Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday: Shine by Jodi Picoult

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly anticipating.

Shine by Jodi Picoult
September 13th 2016 by Ballantine Books

Jodi Picoult tackles issues of race and privilege in this ebook original short story, a prequel to her upcoming novel Small Great Things. In “Shine,” the master storyteller and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leaving Time and My Sister’s Keeper introduces readers to the unforgettable Ruth Brooks.

Today is Ruth’s first day of third grade at Dalton. The prestigious institution on New York’s Upper East Side couldn’t be more different from her old school in Harlem. Despite being the smartest girl in her grade, Ruth suspects that her classmates and teachers only see her dark skin. She also notices that Christina, the daughter of her mother’s employer, treats Ruth very differently when they’re hanging out with the popular girls rather than playing together. Ruth must navigate between two worlds, never losing sight of the dreams she has for herself—in hopes that someday, someone will see her for who she really is.

Includes a preview of Jodi Picoult’s highly anticipated new novel, Small Great Thi

This is a 42-page prequel to Jodi Picoult's upcoming novel Small Great Things, which comes out in October. Shine comes out on September 13 so that might make the wait for Small Great Things slightly better. I think this both will be amazing stories.

What book are you waiting for?
Leave me the link to your post so I can stop by!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday Madness: The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut's Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt by Kara Cooney

Monday Madness is a bookish meme hosted by Bookfever & Booklover's Teaparty

You know that feeling when you feel like you are gonna go mad if you do not get a certain book right away, when you are obsessed and all you want is that one book and you will be happy? That is what Monday Madness is about. All those books you that drive you mad.

Pick a book. Talk about it- why do you want it? What has drawn you to it? Why is it making you mad with want for it.

The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut's Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt by Kara Cooney
Published October 14th 2014 by Crown Publishing

An engrossing biography of the longest-reigning female pharaoh in Ancient Egypt and the story of her audacious rise to power in a man’s world.

Hatshepsut, the daughter of a general who took Egypt's throne without status as a king’s son and a mother with ties to the previous dynasty, was born into a privileged position of the royal household. Married to her brother, she was expected to bear the sons who would legitimize the reign of her father’s family. Her failure to produce a male heir was ultimately the twist of fate that paved the way for her inconceivable rule as a cross-dressing king. At just twenty, Hatshepsut ascended to the rank of king in an elaborate coronation ceremony that set the tone for her spectacular twenty-two year reign as co-regent with Thutmose III, the infant king whose mother Hatshepsut out-maneuvered for a seat on the throne. Hatshepsut was a master strategist, cloaking her political power plays with the veil of piety and sexual expression. Just as women today face obstacles from a society that equates authority with masculinity, Hatshepsut had to shrewdly operate the levers of a patriarchal system to emerge as Egypt's second female pharaoh.

Hatshepsut had successfully negotiated a path from the royal nursery to the very pinnacle of authority, and her reign saw one of Ancient Egypt’s most prolific building periods. Scholars have long speculated as to why her images were destroyed within a few decades of her death, all but erasing evidence of her rule. Constructing a rich narrative history using the artifacts that remain, noted Egyptologist Kara Cooney offers a remarkable interpretation of how Hatshepsut rapidly but methodically consolidated power—and why she fell from public favor just as quickly. The Woman Who Would Be King traces the unconventional life of an almost-forgotten pharaoh and explores our complicated reactions to women in power.

This is a biography about Hatshepsut, longest-reigning female pharaoh in Ancient Egypt. And I want it so badly! I'd love to get a hardcopy of this book because I'm sure this would be such an amazing read. 

And as always don't forget to check out Christina's post! ♥

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Review: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Title: Shadow of Night
Author: Deborah Harkness
Series: All Souls Trilogy #2
Publication: July 10th 2012 by Viking Adult

Genre: Fantasy ~ Historical Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo

Rating: 5/5


Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library,she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers...

I was surprised by how much I loved Shadow of Night. Of course I thought the first book, A Discovery of Witches was really good but I've always felt something was missing and I guess I found it in the sequel. I didn't even care that this was a pretty big book with 709 pages, I just couldn't get enough of reading it.

Because Diana and Matthew travel to the past, this book mostly takes place in 1590 and 1591. So it's no surprise that I devoured this book since I'm such a history nerd. I thought the author really did great writing about this hectic era in history. 

I actually think fans of Outlander will love this book as much as I did because Shadow of Night reminded me so much of it, what with the time travelling and everyone. In this book Diana meets a lot of historical figures like Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Harriot and Queen Elizabeth to name a few. Which made my historical fangirl heart so happy.

The writing was flawless, but I'm not surprised by it since it was like that also with the first book. And I still love Diana and Matthew so much. In fact, I think I'm even a bigger fan of them as a couple. And they went through so much together in this book.

I am a bit worried though that I won't enjoy the next and final book as much since it doesn't take place in the past anymore. But still I'm gonna hope for the best because I'm dying to find out how it will all end.

Overall, Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness was even better than I had thought it would be. The history, the writing, the characters — it all made this into one hell of a book. It's absolutely one of my top favorites!

       About the Author:

Deborah Harkness is a professor of history at the University of Southern California. She has received Fullbright, Guggenheim, and National Humanities Center fellowships, and her most recent scholarly work is The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. She also writes an award-winning wine blog.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Would You Rather Book Tag

Would You Rather
Book Tag

{I found this tag on Sincerely, a Book Nerd}

Answering "Would you rather" questions is always pretty fun to do, especially when it combines bookish questions like on this book tag. 

1. Rather read only a series or stand-alone books?

Series. I've always prefered series to standalones. I just don't like the finality of a standalone book. I always want more of the characters and the world of the book.

2. Rather read a book whose main character is male or female?

This is a tough one. I read more books whose main character is female but I also love reading about male main characters. So... both?

3. Rather shop only at Barnes & Noble (or other actual bookstore) or Amazon?

I love book shopping at actual bookstores but I prefer to get books online at Amazon or The Book Depository because the prices are much cheaper there and there's more choices of books.

4. Rather all books become movies or tv shows?

Tv shows for sure. I prefer tv shows to movies in general and I think for most books a tv show is better than a movie.

5. Rather read 5 pages per day or read 5 books per week?

5 books a week of course! If only that were possible...

6. Rather be a professional book reviewer or an author?

Book reviewer because I like reading and writing down what I think about those books a whole lot more than writing stories. I'll leave that to more skilled people.

7.  Rather only read the same 20 books over and over or get to read a new book every 6 months?

I think I'd go for read the same 20 books over and over because I wouldn't be able to only read one book ever 6 months. *shudders*

8. Rather be a librarian or own a book store?

Librarian. There's just something magical about libraries that you can't find at bookstores.

9. Rather only read your favorite genre or your favorite author?

Only read my favorite author, which is Eoin Colfer. 

10. Rather only read physical books or eBooks?

Oooh, that is such a hard question. I used to say I'd only read physical books but since I got my kindle a couple of years ago I've been quite addicted to e-books. So again... both.

I tag anyone who wants to do this book tag. ♥

Friday, August 26, 2016

Review: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Title: P.S. I Like You
Author: Kasie West
Publication: July 26th 2016 by Point

Genre: Young Adult ~ Contemporary Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo

Rating: 5/5

Signed, sealed, delivered . . .

While zoning out in Chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk, and added a message to her.

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters— sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery, and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out . . .

Kasie West brings irresistible wit, warmth, and sparkle to this swoon-worthy story of love showing up when you least expect it.

P.S. I Like You was completely and utterly adorable. There simply isn't any other word for it. And I was totally surprised by how much I actually ended up loving this book. It was also my first book by this author, so it made me excited to read more books by her in the future.

My main reason for wanting to read this book (aside from the totally cute cover) was that it's a penpall romance. I adore those and you can't really do anything wrong in my opinion with writing a cute romance about penpalls, especially since they were writing real letters to start with.

I guessed fairly early on who it actually was that Lily was exchanging notes with and it also didn't take long to get revealed, but I didn't mind at all because I really enjoyed reading about these two characters falling for each other. 

I also absolutely loved most of the secondary characters. Especially Lily's family and her best friend. Her family may have been very chaotic and kind of crazy but they clearly love each other very much. I loved reading about them all.

So what more can I say except that I freaking loved this book? It was cute, romantic, funny and the writing was so good. This definitely is a YA book I highly recommend.

       About the Author:

       Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

A stay-at-home mom of four children, three of them girls, ranging in age from four to 12, Kasie West hears lots of melodramatic versions of large-than-life events. She graduated with a BA in liberal studies, with a strong focus on linguistics and psychology, from Fresno State University. She lives in Fresno, CA.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: The Suffering by Rin Chupeco

Title: The Suffering
Author: Rin Chupeco
Series: The Girl from the Well #2
Publication: September 8th 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Horror ~ Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

Rating: 4/5

Breathtaking and haunting, Rin Chupeco's second novel is a chilling companion to her debut, The Girl from the Well.

The darkness will find you.

Seventeen-year-old Tark knows what it is to be powerless. But Okiku changed that. A restless spirit who ended life as a victim and started death as an avenger, she's groomed Tark to destroy the wicked. But when darkness pulls them deep into Aokigahara, known as Japan's suicide forest, Okiku's justice becomes blurred, and Tark is the one who will pay the price...

I can't quite decide if I liked the first book better than The Suffering, so I'm just going to say that both books were equally great!

The Suffering is wrtting in Tark's point of view, so that makes it a little different from book #1. But it didn't make the story any less enjoyable to read (or any less creepy...)

This book was very well-written and I just loved the setting of it too (even though it freaked me out so bad) in the forest of Aokigahara, which is also known as the suicide forest of Japan. I really loved how the author crafted the story and how it all fit together perfectly.

I gotta admit I feared things wouldn't work out in the end for Tark and Okiku. I loved them together and how they cared for one another so much. They really made a great team!

Overall, The Suffering by Rin Chupeco was scary as shit. I'm not gonna lie, I read most of this book at night in the dark, and I ended up wishing I hadn't because it kept freaking me out. But there's no denying this book was perfect in its creepy way. And I definitely want to read more of Tark and Okiku in the future.

       About the Author:

       Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband.

She is represented by Rebecca Podos of the Helen Rees Agency.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Review: A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe

Title: A Mortal Song
Author: Megan Crewe

Publication: September 13th 2016 by Another World Press
Genre: Young Adult ~ Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 2/5

Sora's life was full of magic—until she discovered it was all a lie.

Heir to Mt. Fuji's spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother's last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents' true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world's natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.

As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she's ever known.

"Megan Crewe's A Mortal Song is engrossing from the first chapter. The world of the kami is beautifully fantastic and delicately drawn, and the switched-at-birth scenario made me instantly feel for both of these resilient, brave girls. A Mortal Song has lots of magic, lots of heart, and lots to love." -Kendare Blake, author of Three Dark Crowns

A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe was original, there's no denying that. I also loved that it was set in Japan because I haven't read a lot of books that are set there. But in the end I just didn't like the story enough for me to give a higher rating. The beginning was good, I thought but I started getting a little bit bored after that. Maybe this story wasn't just for me. I don't know. 

Like I said, the book was original. it does get some bonus points for that. I thought it was original because of the main character Sora. She finds out after seventeen years that she isn't a Kami, but a regular human and has been switched with another girl. Most stories I read were about someone finding out she's magical, not to other way around. So I really liked that about this story.

I'm also pretty particular about the romances I read about. And I really didn't care for this one at all. I didn't like that Sora going back and forth between the two guys in the book. Anyway, this is what I disliked the most about the story, unfortunately.

The writing was okay, but not it didn't amaze me or anything. I also thought the story went too slowly. Maybe because I was kind of bored through out it. But I gotta say that although I don't know a lot about it all,  I think all the Japanese stuff, the legends about the Kami and everything else was well researched.

I wish I had liked this book more because it has a great concept and originality. There need to be more books like this with Japanese characters. I just had some issues with it, but I think other readers will like it more.

       About the Author:

Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and son (and does on occasion say “eh”), she’s always planning some new trip around the world, and she’s spent the last six years studying kung fu, so you should probably be nice to her. She has been making up stories about magic and spirits and other what ifs since before she knew how to write words on paper. These days the stories are just a lot longer.

Megan’s first novel, Give Up the Ghost, was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. The Way We Fall was nominated for the White Pine Award and made the International Literacy Association Young Adults’ Choices List, and Earth & Sky was an OLA Best Bet for 2015. She is also the author of the rest of the Fallen World series (The Lives We Lost, The Worlds We Make, and Those Who Lived), the rest of the Earth & Sky trilogy (The Clouded Sky and A Sky Unbroken), and the standalone contemporary fantasy A Mortal Song.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday Madness: Warrior of the Nile by Veronica Scott

Monday Madness is a bookish meme hosted by Bookfever & Booklover's Teaparty

You know that feeling when you feel like you are gonna go mad if you do not get a certain book right away, when you are obsessed and all you want is that one book and you will be happy? That is what Monday Madness is about. All those books you that drive you mad.

Pick a book. Talk about it- why do you want it? What has drawn you to it? Why is it making you mad with want for it.

Warrior of the Nile by Veronica Scott
The Gods of Egypt #2
Published September 16th 2013 by Carina Press

Egypt, 1500 BC
Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.

Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.

Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?

I read the first book, Priestess of the Nile, back in 2014 and definitely liked it. Find my review of it here. I thought it was really original because it was a story feauturing Sobek, the crocodile god. I haven't read many stories about ancient Egypt featuring him. I really want to read Warrior of the Nile too because of that. Also, it's a 100 pages longer than book #1 so that's another reason for me wanting to read this book. I just never got the chance to buy and read it. 

And as always don't forget to check out Christina's post! ♥

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Stacking The Shelves: August 20, 2016

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews.

Since I've been away on vacation this is my book haul of the last five weeks. 

Hogwarts Mug ♥
Seven Ancient Wonders by Matthew Reilly
A Mutiny in Time by James Dashner
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Stripped Bare by Emma Hart

For Review:

For Review:
Beautiful Maids All in a Row by Jennifer Harlow

For Review:
The Last Messenger of Zitol by Chelsea Dyreng

For Review:
The Learn by Tony Halker

The Three Fates by Kate Quinn

Leave me links to your hauls so I can stop by! :)