self-discovery, courage, and bravery.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before, was absolutely sweet, funny, charming, and definitely emotionally charged.

One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington

One Past Midnight , is a wonderfully compelling and captivating read that is unbelievably hard to put down until you have practically binge read the entire book in one sitting.

Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5 by Maggie Stiefvater

Sinner is a gorgeous stand alone companion novel to this awesome series, that is beautifully poetic and full of raw emotional turmoil.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Book Review: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

Salt & Storm
Kendall Kulper
Salt & Storm
Kendall Kulper
Published: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Demographic: YA Historical Fantasy
Pages: 416

A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.

To PreOrder Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper 
please visist: Amazon & B&N

(I received an eGalley of Salt & Storm from the publisher's via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review which I have provided here on the blog and on Goodreads.)

Beautifully written and hauntingly bittersweet, Salt & Storm , will captivate you with its imaginative world and memorable characters. For a debut young adult historical paranormal world, based on loose facts surrounding whaling in the late 1860's, Kendall Kulper knocked it out of the park. There was never a moment when I was bored or uninterested in what was going on in Avery's world. The pain and heartache that went along with her sacrifice at wanting to become the witch, tore at my heart and made me ache with the desperate longing that she felt. You cannot imagine a life so filled with pain, loss, terror, and heartache, such as the one created here. 

I fell in love with the history and life that Kulper breathed into the world of whaling, the lifestyle the townspeople lead, and the history of the Roe Witches on Prince Island. It was deeply rich and incredibly intriguing, watching the the events take place through Avery's eyes, and aching while she longed to get back to her grandmother and that little cottage that her mother took her away from. I was completely fascinated by the fishermen and their superstitions and the lengths they would go to in order to obtain some charm or form of magic that would keep them safe and ensure that they brought back a bountiful amount of goods. In a genre so full of readily available paranormal stories of witches that heavily focuses on the magical aspects, this story was unique in the way that Avery would have to experience insurmountable pain in order to become the witch she was destined to be. It gave this dark chilling fantasy an interesting and original edge, that it needed to keep me buried in the pages. 

Avery is a little different, in the fact that she's a plucky, quick-witted, and determined young woman. She knows that she was born to be the next witch to care for Prince Island and all of the people who live there. She also knew that her mother had put a curse on her, when she had taken away from her grandmother, that was so strong that it wouldn't allow her to return and it would keep anyone from being able to help her. Filled with rage and hatred for her mother, she will stop at nothing in order to ensure that she becomes the next witch and to break her mother's curse, so she can get back to her grandmother. Able to read dreams and tell people their future, she soon meets a beautiful dark skinned man with tattoo's she later discovers hold magical powers of their own. 

Tane is filled with rage, pain, and revenge brewing deep inside of him. Half-dead and on a mission to seek out and kill every man possible that slaughtered his family and destroyed his own island, he is told by this shaman that he will meet a witch and she will be able to help him. That witch is Avery and when he first approaches her to read his dreams and tell his future, he tests her, which does little more than annoy her. Later on down the line, when she is desperate enough and he has convinced her that he will be able to help her break her mother's curse, the two make a bargain with one another. She'll read his dreams and tell his future and he will set about helping her to break the curse. These two were wonderful to read about, with their witty banter, the frustration, the attraction, and the love that poured forth from them were amazing. One of the things that I personally loved, was getting to see Avery through Tane's eyes, and seeing her become the strong woman that he kept telling her she was.

Where Kulper really impressed, was the relationship between Avery and her mother, and the reason her mother had taken her away from her grandmother and that little cottage Avery longed to get back to. It wasn't until closer to the end of the novel that I decided that I didn't hate Avery's mother as much as her mother hated herself. I could see why she had done the things that she did out of love and protection for her daughter, even though it was hard for Avery to see that for herself. Those last few moments Avery spent with her mother, were some of my favorite moments in the book itself. It was just beautifully written and filled with so much bittersweet pain and sorry. The sacrifice that her mother ended up making for her at the end, definitely caused me to tear up a bit. Sweet pain and misery is how you become the witch, there is no choice at the end of the day, your future is set and whatever is going to happen will eventually happen. It was wonderful to see that the Kulper brought this point home in such a poignantly and embittered way. 

Salt & Storm is a wonderfully intense novel, that is just as gorgeous and wonderfilled, as the poetic lyrical way the Prince Island and the sea were illustrated. If you enjoy novels where the author doesn't shy away from putting their characters through sheer hell, then this is the book that you should be reading. I would strongly recommend it, if you enjoy historical paranormal fantasies, that are dark, illusive, dangerous, and full of twists and turns. It was truly one of my favorite reads this year and it is definitely on my auto-buy list, once it's released.

Kendall Kulper

Kendall Kulper is the author of SALT & STORM, a Young Adult historical fantasy to be published by Little, Brown in September 2014. She grew up in the wilds of New Jersey and currently lives in Boston with her economist husband, Dave, and Abby, her chronically-anxious Australian Shepherd.

Don't forget to check out her Tumblr, as well!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

15 Days of Being A Book Blogger featuring Day #11: Your 5 Best Posts

This isn't an easy one for me, because I don't know if I have written any "best posts" yet or not, but I don't know that I have a few favorite ones that I've written over the last three years and I think I'll share a little insight on those. Most popular posts wouldn't really work out that well for me either, because I don't think I have any. 

So, my five favorite "best" posts are...

If We Were Having Coffee. I was inspired by the lovely Molli @ Book Whimsy and Jaime @ The Perpetual Page Turner (who originally had written a post of this nature), to just take a big risk and put everything out there in probably one of the most personal posts that I've ever put up on my blog. I don't regret one moment of writing it or posting it for everyone to see, because it's a goal of mine to post throughout the year two or three personal posts such as this so that you guys can get to know who I am a little bit better. Plus, I found some solace and clarity in writing it, it helped me to deal with a lot of things that I had needed to take a closer look at and just put it out there, then let go of it. 

Author Interview with Molli Moran. If you didn't already know, I talk a lot about my bestie Molli Moran, a lot on my blog because she's such an amazing friend and she's also one of the most talented NA author's that I know. She's definitely at the top of my list as one of the best NA author's ever, along with a couple of mutual friends too. Earlier this year, I got the chance to ask her a few questions and basically interview her for my blog. We talked about all the "bookish things" and she told me a little bit about what inspired her to become an author and what some of her favorite things were while writing her debut NA southern contemporary romance, As You Turn Away (The Walker Brothers #1)

I loved being able to do this interview, because I got to share with you guys one of my favorite new debut NA novels, and I also got to promote one of my best friend's books and support her in her dreams of becoming a writer. Right now, she's hard at work writing a new NA southern romance novel, One Song Away and she's also busy posting these swoon-worthy teasers every Saturday where you get to read little snippets from the book itself. If you haven't read As You Turn Away yet, then you really should definitely check it out. It's one of the most amazingly written and emotionally compelling NA contemporary romance novels that I've read in a while. 

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon Challenge: Letter to my Future Self. Again, this was one of the more personal posts that I was talking about and I loved being able to participate in the Book Blogger Love-A-Thon, as much as I could. Writing this future letter to myself, proved to be a little bit of a challenge in how I wanted to go about it, but once I sat down to write it all out the words just somehow sort of came tumbling out of me and it happened in the most genuinely organic way. It took me a years to get to the place where I am in my life and to learn how to be happy with the "me" I am becoming, versus constantly nit-picking at her all the time. It's been tough learning how to let go and let be, but it's been one of the best things that I could have possibly done for myself. So, I was extremely proud of myself, and happy that I was able to share such an open and honest post with you guys.

Book Review for As You Turn Away by Molli Moran. As you can already tell by now, I really LOVED this book for everything it was and everything that it stood for. I am extremely proud of Molli, for pouring everything that she had into writing such a gorgeous and captivating novel that ended up giving me ALL THE FEELS. It's hard to find words to tell you guys how much I really love this book, so I'll just go ahead and quote part of my review and hopefully that will sum up everything nicely for you guys. 

"Beautifully written and full of emotion, As You Turn Away, will leave you breathless. Charmingly sweet and romantic, you'll find yourself getting wrapped up in such a gorgeous love story brimming with self-discovery, courage, and bravery."

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon Interview with Katie @ Worn Down Glories. It's actually kind of funny how this happened really, because neither Kay or I knew that we were going to be paired up, it just sort of happened that way and I couldn't have been more happier because she's definitely one of my favorite people in the book blogging community and she's definitely one of my closest friends. I just love this girl to pieces because she's all kinds of brave and unafraid to be who she is, she's fun to get to know, truly one of the most sweetest and genuine person that I've had the pleasure of getting to know. 

Now that I've shared some of my favorite posts with you guys, what are some of yours? Let me know in the comments below! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review: The Iron Trial (Magesterium #1) by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

The Iron Trail
Cassandra Clare & Holly Black
The Iron Trial
Magesterium #1
Cassandra Clare & Holly Black
Published: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Double Day Children's Book
Age Demographic: Middle Grade
Pages: 295

From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic.

From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will -- is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It's a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil.

To PreOrder The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and 
Holly Black please visit: Amazon & B&N

(Note: I received an ARC of this book through ATW ARC Tours, in exchange for an honest review which I have posted here on the blog and on Goodreads.)

The fantasy world of magic has been around for ages within the history of fiction and it's no surprise that both Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, have managed to written about it so wonderfully in their first collaboration together, The Iron Trial . The moment when I first discovered they were teaming up to write a novel together, I was immediately excited and intrigued. These are two of my favorite author's who are always on my auto-buy list and even though I don't usually read much Middle Grade fiction at all, I was definitely excited to get my hands on a copy of this for sure. I knew without a doubt that it would be an amazing story full of twists, turns, magic, and fantasy lore that I would fall in love with. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint in the least little bit. 

I love how they took this magical world that they created, which did have Harry Potter-esque similarities, and created their own wonderfully unique and original spin on things. The idea of a magical school being recognized for the good the magic does in the world, as simply turned on its head and spun in a different direction, as the idea that maybe that isn't the case after all was highlighted as well. I loved this book for so many reasons, that it's completely unreal. Questions were raised, twists and turns happened, an ending that you weren't expecting happened, and so much more. One of the things that appealed to me the most, was the fact that the characters in this book were written in such a realistic way. They were described one way in the synopsis and you get the sense that they are going to be that and much much more, but when you start getting lost within the pages of The Iron Trial , you start to see that they are just regular twelve year old's dealing with normal things and then they have magic school on top of that. Their actions, the way they handle things, the insecurities, everything about them was like any twelve year old would be and that was definitely a breath of fresh air. 

Callum was ever bit as mischievous and insecure, as any twelve year old boy his age would be. He lacked the tact that an older boy would have and he was more rash in his anger than I would have imagined him to be. Still, though, it worked so wonderfully well for his character, in the fact that he was able to come off looking and acting his age. You can look at this book in the sense that it's a story about a kid who was told all of his life that mages are dangerous and will do dangerous things to you if they get a hold of you, and that if you end having to take the test to get into the magic school that you potentially might have to attend, you better fail the test. At least this is the way that Cassandra Clare has described this character to be and I can see why she would, because that's exactly how I ended up feeling about him and his story this book had to tell. So the next question that naturally follows, is what happens when failing doesn't help to save him after all?

For me, that's such an interesting concept, that I couldn't help but jump on board with it and gobble it up, to see what would happen next. 

All of the characters, including Call's friends Tamra and Aaron were so full of intriguing depth, that lent themselves very well to the story at hand. Charming and full of charisma, these characters were so much fun to get to know and the world of magic they found themselves in, the missions they took, were so amazing to experience with them. Watching them grow and evolve into a more mature twelve year old, was fantastic and I loved every single minute of it.

The world building was just as enjoyable as the characters and the plot of the book, though there were questions that were raised that I would have liked to have been answered, I'm hoping that the second book in this four book series is going to help to explain that. The handpicked groups of children from the different masters, helped to make the concept of magic school a little more original and unique. It definitely worked in Cassandra and Holly's favor, which made me love this book even more. Wonderfully developed and executed well, the plot of this novel was something else to read about. I had so many questions, very minor frustrations, and I never really saw the ending coming at all. This is something that definitely makes me want to pick up the next book in this series.

While there are things that I didn't quite understand about the ending, I am hoping the second book will explain that as well and help me to better understand it. This is just a first book in a series that I feel I am sure to fall in love with and will definitely end up on my auto-buy list, because the twists and swerves this book takes you are just as surprising as what you thought was going to happen next, was the exact opposite and sometimes you missed the mark completely. This is what I call a fantastic read with a lot of action, suspense, lots of surprises, and wonderful characters in store for you. I would definitely recommend this book to you, if you're the type of readers who enjoy fantasy books with endearing characters, interesting missions, and a little bit of mischief. The characters are real, the plot is a lot of fun, and the magic definitely makes the book worth reading.

Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.

Don't forget to check out her blog and her tumblr too! 

Holly Black

Holly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults. She is the author of the Modern Faerie Tale series (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside), The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), and The Good Neighbors graphic novels (with Ted Naifeh) The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and The Curse Worker series (White Cat, Red Glove, and Black Heart). She is also the co-editor of three anthologies, Geektastic (with Cecil Castellucci), Zombies vs. Unicorns (with Justine Larbalestier), and Welcome to Bordertown (with Ellen Kushner). Her most recent works are the middle grade novel, Doll Bones, and the dark fantasy stand-alone, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wishful Wednesday featuring This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Wishful Wednesday was inspired by Waiting on Wednesday and Desperately Wanting Wednesday by Breaking the Spine and Parajunkee.

Wishful Wednesday is my own little version of "Waiting On Wednesday". Every week, I'll pick an upcoming book that I'm anticipating the release for and showcase it here on the blog. This week, that book is going to be This Shattered World (the second book in the Starbound trilogy) by the amazingly talented dynamic duo Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Holy Crap! Words cannot even begin to express how freakin' excited I am for this book. GIVE ME THIS NOW, PLEASE! I really, really, really need it in my life. M'kay. I just...I don't know if I can hold out until December. I just want this in my hands so bad, so that I can see what happens next in this beautifully written world, what new characters pop up, and just ALL OF THE FEELS.

If you haven't read These Broken Stars yet, then check out my review here on Goodreads and add it to your list of must read now books.

Expected Publication: December 263 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Age Demographic: YA Sci-Fi Romance
Pages: 390

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

The stunning second novel in the Starbound trilogy is an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war.

To PreOrder a copy of This Shattered World by Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner visit Amazon & Barnes&Noble!

Amie Kaufman is the co-author of These Broken Stars, the first in the Starbound trilogy, and Illuminae, the first in a new series starting in 2015. She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping. 

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary. 

Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there. 

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.


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