Five for Friday: 5 Books you should read before their adaptation is released

To_All_The_Boys_I've_Loved_Before_Movie_CoverIn celebration of the release of the Netflix movie of All the Boys I’ve Loved Before- which is released a week today- on the 17th- I thought we could count down five books either soon to be released, in production or rumoured to be made into an adaptation so you don’t end up missing out again.

If you are anything like me you like to read the book before you watch the movie, and then you forget to read the book and then the film comes out and you are stuck not knowing whether to watch it without having read it, or try and cram it the night before- I’m hoping researching this list will stop me making that mistake again.

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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The Hate U Give has become one of the most successful YA books of all time, and it’s rightly deserved. It’s an incredibly moving and important narrative on the reality of black young people in the US, and I highly recommend you read it.

The movie adaptation, featuring Amandla Steinberg, is coming out on October 19th.

[Watch the trailer] [Add to Goodreads]

2. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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The Darkest Minds is also a movie featuring Amandla Steinberg, and hopefully it will be successful enough for us to get a sequel- go see it please?

Its already out by the time this post goes up- on the 3rd of August in the US and today!- the 10th in the UK- but you still have some time!

[watch the trailer] [Add to goodreads tbr]

3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

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News broke a while ago that SJM’s series Throne of Glass had been optioned to be adapted into a TV series.

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There’s been no news about it recently, but with a series as successful as Throne of Glass it seems like inevitably it will be made into either a TV series or movie eventually.

4. The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid

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The Diabolic was optioned when it was first released, but even if it ends up coming to nothing I highly recommend giving it a read- it’s a really good book which I could see being translated for cinema well.

5. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

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This book was picked up a while ago, and is being produced by the same team behind Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars. I’ve had this on my shelf for eons, and now I finally have the push I needed to get around to it!

[Add to Goodreads]

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday! The Wicked King by Holly Black

Last week I did a round up of all my most anticipated books coming up in the second half of 2018, you can read that here!

This week and from now on we’ll be looking at a specific book I’m pretty excited to be released- and we might as well start with my most anticipated 2019 release- The Wicked King by Holly Black.

26032887The Cruel Prince was hands down my favourite book so far of 2018. I read somewhere that Holly Black is the Queen of writing Faeries- and there has been a bit of a boom in fictional YA faeries in recent times- and boy was that right. These fae are the richest in terms of customs, world building, clothes – FOOD- that I’ve ever read.

The story was really unique as well, as well as a return of the (slight spoiler) dark, morally grey heroine- which is a trope that I LOVE.

Also that cover- yessssssssssss.

 

 

The synopsis for the Wicked King- spoilers ahead for Cruel Prince in the rest of this post.

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

COMPLICATED. FEELINGS. FOR. CARDAN.

*faints*

I need this book right now.

Luckily, as far as 2019 goes, I don’t have that long to go.

The Wicked King is released on January 8th 2019.

[Add to your Goodreads]

 

How to get Free Books!

Recently authors have been speaking up against piracy in the YA world- which is rampant at the moment. Every time you pirate a book you are taking away not only from the author who has worked hard on that book, but also the publishing industry which means less published books in the future- it’s a vicious cycle.

Instead of pirating books, if you can’t afford any why not look at these ways of reading free books?

Ah, the magic word. No, not please, but FREE.  Let’s discuss how to get these golden NO MONEY INVOLVED books.

  1. Swoon Reads

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Swoon reads is a website with crowd sources books, and lets readers vote on what book they most want to be published! Writers can upload their work to Swoon Reads and get constructive feedback from readers, and then readers will be allowed to vote on the winning book. There are always a big selection of books to choose from, and if you can take the time picking through books you don’t like all that much to find ones you will like then you might even be able to say you helped get a book published!

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 22.18.58Swoon reads also publishes some great articles on upcoming YA books and news, so it’s a great place to be. On Swoon Reads you can even save books to your shelf and it’ll remember where you last read, so no forgetting your place!

Click here to go and start an account with Swoon Reads!

Advantages:
  • FREE!
  • Easy to use
  • Saves your place
  • No limit to the amount of books you can read at once
  • You can help out aspiring authors!
  • You can vote for your favourite books to be published into actual physical books, so when you pass it in the bookstore you can smile to yourself, knowing you HELPED for that book to be published!
Disadvantages:
  • Due to plagairism you cannot download any books
  • You can only read on Swoon Reads’s website and mobile website
  • This is not a physical book
  • Because of the nature of anyone being able to upload to Swoon Read’s you may have to spend sometime finding a good book
  • Books on Swoon Reads are transient, they move around quite a lot. When they are published they are taken down, but authors can also choose to remove them from the site, so if you get attached to a story you’ll have to remember it could be gone tomorrow.

2. Classics/Out of Copyright

I’m assuming most of you will know about this one, but lets jog your memory if not.

Did you know that books go out of copyright after 70 years? (well, arguably, there’s a lot of rules and exceptions etc, etc) But what that actually means is YOU CAN GET THAT BOOK FOR FREE NOW! With the advent of e-books the only cost of producing out of copyright books, which used to be the cost of printing and binding, has been eradicated. If you want to read a classic on an e-reader or your phone or computer YOU CAN for FREE!

Amazon, or whatever company your e-reader belongs to, will have a catalogue of them if you search for one, but here’s some websites to get started;

Guttenberg.org is a website dedicated to cataloging out of copyright books

This goodreads list lists some popular out of copyright books for you to peruse

(also on sidenote this means you can read ALL THE AUSTEN YOU WANT for free!)

Advantages:
  • It’s free!
  • You can download them to your e-reader or app and take them everywhere you go!
  • There’s loads of choice
  • You can act well-read
Disadvantages
  • It’s not a physical book

3. Free audiobooks

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Much like with out of copyright books, some audiobooks of out of copyright books have been made free for educational purposes. These are totally legal and free to download. There are apps for iPhone and android that will allow you to play them free of charge!

Useful links

Openculture.com is a website used for archiving links to popular free audiobooks

Loyalbooks.com lets you download from their website to your computer!

Librovoxaudio does much the same, but has some foriegn translations of classics as well

Spotify also has a number of audiobooks available.

Advantages:
  • Good for listening/reading while working
  • Good for visually impaired people or people with dyslexic
  • Portable on a mp3 player
Disadvantages:
  • Not always the best narration
  • Takes up a lot of memory/space on your device
  • Not a physical book

4. Netgalley

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Netgalley.com is a website on which publishers share e-ARCs (find out what an ARC is here)to reviewers. The majority of these books are upcoming releases, but some may have already been released and some are even ‘read now’ books, meaning you only have to sign up for a free account to download these books to your reading device and start reading!

Other titles you’ll need to apply to read. Publishers will check things like your location, and the amount of followers you have before they allow or deny you, so these may be harder to get to- but also free.

Do make sure you always leave a review after you’ve been allowed access to a book- even if its to say that you did not finish it, because publishers need these reviews to base marketing and publicity off of- plus netgalley keeps a percentage of the amount of books you’ve accessed vs the amount you’ve reviewed, and if this percentage is below 80% it may affect your future success in accessing books.

5. Your Local Library

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If you are lucky enough to have a local library, then use it! It’s a great resource, plus the more people who use it, the more funding they receive. This is your best bet for getting to read the newest releases for free- and some libraries now have online e-book and audiobook services, so you may not even have to leave your house to check out books.

Book News Round-Up! August 3rd

Hey guys! I’m starting a new series called Book News Round up- a digest of everything you need to know about YA book news from the last couple of weeks. This new series will be updated fortnightly on fridays, and will allow you to catch up with all the latest gossip without the pressure of trawling through twitter feeds and tumblr posts!

Kingdom of Ash gets a cover reveal- plus find out where to buy those special edition copies!

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Kingdom of Ash is the sixth (or possibly seventh book, if like Bloomsbury you are counting the Chaol novel) of the Throne of Glass series- and the last *cries*. How will it end? I’m actually legit scared- I really would be upset if Dorian, Manon and Elide don’t make it out the other side- the other characters I don’t care so much- but don’t touch my children SJM.

Along with any SJM release in recent memory come a plethora of special editions promising extra content, fan art, maps and posters- and Kingdom of Ash is no exception. To find out all the special editions that will be released and where to find them click here.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie releases on Netflix on August 17th

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Bardugo confirms Grisham spin-off series will include fan favourite character Nina Zenik!

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Amazing art by Merwild!

Yes, you’ve read that right, our favourite heartrender will make a comeback in the upcoming Grisha spin-off series, King of Scars, which will follow Nikolai Lantsov in some post Grisha-series shenanigans.

Nina was herself a character in a separate Grisha series spin-off duology, Six of Crows, which followed six very different individuals as they pulled off the heist of a lifetime- think Ocean’s Eleven but with magic. If you’ve read the Six of Crows books but missed out on the Grisha trilogy I highly recommend picking that up before King of Scars is released- and you have plenty of time as it ins’t out until Jan 2019.

If you are completely new to all of the Bardugo Grisha-verse books the best way to start reading them is to start with the Grisha books- Shadow and Bone being the first in the series- and then read the Six of Crows books after that.

Find out everything we know about Queen of Air and Darkness so far!

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You’ll be happy to hear we have only 123 days to go before Queen of Air and Darkness is released on December 4th. Simon teen have released a helpful round up of all the snippets, teasers and other info that has been released so far about Queen of Air and Darkness, which you can read here!

Authors on Tour!

Marie Lu’s Wildcard Tour-

Marie Lu is on tour in September in the US to promote the release of Wildcard! She is visiting ME, TX, NE, OK, WA, AK, HI- visit the Penguin Teen website here to find dates and buy tickets.

Sarah J Maas Kingdom of Ash on Tour-

Sarah J Maas is on tour in October to promote the release of Kingdom of Ash. This tour is a lot smaller then her past tours due to the very recent birth of her first child, so don’t be too sad if she isn’t visiting near you. She is visiting Texas, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles- visit the World of SJM website here to view dates and buy tickets.

Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli visit London in October!

Adam and Becky are promoting their release What if it’s us and will be in conversation with Simon James Wood on October 23rd. Book your tickets here on waterstones.

 

Waiting on Wednesday- My Most Anticipated Reads of the second half of 2018!

The first half of the year hasn’t been the best reading time for me- though I was trying to finish up and graduate from uni so you may have to cut me some slack. Right from the start of 2018, when I first wrote this list of my most anticipated books, that the majority of them are coming out in the second half of this year- so I’ve compiled this list of my most anticipated books that come out in the remainder of this year, and hopefully I’ll actually have some time to read them this time.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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Probably my most anticipated book of 2018- Queen of Air and Darkness is the third and final book in the Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare. I’ve absolutely loved the story arc of this series so far, it’s been so different from the previous Shadowhunter chronicle series and also a lot darker. Things seem to have been set up right from the beginning for this story to end badly, so I can’t wait to see how it does all end.

It seemed for a while that we would be getting the first Last Hours book before the last Dark Artifices book, and I’m glad the publication dates have been changed because I think waiting until 2019 would have killed me after that Lord of Shadows shock ending. (But seriously Cassie, if you are reading, I would literally read anything you write, including your grocery list. I’ve gone that far.)

Queen of Air and Darkness is released on December 4th 2018 (which is practically 2019 anyway *cries*)

[Add to your goodreads TBR]

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #6 #7?) by Sarah J Maas

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Interestingly Goodreads is calling this book the 7th instalment to the series, so I’m assuming they’ve miscounted the prequel or the Chaol novel, because I’m like 100% sure this is the sixth book- don’t test me Goodreads. (Update- so it seems Bloomsbury have decided the Chaol novel is no longer book 5.5 but actually IS book 6- NO, thats not how these things work Bloomsbury).

2018 will be the year the Throne of Glass series comes to an end. Sarah has an AWFUL lot of loose ends to tie up in this finale, and a lot of readers to convince with this ending. Throne of Glass has always been a divisive series in the YA sphere (you seemingly either love it, hate it, or loved it once but stopped liking it after Queen of Shadows) so it will be very interesting to see what the audience reaction to this one is.

I also be interested to see what Sarah does after finishing this series, we haven’t heard about any new projects as of yet (except the Catwoman DC novel which was also out this year) and I’ll definitely be wanting to see what she does next.

Kingdom of Ash is released on October 23rd!

[Add to your Goodreads TBR]

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

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Pirates. Thats all I have to say.

I have to say though, I was reasonably more excited for this release before I just visited goodreads to find the cover art, it seems most people didn’t get on to well with this one. I think I’m going to play it by ear when it’s officially released and see what reviewers I trust are saying. Either way though- Pirates. We don’t have enough pirates in YA- we need more.

We don’t have long to wait now, this book is released August 7th.

[Add to your goodreads TBR]

Arch Enemies (Renegades #2) by Marissa Meyer

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Renegades was the best book I’ve read in a WHILE- I absolutely loved it and I cannot wait for Arch Enemies. Meyer is a really amazing series author, The Lunar Chronicles was amazing too. I feel like she needs that space to build up her worlds and characters and relationships. I’ve seen complaints about Renegades that nothing happens- which isn’t true, lots happens, but also its the first book of a trilogy and it’s building up the characters to allow for that drama in the next books. I didn’t enjoy Meyer’s Heartless so much, and I think that was because it was a standalone and she didn’t have the time to make me care about the characters or the world.

I am so so ready to be engrossed in one of Meyer’s series again, and I can’t wait for this book to be released on November 6th.

[Add on Goodreads]

Wildcard (Warcross #2) by Marie Lu

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Warcross was one of my favourite books last year, so I’m pretty excited for the release of Wildcard. I know some people have hated this covers for this series as well, but I love them- and the computer graphic aesthetic is just right for this series. Theres not too much more I can say without spoiling the first book- but if you haven’t read Warcross then I highly recommend you do.

Wildcard is released on September 18th.

[Add to Goodreads]


 

So thats it- my most anticipated releases for the second half of 2018! What books are you anticipating most?

YA Books set in Paris!

These last two years I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Paris four times, and it truly is one of the most amazing cities in the world. There is something so elegant and distinguished about Paris and it’s architecture and presence, so it’s no wonder it has become the backdrop for several popular YA books over the last few years.

I actually started writing this post back in 2017 and it has remained in my drafts folder this whole time- I have 32 unpublished posts at the point, sigh- so I figured it was time to release this into the wild.

I’ll be returning to France this summer so maybe it is finally time to get reading these…

This list is definitely one for lovers of YA contemporary- there are unfortunately no fantasy or sci-fi books in this list, but there is one dystopian and one paranormal romance book, so stay tuned for them!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

The original- the classic- the real OG. Anna and the French Kiss shot Stephanie Perkins to the top of the YA contemporary author pyramid, and I’ve been meaning to read it forever.

More recently I’ve watched some very interesting book tube videos about this book, and none of the reviewers have liked it very much. It’s always very interesting to me when a book comes across as very well received when it is first published but gets sourer reviews over time- sometimes this suggests readers have matured and changed their minds and sometimes it can show that the publishers issued a very strong publicity campaign when the book was first released and the reaction only seemed positive because you are seeing the book EVERYWHERE, and maybe the bad reviews weren’t as public as the influencer posts.

Either way if I get a chance I still will give this one a shot, it deserves it after sitting for three years in my TBR pile.

Maybe in Paris by Rebecca Christiansen

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Keira Braidwood lands in Paris with her autistic brother, Levi, and high hopes. Levi has just survived a suicide attempt and months in the psych ward—he’s ready for a dose of the wider world. Unlike their helicopter mom and the doctors who hover over Levi, Keira doesn’t think Levi’s certifiable. He’s just . . . quirky. Always has been.

Those quirks quickly begin to spoil the trip. Keira wants to traipse all over Europe; Levi barely wants to leave their grubby hotel room. She wants to dine on the world’s cuisine; he only wants fast food. Levi is one giant temper tantrum, and Keira’s ready to pull out her own hair.

She finally finds the adventure she craves in Gable, a hot Scottish bass player, but while Keira flirts in the Paris Catacombs, Levi’s mental health breaks. He disappears from their hotel room and Keira realizes, too late, that her brother is sicker than she was willing to believe. To bring him home safe, Keira must tear down the wall that Levi’s sickness and her own guilt have built between them.

 

[Add to your goodreads TBR]

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

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A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws.

Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.

Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can’t shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.

When Summer’s behavior manages to alienate everyone, even Moony, she’s forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that’ll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.

Another book I’ve had in my TBR forever. Sigh. I have to admit this was a total cover buy for me, I adore sunset gradient covers and this one photographs so well… I’m not so sure if I’ll ever get around to reading it but it definitely sounds like it offers a Parisian experience these other books lack- what with the ‘creepy underbelly of the city’ and is maybe a less traditional YA romance book.

 

Nobody’s Girl by Sarra Manning

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Bea thinks she’s the most boring seventeen-year-old in the world. She’s not pretty or popular or funny, unlike her mother who had Bea when she was 17. The only glamorous thing about Bea is the French father who left before she was born and lives in Paris. She yearns for la vie Parisienne every moment of her dull existence.

So when Ruby Davies, the leader of her school’s most elite clique picks Bea as her new best friend and asks her to go on holiday with them, she’s wary but delighted. If nothing else it’s two weeks away from her over-protective mother . But when the gang arrive in Spain, Bea is crushed to realise that Ruby and her posse have simply been using her.

Bea wreaks vengeance on her so-called friends, and plans to decamp to Paris to find her father. But when she falls asleep on the train and wakes up in Bilbao, she meets a group of American students who are backpacking around Europe and bonds with them straight away, especially the gorgeous Toph, who helps heal Bea’s hurting heart. And though Bea has a shock in store when they finally get to Paris, the ‘City of Lovers ‘ really works it magic on Bea and Toph, who spend a week wandering the sun-dappled streets of Paris, talking, holding hands and falling in love.

When it comes time to go home to confront her Mum about her mysterious father, the new version of Bea is determined that she ‘ll never go back to her old, boring way of life – she’s no longer Nobody’s Girl; she belongs to herself and to Toph…But with an ocean between them, will he wait for her?

This is the only book on the list that I have actually read- and loved by the way. I was always a Sarra Manning fan, and this book was one of my favorites back when I was 14. I recently had the chance to meet and talk to Sarra and she was just as enigmatic as I imagined she’d be!

I honestly can’t tell you if this book has aged well because it’s been so long, and I don’t even have my original copy of this one so I can’t reread it either- opps. I definitely had a lot of fun back when I was younger rereading this over and over so if you are in the market for a Paris adventure then this is one I do recommend.

 

Rook by Sharon Cameron

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History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.

The only dystopian on our list, Rook has a rather unique premise of an arranged marriage in a dystopian future with a sort of Robin Hood-esque character woven in. Unfortunately it wasn’t received terribly well, many people have even stated that the choice of setting was mostly unused in the actual plot which is unfortunate, and the general consensus is that the pacing was too slow.

Either way as our only non-contemporary it might be worth a read!

[Add on Goodreads]

Die for Me (Revenants #1) by Amy Plum

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In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life–and memories–behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant–an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again

The supernatural romance book- is that what we call this genre? Or is it paranormal romance?- appropriately titled Die for Me. This is the first in a trilogy which was apparently popular enough to warrant novellas and a book documenting the world-building behind the series. It was pretty well received, but unfortunately it seems it might be another book which uses Paris as a backdrop without doing much to add to the general ambience of the book.

[Add to Goodreads]


 

So thats all! Are there any other Parisian themed YA books I should know about? Or maybe just a YA which has a few scenes set in Paris? I, for one, am very excited to hear that some of Cassandra Clare’s upcoming books will be set in Paris, albeit in the 1900s- we need more Parisian fantasy books!

(Pictured, the Notre Dame on my last visit, it’s so beautiful with the roses in bloom!)

 

When your book slump has lasted FOUR months but Tower of Dawn saves the day

So yeah. Four months. The last book I read was Lord of Shadows back when it was released in May- let that sink in. I’m pretty sure Cassandra Clare broke me.

Normally when I’m in a reading slump I can get out of it by

  • rereading old favourites
  • rereading the book I just read
  • listening to audiobooks
  • reading new adult romance (or any bodice ripper pretty much)

But none of these tried and proven techniques have worked this time around. I’ve also been pretty much absent on instagram because I just have nothing to say at the moment.

But you’ll be happy to say that two days ago I picked up Tower of Dawn, and oh my gosh I AM BACK! It’s weird, but I’ve recently fallen out of love with SJM, I’ve been noticing little things about the Throne of Glass series that were really bugging me (using the world MALE six times on one page for example) but Tower of Dawn has been amazing so far!

I’m not even the biggest Chaol fan but the introduction of a new setting and new characters has really reinvigorated me, and I am so glad Sarah spread this out over a whole book instead of the novella that was planned. I’ve previously said that Leigh Bardugo is worlds better then other YA fantasy authors at culture building, but Sarah is really improving and that’s very clear in Tower of Dawn. I feel like she has paid a lot of attention to filling in and fleshing out the setting and the differences in culture and traditions and I really, really appreciate it.

This is basically a mid-book review, but if you were doubting Tower of Dawn in anyway it’s definitely worth a shot.

 

 

Can authors and publishers fake how popular a book is?

Short answer: Yes. Yes they can. And they do, quite frequently.

I’m writing this post in the fall out of the Handbook for Mortals scandal that had rocked YA twitter and bookstagram in the last couple of weeks. I’ve actually been taking a bit of a break, but you can imagine my surprise today when I logged back on and saw a tidal wave of tweets about this one book.

To simplify matters- Handbook for Mortals by Lani Salem is a book no one had ever heard of, from a publisher no one had ever heard of that jumped to the top of the NY times YA bestseller’s list last month. And I mean JUMPED, it came in a massive 12,000 sales over the second best seller at 18,000 copies sold.

But unfortunately for Lani the sales seem to have been faked, or at least manipulated*. The way the NYT Bestsellers List (the most respected published list of popular books) works is by complying a list from certain bookshops which report to the NYT how many copies they’ve sold that week of new books (backlist books don’t count, or else Potter would always come on top).

People have speculated that Lani and her publisher, GeekNation (which had never before published a book before), had found out the bookshops that do report and bulk brought copies from them. Other people have even said the numbers are fakes entirely as only 3,000 copies were ever printed (pure speculation, but seeing as hardly anyone has seen one of these books in person, it’s not impossible to believe).

Either way, the NYT has retracted Lani’s position on the list, confirming that some kind of foul play was at fault here, though Lani still denies any wrong doing and blames YA twitter and bloggers for the retraction.

It seems unlikely that something on this scale has ever been done before- after all you’d need a LOT of money lying around to decide to buy up 18,000 copies of your own book (which rumor has it Lani is now reselling, at a mark up. Hope that works out for her, otherwise it was a pretty stupid investment (obviously this is still speculation)). But lying about how popular your book is is a pretty common occurrence.

I’ve been blogging about YA books, on numerous blogs now, for 5 years and believe me, I know about a lot of books. I’m not saying I know ALL books, but I keep a strong eye on all upcoming releases from publishers and gossip from fellow bloggers and bookstagrammers so I always have an idea whats going on- but sometimes things seem to slip through the cracks.

Have you ever seen a Facebook advert for a book series, advertised to you because you’ve liked Harry Potter, the Hunger games or Twilight which boldly declares it has more then 5,000 five star reviews? I’ve been seeing these adverts more and more, and for more and more cheaply written, badly edited trash (sorry, not sorry) with the worst plots I’ve ever read.

All of these books are books I’ve never heard of. The majority of them (and I’m not saying this to blast self published books or authors, because you guys are amazing and there are so many books I love which are self published) are only available as an ebook, and yet they have a ridiculous amount of reviews.

I definitely believe the majority of these reviews have been paid for.

When you are looking for your next book, take a look at the NYT list (which is normally reliable) and at the people who are leaving reviews on amazon and on twitter. Look for book reviewers, the majority of good books will have reviews from people with blog titles in their names, and if things don’t add up with anything- be careful, it could be fake.

Also a reminder that you can return an ebook within three days on amazon if you realise it’s actually just 75 pages of hogswash. You’re welcome.


*speculation.

I am not being sued today, no sirree.

Books I’m going to be bringing on my summer holiday!

Today is the 21st of July 2017 and tomorrow I’ll be lounging around in the sun on a beach in Menorca. I’ve given quite a bit of thought into the books I’ll be bringing along this year, because I have a horrendously long TBR and I know from experience I don’t ever get that much reading done on holidays (I tend to sleep a lot instead).

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Menorca is so beautiful

Summer is an important season for me- its the only time of the year I’ll read contemporaries. It’s weird, but I let all my contemporary reads build up throughout the rest of the year- even the ones I’m really excited about- and then read them all during the summer months. Basically I’m saying I have a LOAD of contemporaries to get through- more then I’ll be able to read in two weeks, but I’ll be giving it my best shot anyway!

Let’s start with books I’ll be physically bringing along with me:

Once and For all by Sarah Dessen

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As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

I’ve been so excited about this book since I first read the synopsis back in the new year. It sounds like such a bubbly fun book PLUS all I wanted growing up was to become a wedding planner. I’m actually still studying for a degree in Event Management, mostly because I loved the idea of wedding planning so much. I’m sure this is going to be insightful and lighthearted, and I adore the pastel cover. Win all around!

Freshers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

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Uni beckons. Phoebe can’t wait to be a fresher – especially since her crush from school will be there too. She’ll be totally different at Uni: cooler, prettier, smarter … the perfect potential girlfriend. She’ll reinvent herself completely. But Luke’s oblivious, still reeling from the fallout of the break-up with his ex. Thrown head first into a world of new friends, parties and social media disasters – can Phoebe and Luke survive the year, let alone find each other?

This book releases in the UK on August 3rd, so you don’t have that long to wait to get your hands on a copy! I love the bright cover illustration, and it sounds perfect for a summer holiday read! It’s also a plus that it sounds like the kind of book my sister would also enjoy, so we can book swap once I’m done!

[add to your goodreads TBR]

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

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When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

GUYS I AM SO PUMPED TO FINALLY READ THIS BOOK! I’ve had it for a while now, and I’ve been waiting to have the time to dedicate myself to reading it- and that time IS NOW. I am super excited about lounging around with this book, I’ve only heard great things!

And then the other books I will be reading on kindle if I have the time;

The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

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A young bisexual British lord embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush. An 18th-century romantic adventure for the modern age written by This Monstrous Thing author Mackenzi LeeSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets the 1700s.

Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, dazzling, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is an irresistible romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

I’ve been wanting to read this for what feels like forever- but alas the hardback is still too expensive for me to justify on amazon at the moment. But I have allowed myself to entertain the thought of buying the kindle edition whilst I’m away to tide me over…

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

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I’m a bit hit or miss with Christina Lauren’s books, I have really liked some and found others to be a bit boring- but sometimes a bit of mindless romance is perfect for summer holiday reads. I’ve been looking forward to this books release for a while, I’m quite a fan of the hate to love troupe,  so I’ll definitely give this a try when I get a chance.

And last- the books my sister will be bringing with her;

I’ve never really talked about my younger sister’s reading habits, but she’s bringing along some interesting books this year, so here we go!

Here we are now by Jasmine Warga

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From the author of MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES comes a beautiful, funny and heartfelt novel of music, family, and friendship. Perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson, Rainbow Rowell and Sarah Dessen.’Kinetic and beautiful and unexpectedly life-affirming’ – Chris Lynch on My Heart and Other Black HolesDespite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she’d ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense – kinda – because it turns out Julian Oliver is Taliah’s father . . . When Julian asks her to go with him to his hometown to meet the family she has never known, Taliah embarks on a three-day voyage of discovery – of her father, of the past her mother has never shared with her, and of herself.

This book was kindly sent to me by Hodder and releases on the 16th of November in the UK. It’s definitely the kind of book I can see my sister- Ciara- enjoying a lot so I can’t wait to see what she thinks of it!

And lastly-

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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We all know what this one is about. I’ve already written a very long post about how though it remains one of my favorite contemporaries , it’s also very damaging. If you want to read that then here it is.

I’m really looking forward to being able to discuss this book fully with Ciara once she’s finished it, and I can see it being a good summer read.


So thats it! I’ll be updating my progress on goodreads and instagram as I go on, if you want to follow me!

(though I will not apologize for all the holiday snaps soon to come!)

10 Upcoming Fantasy YA Books!

I always find it quite hard to keep up with upcoming releases I have my eye on, so this list is for me as much as it is for you! This is just a selection of some of the most interesting fantasy 2017/2018 releases. I’ve tried not too include too many ‘pitched’ idea (i.e. books without a proper synopsis) but some of these sounded too interesting to pass by!

Reign the Earth by A.C Gaughen

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Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.

But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

This intense, richly drawn high-fantasy by the author of Scarlet will hold readers spellbound.

I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK, look how BEAUTIFUL IT IS! Written by A.C. Gaughen who also wrote Scarlet, a book following the story of the only female member of Robin Hood’s team of vigilantes, which I’ve only heard good things about!

This one is released on the 30th January 2018!

[Add to your goodreads TBR!]

Before she Ignites by Jodi Meadows

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Before

Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.

After

Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.

This one releases on September 12th 2017! ARCs have been going out recently, so I’m looking forward to hearing what people think!

[Add to your goodreads TBR]

Black Rose by Bree Barton

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We don’t even have a cover for this one yet

Bree Barton’s BLACK ROSE trilogy, pitched as Graceling meets Pride and Prejudice, about a girl who, on the eve of her marriage to a prince, discovers she has dark, forbidden magic, magic that her powerful family’s sole purpose was to destroy.

Releases sometime in 2018 (but we don’t yet have a date!) I’ve been keeping an eye on this one for a while, and I can’t wait until we have some more info!

[Add to your goodreads TBR]

Wicked like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic

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All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.

But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?

This one is released on August 15th 2017, so not that long away at all! I’ve been hearing great things about this book for a while, so I’ll be looking out for the reviews when it’s released!

[Add to your Goodreads TBR]

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

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Inspired by the Spanish Inquisition and the golden age of piracy, it follows three characters: a woman seeking justice, a tortured pirate looking for redemption, and an ambitious prince out for power.

Sara Raasch, the author of the acclaimed Snow like Ashes series, is back with These Rebel Waves! PIRATES GUYS! I need more Pirate books in my life!

This one is currently slated for a summer 2018 release!

[Add to your goodreads TBR]

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

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A banished princess.
A deadly curse.
A kingdom at war.

Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.

Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.

But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with her power.

With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

This is one I’m really excited about- when a synopsis starts with short sentences, I am down for that.

This one is being released October 24th 2017!

[Add to your Goodreads TBR!}

Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge

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They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Henri Christian LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. The chevalier’s cruelty is soon revealed, however, and Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside.

But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was.

Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.

Lisa Jensen’s multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.

I think this one might not be a YA, but I’m not too sure yet. Either way it’s still a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and I am HERE for that!

This one releases March 6th 2018.

[Add to your goodreads TBR]

Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman

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Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives.

So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he has to question whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they’re family, Anders knows that Rayna is his best and only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.

To learn what he needs to rescue her, Anders will have to enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than blind obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shape-shifting force of all.

New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman delivers heart-pounding adventure and breathtaking magical inventions in this unforgettable story about finding one’s place in a sharply divided world.

Amie Kaufman is a phenomenal author, and I can’t wait to see what this book has in store for us all!

Releases March 27th 2018!

[Add to your goodreads TBR]

Between the Blade and the Heart

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Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.

I’m not completely convinced on this cover BUT it definitely sounds intriguing.

This releases on January 2nd 2018!

[Add to goodreads TBR]

The Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

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Pitched as the never-before-told origin story of the sea witch from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” told in the vein of Wicked – from the villainess’s point of view.

This sounds pretty amazing- I’m a big fan of wicked and the little mermaid, so I am totally ready for this one! I am slightly concerned that it won’t be on track for it’s May 2018 release, seeing as we don’t have a synopsis or a cover at all yet, but I will live in hope!

[Add to your goodreads TBR]


Are there any 2017/18 releases you are dying to get your hands on?

I’ll be posting a upcoming sci-fi books list very soon, so keep an eye out for that!