Top 5 Anticipated Releases of Summer 2016

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Hey guys! 😀

I apologize for my long and sudden absence from posting this past month or so. It became obvious to me that I needed to put some things in my life on pause and take a short mental health break to focus on getting my stress levels a bit more under control. But I have missed blogging and chatting with all of you so much, and I’m very excited to get going again! I’ll be slowly easing myself back into posting (and hopefully into maintaining a slightly better schedule as well) over these next few weeks. And what better way to start that off than with my usual, seasonal anticipated releases post!

1. And I Darken by Kiersten White (June 28th, 2016)

andidarkenNO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL.

And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

2. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (July 5th, 2016)

thissavagesongThere’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

3. Red Queen by Christina Henry (July 12th, 2016)

*Contains Spoilers for Book One: Alice*

redqueen2The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.

Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.

The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen…

4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling (July 31st, 2016)

harrypotterandthecursedchildBased on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016  

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children. 

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

5. Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter (August 23rd, 2016)

ghostlyechoesJenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the investigative services of her fellow residents to solve a decade-old murder—her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, Detective R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny’s fiancé, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all, and her killer may be far more dangerous than they suspected. 

Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail’s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced.

What new releases are you most looking forward to reading this summer? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

-Ariana

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April 2016 TBR

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Happy April, everyone! I am quite late with my TBR and wrap-up this month—and it’s definitely going to be a bit of a shorter one than usual—but it’s finally here. If you read my update post last week, you’ll know that I had a bit of a difficult March. However, I am back and as quirky (and nerdy) as ever! Things are finally beginning to get back on track, and I am aiming to catch up on reading and blogging as much as possible in April. Thank you guys for all the love and support. Hopefully this month will be much better than the last! 🙂 ❤

April TBR

1. The Masterpiecers by Olivia Wildenstein

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This is one of the books I have received for review, and it is what I am currently reading. I’m not too far into it yet, but at this point I’m enjoying it quite a bit. The writing style flows very well and the mystery in the premise has me very interested to see where the story goes. Dark, mysteries are a definite favorite of mine to read, so I’m hoping this plot will continue to remain strong.

2. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

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This is one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I am beyond excited to read it. I’ve been hearing some mixed reviews, but that has not got me any less eager to dive into this novel!

3. The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

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This is another book that I was sent for review (thank you, David!). It is a retelling—or a continuation, rather—and a darker sounding one at that, which we all know is one of my favorite types of stories. I’m quite intrigued by the premise and I am really looking forward to seeing where he takes the idea. This should hopefully be my next read, in fact.

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I will also be continuing to read The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror by Joyce Carol Oates and The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Read in March

Not surprisingly, this was a bit of a rough reading month, but I did manage to get a few books finished.

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1. Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick – This was my first experience with Matthew Quick’s work and I’ll say it was definitely a solid one. It was a pretty enjoyable read overall, and it’s got me looking forward to reading his other novels. Full review coming soon!

2. The Haters by Jesse Andrews – I’m running a bit behind on my review for this book because I’m still trying to get my thoughts about it in order. It’s one of those books where I’m still not entirely sure how I felt about it and I need to let my brain do a bit more processing. Full review coming soon!

Anticipated Releases of April

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  1. Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell, Don’t Tell by Liane Shaw (April 5th, 2016)
  2. Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey (April 19th, 2016)

What books do you want to read in April? Are you looking forward to any new releases this month? Let me know in the comments! 😀

-Ariana

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Top 10 Tuesday – March 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 the top ten books on your spring TBR. As always, the gigantic general TBR that I have makes this a very easy list to come up with books for! I’ve been picking up a lot of new books lately, so this spring I’d really like to focus a bit more on some of the novels I’ve had sitting on my TBR for a while as well.

Let’s do this spring thing! 😀 (yes…I’m lame 😛 )

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1. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – I read my first V.E. Schwab novel—Vicious—at the end of last year, and since then, I have been dying to read more of her work. This trilogy is the most appealing to me right now as I’m really in the mood for some magic and parallel worlds. I absolutely can’t wait to dive into the story—and to get more awesome V.E. Schwab-ness in my life!

2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – My explanation for this choice can be summed up in two words—Gillian Flynn. The only reason I have been putting this one off is due to the fact that I want to make sure I’m reading it during a time where I can give it 110% of my attention. Now that I have emerged from my slumpishness at the beginning of the year, I’m ready to devour the crap out of this novel! Also, I’m fairly certain Gillian Flynn is my spirit animal. Just saying… 🙂

3. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – I just wrote a review for A Monster Calls last week, and now I’ve got a massive urge to read more Patrick Ness. Back when I read A Monster Calls for the first time, I adored it so much that I immediately went out and bought almost every Patrick Ness novel in existence, which included the entire Chaos Walking trilogy. I’m hoping I can finish the entire thing before the end of the year, so it’s about time I get on it! On a side note, I also partially blame Heather from The Sassy Book Geek for reminding me the other day that I still need to read this trilogy! 😛

4. More Than This by Patrick Ness – Speaking of Patrick Ness… Look, sometimes you just need to go on a Patrick Ness binge, you know?

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5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I picked up a copy of this novel last year right when it came out (and when I saw those black pages, to be completely honest!). Since then, I have heard nothing but fantastic things about it, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what I think. I’ve also had Leigh Bardugo’s books on my radar for quite a while now, and this series definitely seems the most like my type of story. It sounds absolutely awesome!

6. Beastly Bones by William Ritter – I read and really loved Jackaby at the beginning of last year, so I’m excited to continue on with these books. This series is hilarious, creative, and honestly just plain fun—it should hopefully be a nice, chill read, which is something I’ve been really needing lately. On top of that, the next book in the series is coming out this summer, so I need to catch up ASAP! 

7. Doctor Who: Borrowed Time by Naomi Alderman – A bit of a random choice, yes, but we all know about my love (*cough*obsession*cough*) of everything Doctor Who. There are a number of these novels on my TBR at the moment and I want to start making my way through them. They are nice for a entertaining, quick read each month, and this is the one I’m most in the mood to read next. Also…Doctor Who… ❤

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8. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – This is one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and is going to be one of the next books I read. Yes, I know I said at the beginning of this post that I’ve been getting too distracted by new releases lately, but I just can’t wait for this one! And…you know…one more can’t hurt, right? We’ll just keep this between us… 😛

9. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken – Another one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and a book I’ve had on my TBR since January. I’ve had to keep putting it off each month, so I’m determined to finally get to it soon. Last week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic also made me realize that, though I completely love stories about time travel, I’ve not actually read all that many. Clearly, this is something I need to fix, and what better way to get started?

10. Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey – I just recently discovered this one and am definitely intrigued. It sounds like it might be a fun read, but I will say, I am slightly iffy about it because it sounds like it will be a little more focused on romance than my typical reads. I feel like this might be a novel that I’m either really going to love or just not be able to get into, but I’m interested to see what I think!

What are some of the books on your spring TBR? Do we have any in common? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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Top 5 Anticipated Releases of Spring 2016

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The weather is (slowly) beginning to get warmer and spring is rapidly approaching. Winter here has actually not been all that intense this year, but I am definitely still looking forward to nicer temperatures. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy snow to some extent, but one massive storm is enough for me! 😛

This season brings new life into both the outside world and the book world—and there is a pile of fantastic looking releases coming over these next few months. I am particularly looking forward to this book release season. Excitingly enough, I have ARC copies of a number of new releases, so expect to see some early (spoiler-free!) reviews up on here in the coming weeks! 😀

Here are the top five spring releases that I am particularly looking forward to getting my hands on!

1. Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey (April, 19th, 2016)

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Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She’s much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she’s determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish their research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana’s traveling companions…and Juliana herself.

2. The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan (May 3rd, 2016)

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How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go…an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

3. Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick (May 10th, 2016)

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Nanette O’Hare is an unassuming teen who has played the role of dutiful daughter, hard-working student, and star athlete for as long as she can remember. But when a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper—the mysterious, out-of-print cult-classic—the rebel within Nanette awakens.

As she befriends the reclusive author, falls in love with a young but troubled poet, and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that sometimes rebellion comes at a high price.

A celebration of the self and the formidable power of story, Every Exquisite Thing is Matthew Quick at his finest.

4. Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black (May 17th, 2016)

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Blue Riley has wrestled with her own demons ever since the loss of her mother to cancer. But when she encounters a beautiful devil at her town crossroads, it’s her runaway sister’s soul she fights to save. The devil steals Blue’s voice—inherited from her musically gifted mother—in exchange for a single shot at finding Cass. 

Armed with her mother’s guitar, a knapsack of cherished mementos, and a pair of magical boots, Blue journeys west in search of her sister. When the devil changes the terms of their deal, Blue must reevaluate her understanding of good and evil and open herself to finding family in unexpected places.

In Devil and the Bluebird, Jennifer Mason-Black delivers a heart-wrenching depiction of loss and hope.

5. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (June 7th, 2016)

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There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from acclaimed author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books, This Savage Song is a must-have for fans of Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, and Laini Taylor. 

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. In This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab creates a gritty, seething metropolis, one worthy of being compared to Gotham and to the four versions of London in her critically acclaimed fantasy for adults, A Darker Shade of Magic. Her heroes will face monsters intent on destroying them from every side—including the monsters within.

What new releases are you most looking forward to this spring? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

-Ariana

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March 2016 TBR

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Happy March, everyone!

My second favorite season of the year is on its way, and I am really starting to look forward to the warmer weather! I’m still catching up on a few reads, so this month’s TBR is mainly going to consist of review copies that I need to work on. Also, I am hoping to begin getting reviews out a bit more frequently this month. I like writing a good variety of posts, and I feel like I want to be getting reviews out slightly more often than I have been. I tend to be too much of a perfectionist when it comes to my reviews (and I write way too much to begin with!), so that’s definitely been slowing me down quite a lot. My goal is to start trying to get out about two each week, so we’ll see how that ends up going! 🙂

March TBR

1. Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black

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The synopsis for this novel has me extremely intrigued. It promises to have a mix of both fantasy and realism, which is a style that I always love. On top of that, there is going to be a musical element to it—that completely sells me on this! It seems like it will be an emotional read but an incredibly unique one, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what it’s all about.

2. Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

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I am so incredibly excited about reading this novel! In fact, I’ve already started it because I just couldn’t wait any longer, so this should be my first completed read for the month. I’ve not actually read a novel by Matthew Quick yet, though I have had a few on my TBR for a long time now. I can’t wait to finally give his work a go!

3. These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

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This is the one novel on this list that isn’t an ARC copy, but it is one of my most anticipated releases of the year. Since it isn’t a review copy, it’s not a top priority on my TBR, but I am still really hoping I’ll be able to get to it this month. I’m too excited to wait much longer!

4. The Haters by Jesse Andrews

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As well as not having read any of Matthew Quick’s novels yet, I’ve also not yet read Jesse Andrew’s other novel—Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl—yet, though I have been meaning to for a while. I’ve heard a lot of mixed opinions about his work, specifically the humor that he uses in his stories, so I’m really interested to see where my opinion falls.

5. The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror by Joyce Carol Oates

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This is one final ARC that I need to review soon. I don’t intend to read the entire book this month, but I would like to get started reading some of these stories over the course of the next few weeks. I prefer reading collections of short stories in small bursts anyway—I think it’s more fun to spread them out as you read other novels, rather than rush through them all in one go!

Read in February

I’m still in the process of dealing with these migraines I’ve been getting, so my reading and reviewing pace is not quite up to snuff just yet. I definitely hope to pick up my normal speed again soon, as I begin to feel better. However, while this was a rather slow reading month for me, it was overall enjoyable, so I’m feeling good about it!

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1. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – It’s taken me forever, but I’ve finally started to continue on with this series and it’s so nice to dive back into this world. Full review coming soon!

2. Camp Midnight by Steven T. Seagle and Jason Katzenstein – I was in the mood for a new graphic novel this month. This one was an ARC that had been on my reading list for a little while, so I decided to give it a go—and I absolutely loved it! This was a quick, fun, and satisfying read with some wonderful artwork to boot. Click here to read my full review.

3. The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath by Ishbelle Bee – This was a novel that I had heard very little about, and picked up randomly a few months back. As I expected, it was an extremely unique, fantastical, and intriguing story. I will definitely be posting a more in depth review very soon! I’m looking forward to discussing this one.

4. Doctor Who: Deep Time by Trevor Baxendale – If you haven’t yet been able to tell, I love reading Doctor Who novels! This was another ARC that I had on my reading list for the month. There will be a full review of this coming very soon.

5. The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle – I (finally) began reading this at the end of the month, so it is technically rolling over onto my March TBR. As I said earlier, I like to take my time with short story collections, and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing with this one. But, whenever I do complete it, you can be certain that there will be a full (probably very fangirly) review! 😀

February Book Haul

Okay, so I may have gone mildly overboard with my book buying this month…But in my defense, I haven’t been buying all that many books lately. Also a few of these are ARCs as well…

Nope, still can’t justify this. I went overboard…but I’m a happy little book nerd. 😀 ❤

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  1. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
  1. The Haters by Jesse Andrews (ARC)
  1. Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black (ARC)
  1. These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
  1. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

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  1. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
  1. Soulless by Gail Carriger
  1. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  1. Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick (ARC)
  1. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

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  1. A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
  1. Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin
  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

All right, no more book buying for me for a little while… 😛

What books do you have on your TBR for March? Are you looking forward to any new releases this month? Do any of you guys need to join me in my book buying ban? Let me know in the comments! 😀

-Ariana

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The Ben ‘n’ Jerry’s Book Tag

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I was tagged by Cristina from My Tiny Obsessions and Catia from The Girl Who Read Too Much to do the Ben ‘n’ Jerry’s book tag. Thank you both so much for the tag! This was created by Aimal from Bookshelves & Paperbacks.

Vanilla Caramel Fudge: pick a light, fluffy contemporary

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We are starting things off with a tricky one since light, fluffy contemporaries are really not at all my thing. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli is probably the lightest and fluffiest of the small amount of contemporary novels that I have read in my life. It was overall adorable and hilarious, and I absolutely loved it! Two others that are not quite as light, but that I ended up really enjoying were The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith and The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder.

Mint Chocolate Cookie: a new release that you wish everybody would read

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I haven’t actually read any really new releases just yet, so I’m going to fudge this a little bit and say Winter by Marissa Meyer. Basically, I wish everybody would read (and hopefully enjoy!) the entire Lunar Chronicles series in general. I cannot gush enough about these novels!

Karamel Sutra Core: a last book in a series that you were completely satisfied with

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This may be an obvious choice, but I have to choose Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for this one. I don’t actually read series very often, and when it comes to those that I have read in the past, I have been disappointed by a lot of final books. However, this was one that I absolutely loved—in fact, it’s probably my second or third favorite novel in the series. It was a strong, epic, and satisfying conclusion to an overall fantastic series of books, and I was so pleased that the story was wrapped up so well.

Cherry Garcia: an ending that was bittersweet

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For this one, I’m going to have to go with the ending of Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander. This novel overall is incredibly bittersweet—both beautiful and painful. It is a very touching story with a positive underlying message, and the ending holds just as true to this format as the rest of the book. However, let’s just say this is also one book that makes the extremely small list of books that made me cry.

Strawberry Shortcake: a book containing your OTP of OTPs

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I’m not usually one to have OTPs, but if any couple is my OTP, it would definitely be Marko and Alana from the graphic novel series, Saga. Their relationship, though it goes through some bumps, is absolutely lovely; they are the very definition of soul mates. Their love for each other outweighs everything, despite all the hardships they face. I adore this pairing.

Milk and Cookies: two authors that if they collaborated, they would go perfectly together

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I’m definitely going to have to agree with both Cristina and Catia on this one and say Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi. To be honest, if they were book characters, they would have been my answer to the last question. They are such a wonderful pair, and are each individually very talented and imaginative writers. If they wrote a novel together, chances are high that it would be one of the most epic stories ever!

Boston Cream Pie: a book that had you turning your pages late into the night

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Oh man, so many books over the years have done this for me—take any of the Harry Potter or Narnia books for instance! If I were to choose a slightly more recent read, I would have to pick Gone Girl. I absolutely devoured this novel. I was completely engrossed from page one and it was nearly impossible to put down, which caused a number of very late night (or early morning, rather…) reading sessions!

Chocolate Therapy: a book that makes you feel better after a long day of life

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You guys know me well enough by this point to not be at all surprised with I say To Kill a Mockingbird for this answer. I’m fairly certain I’ve managed to mention this book at least once in every single tag that I’ve done—and that probably won’t be changing anytime soon! This is one of those stories that never fails to give me the warm fuzzies when I read it, due to both the deep and heartwarming story itself and the personal nostalgia factor—the many fond memories I have of this novel from over the years and its importance to me.

Coffee, Coffee, Buzzbuzzbuzz!: a book not yet released that you can’t wait to get your hands on

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This is a difficult topic to choose just one book for, since there are so many fantastic upcoming releases this year! My top most anticipated release of the year is Heartless by Marissa Meyer, but another one right up there with it would be This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. They are both authors that I discovered last year and instantly fell in love with, so I can’t wait to get my hands on any and all of their novels.

I Tag:

Kayla @ Bookedsolid1989

Lashaan and Trang @ Bookidote

Isabella @ Gryffindor Books

Richard @ The Humpo Show

Raquel @ Rakioddbooks

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February 2016 TBR

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Happy February, everyone! First off, I want to apologize for my absence these last few weeks. This past month was a bit rough for me and, because of that, I did not post nearly as much on here as I usually do. I’ve been suffering from migraines for a while now, but the amount I have been getting has dramatically increased recently to the point where I’ve been having them every other day. This made it very hard to sit in front of a computer screen for any amount of time to write posts and reply to comments.

I’m so sorry I’ve been away as much as I have. I’ve missed posting frequently and I’ve missed talking to all of you every day on here and on your posts! Thank you all for being patient with me. I’m hoping to get them under control soon, and I definitely plan to be back blogging and chatting with you guys in full force this month! 😀 ❤

February TBR

I still have some books off last month’s TBR that I want to get to this month, but here are a few more that I am adding to the pile.

1. More Than This by Patrick Ness

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It has been far too long since I have read a Patrick Ness book. I read A Monster Calls over a year ago and completely fell in love with his writing to the point where I went out and bought most of his other novels. However, I have not yet had a chance to read any of them yet. I plan to start the Chaos Walking trilogy later this year, so I figured I would tide myself over with this one. It has an incredibly mysterious and intriguing premise, and I’m not at all sure what to expect from this story. I can’t wait to dive in!

2. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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The Raven Cycle is one of the series that I have been wanting to start for a while now, and with the final book coming out soon, I figured this would be a great time to begin. I have heard fantastic things about this series and it has been recommended to me quite a lot, so I’m really looking forward to checking it out.

3. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

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I’ve gone a month without reading a V.E. Schwab novel and I am already dying to read another one. This has been at the top of my TBR for a while, so I’m hoping I can finally get to it this month. Plus, I have A Gathering of Shadows on pre-order and I’d like to finish this before that is released so I can continue on when it gets here (though I’m then going to have to deal with waiting for the final book!).

4. The Reluctant Sacrifice by Kerr-Ann Dempster

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I’ve been making really good progress catching up on reviews and this is a review copy that I have had for a while, so I need to get to it soon. I’m really excited to check it out and see what I think of it. This will be one of my top priorities for the month, and most likely one of my first reads.

5. The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath by Ishbelle Bee

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I found out about this book through Booktube and was immediately intrigued by it. It is pitched as a dark, adult fairytale and seems like it will be an extremely unique story, similar in style and atmosphere to Neil Gaiman’s novels. I believe this is a duology, and I already have the sequel, The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl, so I might continue right on to that when I’ve finished if I enjoy it.

6. Doctor Who: Deep Time by Trevor Baxendale

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This is another review copy that I’ve received recently and need to get to, so it will be another priority for me this month. I’m always happy to read anything Doctor Who related, which I’m sure comes as no surprise to anyone!

Read in January

Despite my failure in the blogging department, this month was actually fairly productive reading-wise. I managed to read five books and get through a good chunk of a sixth one. I also ended up really enjoying all of these reads quite a lot; they were a great way to begin a new reading year. I’m already making good progress on the reading challenges I’ve given myself and finally catching up on some review copies I’ve needed to get to as well. After feeling a bit slumpy for the past few months, this was definitely a wonderful change, and hopefully it will stay this way.

doctorwhodeathriders doctorwhosystemwipe thebookthief3

1. Doctor Who: Death Riders by Justin Richards – As I’ve already said, I love to read anything to do with Doctor Who, and this novel was a really fun read. This was one of the review copies I recently received from Netgalley. Click here to read my review!

2. Doctor Who: System Wipe by Oli Smith – This was my least favorite read of the month, but it was still a quick and entertaining story. This was another Netgalley review copy that I received. Click here to read my review!

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zuszak – I finally did it you guys! After all these years, I finally read The Book Thief—and loved it, of course! Review to come soon.

alice thegrownup scarlet

4. Alice by Christina Henry – Again, I have to thank Heather for this fantastic recommendation. Review to come soon.

5. The Grownup by Gillian Flynn – I’ve been wanting to read more of Gillian Flynn’s work recently, and this was absolutely fantastic (as always!). It’s got me even more excited than I already was to continue on to her next full novel! Review to come soon.

6. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – I’m not quite finished with this one yet, but I got through a little over half before the end of the month. This will be my first completed read of February, and there will be a review coming very soon after.

January Book Haul

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  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster
  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Anticipated Releases of February

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  1. A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly (Release Date: February 2nd, 2016)
  1. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer (Release Date: February 2nd, 2016)
  1. These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas (Release Date: February 9th, 2016)
  1. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (Release Date: February 23rd, 2016)

What books do you guys have on your TBRs for February? Which new releases are you looking forward to this month? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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New Year’s Resolutions Book Tag

I was tagged by the lovely SSJTimeLord to do the New Year’s Resolution Book Tag. Thank you so much for the tag! 😀 She is a fantastic book blogger, so please make sure to take a moment to head over and check out her blog.

This tag was created by Emily over at Embuhlee liest and Shivii from Brown Eyed Musings.

Get in shape – name a book that doesn’t quite fit on your shelf correctly.

tkam grimmsfairytales

Surprisingly enough, I don’t actually have too many books that are oddly shaped or don’t match the size of a fair amount of other books. However, my leather bound editions of books, though they match each other, are taller and wider than all the other books I own. My editions of To Kill a Mockingbird and Grimm’s Fairy Tales in particular don’t quite fit with everything else and stick out among my book piles.

Eat healthily – name a book you feel was good for you to read.

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It’s difficult to choose just one book for this question. I would have to go with either To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee or The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. These are beautiful novels—two of my favorites of all time, mainly because they are both very thought-provoking reads. Both deal with some extremely important topics in brilliant ways. I feel like they were also good reads for me because they are books that have truly inspired me in my own writing.

Read more – name a book you keep telling yourself to read but haven’t yet.

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Now that I have read The Book Thief (yes, I finally did it!), there is one main book that I keep telling myself to read but haven’t yet—The Hobbit. It is pretty crazy that I have not read a single Tolkien book by this point in my life, and that is something that desperately needs to be fixed. I have been telling myself to read this for ages, and I am absolutely 100% determined to read this book before the end of the year!

Quit smoking – name a book you kept going back to even though you had finished it.

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I’m going to have to say To Kill a Mockingbird again for this one, since it is by far the book that I have read the most times in my life. Growing up, I actually used to read this at least twice a year for a number of years. This is my go to read when I am in a slump or just want to read something I know that I will love. I will never get tired of reading this novel!

Save more money – name a book you got for a really good price.

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I am totally someone who is very picky about the editions of books that I buy since they are becoming a part of my permanent collection, so I am happy to invest more in a copy that I really want. That being said, I am also someone who loves hunting for deals on everything, especially books. I’ve found some fantastic prices on books over the years, but a great deal I got recently was a copy of Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb for only two dollars!

Be more organized – how do you organize your bookshelf?

I’ve mentioned this a few times before but, embarrassingly enough, I don’t have any bookshelves at the moment. Right now, all of my books are sitting in storage boxes, and there is absolutely no order to them whatsoever. When I finally get some shelves, however, I will organize my books alphabetically by author.

Be punctual – shortest time and longest time it took you to read a book.

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Shortest time – While I am not generally the fastest reader ever, there are tons of books I’ve read in a very short amount of time over the years, so I decided to choose from my more recent reads. A fairly recent quick read was A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, which took me about an hour and a half to two hours to complete. It was fast but utterly beautiful, and has become one of my favorite books of all time. If you have not read this yet, definitely give it a go!

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Longest time – One of the longest reads for me was Insurgent by Veronica Roth, which took me about three months to complete. I absolutely adored Divergent when I read it a few years ago, and I was very eager to continue on with the series. Unfortunately, while I did not by any means hate it, I ended up being fairly disappointed by Insurgent and had a lot of trouble getting into it. Because of this, I didn’t have as much motivation to finish it and only read a tiny bit at a time.

Go out more – what book made you isolate yourself from the outside world?

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Oh man, so many books to choose from! Any of the Harry Potter books or The Chronicles of Narnia would fit this question for sure. Divergent and Gone Girl were two more recent ones that caused me to do this. I also have to add in the entire Hunger Games trilogy. They were the first novels since finishing Harry Potter that I genuinely could not put down once I started reading them.

Be unique – what was your favorite book of 2015?

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I read a lot of great books last year, but my favorite by far was Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I read this in December in a buddy read with Heather from The Sassy Book Geek and we had such a fantastic time. Vicious is an incredibly well-crafted story, with beautiful writing and vivid characterization. This novel is utterly epic and it was particularly fun to read and discuss with a fellow superhero/supervillain nerd! I cannot say enough good things about this book—in fact, I will (hopefully) be posting my review of it tomorrow.

Be more personal – what book are you waiting for most this year?

heartless thissavagesong

This is a difficult one because I have a ton of upcoming releases that I am excited for. If I had to choose, I would say that Heartless by Marissa Meyer is probably my most anticipated release of the year. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab is an extremely close second, however. I am just dying to get my hands on any novels written by these two wonderful ladies!

Really, resolutions? – what book do you promise to read this year?

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There are a ton of books that I’ve promised to read this year (check here, here, and here!), but one in particular that I promise to read is The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve been wanting to read a Brandon Sanderson novel for a very long time and this is definitely going to be the year I finally do that. I am hoping that I can get through a few books in the Mistborn series before the end of the year, but I will be reading The Final Empire for sure!

I Tag:

Everyone! 😀 Since I’m running a bit late with this, I won’t tag anyone specific. However, if you do complete this or already have completed it, make sure to link me to your post down in the comments so I can check it out!

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Top 10 Tuesday – January 12th, 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 2015 releases you meant to get to but didn’t. This is a great topic for me because I have an embarrassingly long list of books to choose from! I ended up not reading nearly as much as I originally intended to in 2015. On top of that, the majority of the books that I did read were releases from recent years that I was trying to catch up on. To narrow my list down, I primarily chose books that I own and that I hope to get around to reading this year. 2016 is definitely going to end up being another catch up year!

1. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade final for Irene

2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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3. The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath by Ishbelle Bee

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4. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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6. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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7. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

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8. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

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9. The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

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10. Rook by Sharon Cameron

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What 2015 releases did you guys not have a chance to read? Do we have any in common? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

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Top 5 Anticipated Releases of Winter 2015-2016

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2015 is already winding down and the holidays are rapidly approaching. I feel like I say this a lot, but I absolutely cannot believe how fast this year has gone by! Though I’m sad to see the year go, I am incredibly excited for these next few weeks. This is my favorite time of year for so many reasons.

As a singer, this month is filled with rehearsals and concerts, and we get to do some of the best music of the choral season. I am eager to spend time with family, decorate the house, and bake as many cookies as physically possible! It is also a time for relaxing and, of course, tons of reading!

Winter is shaping up to be another exciting season of book releases as well, so here are my top five most anticipated releases of the next few months!

1. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (January 5th, 2016)

 

passage, n.passenger

i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.

ii. A journey by water; a voyage.

iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

2. Stars Above by Marissa Meyer (February 2nd, 2016)

 

The enchantment continues….starsabove

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.

Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….

The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.

Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.

The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.

After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.

The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess

The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.

Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century…

3. A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly (February 2nd, 2016)

 

acriminalmagicThe Night Circus meets Peaky Blinders in Lee Kelly’s new magical realism, crossover novel.

Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive – and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal. 

It’s 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city’s magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters’ crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer’s shine.

Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC’s most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family’s home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.

Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic – and when their paths cross at the Shaws’ performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.

A Criminal Magic casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.

4. These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas (February 9th, 2016)

 

theseviciousmasksJane Austen meets X-­Men in this gripping and adventure-­filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London.

England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.

5. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (February 23rd, 2016)

 

*Contains Spoilers for A Darker Shade of Magic*

A Gathering of Shadows FinalFour months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

 But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.

What new releases are you most looking forward to this season? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

-Ariana

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