Waiting on Wednesday – Compulsion

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

 

Waiting on Wednesday – Compulsion
Compulsion
The Heirs of Watson Island #1

Written by: Martina Boone
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 28th 2014
Genres: Gothic, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson had been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

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Southern Gothic Paranormal Romance, with feuding families, curses, and magical abilities that manifest as compulsions.

…I really don’t need to know anything about Compulsion other than that. :P Seriously though, I am dying for a book with a great atmospheric setting and a romance I can ship like nobody’s business. This sounds like it will give us both. SO EXCITED to read it!!

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

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

ARC Review: THE HOUSE OF THE FOUR WINDS by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory

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

ARC Review: THE HOUSE OF THE FOUR WINDS by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory
The House of the Four Winds
One Dozen Daughters #1

Written by: James Mallory, Mercedes Lackey
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: August 5th 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 304
Source: NetGalley
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

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Mercedes Lackey is the New York Times bestselling author of the Valdemar series and romantic fantasies like Beauty and the Werewolf and The Fairy Godmother. James Mallory and Lackey have collaborated on six novels. Now, these New York Times and USA Today bestselling collaborators bring romance to the fore with The House of Four Winds.

The rulers of tiny, impoverished Swansgaard have twelve daughters and one son. While the prince’s future is assured, his twelve sisters must find their own fortunes.

Disguising herself as Clarence, a sailor, Princess Clarice intends to work her way to the New World. When the crew rebels, Clarice/Clarence, an expert with rapier and dagger, sides with the handsome navigator, Dominick, and kills the cruel captain.

Dominick leads the now-outlawed crew in search of treasure in the secret pirate haven known as The House of Four Winds. They encounter the sorceress Shamal, who claims Dominick for her own—but Clarice has fallen hard for Dominick and won’t give him up without a fight.

Full of swashbuckling adventure, buoyant magic, and irrepressible charm, The House of the Four Winds is a lighthearted fantasy romp by a pair of bestselling writers.

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This book was fun. I’m a huge fan of nautical, pirate-y adventures, and in that aspect, The House of the Four Winds definitely delivers. It’s fast-paced, and chocked full of everything a pirate adventure needs – storms, swordfights, sea monsters… If you’re looking for a book with a seriously awesome “swashbuckling”/sailing-the-high-seas atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with Four Winds.

However, for me, Four Winds fell short in… well, sort of, everything else…? =S I would still recommend it if you’re in the mood for a lighthearted nautical adventure, but maybe also when you’re in the mood to not dissect a book too closely, either…

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ARC Review: DISSONANCE by Erica O’Rourke

I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

ARC Review: DISSONANCE by Erica O’Rourke
Dissonance
Dissonance #1

Written by: Erica O'Rourke
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 22nd 2014
Genres: Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Source: Edelweiss
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

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Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed − all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del’s job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony.

Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del’s not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange is connecting them and it’s not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane.

But Del’s decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide − a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.

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I’ve been looking forward to this book for more than a year. According to Goodreads, I added it to my TBR on April 9, 2013 – I still remember reading the blurb for the first time and going YES THIS. I NEED THIS. WHY SO FAR AWAY?! Obviously, with books that inspire this sort of excitement, there’s the very real possibility that your excitement will get the better of you, and the book will end up disappointing you. =/ And to be honest, Dissonance… well…

Dissonance TOTALLY LIVED UP TO MY EXPECTATIONS!! Hahahaha, you thought I was going to say it disappointed me, didn’t you?! Okay well, if you follow me on Twitter you know I was flailing about this book as I read it, so maybe you guys knew. And if you follow me on Goodreads you might know… and if you saw my rating, above, you probably know… Okay, maybe I wasn’t as subtle just now as I thought. :P

But seriously, Dissonance was amazing. For three main reasons:
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ARC Review: WILD by Alex Mallory

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: WILD by Alex Mallory
Wild

Written by: Alex Mallory
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: July 8th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Retelling, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Source: Edelweiss
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

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In this action-packed and timely "Tarzan for the digital age," Cade, a teen raised in the wilderness, is brought into modern civilization.

The forest is full of secrets, and no one understands that better than Cade. Foraging, hunting, survivingthat's all he knows. Alone for years, Cade believes he's the sole survivor. At least, until he catches a glimpse of a beautiful stranger...

Dara expected to find natural wonders when she set off for a spring break camping trip. Instead, she discovers a primitive boy − he's stealthy and handsome and he might be following her. Intrigued, Dara seeks him out and sets a catastrophe in motion.

Thrust into society, Cade struggles with the realization that the life he knew was a lie. But he's not the only one. Trying to explain life in a normal town leaves Dara questioning it.

As the media swarm and the police close in, Dara and Cade risk everything to get closer. But will the truth about Cade's past tear them apart?

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Retellings are my weakness. And apparently I need to go into them with a lot more caution, because I’ve been burned the past couple times now, and I think my expectations are just intensifying my disappointment.

Wild is a modern-day retelling of Tarzan, where “Tarzan” (Cade) was raised in a secluded area of Daniel Boone National Forest by his parents, until their deaths some years earlier. Cade ends up stumbling upon Dara and her boyfriend, Josh, camping in the woods; and he’s fascinated by Dara. A disaster happens, Cade is forced to reveal himself, and is then forced to try and integrate into modern society, a world he thought no longer existed and only knows through his parents’ stories.

This is a great setup, and for the first 15% of Wild, I was totally on board. The only thing that sort of made me side-eye the book a bit was that, when Dara was camping, she knew someone was in the woods watching her, and yet she was totally okay with it. But this was a Tarzan retelling, and if Dara was supposed to be Jane, her curiosity-instead-of-wariness was just part of the package. I could live with that.

There was a bunch of other stuff that went wrong later, though, which I just can’t overlook…

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Sin Eater’s Daughter

WoW_v131019
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine,
which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

 

Waiting on Wednesday – The Sin Eater’s Daughter
The Sin Eater's Daughter

Written by: Melinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: February 24th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy.

Sixteen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn't a member of the court. She's the executioner.

As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he's able to look past Twylla's executioner robes and see the girl, not the goddess. Yet a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla's problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies – a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

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Rachel (from Beauty and the Bookshelf) alerted me to this book in her own WoW post a few weeks ago, and Oh. My. God. Yes. I just… I’m gonna give you guys a minute to read that synopsis again because — holy wow does that sound amazing. O_O Girl with goddess-powers used as an executioner. Forbidden romance. But if she touches someone they die?? And what’s up with this queen and her enemies and I just… I have all the questions and I need this book immediately.

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

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

Top Ten Movies & TV Shows

TTT_v131019
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish,
and features weekly top-ten lists! This week it’s…

Top Ten Favorite Movies & TV Shows

THIS WAS SO HARD. I seriously could’ve listed more than 10 in each category, but I decided to only do 5 of each, with PRETTY GIFS. (I wouldn’t have had time to search for pretty GIFs if I’d done more, lol.) You’re welcome.

Movies:

1. The Dark Knight trilogy

I could watch this trilogy on repeat forever and still only hear two notes in the entire score LOL no seriously the score is genius, as is everything about this trilogy.

darkknight

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ARC Review: THE KISS OF DECEPTION by Mary E. Pearson

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

ARC Review: THE KISS OF DECEPTION by Mary E. Pearson
The Kiss of Deception
The Remnant Chronicles #1

Written by: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Release Date: July 8th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 492
Source: NetGalley
Buy at: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

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In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

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The Kiss of Deception was one of my most-anticipated fantasy books releasing this year — and not because of the synopsis and cover (which, while good, both scream “love triangle”). No, this book grew into its “most-anticipated” status because everyone loves it. Out of 26 of my Goodreads friends who have read it, 14 rated it 5-stars, and 12 rated it 4-stars. That’s right, not a single 3-or-below rating. This is unheard of.

So yeah, I was properly excited. High fantasy, people loved it, give it to me now. And I did really enjoy it.

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Review: TRAITOR’S BLADE by Sebastien de Castell

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

Review: TRAITOR’S BLADE by Sebastien de Castell
Traitor's Blade
Greatcoats #1

Written by: Sebastien de Castell
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Release Date: July 15th 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
Buy at: B&N, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

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In Traitor's Blade, a disgraced swordsman struggles to redeem himself by protecting a young girl caught in the web of a royal conspiracy.

The King is dead, the Greatcoats have been disbanded, and Falcio Val Mond and his fellow magistrates Kest and Brasti have been reduced to working as bodyguards for a nobleman who refuses to pay them. Things could be worse, of course. Their employer could be lying dead on the floor while they are forced to watch the killer plant evidence framing them for the murder. Oh wait, that's exactly what's happening.

Now a royal conspiracy is about to unfold in the most corrupt city in the world. A carefully orchestrated series of murders that began with the overthrow of an idealistic young king will end with the death of an orphaned girl and the ruin of everything that Falcio, Kest, and Brasti have fought for. But if the trio want to foil the conspiracy, save the girl, and reunite the Greatcoats, they'll have to do it with nothing but the tattered coats on their backs and the swords in their hands, because these days every noble is a tyrant, every knight is a thug, and the only thing you can really trust is a traitor's blade.

MyThoughts_v2

Just… give me a minute, guys. Sit down, get comfortable. Because I have some things to sort out and I need your help. …I mean, you can’t actually do anything to help, because a) you’re not really here, and b) by the time you read this, I will have, by definition, finished writing it, and I’ll hopefully have worked things out by then. But still… bear with me.

Here’s the thing: I’m soooooo torn about Traitor’s Blade. If I had to sum up my feelings about this book in one sentence, it would be: “It was very good, but I really didn’t like some aspects, BUT OTHER STUFF WAS FANTASTIC.” (Caps and all.)

Let’s start with the good: namely, the characters. Falcio val Mond and his companions, Kest and Brasti, were really the heart of this book. This trio totally has a Three Musketeers vibe that I adoredtheir banter is flawless and they have a friendship that is utterly unbreakable. Falcio is really the heart of the story, and I adore his character and all of his interactions with his friends – including the flashbacks to when he was working closely with the King… which I can’t get into because spoilers, but oh man. UGH. My feels for Falcio and the King are intense. Continue reading