Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust!

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*ARC provided by Flatiron Books in exchange for an honest review*
“There are worst things in the world to be than delicate.
If you’re delicate, it means no one has tried to break you.”
I’m sad to say that I hadn’t heard about this book until it literally landed on my doorstep. (Thank you Faltiron Books for that!) As soon as I saw the cover, I was immensely intrigued and after finding out that it was a Snow White retelling, I had to start it right then and there! I’ve never read a retelling that wasn’t Beauty and the Beast and I was super excited to expand my horizons!
This story follows 15 year-old Lynet, a young princess with an unusual upbringing, and her step-mother, Mina, who is hiding a dark secret. Only one of them is meant to be Queen and we follow them as their stories take a turn in order to make that happen. Both of these girls/women stole my heart almost immediately. I could never choose between the two even as they turned on each other but I’ve no regrets about it. Both of them led such difficult lives that I was heartbroken for them at every turn of the page. I just wanted to reach into the pages and console them, let them know they had a devoted friend in me. But alas, I couldn’t.
The characters in this novel were well written and complex, just as I love them. I loved how this wasn’t true just about the main characters but side ones too. Each one had absolutely intriguing character developments and I was kept on the edge of my seat trying to figure out how (and if) they would all make it to the end. Don’t get me wrong, just because I was interested in their development, that didn’t mean I liked the characters themselves. I absolutely loved Lynet and Mina but everyone else was despicable, in my opinion. They sparked a lot of hatred deep within me that only an incredible writer is able to do.
“Her beauty was merely a shell, and a shell was always in danger of cracking.”
This book was like nothing I’ve read before. I’ve only read books that follow a romantic couple but this was the first book I read that follows a girl and her step mom. We get both of their POV’s throughout interchanging chapters taking place in both present and past events. I was massively impressed by Melissa since this was her debut novel and if I hadn’t read that on her bio, I would’ve never believed it!
This book pulled at my heartstrings so many times that I lost count. Pretty sure I was busting out tears more often than not. It had many amazing quotes scattered throughout the pages so I had difficulty choosing just one… So I chose three.
Oh, and last but not least, this book deserves INFINITE kudos since it incorporates the LGBTQ+ community in a beautiful manner. Not only is this a unique take on a classic tale, but it’s also diverse in a deliciously subtle way. I’m glad to say that this book left me fulfilled and I can’t wait to read more by Melissa! I thoroughly enjoyed being inside her mind and witnessing this incredible storyline through her eyes. I can’t wait to own the finished copy of this beauty because it’s so shiny!
“Mina would have embraced her then, this girl whose heart was so strong and so full that it could beat for the both of them.”

5/5 stars!

 

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Cover Reveal: The Rebels of Gold by Elise Kova!

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For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know how OBSESSED I am with The Alchemists of Loom series by Elise Kova, right?!

As a matter of fact, I’ve been to both of her signings for the previous 2 books in the series and almost nothing beats those experiences. Elise Kova is my favorite author of all time and it’s always a great pleasure that I can say I’ve met her twice! I only mention this because at the Dragons of Nova signing, I had the opportunity to tell her that DoN is BY FAR my favorite book by her yet. Don’t get me wrong, her Air Awaken series will ALWAYS hold a very special and dear part of my soul, but that series limited my Queen. Which isn’t something I can say about TAoL! She brings it 10000% and we can all tell just how much she puts into every single word. If you haven’t read the previous two books, then please refrain from reading the synopsis for The Rebels of Gold because of SPOILERS! But, don’t worry, I will include the synopsis for the first book further along this post!

So without further ado, the moment I’ve all been waiting for!!!

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Cover by: Nick D. Grey

This cover features our baby Florence all grown up!!!! The cover for The Alchemists of Loom features Arianna and The Dragons of Nova features the love of my life, Cvareh!!! I was excited to see that my wishes came true about seeing Florence in a cover for this last installment. She has gone through such an ordeal since the first book which I know is only the beginning. I can’t wait to see her character evolve even more as I am cheering in the front lines!


Book 3: The Rebels of Gold

SYNOPSIS:

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A new rebellion rises from the still-smoldering remnants of the five guilds of Loom to stand against Dragon tyranny. Meanwhile, on Nova, those same Dragons fight amongst themselves, as age-old power struggles shift the political landscape in fateful and unexpected ways. Unlikely leaders vie for the opportunity to shape a new world order from the perfect clockwork designs of one temperamental engineer.

This is the final installment of USA Today bestselling author Elise Kova’s Loom Saga, THE REBELS OF GOLD will reveal the fate of Loom’s brilliantly contrasting world and its beloved inhabitants.


Pre-order links for

THE REBELS OF GOLD:

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(Click [HERE]to be directed to pre-order swag page)

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY |
BOOKS A MILLION |


Book 1: The Alchemists of Loom

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Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.

[My review]


Book 2: Dragons of Nova

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Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust — hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything — and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills — and quick-shooting accuracy — makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall.

[My review]


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media.

[Twitter] [Instagram] [Goodreads]

[Facebook] [Tumblr] [Website]

Cover Reveal: Move the Stars by Jessica Hawkins!

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Photographer: Perrywinkle Photography

Cover Design © R.B.A. Designs

Cover Model: Chase Williams


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Coming Monday, October 23rd:

Move the Stars, book 3 in the Something in the Way Series…

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Lake
It was a hot summer day when I met him on the construction site next to my parents’ house. If I’d known then what I do now, would I have kept on walking? Manning was older, darker, experienced—and I’d trusted him when he said the story would only ever be about us. I’d held those words close and challenged fate, but I had lost.

A part of me is still that sixteen-year-old girl squinting up at Manning, but no matter how far I fall or high I soar, I’ll always be a bird without her bear and nothing without him.

Manning
When I close my eyes, I can no longer see her. The decisions I made were to push Lake in the right direction—away from me. But now that she’s gone, would I have made those same choices?

I’d walked away like I was supposed to. I’d kept my distance. I’d bent over backward to keep Lake pure, but she’s no longer that girl, and I don’t know if I can stay away anymore. I only know I don’t want to. She’s still everything I want and nothing I should ever have, but if anyone can move the stars, it’s her great bear in the sky.


PREORDER LINKS:

 ➜ [Amazon] ➜ [iBooks] ➜ [Nook]

➜ [Google Play ] ➜ [Kobo] ➜ [Goodreads]

 ➜ [Paperback] ➜ [Audiobook (coming 2017)]


Book 1: Something in the Way

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It was a hot summer day when I met him on the construction site next to my parents’ house. Under the sweat and dirt, Manning Sutter was as handsome as the sun was bright. He was older, darker, experienced. I wore a smiley-face t-shirt and had never even been kissed. Yet we saw something in each other that would link us in ways that couldn’t be broken…no matter how hard we tried.

I loved Manning before I knew the meaning of the word. I was too young, he said. I would wait. Through all the carefully-chosen words hiding what we knew to be true, through his struggle to keep me innocent, and through infinitely-starry nights—I would wait. But I’d learn that life isn’t always fair. That no matter how much you achieve, none of it matters if you suffer the heartbreak that comes with falling for someone you can never have. Because even though I saw Manning first, that didn’t matter. My older sister saw him next.

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[MY REVIEW]


Book 2: Somebody Else’s Sky

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If I closed my eyes, I could still see them—all blonde sunshine, ocean-blue eyes, and long limbs. The glint of Lake’s gold bracelet. Pink cotton candy on Tiffany’s tongue. My scenery may have changed from heaven to hell, but some things never would: my struggle to do right by both sisters. To let Lake soar. To lift Tiffany up. The sacrifices I made for them, I made willingly.

A better man would’ve walked away by now, but I never claimed to be any good. I only promised myself I’d keep enough distance. If I’d learned one thing from my past, it was that love came in different forms. You could love passionately, hurt deep, die young. Or you could provide the kind of firm, steady support someone else could lean on.

Lake was everything I wanted, and nothing I could ever have. I was nobody before I knew her and a criminal after. The way to love her was to let her shine—even if it would be for somebody else.

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[MY REVIEW]


About the author:

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 Jessica Hawkins is an Amazon bestselling author known for her “emotionally gripping” and “off-the-charts hot” romance. Dubbed “queen of angst” by both peers and readers for her smart and provocative work, she’s garnered a cult-like following of fans who love to be torn apart…and put back together.

She writes romance both at home in California and around the world, a coffee shop traveler who bounces from café to café with just a laptop, headphones, and coffee cup. She loves to keep in close touch with her readers, mostly via Facebook, Instagram, and her mailing list.

Review: The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones!

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*ARC provided by Novl in exchange for an honest review*
“A Demon was knitting outside the hospital.”
A little backstory: I’m currently sporting super puffy eyes since I just finished reading this about an hour ago and I haven’t stopped crying… I’m only here typing this because I wanted my feelings to be fresh or else I would still be curled up in a corner of my room, ignoring the world as I mourn the loss of my heart. Emily has blown away every expectation I had for her and I won’t be able to heal from it all for a while yet.
This was a super highly anticipated read for me since it seemed right up my alley. The cover pulled me in but that premise made me stay. It was deliciously dark, intriguing, and unique. Even though I was basically in love with it already, I kept putting it off because I was so scared that all of my own hype over it would be my downfall. I soon found out, after reading the first chapter, that I shouldn’t have been worried. Another reason I forced myself to (wo)man up was because the book was already released and my scaredy-pants hadn’t even opened it yet. As soon as I cracked this baby open, I was dead to the world. I gladly lost track of time and I only mention this because it’s been TOO long since a book has managed to do that to me.
This book takes place in a world where humanity knows that Demons exist. They trade wishes in exchange for human parts and we follow Dee as she gives up her own heart to one. She makes the deal in order to escape her home life and aside from both of us being Latinas, (she’s technically half but whatever) I related to Dee in that aspect. I would absolutely sell my heart to escape my own home life as well which hit close to home. This fact by itself already had me feeling protective over her and the rest of the book only intensified those feelings.
I started this story as a hesitant reader and ended it as a protective mother to a few characters. I grew unbelievably attached to all of the heartless and one who still had her heart. There’s James, the adorable artist. Gremma, the beast (not in an unflattering way) with cool weapons. Cal, the genius. Cora, the fierce leader, and, Riley, the bomb enthusiast. And, of course, I can’t forget about the Daemon himself who made deals with them. I grew attached to him as well and I’m not sorry about it. I have so much love and respect for these characters that I just wanted to reach into the pages and take them out so we can all live under one roof.
The plot line was not what I expected but I still loved it beyond belief. I completely REFUSE to acknowledge the utter despair and heartbreak that the last few chapters were drowned in. You can say I’m in denial but then I’ll say that I don’t know what you’re talking about. Those last few chapters never happened so your point is not valid. I need to forget them or else I will be crying myself to sleep every night for years to come.
Emily, you have become a Goddess in my eyes and I am forever grateful for your creative mind. You created a world that will never leave my side. Thank you so much for creating a novel that I will treasure with my life. This was about 400 pages of grief, laughter, tears, joy, and everything in between.
Now, I leave you with a question: What would YOU trade your heart for?
My answer? Read this book and then I can tell you </3
Leave your hearts at the door before Emily wrenches it out herself in the most painful way imaginable.
“Their fingers tangled, wrists pressed together.
No pulse between them.”
6/5. Heartless. Stars.

 

Review: What Goes Up by Katie Kennedy!

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*ARC provided by Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review*
“For everything that went up, something had to come down. Eddie just didn’t know why the thing that went down was always him.”
This was the first book I’ve read by Katie Kennedy and I’m glad to say that I consumed it like there was no tomorrow. I even debated whether sleep and work were important enough to make myself stop reading. I admit, I was extremely nervous before diving into this book. For one, I am not one that is interested in anything related to space and these characters already sounded super smart which left me intimidated.
We follow Rosa and Eddie as they apply to a secret NASA program named Interworlds Agency in the middle of Iowa. This is a world where humanity has been able to confirm intelligent life in other worlds and are looking for a way to communicate with them; Rosa and Eddie are trained to be among the teams that help that procedure along.
This book is told in the third person but the chapters rotate between Rosa and Eddie’s POV. They never ceased to amaze me with how unbelievably smart they were.
My heart went out to Eddie, time and time again. His backstory was one of the most tragic in this story and it sparked a massive feeling of over protectiveness in me. I wanted to chase all of his pain away so only happiness remained in his eyes. I was deeply invested in this character development the most.
Like I said, I never cared for space but these characters made me WANT to be into it just because they were. I cared about them so much that I was basically interested in whatever they were interested in. They felt incredibly real to me and I couldn’t help but experience their emotions as my own.
The only reason why this isn’t a full 5 star review, was because I felt like the stakes weren’t as high as I’d expect for a novel that dealt with other worlds. I get that there’s so much you can do with YA but I still would’ve loved to have seen the characters go through worse situations. On the other hand, my expectations didn’t impact my reading experience whatsoever and for that, it almost gets the 5 stars.
This story was the perfect blend of humor, heartbreak, and adventure. I cried with joy and I cried with sorrow and then pride. The ending was even more emotional and it left me a crying and blubbering mess. It was interesting right from the start and I loved that the pace picked up right away. I can’t wait to read more by Katie and hopefully revisit these spectacular characters in the future.

4.5/5 stars!

Review: Lucky in Love by Kasie West

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*ARC provided by Scholastic in exchange for an honest review*
This is the third book I’ve read by Kasie West and unfortunately it wasn’t up my alley. I think my excitement over a new West novel might have been my downfall.
This story follows Maddie as she’s getting ready to graduate high school and is on the look out for acceptance letters from colleges. She works at a zoo and we see her turn 18 early on in the novel. She ends up celebrating it by buying a lottery ticket. The lottery ticket turns out being the winning ticket and it flips her entire life upside down. She was invisible at school and now she isn’t so we get to witness how the spotlight mends and breaks certain parts of her life.
Every word out of her mouth made me reel with disappointment and rage at every turn of the page. She was beyond naive and every one of her decisions/actions made my stomach clench with anxiety. I wanted to shake some sense into that girl far too many times to count and it wasn’t a fun experience. On the other hand, I really liked that the chapters were short. It was easy to get through without tearing my hair out over my dislike of Maddie.
I also didn’t like how this book was immensely predictable. No character managed to capture my interest except for Seth and the zoo animals. He was the only one that actually made me laugh every now and then and made the book a little bit entertaining.
I love YA, but sadly, this book was a bit TOO juvenile for me. My favorite part out of the entire novel were the last 2 chapters. I couldn’t help but wish the entire book were as cute as the very last chapter.
Even though I didn’t like this novel, it doesn’t mean that I’m giving up on Kasie. I am still holding on to hope that I will like the rest of her novels as much as I loved The Fill-In Boyfriend.

2.5/5 stars

Review: The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova & Release Day Signing Photos!

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My review:

*ARC provided by Keymaster Press in exchange for an honest review*
“Your song will flat, I fear, since I have heard the truth of its melody.”
(I am still in shock over this book… I have no idea how to make my emotions known but I will definitely try for all of you.)
This is the sequel to the beauty that was The Alchemists of Loom. (If you haven’t read it yet, go go go!) I have to take a second to praise Kova’s sequels for never EVER falling flat to her readers but doing the exact opposite. I already know that I will always love anything from Elise Kova but this book took my awe to a whole new level. I will always treasure Air Awakens with my entire being but I think DoN has officially become THE book I’ll recommend from Elise until my last breath. I think a lot of it has to do with this being an adult novel/series. It didn’t restrain the force that is Elise Kova and boy, did it pay off. This book to her epicness to new heights and I can’t wait to see what she does with book 3!!!!
“No half measures.” Yveun might speak the words, but Elise Kova is the embodiment of such a phrase. Her writing is beyond savage and unusually tender at the same time. She played my emotions like a ukulele and I loved every second of it. You can do that anytime, Elise!
This novel takes place in a new setting, Nova, the Dragon Land, and I loved witnessing Ari and Cva switching roles because of it. Ari is now the one out of her element and the journey she let us see through her eyes was nothing short of interesting.
As greedy as I’ve become for every detail of these characters, I was also equally greedy for details of the world around them. This rarely happens since I’m usually too focused on the characters to even think about the setting. Leave it to Elise to explode my expectations.
We are introduced to new POV’s and I honestly couldn’t choose a favorite. But if I really have to, my favoritism lies between Cvareh and Petra!! I am afraid to admit that I didn’t notice how much I missed my baby Cva until my first sighting of him in this book. I swooned and died on the spot, only to be resurrected by his adorable quirkiness. That man is something else, and I love him beyond belief. Also… Holy Gods. I appreciated Petra in TAoL but I ADORE that woman now. She’s my role model from now on and I will live only to make her brutal majesty proud. Arianna also blew me away in this novel. She is the definition of BADASS but she took it to- you guessed it-new heights. The character developments were beyond magical and oh so fulfilling.
Another thing that I deeply appreciate about this series is how diverse it is. It’s navigated in a subtle and perfect way, just how diversity should always be handled. The chapters were short so even though there are a few characters to keep track of, it was fairly easy to devour.
The ending has me super excited -and nervous- about what is to happen but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pumped for the most part!!

6.5 stars!!!


Dragons of Nova (2)

As many of you know, I spent release day with Elise Kova herself! (Which is why this review is being posted the day after.) My friend Myranda took me with her to the San Mateo signing and I am forever grateful! I went Live on my Instagram for a bit of it but here are some pictures I took! This was my second time meeting her and I also got to see some of my other fellow book-loving friends! Elise Kova’s signings are always extremely laid back and it just feels like a reunion with best friends. She had some pre-order swag available so if you are ever on the fence about going to her signings, (I don’t know why you would be in the first place) go for the swag!

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She caught me taking selfies with her in the background so this happened:

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Can you tell I’m trying not to laugh? Haha


And then we had a Tower Guard group shot!

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And last but not least, selfies with the Dragon Queen!

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This was such a fun event and I can’t wait for the next! Thank you Elise for writing and making me cry with every book you put out!