Top 5 Most Anticipated Releases of Winter 2016-2017

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Happy December, everyone!

Once again, I must apologize for my long absence! Though we are into one of my favorite seasons of the year, it is also never very kind to me in the illness department, and I’ve been in bed with a bad sinus infection for the past three weeks. But I’m back and finally feeling a bit more up to snuff, so it’s time to finish out 2016 and head into a new blogging year stronger than ever! And what better way to start out than looking ahead to some of my anticipated upcoming releases in the new year? 🙂

1. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (January 10th, 2017)

thebearandthenightingaleA young woman’s family is threatened by forces both real and fantastical in this debut novel inspired by Russian fairy tales.

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.

2. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (January 17th, 2017)

carvethemarkOn a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuve, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive — or to destroy one another.

3. Caraval by Stephanie Garber (January 31st, 2017)

caravalWelcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

4. Wires and Nerves by Marissa Meyer (January 31st, 2017)

wiresandnervesIn her first graphic novel, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller Marissa Meyer follows Iko, the beloved android from the Lunar Chronicles, on a dangerous and romantic new adventure — with a little help from Cinder and the Lunar team.

In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.

5. Traveler by L.E. DeLano (February 7th, 2017)

travelerJessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles…Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… this Jessa is going to live.

What books are you guys most looking forward to this winter season? Let me know in the comments!

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Top 10 Tuesday – November 15th, 2016

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is a movie freebie, so I’ve chosen to do my top ten favorite movies of all time. As well as being a major book lover, I am also quite a big film lover. And though there are tons of newer films I love, I am a particular big old movie fan. Even though it’s incredibly difficult to narrow down my list, I absolutely love sharing my favorite movies with people and hearing what theirs are (and fangirling over common favorites!). So this post is going to be a bit less bookish today, and more of a personal, get to know me type post! 🙂

The Birdcage

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This has to go on the list as my number one favorite movie of all-time. This movie is a classic to me and my family. Watching this every year (or multiple times a year, really!) when my aunt and uncle are in town has been a long-standing tradition in our family, and it was a sort of “rite of passage” thing when I was old enough to watch it with them for the first time. It is absolutely hilarious, and even though I’ve watched it a thousand times, I will never get tired of it!

Back to the Future

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This is another movie that I can watch over and over again and never get tired of. I fell in love with this movie (or the whole trilogy, actually) when I was a little kid, and it has been a huge favorite of mine ever since.

To Kill a Mockingbird

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I’m sure none of you are surprised by this one! My favorite book of all-time and, of course, one of my favorite movies. It is a brilliant adaptation of the novel—very faithful to the story—and the casting is top notch.

Little Miss Sunshine

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This movie. Words cannot express how much I adore this movie. So many feels. ❤

It’s a Wonderful Life

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This is my absolute favorite Christmas film. Not only is it an incredible movie in general, but it is also such a unique tale for the holiday season. While it has an ultimately happy ending, it’s quite a dark story overall. This has been a long-time favorite of mine, ever since I was a little kid.

Rear Window

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I am a MAJOR Hitchcock fan and a MAJOR Jimmy Stewart fan, so of course, this is one of my favorite films of all time. Fantastic cast, fantastic and gripping storyline—I just love this movie. Never gets old!

Rebecca

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Again, another Hitchcock favorite and another book to movie adaptation, though I have yet to read the novel. It’s the perfect mix of dark, mysterious, and romantic, with another stellar cast.

The Lego Movie

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Everything is awesome…about this movie (heh…see what I did there?)! This is such an adorable, hilarious, fantastically quotable movie and I have been completely obsessed with it since I first saw it. Such a fun and feel-good movie.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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Okay, so really every single Harry Potter film is a favorite movie of mine, but this is my all-time favorite from the series. I’ve said before, from what I typically hear, I think I’m in the minority with this one, but Chamber of Secrets has always been my favorite of both the films and books (and the videogames!)!

The Avengers

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This one was so difficult to choose because I absolutely adore every Marvel movie ever (or at least every Marvel Studios/recent Marvel character movie ever). But after much thought, I had to choose The Avengers because it is the film that reinvigorated by love of Marvel from when I was a little kid. And even though I don’t think it is the absolute best of the recent films they’ve made, it has a very fond place in my heart. I will always completely adore this movie! ❤

What are some of your favorite movies (book related or otherwise)? Do we have any top favorites in common? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Top 10 Tuesday – November 8th, 2016

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is the top ten books you’ve added to your to-be-read list lately. Since I’ve just recently gone and put a ton of new books on my Goodreads TBR that I’m extremely excited about, I picked out the top ten that I am most looking forward to, rather than just going down the list by most recent. These are the ones that I am planning to get soon (unless they aren’t released yet, of course!). 🙂

1. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

flameinthemistThe daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

2. The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

thegirlfromthewellYou may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets. 

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago. 

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

 Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.

 The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge“, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

3. The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

thegirlbeforeIn the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception. 

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Emma

Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

Jane

After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

4. Shadow Run by Adrianne Strickland and Michael Miller

shadowrunNev has just joined the crew of the starship Kaitan Heritage as the cargo loader. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person to command her own ship, but she brooks no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. Nev can’t resist her, even if her ship is an antique.

As for Nev, he’s a prince, in hiding on the ship. He believes Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, and when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, Nev resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary.

But before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole too, and they’re more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive.  

Nev’s mission to manipulate Qole becomes one to save her, and to survive, she’ll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. He may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power—and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.

5. The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

thedeadhousePart-psychological thriller, part-urban legend, this is an unsettling narrative made up of diary entries, interview transcripts, film footage transcripts and medical notes. Twenty-five years ago, Elmbridge High burned down. Three people were killed and one pupil, Carly Johnson, disappeared. Now a diary has been found in the ruins of the school. The diary belongs to Kaitlyn Johnson, Carly’s identical twin sister. But Carly didn’t have a twin . . .  

Re-opened police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and fragments of diary reveal a web of deceit and intrigue, violence and murder, raising a whole lot more questions than it answers. 

Who was Kaitlyn and why did she only appear at night? Did she really exist or was she a figment of a disturbed mind? What were the illicit rituals taking place at the school? And just what did happen at Elmbridge in the events leading up to ‘the Johnson Incident’?

Chilling, creepy and utterly compelling, The Dead House is one of those very special books that finds all the dark places in your imagination, and haunts you long after you’ve finished reading.

6. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

alannathefirstadventureFrom now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.

But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins – one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.

7. Four Kings by M.D. Elster

fourkingsA NOIR MURDER MYSTERY.

AN ASYLUM STORY. 

A DARK FAIRY TALE…. 

New Orleans, 1945. After a terrible hurricane devastates the city, fourteen-year-old Anaïs Reynard wakes up in an asylum with a case of amnesia. Dr. Waters, the hospital’s prestigious director, vows to help Anaïs recover her memories — this is of the utmost importance, he tells her, because Anaïs is the sole witness to a terrible crime. On the night of the hurricane, her stepfather and only living guardian was shot. A young black man has been arrested, and Anaïs finds herself under pressure from the district attorney to testify. Anaïs wants to help, but a strange feeling nags at her. She isn’t entirely sure the man on trial is guilty, and she doesn’t know who she can trust.

Then, one night, she receives an eerie, surreal visit from a dapper man with the head of a fox who entrusts her with an ornate key that unlocks a secret door to the land of the Four Kings. Like Alice before her, Anaïs follows this curiously genteel animal down the rabbit hole to discover a magical yet fraught world of not-quite-human creatures. As Anaïs navigates the political minefields of each king’s court — Raven, Lion, Snake, and Unicorn — her bravery and resolve are tested.

With each shocking twist and turn, and as fantasy and reality blur, Anaïs begins to unlock the riddle of her own memories, a trail that leads from Nazi-occupied Europe and her mother all the way to post-war New Orleans, and the very night her stepfather was shot.

8. Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell

traitorsbladeFalcio is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom, and impaled their King’s head on a spike.

Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders. The Dukes bring chaos to the land, while the Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters.

All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission. But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King’s dream, the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will also have to stand aside as they watch their world burn…

9. The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

thebeastisananimalA girl with a secret talent must save her village from the encroaching darkness in this haunting and deeply satisfying tale.

Alys was seven when the soul eaters came to her village.

These soul eaters, twin sisters who were abandoned by their father and slowly morphed into something not quite human, devour human souls. Alys, and all the other children, were spared—and they were sent to live in a neighboring village. There the devout people created a strict world where good and evil are as fundamental as the nursery rhymes children sing. Fear of the soul eaters—and of the Beast they believe guides them—rule village life. But the Beast is not what they think it is. And neither is Alys.

Inside, Alys feels connected to the soul eaters, and maybe even to the Beast itself. As she grows from a child to a teenager, she longs for the freedom of the forest. And she has a gift she can tell no one, for fear they will call her a witch. When disaster strikes, Alys finds herself on a journey to heal herself and her world. A journey that will take her through the darkest parts of the forest, where danger threatens her from the outside—and from within her own heart and soul.

10. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

sleepinggiantsA girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand. 

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of the relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

What are some of the books you’ve added to your TBR recently? Which new discoveries are you most excited to read? Let me know in the comments!

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Fall Activities Book Tag

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I was tagged to do the Fall Activities Book Tag by my wonderful friend Heather from The Sassy Book Geek. Thank you so much for the tag! Please make sure you guys head over and check out her amazing blog (and give her a follow while you’re at it!) 😀

This tag was originally created by Ashley from Dreaming Through Literature, so also make sure to go check out her post as well!

Apple Picking: A book on your TBR that looks so delicious you can’t wait to take a bite out of it.

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and Timekeeper by Tara Sim

I couldn’t decide between the two—they are both so tempting! First of all, Nevernight is quite appropriate for this particular tag because Heather was the one who recommended the book to me. I just got my copy in the mail recently and the need to pick it up is strong! Timekeeper isn’t coming out until the beginning of next month, but then I got approved for an ARC! Basically, these are probably going to be my next two reads!

Corn Maze: A book that’s so much fun to get lost in.

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

I enjoy getting lost in any of the Sherlock Holmes novels, but this is my favorite of the series. These novels are extremely easy to get immersed in on so many levels. There’s brilliant, captivating writing, intriguingly plotted and absorbing mysteries—they are perfect for curling up and enjoying on a cold, fall day!

Click here to read my full review!

Haunted Houses: A book that scared you silly.

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The Shining by Stephen King

Despite the fact that I love reading spooky stories, I’ve never actually been really creeped out by any. The closest I ever came to getting really scared while reading was with The Shining—things get pretty damn freaky! Stephen King is a total master of the horror genre.

Pumpkin Patch: The latest book you picked up (purchased).

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When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

This sounded like it would be such a sweet and unique read, so I just had to get myself a copy. I expect to be reading and reviewing this one fairly soon!

Scenic Drives: A book that is lyrically beautiful.

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

This book. This. Book. Every single thing about A Monster Calls is absolutely beautiful, but Patrick Ness’s incredible, lyrical writing is the star of the show.

Click here to read my full review!

Pumpkin Carving: A book you didn’t like and wouldn’t mind carving up.

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The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

This book had SO much potential, but ended up being one of the slowest and most painfully boring reads I have ever had. Now let me just say, never in a million years would I ever carve up a book, no matter how much I dislike it! But let’s just say, if I had a copy of this book and for some reason could not keep it in pristine condition…or if it were to be sucked into a black hole…yeah, not going to be too disappointed by that.

Click here to read my full review!

Hiking: A book that was a highly enjoyable romp.

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I love absolutely everything about this novel…and absolutely everything about Mr. Rochester…*ahem* um…I mean the fantastic writing and…um…compelling underlying themes… Seriously though, this is one of my favorite classics and I adored studying it in school.

Drinking Apple Cider: A sweet book to curl up under the covers with.

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The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

This was one of my absolute favorite childhood stories, and it most definitely is a sweet story to snuggle under the covers with (something I did on many a night!). It’s such an adorable, fun, easy to love story—plus it’s a total book lover’s book as well!

Jumping In A Leaf Pile: A book that reminds you of your childhood.

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

This was another I couldn’t choose just one for, though neither of these are probably particularly surprising! Both of these series in general remind me of my childhood, but these are my personal favorites of those series—and they make me feel especially nostalgic!

Scary Movie Night: Your favorite spooky read.

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And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Again, I’ve never found a novel that really scares me too much, but this is definitely one creepy story. And it’s creepy in a different way from the typical fall/Halloween time reads with ghosts and monsters (the non-human kind, at least!). It’s one of my favorite classics of all time and honestly a perfect story to read this time of year!

Bonus! Costume Party: A book with an eclectic cast of characters.

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Vicious by V.E. Schwab

I’ve read so many wonderful stories with incredibly eclectic casts, but this is one that will always really stick in my mind. This novel holds a very wide variety of vividly portrayed and well-developed characters that truly drive the story. Every single aspect of Vicious is wonderful, but these unique characters really remain with you well after you’ve finished reading.

Click here to read my full review!

I Tag:

Anna @ My Bookish Dream

Jen @ J.N. Cahill

Fran @ Nightjar’s Jar of Books

Cheyenne @ Cheyenne Raphael Writes

Sam @ One Bookish Girl

Nagina @ OhBookish

Ola @ Ola Reads Books

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Top 10 Tuesday – October 18th, 2016

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is the top ten characters you’d name a child/dog/cat/car/etc. after. I threw in a few names I might call my children, but the characters I chose are mostly going to be ones I would name my pets after. Basically, as someone who is obsessed with both books and animals, all of my future pets are required to have a bookish name. And given how much of an animal lover I am, I will most likely have a pet with each of these names at some point in my life!

Loki

This has to be my number one pick for a pet name because I desperately want to get a husky and name it Loki!

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Sherlock

I’d love to have two dogs named after Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic characters: Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. However, I like the name “Sherlock” as a pet name more than “Holmes”, and I’m not sure if I’d want to call the other dog “John” to match…

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Atticus

Okay, so I have to admit, this is one that I might call my kid, though I’m not sure how much they would appreciate me doing that! But I definitely want a dog named “Atticus” someday, particularly a golden retriever.

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Aslan

This would be one of the best names ever for a cat! I also might use this for a particularly fluffy dog. I have heard this (rarely) as a person’s name, so maybe I’d consider it for a kid?

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Lily

This is sort of a vague one since it’s such a common name, but I had Lily Potter in mind. Lily is my number one favorite girl’s name, so I can guarantee that if I ever have a daughter, this will be her name!

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Luna

Another Harry Potter name! This is one I’d use for either a child or a pet. I’ve always thought that Luna was such a pretty name (and a fantastic character!).

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Cerberus

This would be an amazing name for a dog (clearly!). I’m a huge fan of pitbulls, and I feel like this is a name that would suit one perfectly.

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Rochester

I feel like this one could be a fantastic name for either a dog or a cat…very distinguished looking dog or cat…

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Gatsby

Totally awesome name for a cat!

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Prufrock

An ode to my favorite poem of all time. I could see this being great for any pet, but I think I would personally use this as a cat name.

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Extra Bonus: Hedwig

If I ever had a pet owl…naturally…

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What literary names would you use for your pets/children/miscellaneous nameable things? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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Top 5 Anticipated Releases of Fall 2016

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Hi everyone!

Happy Fall! It’s finally my favorite time of year, and I’ve already started wearing my sweaters and boots! First off, I’d like to apologize for my absence this past month. I’ve been dealing with some unexpected health issues and it has caused both reading and blogging to be rather tricky. I’m starting back with a bit of a shorter post today, but I promise, I’ll be getting back into the swing of things with posting this month. I have a number of reviews coming, including one from an awesome buddy read with my friend Anna from My Bookish Dream (read her review here!). I’m looking forward to coming back and being a bit more active—and feeling better!

1. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (October 4th, 2016)

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When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

2. Timekeeper by Tara Sim (November 1st, 2016)

timekeeperTwo o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.

3. Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin (November 1st, 2016)

*Contains spoilers for Wolf by Wolf*

bloodforbloodThere would be blood.

Blood for blood.

Blood to pay.

An entire world of it.

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.

4. Heartless by Marissa Meyer (November 8th, 2016)

heartlessLong before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

5. Flashfall by Jenny Moyer (November 15th, 2016)

flashfallOrion is a Subpar, expected to mine the tunnels of Outpost Five, near the deadly flash curtain. For generations, her people have chased cirium—the only element that can shield humanity from the curtain’s radioactive particles. She and her caving partner, Dram work the most treacherous tunnel, fighting past flash bats and tunnel gulls, in hopes of mining enough cirium to earn their way into the protected city.

But when newcomers arrive at Outpost Five, Orion uncovers disturbing revelations that make her question everything she thought she knew about life on both sides of the cirium shield. As conditions at the outpost grow increasingly dangerous, it’s up to Orion to forge a way past the flashfall, beyond all boundaries, beyond the world as she knows it.

What are some of your most anticipated releases this fall? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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The Great British Bake Off Book Tag

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I have wanted to do this tag for a while now, and since the newest season started this week, I figured this would be the perfect time to do it! I discovered The Great British Bake Off a couple of years ago and binged watched the first four seasons in about week! I do live in the US, so it can be hard to keep up with the show, but it is one of my favorites of all time and I’m so excited about this new season!

This tag was originally created by Jack from Reading With Jack, and I discovered it through Sam from Sam’s Nonsense.

CAKE: The cake has sunk in the middle. Pick a book that didn’t rise to your expectations.

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The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin

This novel was pitched as being sort of like the “found footage” of literature (made clear from the start that it is fictional). On top of that, it was interspersed with artwork and photography, as the biography was about an artist. That sounded absolutely awesome, so naturally, I had very high hopes for it. Oh boy, what a letdown it was. The art aspect was fantastic, but the actual text of the novel was like reading transcripts of interviews rather than an actual biography. Very boring, very paperwork-esque, and so disappointing.

Click here to check out my full review!

BISCUITS: Once you’ve eaten one, you’re hungry for more and each time you eat another, they get more and more delicious. Pick a book series or trilogy that got progressively better.

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The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Throughout my life so far, I’ve mostly read standalones, so this was sort of hard to come up with an answer for. I’m not actually finished with The Lunar Chronicles series yet, but it’s the only series I can think of to fit this question. I enjoyed Cinder, and Scarlet—which is the only other book I’ve read so far—was even better. Most people say this continues to be the case through the rest of the series, so I’m excited to continue!

BREAD: Kneading dough requires hard work and determination. Pick a book that you put off reading for ages and needed a lot of determination to pick up.

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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Even though I already knew I loved the television series, I put off picking up this novel for ages because of its (and all the other books in the series’) size. However, I finally got up the courage this summer and started it while I was traveling. I’ve been reading it in very short bursts lately because I have a lot of review copies to catch up on, but I (unsurprisingly) love it so far. I’m looking forward to getting through the rest of it and continuing on with the series when I can.

DESSERTS: Foreign deserts such as crème brûlée and Spanische Windtorte are on the menu. Pick a book set in a foreign country.

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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

I’ve read a lot of books set in foreign countries, but this novel is by far one of my favorites of all time. It is such an important and meaningful read with absolutely beautiful writing to boot. If you have not read this yet, I very highly recommend it.

ALTERNATIVE INGREDIENTS: Not usually used, but surprisingly good. Pick a book from a genre you wouldn’t normally read but ended up loving.

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Wolf by Kelly Oliver

This is primarily a crime novel, so that’s not an unusual genre for me, but this also falls into the category of feminist literature, which is not something I would typically go for. Don’t get me wrong, I’m clearly a feminist, so I don’t avoid it due to disagreeing with the perspective—rather, I find that it can get a bit over-the-top sometimes. I prefer when a heroine is a bit subtler in their strength and it’s not all constantly in your face girl power (if that makes any sense). Show rather than tell! However, Kelly Oliver did a solid job with it in this novel. There were a few exaggerated moments, but nothing I couldn’t get past, and I ended up really enjoying the story. Review to come soon!

PASTRY: Shortcrust pastry can crumble easily. Pick a character who you initially liked, but as you read more and more, your relationship with them crumbled apart.

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Mare Barrow from Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I’m not sure if this one technically counts because I didn’t really like Mare at any point in the novel—but this is the closest I could get. I definitely liked her more at the start of the novel than at the end. She very quickly got on my nerves—which is unfortunate seeing as she is the narrator—and things continued to go downhill for us…

Click here to check out my full review!

VICTORIAN/OLD-FASHIONED BAKES: Recipes from the past that still taste delicious today. Pick your favorite classic novel.

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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I was trying to think up an unpredictable answer for this one, but…here we are again. This really is my favorite classic, and it definitely “still tastes delicious” every time I devour it! 🙂

PATISSERIE: You’re eating a chocolate éclair but there’s barely any filling inside. Pick a book that lacked substance and fell flat.

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A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

I think most of you know by now that, though I am totally a hopeless romantic, romance is not my preferred genre to read. However, I have occasionally found some hidden gems. This was not one. It had an interesting and unique premise—boasting fourteen different viewpoints—but it ended up falling flat for me. This main selling point turned out to be the novel’s biggest weakness as it failed to allow the author to create any sort of depth in the characters or plot, instead causing a very disjointed feeling.

Click here to check out my full review!

CHOCOLATE: Chocolate is a comfort food for many people. Pick a book you could read again and again and still find comforting.

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Obviously I have to choose my go-to cozy read! These mysteries never fail to give me the book nerd warm fuzzies. ❤

Click here to check out my full review!

THE GRAND FINAL: Everyone is out to impress with extravagant show-stoppers! Pick your favorite book of the year so far that really impressed you.

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I’ve had incredibly good luck reading-wise so far, and have read a number of truly amazing books. But I don’t think anything quite tops The Book Thief for me yet. It took me years to get to, but I finally did and I’m so glad—it was everything I hoped it would be and so much more.

I Tag:

Everyone! I’m not sure who is a fan of this show, so I’m not going to tag anyone specific. But if you like GBBO (or this tag!), then consider yourself officially tagged! 😀

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