Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's WoW selection is...

's Pick:

Title: The Rose and the Dagger
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn, book #2
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: May 3, 2016

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The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

I actually just re-listened to The Wrath and the Dawn -- and could already re-listen because it's just so amazing and gorgeous and swoony. I had no idea the cover was being revealed on Friday, but hot damn, if it isn't just as stunning as the cover of the first book! And it comes out right in time for my birthday next year!!! :D

What are you desperately waiting for this Wednesday? Let us know in the comments or share a link to your own WoW post!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Title: Illuminae
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files, book #1
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

You have to practically be living under a rock these days not to have heard of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff's collaboration in The Illuminae Files. The hype for this book is real and it is so deserved. I couldn't even contain my excitement when I read it back in June and had to go all fangirl-y over it. (I really hate made-up curse words, FYI, and that post is basically about how I love how they handled swearing in the book.) I think I swore more reading this book than any other because it was just so insane and fast-paced, and I was in a constant state of what the hell is even happening right now?!?

This novel is told through a series of reports, emails, IM chats, data logs, etc. I am a huge fan of epistolary novels, and I think the use of so much other media to tell this story was clever, unique to the type of story this is, as well as just plain genius. It adds to the sense of foreboding while also keeping the reader connected to the characters.

"I am frequently underestimated. I think it's because I'm short."
THOSE CHARACTERS THO. Kady is fierce, determined, loyal, devious, sneaky and just plain awesome. I want to be her when I grow up. She just doesn't know the meaning of the word quit, even when things are at their most dire. And then there's sweet, lovable Ezra. Their banter and email exchanges are funny and adorable, but he can't help but be second fiddle to Kady's amazing presence. Which should also clue you into the fact that the romance is secondary to the main plot. More on that in a minute. And, of course, I can't forget AIDAN, the Artificial Intelligence system on Kady's ship who becomes a character in his (its?) own right. When computers and machines start thinking for themselves, we're all in trouble. After this, I will never be able to look at AI the same way again. Ever.
"Am I not merciful?"

Amid the break-up, banter, and questions of will they get back together? -- assuming they survive! -- there's also an intergalactic war-type thing going on, the implications of which are far-reaching and further proof of the genius of this novel. I was so immersed in this novel, in the here and now and the survival of Kady and Ezra that I forgot to look at the bigger picture while I was reading. And it was a crazy big picture that totally blew my mind.

Simply put: you need this book in your life. Stat. I don't think I know I've never read a book like this, that kept me so glued to the pages, while telling me so many different stories -- or aspects of one big story -- and in such a manner. What the authors did here is simply incredible and I'll never be able to do it justice in a review.

It would be an amazing feat if this book isn't already on your radar, but if it isn't, make this the moment that you add it to your TBR. Hell, it's only a smidge over $10 to pre-order it over on Amazon, so why don't you go ahead and do yourself a favor. Oh, and stop back by later this month for a guest post from the authors as part of the Illuminae Blog Tour!!!

GIF it to me straight:

Me to Illuminae...okay, and Kady:

About the Author:

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of the Starbound series. Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of the Lotus War series. Collectively, they are 12’5” tall and live in Melbourne, Australia, with two long-suffering spouses, two rescue dogs, and a plentiful supply of caffeine. They met, thanks to international taxation law, and stuck together due to a shared love of blowing things up and breaking hearts.

Find Amie:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | FacebookInstagram | Pinterest | Tumblr

Find Jay:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | FacebookInstagram

Monday, October 5, 2015

Title: Slasher Girls & Monster Boys
Author: Stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke
Narrator(s): Robbie Daymond, Emma Bering, Nora Hunter, Jorjeana Marie, Julia Whelan & MacLeod Andrews
Series: n/a, horror anthology
Length: 13 hrs 12 mins
Publisher: Listening Library
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
Source: borrowed audio from library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lois Duncan, and Daphne Du Maurier comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best writers of YA thrillers and horror.

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

Fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story will tear through tales by these talented authors:

Stefan Bachmann
Leigh Bardugo
Kendare Blake
A. G. Howard
Jay Kristoff
Marie Lu
Jonathan Maberry
Danielle Paige
Carrie Ryan
Megan Shepherd
Nova Ren Suma
McCormick Templeman
April Genevieve Tucholke
Cat Winters

I find it really interesting to listen to anthologies these days. I still want a physical copy of this book for my shelves so I can leaf through it and re-read my favorite stories when I'm in the mood for a little horror or need to share a good scary story. But there's just something about hearing these creepy tales from some of my favorite authors…and having some of my favorite narrators give voice to the things that go bump in the night...

The Birds of Azalea Street by Nova Ren Suma - 3.5 stars
I think using this story to kick off the anthology was a brilliant idea. Nova's writing style is always eerily beautiful. It's not gory but still just creepy enough in the most human way. I don't know if it would have had the same impact if I'd read it after some of the others in this collection.

In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan - 5 stars
This story was inspired by Alice in Wonderland and it was epically epic in its creepiness. It seems like one thing and then morphs into something else, and I kind of loved it. The use of flashbacks only served to make the story seem even more otherworldly. Dat white rabbit, tho!

Emmeline by Cat Winters - 3.5 stars
I liked the writing style in this one, but I just found it too predictable. I just didn't connect with it, though the French accent the narrator used was lovely. I'm also not all that familiar with the stories that served as the inspiration for this piece, so that could have been responsible for some of the disconnect.

Verse Chorus Verse by Leigh Bardugo - 2.5 stars
I thought for sure this would be one of my favorites of the collection because of who the author is, but I was underwhelmed. It was eerie to an extent, but it never gave me chills or anything like so many of the other stories did, and I know that Bardugo can write such darkness into her story if she deigns to. Maybe it was because she was tackling a contemporary setting instead of her usual fantasy? Whatever the case, this story left me feeling very meh.

Hide and Seek by Megan Shepherd - 4 stars
I have a thing for Death personified. Or harbingers of Death. Really, anything where Death or the Afterlife is involved. And games of chance. This story was kind of fun, all things considered, but it was also dark, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

The Dark, Scary Parts and All by Danielle Paige - 4 stars
I didn't know what to expect from this story because I read the prequel novella to Dorothy Must Die and I enjoyed it so little that I didn't continue the series. But I actually found that I enjoyed this addition to the anthology, despite the fact that I figured out the twist pretty early on. But I do tend to connect to characters who embrace both the light and dark within. ;0)

The Flicker, the Fingers, the Beat, the Sigh by April Genevieve Tucholke - 4.5 stars
Tucholke really knows how to build up to the creepy after just a hint of it in the very beginning of the story, especially with all the talk of "best scary movies", etc., between the characters throughout. That only adds to the atmosphere and sense of foreboding. And the not knowing...eeek!

Fat Girl With a Knife by Jonathan Maberry - 3 stars
Typical zombie story. I haven't read anything by this author previously, but I'm interested...mostly because of the character development. Dahlia was fierce but compassionate in spite of all of the bullying she'd succumbed to, and she makes a frighteningly good zombie killer.

Sleepless by Jay Kristoff - 5 stars
Dude. It's scary to get inside the head of a killer. Even scarier that Kristoff does it so well. Though, he did have a hand in creating the homicidal AI in Illuminae, so it shouldn't come as a surprise. I liked the inspiration for this one, as well, though I was also reminded of that Supernatural episode Houses of the Holy with the supposed avenging angel.

M by Stefan Bachmann - 3.5 stars
M is for murder. Mwahaha. I didn't get any creepy vibes from this story...just an urgent need to help Mischa discover the murderer's identity before it was too late. The story felt very much on the surface, like I could have read an entire book based on this premise and still never connected with it more than I did in this short story. It was rather bland to me.

The Girl Without a Face by Marie Lu - 3 stars
I love stories that totally lead me astray in the beginning, only to throw the shocking truth at me later. I also like stories where characters get their comeuppance. Marie Lu has proven to me time and again that she can write characters who are unaware of what they are, who struggle with right and wrong. But I most enjoy the characters who leave me on the fence, deserving of my contempt but also strangely deserving of my appreciation.

A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow by McCormick Templeman - 3.5 stars
Short, sweet and to the point. There are those who think that one sacrifice is worthier than another, and this story serves to highlight that fact. Magic, sacrifice, hunters...I can't pinpoint what exactly helped me to connect to this story more than others in the collection. I just know that I did.

Stitches by A.G. Howard - 4.5 stars
Most Frankenstein retellings I've encountered -- and I haven't read all that many -- focus on the brothers' relationship to validate the need to revive a person using some crazy science and medicine. This Frankenstein story, however, stems from a family's need to survive a tremendous loss that leaves them broken beyond repair and another family's need for redemption. Equal parts tragic and eerie, this story reminded me of why I like Howard's writing so much. She touches on many of the same themes as the original tale, from inconsolable grief to what makes a person human.

On the I-5 by Kendare Blake - 2.5 stars
I just did not connect with the voice in this story. Not as the main character described the monsters and not when it became apparent that she was a monster herself. I expected the anthology to end with a bang of a story, but it sort of just fizzled. Maybe I'm biased, though, because hitch-hiking seriously weirds me out. :P

I am sososo glad I listened this anthology. I may never look at some of the narrators the same again, but that just means they did their job thoroughly. ;0) I mean, obviously it appealed to every little evil bone in my body, but it's just such a good collection of stories. There's really, truly, honestly something for everyone in this anthology. And now I reeeeeally can't wait for April's new book in 2016 -- Wink Poppy Midnight -- because she makes reading creepy, abhorrent things such a delightful experience.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

April Genevieve Tucholke is a full-time writer who digs classic movies, redheaded villains, big kitchens, and discussing murder at the dinner table. She and her husband—a librarian, former rare-book dealer, and journalist—live in Oregon. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is her first novel.

Find April:

WebsiteGoodreads | Twitter | Instagram

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Weekend Update - 10.3.15

Saturday, October 3, 2015 with 7 comments
So, since my end-of-the-week post isn't just about what I got in my mailbox or on my Kindle each week -- though that is a big part of it, I won't lie -- I decided to change up the title and intro a bit.  I might tweak the format a bit over the next few weeks, but for the most part, it'll contain the same stuff: stuff I got, stuff I did, and stuff that's coming up on the blog.  Plus, I get to use the awesome GIF you see here and blow kisses to all the people who sent me lovely books and bookish things.  Oh, and I've started linking up to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews since I'm not using a specific meme title anymore.  April's also doing her own Stacking the Shelves posts on Sundays.  Stop by and say hi!  =)
It was a quiet week around these parts, and we got a nice cool front toward the end of the week, so things are pretty peaceful right now. We're scheduled to close on the house on Monday, and we're unbelievably excited about that, but I'm trying to tamp down my excitement just in case something goes wrong. Apparently, I'll never outgrow that pessimism thing. :( But if all goes well, we'll be moving into the new house next weekend and I'll have plenty of pics to share...including some of my new reading nook!!! =D =D =D

Anyway, here's what I scored this week:

For Review:

Even after all this time, Katie still loves Frozen, so when I was given the opportunity to review A Frozen Heart, I couldn't pass it up. She is SO excited to read this with me!


My super sweet #otspsecretsister sent me a copy of Hidden Huntress this month! I only just discovered this series but I already love it! Thanks, Sis!



I've seen tons of recs for this one, and I always wanted to check it out, but I just never got to it. I think I saw it rec'd again the other day -- maybe by Christina? -- and it sounded good and my library had the audio available and, well, here we are. ;)

Nope, nope. I remember now. I know Christina has rec'd it before, but I remember what made me want to pick it up recently. There was an article -- I can't find it now -- but it was an author's list of the five best opening lines, and the one from Chime was included. And with good reason!


I pre-ordered the gorgeous HC of Six of Crows, but I also wanted a quick re-read, so I also downloaded the audio on release day. Best. Decision. Ever. So many awesome narrators for such an amazing book. Highly recommend.

So, that's my haul. =) What did the book faeries bring you this week?

The Week in Review:


Lion Heart (Scarlet, #3)The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #2)Magonia (Magonia, #1)Extraordinary MeansThe Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1)

Current Giveaways:

Max the Brave Giveaway Banned Books 2015 Giveaway

Promotional/Discussion Posts:  

Currently Reading:

DreamstriderI actually did finally start this book this week, and it's pretty good so far. I like that the main character has a special gift but she's not immediately adept at using it. I like a character who isn't perfect from the get-go. Also, dream striding seems pretty intense.

Currently Listening:

ChimeI finished my re-read via listen of Six of Crows and had no other audio on the agenda, so I went ahead and started this. So far, so good.

Upcoming Reviews:

Slasher Girls & Monster BoysIlluminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen, #2)

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