ARC Review: AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir

I received this book for free from Razorbill. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

ARC Review: AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir
An Ember in the Ashes
An Ember in the Ashes #1

Written by: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: April 28th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 443
Source: Publisher
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

MyThoughts_v2

If I had to choose two words to describe An Ember in the Ashes, they’d be: compelling and intense.

The good thing about both of those words is that I don’t think they’re really positive or negative on their own. Something can be compelling or intense without being enjoyable, right? I usually use those words as a positive thing, true, but I have to use them in a more neutral way when describing Ember, because that’s how it felt for me. Compelling, intense — but I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say Ember was hugely enjoyable, for me.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Of Dreams and Rust

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – Of Dreams and Rust
Of Dreams and Rust
Of Metal and Wishes #2

Written by: Sarah Fine
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: August 4th 2015
Genres: Gothic, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 288
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: Fractured, Of Metal and Wishes

* * Spoilers for Book 1 in synopsis!! * *

War erupts in this bittersweet sequel to Of Metal and Wishes, inspired by The Phantom of the Opera and called “relentlessly engrossing” by The Romantic Times.

In the year since the collapse of the slaughterhouse where Wen worked as her father’s medical assistant, she’s held all her secrets close. She works in the clinic at the weapons factory and sneaks away to nurse Bo, once the Ghost, now a boy determined to transform himself into a living machine. Their strange, fragile friendship soothes some of the ache of missing Melik, the strong-willed Noor who walked away from Wen all those months ago—but it can’t quell her fears for him.

The Noor are waging a rebellion in the west. When she overhears plans to crush Melik’s people with the powerful war machines created at the factory, Wen makes the painful decision to leave behind all she has known—including Bo—to warn them. But the farther she journeys into the warzone, the more confusing things become. A year of brutality seems to have changed Melik, and Wen has a decision to make about him and his people: How much is she willing to sacrifice to save them from complete annihilation?

WhyImWaiting_v2

I really enjoyed Of Metal and Wishes, and I’m so excited for this sequel!! Wishes was a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, and man, did it deliver. I loved all the reimagined aspects to that book, and I cannot wait to see what happens to these characters after where things ended in book 1. GAH. I just have a lot of feelings, okay?!

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post and I’ll be sure to stop by! :)

Waiting on Wednesday – Illuminae

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – Illuminae
Illuminae
The Illuminae Files #1

Written by: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: October 20th 2015
Genres: Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 608
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

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.

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.

WhyImWaiting_v2

Okay, I know, I know, this doesn’t come out until OCTOBER, SO SUE ME. But guys, I’m already obsessed. The cover was revealed this week on Cuddlebuggery and IT IS GLORIOUS. Seriously, go check it out becuase that static little JPEG above cannot contain its greatness. Also, this story is told entirely in a series of hacked documents, emails, military files, etc. It sounds SO UNIQUE and SO COOL and I just… need… it… *falls over*

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post and I’ll be sure to stop by! :)

SimonVs Blog Tour: Review! Giveaway! OREOS!!!

SVTHSA_blogtour

I’m so, so excited to be a part of the blog tour for this amazing book, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda! So let’s get this show on the road: I’ve got a short review for you (aka, my flails), a bit about how I eat my Oreos, PLUS info for two giveaways (including an Oreo giveaway), so be sure to read till the bottom of the post!

(And, FYI: Simon loves Oreos. Thus, all the Oreo love surrounding this book. Not that there needs to be an excuse for Oreos. Because OREOS. …Just sayin’.)

SimonVs Blog Tour: Review! Giveaway! OREOS!!!
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Written by: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: April 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Source: Edelweiss
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

five-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-stars

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.

MyThoughts_v2

People really are like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.

Guys, what can I even say about this book?? I sat down to start writing this review immediately upon finishing Simon, because I don’t want to lose this feeling – this floaty, can’t-stop-smiling, everything-is-right-with-the-world feeling… Ugh!! I’m so ridiculously happy, it’s disgusting. I can’t even.

Simon is one of those books that is just immediately good. You start reading, and you go, Yes, I love this character’s voice! How many pages have I read… 20? I already love these characters! This is the best!! And it just. Never. Stops.

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ARC Review: THINGS WE KNOW BY HEART by Jessi Kirby

I received this book for free from HarperTeen. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

ARC Review: THINGS WE KNOW BY HEART by Jessi Kirby
Things We Know by Heart

Written by: Jessi Kirby
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 21st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Source: Edelweiss
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

four-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-stars

Quinn Sullivan lost the love of her life when her boyfriend, Trent, died in an accident their junior year. In an attempt to get closure, she reached out to the recipients of his donated organs. Though some answered her letters, the one Quinn feels matters most--the person who received Trent's heart--has been silent.

Nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas has spent the last several years in and out of hospitals waiting for a heart transplant. Now that he's finally received a new heart, Colton is regaining strength, and he's walking away from his bedridden past with no intention of looking back. He doesn't want to know about the person who had to die so that he could live. He only wants to move forward.

But Quinn can't let it go. Venturing outside the system to find Colton, Quinn takes a risk in hopes of finally laying her memories to rest. But what begins as an innocent conversation quickly becomes an attraction--and to make matters worse, Colton has no idea how they're connected. His zest for life pulls Quinn from her months of sorrow but leaves her torn between honesty and utter betrayal. Because no matter how hard she's falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she's lost...

MyThoughts_v2

A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.

Okay, full disclosure: I was actually considering not reading this one. And let me tell you right now: That would have been a huge mistake. But this was the last book I was considering reading in March, and I was in the mood for a contemporary with heart (hah… okay that was bad, I’m sorry), so I thought I’d give it a chance. And all jokes aside, I am so glad I did.

Right from the start, I was hooked. Things We Know by Heart does not hold back when it comes to ‘the feels’. They start on page 1, and I’m not gonna lie — I was already getting teary within the first few pages, because it took that little time for me to feel connected to the main character. If this isn’t the equivalent of a flashing neon sign saying THIS BOOK IS GOING TO BE GOOD, I don’t know what is.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Uprooted

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – Uprooted
Uprooted

Written by: Naomi Novik
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: May 19th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Naomi Novik, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

WhyImWaiting_v2

So, I found out about this book back in early January, when Brandon Sanderson mentioned it at one of his events in Seattle. Really, all I needed to hear was his recommendation, but then I read more about it, and holy crap does this sound like a ‘me’ book. O_O It’s got an older fairy tale vibe, and possibly a Beauty and the Beast feel, and I just need it in my life so badly omg.

If you are not yet in desperate need, Maggie Stiefvater and Robin Hobb should be able to convince you.

*counts down the days until May 19*

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post and I’ll be sure to stop by! :)