ARC Review: BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE by Maggie Stiefvater

ARC Review: BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE by Maggie Stiefvater
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
The Raven Cycle #3

Written by: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: October 21st 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 391
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: The Scorpio Races, The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves


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There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

MyThoughts_v2

Adam understood, then, that Gansey and Blue’s awe changed this place. Ronan and Adam may have seen this place as magical, but Gansey and Blue’s wonder made it holy. It became a cathedral…

ARC, pg 356

Once you get to the third book in a series, it ends up being really hard to talk about that book without giving things away. The plot has moved on, huge things might have changed, and it’s really easy to let little things slip, even when you’re trying to avoid talking about anything spoilery. So forgive me if this review is a little short on details and heavy on vague feels… but that’s just the way it’s gotta be.

Things get underway pretty quickly in Blue Lily, Lily Blue. The whole… Glendower situation is escalating FAST now, and SO MUCH HAPPENS in this book, it’s frightening. You go into it thinking, Okay, I’m fine, there’s still one more book in this series, I can handle this, and then as things start to explode (I mean… figuratively…), you realize, Oh, no, I really can’t handle this, why is this stuff happening NOW, what is GOING ON I DIDN’T ASK FOR THESE FEELS!!! Except you totally did, so you’re totally fine with them. Except you’re totally not.

And that’s just the plot. That’s not even getting into the characters. Because holy crap, these characters.

I went to one of Maggie’s signings in Seattle a while back, after Dream Thieves came out, and she said something about how (and I could be totally messing up this quote but) about how Gansey was  her attempt to create an actual real person — something about contradictions, and putting on different faces in different situations, and things like that. Which she totally nailed, by the way. But to be honest, this is something I find true for all the characters in this series. They’re so complex and real and I really cannot explain how much I adore them.

For a moment, he watched Ronan and tried to imagine that he was a teacher instead of a Ronan. It was impossible. Adam couldn’t decide if it was how he’d shoved up his sleeves or the apocalyptic way he had tied his tie.

ARC, pg 78

Gansey, Blue, Ronan, Adam, and Noah — they all feel so untouchable. I don’t mean they’re unrelatable, but they’re such a unit, and such a force together, that I can’t help but put them in their own little bubble and feel like, when I’m reading, I could never ever be a part of that unit. And that’s what I want, that’s an amazing feeling, because it cements the believability of their friendship and the bond they all share.

…friendship of the unshakeable kind. Friendship you could swear on. That could be busted nearly to breaking and come back stronger than before.

ARC, pg 298

One thing I love about all of them is that we learn about them through each others’ eyes  — not our own eyes, not really from some third-person describing them to us, but we learn the most telling things about them as they learn about each other.

…it seemed impossible for all of Ronan to exist in one person. Adam was beginning to realize that he hadn’t known Ronan at all. Or rather, he had known part of him and assumed it was all of him.

ARC, pg 247

They’re put into situations where these big epic things are happening around — and because of — them; and on top of that, they’re dealing with trying to sort out their own lives, which are sometimes even harder and more gut-wrenching. And they are always there for each other. Always. And it’s the kind of “always” that includes when they’re being jerks or making bad decisions or having trouble accepting help. It’s the kind of “always” that makes your chest constrict because it’s completely unconditional and so beautiful.

 

In conclusion…

Maggie Stiefvater makes you believe in magic.

This sounds kind of corny, I know. But for me, it’s 100% true. As a reader, magic is what I look for. And there are so many different types of magic. Not just the magic of ley lines and Welsh kings and dream-forests, though those are definitely important; but also types of magic we all want in our lives, I think. The magic of true friendship, of love, of unshakable loyalty.

But what she didn’t realize about Blue and her boys was that they were all in love with one another. … Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.

ARC, pg 103

 five-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-stars

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday – Firefight

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 – Firefight
Firefight
Reckoners #2

Written by: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Delacorte
Release Date: January 6th 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: Legion, The Rithmatist, Steelheart, Mistborn

Spoilers if you haven't read Steelheart!!!

They told David it was impossible—that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart—invincible, immortal, unconquerable—is dead. And he died by David's hand.

Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And there's no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs.

Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David's willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David's heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic—Firefight. And he's willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

WhyImWaiting_v2

So, this is a Sanderson book.

…that’s the only excuse I need for it to be my WoW pick, right? Do you seriously want to hear how awesome book 1 was? Or how I’m re-listening to the audiobook right now and the voice actor is blowing my mind and giving me feels I didn’t even feel the first time I read it?! Or or or… no but seriously, I just neeeeeed Firefight–and more of David’s horrible metaphors–in my life. It’s a requirement for continued happiness. (I’m being totally serious.)

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

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

Top Ten New (etc) Series I Want to Start

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish,
and features weekly top-ten lists! This week it’s…

Top Ten New, New(ish), & Upcoming
Series I Want To Start

This was HARD, GUYS. I’ve read (or at least tried to read) a lot of “first-books” the past couple years… So I stretched the topic a little, and my list will include new, new-ish (past 3-4 years), and 2 upcoming series I’m really looking forward to starting. :D

TTT_NewSeries_1

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Waiting on Wednesday – MARK OF THE THIEF

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 – MARK OF THE THIEF
Mark of the Thief
Mark of the Thief #1

Written by: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: February 24th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade
Pages: 352
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods -- magic some Romans would kill for.

Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic's newfound powers for their own dark purposes.

In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own freedom, Nic must harness the magic within himself and defeat the empire's most powerful and savage leaders.

WhyImWaiting_v2

If you checked out the “genres” above, you might be thinking, “Middle grade?! Since when does Nikki read middle grade?!” Welllll, I don’t. Not often. Notable exceptions are Percy Jackson (never getting over Blood of Olympus nope nope nope)… and Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Ascendance trilogy. Okay, okay… I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t actually finished the Ascendance trilogy (shhhh), but still. I loved the first two books and can’t wait to snag the third when it’s out in paperback. ANYWAY. All this to say – Jennifer Nielsen, writing a book about ROME? And there’s MAGIC involved?

I’m sorry, was there any doubt I’d be all over this series, or—

;D

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

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

Review Q&A: BEWARE THE WILD by Natalie C. Parker

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

Review Q&A: BEWARE THE WILD by Natalie C. Parker
Beware the Wild

Written by: Nataline C. Parker
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 21st 2014
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Source: Edelweiss
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

four-starsfour-starsfour-starsfour-stars

There’s something about the swamp in Sticks, Louisiana. Something different, something haunting . . . something alive. Everyone knows this, and everyone avoids going near it. And even the Mardi Gras-bead-decorated fence that surrounds it keeps people away.

Until one morning when Sterling Saucier’s older brother Phineas runs into the swamp . . .

And doesn’t return.

Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out in his place, and all of a sudden, no one in Sticks remembers Phin at all. They treat Lenora May as if she’s been Sterling’s sister forever.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp’s done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance—but first she’s got to find someone who believes her.

Heath Durham might be that someone. A loner shrouded behind rumors of drug addiction, Heath has had his own strange experience with the swamp. He and Sterling will have to piece together enough bits of memory and ancient swamp lore to get to the truth. But as the wild swamp encroaches on their town, Sterling and Heath may find a lot more than they expected . . . and Phin may be lost to them forever.

MyThoughts_v2

Beware the swampy places, child,
Beware the dark and wild,
Many a soul has wandered there,
And many a soul has died.

~ Beware the Wild, eARC, 2%

What are three words you’d use to describe this book?

Creepy. Atmospheric. Refreshing. (I know “refreshing” is an odd one, but I’ll explain soon…)

How was the plot?

Really good. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but yeah – the plot is super creepy and unsettling. And it’s the kind of thing that starts out creepy, and then the more you find out, the more disturbing it gets… It was great. XP And I don’t say this often, being a character-driven reader, but it was the kind of plot that would’ve kept me interested in the book even if I hadn’t enjoyed the characters as much as I did – I wanted to know what the heck was going on! – though the atmosphere also had something to do with my being glued to the pages, as well… which I’ll get to in a minute.

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ARC Review: EVERY BREATH by Ellie Marney

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

ARC Review: EVERY BREATH by Ellie Marney
Every Breath
Every #1

Written by: Ellie Marney
Publisher: Tundra Books
Release Date: October 14th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

five-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-stars

When James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects to find is the mutilated body of Homeless Dave, one of Mycroft's numerous eccentric friends. But Mycroft's passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn't right--and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.

While Watts battles her attraction to bad-boy Mycroft, he's busy getting himself expelled and clashing with the police, becoming murder suspect number one. When Watts and Mycroft unknowingly reveal too much to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den--literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning to Rachel Watts again...

MyThoughts_v2

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat — I freaking loved this book.

I love Sherlock Holmes in general, so that blurb on the cover? What if Sherlock Holmes was the boy next door? YES PLEASE. A contemporary take on Sherlock/Watson, set in Australia? I AM SO THERE. Watson (Rachel Watts) is a girl, you say? DOUBLY THERE. Sherlock (James Mycroft) is a lanky British boy-genius-troublemaker with a tragic past? YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES.

…Why are you still here and not running off to order Every Breath?!

Oh, you want to read an actual review? …Fair point. So let’s get down to business.

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