Gunslinging heroine stars in a YA fantasy? MORE OF THIS PLEASE.

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

Gunslinging heroine stars in a YA fantasy? MORE OF THIS PLEASE.
Rebel of the Sands
Rebel of the Sands #1

Written by: Alwyn Hamilton
Published by: Viking Juvenile
Release date: March 8th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository, Audible
Add on: Goodreads

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.

My thoughts

THIS BOOK, YOU GUYS. This book was SO MUCH FUN. You all know how much I love a great fantasy, and I’ve been craving a fun “Wild West”-inspired book for quite some time. So when I read Rebel of the Sands, it was like getting the best of both worlds, and it was AMAZING. There are so many things to love about it — the plot and pacing (nonstop!), the worldbuilding (omg)… but most of all, of course, the characters. And especially Amani.

Amani is so fierce — and believably so. She had to grow into a tough young woman to survive in her town. She taught herself how to shoot, and she’s decided that her skills will get her out of her old life and into a better one. In the course of finding this new life, she gets caught up in a rebellion, and finds a purpose totally different from what she originally wanted, but it’s something she’s willing to fight for — and I loved this. Her goals broaden, from intensely personal to something that reaches beyond herself, and it was wonderful to watch.

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday – Rebel of the Sands

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 – Rebel of the Sands
Rebel of the Sands

Written by: Alwyn Hamilton
Published by: Viking Juvenile
Release date: March 8th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: Rebel of the Sands

She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from.

Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.

WhyImWaiting_v2

I’m sorry, what was that? I can’t hear you over the sound of THE FIRST FIVE WORDS OF THAT SYNOPSIS.

She’s more gunpowder than girl?! YES PLEASE. This sounds a bit like a Western crossed with a Middle Eastern-inspired world. Throw in some fantasy elements, a daring escape with a wanted fugitive, and a bit of romance, and I’m 1000% sold.

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post, I’d love to stop by! :)

Waiting on Wednesday – The Forbidden Orchid

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 – The Forbidden Orchid
The Forbidden Orchid

Written by: Sharon Biggs Waller
Published by: Viking Juvenile
Release date: February 2nd 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: A Mad, Wicked Folly

Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters living in a small English market town in 1861. The girls' father is a plant hunter, usually off adventuring through the jungles of China.

Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan fails to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid, meaning that he will be thrown into debtors' prison and the girls will be sent to the orphanage or the poorhouse. Elodie's father has one last chance to return to China, find the orchid, and save the family—and this time, thanks to an unforeseen twist of fate, Elodie is going with him. Elodie has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey, and later to the new sights, dangers, and romance of China.

But even if she can find the orchid, how can she find herself now that staid, responsible Elodie has seen how much the world has to offer?

WhyImWaiting_v2

If you’ve read Sharon Biggs Waller’s A Mad, Wicked Folly, you’ll understand why I’m so excited for another book from her. AMWF is an amazing book — one of the first historical fiction books I really enjoyed, to be honest — so of course I’m looking forward to her next one!

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

Link me to your WoW post, I’d love to stop by! :)

Novella Review: HALF LIES by Sally Green

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

Novella Review: HALF LIES by Sally Green
Half Lies
Half Bad #0.5

Written by: Sally Green
Published by: Viking Juvenile
Release date: November 13th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 61
Source: Publisher
Buy: B&N, Amazon
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: Half Bad

Set in the months before Half Bad, Half Lies takes the form of a diary written by Michele, the sister of Gabriel, Nathan’s Black witch friend. Having fled Europe for Florida, Michele falls in love with a local White witch boy. There, she finds that the divide between the Black and White witch communities is just as dangerous as it was in the life she's left behind.

MyThoughts_v2

This is a prequel novella, and a very short one, at that, so I’m gonna keep this review pretty short — and hopefully sweet. ;)

Continue reading

Waiting on Wednesday – Stranger

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 – Stranger
Stranger

Written by: Rachel Manija Brown, Sherwood Smith
Published by: Viking Juvenile
Release date: November 13th 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Many generations ago, a mysterious cataclysm struck the world. Governments collapsed and people scattered, to rebuild where they could. A mutation, "the Change,” arose, granting some people unique powers. Though the area once called Los Angeles retains its cultural diversity, its technological marvels have faded into legend. "Las Anclas" now resembles a Wild West frontier town… where the Sheriff possesses superhuman strength, the doctor can warp time to heal his patients, and the distant ruins of an ancient city bristle with deadly crystalline trees that take their jewel-like colors from the clothes of the people they killed.

Teenage prospector Ross Juarez’s best find ever – an ancient book he doesn’t know how to read – nearly costs him his life when a bounty hunter is set on him to kill him and steal the book. Ross barely makes it to Las Anclas, bringing with him a precious artifact, a power no one has ever had before, and a whole lot of trouble.

WhyImWaiting_v2

I heard about this book fairly recently, and it totally intrigued me. A dystopian world, but one that resembles the Wild West? YES PLEASE. Also, I’ve heard really great things about the characters in this  – namely that it does the multiple-main-characters/multi-POV thing well, which is something I really enjoy. And it just sounds super unique and different. SIGN ME UP.

What book are YOU anxiously awaiting today?

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

Book Review: A MAD, WICKED FOLLY by Sharon Biggs Waller

Book Review: A MAD, WICKED FOLLY by Sharon Biggs Waller
A Mad, Wicked Folly

Written by: Sharon Biggs Waller
Published by: Viking Juvenile
Release date: January 23rd 2014
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Source: Library
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909...

...where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl. After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

MyThoughts_v2

Let me tell you a secret. (Okay, it’s not really a secret, but just play along.) I’m not a big fan of “historical fiction”. …I know, I know, I’m a terrible person! I’ve just never really loved any of the historical fiction books I’ve read, unless you count alternate history/steampunkified/supernaturalized history as “historical fiction”. I’ve just never found straight-up historical fiction to be my thing.

…Until A Mad, Wicked Folly. This book was excellent, and it’s convinced me — it would be a tragedy for me to continue to disregard the genre out of hand. Folly had so much awesomeness. The characters (excellent), the romance (delicious), the writing (so vivid)… It was completely engrossing, from start to finish.

Continue reading